1. Show Up on Time
Youâ€™ve heard it a million times: â€œIf youâ€™re early, youâ€™re on time; if youâ€™re on time, youâ€™re late.â€Being punctual should be a given especially when your dream job is on the line. But no matter how many times youâ€™ve heard it, itâ€™s worth mentioning again: Show up on time.
Running late? Call as soon as possible to let your interviewers know. Theyâ€™ll appreciate it much more than if you offer up a lame excuse after they've already been waiting for 30 minutes.
2. Research the company.
Check out their website, reports, and what others have to say about them. This knowledge will come in handy during the interview. You'll be able to cater your image to what they're looking for if you've familiarized yourself with their mission statement and policy.
3. Dress the Part
Your appearance probably wonâ€™t be the basis of the interviewerâ€™s final decision but it can certainly play a part in how youâ€™re first perceived. When you show up in a neatly pressed suit and scuff-less shoes with a portfolio in tow, youâ€™ll come across as professional and well put-together.
If, on the other hand, youâ€™re dressed down a few notches more casual than everyone else in the office, juggling your briefcase, purse, umbrella, and a stack of resumes, youâ€™re probably not going to exude the same sense of professionalism.
4. Bring Only the Essentials
A jolt of caffeine may be necessary for you to get pumped up for your impending meeting, but donâ€™t bring your paper cup inside the office to finish off the last few sips. Sure, it doesnâ€™t seem like a huge deal (who doesnâ€™t drink coffee in the workplace?) but you probably donâ€™t want your first interaction with your potential employer (or even the receptionist) to be anything along the lines of, â€œHey, you got a trash can back there?â€
The same goes for other non-essentials, like the granola bar youâ€™re polishing off or the gum you forgot to spit out. They may not be the kiss of death but theyâ€™re not going to put you in the most favorable light.
5. Be Nice to the Receptionist
The person at the front desk may not be the hiring manager but that doesnâ€™t mean his or her impression of you doesnâ€™t matter. In fact, some companies specifically ask their front desk attendants to report back on the demeanor of interviewees who come through the door. And that likely plays a role in the ultimate hiring decision so itâ€™s important to treat that person as well as youâ€™ll treat your interviewer.
6. Put Your Phone Away
Itâ€™s a natural tendency to pull out your smartphone any time you have to wait: in line at the grocery store, during commercials, while you wait for the vending machine to dispense your Diet Coke you get the picture.
But if youâ€™re waiting in the lobby, donâ€™t automatically default to your phone. Instead, take that time to look over your resume (or All-in-One Prep Guide) and think through what you want to convey during your interview. Then, when your interviewer makes his or her appearance, you wonâ€™t be caught off guard, shutting down Angry Birds and stuffing your phone back into your briefcase.
7. Have Everything Neat, Organized, and Accessible
You can be certain that, within the first few minutes of your meeting, your interviewer will ask for a copy of your updated resume. But if you have to dig through your bag past candy wrappers, phone chargers, and old receipts, youâ€™re going to look a little unorganized.
To make the best first impression, everything you need should be neatly organized and readily accessible: You should be able to pull out your resume, references, and even a pen (one thatâ€™s not completely mangled) on command. The less you have to rifle through your bag, the better.
8. Monitor your body language.
Even if you're saying all the right things, your body language can be a dead giveaway that you don't believe what you're saying or that you're just plain uncomfortable. Keep your arms uncrossed. Keep your head high and face your interviewer. You want to seem open, approachable, and confident. Mirroring their body language will make them unconsciously pick up on your "familiarity," making them comfortable and like you.
9. Answer and ask Questions.
This is the part that will go easiest if you've done a bit of practicing. Sell yourself. Talk about your skills and experiences. Come prepared with answers to typical questions ("Why would our team be better if you were a part of it? How have you handled obstacles at previous employers?) and a few questions yourself to seem engaged and dedicated.
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Dos of participating in a GD:
1. Listen to the subject carefully
2. Speak clearly
3. Be polite at the same time be assertive
4. Initiate the discussion if you know the subject well
5. Listen to others if you donâ€™t know the subject
6. Put down your thoughts on a paper
7. Be logical in your discussion
8. Keep it concise
9. Support you point with some facts and figures
10. Make short contribution of 25-30 seconds 3-4 times
11. Give others a chance to speak
12. Speak politely and pleasantly. Respect contribution from other members.
13. Disagree politely and agree with what is right.
14. Be cordial to others
15. Sit straight and show positive body language
16. Encourage others to speak
17. Give credit to others
18. Listen to what others say and take notes if required
19. Be a leader. Start the topic and try to conclude it in the end
Donâ€™ts of participating in a GD
1. Donâ€™t initiate the discussion if you do not have sufficient knowledge about the given topic.
2. Donâ€™t over speak, intervene and snatch otherâ€™s chance to speak.
3. Donâ€™t talk irrelevant things and distract the discussion
4. Donâ€™t pose negative body gestures like touching the nose, leaning back on the chair, knocking the table with a pen etc.
5. Donâ€™t mention erratic statistics.
6. Donâ€™t display low self confidence with shaky voice and trembling hands.
7. Donâ€™t try to dominate the discussion
8. Donâ€™t put others in an embarrassing situation by asking them to speak if they donâ€™t want.
9. Donâ€™t speak at all. This is the worst crime you can commit in a GD
10. Donâ€™t interrupt when others speak
11. Donâ€™t look at the moderators (interviewers) when you speak
12. Donâ€™t criticise other members or your college/professors or other companies
13. Donâ€™t swear
14. Donâ€™t be shy
15. Donâ€™t get emotional or nervous or angry if you get criticised
16. Donâ€™t ask questions or tips to the interviewers
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After an interview, I try to determine what I did right and wrong and how I will do better on the next interview.
I also continue to look for other jobs and not put all my eggs in one basket. Until you actually start working at the new job, you donâ€™t have a job yet. So it is important to keep looking and do not let up. Even a sure thing can turn out to be a red herring. Hoping that the hiring manager will select you is not a good job search strategy. Replace hope with action and determination. And never give up.
As soon as possible after completing an interview, write up a summary of the questions you were asked and your answers. This way you will have a record of your responses for future reference should you have any follow-up interviews with that employer.
It's much easier to remember what you said immediately after an interview than it is later on. Also note what you wish you had said, but didn't get the opportunity to mention.
In addition, this assessment of your interview will also help you to identify any problem areas in your presentation for improvement in future interviews or to address in your follow-up communications.
Get Names and Contact Information
If you have been interviewed by multiple people, record any useful information or particular concerns raised by each person. Make note of the names and contact information (email address and phone number) of your interviewers or ask the person who coordinated the interview for that information before leaving if you don't already have it.
When you didn't get contact information while you were there, it's acceptable to email or call to get the information. Email works best, if you have an email address for your primary contact, because the person providing the details won't have to spell out names over the phone.
Follow Up With Your Interviewer(s)
Decisions about candidates are often made quite quickly so it is important to forward your follow up email and/or letter immediately.
Your communication should contain these elements as relevant:
1. An assertion that you believe the position is an excellent fit and that you would welcome the opportunity to join their organization. Include a brief summary of one or two sentences regarding why the position is an excellent match given your assets and interests.
2. Supply any additional information to address any areas of concern which you were unable to fully address in the interview. This might even include a work sample demonstrating your competence in a key area of employer concern.
3. Express your appreciation for the opportunity to meet with them and if possible compose slightly different emails noting some helpful information which each individual shared.
In addition, you may want to forward a separate communication expressing your gratitude to any helpful support staff person. Those staff people have more influence than you might imagine when it comes to hiring decisions.
Notify Your References
If you haven't already done so, alert your references that they might receive a call and summarize your case for the job and any angles you see for their recommendation. If any of your strong supporters has a contact within your prospective employer, you might explore their willingness to make an unsolicited endorsement of your candidacy.
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1. Dressing Inappropriately.
When you interview a job, it's imperative to look professional and polished. Generally speaking blue jeans and flip flops are not appropriate dress for an interview. Neither is very short skirts or low cut blouses, but, a three piece suit may not be appropriate, either. What is appropriate depends upon the open position. What you wear when interviewing for a banking position will differ from what's appropriate when interviewing to be an assistant for an up-and-coming fashion designer.
2. Arriving Late.
Everyone knows that first impressions are very important in landing a job, but did you know that you can make a bad first impression before you even arrive at your interview?
Running late not only suggests poor time management skills, but shows a lack of respect for the company, the position and even your interviewer.
Go the extra length to make sure that you aren't late, and arrive on time, or even early.
Budget your time so that you make it to the interview five to ten minutes early. That way, if something unforeseen comes up on your way over to your interview, you'll have some cushion time.
3. Not Knowing Anything About the Company.
Don't let your potential employer stump you with the question, "What do you know about this company?" It's one of the easiest questions to ace, if only you do some research before your interview.
Background information including company history, locations, divisions, and a mission statement are available in an "About Us" section on most company websites. Review it ahead of time, then print it out and read it over just before your interview to refresh your memory.
Also check the company's LinkedIn page and Facebook page, if they have one.
4. Fuzzy Resume Facts.
Even if you have submitted a resume when you applied for the job, you may also be asked to fill out a job application. Make sure you know the information you will need to complete an application including dates of prior employment, graduation dates, and employer contact information.
It's understandable that some of your older experiences may be hard to recall. Review the facts before your interview.
It can be helpful to keep a copy of your resume for yourself to refer to during your interview, although certainly don't use it as a crutch.
Of course, you should never "fudge" any facts on your resume. The more truthful you are on your resume, the better you will be able to discuss your past experience during your interview.
5. Not Paying Attention.
Don't let yourself zone out during an interview. Make sure you are well-rested, alert and prepared for your interview.
Getting distracted and missing a question looks bad on your part. If you zone out, your potential employer will wonder how you will be able to stay focused during a day on the job, if you can't even focus during one interview.
If you feel your attention slipping away, make the effort to stay engaged.
Maintain eye contact, lean forward slightly when talking to your interviewer, and make an active effort to listen effectively. Stay engaged in the give and take of the conversation. Ask clarifying questions when you need to. Give answers that are on point.
6. Ask about benefits.
This is immaterial in a first interview, even in a second. The salary, perks etc. will come onto the table, and the employer will offer these. You should not ask for it. You don't want to leave the impression that you are just in it for the money or the prestige.
7. Bringing a Drink With You.
Ditch the coffee or soda before you enter your interview. If you need to fuel up, do it before you get to the interview.
Not only is it unprofessional to enter with a drink in hand, but during your interview, you should be focused on the task at hand: making a good impression, answering questions, maintaining eye contact with your potential employer, and paying attention throughout the entire interviewing process.
Having a drink in front of you creates the opportunity for distraction - fiddling with the cup, or missing a question while taking a sip.
8. Using Your Phone During the Interview.
Before you get to your interview, silence your phone. Texting during your interview is not only rude and disruptive, but it's a pretty clear message to your potential employer that getting the job is not your top priority.
For the same reasons, don't answer calls (and certainly don't make calls!) during the interview. To resist the temptation to check your phone, stow your phone in your bag before the interview.
9. Talking Too Much.
There is nothing much worse than interviewing someone who goes on and on and on... The interviewer really do
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1. Sit properly.
Sit upright but in a relaxed fashion leaning slightly forward at about a 10 to 15 degree angle towards the interviewer. It's the first thing gives an automatic signal of assurance and confidence. This sends the message that you are an interested and involved candidate.
2. Use hand gestures while speaking.
When your palms are up, it signals honesty and engagement. The limbic brain picks up the positivity, which will make the interviewer comfortable. Fiddling with hair, face or neck sends the message of anxiety and uncertainty. Body language experts agree that touching the nose, lips or ears can signal that the candidate is lying.
3. Don't cross your arms
. Folding arms across the chest suggests a defensive type of position. It sends the message that the candidate is feeling threatened and ill-at-ease and is shutting the interviewer out. It can also send the message that the candidate does not agree with or buy into what the interviewer is saying.
4. Place both feet on the floor.
Crossing feet at the ankles or placing them both flat on the floor sends a message of confidence and professionalism. Jiggling or moving the legs creates an irritating distraction and indicates nervousness. Resting an ankle on the opposite knee looks arrogant and too casual, crossing the legs high up appears defensive.
There's also a scientific benefit to keeping your feet grounded.
"Itâ€™s not impossible, but itâ€™s difficult to answer highly complex questions unless both of your feet are on the ground," Wood says.
In layman's terms, planted feet can help you go between creative thought and highly complex rational thought.
5. Maintain direct eye contact.
Keeping direct eye contact with the interviewer indicates active listening and interest. Eyes that dart around suggest dishonesty. Looking down gives the impression of low self-esteem. A more effective way to ensure you look interested and engaged is to look different parts of someone's face every two seconds, rotating from eyes, to nose, to lips, so you're never just drilling into the interviewer's eyes.
6. Nod your head while listening. Aside from keeping eye and face contact, nodding your head while listening is an additional way to show attentiveness. Nod your head occasionally to let them know you are enjoying and understand what is being said.
7. Breathe deeply, and speak on the exhale.
One way to soothe interview nerves is to breathe properly. Glass recommends inhaling when the interviewer asks you a question, then speaking on the exhale, following the air flow.
Pursing the lips or twisting them sideways shows disapproval of what is being heard. Biting your lips suggests nervousness. Try to relax your mouth.
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1. Contact information
Believe it or not, it happens all too often that contact information is left off of a resume. Right underneath your name on the resume should be your mailing address, email address, and phone number.
If you have a cell phone, list it, not your parents or shared apartmentâ€™s land line as the number on your resume. Dump the hip-hop voice mail message and record something simple in a clear, firm voice.
2. Job objective
Itâ€™s important to tailor the Job Objective section of your resume to closely match the position being applied for and not be generic. The more your job objective seems to fill a companyâ€™s need, the better chance you have of getting an interview. The job they have should seem to be your lifeâ€™s ambition. Use keywords. Customize the job objective to align with the position you're applying for.
3. Career summary
We are all the sum of our experiences (and then some), and many believe that our past actions define who we are today. A career summary section should be a descriptive selling point distilled from your past accomplishments that emphasizes your future value to the potential employer. In it, you list key achievements, skills, and experience relevant to the job you're applying for.
A resume headline (also known as a resume title) is a brief phrase that highlights your value as a candidate. Located at the top of your resume, a headline allows a hiring manager to see quickly and concisely what makes you the right person for the job.
A resume profile is a section of a resume that includes a brief summary of an applicantâ€™s skills, experiences and goals as they relate to a specific job opening.
The experience section of your resume includes your employment history. List the companies you worked for, dates of employment, the positions you held and a bulleted of responsibilities and achievements.
In the education section of your resume, list the schools you attended, the degrees you attained, and any special awards and honours you earned. Also include professional development coursework and certifications.
8.Keywords from the job posting
You'll want to include (without making it look like you did a lot of "copying" and "pasting") some keywords and phrases from the job posting. This is especially important if the employer uses a resume scanning system.
Having the right keywords is especially important for online applications, which are frequently screened by computer programs looking for the right keywords.
9. Accomplishments and achievements
This section of your resume can say a lot about you. In it, list any awards received, industry seminars attended, and any other achievements that you consider relevant and that arenâ€™t listed elsewhere.
Keep in mind that no one is interested in your fishing tournament trophy, that you were prom queen, or that you took a course in palm reading. What you list here will add merit to your resume if the contents are perceived by the reader as true accomplishments.
10. Relevant URLs
Depending on the field or position you're applying for, it may be useful to include links to your work (articles you've written, websites you've designed, photographs you've taken, etc.)
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Keep in Mind
1. Create titles that will catch the employerâ€™s eye.
Take a look at your job titles. Are they interesting and descriptive? Instead of saying you were a cashier, say you were a customer service professional, or rather than saying that youâ€™re a secretary; say you are an administrative assistant. I will give another example manager does not describe who or what a person manages. â€œSales Staff Manager or Executive Manager may be more descriptive and desirable job titles on a resume. Do not use a job title that is misleading, however. Simply think about how well the job title describes the work, and how interesting the title is.
2. Use keywords strategically.
Because many employers now scan resumes with special software programs to determine the presence of certain keywords as a way of filtering them before a select few get passed along to an actual human being, you want to be sure that your resume contains all of the proper keywords for your industry, and the particular job for which you are applying. Look at what words the employer uses in the advertisement. If an employer lists research as a required skill, be sure to include the word â€˜researchâ€™ or â€˜researchedâ€™ in at least one job description or skill set you include on your resume.
3. Use action verbs to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments.
This will highlight your skills and your ability to do the job for which you are applying. Choose verbs that describe your responsibilities and then make sure to begin the descriptions of your duties with these verbs. For example, if you were a receptionist, you may want to use verbs such as 'scheduled', 'assisted', and 'provided'. You can do this by saying you â€˜scheduled appointmentsâ€™ â€˜assisted clientsâ€™ and â€˜provided administrative support.â€™
4. Spell check and proofread your resume.
This step cannot be overemphasized. Proofread your resume several times. Have someone else proofread it. Then, have another person further removed from you read it. Spelling and grammar errors in a resume will get it discarded regardless of your skills and experience. Watch out for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, incorrect contact information, typos, and misuse of apostrophes, plurals, and possessives.
Follow a Proper Sequence
1. Give your employment history.
Your resume should follow a chronological order with your most recent employment first. Include the name of the company, its location, your title, your duties and responsibilities while working there, and the dates that you were employed there. It may be beneficial to list your title first, to show off your position in each job. You can also choose to list the company name first. Regardless of what you choose, be consistent down your entire list.
2. Provide your education history.
Same as with your jobs, you should list all of your education in chronological order with your most recent schooling first. Include any college degrees, trade schools, or apprenticeships you might have participated in. If you graduated with a degree, list the name of the degree as well as the year you received it. If you have not yet graduated, simply state the years you have attended the program as well as an expected graduation date. For each listing, give the university/program name, their address, and your degree or area of study.
If you had a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, be sure to list it along with your school/degree information.
3. Give special qualifications or Technical skills.
Once youâ€™ve listed the most important information - your work experience and education - you can essentially choose to list anything else you find important. Create a section titled â€œSpecial Skillsâ€ or â€œUnique Qualificationsâ€ or â€œTechnical Skillsâ€ with a list of these things. If you are well versed in a special area of work that other applicants might not be - such as computer programming - be sure to include your level of expertise here.
4. Present your awards and achievements.
If you were ever given a special award or recognition, list it here with the name, date, and purpose of the award. A common thing to list here is your presence on the "deans list" for high GPA at a university. Make yourself sound as successful and hardworking as you can by adding as many awards as you are able. If you had a job in which you were given a special honor, make note of that here.
5. Give your references.
The last thing on your resume should be a list of 2-4 professional references. These are all people who you are not related to, but whom you've dealt with in a professional manner. You might consider a previous emplo
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1. Read about the company's profile. Start by looking into their future goals and plans. Conducting the interview with this in mind will make you seem like a good long-term investment. You should also be ready to talk in depth about the industry, the organization, and the position you are applying for.
2. Practice with a friend. If you have a friend who is also preparing for an interview, consider preparing together. Not only will this give you a way to structure your preparation, but it will also help you get comfortable with giving answers, telling anecdotes, and using appropriate terminology. Practice giving concise, complete answers and maintaining eye contact with the interviewer(s) while you give them. Make sure you aren't speaking too slow or too fast and that your answers are stated with confidence.
3. Expected questions from the interviewer. Prepare for the most frequently asked questions by interviewers by internet research and make a good practice with these questions so that you can impress the interviewer. Itâ€™s best to prepare for a wide variety of questions by thinking about your own career goals, long-term plans, past successes, and work strengths.
4. Think of questions to ask your interviewer. Participating actively during the interview gives a good impression of your level of interest in the job. It's a good idea to come prepared with at least 3 or 4 thought-provoking questions to ask your interviewer.
5. Think a little about dress code.
Choose a white, light blue shirt, dark-colored suit and tie and dark-colored shoes.
For women. Dressing professionally means wearing a smart knee-length skirt suit in a dark color, along with sheer, non-patterned hosiery, closed toe shoes and subtle makeup.
6. Be honest. Many people think that an interview is the perfect time to embellish. While you want to structure your answers so that your best, most qualified aspects take center stage, you don't want to deceive or outright lie. Companies do perform background checks, and lying about your experience is simply not worth it.
7. Keep things simple and short. Talking about yourself can be very difficult to do well: You're trying to convince someone you don't know that you're qualified for a position without sounding too cocky or pompous. Stick to what you know well, and keep things short and sweet.
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