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Via Forbes : Why These 3 Things Matter More Than Experience In The Job Interview Process

One of the biggest lies that people believe is that experience is the most important thing in the job interview process. True, experience can be vital — you wouldn’t want to hire a surgeon without the proper education and experience. But whether this interview is for your first job, or your ninth gig since 2013, there is always uncharted territory in a new opportunity. Especially if it involves changing your title or your responsibility: that’s something you haven’t done before. By definition, that expansion goes beyond your experience.

The good news is, there are stories all around us of people who have overcome their circumstances (and their experience) to create something completely new. Maybe your interview skills need to expand as well — particularly if you want to discover new results in your career. Here are three things that matter more than experience in the job interview process — and how you can leverage these insights to create a fresh career experience for yourself.

The past reminds us. It does not define us. – Unknown

  1. Trust: whether you are looking for a babysitter, a brain surgeon or a brand expert, you rely on trust more than experience. In a recent survey, PWC points out that our ability to trust is the biggest challenge that tech titans face. On a more personal level, consider the story of Tessa and Tim, a married couple with a three-year-old son. They are interested in going out with some friends on Friday, and they need a babysitter. Their next door neighbor just moved in two months ago, and she has advanced degrees in child care. She’s run a day care center for 15 years, in another state, and she’s available to babysit. Across the street is where Clarissa lives. She’s a seventeen-year-old high school senior who the couple has known since she was in grade school. Clarissa is also available to babysit. So, who do they choose? The new neighbor with tons of experience? Nope. They go with who they know: Clarissa. Because trust matters more than experience. So, trust your gut and consider how you are connected to your next employer. Look in the direction of trust: consider who knows you, and how. Leverage your connections, because relationships matter (especially as you move up within an organization). Make sure your LinkedIn profile shows that you are someone that hiring managers can trust, and reach out to your network to make sure that you are more than just qualified — you are connected to the people you need in your job search.
  2. Resourcefulness: it’s the greatest human resource. An ability to figure things out is something we all share. Your ability to identify and solve problems is the kind of experience that every employer really wants. It’s resourcefulness that leads someone to find their next job (doesn’t matter if it’s doggie day care, day-trading or Diageo — you are on a mission of discovery in the job interview process). When it comes to the experience you want to create for your job interview, consider focusing on your resourcefulness. Tell a story about how you figured something out, for yourself or for your prior company, where you created something that no one else could. Why? Because, according to PWC, 77% of CEOs are looking for creativity and innovation as the most-desired skills. Your ability to be resourceful is central to your ability to innovate – and find a creative solution for your next job interview. If you can imagine, think of your experience and education as tools. What is it that makes any tool valuable? It’s the way that you use it. How have you been resourceful in the past, leveraging your experience to innovate? Tell that story and you will go beyond experience in your job interview. Find a friend or a career coach that will help you by asking questions that go outside of your experience — so you have to think of times and situations where you demonstrated that you have the ability to figure things out. Your story may not be directly related to the job description — but solving problems is central to every job, everywhere! Those critical thinking skills are what employers really want — especially if you are going to help your next employer prepare for the future of work.
  3. Communication: in the job interview process, whoever tells the best story wins. Not by manufacturing some fiction, but by delivering resourcefulness in a way that’s authentic, trustworthy and powerful. Understand that there’s really only one thing (and one thing only) that companies want in the job interview process: solutions providers. Can you communicate the solution that you can provide? Notice carefully the wording in that last question. If it looks like a chronological tour of your resume, from birth up till yesterday, is the kind of information your employer needs, look again. Your history and experience might be informative — but are they compelling? Ask yourself some difficult questions: How does your history show that you are a solutions provider? Can you communicate, using this five-step-story process, how you overcame obstacles in the past? Can you use stories and anecdotes to help others to trust in your ability to solve current challenges — and are you ready to tackle whatever the future of work has in store for you? Communicate your resourcefulness and you will build the kind of trust that leads to job offers.

Insights into these three areas can take you beyond your experience, helping you to create a new one for yourself and your next employer. Consider how you’ve been able to figure things out so far — can you trust in what you’ve experienced? If you’ve got challenges you didn’t figure would be so difficult, maybe it’s time to get some training or coaching on how to overcome those obstacles. Because, regardless of your position, education or interests, you have the ability to be resourceful. To innovate. To tell a story that is authentic, heartfelt and compelling. Like five fingers on a hand, resourcefulness is a quality that we all have. As you reach out for that next opportunity don’t let your experience keep you from seeing all of the possibilities.

Via Forbes : On-Camera Job Interview Tips: How To Nail The Video Interview

There are five things you can do, right now, to make your next video interview your best. It’s no secret that video is the window of the world: a recent survey found that 80% of business professionals report using video conferencing for 1:1 meetings, while 78% use it to facilitate team meetings. Getting good at video in the job interview the key: making a strong impression via video is vital to your career. That’s the guidance from Gayle Wiley, an executive at Austin-based Lifesize, a leader in video conferencing technology. “At Lifesize, we conduct 90% or more of our initial candidate screens and over 50% of our follow-on interviews via video,” Gayle says.

Here are five things you can do, right now, to make your next video interview your best.

  1. What’s Your Background? Not your professional background – all of the things that are behind you in the shot! Are you standing in front of a hot mess, or a cool, calm and uncluttered background? Before signing on, test your technology and ensure that your mobile phone or any smart device is turned off to prevent any sort of unnecessary diversion. “Additionally, make sure that any pets or family members are in a different room at the time of the interview,” Gayle says. It’s critical as a job candidate to keep variables under control, decreasing the risk of any sort of disturbance or obstruction that could hinder the quality of the interview. “Giving a recruiter or hiring manager your full attention with minimal interruption is the first step towards establishing a strong connection with your potential employer.” Checking your background also means hitting every possible “Do not disturb” button on your phone, tablet or computer. Extra beeps and buzzes are a great way to share distractions – so take those disturbances out of your next video interview
  2. Eye See You: While it may seem like a minor detail, proper camera positioning goes a long way towards making a video interview feel more personal. You want to be looking straight into the camera, not giving them the full “Nostril-damus” up-your-nose shot. So put your laptop on a stack of books, and get that camera at eye-level. Neither too close or too far way is the key, according to Gayle. “The ability to see someone’s facial expressions, hand gestures and overall body language can contribute to having a meaningful human connection — even over video.” And just like when you are meeting someone IRL, the eyes have it: “Maintaining eye contact throughout the interview is also crucial for fostering connection,” Gayle says. Eye contact establishes trust and, on a non-verbal level, demonstrates subject matter knowledge. (Shifty eyes or looking away indicates uncertainty, answer-chasing, or insecurity – three things you should try to eliminate by making better eye contact). Gayle says, “It’s okay to glance at notes from time to time, but this should be infrequent; an interviewer will notice if your eyes are regularly off the screen.”
  3. Mr. Roboto Is A No-No: Simple gestures are a positive way to come across as authentically human — it’s better to make natural hand gestures over the course of an interview than to appear overly stiff or robotic on camera. But how do you do that? The answer is counter-intuitive. You improve your gestures by not focusing on your gestures. If you’re on camera wishing you were less than who you are, you will be. If you are worried about your hands instead of thinking about how you can help your next employer solve their supply chain issues in Eastern Europe, you’re concentrating on the wrong things. Your authentic message only comes across when you stop focusing on yourself, and start focusing on the service you can provide. Want an example? Watch Elon Musk deliver a presentation. Yes, dear reader, Mr. Musk has a delivery that makes my eyes and ears hurt. I want to help that guy on a so many levels, but he still hasn’t responded to my friend request on Facebook. Even if his delivery isn’t spectacular, his content – his ideas – always are. Concentrate on the service you can provide, the solution you can offer, and the needs of the company (instead of your own insecurity). Because if you’re worried about your body language, you’re not looking in the right place. Still, at the same time, it’s a good idea to practice the same kind of posture you would have if you were in the room, in person, for the interview. So, get out of that bean bag chair and demonstrate your interest from an upright position. If you can find a sit/stand desk, put it in the stand position. Why? Because you speak more authoritatively and decisively when you are standing up – that’s why they call it “thinking on your feet!”
  4. I Am A Camera: when you look at the camera, and the screen, what do you see? Yes, I know: you literally see a camera and a screen. But what if theres’ something more that you’re not seeing? It helps if you realize that you are looking at the interviewer when you look at the camera. Here’s what changes for my coaching candidates, especially the ones who appear on television speaking straight into camera: think of the camera as your friend. Consider that the interviewer, while they may not be your friend necessarily, will respond to friendliness. That friendliness is a hallmark of common courtesy and personal interaction. While you never have to smile when you are sending a text, it can be helpful to remember that smiles are part of warm human interaction – even when the humans are separated by cameras and screens. Remembering to smile when you are being asked a question can really help, in terms of building rapport. Ultimately, you’d like to give the interviewer something to smile about – like giving you the job!
  5. Air Supply: when someone is asking you a question, what are you doing? Do you ever find yourself holding your breath, as you wait to speak? A big part of my coaching work, especially with executives and leadership teams, focuses on listening skills. Often, in a high-stakes conversation, it’s easy to discover people are holding their breath! Have you ever seen the videos of the bride and groom at a wedding, where the groom has locked his knees and is unknowingly holding his breath…and he passes out at the altar? Keep the air flowing and the ideas going by remembering simply to breathe. As you are hearing a question, instead of waiting to talk, tune in to exactly what the interviewer is saying. Simply noticing your breathing can help remind you to remain present. Plus, there’s this scientific fact that can not be denied: oxygen helps your brain to work better. Breathe in on the question, and you might just find access to the answer the interviewer is looking for. Try taking a test while holding your breath. If your breathing is shallow, your answers will be too. It’s a simple reminder, but “Just breathe” is great guidance for making sure you’re engaged with the interviewer. The approach can help you to relax, be more present and tune in to what’s being asked of you. Remember, air is free, and it fuels your brain – so grab as much of it as you need!

Video can help the interviewer truly connect with the person they see on-screen. While you should thoroughly research the company and prepare responses to common interview questions for your specific industry, it’s also important to genuinely engage your interviewer. Browser-based video services like ZOOM, Webex and Lifesize Go are the tools of the trade for all types of businesses. Chances are, you’re going to be on camera before you’re on site. For more guidance on effective communication strategies, and examples of how to engage on camera, check out these YouTube videos. Your job search matters. When your career is important, minimize distractions, get eye-to-eye with your interviewer and take a deep breath. Make sure your next video interview is your best!

Via Forbes : Seven Job Interview Mistakes You Probably Don’t Realize You’re Making

Recently, I conducted 30+ job interviews over four consecutive days in a simulated recruiting exercise. I led 1:1 interview coaching sessions at a leading business school, and the set-up closely reflected a real-life recruiting environment – candidates milling about anxiously waiting for their turn, multiple interviewers hosting back-to-back appointments so we could easily compare the competition. It was the perfect environment to catch job interview mistakes in action.

That was the whole point of the exercise, of course – to make mistakes now in a coaching environment, rather than during an actual job interview with real consequences. If you are in a job search and haven’t interviewed for a while, you too should do a mock interview – you don’t want your first interview in months or years to be a real one. Even talented, diligent professionals make mistakes.

Many of these students had not interviewed in a while –you too may be out of practice. Many of these students had their minds on school assignments and deadlines – you too are likely juggling commitments outside of your job search.

If it hadn’t occurred to you to do a mock interview or to anticipate being scattered in your focus, these are mistakes you didn’t even realize you were making. Here are seven more job interview mistakes you probably don’t realize you’re making:

1 – Starting the interview late

Most candidates know to show up to a job interview a few minutes early (you do know that, right?), especially to allow time to get through building security. However, in addition to being physically on time, you need to be there mentally – i.e., looking and sounding polished from the moment the interview starts. Too many candidates start off anxious for the first few minutes – talking too fast, struggling to find their words. They may improve as the interview goes on, but that may be too late if your interviewer is turned off by those first few minutes.

2 – Wanting any job, not this one

Too many candidates talk about themselves but not necessarily in relation to the potential job at hand. Don’t assume it’s obvious that you want the job. In my 20+ years of recruiting, I have seen many candidates who are just looking to get out of their current situation and want any job, not necessarily my job. You need to talk about how you’re a fit for the specific job at hand, not just your qualifications overall. If you don’t get specific, you’re too general.

3 – Putting yourself first

Talking too much about yourself and not the job at hand is one example of putting yourself first and the company second. Another even more glaring mistake is when you talk about wanting the job solely for reasons that benefit you – you want to learn, you want the challenge. I assume that candidates say these old tropes because they believe it shows that they’re determined and have grit. However, these attributes are still you-focused – you’re going to take, I mean learn from this company, you’re going to develop yourself while you’re there. The prospective employer is just as selfish and is thinking in terms of what’s in it for them. They don’t care that you want to learn or be challenged – they want you to add value from the first day.

4 – Looking tired

Averting your eyes, slouching even just a little, and talking in a low voice all make you look tired. You don’t need to be big and loud, but you do need to show high energy. Even otherwise articulate candidates, like these top MBA students, often need to make small adjustments to how they comport themselves. You may not notice that you look down or side-to-side rather than directly at the person you’re talking to. You may be comfortable leaning back in your chair or putting your elbows on a table, but in an interview setting, it means you’re not sitting upright. You may not realize you talk too low. Record yourself, and see if you’re making the mistake of looking tired.

5 – Lacking confidence

Low energy might also be interpreted as lacking confidence. Fidgeting is another mistake that shows low confidence during job interviews. For the mock interview sessions, I kept a pad and pen on the candidate side of the desk, so students could take notes after the interview was over. Some students took the pen at the start of the interview and fidgeted with it throughout. Keep your hands to your sides if you tend to drum your fingers on the table or click your pen open and closed.

6 – Confusing the interviewer

Of course, the interview is not just about how you look (e.g., confident, energetic) but also what you say. If you’re a talented and experienced professional, you likely have several interesting roles and projects to showcase your skills, and since you lived these roles and projects, you might assume you can easily talk about them. This is an incorrect assumption! It takes preparation and practice to talk clearly and concisely about complex projects or roles with multiple responsibilities. There are many details to cover, and you’ll end up rambling if you haven’t prepared your examples in advance. You need a structure for giving comprehensive interview examples, and you need to set your examples in advance, or you will confuse the interviewer.

7 – Assuming a phone or video interview is the same as live

Even if you already incorporate all of the above tips and can ace a live interview, you still need to prepare separately for phone and video interviews. One of my strongest students over the four days came back to do additional practice, and I didn’t think he needed it – until I learned he had an upcoming phone interview and hadn’t yet practiced phone interviewing specifically. Unlike his live interviewing performance, he struggled over the phone. You lose all non-verbal cues, the ones you give and the ones you get from the interviewer. That’s a significant decrease in communication power, and it can throw you off. It also makes the content of what you say and how you speak even that much more important.

The hiring process is competitive. Small details loom large.

While these inadvertent job interview mistakes are easily overlooked, their impact looms large. You want to do everything you can to perform at your best. There are enough other reasons why even a qualified candidate doesn’t get the job. You want to feel like you did everything you could to get hired.

Via The Ladders : 6 tips to take to job video interviews like a duck to water

Job application has largely changed over time. Not that long ago, candidates could only apply to jobs that were comparatively close to their homes. Relocation seemed too complicated and insecure, and there was no Internet whatsoever to apply remotely.

Nowadays, job seeking has simplified, but it is still time and energy-consuming. The means for sending an application has changed, but so did the requirements to the employee. Candidates should pay attention not only to their professionalism but also to the way they communicate. Moreover, in many cases, live interviews have been replaced with video interviews, facilitated through platforms like VidCruiter. Some people believe it is easier to ace their video interviews compared to the live ones, but this is rather because they do not take such interviews seriously.

The fact is that to land the right job, one needs to know tricks and tips that would help with both live interviews and a video one. And these tips are different. As a result, we’ve gathered six most useful pieces of advice that will definitely help you go through a job video interview.

Check Your Internet Connection

Let’s start with something as simple as that. We know that there are situations when everything goes wrong, and your computer just gets stuck or the Internet connection breaks. You can never be 100% sure that the interview will go smoothly. There are always technical details. However, you should really invest your time in minimizing such risks.

Believe it or not, but failure to hold an interview because of the tech issues really annoy employers. Thus, if you can test your Internet speed, signal quality, etc., do it beforehand. It is better to have several options in mind if something goes wrong.

Create Your Own Environment

The weird thing is that the majority still takes video interviews less seriously compared to live ones. However, this is the wrong approach. Many companies do not want to waste their and your time for all the formalities associated with real-life interviews. Utilizing tech and special platforms, they can interview more people saving more resources.

Thus, this is about time you took your next video interview seriously.

To create a perfect environment, you need to find a place you feel most comfortable about. Take care of the background that will be visible to your counterpart. Ensure that your lighting is okay, and it makes your face clearly visible.

Do Not Distract

Turn off all notifications and sounds that can distract you from the conversation you will have. It includes both your computer and the phone. Nothing really spoils the interview more than constant beeps from your devices. If you want to make it through the interview successfully, turn off the outer world for 45 min. The usual interview takes around 20–30 min, so you will not be out for long.

Take Time to Prepare

This advice is similar to the one that may be given for any live interview. For your video interview, you need to prepare as much as you would do for a real-life one.

Be sure that you will be asked some typical questions as well as some unconventional ones. It is a good idea to research some common queries and prepare your unique answers.

Do some research on the company you apply for, including its mission, vision, goals, staff, and achievements. Your answers should be more or less in line with the values of the company. Also, be ready to answer questions about your past experience, personal traits, and character, even if you’d better keep silent about those.

You can also be asked to imagine a situation from the future if you get the job. Your task would be to describe a scenario of how you handle tasks or manage stress.

Watch Your Gestures

Your body language tells a lot about you, especially to HRs who had tons of interviews already. If you know that you are usually nervous at interviews, and, for example, your shaking hands or chaotic gestures give you in, consider the behavior in advance.

You can go as far as to try to hide shaking hands from your interviewer. At least you have such an opportunity at a video interview.

Try to keep positive body language making your counterpart comfortable talking to you. It is better to smile when there is a chance.

Also, use the time to showcase your personality to establish a better connection with the interviewer. You can make jokes if they are universal, and you are sure the counterpart will understand them.

Dress Up Professionally

One of the mistakes interviewees often make is that they do not take their image seriously. The way you dress for the interview sends a message about your professionalism as well.

It is wrong to assume that for a face-to-face interview you should wear a suit, but for a video one, you can do with a T-shirt. There are equal standards for both types of interviews. Thus, take care of what your counterpart sees on their screen while talking to you.

Final Words

Job video interviews are likely to become routine because of their convenience and efficiency. They are more comfortable for both sides.

An employer has a chance to interview more people, while an employee-to-be can arrange the best conditions for themselves, also saving their time and efforts. However, it is essential that candidates understand that video interviews are now equal to live ones. They require preparation that includes not only professional knowledge but also the environment and some tech aspects.

To ace in such an interview, you need to invest as much time and effort in getting yourself ready as in the live interview, if not more.

Via Forbes : 5 Types Of Questions You Should Ask In A Job Interview

It’s just as important for you to ask questions at the end of a job interview as it is for you to answer them. These questions will help you gain more insight into what working at the company is really like, as well as learn about culture and team dynamics.

Company Culture:

Company culture is an important factor to consider when you’re choosing a job, and the best way to learn more about it is to ask. Pay attention to both the hiring manager’s answers and the way they speak about the company. Are they reluctant to answer culture questions or are they happy to answer them? Does it seem like they’re speaking genuinely or are they simply repeating a dialogue? These are signs to pay attention to, because actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to company culture.

  • How would you describe the company culture in one or two words?
  • What’s the company culture like?
  • Can you tell me more about the work environment?

Interview the Interviewer:

Interviewing the interviewer offers you insight into the company culture without directly asking about it.

  • What’s your favorite part about working for the company?
  • How long have you been with the company?
  • How is this company different from previous companies you’ve worked for?

People and Team Dynamics:

You want to get to know something about the people you’ll be spending you time with before you start working, so these questions will help you get a better feel for what the workplace dynamics are like.

  • Who will I be working most closely with?
  • What can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with or managing?
  • Is work often done collaboratively or is it more independent?

Clarifying Questions:

This is a great opportunity to clarify anything that came up during the interview that you’re not 100% sure about.

  • You mentioned X in the interview, can you explain that more in depth for me?
  • The next step will be an interview with the department manager, correct?

Next Steps:

Before you walk out of the room, make sure that you know what comes next and how the process works.

  • What are the next steps in the interview process?
  • When can I expect to hear back from you?
  • Is there anything else I can provide for you?

Questions and topics to avoid:

There are only a few questions and topics that you should avoid in an interview. Never ask about time off or vacation policy, no matter how important it is to you. Don’t ask about salary or benefits – it’s too soon to be discussing those things and the hiring manager wouldn’t answer those questions anyway. Questions about working from home should also be avoided, unless that’s something that’s part of the job listed on the application. Lastly, avoid asking any questions that can be answered by a simple google search.