The interviewer wants to know that you are confident about your leadership abilities and that you understand when your leadership abilities have been most useful.
Perhaps you best demonstrate yourself as a leader when your manager is away. Maybe you often jump into a leadership mindset when a co-worker is struggling. Think about a recent time when an employee on your team was successful at something because of your leadership skills. Discuss the scenario and how your leadership skills made the difference.
Umeme Interview Questions
When do you best demonstrate yourself as a leader?
The interviewer wants to know that you are confident about your leadership abilities and that you understand when your leadership abilities have been most useful.
"I best demonstrate myself as a leader when I know that a coworker could use my assistance. I seem to be a natural teacher and mentor which means that when someone is struggling, my first instinct is to train them. Just recently, I coached a new employee on a sales technique that helped her to achieve her quota for the first time. I look forward to working in this role with you because it will allow me to take on further leadership opportunities."
"In my current position, every time my current manager is away, I take on the role of leader for our team. This situation usually occurs one day per week. When you call him for a reference, he will be able to tell you that I have naturally stepped into the responsibilities associated with being a leader."
If we hire you at Umeme, how will you make an impact in the first 90 days?
The interviewer wants to know that you already have a plan of action in place for your success with Umeme Ltd., should you be the chosen candidate. Show your initiative by preparing a 90-day success plan. If you are applying for a sales position, discuss how you plan to resuscitate dormant accounts, for example.
Be sure to address the needs that the company has outlined in the job posting or job description. For instance, if the job description mentions a "must-have" of strong communication skills, be sure to comment on how you plan to utilize your exceptional communication skills to see success in a short amount of time.
"In my first 90 days with Umeme Ltd., I would like to make an impact by excelling in my training and learning all that I can about the processes here. I want to develop strong relationships with my new coworkers and customers."
How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?
When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, how do you decide which one needs your attention the most? Assure the interviewer that you can be diligent when it comes to assessing your priorities.
"I will determine which project requires my attention by the number of hours we are behind and then the project size. I am comfortable delegating tasks when needed, but I am also aware that these times will require an additional commitment of hours from me. Never have I under delivered on a deadline."
"Assuming that the projects have different stakeholders, I interview each to determine the value of increased productivity, morale or revenue, decreased costs, and the overall impact."
The utilities industry is highly regulated. How do you stay on top of policy changes and trends related to our business?
The interviewer wants to see that you have a keen and sincere interest in the utility industry. Show that you see this as more than 'just a job.' Talk to the interviewer about a couple of ways that you stay in touch regarding industry trends and policy changes. It's also a great idea to ask the interviewer about their favorite industry resources. This question can start an informative conversation and potentially give you new resources for industry based knowledge.
"My go-to resources for industry related news would be utilitydive.com as well as waterworld.com. I prefer these resources because I can subscribe to daily inbox updates as well as their monthly newsletter. Their sources are strong, and the content is always fresh. What are your favorite resources for industry trends and related news?"
"It is tough to keep up on the ever-changing policies in this industry. I have set up google alerts for particular keywords. Also, I meet with a mentor once a month who had a long-time career in the utility industry. During our meetings, we discuss the industry in great detail. I look forward to these meetings because I learn so much!"
Describe your leadership skills.
If the position you are interviewing for requires leadership skills, you need to come prepared with examples of when you have been an active leader.
If this is an entry-level role without a leadership component, the interviewer wants to see that you can take the initiative when there is an opportunity. What type of keywords best describe your leadership style?
"In previous employer reviews I have had my leadership style described as attentive, open, and confident. I will always listen to my team and give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their performance. An example of this would be with my current sales team. When one of my team members is not hitting their quota, that is when I will step in and begin coaching. I want to believe they know their job unless they show me otherwise. This type of leadership has worked well with my team, and we are the #1 sales team in our region."
"I have taken many workshops and courses to improve my leadership skills over the years. My leadership qualities are best summed as dedicated, attentive, and motivating. I like to recognize my employees' small wins because that motivates them to continue achieving."
Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?
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.
"Overall, my career has progressed a touch slower than I would have liked. I have held a couple of positions that didn't offer the growth and learning that I was expecting; however, I have bounced back nicely. I feel that this particular position would take my career exactly where it should be."
"I have been cautious when paving my career path. Things have gone very well for me so far, and I am thankful for that. This position with Umeme Ltd. will be a perfect compliment to both my short and long-term career plan."
Do you have reliable transportation?
Even if you're not expected to drive for the job, you will need to have some form of reliable transportation. If you take the bus or ride a bike, that works too! Merely share that you have the means to get to work consistently and on time.
"I have reliable transportation. I have a well-maintained vehicle, and I am comfortable with the amount of travel required to get to your office every day."
"I take public transit; however, I find it to be very reliable. I was late to work only once last year, and that was due to a snowstorm which stalled all of our employee's commute - including those with personal vehicles. Rest assured, I am reliable and will always come to work on time."
Would you be willing to work over 40 hours a week?
Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on expectations. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask!
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.
"I am available for full-time work which is preferably 8-5 Monday to Friday. I am happy to be a team player and work some overtime, as required. Will these hours be enough to meet your expectations?"
"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."
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 receive motivation 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 noticed. In my current position, we have a leaderboard and I do like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of competition for me."
"Here are some ways that an employer may try to motivate you. Which ones resonate most with you?
- Incentive programs where points are earned
- Showing complete trust in your work and performance
- Setting smaller, more achievable goals
- Helping you to find your greater career purpose
- Being a positive example to you
- Maintaining an open and transparent workplace
- Personalized incentives vs. Team driven incentives
- Getting to know you on a personal level
- Positive feedback based rewards system
- Offering a stable work/life balance by encouraging time off
- Letting you know your voice matters
- Allowing you to take the lead on projects that excite you
- Handing out big-picture projects, so you feel that you are contributing to the company's future
- Public recognition"
At Umeme we believe in continued education opportunities. What course or workshop would you take, if given the opportunity?
The interviewer would like to know that you have a keen interest in gaining new skills by continuing your education when the opportunity arises.
Tell the interviewer about any course that you would like to take, but be sure to keep your answer industry related. You should avoid saying that you want to attend a class on dog grooming if you are interviewing for a career in the utility industry.
It's also a great idea to ask the interviewer if, after reviewing your resume, they would suggest a particular course to fill any potential gaps in your skill set.
"I agree that continued education is essential. If given the opportunity to take any coursework, I would like to complete my Project Manager certificate. Being PM certified would help me to manage the aspects of our commercial utility projects more efficiently. Do you have a recommendation for any courses I could be taking to strengthen my skill set?"
"That is a great question, and I appreciate that you consider continued education options for your employees. If I could take any related coursework, I would choose to learn more about the future of electric utilities and organizational behavior. Are there any particular courses you recommend that I take?"
How do you handle stress?
Are you someone who can handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to control pressure in the workplace.
"I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."
"Stress is part of any demanding job, and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels."
Umeme has many different departments and growth opportunities. Where would you like to see your career go with us in the next couple of years?
Umeme Ltd. wants to know that you think about the future and are actively working towards your career goals. Better yet, they want to know how working for them will help you to accomplish those goals! Take a look at the job postings available with Umeme Ltd.. Perhaps there is a particular location or department to which you would like to transition. Talk to the interviewer about the ways you could see your career flourishing with Umeme Ltd..
"I noticed that Umeme Ltd. has opportunities for management and new employee training. My goal would be to become a corporate trainer with Umeme Ltd. because I know the industry well and have been told that I am a talented mentor and teacher. I believe there are many great opportunities for my career to flourish with Umeme Ltd. and I look forward to spending many years with your company."
"I have some pretty lofty career aspirations, and after researching your organization and learning more about this position, I feel that this role fits with my future aspirations. I would love to see myself promoted based on my hard work and results, eventually managing my team."
Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.
"I prefer verbal communication because I feel that with written communication, miscommunication can happen due to lack of tone, fluctuation, expression and body language. I will always choose a face to face conversation whenever possible."
"I like to leverage both methods of communications when dealing in business. Sometimes, situations call for verbal communications and other times, written. As a rule of thumb, I tend to practice verbal communications, with written follow up or vice versa. Utilizing multiple methods creates repetition and therefore, change."
Why do you want to work for Umeme?
Interviewing, hiring and onboarding are expensive and time-consuming tasks for a company. Assure the interviewer that you have a specific interest in working for Umeme Ltd.. Come prepared with examples of why Umeme Ltd. is your top choice. This example could include commenting on individual industry awards and accolades that Umeme Ltd. has achieved in the past. Perhaps they are well known for their community outreach efforts or their strong workplace culture. Make your answer engaging and genuine.
"It's important to me that I work for a socially responsible organization. I like that Umeme Ltd. has implemented a new water conservation program as well as the fact that you donate many dollars and volunteer hours to local charities. You are a company with heart, and I put a great deal of value on that."
"The primary reasons your company stands out to me include your focus on employee development and continued education. You have a strong reputation for nurturing the human resources that you have. I would be so grateful to work here."
Have you personally used the services of Umeme? If so, what was your overall experience?
The interviewer would like to know if you have had the pleasure of experiencing the products/services of Umeme Ltd. first hand. You should always have some personal experience with the company before going to your first interview. If you are not a customer of Umeme Ltd. then perhaps you could call their office to inquire about their utility services. This way, you can comment on the customer service that you received. Big or small, be prepared to say YES - you have experienced Umeme Ltd. first hand.
"I have been a customer of Umeme Ltd. for three years now. My experience has been a positive one. I specifically recall last year when my invoice was incorrect. I called the customer service line, and the representative was helpful and friendly. I have recommended Umeme Ltd. to my friends and family in the past."
"I have not been a direct customer of Umeme Ltd.; however, I did call into your customer service department a couple of weeks ago to discuss the possibility of changing my services over to you. Unfortunately, I am on a contract with one of your competitors until the end of November. My experience with Umeme Ltd. was great so I will be switching over to you as soon as I am able."
Our industry is highly competitive. In your opinion, what are we doing right at Umeme? What could we be doing better?
What are your greatest strengths? How will these skills benefit Umeme, if hired?
Why do you want to pursue a career opportunity in the utilities industry?
Tell me about the most important skill you have gained in the past year. How will that skill help you succeed in this role with Umeme?
Sometimes our customers do not understand their bill and they will reach us with questions. Tell me about your communication skills and how you would respond to an irate customer.
Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond.
Looking at your resume, it seems there are certain skills necessary for this position that do not stand out. How do you think you will be able to compensate for these missing skills?
How do you manage a large workload?
Do you have experience in corrective discipline and terminations?
On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?
How do you respond to feedback?
Tell me about yourself.
What are your salary expectations?
What would you do if a client asked you about a product or service and you were unsure of the answer?
What questions do you have for me?