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Post Interview Questions - Page 2

post #16 of 53
Not quite related, but I was once asked during an interview

"What do you think would make you more well qualified for this job than the other candidates"?

My reply:

"errrr, ummmmm, errrrr, I have not met the other candidates, so I cannot comment on their abilities".

His reply:

"Well we have three candidates with impressive resumes that have graduated from top universities."

My reply:

"Why do you need my help in selecting a candidate? I presume you are perfectly capable of selecting the candidate you feel is best suited to this position."

His reply:

"I do not need your help, but I do want to know if you feel you are as capable as the other candidates graduating from top universities?"

My reply:

"I have absolutely no idea, nor do I care if I am more or less capable than them. I did not fly 2000 miles to talk about other candidates."

His reply:

"Well, this position requires a candidate with a high intellectual capacity and ability to operate under pressure."

My reply:

"Well then, your interview process can be made very simple. Make us all sit IQ tests, highest score gets the job."

Interview did not last long, he started complaining about my resume and the university I got my first degree from was not as good as Ivy League (it was from Imperial College London), I got up and said to him I did not fly all this way to talk about bullshit - either we talk business or I leave. He said, well leave then. I left ...

I did not get the job!
post #17 of 53
Thread Starter 
Well definitely not a surprise that you didn't get the job, right? That question was one of the question that I had too. Basically I answered and said that I knew the company more than other candidates because I have worked for them several summers, and that I am proactive and I make things happen instead of letting things happen. Of course not in everyone's case that you would already have had your foot in the door, but saying that you didn't fly all the way to do -insert action- is definitely not the best answer.
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klobber View Post

Not quite related, but I was once asked during an interview
"What do you think would make you more well qualified for this job than the other candidates"?
My reply:
"errrr, ummmmm, errrrr, I have not met the other candidates, so I cannot comment on their abilities".
His reply:
"Well we have three candidates with impressive resumes that have graduated from top universities."
My reply:
"Why do you need my help in selecting a candidate? I presume you are perfectly capable of selecting the candidate you feel is best suited to this position."
His reply:
"I do not need your help, but I do want to know if you feel you are as capable as the other candidates graduating from top universities?"
My reply:
"I have absolutely no idea, nor do I care if I am more or less capable than them. I did not fly 2000 miles to talk about other candidates."
His reply:
"Well, this position requires a candidate with a high intellectual capacity and ability to operate under pressure."
My reply:
"Well then, your interview process can be made very simple. Make us all sit IQ tests, highest score gets the job."
Interview did not last long, he started complaining about my resume and the university I got my first degree from was not as good as Ivy League (it was from Imperial College London), I got up and said to him I did not fly all this way to talk about bullshit - either we talk business or I leave. He said, well leave then. I left ...
I did not get the job!

That really isn't even a very offensive question. Most often they want to see how you think on your feet and how you can defend/explain yourself. If they flew you in 2000 miles at their expense, it isn't so they can make fun of your crappy degree and tell you how under-qualified you are.
post #19 of 53
Made me laugh though. Seems like it was pulled straight out of a sitcom or office space
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post

That really isn't even a very offensive question. Most often they want to see how you think on your feet and how you can defend/explain yourself. If they flew you in 2000 miles at their expense, it isn't so they can make fun of your crappy degree and tell you how under-qualified you are.

Precisely how I analyzed it. That interview was done about 10 years ago, I have matured somewhat since then. On the plane back home, I went round and round in my head what went wrong, why did I react badly etc... Indeed the guy only started making snide remarks over my degree because I drew first blood, and he thought "f*ck you then". Thats the only way I see it.

I have learnt to spot the questions that test your ability to think on your feet and henceforth offer a coherent answer. There is no right or wrong answer as such.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezlau View Post

Well definitely not a surprise that you didn't get the job, right? That question was one of the question that I had too. Basically I answered and said that I knew the company more than other candidates because I have worked for them several summers, and that I am proactive and I make things happen instead of letting things happen. Of course not in everyone's case that you would already have had your foot in the door, but saying that you didn't fly all the way to do -insert action- is definitely not the best answer.

That was a good answer. At the time, I knew jack all about the company, so could not offer any such wisdom. I have never been asked that question again though, for both corporate and academic jobs. It is a curious question, but that was probably a test of emotional intelligence. The interviewer would have known damn well I did not know the candidates, so me being super defensive / stating the obvious was fairly annoying to him - I saw a frown etched on his face from thereon. I have learnt good interview technique since though nod[1].gif - I call it a steep learning curve.
post #21 of 53
lol, Klobber, the more I read your responses, the more my jaw dropped. by the end, my tongue had rolled out onto the table
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFrog View Post

One question I asked everyone for every single interview that was well-received every single time was, "What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were in my position (as in any entry-level job in general, or the specific position you're applying for that the interviewer held previously but has been promoted since)?"
Most of the time, you'll get some pretty generic answers, but that's after the interviewers actually spend a couple seconds thinking in their heads what to say, as if they've been caught off guard. After a few seconds of more silence, they'll stall and say, "wow, that's a really good question.. hmm" and then they'll give you a pretty generic answer. The generic answer is not the point. The point is you've made an impression where you caught the interviewer off guard, in a good way.
I've noticed that the more senior the interviewer is (and older in age), the more generic the advice is. It tends to be more general in nature and kind of life-specific; not specific to the position you're interviewing for. The younger interviewers tend to give you the position-specific advice.
Either way, it's a question that has been well received by everyone I've asked it to. I also tend to leave it as my last question, after already having asked some position/company-specific questions. It's a good closer question.

My interviews start in a few days, will definitely use this. Thanks!
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevent View Post

My interviews start in a few days, will definitely use this. Thanks!

+1. but what are the odds that the person interviewing you actually held the same position youre applying for. transitions are so common place these days that I doubt this question is directly applicable. maybe im just over thinking this
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAMOR View Post

+1. but what are the odds that the person interviewing you actually held the same position youre applying for. transitions are so common place these days that I doubt this question is directly applicable. maybe im just over thinking this

I'm applying for my first job through campus recruiting so a lot of the interviewers / recruiters are alum or at least younger than 30. Mostly similar positions for me at least I think
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevent View Post

I'm applying for my first job through campus recruiting so a lot of the interviewers / recruiters are alum or at least younger than 30. Mostly similar positions for me at least I think

good point. I have an interview next week for an "experienced hire" position so ill try to modify the question. I was at a recruiting event at a local university just a few weeks ago and someone asked me the same question. I just calmly replied with an "ummm," smiled, and then tried to answer in a way that I wouldnt hurt the company... lol
post #26 of 53
Ask what happened to the person you are replacing.

I had a professor who said he would even go so far as to flat out ask if the company had sued the person he was going to replace.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAMOR View Post

lol, Klobber, the more I read your responses, the more my jaw dropped. by the end, my tongue had rolled out onto the table

Oh I know a fellow that did far worse than me. When I was an academic, a guy who used to be senior lecturer at Cambridge University interviewed for the position of Associate Professor at the University I worked for. He did have a small niggle on his resume, namely he seemed allergic to publications and he only had a few (albeit they were all good publications). When quizzed on this, he said during interview that he was better than all the professors at our University, and made a particular point of highlighting names, two of whom were on the interview panel lol8[1].gif. Needless to say the they were not impressed and he was not offered the job.

I did believe this guy's claims, he was in the same research area as me and his work was excellent. But he was damaged goods - he had been burned by the system and still had not figured out how to play it. Academia works much like the African savannah, a good piece of research is like a great piece of meat ripe for being devoured by the other lions and hyenas.

A stupid lion lets other lions know where he keeps his meat, an even more stupid lion also tells the hyenas where to find this meat, and a criminally insane lion tells everyone about this meat but leaves it out in the open unprotected. This "former" Cambridge professor fell in the latter category - his own invention/discovery he cannot claim to be his own anymore and it is named after someone else. Such a shame, this Cambridge guy could not publish any paper linked to that idea and all subsequent publications he attempted in adjacent but correlated areas were rejected frown.gif. His name became worth mud. Nature has a cruel sense of justice.
post #28 of 53
Also anything I need to do for prenights?
post #29 of 53
Thread Starter 
^ Other than the fact that you should be present, take note of some key things that they talked about. I have had personal experience where the interviewer asked if I was at their info-session/prenights last night, and what strike out/ caught my attention the most. I mentioned something about this mentor/mentee program that they do which I think is really helpful and interesting for my personal growth within the company. Instant impress and I got a 2nd interview offer within 3 days time.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezlau View Post

^ Other than the fact that you should be present, take note of some key things that they talked about. I have had personal experience where the interviewer asked if I was at their info-session/prenights last night, and what strike out/ caught my attention the most. I mentioned something about this mentor/mentee program that they do which I think is really helpful and interesting for my personal growth within the company. Instant impress and I got a 2nd interview offer within 3 days time.

Ok thanks for the info!
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