Category Archives: Interviews
1. Will she always be late like this? Even if you’re normally punctual, showing up late to an interview can cause the hiring manager to wonder if this is a regular occurrence. She may reason that if you were serious about this job you would have taken measures to circumvent the traffic/getting lost/not knowing what to wear excuse you used upon coming in the door.
2. Is this how he’ll dress at work? Come to an interview in less than professional dress, and you might get a raised eyebrow from the person interviewing you. They say “dress for the job you want,” so if you come in wearing flip-flops or a mini-skirt, the hiring manager might assume you’re not professional enough for the job.
3. Did he lie on his résumé? If you stumble when asked questions you should be able to answer, the employer may think you fibbed on your résumé. You might chalk it up to nervousness, but she may not see it that way. That’s why practicing how you’ll respond to certain questions, like those about your past work duties and accomplishments, can help you speak confidently in an interview.
4. Will he jump ship? If you have a short stint at a company (for less than a year), a hiring manager may wonder about your ability to commit to a job long-term. And it is, of course, her goal to find the right person for the job and avoid a difficult and costly replacement.
5. Is he this sloppy in his work? If your résumé is riddled with grammatical errors, you probably won’t even get a call for an interview. Even if your day-to-day job doesn’t involve a lot of writing, a hiring manager wants to know that you pay attention to your work and can catch mistakes without correction from a superior.
6. His personality isn’t a good fit. Your skills and experience plays a large role in a hiring manager’s decision of whether you’re the ideal candidate or not, but your personality and “culture fit” are equally important. This may be difficult to master, since you never know what she’s looking for in terms of what will mesh well with the existing team.
By Lindsay Olson | U.S.News & World Report LP – Mon, Jun 3, 2013 11:52 AM EDT
Click HERE to read entire article.
By DAVE JOHNSON / MONEYWATCH/ May 13, 2013, 8:18 AM
(MoneyWatch) Job searches are emotionally draining, and making it all the way through the interview process can be arduous. But unless the hiring manager offers you the position on the spot at the end of the interview — rare, but certainly not unheard of — you’re still not done. Put your best foot forward and improve the odds of getting a job offer by sending an awesome follow-up letter the next day.
Click here to continue reading article on CBS MoneyWatch
Back 2 Work 2013 Career Conference features career workshops and a Job Fair for job seekers in the Memphis area. If you are currently unemployed and seeking employment, this event is for you!
March 14, 2013 - 9 am – 2 pm
New Direction Christian Church, 6120 Winchester Road.
Participation is FREE to companies and job seekers.
NO PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
Visit and interview with hiring companies during the Career Fair from 9 am – 2 pm. Bring plenty of resumes and dress professionally.
For more information, contact
Glenda Warren at 901-333-6812
Jhaqueil Reagan of Indianapolis, Indiana, was walking down the street on his way to interview for a minimum wage job. He happened to cross paths with Art Bouvier, who was laying rock salt on the ground outside his restaurant, Papa Roux, after an ice storm had hit the area earlier in the morning.
Bouvier said the 18-year-old approached him and asked how far it was to 10th and Sherman. Bouvier said the distance was at least six or seven miles, so he told Reagan that he would be better off taking a bus instead of walking, especially considering the freezing temperature. Reagan said “thank you” and kept on his way to the job interview.
Please click on the below link to watch or read complete story.
Always remember to carefully read and follow instructions. Mistakes made because you didn’t follow simple instructions can eliminate you from being considered for a job you are highly qualified to do with a very desirable company.
Avoid these interview mistakes
by: KIM COSTA
It’s been said time and time again: you can never redo a first impression. From the moment the interviewer sets eyes on you, game on! Try these quick, simple tips to tip the scale in your favor.
1) Shake it! It sounds simple but your handshake can really set you apart. A confident, strong handshake will take you further than a wimpy, weak one. I once worked in a small office where a potential candidate would come and meet with every employee. We would then meet to discuss the candidate, and one of the first things that was always mentioned was if the candidate had a terrible handshake. Don’t make this simple mistake.
2) Take your mom’s advice and stop slouching! Parents were actually on to something when they demanded you to sit up at the table. Bad posture can make it look like you are bored and can be a red flag to the hiring manager. Simply sitting up will make you look more engaged and interested in the position. By slouching, you could be showing them that this job isn’t that important to you.
3) Look me in the eye! Avoiding an interviewer’s eyes will not only make him or her a little uncomfortable, it my also show them that you could lack people skills needed for the position. Maintaining comfortable eye contact while they are speaking will also show you are interested in what they have to say.
4) Practice really does make perfect! You didn’t start driving the day you received your driver’s license, you spent time perfecting your mad skills. You were given help and advice from friends and family. Take the same approach when preparing for an interview. Have someone you trust give you a mock interview and listen carefully to the critique. You may have a bad habit you didn’t even realize! I did this with a friend and was told I kept twisting my hair, which I had no idea I was doing. Something as small as playing with your hair can distract the interviewer from learning the type of person you really are.
These tips sound obvious, but these are pointers we hear from our employers almost every day. Just remember you can really set yourself apart from your competition by coming across as professional with this advice.
1. “If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why?” – Asked at Forrester Research, research associate candidate.
2. “How many cows are in Canada?” – Asked at Google, for a local data quality evaluator position.
3. “How many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building?” – Asked at JetBlue, for a job as a pricing/revenue management analyst.
4. “A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?” – Asked at Clark Construction Group, office engineer candidate.
5. “What songs best describes your work ethic?” – Asked at Dell, consumer sales candidate.
6. “Jeff Bezos walks into your office and says you can have a million dollars to launch your best entrepreneurial idea. What is it?” – Asked at Amazon, product development candidate.
7. “What do you think about when you are alone in your car?” – Asked at Gallup, for an associate analyst position.
8. “How would you rate your memory?” – Asked at Marriott, front desk associate candidate.
9. “Name three previous Nobel Prize winners.” – Asked at Benefits CONNECT, office manager candidate.
10. “Can you say: ‘Peter Pepper Picked a Pickled Pepper’ and cross-sell a washing machine at the same time?” – Asked at MasterCard, call center candidate.
11. “If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?” – Asked at Trader Joe’s, crew candidate.
12. “How would people communicate in a perfect world?” – Asked at Novell, software engineer candidate.
13. “How do you make a tuna sandwich?” – Asked at Astron Consulting, office manager candidate.
14. “My wife and I are going on vacation, where would you recommend?” – Asked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, advisory associate candidate.
15. “You are a head chef at a restaurant and your team has been selected to be on ‘Iron Chef.’ How do you prepare your team for the competition and how do you leverage the competition for your restaurant?” – Asked at Accenture, business analyst candidate.
16. “Estimate how many windows are in New York.” – Asked at Bain & Co., associate consultant candidate.
17. “What’s your favorite song? Perform it for us now.” – Asked at LivingSocial, Adventures City manager candidate.
18. “Calculate the angle of two clock pointers when time is 11:50.” – Asked at Bank of America, software developer candidate.
19. “Have you ever stolen a pen from work?” – Asked at Jiffy Software, software architect candidate.
20. “Pick two celebrities to be your parents.” – Asked at Urban Outfitters, sales associate candidate.
21. “What kitchen utensil would you be?” – Asked at Bandwidth.com, marketer candidate.
22. “If you had turned your cellphone to silent mode, and it rang really loudly despite it being on silent, what would you tell me?” – Asked at Kimberly-Clark, biomedical engineer candidate.
23. “On a scale from one to 10, rate me as an interviewer.” – Asked at Kraft Foods, general laborer candidate.
24. “If you could be anyone else, who would it be?” – Asked at Salesforce.com, sales representative candidate.
25. “How would you direct someone else on how to cook an omelet?” – Asked at Petco, analyst candidate.
Please click on below link for entire article.
1. What’s the biggest change your group has gone through in the last year? Does your group feel like the recession is over and things are getting better, or are things still pretty bleak? What’s the plan to handle either scenario?
2. If I get the job, how do I earn a “gold star” on my performance review? What are the key accomplishments you’d like to see in this role over the next year?
3. What’s your (or my future boss’) leadership style?
4. About which competitor are you most worried?
5. How does sales / operations / technology / marketing / finance work around here? (I.e., groups other than the one you’re interviewing for.)
6. What type of people are successful here? What type of people are not?
7. What’s one thing that’s key to this company’s success that somebody from outside the company wouldn’t know about?
8. How did you get your start in this industry? Why do you stay?
9. What are your group’s best and worst working relationships with other groups in the company?
10. What keeps you up at night? What’s your biggest worry these days?
11. What’s the timeline for making a decision on this position? When should I get back in touch with you?
12. These are tough economic times, and every position is precious when it comes to the budget. Why did you decide to hire somebody for this position instead of the many other roles / jobs you could have hired for? What about this position made you prioritize it over others?
13. What is your reward system? Is it a star system / team-oriented / equity-based / bonus-based / “attaboy!”-based? Why is that your reward system? What do you guys hope to get out of it, and what actually happens when you put it into practice? What are the positives and the negatives of your reward system? If you could change any one thing, what would it be?
14. What information is shared with the employees (revenues, costs, operating metrics)? Is this an “open book” shop, or do you play it closer to the vest? How is information shared? How do I get access to the information I need to be successful in this job?
15. If we are going to have a very successful the year after next in 2014, what will that look like? What will we have done over the next 12 months to make it successful? How does this position help achieve those goals?
16. How does the company / my future boss do performance reviews? How do I make the most of the performance review process to ensure that I’m doing the best I can for the company?
17. What is the rhythm to the work around here? Is there a time of year that it’s “all hands on deck” and we’re pulling all-nighters, or is it pretty consistent throughout the year? How about during the week / month? Is it pretty evenly spread throughout the week / month, or are there crunch days?
18. What type of industry / functional / skills-based experience and background are you looking for in the person who will fill this position? What would the “perfect” candidate look like? How do you assess my experience in comparison? What gaps do you see?
19. In my career, I’ve primarily enjoyed working with big / small / growing / independent / private / public / family-run companies. If that’s the case, how successful will I be at your firm?
20. Who are the heroes at your company? What characteristics do the people who are most celebrated have in common with each other? Conversely, what are the characteristics that are common to the promising people you hired, but who then flamed out and failed or left? As I’m considering whether or not I’d be successful here, how should I think about the experiences of the heroes and of the flame-outs?
These 20 questions are taken from the following newsletter.
By now, we should all know that it’s dangerous to lie on a resume. But you know what? In the job search conversation between employers and candidates, a bit of fibbing sometimes happens on the employer side, too.
We asked some recruiting experts to name the biggest lies recruiters tell, so you can spot the untruths and be ready to deal with them.
Recruiters meet a lot of people. And most of them have huge candidate databases. Often when they speak this untruth, they mean it: They are keeping your resume on file. Just know that they’re doing so in a gigantic filing cabinet, and that out of sight often means out of mind.
How to Handle: Don’t assume that “no” means “never.” Once you’ve started a conversation with a recruiter, don’t let the conversation end just because you’re not offered one job. Stay in touch via professional networking sites, and stay abreast of goings-on at the company so you can be aware of opportunities before they’re posted.
Just remember that there’s a fine line between “staying in touch” and “stalking.” So contact the recruiter only when you have a genuine reason to do so. And as with all professional contacts, don’t just look for favors to ask — also look for ways to be of service.
2. “Salary depends on experience.”
Usually, the company has a ballpark figure in mind. If a recruiter asks for your salary requirements or expectations, he’s trying to see whether you’re in that ballpark.
How to Handle: In general, it’s better to wait until a job offer is on the table before moving onto salary negotiations — but recruiters sometimes use salary requirements as a way to thin out the candidate pool.
In this case, your best defense is having done thorough research. Make sure you know what’s competitive for the position, the industry and the region, combined with what’s appropriate for someone with your background. That way, you can answer the question in terms of what your research has uncovered (not in terms of what your specific needs are), and then you can add something like, “But of course a conversation about salary makes more sense when we’re discussing a job offer.” Don’t lowball your number, but perhaps let the recruiter know that you’ll weigh nonsalary compensation (vacation days and other perks, for example) with the actual salary offer.
3. “You’ll hear from us either way.”
The truth is that you might never hear — or you might not hear when you expect to. The reasons vary, but a lack of communication after an interview can indicate indecisiveness on the part of the hiring team.
How to Handle: Tackle this lie pre-emptively. Always leave a job interview knowing when you can expect to hear from the hirers. That way, you won’t torture yourself wondering whether it’s too soon to call them back. If they say they’ll get back to you by next Friday and they don’t, send a friendly email to check in. You can even use this check-in email as a chance to continue selling yourself as a candidate. If you’ve had any further thoughts about issues raised in the interview, now is a great time to touch on them again. If they need more time, give it to them — but be firm and friendly about following up.
As for a company that never follows up with you after an interview — even to say “no thank you” — that could be a sign that something is wrong at the company. Smart employers know that treating candidates as well as customers is the right way to do business.
4. “We aren’t finished interviewing yet.”
Sometimes this is true. Sometimes this means you’re the company’s “Plan B” candidate. But this statement makes it sound as if the company has at least settled on a solid group of contenders, and that’s not always the case. Sometimes recruiters use this line as a stalling tactic when they’re still looking for someone more perfect than anyone in their current candidate pool.
How to Handle: Look at this statement as an opportunity to prove yourself. If your post-interview wait time is being extended because the hiring team is “reviewing other candidates,” ask questions like, “Do you have any specific questions or concerns about my ability to handle any aspect of the job? I’d love to address them and demonstrate that I’m the perfect candidate.”
Every interaction with a recruiter or hiring manager is an opportunity to persuade them that you’re the right person for the job. If you’re getting mixed messages, asking direct questions and staying focused will help you understand what’s really going on.
You were laid off from your executive job by a company that’s now six feet under. You’ve sent out 800 resumes, done one interview, received zero offers. You find yourself looking lower and lower on the totem pole and occasionally eyeing openings for line managers at the competitor that killed your former employer. If you must apply for a position for which you’re clearly overqualified, how do you actually land the job?
Withhold Your Resume
Here’s what not to do: Fire off a volley of resumes to human resources departments. “Sending a resume is simply a way to oblivion,” says Jeffrey Fox, author of Don’t Send a Resume. HR departments must quickly eliminate nearly all of the hundreds of resumes submitted for a single opening. At the first whiff of your extra qualifications, most screeners will stamp “no” on your application. “Resumes are read to be rejected,” Fox says. What’s the workaround for overqualified candidates? Go directly to the hiring manager to pitch your ability to excel in the open position. You can either call or write, but hold back your resume in the first round of communication with the employer.
Sell to the Employer’s Need
Once you’ve found out as much as you can about the company and the position, you’ve got to imagine how your qualifications mesh perfectly with the job requirements. “If you’re overqualified, you need to articulate how a handful of your skills will help that specific employer,” says Nick Corcodilos, author of Ask the Headhunter. At least at first, say nothing about higher-level skills that don’t pertain to the position at hand.
Use Emphasis to Shape Employer Perceptions
Sooner or later, you’ll probably have to send a resume. More than you ever have before, you’ll need to customize your one-page presentation of yourself. To de-emphasize those over-the-top elements of your professional background, “you can make some information more sparse, but you’ve got to be careful about misrepresenting yourself,” says Corcodilos.
How do you tread this fine line? One solution is to create a functional resume where relevant skills are pumped up in detail toward the top of the resume, while overly impressive titles are demoted to the bottom and given little ink. Strategic emphasis is integral to persuasion; omission of recent, important rungs in your career ladder is unethical deception.
Make a Virtue of Your Extra Qualifications
In the interview, if your prospective employer says that your extraordinary qualifications cast doubt on your candidacy, recast your past as an asset to your future at the company. Emphasize that “you’re getting somebody with the potential to move up,” says Frances Haynes, coauthor with Daniel Porot of 101 Toughest Interview Questions.
Draw Out Objections; Don’t Volunteer Them
Employers typically have the following objections to candidates with extra qualifications: You’ll get bored quickly; you won’t be satisfied with the salary; you’ll jump to another company as soon as you get a better offer. “Employers are pretty reticent to hire overqualified people, because they believe when the economy picks up, they’ll lose those people,” says Haynes.
If you raise these issues early in the application process, you risk short-circuiting your candidacy. Instead, see what’s on the minds of your interviewers by asking open-ended questions such as these: “What else do you need to hear to be convinced that I’m the best fit for the job? Do you have any questions about my candidacy that I haven’t yet had the chance to answer?” Just make sure you’ve already ferreted out all the tough questions that your work history could possibly raise — and practiced answering them.
The Ultimate Issue
Finally, be prepared to answer one question that the interviewer may be too embarrassed to ask: Won’t it be humiliating for you to take a job that many people would consider beneath you? You can address this issue indirectly through the positive attitude you convey in everything you say about the available position and your fitness for it. “You have to be perceived as the kind of person who believes there is honor in every job,” says Haynes.
You landed the interview. Awesome! Now don’t screw it up.
I’ve interviewed thousands of people for jobs ranging from entry-level to executive. Easily three-fourths of the candidates made basic interviewing mistakes.
Did I still hire some of them? Absolutely… but never count on your qualifications and experience to outweigh a bad interview.
Here are eight practical ways to shine:
- Be likable. Obvious? And critical. Making a great first impression and establishing a real connection is everything. Smile, make eye contact, be enthusiastic, sit forward in your chair, use the interviewer’s name…. Be yourself, but be the best version of yourself you possibly can. We all want to work with people we like and who like us. Use that basic fact to your advantage. Few candidates do.
- Never start the interview by saying you want the job. Why? Because you don’t know yet. False commitment is, well, false. Instead…
- Ask questions about what really matters to you. (Here are five questions great job candidates ask.) Focus on making sure the job is a good fit: Who you will work with, who you will report to, the scope of responsibilities, etc. Interviews should always be two-way, and interviewers respond positively to people as eager as they are to find the right fit. Plus there’s really no other way to know you want the job. And don’t be afraid to ask several questions. As long as you don’t take completely take over, the interviewer will enjoy and remember a nice change of pace.
- Set a hook. A sad truth of interviewing is that later we often don’t remember a tremendous amount about you — especially if we’ve interviewed a number of candidates for the same position. Later we might refer to you as, “The guy with the alligator briefcase,” or, “The lady who did a Tough Mudder,” or, “The guy who grew up in Panama.” Sometimes you may be identified by hooks, so use that to your advantage. Your hook could be clothing (within reason), or an outside interest, or an unusual fact about your upbringing or career. Hooks make you memorable and create an anchor for interviewers to remember you by — and being memorable is everything.
- Know what you can offer immediately. Researching the company is a given; go a step farther and find a way you can hit the ground running or contribute to a critical area. If you have a specific technical skill, show how it can be leveraged immediately. But don’t say, for example, “I would love to be in charge of revamping your social media marketing.” One, that’s fairly presumptuous, and two, someone may already be in charge. Instead, share details regarding your skills and say you would love to work with that team. If there is no team, great — you may be put in charge. If there is a team you haven’t stepped on any toes or come across as pushy. Just think about what makes you special and show the benefits to the company. The interviewer will be smart enough to recognize how the project you bring can be used.
- Don’t create negative sound bites. Interviewers will only remember a few sound bites, especially negative ones. If you’ve never been in charge of training, don’t say, “I’ve never been in charge of training.” Say, “I did not fill that specific role, but I have trained dozens of new hires and created several training guides.” Basically, never say, “I can’t,” or “I haven’t,” or “I don’t.” Share applicable experience and find the positives in what you have done. No matter what the subject, be positive: Even your worst mistake can be your best learning experience.
- Ask for the job based on facts. By the end of the interview you should have a good sense of whether you want the job. If you need more information, say so. Otherwise use your sales skills and ask for the job. (Don’t worry; we like when you ask.) Focus on specific aspects of the job: Explain you work best with teams, or thrive in unsupervised roles, or get energized by frequent travel…. Ask for the job and use facts to prove you want it — and deserve it.
- Reinforce a connection with your follow-up. Email follow-ups are fine; handwritten notes are better; following up based on something you learned during the interview is best: An email including additional information you were asked to provide, or a link to a subject you discussed (whether business or personal.) The better the interview — and more closely you listened — the easier it will be to think of ways you can make following up seem natural and unforced. And make sure you say thanks — never underestimate the power of gratitude.
Article found on the below link.
- “I can summarize who I am in three words.” Grabs their attention immediately. Demonstrates your ability to be concise, creative and compelling.
- “The quotation I live my life by is…” Proves that personal development is an essential part of your growth plan. Also shows your ability to motivate yourself.
- “My personal philosophy is…” Companies hire athletes – not shortstops. This line indicates your position as a thinker, not just an employee.
- “People who know me best say that I’m…” This response offers insight into your own level of self-awareness.
- “Well, I googled myself this morning, and here’s what I found…” Tech-savvy, fun, cool people would say this. Unexpected and memorable.
- “My passion is…” People don’t care what you do – people care who you are. And what you’re passionate about is who you are. Plus, passion unearths enthusiasm.
- “When I was seven years old, I always wanted to be…” An answer like this shows that you’ve been preparing for this job your whole life, not just the night before.
- “If Hollywood made a move about my life, it would be called…” Engaging, interesting and entertaining.
- “Can I show you, instead of tell you?” Then, pull something out of your pocket that represents who you are. Who could resist this answer? Who could forget this answer?
- “The compliment people give me most frequently is…” Almost like a testimonial, this response also indicates self-awareness and openness to feedback.
Keep in mind that these examples are just the opener. The secret is thinking how you will follow up each answer with relevant, interesting and concise explanations that make the already bored interviewer look up from his stale coffee and think, “Wow! That’s the best answer I’ve heard all day!”
Ultimately it’s about answering quickly, it’s about speaking creatively and it’s about breaking people’s patterns.
Click on the below link for entire article.
You may already know that interviewers pick up on body language and may even base hiring decisions on it to some extent. But nonverbal communication goes both ways. Hiring managers also give subtle, unconscious signals that they’re interested in you — or, in many cases, are losing interest.
Here are some subtle signs that you may be headed for the reject pile, and how you could turn things in your favor:
Signs: Stops taking notes; looks repeatedly at clock or watch; dramatically picks up the pace of questioning.
Message:“I’m bored by you.”
“It’s fine to stop and say, ‘I have a question for you, if you don’t mind,’” body language expert, Susan Constantine tells Monster.com. “And when you do this, pause and change inflection to get their attention. You can also use hand gestures when talking to add emphasis.”
Signs:Folds arms across chest; flares nostrils; shifts shoulder or feet toward the exit.
Message: “I’m offended.”
The only way to mitigate an unintentionally offensive gaffe is to address it directly, experts say. Ask whether you’ve said something impolite or offensive, and apologize.
Signs:A momentary smirk; raised eyebrows.
Message: “I disagree, or I don’t believe you.”
If you think your comments are meeting resistance, it’s OK to address that directly, says Ronald Riggio, Ph.D., a professor of leadership and organizational psychology at Claremont McKenna College. “You can be straightforward and politely say, ‘I get the sense that you don’t agree with what I’m saying. Is there anything I can clarify for you?’”
Sign: Reads your resume through the whole interview.
Message: “I’d rather be anywhere else
Click on below link to read entire article.
During the typical job interview, you’ll be peppered with many interview questions. But do you really understand what the interviewer needs to know?
The reality is that employers have neither the time nor inclination to play games with you, especially when hiring. Your interviewer is not trying to outguess you — he’s trying to assess your answers to six key questions.
Click on the below link for entire article.