Standard Job Interview Questions Mess With My Pitch

Dear J.T. & Dale: I've gone on some job interviews, and the one thing they have in common is that the interviewer has a sheet of questions, sometimes a fold-out sheet. One interviewer said, "We know that you can do the job, but we have a list of questions from HR that we have to ask." My point is that you don't get to make a sales pitch to sell yourself. - Marco DALE: Here's why HR pushes for standard questions: Without a list to stick to, many hiring managers end up spending the interview talking about themselves. Further, it's tough to compare candidates if each interview goes off in a different direction. Without consistent information across candidates, the hiring decision comes down to "gut feel," and most guts feel like hiring the person most like the person outside the gut, which is no way to optimize a department's resources. J.T.: So, expect to encounter lists of questions. Sadly, all the lists vary. Sometimes you can find an inside contact or use a site like GlassDoor.com to learn what kinds of questions they'll ask, but for the most part, the best you can do is prepare and learn from each subsequent interview. DALE: Speaking of which, I recently was helping my niece prepare to interview for a job she covets. I told her we'd do mock interviews, but to prepare for those, I told her the first resource to grab is a piece by J.T. that she boldly named "The Best Interview Preparation Tool Ever." You get it when you register for the free articles at CAREEREALISM.com. You'll find J.T. herself, on video, and a first-rate list of questions that will help you practice. The interviewer still might throw in some offbeat topic you haven't thought through. If so, just say, "That's an unusual question... let me think." If nothing comes to mind, you can always respond with a question: "That's a tough one - have you heard any good answers?" Yes, you'll be passing on that one question, but you'll still come across as open and eager to learn. J.T.: And what about it - did your niece get the job? DALE: She got it, and she's already started. Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale via e-mail at advice@jtanddale.com or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. Image Credit: Shutterstock

In our new YouTube series, "Well This Happened" it's your turn to be the career coach! What would you do if you asked a coworker when the baby was due and she responded with, "I'm not pregnant." Watch the video and cast your vote b posting a comment on Youtube. We'll select one person from the correct answers at random to win free membership to the Work It Daily program. Good luck!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you've ever wondered what a Work It Daily (WID) membership could do for you, a letter we got this week provides a powerful example...

SHOW MORE Show less

There are 3 things hiring managers are trying to initially assess about you in the job interview. This video walks you through what they are looking for and offers insights into the right information to give them. Be sure to check out our free resources mentioned in the video too. They are:

SHOW MORE Show less

Last week during my Office Hours on Youtube, a client asked about how to deal with a workplace bully. After spending many years in corporate HR, I flipped to the other side and became a career therapist. So, I've seen both sides of this situation in the workplace. In this video, I discuss why people struggle to deal with bullies and what you can do to change the situation instantly.

This week, I did something that truly scared me. I sent an email to over 120,000 Work It Daily newsletter subscribers and asked them to answer the question, "What do we do?"

SHOW MORE Show less

A market correction is going to happen. When it does, layoffs will follow. I've been in the HR and recruiting industry for over two decades and have seen three recessions of varying sizes. In the video above, I explain how to tell when a recession is coming and what that means to you and your career. While many people will skip watching this. Or, will watch it and do nothing. I hope YOU are the smart, savvy professional who sees how important it is to prepare for unexpected, unwelcomed career circumstances.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this video, you'll learn how to tell if your career is plateauing due to the Executive Blues. You'll also learn what you can do to fix the problem and get your "executive energy" back so you can keep your career on track and set goals to reach new heights of success!

Want to watch the full video tutorial by J.T.?

CLICK HERE to get access!