Frequent interview questions at CDW

We analyzed 742 interview reviews for CDW 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.

7 frequent non-technical questions at CDW:

Tell me about a time when you've resolved a problem for a frustrated customer
Name a time you had to convince someone to do something they did not want to do
Describe a time when you had to overcome a significant obstacle on a job
Tell me about a time when you went out of your way to satisfy a customer. What was the outcome?
Give me an example of a goal you reached, and tell me how you achieved it
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Tell me about yourself

According to our research, hiring managers at CDW ask soft skills interview questions 68% more than at other companies:

CDW interview question statistics

1. Tell me about a time when you've resolved a problem for a frustrated customertop question

How to answer

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. How you handle a disgruntled customer can make the difference between closing a sale and failing to do so. It takes good people skills to handle such situations, and this question is a good opportunity to demonstrate your people skills.

  1. About Yourself

    Think of a time when, as a customer, you had a problem with a company. How did you feel? How did you want to be treated? How would the situation ideally be resolved? If it were you on the serving side of the table, what would you do differently? Have you had such experiences in the past where you helped a frustrated customer? What was the critical factor in a successful resolution of the situation? Try to define your principles or approach.

    For example, I know that people tend to be frustrated when they feel neglected and unimportant. Whenever possible, I try to meet in person and establish face-to-face contact with someone who feels disgruntled, so that I can fully focus on the situation. (And believe me, checking your phone while speaking with such a customer is definitely NOT a good idea). Of course, this may not always be possible in your line of business or profession, but I guess you see what I mean - showing full attention greatly improves your chances of mitigating the situation.

  2. About The Company

    Every company relies on customers. Research the Сompany you are applying to and try to find out what their standards of customer relationship or service are, as well as try to find out some real cases where the customers complained about the company, and what the company did to mitigate the situations (a possible source might be Yelp! or another social media platform). Based on your research, how does the company treat customers? How do they resolve customer issues?

  3. About The Fit

    How can you make things better and WOW the customer? Give an example that demonstrates that your approach to resolving customer frustrations is in line with the company policies.

Pro Tip

A disgruntled customer generally just needs someone to listen to them.

The three A’s of customer service can help diffuse the difficult situation:

  • Acknowledge the customer's feelings,
  • Apologize for the customer's experience,
  • Admit the customer is experiencing an issue and you will do your best to assist them.

Add the extra “A” and Ask for the customer's contact information so you can update them on any progress on their issue.

Statistics

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

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

Statistics

This question is asked 31.3x more frequently at CDW than at other companies.

3. Describe a time when you had to overcome a significant obstacle on a job

How to answer

This is a tough question because you’re forced to talk about a difficult time with a complete stranger. Fortunately, it’s also a great opportunity to turn a big challenge into a great accomplishment. This question is designed to help the interviewer discover what type of problem solver you are. Why do employers ask this question? It’s because they want to know that they’re hiring someone who has the ability to think on their feet and who is resilient when facing challenges.

  1. About Yourself

    It’s your chance to show that in tough times you turn to your inner strength and possess skills to find quick solutions. You probably had to solve many problems daily at work. It’s high time to remember them. If you do not prepare examples in advance, this question will get you off guard and you will find it difficult to remember all the details on the move.

    Start with recalling a few examples of real obstacles you coped with. For each of them, think about:

    • What was the project or task you were trying to accomplish?
    • What was the obstacle? This can be a specific problem related to your job or a higher-order issue across the organization.
    • What steps did you take to address the issue?
    • What decisions did you have to make?
    • How did the company benefit from your decisions?
    • How would you describe your approach, or what lessons have you learned?

    Be careful how you respond to this question. Make sure that you select a difficult work situation where you were not the cause.

  2. About The Company

    When you research the company, try and find out what kind of challenges they are facing. Try to find out what they need in terms of problem resolution. Search for online reviews, complaints and any other useful resources. What problems and obstacles can the employees face with this position?

  3. About The Fit

    This is your opportunity to showcase your problem-solving skills, resilience, and strength of character. Talk through your problem-solving process and show how you can think on your feet.

    Pick an example relevant to the position you are aiming for. Let’s say, you are applying for a blog writing job. The job description mentions that a successful candidate must have experience working “in a dynamic environment”. So, you could mention the situation when you had to write an article instead of your other co-worker who failed at the last moment, and you were short of time but worked extra hours to prepare the article in time, and succeeded in that. This answer would show your experience in blog writing, your sense of responsibility, ability to achieve results under stress, your willingness to go the extra mile, your problem-solving skills.

Pro Tip

This question is not about your past. it's how you deal with things that will happen in the future, so try to keep your answer short and focused. After all, the interviewer is really looking for what you took away from the situation and doesn’t need to know the full backstory of what happened.

Use the STAR method to prepare your story, and practice it so that you can stay within 1-2 minutes. Make sure to show that you remained positive when overcoming a hurdle at work. Positive attitudes lead to positive outcomes.

Statistics

This question is asked 4.9x more frequently at CDW than at other companies.

4. Tell me about a time when you went out of your way to satisfy a customer. What was the outcome?

How to answer

This question lets the interviewer know how well you think on your toes and how great your customer service skills are.

  1. About Yourself

    This question lets the interviewer know how well you think on your toes and how great your customer service skills are.

  2. About The Company

    Think carefully about the company and what they are looking for. Have you found any reviews online that can help you identify what the company's greatest challenge is? What are their standards for treating customers? Do your research.

  3. About The Fit

    Think of the company's standards and ideals and connect those with your skills and qualifications. If you can remember more than one example, choose the one that fits best with the company industry and standards. Make sure you describe the positive outcome both for the customer and the company.

    Use the STAR method to craft your story.

Pro Tip

Showing you have compassion and empathy for patients is always the best way to answer the question. However, always remember to frame your answers in terms of how the company addresses these issues.

Statistics

This question is asked 6.2x more frequently at CDW than at other companies.

5. Give me an example of a goal you reached, and tell me how you achieved it

Statistics

This question is asked 16.4x more frequently at CDW than at other companies.

6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

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 a Myers&Briggs-based 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 44% less frequently at CDW than at other companies.

7. Tell me about yourself

How to answer

This question may sound vague, but it actually requires a matter of fact, concise and relevant answer. Here’s how you can approach it.

  1. About Yourself

    What is your current occupation? Define yourself professionally in one statement. Pick 3 key skills that make you great at your work (your Key Selling Points). How have you applied these skills? Try to give some numbers to support your statement.

  2. About The Company

    Research the Company. Based on what you know about the company and the job description, why are you interested in the position you are applying for?

  3. About The Fit

    Based on your Key Selling Points and your knowledge about the company, why do you think you are a good fit for this position? Can you support your statement with relevant examples from your past experiences? Try to be concise and stay within 1-2 minutes.

Pro Tip

You can also end with a question like “Do you know what the current needs in the company/department are, where my skills and experience can help?" That can help you learn more about the company and the job, turn the "interrogation" into a conversation and will allow you to relax some tension.

Read our blog post to learn more about how to answer this question.

Statistics

This question is asked 66% less frequently at CDW than at other companies.


This page has been updated on March 26, 2020.

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

24/7 availability24/7 availability
He will never make you feel intimidatedHe will never make you feel intimidated
The current version is freeThe current version is free

Worth a try?

Browse interview questions at CDW by position