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Union Representative

25 Interview Questions & Answers

1.
What motivates you as an union representative?
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There can be several motivating factors for a person to choose a particular line of profession. What motivates you to become a union representative? To answer this question think of what you like about this job and what are you planning to achieve out of this. Is it the feeling of helping others or the leadership that drives you or a mix of both? A good union representative has a healthy mix of leadership qualities as well as empathy towards others. So make sure your answer gives the hiring manager a good idea about the fact that you are highly motivated and this is not just any other job for you but something that you really enjoy doing.

1.
What motivates you as an union representative?
There can be several motivating factors for a person to choose a particular line of profession. What motivates you to become a union representative? To answer this question think of what you like about this job and what are you planning to achieve out of this. Is it the feeling of helping others or the leadership that drives you or a mix of both? A good union representative has a healthy mix of leadership qualities as well as empathy towards others. So make sure your answer gives the hiring manager a good idea about the fact that you are highly motivated and this is not just any other job for you but something that you really enjoy doing.

Rachelle's Answer
"My main motivation as a union representative is the inner satisfaction that I get whenever I get to help the employees in trouble or when I act as a catalyst in preventing some strike from happening. When the union members or my peers look up to me with certain expectations and I am able to fulfil them, I feel happy and content from my job and it also motivates me to do even better."
Anonymous Answer
"I'm passionate about students and teachers. As a teacher, I have to solve conflicts between teachers and students a lot. Sometimes I set up three-way meetings to find out what the conflict is specifically. I find out what both sides feel about an issue and try to work to a compromise. Sometimes it's a matter of using my bag of tricks to offer suggestions to teachers to help them deal with a student problem or developing a method for scaffolding instruction. I intend to apply that skill to union representation between teachers and the district. I try to develop good relationships with everyone I work with, which I think will help me in this position. I listen to people and take an interest in their personal life, which I think helps towards developing good relationships."
Rachelle's Answer
Fantastic response! You are descriptive on what motivates you, and have qualified yourself for the role at the same time.
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2.
Do you consider yourself a leader?
The role of a union representative is to guide and lead the union members, to be their voice when required and to explain the stand of the employers to the employees whenever needed. Acting as a bridge between the two requires leadership skills and thus the answer to this question is quite obvious.
Take a moment to share that you strive to be the role model for the union and your family and friends. Explain that you jump at the opportunity to lead groups, encourage your counterparts, and be the face for the union when challenges arise because you understand that these are vital pieces to being a true leader.

Rachelle's Answer
"I believe that more than being a leader I am a friend, a guide and a support system for the people I work with. I have learnt to be patient, assertive and organized and this has helped me a lot in my job."
Anonymous Answer
"I consider myself a behind-the-scenes leader. I'm a good listener, asking insightful questions, and take my time to consider the issues. I offer suggestions and work towards getting those suggestions implemented. I got my school to adopt an online program, where the textbooks are available in audio format."
Rachelle's Answer
The Learning Ally implementation is a great example. I suggest bringing it forward. I've added a revision below.
"I consider myself a behind-the-scenes leader. For instance, I prompted my school to adopt an online program called Learning Ally, where the textbooks are available in audio format. I am a good listener who asks insightful questions, taking the time to consider the issues. Then, I offer suggestions and work towards the implementation of solutions."
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3.
How do you get a peer or colleague to accept one of your ideas?
The key component to answer this question is your relationship building skills. Tell the interviewer that you work each day to build relationships with your peers and colleagues. Explain how you have small talk with them, learn about their families and special interests, and ensure that you engage with each person on a regular basis. Share that these relationships have helped you gain respect and trust from your peers because they allow these people to see that you care about them. Tell the interviewer that when you approach your peers or colleagues with a new idea, they typically accept right away because they know who are, respect you, and understand that you care about them!

Rachelle's Answer
"I have always respected the opinions of my team mates and value their advise whenever there is a need for the same. Because I value my relationships with my team and colleagues, its easy to make them accept new ideas as they understand that I won't be proposing anything that is not good for them."
Anonymous Answer
"I listen to the problem. And based on who it is, I communicate with them differently, via email or in person, because I've established a relationship with them already. I know if they like dealing with an issue formally or passing in the hallway. I tell them my idea and offer to help using my skills."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer shows a great deal of self-awareness and care. Nicely done!
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4.
Describe a difficult project and how you overcame it?
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.

Anonymous Answer
"My job, in general, is difficult. I have one very difficult student. Most of the teachers complain about him. I fight for him, though. His mom is challenging too. I always talk to teachers about his concerns, and I work them out in different ways depending on the teacher. In the past, he couldn't stand his English class. Now it's his favorite class, and I think a lot of that is because of the work I've done. I've developed a really good relationship with his mom, too because I listen and take her concerns seriously."
Rachelle's Answer
Wonderful example that shows your bright communication skills, and problem-solving abilities. The interviewer should be impressed.
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5.
How well do you work with people?
You work great with people! You are in the people business, and the interviewer wants to hear that you work well with all types of people from every walk of life! Get excited to toot your own horn and share how you seem to easily interact with anyone and everyone.
The best way to show off your people-skills is to share how you have interacted with employers or coworkers in the past.

Rachelle's Answer
"I love working with people. I try my best to be flexible and open in the workplace, understanding that things can change quickly. I also want to stay on good terms with my coworkers, so if I sense a conflict arising, I will be sensitive in addressing it before it escalates."
Anonymous Answer
"Very well. I'm well-liked by the teachers at my school, because I'm friendly and I work hard for all of us, not just myself."
Rachelle's Answer
100% what the interviewer will want to hear. Nice!
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