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51  

Your interviewer wonders, “Is this person really able to handle the job?”…”Is he or she a ‘good fit’ at a place like ours?”…”Will the chemistry ever be right with someone like this?” But the interviewer never raises such questions because they’re illegal. So what can you do?


Remember that just because the interviewer doesn’t ask an illegal question doesn’t mean he doesn’t have it. More than likely, he is going to come up with his own answer. So you might as well help him out.

How? Well, you obviously can’t respond to an illegal question if he hasn’t even asked. This may well offend him. And there’s always the chance he wasn’t even concerned about the issue until you brought it up, and only then begins to wonder.

So you can’t address “secret” illegal questions head-on. But what you can do is make sure there’s enough counterbalancing information to more than reassure him that there’s no problem in the area he may be doubtful about.


52  

What are your career options right now?

Prepare for this question by thinking of how you can position yourself as a desired commodity. If you are still working, describe the possibilities at your present firm and why, though you’re greatly appreciated there, you’re looking for something more (challenge, money, responsibility, etc.). Also mention that you’re seriously exploring opportunities with one or two other firms.

If you’re not working, you can talk about other employment possibilities you’re actually exploring. But do this with a light touch, speaking only in general terms. You don’t want to seem manipulative or coy.



53  

Why have you been out of work so long ?

You want to emphasize factors which have prolonged your job search by your own choice.


54  

Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Have a few heroes in mind, from your mental “Board of Directors” – Leaders in your industry, from history or anyone else who has been your mentor.

Be prepared to give examples of how their words, actions or teachings have helped inspire your achievements. As always, prepare an answer which highlights qualities that would be highly valuable in the position you are seeking.



55  

What are your greatest strengths ?


You know that your key strategy is to first uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and needs before you answer questions. And from Question 1, you know how to do this.

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 strength, 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 so well committed to memory that you can recite them cold after being shaken awake at 2:30AM.

Then, once you uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and needs, you can choose those achievements from your list that best match up.

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 who meshes well with interviewer's team.

Likeability...positive attitude...sense of humor.

Good communication skills.

Dedication...willingness to walk the extra mile to achieve excellence.

Definiteness of purpose...clear goals.

Enthusiasm...high level of motivation.

Confident...healthy...a leader.


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