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Posts Tagged “Interview tips”

Via WKBW : An interview is your first opportunity to make an impression with a Hiring Manager. From the moment you walk into the building, you want to make sure that you put your best foot forward with every interaction, from the Parking Attendant to the CEO.

Always remember that an interview is a two-way street and you should interview the interviewer as much as they interview you (yes – YOU are also an Interviewer). The interview is your opportunity to show the Hiring Manager that you are the best person for the job, and it is your opportunity to see if the Hiring Manager and the Organization will be a fit for you! You want to walk out of that interview feeling like a Rockstar, right? There is a lot that you need to do to ensure you are prepared to ace that interview, which begins well before the start of the interview.

Preparation is key

It amazes me how many people do not prepare for an interview. Recently, I was talking with a top Executive in Buffalo about the lack of preparation they have seen in candidates during an interview. This Executive mentioned that they were interviewing MBA graduates from Ivy League Colleges and these candidates did not come prepared to the interview. What does being unprepared mean to that Executive? The candidates did not bring copies of their resumes, they were not prepared with questions for the interviewer, they did not know anything about the company, and the candidates were not dressed in a suit, which would have been the appropriate attire for the type of position they were interviewing for. Lack of preparation can happen at any level, whether a VP role or entry level role, and will prevent great candidates from getting the job offer.

Be on time

It is so important to be on time for your interview. You do not want to arrive too early – if you are there more than 15 minutes early, please wait in your car or a public place until it is 10-15 minutes before your interview time. Take this additional time to get your mind ready for your interview and do some last-minute preparation.

Rule of Thumb:

· In-Person Interview: Arriving 10-15 minutes early for your interview is the sweet spot. It will give the Receptionist, or HR Professional, time to get you situated in the interview room before the interview commences.
· Phone Interview: Call promptly at the designated time or be prepared to receive the call, depending on the instructions from the Hiring Manager. Calling early will interrupt the interviewer’s timeline and be a negative note in your interview folder.

Bring extra copies of your resume

Do not assume that the interviewer knows your work history off the top of their head, so make sure that each interviewer has a copy of your resume in front of them. It is important to bring a copy of your resume for each person that you will be interviewing with and a few extras. If you impress the Hiring Manager, you never know who else they might want you to meet. Have a copy of your resume in front of you, as well, so that you can reference it, as needed. You can go the extra mile by bringing a professional portfolio with you to the interview. Stock this with extra copies of your resume, any professional documents or projects you worked on, reference letters, and note paper.

Take notes during the interview

Do not be afraid to take notes during your interview. Remember the interview is a two-way street, so it is important for you to take down all the information that you can about the job, the Company, the Hiring Manager, and the team. This is a fantastic way to reference things that were discussed during the interview and to ask any follow up questions. Insider Tip- it always bodes well for you when you write things down that the hiring manager is saying, such as, answers to your questions or important information about the job you that want to remember. It shows you are interested and listening!

Have questions to ask

Make sure you have questions prepared and ready for the interviewer. Research the company, the culture, the position, and the person you are interviewing with. Research the industry, company clients, competitors, and find any relevant recent news. It is important to do as much research as possible so that you can formulate questions that are relevant to the position and the company. The worst thing you can do is not have any questions prepared for the interviewer!

Be Polite

There is a Proverb that says, “Politeness costs nothing.” Use your manners, be polite, and be respectful to everyone you encounter at the company. You could be on the elevator with the CEO or Owner of the company, so remember to acknowledge and be friendly to everyone – you never know who you might be interacting with.

I have been at interviews where they took into consideration how you interacted with the receptionist, while you were in the waiting room. This company wanted to make sure that you treated everyone politely and with respect, no matter what level. Customer Service is extremely important to them, so that was the first (hidden) test. It is a smart idea to make small talk with those you encounter. It is a great way to shake off some nerves and begin to establish rapport.

Practice your handshake

Never underestimate the power of a handshake. A strong, firm handshake goes a long way – just make sure not to crush the other person’s hand! A limp, ‘dead fish handshake’ typically does not make a great first impression. Practice your handshake with friends and family. Make sure people say that it is strong, secure, and not uncomfortable for the other person. Make sure to look the other person in the eyes as you shake their hand and smile! Often, the handshake is the first connection between two individuals, so make sure it is a good one.

Dress for success

I am a big fan of the phrase “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Unlike our MBA friends referenced above, not every job requires a suit, but you always should look professional. This is your first opportunity to make a great face-to-face impression, so you want to make sure that you look your best. If you are applying for a professional position in a business or corporate setting, you should always wear a suit, regardless of the level of the position you are interviewing for. If you are applying for a position that is more creative in nature, then definitely dress to show off your flair, but still keep it professional.

Always follow up

The more you prepare, the more confident you will feel going into an interview. Don’t miss out on a terrific opportunity or your Dream Job because you missed something simple.

Via New Indian Express : Want to bag your dream job? Follow these interview tips!

Not only is it important to sell yourself during the interview, but you also need to make sure you stand out.

What is it that you need to do to make sure you give of your best during an interview?

Selling yourself is one way to impress any recruiter. How can you do this? In short, it’s how you look, how you behave, and how you answer that matters.

Not only is it important to sell yourself during the interview, but you also need to make sure you stand out.

Here’s how:

Body Language: This plays a very important role during your interview. When you meet with prospective employers, offer a firm handshake, with one or two pumps from the elbow to the hand. It’s a good way to illustrate your confidence and start the interview off on the right note.

Open gestures, smiling and nodding, and also mirroring the expressions and movements of the other person are some things you could do to project confidence.

Eye contact suggests you’re truthful, engaging and approachable. It imparts a sense of intimacy and confidence in your interactions and makes the other person feel more positive and connected to you. However, too much eye contact can mean dominance, lack of respect or threat. On the other hand, too little eye contact can be perceived as lack of attention, insecurity, impoliteness, shyness.

Dress: Clothes do make a difference in how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. It’s all about feeling good, looking poised, being self-assured and having a confident posture in all situations. Make sure you dress comfortably and rehearse your walk and sitting in the outfit. Avoid loud colours and flashy accessories; these could be very distracting for the interviewer. Wear clean and ironed clothes.

Answer to impress: If you’ve attended an interview recently, chances are high you were asked some version of “Tell me about yourself”. Despite the near certainty of this question, candidates often struggle to provide a good answer. The three important things are: 1) Who you are, 2) Expertise highlights, 3) Why you are here. Make sure you don’t say too little or too much.

“What’s your greatest weakness” is the question that no one ever quite knows how to prepare to answer. This can be addressed. Think about the weaknesses you know you have overcome, earlier in your career. Some examples are: I am too much of a perfectionist, I work too hard sometimes, I care too much about my work.

An interview is a two-way street. Your potential employer is asking you questions to learn about you and your skills. In return, you need to prepare questions to ask your potential employer about the position, your boss and the company in order to be sure that this is the right job for you. Show interest!

Doing your homework: The most important thing about an interview is your knowledge of the company. It is a good idea to read up about the company and its place in the market. It will help to know the company’s mission and vision. Compare your skills and qualifications to the job requirements.

If you take the time to prepare, you’ll present the most relaxed, focused and confident version of yourself. Think about your top accomplishments and use positive adjectives while talking about them. It also helps to manage your stress and picture yourself in the job.

Once you’ve completed the interview, seal the deal by offering a firm handshake, saying “Thank you”, and presenting a good posture. This will create a lasting impression on the interviewer among the many candidates they meet in a day.

Via Forbes : Job Interviews Falling Flat? Your Attitude May Be To Blame

When I met with John, he had already been on 14 interviews without receiving a job offer. He was a senior professional with a consulting firm, and I knew he had been involved with hiring many people in his career. After all, he had hired quite a few from me when I’d worked in the space.

As he sat down with me, I listened to him share his woes for a few minutes before beginning a mock interview. I asked him whether many of the interviews he had been on started with the classic question, “Tell me about yourself.” When he answered yes, I invited him to answer it as though he were in a real interview. I listened.

After about a minute, I stopped him. “I have a hunch about what is happening,” I began. “Would you like to hear my evaluation?”

“I guess.”

“I care enough to tell you bluntly because I think it will help you the most. You’re boring. You’re bored with answering the question, and it comes through. To me, it’s a turnoff, and I suspect it’s turning off others.”

When you go to a Broadway show and see the cast perform the play, you don’t care that they perform eight shows in six days every week, do you? What matters is that they put on a great performance for you. After all, you’ve paid good money to see the play, and you want to see the actors give you a great performance — and rightfully so.

When you’re being interviewed, you may be asked a question for the 15th time, but the interviewer is just like an audience member: They’re listening to your answer for the first time. They don’t care that you’re bored from performing the same lines over and over again. They are judging your performance based on what you do on stage for them.

Recently, I was reminded of my session with John as I spoke with someone else whose answers seemed flat and “businesslike.”

“Let me ask you something,” I inquired. “You live in a city where there are a lot of people who do what you do. Why should they hire you?”

Suddenly, he came to life as he spoke about his successes and how he had challenged the status quo he inherited, inspired his team and led them to make “magic” for their organization. He was so much more alive than he was just a few minutes ago.

This attitude and flair are what will get you hired. Being bored won’t.

Since the time you were little until now, schools, colleges and businesses have conditioned you to be quiet and do what you’re told. “Regurgitate a bunch of things when we tell you to, or else.” Or else you won’t get a good grade. Or else you won’t get into a good school and get a good job. All these years of conditioning have sucked the life out of you.

But if you can remember that when companies try to hire someone, they want someone who inspires confidence and gives them that excited feeling that you have the knowledge and experience to solve their problem, you will be hired.

Via Forbes : Five Tips To Ace A Job Interview

Looking for a job can be a daunting task and many times it takes sending more resumes than we care to admit before receiving the elusive phone call to come in for an interview. You may think that getting the interview was the hard part, but as many of us know, a job interview is nerve wrecking, to say the least. Whether applying for a summer job or your dream position, we all get hit with pre-interview nerves. Interviews are inevitable so being able to do it well is an important skill if you wish to have career progression in the future. Luckily, like any skill, it can be honed and shaped with practice and experience, each becoming easier than the last.

So how do you ace that next interview? Here are some tips on how to nail your next interview from the eyes of an interviewer.

Make a good first impression

It is often said that people make their initial judgements about someone in the first five minutes of meeting them. Keeping this in mind is essential for getting off on the right foot with an interviewer. Start before you even enter the building through your chosen wardrobe. Interview attire can speak volumes about your professionalism. This does not mean you have to go out and buy an expensive outfit but more make sure that clothes are ironed, hair is styled, and that all aspects of your appearance is well groomed. Once you arrive at the interview, make sure to know the name of the person you are meeting and whoever you encounter, provide them with a friendly smile. Small effort and genuine gestures can go a long way and sometimes that great first impression is what can set you apart from the rest of the competition.

Do your research

Familiarising yourself with the expectations and job requirements of the role you’re applying for is an expectation for any job interview. This also includes taking it a step further by researching the company itself and, perhaps, the interviewer. Understanding the company’s current and past projects or clients, as well as the industry as a whole, will give insight into the way the company is run and shows preparation and enthusiasm from your side. Taking the time to practice potential interview questions will also calm your nerves and ensure you are prepared. Thankfully there are hundreds of websites offering examples for you to use as a guide. Being prepared and taking the time to research is an overall great way to ensure conversation flow, avoiding any awkward situations and demonstrating initiative.

Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Show the potential employer that you are honestly interested in the role you are applying for and looking to learn more about the company. Find out how many people are in the team, who you would be reporting to, as well as the core expectations of the role. This will provide important information and also allow you to determine if the position and company would be a good fit for you. At the end of the day, employers want to hire people who they believe will suit the job and work environment. By asking questions, you will be able to make an informed decision if offered the job and the interviewer will be impressed by your enthusiasm.

Confidence is key

Interviewers tend to look for employees who are comfortable and confident, so whether you feel it or not, fake it till you make it. A firm initial handshake and maintaining eye contact is a great start to showing confidence. Remember, the interviewer has seen something in your CV and cover letter that they believe would make you a good fit for the role, otherwise they would not have bothered to meet with you. Be confident with your skills and remember, you know your experiences better than anyone. Make sure this shines through and the interviewer will see what a happy, confident employee you would make, demonstrating you as a strong asset and increasing your chances of gaining that position.

Build a rapport

Building a rapport with your interviewer will provide you with an upper hand to the rest of the applicants applying for the same position. People hire people and if you are able to build that connection from the start, you are more likely to be memorable when it comes to shortlisting candidates. You can easily do this during your interview by breaking the ice with a compliment about the workspace or simply asking the interviewer how they are. At the end of the day, just be the warm friendly version of yourself and treat the interview like a conversation to provide an open line of communication between you and the interviewer.

Via ValueWalk : How To Ace Your Next Job Interview

In October 2009, with 10% unemployment, and fierce competition, finding a job was a struggle for many. Now unemployment is at a low 3.9%, but job hunting is taking longer than ever. In the United States, it takes an average of 24 days to go from applicant to employee, with multiple interviews and interactions along the way.

Why is the job hunting so much harder? With new technologies to filter through resumes, recruitment through social media and internet job boards, candidates have a hard time standing out from the crowd. Cover letters are nearly obsolete, and often go unread after being filtered through screening software. More than half of job seekers, both young and old, don’t bother to write a cover letter anymore. Here’s what to do when you finally land an interview:

The Basics

The fundamental rules of interviewing remain unchanged. Arrive a few minutes early, but not too early, and never be late. Dress appropriate and show good hygiene. Talk about yourself in a positive manner, but don’t exaggerate your experience. Be polite and friendly to everyone you meet in the company, and avoid distractions.

Everyone should know better than to answer their phone in the middle of an interview, you might consider leaving it in your car or turned off to avoid the temptation to check any messages or notifications. Whatever you decide, keep your phone out-of-sight while your visiting the company. Checking Facebook while your waiting for the interviewer may seem harmless, but it can look unprofessional to recruiters.

Saying something dumb in a job interview is sure way to get yourself disqualified. Avoid asking about pay before the interviewer brings it up. Don’t complain about your old boss or coworkers. Ask thoughtful questions that show your interest in the company. And be careful about complimenting others, so your remarks won’t be misunderstood.

Culture Fit

Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to think about how to show the interviewer you’re a good fit for the company. Show you can be a good fit for the company culture by being personable and easy to talk to. Getting to know a bit about the company before your interview is a great way to show your interest and enthusiasm for the job. The more you know about the company, the easier time you’ll have showing the interviewer you’re a good fit.

Read this infographic for more interview tips.