Tuesday, November 28, 2023

How To Have A Perfect Interview

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Example Answers For Tell Me About Yourself

How To Have the Perfect Informational Interview | Agenda, Advice and Mentorship

Ive been working in marketing for the last two years since graduating from Cornell and I love it.

Im currently working as a marketing coordinator at a fashion e-commerce startup.

Im responsible for our social media marketing presence and also work closely with our marketing manager on running our marketing events, which is a lot of fun.

Previously, I spent a year as an assistant in the Global Marketing team at American Express.

That was a great experience.

I supported two VPs in the group, managed their calendars, handled expense reports, and made sure everything in the office ran smoothly.

I loved how every day was a bit different and I got to work with great people who had a lot to teach me about marketing.

I also volunteered to work on some creative projects outside of my role because I realized how much I loved the creative side of marketing and wanted to get some experience.

I helped coordinate a few big client marketing events and worked on copy for a few email newsletter campaigns.

Unfortunately, due to a reorganization of the team, my position was eliminated and thats when I was recruited for my current position.

Although I like my job, at this stage of my career, I realized I need to find a company where I see a long-term career path and I think this position would be a great fit with my skills and goals.

Heres a sample for a candidate going through a career change:

Heres a sample for a candidate interviewing for a food service or hospitality position:

Remember Who You’re Serving

Two words: Your Audience.

Although the interview may help you and your brand while at the same time help the person you are interviewing your number one priority should be to enlighten your audienceâto get answers that are meaningful from the person you’re interviewing that can better serve those who will eventually consume that content.

Your audience will appreciate it greatly, and serving your audience first is a gesture of appreciation. Believe me.

Ask Your Own Questions At The End

You should ask a lot of questions after the interviewer has finished their own questions. How are you going to decide if you want the job if you dont find out any info? The best job candidates are evaluating a company, not just trying to get a job in the first company that wants them. Once a company realizes this, theyll treat you like a top-notch candidate and try to sway you to join them.

If you arent sure what to ask, heres a mega-list of the best questions to ask.

And here are 5 great questions to ask recruiters in particular .

Use these lists to come up with questions to ask each person youll be meeting. If you interview with 4 people, you should ask questions to all of them. Its okay to repeat a question, but dont tell the last person, so-and-so already answered all my questions. Ive done this in the past and wasnt offered the job. Lesson learned.

Some of the best questions are opinion-based questions because you can ask the exact same question to as many people as you want. Example: Whats your favorite part about working here? What is the biggest challenge/difficulty you face here?

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S To The Perfect Interview

Whether youre an experienced applicant or getting ready for your first ever interview, it never hurts to get advice from the experts. And who better than Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills, to provide tips on preparing for and performing well in a job interview?

1. Practise doesnt always make perfect

Its vital to prepare, but you can actually be too ready for an interview . For example, doing things like scripting your answers can make things tricky, particularly if the interviewer throws in a question you hadnt considered. Plus, your answers may not come across naturally. Preparing an answer guide to example questions with key points and examples that you want to cover will help stop you speed reading your responses and potentially getting flustered.

Dan explains the benefits of speaking slowly in job interviews

2. Identify your weaknesses

Whats your greatest weakness? Interviewers love asking this question, mainly because of the theory that what you believe to be your weaknesses are really your strengths, and vice versa. For instance, you might say that people find youre really picky about accuracy when giving feedback on a piece of writing. However, what the interviewer hears is that you’re probably really good at grammar, editorial and quality control.

3. But enough about me

4. Open up

5. Leave them wanting more

Find The Question Behind The Question

12 Things to Not Do Before a Job Interview if You Dont ...

When someone asks you, Can you tell me a little about yourself? it seems simple and very straightforward, but the reality is, tell me about yourself has dozens of questions behind the question.

A great way to uncover the question behind this question is to think:

  • What do they need to know about my background?
  • What would they be concerned about?
  • How will this answer reflect what type of worker I am?
  • Are they testing to see if youve done your research on the role?

Always take time to pause and think about what they want. If you jump into answering their question or trying to sound good, you can miss whats really being asked.

Remember, the interviewer isnt interested in your dogs name or your favorite flavor of ice cream. They want to know more about you as a professional. And the best way to do this successfully is to think of the answer before you step in the interview room.

Make some notes on potential answers, such as your educational background and how it led you to this industry. Add in some color when you describe this, mentioning the skills and experience you picked up along the way. Bonus points if you can describe a specific situation that made you want to pursue this field/learn more/train for a new role.

To recap, dont just give a random answer, think about the question and:

  • Figure out the question behind the question
  • Write out a plain English answer
  • Polish your answer and give it some color
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    Read And Review The Job Description

    Youve received a call for that dream job, so how do you prepare for the interview? The first step in the preparation process should be to go back and review the job description. Most job descriptions follow a similar pattern and are usually categorised by the following points:

    • Job title/Department
    • Duties and tasks
    • Skills required

    The job title and department will give you an understanding of the major purpose of the position and where the role fits into the organisation, allowing you to discover who your potential line manager could be.

    Read and review the job description very thoroughly and be sure to align your competencies with the skills required for the job. You will consequently ready yourself for questions around your previous experiences, performing similar duties in other organisations.

    Why Are You Interested In This Job

    This is one of the most important questions youll be asked, so feel free to really think this one through. This is basically your chance to show the interviewer why youll be a perfect fit for the role, and what about the role and company attracts you. To give a full answer, you can tell an anecdote about how your background has led you to applying for this position, and how this role is critical for moving you forward in your career.

    Read Also: How To Interview Financial Advisor

    Provide A Welcoming Environment

    In order to get the best answers from the people you interview, you’ve got to create a welcoming environment for them.

    A comfortable person, one who feels as if they are just having a conversation with a friend, will be more likely to give beefier information in a more enthusiastic and friendly tone, which benefits everyone.

    Here are some ways to create a comfortable environment for the person you’re interviewing:

    • Let them know before you even start recording that itâs really just a conversation about two people connecting with each other.
    • Make sure they know all of the details about the interview beforehand.
    • Ask them if they’d like to see the questions first.
    • Thank them for the interview before you even start and welcome them to your audience.
    • Have them listen to a pre-written or rehearsed introduction before getting to the questions.
    • Be enthusiastic and actually want to conduct the interview!

    How To Prepare For A Technical Interview

    How to have a GREAT Oxford / Cambridge Interview | Tips from 400+ Oxbridge students

    In June 2020 I watched an inspiring talk by Anthony D. Mays, a technical coach and founder at Morgan Latimerco. He came on a Facebook Developer Circles Benin live session and talked about how to prepare for a technical interview.

    During the live session, he said that Helping people to digest what you learn from me today and sharing with your network is a good thing. When you learn something from someone, it is a good idea to pass that knowledge on to others. And if you look at that information closely, it’s a good way to learn.

    So, I decided to put into writing what he discussed during the live session along with my own personal experience. At the end of this article you will understand the following:

    • How to get the attention of top companies
    • What happens when you have their attention
    • The type of interview you will likely get
    • A framework for problem-solving

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    How Should The Interviewer Prepare For The Interview

    • Read through candidates’ CVs and make note of key points to elaborate on during the interview.
    • Prepare your interview questions.
    • Be prepared to answer questions that candidates’ may ask about the position and organization.
    • Schedule enough time for the interview and try and stick to the time-limit .
    • Know your company’s goals and culture and be prepared to “sell” it to the candidate.

    Interviews Are Your Chance To Sell Your Skills And Abilities

    They also give you a chance to find out if the job and company are right for you. Follow the tips here to ace your interviews.

    Review common interview questions. Practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror. Come prepared with stories that relate to the skills that the employer wants, while emphasizing your:

    • Strengths
    • Willingness to work and flexibility
    • Leadership skills
    • Ability and willingness to learn new things
    • Contributions to the organizations in which you have worked or volunteered
    • Creativity in solving problems and working with people

    Figure out in advance how well you qualify for the job. For each requirement listed in the job posting, write down your qualifications. This can show you if you lack a particular skill. Plan how you will address this in the interview so you can convince the interviewer that you can learn the skill.

    Make a list of questions that you would like to ask during the interview. Pick questions that will demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. This might include commenting on the news you learned from the company website, and then asking a question related to it. Also ask questions about the job you will be expected to perform, like:

    • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
    • How will my responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
    • Could you explain your organizational structure?
    • What computer equipment and software do you use?
    • What is the organization’s plan for the next five years?

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    Tip#: Conduct Structured Interviews

    The best interviewers always conduct stuctured interviews. A structured interview is a type of interview in which the interviewer asks a particular set of questions planned in advance. Print out your questions and bring them with you to the interview site. Stick to your questions list and ask all candidates the same questions in the same order.

    Can You Tell Me About A Difficult Work Situation And How You Overcame It

    Interview Questions : Great Tips on How to Get Ready for a ...

    This question is often used to assess how well you perform under pressure as well as your problem-solving abilities. Keep in mind stories are more memorable than facts and figures, so strive to show instead of tell. This is also an excellent opportunity to show your human side and how when faced with adversity you are able to persevere.

    For this question, consider sticking to the STAR method:

    • Situation
    • Action
    • Result or learning

    Example answer:It was the first day of my bosss two-week vacation and our agencys highest-paying client threatened to leave because he didnt feel he was getting the personalized service he was promised. I spent my lunch hour on the phone with him talking through his concerns. We even brainstormed ideas for his next campaign. He was so grateful for the personal attention that he signed another six-month contract before my boss even returned from her trip.

    Related: Interview Question: “What Is the Biggest Challenge You’ve Faced In Work?”

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    Always Act Like You Want The Job

    You have one goal in any interview: Convince them that youre the best candidate for the job and get invited to the next round.

    So you should be selling yourself in the interview, not deciding if the job is desirable.

    Then you can go digest the info and make a decision once you get home. If you start using this approach youll have a big advantage throughout the entire interview because youll have one single thing to focus on. Other applicants will be juggling everything at once.

    How Do You Handle Stress

    How you handle stressful situations is an indicator of your ability to solve problems. Employers want to hire candidates who react to stress constructively, so its important that your answer to this question demonstrates personal growth.

    Spend some time thinking about your response to stressful situations and provide an example that communicates your abilities around perseverance, resilience and stress management.

    Example answer:Im able to stay calm when I focus on the bigger picture and break down my projects into smaller tasks. I always start by asking myself, What is the ultimate goal Im trying to achieve? From there, I make a list of immediate and long-term action items with achievable but ambitious deadlines. Even if the big project is due tomorrow, I ask myself, Whats something I can tackle in the next 30 minutes? Before I know it, Ive made significant progress and that impossible project doesnt seem so impossible.

    Read more: Interview Question: How Do You Handle Stress?

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    What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment

    Its easy to get hung up on figuring out your single most impressive accomplishment. Instead, think of a few achievements that showcase your work ethic and values. If you can, pick examples that also tie back to the job youre applying for. The STAR method is a great tool to ensure you highlight the parts of your story that employers want to hear.

    Example answer:In my last role, I managed all social media content. I noticed other brands were experimenting with videos and seeing great engagement from their customers, so I asked my boss if we could do a low-budget test. She agreed, so I produced a video cheaply in-house that drove double the engagement we normally saw on our social channels. It also drove conversions with 30% of viewers visiting our website within a week of seeing the video.

    Read more: Interview Question: What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?

    What Is Your Teaching Philosophy

    How to have a great interview

    This isnt a question solely for those applying to teaching positions. Employers may ask this of anyone who might be leading or teaching others. Your response will allow employers to gauge your personal skills and if you would be a good culture add. A good answer will concisely identify what you think teaching should achieve and include concrete examples to illustrate your ideas.

    Example answer:When it comes to managing people, my teaching philosophy is to start by asking questions that hopefully get the person to come to a new conclusion on their own. This way, they feel ownership over the learning rather than feeling micromanaged. For example, in my last role, I was editing an article written by a copywriter I managed. The story didnt have a clear focus or hook.

    In a one-on-one meeting, I asked her what she thought was the main point of the article if she had to sum it up in a sentence. From there, I asked if she thought the focus was clear in the article. She didnt think it was clear and instead thought she should rework her introduction and conclusion. As a result, the article improved and my direct report learned a valuable writing lesson that she carried into her future work.

    Read more: Interview Question: What is Your Teaching Philosophy?

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    Your Chance To Interview The Employer

    While the main goal of the interview is for an employer to evaluate you as a candidate, it is also one of your few chances to learn more about them. There are many aspects of a job that you can only uncover by speaking with the employer.

    • Identify questions that can help you determine if this is the right position for you. Consider asking questions about the role, division, organization, and industry.

    How Retention Rates Impact Your Business

    Improving retention rates are a top concern for companies and their respective HR departments. Without enough great talent, you cant stay ahead of the competition. And if your HR department is consistently working to hire new employees, they wont have time to focus on big picture objectives like developing employees to meet strategic goals.

    According to a SHRM study, 47% of HR professionals said retention and turnover was a top workforce management challenge. The concern is not surprising. Turnover is not only costly, averaging about $4,000 to hire a new employee, but it can affect a companys performance. If employees regularly must cover the work of someone who has quit, they can quickly get burned out. The morale at a company can drop fast when employees keep jumping ship. Improving employee retention needs to be a priority.

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