Answering Tricky Interview Questions

Nov 02 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Interviews can be tricky. But some interviews can be trickier than others. If you have been on more than a few job interviews, you know this is true.

Why the need for tricks? Because a prospective employer knows that they will be taking a gamble on you. Put simply, you are an investment. If they do not choose wisely, that investment may not pay off. And those tricky questions? They separate the great from the mediocre. Some of these questions may seem simple, but do not let that fool you. Here are three examples and how to answer those tricky interview questions and maximize your hire worthy potential.

So, tell me about yourself.

Ahh, the question asked and answered many times over a lifetime. Yet employers aren’t just looking for any answer. They want to hear keywords. They want to hear in your explanation things that matter in their decision making process—your skills, education, experience, good qualities and achievements.

This is a chance to introduce yourself in a way that brands you as the person the company not only wants, but needs.

What is the biggest challenge when dealing with others?

In life there are bothers. There are challenges. If you tell them that you get along with everyone and anyone and life is a happy place, they likely won’t take you seriously. On the other hand, you don’t want to use this opportunity to unload your grievances.

Speak in generalizations, not specifics, and speak calmly. For example, “I find that negative attitudes in the workplace can be challenging.” Once you state a challenge, be sure to conclude with a resolution so that your answer is based on solutions as opposed to the problem.

I see you’ve been out of work for some time.

In this instance, the employer is essentially asking why you’re still on the market—if you’re that great, that is. Success in answering this question is dependent on calming whatever fears or reservations they may have about hiring you.

Let the employer know that it is your choice. Perhaps you haven’t had the right opportunity or found the right fit. Or, perhaps you opted to take some personal time after your last job, prior to starting over. Wrap it up with a sense of urgency, however. Yes, you took some time for whatever reason, but now that you are invested in the job search, things are moving along quickly. (Read: better snap me up!)

 

 

Comments Off on Answering Tricky Interview Questions

The After Interview Waiting Game

Oct 12 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

If you are lucky enough to have landed an interview, and are around to tell the tale, you know how stress inducing the interview waiting game can be. Did you get the job? Did they like you? Or worse- is it all bad. Bad, bad bad.

Before you give up hope and resign to live your life unemployed and alone, relax and take a deep breath. Don’t drive yourself crazy. Here’s what to do after your interview to keep your sanity.

Stay Focused

Yes, you’ve had an interview, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve got the job. It’s okay. You simply need to stay focused and stay sharp. Until you get that job offer and accept, you’re still on the market. Act like it and keep looking. This will help you keep your wants and needs in sight and keep you from daydreaming about a job you don’t have. And, in the event you don’t get a call back from that interview or, ultimately a job offer, you’ll be well on the way to securing other prospects.

Network

I know, I know. We say it time and time again- network, network, network. But it works. Companies and workforces are comprised of people. Even if you work alone, people have to pay you. You have to have some interaction with people to have a job and make money. Sure, some career paths require less interaction with other humans than others. Getting a job doesn’t mean an end to networking.

If you’re unsure where to start, look for job fairs that are in your area. Turn to social media. Twitter and LinkedIn are especially good. Build your brand. Build your online presence. Exude professionalism. This will help you tremendously- whether you get the job at hand or not.

Personal Development

Whether you are looking for a job or have a job, it’s important to take time whenever possible to work on you and build upon your skills and just “do you.” It is what keeps like fulfilling. Blog. Go for a hike. Meditate. Exercise. Invest in personal development. Do the things that make you happy and keep you motivated and at your peak. This will help you stay grounded and keep you from stressing out about this job or the next.

All in all, take a deep breath and remember that you are awesome. Life is too short to spend it stressed out.

Comments Off on The After Interview Waiting Game

The Wait: Should You Call or Email?

Sep 07 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

In some instances it may be better that an applicant call the hiring manager or the potential employer and other cases they may be better off sending an email. Making the right decision in terms of contact methods can help give an applicant a one up on the competition while searching for a job. While it is true that a phone call is a more personal approach, it can be construed as being to forward.

So, should you call or email? Well, it depends. There are two types of waiting periods that everyone is familiar in the job search process. They are the wait for the interview and the wait for the job offer.

The Interview Wait

Everyone knows that waiting to receive an interview call can seem like pure torture as you check your phone several times a day in anticipation. After sending your resume and waiting for three to four business days, you should place a follow-up call to the hiring managers to inquire if they have started their interview process or if they are still accepting resumes.

Many people wonder if they should call so soon after submitting the resume but it pays to be proactive about the job you wish to have and when you work to get your foot in the door it shows the employer that you have initiative. Anyone who really wants the job and puts forth their best effort to get it, will be the winning candidate in the eyes of the employer.

The Job Offer Wait

Your resume has been sent and the interview went well and you are now waiting to hear back with a job offer. This wait period can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. A good practice is to thank the interviewer via email within the 24 to 48 hours following your interview. However, by calling and sending an email you can come off as being presumptuous and you want to avoid that. In its place, send a positive email that shows your interest in the position. If a week or two pass, then you can call or if you’re nervous you can follow up with an email instead. If they have not come to a decision yet you can ask if you are one of the candidates they are considering and if they can provide you with a time frame. This phone call can help ease your mind and let you know where you stand.

It is crucial during this process to stay professional, appreciative and friendly.

The form of communication you use and when depends on your ends- what is more appropriate in one instance may not be in another. So, what are you waiting for? It matters.

Comments Off on The Wait: Should You Call or Email?

Ready to Make a Lasting Impression?

Aug 31 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Clothes, attitude and confidence can definitely affect your chances of succeeding or failing in an interview. It is true, yes, but there are so many other things that affect the impression you make on someone- especially if that someone is a hiring manager. While these may not be as obvious, they have the potential to cost you.

With this in mind, here are 3 factors you should always consider before going to an interview that will help you make a lasting impression.

Timing, Timing, Timing

The hiring manager is human, as hard as it may be to believe. As the day goes on, they get tired and lose the enthusiasm mustered at the start of the day. This means that it can be pretty unfortunate for you if your interview is scheduled at the end of the day.

If you have the option, try to ensure that your interview is at the start of the day as the interviewer will be more receptive at the start. However, if that is not possible, prepare short, engaging answers to questions so that your interviewer remains focused on you. In fact, if you play your cards right, you may even be the person the interviewer will remember after the day ends.

Relationship Building

Again, your interviewer is a human. He will be less inclined to hire you if you appear emotionless and reserved. On the other hand, if you build a relationship with him and attempt to get along with him, that could be the key that opens the door to a new job. If possible, try to engage your interviewer on a personal level as well as a professional one- but don’t get too personal. Definitely don’t overshare.

Availability, Baby

Unfortunately, you cannot control this factor as you can’t really clear up your interviewer’s schedule. If your interviewer has a million things on his mind, he may not be as focused on you as you would want. In such a case, you need to prepare a list of points which can help quickly and efficiently convey why you are the best candidate for the job.

Comments Off on Ready to Make a Lasting Impression?

Interviews Made Easy

Aug 24 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Everyone is bound to go through some tough interviews. After all, anyone can have a bad day. If you tank an interview, don’t beat yourself up over it. Pick yourself up and move on. Learn from it. Even if you don’t get the job, it doesn’t mean you don’t make the grade. It certainly doesn’t mean all hope is lost. At the very least, you have hopefully made a lasting impression on your employer. One that will only help your chances in the future.

With this in mind, here are some tips to ensure that your interviewer remembers you.

Seize the initiative

Even if you messed up every single question in the interview, hope is not dead yet. Once the interview is over, you can try talking to the interviewer informally, building a positive image of yourself. This way, even if you aren’t hired, you will have someone who can recommend you for other jobs while also building up a network.

Assess your interviewer’s attitude

No matter what feedback you get, you need to gauge how the interviewer delivers it. If he seems relaxed, upbeat and jovial, that is a sign that it may be a good idea to continue this budding relation. On the other hand, if the interviewer seems angry or reserved, then forgetting about the interview and moving on may be the best approach.

Read between the lines

Instead of simply taking what the interviewer says at face value, try to understand what he is trying to convey and try to show him that you are ready to attempt to improve. For example, if the interviewer says you have failed to attain the minimum experience required for the job, ask about a different position where you can work while attaining the necessary experience as well.

Don’t stop at just the interviewer

While the interview may be the most conventional way to get a job, there are various other possible approaches possible due to the influence of social media. You can attempt to reach out to other members of the relevant department through websites such as LinkedIn and demonstrate your abilities, which in turn may convince them to hire you, or at least give you a chance to prove your worth.

Maintain contact with the interviewer after the interview

Keep the interviewer informed about your job hunt progress; while this is not as relevant if your interview tanked, this is necessary if you are being seriously considered for a position. A manager may be unwilling to hire you even if you demonstrated exceptional skills but he is unaware of your availability. Keeping in touch with the interviewer regularly will help ensure that the manager knows about your availability.

Comments Off on Interviews Made Easy

Interviews: What Not to Say

Aug 18 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Let’s face it, the job market is competitive. There are way too many applicants and simply not enough jobs. During an interview, every single action can have either a positive or a negative consequence. One wrong answer could be the difference between getting the job and another seemingly endless future of filling out resumes for the future.

With so many things to do, here are a few tips on what not to say or do during your next interview.

What are the operations of your company?

The moment you utter these fatal words, you can start considering other places. Your interviewer will feel insulted and angered that you do not even know the basics about the company you are applying it. You will come across as underprepared and unambitious as well. Always ensure you know even the minute details regarding the company you are applying at.

My faults? I don’t settle for anything less than perfection.

You will come off as attempting to cover up your weaknesses, which may indicate that you have either a lot of weaknesses or major ones. This is considered a cliché and unoriginal as well, which will further portray a negative image.

Instead, try to mention some negative traits along with how you have since managed to overcome them, to appear more human to the interviewer.

What’s the timeout policy?

If there’s ever a foot in the mouth, this is it. You will leave your interviewer wondering whether you have any intention of working or whether you’ll simply count down the clock in order to collect the cheque. Hence, it is always preferable to leave that question for later; once you have actually been hired.

My old boss was pure evil

Your interviewer will question your professionalism as well as the respect you have towards your colleagues. He will further wonder whether you will do the same once you leave this job. Overall, this will do nothing except hurt your image.

Always compliment your old colleagues. Or if you don’t have anything good to say about, don’t dwell on the topic too much. But under no circumstances should you criticize them vehemently.

Any buzzword ever

Chances are, this is not the first interview your interviewer is conducting. He has probably heard all the buzzwords and clichés in the world. He will not be impressed if your answers are typical as that will show unoriginality and a lack of creativity.

Try to come up with original answers. Humorous answers can, in some occasions, help to break the ice and actually impress your interviewer.

Comments Off on Interviews: What Not to Say

Need a Job? Check Your Attitude.

Jun 22 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Attitude is everything, at least that is what they say. And really, it’s true. It’s true in your interpersonal relationships and it’s true at work. In fact, your attitude can be the catalyst for success or the cause of your defeat.

A recent study revealed that almost half of all new hires (46%) failed within the first month. Why, you ask? Not because of their lack of skill, but because of their job attitude.

Yes, you read that right. Almost half of all new hires fail because they need an attitude adjustment.

Sometimes, your attitude even prevents you from getting a job in the first place. Whether it’s before or after the hire, here are three things you can change to help change your attitude and/or what others perceive it to be.

Dress

How you dress is an expression of you, but what do your clothes say about you? Look at the office work culture and dress for success. Pay attention to grooming and personal hygiene and dress for success. Take pride in your appearance to show future or present coworkers that you also take pride in your work.

Smile

You don’t have to be super duper happy all the time. In fact, you shouldn’t come off like you’re faking you’re enthusiasm. Yes, we all have bad days and we aren’t always the happiest of happy, but an interview and/or the workplace isn’t the time to dwell in unhappiness or anger. A little smile can go a long way.

Manners

Mind your manners. Say please, say thank you. This is said often, but it can’t be emphasized enough. Your manners help others around you feel more comfortable and appreciated. You’ll be more approachable and gracious and your attitude will appear positive and far from in need of adjustment.

A poor attitude will keep you from getting the job you want (or need) and keep you from realizing your potential. Don’t let it. Be proactive. Think positive. The future is yours.

Comments Off on Need a Job? Check Your Attitude.