Interview questions at AppNexus

We analyzed 298 interview reviews for AppNexus from various job sites, social network groups and forums.

Here are the most frequent job interview questions asked by HR managers during initial phone or onsite interviews. This list does not include technical or factual questions.

16 frequent non-technical questions at AppNexus:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Tell me about your greatest professional accomplishment
Tell me about a successful project you were involved in. What was your role? What was the result?
How would you handle a customer with difficult behavior?
What will make you leave a company?
What makes you unique?
What is your greatest weakness?
What is the biggest lesson you've learned from a mistake you made?
What gets you up and excited on Monday morning?
Tell me about a time you had to raise an uncomfortable issue with your manager
Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work. How did you handle it? What have you learned?
Tell me about a time when you were given little direction on a job assignment and how you were able to complete it
Tell me about a time when you had multiple competing deadlines and how you managed them
Name a time you had to convince someone to do something they did not want to do
How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?
Do you prefer working in a team or working alone?

According to our research, hiring managers at AppNexus ask soft skills interview questions 26% less than at other companies:

AppNexus interview question statistics

1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?top question

How to answer

This question belongs to a family of behavioral, or even more precisely, reflective questions.

The interviewer wants to see whether you are reflective about yourself, whether you are ambitious and strive to grow as a professional, whether you like to learn and develop your skills.

They are also looking for your ambitions to fit the career path opportunities related to the position you are applying for.

  1. About Yourself

    Presumably, you are interested to grow professionally.

    Think about the possibilities that may lie ahead for you: take a personality test (I recommend 16Personalities which is based on Myers-Briggs test), research the internet on what career paths are possible with your skills and current job.

    What challenges do you like overcoming?

    For example, if you are applying for a software tester position, you may find it fascinating to master automated testing in full and eventually become a software engineer, or you may be a natural trainer and love coaching other people which may lead you to become a QA team or department lead, or you may be more interested in understanding business aspects of requirements which may logically lead you into a Business Analyst position.

    However, if you are happy just where you are and want to further your current skills, that is also fine as long as there is a growth path for you that can be imagined and described.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company to learn what career opportunities may be available in the department you are applying to, and what the trends are in the company in general.

    • Is the business expanding, are they opening new locations, or starting new projects?
    • Or are they heavily automating and cutting staff?

    Let’s say you are applying for a UX designer position for a brand-new product.

    In the future, if the product becomes a success - which is what the company hopes for - the company will hire more designers and you may become a lead designer, or you may become a product manager.

    On a side note: If you train your mind to be open to opportunities you will be amazed at how much this world has to offer to you!

  3. About The Fit

    And, of course, try to see where the perfect fit lies between your own potential and aspirations, and the company’s trends and hopes.

    However, beware of the risk of showing too much excitement for future opportunities compared to your attitude towards the current position.

    If you aren’t really excited about the position you are applying for and you demonstrate this lack of enthusiasm, the interviewer may conclude that you are not a good fit for the current position.

    Try to find a source of excitement in the current position as well, otherwise, you may be doing yourself a disservice by applying to a position you will find boring in 2-3 months.

Pro Tip

This question gives you a good opportunity to showcase your Key Selling Points (e.g. “As I am very good at delegating tasks, I can easily see myself leading a team of software testers in the future…”), and end your statement by asking about current initiatives and goals at the company.

It is generally NOT a good idea to say something like:

“Oh, I cannot imagine what happens to me tomorrow, let alone in 5 years”.

This will show you as a person who is unimaginative and not forward-thinking enough to grow with and be a good fit for the company.

Statistics

This question is asked 35% more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

2. Tell me about your greatest professional accomplishment

How to answer

Of all your accomplishments (and I am sure you’ve had a great many of them!), you should choose the one most relevant to this job position.

  1. About Yourself

    Write down your Key Selling Points - your top 3-5 skills that make you a strong professional.

    Write down a list of your top 3-5 professional accomplishments that you are most proud of. No need for lengthy descriptions, just 1-2 words for each one to help you recall each situation.

    Make sure you have developed the story behind each accomplishment and have a strong command of the details of what happened so that you can tell the story clearly and distinctly.

    Along with each accomplishment, mark which of your Key Selling Points they showcase. How exactly?

  2. About The Company

    Based on your research of the company, what are their current needs?

    • What are the major projects going on?
    • What are the expectations for the position you are applying for?
  3. About The Fit

    Try to imagine yourself being an employee of the company you are applying to, say, at your 6th month into the job.

    • Which of your Key Selling Points and accomplishments would be most relevant to the company?
    • What “have you accomplished at your new job?”

    Choose the most relevant accomplishment from your list and then practice telling your story.

Pro Tip

Most enterprises are now going through major transformations, often called Digital Transformation.

Do your research on what it means and what is often involved, to get a better idea of the current goals and environments in companies. But one thing that definitely characterizes this transformation is striving for agility.

In particular, for startups (if you are applying to a startup or a small business), agility is their middle name, in order for them to survive among bigger sharks in the market.

So, demonstrating qualities like agility and adaptability should generally be helpful and quite a safe choice in most circumstances today.

Statistics

This question is asked 3.1x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Why do interviewers ask this question?

AThey want to know why you think the accomplishment you chose is your greatest, to give them an idea of what you think is important

BThey want to hear a specific example of your work to see if your problem solving skills fit in with the issues and problems their company might be experiencing

CThey want to know if you are a great multitasker who can get 10 different things done by the end of the day, no matter how long you have to stay at work to complete it all

3. Tell me about a successful project you were involved in. What was your role? What was the result?

How to answer

In the modern business environment, work is often organized in the form of projects. This allows companies to plan objectives and milestones in order to reach their goals, to monitor progress and performance, to clearly define deliverables and success.

With this question, the interviewer gauges whether you have the right mindset for a project-oriented work style.

  1. About Yourself

    Remember a few projects you have been involved in. Depending on your work experience and career level, these may range from small projects like organizing a party to large-scale multinational projects with participants and teams across the globe, million-dollar budgets and high risk and reward stakes.

    For each project you participated in, write down the following:

    1. project name
    2. its reason and goal
    3. your role in it
    4. the duration of the project or its phases (in case only some phases were successful)
    5. the approximate number of people or stakeholders involved in it.

    • What were the top 3 challenges?
    • What was the end result?
    • How did the company (or other stakeholders) benefit from the results?
    • How can you define your contribution in 3-5 key phrases? If you received any praise for your efforts from your boss, peers or clients, what did they say exactly?
  2. About The Company

    Based on the research you did on the company, what kinds of projects can you expect here?

    • What do you know about the goals they are trying to achieve?
    • What do you know about their current challenges?
    • Can you imagine what success will look like for the projects in this company?
  3. About The Fit

    Which of your examples fits best with the projects you may expect at this company?

    Practice telling your story, use the STAR method.

Pro Tip

End your answer by asking the interviewer how they define success for the role you are applying for.

This will provide you with an insight into the company environment and expectations for this role, as well as will help transform the “interrogation” into a conversation, which will give you a break to pull your wits together for further interview.

Statistics

This question is asked 7.4x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

4. How would you handle a customer with difficult behavior?

How to answer

People skills are highly valued in every company, and even so much more so in a company that deals with difficult customers occasionally. It is important to show how you can manage difficult personalities.

  1. About Yourself

    Look back on your experience. Have you worked with a difficult or disruptive person? Remember how you diffused the situation and how you turned things around.

    • Do you have certain principles, or methodology, to deal with difficult people?
    • Do you have strong people skills, are you good at conflict resolution?
    • Are you high on emotional intelligence? Can you give an example?
  2. About The Company

    • What have you found about the company and its culture?
    • What have you learned about how the employees value each other?
    • How do they treat their customers?
    • Knowing their line of business or industry, what can be some examples of difficult customers?

    Do your research.

  3. About The Fit

    A question like this asked in an interview, may be an indication that difficult customers, or other difficult stakeholders, may indeed be something that you will probably encounter in this company, and it is important for the interviewer to know that you will be able to handle this challenge with good grace.

    If you can give an example of how you handled a difficult person in the past in a situation similar to what this company may require from you, this will strongly increase your chances of showing yourself as a good fit.

Pro Tip

One methodology for diffusing a difficult situation is called “the triple A” approach:

  1. Acknowledge - what the other person is feeling,
  2. Apologize - for the way the other person is feeling,
  3. Admit - that there was an issue that you are working on to get it resolved.

If it is a customer, it would add that extra touch if you added another "A" to your approach by Asking for the customer's contact information so you can update them of any progress on their issue.

Statistics

This question is asked 39% more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Pick the best answer:

AIf the customer is rude and obnoxious, answer in kind and show him that he cannot push you around.

BListen carefully to what the customer is saying to really understand their concerns then repeat back to them what you heard to be sure you have it right, before attempting to help them with the problem.

CTell the customer that he should have known that the sale is final and there is nothing he can do to renegotiate the terms of the deal.

5. What will make you leave a company?

How to answer

Companies always want assurance that their employees will stay with them.

They ask this question to understand what matters to you, if it aligns with their company’s goals and if they should invest in you as a new hire.

This can be a tricky question that will require the most diplomatic and tactful answer.

Most interviewers expect an answer that's favorable to them yet logical. They want to understand not only what your long-term career goals are, but also know that THEIR environment and culture will fit you.

  1. About Yourself

    Think of your goals for your career. Think of what you need right now. Are you and the company on the same path?

    Remember why you left your last job.

    • Was it relocation of the company? 
    • Changes in working conditions: changing of schedule, increasing of duties without a corresponding increase in salary, sharp reduction or delay of salary?
    • Change in leadership?
    • Downsizing?
    • Bullying by colleagues?
    • Non-recognition of achievements?

    If any of these conditions repeat themselves in the new company, would you be prepared to leave?

  2. About The Company

    Research the company and the role.

    • Can they offer you the kind of duties that would make you want to stay?
    • Do you see people with longevity in the company?
    • Is this the role and the company you see for yourself?
    • Do you feel it’s a strong match with your strengths, goals and experience?
  3. About The Fit

    Let the interviewer know how ambitious and eager to get to work you are, particularly in this company.

    Showcase how your skills and experience match the role and let them know how you see yourself growing with the company.

    Here is a smart example of answering this question:

    I truly value growth and I see the opportunity to improve my skills and progress in this company. As long as I can accomplish this with this team, there would be no need to consider leaving.

Pro Tip

Explain to the interviewer that your goal is to build a career and not just get a job. This means that you let them know you see the opportunities to grow within the company.

Statistics

This question is asked 21.1x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

6. What makes you unique?

How to answer

Essentially, this question really means "What makes you an exceptionally good candidate?"

Interviewers ask this kind of question to understand what specific skills or qualities help you to stand out from the other candidates. They want to see the evidence of strengths and soft skills you might not have included in your resume or application, but that will help you do well on the job.

It's a chance to provide the interviewer with insight into how you'd be the best candidate for a role, proving you're someone who can think on your feet.

  1. About Yourself

    Remember, unique does not mean “quirky” or “odd.” It means the skills, personality traits and other attributes you have developed over the years that make you “YOU.”

    Think about your creative skills. Maybe you combine both logical and emotional aspects at work to solve problems? Show that you are not afraid to take risks and try something new.

    It’s time for you to remember your best qualities and share the examples from your background, which highlight what you like about yourself as well as your level of confidence.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company and review the skills listed in the job description to see how well your unique attributes relate to the job requirements.

    The more you know about the organizational goals of the employer, the better equipped you’ll be to connect your unique attributes to the job. It can be helpful to think of what’s special about you and how those characteristics will enable you to make a strong contribution to the organization.

  3. About The Fit

    Prove that you're a good fit for the job and that you are compatible with the organization’s culture. Always keep it relevant to the position you are applying for.

    For example, for a management job, you might want to demonstrate communication skills, strong leadership or a willingness to take risks.

    For a job in finance, you might focus on your discretion or your meticulous attention to detail.

    If you previously worked at a small startup and now you want to transfer to a large corporation, it's important for you to mention how the experiences gained at that company have prepared you to take on the tasks at the new company and have given you a “leg up” over other candidates.

Pro Tip

While it's important to share an example or two of what makes you unique, be sure to keep it brief. You don’t want the interviewer to think your unique quality is “talking too much.”

Mention that you always try to find the creative approach to non-standard situations.

Providing strong examples shows the interviewer that you're results-driven. Never use generic phrases like “I’m a hard worker” or “I’m a perfectionist” to answer their questions.

Statistics

This question is asked 9.4x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

7. What is your greatest weakness?

How to answer

This question ranks as the most challenging for many people. Fortunately, Mr. Simon is here to help!

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness, your honesty and openness, and your capability for self-improvement.

  1. About Yourself

    No one is perfect and your interviewer doesn't expect you to be perfect either.

    While it is good to be honest and open, it will not help you to put yourself down.

    What's important is to find a weakness that you have overcome or something that is not related to the position for which you are applying.

    For example, one of our clients admitted that he is not very good at public speaking and that he has recently become a member of Toastmasters International to improve. What a respectful answer and approach, in my view!

  2. About The Company

    Research the company (website, social media, etc) to learn about the company culture.

    What personal and professional qualities do they value?

  3. About The Fit

    It is important that the weakness you decide to talk about is not one that will prevent you from performing the job for which you're applying.

    For example, if you're applying for a front-end developer position, do not talk about how you are struggling to understand HTML code.

Pro Tip

Use this question to sell yourself!

It's important to show how well you've overcome a weakness by motivating yourself and learning a new skill to grow professionally.

Statistics

This question is asked 44% less frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Which of the following would be the best answer:

ASometimes I just work too hard

BI have trouble saying “no” when a colleague asks for help and I have my own work to finish

CI am a perfectionist

DI cannot think of a single thing

8. What is the biggest lesson you've learned from a mistake you made?

How to answer

It’s important to know how to answer a job interview question about mistakes.

They ask questions like this to learn how you handle challenges.
They also want to determine your weaknesses, and decide if you have what it takes to do the job well.

It’s a chance for the interviewer to see that you can learn from your mistakes and use the experience to get better.

  1. About Yourself

    Do your best to tell a positive story about how the mistake was made, how you dealt with it and what learned from it.

    We all make mistakes from time-to-time. Answering some of the following questions will help you understand your own view of dealing with mistakes and their consequences.

    For instance:

    • How do you use a mistake to improve your abilities?
    • Are you self-aware enough to acknowledge failure and weakness?
    • Do you take smart risks?
    • How do you view success, failure, and risk in general?
    • Do you take responsibility for past mistakes instead of putting the blame on others?
    • If the situation repeats, what would you do differently? What would you do again?
  2. About The Company

    Before the interview, look over the job listing, research the company.

    Try to think of a mistake you have made in the past that is not too closely related to the requirements of the job you are interviewing for. What kind of challenges might you face if you get the job here?

  3. About The Fit

    It’s your opportunity to emphasize the skills or qualities you gained from your past negative experience that are important for the job you’re interviewing for now.

    Put a positive spin on your response by defining the “mistake” as a “learning experience” that led to your increased competency in the workplace.

    Talk about a specific example of a time you made a mistake. Briefly explain what the mistake was; quickly switch over to what you learned, or how you improved, after making that mistake.

    You might also explain the steps you took to make sure that mistake never happened again. Say that something you may have struggled with in the past has actually now become one of your strengths.

    Pick a story that ends with a compelling example of a lesson learned. Tell your story using the STAR method.

Pro Tip

Make absolutely sure that the interviewer understands that you learned from the experience.

Never blame others for what you did (however, if you were part of a team failure, you could relate this experience, just be sure to own up to your part in it).

Always be accountable for what you could have done differently in the failure. Demonstrate that you’ve had the maturity to benefit from previous “lessons learned” and you can move on with increased wisdom and competency.

Statistics

This question is asked 5.4x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

9. What gets you up and excited on Monday morning?

How to answer

Motivation is the one thing that leads people to get up and go to work.

This question is meant to help the interviewer learn more about you and what you value the most. They are interested in more than just your education or work experiences; they want to know what you are passionate about, especially in the workplace.

It is a great chance to make yourself stand out from other candidates and help potential employers see your value.

  1. About Yourself

    This question requires serious self-examination; you should be asking it yourself long before the interviewer does.

    • What do you feel when waking up on Monday?
    • Can you take those feelings and apply them to specific moments from your life and past work experiences?
    • What makes you motivated and happy?

    Maybe it’s a pursuit to learn something new, or meet the special person at work, your helping others, being with good friends in the office, your friendly boss, the joy you feel by doing your work well and the feeling that boosts your self-esteem.

    Talk about what motivates you personally and professionally.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company and its culture.

    • What will the environment be?
    • What do you know about the possible kinds of feedback you will be receiving?
    • What is at stake in this role?
    • What goals drive the company and what direction does it appear to be taking?
  3. About The Fit

    • How comfortable are you with the company’s goals and how it is going about achieving them?
    • How do they compare to your own motivations?

    Pick those that have a match and give some serious thought to what gets you up in the morning.

    Don’t be afraid to talk about career goals — this is a great way to show them that you’re motivated to succeed.

    Once you’ve described your career goal and briefly outlined your plan for getting there, connect your answer back to the job you’re interviewing for.

    Make sure you demonstrate that you’ve really thought about the position and how it will fit into your life and career trajectory.

    Mention your strengths, specific tasks you’re good at and how the positive feelings you receive from doing them will help you to achieve great results in your new job.

    If, for example, you are applying for a teaching position – mention how passionate and creative you are coming up with different ways of teaching various subjects.

    If you will be dealing with customers – show your enthusiasm about seeing satisfaction and happiness on your client’s faces.

    If you are applying for a job as a software developer – say that you are excited to build awesome products in this area.

Pro Tip

The only motivation that can make you go to work on Monday is the happiness and joy you are getting by going to that place, the benefit you are gaining by going there.

Make sure the company you are applying to now IS the right place.

Statistics

This question is asked 40.5x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

10. Tell me about a time you had to raise an uncomfortable issue with your manager

How to answer

Even though you may have a great relationship with your manager, there may have been times where you did not see eye to eye.

By describing how you managed to deal with an uncomfortable issue in the past, you give the interviewer insight into how you’d handle one in the future.

They are curious about the respect you show to a higher authority while having the courage to stand up for what you believe in.

  1. About Yourself

    Think of a conflict or disagreement you had with your manager where you responded well, either by suggesting a compromise or taking a calm, relaxed stance when you could have answered in a heated tone.

    Getting along well with your manager shows your desire to work together and highlights your creative problem-solving abilities.

    • What was the resolution of an issue?
    • Did you and your manager come to an agreement?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company and its culture.

    • What do they value?
    • Is there anything that you can find about how they deal with conflict resolution?
    • What problems and obstacles might employees face in the position you are applying for?
  3. About The Fit

    Your story should ideally show how competent you are at your work, which will give the hiring manager confidence in hiring you. This answer can also display other great skills such as negotiating, selling an idea and inspiring others.

    Your answer can sound like this:

    I usually avoid conflict because I’ve been building trust with my colleagues from the start. I understand that the final decision is up to my boss, and I have to help him find the best option. I was lucky to have a very good relationship with my superiors. At my last job, I had a disagreement with the manager about the launch date of the product. But he listened to my opinion and we came up with a solution that we both liked.”

    You should respond with an example using the STAR method to make your story concise and logical.

Pro Tip

Say that it is better to raise uncomfortable questions and ask them directly. Emphasize that you always initiate communication by setting the tone of the conversation in a format of frankness on both sides.

A sincere and respectful conversation builds trust between people, even when the subject of your discussion may be difficult for each part.

Statistics

This question is asked 10.2x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

11. Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work. How did you handle it? What have you learned?

How to answer

Wherever you go, you will always have to work with people. This means that there is a greater chance for conflict to happen. This question helps the interviewer determine how well you would fit within the organization.

  1. About Yourself

    Think of the times you had to deal with conflict.

    • What were the different ways you were able to address the situation?
    • If you were the cause of the conflict, how did the other person talk you down from the conflict?
    • What were the key lessons you learned through your experience?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company and its culture.

    • What do they value?
    • Is there anything that you can find about how they deal with conflict resolution?

    Reading comments to their social media posts often prove helpful to see how they react to customers' complaints.

  3. About The Fit

    • What have you found out about the company’s culture and job description?
    • Are they looking for someone who can take charge and resolve conflict?

    Tell a story of how you addressed conflict and how it turned a negative into a positive. Try to conclude with your lessons learned or methodology for approaching conflicts - this will show the interviewer that you would be able to apply your methodology to future situations.

    Use the STAR method to frame your story.

Pro Tip

A key to addressing conflict is listening, communication and emotional intelligence. Highlight these skills.

If you're able to, turn the question around and ask the interviewer if they have experienced the same thing. This will start a conversation, which is the goal of an interview.

Statistics

This question is asked 2.5x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

12. Tell me about a time when you were given little direction on a job assignment and how you were able to complete it

How to answer

Ambiguity is inevitable in every business sector and will arise in one form or another.

Unclear or insufficient understanding by employees of the What, How and When of an assignment, often leads to both incorrect execution of tasks and failure to obtain the desired result. That’s why creativity is an important attribute in new and potential employees.

Asking this question, the interviewer wants to hear about your decision making and critical thinking skills and wants to know how you might come up with unique ways to meet this kind of a challenge.

  1. About Yourself

    Describe decisions from your experience that you made when not having all of the pertinent information for completing an assignment at work.

    • How do you cope when you face a challenge you’ve never previously experienced?
    • Are you the type of person who jumps right into solving problems, or do you first carefully assess the situation?
    • Are you the type of person who always tries to solve the problem on your own before asking for help?
    • Will you step up to improve things or sit around waiting for more instructions?
  2. About The Company

    Based on your research of the company, what are their current needs?

    • What problems and obstacles can the employees face with this position?
    • What are the expectations for the position you are applying for?

    From the job description, have you been able to find out what duties you'll be taking on?

  3. About The Fit

    This is your chance to show your problem-solving skills like creative independent thinking, decision making and logic.

    Show the interviewer that you are a quick learner, a capable and confident person who knows how to think, evaluate, detail, and concretize.

    You can use a form of the following as part of your answer, adding your own job-related details:

    Ambiguity is a large part of my daily reality. I always do the best with the information I have to keep projects moving. I often find myself making decisions wishing I had just a little bit more data. In these cases, I look at everything I have, work out my plan, run the numbers, create what-if scenarios for several variables and select the best possible option.’ Hint, don’t use this sentence word for word.

    Tell your story using the STAR method, which will help you effectively organize your response when answering this type of question.

Pro Tip

Be sure to include the success you saw in your sound decision-making and emphasize how the situation helped you grow in your professional area and how it will be helpful if the company hires you.

Statistics

This question is asked 8.3x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

13. Tell me about a time when you had multiple competing deadlines and how you managed them

How to answer

Why do interviewers ask this question?

Your answer will help them to gauge your ability to discuss your time management skills, your understanding of the importance of managing multiple projects, and overall decisiveness on the job.

It will also help them to understand your sense of urgency and to get an idea of how well you will perform in such circumstances.

  1. About Yourself

    It’s your chance to show that in tough times you turn to your inner strength and use your skills to find the right solutions.

    Remember situations of tight deadlines at your previous job and the many problems you had to solve on a daily basis.

    Answer the following questions for yourself.

    • How responsible are you?
    • Are you able to cope with different tasks and deadlines without getting yourself in a muddle?
    • How well do you organize your work when you have to juggle multiple projects/clients at the same time?
    • How do you make sure you’re not falling behind?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company and its culture. What kind of challenges are they facing?

    Review the job description to determine what you may be expected to be doing in this job.

    • Do you see any indication of multiple tasks that may have to be completed in tight time frames?
    • How would your performance be measured?
    • What will your responsibilities be?
    • Will you have the pressure of multiple deadlines?
  3. About The Fit

    Discuss relevant experiences when answering this question.

    Give examples of specific deadlines that came together at or near the same time and how you were able to meet them. This will demonstrate the value you provided in the past and help create an impression of success.

    Focus on answering in detail, with an emphasis on how the problems got solved, by using appropriate brevity combined with valid information.

    Show examples of decisiveness in planning, exhausting all avenues of recourse and utilizing proper choices of prioritization.

    Highlighting the ability to work with others or ask for help in order to get things done will show your resourcefulness in the face of adversity.

Pro Tip

Here is an example of an honest and professional answer:

In my previous job I had a deadline for 3 tasks simultaneously. I determined which one had the highest impact on my company and put the 3 tasks in order based on this priority. I estimated how long each task would take and planned the time in my diary. I also asked my manager if he would be able to delegate one of the tasks to my co-worker. We managed to do everything successfully and completed all three projects on time.

Statistics

This question is asked 19.8x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

14. Name a time you had to convince someone to do something they did not want to do

How to answer

Just about every organization is filled with diverse employees that are often called upon to collaborate on projects.

Each one of these individuals may believe that their ideas are the best.

Anytime you are collaborating with others, disagreements are bound to happen, and convincing others to do things your way is an important skill in any workplace.

Employers ask this question because they want to know that you are thoughtful in your persuasion tactics and can back up your position with research and facts.

  1. About Yourself

    Do you remember a time when you had to convince someone of something in a work setting? It may have been getting a raise, negotiating a business deal, completing a sale, resolving a conflict, pitching an idea, etc.

    • Are you both initiative and persuasive?
    • Are you passionate and articulate enough to influence people to action?
    • Can you think critically about problems and communicate your ideas well?
    • Are you able to provide a different perspective to others to help convince them of your view?
    • Are you able to stay patient and friendly in such situations?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company reading the job description and listing skills and responsibilities that the hiring manager is looking for.

    • What personal and professional qualities do they value?
    • How do employees value each other?
  3. About The Fit

    Share a story where you successfully influenced others on the right decision for a project or initiative.

    Try to pick a story that would not only answer the persuasion question but also showcase a skill needed for the position you are interviewing for.

    Your story should display positive behaviors of influence, such as using data and inspiring trust rather than fear.

    Your answer should also display your ability to think critically about a problem and come to a sound solution.

    Tell your story using the STAR method. Be sure the story you pick ends in success.

Pro Tip

Do not tell a story where you manipulated others into following your idea. Remember, the story you tell should be one where you have the right idea or decision.

If you’ve never had to convince somebody of something, then give an example of how you would do it. Your convincing strategy should be data-driven, not opinion driven. Opinions are not convincing enough.

Statistics

This question is asked 16.2x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

15. How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?

How to answer

Time management is crucial to perform well at any job. That’s why you may be asked this question during the interview.

Your response to this question will show your interviewer how effectively you determine which tasks need more immediate attention than others.

It will allow them to see if you can prioritize tasks without sacrificing any other responsibilities that you needed to complete.

  1. About Yourself

    The idea of answering this question is to set realistic expectations for yourself and your potential employer. Ask yourself the following:

    • How organized are you?
    • Are you able to cope with different tasks, deadlines without getting yourself in a muddle?
    • Do you understand the difference between the urgent and the important?
    • Can you reach a balance between company priorities, efficiency, your work-life balance and personal needs?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company, its culture and the job description.

    • What do you expect to be doing in this job?
    • How would your performance be measured?
    • What will your responsibilities be?
    • Will you decide by yourself what tasks should be done first?
    • Are there any tasks in the job description that emphasize priority?
  3. About The Fit

    Everyone has a different method of managing their workload so it’s your chance to shine and show your excellent time-management skills explaining your preferred technique to your interviewer.

    The best way to prioritize your tasks is to list out what you need to work on across all of your projects.

    Explain that the first thing you usually do is break down bigger tasks into subtasks to feel less overwhelmed. When all of your tasks are in one place, you are able to have an overall view of what needs to get done, develop a sense of how much work you’re dealing with, and what tasks need immediate attention.

    Also mention how professionally you handle a situation when unexpected changes occur. This helps to show you’re mindful of high-level company priorities.

    It’s best to give real-life examples to show the interviewer you’re not just talking about a generic strategy, but you’ve successfully practiced this in the workplace more than once.

Pro Tip

When you clearly prioritize your work, you can increase productivity, better manage your time, and feel confident that you’ll hit your deadlines—every time.

Choose one of the most effective and proven time management techniques that will help you to show the interviewer how you work.

  1. The Eat the Frog method says: “Do the most important projects first thing in the morning, and when you’re done, switch to those less pertinent.”
  2. The Eisenhower Decision Matrix method helps you divide your tasks into four quadrants. 1st -important and urgent, 2nd - important but not urgent,3rd - not important but urgent, and 4th - not important and not urgent.
  3. With the ABCDE method, you assign each task you have a letter value according to its level of importance, and then tackle them accordingly, where A - very important, E - eliminate whenever possible.
  4. With the help of the Chunking method, you can have a focused work activity, dividing big pieces of work into small ones and vice versa, depending on your goal at the moment.

Statistics

This question is asked 11.8x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

16. Do you prefer working in a team or working alone?

How to answer

When the interviewers ask this question, they want an insight into your personality, how well you work independently and how well you work with others.

Generally, there's no right or wrong answer to this question, unless the company specifically prefers that you work only in a team or only by yourself.

Luckily, Mr. Simon is here to provide you guidance.

  1. About Yourself

    To prepare for this question, try to think of your previous experiences. Which type of work suited you best and why?

    For instance, someone who prefers working by themselves may be able to focus better on the problem and a person who prefers a team approach may like having others to help figure out problems.

    If you're a fresh graduate or someone that does not have much work experience, you can think of schoolwork or the times that you worked with others in an organization.

  2. About The Company

    Review the job description as it may give you clues to whether the job focuses on teams, independence or both.

    Try to expand your search into social media posts at Glassdoor or others where employees/former employees may have posted about working conditions you would be working under.

    Remember: knowledge is the key! The more you know about the company, the better prepared you will be to answer questions like this.

  3. About The Fit

    Based on your research, what did you find is the company's preference?

    • What type of workplace does the company appear to have?
    • What kind of challenges could you help the company/department resolve by working as part of a team?
    • What about the challenges that can be resolved by working independently?

    Emphasize both independent successes as well as group successes (be sure to mention actions you took to help the team).

Pro Tip

Talk about the benefits of each working style and add to your story by telling them in terms of your STARs:

  1. what was the Situation/Task you needed to address?

  2. what Actions/Approach did you take?

  3. what were the Results? What did you do differently that made you successful?

Statistics

This question is asked 7.2x more frequently at AppNexus than at other companies.

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Learn more about our network and join us, we will be happy to welcome you to our growing and supportive community!

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This page has been updated on October 25, 2020.

You can practice answering this question, as well as over 160 other common job interview questions from AppNexus by engaging in a mock interview with Mr. Simon. As an artificial being, his undeniable benefits include:

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