Behind the Interview Questions Part 3

What is your definition for success?

Quite a worn out question. Many people are being mislead though, as they think it is an easy one. By your answer the person who is interviewing you would know whether you are motivated mostly by a higher salary, by challenges, by development of new skills, or by other perceptions you might have. 

Success is a subjective category because it is perceived differently based on personality specifics. Therefore, people may miss understanding you. The border between creating the impression that you are ambitious, and that you want to take the place of your future manager is quite thin. Be careful how you express your thoughts. Think in advance about an answer that is specific, related to the position and non-threatening to anyone.

What do you regret in your experience so far?

The question is not asked very often. It is highly likely to be used if a sign of negative aspects or the character or psychological burden is being looked for. The answer will show if you can forgive others and yourself.

You should avoid using the word "regret". From a psychological point of view, this will not help you.

To answer, think of something positive you have achieved and say that you wish you had done more. Or, it would have been better to do something sooner than it happened.

And leave the conversation here. Do not go on and do not succumb to attempts to get you to develop what you have said. The risk of making a mistake will be great.

Have you thought about your own business?

That is a complex question. Because you will not know if the interviewer is looking to discover your entrepreneurial spirit or is afraid you will start work and shortly afterwards you will leave with the decision that you want to develop something of your own. So the investment in you would have been in vain.

So beware of the enthusiasm when you talk about being a boss of yourself. You can calmly say that you have been thinking about the idea or even that you have already tried, but you know that this is not for you. It's worse to say that the thought has never crossed your mind. 

The question is also a good opportunity to emphasise that the corporate environment and teamwork are important to you.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

The question is not whether you will be a director or have a family. It's totally unrelated to your plans. It is about how the role you are applying for is part of your career development plan. If the position is unrelated to your plan, it is logical to conclude that you will leave quickly, especially if something "better" comes up.

In addition, the question shows whether you have ambitions or would feel good at a "specialist" level until retirement.

What are you devoted to?

Dedication indicates values. Whether you would give an example of people, career or a goal in your life, think of the message your words would communicate.

It is important that you would not sound artificially. Show a "mission" in your life. Think about what is most important to you. What inspires you. What the long-term goal of your life is. You are not in a Miss World contest, so do not use worn out phrases such as "World Peace".

What is the most important decision you took this year?

The question is looking for your decision making skills. 

Respond briefly and clearly, using an example that can be related either to your career development or to your personal life. Explain why your decision was important, in other words, what the consequences for your life were.

Can you explain to me something complex in 3 minutes?

The topic you would choose may be related to a hobby, interests, sport, or else, and not necessarily to work. What is important is to succeed in showing enthusiasm, knowledge and skills to concisely pitch an idea, as well as to resonate with the people who listen. 

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