Tag Archives: interviewing

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.

7 Tips You Should Know to Help Find Your First Job After College (GUEST POST)

How to Find Your First Job After College
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

So you’ve got your degree, and you’re ready to hit the ground running and get your first job. But where on earth do you begin? Here are seven tips to help smooth the path and help you find the right job.

1) Have Your Resume Ready to Go
This is a pretty important one. Make sure you have a clear, concise and informative resume that is free of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. This is your chance to make a first impression, and something as small as a misspelled word can land your resume in the “toss” pile.

2) Google Yourself
Many companies take the time to research a potential candidate. If you still have fraternity party pictures up on an old MySpace page, now is the time to take those down. It’s also important that you have a good representation of yourself on the web. Your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles should be good points of introduction. It’s especially worthwhile to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and reflects your skills and background. It should go without saying, but with social media, always be sure to avoid posting pictures or comments you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.

3) Find Your Calling
If you’ve gone to school for teaching, then you probably have a pretty solid path you want to follow when you start reaching out to employers. If you have a degree without a specific career path (i.e. English, sociology, art history) then the water muddies a bit. The onus is now on you to find an area where you can be eager and put your best foot forward. Like sales? Consider trying real estate or advertising sales. Like working with people? Consider a job in human resources. Want to start your own business? Become a dog walker to see what’s it’s like being your own boss. Have creativity and interest in moving outside your comfort zone? There are lots of non-technical jobs in tech these days. Really, the options are endless. As long as you have initiative and a willingness to learn, you can find opportunity.

4) Boost Your Background
In the meantime, it’s always beneficial to add to your skill set. You can do that through volunteering (which is also great on resumes) as well as taking short classes and online tutorials. Many nonprofits will let you volunteer and learn as you go—especially if they need help with a website, grant writing, marketing, or graphic design. Remember, any new skill you acquire should always be added to your LinkedIn profile to advertise what makes you an even more worthwhile candidate.

5) Spruce Up
Not everyone can afford to go out and buy a new suit, but you can do a lot to make yourself look presentable. Be sure to always have an outfit ready to go for when you land an interview. Keep a shirt or two ironed, in addition to pressed pants or a skirt.

6) Keep in Touch
One of the best ways to stay on someone’s radar is to send a thank you note after an interview or phone call. Handwritten is better, though this isn’t always an option. Be persistent but not pushy. What’s most important is that you are following up.

7) Stay the Course
Finally, not everyone gets a job right away, and it can be very defeating if you receive multiple rejections. If you can, find out why you weren’t a good fit for the company. Maybe you can re-apply later for a different job. Be sure not to take it personally, and don’t let bad news keep you from being persistent. There is a job out there for you, and it will happen when everything falls into place the way it should. Good luck, and go get ’em!

About the Author:
Erica Francis is passionate about helping young people prepare for careers in a tough job market. She enjoys developing rich lesson plans and other educational resources. Some of her lesson plans can be found at ReadyJob.org.

 

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.glassdoor.com
www.indeed.com/Best-Places-to-Work
www.manta.com
www.referenceusa.com (you’ll need a library card to access this site)
www.seekingalpha.com
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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Looking for a new job? Want to get the one you want faster? Check out my new book, Here Today, Hired Tomorrow.