Basically you can find a list of popular interview questions just about anywhere; on your book shelf, major book stores, websites, under your boss’ desk, recruitment agencies, or in the dust bin. But that is less important than how you can handle and answer those questions. Below are 20 common questions that I developed based on popular interview questions normally asked by established companies.
The interview questions are divided into 4 main sections: Personal Motivation, Analytical, Project Management and Leadership & Conflict Resolution.
A. Personal Motivation
1. What motivates you in your job? What do you like and dislike about your current job?
I feel motivated when the effort that I have poured in on any particular challenging assignment gained recognition by my superiors. Not that I’m proud of myself but when your jobs done get noticed and recognized you feel that you bring a significant value in the organization.
In the current job the environment is very competitive but my fellow working colleagues are helpful to me and to each other and this creates an encouraging atmosphere in the company. This is what I like the most.
My scope of work is currently office-bounded and there’s little opportunity for me to travel to meet clients or expose myself to external training. This is the only opportunity that is lacking here.
2. Please share a situation where you’ve really gone to use up all your ability and energy to accomplish your task.
On the eve of Hari Raya Haji in 2003 I and a team mate were completing a technical report to be submitted at the end of the day to client. It so happened that the PC that we were working on crashed down due to power failure. After getting the PC working again, all the information in the report was lost.
My colleague was supposed to be on board for his bus trip back to Port Dickson but I persuaded him to stay until we finish it. By the time we finished at 11pm he already missed his bus. What I did was driving him all the way from PJ to Port Dickson, and drove back to my village in Ipoh afterwards and reached home on the morning of the Raya.
Our energy was drained but we both glad we did the right thing.
3. What was the biggest mistake you have done in your career; what you did afterwards to remedy it? Was the result positive?
I left my first job to join company x due to a significant offer on the salary. However I realized that I had not been learning much from the company and I only lasted for 6 months. Then I realized money is not everything in pursuing your career. Job satisfaction and the experience you gain is far more important. Since then I do not rush into making decisions before I made a thorough research before deciding to move on.
4. What is your most important contribution in your current company?
Last year I led a team conducting an audit on our internal Human Resource processes. We have found significant flaws in the recruitment flow and suggested a revamp on the process that cut the cost by 40% and speed up the process at a faster rate. It has now become a blue print for standard recruitment strategies in our company.
5. Describe a situation where your motivation level is at a very low point. What was the situation? Why?
Last year my company underwent a minor downsizing and as a result, a lost a number of working colleagues that were very close to me. It is sad to lose them, but life has to go on. I learnt that life is not always on the up. It somehow affected my work as my motivation is low but I came off well after 1 month.
6. From your point of view, what are the current challenges and issues in the industry that you’re currently in?
7. What is the biggest challenge in your current employment?
8. What can you contribute (short term & long term) if you join our organization?
9. Who do you see yourself 5 years down the road? How do you plan to achieve that?
10. What you’ve learnt in your current employment?
C. Project Management
11. Explain about the recent project that you have been involved recently. What were your roles and responsibilities in this project? What was the biggest challenge during the completion of this project? Is the project successful?
12. What is the most challenging aspect working in a team? Why?
13. What are you key strengths and weaknesses? What do you do in order to overcome your weakness? How effective is your action?
14. How do you describe your working style?
15. How would your boss describe you?
D. Leadership and Conflict Resolution
16. Describe a situation where you were in the middle of a conflict and what were your actions to resolve the conflict? Indicate the results of your actions.
17. What do you think the most important quality that a leader needs to have and how you would measure the effectiveness of this trait?
18. Given an authority, what would you change in your current organization?
19. How would you approach your superior that has made a decision where you strongly believe is not the right one? Give a specific example of the situation you have encountered.
20. What is your biggest non-academic achievement that you’re mostly proud of?