Classic Interview Questions: Part III

Welcome to Part 3 of our classic interview questions series in which we're bringing together some of the most common questions you are likely to be asked, as well as some advice on how best to tackle the interrogation!

1. What are your expectations from a team?

What your interviewer is thinking: What do you understand a team player to be and to what extent do you possess these attributes?

At first it might seem difficult to answer this question without giving generic responses like enthusiasm, dedication, reliability etc etc, so make it  personal and talk about how you act within a team - not forgetting to relate your answer directly to the job in hand!

Think back to your school days, how would you say you were positioned within a team? If you were a team captain, talk of leadership skills. Perhaps you took part in lots of team events but not as a leader, in which case, you can talk of the importance of dedication, passion and genuine interest in the task at hand. If you were not an active team member then you might want to suggest that as an observer you are more strategy focused; you like to look at and analyse situations, draw logical conclusions and then act upon them. There is no wrong answer!

Either way, make sure you think about how it is you genuinely contribute within a team and turn this into a positive! Never lie just because you think it might be what the interviewer wants to hear. For example, don't claim you are a natural leader when your skill set suggests otherwise, it will be noticed!

2. What are your expectations from a manager? 

What your interviewer is thinking: What do you regard as important attributes in a manager? 

Some key qualities in a good manager are:

  • Motivation - being able to inspire a team is an important quality
  • Confidence - a manager that conducts themselves with confidence will inspire confidence within their team.
  • Communication – being able to offer praise and give advice and criticism constructively is important. Written communication is just as important as oral communication.
  • Organisation – a manager is responsible for many people who will be performing many different tasks so it is important for a manager to be able to keep a track of everything that is going on.
  • Delegating – Being able to identify when tasks need to be allocated to team members and appreciating that offloading too many tasks may appear that a manager is shirking their responsibilities.
Be wary of the question 'what did you think of your old manager?'  This is not an opportunity for you to start slagging off your old boss, nor does it mean you have to be super nice about them. Just be balanced but honest!

3. Tell me about a time when you coped under pressure.

What your interviewer is thinking: How have you applied your skills, probably those you have already spoken about, to real, pressurised situations.

Note that he/she will be looking for you to show that you are able to stay calm and focused and deal with conflict in a reasonable manner - remember that your answer is also likely to reflect the attributes you expect from your manager!

Steer clear of phrases that imply you don't suffer from stress. Aside from seeming untrue, it also awkwardly renders the conversation dead in the water! Instead think about a particular situation in which you were called upon to resolve something. This could be drawn from your experiences in another job; pubs and bars are often quite good examples, we've all experienced the all too rowdy customer!

It may be that you do a lot of things in your personal life to avoid feeling stressed, perhaps you jog, meditate or even knit, it could be anything! Don't hesitate to add these points in, it's good to show a bit of personality now and again!

Related content -

Interview Questions YOU Should Ask


© 2016 GradTouch. Terms | Privacy