Job Interviews   >   Questions 40, 41, 42, 43, and 44
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Job Interview Questions and Answers

Question 40:  Tell me what you do on a typical day at work. 

The interviewer is trying to discover (1) if you exaggerated the job duties listed on your resume and/or (2) if you have the necessary experience to do the job for them.  Therefore, your answer should emphasize duties one would perform in the job you're trying to get.  If you can, reread the job description and emphasize the job duties listed there.

Good answer:  "On a typical day, I arrive at work around 7:30 and look over various departmental reports in order to prepare myself for the morning meeting with the sales staff.  From 8:30 to 10:00, I meet with a 30 member sales staff.  We have training sessions, motivational sessions; we discuss problems and try to resolve them.  From 10:00 to noon, I'm on the phone, chatting with various, clients, department heads, and government agencies.  In the afternoon, I'm either out in the field, visiting various stores in the area or attending meetings with clients."

Question 41:  Why do you want to leave your present employer?

You could state that you want a more challenging position, higher salary, or more responsibility.  Don't mention personal conflicts with your present boss or bad- mouth your current employer or co-workers as this will harm your chances of being offered the job.  Keep in mind that interviewers love people who are looking for more challenging positions or responsibility because it shows drive, ambition and motivation.

Question 42:  What did your last supervisor criticize most about your performance?

A good way to answer this question is to offer a criticism you received that is not very important or not directly related to the position you're applying for.  For example, telling the interviewer that you were constantly criticized for coming to work an hour late is not a good idea.   However, revealing a minor criticism and telling the interviewer what steps you took to improve yourself is a good way to answer this question.  In fact, if you can state that you have already solved the problem and received a higher mark on a subsequent performance review, then say so. 

Question 43:  Have you ever been fired or asked to resign? 

When answering this question, keep in mind that the interviewer knows that almost everyone has been fired at least once and it is usually due to a personality conflict with the boss or coworkers.  So, if you have been fired then admit it, but do so without attacking your former boss or employer, and without sounding defensive or bitter.  Do not mention that you have been fired many times unless asked specifically, "How many times have you been fired?" 

Have a sense of humor when discussing your firings so that the interviewer doesn't get the idea you are a nut who might come back to the workplace with an assault rifle if you're fired.   Tell the interviewer what you learned from being fired.  If you have been fired many times, mention what steps you have taken to improve yourself (i.e., I have read self-help books about . . . getting along with others . . . improving my time management . . . improving knowledge, work habits, etc.).  Also, point out any past jobs you held when you got along well with your boss and coworkers or received good performance reviews or a promotion. 

Question 44.  Who was your favorite boss and why?  Who was your least favorite boss and why?

These are two of the most difficult interview questions to answer unless you understand what the interviewer wants to hear, and if you realize that you can answer both questions with the same answer.  Employers are looking for employees who are interested in contributing to the company and improving their job skills.  So, instead of insulting or demeaning your past bosses by telling the interviewer that he was always "hogging all the credit" or was "totally incompetent", state that you wished he had offered you more feedback about your job performance, provided you with more job training, or challenged you more by providing you with more opportunities to show what you can do, etc.  

You can answer the question, "who was your favorite boss and why?" using the same answer:  "John Doe was my favorite boss because he offered me lots of feedback about my job performance, taught me almost everything I know about marketing, and gave me plenty of opportunities to prove myself by giving me very challenging projects to complete."  

Never put down your past employers or blame them for anything in a demeaning or insulting way, since it makes you come across as petty.

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