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5 Ways to Validate a Business Idea, Right Now

Don't let your day job or lack of capital stop you from finding and testing a business idea. Here's how.
Last year, I embarked upon a personal challenge to validate a business idea in 30 days. To make it even more difficult, it was a random idea chosen by my readers. They asked me to do it without using my existing website, traffic and business connections and without spending more than 20 hours per week on the project. On top of that, I limited myself to spending no more than $500 validating this idea. The experiment was a success.In just two weeks, I built an email list of 565 subscribers without having an actual website. Then, I reached out to a handful of those subscribers and pre-sold 12 copies of a book that didn't even exist yet, all in less than 30 days. I wrote about the experiment in real-time with in-depth weekly updates, successes, failures and lessons learned along the way, right here in my validation challenge. Today, I want to share with you the five most effect…

Five Rude And Insulting Interview Questions -- And How To Answer Them

You are a well-brought-up person with perfect manners, or at least you aspire to be. You probably know that the rudest thing you can do is to call out, mention or acknowledge another person's bad behavior!
When someone is rude to you, the best thing to do is to smile and ignore the impolite behavior. As a well-brought-up person, that's what you will do when you run into rudeness on the job search trail.
Sadly, I can almost guarantee that you will run into rude interviewers asking terribly impolite and intrusive questions.
Here are five of the most insulting questions an interviewer can ask  you. All five of them are very common.
Interviewers are  badly trained. Somewhere along the line, somebody taught them that in the business world, it's okay to ask people questions you would never dream of asking someone you were meeting for the first time in any other setting.
We would never presume to ask someone at the gym, the grocery store, a block party or a place of worship "So, what's your greatest weakness?"
We all know that information is very personal.
Yet job interviewers ask the question "What's your greatest weakness?" many times every week. They think nothing of it, because they've been brainwashed to believe that their position gives them the right to trample over social boundaries.
Their position doesn't give them that right. They lower themselves every time they forget their manners to treat job applicants like a lower life form.
Here's a better way to interview candidates.
Here are polite answers to the "weakness" question and four other shockingly rude interview questions you are sure to hear during your job search.
You are too polite to call out an interviewer for trampling on social boundaries. Take a deep breath, smile and answer each question without stooping to grovel and beg for the job.
What's your greatest weakness?
Why this question is rude
This question is rude because your greatest weaknesses are nobody's business but your own  and that's if we accept the idea that everyone has weaknesses. Why must we accept that idea? I don't think you have any weaknesses, and I don't think I have any weaknesses either!
I think everyone is born perfectly equipped to carry out their mission on earth. If someone else thinks we are born flawed and defective, that's their hang-up  what does it have to do with you?
How to answer this question
Them: What's your greatest weakness?
You: I'd have to say 'chocolate!'
Them: Ha-ha, but seriously, what is your greatest weakness?
You: I'm very focused on getting better at things I'm already good at, like graphic design, rather than investing energy in getting ever so slightly better at things I was never meant to do like using Excel spreadsheets, for instance.
What would your last boss say about you?
Why this question is rude
This question is terribly impolite because your ex-boss is just another person on the street. Why would their opinion matter so much? Does the interviewer believe that just by virtue of being a supervisor, a person is gifted with superior intelligence, judgment or discernment? Your old boss could be a scoundrel or an idiot for all the interviewer knows.
How to answer this question
Them: What would your last boss say about you?
You: My old boss would say I challenged her when appropriate and served as a sounding board when she needed one -- and helped our team hit aggressive goals.
We're interviewing many other people for this job. Why should we hire you?
Why this question is rude
They brought you in for an interview because they liked your resume. That was their decision. Why would they ask you to explain why they should hire you? How would you know? You won't meet the other candidates, but they will!
The purpose of an interview is to look for good fit between you (something you know about) and the job opening (something they know about). That's the purpose of the interview -- not asking you to speculate about how you compare to total strangers!
How to answer this question
Them: We're interviewing many other people for this job. Why should we hire you?
You: What if I tell you what I think the job requires and see if I'm on the mark? Sound okay? Good! As I understand if, you need somebody to coordinate orders between the Sales department and Order Processing. My understanding is that right now there are often glitches that slow down the process of getting orders shipped out. You need someone to shepherd the "rush" orders through the system. Is that in the ballpark?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Why this question is rude
This question is rude because the company isn't offering you a five-year contract. If you get hired, there's no guarantee you'll have the job for five weeks, much less five years. In 2017 it is ludicrous to think that anyone could have a solid five-year career plan.
The real world changes much too quickly to make such a long planning horizon practical. Even if you did have a five-year plan, why would your plan be any of the interviewer's business? They are not about to tell you their five-year plan!
How to answer this question
Them: Where do you see yourself in five years?
You: As I look ahead I see myself learning a lot more about digital marketing, which has been my passion for the last couple of years. I see myself getting some international experience and maybe trying my hand at leadership, but I'm going to stay open to what the world offers me. I believe in jumping on opportunities -- what about you?
What's the lowest salary you will accept?
Why this question is rude
This question is so rude that you have my permission to get up and leave the interview if you hear it. You deserve to be paid the fair market value for your services. Why would any company want or expect a job applicant to work for less than the going rate?
Asking candidates "What's the lowest salary you will accept?" is an ignorant and clumsy way of asking "What's your desired salary?" It's as though before they even have a relationship with you, they are already trying to pressure you to take a lower salary!
How to answer this question
Option One
Them: What's the lowest salary you will accept?
You (rising, extending hand for a shake): I'm sure that you have a lot to do today and so do I, so I'd hate to waste any more of your time. It doesn't look like a great fit, so I'm going to take off and wish you and your team all the best as you fill this job opening -- I can show myself out. Thanks so much for your time today! (Exit stage right)
Option Two
Them: What's the lowest salary you will accept?
You: My salary target is $65K. Is that in line with your budget for this role?

-Liz Ryan

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