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Posts Tagged ‘interview questions’

  1. 5 Interview questions that should be asked, but aren’t

    November 25, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I’ve recently found myself on ‘that’ side of the table.  You know the one.  The side where you sit alone and face a panel of inquisitors who hold crisp, white sheets of paper with questions that require you to summarize your career in two minute intervals.

    It’s been over 10 years since I’ve had to go through the interview process and I can confidently say the interview questions I’ve been asked are nearly the same ones I answered 10 years ago.

    Questions like:

    – ‘Tell me/us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation and how did you handle it?’

    -‘What has been your biggest success?’

    – ‘Have you worked with a difficult coworker? How did you you manage your relationship while working with them?’

    The last one makes me want to grin and shout out, ‘Nope.  In 16 years, I’ve never worked with a single person I didn’t like!  Next question, please.’

    These questions have become so standardized that if you Google, ‘interview questions’ you’ll find hundreds of sites offering you the latest, greatest way to answer THE interview question(s) that have been around for 15-20 years.  To put that into perspective, August marked the 10th year since Google’s initial public offering (IPO).  

    Driving home from a recent interview, I wondered why we continue to recycle the same, stale questions; why we are using questions that predate the Blackberry or even the wide use of cellular phones.  Perhaps it’s a human resources best practice thing; perhaps these questions are really informative for some people, or perhaps it’s simply because we have too many emails, too many phone calls, too many everything that precludes us from rethinking the whole interview process.  So it gets pushed off.

    Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it … right?

    Well, it’s broke.

    Interviews are meant to act as the gatekeepers to your organization.  If the art, and importance, of the interview is going to remain a useful tool, then questions need to be updated for the 21st Century.  Here’s an example of what I mean: during the numerous interviews I’ve been on, not once have I been asked about my knowledge of social media and how I used it for a successful campaign (which is necessary for almost every field these days).  I was, however, asked about the jobs I held in the early aughts.

    With these experiences in mind, I thought I’d take a stab at five questions that I feel interviewers should be asking, but aren’t:

    1. Over the last few years social media has rapidly changed.  How have these changes impacted your work?
    2. Which would you rather have, XX work from home days or an extra week of vacation.  Why?
    3. Where do you see our industry going in 2-3 years?  How are you preparing for those changes?
    4. Where do see a need for improvement in our organization?
    5. What’s the next step in technology and how do you think we can get in front of it now?

    You’ll notice all of these questions focus on today’s technological world and how they are working with/in it.  The questions are also diverse enough to get a better understanding of the interviewee.  Take the work from home question.  The answer may indicate better productivity and less stress on an employee if they work from home, or someone may want an extra week of vacation to take a longer break from work to recharge.  See how easy and fun this is!

    Now, like all interviews, it’s time to wrap things up and ask you if you have any questions.  In this case, what questions do you think employers should be asking their recruits?  Is there a particularly painful question you’ve been asked that you’d like to share?

     


  2. Interview Questions I Wished I Asked (And One I Wished They Answered Honestly)

    March 12, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    comics-dilbert-job-interview-865505

    I’ve been at my job for over a year now and while it may sound like I’m oversimplifying a bit, all I do during the day is data entry. I can’t imagine much changing either – at least not any time soon.

    The nice thing about having a job that I don’t like is that it sharpens the job qualities I am looking for. The thing is when I first interviewed for this job, there are certain interview questions I wished I had asked based on the values that I know mean more to me than they ever had before.

    Here’s a couple of questions –

    1) Is there any variety to my job duties?

    I would have learned that, no, there isn’t any variety to my job duties at present. I wished I had asked this because at this point, I am very aware of how much I need variety to my day. Montonous work makes me want to run screaming from the building.

    2) What is the management style of the department?

    This would have been a fantastic question because when I interviewed I was in front of three levels of management. Their answers would have brought out the true colors of the micromanaging quality of some and the “invisible” “non-management” style of others. This has made for a toxic, untrustworthy work environment.

    If I had asked those questions, I think I would have a unique perspective on the work environment that would have helped me figure out whether I really wanted to take the job or not.

    The question I wished had been answered honestly was why the job was available. They told me the reason was someone moved onto another job. The truth is the person I would have been helping was difficult and had gone through three people AFTER that person had left.

    What questions do you ask during interviews? Are there questions you wish you COULD ask but don’t?

     


  3. Job Interviews Are Not Funny

    May 31, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    A funny job interview is a bad idea. Are you still laughing?

    About a month ago I got a phone interview for a position I was extremely excited about. It was in the publishing industry and this is definitely an area I can see myself thriving in. I passed the first interview and a week and a half later I walked into the front doors of their building for my in person interview.

    The first in person interview I had since being out of work, by the way.

    I smile at the receptionist. I am friendly to the lady who reviews my application before I do the sit down interview. I am dressed very professionally having bought a few new items for the big day. Ten minutes later I shake the hand of the hiring manager. I walk into the meeting room and shake the hand of the publication manager.

    Right off the bat the subject of pets come up. The hiring manager explains her dog recently passed away and the conversation turns into animal stories. Do I have any pets, they ask. I don’t, but I express my desire to have one someday soon. We joke about talking about dogs instead of the interview.

    When the interview starts officially, I can tell within seconds that I have a wonderful rapport with these two people. Great feeling right? I’ve made them laugh quite a few times. Yet, with each question coming my way I can’t help realize how negative all the questions were:

    1) What would your last employer say was your biggest weakness?

    2) Talk about a negative coworker situation.

    3) Talk about when you have been treated unfairly.

    4) Tell us about your least favorite job.

    5) Tell us your experience with a software we never put in the job ad, but we will act like you should know it already. Next tell us about how inexperienced you are with that software so you look like a loser who didn’t do her homework. (Kidding on that one. Sort of.)

    In the back of mind in between the laughter and my responses and their questions, I realized I never sold them on my skill. I was selling them on personality, but that wouldn’t give me the job. It doesn’t take a genius to tell me that. I end the interview emphasizing my enthusiasm for this field and for this position. I make them laugh again as I leave (maybe I should be a comedian?). I’m told there will be a second interview and I will hear from them next week.

    Cut ahead a week later, and I get a message from them on my house phone (they never called my cell phone for some reason). I’m excited. I think I must have gotten the next interview, because potential employers never call to reject you.

    Right?

    Wrong.

    I didn’t get the job. They gave it to someone else. Someone internally. They tell me had they gone the normal route of hiring I would have gotten the next interview. How fair is that? Isn’t that like a guy telling me that had he not met someone else he totally wouldn’t have broken up with me?

    And why didn’t they hire that person the first place? Why torment people like this?

    So you know what I learned from all this? The interviewer is not your friend. Job interviews are not funny, so don’t forget that this is a person you are trying to sell yourself to. Put the jokes aside and remember to sell yourself. I will never trust humor in an interview again. Job hunting is not funny. This is serious business here people.

    Meanwhile, I’m off to amateur night at the local comedy club since I’m so damn funny apparently.