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INTERVIEW TIPS

General Guidelines in Answering Interview Questions

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Everyone is nervous on interviews. If you simply allow yourself to feel nervous, you’ll do much better. Remember also that it’s difficult for the interviewer as well.
In general, be upbeat and positive. Never be negative.
Rehearse your answers and time them. Never talk for more than 2 minutes straight.
Don’t try to memorize answers word for word. Use the answers shown here as a guide only, and don’t be afraid to include your own thoughts and words. To help you remember key concepts, jot down and review a few key words for each answer. Rehearse your answers frequently, and they will come to you naturally in interviews.
As you will read in the accompanying report, the single most important strategy in interviewing, as in all phases of your job search, is what we call: “The Greatest Executive Job Finding Secret.” And that is…
Find out what people want, than show them how you can help them get it.
Find out what an employer wants most in his or her ideal candidate, then show how you meet those qualifications.
In other words, you must match your abilities, with the needs of the employer. You must sell what the buyer is buying. To do that, before you know what to emphasize in your answers, you must find out what the buyer is buying… what he is looking for. And the best way to do that is to ask a few questions yourself.
You will see how to bring this off skillfully as you read the first two questions of this report. But regardless of how you accomplish it, you must remember this strategy above all: before blurting out your qualifications, you must get some idea of what the employer wants most. Once you know what he wants, you can then present your qualifications as the perfect “key” that fits the “lock” of that position.
1 Other important interview strategies:
2 Turn weaknesses into strengths (You’ll see how to do this in a few moments.)
3 Think before you answer. A pause to collect your thoughts is a hallmark of a thoughtful person.
As a daily exercise, practice being more optimistic. For example, try putting a positive spin on events and situations you would normally regard as negative. This is not meant to turn you into a Pollyanna, but to sharpen your selling skills. The best salespeople, as well as the best liked interview candidates, come off as being naturally optimistic, “can do” people. You will dramatically raise your level of attractiveness by daily practicing to be more optimistic.
Be honest…never lie.
Keep an interview diary. Right after each interview note what you did right, what could have gone a little better, and what steps you should take next with this contact. Then take those steps. Don’t be like the 95% of humanity who say they will follow up on something, but never do.

Question 1 : Tell me about yourself.
TRAPS: Beware; about 80% of all interviews begin with this “innocent” question. Many candidates, unprepared for the question, skewer themselves by rambling, recapping their life story, delving into ancient work history or personal matters.
BEST ANSWER: Start with the present and tell why you are well qualified for the position. Remember that the key to all successful interviewing is to match your qualifications to what the interviewer is looking for. In other words you must sell what the buyer is buying. This is the single most important strategy in job hunting.
So, before you answer this or any question it’s imperative that you try to uncover your interviewer’s greatest need, want, problem or goal.
To do so, make you take these two steps:
1. Do all the homework you can before the interview to uncover this person’s wants and needs (not the generalized needs of the industry or company)
2. As early as you can in the interview, ask for a more complete description of what the position entails. You might say: “I have a number of accomplishments I’d like to tell you about, but I want to make the best use of our time together and talk directly to your needs. To help me do, that, could you tell me more about the most important priorities of this position? All I know is what I (heard from the recruiter, read in the classified ad, etc.)”
Then, ALWAYS follow-up with a second and possibly, third question, to draw out his needs even more. Surprisingly, it’s usually this second or third question that unearths what the interviewer is most looking for.
You might ask simply, “And in addition to that?…” or, “Is there anything else you see as essential to success in this position?:
This process will not feel easy or natural at first, because it is easier simply to answer questions, but only if you uncover the employer’s wants and needs will your answers make the most sense. Practice asking these key questions before giving your answers, the process will feel more natural and you will be light years ahead of the other job candidates you’re competing with.
After uncovering what the employer is looking for, describe why the needs of this job bear striking parallels to tasks you’ve succeeded at before. Be sure to illustrate with specific examples of your responsibilities and especially your achievements, all of which are geared to present yourself as a perfect match for the needs he has just described.

Question 2 : What are your greatest strengths?
TRAPS: This question seems like a softball lob, but be prepared. You don’t want to come across as egotistical or arrogant. Neither is this a time to be humble.
BEST ANSWER: You know that your key strategy is to first uncover your interviewer’s greatest wants and needs before you answer questions. And from Question 1, you know how to do this.
Prior to any interview, you should have a list mentally prepared of your greatest strengths. You should also have, a specific example or two, which illustrates each strength, an example chosen from your most recent and most impressive achievements.
You should, have this list of your greatest strengths and corresponding examples from your achievements so well committed to memory that you can recite them cold after being shaken awake at 2:30AM.
Then, once you uncover your interviewer’s greatest wants and needs, you can choose those achievements from your list that best match up.
As a general guideline, the 10 most desirable traits that all employers love to see in their employees are:
1. A proven track record as an achiever…especially if your achievements match up with the employer’s greatest wants and needs.
2. Intelligence…management “savvy”.
3. Honesty…integrity…a decent human being.
4. Good fit with corporate culture…someone to feel comfortable with…a team player who meshes well with interviewer’s team.
5. Likeability…positive attitude…sense of humor.
6. Good communication skills.
7. Dedication…willingness to walk the extra mile to achieve excellence.
8. Definiteness of purpose…clear goals.
9. Enthusiasm…high level of motivation.
10. Confident…healthy…a leader.

Question 3 : What are your greatest weaknesses?
TRAPS: Beware – this is an eliminator question, designed to shorten the candidate list. Any admission of a weakness or fault will earn you an “A” for honesty, but an “F” for the interview.
POSSIBLE ANSWER: Disguise a strength as a weakness.
Example: “I sometimes push my people too hard. I like to work with a sense of urgency and everyone is not always on the same wavelength.”
Drawback: This strategy is better than admitting a flaw, but it’s so widely used, it is transparent to any experienced interviewer.
BEST ANSWER: (and another reason it’s so important to get a thorough description of your interviewer’s needs before you answer questions): Assure the interviewer that you can think of nothing that would stand in the way of your performing in this position with excellence. Then, quickly review you strongest qualifications.
Example: “Nobody’s perfect, but based on what you’ve told me about this position, I believe I’ d make an outstanding match. I know that when I hire people, I look for two things most of all. Do they have the qualifications to do the job well, and the motivation to do it well? Everything in my background shows I have both the qualifications and a strong desire to achieve excellence in whatever I take on. So I can say in all honesty that I see nothing that would cause you even a small concern about my ability or my strong desire to perform this job with excellence.”
Alternate strategy (if you don’t yet know enough about the position to talk about such a perfect fit):
Instead of confessing a weakness, describe what you like most and like least, making sure that what you like most matches up with the most important qualification for success in the position, and what you like least is not essential.
Example: Let’s say you’re applying for a teaching position. “If given a choice, I like to spend as much time as possible in front of my prospects selling, as opposed to shuffling paperwork back at the office. Of course, I long ago learned the importance of filing paperwork properly, and I do it conscientiously. But what I really love to do is sell (if your interviewer were a sales manager, this should be music to his ears.)

Question 4 : The “Silent Treatment”
TRAPS: Beware – if you are unprepared for this question, you will probably not handle it right and possibly blow the interview. Thank goodness most interviewers don’t employ it. It’s normally used by those determined to see how you respond under stress. Here’s how it works:
You answer an interviewer’s question and then, instead of asking another, he just stares at you in a deafening silence.
You wait, growing a bit uneasy, and there he sits, silent as Mt. Rushmore, as if he doesn’t believe what you’ve just said, or perhaps making you feel that you’ve unwittingly violated some cardinal rule of interview etiquette.
When you get this silent treatment after answering a particularly difficult question , such as “tell me about your weaknesses”, its intimidating effect can be most disquieting, even to polished job hunters.
Most unprepared candidates rush in to fill the void of silence, viewing prolonged, uncomfortable silences as an invitation to clear up the previous answer which has obviously caused some problem. And that’s what they do – ramble on, sputtering more and more information, sometimes irrelevant and often damaging, because they are suddenly playing the role of someone who’s goofed and is now trying to recoup. But since the candidate doesn’t know where or how he goofed, he just keeps talking, showing how flustered and confused he is by the interviewer’s unmovable silence.
BEST ANSWER: Like a primitive tribal mask, the Silent Treatment loses all it power to frighten you once you refuse to be intimidated. If your interviewer pulls it, keep quiet yourself for a while and then ask, with sincere politeness and not a trace of sarcasm, “Is there anything else I can fill in on that point?” That’s all there is to it.
Whatever you do, don’t let the Silent Treatment intimidate you into talking a blue streak, because you could easily talk yourself out of the position.

Question 5 : Why should I hire you?
TRAPS: Believe it or not, this is a killer question because so many candidates are unprepared for it. If you stammer or adlib you’ve blown it.
BEST ANSWER: By now you can see how critical it is to apply the overall strategy of uncovering the employer’s needs before you answer questions. If you know the employer’s greatest needs and desires, this question will give you a big leg up over other candidates because you will give him better reasons for hiring you than anyone else is likely to…reasons tied directly to his needs.
Whether your interviewer asks you this question explicitly or not, this is the most important question of your interview because he must answer this question favorably in is own mind before you will be hired. So help him out! Walk through each of the position’s requirements as you understand them, and follow each with a reason why you meet that requirement so well.
Example: “As I understand your needs, you are first and foremost looking for someone who can manage the sales and marketing of your book publishing division. As you’ve said you need someone with a strong background in trade book sales. This is where I’ve spent almost all of my career, so I’ve chalked up 18 years of experience exactly in this area. I believe that I know the right contacts, methods, principles, and successful management techniques as well as any person can in our industry.”
“You also need someone who can expand your book distribution channels. In my prior post, my innovative promotional ideas doubled, then tripled, the number of outlets selling our books. I’m confident I can do the same for you.”
“You need someone to give a new shot in the arm to your mail order sales, someone who knows how to sell in space and direct mail media. Here, too, I believe I have exactly the experience you need. In the last five years, I’ve increased our mail order book sales from $600,000 to $2,800,000, and now we’re the country’s second leading marketer of scientific and medical books by mail.” Etc., etc., etc.,
Every one of these selling “couplets” (his need matched by your qualifications) is a touchdown that runs up your score. IT is your best opportunity to outsell your competition.

Question 6 : Where do you see yourself five years from now?
TRAPS: One reason interviewers ask this question is to see if you’re settling for this position, using it merely as a stopover until something better comes along. Or they could be trying to gauge your level of ambition.
If you’re too specific, i.e., naming the promotions you someday hope to win, you’ll sound presumptuous. If you’re too vague, you’ll seem rudderless.
BEST ANSWER: Reassure your interviewer that you’re looking to make a long-term commitment…that this position entails exactly what you’re looking to do and what you do extremely well. As for your future, you believe that if you perform each job at hand with excellence, future opportunities will take care of themselves.
Example: “I am definitely interested in making a long-term commitment to my next position. Judging by what you’ve told me about this position, it’s exactly what I’m looking for and what I am very well qualified to do. In terms of my future career path, I’m confident that if I do my work with excellence, opportunities will inevitable open up for me. It’s always been that way in my career, and I’m confident I’ll have similar opportunities here.”

Question 7 : The “Fatal Flaw” question
TRAPS: If an interviewer has read your resume carefully, he may try to zero in on a “fatal flaw” of your candidacy, perhaps that you don’t have a college degree…you’ve been out of the job market for some time…you never earned your CPA, etc.
A fatal flaw question can be deadly, but usually only if you respond by being overly defensive.
BEST ANSWERS: As every master salesperson knows, you will encounter objections (whether stated or merely thought) in every sale. They’re part and parcel of the buyer’s anxiety. The key is not to exacerbate the buyer’s anxiety but diminish it. Here’s how…
Whenever you come up against a fatal flaw question:
1. Be completely honest, open and straightforward about admitting the shortcoming. (Showing you have nothing to hide diminishes the buyer’s anxiety.)
2. Do not apologize or try to explain it away. You know that this supposed flaw is nothing to be concerned about, and this is the attitude you want your interviewer to adopt as well.
3. Add that as desirable as such a qualification might be, its lack has made you work all the harder throughout your career and has not prevented you from compiling an outstanding tack record of achievements. You might even give examples of how, through a relentless commitment to excellence, you have consistently outperformed those who do have this qualification.
Of course, the ultimate way to handle “fatal flaw” questions is to prevent them from arising in the first place. You will do that by following the master strategy described in Question 1, i.e., uncovering the employers needs and them matching your qualifications to those needs.
Once you’ve gotten the employer to start talking about his most urgently-felt wants and goals for the position, and then help him see in step-by-step fashion how perfectly your background and achievements match up with those needs, you’re going to have one very enthusiastic interviewer on your hands, one who is no longer looking for “fatal flaws”.

Question 8 : Are you willing to relocate or travel?
TRAPS: Answer with a flat “no” and you may slam the door shut on this opportunity. But what if you’d really prefer not to relocate or travel, yet wouldn’t want to lose the job offer over it?
BEST ANSWER: First find out where you may have to relocate and how much travel may be involved. Then respond to the question.
If there’s no problem, say so enthusiastically.
If you do have a reservation, there are two schools of thought on how to handle it.
One advises you to keep your options open and your reservations to yourself in the early going, by saying, “no problem”. You strategy here is to get the best offer you can, then make a judgment whether it’s worth it to you to relocate or travel.
Also, by the time the offer comes through, you may have other offers and can make a more informed decision. Why kill of this opportunity before it has chance to blossom into something really special? And if you’re a little more desperate three months from now, you might wish you hadn’t slammed the door on relocating or traveling.
The second way to handle this question is to voice a reservation, but assert that you’d be open to relocating (or traveling) for the right opportunity.
The answering strategy you choose depends on how eager you are for the job. If you want to take no chances, choose the first approach.
If you want to play a little harder-to-get in hopes of generating a more enticing offer, choose the second.

Question 9 : The “Hypothetical Problem”
TRAPS: Sometimes an interviewer will describe a difficult situation and ask, “How would you handle this?” Since it is virtually impossible to have all the facts in front of you from such a short presentation, don’t fall into the trap of trying to solve this problem and giving your verdict on the spot. It will make your decision-making process seem woefully inadequate.
BEST ANSWER: Instead, describe the rational, methodical process you would follow in analyzing this problem, who you would consult with, generating possible solutions, choosing the best course of action, and monitoring the results.
Remember, in all such, “What would you do?” questions, always describe your process or working methods, and you’ll never go wrong.

Question 10 : “The Salary Question” – How much money do you want?
TRAPS: May also be phrases as, “What salary are you worth?”…or, “How much are you making now?” This is your most important negotiation. Handle it wrong and you can blow the job offer or go to work at far less than you might have gotten.
BEST ANSWER: For maximum salary negotiating power, remember these five guidelines:
1. Never bring up salary. Let the interviewer do it first. Good salespeople sell their products thoroughly before talking price. So should you. Make the interviewer want you first, and your bargaining position will be much stronger.
2. If your interviewer raises the salary question too early, before you’ve had a chance to create desire for your qualifications, postpone the question, saying something like, “Money is important to me, but is not my main concern. Opportunity and growth are far more important. What I’d rather do, if you don’t mind, is explore if I’m right for the position, and then talk about money. Would that be okay?”
3. The #1 rule of any negotiation is: the si de with more information wins. After you’ve done a thorough job of selling the interviewer and it’s time to talk salary, the secret is to get the employer talking about what he’s willing to pay before you reveal what you’re willing to accept. So, when asked about salary, respond by asking, “I’m sure the company has already established a salary range for this position. Could you tell me what that is?” Or, “I want an income commensurate with my ability and qualifications. I trust you’ll be fair with me. What does the position pay?” Or, more simply, “What does this position pay?”
4. Know beforehand what you’d accept. To know what’s reasonable, research the job market and this position for any relevant salary information. Remember that most executives look for a 20-25%$ pay boost when they switch jobs. If you’re grossly underpaid, you may want more.
5. Never lie about what you currently make, but feel free to include the estimated cost of all your fringes, which could well tack on 25-50% more to your present “cash-only” salary.

Look into yourself and find the best answer

Personal Background
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. What would you like me to know about you that is not on your resume?
3. What are the three most important events of your life?
4. What were you doing during this gap of time I see here on your resume?
5. Where did you grow up?
6. What are your three major accomplishments?
7. What was an experience in your life that you would want to go back and change?
Self Description
1. How would your friends describe you?
2. Give me three words to describe yourself.

Goals
1. What new goals have you established for yourself recently?
2. What are your five to ten year career goals?
3. What are your career and educational goals?
4. What are the attributes of an ideal job for you? If you could do “it” all over again, what would you do differently?
5. What are you looking for?
6. How long a commitment do you plan to give me?
7. What is your ideal job?
8. What other types of positions are you considering?
9. What kind of boss would you prefer?
10. Why are you pursuing this field?
11. What would you like your lasting impression to be?
12. Do you have a final statement?
13. What are your career options right now?
14. How could you have improved your career path?
15. What salary are you expecting? In addition to salary, what benefits would most interest you?

Values
1. What does “success” mean to you?
2. What does “failure” mean to you?
3. Which is more important to you: money or the type of job?
4. Who do you admire? Why?
5. What do you get passionate about?
6. Who is your hero, and why? The greatest answer is if you can use a family member or friend, try to stay away from celebrities.
Previous Bosses
1. Did you get an offer from the firm you worked for this summer?
2. Do you have other offers? Why would/wouldn’t you take our offer over one of the others?
3. What can you tell me about your past bosses?
4. How do you think a former supervisor would describe your work?
5. What did you enjoy most about your last employment? Least?
6. How did you find your summer jobs?
7. Describe the job or the activity which has had the greatest impact on your career goals.

Management / Leadership Style
1. What is your management philosophy?
2. Define leadership.
3. Tell me about a time when you successfully resolved a conflict.
4. Give me an example of a leadership role you have held when not everything went as planned.
5. What qualities should a successful manager possess? Do you have these attributes (of a good manager) ?
6. What two attributes are most important in your job?
7. Give an example of a situation in which you provided a solution to an employer.
8. Give an example of a time in which you worked under deadline pressure.
9. Name a point in your life where you turned a negative into a positive.
10. Tell me about a decision you have made that you later regretted.
11. How do you feel about working overtime?
12. Give me an example of how you manage multiple projects.
13. What would you say to a boss that has a sub-par idea?

Strengths / Weaknesses and Skills
1. Are you creative? Give me an example. What have you done that you consider creative?
2. What are your strongest abilities?
3. What is your biggest weakness? Never say that being a perfectionist is your biggest weakness. Some applicants think that this makes you look better, but it seems that you not secure.
4. Why should we hire you?
5. Give me an example of something that you have done that shows initiative.
6. What makes you stand out among your fellow students?
7. What makes you different from the other candidates for this position?
8. What can you do for us that someone else cannot do? What was the most important thing you learned from your previous experience/internship?
9. How do your skills relate to our needs? What can you offer us?
10. What have you disliked in your past jobs?
11. How long before you can make a contribution? In the past year, what have you been dissatisfied about in your performance?
12. What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
13. Have you ever had any failures? What did you learn from them?
14. How do you feel about working in a structured environment?
15. Are you able to work on several assignments at once?
16. In what kind of work environment do you do your best work?
17. What kinds of tasks and responsibilities motivate you the most?
18. What has been your greatest challenge?

Interpersonal Skills
1. How competitive are you?
2. How do you work under pressure?
3. Give me an example of a time when you successfully worked within a team.
4. What types of people seem to rub you the wrong way?
5. Define cooperation.
6. What kinds of people do you enjoy working with?
7. What kinds of people frustrate you?
8. Have you ever managed a conflict? How?
9. Have you ever spoken before a group of people? How large?
10. With what kind of people do you like to work?

Education
1. Why did you decide to get an MBA?
2. Why Taxila?
3. What made you decide to major in____?
4. What have you learned at Taxila that will help you on this job?
5. Do you hold any leadership positions?
6. What electives have you taken? Which did you enjoy the most?
7. What college classes did you like the least? Why?
8. Why didn’t you attend (another school)?
9. How do you balance the different priorities MBA student life presents?
10. Did your grades accurately reflect your ability? Why/Why not?
11. Describe the course that has had the greatest impact on your thinking.

Extra Curriculars
1. What extra-curricular school activities are you involved in? While it is a good idea to show that you are well rounded, it is a good idea to stress those activities which show team involvement and leadership.
2. What have you learned from your activities?
3. Were your extracurricular activities worth the time you put into them?
4. How did you become involved in your extracurricular activities?
5. What do you enjoy doing outside of work-in your free time?
6. What is your favorite book/movie/song/painting-or author/actor/singer/artist?
7. Which magazines/newspapers do you read regularly? Which books have you read recently?
8. Have you ever done volunteer activities?

Job / Company / Industry
1. Why are you interested in ______? / Why do you want to work for us?
2. What makes you want to be a _____?
3. What makes you think you would be successful in _____?
4. What do you think this job requires?
5. Given that you have no background in this field why are you interested in it?
6. What do you predict is going to happen in this industry in the next 5 years?
7. How would you go about evaluating a business?
8. What do you know about our company?
9. Do you know who are competitors are?
10. What interests you most about this position? What parts of the job do you think you would find the least satisfying?
11. You have five minutes to describe the most relevant and specific items in your background which show you are uniquely qualified for this position.
12. What would you add to our firm?
13. What particular expertise do you have that would lend itself well to this position?
14. Demonstrate/illustrate skills that you can transfer from past experience.
15. What concerns you about our company?
16. What do you believe are the key issues and problems in our industry today?

Location
1. Why do you want to relocate to______?
2. Are you willing to relocate every two years or so?
3. How do you feel about travel?
4. Are you familiar with how taxing travel can be?

Functions General
1. Tell me a joke.
2. What if I told you that you’d work very hard, but recognition of your contributions would be nil?
3. What stocks do you recommend? Why?Should I buy stock in Netscape?
4. Where are interest rates going in the next 3 months?
5. How many new highs did the Dow reach last year?
6. If you could make a major policy change Taxila, what would it be?
7. If you had six months ahead with no obligations and no financial constraints, what would you do?
8. If you could invite anyone you would like to a dinner party (famous or historical figures, dead or alive), which ten people would you invite?
9. If you could trade places with someone for a week, who would it be?
10. Sell me the desk.
11. Rate me as an interviewer.

Consulting
1. Why consulting? Why this firm?
2. What does a consultant do? What are the three most important qualities of a successful consultant? How is our practice different from other consulting firms?
3. How do you rank in relation to your peers?
4. Imagine we are reviewing your performance at our firm after working with us for six months. What do you think our evaluation would be?
5. Highlight your top achievements/accomplishments?
6. What has been your biggest setback?
7. With whom are you interviewing? How have you fared?
8. What is the most important thing that you have learned in the past year?
9. Give me an example of a situation in which you had a problem, how you identified the problem, the methods you used to solve the problem and discuss the resolution. If given an offer, how will you decide whether or not to accept it?

Marketing
1. Why TAXILA?
2. What is marketing? Define the difference between marketing and advertising.
3. What does it take to be successful in marketing?
4. What are the attributes of a successful marketing campaign? How do you motivate others, particularly those over whom you have no direct authority?
5. How have you developed your interpersonal skills?
6. Give me a specific example of a time you solved a problem creatively?
7. What is the most important thing that you’ve learned about managing people from your previous work experience?
8. Rank order characteristics important for brand management.
9. Scenario: Create a plan to market Brand X in Bangalore.
10. What did you dislike about your former employer?
11. Give me a 30 second commercial about yourself.
12. Pick a good and bad ad campaign and discuss them.
13. Give an example of a well/managed product.
14. Pick a product and position it.
15. Give me an example of a leadership role you have had. Give me another one, give me another one, give me another one…………

Corporate Finance (Investment Banking)
1. Why investment banking? Why this bank?
2. Why corporate finance as opposed to sales and trading? What are your outside activities? Why would you be willing to give them up for such a demanding job?
3. What role do you play in group situations?
4. What would you do if offered drugs as part of the deal? (or other ethically focused questions.)
5. How smart are you? How do we know how smart you are?
6. Sell us on your quantitative skills.
7. If we made you an offer today, would you take it?
8. What did the Dow, S&P or NASDAQ close at yesterday?
9. What stocks do you follow and why?

Sales And Trading
1. What other firms have you talked to?
2. What makes you think you can sell?
3. Would you like to do sales or trading? Why?
4. Tell me what you think a trader (or salesperson) does.
5. Why selling debt vs. selling equity?
6. Why not corporate finance?
7. What do you think having an MBA does for you in this field?
8. What particular markets or instruments are you interested in?
9. Describe an instance where you persuaded someone to do something they initially didn’t want to do.
10. What about your personality will make you a good trader?
11. How will you motivate yourself to make the calls you hate to make?
12. What are your grades? (yes, they know about the grade referendum.)
13. Tell me a joke.

Strategic Planning & Corporate Finance
1. What do you hope to gain by working for our firm?
2. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
3. How do you see your career progressing in our firm?
4. What do you know about our industry?
5. Our ____ division is thinking of introducing a (such and such) new product. How would you go about determining if this is a good idea?
6. How does M&A activity in banking affect our industry?
7. We are having trouble managing our (division.) What do you think the key performance metrics might be and how might you go about improving them?
8. How would you go about valuing our (division) for a potential sale, spin-off, liquidation?

Questions to Ask

Company
1. What are your company’s strengths and how do you capitalize on them?
2. What are your companies weaknesses and how are you dealing with them?
3. How have you strategically responded to the competition?
4. Where will the major sources of your business be in the next 5 years?
5. What challenges are facing this company? Do you think your company is reacting to them?
6. Do you have plans for expansion?
7. What are your growth projections for the next year?
8. Have you cut your staff in the last three years?
9. What is the largest single problem facing your staff/department right now?
Industry
1. What changes do you anticipate in the industry?
2. What risks will your company face due to industry changes?
3. What legislation is pending that will affect your firm?

Career Opportunities / Path / Training
1. What are the best opportunities at your firm for new hires?
2. How is worker performance measured and reviewed?
3. Do you have a mentor program? How about formal training programs?
4. Why do people leave?
5. Why have you stayed with the company?
6. Describe my initial assignments?
7. If you hire me, what are the three most pressing issues you need resolved?
8. What kinds of assignments might I expect during the first six months on the job?
9. Are salary adjustments geared to the cost of living or job performance?
10. In what ways is a career with your company better than one with your competitors?
11. Please describe the duties of the job for me.
12. Does your company encourage further education?
13. How often are performance reviews given?
14. What is the usual promotional time frame?
15. Has there been much turnover in this job area?
16. Is there a lot of team/project work?
17. Where does this position fit into the organizational structure?
18. Do you fill positions from the outside or promote from within first?
19. What skills are especially important for someone in this position?
20. What qualities are you looking for in the candidate who fills this position?
21. Will I have the opportunity to work on special projects?
22. What is the next course of action? When should I expect to hear from you, or should I contact you?

Culture
1. What is your company’s management style?
2. How do you feel about creativity and individuality?
3. What do you like best about your job/company?
4. What characteristics do the achievers in this company seem to share?

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