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Job Interview Questions And Tips For Anyone Who Wants To Get The Job

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  • sidra sid
    Top job interview questions you might be asked during an interview range from why do you want this job to what is your greatest weakness. So quickly now, tell
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 28, 2006
      Top job interview questions you might be asked during an interview range from why do you want this job to what is your greatest weakness. So quickly now, tell me just what is your greatest weakness? And tell me in the next 20 seconds. I’m staring at you, tapping my fingers on my desk and waiting for your reply.
      Gotcha, didn’t I!
      While I don’t know what your greatest weakness in your last job or in life is, I do know your greatest weakness in relation to your job interview.
      Questions asked by the interviewer?
      No, it’s your “answers”. At least partly. There’s more to it…
      Your greatest weakness when it comes to blowing job interviews may be your lack of preparation. Let me give you an example from my own life.
      Years ago I worked in fundraising for a nonprofit. I liked the fundraising field. Anyone who has worked in it will tell you there is never a dull moment. It’s a fast-paced work environment, always with one more thing to do. And you’re usually doing it for a good cause. However, I wanted to do even more with my career in the same field but for a different employer. So my job search began.
      My resumes probably resulted in 90 percent success with getting called for a job interview. It’s been that way just about forever for me. I mastered resume writing a long time ago, perhaps because I’m also a professional writer. I’ve even written resumes for friends who weren’t getting interviews. And then they did get those job interview calls immediately. And if you’re wondering, these were honest resumes. I’ve never exaggerated on a resume—mine or others.
      So this day my resume writing skills got me a call for a job interview I REALLY wanted.
      I’d be working for another nonprofit in a position where I’d be learning from an established fundraiser in a fast-paced manner too. Back then I craved an experienced mentor like this in the fundraising field. And I wanted to be on a “fast-track” like this job offered. But here’s what happened next…
      I interviewed with a gentleman who was hired on a contract consultant basis to handle this nonprofit’s fundraising campaign. It would be long-term, perhaps a year or two or more for this campaign. I was enthusiastic during the job interview, projected experience and knowledge about fund-raising (mostly self-taught), and visibly eager to get started. During the job interview, I aced every question. The interviewer and I clicked. He was a fundraiser. I was a fundraiser (though to a lesser knowledgeable extent). And we understood each other. When I finished that interview I KNEW I was in his top picks if not the top pick. I was a smart and “hungry” fundraiser willing to work for the right price and follow his lead. And that’s what he wanted. But then…
      …I had to go through round two of the job interview process. I was to return on a separate day and interview for the job with a top executive of this small nonprofit. I did. She was clearly not a fundraiser (though it is important, perhaps vital, for a top executive to understand and play their role correctly in fundraising, especially for a nonprofit like this one which was on the decline in funding and needed a fast rebound) . But this lady executive was cold. I did not get a warm vibe from her. Quite opposite, fundraisers, or anyone trying to raise funds, are usually gregarious, friendly people. Apparently no one told this woman that it’s important to make any community member feel comfortable, even one who is interviewing with you for a job (hey, my daddy COULD have been a rich member of the community!).
      Well, this woman was so cold and matter of fact (and not even totally focused on me and the interview at times), that she got me. I was already nervous about the job interview and now the questions felt more like an interrogation—one I was failing at. First came the stammering. Then came the blank mind on my part. And then came dumb words, followed by no words. When I was asked something as simple as “So tell me about yourself”, I goofed. What the heck did she want to know? My hobbies? My age? My experience? My current job? How long I’d lived in the city?” So tell me about yourself” is quite general among job interview questions (and a popular one).
      Needless to say that upon leaving that second interview with that lady executive (who was required to approve the final hire), I KNEW I killed all my chances at getting that job. And so did the original interviewer, the fundraiser consultant who I’d really be working with and under anyway (and whose facial expressions–yes he was eavesdropping–said he knew I blew it too).
      Notice I said that “I” blew it. Sure, the second interviewer was a cold-hearted…well, you get the idea. And surely I was better off not working for her or for a “struggling” nonprofit on the rebound. But the job still seemed so exciting and I wanted it. And I BLEW the job interview. Questions I should have been able to answer, I couldn’t and didn’t. I could do the actual job had it been given to me. I just couldn’t ace the job interview.
      Do you know WHY I blew that job interview? I do.
      I’m A LOT smarter and more savvy with job searches now so I know the answer. And quite frankly, I knew the answer to why I didn’t get that job I so badly wanted right after I blew the question about “so tell me about yourself”.
      And the answer was and is…
      I did not prepare for the job interview.
      “Preparation” might possibly be the most important job interview tip you ever hear.
      What was I thinking? I never passed a test in high school or college by NOT studying. As a fundraiser, I never asked a donor to give me a gift by NOT preparing a proposal or preparing for the ask. Yet I walked into a job interview with NO preparation. And it showed.
      Dumb!
      If you want to get your dream job—because ONLY ONE person will get called for that job out of all the interviewees—then you must prepare for the job interview. Preparation means everything from preparing what you’ll wear to how you’ll greet the interviewer to how you’ll follow up with the interviewer. Job interview preparation is knowing beforehand exactly (or nearly exact) what you’ll say to “So tell me about yourself” and “What is your greatest weakness” and any of dozens of questions you might be asked during a job interview.
      It IS true that the most experienced or most qualified person will not always get the job. The person who aces the interview, even if they only have half your smarts and experience, WILL get the job. That’s life for you!
      So what did I do before my next job interview?
      I went to the store and bought a book to help me prepare for answering job interview questions. The book was called Knock ‘Em Dead, The Ultimate Job-Seeker’s Handbook by Martin Yate. It’s a popular book with many since updated editions. In particular, when I read Yate’s section on handling tough job interview questions and practiced my responses at home, I never goofed at another job interview again. Never! I didn’t always get the job, but I sure came close most times. And eventually I did get the job I wanted. Also I was never again personally embarrassed about my performance in a job interview.
      Yate’s book is just one source and one method to help you prepare for the job interview for your dream job. You can find other equally good sources to help you ace your job interviews. And I highly recommend you do seek out some job interview preparation resources before your next job interview—if you really want to get that job—particularly some tips about responding to job interview questions.

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