There's no canned answer.What sort of answers do you think they are looking for?
Damn it, I didn’t know I was being interviewed for a management role. Well too late now, I should have known!OK it just hit me... clearly they were trying to figure out if you were management material. The answer they were looking for was, "can I outsource this task, or must it remain in-house?" .
PS-> Though what this guy did was not right, he is still my hero in some small "Office Space" kind of way. Had he been in management he would have been given a fat bonus and a raise, but since he was in engineering he got fired.
This would be my approach. However, one must evaluate who is asking. An old saying in sales, no use wasting breath on a person who can’t make the buying decision. A micro manager could interpret this response as intimidating. I usually condense the whole thing by stating that I would ensure that my vision of success matches the companies vision of success. If they asked how I would do that, I’d get into all those details.I think it's probably a bit early for #2, but #1 is right on track.
I hate questions where you are having to guess what the person asking the question had in mind, but if they are any good they will keep an open mind and consider whether or not what you responded was reasonable regardless of what they were hoping for.
I would have said something along the lines of: The hardest part of solving any problem is usually understanding what the problem really is. So I would make sure that I had a firm understanding of the task, to include not just what the specific task was, but also, to the degree possible, what the bigger problem is that this task is a part of -- it could be that there is a completely different, but better, way of solving that bigger problem. Then I would make sure that I had a good understanding of what constitutes success in completing this task; how good is good enough? When does it have to be done by? What resources are available and what constraints must I live within? What aspects of it are the most important and which ones are less important? Who is the person that I can interface with that has the knowledge and authority to answer questions and make decisions about this task? Of course, the amount of time I spend gathering all of this information is going to depend on the scope and cost of the task.
No offense (seriously -- I'm not trying to offend), but if I asked a potential candidate a question and their response was that they would ensure that their vision of success matches the company's vision of success, I'd be looking for a way to end the interview as quickly as I could to move onto someone that wasn't going to just shower me with stock, meaningless suck-up platitudes. Maybe that approach does work with some hiring managers, but it sure wouldn't work with me and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have worked with the vast majority of people I've worked with and for over the years.This would be my approach. However, one must evaluate who is asking. An old saying in sales, no use wasting breath on a person who can’t make the buying decision. A micro manager could interpret this response as intimidating. I usually condense the whole thing by stating that I would ensure that my vision of success matches the companies vision of success. If they asked how I would do that, I’d get into all those details.
I think I'd go for something in the line of:Hi guys
Just try to understand an interview question I got asked a while ago. The role is intermediate Embedded software engineer. One of the question I think I definitely got it wrong is:
And I answered:
But I think those are not the answers they are looking for. What sort of answers do you think they are looking for?
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by Jake Hertz
by Jake Hertz