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    7 Stupidest Interview Questions and What They Really Mean

    If you’ve been in the workforce long enough, the same inane questions will continue to creep up in interview after interview. What is your greatest weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years? You know, the small-talk questions that fill up just enough time between the really important questions. But all those meaningless questions actually have a purpose. That’s ...
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    Do You Work in the Gray Zone?

    Do You Work in the Gray Zone?
    One of the absolutely fabulous readers here at HR Bartender sent me this question. It was a question asked of her during a job interview and she wanted to know how I would have answered it. Jan and John are working together on a project. HR is planning to suspend Jan. Do you tell John that Jan is going to be ...
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    Too Much Contact When Job Searching?

    Too Much Contact When Job Searching?
    A reader writes: I'm about to lose my job (temporary hire for a project that's almost over) and now am starting the hunt again. I've been reading all the advice, going to the free federally-funded we-help-you-get-hired places, and all of them tell you to constantly call, call, call the place you're applying. Call after you've sent in your resume/application to make ...
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    Job Search Help: How Much is Too Much?

    Job Search Help: How Much is Too Much?
    A reader writes: First, I’m not one of THOSE wives, I promise. My husband was just laid off and is starting a job search. I work at a nonprofit, so I know lots of people in different industries who don’t know my husband at all. A member of a community organization that throws a benefit for us each year is also ...
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    Retaliation For Refusing Previous Job Offer?

    Retaliation For Refusing Previous Job Offer?
    A reader writes: I recently applied for a position in a company. A few months ago, I had interviewed for a different position in another division within the same company and received an offer. I reflected on where I wanted to go with my career and what I am presently working on and decided that this was not an opportunity that ...
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    Just Fired? Don't Put it on Your Resume

    Just Fired? Don't Put it on Your Resume
    A reader writes: I was just terminated from my job. I was five days before being off probation and two days away from my first big job event (I plan and run conferences). Without any prior notice, meeting, or confrontation, I was ushered into my department head’s office and told that in order to make a strong team, she needed to ...
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    How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

    How to Prepare for a Phone Interview
    I'm always amazed by how often I can tell that a candidate hasn't really prepared for a phone interview. Laziness aside, preparing takes a lot of the stress out of the experience and lets you answer the phone feeling confident and possibly even excited. Here's what I recommend you do to prepare. Ideally, you'd do this the night before. 1. Go ...
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    Is A Contract Position Worth The Risk?

    Is A Contract Position Worth The Risk?
    A reader writes: I am trying to decide if it is too risky to leave my current position for a better one that is a contract position. I'm currently underemployed. I'm making $30,000/yr less than I did before I was laid off, but at least I'm working in my field. I don't enjoy my job, my department is quite dysfunctional, and ...
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    10 Tips for Writing Cold Cover Letters

    10 Tips for Writing Cold Cover Letters
    Most positions are never advertised. A cold cover letter is an uninvited inquiry to an employer, recruiter or other hiring manager regarding possible job opportunities. Cold cover letters' potential advantages include creating a job that didn't previously exist, gaining early consideration for a position that hasn't yet been advertised and expanding your network of contacts. By sending a letter to an ...
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    Selling Yourself in a Job Interview

    Selling Yourself in a Job Interview
    Every job interview is different--but there are some general principles that 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. ...
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    Resumes for a Digital Age

    Resumes for a Digital Age
    When you're applying for a job, you work hard to make sure your resume will command the attention of the first person who reads it. But it's increasingly likely that the first reader of your resume won't be a person at all. Inundated with hundreds—or thousands—of resumes for some positions, many companies are using technology to streamline resume screening. "Any time ...
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    Watch Your Interview Body Language

    Watch Your Interview Body Language
    Savvy job seekers know how important choosing the right words is when we communicate with prospective employers -- but what about nonverbal communication? "You could be saying how great you are," says image consultant and "Hello Job! How to Psych Up, Suit Up, & Show Up" author Alison Craig, "but your body could be giving your true feelings away." Mark Bowden, ...
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    Ending an Interview Early?

    Ending an Interview Early?
    A reader writes: In a recent interview, I learned some things about the job that hadn't been in the job description, and those things were deal-breakers for me. (I had not known about these things until the interview, so I wasn't just wasting everyone's time just getting some interview practice.) There had already been other things that made the position less ...
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    Handling a Surprise Phone Interview

    Handling a Surprise Phone Interview
    A reader writes: Is it customary to surprise applicants with a phone interview? I'm applying for an internal promotion with my current employer. I had an appointment to call my potential boss to ask questions about the position (this is standard practice at my company). HR told me I would have a phone interview Tuesday. When I called the boss today ...
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    6 Illegal Interview Questions to Avoid

    6 Illegal Interview Questions to Avoid
    Wondering which questions you'll be asked during your job interview? You should expect the usual ones, such as "Where do you see yourself in five years?" and "What's your greatest weakness?" But then there are more colorful questions, such as "What animal best describes you?" and "If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to ...
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    My Favorite Interview Question

    My Favorite Interview Question
    Years ago I found an interview question that I really liked. One that told me a lot about candidates. I forget how I discovered it, but once I did I’ve been using it ever since. The question is: Tell me about a time you had to work with someone you did not personally like. I think one of the reasons it’s a great question ...
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    Typing Test Interview

    Typing Test Interview
    A reader writes: I'm job hunting again and recently had a really embarrassing experience during an interview. The interview was for a job in the industry I work in, but in a very different role. The day before the interview I read up on the company and the industry and I went into the interview feeling fairly confident. When I got ...
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    Blog Your Way to the Perfect Job

    Blog Your Way to the Perfect Job
    We don’t have to tell you — it’s not easy to get a job these days. In this economy, it's easy to get stressed out over less-than-plentiful job openings. So the question remains: What’s the secret to getting the job you want? Unfortunately, we don’t have secrets, but we do have answers. The main one? Start a blog! Come on, admit ...
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    Last-Minute Interview Prep Tips

    Last-Minute Interview Prep Tips
    Interviews can be pretty intimidating, so it's understandable if you put off prepping for the big day because of nerves. Lucky for you, we've put together a cheat sheet of last-minute interview prep tips, whether your interview is tomorrow afternoon — or two hours from now. Procrastinators, rejoice. You still have a chance at that job! 1. Dress Code Looking the ...
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    Jokes in an Interview?

    Jokes in an Interview?
    A reader writes: I was wondering what your thoughts are on joking in an interview. I recently had a phone interview that I thought went very well. I was well prepared, am very qualified for the job and had competent answers to all questions. I even threw in a few well meaning jokes (none having to do with sensitive topics) that ...
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