What answers do you give for job interview questions?

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a hairless hamster bro
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29 Mar 2015, 6:31 am

Hey guys. Name's Chris and I'm 27. I've never been diagnosed with Asperger's but pretty sure I have it based on the symptoms I've read. Anyway it's been about 3 and a half years since I've had a job and I want to start looking again, but the main reason I haven't is because I'm scared of going to a job interview. They ask you things like "name a time where you've solved a smaller problem before it became a larger one" or "name a time you worked as part of a team and how did you help", etc. The problem is that I've always lived kind of a sheltered life and never really had to deal with any conflict. I didn't get my first job until I was 23 and didn't even have my first interview until I was 22. I guess I can't really give a good reason for that other than laziness and fear of the unknown.

So anyway for the people here who have a job, how did you go about answering the interview questions?



Fnord
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29 Mar 2015, 7:32 am

a hairless hamster bro wrote:
... how did you go about answering the interview questions?
Honestly, accurately, and concisely.



SocOfAutism
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29 Mar 2015, 3:41 pm

I'm a former hiring manager.

Everyone has answers to those questions, it's just not always immediately obvious. If you don't have a work history, you should use school experience, even if it's HS. You can make something up or use something from TV as long as its believable and you can retell the story well. You should practice the answers with another person.

Q) Tell me about a time when you had a smaller problem that turned into a larger problem, and how you solved the problem.

Q) Tell me about a time when you wish you would have handled something differently.

This following answer would suit either/both.

A) Once in high school I had a team project and one of my team members didn't complete his part of the project. The rest of us didn't want to get him in trouble, so we waited until the last minute and then made an excuse for him. It was obvious to the teacher that his portion was not finished and we were required to either accept a bad grade (D) or redo the project. We chose to redo the project. In retrospect, if we couldn't get our other team member to contribute, we should have done his portion for him rather than submit an incomplete project.

Here's another hard one:

Q) I see that you've had a break in employment. Can you tell me what happened?

If you got fired: A) the company downsized unexpectedly and I didn't have time to fine a new position beforehand
If you quit: A) the environment there was not something I could tolerate (and you don't discuss it further)
If you couldn't get through interviews: A) the job market has been competitive

I'm pretty sure you can find a lot of these online. If you can't think of an answer to prepare, just ask some slick talking person (like me, lol!)



joeseark
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29 Mar 2015, 5:01 pm

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” - You need to demonstrate that you have some goals or some career path that you want to pursue. In your personal brand, show ambition but be realistic. A recent post from The Guardian stated, “Employers will always be attracted to ambitious candidates – after all, nobody wants an employee who feels apathetic about their job. For instance, if you say that you want to be leading a team of 20 within three years' time, and this would only usually happen within a 10-year period in the company you're talking to, you risk being perceived as a little arrogant and unprepared.”



BetwixtBetween
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29 Mar 2015, 9:10 pm

Quote:
The problem is that I've always lived kind of a sheltered life and never really had to deal with any conflict.

Quote:
So anyway for the people here who have a job, how did you go about answering the interview questions?


Did you go to school or were you homeschooled? Did you belong to any teams or groups growing up? Did you work as part of a group or team at any of your previous positions?

And just so I can get an even better picture here, what sort of jobs have you held before? And what sort of job are you trying for?



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30 Mar 2015, 8:28 pm

Fnord wrote:
a hairless hamster bro wrote:
... how did you go about answering the interview questions?
Honestly, accurately, and concisely.

I agree with this, as I do this in interviews.

Though with that said, from what I am told, most people tend to embellish and stretch the truth to get hired and are normally the ones who get the job.


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a hairless hamster bro
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31 Mar 2015, 7:10 am

Thanks for the advice guys (and girls.)

BetwixtBetween wrote:
Did you go to school or were you homeschooled? Did you belong to any teams or groups growing up? Did you work as part of a group or team at any of your previous positions?

And just so I can get an even better picture here, what sort of jobs have you held before? And what sort of job are you trying for?


Well I'll be honest with ya the picture's not a very good one lol. I've only held one job when I was 23 as a stockman at Kmart. I had to quit after 4 months to move up to Ohio for family reasons but I was on good terms with everyone and I know I'll get a good reference from the manager if he's still there. Still I feel like my pretty much nonexistent job history is going to be a huge problem for any hiring manager. I've decided that I'm gonna start volunteering somewhere soon so that way I'll at least have something to show at a job interview, because right now if they asked me what I've been doing the past 3 years my answer would have to be surfing the web and playing video games lol. Not really a good thing to say at an interview you know? Anyway since my only job experience is working in retail that's probably what I'll try for.



BetwixtBetween
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31 Mar 2015, 9:24 am

Well, you were part of a team when you worked at KMart, so you can base your answers about teamwork on that experience.

Quote:
I had to quit after 4 months to move up to Ohio for family reasons


Quote:
if they asked me what I've been doing the past 3 years my answer would have to be surfing the web and playing video games lol.


If you moved for family reasons, then was that also how you occupied yourself during your period of unemployment? If so, talk about that. Taking care of a family member is like a job. There are people who get paid to do that job.

I think the volunteer stuff is a good idea.

You may want to look into becoming a security guard as well.



diablo77
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02 Apr 2015, 9:21 pm

I hate the part where they ask you if YOU have any questions for THEM. I can never think of anything to ask.



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02 Apr 2015, 9:30 pm

diablo77 wrote:
I hate the part where they ask you if YOU have any questions for THEM. I can never think of anything to ask.

Ditto.

I usually go with blathering for a bit "I DID initially wonder about your company's focus and environment, but, I did research on your recent work and discovered X and asked Y person enough to know that I'd feel comfortable in your work culture."



BetwixtBetween
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04 Apr 2015, 10:52 am

Quote:
I hate the part where they ask you if YOU have any questions for THEM. I can never think of anything to ask.


Depending on the position, that can be your chance to ask about what sort of training opportunities exist, advancement potential from that position to a higher position within the company, any clarification about hours or scheduling, what sort of qualities their best employees share, what sort of qualities their best managers share, the first two or three priorities when starting the position, why they like working there, typical communication style within the company (telephone, email, face to face, and so on), where they see the company or department in five or ten years, how this position opened up, and as a followup after some mixture of these: whether they have any final questions for you or whether they would like any clarification about your qualifications.