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Interview questions

 
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I have had a chance to interview with two companies in the last one month. Both of them were mostly behavorial. One company has rejected me already , and am to yet to hear from the second one.
There were some common questions in both of them.....
1) Where do you see yourself in 2 years? (1st interview )
2) Where do you see yourself in 5 Years? (1st and 2nd)
3) Where do you see yourself in 10 years? (2nd)
my answers were...
To have a strong record of achievement and be an asset to the company.
in 5 Years - be in a position where I'm heading a team, and making major decisions for the company.
are my answers good???
Another common question...
Tell me a situation where one of your team members..was creating a lot of problemss..and how you handled the situation and what was the outcome?
I did come up with stories for the above onee..but i really dont know what the person is looking for?
any pointers on this?
Regards
Rex
 
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read this book
 
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When I ask those questions, I'm looking for a definate plan. A vague answer like "being an asset to the company" doesn't tell me anything. I only want to hire people who make valuable contirbutations, and if you didn't want to make such a contributation, you wouldn't be interesting. Making major decisions is also vague. Heading a team is more specific. Talk about what role you are interested in, specifically. Talk about technologies you might be interested in. Talk about career plans. The job/company may seem interesting to you today, tell me why it will be so in the future.
Do you want to be a sneior engineer? team lead? architect? Are you more interested in project management? do you want to be working with customers? Want to learn more about Unix? Are you interested in learning .net along the way? Do you want to have your own company some day? Do you want to do, in 5 years, what the guy hiring you does now? Interested in seeing more of the business side?
As for the stories, he's getting a sense of how you work with other people. It's easy to work with nice people. It's hard to work in a difficult situation. Do you ignore the problem? Simply suffer them? Do you go to your boss? Try to talk with them? Talk to co-workers? File a harassment charge? Do you keep things quiet? Do you deal with them head on?
Most question of, "describe a situation where..." are trying to get a better feel for your people skills, unless it's an outright technical question.

--Mark
 
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Where do you see yourself in 10 years?


That is the stupidest question I have every heard. Who knows what they are going to be doing in 10 years? I know I don't have a clue.
A perfect example of why everyone (except Mr. Croxey maybe) hates job interviews. You have to have BS answers for questions like this.
(Mark's response was much better than mine.)
[This message has been edited by christopher foran (edited November 15, 2001).]
 
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Rex:
There you have it.
You can be like Christopher and treat the interview as total b.s. or you can play the game and score a gig. It's your choice. Be in the 90% who don't get the job offer - or be in the 10% who consistently do.
----
I think the real purpose behind this type of question is to see if you have prepared for the interview. The underlying theory being that those who properly prepare for the interview are those that are going go give the extra effort when needed.
Then again, the interviewer could be seeing how you act under pressure - although there are better ways of doing this.
----
That being said, you can either treat the question as b.s., or you can see through it and find out what the interviewer is really asking.
Granted, 50% of the interviewers out there are just reading these types of prepared questions and don't even know what they are listening for.
But, if you are prepared you can totally kick butt over the other candidates and walk out a winner.
-----
The only way I know of to get good at interviewing, is to go on lots of interviews. Reading interview books helps, but it's the interview experience itself that really gives you the "interview smarts".
-----
Going back to enjoying interviews. I think you will too, after you play the game for awhile. And as I have said before, that's all it is ... one big game.
And if you do the job search game correctly, you will be attending multiple interviews per week. And you will get to the point where you will shirk off the ones you do bad at.
Just look at what Tom Hennigan did with his job search. He played the game by the rules and won. Here is an English major that landed 3 offers after 2 months in the job search game. So it can STILL be done.
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
Link to Tom's story: http://www.javaranch.com/ubb/Forum37/HTML/000744.html
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by christopher foran:
That is the stupidest question I have every heard. Who knows what they are going to be doing in 10 years? I know I don't have a clue.


I consider that a negative, although it's surprisingly common. My friend Jason Rosenhouse, with whom I used to teach chess, always gave our students this sage advice


Always have a plan. Even a bad plan is better than no plan.


In my mind, this is true for everything you do in life, chess, career projects, travels, learning, etc. I don't expect you to have all the details, but if you just tell me you want to be an architect, or get into consulting, or want to start your own company, it says to me you've thought about your future.
Often time I come up with a plan as follows. First, I figure out where I want to go. Then I work backwards for how to get there? In the case of career, I think about what skills, experience and connections I need, and where I can find each one along the way.
Let's say you want to start your own company. You'll need to learn a little about business, and not just technology. You'll need to get to know about VCs. You'll need to learn about financ and hiring, or to havemade contacts who do. Ok, that's a pretty vague description, but it's better than "I don't know."
Take 30 minutes sometime over the next few days, and answer this question about your future. Just 30 minutes. Come'on, you spent far more time trying to figure out where to go to college, so surely you can spare 30 minutes for the next 10 years. At the end of 30 minutes, you'll have had some thoughts on what to do. No one's going to hold you to them. You can change your plans at any time. But now at least you have a plan, and when you need to make decisions, you can do so based on your plan.
--Mark
 
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Actually, Christopher is right - questions like those are total B.S. The interviewer doesn't care about your answer, she just wants to get a feel for your personality. All you need is a stock answer which is customized enough for the specific position, company, etc, and that should be sufficient. Generally, your answer will be B.S. since very few people really know what they want to be doing in 5 or 10 years.
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Randy Gordon:
Actually, Christopher is right - questions like those are total B.S. The interviewer doesn't care about your answer, she just wants to get a feel for your personality.


Read my posting above. My time is very valuable, and when I interview people, I try to ask questions which give me the most bang for the buck, i.e. most knowledge per minute. I find this question to be useful, given that metric.
--Mark
 
John Smith
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That is exactly my point. I doubt very much you are really interested in what that person wishes to do in 10 years. Chances are he or she won't even be working there anymore. What you are really interested in is their personality, people skills, how they handle themselves, etc. Not their B.S. answer to a B.S. question.
 
William Barnes
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My time is very valuable, and when I interview people, I try to ask questions which give me the most bang for the buck


It sounds like you actually know how to interview someone. I think that is the exception rather than the rule. I think when I go to an interview and someone asks me an HR question like "what do you want to be doing in 10 years" they have run out of real questions.
In 10 years I want to still have not written any code in MS Windows. It may be a silly goal, but hey - it is the best I can do.

 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Randy Gordon:
That is exactly my point. I doubt very much you are really interested in what that person wishes to do in 10 years. Chances are he or she won't even be working there anymore. What you are really interested in is their personality, people skills, how they handle themselves, etc. Not their B.S. answer to a B.S. question.


Your right in that I often read more into the answer than just the literal response, but that by no means makes it a BS question.

Originally posted by christopher foran:
In 10 years I want to still have not written any code in MS Windows. It may be a silly goal, but hey - it is the best I can do.


Well, that's something. It tells me at least you thought about your future :-)

--Mark
 
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