Do Jobs & Employers Actually Call References?

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Many people wonder if jobs and employers actually call references often, or if it's something they only do on occasion. And this doubt makes them unsure if they should spend time on providing excellent references, or if it makes more sense to focus on applying to more positions. This post will help you understand the likelihood of an employer calling your references, and if that means they're interested in hiring you or not. Do Employers Actually Call References? With hiring processes becoming increasingly automated, many job-seekers wonder if potential employers even call anyone on their list of references. Most applications require you to provide at least one reference, but will they actually receive a call? While hiring managers and human resources departments will occasionally refrain from contacting references, most of the time they will. That means it's still important to provide reliable references who can speak to your character and work ethic. Recent surveys showed that most (...... Read more

Get 1-on-1 assistance at VA VetFest events across the country

By VA Careers | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2024, Reprinted with permission

VA is hosting VetFest events nationwide to inform Veterans and their families, caregivers, and survivors about the PACT Act and help them access the health care and benefits they've earned. A list of VetFest events near you is at the bottom of this post and will be updated as additional events and details become available. Attendees will have the opportunity to: Meet VA representatives: Talk to VA health care and benefits professionals who can answer your questions about how the PACT Act impacts your eligibility and help you navigate the application process. Apply for benefits: Get assistance with filing for PACT Act-related benefits, submitting an intent to file, or enrolling in VA health care. Toxic exposure screenings: Receive a screening by... Read more

Sharing Fun Facts About Yourself: 22 Examples & Ideas

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Ideas for Sharing Fun Facts About You. Knowing what to say when an interviewer asks for fun facts about yourself can be tricky. You’ve likely rehearsed common interview questions for your job, putting yourself in that professional mindset. But fun facts are a common way to break the ice, so being prepared for this will help you put your personality on full display and give the interviewer time to get to know you. But what should you talk about? Here are several ideas to inspire your answer. Share an Unusual Hobby You Have. Talk About a Quirky Skill You Have. Mention a Unique Travel Experience. Share your Top Bucket List Travel Destination. Talk About Your Experience Growing Up in an Interesting Place.... Read more

VA offers telework opportunities for military spouses through 4+1 Commitment

By VA Careers | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2024, Reprinted with permission

As part of our ongoing effort to support the hiring of military spouses, VA recently became the first Federal agency to sign the 4+1 Commitment in support of policies aimed at helping military spouses find meaningful employment. After I married my active-duty spouse, I remembered a conversation with a skeptical relative about my remote employment search,” said Megan Paone, an active duty Army spouse. “Doubts about finding a 'unicorn' remote job were ever-present, but I knew I needed to remain optimistic about securing a position that could move with our family as needed. Paone's concerns are all too real for many military spouses, which is why VA's historic pledge to the 4+1 Commitment is a game-changer for military spouses. Through the 4+1... Read more

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Do Jobs & Employers Actually Call References?

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Many people wonder if jobs and employers actually call references often, or if it's something they only do on occasion. And this doubt makes them unsure if they should spend time on providing excellent references, or if it makes more sense to focus on applying to more positions.

This post will help you understand the likelihood of an employer calling your references, and if that means they're interested in hiring you or not.

Do Employers Actually Call References?

With hiring processes becoming increasingly automated, many job-seekers wonder if potential employers even call anyone on their list of references. Most applications require you to provide at least one reference, but will they actually receive a call?

While hiring managers and human resources departments will occasionally refrain from contacting references, most of the time they will. That means it's still important to provide reliable references who can speak to your character and work ethic. Recent surveys showed that most (over 85 percent) of employers contact references at some point in the hiring process.

But when potential employers decide to contact your references will vary.

In many cases, employers make calls early in the hiring process. It's often part of the early screening process where decision-makers start weeding out candidates to narrow their choices. They may contact references for applicants who pique their interest or those with all the qualifications necessary for the job.

In these scenarios, calls help hiring managers determine if you're worthy of moving further in the hiring process.

Some employers do things differently, reserving reference calls for much later in the hiring process. It's ultimately all a matter of preference and approach. These hiring managers may rely solely on your resume and interview skills to determine whether you're a good candidate. Once they narrow the pool of candidates down to a handful of top choices, they'll contact references to get outside perspectives about a potential employee's potential. This approach saves time for the hiring manager, allowing them to make only a handful of calls versus hundreds.

Those are the two most common scenarios. However, some employers may not contact references at all. Although these situations are rare, hiring managers could decide you're a great candidate without the perspective of references.

Either way, it's important to provide a list of references who can speak highly of you. Be sure to tell your references what type of job you are applying for and what you want them to emphasize when contacted. Hiring managers still value that information, whether they call your references during the hiring process or not. And some companies may call past references later if you're ever in the running for a promotion.

Do Employers Check References If They Aren't Going to Hire You?

Many employers will contact your references before extending a job offer. As mentioned earlier, many will contact references to fact-check and learn more about your qualifications once they narrow down the pool of potential hires.

It's a good sign when employers reach out to references. However, there are no guarantees! Don't take it as a sure thing that you'll get hired.

Speaking with references is just part of the hiring process and can occur at any point. There's no defined approach. Human resources professionals develop their methods for learning about potential hires, which may or may not include discussions with your references.

Furthermore, some contact references far earlier, while others wait until they have a good idea of your potential for success in the role.

You can get excited if you hear back from your references that a hiring manager contacted them. However, that's no reason to rest on your laurels, halt your job search, or leave your current job. The only way to know you're getting the job is to hear it from a potential employer.

Situations When Employers Are Most Likely to Call References

There are many reasons why an employer could contact your references. The people you include on your application are another resource hiring managers will use to learn about you. It's akin to your resume and list of qualifications.

Like other resources, the employer will choose when and how to utilize your references.

One of the most common situations when human resources perform a reference check is during the initial hiring process. This usually happens after your first interviews. It's when employers complete their due diligence to ensure you're the right person for the job.

Pre-employment screening occurs before companies extend a job offer. There may be a few other candidates in the running, and this process helps employers make their final decision. Screening involves many steps, including checking your qualifications, performing background reviews, security clearances, etc.

Contacting your references allows an employer to cover their bases and identify any last-minute issues that may give them reason to consider someone else.

Another situation when employers contact references is during early applicant review. Depending on the job, hiring managers may receive hundreds of applications that they need to narrow down to a much more manageable number before starting interviews.

In this situation, contacting references is more about identifying what sets you apart from other applicants. Your resume and qualifications may meet the mark on paper. However, the same likely applies to several others in the candidate pool.

Employers can reach out to references to learn more about you and obtain additional information that may differentiate you from others. Those conversations can shed more light on your capabilities and help employers understand what sets you apart.

Human resources may also contact references long after you get a job. While references are most often utilized during the hiring process, those contacts are valuable in various situations.

While employers will learn a lot about you during the hiring process, some aspects of your potential in this role won't become apparent until after you start working. Employers might contact references for more insight.

For example, you might struggle with a specific skill or display a point of concern that makes hiring managers question if you're the perfect fit. In those cases, employers may call references to help clear things up. They might also speak with past employers to see if these issues are one-off things or recurring problems.

Questions Your References Will Often Be Asked

When one of your references is called by a potential job, there are many different questions that they might be asked. Usually, the conversations they have will vary based on your relationship with each individual reference. For example, the questions they ask a former employer will differ greatly from those they ask a former colleague or educator.

Generally, questions will fall under one of several categories.

The first are those focused on detailed verification. Human resources may question one or more aspects of your resume. They don't necessarily doubt your honesty but might need clarification about a former job, certification, dates of employment, or reason for leaving .

Contacting references is a great way to learn more. So, they'll contact the person with the most familiarity with your resume.

Questions can also revolve around specific qualifications and skills. Employers call references to learn about what you bring to the table. Speaking with a reference about your past experiences will provide valuable insight into how those qualifications might translate into the open position.

Hiring managers can also ask questions about soft skills and intangible qualities. Finding the perfect candidate involves more than finding someone with all the right skills and education. You must also fit the company's culture, know how to work with others, etc.

One of the best ways to learn about those qualities and characteristics is to speak with references who've seen you in action. Employers might ask about how you are in the office, what you're like in a team environment and more. Many will also ask about situational habits and other details they won't learn from your resume.

Former employers will often receive more focused questions. Hiring managers typically ask about your performance in your past jobs, honing in on relevant skills that apply to the new role. It's also common for employers to ask previous employers about how and why you left.

Will Every One of Your References Be Called?

Companies can ask for multiple references. In fact, most employers will require you to provide one to three during your initial application.

Will they contact all of them? In many cases, they won't. However, that all depends on the types of references you provide and what information employers want to learn.

There are no defined rules about employers calling references, and a hiring manager's approach can vary from one application to the next. It's common for at least one to be contacted. In most cases, they'll choose the reference with the most information to give, such as a former employer.

They might reach out to another if they want to learn more or can't get all the information they're after from a single reference. But it's rare for employers to call each one. Therefore, selecting high-quality references who can speak well of your potential, performance and qualifications is important.

Conclusion

As you can see, employers often call at least one of the references you provide. The biggest variable is when in the hiring process they decide to do it!

That's why it's so important to provide great references when applying for jobs. Nothing can sell your skills as well as positive feedback from others!

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Get 1-on-1 assistance at VA VetFest events across the country

By VA Careers | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2024, Reprinted with permission

VA is hosting VetFest events nationwide to inform Veterans and their families, caregivers, and survivors about the PACT Act and help them access the health care and benefits they've earned. A list of VetFest events near you is at the bottom of this post and will be updated as additional events and details become available.

Attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Meet VA representatives: Talk to VA health care and benefits professionals who can answer your questions about how the PACT Act impacts your eligibility and help you navigate the application process.
  • Apply for benefits: Get assistance with filing for PACT Act-related benefits, submitting an intent to file, or enrolling in VA health care.
  • Toxic exposure screenings: Receive a screening by VA staff to determine if you may be eligible for benefits due to toxic exposure.

The PACT Act (Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act) is the largest expansion of Veteran health care and benefits in generations. It specifically benefits Veterans who served in the Vietnam War, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras and were exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. PACT Act also extends eligibility to survivors of these exposed Veterans.

You can find additional events in your local area by visiting the VA Facility Locator to find a facility near you or by visiting VA Outreach events.

VA is committed to ensuring all eligible Veterans and survivors receive the benefits they deserve under the PACT Act. If you are unable to attend a VetFest event, you can still learn more and access resources online by visiting:

The PACT Act and your VA benefits

PACT Act Performance Dashboard

The PACT Act: 2024 Expanded Health Care Eligibility Toolkit

VetFest events near you:

Alabama — AL 
Alaska — AK 
  • Aug. 21, 2024, Palmer, AK: Summer VetFest Alaska
  • Aug. 28, 2024, Palmer, AK: Summer VetFest Alaska
Arizona — AZ 
  • June 27, 2024, 9 a.m. — 1 p.m. MST, Phoenix, AZ: PACT Act Summer VetFest
  • July 5, 2024, 5:30 — 8:30 p.m. MST, Prescott, AZ: Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo
  • July 6, 2024, 11:30 a.m. — 8:30 p.m. MST, Prescott, AZ: Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo
Arkansas — AR 
  • June 24, 2024, North Little Rock, AR: 2024 Central Arkansas VA Healthcare System Summer VetFest
  • Sept. 12, 2024, 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. CT, Fayetteville, AR: Health Summit 
California — CA 
  • June 3, 2024, 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. PT, Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara VA 101: Overview on VA Benefits 
  • June 11, 2024, 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. PT, San Jacinto, CA: Tribal Health PACT Act Outreach & VA/RSBCIHI Outreach Collaboration
  • June 13, 2024, 6 — 7 p.m. PT, Bakersfield, CA: Bakersfield Veterans Town Hall 
  • June 18, 2024, Commerce, CA: East LA Summer VetFest
  • June 22, 2024, San Diego, CA: VetFest Kearny Mesa
Colorado — CO 
  • Aug. 29, 2024, 5:30 p.m. MDT, Grand Junction, CO: Veteran's Night Grand Junction Farmers Market
  • Nov. 19 — 21, 2024, 8 a.m. — 4 p.m. MDT, Colorado Springs, CO: El Paso PACT ACT Healthcare and Claims Clinic
Connecticut — CT 
  • July 13, 2024, Waterford, CT: PACT Act Health Care and Claims Clinic
Delaware — DE 
  • July 24, 2024, Harrington, DE: VA Outreach Event at Armed Forces Day
Florida — FL 
  • June 7, 2024, Key West, FL: LGBTQ+ VetFest
  • June 11, 2024, Boca Raton, FL: Summer VetFest
  • June 14, 2024, Jacksonville, FL: North Florida and South Georgia VetFest for Women Veterans
  • July 10, 2024, Belle Glade, FL: West Palm Beach VetFest
  • June 22, 2024, Spring Hill, FL: Paco/Hernando Summer VetFest
Georgia — GA 
Hawaii — HI 
  • Aug. 10, 2024, Kapolei, HI: Summer VetFest
Idaho — ID 
  • Aug. 28, 2024, Boise, ID: Boise VA Medical Center Veterans Appreciation Fair
Illinois — IL 
Indiana — IN 
Iowa — IA 
  • July 3, 2024, West Iowa City, IA: Summer VetFest 4th of July Celebration
  • Aug. 12, 2024, Des Moines, IA: Veterans Day at the Iowa State Fair
Kansas — KS 
  • Aug. 10, 2024, Wichita, KS: Summer VetFest
Kentucky — KY 
Louisiana — LA 
  • June 8, 2024, Lafayette, LA: Summer VetFest
Maine — ME 
  • Sept. 21, 2024, Jonesboro, Maine: Veterans and Community Connections Expo
Maryland — MD 
Massachusetts — MA 
Michigan — MI 
Minnesota — MN 
  • July 15, 2024, St. Cloud, MN: Claims Clinic
  • Aug. 27, 2024, Falcon Heights, MN: Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day
Mississippi — MS 
  • Aug. 21, 2024, Jackson, MS: Veteran Town Hall
Missouri — MO 
  • June 12, 2024, St. Louis, MO: VA SummerFest
  • June 29, 2024, Farmington, MO: VetFest
  • Aug. 11, 2024, Sedalia, MO: Missouri State Fair — Military Appreciation Day
Montana — MT 
  • June 26, 2024, Glasgow, MT: American Legion State Convention “Summer VetFest”
  • June 27, 2024, Glasgow, MT: American Legion State Convention “Summer VetFest”
Nebraska — NE 
Nevada — NV 
  • June 8, 2024, Las Vegas, NV: VA Summer VetFest at Allegiant Stadium
New Hampshire — NH 
New Jersey — NJ 
  • Aug. 7, 2024, Augusta, NJ: VA New Jersey Health Care System VetFest
New Mexico — NM 
  • Aug. 23, 2024, Shiprock, NM: Northern Navajo Veterans Agency Shiprock PACT Act & COMPACT Act Veterans Festival
New York — NY 
  • June 6, 2024, 10 a.m. — 5 p.m. ET, Binghamton, NY:  Broome County VetFest 
  • June 8, 2024, Rochester, NY: Veterans Benefits Expo
  • June 8, 2024, Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Pride
  • June 13, 2024, Troy, NY: ValleyCats Veterans Night
  • June 14, 2024, 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. ET, Oswego, NY:  Oswego VetFest 
  • June 19, 2024, 9 — 11:30 a.m. ET, Westerlo, NY: Westerlo Hill Town Outreach 
  • July 17, 2024, 9 — 11:30 a.m. ET, Westerlo, NY: Westerlo Hill Town Outreach 
  • Aug. 10-11, 2024, Montgomery, NY: Orange County Air Show
  • Aug. 17, 2024, Northport, NY: Northport VAMC & SPVA Veteran Appreciation BBQ
  • Aug. 21, 2024, 9 — 11:30 a.m. ET, Westerlo, NY: Westerlo Hill Town Outreach 
  • Aug. 21, 2024 — Sept. 2, 2024, Syracuse, NY: VetFest at the New York State Fair
  • Aug. 29, 2024, Cheektowaga NY: Cheektowaga Veterans Event
  • Sept. 18, 2024, 9 — 11:30 a.m. ET, Westerlo, NY: Westerlo Hill Town Outreach 
North Carolina — NC 
  • Aug. 3, 2024, 10 a.m. — 2 p.m., Salisbury, NC: Salisbury VA Veteran Town Hall
North Dakota — ND 
Ohio — OH
Oklahoma — OK 
  • Aug. 3, 2024, Tulsa, OK: Summer VetFest
Oregon — OR 
  • Sept. 11, 2024, Roseburg, OR: Veterans Standdown and Resource Fair
Pennsylvania — PA 
Puerto Rico — PR
  • July 19, 2024, Mayagüez, PR: VetFest en MayaWest!
Rhode Island — RI 
  • June 26, 2024, Coventry, RI: VA Providence Summer VetFest and PACT Act Town Hall
South Carolina — SC 
  • Event(s) to be added
South Dakota — SD 
  • June 13, 2024, Aberdeen, SD: PACT Act Outreach Event
  • Aug. 15, 2024, Rapid City, SD: Rapid City SD PACT Act VetFest
Tennessee — TN 
Texas — TX
Utah — UT 
  • June 29-30, 2024, Hill Air Force Base, UT: VetFest @ The Warriors over the Wasatch Open House Air Show
Vermont — VT 
  • Aug. 3, 2024, White River Junction, VT: Open House/Welcome Home Event
Virginia — VA 
Washington — WA 
  • July 13, 2024, Walla Walla, WA: Summer VetFest
Washington, DC
  • July 13, 2024, Washington, DC: Summer Veterans Fest & Wellness Outreach
West Virginia — WV 
Wisconsin — WI 
Wyoming — WY 

Can't attend an event? No problem. You can still sign up for VA resources or request assistance.

Additionally, you can find events in your local area by visiting the VA Facility Locator and clicking your state and local area or by visiting VA Outreach events.

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Sharing Fun Facts About Yourself: 22 Examples & Ideas

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Asking to share some fun facts about yourself is a common icebreaker that's used during job interviews.

But the quality of your answer still matters.

This guide will help you come up with some ideas for crafting a response that starts the interview on a good note.

Ideas for Sharing Fun Facts About You

Knowing what to say when an interviewer asks for fun facts about yourself can be tricky. You've likely rehearsed common interview questions for your job, putting yourself in that professional mindset. But fun facts are a common way to break the ice, so being prepared for this will help you put your personality on full display and give the interviewer time to get to know you.

But what should you talk about? Here are several ideas to inspire your answer.

  • Share an Unusual Hobby You Have
  • Talk About a Quirky Skill You Have
  • Mention a Unique Travel Experience
  • Share your Top Bucket List Travel Destination
  • Talk About Your Experience Growing Up in an Interesting Place
  • Share Your Favorite Type of Cuisine or a Unique Dish You Love
  • Mention Any Unusual Allergies You Have
  • Share a Famous Person You'd Love to Have a Conversation With
  • Talk About What You'd Do If You Won the Lottery
  • Share an Embarrassing Moment That You Can Laugh About Now
  • Mention a Cause or Charity You're Passionate About
  • Tell a Funny Story About a Pet
  • Speak About a Unique Collection You Have
  • Tell a Story About a Crazy Weather Even You Were Caught In
  • Share a Fun Fact About Your Family Heritage or Ancestry
  • Go Into Detail About a Sport or Game You Excel at
  • Share a Personal Accomplishment You're Proud of
  • Mention a TV Show, Movie, or Book You Love
  • Unveil Your "Anti-Bucket List"
  • List Some Unique Jobs You've Had in the Past
  • Give Your Opinion on the Best City You've Ever Visited

Tips for Answering This Interview Question

As you can see, there are many creative ideas for setting yourself apart from other candidates while giving the interviewer some fun facts about yourself. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and develop more ideas yourself.

But before you go into your interview, give your response some thought. While this question is more relaxed than others you'll answer, it still holds weight. How you respond can make or break your chances of moving forward in the hiring process, so you must develop a solid answer that leaves a memorable and positive impact.

Here are a few tips to help you do just that.

Read the Room

One of the most important tips we can give you is to read the room.

Sharing fun or interesting facts about yourself is a great opportunity to show your wit. A somewhat humorous response can break the tension and get a laugh out of the interviewer. Fun responses can often showcase your communication skills while telling interviewers you'll be a joy to work with.

However, those types of responses aren't always appropriate. It all depends on the interviewer's mood and the vibes of the meeting. The truth is that some interviewers take the process very seriously and prefer to keep things as professional as possible.

A more humorous approach to this question might work against you in those cases. Read the room and pay attention to your interviewer's demeanor. If they seem to treat this conversation more seriously, you might want to rethink your response.

Before your interview, it's a good idea to prepare a backup response. Have your standard fun fact response ready, but also consider preparing a more professional and work-focused one. For example, you can reflect on your work experience and discuss something unique, such as how many years you've been in this industry or big events you're proud of.

That backup answer will ensure you're not scrambling for ideas or creating an unwanted tonal shift during your meeting. Most interviewers don't mind a more lighthearted response unrelated to your career. But if you have a more serious interviewer, being well-prepared with a backup response makes all the difference.

A good rule of thumb is: the more senior the person you are interviewing with, the more serious your answer should be.

Focus on Showcasing Your Personality

This question is about showing off your personality, so don't hesitate to be creative. Of course, you should always remain professional. But interviewers want to see who you are. They're looking to learn more about who you are as a person, so stiff answers aren't ideal.

In many cases, an interesting answer may spark a more involved conversation before your interviewer gets into the serious questions. You may even find unique ways to connect with the person you're talking to, creating a great first impression that can take you far.

Tell the interviewer who you are, keep things light and show your personality.

Be Genuine

Honesty and authenticity can take you far in your career. Don't make the mistake of thinking that this question is a license to invent something! Be honest and show your authentic self.

Some think that the best approach to this request is to show interviewers who you think they want you to be. However, interviewers can detect inauthenticity from a mile away. You don't want to come off as a people-pleaser.

Stick to true fun facts and stories. You never know when your interviewer will ask for more details; the last thing you want is to get caught in a lie. Be genuine. There's no point in sharing made-up lies.

Don't Overthink Your Answer

Try not to overthink your answer. It's important to give your responses to all interview questions ample thought, and this one is no different. But things can backfire if you overthink something as simple as sharing fun facts about yourself.

Remember what this question is all about. It's to showcase your personality and make you more comfortable with the interview process. You can't do any of that if you're stressing over what you say.

While there are ways to get things wrong (we'll get into that soon), there's no real right or wrong answer here! You're talking about yourself, so don't stress over giving the "perfect" answer.

Keep It Professional

Of course, maintain professionalism at all times. Telling an interviewer some fun facts about yourself opens the door for a more relaxed conversation. It's a great way to break the ice, relieve tension, and have a more personable discussion with the interviewer.

However, that doesn't mean you can abandon professional decorum! There's still a right and wrong place for certain discussions and anecdotes. A job interview is not the place to throw caution to the wind. Avoid topics related to alcohol, drugs, arrests, guns or other criminal activities.

You're still trying to land a job. Be professional while still showcasing your personality.

Find Ways to Relate Your Response to Your Job

If possible, find creative ways to connect your response back to the job you're trying to land. This isn't a requirement—most interviewers aren't expecting that. Trying too hard to connect the job to your response may also come off as inauthentic.

But if you have a genuine fun fact that you can relate to the job, go for it! Doing so may make your response more memorable and cement your qualifications for the job.

For example, if you're interviewing for a leadership position, you can discuss unique times when you led a team to victory. For example, talk about your time as a drum major for your college marching band or as a captain for a competitive cheerleading team.

Those are fun facts that go double-duty. It's a glimpse into your past and personality and another opportunity to show why you deserve the job!

What You Shouldn't Say When Answering

Now that you have some inspiration for what you should say, let's review some potential mistakes. There's substantial flexibility when it comes to fun facts about yourself. It's a more relaxed moment in your interview, and you can get creative with what you say.

However, there are some instances when your response could harm your chances of moving forward or getting a job offer. Avoid these mistakes!

Avoid Anything Negative

Remember that you're still in a job interview. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with any question is shedding any negative light on your candidacy. Don't say anything that could indicate potential issues with your performance in this job.

For example, don't tell a crazy story about when you skipped work to go on a crazy bender! That would only raise red flags.

Steer Clear of Anything Too Personal

This question is not an invitation to get too deep or personal. Keep things light and fun. Avoid anything overly emotional or too personal to divulge to a stranger.

It's easy to reveal too much, and doing so can make interviewers question whether you're the right fit for the job.

Don't Veer Into Inappropriateness

Light, family-friendly humor is great. However, adult or crude humor is not.

Keep things appropriate and PG. There's no need to share details about your favorite alcoholic beverage, stupid mistakes you made in college, etc.

Don't Say "I Don't Know"

Finally, don't skirt this question by saying you don't have anything interesting to share. That's a quick way to kill the mood and turn the interviewer off.

There's something unique and fun about everyone. Even if you have to dig deep, always focus on sharing your personality. Saying, "Nothing is interesting about me," shows you lack confidence and likely have poor communication skills.

Conclusion

Telling an interviewer some fun facts about yourself is a great opportunity to break the ice and help them learn more about you. While this question might not seem as serious or important as others, it's still worth preparing for.

Use this resource to come up with some ideas you can use the next time you're asked. You'll be glad you did!

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VA offers telework opportunities for military spouses through 4+1 Commitment

By VA Careers | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2024, Reprinted with permission

As part of our ongoing effort to support the hiring of military spouses, VA recently became the first Federal agency to sign the 4+1 Commitment in support of policies aimed at helping military spouses find meaningful employment.

After I married my active-duty spouse, I remembered a conversation with a skeptical relative about my remote employment search,” said Megan Paone, an active duty Army spouse. “Doubts about finding a 'unicorn' remote job were ever-present, but I knew I needed to remain optimistic about securing a position that could move with our family as needed.”

Paone's concerns are all too real for many military spouses, which is why VA's historic pledge to the 4+1 Commitment is a game-changer for military spouses. Through the 4+1 Commitment, VA is implementing policies to enhance hiring and retention efforts, resulting in long-lasting career opportunities for military spouses.

One of the tenets of the 4+1 Commitment is offering telework, virtual, and remote work, which are essential for military spouses who manage the home front. And through our Veteran and Military Spouse Talent Engagement Program (VMSTEP), we maintain our ongoing efforts to be a leader in developing and implementing military spouse-friendly policies and agencies.

Work at VA

Visit VACareers.va.gov now to learn more about how we've embraced the 4+1 Commitment, the tenet supporting remote and telework options, and how our VMSTEP team helps military spouses find employment.

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