What would you say to your boss if he’s crazy about an idea,
but you think it stinks ?
Remember the rule stated earlier: In any conflict
between values, always choose integrity.
Example: I believe that when evaluating anything, it’s
important to emphasize the positive. What do I like
about this idea?”
“Then, if you have reservations, I certainly want to
point them out, as specifically, objectively and
factually as I can.”
“After all, the most important thing I owe my boss is
honesty. If he can’t count on me for that, then
everything else I may do or say could be questionable in
“But I also want to express my thoughts in a
constructive way. So my goal in this case would be to
see if my boss and I could make his idea even stronger
and more appealing, so that it effectively overcomes any
initial reservation I or others may have about it.”
“Of course, if he overrules me and says, ‘no, let’s do
it my way,’ then I owe him my full and enthusiastic
support to make it work as best it can.”
How could you have improved your career progress ?
You’re generally quite happy with your career progress.
Maybe, if you had known something earlier in life
(impossible to know at the time, such as the booming
growth in a branch in your industry…or the corporate
downsizing that would phase out your last job), you
might have moved in a certain direction sooner.
But all things considered, you take responsibility for
where you are, how you’ve gotten there, where you are
going…and you harbor no regrets.
What would you do if a fellow executive on your
own corporate level wasn’t pulling his/her weight…and
this was hurting your department?
Try to gauge the political style of the firm and be
guided accordingly. In general, fall back on universal
principles of effective human relations – which in the
end, embody the way you would like to be treated in a
Example: “Good human relations would call for me to go
directly to the person and explain the situation, to try
to enlist his help in a constructive, positive solution.
If I sensed resistance, I would be as persuasive as I
know how to explain the benefits we can all gain from
working together, and the problems we, the company and
our customers will experience if we don’t.”
POSSIBLE FOLLOW-UP QUESTION
And what would you do if he still did not change
ANSWER: “One thing
I wouldn’t do is let the problem
slide, because it would only get worse and overlooking
it would set a bad precedent. I would try again and
again and again, in whatever way I could, to solve the
problem, involving wider and wider circles of people,
both above and below the offending executive and
including my own boss if necessary, so that everyone
involved can see the rewards for teamwork and the
drawbacks of non-cooperation.”
“I might add that I’ve never yet come across a situation
that couldn’t be resolved by harnessing others in a
determined, constructive effort.”
You’ve been with your firm a long time. Won’t it
be hard switching to a new company ?
To overcome this objection, you must point to the many
ways you have grown and adapted to changing conditions
at your present firm. It has not been a static
situation. Highlight the different responsibilities
you’ve held, the wide array of new situations you’ve
faced and conquered.
As a result, you’ve learned to adapt quickly to whatever
is thrown at you, and you thrive on the stimulation of
To further assure the interviewer, describe the
similarities between the new position and your prior
one. Explain that you should be quite comfortable
working there, since their needs and your skills make a
May I contact your present employer for a
Express your concern that you’d like to keep your job
search private, but that in time, it will be perfectly
Example: “My present employer is not aware of my job
search and, for obvious reasons; I’d prefer to keep it
that way. I’d be most appreciative if we kept our
discussion confidential right now. Of course, when we
both agree the time is right, then by all means you
should contact them. I’m very proud of my record there.
Give me an example of your creativity (analytical
skill…managing ability, etc.)
Remember from Question 2 that you should commit to
memory a list of your greatest and most recent
achievements, ever ready on the tip of your tongue.
If you have such a list, it’s easy to present any of
your achievements in light of the quality the
interviewer is asking about. For example, the smashing
success you orchestrated at last year’s trade show could
be used as an example of creativity, or analytical
ability, or your ability to manage.
Where could you use some improvement ?
Keep this answer, like all your answers, positive. A
good way to answer this question is to identify a
cutting-edge branch of your profession (one that’s not
essential to your employer’s needs) as an area you’re
very excited about and want to explore more fully over
the next six months.
What do you worry about ?
Redefine the word ‘worry’ so that it does not reflect
negatively on you.
Example: “I wouldn’t call it worry, but I am a strongly
goal-oriented person. So I keep turning over in my mind
anything that seems to be keeping me from achieving
those goals, until I find a solution. That’s part of my
tenacity, I suppose.”