Recruiters and hiring managers often receive hundreds of applications per job. If you are lucky enough to land an interview, make some effort and research the opportunity. Think about how this job will help you in your career. It's essential for you to know not only what you have to offer them, but what they can do for you. While your passion and excitement for the job are essential, it's always good to have some hard facts to back it up. For instance, saying 'I have heard great things about your company, and I know I would be a great fit for this job,' is not very specific. If you find recent news articles or press releases which talk about the company's accomplishments, mention how that impressed you.
"I am excited about this opportunity because your values are very much in line with mine. I deeply care about giving back to the community. I also feel like this job will help me reach my goal of working in a management position, because of the leadership opportunities within this role."
"I have had my eye on new administrative openings in your company for some time now. I worked for your organization last year in a temp function and loved the atmosphere. Your customers are friendly, and you have solid procedures which are important to me, as someone who values detail and organization."
"I appreciate the mentality of your other managers and would be thrilled to join an organization that encourages collaboration, mentorship, and career growth. Our management styles will mesh very well."
"I'm interested in your company, and this position in particular, because I've been longing to get into the tech startup space for quite a while. I have researched the many options in our city and chose to apply here because you are disrupting a market that needs disruption. Your culture is top notch, and that comes through very well in your brand story."
"I have looked at your company as the leading star and where I wanted to end up for as long as I can remember. I know that this position will give me the further education, training, and experience that I need to be successful in retail sales."
"I identified your company as "the one" for me over a year ago and have been keeping my eye out for the right position ever since. I know that working here is the best next step to advance my sales career and I am ready to help move your organization to the next big milestone with my years of experience in both marketing and sales. I've been a customer for a long time now, and now I'm itching to be on the inside."
"This is the district I have always wanted to work. Not only is the community the right fit for me, but the role of a Spanish teacher is a dream for me. I love teaching new, and seasoned, Spanish students. Igniting or reigniting their passion for the language. I love making learning fun, and I know that your district values align with my own."
Bragging about yourself in an interview can be tough to do, but this is your time to shine! Which characteristics and career accomplishments have made you a stand-out candidate? Perhaps you have received some academic awards or have been given individual accolades in your most recent position. There is nobody like you, and now you need to express that to the interviewer.
"I am the best candidate for you because I have a consistent history of exceeding my targets and goals for the past three years. I have been promoted two times in the last year which is nearly unheard of in my current company. In addition to these successes, I have excellent cold calling skills which I will put to work immediately after being hired by your company."
"I believe my success with your company will come from having all of the hard skills that you are looking for, whether learned in school or gained through work experience. I know all the key players in this region and stay informed of best practices so that I can be the most supportive executive assistant out there."
"I am the best candidate for you because I show levels of dedication and follow through that is uncommon in the workplace. As a manager, my team members are always very responsive to my upbeat and open approach. You will not be disappointed in my performance if you choose to hire me."
"I believe I'm the best candidate for your company because I have a background in sales, I've worked as a freelance marketing consultant, and now I have worked on the agency side as well. Combining these three silos of marketing is something I know will be of tremendous value to your organization and the sales and marketing projects we will work on together. In addition, I want it more than anyone else. This position is a calculated move for me, not one of desperation or a blind leap, so I know that I would be a great fit for you, and you for me."
"I believe I'm the best candidate for your company because of my decade of experience at your competitor. I have experience in the specific department in question, as a team leader, and I look forward to building on those leadership skills with your organization. I know I can make an immediate, and long-term, impact."
"When I read your job posting I smiled from ear to ear because it was as though you had written it with me in mind. I know that I am the best candidate for this role because I have three years of exceeding my sales goals, inside and outside sales experience, and I know the industry. Also, I was the fastest promoted in my previous position and have led the rollout of new markets in my current position, making me ideally positioned for helping you continue to build your sales organization, markets, and exceed financial metrics. Not to mention, I am looking for a company that I can stay with for the long-term, something that you mentioned you value as well."
"I know that I would be an excellent fit for the rest of the Spanish team, the faculty as a whole, and can bring a unique, fun perspective to the Spanish department and students. Not only am I bilingual, but also I lived in Spain, Mexico, and Colombia for a total of 8 years. I feel this uniquely positions me to leverage that real-life experience to educate my students. By bringing my academic, professional, and real-life experiences to my students, I can create an engaging classroom and ignite excitement in my students."
Pick weaknesses that are not a core skill for this position. You can be candid in your answer; recognizing that you aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure to have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness. Perhaps you are watching TED talks to gain skills in a particular area, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar at a nearby community center. We are all human with our weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!
"I believe I could improve on some technical skills including Excel and PowerPoint. Currently I am at a beginner to intermediate level; however, I would be more comfortable at an advanced level. I have enrolled myself in an evening/weekend workshop for the next six weeks. We will see how stellar my skills are after I complete that course!"
"My primary weakness in the workplace surrounds my technical abilities. I consider myself a beginner level user in Excel, so I have decided to start a course this fall to expand on those skills."
"Everyone has weaknesses. I tend to be too nice sometimes. When vendors are not fulfilling their requirements, I tend to believe there must be a logical and understandable reason. I have to remind myself that we are paying for a service and they must meet our expectations."
"I believe my biggest area for improvement is in my software proficiency. I have a working proficiency in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop, but it's not as strong as I would like, so it's something I'm constantly working on improving. I have watched a lot of YouTube tutorials and am always seeking the advice of my graphic designer friends, so it's something that's a work in progress for sure. I hope to be much more comfortable and confident, as well as efficient, in my use of those three programs by the end of Q3. It's a personal goal I've set."
"I would say the area I need to focus on improving would be my Retail POS proficiency. I am proficient, and it does not hinder my ability to do my job successfully, but it's certainly something that I need to work on improving, and am always asking for other managers to show me their tips and tricks."
"I know this will come off as cliche, but it's truthful. My weakness is not delegating. I know what needs doing and how I want it done, so it's often easier to do it myself. However, it can inhibit my ability to grow. I cannot take on every step of a project; I need to be able to give the task or a portion of it to another team member or direct report. I've spoken with my current manager about it, and we've developed a system where he can call me out on the behavior since often I'm not aware of it. By bringing awareness to it at the moment, I find my propensity to hold onto control has decreased, so I'm certainly moving in the right direction."
"I'd have to echo my boss and say I need to spend less time concerning myself with policy. I suppose not resigning myself to it is a bit of weakness. It's certainly something I struggle with, coming to terms with the educational policies with which I disagree. I try to walk the line of advocating for my students, and future students, while being sure to be respectful of the administration and educational system as a whole."
When the interviewer asks about your work ethic, they are looking for specific examples or keywords to which they can relate. When you read the company job, posting or job description do they refer to particular company ethics? Talk about their values and how those align well with your work values. Some characteristics you may want to use are: - Determined/Driven - Accountable - Humble - Respectful - Dependable
"I am a very dedicated and loyal employee. I saw on your website that you describe your company as honest, transparent and you go the extra mile for your clients. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."
"My work ethic can be described as reliable, honest, and consistent. You are welcome to speak to my references in regards to my work ethic. I am very proud of my reputation as a reliable executive assistant."
"I am honest, dependable, and hard working. I am sure that any of my coworkers would agree. As a manager, these are the qualities that I expect from my team, in return."
"I would describe myself as excited to learn, driven towards growth, and someone who executes. I am certain my previous bosses and clients would concur, and I'd happily provide them as references."
"I see myself as driven, dependable, and loyal. I always have my eye on the prize and what I want to achieve; I am always ready to jump into action whenever someone needs me. I stick with a company for the long term and love to grow with one organization. I believe that my managers would describe me as loyal and dependable, as well."
"I'd describe myself as driven and goal-oriented. I love competition and am driven by it. Nonetheless, I am a team player. I never want to disappoint and will always go the extra mile both for my own goals and team ones as well."
"I count myself among the most dedicated teachers, not only to my students but also to my school. I am hard working, humble, kind, and passionate. I wake up every single day excited to go to work, excited about my job, my students, my school community. I want to bring my passion, humility, and drive to light up a new room and new school, hopefully, yours."
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 reliable employment references you can provide.
"In my recent performance reviews and discussions, my manager describes me as a hard worker, motivated, and consistent employee. I always strive to exceed expectations when I can. My current manager is happy to speak on my behalf as a positive reference as well."
"My last manager and I had a close relationship. She appreciated all of my efforts when it came to working overtime and taking my work home when required. I believe she would describe me as unique, reliable and energetic."
"My district manager and I get along well. He valued my knowledge and abilities and gave me the freedom to do my job however I wanted, as long as I got the job done. I think he would tell you that I am dedicated and will go the extra mile to deliver results."
"My current marketing director has reviewed me noting that I am a hard worker, dependable, and effective in my execution. My results would corroborate this as well, and I also would happily provide her as a reference when we get to that stage."
"My most recent manager can be a glowing reference. She lobbied for my promotion into her previous role and mentored me a great deal. She would describe me as dedicated, loyal, a quick learner, and flexible. I am proud of these traits and love that she has, and others have recognized them in me!"
"My manager has always had nice things to say about me. In my most recent performance review, he expressed how impressed he was when I exceeded my monthly sales target within the first week on the job. He also mentioned how he appreciates my initiative in tackling new projects such as the new market I am working on from scratch. I feel fortunate to have always had a great rapport with my managers, and while I don't want to tip this current one off to me leaving, I would be happy to put you in touch with my two previous supervisors when the time comes."
"My department lead at my current school would describe me as impassioned, excited, and dedicated, as you can see in my review from last year. I am very proud that my passion and love for the language shines through to my department, students, and coworkers."
The interviewer wants to be sure that they will be able to meet your needs and not become a repeat of this current desire to leave your job. It's okay, to be honest, but be careful not to overshare. It is best if you can focus primarily on your future wish list vs. dwelling on what is going wrong in your current position.
"In my current role there is a minimal growth opportunity. One of the owners holds the next position in line, so I truly have reached my peak there. I am very thankful for everything my current company has offered me the past four years; however, I am ready to expand my horizons."
"My company is closing its doors. It was a small family run company, and the owner recently passed away. His wife decided it would be best to sell the business."
"Since my company went through a merger, I have been looking for a new role. The quality of production has declined, and I am no longer proud to represent the product that is being put out."
"I believe that I have absorbed everything I can from my current company. I have outgrown the role of marketing coordinator, and there isn't an upward move in sight. I began the search for what I believe to be the best fit for me and I found you guys! I want to work for someone who works on campaigns I believe in."
"I've been keeping an eye on your company, and location, for a long time. I am finally ready to make the leap and take a big step in advancing my career. I don't take the decision lightly, and I am so excited for what is to come. I know that I can learn more and grow faster with your company than any other, and I look forward to that opportunity."
"I feel as though I made a poor choice by taking this most recent job. Headhunted for a brand new company; the framework, leadership, and business plan described when they recruited me did not turn out anywhere close to what they'd envisioned. Nonetheless, I have stuck it out for a year and learned what I could from the position and the organization. I feel it is time to move on. Because of my most recent misstep, I am even more careful about the next move. I want to be sure that I make a solid, informed decision and I feel as though your company is where I should be for the long term."
"I am seeking a new opportunity to get closer to home. Also, now that my kids are out of elementary school, I can take the position without the conflict of potentially being assigned to their school. This district has been the dream option for me for a long time."
Before your interview, make a comprehensive list of your achievements. Perhaps you have received individual awards or accolades. Think of the value you added when working on a team project. Maybe you had your research published, won a raving performance review, or exceeded a sales goal. These are all great examples of achievements!
"My greatest career achievement was being the youngest person ever awarded a sales management position in my current company. I worked very hard for that promotion and my dedication paid off."
"My most significant achievement so far has been my ability to graduate University top of my class while working full time. I am very proud of that achievement."
"My greatest achievement was winning the North American top manager award three years in a row. The award is nomination-based, with the final decision focusing on staff retention rates, production rates, and tenure."
"I would say my greatest career achievement to date would be having launched a career in both sales and marketing, leveraging my top salesperson status to leap into marketing. I've been able to utilize my sales knowledge to launch multiple highly successful, revenue-generating campaigns."
"My greatest accomplishment is the promotion I received last year to department general manager. I began in part-time sales and had managed the third largest department in the store while being the youngest ever to do so!"
"My greatest career accomplishment was achieving the fastest promotion in the organization's history. I was not only proud of myself but also received accolades from the VP of Sales in front of the entire company, which was an extraordinary moment."
"In my current district, they were doing a referendum and proposed cutting the elementary Spanish program to save money. The parents of my students rallied around me and made such a ruckus at all the board meetings that the Spanish department remained intact. The fact that my students and their parents loved the program so much, made me feel so special."
The interviewer would like to know if you are the type of employee who would be proactive if you noticed room for change. Think of some ways you have made an impact at work. When you see something that could be improved, do you take action? Provide an example that shows you have a high level of engagement, and the required confidence to recommend a change.
"In my most recent position I implemented a work-share program when profits were declining. It was an answer to pending layoffs, and although it temporarily cut hours back for our warehouse staff, it saved us from having to make layoffs."
"In my most recent position, I suggested that we eliminate the use of fax machines by better utilizing our company technology and shared servers. I calculated the cost-savings for my boss, and it turns out that it saved us over $500/month on paper. Not to mention the positive environmental impact."
"I implemented a suggestion box regarding workplace safety initiatives. The employees were full of great ideas about how to continually improve our safety standards."
"When I started my current position, the company did not have an organized email marketing system or organized list of subscribers. I proposed compiling our current customer list and rolling out an email marketing campaign that would connect them with our blogs, different sales initiatives, and continue to grow our e-commerce efforts. Over the course of three months, I built out our subscriber list, increased that base from 426 to 1754 and have seen e-commerce sales correlate with that increase."
"In my previous role, I was responsible for merchandising our department's floor. I decided it would be more cohesive to also collaborate with the surrounding departments, and pitched the idea to the other managers and staff. They loved it, so I was responsible for leading a team to collaborate on a bi-weekly theme and work together to develop and execute that vision."
"I was part of creating and implementing a cohort of employees to suggest, plan, and execute company-wide issues that needed addressing. For instance, we identified that we needed a better, formal mentorship program for new hires. So, we created one. We crafted guidelines, gained approval from the executive team, and implemented the changes."
"One example that I'm particularly proud of is the immersion program that I helped spearhead and implement. We work as pen pals with a local school that has a dual language program, and one day per year, we go and spend a day in their classroom that is conducted 80% in Spanish. The kids love the social component, and learn so much."
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.
"I have worked with a wide range of personalities and management styles with great success. If I could express a preference, I feel that I am best with a manager who allows me autonomy while still investing time in me through mentorship and training. Can you describe the management style here?"
"I work best with managers who are highly communicative and approachable. I don't enjoy working in hierarchy based environment as I find it does not offer room for new ideas and creative thinking. How would you describe your management style?"
"I prefer managers who give me an assignment and let me run with it. I don't like to be micro-managed, no do I enjoy having to micromanage my team. I much prefer collaborative environments where trust is present."
"I believe I do best under a manager who sees themselves as a teacher or mentor to me. They want to dictate what I do but also involve me in seeing the big picture. I want someone who strives to help me grow into the marketing professional I aspire to be in the future, someone who gives me leeway where they see my potential to rise to the occasion, without leaving me to flounder out on my own."
"I like a manager that is interested in nurturing their employees. I don't need hand-holding, but I like when my manager takes an interest in me and encourages my drive for growth and development. My manager could encourage me by offering to be a resource, connecting me with other resources, and the like."
"I have had a lot of different types of managers, but I have found the most success when I am given some latitude to make the job, sales pitch, and process my own. I value coaching and mentorship and am accountable to the manager, my goals, and the organization's sales targets as well. With freedom, I find I can be the most successful. That said, I'm quite adaptable and can make any situation work for me."
"I thrive most in a collaborative, team-focused environment. I work well in a team environment when all of the Spanish teachers are working together to build great content, lessons, and means of getting through to our students. When the department head is supportive of our goals, helps us think of things we haven't considered, and push us to continue to do better, I feel I grow as a teacher."
You spend so many waking hours in the workplace that conflict between co-workers can happen. How you handle conflict is what the interviewer would like to know. This is not an opportunity to start venting about your current workplace culture. An interviewer wants to see that you will take accountability for conflict whether the occurrence is considered your fault, or not. Handling workplace conflict tactfully, and with grace, should be the only option. Give a clear example of a time when you professionally managed workplace conflict.
"My style of conflict management is upfront, yet - I swiftly move on. In the five years that I have worked for my current company, I have only come across one instance of conflict. One of my staff members did not show up for their shift, so I was forced to cover their shift. Because of this, I missed my daughter's dance recital. I was upset about it but wanted to do my part as a team player. The next day, the delinquent employee came in and didn't say a word. He didn't apologize to me or thank me for my time. I approached him and told him how his actions impacted my day. He did not respond how I wanted; however, I let it go after I said my part. You cannot change the actions of others, but you have to take responsibility for how you handle your side."
"One point I learned when obtaining my Business Admin degree is that conflict is often a symptom of poor communication, so when conflict arises in the workplace, I am sure to address the situation by starting at the root of the issue - communication breakdown. With most things in life, I like to address conflict upfront rather than let them fester into a more significant issue. Speaking to someone openly, while making sure they don't feel as though you are attacking them, can yield excellent results, I find."
"I start by identifying the possible reasons for the conflict, poor communication, absence of required materials, employee morale being down, etc. From there, I talk directly with the persons conflicting to find solutions and get everyone back on track."
"I feel that I stay out of conflict for the most part. I am happy to be involved in a debate or intellectual set of differences, but when people start taking it personally or attacking one another, I remove myself from the situation. I love to collaborate and am always up for a friendly debate, however!"
"I'd say that conflict makes me uncomfortable but is entirely necessary at times. I try to stay out of it and let my coworkers handle it themselves since there is something to be learned from hashing it out without interference. That said, I am always paying attention to be sure that it doesn't go too far. When necessary, I am sure to step in and mediate, telling the parties to take a bit to cool off before we dive back in. I feel that this has been very effective for me in the past and it's something I will continue to do as a retail manager."
"In a previous role, another employee and I seemed to be clashing. Nothing overt or truly problematic, but we worked together frequently, and it was becoming toxic. Rather than let it fester, I asked to speak with her for a quick minute. We grabbed a conference room and talked. We aired out any grievances we had and quashed them right there. We went on to be great teammates and ultimately became friends outside of work as well."
"There will always be creative differences among teachers regarding our philosophies on teaching, or homework. Anything you could disagree on- we do! However, I like to approach any conflict about teaching philosophies as an opportunity to explain my perspective, why I believe what I do, and let them do the same. This way, I can potentially learn from them. It is also important to remember, both the most senior teachers and the newest hires have something important to contribute."
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.
"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 meet your expectations?"
"If you need overtime in this role, I am happy to accommodate whenever I can. My only restriction is that I cannot work Wednesday nights as I have an evening course those days."
"I am willing to work overtime. How much and how often are the first questions that come to mind. I firmly believe that downtime, or personal time, is essential to recharging your batteries and staying focused. I encourage my employees to do the same."
"In a salaried role such as this, I don't expect a strict 40 hour per week schedule, but I also know that I'm looking for a work-life balance. As needed, I'd be available to dedicate more time to the team, while hoping to preserve that balance. Would there be any other instances of overtime I should be aware of?"
"In retail, I anticipate working over 40 hours per week, especially around the holidays. That said, that obviously comes with some limits as I do value my work-life balance. Could you share with me the expectations for this role?"
"I am looking to retain my current schedule as much as possible, which is Monday through Friday from 8:00 - 5:00. I understand with sales that there will occasionally be times when we need to put in more hours to get a deal closed or a quota met. I intend on making those moments happen, putting in the extra hours to get the sale is something I'm 100% on board with."
"As a teacher, we don't leave our work - ever. So, while the school day may be from 7:45 to 3:00, I take my job home with me on nights and weekends. Not to mention, I am currently a soccer coach at the district high school, too, so I am no stranger to long days and nights. I fully dedicate myself to my job and students."
When an interviewer asks an open-ended question like this, it can be difficult to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may have accidentally gone a little too in-depth into their personal lives. It happens. Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in this career path and what you enjoy about it. This question offers an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring.
"I am a competitive individual who is driven and likes to win. In addition to my successful sales career, I also spend time playing competitive sports. I give back by volunteering at the local animal shelter and working for a variety of annual fundraisers in our community."
"I am a very active individual who loves to workout and goes to the mountains on the weekend. I feel that my level of activity on my off time greatly improves my work during the week. I have a high amount of energy to offer, and am even more cheerful when the phone rings! It must be that fresh mountain air."
"I am a calm and quiet leader, with excellent written and verbal communication skills. Even though I am quiet, I can motivate my team and keep morale high."
"I would say that I am both analytical and creative, I'm extroverted at times, but like to hunker down and work on my own to knock out projects. When not at work, I love attending musicals, museums, and traveling. Not only is it something I love, but also I think it helps me expand my horizons on how I approach my creative work."
"I am a passionate, excited team player who loves to learn on the fly, take the lead when possible, and I have a proven track record of success. I'm loyal and have shown that through my decade-long career at one employer. I have risen through their ranks, and am ready to take on the next challenge. Outside of work, I love to travel and do DIY projects in my home."
"Professionally, I'd describe myself as competitive and extroverted; I am in sales after all. Contests, encouragement, accolades motivate me, and of course, the financial carrot dangling in front of my nose. At the same time, I love a team environment and know that culture and mutual respect play such a huge role in my success. On a more personal note, I love to spend time with my family and travel as often as possible."
"I'm pretty sure you can tell, but I'm super excited and passionate about my job, the language, my students, and continual learning. I feel so privileged to have a job that I leap out of bed for every morning. I am a mom of boys, and I am a fitness enthusiast: as their soccer coach, the high school soccer coach for freshman girls, and a runner in my spare time."
Recruiters and hiring managers often receive hundreds of applications per job. If you are lucky enough to land an interview, make some effort to research the opportunity. You don't need to be an expert, but you do need to be knowledgeable about the company before your interview. Start by searching the company website and take particular note of any recent news articles, events or contributions they have made to the community. Identify their mission and values.
"Your company mission of excellent customer service and loyalty jumps out to me. It is why you are the longest standing business of all your competitors. I also love that you are working to make your office green by recycling and minimizing energy costs."
"I conducted a great deal of research before coming in today. I see that you are expanding the existing business into South America. This expansion is a great sign, and I am thrilled with the idea of being part of the administration team in a global organization."
"I have researched your organization a great deal and see that you recently earned the 'XYZ Award' for industry innovation. You had a lot of competition when it comes to winning this award, so this tells me that your team is incredibly dedicated and focused."
"I know that you are shaking up a commodity that is so beloved worldwide but barely consumed in the US, and you're working to make it accessible, understandable, and affordable. The three-pronged tagline hits your value proposition home and resonates with me as a millennial consumer of tea. As I mentioned, I've been a customer for a few years now, and so I believe I have an additional something to add in the form of personal interest."
"I know that, without a doubt, you are the industry leader, both in thought leadership as well as sales. I love that you heavily educate, train, and promote from within and that your average tenure of full-time employees in over a decade. That is an achievement to be proud of, and something I value in my next employer."
"I have been looking for a high-growth startup for quite a while, and your organization is what I've been seeking. You value your people and have an awesome culture centered around achievement, growth, and accountability. You are disrupting an industry that needs some shaking up, and you have science that is allowing that disruption. The energy in here is contagious, which only make me even more excited about the opportunity."
"I know that your district is a leading district in the state both for test scores, as well as one of the best places to work. I live in the community and send my kids to these schools, so I know first hand how great the district is. I grew up here, and I like to think that I am a great representation of all the good teaching that goes on in this district."
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 just wants to see that you can take the initiative when there is an opportunity.
"I feel I have an open, enthusiastic style of leadership. To me, a leader wants to nurture others to their fullest potential, and it is something I have enjoyed since childhood. I love to be an example to follow and help guide others to bettering themselves and their careers. I've found that my teammates aren't afraid to bring me their questions or mess-ups, since they aren't afraid of repercussions, but rather know we will collaborate to figure it out and learn from it together."
"As director of administration, I am an open-door kind of leader. I give the junior account administrators space and freedom to complete their work, but my door is always open for guidance and advice."
"My leadership skills can be described as creative, open, and encouraging. I always do what I can to foster an environment that is conducive to the learning and growth of my employees. I find that by leading this way, I retain staff much longer and productivity goes up."
"I feel as though I'm a 'lead by example' type leader. I always strive to do the right thing and hope others will follow. Since I've not yet been in a marketing management position, I feel this is the best way to demonstrate my hardworking nature. I hope others will be inspired to follow suit."
"I think of myself as a coach. I am there to help my retail sales reps grow. They all have their strengths and weaknesses that I need help them identify, and make a joint plan to bring them to the best version of themselves. Every employee learns differently, so I try to understand their needs, what motivates them, and how they like to learn."
"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 are capable in 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."
"As a teacher, I'm always looking to inspire leadership in my students. Also, I have been part of a mentorship program since my first year as an educator. I am one of the curriculum developers in my current position as well."
Even though you may have a great relationship with your employer, there may be times where you don't see eye to eye. Think of a conflict or disagreement you had with your boss where you responded well, either by suggesting a compromise or taking a calm, relaxed stance when you could have answered in a heated tone. Agreement puts you in a high position with your boss, because it shows your desire to work together and highlights your creative problem-solving abilities.
"My boss and I disagreed about whether my assistant was right for promotion into another department. He believed that she should remain in her current role, and I also knew she wasn't quite ready; however, I knew that we'd lose a valuable team member if she weren't given an opportunity soon. We chose to promote her accompanied by heavy training. The outcome was positive."
"My previous boss wanted to have a large hand in our social media marketing despite his lack of understanding of how it worked. He wanted to add complicated pricing and photo collages where I felt that a simple teaser and call to action was enough. We compromised, and each did it our way for one week. We then collected the insights related to customer engagement on each. I was correct in my stance. After that, he allowed me to manage our social media independently."
"I had a boss that regularly forced overtime on employees at the last minute with no opportunity to make personal arrangements. I spoke with him at length about morale, and eventually, he started giving the notice sooner, making everyone's lives easier."
"In a previous role, my supervisor thought we did not need to invest the time or money into growing an email distribution list or consistently putting out email content. I strongly disagreed, especially after getting my email marketing certification. I approached the topic gingerly and used hard numbers from case studies and tied them to the ROI. By removing emotion from the equation, and focusing strictly on data and analytics, I was able to lay it out in a way that would be hard to dispute or elicit an emotional response. He ultimately gave the green light for piloting the program."
"I have done my best to always get along with my bosses, but inevitably I've disagreed with them in the past. The disagreements have been about the distribution of tasks among the staff. I'm not very confrontational, but I did pull my boss aside on a few occasions to let her know that the treatment seemed unfair to me and it was hurting morale. I asked her to please stay in touch with me about my team and let me make those types of decisions since I know the team intimately. She was not thrilled at first since it questioned her authority and knowledge of the team, but after explaining how it was impacting the morale, productivity, and ultimately my influence as a leader, she tried it my way, and it has gone well since."
"My sales director and I disagreed on the pending termination of one of my sales employees a short time ago. I wanted to spend time training him a bit more after he missed his targets for four months in a row. My director wanted to terminate him immediately. I presented to my director that it would be more expensive to replace him than to re-train. He agreed, and we came to a middle ground."
"I like to think that my department chair and I have a great relationship in which we can both challenge each other to think differently. In light of that, we do occasionally disagree but always respectfully. Through this process, we have become more innovative and thoughtful with the policies, curriculum, and lessons we implement."
The interviewer wants to know how your education has prepared you for this job. A few highlights you can focus on are some of the relevant topics you learned about while attending your courses. Discuss how they will help you in this new role. Some ideas for you: - If you have experience working on group projects, share how you improved your listening and communication skills when working on a challenging project. - If you learned a new type of software or equipment type you will need to know about in this new job, talk about what you know and how you will apply this knowledge. While attending post-secondary studies, you likely learned some core skills that would be transferable to any position. Think about what you learned in your highest levels of education and how that knowledge applies (or will apply) to your work. Some of these skills could include: - Time Management - Creative Thinking - Proposal Writing - Public Speaking - Presentation Building - Independent Learning - Academic Research - Self-Motivation
"I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in 2007 from University XYZ. I received a variety of scholarships due to strong grades. I was on the Dean's list and graduated top of my class. This experience taught me pure dedication and how to manage deadlines."
"I am a big believer in post-secondary education. It adds a lot of value to those newer to the workplace. My post-secondary education was in Communication and Journalism. The courses in this program helped me to develop stronger business relationships through professional correspondence. I also learned persuasive writing skills which have proven to be incredibly helpful when editing client proposals."
"I received my Master's in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Before that, my undergraduate degree was also in Computer Science. This education helped further form my analytical mind. My analytical way of thinking is well suited to a management role where I oversee technicians and engineers."
"I earned my degree in economics from the liberal arts college at my state university. So while my degree exposed me to the business side of the world, the rest of my education was in humanities. I feel as though I've leveraged both sides of my education in my career. I certainly learned things outside of the classroom including time management, how to work cooperatively in a group, and how to be intrinsically motivated. I truly think I use these skills on a daily basis, so I'm especially grateful for my education."
"I have my associates degree in fashion merchandising and my bachelors in communications. I received a scholarship for my excellent grades and worked full time throughout college. Fashion merchandising helps daily in my job, as does my training in communications. Also, I learned time management, avoiding exhaustion during peak times."
"I have a B.A. in English and Spanish. I graduated with a 4.0 from ABC College. I worked full time while going to school, so I learned a lot of time management skills and that I work best under some degree of pressure. I know that these skills I learned during college have helped me thus far in my career and I have continued to refine these competencies. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow from new experiences and bring my education and life skills to your company. I think I will be a strong asset to an already seemingly incredible team."
"I have my Bachelor's in Spanish education K-12 as well as a reading endorsement. I graduated from Elmhurst College with honors. I am also looking to head back for my masters in teaching leadership. I value continuous learning and want to ensure that my graduate degree applies to my day to day job."