How to Answer Those’s Really Tough Interview Questions

Enjoying a successful interview in today’s competitive technology job market can be a challenging feat. If you want to be prepared for your next interview, then you need to know how to answer the complex, questions your hiring manager is likely to ask the next time you apply for the job of a lifetime.  

Hiring managers aren’t picking complicated questions to stress you out or throw you off your game. Remember, like you’re looking for the perfect role, the company you’re interviewing with are looking for the ideal candidate. Those tough questions are your interviewer’s chance to get a deeper understanding of who you are, and what makes you a good fit for the organisation.  

Here, we’ll look at 5 tough interview questions, and how you can answer them.  

 

1. Questions About Co-workers: “How Did You Feel About Your Last Team?”

Most staff members won’t work in a silo, disconnected from the rest of the business. That means that when your hiring manager wants to see how you’ll work as part of a team, they’ll ask about your previous experiences with other employees. For instance, they might ask, “How did you feel about the people you worked with in your last role?” 

The key here is to stay away from negative answers. If you don’t have anything positive to say about your old coworkers, be honest and professional in your reply, such as: “We had a few debates on how individual projects should be handled; it’s natural I guess. I have always been a team player. In fact, on my last project I…” 

Emphasise how you developed your rapport building skills to connect with colleagues who communicated and worked in a different way to yourself.

Give examples of project teams that you were part of and what roles you had in the various teams
and what the outcomes of the projects were.

Remember that any interviewing manager knows that not everyone in a team will be ‘best friends’. What they are looking for is how you handle situations.

 

2. Questions About Failure: “Tell Me About a Time When You Didn’t Succeed”

During any interview experience, the hiring manager you speak to will want to assess your abilities, and how you’re going to impact the existing team, you are soon to be a part of. Though they’ll want to see examples of your achievements, and the things you might have accomplished in the past, they’ll also be interested in finding out how you respond to failure.  

No-one wins all the time.  

The key to being successful with your answers here is to think about how you can discuss what you learned from your mistakes. Explain how a previous situation went wrong, then tell your interviewer how you adapted to the experience, and what you’ve done to reduce the risk of similar problems occurring in the future. For instance, if you didn’t meet a deadline to implement a programme on time because a client was too vague with their specifications, you might have come up with a more intuitive way to ask for briefs from future customers.

 

3. Questions About Weakness: “Describe Your Biggest Flaw?”

This is another interview question that can be complicated and a challenge to answer. When you’re trying to make sure that you show your most “hireable” side to the business, it can seem counterproductive to highlight your flaws. However, with this question, your hiring manager is looking to see that you’re willing to accept your development areas and deal with them.  

Avoid telling your interviewer that you don’t have any shortcomings, or offer vague answers like “I’m a perfectionist”. Instead, be honest about the things that you’re not great at. Try to choose a something that isn’t going to be a deal breaker based on what you learned from the job description, then show the company that you’re currently focused on a process of self-development, intended to help you improve your skills and abilities.  

 

4. Questions About Motivation:

The purpose of an interview is for employers to understand more about candidates and how they will fit into the company culture as well as their fit for a role. A part of this will be finding out more about who you are, and what motivates you towards success.

Contrary to what many people think, salary isn’t the No 1 motivator. Yes, we all need it to support ourselves and families, and there is far more to this question.

The most common question you will be asked is “What motivates you?”, sometimes you may hear, “What’s important to you about the job you do and your career?”

This kind of question explore your “values”, and the interviewer is looking to see if your own personal values align with the values of the company you are applying to work for.

Examples of what motivates individuals are;  

  • Having interesting and meaningful work 
  • Being able to use their skills fully 
  • Opportunities to contribute outside their primary role responsibilities 
  • Development opportunities 
  • Working alone, or with others depending on the role 
  • Achieving goals 
  • Seeing a career pathway 
  • Personal and team recognition 
  • Having close working relationships with colleagues 
  • Flexible working opportunities 
  • Working with an inspiring manager 

While it can be easy to check out your prospective employer’s values on their website and
talk about things that relate to these values, if you don’t share these values
you are at risk of talking yourself into a role and company that you are likely to be unhappy in.

Be clear at the outset of any interview what is important to you about a new role and the company.

 

5. Questions about Goals: “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years”

Most employers want to know that the people that they hire have ambitions and passion. In other words, have an idea of what you want to accomplish not just in general, but in the context of your potential new role within a team.

Think about where you’d like your career to go if you were offered the job, and what you could do to improve your chances of reaching your own personal career aspirations. For instance, if you’re hoping to be a team leader in three years, how are you going to make that a reality? 

Although there’s nothing wrong with talking about how the company in question could support you to achieve your goals; don’t make it sound like your future rests entirely on your new employer’s shoulders. It’s up to you to make sure you can drive your own career growth. 

The 7 Skills Every Digital Leader Needs to Be Successful

A digitally-disrupted workforce has changed the way businesses perform today and paved the way for a brand-new future of leadership and innovation. According to a McKinsey study, 65% of senior executives interviewed believe that digital technologies can increase income for their companies over the next three years. Yet, despite these predictions, the primary obstacle facing today’s businesses is a lack of management capability.  

Ultimately, if businesses want to take advantage of digital transformation, then leaders need to adopt new behaviours and roles to drive their companies forward. If a leader can frame a vision of a technology-infused business positively, then the brand can begin to adapt to the modern era.  

Here, we’ll look at some of the skills that marketing and leadership professionals in the workplace need to have to move forward into the digital age, and especially communicate at their next interview. 

Those these insights only cover part of the digital journey; they may help to provide a map into the abilities today’s hiring managers should be
looking for.  

1. Digital Vision 

Technology is a constantly evolving and dynamic thing! As a leader within the digital age, it’s crucial to be able to foresee the outcomes of what you might implement today and the potential regarding where new technologies might take you in the future.  

As you stay on top of the latest discoveries in the marketplace, you’ll also need to think about what’s coming, and how new changes can help your business grow.  

Importantly, this doesn’t mean focusing all decisions around the concept of technology. Digital leaders also need to be able to implement “emotional intelligence” to understand how AI, RPA, and new technology can support, rather than overwhelm their team members 

2. Advocacy Abilities

Often, the core values that are necessary for any leader will remain the same, regardless of the era. Leaders always need the power to encourage and inspire their followers into action. To do this, leaders will also need a solid knowledge in digital trends. As the source of technology knowledge, it’s the responsibility of digital leaders to keep their staff educated, and help them implement new ideas.  

As a leader in the digital age, it’s up to you to set the tone for the remainder of your organisation. Advocacy comes when you energise the workforce and send them marching forwards to your digital vision.  

 
3. Inspiration 

We touched on the concept of inspiration above. In an age of digital transformation, today’s leaders need to empower their people to move through a complicated journey as productively and efficiently as possible, often by educating themselves on the nuances of new technologies.  

As a leader, it’s important for you to learn as much as you can about the solutions you want to implement, then demonstrate its possibilities to your followers by “walking the walk”.  

In other words, it’s not enough to simply have a digital vision; you also need to practice the actions that you’re advocating for.  

4. Communication 

Communication skills will always be crucial to any leader. One positive solution may be to consider the digital messaging practices you currently use and think about how you can adapt them to outline your digital vision.  

On the other hand, keep in mind that a unified workforce moves more successfully towards a goal. Replacing an “authoritarian” leader approach with the approach of a leader that’s focused on empowering a community could help to enhance collaboration in the workforce, and encourage employees to team up and focus on their digital future.  

5. Adaptability

As we mentioned above, technology is a dynamic and fluctuating thing. Exploring new technologies means exploring new solutions in how you approach the workforce. For instance, the edges of all workforces are currently expanding, with professionals from new generations implementing new styles of work into the average office space.  

Adaptability is often one of the most challenging skills for a leader to learn, but it’s important to be able to grow and change with the times if you want to make the most of the digital revolution that lies ahead.  

6. Understanding

It’s impossible to implement new technology into a workforce if a leader can’t show a solid understanding of what they’re advocating for. The digital world has introduced a new language to the modern environment, and senior leaders must learn how to translate that language on the behalf of their employees.  

Additionally, leaders must understand which technology features they need to use to track the performance and outcomes of their initiatives. After all, it’s important for any leader to be able to show how changes to the workforce could have a positive impact on the business.  

7. Adapting Leaders for The Digital World 

While the fundamental features of successful leadership usually remain similar throughout the ages, it’s worth noting that the digital revolution is presenting new challenges for the modern business. Changes in the way we work mean that leaders will need to take on new traits that help them to move with the times.  

As the possibilities for organisations continue to change with the adoption of everything from collaborative technology, to AI, leaders need to be prepared to introduce the most productive new solutions to their teams, in a way that’s inspiration and easy to implement.  

 

About Resource On Demand 

Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company. We assist the world’s leading organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill roles that span across digital marketing, marketing automation, Human Capital Management, CRM system management and, Salesforce developer, Salesforce consultant and Salesforce admin jobs. 

 

The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 professionals each year. To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769 or rod@resourceondemand.com. 

Give Me Feedback!

Okay, so you may have opted against using a recruitment agency! “No, that’s crazy” you hear us scream.  Sadly, many smaller businesses lack the resources to employ a full time HR personnel to manage the recruitment process and often land themselves in hot water over poorly managed processes.  But, what many employers and small business don’t realise is that your recruiter can offer more than just fantastic Adobe Campaign or Eloqua candidates to fill your role.  They can give you sound advice on the whole recruitment process. So what are the top tips for getting it right?

Feedback

Adobe CampaignIt never fails to surprise us how often clients don’t give feedback.  Whether you are using a recruitment agency or not, feedback for the applicant is an important part of the process, but unfortunately only around 41% are provided feedback after an unsuccessful interview.

There is nothing worse for an applicant than submitting their CV to never get feedback, and even worse when they don’t hear back on how their interview went.  Unsurprisingly around 83% of applicants say that a poorly managed interview experience will actually put them off the role and the company.

But, don’t panic thinking that you are going to get bogged down in a deluge of administration around CV and interview feedback. Just a few well crafted templates is all you need to make the overall applicant experience a better one.  And if you do have a fantastic Adobe Campaign recruitment partner, such as ROD, then most of this work can and will be done by them!

For further advice on the interview process,  read our helpful resources guides.

Use Scorecards

As a hiring manager, you probably find yourself interviewing candidates one minute, then running off to internal or client meetings the next.  Sound familiar? What usually happens in these situations, is that interviewers then rely on rushed notes to put their hiring suggestions across to their HR team to process offers and applicant feedback.  And, if like us you find yourself interviewing 5 or 6 candidates in a day, you can often forget the finer details of an applicant.

This is where scorecards come in handy.  Scoring applicants against their soft skills and technical skills, such as Adobe Campaign implementation projects, as you interview them, not only helps you to compare multiple candidates quickly.  But means that you can rely on factual decision making, if you find yourself struggling to recall individual applicants.  And more importantly avoiding those expensive mistakes through relying on your gut-instinct.

Note Taking

Regardless of the number of applicants you are interviewing, making notes immediately is important. Jotting down particular skills, accomplishments, or projects an individual has worked on is a handy way of reminding yourself about an applicants strengths.  However, be very cautious with your note taking.  Under the Data Protection Act 1998 an applicant is entitled to request the personal information you hold on them and how this information will be used.  Interview notes may therefore, full into personal data.   So keep your notes factual, and do not make notes that are deemed to be ‘personal’ and certainly not discriminatory.

Keep it timely 

Setting realistic time frames within the business to respond and process interview feedback is fundamental in ensuring your applicants, even if they are unsuccessful, will have a thoroughly positive experience.

At least 80% of the companies we have dealt with, have at some point experienced the loss of a potentially good applicant, because they took too long to get back to the applicant following an interview.  And quite frankly it hurts.  The time and effort that a takes to organise multiple interviews, ensuring that hiring managers are off client site, and possibly traveling to central locations, all adds to the overall recruitment costs.  Our advice is to avoid having to restart the process all over again, at all costs.

Constructive Honesty

Telling an applicant they aren’t successful is never pleasant, but sadly it is a necessary evil. A whopping 94% of applicants want to have interview feedback, good or bad. But providing feedback is not about saying “Thanks for considering us, but not at this stage”.  Its about offering something more constructive and transparent.  However, many companies avoid feedback for fear of recriminations and accusations levied at them by the applicant. But feedback if done well and honestly, can be hugely beneficial to the business, in that it drives great PR across social media.

In the digital marketing and marketing automation world especially, word and bad experiences travel fast. Therefore always make sure your applicants have a really positive experience, even if unsuccessful.

Resource On Demand (ROD) is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Agency. They were founded in 2007 and are highly respected across the entire Salesforce ecosystem. Their specialist areas of recruitment include; Salesforce (SFDC); digital marketing and marketing automation technologies, which include Eloqua, Marketo, ExactTarget and Pardot; Human Capital Management (HCM) technologies such as Workday and SAP HCM and SuccessFactors. For more information contact ROD on rod@resourceondemand.com or on 020 8123 7769.

Recruitment is a lot like hiring a cleaner

When you hire a cleaner for your home, it’s not usually because you can’t physically do it yourself. Mostly it comes down to saving you time to do more of the things you enjoy, and less of the thingscleaning you don’t. Or that you are not skilled at cleaning. Or that you simply don’t want to do it.  And these are all perfectly reasonable explanations!

Using a recruitment company is exactly the same, and here’s why?

They Save Time

Your Recruiter will screen through vast numbers of applicants and CVs and will provide you with a shortlist. You save time by only seeing the people, who you really want to see.

Their Know-How

Recruiters spend all day on the phone screening candidates. They would have become quite skilled at sussing out ‘little white lies’ on CVs and can determine whether there is a good cultural match between your company and an applicant.

Delegate What You Hate

Like most things in life, if you don’t want to do it, there is normally someone you can pay to do it for you. And believe it or not, good Recruiters love what they do and will happily be paid to do the hard work for you.

So what makes a good cleaner / recruiter?

Okay, so we have all been at the bad end of irrelevant CVs piling up on emails. And yes, on occasion we have been bombarded by calls from Recruiters begging to get on the PSL, then the sound of silence when you actually desperately need a CV.  But you know you are onto a winning Recruiter when…

  • Trust – They are honest and deliver on their promises.  They listen to you, carefully. They not only question you, but challenge you too.
  • Timing – They stick to the time-frame you require. They aren’t afraid of giving you bad news, if needed.  They don’t go missing after unloading their database on you.
  • Partnership – They work hard at protecting your brand, your reputation. And sometimes they will tell you ‘straight’ what you can do to enhance your reputation.

Things to consider:

  • Its’ always best to use a cleaner / recruiter that has been personally recommended.
  • You get what you pay for. After all you wouldn’t expect a full deep-clean for the price of a light dusting, and so you can’t expect a higher level of service from a Recruiter, unless you are willing to pay for it.

What we (and I) can offer you?

  • We offer 4 levels of service (basically anything from a light dusting to a full on spring clean) – so you can choose the package that suits you best
  • I will take the time to fully understand your needs, and yes, I will questionnaire you
  • Feedback every step of the way, so I guarantee I won’t do a disappearing act on you
  • Finally, No feather dusters!!
Resource On Demand (ROD) is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Agency. They were founded in 2007 and are highly respected across the entire Salesforce ecosystem. Their specialist areas of recruitment include; Salesforce (SFDC); digital marketing and marketing automation technologies, which include Eloqua, Marketo, ExactTarget and Pardot; Human Capital Management (HCM) technologies such as Workday and SAP HCM and SuccessFactors. For more information contact ROD on rod@resourceondemand.com or on 020 8123 7769.

Should you be carrying out employee referencing?

Since 2007, we have worked with many cloud technology start ups and SMB’s, and are continually surprised how often employee referencing plays almost no part in the overall application process. Whilst it is true that some references provide little information about the individuals ability to do the job, references themselves can play a significant role in verifying the applicants work history, dates of employment and much more.

If you constantly find yourselves forgoing employee referencing, then STOP! Read our ‘Hiring Process: Reference Checking’ guide now, for more information. And don’t forget to set time aside now for this vital part of the hiring process.

Employee Referencing

Resource On Demand (ROD) is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Agency. They were founded in 2007 and are highly respected across the entire Salesforce ecosystem. Their specialist areas of recruitment include; Salesforce (SFDC); digital marketing and marketing automation technologies, which include Eloqua, Marketo, ExactTarget and Pardot; Human Capital Management (HCM) technologies such as Workday and SAP HCM and SuccessFactors. For more information contact ROD on rod@resourceondemand.com or on 020 8123 7769.