500 Questions: About Your Experience, Part Three

Looking back on the experience, you think there’s anything you could’ve done to improve the relationship with your previous manager?

Of course you do. The work experience you have had since has shown you how to better accept criticism. Now that you have a better understanding of the pressures your supervisors are under, you can more successfully anticipate their needs. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your experience, perceptiveness, and maturity.

Was there ever a time when an important project you were working with had major delays? What did you do?

Most projects at one time or another are subject to delay. The interviewer is attempting to see how well you handle pressure, deadlines, and stress. Demonstrate how you would handle delays and emphasize your ability to organize, plan, and play an integral role in a team effort.

Describe a time when you had to fire someone from his or her job? What did you say?

Describe a situation where you may have been called upon to let someone go and describe the procedures you used. Although this question is usually reserved for management, it could be asked of anyone seeking a new position to measure your potential for dealing with stressful situations.

Have you been in charge of budgeting, and matching other financial progress against financial goals? Are you very qualified in this area?

Financial responsibility signals an employer’s faith in you. If you haven’t had many, or any, fiscal duties, admit it. But be creative with your reply and indicate that you have had to meet goals for several projects you have worked on.

Have you had any experience directly related to this position?

Your resume already states the positions that you have held, so use this question to highlight the qualifications and skills you have gained from each position that are applicable to the position you are interviewing for.

Describe your previous job experience.

The interviewer is looking to determine whether your work experience matches the requirements of the position. You will need to provide some specific information about the qualifications you gained from previous job experiences. Draw parallels between your current and previous job to the requirements of this job. A similarity that seems obvious to you may not be so obvious to the interviewer.

How much experience do you have?

Too much or too little could easily rule you out. Be careful how you answer and try to gain time. It is a vague question, and you have the right to ask for clarification. Describe the immediate relevance of your past experience. Draw parallels from your current or previous job to the requirements of this job.