The Answers To Common Interview Questions

5 Common Interview Questions And How To Answer Them

Finally, the answers to what you've been wondering all along.

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Unfortunately, we are coming upon the season for finding summer jobs and internships that will help advance us in a competitive job market against very qualified students. If you're like me and got rejected from approximately 10 opportunities last year, you may be wondering what answer interviewers are looking for to those common questions. Thanks to Ed McCraw, a professor of practice at the MBA school here at UNC-Chapel Hill, I have the answers for you.

1. "Tell me about yourself."

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How professionally can you speak? Have you practiced answering this question? Can you tell a humorous story that can make you likable?

2. "What's your greatest fault? How did you handle a bad boss?"

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How did you overcome it? What did you learn? How can you turn your answer into self-knowledge?

3. "Why should we hire you?"

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How can you make our team better? What unique skills do you have that we need?

4. "What questions do you have for me?"

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Can you ask an intelligent question? Examples: ask about the team culture, don't ask obscure questions they can't answer, find similarities in the path you and the interviewer took and ask how that worked for them in this company.

5. "Tell me about a struggle you've overcome."

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What did you learn in general and about yourself? Don't say anything embarrassing to either party. Don't give too much detail; however, also be compelling.

May the interview question odds be in your favor. If they're not, you're still capable and successful and more than enough.

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8 Things To Know About The 911 Dispatcher In Your Life

In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

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For the first 18 years of my life, all I knew about 911 dispatchers was that they were the voice that came after the tone, from inside the pager on my dad's hip. The voice telling him where to go and for what. I had no idea after I turned 19 that I would soon become one of those voices. National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week this year is the week of April 14th-20th. I felt it appropriate to write my article this week focused on that, considering it is such a huge part of my life. For the rest of the world, it is just another week. For us, this is the one week out of the whole year that the focus is on the dispatcher, the one week where we don't feel so self-absorbed about saying what we do is nothing short of heroic. Here are some important things to know about the 911 dispatcher in your life.

1. We worry about you constantly

My biggest fear in this job is picking up the phone and hearing my loved one on the other end. No matter what the circumstance. The map zooms to the area of the county where my family and I reside, and my heart always sinks. I get a giant pit in my stomach because the very real reality is it may be someone I know and love. Don't be annoyed when we call you twice in one day or overly remind you to be safe. We are just always worried about our loved ones.

2. Our attention spans can be short

We are trained to get the pertinent information and details all within a matter of seconds. I can't speak for everyone on this, but I struggle a lot with paying attention when someone is talking to me, please forgive me if it feels as though I've stopped listening after a few minutes. I probably have. I've noticed that I listen very intently to the first couple minutes of a conversation and then my mind trails off. Nothing personal, just habit.

3. We have great hearing and multitasking skills

Most of us anyways. We can hear the person on the phone, the officer on one radio channel and the firefighter on the other, all at once. I have found that this skill comes in handy when trying to eavesdrop, also not as handy when you go out to dinner and can hear all five conversations going on around you. I have yet to master shutting that off when I am not at work.

4. We are hilarious

It could be a combination of using humor to deal with bad situations and spending twelve hours at a time in a little room together. But I think it’s that we are just freaking hilarious, nothing else to it. If you go the whole 12 hours without laughing, you're doing something wrong.

5. We have a very complicated love-hate relationship with our jobs

I love what I do, and I truly believe I was meant to put on that headset. Everything happens for a reason and my education plans out of high school didn't work out because I was supposed to be here doing this instead. I love what I do. I hate it sometimes too though. I remember specifically once taking a phone call about an hour before my shift was done. As soon as I got into my vehicle to go home, I bawled my eyes out and swore to myself that I was never stepping back into a comm center again. I hated my job with a burning passion that day. My next scheduled shift, I went back to work because I love it too. See, it doesn't even make sense it's just complicated.

6. We are tired

Believe it or not, this career can be incredibly exhausting. Someone once told me "You just sit at a desk for twelve hours, that can't be that hard." Physically that's right, we just sit there. Mentally and emotionally the first phone call of the shift can drain you and then you still have a little over 11 hours to go. I won't go into details on that but trust us when we say it was a bad call. We are tired. Some of my days off I just sleep all day not because I'm physically exhausted but because my mind needs that much time to recharge.

7. We are crazy

I really have nothing more to say other than no sane person would be a 911 dispatcher. We are all a little 10-96 in the best way possible.

8. We love harder than most

We love strangers we have never met, we love our officers that piss us off daily over the radio (we piss them off too) and we love our co-workers that drive us nuts sometimes. It takes someone incredibly strong to save a life through the phone and someone even stronger to go back after they didn't. With that strength comes a weakness of vulnerability, we know our hearts will break more often than others, and we still continue to put on that headset to help others. The people with the biggest hearts work in a dispatch center. If you are lucky enough to be loved by one don't take them for granted.

The list could go on and on. Dispatchers possess so many skills and qualities that most people will never acquire in their lifetime. People think 911 and picture the police officer, the firefighter, the paramedic often completely forgetting the 911 dispatcher. For us, that's okay because other than this one week out of the year, we don't expect praise or thank you. When it comes down to it, we love what we do and we would do it no matter what.

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4 Tips To Remember While Job Hunting

Here are four tips to help you on your ongoing career path.

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Graduating is a significant rite of passage and a celebration for all the hard work you've done during your college career. During this transition, you might set your sights on applying to graduate school or finding a full-time job. Here are 4 tips to help you on your ongoing career path.

1. Tailor your resume and cover letter for each job application.

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The job search can be overwhelming, with the multi-tasking requirement of balancing interviews, applications, and follow-ups. Rather than submitting your resume to hundreds of companies, treat each application idiosyncratically. Analyze the skills that are listed in the job posting, and correspondingly tailor your resume. You are more likely to hear back from an employer by catering your resume to the ideal candidate that is professionally desired.

2. Always have questions prepared after completing an interview.

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After you've answered all the interview questions, recruiters will typically ask you if you have any questions. This is a stepping stone for illustrating your interest in the job and exemplifying your knowledge of the role and the overall company. Prior to your interview, remember to do your research and come prepared with a set of questions you can ask.

3. Be honest.

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Recruiters and employers interview several people a day, with varying professional experiences and socioeconomic backgrounds. Needless to say, they can detect the difference between someone who just wants paid work and someone who is eager to apply their skills to a job. It's important to apply to jobs that you are actually interested in and roles that you can visualize yourself performing in. With this methodology utilized, the easier the job interview will be and you will feel more connected with the employer.

4. Remain optimistic.

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Rejection is constantly present when searching for a job and it's easy to lose motivation as a result. Remember to take frequent breaks and relax. Don't compare your career journey to others, even though it may seem everyone around you is getting hired. Read biographies of people who inspire you and seek advice from mentors and relatives.

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