Well, unless you were going to interview with Google back in the days they asked the weirdest questions (which they stopped as it did not produce any better results than a structured interview[update oct 2016: apparently their questions are more to the point but hugely overbearing, see this article]), you can prepare yourself for the questions the interviewer will most likely ask. Ready with your toolbox prepared and rehearsed, you should not have any problem answering questions. Still there are some that, as we mentioned in the Career Summary part, you need to think through carefully.
Questions like “Can you tell me about your best result during your last employment?”. The interviewer is not just curious about what that great success was but also how you approach the question. Do you take a business result as your greatest result or a personal improvement, or a situation where you had to stand alone against a crowd of nay sayers? Is it a company result, a department result or a personal result. Will you credit a team effort and your role in it or just boast about your heroic deed, or highlight the process that took place.
Another all time favorite is asking about a conflict situation and how you dealt with it. Again the interviewer won’t just be interested in the actual conflict and please spare them the “he said she said” part of it, but the interviewer is more likely interested to see how you approach conflict, if you recognize what kind of conflict it is, if you accept that conflict is part of regular work life and have found ways to deal with it in a constructive manner.
Then you may also get a barrage of hypothetical situation questions. Try to get to the point quickly, the interviewer knows it is a hypothetical question so they don’t necessarily care about the right or wrong answer, but they will care about how you approach the situation. So if the hypothetical question centers around conflict, leadership or tight deadlines quickly move on from talking a bit about the presented situation to the more general approach you have towards conflict, leadership and time management.
Think about the upcoming potential interview and write down the questions you really don’t like to get. You will have seen the questions that scare you most or that make you think too long for comfort, so let’s list those on the chart with nightmare questions and face them now. If you get stuck, let us know.
For the aficionados, here a range of sources with advice on a whole host of questions and how to answer them.
The list can go on for a while but Yahoo and Google will do a better job than I in finding these links.
You will have seen the questions that scare you most or that make you think too long for comfort, so let’s list those on the chart with nightmare questions and face them now. If you get stuck, let us know.