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We would like to hear about your goals.

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It reflects poorly on you not to have any goals or have only generalities. Remember that those people who are in a position to hire you have reached there most probably because of their goal setting habits. They would want to hire people who are like the

We would like to hear about your goals.

     

It reflects poorly on you not to have any goals or have only generalities. Remember that those people who are in a position to hire you have reached there most probably because of their goal setting habits. They would want to hire people who are like them. Thus being non specific about your career/ personal goals could act as a big turn off.

You should therefore have a well laid out plan for every area of your life- career, personal growth, family, health and community. If your interviewer appears to be spiritually oriented, you can also refer to your spiritual goals. This helps to project yourself as a well rounded person. Every goal should be talked about in terms of milestones and time periods set to achieve them. However you need to be concise and be careful not to speak for more than two minutes at a length.

52. What are the things you look for when you have to hire people?

This is an easy question if you are prepared for it. Present your own ideas developed from experience and centered around your profession. But there are three universal parameters you need to keep in mind. These are

  1. Is this person qualified for the work?
  2. Has he/she got enough motivation for the work?
  3. Is this person the kind of team player suitable for this job?

53. Try selling me this pen (this clock/ this card holder/ this mobile phone or any object around the interviewer)

There is a school of thought among some business people that good salesmanship (being persuasive) is essential for any position. Such people might ask you for a demonstration in this form. Be prepared by practicing.

You have, in preparing for this interview, already learned the most important element of successful marketing. It is to find what people want and tell them how to get it. If your interviewer asks for a demonstration on something, apply this principle.

E.g. “As a good salesman I should know everything about the product that I am selling. I should also learn about my prospect. I would therefore gather all possible information about this item”

“Then before selling this to you, I would also need to research about what you might need in such a product. I can do this only by asking a few questions. Shall I ask now?”

Then ask a few questions in a slightly casual manner like “If you didn’t have this product already, why would you have gone for it? Apart from that? Is there any other reason you would want this product?” and so on.

Ask specific questions that point to the features of the product in question. Once you have all the information, present the product and cite all its qualities and benefits. Match it as closely as possible to the needs and wants of the interviewer.

Then ask what would they consider as the right price for such a product (cite all the benefits again), and agree with whatever price (apart from zero) that the interviewer says and make the offer.

If the interviewer shows resistance and says that he doesn’t want the item at all, do not try to fight it. Take it away and thank him for telling you right away that he doesn’t want it. Indicate you know that the trick to successful marketing is to meet the needs of the prospect and it is a waste of everyone’s time to try to sell something the customer doesn’t want. Then you can say that nevertheless you have other products on offer as well and ask whether there is anything (taking other items around the interviewer as products you have on offer) he would like. If the interviewer points something out, repeat the process as above with the first product. If the interviewer knows something about marketing, we bet you will come out with flying colors if you follow these principles.

54. What are your salary expectations- how much do you want to be paid? (The interviewer might also ask how much you are earning at the moment)

Needless to say, this is a crucial question. You need to handle it very carefully- one step in the wrong direction and you end up either losing your chance or being offered less than what you might have got. Follow these guidelines when you are negotiating salary.

  1. Avoid bringing up salary on your own-let the interviewer do it first. Successful salespeople sell their product to the customer before talking about the price. When the interviewer shows interest in you, you are in a better position to negotiate.
  2. If the interviewer brings up the question too early in the interview, try to stall answering it at that point. E.g. “Money is of course important, but not the first concern for me. I am more interested in the overall growth opportunity. I would therefore first see if I am the right person for this position. Would that be alright with you?”
  3. Being well informed is the key to winning any negotiation. Once you are done with selling yourself and the time comes for discussing salary, try to get the interviewer mention how much he/she is willing to pay. When the interviewer asks about your expectations, you can counter it with “This company must be having some norms of emoluments for this position. Would you be able to tell me what that is?” You can also say “I am sure you must be having fair standards that meet people’s ability and experience. What does this position pay?”
  4. Go with an idea of what you will accept as a fair deal. Make sure that your expectations are reasonable, by researching the job market and any information available from within the company. Most people in executive positions aim a 20-25% raise when they change jobs.
  5. Do not lie about your salary. However you can include the fringe benefits which could show a 25-50% higher amount than your cash-only payment.

55. Situation: The interviewer asks you some question regarding your private life, like your marital status, religion, occupation of spouse etc that they have no business asking.

Unless any of these have any direct bearing on your performance, the interviewer has no right to ask such questions. However some interviewer not used to interviewing too many people, might raise such questions at the second or third interview.

You have every right to refuse to answer. However this might embarrass or alienate the interviewer. Therefore it is always wiser to look for ways of handling this diplomatically. For instance, if the interviewer asks about your age (and imagine you are fifty or above), you can ask smilingly if the company is worried about your age affecting your performance. You can then go on to reassure the interviewer that you are well equipped to meet all the requirements of the job and that your age and experience will only be advantageous to the employer.

Remember that most such questions hide behind them concerns about your performance. Therefore base your strategy on reassuring the interviewer. Once you bag the job and do it brilliantly, such concerns will vanish and you will gain respect and appreciation within the company.
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Posted on: March 25, 2008

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