The Week in Review: Three Interview Questions That Reveal Everything, Your Office Elevator Pitch, More

This week’s most-popular Influencer posts are full of answers. Ever wondered how to talk to senior execs? This post explains it. Want to take a sick day in the right way? Here’s a primer. From rewiring your brain for new skills to picking a college and getting job applicants to be honest, a look at all the posts that caught readers’ attention:

Three Killer Interview Questions (Aaron Hurst) Good luck getting job applicants to speak candidly. If you’re tired of hearing canned answers — “I’m a perfectionist." — try throwing out one of these three questions in an interview.

Why Everyone Needs an Elevator Pitch (Deep Nishar) You know the feeling: You’re stuck next to the CEO of your company, desperately trying to think of something smart to say (or a way to escape).

Here’s some advice.

No. 1: Don’t stare blankly at your phone.

No. 2: Talk about a project you’re working on, and be sure to heap some praise on your colleagues.

Learn About Your Managers Through the People They Manage (Richard Rosenblatt) Senior executives are experts in the art of managing up. So, if you’re leading a department and want to know what’s really going on, Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt suggests talking with employees. Just don’t explicitly ask how their boss is doing.

8 Sure-fire Signs You’ll Fail at Your Job Search (J.T. O’Donnell) Dieters and job-seekers fail at New Year’s resolutions for the same reason: unpreparedness.

To find a new job in 2013, you need to map out a plan — and be able to describe yourself in three succinct sentences.

From Seinfeld to Sushi: How to Master Your Domain (Jeff Weiner) Comedian Jerry Seinfeld and 86-year-old master sushi chef Jiro Ono have some surprising similarities. Both are masters of their crafts. They’re relentless about improving. And they keep Zen-like workspaces to concentrate. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner breaks down their five shared practices that can help all professionals reach greatness.

Nine Things a Mother Needs to Share With Her Son (Naomi Simson) In a tender post, Australian entrepreneur Naomi Simson shares the advice she gives to her teenage son. She encourages him to be strong, but loving; to trust in all relationships; and to realize that life will be a long slog if you don’t see the light side of things.

How to Take a Sick Day (Nancy Lublin) This year’s flu season has reached epidemic levels. That means lots of professionals are thinking about sick days. A few ground rules. Don’t slip out the back without telling anyone you’ll be out. Don’t tweet photos of yourself at the mall. And, by all means, don’t stand around and complain about how sick you’ve been once you return to the office.

What Your Email Address Says About You (Steve Anderson) You’ve been told by now that it’s not a good career move to have an AOL email address, lest you be branded an out-of-touch technophobe. Fine. But does Gmail hold a stigma, too? In business dealings, it does, says technology consultant Steve Anderson.

How to Master Any New Skill in 2013 (Steve Rubel) Learning a new skill doesn’t require 10,000 hours of practice. Edelman senior vice president Steve Rubel meets up with Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek” and “The 4-Hour Chef," and discovers his four-step approach to mastering a new endeavor, something Rubel calls a “breakthrough model for learning."

Put Your Brain on the Right Diet (Katya Andresen)

There’s an easy way to be more creative this year: Make sure you’re filling your mind with great thoughts. Take in smart books, art, movies and performances to generate new ideas. “The more you fill yourself up with an array of brilliance," nonprofit guru Katya Andresen says, “the better thinker you will be."



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