500 Questions: About the Position, Part Three

This job requires working from Wednesday through Sunday. Would that be a problem for you?

Some industries, such as the retail industry, require work on the weekends, so this question may be appropriate. If you cannot work on weekends, then bring this up now. Your response should match closely the position you’re applying for and should reflect a realistic understanding of the work and time required. Ask about seasonality of work, if you’re unsure, and show a willingness to occasionally work extended hours.

Describe for me the watch you are wearing.

This is an opportunity to show your initiative, creativity, and your ability to adapt quickly to different situations. Your answer should convey your eagerness, enthusiasm, and powers of persuasion.

Stand up right now and sell me the stapler on my desk.

This is a stressful question. It will usually be reserved for positions where selling is involved. However, be prepared for this question as some form of selling is involved in many jobs, not just sales positions. The interviewer wants to determine how quickly you can think in any situation and whether you have the ability to communicate effectively and succinctly. Be prepared to give a quick sales pitch on almost any topic.

If you had an argument with your manager, what would you do?

Explain how your professionalism, problem-solving skills, and experience would help you effectively handle conflicts and disagreements whenever they arise in the workplace. Use an example that illustrates this point.

Tell me about two or three aspects of your last job that you’d never want to repeat.

In a constructive way, describe two or three things you’ve done that you didn’t personally enjoy or that didn’t play upon your strengths. Then describe your strengths and their relevance to the job you are applying for.

Tell me about the most difficult setback you have ever faced on the job.

Describe the circumstances surrounding the incident, but don’t look to lay blame on anyone else. Focus on a correctable area in your career path that you have already overcome. Demonstrate a willing and receptive attitude for improvement.