Basic Interview

Research before Interview

Besides compensation & benefits, here is a list of things you should know before deciding on any one job or company

You can find out a lot of the information from
- Company web site
(Product & Service offerings, Press release, Investor relations, CSR on top of Career page)
- Annual reports
- Recent newspaper/magazine/online articles
- Blogs of employee, president, etc
- Web sites featuring company reviews by former or current employees, such as Vorkers and キャリコネ

Try also speaking to as many people as you can who knows the company or their employees. (ie, employees, suppliers, vendors, even competitors)

All these research will help you perform well at an interview, and let you focus on asking issues that you were unable to find out in your research.

Prepare for Questions about yourself

Put yourself in the shoes of hiring managers and think about questions a hiring manager would ask.

For example, you might be asked to describe a situation and how you manage deadline, customer pressure, or non-performing team members if you were interviewing for a Project Manager position.

Common Questions from HR personnel, Strategies, and Examples

Q Please briefly introduce yourself
S Briefly mention past work experience, skills, training, and person qualities related to the position.
Ex I have over 13 years of experience in both accounting operations and overseeing systems to provide business solutions. Besides being a skilled and certified Project Manager, my expertise is in Oracle EBS. I enjoy very much working with cross-cultural teams, so very excited being here today.

Q Please tell me more what you do at your current company/position?
S Give examples of achievements that are related to the position
Ex My current company provides business and technology solutions to multinational companies. I am currently the leader who oversees end to end, from analysis to testing of a 30-man month project, which is to be finished as scheduled in 2 months time.

Q Why are you looking for new opportunities?
S Be positive and truthful. Do not criticize your current company. Finish as if you were asked “Why are you interested in this company?”
Ex Most projects my company involved in are domestic projects of multinational companies. I would like to utilize my English and ability to work with cross-cultural teams to lead projects with global scope. That is why I am excited to hear about the opportunity at your company.

Q Why are you interested in this position? Our company?
S Chance to show your knowledge of the industry and your research about the company
Ex Your company has a good reputation of providing ERP solutions to clients on a global scale. I read about your recent success winning the bid with ABC Electronics and feel that I would add value to projects such as this

Q What are you strengths?
S Relate your skills, experiences, or achievements that will be beneficial to the employer
Ex One of my strengths is that I can effectively bridge the needs of business users with appropriate technology as I had experience of their work and their concern before. In addition, I can interpret systems to users in non-technical and business terms. This ability always speed up the project because of clear and precise requirements for tech team and less change resistance by users

Q What are your weaknesses?
S Start with a positive attribute, mention a weakness, and end with something positive
Ex I am a fast learner and efficient person. So I can get impatient when my team members are not catching up to speed. However, after leading a few teams, I realized that different people take different approaches and time to arrive to their answer. Rather than micro-managing, I give them the necessary help and then the freedom to tackle the problem empower them to create better work

Q What three words would describe you best?
S Describe 3 of your personal attributes related to the position and give examples
Ex I would say adaptable, responsible, and friendly. In the last 3 years, I handled 7 projects in 4 different industries. I had to learn the industry specific knowledge while adapting my expertise to provide the best solution. Before systems go live, the team sometimes would have to work long hours. I would always be working together for the final adjustment and for moral support. Wherever I go, I always develop close rapport with the users immediately by listening closely to their concerns. I have become close friends with a few of them too.

Q What is your salary expectation?
S Answer this question differently depends on what stage the question is asked.
Some HR ask this question even during the screening stage to make sure the candidate’s expectation is within budget range. Be prepared and find out the market salary range of someone with your experience in the position.
Mostly this is asked at the final stage. And you are in best bargaining position after the company is convinced you are the best person for the position. How you answer at this stage varies, depends highly on how confident you feel the company is interested in you and how much leverage you have
Ex During early stages:
Work content, growth opportunity is more important to me. I am open to negotiation on salary. I feel it would be easier to speak about salary once I know more about the position and your company knows more about me. My research shows that this kind of position is in the range of 7M to 10M, varies from company to company. Is this range matching to your company’s salary grid?

Q Do you have any questions?
S Yes! See following section

Prepare for Questions to Ask

This is your chance to:
- Make this a 2-way conversation, relationship building opportunity
- Find out answers you were unable to find in your research
- Show that you have researched about the company

Some sample questions:
About the company
・Earlier you mentioned..... Could you tell me more about.....?
・In my research, I understand that this company is..... Could you tell me more about.....?
・What are the company’s short and long term goals?
・How would you describe the company culture?
・What challenges is the company facing?

About the position
・What are the biggest challenges in this position?
・What are the most important skills or characteristics you look for in this position?
・How is this department structured?

・When will you be making a decision?
・May I have your business card?

 Interview - Overview