Category Archives: interviews

Dos and Dont’s of Phone Interviews

Though you are talking to the employer or the interviewer over phone from the comfort of your home, phone interviews are not always as easy as you think. There are number of issues that can blow a telephonic interview as easily as in a face-to-face interview. Jobseekers need to know what they should do and they should not to achieve success during a phone interview. Given below are some important dos and don’ts of phone interviewing.

Do provide your detailed contact information in the cover letter, so that you are easily contactable by employers. Make sure the information is accurate so that employers face no discrepancy while getting in touch with you.

Do make sure that your family members and those living with you understand the important of phone interviewing in the process of your job search.

Do practice telephonic interviewing with one of your closest friends. Get a friend to call for conducting mock phone interview sessions. Practice until you start feeling confident about speaking to the interviewer on phone.

While attending a phone interview, do make sure that you have chosen an appropriate place in your house for the same. Select a place which is quiet and helps you concentrate. A calm and noise-free place will help you read and take notes easily.

Do consider standing while attending a phone interview. Though you can also talk to interviewers sitting in a chair, experts suggest it is best to speak to the interviewer standing. Talking in a standing position makes you sound more professionals as compared to a slouching position when you are sitting in an easy chair.

Don’t feel you need to fill in the air time. You may face some airtime or silences after you have completed responding to a question. If the interviewer takes more time to ask the next question, don’t start babbling on your own. Wait for the next question to answer. If the silences seem to take longer, you can also choose to ask an important question which is related to your previous response.

Don’t cough or sneeze during a phone interview. Avoid these as much as possible. In case you are unable to avoid the same, you can say ‘excuse me’.

Just because the interviewer can’t see you doesn’t mean you can eat or take anything during the telephonic interview. Don’t chew gum or eat something which is noisy while you are speaking to the interviewer or the employer.

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4 Standard Interview Questions That Can Make You Shine (Or Ruin You)

Many jobseekers think that landing an interview with a potential employer is the hardest part of job search. What’s even harder is facing the standard questions asked during an interview. While sitting face-to-face with the employer or the hiring manager, you should be well prepared on how to provide apt answers to the standard interviewing questions. There are four standard questions answering which can either make you shine or ruin your chances of getting hired for a job. Have a look at these questions listed below.

Question #1. Do you have any questions to ask?
This is one of the four standard questions asked during a job interview. Job applicants may find this question an easy one. In fact, this standard question is an excellent opportunity for applicants to stir up the conversation with the hiring manager. If you can use this question to your benefit, the hiring manager will keep you in mind. When you are provided the opportunity to ask, you can ask the interviewer about how the company started and what keeps them ahead of their competitors.

Question #2. What are your weaknesses?
The next standard question that you face during a job interview is talking about your weaknesses. This is really a tough question to answer. It is advisable to be honest while speaking about your weakness. Talk about a weakness that does not ruin your chances of getting the job. For example, you can mention a weakness like being nervous while speaking in front of too many people. You will definitely have your own weaknesses. After you have mentioned your weakness, also inform the interviewer that you are trying to overcome it and improve yourself.

Question #3. Tell me something about yourself
This is another standard interview question. In most of the interviews, this is the question with which the entire talk begins. Hiring managers start the interviewing process by asking job applicants this informal question. In truth, this question is so important that it can make your break your chances of getting hired. Most of the job applicants talk about their qualifications and skills which are already mentioned in the resume. If you want to answer this question to your benefit, you should take this as ‘an opportunity to sell yourself in 30 seconds’. The best answer to this interviewing question would be to speak about the special talents that make you a best fit for the job.

Question #4. What do you know about this company?
Another standard question that the hiring manager or the interviewer asks while interviewing is what you know about their company. This is really an important question that can make you shine or ruin your chances of getting the job. The biggest mistake that many job applicants make is that do not know a thing about their potential employer. That is why, it’s advisable for applicants to do proper research on the whereabouts of the company before appearing for the interview. You can also use this opportunity to start a conversation by asking the interviewer about the business goals of the company and how they plan to achieve it.

All of the above mentioned questions are quite common in interviews. However, they can either make or break your chances depending on how you answer the questions. If you have prepared yourself well in advance to answer this interview questions, you will definitely make the most of your job interview. Don’t respond to these questions like a robot. Always try to set yourself apart from other applicants.


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5 Post Interview Etiquette Tips

Most of the jobseekers feel that once they have landed an interview for a dream job, their task is over. That’s actually not the truth. If you wish to land a job successfully, post-interview etiquette is as much important as what you do during the interview. If you properly follow the etiquette tips after an interview, it ensures that the hiring manager or the potential employer won’t forget you. Following the interviewer after an interview provides you with yet another opportunity to let them feel how badly you need the job.

And if you thought post interview etiquette only meant a thank-you mail, you need to give it a second thought. Given below are some important etiquette tips that you should follow after an interview.

Thank-you E-Mail
Most job seekers do not understand the actual potential of a post-interview thank-you note, and far it can go. In this email, you need to mention your heartfelt thanks to the hiring manager and anyone who was involved in taking the interview. Express your thanks to them for taking some valuable time out to meet you. This short thank-you email also displays your strong desire for getting the job. Instead of sending an email, you can also send a note in written.

Appropriately Follow Through on Paperwork
A lot of job applicants take it as normal to walk out of the interview venue with more paperwork to complete. Don’t take the paperwork lightly. Follow through the requests to complete paperwork from start to end. It will keep you in the running for the applied job position. It is also important to ensure that the result of your interview ends in the right hands of the organization or company you aspire to work for.

Get in Touch with References
Many times it happens that someone from your network of contacts refers you to a company. In this case, it is proper etiquette to keep those references up-to-date about the interviewing process. Reaching out to references will benefit you a lot. They may recommend you to the company one more time after the interview is over. This can make the hiring manager take a decision in your favor and hire you for the job. At the same time, being in touch with your references will help you get essential job information even in the near future.

Ask Questions
What will you do if after the interviewing process is over and the hiring manager asks you to contact them if you have more questions to ask? Well, this is an excellent opportunity to contact them one more time and ask a few more questions. This is a potential opportunity. Do not lose it. You should be ready to ask them a few more questions either via phone or email. This will show your interest in the job to the hiring manager.

Be Easy to Reach
Interviewers and hiring managers prefer hiring candidates who are easily available as compared to those who are hard to contact. Even in case you don’t get the job position, your easy availability will make hiring managers keep you in mind next time there is a relevant job opening.

If you really want to beat out the competition and enhance your chances of getting a job, you should remember all these post-interview etiquette tips and follow them. These after-interview tips and guidelines are as important as your presentation during the interview.

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How Does an Informational Interview Work?

There is no dearth of literature available for getting career related information. There are books, trade publications and online resources to get information about the career you aspire to pursue. However, the potential of informational interviews in this regard is second to none. Informational interviewing offers jobseekers, career changers and students to receive first hand information about careers they have interest in. Through these interviews, candidates can get a real insider view about careers and use that essential information for career success.

Setting up the informational interview
First and foremost, candidates need to set up the interviewing. Setting up means you have to find potential and influential people who can provide you a first hand knowledge about specific careers, industries or jobs. To identify such people, you can use the entire network of contacts including your family, friends, colleagues, classmates etc. Once you have prepared the list of such people, you can send them an introductory email stating your interests, career goals and background. Informational interviews can be conducted over phone, lunch or in person. A face to face informational interview is the most advisable way of getting first-hand career information and having a feel about the job or career you are interested in.

Preparing for the informational interview
Advanced preparation is key to becoming successful at informational interviewing. Before you speak to the interview, you need to make sure that you have researched on the whereabouts of their company and the industry they cater to. You can also log on to their company’s website to do some advanced preparation for asking questions. If you want to get information on a specific career, you need to prepare asking questions like where they started, how they made the most of their jobs, what the job description and how they plan to remain competitive in that particular occupation.

Conducting the informational interview
Consider your informational interviewing no less important than a business meeting. You need to attire yourself in formal clothes and act professional as well. Ask the interviewee whether they would mind taking notes during the interview. Maintain your eye contact and listen to the professional attentively. Try to build a natural rapport during the talk to maintain relationship with the interviewee. Also ask them about some references that can provide first hand career information.

Establishing the relationship
Building a relationship with your interviewee is one of the most important parts of the entire process. Therefore, don’t forget to follow them up. After the end of the informational interview, send them a thank you note or an email expressing your gratitude for the opportunity they gave you. With the passage of time, keep them informed of you career developments. This is a wonderful way of building a long term relationship with industry professionals. You never know when they might be able to help you again in the near future.

By using the above mentioned tips, you can definitely extract the maximum of your professional meetings. Use this effective tool to expand your contacts in an industry and achieve career success.

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Top Interview Tips

A job interview is a discussion between you (jobseeker) and the employer. Considering the tough competition of the job market, it becomes utmost essential to know the rules and conventions of interviews. You should be aware that what you need to do and what you need not. Knowing the essential interview tips and rules will help candidates have a successful interview and enhance their chances of landing jobs.

Listed below are some important interview rules, interview dos and interview don’ts. Have a look.

What to do-
As a smart interviewee, look bright and attentive and dress smartly for the interviewer. It is interesting to note that around 93% of the interviewer’s opinion is formed by how you look, how you behave and how you act.

If you do not want to be too early or too late for the interview, you need to locate the interview’s venue in advance. Find out about the interview location, how to get there and how much time it will take to reach there.

It is advisable to make your interview outfit ready the night before.

Try to know about the type of interview you are going to have. Find out whether it is a one-on-one interview or a panel interview. Prepare yourself in advance.

Before answering the interviewer’s question, understand the question completely. If you do not understand a question, request the interviewer to repeat it. Take your time before you answer.

Know how to market and sell yourself to the employer. You can not assume that the employer has the positive thinking about you. It is your responsibility to compel the interviewer to like you.

Since an interview is not a one way conversation, prepare in advance a set of intelligent questions to ask the interviewer when you are given the opportunity.

What not to do-
Don’t be too early or too late for a job interview.

During an interview remember not to use slang words or do not swear. To have a successful interview, you need to tell the truth and win the interviewers trust.

Don’t smoke, chew gum, or slouch in your seat.

Don’t get into a controversial topic such as religious issues, political issues etc.

Don’t be arrogant or disrespectful towards the employer. Don’t behave in a way as if you have got the job already.

Don’t talk bad or complain about your previous employers.
Don’t get into any kind of argument with the employer, no matter what. Always answer the questions with a lot of positivity.

Looking for more tips? Read:  Interview Techniques & Tips

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10 Interview Mistakes You Need to Avoid

The first impression is undoubtedly a lasting impression. You must have heard many a story about candidates who have an impressive resume, but they lack competency when it comes to making the most of an interview. Interview opportunities are fewer and fewer as the job markets gets more and more competitive. So, it is essential to polish your interviewing skills and avoid the mistakes that many of us may make during an interview. Listed below are 10 interview mistakes that we need to avoid and make the most of interviewing opportunities that come to us.

Mistake # 1: Poor or ineffective handshake
Mistake # 2: Talking too much
Mistake # 3: Talking negative about previous employers or managers
Mistake # 4: Showing up late or too early
Mistake # 5: Being rude to the receptionist
Mistake # 6: Asking about holidays, benefits and salary
Mistake # 7: Not preparing for the interview
Mistake # 8: Using verbal ticks (‘umm’, ‘you know’ etc.)
Mistake # 9: Too Much/ too less eye contact
Mistake # 10: Failure to match communication styles

So, you had a look at the 10 most embarrassing interview mistakes. Remember, just like a resume lands you interviews, good interviewing skills land you jobs. So, fine-tune your interviewing skills more and more. Practice these skills with one of your trusted friends or a close one. Keep in mind each of the 10 mistakes mentioned above. Handshakes are an important part of a job interview. Poor or ineffective handshakes can make your break your first impression to the interviewer.

Let no one talk about you as a candidate who ‘almost’ got the job. Prepare for interviews beforehand to make the most of the opportunity and win the consideration for the job. Nothing else, only practice will make you perfect.


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How to Make Yourself Three Times More Likely to Get Hired

According to a research conducted by the executive search industry, it has come to light that the first person interviewed gets the job only 17.6 percent of the time. On the other hand, the last person interviewed gets the job almost 56 percent of the time, which is more than three times of the first person interviewed getting the job. So, what are you thinking now? Are you really going to make yourself three times more likely to get hired?

Well, we are not going to end the discussion at that. But we will also talk about the reasons behind this interesting fact. It is probably in human nature that we are wary of or are a little apprehensive of accepting the first choice offered. Another reason can be the corporate inertia. The sense of urgency may not be strong enough when the search begins.

So, if you want to increase the your chances of landing jobs three times, you can try to position yourself among the last candidates interviewed, and certainly not being among the first. In the light of the executive search industry study, aged ads can be a good option to get interviewed among the last candidates. If you come across a help-wanted appeal, you can wait for around 10 days before you respond to the requirement.

When you get a call from an interviewer, you can try to push the day of appointment as far as possible. There are numerous other studies that have been conducted to throw more light on the issue. One study has revealed that Monday is the worst day of getting interviewed for a job whereas the worst time for being interviewed is late afternoon.

Let’s move one step further and examine some more results of researches. According to a research, around 2/3rd of the time the best qualified candidates do not get the job offer. And the people selected for the job often have less than 50 percent of the job qualifications.

Candidates who get the most job offers are intimidated least, promote themselves best and listen the maximum. In addition to having formal qualifications, strong listening skills are required to increase your chances of getting the job. To get the job offer, candidates need to give a masterful presentation. Likability plays an important role. So, you are responsible for compelling the employer like your candidacy. And when you want the employer to like you, one important thing is to listen to them attentively.

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How to Handle Inappropriate Interview Questions

Most of us believe that it is illegal for an interviewer to ask questions relating to religious beliefs, national origin, marital status etc. This is only a widespread belief. In most of the states, interviews are allowed to ask questions relating to these and asking such questions is not illegal. What’s actually illegal is to make a hiring judgment on the basis of the answers given to such questions. That is why, smart interviewers do not ask such questions because they know that can not factor in the answers given.

However, you may run into situations where the interviewer asks questions relating to religion, belief, marital status etc. What would you do? Possibility can be that you might already have faced such a situation. What did you do? What’s more important is what you should do. By asking such questions, the interviewer is not making an attempt to screen you out illegally. Instead, he is making a small talk. However, they may not just realize that questions like these tread on risky grounds.

It’s a tricky situation anyway. In any case, you wouldn’t like to ruin your rapport because you want to turn the interview into a successful one. If you want to make it a successful interview, you would never want to respond with guns blazing.

If you look at the situation practically, it is definitely your perquisite to make an issue of what the interviewer asks. On the other hand, it is only up to you whether you feel like fighting the battle or not.

There is one more option to the situation as well. If the interviewer raises an issue like your parenthood and relates it to your job performance, you can speak to the interviewer directly and respond with a polite answer. You might respond by saying: “I do have kids, and they’re great, but please know that there’s nothing that would hinder or interfere with my ability to work the hours required to get the job done.”

And if you smell something in the interview, you will certainly need to reconsider your employment decision.

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