Five Tough Job Interview Questions (And How to Answer Them)

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1. “What is your biggest weakness?”

The answer should show that you are self-aware enough to recognize your own weaknesses, and determined enough to do something about them. A good way to come up with your answer is to take one of your biggest strengths, consider the possible downsides of that strength, and then how you can minimize that downside.

For example, “I’ve always had trouble working on multiple projects at once, because it’s more natural for me to work on one thing until it’s finished and perfect. So when I need to multitask, I keep detailed to-do lists, and now I never miss a deadline.”

Whatever story you prepare, make sure your weakness is not one of the “required skills” in the job ad!

2. “Why do you have this gap in your work history?” or “Why have you been unemployed for X years?”

If you have to explain an employment gap, your answer should show that the gap is not your fault, and that you were doing something during that time to maintain or improve your work-related skills. For example, “I needed to take six months off to care for a sick loved one, but during that time, I did some volunteer work for ABC Charity and consulting for XYZ Company. That medical need has passed, so now I am ready to return to work and show the world what I can do.”

If your gap was due to a disability that do you do not want to disclose during the interview, you might say something like, “I had to temporarily leave the workforce due to medical reasons, but during that time, I kept up my skills by reading industry journals and doing some freelance work. Now I’m ready to return to work full time, and use my skills to help this company grow.”

3. “What are your salary requirements?” …Click to read more…

Job Interview Quick Tips

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As Will Rogers said, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is particularly true in a job interview. To help you make that first impression your best, here are ten job interview quick tips:

  1. Before the interview, make sure any social networking account connected to your name is either set to “private” or 100% professional. Facebook is constantly changing their privacy settings, so even if you think it’s private, double check!
  2. If you are applying for a job at a restaurant or retail position, dressing in similar colors to the employee uniform can subtly encourage the interviewer to picture you as one of their coworkers.
  3. Show up ten to fifteen minutes early for the interview – no more, no less. Obviously, being late makes you look unprofessional, but being too early can be perceived as desperate. Showing up too early can also be awkward for the interviewer, especially if it is a small office without a separate waiting room, where there is nothing for you to do but sit and stare at people working. …Click to read more…

The Three Resume Types

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There are three basic resume types: chronological, functional, and a combination or hybrid. Whether you’re writing your first resume or updating your resume for the hundredth time, it’s important to consider which format will work the best for you.

1. Chronological

When most people think of resumes, they think of the chronological resume. The chronological format should probably be called “reverse chronological format”, as it lists each job starting with the most recent and moving backwards.

The chronological format is designed to highlight the progression and growth of a professional life. This format is the most traditional. For the job hunter, this format is the easiest to write. For the employer, this format is the easiest to follow and read. Some employers will have only ever seen this type of resume, and may be a little thrown off by a different format.

However, the chronological format can deemphasize skills and personal strengths. Because it is focused on past jobs, it can make changing careers or employment tracks more difficult. The chronological format emphasizes time and dates, which can be a big disadvantage for anyone with short-term employment or employment gaps. This can be a particular drawback for anyone who has had to take time away from working due to illness or disability. …Click to read more…