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MOTM June 2015
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Title is my question. Also interested in how you answered those tough questions or how you think you should have answered the questions.

My interest in this subject was peaked today due to my son having what he felt was a tough interview (in comparison to some of the others).
 

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"If you could be any animal, what would you want to be and why?"

I said "Either an octopus or an eagle, so I could multitask like crazy, or so I could soar with great vision."

Some other good answers include a honeybee, beaver, or an ant, as all of them are hard workers.
 

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Now, this is a variant of a question that is quite normal - "What sets you apart from the other candidates?"

Before I was called into the interview, I was making small talk with another girl who was interviewing later. She was sweet, and had some really cool ideas about the economics of climate change. As I was called into the room, I mentioned that I was chatting with another candidate outside. They immediately asked, "Why should we choose you over her?"

Needless to say, I was a little taken about. I did not know the girl at all, but she seemed nice and a viable candidate, and I of course did not want to trash her to this board of interviewers. It made me uncomfortable.
 

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I work in Education and most of the interview questions I've had for a job have been tough. The most unusual was to give titles to themes I would teach for my units. I came up with two titles and thought to myself that that's a tough question that will eliminate good candidates. Besides interviews don't really give insight as to the drive of the person chosen to do the job.
 

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MOTM June 2015
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Besides interviews don't really give insight as to the drive of the person chosen to do the job.
One of the questions posed to my son was, "What would you say if I said that you don't have any of the qualifications we're really looking for?" He said it took him back for a second, but then he reasoned why would they waste their time with me if that was the case? He felt that he handled the question well, but said had he been hit with it 6 months ago (when he graduated from college) it probably would have messed him up. He said nerves would have gotten the best of him previously, but after working with the public in an understaffed bank for the last few months he's a lot more confident.
 

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"Tell me a little about yourself."

Not a question, but, fffuuuuccckkkkkkkkk.
 
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Now, this is a variant of a question that is quite normal - "What sets you apart from the other candidates?"

Before I was called into the interview, I was making small talk with another girl who was interviewing later. She was sweet, and had some really cool ideas about the economics of climate change. As I was called into the room, I mentioned that I was chatting with another candidate outside. They immediately asked, "Why should we choose you over her?"

Needless to say, I was a little taken about. I did not know the girl at all, but she seemed nice and a viable candidate, and I of course did not want to trash her to this board of interviewers. It made me uncomfortable.
I think the interviewer's intention was not to make you trash her, but to underline your best qualities to convey your superiority, not making her inferior per se. For example, you might say, I don't know about her, but what I am particularly strong at is in (example) communicating efficiently, and being methodical in my thought. I also had the opportunity to work in so and so company, and has achieved so and so forth. (its one of those open-ended questions that allows you to humblebrag, actually). I think the key to answering that kind of question is aimed not to bash someone, but to see how able you are to market your self worth.
 

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One of the questions posed to my son was, "What would you say if I said that you don't have any of the qualifications we're really looking for?" He said it took him back for a second, but then he reasoned why would they waste their time with me if that was the case? He felt that he handled the question well, but said had he been hit with it 6 months ago (when he graduated from college) it probably would have messed him up. He said nerves would have gotten the best of him previously, but after working with the public in an understaffed bank for the last few months he's a lot more confident.
My friend is actually posed with a similar question due to lack of experience, I think a more strategic way to answer the question was to show how you are marketable for the company you are applying to and how you embody their values, and you're in for a long term. Emphasize that qualifications can be learned, and you have the drive and passion to do so. After all, the company might want a loyal employee who can be trained instead of a qualified person who may not have the right character or embody their values.

But, if your son feel he is actually qualified, he should say that he is qualified and give basis for it. Or say that he might not have much experience for the job, but his so and so qualities can help make up for that.
 

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MOTM June 2015
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Discussion Starter #9
Emphasize that qualifications can be learned, and you have the drive and passion to do so. After all, the company might want a loyal employee who can be trained instead of a qualified person who may not have the right character or embody their values.
That's basically what my son ended up doing. He said it took him back for second due to the directness of the comment, but then he pointed out that he did not have any banking experience prior to his current job and that he mastered it quickly and was named employee of the month after a fairly short duration.

As a recent graduate he doesn't have a lot of experience, but he does have a drive to learn new things. He said he use to be reluctant to try to sell himself but said he's finally realized that he has nothing to lose by being more assertive.
 

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That's basically what my son ended up doing. He said it took him back for second due to the directness of the comment, but then he pointed out that he did not have any banking experience prior to his current job and that he mastered it quickly and was named employee of the month after a fairly short duration.

As a recent graduate he doesn't have a lot of experience, but he does have a drive to learn new things. He said he use to be reluctant to try to sell himself but said he's finally realized that he has nothing to lose by being more assertive.
Your son did the right thing highlighting his drive. Manyof the interviews I've gone to have worn me out with the tough questions that are asked of me that I often times did not get to say that I work hard and I'll gladly help out newbies learn the ropes. I like the current school I'm at, but interviews do suck because I feel a more direct approach during an interview would be best for everyone involved.
 
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