So if a company wants to interview you, you've got to be prepared - since you're probably going to have a lot of competition.
- Question #1: "Why were you laid off?" This can be a tough question since a lot of employees don't know WHY they were laid off. What should you do? Answer the question as honestly as possible. You could say something like "As I'm sure you're aware, the economy is tough right now and my company felt the effects of it. I was part of a large staff reduction, and that's really all I know. However, I'm confident that it had nothing to do with my job performance. Since I accomplished a lot while I was with the company." Then, give some examples of your accomplishments. That way, you're answering the question honestly, but you're still explaining why their company should hire you.
- Next question: "What can you offer me that another person can't?" You need to show the interviewer that you're willing to go the extra mile to get things done. After all, you're trying to prove why you're "different" from the other candidates. So give some examples of when you went above and beyond the call of duty. You could say something like "I know there are other candidates who could fill this position, but my passion for excellence sets me apart from the pack. For example, I once drove all night to deliver a project to our biggest client."
- One more tough interview question: "Would you be willing to take a salary cut?" In today's tough economy, a company may not be able to meet your salary requirements. So if you want the job, say something like "I understand that the salary for this position is X dollars. Like most people, I would like to improve on my salary, but I'm more interested in the job itself than the money. I'd be open to negotiating a lower starting salary, but I hope that we can revisit the subject in a few months after I've proved myself to you." If they offer you the job, you could try to negotiate other perks - like extra vacation days.