By Bill Kaufmann, President of My Greener Future

Job interviews are difficult, even when you are prepared.  Some candidates have difficulty with the same questions but in different settings. The following questions tend to be the trickiest.  Study them and prepare alternative responses that put you in the most favorable light.

1.  WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS OR OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THIS COMPANY? – The interviewer is looking for your insights, which could be a trap. Are you making judgments based on little or no data or solid information based on your research of issues within company?  Tread carefully.

2. DISCUSS YOUR PROFESSIONAL DISAPPOINTMENTS IN OTHER ROLES/COMPANIES – Be ready with a story or two around promises or expectations that didn’t happen. How you handled it and what your learned is the key here.  Don’t put down other people as the “bad guys”.

3. WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A BOSS? – Stay away from trite comments like, “a leader” or “likes people”.  Tend more toward qualities like, “To get the highest level of performance a boss needs to engage with me on strategy, then let me get the results, while being available when I need help” or a similar set of guidelines.  You are describing how you work best under supervision.
4. ARE YOU OPEN TO CRITICISMS? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH IT? – Pre-knowledge of the company’s work environment would be helpful.  The interviewer is looking for your attitude toward pressure and how well you respond to it.  Criticism of work products is different from external competitive forces as against personal criticism.  Each is handled differently:  People versus things.

5. TELL ME ABOUT PROBLEMS YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED WITH SUPERVISORS– Rather than a laundry list of traits from bad supervisors, consider examples of how a situation became your problem due to a supervisor not handling it properly. This is a tricky question, as you don’t want to lash out about bad bosses, but rather indicate how you worked it through. Saying, “I’ve been lucky to have had good bosses, but there were times when I’ve had to add support in a sticky situation”.
6., WHY DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE YOUR COMPANY?  WHY WERE YOU TERMINATED? You need to be carefully honest.  Never lie, but you need a credible story.  You should be able to explain away most issues.  Leaving a company is not a crime when it follows a rationale that is well thought out and articulated.  Be careful of contradictions like, “…the company is growing, I’ve had good bosses, but the opportunities were limited”.  It doesn’t quite compute without a reason!

And the final curveball question that can kill an interview that has gone very well so far:

7.  WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW THAT HASN’T BEEN ASKED?  WHAT ARE WE MISSING? A real curveball question unless you’re prepared.  Caught unaware, most will answer in the negative because it’s almost an accusatory question like, “What haven’t you told us?”.  However, don’t be put off balance.  Have a list of items already in mind.  Don’t’ say, “Nothing, We covered everything” as you both know that isn’t true.  If you can cite activities that parallel the interests of the company, so much the better, like community support activities.

Good luck.  With preparation around these tricky questions you should be an outstanding candidate!

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By My Greener Future

My Greener Future is a Job Search Strategy and Career Coaching Company. At My Greener Future, you will be connected with industry coaches who care about you and your career as much as you do. They will work with you to create your very own custom career plan and support you in achieving your short term and long term career goals. Join My Greener Future TODAY and see how it will change the way you think about your career.