The concerns behind this question are quite obvious. The interviewer is worried that you may leave the job too soon, the way you have done with others. This might also indicate that you are a well qualified but problematic person who can’t get along with other people.
To tackle this question first of all you should minimize the chances of coming across as a job hopper. For instance, if you have changed jobs more than once within a year, consider presenting only the most important of these in your resume. Instead of specifying the months you spent with each job, mention only the most important of these. State the time you spent in it in rounded years.
E.g. November 1989- June1990- Job A
June 1990-December 1990- Job B
January 1991- April 1994- Job C
Instead of specifying the exact periods, you can simply round it off to years this way:
1989-2000- Position A
1991-1994- Position C
Here you are skipping position B (anyway it is not of any major consequence, and the stint is too brief). But presenting it this way reduces your image as a job hopper.
However if the interviewer happens to ask this question, you should try to reassure him. Your answer should satisfactorily explain why each job was part of an overall pattern of career development.
Avoid placing blame on other people for your changes. However you can mention that some of those circumstances were beyond your control, like a merger that would have jeopardized your interests within the company.
Wherever applicable you can also demonstrate that you changed job more often in your younger days while you were looking for the right career choices. At this point in your career, you are well established and looking for a long-term commitment.
Another thing that would help is to mention jobs where you stayed longest and show them as the ideal kind of situation for you.
37. How would you define the role/ mission of a good (the position you are interviewing for/ a good manager/ an executive in relation to the larger picture of community or society/ a pioneer company in this industry)?
The purpose of this question is to check your understanding of where you stand in the larger scheme of things. The company wants to see if you are aware of the role these entities have in the big picture.
This question usually comes from very thoughtful people/ companies. It might also be raised when the interviewer feels that you are coming from a totally different corporate culture (say from a multibillion, highly bureaucratized organization, and the company you are seeking to enter is a small, informal but aggressive set up)
What mars your answer to this question most is being unprepared. This in turn gives the impression that you have never given any thought to any of this. Another mistake is when your answer reflects the culture of the organization you propose to leave behind rather than the organization you are seeking to enter.
Identify a few key ingredients for success in each of the categories mentioned- for the position, for the manager or for a company. You should be able to find between three and six qualities that are the most important, and then memorize them. Note that research makes all the difference here. The more you know about the most important wants and needs of the company and the position, the better you are equipped to answer this question successfully.
38. Imagine that your boss is very excited about an idea and keen to implement it. But you think it useless. What would you do?
This question juxtaposes two values- loyalty and honesty and wants to see which you choose. The right answer is always to choose integrity/honesty. But remember to frame your answer in the most constructive manner.
E.g. “First of all, I believe in looking for the positive in everything. Therefore I will look for elements that I believe are good about the idea. But I will also mention any reservations I may have about the idea, as honesty is the most important thing I owe my company and seniors.”
“I will present my views in the most constructive manner possible and also try if there is any way my boss and I could work together to strengthen the idea to both our approval. However if my boss chooses to do things his/her way, I will give him all my support and try to make it work as best as possible”
39. How could you have done better in your career?
This is another version of the question “What changes would you make if you were given the chance to live your life over?” Do not fall for it. Any show of regret or a major failure only shows you in a poor light.
Your answer should indicate that you are generally quite happy with your career path so far. If you had known something earlier, perhaps you would have made a certain move earlier (say an unexpected growth in a certain branch of your industry which you could not have anticipated). But overall you have no regrets and you are happy with where you are and how you have reached there.
40. Imagine that an executive on your own level wasn’t working below his potential and not taking responsibility and that this was doing harm to your department. What would you do?
This question intends to test your human relation values and how you handle office politics.
An understanding of the political style of the organization in question would help. However base your answers on sound universal principles. This also shows how you would like to be treated.
“I believe that the sound way is to speak directly with the person and explain your views. I would try to garner his/her support to solve the problem. If the person shows resistance, I would still be as persuasive as possible and show the benefits of working together and the disadvantages of not doing so.”
This might be followed by another question. “What if the person doesn’t cooperate in spite of your best efforts?”“Well, one thing that WOULD NOT work is giving up, letting the problem take its course. That can only lead to worse consequences, including setting a bad precedent. I would therefore try again and again, taking help from more people including my boss if necessary. Let me also say that I haven’t really seen a situation that could not be sorted out by determined efforts to bring people together in a constructive manner”
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