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  Interview Questions

Questions Candidates Should Ask During an Interview:

bulletWhy is the position open...new position, replacement?  If the prior person left the company and is being replaced, find out why.  This will give you a better understanding of their issues.
bulletTo whom does this position report?  What is his / her background?
bulletWhat are the three most important things you are looking for in this position?
bulletWhat autonomy would I have to perform my responsibilities?
bulletWhat educational and training support would be available to help me be successful in this position?
bulletWhat is the most important thing I can do in the first 60 to 90 days to help impact your company?
bulletDescribe what your "ideal" candidate would be for this position?
bulletWhen are performance reviews and what is the process?
bulletWhat is a typical day like for this type of position?  Is there any traveling involved?
bulletWhat is the company's management philosophy?
bulletWill I inherit projects or initiate them?
bulletWhat is your background and what brought you to this company?
bulletWhat is the department's working environment like in which I will be employed?
bulletIf there are subordinates, what are their strengths and weaknesses?
bulletWhat are the company's short term and long term goals?
bulletWhere do you see this company in the next three to five years?
bulletWhat kind of growth opportunities are available from this position?
bulletDo you have any questions regarding my ability to do the job?
bulletIf you were to hire me, when would you want me to start?

Questions Candidates Should Be Prepared to Answer:

bulletTell me a little bit about yourself?
bulletWhat was your favorite job?  Least?  Avoid downgrading people and companies.
bulletTell me about the best boss you ever had?  Worst?  Looking back, is there anything that you could have done to improve your relationship with the bad boss?  Describe your ideal boss.
bulletHow do you compare yourself to your peers?
bulletTell me about your biggest obstacle / failure in your career?  What steps have you taken to avoid this in the future?
bulletWhat is the worst decision you have ever made?
bulletWhat do you like most about your current position?  Least?
bulletDescribe a typical day at work.  What do you think is the most important part of your job?
bulletWhat are your current job responsibilities?
bulletTell me about your accomplishments in the last year, two years, etc.  Be specific.  Talk about money saved, revenues generated, reduced cycle time, improved yields, etc..
bulletIn what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
bulletWhat are your career goals over the next five years?  How do you plan on achieving these goals?
bulletWhat are your strengths?  Weaknesses?  Try to give examples of weaknesses that an employer can live with..."stickler for detail" or "workaholic".  Be realistic and explain how you are working on improving your weaknesses.  
bulletWhat do you do as a member of a team?  As an individual contributor?  Which do you prefer?
bulletHave you taken any additional training to improve your skills?
bulletDo you consider yourself to be an initiator or do you prefer to take direction from someone else?
bulletWhat motivates you to do your best?
bulletIn what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
bulletHave you managed people at any point during your career?
bulletWith what type of people do you have trouble getting along?
bulletDo you anticipate problems or react to them?
bulletDo you consider yourself to be a risk taker?
bulletDescribe a conflict you have had with a boss / co-worker / subordinate.  How did you handle the situation?
bulletHow would your co-workers describe you?
bulletHow is your department organized?
bulletWhy are you looking for a new job?  Be positive, but give a reason.
bulletWhat are you looking for in terms of salary?  Don't offer any figures.  Tell them what you currently make and that you are looking for a good opportunity.
bulletIf you were hiring someone for this position, what qualities would you seek?
bulletWhy do you feel you are qualified for this job?  Why should I hire you?
bulletWhen describing situational examples, make every effort to present your responses in the STAR (Situation, Task, Accomplishment, and Result) approach.  Employers want to know your involvement or the action taken in your examples.  This approach gives solid details and doesn't leave the employer questioning "what was your role?" or "when did you do it?"  The STAR approach explains situational examples from the beginning to the end result, spelling out your involvement systematically.  Describing the Situation is your starting point, discussing the Task shows your plan of action, naming the Accomplishments support your successes, and providing the Results show your benefit to the company's bottom line.

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