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Practice answering common behavioral and role-playing interview questions. Research the types of questions typically asked of people applying for the same type of job you are, and rehearse answering them at home. For example, if you're applying for a managerial role, you might be asked how you've resolved a conflict between employees.

Dress appropriately and wear clothing that both fits well and is comfortable. Wear a suit in an interview in a business office. For less conservative environments, slacks and a nice shirt work well for both men and women, or women can wear a skirt and blouse or a dress. A safe rule is to dress to fit into the setting, not stand out in it. Arrive to your interview location early. Never keep an interviewer waiting for you to show up. Find out the exact location of the interview ahead of time so there are no surprises. Call ahead to confirm the directions and get a description of the building, if necessary.

Use online mapping software to get directions even if you have a GPS.


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Bring several copies of your resume, and any documentation you need, or notes you want to refer to. Is this a new position or are they hiring a replacement? Who does the position report to? Who is the immediate supervisor? In which department is the job located? What does the department do? When answering the question — What do you know about our company? In addition, point out specific things that you like most about the company such as its well established track record, its visionary goals, its growth potential or the fun, employee friendly work culture.

The staff testimonials also portray this as a fun, collaborative and energetic environment. I look forward to joining and thriving in this work environment and utilizing my skills, educational background and statistical experience in the Program Analyst position. You can focus on three major competitors and find out background information about them such as the products and services the competitors offer, their prices, their size, their profitability and the types of marketing campaigns they use.

Apart from explaining who the competitors are and what they do, also point out what makes the company differentiate itself or stand out from the competition. The visible competitive advantages of the company could include elements such as its brand name, number of years in existence, its people, its products, prices and customer service reputation. Company X and Z whilst providing customer satisfaction surveys also provide many other types of surveys such as employee satisfaction and economic surveys. Your company has carved out a niche by exclusively focusing on customer satisfaction surveys for the hotel industry.

Interviewing for Amazon? Read these 10 Amazon interview questions before you go

In addition, your company stands out by having a strong record of customer service, a trustworthy brand and it is staffed with a knowledgeable winning team with a history of treating customers like family. No two days are entirely the same; however, your work routine can serve as a compass to guide your work flow.

Begin by explaining how you plan and organize your day to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity during the day. Highlight how you communicate with your boss, how you align on priorities and report back to keep your boss updated. I then review the list and identify the priority items that need to be addressed. I attend scheduled meetings, collaborate with team members and work on assigned tasks during the day. I usually meet with my supervisor once a week for a check-in meeting but also keep her regularly updated and copied on important emails.

Smart Answers to Tricky Questions in a Job Interview - Skillopedia - Job Interview Skills

At the end of the day just before heading off, I look at my to-do list to see the items I completed and any pending items. I also add new tasks, deadlines and priorities that arose in the course of the day so that I can handle them the following day. The purpose of this question is to find out how well you handle and bounce back from disappointments.

Disappointments are an inevitable part of life. We feel sad when things do not happen as we had expected. For example if you had spent months working on a proposal and then your company does not win the contract, this can be disappointing. Avoid taking it personal, feeling sorry for yourself or sulking, worrying and agonizing over the disappointment. Once you have recovered from the disappointment, try again or try another approach to achieve your objective. In addition, anticipate future disappointments and plan ahead, seek help and guidance from others and solicit for regular constructive feedback aimed at improving your performance.

My major disappointment has been not winning proposals despite investing an inordinate amount of time developing the proposals. I sought to learn how we could overcome our setbacks by attending debriefing meetings with clients to learn how we could improve our proposals in the future. I also like to read about how successful people who have faced disappointments have overcome them and gone on to excel in their careers and fields.

I have learnt that when you become good at dealing with and overcoming disappointments, you in essence position yourself for future success. Causes of conflict in the workplace can include poor communication, lack of teamwork, not being appreciated, being overworked, unhealthy competition, favoritism, personality differences, conflicting directives etc.

1. Research

Disagreements and unresolved workplace conflict can lead to stress, tension, fear, hostility, anger, low morale, low productivity, lateness, negativity, unhappiness, absenteeism and employee turnover. Sometimes you could be the culprit and other times it could be someone else who is causing the conflict. Talking about the conflict with a view to achieving an amicable solution should be the next logical step.

The talking part can involve a direct on-on-one conversation or it could include intermediaries to help in conflict resolution. Once conflict has been addressed and resolved, actively take steps to prevent it from occurring again. When responding to the question — How do you handle conflict at work?

Instead he would mention upcoming deadlines during weekly team meetings and by then there would be little time left to meet the deadlines. I mentioned that it was important to include me on relevant email chains so that I could get an early heads up on deadlines. I elaborated that this would help me to prioritize my tasks and deliver high quality work ahead of schedule. My colleague said that he had assumed mentioning upcoming projects and deadlines during the once a week team meeting was sufficient notice.

I pointed out that with many other tasks that were on my plate it would be helpful to get an email as soon as a project and deadline was assigned rather than waiting till the team meeting. Whenever change is introduced, learn as much as possible about what necessitated the change or the need for the change. Examples of changes in the workplace can include new processes, policies or systems, new colleagues, new reporting structures or supervisors, new products and services, automation, organizational restructuring etc.

This system would automate the finance and accounting processes and responsibilities and significantly change the way we were used to working. The VP of Finance invited team members to volunteer in evaluating and watching demos from different software vendors. I further contributed in providing suggestions and recommendations for the financial management system which I thought would best serve our needs.

After the system was purchased and implementation began, based on the tutorials I had taken, I was able to quickly master the functions of the system. Constructive criticism is aimed at helping you to get better in one or more areas of your professional life. Areas of improvement can include your skills, performance, work habits and relationships with coworkers or with supervisors.

When receiving constructive feedback , avoid being defensive, argumentative, getting angry or making excuses. Take time to listen keenly, seek clarification or more specifics, and absorb the suggestions and recommendations.

How to Answer 10 Tough Interview Questions

Accepting constructive feedback helps you to be more self-aware about your weaknesses and blind spots. Make it a practice to actively seek constructive criticism to help you improve in your job and career. I welcome constructive feedback because it helps me to take steps to correct and improve upon areas where I fall short of expectations. It highlights the circumstances under which you thrive and are capable of achieving high levels of productivity.

Your work style can take many dimensions such as the way you plan and schedule your day and how you maximize your most productive periods during the day. It can also entail your preferred communication style, your interaction with others, participation in meetings and team work and how you support your boss, colleagues and the overall company.

I am a great believer in preparing to-do lists at the end of the day so that I can get a head start when I start work in the morning. This gives me an advantage because each morning I have a mental picture of what I will be working on. I can further prioritize my activities based on upcoming deadlines and reorganize my tasks to accommodate emergencies.

I also enjoy contributing to team meetings with my colleagues especially brainstorming sessions where we are working on a new idea or solving a problem. This interview question aims to identify what keeps you going and what gets you excited to do your job every day. The best type of motivation is self-motivation; the desire that is within you to succeed in your job. Internal motivators include the desire to put your skills to good use, setting and accomplishing goals, meeting targets and deadlines, exceeding your past performance, offering exceptional customer service, paying attention to details, ongoing self-improvement etc.

Other motivating factors include a strong and collaborative team, positive feedback, a good working environment, a supportive boss, good colleagues, good work culture, belief in the mission and vision of the company etc. As a Licensed Plumber, each maintenance service and repair call differs from the other. My greatest satisfaction is when a customer smiles with pleasure from the outstanding job that I have done.


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I always go above and beyond to deliver high quality service within the shortest amount of time while adhering to building codes. The best answer to this question should portray your ability to work both independently and in a team setting. Explain that you can interchangeably switch from one mode to another depending on the task or project at hand.

There are certain tasks that I function much better when working alone such as planning my work, writing reports, conducting research, doing sales calls and creative writing.