Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 14th 2013 Contents B20
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, May 14, 2013
What Have You Learned From Your
When asked the job interview question "What have
you learned from your mistakes?" be sure to give exam-
ples that turn a negative (a mistake) into a postive.
Examples of good responses include:
I think one of the most important things I ve learned
is persistence. Not to give up too soon, because the
solution is probably right in front of me.
I have learned to give every person a second chance,
because first impressions can often be misleading.
I used to think that there was one best solution to
a problem, but I ve learned that that kind of thinking
limits the possibility of great success.
What Was Most / Least Rewarding?
Interview questions about what was most rewarding
and least rewarding can be tricky. You want to make
sure that the things you say are least rewarding aren t
responsibilities that are going to be a major part of the
job you are interviewing for.
For example, if the last job you had involved extensive
customer service telephone work that you hated, and
if being on the phone doing something similar is even
a minor part of the new job, don t mention it. Instead,
focus on the the tasks that were most rewarding and
When interviewing, always be cognisant of the job
you are interviewing for and tailor your response accord-
ingly. Try to accentuate the positive, regardless of what
question you have been asked, because you don t want
to be construed as someone who is negative about
work, in general.
What Was the Biggest Accomplishment in
Your potential employer will want to know what
you accomplished, and what you didn t, in your current
or last position.
The best way to respond is to give an example of
something you accomplished that is directly related to
the job you are interviewing for. Review your resume
and review the job posting. Find the best match and
use that to show how what you accomplished will be
beneficial to the company you are interviewing with.
If you wrote a targeted cover letter when applying
for the job use the information you included to create
For example, if you are interviewing for a job at a
school where you will need to manage student reg-
istration, explain to the interviewer how you registered
students for courses, designed and managed registration
software, and solved customer problems.
If you didn t fail at anything, say so. If you can think
of an example, be sure that it s a minor one and turn
it into a positive. For example, if you were working on
a project that was behind deadline, explain to the inter-
viewer how you adjusted the workload and the timeline
to get back on track and ahead of schedule.
What Was it Like Working for Your
A typical interview question is "What Was it Like
Working for Your Supervisor?" The reason it s asked
it to find out how you got along with your boss. Be
careful how your answer. Interviewers don t like to
hear too much (or much at all) about bad bosses because
it could be someone from their company that you re
talking about next time around.
I once had a job applicant who spent 10 minutes
responding to this question. She told me how awful
her boss was and how her company was a terrible
place to work. It so happened that her boss was a good
friend and golfing buddy of my boss---our company s
CEO---and the company was one of our biggest clients.
Of course, she didn t get the job.
Don t make the same mistake she did. Instead, accen-
tuate the positive and minimise any difficult situations.
Discuss the strengths your past supervisors had and
how they helped you succeed in your positions.
What Do You Expect From a Supervisor?
I appreciate a work environment where supervisors
try to make personal connections with their employ-
ees.In my last job, I liked the fact that management did
not show favouritism and they were under-
standing of employees needs, as well as their
strengths. Of course, these things take time
to know, but I would want my supervisor to
try to know me in that way.
I would like to be able to go my manager
feel comfortable to expressing my thoughts.
I would also expect my supervisor to be open
and honest with me and to let me know if
there is anything I could do to improve upon
or do differently in my work.
What Problems Have You
Encountered at Work and How Did
You Deal With Them?
Review sample answers to the interview
question "What problems have you encoun-
tered at work and how did you deal with
them?" When you respond, be sure to include
a positive outcome to the problems you ref-
erence in your answer.
I feel that the best way to deal with any
challenges is to meet them head on. When
I found that one of my colleagues was saying
things that weren t true behind my back, I
went to him and talked it through. It turned
out that he had misunderstood what I had
said, and I was able to set the record straight
with him, and my supervisor.
"Once I found a major flaw in the work
of one of the most senior members of the
department, which could have been very
costly to the company if it had been over-
looked. I went directly to him, and called it
to his attention so he could fix it before it
affected the final outcome.
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