FAQ: My answers to some typical interview questions.

Below are my answers to some typical and common interview questions. Some may be blank, but those will be answered at some point in time. Now that we have the boring questions answered, let’s talk.

  1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

I am an observer. While I am new to an environment, I prefer to observe the locals to learn how they greet one another and to establish expectations, etc. I am also an academic. Learning new skills and theories is a passion of mine. I am also working on becoming a philosopher. Much of my past time is spent in inner thought. Thinking about how things are. Thinking about how things could be. Deciding what I want to incorporate into my being.

Because I am an observer, this may make me come off as intimidated. Depending on how much information I am being bombarded with, this may be so if just a little. I assure you though, I am making diplomatic, professional, and social calculations. What and how things should be said and to whom.

  1. Why should we hire you?

You should hire me because of who I am. I am an observer, academic, and philosopher. You need someone who takes in the world around them, learns from it, applies the good and improves the not so good. I applied for the job because I believe I am qualified and it will enrich my life. I have made it this far into the hiring process because someone felt that I might be qualified. So is the same with all the other candidates.

You should hire me because you can stand to be around me for large quantities of time. After all, if hired, we will have to spend a large chunk of our days together several times a week for years to come.

You should also hire me because you value my thought process which has been derived by who I am. I take in new information. Compare it to the old. Mold it and knead it in my mind.

  1. What are your greatest professional strengths?

My greatest professionals strengths include the desire to be challenged, thoughtful communication, and my determination. I will not thrive in a position that can be mastered in a only a day or two, nor in one where that is the expectation. I need to have reasonable challenge in my career. Give me tasks where thought must be applied, where it is not just plug-and-play.

If thought is needed, I can provide it. Reports on thoughts, ideas, and findings–such talents I provide. Mingling and small talk intimidate me, but reports and presentations is where I thrive. That thoughtfulness is best used to create reports or presentations to interpret data and add philosophical or moral insight.  

I am determined. Determined to be successful. To be successful at the day to day tasks. Successful in learning and refining new skills. Successful at life. That determination is used to bring success to those around me as well. For my success is not necessarily someone else’s failure, and in some cases, someone else’s failure is my own. This determination creates the need and desire to play my role well.

  1. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

Oh, where to begin. As human being I am greatly flawed. One of my weaknesses is that I have not fully accepted that. It makes me angry when I don’t live up to my own and others expectations. For instance, in grade school I went to a mathematics event that the local university was putting on. We were at a black board and the first person to write the correct answer won a point. I recall that there was a question I was too slow on due to a brain fart. That resulted in a double stomp. I no longer express my frustration in such ways, but the frustrations and disappointment are still there.

I know I am not perfect. It is something I am still dealing with, but also sometimes I wonder if my success thus far is also a fluke. Concerning academics, I am confident in my abilities. My instructors made certain there was at least one aspect of the courses that could be applied outside of class. Still, I am still learning my capabilities in the workplace, learning how to communicate those capabilities and so on.

  1. What is your greatest professional achievement?

As a business student at St. Gregory’s University, I had to write a management analysis as part of my capstone. Leading up to that, I wrote an analysis focusing on other aspects of business for other course. Studying one company over a two or three year time period leading up to the capstone. The company I was studying was purchased just before the start of my capstone, and became ineligible for study because it was no longer traded on the open market.

This gave me but a few months to do two years of research. I was one of three out of 17 students who passed the written portion on the first round. This showed me that not only could I handle deadlines, but I could also handle intense pressure and unforeseen unfair obstacles.

  1. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.

While with a previous employer, I felt like I was not given the support I needed to do my job effectively. In many cases there was contradicting information regarding what clients should be billed. There was not a good form of communications regarding the addition of new clients or the changing of billing parameters. This lead to errors in billing for which I was responsible. This lead to excessive anxiety. Ultimately, I quit.

That was the best decision for me and my health at the time. Upon reflection, I have learned a lot about how that went oh so wrong. Lack of communication. I never developed the relationship I needed with my manager, as a result I didn’t bring forth my concerns, difficulties, etc with her. Though I felt she was unreachable for such conversations, it is on me for not bring it up with her. This is a great regret for me. She would have been an amazing mentor.

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I want to have my masters in economics. Game theory is something I want to study, along with several other fields of study under economics. My employment situation over the next three years will greatly influence other aspects of my study. Ultimately though, this degree is solely for me, myself, and I. This is to better me and me alone, though I will gladly apply my new found knowledge toward bettering your business as well.

  1. What’s your dream job?

My dream job is one where my point of view is greatly desired and seeked. Over the next lifetime, I will be developing my analytical skills and philosophies and such. I want to help create a better world for us all. That can only be accomplished in feasible and sustainable ways. My dream job is one where I can work toward this.

  1. What are you looking for in a new position?

I am looking for a new position that will allow me to not only use my financial education, but also grow it. My background may not 100% meet all of your qualifications, but I am willing to learn if you give me the chance. I am looking for a position that will allow me to grow as an individual and a professional.

 

  1. What type of work environment do you prefer?

My ideal work environment is one where I have personal space but can easily interact with team mates. Quiet but not silent. Relaxed. Organized and structured. It would also be nice if I could work off site a few times a month whether it be for personal or professional reasons.

Though a week long vacation two or three times a years sounds great, I would prefer to be able to work off site occasionally. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery for a short while. Work for a few hours in the morning checking in for updates. Go horseback riding on the beach. Work for a few hours early afternoon. Do some local entertainment thing. Work a few hours in the evening. Do some stargazing. Or, just travel out of state to visit family on a Wednesday evening. Work the normal 9 to 5 at the breakfast table and enjoy visiting with family in the evening. Get back home Sunday night and back in the office Monday morning.

  1. What’s your management style?

 

  1. What’s a time you exercised leadership?
  2. What’s a time you disagreed with a decision what was made work?
  3. How would your boss and co-workers describe you?
  4. Why was there a gap in your employment?
  5. Can you explain why you changed career paths?
  6. How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
  7. What would your first 30, 60, or 90 days look like in this role?
  8. What are your salary requirements?

20. What do you like to do outside of work?

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