Here’s a recent 48 Days Radio Show listener question:
“Dan, I’ve read some of your topics in 48 Days to the Work You Love and I have a couple of interview questions that I have no idea how to respond to. The first one is ‘What did you accomplish in your last position?’ This question ticks me off. The reason is I feel that this is a question that should be asked of someone who has a college degree and has worked at a top-notch company. I’m a 45 year-old woman who has a GED. I felt this question was unfair. How do ordinary people like me who have worked in clerical positions and other low paying positions answer something like this? My second question is how do you answer an interviewer when they ask why you are leaving your present job. The reason is that I don’t like the people that I work with.” Mary
Consider it a privilege when you are asked what you accomplished in your last position. If you didn’t accomplish anything, why would anyone want to hire you now? You should be very clear that you were great with customer service, organization, planning, handling tough situations, keeping the office neat, or whatever is true for you. If you have clear areas of competence, you will not stay in low paying positions. If you have no clear area of expertise, it’s amazing you can get any job. Why would anyone pay you if you can’t make a distinctive contribution?
Keep in mind that a lot of “ordinary and uneducated” people are now leading major companies and making extraordinary amounts of income. People like Bill Gates, Oprah, Mark Zukerburg, Brad Pitt and Michael Dell are all college drop-outs but have certainly found unique areas of contribution.”
If you leave a position because you don’t like the people there, simply explain that you did not think it was a good fit and you are exploring new opportunities that are a better match for your skills. Stay positive and focus on how you can add to the company’s success.
Watch this video to help you understand how to present yourself with confidence. Don’t underestimate what you have to offer.