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Interview Sample

In: Business and Management

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What is the most interesting/appealing aspect of this program to you?

I find the most appealing aspect of being a part of the BMW 2-year program is the opportunity to be able to dive into all three major components of the business: manufacturing, process and product engineering, and procurement and logistics. It is crucial to understand more than just your own field of knowledge, knowing how the product is being made, the details in the designing of it, and how to ensure its quality and safe delivery makes, in my opinion, a truly successful employee, and thus, a truly successful company.

What have you learned in your academic and work experience that you think will benefit you most in an accelerated development program?

Combined, my academic and work experience have provided me with the skills to understand the importance of promptness, organization, hard work, and the ability to interact with customers and the desire to fulfill THEIR needs. Beyond those crucial traits, both school and work have planted in me a fire to be successful, and I believe this accelerated development program will be the perfect fuel to the flame.

Leadership Competencies
* a. Give us an example of your ability to be a self-starter.

In my internship program at a technology company, it was very difficult for me to understand the “tech lingo” that was passed around during important development meetings. Knowing that in order to be of any asset to this company I HAD to be able to understand this “lingo” in depth, I took it upon myself to purchase 3 different “getting ahead in the technical industry” books to read and be able to really grasp the concepts that were constantly being discussed. The next few meetings I was able to really contribute to because not only did I know what everyone was talking about, but I had researched enough to be able to give really valuable input.

*b. Tell us about your leadership experience/positions.

(Answer only one of either a or b above, not both)

Tell us about a time when someone on your team was not pulling his/her fair share of the workload. What did you do?

* Tell us about a situation you had to deal with that related to fairness or ethical issues.

As a leader in my college sorority, I knew that there would be times I would have to deal with difficult issues arising between the members. During recruitment it was discovered that a few of our members had been contacting potential new members via social media, offering them rewards for choosing to join our sorority. Contact with PNMS in any form during recruitment is strictly prohibited, and although yes, I wanted those girls in the sorority just as much as them, I did not want them at a price of cheating the other sororities after getting them. In my opinion, this had to be addressed and punishments had to be issued, as the members knew very clearly this was not allowed. I explained to the members involved that we appreciate their desire to get the best girls, but it is important to not sway their decisions with incentives, and more importantly it is crucial as loyal members not to put the rest of the sorority at risk of getting infractions. The girls understood and were put on suspension from the first sorority event.

How do you keep yourself organized when managing competing priorities (i.e. schoolwork, team projects, work responsibilities, personal/extracurricular activities).

Business Competencies
*What did you do to prepare for this interview? How did you go about researching this company to prepare for this interview? What did you find? (pick any local company –BMW, Michelin, Milliken, BI-LO, etc)

Upon accepting this interview for BMW, I was provided with a 6 page description of the company and this 2-year program. In addition to reading this, I researched the income summary for the past 3 years for BMW, the different positions available beyond this 2-year program, and the different national and international locations of facilities. My research was rewarding. BMW is an extremely successful company, figures wise with high units produced matched with high sales volume. BMW also impressed me with their ethical achievements. To me, a company that was able to be the first of its kind to exceed international environmental standards, and the first to use landfill methane gas to power its plant shows that BMW is concerned with having positive impacts on the world, and also shows this company is not afraid to take risks to gain greater rewards.

From what you know about the xyz industry, what do you think the company’s biggest business and technological challenges will be in the next decade?

* How would you go about making the business case for a project you wanted to convince the company to undertake? What type of data would you use? How would you determine ROI? 0 If I had a project I truly believed would be a success to BMW, I would start with plenty of market research to ensure it was not already being done elsewhere, and if it was being done elsewhere, what BMW could do to take it one step further, where no other company has taken it yet. After doing my own my market research I would begin compiling this information with the details of the project, name, time length, and expectations that will define the contract and state the success the company will incur with it. Determining the ROI would include projecting the impact on profit, the costs to develop, implement, and maintain it, its projected likelihood of success, the impact it has on each business organization, the potential/necessary to achieve parity, and the potential for competitive advantage. Assessing all of these, as well the numerous risks the project can take on, and plans to handle those risks, will give us a good idea of the rate of investment the project could achieve. Of course this document would be heavily researched and in-depth, making sure to cover everything the project entails, ensuring the benefits outweigh the risks, and ensuring a plan built to cover any problems that could arise.

Tell us about the largest project you planned and organized. What activities did you perform? What was the outcome?

*Almost all companies are still experiencing difficulties from the financial crisis in 2008. What caused this crisis?

The bursting of the US housing bubble in 2006, where too many housing loans were issued and real-estate prices skyrocketed. With increasing mortgages and housing prices, large companies all over borrowed big money to invest in the housing market without projecting the huge loss that would incur when the market plummeted. Big lenders lowered standards of loan qualifications. The foreclosures that followed drained consumers and banking institutions financially. After this, financial losses of the housing market spread to the rest of the US economy, the stock markets, and resulted in debt of trillions. In short, big spending without the means or preparation to pay it back, growth of the housing bubble, weak lending conditions, poor banking practices and poor economic forecasting has lead our country into a state of economic crisis. I have the upmost confidence that this country will take the necessary steps to correct our mistakes and get us back on track for the future, learning from the numerous things that aided in this crisis.

*Tell us about a time you made a bad decision. What did you learn from that experience?

My freshman year of college was, unfortunately, a whole page of bad decisions. With a lack of study habits coming from breezing through high school, adapting to the rigorous materials and extremely well-managed habits required to excel in college was difficult. My final for chemistry was set for a Monday morning, after I was invited on afraternity beach weekend. I struggled this entire course, as pulling “all-nighters” for the exams were not cutting it. Knowing that I had to get an almost perfect score to pass this class… I chose to go on the beach weekend, and in turn, bombed the exam, and failed my freshman chemistry. Looking back, the beach weekend was short-lived and long forgotten, but the F in chemistry did not go without consequences and the requirement to retake the $1000 course. Since that, I have realized that life is full of tough decisions and making the right one is not always the best choice but it will certainly pay off in the long run. I also learned quickly what it took to be able to excel in college and that balance I had to develop and maintain academically and socially.

Interpersonal Competencies
*Tell us about the most difficult person you have had to work with. How did you handle the situation and what was the result (your relationship afterwards)?

As odd as this may sound, the most difficult person I have ever had to work with was my father. He owns a small technology company that I have had the opportunity to intern at for several summers. Upon first going to work for his company, I learned quickly that he was going to MUCH harder on me than any other employee. This caused him to criticize almost everything I did my first month at the company- nothing was good enough! I knew something had to change though because his well-intended criticism was damaging my esteem and ability to confidently do my projects. I finally decided to address the issue, privately, one morning in his office. I explained to him that I never expected him to be easy, but that his attitude towards me was hard to take as constructive. Surprisingly, he was proud that I took the initiative to communicate with him. He explained that it is his duty to make sure I understand there are no easy ways to get ahead, and that he hoped his criticism would spur my drive to work harder. He understood it may have come off too harsh and as a result, was much more complementary when I did things well, and tried to explain in more depth, when I didn’t “hit the mark”. This talk opened up our communication from that point on and resulted in the growth of my abilities as an employee. The desire my dad had and will always have for me to be able to grow, I have to ask, what scope is there for personal development at your company? I do not want to put myself in a position that places limits on my career.

Tell us about a time when you were able to persuade a person or group into a different course of action. How did you convince them, what was the outcome?

Tell us about the technical skill you have developed that you are most proud of.

As a management major, technical skills are not my specialty. However, with several internships and courses under my belt, I am rather proud of my email marketing abilities. I am able to design, using certain computer programs, very eye-catching and informative emails that have resulted in several leads for my company.

* Tell us about a technical problem that gave you the most difficulty. How did you overcome it?

Working at a technology company, I was stumped on several problems when I first started. One part of the internship was to be able to construct a GPS tracker with the engineers, not because I am an engineer, but because in all companies it is important to understand all aspects that go into the business. I had very much difficulty constructing the parts correctly so that in turn, the GPS did the simple task of turning on. I knew I had to understand this concept so that my work days would be spent efficiently assembling these, so I took the initiative to send an email out to the technical engineers offering to pay for their lunch the next day if they would stay after hours and work one-on-one with me to understand what I was doing wrong. To conclude, my mistakes were simple, and being able to show an engineer exactly how I had been doing it was the key to figuring out the mistake and fixing it.

Personal Competencies Of the many directions your career could take within this company, tell us one type of position you know you would not want and why.

* What are the three most important things you learned during college?

1. “Working hard beats great talent when great talent fails to work.” We are all blessed with different abilities and talents, but hard work to evolve these, and develop new ones is key to establishing yourself. 2. Nothing happens by accident. Failure is tough to swallow but failure is what taught me what I needed to change in order to be successful. In my opinion, a person who can take a failure, and turn it into a success, is a person who is going to be able to handle anything that is thrown at them in a job, and in life. 3. Taking risks. The ability to step out of your comfort zone is crucial to success. For me, taking a summer month to study in another country was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I was able to be independent and learn how other cultures act. This opened my eyes to so many different opportunities, knowing that I can’t hold back, that will allow for my ultimate growth in any company. Risks are what produce rewards.

* Setting aside your education and work experience, why should we hire you?

I feel I have provided you with a good gauge of who I am as an academic, and intern. Let me take a moment to ask what qualities you are looking for in your hires? _____ Another great treat I possess is the ability to adapt. I will do whatever it takes in order to be the absolute best I can be and ensure I am an asset to this company. If I don’t have every quality on your list, I will do what it takes to develop it in myself. A favorite life motto of mine: "Don't let the best you have done so far, be the standard for the rest of your life." I will not stop setting the bar higher for myself, and I expect my future employer to do the same. Is there anything you have seen in the other applicants that you have not seen in me?

*Provide your elevator speech here:

I am a senior at Clemson University- studying in the College of Business and Behavioral Science graduating in 2014. I relentlessly seek to challenge myself, and aspire to use my strong work ethic and motivational energy to succeed within communication, marketing, advertising, or event coordination. A combination of diverse internships, relevant courses, and leadership experience over the years has given me the ability to build upon these skills and work under pressure in both independent and team-oriented situations. I have the positive attitude and determination you are looking for, and I am ready to bring my dynamic energy to center stage. Bring it on.


Interviewer’s Summary – to be filled out by interviewer only











Circle Your Hiring Recommendation: Yes Not sure No…...

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