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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Important IQ

1.What are your goals?

I break down goals into short-term goals, with the long term in

mind. Right now I’m looking for a position in a company with a

solid track record. I want to contribute to a team, bringing my

extensive experience in this field to add to the team mix. Long term

goals will depend on the career path available at the company.

Ideally, I would like to move progressively within a


2.What are your strengths?

My strengths are a combination of my technical skills and my

ability to work with a variety of customers. I consider myself a

data-mining expert, but what makes me stand out from the competition

is my ability to work directly with customers and get to

the root of the problem. I can break down complex issues into

simple, understandable concepts and language so that the customers

can understand what I am saying. I have received customer

service awards in the technical area for the last two years.


A good way to prepare for the “strengths” question is to do an assessment

of what you have to offer. This means not only your knowledgebased

skills (experience and education) but also the skills that are used

in almost any job—transferable or portable skills (communication

skills, time management skills, problem-solving skills).

3.What is your greatest weakness?

Good:Weaknesses are not something that I dwell on. I know I could

improve on my patience when working with people who don’t

work at the same pace as I do. What I have found is that by helping

members of the team who are having problems, I can move

projects forward instead of being frustrated and doing nothing.

Avg:I am a person who likes to get the job done correctly the first

time. I become very frustrated when other people’s work affects

my ability to do my job correctly. I’ve been working on trying to

be more understanding and finding out what the problem is

before I pass judgment.


(C) My weakness is working too hard to get the job done. Because of

the workload, I have to work many evenings and weekends so

that projects meet deadlines. I’m trying to work smarter and not



The “weakness” question is the most dreaded question of all. In

answering this question it is best to avoid saying that you are weak

in any areas that would affect your job performance (as seen in the

job positing). For example, “My time management skills need some

improving” would be a poor thing to say because you are admitting

that you may not be able to do the job.

4.When have you been most motivated?

Last year I was involved in a project that was very exciting. I was

assigned to work with a team, and we had to brainstorm about a

product that was not being received well by the consumers. I

would wake up in the morning thinking of creative ways to overcome

our problem. The especially great part of this project was

the team I was working with. The team and the creative problem

solving are what make a difference in my motivation.

5.How would you describe your personality?

I am a high-energy person who is motivated by new challenges

and problems. I can hit the ground running and come up to

speed faster than anyone I know. I have a proven record of success

and a reputation for meeting deadlines on time. My attitude

about work is “whatever it takes to get the job done.” Anyone in

my department would tell you that I am someone who really

supports the team spirit.


Describing your personality is like writing an ad for a product. What

makes you unique? Making a list of your specific personality traits

is a good exercise to prepare for an interview.

6.Have you ever been fired?

Good : One of the managers who reported to me made a big mistake that

caused the company to lose a great deal of money. Because I was

his boss, we were both fired. At first I did not think this was fair.

I now realize that the man was under my supervision and that it

was on my shift, and I take full responsibility for what happened.

I have put the incident behind me and am looking forward to

moving on to new opportunities.


I made a mistake in judgment that went against company policy

and was fired. I’m not proud of what I did and was hard on myself

about the mistake, but I also learned a lot from the incident. There

is no point holding on to the past. I will be more careful about my

actions in the future. I am ready for a second chance and know that

I will be a better employee because of this experience.


People get fired every day. They move on and get new jobs. No matter

what the circumstances, it is best to put it behind you. Deal with

your feelings about the firing before the interview, and as you prepare

your script, you will feel more confident and less emotional

about the situation.

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