Career & Professional Development

Helping Gonzaga University Students and Alumni Clarify and Achieve Their Academic and Professional Goals

Category: Interviewing (page 2 of 2)

“You said What?”

I will admit.  I am not perfect, sometimes in social situations I can get nervous trying to be too funny or witty (which of course just annoys anyone in a 10 feet radius of me).  The butterflies in the stomach, clammy hands and the second guessing of each comment said is another side effect of my tension.

One would think that I am referring to a blind date, but instead I am writing about the good old job interview.   Just like with dating, being nervous in an interview is a good thing.  Your adrenaline makes your senses heightened and ideally you should be much more aware of questions being asked as well as appropriate responses.

cartoon-jobinterviewgd

No matter how nervous you are, there are some responses to the standard interview questions that should never be said in an interview. CNN.com (in partnership with CareerBuilder) recently released hiring managers craziest responses to fairly standard questions.  The majority of the answers are funny and jaw-dropping.  One thing they all have in common: they are real.

“I’m not wanted in this state.”

“How many young women work here?”

“I didn’t steal it; I just borrowed it.”

“You touch somebody and they call it sexual harassment!”

“I’ve never heard such a stupid question.”

For the full list of outrageous answers, check it out the article here.

What should you say in the coveted job interview?  Highlight skills, accomplishments, qualities and goals for the future.  The interview is where you get to bring your personality away from paper and into real life.  Ideally you will answer the question how you fit perfectly with the organization and the position.

And whatever you say don’t let it be something a friend would reply by saying, “You said what in an interview?”

Don’t Be A Prisoner of Azkaban

Dementor

Sometimes I can’t help but link my life to Harry Potter. I don’t know how many of you have a similar problem, but there are so many Dementors, Voldemorts, and riddle spitting mythical creatures in my life that I am about to just drop out of Hogwarts. Psh, like my parents would ever let me do that.

However, after perusing the internet I have found at least one partronus that can help us all tackle one particularly bad Dementor: The Tough Interview Question. Who would think that your employer would ever ask you, “What sea creature defines you the best, and why?” or the ever popular, “Why should we hire you for the job?”

Well I, along with the help of Yahoo!hotjobs, have the answer for these questions so next time you won’t faint and need to be rushed to the nearest candy shop for a large piece of chocolate.

The “Why Question” or “Why Should we Hire YOU?”

Firstly KNOW the fine line between boastful and confident and DO NOT cross it. You are here to sell yourself, but do not come across as if you already have the job. Remember to highlight the specific aspects of your experience that pertain to this job.

The “Future Question” or “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

Remember not to get too detailed, and tell them what is important to you professionally and how you plan to achieve your goals.

The “Salary Question” or “How Much Do You Plan To Make?”

First, try and gently deflect the question and ask them what about the salary for this job, but if they pressure you for an answer give them your range. Know that this question can and will be asked, and be prepared to offer a well thought out answer so you seem knowledgeable of the field and it’s typical pay.

The “Silly Question” aka “Which Country in the UN Describes You and Why”

First things first, DO NOT blow this question off. The employer uses this question to see how you react under pressure, and you should not take too long to think this over, but make sure you pick a creature or country that fits you well. For instance, take an animal like a ferret, and say how you always look for BRIGHT SHINY new ways to push yourself to new boundaries, and you get along great in a “business of ferrets” always helping your entire business to succeed.

So there you have it, a lovely business of ferret patroni to help you conquer your next job interview.

Written by Marvin Dumas, Class of 2011

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