Tag Archives: company

Tough Interview Questions and How To Answer Them

As if interviews aren’t stressful enough, interviewers like to throw in some tough questions to get a glimpse into the candidate’s character.  Sometimes these questions seem quite innocent, but your answer could make or break your chance of getting the job.  Let’s have a look at though interview questions and how to answer them.

Tell me a little about yourself

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?  But this question is a minefield.  Depending on your answers the interviewer will pick up if you are merely confident or totally blasé.  If you have a career plan or prefer to fly by the seat of your pants.  While it’s acceptable if not preferable to be confident, try not to stick too many feathers in your own hat.  And while you don’t have to have your future mapped out, it is recommended to have some idea of where you’re going and how to get there.

Why do you think you are right for this job?

Whatever you do, don’t say that you are a hard worker, that you like the responsibility that comes with the job or anything that refers to your character.  Instead, focus on the company.  The interviewer has heard these kinds of clichés a hundred times.  Instead of focussing on yourself, focus on the company.  Show a belief in their products or services.  Be enthusiastic about that.

Why did you leave your previous job?

Another minefield.  If you quit because you were bored with your job or didn’t like your boss, you can’t say that.  You can never speak ill of a past employer.  Neither can you say that you were bored, because the new company might wonder if you will get bored with them.  If you were fired it’s best to be honest without going into detail.  The company you’re applying with is going to find out anyway when you need to supply references.  You could word it differently though and say that you were let go because you and your boss didn’t see eye to eye. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question is will reveal more than you think.  If you answer right away: you have given your future a lot of thought and know exactly what you want.  You are ambitious and will use any means to get to an end.  If you answer after a long pause: you haven’t given your future any thought at all.  You are happy with your life as it is, and will take your future one step at a time. 

What are your weaknesses?

Does anyone really want to reveal their weaknesses?  Of course not.  Whichever weakness you admit to, don’t say that you are a perfectionist, too organized, can’t work with people who don’t live up to their full potential, or anything else that will make you look perfect.  You are not perfect, nobody is, so stop trying to look like you are.  A good answer might be, that you are more of a leader than a follower and that your ideas are not always welcomed by management.  Companies like leaders and like new ideas.  They might not always like your ideas, but they like someone with initiative.

What are your salary expectations?

This may seem like a thought question.  After all, set your salary too low and you might be underselling yourself.  Set your salary too high and it may cost you the job.  The answer to this particular problem is simple, name a salary range.  If for instance, you want to earn $50,000, you could say that you would like to earn between $48,000 and $58,000.  Chances are, in such a range they will offer you $54,000. 

The best advice anyone can give you before going to an interview, is to be yourself.  While it’s a good idea to be prepared and research the matter of tough interview questions and how to answer them, don’t memorize the answers.  Interviewers go online too and know what’s out there.  They can spot a copycat a mile away.  Read the questions and answers and then make them your own. 

It’s alright to stumble over an answer or having to take a minute before replying.  Being a smooth talker doesn’t always work in your favor.  An interviewer has seen and heard it all and will enjoy your honesty.

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Let’s talk about men

There’s been a lot of talk about men within the past 48 hours.  On-line and off.  I have tried to get my point across and failed miserably.  I can understand why some are confused about me.  On the one hand, I readily admit that I don’t like men; yet in the same breath, I state that I get along very well with them.  How to explain this?  

Jack Nicolson was looking for a few good men. Women all over the world are joining him in that quest. How do women know when they find a member of the male species that it’s a good one?  They can’t squeeze him for ripeness; they can’t examine him (like they would apples and tomatoes) for brown spots showing signs of decay.   It seems to me that women, where it comes to men, are rather reckless.

  • Before taking a job, a candidate can research the company online or talk to past and present employees.
  • Before buying kitchen appliances, most women read the reviews.
  • Before buying clothes or shoes, the chosen item is tried on for fit and comfort.

So why are women who deal with an item they are supposed to keep for life, take a man they meet at face value?  

Some might say they don’t, that’s what dating is for, to get ‘a feel’ for the guy.  True, but not exactly accurate.  How many people – men and women alike – show their true selves while dating?  I think it’s safe to say that before going on a date, a man will shower and shave, comb his hair, and put on something nice.  In other words, he will show himself from his best side.   

If he steps over the line and swears, gets upset or worse gets a little violent, he will state that he was not himself or that ordinary he is not like that.  And women swallow it.  They are so in love that they don’t see the ‘brown spots’.  And even if they do, the sight of the flowers they get presented with, or the size of the diamond in the engagement ring will cloud their vision.   

When I say that I don’t like men, it’s because I’ve seen too many bad apples.  Hence my hesitation to ‘buy’ one.    Over the weekend I talked with Vicky (not her real name).  She got tearful when she admitted to me that she was afraid she was going to end up an old maid.  “Vicky,” I said, “the term old maid is so passé.”  “You know what I mean,” she said, “I’m afraid I won’t find anyone to grow old with, to take care of me.”  

That’s when I started to wonder … why do women get married?  Is it because of love or is it to have some company in their golden years?  Is it for financial reasons?  Is that all that men are good for?  A body to share a space with and to keep the bank account in the positive?  Is that why I steer clear of men?  Because I don’t feel the need for male company and I don’t need to be taken care of?  

Do men feel this when they are in my company? I can laugh and joke around with them.  They know that, unlike Vicky, I don’t want anything from them. I’m not going to chase them and I don’t want to be chased.  They can be themselves, without me being shocked or getting stars in my eyes. Do I get my point across? Do you get it? If you do … great; if you don’t then I guess you have to know me to understand me.

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