Friday, December 7, 2007

The 25 most difficult questions you'll be asked on a job interview

The 25 most difficult questions you'll be asked on a job interview
Being prepared is half the battle.

If you are one of those executive types unhappy at your present post and embarking on a New Year's resolution to find a new one, here's a helping hand. The job interview is considered to be the most critical aspect of every expedition that brings you face-to- face with the future boss. One must prepare for it with the same tenacity and quickness as one does for a fencing tournament or a chess match.

  1. Tell me about yourself.

    Since this is often the opening question in an interview, be extracareful that you don't run off at the mouth. Keep your answer to a minute or two at most. Cover four topics: early years, education, work history, and recent career experience. Emphasize this last subject. Remember that this is likely to be a warm-up question. Don't waste your best points on it.

  2. What do you know about our organization?

    You should be able to discuss products or services, revenues, reputation, image, goals, problems, management style, people, history and philosophy. But don't act as if you know everything about the place. Let your answer show that you have taken the time to do some research, but don't overwhelm the interviewer, and make it clear that you wish to learn more.

    You might start your answer in this manner: "In my job search, I've investigated a number of companies.

    Yours is one of the few that interests me, for these reasons..."

    Give your answer a positive tone. Don't say, "Well, everyone tells me that you're in all sorts of trouble, and that's why I'm here", even if that is why you're there.

  3. Why do you want to work for us?

    The deadliest answer you can give is "Because I like people." What else would you like-animals?

    Here, and throughout the interview, a good answer comes from having done your homework so that you can speak in terms of the company's needs. You might say that your research has shown that the company is doing things you would like to be involved with, and that it's doing them in ways that greatly interest you. For example, if the organization is known for strong management, your answer should mention that fact and show that you would like to be a part of that team. If the company places a great deal of emphasis on research and development, emphasize the fact that you want to create new things and that you know this is a place in which such activity is encouraged. If the organization stresses financial controls, your answer should mention a reverence for numbers.

    If you feel that you have to concoct an answer to this question - if, for example, the company stresses research, and you feel that you should mention it even though it really doesn't interest you- then you probably should not be taking that interview, because you probably shouldn't be considering a job with that organization.

    Your homework should include learning enough about the company to avoid approaching places where you wouldn't be able -or wouldn't want- to function. Since most of us are poor liars, it's difficult to con anyone in an interview. But even if you should succeed at it, your prize is a job you don't really want.

  4. What can you do for us that someone else can't?

    Here you have every right, and perhaps an obligation, to toot your own horn and be a bit egotistical. Talk about your record of getting things done, and mention specifics from your resume or list of career accomplishments. Say that your skills and interests, combined with this history of getting results, make you valuable. Mention your ability to set priorities, identify problems, and use your experience and energy to solve them.

  5. What do you find most attractive about this position? What seems least attractive about it?

    List three or four attractive factors of the job, and mention a single, minor, unattractive item.

  6. Why should we hire you?

    Create your answer by thinking in terms of your ability, your experience, and your energy. (See question 4.)

  7. What do you look for in a job?

    Keep your answer oriented to opportunities at this organization. Talk about your desire to perform and be recognized for your contributions. Make your answer oriented toward opportunity rather than personal security.

  8. Please give me your defintion of [the position for which you are being interviewed].

    Keep your answer brief and taskoriented. Think in in terms of responsibilities and accountability. Make sure that you really do understand what the position involves before you attempt an answer. If you are not certain. ask the interviewer; he or she may answer the question for you.

  9. How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our firm?

    Be realistic. Say that, while you would expect to meet pressing demands and pull your own weight from the first day, it might take six months to a year before you could expect to know the organization and its needs well enough to make a major contribution.

  10. How long would you stay with us?

    Say that you are interested in a career with the organization, but admit that you would have to continue to feel challenged to remain with any organization. Think in terms of, "As long as we both feel achievement-oriented."

  11. Your resume suggests that you may be over-qualified or too experienced for this position. What's Your opinion?

    Emphasize your interest in establishing a long-term association with the organization, and say that you assume that if you perform well in his job, new opportunities will open up for you. Mention that a strong company needs a strong staff. Observe that experienced executives are always at a premium. Suggest that since you are so wellqualified, the employer will get a fast return on his investment. Say that a growing, energetic company can never have too much talent.

  12. What is your management style?

    You should know enough about the company's style to know that your management style will complement it. Possible styles include: task oriented (I'll enjoy problem-solving identifying what's wrong, choosing a solution and implementing it"), results-oriented ("Every management decision I make is determined by how it will affect the bottom line"), or even paternalistic ("I'm committed to taking care of my subordinates and pointing them in the right direction").

    A participative style is currently quite popular: an open-door method of managing in which you get things done by motivating people and delegating responsibility.

    As you consider this question, think about whether your style will let you work hatppily and effectively within the organization.

  13. Are you a good manager? Can you give me some examples? Do you feel that you have top managerial potential?

    Keep your answer achievementand ask-oriented. Rely on examples from your career to buttress your argument. Stress your experience and your energy.

  14. What do you look for when You hire people?

    Think in terms of skills. initiative, and the adaptability to be able to work comfortably and effectively with others. Mention that you like to hire people who appear capable of moving up in the organization.

  15. Have you ever had to fire people? What were the reasons, and how did you handle the situation?

    Admit that the situation was not easy, but say that it worked out well, both for the company and, you think, for the individual. Show that, like anyone else, you don't enjoy unpleasant tasks but that you can resolve them efficiently and -in the case of firing someone- humanely.

  16. What do you think is the most difficult thing about being a manager or executive?

    Mention planning, execution, and cost-control. The most difficult task is to motivate and manage employess to get something planned and completed on time and within the budget.

  17. What important trends do you see in our industry?

    Be prepared with two or three trends that illustrate how well you understand your industry. You might consider technological challenges or opportunities, economic conditions, or even regulatory demands as you collect your thoughts about the direction in which your business is heading.

  18. Why are you leaving (did you leave) your present (last) job?

    Be brief, to the point, and as honest as you can without hurting yourself. Refer back to the planning phase of your job search. where you considered this topic as you set your reference statements. If you were laid off in an across-the-board cutback, say so; otherwise, indicate that the move was your decision, the result of your action. Do not mention personality conflicts.

    The interviewer may spend some time probing you on this issue, particularly if it is clear that you were terminated. The "We agreed to disagree" approach may be useful. Remember hat your references are likely to be checked, so don't concoct a story for an interview.

  19. How do you feel about leaving all your benefits to find a new job?

    Mention that you are concerned, naturally, but not panicked. You are willing to accept some risk to find the right job for yourself. Don't suggest that security might interest you more than getting the job done successfully.

  20. In your current (last) position, what features do (did) you like the most? The least?

    Be careful and be positive. Describe more features that you liked than disliked. Don't cite personality problems. If you make your last job sound terrible, an interviewer may wonder why you remained there until now.

  21. What do you think of your boss?

    Be as positive as you can. A potential boss is likely to wonder if you might talk about him in similar terms at some point in the future.

  22. Why aren't you earning more at your age?

    Say that this is one reason that you are conducting this job search. Don't be defensive.

  23. What do you feel this position should pay?

    Salary is a delicate topic. We suggest that you defer tying yourself to a precise figure for as long as you can do so politely. You might say, "I understand that the range for this job is between $______ and $______. That seems appropriate for the job as I understand it." You might answer the question with a question: "Perhaps you can help me on this one. Can you tell me if there is a range for similar jobs in the organization?"

    If you are asked the question during an initial screening interview, you might say that you feel you need to know more about the position's responsibilities before you could give a meaningful answer to that question. Here, too, either by asking the interviewer or search executive (if one is involved), or in research done as part of your homework, you can try to find out whether there is a salary grade attached to the job. If there is, and if you can live with it, say that the range seems right to you.

    If the interviewer continues to probe, you might say, "You know that I'm making $______ now. Like everyone else, I'd like to improve on that figure, but my major interest is with the job itself." Remember that the act of taking a new job does not, in and of itself, make you worth more money.

    If a search firm is involved, your contact there may be able to help with the salary question. He or she may even be able to run interference for you. If, for instance, he tells you what the position pays, and you tell him that you are earning that amount now and would Like to do a bit better, he might go back to the employer and propose that you be offered an additional 10%.

    If no price range is attached to the job, and the interviewer continues to press the subject, then you will have to restpond with a number. You cannot leave the impression that it does not really matter, that you'll accept whatever is offered. If you've been making $80,000 a year, you can't say that a $35,000 figure would be fine without sounding as if you've given up on yourself. (If you are making a radical career change, however, this kind of disparity may be more reasonable and understandable.)

    Don't sell yourself short, but continue to stress the fact that the job itself is the most important thing in your mind. The interviewer may be trying to determine just how much you want the job. Don't leave the impression that money is the only thing that is important to you. Link questions of salary to the work itself.

    But whenever possible, say as little as you can about salary until you reach the "final" stage of the interview process. At that point, you know that the company is genuinely interested in you and that it is likely to be flexible in salary negotiations.

  24. What are your long-range goals?

    Refer back to the planning phase of your job search. Don't answer, "I want the job you've advertised." Relate your goals to the company you are interviewing: 'in a firm like yours, I would like to..."

  25. How successful do you you've been so far?

    Say that, all-in-all, you're happy with the way your career has progressed so far. Given the normal ups and downs of life, you feel that you've done quite well and have no complaints.

    Present a positive and confident picture of yourself, but don't overstate your case. An answer like, "Everything's wonderful! I can't think of a time when things were going better! I'm overjoyed!" is likely to make an interviewer wonder whether you're trying to fool him . . . or yourself. The most convincing confidence is usually quiet confidence.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007



1. Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the
morning. The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful.

2. Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast
table. Make lunches. Put out the clothes you plan to wear, etc.

3. Don't rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when
to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc. ("The palest
ink is better than the most retentive memory."- Old Chinese Proverb)

4. Do nothing you have to lie about later.

5. Make copies of all keys. Bury a house key in a secret spot in
the garden. Carry a duplicate car key in your wallet, apart from your key

6. Practice preventive maintenance. Your car, appliances, home and
relationships will be less likely to break down "at the worst possible

7. Be prepared to wait. A paperback book can make a wait in a post
office line almost pleasant.

8. Procrastination is stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow,
do today; whatever you want to do today, do it now.

9. Plan ahead. Don't let the gas tank get below onequarter full,
keep a well- stocked "emergency shelf'' of home staples, don't wait
until you're down to your last bus token or postage stamp to buy more, etc.

10. Don't put up with something that doesn't work right. If your
alarm clock wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers-whatever-are a constant
aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.

11. Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments. Plan to
arrive at an airport one hour before domestic departures.

12. Eliminate (or restrict) the amount of caffeine in your diet.

13. Always set up contingency plans, "just in case." ("If
for some reason either of us is delayed, here's what we'll do..." Or,
"If we get split up in the shopping center, here's where we'll meet.")

14. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn't
get mowed this weekend.

15. Pollyanna-Power! For every one thing that goes wrong, there are
probably 10 or 50 or 100 blessings. Count 'em!

16. Ask questions. Taking a few moments to repeat back the directions
that someone expects of you, etc., can save hours. (The old "the hurrieder
I go, the behinder I get" idea.)

17. Say "No!" Saying no to extra projects, social activities
and invitations you know you don't have the time or energy for takes practice,
self-respect and a belief that everyone, everyday, needs quiet time to relax
and to be alone.

18. Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep
or read without interruption? Drum up the courage to temporarily disconnect.

(The possibility of there being a terrible emergency in the next hour or
so is almost nil.)

19. Turn "needs" into preferences. Our basic physical needs
translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference.
Don't get attached to preferences.

20. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

21. Make friends with nonworriers. Chronic worrywarts are contagious.

22. Take many stretch breaks when you sit a lot.

If you can't find quiet at home, wear

24. Get enough sleep. Set your alarm for bedtime.

25. Organize! A place for everything and everything in its place.
Losing things is stressful.

26. Monitor your body for stress signs. If your stomach muscles are
knotted and your breathing is shallow, relax your muscles and take some
deep, slow breaths.

27. Write your thoughts and feelings down on paper. It can help you
clarify and give you a renewed perspective.

28. Do this yoga exercise when you need to relax: Inhale through
your nose to the count of eight. Pucker your lips and exhale slowly to the
count of 16. Concentrate on the long sighing sound and feel the tension
dissolve. Repeat 10 times.

29. Visualize success before any experience you fear. Take time to
go over every part of the event in your mind. Imagine how great you will
look, and how well you will present yourself.

30. If the stress of deadlines gets in the way of doing a job, use
diversion. Take your mind off the task and you will focus better when you're
on task.

31. Talk out your problems with a friend. It helps to relieve confusion.

32. Avoid people and places that don't fit your personal needs and
desires. If you hate politics, don't spend time with politically excited

33. Learn to live one day at a time.

34. Everyday, do something you really enjoy.

35. Add an ounce of love to everything you do.

36. Take a bath or shower to relieve tension.

37. Do a favor for someone every day.

38. Focus on understanding rather than on being under stood, on loving
rather than on being loved.

39. Looking good makes you feel better.

40. Take more time between tasks to relax. Schedule a realistic day.

41. Be flexible. Some things are not worth perfection.

42. Stop negative self-talk: "I'm too fat, too old, etc..."

43. Change pace on weekends. If your week was slow, be active. If
you felt nothing was accomplished during the week, do a weekend project.

44. "Worry about the pennies, and the dollars will take care
of themselves." Pay attention to the details in front of you.

45. Do one thing at a time. When you are working on one thing, don't
think about everything else you have to do.

46. Allow time every day for privacy, quiet and thinking.

47. Do unpleasant tasks early and enjoy the rest of the day.

48. Delegate responsibility to capable people.

49. Take lunch breaks. Get away from your work in body and in mind.

50. Count to 1,000, not 10, before you say something that could make
matters worse.

51. Forgive people and events. Accept that we live in an imperfect

52. Have an optimistic view of the world. Most people do the best
they can.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

How to Prevent your Team member from Leaving Team

Different people have different views on this and the most common one is better salary and company. But it is a fact that people leave Managers and not company.

Friends, I have tried this and it works believe me. If you want to retain your team have all local team members in your tem. Means if your office is in Pune have team members who are from Pune and not members who have migrated from other states or cities. The reason of not having local team members is the real reason why most people leave the company.

Believe me friends people leave not because they are not happy with job, profile or salary but because the Managers make comments about the in time and out time of member, taking holiday or half day for birthday, marriage/death of relative even neighbors etc. Local people have to do because he has a social life. Migrated people are mostly without family and are staying alone or with friends. They do not have any social life; since they are miles away from their hometown they have excuses of distance for every social obligation. Also since they do not have any thing to do at home they sit till later nights and also come to office on weekdays and holidays as being at home they will get bored and at office they get free phone/ internet to chat with their families back in their hometown, free tea coffee , Air condition etc. This helps them save their money. Also when they go on leave it is for months and local employee have to do overtime to do his part of work.

The problem starts when Manager gives examples of the migrated members to others local members like he sits late, doesn’t take holidays/ half days frequently, come even on holidays and weekends etc. Which hurts the local member has even if he wants to he cannot give excuse to escape from his social obligation as he is present in the city. This spoils his relation with friends, wife, parents, family etc. So an employee tries to move to a company were he will considered human and not machine. An excuse is given of better pay, company etc. Everyone knows that how much pathetic and might be the Manager the company will never listen against the manger. So the members leaves the company without ant comments about the manager.

Friend the other side is migrated members should be put in one team. This team should be only of migrated team members only, no local members.

Let them prove to company and management that they are loyal and dedicated which in reality is not true. As 90 % late sitting members are not local and they are doining their personal work more than companies work.Let the locals have a peaceful environment to work for.

This way the point you wish to raised is the reason why people migrate to cities will be solved and also we can have a stable and dedicated team, with less members leaving the team.

At the end of Day having a team to support the company and save our job is more important than having feelings and sympathy towards the people who are migrating to cities.

What If It All Came Crashing Down

The real measure of our wealth is how much we'd be worth if we lost all our money.
- John Henry Jowett, preacher (1864-1923)

Imagine it!

Donald Trump, poor. He’d just be an annoying boor. No, no, he’s that already. I meant a poor, annoying…..No, everyone would just ignore him.

Bill Gates, poor. Once the world’s richest man, Bill has been giving away billions of dollars to charities over the past few years, not the least huge sums for AIDS research and literacy projects (through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). He’s an entrepreneur, someone who scooped great ideas from other people and turned them into a worldwide empire. Bill would make out alright because he knows how to manage people, to make them feel good about being successful working for projects he operates.

In 1929, with the crash of the stock markets and the beginning of the Great Depression, so many paper-wealthy men went broke overnight that many of them jumped out of windows in their top floor offices on Wall Street. That’s a statement not about their not wanting to be poor, but about the value they placed on their own lives without a great deal of money to throw around.

I see hordes of people in North American cities (my home continent, so those are the people I see in person and on television) creating lives for themselves based on the values preached to them by industries. The descriptive word I can’t escape from to attach to their lives is pretension. They are the people they believe they are. They live the lives that industry wants them to live, holding the values and beliefs that industry teaches them by various means. They have none of their own.

They have no idea of their basic human worth, other than as they compare themselves to others according to their financial net worth and their ostentatious possessions.

Poor people, on the other hand, seem to have a clear grasp of who they are in real terms. They know they are at the bottom of the heap socially as well as financially. Many of them use their position to their advantage, accepting social assistance from governments who collect tax money from the rich. Others, especially those on whom poverty has come to stay due to misfortune, health problems or physical/intellectual limitations, see their lives as one continual climb out of the pit that life has thrown them into.

Perhaps the people who have the clearest idea of who they are and the value they have to the world are the homeless, especially those who have been homeless for several years. They form friendships, bonds and working relationships based on what they can offer to others and what they can get from others.

The homeless are valued as people, among themselves, more than any other social group because all they have to offer anyone else is themselves. They value each other and who they are in relation to the others in their lives. To the homeless, a smile has a value beyond anything a rich person could imagine.

True, some can’t survive in that atmosphere. They turn to drugs and alcohol, paid for by robbing others and from begging. That’s a form of self destruction, a long, slow death wish fulfilled by their own choice. They can’t make it, even among the community of the homeless, because they don’t believe they have anything of value to offer to others. The best some can do is to offer drugs or drink to others like them, giving themselves the same sense of self worth as the rich.

Imagining ourselves as suddenly without any source of income and sustenance is an exercise that each of us should indulge ourselves in once in a while. It can help us to be humble about who we are and appreciative of what we have. Most importantly, it can help us to calculate who in our lives loves us for ourselves and not for what we have or can give to them.

It could happen, that kind of life altering tragedy. A power outage that lasts for several weeks could cause us to turn to our baser instincts in our drive to survive. A pandemic disease of the type that medical science keeps warning us about, one that kills millions of people in a short period of time, could change everything we know about our civilization.

Staying in touch with reality, not the kind that industry wants us to believe but the kind we could use in case of some dire emergency, should be on the agenda of each one of us once in a while.

It tells us who we really are, what we stand for and who would stand with us if the world we know shattered.

Life IS Overcoming Problems

"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem."
- Theodore Rubin

So, here's the problem (so to speak). Most of us tend to believe that having problems causes us to remain removed from a better life, one without problems. The problem is not our problems, but what we believe is a better life.

A life without problems is either death or the slippery slope on the way to it. Our bodies and our brains are both built to tackle problems, to face down challenges, to overcome difficulties on the road of life. We are built to struggle.

If we do not struggle with problems or some form of challenges, both physical and mental, on a regular basis, our abilities and our faculties atrophy and degrade until there isn't enough left of us to maintain our health.

Those who do not work all parts of their bodies regularly become achy, lame and weak in their old age or before. Those who do not exericse their brain regularly fall into senility. These are proven facts. For most of us, these failures of our physical and mental abilities in middle and old ages are preventable.

Our immune systems need a good workout, especially when we are young, to develop immunities against various diseases. Our immune systems are built t0 withstand many kinds of illness in childhood and early adulthood so that they will be strong as we get older. In other words, we are designed to get sick as children and adolescents. And to recover, building our immune system's defences as we do so.

Our emotional development is likewise designed for hurt as well as for joy. Those who do not experience much in the way of emotional hurt during their lives do not develop an equal scope for joy and happiness when it presents itself. Emotions are like a pendulum, they swing as far one way as the other. If development of emotions is hampered in one direction, it fails to develop much in the other. People who experience great tragedy and hurt also have the ability to experience joy far greater than those who have "sailed through life."

Don't curse your problems. They give you the opportunity to live life to the fullest, to experience happiness and fulfillment. Without them, your life would be relatively dull.

No one says you should enjoy your problems. That would be a psychological problem in itself. But you can face them with some degree of equanimity knowing that they will pass and happiness will be available to you in the future.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Art Of Correspondence

Art Of Correspondence

Letter writing is one of the oldest arts of communication. And even though it is used most often in business or official dealings, many of us fail to get even basic letter writing right. Here re a few tips.

With rare exceptions and regardless of the subject, the goal in all letter writing should be to keep it short, factual, and to the point. Don’t write more than one page in length, unless necessary.

Detailed information can be relegated to attachment that can be referred to by name in the body of the letter. Stick to the absolute essential facts in the main letter.

Prepare a rough draft before the final. Then carefully review and revise it. Put yourself in the place of addressee. Imagine yourself receiving the letter. How would you react to it? Would it answer all of your questions?

Does it deal with all of the key issues? Are the language and tone appropriate? Read it aloud to check whether the words used sound right.

Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. A letter is a direct reflection of the person sending it, and the organization that person works for. Once you have decided on the final content, run it through a spelling and grammar check. A letter with obvious spelling and grammar mistakes looks unprofessional.

In such cases, the recipient can’t really be blamed for seeing this as an indication as to how you and your organization probably do most other things. Follow these rules to make sure that your letter doesn’t end up in the "read later" pile or a waste paper basket.
  • Use simple and appropriate language.
  • Use simple straightforward language for clarity and precision.
  • Use short sentences.
  • Each paragraph should contain not more than three or four sentences.
  • Use language and terminology familiar to the intended recipient.

Do not use technical terms and acronyms without explaining them, unless you are certain that the addressee is familiar with them. Now-a-days most business communication is through internet and the same rules can apply. The draft stage can be checked before the final 'send' click.

Body language at work

Body language at work

A person need not always has to speak to convey your feelings. Most of the time person’s body gestures are doing the talking which is even mentioned by cricket commentators while the game is going. While verbal communication has its own impact, it’s the gestures and involuntary movements of body parts or non-verbal communication that convey the strongest messages. The person or persons receiving the communication remember the body gestures (language) more than words. It is true as concluded by many experts in the field.

This is the reason why it is very important to have the right body language when you plan to make an impression or do not wish to be interpreted wrongly in an office environment.

It gives them an insight into the confidence or discomfort of the person communicating. It tells them about how much the person believes in what he is saying and whether he wants to be offensive, defensive or a partner.

What is conveyed through gestures is important because people who don’t know the communicator very well are likely to misinterpret the silent messages the body sends out. That’s why it helps to be aware of and control one’s hand and eye movements and facial expressions.

Facial expressions reflect emotional side – a smile on the face with some relevant content is an effective weapon.

Here are some tips to train your body to- give the right message:

What you say and how you say is important. Conviction and depth in voice assures one’s determination and interest in the subject.

Be confident and relaxed in an office meeting. However, don’t appear to be too relaxed as it gives the impression that you are not interested in what’s going on.

If you are in an interview and want to talk about your achievements, look your interviewer in the eye while talking otherwise the interviewer may doubt your claims.

In prolonged meetings, make sure that your body language doesn’t convey your is like of boredom with the proceedings.

Greet your interviewer or a prospective client with a firm handshake. Limp and clammy hands convey your nervousness.

If you are in a meeting and the other person gets a call, try and look away or appear busy as it gives her a sense of privacy. But do not ask if you should go out of the room.

Beware of using too many hand gestures as they lead people to believe that you are angry or are getting aggressive.

An assertive behavior, go-getter tactics and pleasant appearance is always preferred over a blunt looking, difficult to figure out behavior.