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  • "Why don’t you tell me about yourself?"

This question, often the interview opener, has a crucial objective: to see how you handle yourself in unstructured situations. The recruiter wants to see how articulate you are, how confident you are, and generally what type of impression you would make on the people with whom you come into contact on the job. The recruiter also wants to learn about the trajectory of your career and to get a sense of what you think is important and what has caused you to perform well.

There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?” You need to develop a good answer to this question, practice it, and be able to deliver it with poise and confidence.

The right response is twofold: focus on what interests the interviewer, and highlight your most important accomplishments.

More tips

More than any other aspect of your job, your direct supervisor has the power to make or break you. Research has shown most people that leave their jobs, don’t leave the organization, they leave the person that they directly reported to. If this person is the biggest indicator of how successful you will be in your new work, shouldn’t you know as much as you can about him or her?

  1. Talk to people within the company.
  2. Ask detailed questions during the interview. (What type of person do you like to work with? Describe a time when you had to discipline one of your staff. If I talked to your staff, what would they tell me about you?)
  3. Do research online before showing up.

More…

I’ve started keeping a running list of personal open loops: buying plane tickets, getting my hair cut, getting a chair for the guest room, buying new sunglasses.

I then assign myself one big project, and two smaller projects per week. Three projects is doable, so I don’t feel like I’m mentally overloaded. On the other hand, three projects is enough to make progress.”

More…

“The traditional interview questions do not allow a candidate to demonstrate their uniqueness, personality, or dynamic skillsets,” explains Shara Senderoff of Intern Sushi, “I love to catch candidates off guard with the following:

  1. What color is your personality?
    This gives me a look into how a candidate views themselves without having to ask them for a list of adjectives. When you ask in this manner, you can identify traits about the candidate based on social interpretations of colors that may not have been apparent in that first interview, even when you can’t get a candidate to go into depth with his or her answer. I’ve also found this to be a great lead in question because it relaxes the candidate and allow them to think outside-of-the-box.

  2. Tell me three things you could do with a brick. 
    This always lends itself to very original thinking and believe it or not, demonstrates experience and maturity or lack thereof. At this point I could create a list of over 100 unique responses and with each response I can understand how an individual thinks and what they’ve been through.”

More odd but revealing interview questions

“Remember this sentence, tape it to your monitor, tattoo it on your wrist: You don’t have to ‘feel like’ doing something in order to do it.”
“When I manage to remember that, I’m no longer sidetracked by trying to get into the right frame of mind for daunting projects. Don’t beat yourself up for procrastinatory feelings. Just feel them, and simultaneously direct your limbs to do the work.”
11 expert tips to help you be more productive in 2014

“Remember this sentence, tape it to your monitor, tattoo it on your wrist: You don’t have to ‘feel like’ doing something in order to do it.

“When I manage to remember that, I’m no longer sidetracked by trying to get into the right frame of mind for daunting projects. Don’t beat yourself up for procrastinatory feelings. Just feel them, and simultaneously direct your limbs to do the work.”

11 expert tips to help you be more productive in 2014

This office is designed specifically to make people feel… at ease. 

"You’re looking for what is that unique insight, that point of view, that thing that no one else sees. If you can create a conversation where that can really come out, and can give them the comfort to put as much of themselves out on the table as possible, you learn a lot more about them."

Do you make to-do lists? Are they particularly lovely, organized, or full of incredible tasks? We want to see them! 
Send us a picture of your best to-do list from 2013 for a chance to win a virtual personal assistant for a year. We’ll share the best!
Here’s how to enter.

Do you make to-do lists? Are they particularly lovely, organized, or full of incredible tasks? We want to see them! 

Send us a picture of your best to-do list from 2013 for a chance to win a virtual personal assistant for a year. We’ll share the best!

Here’s how to enter.