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Interview Dos And Don'ts

It doesn't matter why you are looking for a new job - whether it's to make more money or find more satisfaction.

The pre-employment interview can make or break your chances. CBS News' Thalia Assuras consulted career strategist Terra Dourlain of the firm Allison and Taylor.

Here are four questions typically asked during an interview and some common answers. Dourlain's suggested answer is marked in pink and the rationale for the response is indicated below.

What was your previous salary?
a. Lie. Increase your current salary by $5,000.
b. Tell the truth.
c. Give a ballpark figure of your worth.

If you lie, it can only come back to haunt you. If you tell the truth and only give a base salary, you've locked yourself into a certain category. A ballpark figure takes into consideration the salary, bonus and perks.
How much do you want to make if hired?
a.At least what I made in my last position.
b. Based on research, my experience should put me at the upper end of the salary range of similar professionals.
c. I'm flexible. We can negotiate that when the time comes.
Here you've shown knowledge of your worth. And you've backed it up. As always, be prepared.
What would you say is your greatest weakness?
a. None really come to mind. I am a very solid professional.
b. Time management.
c. Organization. However, I attended a seminar a few months back and what a difference.

We all have weaknesses. Be honest about it. Go on and identify a weakness and turn it around. Make it a positive and say you're working on it. You can look at past evaluations from other jobs and acknowledge who you are.
Are you pregnant or planning a family?
a. I will not answer and we can move on.
b. The truth, yes or no.
c.Currently, I am focused on my career.

If you're asked that question, you probably want to evaluate whether you want to work for that company. But if this is a job you really want, turn it around and get back on track, by saying your focus is your career, whether you get pregnant or not.

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