INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR JOBSEEKERS

Your resume captured the employer’s attention and now it’s time to organize for the interview! Reviewing questions and preparing ahead of time enhances confidence on your big day! Don’t be alarmed with unexpected interview questions. Be prepared to give proficient and thought-out responses, highlighting skills required for the job opening.  Do allow room for creativity as you may be asked perplexed questions, and rehearse the questions below with others for constructive feedback. Much success on your interview!

ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR INTERVIEW? CONSIDER THESE QUESTIONS:

1.  What are your career goals this coming year?

Share career goals and the steps you’re taking to achieve them. Having long-term and short-term goals paints a professional picture of your dreams and aspirations. Companies like individuals who are motivated and goal oriented.

2. Did your previous employer need improvement in any area?

The idea is to identify potential problems, while offering positive solutions. This is a great opportunity to highlight leadership skills, as well as strategies implemented that have proven successful in the past.

3.  Can you describe a challenging scenario, and share how you handled it?

Discrepancies on the job happen, yet how we handle circumstances makes all the difference. Think outside the box and get creative when pondering different solutions. For instance, you can share of a scenario when you went beyond your job duties to assist a client who was upset gathering resources, making phone calls, and more. This scenario shows employee flexibility, dedication, and strong leadership skills.

4.  What are looking to gain from our company?

Rather than focusing on pay rate and employee benefits, consider other positive attributes the company offers like longevity and opportunities for career growth.

5.  What are your professional strengths?

The interviewer wants to know what you have to offer to the company. Why should they choose you over other job candidates? Highlight attributes you possess that pertain to the job position at hand. For example, if you are applying for a customer service role, mention your people skills and ability to be a team player. Creating a self-assessment list prior to the interview can also prove beneficial.

6.  What professional areas are you looking to improve?

My recommendation is to share attributes that can be tolerated by other colleagues. These should be traits that can be worked on over time. For example, becoming more proficient in another language, learning a new software program, or getting to know co-workers.

7.  Why are you leaving your current employer?

The company is curious as to why you chose to resign from your current position. Be honest about circumstances causing you to leave or seek for new employment opportunities.  

8.  Why are you applying for this position?

Why did you choose this company over other employment opportunities? This is a great time to express your passion and qualities that make you the perfect candidate for the job. Share features that make the company stand out from other employers. For example, mention the length of time the company has been in business, or the professional assistance you’ve received since day one.  

9.  Are you willing to relocate for work if needed?

It’s important to show flexibility, but also be realistic in your response. Share work accommodations that fit your schedule and current lifestyle. Perhaps you are flexible and willing to relocate, yet only within the same state or county. Most companies will value your desire for a fair compromise.

10. Do you have any questions for me? 

Be prepared to ask questions. This shows interest in part of the potential job candidate. This is also a good time to inquire on company benefits, scheduling, and job expectations.

TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE PUBLIC SPEAKING

Speaking to large crowds comes easily for some, yet for others just the thought cultivates fear and anxiety. According to Psychology Today three out of four people fear public speaking. This form of anxiety is known as glossophobia or speech anxiety. By incorporating a few strategies you can boost your confidence and become an expert in giving speeches!

TIPS TO BECOME AN EXPERT AT GIVING SPEECHES:

Research and Prepare Ahead of Time: Give yourself ample time to prepare before conducting your speech. Create an outline of data and requirements to be accomplished in a timely fashion. This provides a visual guide with steps to ensure needed information is gathered before the presentation.  Researching beforehand fosters knowledge and confidence on the topic of discussion.

Practice with People You Feel Comfortable Around: Depending on your preference your audience can be friends, family, colleagues, or other people you know. A good strategy is to begin with smaller audiences and gradually increase. A progressive adjustment to larger audiences exposes the individual to the cause of anxiety at a manageable level. This can be more accommodating than the sudden impact of presenting before a large audience.

Focus on Your Message: Concentrate on the message you’re seeking to convey, rather than on the audience. It can be nerve-racking to see numerous people starring at you. Instead focus on your thoughts and the points to be address in an orderly fashion. For instance, plan ahead what you intend to say in the beginning, middle, and end of your speech. This gives room for creativity in between, but also structure in the event your mind wonders. Flashcards, PowerPoint slides with bullet points, or simple mental notes can serve as reminders to keep focused. This may also decrease anxiety being a tool of reference when feeling under pressure.

Stop, Breathe, and Then Continue:  If nervousness sets in stop speaking, take a few deep breathes, and then resume. Taking a few moments to collect your thoughts and balance intense emotions can prove beneficial.

Allow Room for Error: Becoming an expert at giving speeches takes practice and dedication. It may take a few experiences before you feel overly confident. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and be patient as this is a learning process. Remember practice makes perfect, and that requires time and experiences.

10 CONFLICT-RESOLUTION TIPS WHEN DEALING WITH DIFFICULT COWORKERS

We can all relate to challenging coworkers who get a thrill from complicating situations. Whether it’s a power struggle or unresolved issues at core, such individuals can be a burden to work with. Difficult employees not only influence colleagues but the company as a whole, impacting employee longevity and work performance. Therefore, it’s critical to be prompt in addressing and settling problematic behaviors.

10 TIPS FOR CONFLICT-RESOLUTION WHEN DEALING WITH DIFFICULT COWORKERS 

Tip #1 Pinpoint problematic behaviors:

Take note of demands, insults, or other rude comments done by a colleague or team members at work. This information may come in handy if you need to schedule a meeting with a supervisor. Some challenging behaviors include arrogance, moodiness, jealousy, extreme competitiveness, rudeness, selfishness, demanding, derogatory statements, yelling, making fun of others, and mean comments.

Tip #2 Assess the situation:

Is it common for the individual to behave in this manner, or can they be having a bad day? It’s important not to take things personal if someone is having a hard day at work. On the other hand, some individuals like to complicate matters for everyone else. Ask yourself the following questions: Is this person simply having a difficult day? Are factors in his/her personal life triggering negative responses towards others at work?

Tip #3 Identify the problem:

Do you notice the same behaviors with other coworkers, or does it appear to be a personal issue? Perhaps this employee has a short fuse and gets upset easily. Other times employee frustrations result from the role of a particular individual(s) in the company. For example, if you were chosen for the manager position regardless of another employees seniority in the company. In this case, frustration is taken out on the individual for the position they hold, not for personal traits. If this employee were to be demoted, the problematic behaviors from the coworker would most likely dissipate. There are also employees, who don’t like individuals who hold leadership positions. Again, it’s not a personal issue, but rather a generalized attitude towards individuals who sustain managerial positions in the workforce.

Tip #4 Confront the problem:

Once you’ve taken time to identify the problem it’s important to confront the situation. Unresolved issues tend to worsen over time, partly related to assumptions and the buildup of negative emotions. If you find it safe to speak directly with the individual, do so with caution and in a professional manner. It’s best to involve a third party such as a manger or supervisor who can direct the situation and assist with problem-solving strategies.

Tip #5 Maintain a positive attitude:

Regardless of the final outcome keep a positive attitude. No one person is liked by all, meaning we will likely experience disapproval from another at some point in our lives. It’s advisable not to take another’s actions personal, but rather to focus on fulfilling your job role. Maintaining a professional relationship with coworkers is key for job fulfillment. Although it may be challenging to uphold a good attitude with difficult coworkers, it serves as a personal benefit and gratification to keep positive.

Tip #6 Stay professional:

Don’t lower your standards and professional conduct for anyone. Even if you are informed of others who are spreading rumors or gossiping about you, don’t fall into the trap. In time people will notice your character and those of problematic coworkers.

Tip #7 Uphold confidentiality:

Refrain from sharing your personal circumstance with other employees. Keep things private between the difficult employee and your supervisor. There is no need for others to get involved.

Tip #8 Show kindness:

Displaying kindness eventually offsets challenging behaviors. The challenging co-worker will realize that his/her tactics are simply not working. Even if the issue continues, your consideration will be evident to other coworkers who can serve as a support system and advocates if need arises.

Tip #9 Change your work environment:

If possible request a transfer to another department or office space. Some companies offer various work shifts, allowing for flexibility in work days and time. Other organizations have multiple locations permitting for employee transfers within the company.

Tip #10 Stay true to your character:

Regardless of another’s behavior, stand your ground and stay true to your character. Don’t hand your potential with the company to someone else. Interact as little as possible with problematic individuals. When assigned projects with such coworkers keep conversations to the point, stay polite, and be confident in your skills as a valuable employee to the company.