Job Interview Questions and Answers
Question 26: Are you a self-starter?
The correct answer to this question is always "yes", and the ideal answer includes an example of how you are able to work with minimal supervision, keep your skills current without being told, or a time when you took it upon yourself to be more efficient, accurate or productive.
Example 1: "Yes, I am definitely a self-starter. When I worked at Acme Corporation, I was positive that the firm would be adopting a new operating system within a year, so I started taking classes at the local university at night in order to prepare myself. I was the only one in the office that knew how to operate the equipment when it was installed, so I was appointed trainer and subsequently trained 200 co-workers. I did receive a reward for my work on that project."
Example 2: "Yes, I am a self-starter. I am always thinking of ways I can improve office efficiency and help the company be more profitable. For example, a few years ago I noticed that the sales reps were having a very difficult time finding client files when they called. The sales reps would put clients on hold and spend sometimes as much as five minutes frantically trying to locate a file. I took it upon myself to design a file management system that enabled the sales reps to locate client files on their desktops in less than 15 seconds. This has made the office much more efficient and, of course, made both the sales reps and our clients much happier."
Question 27: How do you react to criticism from supervisors that you consider to be unjust?
The only correct way to answer this question is to present yourself as a person who can handle criticism without becoming angry, defensive, vengeful or arrogant, yet, not let others intimidate or blame you when you don't deserve it. Example: "There was a time when I was deeply hurt when a supervisor pointed out a mistake I made or an area in which I needed to improve and felt somewhat defensive. However, through the years, I have learned that no one is perfect; everyone makes mistakes and needs to improve in certain areas, so I shouldn't take criticism so personally. Therefore, I have learned to take it on the chin without becoming defensive or feeling hurt. I just take a few days to think about what was said and if I feel the criticism is warranted, I take steps to improve my performance. If I feel the criticism was unjustified, I will sit down with my supervisor and calmly discuss the reasons why I feel the criticism was unjustified."