Here is the second part of Republic Resumes interview questions and approaches. Job interviews are weird and contrived situations but the advice here will help you prepare.
“Why do you want to leave your current job?”
Let’s start with what you shouldn’t say (or, if you’re the interviewer, what are definite red flags). Don’t talk about how your boss is difficult. Don’t talk about how you can’t get along with other employees. Don’t bad-mouth your company. Focus on the positives a move will bring. Talk about what you want to achieve.
“What kind of work environment do you like best?”
Take a step back and think about the job you’re applying for and the company’s culture. Find ways to highlight how the company’s environment will work well for you — and if you can’t find ways, don’t take the job, because you’ll be miserable.
“What is your leadership style?”
This is a tough question to answer without dipping into platitudes. Try sharing leadership examples instead. Say, “The best way for me to answer that is to give you a few examples of leadership challenges I’ve faced,” and then share situations where you dealt with a problem, motivated a team, worked through a crisis. Explain what you did and that will give the interviewer a great sense of how you lead.
“Tell me about a time you disagreed with a decision. What did you do?”
No one agrees with every decision. Disagreements are fine; it’s what you do when you disagree that matters. (We all know people who love to have the “meeting after the meeting,” where they’ve supported a decision in the meeting but they then go out and undermine it.) Show that you raised your concerns in a productive way. Every company wants employees willing to be honest and forthright, to share concerns and issues, but to also get behind a decision and support it as if they agreed, even if they didn’t.
“Tell me how you think other people would describe you.”
I hate this question. It’s a total throwaway. How about this for a reply. “I think people would say that what you see is what you get. If I say I will do something, I do it. If I say I will help, I help. I’m not sure that everyone likes me, but they all know they can count on what I say and how hard I work.”
“What was your salary in your last job?
This is a tricky one. You want to be open and honest, but frankly, some companies ask the question as the opening move in salary negotiations. When asked, say, “I’m focusing on jobs in the $50K range. Is this position in that range?” Know this first.
“What questions do you have for me?”
Don’t waste this opportunity. Ask smart questions, not just as a way to show you’re a great candidate but also to see if the company is a good fit for you — after all, you’re being interviewed, but you’re also interviewing the company.