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Given the nature of the job market since 2008, here’s another question that grates: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Some interviewers say it speaks to ambition, tenacity and loyalty.

To which others say, “Ha!” No one can predict job status five years out. Best to say, “I hope to be a productive contributor in a valued position.” Don’t snap, “I expect to have your job,” or “I plan to own the company.”

Job applicants need to be prepared for: “Tell me about yourself.” “Why do you want this job?” and “Tell me about a time when you solved a problem” (or something else “behavioral”).

The jury is out on whether the first two requests are dumb. Expect them anyway. Many job interviewers believe they open windows to a candidate’s character.

Ideally, interviewers have job-relevant questions. Ideally, interviewers and applicants hold conversations that help both determine “fit” for the job.

©2013 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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