Nailing That Job Interview

With the economy continuing to struggle and the job market continuing to be rough, we should all be on our toes and be ready to start going out on job interviews should we lose our current jobs.

The unemployment rate everywhere now stands at an undesirable figure, so while it may not happen today, or tomorrow, or next year, there’s a good chance that one day soon many of us will have to go job hunting — filling out applications and going to interviews.

For folks who have been with their current employer for a long time, it may have been decades since they went on their last job interview, making the prospect very intimidating. Appearing nervous or afraid isn’t likely to impress prospective employers, so it’s important for these folks to quickly brush up their skills and be ready to make a good impression at job interviews. Developing job interview skills and making the sale to prospective employers is imperative if you wish to secure employment in this tough job market.

If you want to do well on a job interview, you should first do your homework. Learn as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing with — its corporate culture, its primary and secondary lines of business, current challenges facing the company, etc. Also learn as much as possible about the specific job you’re interviewing for — what the duties are, what equipment or software you’ll need to master, who you’ll be dealing with, etc. If an employer sees you as knowledgeable about his or her business, they’ll be more likely to hire you because they won’t have to invest as much time and resources into training you.

When interviewing with a prospective employer, be clear about exactly what you can offer the company and what skills you bring to the table. This is where all that homework you did will pay off. By being able to specifically tell your employer what you can do for them and how you can make their organization better you immediately gain a leg up on prospective employees who can only offer vague answers to these questions.

Another key element of acing a job interview is to dress professionally and be on time for your interview. Dressing professionally shows that you care about how you are perceived and that you will conduct yourself professionally. Being punctual illustrates this attention to detail and work ethic too.

One tricky question prospective employers may ask you is “What are your weaknesses?” The best way to handle this question is to tell a story about a weakness you used to have and how you’ve either overcome it or are overcoming it. This shows you as a proactive employee who isn’t afraid to do a little self improvement work.

If you have dings on your employment record, such as a termination from a job, be upfront about it, but try to put yourself in the best light possible. Don’t sound bitter or angry about it, as that may lead your prospective employer to believe you have an attitude problem.

Interviews can be brutal. But with proper preparation and presentation you can ace them and get the job you need.

5 Tips to Improve Your Job Interview Skill

How to improve job interview skills? Here are 5 things you can do.

1. Mingle with people

Start mingling with strangers and strike up conversation with new people everyday. Just like them, interviewers are also strangers in your life and creating the habit of speaking to them will enhance your confidence and increase your self esteem.

Learn how you can improve your interaction and interpersonal skills. You will initially start very slow but as you meet more people; your communication skills improve naturally. And so will your interview skills.

2. Use more English in conversation

If your first language is not English, it’s time to start using more English. Similarly, if your first language is English, use more English now and take it to the next level. Understand and practice new jargons until you’re able to talk for hours and leave the interviewer’s jaw wide open.

3. When completing a team project, volunteer as presenter

Usually, a team completing certain project in school, college or even workplace would be required to present their findings, results and suggestions to the supervisors or managers. When it comes to presenting, many are reluctant to take up the task, mainly due to low self confidence. Volunteer yourself as the presenter, regardless whether you’re good in speaking or not. It’s time to learn. Remember, as the time goes by, there are bigger things in your career life, and presentation is one necessary skill.

4. Attend more interviews

Yes, you read it right. Think of someone wishing to become a skilled football player. To become a better player, he needs to train more, and play more football. Reading books, playing football games online and going to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United playing live football does not make him a better player. But playing does. Similar to job interview. The more interviews you attend, the better you get at them. And when you think you flunk a job interview, treat as one valuable lesson that makes you better prepared the next time, not as failure.

5. Join toastmasters/speaking circuits

Toastmasters are groups that help people to become a better communicator. By joining toastmasters groups or the speaking circuits you will be exposed to the essential skills of good presentation and speaking habits. Not only can you observe, you will also learn to do it yourself, get feedback from others, and consequently improve your speaking skills. Additionally, you will be able to learn how to address a given situation, analyze certain issues and immediately present your ideas and suggestions to the public. It’s definitely a job interview tip worth trying.

Exit Interview – an Idiot’s Guide

Some useful exit interview guides

1. What is an exit interview?

Exit interview is an interview conducted by the employer (human resource) and is arranged after you tender your resignation and have finalized all major aspects related to your resignation.

Exit interview is scheduled and done any day before your final day of work.

2. Why is there such thing as an exit interview?

An exit interview collects and compiles information and feedback from the resigning staff, which will be useful in the company’s organizational development evaluation.

Other than knowing why you are leaving, they’d want to know other reasons that led to your imminent quitting. Additionally, they would also want to know if in any way your welfare as an employee has been compromised, or you have been subject to any mistreatment.

3. What kind of questions asked during exit interview?

There can be mixed range of questions, such as: Did the company provide you with a good atmosphere for you to carry out your task? How have you been treated by other colleagues and co-workers? Is there any dissatisfaction on the way your boss is handling you? Is there any way we can make you to stay? Are you satisfied with your employment terms and conditions? What’s wrong with this company?

4. Is it a must for me to attend the exit interview?

Exit interview is an employer arrangement, and is part of their planning and implementation in the human resource department. Not all employers require their staff to undergo exit interview, but with the increase in staff turnover and resignation rate, the exit interview is becoming more and more common these days.

5. How do I prepare for exit interview?

Preparing for exit interview is nothing compared to preparing for job interview. So do not be worried too much. Exit interview is done in good faith. Answer the questions honestly, openly and naturally. Be co-operative as much as possible, and should you choose the exit interview to fire parting shots at your boss or the company, by all means do it without hurting your own credibility.

Job Interview Tips: How to Annoy Your Interviewer

You know, being an interviewer will give you an opportunity to make a long list of criteria of job interview candidates that annoy you. Sometimes it is just incredible to see candidates spending hours of time polishing up their resume and blindly leaving the fate of the interview hanging nowhere. Here’re only a few of them:

1. Arrive late.

You can give all sort of excuses for all you care when you’re late like you’re stuck in an unexpected traffic (good excuse when the interview is right down in the cities like KL), changing the bike tyres, still finding suitable parking areas and so on. Yes, some of the excuses are legitimate. Screw them. You should estimate your time well, and your estimate should give buffer to you so that you’ll arrive early. Not late. Not exactly on time. You should arrive earlier. Give it 30 minutes or so. Remember, there will be few other steps you will need to complete before you will be shown to the interview room e.g. filling up application forms, sit for aptitude test, assessment and so on. Therefore, it is imperative you arrive early. Be a religious time keeper.

2. Answer phone calls during interview.

I can never forgive those who answer calls during interview. So do other interviewers. Even worse, a few of them talk a fashionably lengthy discussion while the interviewer is right in front of them. Arguably, these type of person does not only have ethics problem, but their attitude in their everyday life is also questionable. Luckily, my remedy for this issue is quite simple; I just kicked them out of the interview room. I will say to them, “Now that I can see you don’t respect me as an interviewer, I do not see you will respect me as your supervisor, team mate and colleague either. Just berambus from here.” Period.

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