21. Can you describe your long-range goals and objectives?
Sample excellent response: My primary objectives are to learn as much as possible about your company’s product offering, organizational structure, and professional sales techniques so that I may become the most productive member of your sales team.
22. What do you expect to be doing in five years?
Sample excellent response: Although it is hard to predict the future, I sincerely believe that I will become a very good financial consultant. I believe that my abilities will allow me to excel to the point that I can seek other opportunities as a portfolio manager (the next step) and possibly even higher. My ultimate goal continues to be — and will always be — to be the best at whatever level I am working at within Merrill Lynch’s corporate structure.
23. What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
Sample excellent response: Ten years from now I see myself as a successful consultant for a world-class firm like yours. I want to have developed a wonderful bond with my employer I will have proven myself a highly competent systems analyst and will represent my company in helping others find solutions to their information-systems needs in a professional and timely manner.
24. How would you evaluate your ability to deal with conflict?
Sample excellent response: I believe I am quite good at handling conflict. Working in retail and in the residence halls required that I make many unpopular decisions at times, whether it was terminating an associate or taking judicial action on a resident. Often the person in conflict with me would be upset and sometimes physically outraged. I would always make sure that I fully explained the situation, the policies behind my decision, and why those policies exist. Usually by the end of the conversation, the person could see the other side of the situation.
26. Tell me about a major problem you recently handled. Were you successful in resolving it?
Sample excellent response: While working at K-mart, I was one of three people to work in the electronics department. One day upon arriving at work, I was told the district manager was coming the next day to do a store inspection. The two other people who worked in electronics were both over 55. Neither could lift heavy objects, and one refused to work at all. As a result, the electronics department was usually left to me to keep stocked with product and kept in order. I had about five hours of work time to get the entire department in order. Those five hours passed around, and there was still a substantial amount of work to be done. I asked the store manager if I could stay and work after hours while the overnight stockers were there. He said that because of the employment budget, he could not let me. I was faced with bringing the entire store’s rating down, so I suggested a creative staffing solution, allowing me to work the extra hours while temporarily reducing the hours of the other two members of the department. Because of this solution, in a matter of hours, the department was in tip-top shape — and still under budget. And the results? The electronics department got a score of 95 out of 100.