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05/31/10
Interview Question. Least enjoyable aspect of last position
Filed under: Interviewing, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 12:47 pm

Recently was asked the following:

“Dan,

…I am completing an on-line application for a position
which I have … had two phone interviews.  I have an
in-person interview next week.

What is the best response to the following question:
What did you enjoy least about your last 3 positions?
….
M”

RESPONSE:

“Hi M,
…When I consider your question, I find it challenging
and one that needs to be honest.  I think of four classes
of cases:
1.  decisions that affect us
2.  decisions you have to make affecting others
3.  hard problems that do not have absolute ‘right answers’ or
involve choosing to minimize losses.
4.  investigating the actions of others in a severe problem

CHANGING PROJECTS
Perhaps it has occurred to you that you have been on projects
developing, improving or making a process or product
manufacturable.  Then, you are taken off the project before it
is completed or implemented.  Business conditions may cause
this
or finances may force the decision.  You might indicate that
you
were convinced of the decision when your boss described
the factors
what the decision was being made.

CHOOSING PEOPLE TO LET GO AND LETTING THEM GO
When I worked for a company and was tasked to reduce
staffing of one or more in my group.  Describe the decision
process
and how you communicated it to upper management. 
Then, describe
how you served the notice to the severed
person(s).


PROJECT MANAGEMENT WHERE YOU NEED TO
MINIMIZE NEGATIVE EFFECTS
M, we can look at all sorts of product management and
project
management difficult problems.  Consider major
catastrophes, like
oil spills, where almost anything that is done
is too little, too late.
  Raw material changes and management,
cost and time implications
of changes in a project charter, and
changes in product end use
(thus changing product or process
specifications) are possible
examples.

INVESTIGATING, AS MANAGEMENT, EITHER
DEATH OR A SEVERE ACCIDENT WHEN NO ONE
WISHES TO ADMIT WRONG-DOING OR CUTTING
CORNERS.
We stress in one-on-one interviews that we want to
know the facts and circumstances so that we can
understand and prevent it from happening again.
Sometimes, it is hard for workers to respond to an
inquiry, when they think they are being personally
indicted.  We also need to stress the importance of
suspending judgment or making unwarranted assumptions.

We need to honestly portray a separation between
investigation and finding fault.

M, in each of these situations, reveal
   your integrity
   the importance of getting the facts and knowing the
truth, and
   that you can be called upon to make difficult decisions
with a human face and with empathy.

I am sure you have true experiences of this sort.  If
you wish to share your stories or pose follow-up
questions, don’t hesitate.”

  

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