Q: How would you describe our corporate environment?
A: You guys clearly know what you’ve been doing. You’ve been in this for thirty years, after all. You put the client first and leave drama at the door.
The interviewer is making sure you’ve done your homework on the company.
Q: Tell me about some of your hobbies.
A: I play chess. It’s great because it allows me to develop my long-term strategical thinking, while looking at a number of different elements.
The interviewer wants to see that the things you do in your free time can have some bearing on your work performance.
Q: Now that you’ve gotten past the first interview, you should know more about the job you’ll be required to do. What makes it appealing to you?
A: The company’s values match my own, and I’ve been impressed by everyone I’ve met here.
The interviewer wants to see how your values match up with the company’s.
Q: Tell me what your biggest concern is in regards to this job opportunity.
A: I was wondering who was going to train me.
The interviewer wants to see that you’ve thought this job through thoroughly: if you should, there’s something you’re concerned about.
Q: Name a challenge you expect to face while working here. How would you solve it?
A: As a customer service representative, I expect to face many dissatisfied customers. I’ll do my best to assuage their concerns while maintaining a positive attitude.
The interviewer wants to make sure you understand the job’s challenges.
Q: Describe a conflict on your team. How did you solve it?
A: Two salesmen under me didn’t get along. After listening to their complaints, I organized their schedules so they didn’t have to see each other.
For the second round of interviews interviewers often ask behavioral questions, believing that your past work reflects what the future will hold.
Q: Here’s a hypothetical situation. Someone you’re managing for a project tells you that they think your general direction is stupid. How do you respond?
A: I ask him to try and show everyone in the workplace respect — including me. I then ask where his concerns lie.
The interviewer wants to see that you can keep a cool head.
Q: Tell me about a controversial decision you made.
A: I was running a big restaurant in a small town in Wyoming. A regular customer was deflating the morale of the staff by constantly complaining, so I banned him. The local newspaper ran a piece, calling it ‘public humiliation,’ but it was what my staff needed.
The interviewer wants to see that you can make tough calls.
Q: How much are you hoping to make?
A: $48,000 a year.
There’s a good chance the interviewer’s going to want to talk salary for your second interview. Just be honest.
Q: When can you start?
A: Two weeks from now.
Some people set up interviews to see if they can get a job, without being ready to leave their old one. The interviewer wants to make sure you’re serious enough about the job to start in the next two weeks.