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Friday, 14 November 2014

How To Answer The Five Most Common Interview Questions

          You successfully made it past the HR screening. Now it’s time to meet with the person who will ultimately decide if you’re the right candidate for the job—the hiring manager.
When going into an interview, it’s important to know what questions to expect and how to approach them. Preparation is key, which is why, as a career coach, I provide mock interviews and guidance for those looking to successfully navigate these crucial career moments.
Below are five common questions asked by hiring managers and how to prepare for them.

1. Tell me about your experience at Company X.

In other words, how does your past experience relate to the job the hiring manager is looking to fill? When answering this question, you want to convince the hiring manager that you can hit the ground running and bring value to the team by providing specific examples that resulted in successful outcomes. It’s also helpful to identify how your current and prospective employers differ. This will help you determine which skills to emphasize.
Sample Answer: Despite working for a company that prefers organic growth, I have worked through the nuances that evolve when two organizations with distinct cultural norms are brought together. For example, recently, new leadership from Company Y brought new ways of evaluating projects. I set out to understand their ways of doing things by building a rapport with key leaders and sharing with them the institutional knowledge I acquired during a successful eight-year career in the firm. An example of when my knowledge was beneficial is…etc.
2. What is your biggest professional accomplishment to date?
This is your opportunity to provide an example that shows you can do the job. Think about the skills detailed in the job description and which of your accomplishments most directly relate. The goal is to convey to the hiring manager not only your past successes but also what you are capable of accomplishing if offered the job.
Sample Answer:  My greatest accomplishment was when I grew the IBM business on my agency’s behalf by 25% in one year. Most clients were cutting back on producing events as a way to warm leads for their sales force. With my creative team, I came up with a way to offer the same high-touch experience via webinars. Each webinar was accessible 24 hours a day and led by IBM thought leaders. In the end, I reduced event production costs by 40% and with those savings, IBM invested in more webinars worldwide. I won my agency’s award and was soon promoted.
3. How would people you have worked with describe you?
This question centers on how well you work with others and your ability to manage relationships with your peers, managers and direct reports. Give examples of situations that illustrate how you work with people across various functions. Answer truthfully, as the hiring manager will reach out to your references at a later point to ensure your perception of yourself is in line with theirs.
Sample Answer:  My managers would describe me as someone who would rather tirelessly overcome obstacles on my own than continuously seek managerial guidance. I make my managers’ lives easier in this way. For example, when I first started working at firm C, I was asked to figure out ways to cut costs. Instead of relying on my manager, who had other projects to oversee, I decided to better understand the transportation logistics behind the wood chips that my employer needed in each facility. After seeing what worked best and what could be improved, I took this information to my manager, who was grateful for the initiative I took.
4. What is your greatest weakness?
Often dreaded by job candidates, the key to answering this question is to be honest yet strategic. On my site, I go into more detail on new and effective ways to answer this question truthfully without taking yourself out of the running. You also need to address the unspoken follow up, which is what you are doing to overcome your weakness. Ultimately, you want to show the hiring manager that you are self-aware, thoughtful and proactive about your strengths and weaknesses.
Sample Answer: My greatest weakness is my low patience when a team member withholds important information to the detriment of his or her peers or the assignment’s success. I have always tried to maximize knowledge-sharing by bringing team members together prior to launching any assignment to ensure everyone is on the same page. Yet, there have been times when people have withheld information even after these efforts. In those instances, I have learned to speak privately with those team members to understand why information was withheld.
5. Why are you the best person for this position?
In asking this question, the hiring manager is looking for you to succinctly convey what sets you apart from the other candidates. Think of your most impressive and unique strengths that closely relate to the job description and use those to pitch yourself in a way that clearly illustrates the skill set and qualities you bring to the table.
Sample Answer: My analytical horsepower sets me apart from other candidates. For example, I imagine all of your candidates can create robust Excel-based financial models. However, I can also see and articulate the business story behind the numbers to influence decision-making. During a major food-chain deal, I conducted the due diligence necessary to come up with the right multiple that my superiors should consider based not only on raw data but also on what was the best way to position the assets we were selling. My strategy resulted in a more profitable deal.
Learn more about how to handle interviews and career transitions by subscribing to my blog.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

                                      Top 5 job interview tips

If you're counting down the days till your next job interview, these helpful hints will help you get in the right mood so you can leave a lasting impression on the interviewers:

1. Do your research 
Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. You are certain to be asked specific questions about the company, so make sure you've done your homework on things like their last year's profits and latest product launches. Also take a look at the latest developments in the industry so you can converse with confidence.

2. Practice your answers 
Although there is no set format that every job interview will follow, there are some questions that you can almost guarantee will crop up. You should prepare answers to some of the most common interview questions about your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as being able to explain why you would be the best person for the job.


3. Look the part 
Appearances shouldn't matter, but the plain fact is that you are often judged before you've even uttered a word. Make sure your shoes are polished, your clothes fit correctly and that your accessories are subtle. Dressing one level above the job you're applying for shows a desire to succeed. 
4. Stay calm 
Good preparation is the key to staying in control. Plan your route, allowing extra time for any unexpected delays and get everything you need to take with you ready the night before. Remember to speak clearly, smile and remember that your interviewers are just normal people, and the may be nervous too!.
5. Ask questions 
You should always have some questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position. Prepare a minimum of five questions, some which will give you more information about the job and some which delve deeper into the culture and goals of the company. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Job interview advice: 

You may have heard of the Star technique, but what is it and how can you use it to perfect your interview answers? If you've got a competency-based, the technique will be especially helpful. Here, we look at what's behind the method, with some real-life examples. 

Answering the million-dollar question 
Some interview questions you just can't avoid. "Why do you want to work here?" is one of them. Find out how to make sure you have your answer perfected with some clear and practical advice. 

A checklist for every interview 
From preparing what you'll wear to making sure you improve after each interview, here is a simple step-by-step guide for all your interviews. 

Beat the first-impression bias 
If hiring managers make a decision in the first 90 seconds of meeting, how can you stop biases working against you?  

Your interview with the chief executive 
As you climb the career ladder – or perhaps if you're joining a smaller organisation – interviews with the chief executive become more common. Find out what they really want to know, and how you can show you've got what it takes, before you start preparing. 

Finish on a high with great questions 
At the end of most interviews, the tables turn and you're asked if you have any questions. This gives you a chance to show you're on-the-ball, inquisitive, have done your research and are serious about the role. Here are four essential points to consider. 

De-stress your interviews 
We are often told to relax when it comes to job interviews, which is easier said than done. But a little preparation beforehand can help to make yourself feel less stressed. 

Mock interviews make perfect preparation It may be age-old advice, but it still rings true with interviews. Here's some tips on how to do a practice interview, even if you don't have an interviewer.

Check this video:

Friday, 24 October 2014

7 Interview Tips That Will Help You Get the Job

                                                              Job interviewing never seems to get any easier - even when you have gone on more interviews than you can count. You are meeting new people, selling yourself and your skills, and often getting the third degree about what you know or don't know.
                                                                      Here are job interview tips to help prepare you to interview effectively. Proper preparation which help alleviate some of the stress involved in job interviews and the more you prepare, the more comfortable you will be interviewing.
Practice answering interview questions and practice your responses to the typical job interview questions  most employers ask. Think of actual examples you can use to describe your skills. Providing evidence of your successes is a great way to promote your candidacy. Also have a list of your own questions to ask the employer ready.
Prepare a response so you are ready for the question What do you know about this company? Know the interviewer's name and use it during the job interview. If you're not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions.
Get Ready
Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note taking.
Be On Time
Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, take some time to drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Here's more on preparing for an interview.
Stay Calm
During the job interview try to relax and stay as calm possible. Take a moment to regroup. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Listen to the entire question before you answer and pay attention - you will be embarrassed if you forget the question!
Show What You Know
Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions.  When discussing your career accomplishments match them to what the company is looking for. Here's how to make a match between your expertise and the company's requirements.
Follow Up
Always follow-up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position. If you interview with multiple people send each one a personal thank you note. Send your thank you note (email is fine) within 24 hours of your interview.
Avoid Common Interview Mistakes
What shouldn't you do when interviewing? Here are the most common job interview mistakes, blunders, and errors a candidate for employment can make. Take the time to review these mistakes before your interview, so you don't have to stress out about blunders after it.
More Job Interview Tips
Tips for phone interviews, second interviews, lunch and dinner interviews, behavioral interviews, interviewing in public, and more advice for interview success.
Phone Interview Etiquette
Phone interview etiquette is just as important as in-person job interview etiquette when it comes to getting hired. That's because, regardless of how you interview, a successful interview will get you to the next stage of the hiring process.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Meaning and Purpose Behind Interviews

The Meaning and Purpose Behind Interviews

The telephone rings. It’s for you. An unknown voice provides an introduction and
begins a conversation. “I’m pleased to tell you that after reviewing what seems to
be at least a hundred applications you are one of those selected to be interviewed.”
 Is this a moment of excitement or a moment of panic for you? 
The following ideas
are designed to help you be a more successful interviewee.
What is the Purpose of an Interview?
An interview is a two-way exchange, a
conversation, in which both participants
have some goals. 
The Interviewer wants to determine:

  • Can the candidate do the job?
  • Will the candidate fit in?
  • Is this the best candidate for the position?
The Interviewer wants to determine:
  • Do I want this job?
  • Can I do this job?
  • Does this job offer me the opportunities I want for advancement orexperience?
  • To enhance your success at interviewing there are things you need to do before, during and after the interview. 
 Before the Interview:
  • Read about the job/occupation.
  • Interview people in the department
  • Build your network
  • Practice interviewing
  • Dress for success
  • Visit the organization
  • Have an agenda, know what you want the interviewer to learn about you Anticipate what questions will be asked
  • Know your Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Accomplishments
  • Relate your KSAs to the position for which you are applying
  • Know who is interviewing you
  • Prepare and practice answers to typical questions
During the Interview:
  • RELAX!
  • Answer the questions using the “PROVE IT” Method
  • Ask intelligent questions about the organization
  • Don’t volunteer negative information about yourself
  • Be honest
  • Have eye contact with the interviewer
  • Be believable, be yourself
  • Say positive things about your former
  • supervisors and working conditions
  • Find ways to let the interviewer know you are a team player
After the Interview:
  • Evaluate the interview What questions were asked?
  • What did you say that seemed to interest the interviewer?
  • Did you present your Know ledges, Skills and Abilities well?
  • Did you learn what you need to know about this job?
  • What did you forget to say?
  • Did you get a commitment from the interviewer?
  • Do you know what the next step is in the hiring process?
  • Write a thank you note to the interviewer
  • Follow up 
  • Contact the interviewer for feedback
  • Express your interest in the position even after the position is filled.
Typical Interview Questions
  • 1. Tell me something about yourself.
  • 2. What do you like about your field? What do you dislike about it?
  • 3. What are the most important considerations for you in choosing a job?
  • 4. Why do you want to work in this office? Branch? Division?
  • 5. What have you learned from your previous work experience?
  • 6. What are your strengths?What are your weaknesses?
  • 7. What kinds of people do you like working with? What kinds of people do you dislike working with?
  • 8. How do you react under pressure?
  • 9. What are your long term goals? What do you see you doing five years from now?
  • 10. Do you have any questions you would like to ask?