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How to Answer

The 64 Toughest

Interview Questions

Dedication:

This report is dedicated to courage and knowledge, the two qualities most needed to succeed in any human challenge, especially a job search.

64 Toughest Questions Page 1

General Guidelines in Answering Interview Questions3
Q1 Tell me about yourself5
Q2 What are your greatest strengths?6
Q3 What are your greatest weaknesses?6
ashamed of7
Q5 Why are you leaving (or did you leave) this position?8
Q6 The “Silent Treatment”9
Q7 Why should I hire you?9
Q8 Aren’t you overqualified for this position?10
Q9 Where do you see yourself five years from now?1
Q10 Describe your ideal company, location and job12
Q11 Why do you want to work at our company?12
Q12 What are your career options right now?12
Q13 Why have you been out of work so long?13
(company, management team, etc.)…13
Q15 What good books have you read lately?14
Q16 Tell me about a situation when your work was criticized14
Q17 What are your outside interest?15
Q18 The “Fatal Flaw” question15
Q20 On confidential matters…16
Q21 Would you lie for the company?17
Q22 Looking back, what would you do differently in your life?17
Q23 Could you have done better in your last job?18
Q24 Can you work under pressure?18
Q25 What makes you angry?18
Q26 Why aren’t you earning more money at this stage of your career?19
Q27 Who has inspired you in your life and why?19
Q28 What was the toughest decision you ever had to make?20
Q29 Tell me about the most boring job you’ve ever had20
position?20
Q31 What changes would you make if you came on board?21
Q32 I’m concerned that you don’t have as much experience as we’d like in…21
Q33 How do you feel about working nights and weekends?2
Q34 Are you willing to relocate or travel?23
people?23
Q36 Why have you had so many jobs?24
leading company in our industry; etc25

Table of Contents Q4 Tell me about something you did – or failed to do – that you now feel a little Q14 Tell me honestly about the strong points and weak points of your boss Q19 How do you feel about reporting to a younger person (minority, woman, etc)?16 Q30 Have you been absent from work more than a few days in any previous Q35 Do you have the stomach to fire people? Have you had experience firing many Q37 What do you see as the proper role/mission of… …a good (job title you’re seeking); …a good manager; …an executive in serving the community; …a

Q39 How could you have improved your career progress?26
pulling his/her weight…and this was hurting your department?26

64 Toughest Questions Page 2 Q40 What would you do if a fellow executive on your own corporate level wasn’t

company?27
Q42 May I contact your present employer for a reference?27
28
Q44 Where could you use some improvement?28
Q45 What do you worry about?28
Q46 How many hours a week do you normally work?28
Q47 What’s the most difficult part of being a (job title)?29
Q48 The “Hypothetical Problem”29
Q49 What was the toughest challenge you’ve ever faced?29
Q50 Have you consider starting your own business?30
Q51 What are your goals?31
Q52 What do you for when you hire people?31
interviewer’s desk)31
Q54 “The Salary Question” – How much money do you want?3
Q55 The Illegal Question3
Q56 The “Secret” Illegal Question34
Q57 What was the toughest part of your last job?35
definition?35

Q41 You’ve been with your firm a long time. Won’t it be hard switching to a new Q43 Give me an example of your creativity (analytical skill…managing ability, etc.) Q53 Sell me this stapler…(this pencil…this clock…or some other object on Q58 How do you define success…and how do you measure up to your own

President…The Death Penalty…(or any other controversial subject)?36
Q60 If you won $10 million lottery, would you still work?36
Q61 Looking back on your last position, have you done your best work?37
within?37
Q63 Tell me something negative you’ve heard about our company…38

Q59 “The Opinion Question” – What do you think about …Abortion…The Q62 Why should I hire you from the outside when I could promote someone from Q64 On a scale of one to ten, rate me as an interviewer........................................38

64 Toughest Questions Page 3

General Guidelines in Answering Interview Questions

Everyone is nervous on interviews. If you simply alow yourself to feel nervous, you'l do much better. Remember also that it's difficult for the interviewer as well.

In general, be upbeat and positive. Never be negative. Rehearse your answers and time them. Never talk for more than 2 minutes straight.

Don't try to memorize answers word for word. Use the answers shown here as a guide only, and don't be afraid to include your own thoughts and words. To help you remember key concepts, jot down and review a few key words for each answer. Rehearse your answers frequently, and they will come to you naturally in interviews.

Executive Job Finding Secret." And that is

As you will read in the accompanying report, the single most important strategy in interviewing, as in all phases of your job search, is what we call: "The Greatest

Find out what people want, than show them how you can help them get it.

Find out what an employer wants most in his or her ideal candidate, then show how you meet those qualifications.

answers, you must find out what the buyer is buyingwhat he is looking for. And the

In other words, you must match your abilities, with the needs of the employer. You must sell what the buyer is buying. To do that, before you know what to emphasize in your best way to do that is to ask a few questions yourself.

You will see how to bring this off skillfully as you read the first two questions of this report. But regardless of how you accomplish it, you must remember this strategy above all: before blurting out your qualifications, you must get some idea of what the employer wants most. Once you know what he wants, you can then present your qualifications as the perfect “key” that fits the “lock” of that position.

? Other important interview strategies: ? Turn weaknesses into strengths (You'l see how to do this in a few moments.)

? Think before you answer. A pause to collect your thoughts is a hallmark of a thoughtful person.

As a daily exercise, practice being more optimistic. For example, try putting a positive spin on events and situations you would normally regard as negative. This is not meant to turn you into a Pollyanna, but to sharpen your selling skills. The best salespeople, as well as the best liked interview candidates, come off as being naturally optimistic, "can do" people. You will dramatically raise your level of attractiveness by daily practicing to be more optimistic.

Be honest...never lie.

64 Toughest Questions Page 4

Keep an interview diary. Right after each interview note what you did right, what could have gone a little better, and what steps you should take next with this contact. Then take those steps. Don't be like the 95% of humanity who say they will follow up on something, but never do.

About the 64 questions

You might feel that the answers to the following questions are “canned”, and that they will seldom match up with the exact way you are asked the questions in actual interviews. The questions and answers are designed to be as specific and realistic as possible. But no preparation can anticipate thousands of possible variations on these questions. What's important is that you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the main strategies behind each answer. And it will be invaluable to you if you commit to memory a few key words that let you instantly call to mind your best answer to the various questions. If you do this, and follow the principles of successful interviewing presented here, you're going to do very well.

Good luck...and good job-hunting!

64 Toughest Questions Page 5

Question 1 Tell me about yourself.

TRAPS: Beware, about 80% of all interviews begin with this “innocent” question. Many candidates, unprepared for the question, skewer themselves by rambling, recapping their life story, delving into ancient work history or personal matters.

BEST ANSWER: Start with the present and tell why you are well qualified for the position. Remember that the key to all successful interviewing is to match your qualifications to what the interviewer is looking for. In other words you must sell what the buyer is buying. This is the single most important strategy in job hunting.

So, before you answer this or any question it's imperative that you try to uncover your interviewer's greatest need, want, problem or goal.

To do so, make you take these two steps:

1. Do all the homework you can before the interview to uncover this person's wants and needs (not the generalized needs of the industry or company) 2. As early as you can in the interview, ask for a more complete description of what the position entails. You might say: “I have a number of accomplishments I'd like to tell you about, but I want to make the best use of our time together and talk directly to your needs. To help me do, that, could you tell me more about the most important priorities of this position? All I know is what I (heard from the recruiter, read in the classified ad, etc.)”

Then, ALWAYS follow-up with a second and possibly, third question, to draw out his needs even more. Surprisingly, it's usually this second or third question that unearths what the interviewer is most looking for.

You might ask simply, "And in addition to that?..." or, "Is there anything else you see as essential to success in this position?:

This process will not feel easy or natural at first, because it is easier simply to answer questions, but only if you uncover the employer's wants and needs will your answers make the most sense. Practice asking these key questions before giving your answers, the process will feel more natural and you will be light years ahead of the other job candidates you're competing with.

After uncovering what the employer is looking for, describe why the needs of this job bear striking parallels to tasks you've succeeded at before. Be sure to illustrate with specific examples of your responsibilities and especially your achievements, all of which are geared to present yourself as a perfect match for the needs he has just described.

64 Toughest Questions Page 6

Question 2 What are your greatest strengths?

TRAPS: This question seems like a softball lob, but be prepared. You don't want to come across as egotistical or arrogant. Neither is this a time to be humble.

BEST ANSWER: You know that your key strategy is to first uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and needs before you answer questions. And from Question 1, you know how to do this.

Prior to any interview, you should have a list mentally prepared of your greatest strengths. You should also have, a specific example or two, which illustrates each strength, an example chosen from your most recent and most impressive achievements.

You should, have this list of your greatest strengths and corresponding examples from your achievements so well committed to memory that you can recite them cold after being shaken awake at 2:30AM.

Then, once you uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and needs, you can choose those achievements from your list that best match up.

As a general guideline, the 10 most desirable traits that all employers love to see in their employees are:

1. A proven track record as an achiever...especially if your achievements match up with the employer's greatest wants and needs. 2. Intelligence...management "savvy". 3. Honesty...integrity...a decent human being. 4. Good fit with corporate culture...someone to feel comfortable with...a team player who meshes well with interviewer's team. 5. Likeability...positive attitude...sense of humor. 6. Good communication skills. 7. Dedication...willingness to walk the extra mile to achieve excellence. 8. Definiteness of purpose...clear goals. 9. Enthusiasm...high level of motivation. 10. Confident...healthy...a leader.

Question 3 What are your greatest weaknesses?

TRAPS: Beware - this is an eliminator question, designed to shorten the candidate list. Any admission of a weakness or fault will earn you an “A” for honesty, but an “F” for the interview.

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