Interview Questions and Answers – Part 4

Interview Questions and Answers-1In my last post I introduced you to the third of the 4 types of questions you could expect to be asked during an interview situation ‘Assessing Your Attitude’

Trap Questions Not all employers use questions like these but remember that any question can be a trap question if you aren’t prepared. Honesty is your friend here. Nobody expects you to be perfect but there’s no need to expose your most humiliating experiences either. The important thing to show is that you learned the right lesson from the situation and took action to see it never happened again.

“I’ve learned so much from my mistakes…I’m thinking of making a few more”

What have you learned from mistakes on the job?

This is a situation where you need to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make it small, well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. Perhaps you were working too much on your own and learned the value of teamwork.

What irritates you about co-workers?

Unlike the question above, your credibility is not on the line here if you simply say that you like to get along with people and be tolerant. A good, humourous, not directly work related anecdote might help, but be careful.

Have you ever been asked to leave a position?

If you haven’t, say no and leave it at that. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid saying negative things about the people or organization involved. We all make mistakes.

What has been your biggest professional disappointment?

Be sure to refer to something that was beyond your control. Show acceptance and no bitterness.

A question to watch – what do you consider to be your weakness?

Show the interviewer that you see yourself as a work in progress and that you’re continually seeking to improve. Show examples of what you are doing (or have done) to fix your weakness.

The most important point here is to show that you learn from your mistakes and your weaknesses, and you are taking the corrective action to fix the situation.

For example, if the job does not require public speaking, state that you are uneasy about speaking in front of large groups. Then tell the interviewers that you have joined a Toastmaster club or public speech course to overcome the problem. The key is to turn the weakness — a negative character trait — into something positive.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing”

You can ask questions too, after all an interview is a two-way conversation so look out for my next post when I will help you to consider questions to prepare when asked “Do you have any questions?”.

A Corporate Mentor for the ‘Internal Job Market’ who offers employees an edge over their internal and/or external competition. With over 15 years’ experience, Nikki educates professional people to build on their personal brand, to sell themselves in the content of their CV and interview technique and to overcome personal barriers to fully recognise their strengths and achievements.

About the author

Nikki Hutchison, founder of Chilli Pepper Global advising you on every aspect of the job seeking process guiding you step by step whether you are looking to move internally or externally.

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