There are some interview questions that you will be asked during just about every job interview.
In addition to the more specific job-related interview questions that focus on the skill sets that you have to do the job, there are general interview questions about your employment history, strengths and weaknesses, achievements and goals that you'll be asked.
Here's a list of the most frequently asked interview questions, as well as examples of answers you can use to get ideas for your own responses.
Also, here are the top 50 interview questions most frequently asked by hiring managers, as well as sample answers for each question on the list. Review the list, then take the time to tailor your responses so you are well prepared to pitch your qualifications to the interviewer.
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There are quite a few different types of cover letters you can use for employment purposes, including general cover letters, application letters, inquiry letters, referral cover letters, and prospecting letters.
Be sure to choose a type of cover letter that reflects how you are applying for the job or the type of job search assistance you are requesting.
Your cover letter should be designed specifically for the purpose you are writing and customized for each position you seek.
Here are examples of each type of cover letter and advice and tips on when to use them.
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Even though the holiday season is typically a time when hiring slows down, you can, at best, use the holiday season to boost your career or, at least, avoid holiday office gaffes. Now's the time to start thinking about how you can use the holiday season to boost your career.
Whether it's taking advantage of less competition for available jobs, spending time on career planning, surviving the holiday season, navigating holiday office etiquette, or dealing with the stress the holidays can bring, here's holiday season advice from About.com's Career Guides.
Image Copyright Sharon Dominick
Are you leaving your job or saying goodbye to someone who is leaving theirs? Use your goodbye letter or email message as an opportunity to update your contacts, to congratulate or express condolences, and to stay in touch with your connections as you or they move on.
Here are a variety of letters and email messages you can use to say goodbye. Use these goodbye letter examples to say farewell to co-workers, clients and business contacts to let them know that you have accepted a new job, are retiring, or resigning.
There are also letter examples to send to colleagues, clients and customers to congratulate them and wish them well as they move on to a new opportunity.
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Last time I wrote about lying on your resume, I got a variety of responses, both for and against lying to get a job:
- People who get ahead are the ones who take some educated risks.
- Let's be real, if a CEO can get away with being hired and working for years with lying on resume so should any of us.
- Lying on a resume is just plain dumb. The trend seems to be to check an applicant's references out more and more, unless you are a burger flipper.
- Lying on resumes, regardless of your status, just does not cut it!
I don't think anyone should lie on their resume - even white lies that "only" stretch the truth. There is a good possibility that it will come back to haunt you. Is it worth taking the chance of not getting a job or getting fired later on?
Here's an example. I received an email from someone who had just received a job offer from a company where he had always wanted to work. It was the job of his dreams.
He didn't think about reference checking though and had fudged the dates of his last couple of jobs to cover a resume gap. He was in absolutely panic and trying to come up with a story to cover the "mistake" on his resume. He decided to be honest with the hiring manager, and was lucky that he kept his job offer, but that's not always how it works out.
This is a good time of year, and you should do it at least annually, to check and revamp your resume.
It's important to take the time to write a resume that reflects why you're a top tier candidate who should be selected for an interview. That means your position descriptions should be as quantified as possible - numbers, percentages, achievements - concrete evidence of what you have accomplished.
In addition to having a well-written resume, you need to make sure that your resume looks good. Resumes with bad formatting or typos are often rejected, regardless of how qualified the candidate might be. So, take the time to give your resume a check-up, then ask someone else to look at it for you. Another pair of eyes can see things you've missed and can give you some ideas on how to up your resume a notch or two.
Review these top resume tips for choosing a type of resume, selecting a resume font, customizing your resume, using resume keywords, explaining employment gaps, reviewing resume examples, and more tips for writing interview winning resumes.
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Job searching can be a challenge when you're a college student, especially when you are balancing classes, school, extracurricular activities, and your social life. However, you don't want to wait to look for a summer job or a full-time job for after graduation.
Instead, take advantage of the resources available to help with your job search now. Here is information on college jobs including job search strategies for college and university students and alumni including where to find job search help, the top sites for college students and grads, resume and cover letter tips, interview tips, and information on on-campus and off-campus college recruiting programs.
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You love your company and you like your job, but you want to get ahead. What can you do to stand out from the crowd of employees who would all be thrilled to get a job promotion?
How can you get a job promotion? One of the key factors in getting a promotion is to be a stellar employee who is highly respected at the company.
Your skills and experience, your reputation, and your work ethic are all factors that will help you secure a promotion that will get you moving up the career ladder.
Here are tips and advice on how to get a job promotion.
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The holidays can be a tough time of year in the workplace, especially if you don't get a lot of time off from work and you're worrying about getting everything on your holiday "to do" list accomplished. It's even worse when you have a scrooge or two in your office - employees in your office who are bringing down the holiday spirit.
One person behaving badly in the workplace can be toxic for all those who surround him or her, and especially during the holiday season this can bring down the morale of the entire company, including those hard-working employees trying to keep it together during a stressful time of year.
What can management and fellow employees do to change the office dynamic from negative to positive, especially this time of year? Here are tips on how to keep the workplace postive and the holidays happy.
Copyright Sharon Dominick
Do you have a job interview coming up? Not sure what to wear? When you are choosing interview attire the image you present is important, even if you're applying for a part-time job or a temporary position.
The job seekers I saw on the news the other day wearing ratty hoodies and scruffy jeans at a job fair aren't going to make a good impression. For every job you apply and/or interview for, it's important that the first impression you make is a great one.
When dressing for an interview for a professional position, dress accordingly in professional business attire. Even if you are interviewing for a job in a more casual environment, a store or restaurant, for example, it's still important to be neat, tidy, and well-groomed, and to present a positive image to the employer. There's a different dress code if you're interview at a startup company - here are tips on what to wear.
In addition to wearing appropriate attire to your interview, your accessories matter, too. How you accessorize is important. Here's more on how to choose interview accessories.
What to Wear for a Job Interview
- Budget Interview Attire
- Professional Interview Attire
- Business Casual Interview Attire
- What to Wear for a Call Center Interview
- What to Wear for a Hospitality Interview
- What to Wear for a Real Estate Interview
- What to Wear for a Retail Interview
Photo Copyright Jeffrey Smith
Minimum wage increases will go into effect for 2014 in California, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and some other states. There are 10 states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington) that have minimum wages that are linked to a consumer price index. These states, except for Nevada, will announce any changes prior to January 1. Nevada adjusts the minimum wage in July and no change was made this year.
Here are the minimum wage increases announced, to date:
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The last increase was in 2009. If an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher of the two minimum wages.
What do you think? Should minimum wage be raised?
Update December 5, 2013: News reports indicate that Congress is working on passing either a short-term spending deal or a budget deal prior to recessing for the holidays. CNN reports that "Democrats are also pushing for any budget deal to extend unemployment insurance, which is scheduled to expire on December 28, ending benefits for over a million jobless Americans."
Nancy Pelosi, speaking at an unemployment hearing said, "...we are making a very clear statement that we cannot, cannot support a budget agreement that does not include unemployment insurance in the budget or as a sidebar in order to move it all along." In addition, the White House issued an unemployment report which says, in part, "Allowing EUC to expire would be harmful to millions of workers and their families, counterproductive to the economic recovery, and unprecedented in the context of previous extensions to earlier unemployment insurance programs."
Update December 1, 2013: House and Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to renew the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program for 2014. Here's information on the legislation which would extended unemployment benefits for 2014. Without an extension there will be no extended benefits in place next year.
Get Updates: I will post updates as soon as there is news on what will be happening with unemployment in 2014. Also, follow me on Twitter, add me to your Google+ Circles and like About Job Search on Facebook for more news and information.
Update November 16, 2013: I'm getting questions about what will happen to extended unemployment benefits in 2014. Unfortunately, we don't know yet. The federal legislation that extended Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program expires at the end of 2013. In addition, the 100% federal funding of Extended Benefits (EB) also expires at the end of 2013. Nothing will be decided until legislation is voted on in Congress in December.
In order for extended benefits to continue through 2014, Congress will have to pass legislation approving an extension. What typically happens, unfortunately, is that legislation isn't passed until late December, leaving everyone collecting benefits worrying about what will happen to their unemployment compensation. However, the Obama administration is supporting the extension. Gene Sperling, Assistant to President Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council, speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum said "With an unemployment rate of 7.3% we need to raise the emergency unemployment insurance and push for extensions to 2014."
Here's information on unemployment benefits in place for 2013, including regular (state) unemployment insurance, emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) and extended benefits (EB). If an extension is passed, it will most likely continue these benefits for another year.
Important: Unemployment benefits vary from state to state, so check your State Unemployment Office website for details on who qualifies for extended benefits and when and how benefits will be paid or check this list of state unemployment extension websites to go directly to the information for your location.
Read More: How to File for Unemployment | How to Calculate Unemployment | Unemployment Extension | Unemployment Benefits for 2013| Unemployment Compensation | Maximum Weekly Unemployment Benefits Listed By State
December 5, 2013: According to news reports, Congress is working on a deal that would either pass a short-term spending bill or approve a budget prior to the holiday recess. Democrats are pushing for an unemployment extension as part of that legislation.
In addition, the White House issued a NEW REPORT: The Economic Benefits Of Extending Unemployment Insurance, which states "that allowing EUC to expire would be harmful to millions of workers and their families, counterproductive to the economic recovery, and unprecedented in the context of previous extensions to earlier unemployment insurance programs."
November 29, 2013: House and Senate Democrats have proposed legislation which would renew the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program for 2014. Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) and Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Ranking Member Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced identical bills in the House and Senate:
H.R. 3546: To provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits, and for other purposes.
S. 1747: A bill to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits, and for other purposes.
If passed, the legislation would extend the current program that offers extra benefits to the long-term unemployed for an additional year. The White House supports the extension, however, as in past years, there is Republican opposition.
Without an extension, the only unemployment compensation in place for next year would be state unemployment benefits which are a maximum of 26 weeks, less in some states. In addition, unemployed workers collected long-term extended benefits would be abruptly cut-off at the end of 2013.
Get Updates: I will post updates as soon as there is news on extensions. Also, follow me on Twitter, add me to your Google+ Circles and like About Job Search on Facebook for more news and information.
Campaign to Renew Unemployment: Help Renew Unemployment for 2014
Dice Holdings, Inc. reports that hiring is going to be up significantly in 2014. 55% of hiring managers and recruiters plan on hiring more professionals in the first half of 2014 than in the second half of 2013. 42% of hiring managers said they plan to hire up to 10% more employees next year.
Who are the most competitive candidates? Candidates with 2 - 5 years of experience are the most in demand, followed by candidates with 6 -10 years of experience.
The survey also reports that job applicants are becoming more selective as the economy continues to improve:
- 26% of respondents said they have seen an increase in the number of candidates rejecting job offers
- 40% of respondents said voluntary departures at their companies had increased this year
- 34% of hiring managers and recruiters said they are seeing more counter offers from a candidate's current employer
The main reasons employees are moving on include more money, better jobs and/or better job titles or promotions.
This is a shift from an employer focused hiring model driven by a bad economy and a high unemployment rate to a more candidate centric model, which is great news for job seekers. When you have in-demand skills the recruiting process is much simpler, and it's much easier to get hired than when the employer is calling all the shots.
All these numbers mean it's a good time to start exploring opportunities to move on. Keep in mind that you don't have to accept a job offer, but it always makes sense to explore the job market to see what opportunities are out there.
Perhaps you love literature or hope to write the next great American novel and have chosen (or are thinking of choosing) English as your major. You and perhaps your parents are probably wondering just where that degree could bring you in the job market.
There are a myriad of possibilities, just ask your college career or alumni office for a list of alumni who were English majors, and you will be amazed by the diversity of options pursued by graduates with an English degree.
Here are the top 10 jobs for English majors from Guest Author Mike Profita.
Read More: How to Contact College Alumni Connections