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8 Misleading And Really Tough Questions You Could Be Asked In Job Interviews

8 Misleading And Really Tough Questions You Could Be Asked In Job Interviews

Knowing how to deal with tough interview questions properly can put you miles above other candidates. Your body language, voice and content of your answers are all factors that play into you getting hired.

This article will detail some tough and misleading questions that generally confuse potential employees and will help you get an insider view on what employers are looking for in your responses.

Remember in order to ensure your success you need to take the time to properly prepare your responses, practice them and always stay hungry for new information. This article will point you to the right direction for you to be successful in job interviews.

Tell me about yourself.

This is a very misleading question if you don’t approach it properly. Interviewers are looking for a lot more than just some information on what you do in your spare time. When you are asked this question it is important that you align your skills with what the interviewer is looking for. Don’t be afraid to play to their strengths and interests – in fact this is what they are looking for.

Start off by detailing your most recent and strongest accomplishments. Talk about the last position (or a position) that you held and what you made such a great fit for it. Discuss the skills and attributes that helped you and show how these skills will help you in the position that you are applying for. No interviewer really wants to hear about your personal life, instead only focus on the parts about your personality that make you a great employee.

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What can you do for us that someone else can’t?

Here employers are obviously looking for specific things that set you apart from the rest of the candidates. You have every right (and perhaps an obligation) to brag and emphasize your positive attributes.

Focus on your ability to get things done, give concrete examples when you faced deadlines and how you were able to meet them. Draw specific accomplishments from your resume and explain how you were able to achieve them. To wrap up this question talk about how your skills, attributes and record of getting things done makes you the perfect candidate to help advance the team.

What didn’t you like about your last job?

Trick question. While you are being asked what you didn’t like about your last position it is imperative that you do not focus on the negative. The interviewer is looking for signs that you might grow bored easily with the position and checking the strength of your commitment..

When answering this question be sure to preface your answer with a few things that you did enjoy about your previous position. For what you disliked keep it short and to point. Something along the lines of “looking for more responsibility” or “looking to expand my skill set” are answers that show your desire for growth. Make sure any answer you select shows off a positive skill of yours.

Are you a team player?

Everybody says yes to this question so it is important that you set yourself apart using concrete examples. Employers are looking for you to expand on your answer, a true team player will have a plethora of stories that show off skills related to teamwork.

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Center your answers around skills such as being empathetic, solving problems and sharing knowledge. Give concrete examples of a time you’ve had to resolve a conflict or a time you got people to work together.

If you were to win a million dollars what would you do?

When you get asked this question the employer is looking for where your priorities are and the type of person you are outside of work. Focus your answer on staying productive and maintaining your hard working qualities despite the fact you have money.

It is fine for you to say you would take a vacation for a little bit but employers don’t want to know the exact model of the car you would buy or how big your house would be. Stay away from material answers, focus on activities such as volunteering, passion projects and overall still being an active and productive person.

What is the main thing that gets you out of bed each morning?

This is a question to see what type of person you are by finding out what motivates you. Obviously answers like “I was hungry” or “I need money” are not what employers are looking for. Share with them an ambition of yours that you are working towards and how it inspires you to keep moving every morning.

Your ambition should be related to a skill needed for a job and once you have mentioned it you can mention other important parts of your life such as your family and friends. Show that you need little external motivation to perform your best each day.

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What are your weaknesses?

When answering this question be sure to stay away from typical answers. Answers like “I am too organized’ or “I am a perfectionist” are tired and cliched.

Instead focus your answers around improving specific skills of yours. The skills you choose should be related to the position your applying and should show your own desire for personal growth and growth in the work place.

Whatever weakness you choose slowly transform it into a strength with your explanation. Mention one or two things that you are doing to improve this weakness and show how the position you’re applying for will give you an adequate chance at improving on this.

Why do you want to work for us?

When you are asked this question employers are looking for you to show off what you know about them. Prior to any interview you should do research on the company, when you are asked this question you should play to the company’s needs.

Your answer should detail how your research has shown that this is a company that you would like to work for. List some reasons why you personally would like the position and how some of your skills align with what would be required of you. Emphasize that you chose them because you look to grow as an employee and that their environment seems like a place where you would have endless opportunities to improve your skills.

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Ending the interview

Practice these eight questions to get in the proper state of mind for your interview. Keep in mind interviewers may ask questions that seem normal and easy but there is always a hidden motive behind it.

Most importantly keep your ears open while being asked questions and take your time before responding. Do not think you are obligated to respond to every question instantly, giving thoughtful answers ensures that you are giving your best possible answers to the interviewer. Always stay learning to best prepare yourself for success!

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/george-papaconstantinou/7120970251/ via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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