If you want to crack an interview, you will need to answer some open ended interview questions. An open question is one that you cannot answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. In fact, you could go on and on and on. That is why it’s called ‘open ended’.
A job interview helps you learn more about the company you might work for. Both mental and physical preparation are required to tackle the tough questions.
In this article we look at the main open ended interview questions and we give you some short ideas for the top ten.
Top Ten Open Ended Interview Questions
1. Tell me something about yourself?
This needs research as you need to match yourself – personally and work-wise – with the job. Provide examples.
2. Why should we hire you?
Highlight what you have that they need. Avoid comparisons with other people.
3. What is your greatest strength?
There can be a huge number of answers for this question. But they should all be positive and confident. A few examples: problem-solving skills, management skills or a positive attitude towards challenges and people.
4. What do you look for in a job?
I have always looked for a job that needs my qualifications so I am free to use them.
5. How long will you stay with us?
I would be keen to work with you as long as we both believe that I am productive, achieving and developing.
6. What do you know about our company?
Again you need to research this one. Do a search on the website so you know what they do, what they might do in future and what the company’s values are.
7. What is your greatest weakness?
Select a weakness that is true and then mention how you are trying to overcome, or have overcome, that weakness. Give an example.
8. What qualities do you feel an effective manager should have?
A few good examples are leadership, quality, and vision. Another might be emotional intelligence. Give an example of someone you know if you can.
9. What is more important to you money or work?
Money is obviously important, but work is more rewarding. You cannot give a better answer than this.
10. Tell me about how you work under pressure?
Explain how you are able to prioritize. And maybe not get stressed out. Also, mention a few good examples that show your professionalism.
Other open ended interview questions might be:
Do you think you are an effective leader?
This question is designed to see if you can lead or manage effectively, as well as how you take care of people. You could possibly reply ‘I think my teamwork and leadership traits are superb. I’m often firm but reasonable with the people. I get a lot of respect by managing people this way’.
How do you feel about getting guidance from your managers?
Guidance can be good but it can also seem like you are being told what to do. Your answer could be, ‘I take direction from from managers effectively. No workforce could work without guidelines and managers are often the best to see where help is needed’.
How do you feel about routine or boring jobs?
Pretty much any job can be boring, which makes this a difficult question. Your reply might be, ‘I fully understand that all jobs can be repetitive to a degree. I take all my work very seriously even if parts of it are routine. I put 100 percent into my job’.
Are you a natural born leader?
Some people are born leaders. These leaders will be chosen for management roles because of ability to help and deal with different people. They are people that have passion, confidence and excellent management characteristics. If you have some examples of your effective leadership, give them. They might be ‘Captain of the under 16’s hockey team’ or ‘Community event volunteer organizer’.
Whatever you decide, make sure your example points to a winning situation.
How do you manage criticism?
Everyone has to deal with criticism, whether it comes from an employer, fellow workers or friends. Criticism has positives and negatives. The best answer to this could be ‘We all make some mistakes, and I am comfortable with helpful criticism. It helps me understand and gain knowledge from the situation’. And ‘Criticism for its own sake is not valuable’.
Do you work well as part of a team?
Teamwork is important to every employer. And you could answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to this question. An effective team will streamline work, make the environment pleasant and meet targets. A possible answer might be ‘I love being part of a team. I feel a sense of togetherness or comradeship as we work towards a goal. If we make it then we are all part of the success’.
So you know the questions, get ready for the interview!
As well as looking at interview questions and answers, you need to know everything about the role. Showing an interviewer what you know also shows you really mean business. Get your hands on as much company information and the role requirements as possible before you shake hands with your interviewer.
Open ended questions give you the opportunity to say what you like in a meaningful way. Because you are not just answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’ you will also need to think creatively and positively. Some people worry about what to say and they stuff it up. Be clear in your mind about who you are, what you can do and why you want the job.
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