Career Tips
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Career Tips

Interview Tips

Do’s:

Please Do…

  1. Project a professional image. Use appropriate language. In these more conservative times, it’s better to use language more conservatively, at least for the first interview.
  1. Call in prepared. Do your background research, including internet, newspaper, etc. about the company, products, services and the person you are meeting with and the company you are recruiting him for.
  1. Check and judge the enthusiasm and interest of the candidate for the job being offered. Clients don’t hire wooden boxes.
  1. Establish rapport to be called back for a second interview.
  1. Demonstrate by word and deed you’re fit for the position.
  2. Use action verbs and appeal to the senses.
  1. Have fun and relax. If you are tense, you’ll be seen as rigid and uncomfortable. Breathe deeply before you start the interview and center yourself.
  1. Be a role model for your profession.

Don’ts:

Please Do not…

  1. Oversell yourself. There’s a time to sell yourself and your credentials, including presenting samples/portfolio. Watch for cues and clues. The conversation should shift to then discussing the job opening and its challenges/opportunities.
  1. Undersell yourself. This is not the place to be modest. Make sure you can draw attention to specific accomplishments, and quantify and qualify them.
  1. Be arrogant or haughty.
  1. Talk badly of previous employers, employees or companies. It will come back to haunt you.
  1. Tell lies. Be honest. It’s the best policy. If you have something to hide, the future employer will find out.
  1. Interview in a monotone voice. It’s boring and puts people to sleep. Modulate your voice, use inflection. Smiling helps too. Practice it on phone with your friends.
  1. Take anything for granted or make assumptions. You have to earn the trust of the interviewer to be asked back.

Common interview questions

  1. Tell me about yourself?
  2. Why did you leave your last job?
  3. Do you consider yourself successful?
  4. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
  5. Are you applying for other jobs?
  6. Do you know anyone who works for us?
  7. What kind of salary do you need?
  8. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
  9. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
  10. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
  11. What irritates you about co-workers?
  12. What is your greatest strength?
  13. Tell me about your dream job.
  14. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
  15. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
  16. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor.
  17. What has disappointed you about a job?
  18. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
  19. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
  20. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
  21. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
  22. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
  23. Describe your work ethic.
  24. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
  25. Do you have any questions for me?

Case Study Interview

The way the current salaries are shooting up, the job of hiring professionals has become lot more challenging to acquire best talent who can add real value to the organization. On the other side mis-hiring causes big damage to organization. Based on recent study, the average cost of a mis-hire can be six times base salary for a sales rep, 15 times base salary for a manager, and as much as 27 times base salary for an executive.In a study conducted by Dr. Bradford Smart, author of Top grading, the cost of mis-hiring executives (average compensation: $114,000) was 24 times the person’s base compensation.

For doing assessment of right talent, interview is still the preliminary and powerful process. So the hiring professionals are constantly trying to make the interview process more effective so as to derive better inferences. One of the steps taken in this regard is to include case study questionnaire.

The Case Study Interviews are aimed to test their ability which goes beyond one’s functional knowledge and expertise. These abilities are essential for any position to contribute significantly to the organization. The kind of Case Study questions may vary as per the role and level of the position.

Case Interviews give the interviewer an in-depth view of how one think/function under pressure, derive solution and can visualize at macro and micro level. It also helps interviewer to understand further how one can comprehend situation and effectively communicate actionable solutions even with conflicting information.Impeccable HR Consulting rely heavily on case interviews to find the right candidate which helps their clients to make precise decision to zero down on right talent.

During one of our recent senior search assignments, client selected the candidate which they had initially not shortlisted but later reconsidered on the basis report of case study interview submitted by us.

These case study questionnaires are especially very effective for senior or strategic positions in the organization. Interviewers throws various brainteasers to test analytical and creative thinking process and assess one’s decision making abilities in adverse conditions.

One of the common case interviews question is related to Profitability, which could further vary in form of Declining profitability or Profitability with respect to cost / revenue or general Profitability scenarios.

Other common case interview question is related to Market Study which may vary in form of Entry, Revenue Growth or Market Share. There can be question related to Merger &Acquisition, technology changes, economic scenarios, competitors approach.

Some examples of such questions are

  1. If company is deciding to launch any new product line, they should buy a company or develop the technology in-house.
  2. What should be business plan if company is  growing well but are unable to reach their profitability goals
  3. If company wants faster expansion, should they keep it organic or inorganic?
  4. What could be reason if market share is increasing in one geography but decreasing in other?

Impeccable HR consulting advises following points to perform well in these interviews

  • Study the company well before interview. Acquire all recent news/ updates through your network or consultant
  • Be honest and assertive during the interview process
  • Don’t panic if the answer is not apparent. It is not essential to provide an answer immediately – take time to organize thoughts
  • Remember there will never be ‘’right’’ answer. Interviewer is just expecting thoughts about possible ways for solving a tough business problem.
  • ‘Be attentive to cues your interviewer may give.

 

Impeccable HR consulting has observed accuracy of observation to increase by more than 30% by incorporating case study in interview. The way this trend is picking, soon it shall become mandatory part of interviewing process.

Job Hopping: How it could be Hurting Your Career

Staying at a job for shorter amounts of time is becoming a trend among Millennials, but hiring managers don’t necessarily like to see that you’ve only spent a year or two at your past several jobs. This behavior of switching jobs frequently is known as “job hopping” and can actually affect your chances of landing your next dream gig. Holding several jobs over a short period of time can signal to an employer that you may not stay with their company long if they give you a job.

Unfortunately, you sometimes just can’t help job hopping. The unstable economy has produced plenty of layoffs, startups fold leaving employees out in the cold, and people have to move for any number of reasons. If you’re a job hopper, whether intentionally or not, it’s worth it to learn what it says to potential employers, how you can play it in your favor, and when you should just suck it up and stick it out in a job.

Regardless of your reasons for leaving a job, those short terms on a resume can trigger alarm bells in a potential employer’s mind. They’ll probably ask themselves why you’ve moved around so much and form judgments about you based on your job hopping alone. Here are just a few red flags that might run through a hiring manager’s head.

You’re a waste of money. Leaving a job quickly often makes employers worried that you’ll also be eager to leave their company. New employees take time and money to train, so hiring a person is an investment. Job hoppers? A potentially bad investment. Why spend the money when the person is going to turn around and leave a year later?

You’re restless. For young people, the nine-to-five grind can be quite a shock to the system when you’re fresh out of college. University life gets students used to changing their schedule and subject matter every semester, so working the same job for more than six months can give some people the urge to move on. Even if this doesn’t describe you, short periods of employment can give the impression that you don’t have the discipline to stick it out when the excitement of a new job wears off.

You’re unfulfilled. Not every job will be your dream job, and employers understand that. But they don’t want to think that you will never be satisfied in a position they give you. “They are more inclined to leave their job than older workers because their focus is in a different place.” There’s nothing wrong with moving on to a better opportunity, but the jumps can imply that you’re not content in any job.

You’re not focused on the long game. Companies typically have goals that extend five, 10, or more years into the future, so short-term employees aren’t always great assets to reaching those goals. Employees who are focused on the long-term aspects of the job will work harder, try to pick up new skills to be promoted and move the company forward, and keep the best interests of the company in mind. Job hoppers can appear to lack this commitment and loyalty to the company.

When Job Hopping Makes Sense

Although job hopping raises some initial red flags, it doesn’t always have to be negative. The right kind of job changes can prove that you’re serious about your career and taking advantage of better opportunities, an ambition that employers can appreciate. “There’s a difference between switching jobs to boost your career and switching jobs because you don’t like the company or you wind up not liking the job.

The key to successful job hopping is to make sure every change is moving in one direction: up. If an employer can see that your career was advanced through each move you made, it can show them that you were following ambition rather than dissatisfaction. Your vast experience in one area can make you an appealing candidate.

Besides gaining more on-the-job experience, it can be smart to move on when you’ve stopped learning new skills at your current job and don’t see the opportunity to learn more in the future. “If someone stays in a position for too long and their responsibilities never change, their skill set may plateau. If they ever do need to find a new job, they may have a more difficult time because their skills may be outdated. In addition, a new job may teach a professional new skills and technologies, which may give them the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and expand their experiences.

These reasons for moving between jobs can be easily explained to a potential employer; it shows your desire to grow. Earning potential, on the other hand, may not be what every hiring manager wants to hear, but it is a valid personal reason for grabbing the next opportunity. Because many companies may have suspended their review process and raises since the recession started.

When is the right time to leave a job?

There’s really no magic number for how you should stay in a position; every hiring manager has a different idea of what is long enough. Six-month or one-year stints can be explained as contract work, but that you should try to have a job on your resume that lasted at least two and a half years to show that you have long-term potential. And once you find a job that’s a good fit for you, it’s best to stay with it longer than past jobs.

If you’re thinking about starting the job hunt and handing in your two-week’ notice, make sure you understand why you’re leaving and whether it will ultimately help your career. Leaving because you don’t like your coworkers or boss or because the work has gotten boring is a bad idea. These problems often plague every work place: personalities clash and the novelty of a job wear off. These may be contributing factors to looking for new opportunities, but you should be able to justify the move to interviewers.

Asking yourself the following questions to ensure you really know what you want next and if you’re prepared to get it:

  • What is the goal of leaving this job?
  • What kind of job move do I want to make?
  • Do I want to move up to a higher role or make a lateral move?
  • Do I want to change career fields?
  • Will I need more education to make the move I want?
  • What are the pros to staying longer at this job?

How to handle multiple jobs offers

Before you stress out, remember that this could be the single-most amazing opportunity of your lifetime to take on a new career that can set the stage for your future success. You’ll want to carefully weigh all the pros and cons of each offer before voicing your decision.

Here are some ways to handle multiple job offers.

Let each hiring manager know you need 48-hours to make your decision.

To make sure the job offers are still on the table during your decision; ask each recruiter or hiring manager if you can have at least a couple of days to mull it over. You can mention that you need to discuss this with your spouse, if it makes it easier and less awkward. Most hiring managers understand this and will oblige.

Write out your personal, career and earning goals for one year from now.

Decide for yourself what it’s going to take for you to experience career satisfaction in the next 12-month period. Will it be to earn more money, grow in knowledge, or work for a leading company in your field? Understanding what’s important to you can help you make a well-planned decision.

Jot down the offer from each company on a separate card.  

Getting several job offers at once can be overwhelming. Take a moment to write down the positives and negatives of each job offer. Putting them into black and white can give you a better perspective. Consider factors like the cost of living in the new region you may have to relocate to, the corporate culture, and any perks of the job.

Match the job offers to your personal, career goals and earning needs.  

Now compare the jobs you are being offered as they relate to your 12-month goal plan. You should start seeing how one or two of the jobs match up. Then go back through the list and see what job matches the goals you have set forth, without compromising.

Sleep, meditate, and pray on this for at least 24 hours to make sure.

Now that you have made an initial decision, take some time to absorb and think on this. You can make a better decision once you do this. Sleep, pray, meditate, talk to friends, listen to music, mind map, whatever you need to do to help you make your final decision with clarity.

Contact the hiring manager at the job that meets most of your criteria.

Now you can get in touch with the hiring manager representing the best job offer you have chosen. Let them know you have decided to move forward and find out what next steps you need to take. Let your current employer know you are leaving (with a 2 week notice) once you have a formal offer letter in your hands.

Thank the other hiring managers and ask them to keep you in mind for future opportunities.

Take the time to thank the hiring manager(s) at the other companies that you did not choose. Let them know you have accepted another offer. They may ask you if they can top the offer from the competitor. It’s up to you to decide if you want to consider this or not. Most of all, thank them for their generous offer and let them know you’d like them to keep your information on file if a future assignment opens up.






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