Tough Interview Questions and Intelligent Answers.
Question on Adaptability, flexibility and changeDescribe in detail a specific time and situation when you found that your results were not up to your managers expectations. What action did you take to rectify and what was the outcome?
Answer : Recently I was asked to put together a proposal for a migration of network systems. Misunderstanding my boss, I thought it was just an informal paper. When I presented it to him days later, he was upset with the quality since it had to be presented to our VP.
I explained my misunderstanding, apologized, reworked the paper, and had it back to him with enough time for him to review it before he presented it successfully at the meeting.
Tell of a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing his or her share of the work. Who, if anyone, did you tell or talk to about it? Did the manager take any steps to correct your colleague? Did you agree or disagree with the manager's actions?
During a group project in college, we had one member who would do no work whatsoever. The project was to compare and contrast four companies in a single industry, so his work was vital. We first discussed the situation and asked for the bare-bones minimum of what we needed from him. We got just below that. As a result we as a group went to the professor and told her our situation -- not expecting or requesting action -- just informing her the situation we were dealing with. Then we as a group split up the non-contributor's work, and completed our work collectively on his share.
Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise.
My first semester in college, I was a political-science major. My introductory government class professor had a differing political view then I. We disagreed on everything, and many classes were filled with criticizing each others' view. However, on one test I answered a question with the view I believe in, and she marked it wrong. So I asked her how an opinion can be wrong, and she said because her opinion is the way she taught it in class. I pointed out that my answer showed I understood the concepts of the question. She agreed, and I also agreed not be so combative in answers on tests. Compromise is the key to problem resolution. .
What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision.
Following standard models for problem-solving and decision-making can be very helpful. Here are the steps and how they helped me solve a problem with a group project:
- Define the problem to be solved and decision to be made. For a project in an introductory management class the assignment was to report on the corporate structure and financial situation of a couple of companies. The decision to be made was what companies to profile and how to present the information.
- Gather the necessary information. Some group members wanted to report on automakers, while others wanted to do electronics firms. We gathered information on both types of company.
- List all possible choices. We made lists of companies in both categories.
- Consider possible outcomes for each choice. We decided that a report about car companies could have a positive outcome, but one about electronics firms might be more futuristic with high-tech products such as HDTV, video game consoles, and DVD players.
- Check out how you feel about each of the choices. Given that this was a group project, we had to consider the feelings of all group members.
- Relate the choices to your values and priorities. Again, all group members weighed in on their values and priorities.
- From the possible alternatives, choose one. We decided that we'd do electronics companies because we could bring in products from each company and show what lies ahead.
- Commit yourself to your chosen decision and disregard the others. Concentrate your energies in one direction. Once we made our decision, we focused all our work on electronics forms.
- Take steps to turn your decision into positive action. All group members got interested in how the companies were doing.
- Evaluate your progress from time to time. Change your decision if necessary. We were pleased with our progress and didn't feel a need to change our decision. We got an A on the project.
When I worked in a large retail store, the standard procedure was to leave a product on the shelf until it ran out, then place more items out. This practice obviously wasted a lot of man-hours. Of interest particularly to me were the air conditioners. Not only did I have to put the heavy thing on the shelves, but they were selling at a very high rate. So if somehow AC units ran out on a day in which I could not restock them, they would not be available to customers. As a result I started making a list of products (including the AC units) that the overnight stock people could put on the shelves. As a result, the people on duty always had a job to do, so labor hours were not wasted, and the shelves were always stocked full of product. .
In a supervisory or group leader role, have you ever had to discipline or counsel an employee or group member? What was the nature of the discipline? What steps did you take? How did that make you feel? How did you prepare yourself?
As president of a community-service organization, I was faced with a board member not carrying out his duties as management development vice president. I consulted with him as to what we could do together to fix the problem. We agreed that he really couldn't devote the time that it took to carry out certain projects, and he ended up resigning his position, but he also stated he would help his replacement in whatever capacity he could. It made me feel as though we had come to the conclusion together, rather than him thinking I was criticizing his performance, which was not the case. I had a plan of action and carried it out successfully.
Describe a situation when your project manager was not available and a certain problem occured. What was the nature of the problem? How did you handle that situation? How did that make you feel?
My supervisor was absent once when I was in charge of a soccer game. An actual assault took place at the game. A player hit the referee. With no supervisor to turn to, I immediately called the police, who quickly restored order to the situation. I felt I made an effective decision.