Sample Interview Questions
Question: Describe a situation that you fostered team work environment
Question: Negotiation and conflict management
It is inevitable, cause are like poor communication, seeking power, dissatisfaction with management style, weak leadership, lack of openness.
Conflict indicators are: disagreements, surprises, conflict in value system, Lack of clear goals.
Techniques for avoiding and resolving conflict:
Question: Tell me about your people skills
Leadership: Trust, reliable, predictable. Act honestly and truthfully, be open keep people informed. Be fair and objectives, fulfill your promises, maintain confidence, and recognize people for their efforts. Motivate by empowering and giving them the tools.
Question: Why are you interested in this position with Company X?
Question: Tell me about your role/activities/deliverables in your current job. What are/were you responsible for in this position?
Question: Do you have experience in managing equal programs? How has your experience prepare you for this position?
Question: What accomplishments are you most proud of in this job?
Behavioral Interview Questions on Operational Command of the Business:
1. Describe a process or workflow within your work unit that you recently improved. How did you do it?
2. On the other hand, describe a process or workflow with your work unit that you tried unsuccessfully to improve. Why weren’t you able to do it?
3. Tell me about a situation where you had to use your detailed “hands-on” knowledge of how your function works and how it is performing to help keep your department on track.
4. Describe how you have kept informed this year about key operational developments and issues in other functional areas.
5. How have you recently looked for ways to use your own group’s services and capabilities to provide a business advantage for other functional groups in your company?
6. How specifically have you used your knowledge of other company functions to ask questions and drive a decision that was in the best interest of your department/function?
Behavioral Interview Questions on Results Driven:
1. Describe a recent instance of your being energized by a tough challenge and tight deadline.
2. Tell me about a time when you pushed yourself and others to meet a highly challenging deadline.
3. Give me an example of a time when you simplified a task in order to give faster turnaround or better service.
4. Give me a recent example of how you pushed others to remove obstacles that were slowing progress.
5. Over the last several months, how have you been able to minimize the time spent on activities that were not directly related to obtaining results and achieving goals?
6. Describe a project for which you regularly measured progress and quality and made corrections or adjustments based on results to date.
7. How have you been able to allocate the right resources (types of skills, numbers of people, tools, etc.) to accomplish a specific goal?
8. Tell me about a time when you made a commitment but were not able to meet a deadline. What went wrong? What could have been done about it?
Behavioral Interview Questions on Recognizing Global Implications:
1. What’s the compelling vision for your organization/department that you have enthusiastically communicated to employees and peers? How have you communicated it?
2. How have you developed a vision for your own organization/department that is aligned with your company’s broader strategic direction?
3. What are the challenging goals you have provided for one of your direct reports and how have you given him/her the encouragement and support to meet the challenge?
4. Give me an example of how you communicated something clearly and broadly to ensure that your people understood what was happening and why (e.g. directions, decisions, changes.)
5. Describe a time when you willingly raised a difficult issue. How did you do it? What was the result?
6. What specifically have you done recently to lead by example?
Behavioral Interview Questions on Leadership:
1. Tell me about how you selected and created a team by seeking complementary skills among the members.
2. Give me an example of a time when you felt you were a role model of team behavior by offering ideas and support to peers and team members
3. On the other hand, there must have been a time when you realized you weren’t a role model because you didn’t offer ideas and support to peers and team members. What were the circumstances?
4. Give me an example of a potentially serious conflict that you addressed and mediated toward a mutually agreeable resolution.
5. How have you proactively and effectively staffed your work unit using both external and internal resources?
6. Give me an example of how you recognized and rewarded team members for extra effort and a job well done.
Behavioral Interview Questions on Fostering Teamwork:
1. Tell me about a time when you inspired and motivated someone by drawing connections between his/her work and the success of the company, or impact on the customer.
2. Describe how you listened attentively to let someone know that he/she was understood and that what he/she was saying mattered.
3. Give me an example of how you provided clear direction to an employee and gave him/her the resources and other support needed to help them succeed (e.g. removing roadblocks to productivity).
4. Tell me how you have let one of your good performers know in multiple ways that his/her contribution was valued.
5. How have you treated your employees as assets rather than costs, and invested in strengthening and broadening their capabilities?
6. Give me an example of how you empowered someone by delegating both responsibility and authority.
Behavioral Interview Questions on Attracting Talent:
1. Describe the best hiring decision you ever made. Why was it such a good decision?
2. Describe the worst hiring decision you ever made? What happened? How could it have been avoided?
3. Walk me through an example of how you created a team by selecting individuals with complementary skills
4. Give an example of how you identified and addressed a long-term staffing need.
Behavioral Interview Questions on Managing People:
1. Describe two recent instances - one where you gave someone specific positive feedback, and one where you gave someone specific, constructive feedback. What was the situation? What happened as a result of the feedback?
2. Conversely, tell me about the a time when you failed to provided specific performance feedback, both positive and negative, as soon as possible after an event. Why? What could you have done differently? What did you learn from the situation?
3. Specifically, how have you recognized someone’s individual working style by giving that person the freedom and support to do his/her job and meet his/her goals?
4. Give me an example of how you communicated clear, consistent expectations about what an employee needed to do and accomplish in his/her job.
5. Describe how you set and communicated specific and measurable performance standards with one of your people.
6. Tell me about how you had to confront one of your people when they didn’t meet performance standards. What specifically did you do and say?
7. Describe how you had to monitor the work of one of your employees with performance problems and provide frequent feedback. What was the situation? What was the result of your actions?
Behavioral Interview Questions on Influence:
1. What logical, databased arguments did you use the last time you needed to persuade someone?
2. Thinking back, describe a time when you needed to persuade someone but failed to use logical, databased arguments.
3. How did you tailor your last presentation or discussion to the needs and interests of the other person?
4. Tell me about a time when you failed to tailor a presentation or discussion to the needs and interests of the other person.
5. Describe the last time you identified and proposed a solution that would benefit all parties involved in a situation.
6. Tell me about a recent instance when you tested ideas with others individually to gain buy-in prior to discussion in a group forum.
7. I’m sure there was a recent instance when you failed to test ideas with others individually to gain buy-in prior to discussion in a group forum. What went wrong? What could you have done to prevent it?
8. Describe a situation when you anticipated how others would be likely to react and formulated your own words and actions to achieve a desired impact.
9. Conversely, describe a situation when you failed to anticipate how others would be likely to react.
10. Tell me about a time when you structured a situation (e.g. the setting, persons present, sequence of events, etc.) to create a desired impact and to maximize the chances of a favorable outcome.
11. Describe a recent occasion when you enlisted the visible support of key managers and executives to gain the attention and buy-in of others. What did you do and why did you do it? What happened as a result?
12. What did you do to identify and play to other people’s concerns and needs on a recent important issue?
13. Tell me how you recently gained someone’s commitment by demonstrating how he or she would benefit.
Behavioral Interview Questions on communication (for any position):
1. Tell me about a time when you positively influenced someone by effectively presenting information.
2. Tell me about a time, on the other hand, when you failed to positively influence someone, even though you effectively presented information. What could you have done differently?
3. Think of the last disagreement you had with someone. How did you actively listen and consider their needs and concerns before expressing your own?
4. Conversely, think of a disagreement when you failed to actively listen and consider another’s needs and concerns before expressing your own. What happened and why?
5. Describe the last meeting you managed and how you effectively planned it, managed it, and followed-up on actions.
6. Tell me about the last difficult situation in which you were involved and how you anticipated the other person’s reactions and phrased communication appropriately.
7. On the other hand, tell me about the last difficult situation in which you were involved and how you failed to anticipate the other person’s reactions and phrase communication inappropriately.
8. Describe a recent instance where you shared information openly to ensure that the right decision was being made.
Behavioral Interview Questions on Initiative (for any position):
1. Tell me about an issue or problem in your department/organization that you either solved yourself or “red-flagged” for escalation.
2. Give me an example of a project or program you developed and implemented that supported your department’s needs and went beyond the boundaries of your job.
3. How specifically have you recently searched for a new opportunity to increase your department’s effectiveness?
4. When have you taken independent action to change the direction of events when it was in the best interest of the business, department, project, or client?
5. What was the last instance of your driving significant constructive change in your department/organization or in your company?
6. Describe an instance where you exceeded goals and pushed yourself and others for results.
7. On the other hand, describe an instance where you failed to meet goals, even though you pushed yourself and others for results.
8. Tell me about a time when you sought ways to create and improve the way in which work gets done.
9. Describe the last time you asked, “What else needs to be done?” and were glad you asked the question.
10. When was the last time you should have asked, but didn’t, “What else needs to be done?”
11. Tell me of a recent instance when you created or improved policies, procedures or products.
12. How have you recently anticipated a business need and its impact on your work?
Behavioral Interview Questions on Adaptability (for any position):
1. Describe a time when you were faced with multiple demands and shifting priorities. How did you adjust and address these demands?
2. Tell me about a situation when you learned quickly from and overcame adversity or failure.
3. Give me an example of how you effectively and comfortably shifted gears and refocused efforts to respond to changes.
4. When was the last time you sought out a perspective other than your own?
5. Describe how you stayed calm and responsive in the face of ambiguous directions or conditions.
6. Describe a time when you failed to stay calm and responsive in the face of ambiguous directions or conditions.
7. Tell me specifically how you improvised in a situation that was difficult and challenging.
8. Tell me about a time when you had a critical deadline to meet and didn’t feel like you had enough time or resources to meet the deadline. How did you handle the situation? How did it work out?
Behavioral Interview Questions on Customer Responsiveness:
1. Tell me about the last time you gathered data and information from a customer to determine their needs and perceptions. How did you do it? What was the result?
2. Describe a process you have implemented to measure and track customer satisfaction.
3. Tell me about the last time you had to give a customer’s concerns and problems prompt attention. What was the problem? What did you do? How could the problem have been prevented?
4. Tell me about a major customer and how you communicated regularly to keep them updated on the status of projects, issues, and problems.
5. Tell me about a recent instance where you considered multiple ways to effectively address customer needs and implemented those which added greatest value.
6. Give me an example of how you have maintained communication lines and developed a professional relationship with a key customer. Describe a situation where you got first-hand information from a customer to determine needs and expectations and attain buy-in and support.
7. Describe, on the other hand, a situation where you wish you had gotten first-hand information from a customer to determine needs and expectations and attain buy-in and support.
8. Tell me about the last time you followed up with a customer or peer to ensure delivery expectations were met.
9. Give me an example of how you have addressed problems, projects, products and scheduling from the perspective of one of your major customers and his/her needs.
10. Who was the last direct report you hired and how did you determine that person would have a customer focus?
Behavioral Interview Questions on Accountability (for any position):
1. Describe a time when you had to stick with an issue or problem to ensure that it was resolved. What did you do?
2. Tell me about how you personally committed your department to a challenging goal. What specifically did you do to meet that goal?
3. Describe a situation where you persevered in difficult or challenging circumstances over a long period of time.
4. Can you give me an example of a time when you had to deal with a failure or mistake? What did you do to deal with it constructively? What did you learn and apply the next time you faced a similar situation?
5. Tell me about a time when your integrity was tested (e.g. keeping a promise or confidence, being truthful, and doing things for the greater good rather than for personal gain).
Behavioral Interview Questions on problem solving:
1. Over the last month, how have you weighed priorities and focused your team on the most critical things to be done?
2. Give me a recent example of how you asked the right questions to focus the problem or expedite the decision-making process.
3. On the other hand, give me a recent example of how you failed to ask the right questions to focus the problem or expedite the decision-making process.
4. Tell me about a situation where you were not satisfied with the first answer and probed to identify the underlying issue and developed a creative solution.
5. Tell me about a situation where you, unfortunately, were satisfied with the first answer and didn’t probe to identify the underlying issue.
6. Describe a complex problem where you followed a systematic and consistent pattern or test procedure to analyze it.
7. Give me an example of a situation where you collected enough information to act decisively and took ownership to follow through within the critical time available.
8. On the other hand, give me an example of a situation where you failed to collect enough information to act decisively.
Behavioral Interview Questions on Technical/Functional Expertise (for any position):
1. Describe your understanding of (specific technical/functional area).
2. What was the most complex example of (specific technical/functional subject) you have handled? What was your role? What specifically did you do?
3. Tell me about a time when you had to explain a complex or detailed set of facts and circumstances to someone who didn’t understand.
4. How have you kept up-to-date on professional/technical developments in (specific technical/functional area)?
What Interviewers look for in your responses
Operational Command of the Business: Shows understanding of issues relevant to the broad organization and business; keeps that knowledge up to date; has and uses cross-functional knowledge. Identifies and implements effective processes and procedures for accomplishing work.
· Ensures alignment of own area’s goals with those of the overall function
· Uses cross-functional knowledge and interfaces to get things done
· Eliminates inefficiencies and roadblocks
· Integrates planning efforts across work units
· Establishes effective and efficient procedures
· Translates business strategies into clear objectives and tactics
Results Driven: Drives for results and success; conveys a sense of urgency and drives issues to closure; persists despite obstacles and opposition. Finds ways to accelerate goal attainment and reduce time-to-market.
· Conveys a sense of urgency when appropriate
· Establishes goals and implements actions that produce the greatest impact in the shortest time
· Measures progress toward goals and makes corrections and adjustments based on results to date
· Handles multiple demands and competing priorities
· Minimizes time spent on activities that are not directly related to attaining results and achieving goals
· Makes timely decisions
Recognize Global Implications: Seeks to understand issues, trends, and perspectives of various cultures and countries; recognizes that what works in one's own country will not necessarily work in another; addresses cultural and geographic differences in strategies and approaches.
· Keeps current on worldwide business developments
· Understands the impact of global trends on the organization’s plans and growth
· Provides international units/customers with services that meet their local needs
· Understands common business processes from a global perspective
· Effectively manages the complexities of working internationally (culture, time zones, legal issues, language, etc.)
Leadership: Fosters the development of a common Company X vision; provides clear direction and priorities; clarifies roles and responsibilities.
· Fosters the development of a common mission
· Champions new initiatives within and beyond the scope of own job
· Challenges others to achieve beyond their expectations
· Influences the decisions of upper management
· Willingly raises difficult issues
· Stimulates others to make changes and improvements
Foster Teamwork: Builds effective teams committed to organizational goals; fosters collaboration among team members and among teams; values the contributions of all team members.
· Promotes teamwork to achieve common goals, while encouraging individual contributions
· Addresses and works to resolve conflict
· Seeks appropriate input when making decisions
· Promotes cooperation between work teams
· Acknowledges and celebrates team accomplishments
Creating a Positive Climate: Encourages and empowers others to achieve; establishes challenging performance standards; creates enthusiasm, a feeling of investment, and a desire to excel.
· Structures jobs for individuals so that they are both challenged and fulfilled
· Explains how people’s efforts impact Company X’s success
· Conveys trust in people’s competence to do their jobs
· Rewards people for good performance
· Adapts approach to motivate each individual
· Shows sensitivity to the needs and concerns of others
Attracting Talent: Identifies recruiting needs, effectively uses recruiting process, Hires the right people the first time; uses behavioral interviewing approach to assess candidates.
· Selects and creates teams by seeking complementary skills among the members
· Identifies and addresses long term staffing needs
· Identifies and hires the right people the first time
· Staffs teams with competent people
· Uses competency models in the hiring process
· Uses behavioral interviewing techniques to assess candidates
Managing People: Gives timely, specific feedback and helpful coaching; provides challenging assignments and opportunities for development.
· Gives specific and constructive feedback, as soon as possible after an event
· Coaches others in the development of their skills
· Confronts poor performance constructively
· Provides challenging assignments to facilitate individual development
· Empowers others with the authority necessary to accomplish their objectives
· Knows when to supervise and coach others and when to leave them on their own
Influence: Asserts own ideas and persuades others; gains support and commitment from others; mobilizes people to take action; understands and leverages Company X’s informal power structure.
· Recognizes situations where influence is required and takes action to change the course of event
· Develops an understanding of Company X’s informal power structure and politics to implement effective influencing strategies
· Cultivates a network of contacts throughout the organization
· Uses logical, data-based arguments to persuade others
· Anticipates the positions and reactions of others accurately
· Gets others to take action
Communication: Creates an atmosphere in which timely and high quality information flows smoothly between self and others; encourages the open expression of ideas and opinions.
· Gets point across when speaking
· Delivers clear, well-organized presentations
· Clearly expresses ideas and concepts in writing
· Listens carefully to input
· Leads effective meetings
· Interacts with people openly and directly
· Encourages others to express their views, even contrary ones
· Provides others with open access to information
Initiative: Generates new ideas; goes beyond the status quo; recognizes the need for new or modified approaches; brings perspectives and approaches together, combining them in creative ways.
· Initiates activities without being asked to do so
· Does more than is minimally required for the situation
· Anticipates business needs and their impact on future work
· Takes independent action to change the direction of events when it is in the best interest of the business
· Persists in the face of obstacles
· Readily puts in extra time and effort
Adaptability: Handles day-to-day work challenges confidently; is willing and able to adjust to multiple demands, shifting priorities, ambiguity, and rapid change; shows resilience in the face of constraints, frustrations, or adversity.
· Handles multiple demands and competing priorities
· Demonstrates willingness to modify strongly held positions in face of contrary evidence
· Deals constructively with own failures and mistakes
· Switches to alternative strategies when necessary
· Adjusts own style to the requirements of the situation
· Changes behavior in response to feedback and experience
Customer Responsiveness: Anticipates and identifies customers needs, takes action to
meet customer needs, develops effective working relationships with customers, continually
searches for ways to increase customer satisfaction.
· Works to anticipate customer needs
· Meets commitments to customers
· Places high priority on customer needs
· Seeks feedback from customers
· Continually searches for ways to improve customer service
· Maintains communication lines and develops relationships with customers
· Works with customers to establish clear project goals and accountabilities
Accountability: Takes responsibility for actions and outcomes, meets commitments, maintains confidentiality; keeps own word.
· Delivers on commitments
· Takes responsibility for own mistakes
· Protects confidential information
· Makes ethical decisions
· Consistently keeps own word
Problem Solving: Gathers relevant information systematically, considers a broad range of issues or factors, grasps complexities and perceives relationships among problems or issues.
· Approaches complex problems or tasks by breaking them down into their component parts and considering each in detail
· Draws accurate conclusions from quantitative data
· Accurately determines root causes of problems
· Stimulates creative ideas from others
· Creatively integrates different ideas and perspectives
· Considers alternative solutions before making decisions
Technical/Functional Expertise: Possesses up-to-date industry and technical knowledge; is regarded as an expert in technical/functional area; effectively translates technical information
· Understands how own technical area contributes to Company X’s overall goals/needs
· Is sought as a resource person in area of expertise
· Keeps up to date on professional/technical developments
· Presents technical information in easily understood terms
Stays informed about industry/competitor practice