Category (Product) Director – #Automotive Parts Vertical | Cathy Richardson Associates http://ow.ly/ugWS7 #jobs
Category (Product) Director – Automotive Parts Vertical | Cathy Richardson Associates http://ow.ly/ugWH9 # automotive #jobs
Behavioral interviews are based on the premise that a person’s past performance on the job is the best predictor of future performance. When a company uses behavioral interviewing techniques, they want to know how you act and react in certain circumstances. They also want you to give specific “real life” examples of how you behaved in situations relating to the questions.
In fact, behavioral interviewing is said to be 55% predictive of future on-the-job behavior, while traditional interviewing is only 10% predictive.
The interviewer identifies desired skills and behaviors for the job, and the questions you will be asked will be geared to finding out if you have those skills. The interviewer wants to know how you handled a situation, rather than just gathering information about you.
Top 10 Behavioral Interview Questions
- Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.
- How do you handle a challenge? Give an example.
- Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?
- Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
- Describe a decision you made that wasn’t popular and how you handled implementing it.
- Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
- Give an example of how you worked on team.
- What do you do if you disagree with someone at work?
- Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.
- Have you handled a difficult situation? How?
How to formulate your answers
Keeping to the STAR (Situation,Task, Action, Result) method is a very effective tool to answer competency based questions as it should make your answers structured and yet succinct:
- Think about a Situation that corresponds to the question in hand. State it clearly and succinctly.
- Then explain the Task you had to undertake to resolve the problem
- Tell them the Actions you took to break down the task and get the job done
- Explain what the Result was, and where possible quantify it e.g. % cost savings, how many new customers, etc
You walk into the interview room, shake hands with your interviewer and sit down with your best interviewing smile on. They are likely to have a full list of questions for you, apart from going through your CV and seeing if you have the skills for the job at hand.
So do you “wing it”? Will you spend the next 5 minutes rambling on about what an easy-going, loyal, dedicated, hard working employee you’ve been? If this is the case, you stand a good chance of having bored your interviewer to death thus creating a negative first impression. It’s far better to consider the potential questions and try to prepare the best answers to make your best impression possible:
1. Tell me about yourself.
Because it’s such a common interview question, it’s strange that more candidates don’t spend the time to prepare for exactly how to answer it. Perhaps because the question seems so disarming and informal, we drop our guard and shift into ramble mode. Resist all temptation to do so.
Your interviewer is not looking for a 10-minute dissertation here. Instead, offer a razor sharp sentence or two that sets the stage for further discussion and sets you apart from your competitors.
2. What is your greatest strength?
The best way to respond is to describe the skills and experience that directly correlate with the job you are applying for.
- When I’m working on a project, I don’t want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
- I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I’ve earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.
- My time management skills are excellent and I’m organized, efficient, and take pride in excelling at my work.
- I pride myself on my customer service skills and my ability to resolve what could be difficult situations
3. What is your greatest weakness?
There are several different ways you can answer, including mentioning skills that aren’t critical for the job, skills you have improved on, and turning a negative into a positive.
Another option is to discuss skills that you have improved upon during your previous job, so you are showing the interviewer that you can make improvements, when necessary. You can sketch for employers your initial level of functioning, discuss the steps you have taken to improve this area and then reference your current, improved level of skill.
If you use this strategy be sure not to mention anything that you improved upon that is related to the job for which you are interviewing. You don’t want your qualifications for the job to be questioned.
4. Why should we hire you?
Your answer to this question should be a concise “sales pitch” that explains what you have to offer the employer.
The best way to respond is to give concrete examples of why your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job. Take a few moments to compare the job description with your abilities, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other positions. Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company and the position.
Keep it short, specific, and positive.
5. Why are you leaving this job / Why did you leave your last job?
Be direct and focus your interview answer on the future, especially if your leaving wasn’t under the best of circumstances. Regardless of why you left, don’t speak badly about your previous employer. The interviewer may wonder if you will be bad-mouthing his company next time you’re looking for work.
Announcing an important development for CRA
as the Parts Alliance focus on staff development.
I am delighted to quote the following article that appeared in the recent ADF newsletter :
“Following recent developments in the four HgCapital-owned businesses within The Parts Alliance, Peter Sephton, their Group CEO has announced a major focus on training, support and investment in staff at GMF, CES, SCMF and Allparts.
Cathy Richardson and CR Associates have been retained to develop best-in-class retention and recruitment initiatives to safeguard the company’s investment in the people currently employed across the four operating companies.
Cathy, Recruitment Practitioner and Principal of CR Associates, is an experienced coach and business consultant with more 25 years experience working with global and medium-sized organisations particularly within the UK automotive industry.
Peter Sephton said, ‘’We are investing in new branches, expanding the number of parts advisors and sales people in existing branches and training our people through our Parts Alliance Academies.
“Ensuring a stable working environment for our current staff, as well as getting world class processes in place to deliver our growth plans are essential. We believe Cathy’s knowledge and expertise in the Parts Distribution Aftermarket will play a central part in achieving this.”
The Academy approach is part of a 10 step programme introduced by Peter in November 2013 which is being rolled out during 2014. Twenty six branch managers attended a two-day Academy course looking at how a high performing branch team operates. “Our businesses serve thousands of local customers and our branches are the front line,” said Peter.
To speed up decision-making and sharing of best practice, Peter has already aligned the four businesses into two regional alliances, the Western Alliance formed from GMF and CES and the Eastern Alliance, formed by SCMF and Allparts. Each Alliance shares resources, systems and best practice to accelerate growth, facilitate new branch openings, develop staff training and invest in tools to take customer service to world leading standards.
Peter added, “This is a genuinely exciting time for the two new Alliances, our four brands, our employees and our customers and demonstrates the strength of The Parts Alliance as these activities will benefit all members.
“It will also provide outstanding opportunities for the personal growth of our colleagues as we connect our people through Cathy’s input, and give added focus to best practice – a cornerstone of our strategy of local strength and a unified operating model.”
Cathy said, “I am delighted to be involved in such a thrilling development in the Aftermarket. After many years of very little change, new developments in The Parts Alliance will bring fresh opportunities in many areas. I look forward to being a part of it.”
Towards the end of an interview, almost every employer will ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” Job applicants should put just as much thought into asking questions as they do answering questions. Whether you intend it or not, each question you ask has the potential to reflect your knowledge of the company, your interest in the position, and your work ethic.
That’s why it’s important take the time to come up with thoughtful questions for each interview. Here’s a list of interview questions to ask the employer you can use as a starting point for creating your own list of questions.
Last week, I blogged about the good questions candidates ask. This week, I thought it only fair to look at which questions definitely not to ask at interview.
1. What is the salary for this position?
Do not ask this question on a first interview. If you know that you will refuse a job that pays less than a certain amount, you can state the amount in your cover letter. However, if you are even somewhat flexible regarding salary, it is best not to discuss compensation until you are offered a position. Wait until the appropriate time. Sooner or later, they will want to know how much you want to earn. Don’t ask until the interviewer raises the subject. If you do, you risk looking greedy and motivated by the wrong things.
2. What does your company do?
Errr….. Should you have checked the website before you accepted the interview offer? Avoid asking any questions about the company that you could have researched beforehand on the company website. These questions demonstrate that you have not done your research, and imply that you are not interested in the position.
3. When can I take time off for vacation?
Do not discuss previous commitments before being offered a position. Asking about time off before getting a job offer implies that you are not going to be a fully committed employee.
4. How many hours will I be expected to work each work? Will I need to work on weekends? WHen do I get holiday?
Questions about hours and extra work imply that you are hoping to work as little as possible. A better question would be, “What is a typical workday like?” The answer will likely give you insight into expected work hours.
5. Did I get the job?
This question puts employers on the spot and makes you appear impatient. Instead, you could ask for more information on the next step in the hiring process. For example, you can ask, “Do you generally do multiple rounds of interviews with job candidates?” However, if they are interested in you, most employers will give you this information before the end of the interview.
And a few more, for good measure:
- What is the astrological sign of the company president?
- Can I see the break room?
- How late can I be to work without getting fired?
- How long is lunch?
- Can I bring my dog to work?
- Will I have to take a drug test?
- Does this company monitor Internet usage?
- How many warnings do you get before you are fired?