Interview Q & A: Are you a CEO or a CU-Later?

January 28, 2002

Interviewer: “See this pen, sell it to me.”

You’d respond:

How many would you like? There’s a discount if you buy a dozen.
I didn’t think this was a sales position.

Why would I want to sell you a pen? You’ve already got one.

“How do you cope with stressful situations?”

I try to turn stressful situations into a challenge.

I never get stressed.

I go home and drink a bottle of wine, smoke a pack of ciggies, and cry.

“Are you planning to have a family soon?”

I know you are looking for someone who can give you 100% commitment and I can assure you of that.

No, absolutely, definitely not.

No, my partner ‘shoots blanks’. Let me tell you about it…

“What kinds of people do you have difficulty working with?”

I generally work well with most people. I do have some trouble though when people complain without offering solutions.

I’ve never had anything but excellent working relationships in the past.

Men, usually.

“What is your greatest weakness?”

I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which I see as a weakness and others see as a strength.

I work much too hard (accompanied by a winsome, apologetic shrug) but none other than that.

You know, I really hate it when people ask this question.

“Where would you like to be in 5 years?”

I would hope to have been promoted to x position (several steps higher than the one being offered.)

In your chair.

I’d like to win Lotto and live in the Bahamas.

How did you score?

Mostly a

You’ve shown intelligence and poise with just the right amount of sass and savvy. You have displayed honesty in a clever way and revealed enough ambition to show your keenness to rise up the corporate ladder. Congratulations you’ve got the job!

Mostly b

You’re on the right track but in trying so hard to impress, there’s bullshit everywhere. You’re projecting confidence but may come across as being too aggressive so tone it down one notch; you need to remember that the person interviewing you may be a boss who’s insecure about their position. You may still get the job, however.

Mostly c

You’re very honest but that won’t get you the big corporate pozzy, as refreshing as it may be in such a ‘political’ arena. People in other fields may snap you up, however, an advertising creative director, for example. An original and outspoken individual, you have probably already been sacked from a few jobs, and your refusal to talk-the- talk makes you well suited to being self-employed.

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