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48 Days to the Work You Love: Chapter 8 Questions

Chapter 8: Do They Like Me? Do I Like Them?

1. Can you clearly and easily describe your strongest areas of competence? well.... that seems like such an open-ended question. I've never been asked that in an interview. I can tailor my response to fit a more specific question. "You should be intimately familiar with your (1) skills and abilities, (2) personality tendencies, and (3) values, dreams, and passions." I'm a pleaser: I'm good at customer-service oriented jobs. I'm pretty good at smoothing ruffled feathers. I've got all those cliched skills: I'm detail-oriented, enthusiastic, dedicated, punctual. I write well. I'm organized. I know my way around a computer. I prefer honesty and integrity, in myself and others. Open communication. Personally I tend away from leadership; being a people-pleaser makes me a bad manager. Dreams and passions? I've suppressed them for so long I'm not sure they still exist.

2. Does knowing that interviewing means “to see about each other” make it more comfortable to ask for information about the company and the position? Interviewing doesn't scare me. I present myself well in an interview. In fact, I rather like interviewing. I just don't often get the opportunity to do it because once I have a job I tend to stay there for five or more years.

3. Are you aware of any personal habits or annoying filler words that may be part of your personal presentation? I make an awesome first impression.

4. Is your level of enthusiasm contagious? Yes. And I feel best when I'm enthusiastic, even about something I dislike doing. If I can access my enthusiasm (and sometimes I just can't) I always feel better about myself.

5. What are some unusual questions you know of that have been asked of you or others in an interviewing situation? (You only have to pull out 3 socks to be guaranteed a match. And there’s really no accurate way to know how many barbers there are in Chicago. It’s just one of those questions designed to see how you approach a difficult task.) The few interviews I've had have been run-of-the-mill. Others might think it strange to be asked, "What do you do if one child bites another?" but I don't. (BTW, after I answered that question as honestly as I could in my interview at Second Street, one interviewer looked at the other and said, "That's the best answer to that question that I've ever heard.")

6. How can you be humble and godly and still show confidence? I'm having difficulty answering this question. You can confidence in yourself and one way I think you do so humbly is by not comparing yourself to others. Let your merits stand on their own and state them simply and matter-of-factly.

7. Would you ever take a position even if you knew it was not a good fit for you? Second semester freshman year of college I took a position as a telemarketer for the U of I, calling alumni and asking for donations. I was ill-matched to this job but I could walk there and the hours fit my schedule and I thought it was one of the few things I could do. I hated it and I was no good at it. I lasted about 2 months of misery. Now I'd be hard pressed even to apply for a position that wasn't a good fit. I would do whatever I had to to support myself and my child, but I would accept an ill-fitted position only if all other avenues were exhausted.

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