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How many hours a day/a week do you work?

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Avoid being too specific on this answer. If you give a low figure, the company will view it as inadequate. If you commit to too many hours, you will feel guilty for not being able to keep up.

How many hours a day/a week do you work?

     

Avoid being too specific on this answer. If you give a low figure, the company will view it as inadequate. If you commit to too many hours, you will feel guilty for not being able to keep up.

If you are really a workaholic and you feel that this company wants such people, go ahead and say that you are a workaholic who work late nights and weekends. If this is not the case, simply say that you have always worked hard and given long hours to the work whenever necessary. It has not been able to keep track of how many hours you have spent on work because work has been a matter of love rather than duty. Thus you have always been thinking of work even when you are away from the workplace.

47. What do you think is the most difficult side of this job (that you are seeking)?

Be very careful about the way you answer this question. If you haven’t framed it the right way, any difficult area you might mention comes across as your weak spot.

First of all, you should give a positive twist to the word ‘difficult’. What you see are not difficulties, but challenges. Then go for an area that is commonly recognized as the most challenging part of your profession. Also show how you have excelled in this area. Specify the strategies you have developed to surmount the challenges and the outstanding results you have achieved in this area.

E.g. “I believe every customer care manager finds it difficult to motivate the team members when they have to work odd shifts. However that is very essential for the success of a customer care team. This is one area I feel I have given excellent results in”

“When I find that my team has to work extra odd shifts due to some reason or other, I immediately take a few steps so that this does not affect their enthusiasm for work (specify the measures you take and also show an instance or two where it has given remarkable results)

48. The interviewer narrates a hypothetical situation that is difficult and asks you how you would tackle this.

This is a ‘what if’ scenario where it is impossible to have all the facts before you. Do not try to offer a readymade solution to this problem from such a short description. It reflects poorly on your decision making process.

Instead of offering a ready made solution, describe the thought process you would follow to analyze and solve the problem. You should show a rational and systematic approach and also the kind of help you would take. Then go on to talk about a few possible solutions and how the best course of action would depend on the specifics. It should also be evident that you would follow up on the results of the course you took and take corrective action if necessary.

This is the key to all such ‘what if’ questions. Instead of offering any ready made solutions, go with the rational process you would follow.

49. Tell us about the most challenging situation you have faced in your career.

Be ready with a recent and relevant instance. Avoid talking about experiences that took place very early in your career. Ideally, your example should demonstrate a quality/skill that is important for the job in question. It should also show a quality that is universally in demand, such as initiative, courage, creativity, leadership etc.

50. Would you consider starting your own business?

Say ‘yes’ and show enthusiasm, and it would that your mind is not fully with the work you are doing. It has all kinds of negative connotations. For instance, you can come across as somebody who has had to settle for this second choice of a corporate life because your own business ideas didn’t succeed.

If the company that you are interviewing is small, they will worry that you would go off on your own soon. Thus they will be reluctant to trust you with key responsibilities.

If on the other hand a categorical ‘no’ as answer suggests that you are too security minded and without any fire.

Try to figure out this company’s culture before you answer this question. Then give an honest answer that fits as close as possible to the company’s own value system. However refrain from being too specific about your plans and dreams.

If the organization you are interviewing is a large formal set up, you should show a low interest in starting your own business.

E.g. “Yes I have thought about it once or twice. But I have always been with large organizations throughout career and been very successful with that kind of work. I guess such a set up suits me best so I would like to continue with it.”

In on the other hand the company has a more informal structure where every one has a say, you can say that such a firm gives you the avenues for implementing your ideas along with the stability of a well established organization. This brings the best of both worlds to you.

In either case, your interest in starting something of your own should come across as a thing of the past. Otherwise you will project the image of someone who has failed to achieve his dreams, or a person who might quit any moment. But also take care to present your position in a credible manner. For this you should match your description of what you want with the position the company offers.

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Posted on: March 25, 2008

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