HR Q & A

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Questions you could be asked in an interview

Q.: Tell me about yourself. (They “want to hear you talk”)
A.: This is a commonly asked question designed to break the ice. Describe your qualifications, career history and your range of skills. Emphasize those skills that are relevant to the job on offer.

Q.: What have been your achievements to date? (They interviewer wants to find whether “you are an achiever?”)
A.: Again this is a common question so be prepared. Select an achievement that is recent. Identify skills you used in the achievement and quantify the benefit.

Q.: What do you dislike about your current role? (Question to find out if job on offer has responsibilities you will dislike)
A.:
Be careful with this one. One approach is to choose a characteristic of your present company such as its size, its slow decision making process etc. Give your answer with the air of someone who takes problems and frustrations in your stride, as part of the job. Do not complain.

Q.: What are your strengths? (What are you good at and how it is going to add value?)
A.: This is one question you will certainly be asked, so there’s no excuse for being unprepared. Concentrate on discussing your main strengths. List three or four explanations of how they could benefit the employer.

Q.: What are your greatest weaknesses? (The interviewer is asking about your self-perception and self-awareness)
A.: Don’t say you don’t have any. We all have weaknesses. Either use a professional weakness such as a lack of experience (not ability) on your part in one area that is not vital for the job, or use a personal weakness and show the steps that you have taken to combat it. An example would be, “I’m not very good at delegating but I’m learning to pass work on to colleagues by sitting down on a weekly basis and splitting the workload”.

Q.: Tell me the most difficult situation you have had to face and how you tackled it? (What means “difficult” to you and can you show a logical approach to it?)
A.: Select a difficult work situation that was not caused by you. Explain how you defined the problem and what solution you applied to overcome the problem.

Q.: What kind of decision do you find most difficult? (Are you strong and decisive enough but still with a human side?)
A.: Try to focus on decisions you have made without sufficient information. This will show your positive side. For example, “I like to make decisions based on sufficient information and having alternatives. When you have to make quick decisions you have to rely on “gut feeling” and experience.

Q.: Why do you want to leave your current employer? (The interviewer is trying to understand and evaluate your motives for moving)
A.: This should be straightforward. State how you are looking for more challenge, responsibility, experience and a change of environment and explain why you feel you are no longer receiving these things from your current role. For example, “I have been with my company for four years and feel I have learnt as much about their x function as possible and there is no opportunity for a more senior role at present”.



Questions you should ask in an interview 

Things your should want to know You will probably be given the opportunity to ask questions. Make use of it, but do not ask just for the sake of being active. Sometimes people ask about obvious things or things already discussed. Ask only if you are really interested and if it matters to you at that stage. Here are some examples:

  • How has the position become vacant?
  • How will you assess my performance?
  • How does the role fit into the structure of the department?
  • How does the department fit into the organization as a whole?
  • Who will I report to and are there persons reporting to me?
  • Where does my line manager fit into the structure?
  • What encouragement is given to undertake further training?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Where is the company going?
  • Expansion plans?
  • Where is the specific location of the position?
  • Will the position entail traveling?



Conclusions

  • There may be an explanation of how the process will continue. If not, ask.
  • Try to find out when you should hear back but do not be pushy as some recruiters will not want to commit themselves to timescales until they have had time to consider all candidates.
  • At the end, thank your interviewer for his or her time and shake hands.
  • Remember to say a personal goodbye to each person you talked to.
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