Dienstag, 19. Januar 2016

How to score during your job interview

Your best efforts have payed off, the written application was successful and now you are invited for a job interview! So far, so good, but… the stress is just now kicking in: How to present yourself in order to make a lasting and positive impression and get that proposal for your dream job? Don’t panic - with the right preparation and a few tricks you can use during the actual interview, there’s nothing that can stop you.

First things first: you will need to prepare thoroughly for the interview. Gather all available information that you can find about the company you’ve applied to. It’s easiest to go online and find the company’s website, where you can find out a lot about its history, its mission statement and its values. Now you can make all the logical connections between all these and your own qualifications, start thinking about the answers to the questions to be expected and train for the interview by practicing these answers, either alone, in front of a mirror, or with the help of your sympathetic friends. Some of the typical questions that you are sure to encounter are as follows: What can you tell about yourself? What do you know about the company? Why do you want to change positions? Where do you see yourself in five years? By asking these, the recruiter tries to find out, whether you are a good fit for the company. If you keep these in mind, you’ll be able to impress with your thought-out answers.

The next step is working out all logistical issues. Confirm the date with the HR department and plan your journey in a way that ensures you will be there on time and unrushed. Always allow for a time buffer, as traffic is unpredictable and there could always be a traffic jam or some issues with public transportation. Make sure that you are dressed for the occasion and, when in doubt, don‘t be afraid to check back with the HR department about any dresscodes you should be aware of. Obviously, your attire should be clean and crisply ironed, but be also aware that less is always more in terms of fragrance and, if it’s the case, make-up.

During the actual interview, act confidently. Pay close attention to your body language, as it can give away your nervousness or insecurity. A moderate amount of nervousness is to be expected given the situation, but think of it as another good opportunity to demonstrate that you can withstand stressful situations with grace. Assume a good, confident posture and don’t forget about that firm handshake! Be polite and friendly and, while speaking, use a lowered voice, be clear and slow down your word flow – you will project self-confidence. Don’t be too shy and use humour to lighten up the mood, but don’t act like a know-it-all. To boost your likeability, try mirroring your interviewer, that is using the same body language as them. This doesn’t however mean to mindlessly mimic each and every of their gestures, but involves subtler cues, like crossing your legs shortly after they have done the same. Take notes during your conversation – it doesn’t just make you look like a professional, but will also help you think about possible questions about the company that you can ask the recruiter when they offer you the opportunity.

Now you can relax and be pleased with yourself, because you have definitely left a good impression. All you still need is a little bit of patience – the company’s answer will reach you shortly!

Donnerstag, 7. Januar 2016

This is why your application was removed from the stack - 8 good reasons

It’s definitely unpleasant, but your application seems to have been removed from the stack of potential candidates and all you’ve got in the end was a message of rejection. Or worse, no response at all, because oftentimes only those candidates that have made it to the interview rounds do get those messages. We can’t tell you the exact reasons, but we can give you a rundown of the most probable ones.

1. Your application lacked the right keywords. Always read the ad carefully and give special attention to the key words therein. These need to be found in your application as well. Keep in mind that recruiters are only human beings after all, and don’t always have more time than an average of 6,5 seconds for each resume, given that on average 250 people apply for an open position.

2. Your email doesn’t sound professional. Or perhaps you know any managers with the handles “Starrystar123“ or “DarkLOrd“?

3. You didn’t meet the requirements. Especially young job candidates tend to apply for positions, that are out of their reach in terms of experience, not theoretical knowledge. But companies are not keen on hiring either under-, or overqualified candidates.

4. You’ve addressed your application to the wrong person. If the ad doesn’t already contain this information, we advise you to always find out, to whom you should address your application. This information is only a phone call away. Even worse that not having an addressee for your application is having the wrong one.

5. Your spelling was wrong. Keep the spellcheck of your favourite office suite activated at all times, because spelling or grammar mistakes can spell doom for your application. This also applies for document formatting.

6. You’ve used the wrong file format for your application. If the ad was specific about any kind of file format required for your application, make sure you choose the right one while saving your documents. Otherwise, you might be left out from the start of the recruitment process.

7. You forgot about your public social media profiles. Do you regularly post party photos that show you in action? At least, don’t make them public, because they are not only mostly unflattering, they might also ruin your chances to get your dream job, should the recruiter find them online.

8. You were late. Occupying a vacant position takes companies about 2 months, counting from the moment the ad was placed, which means, in turn, that the first candidates are interviewed at the latest one month after that. At this point, your application may be already too late.