I’m in search of a good job and am attending interviews. There are still some questions that I’m not able to give a proper answer to the interviewer, viz. "What’s your goal? What’s your weakness?" I would like to have your suggestions along with some useful tips.

The first tip is that, because it is highly likely that these questions will come up at an interview, it is absolutely essential that you have good, solid answers and that you rehearse them over and over again. Let us first deal with the question, "What are your weaknesses?" The important thing is to try to give a succinct answer and move on quickly to another question. We suggest that you begin your answer by saying, "I recognise that we all have weaknesses and strengths so it is normal to have weaknesses." Then you could add, for example, "I think it is for others to asses my weaknesses.” "What are your goals?" is another question you have asked about. Although it is a very common question, many people get the answer wrong. They provide an answer out of a textbook, which is so grand that either no one understands the answer, or no one believes it. What we believe the interviewer is looking for is an answer that will reassure him that your goal is to become a valued employee in the company, having a career path in the company and contributing to its success.

After four years in a demanding role I was told that my position was no longer viable and I was laid off. I had been doing so well and even got a bonus last year; it was so sudden. I am devastated and don’t know what to do or how to cope.

Here are some tips to put into practice before actually starting the process of searching for a new job:

• Give yourself time to accept what has happened.

• Don’t panic.

• Identify family members and friends you can confide in on a regular basis.

• Avoid negative people who will make you feel even worse.

• Don’t rush into making big decisions that you may regret later.

• Work out a budget for the next six months to help you manage your finances during the period of unemployment. Plan ways to keep your expenditure within the budget.

This is the first phase of dealing with job loss and when you are ready you can move into the process of finding a new job. That could take up most of your day, so it is best to only move into this phase when you have dealt with the challenges of the first phase, discussed above.