Learn How to Answer Interview Questions

You can learn how to give a good job interview the same way you learned how to get good at playing golf, riding your bicycle, skiing, or shooting hoops. You practice a lot. Similarly, you’ll learn how to answer interview questions by writing them down and rehearsing your answers.

Professional golfer Tiger Woods didn’t learn how to putt by playing in the Master’s tournament. Tiger’s background was filled with practice. He practiced alone and a lot. Woods entered competition only when he mastered the use of his putter.

You haven’t earned the right to compete at interviews until you’ve mastered the use of your interview skills.

Rehearse a couple of questions often asked at interviews
While there are a handful of tricky, tough, and even embarrassing questions you could be asked, let’s focus on just two of them today: Why are you looking for a job? And, “Tell me about yourself?”

“Why are you looking for a job?”
This question might also be asked in another way: “Are you still working at the XYZ Company?” You need to respond with a cover story. You cover the reasons why you’re out looking for work. Here’s an example:

“After fifteen years as an adjuster for Awesome Insurance, my job was eliminated when the company downsized. So I’m out looking to identify companies where I can contribute my skills and abilities.”

“Would you tell me about yourself?”
This is the second question you’re sure to be ask and must therefore rehearse it a lot. To answer this question, present short success stories about how you used certain skills on your last job that benefited your department or company. Your success stories are obtained from the bullet points in your resume that tells what you’ve done and the results. Select those success stories that match what an interviewer is looking for and elaborate on them.

How to rehearse answers to interview questions
A stress-free way to rehearse is by using the nickel and dime technique. This means practicing your responses during that five-minute drive to the store or ten minute walk to the bus.

Preparing is so important that Aesop explained it to children. In Aesop’s story about the Aunt and Grasshopper, the legendary composer of fables had this to say:

“It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.”

Your days of necessity are the days you have an interview. So practice a lot beforehand.

The Growth of Cognitive Careers

Economies, and by extension careers, reward those human characteristics most in demand. When muscular strength was most in need during times dominated by agriculture and mechanical ability became required to develop and maintain machinery during the industrial age those capacities were rewarded and revered leading to employment for those possessing such skills. The age we’ve now entered, particularly since the invention of the microprocessor, is one around which cognitive competency or intelligence is highly honored. High paying and stimulating jobs are increasingly going to the smartest among us and there is no end in sight of this trend.

Historically there has always been a need for intelligent people, but the correlation between cognitive ability and compensation was never as strong as it is today. One could have been an astute lawyer, financial planner, or mathematician at the turn of the 20th century, but the economy just didn’t reward those people at the levels that can be done today. We’ve created a much more complex economy requiring well-informed, inventive, and knowledgeable people who can navigate and derive value from what is for many of us a puzzling network of esoteric information in so many areas. The employment appeal for smart people is high and growing.

For years we have heard about high unemployment rates and at the same time we’ve heard there is not enough talent to hire for hard to fill positions. The jobs that are vacant seek individuals with know-how in management, engineering, data analysis, and many other areas where information processing, creativity, and workforce resourcefulness is called for. Professionalism is deepening across fields that include medicine / healthcare, the law, higher education, the sciences, the military, advanced manufacturing, and finance. Routine and relatively low-skilled operations will not bring competitive advantages to these career categories. Only accelerated thinking will.

As a result we are seeing the growth of an educated class. According to the U.S. Census Bureau only 4.6% of the U.S. population had attained bachelor degrees or higher in 1940. Today it is 32%. As this educated class continues to earn at relatively robust rates it appears to create an impression of inequality and disenfranchisement, such as we see being exploited in our current presidential election. However meeting the cognitive demands of a more intricate and perplexing economy requires educated people. Blaming the successful is not enough to improve the lot of us all. Directing one’s individual energies to where the expertise is most needed will.

The number of us prepared to meet the demands of the globalized cognitive economy is not enough if we are to continue being among the world’s leaders in innovation, business, and social transformation. Without relatively easy access to higher education for those with the potential to take the most advantage of this opportunity we all lose. Let’s agree that lifelong learning is essential for each and every one of us and entry into a college experience that challenges and pushes us to maximize our cerebral capacity benefits us personally and collectively.

However the expense of college is too high and makes going prohibitive for too many Americans. The cost of college has risen too much and too fast. To put this cost hike into perspective the New York Times Economix blog shows that since 1985 the cost of general consumer items has jumped 200+%, gasoline prices have risen approximately 300%, and medical care 350%. But college tuition and fees-575%! Are you kidding me? How is this in our best interests? This destructive level of inflation needs to be controlled. Our long term economic development relies on it.

Equality of opportunity is a virtue and should be the basis of much of our public policy. Opportunity is stifled when only the rich can afford to go to college. Opening the doors to higher education invites more participation in the cognitive careers and expands the education class to more inclusiveness.

The Challenges of Finding a New Job for the Stay at Home Parent

Finding any sort of job is a difficult task in the current climate. But for those who have taken years out of the workforce the toughest challenge may just be building their confidence to start looking. Returning back to work after a career break can seem almost untenable, yet many do just this either by choice or necessity.

To start building up your confidence, consider the training you already have, both inside and outside of work. Acknowledge the range of skills you have as a parent. Many of them are also useful in the workplace, including: time management, communication, budget management and teamwork. You can also take 2-3 weeks refreshing courses that will update your qualification and also build up your confidence. MOOC courses, that are free, are a great idea for the challenged budget. MOOC stands for “massive open online courses”, and these are training courses of all kinds, offered by universities. Search for MOOC on your favourite search engine to find the most popular consolidated websites. Once you have raised your confidence and took up the reins again, all practicalities of doing your chosen job will come back to you.

Develop a habit of reading from books and browse different research papers related to your field and interest in order to bring your existing skills up to date and hopefully improve them.

Now think about what kind of job you are seeking? What working hours will suit you? How flexible do you need to be to manage your existing and future family responsibilities? The more flexible you are with your hours and availability the greater you have a chance of finding a new job. Think carefully because your new job will not last long if you keep taking time off and if you are totally inflexible then all but the most menial job may be available to you. A few ideas for finding that flexible job are:

• Contact your friends, relatives and former colleagues about available jobs and how family friendly their employers are.
• Search the internet, particularly on family friendly sites such as MumsNet to discover a company’s family based policies. You can also search on social media like Twitter and LinkedIn where many jobs are advertised and comments made about companies.
• Talk with a company about taking you on for a few days trial to evaluate your capability. You might even consider an apprenticeship or intern position.
• Consult a recruiting agency that deals with temporary jobs to see if this is more appropriate to your needs. Sometimes working a few weeks or months at a time can provide you with job flexibility although not job security.

Going back to job after spending a long period of time at home also raise an issue of large gaps in your resume or CV. You can write a skill based resume, focusing on the experience and attributes that are appropriate to the job you’re applying for. If you cannot do this or are too shy to trumpet your abilities, a skilled resume writing company can assist you with this role.

While searching the perfect new job is not easy, the good news is that many companies recognise the value of a working parents contributions to their workforce. With confidence and a great resume, you can find a position worthy of your skills and experience, and enjoy recapitulating your career again on terms that suit both you and your family.


What Are the Various Career Opportunities Once You Upgrade to Revit From AutoCAD?

Today, several firms in the AEC industry have started adapting to Revit from AutoCAD. Some have either entirely adapted or just for particular projects. Even individuals wanting to pursue a career in the AEC industry are now making the switch to Revit from AutoCAD in the view of better career opportunities. So now the big question arises… are there good career opportunities after you make the switch? A study reveals that most building design firms have benefited from Revit once they had made the switch.

When to Upgrade from AutoCAD to Revit?

Hardware Consideration: A good high quality graded computer is vital to a smooth transition from AutoCAD to Revit. The switch can be made once the computer that will be used to run Revit has been assessed and compared with the minimum system requirements given by Autodesk. Revit’s performance is greatly dependent on the speed of the processor (CPU), amount of RAM and type of video card the computer has. The operating system needs to be 64 bit so it has access to more than 3GB of RAM. Revit will automatically install as a 64 bit application when as 64 bit OS is found. Also, ensure to review the Graphics Hardware list given on the Autodesk website to check that the card you have is compatible with Revit. It is also important to update the graphics card driver regularly.

Analytical Software Compatibility

A huge part of the workflow for structural engineers is the analytical tools they use for structural analysis. This must be your first and the most vital testing prior to implementing any upgrade to Revit structure. So it is vital to understand your workflow. It’s quite possible that the structural engineer still makes a separate analytical model and doesn’t try any interoperability with Revit, so it will not be a big concern. However, if you’re linking your Revit model into RISA or Robot structural analysis, you will need to ensure that the latest version is ready and comprehends the new features.


After adapting to Revit, several businesses have the question as to who are the right individual/s to be trained. Jumping into BIM involves a lot more than just buying the software. Even though Autodesk makes both programs, Revit is fundamentally different from AutoCAD, so much so, that even an AutoCAD expert could not just open the program and continue. In the past there was much debate whether Revit could be used all the way through CDs. Now that it has been done many times, the debate seems to be over. Revit has the ability to link in AutoCAD details from a firm’s detail library and then have callouts that point to them. Revit can create any new 2D details just like AutoCAD does and most users prefer 2D drafting in Revit once they’ve used it for a few weeks. Training is certainly one of the most vital factors in the implementation of Revit. The trick here is to time the training with the start of a project. Whether you use a local reseller in your area or have an in house trainer, make sure the instructor covers the tools and techniques for building systems relevant to your project.

Today, as Revit is used by many businesses due to its simplicity and usefulness, several career opportunities has emerged for the candidates. They just need to do the relevant Revit course from an Autodesk certified training institute to ensure a flourishing career in the AEC industry.