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The Perfect Responses to These 8 Common Interview Questions

first_imgIf you’ve been on more than one job interview, you may have noticed a little something: you are being asked similar interview questions. That’s not because your potential employers are unimaginative—it’s because these common questions reveal what everyone wants (and doesn’t want) in an employee. Knowing what questions are coming isn’t enough. It’s how you answer them that counts. So we asked two experts what employers really want to here in response to these eight common interview questions, and how you can ace your next interview. 1. Tell me about yourself. With this wide-open question—one that’s meant to help the potential employer learn more about you than what they read on your resume—there isn’t a set script. But you can really get off on the wrong foot by rambling, warns Sharlyn Lauby, president of consulting firm ITM Group Inc., founder of HR Bartender, and author of Essential Meeting Blueprints for Managers. “Try to remember the job interview is a discussion,” she says, suggesting you talk for a few minutes, and then “ask the interviewer, ‘Would you like for me to explain more?’”[Related: How to Prepare For The “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question]2. Why should we hire you over other candidates?Career coach Hallie Crawford says this question is your chance to really shine. “You should have a short story or two prepared with leverageable results to illustrate how you would be an asset to their organization,” she instructs, adding you should aim to be specific with those stories. “Saying, ‘I will help you to sell more of your products,’ is not specific and not compelling language,” Crawford says. “But, ‘I increased sales by 15 percent over a three-year period at my last position, so I am confident that I can implement the necessary strategies to achieve similar results in this position,’ is specific with a positive result.”[Related: Top 10 Oddball Interview Questions for 2016]3. What would your manager—or colleagues—say about you? Your potential employer doesn’t expect you to have psychic ability, but he or she does want you to be self-aware, Lauby explains. “Remember that what your manager would say [about you] is probably different than what colleagues would say, and be sure to share a story that might shed some light into your response.” 4. What is your preferred communication style? “Every organization has preferred methods of communication,” explains Lauby, and so a potential employer asks this question to gauge whether you can keep up with that method. No matter what, “answer this question with honesty,” she says. “If you absolutely can’t stand communicating via text message, don’t say text messaging is your favorite, because you’ll be miserable.” At the same time, if there are methods with which you’re not familiar, “it’s OK to say, ‘I don’t know a lot about [that method], but I’m confident I can learn,’” Lauby says.[Related: The 45 Questions You Should Ask In Every Job Interview]5. Why do you want to work for us?It may not seem like it, but this question takes research, Crawford says. “Do your research about the company before your interview and pick at least two things that you like or admire about the company to talk about,” she suggests. “Tell them about your long term career goals as well, and how this position, and the organization, fit into that plan.”[Related: 7 Things To Never Do In An Interview]6. What would you say is your biggest strength? And weakness? Like the communication question above, this one is all about honesty. “Don’t feel that your response needs to match what you said your manager and colleagues think of you,” says Lauby. “It’s perfectly natural to say, ‘One skill I haven’t been able to use much in my current role is [insert skill]. I hope to use it more in the role we’re discussing.’” For your weakness, Lauby warns you shouldn’t make something up to in order to make yourself look better. “HR pros see through the, ‘I’m a perfectionist,’ response,” Lauby says. So instead, think of a skill you’re working on, and can demonstrate some improvement on. For example, say, “I recently attended a customer service training program and I was reminded of some problem-solving skills that I need to start using again,” suggests Lauby.  [Related: How to Answer “What Is Your Greatest Weakness”]7. How have you overcome difficult work situations?Your potential employer isn’t looking to hear a hero story—he or she wants to hear about a problem you solved that you could encounter at his or her workplace, and one that applies to the position you want there. So, “make sure that your situation would describe a strength or personality trait that they are looking for,” says Crawford. “Try to think of a situation that you dealt with that could happen at the new position if you became an employee. And focus on your strengths during the story, not the details of what happened.”[Related: The Top Behavioral Interview Questions Asked by Employers]8. Why did you leave—or want to leave—your last job? When it comes to this question, a potential employer wants to hear your motivation—not your childish complaints. “Most people want to know if it’s OK to share disagreements and the answer is yes—but share them the right way, meaning as an adult,” says Lauby. “I’ve had candidates tell me their boss is an a–h–e. That’s not the way. But you can say, ‘the company has made some changes to their values and we’re not in alignment anymore. I wish them nothing but the best, but it’s time for me to find another opportunity.”DISCOVER: Search Open Jobs Hiring In Your Area Now!last_img read more

5 Things To Never Feel Bad About Doing Alone In a Relationship

first_imgDuring the honeymoon stage of a relationship, all you want to do is hang out with your partner – all the time. You sleep together, you eat together, and you go everywhere together. But once you start to get comfortable, things can change. Even when you have a significant other such as a spouse or life partner, you can be alone without doing everything together.Some people may feel bad if they enjoy an activity without their partner around. You can be assured that there are plenty of things that you can (and even should) do without your partner. What is more, you don’t have to feel bad about it! Here are some of the things you can do without your partner (that you should never feel guilty about).HERE ARE 5 THINGS TO NEVER FEEL BAD ABOUT DOING ALONE IN A RELATIONSHIP“Being alone and actually sitting with our own thoughts can lead to such growth and realizations that are rare in our everyday busy lives.” – Kourtney Kardashian1. SLEEP ALONEMany people get defensive over the idea of sleeping without their partner by their side. But sometimes, two people just aren’t compatible when it comes to sleeping arrangements. Some people toss and turn, while others tend to be blanket hogs or they “starfish” across the bed. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you shouldn’t feel bad about sleeping alone. Having a guest room is perfect for sneaking away to have the bed to yourself. After all, getting enough sleep is important for an overall healthy body, so you should never feel bad about putting your health first.2. WATCH A MOVIEFor some people, watching a movie is a couple’s activity. The truth is, there’s no reason you should deny yourself the joy of going out to see a movie just because your partner doesn’t want to go. It’s a good idea to have some alone time when you need it, even when you have a partner or spouse. Going out to a movie alone isn’t that big of a deal. Maybe you and your partner have different tastes in movies and can’t decide on what to see. That’s okay! It’s totally normal to go see a movie by yourself.3. EXERCISEAre you a fan of your partner seeing you at your lowest and sweatiest? Didn’t think so. Exercising isn’t a lot of fun for most people. Performing this strenuous activity alongside your partner can just be awkward, or downright uncomfortable. It’s okay if you’re more of a jog-alone kind of person. Or maybe you like to use your exercise time to zone out and let your thoughts go. Some people feel about exercise the way they feel about meditation: it is a one-person activity. There’s no reason to feel bad about hitting the gym on your own or jogging around the block without your partner. Exercising alone is something everyone can do without their partner and shouldn’t feel bad about it.4. GO OUT WITH FRIENDSDallan Flake, a sociologist at BYU, believes that it’s extremely important for people in relationships to have friends outside of the partnership. In fact, Flake even says that it is unrealistic to expect your partner to be able to be “everything” that you needed. Friendship is an important part of relationships. Going out with your friends – even without your partner – gives you both a needed break and gives you varied socialization that will be sure to keep you happy. You should never feel bad about going out with your friends – in fact, it’s highly encouraged!5. TRAVELNeed a vacation? Maybe you want to visit friends or family that live a few states over. Traveling by yourself is something that many partnered people tend not to do. After all, isn’t traveling with your partner twice the fun? Sure, taking vacations together can be a great way to spark the romance, but traveling alone has its benefits too. It’s okay to plan a weekend getaway alone every now and again. Everyone needs time on their own, and traveling is one of the great ways to get that necessary time. Don’t feel bad about planning a trip away from your partner. You’ll both enjoy the time alone. What is more, you will both be excited to see each other at the end of the trip.FINAL THOUGHTSDoing things alone is a great way to keep your independence, establish your boundaries, and keep a relationship from becoming stagnant. Of course, you and your partner likely enjoy doing many things together. And that’s great! At the same time, there are many things that can be done alone. No one should have to feel bad about seeking out some alone time away from their partner.Sourcelast_img read more