Three Questions In Every Job Interview

Three Questions In Every Job Interview

Every job interview is different, but in a way every interview is also the same. There are certain questions you will almost certainly be asked and others that may throw you for a loop. By preparing strong, well thought out answers the ones you know you’ll be asked you’ll feel more confident about taking on the surprises.


Tell me about yourself

The interviewer is going to want to know about you, and they’re going to ask about your goals and hobbies. Have something short and to the point planned out to say. It’s hard to summarize yourself in general, and even harder to do on the spot. Come up with interesting examples of things you’ve done/learned that encapsulate the most important things you’d like to get across in the space of a single answer.


Walk me through your resume

They might not exactly come right out and ask you to walk them through your resume but they will certainly want clarification and elaboration on what you’ve written. Prepare something, again, quick and to the point to say about each paragraph. Also come up with something a little bit longer about whatever is most impressive. Your most salient selling point.


Why do you want this job?

This is where you need to most thoroughly plan out your answer. The other two are about you and your accomplishments, for the most part questions about your past. This one focuses on the future and potential and possibilities. You certainly don’t want to stumble here, so take some time beforehand and figure it out. Don’t ramble or go off on tangents. Explain your thoughts in concise, well thought out detail.


Now that you’ve prepared answers to the questions you know they’re going to ask it’s time to prepare for the questions they might ask!

Preparing to Negotiate After A Job Offer

Preparing to Negotiate After A Job Offer

Whew! The job search is over. You’ve been offered the position, you are thrilled about the possibilities and you feel so grateful. Should you just accept whatever salary they offer? You could, but there’s a good chance you could do better.


Remember, they interviewed a number of candidates and they chose you. They like you and they want you. You know what your salary will be if you don’t ask. You don’t know if it could be higher unless you do.


Most employers are open to negotiation

A survey conducted by Robert Half found that 55% of workers negotiated pay with their last job offer. 70% of managers surveyed expect you to do it.


Even so, before you dive headlong into negotiations start by letting them know how grateful you are about the job and the offer. Then ask if the salary is open to negotiation.


Do your research

Before you enter into any sort of negotiation have a number in mind. Do your research. Google average salaries for people in the position you’re entering. Remember to include geography and experience level. Check out salary guides.  Once you have the number let the employer give their number first. You don’t want to present them with a number lower than they were going to offer you!


Think beyond salary

You may or may not get an increase in salary, but remember there are other things to take into consideration before you sign on the dotted line. What other perks are important to you? Would you prefer to work from home sometimes? Would more vacation days mean a lot to you? Is there a possibility for more stock options or a better bonus? Would they consider tuition reimbursement for extra classes you plan on taking?


Keep it professional

Remember this is a business transaction. It’s not the time to talk about personal issues in your life like outstanding student loans or the fact that your partner is out of work. Use your experiences and potential and skills as leverage.


No need to answer immediately

There’s no need to make your final decision right away. It’s okay to ask for 24 hours to think it over. Sometimes just saying you need to think it can lead to an increased offer!

Make All Your Wishes Come True. Plan For It

Make All Your Wishes Come True. Plan For It

Imagine you’re walking along the beach and a twinkle of something washing in on the waves catches your eye. You reach down and grab it up before the current drags it back out to sea. It’s a conch shell, but like none you’ve ever seen before.

You use the tail of your shirt to rub the sand and salt off the gleaming purple exterior and a wisp of smoke billows out from the end.  Swirling in the wind, the wisp gains speed and substance and whirls into a genie! An – I will make all your wishes come true type genie.

So, what are the chances you are going to find a magic conch on your next walk on the beach? About the same as your chances of wishing your dreams into reality.

Planning around a wish

We all have all kinds of wishes and we spend lots of time thinking about them and planning around them and visualizing them. When my wish comes true and I have achieved (fill in the blank) I will do/have/be (fill in the blank). Planning around a wish takes time and energy and is about as effective as looking for magic conchs on the shore.

Plan for a wish

Planning for a wish is a different thing altogether. Planning for something means creating a roadmap to get you where you need to go. Looking at the big picture starting with where you are now and ending at where you want to be. Writing out achievable goals with definite start/end dates along the way.

You are your own magic genie. Although you might not be able to make all your wishes come true, you can certainly make a push for them. You will achieve goals along the way and each one will be a wish come true in its own small way.

Learn To Convey Your Strengths During the Interview

Learn To Convey Your Strengths During the Interview

There are all kinds of reasons that interviews don’t go well. Sometimes it’s as simple as you weren’t the best candidate for the position. However sometimes you were the best person for the job. You missed out because you were too nervous to present yourself in your best light. Or you weren’t able to convey just how perfect you were to the interviewer.

Let your power shine through

Let’s start with the nervous part. Most of us get nervous in competitive or stressful situations. But there are ways of tricking your body into actually feeling more confident. It’s all about creating a feeling of power and strength within yourself. You can do that with power poses. Striking a pose of power and holding it.

For example, before the interview, stand like Wonder Woman. Feet apart, hands on your hips, chin up. Take up space, breathe in and hold. You will start feeling more confident.

Or stand like a star athlete. Feet apart, arms above your head, fingers spread wide – like you just won the race of your life and hold.

Amy Cutty who has a Ted Talk online about how our body language shapes who we are talks about studies that have demonstrated the benefits of standing like a super hero. Testosterone increases significantly cortisol drops, people feel ready to take on more risks, their pain threshold his higher. They also think more abstractly and are more likely to do well in stressful situations – like job interviews.


Move from the general to the specific

While preparing for an interview people will often go online to research the sorts of questions they will be asked. Then they memorize the best way to answer them. The problem with that is they come off sounding rehearsed and mechanical in the interview.


The interviewer doesn’t want to hear the perfect answer to a question. They want to hear your answer to the question. That means read how you should answer the question then create an answer based on your experiences and qualifications.


Why are you perfect for the position?

You might not get asked this question specifically, but ultimately every question you are asked is working toward answering it. Think about your motivations, your strengths, your values, your personality. Bring those into every answer. Come up with examples from your life and your experiences. Make it personal. The more personal you make it the more confident you’ll sound.


You look confident, you sound confident. If you’re a perfect fit for the job, the interviewer will know it.

How To Take Action Back From Inaction

How To Take Action Back From Inaction

Sometimes things are going gangbusters. You and your goals are a hive of activity, you are learning, expanding, planning for the future. And then sometimes that planning trips a pause button. Then you end up stuck in a room where you can’t seem to find a way out.


Planning takes over more and more of your mind space. and then without realizing it, the doing has taken a back seat to planning. Or worse your plans have gotten too big for their britches and instead of being something you’re looking forward to, this thing you’re planning feels overwhelming. Then you get stuck.


Small movements lead to big movements

Not everyone has big goals, but just about everyone has faced big plans that never went much further than great intentions. For instance, let’s say you plan on getting in shape. You don’t want to just get in shape you want to become strong. You want to be able to dead lift 300 pounds as easily as if you were lifting 30. Your big plans to lift 300 might just get in the way of lifting the weight that you already know is easy.


You can spend all kinds of time delaying getting started. Researching gyms, shopping for exercise clothes, pondering the benefits of vanilla protein powder vs. chocolate protein powder but eventually if you’re ever going to lift those 300 pounds, you’re going to have to start by lifting something. It doesn’t matter how much. The key is getting started. Once you do, you can start adding weights on a regular basis and incrementally you will get stronger and stronger.


Once you start moving and doing it’s much easier to keep on doing and moving

Same thing goes for accomplishing your goals. You might have big plans, but somehow you can’t get your eyes off the view of the top, down to the bottom where you need to be to build your way up there.



In the article, Two Ways To Overcome Inertia from Forbes. Sonia Kapadia mentions two ways to break the wall between planning and doing. One is to force things to happen by creating deadlines and accountability for yourself. That might take the form of something as simple as writing your daily intentions down on your calendar where you have to face them every day.


The second way is to take a full break from everything, both planning and doing. Clear your mental space then come in, with the intention of pulling your goals out of the planning stage into doing.


No matter which way you prefer, your goal is to stop thinking about what you want to do and put your shoes on and start doing it.  You can’t start at the top where you want to be. You start at the bottom and build your way to the top. Make mistakes. Learn. Ask for help. Think of yourself as a small snowball at the top of a mountain. You just need to push yourself off. Soon you’ll start accumulating speed and weight, excited to see how big you’ll finally get by the time you reach the town below.


“You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.” Will Rogers

"You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.” Will Rogers

It’s easy to keep your head down at work and do a decent job. To do enough to keep you from getting fired, and maybe even secure a promotion down the line. Some people feel like that’s all they really should do. There is an old saying, “the nail that sticks out the most, gets hammered.” It gives people the idea that if they try something and fail, or suggest something new, they’re likely to be singled out and ostracized.

Getting the Fruit

The truth is, if you never try, you’ll never succeed. Like this Will Rogers quote suggests, the best fruit is often a little out of our comfort zones. It takes a leap of faith to see what the rewards of our actions will be.

You need to have confidence in yourself and your ideas in order to try them. You might fail. The branch might snap, or there might not be any fruit at the end of the one you reach for. The thing is, you’ll never know until you make the grab.

Or Staying Put

If you’re happy where you are and have no desire to grow in your profession, it might be a good idea to stay close the truck of the tree. But if you want to grow and succeed, you’re going to need to go out on a limb once and while to try something new, something risky, something outside your comfort zone. When you do, you’ll find, sooner or later, that the fruits of your labour are there waiting for you.


So push through the fear you may have of “getting hammered” and find the fruit that grows out on a limb.

Learn To Love What You’re Doing By Learning What You Love To Do

Learn To Love What You’re Doing By Learning What You Love To Do

People always say if you love what you’re doing it doesn’t feel like work. That’s all well and good if you know what you love and you’re able to find a job doing it. But what about if there simply isn’t something you absolutely love doing? What then?


Figure out what you’re good at


Now although it would be great to actually LOVE what you decide to do professionally, that may not always be possible. Let’s say you love skydiving. Well you could probably get a job doing tandem jumps with people who want to learn how to leap out of planes, but it may not be something you want to do as your day job. Rather than focusing strictly on the things you love you can broaden the field by including things you like doing.


People enjoy doing what they’re good at


In general people enjoy doing things they’re good at. By determining a few things you are good at, you can start to create your job search around those.


Figuring out what you’re good at is lifelong quest for some people, while for others it’s like something that was set from the moment of birth. If you are one who doesn’t really feel drawn to anything, then try new things!


Trying volunteering in assorted places. Read more books. Put yourself in situations outside of your regular routine. Meet with people you don’t normally associate with. Take classes in things you’d like to know more about.


Explore avenues you wouldn’t normally consider


Try things and learn things until you find something that makes you happy, and follow in that direction. What makes you happy doesn’t have to lead directly into a job but it can inform it!


If you love meeting people, maybe you’d enjoy a job in sales. If you love music, you could be a sound engineer or a manager. Once you pin down the sorts of things that get you excited, figure out the sorts of jobs that could possibly allow you to get paid to do them.


Remember, no job has to be a forever job. It’s okay to try a lot of different jobs when you’re young – or even when you’re older. Some people decide to change careers entirely later in life. Sometimes they cash out of high paying careers into more modest jobs because happiness is more important at that point than more accumulated wealth.


Find fulfillment in your career


Finding what you’re good at and what makes you happy can take years, but it’s worth it. Feeling

fulfilled is so important in your career, and by putting your mind to it, it’s certainly something you can do.

Learn To Keep The Interruptions At Bay

Learn To Keep The Interruptions At Bay

You know when you get into that flow at work, where what needs to get done pours out of your like water from a tap? You’re in the zone and focused. You and the work inhabit a bubble of time and space without interruption.


When was the last time you were in that bubble? With so many internal and external interruptions coming at most of us all day long, it’s probably been a while. External interruptions are things like other people calling, texting, emailing or walking up to our desk. Internal ones include the compulsive need to check social media, or have a quick peek at the headlines, or whatever it is you fill your personal distraction glass with.


Small interruptions lead to extended production delays

When you are in the zone you are focusing all your energies and thoughts on the task at hand. When an interruption breaks the flow it’s like taking a pair of scissors and cutting all the threads of communication pouring into your head with a single snip.


The time dedicated to dealing with the interruption isn’t restricted to however long it takes to death with whatever Hans came in to ask you. The bigger problem is the break of flow. All the time it takes to gather all the threads of thought back together.


Of course, interruptions to your flow are inevitable. There will always be matters that must be dealt with immediately. However, a great majority of the things that stop our flow aren’t urgent enough to require our immediate attention. By setting boundaries with our co-workers and ourselves we can allow ourselves to get into the flow zone more often and stay there.


Let your coworkers know you don’t want to be interrupted

If people don’t know you want uninterrupted work time, there is nothing stopping them from coming in and interrupting with things that can wait. So, let them know. Set all your alerts to silent. Leave an outgoing message on your phone saying you are busy and will return calls when you are free again. Same thing for emails.


If you have an office with a door put a do not disturb sign on it, if not put a sign on your desk. The do not disturb sign (or whatever words you use) might feel weird the first time you put it up. But you’ll get over it, especially once you see how much you’re accomplishing.


Stop interrupting yourself

For many of us the worst interrupter of our flow isn’t other people, it’s ourselves.  Now that you’ve got your email alerts and your phone silenced, it’s up to you to stop yourself from compulsively checking them on your own every couple of minutes. Set yourself time boundaries. Say I will work on this project for one hour. And stick to it.


Beyond that, close open tabs on your computer. If you can work offline do it. When the internet is two or three clicks away instead of only one it’s a little easier to stay clear of.


Single task

It’s impossible to get into the flow of one thing if you are trying to do more than one thing at once. Multi-tasking is the bane of productivity. Focus on what you need to get done, one thing at a time.



The Secret To Success Is a Lot More Than Wishful Thinking

The Secret To Success Is a Lot More Than Wishful Thinking

You wake up every morning, look in the mirror and say, “I am going to be successful.” Well affirmations are all well and good, but saying you want to be successful without action to back it up, is about as helpful as saying you want to lose weight while simultaneously stuffing a donut into your mouth.


Specific goals

If you are not striving to accomplish something every single day then you’re probably just going to let the day determine what happens. You’ll get caught up with being mad about getting caught in traffic. You’ll get involved with the gossip floating around the office. You’ll let yourself get sucked into watching yet another episode on whatever’s streaming on Netflix. Without goals you are likely to end up going wherever the wind blows. However if you’re working towards a specific goal every single day then you are going to take charge of where you focus your attention and your energies.


Once you do achieve a goal don’t climb up to the nearest rooftop to start crowing about it. Create another goal. And write it down. Keep yourself accountable.


Strong people skills

You may be able to spend a day alone doing your own thing or even a few days, but eventually you’re going to have to come out of hiding and get into the groove with other people. Even novelists the most I need alone time! group of all, eventually have to come out and interact with their publisher and fans at large. Introverts and extroverts alike can develop people skills. The easiest way to start is to get good at asking people questions and giving them your full attention when they answer. People with strong people skills realize that everyone wants to be heard.



Stay enrolled in the school of life

Always keep your mind engaged. Whether that means learning new skills for your career, taking cooking classes an evening a week, or language courses online, it’s important to keep yourself challenged. Ideally you want to continually create a new and improved version of you.


A healthy body to go with your sharp mind

While you’re busy setting goals and learning new things and developing strong people skills you might inadvertently forget to take care of yourself, and that would be a mistake. You need a healthy body to carry that great mind of yours around in. You may not realize it but some of your greatest ideas will come to you when you are doing something entirely unrelated, like walking or riding a bike or running on a treadmill. Whenever you exercise your body you are also exercising your mind. Check out how Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills from Harvard Health Publications




Less thinking, more doing

We all love to make plans for our future and that’s great. Like we said earlier, having clear, specific goals are one of the cornerstones of our success. The problem comes when we start spending more time thinking about our goals or our future than actually doing anything to concrete to start achieving them. The longer you think about something without actually doing anything to back your thoughts up, the harder it is to get going. Procrastination leads to more procrastination. Doing leads to more doing. You need to learn to be your own referee.


Push yourself even when you don’t want to get go. Get out of bed no matter how cozy it is under the covers. Get up every time you fall down without wasting inordinate amounts of time lamenting over what wasn’t. Success is going to hear you loud and clear.

Not Sure If You Should Apply?

Not Sure If You Should Apply?


Sometimes you see a job listing and you are absolutely sure you would be a shoe in for the job. Your qualifications and experiences line up perfectly with the job description. All you have to do is research the company and customize your resume and cover letter to fit this job and send.


Not an exact fit

Then there are times when it’s less cut and dry. You don’t have all the qualifications they’re looking for. Your experiences are similar to what they’re looking for, but you can’t go down the list of requirements and put a checkmark beside each one.


However, you believe you could do this job. Not just that, you believe you could excel at it. Should you apply anyway? Here are a few things to think about.


How do your skills match up?

Read the job description carefully. Imagine what a typical day would involve. What tasks would you be required to perform? How would you interact with other people? Have you done similar things in the past? Will the skills you have enable you to do the job? Could they help bring a new perspective to the position?


Do you fit most of the requirements?

The requirements listed for a job are often an ideal set of qualifications and experiences the employer is looking for, but it doesn’t mean every one of them is necessary to fulfill the requirements of the position. If you have the majority of the skills listed, then don’t hesitate to apply. Qualifications can be learned. Potential is inherent in the person.


Think about transferable skills

The answers to the above questions will make up the body of your cover letter. Talk about the skills you have and how they can be transferred to help you excel in this role. Use them to help the hiring manager see the benefits of giving you an interview. From there it’s up to you to make the case for your potential in person.