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Dated 17th Mar 2004

At the interview when asked "what interests you most about this job, how do I answer this question impressively?"

KRISHNA KISHORE
Delhi

Answering this question requires you to fully understand the job description, and if you ask plenty of questions then you should be able to respond with some specific explanations that show your enthusiasm.

Good responses include: challenging, exciting, scope for new learning and development, career growth, teamwork etc. This question can also be turned around so that you can gather more information from the interviewer regarding the role and the company's expectations.

Emphasize the skills and interests, which are most beneficial to success in the field or most related to the company.

Critical examination of the ideal job might give some clues about a job that would suit you, but be careful to also consider questions which talk of what talents you have and what qualifications are needed for the particular post.

How does one handle questions relating to assessing personality?

PRASANNA
Hyderabad

The interviewer is trying to assess your personal character and preferences and see if you best match the job position, environment and organisation.

The best way to answer these questions is to think about your preferences and answer it honestly. Remember to keep it related to the position and company.

Keep the response relevant to the question or the position you are applying for.

Tailoring your answer to what you think they want to hear could be damaging. For example, if you told them you love to work independently just because you know the position involves working on your own, if you're hired for the job, you may find yourself miserable because you know you're much more of a people person needing team interaction.

Be honest, but do express your willingness to adjust or describe how you would deal with one element of the job environment that doesn't quite match your preferences directly.

I am trying for a job, but in vain. I am desperate and seeking your help on this. I am trying to rejoin my old company. What should I do?

Kaartick

Going back to a previous employer is not unheard of— especially in industries that are dominated by a few major companies or where there are lots of companies that do similar work in a close geographic range.

At times to move up the ladder in a particular company, you are better off leaving and returning later, rather than waiting for the rung directly above you to be vacated. Going and returning gives the company the option of bypassing someone who is, for some reason, stuck in a particular position.

Working for a competitor for a while can also make you attractive to a previous employer because they assume (rightly or wrongly) that you will return with valuable insider knowledge.

Talking to your previous employer, make sure to be casual, but earnest, in your comments. Make sure to say that the reason you are getting in touch is that you genuinely miss the old company and how they do business.

Explain that you left because you thought you were being given an opportunity that you would not have been able to realize otherwise. Be careful what you say about your current employer; don't run your current employer down, but say enough to let your old boss read between the lines.

Forget trying to return to the previous company if you know you weren't doing a good job or you jumped before you were pushed out of your job. You might get a job there again, but you won't be able to move ahead from that position. The same is true if you made any important enemies while you were there.

Bear in mind that if your old company doesn't work out because there aren't any appropriate jobs available in the near future, your old boss and peers might still be able to help you. Ask them if they know about openings in other companies. If they liked working with you, then they will help you find something else, and they will provide good references.

While you are investigating the prospects at your previous company, make sure you continue doing your job to the best of your ability and without doing anything that you consider to be grossly immoral or illegal. Sometimes when people are in jobs they don't like, they unconsciously start acting in ways that degrade their performance— hoping to get fired rather than having to resign. You want to keep on top of your emotions while you are searching for a new employer.

Give a few tips on how to improve English pronunciation?

ARUNA
Chennai

Do not confuse pronunciation of words with their spelling! For example, "threw" and "through", although spelled differently, are pronounced the same. Also, identical letters or letter clusters in words do not always produce the same sound. For example, the "ough" in "though" and "through" represents a different sound in each word.

Learn to practise what you hear, not what you see.

Imagine a sound in your mind before you say it. Try to visualize the positioning of your mouth and face. Think about how you are going to make the sound.

Listen to and try to imitate the pronunciation. In addition to listening for specific sounds, pay attention to pauses, the intonation of the instructor's voice and patterns of emphasis.

This can be just as important as the pronunciation of sounds. English language has many different dialects, and words can be pronounced differently. It is however important, that you pronounce words clearly to ensure effective communication.

But you must practise what you are learning! Remember that you are teaching your mouth a new way to move.

Use the programme to exercise your mouth a little bit each day.

What are the career prospects for a linguistics graduate?

ANIL
Delhi

Graduates in Linguistics work mainly, but not exclusively, in the area of Education. They are involved in policymaking and implementation in language planning and maintenance.

A degree in Linguistics qualifies you to enter all the careers that are normally open to arts graduates.

However, it is of specific relevance if you are considering a career in speech therapy, translation, language processing by computer, teaching English as a second or foreign language, or teaching foreign languages.

A phonetics background will help you with a career as a speech therapist or a speech pathologist.

The faq column deals with career concerns addressed to The C&K Management LTD. PO Box 2178, Secunderabad 500003 or emailed to faqs@cnkonline.com

KRISHNA KISHORE

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