Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Are you a Graduate or a Post Graduate let it be...How can you prepare well for an interview which decide your Carrier

Think if you are recruited by a Human resource professionals

Are you ready to answer the following questions?

* What can you tell me about the position?
* What type of person you are seeking?
* What can you tell me more about the department?
* Who is the manager I would be working for and what is their management style?
* May I have a copy of the written job description?
* What would a typical working day be in this position?
* How would you describe your company culture?
* What is your company’s mission statement?
* Why is this position open?
* Is this job opening due to growth or replacement? (if replacement)
What happened to the previous person in the position?
* How much does the position pay?
* What is the compensation range for this position?
* What benefits are provided to your employees?
* Do you have a tuition reimbursement plan?
* Do you have an employee stock purchase plan? Do you participate?
* What is the typical career path for this position?
* What type of internal and external training do you provide?
* How are performance appraisals conducted within your organization?
* How are promotions evaluated within your organization?
* What is your organization’s commitment to diversity?
* How diverse is your executive management team?
* What is your retention rate within the company? Within the hiring department?
* Has your company had any layoffs in the past two years? What was the criteria
for deciding who would be laid off? Do you foresee any additional layoffs in
the near future?
* What is the next step for consideration?
* When will you be making a decision on this position?

Recruited by a Hiring Managers

Are you ready to answer the following questions?

* What are the most important skills and attributes you are looking for in
filling this position?
* What would be a typical working day for this position?
* How many hours of work per week would be required to be successful?
* What is the organization structure of your department?
* How would you describe your company culture?
* What are your organizational values? How do these values influence your
* What is your vision for your department over the next two to three years?
* What major challenges are you currently facing as a manager?
* What is your competitive advantage in the marketplace?
* What makes your company better than your competitors?
* What are the areas where your competitors are better than your company?
* Who do you consider your customers to be?
* What is your value proposition to your customers?
* What business problems keep you awake at night?
* Can you tell me more about the other people in the organization I would be
working with? Can I meet with any of them before accepting an offer of
* What would you consider to be exceptional performance from someone performing
in this position in the first 90 days?
* What is the internal perception of pursuing further education, such as a
Master’s degree?
* What is your management style?
* How do you typically make decisions?
* What is your preferred method of communicating with your team?
* How are you measured as a manager?
* What can I do to make you successful?
* How long have you been with the organization?
* What has been your career path within the organization?
* What will be the measurements of my success in this position?
* Do you have an employee stock purchase plan? Do you participate?
* Who are the primary constituencies that you are responsible to support?
Shareholders? Customers? Employees? How do you make decisions which conflict
with the needs of these different constituencies?
* How does the pressure of Wall Street expectations affect the short-term
decision making among managers?
* What are the organizational goals?
* What are the metrics used to measure whether or not you are achieving your
* How far out into the future is the organization planning?
* Do you have strategic planning within your organization? How often is it done?
Who participates? What is the typical planning time horizon?
* How are new strategic initiatives communicated to the organization?
* Is your department considered to be a profit center or cost center? What are
the financial expectations of the department?
* Do you have control over your own budget? How is the initial budget amount
* Are budgets made at a centralized location, then rolled down, or decentralized,
then rolled up?
* What is your approach with regard to the use of technology?
* Is there anyone within your organization who is considered to be a thought
leader within the industry? What is it about that person that makes him/her a
thought leader?
* What is the next step in the interviewing process?

If you are recruited by a Headhunters/Third-party recruiters

Are you ready to answer the following questions?

* Where did you get my name?
* What is the name of the employer?
* Who is the hiring manager?
* Are you working with HR or directly with the hiring manager?
* How are you involved in the hiring process?
* Are you working on a retainer or contingency?
* What will be the interviewing process?
* Why is this job open?
* Is this job opening due to growth or replacement?
* If this is a replacement, what happened to the previous person in the position?
* How much does the job pay?
* Are there any additional pay components beyond salary?
* Are you working on this exclusively or are other firms working on it as well?
* Have you ever placed candidates with this client before?
* Where is the job located?
* Is this at the company headquarters/corporate office?
* Is the company profitable?
* Have they laid off any employees in the last year?
* How would you describe the company culture?
* What is the background of the person I will be interviewing with?
* What is the interviewing style of the person I will be interviewing with?
* Who has final hiring decision authority?
* What will you do with my resume?
* Will my resume be given out to any other client without my permission?

If at all all these things are not matched...just think they are not a Qualified Employer for you and for your Carrier...:)

Post your Suggestions and Queries....

There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who walk into a room and say, "There you are" and those who say, "Here I am" If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we'd all be millionaires.

Interview is not just for getting the job but more its like a PANEL of DISCUSSION were both of them should have a Queries

Do you think that you are on the right path with the interviewer?

11. Your resume suggests that you may be over-qualified or too experienced for this position. What's Your opinion?

Emphasize your interest in establishing a long-term association with the organization, and say that you assume that if you perform well in his job, new opportunities will open up for you. Mention that a strong company needs a strong staff. Observe that experienced executives are always at a premium. Suggest that since you are so well qualified, the employer will get a fast return on his investment. Say that a growing, energetic company can never have too much talent.

12. What is your management style?

You should know enough about the company's style to know that your management style will complement it. Possible styles include: task oriented (I'll enjoy problem-solving identifying what's wrong, choosing a solution and implementing it"), results-oriented ("Every management decision I make is determined by how it will affect the bottom line"), or even paternalistic ("I'm committed to taking care of my subordinates and pointing them in the right direction").

A participative style is currently quite popular: an open-door method of managing in which you get things done by motivating people and delegating responsibility.

As you consider this question, think about whether your style will let you work happily and effectively within the organization.

13. Are you a good manager? Can you give me some examples? Do you feel that you have top managerial potential?

Keep your answer achievement and ask-oriented. Rely on examples from your career to buttress your argument. Stress your experience and your energy.

14. What do you look for when You hire people?

Think in terms of skills. initiative, and the adaptability to be able to work comfortably and effectively with others. Mention that you like to hire people who appear capable of moving up in the organization.

15. Have you ever had to fire people? What were the reasons, and how did you handle the situation?

Admit that the situation was not easy, but say that it worked out well, both for the company and, you think, for the individual. Show that, like anyone else, you don't enjoy unpleasant tasks but that you can resolve them efficiently and -in the case of firing someone- humanely.

16. What do you think is the most difficult thing about being a manager or executive?

Mention planning, execution, and cost-control. The most difficult task is to motivate and manage employees to get something planned and completed on time and within the budget.

17. What important trends do you see in our industry?

Be prepared with two or three trends that illustrate how well you understand your industry. You might consider technological challenges or opportunities, economic conditions, or even regulatory demands as you collect your thoughts about the direction in which your business is heading.

18. Why are you leaving (did you leave) your present (last) job?

Be brief, to the point, and as honest as you can without hurting yourself. Refer back to the planning phase of your job search. where you considered this topic as you set your reference statements. If you were laid off in an across-the-board cutback, say so; otherwise, indicate that the move was your decision, the result of your action. Do not mention personality conflicts.

The interviewer may spend some time probing you on this issue, particularly if it is clear that you were terminated. The "We agreed to disagree" approach may be useful. Remember hat your references are likely to be checked, so don't concoct a story for an interview.

19. How do you feel about leaving all your benefits to find a new job?

Mention that you are concerned, naturally, but not panicked. You are willing to accept some risk to find the right job for yourself. Don't suggest that security might interest you more than getting the job done successfully.
20. In your current (last) position, what features do (did) you like the most? The least?

Be careful and be positive. Describe more features that you liked than disliked. Don't cite personality problems. If you make your last job sound terrible, an interviewer may wonder why you remained there until now.

21. What do you think of your boss?

Be as positive as you can. A potential boss is likely to wonder if you might talk about him in similar terms at some point in the future.

22. Why aren't you earning more at your age?

Say that this is one reason that you are conducting this job search. Don't be defensive.

23. What do you feel this position should pay?

Salary is a delicate topic. We suggest that you defer tying yourself to a precise figure for as long as you can do so politely. You might say, "I understand that the range for this job is between $______ and $______. That seems appropriate for the job as I understand it." You might answer the question with a question: "Perhaps you can help me on this one. Can you tell me if there is a range for similar jobs in the organization?"

If you are asked the question during an initial screening interview, you might say that you feel you need to know more about the position's responsibilities before you could give a meaningful answer to that question. Here, too, either by asking the interviewer or search executive (if one is involved), or in research done as part of your homework, you can try to find out whether there is a salary grade attached to the job. If there is, and if you can live with it, say that the range seems right to you.

If the interviewer continues to probe, you might say, "You know that I'm making $______ now. Like everyone else, I'd like to improve on that figure, but my major interest is with the job itself." Remember that the act of taking a new job does not, in and of itself, make you worth more money.

If a search firm is involved, your contact there may be able to help with the salary question. He or she may even be able to run interference for you. If, for instance, he tells you what the position pays, and you tell him that you are earning that amount now and would Like to do a bit better, he might go back to the employer and propose that you be offered an additional 10%.

If no price range is attached to the job, and the interviewer continues to press the subject, then you will have to restpond with a number. You cannot leave the impression that it does not really matter, that you'll accept whatever is offered. If you've been making $80,000 a year, you can't say that a $35,000 figure would be fine without sounding as if you've given up on yourself. (If you are making a radical career change, however, this kind of disparity may be more reasonable and understandable.)

Don't sell yourself short, but continue to stress the fact that the job itself is the most important thing in your mind. The interviewer may be trying to determine just how much you want the job. Don't leave the impression that money is the only thing that is important to you. Link questions of salary to the work itself.

But whenever possible, say as little as you can about salary until you reach the "final" stage of the interview process. At that point, you know that the company is genuinely interested in you and that it is likely to be flexible in salary negotiations.

24. What are your long-range goals?

Refer back to the planning phase of your job search. Don't answer, "I want the job you've advertised." Relate your goals to the company you are interviewing: 'in a firm like yours, I would like to..."

25. How successful do you you've been so far?

Say that, all-in-all, you're happy with the way your career has progressed so far. Given the normal ups and downs of life, you feel that you've done quite well and have no complaints.

Present a positive and confident picture of yourself, but don't overstate your case. An answer like, "Everything's wonderful! I can't think of a time when things were going better! I'm overjoyed!" is likely to make an interviewer wonder whether you're trying to fool him . . . or yourself. The most convincing confidence is usually quiet confidence.

The 25 most difficult questions you'll be asked on a job interview

Being prepared is half the battle.

If you are one of those executive types unhappy at your present post and embarking on a New Year's resolution to find a new one, here's a helping hand. The job interview is considered to be the most critical aspect of every expedition that brings you face-to- face with the future boss. One must prepare for it with the same tenacity and quickness as one does for a fencing tournament or a chess match.

This article has been excerpted from "PARTING COMPANY: How to Survive the Loss of a Job and Find Another Successfully" by William J. Morin and James C. Cabrera. Copyright by Drake Beam Morin, inc. Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Morin is chairman and Cabrera is president of New York-based Drake Beam Morin, nation's major outplacement firm, which has opened offices in Philadelphia.

1. Tell me about yourself.

Since this is often the opening question in an interview, be more careful that you don't run off at the mouth. Keep your answer to a minute or two at most. Cover four topics: early years, education, work history, and recent career experience. Emphasize this last subject. Remember that this is likely to be a warm-up question. Don't waste your best points on it.

2. What do you know about our organization?

You should be able to discuss products or services, revenues, reputation, image, goals, problems, management style, people, history and philosophy. But don't act as if you know everything about the place. Let your answer show that you have taken the time to do some research, but don't overwhelm the interviewer, and make it clear that you wish to learn more.

You might start your answer in this manner: "In my job search, I've investigated a number of companies.

Yours is one of the few that interests me, for these reasons..."

Give your answer a positive tone. Don't say, "Well, everyone tells me that you're in all sorts of trouble, and that's why I'm here", even if that is why you're there.

3. Why do you want to work for us?

The deadliest answer you can give is "Because I like people." What else would you like-animals?

Here, and throughout the interview, a good answer comes from having done your homework so that you can speak in terms of the company's needs. You might say that your research has shown that the company is doing things you would like to be involved with, and that it's doing them in ways that greatly interest you. For example, if the organization is known for strong management, your answer should mention that fact and show that you would like to be a part of that team. If the company places a great deal of emphasis on research and development, emphasize the fact that you want to create new things and that you know this is a place in which such activity is encouraged. If the organization stresses financial controls, your answer should mention a reverence for numbers.

If you feel that you have to concoct an answer to this question - if, for example, the company stresses research, and you feel that you should mention it even though it really doesn't interest you- then you probably should not be taking that interview, because you probably shouldn't be considering a job with that organization.

Your homework should include learning enough about the company to avoid approaching places where you wouldn't be able -or wouldn't want- to function. Since most of us are poor liars, it's difficult to con anyone in an interview. But even if you should succeed at it, your prize is a job you don't really want.

4. What can you do for us that someone else can't?

Here you have every right, and perhaps an obligation, to toot your own horn and be a bit egotistical. Talk about your record of getting things done, and mention specifics from your resume or list of career accomplishments. Say that your skills and interests, combined with this history of getting results, make you valuable. Mention your ability to set priorities, identify problems, and use your experience and energy to solve them.
5. What do you find most attractive about this position? What seems least attractive about it?

List three or four attractive factors of the job, and mention a single, minor, unattractive item.

6. Why should we hire you?

Create your answer by thinking in terms of your ability, your experience, and your energy. (See question 4.)

7. What do you look for in a job?

Keep your answer oriented to opportunities at this organization. Talk about your desire to perform and be recognized for your contributions. Make your answer oriented toward opportunity rather than personal security.
8. Please give me your definition of [the position for which you are being interviewed].

Keep your answer brief and task oriented. Think in in terms of responsibilities and accountability. Make sure that you really do understand what the position involves before you attempt an answer. If you are not certain. ask the interviewer; he or she may answer the question for you.

9. How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our firm?

Be realistic. Say that, while you would expect to meet pressing demands and pull your own weight from the first day, it might take six months to a year before you could expect to know the organization and its needs well enough to make a major contribution.

10. How long would you stay with us?

Say that you are interested in a career with the organization, but admit that you would have to continue to feel challenged to remain with any organization. Think in terms of, "As long as we both feel achievement-oriented."