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Interviews

Via CNBC : Coronavirus is spurring remote hiring. Here’s how to nail your job interview from afar

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip economies across the globe, few industries have been left untouched by the fallout, and that’s having huge implications not only for the workforce but also the recruitment process.

Some companies have moved to freeze hiring until the economic impact of the virus is made clear, but many others are continuing to recruit in a bid to prevent a business slowdown.

Indeed, in some instances the virus has sparked new demand for professions related to infectious diseases, according to jobs site Glassdoor, which has recorded a more than doubling of job postings with keywords related to coronavirus this month, particularly within the government, healthcare, biotech and pharmaceuticals.

However, measures aimed at containing the outbreak, such as social distancing and work from home policies, have required companies to get creative with their recruitment processes, and many are turning to virtual methods, such as video conference calls.

Tech giants Google, Amazon and Facebook, as well as recruiters PageGroup and Robert Walters, are among the global companies to announce a move to online job interviews for the duration of the outbreak. Video conferencing apps, including WeChat Work, Zoom and Slack, have risen nearly fivefold since the start of the year.

“In an effort to reduce some of the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, companies are turning to technology to maintain business continuity during this time of uncertainty,” Glassdoor’s community manager, Jo Cresswell, told CNBC Make It.

The move is not unprecedented. In addition to a general uptick in video interviews over recent years, thanks to advances in technology, previous periods of economic and social duress have prompted a spike in remote hiring, for instance during the 2008 global financial crisis.

“We saw rapid growth of interviewing technology during the last recession, which is why I’m not surprised we’re starting to see a spike in interest from hiring teams during the coronavirus outbreak,” noted Peter Baskin, chief product officer of remote recruitment platform Modern Hire.

It does, however, mark a new era for interviewers and interviewees. Many who are used to in-person interviews will have to switch to virtual screening processes for the first time and figure out new ways to best convey themselves and their companies online.

CNBC Make It spoke to the the experts from Glassdoor and Modern Hire to find out their top tips for getting the virtual job interview right.

Advice for candidates

  • Test your tech — Make sure your internet connection and video conferencing program are both working well prior to your interview.
  • Dress appropriately — Dressing for success is no less important for remote interviews. Dress smartly, like you would for an in-person interview, and ensure your surroundings are tidy.
  • Be prepared — Do your homework just as you would for any other interview, rehearsing your responses to key interview questions and preparing your own questions for the interviewer.
  • Be personable — Make eye-contact, smile often and generally engage with the interviewer to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role.
  • Remove distractions — Ensure you’re fully engaged with the interviewer by removing all distractions, including your smartphone.
  • Follow-up — Send a follow-up note to your interviewer, thanking them for their time.

Advice for interviewers

  • Be prepared — Familiarize yourself and other interviewers with the candidate’s resume and the job description to give the virtual interview the formality of an in-person one. Likewise, keep the candidate informed on who they’ll be interviewing with so they can prepare questions of their own. And, of course, check your tech.
  • Have a strategy — Think carefully about the skills and attributes you’re looking for in a candidate and design questions that dig into each one.
  • Communicate openly — Keep candidates well-informed at each stage of the interview process. Without being able to give them a warm, in-person reception, it’s especially important to show them their time and efforts are valued.
  • Remove distractions — Be respectful to the candidate and position yourself away from distractions, including your smartphone, as you would in an in-person interview.
  • Reinforce employer brand — Ensure interviewers at all stages of the recruitment process convey a consistent message about the company’s mission and values.
  • Give the candidate time — Pause to ensure the candidate is done with their response, before moving onto the next question to account for time lags and lack of usual social cues.

Via Fortune : How to answer the dreaded ‘tell me about yourself’ in job interviews

On anyone’s list of the trickiest questions in a job interview, the simple (and ubiquitous) request to “tell me about yourself” would have to rank among the most dreaded—right up there with, “What’s your greatest weakness?” and “Why did you lose your last job?”

It’s not that talking about oneself is hard to do. In fact, it can be so much fun that the tough part is knowing what to leave out. And that’s the problem, according to Fran Berrick, whose firm, Spearmint Coaching, has advised executives at Procter & Gamble, Unilever, LVMH, and elsewhere. The question is “so open-ended you could drive a truck through it,” Berrick notes. “So people really struggle with it.”

Although “tell me about yourself” may seem like a harmless-enough icebreaker, there are at least two common ways to blow it. The first is by giving your interlocutor a recap of your resume. “They’ve already read that, and so they have a pretty good idea of your credentials and experience, or you wouldn’t be sitting there,” says Berrick.

The second way to mess up is by talking about your personal life. In our social-media-steeped culture, the lines between private and professional sometimes blur, but resist the urge to share anything unrelated to the job at hand. An HR manager for a Fortune 500 company recently told Berrick that a candidate, invited to describe herself, launched into a thorough account of what she and her family did on their last vacation. She didn’t get the job.

So what exactly are interviewers hoping that “tell me about yourself” will reveal? Two things, Berrick says: Whether you’re likely to be great at the job you’re applying for, and how you’re likely to fit into the company’s culture. Sounds straightforward enough, but what you say will be most effective if it takes just 60 to 90 seconds and if, in that brief span of time, you come across as “succinct, authentic, and engaging.”

Clearly, this is going to take some careful preparation. Here are the 3 steps Berrick recommends:

1. Create a narrative

Do enough homework beforehand, on the role and the company, to form a fairly detailed idea of what success in this job would look like. Then think back over your career so far and find instances where you made the best use of your talents.

“Let’s say you identify yourself as a positive, results-driven salesperson,” says Berrick. “Give a specific example, along with a few words about how you see yourself adding similar value at this company.” The same approach goes for “any other trait you want to highlight, like analytical skills or effectiveness as a team player,” she says, adding that putting a 90-second limit on your remarks is not only a good way to stay focused, but also “gives the interviewer just enough information to make him or her want to continue the conversation.”

2. Make your answer consistent with your brand

Intentionally or not, each of us has a personal brand—the overall picture of our professional accomplishments, goals, values, and reputation. A resume is the most obvious place to sum up all of that, but sites like LinkedIn matter, too. Invited to “tell me about yourself,” keep your answer in line with the information about you that’s already out there in cyberspace.

That’s not to say you can’t emphasize different aspects of your brand, depending on who’s asking. “With a recruiter, you might stress specific job skills,” says Berrick, while “in an interview with a C-suite person, especially a CEO, you can talk more about the view from 1,000 feet—for instance, how you see yourself fitting into the company’s mission.”

3. End with a question

To finish up your 60-to-90-second narrative, ask something. Berrick recommends, “Can you tell me a bit about the kinds of people who are most successful here?” This not only gives you a clue as to the culture you’d be getting into if you’re hired, and whether you’d be likely to thrive in it, but “it helps you end your story,” says Berrick. “That can be hard for some people.” No one wants to keep an interview going for more than it’s necessary.

Via The HR Digest : Internship Interview Questions You’re Likely To Be Asked

Have an interview for the internship of your dreams? Its time you prepare and are aware of the potential questions to be asked in an internship interview.

An employer always expects an intern to be a productive and creative member of the team. As an intern, you would be engaged in projects and tasks. You will also get an excellent learning environment where you would learn the nuances of the field and the profession. In an interview for the internship, the employer would mostly ask the necessary questions to know more about the candidate, the experience, and how the candidate handles different work situations. Some of the questions and internship interview tips include the following:

Why are you interested in this Internship/ Company/ Industry?

This question is asked to evaluate the expectations of the candidate and career goals and see whether they align with the company.

What Skills or Experiences do you hope to Gain?

This internship interview question is asked to evaluate the skills and knowledge base of the candidate. The employer looks forward to knowing the experience, passions as well as values of the candidate.

What’s the Best Team you’ve been a Part of, and what is your Ideal Team?

A team can be of any size and shape. The interviewer wishes to know the size and activities of the team and the role the candidate played in it. The interviewer would evaluate the way the candidate works with others so that they can assign you to a proper team in the company.

Tell us a Situation where you took Initiative or a Leadership Role

This internship question for the interview lets the employer know if the candidate is a person with a drive and what motivates the person.

Tell us an Assignment or Project you were a Part of

The interviewer, through this question, wants to know how the candidate does a task. The question is not about the result, and it is about the methods and techniques applied to complete the assignment. The interviewer would want to understand the process of how the candidate tackles tasks.

What’s one Challenge you’ve faced, and how did you Overcome it?

The question lets the interviewer know if the candidate is adaptable and how they deal with challenges, mistakes, and failures on the work. This question would make the interviewer know about the attributes of the candidate.

Tell us a Time you had to learn something completely new

The internship interview question is an important one and lets the interviewer understand whether the candidate is a learner and is open to learning and knowing new things on the job. A closed-minded candidate is hard to work with; they are not open to learning new things and techniques of the work, which hinders progress in the job. An open-minded eager to learn candidate is a favorite of every employer. Employers also look forward to someone willing to develop a new skill or accept a new assignment for the good of the team.

Can you tell us a Project or Accomplishment you’re Proud of, and Why?

This question is to know about the accomplishments of the candidate. It gives the candidate to showcase the achievements of the person and laurels attained in previous work and studies.

Do you have any Questions for us?

This internship question for interview is asked at the end. The interviewer wants to analyze the participation of the candidate in the conversation. It also gives the chance to know and enquire about the company they have applied to. It also provides an opportunity for employer to see if the candidate has researched before coming for the interview.

Via Forbes : The 4 Trick Questions In Every Job Interview And How To Answer Them

Why do they ask questions in a job interview? On the surface, the answer seems simple: because the interviewer wants to know more about you, right? The company wants to know about your background, your experience, your thought processes—and the way you handle pressure. But not all interview questions are designed for your success. Some questions are designed to disqualify the unqualified. And if you aren’t skilled in the art of conversation, you’re immediately at a disadvantage. Because in the job interview process, whoever tells the best story wins. Here’s how to make sure you see a trick question when it shows up – and what you can do to make sure you don’t give the wrong answer – when the stakes are high.

1. “So, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?” Surprisingly, this simple question is deceptively difficult, because it is cloaked in misdirection. On the surface, it seems like an invitation to begin speaking about yourself, right? But that’s why it’s a trick question. People ask about you, but what they want to know is: what can you do for me? And by extension: how does your story serve this company? If you take this trick question at face value, you might decide to wax on about your experience from birth until yesterday, winding through a narrative yarn that includes your college GPA as well as your latest work experience. Stop. Right. There. Don’t fall into a first-person trap where you are talking only about yourself. Make sure you connect your story to the most important person in the room—that’s your interviewer—because if you’re not talking about what you can do for them, and for this company, you’re not sharing the story that really matters. Concentrate on connection: what would happen if you could make the second person first? The second person is “you” (your interviewer, I mean). How could your experience impact the person right in front of you, and the company you want to hire you? Make that connection and it will pull you right out of this trick question trap.

2. “What Can You Tell Me About Your Favorite Boss?” This warm fuzzy question is tricky, especially if you’ve been fortunate to work for a great boss. Here’s what most people don’t see coming: the follow up. What about your least-favorite boss? That question is on the way, and it’s a sucker punch if you aren’t ready. Why? Because you might be inclined to trash your worst boss, slinging mud in the direction of the clown you worked for at a painful employer. The problem is, when you sling mud in a job interview, you’re the only one who ends up getting dirty. There are certain characteristics that made your bad boss difficult. But this question doesn’t ask you for a dossier on his or her psychology, preferences or management style. Because talking about your bad boss (or your best one) is really revealing what it is that you will and won’t tolerate. You are talking about your working style, your values, your work ethic and your style as an employee. Not the good or bad of your last boss! Focus there, like a boss—because your last bad manager is probably still a jerk. The only way to move forward in the interview is to get clear on how you want to serve your next boss, now.

3. “What is your greatest weakness?” Looks like this trick question is trying to get you to admit your faults and flaws, right? But actually that’s how the trick works. There’s a question behind the question—and you have to see that question if you’re going to answer in a way that serves you best. The question behind “What’s your greatest weakness?” is really: how self-aware are you? Once I was working with a client on his elevator pitch (a short introduction to a person, product or idea). He started off with, “I’m nine shades of awesome. Which color do you want first?” Everything has a front and a back. Every person has strengths and weaknesses. If you can’t admit that you’re not nine shades of awesome, that might be your biggest weakness right there.

4. “Our policy on X is Y. How do you feel about that?” The trap in this trick question is incomplete information. If they really want to trip you up, they’ll ask you what you would change about the policy. Uh oh. If you rush in to answer immediately, you will be reminded of who rushes in: fools. Fools rush in. Do you fully understand the policy, and the potential impact? If you are presented with incomplete information, the trick is for you to remember to ask questions before you give your answers. Otherwise, you’ll answer a question that no one has asked—because you don’t know the full story! Get curious and do a little detective work; that way you won’t get tricked or trapped.

Remember, the job interview isn’t an interrogation. It’s a conversation. These trick questions aren’t designed to trip you up, but if you don’t look at the question behind the question you’ll stumble nonetheless. Concentrate on how your background can serve your next employer and don’t waste time trashing the personality differences between you and your bad boss. These kinds of questions give you a chance to demonstrate your work ethic, integrity and personal style—phrased in terms of your next opportunity. Share that story in a way that’s authentic and compelling, and you’ve mastered every trick in the book.

Via The Ladders : This is what to include in a follow-up email after an interview

The job application and follow-up process have changed so drastically over the past few years that it’s nearly impossible to advise using a standard approach for any of it. So, using a universal the template that takes you through the template of a thank you followed by an appreciation for the meeting and conversation and ending with your interest in the position might feel a bit stale or expected to the recruiter or interviewer.

Try to spend a bit more time on your follow-up email, even if all it serves to do is distract you for a while and remind you of just how good you are at what you do.

Personalize the process: “When using email throughout and after the interview process, it’s important to remember that hiring managers are people too—they all have different personalities, and they all work for companies with different cultures and expectations around professional comportment,” said William Ratliff, Senior Career Services Manager at Employment BOOST, a professional career services, and outplacement firm.

Pay attention to tone: If the interviewer is a stickler for proper grammar and prefers to be addressed as Mr. Hiring-Manager rather than Joe, you probably don’t want to start your email without even an initial greeting and salutation. Conversely, if you showed up to the interview in a three-piece-suit and the hiring manager was wearing faded jeans, you need to use your follow-up note to show them that not only are you brilliant and capable, you can easily adapt to the corporate environment. For that reason, Ratliff explains that “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach,” to write a follow-up email. “Instead, adapt your tone to that of the interviewer. While you’ll want to be a little more formal than they are, you’re fine to drop the Dear Ms. Smith and replace it with a Hi, Samantha. Meet them on their level while maintaining your professionalism.”

It’s fine to follow-up on the follow-up: Instead of fretting and obsessing, feel free to check in again and see if there’s something else you could or should be doing while you wait to hear if you have another interview or got the gig. “If more than a week and a half has passed, it doesn’t hurt to send a brief check-in email,” Ratliff said. And don’t feel uncomfortable about it at all. “There’s no reason to be coy or to dance around the purpose of your email. Ask them if they have a rough timeline in mind for advancing candidates and offer to send additional information if they need it.” And then leave it at that. “Don’t send multiple follow-up emails for the check-in, and make sure a decent amount of time has passed.”

Don’t take any of it personally: Unless you messed up spectacularly, don’t take the silence personally and allow yourself to be proactive about the communication. The person who interviewed you is probably juggling a million commitments. “They’re likely busy, but they’ll understand if you’re checking in after a whole week or so.”

Keep it simple: This isn’t the time to expand on your ability to speak 17 languages by listing each and every one of them including pig Latin, instead, brevity is the order of the day. “Keep the email brief—while you can mention your interest in the role or that you enjoyed the interview, keep things concise,” Ratliff advised. Besides, “The longer your email, the less likely the hiring manager will want to deal with it.”

Don’t be too cocky: We all know that you’re the best candidate for the job, but you don’t want to sound like you’re too in love with yourself. “Don’t use the email for things you forgot in the interview, and don’t come off as presumptuous,” Ratliff warns. And in case you didn’t realize it by now, “It’s not very likely that the content of the email will make the difference,” for that reason “being too verbose can be seen as insecure or overly aggressive.”

Know when to move on: I recently received an email from someone distressed to have been ghosted right in the middle of the selection process. Ratliff explains that “If the company has gradually lost contact with you or ghosted you completely, it’s best to move on.” Sadly, the interview process is “not that different from dating—you can’t force a connection if it isn’t there and dwelling on the past won’t help you move into your future. Companies will not generally provide you with details regarding why they’re not proceeding with your candidacy; instead, it’s better to take the hint and keep on looking.”

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