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30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 9th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Topics    
Question 1 of 30
All of our candidates must pass a criminal record check and education verification. Is there any reason why you would not be comfortable with this?
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How to Answer
Background checks are widespread in many industries. If you are keen for the position, you much comply fully with their onboarding process. Show that you are cooperative. If there are any marks in your history, this is the exact time to disclose them.
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Answer Examples
1.
All of our candidates must pass a criminal record check and education verification. Is there any reason why you would not be comfortable with this?
Background checks are widespread in many industries. If you are keen for the position, you much comply fully with their onboarding process. Show that you are cooperative. If there are any marks in your history, this is the exact time to disclose them.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Yes, I am happy to comply with any background checks required. My record is clean."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"That is a great step in the process, and there will be no issues with me participating in this. I am happy to provide any supporting documents to help along the way."
Anonymous Answer
"Your welcome to conduct a background check and education verification on me."
Rachelle's Answer
Great! As per previous feedback, be sure to add in a short sentence re-affirming the interviewer. I have offered an example, below.
"You're welcome to conduct a background check and education verification on me. You will find that my background is clean, and my educational background is consistent with what I have provided on my resume."
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Anonymous Answer
"Yes, I am comfortable with any background checks required."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer.
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2.
How many years experience do you have in your field?
The interviewer is trying to quickly gauge if you are qualified for this role, or not. If they have called you, chances are - you have something on your resume that they like. Most job postings will specify the number of years of experience that the employer is looking for but it's often a flexible number.

Let's say the interviewer is looking for five years experience in a specific field or skill, and you have 15 years. Avoid being labeled as overqualified by saying: "I have more than five years' experience in your direct field. My most recent position was similar to this role, and I was a top performer for the entire seven years of my employment there. I am eager to continue my path of success with your company."
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have more than five years' experience in your direct field. My most recent position was similar to this role, and I was a top performer for the entire seven years of my employment there. I am eager to continue my path of success with your company."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have been working in an administrative position for approximately four years. I also spent a great deal of time helping my dad with his bookkeeping business as a teen. I was exposed to organizing files, making appointments, and double checking the details of his work before he passed it back to his clients."
Anonymous Answer
"I have five years of experience."
Lauren's Answer
Great. Be ready to answer follow-up questions. See below.
"In an interview, you may be asked the following question. It would be helpful to think about your response in preparation for an interview. “What is your greatest accomplishment thus far in your five years as an Engineer?”"
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Anonymous Answer
"I have over seven years of experience. Although I have a lot of experience, I am willing to learn new opportunities."
Rachelle's Answer
Rather than finishing your answer with a willingness to learn, try focusing on the expertise that you have already gained in these 7 years. How will you add to the employer vs. take from their resources? I have offered a starter, below.
"I have seven years of experience in the field of (name your industry). Through these seven years, I have gained strong skills in (list your areas of expertise). I am eager to take this experience and knowledge and apply it to this role by (what action steps will you take to make a difference for the hiring company?)."
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3.
Tell me one thing about yourself that is not on your resume.
This question is another open-ended one where it can be easy to ramble on and on. Avoid this by preparing a couple of statements regarding what makes you a stand-out candidate, but may not be on your resume. For instance, you may want to mention some current volunteer work, an exciting hobby, your favorite books on business or leadership, a pipe-dream that you have (career-related) or even additional languages that you speak. However, you choose to reply, ensure that it remains on track with a career conversation.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"One thing that I have not included on my resume, is that I am currently attending online courses in the evenings and weekends to complete my Masters' in Accounting. My estimated graduation date is next June. I am excited to reach this milestone as the added education can only support me further in my career."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I did not include my volunteer work on my resume as there was not much room left on the document. For the past five years, I have spent every Saturday working at the local animal shelter, helping with pet adoptions. This work has taught me further software skills and has strengthened my people-facing and engagement skills as well."
Anonymous Answer
"One thing that I have not included on my resume is that I love to read books that help me grow professionally. For example, I have recently taken an interest in books involving social media marketing."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer.
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Anonymous Answer
"One thing that you would not know about me is that I love reading books — not fiction books but self-development books, such as those by Jack Canfield and Tony Robbins. I am going to a Tony Robbins conference next month."
Rachelle's Answer
Perfect! Your response shows a keen mind for self-development which any interviewer should appreciate.
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4.
What are the top duties in your current position?
A great way to prepare for your interview is to reflect on the main tasks in your current position and how that experience would make you a strong candidate for the job for which you are applying. The interviewer wants to know if you have the knowledge and skills required to be successful in this position. Make sure you are familiar with the job description before your interview! You will want to draw on that valuable information.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The top duties in my current position are to deliver exceptional customer service, attempt to upsell every existing client at every touch point, and conduct 50 outbound cold calls per week. I understand that the primary skills you are seeking are in cold calling, up-selling, and customer service. I see a great match between my current job duties and this particular position."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In my current role, being a solid organizer is the name of the game. I am the administrative support for the VP and President of the company. My day includes arranging their schedules, booking their travel, ordering lunch for meetings, and more. I do it all!"
Anonymous Answer
"Currently, my primary duties as an Implementation Team Leader and Network Engineer, I provide solutions-based customer service. I mostly handle Cisco devices (wireless, switch, router, and ASA), as well as Fortigate and Riverbed. There are many transferable skills I can bring to this position at Qatar Airways."
Lauren's Answer
Fantastic response!
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Anonymous Answer
"The top duties in my last position are analyzing and resolving complicated patient accounts, communications regarding patient accounts with various payers, collection accounts review, and refund processing."
Rachelle's Answer
This is an excellent answer, showing the interviewer all the responsibilities you could take care of in this new role.
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5.
Where did you find our job posting?
The employer would like to know what methods and resources you are using in your job search so they can determine which of their advertising methods is working best. You can expand your answer to include any other exposure you have had to the company.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I initially saw your job posting on LinkedIn. However, I have been exposed to your organization many times before through your radio commercials and advertisements on Facebook."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I've been looking at job postings on Indeed, so I believe this is where I found your job posting."
Anonymous Answer
"I sometimes scan your website for press releases and to monitor the company stock value. I usually check the career site at that time, and that is when I saw this job posting."
Rachelle's Answer
Great! This data is always helpful for companies to know which of their efforts are working the best.
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Anonymous Answer
"I found this job posting on Indeed. However, I applied for the position on the University Employment website."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer.
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6.
After reviewing our job description, are there any required skills listed that you feel you are lacking?
This question can be tough to navigate! As a potential candidate, it can be challenging to show weakness for fear the company will lose interest. When you answer this question about a skill that you feel you are lacking, explain how you plan to become stronger in that skill.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I feel I'm not as well versed in Photoshop as I would like to be, but I found some YouTube tutorials and books that can help me with this skill."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am very excited about the job description and feel my qualifications align with the type of candidate for which you are seeking. I could have stronger skills in Excel; however, I am more than happy to enroll myself in a course immediately."
Anonymous Answer
"I feel that I am not well versed in analyzing documents that would assess the effectiveness of recruitment. However, I have been strengthing this skill by researching analytics online and reading the best ways to analyze."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! This shows that you are self-aware, but you are willing to learn.
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Anonymous Answer
"I have read through the job description and feel that I have a lot of the requirements; however, I haven't done recruitment before."
Rachelle's Answer
If recruitment is one area you know you fall short, take the time to research a bit about how Gucci recruits, showing that you have an invested interest in learning. I have provided an example below.
"The job description mentioned recruitment efforts, which I understand Gucci takes on through a variety of online job ads, a robust employee referral program, and the use of third-party recruitment agencies. I am happy to learn more about your selection progress, and how to properly read a resume and interview candidates."
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7.
How do you feel this position would fit in with your long term career goals?
Before applying for any position, it’s best to have an idea of your long-term career goals, and a great sense of the potential growth the hiring company offers. This way, you can highlight for the interviewer all of the great reasons why this position will fit into your long-term goals!

Maybe you hope to be in a management position with them down the road! Whatever your reasons, be sure to provide a response that allows the interviewer to see your desire to stay with them long term.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I feel that this position fits in well with my long-term career goals because it provides the project management piece that I have been missing. I would love to become great in this role and then earn a promotion to a leadership position where I can mentor other project managers."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My primary career goal is to find a position where I can stay long term. Because your company has such a strong reputation for workplace culture, it fits perfectly with my desires for a long-term fit."
Anonymous Answer
"I feel that this position would fit my long term career goals because prospective students and families are always on social media, and it is a big way for schools to recruit new students. Today, there are many relationships that are built over social media, and it is a great way to instantly reach out to students. The number of applications received or students accepting, is a great way to determine whether that specific strategy is working."
Alexandra's Answer
Be sure to define your long-term career goal. I'm inferring from this & your other questions that it's to be in social media, but it would be good to state that here.
"My long-term career goal is to get into social media marketing. I feel this position is a good start because a lot of relationship-building and recruiting is done through social media. Social media is a great way to reach out to students instantly. Additionally, by learning what draws students to apply and attend this university, I can apply that information to a future role in social media marketing for this university if the opportunity arises."
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8.
We are quickly moving into second interviews. What is your availability like over the next few days?
This question means excellent news! If the interviewer is asking for your availability over the next few days, chances are you are moving to the next round. Try to be as flexible as possible with your availability. Finish your answer by asking for the interview!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I can make myself available at any time, with some notice. The ideal times for me to interview are between 8-9AM and 4-5PM Monday through Friday. I am very eager to move to the next round. Do you have a specific day or time in mind?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I would need to take a half day off to come in for an interview, so given a day or so notice; I can make myself available, no problem."
Anonymous Answer
"I can make myself available given notice. I am eager to move on to the next round. What does that entail?"
Rachelle's Answer
What does 'given notice' mean to you? This seems too vague to be helpful. I have offered a slight revision, below.
"I can make myself available with 24 hours notice. I am eager to move onto the next round of interviews. Could you share with me your ideal timeline for the next interview?"
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Anonymous Answer
"I am available ... this week and ... next week. I am very eager to move to the next round. Do you have a specific day or time in mind?"
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer.
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9.
Are you actively interviewing with other companies? Are you close to offer stage with anyone?
The interviewer wants to gauge better if their hiring timeline fits with your current schedule. Your answer will determine if they continue to engage with you, based on their timing and needs.

If you are actively interviewing: "Yes, I am very active in my search and have had multiple invitations to interview. Currently, I am in the second interview stage with one company and third interview stage with another."

If you are not interviewing with other companies: "I just started my search, so I am not in final interviews with any other company. I am aggressively seeking, however."
Rachelle's Answer #1
"Yes, I am very active in my search and have had multiple invitations to interview. Currently, I am in the second interview stage with one company and third interview stage with another."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am currently exploring opportunities with other organizations or similar roles. At this time, I am not at the offer stage but will keep you apprised should that change."
Anonymous Answer
"I am currently in the first stage with another company, and I am aggressively searching as well."
Rachelle's Answer
This would be a great opportunity to ask the interviewer what their hiring timeline looks like, as well as confirm why you are interested in this particular role. I have provided an example below.
"I am currently in the first stage of interviews with another company and am aggressively looking for a new opportunity. Could you share with me your hiring timeline for this role? I am very keen on this opportunity because (give your reasoning)."
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Anonymous Answer
"Yes, I am actively interviewing with one other company. I have an interview with them this week."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer.
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10.
Why did you apply for this position?
Now is the time for you to express your enthusiasm for the company, and the position to which you applied! Express your passion for your field of study or talk about how this role will provide you with the career growth you have been seeking. Be sure to compliment the company and give a strong reason why you want to work for them.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I applied for this position because I am seeking a more challenging opportunity in my field. Your job posting was especially exciting to me because your organization is well known for its unmatched level of professionalism and growth opportunities. I would be thrilled to work for your company."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Your organization is a leading player in the e-commerce space. I am an advocate of your platform and frequent shopper of your products. I think I can add a lot of value to this role and am excited to learn more about this online customer support opportunity."
Anonymous Answer
"I was delighted to see this opportunity with Qatar Airways. I have been looking for an overseas company where I can meet new people. This is an excellent opportunity that I sincerely hope I am considered for."
Lauren's Answer
This is a great and honest answer.
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Anonymous Answer
"I want to work for a company that has a global brand but still in a growth stage."
Rachelle's Answer
This is a good start, but I recommend digging deeper as this answer could be applied to many different companies. What are the top reasons that are unique to this company? What truly stood out to you in the job posting when you first saw it?
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11.
Describe a typical work day in your current role.
When you walk the interviewer through a typical workday, you are allowing them to visualize you in their position. From your answer, the interviewer will also be able to gauge if your activities match the seniority level of this position. If they are calling you for a junior role, for instance, and you let them know that you currently manage a team of 20 people, they will likely conclude that you are overqualified for the position. If you have a job description in front of you, do your best to match the list of role responsibilities with the day-to-day activities in your current, or most recent, position. Keep your answer as brief as possible. With open-ended questions like this one, it is easy to begin rambling.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"A typical work day for me includes managing a team of three junior accountants. I oversee their work and review the incoming financials. Most of the day is spent on data analysis, coaching, and reporting. I also spend some phone time with clients who may have questions regarding their monthly invoices. I see the list of responsibilities in your job posting and can confidently say that I perform most of these tasks on a weekly basis, and some of them, daily."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My average work day includes answering about 150 calls per day, 200 emails, and greeting over 300 people who visit our office in person. We are busy, yet highly efficient. When I am not performing customer-facing tasks, I am confirming appointments for the executive team and making their travel plans and schedules for the upcoming week. I believe these responsibilities align very nicely with the needs of your role."
Anonymous Answer
"A typical day at work for me involves multiple calls to existing and new landlords negotiating business points on lease extensions and communicating those business points to internal and external counsel for drafting. Writing business support documents, and completing financial models outlining new and renewal lease terms, presenting deal terms to executive management to obtain internal approvals, meeting with the general manager of the market to discuss individual deal strategy and big picture strategy for development. Coaching junior members and new hires on the team on negotiating strategies as well as edit and correcting their work as needed."
Rachelle's Answer
You have a lot of responsibilities! If there are tasks that overlap between your current role, and the one you are interviewing for, be sure to highlight those points (transferable skills count, too!).
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12.
Briefly walk me through your work history. Please include why you left each position listed on your resume.
Briefly describe your work history, starting at the least recent position. Be brief and decisive, outlining one or two main achievements in each role. Be sure to include why you left each job while maintaining a positive tone. Avoid complaining about any past jobs or previous employers.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I began my career, right out of university, with ABC Company. Spending four years there, I was able to triple my portfolio and quickly promoted to sales manager. I left that company in 2009 after being headhunted into a more lucrative role with XYZ Company. I have been with XYZ ever since!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am a recent graduate of the Business Administration program with ABC University. I completed my practicum in an administration role within an Accounts Payable department. This experience was a wonderful one for me and a big reason why I was prompted to apply for your A/P clerk position. I come with some solid references and the eagerness to start a great career."
Anonymous Answer
"During my undergrad, I had completed three internships. One was at the Ohio State House of Representatives because I wanted to be in politics. Even though I loved my time there, I knew politics was a career I did not want to pursue. My other two internships were in the field of public relations. Through both, I was able to improve my communication skills, writing skills, editing skills, and independence. I left each position because the internship had ended."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer! I would consider adding some responsibilities you held in each position and/or the impact you made in each position.
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13.
What type of manager do you best work with?
The interviewer would like assurance that you are going to get along well with the manager whom you would be reporting to in this role. There are many different management styles, and perhaps you do well with a variety of them. Tell the interviewer about your favorite manager in the past, and why you worked so well together. You should also ask the interviewer in return if they can describe the working style of the person to whom you would be reporting.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I work well with a manager who can set clear guidelines and then allow me to perform my best work. I am independent; however, I love a collaborative work environment. This best describes my current work environment. Could you share with me a bit more about the work style of the person to whom I would be reporting?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I can get along well with many different management types; however, I work best with managers who like to coach, train, and develop their staff. My current manager is not a strong leader in these ways which is why I am seeking a new opportunity. Could you describe the work style of the manager in this role?"
Anonymous Answer
"I am the type of manager that prefers action over just words. I hate when people always come unsettling and confuse other people around them."
Rachelle's Answer
Certainly, avoid the word 'hate' or excessively negative words in an interview. How can you re-frame this response to be positive? The question is asking what you best work with - not what you dislike, so there is no need to go to the dark side :)
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Anonymous Answer
"I work well with a manager who sets clear guidelines that allow me to perform my best work. Primarily a manager who is easy to talk to and one I can easily approach to ask questions. Even though I can work independently, I do enjoy working in a collaborative environment."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer!
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14.
When would you be available to start?
Before your interview, make sure you have a start date in mind for the new employer. You may need to give two weeks to your previous position. If you are unemployed, perhaps you can start right away. In either situation, be prepared with an affirmative answer.

If you are currently working, you should always show professionalism by offering two weeks' notice to your current employer. No hiring manager is ever impressed when they hear 'I can quit my job today and start tomorrow!' Show that you are professional and reliable in all situations.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am currently unemployed and am willing to start as soon as needed."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Could you share with me your ideal start date? I am happy to be flexible. However, I will need to give at least two weeks' notice to my current employer."
Anonymous Answer
"I'd be available soon enough cause right now I already resigned from my last company."
Lauren's Answer
No need to disclose your resignation.
"I am available to start as soon as possible."
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Anonymous Answer
"As soon as possible, as I currently do not have a job."
Rachelle's Answer
Try to finish up your response with a statement of interest so that it does not sound like you will take the first gig that comes along.
"I am available to start immediately. I am currently unemployed and eager to join the Gucci team."
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15.
Tell me one valuable skill that you are currently working on.
The interviewer wants to see that you are the type of employee dedicated to professional growth. Give an example of a skill that you wish to develop. Bonus points if you can tie that skill in with a talent mentioned in the job posting!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"One skill that I am currently working on is my level of proficiency in Excel. I recently tested as an Intermediate user and would like to become an advanced level user. I have enrolled in a 6-day course at the local college which begins tomorrow. I see that your job posting asks for strong Excel skills. I am confident that I can meet those expectations, and even exceed them, once my course is complete."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"That is a great question! I am currently working on developing my ability to influence without direct authority. I have an executive coach that is helping me do this through mentorship programs and peer practice groups."
Anonymous Answer
"I'm currantly starting to learn more about cloud technology and also Project management."
Lauren's Answer
Great response. I assisted with grammatical edits.
"I am currently learning more about cloud technology and ways to expand my Program Management knowledge."
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Anonymous Answer
"I have been working on improving myself as a social leader and trying to connect the team to create a sense of belonging. I focus on humility and kindness. I have participated in a kindness challenge. I have also focused on bringing a volunteering program back to our company."
Rachelle's Answer
Can you dig into the kindness challenge? It sounds interesting and could be another factor that sets you apart from competing candidates.
"I have been working on improving my skills as a social leader. This month, I have taken on the 30-Day Kindness Challenge which is a movement of kindness in the workplace. Each day, I perform one small act of kindness or generosity for someone on my team. I am learning to better connect with my team while creating a sense of belonging for all."
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Interview Questions
  1. All of our candidates must pass a criminal record check and education verification. Is there any reason why you would not be comfortable with this?
  2. How many years experience do you have in your field?
  3. Tell me one thing about yourself that is not on your resume.
  4. What are the top duties in your current position?
  5. Where did you find our job posting?
  6. After reviewing our job description, are there any required skills listed that you feel you are lacking?
  7. How do you feel this position would fit in with your long term career goals?
  8. We are quickly moving into second interviews. What is your availability like over the next few days?
  9. Are you actively interviewing with other companies? Are you close to offer stage with anyone?
  10. Why did you apply for this position?
  11. Describe a typical work day in your current role.
  12. Briefly walk me through your work history. Please include why you left each position listed on your resume.
  13. What type of manager do you best work with?
  14. When would you be available to start?
  15. Tell me one valuable skill that you are currently working on.
  16. What do you know about this position?
  17. What is the most important thing you are looking for in your next company?
  18. What is your long-range career objective?
  19. Why are you looking for a new position?
  20. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
  21. You have a few gaps in your resume. Can you explain these?
  22. How does this position fit your long-term career plans?
  23. When was the last time you helped out a coworker?
  24. Are you willing to travel?
  25. What challenges are you looking for in a position?
  26. I'm interested in knowing more about the type of work you are seeking, and your ideal workplace culture. What is your ideal position at this time?
  27. Our company is looking for a team member with flexible work hours. Are you able and willing to work overtime, as needed?
  28. Tell me more about your post-secondary education. Are you interested in expanding your education, or gaining any other certifications?
  29. Would your current employer be willing to provide a reference for you?
  30. What would you change about your current role, if you could?
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