500 Questions: Character Questions, Part Five

How would you prove to me that your interest in our company is sincere?

This is a stress question used to determine how well you hold up under pressure. Stay calm, relaxed, and confident, and answer with a professional request for a list of any concerns the interviewer may have had. Interviewers like to ask stress questions like these to see how well you hold up under pressure.

How do you usually handle criticism?

Demonstrate your flexibility and willingness to learn from your mistakes. Show that you welcome constructive criticism and are able and anxious to improve. Demonstrate the ability to be humble. In retrospect, what could you have done differently? Indicate that you can accept responsibility for the situation.

How do you maintain your composure when you are in the hot seat?

The interviewer is attempting to determine how you would react if someone were to criticize you or question your morality and credibility. Describe your professional attitude and accountability when faced with constructive criticism. They may also be looking for an indication of your accountability and professional character.

May I call the references that you have provided for me?

You should have called each of your references prior to your interview to prepare them for potential calls. Also, if your current employer doesn’t know you are looking for another job, be sure and mention this fact to the interviewer.

What strategies do you use to stay organized?

Give the interviewer a good idea of your general approach to mastering complex tasks. Include how you decide on time frames, set deadlines, determine priorities, delegate tasks, and decide what to do for yourself. Organizational skills and time management skills are the key elements in many types of positions. Stress your ability to think and act in a clear manner whenever required. Demonstrate your power to delegate and follow-through on any type of project.

Can you handle the pressure that comes with this job?

Describe stressful projects that you have worked on in the past and the specific actions you took to organize each step and to see the project through to completion. Demonstrate your ability to stay calm under pressure. It would be more convincing if you could provide examples of situations when you have remained cool under fire. Be careful not to choose a situation or crisis for which you were the one responsible!

Have you ever had your mistakes pointed out to you on the job? How did you handle it?

Describe your accountability and professional attitude when faced with constructive criticism. Offer a specific project or work habit that caused you a problem until you faced up to it and overcame it. Show how you have minimized a past weakness.

Do you manage your time well?

Yes! You are a self-starter and almost never procrastinate. Emphasize that you can set goals, prioritize their tasks and devote adequate and appropriate amounts of time to each one.