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Interviews


Why Aren’t I Getting Interviews?

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of A Resume

You may have spent hours searching for your dream job and applied for a job in every promising company you came across. In spite of your sincere efforts to find a job, you may not have received an interview call yet. Have you ever stopped to wonder why none of them have ever bothered to call you?

One possibility could be that you did not have the necessary expertise to qualify for the jobs that you applied for. This problem can be solved to some extent by upgrading your skills or enrolling in a course that could make you eligible for the job. On the other hand, it could also be possible that your resume never got noticed. No matter how qualified you are, your resume will not be considered if it is not structured properly. Generally, most companies receive hundreds of resumes on a daily basis. In order to simplify the recruitment process, employers and recruiters generally screen applications on the basis of resumes. All those resumes that are badly written are discarded first – making way for well-written, attention-grabbing resumes.

Is your resume one of the latter? Think hard before answering. And then get your resume evaluated by a professional career coach.

Avoiding Common Resume Mistakes

Most people underestimate the power of a dynamic resume and often overlook their importance during their job search. Your resume speaks volumes about you and can make or break your chance to make that all-important first impression. Avoid writing long and boring resumes, as employers do not have that much time to go through them. Ideally, your resume should be limited to one page. Do not use fancy ink or fancy paper to advertise yourself. Make sure you have what the employer is asking for. If you don’t have the required skills, it doesn’t matter how fancy your resume is. Keep it simple and use normal, legible font.

Resume Content

The content of your resume should be relevant. If you are applying for a job in a law firm, that lemonade stand you ran in the 12th grade has no business on your resume. Think about it – it just makes sense. Outdated information should be strictly avoided when preparing your resume. Make sure that the content is arranged properly and in the right order so that your employers can easily find the details they are interested in. You must have the necessary documents that can support the qualifications and achievements mentioned in your resume. Do not write elaborate explanations to justify why you had to leave your previous job.

Before submitting your resume, ensure that there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Do not forget to attach a crisp cover letter with your resume. A cover letter is as important as a resume and you can’t afford to overlook its significance.

If you’re not getting interviews, you need to stop to think of the possible reasons why. Don’t just keep on doing the same thing that isn’t working. The tips above will help you to correct the problems and finally start landing you some interviews.

3 Job Interview Questions You Must Master

When The Recruiter Asks: “Do You Have Any Questions?”

Usually this question is always reserved for last during an interview, and it’s hardly a fluffy, throw away question. It may just seem like the interview is over and they are asking this question as a courtesy. FORGET ABOUT IT!! This can be the make it or break it interview question. Point is this .. the interview questions never stop until you actually leave the office!

Your answer here will be the last thing they hear from you. You can so easily make it a memorable moment by having a really good question to ask. No self serving questions please, those are killers and reason enough to dismiss your chances. Asking about on going training’ or “‘if hired, I would be very interested in moving to the next level, can you tell me what certifications I would need’ or “‘can you tell me if there is a company policy in place should there be a Pandemic’ “‘ a thinking person asks these type of questions. That’ll be a great impression to leave them with.

If you do proper research on the company first, you’ll come up with great questions to ask them.

When The Recruiter Asks: “What Do You Know About Our Company?”

This is clearly where they get to see if you’ve done your homework. And again, it can make or break your chances for being hired. Remember you got the interview because you were qualified, so here’s your chance to show up prepared, it’ll be your edge over the other guy, remember he’s qualified too.

This is a hiring process, in essence, a competition, go in proactive .. a passive approach to any interview will backfire. Always be assertive, and never ever be aggressive. Qualifications aside, all interview questions / your answers, are in fact deciding your final interview score and you are being scored.

When The Recruiter Asks: “Can You Tell Me About Your Weaknesses?”

Remember, they never really want to hear about a weakness, they do want to hear how well you express yourself and deal with the actual interview question. Your answer always has to end in a solution that can be applied to the job at hand. Here’s a simple and yet great sample I teach all the time. “I used to actually have a problem saying no to people, these days with my time management and setting priorities skill set, I no longer have that problem as my To Do List manages me first, and saying no, is now a non issue”‘. Simple, concise and does in fact mention that you understand time management.

The interview questions and your answers are not hard, they just need prep and solid rehearsing out loud. Out loud because otherwise how will you know how smooth and convincing you are? That in itself will give you that extra confidence you need. Trust me, recruiters can spot confidence and sincerity a mile away. Remember, show them the real you when answering interview questions. Don’t give them template like, cookie cutter answers. Make notes, practice out loud, do more research, ask questions “‘ it all works and will always ensure a high interview score.

30 Things to Do to Improve Your Next Interview

Vanessa Jordan have interviewed candidates at all levels with major corporations and the federal government for over 8 years, and am still struck on a daily basis at how many applicants look great on paper, have all the skills, but can’t make it through an interview.

It is typical that most applicants spend a lot of time preparing their written job application, but don’t put the same time and effort into preparing for the interview. But, a candidate who prepares well and presents well at an interview will always win out over candidates with similar credentials and experience.

To help you ace your next job interview, she’s turned the interview process inside out with a list of 30 ‘must do’s’ that will help you win over interviewers like myself.

  1. Do confirm all important details such as time and location the day prior to the interview.
  2. Do some background research, or review the research you have already completed. By the time you attend the interview you should be reasonably well acquainted with the organisation and the type of work they do, as well as the details of the position.
  3. Do dress accordingly. While it is true that the rules of dress in the workplace have changed in recent years, in most cases you will still be expected to wear a suit and tie (if you are male) to an interview. I once heard it said that you should dress in the workplace according to where you want to be in the hierarchy, not where you currently are. This is even more important in a job interview.
  4. Do arrive 15 minutes early. Not arriving early is considered being late.
  5. Do give yourself plenty of time to make the journey and park the car, or if travelling by public transport allow for delays or cancellations.
  6. Do stay calm, explain and apologise if you are late. The interviewer would rather hear an apology than nothing at all.
  7. Do allow for double the time you are told the interview will take. It is not uncommon for interviews to start late and run overtime. While it’s not reasonable for candidates to be late or ramble overtime in an interview, the same rules do not apply for the interviewer. You should therefore ensure your parking meter is taken care of, and do not schedule appointments directly following the interview.
  8. Do switch off your mobile. Or better still, leave it behind.
  9. Do shake hands confidently. Handshakes have a far deeper significance than most of us would credit. Never underestimate the power of first impressions.
  10. Do be yourself. Don’t play roles – you are selling yourself, not something you’re not and can’t deliver.
  11. Do smile and be friendly. Try to form rapport with the interviewer. One of the basic rules of human behaviour indicates that someone is viewed more favourably if they are likeable.
  12. Do make eye contact. If you are faced with an interview panel (ie two or more people interviewing you), it can be hard to know who to look at when answering the interview questions. As a rule of thumb, focus on the person who asked you the question, however try to address each member at some stage during the interview.
  13. Do avoid one-word answers, unless it is obvious that this is all that the interviewer wants to hear. Introduce what you are about to say, and then expand. In my experience, not providing enough information is the biggest mistake made in interviews. If you don’t say it, the interviewer may assume you don’t know it, or can’t do it.
  14. Do keep it concise. While it may seem contradictory to the last point, it is important to keep from rambling on. Present all the relevant information while remaining as succinct as possible. Rambling is the second biggest mistake made in an interview. To overcome this, really listen to the question, and answer the question, and answer it concisely. So many applicants get this wrong. They are asked a question, and they go off on a tangent. They might think they are saying what the interviewer wanted to hear, but they didn’t answer the question.
  15. Do stay positive. Making negative or derogatory comments about your past employers or colleagues will not make you look any better. In fact it will have the opposite effect!
  16. Do agree with the interviewer even if you know they are wrong. An interview is not the place to participate in an argument, and in most cases will fast track your application on the bottom of the pile.
  17. Do tell the truth. If you’re caught out lying or embellishing you will ruin all future chances with this employer, and may face disciplinary action for fraud if you are already working for this organisation.
  18. Do use the word “I”. Always use “I” when describing the work you have done in the past. Using “we” gives the impression that you may not have done the work independently, or that you weren’t even involved in the first place. Hearing “we” rings alarm bells for interviewers.
  19. Do use examples. It is one thing to say you can do something, but it is much better to provide an example of where you have done it.
  20. Do ask for clarification if you are unsure about what a question means, or what the interviewer is looking for.
  21. Do ask questions about the role early on if it is appropriate. Then fit your responses to what you have learned.
  22. Do take a copy of your application and the job specification (if you have one) with you and keep a copy in front of you during the interview. Knowing what the interview question is aimed at will help you frame your responses correctly.
  23. Do pause to reflect before answering the question. This will avoid an interview full of “umms” and “ahhs”. If you have been given a glass of water, sit, think, reflect and have a drink before launching into your response.
  24. Do reflect the interviewer’s communication style. Allow the interviewer to set the tone of conversation. Mirroring their style can vastly improve your chances of making a favourable impression.
  25. Do stick to the topic. Don’t get off track.
  26. Do put together a portfolio of your work to present at an interview. It may not always be looked at during an interview, but presenting examples of your work can strengthen your claims for a position, and it also demonstrates your initiative and innovation. Things to put in a portfolio include reports you have written, screen dumps of computer applications you use, certificates, awards, letters of recommendation, performance appraisals and so on. (Be sure that you are not breaching any copyright, security restrictions or intellectual property before including something in your portfolio).
  27. DO ASK A QUESTION! If you are asked at the end of the interview if you have any questions, the answer is always YES! More than anything it shows that you have prepared, and interviewers love to see applicants who are well prepared and motivated about the position.
  28. Do know exactly what salary you would like to commence at, as it is likely that this will be asked during the interview.
  29. Do remain focussed on what the employer wants. Don’t bring up conditions of service during the interview unless someone else brings it up first. The interview is supposed to be about you being suitable for the position, not the other way around. This is something that you can research yourself as most organisations will have their Award, Certified Agreement or equivalent published on the Internet. If it’s really important to you, ask later, once the selection process is over.
  30. Do stay professional. Each interviewer is going to be different, and every interview experience is going to be different. Some interviewers will be very straight and to the point, while others will be very informal, laid back, and easy going. A lot of applicants make mistakes in this area, they start to feel too comfortable and think, great, this interviewer is really nice. And then they open up and cross the line. Stay professional!
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May 17, 2007 - Posted by | Career Guidence

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