Target job interview questions and answers


1)What does your boss think of you?

You may refer to the strengths section. If appropriate do share that more than one boss has commented on the same strengths to demonstrate consistency and stability.

2)What are your friends and colleagues’ opinion of you?

You may refer to the strengths section. Add a dimension that you are a people-person who is approachable and get along well with others. Remember no man is an island and most workplaces call for teamwork.

3)What is your most memorable achievement in the last 12 months?

Share one achievement that shows transferable skills relevant to the job you had applied. Provide necessary details such as the background of the incident, people involved and the final outcome which should be positive. To add credibility, you may share that your boss gave you a pat on the shoulder or you were given merit increment or were promoted in the following performance review exercise.

4)What was the most difficult situation you faced at work recently and how did you handle it?

As usual, you should give background information pertaining to place, timeline, and people involved before proceeding to give the full story. Always end the story on a positive note and even enhanced it by stating valuable lesson you had learned from it or your working relationship with your team was strengthened as a result of it.

5) What contribution have you made in your present/last employment?

You may refer to memorable achievement and difficult situation sections. What do you least like and most like about your current/last employment?

This is again a tricky question where you are supposed to share positive and negative information about your current/last employment. Be tactful and do not go overboard. You may share that you like the fast work pace, teamwork but dislike it when it is off-peak or when you move on to a new team due to the new project but you still maintain contact with past team members.

6)Why do you want to leave?

Cite positive reasons relating to moving forward in your career. This would give the interviewers the impression that you are a forward-looking person. As a usual support, your answer with a real example like you have explored moving within your current company but there isn’t suitable opportunity in the next 6 – 12 months and instead of waiting you decided to explore external opportunities.

7)Why did you leave without a job?

People leave their last job for various reasons such as retrenchment, unable to get along with the boss, too much work and passed over for promotion. Try to present a positive reason for leaving similar to those in question 12. If you were indeed retrenched, be upfront about it and deflated the notion that the retrenchment exercise was done accordingly to performance. And if you have been not working for a couple of months, do share what you have been doing in the being time, such as participating in volunteering work or fulfilling a long time dream of learning to play a musical instrument. Bear in mind that you should come across as proactive and keen to gain employment.


Intentional Time Off


I often work with clients who have been laid off. They will sometimes tell me theyd like to take a couple weeks off to just rest and then get started on their job search.

I can relate. Like many of my clients, I have also been through a lay off and wanted to just catch my breath.

The problem is that often that two weeks flies by and becomes three, then four, then a few months have gone by, then to often, a year has rushed past. Strangely enough, you dont feel rested or like youve had a break. It just feels like youve wasted a lot of time and then the guilt sets in.

What I suggest to clients who feel they really would like to take a bit of time off prior to investigating options is to plan out what you will do and then when you will get back to it. Not only that, create a plan for what your job search will look like prior to taking a break.

Youre already in the swing of things and its much easier to craft a plan now than it will be after some time snoozing late and hanging out with the TV!

And about that instead of sleeping in and watching sitcoms, consider what helps you to feel truly rested and energized.

Does exercise help? Learning a new skill? Skiing? Getting a massage? Instead of spending your time, invest it in something that will truly nurture you and prepare you for your job search. For example, find a personal business coach to become more successful.

Planning out your rest may seem counter-intuitive, but it keeps you on a schedule. But isnt the point NOT to have a schedule? Well, not exactly. The point is to take a break. Continue to set your alarm it can be for a later time, but its a good habit to keep. Continue to exercise. Continue to eat healthy.

And when its time to get back to it, look to your plan and hop in. Get up at the time you would normally go to work and start your job search.