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Unemployment in Utah is 6 percent and there are plenty of people looking for jobs with experience. Joyce Lain Kennedy, author of Job Interviews for Dummies, gives some advice on how to "land your dream job" by answering tough interview questions correctly. “Job interviews are still those crucial meetings that seal the deal on who gets hired and who gets left on the outside looking in,” says Kennedy in a statement.

Why have you been out of work so long? How many others were laid off? Why you?
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This question is asking whether there were personal reasons for being laid off or if it happened to lots of employees because of a budget cut.
“Any direct answer to why you were included in a reduction in force is risky because anger toward your former managers could pop up, raising doubt about your self-control,” says Kennedy in a statement. “A better idea: Punt. Shake your head and say you don’t know the reason, because you were an excellent employee who gave more than a day’s work for a day’s pay.”

If employed, how do you manage time for interviews?

This question is a test of honesty to a current employer. “Clearly state that you’re taking personal time, and that’s why you interview only for job openings for which you’re a terrific match,” advises Kennedy in a statement. “If further interviews are suggested, mention that your search is confidential and ask if it would be possible to meet again on a Saturday morning.”

How did you prepare for this interview?

This question is a test of whether preparation for the interview took place or not. “The best answer?” says Kennedy. “You very much want this job, and of course you researched it starting with the company website.”

Do you know anyone who works for us?
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“Nothing beats having a friend deliver your resume to a hiring manager, but that transaction presumes the friend is well thought of in the company,” says Kennedy in a statement. “If not — ouch! Remember the birds-of-a-feather rule: Mention a friend inside the company only if you’re certain of your friend’s positive standing.”

Where would you really like to work? Doing what?
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“Never, ever mention another company’s name or another job,” says Kennedy in a statement. “A short ‘Hire me!’ answer is a version of: ‘This is the place where I want to work, and this job is what I want to do. I have what you need, and you have what I want. I can’t wait to get to work here.’”

What bugs you about coworkers or bosses?
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Kennedy says to never remember what bothers you and that you get along with everyone you work with. “Mention that you’ve been lucky to have good bosses who are knowledgeable and fair, with a sense of humor and high standards,” advises Kennedy in a statement. “Past coworkers were able, supportive, and friendly. Smile your most sincere smile. Don’t be lured into elaborating further.”

Can you describe how you solved a work/school problem?
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“The answer is obvious,” says Kennedy in a statement. “Anticipate a question about how your mind works and have a canned answer ready. A new graduate might speak of time management to budget more time for study; an experienced worker might speak of time management to clear an opportunity for special task force assignments.”

Can you describe a work/school instance in which you messed up?
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“Speaking of mistakes, here’s a chance to avoid making one during your job interview,” notes Kennedy in a statement. “Never deliver a litany of your personal bad points. Instead, briefly mention a single small, well-intentioned goof and follow up with an important lesson learned from the experience.”

How does this position compare with others you’re applying for? Are you under consideration by other employers now?
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“You can choose a generic strategy and say you don’t interview and tell, that you respect the privacy of any organization where you interview, including this one,” says Kennedy in a statement. “Emphasize that this company is where you hope to find a future and ask, ‘Have I found my destination here?’”

If you won the lottery, would you still work?
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This question is a test of work ethic and motivation to have a job. "The ‘Hire me!’ answer is this,” says Kennedy in a statement. “While you’d be thrilled to win the lottery, you’d still seek out fulfilling work because working, meeting challenges, and scoring accomplishments are what make most people happy, including you. Say it with a straight face.”