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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:08 AM   #7
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How Do You Prioritize Work?
This is often a difficult questions to answer (at least for me) because you are not physically working for the company. These are a few ways people have chosen to answer:
- Prioritize based on most important and not by who has seniority or who asked you first. For example: If you had a huge document to photocopy and collate for a meeting that was taking place in an hour and an urgent email to staff that needed to be sent right away and your boss wanted you to contact the travel agency and fix his tickets for this afternoon's flights. Which one would you do first and why?
- Review the length each assignment would take. For example, you have 3 projects and you know that 2 would take the least amount of time so you would knock those out first and then work on the 3rd project.
- If there are unequal factors, rank assignments by deadlines, time for each project, and seniority of person who requested the project.

Explaining Terminations
This is often a very uneasy topic to discuss, but the best thing you can do is be 100% honest about the situation and explain how you have fixed such behaviors (if it was your fault for being fired).
- Tardiness (a common one): Where you tardy due to transportation? Explain to the interviewer that your transportation situation has been taken care of because you now realize, too late but better than never, that promptness is as important for attendance as actually being at your desk for the day of work. Where you tardy because you needed before school child care? Explain to the interviewer that you do have appropriate child care for before school and that you do realize it should have been taken care of sooner. Where you tardy because you just couldn''t get your butt out of bed? Explain to the interviewer that you didn''t feel challenged any longer and, in your quest for locating another position, you left your house later than you should have in order to arrive to work on time. Go on to state that you are excited about this opportunity as it will offer you the challenges that you have wanted.

Describe Your Employment History
Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to be able to review their work history in detail. Be prepared to tell the interviewer the names of the companies you worked for, your job title, your starting and ending dates of employment, how much you earned and what your job entailed.
You'd be surprised how many job applicants fumble when asked about prior employment. Don't be one of them! Refresh your memory prior to the interview by reviewing your resume, so, you can speak about your prior work history in detail and accurately.
If you don't have a resume, make sure what you tell the interviewer matches what you filled out on your job application. The best way to prepare is to download a sample job application ahead of time. Complete the sample application and bring it with you when you are applying for employment. This way you will be able to copy the information rather than having to remember dates and other employment information.

What Were Your Expectations for the Job?
In many cases, interviewers will want to know what you expected from your last job when you were hired, so, be be prepared to answer the interview question "What were your expectations for the job and to what extent were they met?"
There isn't a right or wrong answer to this question. The best way to respond is to discuss what you expected when you took the job and give examples of how the position worked out for you. If the job wasn't exactly what you expected, it's fine to mention that. However, you should focus on the job itself, not the company, your boss, or your co-workers (if they were a problem). Do be careful how you answer and don't focus too much on the negative. Instead, address the highlights of the job.
When responding, be specific. Prepare some examples to share with the interviewer in advance. For example, if your job involved creating web applications using Cold Fusion, discuss the specific programs you developed and the responsibilities you were given. If you were provided training and opportunities for professional development to help you achieve your goals, mention that, as well.

What were your starting and final levels of compensation?
Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to be able to provide the details of their compensation history. Be prepared to tell the interviewer how much you earned at each of your prior positions.
Make sure that what you tell the interviewer matches what you listed on your job application. Refresh your memory prior to the interview by reviewing your compensation history, so, you can speak in detail and accurately. Don't exaggerate or inflate your earnings. Many employers will check references and confirm your salary history prior to making a job offer. A discrepancy between what you reported and what the employer says could knock you out of contention for the job.
The best way to prepare is to download a sample job application ahead of time. Complete the sample application and review it prior to the interview.

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want"
"If you feel you need to tell lies to get ahead, perhaps you need to evaluate why you're behind in the first place."
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