As you move up the ladder, job interviews become more complex.  Situational questions take the interview one step further; candidates are being evaluated on a variety of character traits as well as job related skills and experience, and the market is competitive.

One way to ensure you are fully prepared for an interview is to have an answer to every question on our Interview Prep Guide.  Once you have a good answer to each question that is work related, it’s a great idea to have a relevant example that supports every answer you have in your mind.  Consider the company you are meeting with, the role you are seeking and the person you are interviewing with to ensure your example of how that answer is true for you and relevant to them . 

As an example, someone might ask something like, “Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision.”

This is a question where they are looking for a specific story – that story should have a beginning a middle and an end, and what was made/saved/achieved or learned from the situation.  The answer should be framed up in time, first, not by the company name you worked for – making it easier for people to follow rather than having to refer back to your resume to figure out when it happened.

One answer might be, “A few years ago, when I was at XYZ company, I was asked by a Senior Director to do something I was not in favor of, as I knew it was in violation of a company policy.  It was difficult, but I approached the Senior Director privately by scheduling time on their calendar and I brought a printed copy of the policy with me.  I began the meeting by stating, “I want to make sure you want me to pursue the path we discussed earlier because it appears that might be incongruous with this company policy, so before I move forward I thought we should discuss it.”  In the end, the Senior Director agreed that we needed to tweak our path in order to adhere to the policy and we moved forward together as a team with no uncomfortableness and never discussed it again.  While it was difficult to disagree with a directive I was given, I learned that properly addressing something like that is a good solution in the end.”

If you can cite an answer and a relevant example to every question on our list, there is literally no question someone can ask you that you can’t answer in the interview.  It may take a couple of hours to prepare this way each time, but the dividends will pay off in the end with a great offer at a new company. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Merito Group is a small women-owned business providing excellence in outsourced talent acquisition solutions including retained executive search, RPO, and consulting services. Looking to hire exceptional talent? Contact us by email or 703-734-6340. To view our current career opportunities click here.