How to answer difficult job interview questions

Interviewing Effectively
It’s easy to get stumped by difficult questions during job interviews. The good news is that by studying good responses and practicing your answers, you can ace the toughest job interview questions.

Here are answers to three of the toughest interview questions: 

Learn how to answer many more tough questions, including …

Interviewing Well e-Book
Interviewing Well e-Book by Kathy Bernard
  1. Do you feel you may be overqualified for this position?
  2. Tell me about a boss who you didn’t like.
  3. Tell me about a time when you didn’t work well with a supervisor.
  4. What types of decisions are difficult for you?
  5. What would your previous employer say about you?

Plus find … 84 pages of step-by-step guidance on every aspect of the interviewing process -- from how to handle phone, Skype, panel, and in-person interviews … to what to wear … to how to follow-up … and how to negotiate salary – all in my Interviewing Well e-Book. Available now as an immediate download for just $17.97. 

Review it again and again before your big interviews!

You can master your job interviews! Learn to answer tough interview questions well … doing so can help youGet a Job! -- Kathy

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Why your resume must show tech skills to get the job

Understanding basic computer technology is no longer an option for job seekers. It has become the norm. In just the last 10 years, the U.S. workforce has become so technology driven, even blue-collar jobs require tech skills, says the National Journal

Prepare yourself for your job search by assessing your tech knowledge and updating both your skills and your resume. Here's how:

What new skills do you need to add to get your next job?

Getting the basics down

Start with basic office automation tools. Word processing, spreadsheets, presentation tools, email and calendar functions are all skills relied on every day at all different kinds of jobs. How well can you work with these tools? Your proficiencies will determine the types of jobs for which you will be qualified.
For example, if you're interested in office administration work, you'll want to know word processing inside and out. In the financial areas, spreadsheets are common and can become quite complex.

To upgrade your skills in these areas, you can find many resources online, such as on YouTube, or in the library ... or you can even read through the help section/watch tutorials on the applications that are already on your computer. Sign up for classes in your local community center or college. Classes and tutorials are also available online from sources such as

Learn about the cloud

Cloud computing is the latest approach to data storage and its use is growing in the small business world. Familiarize yourself with the most popular products such as, Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, and Google Drive. You'll be an asset to any small business that's just getting into cloud computing. Many of these products have free accounts or trial offers making it a no-risk effort to work with all of these tools.

Be more flexible with cloud-based application skills

Within the world of cloud computing, software companies are moving their products from standalone desktop versions to the cloud. One benefit is that this allows you to work with these tools anywhere you can get onto a computer network. This is an advantage for you if you're seeking a work-at-home type of job.

Upgrade your social media skills

For example, if you are a bookkeeper or an accountant, Intuit now has its most popular products available in a cloud version. Getting familiar with these products makes you valuable as someone who can do their job at an office or remotely from home.

Beyond keeping in touch with friends via Facebook, learn how businesses are using social media to market their products and services. Tech Republic says that social media skills are becoming more of a requirement for employment. LinkedIn is essential for job seekers and the miserably employed as statistics show 94% of hiring companies use it for finding or vetting candidates.

Learn how companies use Facebook and Twitter to increase traffic to their websites. Consider how Pinterest boards and Instagram are being used to promote a company's brand through images and Infographics? Strong social media skills are needed by businesses learning how to navigate the various platforms.

Tap into your organizational skills

U.S. News says that for the next several years, businesses will have a higher demand for project management and organizational skills so enhance your skills in those areas.

Learn basic project management skills, such as planning and creating timelines. Trello and Asana are two online project management tools that are free to use and experiment with. Get familiar with the terminology and practice some of the basic project management principles with these products.

If you like to think and plan in pictures, then look at tools such as Freemind which guide you through the mind-mapping process. You can accomplish many of the same project management tasks by using these brainstorming tools. Even if your role in a company is not that of a project manager, your organization skills will be a valuable asset.

The bottom line? Companies don't have to hire people with deficient technology skills, so if you aren't up to date, get there fast ... being technically proficient can help you ... Get a Job!

Guest post provided by Bluefire PR.

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Join me for FREE job and LinkedIn webinars in April!

Kathy Bernard free webinars, free job search webinars

In career transition or want to maximize your use of LinkedIn? Then join me for these free webinars on every Wednesday in April.

making the most of LinkedIn, maximizing LinkedIn for job search,
LinkedIn Boot Camp
Wed, April 23, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Central
Online Webinar - Free to Attend

Info / Registration Link

If you have a LinkedIn profile, but it's not helping you land a job, this workshop is for you!

Learn how to ... 

  • Precisely word your LinkedIn headline
  • Show up as high as possible in search results
  • Be found by hiring companies and recruiters
  • Dramatically expand your network with the right people
  • Develop and personify a winning brand that attracts others to you
  • Take advantage of all LinkedIn's free tools and resources

You CAN use LinkedIn to find, engage and attract employers! Learn how in this free workshop designed to help you Get a Job! by making the most of your LinkedIn profile and presence.

More details»  
Copy to my calendar


show and tell you are the best job candidate, proving your abilities,
You Are the Best Job Candidate
Wed, April 30, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Central
Online Webinar - Free to Attend

Info / Registration Link

If a hiring company doesn’t know you and hasn't seen your work, they don’t know why you are perfect for their position. You have to SHOW and TELL them why you are the best candidate for their job opening.

In this webinar, you will learn specifically how to …

  • SHOW hiring companies your unique abilities through samples, presentations and other creative means (including many breakthrough ideas submitted by job seekers and recent hires)
  • TELL them your qualifications through smart online application, resume and cover letter strategies; and by preparing influential people to tell your story on your behalf.

No matter what your field, you can stand out by learning to SHOW and TELL why you're the best.

More details»  
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About me
Kathy Bernard, creator of, is a career communicator and coach, resume and LinkedIn/social media guru and webinar/workshop speaker based in St. Louis, Mo. She has always been tenaciously good at finding work and enthusiastically willing to share her tips because she wants to help you... Get a Job!

Individuals hire me to transform their LinkedIn profile and resume and for career coaching and interview preparation services.

Organizations hire me to train their team to use LinkedIn for selling, recruiting or fundraising. They also hire me to create and market their LinkedIn company page and optimize their executive’s profiles. Visit

Colleges hire me to train their students in how to use LinkedIn to land a job.

“Kathy is a very relaxed and thorough speaker with a wealth of useful information, which I truly appreciate since I'm getting close to panic mode looking for a new job.” -- Mary Kay, San Diego

"You are an amazing presenter and speaker." -- Ramneet, Danbury, CT

"Your webinar was one of the best I've ever heard -- practical and useful!" -- Tim, Los Angeles


Please share details of this upcoming free webinars with your friends, fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Creating an effective elevator speech for job search

Don't sweat telling your elevator speech. With a little
practice you can handle it ... no sweat!
We've all been there. 

We’re attending a seminar, networking event, or social function, and the leader announces, “Before we get started, let’s go around the room and introduce ourselves. Stand up. Tell us who you are and what you do. Give us your elevator speech.”

For many, this is a “religious moment.” Inside our heads we’re saying, “Please God, don’t let him call on me first. I know I should have been working on this. I’ll be prepared next time. Please don’t let me embarrass myself by being the first picked!”

I’ve been there, and it’s not fun.

What is an elevator speech and why have one?

An elevator speech is a personal, "mini-infomercial" that tells people, very clearly, who you are and what you do.

Elevator speeches are not meant for selling. Instead, the objective is simple: Inform listeners what you do and the type of job you seek. 

Clarity is not optional. When they understand, they can decide to have conversation with you (or not), about your job search. If they have a clear understanding of what you want and believe you have expertise, they can refer others to you.

Two distinct audiences for an elevator speech

Elevator speeches are delivered to two different audiences: To a group or to an individualEach has specific (and different!) objectives:

When we attend group functions where we have the opportunity to present our elevator speech, the goal is:

  • Everyone hearing it has a very clear understanding about who we are and the type of position we want. They have enough information to recognize if it’s something they, or someone they know, would like more information on.
  • They should not be trying to decipher what they just heard. They should GET IT! immediately, when we deliver it. If they are confused by what we said - it’s over!

Ideally, people approach us during a break or after the event, ask a few questions, and agree to set a time and date for a conversation to gather additional information and determine if they want to help us.

You can become comfortable making
face-to-face elevator speeches.
Individual, face-to-face
Such elevator speeches are given in planned and unplanned settings. They happen continually when we meet new people.

The planned speech often has a directive like this:
“Before our scheduled program at 8:00 p.m., we have time allotted for networking. Get here by 7:30 p.m. and network!”

An unplanned elevator speech can be called upon almost anywhere, anytime. We could be standing in line for a movie, concert or grocery store checkout. A conversation is struck up with folks, also waiting, around us. Someone introduces themselves by saying, “I’m Ted. I work over at Home Depot in the Paint department. What’s your name, and what do you do?”

The individual, face-to-face elevator speech has two goals:

  1. Whether planned or unplanned, one goal is to dis-qualify the person you’re talking with. Not everyone you meet can / will help you land a position. After all, you’re not a prospect to everyone looking for a job, are you? 
  2. The second goal and the ideal result, is the individual stops and says, “Wait. I might know of an opportunity for you. Tell me more. Here’s my card and give me yours. Let’s set a time to meet and continue this conversation.”

Two words crafted my elevator speech template:

1. Elevator
An elevator goes up, one floor at a time. An elevator speech should be crafted, floor-by-floor! Each floor should convey specific information.

2. Speech
An elevator speech is a mini-presentation. It is a speaking opportunity! ... an important one!

If you’ve seen me (Fred Miller of No Sweat Public Speaking) speak, watched my videos, or read my books or posts you know my mantra is, Speaking opportunities are business, career, and leadership opportunities!” No one ever challenges that statement. Why would they!

Whether delivered to a room full of people, a group gathered around a conference table or only one person -  it is a presentation!

Since it is a mini-presentation, it should have the same essence as a presentation.

The essence of a great elevator speech

A great elevator speech should:

  • Clearly articulate what you do, and if time allows, something that indicates expertise. (We like to work with experts, don't we!)
  • Be succinct.
  • Have an impact.

My Elevator Speech

What follows is my elevator speech. It is the culmination of much research, testing, and tweaking. It is the one I deliver, when given the opportunity, in front of groups. It goes “from the ground floor to the top floor.” Since it covers everything I want to tell a group, I refer to it as “The ultimate elevator speech.”

Please read it and “hear” my voice as you do. It’s about 37 seconds in length.

My “Ultimate Elevator Speech”


My name is Fred Miller.

I’m a speaker, a coach, and an author.

The title of my first book is, NO SWEAT Public Speaking!”

Businesses, individuals, and organizations hire me because they want to improve their public speaking and presentation skills.

They do that because they know; speaking opportunities are business, career, and leadership opportunities.

They also know; we perceive really good speakers as experts! We like to work with experts.

I show them how to develop, practice, and deliver, a ‘knock your socks off!’ presentation with - NO SWEAT!

The “Twitter-type” elevator speech

Sometimes, because there is a large group or tight time constraints, the leader says, “Please deliver your elevator speech in 15 words or less.”

This can be challenging, but is worth the challenge because less can be more. Think how powerful Twitter tweets can be even though tweets must be kept to 140 characters or less. Think how you can craft a message that states who you are and what kind of job you want as briefly and powerfully as possible.

Prepare and practice your elevator speech! Doing so can help you ... Get a Job!

FREE Elevator Speech Template

Today's guest blogger, my friend, Fred E. Miller, developed an elevator speech template and worksheet and wants you to have them. Here is a link to both ... free!

Fred encourages you to make your next your elevator speech / presentation - NO SWEAT!

Fred trains people about how to be a more effective public speaker ... and he does it better than anybody I know. He is a consummate speaker, author, and presentation coach.

The title of his first book is, NO SWEAT Public Speaking!”

Businesses and individuals hire him to improve their public speaking and presentation skills ... so consider hiring him today!

Contact information:

Thanks, Fred! You always make learning how to deliver an elevator speech ... No Sweat! -- Kathy


People hire me (Kathy Bernard of to improve their resume and optimize their LinkedIn profile. They also hire me to prepare them for interviews and coach them through their job search. Learn more on Services.

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