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Top 10 Interview Questions & Tips

If you want to be good at anything, it takes practice and that includes preparing for interviews. You must craft your STAR stories and practice your responses to interviewing questions. 

Q1 Interviewer: “Why did you leave your last employer?”

Response from candidate #1: “I was laid off.”

Your response as candidate #2: “ I enjoyed working for the ZYX company for 2 (5, 8, 15, etc.) years. I started as a Customer Service Representative and worked my way up to the Customer Service Manager in 4 years. I worked well with my team and the management staff. Last year, the company lost its largest account and decided to downsize. I was in the third and last reduction in force. When I left, only the maintenance people were there to keep the pipes from freezing.

Evaluate: Who will stand above the competition, who will be remembered?

Tip: Answer questions in paragraphs, not sentences. Paint a picture with your responses to be considered for the second interview.

Q2 Interviewer: “What are three strengths that you bring to the position?”

Tip: Answer with three strengths from the job requirements, using metrics, written using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. Keep in mind the three reasons you are being hired: 

  • Make money for your new employer
  • Save money for your new employer
  • Save time for your new employer

Q3 Interviewer: “What would you consider your greatest accomplishment, so far, in your career?”

Tip: Your response should match any of the job requirements, using metrics, written using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. You should have at least five accomplishment stories matching five different job requirements.

Q4 Interviewer: “Where do you expect to be with our company in the next three years?”

Tip: You want to learn everything there is to know about the position. You are looking to become a bottom-line contributor to the company and become known as a corporate asset as soon as possible.

Q5 Interviewer: “Why should I hire you? Why do you feel you are more qualified for this position than your competitor? What are you bringing to this position?”

Tip: Draw a “T” on a blank page. On the left side, write out job requirements. On the right side, write out and script work-related experiences or transferrable skills using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Tip: Practice interview questions into a mirror, into a voice or video recorder, or practice with a friend or family member. Practice until you can respond in a conversational tone, with passion and motivation. Pretend you are in show business.

Q6 Interviewer: “What questions do you have for me?”

Tip: Respond in the following manner. Yes, I have a few questions for you, but before I get to those, “Do you have any hesitation about my qualifications for this position?”

Then follow up with 3-7 questions about the job itself.

Q7 Interviewer: “What is one thing your former manager asked you to improve upon?”

Tip: State the weakness and the recovery.

Q8 Interviewer: “What would your co-workers say about you?”

Tip: Organized, problem solver, and friendly.

Q9 Interviewer: “Have you gotten angry at work?”

Tip: Use STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result, and respond that you are a good listener, you compromise when necessary, you seek suggestions, and if this fails, you bring the problem to management.

Q10 Interviewer: “What are your salary expectations?”

Tip: Can you share with me what is budgeted for this position? If pushed, have a range in mind.

On Fridays, from 9-11 AM EST, join Les Segarnick for a free workshop on Interviewing Techniques, currently run via Zoom. Register at http://bit.ly/WayneFri9a and also on the meetup of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group at https://www.meetup.com/Philadelphia-Area-Great-Careers-Group/. You must be a meetup member before you can RSVP. 

  

Author BIO

Les Segarnick (The Interview Doctor) is an accomplished recruitment expert, volunteer, and instructor. He has established himself as a well-respected advisor to professionals seeking new job opportunities. Since retiring as President and Owner of Action Employment Services, a national recruiting firm that he owned and led for more than three decades, Les has focused his efforts on sharing his knowledge and expertise in the areas of interview techniques and job search strategies through a wide array of volunteer activities. He is currently serving as a facilitator of multiple career development and job search workshops in Montgomery County, PA, and regularly spends time conducting one-on-one practice interviews with people in job transition, at no charge. 

Les has also lectured in a variety of classroom settings on such topics as elevator pitch, resume critique, interview techniques, job search strategies, networking, and the importance of using keywords . He has spoken to Juniors and Seniors at the Fox School of Business at Temple University on job and internships searches.

Through his experience as a hands-on owner of a national recruiting firm, Les was personally involved in more than 3,500 job placements and over 1000 practice interviews. His company specialized in engineering, sales, and marketing, and successfully placed professionals throughout Western New York and around the country. Known as the “The Interview Doctor,” his motto is “Ask Me How I Make a Difference.”

Getting Noticed on LinkedIn Is Important for Your Career Whether Self-Employed, Employed, Freelancer, Unemployed, or Student

Do you realize that there are over 690+ million people on LinkedIn? Do you know how important it is to be on this platform for your career … AND be active?  

Every second of the day, two people join LinkedIn. This is a place where you can establish your brand and tell your career story … past, present, and future. 

You can reinvent yourself or begin a career all over and tell your future forward. 

WordCamp Philly is running online on Saturday, September 26, 2020. This article was inspired by my presentation on Why Getting Noticed on LinkedIn Is Important for Your Career at Wordcamp 2019.

Here are just some of the reasons why you should be on LinkedIn whether you are self-employed, employed, freelancer, unemployed, or a student:

  • Start building your online resume that grows with you in your career
  • Start collecting endorsements and recommendations from employers, clients, teachers, etc.
  • Connect with alumni and classmates for internships, future jobs, and client work
  • Add a customized LinkedIn URL to your business card, resume website, brochure, etc.
  • Highlight awards and honors, as well as projects and publications
  • Explore companies and higher education
  • Use a Boolean search in LinkedIn to find industry professionals 
  • Use a Boolean search in Google to find industry professionals on LinkedIn
  • Search for jobs and get found by potential employers
  • Connect with others you meet at networking events
  • Engage in conversations in LinkedIn groups on topics of interest
  • Give/receive recommendations and endorsements
  • Lead generation > write about your area(s) of expertise on the home page, in groups, or write articles
  • Create projects where you have worked with others to showcase collaboration
  • Create a company page to highlight your expertise and get followers (check out this LinkedIn resource for your small business)
  • Let LinkedIn be your online portfolio
  • Start or join an engagement pod to get your groupies to like and comment on each others’ posts
  • Tell your story and your WHY you love doing what you do
  • Add media to your profile to showcase your talent, creativity, skills, products, services, etc.
  • Find the hashtags for your areas of interest and post using 3 hashtags
  • Create meta tags and alt tags in LinkedIn with keywords
  •  Add emojis, icons, and symbols to your profile for a pop of color
  • Find out your Social Selling Index (SSI) score to get your “report card grade” on LinkedIn
  • Use the FIND NEARBY feature on the app on your phone to connect with others in the nearby vicinity

No matter what … keep on learning! You don’t know what you don’t know. 

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

 

 

Cultural Intelligence on LinkedIn

What is cultural intelligence?  Like emotional intelligence, or EQ, cultural intelligence, or CQ, consists of four components: drive, knowledge, strategy, and action (Livermore, 2015). Drive has to do with the motivation to plan the cultural aspects of the project. Knowledge refers to knowing how any cultural influences may affect a project. Strategy has to do with the visions and insights in planning the project. Actions have to do with behavioral changes that need to be…

LinkedIn Engagement Pods - What They Are & How They Work

Are you hoping to beat the LinkedIn algorithm? Maybe you need some help to get your posts to gain more views. Maybe LinkedIn engagement pods are worth considering … or maybe not. 

Perhaps you don’t even know what an engagement pod is. It’s a group of LinkedIn users in a private group who agree to the group’s rules to like, comment, or share each other’s posts so they get more traction on the platform. 

Most people want to grow their professional networks if they are active LinkedIn users and they want their articles and posts to get lots of views, but they may get stymied by the algorithm. So, these engagement pod groups exist and they communicate through using a certain # hashtag on LinkedIn. 

There are even some LinkedIn users who collaborate outside of LinkedIn, such as in Facebook groups, and they share their LinkedIn posts there hoping people will engage back on LinkedIn. 

You can read more details about the pros and cons of pods from this article or guide or just Google the keywords to learn more.  

Note that if you are a small business and get your employees on board, they can help share your company’s content via a pod. However, pod themes can go beyond a company. They might be related to an industry, a customer, a role (CEOs, CMOs, etc.), shared interest, or quality.

Warning! Prepare for constant pings on your phone based on the activity of the group members, especially if they are in different parts of the world in different time zones. They can be disruptive to your productivity, so you need to weigh the benefits.

Nonetheless, you may learn and grow from others, as well as get more engagement on your posts. 

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

LinkedIn Publishing - The How and Why

Just start writing articles on LinkedIn! Just start publishing! Just start posting and commenting and sharing and liking!

You don’t make the NFL or get the first violin chair without practice.

So, the Jeopardy answer is … be like Nike as Just Do It! The Jeopardy question is, What if I am scared to write an article on LinkedIn?

In the past week, a couple of attendees in my network asked me to write an article on how to publish an article on LinkedIn, so here are some FAQs.

  • Why publish on LinkedIn? You can share your professional expertise as a job seeker, employed person, or self-employed business owner and flex your wordsmithing muscles. No pain, no gain!
  • Why write articles as a business owner? Share information and create a call to action.
  • Where can I get ideas? LinkedIn and Feedly
  • Could I create a poll to get ideas? Yes
  • Could I compile articles from others? Yes
  • Could I get quotes from industry experts or influencers to add to my article? Yes
  • Can I see how the title of my article would score compared to other titles? Try Coschedule Headline Analyzer.
  • Need to create an image for your article? Try Canva or Over or make a Word Cloud. Need live training for that? Save the dates of 8/1 and 8/25.
  • What is the image size for the article? 744 x 400 pixels or 2000 x 600 (LinkedIn needs an update!)
  • What details should I know about publishing? LinkedIn Instructions for drafts, multimedia, images, third party content, hashtags, video, and error messages.
  • What do I need to know about hashtags? Once you publish your article, you cannot edit, delete, or add other hashtags
  • How do I check my grammar and punctuation? Grammarly
  • Can I re-purpose the blogs I already write? Absolutely! Great idea! 
  • How long should my articles be?  Articles that are 900-1400 words might fare better than those that are 300-400 words.
  • Are there standard features like bold, italics, underline, alignment, bulleted lists, numbered lists, and block quotes? Yes
  • Can I add an image, video, slides, links, snippets? Yes
  • Can I make hyperlinks in my article? Yes, highlight the text you want to hyperlink and find the link symbol and click and add the URL.
  • Can I tag people in articles? You can tag people in posts.
  • Can I publish my article in groups? Yes, but make each post unique in a group.
  • Can I share my LinkedIn article on Twitter? Yes and on other social media platforms too
  • Can I get analytics for my article? Yes, and read more.
  • Can I edit an article after I publish it? Yes
  • Can I delete an article after I publish it? Yes
  • Where do I begin? Go to your home page and click on write an article. 
  • What should I do after I publish it? Engage with your audience on the comments.
  • What if I’m scared to try? Be like Nike and just do it or plan on attending LinkedIn part 2 of 3 workshop on August 1st for step by step live instruction. Register with the library on August 1st. To make a LinkedIn headline or graphic for your article, sign up for the August 25th LinkedIn Lunch & Learn. 

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

LinkedIn General & Jobseeker Factoids

Did you know there are a couple of hashtags to use on LinkedIn as a job seeker? Keep reading!

Did you know there was a LinkedIn directory where you can look yourself up? When I discovered this little factoid, I was on L Page 1463, and now I am on L page 1501. Why? Because every second, two people join LinkedIn.

If you want to see what page you are on, here is the link and you check by your first name – https://www.linkedin.com/directory/people-a

If you want to keep tabs on what is going on on LinkedIn, check out their blog at https://blog.linkedin.com/. You can subscribe by clicking in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. You can further customize by topic of interest at https://blog.linkedin.com/topics

A couple of articles with a lot of LinkedIn statistics and facts I recently came across is from Kinsta and is worth a read – click here, and another from Omnicore is here.

Andy Foote from Chicago shares some valuable content about LinkedIn on his website https://www.linkedinsights.com/ so check that out too.

Do you have a company page where someone says they work(ed) for you or attended your educational institution and really didn’t? This act may have been purposeful or it may have been completely innocent and in error. If you ask them to remove themselves and they do not, you can fill out this form on LinkedIn.

The hashtags for job seekers are #ONO and #opentowork

#ONO stands for open to new opportunities, and this can be in your headline or within your profile. It is searchable. Just type #ONO in the search bar and see, for yourself, what pops up.

#opentowork is also an option where you can let your network know you are open to new opportunities. Read this article, as well as other related articles on LinkedIn’s knowledge base for further details. 

You can make this #opentowork feature public, so everyone sees it on your profile, or you can choose to make it open to recruiters only. Choosing open to recruiters would be the better choice if you are employed and privately looking for a job

If you choose to share it with all LinkedIn members and make it open to the public, there is  a new #opentowork photo frame available on LinkedIn. The perception of this photo frame might be either desperate for a job or ready to work. As we are each entitled to our own opinions, you decide what is best for you.  

If you are a job seeker, make sure you look for urgent need jobs that companies are trying to fill. Are you still hoping to stay safe at home and work remotely? There is a list of over 300 links for remote jobs and resources, and this supports a local nonprofit that helps job seekers, and you get so many other valuable benefits.

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

 

What are Your Pronouns? Are They Used on LinkedIn?

Are you using your pronouns on LinkedIn or elsewhere? Do you even know what using your pronouns means?

Did you know that on Facebook there were 58 gender options

A little over a half-century ago, on June 28, 1969, the Stonewall riots occurred in Greenwich Village after a police raid, that involved patrons at a gay club, became violent.

June is now designated LGBT Pride month.

If you are an employer, a hiring manager, in HR, an ally, part of the LGBTQ+, or a someone who wants to learn more about LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in the Workplace, save the date of Monday, August 10, 2020 6-8 PM for a special presentation on this topic on Zoom. The image used for this August 10th event is the straight ally flag, which represents that you are straight, but you do not hate. You may also want to learn how to be a Safezone Ally

Read about some companies that celebrate pride all year long and check out the Philly Gay Pride site, Philadelphia Gay News, and tune into #globalpride on 6abc on Saturday, June 27th. 

As a straight ally, I felt the need to educate myself to learn more about all of these gender options. The educator in me is now sharing this knowledge with you. For example, Trans* with the asterisk is used to denote inclusivity and diversity of gender identities and “interrupt the viewers and readers attention momentarily, to draw attention to genderist assumptions about identities” (Patton et al., 2016, p. 179).

There are many differences between sex, gender, and sexual identities that are very distinctive and, without definitions, it might be challenging to compare and contrast. Sex is typically defined as differences between males and females that are biological and physiological in nature with DNA chromosomes, genes, and sexual organs  (Patton et al., 2016). Gender refers to a differentiation that is influenced socially relating to roles and behaviors, as well as attributes and activities in how individuals conduct themselves in society (Patton et al., 2016). Although closely related, gender and sex are not synonymous.

These identities interact with an individual’s experience by how they identify, which could be feminine, masculine, both, or neither as a sense of self and choice of gender expression. Gender expression might evolve and change through an individual’s life. To better understand and make sense of these concepts, binary systems (categories of two things) can be used to identify sex as male or female, gender identity as male or female, gender role as masculine or feminine, and sexual orientation as heterosexual or homosexual. 

Society is dealing with a spectrum of gender identity and how people behave and present or identify themselves. Individuals are grappling with issues regarding bathrooms, dorm roommates, sports competitions, legal documents, marriage, health insurance, healthcare services, surgeries, military, scouting, laws, policies, discrimination, “alienation, harassment, … violence,” and so much more (Patton et al., 2016, p. 180). 

Other identities, such as race, ethnicity, or social class, interact with individuals’ gender identities by their personal interactions, peer culture, and environments (Patton et al., 2016). Individuals’ understanding of acceptable expressions of masculinity and femininity differ across other identities. People can explore how they dress, wear their hair and makeup, wear jewelry, and set their posture based on their own self-concept and self-perception (Patton et al., 2016).

Many of the definitions for these terms for gender expression can be found in this glossary. Perhaps some of these terms may be new to you, as they were to me. 

  • Agender
  • Androgyne
  • Androgynous
  • Bigender
  • Cis
  • Cisgender 
  • Cis Female
  • Cis Male
  • Cis Man
  • Cis Woman
  • Cisgender Female
  • Cisgender Male
  • Cisgender Man
  • Cisgender Woman
  • Female to Male 
  • FTM
  • Gender Fluid
  • Gender Nonconforming
  • Gender Questioning
  • Gender Variant
  • Genderqueer
  • Intersex
  • Male to Female
  • MTF 
  • Neither
  • Neutrois
  • Non-binary
  • Other
  • Pangender
  • Trans
  • Trans*
  • Trans Female
  • Trans* Female
  • Trans Male
  • Trans* Male
  • Trans Man
  • Trans* Man
  • Trans Person
  • Trans* Person
  • Trans Woman
  • Trans* Woman
  • Transfeminine
  • Transgender 
  • Transgender Female
  • Transgender Male
  • Transgender Man
  • Transgender Person
  • Transgender Woman
  • Transmasculine
  • Transsexual 
  • Transsexual Female
  • Transsexual Male
  • Transsexual Man
  • Transsexual Person
  • Transsexual Woman
  • Two-Spirit

You have seen many companies use a pride overlay on their logos, and this month LinkedIn is proudly sporting their rainbow logo. But do individuals use their pronouns on LinkedIn? Moreso no, then yes, but some do. If you follow #pronouns and #lgbtq and related hashtags on LinkedIn, you will see that people are making posts, and the number of followers is sure to increase over time, especially with the new Federal law protecting LGBTQ rights in the workplace.

References

Patton, L. D., Renn, K. A., Guido, F. M., & Quaye, S. J. (2016). Student development in college (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.