[Part 6] Toughest Interview Questions

26) How can you describe success in your job?

As direct as this question may be, it is also important that you pay maximum attention when you are answering this question. When employers ask this question, they want to understand your work ethic and your personality. As much as the interviewer wants to understand your work ethic, they also want to understand your measurement system.

Many interviewers want to know how you plan to measure success if you get the job, or if you have any plan at all.

When you are answering this question, you should make sure:

  • you give instances of times that you achieved success performing your task
  • Explain the steps you took to achieve success to your interviewer
  • You can also talk about the goals that you set for yourself and how you were able to exceed the expectation for that goal.
  • Be honest

You should avoid the following:

  • You should avoid talking about successes that are not real or don’t relate to the business.
  • Avoid exaggeration
  • Avoid boasting
  • Avoid sounding very perfect, it will not give you room for improvement

Sample Answers

“I define success as not just doing the best in my work, but also that of my team. I believe that going beyond the expectations that are set for me and the ones that are set for the team is what I regard as success. If the team is able to achieve both individual and collective goals, then that is success for me”.

“Success for me is performing my job more than expected and knowing that what I do adds real value to the organization. As much as my work adds value to my life and the lives of other people”.

27) How do you describe your dream company?

When interviewers ask you this question, don’t be in a hurry to spill out that dream of working in a company that will be able to pay you six figures, access to expensive vacation, and flexible work hours. All of these are not what the interviewer wants to hear. The interviewer wants to hear something that will convince him that you are the right person for the job.

You should take note of the following when you want to attempt this question:

  • Be sincere about what an ideal workplace is for you
  • Make sure that your dream aligns with that of the company
  • Pay attention to what you can offer the company too You should also avoid the following:
  • You should avoid exaggeration, avoid saying that this is the best job when it is not
  • Avoid citing a specific employer as an example it might be risky

Sample Answers

“For me, my dream company is one that will help me better harness my skills and abilities to contribute to the overall success of the company. I value a company that will recognize and appreciate excellent performance”.

“My dream company is one where I can contribute to the success of the company. A place where I can get new opportunities that will help me better make use of my skills and abilities. An ideal company will also be one that will provide me with the opportunity to grow my career”.

28) What is your definition of failure?

It is good to count successes, but interviewers think it is also important that they know what you describe as a failure. Interviewers ask this question because they want to understand what failure means to you to see if it aligns with the expectations that are set for that particular position.

Take note of the following when you want to answer this question:

  • Make sure that what you consider as failure aligns with what the organization will recognize as a failure for that position or in general
  • Be honest and straightforward forward You should also avoid the following:
  • You should avoid lying
  • talking too much so that you do not create unrealistic expectations for yourself

Sample Answer

For me, I define failure as someone’s inability to meet up to a work expectation. Failing is not all about not working hard to get things done, it is about not being able to provide a result that will stand as evidence for the work that you have done

“I define failure as a situation where someone has not been able to contribute to the overall success of the company over time. Failure is when you are not adding value to the position and the company in general”.

29) How do you set your job goals?

This question can be very easy to answer since it is straightforward. Many times interviewers ask this question because they want to know how organized you are, and they also want to know how you set your goals or if you have any goals at all.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on:

  • Your practical approach to setting your job goals
  • A hint about why you set your job goals You should also avoid the following
  • Not being specific with your response to the question

Sample Answer

I set my job goals by carefully examining my task both short and long-term tasks, understanding what result is expected from those tasks, and how I intend to carry out the task. Before I start performing all the tasks for a particular day, I look at the task according to their level of importance. I start with a smaller task with a small goal so that there would be room for progression. I basically set my job goals with the expected result in mind”.

30) How do you deal with deadlines on multiple tasks

This is a very tricky question that can make you lose your balance if you are not careful. Employers ask this question because they want to understand how you will be able to deal with deadlines that will arise in the course of the job.

When answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Always remember to walk the interviewer through your plans for achieving deadlines in the job or the task in general
  • Show that you are organized and that you prioritize well Avoid doing the following:
  • Complaining about deadlines and how you hate doing too many things at the same time
  • Don’t give the impression that you are lazy

Sample Answers

“No matter how much the task seems to be, I would sit down to look at the best way I can go about performing the task. I would start by organizing the task from the most important to the least important task. I will also ask for assistance where necessary”.

“First of all, I would maintain a positive mindset regardless of how huge that task may be, then develop a plan that would help me achieve results bearing the deadline in mind. I clearly understand the importance of meeting up with deadlines, but if I absolutely cannot meet the deadline, I would politely ask for an extension”.

Competency-Based Interview Questions and Answers

Just as the name sounds, competency-based interview questions are questions that check your competencies in the position that you are applying for. Competencies like skills, abilities, behaviors, and knowledge of the position that you are applying for are things that will be checked for when asked a competency-based question.

Interviewers will likely ask you open questions to discover how you use your competencies in a given real-life scenario. Employers use competency-based interview questions to predict a candidate’s future performance.

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