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15 Toughest Interview Questions (and Answers!)

Tania Khadder | GovCentral

7. What salary are you looking for?

Bad answer:
“In my last job I earned $35,000 – so, now I’m looking for $40,000”

If you can avoid it, don’t give an exact number. The first person to name a price in a salary negotiation loses. Instead, re-iterate your commitment to the job itself. If you have to, give a broad range based on research you’ve conducted on that particular role, in your particular city. If the role is with a non-independent agency and therefore must us the GS Pay Schedule, think of ways to talk yourself up the scale.

Good answer:
“I’m more interested in the role itself than the pay. That said, I’d expect to be paid the appropriate range for this role, based on my five years of experience. I also think a fair salary would bear in mind the high cost of living here in New York City. Further, I think my education and background can make me at the highest Step in my Grade.”




Next Page: Why Should I Hire You?


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    cgrimmcr

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Why do you keep referring to the job as a "role" It sounds contrives - actually, downright dumb

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    sirbooli

    over 4 years ago

    4 comments

    interview questions and answers

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Roohanialaaj

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    The Questions & Answers given for the guidance of potential candidates are very useful.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    PatrickReid

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    This answer is garbage if you are being interviewed by a conservative employer. They will disagree with the effect of Obamas administration and the amount it has accomplished. If this happens your answer is dead from the begining even though the last part is very impressive. When dealing with this question it is best to be moderate unless you are 100% sure on the political views of your interviewer. Explaining how you have made a difference is very important though.

  • Gov_central_picture_max50

    JerryGJones

    over 4 years ago

    62 comments

    These are probably the perfect answers for a government job, which loves to hear BS like this, but if I were hiring someone and heard these canned responses, I would immediately tell them to leave. Answers like this are only for people who love to kiss up to the boss for promotions and could care less about the job. they want money and promotions, and have no pride in their work.

    The answers might have been good if they were stated very simple, yet the answers rambled on like a dictionary or something. Remember TMI? Too much information....in an interview, this should apply. State your answers, stand by them, and don't ramble on and on just to hear yourself speak.

  • Girindra_jha_max50

    girindra_jha

    almost 5 years ago

    2 comments

    This was a great article about the intervies question. It was helful for me. Thanks

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    JEANHAYES

    almost 5 years ago

    2 comments

    This was a great article with extremely helpful information. Thank you

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    kourtney1

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Interview Questions

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Sunrise11

    about 5 years ago

    8 comments

    A job interview can make you very nervous. You need to be prepared and do research. Know the job and the company to whom you are applying.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jeatkinson

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    MSMensa: First, if a person allows work to define their life (i.e., "the ones who refuse to leave if their daily work isn't finished, etc?"), then, as a a long time executive, what that tells me is they do not have a balanced perspective. By that I mean, if the entire focus in on their job and nothing else, then they do not have a clear focus. There is more to life than just work, and as has been proven over and over again, a sole-focus, work only point of view and working to exhaustion does not produce the best products or services. Knowing when to say when, knowing when it is time to recharge the mental and physical batteries, and knowing how to take time off completely from work to relax is an important talent and asset in maintaining mental and physical acuity. And, if a person does not show that level of maturity, then they are not the right material for any job requiring mental and physical sharpness. Second, if Fortune 100 companies hired managers that understood the fact that working people until they drop and always trying to do more with less is not beneficial to either the long-term health of the company or company bottom line, then there would not be so many Fortune 100 companies that are (and have been for years now performing so badly that the only way the majority of them have been able to declare a profit in most of the last 10 years has been by taking short-term write-offs from layoffs, outsourcing, and firing workers. Also, remember, MSMensa, there is a big difference between being a manager in any company (regardless of whether it is Fortune 100 or not) and being a leader. And, the point of view ofa manager in relation to what gets the best return on investment in human capital is quite different from the point of view of a leader. Managers manage, and complain when others do not see things their way. Leaders inspire others to give their all.
    drs JEAtkinson, DBA(ABD)
    MScCIS, MBA, MScCIS
    .99%er

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    LilliC

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    In reply to msmensa, most govt workers are overpaid and deligate their work to other people. That's how they can be soooo relaxed. If you want someone who IS an achiever, read my resume. LC in Orlando,Fl.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Msmensa

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    "I really love working with people."!!!!! What a ridiculous comment! As a Fortune 100 corporate mgr, I frequently hear that incompetant answer. Who cares???? We want RESULTS! STRONG COMMITTMENTS TO EXCELLENCE ...OVERACHIEVEMENT!!!! No wonder we non-govt workers see such slow overly relaxed laziness from the MVD, licensing lines, post office, etc...ALL front line govt employees. Where are the DRIVEN employees...the ones who refuse to leave if their daily work isn't finished, etc? Where are they? Could the problem be the interviewing misplaced standards?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    usnavyaz

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Just like the government to ask a stupid question and expect some huge politically correct memorized line of BS. This is the same stupid crap I ran into in the military. Bunch of idiots that would rather hear a BS non honest reply than the truth. I scored a 96 on the asvab and was 35 when I entered service but was treated like an 18 year old idiot who couldn't tie my own shoes by people half my age who had never even had a job other than the military and scored just enough to qualify for the military. This seems to be common in government jobs. I loved what I did and received numerous awards and finished top of my class heading into the fleet. Nobody gave a **** and that's how you're treated. People get promoted because they kiss the right *** and not for their performance on the job. As long as your clean shaven, uniform looks good and show up to work on time you did a great job whether or not you did anything else or not. They don't care if you're worthless and lazy as long as you look good and are on time to be worthless, lazy and accomplish nothing. Why do employers want anything but the truth? Why are we programmed to give certain answers that sound good but we all know are a bunch of CRAP? What does applying for a job have anything to do with Obama? Does this mean you're going to quit when he leaves office in four years because you've lost all of your enthusiasm? What I learned working for the government is that nothing will ever get done unless you carry rank on your shoulder and they can never get out of their own way to get anything done. If's frustrating, annoying, and above all it's all, it's just a big a lie. Their moto.....Policy Above Common Sense.

  • Kris_by_tallulah_max50

    kris_ben

    over 5 years ago

    8 comments

    I lost out on a good government job because I did not add the place I currently work as a contractor to my resume. I thought showing I had starting a contract job in February and interviewing in June made me look flightly. During the interview I could not help pull from examples of my new job....doing a lot of the work they loved. But HR managers have to verify all claims, supported in your interview with your resume. I called to ask why I loss the job...and was recommended in the future to update my resume. So I am recommended it to you. Plus my volunteer work for a very prestigious organization was also omitted from my resume.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    kdmason87

    over 5 years ago

    6 comments

    This is very very good. The approach, the demeanor, the answers are perfect for government or private industry interviewing. BRAVO and THANK YOU.

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