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Are You Prepared For Your Next Job Interview?

Loyola’s Career Development Center recently opened a downtown office located at 25 E. Pearson Street.

Imagine sitting down for a job interview and being asked, “How many times a day does a clock’s hands overlap?” or “Why are manhole covers round?”

If you are anything like me, you’d immediately start sweating and want to find the nearest fire escape. At the very least, you’d wonder how such questions had any bearing on the job requirements.

Your feelings of frustration would be well-founded, according to Laszlo Bock, head of Google’s ‘People Operations.’ In a recent interview with The New York Times, Bock was frank about his company’s struggles to find the magic formula for hiring the best and the brightest.

According to Bock, Google interviewers once prided themselves on being able to stump candidates with off-the-wall questions. The assumption was that those left standing must be brilliant and creative – the perfect formula for success at Google. But after crunching the numbers, Bock’s research team couldn’t find any proof that this line of questioning ever resulted in a successful hire.

Nowadays, he says the global technology leader is enjoying more hiring success by making sure interviewers consistently ask candidates about how they’ve handled past situations. Questions could include, “What’s the biggest mistake you made in your life and what did you learn from it?” and “Tell me about a time when you solved an analytically difficult problem.”

Behavioral interviewing is nothing new, but given Google’s recent success with this approach, it’s highly likely that more employers will rely on this interviewing style in hopes of making better hiring decisions.

It saves time and money which is the real magic formula for human resources departments. The interviewer can find out a lot about a candidate’s qualifications and critical thinking skills while weeding out ill-prepared candidates.

Preparation is the key to a successful interview. Students and alumni from Loyola’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies can polish their behavioral interviewing skills and much more by visiting me or one of our other career advisors at Loyola’s Career Development Center (CDC). We are excited about the recent opening of our second office at the Corboy Law Center, Suite 800 in downtown Chicago. Call us at 773-508-7716 to set up an appointment.

Students and alumni can learn about the CDC’s upcoming open house this fall, future career fairs, workshops and more, by visiting the website at www.luc.edu/career, following the CDC on Twitter or ‘liking’ the Facebook page.

Brigette Petersen is a career advisor based at the CDC’s Water Tower Campus. She primarily assists students and alumni from Loyola’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and the School of Communication with career development and professional preparation. Brigette also partners with staff, faculty and employers to enhance the career exploration experience for students. Prior to joining Loyola, she worked as a senior account manager in the public relations industry. Having worked in Manhattan, San Francisco, and Chicago for international firms, she has expansive business/communications knowledge and experience.