Most people do not like it when they are getting scrutinized. It is even more challenging when you feel all eyes are looking at you, waiting for you to answer a question. And it is okay to feel a bit shaky.
Seeing that you are reading this shows that you recently got a job interview for a union representative. Congratulations!
As a union representative, you’ll represent union members who may have issues at work. Your role will also require you to negotiate with employers. This is an excellent job for people who love interacting with people.
There are a few common questions the employer is likely to ask you during the interview. Please stick with me to find out how well you can answer them.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role
This is a question that may help the employer know your intentions. It will also help them see if you are an excellent fit for the company.
I’m interested in this role because my skills can help better the company. Also, working with you will help me grow my skills. This will both benefit us professionally and financially. My career will grow once I set out to accomplish the company’s goals.
Also, I love your company’s culture, and my personality and values will fit perfectly.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Union Representative?
The hiring manager may ask this to assess if you understand what your position requires. Note that interviewers know that candidates send out their CVs to many companies.
The question will help them know if the candidate will be a great team member.
I understand my role requires me to represent the union members when they have problems. I’ll also recruit new members to the union. I’ll talk to the members and inquire if they have any issues.
If there are any issues, I’ll advise them on how to solve them and keep them in the loop for any developments. I’ll negotiate with the employers when need be.
3. What Are The Qualities That A Union Representative Need To Be Successful?
The employer likely has a couple of candidates to assess. When the employer asks this, they want to see if you know what it takes to be the best in your job.
As a union representative, my role requires me to communicate with the members regularly. Having great communication skills will help make my work easier.
And I’m aware possessing this skill will pave the way to being a successful union representative.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face In Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
The recruitment manager may ask this question to assess how well you resolve and evaluate work problems. Such a question will help showcase your problem-solving skills.
As a union representative, my role is to give a voice to other employers. While I was at company X, the employers told me they wanted a better working environment. They also told me they had addressed it with the employer, who promised to improve though there were no evident changes.
My challenge here was to know how I’d talk to the manager and help them see that the employees need a better working environment. I did not want to walk into the office without a plan. So I wrote down points on how I’d help the employer see the employee’s point of view.
It took some negotiations for the employer to see heed to his words. We solved the issue and identified key areas that would help the employees feel comfortable working.
This is a common question most employers ask. They may ask this question to evaluate how well you prioritize your day. Once I clock in the office, the first thing I do is check my email. This helps me know if there are issues that I need to address urgently. Also, during this time, I’ll reply to my emails.
Later, I interact with the employees of the company to know if there are any issues that I need to address. No day is ever the same. There are days when I will be heavily involved in solving problems presented to me.
Then there are those days when I’ll be free. Whenever I’m free, I take the opportunity to update myself with union laws. Also, I get to check on courses I can take to help improve my problem-solving skills.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?
Every employer’s goal is to hire a candidate who has the right experience to help improve their company. When the employer asks this question, they wish to assess if you are the right fit.
I started as a union employee before I became a union representative. I was fortunate to work with a company that had a close affiliation with the union.
I was a union employee for a couple of years when later, I got appointed as a union representative. I have worked with several companies where I have helped better the working conditions of the employees.
I have also done several courses in communication and problem-solving skills. These skills have come in handy in my career and have helped me be a successful union representative.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
This question may help the interviewer know the candidate’s personality.
When negotiating with the employer, the discussion can get heated. A mindset I often use is staying calm during the debate. This will help ensure that the discussion does not escalate.
A strategy I use as a union representative is open communication. This helps ensure that there is clear communication. This helps ensure that there are no misunderstandings between the employee and the managers.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
Employers know that every career has its challenges. When the employer asks this, they understand you’ll face some challenges. They may ask this question to check how well you will handle them.
A challenge I foresee is dealing with difficult employers. There are times when the negotiations may get out of hand, and the employer may get angry.
I have done a course on interpersonal skills, which I believe will come in handy during this situation. I’ll exercise my patience and be calm, and if the situation escalates, I may leave and come another time.
It will be better to hold the negotiations when the employer is calm.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
This is a general question asked by most interviewers. It is best to ensure that you do not mention money while answering. This might show the employer you do not have the right motivation.
The question will help the hiring manager what drives you to work harder.
It is often satisfying when the company’s employers come to appreciate my services. Whenever they tell me how I have helped improve their working conditions, it makes me smiles.
Such comments motivate me to work harder.
10. Describe A Time You Failed And The Lesson You’re Learned?
It is okay to fail, but it is imperative for you to learn a lesson from it for it not to happen again. The recruitment manager may ask this question to assess if you are the person who takes accountability for your mistakes.
While giving out the answer, always remember to mention what you learned from your failure. While working with union X, I had the opportunity to represent employees from company Y. While negotiations with the employer, the discussion escalated. The employer did not want to agree with the terms, and he got mad. I did not remain calm, and I raised my voice while talking to him.
The whole discussion broke down into a huge argument in which the employer demanded I leave the office. He reported my misconduct to the union.
The union was not happy with me, and they advised me not to involve myself in any negotiations for a while. I did not want the mistake to happen again. So I took up courses on negotiation and interpersonal skills. The courses helped me learn how to remain calm and how to negotiate with difficult employers. From that day on, I have learned how to remain calm whenever I’m dealing with a difficult person.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Most Suited For This Role?
A recruitment manager may ask this question to know what makes you stand out from the rest. Take this opportunity to sell yourself.
I have ample experience in representing employers. My excellent leadership skills come in handy in my career. This is because it is easier for me to support others and delegate tasks.
I’m harmonious with everyone, which makes it easy for employers to approach me when they have issues. My devotion to this industry has helped me excel. I believe I’ll be a great addition to your company.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
Most interviewers ask this question to assess the great things you have done in your career. This will help the interviewer know how well you will benefit the company.
My most significant achievement was when I had the opportunity to work with company Z. The employer then was difficult. A few union representatives had tried to negotiate with him, but they all failed.
I took the challenge as a great opportunity to showcase my negotiation skills. After a couple of meetings with the employer, we made a conclusion on what would help better the working conditions of the employees.
It was a notable achievement for me as I cracked one of the most challenging cases.
13. What Is Your Greatest Strength?
This is a question that helps an interviewer assess the level of the candidate’s self-awareness. To some candidates, the question may seem off-putting. It is a great question to help the hiring manager if the candidate has great composure.
My distinguished strength is my ability to pick up things quickly. I’m keen on learning new skills as I’m a fast learner.
I’m always happy to do new responsibilities as I see it as an opportunity to learn new things. Before becoming a union representative, I took up roles to volunteer at the union.
This simple act has helped build my negotiation and communication skills.
14. Why Do You Want To Work With Us?
The recruitment manager may ask this question to assess how well you know about the brand. From your answer, the interviewer can understand your goals.
I want to work for you as I loved the recent campaign you shared on your social media on how to promote equality at the workplace. Your campaign had a clever way of passing the message, which also had a witty tone.
This helped portray the fun side of your brand. I’d love to use my creative side, which I’m sure will come in handy when you need my services to create a campaign.
15. What Are Your Salary Expectations?
The recruitment manager may ask this question to assess if the candidate knows their worth. It will showcase the candidate’s confidence.
While giving out your answer, ensure that you set a realistic goal. Before the interview, you should research as it will help you know what a union representative earns.
I have gained ample experience over the years within the industry. For this reason, my salary range is between $60,00 to $90,000. I’m confident that I’ll bring significant value to your union.
16. As A Union Representative, Employees Will Share With You Confidential Information. How Do You Handle Such Information?
The recruitment manager may ask this question to assess your trustworthiness. While giving your answer, it will help if you use general examples.
Upholding confidentiality with the employees is one of my core values. I always start with explaining the concept of confidentiality when a member wishes to share some confidential information.
I help them understand the information I may protect on their behalf and the one I can’t. I’ll use clear communication and only disclose information the employee is comfortable sharing. If the employee does not want their identity revealed, I’ll make sure I protect it.
17. Share With Us A Time You Used Your Presentation Skills To Change Someone’s Opinion
As a union representative, your primary role will be holding negotiation discussions that benefit the employees. When the interviewer asks this question, they wish to assess your influential power.
It is advisable to give out an example while answering the question.
A few years ago, while working at company Y. I had the task of negotiating with my boss on an issue that would benefit the employers. The company was an industrial one, and the employers wanted an area they could clean up after work.
At the time, the boss did not see the need of having one as he felt that it was not a priority project. So I decided to design a presentation and show him how the project would benefit him and the employees.
I helped him see having happy workers would help improve productivity, and the small investment would have its returns. My presentation influenced him to change his mind.
In no time, the employers had a cleaning area. They all thanked me for my negotiation skills.
18. As A Union Representative, You’ll Need To Resolve Issues With The Help Of A Mediator. Highlight Steps You Use To Choose One
This is a significant question that will help the interviewer assess your skills.
Before choosing a mediator, I first assess why I need one. Knowing how I’d want the mediator to help me will help me make the right choice.
I may need a mediator to help stand my ground if I feel overpowered. There are times I may need a mediator who does not offer opinions and lets the parties know their mistakes. The “Why” is essential.
Later I’ll come up with a list of mediators I could use and call them if need be. Before choosing one, I’ll talk to them as it will help me know their level of confidentiality, work ethic, and style.
19. How Do You Measure Employee Satisfaction?
Union representatives help defend the interest of other employees. There are situations where you may need to assess if the employees are happy with their working conditions.
When the employer asks this question, they wish to evaluate your skills.
One method I use is to conduct an employee survey. This helps me get a baseline of what the employees love or dislike. Also, I hold one-on-one meetings with a few employees.
During the meetings, I ask them about work and if they are happy with the environment. It may not be the most reliable source as they may get scared of opening up.
So if I choose to use this method, I’ll incorporate it with another one like the employee satisfaction index.
The other method I use is making use of a suggestion box. Seeing it is anonymous, employees can openly say anything.
20. Which Areas Do Union Representatives Consider When Negotiating?
The recruitment manager may ask this question to test your skills and knowledge as a union representative.
While negotiating, there are three I focus on: mandatory (wages, safety, health, and working conditions), permissive and illegal.
Going through the question is like your cheat code. I hope the questions will be of help. Best of luck!