Updated on August 30th, 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 32
Have you requested extra responsibilities in any of your previous roles?
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The interviewer wants to see that you have a desire to learn, grow, and try on new challenges! No hiring manager wants to hire the complacent employee so show them you are willing to see opportunity when it arises!
Your willingness to take on additional tasks, with a positive attitude, gives the interviewer all the more reason to want to get to know you better. Hiring managers are looking for people who will be proactive and help to carry the team.
Here are some ways you can gain extra responsibilities in the workplace:
- Talking to your boss about your career goals and having a conversation about new tasks that may help to get you there
- Offering to take work off of a co-workers plate, if they seem stressed.
- Just jumping in and take on a new responsibility!
"In my current role I asked my boss if I could take over the social media marketing. We are a small restaurant and my supervisor was struggling with it. Being a millennial, I am always on social media and I really understand what types of posts gain attention. After taking over the task, I grew our Instagram following from just 400 to 2000 in 2 months! I am always game for taking on new tasks."
Tell me about a time when you took charge of a meeting. Was the outcome a positive one?
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The interviewer would like to know that you have the confidence to successfully lead a meeting.
Think about a time when you have led a meeting - big or small. This could be a phone meeting, a lunch and learn, or a large client presentation.
Begin by telling the interviewer the reason for the meeting, who was involved, and what approach you took to prepare for the meeting. Finally, be sure to mention why you felt the meeting was a success! What did you do in that meeting to create an effective and positive outcome?
"My employer asked me to lead a lunch and learn meeting to train 15 employees on our new client management software. I was already a subject matter expert on the software so it wasn't difficult for me to plan the lesson. The challenge was making the content entertaining enough to keep the employees engaged. I created a strong PowerPoint presentation that included pop quiz questions throughout. The presentation was a success and my employer asked me to lead a follow up meeting a few weeks later."
The interviewer wants to know why you chose to move on. A great response would be to say, "I was ready to take on a new challenge," or "there was no room for growth in that position." It's always best to draw attention to what you are moving onto rather than focusing on what was wrong with what you left. It's understandable to want a new challenge or to desire to learn new things. So share what you're interested in getting out of this new opportunity! If you left involuntarily, explain why and be willing to admit fault. Show what you learned from the situation and how you want to prevent that issue from happening again.
Tell me about an achievement you are proud of. What skills did you use to achieve this goal?
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The interviewer would like to know that you are capable of setting goals, and reaching them. The person who aims to achieve more and more every day is the exact person that every manager wants to hire!
Discuss an example of when you overcame obstacles to reach a career related goal that seemed impossible. Or, share a time when you received an award, and talk about the most challenging parts of achieving that award. Highlight your determination and focus.
"My company has a President's Club for all top sales reps. When you reach PC level, you earn a trip to Mexico! Last year I told myself that I was going to reach the President's Club level, no matter what it took. I worked an average of 50 hours per week, I doubled my cold calling numbers, and utilized areas of our SalesForce program that most people in our company don't even know about. Mixing my strong determination with sound technical skills, and willingness to push through, I made it! I was really proud of this achievement."
If you are a part of any organizations, sports teams or clubs, talk about your involvement. Share the role you play and your contribution as well as what you enjoy about it. If you enjoy other activities like writing, hiking or spending time with friends, talk about those too. This question gives the interviewer a chance to get to know you. They are interested in learning about your personality and what motivates you. If any of your outside activities relate to this position, definitely share the skills you have learned and the similarities.
6. Do you have any relevant work experience? Relevant work experience is anything that relates to the job you're interviewing for. It could be experience in school doing research, writing a paper or doing a group project. Reflect on what you have learned from these experiences that will help you in this new position. Some of the skills you learn in school, like teamwork and communication, are helpful for any job! You may have also gained relevant work experience through volunteering at a children's shelter or animal shelter. Maybe you are involved in organizations at school or church that have taught you how to pay attention to detail or brainstorm new ideas. Stay focused on what the company is looking for as stated in the job description and think about how your experience has helped prepare you so far. Here is an answer example: 7. We want to fill this dishwasher position right away. When would you be available to start? Before your interview, make sure you have a start date in mind for the new employer. Whether you need to give two weeks to your current employer, or are unemployed and can start right away, be prepared with an affirmative answer.
If you are currently working, you should always show professionalism by offering 2 weeks' notice to your current employer. No hiring manager is ever impressed when they hear "I can quit my job today and start tomorrow!" Show that you are professional and reliable in all situations. Here is an answer example: "I can quit my job today and start tomorrow!"8. What are your salary expectations? The best way to discuss your salary expectations are to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise. Here is an answer example: "Currently, I earn $12/hour as a dishwasher. I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."9. Without any job experience, why should we hire you for the position of dishwasher? Sell yourself! You can talk about your strengths and qualities that make you a great candidate. Believe in yourself. Just because you don't have any work experience doesn't mean you're not the best person for the job. You have character traits that others don't. You have skills you may have learned from school that could be extremely helpful for this role. Take some time to list your skills to help you build confidence in your qualifications before the interview. This question is an opportunity to share about your experiences and your qualities that will help you be successful and bring value you your new team. Here is an answer example: 10. 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! Simply share that you have the means to get to work consistently and on time. Here is an answer example: "I have reliable transportation. My vehicle is well maintained and I am comfortable with the amount of travel required to get to your office every day."11. Why are you looking for a job? You may just really need the money for a car or rent, but the interviewer wants to hear your motivation that goes beyond monetary expenses. Maybe you want to continue your education but you don't have support from your relatives. You might have goals of becoming a hair stylist, but the training costs money. You just need a job to help you get that much closer to reaching your goal. Interviewers love to hear that you are career oriented and that you are willing to work hard to achieve your goals. You may be looking for experience that will help you get an internship or into a highly competitive school. Explain your motivation and how this job will help you get where you want to go! Here is an answer example: 12. When have you had to lead by example? The interviewer wants to know that you are aware of the need to always lead by example.
"All the time!" Your actions, decisions, and demeanor are always under some form of scrutiny.
Perhaps a new system was being implemented. Maybe your company was being acquired. Perhaps a change occurred in your senior leadership. Talk about how easily your team could have leaned towards negativity by becoming unmotivated, or acting fearful of the change. Highlight that you have genuine excitement surrounding the possibilities that come with change and that this excitement rubs off on your team. Here is an answer example: "All the time!"13. What causes you to feel dissatisfied on the job? Everyone will have their own particular triggers that cause them to feel dissatisfied on the job. Talk to the interviewer about any factors that may deflate or discourage you in the workplace. Here is an answer example: "I can feel dissatisfaction on the job when I am not feeling heard or when there is not a mutual respect among the team members. I work best in more harmonious situations where there is little drama or gossip."14. Have you ever taken the fall for a situation, where it was really not your fault, in order to protect a coworker? Taking the fall for a situation, in order to protect a coworker, is a tricky situation. It can show teamwork but it may not be the most honest thing to do. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on taking the fall for something you did not do. Here is an answer example: "I do not believe in 'taking the fall' for people based on protecting them. Transparency is always a good idea and if something went wrong then it needs to be addressed in order to prevent it from happening again."15. What questions do you have for me? Don't let this question catch you by surprise! After you do your research on the restaurant, write down some questions that came up for you. Next, review the restaurant website, and social media accounts, to see if any of those questions can be answered through those resources. Interviewers love to hear intelligent questions about the work environment, and job function. They like to be praised for the ways you are impressed by their reputation, and quality of food. Be strategic in your questions. If you still have uncertainties about the position that need to be clarified, this is an opportunity to get those answers as well. Here is an answer example: 16. How many days were you absent from work last year? A part of being a diligent employee is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It's great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance. Here is an answer example: "I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2 and those were accompanied by a note from my Doctor. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."17. Speed is an important factor to your success as a dishwasher. Are you efficient with your time? The interviewer would like to be assured that you are able to keep up with their fast paced kitchen environment. Talk about any experience that you have in fast paced environments and speak briefly about your ability to manage your time well. Here is an answer example: "I am really efficient with my time. I gained strong skills during my time in high school when it comes to reaching deadlines, and multi-tasking. I am currently working as a volunteer at the local soup kitchen which is also a very fast paced environment. I enjoy working quickly and understand the importance of efficiency in a kitchen environment."18. What type of work environment do you dislike working in? Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most environments? Have you experienced a position where the environment wasn't conducive to your productivity? Be sure to know they type of environment that is offered in this position prior to the interview. Here is an answer example: "I am able to 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."19. We are looking for a reliable dishwasher. How would you describe your work ethic? When the interviewer asks about your work ethic they are looking for specific examples or keywords they can relate to. 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 personal work values.
Some characteristics you may want to use are:
- Dependable Here is an answer example: "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 patrons. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."20. What are your career aspirations beyond this job? Everyone has some sort of dream or aspirations on where their career could go. When you think about the future, what comes to mind? Openly share with the interviewer where you'd like to see your career take you. Be sure to include how you feel this particular role would fit in with your future aspirations. Here is an answer example: "I have some important career aspirations once I have completed my University degree. This position will allow me to earn a living while I take my classes over the next 3 years. As I prove myself here, it would be wonderful to gain additional experience in leadership, scheduling, and managing a team of junior kitchen staff."21. Think about a difficult boss, professor or coworker. What made him or her difficult? How did you successfully interact with this person? Show the interviewer that you work well with most personalities even though you recognize there are some folks out there who are quite difficult to please.
Think about that one person at work who is seen as hard to please. Perhaps there is someone at work who tries to intimidate others. Talk to the interviewer about what made this person challenging and what their relationship was to you. Avoid speaking poorly of anyone and be sure to end your response on a positive note. Here is an answer example: "I once worked at a locally owned shop where the owner was very demanding. When the owner would walk into the store, employees would announce over their headset system that the owner was in the building, so that everyone could be prepared for his entrance into their department. The owner had great intentions; however, his people skills were a little rough. I could see that he meant well, and I recognized that he wanted to do a lot of good things. When we interacted, I always took his feedback with the understanding that he didn't mean things as harshly as he might say them."22. Do you prefer doing work on a routine day-to-day basis or do you prefer mixing up your routine occasionally? Are you the type of individual who prefers to know what the routine will be, or do you thrive on the challenge and excitement of unpredictability? Here is an answer example: "I prefer working in a more predictable environment because I can be more effective in my tasks. With that said, I can certainly work in an unpredictable environment from time to time."23. Being a Dishwasher requires strong commitment to our restaurant's hours. Would you be willing to work over 40 hours a week? 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. Here is an answer example: "I am available for full time work, preferably Thursday through Monday, 8 hour days. I am happy to be a team player and work some overtime, as required. Will these hours meet your expectations?"24. Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond. Display to the interviewer that you are able to do more than just the bare minimum. Show that you are able to react appropriately when you see that your employer has a need that goes beyond your usual day-to-day expectations. Here is an answer example: "Last week I noticed that my manager had not completed the schedule for the following week. Some of the staff were complaining that they didn't have their work schedule yet. Rather than going to my manager with the complaint, I offered to take on some of her work load so that she would have the time to complete the schedule. We worked together for a couple of overtime hours that day and were able to catch her up on everything. It felt good to help."25. We put a lot of emphasis on the cleanliness of our restaurants. How important is cleanliness to you? The interviewer would like to know that you have an interest in keeping up their high standards of health and cleanliness. Give examples of times when you went over and above to meet cleanliness standards in your previous role(s). Here is an answer example: "I am very concerned about cleanliness as it has everything to do with first impressions, and also the health of your customers. In my current position I am always the first to notice anything out of place or in disorder. Rest assured, I would be proud to uphold the cleanliness standards in your restaurant."26. Clear communication is incredibly important in a kitchen setting. Rate your communication skills from 1-10. On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself? Here is an answer example: "I will rate my communication skills as an 8/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My current co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. I fully understand the need for clear communication in a kitchen environment."27. What would your friends say are 3 of your best qualities? There are some things that your resume cannot do. Showing off your great personality is one of them! The interviewer would like to understand more about what makes you tick. By asking what your friends would say about you, the hiring manager can learn more about your true character and personality. Talk to the interviewer about some of your best qualities, and be sure to tie these qualities into how they will benefit the company, should they hire you. Here is an answer example: "If asked, I believe that my friends would say that I am reliable, hard working, and easy to get along with. I have had some really great mentors in my life and have been able to apply those strong examples to my own personal character and work ethic."28. Why do you want this job as a dishwasher? The interviewer would like to know some of the reasons that you have chosen to apply for their position. You can keep your answer simple and explain to the interviewer what this position would mean for you, should you be the successful candidate. Here is an answer example: "I would like this job as a dishwasher because I am looking to gain experience in a restaurant environment. The hours posted for this position work perfectly around my schedule as I am currently enrolled in part time college studies."29. There are many openings in the area, for kitchen staff. Why do you want to work at our restaurant, specifically? Interviewers simply want to hear that you are committed to this role, and that you intend to be there long-term. A simple "I really want this job" can do more for you than you may think!
Show the interviewer that you are committed to this interview by discussing what you learned from their website and talking about what intrigues you about the role. Openly share with the interviewer why this job is the best opportunity for you. Here is an answer example: "I really want this job"30. Being a dishwasher is a physical job. Are you able to bend and lift frequently, as well as stand for long periods of time? The interviewer wants to know if you have any physical restrictions when it comes to being able to perform the functions related to the job. Keep in mind that in most states, an interviewer cannot demand that you disclose any physical disabilities. It's always best to be honest, and transparent if you cannot perform the duties. If there are no restrictions, you can keep your answer brief and straightforward. Here is an answer example: "I am confident that I will be able to perform the physical functions of this position, as described."31. Working in a kitchen environment can be stressful. How do you manage stress in your daily work? Are you someone who is able to handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to manage pressure in the workplace. Here is an answer example: "I definitely understand that working in a kitchen environment can be stressful. 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 to not get distracted."32. Walk me through your experience and training as a dishwasher. The interviewer wants you to take a few minutes and walk them through your experience as a dishwasher.
If you have some experience: "I have 5 years' experience working as a dishwasher at 'ABC' and 'XYZ' restaurants. I also have some earlier experience in a restaurant environment as I worked for a fast food restaurant while in high school. I have strong on-the-job training in kitchen safety, occupational health and safety, and also food handling."
If you do not have experience as a dishwasher: "I am new to the restaurant industry; however, am very eager to start working. If you have suggestions for training, I am happy to get a head start on some training." Here is an answer example: "I have 5 years' experience working as a dishwasher at 'ABC' and 'XYZ' restaurants. I also have some earlier experience in a restaurant environment as I worked for a fast food restaurant while in high school. I have strong on-the-job training in kitchen safety, occupational health and safety, and also food handling."
Author of Dishwasher Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 10/28/2014 Last modified on: 08/30/2018
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