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Career-Life Times, Issue #58--Top Ten Interview Questions
April 21, 2009

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In This Issue:

  • Webinar on "Top Ten Interview Questions"
  • Your Questions
  • 10 Online Communities Devoted to Helping You Find a Job
  • Four Powerful Little Interview Tips
  • Honesty in Interviewing
  • Resources
  • Worth Quoting
  • Just for Laughs

    Webinar on "Top Ten Interview Questions"

    Last month's event was so successful that Judi Perkins (expert job coach and author of one of this issue's articles) is inviting you (as a subscriber to this newsletter) to attend another exclusive online webinar! This one is scheduled for Thursday, April 23, from 8:00 - 9:15 pm (ET).

    The topic is "Top Ten Interview Questions - What are You Really Communicating?"

    How many times have you left an interview mulling over your answers to the questions, wondering if you said what they wanted to hear? Or worrying if you blew it?

    After you've heard this webinar, you'll feel much more confident answering interview questions, because you'll know:

  • what they're really looking for (and it's not just what your words tell them);
  • which question gauges your level of honesty and ethics;
  • which question measures your maturity (which has nothing to do with age);
  • the one thing you need to practice and be very aware of during each answer (this can be the tie-breaker between you and another candidate getting the offer)!

    Register now, then put your new knowledge into action during your next interview and reap the rewards of a skill you'll use the rest of your career!

    "Blooper Bargain Discount!" Attention previous webinar attendees! For those of you who attended Judi's "Cues and Clues" webinar in March, don't forget she'll be giving you a "blooper bargain" discount of 50% when you register for this webinar.

    Here's where to sign up: Top Ten Interview Questions Webinar

    After you sign up, you'll be sent an email confirmation with the details on how to attend the online webinar. It's all done via your computer; there will not be any long-distance charges to worry about. You'll be given a link, and you just click on that before the webinar starts--it's easy!

    If you're unable to attend live, sign-up anyway and you'll receive a recording of the webinar after the event.

    Don't delay... the webinar happens Thursday night!

    Here's the registration link again: Top Ten Interview Questions Webinar

    Your Questions

    Just a reminder... the teleconference I recorded with Danny Iny (which you can listen to--or read the transcript of--here: Danny Iny Interview) answered these common career questions:

    1. With so many different kinds of jobs out there, how do I know which one would be the best fit for me?

    2. How can I advance, or change careers, without the time or money to get a college degree?

    3. I find myself torn between self-employment and getting another job. How can I make the best decision? (Related Question: How can I know if I’m cut out for self-employment?)

    4. Which career is always in demand, no matter what state the economy is in?

    5. Where is the best place to search for jobs, other than job boards?

    6. Why do companies rarely choose the best candidate?

    7. How do I respond when asked what salary I expect?

    If you haven't done so already, check it out when you get a chance. It's really worth your time because it goes beyond just answering those questions--there are many fantastic tips that can help you achieve your career goals! Here's the link again: Danny Iny Interview)

    What About Other Questions? In addition to the above seven questions, more than 50 others were sent in by readers. Most of the topics asked about are addressed in my special report, "The Best Career Strategies of 2009: How to Get Hired and Get Ahead, Even When the Economy is Getting Worse."

    It's an awesome resource (because of the contributing authors, not because of me) and you can't beat the price: f.ree!

    If you haven't done so already, please go get your f.ree copy here: Then let me know what you think about it.

    But that's not all I've done to address your questions. I'm turning into an interactive learning environment that will not only answer all of your questions, it will provide everything you need to achieve your career goals. It will be an amazing resource! Since I'm doing this in my spare time (I have a full-time job), it's going to take me a while to complete. There are many technical aspects involved with getting it to do everything I want, and I'm not a techy person. Please hang in there... I promise the end result will be worth the wait!

    10 Online Communities Devoted to Helping You Find a Job

    Finding a job is tough... especially now. As with all difficult tasks, getting someone to help you will greatly increase your chances of success. Perhaps a resume expert, a career coach, or a recruiter. Maybe someone who can give you tips on effective networking, or "insider" information on openings you might be interesed in. Or even a friend who will encourage you when you're feeling frustrated and depressed.

    How about all of the forms of assistance mentioned above and more... provided by thousands of helpful people... for f.ree?

    That's what you can have, simply by participating in online social networking communities devoted to helping people--like YOU--to get hired.

    Personal branding expert Dan Schawbel wrote an excellent article discussing ten such communities, and I highly recommend you follow his advice. And don't worry if you're not familiar with how online communities work--you don't need to know anything special. Here's the link to that article: 10 Ning Networks to Help You Land Your Next Job.

    Be sure to read the comments included after Dan's article, too. Readers provided even more great resources.

    Four Powerful Little Interview Tips

    1. What's In a Name? Pay attention to how interviewers introduce themselves. If he says "I'm Michael Smith" and she says "I'm Deborah Jones," address them as "Mr. Smith" and "Ms. Jones"--unless they tell you otherwise. If he says "I'm Michael," address him as "Michael"--not "Mike." If she says "I'm Patricia," address her as "Patricia"--not "Pat."

    2. Let Them Talk! People (even hiring managers) love to talk about themselves. If you encourage them to do so, they'll equate that lovely feeling they get from talking about themselves with YOU. Ask questions that make them believe you are truly interested in them. Be sincere. Make a connection.

    3. Be Mindful! The mind is an incredibly powerful tool. We often give hints about what we're thinking through our body language and other mannerisms. Use this to your advantage during the interview: mentally convince yourself that (1) you are absolutely the best candidate for the job; and (2) you like the interviewer and would love to work for him/her. When you consciously think these things, you will show it, and the interviewer will pick up on it. Use the power of your mind to the best of your ability.

    4. Be Likeable! Be professional during an interview, but not TOO professional. Let your friendly personality shine. Smile! Find a way to bond with the interviewer. When making hiring decisions, many managers select people they feel they can be friends with. Being likeable can be more important than being well-qualified.

    Honesty in Interviewing

    (This is a guest article by Judi Perkins)

    How honest should you be when you’re interviewing? Unequivocally 100% honest. But don’t confuse honesty with showing all your cards or not utilizing the power of presentation. Nor does honesty mean volunteering your dark secrets--perceived or otherwise--from the moment you walk through the door.

    For far too many candidates, honestly is one extreme or the other. Either the candidate throws everything out there too early and unnecessarily, or hides it because he’s defensive about whatever it is he doesn’t want to be honest about. Either way, it only causes trouble. Finding your perfect job does not mean giving all your power to the interviewing company.

    If there’s something in your employment history that’s caused you problems in the past, there’s no reason to blurt it out. You’ll get no recognition or appreciation for that. In fact, the only thing you’ll get in return is…dropped from consideration. Instead, examine the circumstances under which those problems took place and ask questions to make sure those conditions aren’t present in the job for which you’re interviewing. If they are, gracefully decline to continue the process.

    Being terminated, returning to the corporate world after self employment, and being unemployed for several months are just three instances that put candidates unnecessarily on the defensive. Flip it. Find the positive. What did you learn from being fired? What are your positive characteristics aside from what happened to cause the termination? And by the way, are you absolutely sure the termination was your fault? If it wasn’t, don’t say that outright! The phrasing of your presentation can convey the same meaning.

    Recently a client asked me to critique his resume and cover letter. They’d just been done by a professional firm, and he wasn’t comfortable with the result. He lives in one state and is planning on moving to another. They advised him to omit the locations of his previous jobs, saying “the job is about you, not the location.”

    They also advised him to get both a P.O. box and a phone number in his targeted city, then to enlist forwarding services. My question was, what happens when a prospective employer wants him to come in for an interview tomorrow, because they think he lives only a few miles away? There’s an easy way not to have the distance work against you so that you can search within an honest framework, but that’s another column.

    Then, as if those two instances of duplicity weren’t enough, they tucked his self-employment time under a previous job.

    Why walk into an interview crossing your fingers and hoping that they don’t find something out? How relaxed can you possibly be under those circumstances? And if they hire you and then discover the truth, you’re tainted, and everything else you do or say from that point on is suspect. They may even fire you.

    There’s one hard and fast rule that overrides any instance where you haven’t had to (or felt a reason to) provide what could be considered extraneous information. When you are asked a direct question, one usually designed to clarify, answer it directly, honestly and with a smile. Don’t lose your composure or get defensive. Handle it gracefully. Most situations aren’t the big deal many candidates perceive them to be.

    Keep the power within yourself. To find your perfect job, you need to know what you’re looking for. Your questions are designed to elicit that information, while your answers are designed to sell yourself, even as you’re processing what you’re learning. Remember, you have the power to make a choice too.

    By Judi Perkins, the How-To Job Coach. Judi was a recruiter for 22 years, consulting with hundreds of hiring authorities throughout the hiring process. When most coaches can only tell you "what" to do, she tells you “how, why, and why not." She’s been quoted in the New York Times and featured as an expert in numerous career books . For more of Judi’s tips, visit Find Your Perfect Job.


    More Articles. You can find more articles on my website by clicking on Article Index. Here are a couple of new ones you might enjoy:

  • Successful Networking: Give and Take

  • How to Stop Worrying About Your Job Search

    Can My Boss Do That? Do you have questions about what you–or your boss–can and can’t do in the workplace? Want to know what rights you have during layoffs? Find answers to many workplace legal questions here: This is another site that will help you with your research on salaries. It's pretty handy. You can search based on job title, company, or location. Unlike similar sites, this one does not provide statistical averages. Instead, "Each salary record on this site associates with a specific person's salary at a specific time." The data comes from the U.S. Department of Labor. So I'm betting it's more accurate than many other salary info sites. Here's the link:

    Save Money With Coupons. More than 40 million people search online for coupons they can print out for discounts at local stores. If you're one of them (or soon will be), here's a great site where you can search by zip code and/or product/service for coupons you can use right now (it took me about 30 seconds to find a $6-off coupon and a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for two of my favorite restaurants):

    Best Career Strategies. As mentioned above, I created a special report called "The Best Career Strategies of 2009: How to Get Hired and Get Ahead Even When the Economy is Getting Worse." It's super-duper awesome (because of the contributing authors, not because of me), and you can grab your F.REE copy here: Job Interview Success System. The job market is worse than ever, so doesn't it makes sense to get a big advantage over your competition when applying for a job? My system will give you that advantage... guaranteed. Get all the details here: Job Interview Success System.

    Worth Quoting

    "We must not promise what we ought not,
    lest we be called on to perform what we cannot.”
    (Abraham Lincoln)

    Just for Laughs

    The Laws

    * Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch or you'll have to pee.

    * Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

    * Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

    * Law of the Telephone: IIf you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal.

    * Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

    * Variation Law: If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will start to move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

    * Law of the Bath: When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

    * Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

    * Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

    * Law of Coffee: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

    * Law of Rugs/Carpets: The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

    * Brown's Law: If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

    * Oliver's Law: A closed mouth gathers no feet.

    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!


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