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Ryan
04-25-2008, 10:05 PM
What are some of the best interview questions you have been asked or if you're a manager the best/most unique that you use?

I'm up for my next round of interviews Monday afternoon and am preparing with some brand data, salary landscape etc.. and a bit for some of the traditional questions. I think I interview really well and know I am the only viable candidate and am going in pretty confident.
This all got me thinking of some of the bizarre questions I've been asked before, I'll toss them into the thread here and there.

jsnipes
04-25-2008, 10:13 PM
One of the toughest I've been asked (and now ask every candidate that I interview) is " Tell me about a time when you really screwed up ... what was the situation, how did you handle it?"

Tough because you don't want to sound like an idiot or like a snob. Hated it when I was interviewing, love it as an interviewer.

JS

TheOneandOnly
04-25-2008, 10:27 PM
What is your greatest weakness? Why should we hire you over the competition? These are typical though...

I remember one guy that ranted for 30 minutes on his weaknesses, after which i think he got the hint the job would not be his.

Cloaked
04-25-2008, 10:30 PM
What are some of the best interview questions you have been asked or if you're a manager the best/most unique that you use?

I'm up for my next round of interviews Monday afternoon and am preparing with some brand data, salary landscape etc.. and a bit for some of the traditional questions. I think I interview really well and know I am the only viable candidate and am going in pretty confident.
This all got me thinking of some of the bizarre questions I've been asked before, I'll toss them into the thread here and there.Just be you and take your skill set with you. That's all you'll need.

h2oskiluvr
04-25-2008, 10:31 PM
"When did you go out of your way to praise a co-worker and what motivated you to do that?" Helps to identify people with leadership skills rather than people who are only able to lead through position power.

Farmer Ted
04-25-2008, 10:33 PM
The toughest interview question I've been posed lately is,

"do you want this job?" yes

"retire and it's yours"

cha ching

STLer645
04-25-2008, 10:44 PM
Good thread. I just finished going through the interviewing process with a few hedge funds, two i-banks (including the one that went under lol) and a few boutique firms. Secured a spot with a hedge fund and I will tell you the interviews with hedge fund guys were crazy. Had to do statistics and logic games over the phone. Asked for ACT/SAT scores. Simulated qualitative analysis. Asked what publications I kept up with and then asked about specific reports if they were familiar. Way different from the i-banks and previous interviews which are more typical.

My favorite question was "What proprietary research or trading techniques have you developed?" Mind you I'm a junior in college interviewing for internships.

stuartmcnair
04-25-2008, 10:52 PM
"Have you ever tried to sleep with you boss' wife?"

JBaker
04-25-2008, 10:57 PM
Hey Ryan. Not to threadjack, but did you decide against b-school? I know the GMAT was a &*(@#!

bbymgr
04-25-2008, 11:10 PM
What Field is your interview in? Sales, Technical, Business.......?

east tx skier
04-25-2008, 11:30 PM
What are some of the best interview questions you have been asked or if you're a manager the best/most unique that you use?

I'm up for my next round of interviews Monday afternoon and am preparing with some brand data, salary landscape etc.. and a bit for some of the traditional questions. I think I interview really well and know I am the only viable candidate and am going in pretty confident.
This all got me thinking of some of the bizarre questions I've been asked before, I'll toss them into the thread here and there.

My favorite closing question from the side of the desk with the drawers on it ...

"What question were you hoping I would not ask today?"

Ryan
04-27-2008, 07:11 PM
JBaker, I have not given up on the MBA, if I get the job I will apply for part time programs.

bbymgr, this is a business position as an associate brand manager.

Ryan
04-27-2008, 07:34 PM
Lilly flew me up to Portland for an interview. I was interviewed by 4 people in one sitting. One question would spark one from another. I could have had it in the bag if I had been less than honest to one single quesiton.

They asked, "What other companies have you applied with?"

I could have told them the one other pharma company. But, sales skills and taking care of customers were key for their open position (not calling on Dr's). So, I carefully shared my application to Suzuki (which was really an offer I had to sell Suzuki outboard engines to manufacturers right as their 300hp model was coming out - not enough $ there though). Lilly questioned the lack of perceived continuity for "THE" industry - that killed it. I find it facinating how some co.'s value diversity in capabilities and success, while others seek strength from minions. I think it often depends on how wide the hierarchy is.

JKTX21
04-27-2008, 07:42 PM
I find it facinating how some co.'s value diversity in capabilities and success, while others seek strength from minions. I think it often depends on how wide the hierarchy is.

Seems like companies often want to keep you smashed into the mold or keep you down. My company recently tried to hand my a!! to me for skipping training in which I saw no value in order to take the CPA exam (which is a goal I've been after for a while).

I told them where they could kiss me and it rhymed with yalls.

JBaker
04-28-2008, 12:42 AM
Lilly flew me up to Portland for an interview. I was interviewed by 4 people in one sitting. One question would spark one from another. I could have had it in the bag if I had been less than honest to one single quesiton.

They asked, "What other companies have you applied with?"

I could have told them the one other pharma company. But, sales skills and taking care of customers were key for their open position (not calling on Dr's). So, I carefully shared my application to Suzuki (which was really an offer I had to sell Suzuki outboard engines to manufacturers right as their 300hp model was coming out - not enough $ there though). Lilly questioned the lack of perceived continuity for "THE" industry - that killed it. I find it facinating how some co.'s value diversity in capabilities and success, while others seek strength from minions. I think it often depends on how wide the hierarchy is.

Take this as nothing more than my speculation and my :twocents:, but I think that companies tend to be more concerned with a clear career focus in their field when interviewing younger candidates who are more prone to turnover. Given your interest in the MBA, I'm assuming you're probably not more than ten years removed from undergrad.

I also think that companies "value diversity in capabalities and success" in past experiences, not future goals. I am not sure why any company would view the fact that you are considering leaving their industry as a positive.

Not trying to be brutal, but that is my take.

123src
04-28-2008, 01:17 AM
The last interview process I went through was ridiculous:


Tell me about a time where you were the 1st to do something...

What accomplishment are you least proud of and why?

Tell me about a time where you made the wrong decision...

Tell me about your thought process...

Share with me a sale you are proud of, and one that you are not...

Interviews suck, but the way you handle crazy open questions will tell them a lot about you and your ability to handle things.
Whatever you do... Close them at the end. If you want the job, ask for it!!!!

damaged442
04-28-2008, 07:25 AM
It's amusing how the interview process has changed over the years. At least with the jobs I've had in the past, most of the interviews were based on what you knew. Now, it seems they could care less about what you know, and just throw these behavioral questions at you.

I interviewed for sales positions for both Astra Zeneca and GSK, and both were...interesting to say the least. I only had two people throwing the questions at me for AZ, and three for GSK. They had absolutely no questions about my background in Biology and Chemistry, or how I made various parts of their compounds.
Instead, I got "Explain a situation where your team was failing, and you rose to the occasion and made it succeed." At the time I said, "I'm married with a three year old and a one year old. I have two screaming kids in the car. I stopped for ice cream, instant success."

Once I saw the woman after me in line for the interview...I knew I never had a chance. :rolleyes:

Ryan
04-28-2008, 09:47 AM
Take this as nothing more than my speculation and my :twocents:, but I think that companies tend to be more concerned with a clear career focus in their field when interviewing younger candidates who are more prone to turnover. Given your interest in the MBA, I'm assuming you're probably not more than ten years removed from undergrad.

I also think that companies "value diversity in capabalities and success" in past experiences, not future goals. I am not sure why any company would view the fact that you are considering leaving their industry as a positive.

Not trying to be brutal, but that is my take.

I agree, that is a good point on past vs future. Let's say a lot has changed in the past 4 years for my career direction.

I shortened up my story, most readers skip over when anyone gets long winded on here, I'll fill in the gaps. Much of my industry focus was effected while in the interview as I found aspects and limitations on the job that I could not have imagined. I chose to be open & honest with them but more with myself. No reason to sweet talk my way into a job only to be left unsatisfied. If the job details met my expectations, I would have judiciously spared them the knowledge of Suzuki.

aremsing
04-28-2008, 11:03 AM
In my most recent interview at the end I asked the president of the company "What do you see as this company's biggest challenge/Where do you see improvement needed? It showed I had interest in them...and I got the job. Good luck

wakeX2wake
04-28-2008, 11:26 AM
you have to keep in mind that they need you and you want them... that company needs you to work for them and you want a job... confidence is important when interviewing... if you go in w/ an "i need this to happen" mindset it could lead to you being in a bad situation... kind of like dating to find the "right one"... if forced it will end bad but if everything is right on both sides it will be a fun ride... just my two cents since i've recently been in a couple of those bad situations

o and a tough question i was asked once... "tell me about a job you applied/interviewed for that you didn't get... and why you didn't get it..." i think that one is to see how in touch w/ reality you are

Upper Michigan Prostar190
04-28-2008, 11:37 AM
mind games.

bigmac
04-28-2008, 11:41 AM
Let me start by saying that the medical biz is a lot different than sales/marketing.

When I interview people for jobs (doctors and administrators), the successful applicant will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of our business and our market, and will demonstrate a plan for how he or she will address it.

We just hired an orthopedic surgeon to start in 18 months. At his interview, he came along with a Powerpoint presentation...he had researched our market demographics and had a plan for addressing it. To say I was impressed would be understating. He know about us, knew our market, knew our needs. He pretty much got to name his conditions of employment.

I'm in the process of interviewing for a clinic CEO. I have a list of 8 applicants - my questions aren't going to be about the last book any of them read, or their favorite color. I'm going to ask them about our business, our needs, our market, and his/her plan for addressing it.

VOLFAN
04-28-2008, 01:36 PM
1. What knowledge, skills, and abilities are needed to be an effective (Insert Job Title here) and describe how they will help you be successful ?

2. Why are you interested in this position?

3. Tell us the factors and steps you would use when you first see that emergent or unscheduled overtime will be needed on a particular activity ?

4. Tell me about a time when you did something significant to set a positive example for others. What did you do and what was the reaction of others?

5. How will you encourage an environment that promotes teamwork, multiskilling, and willingness to take ownership to get things done right ?

6. Describe a situation which best tells us about your ability to work under pressure?

7. Assume you were assigned a job working with an individual who has a different working style than yours, you both find it difficult to work together because you disagree on how the work should be done. How would you handle this situation?

8.Tell us about a time when you took ownership of a task and overcame an obstacle/problem ?

9. What would you do if you disagree with your supervisor about any job responsibility?


10. Describe a time when you sacrificed your own self interest (at work) for the good of a larger team or group of people. What was the situation and what did you do ?

11. Why are you applying for a position with (Company Name). Tell me your understanding of the position which you have applied for.

12. Provide examples of situations in which you have experienced resolving conflicts. Please relate these situations to customers and employees in which you interaction with.

13. How do you manage your time to ensure all job responsibilities are competed in a timely manner?

14.Tell me about a time when you did something significant to set a positive example for others. What did you do and what was the reaction of others?

15. How will you encourage an environment that promotes teamwork, multiskilling, and willingness to take ownership to get things done right ?

16. Suppose you have worked at (Company Name) for 17 years. A new hired college graduate and you are developing your annual leave (vacation) plans for the summer. You both would like to have similar days off, but due to business needs one of you must be at work every day during the time you both want off. How would you go about coming up with a solution?

17. Describe a time when you sacrificed your own self interest (at work) for the good of a larger team or group of people. What was the situation and what did you do?


18. Finally, please describe in one or two sentences why you believe you are the most qualified or should be selected for this position(s).

Roonie's
04-28-2008, 03:00 PM
Lilly flew me up to Portland for an interview. I was interviewed by 4 people in one sitting. One question would spark one from another. I could have had it in the bag if I had been less than honest to one single quesiton.

They asked, "What other companies have you applied with?"

I could have told them the one other pharma company. But, sales skills and taking care of customers were key for their open position (not calling on Dr's). So, I carefully shared my application to Suzuki (which was really an offer I had to sell Suzuki outboard engines to manufacturers right as their 300hp model was coming out - not enough $ there though). Lilly questioned the lack of perceived continuity for "THE" industry - that killed it. I find it facinating how some co.'s value diversity in capabilities and success, while others seek strength from minions. I think it often depends on how wide the hierarchy is.

My wife worked for Lilly for several years in sales and enjoyed it. Her co-worker ended up retiring during her employment as he had been with the company for his entire working career in sales and had nothing but positive things to say about it. It is a good company.

Maristar210
04-28-2008, 03:11 PM
I have a few favorites I use:

1.) A year from now will I be glad I hired you? If yes, why?

2.) What kinds of things should I expect you to do without asking?

3.) What will you have to do in order for me to fire you?

(Can you tell I hire grunt welders)

Upper Michigan Prostar190
04-28-2008, 03:18 PM
Let me start by saying that the medical biz is a lot different than sales/marketing.

When I interview people for jobs (doctors and administrators), the successful applicant will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of our business and our market, and will demonstrate a plan for how he or she will address it.

We just hired an orthopedic surgeon to start in 18 months. At his interview, he came along with a Powerpoint presentation...he had researched our market demographics and had a plan for addressing it. To say I was impressed would be understating. He know about us, knew our market, knew our needs. He pretty much got to name his conditions of employment.

I'm in the process of interviewing for a clinic CEO. I have a list of 8 applicants - my questions aren't going to be about the last book any of them read, or their favorite color. I'm going to ask them about our business, our needs, our market, and his/her plan for addressing it.

Good. I could never understand those types of questions in interviews. they are pointless IMO.

trickskier
04-28-2008, 03:32 PM
1.) A year from now will I be glad I hired you? If yes, why?
Answer: Yes, because by this time next year I'll be your boss..........;)
2.) What kinds of things should I expect you to do without asking?
Answer: Nothing, I only do what I'm instructed to do. When that assignment is completed, you can PM me on TT if you want me.............8p
3.) What will you have to do in order for me to fire you?
Answer: Ask me to take a urinalysis test.............:confused:

Ryan
04-28-2008, 09:59 PM
The interviews went very well today. The potential new boss and I had a great, relaxed discussion about the brand, the business, quota, LBE's, competition and insights & directions I would like to implement. Only two very light interview questions were asked almost as a formality at the end of the hour.

I then met individually with two associate brand managers, for some info sharing, ins&outs of the position and I'm sure for their take whether I'm ready to hit the ground running. They each used two questions with the STAR method.

That was very satisfying afternoon.

Ryan
06-02-2008, 03:17 PM
Looks like I'll be in OH for a while longer. I got the job and transition over the next two weeks.

Erik, the clock is ticking to see how long it takes for you to say you have a boat for sale.