6 Quality Interview Questions

6 quality interview questions

The key to getting a great job offer is portraying an authentic, positive and lasting impression. Whether you’re a seasoned employee or just getting started, these 6 quality interview questions can help the process.

With a professional resume, this is achieved in the first point of contact.  In addition to this, you’ve got to nail the job interview. Asking insightful questions during a job interview demonstrates professionalism, thoughtfulness, and commitment.

That being said, candidates can get lost when it comes to asking the right sort of questions. This blunder shows either a lack of preparation or the stress of the interview. Neither of which leaves a positive impression. 

Like much of life, the failsafe is to be present during the entire interview. Presence shows confidence. Additionally, the best interview questions are oftentimes the ones asked naturally from engagement in the conversation. 

6 Quality Interview Questions

1. What is the history of this position?

It’s valuable to ask about the history of the role. In this case, the answer is useful to know what environment you’re entering.   Furthermore, it shows forethought and attentive care for the position. 

Perhaps this opening was recently created to support company growth. In which case, ask a follow-up question about who owned the responsibilities up to this point, and how the duties will be transitioned.

If you are interviewing for a position left vacant by someone’s departure, get a sense of what happened.

  • Why did the predecessor leave the job?
  • Where they promoted or internally transferred?

If the predecessor was internally repositioned, ask about direct training potential.

2. How does this position support management and serve direct reports?

Certainly, the answers to this question will help you gain insight into the position and how it fits the framework of the company as a whole.

  • Who is your support?
  • Who will you supervise and guide?

Consequently, understanding this will offer a glimpse of what skills are critical for your success.

3. In the first 6 months, what accomplishments would you like from me?

This targetted question shows your commitment to adding value and delivering on expectations. It’s one thing to understand routine tasks and responsibilities, it’s yet another to fully understand expectations.

Altogether, an interview has a singular goal. To demonstrate your fit for the position.  Inquiring about expectations directly speaks to this goal.

4. Which part of the position has the steepest learning curve? What can I do in order to get up to speed quickly?

For some jobs, learning the technology or the internal company procedures is the most challenging aspect of coming on board. For others, it is about understanding the human network. Therefore, guidance on how to speed up the learning process can give you a significant advantage.

5. How is the feedback process structured?

Feedback is how humans improve. To excel in a new role, you’re going to need analysis as a way of marking the perimeter of success. 

Does this company limit its feedback cycle to the annual reviews? Does the hiring manager make it a priority to deliver just-in-time acknowledgment and suggestions for improvement?

As a result, asking these questions represents your intent to learn and grow with the role.

6. What opportunities will I have to learn and grow?

Does the company offer formal or informal mentoring and coaching? Does it invest in continued education or professional training?

Great companies want to hire people who are dedicated to personal and professional growth. Show your hiring manager that continued development is important to you.

Close the interview on a high note.

As a bonus, there are several questions one must never ask during an interview. 

Asking about money, raises and promotions are taboo and can show yourself as arrogant and self-serving. 

Stay away from company gossip. It matters not what your friends, friend says about the company politics or a piece of news read in a local paper, keep your head in the game of professionalism and acknowledge the interview as an opportunity. 

The goal is to end the interview in a powerful and impactful way. For this reason, maintaining professionalism, acting authentically and these 6 quality interview questions are all part of the equation of your success.

Where Do You See Yourself?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

For many people, answering the interview question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” can be overwhelming. If this is you in a nutshell, worry not. Hiring managers aren’t really that concerned with the specifics of your answer anyway. 

What they want to know is a glimpse into your ambition, goals, focus, and drive.

They want to know you’ve at least considered your future and what you’d like to accomplish. 

Even if you don’t know exactly where you see yourself in five years, there’s still a right way to answer this question during an interview.

Why ask this?

Asking “Where do you see yourself in five years?” is more about getting insight into your hopes and aspirations. Interviewers are seeking objectives to give an inside look into how you operate and structure your thoughts.

Naturally, a potential employer wants to understand your career goals to assess how their position fits into your grand plan. Companies want trustworthy, detail-oriented, and dedicated team members who are willing to take a leap — not a noncommittal employee who is only sticking around until a better opportunity arises elsewhere.

The question itself can be phrased in a multitude of ways. All of the below examples aim to uncover similar information for hiring managers to review: 

  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • Do you have an ideal job at this stage in your career?
  • What are you looking for?
  • How do you define success?
  • What is most important to you in your career?
  • Do you have goals planned for the next five years?
  • Where will you be in five years?

Tips: Before the Interview

Life gets tricky and, ultimately, no one person knows completely where they will be in five years.  Hiring managers are aware of this. Focus on what your dreams are, where you would like to take your career, and how you plan to do this.

Also, be sure to focus on how you plan to help the company. Show yourself as someone who will add value to the team and help advance the company. 

While developing your answer, keep in mind what the interviewer wants to know when they ask you this question: your work-related goals, ambitions, desired training, and so on. What type of positions do you see yourself occupying? What type of training? Are you interested in leadership positions, or would you like to keep your focus on the technical aspects of your work? Provide direct and relatable answers.

If the answer doesn’t come to you at first, think about how you have grown over the last five years.

Consider the natural flow of progression in your career thus far and what aspects sparked joy and curiosity in your daily efforts.  These aspects are a great benchmark for navigating the direction forward. 

During the interview

Answering “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

When answering this question, be honest and be yourself. Sharing what you think the interviewer ‘wants to hear’ may seem like a good idea, but if it’s out of alignment with your truth, you can get in trouble down the road if you do get hired. Plus, it’s much easier to be yourself than to try to be someone you’re not.

Be specific and keep it work-related.

The interviewer doesn’t need to know that you plan on having two kids and a white picket fence in five years. Keep your answers to-the-point and about your work goals and visions.

An example response:

Let’s say you’re interviewing for an HR position at an organization and are asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” You might answer as follows:

“I’d like to expand my horizons by jumping in feet first and learning as much as I can, as quickly as I can, with the organization. From there, I’d seek out opportunities — at least one to two a year — to expand my knowledge through training and educational opportunities to support my job. I’d love to participate in at least one project geared toward leadership training if the opportunity arises. I also understand that the organization has a strong volunteer team, and I’d like to be an active participant in that team, as well. At some point, I’d also like to be considered for a supervisory or management level role.”

Keep it primarily work-related, show ambition, show that you’ve done your homework, and provide quantifiable goals. The key is to be confident, honest, clear, and succinct, and, of course, to answer the question.

What Not to Say.

Whatever you do, do not respond with, “I don’t know.”

To answer “I don’t know” shows that you haven’t given any thought to your future with the company or life in general. Again, one of the main reasons this question is asked is to find out if you have goals, ambition and a good work ethic and that you’ve considered how you might handle the position should you be hired.

So there you go. While the chances are good that you’ll be asked this question at some point during your career, the ball is in your hands to answer like a touchdown pass from inside the red zone. 

Need to get ready for job search success?  Our team at PWU is here to help.

We offer Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Optimization, Recruiter Services, and Professional Career Coaching.

Book a free 15-min consult here https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca

Overcoming Job Search Pain Points

Overcoming job search pain points

Without question, the process of job hunting is daunting. Truly this is a result of extreme competitiveness and a constantly evolving workforce no matter the industry.  The game has changed dramatically over the years so we assembled 6 points on overcoming job search pain points.

1. Working with Recruiters.

Recent studies we looked at found the average job posting gets 200-250+ applications. This, in turn, requires recruiters to work at quick paces to process applications in the hopes of finding ideal candidates.

Being seen is a much-understood frustration. So how do you aid the process?

Firstly, we recommended asking around your network to identify any possible recruiter referrals. Reach out, ask questions and see if you can set up some coffee meetings or quick phone conversations.  

You’re looking for a tenured recruiter that supports your skillset and has strong lines of recommendations. Keep in mind, you don’t have to be applying for a specific position to start the dialogue with a recruiter.  Just open a conversation and see where it goes.

Additionally, if no known recruiters come up in your network, generate a list of 2-3 reputable staffing firms in your area and start making calls.

Lastly, always remember, LinkedIn is the hotpot of professional networking. A search of your industry should pull up recruiters who specialize in what it is you have to offer.

2. Self-elimination.

Too often, job seekers aren’t taking chances when applying for positions.  A common phrase we hear is “Well, I can’t apply to position YXZ because it lists skills I don’t have.” 

We can’t stress this statement enough: Apply for or pursue positions even if you don’t have every skill or asset the position lists. It’s common for managers writing job descriptions to overshoot the actualities just to cover all bases. 

As a job seeker, apply the 80:20 rule during the application process. Apply for positions where you meet about 80%+ of the definitive requirements.  This is especially true if the position is within your desired industry and on your passion forward career path. 

3. Getting lost in the Applicant Tracking System.

Previously, we’ve talked extensively about the joys and wonders of ATS software.  To beat the algorithms, one must play the keyword game strategically.  Check out our blog from last week here for a few tips on ensuring your resume is ATS compatible.

4. Low Confidence.

It’s not uncommon for professionals to experience low confidence during job search processes. If you need a confidence boost, try some of these tactics:

Engage in self-reflection on why you’re a fit for each position you apply for.  Get out a pen and write a list of why you’re qualified for the position. 

Re-visualize a past, positive interview, essentially re-living it.  Close your eyes and go through the interview again, focusing on the details which contributed to a positive outcome.

Practice and repeat. Preparation is great for minimizing anxiety and ensuring you deliver a strong interview.  Instead of simply jotting down pieces of your elevator pitch or how you’d answer common interview questions, take the time to practice.

5. Network Leveraging.

Referrals are still the top resource managers and recruiters use to identify ideal candidates. Not only do referrals require less time to generate than other hiring channels but they statistically lead to a higher success rate. Referrals consistently prove to be better long-term performers. 

Yet, on the flip side, many job seekers are timid about engaging their network. Try making a ‘Network Outreach List’ of those who you could contact about possible openings in their companies. Then simply reach out and communicate.

 “I’m looking for a new job.  Is your company hiring? 

6. Always the Bridesmaid.

You know the saying and in job search, it goes more like this: “I keep being told that I was the second-place candidate” or “I was out beaten by another applicant, again.” 

There’s a lot we can say here, but it boils down to a few points.

Focus on building rapport in every interaction to increase your memorability. Whether it’s conscious or not, managers are more likely to lean towards candidates who they felt a connection with over candidates they didn’t. 

Engage in small talk, identifying commonalities, use their name multiple times during the interview. Be real. Be authentic. Establishing connections can be incredibly helpful in increasing your chances of getting selected. 

Finally, don’t sweat it. If all this overwhelms you, our team at PWU has just what you need.  We offer Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Profile Optimization, Interview Coaching, and Recruitment Services. 

Connect with us here for a free 15-minute consultation. https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca

How to Reenter the Job Market

reenter the job market

Without question, to reenter the job market is a challenge that requires strategy to navigate.  No matter the reasoning, whether you’ve started a family, took the time to care for an aging relative, re-invested in yourself by returning to school and finally finished that Master’s Degree or just needed to dedicate a portion of your life to traveling, cracking out the old resume takes patience.

Overcome the Bias.

Recruiters and ATS technology are directed to find the “best talent,” which means they rely on specific indicators to narrow the search. These indicators include recent dates, length of previous employment along with, specific acquired skills and job title. When reentering the job market these indicators are vital.

To help combat any stigma, job seekers need to communicate clearly and focus on the right indicators.

Reenter the Job Market – 4 steps to begin:

  1. Begin updating your skills before you start to look for a job: If you can, start padding your resume a few months before you want to start looking for a job. Volunteer, take an online course, investigate internships — do anything that can help fill gaps and reboot your resume.
  2. Create a resume that is functional rather than chronological: The key is to take the focus off precise employment dates. As professional resume writers, this is second nature to us, however, if you are planning to re-write your resume you’ll want to create headings that show the experiences, successes, and benchmarks and then list your achievements accordingly.
  3. Be courageous. A killer resume is a good first step, however, to land a great job, you gotta nail the interview. If you’re out of practice, consider hiring an interview coach.  These highly skilled professionals are masters of streamlining your dialogue and presence once your foot is in the door.
  4. Be open to new experiences: The reality of reentering the work world is that you might have to make some compromises. Be open to part-time, project or contract work. These short-term jobs provide great experience and contacts that can help you land a job that is a perfect fit for you and all of the experiences you bring to the table.

What if they ask why I was away so long?

emphasize your skills to reenter the job market

If asked about it, discuss your time away briefly. Don’t worry about the details. Emphasize your skills and work ethic rather than your time away. Sell yourself as a blank slate ready to jump in and work hard in a new work environment.

When applying and interviewing, you just have to showcase what you did, where you went, and most importantly, what you learned. It’s about communicating why you made those choices.

As always, we at Power Writers are here if you need a professional resume writer. We offer a free consultation, free resume review and free quotes. Bridging a time gap on your resume is technical, although with our expertise you are certain to enter the job search with a confident and direct resume.

How to Leverage Your Resume to Negotiate Salary

Leverage Resume to Negotiate Salary

Negotiating salary can be a challenge for many people.  It is the topic of many books, seminars, blogs, etc.  You can give yourself an immediate advantage right out of the gate however by having an excellent resume and by being prepared.  Of course, the resume is only a part of the hiring process, knowing how to interview is the other part, which is a topic for another day.

Your resume gives the reader a first impression of who you are and what you can bring to the organization.  This first impression can act as an anchor, framing the mind of the reader to think you are at the low, mid, or high end of the performance and professionalism spectrum.  Obviously, you want to anchor the mind of the reader to think that you are on the top performing end of the spectrum.  This is where you can have leverage.

So how do you make a strong first impression with your resume?  Let’s look at some key components.

 

Demonstrate your achievements and the value you bring

It is very important to highlight the career achievements that are most relevant, relatable to your target job, and that they are clear to understand.  In many cases we include a “career highlights” or “notable achievements” section near the top of a resume so it grabs the readers attention.  Further, you need to clearly understand and define your bottom line message of how you can help the organization you are wanting to work for.  Answer this question: “What can you do, and what can you offer an organization that no other candidate can?”  In order to answer this you need to know yourself well and clearly understand your target job positions.

 

Move beyond the job descriptions

It is important to create context in your resume by letting the reader know what you did in your past or current role.  But what is critical to this is that you explain to the reader what the results were of your efforts.  In other words, you want to provide statements about what actions you performed and what the positive results were for the organization.  Knowing how your actions impacted the organization you work(ed) for will also communicate to the reader that you are not just in it for yourself but for the good of the organization as well.  Resumes that are only a job description will give you no leverage for negotiating salary.

 

Showing your experience

Before writing your resume, you want to completely understand the job positions you are targeting.  This may be no big deal if you are making a lateral job change, but if you are making a vertical jump, you need to be prepared.  A key part of being prepared is by understanding the experience that the hiring manager will be looking for and effectively communicating that you have that experience in your resume.  One suggestion is to read the job postings of your target job, make a list of the key areas of experience the organization is looking for, and then write down some examples of relatable experience.  Do this before you write your resume to give yourself some framework.

If you can concisely capture your accomplishments, define your value, show the results of your work, and relate your experience in your resume in an eye-catching document you will have a leg up.  Your resume will now be working for you.  During an interview or salary negotiation you can reference your resume, for example: “As you have read in my resume I have extensive experience managing ABC while improving XYZ to accomplish LMNOP, this combined with my ability to EFG is why I feel I am the top candidate for this position.”

 

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Phone Interview Tips for Job Seekers

Phone Interview Tips

For many applicants the phone interview is what stands between you and the in-person interview you need to seal the deal for the new job you are after.  There are some great phone interview tips to help you get a step closer to you where you want to be in your career.

REMEMBER THESE TIPS AND YOU’LL DO BETTER THAN 95% OF YOUR JOB SEEKING COMPETITORS WHO RECEIVE CALLS…

 

  1. Be informed about the company and its products. This means do homework (research) on target companies BEFORE they call for an interview.
  2. Be enthusiastic and positive. “I’m glad you called. XYZ is the best medical facility in the County, and I’m excited about the chance to be a part of your team!”
  3. Ask questions in a proactive manner without waiting until the end of the interview to be asked if you have any questions. “What do you see as the major challenge facing your department?” or “What are the most important attributes the person you plan to hire should possess?”
  4. Do not ramble. Stay within a few clear and descriptive sentences that address the topic.
  5. Provide answers that tell a vivid story, not just vague descriptors of your value. Always try to give a concrete example or proof with items like who, what, where, when, how, and with what result.

HANDLING THE FIRST 5 MINUTES OF THE CALL

  1. Answer the phone with a happy, upbeat voice. Don’t answer sleepy-sounding or grumpy and perk up upon learning it’s someone calling about a job. Too late, you already turned the caller off.
  2. Be in a quiet place with time to talk. Sound composed, confident, and enthusiastic with knowledge of the company.
  3. Take the lead in the conversation. Open with a sincere appreciation – “so glad you called,” etc. Show enthusiasm for the company, what you’ve heard, seen, used, etc.
  4. Continue to take the initiative after being told who/why is calling. Don’t sit and wait for the assault. Ask questions first to avoid rambling on about details of yourself or sounding desperate. “Before I start telling you about myself, could you describe to me your ideal candidate for the position?”…“What are you looking for this person to achieve?”…“What is the long-term focus of the company?”…”What are your biggest challenges?”…“Is this a growth position?”
  5. Be sure to have a notepad, the resume/letter you sent, and the job description at hand from the start.

 ENDING THE CALL

  1. Ask if there is anything else they would like to know that you did not provide with your answers.
  2. Ask what happens next and what you might expect.
  3. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and reiterate your interest in the opportunity.

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    Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

5 Ways to Woo Hiring Managers During The Interview Process

Interview Advice

Preparation is key to having a successful interview.  Making a strong impression and giving the proper consideration to those who are interviewing you, including hiring managers, will go a long way.  Here are some great tips to help you prepare.   

Original article click here.

 

While it’s easy to think you’re the center of attention during a job search or interview, you’re actually wrong.

Although 92 percent of job seekers fear something about the interview process, hiring managers have a lot of pressure, too. Hiring managers are expected to select candidates who possess strong skills and experience while also making a great cultural fit.

As you prepare for your upcoming job interview, here are five things to keep in mind that will help the hiring manager make a decision in your favor:

1. Think ahead and be prepared.

Landing a job interview is like striking gold. After weeks of searching for jobs, submitting applications, and networking with employers, securing a job interview is a rewarding feeling.

When the interview process begins, the hiring manager may follow up with you before the job interview itself. Whether it’s via phone or email, be prepared for this communication. This initial contact is a chance for the hiring manager to screen you prior to the interview.

If the hiring manager schedules a phone call before your interview, have all of your bases covered. Thoroughly research the company, have your resume in front of you, and a list of references available. You should also have a few questions prepared just in case because this shows the hiring manager you are eager to land the job and will be prepared for the upcoming interview.

2. Relax and be yourself.

During every job interview, hiring managers want to learn about the real you. Sure, while they don’t care about the fact you love watching Netflix on the weekends, they do care about what makes you unique.

When you enter the job interview, think of it as another networking opportunity. The only difference is you need to market your best qualities and skills to the interviewer. Tell the interviewer about your work-related interests, relevant experience, and things you enjoy most about your career.

3. Demonstrate why you love the company.

Hiring managers love talking to candidates who’ve invested their time in getting to know the company and develop a relationship with it. During the interview, explain to the interviewer how you genuinely care about the growth of the company and how you plan to contribute to its success.

Take a look at any unique challenges the organization faces and come up with some solutions to the problem. This shows hiring managers you’ve done your research and you’re enthusiastic about working for their organization.

4. Prove your interpersonal communication skills.

Anyone can say they’re a team player or they are good listeners. However, to help hiring managers make a good decision, you need to be able to prove these interpersonal communication skills.

To prove your interpersonal communication skills, be ready to answer any question regarding your experience working in a team or making decisions. Bring plenty of accomplishment stories relating to your communication skills that demonstrate your success working in a team, too. This will show the hiring manager what you can accomplish and the strength of your communication skills.

5. Follow up with what you learned from the interview.

Every job seeker knows you need to follow up with a thank you letter after the interview. However, to make a sincere first impression, you should share what you learned from the interview in your thank you note. This shows the hiring manager you paid attention to details during the interview and were genuinely invested in the opportunity.

When job seekers understand what hiring managers expect out of a job interview, it can make the interview run more smoothly and work in your favor. Always remember to do your homework on the employer, prepare relevant accomplishment stories, and remember to ask thoughtful questions. This will give you the opportunity to help the hiring manager make a better decision and choose you for the position.

What tips do you have for helping the interviewer during the hiring process?

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Your Resume is Only the Start, Do You Know How to Interview?

Interview

Having a professionally written resume, personalized cover letter, and updated LinkedIn profile may get you callbacks and interviews, but will these things actually get you the job?  No!  You must also excel at your interview to be considered for the job and to negotiate a salary.  There is huge amount of interview prep material available online, in libraries or through the help of a professional interview coach so we are going to narrow this article down to a few key points for you to consider while you prepare for your interview.

Preparation is Key

You’ve probably heard this a million times over but there’s a reason why.  Preparation makes a huge difference.  While preparing for an interview seems like a fundamentally easy thing to do, it can be a huge challenge.  Time and attention are 2 major factors that can derail your preparation ambitions.  So here is a suggestion:

  • Write out what specifically you need to prepare for or practice. This could mean a specific question like “what is a weakness of yours?”, or brushing up on metrics and achievements you haven’t given recent thought to.  Make a checklist if it helps.
  • Work backwards and schedule time each day to practice and prepare. If your interview is in a couple weeks, or even in a week, 15 minutes a day may be enough. But DO IT EVERY DAY.
  • Mark off the consecutive days on a wall calendar that you prepare. You will start a chain, don’t break the chain!
Do your Research

Learn as much about the company and the position you are applying for so you can be prepared with the right questions.  You need to make sure that the position is a good fit for you.  You may be able to find some insider information or previous employee reviews on websites like glassdoor.com.  Also, doing this type of research will prime you to think about how your current position and accomplishments relate to the job you are applying for.  You may be able to anticipate some questions that could arise in the interview.

Invest in Yourself

You are worth investing in.  You may be considering a job that requires a certification.  Get that certification!  You will impress yourself with your ability to learn, you will gain knowledge others within your future organization may rely on, and it could mean a higher salary.  Engage in self-improvement, travel adventures, books, and hobbies.  Doing interesting things outside of work gives you something interesting to talk about with coworkers or hiring managers and helps boost your image of being a dynamic and rounded individual.

Feel Confident

Do things to help you feel more confident.  For some this may include going to the gym, excersicing to gain strength or endurance, and for others this may mean freshening up your image with new clothes and hairstyle.  Challenging yourself with obtaining a new certification or college course can give you a big boost.  This confidence will roll over into your interview and greatly improve your odds.  We aren’t talking about being a braggart, just a steady, smiling confidence.  This also comes back to preparation.  The more you prepare the more confident your will feel in your interview.

Get Help

If you are unsure about how to prepare for an interview, ask for help.  Even if this means you hire an interview coach, you are worth it.  Competition is heating up in the job market and you owe it to yourself to help yourself anyway you can to land the job you want.  We believe in you, you should believe in yourself too!  Best of luck!

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Executive Interview Tips

Executive Interview

There is a plethora of resources that exist for how to prepare for an executive level interview including books, online articles such as this, interview coaches, seminars, YouTube video.  We are sharing a few points we feel are important to your interview success.  

Be Prepared to answer unstructured questions

When open ended questions are inevitably asked such as “Tell us about yourself”, be prepared to seize the moment and offer some positive insight, open up about your career trajectory, and focus on your strengths. Be careful though, accordingly to Fast Company There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?”  You are better off considering the type of information a hiring manager or recruiter is looking for.  Think about the qualities they want in a candidate and apply your strengths to answer this common question.

Let your accomplishments be known

It’s no surprise that interviewers and hiring managers are looking for someone effective to bring on board their organization. Prepare in advance to hit on a few key accomplishments that truly demonstrate how effective you can be.  Capture your opportunities by listening closely to the interviewers and interject with a relevant accomplishment.  Use the CAR (challenge, action, response) to paint a picture of the situation, how you acted, and what the outcome was. Entertain your listeners as best you can with a brief but powerful story.  Remember to finish your accomplishment example with how your decision positively affected other people involved, whether it was a satisfied client, a boost in office morale, increase in stock price etc.  Also, keep in mind that demonstrating your accomplishments should not come across as bragging, but offering insightful information about how you handle adversity.

Be human, mention a weakness

Give time for self-reflection in advance of your interview and offer your interviewers and hiring manager a genuine response about a weakness you feel you have.  According to the Harvard Business Review “When leaders showcase their own personal growth, they legitimize the growth and learning of others; by admitting to their own imperfections, they make it okay for others to be fallible, too.”  Don’t stop there, explain what you are actively doing to turn your weakness into a strength.

Tips for Discussing your last position
  1. Explain perceived “job-hopping”.  Perhaps on paper it looks like you’ve bounced around a little too much in the past 5 years.  Or perhaps a company you worked for was acquired.  Be honest and forthcoming with your transitions, following up with a statement explaining where you want to land.
  2. Leaving your last position. You may be asked why you left your last job.  Give an honest answer, even if there was conflict, and keep the mood and the tempo of the interview upbeat.  Perhaps you can explain your decision in a way that you wanted to make a move to grow and develop, or were looking for a new or different kind of challenge.

 

Do your research

Whether you are changing industries or are looking for a new position within the same industry, do your research.  Not only about the company but industry trends.  Offer up some insights and your perceptions of the industry to your interviewers.  An interviewer may ask how you would handle a company or industry specific issue and you will need to be prepared.

 

Closing the Interview

You are essentially selling yourself in an interview, right?  Treat an interview the same as a sales opportunity and be prepared to close the deal if you think it is a good fit.  BlueSteps suggests you close with “I’m very excited about this opportunity. What’s our next step?”  Clearly let the interviewers know that you are interested (if you are) and remember to be enthusiastic and smile.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

 

Interview Tips to Help You Land the Job You’re After

Interview Tips

Being aware of the most current job interview tips and best practices is valuable, but so is knowing what not to do. Recognizing some of the most common interviewing “don’ts” can help you present a favorable and honest picture of your skills and experience.

Here are some job interview tips regarding frequent mistakes and how to avoid them.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

This may seem like the most obvious of job interview tips, but some candidates don’t give preparation the attention it deserves. Prepare by mentally rehearsing your answers to common job interview questions (such as “Why do you want to work here?”), but also ask yourself what you’d like to know if you were the interviewer. Doing so can help you respond with confident answers.

Be flexible and confident

Preparation includes being ready for anything. Rather than thinking of off-the-wall questions or an unexpected turn to the conversation as intimidating, go into the interview with the attitude that no matter what you’re asked, you’ll be getting the chance to show that you can think on your feet.

Understand interview question types

In addition to being ready for the possibility of off-the-wall questions, be aware that the interviewer could employ four other types of questions: closed-ended, open-ended, hypothetical and leading. Understand that while short answers are fine when answering closed-ended questions, your answers to other types of questions will likely need to be a little more detailed and expansive.

Learn seven more common interview mistakes to avoid to increase your chances of making a favorable impression.

Research your target company

A survey from our company found the biggest mistake applicants make in interviews is not knowing enough about the firm. Do some digging on the Web, tap members of your network for their insights and work with a recruiter who can offer additional information about the firm.

Master your communication skills

Keep your responses to interview questions concise. When asked a question, take a deep breath, pause and collect your thoughts before you begin to speak. Avoid verbal crutches (such as um, like and uh) and refrain from making jokes or discussing controversial subjects.

Manage your emotions

Not exaggerating your interest or qualifications is one of our most important job interview tips. While it’s necessary to express enthusiasm for the position, candidates who answer every question with upbeat eagerness may come across as insincere. It’s also important to avoid overstating your qualifications.

Be positive

No list of job interview tips would be complete without this advice. Avoid disparaging comments regarding former employers, colleagues and companies. Also stay away from self-deprecating comments, which do not support a positive image or demonstrate competence.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!