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Classic Interview Questions and Answers

What do you do when you disagree with your line manager?

Alternative and related questions:

What would you do if you disagreed with a decision taken by your line manager?
Would you make your opinion known if you disagreed with a decision taken by a superior?

The meaning behind the question:

Ostensibly, you might think the interviewer is testing to see how subordinate you are. This isn’t really the case though. It’s not to an organization’s advantage to be filled with people who never question authority – or who never voice their opinion. What the interviewer is really looking for is to identify the manner in which you would express your disagreement.

Your answer:

A lot depends, of course, on precisely what it is that you disagree with. Is it a minor issue which boils down to a matter of your judgment against theirs – or is it a more serious situation which could potentially call for your having to go ‘over their head’ and discuss the matter with their superior.

You want to avoid talking about the second possibility. Build your answer around the scenario of a minor disagreement and place the emphasis on how you would use your communication and interpersonal skills.

Example:

Inevitably there will be times when I disagree with my manager’s point of view – or with a decision she has taken or intends to take. In my current role, my manager welcomes input from her team and, while I appreciate that it isn’t appropriate to openly disagree with her, I will query issues in private with her as necessary. There may be factors leading to her decision of which I am unaware. Alternatively, once we’ve both discussed our thoughts, we may simply agree to disagree. I have to respect that, at the end of the day, it remains her prerogative to make a decision whether I agree with it or not – and to support her in that course of action to the best of my ability.

The Interview Question & Answer Book

The Interview Question and Answer Book

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More classic interview questions and answers

 

How would you describe yourself? / How would your boss/colleagues/team/family/friends describe you?

In what ways are you a team player?

Do you work well on your own initiative?

What techniques do you use to get things done?

What motivates you?

Are you proactive?

Are you creative?

Are you a risk-taker?

How do you handle pressure and stress?

Can you tell me about a time when you have failed to achieve a goal?

What's the worst mistake you've made at work and how did you deal with it?

How would you handle the following situation?

Can you tell me about a major project you have successfully completed?

Can you tell me about a major problem at work that you've had to deal with?

We have a problem with x. How would you resolve that?

What do you do when you disagree with your line manager?

How would you describe yourself as a manager?

Can you give me an example of when you have successfully coached a member of your team?

What is your customer service philosophy?

How did you get your last job?

What does your current job involve on a day-to-day basis?

What contribution do you make to the department in which you work?

What changes have you made to your current job role since you started?

What have you learned in your last job?

Can you tell me about your last appraisal?

How would you describe your current boss?

Why did you leave that job?

Which of your jobs was the best?

Why is there a gap in your resume/CV?

What do you know about us as an organization?

What do you know about our products/services?

What do you think are our organization's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

What do you know about the vacancy for which you are applying?

How do your skills and experience match the job description/person specification?

What appeals to you most about this vacancy?

Why have you chosen this line of work?

Are there any other organizations to which you are applying?

How does this job compare to others for which you are applying?

Can you describe your ideal employer to me?

What sort of person would you most like to work for?

In what ways is your degree relevant to the work you are now doing?

What have you learned and how have you developed over the last year/five years?

What sports are you/have you been involved in?

Do you know what the current headline news is?

How quickly can you adapt to a new work environment?

Would it be a problem if we asked you to work overtime/evenings/weekends?

What is your current salary package?

What salary package are you expecting for this role?

When would you be available to start?

Do you mind if we contact your current employer for a reference?

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