Skip to content

Brand Strategist and Executive Coach

November 25, 2012

How to Answer Any Interview Question #careerpodcast with @Mac_Prichard, Pt II

December 16, 2021

@Macs_List’s “Find Your Dream Job” #careerpodcast with @Mac_Prichard

Preparing for behavioral interview questions is a crucial part of any job search. But what if you don’t have a specific answer to one of the questions you’re asked? Find Your Dream Job guest Ryan Yip says you can address it with a philosophical statement that addresses the root of the question. Another suggestion Ryan gives is to prepare these statements for several categories and then record yourself practicing your answers so that you can give a smooth response. If you go into the interview with the attitude of being of service, you can feel confident answering any behavioral question you face. Listen to the entire podcast here.

About Our Guest: Ryan E. Yip is an executive coach who helps you find your best career fit, create your personal brand, and organize your job search.

Resources in This Episode: To learn more about Ryan’s services, visit his website at

From our Sponsor: Find Your Dream Job is brought to you by TopResume. TopResume has helped more than 400,000 professionals land more interviews and get hired faster. Get a free review of your resume today from one of TopResume’s expert writers.

“Find Your Dream Job” #careerpodcast with @Mac_Prichard

November 24, 2021

It was great to chat with Mac Prichard on @macslist “Find Your Dream Job” career podcast this week. Listen to my episode here.

How to Answer Any Interview Question!

December 22, 2020

OK, a bit of an overstatement, but preparing for job interviews can be daunting, and this interview tip has helped many of my clients.

Common Advice for Interview Preparation

I’ve found that most articles on behavioral interview preparation focus on two methods: 

  1. Practice answering common interview questions. 
  2. Use the SOAR or STAR method to prepare stories of your accomplishments that emphasize your strengths and demonstrate you’re qualified for the job. 

Feeling Overwhelmed 

Often the questions are categorized into various topics, such as teamwork, client-facing skills, ability to adapt, time management, motivation, communication skills, etc. While it’s essential to practice answering common interview questions, it can be overwhelming to prepare answers for a list of 50 possible questions in all their variations. 

First Start with “Philosophical” Answers

To remedy this dilemma, I suggest that my clients develop an introductory “philosophical” answer for each category.

Develop an introductory “philosophical” answer for each of the question categories

For example, for the category of teamwork, this is a common question an interviewer might ask: “Share a time when you had to work with a difficult team member.” A client might compose the answer, “I believe I can get along with any co-worker as long as we both conduct ourselves within the boundaries of professional demeanor. I might not be their best friend, but I can work with anyone if we behave professionally.” Once you have developed these statements, practice until you can say them without hesitation. 

When to Use Them

This buys you time…go through your list of prepared accomplishment stories to find the most relevant answer. 

These philosophical answers are useful when you are surprised by a question and are at a loss for an answer. Rather than appear flustered, start answering the question with your prepared philosophical statement for that category. This buys you time and as you deliver the statement, go through your list of prepared accomplishment stories to find the most relevant example. 

 Finish with Your Accomplishment Story 

The best result is after you’ve completed your philosophical statement, you then say, “for example…” and continue with your relevant accomplishment story. However, even if you can’t recall an accomplishment that demonstrates how you resolved a conflict (Attn: you definitely should have one prepared), at least you gave an answer to the question, and then you can state and accomplishment that is indirectly related to it. For example, if you have one for the Communication category, you can preface your answer by saying “this is wasn’t exactly a conflict, but…” and so forth. 

More Confidence, Less Anxiety

My clients find that using this technique lessens the nervousness caused by not knowing what specific questions interviewers might ask them. Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewers and figure out their concerns. Then prepare your philosophical answers to address them, and you can be more confident in your interviews. 

Salesforce promotes Equal Opportunity

March 2, 2018

Women Technologists

Making up about 23% of the technical workforce and earning about 18% of computer science degrees, women are underrepresented in the technical workforce, and are leaving the industry at twice the rate as men due to the inhospitable tech environment.

In addition, the lack of advancement of women technologists is staggering: the representation of women technologists declines by 50% from entry to mid to senior and executive levels.

Employee Resource Groups and Women’s Network

Citing Equality as a core value, Salesforce states that businesses can be powerful platforms for social change and that its higher purpose is to drive equality for all. From a business perspective, Salesforce believes that diverse companies are more innovative and better positioned to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. One of the Salesforce’s four core pillars of Equality, Equal Opportunity, is especially impactful in retaining and advancing women in technology.

Salesforce addresses the Equal Opportunity pillar by promoting a diverse and inclusive culture. It created Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), also known as Salesforce Ohana Groups, built around the Hawaiian concept of Ohana (family) support system. These group bear similarities to the Diversity Network Groups established by IBM.

The Salesforce Women in Technology group provides a collaborative forum for men and women to work together to attract, develop, mentor, support, and retain women technologists. Members participate in regular meetups, volunteer activities and events like the annual Grace Hopper Conference. Salesforce was named one of the Anita Borg Institute’s Top Companies for Women Technologists 2015.

Salesforce also created Women’s Network, a global women’s network that works to promote diversity, inclusion and equality throughout the company and to establish Salesforce as a leader in attracting, developing and retaining talented women. Members participate in networking events, job shadowing and mentoring, Lean In Circles, a speaker series and volunteer activities that support women, women’s and children’s initiatives.

Parental Leave and Women Leaders

In the last year, Salesforce has increased parental leave to 12 weeks off at 80% of total pay, including base and bonuses. The company also introduced a new gradual return program which offers new parents the flexibility to work reduced hours for the first four consecutive weeks of returning to work, at full pay.

Salesforce also increased access to advancement opportunities through the High-Potential Leadership Program, which is designed to provide leadership skills to advance women in the workplace. The program has led to a 33% increase in the number of women who were promoted last year and a 34% increase in the number of women in leadership positions at Salesforce, trending positive for the third consecutive year.


Salesforce Closes the Gender Pay Gap

February 28, 2018

In a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (April, 2012), on average, women earn 82.2% of what men earn in the 20 most common occupations for women. In software development, applications and system software, the percentage is higher: women earn 86.4% of what men earn. But the percentage of female workers in this occupation is only 18.1%.

One common explanation for the wage gap is that women take more time off and work fewer overall hours, consequently accumulating less work experience over time. But this study by the United States General Accounting Office states that even “after accounting for factors affecting earnings, women earned an average of 80 percent of what men earned in 2000.”

The California Equal Pay Act of 1949 (EPA) stated that “No employer shall pay any individual in the employer’s employ at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment for equal work on jobs”.  Over 38.8 billion dollars is lost due to the wage gap between men and women. On October 6, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law and the amendment took effect on January 1, 2016. An additional amendment was signed that prohibits employers from justifying a sex-, race-, or ethnicity-based pay differences solely on the grounds of prior salary and took effect  January 1, 2017.

The Equal Pay Salary Assessment

Citing Equality as a core value, Salesforce states that businesses can be powerful platforms for social change and that its higher purpose is to drive Equality for all. From a business perspective, Salesforce believes that diverse companies are more innovative and better positioned to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. One of the Salesforce’s four core pillars of Equality is Equal Pay.

To address the Equal Pay pillar, Salesforce regularly assesses the salaries of its global employees to eliminate pay discrepancies across the entire organization. It conducted inaugural salary assessment in 2016.

Salesforce sorted employees with comparable roles into groups and analyzed salaries of those groups to determine whether there were statistically significant wage differences between women and men based on objective factors that determine pay, such as job function, level and location. If there were unexplained differences, salary adjustments were made for both men and women as needed.

As a result of the first salary assessment, approximately six percent of Salesforce employees required a salary adjustment, and roughly the same number of women and men were impacted. Salesforce has spent nearly $3 million dollars to eliminate statistically significant differences in pay.

The next year, Salesforce increased the scope of its assessment, evaluating salaries, as well as bonuses globally. It also looked at differences in pay for not only gender, but also race and ethnicity in the U.S. Eleven percent of employees received adjustments following the second assessment, resulting in additional $3 million to address any unexplained differences in pay.

CEO Accountability

The news of the Salesforce salary assessment ignited an industry conversation about CEO accountability in closing the gender wage gap. “Every CEO needs to look at if they’re paying men and woman the same,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said at the World Economic Forum. “That is something that every single CEO can do today.” Salesforce also committed to the Glassdoor Equal Pay Pledge.

Tips on Career Transition

November 22, 2017


If you are considering a career transition, first I would recommend assessments to inventory your transferable skills. Also, it’s often easier to make one change at a time: pursue a new position with different responsibilities in your current industry or pursue a new position with similar responsibilities as your current position in your desired industry.


 business man with career choices

37 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance

November 22, 2017

“It’s so secret—managing all the things you have to do as an adult is a challenge. From doing your best on the job to taking care of yourself (and, if you have them, your kids) to trying to see friends and stay sane, we know you’ve got a lot on your plate.




Returning to Work after an Absence

November 22, 2017

Back To Work Reminder

Returning the the workforce after an absence can be challenging. You could try to beef up your resume by volunteering or doing pro bono work. There are several agencies that can help you find many non-profits in need. Freelance/temp staffing agencies are also an excellent way to get your foot back in the door.




November 4, 2017


November 4, 2017
%d bloggers like this: