Posts Tagged With: job interview

The Single Best Question to Ask in a Job Interview

“What did you do to prepare for this interview?”

According to CNBC contributor and author Suzy Welch, the above question is the most important question that a manager can ask and the best question a prospective employee can answer.  She explains she has asked this question for years and is always surprised at the answers she gets from prospective employees–answers that are the good, the bad, and the ugly.  One answer stands out.  When asked what she did to prepare for the job interview as my personal assistant, the applicant answered, I’ve been stalking you for three days.  Welch loved the answer because stalking  involved reading virtually everything she could find written about Welch plus reading and scanning everything I’ve ever written online and in print.

Not all answers display the passion that a job applicant should have.  For example, one applicant answered, “Well I drove here last night with my boyfriend so I wouldn’t get lost today.”  Not an answer that would demonstrate the kind of passion and curiosity and most importantly, the resourcefulness Welch was looking for.

For more information, click here

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Stress the importance of doing some detective work when preparing for a job interview.
  • Point out there are many websites that can help job applicants prepare for a job interview.

Discussion Questions

  1. Assume you unemployed and have scheduled a job interview with a human resources manager for a bank teller position at a local Bank of America branch. What would you do to prepare for your interview?
  2. What traits or skills do you have that would make the bank want to hire you for this position? How can you tell or illustrate your traits and skills during the interview process?
Categories: Career, Chapter 1, _Appendix A | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

10 Job Interview Questions You Should Ask

“Many job seekers focus so hard on answering interview questions well that they forget something very important:  You are there to ask questions, too.”

In this Forbes article, Joe Konop explains why job applicants need to be proactive when they are interviewing for employment.  Specifically, you should strive to achieve three things during the interview

  • Make sure the interviewer has no reservations about you.
  • Demonstrate your interest in the employer.
  • Find out if you feel the employer is the right fit for you.

Mr. Konop also provides 10 possible questions (and the rationale for asking each question) that you could ask during an interview.  For example

  • What is the single largest problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem?
  • What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?
  • What is the next step in the process?

For more information, click here.  Then enter the title of this article “10 Job Interview Questions You Should Ask” to read the actual article.

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Help students understand that the job market is very competitive, and they must be proactive to get the employment position they want.
  • Describe how preparing for an interview can make the difference between obtaining the employment position they really want and unemployment.

Discussion Questions

  1. Choose a specific job and describe the traits that you would need to be successful.
  2. Assume you are a college senior and are interviewing for a position with a major employer in the marketing, banking, or accounting industry. How would you prepare for a job interview with this company?
  3. What factors make the difference between a good employee and a bad employee?
Categories: Career, Chapter 1, Skills Development, _Appendix B | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Tricky Interview Questions

Trick questions are designed to help hiring managers get to the real person who is being considered for employment. Using well-chosen questions, the interviewer can obtain a true profile of the person being interviewed. These questions are also designed to obtain information that the candidate may be trying to conceal. Some common interview questions that might seem tricky but are used for attempting to gather valid information include:

  • How would you describe yourself in one word?
  • What do you want to work here?
  • How do you define success?
  • What’s a difficult situation that you encountered? What actions do you take?
  • How does this position compare to others you are applying for?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • What kind of boss and coworkers have you had the most and least success with, and why?
  • Have you ever considered being an entrepreneur?
  • If you could work for any company, where would you work?
  • What would you do if you won $5 million tomorrow?
  • Have you ever been asked to compromise your integrity by your supervisor or colleague?
  • Can you give us a reason someone may not like working with you?

When encountering these questions, career experts recommend answers that are honest, concise, and focused on your skills, competencies, and achievements.

For additional information on tricky interview questions, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students ask another person interview them using some of these questions.
  • Have students obtain sample interview questions and effective interviewing techniques using online research.

Discussion Questions

  1. What are common mistakes when answering interview questions?
  2. How might a person improve their interviewing skills?
Categories: Career_Appendix, Skills Development, _Appendix B | Tags: , | Leave a comment

4 Tricks for Getting Rid of Your Nerves and Appearing More Confident in a Job Interview

“There are endless telltale signs of nervousness at work or in a job interview. . . “

This Business Insider article describes typical signs of nervousness that applicants experience during a job interview which include sweating, rapid blinking of the eyes, stammering, and many other symptoms.  Hope Restle, the author of this article, provides 4 recommendations to help you remain calm during the job interview.  Each recommendation is accompanied by more information about how the recommendation can help and real-world examples of how it can reduce stress and nervousness.  Specifically,

  1. Recall a memory that inspires positive emotions.
  2. Create a secret gesture that corresponds with a positive experience you’ve had in your life.
  3. Silently repeat a mantra or saying to help you relax.
  4. Be interested in what the other person says.

At the end of this article, there is also a link to a video that describes questions that you should never ask during a job interview.

For more information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Help students prepare for a job interview.
  • Point out that the 4 recommendations can also be used to reduce stress in other situations where someone gets nervous.

Discussion Questions

  1. Assume that you are applying for a new job that you really want. What can you do to remain calm and reduce that “nervous feeling” during a job interview?
  2. In today’s complex world, it is not uncommon for people to become nervous during a typical day. What can you do to reduce stress in your daily activities?
Categories: Career, _Appendix B | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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