Uncategorized, blog, blogpost, myblog, blog post, 2018

How to Answer Top 10 Interview Questions


Interviewing for a job can be tough. You want to be honest but still show yourself in the best light. It’s a nerve-wracking process!  Learn about the best strategies to approach 10 common interview questions.

  1. Tell me about yourself.

This is where you can give your elevator speech. Make sure what you say aligns with how your qualifications match the job description. No need to give your life story from birth or go into personal matters. Focus on the meaningful job experience you’ve had. Bonus point if you throw in a fun fact that highlights your personality. I like to mention I was President of my college Quidditch team because that shows my leadership experience and shows I like Harry Potter. It usually causes the interviewer to ask what Quidditch is or gawk that it’s  real sport.

2. Why are you leaving your current role?

Never bad mouth a former employer. Don’t talk smack about co-workers, the company, the role, anything. Keep it positive. If currently employed, you can say that you’re looking for career growth. No one can fault you for wanting to grow your career. I like to say I’m looking for a new challenge or a place where I can use my strengths.

3. Why should I hire you?

I’m always tempted to smart-ass this question and answer “Because.” Something tells me that answer would be frowned upon. When answering this interview question, mention your relevant skills. You should be prepared for this question because it’s honestly what the whole interview is about and everyone knows you should prepare before the interview. You can’t stammer or hesitate on this one. Think about what the company and the interviewer needs and show them YOU are the solution.

4. Why do you want to work at our company?

This question translates to “Do you know who we are? Have you done your research?” Try to invest an hour or so researching the company’s website and their LinkedIn profile. Try to read their annual report or latest news release. Every hour of an interview = 2 hours of research.  Bonus points for researching who will be interviewing you. Do you have anything in common with them? Subtly bring that up in the interview. “You went to Denison? I also went to Denison!”  or   “I couldn’t help but notice you used to work at Disney World. My family has gone there every year since I was born. What a magical place!”

5. Why have you been out of work for so long?

Ick, this question just plain sucks and feels rude to me but you gotta answer it.  Try and mention any volunteer experience you’ve done, any freelancing you done and frame caring for your family as the full-time demanding job that it is. Admit that you’re taking time to reflect on who you are and what job would be best for you. Talk about how you read the book What Color is Your Parachute or did some personality tests to better understand how you can best serve a company.

6. Tell me a situation when your work was criticized.

Tell a story. Paint them a picture that they will remember after the interview. Admit that you were at fault or failed somehow but give it a positive spin. Show the resolution and emphasize that you welcome criticism and how it helps you grow. (Pro tip: Avoid mentioning your tendency to cry every time you’re criticized).

7. Could you have done better in your last job?

Always. Point out hindsight is 20/20 and very carefully give an instance or tell a story of something you would’ve done differently or would’ve liked to have done. Mention you’re a lifelong learner and always improving yourself. This question could quickly turn south, so approach with caution.

8. What are your goals?

Mention 1-2 specific work-related or professional goals. Don’t say you have no goals or list vague goals. State a SMART goal that relates to your professional career. Or, you can talk about a personal goal.

9. How much money do you want?

Oh geez, I think people have written entire books about how to answer this question. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about this question too. I vote to ask “Do you have a budget or pay range in mind?” but then again I’ve heard that the first person to throw out a number wins. I don’t like to say my current salary because I’m not applying for my current role, I’m applying for a new role, so it should have a new salary.  Do you research and know what you’re worth and state your range from X to Y. Keep in mind the company’s benefits and what those are worth to you. If it’s an hourly job you’re looking at, take the hourly rate and multiply by 2080 to find your annual salary.

10. How old are you?

This is an illegal question that I’ve been asked before and answered. You certainly don’t have to answer illegal questions about how many kids you have, religion, sexual orientation, birth control use, citizenship and marriage. You can reply with “How is this relevant to the position?”


Interviewing is hard! It can be tough to brag about yourself or show that you are the best candidate for the role. With experience, you’ll get better and it will hopefully start to feel more like a friendly conversation than an interrogation.


Flaming paper towel

I wanted to heat up a bagel, so I went to the kitchen area at work. I stick the bagel into the toaster oven and wait two or three minutes. A woman walks in and starts to use the copier at the other end of the kitchen break area.

I use a paper towel and pull out the bagel. My paper towel must have touched the burner because it caught on fire!!

There I was holding a flaming paper towel. I look over to see if the other woman there will help but she doesn’t notice. The flames quickly gobbled up the paper towel, moving closer to my hand. I dropped the paper towel on the counter out of panic. The fire raged on. I screamed and threw the paper towel into the sink. The water from the faucet didn’t reach far enough and it was still on fire.

 I had to move the paper towel one more time to completely douse the fire. Now all I had were black paper towel wads in the sink. I stood there still breathing hard, trying to process what just happened.

The woman who was using the copier, gives me a “oh, silly girl” smile and walks away. Wtf! Did she realize that I had a flaming paper towel and choose to ignore me or was she just oblivious? Yes, it was shocking to me that the paper towel caught on fire, but more shocking to me was that the woman didn’t help me or acknowledge the situation.

Moral of the story: don’t use toaster ovens and help others when they are holding a flaming towel.


Community mourns Bookstore Manager: Joe Warmke

The Denisonian Sept. 17, 2013
Community mourns Bookstore Manager: Joe Warmke
By: Debbie Gillum
“Joe’s motto was: We don’t make money, we make friends.” said Lisa Olmstead, General Merchandise Supervisor of the Denison Bookstore. She knew Joe for 16 years.
Joe Warmke, the Bookstore and Business Services Manager, passed away on Sept. 7 at age 51.
Warmke began his employment with Denison on July 15, 1991 as Bookstore Manager. He became Bookstore and Business Services Manager on July 1, 2003, assuming additional responsibilities for Office Services, Mailroom, and Print Center.
He passed away due to diabetes complications. Warmke rarely talked about his health with his friends.
David Selby, ITS Lab Manager, knew Warmke for 18 years. They were “close friends and golfing buddies for the last six years.”
“We talked about his health but he wouldn’t dwell on it and never let it become the center of attention,” said Selby, “And I knew when I was starting to sound like a nag because he would change the subject.”
All of the current bookstore staff was hired by Warmke.
“He gave us so many opportunities. He saw something in us and we are very grateful,” said Olmstead. She said that Warmke helped them “become a team and a family.”
Warmke was much more than just a boss to the bookstore staff.
“He was like a brother to us. We saw him more than our own family sometimes,” said Olmstead, “Our kids even grew up together.” Olmstead and Terry White, a bookstore cashier, had daughters that went to Granville High School with Warmke’s daughters.
“He was an easy-going boss. He didn’t tell us what to do, he expected us to know what we should be doing,” said White.  
Luanne Scott, Textbook Supervisor, recalled how Joe had originally hired her as a cashier. He encouraged her to apply for her current position and would always tell her, “Don’t worry I got your back.”
“He left an impact on all of the people he met. Joe was very warm and genuine when he talked to someone. And he would always try to end with something funny,” said Scott.  
He was a very good listener and had a wonderful sense of humor, according to Scott.

Alumni would frequently stop into the bookstore to say hello to Warmke, even if they graduated 10-15 years ago.
“He was a very compassionate person. He knew no strangers and he loved the kids here,” said Olmstead.
Some might be surprised to learn that Warmke was a drummer in a rock band when he was younger.   
“He loved Pink Floyd but he hated Neil Young,” said Scott. She joked with him that he looked like the Zoot, the Muppet who played saxophone.
Warmke enjoyed painting, golfing, and watching Seinfeld and The Wizard of Oz.
Selby recalled how “Joe had an encyclopedic knowledge of music, bands, movies, and TV shows.”
“He had a Seinfeld quote for just about every life situation you can imagine. Sometimes when he reserved tee times for our outings he would make it under the name Seinfeld just so he could walk up to the pro shop and announce ‘Seinfeld, party of two!’ from one of his favorite episodes,” said Selby
Warmke and Selby enjoyed routinely golfing with each other.
“He loved to golf and we rarely missed our Thursday outings. We always began our round with a warm handshake and a declaration of how great it is to be there at the course,” said Selby. Warmke’s “daughters were his favorite topic as we walked the golf course.”  
At the end of each round of golf, the two friends ended “with another warm handshake.”
“He would always thank me for spending time with him.  Every time. Never skipped it. And I always told him there wasn’t anyone I would rather spend that time with,” said Selby, “I think we both thought we were each getting the better part of that bargain. I still feel that way.”

Warmke was a native of Greeley, Colo. He lived in Malaysia for a period of time when he was younger, and the bookstore staff agreed that it was his fondest memory because he always talked about it.
He came from a large family of six boys and one girl. His father was a professor at Ohio University, where Warmke also attended. Warmke earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (with honors) in 1986 and a Master of Arts in Economics in 1987. While at Ohio University, Warmke worked as textbook manager of Logan’s Bookstore from 1983 to 1987. Before coming to Denison,  he was the acting manager of the Wright State University bookstore as well as an adjunct professor of economics at WSU.
In a Denisonian article from Sept. 19, 1991, Warmke said, “We want to be a place where the students can just come in to see what’s new.”
Warmke also said in the article that “The store is not out to make a profit. Our objective is to break even.” He said that he carefully screened vendors to provide students the best products at the best price.  
Those who knew Warmke best are working to stay strong through this difficult time.  
“It’s just surreal that he’s not here anymore. We miss him on a daily basis,” said Olmstead. She said that they would, “keep doing business the way he would like it done,” and that “nothing will change.”
Joe Warmke will always be missed by the Denison community.
There will be a memorial service sometime this week in Granville.

Picture from Sept. 19, 1991 Denisonian


New Denison website raises visibility, targets prospective students

New Denison website raises visibility, targets prospective students
Sept 14 2013
Debbie Gillum

It’s no secret: Denison has a new website. While it’s a big difference from the previous website, this new site is more dynamic and interactive, with lots of layers and a slick view of events around campus.
President Weinberg is enthusiastic about the new site.
“I like the website. The hope is that MyDenison becomes the internal portal and the Denison.edu website becomes the external portal”
While it is still in the very early stages, the new website has already had positive anecdotal comments by key influencers.
“So far, prospective students, guidance counselors, and donors really like the website,” said President Adam Weinberg.
The website serves a wide variety of audiences, but a main focus is in recruiting prospective students.
“The new website will help raise visibility.We are always concerned about admissions, so we hope the website will become a sort of funnel to encourage new students to visit our campus,” Weinberg said.
Jesse Yeager ’10 and Assistant Director of Admissions returned from a “Southwest” tour of the Colleges That Change Lives fair in Chicago, Denver, Albuquerque and Phoenix and received many positive comments.
“I had multiple students comment to me that Denison had the best website of any of the (40 or so) Colleges That Change Lives schools. In fact our website was so intriguing to them, that they were compelled to come find me at the fair and learn more!”
Yeager likes how the new website is very externally oriented, “which is a wonderful for our mission in Admissions. It is a place I want to send students to so they can truly explore our college more and learn about the wonderful people here and the fascinating projects and passions that they pursue!”  
The site is primarily for people who don’t know Denison, but is still useful for staff and students.
“The site is designed to help outsiders and newcomers get to know Denison better and provide a big picture overview of who we are,” said Scott Tribble, Director of Digital Strategy & Development. Tribble was the guiding force throughout the long process of getting a new website.  
“It was his vision and guidance that enabled us to produce a site that goes well above and beyond the countless standard-issue ‘.edu’ sites so many colleges are publishing these days.” said Jack Hire, Director of University Communications.
Though the initiative was a team effort by the Office of Web, Social and Mobile Strategy & Development, and the University Communications staff, Tribble was charged with managing the project from concept to launch. This included defining the mission and scope of the site, developing its technical specifications, and identifying its organization, form and functionality.
“Because of the breadth, depth and richness of this dynamic site, it was an enormous undertaking, but with its launch in mid-August, Denison was able to take a quantum leap into a new era of communications with its public audiences.” said Hire
The new website also is more exciting, engaging and visual than the previous one. President Weinberg’s favorite part of the website is the stories that it tells about the community.
“It’s often challenging to help people understand how vibrant the Denison community is and how engaged and friendly students are.” he said, “The more we can tell stories about our students, the more it helps people understand the texture of our community.”
He emphasized that Denison’s major “selling point” is its quality of students, faculty and staff.
The previous website, which was last revamped in 2007, was viewed as static, whereas the new website helps keep Denison up with the times.
Getting to the new website was far from a quick and easy experience, especially because it was built up from scratch.
First, it was agreed upon by the college that Denison needed a modern web communication platform that could connect with prospective and current students, as well as faculty and staff.
“We wanted the website to communicate to these audiences in a way that they are accustomed to being communicated to online,” said Tribble. He emphasized how it’s “important for Denison to be aligned with the times and modern communications.”
Next, the right web partner had to be found. This search started in the early summer of 2011. The partner, called Code and Theory, that Denison ultimately chose to help them with the programming, code and design, has previously worked with Vogue and The Daily Beast.
When thinking about a new website design, Tribble looked to websites like Mashable, CNN and ESPN for inspiration. He wanted to explore what non-education organizations were doing on their websites.
“In the .edu space, there is a lot of similarity out there. We wanted something different,” Tribble said.  
The new website was a lengthy process because the new site was built from scratch and it was time consuming to move content from the old website to the new website.
In the end, the new layout of the website is, “striking, elegant and has beautiful typography” according to Tribble, “It’s bold for a college website but still feels appropriate.”
The new site is more conceptually organized around topics and related areas of interest, whereas the old website was based on the university’s organizational chart.     
Three new features of the website are the “Straight Talk From Students”, “Get to Know Denison” and “Denison A to Z”.
The “Straight Talk From Students” is from-the-heart unedited student comments and advice.
The “Denison A to Z” guide is a dynamic directory which is a literal and figurative A to Z guide of everything you need to know.
The “Get to Know Denison” section gives people a virtual campus experience of not only the exterior of buildings but also highlights what happens inside those buildings. This is a great tool for students who live outside of America and might not be able to visit Denison before applying.
The key motto behind the new website’s design is the tried-and-true phrase, “show don’t tell.” Tribble wanted it to be more visual.
“Images can be very powerful,” said Tribble, “It was a conscious decision to make the site much more visual.”  
Online, http://www.Denison.edu will continue to grow over the next several years. Websites are built to be continually adapted.

Tribble himself said it best: “The day you launch a website, it is already out of date.”

U.S. President pushes for universal preschool, like Denmark’s

Monday, March 18th, 2013

In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, he outlined a proposal for the federal government to assist American states in funding preschool programs. He wants to guarantee preschool at age four for all American children, no matter their background.
No president has seriously tried to pitch universal preschool, or a similarly ambitious plan for early educationsince 1971.

President Obama delivers his State of the
Union address on Feb. 12.
(Photo: WikiCommons)

On Feb. 12, Obama said: “Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime.”
The president is not expected to go into details about how much his new proposal will cost but his aides stressed that the new programs would not add to America’s nearly $16.5 trillion debt.
Educators generally support this initiative. It has long been believed that providing a quality childhood education offers the best chance for students, especially those from low-income families to make up the gap between themselves and more advantaged students.

Obama told the nation of his plan to achieve universal
preschool in America, in his State of the Union address.
(Photo: WikiCommons)

Some lawmakers are questioning the effectiveness of Obama’s proposed state-level education programs. Previously, they have not been well-utilized. In the state of Georgia, for example, only six out of ten pre-kindergarten eligible students are enrolled.
Currently, eleven states don’t have state-funded preschool programs. Obama’s plan would incentivize those states to start them up, but the states would still have to build state-funded preschool programs from the bottom up in order to be eligible for federal funds.
Obama’s universal preschool plan is nothing new. It is very similar to Denmark’s current education system in the fact that the schools are state-funded and that it is mandatory for all.
Universal preschool is not an issue in Denmark because education is compulsory for all children ages 6 to 16. Denmark also does not have a problem funding their schools because they are 80% funded by state grants. The other funding comes from participant fees.
In Denmark, most children go to preschool at the age of five or six. Obama is proposing children start preschool as young as four.
Unlike in America, there is a large focus on learning social skills, motor skills, and cultural norms in Danish preschools.

While Denmark seems to have their education system all figured out, America struggles to try and give all students an equal opportunity at a good education.