It is easy to say that you are trustworthy and honest, but it's best if you can back it up with a review or words from a previous supervisor.
NiSource Interview Questions
Do people see you as a trustworthy and honest individual?
It is easy to say that you are trustworthy and honest, but it's best if you can back it up with a review or words from a previous supervisor.
"I am told quite often that I am an honest and trustworthy individual and you will be able to hear that directly from my supervisor when you call for a reference. I hold honesty and trustworthiness as fundamental virtues."
"My friends and family rely on me heavily because I am trustworthy and honest. They can count on me to be straightforward with them and depend on me to be there when it matters least or most."
Tell me when you have delegated tasks effectively.
Delegating tasks to employees is always a requirement when you are in a management type of role. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to delegate and empower your employees.
"I find that to delegate tasks effectively you first need to understand each employee's strengths. I will always delegate to someone's strength so that they will organically know how to complete the task. This method eliminates a lot of resistance and promotes effective and productive work."
"In my current position, prioritization of our workload is critical to our success. I tap into the resources of my team by finding out their strengths and career aspirations, then assigning them work that will compliment them."
What do you see as the most difficult task in being a manager?
Being in a management role is always a significant challenge. Share with the interviewer what you feel is the most challenging part of being a manager, and why. Also, discuss what you are currently doing to make this task less complicated in the future.
"As a manager, the most difficult task for me is to delegate the work evenly. You will always have team members who are absolute rockstars, then some who are a bit less enthusiastic or are lower producers. I have to remind myself to distribute the work and responsibilities evenly despite my natural inclination to give more work to the high performers. I am currently working with my underperforming team members to prepare them for a larger workload."
"I would say the most difficult part of managing people is being both their friend and earning their respect while being new on the team. To balance all of these roles, you have to make sure to be approachable and genuinely interested in them as humans, but also make sure they know that it's a place of business and that meeting or exceeding expectations is the name of the game, above all else."
What accomplishment do you believe was the most difficult for you to achieve, in your most recent position?
Being able to face a challenging or stressful situation, and still gain some accomplishment, in the end, is very satisfying. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to come out on top despite being faced with an obstacle.
"In my career, so far, I feel that the most difficult accomplishment for me to achieve were the three back-to-back promotions in my current company. Because promotions are granted based on results, I had to put in a lot of overtime hours, and hustle, to get there."
"My most challenging accomplishment was to boost employee morale, lower turnover and increase productivity. After the year they had, it was not easy to take over, gain their trust, and put a smile back on their faces."
The energy sector often sees changes in regulation and policy. How do you keep up to date on changes in our industry?
Show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the energy sector by staying up to date on industry news and changes. Perhaps you regularly read a publication that was of great interest. Maybe you follow a certain energy blogger or news channel? Ensure that your answer is enthusiastic and, if you use NiSource as an information resource, be sure to mention that as well.
"To stay up to date on industry changes, I read the Breaking Energy publication on a daily basis. Also, I follow a blog on remediation law. I am very interested in the changes in the energy sector and find the regulatory news section on your website to be very resourceful as well."
"I have google alerts set up, using keywords related directly to my niche. These help me to stay on top of any industry or regulatory changes, and they save me the time of having to comb through countless publications to keep up. I also follow NiSource posts on sustainability and environmental concerns, on a regular basis."
What are your thoughts on the stance environmentalists take against some of our practices in the energy industry?
The energy industry is rarely free of criticism. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on a recent hot topic. You can show the interviewer that you keep up to date on industry news and that you have a well researched, and valuable, opinion.
"There are many hot topics when it comes to the energy industry. We are no stranger to controversy which is why I seek to work for a reputable organization such as NiSource. One recent topic has caught my attention, and that is the oil drilling activity in West Africa. I've been following many environmentalist blogs to get a well-rounded view of the controversy. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if I am confident in our ethics, then that's all I need."
"I respect what environmentalists are attempting to achieve, and I agree with much of it. What I do not agree with is how some of the extremists are portraying our industry. Our industry is vital, and sometimes the extreme environmentalists do not appear to understand that or care to learn."
What type of work environment do you dislike working in?
Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most environments? Have you experienced a position where the atmosphere wasn't conducive to your productivity? Be sure to know the type of environment that is offered in this position before the interview.
"I can be productive in most work environments, so long as the mentality is positive and teamwork is encouraged. I cannot work in an environment that feels negative or toxic. This is not a concern for me with NiSource as I have read many great employee reviews on Glassdoor and your commitment to your workplace culture is evident."
"I tend to find slow paced or red tape environments challenging to maintain my excitement levels. With that said, even if I can experience a small win along the way, it is enough to keep me going."
How can we motivate you on the job?
Every employer should know how each staff member is best motivated. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you are best motivated on the job.
"I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I do like to know that my efforts are being noticed. In my current position, we have a leaderboard, and I do like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition for me as well."
"I am motivated by knowing something about the end customer and being able to relate to them as a person. A personal touch is always helpful for me."
What questions do you have for me?
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?
"Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"
When faced with a problem, are you more likely to jump into solving it, or are you the type to carefully assess the issue first?
The interviewer would like to know more about your problem-solving skills, and your personality. Discuss how you tackle problems when they arise, and keep your answer work-related if you can. Whether you are the type to jump right into solving a problem or you are more methodical in your approach, highlight to the interviewer that you are capable of handling issues professionally while using sound judgment.
"When faced with a problem, I am more likely to jump right into solving it. I believe that you cannot leave a problem to fester or become bigger than it already is. You have to take ownership of the issue, and involve yourself in the resolution right away. With that said, I am responsible for my decision making and certainly don't jump in blind. If I am unsure of what action to take, I will ask my leader for advice."
"I'm a 'roll up my sleeves' kind of person. I see a problem, envision a solution, and begin to tackle it, figuring it out as I go and asking for help along the way."
What are your salary expectations?
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.
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."
"I am currently making $100,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."
Tell me about a time when you received criticism from your manager. How did you react to that criticism? How did you make improvements based on that criticism?
When you are thinking about examples of criticism, it's best to show that you want to grow as an employee and that you can handle constructive criticism because it helps you learn and improve the quality of your work.
"I was instructed to create some presentations for our events. After my manager reviewed my work, some of the slides required an additional copy, and he had different design concepts in mind. He had a background in graphic design, and since I do not, I listened to his ideas and incorporated them. I thought they looked very professional and in the following presentations, I tried to include those design concepts."
"I was very eager to climb the ranks in my most recent position. My manager, and the VP of Sales, really appreciated this hunger and grit. However, I did receive the feedback that I needed to slow down. As frustrating as it was, I listened. I dedicated my time to learning as much as I could in my current position and paced myself much better post-feedback."
How many days were you absent from work last year?
A part of being a diligent employee is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It's great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance.
"I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2, and a note from my Doctor accompanied those. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."
"I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with notice."
Describe a time when you motivated yourself to complete an assignment or task that you did not feel like doing.
Show the interviewer that you will still get the job done even when you aren't excited about the task at hand. Think about a time when there was a work-related task that you did not want to do. Perhaps the dreaded file room needed to be purged of outdated files to make room for new files.
Tell the interviewer what your task was, and explain why you were not excited about it. Be sure to tell the interviewer that even though you were not enthusiastic about the work, you made it happen promptly knowing that it would help the organization as a whole.
"I like to set rewards for myself when there are undesirable tasks at hand. For instance, a large part of what I do is review all of the resumes that come into our job portal on a weekly basis. Sometimes there will be up to 200 resumes to review. They all begin to look the same after awhile, so I have set a goal to look at 20 at a time, give myself a quick break, then return to the task."
"I do not particularly like filling out a CRM. I don't think any salesperson does. It's just not how we are built! We like the call, the chase, the close. Taking time to pause and write out the details of our conversation, projections, and all that jazz is not something we like. It slows us down. However, it's a necessary step in the sales process. Not only does it ultimately help that sale go better when the CRM is filled out in full detail, but also it helps inform the next sales' close rate. It's an important tool in the sale, and even if it takes slowing down and doing a seemingly monotonous task, it's a task that will help me as a salesperson and the organization as a whole."
How do you handle a situation where your supervisor does not properly communicate information to you?
You cannot force others to communicate with you in a way that you would always prefer. Talk to the interviewer about a time that you have handled a supervisor who does not interact with you in a way that you like.
"Whenever I have had a supervisor who does not properly communicate with me, I try to learn their style of communication and emulate it. Sometimes you simply have to relate to others in their style to be understood."
"I have worked for a previous supervisor who was incredibly brief in his communication. Many times, I would have to put the pieces together for myself. I managed through it, and it taught me independent thought."
At NiSource we use a variety of robust internal software programs. Do you consider yourself tech savvy and a fast learner?
The energy sector has many competitors. Why do you want to work for NiSource?
At NiSource we seek to hire individuals with related post-secondary education. Walk me through your formal education.
There are a lot of red tape and regulations in energy related projects. Are you accustomed to waiting on logistics and policy during your projects?
At NiSource we put a lot of emphasis on attention to detail which some people mistake for micromanagement. How do you feel about this?
In which ways do you feel that NiSource stands out from industry competitors?
At NiSource we put a strong focus on health and safety. What is your experience with health and safety in the energy industry?
Do you have any experience in SAP?
Tell me about yourself.
When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing?
Tell me about your experiences giving presentations in front of large groups.
How do you deal with uncomfortable situations?
Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?
Looking at your resume, I see multiple gaps between employments, what were you doing during those gaps?
Why should we hire you to work at NiSource?