How to deal with Illegal Interview Questions

How to deal with Illegal Interview Questions. There’s no doubt that in today’s competitive job market, applicants are under a lot of pressure. Acing the interview is undoubtedly one of the most challenging parts of the process, and illegal interview questions can throw off even the most experienced job seeker. Whether or not the unlawful questions seem intentional, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer them. However, you probably don’t want the interview to go completely downhill, especially if you still want a shot at the job.

Thankfully, anyone can tackle awkward, intimidating, or illegal interview questions with the right mindset and preparation. Interviews are an opportunity to prove yourself, but they’re not supposed to give interviewers the chance to potentially discriminate against you. Remember: anything related to race, religion, gender, age, family life, and your living situation is off the table. If you’re living in the US, be sure to research what is and isn’t legal to ask in your specific state. For example, it’s illegal for employers to ask about your previous salary in California.  Read more

Guide to Answering Common Interview Questions

popular questions during an interview.

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview? A pocketbook, made just for you, containing all the popular questions during an interview.

We can’t read minds, but we can give you the next best thing: a list of some of the most asked interview questions, along with advice for answering them all.

While we don’t recommend having a canned response for every interview question (in fact, please don’t) we do however recommend spending some time getting comfortable with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for, and what it takes to reflect that you’re the right person for the job.

Interview Question and Answer Study Guide:

1. Tell Me About Yourself.

This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it’s crucial. Here’s the deal: Don’t give your complete employment (or personal) history. Instead, give a pitch—one that’s concise, compelling, and shows exactly why you’re the right fit for the job. Talk a little bit about your current role (including the scope and perhaps one big accomplishment,) then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have that’s relevant. Finally, segue into why you want—and would be perfect for—this role.

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Why You Need a Professional Headshot

Many professionals assume a headshot is something you upload to your LinkedIn profile and then never touch again. That assumption is wrong! 

Your headshot will come in handy throughout your career. It will grace the “About Us” page on your company’s website, be sent to new coworkers so people can easily recognize you, and be asked for by event organizers to advertise your speaking engagements.

Maybe you’re thinking: Speaking engagements? Please, I am never going to need a professional headshot in my career. 

If so, you need a reframe. Our Ignite Your Potential career coaches can point out countless blurry or inappropriate LinkedIn profile pictures (or no photo at all) that affect whether or not people reach out and collaborate. 

A headshot is useful for many professional situations:

  • Your Email Account
  • Your Email Signature
  • Your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram 
  • Your Website or Portfolio
  • Your Posts or Bylines
  • Your Company Bio

Convinced? Great, now it’s time to take one. And the good news is, it’s really easy.

Step 1: Pick out a shirt that you feel confident in (Tip: Avoid busy patterns or anything you would not wear to Grandma’s Sunday dinner).

Step 2: Find a plain, but ideally interesting backdrop (Tip: Avoid posing in front of windows or busy backgrounds unless you’re a lighting and photography editing pro.)

Step 3: If you’re a woman, you might consider makeup. Even if you don’t usually wear it. Without it you may look a little faded out in a photo. Time to smile and take the photo.

Step 4: Save it and use it for everything.

Whether a friend takes the shot or you hire a professional photographer—it is up to you. But whatever you do, make sure you have one handy—and update it every couple of years. It can costs you very little to make and will save you from having to scrounge through old Facebook albums and crop an adult beverage out of your hand.

Need more tips when it comes to professional headshots? Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

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3 Tips to Overcome Fear of Rejection

“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” – Judy Blume

Fear of rejection can negatively affect most aspects of one’s life. It’s so powerful that it discourages the achievement of goals and living a full life filled with happiness. It also has many consequences. Facing this fear is not easy, but it is necessary. Here are three tips to help you start overcoming your fear of rejection:  

1. Don’t Take it Personally

Everyone has a different reason for saying no, and it could have absolutely nothing to do with you. Maybe you didn’t receive a job because the interviewer had a current employee in mind for the position. Or maybe a person at the bar (you finally mustered up the courage to approach) declined a date because they recently got out of a bad relationship. Not every opportunity you pursue is meant for you. Timing and compatibility are two things that are completely out of your control.

Being confident in your personality and capabilities is essential to facing rejection. You’ll be able to detach your self-worth from the opinions and acceptance of others. This could lead to your life flourishing in ways you didn’t know were possible.

2. Don’t Run, Stay Engaged

Often times when we face rejection the fear centers in our brain tell us to flee from the situation. However, as a reframe, welcome the feedback that rejection offers. Instead of running away and never looking back, if it’s appropriate, ask why. You may find that the feedback is constructive.

Jia Jiang, author and founder of Wuju Learning, has an amazing Ted Talk titled “What I learned from 100 days of rejection”. Jia outlines his experience with fearing rejection and how he overcame his fear. He also shares how he continues to inspire others to do the same.

3. Embrace Rejection

Rejection has a negative connotation, it’s viewed as a form of failure. Finding the lesson in every experience you faced rejection is very valuable. From every “no” there is an opportunity for self-growth, self-exploration, and self-improvement. It is important to understand rejection does not define you. Let your reaction to being rejected showcase who you are.

Think about the last time you were rejected. Now think about all the opportunities that came from that closed door. Celebrate your rejection because you stepped out of your comfort zone to get closer to achieving your goals. Staying positive and working hard will introduce you to new opportunities. Embracing rejection is truly a catalyst for your odyssey to self-fulfillment.

After reading this article, we hope your perspective of rejection has improved. Remember, all of the award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise. We can’t wait to witness your pursuit of living a life without regrets.