16 ways to improve your next job interview
Via ABC : Most of the world’s population spends a third of their life at work, but many of us aren’t all that satisfied with our jobs. Scott Spark has spent months researching how to make our working lives better. The first step? Getting the right people in the right positions.
First impressions do not indicate likely performance in a job, referees are biased, and a lot of questions are only asked to make interviewers feel clever. So how do you find out whether a job is right for you? And how do employers improve their strike rate of finding the best person? Here are the top tips I picked up while researching my new series, WorkLife.
When you’re looking for a new job
1. Don’t wait until you’re 100 per cent ready for a job—apply when you’re 70 per cent. That way you’ll want it more, you’ll be challenged and more satisfied.
2. Arrive on time for your job interview. It sounds simple, but really makes a difference. Arrive late and you’ll look tardy; arrive early and you’ll seem impatient.
3. The most effective way to describe your achievements is to express how you accomplished X by doing Y as measured by Z.
4. Do what you can to find out what it’s really like to work at the company before you sign on. Ask around, search online—this will enable you to engage more deeply in the interview and avoid any nasty surprises if you end up getting the job.
5. During the interview, ask lots of questions about what the organisation is trying to achieve: What are the traits of those people who succeed here? Where do you see this organisation five years from now?
6. Ask questions about how the organisation invests in career development so you can understand what your future options will be if you get the job.
7. Don’t shy away from conversations about pay. Most organisations will expect to pay you more than what you were earning in your last job.
8. Be brave (and yourself).
When you’re hiring new people
1. Know where the gaps are in your organisation and what you’re aiming to achieve with this new hire. How do they fit into your overall strategy?
2. Hiring by committee will immediately improve your recruitment process. Ensure that whoever does the interview doesn’t make the final decision. This keeps standards high and avoids people being hired just to serve personal needs.
3. Don’t trust your gut as an interviewer. It might feel right, but it’s so wrong. Google’s senior vice president of people operations, Laszlo Bock, told me this one.
4. Job interviews are only useful if they’re standardised. Ask the same thing of all applicants and apply the same evaluation methods to each applicant. This reduces unconscious bias.
5. Don’t make hiring decisions based on where people went to school or what grades they achieved. Fancy credentials don’t mean someone will perform well at work.
6. The most reliable predictor of performance is a sample work test.
7. Ditch brainteasers like ‘How many golf balls would fit inside a 747?’ They tell you nothing about how someone will perform in a job.
8. Keep questions simple: ‘Tell me about a time your behaviour had a positive impact on your team.’ ‘Tell me about a time you had difficulty working with someone.’ ‘Give me an example of when you were wrong and how you dealt with that.’ These will elicit far more useful insights.
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