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5 Interview Questions for John McCain

questionsHere in the United States, it’s convention time with the Republican National Convention winding down tonight as John McCain strives to land the biggest job in the world.

Whenever any of us goes for a job, it pays to think about our strengths. What makes us unique? What sets us apart?



Now when we think of the Republican Party, we think of elephants! Sure enough, this huge, bumbling animal has become the symbol for the Republican Party.

Last week, we talked about what a donkey could say in an interview to stand apart. This week, we’ll do the same for an elephant. So we showed our fictional elephant how to hold his trunk so it looked like a tie, and sent him off for an interview. Of course, we gave him a healthy breakfast of grass before he left!

Our elephant stressed that he has an excellent memory. He will help you remember important things about your key clients. He can also recall facts that may not have been documented.

Our elephant emphasized that he was as strong as any creature you’ll ever find. He can shoulder weights that you would never dream of on your own. Elephants have been used to transport goods all over the world. So our elephant stressed that your work will be much easier if you hire him.

If you remember, our fictional donkey also stressed how strong he was. We found this intriguing – two animals both emphasizing the same strength. It’s interesting, though, that they’re still different. There are situations where you would use a donkey, but not an elephant and vice versa. So don’t just think about your strengths – think about the nuances of your strengths and how a potential employer might find them useful.

Comedian Jake Novak, of Jake’s Comedy Corner, called in for today’s show. He’s thought about some common interview questions that might be good for the Presidential candidates. Last week, he had some questions for Barack Obama. This week, we’ll share questions for John McCain. 

Jake’s Take – 5 Interview Questions for John McCain

Question #1: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Please don’t say the Shady Pines Nursing Home, because that’s where I want to put my parents and there’s not enough room as it is! So try a different nursing home.

Question #2: Are you willing to travel for this job?

Because you know, Senator McCain, you tend to get cranky when you have to sit on the plane for more than fifteen minutes at a time!

Question #3: Describe your employment history.
And I’d like you to leave out all of the stuff before the invention of metal tools!

Question #4: What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?

Because the last time I checked, the Senate has 115 Republican white guys who want to be President! You’re not really that unique in that way!

Question #5: What will you do when you get this position?
I’m just hoping you won’t go on Jay Leno again, because that’s really not doing right by the American people. “Executive privilege” means you don’t have to appear on other people’s TV shows.

Our main question comes before the job interview … when John McCain filled out the application for the job of President, what did he put down for his address?

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Next time, we ask if it pays to be honest with your employees even in tough times. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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How to Get Noticed in Job Market 2.0

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we welcomed Phil Rosenberg. Phil is the founder of reCareered, a career coaching service that helps job searchers get past the biggest challenge in today’s competitive jobs market – to get noticed.


Phil, what does reCareered mean?



It means someone who is seeking a job change, or trying to revitalize their career, or someone who is between jobs and wants help with how the job markets have changed in the last eight years or so.


How has the job market changed?



Eight years ago, the majority of resumes were delivered on paper. Around 2000, it changed to where most resumes were delivered digitally.


And how does that change the resume itself?



It changes it completely. The paper-based resume had to be static. The only way to customize it was by a cover letter. A digital resume can be searched. It also increased the number of resumes that went into most companies, by as many as ten-fold.


We always hear about search engine optimization and how you want to rank at the tops of the pages for Google. But apparently you can do the same for your resume … it can be optimized?


You bet, and it’s especially critical in today’s world. Most major employers get thousands of resumes for each job, but they only staff to look at twenty to thirty. That’s two to three percent. So your goal, in submitting your resume today, is getting to the top two or three percent. Through resume search optimization, you can manage that process rather than have it be random. My strategy with my clients is to make a resume a single-use document – to have it infinitely customizable so that you’re gaming the search engine and forcing it higher up the search page.


How do we make a good impression right upfront?



There’s been research from the University of Toledo and Stanford University that states that interview decisions are made within the first two to thirty seconds. That blew me away. The rest of the interview is just somebody justifying their initial decision. So it’s a “gut feel” decision that may occur even before you shake hands. It’s all about preparation. Learn about your client – how they communicate (verbally and non-verbally), how they dress, how they look. If you want a job, go to a place that’s close to their office and sit there during lunch. Talk to people from that company who are getting lunch there. On a Friday night, go to Happy Hour at a bar close to their office and talk to people from that company. When you talk to them, watch their body movements. What’s the tone they use? What’s the speed they use to talk? You can also do that with their written communication – their web site, annual reports, press releases. The key to all this is communicating to your audience that it seems like you already work there.


It reminds me of the book, Guerilla Selling. It’s all about learning about your customer, in that case, but in the case the employer you’re going after – getting as much information as you can, wherever you can. It’s amazing how much information you can gather.


Sure. That’s also an effective way to use LinkedIn, Facebook or your own personal network. Chances are you have contacts within that company. A lot of people only use those contacts to see what jobs are available and to ask them to pass their resume along. They leave out some of the greatest uses of a network – talking to people within an organization to find out what an organization is like and what the communication style is like. Listening for how they’re answering questions rather than just what they’re saying.


This is fantastic advice because you do want to fit in. It’s all about mimicking. When you’re at an interview, should you sit up straight and lean forward or should you try to have your body language be similar to the body language of the interviewer? From what I’ve read, you should try to mimic that person.


That’s exactly what you’re doing – it’s called mirroring. You’re trying to show that you fit in. You speak the same language. You’re really trying to act like you already work at the company. It takes a ton of preparation. A lot of people aren’t willing to put that preparation in, but the people who do get a huge, almost an unfair, advantage.

Phil's links

You can get free daily job tips from Phil at his blog or visit his main site, reCareered, the place for resume search optimization and job search 2.0. 


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Prepare for Your Next Job Interview with This Great Tool

By Bigg Success Staff

Leading-Edge Application


Are you a new manager conducting a job interview for the first time?


Are you in college looking for that first real-world job?


Are you a small business owner, not a human-resources pro?


InterviewUp is a great site for both employers and employees. No matter which of side of the desk you’re on, you’ll find great questions to ask and great answers to give.

So check it out before your next bigg interview!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

More Leading-Edge Applications









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I Get Anxious Before an Interview. How Do I Relax?

Bigg Challenge
Kelly e-mailed us because she gets overly nervous about job interviews. She wants to know how to get over it before her upcoming interviews. 

Bigg Advice
It’s natural to get nervous when you interview. Here are some key things you can do to overcome your anxiety. Before the interview It boils down to self-confidence, which largely comes from preparation. There are three ways you should prepare:

Before the interview
It boils down to self-confidence, which largely comes from preparation. There are three ways you should prepare:

#1 – Research
Get information about the industry and the specific company. If they’re a public company, you’ll find a lot of information available. If not, you can still check out their web site and search the internet to see what you can learn. Also, check your local library.

Try to learn more about the person or persons with whom you’ll be talking. Once again, Google them. Also, check out social media sites like Facebook and Linked In to see what you learn.

#2 – Questions and answers
Think about the questions they might ask and prepare your answers. Reflect upon your past interviews for some clues. Also talk to friends who have interviewed recently. And if you have friends in human resources or management, get some hints from them.

As you think about how you’ll answer the questions, focus on what makes you unique. Everyone says they’re a “good people person”. Think “you” – how will hiring you benefit them? Give specific examples from your past that show what you can do.

#3 – Rehearse
Practice in front of a mirror until you’re happy with what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Also, set up a friend with flash cards so you can do some role playing.

If that friend is in human resources or management, so much the better. If you don’t know anyone like that, find a friend who’s a successful interviewee with whom to practice.

During the interview
You’re prepared and the bigg day is upon you. Now put yourself in the right frame of mind. Keep in mind that a little bit of anxiety is good – it will make you sharper.

On the show, Mary-Lynn said that a good friend of hers gave her some great advice the day before a bigg interview

Take deep breaths and believe in yourself.

Give yourself a positive affirmation as you’re walking in. You can do it – you’re fully prepared!

As the interview starts, focus only on the conversation at that moment. Don’t worry about anything from the past. Don’t try to anticipate upcoming questions. Deal with one question at a time.

And remember, it’s just a conversation. Pretend it’s a good friend and you’re telling him or her all about the work you’ve done, the work you want to do, and why you should be hired.

Finally, remember they have to sell you, too. You’re investigating a job opportunity. This may not be the right one. You’re there to learn about them and let them know how great you are! That’s all!

Thanks, Kelly. We know you’ll do great!

If you have a bigg challenge, send it our way,

Our bigg quote today comes from Beyonce Knowles:

“I get nervous when I don’t get nervous. If I’m
nervous, I know I’m going to have a good show.”

Turn your nervousness about nervousness upside down so when it’s show time, you’ll be a star!

Next time, we’ll look at how two great coaches built their winning teams. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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