Job Interviews

The first, and often only, chance to make a great face-to-face impression and put yourself ahead of other candidates is the job interview. Ask questions for help with dealing with tough questions and for suggestions on how to make a good first impression.

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How do you answer 'What are your strengths and weaknesses' in a job interview?

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This can be the most difficult question asked by the interviewer to evaluate your honesty and your confidence level. Such questions are fairly typical when applying for a job. The purpose of asking this question is firstly to see how you handle a stress question and secondly how you actually respond to it. As with most things, it is all about preparation. You have to prepare an answer for this question for every job interview before you go. Think about such questions in advance and have your friendus ready. If you fail to prepare then be prepared to fail. There are many 'standard' questions. There are no standard friendus as most are asking about you personally. Because of that no one but yourself can answer many of the questions you will be asked. Be positive; do not repeat what you have read in books or on the Internet. By all means read sample friendus, but do not repeat them verbatim. The person interviewing you will have read all those friendus too. An experienced interviewer would have heard every clichéd answer to this question and will know when you are feeding them a line. First impressions count for far more than many realise. There is more to having a successful job interview than just answering the questions asked. Many would say much more. Listen to what is being said. Answer only the question asked. Don't ramble. The most important thing about what you say is for it to be something resolvable, or an area in which you can improve and to show how you are trying to solve this or that issue. Weaknesses do not exist, just challenges and solutions: Try to tailor your responses to your specific job or task. You should always turn your weakness into a positive attribute. The trick is to talk about your weaknesses so that they can also appear to be a strength. Focus on your strengths, but have an answer regarding a challenge you have met and overcome. Think of any trait or skill you have that pertains to the job you are applying for. Think of instances when you have shown a lot of skill in that area. It is important to answer the question without making it look like you have a weakness that might prevent you from getting hired. At the same time, you don't want to mention a weakness that isn't really a weakness but confidently answer the question by telling how you want to improve yourself by constantly learning from your own self-analysis. Create an honest list of what you think are your strengths or weaknesses and then select a few of them you can remember. Practice your responses so that they sound natural and you are prepared for the question. Don't come up with statements such as I am a perfectionist or I have no weaknesses. Keep your friendus career-related and precise. So, don't try to portray yourself as Mr/Miss perfect, as we all have some flaws. Just be careful, and state your weak point by adding that you are working towards overcoming it. The best way to answer would be to choose something that can be turned around to look like a strength. The key is to turn the weakness - a negative character trait - into something positive. Examples: "One of my weaknesses is that I do not quit until I get the job done. I want to make sure that everything I do is my best and in the right order". "My computer skills were lacking a little, but I got trained and got my skills up-to-date." Or, you can say that your written communication skills are not amazing, but you are currently (or planning to register) for a course in creative writing, or business communication, or professional writing, etc... Weaknesses that can also be strengths: Tell about your weaknesses that are also strengths. I am a hard-worker and sometimes I work too hard I am a perfectionist and want everything to be done right the first time I'm too helpful. A good helper towards those who need it. Tend to go to any limits while helping someone in trouble. I do not care for paperwork, so you try to get it all done by 10AM so I can go on to other things. Strengths: Your communication skills- you communicate well with others: "One of my biggest strengths is my communication skills. I work very well with all kinds of people, and understand that everyone has different perspectives about projects and work tasks - so when I work with others I realize that everyone comes to the table with different priorities and objectives. I keep this in mind when I communicate tasks that need to be accomplished with positive reinforcement and awareness of what others are working on". You are a people person. "I like to work in team and have been an active participant and organizer at several places". You are a quick learner and love to learn new things. "I have the ability to cope with failures and try to learn from my mistakes". "I am a quick learner. I have great problem-solving skills and am willing to learn new things to get the job done". You are always punctual You are a team player. "I am a team player and work well with others. My strength is my flexibility to handle change. As customer service manager at my last job, I was able to turn around a negative working environment and develop a very supportive team". Good attitude is expected of every employee. You should back up what you say with an example. For example, don't just say you have good customer service skills, you have to prove it by also telling how you won a company award or received positive customer comment letters for your good service. Determined Able to prioritize Self-confidence, "I believe in myself" One of my greatest strengths I've acquired during my education is good analytical and planning skills. This has always benefited me to set goals and try to achieve them. But at the same time, I'm driven by the thoughts of success. Full commitment to my work Highly energetic Having good interpersonal skills I'm well organized and like to be neat with all of my work I have great communication skills. Weaknesses: You are answering the dreaded question without looking like an egotistical maniac, and showing the interviewer that you see yourself as a work in progress, trying to better all of your qualities. You should answer with things you "are improving upon," e.g., "I believe I should always be improving upon myself." Just pick one weakness that is not going to disqualify you from the job, and then follow up with - this is what really matters - the examples of what you are doing (or have done) to fix your weakness. The most important point here is to show that you learn from your mistakes and your weakness, and you are taking the corrective action to fix the situation - and stress that! For example, if the job does not require public speaking, you can say that your weakness is you are afraid of speaking in front of the public. Then tell the interviewers that you have joined a Toastmaster club or public speech course to overcome the problem. Remind them that when you identify a problem, you actively take actions to correct it, and that is how you do things. Don't try to use a cliché or try to present a strength as a weakness by saying your weakness is that you are a workaholic. No one will believe that answer. Being too emotional will make the recruiter wonder if your interpersonal skills are lacking. Give a true weakness but one of modest size. Shows that you have taken steps to correct the weakness. For example you want to improve your MS Excel skills so you are taking a course on that now. I used to have trouble with procrastinating, now I have learned to write down a list of things that I need to do, and keep a calendar to keep track of deadlines. I have found that this not only helps me to finish things on time, but it has also helped me to be more organized. For my weakness, some people say I'm over-friendly. You can't go wrong with that one. Usually, the person interviewing is like "Oh, that's not a bad thing at all." I'm a little egoistic when it comes to winning things and get a little ruthless too. I lose patience sometimes when I am not in a position to complete the assigned job in time. I have to work on having more patience and giving myself a break, because I always want everything done at once. I am too focused on my work and I need to find more time to relax. I'm too focused on work and need to develop some after-hours hobbies. Never actually choose something that will be seen as a liability. Try to think of a weakness that can actually be seen in some sort of positive light. Examples of combination strengths and weaknesses: I'm a workaholic person and love to dedicate myself to the work I'm doing. But at the same time I forget to keep a balance between other things which I'm trying to improve on. Take whatever is your best quality and also describe it as your worst. It often is, as we are all made up like two sides of a coin. Try it out with different qualities and accomplishments and see how it works. For example: The best thing about me is that I am able to see the big picture in a situation. The worst thing about me is that I can see the big picture in a situation. This is the best thing because I can remove myself from the emotion of a decision that needs to be made and act accordingly. It is a bad thing because I often can see the conclusion quicker than the other participants in a project and that can cause frustration sometimes amongst them. "My strength is my ability to be flexible; I've seen companies go through changes in structure and management philosophy. I've had to adjust my style to the new environment several times. My weakness is my tendency to over-work so I pace myself now." Similarly… "My strength is my flexibility to handle change. As a software developer at my last job, I was able to turn around a negative working environment and develop a very supportive team" If you lack experience or skills, state this but also tell that you are willing to learn, or that it is an area which you would like to improve on. Example 1: "I do not have much experience with customer service, but I would like to gain experience in this area. I get along well with people, I am able to listen and am a good communicator so I feel that I would get on well in a customer based environment." Example 2: "I am not too experienced with computers, but I am always willing to learn new skills. I have used computers a little in the past and this is one area which I would like to improve on. I am usually very quick at picking up new skills especially when it is something that I need to learn. Notes on interviewing This question unfortunately has become a staple in the interview process and is an easy way out for an interviewer who can't think of any other questions. The reason this is a bad question is simply this: If someone has a weakness that could jeopardize his chance of getting the job, he will never reveal it. So the only friendus that this question receives are false friendus intended to placate the interviewer. A good interviewer won't ask this question. I'm always tempted to answer this way: "Mr. Interviewer, I always have a hard time with that question. What would your answer be to the question?" A good interviewer wouldn't dream of asking someone this question. As the interviewer, you will not get truthful friendus from the weakness part of the question, and as the interviewee, you can end up coming across as egotistical and boastful when answering about your strengths. A good interviewer shouldn't want to make you uncomfortable. Honesty is the best policy No Trick: Honesty is the best policy. Whatever you do, tell the truth. While there are certainly friendus that interviewers prefer to hear, it has to match reality. Why? First, it's generally not good to get hired for a job that you're not matched well for. If you like new, exciting, dynamic situations but you're looking for a job on an assembly line, you're not going to be happy; saying that you like repetitive work doesn't make sense. Second, any good interviewer will check your references. If your friendus don't match what they hear, you're almost certain to lose the chance for job. Don't ever list as a weakness the following: "I take on too many things and work too hard, and just don't know where to stop." It's a cliché, completely transparent, and I can tell you that it rarely makes the desired impression. One interviewer's perspective I ask this question and whenever I get an answer like "I work too hard" I know I'm dealing with somebody that I can't really trust, and that I'm going to have a hard time developing an open and honest working relationship with. And I know that I still don't know the person's other weaknesses. At least with me, an interviewee has a much better chance if I think he or she is honestly telling me about a weakness. And then I can decide whether or not I can work around that weakness. One person told me that he needs fixed deadlines because otherwise he keeps finding additional things to add and it's hard for him to finish the project. I decided this was something I could live with and I hired him. We all have weaknesses. And if you think you're going to outsmart me with nonsense or evasion, you're hurting your chances with me. Strengths are a combination of talent and behaviour that a person is born with and cultivates over a period of time, they should not be confused with skills. Skills are something that you can develop over time. For example, if you don't know a computer language, you can possibly learn it but you cannot learn strengths. The interviewer is probably not really interested in your weaknesses, but is just testing your ability to deal with a difficult and unexpected situation. As with most things, it is all about preparation. If you fail to prepare then be prepared to fail. There are many 'standard' questions. There are no standard friendus as most are asking about you personally. Because of that no one but yourself can answer many of the questions you will be asked. Think about such questions in advance and have your friendus ready. There are many sources of the type of questions you may be presented with. The internet and your local library being the main ones. Be positive; do not repeat what you have read in books or on the Internet. By all means read sample friendus but do not repeat them verbatim. The person interviewing you will have read all those friendus too. The best approach is to: First decide on how you want to position yourself. Ideally, you should also understand what the interviewer is looking for. Then calmly and sincerely admit the weakness and what you're doing about it. You want to be careful here. You never want to sound: Phony and self-serving Egotistic, as if you don't think you have any real weaknesses Defensive Of course, you also don't want to admit a weakness that's too big to get you hired, like "I always miss my deadlines." So play carefully, but try to admit a real weakness that's related to a strength, and that won't sound too bad. When asked what your weaknesses are during an interview always try to make the end of your description a positive. For example, you can say that one of your weaknesses is that you sometimes get easily frustrated with yourself or others if a job isn't done perfectly. However, this is simply caused by your passion for your career and your desire to do everything as well as it can be done. This way, while you admit to becoming frustrated, you show that it's only because you care so much about your job. Here are some guidelines for responding when an interviewer asks what about your biggest weakness: The question demands personal/subjective answer depending on the reality of my own trait and personality type. For instance mixing business with pleasure: "I spend both time and money on books, internet, technology and hardware on my free time for fun even though it is job related because I am so interested in these topics" Simple. Light-heartedly say handmade milk chocolates, fast cars and more handmade milk chocolates. When asked my dislikes I usually say smoking (unless it is the tax man on fire) and then it would be someone running up with a bucket of water to put him out. I have never been asked to give a serious answer. First of all, don't specify them as your weaknesses... just tell them you don't consider them as strong and they could use some work The question "What would you say is your greatest weakness" in a job interview is a way to find out many things about you, Try to make it a positive reply. As a property manager I say "I care too much about my communities" this equates to my spending additional time on site at no cost to the company. A person's biggest strengths are the things that they are exceptionally good at. This can be reading, writing, managing, or organizational skills. Hard worker, ability to work under pressure, Time management, Flexible and Organizer.
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How do you answer the question 'what is your greatest weakness' in a job interview?

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This is probably the most dreaded question of a job interview, but it's a legitimate question. This is a test by a potential future employer. Don't answer with a trite response like "I'm a perfectionist," or something equally meaningless. Give a thoughtful answer. The trick is to follow it up with something you are doing to improve the "weakness." For example, if you know you are not a great speaker before a group, you might say that you get nervous when presenting before an audience, but became a member of Toastmasters to improve your skills and overcome the weakness. The interviewer is looking for: How you approach a difficult question Whether or not you recognize your weaknesses (we all have them) What you're doing about it Whether your individual strengths and weaknesses (they're usually related) make you the right candidate for this job
Asked in Jobs, Job Interviews, Job Applications

How do you answer 'Why did you apply for this position' in a job interview?

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The best way to answer this question is to research the company first. Whether you are applying at McDonald's or applying at a Fortune 500 Company, once you know about the company, you can answer this question more easily. For example: "I've read about how this company's growth is on the rise and also how involved it is in the local community.") Researching the company helps you to find likable things about them. Have they won awards? A leading provider of ....? Perhaps they have multiple locations and you like the relocation possibilities - maybe they are spread globally even. Is the company internationally recognized, or a well known brand? A variety of roles/products to ensure ongoing challenges? If you have heard fond things of them from friends or other companies - you can note that as a plus too. Perhaps there are good career opportunities within the company, and they look after their employees well. Do NOT make the answer all about you. The employer does not care if you want to advance your career, make more money, or get better benefits. In this portion of the interview and with asking this question, they want to know what YOU are going to do for THEM. Pick reasons that sound good, and are not false. For example,, don't say the relocation possibilities to foreign countries are desirable if you couldn't bare to leave home!). After you tell them why you're a good fit for them, THEN you can talk about the company being close to your home or allowing you the time to see your kids or finish school, etc.
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How do you answer 'Why do you want to work here' in a job interview?

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You have to ask, and answer, this question yourself, prior to the interview. Investigate the company, remember what you like about the company (its products/services, positive things it has done for the community/society, where the company is headed in the future, if it's an established company (for job security), how you think you can help the company succeed, etc.). It really depends on what type of job you are applying for (professional compared to part-time high school/college job. Just make sure to investigate the company. If you're in the US, you can see if it is a member of the Better Business Bureau (for a company of which you've never heard). And let them know you're interested in them because of the positive things they have done and give examples. Or mention a problem they may be having and how you are the solution to that problem. Our contributors offer more advice: I think the most important thing is to be honest and genuine. For example, Why you want to work at the Disney Store? Why are you applying there instead of somewhere else? Is it because you think the environment will be fun and energetic? Do you think it will suit your personality and that you might fit in there? The interviewer wants to find out if you're the sort of person who will succeed at the company. That's what you want, too. You don't want a job you'll fail at. So, like I said, I think it's important to be open and honest. Be yourself. Show your genuine enthusiasm for the position. You need to research the company you are wanting to work for and read their job description. When you are asked the question, then you can tell them how your background qualifications are transferable, and to work for (this company) will be a challenge and rewarding. Here's an example: "Based on the research I've done, the company is an industry leader. When I visited your web site, I found some impressive information about the future projects you have planned. I was also impressed with the founders' backgrounds and the current financial statements. This is the company I've been looking for, I want to be where things are developing, changing, and growing. And I want to make a meaningful contribution to that development and growth." The best way to answer this question is to RESEARCH the company first. Yep, whether you are applying at McDonald's or applying at a Fortune 500 Company. Do a search online. Look at their website. Find out who they are, what they do and why you'd want to work there. The WORST thing you can do is showing up at an interview knowing nothing about the company! Once you know about the company you can answer this question more easily (for example: "I've read about how this company's growth is on the rise and also how involved it is in the local community.") Do NOT make the answer all about you. The employer does not care if you want to advance your career, make more money or get better benefits. In this portion of the interview and with asking this question, they want to know what you are going to do for them. Because, after extensive research, I have found that this company is best suited to my personal needs and therefore will allow me to make a greater contribution to your company than any other. Usually, this question is asked to find out how you know about the organization's product(s) and culture. Do your research on line prior to the interview. Most companies have investor relations or about pages. So do your research and connect to the company's mission statement and the company's core values. "I think this company would fully enhance my professional career growth." Honestly, if you need a job, then say you need a job and intend to work hard at the job and to become more valuable to the company. If it's a career improvement, say so. If you need a job and you are asked that question, say that you want to work there because you like the company and say why. For example: their hygiene levels are high and that it has a comfortable and efficient work environment. Compliment them. In that question, I think the employer wants to hear that you know about their company so you better cite some good qualities of the company, say it and justify it. Also, give some reasons why you want most to at this company or about why you are personally attracted to the job. Example: "I enjoy working with the public and want to continue to do so with a reputable company as I believe yours is. I have viewed your website and can see this is a company with solid foundations and excellent values." Because I know that I would fill this position perfectly. Also, what I've seen here today, especially in terms of staff and environment, impresses me. Primary reason is financial. Complimentary reasons include opportunities, proper match of skills, interests, and company needs. Your company offers a challenging position in which drive, tact, and problem solving skills are essential. I believe that my training, skills, and personality are a very good match for this position, and I am excited about the possibility of my working with this company. I have heard and read about your company and I believe that I'm a very good fit for the position that we've talked about. I know that I can be valuable and happy here. My skill set can make a difference here. My qualifications seem a perfect fit for this position, and it presents the challenge and opportunities that I need to be productive and happy.
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How do you answer 'Describe yourself' in an interview?

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While describing yourself in an interview, the answer should always be related to the job. Remember, although the employer is asking personal questions, they are still all related to "what can you bring to the company?" So, I usually give adjectives like reliable, loyal, etc., but make sure you back these with supporting examples. The most important thing is to make sure you boil it all down to presenting the answer in a way that it matches the things the employer is looking for. Here is more advice: Think about what kind of person you would like working for you and convey that to the employer. The best advice I can give to a job seeker is first aim high, well as high as you are capable of and realize the more you are willing to learn through experience or school is valuable. See yourself as a commodity. Be honest about your capabilities, if you don't know how to do something, say you don't know but let the employer know you are capable of learning and even give an example of something else you learned to do, maybe at another job or even a hobby. Most jobs will have to train you to their way and processes so don't undermine your capability and be proud of your accomplishments in life because they will only bring you up. Just list off a few characteristics that you see yourself as having. Make all of the characteristics sound as positive as possible. This question is usually asked in order to gauge how a person perceives him- or herself. Just be honest. Are you outgoing? Shy? Diligent? Stubborn? Clever? Passionate? Level-headed? Easy-going? etc., etc. Don't stress too much. If you can't think of anything, think of a few people who know you and imagine how they would describe you. Pretend that your mom, a sibling, a good friend, a co-worker, and your spouse or significant other are all sitting down in a room making a list of your characteristics and then use the things you think they would say. A job interview is NO TIME to be shy. Brag about yourself. It's expected. Brag about all of your good points and don't mention anything negative or anything you "can't do." Be positive and upbeat. With complete honesty, don't try to make yourself better than you are, but don't yourself down, either. Employers love to ask you questions that get to your perception of yourself. These may come in several forms - "How do you describe yourself"; "What are the qualities you possess that make you the best candidate for this job"; "What do you bring to this company that will make this company stronger" or a variation on these are commonly asked. Your resume should already have a personal statement that discusses your qualities - in the most positive terms possible. Make sure you are familiar with your resume. VERY familiar. This is especially important if you didn't write it yourself, or if you have multiple resumes tailored to different positions. Because this is such a common question, it may be a good idea to sit down ahead of time and list 4-5 qualities and examples in your previous experience where these qualities allowed you to overcome a problem or succeed at a task. Remember, the interview is not a "game" where you are trying to outsmart the interviewer to get the job. Your best strategy is to honestly sell yourself and your abilities to an employer to get a job that is a good fit for you, in a company that is a good fit for you. Outsmarting an interviewer to get a job in a company or position that ultimately leads to unhappiness on either or both sides is really outsmarting yourself. Give a fair answer, tell them about your strong and weak points, but try to emphasize some of your qualities. For example, you could say that you are a hard-working, responsible, serious person, you are able to handle with people, able to work under stress, you are an easy learner. Don't be shy to talk about your creative "side". But be honest, admit that you also had some "bad moments" in your past jobs. Your answer should be relevant to the job for which you are being interviews. Do not start going into your personal life. Keep your self-introduction professional! A person is defined in three ways: (1) who he is right now, (2) what he has done in the past, and (3) what he will become in the future. So, here is how you answer: (1) I am a [the job title for which you are applying or something very close.] (2) I have [how many years of experience] in [what field, what subject]. (3) I want to be [a job title that is a couple or a few levels above the current position for which you are applying in 5 to 10 years.] Close your answer with an affirmative question: "Is there anything else you want to know?" You should be very straightforward and honest in replying to this question. The interviewer wants to check if what you have mentioned in your resume is correct or not. I would answer the question based on who is interviewing me? If it's a sales manager/Technical Manager/Human resources manager? Depending on the person's field I'll have to mend the answer to please him... I feel that everyone's goals are different... so analyze that and then answer. this question with your 30-second "elevator speech" about yourself. The standard format for this speech is... "I am a (BLANK), who does (WHAT)." In my case... I am a PROJECT MANAGER, who PROVIDES QUALITY MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS, Blah, Blah, Blah. (you get the idea). Let me share what my recruiting office tells its candidates as they head out for that crucial face-to-face interview. When asked to "tell me about yourself," say, "I will gladly answer that question, but may I first ask you a question? (They ALWAYS say yes) So that I may better focus my answer, what are the issues you want me to address should you hire me? Once they share with you what they need to have you do, then proceed to address how your training, education, skills, and experience can best resolve these issues. By answering in this fashion, you have proven that you know how to focus ... and that you have what's needed to fix the issues they need to have fixed. It's always a winner ... and beats the heck out of, "Well, let's see, I was born on a small farm in Idaho ..." I suggest you go into the interview with a few "talking points" about yourself, in other words things you want the interviewer to know about you. Then you try to hit those points in response to any questions you are asked, such as "tell us about yourself." Also be sure to have copies of your resume with you and offer them. In general, interviews go better when you spend them listening and don't talk. If the interviewer is just telling you about the job, you might have a good shot at it. This is the chance for you to run down a 30-60 second sales pitch for yourself. The employer doesn't want to know that you like gardening or have four dogs. Here's where you start usually with your education and highlight selling points about your skills, experience and goals. More Suggestions: It's one of the most frequently asked questions in an interview: Tell me about yourself. Your response to this request will set the tone for the rest of the interview. For some, this is the most challenging question to answer, as they wonder what the interviewer really wants to know and what information they should include. The secret to successfully responding to this free-form request is to focus, script and practice. You cannot afford to wing this answer, as it will affect the rest of the interview. Begin to think about what you want the interviewer to know about you. List five strengths you have that are pertinent to this job (experiences, traits, skills, etc.). What do you want the interviewer to know about you when you leave? Prepare a script that includes the information you want to convey. Begin by talking about past experiences and proven success: Next, mention your strengths and abilities: "My real strength is my attention to detail. I pride myself on my reputation for following through and meeting deadlines. When I commit to doing something, I make sure it gets done, and on time." Conclude with a statement about your current situation: "What I am looking for now is a company that values customer relations, where I can join a strong team and have a positive impact on customer retention and sales." Practice with your script until you feel confident about what you want to emphasize in your statement. Your script should help you stay on track, but you shouldn't memorize it -- you don't want to sound stiff and rehearsed. It should sound natural and conversational. Even if you are not asked this type of question to begin the interview, this preparation will help you focus on what you have to offer. You will also find that you can use the information in this exercise to assist you in answering other questions. The more you can talk about your product - you - the better chance you will have at selling it. Here are examples given by Wiki s contributors: Hard worker, quick and eager learner, pays attention to detail. Example: Because of past experience and MBA degree, I am versatile and can perform well in many kinds of positions. Now I am looking for a challenging internship position in an established company. Basically, I am an experienced and flexible person can be successful at any kind of finance works. "Hardworking", "Task-oriented", "Solution-oriented", "Dependable", "Motivated", "Independent", "Team player" are all examples of good terms you can use. There are many more. I am a self-starter dedicated, hard-working person who works well with other, punctual, detail oriented a team player, great organizational and interpersonal skills. Describe yourself as outgoing, hardworking, dependable, eager to learn and grow professionally, etc. Fast paced, quick learner and very challenging. That's all they want to hear. This question is usually asked in order to gauge how a person perceives himself. Just be honest. List off a few characteristics that you see yourself as having. Actually, a question of this kind is an ideal way to plug in everything we want to say about ourselves that we had leave out of the CV. If you have attended a premier institution, say that the institution taught you much more than the degree it awarded you. Mention people who influenced you, talk about the books you like reading, your hobbies and your other interests. Talk about your strengths. Mention an instance when you used your conflict resolution skills or selling skills or whatever. But make certain that it does not sound like blowing your trumpet. Mention these instances as a good learning experience. Talk about your weaknesses, but make sure that they are positive weaknesses. For instance you could say that that you are a person that pays more attention to details than is warranted. You can openly confess a tendency to be impatient with team members who cannot carry their own weight, or who cannot contribute sufficiently. Maintain the right tone in doing so. You do not want to give the interviewer the wrong impression or make him feel that you get impatient at times. No one can do that for you as only you know yourself. If asked to then you should do so. Prepare yourself for personal questions. Just list off a few characteristics that you see yourself as having. If it's for a job interview, make all of the characteristics sound as positive as possible. This question is usually asked in order to gauge how a person perceives him or herself. Just be honest. Are you outgoing? shy? diligent? stubborn? clever? passionate? level-headed? Don't stress too much. If you can't think of anything. Then think of a few people who know you and imagine how they would describe you. Pretend that your mom, a sibling, a good friend, a co-worker, and your spouse or significant other are all sitting down in a room making a list of your characteristics and then use the things you think they would say. Do not mention a bad quality if you are not working on it, e.g., what is your weakest quality? I am not very competent using computers but I am currently taking a evening course to rectify that/ I am going to. Most importantly back up what you say, why are you reliable?
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How do you answer Why did you leave your last job in a job interview?

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Be honest but stay positive. First and foremost, you should always address every interview question with honesty. Of course, your answer should be based on the real reason you left, but put a positive spin on it. That means, you should try to frame your honest answer in the most positive way possible. Do not lie, be truthful and honest but do not be harsh on a previous employer. So answer truthfully while at the same time NOT talking about the company or staff in a negative light. More info on why you left a job would help to give applicable suggestions. You TELL them why you left! It depends on why you left your last job. If it was particularly unpleasant, remember that they can always check references. Make it sound as positive as possible though. Put the reason you are no longer at your last job in your question. Unless you were laid off or the company had relocated you too far, just say "it's a career move." It's better not to go into the specifics. Always keep in mind that your interviewer is looking for a positive, motivated, hard-working candidate. No potential employer wants to hear your gripe about a prior boss or talk poorly about a previous employer. She or he wants to hear about your potential as a superstar at the position you are seeking. Example 1: If you felt under-appreciated and underpaid at your last job, instead of ranting about your overbearing boss and under-appreciative corporation, you might say that your prior work didn't allow you to grow professionally or intellectually and didn't offer advancement opportunity. Example 2: "After working for two years at my prior job, I realized that I really wanted to work with X and my prior job didn't have any X." (X is something that your interview company has.) This is a good answer because it shows that there was a valid reason for your leaving, that you think ahead, and that you are not just interviewing at their company because you want a job, but that the new company has something you want and you will be a motivated worker. Example 3: "That's the hardest decision I ever had, I will forever be thankful for the opportunity my previous employer gave me but right now this decision will be beneficial for me and for my previous employer as I want to have career advancement and I am on the process of realizing my other potentials". Example 4: 'Current Project will be over and I am looking for a new challenge. I have been with my current company for two and half years and don't find the work as interesting as I once did. I am looking for a company where I can take on new challenges and learn new things with a possible career path". Example 5: "There was no room for growth and self-fulfilment. My work has become stagnant, I am looking for more challenging assignments where I can apply my skills and experience more effectively." Example 6: You typically leave a job because you are unsatisfied with some aspect of your job. Most of the times, it is salary or opportunities. So how do you word it better for the interviewer? You need to study up about the company and look into challenges you can solve for the new company. "I was looking for something more challenging. And I see better opportunities in your company because of the XYZ reasons." An interviewer's perspective: As someone that interviews many people for different positions, I would have to say that the truth is definitely the best route to go. What you can say is that your previous position no longer challenged you and therefore was no longer enjoyable. That the company was not allowing you to grow within the company and that that was something you hoped for. Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Please be sure not to criticize your last company. Never refer to a major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons. If you couldn't get along with your old boss, don't say negative things about him/her; say that, unfortunately, you and your old boss had some disagreements. You may still need a recommendation from them. It is also a reflection on yourself and the company will want an employee that has a positive outlook. You could always say: It was time to learn something new (no advancement) - Challenging role - High learning atmosphere - More money / good package - Better benefits - Location closer to home - Seeking a job that's a better fit (no isolation if you love people) - Seeking a job that more closely relates to your career goals.
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What questions will be asked in a second interview?

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If you are called for a second interview this means that you made a good impression and that the company would like to give you the job. What should you expect from a second interview: discussions about the job, about the salary, the schedule, they might show you the office where you will work, they might present you some of the colleagues you will work with. Maybe they will also propose you to sign the employment contract. Second Interviews You can expect questions that are more focused on your industry and the position itself. Often a first round of interviews is conducted by human resources personnel, to screen initial candidates, while second and third round interviews are with your potential colleagues. You have to be prepared. They may ask what you had for lunch. My turn. "You called me back for a 2nd interview so you must like me a lot. Just how much do you like me? How much are you willing to pay me? --------------- · How would you describe the organizational style of this group? · How would you describe the professional environment here? · Where does this department fit in the company organization? · What degree of interdepartmental contact is there in this position? · What are transfer policies? What is covered in relocation reimbursement? · What are your travel policies? ..... You can see more at related link below
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Where can you get a sample cover letter for a secretary?

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Although it's not written specifically for a secretary, there's a sample cover letter linked to the right. (Maybe someone else out there has a good cover letter example for an administrative assistant?) You might also want to check out the other links including: How to write a cover letter (reprinted from Resume Edge) Choosing the paper and letterhead for your resume and cover letter (reprinted from Resume Edge) Writing cover letters (reprinted from the Federal Citizen Information Center) Answer if you have word look under tools and you will find help with cover letters, resumes, etc..
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How do you answer 'Why should we hire you' in a job interview?

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You should relish this question and be eager to answer it! If you are not, then you are completely unprepared for the interview. This is one of those questions people find tricky at interviews. The right approach for this question is to use it to highlight the 2 or 3 key strengths you have which match the requirements of the job. The job requirements will either be that have been mentioned in the advert, a person specification sent to you, or they would have told you during the interview. Basically, to answer the question effectively, you have to do some research about the company and the position before you go to the interview. However, you can answer such a question by telling the interviewer, point-by-point, about your qualifications, skills and experience that make you the best candidate for the position. So use it as a selling pitch. Carefully consider this question before applying for a job interview. You want your answer to show that you know what skills they want (from their job ad, job description or information you've gathered) and state what experience or knowledge you have that makes you a good fit. You don't have to lie; you just want to match their expectations. Tell them that you are really interested in the job. Prior to any interview, you should have a list mentally prepared of your greatest strengths. You should also have, a specific example or two, which illustrates each of your strengths, an example chosen from your most recent and most impressive achievements. You should have this list of your greatest strengths and corresponding examples from your achievements very well committed to memory. Then, once you uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and needs, you can choose those achievements from your list that best match up with them. As a general guideline, the 10 most desirable traits that all employers love to see in their employees are: A proven track record as an achiever, especially if your achievements match up with the employer's greatest wants and needs. Intelligence...management "savvy". Honesty...integrity...a decent human being. Good fit with corporate culture, someone to feel comfortable with, a team player that meshes well with interviewer's team. Like-ability, positive attitude and sense of humor. Good communication skills. Dedication - willingness to walk the extra mile to achieve excellence. Definiteness of purpose, and clear goals. Enthusiasm with high level of motivation. Confident and healthy leadership. You want to provide simple, clear, and concise reasons. This shows that you have considered how your skills apply to their needs. Many people have only considered this from their own point of view. This question encourages you to see things from the employer's point of view. Why are you valuable? Because you have specific experience in their problem areas? During the interview, you should be asking questions to determine how you can help. After doing this, you should be able to say something that the interviewer will appreciate. Consider these suggestions in preparing yourself for the answer: Your key strategy is to first uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and needs before you answer questions. You might say: "I have a number of accomplishments I'd like to tell you about, but I want to make the best use of our time together and talk directly to your needs. To help me do that, could you tell me more about the most important priorities of this position? All I know is what I (heard from the recruiter, read in the classified ad, etc.)" Then, ALWAYS follow-up with a second and possibly, third question, to draw out his needs even more. Surprisingly, it's usually this second or third question that unearths what the interviewer is most looking for. You might ask simply, "And in addition to that…?" or, "Is there anything else you see as essential to success in this position? List some qualities that you have which you think will be useful to them. You could also say: "I am dependable, adaptable, teachable and honest." The answer to this question should generally display your self-confidence, that you are the right fit for the company, that you are imaginative and clear in thinking. Be confident enough to say, "Our shared mutual benefits will complement one another". You know yourself better than anyone else does. Explain why you are essential to their team. Be honest in presenting yourself. This is one of the types of questions that is intended to get the person who is being interviewed to talk about themselves in a fairly informal manner. Such questions are usually about some aspect of your own life so that it is not possible for anyone else to answer them for you. You should think carefully about these questions before attending the interview. If the person by whom you are being interviewed has a sense of humor, you can try to make them laugh without losing your track of answering it with care and relevance. Say, "I meet or exceed the requirement you detailed in the job description. I have done the same work (or similar) in the past. My previous employers have rated my ability to do the same/similar work highly. Along with direct experience I have the skills and experience". Be prepared to provide examples and evidence for your claims. You could say: "I have been trained to accomplish the task for the job you are offering. I am a positive person who performs well under pressure. I have a good work ethic and have always been interested in (list what the company does). I know that I can be an asset to your company and would love the opportunity to show you this." Another way of answering this question: "I feel that I am definitely the right person for this post. Based on what I have been told and read about this position, I believe I am an outstanding match and have the qualifications and willingness to achieve excellence with this company." Another way of answering is by saying, "I am a sincere, hard-working person with a strong desire to achieve goals. I strongly believe in myself. I am fully confident, optimistic, co-operative and a very sensible person. I believe in hard work because our tomorrow completely depends on today. I would love to share my abilities an learn here". "I work great with others. I have awesome people skills and can adapt to changing schedules. I have knowledge with computers and would be an asset to your team. I will complete required tasks in a fashionable manner and get them done correctly the first time. I am organized and will keep my work area clutter-free so that anyone who is looking for something can find it quickly and easily. If you require more information concerning my abilities I would be more than happy to answer them." When you are being interviewed, stress your virtues: punctuality, reliability, organizational skills, follow directions well, team player, flexibility, good people skills, enthusiasm, intentions in the field, hard worker. These are the kinds of things employers want to hear. Be sure to stick as close to the truth as possible or you will be found out and could be terminated from the position upon attaining it. You could also say: "I have no basis for comparing myself with the other applicants. However, what I can tell you is about myself and why I deserve to be here. Firstly, I believe in myself, my abilities and my skills. Secondly, I have the passion and desire to excel in this position...." Or say, "You should offer me this job because this role correlates well with my skills, experience and current knowledge. I believe that my past experience and skills, combined with my passion and commitment for (say the role you are interviewed for) are a great asset to offer (say the company name that interview you). Narrate your strengths, and explain how these will enable you to fulfil your job function efficiently and effectively. Explain your talents and skills, and relate these to the objectives of the company that you are applying to. Then say, "You should hire me because I have excellent people skills, I complete any task that is put before me and I will go beyond and above my daily duties as a co-worker and/or employee". You could say something like "I think with my past and present experience in (whatever field you are applying), I have gained experience in conditions of service, employees relations and management. I believe that this position requires the candidate to have insight in this field and the issues which they could face." They are trying to decide, based on just a little bit of information, whether or not they should hire you. So help them decide! Highlight any parts of the job or job description that sound like you but add positive comments to each description. Tell the interviewer how closely you match the job description ("I'm an excellent writer." or "My great personality and helpfulness are perfect for customer service." or "I know many of the required software programs and I'm also a quick learner!") Are they looking for someone who has a lot of computer skills? Do you have these skills? Or do they need the type of management experience that you have? Then go on and on about them! This is your chance to convince them to hire you! Tell them what you can DO for their company that makes you better than the other applicants. If possible, list specific instances in which you made a positive contribution to your past jobs. Remember: Maintain good eye contact, have good posture dress neat and clean. Men, check your fingernails and hair. Ladies, dress appropriately, no cleavage, little make-up and light scent. Sit with both feet on the floor and your hands relaxed in your lap. See the related links for more information
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How do you answer 'What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses' in a job interview?

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The interviewer is probably not really interested in your weaknesses, but is just testing your ability to deal with a difficult and unexpected situation. Such questions are fairly typical of those you will be presented with when applying for a job As with most things, it is all about preparation. If you fail to prepare then be prepared to fail. There are many 'standard' questions. There are no standard friendus as most are asking about you personally. Because of that no one but yourself can answer many of the questions you will be asked. Think about such questions in advance and have your friendus ready. There are many sources of the type of questions you may be presented with. The internet and your local library being the main ones. Be positive; do not repeat what you have read in books or on the Internet. By all means read sample friendus but do not repeat them verbatim. The person interviewing you will have read all those friendus too. There is more to having a successful job interview than just answering the questions asked. Many would say much more. First impressions count for far more than many realise. Dress for the part. Be punctual and polite. Listen to what is being said. Answer only the question asked. (Don't ramble) My weakness is water. I am afraid of water animals. This is probably the most dreaded question of a job interview, and many consider it a stupid question. Why would anybody admit their weaknesses? But it's a legitimate question. You can use this opportunity to shine ... or not. The interviewer wants to see: How you approach a difficult question Whether or not you recognize your weaknesses (we all have them) What you're doing about them Whether your individual strengths and weaknesses (they're usually related) make you the right candidate for this job One common approach is to repackage your strength as a weakness, such as "I work too hard." The idea of using a weakness as a flipside of a strength is a good one, but it shouldn't be something so blatantly phony and self-serving. You need to make a real concession here, but one that won't hurt you too much. The best approach is to: First decide on how you want to position yourself. Ideally, you should also understand what the interviewer is looking for. Then calmly and sincerely admit the weakness and what you're doing about it Some examples: I'm sometimes a little too soft on the people who work for me. Usually I'm able to motivate and lead people to do great work, but sometimes when I fail, I have a hard time taking the hard actions to correct their behavior. Sometimes when trying to hit a deadline I'll get too tough on my co-workers, and then I have to come back afterwards and apologize. I've been getting better about this, I know the team is often more important than the deadline, and I'm trying to learn to make the deadlines without pushing others too hard. You want to be careful here. You never want to sound: Phony and self-serving Egotistic, as if you don't think you have any real weaknesses Defensive Of course, you also don't want to admit a weakness that's too big to get you hired, like "I always miss my deadlines." So play carefully, but try to admit a real weakness that's related to a strength, and that won't sound too bad. When asked what your weaknesses are during an interview always try to make the end of your description a positive. For example, you can say that one of your weaknesses is that you sometimes get easily frustrated with yourself or others if a job isn't done perfectly. However, this is simply caused by your passion for your career and your desire to do everything as well as it can be done. This way, while you admit to becoming frustrated, you show that it's only because you care so much about your job. More input: This can be a difficult one. The best way to answer would be to chose something that can be turned around to look like a strength. Example: "My computer skills were lacking a little, but I took a computer class and got my skills up-to-date." If this is for a job interview, then you should always turn your weakness into a positive. Say, one of my weakness' is that I do not quit until I get the job done. Or, I am a perfectionist. I want to make sure that everything I do is perfect and in the right order. Good luck to you:) Find weaknesses that are also strengths- for example: I do not care for paperwork, so I try to get it all done by 10AM so I can go on to other things. The question is how to answer the question without making it look like you have a weakness that might prevent you from getting hired. At the same time, you don't want to mention a weakness that isn't really a weakness and simply tell the interviewer what you think they want to hear. Trust me, an experienced interviewer has heard every cliched answer to this question and will know when you are feeding them a line. The purpose of asking this question is firstly to see how you handle a stress question and secondly how you actually respond to it. Here are some guidelines for responding when an interviewer asks what about your biggest weakness: 1. Answer the question honestly. It's always best to answer any interview question honestly (obviously) but this is an especially important one. Making up a weakness that isn't really a weakness will most likely be very noticeable to the interviewer. If they think you are lying, they may ask you for another weakness which will cause you even more trouble trying to think of one off the top of your head. 2. Don't mention a big weakness that could cost you the job. Your goal here isn't to lie of course, it's simply to present yourself as best you can. We all have weaknesses but it doesn't mean we tell an interviewer everything that we do wrong. If for example you are interviewing for a project manager job, it's probably best not to mention that you have trouble getting along with people since you're going to be constantly working with others. 3. Don't evade the question. Don't try to avoid answering the question. Also be careful about giving a cliched weakness (ie. I work too hard) and then quickly stating how you deal with it. That looks too scripted and the interviewer has probably heard it one million times before. Admitting a real weakness but then stating what you are doing to improve yourself is preferable ie. "My presentation skills are not as strong as I'd like so I signed up for weekend presentation skills classes and also joined a Toastmasters club." Remember that the specific job you are interviewing for will help to determine how you answer the question. 4. Keep your answer factual and brief. Typically, stress questions such as these that put us on the spot tend to cause us to ramble on and speak for longer than we should especially if we're nervous. The best way to answer the question is to be well prepared and to know how you are going to answer the question before the interview. This will avoid you trying to think off the top of your head and saying more than you need to which could hurt your chances of getting the job. 5. Be careful about using "my biggest weakness is my biggest strength" as your response. Saying that "I'm a perfectionist" or something like that is another of those cliched friendus that people often give to this question. It will probably come across as being scripted and the interviewer will most likely determine that you got the answer from an interview tips book. The question demands personal/subjective answer depending on the reality of my own trait and personality type: for instance mixing business with pleasure: I spend both time and money on books , internet, technology and hardware on my free time for fun even though it is job related because I am so interested in these topics... Simple. Lightheartedly say hand made milk chocolates, fast cars and more hand made milk chocolates. When asked my dislikes I usually say smoking (unless it is the tax man on fire) and then it would be someone running up with a bucket of water to put him out. I have never been asked to give a serious answer. first of all, don't specify them as your weaknesses... just tell them you don't consider them as strong and they could use some work... that's what i would say... good luck on your interviews! You have to prepare an answer for this question for every job interview before you go. the most important thing about what you say is for it to be something resolvable, or an area in which you can improve and to show how you are trying to solve this or that issue. For instance, you can say that your written communication skills are not amazing, but you are currently (or planning to register) for a course in creative writing, or business communication, or professional writing, etc... The question "What would you say is your greatest weakness" in a job interview is a way to find out many things about you, Try to make it a positive reply. As a property manager I say "I care too much about my communities" this equates to my spending additional time on site at no cost to the company This is always a difficult thing to do, because no one likes having to recognize their flaws. Probably the most effective way would to be straightforward, but don't become "off-putting". Be honest with the interviewer, saying that you struggle with certain tasks (list maybe the number 1 thing that you struggle with most). After saying that then tactfully move onto a strength that you believes offsets your weakness. If the interviewer continues pressing for more weaknesses don't appear offended, everyone has weaknesses so there is no use lying. Here are a few major points to remember for a question like this; Choose a true weakness that has elements of strength: example (a) "I have trouble reminding myself to be patient when met with resistance to technological change" - for jobs that will benefit from a self-motivated learner of the latest technology tools; example (b) "I am sometimes so curious I have trouble remembering all things will come in there time" - for jobs that will benefit from an innovate learner and team motivator whose curiosity is a contagious. Be prepared for it - know your weaknesses ahead of time, if you reply with "I have no weaknesses" then the interviewer will most likely view that as self-absorbed. Don't rush to answer the question, before you answer give it some thought on how you are going to present the weakness so that it isn't going to overshadow the rest of your interview. Use humor if possible - that does not mean make the question into a joke. It means that you can't take the question to seriously, if the interviewer does have some sort of joke involved then give it a slight chuckle, but do not over do it. And relax - When they ask you about your weaknesses don't start fidgeting or squirming about, that gives the impression that you have something to hide. But the most important thing to remember in a situation like this is to be honest, but there is no need to tell them all of your little quirks. Just keep it cool throughout the interview and you will have that dream job in no time! This can be the most difficult question put by the interviewer to check out your honesty and your confidence level. Don't try to portray yourself as Mr/Miss perfect, as we all have some flaws. Just be careful, and state your weak point by adding that you are working towards improving it. For more details, check out the related link. Use strengths that are applicable to the job position like punctuality, motivated, reliable, adaptable, communicate well with people and deliver and excellent standard of customer care. The most important thing about delivering a weakness is to use something that can be overcome. That is the most important factor, for example "I feel that I lack the skills to being assertive, but however I am working on that by taking up horse riding lessons, because the key to horse riding is being assertive and leading where the horse is going" or "My weakness is not being able to drive but I am currently undergoing driving lessons" so something that wont put you in a position of not being hired like "I hate paperwork" when your applying for a secretarial job that is not a good answer.
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How do you answer 'Why do you want to leave your current job' in a job interview?

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Interviews: Leaving your Current Job Here are some tips for answering this questions: Never speak poorly about your current (previous) employer. This question is an opportunity to sell yourself, not air your dirty laundry. Put your reason for leaving in the best light possible. For example, if your company has looked over you for a promotion, or you don't think you make enough money, you might say "I seek to work in a meritocracy" or "I want to work in a more entrepreneurial environment." Always consider what the job requires, and think about an answer that contrasts what your previous company didn't have but this current job does. If you are looking to move from a large company to a small company, you might say you've had a wonderful experience seeing how a large company does business, and you are looking to apply that knowledge you've gained in a setting where you'd have greater responsibility and more accountability for your decisions. If an interviewer asks you why you are wanting to leave your current position, you could tell them the real reason which is probably the pay or you really don't like your boss. or you could say something like "I don't feel like in my current position I am able to show my full potential. I am looking for a challenge in a company that will recognize my abilities as a ... (whatever position you are applying for)." Example: "As I succeeded in financial analysis, I became increasingly interested in broader issues of managing money. I wanted to understand how legal regulations and individuals' goals affect decisions about how to manage money. When I gained entrance to my top choice in law school, I seized the opportunity to infuse my financial training with legal knowledge." "No room to advance" or "I want to move up in my career" Never talk negative about the current organization. Don't say you are unhappy with the systems and processes there. If the reason you are leaving for pay, say that. Talk about the challenges that you have faced and how you have been able to solve them. Talk to the prospective employer saying that you are looking for a more challenging and more responsible position. Talk about your accomplishments and tell him how you can contribute to the new employer. Don't say you want to leave your current job because you're not earning enough. More $$$ is NOT THE ANSWER they want to hear. "Oh Look, someone who is leaving for more money! Welcome aboard!" There are really only 3 reasons: Location (commute way too long); Family Matter (new kid, etc.)' Opportunity. That's it. "In my current job there are no more challenges to face or potential to show my talent." Really the best practice is always be honest, such as, "This job really didn't have advancement opportunities that I was seeking." It's not that they really care about this answer. It's more of a "will this person trip over themselves, badmouth his former employer, or give out too much information" to screen themselves out. So don't do any of that. Many questions are meant to be handled and not answered in a job interview. "I feel that I have reached a plateau at my current job so I am looking for alternatives and new challenges." Don't mention the Glass Ceiling; that seems to have a negative conotation, it's been tried and receives mixed results. Someone I hired once told me he was tired of working for criminals. This is not the answer you usually get, so I asked him to expand his remarks. He reeled off an astounding string of OSHA, labor, environmental and copyright law violations. His former employer was known in my community for his wonderful habit of giving employees paychecks that bounced, so I could believe the rest of the stuff the applicant named. Once I brought him in, he was a good employee. I think there's a world of difference between "I want to leave my current job because my boss is an idiot" and "I am going to get killed if I don't get out of that place." Sample: I am really looking for a new challenge at an innovative company. In my discussions with manager I get the impression that you are really looking to create a foundation for your {program} I also get the impression that you are willing to try out new technologies and methods like {name technologies or methods}. While {My Current Company} does promote innovation, I think that {Your Company} really takes it seriously and that's the type of firm that I want to partner with. Keep it positive and make the reason for a leaving a constructive one such as a new challenge, exciting opportunity, increased responsibility or learning possibility.
Asked in Job Interviews, Job Training and Career Qualifications

How can you answer 'What are your strengths' in a job interview?

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Job interviews are always nerve wracking situations. Here are some tips for knowing how to handle the popular question, "What are your strengths?" 1. Come prepared. Like I said, this is a common question in interviews, so give some thought to the answer before you go. 2. Think of general strengths like being responsible, reliable and a good communicator. But also think about specific strengths that you know would work well with the job. Is it an administrative position? Perhaps you can talk about your ability to type fast or multi task well. 3. Be honest and confident. Try not to sound arrogant. But also try not to sound afraid to share your strengths. Just be clear and matter of fact. 4. Think of what sets you apart. Pick out some unique strengths or past experiences you had that prepare you well for this kind of job. Share a story or two, including what strengths were displayed and grown in those situations. If you want to get to know yourself better or talk with someone about good career options, think about connecting with a trustworthy company that does counseling online like, iTherapyRX. Are you honest, reliable, ethical? Those are strengths employers seek, as well as employees who have a sense of urgency, they know how important it is to get things done and get them done quickly. Employers like to see an employee with enthusiasm for their job, not someone who walks, talks, moves slow with no personality or ambition. Some possible work strengths can be: Strong and firm leader Having good skills of managing Creativity Having good hold over your skill Good in resolving conflicts and problems You might list the things that make you a more suitable candidate than anyone else. For example, if your amazing hypothetical skill of mountain climbing shows that you have excellent team leading skills, then you might bring that up with a reason. When it comes to accomplishments, you will want to show them anything you have done that is superior to anyone else. Examples of this include certificates in activities, like scuba diving/an academic subject/teaching or simply winning certain competitive events. Essentially, anything that will make you stand out to the interviewer as being a superior candidate for the job.
Asked in Job Interviews, Job Applications, Letters Notes and Memos

How do you write a thank-you letter after an interview?

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Thank You Letter Direct the letter to the person who interviewed you, if possible. Keep it short. Send the letter the day of the interview or the next day. DO NOT WAIT! You want to hit them while they are still deciding who to hire! Say something like, "I wanted to thank you for the opportunity of speaking to me regarding the __________ position. I truly feel that I am the best candidate for the job because ___________________________________. Thanks again for your time and consideration, Sincerely, Your name <><> Here is more advice: I would always follow-up with a thank you letter when I am interested in the position. As a matter of fact, not many candidates do, and this is to your benefit. You can also use it to reemphasize why you are qualified i.e. "...after speaking to you, I feel even more confident in my ability to do the job..." Use the thank you letter as a tool that reinforces or clears up any doubts the employer might had have of you. And don't forget to actually thank them for their time. Of the skills are actually what is going to get you the job, but I've been in situations where I was one of two applicants, and my thank you letter tipped the scale my way. I would always send a thank you letter, even if you are not interested in that specific position. You never know when you may be back before that person for a different position or interviewing at that company with a different person who consults the other person for an opinion on you. Always send it within 48 hrs. after the interview. It should be in the same format as the cover letter. Yet, the thank you letter should be more concise than the cover letter. Make it enthusiastic and positive by all means. <><> Here is a template to use as main suggested paragraphs by order: Start with gratitude towards the opportunity/time the employer gave you. Continue with expressing your interest in the job. Enclose documents if required. Reiterate your thanks and hope for future interaction/interviews.
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When a job application asks your reason for leaving a job and were you ever fired what is the best way to answer?

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Answer honestly. That's what all employers are looking for. Just because you were fired doesn't mean you won't get hired. Among the specific suggestions: There was no scope for upward mobility Better opportunity Unresolvable conflicts Not enough hours Personality conflicts Staff reduction/budget cuts Other opinions: They're probably only looking for honesty. If I felt the need to cover it up a little, I would blame it on downsizing, but honesty is the best policy. Be honest. Be prepared to explain (ex. refused to perform certain activities to unsafe working conditions). Was not able to keep up with pace in that type of job due to health issues- ex. repetitive stress injuries. Could also restate question:"My position was terminated in 1995 at xyz because, however, I really enjoyed working there." Never speak badly about previous employers- no matter how much they sucked. Because new employer wouldn't want you leaving and speaking badly about their organization. Good Luck!!! I have not received any employment opportunities since I have been honest stating the reason I was let go. On the application I state "Let go for a personal problem would, like to discuss". I always explain in the interview that "I was let go for a personal problem that affected my attendance. The problem is resolved, I am willing and ready to return to work. I am always told the position was given to a more qualified individual. I don't believe this response. I am continually told that a past employer cannot say I was fired. Is this true? Or can I say that there was a lay off? Please respond, Thanks You see, a non-decisive answer provides for others to think of Other important subjective things. This also provides time for you to evade a decision making reply,that gives away In-depth idea of your attitude. It is not so easy to be like that. A previous employer can say you were fired. However, They can't state anything more. like Why, when, what happened and so forth. I have not had any luck either with being honest. Getting fired sucks. Time heals I guess. Employers can provide any information that they are asked provided by applicable local or state law. You can provide whatever reason you feel necessary regarding the situation or reasons of why your employment ended, but if you allow the potential employer to contact your previous employers, you open the door for criticism and you could be caught in a lie, providing that you fasified the nature and reasoning of your employment and the circumstances on how it ended. The best resolve always that if you left an employer on uncertain or unresolved terms and for reasons that you don't really want to disclose, simply state that you left the employer to seek further career opportunities and advancement and decline if they ask that they can contact the previous employer. If you give permission for them to dig into your past employment, you are subject to the nature of your employment, and the actual information you provided, and if the don't match each other, the prospective employer is going to know you lied and is probably not going to hire you. And to the person who posted the answer stating they never get hired for being honest, from what I can gather from the information you provided is that you were fired from your job for an attendance/performance issue. If that is what you put on an application for a potential employer, of course you're not going to get hired, heck i wouldn't hire you. Employers are looking for dedicated, punctual, and honest people, not individuals who are terminated because the couldn't meet company attendance policies or performance standards. It is untrue that an employer can answer any information that they are asked. Confidentiality allows that unless a written release is signed by the former employee, the only information that can be provided regarding your employment is a confirmation that you were in fact employed there and whether termination was voluntary or involuntary. Without a release, they cannot provide any details on your termination even if asked. It is true that they can provide some details. They can see that you were an excellent employee or that you weren't that good. They won't lie. They cannot confirm or deny you were fired; however. If it is your most recent employer and within 2 years, the employer CAN give any information. If it is not within 2 years and isn't your most recent employment, the employer can only give dates of employment and whether or not the separation was voluntary or not. These laws may vary slightly state to state, but 9 out of 10 times this will hold true. If you are honest I am sure you will have at least 95% chance of getting the Job!
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How do you answer 'How did you handle your most challenging experience in your previous job' in a job interview?

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Think of a stressfull thing that happened at your last job. Then write a short description of what it was and what you did. Did you work to resolve the problem? Did you remove yourself from the problem and let other handle it? Stuff like that. Just a short explaination of what happened. This is more related to problem solving., first, think of a problem you had in you work and what is the action/ solution you have taken to resolve. It is always better to explain the point in logical order with a good example. When answering a question like this, you should always try and remember two things: use an example use the word 'teamwork' Employers want to know how you handle stress, how you worked through that problem, and if you're a team player. I was young and naive, and I quit. I was being treated with such disrespect and was being sexually harassed. I didn't know I had grounds to sue and that if they continued to treat me that way they'd be liable. I couldn't take it, so I left after my shift one day and never went back. I completely regret handling it that way because I was there 3 years and built up a lot of skills and experience. Had I known then what I know now I'd have come right out to the manager that the person he needed to speak to was not me and that things needed to change. I now know better. Think of specific problems or situations that really tested your skills and abilities and had positive outcomes. Describe the way you analyzed the situation, the skills you used to constructively deal with it and what your particular contribution to resolving it was. Always try to end on a positive note.
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How do you answer 'Where do you see yourself in five years' in a job interview?

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Where do you see yourself: Here's what the resume advice company Resume Edge recommends as a sample answer to the question, "Where do you see yourself in ten years?" In ten years, I endeavor to have refined my strategic and client relations skills. I intend to be a leading expert in estate planning. After having proven myself as a senior manager, I hope to help shape the strategic direction of estate planning services. I could do this in any number of official roles. The important thing is that I will continue contributing my abilities in a challenging and rewarding environment. More advice: While it is not usually a good idea to try to be a Jim Carey in an interview, depending on how things have gone and who you are dealing with, you might inject a little humor here and ask: "When do you expect to be promoted?" ....or "When are you moving on?... This could easily break the ice. Seriously, you can easily respond that you have no idea as you have no idea what you are capable of so far, although you know it is a lot. Therefore, you want to make sure you are open and flexible to whatever opportunities present themselves. If you actually know what you want to be when you grow up, you could offer to conduct a seminar on how to actuate that. You know when you come to that common situation where someone asks you "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Yea you should call a person on that because that question is silly! You have no idea where you'll be in five years nor should you worry. I mean how depressing can that question actually be? If someone asked me that question five years ago I wouldn't have predicted my life to be like this nor would I have wanted to say my life would be like this, I'm not saying I'm unhappy with my life necessarily its just that in a span of five years a persons likes and dislikes change, the people around them either disappear, reappear, or show up for the first time. The things you once loved could become something you hate or vice versa. Aspirations change and feelings lose their magic. Yes you can say what you'd like to see happen in five years but I'm pretty sure it won't and five years from now when you look back on yourself answering that question you'll probably no longer want the same things. There's always hope but no definite so all you can do is live life like you have those five years to look back on... When an interviewer asks this question, they're asking where you see yourself within a company. They don't want to hear you say, "Well, in five years, I will be married to a handsome European man, touring the South Pacific in our yacht with a mai-tai in my hand." They want something like, "Well, that will depend on my individual performance and on the opportunities I'm presented with, but ideally, I will be..." Even if you're going, "Yeah, like I'll be here in 5 years..." act like you will be. They don't want to hear you saying you'll essentially use them to get where you want, and the minute the opportunity is presented jump ship. Some might think that you should not tell the interviewer that you want to move up the ladder of success, because they will fear that you might replace them or move on to another job. However, most would recommend that you answer with just the opposite: that you do want to be successful. A good manager wants his employees to be successful and grow in their careers because that benefits the whole company. If they don't want this, you don't want to work for them. As for the actual standards of success and specific career paths, they are very different for different people and different industries. It is most important to show that you do want to be successful. Think educationally-- higher degree? certification? Think leadership-- at least one step up from where you are at now. Think about what your goals in life are. Then think about what you are doing now. The answer will be somewhere in between, for example "I want to be the CEO of Microsoft and right now I'm studying towards a degree in computering engineering." In five years time the person would probably be "working with a decent computer company in a high position, looking to move on to greater things". Be ambitious but realistic. If you are applying for a job in the mail room in a large corporation, don't say you are gong to be CEO in 5 years; but try to find out before your interview where a mail room clerk might be promoted to. This is a tricky interview question and definitely something worth thinking about before hand. You should come across as being flexible with strong ideas of several directions you are interested in developing. You should be positive, confident and ambitious but not overly so. Don't say "I want to be doing your job" Where will you be in five years? This is a very common job interview question. Think carefully about your plans. Really answer it for yourself, Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be? The interviewer is looking to find out a few things with this question. First, are you the type of person who plans ahead and sets goals? You should be. Second, do your goals match those of the company and the position? Your goals need to fit the career path for the job. They don't want to lose you in a year or two.
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How do you answer 'How would you relate your key competencies to this position as a Branch Manager in Banking' in a job interview?

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Relating Key Competencies They're asking how your experience relates to the job for which you are applying. A good place to start? Make a list of the requirements for the job. Circle any that apply to you. What skills do you have that apply to the position? What experience do you have that will help the company if they hire you? Give at least one example. That's how YOU relate to the job. Here are suggestions for answering the interview question: As an individual, I have confidence in my leadership and interpersonal skill. My ability to produce innovative and concepts of management, work as a team player, and meet deadlines, together with my attention to detail, have contributed to my successes in management planning. I have performed direct work with my oversea team to run projects and problem solving. I am an effective organizer and planner. My outgoing and friendly nature allows me to interact well with other staff members at all levels and I am able to bridge the gap between technical and non-technical persons. I am diligent, very expeditious. I have good listening, communication and organizational skills, I can be work as a good team player. My professional qualification and experience is 100% right according to the position and I am positive that I will give it up develop. Realize that you're probably talking to a knob in HR. "Key competencies" is truly a taste of the worst in Human Resource drivel. Just tell them why you think your skills match the requirements. That's all. Is it a stupid way to ask it? Yes it is. Welcome to the world of interviewing! What they are asking for are skills that are applicable to the position of customer service. Like are you a people person. Do you work well under a lot of stress, can you deal with angry customers etc. Do you have customer service experience??? If so list the things you've done in previous positions. Did you work on a register. "Competencies" is asking what skills are you competent in. You know which skills are you very good at.
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How do you answer 'What are your short-term and long-term career goals' in a job interview?

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Be truthful but positive, if your goal is to keep the job and be stable say: To be a good employee with a stable long term employment. If you wish to be promoted: To excel and gain promotion through hard work. Change and paraphrase to suit your situation. A long term goal in one's career would be, getting a raise, retirement, vacation. Short term goals could be, getting one's pay check or a date with some one else in the work area.
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How do you answer the following in a job interview - 'Describe your personal qualities that suit the requirements of this position'?

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Wiki s contributors share some job-interview skills: I am an account service intern right now with an ad agency in Austin. An account executive needs to be extremely organized and time-oriented. Be prepared to multitask and know what is going on at all times. Be open to ideas and know when to keep your mouth shut. Be nit-picky and be ready to come in early and leave the office late. I'm a team player, responsible and enthusiastic. I give my best in everything that I do. Look at the job description. Pick out key words that describe you. If you have time beforehand, make a list of the qualities they are looking for that also describe you. They just want to know if you are a good match for the job. If you truly can't come up with any qualities that suit what they are looking for, you're probably applying for the wrong job. Highlight any parts of the job or job description that sound like you, but add positive comments to each description. Tell the interviewer how closely you match the job description ("I'm an excellent writer." or "My great personality and helpfulness are perfect for customer service." or "I know many of the required software programs and I'm also a quick learner!") Are they looking for someone who has a lot of computer skills? Do you have these skills? Then emphasize them! They are asking what qualities you have that will make you a good choice for the job. For example, if you are applying for a secretarial job, they don't care if you have carpentry skills. They'll want to know how fast you can type and how organized you are. Are you applying for a job in a law firm? If you feel that you are good with handling confidential material, SAY SO. Are you applying for a high-stress job but you're good under pressure? SAY SO.
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What questions will an interviewer ask?

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Questions an Interviewer is likely to ask are: 1. Can you tell me about yourself? 2. What are your greatest strengths? 3. What are your greatest weaknesses? 4. Why are you interested in this particular area of work? 5. Why should we hire you? 6. What interests you about our company, agency, school? 7. Why are you looking for a job? 8. Why did you leave your last job? 9. What didn't you like about your last job? 10. What did you like about your last job? 11. What were your major contributions to your last job? 12. Why have changed jobs so frequently? 13. May we contact your employer? 14. How do you feel about a female boss? 15. Can you work under pressure? 16. How do you handle pressure? 17. Are you willing to travel? 18. What are your long-term objectives? 19. What are your short-term objectives? 20. How do you hope to benefit from this job? 21. Would you be able to relocate? 22. What is your feeling about working for a large...small...medium-size company? 23. Can you delegate responsibility? Cite an example. 24. Have you ever hired anyone? 25. How did you help to increase sales and/or profits at your last job? 26. How long do you envision yourself working for this company? 27. Would you be willing to take less money? 28. Have you ever been responsible for profit-and-loss statements? 29. Can you give us business and character references? 30. Do you have any handicaps? 31. What are your three greatest accomplishments in your career? 32. Do you like to work? Why? 33. Have your objectives changed over the last few years? How and why? 34. What kind of contribution can you make to our company? 35. Are you creative? Analytical? 36. Do you like to manage people? 37. Do you consider yourself to be an aggressive individual? 38. Do you feel you are being fairly compensated at your present job? Why or why not? 39. How far do you feel you can go in this company? 40. If you could choose any company for which you could work, where would you work? 41. What interests you most about this job? 42. What interests you least about this job? 43. How do you react to criticism? 44. Are you organized? Cite some examples. 45. What are your feelings about success? 46. Why do you want this job, what experience you got, what are your skills 47. Why should we hire you?
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How do you answer 'Describe an ideal working environment' in a job interview?

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I think the modern workplace is so varied it's important to be capable of productivity in a diverse range of environments. I excel in an environment that has good communication and great teamwork, so therefore, that to me, would be the ideal working environment. The ideal job consists of a workplace where I can grow not only professionally but intellectually, where my own ideas are received as well as innovative ideas and knowledge acquired in the past. Where my knowledge and work is appreciated in terms of having an economic stability and security within the organization. The place irrespective of size contribute to each other in substantial amount, helps to grow each other, that is work place and the employee, understand each other in terms of professionalism, give enough space to individual motivation, and a healthy team work helps to dedicate potential is an ideal working place. My office would be at home with windows to see outside and let plenty of sunshine in. I would have all the necessary equipment i.e.: computer, scanner, fax, IPhone and phone to do my job effectively. My schedule would be flexible and my work hours would be filled with productivity. I excel in an environment that has good communication skills and great teamwork but I enjoy working independently. My supervisor would be employee friendly with great communication skills and could coach and lead me to meet common and rewarding goals. It is a place where I can grow not only professionally but intellectually and where training and education is available to advance to the next level if so desired.
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How do you answer 'What is good customer service' in a job interview?

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A+ The one with the best references. There is no right or wrong answer. They want to know what you think good customer service is. For me, it's not about quick service, but helpful service. If I'm at the grocery and ask a worker where a certain item is, most of the time they just tell you what aisle it's on. Those are the ones that are just doing their job. The ones with good customer service are the ones that tell you, and guide you to the exact location. "It's in Aisle 4. Let me take you to it." Or, "John! This young lady is looking for a blah-blah, I don't know where it is. Can you show the miss where it's at? Thanks." If all you needed to know was the aisle number, you can just reply with, "Oh, that's not necessary, thank you very much!" That's good customer service! and here is more... Customer satisfaction begins with the first contact a customer has with your company. Good customer service looks like this: Make sure you represent a product or service you believe in! Then...Warm, sincere greeting on first contact. Establish whether your business has what the customer needs (offer to help find it)-provide it or suggest better alternative, to their benefit. Develop an easy, positive rapport with the customer which lets them know they are respected and appreciated. Go above and beyond. Then, provide an easy, efficient way to complete the transaction. Sincerely and warmly thank the customer for their business and invite them to come back if ever they need your help again (in whatever way is appropriate in your case). Actually, that's excellent customer service- and it keeps people coming back to you.. More friendus from Wiki s contributors: When a customer has received exceptional standards of service from a provider and leaves a shop/wherever feeling very satisfied. It sort of depends on the actual job. But the basic answer would be something like "Being friendly and courteous. And to do what it takes to make the customer satisfied." Great customer service is when an employee takes the time to listen to your concerns by genuinely expressing interest, sympathy, and their eagerness to satisfy you. Someone who is sincerely caring, compassionate, understanding, fair, and helpful is better than someone who knows their job so well that they brush you off as ignorant. Straightway jacket formula is "What we want, when hire someone." To feel that we are being attended properly with priority, attentive listening with empathy showing concern and appropriate solution as close to perfect possible. An additional aspect that is essential to good customer service is the ability of the seller to, within reason, take extra measures to differentiate their customer services from their competition. Customer Service means exceeding their expectations. Every one expects a certain amount of service, some more than others. But when you EXCEED that, then you have added the "WOW" factor. It would be great if your customers said "WOW, I didn't expect that" or "that was beyond what I expected". Then they are more likely to CHOOSE you as their "provider of choice". Customer service is customer satisfaction Good CS means not ignoring the customer and giving them your undivided attention; if you can't answer their question. find someone who can. The basis of Customer satisfaction is to take care of the customer the best way you possibly can while still staying in the companies guidelines. all the questions they have truthfully, if you don't know the answer find someone who can. "Good customer service" Is service that is rendered with customer satisfaction in mind and results in a return, repeat, refferal, and regular business from a customer.
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What questions should an interviewer ask?

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Believe it or not, the people you interview usually want you to be professional. Although it is easier to find out what a person is like in a regular conversation, most prospective employees have prepared to answer questions from you. If you do not ask any, or ask very few, they might think you don't take them seriously. If you have not done many interviews try asking some open ended questions like: What would you view as your greatest assets? What do you hope to gain by working with us? How do you feel we would benefit most by hiring you? It is also helpful to learn how long they want the job for. Although you may just assume they want a career, that might not be the case. If this is just a stop on the way to something else for them, you might consider that so that you don't hire them, only to have to hire someone else in a couple of months when they leave. Spatzy: Here are some common questions asked by the interviewer: -Which are your strong points/ weak points? -Why do you want to work for us? -Why do you think you are the right candidate for this job? -What qualities do you think this job requires? -How did you make a difference to your last organization? -How do you handle criticism? -Can you work in teams? -What motivates you? -What problems did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
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How do you answer 'Define teamwork' in a job interview?

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Team work is simply a help of tam members in order to achieve certain goal or objective. Understanding teamwork is essential in order to achieve the goals and successes that every business hopes to see. Working together as a team means that several individual people have to come together and function as one solid unit. It involves taking the various talents and skills that each team member contributes and combining them into one successful effort. It's like sport teams - each player must rely on the other players while also sharing the work load. You can not allow personal issues to play a role in your team. If you do, it will quickly tear your team apart and you will find more failure than success. Being a team means sharing the responsibility. This can be incredibly tough, because the team will have to share both losses and victories. A team has to remain a team whether they are winning or losing. It's about supporting of one another that you can all learn by experience and grow together as a team.