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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Culture fit/ HR/ Behavioral Questions:

 These questions are more targeted and specific than traditional interview questions. Here they want to understand how you fit in the team/organization culture. How you have behaved and handled certain situations in the past. They see your past performance as a good prediction of the future. It is highly recommended to prepare at least one or two scenarios that demonstrate your unique ability how you handled them.

 Below are some variations of these questions. As a general rule, any question being asked to recap your past and provide an example should be answered using the S.T.A.R or S.O.A.R technique. Structure your answers to the questions based on the technique and then focus on the action part – how you got to your overall objective and how it was relevant to that situation.

 S.T.A.R (Situation. Task. Action. Result)

 S.O.A.R (Situation. Objective. Action. Result)

Below are some questions you might be asked and you can answer them using S.T.A.R Technique explained below.


Questions:

132. Describe a stressful situation at work and how you handled it. 

133. How do you handle a challenge? 

134. Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it? 

135. Did you ever make a risky decision? Why? How did you handle it?

 136. Have you ever dealt with company policy you weren't in agreement with? How?

 137. When you worked on multiple projects how you did prioritize?

 138. What would you do to establish a successful outcome on a project? 

139. If you have difficult stakeholders how would you approach that? 

140. What do you do if you disagree with a co-worker?

 141. Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.

 142. Have you handled a difficult situation with a supervisor? How?

 143. Have you handled a difficult situation with another department? How?

 144. Have you handled a difficult situation with a client or vendor? How? 

145. Tell me about a time you had to complete a task under a tight deadline. 

146. Have you ever gone above and beyond the call of duty?

 147. What do you do when a team member refuses to complete his/her portion of work?

 148. Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.

 149. Give an example of a goal you didn't meet and how you handled it. 

150. What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it. 

151. Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren't thrilled? and how did you do it?

 152. Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How? 

153. How did you manage priority in a project? 

154. What are some challenges you have faced in the workplace in previous projects and how have you overcome them?

 155. Did you ever had to face a situation where your project was wrongly estimated and you have to deliver it on time?

 156. How did you convince client to buy some additional software to make the team more productive? 

157. What was the complex situation you faced while building a tableau dashboard? can you explain the situation? 

S – Situation – What was the situation you were faced with? 

Describe the context of the situation or a challenge you faced at work. This situation can be from your work experience or any other relevant event. Be as specific as possible. 

Example:

 When I was working for XYZ client, I was tasked to develop one dashboard displaying 12 KPI’s summary and its details. The challenging part was the client wanted to see all of them in one tab rather than flipping through multiple.

T/O – Task/Objective – What was your goal in achieving a positive outcome from that situation? Describe your responsibility in that situation. Perhaps it was to convince your client on a design change or managing a tight deadline or analysis to hit a sales target.

 Example:

 Since the dashboard was for C-level executives, I had to make sure not only the solution was quick to understand but also effective in presenting key business insights to help them make data backed decisions. To make it clutter free, my proposal was to split them into 4 tabs. 2 tabs with 6 relevant KPI summaries each and 2 more tabs with the associated details.

 A – Action – What action did you take to achieve that goal? Here describe what steps did you take to completed the task for better outcomes. Focus on what YOU as an individual did, rather than what your team did.

 Example:

 To convince the client, I did a quick proof of concept that shows 2 tabs with 6 related KPI’s and 2 more details tabs. I walked him through how the summary tabs gives a quick visual summary of the business metrics and take the executive on a guided path from summary to detail through action filters. Client gave me a go ahead to this approach.

 R – Result – What was the outcome of this? Explain the outcomes or results generated by the action taken. You might emphasize what you accomplished, or what you learned.

 Example: 

When showcased and deployed the solution into production, the group of executives was very happy for the clean, simple and valuable insights they got from the dashboard without overwhelming information. They mentioned this solution didn’t exist for years and now this dashboard is helping them leverage data to make informed decisions that benefits business.

 Also, from then my client made it a standard approach across the center of excellence it was a big win for me. 

They are looking for 

Clear and concise answers that demonstrate that you:

 ·Understand the question 

·Can quickly provide the background information 

·Can identify the problem

 ·Know what your responsibility was

 ·Took effective action 

·Achieved a result that helped the organization

They are NOT looking for

 ·Feelings

 ·Opinions

 ·Theoretical statements

 ·Vague assumptions 

Remember to focus on your own individual contribution rather than that of the team or what the business did. They want to understand your own personal input and achievements. Tip: keep your STAR answer under three minutes. Add a simple statement at the end to reinforce the story (such as "I worked hard, but it was worth it.")


158. What wakes you up every morning or What keeps you awake at nights?

 Asking such a question, a recruiter wants to reveal your motivation. The point is that this question is not specifically about your motivation at work. It is about things that make you develop and improve yourself in general.

 Answering the question, you shouldn’t tell about your strong points. It is more about your interests and preferences so tell about something that inspires you and helps to become better. It may be your ambitions or desire to make something for somebody. 


159. Have you ever been on a team where someone is not pulling their own weight and how did you handle it?

 This question is aimed to find out your ability to work in a team and cope with difficult unexpected situations. The employer wants to know if you are able to be a part of a whole team and take the responsibility for the work of all team members.

 Answering the question, consider the fact that a team work is a significant part of work in any company. Try to think well how you can cope with the situation and support your colleague as well. Remember that the question is not about whether you can do somebody else’s work but whether you can support your team members. Be compassionate of other members and see if you can help. Don’t be judgmental. 


160. Give an example of a goal you didn't meet and how you handled it?

 The aim of the employer is to understand how you deal with difficult situations, what your way of thinking is and how tough you are. It is the way to find out your creativity and ability to reach any goal.

Working in the company, you may face a lot of hard projects that require creative way of thinking and patience. Remember the situation that made you brainstorm and required much time to deal with. Telling such a story you’ll show that you are oriented on a hard work, extraordinary and effective approach, and of course goal achievement


161. Describe a stressful situation at work and how you handled it?

 You should be able to work under pressure as there are any situations in working process. The question is the way to reveal how persistent you are.

 Keep in mind that the question is not about how great you are. Try to be objective and tell clearly how you coped with any stressful situation, what you felt and how it influenced your work and results. 


162. When you worked on multiple projects how you did prioritize? 

With such a question, a recruiter wants to find out whether you are good at time management. Also, it aims to reveal your ability to evaluate the projects you work on.

 First of all, remember that any project is important, so avoid such statement as less significant. Answering this question, you should remember about such aspects as a deadline, amount of work that should be done, skills that are required and schedules of all participants. You need to show that you are able to consider all aspects, analyses them and reveal the best ways to solve the problem. 


163. What strategies would you use to motivate your team?


 The question is especially popular during interviews for leading positions such as project manager of department chief. It is necessary to reveal your leadership skills and ability to evaluate and support your employees. 

Answering this question, you should remember that each person is unique and a unique approach is required to motivate somebody. Despite of such peculiarities, your main goal is to show that you are oriented on comfortable working conditions and relationships within a team. Point out that motivating your team members you want to support them and highlight their strong points, show them their importance in a team but not create a stressful situation.


 164. If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something how would you handle it? 

This question may be the hardest one as it touches quite a sensitive issue. The employer wants to know whether you can communicate with your boss effectively and prove your point of view.

Answering this question, pay attention to the fact that you need to communicate with a person that requires higher position and can influence your career. First of all, you should remember that respect is an important aspect. Moreover, you should be convincing but not aggressive. 


165. Give some examples of teamwork.

 This task is absolutely important as in such a way you may show your ability to work in a team. It is important to show that you are ready to depend on others, rely on them and be able to support people around you. Also, this question will show how good you are at organizing your work depending on schedules and needs of other people.

 Answering this question, start with your understanding of team and team work. Say about important aspects of work as a part of a group. Tell about the effective ways of working in a team including working process organization, support, respect and problems solving.

 

166. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client. What did you learn from the experience? What would you do differently?

 The question is not so much about your way of dealing with strange and difficult clients but it is about your ability to analyze your work, evaluate yourself and make conclusions. You should be able to show that you are objective.

 You shouldn’t tell about your worst experience or failure. Try to choose the difficult situation which you were able to deal with successfully and analyze it. Show that your actions helped to overcome the difficulties but still, now as you are more experienced, you may suggest some more effective ways to resolve the issue. 


167. How does this job fit in with your career plan?

 An employer wants to make sure that you clearly understand the position you apply for. Also, it is the way to show that you are ready to develop, improve yourself and move forward. 

You should understand that though salary is an important point to you, but make sure to emphasize that salary usually is not something to discuss until later interviews/when you can better tell the job is getting lined up. Otherwise it can deter people from wanting to hire you. Try to accentuate on aspects that meet your expectations from the point of view of the skillful specialists that looks for further development. Pay attention to the specifics of the company, for example, working conditions, team members, sphere of work and so on.


168. Why did you leave your last job? 

Or Why are you looking for a new opportunity? HR wants to see in you a sincere zeal to work in the company that he/she represents. He/she wants to be sure, as much as possible, that you will be a stable long-term employee and won't run away whenever you'll get bored or another opportunity appears.

 Do not blame the company you've been working for. The best way to answer this question is telling about neutral factors that forced you to leave your job post. You can also mention you want to new skills to advance your career, but those opportunities were not present in the previous company so you are looking for new opportunity.


169. What makes you uniquely qualified for this role/Why should we hire you? 

This is one of the best questions that you can be asked on an interview. The employer gives you an opportunity to present yourself and tell about your skills, achievements and why you are a perfect applicant for this job. 

Tell about successful experience you had in previous jobs, how you coped with the problems, and apply it to the position that this company offers. Talk only about your own merits, do not try to compare yourself with other applicants that you don't even know. Be positive, confident and accurate in your answer.


 170. What are you currently reading for enjoyment or personal/professional development?


 Asking this question, not only HR intends to clarify that you read in general, but also expects you to mention professional literature in your answer. It will show that you’re ready to upgrade your skills for certain tasks.

 The format of interview does not imply a deep retelling or detailed communication about a particular book. To answer this question exactly as your interviewer expects, it's enough to have in mind several names and facts from books or literature relevant for the job post you're applying to. 


171. What is your greatest accomplishment? 

When an employer asks about your greatest accomplishment, he actually wants to hear about the accomplishment related to your work experience. He/she expects your accomplishments to be helpful to the company you’re going to work for. 

Ideally, your answer should show what positive changes you've made at your previous job posts, or what prestigious award you've received in your field of work. If none of these cases applies to you, focus on your learning achievements when you were able to testify your skills that are applicable to current job position.


172. Describe a time you dealt with a conflict at work. How did you resolve it?

 Your interviewer wants to know how you behave in a team. Nobody wants to deal with a difficult person, especially if the job is stressful.

 Consider the answer to this question in advance. You have to demonstrate how diplomatically you are able to get out of difficult, conflict situations, so that no harm is done. Of course, if you have never been in such situation, you can imagine how would you deal with it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge conflict you have had. Pick something that triggered some miscommunication and how you handled it to get a good outcome. 


173. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 A tricky question. The purpose of it is to identify your expectations and the degree of compliance with such vacancies.

 Here you must demonstrate your ability to plan future so don't say "I can't tell". It is necessary to show certain ambitions, but without exaggeration. You shouldn't say that in 5 years you will become the head of department, especially if you're being interviewed by the current chief. The answer should depend on what opportunities the position you're applying for provides. 


174. What are 3 positive things/strengths your last boss would say about you? 

The employer intends to know, first of all, about your relationships with former boss. Secondly, they want to clarify what are your major qualities from third person perspective. Why do they ask you? Because it will also show if you’re able to adequately estimate yourself.

 Be honest! Yes, they can call your previous boss and ask about you. Actually, they probably already did. Highlight the projects your boss appreciated you for. 


175. What kind of things do you like to do outside of work?

Most of the time the applicant treats this question as insignificant and stupid. After all, at first glance, it has nothing to do with work. The result - rash and unserious answers. The point of this question is to make a complete picture of you as a person, because hobbies can tell a lot about your personality.

 You should answer honestly. If you don't have any hobbies, just tell us about how you spend your free time, of course, without particularly delving into the details. If you've ever participated in any sports, mention it, saying that you liked it, and be sure to let the interviewer know if you attend fitness center. Modern employers appreciate employees who lead a healthy lifestyle.


176. Tell me about a time you had to give someone difficult feedback?

 This question’s purpose is to understand whether your communication skills are effective in a difficult situation. It will show how you approach this kind of situation and if you’re able to give bad news with tact.

 It’s not necessary to tell the whole story. Describe your approach and what measures you’ve taken. Tell about how you delivered a message and made it clear. Choose a situation that was hard to handle. 


177. Tell me about a time that you went above and beyond expectations at work.

 An employer gives you an opportunity to prove that you can be above mediocre level. It’s a great chance to tell about the project you’re most proud of, and that’s exactly what interviewer wants to hear about. 

It’s better to choose a recent project you’ve done. Tell exactly what you were expected to do and how you exceeded these expectations. Emphasize that it’s not a unique situation, and you always try to go above and beyond expectations. 


178. What do you think about your previous boss?

 Remember, when you get a job, someday the interviewer will be your previous boss. The last thing they want is to hire someone who might discredit them in the future. 

Do not criticize your previous boss. The interview is not the time for complaints. Your criticism will only affect you. Instead of talking trash about your former boss, be positive and concentrate on what you've learned from him, no matter how horrible he actually was.


 179. Who was your favorite manager and why?

 Your interviewer wants to know about your work preferences. It can reveal more info about your work style to HR and the type of people you’re most comfortable with.

 It’s highly recommended to select a manager that can actually give positive feedback about you and your work. Tell about the positive qualities of the chosen manager that were related to cooperation with you and how he/she affected your work skills.


 180. What kind of a company culture are you most comfortable with?

 When they ask about a most comfortable company culture, they need to know if you are a good fit for their company. It will show whether you will be a productive worker at the offered position.

First of all, the answer to this question requires some research on the company you’re applying to. Find out what culture this company has and build your answer keeping that in mind. Try showing that you are a flexible person but be honest about the things you cannot tolerate in work environment.


181. How would you describe your work style?

 This is another question to understand whether you fit the company you’re applying to or not. It also reveals your work experience and understanding of your own work style.

 Briefly describe your preferences. Focus on positive things you prefer, not on what you don’t like. Of course, tell only about aspects that can be applied to the position you’re planning to get. Describe your approach to team work; there’s always some collaboration required.


 182. What negative comment would your boss or professor say about you?

 Don’t worry, your interviewer doesn’t intend to intimidate you. They want to see your ability to answer tough questions and viewing yourself from the external perspective. 

Most importantly, don’t get confused and be honest about this one. Don’t try to evade the question. Think of a relatively mild negative comment and present it as a positive and rewarding experience. Emphasize that you’ve learned from your mistakes

183. Are you interviewing with any other companies?

 When you are asked if you are interviewing with any other company, your answer should always be YES. 

By admitting that you are interviewing with other companies this creates a sense of urgency with the recruiter or hiring manager you are interviewing with. Every company has a different hiring process with unique steps to move forward, but these steps can almost always be fast-tracked for the right candidate.