10 Toughest Interview Questions
9/03/2009 09:50:00 PM | Author: eVy-D-YaNa
My friend gave me this book when I was searching for companies for my internship placement. I found that this book is very useful to help fresh graduates especially Malaysian to build on their careers in the future. Many tips and guidance are given in here. But now, I want to share with all of you, readers, "10 Toughest Interview Questions". I make it brief from the whole article. Hope this post somehow, helps you for your career planning in the future, if not now. .

10 Toughest Interview Questions

The key to handling an interview successfully is to understand that the whole process is an evaluation for both parties - not just the company. It provides an opportunity for both sides to get a feel of whether they can work together. GRADUAN asked several managers to share some tough questions they pose to interviewees. These are only examples. They are not for you to memorize verbatim, as each interview will be different. Use this questions as a guide to prepare your own answers.

1. Tell me about yourself

This is quite a common first question and although it sound simple, many candidates stumble. This question sets the tone for the whole interview and you certainly do not want to panic. Do not go into lengthy detail about your education background - it is all states clearly in your resume.. The interviewer is more interested in how confident you are. Be clear and concise, focus and purposeful. You may want to practise a two-minute response, highlighting your interests, knowledge and passion in relation to your qualifications and the position you are applying for. This is the time for you to showcase your capabilities and talents in a confident, yet respectful, way.

For example, if you are applying for a position as a writer you could say : "Writing has always been a passion for me, and I have been writing essays and articles since school days. I was on the school editorial board and also won essays competitions. During university semester breaks, I worked as a stringer for a local newspaper and had numerous articles published. My final project at varsity was a series of critical commentaries on current issues, which I have attached her for your perusal. When I heard of an opening with your company, I saw it as an opportunity to put my writing and my language skills to good use and help to fill your company's need, while doing something I am passionate about."

2. Why should I hire you (instead of another candidate)?

Why indeed? One way to look at this question would be to put yourself in the interviewer's shoes and look at yourself fro his or her perspective. What qualities would you want to see in yourself?
The Asian culture of modesty can be a hindrance in answering this question, but do not let it hamper you. The easiest and most logical answer would be "Because I feel I am the best person for the job." However, make sure you back this up by reiterating how passionate and dedicated you are about the profession, and the training and qualifications you have. Other applicants will also have similar qualifications, so you must set yourself apart by mentioning significant accomplishment relating to the position you are applying for (for example, previous work experience, was on the Dean's List, successfully managed budgets for varsity projects and so on).
To convince the interviewer that you are the perfect candidate, you need to project four qualities - competence, professionalism, enthusiasm and likability. Make it clearly known that you are interested in the job and enthusiastic about joining the company.

3. How do others perceive you?

The aim of questions like this is to evaluate your understanding of yourself, your social relationships and how you relate to others. It is an open-ended question which can be answered differently. Similarly, the answer can be interpreted differently by the interviewer, so be careful and never boast.
When you speak about how others think of you, cite credible personalities and be specific about why they hold such an opinion. You may want to use sentences like "I am grateful that my professor saw me as a responsible person and selected me to represent the university at a national conference." Also, bring along any letters of recommendation and commendation.

4. How can you contribute to our company?

Again, you need to highlight your passion for the job you are applying for, while reiterating your accomplishments. Needless to say, you must be well-versed with the activities of the company and its direction, as well as the duties and responsibilities you may have had at school or university. For example, if applying for an accountancy job, tell the interviewer that you the treasurer of a student club and were responsible for its budget and accounts.

5. Are you a team player?

The answer, of course, is resounding 'YES'!, but make sure you support your answer. Many candidates, in their nervousness, make the mistake of just blurting out a simple 'yes' and then face an uncomfortable silence when the interviewer waits for an elaboration. Give examples of team projects you participated in, like organizing a major sports event for your college or working on a fund-raising project. Also mention team sports you participated in.
When answering this question, emphasize teamwork rather than your individual performance, and illustrate your willingness to work with diverse groups. You may also have to answer questions on how you handle challenges relating to teamwork.

6. What are your weaknesses

This is certainly not the time to run through a long list of your weak points! You do not need to elaborate on all of them; neither does the interviewer want to know what they are. What the interviewer wants to see if you can identify and recognise your limitation, and if you are proactive in overcoming them.
Use this question to illustrate your problem-solving abilities by mentioning a personal limitation and how you are overcoming it. For example, if you find it difficult to remember the many things you need to do during the day, tell the interviewer that you have started a to-do list which you tick off as soon as a task is completed. Clearly demonstrate that you are someone who understand your shortcomings and are willing to take positive action to overcome them. Also mention that you would welcome any advice to help you improve your performance when you are hired.

7. Why do you want to work with us?

To answer this question intelligently, make sure you know the background of the company (and do not confuse your facts if you are preparing for more than one interview!). If you know someone who is already working in the company, ask him or her about its working environment and policies. Information on the company may also be on the internet, so check it out.
Complete your answer by stating your conviction that the company can provide you with a job you would relish doing and a stable working environment. Also mention the company's good standing in the industry.

8. How much do you think you should be paid?

This is a tricky question. You do not want to price yourself out of the market, nor should you settle for less than what you are worth. It is important to know what the market rate is for the position you are applying for.
Take a leaf out of David Schwartz's book 'Magic of Thinking Big' and believe in yourself. have confidence and know your value. Find things in yourself that make you more valuable and do not be afraid to project them.
You can quote a figure, but support it by explaining why you are worth that much. End your answer with "I will be willing to consider another offer that the company makes to me."

9. What colour is your brain?

What?! This is an example of a crazy question targeted to stimulate a spontaneous response and throw you off balance - just to see how quickly you think on your feet. So, the answer could be "Blue, because I'm a cool and level-headed, and can work under pressure" or "Red, because I'm passionate about the profession and a go-getter who produces results." Search the internet or books for other similar strange questions.

10. What motivates you?

At this stage in life, you will probably be working for the money and trying to discover your life's passion, but it would be wise not to say so! Say something constructive, like "I find great satisfaction in getting job well-done" or "...in seeing my hard work come to fruition to benefit others".

The interviewer is looking for the person behind the face and the resume to find out what makes you tick. You want to portray yourself as someone with integrity and good work ethics, driven by the desire to be creative and productive, and not merely by financial gain. Project an attitude of "What I can do for you" rather than "What's in it for me?"

Other tough questions:

  • If you could change one thing about yourself. what would it be?
  • How has education prepared you for this job?
  • What other attributes do you think make a good worker, aside from paper qualifications?
  • How well do you handle criticism?
  • Why were you not very active in extra-curricular activities?
  • What is your definition of 'Climbing the corporate ladder?' Is this your intention?
  • How ambitious are you?
  • How will you balance work and family/ social life?

Source : A book of GRADUAN : Careers & Employment for Malaysian FRESH Graduates, 2009

This entry was posted on 9/03/2009 09:50:00 PM and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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