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30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Published September 4th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
Tell me about a time when you worked with a person who did things very differently than you. How did you collaborate?
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to understand if you are a team player. These situations seem to happen often in the workplace since everyone's work style is a bit unique. Maybe you are organized, and you had to work with someone who is not organized. Perhaps you are a 'big picture' thinker, and you had to work with someone who micromanaged the details. Maybe you are a technology whiz, and you had to work with someone who likes to do things with paper and pen.

Start by discussing the project you were working on and the ways your work styles differed from each other. Explain how you came to a mutual consensus on how to conquer the project. Show the interviewer that you are capable of giving merit to different working styles, even if they do not match your own.
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1.
Tell me about a time when you worked with a person who did things very differently than you. How did you collaborate?
The interviewer wants to understand if you are a team player. These situations seem to happen often in the workplace since everyone's work style is a bit unique. Maybe you are organized, and you had to work with someone who is not organized. Perhaps you are a 'big picture' thinker, and you had to work with someone who micromanaged the details. Maybe you are a technology whiz, and you had to work with someone who likes to do things with paper and pen.

Start by discussing the project you were working on and the ways your work styles differed from each other. Explain how you came to a mutual consensus on how to conquer the project. Show the interviewer that you are capable of giving merit to different working styles, even if they do not match your own.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My fellow administrator and I approach deadlines differently, and that is okay. I prefer mapping out the situation and putting myself on a timeline whereas she prefers to jump right into the task. We have found a good balance between our two working styles after discussing our differences. On our last project, we agreed to split the tasks up and come together at the end of each day to put the pieces together. We have also agreed to keep the lines of communication open throughout the day. As different as we are from each other, we both agree that so long as we get to the end goal together, it doesn't always matter how we got there."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When I began my most recent role, I replaced a manager who very much believed in a dictatorship management style. It was a huge challenge to undo the damage created, while safely implementing my more relaxed management style. My team was so used to a stringent workplace that they resisted my methods significantly. Once trust developed, we were able to create a comfortable workplace culture."
Anonymous Answer
"I was working with another student on a semester-long project that required us to figure out our aggregate plan for manufacturing a product. I am more of a planner, and the other student liked to do trial and error. So we worked to our strengths, and I planned out a couple of possible methods of approaching the problem by creating a hybrid staffing plan, and my partner would test the methods. We then used this to improve my plans and hone in on the best and most precise aggregate plan."
Lauren's Answer
Great example. You provided a strong example to demonstrate your flexibility and collaborative ability. I assisted with adding general traits based on this example that would be transferable.
"When working in a team or group projects, I offer an analytical approach. I am, however, flexible for the work to feel authentic for everyone involved. I once worked on a semester-long project with a peer who had a different work style from my own. I am an analytical person who devises plans and creates a system to address projects. My colleague, however, preferred trial and error. We were able to collaborate in such a way to highlight our working styles. We created a shared plan for possible methods for approaching the problem as well as a hybrid staffing plan. My partner was able to test several methods, and I was satisfied with a logical plan in place. By allowing both of us to integrate our styles, we worked cohesively and efficiently."
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2.
How did you prepare for this interview?
The interviewer is putting you on the spot just slightly. They want to hear the steps that you took to prepare for your interview today. The wrong answer is that you are winging it! Even if you did not have a lot of time to prep for the meeting, or it was a last-minute booking, chances are you still took the time to search the company online or read through the job description. You can be brief and quickly touch on the ways that you prepared for the meeting.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am well versed in what your company offers and have spoken with a couple of my friends who have worked for your organization in the past. Also, I updated my resume for you since the one you found online was slightly outdated."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Your organization is one that I have had my eye on for some time now. I am well aware of your company history and took some time this week to get to know your new product line. I feel well prepared for our meeting today."
Anonymous Answer
"I went through the job description and made sure this is something I want; this is something that would progress my career. Then I researched the latest info about the company and brushed up a few of my skills."
Rachelle's Answer
Good start! Try adding in more specifics regarding where you researched the company and which skills you brushed up on.
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3.
How would you explain the cloud to someone outside of the industry?
Technical terms and methods can be confusing to anyone outside of the industry. Some say that if you cannot quickly explain what you do in layman's terms, then you do not understand it well enough. You should be able to explain everything that you do, on a Grade 8 level. The interviewer is testing to see if you can do this. Keep your reply brief and try to keep your words under three syllables!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"If I were to explain cloud computing to someone outside of the industry, I would say that cloud computing is a way to deliver computing services over the internet, using the cloud. For instance, we use cloud computing when we store photos online, and even when we use different apps on our phone."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My mom recently asked me what cloud computing was and so I told her that she uses cloud technology everytime she asks the internet to perform something on demand such as saving pictures online, access files online, or even playing certain games on her phone."
Anonymous Answer
"A computing service that is used in the storage of various content that can be accessed over the internet instead of an individual device."
Lauren's Answer
Good. I helped your response to become complete and well-rounded.
"If I were speaking with a person outside of the industry, I would describe the cloud as a computing service that is used to store various content. And, the content can be accessed over the internet versus an individual device. I would try my best to word my explanation in a way that the person could relate to or understand."
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4.
If you could meet anyone in the tech industry, who would you choose?
This question is a personal based question, focused on who you most admire in the tech industry. With influencers changing all the time, and companies coming out with amazing advancements every day, the interviewer would like to know better which people are stand-out innovators to you. Be sure to back your answer with why this particular person is of interest to you.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"If I could meet anyone in tech, I would choose Kara Swisher. There are far fewer female influencers in the tech industry, compared to men. I admire that she is brilliant, an entrepreneur, and an important influencer, and also that she has been a writer for The Wall Street Journal. The path she is paving for women in this industry is incredible."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"To choose just one person in tech, who I admire the most, is pretty difficult. There are so many people that I admire. If I had to choose just one, I would pick Tim O'Reilly. These days, it's incredibly difficult to gain an audience in the tech space, let alone coin new terms and important thoughts. He popularized the term 'open source' and also 'web 2.0.' The fact that he has such a powerful voice in this fast-moving industry is inspiring to me."
Anonymous Answer
"Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google. He started in consulting and was very brilliant in the way he attacked problems especially when helping to create Google Chrome."
Lauren's Answer
Great start. I would add more depth in order for the interviewee to get a better sense of your personality and interests.
"I would like to meet Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google. He possesses many traits that I aspire to exude; confidence, incredible problem-solving skills, and overall business savvy. I would like to know more about his early career in consulting and his contribution to the creating of Google Chrome. I believe a person of that seniority and brilliance could have a lot of invaluable knowledge to share with someone like myself."
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Anonymous Answer
"I choose Shery Sandberg. As a leader, she is my inspiration."
Rachelle's Answer
She is inspiring, indeed! What does she do, specifically, to inspire you?
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5.
What is your favorite data structure, and why?
There may be no right or wrong answer here, but the interviewer is interested in knowing which data structure is your favorite. Chances are, the structure that you choose is the one that you are best versed in, giving the interviewer an idea of your experience and skill level.

Some data structures include:

- Stack
- Search trees
- Priority Queues
- Hashing
- Disjoint sets

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would say that search trees are my favorite data structure, for a few different reasons. First, it is easy to determine structure relationships within the data. Second, they provide an efficient way of inserting data as well as searching."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that data needs to be flexible which is why I prefer search trees. I am comfortable using many data structures and algorithms; however."
Anonymous Answer
"Array's"
Lauren's Answer
Be sure to answer both parts of this question. See a sample response below.
"Array’s is my favorite data structure because it is user-friendly, and has the capability and functionality I desire when working on large projects."
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