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Interview Question Database

Skill Specific

Skill specific questions are asked to determine if you have the knowledge and skills to sufficiently perform the required job. When answering skill specific questions, demonstrate that you are capable and the best fit for the job.

Attitude and Behaviour

QUESTION INTENT

An employer may ask you an attitude or behaviour related question to determine your:

  • Motivation and desire to learn, grow, and excel.
  • Confidence and professionalism
  • Compatibility with the organization and employees
  • Past behaviour as an indicator of your future performance
TIPS FOR RESPONDING TO ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR Q'S
  • Research the organization prior to the interview to determine their attitude and behaviour expectations.
  • Clearly demonstrate your professionalism throughout the interview.
  • Provide examples of past work experiences and situations in which you have exemplified behaviours desired by the organization.
  • Frame your responses in an enthusiastic and positive manner.

Tell me about a time when you took initiative.


Answer Tips

Are you a flexible person who has a positive attitude in learning new things and is willing to ask questions whenever you do not understand something?


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Tell me (us) about a time when you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker.


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A vendor comes in to thank you for assistance in clearing up a past due invoice. The vendor offers you 2 tickets to a ball game, What will you do?


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Are you competitive? Is that a good or bad trait?

Depending on the work environment, competitiveness could be considered a necessary trait or a hindrance. Competitiveness is encouraged in the academic world to make the grade, while in many employment situations, success is measured by team accomplishments vs personal. This type of question allows the interviewer to find out whether or not you fits into the company culture.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

This is a difficult question to answer as competitiveness is a trait that can be both positive and negative. Almost all people that achieve success - in any field - will extol the virtues of a healthy amount of competitiveness. Do the same in your answer without getting carried away. Over-competitive employees sometimes have difficulty getting along with their colleagues. The key to successfully answer this question is to consider the employers perspective and industry expectations.

How do you normally handle stress?

Stress is a regular and sometimes constant feature of many positions and work environments. The employer will want to know if you have worked in stressful environments, how you adapted and what strategies you have developed to manage stress so that it will not ultimately affect your work performance.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

As a student you can instantly reassure the employer that you are very familiar with working(performing) in a stressful environment. Reassure the employer that you have experience working in stressful situations and provide relevant example(s) that showcase your ability to handle stress effectively. If you have developed stress management strategies such as: walking at lunch, discussing challenging situations with coworkers to gain advice, planning and prioritizing workloads in advance, share them with the employer.

If I spoke with your previous boss, what would he/she say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?


Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Emphasize your skills, and don't be overly negative about your weaknesses. It's always safer to identify a lack of a skill as an area for improvement rather than a shortcoming.

An executive manager has given you an assignment that will require you to work late tonight. However, you have dinner and expensive tickets concert with a friend. What will you do?


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Describe a situation that would demonstrate the level of confidence that you have in yourself.


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Describe a situation where you wished that you had behaved differently. What was the outcome?


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Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.


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Do you consider yourself a self-starter? If so, explain why along with examples.


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Do you prefer clear job tasks and expectations or freedom to direct your work? Why?


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How do you deal with rejection?


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How do you handle criticism?


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How do you handle pressure?

This may seem similar to the question: How do you handle stress?. There is a subtle difference: Stress is a difficulty or strain felt from within. Pressure is a strong external influence. We may not all feel stressful, but pressure is an expectation in many modern jobs. Pressure could come from your customers, your boss, or even your colleagues.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Answering this question in the negative, e.g. I'm never under pressure may suggest that you avoid pressure and the responsibility that if often entails. It also tells the interviewer that your reactions, if pressure is applied, are unknown even by yourself. 

Describe some of the situations where you have exercised initiative and independence.


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Tell me (us) about a time when you delegated a project or job effectively.


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There's a time in everyone's life when we need to overstep boundaries and break some rules in order to get something done. Can you give an example of when you ever did this and why?

This type of question allows you to demonstrate your problem solving and decision making skill.

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Answer Tips

In your example, describe the situation you found yourself in, the action you took and the outcome you achieved. If the question asks about bending the rules, be sure to address the ethical implications. Make sure you use an example where the outcome is a win-win situation for the company and its customers or staff. Don't suggest that you bend the rules for your personal gain.

What situations make you lose your temper?


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