Interview Questions – How to Answer The Hard Ones with Ease

How do you work under pressure?

Interview questions are used to help the selecting official of a business or company to make a decision on whom would be the best pick for a job position. There are many varieties of questions that may be asked to include: General questions, yes or no questions, behavior questions, Open – ended questions, scenario questions, and general questions. The question of “How do you work under pressure?” is sure to come up during the duration of an interview.

This is a question that causes many people to feel intimidated because they are not exactly sure what to say or what not to say. Working under pressure is a skill, not everyone is able to work under pressure. It is important to state that. By stating this fact, you are showing the interview panel or manager that you have an understanding of what working under pressure consists of. You are showing them that you understand that not everyone is able to work under pressure; this is where you show off your skills and start to talk about what working under pressure means to you. You can give examples of times where you were required to work under pressure.

While you speak about your experience with working under pressure it is important to give specific time and job positions where you worked under pressure. This shows the interview panel that you took that situation seriously and that you are more than capable of working under pressure. Even if you are not asked to do so, be sure to give the situation of when you worked under pressure, the outcome of your working under pressure and what the result was of the event, which you were working under pressure.

This is a difficult interview question to answer, but if you come mentally prepared to answer this question you are sure to impress the interview panel or manager as well as give yourself a reminder of how competent you are and reaffirming your professional ability. Happy job hunting, you can do or be anything you want with persistence.

Understanding Strategic Management

Strategic management is a combination of external and internal environmental analysis, strategic direction, business and corporate strategy formulation, strategic control and strategic restructuring. Strategic management is the ability to analysis and organizations strengths and weakness. The resource an organization has is as important as the operating capital of the organization. It is important that the organization is aware of all business opportunities and conditions for which an opportunity can be taken. Just because a organization has analyzed and hypnotized over the possible threats does not necessarily mean the organization will not incur financial damages, this merely gives an “educated view point” to what could or could not happen in the organization.

Strategic management is vital and important to all organizations, without stratgtic management and organization would have no foundation to build upon. With the ability to analyze and learn from the business environment stratgtic management serves as a key element for organizations to establish goals, execute goals and satisfy key organizational stakeholders. Strategic management includes having a direction to the types of objectives the organization will peruse, long term goals are important for the overall mission of the organization. A well established strategic direction will give an organization the leverage needed to provide guidance to managers and employees who are in the positions to carry out and perform the duties for organizational growth.

There are many processes to stratgtic management starting with external and internal analysis. The external environment focuses on socio-cutural, economic, technological and political forces. With these of focus an organization is able to better understand the needs to their external environment as well as set logical goals to improve on services of their external enviornment. The external environment is broad and must be properly evaluated by the organization; competitive markets may include suppliers and existing organizations with similar mission statements.

Internal analysis consists of organizational resources and competitive advantages. Organization must have a healthy understanding of their sustainable competitive advantage as well as resource interconnectedness. The organizations human resources department is a fragment of top management involvement that must be included in all operational decisions. Employee recruitment, training and rewards are all facets of keeping an organization competitive.

Overall, the stratgic management process is all about the stratgic thinking focus of an organization. Although stratgic managment is a learned skill, most organizations figure it is a part of a creative professional business process needed to ensure an organization is successful. The focus is simple, to include long term growth, keeping external and internal points of communication flowing and keeping a competitive edge.

Reference: Harrison; St. John (2008) Foundations in Strategic Management. Publisher: South-Western Foundations in Strategic Management The External Environment

Jenice Armstead

How to Answer Personal Interview Questions

What Important Rewards Do You Expect from Your Career?

IInterview questions are vital to the hiring process of any company, the key to answering interviewing questions is to practice answering them over and over again with professionalism and honestly.

When answering personal questions, it is important to keep a professional mindset while deciding how to answer the question. Personal questions about work ethic, work life, and over all work experience are not inappropriate. These are considered personal questions in relation to work. Remember that any personal questions dealing with sexuality, religion and political party preference or any other topics not allowed, under the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) these topics should not be asked during any interview.

This is a random personal work question that may or may not be asked by many employers. It is important to focus on the main subject of this question. The main subject is “important rewards” this is the main subject of this question because if you don’t plan on receiving any awards then that should be stated, but ensure to back it up with something positive such as “I don’t plan on receiving any awards because most of my work is behind the scenes and the work I complete for my clients is reward enough.” Your answer doesn’t have to be that cheesy, but it is important to always back a negative perceived answer with a more positive response.

If you have already received rewards from the work you have completed or done for previous employers it is important to mention this as well. Make sure to give details of what work was completed and the specific reward and time period for which the reward was received. Taking in mind that some positions on your resume are shorter than others, if there are awards you have received from related work or a retired status make sure to mention these awards for the position time frame. This helps the interviewer to realize that you take your work seriously and strive for greatness.

This is a difficult interview question to answer, but if you come mentally prepared to answer this question or a similar question, you are sure to impress the interview panel as well as give yourself a reminder of how competent you are and reaffirming your professional ability. Happy job hunting, you can do or be anything you want with persistence.

For more information go to “Pep Talks” the series

Welcome to “Smarter Not Harder LLC”

Dr. Jenice Armstead started “Smarter Not Harder HR” to provide a necessary and innovate service for growing human capital value and organizational management.

Smarter Not Harder LLC provides services to both individuals and businesses.  Individual services include: mentor coaching, resume development, government job application assistance, business proposal assistance and help with how to start a business.  Business services include:  human resource management, human resource development, implementation and training courses for organizations to grow their human capital value.

Smarter Not Harder LLC portfolio includes management and technical resources, providing solutions devoted to job description development, job classification, job Stress Management, Affirmative Action Plans, Diversity & Inclusion and Government Regulation/Compliance. Our focus is to assist organizations manage human resources management, occupational safety standards and increase productivity.

Smarter Not Harder LLC delivers customer-value through addressing the challenges of a changing economy.  Showing organization strategies as the foundation for human capital value to constantly grow and develop employees.  The workplace is ever changing.

Smarter Not Harder LLC provides interactive subject matter expert knowledge for business solutions that make organizations more effective and efficient.  Smarter Not Harder has all of your human resources management needs in one place.

Smarter Not Harder LLC Services Include:

Individuals:  Cover Letter & Resume Services, interview preparation, professional portfolio development (Subject Matter Expert in Federal Hiring/Interviewing)

Organizations:

Employee Handbook Review, Customized Employee Handbook, Workplace Policies, Customized New Hire Booklets, Customized Separation Booklets, Evaluation Program Development, Disciplinary Actions, Performance Management, Complete HR Library with Customized Documents

Special Projects:

Compliance Audit, Termination/ conducted on-site, New Hire Orientation, Candidate Screenings, Workplace Investigations, Sexual Harassment Trainings, Management Trainings, Job Description Development, Department Development and On-Site Support

 

For more information about Smarter Not Harder LLC:

contactme@jenicearmstead.com

For more information about Smarter Not Harder HR services email:
Jenicearmstead@gmail.com

Jenice Armstead

Creating a Job Description in 6 Easy Steps

Human resources professional techniques involve recruitment, selection and placement as a unique ability allocated toward conducting these measures effectively and proficiently. A mature and knowledgeable human resource professional uses up to date legislation, mandated policies and organizational procedures with every action, which is processed. Human resources professionals have a responsibility to uphold the “Equality of Job Candidates” to apply and achieve employment. The human resources professional is responsible for fair and equal employment for all who apply. In order for human resources professionals to conduct fair and equal hiring practices they must have a full understanding of how to “classify” a job description.
Keywords: job description, classification, job factors

Introduction

A job description is a useful, plain-language tool that describes the tasks, duties, functions and responsibilities of a position. It outlines the details of who performs the specific type of work, how that work is to be completed, and the frequency and the purpose of the work as it relates to the company’s mission and goals. Job descriptions are used for a variety of reasons, such as a tool for recruiting, determining salary levels, conducting performance reviews, clarifying missions, establishing titles and pay grades and creating reasonable accommodation controls, as well as for career planning, training exercises and legal requirements for compliance purposes (Grachanen, 2006). A job description gives an employee a very clear and concise resource to be used as a guide for job performance. Likewise, a supervisor can use a job description as a measuring tool to ensure that the employee is meeting job expectations (Office of Personnel Management, OPM)

Step 1: Perform a job analysis

This process of gathering, examining and interpreting data about the job’s tasks will supply accurate information about the job so that a company can perform efficiently (Heneman, 2011).

• Interview employees to find out exactly what tasks are being performed.
• Observe how tasks are performed.
• Have employees fill out questionnaires or worksheets.
• Collect data on jobs from other resources such as salary surveys or the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
• The results should be documented and reviewed by the employee that is currently in the position—and his or her supervisor—for any changes regarding the knowledge, skills, abilities, physical characteristics, environmental factors and credentials/experience of the position:
– Knowledge— Comprehension of a body of information acquired by experience or study
– Skill—a present, observable competence to perform a learned activity.
– Ability—competence to perform an observable behavior or a behavior that results in an observable product.
– Physical characteristics—the physical attributes an employee must have in order to perform the job duties with or without a reasonable accommodation.
– Environmental factors—working conditions (inside or outside the office).
– Credentials/experience—the minimum level of education, experience and certifications acceptable for the position.
(Classifiers Handbook, 1991)
Step 2: Establish the essential functions

Once the performance standard for a particular job has been made, essential functions of the position must be defined.

To establish the performance standard:
• Ensure that the tasks as part of the job function are truly necessary or a requirement in order to perform the job.
• Determine the frequency at which the task is performed or how much time is spent performing a task.
• Determine the consequences of not performing the function and whether this would be detrimental to the company’s operation or result in severe consequences.
• Determine if the tasks can be redesigned or performed in another manner.
• Determine if the tasks can be reassigned to another employee

Once that is completed, the employer can make a determination as to whether the functions are essential or marginal. The use of the term “essential function” should be part of the job description, and it should explicitly state how an individual is to perform the job. This will provide future guidance as to whether the job can be performed with or without accommodation (Classification Standards, 2012).

Step 3: Organize the data concisely

The structure of the job description may vary from company to company; however, all of the job descriptions within a company should be standardized so that they have the same appearance. The following topics should be included:

• Date—when job description was written.
• Job status—exempt or nonexempt under FLSA, full time or part time.
• Position title—name of the position.
• Objective of the position—what the position is supposed to accomplish, how it affects other positions and the organization.
• Supervision received—to whom the person reports.
• Supervisory responsibilities—direct reports, if any, and the level of supervision.
• Job summary—an outline of job responsibilities.
• Essential functions—detailed tasks, duties and responsibilities.
• Competency or position requirements—knowledge, skills and abilities.
• Quality and quantity standards—minimum levels required to meet the job requirements.
• Education and experience—required levels.
• Time spent performing tasks—percentages, if used, should be distributed to equal 100%.
• Physical factors— type of environment associated with job: indoor/outdoor.
• Working conditions—shifts, overtime requirements as needed.
• Unplanned activities—other duties as assigned.

(Wiley, 1999)
Step 4: Add the disclaimer

It is a good idea to add a statement that indicates that the job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee (Heneman, 2011).

Step 5: Add the signature lines

Signatures are an important part of validating the job description. They show that the job description has been approved by all levels of management and that the employee understands the requirements, essential functions and duties of the position. Signatures should include those of the chief operating officer, or highest ranking officer, the supervisor and the employee (Heneman, 2011).

Step 6: Finalize

Draft the job description for upper management review and approval. A draft allows upper management a chance to review, add or subtract any detail before the final job description is used for employees and management.

Once returned from management, the job description should be revamped and reformatted with any changes. It should be sent to management one final time for final approval and signatures (Heneman, 2011). The final job descriptions should be kept in a secure location and copies used for job postings, interviews, accommodation requests, compensation reviews, and performance appraisals. Employers may also wish to post them on the company’s intranet (Weeden, 2012)

References
Classifying White Collar Positions. (n.d.). US Office of Personnel Management.
Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://www.opm.gov/fedclass/html/gsclass.
Grachanen, C. L. (2006). The Metrology Job Description Initiative. Quality
Progress, 39(1), 85-86.

Government (2012). Introduction to Position Classification . Using
Classification Standards. Lecture conducted from Government, Washington, DC.
Heneman, H. (2011). Staffing organizations. S.l.: Mcgraw Hill Higher Educat.
Narrative Positions Descriptions. (1991). The Classifiers Handbook. US Office of
Personnel Management.

Weeden, K.A. (2002). Why do some occupations pay more than others? Social closure and earnings inequality in the United States. American Journal of Sociology, 108, 55-101.
Wiley, C. (1999). The wave of the future: Certification in human resources management. Human Resource Management Review, 2, 157-170.

Author:  Jenice Armstead