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Interview Questions Forum > Free interview tips - post the job description and I'll help

Hi - I've been getting a lot of emails asking for help with specific interviews. So that we can help others, please post your job descriptions here (you can do this anonymously) and I'll give you some specific interview guidance for the kind of things you should research, practice, study and say in your interview.

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Hilditch


July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertebatso

reception. a question about tell us yourself

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertebatso

i want to know all about the Human Resource administrator ,interview question and the best way of the answers as soon as possible
thank you

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeme

For the receptionist job, "Tell us about yourself" question: You should take this opportunity to demonstrate how you're a natural choice for the job - i.e. think of situations in your personal life which match the kind of things you're going to have to do in your job. e.g. you could tell them how, from a young age you were always racing to answer the telephone for your parents, or how you developed your own form of short hand so you could take notes quickly when studying, or how you've always prided yourself on your articulation skills - use real life examples from your own life but relate them to the job they're asking you to do.

July 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterDavid Hilditch

For the HR job, here are some ideas:

I've interviewed people for HR roles in the past. From my experience there were two types of people who applied for this role - the first type viewed the role as entirely a disciplinarian role - one in which their primary function was to discipline people, enforce company rules and to handle warnings and sackings etc. The second type viewed the discipline part of the role as a 'necessary evil' and for them the primary role of their job was to encourage and foster team work, build communication paths, help coach managers in how to communicate differently with different types of employees.

I would highly recommend viewing the role in the second way - i.e. look at the POSITIVE benefits you can bring the company. Convince them that you can handle the NEGATIVE aspects such as disciplining people etc but that thanks to the change that you've managed to bring about in team/personnel behaviour and improved communication techniques that you've managed in the past to reduce the need for discipline. This will, of course, depend on the role you're going for - what type of company is it? If it's a factory, for example, then they may have significant disciplinary problems that they just want someone else to deal with but under most circumstances most companies would prefer the second type of HR person.

The tougher questions could include:

Tell me about a time when you've had to discipline someone and how you handled it? You should discuss situations that were unavoidable and how you followed due process but you should emphasise that in the main, discipline is avoidable with better communication. Normally, more open communication vastly reduces any problems or stress that team members or the team are experiencing. Think of examples.

Tell me about a time when you've managed (or helped manage) a process change? The biggest failure in this area by the majority of companies is a failure to communicate properly - without proper communication, people make up their own reasons for why change is happening and fear can develop. So, you might explain for example how you met with the people proposing the change, asked lots of questions that others might ask, helped present these proposed changes to all the managers, asked them to go speak to their teams and come back with questions and then met with everyone again to answer their questions. This has to be followed through and monitored since change does not happen overnight, despite management often thinking that it does. Different people change more slowly and actually in these cases it can be incredibly beneficial to get key members of teams on-board so that they can help encourage the change - in particular High I type personalities are very useful in convincing others of the benefits that change can bring.

How would you propose to improve team-working and communication in our teams? Tough, you have to do your research, but getting to know people on an individual basis is critical, listening to them and understanding where the failures in communication exist so that you can then tackle them. Team-working sometimes doesn't work due to power struggles, political issues or a lack of motivation thanks to too much change - this can all be solved through improved and consistent communication from the top down throughout the company.

You should try and research and understand their culture. The kind of things you want to discover are how open/closed communication is, how hierarchical versus flat the company structure is, how fast paced versus slow paced the company is. You could ask them in the interview what culture they believe they currently have and what they would like it to be. They may have a different opinion to that of the actual employees and this has to be measured - you will probably have experience of measuring this kind of thing in the past and so will know that the act of measuring can actually help bring the staff along with you since they feel like they are part of the change, rather than the change is being forced upon them by unseen powers. This is if culture change is included as part of the HR role.

Organisational skills - you have to prove and show evidence that you have the organisational capacity to lead various events, teamworking days, dinners etc.

Fitness programmes - experience of how you've seen increased teamwork and communication through fitness programs in the past. I'd suggest cycle to work scheme and the Global Corporate Challenge as easy and cheap ways of starting fitness programs without having to resort to gym membership for everyone which has a much lower take up. (Global Corporate Challenge)

Employee handbook - if they don't have one they should - not everyone reads this but there are plenty of personality types who do and frown upon them not existing

Employee integration - with good practices you can actually start training new employees prior to arrival at the company, vastly reducing the learning curve and improving integration. Includes sending them culture materials prior to arrival, handbook and maybe some presentations made by the president/top managers in electronic form (you would need to video record these of course if they aren't already). You could include an introduction to people in their team - ideally written by the people in those teams. You could include having mentors for new starts.

Collaborate with clubs - there are two primary benefits I can see to this - one is integration with society and increased sense of worth/value of the company to employees and people in the community, and an increased awareness to people in the area who might want to come work for the company - I would add integrating with local universities etc and perhaps encouraging president/manager to do a presentation or two per year to a group of interested students. This can have very positive impact on graduate recruitment schems, both increasing uptake and reducing costs.

The most important thing to do for an HR role is to research the company's culture first - find out who they are and who they want to be. You'll probably want to introduce some kind of measurement (quarterly or bi-annual anonymous surveys for example) so you can find out what the culture REALLY is inside the company once you get the job.

Good luck!

July 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterDavid Hilditch

Hi David. Thanks for the tips. Your HR tips are very useful for me. HR interview questions are also main part in interview process. Once again thanks for the free tips.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterInterview Questions

why you want promotion

August 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteraaborse

Promotion is something I aim to cover soon but here's a quick summary of the kind of answers you should be thinking of:

Firstly, understand and accept that it's not a bad thing to want a promotion. This doesn't mean that you're not enjoying your current role and please don't say 'for more money'.

1. I feel that I've met most or all challenges in my current role and I relish the extra challenge that this promotion would bring. I believe that I would be more valuable to the company in this new role.
2. I see that there are significant benefits I could bring to the company if I were promoted to this role. For example, my skills in (insert your useful skill here) would really help solve the (insert problem you will be solving in promotion role). This would help me earn more money/save more time/make customers happier for the company.
3. I have been studying (insert skill required for promotion) in my spare time, and now I would like a chance to practice that skill in the workplace. I believe it could bring significant benefit to the company.

If you are brave enough, you could try this one:

4. I am aiming to be (insert the role you would like in 3 - 5 years) and if I were promoted to this new role (the one you currently want) it would help me develop the skills I need to become (insert role you'd like to have in 3 - 5 years). I believe the knowledge and skills I have gained over the past X years have given me everything I need to succeed in this new role.

I hope this helps. What role is it you're going for and which role do you currently have?

August 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterDavid Hilditch

I want to get all the interview question related to PHP(Drupal) and software testing.

September 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshok

Hi - I have some programmer specific interview questions and links to other great sites I'll be posting up on the site this week - they should be up on the site by tomorrow - I hope this comes in time for your interview.

September 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterDavid Hilditch

Hi David,

I have an interview for the position of Depot Operation Manager so kindly can you give the best interview questions & the answers.

January 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHasan

Hi - for a depot operation manager role, you're going to be asked the following kind of questions:

1. Give examples of your organisational skills
2. Tell us how you have used KPIs in the past to improve operations
3. Describe your leadership style to us
4. Give an example of where someone in your depot failed to adhere to policy and how you handled the situation?
5. Give a similar example where somone in your depot failed to adhere to a legal obligation and how you handled the situation?
6. What's the worst response you've had from someone when you've been enforcing policies and how did you handle that?
7. Give examples of how you have negotiated better rates for your previous employers from suppliers.
8. Who was the most senior person you reported to in the past and describe your relationship

You should have a close look at the job description and try and think of examples from your past experience which can be applied to every skill/experience they are looking for.

I hope this helps.

February 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Hilditch
This is cool! Try and check this site out! It's Career Confidential. I learned a lot from it. Here's the link:
May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoelTR