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Posts Tagged “Interview tips”

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.

Via Hivisasa : 5 crucial job interview tips no one tells you about

How you present yourself during an interview is what drives your interviewer to recruit you into the company.

The secret to passing an interview lies with how you present yourself.

Below are five interview tips no one tells you about.

1. The first few minutes and the last few minutes are the most important

First impressions are everything. Walk into the interview room looking smart, confident and smiling. Your first impression will determine what your interviewer will take you for. Being jovial and happy can also make them dump their morning moods. For the last few minutes, give them a handshake and maybe ask for their business cards and thank them before walking out of the room.

2. Do not give one-word answers

Interviewers don’t like one-word answers like yes or no. In most cases such answers are said to be offensive to an employer. They can take it to mean that you are not interested in the job. Back up your yes or no with substantial words to make them see deep meaning in your responses.

3. Believe in yourself, see yourself as the best

All it takes to pass an interview is confidence and determination. Obviously, there is competition but you don’t need to fear that anymore. Have a mindset of ‘I can make it’ and you will surely ace it. Being invited for an interview is a clear sign that you are just a step behind the finish line. Prove to the interviewer that you indeed qualify for the job and make your last step to the finish line.

4. Put your personality first

Your personality is far much important than your papers. Be positive, respond accordingly to the questions asked, show passion in the job you intend to be given. Having a good personality will make you floor your fellow interviewees who have great papers but dull personalities. Let your personality back up your CV.

5. Be honest

Honesty is a very important life virtue. Being honest does not only improve your chances of landing the job but also keeps you free and secure. You may not get the job if you don’t have the required experience but again you won’t get the job if you are caught providing false information.

Via Vulcan Post : These 8 Easily Avoided Interview Mistakes Could’ve Been Why You Lost That Dream Job

  • Acing that interview is important, but there are many easily avoidable mistakes that could cost you that dream job.
  • Some of the common mistakes Malaysians make include answering questions in a different language than the one asked, forgetting to keep the conversation focused on potential contributions to the company, and diminishing their own contributions.
  • Don’t forget that an interview is a process of selling yourself, and keep this in mind throughout.

An interview is often that last crucial barrier between you and your dream job. You only have between 10 minutes to an hour to express yourself to your interviewer and prove to them that you’re the right fit for the job, so every little detail counts.

Unfortunately, many candidates in Malaysia commit these easily avoidable mistakes that could cost you that job.

To help you avoid the common pitfalls, we reached out to 5 hiring managers from different industries to learn about some of the typical mistakes that interviewees make.

While many of these mistakes aren’t death sentences, it’s always a good idea to maximise your chances in this competitive job market, and give yourself every edge you possibly can.

Without further ado, some of the common yet avoidable mistakes are:

1. Memorising answers for standard questions.

If you’ve gone to enough interviews, answering some of the basic questions like “tell me about yourself” or “what are your weaknesses” can turn into reciting a paragraph you memorised out of sheer repetition.

Then there are those who specifically predict “typical” interview questions so that they can memorise an answer for each of them.

Since you can’t possibly predict every single question an interviewer would ask, the contrast is usually pretty obvious and might reflect poorly on you. No one likes hearing a canned answer when they’re sincerely trying to evaluate if you’d be a good fit for their company.

Instead, you can:

Remember, it’s not a school exam.

Figure out what the company’s values are, and try to craft your answers to suit the company you’re interviewing for.

If you tend to fall into the trap of memorising answers for an interview, consider practicing how to answer questions in a mock interview scenario, where you can learn how to conduct yourself and craft answers on the fly that will more consistently showcase your ability and talents throughout the interview process.

2. Answering a question in a different language.

If your interviewer asks you a question in Malay, and you instead switch to English or Chinese (or any other combination of these languages) an interviewer might deduct points for that.

While your interviewer might understand what you’re trying to say, you shouldn’t be doing this. One of the things interviewers are probably looking out for is your ability to understand and respond in that language, even if your mastery isn’t top notch.

If you can’t answer the interview questions, then it might reflect on your ability to liaise with clients, or even understand instructions within that company given out in that language—especially if that language is the company’s main way of communicating.

Instead, you can:

If you find that you have to resort to answering in a different language, then it is at least more polite to ask first.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really a fix for this. If your ability to converse in the company’s main language isn’t great, then the company will more likely look to hire someone who can.

In this case, it’s simply a case of a poor fit between candidate and company.

3. Forgetting that it’s a 2-way conversation.

Usually, an interviewer will ask you questions to gauge your interest in the company. These questions could come in the form of “why did you choose to apply for this company?” or “who else did you apply for?”.

Too many interviewees fall into the trap of only describing how the company could benefit them, like how it would look good on their resume or they appreciate the benefits.

For some employers, this can come across as self-absorbed—that you only care about what the company can do for you, and not remembering what you can do for the company.

Instead you can:

While there is nothing wrong with pointing out fun things you like about the company like its dress code, your answer should also include:

  • Elements of the company’s mission that appeals to you.
  • What you’ve noticed about the company culture and how you hope to add to it.
  • Something about the company’s approach or projects that you’ve noticed, and which ones you might want to participate in.
  • The company’s position in its industry, and how you could contribute to its growth.

By pointing out your impressions of the company, you can use it as an opportunity to prove that you’re keen on working in the company. You also put your potential contributions to the company in a more applicable context.

4. Lacking normal etiquette.

Basic stuff like standing up to shake their hands when an interviewer enters a room, and putting your phone on vibrate, are tried and true interview tips that are important to take note of.

If you’re interviewing with a company that emphasises respect and hierarchy, then not doing this will already lose you brownie points.

But more than that, how you act with your interviewer is their glimpse into how you will present yourselves to others outside of the company, especially if you’re sent to events or meet clients—things that mean that you’re representing the company name.

Instead you can:

Try to read up on interview etiquette articles like this and be mindful of how you come across to your employers. Remember that they’re looking out for how you conduct yourself. Most interviewers consider forgetting small gestures like these as signs of rudeness, and they will be less likely to look on you favourably.

5. Not preparing for an interview.

Too often, candidates fall into the trap of going to an interview without preparing beforehand. When an interviewer decides to meet with you, one of things they look at is how you fit into the company’s culture and roles.

When you fail to research your interviewer, it shows them that you aren’t too keen for the job. And it loses you the opportunity of highlighting your exact skillsets that can benefit the company.

Instead you can:

Simply going through their website is considered basic research you can do about the company, but you can also do a quick Google search about the company and find out some things that you can bring up to really showcase that you’re actually invested. Are they involved in any particular projects or programmes? What have you observed about their vision and direction?

6. Not preparing any questions to ask.

Nowadays, every interview will conclude with the interviewer asking if you have any questions for them.

Not having any prepared is a mistake. You’re sending a message that you aren’t really interested, or worse, they might think that you think that you know everything you need to.

Instead you can:

If a question comes up during the normal flow of the conversation, peppering the interview process with questions can showcase that you’re actually interested, and make the interviewer feel like you’re engaging in an organic conversation.

Just remember not to overdo it.

When the concluding question does come up, keep a few basic questions in your pocket, such as “what does a typical workday look like?”, “how would you describe the company’s management style?”, “what would you say are the prospects for growth and advancement through the company?” or “how does the company plan to grow in the future?”.

It will not only show that you’re engaged, but also give you valuable hints on whether you’d like a job in the company as well.

7. Speaking about salary wrongly.

This is a tough line to tread, because the question about salary needs to come up at some point during the interview. But if you bring it up too early, it paints a bad picture on you: as if you’re only interested in the job for the money.

But at the same time, you need to be prepared for your interviewer to ask this question and provide a suitable response with your expected salary. Expect your interviewer to negotiate with you on this, based on your past salary, expected job scope and experience.

Instead you can:

Articles such as these can be a godsend for you to figure out how to negotiate a starting salary. Other than that, remember that generally, you should not bring up the topic of salary first. It makes it seem as if you’re only eager for the money that comes from the job, and it also puts you at a weaker position to negotiate for salaries.

Sometimes, your interviewer might only negotiate the salary with you once you’ve accepted the job, though this is quite rare in Malaysia.

8. Not selling yourself enough

Many Malaysians can feel more reserved, so in the process of an interview, may feel awkward about “bragging” about themselves. Unfortunately, your interviewer might not recall every aspect about your resume, and so whatever you don’t talk about might get lost in the interviewer’s memory.

And you definitely want them to remember as much as possible about you after the interview is done.

Instead you can:

Completely throw away that instinct drilled within you, and bring up the relevant awards, accolades and experiences you’ve gained over the years, especially if you’re an unproven fresh graduate. Be sure to connect this to how you can contribute to the company with specific examples, to ensure that it doesn’t come off as empty boasts.

It could be the difference between you and another candidate with similar qualifications.

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Overall, don’t forget that the whole point of an interview is to sell yourself to the company. So keep in mind that your hiring manager is looking for what value you can add to the company, and answer accordingly.

Go forth, jobhunters, and good luck.

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