Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge Sharing

A)      6 Things That Drive Hiring Managers Crazy-

The simplest mistakes can torpedo your chances for a job. Avoid these six common missteps that drive recruiters and hiring managers crazy.

1. You don’t listen.

During an interview, it can be tempting to try to get out as much information about yourself as possible. But listening is just as important, says Miriam Berger, president of A Hire Authority, a contract recruiting service. “My biggest pet peeve is when candidates just don’t stop talking and listen,” she says. “I have held so many debriefs with the hiring teams where the consensus is to disqualify the candidate because the person just didn’t stop talking.” While this may be due to nerves, Berger says managers worry that a chatty candidate may turn out to be a distraction or impossible to manage.

2. You bring an audience.

Hiring managers and recruiters say they’re seeing an odd trend: younger job candidates getting their parents involved in the hiring process. “In my years of human resource roles I’ve personally experienced a lot of absurd and ridiculous behavior from job seekers,” says Christine DiDonato, founder of Career Revolution. “However, the one that really blows my mind is one committed by some of our recent college graduates: Bringing their parents to the interview or having a parent call the hiring manager or recruiter and attempt to negotiate their employment offer.” This doesn’t help you build a personal brand, and it certainly doesn’t make you look independent and capable, DiDonato says.

3. You nag.

It’s important to follow up after an interview, but Tracey Russell, a recruiter at Naviga Business Services, says overdoing it is a mistake. “Multiple emails and phone calls a day is the quickest way to make sure your resume will be thrown in the trash,” she says. “Even the most promising resumes won’t be considered when the candidate behaves like that.”

4. You overdo it.

If you want to work at a specific company, you can broadcast your interest by applying to a job there — not all of the open positions. “One of the most annoying things a job candidate can do is apply to every available position at a company,” says Haley Cousins, a recruiter at Naviga. “Not only is it a waste of time for the
 hiring manager, but it’s also a waste of the candidates’ times. Applying for
 every position lets the hiring manager know that you are not serious about
 the openings, and are just trying to find any job.” Limit your applications to positions you have the skills and experience for.

5. You’re not fully dressed.

When you are participating in a video interview, don’t pick up until you are fully dressed, Berger says. “One hiring manager called the candidate at the assigned time and the candidate was actually late getting dressed and answered while he was putting on his shirt,” she says. “Not a good idea.”

6. You lack basic interview skills.

Brush up on your interview skills before the big day so you don’t blow it. “There are many other things that candidates do to drive hiring managers
 crazy, which include overselling themselves in the interview, not being 
prepared with examples that back up the answers to the interviewers
’ questions and candidates who check their emails and messages during the 
interview,” Berger says. “That’s more common than you’d imagine!”

B. 4 Job Interview Errors and How to Correct Them:

Job interviews can be stressful, especially if you’re nervous about making mistakes that could sabotage your chance of getting the job. Fortunately, many errors are easy to avoid with a little preparation. Here are four of the most common ones and some tips for steering clear of them.

1. Getting Too Personal

One common error is revealing too much personal information during the interview. Voluntarily revealing this much personal information can make an interviewer uncomfortable and raise legitimate concerns about how confidential the candidate will be with company information.

Takeaway: When answering interview questions, it’s best to stick to work-related answers.

 

2. Not Picking Up on Cues

Another common mistake is not following the interviewer’s lead in the conversation. Kurylo says she once had a student who wore a business suit to the interview for a fun and casual job. The interviewer made several comments about it, questioning the candidate’s understanding of the company culture.

“The candidate assumed she’d blown the interview the moment she put on the suit,” Kurylo says. “The interview had been blown by the candidate not providing a good response about her choice of clothing. The interviewer repeatedly told her how much she loved the candidate’s credentials and experience.”

Instead, the candidate could have laughed off her clothing choice and blamed it on advice that went against her own judgment; something she wouldn’t do again. “Then the interviewer — who clearly wanted to hire her — would have had more to latch onto in order to excuse the poor clothing choice. If she had persevered rather than given up in the interview, they might have been laughing about the suit over a business lunch weeks later.”

Takeaway: When the interviewer gives you an opportunity to course-correct, take it.

3. Not Doing Your Homework

Many candidates continue to make the mistake of not researching the company before the interview. “Hiring managers want to know that interviewees are interested in their open positions, not simply that the interviewees want a job, any job,” says Cheryl Palmer, owner of Call to Career. Candidates who can speak knowledgeably about the company and how they can contribute to the organization’s success show that they’ve done their homework and have a high interest in the business.

Takeaway: Take advantage of any resources (online and offline) you can get your hands on to learn about the company’s mission and culture.

4. Not Taking Initiative

Stu Coleman, partner and senior general manager at WinterWyman, says another common mistake is taking too passive of a role. “It’s important to determine, for both parties, if what each has to bring to the equation is a benefit to the other,” he says. Candidates need to interview the company, as well. “You have to be respectful and professional, but don’t forget to be real. This is a big decision, one that hopefully you will live with for years, so make sure it is as good for you as you are for them.”

Takeaway: Come with your own list of questions about the company’s strategy and culture.

 

B). 10 Tips to Boost Your Interview Skills-

Even the smartest and most qualified job seekers need to prepare for job interviews. Why, you ask? Interviewing is a learned skill, and there are no second chances to make a great first impression. So study these 10 strategies to enhance your interview skills.

  1. Practice Good Nonverbal Communication

It’s about demonstrating confidence: standing straight, making eye contact and connecting with a firm handshake. That first nonverbal impression can be a great beginning — or quick ending — to your interview.

 

  1. Dress for the Job or Company

Today’s casual dress codes do not give you permission to dress as “they” do when you interview. It is important to know what to wear to an interview and to be well-groomed. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. If possible, call to find out about the company dress code before the interview.

  1. Listen

From the very beginning of the interview, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not hearing it, you are missing a major opportunity. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what was said. Observe your interviewer, and match that style and pace.

 

  1. Don’t Talk Too Much

Telling the interviewer more than he needs to know could be a fatal mistake. When you have not prepared ahead of time, you may ramble when answering interview questions, sometimes talking yourself right out of the job. Prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting, matching your skills with the position’s requirements and relating only that information.

 

  1. Don’t Be Too Familiar

The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer’s demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions, but do not overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job.

 

  1. Use Appropriate Language

It’s a given that you should use professional language during the interview. Be aware of any inappropriate slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics or sexual orientation — these topics could send you out the door very quickly.

 

  1. Don’t Be Cocky

Attitude plays a key role in your interview success. There is a fine balance between confidence, professionalism and modesty. Even if you’re putting on a performance to demonstrate your ability, overconfidence is as bad, if not worse, as being too reserved.

 

  1. Take Care to Answer the Questions

When interviewers ask for an example of a time when you did something, they are asking behavioral interview questions, which are designed to elicit a sample of your past behavior. If you fail to relate a specific example, you not only don’t answer the question, but you also miss an opportunity to prove your ability and talk about your skills.

 

  1. Ask Questions

When asked if they have any questions, most candidates answer, “No.” Wrong answer. Part of knowing how to interview is being ready to ask questions that demonstrate an interest in what goes on in the company. Asking questions also gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. The best questions come from listening to what you’re asked during the interview and asking for additional information.

 

  1. Don’t Appear Desperate

When you interview with the “please, please hire me” approach, you appear desperate and less confident. Reflect the three Cs during the interview: cool, calm and confidence. You know you can do the job; make sure the interviewer believes you can, too.

 

 

D)   Tips for Interviewing for a Temporary Job-

If you think, “it’s just an interview for a temp job — no big deal,” that’s where you’re mistaken. Some wonderful opportunities, networking connections and careers have resulted from temporary positions.

Temporary assignments today run the gamut from receptionist to CEO and beyond. And since a temp agency is usually the first contact with the company, much of the marketing and negotiations have been done for you.

And if you believe all you have to do is show up at the interview, you’re wrong again. The mindset you bring to that interview will make a big difference as to whether you get the job.

Most employers like to conduct interviews for temporary positions, even though they are slated only for a few weeks or months of service. They are particularly concerned about people in positions of higher responsibility. The employer is interested in selecting quality people who can be trusted with company information, knowledge and secrets.

Here’s how to prepare for the interview:

Do Your Research

Many companies have Web sites where you can access valuable background information to use in your interview. By finding out information about the company, like annual revenue and the organization’s mission, you will show an interest in what you will be contracted to do. Showing some enthusiasm about the position will demonstrate a positive attitude toward the assignment that you’re seeking. You don’t want to project the idea that you are there because you can’t find a job anywhere else, or are waiting for just the right job — even if that is the case.

Get a Job Description

Prepare ahead of time. A worthwhile exercise is to take a piece of paper and fold it down the middle. On one side of the fold write, “What they are looking for,” and on the other side, write, “What I have to offer.” Look at the job description and compare the company’s needs with your experience and qualities. How do you stack up? Where are your shortcomings? Can you show how you learn quickly or bring added value to the company from the start?

Prepare a Short Information Statement

Be ready to answer the dreaded question, “Tell me about yourself and your background.” Your statement should include some information on the type of companies and industries you have worked for, your strengths, your transferable skills and some of your personal traits. Practice saying this statement until it is natural.

Be Prepared to Talk About Your Successes and Experiences

The employer will want to find out about your past experience — successes and failures, your work ethic, your track record and, more than likely, the reason you have chosen to work as a temporary employee rather than a regular employee. Make sure you have an answer to the question, “Why temporary employment?”

Even though you are not being considered for a regular position at this time, there is always the possibility that it just might work out well for both parties — and the first step to making that happen is by acing the interview.

E)   Interviewer Body Language Secrets-

You may already know that interviewers pick up on your body language and may even base their hiring decisions on it to some extent. But nonverbal communication goes both ways. Hiring managers also give subtle, unconscious signals that they’re interested in you — or, in many cases, are losing interest.

Here are some subtle signs that you may be headed for the reject pile, and how your words and gestures could turn things in your favor:

Signs: Stops taking notes; looks repeatedly at clock or watch; dramatically picks up the pace of questioning.

Message: “I’m bored by you.”

“It’s fine to stop and say, ‘I have a question for you, if you don’t mind,’” body language expert, corporate trainer and commentator Susan Constantine tells Monster.com. “And when you do this, pause and change inflection to get their attention. You can also use hand gestures when talking to add emphasis and punctuate points of interest.”

Signs: Folds arms across chest; flares nostrils; shifts shoulder or feet toward the exit.

Message: “I’m offended.”

The only way to mitigate an unintentionally offensive gaffe is to address it directly, experts say. Ask whether you’ve said something impolite or offensive, and apologize.

Signs: A momentary smirk; raised eyebrows.

Message: “I disagree, or I don’t believe you.”

If you think your comments are meeting resistance, it’s OK to address that directly, says Ronald Riggio, PhD, a professor of leadership and organizational psychology at Claremont McKenna College. “You can be straightforward and politely say, ‘I get the sense that you don’t agree with what I’m saying. Is there anything I can clarify for you?’”

Sign: Reads your resume through the whole interview.

Message: “I’d rather be anywhere else.”

This one might not be your fault. Some people are just bad interviewers, or they don’t like questioning job seekers. Still, you might be able to save the interview. Be direct and change the dynamic, Riggio says. “You can say, ‘What can I tell you about my background that will help you realize that I’m a very good fit for this job?”

You can also avoid the nose-in-the-paper problem by putting your resume in the center of the desk instead of handing it directly to the interviewer, Constantine suggests.

When you’re winning

Experts agree that several signs indicate the interview is going well. In these cases, the interviewer will:

Nod or tilt her head forward, indicating agreement, interest or at least that she’s paying attention.

Mirror your body language, such as by crossing his hands when you cross your legs.

Offer positive verbal responses, such as repeating similar phrases.

Look at All the Signs

It’s important not to take any one negative or positive sign out of context, according to Mark Bowden, author of Winning Body Language.

“There are no foolproof signs to tell exactly what an interviewer is thinking,” Bowden says. “Use nonverbal cues as a guide or an indication, but don’t jump to firm conclusions. For example, if their pace increases and they cut answers short, it could mean that they have lost interest, or it could mean they are simply running short on time.”

Constantine recommends sharpening your eye for cues by noticing an interviewer’s “baseline behaviors” before you make an assumption about him. “What is the interviewer doing right off the bat? It’s possible that he or she always fidgets or scowls, and that may have nothing to do with you,” she says.

F)   Response Strategies for Interview Questions

Every interview question thrown your way presents an opportunity for you to make your case for why you’re the best person for the position. You want to highlight your positive qualities and avoid giving reasons to disqualify you. That said; think about your overall response strategy for the interview.

Examples Speak Volumes

For each quality you present, make sure you’re prepared to describe a situation where you demonstrated that quality. Basically, you always want to be able to back up any claims you might make. For example, if during the interview you say that you work well under pressure, be ready to describe an example where you did work effectively under pressure and delivered the results required.

Steer the Interview Your Way

One thing to guard against is getting lured into the interviewer’s game of alternative or trick questions. Be like a politician. The next time you watch a debate or press conference, notice the kind of questions reporters ask, and then observe how the politician responds. Politicians often answer questions indirectly by presenting information they want to convey. You can do the exact same thing in a job interview.

For example, if the interviewer asks if you prefer to work alone or on a team, he may be trying to get you to say you are one way or the other. But you don’t have to play this game. The reality is that most jobs require us to work both independently and in teams. Your response to this question should show that you have been successful in both situations.

Your answers also need to provide the reason to hire you, and you want to avoid providing reasons not to hire you. Before responding to any interview question, take your time, breathe and think about your answer. Thoughtful answers delivered clearly are much better than empty answers given rapidly. And you’re not being measured by your response time.

Be Clear and Concise

Be honest and succinct with your responses. Tell the truth in as positive a manner as possible, and don’t discuss things or events in a negative fashion. Long answers are less effective than concise responses and tend to make interviewers suspicious. If you are talking more than 90 seconds without interaction with the interviewer, you may be providing more detail than is needed. If you feel you may be talking too long, just stop and ask the interviewer a question like, “Am I giving you the level of detail you’re looking for?” This prompts a response and promotes an open exchange of information. Besides, if you’re putting the interviewer to sleep with your long-winded answers, asking a question will wake them up.

Open the Conversation

After your response, ask the interviewer a tag-on question, such as, “Does that give you what you were looking for?” This ensures you are understood accurately, conveys that you want to be sure you’re providing what the interviewer is looking for and promotes two-way communication.

You deserve the best, so practice your responses to frequently asked interview questions, and prepare to be your best when it matters most.

G)   Nine Things Never to Say in a Job Interview-

When you’re searching for a job, landing an interview can feel like a huge success — and it is, but for most open positions, the interview is only one step in a long hiring process. For some jobs, dozens of people may be interviewed, and the competition will be fierce. Don’t take yourself out of the competition by saying one of these job-interview killers:

 

 

1. What sort of perks do you offer?

Save talk about benefits and perks for the negotiation stage — that is, after you’ve gotten a job offer — or until the interviewer raises the issue. (A recruiter for a large computer manufacturer relates that many interviewees ask about “how many free products” they’ll get after they’re hired. But if you ask this question, you’ll never get hired.)

 

2. What does your company do?

Believe it or not, recruiters and hiring managers say they get asked this question all the time. Before you go into your job interview, research what the company does, and come up with some specific ways you can help it do whatever it does better.

 

3. My last boss was a real %$#*!

Complaining about your last job only reflects badly on you. Even if you’re telling the truth, it makes you look like a complainer and poor sport (exactly the type of person no one wants to work with). It’s great to talk about challenges you faced, but the focus should be on the positive results you achieved.

 

4. I love your glasses.

Never compliment interviewers on their physical appearance — doing so can come off as inappropriate or just plain creepy. Paying compliments is fine, but they should be related to the professional realm. For instance, you might want to praise a recent success the company or interviewer has had.

 

5. My feet are killing me!

Complaining about physical discomfort will be perceived as negativity — or as you making excuses for not performing well in the interview. (An HR manager in Silicon Valley tells of a candidate who complained of a headache caused by “partying too hard last night.” Needless to say, this candidate didn’t get the job.)

 

6. I got fired from my last position.

You never want to lie in a job interview — but there are more graceful ways to explain that you were fired. “My boss and I had very different ideas about what our department should be focusing on, and it soon became clear that I’d be happier in a new role — like this one.” Keep the focus on what you learned from the past, and bring the focus back to why the job you’re interviewing for is the right one for you.

 

7. I just want a job — any job!

This may very well be true, but desperation is not appealing. The interviewer needs to know that you want the particular job you’re interviewing for — and that you’re a great fit for it.

 

 

 

8. I don’t know.

If you really don’t know the answer to an interview question about you or your background, try “I’ll find out and get back to you by the end of the day.” But if the question is about what you’d do in a hypothetical workplace situation — or is an off-the-wall or brainteaser question such as “How many golf balls would it take to fill this room?” — your response should show your thought process. Go ahead and think aloud: “First, I’d have to determine the volume of the room. Then I’d have to subtract the volume of the furniture.…” And so on.

 

9. My biggest weakness is that I work too hard.

Your interviewer knows this answer is a bunch of malarkey. So how do you answer the “what’s your biggest weakness” question? Choose something not directly related to the role you’re applying for that you’ve made positive efforts to improve. For example, you could say, “I can be nervous about speaking in front of large groups — so I enrolled in Toastmasters and then volunteered to present some seminars at my former employer. So that’s becoming less and less of a problem for me.”

                                                 

H)   Group Interviews: How to Impress Everyone-

Even under the best circumstances, job interviews can be intimidating. But the group interview — where you are grilled by a team of potential new colleagues — ratchets up the tension.

Sometimes companies round up all the interviewers at once for the sake of efficiency. But the company may also want to assess how you perform in a group.

It’s About Teamwork

“It’s sort of to see if you would play well with others on this team,” said Libby Pannwitt, a career counselor and principal of Work Life Design Group in San Carlos, California.

A group interview may be very formal, with a scripted set of questions. Or it could be simply a conversation between the candidate and the others in the room. Many interviews are in between these extremes, with both structured interview questions and casual conversation.

Before any interview, of course, you should research the company and the job description and consider how your experience could help the company. But a group interview calls for some extra interview skills in order to make the best impression.

Skills for Your Success

Prepare If Possible: If you’re given a list beforehand of who will be there, do as much homework as you can. Find out the names and titles of your interviewers. “That may give you a clue about specific areas of expertise and how they fit in the hierarchy,” Pannwitt says.

Make Connections: Address your questioners by name and make eye contact with all of them. “Pay attention to what their interest is in the interview, what kind of things would they be likely to be most

Concerned about,” says David Friedland, president of Friedland & Associates, a personnel assessment firm in Culver City, California.

Don’t Play Favorites: It’s dangerous to make assumptions about which person’s opinion matters most in the hiring decision. “I’ve seen a junior player on a team derail a good candidate,” Pannwitt says. Try to make sure you satisfy everyone’s concerns.

Be a Facilitator: If you notice that one person seems hesitant to participate, try to draw him in. Ask if you can clarify your remarks or if the person has any additional questions. You “can take a little bit of control” of the interview this way, says Marianne Adoradio, a Silicon Valley career coach.

Be Diplomatic: If your interviewers clearly have a disagreement and they’re asking how you would resolve it, show that you understand all of their points of view. “Just the fact that you’re aware of multiple perspectives will bode well for you,” says Patrick F. McKay, assistant professor of organizations and strategic management at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Don’t Relax Too Much: In informal interviews, don’t let the casual atmosphere keep you from making a good impression. “They may seem informal, but people are voting afterward,” Adoradio says.

Finally, remember the good news. If you’re being interviewed by lots of people at a company, it probably means you’re a finalist for the job. And since interviews are a two-way street, a group interview also offers you insight into what it would be like working in this group. “You have a window looking in at how they’ll work together,” Pannwitt says.

I) Six Ways You Need to Sell Yourself in Every Job Interview

Every job interview is different — but some general principles can guide you in just about any interview, for any job. When you’re talking about yourself and your experience, keep the following six points in mind.

1. Be the Solution

Companies fill or create positions because they have problems they want to solve — for instance, ineffective advertising or long customer-service lines. So prepare for an interview by identifying the problems hinted at in the job ad. (If there’s no job ad, research the company and industry.) Then, prepare examples detailing how you’ll solve those problems — and how you’ve solved similar problems in the past. Practice telling stories about specific results you’ve achieved.

And if you’re interviewing for a career change, keep in mind that many problems — such as a lack of effective project management or a breakdown of teamwork — are not industry-specific. Offering solutions to these problems is a great way to overcome a lack of directly applicable experience.

 

 

 

2. Be Specific

Avoid empty clichés. Be prepared to back up your claims about your skills or characteristics with relevant and specific stories. For example, don’t just say you “work well with others” — talk about the types of teams you’ve worked with and what you’ve learned from them. Or if you plan to say you’re “detail-oriented,” come to the interview prepared with a story about how your attention to detail saved former employer money (or otherwise saved the day).

 

3. Prepare Sound Bites

Prepare three or four effective sound bites that highlight your skills and past successes. A sound bite is succinct and direct, so it’s catchy and easy to remember — for example, “I’ve designed logos for three Fortune 500 companies” or “My efficiency plan decreased product-delivery times by 15 percent without costing the company a cent.”

When you’re coming up with your sound bites, ask yourself, “What were my greatest accomplishments at my most recent job?” and “What sets me apart from other candidates?”

4. Prepare to Talk About Your Resume

Your resume and cover letter will likely form an outline for at least part of your interview. Because a resume has to be brief, it probably says many things that could be elaborated on or explained in more detail. Often a resume explains the “what” (for instance, “supervised two people”). Use the interview to talk about the “how,” as well as skills you gained, praise you received and so on.

 

5. Be Aware of Nonverbal Communication

You say a lot about yourself with nonverbal language: your posture and your facial expressions, for instance. Sit up straight — leaning forward can make you seem closed off, as can holding a briefcase or purse in your lap. Maintain eye contact when answering interview questions, and smile frequently. Also, practice your handshake with a friend: An overly aggressive handshake can be as off-putting as a limp one.

6. Be Positive

Avoid complaining about a former employer or laying blame at a former manager’s feet — doing so will likely make you seem difficult to work with (or disloyal). Even if you quit your last job in a rage because you had an incompetent manager, saying something like “I felt I was ready for a more challenging position — like this one seems to be” turns a potentially interview-killing situation into something that makes you look very attractive to a hiring manager.

 

J) Give Examples during Job Interviews-

Whether hiring for internships or full-time positions, most recruiters have heard statements like these from college students over and over again:

“I have strong communication skills.”

“I’m self-motivated.”

“I’m good at managing my time.”

“I have excellent leadership qualities.”

“I work well with others.”

When you make claims like these in your interviews — perhaps in response to a question like, “What are your greatest strengths?” — You’re not likely to blow the recruiter away with originality. In fact, the recruiter may think, “If you only knew how many times I’ve heard that one. How do I know that’s true?”

Stand out by providing specific examples to back up the statements you’ve made. It’s not difficult, especially if you prepare beforehand, and it will greatly elevate your standing in the recruiter’s eyes.

For example: A recruiter is interviewing a new college graduate for an entry-level job and asks, “What’s your greatest strength?” Which statement would grab your attention more if you were a recruiter?

1. “Well, I’m very self-motivated. I often start projects on my own without direction from others, because I enjoy it. Compared to most people my age, I have more self-discipline and more willingness to try new things.”

2. “Well, I’m very self-motivated. I know you’ve probably heard that before, so let me give you an example. For the last couple of years, I’ve volunteered part-time at my college’s computer help desk. I wanted experience helping people with computer-related problems, so I approached the information technology director and asked her if she’d teach me to work on the help desk in exchange for my time and efforts. It’s turned out to be great for both of us. She’s gotten much-needed help, and I’ve been able to gain hands-on experience I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.”

Clearly, the second response is more compelling. Why? Because the student not only makes a claim, but he backs it up with tangible evidence. Recruiters like evidence, especially since they don’t hear it from candidates often enough.

You can even use this give-an-example approach to answer an employer’s more hypothetical questions. The recruiter says, “You’re working with a small team and you have a significant conflict with one of your team members. What would you do?” Which response is more convincing?

1. “I would try talking with the person first, to see what we could do about our differences. If that didn’t work, I guess I’d probably go to my supervisor and see if he could intervene somehow. It would be important to get our conflict resolved.”

2. “That actually happened to me once in a social psychology course I took. We were doing a group project, and it was clear that one person wasn’t doing his share of the work. I talked with other people in the group about it, and they felt the same way I did. So I offered to talk to this person about our concerns. I’m really glad I did. As it turns out, he was stressed out, because his father had been in the hospital for several weeks having tests done. He was having trouble in all of his classes. So I mentioned the fact that our school has a counseling center and encouraged him to go there. He did, and he got the help he needed. The rest of us then divided up his work.”

Again, the second response is much more persuasive, because the student has gone beyond simply predicting what she would do in a conflict situation; rather, she illustrated how she handled such a situation before, leaving the employer to conclude that the student would likely resolve future conflicts in a similarly professional way.

Examples will always beat mere words in job interviews. So as you think about the questions an employer will ask, be sure to prepare responses that feature your real-life experiences — stories that will leave the employer thinking, “Now here’s someone who isn’t just telling me something, but showing me something. This one’s a keeper.”