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Non-technical interview questions

kayal cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
I have been called for an interview at a company that I hear is very picky. Apparently they ask a lot of behavioural type/non-technical questions, and these are the ones where I wander off and lose myself on a 10-mile trail.

It would be nice if folks (especially those with recruiting experience) can help me come up with precise, sharp answers for some standard questions. (I have mentioned Apple, because the company I am applying for has a brand image close to Apple)

1. Why do you want to join Apple?
2. What skills do you bring to Apple?
3. How will your skills benefit/match Apple?
4. Why should we pick you over someone else for this position?

Thanks in advance, and wish me luck
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Some quick thoughts

1. Why do you want to join Apple?

You should know something about the company. This could be "my friend who worked here siad the culture was great" to "you work on a really cool project" to "I like the goals espouced in your company's mission statement."


2. What skills do you bring to Apple?
4. Why should we pick you over someone else for this position?

For question 2, talk about what you can do well; sell yourself. For question 4, look at your answer and then think "how many other guys do I know who can accurate say the same thing?" Tip: smart, fast learner, really good at programming/with technology, and[/i] hard worker[/i] are things everyone else will say, too.


3. How will your skills benefit/match Apple?

Think about the specifics of the role and talk about how you have done similar things--not just that you can do it, but that you have done it already, or something like it. Use examples from past work experience.


--Mark
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by kayal cox:
I have been called for an interview at a company that I hear is very picky. Apparently they ask a lot of behavioural type/non-technical questions, and these are the ones where I wander off and lose myself on a 10-mile trail.

It would be nice if folks (especially those with recruiting experience) can help me come up with precise, sharp answers for some standard questions. (I have mentioned Apple, because the company I am applying for has a brand image close to Apple)

1. Why do you want to join Apple?
2. What skills do you bring to Apple?
3. How will your skills benefit/match Apple?
4. Why should we pick you over someone else for this position?

Thanks in advance, and wish me luck


Those are the type of questions that have no specific "right" answer. You are best to use your own specific situation to determine the answer, my answers and yours are likely to be very different and equally valid. You can do some preparation though:

1) research the company and ask yourself why you want to join, is it the location, the money, the work, their reputation?

2) enumerate your skills and match them up with what the company needs. Concentrate on those that are appropriate.

3) same as 2)

4) learn to sell yourself, this is probably the most important skill of all. And don't forget that in sales closing the sale is the most important thing. I once went for an interview, which went well and near the end I asked "so when do I start?" The interviewer said, "how about the first of May?" Without that question, that sale might not have closed and I wouldn't have got that job.

Check out sites like this, there are thousands of them out there. The secrets of sales and job hunting are really the same:
- establish rapport
- develop a relationship
- determine the customer's needs
- ask for the order.
kayal cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
Hey, thanks for all the replies. I attended the interview two days ago. The 90 minute long interview did not contain a single technical question. Whew! my brains were mush by the time it got over.
But hey, I have been shortlisted for the next round. Thanks again!
kayal cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
What do you do?
What do you do, when your dream company calls you for an interview, and you clear the first two rounds smoothly, and then totally mess up the third interview, where all you ever learnt just flies out of the window when they ask you to design a system on a white board, where what you are saying does not make any sense even to you, and some answers hit you only on the way back home. What do you do?

My mind is doing this post-mortem of every humiliating minute of the interview and the mental torture is killing me. AAARRRGGGHH! I could jump off a cliff.

I will be alright two days from now, but what do I do in the meantime??
Prem Khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 30, 2005
Posts: 189
Why do you want to join Apple?

Because I think you have nice apples id like to sink my teeth into, H.R Lady.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by kayal cox:
What do you do?
What do you do, when your dream company calls you for an interview, and you clear the first two rounds smoothly, and then totally mess up the third interview, where all you ever learnt just flies out of the window when they ask you to design a system on a white board, where what you are saying does not make any sense even to you, and some answers hit you only on the way back home. What do you do?


You send them an email ASAP. You say, "I really feel like I was very off in the interview" then you provide in depth answers to the questions you missed and give examples of where you used that solution or did similar things so they know you didn't just look it up on the internet. You suggested that if there's another rund they get you in front of another tech guy.

And if that doesn't work, you move on and remember that there's more than one dream company for you, you just haven't found the others yet.

Good luck.

--Mark
kayal cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
Thanks Mark. I REALLY appreciate your advice.

Even if it does not help me get the job itself, I atleast feel like I have done something about the situation, and maybe I can salvage a little bit of my wounded pride

Thanks again!
dhriti joshi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 13, 2002
Posts: 82
u mean they did not ask u a single technical question and tell you to draw a design on whiteborad.were u applying for a desiners job or aprogrammers job.
even i had a similar experience once,where i was asked to draw the architecture on paer.

dhriti.
kayal cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
Rounds 1 and 2, no technical questions. Mostly behavioural/personality/situational questions, and some stuff about my projects.
Round 3: a couple of technical questions, and everything else was design oriented. They mostly gave a problem scenario and asked me for a solution.

It was a darn good interview, with some of the best questions I have heard, but there was a disconnect between my experience and their expectations.
The position was for an "application engineer", but the description did not mention much about architectural experience. They just wanted struts, hibernate, jsp, db2 etc.
Sri Vatsan
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 21, 2005
Posts: 1

Hi,

I am having my telephonic interview on Applications Engineering. I have been searching for non technical interview questions. Can you please post or email the questions you had? Thanks.

Regards,
Srivats
kayal cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
Originally posted by Sri Vatsan:
Hi,

I am having my telephonic interview on Applications Engineering. I have been searching for non technical interview questions. Can you please post or email the questions you had? Thanks.

Regards,
Srivats


I was asked the usual questions:
How would your colleagues describe you?
Strengths and weaknesses
How would you handle stressful situations?
Have you ever had to handle a stressful situation and still mentor novices on your team?
When you have been given high priority tasks from two Project Managers that cause conflict, how do you resolve it?
Have you ever needed to resolve a conflict with a team member, or resolve conflicts between team members?
How do you handle change requests?
How do you approach a situation where you have to inform the business lines that a feature that they want is not gonna be ?
Plus some questions where I am asked to suggest a technical solution for a problem.
I don't remember the rest. It's too painful, you see!

Keep cool, use examples wherever possible, and good luck!
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
 
subject: Non-technical interview questions