|CAREERS NOW 06-29-11|
|Think Ahead For Behavioral Questions|
DEAR JOYCE: What should I expect in a "behavioral interview? How does it differ from a regular job interview? - B.T.P.
The difference is past behavior versus future behavior. Instead of an interviewer asking what you would do in a given situation, an interviewer asks what you have done in the past in that situation.
Behavioral questions are often begin with such phrases as "Tell me about," "Describe a time when," or "Give an example of." Follow-ups generally include probes for such details as what you said, how you reacted or how you felt.
To prepare for an interview that may turn "behavioral," refresh your memory of times when you solved problems or performed like an ace. Rehearse a brief, but powerful telling of each story (example).
Browse online for "behavioral interview questions and answers."
DEAR JOYCE: I started work in a new job last week. This week the job I really wanted came through and it pays 25 percent more. What are the ethics of immediately quitting the first job and taking the better offer? --- C.M.
Don't feel guilty about departing so soon - you're actually doing the boss a favor by saving the costs of your additional training. You have to think of yourself and your family. After all, self-interest is the playbook move for American business - a company is sold and thousands of employees can be cut loose.
But it cost you nothing to quit graciously and the way in which you quit can help sooth the rejected boss' feelings: "It's not that I don't want to work here any less; it's just that I want to work in the new position a little more."
DEAR JOYCE: Recently I had a job interview and I thought the interviewer would never let go of my hand. After what seemed like five minutes, he finally let go. Is this weird? - E.M.A.
Use body language to defuse awkwardness in this situation. After a firm handshake for an appropriate length of time, let your hand go limp. If the hand hug was a tactic on the interviewer's part, he'll get the message that you understand the maneuver and have the social skills to handle it.
DEAR JOYCE: I am a 51-year-old divorced woman who now has to find a job after 10 years at home. For 15 years I worked as what was then called an executive secretary. I now realize that I'm nowhere near prepared to re-enter office work with all the new tools now in use.
I'm considering attending a program to earn an associate degree in administration, but also to change my career all together.
Taking into consideration my age, should I embark on a new career or become more educated in the one I'm most experienced in? - T.T.
First a qualifying caveat: Each question of career change is different and consideration should be based on specific components. A raft of career change books is available to guide you on your journey of discovery.
But in finding a job, brushing up on what you know is easier than starting anew. Explore office administrative technology programs, and ask what jobs were offered to this year's graduates. How many people have found employment already? At what pay? Were any of the graduates your age, or were they younger? Did any experience age bias? Does the program offer internships to students or placement assistance to graduates?
Follow through on these suggestions, and your question will answer itself.
DEAR JOYCE: I've just graduated with a liberal arts major and am looking for ideas that may become The Next Big Thing. Help? - M.E.
Wouldn't we all like to discover the next economic bonanza? From genetic enhancements and water shortages, to high-speed wireless communications and the threat of bioviolence, the World Future Society maps trends and breakthroughs likely to affect your work tomorrow. Tailor your own crystal ball by reading "20 Forecasts for 2011-2025," a free special report at wfs.org/forecasts.
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