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Interview Prep Tips

HireVue: What is not on your CV?

Introduction

HireVue video interviews can sometimes throw a curveball question – but those are actually quite rare.

Most questions in a HireVue interview follow a pretty predictable pattern and the vast amount of questions apply to a wide variety of industries, roles and seniority levels. The same applies to similar platforms like Spark Hire or VidCruiter.

In this post, the team at Voomer – experts at HireVue prep – break down one of the most common HireVue interview questions: Tell me something about you that’s not on your CV.

The actual question being asked

Well they sure aren’t hoping you answer what your favorite color is. What they are getting at with this question is that you might have an interesting story to tell – but it just doesn’t fit into the narrative on your CV or you didn’t have a question on the HireVue interview where it made sense to tell that story.

That’s what’s being asked – tell us something interesting about you that makes you unique.

You should be very happy if this wide open question pops up on your HireVue, as it is a golden opportunity for you to stand out from all the other applicants.

How to answer

The best way to answer this question is to combine two things – a strong competency or great example from your career with your personal life.

You don’t have to give them too much information about your personal life, just enough for the interviewers to quickly understand how unique you are and easily recall your answer when discussing with the hiring team later.

With this answer, you could use the C-A-R answer method – but it isn’t required, only if you are leaning heavily on a results based example from your career.

Example answer

Lets take a look at a short example to illustrate the above section.

During the onboarding program at ACME Corp., I found out that they offered employees some interesting online classes. Programming caught my eye since I figured that it would help me the most at work.
I worked through the entire programming curriculum and got pretty proficient at it, with some people at work asking me for help with their programming bugs.
Though that is on my CV, the coolest thing I did with my programming knowledge was to automate the fish food dispenser for the aquarium I keep at home. That way, my fish will be fed on time even when I’m out of the house!

Above we see a simple, straightforward example that follows the C-A-R method and definitively gave made this applicant stand out against the crowd of other applicants.

Common mistakes

I’ve seen this time and time again – some applicants will simply say “nothing” when asked this question.

That is the worst possible answer.

It shows that you can’t think on your feet. Everyone has something unique about themselves. If you can’t quickly think of something unique, talk about one of your passions and how you integrate that into your life. Chances are it will be something unique – at least to the interviewer!

Conclusion

This question is a great opportunity to score easy points – so take it! Make sure you think of a strong example beforehand and practice on how to position it in a what that shines a light on how unique and interesting you are.

However, even with a great example memorized, many people stumble when doing their HireVue interviews. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to practice on a tool like Voomer. You’ll get asked questions that are extremely similar to your actual HireVue, broken down into company-specific categories. You’ll also get AI-powered feedback on answers so you can land that dream job!


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Interview Prep Tips

HireVue: Tell me about a tough challenge you faced.

Introduction

Barely anyone enjoys taking a HireVue interview, but they are getting increasing popular with organizations and if you are here, it probably means you have one coming up!

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to prepare for your upcoming HireVue. The questions on HireVue interviews tend to follow a pattern – and that pattern applies to almost all industries, roles and seniority levels. The same applies to other platforms like Spark Hire and VidCruiter.

In this post, the team at Voomer – experts at HireVue prep – break down one of the most common questions on HireVue interviews: Tell me about a tough challenge you faced.

The actual question being asked

As we’ve discussed in our other “common HireVue questions” blog posts, you should not take this question at face value.

Think about a tough challenge you’ve faced. It was probably something you knew little about, or it was a large, daunting challenge that took time to solve. What do all those have in common? A need to break up the challenge into smaller parts and prioritize what you tackle first.

That’s what this question is asking about – your ability to break things down and prioritize.

How to answer “tell me about a tough challenge you faced”

  1. Learn the C-A-R method for answering questions. That’s Context, Action, Result. We have a great blog post that explains this method in detail here.
  2. Establish context, set the scene for the interviewer. Briefly explain what the challenge was. Try and pick an example for your answer that had multiple issues that were best dealt with in stages.
  3. Show what actions you took. Explain to your interviewer how you broke up the challenge into smaller, more manageable parts. After that, explain how you decided what task to prioritize and how to tackled the most important tasks.
  4. Finally, explain the results you achieved with the preceding actions. While you could talk about the results of each individual task you mentioned above, the best answer here will discuss the overall results of that big, complex challenge you mentioned in point 2.

Example answer

The example answer below is a short and simple one – pay attention to the structure, not the content. If you learn the structure, you can apply it to any example you use when answering this question.

My boss asked me to write an article about how to answer a HireVue question. The problem was, I had no idea how to write one, much less post it on the internet!
To get around this issue, I searched online for information on HireVue questions, which led me to a shortlist of video interview experts – who I reached out to. I picked their brain for tips and wrote a great article. After that, I looked for some videos on how to post an article online. I found a great step-by-step one and managed to upload the article to the company website.
The article got a ton of views and ranked pretty well on Google. Not only that, but we helped a lot of people with their HireVue video interviews!

See? Follow the structure and you’ll have a solid answer.

Watch out

Many people freeze on this question, racking their brains looking for “the absolute toughest challenge” they’ve faced.

Don’t sweat it – answering with a well thought out structure, keeping calm and staying confident is far more important than finding the perfect example.

Conclusion

Don’t freak out! This HireVue question won’t be the toughest challenge you’ll ever face. Just understand what they are really asking you about (how you prioritize) follow the C-A-R structure and you’ll do just fine.

Keep in mind that HireVue interviews can be surprisingly stressful, so consider preparing with a tool like Voomer. You’ll gain access to company-specific questions, pratice in an environment almost identical to HireVue’s and get AI-powered feedback on your answers so you can land that dream job!


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Interview Prep Tips

HireVue: Tell me about a time you delivered disappointing news

Introduction

HireVue interviews can be intimidating and stressful.

The good news is that HireVue interviews follow a very predictable pattern and a good amount of questions asked are common to a wide variety of industries, roles and seniority levels. The same applies to other platforms like Spark Hire or VidCruiter.

In this post, the team at Voomer – experts at HireVue prep – break down one of the most common HireVue interview questions: Tell me about a time you delivered disappointing news.

The actual question being asked

HireVue doesn’t care about how well you are able to let someone down with bad news. What they are really interested is in how proactive you are.

Think about it – after you tell your manager bad news, their first reaction should be “what do we do about this?”. Thinking ahead to that point is what will make you stand out from the crowd of other applicants.


Your question bank sample is on the way! You can practice live now at https://tryvoomer.com!
We’ve not been able to send you a Question Bank, but at Voomer you can start practicing with these questions now.

How to answer “tell me about a time you delivered disappointing news

  1. Learn the C-A-R method for answering questions. That’s Context, Action, Result. We have a great blog post that explains this method in detail here.
  2. Establish context, set the scene for the interviewer. Briefly explain what bad news you had to deliver and skim over the reasons for that bad news cropping up in the first place. This is important since that is the hook that will allow you to show your proactivity and initiative in the following steps.
  3. Show what actions you took. Here I don’t mean just telling the bad news to your manager. I mean taking a look at the root causes of the bad news and coming up with a plan to turn things around. Presenting that plan along with the bad news is absolutely critical to demonstrate how proactive you are and how you take the initiative.
  4. Explain the results you achieved with the preceding actions. If your proposed action plan was implemented and actually brought about hard results, by all means mention them!

Watch out

The biggest pitfall applicants stumble into with this question is not talking about what they did after they delivered the bad news. Anyone can deliver bad news, but a strong job applicant is one that thinks one step ahead and delivers solutions and next steps along with the bad news.

Conclusion

This apparently simple question leads many to a simple answer – but don’t be that person! Look beyond the question and impress the interviewer with your initiative and proactiveness.

To ensure you ace this question, besides thinking of good examples from your career, make sure you practice answering the question in an environment that is as similar as possible the one you’ll face on your HireVue.

HireVue interviews can be surprisingly disconcerting, so it makes a lot of sense to prepare for them with a tool like Voomer. You’ll get asked questions that are extremely similar to the ones you’ll face on your HireVue, broken down into company-specific question banks and you get AI-powered feedback on your performance so you can land that dream job!

Categories
Interview Prep Tips

Questions to ask your interviewer

Introduction

You applied for a sales-related job, landed an interview and your interviewer asks the inevitable question: “So, do you have any questions for me?”.

Your answer to this question should always be “yes”!

Interview follow-up questions are a great opportunity for you to highlight strong points that for whatever reason weren’t probed in the interview and also to demonstrate to your interviewer that you actually care about the job or organization you are applying for.

So make sure you ask questions after an interview – if you do it right, it will definitively boost your chances.  We’ll show you how.

Assessing the first part of the interview

Before diving into the follow-up questions, you should take a second to assess how the first part of the interview was – when the interviewer asks you the questions.

Was it a great interview and you only want to end on a high note?  Was it an interview where you aren’t sure you did your best?  Or was it an interview where you didn’t perform at your best and it needs to be salvaged ASAP?

The questions you’ll ask depend a lot on your assessment of the first part of the interview.  Unfortunately, I can’t give you a hard and fast answer to the questions you need to ask – you need to think about which questions would benefit you the most.

Below are some questions split up into broad categories to keep in mind as you wrap up your interview.  Mix and match those questions to maximize your chances of getting hired.

Questions about the organization and the role you are applying for

  1. What is the culture at this organization?
  2. What is the culture in this department?
  3. What can you tell me about the team I’ll work with?
  4. What do the people who work here love the most about this organization?
  5. What is the leadership team at this organization focused on fixing right now?
  6. How does this role fit within the broader organization?  Is it a strategic role?
  7. What is the process for giving feedback in this organization?
  8. How is success measured for the person in this job?
  9. Do I have a say in setting my targets and goals?
  10. Does the organization expect evolution or revolution when it comes to this role?

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Questions about the work that has to be done

  1. What’s the biggest challenge facing the person that takes this job?
  2. What kind of resources would I have available?
  3. In how much time does the organization expect results from my work?
  4. Do you feel the biggest challenge facing this role is internal or external?
  5. How much freedom do I have in setting up my workflow?
  6. What are the organization’s biggest competitors?
  7. What is the organization’s biggest challenge?
  8. What common mistakes have people in this role done?
  9. Is there a product or initiative pipeline?  How does it look?
  10. How much attention will I get from my immediate superior?


Questions about long term commitment

  1. What kind of training and development opportunities are available?
  2. Does this organization do broadening assignments?
  3. What do I need to do to advance my career here?
  4. Is this company profitable/growing?  Only ask this in case the information is not publicly available.
  5. Ask about benefits if this information hasn’t been provided yet.
  6. Do you see this role having expanded responsibilities in the future?
  7. Does the company have a long-term vision?
  8. Does the company have plans to go public (in case this is a privately held company)?
  9. How transparent is upper management with the rest of the employees?
  10. What is the company’s employee churn rate?


Questions you should not ask in an interview!

  1. Did I get the job?
  2. How did I do?
  3. How did I do compared to the other candidates?
  4. How soon can I request days off?
  5. How soon can I ask for a raise?

Closing the interview

While asking follow-up questions is absolutely crucial for a successful interview, don’t go overboard.  You might have allocated a whole afternoon to an interview, but your interviewer might have only 30 minutes!

Therefore, you have to play things by ear and gauge how much time the interviewer has leftover for your questions.  In some cases, you’ll only be able to ask one question, while in others (especially for jobs higher up in the organization), it is not unheard of chatting for hours after the formal interview is over.  Though keep in mind that the person you are chatting with will definitively still be in “interview mode”!

One last question you must ask the interviewer is pretty straightforward: What are the next steps following this interview?  This shows you are interested in the job and it will also help you feel less stressed while waiting for an answer.

Practice for your interview!  Here’s how:

Interviews are very stressful and can break down even the most confident applicants.  One way to make sure your confidence is solid is to practice your interview.

Prepare for the interview appropriately and practice with a platform like Voomer – you’ll be able to practice and receive feedback on those very questions listed above (and more!) in an environment that is very similar to the real interview.

If you are curious about how Voomer’s AI-powered video assessment tools can help you to prepare thoroughly for your upcoming video essays click below to get started!

If you feel we’ve left any out any questions would like us to update the list please email us: [email protected]

Categories
Interview Prep Tips

Interview questions for sales managers

Introduction

Applying for a sales manager or business development job can be very stressful. As a sales manager, you’re expected to think on your feet, deal with any unexpected issues gracefully and wrap up conversations with customers on a high note.

As a former hiring manager myself and a sales veteran, I can attest to the fact that hiring managers are very likely to turn up the pressure during your interview to 11 – precisely because sales roles and high pressure usually go hand in hand!

Therefore, even if you have lots of sales experience or if you are looking for a job upgrade into management, it is always a good idea to thoroughly prepare for a sales manager interview!

The sales manager’s role

It is important to keep in mind what the role of a sales manager is, as that is what the hiring manager is looking for in an applicant.

If we could choose only one word, it would be “results”. It is extremely important you keep this in mind during the entire interview as every question you answer is an opportunity for you to mention something you did that resulted in concrete, positive results for the organization you worked for.

That being said, the term “manager” is also a big clue to keep in mind. You’ll have to manage several resources to reach the goals the organization sets out for your role (and that you set out for yourself!). Chief among them is people. Money and assets such as cars, phones, laptops, etc follow closely behind and enable you and your team to reach their goals.

What the hiring manager wants to hear – and hire!

First and foremost, they want to be sure you match the job description. So make sure you tailor your CV and cover letter to that. Also, prepare for your interview with that job description in mind.

But that’s obvious, what else does the hiring manager expect?

Most people at higher levels in an organization are extremely busy. If you can show them you are driven and have initiative (while presenting good results of course), that’s most of the battle already won.

The best way to demonstrate initiative while delivering results is to use the CAR method when answering questions. CAR stands for context, action, result – all of your answers should be structured that way. In more detail:

  • Context – What was the situation you faced at the time? Tell the interviewer what was going on. The interviewer is going to be interested in how you assess and deconstruct problems.
  • Action – What did you do about that situation? This is where you show the interviewer you can put actions into words and do something positive!
  • Results – How did your context change due to the results of your actions? If things got worse or didn’t work out as planned – that’s OK. The interviewer is also looking for signs you can do an honest self-assessment of your actions. However, if you have an example to share with great results, try and use that first!

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Before the interview / Plan and prepare for the interview

Don’t just jump into an interview without preparing for it. As a former hiring manager, it is painfully obvious when an applicant hasn’t taken the time to prepare.

Take some time to research the company, the business and the role. There are lots of great resources for that such as Wikipedia and Glassdoor, the latter works well even for smaller organizations.

Write out questions you want to ask the person interviewing you. Keep in mind that this is another great opportunity for you to shine – a well-thought-out two or three questions help to make you a memorable applicant. Take a look at this article where I go into detail about how to come up with great post-interview questions.

Just before you head into the interview, put your mind in the right place. For some people that might mean a few minutes of quiet meditation, for others, it might mean listening to some tracks that will pump you up. David from Team Voomer put together a great playlist for the latter group.

Interviewing on video (Zoom/Skype/HireVue/Spark Hire/etc)

If your interview is going to be done on video (either a live interview on Zoom or a recorded one on a platform such as a HireVue or Spark Hire) you must be aware of some extra steps in your preparation.

Since you are going to be on camera, special attention must be paid to your hardware, surroundings, lighting, framing, etc. I recently wrote an article covering most of these steps here, so make sure to check that out.

Another thing you must do is practice – interviews on camera are completely different from face-to-face interviews and many people underestimate how unnerving it can be to do a video interview. Build your confidence with a platform like Voomer that simulates the look and feel of a video interview.

Small talk

52% of interviewers make a decision on whether to hire a candidate between 5 and 15 minutes into the interview. What does that mean?

That means that the seemingly innocuous small talk before your interview “really” starts is as or more important than the “real” interview itself!

Small talk helps you set the mood and pace for the rest of the interview and you want to set that up in a way that benefits you the most. Do you want to come across as a cheerful, approachable person? Or as a “let’s get down to business” pragmatist that doesn’t beat around the bush? You are the best judge of which persona is best for you and the job you are applying for – just be deliberate with your small talk.

Behavioral interview questions

  1. What was the most complex problem you ever had to solve?
  2. Tell me about a time you had to train someone else.
  3. Tell me about a situation where you had to fill your manager’s shoes.
  4. What was the strongest disagreement you had with your manager?
  5. What was the strongest disagreement you had with a teammate?
  6. Tell me about a time you noticed something in the market you were in, or in the organization you worked at, that no one else noticed.
  7. Tell me about a time you empowered someone at work.
  8. Tell me about a situation where you implemented a change at work.
  9. What was the harshest criticism you received?
  10. What was the toughest decision you ever made under extreme time pressure?

Sales knowledge interview questions

  1. How did you organize the workflow in your previous job? Why did you choose that setup?
  2. What type of support did you request from other departments in your previous job? How did you integrate that into the sales process?
  3. What type of support do you predict you’ll need from other departments?
  4. Pitch your cell phone to me, pretend I am a customer.
  5. Walk me through your objection management process.
  6. Walk me through your path-to-purchase process at your previous job.
  7. Which CRM systems are you familiar with and how did you use them?
  8. Tell me about a time you were able to reactivate a dormant customer.
  9. Tell me about a time that you failed a customer.
  10. What was the toughest deal of your career?

Motivational interview questions

  1. Why are you applying to this company?
  2. Why are you applying for this role?
  3. What inspires you?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
  5. Why did you choose a career in sales?

CV based questions

Since these questions are based on an individual’s CV, there isn’t a list of questions we can show you – it all depends on what on your CV or resume piques the interviewer’s interest.

However, under certain circumstances, there are some common questions that do come up. Look at your resume and ask yourself if these questions are likely to come up:

  1. Explain this large gap in your resume
  2. Explain why you left company X.
  3. Explain why you left your previous role.
  4. Tell me why you decided to change careers.
  5. Why did you change roles within sales?
  6. Why does it look like you had a demotion?
  7. Why did you decide to work for this (potentially morally objectionable) company?
  8. Why did you spend so much time in a certain role? This is usually the case when a person hasn’t been able to get a promotion.
  9. It says on your CV that you are familiar with a certain ERP or CRM platform – prove it.
  10. You don’t have the necessary experience for this job, why should we hire you?

Unexpected interview questions

Some interviewers like to ask questions that don’t really fit any of the above categories. Sometimes they are used as icebreaker questions or they might even be asked to deliberately confuse you. Regardless of the reason behind the question, take a look at the below examples to be prepared!

  1. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to try?
  2. What is one piece of technology you can’t live without?
  3. What is the most interesting course you took as a student?
  4. If you could meet anyone (living or dead), who would it be and why?
  5. What is your most treasured possession and why?
  6. If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?
  7. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
  8. How many barbers are there in New York City ?
  9. What’s the best book you have ever read and why?
  10. Tell us about the most interesting place you’ve traveled to. What did you enjoy most about it?

How to answer these questions?

For all the above questions, stick to the CAR methodology I mentioned earlier – as long as it makes sense! For a question where you have to answer with dry facts, that methodology might not make sense and it is more appropriate to simply answer the question in a straightforward manner.

Be careful with the vocabulary you use. For questions that revolve around teamwork, make sure to use the word “we” a lot, highlighting how the group was able to work together to achieve a certain goal. Yet when the interviewer is exploring your individual capabilities, make sure to use “I”.

Conclusion

Interviews for sales manager jobs can be tough. While it can be very rewarding, sales is usually a very rough environment where results are expected and excuses are frowned upon.

This translates into how interviews are conducted, so make sure you prepare for the interview appropriately and practice with a platform like Voomer – you’ll be able to practice and receive feedback on those very questions listed above (and more!) in an environment that is very similar to the real interview.

If you are curious about how Voomer’s AI-powered video assessment tools can help you to prepare thoroughly for your upcoming video essays click below to get started!

If you feel we’ve left any out any questions would like us to update the list please email us: [email protected]