Thursday, 19 December 2013

Future Tense

There is a common belief that the only way to express the future in English is to use the two little modal auxiliaries "will" and "shall". Sure they play a major part in this function but there are other ways too of expressing the future. Below you will see 6 ways of expressing the future. I won't call it the "future tense" because that restricts your thinking about how to talk or write about something that is not now but next:
going to
This way you can express a personal intention or make a prediction about what you know/feel/see as in these sentences:
I am going to stop smoking this year. The sea is going to be very rough this afternoon, so don't go swimming.

Future Simple
Back to "will" and "shall". With these two words plus the infinitive of a verb you can express: a future fact, a sudden decision, an offer, a threat, a promise, an opinion about the future, a probability especially after think, suppose, expect, doubt if.

Here are a few examples:

Tomorrow will be my birthday.
It's all right I'll get the shopping.
I will take you in the car if you like.
I'll stand by you whatever happens.
I suppose we'll manage without the car.

Present Continuous
This is almost the same as "going to" but it's not quite as personal. Look at this:

The Government is thinking about introducing a new law.

Present Simple
We use this when we are thinking of the certain future, something already arranged as in a timetable or programme:
Your train leaves in ten minutes.

Is to/Are to
These are used to express an instruction or something arranged officially. Here is an example:

The finance ministers are to meet next month to discuss the crisis.

About to/Due to
We use these when we want to describe actions that are expected to happen, usually fairly soon. An example:

The 100 metre race is about to start any minute now.

Below you can see a story I've written using some highlighted examples of how you can express the future.
I want you to imagine that you are about to visit a small village. It doesn't matter which country it's in because all villages are the same whichever part of the world they are in. There were only about 300 inhabitants in total in this particular village and everyone knew everybody's business. A typical street conversation would run like this: "I hear Joan's going to have a baby next year. I expect it'll be a boy this time I wouldn't be surprised. She's having a nurse come next week to help her with her 5 girls and maybe a boy will make life easier for her!" In this village people usually help each other whenever they can. If someone is going to the "big" town — that is where there are more than a thousand people living in it — invariably they will say to their neighbours: "I'll get you some vegetables, if you like". But it's not all sweetness and light here because there is a longstanding feud going on between two families. I'll let the local gossip, Mary tell you the background. "It must be ten years ago when it all started. I doubt it'll ever stop", she laughed when she said that. "But then I've been told I am to tell you the beginning of it all and also you are to listen, remember. There are two women who are always arguing about something. One of them lives in that huge house over there. Don't look now because she'll open her front door in a minute. She's going to catch the 9.15 bus that goes in ten minutes from that stop there. Now, she's a fine lady, she is. She's due to become a councillor next month after the elections and she'll probably make a good job of it. Now hold on a second the other lady is leaving her house in a minute. Yes, what did I say? She's going to catch the bus too but she'll get on at the next stop to avoid meeting the councillor lady. Now the second lady runs a small restaurant, as a matter of fact I'm taking lunch there later today." I asked Mary why these two women didn't get on. She looked me straight in the eye and said: "Jealousy. One runs a successful restaurant and the councillor lady runs a small guesthouse. Both of them are going to make a lot of money this year because of the festival but the guesthouse lady will make more and she always has done and that's the cause of the trouble."

Now what I haven't told you", continued Mary, "and I'm just about to reveal it, is that there are two other people in the story. Namely the son of one of the ladies and the daughter of the other. And yes, they are getting married next year and the whole village will be invited. It's going to be a big affair" I interrupted Mary at this point and asked her what had happened to the feud. "Oh that doesn't matter much now" continued Mary "they'll be too busy making arrangements for the wedding. They're due to meet a catering firm this morning". "So what's all this about separate bus stops?" I asked. "Oh, that's just for the tourists who are coming here next month." I tried to understand but had one more question: "And what about jealousy?" — "Now, you're not to worry about her. There are plenty of villages round here and she'll soon find another one to visit and cause trouble in" I thanked Mary and walked away, totally confused thinking to myself; "I shall never understand village life."

Monday, 16 December 2013

Interview Questions

The interview is just one assessment tool to help you make a final hiring decision and must be used in conjunction with other information gathered during the selection process (application forms, resumes, and supplemental questionnaire and reference checks). Evaluating interview information may include identifying candidate’s job-related personal characteristics, such as motivation, personality-fit and longevity etc. Remember, personal traits must be considered against the broader context of the job requirements. Once you have decided on the basis of your selection criteria, the following compilation of questions will guide you in structuring/customizing an interview format.
1.Tell us about a time when despite careful planning, things got out of hand or did not work out and
what did you do?
2.Tell us about an occasion when you chose, for whatever reason, not to finish a particular task?
3.Tell us about a time your supervisor was absent and you had to make a decision?
4.What steps have you taken to enable you to become more effective in your team?
5.What have you done to become more effective in your career?
6.How have you handled special responsibilities or assignments that have been given to you that may not be part of your routine?
7.Give us some examples demonstrating how you reac
ted to short deadlines or pressure situations.
8.Tell us about a time when your performance did not
live up to your expectations? What did you do?
9.How do you motivate yourself to complete unpleasant assignments?
1.Would you rather design/develop plans and procedures or implement/manage them? Why?
2.Have you had to make and/or implement an unpopular decision/policy and why did you make the
decision or support the decision?
1.What types of people do you get along with best?
2.How do you work with people whom you don’t get along with?
3.What role do you play in ensuring a smooth working environment?
4.Have you worked for more than one manager and how did you cope with it?
5.Give us an example of a crisis situation you were involved in and what did you do to help resolve
6.What professional situations cause you to feel awkward and how do you handle them?
7.How many projects can you handle at a time? Give an example when this occurred.
8.How do you prioritize your projects?
9.How do you handle repetitive tasks?
10. Tell us about a time you had to go above and beyond the call of duty?
11. How many levels of management do you deal with?
12.Describe a situation when your work was criticized. How did you react?
13.Describe a situation where you had to work with someone who was difficult, how did you handle
14.How do you define conducive work atmosphere?
15.What type of work environment appeals to you most?
16.How do you deal with conflict?
17.In what kinds of situations do you find it most difficult to deal with people?
1.Tell us about the kinds of communication you use at work?
2.How important was communication and interaction with others in your last job?
3.How would you rate your communications skills? Why?
4.What communication tools, forms or documents have you developed for your department?
1.What are some ideas/practices to follow to insure effective communications with your coworkers?
2.How have you communicated concerns/criticisms to co-workers? Do you feel you were effective?
3.How do you communicate with co-workers whom you have personal problems with?
1.How can a supervisor establish effective communications with staff?
2.Are there additional considerations in communicating to groups of employees versus individual employees?
3.What are some good rules to keep in mind when directing employees?
4.In what instances, is written communication better than verbal communications?
5.Have you ever had to give an employee bad news (vacation denied etc.)? How did you deliver this information?
With Your Supervisor
1.Communicating with your supervisor is an important aspect of all of our jobs. In addition to being brief, what guidelines should you follow to communicate effectively with your supervisor?
2.What are the reasons for communicating upwards to your superiors?
3.How would your supervisor rate your communications skills?
4.Have you ever had to criticize or tell your supervisor you were wrong? How did you do this?
Customer Quality Focus
1.What does good customer service involve?
2.Have you ever worked with an irate customer? What did you do?
3.What are the steps involved in successfully handling an irate customer?
4.Tell us about how you have handled a dissatisfied customer in the past.
5.Tell us about your experience in dealing with the public.
6.Give us an example of a situation you handled with superior customer service.
7.Tell us about a situation in which you dealt with a customer and what you would have done differently.
8.How would you handle a customer who used abusive language?
9.Tell us about your experience in working a customer service counter.
1.Name two criteria essential to establishing effective service standards.
2.What are some of the ways to measure customer/user satisfaction?
3.What steps can you take to establish a "customer first" attitude in the organization?
4.If you wanted to improve the service that you provide to your customers, what would you do first?
What efforts have you made in your job to improve the level of customer satisfaction?
1. Define diversity.
2. Tell us about a situation in which you were required to work with diverse groups of people within
your organization?
3. What was the most important step that you took to work effectively with diverse people?
4. To what extent have your assignments required interface with diverse population?
5. In what kinds of situations do you find it most
difficult to deal with people of varying interest or different background?
6. To what extent have you worked in an ethnically, socio-economically, and/or culturally diverse
7.Tell us about your experience in dealing with a variety of different people.
1.One of the requirements for this position is that the individual be a self-starter. Give us an example of your ability to be a self-starter.
2.In a professional setting, are you a member or a leader of a team?
3.Define leadership.
4.What personal qualities should a leader have?
5.What is your strongest leadership skill and how will it assist you for this job?
6.Provide us with an example of your leadership ability.
7.What is the importance of leadership in the organization?
8.What role does leadership play for a supervisor or manager?
9.What have you done to develop your leadership skills?
10.Tell us about a situation in which you demonstrated your leadership ability.
1.What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
2.Discuss the different styles of leadership you use in accomplishing your management role.
3.What motivational techniques do you use with your work unit?
4.What can a supervisor do to enhance an employee’s job and the employee’s motivation?
5.What motivates employees?
6.A subordinate has not been successful on a task, how do you offer constructive feedback?
7.What are some of the ways in which a supervise or can motivate staff?
Or de-motivate staff?
8.Tell us about a situation where you motivated your staff to extraordinary accomplishments.
9.Cite some of the circumstances under which a leader is not successful. What do you attribute this lack
of success to?
Occupational Knowledge/Technology Orientation
1.What steps have you taken to enable you to become more effective in your position and what strengths will you bring to this position?
2.One of the responsibilities of the position is to better utilize technology when performing the functions
of the office. Assuming that there is little use of technology in our office, what would you do to enhance the utilization of technology here?
3.If we were to offer you this position, how do you imagine that you would spend your first two weeks?
4.What computer software (word processing, spreadsheets, database) programs are you most comfortable sing? What specifically did you do with Excel or Access database etc?
Team Focus
1.How do you establish working relationship with new people?
2.How do you see your responsibilities as a group member?
3.What are the important qualities a person should have to become an effective team member?
4.What are the characteristic s of a successful team?
5.Tell us about an unsuccessful team of which you
were a member. What, if anything, could you have
done differently?
6.Tell us about a successful team of which you were a member. What was the most outstanding characteristic of that team? What did you contribute?
7.What qualities do you have that make you an effective team player?
8.Do you work better by yourself or as part of a team?
9.What can you contribute to establish a positive working environment for our team?
10.What type of people do you work best with?
1.What factors would you consider in assembling a project team?
2.Name some of the pitfalls to be avoided in building an effective team.
3.Give us examples where you introduced ideas or processes that have made a team become more productive?
4.What actions can a supervisor take to establish teamwork in the organization?
5.What are the advantages, if any, of establishing team goals as opposed to individual goals?
7.What has been your most positive experience in supervision?
8.What has been your most negative experience in supervision?
9.Which aspect of supervision did you feel the most comfortable with?
10.Which aspect of supervision did you feel the least comfortable with?
11.Give us an example of a situation that you handled which would demonstrate your ability to supervise.
12.Have you had any experience in applying the provisions of the
Americans With Disabilities Act?
13.Having supervisory experience you may have run into problems with a member of your staff. What
type of problem did you encounter and how did you handle it?
14.What aspect of supervision is most difficult for you and why?
15.What aspect of supervision is the easiest for you and why?
16.Tell us about your most difficult supervisory experience and how did you handle it?
17.Tell us about your most difficult supervisory experience and what did you learn from it?
18.Have you hired staff? What qualities did you look for?
19.Tell us about your experience in supervising clerical staff.
20.What experience have you had in supervising field workers?
21.Tell us about your experience in supervising professional staff.
22.Tell us about your experience in supervising technical staff.
23.Have you had an opportunity to supervise staff in a number of different functions, such as professional and clerical? Tell us about your experience.
24.Have you supervised volunteers? Tell us about your experience.
25.Under which circumstances would you refer an employee to the employee assistance program?
26.What is the most challenging situation that you’ve had with your subordinate supervisors? How did you handle it?
27.How would you assess your ability as a supervisor?
28.Describe your most ideal and least ideal boss?
29.What work-related items have you been criticized for in the past two years?
30.What characteristics are most important in a good manager/supervisor? How have you displayed them?
1.Describe a project that best demonstrates your analytical ability?
2.Tell us about a situation where you made a mistake. How did you handle the mistake and what was
the resolution?
3.Under what circumstances should
you bypass your supervisor and go to your supervisor’s supervisor?
4.Give us a situation that illustrates your ability to exercise good judgment.
5.In instances where you are required to assert yourself, what do you do to assert yourself effectively?
6.Tell us of a time work quality had been compromised due to time constraints or resource constraints.
Problem Solving
1.What are the essential elements of effective problem solving?
2.Provide us with an example of your problem-solving ability.
3.Tell us about a situation in which you were required to analyze and solve a complex problem.
4.How have you incorporated collaborative problem solving in your organization?
5.What are the benefits of participative problem solving?
6.When you are confronted with an unprecedented decision, what do you do?
Strengths and Weaknesses
1.We are looking at a lot of great candidates; why are you the best person for this position?
2.What are your three personal strengths?
3.What can you contribute to our organization?
4.Assume that you’re one of the top 2 candidates for this position; tell us what may set you apart from the
other candidate?
5.What are your strengths?
6.Give us three adjectives that others would use to describe you?
7.What makes an individual successful and why do you think that these attributes make someone
8.What part of your current job ar
e you the most comfortable with?
9.What are your strong points and how have they helped you to succeed?
10.What skills do you have that you feel could enhance this position?
11.What do you know about our organization?
12.Where do you think your interest in this career comes from?
13.What motivates you to improve and progress in your career and why are you motivated by these things?
14.To what do you owe your present success?
15.What goals have you set for yourself? How are you planning to achieve them?
16.Tell us about a situation that would exemplify your integrity.
1.What is your greatest weakness?
2.Name your three greatest weaknesses.
3.Which is the worst of your three greatest weaknesses and why?
4.What are your weaknesses?
5.What part of your current job are you the least comfortable with?
6.What are your weak points and how have you overcome them?
7.What about yourself would you want to improve?
8.In which area do you need to make improvements in?
9.What are the three areas in which people would say you need to improve?

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