Updated: 21 April 2020
This post is for participants enrolled in my on-line course: Interview Questions – Interview like a Professional HRM
- How often do you update this FAQ?
In the initial stages, as I foresee many questions, I shall update once a month. After the first 6 months, I shall update as and when required.
2. How will I know when revisions are uploaded?
I shall message enrolled participants via Udemy.
3. Can I private message you regarding my particular business?
If the questions are related to this course – Interview Questions – yes, message me privately via Udemy and we’ll take it from there.
4. Do you provide tips – other than on Interview Questions – for small businesses?
I provide business tips in this blog – aptly named Business Courses and Tips – where I post articles and videos.
5. How soon will you respond to questions posted on your Udemy course page?
I’ve set a target of 2 business days, but do cut me some slack if/when life interferes.
6. What are the guidelines regarding private messaging you?
First, adhere to Udemy’s guidelines on private messaging instructors.
Second, keep your message succinct – that is, no more than 100 words – and include information that will help me to assist you, namely, your Industry – Specific Segment, Staff Strength and Job Function.
Example: Transportation – Airport Transfers, 5 people including self, Owner/operator.
7. How to answer these interview questions?
- (a) How do you describe yourself?
- (b) If we offer this post what will you bring to our company?
- (c) How/where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- (d) What is your weakness and strength?
First off, it is difficult to comment on the relevance of these questions without first checking out the job scope and required candidate attributes.
These are generic questions. Just because many interviewers ask these questions does not render them valid or effective in discovering talent relevant to a particular job . Moreover, one can find stock answers on the internet and even get help from career coaches. And for high paying jobs, candidates are known to seek out career coaches to prepare for the interview.
Asking a candidate to “describe yourself” or “what will you bring to the job” is similar to walking into a department store and asking the salesperson to “tell me what all you sell”. A shopper is usually specific – “I’m looking for running shoes. Show me your running shoes.”
As a hiring manager, I usually seek specifics.
For example: “This job requires a person to be meticulous. I’m seeking someone who is meticulous, who is detail oriented.”
Right, so I start by asking myself this question: What question(s) will draw out this attribute?
Asking a candidate to “describe yourself” or “what are your strengths and weaknesses” and hoping to catch glimpses of a meticulous trait is not the best way forward. The interview usually lasts 45 minutes. My aim (in fact, it is an imperative) is to maximise both my time and the candidate’s time.
One possible question (and also to verify his relevant, yes, relevant strength) could be:
“We are seeking someone who is meticulous. Give me an example from your work experience where you proved to be meticulous.”
There are no stock answers to be found in the internet and no career coach could have foretold this question and primed a candidate. Ask “common” questions, you get standard answers and you end up employing the ordinary.
You don’t build best-in-class teams by following the herd.
That as it might be, one might have no choice but to play the game – prepare for the “most common interview questions”. To answer your question:
- Do an internet search using key words such as “interview questions” and you’ll have access to numerous sites that proffer answers.
8. I am a HR specialist in a software company. I’m looking (for) some interview questions like:
- (a) What have you learned from mistakes in the work of a specialist IT
- (b) What is your biggest weakness
- (c) Why do you want to work with us?
- (d) Why we should select you?
- (e) What do you know about our company?
The intention of the last question (e) is obvious. What do you know about our company? You wish to know how much the candidate has researched your company and this is an indication of how keen s/he is to join your company. It is a good question because your intention is clear.
However, for the other questions , I can’t comment on how relevant they are because your intentions remain unknown.
You first need to consider the following sequence that I covered in the course:
Job Scope > Job Requirements > Interview Questions.
- (i) What is the job scope for the position you wish to fill? This usually includes the job title.
What do you mean by specialist IT? What is the person supposed to do? Implement new systems, or carry out network analysis, security, IT audit, web administration, and etc. Will he be managing a team? Or, will he be working alone? All these require different but important skills – hard skills and soft skills.
What is the job title? For example, if he is a manager – then, perhaps he is managing a small team. Or, maybe he is only managing systems and not people. Again, different skill set. You have to make clear.
- (iii) Depending on the job scope (which usually indicates the job title), you next come up with the job requirements.
Put another way, what are the attributes – the qualifications, experience and soft skills you seek in a candidate?
Qualifications and experience are hard skills and easily identified. These are what you use to shortlist candidates.
Soft skills and expertise are tougher to identify and evaluate. These are what you hope to identify in an interview through a combination of close-ended, open-ended and scenario-based questions. In order to ask questions – you should first know what the person must do (job scope) and what attributes he must have to carry out this job scope (the job requirements).
When you know what you hope to achieve – then, you can fashion relevant questions.
9. I am a hiring manager and would like you to provide sample questions that I can use to conduct interviews.
This course – Interview Questions – is an introductory course. It teaches the basic question types and how to script these questions to suit your requirements. There is sufficient information in the course for you to develop your own questions.
The remit of this course does not include providing free questions for your business. I’m a business consultant and make my living from providing consultancy work.
If you wish, I’ll provide consultancy services and develop questions for your specific needs. But this comes with a cost – payable upfront via PayPal.
If you wish to proceed on this basis, please submit the Job Scope and Job Requirements for which you are recruiting.
10. Did you ever hire a personnel and after he starts work found your judgment to be wrong?
Yes, I’ve hired people and subsequently found they did not work out. I usually do a post-hire review and exit interview to plug shortcomings in the hiring process. Over the years the percentage of “failed” hires diminished.
Hiring does not end when a person starts work. The hiring process ends when the newbie successfully completes the probation. In my next course I cover the probation process.
Overall, the total number of “failed hires” must constantly reduce in numbers when compared with the success rate – this should be the goal, the ever raising of the bar.
What I found was, most hiring managers do not keep score. And many simply play the blame game rather than carry out some serious self-analysis of their hiring process.
11. How do you do this/that when you constructed your course?
I’ve had some students (probably instructors) who ask how to do this or get a particular effect on a course they are constructing.
I’m no expert on Udemy course construction and anyway, it is outside the remit of my course on Interview Questions.
You can avail yourself to the many good and free courses offered by other instructors and by Udemy themselves. Also check out the Udemy forum.
If all else fails, contact Udemy Support. Thank you.
12. I don’t see the subtitiles – how do I access the subtitles on the videos?
Udemy uses closed-captions – subtitles – which you have to click open. See image below.
Note: Closed captions are available only on courses where the instructor had inserted same. If you do not see the button at the bottom right hand of the screen – that means no captions, no subtitles.
I’ve inserted closed captions to cater for 3 classes of people:
- (a) For people who might not understand my “accent” – not everyone can understand everybody’s accents.
- (b) For noisy environments – such as on the tube or when minding children.
- (c) For the hearing impaired.
13. How would you measure the competency level for any job?
This is an entry level course on Interview Questions. In a forthcoming “advanced” course, I shall cover the techniques for measuring competency levels of a job.
14. Could you give us more “practice” exercises?
The nature of this course does not readily lend itself to practical exercises. However, based on the examples and techniques given, you are welcome to two approaches:
- (a) Formulate your own questions and upload on the course page and I shall give you my comments.
- (b) Or, if you wish to keep matters confidential, you can private message me the questions you developed and I shall provide feedback.
You can also check out the videos in this blog. Click Tips | Videos on the top row.
15. Why your videos do not carry captions/subtitles in Portuguese?
I’m sorry but this is an English course. However, I do provide English captions for the hearing impaired, for those who might not grasp my accent and for use in noisy environments.
16. Your course does not provide too much information. Why?
This is a basic course with a limited remit.
I’ve covered everything that I set out to do but if you find any particular lecture lacking, you’re welcome to provide specific feedback so that I can make revisions and improvements.
Simply giving a low star rating does not do you or me any good, and only discourages others who might benefit from this course.
The list of questions you mentioned in Question 7 are still commonly asked and where the candidate is very eloquent, we get perfectly phrased answers. On the other hand, there are candidates who are nervous and their mind seems to blank out. When you put them at ease, after a while they loosen up and you see a more realistic side. Sometimes you are pleasantly surprised that the initial disoriented person turns out to have the attributes that is suitable for the job. 45 mins is so precious to draw out the answers you seek and it does get a bit frustrating when the interviewer waste it with generic questions.
You always provide us with great tips, food for thought and share your experiences. Thank you.
Eric Alagan said:
Obviously, you speak from experience and thank you for the sharing.
You’re right. If everyone attempts the same question paper and comes up with the same “correct” answers – then, who is the best?
This should be the sequence: Determine the job scope > list down the requirements (hard & soft skills) to accomplish this job scope > short list, based on hard skills > at the interview, pose specific questions to discover the soft skills. Is this the best way? Is this foolproof? No one can make such a claim.
However, even brand name recruitment agencies which charge millions and employ esoteric personality profiling, etc – get it wrong. In this regards, small businesses are more prone to get it wrong.
Based on my experience and team building success, my methodology goes a long way in reducing errors in selection.
All good wishes,