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Want The Right Answer Online? Don’t Ask Questions, Just Post It Wrong

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Do you want to find the right answer online? Stop posting questions.

So goes Cunningham’s Law, a counter-intuitive assertion that the best way to find the right answer online is to post something wrong and then get corrected. The law is named after Ward Cunningham, the pioneering computer programmer who developed the first Wiki site (WikiWikiWeb).

The concept of Cunningham’s Law has turned into a popular internet adage (“the best way to get a right answer on the internet is to post a wrong answer”), even becoming a t-shirt.

Pioneering American computer programmer, Ward Cunningham By Carrigg Photography for the Wikimedia Foundation (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Pioneering American computer programmer, Ward Cunningham By Carrigg Photography for the Wikimedia Foundation (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Given how often we use the web to post questions, Cunningham’s Law presents a challenge to our assumptions of why people online offer advice and answers. Following the logic of Cunningham’s Law, the motivation to correct a wrong online may be greater than a more altruistic supplying of an answer to a question.

In other words, we get excited by correcting people online. We may not have the same level of desire to merely be helpful.

xkcd: Duty Calls [Fair Use]
xkcd: Duty Calls [Fair Use]

Cunningham’s Law, and what it says about how we act online, is reminiscent of studies that have shown people more likely to share negative customer service experience online than good experiences. In both situations, the communicator gets to right…

Why Should We Hire You: The Best Answer for This Common Interview Question

You crafted the perfect resume. You landed the interview. You’ve got a stellar work history and education supporting you. You’ve knocked out home runs on every question the interview pitches your way. That job is as good as yours…

…as long as you can tell the interviewer why they should hire you over the other equally qualified applicants.

And that’s exactly where many people fail to close the deal.

Why It Is So Hard to Answer This Common Question

It’s a common question, but it’s also one of the most challenging ones to answer. Shouldn’t your accomplishments speak for themselves? Isn’t your resume a good enough indicator that you’re the perfect fit?

For many people, it isn’t easy to talk about or brag on themselves. And that’s exactly what you’re doing when answering this question. You have to convince the interviewer you are better than every other prospective candidate.

But here’s a little secret: What you say when answering this question is just as important to how you deliver your answer.

They want to see how you can balance confidence and humility. They want to know how you articulate your best qualities without reducing those of other people. And they want to see how much you believe in yourself.

Why It’s Important to Prepare for This Question

You don’t want to sound rehearsed in the interview (because let’s face it, good interviewers can tell a memorized answer from one that comes from the heart). But you also should know that this question WILL be asked, and it doesn’t hurt to consider how you will answer it.

What many people don’t realize is that this particular question is your pivotal moment to differentiate yourself from the stack and sell them on YOU. Not your resume, not your cover letter, not your references. Just plain YOU.

And how you answer this question could win you the job, or send you back to the job board.

There is no one-answer-fits-all solution because our talents and experiences are all unique. But be aware there is a basic formula you can follow to know how to give a solid answer that will knock socks off and push you to the top of the resume stack:

Listen for hints from the interviewer.

During the interview, pick up cues about what the company is looking for in a candidate and find a way to link those needs to your own unique offerings. If you listen closely enough, the interviewer will essentially arm you with the “right” answer. It’s also a good way to show them you were paying attention to them.

For example, if the company has emphasized its focus on customer service, you could include a concrete example of how you went above and beyond for customers at your old job, like this:

“My role as customer experience manager in my last job allowed me to get creative for our customers on a daily basis. I would make courtesy calls to see how they like their purchase, give them real demonstrations, and spend as much time as needed to help them make the right decision. I feel your company can benefit from my customer-centric…

I Nailed Every Job Interview by Understanding the Intention Behind Each Question

Interviews can be terrifying. It is terrifying, as it is hard to predict what the interview questions will be like.

More often than not, the hiring managers like to ask questions about our past experiences. If we have not prepared a story or two to cope with this, we sit tongue-tied.

Behavioral Interview Questions Are the Hot Items in Interviews

We’d like to introduce to you the term “behavioral interview questions”. Behavioral questions aim to get information about how the interviewees behaved in the past.

By knowing how they behaved in the past, managers can get a sense of how they will behave in the future. The important question every interviewer wants to know the answer to is: will this person work well with our organization? 1

You may have heard some of these questions in the past:

  • Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some changes. How did that impact you, and how did you adapt?
  • Can you talk about a long-term project that you managed? How did you keep everything moving along in a timely manner?
  • Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectation. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?

Their formats are varying. But more or less they can be reduced to a simple question which starts with: “Can you tell me a time…”.

Categories of Behavioral Questions

Here, we categorise all the behavioral questions based on the knowledge of experienced hiring managers.

If you are an interviewer, this article may serve as a reference for preparing interview questions; if you are an interviewee, by knowing the forms and expectations of these questions, you may be better equipped in the preparation of an interview.

1. Teamwork

As said by Pamela Skillings, the founder of Big Interview, interview questions about teamwork are the most common.

This type of questions aims to know if the potential employee will be a good team player. After all, the ability to cooperate is crucial in an organization, and hiring managers are responsible for finding out if the potential employees are cooperative.

Examples

  • Can you tell me a time when you had to work closely with someone with a personality which was very different from yours?
  • Please tell me a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. Did you handle it well?
  • Did you once try to get information from someone who, for whatever reason, was not responsive?

Expectations

  • Provide one or two of the most relevant examples demonstrating your skills to cooperate with others well.
  • The ultimate goal of the interviewee is to show that they are easy and a joy to work with.
  • Understand the definition of teamwork the job requires. For example, a start-up company may look for employees who work well with others by taking different roles. Or a multinational company may look for newcomers who can adapt quickly to the established working environment.
  • In order to show their cooperativeness, interviewees should demonstrate their ability to help a team succeed, instead of emphasising on one individual’s success.
  • Show respect for the previous teammates, instead of raising complaint or criticism.
  • According to Alison Doyle, there are some qualities or skills that define the ability to work well…

Smart People Don’t Answer Questions At Once, They Follow These Steps First

how to be smart

Many of us think that the faster we respond, the smarter we sound.

But have you regretted saying the wrong things and you wish you didn’t say it so quickly? Remember how you often realize you should say this instead of that before you go to bed?

The best response usually don’t come instantly, and smart people know this very well. Before they answer a question, they go through some steps first.

The flow is, pause before everything else. Then, divert the question if you don’t want to answer it actually. But if you want to answer and can do it at once, hold yourself before the editing process.

Pause and allow yourself to think

When you can’t think of an answer immediately, and people are waiting for you, don’t let the pressure to respond quickly stop you from saying “let me think” or “I need some time to think about it”. It’s better to wait for a while for a great answer than replying at once with nonsense. People won’t remember how long you take to process the answer after they get wowed and impressed by your amazing and logical thoughts.

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