Inside a job interview answers to the 15 most frequently asked questions part 4

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Copyright 2006 Ed Bagley15) What would you do if . . . ?. This question about imagined situations is usually posed to evaluate your reaction and judgment about decision-making matters involving the position.

The answer here is to remember that the quality of your solution is not nearly as important as your attitude and approach toward the solution.

Your first answer should be that the situation is probably not new, and your first move would be consult your superior who has more knowledge and experience in dealing with the problem, or you would ask others who have likely encountered the situation how they resolved the problem.

Then, be sure to qualify your answer, whatever it may be. Say “I might consider . . .,” rather than “I would . . .” Always strive to be calm and rational in your approach, and certainly be open to receiving more information upon which to base a decision, or take an action.

Remember, too, that some problems will resolve themselves if you do not rush to judgment too quickly. Sometimes responding quickly actually adds to the problem or challenge. Even consultants oftentimes suggest the right answer to the wrong problem. Consultants can be quick to tell you the answer to your problem when they have not even identified the actual problem, but thought they did.

The bottom line here is to know that the more information you have, and the better it is, the more likely you are to make an intelligent decision.

This ends the answers to the 15 most frequently asked questions during a job interview, and almost begs the question: What do employers really want when hiring?. The answer may surprise you.

Most potential employees are told that employers are looking for someone with a degree and hands-on skills.

While this is true in many cases, you should know that employers are also looking for someone who can do the job.

This is why they are not necessarily looking for someone with only education, experience and knowledge, as important as these three attributes may be.

Some employers will not hold it against you if you do not have education, experience, knowledge or obvious ability going for you.

For some prospects, the ego is so well developed that an employer cannot teach them anything because they already know everything.

The ego, in this case, becomes a barrier to learning.

It is really helpful to be an open, willing spirit without all the answers; and this applies whether you have education, experience, knowledge and ability, or you do not.

While employers may not hold it against you if you do not have education, experience and knowledge, they will hold it very much against you if you have a poor personality and cannot get along (work) with people. Remember that attitude drives personality. A person with a good attitude generally has a good personality. A person with a bad attitude generally has a bad personality.

In other words, the single biggest thing you have going for yourself is people skills. People skills are more important in the long run than education, experience, knowledge, talent and intelligence.

Some clients feel people skills are an option. They are not an option; they are mandatory if you expect to get ahead in this world.

When you greet customers or fellow employees, the last thing a business or organization can afford is for you to cost them customers, or the support of other employees because you are a negative person who cannot get along or work with other people.

Believe it or not, the two most important qualities you have going for you are 1) Your personality, which is driven by your attitude, and 2) Your ability to deal with people effectively.

Therefore, it makes all kinds of sense to sell yourself first in an interview before you sell your education, experience, knowledge or special abilities. It is vital in an interview to establish a high likeability factor, without it, you may not get an offer, no matter what qualifications you are bringing to the position.

If you do no more than learn how to smile, be enthusiastic, and act interested in people, it may well take you farther than the knowledge gained by an expensive college education combined with a bad attitude.

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