From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

October 2006
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Mid-career interview questions
Filed under: Interviewing
Posted by: site admin @ 11:08 am

In many of our interview workshops we mention that you can guess nearly
80 per cent of the questions you might be asked in an interview.  The
interview is not, however, simply a skills evaluation.  It is more.  This
is the case for mid-career professionals as well.  An interview also
establishes your fit into the new work environment and key performance
factors and motivations about which the interviewer(s) wish to learn. 

This post proposes to offer a link to a Wall Street Journal page containing
a nice list of questions one should prepare for.

In addition, some ideas about developing responses that might allow you to
be a practive participant in an interview, even if it is a panel where you may
be asked questions from several different perspectives.  It is key to prepare
and practice for interviews.

Know yourself and your key attributes and selling points.  Then develop an
style to respond to interview questions by delivering specific information,
followed by a link to either validate a skill point or ask a question of the
interviewer.  This will allow you to both learn interview the organization
and influence the direction of the conversation.

Prepare personal anecdotes with clear purposes.  We use the acronym
STAR (or CAR) stories  to help to mentally organize a story with a
purpose in less than a couple of minutes.  STAR representing “situation-
task undertaken-actions-results.”

Mid-career people also have the responsibility of revealing your value
to the organization and flexibility, organization, and savvy to perceive
things that are inferred.  This is the telling element of the STAR story. 
It is unlikely you have a story that fits every interview question. Realize
that the interviewer will really be interested in a limited range of topics. 
You can “morph” your story to these generalized topics.

Skilled interviewers pose open-ended questions, not to confuse the
person being interviewed, but to offer the person the chance to put
their mark on the conversation, understanding its purpose (bring in a
person who can do the job, wants the job, and will do the job) and
limitations (time, cost, and competition).  That means the person taking
the interview needs to gain information about the position and issues
in the company.  Then, having done the homework, provide tailored
responses about specific qualifications and how you can help.

Often challenging discussions of work history, in addition, need to be
well thought out and even practiced with a skilled and experienced
mentor.  “Why did you move so quickly?  Why did you stay so long? 
Why are you changing now?  Why did you fail to get a promotion?” 
are real questions with bearing on their decision to hire you.  Often,
taking the “high road” indicating the learning process for you or the
long term benefit of the organization can reveal a mature attitude
when delivered soberly and with sincerity.

Please look at the linked question list and offer your responses to
me how you might respond (or have responded) to some questions. 

This could be a valuable forum activity. 
Thank you in advance for participating.


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