Realistic Answers to Unrealistic Job Interview Questions

job interviewYou’re about to complete your healthcare training school course of study and getting ready to reenter the workforce as a newly minted medical billing and coding pro or certified nursing assistant.  In spite of your new education, you’ll still be confronted with difficult questions from the hiring managers you’ll encounter along the way.  It can be a daunting task and many of us operate under the assumption that they (the hiring people) have the power and we (the candidates) are lowly, unworthy and should be obsequious.  Enter a fantastic resource: The website at is run by LinkedIn Influencer and all around smart HR woman Liz Ryan whose objective is to prepare candidates for successful job hunting by pumping up their self-worth or as she calls it their “mojo”.  Case in point, the discussion she started on LinkedIn here about answering the question, “How much did you earn at your last job?”   As Liz points out, that is a freaking ruuuuude question.  Furthermore, it is not one you should feel obliged to answer.  Of course, you won’t get the job if you tell the person there to “get bent”.  But if you answer the question instead by articulating how much you want to earn in the new position, you accomplish the same thing.  That is, you give the employer a frame of reference.  If what you wish to earn is more than they are prepared to pay, then you’re simply not the right candidate.  However, if you tell them “I earned $31,000 a year in my last position” their salary offer to you will most co-incidentally be $31,250″; even if they were prepared to pay as much as $36,000 for the right candidate. Read her entire piece on this topic and I also recommend the podcast at the bottom of her post that talks about how to deal with having been fired from your last job when applying for your next job.  Hint: you claim you quit and were not fired!  Liz’s whole attitude is positive and affirming and she’s just the best person to help fire you up if you’re about to seek a new position.  Enjoy!

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