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Career-Life Times, Issue #31--Scary Interviews!
October 17, 2006

Issue 31, Oct. 17, 2006

Ready to GET HIRED, GET NOTICED, and GET AHEAD? Read on...

In This Issue:

  • Scary Interviews!
  • Is a Promotion Ever a Bad Idea?
  • How to Answer: "Why are you seeking a new job?" or “Why do you wish to leave your current employer?”
  • Career Personality Tests: Which are the Best Tests Online?
  • Resources
  • Worth Quoting
  • Just for Laughs
  • Random Rants & Ramblings

    Before I begin this month's issue, I have three quick questions for you. I'm thinking about starting an online discussion forum to complement this newsletter and my web site. I think it could offer a valuable tool for all of us to exchange ideas, questions, advice, etc. But it would be somewhat time-consuming for me (I have a full-time job in addition to this fun web site stuff!). So before I go any further with this idea, I thought I would ask your opinions about it. So here are my questions for you:

    (1) Would you participate in an online discussion forum related to job interviews and other career-related information?

    (2) If so, would you prefer this to be a public forum, open to all (including spammers), or a private membership forum?

    (3) If private, would you be willing to pay a small membership fee, perhaps the cost of a cup of coffee each month, if it included exclusive resources and materials in addition to the discussion forum (such as teleseminars, special reports, interviews with experts, etc.)?

    That's it. I'd really appreciate your honest opinions on this. My email address is at the end of this newsletter (or just hit Reply). Thank you very much for your help!

    Scary Interviews!

    There's been a lot of buzz about online videos lately, so I decided to see if I could find a couple related to job interviews that you might enjoy. Here they are:

  • This scary one is celebrating the spirit of Halloween: Scary Interview
  • This one isn't too scary, except as a reminder that, no matter how challenging your job interviews seem, they could be much worse: Monty Python Interview

  • Is a Promotion Ever a Bad Idea?

    Most of us would like to move up the career ladder. Wouldn't a promotion with a bigger salary be great? Not always.

    If you have the opportunity to apply for a higher-level position, look before you leap! There's more to consider than just a bigger paycheck. Don't be blinded by the dollar signs dancing in your head.

    Take a close look at the position's duties and responsibilities. Would you enjoy them? Outside of the salary, would your quality of life be better or worse in the new position?

    Here's a real-life example: Joe, a very talented graphic artist who loves what he does, is considering applying for the position recently vacated by his boss, a division manager. If he gets the job, it would mean an increase in pay of more than $10,000 per year. But it would also mean he'd be supervising graphic design work instead of doing any himself. He'd spend most of his time overseeing projects, worrying about budgets, playing politics with other managers, and running from meeting to meeting. He'd be coming in earlier and staying later. He'd have more responsibility, much more stress, and less time with his family and friends.

    What would you do if you were Joe?

    Many people get so excited about the possibility of a promotion and bigger salary that they fail to consider the consequences of "success." Before you apply for a promotion, consider carefully: is it worth it?

    How to Answer: "Why are you seeking a new job?" or “Why do you wish to leave your current employer?”

    When answering this common job interview question, be honest (to a point), positive and upbeat.

    Most people are looking for career advancement opportunities or new challenges when they apply for a job. Those are petty straightforward reasons that anyone would understand.

    Some people are bored. That’s the real meaning of the “looking for new challenges” reason--but don’t be so blunt.

    Others want to find a new position because they just can’t stand their current job or boss.

    Never say anything nasty or negative about the company or person you are working for. There's no better way to present yourself as a whiner than to complain about your boss or job. Even if your boss is an idiot who takes credit for all of your hard work and verbally abuses you in front of others, don't say anything bad about him/her during an interview. If you do, the interviewer may think you have a problem with authority or can’t get along with others. This is the “honest to a point” situation. Even if the main reason you want to leave is that your boss is a jerk, state another valid reason for leaving. You don’t have to lie, really… just be discreetly selective in your answer.

    Sample Answers:

    “I’ve worked with ABC Company for five years, and during that time I've achieved all of the goals I set for myself. I enjoy working there, but I’m looking for new challenges with a larger company, such as yours. I feel confident that I can play a role in XYZ Company's continued success.”

    "My manager and I both agreed that my opportunities are limited where I am, and obtaining another position is the best option for me and my career goals."

    “I’m interested in changing career paths. I’d like to broaden my horizons and find new ways to utilize my skills. I feel that your company will give me that opportunity and allow me to contribute in different ways than I have in my current job. I’m sure it would be a mutually beneficial arrangement.”

    Career Personality Tests: Which are the Best Tests Online?

    This is a guest article by Joanne Ostler

    While there are many free career personality tests online, many are of questionable quality. The trick is to know how to choose only the best and most helpful assessments. A poor quality online career test is quite likely to give you misleading results about your personality type and to lead you in the wrong career direction! This is not something you want to do!

    How online career personality tests can help you discover your ideal career

    Career personality tests online are designed to help you identify career choices that would best match your personality. The concept is that people are more likely to enjoy job satisfaction in careers that are compatible with their personality type.

    You’ve probably noticed how people behave differently. You probably know things about your own personality type. For example, are you know an extravert or introvert. Do you prefer the company of others and feel energized, or do you prefer time alone? Obviously there are levels of extraversion and introversion. You may enjoy alone time, but also need the company of others at times.

    One really important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as ‘better’ or ‘worse’ personality types. For example, often people consider that it is ‘better’ to be more extraverted than introverted. This is completely false, unhelpful and misguided thinking. There is no ‘better’ or ‘worse’. The gifts come in understanding ourselves and how we relate to different types of people.

    The world is full of different types and that's what makes it so interesting!

    Do online career personality tests really work?

    Career personality tests online and career personality codes can be enormously helpful in understanding both yourself and how you relate to others around you (at work and in your home and personal life). BUT just remember – you are not only your career personality code! The career ideas offered as being the ‘best’ match for your personality are great starter ideas and well worth exploring – but in the end YOU alone can make the best career decisions for YOU.

    My advice is to keep it simple!

    With that in mind, there are some excellent online career personality tests:

  • The tests at are hard to beat. You can get a free sampler, and for a small cost you can upgrade to a full report. Just stick to the most essential online career tests--these are also the PhD Premium Tests: career interest inventory, career personality, true talent, and what drives you.
  • offers a range of distinct test options including online career personality tests, career interests, and career aptitude.
  • offers the CareerDesign career testing program which is excellent value for money.
  • The ‘rules’ for getting the best out of career personality tests online

    You could get completely wrapped up in all the complexities, but in my opinion, you don’t need to as long as you remember these ‘rules’...

    1. You are not simply a personality type. You and your personality are as unique as your fingerprints – or as your DNA code! Personality assessments, as clever as they are, simply look for and identify patterns in which people are alike and different from one another.

    2. It is usually helpful to do more than one career personality test online.

    3. You are the ‘expert’ on you. The test does not know more about you than you know yourself.

    4. Read the results, and assess for yourself how accurate and relevant it is for you.

    5. Different tests may result in different levels of accuracy and relevancy for different people. You may find one test amazing, but a colleague may find it only mediocre. That’s just what happens. Trust your instinct.

    An assessment is taken in a ‘slice of time’. You may take the exact same test on another day when different things are happening for you, and find some different results! My advice: look for patterns and themes, and definitely, take more than one test.

    Your career is a lifelong thing. Invest in career planning and career development on a regular basis – as your life, circumstances, experiences, and priorities change.

    In summary, career personality tests online are great; but you need to know which ones to use and how to get the best of them! My site,, has loads of advice on where to find the best free online career tests, assessments, resources, and advice, and how to get best use those resources--all based on my experience as a qualified and professional career coach.

    Joanne Ostler is a Career Coach, Professional Member of Career Practitioners Association, and Owner of Visit her site for more information about online career tests.


    More Articles. If you haven't visited my website's article directory in a while, you might want to check it out. I add new articles frequently. Take a look at the index by clicking on: Articles.

    Blue Chip Expert. This is a new job site for consultants and contract professionals. It was profiled in the October issue of Business 2.0 Magazine (one of my favorite mags); they called it "a MySpace for Job Seekers." It uses a new kind of technology that matches individuals with career opportunities. It is the only company of its kind that is fully endorsed by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (an organization comprised of the largest and most powerful executive search firms in the world). What's really cool is that members can tell their friends about it, and if a friend joins and is hired through Blue Chip Expert, the member who invited him/her gets a "finder's fee" (a percentage of the recruitment fee). Membership doesn't cost anything, but it's by invitation only. I'm inviting you to check it out. Just use this special link:
    Bonnie's Invitation to

    What Would Dad Say? This is a great blog, with lots of interesting and entertaining career-related posts. Check it out here:

    "Job Interview Success System". Here's what Ping Liu, a customer who recently purchased my System (which currently includes email consulting) recently said: "Just want to let you know that I am very satisfied with your ebook and consulting services. Your advice is very helpful. You not only gave me simple answers that I could understand (English is my second language), but also described the approach to address the interview questions. That gave me good ideas for preparing for my interviews. I think you should charge more because the package and consulting service are worth much more than the price. With the valuable email consulting advice like what you provided to me, you could charge at least $99. But if you decide to keep the low price and help more people for interview success, that's very nice!"

    For more info about the System (which will be revamped and repriced soon), go to Job Interview Success System.

    Worth Quoting

    "Hide not your talents.
    They for use were made.
    What's a sundial in the shade?"
    (Ben Franklin)

    Just for Laughs

    A cowboy was tending his herd in a pasture when a brand-new BMW SUV advanced towards him. The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"

    The cowboy looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure. Why not?"

    The yuppie parks his car, whips out his notebook computer, connects it to his cell phone, surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location, which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC-connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex formulas. He uploads all of this data via an email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

    Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1586 cows and calves."

    "That's right," says the cowboy. "Well, I guess you can take one of my calves." He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on, amused as the young man stuffs it into his SUV.

    Then the cowboy says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, can I get that animal back?"

    The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

    Without a moment's hesitation, the cowboy says, "You're a consultant."

    "Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

    "No guessing required," answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked; and you don't know anything about my business... Now give me back my dog."

    Random Rants & Ramblings

    Spamnation! I get it at work, I get it at home, I get it on the PC, I get it on the phone. Filters don't stop it, nor does "do-not-call," it just keeps on coming, in spite of it all. It wants me to click, to sign up or buy; it promises gifts, but I see its lie. Here's what we can do, I know it will work, unplug all our lines, and live like a hermit!

    OK, "hermit" doesn't rhyme with "work"... but I had to wrap this up because the phone's ringing, someone's knocking on the door, I've got 62 email notifications, and I have to open my real mail because some of the envelopes say I may already be a winner! After I take care of all that, I'm going to write to my movie-star governor, Arnold, and ask about his next blockbuster, "The Spaminator."

    So, what did you think of this issue? Any suggestions? Topic ideas? Questions? I really appreciate your feedback. Please send me a note at

    Please forward this to your friends!


    P.S. To prevent your email service provider's spam filter from interrupting delivery or this newsletter to your email inbox, please add to your address book or "safe list."

    P.S.S. I apologize for the glitches (especially in links) you may see if you receive this as straight text. If you can receive your email in HTML format, choose that and it'll look a lot better.


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