Tag Archives: interview

4 Hot Interview Trends Job Seekers Should Be Aware Of (Guest Post)

4 Hot Interview Trends Job Seekers Should Be Aware Of
Photo by Liz Bukowski

Some job interview trends stay, and some trends go. I have the unique inside knowledge of private sector job interview trends to know which will play a bigger role in the future of job interviewing. Let’s explore four hot interview trends and some ways for today’s professionals to prepare for them.

1) Skype Interviews: Skype interviews are becoming more prevalent especially with advances in technology. As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace and companies are constantly searching for cost savings, it’s safe to say that Skype interviews are not going away for a long time.

I’ve seen many “How to Skype Interview” videos on YouTube. Matt Gnaizd’s video is one of the best. It covers Skype interview basics such as proper sound, lighting, professional dress, potential distractions, posture, eye contact, computer set up, and appropriate speech. Professional screen names are a must, and make sure to have a strong Internet connection.

2) Quirky Questions: I was doing a career presentation at a small college last year. At the end of the presentation I asked if any of the students had any questions. One asked, “How do I answer the tree question?” The scenario went something like the following, “If you were a tree, what would it be, and why?” Questions like this have a particular purpose in interviews, and it’s important to know why they are being asked.

Quirky questions don’t necessary have a right or wrong answer. The candidate mainly needs to make sure to at least come forward with an answer. The worst thing an interviewee can say is “I don’t know,” or, “That’s a weird question.” The interviewer wants to see the interviewee’s analytical skills, sense of humor, professionalism, creativity, and how well he or she thinks on his or her feet.

3) Group Interviews: Most of us hate group interviews. They are not necessarily a new trend, but they are becoming even more popular. Companies are consistently looking for ways to reduce expenses and increase revenues, and group interviews are cost effective measures for companies.

Most people are naturally nervous during a job interview, but if you’ve researched the company, participated in mock interviews, and practiced the most commonly asked interview questions, you can be more confident and less nervous. Wondering how to address a panel? If one panel member is asking the questions, the student should focus on that member but should also speak to the other members on the panel with good eye contact. Afterwards, you’ll need to send individual thank you letters to each member in the group.

4) Video Profiles: Video profiles may be required by a company, or some job seekers may choose to create one in order to set them apart from the competition. When produced well, they can be a phenomenal tool or additional advantage.

Professional dress, proper lighting & sound, eye contact, and an appropriate background are all necessary elements. Hiring committees that require a video profile generally have specific instructions on what they want the candidate to address on camera. For the most part, video profiles are typically a short 2-minute introduction of yourself. In other words, answer the popular question, “Tell me about yourself.”

Who would have ever thought that job interviews would be conducted in noisy venues like Starbucks? Who would have imaged 15 years ago a program called Skype would change the way we conduct job interviews? It’s important for job seekers to keep up on these trends so they can be prepared and best present themselves.

About the Author:
Zachariah Ballinger is Amazon’s best selling author of the book, The Hot Seat: How to Meet the Challenge of a New Era in Job Interviewing. He is a motivational speaker, an educator, and a career consultant. Zachariah Ballinger was featured as the keynote speaker on career topics at TACE, LACE, & AACE (Tennessee, Louisiana, & Alabama Associations of Colleges and Employers.) Contact him at www.topthehotseat.com, and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.


Looking for a new job? Want to get what you want fast? Check out my book, Here Today, Hired Tomorrow, and subscribe to my blog (kurtkirton.com) for free advice on your job search.

You Got the Interview—What You Should Know to Prepare

Prepare for an Interview by Researching the Company
Photo by Meagan Goodnight

So you just landed that interview you’ve been straining for. An important part of preparing to ace the interview is finding out more about the company. Author, blogger, career expert, and former exec at Microsoft Dana Manciagli recommends the following: Know the company—and as best you can, about the division and team you’d be a part of. Familiarize yourself with the industry and any lingo or acronyms. Know the job description, and be ready to mirror the important job requirements with SAR (Situation>Action>Result) examples from your job history.

Research the company’s news, awards, and accomplishments. Find out, for instance, who the president is. Familiarize yourself with at least 4 to 5 key facts about the company in case you’re asked, “What do you know about us?”

Here are several resources you can use:
• The company’s website (obviously!), LinkedIn page, and YouTube channel
www.referenceusa.com (you’ll need a library card to access this site)
www.slideshare.net (a fairly far-fetched resource since you may not find any presentations someone from the company has posted, but why not take a look!)

NOTE: Apart from Glassdoor’s reviews of companies, with most, you’ll also find information regarding interview questions users faced as well as reported salary information. With the release of its Facebook application, Glassdoor usage has grown dramatically, and the site continuously attracts new users from around the world. You can also peruse comments from current and former employees at different companies you are considering.

It’s always a good idea to check LinkedIn for the photo of the person who will be interviewing you. This way, you can appear more prepared as well as learn more about his or her background. In a networking meeting requested by someone else, when I can tell that person has done their homework on me, I’m impressed! This can happen with interviewers too. Good luck!

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MUCHO MONDAYS – “Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro…”: 6 Things To Bring To Your Interview

interview, preparation, list, resume, SAR, strengths, weaknesses, situation, action, result, interviewer, elevator speech, exit statement, references, applications, LinkedIn
Photo by jimmijoe50/djamel

At least 2 copies of your resume’ – One for you for reference and one in case the interviewer asks for it. Frequently the version of your resume’ the interviewer may have been handed from HR is a format-stripped one, difficult to follow. NOTE: If you’re using a Functional Resume’, bring one Chronological for yourself as a quick reference
Interview Prep Sheets1) a standard one listing your strengths, typical questions you should always ask, your goals, and the answer to the question “Tell me about yourself” and 2) a Company Information Sheet (containing: the title of the job for which you’re interviewing; the name of the interviewer, his or her contact phone number, and the address or directions to the interview site; facts about the company; your questions about the job; and the questions you would ask if you were the interviewer–especially in regards to relating your background to the position on the table).
Your SARS/Weaknesses Sheet – A list of 8 or so top Situation/Action/Result scenarios (here’s a list of ideas from which to choose) and the answer to the question “What are your weaknesses?”
Your Elevator Speech and Exit Statement
Information about your past jobs (start/end dates, salary, addresses, supervisors’ names, etc.) – in case you need to fill out an Application. I like to keep a document of this information on Google Drive in order to reduce the amount of papers I need to carry. Just make sure to update it as you update the one on your computer. Also paste your References at the top of this document so you’ll have those readily available if an Application requires it.
• A professional looking folio to keep all this in

Have the resume’s (your copy and theirs) handy so you don’t have to fumble for them. Having the other sheets in the folio is fine, just tuck them out of the way before you are called back for the interview.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to check LinkedIn for the photo of the person who will be interviewing you. This way you can appear more prepared as well as learn more about their background.

What else do you bring? Can you share any curveballs the interviewer stumped you with?