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I've only been going up to the manager level so no legacy questions for me.
Lots of situation questions about how to deal with good and bad employees.
What's your management style?
The one that got me wasn't a question, but in the feedback. I didn't have enough experience managing other professionals. They were looking for supervision of planners, not inspectors and admins. I guess professionals are harder to manage. I also got hit on not enough case law experience, but they didn't provide an opportunity to talk about it so I blame them on that one.
Trying for a department director position and I was asked to answer these questions in writing before the interview.
Why are you interested in the open position? In your opinion, what is the most important responsibility of a Community Development Director?
So basically I need to answer why do you want this job and something about how the director is a leader.
At times, it’s important to understand informal systems to reach organizational objectives. Give us an example of a time when your knowledge of “how groups work” enhanced your ability to generate a change.
Basic working with groups. Something like working with my planning commission.
There are many work situations in which it is important to be skillful in reading hidden interests and personality conflicts. Tell us about a time that demonstrates your “savvy” in understanding another person.
This is the hard one for me to answer. Obviously it's looking for interpersonal skills that we use every day, but I'm not sure what kind of story to tell. I don't want to talk about the usual person who has some secret motive. We all know that happens, especially with elected officials, but I don't get the feeling I should be saying the wrong things. My best guess would be how I read my elected officials and others to figure out what their motivators are. Like the guy who is all about helping people (his friends) or the guy who is motivated by saving the government money unless it's for his personal benefit (I can leave that last part out along with how he thinks government employees are worthless and don't need benefits). His motivation is saving his tax dollar.
I'd appreciate any thoughts while I think on what type of story to write.
I recently had my first ever phone interview for a director-level position, and two of their questions were so generic and broad, they threw me off and my answers weren't very good. I was expecting questions more specific to the position. I would advise anyone interviewing for such a position to write up some answers ahead of time to several canned, generic questions. The questions were:
How do you respond to a challenge?
How do you deal with conflict?
They also asked me "tell us about yourself" and "why do you want this job," which were easy to answer.
In other interviews I've been asked the following questions, which I would also prepare for when interviewing for a director position:
As someone who lives in this space (hiring), my approach is not about a specific set of questions but rather the conversation. I’m looking for how you respond to my ignorance of job aspects and the point of view you present about work, future, and your potential coworkers. Often my questions are behavioral based and I want to get to actually know the person. Most of my time is spent helping build leadership teams for succession or a key role supporting growth.
For senior leadership roles, have a conversation that demonstrates that you not only have the technical expertise but you have the mindset to contribute to the organizations success.