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Job Search Tip of the Week #21 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or Really, Just About Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q15


We’re counting the days until “Solo: A Star Wars Story” comes out! To celebrate we’re going to tackle one of the most commonly asked interview questions: “Tell me about a time when you failed.”

See the opportunity

While it may seem counterintuitive to showcase your shortcomings or past mistakes to your prospective employer, this interview question is your opportunity to show whether you survive, die, or thrive in the face of failure. Specifically, your response helps your prospective employer gauge:
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Job Search Tip of the Week #20 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or Really, Just About Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q14



Remember all that research you did on the company when you were applying? Here’s where it really comes in handy.

“Why do you want to work for x?” is a question often asked by interviewers to assess how much thought you’ve given to working at their particular company or organization. As such, you want to provide tailored responses that not only show you’ve done your due diligence, but also emphasize how well you fit culturally and functionally. You’ll definitely want to avoid:

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Job Search Tip of the Week #19 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or Really, Just About Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q13




“Tell me about the worst boss you ever had.”

If you get hit with this common interview question, slow and proceed with caution. You may instinctively be tempted to open with an amusing anecdote about a former employer from hell, but don’t. You’re not at happy hour with your buddies! While you may think you’re bonding with your interviewer over laidback small talk, what your interviewer thinks is that you’re a Negative Nancy who may not work well under authority or with others.

The way this question’s worded is bait for bashing a former boss. Don’t fall for it! When you talk negatively, your prospective employer will assume you’ll talk about him or her in the same manner down the line whenever things don’t go your way – and that’s a reason not to hire you.

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Job Search Tip of the Week #18 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or Really, Just About Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q12



If I asked your friends to describe you, what would they say?

As one of the most commonly asked interview questions, you’ve probably heard it in some form or another: How would your colleagues describe you? What is your relationship with your coworkers like? If I called your boss right now, what would they say about you? What are three adjectives a former client would use to describe you?

This question is yet another way to evaluate your cultural fit. By hearing more about you through the eyes of others, so to speak, hiring managers hope to determine how people vs. goal-oriented you are and whether you’re able to speak honestly about yourself.

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Job Search Tip of the Week #17 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or really, Just about Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q11



“Tell me about yourself.”

It’s a four-word request that seems simple enough – after all, who knows knows you better than you? – but it’s perhaps the one inquiry out of the 19 most commonly asked interview questions that can make job seekers sweat the most. Why? Because it’s such a vague request, there are so many places you can take your response – and consequently, so many ways you can go wrong.

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Job Search Tip of the Week #16 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or Really, Just About Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q10

Forget everything you thought you knew about how to answer the common interview question, “What are your weaknesses?”

Your old standbys “I’m a perfectionist” and “I’m a workaholic” aren’t going to cut it anymore; they’ve lost their magic because interviewers know that job seekers prepare these default answers to use throughout multiple interviews with various companies. Don’t let this question remain a mutually wasted opportunity!

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Job Search Tip of the Week #15 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or Really, Just About Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q9



Over the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing the reasons behind the most commonly asked interview questions and how to provide answers that address them effectively. This week, let’s take a look at a question intended to gauge your confidence level: “Why should I hire you?”

(If you’re a loyal CareerJuice reader, you may remember closely examining this question with us before. However, keep reading, as this post will serve as both a refresher course and an advanced addendum.)

Opportunities to sell yourself as the valuable asset the company needs can be found in questions such as:

  • Why should I hire you?
  • What can you do for the company?
  • What would you contribute to the company?
  • What do you have to offer the company?
  • How would you add value to the company?
  • Why should you be chosen over other candidates who have equal if not stronger qualifications or more experience?

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Job Search Tip of the Week #14 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or Really, Just About Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q8

Great Scott! You don’t need a DeLorean time machine to successfully tackle this commonly asked interview question: What do you expect to be doing five years from now?

This question may seem fairly straightforward, but in reality it’s a tricky one to answer – particularly sans DeLorean – because after all, don’t the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry? So who really knows where they’ll end up in five years?

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Job Search Tip of the Week #13 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or Really, Just About Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q7



How many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State Building?

Knowing why interviewers ask certain questions can help you know how best to tackle them. This particular one assesses your quantitative reasoning, or your ability to apply basic mathematical skills to draw conclusions and solve problems in a real-world context.

That said, you don’t need to know the exact dimensions of a quarter or the Empire State Building to answer this question the right way. In fact, your interviewer isn’t expecting a precise number. Your interviewer wants to know how you’d think through the problem.

First, break down the question. What are the number of ways you can use quarters? When people hear the second part of the interview question (“to reach the height of the Empire State Building”), most immediately think of stacking quarters on top of one another (Scenario #1), then of lining them up end-to-end (Scenario #2), because that’s how we’ve learned to approximate and measure length. In this instance, very few think of the actual purpose of a quarter, of their 25-cent value (Scenario #3).

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Job Search Tip of the Week #12 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or Really, Just About Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q6



When you’re hit with a brainteaser like “If you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why?” at your next interview, don’t sweat it! Interview questions like this are supposed to challenge how you react and think under pressure. Can you think on your feet and stay cool when the heat gets turned on, both in the interview and on the job?

As is the case with most of these crazy oddball questions, your interviewer is far less concerned with your answer and more interested in your approach. The actual state you choose is irrelevant. This particular question is intended to assess your analytical, decision-making, and communication skills. The interviewer wants to see if you’re able to set priorities and make a case for them.

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