Department Chair Interview Preparation Guide
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74 Department Chair Questions and Answers:

1 :: Why did you select the University _______?

Discuss the academic program, the extracurricular program(s), the school spirit, the quality of your peers, and the professors.
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2 :: Explain me about a problem or disagreement you had with previous supervisor?

This question is trap. It is meant to see whether or not you'll speak poorly of an employer. No one wants to hire someone who's going to speak poorly of them down the road. Stay upbeat and positive - and most of all don't say anything negative about a previous employer.
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3 :: How long do you want to work for us if we hire you?

Here being specific is probably not the best approach. You may consider responding, “I hope a very long time.” Or “As long as we're both happy with my performance.”
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4 :: Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). How did you handle the situation? What obstacles or difficulties did you face? How did you deal with them?

First, the key is to state the differences in personality to give the interviewer some background. Second, you want to discuss how that was affecting the situation. Third, show how you were able to adapt to the way the person wanted to be communicated with to achieve your goals
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5 :: Tell us something about yourself?

Bad Answer: Candidates who ramble on about themselves without regard for information that will actually help the interviewer make a decision, or candidates who actually provide information showing they are unfit for the job.

Good answer: An answer that gives the interviewer a glimpse of the candidate's personality, without veering away from providing information that relates to the job. Answers should be positive, and not generic.
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6 :: How much are you willing to sacrifice to be successful at work As Department Chair?

With anything comes sacrifice. The questions is how much of it are you willing to sacrifice with regards to work life balance, stress, etc?
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7 :: How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?

The first thing you should do is discuss experience you have the interviewer is unfamiliar with. Once that is detailed, tell the person conducting the interview that you are able to learn new tasks and information in a reasonable period of time and possess a strong work ethic. However, only state this if you can live up to these expectations.
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8 :: Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job?

When answering this question, discuss situations where you completed tasks benefitting your previous employers.
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9 :: What do you like to do for fun?

Be open to sharing hobbies and activities that you enjoy. Make sure you're genuine about it and don't list off things you don't really like because if they ask you a follow up question it'll be harder for you to answer.
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10 :: What's the difference between good and exceptionally great?

Being good is getting the job done as promised As Department Chair. Being great is delivering the work in an exceptional way that completely exceeds expectations.
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11 :: Do you consider yourself successful?

You should always answer yes to this question. Briefly explain why without going on and on. If you communicate that you're more successful than you really are you may come off as arrogant or unrealistic. A goof explanation is that you have set professional goals and that you have met some of these goals and are on track to meet more in the near future.
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12 :: Why was there a gap in your employment As Department Chair?

If you were unemployed for a period of time, be direct and to the point about what you’ve been up to (and hopefully, that’s a litany of impressive volunteer and other mind-enriching activities, like blogging or taking classes). Then, steer the conversation toward how you will do the job and contribute to the organization: “I decided to take a break at the time, but today I’m ready to contribute to this organization in the following ways.”
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13 :: What do you consider ethical spending on an expense account?

It depends on the role - but the better way to answer this is to ask the interviewer what their expectations are with regards to what the role can expense and then simply state that you'll stay within those parameters
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14 :: What have you done to improve your knowledge As Department Chair in the last year?

Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job As Department Chair. A wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.
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15 :: Give me an example of how you handled pressure at work As Department Chair?

The company is looking to see if you can handle pressure well. Share with them an example where you were able to stay calm during a pressure filled situation (perhaps it was a deadline, or there was an emergency with a customer occurring). Discuss the situation, your reaction and steps you took to resolve it and the outcome.
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16 :: What are you looking for in a new position As Department Chair?

I’ve been honing my skills As Department Chair for a few years now and, first and foremost, I’m looking for a position where I can continue to exercise those skills. Ideally the same things that this position has to offer. Be specific.
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17 :: What have you done to improve your skills over the past year As Department Chair?

You'll want to be prepare with some very specific examples of what you've done over the last year and what you're currently doing to improve your professional knowledge and skill set as well as anything else you're doing the shows self improvement.
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18 :: What specific steps do you utilize in solving workplace problems?

Analyze the problem As Department Chair. Discuss possible remedies and resulting outcomes. Decide on the remedy and track results. Re-visit problem if it's not resolved.
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19 :: What can you offer us that someone else can not?

Bad Answer: Going negative - if the candidate starts trash talking other candidates, it's a sure sign of a bad attitude. Also, if they can't provide a solid answer, it may show that they lack thorough knowledge of the skills the job requires, and an understanding of where they fit in.

Good answer: The candidate can name specific skills, abilities or understandings they have that apply directly to the job that other candidates are unlikely to have, or are in short supply.
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20 :: Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback As Department Chair?

By asking this question, your interviewer hopes to learn whether you can communicate effectively, address issues in the workplace and motivate others during difficult times. Giving negative feedback requires honesty, thoughtfulness and tact. Answering this question well can help show an interviewer that you would be a good fit for a managerial position or a position that involves working closely with others.
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21 :: What have you learned from mistakes on the job?

Candidates without specific examples often do not seem credible. However, the example shared should be fairly inconsequential, unintentional, and a learned lesson should be gleaned from it. Moving ahead without group assistance while assigned to a group project meant to be collaborative is a good example.
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22 :: How would your references describe you?

Think of three major characteristics that demonstrate your best qualities related to work and then have quick stories to describe why.
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23 :: How do you stay organized?

By maintaining proper routine every day. Putting my strongest points with my weakness. High priority always comes first As Department Chair.
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24 :: If you were interviewing someone for this position As Department Chair, what traits would you look for?

This is where the interviewer tries to turn the tables on you. Answer confidently by stating 3 specific traits that are applicable to that job role. For example, a consulting job would likely look for someone who can think outside of the box.

After answering, ask them, "Am I spot on here and if not, what traits would you look for?"
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25 :: How long do you envision yourself staying with this company?

Understand that companies invest a lot of money into hiring the right staff. You want to emphasize that you are in it for the long run and you want to develop a career there and that it's not just a "5 month stepping stone" type of a job. You should be thinking how you're going to grow with that company. After all, don't you want to invest your energy and time with a company that is going to continue to be successful and one that will help you grow?
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26 :: What skills do you bring to the table?

Think of your skill sets with regards to: analytical skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, computer skills, presentation skills, management skills, sales skills and so forth.
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27 :: What differentiates this company from other competitors?

Be positive and nice about their competitors but also discuss how they are better than them and why they are the best choice for the customer. For example: "Company XYZ has a good product, but I truly believe your company has a 3-5 year vision for your customer that aligns to their business needs."
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28 :: How would you be an asset to us As Department Chair?

Think again about the job specification and the skills needed for this role As Department Chair. Have a paragraph prepared highlighting how you will be able to do the job and what you can bring to the team. It goes without saying that this paragraph should be positive.
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29 :: What is it about this position As Department Chair that attracts you the most?

Use your knowledge of the job description to demonstrate how you are a suitable match for the role.
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30 :: Describe your vision of your perfect dream job?

Ideally, the role you're applying for either is that dream job or will help you get to it. If it's going to help you get there, describe the elements of that job role that you are passionate about so that it ties to the vision of what your dream job is. Be honest and talk about the type of work environment, management team / leadership, coworkers, culture, vision and products/services you'd like your dream job to entail.
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