Career

Interview Question: What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Job interviewThis is a textbook interview question and is mainly asked because people who interview infrequently research questions to ask and this one always pops up with “where do you want to be in 5 years.” Some human resource professionals ask it because they believe the answer provides special insight to as to what the candidate thinks of him/herself.

The question has some variations such as asking for the top three or five strengths and/or weaknesses or the questions asked separately during different parts of the interview.

How to answer it:

Dressing for Success

I came across a great site run by the Tip Diva that’s full of tips on everything imaginable. One post that I found particularly helpful is “Dressing your best.”

Whether you’re at a networking event, on a job interview or giving a speech, it’s important to look professional. The tips in this post are excellent suggestions to help you look your best

Self-expression during an interview

We’re all unique and many of us take great pride in the way we express ourselves through our clothing, accessories and language. One challenge that many people, especially younger folks just entering the workforce, face is whether or not to limit one’s self-expression during a job interview. I’m often asked philosophical questions about conforming for the sake of landing a job and some people are more adamant and/or sensitive about the issue than others. Some are the typical rebels without a clue while others have passionate beliefs that they like to express through their appearance.

Interview Question: Why did you leave your last job?

This question, which may also be phrased as “why do you want to leave your current job?” is one of the most common questions asked during an interview (and rightfully so). As interviewers, we want to know why things didn’t work out between a potential hire and his or her past/present employer.

Sometimes, the answer is easy:

  • The employer had a reduction in force.
  • The employer is relocating and the employee doesn’t want to move.
  • The employer is no longer in business.

Identity Theft Company Puts its Money where its mouth is

I normally ignore commercials that I hear on the radio but one from identity theft protection company LifeLock grabbed my attention. Todd Davis, the CEO of LifeLock, provided his social security number in the ad to show his confidence in the service his company offers. He also does this in print and television ads as well as on the company’s website.

Illegal Question #3: Are you a US citizen?

Why they ask it:

Normally, I try not to editorialize too much on these questions but this is one that I believe can warrant some serious debate. Before I get to my own opinion on the subject, I want to clarify that it is currently legal to ask a person if they are authorized to work in the United States – you just can’t ask them if they are a citizen (as opposed to having a green card or work visa). You are allowed to ask someone flat out if they are legally authorized to work in the United States.

Illegal Question #2: Do you have Children?

Why they ask it:
Like Question #1, this sometimes comes up in casual conversation during an interview with the interviewer not realizing that it’s an illegal question.

In other cases, the interviewer is trying to figure out the candidate’s commitments outside of work. People with school aged children occasionally take time off when their kids are sick or the school is closed. They may have restricted schedules due to child care arrangements.

How to answer it:

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