1. What is more important to be lucky or skillful?

I think that it's more important to be lucky, although being very skilled can help to create more opportunities. Certainly, [at my former job, my boss'] confidence in me inspired the decision makers at our firm to trust that I could do the job. But clearly, I also happened to be in the right place at the right time.

2. What's your favorite color?

Yes! Colors can give you all sorts of insight. If hiring was truly efficient, a skilled hiring manager could reduce the entire process down to watching an episode of Sesame Street and digging through a box of crayons.
They're probably in an argument with their spouse. That's not good for a workplace environment.
Who is this person, Kermit the Frog? It ain't easy being green and it's even more difficult to get a job if you walk around answering questions with 'green.'
Your perfect applicant probably off'd someone under a bridge. Seriously, that's just common knowledge. Don't bother running a background check, you already know.

3. Suppose if you were an Apple, which would you be?

If they tell you golden delicious, then you can tell them to get out. They better not say Macintosh either. You don't need crazy Apple fan boys talking about Steve Jobs all day. There's work to be done!
If they answer with Granny Smith, then you have a totally legal reason to hire someone else. Granny Smith apples hurt to eat, and you'll hurt your company by hiring someone who eats them. Bitter apples equal bitter employees.

4. If you were an elephant, would you rather play hopscotch or jump rope?

Another trick question! The real answer would be to paint a fresco along the Moroccan coast. Business is all about thinking outside of the box. If they can't figure their way out of this simple teaser, they don't have a chance in the real business world.

5. Are you creative?

Yes, I believe I'm a creative individual. I'm certainly able to think laterally and to be inventive in terms of finding solutions to problems. Quantity surveying isn't generally seen as a particularly creative profession but I have nevertheless used my creative abilities on numerous occasions, for example converting old manual systems of reporting to highly automated - and much more accurate - spreadsheet based systems. This saved myself and my team a considerable amount of time in the long-term as well as meaning we were less exposed to the professional embarrassment of errors in our calculations.

6. Tell me when you quit, how and why will you do it?

Don't accept any reply short of, I can't quit because that will break my life-oath to die at this desk in my continuous goal of upping production until the last measly breath slips across my cold lips.
Your business deserves dedication.

7. If you had to pick between air, your family, or a $200 gift card to Staples, which you choose?

This one can sound tricky, but the prepared interviewee will know just what to say.
But I can't live without air!" a terrible applicant may suggest. Please. Air would be the obvious choice. You don't want obvious employees.
But I love my family more than anything! an applicant may exclaim if they apparently don't want a job. This isn't a holiday. You need someone to work. Plus, if someone already has a family, they'll never truly become part of yours.
Well, I don't breath that often and I hate my dream-slaughtering family. I'll go with the gift card.
Hire. This. Person.

8. Who play you in a movie?

Men or women, if the candidates don't answer with George Clooney, you don't want them.

9. Are you single?

Admittedly, you should only ask this question under certain circumstanceslike if you want to go out with the applicant.

10. Suppose if you were a sweater, what kind would you be?

Cardigans are slow learners and they'll hate using computers.
V-necks won't add any originality to your business plans, but they'll probably look quite dashing.
Sweater vests combine the best of all worlds, and plus their armpits won't sweat. We recommend option three as the safest bet.
Oh, and anything made of wool will need to be shown the door.
Seriously, wool is itchy.

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11. What would it score on a scale from 8 to 10, if you had to rank your alcohol consumption?

Nobody wants to work with a Sober Sally or Dry Dan. Morale plays a key role in any company culture. Make sure you and your newest employee know how to boost it with a little bit of grandpa's cough medicine.

12. Let's discuss a time when you missed a significant deadline?

I would absolutely love to, but honestly, it's never happened.

13. Where you better at 'managing up' or 'managing down'?

If you aren't good at "managing up," you rarely get the opportunity to "manage down." Fortunately, I've always been quite good at self-management. I've never had a deadline that I didn't meet.

14. Suppose if you worked with someone who managed to 'take credit' for all your great ideas. How would you handle it?

First, I would try to credit her publicly with the ideas that were hers. Sometimes, by being generous with credit, it spurs the other person to "return the favor."
If that doesn't solve it, I'd try to work out an arrangement where we each agreed to present the ideas that were our own to our bosses. If that doesn't work, I would openly discuss the situation with her.
However, if the person taking credit for my ideas was my boss, I would tread cautiously. To some extent, I believe that my job is to make my superiors shine. If I were being rewarded for my ideas with raises and promotions, I would be happy.

15. How many skis are rented each year in the U.S.?

There are 250 million people in the U.S. Let's suppose that the number of skis is 15 percent of that, or 37,500,000. Of those, let's figure that 21,175,000 of them own skis, leaving the number who rent at 9,325,000. Then let's add the number of tourists who ski, say, one million. So the grand total of renters would be 10,325,000.
Now let's assume that the renters who live here take three trips a year, so three times 9,325,000 is 27,975,000 and add that with 1,000,000 is 28,975,000.

16. Suppose if we love women at this company, but our clients are Chinese and so we were thinking of hiring a man for this particular job?

Why is that, exactly? It seems to me that I am probably more qualified to handle this position than anyone, man or woman.
My father's career as a diplomat took our family around the world seven times, and I even spent my junior year abroad in the Far East. I would need far less training than an American man who grew up here and has never worked outside our borders.

17. Suppose if interviewer notice that you interned at a small investment banking boutique. Did you pursue a full-time job offer with them? What happened?

Yes, I did very well at my internship, and I had originally assumed that I would come on staff once I graduated from college. However, BB&L drastically cut back the number of new hires they were planning. As fate would have it, they will not be hiring any of the interns they had last summer.
I love working at BB&L, and I brought some references with me today to show you that my job performance there was stellar. Still, in some ways, I consider this new turn of events to be a lucky break for me, believe it or not.

18. You're forty-something, you would be willing to start at an entry-level position just to get your foot in the door here?

Sometimes you need to take a step backward to move your career forward. Starting in an entry-level role would allow me to learn your business from the ground up.
The career that I've been in is so different than yours that I would love the opportunity to start over again in your field. The salary cut will be well worth it.

19. Tell me what do you view as your risks and disadvantages with the position we are interviewing you for?

I think that the home office located halfway across the globe, there is a very small risk that one might not have the chance to interact with the key decision makers as often as might be ideal. On the other hand, teleconferencing, email, faxing, and having a 24/7 work ethic will go a long way towards bridging the gap.

20. You majored in philosophy. How did that prepare you for this career?

Philosophy didn't prepare me for a career in architecture at all. But it did force me to become philosophical about my prospects. After two years of trying to figure out what to do with my life, I visited Chicago one weekend, and was absolutely spell bound by the gorgeous architecture all around me.
I came home, applied to architecture schools all over the country, and was accepted by one of the best. I've never looked back... this is definitely the career that I was meant to be in.

21. What would you do, suppose if you were running a company that produces X and the market was tanking for that product?

I would search for new markets for the product while I spurred the engineers to change the product to make it more marketable to its original core audience.

22. You worked at HSM for four years, and that's terrific. But I also noticed that you weren't promoted during that time. Why not?

HSM is a great company, and thanks in part to my team's contributions, they are doing very well these days. But that wasn't always the case.
During the first two years that I worked there, people were being fired left and right, and just hanging onto my job was a feat.
Once the company began to turn around, [my boss] was offered a terrific job at a rival organization and it took HSM six months to replace him and when they did, the new boss was eager to bring in his own people. Once again, I tenaciously hung on to my job, and, even though I was long overdue for a promotion, I really didn't think that the timing was right for me to broach it. No one from the old staff was there to even vouch for my performance!

23. Your resume tells me that you were fired twice. How did that make you feel?

After I recuperated from the shock both times, it made me feel stronger. It's true that I was fired twice, but I managed to bounce back both times and land jobs that gave me more responsibility, paid me more money, and were at better firms.
The morale here is very high. I've been exposed to the "seamy underbelly" of this business, but I'm still passionate about working in it.

24. Suppose if you knew that things at your company were rocky, why didn't you get out of the company sooner?

I was working so hard to keep my job while everyone around me was being cut that I didn't have any time left over to look for another job. With all of the mergers that have been happening in our field, layoffs are a way of life. At least I gave it my best shot!

25. Why should I let you experiment on my nickel because you have changed careers before?

As a career-changer, I believe that I'm a better employee because I've gained a lot of diverse skills from moving around. These skills help me solve problems creatively.

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26. What is your biggest weakness that's really a weakness, and not a secret strength?

I am extremely impatient. I expect my employees to prove themselves on the very first assignment. If they fail, my tendency is to stop delegating to them and start doing everything myself.
To compensate for my own weakness, however, I have started to really prep my people on exactly what will be expected of them.

27. Suppose if you work here for five years and don't get promoted? Many of our employees don't. Won't you find it frustrating?

I consider myself ambitious, but I'm also practical. As long as I am continuing to learn and grow within my position, I'll be a happy camper. Different companies promote people at different rates, and I'm pretty confident that working for you will keep my motivated and mentally stimulated for several years to come.

28. Will you be here to take my job?

Maybe in about twenty years, but by then, I suspect you'll be running the entire company and will need a good, loyal lieutenant to help you manage this department!

29. Why you want to be creative?

Creativity is an effective resource that resides in all people and within all organizations. Our more than thirty years of research has conclusively demonstrated that creativity can be nurtured and enhanced through the use of deliberate tools, techniques and strategies.

30. What is creative thinking?

An innovative or creative thinking is the kind of thinking that leads to new insights, novel approaches, fresh perspectives, whole new ways of understanding and conceiving of things. The products of creative thought include some obvious things like music, poetry, dance, dramatic literature, inventions, and technical innovations. But there are some not so obvious examples as well, such as ways of putting a question that expand the horizons of possible solutions, or ways of conceiving of relationships that challenge presuppositions and lead one to see the world in imaginative and different ways innovative thinking is the kind of thinking that leads to new insights, novel approaches, fresh perspectives, whole new ways of understanding and conceiving of things. The products of creative thought include some obvious things like music, poetry, dance, dramatic literature, inventions, and technical innovations. But there are some not so obvious examples as well, such as ways of putting a question that expand the horizons of possible solutions, or ways of conceiving of relationships that challenge presuppositions and lead one to see the world in imaginative and different ways.