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IBM Interview Questions

To help you prepare for an IBM job interview, here are 33 interview questions and answer examples.

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Question 1 of 33

At IBM we have detailed procedures in place for client technical support. What would you do if those procedures did not appear to be working?

How to Answer

The interviewer would like to understand how you handle high-pressure situations and unexpected difficulties in the workplace. Discuss the steps you would take if this situation happened to you.

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33 IBM Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. At IBM we have detailed procedures in place for client technical support. What would you do if those procedures did not appear to be working?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to understand how you handle high-pressure situations and unexpected difficulties in the workplace. Discuss the steps you would take if this situation happened to you.

      1st Answer Example

      "It is important to always have procedures in place, but I understand that sometimes those procedures do not encompass all client needs. If I came across a situation like this, I would rely on my knowledge and experience to troubleshoot and find a solution. If I did not have the answer, I would then ask for help from my supervisor or a colleague. It is important to stay calm in situations like these, so the client remains confident in our capabilities. I would never tell a client that I didn't have an answer. 'I will find out' is always the best answer."

      2nd Answer Example

      "I do not mind going slightly off script if needed. There are sometimes extenuating circumstances where the process does not necessarily work. I will gain permission from my employer if it's a bigger concern than usual since I still want to follow the procedure as much as possible."

  • 2. At IBM we seek to hire those with a passion for the IT industry. How do you stay up to date on industry changes and current events?

      How to Answer

      Being up to date on industry terms, trends, and news is critical in a fast-moving industry such as IT and IT services. The interviewer would like to know that you have a genuine interest in their industry. Speak briefly about the ways you stay up to date on the industry changes and current events by referring to specific sources. You can also ask the interviewer about their favorite resources.

      1st Answer Example

      "This industry is ever-changing, and I have a true and keen interest in keeping up-to-date on those changes. I regularly read a couple of great online publications including PC Mag and Wired. Do you have any recommendations for great resources?"

      2nd Answer Example

      "My current employer sends a daily email with the company and industry updates. This update is beneficial and, I am sure to read it thoroughly every day. I also have Google alerts set up so that I am up to date on new trends and happenings in the industry."

      Community Answer

      "I follow multiple IBM Twitter feeds as well as other tech companies' research feeds. I constantly read articles on Medium as well as field-specific articles that detail innovative methodologies and technologies."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      The fact that you follow IBM twitter feeds is a fantastic start! You lean on some excellent resources, which the interviewer should be happy to hear.

  • 3. We put a great deal of pride in our customer service at IBM. How will you contribute to our high customer service standards?

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, it's a great idea to spend time researching IBM reviews, their online presence, and their website. Take note of recurring keywords when it comes to their customer service standards. What are their clients saying? Speak confidently about how you plan to uphold their strong customer service standards if hired.

      1st Answer Example

      "Your customers have a strong voice, and I noticed a consistent theme in your online reviews and presence. The theme was that you offer friendly, fast, and easy to understand service. I plan to contribute to this by learning my role quickly and continuing to be an approachable and helpful point of contact for the customers who need us."

      2nd Answer Example

      "I will contribute to your high customer service standards by offering a listening ear and ensuring that I fully understand your products and services. The more I know, the more I will be able to offer your client base."

  • 4. IBM seeks to hire those with above average communication skills. Describe your communication style to me.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that your communication style will fit in with the culture they have worked on creating at IBM. When clients seek the help of IBM, they do so with certain expectations. Convince the interviewer that your communication style will meet those expectations. It's best to give a few unique keywords when discussing your communication style. Also be sure to compliment IBM on their communication efforts.

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  • 5. Our industry is a competitive one. Why do you specifically want to work for IBM?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you have a keen interest in working for IBM. You should enter the interview prepared to discuss why they stand out as the top employment option, among their competitors. Talk about what you feel IBM is doing right and how their values and opportunities align with your career goals and employment needs.

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  • 6. Walk me through your post-secondary education and how it will help you in your career with IBM.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer will likely have an idea of your education background from your resume. What they are asking is for you to take a few minutes to bring the experience to life for them! You can talk about your major, or any special academic recognition you may have received. Discuss the strengths gained during your post-secondary training and how those skills will be used in your new position with IBM.

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  • 7. At IBM we deal with sensitive and confidential client information. Are you willing to complete a full background check?

      How to Answer

      Most companies in the IT and IT Services industry need to be very cautious about who they hire. There is a chance that much of the information you are going to access could be confidential and harmful if put into the wrong hands. Assure the interviewer that you are most willing to comply with any form of background check they require.

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  • 8. At IBM we believe in continued education of our employees. If you could take a course or workshop on any topic, what would you choose?

      How to Answer

      Working for a company which emphasizes the importance of continued education can be an enriching opportunity. Be prepared to talk to the interviewer about your interest in growing your knowledge base. You may want to push your existing knowledge into the expert range, or perhaps there is a current hot topic on which you would like to learn. Whatever your answer may be, ensure that you express to the interviewer your appreciation for continued education opportunities.

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  • 9. What are your thoughts on web-based, click to chat support solutions?

      How to Answer

      Whenever you are asked your opinion on an industry-related topic, you should try to be honest but positive at the same time. Whether you like web-based, click to chat support solutions or not, you should be focusing your answer on why you think they may be helpful. If IBM offers a service like this you should also ask them an insightful question about that service.

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  • 10. What questions do you have for me about IBM?

      How to Answer

      It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their company site!

      Here are some sample questions:

      - When would you like to have this position filled?
      - How long has this role been vacant?
      - Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
      - What is your favorite part about working here?
      - What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
      - Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
      - What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years?
      - Is there any reason why you would not hire me?

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  • 11. Tell me about your experience in the field of IT services.

      How to Answer

      It is critical that you study the job description before your interview. When the interviewer asks this question be sure to highlight the related experience that you bring.

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  • 12. Would you be willing to work over 40 hours a week?

      How to Answer

      Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the interviewer's expectations. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask!

      Consider asking, 'What are the scheduling expectations for this position?' If they expect you to work 12 hour days, it would be important for you to know that before you respond with, 'Absolutely! No problem!' You want to be sure that you can meet their expectations.

      If it turns out their schedule expectations won't work for you, think about what you CAN offer and see if you can meet in the middle. It's much better to discuss these things in an interview than for you to commit to a schedule that won't work for you.

      Keep in mind that, in most states, an employer cannot demand that an employee work more than 44 hours per week.

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  • 13. What part of this career brings you the most stress?

      How to Answer

      Stress can often be a regular part of the day to day work experience. Talk to the interviewer about which areas of your career are the most stressful. Ensure that your answer does not include a factor that would make you appear unfit for the position. (IE: a bus driver should not find driving to be the most stressful part of the job).

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  • 14. Give me an example of a time when you had to be extra diligent in order to meet a deadline.

      How to Answer

      Are you determined to complete your tasks on time or do you frequently miss deadlines? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to act diligently on the job.

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  • 15. What are your salary expectations?

      How to Answer

      The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

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  • 16. How do you make tough decisions knowing they will affect your entire team?

      How to Answer

      It can be difficult to make challenging decisions when you know that your entire team will be affected. Your ability to be decisive and diplomatic will make all the difference!

      If you take a more team-oriented approach, share how you collaborate with the group by inviting everyone to discuss their opinions and come to a census. If you prefer to take charge of these situations, share how you step up to a decision while still taking everyone's needs and feelings into consideration.

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  • 17. Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to get to know you apart from what is on your resume. You are indeed not obligated to discuss personal matters such as your kids, or relationship status, for instance. Stick with a couple of fun facts to show the interviewer that you are a real person, too. Your answer should be unique so that you are a memorable candidate!

      Focus on unique non-work related skills or hobbies. For example, you might share that you enjoy beat-boxing or making origami swans. Be prepared for the interviewer to stop you and ask you to perform your skill on the spot when it's possible! (This will make you unforgettable!)

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  • 18. What characteristics or events have contributed towards your success as a leader?

      How to Answer

      Why do you think that you are a successful leader? Talk to the interviewer about the variety of things that you believe have led you to your success.

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  • 19. How do you evaluate success among your team members?

      How to Answer

      When you are leading a team, it is imperative to be aware of the level of success that each team member is experiencing. One underperforming team player can drag down the entire group. Talk to the interviewer about how you can stay aware of each team members' success.

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  • 20. Describe to me your ideal employer.

      How to Answer

      A job search isn't just a one-sided hunt. You must also feel as though this is a good fit for yourself. Tell the interviewer what your ideal employer looks like. Be specific and be sure to keep the conversation positive. Avoid speaking poorly of any previous managers or organizations.

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  • 21. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?

      How to Answer

      Companies will have confidentiality agreements for a variety of reasons. These could be to protect their trade secrets or to ensure that you do not bring clients over on the occasion that you leave their company. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on confidentiality agreements.

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  • 22. We are asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?

      How to Answer

      To many employers, the number of years' experience is flexible - so long as you have the results to show for the years that you do have. Talk to the interviewer about your major career successes. This question presents an opportunity to sell yourself. Make no apologies for your lack of years!

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  • 23. Do you always double check or proofread your work?

      How to Answer

      Double checking and proofreading are critical parts of a job well done. Assure the interviewer that you are diligent when it comes to submitting good, clean, work.

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  • 24. When have you had to change a major component of your project due to new information being presented?

      How to Answer

      Being able to swivel the focus of your project is a necessary skill for your success in most careers. Talk to the interviewer about a time when a significant change occurred on a project. How did you handle the implementation of the new information?

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  • 25. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?

      How to Answer

      Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace.

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  • 26. How would your most recent manager describe you?

      How to Answer

      When you answer this question, draw from your last performance review and a piece of feedback you have received from your most recent boss or coworkers. You do not want to guess what your manager thinks of you. Solidify your answer by referring to the strong employment references you are able to provide.

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  • 27. When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?

      How to Answer

      Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you can handle an environment that offers diversity.

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  • 28. Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?

      How to Answer

      In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.

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  • 29. What type of manager brings out the best in you?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you are self-aware and understand the type of manager or employer that brings out the best in you. Some individuals prefer a close working relationship with a lot of accountability while others prefer space and autonomy. If you are unsure of the management style of the interviewing company, try to leave your answer as open as possible. You can certainly ask the interviewer to describe their management style.

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  • 30. Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?

      How to Answer

      Career progression can be a touchy subject, especially if you feel that your career hasn't progressed as well as you would have liked. Talk to the interviewer about your career progression and what you would like to see in the future.

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  • 31. Why is this job with IBM right for you, at this time in your career?

      How to Answer

      Discuss with the interviewer why you are looking to make a change, and how this particular role fits well with the changes that you are seeking. Be sure to give a more in-depth answer than the typical 'I am looking for growth' answer that so many interviewers hear. Be thoughtful and draw upon the research you have done on the company.

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  • 32. What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know more about the types of decisions you are accustomed to making in the workplace. The way you answer this questions will give them a good idea of your level of experience, seniority, and ability to handle the decision-making requirements in this possible position.

      If the job you are interviewing for requires you to be decisive and quick on your feet, you will need to be able to provide examples of how you have done these things in the past. If you worked in tech support, you faced problems that you needed to find solutions for on a regular basis. If you worked as a sales rep, you might have required to know how to negotiate and make decisions on prices and benefits you can give your customers.

      You may have faced decisions that became so routine you didn't think twice! Refer to these types of decisions and be sure to highlight how these types of decisions have prepared you for a role like this one.

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  • 33. If you were hired today, what would you accomplish first?

      How to Answer

      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.

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