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How to respond to tricky interview questions

Got a job interview coming up? Here’s a tip: Take some time to self-reflect on your experiences when preparing for your interview. This allows you to understand yourself better, which makes it easier to answer questions.

And speaking of interviews, how can you respond to those generic, tricky questions interviewers like to ask, and without resorting to clichés? Recently, Paul Wolfe, SVP of Human Resources Indeed shared his insights with Global News.

For instance, what to do when interviewers ask about your weaknesses? Understand that this is a question about your self-awareness and be ready to discuss ways to get better, says Paul: “Talk about how you keep them top of mind or how you have already shown improvement by highlighting specific steps you’ve taken to address those areas.”

Then there’s the awkward “What would your past or present colleagues say is the best thing about working with you?” Paul’s advice? “Think back on any peer feedback you’ve received or try to identify why you have good working relationships with those around you”. Supervisors, colleagues or classmates are all fair game, and be sure to have some anecdotes at hand.

Many of us may not know what we’re going to eat for lunch, but we all still have to be prepared for the moment interviewers ask where you see yourself in three to five years. The trick, says Paul, is to realize they’re looking for a general picture of your aspirations, not a timeline or specific plan. So imagine yourself in a few years and ask yourself what you see. What’s different from where you are now? And where will you steer yourself next?

And if you get stumped on a question? Don’t worry. Pause, let your interviewer know you need a few seconds, and ask clarifying questions for additional information. Want more great tips on how to handle interviews? View the full list of questions answers on Global News.

But wait, there’s more…

Indeed’s new ad campaign, “Search for Greatness,” launched last week, and its message of inclusion comes at the right time, says ERE’s Joel Cheesman. The campaign hopes to make recruiting a blind process rather than one impacted by prejudice, and tackles the issue head-on by highlighting the powerful combination of skills, passions and experience present in each individual. Get more of Cheesman’s take here.

Indeed recently named Massachusetts General Hospital the best hospital to work for in the U.S. Noted for its great benefits, commitment to diversity and strong growth opportunities, MGH also received the top spots for management and work-life balance. “We try hard to make it a good place to work, and the word gets out,” says Jeff Davis, MGH’s SVP of human resources. He’s right: the hospital has a 1% acceptance rate for hiring new workers — which means it’s harder to get in than Harvard. Go to Boston Business Journal for the full story.

The holidays are approaching, and major retailers hope to stimulate sales this festive season by hiring thousands more workers to help with in-store customer service and online order fulfillment. Indeed data shows that there’s already been a 34% rise in seasonal job postings from retailers compared to last year — and as online shopping continues to pose serious challenges to traditional models of retail, brick and mortar stores are seeking to improve the shopping experience so they can compete. Learn more at Reuters.

A spike in British job seekers seeking roles in Europe can’t be blamed only on Brexit, says Mariano Mamertino, EMEA economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab. Indeed data shows that work-life balance is a crucial driver marker of workplace satisfaction — so how can companies keep employees happy and engaged? Read the Telegraph for five useful tips on tackling talent retention.

Meanwhile in Brazil, Indeed managing director João Olivério spoke with the careers correspondent of Exame, a magazine covering economics, business, technology and careers. Pretty much wherever you look it’s a challenge to find tech talent, and João used Indeed data to shine a spotlight on the four hardest to fill roles in Brazil. What are they? Software Engineer, Fullstack Developer, Software Architect and Software Developer. Learn more at Exame.

Interested in a job in the German gaming industry? According to Indeed data, the gaming industry is concentrated in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin — and the types of gaming jobs differ from city to city. And while you might think most jobs would be in programming and developing, that’s not necessarily true: nearly half are for roles in project management, marketing, administration and sales. The details are at Creative City Berlin (although you can read English highlights from Indeed economist Annina Hering here).