Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Five Advanced Tips You Need to Know to Get Hired

Now that you have read about the first five basic rules to start any interview off right, it is time to examine the advanced tips that will set you a part from the crowd. In today's market, the most desirable jobs are almost as competitive as a pro football game. You need to bring your best defense and offence on the field if you hope to have a sporting chance. 

The Five Advanced Tips You Need to Know to Get Hired:

1. Know your weaknesses. 
One of the most popular questions a hiring manager will ask is, "What is your biggest weakness?" Don't let this question be your Achilles heel that sends your interview on a downward spiral. Everyone has blind spots as well as strengths, just like in sports, but the important thing is how you will interact in the team. The key is to sell your strengths and present your weaknesses strategically. Acknowledge your weaknesses, but provide a solution or a game plan on how to improve. This will show you in a much better light than if you try to justify it, sugarcoat it, or just brush it off. An example of this would be, "I'm a bit of a workaholic. But, I find that if I plan vacations or small breaks, I can balance this aspect of my personality." An alternative is to turn your weakness into a strength, which can be tricky to do and works in only some situations. An example of this would be, "My weakness is that I work too much, but that's because I'm dedicated worker and I love what I do." 

Watch what happens to habitual liar Jen from The IT Crowd, one of my favorite British Comedies, tries to get away with not knowing something vital for her job. Somehow she manages to turn her weakness into a strength, and therefore shows that she is indispensable. But be warned: she is a professional actress, do not try this at home.

P.S. IT stands for Information Technology, but Jen's explanation is much more humorous. Click here for The IT Crowd: Complete Collection of 4 Seasons.

2. Sell your strengths.

[Via Pixabay]

Another popular question interviewers ask is, "what is your biggest strength?" This is your opportunity to toot your own horn and show the hiring manager what you bring to the table. Show them how you will fit in their team and company, and how you will become irreplaceable. But be careful. You want to highlight your most marketable skills, but not sound like you are bragging or condescending. Strengths should also be carefully worded and relevant to the job at hand. A word of caution. Do not lie. I repeat, do not lie. You may be able to fool someone for a few minutes in one interview, but the truth will eventually come out. If you actually get the job and they find out that you lied, they have grounds for dismissal.

3. Get to know your interviewer and prospective employer. There are a few reasons why it is so advantageous to get to know someone before you come in to the interview. First of all people are naturally drawn to people who are similar or interested in them. Secondly, and more importantly, the more you know about something the more informed of a decision you can make.  This makes for a better match on both sides of the equation which will equal out to job satisfaction and employee productivity. Thirdly, the more you know about someone and their needs, the easier it is to market yourself to them. 
[Via Pixabay]

4. Know what behavioral questions are and how to answer them. Behavioral questions are just that, questions based on your behavior. But the key behind them is typically to see what kind of behavior you have exhibited in the past, and what you are likely to do in the future. Check out this great article to find out more about behavioral questions and how to answer them to your advantage: http://biginterview.com/blog/behavioral-interview-questions.
[Via Pixabay]

5. Leave a good impression. Last but not least, be sure to leave a good impression with your interviewer. Let them know you are the professional they have been looking for. Ask them when they can follow up with you and get a commitment on time. If a recruiter or hiring manager asks when you are available for another interview or when to start, then you know you are on the right track.

[Via Pixabay]

Did you like this article and my writing style? Vote for me for 'Awesome Writer of the Year'. Okay, there is no such thing, but the next best thing you can do is subscribe to my blog or like me on facebook: www.facebook.com/kellyfelstedmitchell. You can also follow me on twitter: @KJFMitchellQA for career tips or @KellyJFMitchell for writing thoughts and humorous tweets. See my LinkedIn Profile here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Top Ten Ways to Ace Your Next Interview

With the post-bubble economy still being in its tepid state, it isn’t enough to have the required experience and education to land your dream job. Nowadays you need to step up your game to stand a chance among a sea of hopeful applicants. As a seasoned professional recruiter who has placed hundreds of candidates, I know the industry secrets for successful interviews. Here are the top ten ways to ace your next interview, and insure that you get placed at the top of the pile of potential hires. For organizational purposes, I have divided the tips into a list of five basic musts and five advanced tips.

The Five Basic Rules to Start Your Interview Off Right:

1. Dress to impress. The best rule of thumb is to dress one level up from the standard dress code of the company you are interviewing with. Don’t know the dress code? Call ahead and ask the receptionist or the person who recruited you. Don’t be embarrassed to ask. It would be more embarrassing to show up underdressedthough if you have the personality of Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness [sic], you still stand a chance.

2. Show up on time. This seems simple, but as a recruiter I can’t tell you how many times that my whole schedule has been derailed because someone didn’t show up at the expected time. No matter what role you are interviewing for, time is of the essence. It is common courtesy to show up early or on time, and punctuality always leaves an impression of professionalism. If you can, try to show up fifteen minutes early. But if a delay is inevitable, let the recruiter or hiring manager know as soon as possible. 

[Via Pixabay]

3. Know the ins and outs of the job that you are interviewing for. Make sure you know about the job description before you arrive. Try to find out the scope of the project, skills required, and even goalsbut don’t go overboard and try to memorize the job description. Some recruiters and hiring managers resort to using stock job descriptions, which may contain extraneous details that are not even relevant to the job. I’ve also even seen hiring managers ask for the impossible (i.e. Five years of a technology that has been out for one year). What does that mean for you, the interviewee? Be aware that the job description is generally a ‘big picture’ wish list. Be ready to help the interviewer see that you fit the general requirements of the job. Showing that you know what they want and what they need will get you one step closer to getting the job.
[Via Pixabay]

4. Bring a copy of your resume. Bringing something tangible to your interview is a great way to show initiative. Not only does it show the recruiter or hiring manager that you care, it also gives your interviewer something to refer to and focus on in your interview. Although a lot of hiring managers and recruiters will have a copy of your resume already printed, sometimes they don’t. There’s nothing more awkward than having to go over your work history without having your resume to back you up. Plus it gives them something else to look at, instead of staring you down.

[Via Pixabay]

5. Put your phone on silent. As more and more people become cyber-dependent on their smartphones, I find that it is more important than ever to stress the need to silence your phone when interviewing. While some people have legitimate excuses to answer calls during an interview (such as an on call doctor at a hospital), most calls can go to voicemail and be answered at a later time. If you don’t turn it on silent, you run the embarrassing risk of answering the phone during the interview. While it won’t kill your chances, it will most likely stall your engine at the start.

[Via Pixabay]

[Next, The Five Advanced Tips You Need to Know to Get Hired]

Did you like this article and my writing style? Vote for me for 'Awesome Writer of the Year'. Okay, there is no such thing, but the next best thing you can do is subscribe to my blog or like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/kellyfelstedmitchell. You can also follow me on twitter: @KJFMitchellQA for career tips or @KellyJFMitchell for writing thoughts and humorous tweets.