Andrew FCE/CAE/IELTS
Professional Teacher
How are job interviews conducted in your country?

Hi

 I have a client (not on italki) who is preparing for some possible job interviews.   He is from Italy.

In England, there are certain questions that are often asked in interviews.

 These include questions such as:

1) What is your greatest weakness?

 2) Describe a time when you have had a problem at work and please tell us how you resolved the problem? (resolve = to sort out, to deal with successfully)

3) What is your strategy for managing stress at work?

4) Describe a time when you have had to deal with a difficult customer?

 These are common questions in interviews in England.  But when I asked him these questions he seemed very, very surprised that these questions might be asked.

So, this made me wonder whether England is unusual in having these kind of questions as part of interviews........

.............so, italki users ..............................are these the sort of questions that are asked in job interviews in your country?  If not, what sort of questions are asked?

Thanks

 Andrew 

 

 

Sep 30, 2016 7:51 AM
Comments · 9

Thanks for the tip-off,  Bill. ""Remember that every Englishman thinks he is a wit.""

October 1, 2016

Personally, Avik, I tend to think that interviews are a load of old nonsense anyway.

They play up to the fallacy (something which people think is true but which isn't really) that "people are good judges of character."

 Think about it, when did you last hear somebody say "I am a really bad judge of character"?

 But, you will regularly have heard people say "I'm a really good judge of character."

 If it was really true that people, generally, were good judges of character then we wouldn't have scams and frauds and con-tricks in the world.. 

 The reality is that the "character," that you are judging in an interview is a persona.  "Persona," in this sentence means that you are judging an impression of character which has been deliberately presented to you by the person being interviewed.  What you are really judging is how well the person that you are interviewing can judge *your own* character and then reflect that back to you by the way that they act and present themselves in their interview.

 I strongly suspect that setting  "blind," aptitude tests (in this context 'blind,' means that you would not see or meet the person taking the test) would produce outcomes that would be at least as "good," as those produced by interviewing people.  An "aptitude test," is one which tests the ability to perform certain tasks.

 Interviews are too vulnerable to considerations outside of whether or not a person can actually do a job... for example, does the interviewer find the person being interviewed to be funny, or do they find them attractive? .........with one or two exceptions these things will have little or no impact on a person's ability to get the job done but they may well combine with the "image," presented by the candidate to influence the recruitment decision.

September 30, 2016

Bill's comment [above] about being a 'team player' is relevant to most job interviews in England.  I would dearly love to tell the truth  i.e.  I would not have chosen to join most workplace teams of which I have had the misfortune to have been a member :   they are riddled with intrigue, backstabbing, bullying, corruption and plain laziness.  Of course you cannot say this, so you have to find a formula which allows you to emphasise your commitment to team working, while reserving judgment on the efficacy and integrity of the process.  I would say something like  'I have really appreciated being a part of a team which has carried out a successful project.  It gives me a great sense of achievement'.  You should only make 'positive' statements.

Another question you can expect in all public sector and many private sector interviews in this country relates to equal opportunities.  This usually takes the form of something like  'In this company/school/college/office, etc we recognise the importance of not making judgments about people based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, etc.  Can you give an example of how you believe you may be able to contribute to this commitment'.  Any job applicant is well-advised to prepare a response to this type of question.

October 1, 2016

That's especially true, Eva, if the Englishman comes from Liverpool...

October 1, 2016

It depends on the company. 

They may ask  questions like "would you kill one to save five", they can make the candidate take tests on what they think they need (computer literacy, languages literacy, psychological tests, observation tests etc) or they can just ask you if your personal schedule is flexible enough to allow overtime. 

October 1, 2016
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Andrew FCE/CAE/IELTS
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese (Okinawan), Portuguese, Russian
Learning Language
Portuguese