Doostang News August 9: Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions – Part 2

Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
Director of Search Marketing, San Francisco, CA
Analyst, Los Angeles, CA
Public Relations Associate, Raleigh, NC
M&A Research Analyst, Paris, France

More jobs we think you’ll like…

It’s time for the second installment of thoughtful answers to those interview questions that leave you reeling.  We devote several blogs to this matter, not because we feel that there’s much room for error in the interview, but because there’s lots of space for you to shine if you approach the toughies the right way.  So read on for our suggestions to some of the more challenging talking points.

What Are Your Long-Term Goals?

This one is tricky because it basically implies, “How long do you see yourself working for us?”  Especially as far as an entry-level job is concerned, most hiring managers know that you’re not going to want to stick around for one job forever.  But how do you ensure that they’ll get a good return on their investment in you?  Explain to the interviewer that you would like to have a career with the company – that you want to be challenged, realize success within the organization, and eventually move up the ladder.  Tell the interviewer that as long as the company is good for you and you are good for them, your long-term plan is to stay on board and grow with the company.

Why Do You Want to Work for Us?

When describing why you want to work for a company, make sure to avoid broad answers.  It’s okay to give answers that are specific to the industry, but remember to go further than that and give specific examples as well.  Make sure you are current on the latest company news, and can talk about what makes this company different and why they are the best fit for you.

Are You Overqualified for this Position?

It’s easy to be overqualified for a position in this job market, but that shouldn’t be something that holds you back.  So when you get this question, don’t give up or get defensive.  Talk about how the company needs solid individuals, and that your hope is to establish a strong presence in the company that allows you to move up and make a difference in your area of expertise.  A growing company needs reliable, proven people, and therefore you would be an excellent fit for any position.

Stay tuned for further questions that tend to stump even the savviest job seeker.  And if you have any questions that you’d like us to cover, send them over and we’ll give them a whirl!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Doostang News August 2: Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions – Part 1

Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
Director of Search Marketing, San Francisco, CA
Analyst, Los Angeles, CA
Public Relations Associate, Raleigh, NC
M&A Research Analyst, Paris, France

More jobs we think you’ll like…

One of the biggest sources of pre-interview jitters is the anticipation you feel over tough interview questions.  And while you’re probably convinced that an entire series of curveballs lies in wait for you, the fact is that you’ll probably only receive one or two.  Nevertheless, it’s always great to be prepared for whatever is in store, so take a look at these zingers we’ve compiled:

Are You Considering Other Positions?

Your first inclination may be to answer “No”, as you want to seem fully committed to the opportunity that the interviewer represents.  But the reality is that you’re probably looking at a multitude of jobs – after all, who wouldn’t be?  You’re trying to situate yourself as best you can, so applying for multiple positions is advantageous – hiring managers know this.  Instead, answer in the affirmative.  It’s honest, realistic, and will position you in a way where you are selecting the company as much as they are selecting you.  Make them fight for you a bit.

Why Should I Hire You?

This one’s basic, but really make sure you think it through before you arrive at the interview.  Instead of giving the stock, “I’m a really hard worker” or “I’ll really make a difference” answers, cite specific examples of hard work or the difference you have made in a company.  No one will swallow such vague answers; the more precise you are, the better.

Have You Ever Had a Conflict with a Boss or a Fellow Employee?

If this question comes up and it turns out you have experienced office conflict, don’t shy away by brushing it off with a quick (deceitful) “No”.  Instead, consider how you might use this experience to your advantage.  Tell the interviewer that you had a disagreement with a certain boss or coworker, but that you were able to work through this difference and come to a compromise that worked well for everyone.  What a hiring manager really wants to know is how you deal with conflict, and so if you skim past this one, they may just pry until they find another way for you to respond to this issue.

Have You Worked With Someone You Didn’t Like?

Here’s a similar question that you might get, though it deals less with conflict.  It’s certainly okay to mention that you didn’t want to be best buds with everyone you ever worked with.  It’s more likely that you’ll come across several people that just rub you the wrong way.  But how you dealt with this situation is of strong interest to a hiring manager.  So talk about how you were able to rise above your dislike of said individual and focus on what made this person a valuable employee.  Describe how, while you may not have spent time with this person outside of the office, you worked together wonderfully at the office.

Tough interview questions can leave you with a pit in your stomach…if you are underprepared!  So take some time to work out how to turn negatives into positives and position yourself in a desirable light, and you can tackle them with confidence.

Go get ‘em,

The Doostang Team