Posts tagged Interview
Scoring an interview is only half the battle – you also have to land the job. Here is a list of some of the best ways to be prepared if you want to land your dream job.
Do Your Research
Know the company you are interviewing for inside and out, and be ready to ask questions. A good place to start is the company’s website or their LinkedIn if they have one. Check out the company’s mission, what projects they are pursuing, and be aware of their competitors. Ellen Gordon Reeves, the author of Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?, stresses the importance of research: “you need to know as much as possible about the people you are interviewing with”.
Review Accomplishments from Your Last Job
Spend some time thinking about what you accomplished at your last job, and be ready to talk about your position and what your specific duties were. Especially if you’ve been unemployed, it’s always a good idea to spend some time refreshing your memory. Be sure to come up with a few specific problems you’ve dealt with, in order to be prepared for questions.
Know Why You Want the Job
Yes, you want to be able to pay the rent, but why are you really applying to this job specifically? What are your underlying goals and motivations? What do you know about the industry and what can you bring to the company? There are all questions you should have answers to before you go in for the interview.
Be Prepared to Answer Questions
Don’t bet on spontaneously coming up with great answers to interview questions. Have a friend sit down and be serious about going over potential interview questions . It will feel awkward at first, but practice is the best way to ensure that your answers come naturally.
Employers generally want to get a good sense of the following:
- Your background, experiences, education, and overall qualifications
- Your knowledge of the job,, their company, and the industry.
- Your personality, work style and social style.
- Your skills
- Your future goals, career aspirations and how motivated you will be in the position.
Be able to talk about this list of things, and you should be able to answer most questions you are given in an interview.
If you’d like a list of common interview questions, you can find them broken down into categories here:
Be Prepared with Questions for the Interviewer
You should come to every interview with at least three good questions to ask your interviewer. If you’ve done your research on the company, coming up with some questions shouldn’t be hard. Here are some examples of solid questions:
-What performance expectations do you have for a successful employee in this position?
-Tell me about some of the company ( or department’s) successes in the past few years.
-Can you explain a typical project that I would be working on? What does a day in this position look like?
Look the Part
Don’t feel like you need to go out and buy an expensive outfit, but do make sure you plan an outfit ahead of time so will look put together. For a first interview it is always best to look more conservative than not, even if the company turns out to have a more business casual environment.
Bring Your Resume
It seems obvious, but can be easy to forget. Always have three copies.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on March 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm, and is filed under Job Search, Office Observations, To Do Before You Interview. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No one likes waiting, especially if you are waiting to hear whether you got the job or not. Maybe you thought the interview was going to be the most stressful part of the hiring process. But you are soon realizing that the time between the interview and when you find out if you are the right fit for the position is even more stressful. It almost feels like when you are waiting for a date to call you back- you start second guessing everything and then wondering if you should call or if there is anything else you could have done. Good news – it does not have to be like this at all. So just take a breath while we detail a step by step process on what to do after the interview is over.
Step 1: The thank you note
You need to send some sort of thank you note within 24 hours after the interview. This will keep you fresh in the interviewer’s mind, especially if he or she interviewed more than one candidate that day. Some companies appreciate the traditional hand-written letters the best. But most companies will be fine with an email. You have to feel the company out for yourself and decide which method would be most appropriate. Most experts believe you should send a three paragraph thank you note. It is supposed to read like a sales letter. The first paragraph should thank them for their time and reassert how interested you are in the position after hearing more about it. The second paragraph is where you should make specific references to the interview which will make the note more personal. You can also include some of your strengths here that will directly cater to the company. The last paragraph is where you can make any clarifications or ask any questions. Don’t let these paragraphs get too lengthy or you risk losing the interviewer’s attention.
Step 2: Wait
You should wait until the tentative date the interviewer said they will contact you during the interview before reaching out again. If the interviewer does not call you back within around three days of that date, feel free to call the company. Many people assume that if the company does not contact you immediately, that they did not get the job. The reality is that everyone gets busy and the aforementioned date may have slipped the interviewer’s mind. Therefore, you should feel comfortable calling the company and inquiring about the position. Don’t be aggressive or accusatory during this call; remain positive and interested in the position. If you have to leave a message and no one is calling you back, you can try again in a few days. If the company does not get back to you after multiple messages, it’s time move on. If this is the case, do not get discouraged.
As we said before this process is like dating, it sometimes takes a while to find a relationship that is right for both parties. Every interview you have is an experience that can help you grow as a candidate and narrow down what you really want in a job.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on February 18, 2013 at 9:27 am, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Interview. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
It’s totally normal to be nervous before going into a job interview. That doesn’t mean you have to let your nerves take over the interview. The last thing you want to do is approach an interview as a “jitterbug”.
Here are 5 tips to start off your interview with a strong first impression:
- Research the company/ interviewer.
- Plan your interview outfit.
- De-stress by having a good laugh or listen to music.
- Prepare your questions for the interviewer.
- Practice answers to basic interview questions that may pop up.
Once you’re in the interview remember to take deep breaths to release some of that nervous energy. Don’t be afraid admit to the interviewer that you are feeling nervous if you start to see yourself stumbling over your words. It shows you’re human and it could end up having the interviewer relate to you. Try saying something along the lines of, “I apologize, I’m a little nervous” and then carry on with your conversation.
Don’t forget to bring several copies of your resume with you. Your resume is a great resource to turn to when talking about yourself/past work experiences if you get nervous. Also, printing out a copy of the job description to bring to the interview can prove to be beneficial.
Overall, the best strategy for handling your “interview nerves” is to prepare your questions and do your homework on the company before you arrive. Be sure to bring a copy of your resume, job description and questions for tools to turn to if you feel your nerves affecting your interview.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on December 28, 2012 at 9:23 am, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Interview. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Congratulations, you’ve scored an interview for your dream job! Now what? The importance of preparing for an interview can’t be stressed enough. Before going in for your interview, research the company and industry/job specific questions. Don’t leave these notes at home, bring your notes and prepared questions with you. You might think you have it covered, but once you’re in the conversation, it’s easy to forget to hit on an important topic or question you had in mind.
Asking the right questions shows you have an understanding and genuine interest in the position at hand. For example, if you have done the proper research on the company before the interview, you may have knowledge of upcoming developments or recent/on-going projects at the company. You should definitely incorporate this somewhere in the interview, but make sure it’s organic. Don’t just blurt out facts; after all, you want to show your communication skills. If there isn’t an opportune time, perhaps you can leave it for your thank you letter or (hopefully) next interview.
Other topics you should mention are your skills and how they relate to the job as well as the industry as a whole. Bringing up events that are going on in the industry is a great way to show your knowledge and interest. Don’t forget to ask about the company culture. You and the hiring manager want to make sure this is good fit. With regards to your skills, note what the job description entails and relate it back to specific examples of past experiences.
Lastly, as the interview wraps up make sure you cover the next steps in the interview process. It shows your enthusiasm over the position and gives you a timeline to work with so you aren’t left wondering.
For more tips, click here.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on December 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm, and is filed under Interview With The Interviewer. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Writing a thank you letter after a job interview is a must. Whether your interview was in-person or over the phone you should send a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview. Step one is to leave an interview with the interviewer’s business card. If one is not handed to you then ask for it. If you have a phone email, ask to confirm the interviews contact information before the end of the call. You send this in one of two ways: email or snail mail. Use your judgment here. Hand written letters on stationary are a nice touch and recommended, but if you know the hiring process is moving quickly it is best to send a thank you letter via email.
Show you were listening and cover the basics. The thank you letter doesn’t have to be long, but it should be personal and hit on topics discussed during the interview. Be sure to re-emphasize your interest, reasons you are best suited for the job and how you can be contacted. If you go the route of a hand written note, you should send it immediately after sending a thank you email in the event the written note arrives late or gets lost.
It wouldn’t hurt to let them know you will be following up with them within a certain amount of time, i.e. one week. This way if you do not hear back from the potential employer, call or email them on the day you noted you would follow-up. When you reach out, re-introduce yourself and remind them of when you interviewed and for what position. Ask them if they have made a selection, and if not, when they plan too. Again, keep it short and thank them for their time.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on November 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Interview. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
It is not uncommon nowadays for companies to do phone interviews before asking candidates to come in for an onsite interview. For them, it’s a time efficient way to screen for the most qualified candidates. You might think it’s not a formal interview, but don’t’ be fooled. If you can’t get through a phone interview, odds are you will not be called back for an in-person interview.
A hiring manager can gauge a person based on how they present themselves on the phone. You should be confident and professional, but still show your personality. Think of it this way: what if the position you are interviewing for requires lots of conference calls? This is a way of testing those skills.
Most people feel uncomfortable during a phone interview. Where do do? How do you prepare? Do you sit still? Where do you focus?
- You should always treat the phone interview the same way you would an in-person job interview.
- Research the company and be prepared for the basic interview questions.
- Make sure you are in an area that has good reception and quiet. This part is very important. Background noises are distracting and show you aren’t prepared and might not care of the interview or position. If you are at a coffee shop, choose a quiet one that doesn’t play overhead music.
- Eliminate any and all potential distractions. This is along the same lines of finding a quiet room. If you are home and have a dog, make sure you’re in separate rooms.
- Also, turn off the TV or other devices.
- Don’t get too comfortable in the room. You don’t necessarily have to dress up (unless this works for mental preparation), but don’t get too relaxed and sleepy.
- If possible, schedule the interview for a time of day when you’re most alert.
- Follow up 24-48 hours after the interview.
It’s not all nerve racking. There are benefits to having a phone interview. You can have all your materials right in front of you and you can save time by not having to travel elsewhere. For your best chance at nailing the phone interview prepare in advance.
For a list of more tips, click here.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on November 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Interview With The Interviewer. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
You’ve landed the interview, researched the company and interviewer and you’ve prepared for all possible questions, now it’s time to figure out what to wear. We’ve all had the problem of not knowing what to wear for an interview.
Your outfit isn’t going to ultimately land you your job, but it helps. A great outfit can help you exude the confidence you need to ace the interview. You don’t necessarily have to wear a suit and tie or black pencil skirt, but you have to look professional. This means looking clean cut and coordinating you color scheme. A well-tailored outfit suggests that you’re conscientious and detail-oriented in other areas.
A splash of color or print never hurt anyone, as long as they’re worn in moderation. You don’t have to go for the all black look, but be mindful that the colors you wear have more of an effect than you might expect. For example, the color of your tie or pattern of your dress can have an effect on your interviewer. There is a little more leeway here when looking into creative roles. For a breakdown of what colors represent on an interview and how to wear them, click here.
It comes down to understanding the job and industry you are interviewing in. If you would be meeting with many clients in the potential role or in sales or finance, a suit is usually your safest bet. For more behind the scenes roles, business casual is usually acceptable. As for shoes and accessories, a watch is always a good call; ladies try to avoid flashy jewelry or loud bangles. Going with the basic shoe colors (black or brown) is the way to go when unsure.
Be sure to take the sit-down test, some outfits look good when you’re standing up, but when you sit down your outfit might bunch or worse, leave little to the imagination. At the end of the day it all comes down to 2 professional options: smart suit or smart casual and when it doubt, suit up.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on October 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm, and is filed under Where To Wear What When. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Are you submitting your resume for countless positions only to receive few or no call backs? Are you having trouble moving past the preliminary interviews? If you are answering yes to either of these questions you need to sit back and re-evaluate your resume. You must ask yourself if you are you applying for jobs that you’re qualified for to find the root of the problem. If you answer yes, then are you customizing your resume each time you apply for jobs?
50 percent of people applying for a given job simply aren’t qualified. Most companies use talent-management software to screen resumes, weeding out up to 50 percent of applicants before a human even looks at a resume or cover letter providing another obstacle a resume must overcome.
Here are 5 reasons you’re not hearing back after applying for a job.
- You really aren’t qualified.
- You haven’t keyword-optimized your resume or application.
- Your resume isn’t formatted properly.
- Your resume is substantially different from your online profile.
- The company received 500 resumes for one job posting, and yours was 499th in.
So how do you rise up against these challenges and stand out? First, follow the above the above suggestions. Next, be sure you are networking and reach out to people you know at a company. Personal referrals go a long way. You should always research and follow companies of interest through social media. This way you can learn about the most recent job openings and even sometimes learn when they are filled. Lastly, asking others to review your resume can prove to be a huge help. You never know what feedback you may receive that you might have overlooked.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on August 27, 2012 at 9:47 am, and is filed under Right Your Resume. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
When you secure an interview the employer generally sees potential in you; whether it’s because of a skill set you hold, your educational background or prior work experiences. You still have to prove you are the best candidate for the position when you interview with hiring managers though. They are looking for someone who also fits with the corporate culture of the company.
There are 4 general characteristic traits that stand out to hiring managers.
- Hard Work Ethic
- Playing Well With Others
- Showing Initiative
- Strong Communication Skills
It is important to show you are willing to make sacrifices to complete a job/task. Tell about a time you made a personal sacrifice for work. Employers want a team player and someone they can count on when they are up against a pressing deadline. They want someone who can work well with others and communicate effectively. Providing the hiring manager with a time when you and a team worked together on a successful project is always a great way to show your teamwork skills.
The best way to show initiative is to research the company prior to your interview. Don’t just stop there – research the hiring managers that you will be meeting. If you can find commonality between you and the interviewer you will have a leg up against other potential candidates. This ties back in with fitting with the culture and having great communication skills. At the end of the day, if you have excellent technical skills, but poor communication skills you are at risk of losing the job to a candidate which has both skill sets.
If you are positive, energetic and follow up without being asked to then you are setting yourself up to rise above the competition. For examples of how you can be resourceful, click here.
Remember – always stay alert, responsive and proactive.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on August 20, 2012 at 10:38 am, and is filed under Interview With The Interviewer. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
It is no surprise that even the best candidates can get lost in the shuffle of incoming applicants. Aside from being qualified you need to STAND OUT amongst the competition. You might be reading this and wondering how you can make a lasting impression.
Below are some techniques to stand out to an employer.
- Show – Don’t Just Tell
- Leverage Your References
- Consider a Video Resume
- Know Things About the Company
Applications that embody the nature of the work prove to be very impressive to the hiring manager. The best way to impress an employer is to actually do the job, and do it well. Rather than employers asking you to do the job, be proactive and show them ahead of time what you are capable of accomplishing for them. Providing references is fairly common on an application nowadays. You can take this piece a step further by asking your references to contact the employer. Video resumes are an excellent way to show who you are and stand out of the crowd. Just consider the company and position you are applying to before sending this resume format as it may not be compatible with the company’s culture.
Other techniques for landing your next job are:
- Invest Time Up Front in Finding Your Focus.
- Know Your Values
- Manage Your Time Well
- Invest in Activities with the Greatest Return on Investment (ROI)
- Assess What is Working and What is Not
Most importantly, be genuine in your interview. Study up on the company and show you are truly interested in them. This is a standard job searching routine that can go a long way!
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on August 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm, and is filed under Job Search. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|