The best way to answer this question is to tell them one significant accomplishment and explain why you are proud of it. In other words, how did your proud moment impact the bottom line, overcome a hurdle or knock out a personal goal?
The best managers are strong but flexible, and that's exactly what you want to show off in your answer. (Think something like, "While every situation and every team member requires a bit of a different strategy, I tend to approach my employee relationships as a coach...") Then, share a couple of your best managerial moments, like when you grew your team from five to 15 or coached an underperforming employee to become the company's top salesperson.
If you were unemployed for a period of time, be direct and to the point about what you've been up to (and hopefully, that's a litany of impressive volunteer and other mind-enriching activities, like blogging or taking classes). Then, steer the conversation toward how you will do the job and contribute to the organization: "I decided to take a break at the time, but today I'm ready to contribute to this organization in the following ways."
This breaks the ice, shows the ability to think on their feet and if they can enjoy working together. Whatever joke is told, it almost always leads to a story.
How you explain your biggest weakness is one of the most telling interview questions of all. "Interviewees show up thinking they should just be talking about what they're great at, but I'm more interested in where the gaps are and if they are self-critical,"
With this question alone, I am able to discern what is most important to the candidate, what their hobbies and interests are, their communication skills, their sense (or lack of) humor, their presentation comfort level, their educational background, their grasp of what the position entails, and their work style.
Balanced is a good word to use, but remember the type of company you are interviewing at. Some companies may want someone who is aggressive and a go-getter.
That Works, a human resources management and consulting agency. "And you don't hire liars.", the fact is that things are guaranteed to feel unfair at some point-it's all too common-and he wants to know how you deal with it before he hires you.
This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it's crucial. Here's the deal: Don't give your complete employment (or personal) history. Instead give a pitch-one that's concise and compelling and that shows exactly why you're the right fit for the job. Start off with the 2-3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interviewer to know about, then wrap up talking about how that prior experience has positioned you for this specific role.
"I see three areas of interest..." Relate those to the position and industry.