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Job Interview Tips: How to Survive 10 Awkward Situations

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https://www.thecut.com/article/job-interview-tips-how-to-survive-10-awkward-situations.html

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Job Interview Tips: How to Survive 10 Awkward Situations
The Cut's Ask a Boss columnist Alison Green offers job interview tips for 10 different situations that may come up with a job interviewer, from what to say if you're stumped by a job interview question to how to explain a past firing.

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The Job Interview

The Job Interview

Hunting for a job is a tricky process and may have many pitfalls. Many of us are not accustomed to having these kinds of conversations or handling the power dynamics of a job interview. There can b...

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A Long Multi-Round Process

A Long Multi-Round Process

If you feel there is fog ahead of you due to opacity in the interview process and the multiple rounds, you can simply ask the next steps of the process and the timeline for a decision.

If y...

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Stumped By A Question

Instead of bluffing your way through a question that you are completely stumped with, it is better to be upfront and handle it with honesty and grace. Tell them straight away that you do not know t...

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Bad Online Reviews

If you have to ‘clear your mind’ regarding the companies perception, or bad reviews online, before you make a multi-year career commitment, you can ask in a collaborative way, like: “I noticed ...

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Different Interviewers Saying Different Things

Often, in a multi-round interview, where one gets to meet a variety of interviewers, there can be conflicting information regarding key result areas or training method/duration, and the transition ...

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Handling Inappropriate Questions

While it is illegal to select based on one’s religion, ethnicity, or plans for children, many interviewers still ask about this as it is not illegal to ask.

Answer with a smile and ask a pr...

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Explaining A Past Firing

While a majority of prospects have murky pasts, full of setbacks, gap months and difficult to explain scenarios, like getting fired, the employer will still ask and it can be a challenge to answer ...

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Handling Sample Or Free Work

From a learning perspective, it is good to have some assignment that the interviewer provides you with, as long as it does not hamper your current work or your work-life balance.

If you can...

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Asking For A Perk

Asking for a Working From Home option or your own personal office seems like something you should negotiate in advance.

  1. For Work From Home, try to ask only if your job is possible from...

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A Bad Interview

If you are convinced your ‘performance’ was a bad and it happens, you can still try to salvage it. A thank you note/email explaining a few things and showing your interest in the job might help cha...

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Negotiating Salary

There are some phrases that can be used to enthusiastically ask for the package you want.

“I am really excited about this job and am hoping the salary would be higher! Would you be able...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Confirm with everyone

It's not uncommon for hiring managers to hand you over to someone else on the team to meet you at the last minute. Send a quick email to encourage them to plan: 

Hi Kamala, I’m really...

The interviewer’s LinkedIn and Twitter

Skim their history on LinkedIn, then move way down to the bottom. If they have endorsements and recommendations, it can give you a feel for their management style.

Twitter can help you guess at an interviewer's personality, interests, and values.

Your “about me” answer

Your interviewer will probably open with some form of "Tell me a little about yourself.Plan your answer using a few quick bullet points to keep things brief en then commit it loosely to memory.

  • Skip your personal history.
  • Give two or three sentences about your career path.
  • Mention how you decided to apply to this job.
  • Leave enough curiosity that the interviewer becomes excited to learn more about you.

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The reason for the question

Interviewers ask questions like "tell me about yourself "  to determine if you're qualified to do the work and if you will fit in with the team.

How to Answer the Question

It might be a good idea to share something about yourself that is doesn't relate directly to your career. 

For example, interests like running might represent that you are healthy and energetic. Pursuits like being an avid reader might showcase your intellectual leaning. Volunteer work will demonstrate your commitment to the welfare of your community.

The “present-past-future” formula

This is a simple formula to construct your response.

  • Start with a short overview of where you are now (which could include your current job along with a reference to a personal hobby or passion).
  • Reference how you got to where you are (you could mention education, or an important experience, internship or volunteer experience).
  • Finish by describing a probable goal for the future.

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“Tell me about yourself”

... is one of the interview questions that most intimidates job seekers and one that most interviewers assume will be easy. It sounds straightforward — but as every job seeker knows, it...

What your interviewer is looking for

"Tell me about yourself" doesn’t mean “give me your complete history from birth until today.”  It doesn’t even mean “walk me through your work history.” It means “give me a brief overview of who you are as a professional.”

Interviewers who ask this question are generally looking to get a broad overview of how you see yourself, as a sort of introduction or an icebreaker before starting to dive into the specifics. 

"Tell me about yourself" - recommended answer

  • Summarize where you are in your career, note anything distinctive about how you approach your work and end with a bit about what you’re looking for next.
  • Your answer only needs to be about 1 minute long.
  • Don’t drag yourself. This isn’t the time to explain you were fired from your last job or to confess your difficulties finding the right career path.
  • Keep your focus professional, not personal.