Tag Archives: questions

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.

What You Should Know About Giving Great Presentations at Work – Part III: Delivery

Delivering a great speech
Photo by The Parkie

In this section of my series on effective speaking, I’ll cover what you should know about giving your presentation. 

  • Never apologize for your newness as a speaker or mention that you’re nervous. You’ve researched, prepared, practiced and have every right to be speaking on this topic.
  • Show respect and (genuine) affection for the audience. Empty compliments or uniformed comments will not endear an audience.
  • Be excited about speaking and your topic. Speak with vitality, aliveness, and enthusiasm. If you believe a thing earnestly enough and say it sincerely enough, you’ll gain adherents to your cause.
  • Talk just as directly as you would in a one-on-one chat with someone but with greater energy. This is necessary when talking to a large group. Speak naturally but with force.
  • Be relaxed, confident, and engaging in your delivery—like you have chosen one person in the audience to talk to, imagining she has asked you a question.
  • Talk with your audience, not at them.
  • Use “you” rather than “they” as you present.
  • As we discussed in the last post, engaging the audience is always good and holds attention. If you know ahead of time that the audience will be small enough, you can prepare questions, ask them, and have them raise their hands and verbally answer. Start these questions about a quarter of the way in (when they’re comfortable with you and you’ve won them over!)
  • You want listeners to:
    – Feel what you feel
    – Enjoy and re-live the experiences you choose to share
    – Agree with your point of view
    – Do what you think is right for them to do

What has been effective for you in the way you deliver a speech? Has anything caused applause during or after your talk?

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What You Should Know About Giving Great Presentations at Work – Part II: Developing Your Ideas

Developing ideas for a speech
Photo by Moniellain

In this section of my series on effective speaking, I’ll cover what you should know about developing the ideas you’re including in your talk.

  • Sincerity, genuineness, and building out the topic you’ve chosen – Ask yourself, “What am I trying to prove? Why do I believe this? When did I ever see this point exemplified in real life? Exactly how did it happen?”
  • The structure – The best structure for your outline is: Open by getting your audience’s attention by giving a relevant example or telling a story. Avoid the “funny story” opening (stories that are funny but unrelated to your topic or first point). State the point of your talk (“I’m going to show you how to ___”), and tell the audience what you want them to do and why by highlighting the advantage or benefit of doing so…explaining how they can get what they came for by doing what you suggest.
  • The comparison technique – As you make your main points, one approach is to compare what is with what could be; have them imagine. “The current status quo is ___” contrasted against the goal you’re proposing. In closing, end with a call to action reiterating a rosy ending and the bliss that can result by following your advice.
  • Enumerate points – Number your points as you make them so listeners can generally keep pace with your talk and keep up with the overall points you make.
  • Details – Don’t get bogged down in details. Too much detail is worse than none.
  • Complex concepts – When presenting complex ideas, explain them in such a way that a child could understand. Do feel free to use industry key words or jargon, but just be sure to stop and explain each term when it’s used.
  • Visuals/object lessons – Visuals or can help make for a great speech since the mind exponentially remembers object lessons/visuals far better than explanations alone. Keep in mind that a long succession of charts will bore an audience.
  • Numbers and stats – These should ideally be compared to something that can help illustrate the point (for instance size or volume, “The amount of surface one kudzu plant can cover in a month is equivalent to two football fields.”)
  • Positive or negative – When pondering whether to state a point in a negative or positive light, decide by looking at it from the listener’s point of view. Not all negatively phrased points are effective.
  • Rhetorical questions – After a persuasive section, you can ask something like, “Do you want to help underprivileged children in Tulsa have gifts under the tree this Christmas?” Or “Would you like to nail that interview and be called back with a job offer?” This tactic holds the audience’s attention and keeps them engaged.
  • Effective endings – For a talk to go over well, it must have a great ending. Summarize at the end reiterating your main points. For example, “In summation, what we need is…” The final words you speak, the ones left ringing in the ears of the listeners, are likely to be remembered the longest. As stated earlier, in your ending, ask for action…for each listener to do something specific—but it must be something reasonable and within their power. And make it as easy as you can for them to do: for example by giving specific contact information so that they may contact someone in charge.
  • Practice – Go over your talk as often as possible. But know that it will flow more naturally to a real audience than when just speaking it to an empty room.

We’ll talk more about the delivery of your glowing presentation in the next post. Do you have any other suggestions on effectively developing ideas for a presentation?

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