Strategies for Human Resources
Connecting business strategy with effective human resources management
[Here are some soft skills interview questions, largely focused on a behavioral approach, you may want to use or adapt during your interview process.]
*Describe how you developed relationships with others when you were new on your current/ most recent job.
*Have you ever worked for an extremely talkative manager? How did you ensure you were communicating effectively?
*Have you ever worked for a very reticent manager? How did you ensure you were communicating effectively?
*Describe a time when you had problems with a supervisor and had to communicate your unhappy feelings or difficult disagreements. Tell me what you did and what happened.
*What words do your current co-workers use to describe you and how accurate do you think these are? If they are not accurate, what do you think caused the person to choose that word?
*Tell me about a time when you became involved in a problem faced by a co-worker -how did it happen, what did you do and what happened?
*When you are dealing with co-workers or customers, what really tries your patience and how do you deal with that?
*Describe a situation when one of your decisions was challenged by higher management; what did you do and how did you react?
*Describe how you changed the opinion of someone who seemed to have a very negative opinion of you.
*Describe some of the most unusual people you have known - what was different about them and how did you work with them?
*Give me an example of how you handled a very tense situation at work.
*How skillful do you think you are at "sizing up" others? Give me an example.
*What types of experiences have you had dealing with irate customers or clients?
*What was the hardest "sell" of a new idea or method you have had to make to get it accepted?
*Tell me about a time when you "put your foot in your mouth" and what happened.
*Describe a problem person you have had to deal with at work, what did you say?
*What has been your experience in dealing with the poor performance of subordinates?
*All of us feel shy or socially uncomfortable at times - when have you felt this way about communicating? Has that influenced your career?
*Timing is very important in communications sometimes... tell me about a time when your timing was very good and one when it was bad.
*The old proverb "silence is golden" is sometimes hard to live by - tell me
about a time when you were proud of your ability to restrain yourself from
*Tell me when you think it is important for a manager to use a participative style and involve work unit members in making decisions.
*Describe the types of teams you have worked in and tell me what worked well and what did not.
*Have you ever had to work with a team of people who did not work well together or did not like each other? Tell me what happened and how you reacted.
*Give me an example of a situation in which you managed or led a team and were able to create a high morale, high productivity work group.
*Tell me about a time when you had difficulty getting others to work together on a critical problem and how you handled it.
*Some managers encourage people to work together while others encourage direct competition among their people. Tell me about the best manager you have worked for and what approach that person took and what you learned.
*Describe a really difficult person you worked with and how you handled
working with that person.
*Describe a time when you were able to reverse a very negative situation at work.
*What are the critical factors you look for in evaluating the work of others? How did you develop these concepts and how, specifically, do you use them?
*Describe a major work problem you faced and how you dealt with it.
*Describe a situation in which you found yourself to be very good at analyzing a problem and deciding on a course of action.
*Tell me about a time when you solved a problem through intuition and how that happened.
*Give me an example of a problem you have faced and how you solved it.
*Tell me about a time you tried to solve interpersonal problems of coworkers.
*Describe a problem you faced that was almost overwhelming and how you got through it and kept from being completely overwhelmed.
*Describe a situation in which you had to solve a problem without having all the information you needed - what did you do and what happened?
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 94-61150
© 2000 by The Regents of the University of California
All rights reserved.
15 November 2004