The interviewer would like to know how to ensure a healthy level of productivity from you. Are you able to be productive in any environment? Are there particular types of situations that you find distracting? Discuss your preferences with the interviewer. Be sure to research the kind of environment that offered in this position before the interview.
"I understand that your work environment is very collaborative. I come from a similar environment and found that I could be very productive when there was the 'buzz' of a team around me. I can also be productive in quieter environments although that isn't my preference."
"I am most productive when I am allowed to take on my projects and complete them my way, with trust that the final product will be exactly what my manager expected from me. I am very detail oriented, and you can be sure that, no matter how I get there, I will exceed your expectations."
"I am productive in work environments where there is little nepotism or hierarchy. I want to continue to be the type of manager who has an open-door policy where my staff can feel comfortable coming to me with questions and needs."
"As a marketing director, I work best in collaborative environments where all ideas respectfully accepted. You can quash creativity, and it comes in many forms!"
"I work well in environments where I am trusted to do my job without micro-managing, after I learn the ropes of the business, of course."
"I work well in a high pressure, demanding environment that requires you to work smart and make your mark. I am competitive and love a significant challenge."
"I work best in environments that are organized, well-scheduled, and positive by nature. I hear that your school offers this type of environment. Is that correct?"
The interviewer would like to know if there is a particular type of environment that you find challenging. Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most situations? Have you experienced a position where the atmosphere wasn't conducive to your productivity? Be sure to know the type of environment 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."
"I have been lucky enough to work in environments where everyone gets along quite well, and hiccups are opportunities to learn, rather than scold. I hope to join an environment like this again. Does this describe your work environment?"
"In my current company, favoritism can often take place. This favoritism is because the company I work for is a family run business. They mean well; however, the workplace is too small for my liking. I look forward to joining a larger organization like yours where talent is recognized fairly."
"I dislike working in closed-door environments. I need to be with managers who have open office policies and encourage questions. Because I am new to my marketing career, I would appreciate any mentorship that comes my way."
"Environments where tasks are dictated, without explanation, are incredibly challenging. I am capable of reading between the lines; however, I don't do well when orders are barked at me."
"I tend to find slow paced or red tape environments challenging to maintain my excitement levels. It is often difficult to exceed sales targets where there are a lot of unnecessary boundaries and policy."
"I do not work well in micro-managed environments. I cannot concentrate with someone watching my every move. I am a seasoned educator and will deliver my absolute best, every day - without being monitored at all times."
The interviewer would like to know how to motivate you on the job. It is essential, for your success, that the hiring manager knows how to keep you motivated and excited to come to work every day. Share with the interviewer what they could do to ensure that you are happy and productive.
"I am most motivated, on the job, when tasks remain organized, and the vibe is positive. I value strong teamwork and good leadership."
"Paving new paths and creating structures to support organizations excite me the most. I am self-motivated and enjoy seeing my hard work make a difference for an organization."
"I enjoy researching and implementing new best practices. I like change, but only if there is a visible improvement in efficiency or morale."
"I am a creative person and, as such, I love an environment with sociable colleagues. When a team is encouraged to get along and discuss ideas, it makes for excellent results."
"I love to have a mentor and work with people who are supportive of each others' success. It is so amazing to celebrate wins like exceeding KPI's or the launch of a new brand."
"I get excited about brainstorming sessions, and sales contests. I'm competitive and like to work with my team to come up with new sales strategies and ways to make our clients happy while exceeding targets."
"I am excited at work when my tasks and responsibilities have a meaning. I dedicate myself to helping my students, so I am at my peak of motivation when I know they are excelling."
The interviewer would like to know more about your client and customer relationships. Do you value your client and customer relationships? How do you nurture them to ensure that they are happy and continue to come back? Talk to the interviewer about your strategy for creating strong customer and client relationships.
"My customer and client relationships are open and honest. I believe that the more upfront and transparent you are with your clients, the more likely they are to return. I most definitely value my clients and am sure to nurture those relationships as much as possible."
"I am often the first face, or voice, of the company. I am kind to the clients who call, and they are most often kind in return. We have clients who call in regularly, and we are cordial, asking about each others' weekends, the kids, or the latest hot spots for lunch."
"I do not have a great deal of exposure to the clients as I am primarily on the production floor. With that said, I often meet clients at networking events, and we get along very well. I can make conversation with anyone and am deeply passionate about the work I do, which those clients tend to appreciate."
"I only have a few clients, so I spend a lot of time working with them. Because of my level of focus and support, I get along very well with my clients."
"I love to help my customers! The best part of the day is when a customer comes to me for assistance, and I can guide them to the right product. It builds trust, and I always appreciate return clientele."
"I have strong relationships with my clients and customers. I treat them with respect and am sure to utilize their feedback in ways that make myself, and the organization, better."
"The relationships I have with my students' parents is one of firm expectations. These expectations go both ways, and we work well together to support each students' needs."
The interviewer would like to know how you will make an impact on their organization if hired. If you landed the position, what would you bring to the department or organization? Assure the interviewer that you are the right fit for this position. If you have a 90-day plan in mind, come prepared to share that with the interviewer.
"If you hired me, I feel that I would compliment your organization in a few significant ways. First - I am a fast learner, and I already bring six years' experience in this industry. The time to train me will be reduced. Also, I will bring a robust portfolio of clients with me which will make a financial impact almost immediately."
"If hired, I will bring my valuable knowledge to help streamline the accounts payable and accounts receivable process in your department. This contribution will help your organization to see an increase in revenue nearly immediately."
"If hired, I will compliment your department by adding value to the important initiatives you have prioritized. I will find ways to make the team better that make sense for the company."
"From what I understand, this marketing department has minimal turnover, which is fantastic. With that said, I will bring a rare outsiders perspective with different experiences and methods, and hopefully, I can help find some areas to improve upon."
"I have an excellent sales record that I plan to bring to this new position with your department. I also have many clients who will be excited to follow me here."
"I have already crafted a 30, 60, and 90-day plan to exceed my training expectations and targets. The plan includes doubling up on my cold calls and making more in-person client visit than expected. I want to knock this out of the park right away."
"I will complement your department by sharing knowledge on the great work we are doing across other departments. When knowledge is shared among educators, we can make great things happen."
The interviewer would like to know which transferable skills you bring to this position. There are many ways that you can be a fit for a job, even though you do not come with direct industry experience. Think about the variety of skills that you have and how those can benefit another employer, despite the industry. These are your transferable skills, and they can include sales abilities, customer service experience, and software capabilities.
"Although my background is not in your precise industry, I have worked with many clients who have been in your industry. I bring excellent transferable skills that qualify me for this position. These skills include my advanced abilities in Excel, my outstanding cold-calling abilities as well as my proven background in team leadership."
"I am a pro when it comes to prioritization and communication. These skills can expand any industry. I am a fast learner and have already dedicated some time to better understanding your industry."
"Time management and leadership skills cannot be taught; however, industry knowledge can. I have begun to study your industry already and will have a firm grasp before my start date. If you have any suggestions on resources to gain further industry knowledge, I am all ears!"
"I come from a corporate marketing department versus an agency setting; however, the ethics of what I did in my previous role are the same that you ask for in your job posting. I am great with analytics and research, and my creative mind goes with me, no matter the industry."
"Customer service, problem-solving, and analytical skills can cross any industry, and I am a pro at all three."
"I bring a lot of transferable skills to this position and industry. My talents and skills revolve around helping people and making companies profitable, no matter the industry."
"Although I am new to teaching in the US, my experience as an ESL teacher in Japan taught me a great deal about curriculum building, the importance of practicing empathy in the classroom, and exercising incredibly clear communication."
Most job descriptions will have a long list of requirements. Hiring managers are aware that, to find a candidate that checks ALL of the boxes, can sometimes be impossible. If you are missing some of the 'nice to have' or even the 'must have' skills listed in the job description, do not fret! Be open about your shortcomings and discuss with the interviewer how you plan to compensate for those.
"I realize that I may not check off all of the boxes for this position; however, I can assure you that I am a rapid learner. Experience in QuickBooks is not my strongest suit, but I am very well versed in another accounting program called Sage. I think that I can pick up the required knowledge quickly."
"I am fully committed to learning, and mastering, any important skills for this role that I do not currently have. Could you share with me any skills that stand out to you?"
"I have not led teams up to 50 people, such as you mentioned in your job posting; however, I have worked with teams up to 30 seamlessly. In my current role, I have only 5% turnover, the lowest employee turnover rate in ten years. I am confident in my ability to handle the responsibilities associated with this role."
"I understand there are skills on my resume of strong interest to you and I am prepared to work double time to correct any shortcomings you may see on my resume. If you could point to me which areas you feel I lack experience, I would be happy to elaborate on those today."
"I will learn whatever skills are needed to excel in this position. I will find a coworker mentor and take sales courses, if necessary. You won't be disappointed."
"As per your job description, I do not have experience selling in the SaaS industry, but I do have experience in communications and technology. Both are highly technical industries, and I am certain I will be able to learn your industry, and the particular verbiage that comes along with that, very quickly."
"Could you share with me which skills you are seeking? I have a diverse range of classroom experiences that I can certainly elaborate on."
The interviewer would like to know that you are accustomed to working with a broad range of people. 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.
"I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time at University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity."
"In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we effectively run the day to day needs of the business."
"I would say that pretty much every company I have worked for has valued diversity. Working with people from all walks of life help shed different perspectives and identify potential problems faster."
"I have worked in a diverse environment my entire marketing career. A successful marketing agency should embrace diversity of all kinds. It's what spurs creativity and genius ideas!"
"In retail, diversity is everywhere, and I love it! I have always worked in diverse environments, and I am thankful for that."
"I currently have an extensive client demographic. This diversity keeps me on my toes during client visits. Everyone's needs are so different. I have to be sensitive to varying cultures, genders, and religions. It has stretched me as a professional, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
"Teachers and students offer incredibly diverse workplace opportunities. Exposure to diversity is a must in the workplace, especially in an educational environment."
The interviewer would like to know that you feel confident this position is the right fit for you. A successful hire needs to feel like the right fit for both parties. Express to the interviewer that you think this position is a secure fit for your experience and your career goals.
"I feel that I am the right fit for this company because, from what you have described, my personality, skills, and drive are what you seek. The challenges that come with this position are all challenges that I welcome. I am confident that this is the right fit for both of us."
"I understand that your biggest ask is an administrative assistant that is skilled in QuickBooks and Excel. I test as an expert user in both. In addition to this experience, I have also supported three other executives in my career. I have incredible tenure, only leaving my current role due to a company merger."
"Reading your company values on your website, I see that our values are very much in alignment. I believe we will have an excellent working relationship. I also understand that the majority of your production employees are Spanish speaking. I am fluent in both English and Spanish. This skill will improve communication with my new team exponentially."
"I am a great fit for your company because I am already familiar with a couple of your client accounts. I check all the must-have's for this role, and my existing familiarity will make me a quick study."
"I am good at what I do, motivated, and I am an avid lover of your product. Mixing these creates an exciting opportunity for me to hit the ground running and enjoy the work. Happy employees are more productive and trust me; I would be thrilled to work here."
"I have exceeded my sales targets by a minimum 125% for the past three years. I am dedicated to my clients and will increase your territory sales exponentially. I am ready for this challenge and look forward to building this territory with you."
"I am passionate about the work you are doing in this public school, and am confident in my ability to make a difference for these students, given my qualifications, background, and high level of compassion."
Nobody is a perfect employee! Think about some mistakes you have made at work or any suggestions for improvement received. If a manager were to provide you with feedback or criticism, what might they say? Keep your answer brief and be sure to finish on a positive note by discussing your willingness to improve and take constructive feedback.
"When I started my most recent job I had a pretty big learning curve. The software and my daily tasks were all very new to me. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning because I felt rushed and wanted to learn as quickly as I could. My manager suggested I slow down and not worry so much about keeping up with the people who had been there for a while. He was understanding, and it helped me to learn that it's okay to take my time to avoid mistakes."
"My previous manager could comment on my willingness to adapt to change. We went through a major merger which brought many significant changes on a weekly basis. The uncertainty was difficult for me, and I feel that I could have handled it better."
"I think the most critical thing a manager could say about me would be that I can sometimes be too emotional about work. I am very passionate, so I advocate fiercely for what I believe in, but I know that it is an area for improvement. I'm working on this, taking the emotion out of it. Follow my gut but lay out the facts in a matter-of-fact way, leading to the conclusion with facts, money, and "what's in it for me" for the other person to see my side, without emotion on the line."
"The most critical thing a manager could say might be that I need to thicken up my skin a little. I always want to learn and improve, so I take comments very seriously and to heart when they come from someone I respect. Occasionally, this can dampen my morale when negative feedback is said. I know that I need to work on taking their feedback in stride. I already work on incorporating it immediately, I need to skip the middle step of letting it bring me down or letting others notice that it has brought me down."
"When I was first out of school I had issues with getting to work on time. Chalk it up to youth, laziness, whatever, but my boss told me then and would tell you now, that my inability to get to work on time was a noticeable shortcoming. I have since resolved this problem and assure you I will arrive to work ten minutes early every day!"
"The most critical thing a manager has said to me is my need to slow down and stop chomping at the bit for the next big thing. I always have my eyes on the prize for the next position to move up the ranks. I know it's great to be goal oriented and driven, but I also know that I need to take time to slow down and truly learn all of the foundational tasks that will help me succeed in that next position. I think I've learned that this time around, and while I am always planning for the future, I know I am building the skills to help me be a better leader when the time comes, too."
"I'm happy to report that I've had mostly great reviews in my tenure as a teacher. That said, I believe my boss would report that my area for improvement would be being more accepting of how the system wants us to do things. I struggle greatly with the standardized test era in which we live. I'm working on it, but it's a bitter pill to swallow when the bulk of teachers as a whole are like-minded and think the way our policies are changing is in the disinterest of the students."
The interviewer would like to know what type of situation would cause you to quit your job, so they can assess how patient you are and what your threshold for stress may be. If you have ever quit a job before, you can discuss the situation but avoid speaking poorly of any employer in the past. Make sure that your example is one that could be justified easily. You want to avoid appearing dramatic or oversensitive.
"I have never quit a job; however, I think it would take a very severe situation such as illegal financial operations or if I were asked to participate in an activity that was criminal."
"Earlier in my career, I quit my job because the work environment was highly toxic. The manager would gossip about other employees, and the owner of the company would scream and yell at everyone. I found a new position quickly and do not regret that situation."
"For me to quit my job, the situation would need to be dire. I have a strong tolerance for stress and can work with a wide variety of personalities. I would quit a job if there were some inappropriate activity such as ongoing harassment or if the work was unsafe."
"Marketing can be a stressful industry, but it's also highly collaborative one. I would not enjoy my job if the environment were not a team effort, or if creativity was not encouraged. Before quitting a job; however, I would take all possible action to change the situation around before giving my notice."
"I would never quit a job without notice as I want to be respectful of my employers. The type of situation that would cause me to quit would be if the environment were combative and disrespectful."
"I have quit my job once in my life, and it was because my company told me that I needed to relocate or risk losing half of my territory. I felt neither was a good option so I gave my notice and began looking for a new position."
"So much of what I do as an educator is highly regulated, due to the teachers' union. I cannot readily think of a situation that would be so unbearable that the only solution would be to quit. Perhaps if my coworkers were awful, but even then - I prefer to focus on the positive parts of my job."