Job interviewing never seems to get any easier - even when you have gone on more interviews than you can count. You are meeting new people, selling yourself and your skills, and often getting the third degree about what you know or don't know. Job interviews are always stressful - even for job seekers who have gone on countless interviews. The best way to reduce the stress is to be prepared. Here are job interview tips to help prepare you to interview effectively. Proper preparation will help alleviate some of the stress involved in job interviews.
Practice answering interview questions and practice your responses to the typical job interview questions and answers most employers ask. Think of actual examples you can use to describe your skills. Providing evidence of your successes is a great way to promote your candidacy.
Prepare a response so you are ready for the question "What do you know about our company." Know the interviewer's name and use it during the job interview. If you're not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions. Take the time to research the company. That way you'll be ready with knowledgeable answers for the job interview questions that specifically relate to the company you are interviewing with. Check out their webpage, read their Facebook link, re-read the hiring advertisement.
Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note taking.
Be On Time
Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, take some time to drive to the office ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there.
During the job interview try to relax and stay as calm possible. Take a moment to regroup. Greet the employer with a handshake. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Smile, be polite, and try to relax. Be upbeat and make positive statements. Listen to the entire question before you answer and pay attention - you will be embarrassed if you forget the question! Ask the interviewer to restate a question if you are confused. Answer questions as directly as possible.
Show What You Know
Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions. When discussing your career accomplishments match them to what the company is looking for. Use examples of how your skills and abilities would fit the job.
What are some questions that I may be asked during the interview?
Work History Name of company, position title and description, dates of employment. What were your expectations for the job and to what extent were they met? What were your starting and final levels of compensation? What were your responsibilities? What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them? What have you learned from your mistakes? What did you like or dislike about your previous job? Which was most / least rewarding? What was the biggest accomplishment / failure in this position?
Questions about your supervisors and co-workers. What was it like working for your supervisor? What do you expect from a supervisor? What problems have you encountered at work? Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager? Who was your best boss and who was the worst? Why are you leaving your job? Why did you resign? Why did you leave your last job? What have you been doing since your last job? Why were you fired? Why have you been unemployed for such a long time?
Job Interview Questions About You Tell me about yourself. What is your greatest weakness? What is your greatest strength? How will your greatest strength help you perform? How would you describe yourself? Describe a typical work week. Describe your work style. Do you take work home with you? How many hours do you normally work? How would you describe the pace at which you work? How do you handle stress and pressure? What motivates you? Are you a self motivator? What are your salary expectations? What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
Tell me about yourself. What has been the greatest disappointment in your life? What are you passionate about? What are your pet peeves? What do people most often criticize about you? What is your weakness? What are your strengths? When was the last time you were angry? What happened? If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently? If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say? Do you prefer to work independently or on a team? Give some examples of teamwork.
More teamwork interview questions. What type of work environment do you prefer? How do you evaluate success? If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something how would you handle it? Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it. Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it. Why should we hire you?
Questions About the New Job and the Company What do you know about the type of work we do? What interests you about this job? Why do you want this job? What applicable attributes / experience do you have? Are you overqualified for this job? What can you do for this company? Why should we hire you? Why are you the best person for the job? What do you know about this company? Why do you want to work here? What challenges are you looking for in a position? What can you contribute to this company? Are you willing to travel? What is good customer service? How long do you expect to remain employed with this company? Is there anything I haven't told you about the job or company that you would like to know?
The Future What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you? What are your goals for the next five years / ten years? How do you plan to achieve those goals? What are your salary requirements - both short-term and long-term?
Questions about your career goals. What will you do if you don't get this position?
At the end of the formal interview the employer will ask if you have any questions. The following are examples of acceptable questions to ask. Questions To Ask The Employer: Who would supervise me? When are you going to make a hiring decision? What are the opportunities for advancement? What kind of training is provided or available? Is there a dress code?
The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That's why it's always important to dress professionally for a job interview, even if the work environment is casual.
What's the appropriate dress code for an interview? You'll want that first impression to be not just a good one, but, a great one. The candidate dressed in a suit and tie is going to make a much better impression than the candidate dressed in scruffy jeans and a t-shirt.
Take the environment of the work atmosphere into account. Go to the potential place of employment a couple of days prior to the interview to see what the other employees are wearing. Although you will always want to dress a bit more professionally than the current employees (you always want to put your best foot forward!), this will give you some idea for what may be expected.
If wearing a skirt, it should be long enough so you can sit down comfortably
Conservative shoes (closed toe)
Limited jewelry (no dangling earrings or arms full of bracelets)
No jewelry is better than cheap jewelry
Professional hairstyle (natural colors)
Light make-up and perfume
Neatly manicured clean nails
What Not to Bring to the Interview
Cell phone - If you do bring it, leave it in your bag or pocket the entire time and keep it on silent!
Coffee or soda
If you have lots of piercings, leave some of your rings at home (earrings only, is a good rule)
Children or friends - go alone.
What to Bring to the Interview
Bring your "Fact Sheet" with telephone numbers and addresses of your references and former employers, just in case you are asked to complete an application or to furnish your references.
A black or blue pen - and an extra!
A folder, portfolio, or briefcase to hold your application and 3-5 additional copies of your resume.
Interview Attire Tips Before you even think about going on an interview, make sure you have appropriate interview attire and everything fits correctly. Get your clothes ready the night before, so you don't have to spend time getting them ready on the day of the interview. If your clothes are dry clean only, take them to the cleaners after an interview, so they are ready for next time. Polish your shoes. Bring a breath mint and use it before you enter the building.
What should I do after my interview? Thank you notes and calling to check on the status.
At the very end of the interview, stand up, thank the interviewer for their time and for the opportunity, shakes hands with the interviewer, and request a business card. If you have a business card of your own then leave one with the interviewer. Then go home and prepare your thank you note or after-interview communication!
Thank You Notes
Do I need to write a thank you note? Some people believe that thank you notes are "old fashioned". Some people swear by their success. When you do a favor for someone, don't you like to be thanked? There is no harm in writing a thank you note and it can be a great way to remind your interviewer "I had a wonderful time meeting you and would love to be a part of your team soon!" Putting your name out there is certainly not a bad thing.
Whether you choose to make a thank you note a part of your interview process or not is really a personal preference, but it is highly recommended amongst many.
After your interview, be sure to write a thank you note to the employer or interviewer. This is very important because a thank you note gives you one more chance to remind the employer about the special skills that you can bring to the company.
It is a good idea to request the interviewer's business card before leaving the interview. This will help when writing your thank you note to correctly spell the interviewer's name and job title.
Tips for thank you notes:
Neatly hand write or type the note.
Address the note to the interviewer or the lead interviewer.
Keep it short. (No longer than one page.)
First paragraph: Thank the employer for the interview. Also, mention that you are interested in the position. Second paragraph: Briefly state a few of your skills without repeating the information on your resume word for word. Include any important information not mentioned at the interview. Third paragraph: Provide your contact information, telephone number with area code, and an e-mail address, if available. Sign the note with your first and last name.
Proofread the note to check for spelling or grammar errors. Ask another person to proofread the note. Mail the note within two to three days after your interview.
Is it appropriate to email a Thank You letter? In this day and age? YES! Some prefer the professionalism and respect that a hand-written letter deserves, but in today's age email is very common and quite an acceptable medium for professional dialogue.
How and when should I give a follow up call? Who: Contact the person (of if multiple people, the one with the most seniority). You should already have their contact information, including phone number, from the business card. If you do not have this information then try contacting the Human Resources (HR) department for the company that you applied to. When: ~3-5 days after the interview. Calling prior to this time doesn't give the interviewers or HR department enough time to accurately reflect upon all applicants. Calling too far after this time could mean that they've already reviewed all applicants and made their decision. How:
1. Sit down with a notepad and pen about a week after the job interview to make the follow-up call. Having a notepad on hand will help you take any notes that come up on your follow-up call.
2. Call the place where you interviewed and ask to speak to the person you interviewed with.
3. Tell the interviewer your name, why you are calling and remind her when you sat down with her for the interview. This will refresh her mind as to whom she is speaking with.
4. Ask the interviewer about the status of the position you interviewed for. If the position is still open, ask if you are still being considered.
5. End the follow-up call after your job interview by telling the interviewer that you are still interested in the job and you look forward to hearing from her in the future.
If the interview is unavailable at the time of your call, then leave the above information in a voicemail or inquire about when would be a more convenient time to call back so that you may be able to reach the interviewer.
Here is some additional information about Follow Up Calls: http://www.hcareers.com/us/resourcecenter/tabid/306/articleid/498/default.aspx http://www.ehow.com/how_2313151_make-call-after-job-interview.html#ixzz1tAMRUns6
Post edited at 10:33 am on April 26, 2012 by JennyColada
------- So when you're happy (Hurray!), or sad (Aw!), Or frightened (Eeek!), or mad (Rats!) An interjection starts a sentence right.
1:31 pm on Oct. 26, 2011 | Joined: July 2002 | Days Active: 3,355 Join to learn more about JennyColadaCalifornia, United States | Bi-curiousFemale | Posts: 97,590 | Points: 213,173
How do group interviews vary from one-on-one interviews?
A group interview, sometimes known as a panel interview, is different than a one-on-one interview because it is conducted by a whole group of people. If you know you are facing a group interview or if you think it might be a possibility, learning more about what you can expect from a group interview is a good idea.
Thankfully, there are many similarities between group and one-on-one interviews; including the types of questions that may be asked, what you should wear, and how you should follow up.
Types of Group Interviews There are two basic types of group interviews: A Candidate Group and A Panel Group. In a candidate group interview, you will most likely be put in a room with other job applicants. In many cases, these applicants will be applying for the same position that you are applying for. During a candidate group interview, you will definitely be asked to listen to information about the company and the position, and you may be asked to answer questions or participate in group exercises.
In a panel group interview, you will most likely be interviewed individually by a panel of two or more people. This type of group interview is almost always a question and answer session, but you might also be asked to participate in some type of exercise or test that simulates your potential work environment.
Why Companies Use Group Interviews An increasing number of companies are using group interviews to screen job applicants. This change could be attributed to the desire to reduce turnover and the fact that teamwork is becoming more critical in the workplace, but the easiest way to explain it is that two heads are almost always better than one. When there is more than one person doing the interviewing, the chances of a bad hiring decision being made are reduced.
What Group Interviewers Look For Group interviewers look for the same things other interviewers look for. They want to see a strong candidate who knows how to work well with others and behave properly and competently in a work environment. Specific things that group interviewers scrutinize: Your Appearance. Attire, hygiene, and anything else that relates to your physical form will be judged. If you wear too much make-up or cologne, at least one of the interviewers will notice. If you forgot to put on deodorant or match your socks, at least one of the interviewers will notice. Your Presentation Skills. Interviewers will be paying special attention to how you present yourself. Do you slouch or fidget? Do you make eye contact when you converse? Did you remember to shake hands with everyone in the room? Your Communication Skills. No matter what type of job you are applying for, you will need to be able to communicate. Specific skills that group interviewers look for is your ability to listen, follow instructions and get your ideas across. Your Interest Level. From the time the interview starts until it ends, interviewers will be trying to assess how interested you are in the job you are applying for. If you seem bored and unengaged during the interview, you will probably be passed by for someone else.
Tips to Help You Ace Your Group Interview Preparation is the key to success in any interview, but this is especially true for group interviews. If you make any mistakes, at least one of your interviewers is bound to notice. Here are a few tips to that will help you make the best impression possible:
Greet all of your interviewers individually. Make eye contact, say hello, and if possible shake hands.
Don't focus on any one individual. You should make an effort to engage everyone in the group when you are asking or answering questions.
Don't show surprise or annoyance when faced with a group interview.
If you are interviewed with other candidates it is better to lead than to follow. Interviewers may not remember you if you blend into the background.
Skills you will be expected to demonstrate during group interview exercises include leadership skills, your ability to handle stress and pressure, teamwork skills and how well you take and give criticism.
Thank everyone who interviewed you and remember names and titles so that you can follow up with each of them afterwards.
Delivering a proper handshake can make or break your first impression on a person. A handshake that's too limp or weak can convey weakness or lack of self-confidence, while one that's too strong or crushing can convey hostility. A well-executed handshake is one that conveys self-confidence, trust, and a genuine interest in the other party. There are several factors contributing to a good handshake, from start to finish.
When not to do it Firstly, it is rarely inappropriate for one to give a handshake. A handshake is generally common courtesy during most introductions, and when greeting a familiar person.
Some instances where a handshake may be inappropriate follow:
When one or both parties have their hands full, and it would be inconvenient for them to set the burden down. In this instance, one should simply nod and smile, and perhaps make verbal acknowledgment of the greeting or introduction.
When there is a large table between you and the other party. Again, simply smile, nod, and verbally acknowledge the greeting or introduction.
When you are behind a desk. Get up, walk around your desk, and then offer your handshake. Do not offer the handshake from behind your desk.
When you are sitting. Unless you are physically incapable, ''always'' stand for a handshake. Stand also for an introduction where the other party is standing, yet a handshake may still be inappropriate (i.e.: other party is approaching to sit at the far side of the table at which you are seated.)
When the other party is of much higher status, and you have nothing of value to discuss. In such a situation, shaking hands simply to introduce yourself may make you appear pushy.
When you are a male greeting a female in a casual setting. In this case, it would be polite to accept a handshake if the female in question offers it. Otherwise, "smile and nod". In a business setting, however, treat a female just as you would a male, when handshakes are in question.
Although the above are situations where a handshake is generally inappropriate to offer, one should ''never'' decline a handshake when one is able to accept it. (i.e.: not carrying a large load of luggage in his arms.)
During the handshake Now that we've decided whether or not to offer the handshake (or have accepted a handshake offered to us), let's discuss what should happen during the handshake:
Eye contact. Once your hands have met, you should make eye contact and maintain it throughout the handshake. If you're particularly coordinated, or gifted with great peripheral vision, make eye contact prior to the handshake, and maintain it for the duration.
Grip. Grip with your whole hand, not just the fingertips or just the thumb. Make it firm, but not crushing. A good help for learning this would be asking a friend to help you practice your handshake grip. In most situations, you should only use one hand.
Position. Your body should be approximately two cubits (distance from fingertips to elbow) away from the other party. Your shaking arm should be bent so that the elbow forms a 135-degree angle, and the forearm is level with the floor. Your hand should neither be on top, nor underneath the other person's hand. Both parties' hands should be straight up-and-down, even with each other. The web of your hand (skin running between the forefinger and the thumb) should meet the web of theirs.
Shake. Should be smooth, not limp or over-enthusiastic. Shake from the elbow, not the wrist or the shoulder.
Flow. Before the handshake, establish eye contact. Break eye contact, if needed, to extend your hand to meet theirs. When the web of your hand meets the web of theirs, re-establish eye contact and engage your grip. Shake two or three times, for a duration of 1-3 seconds, breaking off cleanly and smoothly before the introduction is over.
Some other tips for when you're anticipating a handshake:
If carrying a drink and food, carry the drink in your weak hand to avoid a clammy hand when shaking. If caught with the food in your shaking hand, set the food down if it is convenient. If unable to do so, "smile and nod", and apologize for having full hands.
If your hands tend to be naturally cold, keep your shaking hand in your pocket to warm it up for awhile before entering the handshake situation. Some recommend drinking a cup of coffee or tea prior to a situation where a handshake may be recommended. Just be sure to keep mints on hand to avoid coffee-breath!
If your hands are damp, try casually wiping them off in your pocket or on the back or side of your jacket or pants, shortly before the handshake.
If your hands tend to be particularly sweaty, and you're expected to be doing a lot of shaking at an event, try putting some unscented antiperspirant on your hands prior to the event.
If someone else has a poor handshake, do not correct them.
How do I make sure I am giving a good handshake? To test your handshaking finesse, try shaking hands with a few close friends, and asking them "If you could change something about my handshake, what would it be?". Then, honor them by taking their advice to heart, and in hand.
Why didn't I get a call back/Why didn't I get hired?
You filled out what you thought was a perfect application, you gave a perfect handshake, you had what you thought was a fantastic interview, you sent a thank you note, you called to thank the interviewer and to follow up. And still NOTHING. Now what?
First, don't let it get you down. Have you waited a reasonable amount of time? Don't get upset just because you haven't gotten a call back in 5 days, sometimes it can take a week or two (and sometimes longer) for a company to make their hiring decision.
Although we do not know the exact reasons why you did not get a call back or why you did not get hired, here are a few tips (and some things to avoid in your interview process when possible!):
Untidy personal appearance
Inability to express information clearly
Was unprepared for interview questions
Lack of genuine interest or enthusiasm
Unwillingness to start at the bottom
Lack of eye contact
Untrained or Incompetent
Incomplete or sloppy application
Being late for the interview
Resume is too long or disorganized
Know why you like your current job. You should be able to clearly articulate what it is about your current role (or your last position) that really excited and motivated you, and in why you are excited and motivated for this position. You should understand what drives you, and be able to talk passionately and articulately about that. If it seems like you don't care, have no passion, or are just looking for another paycheck, the hiring manager will pass. He or she needs someone who loves what they do and will thrive on helping the company succeed.
Have real-life anecdotes. You'll get questions about how you handled particular situations in the interview. Know yourself and your own job history well enough that you can recount examples from your own work experience. If all you can talk about is what you would do in the future, it won't instill much confidence. Make sure that you review the common interview questions and be prepared with answers and anecdotes to relate to each one as best as you are able.
Have the skills listed in the job description. Or at least be honest that you are trying to change roles and are willing to take a more junior position to learn and grow. Bottom line: Don't mislead the interviewer about skills you don't really have or experience you haven't yet accrued. And arrive prepared to do some hands-on work, just in case you're asked to work through a problem, project or situation that is representative of the role you're interviewing for. There is no harm in applying for a position that you are a bit unqualified for, sometimes you have to take a long shot! But don't let it get you down if you do not get chosen for the position; just keep trying, learning, and growing.
Double check all of your parperwork. Write clearly on the application and fill out all applicable areas.
Plan ahead. Make sure that you set a proper alarm, know where you are going, have directions, and have the proper transportation. If the employee cannot rely on you to come on time and prepared for the interview, how can they expect you to come on time and prepared for work?
Trim your resume. If your resume is more than two (printed, dead-tree) pages long, it's too long. Your accomplishments should be tightly edited blasts of information, not verbose or rambling paragraphs. The rise of online resumes doesn't give you permission to waste HR and the hiring manager's time, and the rule of thumb that no one looks at your resume for more than about 30 seconds still holds true.
What can I do from here? Just keep trying! Don't let it get you down. There are easily dozens (sometimes more) people applying for the exact same job that you are. Getting an interview itself is a great accomplishment and something to be proud of. Remember to practice, practice, practice.
Encourage your friends, family, teachers, and pastors to review your application, resume, and interview style with you. Try going to an employment agency to get additional professional help and training.
1. Fill out every field. If there is a space for an answer, fill it out. Even if this means writing "N/A" or "-", it is important for the employer to know that you read through the entire application and can follow instructions. Ensure that you date, sign, and initial everywhere that is required. Don't rush. Leaving out a field, even the date, will show that you do not have attention to detail and do not follow directions.
Even if you are attaching a resume, fill out the Employment fields. Most employers require each employee to have a full and complete application, even if a resume is attached. Make sure that the information contained on your resume is current, correct, and the in line with the information that you are putting on your application (dates of employment, job titles, job location).
2. Write something that will make you stand out. Most of an application is personal information, but there should be some sort of field somewhere to list experience, skills, etc. Put anything, even if it's being involved in a school club or typing well. With so many applications, you don't really have a chance if all we know about you is your name.
3. If this is not your first job, be careful what you write in the "Reason for Leaving" or "Reason for Termination" fields. Things like "didn't like management" or "too difficult job" are red flags. Think about if you would want someone who left or got fired from a job for the reason that you are writing. Some very common and acceptable reasons are "pursuing a different opportunity" or "continuing education".
4. Think about your availability. Don't lie, but make yourself as available as possible. Many employers will not think highly of an employee that states that are desiring full time employment but later find out that the employee can only work 6-10pm two days a week. Honesty is the best policy: you do not want to be put in a position where you are pushing yourself to the limit, and the employer wants to hire someone who best fits the needs of the business.
5. Use neat handwriting. Black or blue pen only. No pencil. Bring your own pen so that you don't have to ask to borrow one.
6. Have complete references and contact information on hand. Think about who you are going to use as references before you even set out to apply to places. On a resume, it is acceptable to put "References Available Upon Request," but if a job application asks for specific names of references, it looks bad if you cannot come up with any.
How should I turn in an application?
1. Dress to impress. Although you do not need to wear a suit and tie, you want to avoid wearing ripped, stained, dirty, or offensive clothing. Make sure that you look presentable and that your hair, breath, and body is clean and stink-free!
2. Don't bring an entourage! Just like for an interview, try to avoid bringing friends, children, etc. Many places may do on-the-spot interviews when you turn in an application - so be ready!
3. When you go to turn in the application do so with a smile, eye contact, and a proper handshake (if required).
4. Inquire if there is a hiring manager available and that you have an application that you wish to turn in. Don't pressure the person to get the manager. If they tell you that they will be happy to pass along your application you may inquire if a hiring manager is available, but be courteous that they may be busy or preoccupied as well.
NOTE: Even though you have heard that its good to call to check on the status of your application, this is not always true. If you are applying for a very large company, they may receive hundreds of applications, and they do not have time to give you status updates, especially since the hiring manager is also a floor manager with other responsibilities when you are calling. Consider the nature of the business, and do not call during busy periods. For most business, non-peak times would be between 2pm-4pm Monday-Friday.
Special thanks to penguincube for compiling a large amount of this information.
Is it normal to have gone through 20 interviews with different companies b4 receiving a single offer? That was all within 20 months.
Just because you interview with a company doesn't mean that you're a right fit. Basically, yes, this could be normal! It's difficult to say why you may not be getting the jobs (it could be for a variety of reasons). You could try looking into community centers or employment agencies to assist you in practice interviews to gain some real life experience and feedback.
------- So when you're happy (Hurray!), or sad (Aw!), Or frightened (Eeek!), or mad (Rats!) An interjection starts a sentence right.
10:04 pm on Oct. 24, 2015 | Joined: July 2002 | Days Active: 3,355 Join to learn more about JennyColadaCalifornia, United States | Bi-curiousFemale | Posts: 97,590 | Points: 213,173