One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make in the interview room is reciting answers to common interview questions. This is not only a turn off to the interviewer but it sucks the life out of you as a candidate because you only want to talk about what you think the interviewer wants to hear forgetting that you are unique in your own way and even though these questions are common in almost all interviews, they can be approached in a way that sets you apart from other candidates.
The secret to acing any interview is by understanding what the interviewer is after and customizing your answers in such a way that you don’t appear like a robot reciting answers.
Common Interview Questions We Answer Wrongly
1. Tell me About Yourself
When the interviewer asks you this question he/she wants to find out whether you fit the profile of the ideal candidate. Think about it. In relation to the job you are interviewing for, what does the interviewer need to know about you?
Common Mistake: The mistake interviewees make when answering this common interview question is giving too much irrelevant information forgetting that it’s an interview and not a social conversation. Talk about your qualifications instead as well as anything else that makes you the ideal candidate.
2. How did you hear about this position?
If you have ever attended an interview, how did you answer this interview question? It’s a simple question but one that may cost you a good job. What the interviewer wants to know when they ask you this question is simply whether you specifically looked up the company or just stumbled on the job through an advert.
Common Blunders: This may seem like an overly unnecessary question but one that still makes a difference in your interview outcome. If you came across the job through another website you need to find prior to the interview whether it is okay to mention their name.
Another mistake job seekers make is making up names or lying because they can’t remember where they heard about the position. If you can’t remember, simply tell them that. It’s not as if they are going to shoot you for not remembering.
3. What is your weakness?
Translation; Are you self-aware and can you solve problems. What most candidates hear instead is tell us why we won’t give you this job. This common interview question is not difficult. How you answer it though matters.
Common Mistakes: The common mistakes job seekers make when answering this question is being overly honest or saying that they don’t have any weaknesses. Keep in mind that this is not the first interview the recruiter is conducting so don’t go giving cliché answers like “I am a perfectionist”
Instead, think about the job and talk about a weakness related to that particular role. A good weakness should be authentic and fixable and you should follow up with a statement about how you are working on changing.
4. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
The interviewer is trying to find out whether you have a plan for your life and career or you are just wading through life to wherever it will take you to. They want to know that you have plans for career growth because nobody wants to employ someone who is not looking to grow.
Common Mistakes We make: When asked “where do you see yourself in five years“, most job seekers often jump to telling the interviewer about their long-term goals leaving out the short term ones. I mean there is nothing wrong with saying that you want to be the regional manager if at the moment you are a senior manager but if you are an intern talk about your short term growth.
The other mistakes are talking about plans that are not related to the job like getting married and finally giving unrealistic goals. Goals should be achievable and you talking about moving from an intern to Senior Manager in three years doesn’t make sense.
5. What does your former boss say about you?
Why is this question important again? The recruiter wants to know what your relationship with your former employer was like to determine if you are the best fit for the position.
Biggest mistake: Most candidates go to the extent of bad mouthing their former employer or painting a picture of a relationship so strained that it would take a miracle to fix.
When you have an interview, it is natural that the first thing you will do is prepare for the common interview questions HR managers ask. However, pay attention to the common blunders that job seekers often make when answering them. One more thing, don’t cram answers, understand what the question entails and personalize your answers.
By Michelle Wanjiku
Musa* a recent graduate looking to start applying for graduate trainee positions in the course of this year asked how he should go about writing a graduate trainee cover letter.
This is quite common among our readers seeing that most of them are fresh graduates without much experience which always leaves them wondering what to include on the cover letter.
Melody Mwendwa a professional CV writing expert says that due to your lack of experience, your graduate trainee cover letter should put emphasis on your academic qualifications, internships and any extra training you may have had. This, she advises helps sell your suitability for the position.
What to consider when writing a graduate trainee cover letter
1. Grammatical Errors
It is important to remember that a cover letter is an important part of your application and could be the difference between you getting the job and you missing out. Your graduate trainee cover letter should be well written with no grammatical errors.
Always make a point of going through your cover letter numerous times before sending it out.
The language used should be simple and should be able to convey your message with ease. The graduate trainee cover letter is your opportunity to show the hiring manager that you are the best possible fit for the position.
The first paragraph or two of your graduate trainee cover letter should be about you. Tell the employer why you are qualified for the position.
The next one should state why you are interested in the position and the company.
You should list all your qualifications (the little that you have) in a manner that shows you are the perfect fit for the position.
Ensure the formatting you use is simple enough since hiring managers do not really care about fancy fonts and colours.
5. Avoid Clichés
Avoid generalized clichés in your graduate trainee cover letter as well. For example do not use generic statements such as, “I am a detail-oriented team player.”
Here is a sample Graduate Trainee Cover Letter
P.O. Box 56987- 00100
31st January, 2017.
The Human Resource Manager,
Box 38562– 00100,
Dear Mr Maina,
RE: APPLICATION FOR GRADUATE TRAINEE FINANCE POSITION
I hereby submit my application for the finance graduate trainee position at your organisation as advertised on JobWeb Ghana. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce – Finance from University of Ghana in April last year.
I am confident that your organisation’s graduate trainee programme will enable me to gain valuable experience in the industry.
I have worked as an intern at KLM Company where I had the chance to work as part of a team in order to meet deadlines. This opportunity gave me the chance to gain excellent numerical & analytical skills that are required to work in this industry.
I was also able to sharpen my communication skills which are important when building professional networks both with colleagues and clients. I therefore, welcome the opportunity to work with you in order to build my skills as well as to ensure continuity of your exceptional service to your clients.
I would appreciate an opportunity to discuss this opportunity further with you. Please find enclosed my CV for your consideration.
Your graduate trainee cover letter is the most important part of your application and as such it should be written with great care and consideration to what the organisation is looking for in a candidate. This is the only way you will be able to show that you are uniquely qualified for the position.
1. Have a good CV
2. Apply for the right jobs and at the right time
3. Reach out to your networks
4. You need to prepare for your interview
5. Stop waiting for a dream job
By Selipha Kihagi
When preparing for an upcoming interview for a job, it is only natural that you will go to browse various job interview tips. You will also go the extent of asking the people around you for tips that would help you ace the interview. From sending emails, using social media you will ask for job interview tips in your area of study and yes you will find a pool of ideas and advice.
But is the advice you are getting enough to take you through your first interview or a pack of hostile interviewers? Below are some tips you will find useful in any job interview, regardless the position or company.
Job Interview Tips You Need To Know
1. The first 5 minutes and the last 5 are the most crucial
You may have already been told about how important it is that you impress recruiters or employers during a job interview. Seeking to impress is a broad factor that could become your worst nightmare if stressed too much. Recruiters and employers already know if they are going to hire you or keep you as a maybe in only the first 5 minutes.
What you say, how you behave, your appearance and general attitude will be judged here. The same applies for the last 5 minutes. You need to leave a lasting impression so the recruiter does not forget you once the next candidate comes in. Focus on impressing at these two times, then let your preparation work for you in between.
2. Employers hate direct one sentence answers
This does not mean you have the green light to talk and blab your way through the interview; there is also too much talking. The trick here is to give answers as if you are telling your life story. Employers and recruiters can already see how experienced you are, they want to hear about those real accomplishments you made in your last job or projects you participated in while in school.
Make sure the interviewer is moved by what you say. It’s the easiest way to be remembered by employers. This way even if you don’t get hired, they will reach out to you when they hear of another job.
3. If you believe you are the best, you will ace that interview
This goes beyond having confidence. It is knowing that the company or employer will benefit a lot from hiring you that will count. Think about it, it is always easier to convince someone to try out a certain joint or pizza place, why? Because you believe they are the best in the business.
The same notion applies when going for job interviews, think of yourself as a pizza joint (or whatever your best food is) that you truly believe in then sell yourself to the recruiter. If you do this, employers will have no choice but to consider you.
4. Your qualifications will not matter when you are not a people person
Every single job demands that you have interpersonal skills or good communication skills. So, from how you handle the lady or gentleman sitting at the front desk, or the guards at the gate or building you are going to interview, you must be in your best behavior.
Do not become the person who is rude to someone in the lift only to find that they are the ones interviewing you.
“So, tell me about yourself.”
What seems like such a simple question can really make you sweat, especially in an interview. What, exactly, should you share—not just to build rapport, but to show that you’re the perfect fit for the job?
Fear not, job seekers: There’s a super-simple formula that will help you answer this question with ease.
How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself”
So, the first question you’re probably going to get in an interview is, “Tell me about yourself.” Now, this is not an invitation to recite your entire life story or even to go bullet by bullet through your resume. Instead, it’s probably your first and best chance to pitch the hiring manager on why you’re the right one for the job.
A formula I really like to use is called the Present-Past-Future formula. So, first you start with the present—where you are right now. Then, segue into the past—a little bit about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you gained at the previous position. Finally, finish with the future—why you are really excited for this particular opportunity.
Let me give you an example:
If someone asked, “tell me about yourself,” you could say:
“Well, I’m currently an account executive at Smith, where I handle our top performing client. Before that, I worked at an agency where I was on three different major national healthcare brands. And while I really enjoyed the work that I did, I’d love the chance to dig in much deeper with one specific healthcare company, which is why I’m so excited about this opportunity with Metro Health Center.”
Remember throughout your answer to focus on the experiences and skills that are going to be most relevant for the hiring manager when they’re thinking about this particular position and this company. And ultimately, don’t be afraid to relax a little bit, tell stories and anecdotes—the hiring manager already has your resume, so they also want to know a little more about you.
Credit : themuse.com
By Lillian Wamaitha,
How can I get a job without experience? Thousands of fresh graduates find themselves sooner than later asking this age-old question. If all jobs require experience, how can you get that first job when your only experience is your degree or diploma?
Soon you will find yourself in the situation where your dream job just got posted, and you’re super excited. There’s just one problem, you literally have zero relevant work experience. Considering that you are a fresh graduate with no internships under your belt, what can you actually put on your CV that makes you look as qualified as possible?
Worry not. There are a few different things you can include, as well as a couple of formatting tricks, that will help you present yourself in the best light possible.
1. Indicate your relevant skills
Naturally we are used to beginning a CV with relevant work experience or education, whichever formatting suits you best. This becomes a problem when the relevant work experience isn’t your strong suit. It is therefore advisable that when composing a compelling CV, don’t waste your time compiling things that may just end up confusing the hiring manager. Instead start your CV by outlining those skills you think are relevant and transferable to the job, for instance research skills. We all have skills that make us special otherwise you wouldn’t be applying for that job. These are the reasons why you think you are suited for the role you are applying for. And why the hiring manager should consider your CV among the thousands s/he has on the desk.
2. Tackling the Experience Part
For entry-level candidates, the experience section is probably the biggest challenge one comes across when putting together a CV. One thing you need to keep in mind is that you don’t want to have an experience section that is empty or filled with experience that is not relevant to the job you are applying for. The trick as most experts would advice is to again focus on your skills. From there you can then group your experience under these skills. Say for instance, you said you have time management skills. You can outline things like how you managed detailed project plan to coordinate activities among team members for final group presentations. Since you may not have a lot of experience, it is important to include coursework, class projects, volunteer work or extracurricular activities that are related to your target job. While these may not be paid experiences, they are still valid experiences that you can list in your CV.
3. Put together an enthusiastic cover letter
Most will agree that this isn’t technically part of your CV, but I am a firm believer of always coupling a CV with a strong cover letter. This is especially important if you have no relevant experience or a winding career path. find a way to connect your passions and life experiences with the company, then explain how that will translate into you hitting the ground running once you’re hired. You’ll find that link is exactly the kind of experience employers are looking for from fresh graduates.
Making it into a new career is hard work. The trick to overcoming this is to really iron out those details like relevant skills and related side projects. Add on a riveting cover letter and, with a combination of networking and some luck, you’ll be sure to grab a hiring manager’s interest soon.
I’ve read a lot of cover letters throughout my career. When I was a fellowship program manager, I reviewed them in consideration for more than 60 open positions each year. So I saw it all—the good, the bad, and the standout examples that I can still remember.
As a result, I’ve become the go-to friend when people need feedback on their job applications. Based on my own experience putting people in the “yes” (and “no”) pile, I’m able to give these cover letters a quick scan and immediately identify what’ll turn a hiring manager off.
While I can’t give you insight into every person’s head who’ll be reading your materials, I can share with you the feedback that I give my own loved ones.
1. The Basics
First things first, I skim the document for anything that could be disqualifying. That includes typos, a “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” salutation, or a vibe so non-specific that it reeks of find-replace. I know it seems harsh, but when a hiring manager sees any one of these things, she reads it as, “I didn’t take my time with this, and I don’t really care about working here.” So, she’s likely to pass.
Another thing I look for in this initial read through is tone. Even if you’re applying to your dream company, you don’t want to come off like you think someone entertaining your candidacy is the same as him offering you water at the end of a lengthy hike. You don’t need to thank the hiring manager so incredibly much for reading your application—that’s his job. If you align considering your application with the biggest favor ever, you’ll make the other person think it’s because you’re desperate.
So, skip effusive thanks and demonstrate genuine interest by writing a cover letter that connects the dots between your experience and the requirements of the position. Telling the reader what you’ve accomplished and how it directly translates to meeting the company’s needs is always a better use of space than gushing.
2. The Opening Sentence
If your first line reads: “I am writing to apply for [job] at [company],” I will delete it and suggest a swap every time. (Yes, every single time.) When a hiring manager sees that, she won’t think, “How thoughtful of the applicant to remind me what I’m reading!” Her reaction will be much closer to, “boring,” “meh,” or even “next!”
Compare it to one of these statements:
- “I’ve wanted to work in education ever since my third grade teacher, Mrs. Dorchester, helped me discover a love of reading.”
- “My approach to management is simple: I strive to be the kind of leader I’d want to work for.”
- “In my three years at [prior company], I increased our average quarterly sales by [percentage].”
See how these examples make you want to keep reading? That’s half the battle right there. Additionally, it makes you memorable, which’ll help when you’re competing against a sea of applicants.
To try it out for yourself, pick a jumping off point. It could be something about you or an aspect of the job description that you’re really drawn to. Then, open a blank document and just free write (translation: write whatever comes to mind) for 10 minutes. Some of the sentences you come up with will sound embarrassing or lame: That’s fine—no one has to see those! Look for the sentence that’s most engaging and see how it reads as the opening line for your cover letter.
Credit : themuse.com
Like the dreaded “Tell me about yourself,” the question, “Why are you interested in this position?” is sure to come up in an interview.
And, even if it doesn’t, if you want the job you should get this sentiment across regardless. So, really, there’s no way around figuring out how to string together a coherent thought about why this being in this position makes sense for you (and for the company).
Luckily, there’s actually a pretty simple way to go about answering this question effectively without having to go through every big moment or transition in your life and career that’s brought you to this interview. Here’s a smart framework for how you should structure your answer.
Step 1: Express Enthusiasm for the Company
First things first, this is an excellent opportunity for you to show off what you know about the company. You can talk all day about how excited you are about joining the team, but nothing will trump actually knowing a thing or two about the place you’re interviewing with. So, to prepare, spend some time honing in on what you know about the company and select a few key factors to incorporate into your pitch for why you’re a good fit.
Say you’re interviewing for a small quantitative asset management company. The start of your answer might sound something like this:
The first thing that caught my eye when I saw the position posted was definitely that it was at EFG Advisers. I know that you build a lot of your tools in-house, the team is small, and you run a variety of long- and short-term strategies in the U.S. equities markets using a quantitative approach.
Especially with smaller companies, it’s always impressive when a candidate knows a thing or two about what goes on at the company. And the best thing about this is you rarely have to go beyond reviewing the company website or having a quick conversation with a current or past employee to learn enough to sound like you’ve been following the company for a while.
Step 2: Align Your Skills and Experiences With the Role
Next, you want to sell why, exactly, you’re right for the role. There are two ways you can do this: You can either focus more on your experiences (what you’ve done before that brings you to this point) or your skills (especially helpful if you’re pivoting positions or industries).
Try to pinpoint what the main part of the role entails, plus a couple of the “desired skills” in the job description, and make sure you speak to that. Follow up your introduction to how excited you are about the company with why you’re a good fit:
But the part that really spoke to me about this position was the chance to combine both the programming skills I gained from being a senior software engineer and my knack for quantitative analysis in a position that actively lets me engage with my growing interest in investing and portfolio management.
Keep it short—you’ll have plenty of opportunities to talk about how you got your skills or relevant stories throughout the interview—and just focus on highlighting a couple key relevant abilities or experiences for the position.
Step 3: Connect to Your Career Trajectory
Finally, you want to show that the position makes sense for where you’re going in your career. Ideally, you won’t give the impression that you’re just using the position as a stepping stone. Show that you’ll be around for the long haul, and your interviewer will feel more comfortable investing in you:
I’ve been interested in switching to finance for a while now and have been actively managing my own personal portfolio for a few years. Joining a quant shop makes sense to me because I think it’s one of the few places where I’ll still be able to use my technical skills and spend my day thinking about finance. I’m really excited to learn more and see how I’ll be able to contribute the firm.
Of course, you don’t have to state specifically that you see yourself in the position for a long time. Just show that you’ve given some thought to how the job makes sense for you now and that it continues to make sense for the foreseeable future.
String these three components together, and you have a response that will impress on three fronts: your knowledge and enthusiasm for the company, your relevant skills, and your general fit with the position. Plus, this framework has the added benefit of not stopping the flow of the conversation the way going through your entire life story would.
Credit : themuse.com
These are a couple of tips needed by interviewees to survive the rigorous interview sessions organised by employers.
Job hunt is a very stressful aspect of one’s life; it takes motivation and being positive to get the right and dream job. Interviews usually bring tense to job seekers. The more confident you feel, the more chances of gaining the interviewer attention.
Be poised and hold your head high with these useful interview tips:
1.) Body Postures
Usually the mind controls all our actions and movement, but it is possible to use the body to trick the mind into feeling a certain way. Slouching or slumping and crossing your arms are all examples of closed off postures, and when we feel small, we tend to exhibit these poses. If you spend a little time opening yourself up and exhibiting the postures of the confident, you can build a sense of assurance just by your actions. Spend several minutes practicing “power poses,” or opening yourself up, spreading your arms, walking tall, and looking the part.
2.) Be audible while speaking and put a smile
If you are not audible enough while speaking, Practice deep breathing, this will relax your diaphragm and your vocal cords, which will result in a voice with more resonance and a somewhat lower tone and more breath to give power to your speech.
I recommend adding a few singing lessons, the instructor can teach you how to use the cavities in your head to create even more resonance. Once the interview starts, it’s extremely difficult to correct our speaking problems because we may be too nervous or we just plain don’t notice them. Practice speaking your answers out loud so you can hear your voice and correct any nervous intonations, pitch problems, or pacing issues before you go to your interview.
Smiling reduces stress that your body and mind feel, almost similar to getting good sleep, according to recent studies. And smiling helps to generate more positive emotions within you. Smile often before your interview to get in the habit of doing so, and you’ll feel more comfortable offering a genuine smile while you’re greeted and when you’re being interviewed.
3.) Prepare, Practice and Rehearse answers loudly
Before going for any interview invitation, you must be fully prepared. Being prepared for interview gives a feeling of confidence. You should be well-equipped, rehearse potential interview answers with a friend. “Look at the skills, experience, knowledge and personal qualities you have and think of examples showing how you developed these.
4.) Win over your anxiety and fear
For some job seekers, nerves can be disabling. Something happens when they walk through the door of the interviewer’s office. Cold sweat trickles down the back of their knees. Their minds draw a blank when asked basic questions like, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?” or, “Why would you like to work for this company above all others?”
These candidates feel like they’re back at school in front of a crowded assembly, unable to make those words pass their lips. The easiest way to combat fear is by not using excuses. Instead, you need to look for positive approaches to accomplish your goal. Don’t let fear, nerves and stage fright keep you from the job interview you want. “Sometimes nerves take over and you don’t show who you are.”
5.) Dress appropriately
Before you say a single word to the interviewer, you have already made an impression based on how you’re dressed. Every company has a different dress code; how you dress at the job may have very little to do with how you dress for an interview. Dress in a manner that is professionally appropriate to the position for which you are applying. In almost all cases, this means wearing a suit. A dark-colored suit with light colored shirt is your best option.
We’ve all been there: It’s the end of the interview, and after nearly an hour of pouring your heart (and work experience) out to a potential employer, the hiring manager asks if you have any last questions before wrapping up.
It’s meant to be a formality, of course—a way to end the conversation without kicking you out right then and there. But it’s also an opportunity, intentional or not, to make one final impression and give your interviewer something to remember you by.
As Marshall Darr points out in this short piece on Medium, this final remark is actually a moment to “add value to the conversation” before you both head your separate ways. It’s especially noteworthy when you do manage to pull that off, since so many other candidates, having already asked many questions throughout the session, mindlessly shrug off this little last thing at the end.
But if you play your cards right, he says, it can turn a completely lost cause into a foot in the door. According to Darr, you should wrap things up nicely with this question:
“Actually yeah, I was wondering what your best moment so far at [Company Name] was?”
This simple ask, cleverly masked as innocent curiosity, can give you many important insights—on your interviewer’s values, the company, and how well you might fit in with a position there. Think about it: There’s no higher note to end on than with your interviewer’s fondest memory of the company, a feeling that can now be subconsciously associated with your prospects as a future employee.
And aside from being an emotional plus for you, it’ll also give you an idea of what your future co-workers might value, and the kind of culture that company cultivates for its team members. If your interviewer struggles to come up with a meaningful memory, that’s a helpful red flag for you to keep in mind if you end up with an offer.
So, the next time you’re hard-pressed for something to say in those awkward few moments before the door closes with you on the other side, give this question a shot. Odds are, it can only help.
Credit : themuse.com
Any job seeker would say that the best phone call they are keen to get is a job interview invitation from a potential recruiter. Such a call comes with a mixture of feelings, coupled with anxiety and sometimes overboard expectations. Above all, it comes with the need to prepare well for the interview.
According to Melody Mwendwa, Career Advisor at Corporate Staffing Services, there are step by step things that any job seeker wishing to succeed must adhere to.
“They revolve around general preparedness and they ensure that you are not nervous in the interview room. They actually help you fit in the company’s ideal candidate,” Ms Mwendwa says.
Step By Step Things To Do After Job Interview Invitation
Ms Mwendwa advises on the to-do list of things as a way to prepare for interview after any job interview invitation. She divulges that such are the things that boost your confidence and also help you master what the organization is looking for.
1. After Job Interview Invitation, Understand Your Job
The recruiter will definitely search in you someone that is able to perform the tasks on the job description.
Do you know what your job entails?
It is likely that you will be informed of the position you are to be interviewed for in the job interview invitation. There are instances, however, in which as a job seeker, you might have made various applications with the same job but in different companies. Most job seekers do this. Companies however give varied descriptions for a particular job. Ensure that you understand what the job you are to be interviewed for entails so that you know the exact skills to talk about in the interview room.
2. Master your CV
“There are candidates who say totally different things from those entailed in the CV, which brings out conflicting perceptions about you during the interview. Master your CV to ensure its relevance to the particular job and go ahead to tell the recruiter the information they can also see on your CV,” Ms Mwendwa says.
This is definitely a part of preparation that is overlooked by most job seekers- taking time to go through their CV. You don’t want to forget your skills and achievements and start giving information that can’t add value to your interview.
3. Understand the company
There are many things that you must do in your bid to understand the company extending the job interview invitation. Ms Mwendwa hints on understanding the company location and generally its working culture.
“Some job seekers err when they call the company a few minutes before the interview only to ask where the company is located. It shows lack of seriousness on the part of the job seekers,” she reveals.
Much as some recruiters would send you an email or phone text describing their location, you might be required at one point of your job search to look for the company yourself. Nowadays, job seekers are lucky to locate most of companies from their websites. Make a point top search on the internet at least a day before the interview.
In addition, find the company’s website and gather as much information as possible that you need to know about the organization. It is here that you can get the clues about the company’s working culture, its core values and objectives and find a way to fit in.
4. Prepare what to bring After Job Interview Invitation
Know what you will be required to bring in the interview room. Some recruiters will give you a list of the things to carry in to the interview, other will not. Ensure you stick to the instructions.
Where you are not tied to the recruiter’s requirement however, carry the following job interview basic materials.
- Your CV
- Original certificates and their copies
- A notebook
- A pen
- What you choose to bring also depends on the job you are being interviewed for. Legal professionals for instance can bring along their own copy of the constitution.
- You can choose to carry anything else bound to make you comfortable for the interview.
5. Prepare what to wear
Run through your wardrobe for the best outfit that suits the interview. Settle for a professional one that includes a decent suit. Your choice of shoes and handbag should work for you too. Don’t make this a last minute rush as inappropriate dressing lowers your confidence during the interview.
Have you received a job interview invitation? Well, the above tips will aid you in your job interview preparation. All the best.
Resumes are very personal documents. In fact, whenever I’m reviewing a resume, I always ask permission before I mark it up. Who am I to edit your life’s work?
That said, I can almost guarantee you that the way your career counselor handles your resume is not the way it will be handled once you submit your job applications. After speaking with many, many recruiters, here are some hard truths I’ve learned.
1. If your relevant experience, education, or skills are hard to find at a glance, your resume might as well be blank.
It’s understandable to want to make your resume stand out a bit from the typical resume, but getting creative in InDesign isn’t the way to do it. As the head of Google’s HR states, “Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer or artist, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible.”
In other words, no funky formats. You’re far better off spending your time trying to maximize the top half of your resume. This could mean writing a resume summary with your most relevant qualifications or maybe pulling all your most relevant experiences into a separate section at the top of your resume and relegating the rest into an “Additional Experiences” section. As long as you’re trying to maximize traditional resume formatting rather than do something entirely different, you should be safe.
2. If it’s not immediately clear from your experience why you’re applying, no one will connect the dots for you.
Whether you’re a career changer or just applying for a reach position, if a recruiter’s initial reaction to your resume is confusion, you’re not going to get very far.
So, make sure you connect the dots for the reader. It’s likely that you have an idea of how your skills can be transferred or why you’re more skilled than your years of experience might let on. But, unless you spell it out on your resume, the recruiter probably won’t be able to put the pieces together—and you’ll never have the chance to explain in person.
One way to solve it? Using a simple objective statement. While you should definitely not use an objective statement if you’re applying for a position that makes perfect sense—or if it’s a clichéd “I’d like to use my skills at an innovative, fast-growing organization”—if your background is a little unusual for the job you’re targeting, a brief explanation might just be what gets you to the interview.
3. If your resume is difficult to skim, it probably won’t be read at all.
There’s some debate over how much time a recruiter will spend looking over a resume, but everyone agrees that it’s less than 20 seconds. What does that mean for job seekers? It means your resume needs to be as easy to read—really, skim—as possible.
Read: Don’t make your font so small that it’s barely legible. It doesn’t matter how much more you’re able to fit on your one-pager if no one is reading it. And don’t let your bullet points drag on to that third line. Two is all you get and, more likely than not, one is all that will get read. (Here’s a bit more on how to make your resume easy to skim.)
4. If you expect to get your resume in front of a hiring manager, you need to first make sure you get through HR.
That means making sure a layperson can understand what you’re talking about in your resume. It doesn’t matter if you’re managing complicated supply chains, coding complex algorithms, or conducting cutting-edge research on nanolasers—none of your impressive feats will reach the appropriate hiring manager if you can’t at least explain it in a way that a nontechnical human resources representative can understand well enough to put you in the right pile.
This means cutting the jargon, giving proper context, and focusing on results. Use the job posting to your advantage here—find the keywords and present your work the same way they do. I know, jargon can be pretty fun to use and starts to get instinctive when you’re around it for long enough, but step outside of your industry bubble for a bit and try to approach your resume as an industry outsider. The easier you make things for HR, the more smoothly your application process will go.
5. If your contact info isn’t correct, nothing else matters.
Finally, don’t be that person who has everything a recruiter is looking for but is just impossible to contact. Check, double check, and test your contact information. Typos are always bad, but a typo in your contact information is probably as bad as it gets. It’s a really crummy feeling to notice an incorrect email address a couple months into your job search. Don’t let that be you.
We all know that how hard is to get the job interview call and no job interview is flawless. We all do some mistakes in the job interview and the better practice for preparing ourselves is to learn from the other’s mistakes.
In this article, we are trying to focus on the most common mistakes anyone can make in an interview.
So here is the list of the most common interview mistakes, errors and blunders people make. Read them closely and avoid if you are making any of these mistakes as I had done many of them in the past.
- Dressing inappropriately according to the workplace
- Arriving late for the interview
- Forgetting the name of the interviewer
- Your mouth stinks (might be you were smoking cigarette outside office premises just before interview time)
- Lack of a good preparation
- Wearing shades in the office
- Applying lots of deodorant or perfume
- Wearing a Bluetooth earpiece
- Speaking rudely to the receptionist or interviewer
- Staring regularly at receptionist
- Poor communication skills
- Lack of research of the employer in advance
- Forgetting to bring a copy of your resume
- Bringing photocopy of your resume rather than printed version
- Complaining that you are kept waiting
- Taking the seat before your interviewer
- Forgetting what you have written in the resume
- Failing to highlight your achievement
- Inappropriate body language
- Failing to listen carefully what interviewer is asking
- Not asking for clarification when you don’t understand the question
- Not being prepared with the appropriate questions to ask in the end of the interview
- Bad mouthing about your past employers
- Lying about your experience, skills and knowledge
- Talking too much or very less
- Interrupting the interviewer in between of a conversation
- Don’t tell personal stories when asked “tell me about yourself”
- Too early to ask about the salary
- Being unprofessional and non-serious while giving the interview
- Not asking about the next interviewing process
- Attending calls in an interview
- Failure to show an interest in the job
- Be honest and humble – Don’t be over-confident
- Failing to show enthusiasm
- Asking for job benefits very soon
- Not able to convince why you are the best person for this job
- Not preparing yourself to answer the regular questions
- Not able to match the communication style of your interviewer
- Yawning and sitting in relaxed position
- Bringing your parents or friends in an interview
- Chewing gum or tobacco
- Playing with your pen, pencils or paperweight
- Bitting your nails
- Always saying “hmmm”, “you know”, “actually”, “basically”
- Sounding like you know-it-all
- Offering to shake hands first
- Shaking hands firmly or too weakly like a formality
- Not able to make eye-contact or continuously making eye-contact with the interviewer
- Becoming over defensive or angry
- Not able to hide your nervousness
- Explaining too much about why you want to left your last job
- Sounding die-hard to get the job
- Not asking the job details
- Checking the time again and again
- Forget to switch off the mobile or put it in silent mode
- Sounding like that you are rehearsed too much (copy book answers)
- Last but not the least, following up after the interview
So these are some of the most common interviews mistakes which we always do while giving an interview. So how did you do, have you committed any of these mistakes? This time try not-to-do all these mistakes if you don’t want to miss the opportunity and screw it up.
Finally, even if you were not able to make up the interview, don’t take it to heart. I think everyone in his or her life has been failed one or twice in an interview including me. So learn from your mistakes and look forward to the next opportunity.