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What can I do to stand out in a job interview?
Show off your stalker skills. “More and more job seekers are looking at the corporate website,” says Scott Dobroski, a career expert at the job and career site glassdoor.com. “Go beyond and familiarize yourself with the company’s mission statement, social media presence, and executive board.” You want to come across as informed and insightful. A comment about a recent tweet from the CEO, for example, shows you’re up to speed. Next, says Dobroski, prepare three questions that explore the company’s goals, culture, and opportunities for growth. For instance, if an important aspect of the job is working with others, ask what kinds of teamwork issues the staff has faced. Then note your history working in groups and cite a problem you helped solve. Finally, be ready for a quirky question (see “Ace the Curveball”); this can serve as a tiebreaker for any position, entry level to executive.
ACE THE CURVEBALL
Quirky questions test your problem-solving skills and creativity under pressure. Dobroski’s analysis of these three, submitted by readers at glassdoor.com, can help you keep your cool.
THE PERSONALITY CHECK
If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?
(Rain and Hail Agricultural Insurance)
They want to see your personality, so be yourself but explain your rationale. A thoughtful answer reflects well on you, even if the question is silly.
THE IMPOSSIBLE PROBLEM
How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday?
Work in hypotheticals and talk out the variables. Your answer doesn’t have to be accurate; you need to show them how you would work through a solution.
THE CREATIVITY TEST
How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator?
(Horizon Group Properties)
They’re looking for wit (tell the big fella there are peanuts inside) or creativity (freeze-dry it and grind it into powder). Just don’t say it can’t be done.