Tell me about a time that you worked conveying technical information to a nontechnical audience.
The Interviewer wants to know how you relate to people outside your area of expertise.
While I worked for Mr. Smith in the accounting department, I was selected to explain the financial section of the employee's paycheck to all new hires. After my first two sessions, I realized I needed to reframe my information so the new hires would have an accurate understanding of the impact of their decisions as it related to their pay. I worked with colleagues in human resources and marketing, and developed a training outline that was implemented at the other locations throughout the company.
Tell me about a time that you worked with data, interpreting data, and presenting data.
If you are in a non-technical profession, this question is designed to see if you are comfortable with information not directly related to your position.
While at the GHI corporation, one of my job assignments was to work with the IT department to prepare the annual meeting brochure complete with financial data, graphs and related SEC requirements. I became proficient at designing graphs that gave an accurate picture of the financial data, as well as editing the legal information into a more readable format.
Why do you think you will be successful at this job?
The interviewer is concerned as to whether you see this as a career move, or stop-gap employment.
As my resume reflects, I have been successful at each of my previous places of employment. My research of your company, the job description outlined, and the information we've exchanged today, lead me to believe I have the skills and experience for which you are looking; and I'm eager to be a contributing employee.
Tell me about a time that you participated in a team, what was your role?
Companies, for the most part, do not want "Lone-Rangers" - - they are looking for employees who will adapt to the company culture and get along with others.
In high school, I enjoyed playing soccer and performing with the marching band. Each required a different kind of team play, but the overall goal of learning to be a member of a group was invaluable. I continued to grow as team member while on my sorority's debate team and through my advanced marketing class where we had numerous team assignments.
How Do You Handle Stress and
- I actually enjoy working under pressure. It's a terrific way to accomplish a lot of work and to stay busy.
- I find a past pace to be invigorating, and thrive when the pressure is on.
- I've done some of my best work under tight deadlines, where the atmosphere was very stressful.
- I'm the kind of person who stays calm under pressure, and handle stress fairly easily.
How Did You Handle Challenges
- During a difficult financial period, I was able to satisfactorily negotiate repayment schedules with multiple vendors.
- When the software development of our new product stalled, I coordinated the team which managed to get the schedule back on track. We were able to successfully troubleshoot the issues and solve the problems, within a very short period of time.
- A long-term client was about to take their business to a competitor. I met with the customer and was able to change how we handled the account on a day-to-day basis, in order to keep the business.
Are You Overqualified for This Job?
- Overqualified? Some would say that I'm not overqualified but fully qualified. With due respect, could you explain the problem with someone doing the job better than expected?
- Fortunately, I've lived enough years to have developed the judgment that allows me to focus on the future. Before we speak of past years, past titles and past salaries, can we look at my strengths and abilities and how I've stayed on the cutting edge of my career field, including its technology?
- I hope you're not concerned that hiring someone with my solid experience and competencies would look like age bias if once on the job you decided you'd made a mistake and I had to go. Can I present a creative idea? Why don't I work on a trial basis for a month -- no strings -- which would give you a chance to view me up close? This immediately solves your staffing problem at no risk to you. I can hit the floor running and require less supervision than a less experienced worker. When can I start?
- I was proud to be a charge nurse but I really like getting back to working with patients.
- I'm flattered that you think I'm headhunter bait and will leap to another job when an offer appears. Not really. This job is so attractive to me that I'm willing to sign a contract committing to stay for a minimum of 12 months. There's no obligation on your part. How else can I convince you that I'm the best person for this position?
- I'm here because this is a company on the move and I want to move up with you. With more than the minimal experience to just skim by, I offer immediate returns on your investment. Don't you want a winner with the skill sets and attitudes to do just that?
- My family's grown. And I am no longer concerned with title and salary -- I like to keep busy. A reference check will show I do my work on time, and do it well as a team member. I'm sure we can agree on a salary that fits your budget. When can we make my time your time?
- Downsizings have left generational memory gaps in the workforce and knowledge doesn't always get passed on to the people coming up. I could be an anchor or mentor -- calm, stable, reliable and providing day-to-day continuity to the younger team. For my last employer, I provided the history of a failed product launch to a new marketing manager, who then avoided making the same mistakes.
- As you note, I've worked at a higher level but this position is exactly what I'm looking for. You offer opportunity to achieve the magic word: balance. I'm scouting for something challenging but a little less intense so I can spend more time with my family.
- Salary is not my top priority. Not that I have a trust fund but I will work for less money, will take direction from managers of any age, will continue to stay current on technology and will not leave you in the lurch if Hollywood calls to make me a star. And I don't insist that it's my way or the highway.