Handling Tough Questions with Great Answers – The Commonality between Dating and Job Interview


“What are your weaknesses?”

  • No “correct” answer
  • Don’t share weaknesses related to the job at hand
  • Take a weakness and put a positive spin on it
  • Tell the employer how you’re improving upon it
  • Don’t give a strength disguised as a weakness (for example, “I am a perfectionist.”)

“Why did you leave your last job?”

  • Employers want to see if you’ll talk badly about your former employer
  • Don’t give into the temptation!
  • Even if you left for negative reasons, an interview is not the proper place to share dirt about your last employer
  • Stay professional
  • Great answer:“The cultural fit wasn’t right for me at that organization. This company would be much better because of [something in the culture you’ve researched].”

“Tell me about yourself.”

  • Keep your answer concise but comprehensive
  • A prepared elevator speech (30-to 60-second pitch about yourself) is a great tool to use for answering this question
  • Talk about accomplishments, traits, education and experience
  • Resist the urge to drone on and on –the interviewer will be asking more questions. No need to share your life story!

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

  • Again, resist the temptation to divulge dirt on past experiences
  • Don’t vent frustrations
  • Great answer: “I’ve had all types of bosses, and some were much better than others at managing and communication.” It’s broad enough so you don’t come across as unprofessional, but still answers the question

“Why should I hire you?”

  • To answer this question, you need to have a strong handle on your fit at the organization—which requires some research
  • Perhaps you see that the organization lacks a clear marketing strategy, something you have experience in creating and implementing
  • Depending on what you find and your unique selling points, answer confidently and show the hiring manager how you will benefit the organization if they hire you
  • Talk about past accomplishments
  • Make them want to hire you

“Give me an example of a time when you had to [work in a team, think on your feet, work with a difficult client, etc.]…”

  • This is where the accomplishment stories in your cover letter and resume can come in handy
  • The worst thing you can do when asked to give an example of something is to panic and fail to come up with one
  • Come prepared with several stories that you can share about past experiences to show that you are capable in a variety of situations

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

  • Show that you’ve thought about sticking around the company and possibly moving up in the organization.
  • However, don’t say you see yourself in your interviewer’s position!
  • Discuss how your skills and traits can help you excel at the current position and benefit the company in the future
  • Don’t share anything too personal, such as plans to start a family or travel the world, which could take you out of the running for the job

DOs & DON’Ts

DO be courteous and respectful of every employee at the organization

  • You make your first impression at the receptionist or secretary
  • Make it a positive one!

DO bring extra resumesand/or your portfolio to the interview

  • The hiring manager might not have a copy in front of them or it could get lost in the shuffle
  • Your portfolio is a great tool to use to share examples of past work

DO give detailed examples along with your answers

  • Use accomplishment stories, past work assignments and projects and workplace situations to explain your point

DON’T answer questions in one word

  • A simple “yes” or “no” often isn’t enough explanation

DON’T inquire about salary/benefits/vacation/ etc.

  • There’s an appropriate time and place for this—and it’s not during your initial interview

DO ask for the interviewer’s business card and hand them one of your own.

  • This ensures you have the proper spelling of their name, their email address and telephone number

DO be honest and be yourself

  • Don’t exaggerate or lie during the interview
  • The hiring manager will likely find out and you’ll diminish your chances at landing the job

DO ask great questions

  • It shows your interest in the organization
  • It conveys passion about the opening

DO close the interview telling the interviewer(s) you want the job and asking about next steps

  • This helps to determine when you should follow-up and gives you a general sense of the timeline for the opening

DO write a thank you card after to the interview

  • Genuinely thank the employer for their time
  • Reiterate things you spoke about during the interview

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Teach Your Older Employees a New Approach

Teach Your Older Employees a New Approach

With ever-advancing technology and the increased competitiveness of a more globalized economy, more mature employees are finding that their jobs just aren’t what they use to be. That’s where additional training can become instrumental to their success.

While studies show that workers over the age of 50 are often more committed to education, many employers fail to make it accessible to them. With technology constantly changing, many may not necessarily know the ins and outs of the latest breakthrough gadget.

By providing additional training that they can use on the job, you can strengthen the loyalty of employees older than 50.

If you install new software or applications, don’t assume the technology is completely intuitive to all your employees. It’s always helpful to provide a tutorial or a group training session. But you shouldn’t always assume that your older workers don’t know their way around a computer. A 2010 report found that social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older has increased from 22 percent to 42 percent in the last year. In the past several years, technology has become pervasive in our daily lives. Many people today regularly use e-mail and social networking sites such as Facebook for personal communications.

However, it can sometimes be impossible to keep up with the fast pace of technology. Find out what your employees do and don’t know to help train them on relevant topics. Ask their opinion. Studies show us that older workers have a desire to better their job skills, but do you really know what they want to learn about?

It’s hard for you to keep tabs on every single employee. Select a training representative or provide a go-to resource, such as a designated e-mail or a comment drop box in the breakroom, for employees who want to request some additional assistance. Sometimes your employees may be too embarrassed to ask for help, so you’ll have to go to them. If you can’t talk to employees one-on-one, consider sending out a survey that asks about their training needs. Usually, if one employee is struggling, he or she isn’t alone. Based on these results, you can decide what training is most relevant and needed.

Admitting that you don’t know how to do something is hard for a worker of any age. Mature professionals who have years of experience under their belt may have a more difficult time confessing that they need help refreshing their approach. But as much as they may want to learn, their fear of being laughed at or thought of as incompetent may make them hesitant to attend a course or training session. When you announce training opportunities be sure to tell employees that taking these classes will in no way reflect poorly on their position at your company. Reassure them that this training is only meant to add to what they already know.

When you set up a training class, keep your employees’ comfort in mind. Among other things, experts recommend choosing a facility that has ergonomically-correct workstations, ample lighting and good acoustics. They also recommend that all presentation materials have large font and images, making them easier to read.

Schedule time for regular breaks, so that employees are able to get up and move around. Employees who are comfortable will to retain information more than those that aren’t. Consider giving employees training materials a few days prior to the training session to let them get familiar with the material.

Once in class, invite discussion. Allow them to ask questions and address any material that is perplexing to them. Also, provide hands-on learning whenever possible. For example, if you’re teaching employees about new computer software or applications, allow them time in class to test drive it as you give them pointers.

Once they’ve completed the training, provide follow-up training, online tools, discussion groups and other resources they can use to help them practice and review what they’ve learned. Investing in education for older loyal employees can produce a greater return on investment.

Source : Kristina Meyer

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A Business that first started off as a Mailing List

Many HR practitioners would have heard of HRSingapore, few knew how it was started. The Founder, Mr Haridas Ramadas started off by sharing vital information and updates on HR trends in Singapore to previous participants of his training courses.  The spirit of sharing which is vital in social media was all along in Haridas way before social media was even invented.

Subsequently, HRSingapore Forum, HRLAW and HR21 newsletter were also started. By 2002, it added a low fee-based subscription plan to provide more value added services.

HRSingapore’s mission is to become a knowledge centre for anyone interested in Human Resource and Workplace communication practices in Singapore.

It’s active membership base has reached 4000, and the range of courses available now covers beyond the scope of Human Resources.

I am blessed to have met the Founder today thanks to my friend Mr Anthony Peck, who is the General Manager of the company.

Exciting alliances are under way between our companies, bringing the knowledge of social media application and implementation to many PMETs.

Though he uses an iphone and I carry a Blackberry, we can still chat via Whatsapp! …… say bye to SMS.

Check out – http://www.hrsingapore.net

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