Be Ready For Anything At Your Next Job Interview – How To Answer Those Really Tricky Interview Questions
If you’re looking for your next professional opportunity, then you’re probably putting a lot of thought into how you’re going to approach interviews. Some people dread interview situations, feeling nervous about being grilled and evaluated by a panel of people who have the power to decide whether or not their dream job becomes a reality. Others actually quite enjoy them, relishing the challenge of proving why they are able to help a prospective employer thrive.
Whichever camp you fall into, there are some questions that interviewers like to use that just about everyone dreads. Here are some ideas to help you deal with them. Use them to help you prepare some answers you can have ready, and you’ll be able to confidently respond without missing a beat!
“Describe yourself in one word…”
Some interviewers love to put candidates on the spot with this question, or a variation on it, so have a few ideas of words that describe your working style in mind before you head in to an interview. Some people are tempted to try and be funny at this point and reply with something silly, ironic or self-deprecating (for example “tall”, “fabulous” or “crazy”). If the interview feels right for this, it can be a way to break the ice and show you have a sense of humour, but that won’t get you out of giving a proper answer so you’re still going to need one.
Think of something that is appealing to these specific employers, not too self-aggrandising, and apt. Words like “enthusiastic”, “energetic”, “direct” and “honest” can be good. Avoid buzzwords like “innovative”, which don’t really tell the interviewer anything (except that you use buzzwords), or things like “experienced” which tell them something they should already know from your resume.
“What would you say your weaknesses are?”
Nobody likes this one, but don’t fall into the obvious trap of “giving a weakness that is also a strength”. This is something the interviewer will have seen people do time and again, and is a clichéd response that doesn’t work (unless your interviewer has just arrived in a time machine from the eighties). Do not say you’re a perfectionist, or a workaholic, or you care too much about your staff, or anything along those lines, even if it’s true.
Instead, think of something that is a genuine weakness but which is skill based rather than personal and could be easily rectified. Something like “I’m not as good with Microsoft Excel as I could be” is a good one (assuming the job would require you to use Excel, but it isn’t one of the main responsibilities) – it highlights a training need rather than a serious personal flaw, and shows that you are willing to look at your skills objectively and admit where you need improvement.
By having answers to these questions in mind ahead of every interview, you won’t be thrown when
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Deborah Rodriguez, the author of this post, works for a successful legal recruitment agency and often writes blog articles related to her work. She likes to spend time with her family and friends on holidays.
Running a busy store is not without its stresses. There are plenty of things to worry about every day and there’s a never-ending ‘to do’ list to battle through. The last thing you want to deal with is theft in your shop – you work hard to earn the money you do and nobody wants a thief to get the better of them. There are several things you can do to protect your shop’s security and it’s something that you should give serious thought to if you don’t want to come unstuck.
We’ll give you a few tips on how to increase your shop’s security – consult with your local police station too to see what they suggest.
Security Is Paramount
Obviously it should go without saying that you should have a failsafe security system to protect the building when you are not there. Locks should be completely robust and reliable and you should think about having an alarm system fitted. But also consider what happens when the shop is open. Do members of staff leave back doors open? Anybody could cruise in and help themselves so it may be time to review your security procedures.
Unfortunately shoplifting is one of the most common crimes there are. It’s also very hard to detect until long after it has happened and unless you can afford CCTV or a store detective you will lose out. Don’t make it easy for thieves to walk in and help themselves. Make sure all your valuable stock is displayed in lockable display cabinets that can only be opened by a member of staff. Genuine customers will not mind asking at all, and thieves will give up and move on to somewhere else in search of an easier target.
Regular Stock Takes
Sadly many shoplifting occurrences turn out to be an inside job. Make sure you do regular stock takes listing exactly how much of everything you have, so that if things start to disappear you are made aware of it.
Roller shutters are a good way of reinforcing your shop’s security overnight when you are not there. They pull down in front of the windows adding an extra lockable layer to your security. It also helps to protect the windows from being smashed by drunks and vandals. You can put one across the back door too. They are quite expensive to fit but you will save money on your insurance as added security brings the premium down. And you’ll save yourself a lot of bother in the long run dealing with break-ins and damage.
The key to security is to always have an eagle eye. It’s really easy to be too trusting but very soon your good nature will be taken advantage of. Keep your wits about you and make sure every member of staff knows the security procedures. Work in close contact with the police and it’s also a great idea to buddy up with other shop owners – they’ll be happy to look out for you in return for you doing the same for them.
Don’t let the criminals win!
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
The author of this post, Ian Stephen, is an interior designer specialising in shop fittings and office fitouts. Ian works with SpaceWall Industries, a leading store fittings company based in Victoria.
This week saw the official launch of Daniel Priestley’s new book “Entrepreneur Revolution” published by Capstone. His last book “Become A Key Person of Influence” was number 1 on Amazon for business books and became a best-seller. This one is also a brilliant read!
Already the book is #1 in Amazon for all business books and #28 across all categories!
It’s one of the best books on Entrepreneurship in a very long time. Many of Daniel Priestley’s groundbreaking entrepreneurial ideas are contained in this book.
There’s another reason to buy it now. Imagine for a moment a world where the chart-topping book on Amazon wasn’t:
• a dieting book
• a book about 50 shades of naughtiness
• a book about 15 minute meals
• a book about wizards, vampires or oversexed teenagers who who fall in love with wizards and vampires.
Imagine a world where the number 1 book was about Entrepreneurship! That alone must be worth a tenner to see.
As one of the reviews on Amazon itself says: “Some books just cant be put down, they are few and far between agreed, but let me tell you, this is one of them” – Amanda Kennedy
At the very least you should read the free preview available just by clicking the graphic above!
Homes made out of shipping containers have become very popular over the past few years; intellectual people have been able to transform these ugly metal boxes into innovative pieces of architecture at the most economical and reasonable rates.
The recent trend is to use these metal boxes to form commercial buildings and shops. Further on, such shipping containers can be used to create multiple office buildings at an affordable rate. The idea behind the workaround: in reality, thousands of these boxes go waste in every country due to extensive trade deficits. So why not use them for something meaningful and make them an essential part of the housing domain?
How shipping containers can help home based businesses flourish?
Consider the following advantages of shipping containers with reference to home based businesses; such businesses usually suffer due to low funds and majorly, the entire budget for the business needs to be directed to run the core functions of the business.
Environmental way of doing business:
These containers can be efficiently used as office buildings by small scale businesses; such offices are not only comfortable and extremely affordable but are also based on the ‘go green’ principle.
Ability to deal with competition:
If you’re a well skilled entrepreneur looking to exploit the extensive space for your professional comfort, you would find yourself swaying with the comfort and the ease of operation which one gets with these shipping containers. He or she would also have the product knowledge, customer base and would be able to do well without a high street presence or a boutique shop in big malls.
Running the business from a home set up is the best affordable way; the costs of rent and overhead charges of running an office get eliminated here. The business could also be delineated from the home space, with the help of a container that could be situated in the backyard or the garden. The size of the office space could also be achieved by stacking containers on top of each other.
Spacing the office close to the residence gets the entrepreneur close to the locals; it allows him/her to understand their preferences and desires and tune the business accordingly. They also get a chance to interact with fellow entrepreneurs. This form of direct communication is better than all advertising channels.
Place to store stock and inventory:
Businesses involved in storage of physical inventory and stock need dedicated space for storing their inventory. They need an arrangement which would ensure that the stock is well protected from rain, rodents and winds. A container building offers the best storage option for any businessman looking for potential storage spaces.
How can you maintain your budget? Shipping containers offer you the best renovation options when it comes to sprucing up your interiors with shelves and cupboards. Not only are they economical but they also help a business in budget allocation during the lean periods.
If you’re a home based business looking for some cool, ubiquitous spacing opportunities, nothing can quite beat the need as shipping containers. They are innovative, convenient and always readily available to become a reliable asset in your balance sheet, for a lifetime.
This article is submitted by Steve Chamley. He is a flourishing businessman who trades products like footwear and woven bags from South America. He shares excellent trading tips and insights through his articles.
You might be a very talented businessman, but in today’s economic condition, talent alone cannot guarantee the success of your business or your success determining that you are a great businessman. I am not saying talent is insignificant factor, in fact, talent is one of the major qualities required for you to succeed but talent without any other attributes is like having a river without any water. There are couple of attributes you need to cultivate for standing out and influence others with your charisma.
Calm and Poise
Okay, this is one of the most cliché things to include but it is also one of the most important ones that we cannot amiss. A calm and poise personality ensures that you weigh your options, evaluate the pros and cons before taking any decisions. You need to have control at your adrenaline rush and refrain from taking impulsive decision. Business is mind game and not heart play.
It is extremely essential that you have belief in your vision. You cannot expect others to believe in your vision if you don’t have faith in them yourself. Being passionate is all about following your dreams and trusting yourself to make it realize into reality. You are striven to work harder in order to materialize and mould your ideas into results.
If you want yourself to be an exemplary businessman, you must be able to adapt to the changing times. You need to be flexible to accept new technologies and follow the trend, being rigid will only lead to your empire downfall. It doesn’t mean you have to give up on your morals and ethical values, it just means that you have find a way to implement those values in a way that suits this generation and business world.
Many underestimate the value of possessing this attribute. You must be wondering you do hear them out. But here I mean, really listen to what your employees are saying, let it be ideas or anything related to your business. You never know which brainstorming session would be the most innovative concept you would have ever come across. Listening is something which not only helps you being a successful business leader but also earn the respect of your employees in the long run.
Be aware of the interest your business is generating, be it positive or negative. You will never know how to rectify a problem unless you know what the problem is. The views of both, your employees and your customers play an equally important role. If your employees don’t really like the way the product is shaping or anything related to your business, they might not give their 100%. So be aware of what kind of interest your business is creating.
Be honest in all your business activities. Honesty helps you create goodwill and credibility as a businessman which will eventually enhance your business reputation. I personally believe, honesty is directly proportional to your business success. If you are honest with your employee, they will in return drop the Yes-sir face and be honest about their opinion. This will only help you in getting your business line in better perspective and not sugar coated half-baked lie.
Everyone deserves respect. Treat everyone in a very courteous manner. You will receive back the same treatment that you deliver to others. This will also help you in building good reputation and relationship with your clients and other prospective deals. It all lies in the impression you create for yourself.
These qualities are not too difficult to inculcate, all it requires is perseverance from you and your strive to become a successful business leader. This is not just about being a good business leader but most important of all a better human being. Start working on it and you will surely notice the difference.
Today’s guest post is contributed by Heather Mills. She works as a professor in a reputable college and also works as a freelance writer. She says with online bachelor in business management made available to the people, studies have become really easy.
When you walk into someone’s home these days it wouldn’t be unusual to find a home office in one of the spare rooms. There are so many people working from the comfort of their own home and that number is rising every year. With so many doing the same thing it means lots of people can share hints and tips about how to set up a home office in style. If you work from home or you’re thinking about doing it soon you might find some of these tricks useful.
Energy from your walls
When you work from home you get to decide what color you want the walls to be. If you’re in a normal office your boss might decide he wants the walls to be a neutral color like white, but you should opt for something different. Did you know that different colors can change the way you think? Blue is great at boosting your creativity and when you’re trying to run a business you always want to be in a creative mindset. Maybe it’s time to get the paint out.
Wheel yourself around
You don’t want to waste time when you need to grab something from the other side of the room. That is what happens when you have a chair that is stuck in one position. When your legs are tucked under your desk you need to push yourself out and turn around to get up. You then need to do the exact opposite when you sit down again. If you had a chair with wheels you could move around much more easily and it would save you precious time.
Take advantage of the view
Do you really want to stare at a wall all day? Even if you have nice artwork hanging from the wall you’re going to get bored looking at the same thing all day. Nature is different because there is always a new bird flying around and the clouds never stay the same. If you position your desk so that you can look out of the window you will enjoy work a lot more. The soothing sight of nature can stop you from getting stressed when the workload keeps piling up.
Unless you live in a mansion it’s unlikely you will have a lot of floor space and you want to keep everything as organized as possible. An easy way you can do that is by fitting floor-to-ceiling shelves and it will leave you with plenty of room to keep everything. The last thing you need is to spend hours looking for a random document because you don’t know where it is. Just take everything you won’t need for a while and put them on the top shelves.
No more cables
When you buy a lot of equipment these days you can pay a little more and get a wireless model. It will make life easier on you because you won’t have a lot of cables running all over the floor. Not only will you not have to untangle the cables every few months, but the room will look a lot neater. If there are some things that can’t be used wirelessly you need to make sure they are as close to a plug socket as possible.
A creativity wall
If you have any walls left you should think about hanging a big whiteboard from it because you will find it very useful. Whenever you have an idea you can turn around and write it on the wall. It’s also perfect for drawing pictures or creating massive mind-maps. If you don’t have any room in your office to be creative you will have to use a notebook instead and it’s just not the same.
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Ruth Kenny is a leading supplier of business furniture. While the idea of a home office might not be feasible for some, he believes that it is a great way to work and increase productivity. He likes to share his opinions on different issues and also writes articles on numerous blogs.
You might be a computer nerd or a computer whiz and develop awesome programs and applications. But if you don’t know how to protect your work, it will not really help you gain anything. Before you realize you will find that others are copying and trying to present your idea as their own creation. You can’t sit back and accept it as fate or feel lost of action. Hence, instead of waiting for some hardship to befall on you, it is better to be proactive. Ever heard of Copyright? This is the keyword that is going to save your day.
Copyright law protects your original work from being copied or used without your permission. However, you must note that copyright laws protect the physical form of the idea rather than the idea itself. With regards to copyright, computer is viewed as any device which can process information.
Many people tend to confuse the copyright laws with that of the patent laws. In simple terms, copyright protects intellectual work which need not necessarily be published whereas patent protects inventions and grants the inventor ownership of the invention for a particular time period.
An important point for the developers to note is that the copyrighted material is generally available to the public for inspection which in case of computers involves source code. Hence, it is considered a smart move, to copyright only a part of the code rather than the whole code. This way the code that is not under copyright law becomes a trade secret and subsequently will not be available to infringe upon.
You might be wondering if the same copyright law which protects your source code will be protecting your visual content too. Then you might be disappointed, this is not really the case. The source code and visual content are completely different, your program’s source code falls under the intellectual category and its visual content content falls under the artistic category of the copyright law. Hence, it is important for you to file separate applications for your source code and your graphic content.
As the copyrighted owner of the material, you can distribute copies of your work. In order to protect your material, it is considered a good practice to put some kind of copyright notice on the copies. The copyright notice typically consists of the copyright symbol (letter c inside a circle), the year the material was first published and the name of the copyright owner.
Copyright owing to a computer program might get confusing. In simple terms, if you are an individual who wrote the initial program, then you are the sole copyright owner of the material. If you are a part of a team which developed the program and where all the members’ contribution are equal, then the copyrighted material is jointly owned by your team.
This scenario holds no weightage, if you or your team develops a program when you are working under any firm or organization. If a program is created in such circumstances, the employer or the organization will be considered as the first copyrighted owner of the material.
The lifetime of a copyrighted material depends on the ownership. If a material is owned by you, an individual, then you can own the material for the duration of your lifetime plus sixty years. Now that you are aware of your right, create amazing computer programs and at the same time be prepared to safeguard it from all external hazards possible.
The author, Keith Shelby, is a well known blogger and a dynamic individual. He enjoys writing on law and business related topics. He says if he gets stuck while writing he visits accesssolicitor.com for more information.
Ah the humble telephone call… it has been an integral part of modern day communication for years and years. Offices and homes are not complete without a telephone, and even cars have in-built phone systems these days. But as with all things, etiquette changes over the years and what used to be ‘the done thing’ is changing, particularly in the commercial market. The last thing you want to do is to alienate business associates by getting it wrong, so we’re going to help you out right here by letting you know what’s expected these days.
Keep Your Small Talk Small!
You may find yourself with a quiet morning (generally the rule is the more coffee you have consumed, the less there is to do!). But whoever you are phoning might be struggling under a massive workload, or racing to meet a critical deadline. Always bear this in mind, and don’t be tempted to draw them into lengthy discussions about the weather.
If you know that your intended subject for discussion is a meaty one, then it’s as well to let the recipient know beforehand. In business these days, meetings are often conducted over the phone and if your discussion is likely to go on then it will benefit you both to schedule some time in your diaries when you will be able to have a full conversation. Don’t take them by surprise – let them know you need a certain amount of their time and you will be much more likely to be greeted by a friendly voice.
And on the subject on planning… make sure you know what you want to achieve from a call before you make it. Write a little list so that you don’t forget to mention everything. With less ‘umming and erring’ you will come across as organised and assertive.
It’s not just phone calls that dominate our working life these days. Video conferencing such as Skype is commonplace. Again, it is best to schedule a call rather than catch someone off-guard. Obviously when you video call somebody it is essential that you are looking smart – so those of you ‘working from home’ in your pyjamas might like to slip into something less comfortable first!
Always use the right tool for the job. A quick two minute telephone call is fine for a small question, but for anything that needs to be discussed at length a video call is probably better.
Some Things Never Change…
As much as the simple phone call has evolved, there is still no excuse for poor manners. Always answer the phone with your name and the name of the company. Be sensitive to the person you care calling – make sure you listen and don’t talk over them. And don’t forget your Ps and Qs!
Always remember to smile when you talk, you will come across as positive, friendly and approachable. Never forget your smile can be heard and you are sure to impress your associates and go far!
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Sam Fright is a business analyst by profession. While there are many factors that help a business to succeed, but singles out the humble phone call to be the most effective. Cordless phones especially is much liked in the corporate circles.
Pretty much all of IT is run under the ITIL framework nowadays, and it has been for some time. Along with the new best practices and methodologies have come a number of new roles and working disciplines. This article looks at the world of ITIL Service Delivery.
What Is Service Delivery?
The term Service Delivery is used to define the business of IT itself. It is an integral part of ITIL Service Management and it uses specific Service Delivery processes to:
- Define expectations of service availability, timelines and quality.
- Explain and define the specific roles and responsibilities of Service Providers, users and customers.
- To define the actual roles of the services themselves.
What Does It Actually Do?
Service Delivery provides processes that help IT staff to design processes that meet the business needs in a way that is cost efficient to the business. These processes enable the services to be defined in a way that allows them to be provisioned between internal staff, external vendors with equal effort. The processes provide a way for staff to measure how efficient various services are in a way that allows a continuous improvement process if required.
What Teams Are Part Of Service Delivery?
Because Service Delivery needs to be able to define and manage expectations in various parts of the IT Infrastructure business, it is comprised of 5 separate teams:
- Service Level Management
- Financial Management
- Capacity Management
- Availability Management
- Continuity Management
Service Level Management
Service Level Management provides a framework that defines services and agrees on levels of service that support business processes. It is probably the most important set of process within ITIL. Service Level Agreements and Operational Level Agreements are developed to satisfy these agreements.
Financial Management deals with the costs of the services that are agreed by Service Level Management. It also supplies a support system to the accounting process and ensures that all expenditure is accounted for and spent wisely. Depending on the particular IT Company, Financial Management can be seen as the cost centre, the profit centre or the expense centre.
Capacity Management ensures that IT infrastructure has the resources in place to keep the business needs happy and catered for correctly. Capacity Management enters the application life cycle at an early stage and deals with the costs incurred by new applications and releases. It deals with potential future issues in a way that helps fix these infrastructure problems should they ever arise.
Availability Management deals with ensuring that vital online applications remain in an available state for users and customers. They must adhere to the Service Level Agreement conditions. They also play a big role in the Service Outage Analysis initiatives and Component Failure Impact Analysis.
IT Continuity Management deals with the disaster recover aspect that is apparent in all IT services. It provides a framework that allows recovery to take place in a timely and cost effective manner. The individual Continuity plan can vary from each IT company, and they can cover such diverse risks as flooding, terrorist activities and tornados.
How Does Service Delivery Help?
As outlined above, Service Delivery is set up in order to predefine the best ways to achieve a cost effective outcome to most, if not all, IT related processes. It is constantly being updated and is a fantastic aspect to the ITIL set of processes.
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
Thomas Ethan is a project management consultant. He conducts business analysis training in Toronto and is one of the most sought after consultants in Canada. He shares his ideas and experiences through his blogs.