1. How do you deal with tight deadlines?
A question like this looks at several of your qualities: organization, initiative and ability to cope under pressure. Any real-life examples will help to illustrate your answer. Remember to talk the interviewer through the whole story: why the deadline was so tight, how you formed a plan to deal with it, how you put that plan into action, and what was the outcome. You can talk in general about how you stay organized and avoid having tight deadlines. Do you have any techniques or tips for managing your workload? The interviewer might be happy to learn some from you!
2. How do you respond to criticism?
The safe answer to a question like this is to say that you try to take everything on board and make changes where required. If you have any examples, they will add weight to your answer. It’s even better if you can give an example of how criticism has helped you improve in a measurable way. You can also talk about how you give criticism to people. One of the things being assessed here is your ability to communicate, so anything that’s relevant is worth mentioning.
3. How do you deal with pressure?
Pressure is a fact of life in any job, so your ability to cope is vital. Your answer should focus on how you organize yourself, stay on top of things and avoid getting overwhelmed. It’s actually not great to say that pressure doesn’t affect you. People who throw themselves into high-pressure situations are more likely to burn out in the long run. People who try to manage and reduce pressure are the ones who last. If you have any practical examples of coping with pressure, be sure to share them.If you have any practical examples of coping with pressure, be sure to share them.
4. How do you stay organized on long-term projects?
If you have any specific techniques, do talk about them. For example, you may use tools like Google Calendar or Trello to stay on top of your commitments. Interviewers also want to hear about real-world examples. If you have delivered a major project at work, focus on this for your answer. You can also talk about examples from your education or personal life. Ultimately, the interviewer wants to know how you approach a long-term challenge and ensure that nothing gets missed.
5.How do you keep your skills up-to-date?
Even if you’re very experienced, there’s still a chance that your skills are outdated. You may not be aware of new processes, new software or current industry trends. The traditional ways to keep skills up-to-date are to join professional associations or subscribe to specialist journals. This keeps you in touch with your industry colleagues. These days, a lot of people use the internet and social media to stay in touch. Talk about the websites or Twitter accounts that you get your news from.
6. What would you do if you thought your manager was incompetent?
What a dangerous question! You never want to speak badly about your former managers, so don’t be tempted to spill the beans about your old boss. When people complain about their manager, it usually means that there’s been a communication breakdown. So, focus on that – how you would try to improve communication and learn more about the pressure they are under. Consider what the interviewer wants to learn. They want to know about your problem-solving, conflict resolution, communication and teamwork skills. Focus on these positive skills in your answer.
7. Tell me about a mistake you’ve made and how you fixed it
For a “tell me about…” question, you want to first talk about the situation you were in, giving details of the environment and the mistake you made. Then talk about the task you were faced with after the mistake: what needed to happen next. The next part of your answer, talk about how you figured out your solution. Demonstrate your problem-solving skills. Finally, talk about the outcome. Your story should have a happy ending, with lessons learned and no real damage done. The interviewer doesn’t care about the mistake itself, as long as it wasn’t too terrible. What they want to know is how you analyze problems and arrive at solutions.