Once you are in your career, it certainly doesn't mean that you need to stop learning. There are many job-related courses available. Talk to the interviewer about the last time you took advantage of these available courses. Discuss your interest in continuing your education even after joining 8x8.
"I am a huge proponent of professional development and continuing education. We have to stay current in our industry in order to keep up with the fast pace of change and innovation. Our company recently offered the Sandler Sales program to anyone in the company who was interested. I took this workshop and really enjoyed it - plus, my sales increased by 23 percent that year."
"Last year, I worked toward my Project Manager certification while working full time. That experience alone greatly increased my multitasking skills, and I'm confident that the PM certification is a strong addition to my already existing management skill set. I believe strongly that it's important for employees to seek training and professional development opportunities in order to make sure they're not only competitive, but also adding the best possible value to their organizations."
Often we will leave the tasks that we don't like for last in the act of procrastination. Other times, we will mindfully move a particular responsibility for last because we feel that it makes the most sense. Help the interviewer to determine which personality type you are by answering this question.
"If given a choice, I would leave my documentation tasks for last. I say this because I like to spend my time selling and hitting targets; that's the most energizing and satisfying to me, so completing tasks related to documentation during business hours often feels like a distraction from business development. I do understand the importance of appropriate documentation; I just prefer to save it for after the workday."
"I think it's natural to want to save the hardest or most demanding tasks for last, so I make a conscious effort not to do that. I try to review my to-do list each morning and pick the most difficult task on the list to complete first. That way, I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment, and it's a nice confidence boost as I move on to tasks throughout the day that aren't quite as challenging."
The interviewer wants to know if your reactions to problems reflect maturity and professionalism. How you react will significantly determine how you fit with their existing team at 8x8. Perhaps your computer crashes and you realize you may have just lost all of your hard work. Or maybe you are limited on time and have a deadline rapidly approaching. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you take a methodical approach to problem-solving, rather than reacting in an impulsive way when a problem occurs.
"When a major problem arises, my first instinct is to take a step back and absorb what just happened, define it and clearly articulate its consequences. I then go into 'brainstorm mode,' jotting down potential ways to resolve the issue. From there, I can generally use a pros and cons list to determine the best course of action for a fast and amicable resolution."
"I have taught myself to be as calm as possible with my first reaction when problems arise. I take some deep breaths, step back and review my options for solving the problem rather than allowing myself to become frustrated or panicked. I often can confer with my team and/or peers on worst-case scenario repercussions, along with how to mitigate them. We typically explore several different scenarios in order to make a collaborative decision on which path forward is best for the company."
Troubleshooting is like reverse engineering - it takes skill, effort, and patience. You have to understand the problem to know how to work backward from it to find a solution. Knowing how to solve problems with technical equipment is always a solid skill, and a great way to demonstrate your example. Show that you are insightful in your approach.
"Last week, while working in our new SAP system, I received a repeated error. I entered in a few different codes, but that didn't solve the issue. I then did a hard reset on my system. Then, I referred to the user guide for additional suggestions. It took a little time and patience, but I was able to resolve the issue without calling the support line and waiting on hold. It felt like a major accomplishment!"
"We do not have an IT department in my current office, so whenever a technical issue arises, I am the person my team calls for help. Troubleshooting is fun for me - it's like a new challenge every time. Google and IT-related forums are often my best friend, and with some time and research, I've been able to solve the issues my team brings to me."
Do you use your creative mind with your colleagues to discuss ideas and systems in the workplace? Talk to the interviewer about how you have used creative thinking in the workplace and how this will benefit 8x8, if hired.
"I have a policy with my team that if they have an innovative and helpful idea they can bring it to me at any time. If their idea or system is something that I think could work, we then create a plan, and sometimes even a prototype, together to present to our head office. This policy has generated some powerful ideas in our office over the past three years including a work-share program and some health and safety initiatives."
"I think it is important to discuss work with colleagues in a collaborative nature to encourage all types of ideas to come forth. Often, when people put their heads together, they will create something better than one individual could have done alone. I'm a big fan of the improv comedy philosophy of 'Yes, and,' in which team members always say, 'yes' to one another's ideas and then try to build on them to make them more viable."
Using your creative mind, have you ever introduced an employer to a new product or service opportunity? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have created a new product or service.
"In my previous role I was fortunate enough to introduce my company to the idea of a 'gold level' priority service where, in addition to our general customer service program, we added other options for our highest-yielding customer segments. Our customer base responded enthusiastically, and we were able to grow several accounts because of the extra attention. In fact, we kept the program running for a few years."
"I am newer to my career, so I have not had a lot of opportunities to create a new product or service in the workplace. In my personal life, a lot of my neighbors have pets. I started a neighborhood dog walking, sitting, and vacation service when I was in college. It was highly popular in the summer. I made some money and helped my neighbors enjoy their vacations. This was a positive experience for me at a very early age, so it has encouraged me to be mindful of opportunities and not afraid to raise my hand to express an idea or try something new."
Company culture and fit is a significant factor when considering a career move. Assure the interviewer that you have put thought, research, and consideration of how the company culture at 8x8 will work for you.
"From what I've researched, I appreciate that 8x8 has a clear focus on elegance, flexibility and simplicity in solving business problems for customers. I'm particularly excited about your customer-centric approach, plus the empowerment of your employees and a commitment to innovation. It sounds like a vibrant, friendly corporate culture to be part of."
"It's important for me to be part of an organization that represents the very best of its industry. I love the fast-paced environment of digital innovation that 8x8 represents, and I'm also drawn to the company's commitment to technology solutions that drive change across the globe. I look forward to being surrounded by smart, motivated people who enjoy solving real-world business and technology problems and putting customer satisfaction first."
Are you the individual who prefers to know what the routine will be, or do you thrive on the challenge and excitement of unpredictability? The interviewer would like to know if your work style will be a fit with 8x8.
"Certainly, completing routine, day-to-day tasks is easier, in the sense that it's more predictable and less stressful, but I also believe it doesn't allow one to grow very much professionally. I believe the best environment is a mix of both - enough day-to-day that one can perfect an approach to those tasks, combined with enough complexity and uncertainty to allow for collaboration, problem-solving and intellectual challenge."
"I like to have a bit of both, honestly. I have a general schedule that I follow in the morning including a team huddle, setting objectives for the day, following up with clients, and then setting new meetings with prospects. That said, the in-between of that framework is always pretty unpredictable. In sales, you never know what might happen, especially when selling a product, as I do. More often than not, there is some challenge or drama throughout the day (or 20), so that variety keeps me on my toes, engaged and excited."
When you start a new position, it is essential to set a goal on how you will make a positive impact quickly after being hired. Tell the interviewer what your impact goal is, should you be the successful candidate and hired at 8x8.
"My first priority would be soaking up as much information about culture, process and KPIs as possible. I'd embark on a 'listening tour' in order to engage in deep conversation with my team and with my colleagues to discover the greatest current needs and how to prioritize them based on company goals for the quarter. Overall, I would strive to meet or exceed all KPIs for the business quarter as efficiently as possible."
"If hired today, I would start with analyzing all quantifiable data from the last month, quarter and year to identify any challenges and set a plan to address them. I'd also look for team and company strengths in order to capitalize on or expand them in order to increase the company's bottom line. Overall, I'd be looking for patterns that help me make an immediate contribution to the team and the organization."
Your motivation may be that the idea of success and achievement drives you. Perhaps you are working towards career advancement. Take some time to think about what truly motivates you.
"I believe that, for the most part, I am intrinsically motivated. However, I am often encouraged by verbal recognition of my impact, along with compensation-based rewards. This could be a competition for a gift card or a contest where I can earn a bigger holiday party budget for my team. Being a leader comes naturally to me, so I don't find it to be an onerous task very often. My competitive side keeps me motivated as well."
"In a competitive industry, I want to work for the best and with the best. I am motivated by a company that sets high performance standards, and by colleagues who work hard to meet them. I love being challenged by my peers to deliver my very best work."
This interview question allows you to demonstrate your ability to be a self-starter. Show the interviewer that you are a motivated individual by telling the interviewer about a specific time that you took the lead. Include details of your project timeline, which you led, or what you had to teach yourself for the project to be successful. Be sure to also emphasize the outcome.
"We recently had a major inventory count requested of us by the corporate head office. At the time, our manager was away on vacation. No one quite knew where to start or who should take the lead. I took the initiative to lead my co-workers through the inventory project. I taught myself the tracking software in a short amount of time and created a schedule so that everyone knew what was expected of them, and we completed the project three days ahead of schedule! It was a great success."
"We recently switched over our entire leadership team at the same time we were updating our team's compensation plan, so it was a lot of organizational change for the team to process. I took the initiative to manage the culture during this time by reaching out to all associates individually to gain their feedback on what compensation they would like to see in our change. I explained some possible options and gained their feedback on the new leadership team. This, on top of my day-to-day responsibilities, demanded strong time management skills, organization and initiative. However, I was able to guide our associates through a seamless compensation transition while gaining strong feedback on leadership changes."
Possessing the skills to improve communication in the workplace is a very valuable asset. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to enhance communication in the workplace. Be sure to tie in how your skills will benefit 8x8.
"In my current position I have one particular client who is an exceptionally brief communicator. If I ask two questions, he tends to answer only one. I learned quickly that he would not acknowledge anything for which he did not have a direct answer, so I began to ask him questions in a different way. For example, I would say 'Do you have an answer for me on question X?' and he would say yes or no. We would then go from there. This method was an effective form of communication for that particular client. I have a few approaches that will be useful when working for 8x8."
"I once had a client who often missed email updates. It caused us to cross our wires a few times. I suggested that we book a quick call every week to review any outstanding areas that need to be addressed, and I followed each call with a status report so that the conversation was documented. This process worked well for us, and I believe it would work well for clients at 8x8 as well."
The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of taking calculated risks in the workplace and that you understand the difference between a calculated risk and a risky choice. Think of a work-related risk, like trying out a new idea to solve a problem. You may even take on a new responsibility that you're not trained in, which is a little bit of a risk. Give an example that shows you are thoughtful and strategic when taking risks.
"Last month I took an unusual risk by accepting an outside sales call when I am an inside sales employee. An existing client asked me to meet him because he had some additional business he was thinking of awarding our company, but he wanted to make sure we had a strong rapport before he handed the business over. I met him in person, and we got along so well that he gave me an additional $1M in annual business. I knew it was a risk because my traditional area of expertise is inside sales accounts, but I knew the reward was greater than the potential risk, so I took it. It was well worth it!"
"I certainly took a risk by leaving my strategic account management position to take an entry sales position in another organization. My family thought I was nuts. But, while it was risky, I wanted to get into sales and I wanted to experience a startup environment. It worked out great, as I got basic sales experience, and then have been steadily promoted since. My career has moved in an upward trajectory so much faster since I took that leap of faith."
Interviewers want to hear that you have experience teaching or mentoring other employees one-on-one. You may have taught a new hire all of your department's standard processes. Perhaps you taught a long-standing employee how to use Excel. You may have mentored an employee who was struggling to hit monthly goals. All of these scenarios are great examples to draw on.
"I have always enjoyed the opportunity to teach or mentor my colleagues. For example, last month our company introduced a new module in our SAP system, and I could see that one of our team members was having some trouble with the new module. I was familiar with it already, so I offered to help him. We spent his lunch hour for the next three days working on it. He eventually perfected his interaction with the module, and he's now teaching others."
"Absolutely. In each of my two previous roles, I have been tasked with leading a small team. I have worked on everything from appointment-setting and overcoming objections to price negotiations with those respective teams. What's more, I always look for an opportunity to connect with new team members. I try to always invite them out for coffee so they not only have a friendly face in the office, but also know that I can be a resource for them. I was promoted from their role, so I am always happy to share how I did it on such a fast timeline and what I've found effective that can help them be a change-maker in the company, too."
Are you accustomed to working in an environment where clear communication with others is critical? Talk to the interviewer about your most recent work and how communication played a part.
"In my previous role, healthy communication was required to protect the safety of our employees. We transported dangerous goods, and our management required that we all take specific workshops on team communication and appropriate documentation. The company was committed to upholding the body of research that shows that teams who communicate better also perform better. Because of this, I feel confident in my prior training and am sure that my communication skills are solid."
"I currently do not enjoy a healthy level of team communication in my workplace - communication skills are neither required nor modeled by our management team. This is part of the reason I am seeking new employment. I highly value clear communication and believe I do my best work within teams who are highly communicative and collaborative. How do you encourage strong communication among employees here at 8x8?"
On occasion, mistakes will happen, and communication will be broken. Talk to the interviewer about a time that this occurred in the workplace. How did you resolve the situation?
"This happens so easily when people are involved! I recall one instance where I misread an email from one of my team members. The tone was unclear, and I read it as sarcastic rather than in the positive tone my team member intended. After a tense conversation, the employee clarified her intention, and I learned that I was mistaken. She and I agreed to pay closer attention to email tone and to err on the side of positivity to avoid a similar situation in the future."
"My current team recently suffered a missing link in communication with one of our vendors, whom we engaged with to complete a large service contract. We did not clearly communicate a change in the agreement, which affected the way the company executed against the contract, costing my team wasted time and resources. We were able to identify the breakdown in communication and change the process to ensure it does not happen again."
In which manner do you prefer to communicate - oral or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.
"I believe both oral and written communication are important for business success, and each has its strengths. I feel confident in both - in-person communication can be valuable for reading facial expressions, body language, etc., while written communication is ideal for establishing a record of important information. Over the course of my career, I've tried very hard to hone skills in both areas so that I'm a well-rounded, strong communicator."
"I do not lean one way or another when it comes to oral or written communication. Both are equally important to me. If I have to choose just one, I will choose written communication as one can always refer back to written communication for reference."
One of the toughest parts of communication can be delivering bad news to people that you work with and care for. Whether it is delivering a less than positive work review or terminating someone - it doesn't come easy. Assure the interviewer that you can handle this type of task in a transparent, concise and professional manner.
"I believe no one enjoys sharing bad news with a co-worker, but I do have experience in doing so. When this type of task is required, I make sure, first, to practice empathy. Truth is always key, so I will be honest and clear when sharing the news. For instance, if I am to terminate someone's employment, I will not sugar coat the reasons. It's best they know so that they can learn from the experience."
"I try to be very direct with my communication skills. While showing empathy is always important, I try not to be over-emotional when sharing non-ideal information with team members - most news of this nature is fact-based and can be presented calmly and rationally. A sense of optimism can also help. Good or bad news, there is always a way to improve the situation and create something good from it. After delivering bad news, I will work with my coworker to find a positive solution."
Public speaking can be intimidating, so assure the interviewer that you are capable of communicating well in front of large groups. Have you taken any courses or training in public speaking? Perhaps you have so much experience that it comes second nature. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of giving presentations should it be required in your role with 8x8.
"In my last two roles I have been responsible for regularly presenting to my team of 43 staff as well as to our entire warehouse team of more than 200. I have also been part of my local Toastmasters group, which helped a great deal. Overall, I feel that I am a confident public speaker."
"I do not have a lot of experience in presenting to large groups, but I do present regularly to groups averaging around 4 to 6 people. I am a confident speaker in that setting and am sure that I could present in front of many people - I'd be happy to take on that challenge."
Being a clear communicator, in written form, is a crucial skill to master. Have you taken any courses in communication and writing? Are you confident in your written communication skills? Talk to the interviewer about your written communication abilities and support your answer with a brief example or story.
"I would describe my written communication skills as very strong. Writing has always been a passion of mine on a personal level, and I appreciate the importance of expressing oneself clearly, succinctly and without error in a business setting. That's a tremendous piece of building one's professional reputation. I have studied communication, writing and journalism at the university level and feel confident I could represent 8x8 well in my written correspondence."
"My written communication skills are solid. I often utilize written communications as a follow up to meetings or other in-person interactions. These meeting notes provide a reliable resource for associates to go back to and reference, plus might answer any questions that come up along the way. I believe the ability to express oneself clearly and confidently in writing is key for business success."
There are many options for communication software and messaging applications. Give the interviewer a brief overview of the applications you are experienced in and assure them that you can learn their internal system, should it be new to you.
"I have used a variety of team-based messaging applications - they are powerful tools for encouraging and organizing team communication. I am most familiar with Slack, Apple Messenger and Google Hangouts Chat. Most of these programs are fairly user-friendly and intuitive, so I feel confident that no matter which system you use, I can pick it up very quickly."
"I do not have a lot of experience with team-based messaging applications besides MSN Messenger years ago. I do pick up on technology quickly and have no concerns when it comes to my ability to learn. What team-based messaging applications do you use at 8x8"
Due to a wide variety of personalities, relationships can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have a strong line of communication with your co-workers and supervisors, right from the start?
"I believe the first few weeks of any new position should be devoted to listening and understanding the culture, landscape, needs and expectations of team members and colleagues. In previous positions, I have found 'listening tours,' valuable, in which I schedule coffees, lunches or short meetings with as many colleagues as possible during the first few weeks to discuss their challenges, successes and expectations for the position. This sets us up as collaborators from the very beginning."
"First impressions are everything, and I make a strong attempt to build relationships with all of my peers right up front when starting a new job. I schedule meetings to make an introduction and ask discovery questions to learn how I can best support them when working together. It is also important to gain insight into their preferred methods of communications. Also important, I try very quickly to show an interest in their lives outside of work - who they are, their hobbies, their families, etc., so that it's clear that I value them as individuals, not just as professional roles."
Others don't always communicate with you in the style that you would prefer. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have handled a supervisor who does not interact with you in a way that you like or that is clear to you.
"Whenever I have had a supervisor who does not properly communicate with me, I first try to learn their style of communication and emulate it. I also try to ask a lot of questions and document instructions in writing as much as possible in order to make sure I'm understanding."
"I try to be independent and find as many answers as possible on my own. As much as I would love to always work with supervisors who are great communicators, that is not always a realistic ask. I also try to repeat instructions just to verify that I'm hearing and interpreting what the supervisor really wants. If I'm really having trouble getting the information I need, I may also proactively schedule a meeting with my supervisor to discuss."
Strong communication skills are required to be an effective leader. How have your communication skills helped your team in the past, and how will they help the team at 8x8?
"There's a lot of great research available showing that teams that communicate well are able to complete projects in a quicker and more efficient way than those who don't communicate well. They also are more accurate in their work. This is the kind of teamwork I try to encourage among my colleagues - I believe in regular touch-base appointments - both for the whole team and for individual members - plus regular written communication that can be archived and accessed at a later date for clarity."
"We recently rolled out a large organizational change. I took a very transparent approach to communication throughout the process. I asked the team for feedback and buy-in early in the process. We discussed some challenges that could be expected. Therefore, when the time came to roll out the change, there were very few surprises. It was a success!"
On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?
"My current supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team also lets me know if I need to clarify anything. Based on this feedback from my current co-workers, I would rate my communication skills as an 8 out of 10. I'm definitely strong in this area, but still have room for improvement as I continue to grow as a leader and become more familiar with the 8x8 communication values. "
"I will rate myself an 8.5 because I believe in being clear, direct and up front with my co-workers. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator - to always be clear but kind - so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."
8x8 Inc. is a United States communications technology company that provides VoIP service providers in the country. 8x8 services include cloud-based voice, call center, video, mobile and unified communications solutions for medium to enterprise-sized businesses and distributed enterprise customers.
8x8 was founded in 1987 by Dr. Chi-Shin Wang and Dr. Y.W. Sing formerly of Weitek as Integrated Information Technology, Inc., or IIT. The name was changed in the early 1990s. They began IIT as a fabless vendor of semiconductor products for the math coprocessor and graphics chipset markets. The company produced x87 floating point coprocessor for the 286, 386 and 486 generations of microprocessors as well asgraphics accelerator chips for the personal computer market during the late 1980s and early 1990s.