Posts Tagged ‘job’
How to get into an interview is the first hurdle. Getting through it successfully is the next one. Recruiting is about finding the right person for the job that has to be done. There are likely to be a number of people coming through the door who could do the job but which one is the best one? How does a manager tell who the best person is? There are a number of constraints and requirements imposed by law and others by company policy but most managers cover a number of points. Understanding why these questions occur in an interview will help an applicant answer fully and to the point. For example, the manager will be asking:
Does this person look as though they want the job? Someone who has taken no pride over their appearance is not trying to get work; they’re trying to make some other point which is more important to them than the job is.
Do they talk as though they know about what is in the cv? Is it convincing? Unfortunately some people claim experience and qualifications they don’t have. The astute manager will be testing for this.
Is a test question related to the role answered coherently and to the point? And is the answer correct?
Is this applicant genuinely interested in this particular job? Someone trying for just any job that’s going will respond less enthusiastically than someone who is keen on the job itself. One clue is whether they remember the details of the job advertisement.
Is this applicant reliable or will this person slack off at the first chance? If the cv shows many changes of occupation it may mean that this person is a slacker, can’t settle to anything or doesn’t get on with supervisors or colleagues. There may be genuine reasons for the changes. In any case the interviewer will be probing to uncover the causes.
Does the interviewee have hobbies? Do these suggest skills that might be useful for the job? For example, if a team player is needed, does the interviewee have any team hobbies (like ‘tennis’ or ‘bridge’) or are they listing solitary activities (eg ‘reader’)? If the job needs someone to be able to work on their own, do their hobbies tell you that the applicant is able to do this (eg ‘gardener’, ‘painter’)? The wise applicant will include both types of hobbies and be able to talk about them knowledgably.
Can they listen? People who don’t listen in an interview won’t listen in an everyday situation. If the role calls for a person who can follow complex instructions, the person who doesn’t listen is very unlikely to be the right one for the task.
Is there anything the applicant has done or knows that is especially relevant to the job? The smart interviewee will bring out anything he or she can do that makes them particularly right for the job. The smart interviewer will provide the opportunities for these characteristics to be brought to the table.
An interviewee’s preparation for an interview should consider all these points thoroughly and prepare answers for each. For example
An obvious question arising from the discussion above is “Why do you want this job?” and an applicant must have a convincing answer. Preparation should include finding out about the company and what it does and making sure of the details of the advertisement and the job description, if supplied. This will not only convince an interviewer of enthusiasm for the job but will also demonstrate ability to research.
Be able to support claims about hobbies that are on the cv. Questions about this will demonstrate the depth of the applicant’s interest in the hobby in question or alternatively reveal a hastily-added item that isn’t true. If ‘reading’ is listed, the interviewee needs to be able to talk about a recently-read title. A ‘keen gardener’ needs to be able to describe favourite plants and say why they are favourite. If ‘football’ is the choice, then the applicant should be able to at least comment on recent games and who has just moved up or down the table.
What qualities and experience can the applicant bring out that will be relevant for the job and how are they relevant? It is quite possible that there is something in a person’s background experience that the interviewer hasn’t immediately seen as relevant but, when pointed out, seals the likelihood of getting the job.
If necessary, make some notes. Include a couple of questions either to clarify the role or to understand more about the company. It will look better if the notes or questions are in a small notebook that will fit in a pocket or purse. A piece of paper will inevitably look scrappy and a large pad will look clumsy and ‘over the top’.
Above all, be honest. Any untruth will not only lower any chances of getting the job, it could affect chances at any other job as it is the key thing for any employer. A reputation for dishonesty or unreliability is the first turn-off for any manager. If there is something where “I don’t know” is the true answer, then don’t be afraid to say so.
Job interviews can be nerve-wracking and frustrating. It will always help to put oneself in the interviewer’s position and try to understand what he or she needs for a successful conclusion. The whole situation will be less tense and much more successful with a bit of preparation.
In this current economic atmosphere of employers downsizing, jobs heading south and overseas, and sky-high unemployment rates, the skill of quality job interviewing is suddenly at a premium. But sadly, most job seekers–even those perfectly qualified for sometimes highly-technical jobs–are lousy at interviewing. Oftentimes even the basics: knowing what to say, how to dress, and the right way to act, are lacking. Would you like an edge on the competition in this super-competitive employment environment? Here are four killer tips on how to interview for that job, and get hired!
First of all, show up on time. Seems to go without saying, but it NEEDS to be said. Far too many applicants show up at their interview five minutes before it’s scheduled or right at the appointed time, or (gasp) even late. The reasons why you can’t get there on time don’t matter. Simply put, if you hope for even a snowball’s chance of getting the gig, arrive ten to fifteen minutes early. Acclimate yourself to the surroundings, fill out any required paperwork, and focus.
Secondly, although it seems like another no-brainer, dress appropriately. What you look like conveys so much about who you are, and that is important to an employer. This does not mean you need to don a tux for a lawn care job, nor should you rock your jeans and polo for that bank teller position. Dress up or down to the duties required by the job itself. Also, run a comb through your hair, apply the right amount of makeup (for women only), and a hint of cologne can’t hurt. Nobody gets hired from a first impression, but you can certainly lose a job based on one.
Third, sell yourself. Don’t answer the interviewer’s questions in one or two-word responses. Elaborate as applicable, giving the interviewer a sense of your intelligence, your personality, and your ability to do the job. Relax, if you appear so nervous you can barely speak, you have no shot. A desperate job seeker is one who will remain unemployed.
Fourth, and this is key—know the answer to the “magic question.” In virtually all job interviews the same important question will be asked, and this one answer all by itself can get you hired. You might even start the next day. It might be asked in different variations, but here’s the gist: Why should we hire you for this job? This is where you talk about your dependability, your reliability, your knowledge and experience, any positive aspects of the total you that tells the employer why you and you alone are the right person for this particular job. Expect this question going in, and have a reply that will knock out the interviewer. Even work out a written version, and rehearse it until it’s perfect.
Remember, most job applicants can’t follow these four simple tips. But now YOU are aware. You know these keys to focus on and make yourself unforgettable to an employer. So get there early, look nice, relax and speak intelligently, and tell them why YOU are the best person in the world for this job. Now, head out there and get hired!
So you’ve cleared the first hurdle and got the interview. Now comes the most daunting stage in getting any job. Give yourself the best chances of a good interview by preparing in advance.
Possible Questions and Answers
You should have a good idea at this point of exactly what the job will entail. Take another look at the advert and, if possible, call the company to ask further details. Make a note of any specific tasks or goals, and research similar positions using the internet.
Sit down and think about what questions the employer may ask, then come up with your own answers. Have a few key points for each response – keep them concise and not too specific.
For example, if the job description mentions adhering to deadlines, you might be asked a question about when you have done this. Think along the lines of organizing yourself or a team, what tasks were set and how they were distributed according to difficulty, time taken, and specific skill-sets.
Put yourself in the employer’s place. If you were hiring for the job you are applying for, what questions would you ask a potential employee to judge their working character?
Experience and Examples
Your résumé should have given a history of previous employment that was relevant to this job. Take a copy along in case they don’t have the one that you sent. If there are any gaps in your employment, make sure that you have reasons prepared that don’t seem like excuses – employers will be looking for stability and commitment.
Make sure you don’t bad-mouth any old bosses, or you may come off as arrogant and rash – however bad your previous treatment was. Mention previous jobs that bear the most similarity to the one you are interviewing for and emphasize the most senior roles you have held.
If certain qualities are needed for the job, have good examples of why you have them. You can mention previous punctuality and attendance records, how you managed to change a downturn in sales, or how you were given responsibility for certain important tasks.
Employers nearly always ask for a personal opinion of your bad qualities. Try not to use the cliché of working too hard, as this is looked on as a cop-out. Use an example of where you slipped up, but then turned the situation around and made the best of it. Customer complaints can often be turned into an opportunity to display good service.
Dress for the Occasion
The general rule for dressing to interviews is to go one smarter than the job would normally be. If there is a specific uniform then try to wear something similar. If workers are normally in jeans and t-shirts: wear jeans, a polo, or a good shirt without a tie, and semi-smart shoes or trainers. If the job is smart-casual: wear smart trousers with a shirt and tie. For anything smarter you should always wear a suit.
Give Yourself Plenty of time
Find out how long it takes to get to the building where the interview will take place, and leave with plenty of time. Have a small snack and a cup of coffee – if it doesn’t give make you jittery or sweat – before you leave. Aim to arrive 15 minutes early in order to find exactly where the interview will take place. Punctuality is an easy way to stand out from the crowd. There is no worse way to start off a job interview than having to apologize for being late.
Relax and Think Positively
Before leaving for the interview, make sure you feel relaxed. Listen to a favorite album or read quietly. Relax your shoulders, breathe deeply and keep a smile on your face. Going through your notes and CV a few times before you leave will keep important information at the front of your head.
First impressions count for a lot, and the first few seconds of meeting someone last an age. Smile, stand when being introduced, and look people in their eyes. Don’t be too firm with your handshake. This can be seen as a show of aggression, or compensation for nerves. Sit upright, don’t slouch, and keep your hands on your lap.
Looking relaxed and confident is an indicator of competence and honesty. Try not to um and ah when speaking, instead slow yourself down a little and don’t be afraid to think for a few seconds before giving an answer. When the interview is over, thank the interviewers for their time, shake their hands and express that you look forward to hearing from them.
Getting a Reply
With these tips you’ll have a much better chance of getting that Dream Job, and with a little luck you’ll get an offer. If the salary is what you wanted, ask a few more questions and check the contract before saying yes. If something looks too good to be true, it often is.
If you don’t get a reply or are not offered the job, don’t take it badly. You will have at least learnt something from the experience. Now you can go forward with more knowledge of how to handle yourself in an interview situation.