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Foreign Affairs

No matter how you feel about working with people from different cultural backgrounds, it’s important to remember although their customs and communication styles might be different from your own, they have the right to work and be respected, the same as you.  Workers who seek employment in the U.S. from other countries should be allowed to integrate into the workforce, sharing space and functions without having to shed their personal identities for the sake of fitting in. On the job, those from different backgrounds have the same right to maintain their cultural identities as those workers from within the local community. 

But what about before they are hired? 

Let’s make three assumptions before going any further:

  • The individual has the necessary skills and training to fill a competitive employment role and make a positive contribution. 
  • The individual has the right to work in the U.S. either via a Green Card or appropriate work and residency Visa.
  • The individual is already a “resident alien” and not here with an H-1B work visa and its presumed legitimate employment offer and specialty employment status.

For many seeking work in the U.S. there are multiple obstacles.  One of the biggest and obvious obstacles can be language differences.  Not everyone arrives to U.S. with the same level of English language skills, and for those with little-to-no English, that’s a pretty large barrier to gainful employment.  It’s hard to interview and fill out applications and related forms when you don’t understand the language.  Some applicants might speak and understand English to one degree or another, but their ability to read and write might be less than optimal.... (read more here) 

Every few weeks we pose a question you might get asked during an interview and a suggestion on how you might formulate your answer. 

This week’s question:

How do you organize and plan for major projects?


This is a great question because it encourages an applicant to refine what they meant when they said they were “detail oriented” on their resume, in their cover letter or in an interview. It’s an oft-used phrase, but now the interviewer wants more details on what it really means to you, the applicant. Start by telling them that first you must understand the objective of an assignment to best know how to execute a plan and all that is involved so as to have a successful outcome. Explain that you make notes and lists to ensure nothing gets left out; then explain that you evaluate and analyze needs, materials, personnel, budgets and costs so that you can prioritize procedures for the most effective execution. Let your inquisitor know that you will delegate and assign tasks to others as needed, but will carry as much load of a project as is necessary and assume the responsibility for its completion. Use one or two PAR (Problem, Action, Resolution) statements to illustrate how you proceeded on a previous project, conveying actions you took and the final (positive) result of your efforts. Describe in a brief, succinct example how you planned out and executed the project and how it was received to competently convey your ability to handle the work that could be sent your way in this new position for which you are applying.



To see previous installments of

Tough Interview Questions and Answers,

click here

(Most recent are at the Bottom of the list.)

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