More Interview Questions and Answers
Have you ever had to fire or lay off a member of your staff?
Alternative and related questions:
Are you able to make difficult decisions and tough choices?
The meaning behind the question:
This question is clearly related to the question we covered in the previous chapter, "Are you able to make difficult decisions and tough choices?" The interviewer wants to establish if you've ever had to make a difficult decision of this nature and, if so, how you handled it and how you felt about it or, if not, how you would feel about it. The chances are that the role for which you're applying may require you to handle such situations in the future.
If you have had to perform this inevitably unpleasant task then a simple 'Yes' definitely won't suffice. The interviewer will want you to describe the situation in detail and how you handled it. I'd suggest you refer back to the example I gave in the previous chapter under Question 6. That should help to give you some ideas to formulate your answer.
If, on the other hand, you've never had to fire or lay off a member of staff then your answer could, of course, just be a simple 'No'. But I'd suggest you follow that up by demonstrating that you would be capable of doing so if it were necessary.
No. But, although I've never had to do this in the past, I'm not one to shy away from my responsibilities and I fully recognise that such decisions do need to be made from time to time. It's not a task I'd take lightly, of course. But, if it came to it, I'd be quite capable of handling the situation and ensuring I complied with the necessary procedures and legislation.
The Interview Question & Answer Book
More interview questions and answers
Talking about your current employment
- Can you tell me what you enjoy about your current job?
- What will you remember most about your last job?
- Is this the first time you have made an effort to move away from your current employers?
- How do you feel about the possibility of leaving your current job?
- How would you describe your current employer?
Talking about this vacancy
- Wouldn’t you be better suited to working in a larger/smaller organisation?
- How do you feel this vacancy differs from your current role?
- What reservations do you have about your ability to undertake this job?
- Can you describe your ideal working environment to me?
- How do you feel we compare to our competitors?
- What would you say is our Unique Selling Point?
- What would be your analysis of the current trends in our industry/sector?
Understanding your career path, plans and ambitions
- What aspects of your career path would you like to have been different?
- What are your greatest regrets about the path your career has taken?
- What has been the greatest challenge you have faced in your career to date?
- What do you think are your main career options for the next five years?
- What exactly does the word ‘success’ mean to you?
Addressing problems in your career history
- Why did you only stay with this organisation for such a short time?
- Why did you stay with this organisation for such a long time?
Coping with stress and pressure
- Are you able to multitask?
- Can you juggle a number of different projects simultaneously?
- How do you handle rejection/disappointment/failure?
- How do you deal with interpersonal conflict?
- What does tact and diplomacy mean to you?
- What makes for a successful team?
Management and leadership
- Would you describe yourself as a good manager?
- Do you really think you’re management material?
- What is your attitude to delegation?
- Can you give me an example of a time when you had to lead from the front?
- Have you ever had to fire or lay off a member of your staff?
- How would you describe your ideal team member?
Personal and professional development
- In what ways do you intend to improve upon your performance?
- How has your current job prepared you for greater challenges/responsibility?
Interests and activities
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- What newspaper do you take?
- Are you interested in current affairs?
The amateur psychiatrist
- If you won the lottery what would you do?
- Can you tell me about the best teacher you ever had?
- If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?
- What are you most afraid of?
Money, money, money
- Why aren’t you earning more?
- How much do you think you are really worth?
- How much does money matter to you?
- Would you still be interested in this job if you current employer offered a pay rise?
- Have you ever had to take a pay cut to keep your job?
- Have you ever asked for but been refused a pay rise?
Author: James Innes