The interviewer wants to know how you approach, evaluate and resolve a work problem or difficult project. Telling the interviewer how you overcame the difficult project will show your problem solving skill as well as prove that you are one that can take on responsibility.
You can be in this job because you are truly motivated to be a union representative or just because its some job and you might be planning to shift to some other career in future. To be successful as a union representative you need the inner motivation and willingness to be able to do something for the employees in the union. To answer this question start by telling the interviewer what you plan to achieve as an individual by being into this job and then move on to the bigger motive as a team. You can also explain how it satisfies you when you are able to help out those in need.
"Being a union representative gives me a sense of responsibility and ownership towards those I represent. I enjoy the respect and trust bestowed upon my shoulders by the union members and also being a part of the solution rather than the problem."
The objective of this question is to determine what you believe you have to offer for this position and to the company and to the union that you plan to work for. A good union representative is believed to be someone who has good relationships with the employees and the employers, someone who can be trusted with confidential information and is a problem solver. To answer this question make sure you convince the interviewer that you believe in the company and also in the job that you going to do.
"My contribution to the union will be in the form of skills and knowledge that I have accumulated with the course of time. I believe that the relationships that I build with people and my problem solving skills will be of great help for this union."
This question intends to understand if you have actually been a part of some strike or not. This can actually be a tricky situation as your job as a union representative is to make sure that the employer and the employees are always in agreement with each others' point of views, but at the same time the company might actually be looking for someone who has the first hand experience in tackling such situations. The best way for answering this question is to think of a situation when you witnessed some such situation arising but were able to negotiate a middle way and thus prevented things from getting worse.
"I have never been involved in a union strike and the reason for the same according to me is my negotiation skills. Once things almost went out of control between the employees and the employer in my last organization where the workers threatened to go on a strike as the employer refused to pay compensation to an employee who got injured at work but he was actually on an irregular break and not really working. I intervened and spoke to the employer, who was apparently not wrong in his decision. But, I made him understand that he might undergo much bigger losses if the employees go on strike. At the same time I also explained to the workers that their demand was unreasonable. In the end the employer agreed to provide some compensation to that worker and no strike took place."
This question focuses on your quality of being able to handle confidential information. Can you be trusted with such information when needed? As a union representative you will come across many such instances where you will be required to maintain confidentiality. Thus if you are thick skinned then it will be a real big advantage for you in this profession. For answering this question think of some incident where you were trusted with some confidential information and you maintained the trust well.
"As a union representative there are several occasions when I am trusted with information which is confidential in nature and maintaining this trust is a major part of this job. Once I was shared with some confidential information by the employers about some major change they were planning for the company and there could be some disturbance from the employees' side. Being one of the employees it was easy for me to break down and share this information with my colleagues but this is where the integrity of our job comes into picture. I kept it to myself until it was officially announced by the company officials."
For answering this question discuss the strategy you generally use for resolving conflicts at your work place. You can mention some such incident from the past where you helped in resolving the conflict. Go over the steps you took for ensuring that the conflict was resolved. What was the outcome and also, if you did anything to ensure that there was no similar conflict in the future. One thing to note here is that you should never mention some situation where you were a contributor to the conflict.
"There was a point when there was a conflict between few of my colleagues and the situation at work place had become really tensed because of that. I decided to intervene and talked to both of the parties, listened to their view points and discussed the issue with them together. We were able to reach a common stand after the discussion and both the parties were satisfied. We made sure that the route for dialogue was open after that and no such situation arise in future."
This question focuses more on your working style and how you handle the pressure of long work hours. You can start by mentioning how you plan your day and what you do to refresh yourself when the work demands long working hours. Please remember this is just an attempt by the hiring manager to know how much you love your work and how do you plan and prioritise your work.
"I usually make a list of everything that I need to do during the day and then I see what are the most important tasks that need to be done during the whole day and the week as well. I also set reminders for the deadlines if there is any."
To answer this question you need to go through the job description and also do some research about this job. Answer this question with everything that you know about this job and also don't forget to mention the common elements between these two jobs.
The best way of answering this question is to focus on the areas of your current job that match the most to the job you have applied for. You can always start your answer with a general statement like you like all the aspects of this job and then move on to something specific that is a common element between both the jobs.
"I actually enjoy all the parts of this job but what I enjoy the most is mediating in the conflicts and also the interaction with the people."
For answering this job, make sure you have gone through the job description properly. Tailor your answer accordingly in a positive manner and also be specific about what you consider to be the most critical part of this job. Do not be negative in your answer.
"I believe that the most critical aspect of this job is to have good relationships with everyone we are working with. To have everyone's trust is also very important and to be able to understand what are the needs and requirements of the people is important."
This question is actually a way of identifying your future plans and what would you consider to be an accomplishment for yourself. This will help the hiring manager in determining if the job is a fit for your aspirations or not and also if there is a match or mismatch between your dreams and the job offerings. For answering this question go through the job description and see if there is something worth mentioning here. Also, think about what do you plan to accomplish from this job and your career.
"I believe that a successful Union Representative would be someone who is able to help out the union and the company in resolving the conflicts. Also, if he is able to have good relationships with everyone thats also a defining factor for his success."
For answering this question try to go through the job description and the company culture and requirements in detail. Also, see what job responsibilities you have handled in the past that can be of use in the job that you have applied for. This will help in proving your worth for the company and also help the interviewer in understanding that you are aware of their requirements.
"The problem solving skills and mediation skills are two most important skills that I learnt in my past jobs apart from my work related skills and knowledge. I believe that my interpersonal skills that I have developed in the past many years along with my relationship building skills are something that I can use a lot in this job."
Your answer to this question will help the hiring manager in determining in whether you will be a good fit for the job or not. For answering this question do some research about the company and its working environment, its culture and also any news related to it if possible. This will help in determining the right answer for this question. Also, be positive in your response no matter what kind of working atmosphere you prefer. This question is an opportunity for you to show that you are adaptable to whatever kind of environment you get to work into.
"I am most comfortable in working in fast paced work environment but I am equally comfortable when the business is going through the slow phases and there is less work to be done."
Wanting the position and being legitimately qualified for the for position are two different things. Tell the hiring manager why you think you are qualified to be a union representative for them. Have a complete understanding of the company's needs, the product you will be selling and what the "must-have qualifications" are from the job posting. Address those skills that you possess and add on any additional transferrable skills that you think would be important for the hiring manager to know about.
By asking this question the interviewer is trying to establish how committed you are to staying within the company for a long time. The answer to this question will help in deciding whether they should continue with your candidacy or not, since the employers don't like a candidate who shows the symptoms of leaving them after they have invested in training them. First thing you should do is to go through the job description and company's mission and vision statement properly. Then think how this job aligns with your future plans and might help you in achieving them.
"I want to learn and grow as a union representative. In five years I want to be at a place where all the employees and employers are able to trust me and come to me with any issues they want to be resolved. Earning trust is a slow and time taking process and I want to invest all the time thats needed for getting to that level."
Ideally, the interviewer is looking for an all-rounder with all the required skills and have wonderful communication skills. As there will always be stiff competition and other candidates nipping at your heals you have to come over with your answers in the best way possible so prepare beforehand. Ask yourself are you self motivated? Are you a team player? Are you sociable and enjoy traveling and enjoy sharing your experiences? Do you find it easy to talk and communicate with people of all ages and nationalities etc? If the answer to these questions is yes, then your communication skills are likely strong enough and you possess the correct attributes to work as a union representative and impress the interviewer.
"I love communicating with all kinds of people and since this is one major part of a union representative's job, I believe that I can do it very well. I have never found it difficult to reach someone and talk about anything. My communication skills both written and verbal are excellent as per my knowledge."
What things have you repeatedly been complemented for? What are the common positive comments you receive on your performance reviews? These can be great starting points for identifying your greatest strength! Share one of these things with the interviewer stating that others have told you this is your greatest strength. Next, share how this strength will help you as a union representative.
"I have been told by my colleagues that my greatest strength is my ability to strike up a conversation with anyone! As a union representative, this will help me build relationships with my employees making us a stronger team."
Pick one of your weaknesses that is not a necessity for the role. Be candid and humble in your answer recognizing that you really aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure you have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness too. Perhaps you are watching TED Talks about the weakness, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar at a nearby community center in the near future. We are all human and all have weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!
"I consider X to be my greatest weakness but recently I have started watching some TED talks and reading some help books to overcome this weakness of mine. I have already started noticing some improvement but I understand its a long road ahead."
Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you the response to the question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your colleagues, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area.
"I believe in myself and the job that I am doing. I have good relations with my fellow workers and have earned a lot of respect in this field in the past few years. My colleagues respect and trust me which I believe is very important for an ideal candidate for this job."
With any job interview, it is crucial to understand the organization you are applying to. We recommend visiting the company website to learn key information such as current seasonal promotions and ongoing events. Watch the videos on their website, and take note of the information on their Careers page if one is available. Come prepared to list off 5-6 things you learned from the company's website such as number of plants they have, number of buildings they own, when the company started, who started the company, mission statement, vision statement, core values, etc.
This is a good opportunity to give an example of a time when you went over and above and were recognized for your additional work.
"Just last week we had an officer call in sick while another was away on holidays. We were very short staffed and were working on an important project. I offered to stay late and work a double shift so that the work was finished in time. My supervisor was really thankful for my attitude and brought me lunch the following day as a way of saying thank you."
Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They also may handle human resources work in a variety of other areas, such as employee relations, payroll and benefits, and training.