Classic Interview Questions and Answers
What sort of person would you most like to work for?
Alternative and related questions:
Can you tell me about the best boss you’ve ever had?
Putting yourself in your manager’s shoes, what is the best way to manage you?
The meaning behind the question:
Along the same lines as the previous question, the interviewer is looking to identify how well you are likely to fit in with your manager. If your prospective manager differs significantly from the description you give then it’s going to raise questions in the interviewer’s mind as to how well you are likely to be able to work together.
You should also be aware that the way you answer this question can reveal a lot about what sort of a person you will be to manage.
It’s best to avoid going into too much detail and giving too precise a description. Try to keep your answer broad so that it is unlikely to exclude too many people. Horoscopes are carefully written so as to sound meaningful and yet remain as vague as possible – so that they can be seen to be pertinent by as many people as possible. You want to adopt the same tactic.
By phrasing your answer carefully, you can also score a few discreet points with regard to what sort of a person you are like to work with. Try to convey the impression that you’d most like to work for someone who was a lot like you – and then give a positive description of that person.
I’d most like to work for someone who has the same approach as I do to getting things done – planning, organization and action. Also, I’m always keen to take on new duties and responsibilities so I’d welcome a manager who was prepared to give me the chance to continue my professional development. Besides this, a good manager is of course always approachable, supportive and sensitive to the needs of their team; while I’m good at working on my own initiative, every team needs a leader to give it direction.
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More classic interview questions and answers
How would you describe yourself? / How would your boss/colleagues/team/family/friends describe you?
In what ways are you a team player?
Do you work well on your own initiative?
What techniques do you use to get things done?
What motivates you?
Are you proactive?
Are you creative?
Are you a risk-taker?
How do you handle pressure and stress?
Can you tell me about a time when you have failed to achieve a goal?
What's the worst mistake you've made at work and how did you deal with it?
How would you handle the following situation?
Can you tell me about a major project you have successfully completed?
Can you tell me about a major problem at work that you've had to deal with?
We have a problem with x. How would you resolve that?
What do you do when you disagree with your line manager?
How would you describe yourself as a manager?
Can you give me an example of when you have successfully coached a member of your team?
What is your customer service philosophy?
How did you get your last job?
What does your current job involve on a day-to-day basis?
What contribution do you make to the department in which you work?
What changes have you made to your current job role since you started?
What have you learned in your last job?
Can you tell me about your last appraisal?
How would you describe your current boss?
Why did you leave that job?
Which of your jobs was the best?
Why is there a gap in your resume/CV?
What do you know about us as an organization?
What do you know about our products/services?
What do you think are our organization's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
What do you know about the vacancy for which you are applying?
How do your skills and experience match the job description/person specification?
What appeals to you most about this vacancy?
Why have you chosen this line of work?
Are there any other organizations to which you are applying?
How does this job compare to others for which you are applying?
Can you describe your ideal employer to me?
What sort of person would you most like to work for?
In what ways is your degree relevant to the work you are now doing?
What have you learned and how have you developed over the last year/five years?
What sports are you/have you been involved in?
Do you know what the current headline news is?
How quickly can you adapt to a new work environment?
Would it be a problem if we asked you to work overtime/evenings/weekends?
What is your current salary package?
What salary package are you expecting for this role?
When would you be available to start?
Do you mind if we contact your current employer for a reference?
Author: James Innes