1. What is Most Important - A Good Product or Good Service?

Both are extremely important. A good product is essential, but without the customer service to back it up, there is no reason for someone to buy it here as opposed to somewhere else or on line.
Fast, friendly service can make a bargain product that much more attractive to customers.

A superior product will speak for itself, and friendly, efficient customer service is what will set us apart from the competition.

2. Please Explain What is Your Greatest Strength?

"What is your greatest strength?" may seem like one of the easier interview questions you'll be asked, but it is also one of the most important. The interviewer wants to know if your strengths align with the needs of the company and the qualifications for the particular job. Asking this question helps the employer decide whether or not you are the strongest applicant for the position.

When you are asked questions about your strengths, it's important to discuss attributes that will qualify you for the specific job and set you apart from the other candidates.

3. Tell me what were your starting and final levels of compensation?

Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to be able to provide the details of their compensation history. Be prepared to tell the interviewer how much you earned at each of your prior positions.

4. How Do You Handle Stress/Pressure?

Pressure is very important to me. Good pressure, such as having a lot of assignments to work on, or an upcoming deadline, helps me to stay motivated and productive. Of course, there are times when too much pressure can lead to stress; however, I am very skilled at balancing multiple projects and meeting deadlines, which prevents me from feeling stressed often. For example, I once had three large projects due in the same week, which was a lot of pressure. However, because I created a schedule that detailed how I would break down each project into small assignments, I completed all three projects ahead of time, and avoided unnecessary stress.

I react to situations, rather than to stress. That way, the situation is handled and doesn't become stressful. For example, when I deal with an unsatisfied customer, rather than feeling stressed, I focus on the task at hand. I believe my ability to communicate effectively with customers during these moments helps reduce my own stress in these situations, and also reduces any stress the customer may feel.

I actually work better under pressure and I've found that I enjoy working in a challenging environment. As a writer and editor, I thrive under quick deadlines and multiple projects. I find that when I'm under the pressure of a deadline, I can do some of my most creative work.

5. What Was Your Biggest Accomplishment?

If you didn't fail at anything, say so. If you can think of an example, be sure that it's a minor one and turn it into a positive. For example, if you were working on a project that was behind deadline, explain to the interviewer how you adjusted the workload and the timeline to get back on track and ahead of schedule.

6. What Do You Expect From one of your Supervisor?

I appreciate a work environment where supervisors try to make personal connections with their employees.
In my last job, I liked the fact that management did not show favoritism and they were understanding of employees needs, as well as their strengths. Of course, these things take time to know, but I would want my supervisor to try to know me in that way.
I would like to be able to go my manager if I have an issue or idea and to be able to feel comfortable to expressing my thoughts. I would also expect my supervisor to be open and honest with me and to let me know if there is anything I could do to improve upon or do differently in my work.

7. What Was Most / Least Rewarding?

Interview questions about what was most rewarding and least rewarding can be tricky. You want to make sure that the things you say are least rewarding aren't responsibilities that are going to be a major part of the job you are interviewing for.

For example, if the last job you had involved extensive customer service telephone work that you hated, and if being on the phone doing something similar is even a minor part of the new job, don't mention it.

Instead, focus on the tasks that were most rewarding and highlight those.

8. Why Should We Hire You As English Curriculum Lead?

When an employer asks you, "Why should we hire you As Lead?" she is really asking, "What makes you the best fit for this position?" Your answer to this question should be a concise "sales pitch" that explains what you have to offer the employer.

9. What Can You Do for our Company?

A typical interview question to discover what assets you have that are specific to the company's goals is "What can you do for this company?"

First of all, be sure to have researched the company prior to the interview, so you are familiar with the company's mission. Respond by giving examples why your education, skills, accomplishments, and experience will make you an asset for the employer.

Take a few moments to compare your goals with objectives of the company and the position, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other jobs.

Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company, as well as the job.

10. Who Was Your Best Boss?

I've learned from each boss I've had. From the good ones, what to do, from the challenging ones - what not to do.
Early in my career, I had a mentor who helped me a great deal, we still stay in touch. I've honestly learned something from each boss I've had.
My best boss was a manager who enabled me to take on more responsibility as I progressed in my job. I've had other bosses with a more hands off management style, but I appreciated the interaction with the first manager I mentioned.

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11. What Experience Do You Have?

When you are asked questions related to the experience that qualifies you for the job, it's important to be very specific about your skills and experience.

The best way to respond is to describe your responsibilities in detail and to connect them to the job you are interviewing for. Tie your responsibilities in with those listed in the job description for the new position.

That way, the employer will see that you have the qualifications necessary to do the job.

12. Tell Me Do You Prefer to Work Independently or On a Team?

am equally comfortable working as a member of a team and independently. In researching the LMN company, your mission statement and the job description, I could see similarities to my previous position where there were some assignments that required a great deal of independent work and research and others where the team effort was most effective.

13. What Can You Contribute to our Company?

I'm a hard worker with the experience to get things done efficiently.
I can contribute my organizational skills and my ability to work well in a group.
I have the experience, contacts, and knowledge to contribute to the rapid growth of this business.
Vision. I am experienced in the areas this company needs to grow, and my ability to plan ahead will help facilitate that growth.

14. How To Handle it if the Boss is Wrong?

An answer that works well is: "It depends on the situation and the personality of the supervisor." To elaborate, give examples:

My present supervisor does not like to have his authority questioned. He's fairly new on the job and almost all of the people he supervises have been on the job longer than he has.

He's never bothered to learn the procedures, how things are done or how the computer system works. But if any of us tell him that how he wants something done won't work, he gets extremely angry. So, I never tell him he's wrong. Never. Whatever he tells me to do, I smile and say "okay." Then if I know a way to get it done that will work, I do it that way, give him the results he wants and never tell him I didn't do it the way he told me to. He got the results and is happy. I saved myself the stress of being yelled at and gave him what he wanted, so I'm happy.

My prior supervisor was more easy-going and if I told her "You know, I think it might work better if I do what you asked in such and such a way," she would say "Okay, try it."

15. How To Handle Challenges?

During a difficult financial period, I was able to satisfactorily negotiate repayment schedules with multiple vendors.
When the software development of our new product stalled, I coordinated the team which managed to get the schedule back on track. We were able to successfully troubleshoot the issues and solve the problems, within a very short period of time.

A long-term client was about to take their business to a competitor. I met with the customer and was able to change how we handled the account on a day-to-day basis, in order to keep the business.

16. Tell Me What Are You Looking For In Your Next Job?

I'm looking for a position where I can have the opportunity to successfully use my skills.

I want to be able to provide a company with the best possible work.

I am looking for the opportunity to use the skills that I have developed during my years in marketing to engage your sales force and increase productivity and international sales.

I am excited by the opportunity to learn about your company's innovations, and utilize the experience I have in technology to help streamline your products for even more successful implementation.

In my next job, I would like to be able to have a positive impact on my patients. Your facility offers patients a total recovery program, and I feel that my experience, education, and specialization would make this a good fit for me.

17. Why Are You Leaving Your Job?

I found myself bored with the work and looking for more challenges. I am an excellent employee and I didn't want my unhappiness to have any impact on the job I was doing for my employer.

I'm looking for a bigger challenge and to grow my career and I couldn't job hunt part time while working. It didn't seem ethical to use my former employer's time
I was laid-off from my last position when our department was eliminated due to corporate restructuring.

I'm relocating to this area due to family circumstances and left my previous position in order to make the move.

I've decided that is not the direction I want to go in my career and my current employer has no opportunities in the direction I'd like to head.

After several years in my last position, I'm looking for an company where I can contribute and grow in a team-oriented environment.

I am interested in a new challenge and an opportunity to use my technical skills and experience in a different capacity than I have in the past.

I recently received my degree and I want to utilize my educational background in my next position.
I am interested in a job with more responsibility, and I am very ready for a new challenge.

18. Tell Me What Are Your Future Goals?

The best way to respond to the interview question "What are your goals for the future?" or "Where do you see yourself in five years?" is to refer to the position and the company you are interviewing with.

Don't discuss your goals for returning to school or having a family - they are not relevant and could knock you out of contention for the job. Rather, you want to connect your answer to the job you are applying

19. How To Evaluate Success?

In your answer, you should be cognizant of the type of job you're applying for. Whereas a large corporation might place all their emphasis on the bottom line, a non-profit would measure success not in money but in social impact.

Do your research before the interview: browse the company's website, research their presence in the news and media, and see if you can find any information about their mission statement.

20. What Are Most Difficult Decisions to Make?

When answering these questions, give one or two concrete examples of difficult situations you have actually faced at work. Then discuss what decisions you had to make to remedy the situations.

You want to come across as confident and capable of making big decisions. Avoid examples that make you seem indecisive or uncertain.

Also keep your answers positive ("Even though it was a difficult decision to lay off that particular employee, I did so in an extremely professional manner, and this decision ultimately led to improvements in efficiency and productivity throughout our department").

21. How Will You Achieve Your Goals?

A good answer to this question will speak specifically about what you are going to accomplish and how you are going to accomplish it. Examples of good responses include:

☷ I plan on gaining additional skills by taking related classes and continuing my involvement with a variety of professional associations.
☷ I noticed that XYZ company (the company you are interviewing with) provides in-house training for employees and I would certainly be interested in taking classes that would be relevant.
☷ I will continue my professional development my participating in conferences, attending seminars, and continuing my education.

22. What Motivates You In Your Career?

I was responsible for several projects where I directed development teams and implemented repeatable processes. The teams achieved 100% on-time delivery of software products. I was motivated both by the challenge of finishing the projects ahead of schedule and by managing the teams that achieved our goals.

I have always wanted to ensure that my company's clients get the best customer service I can provide. I've always felt that it's important, both to me personally, and for the company and the clients, to provide a positive customer experience. My drive to constantly develop my customer service skills is the reason I earned top sales at my company two quarters in a row.

I have always been motivated by the desire to meet a deadline. Setting and reaching deadlines gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I love creating an organized schedule for completing a task, and achieving my deadlines. For example, when I ran a fundraising event last year, I set multiple deadlines for a variety of tasks leading up to the event. Achieving each deadline motivated me to keep working, and made the event run smoothly.

23. What role does leadership play for a manager? How have you demonstrated this?

The leader's role is to communicate the strategic vision with clarity. To translate the vision into concrete direction and plans. To identify and communicate priorities, short term objectives, timelines, performance measures, clear responsibilities and performance agreements. To provide quality judgment and advice.

24. Tell Me What Do People Most Often Criticize About You?

Be careful answering this question. You don't want to imply that you are criticized consistently on the job, but you also don't want to imply that you're perfect.

It makes sense to mention things that are not specifically related to the job for which you're applying. You want to emphasize that the criticism or weakness does not affect your ability to perform the job well.

You might also choose to mention a "weakness" that might actually be considered a strength on the job. For example, you might say that some people have said you are very critical of your work, but you can explain that you have a keen attention to detail, and you bring that detail-oriented nature to the workplace.

25. What are the most important values and ethics you demonstrate as a leader? Give us an example of these in practice?

Integrity- being truthful and trustworthy and having conviction - is an essential leadership competency. The effective leader demonstrates values and ethics in personal behavior and integrates these values and ethics into organizational practices and activities.

A good leader acts with the courage of his/her convictions. While leaders are open with their employees and model honesty, transparency and fairness, they do not violate confidences or divulge potentially harmful information.

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26. What Was it Like Working for Your Supervisor?

A typical interview question is "What Was it Like Working for Your Supervisor?" The reason it's asked it to find out how you got along with your boss. Be careful how your answer. Interviewers don't like to hear too much (or much at all) about bad bosses because it could be someone from their company that you're talking about next time around.

I once had a job applicant who spent 10 minutes responding to this question.

She told me how awful her boss was and how her company was a terrible place to work. It so happened that her boss was a good friend and golfing buddy of my boss - our company's CEO - and the company was one of our biggest clients. Of course, she didn't get the job.

27. Head Of Department Interview Questions:

► How would you move existing staff forward?
► How would you deal with an incompetent member of your department (think very carefully about that one!)
► What are the current strengths and weaknesses of the department?
► What new ideas do you bring to the job?
► What is your vision? What would be your targets to move towards this vision in your first year?
► Where will the department be in 3 years of your leadership?
► What are your views on the Foundation National Strategy?
► How flexible are you regarding integrated humanities?
► What are your ambitions after this job? Do you have a career plan?

28. Head Of Dept Curriculum Lead Interview Questions:

► What will your priorities be in your new post?
► How will you develop the scope of history in the school? (think x-curricular)
► How can you build on dept strengths?
► How will you monitor the progress of pupils? (very big at the minute on target setting and monitoring of info)
► Uptake of GCSE and A level
► What else do you bring to the school ie extra curricular?
► How do you see the dept under your management?
► Development of teaching styles, thinking skills, use of ICT, 3 part lessons etc
► How will you measure your success?

29. Curriculum Head Teacher Interview Questions:

► Welcome and introduction of panel members
► What do you do in order to address the specific needs of individual children in order to help them fulfil their potential?
► How would you promote and monitor educational inclusion?
► As new technology is developed how do you see the role of the teacher changing?
► What would you expect to see now in a successful teaching and learning environment?
► As you may have realised from your tour around the school, we have limitations with regard to space available. How would you develop and further improve the aspects of our curriculum that will be affected by this lack of space?
► You may have read in regular items in the press that children today do not often know where their food comes from, believing, for example, that potatoes grow on trees? If you found that to be an issue here, tell us what you might do to give our children, who come from a suburban environment, the knowledge and appreciation of our agricultural past, present and future.
► Can you tell us the benefits and disadvantages of the current regime of testing children on entry to school and at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2.
► Tell us about a recent curriculum initiative that has had an impact on your school and how you have dealt with it. This could be an external initiative or one that you have developed and chosen to lead.
► Describe to us how you would motivate Key Stage 2 boys who begin to become demotivated from and disaffected by education.

30. Curriculum Lead Head Of Dept Interview Questions:

► What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
► How would you deal with a NQT who was not coping very well...(short term, long term)
► Strategies for raising achievement at KS 3/4
► How will you disseminate good practice?
► What role does History have in the support of ICT, Numeracy, Literacy?
► The role of he HoD is the management of staff, curriculum and learning. Which is the most important and why?
► How can the department contribute to a 'whole school' education?
► How would I justify History to the parent of a child who wants to take the subject into KS4, but the parent thinks the subject is irrelevant?

31. What problems prevent a child making progress and how do you help?

The candidate needs to have an understanding of pastoral and academic reasons why a child might find a subject difficult. They also need an understanding of a range of interventions that might be used - and how they can be monitored.

32. Explain about a time when the going got really tough. How did you rally the staff and build morale?

Leaders build a sense of common purpose by promoting the organizational vision both internally and externally. They develop and implement effective communication strategies within the organization. They remove barriers to collaboration and provide clear direction on priorities. They give clear and honest feedback to inspire trust.

33. How would you contribute to the extra-curricular life of the school?

This helps gauge whether the candidate has looked at the school website. A candidate told me he would like to set up a debating club. When I said we had debating already and regularly win competitions, he looked crushed, rather than turning the conversation round and saying 'that's great I'd love to be involved'. It also focuses on their contribution to extra-curricular activities, something that is vital to the school.

34. What methods have you used to gain commitment from your team?

Leaders gain commitment by influencing and persuading the team to set objectives and buy into the process.

35. What would you recommend an ABC candidate to read?

I ask this question because it's important to know that a candidate has continued developing their subject knowledge after their degree. I recently interviewed an economics teacher. We started talking about the French economist Thomas Piketty, and I said I was finding it difficult to read him in big chunks. He recommended a text which he said was less well known but more revealing, and he explained why. I bought the book, and he was right.

36. Explain about an innovative solution you developed to a non-traditional problem?

Innovation and creativity are key competencies explored in leadership interview questions. Effective leaders promote change and innovation. Finding solutions to unique problems are facilitated by encouraging a constant information flow in all directions and emphasizing responsiveness to changing demands.

37. What was your experience of school and what led you to teaching?

I ask this to get a sense of their character and find out how their own education developed. It also shows their interests, passions and how they were inspired. I like to see how much they appreciated their own teachers when they were in school.

38. Please name some situations in which a leader may fail. Tell me about a time when you failed as a leader?

A number of factors can fall outside a leader's control such as the available skill pool in the organization, time constraints, the economic climate. If employees are lethargic and negatively orientated it can create a situation ripe for failure. In answering leadership interview questions that explore how you deal with difficult challenges focus on how you were able to analyze the setback and seek honest feedback to learn from failure. How you used the difficult situation to encourage constructive questioning of policies and practices.

Show your ability to be resilient in the face of failure and to constantly work towards improvement.

39. What mistakes have you made and learned from in your career?

Candidates who can't think of a mistake or learning experience don't impress. This question establishes whether the interviewee is self critical and has the willingness - and humility - to keep learning. Don't say nothing because this makes you look arrogant and lacking in imagination. Don't say that your biggest mistake is being a perfectionist - this appears contrived or insincere. It's good to give examples that show you can accept failure and admit your mistakes. Name a situation that didn't work out well or a task in which your team fell short.

40. How would your staff and colleagues describe your leadership style? Give us an example to support your answer?

The purpose of this question is to find out if the style is congruent with the organizational culture. The perceptive leader is able to adapt his or her style to fit the follower's, employee's and organizational needs.

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41. What animal would you choose from this list?

I get a sense of an interviewee's personal style and their ability to deal with the unexpected by asking them this. With classroom teachers, I have used the following animals: swan; tiger; owl; sheepdog. For leadership positions I use beaver, hawk, lion and bear. You also see whether the candidate can get off the fence and decide what their dominant style is. You can do this with favourite drinks, biscuits, holiday destinations etc. It's surprisingly effective.

42. You receive a pupil/parent concern about a member of staff in your department, what do you do?

This question would be asked in a management role interview and I'd be looking for an understanding of school policy, an ability to handle difficult situations sensitively and someone who can formulate a plan - bringing a resolution to the problem.

43. When are you professionally satisfied?

I'm looking for a sense that applicants are restless in their professional quest for excellence and that they care about the people they teach and value their success and happiness.

44. What would current students say about you?

Would they say he or she is enthusiastic and really committed to a students' success? This helps to get a sense of their own self awareness and how important they are to their pupils.