Has fear of getting stumped by an interview question go you breaking into a cold sweat before you even put your new suit on? Our monthly Q&A with HR professionals will help you identify and understand the kind of questions interviewers ask, so you can ace the interview and get on with your new job. We ask Angela Burdick, director of campus recruiting and part of the career sales force at Sun Life Financial, for her expertise.
Tell me about a time that you wanted something badly enough that you were willing to make sacrifices. What was the situation? What did you do? What happened?
When an interviewer asks a question like this he or she is trying to find out about your work ethic. If the person being interviewed says that's never happened, that would be a bad answer. If they need time to think, that's okay, but saying nothing is the worst ÔÇô everybody has had to sacrifice something to get something they wanted. Another bad answer would be if they gave an answer that shows they have their priorities backward, for example, if the person being interviewed said they skipped a class to play sports. This is not a good response. The sacrifice should be the other way around, for example, they gave up chess club so they could get a good mark in class.
There should be a sacrifice and there should be a payoff. For example, the person being interviewed could tell us about a time they had a very heavy course load at school.They had exams coming up and they had to give up going out with their friends on Friday night,so they could study and stay involved in their intramural sport.
The desirable outcome would be that they succeeded in what they set out to do, and got a good mark in the course. This answer demonstrates not only that the person being interviewed has a work ethic but they've had experience applying it and discovered it works.