Archive for the ‘Interview Tips’ Category
Too many candidates mistakenly believe that being called in for an interview is being guaranteed a position — nothing could be further from the truth!
You might be the last person on a short list of candidates. Your skills, knowledge, and abilities are good, but perhaps not a perfect match for the company. However, the hiring manager is interested enough to meet with you and allow you to sell yourself to the company.
How do you do that? Preparation – preparation – preparation.
- Know how to dress. If you’re not familiar with the company culture, visit its website or offices during work hours to see how staff dress. No matter how casual they may be, the key is for you to look professional—you’re not on staff yet.
- Do extensive research about the company. Know what they’re about. Nothing’s worse for a hiring manager than to interview someone who hasn’t a clue what their company offers.
- Compose a list of questions about the company that indicates your interest in its products and services, the position itself, and the company and department culture. No more than 3 or 4 questions. Any more than that and your prospective employer might think you’re going to be “high maintenance” always coming to them with questions.
- Prepare a list of answers to the most frequently asked interview questions. For example: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
- Practice, practice, practice. Make certain your voice and body language don’t give away your anxiety.
- Calculate travel time. Know how long it will take to get to your interview so you arrive on time.
The part of the hiring process known as the interview is something that scares most people to death. It doesn’t have to if you have thought of prospective questions before hand and prepared yourself accordingly and also thought of some questions you may have for the interviewer.
Here is a brief list. We kept it brief because the list could be four pages long if we so desired, however you would not read it and it would be very frightening. So we pared it down to the most likely ones:
- How would you describe yourself?
- To be successful in this career, what do you think it takes?
- Do you have the qualifications and personal characteristics necessary for success in your chosen career?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your long-term goals and objectives?
- What major problem have you handled recently? Did you resolve it? How?
- What characteristics do you think make a manager successful?
- Why did you apply to our company?
- How do you approach critical assignments?
- If you had to think on your feet to solve a difficult situation, what would you do?
- Why were you fired?
- What steps do you take before making an important decision?
- Name the most difficult assignment you had and how you finished it.
- What kind of supervisor do you prefer?
As you can see, the questions are open-ended, not allowing for a simple yes or no answer. The more you talk, the more the hiring authority learns about you. That’s why you need to be prepared before you utter one word. Each answer must be crafted carefully to maximize your chances of being hired. You can become more prepared for interview questions and answers by looking online there are several great interview resources like Resumeindex.com and Monster.com
With shopping, vacations and just the general desire to avoid stress during this jolly time of year, the holidays may be a tempting time to take a break from the job search. Nobody’s hiring during the holidays—who is going to look at your resume if everyone is on vacation, right?
Forget all the myths surrounding the holiday job search. ‘Tis the season to land a job and bring a little extra holiday cheer into your lives. Here’s how:
1. Your Competition is at the Mall
Many people believe that no one hires between Thanksgiving and the middle of January. That couldn’t be further from the truth—lots of companies are finalizing their budgeting for the following calendar year, and making hiring decisions accordingly – IN SPITE OF WHAT YOU READ IN THE NEWSPAPER.
While it may be the season of good will, there’s nothing wrong in taking advantage of others’ misguided beliefs: many drop their job search for the period, crowding department stores and leaving the career path completely open for those smart enough to take advantage of the situation. Not all those with the power to hire are on vacation, so get those resumes out there as often as possible and let others miss out on the opportunities that presented themselves.
2. Take Advantage of the Holiday Cheer
We all know that most jobs don’t even make it to the job boards—they are either filled internally or through word of mouth recommendations. Holidays give you a great excuse to check in with your network and find out what might be available. Get your foot in the door with an informational interview, especially at a time when everyone is in the holiday spirit. The positive vibes will only enhance the mood and make the process a little less stressful and more rewarding. Whether you get the job during December or early next year, the holidays are the perfect time to position yourself as the right person for the job.
3. Holiday Cards are Not Just for Loved Ones
There’s more to the job search than submitting your resume for every opening you find. It’s about maintaining your contacts and keeping your name top of mind with those involved in the hiring process. So when you are mailing those holiday cards out, take the time to send some holiday well-wishes to those in your professional network—especially to that one guy who called you in June and said, “It was down between you and another candidate and we felt he fit our current needs better at this time.” A correspondence to touch base, discuss holiday plans and send well-wishes may spark a memory of how well-received you were earlier in the year, and the idea that you’d be a perfect fit for that position that just opened up. Maybe your resume needs some help, or maybe lots of help. Get it in shape BEFORE you need it.
4. Companies Make New Year’s Resolutions Too
Everyone starts out with high hopes for the coming year; and every company will want to start off 2011 with a bang. In order to get the ball rolling, they will want to hire in December and spend the remainder of their budget for 2010 in the process. The end of the year is the perfect time to spend what’s left–why shouldn’t that extra budget item be you?
5. Parties are Networking Opportunities
If all else fails, take advantage of holiday gatherings involving friends and/or family. You never know who will be there, and it may open up some opportunities for you to make a good impression. Make sure to have a good time, share your job search story without coming across as desperate or pushy, and try to meet as many new people as possible while solidifying your existing relationships. And whatever you do, don’t drink too much or ruin someone else’s experience with a sob story. Do all of that and you just might bump into the contact who follows up when she says: “email me your resume when you get a chance and I’ll see what I can do.” At the very least, these parties allow you to sharpen up your networking skills. And those will come in handy at all those future interviews that will come up because you remained persistent with your job search while everyone else was out making snow angels.