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Attending Interviews

Attending Interviews

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Published by Khasnieffy Khasimi
Special tips for succesful interview
Special tips for succesful interview

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Categories:Types, Resumes & CVs
Published by: Khasnieffy Khasimi on Jul 13, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Tell me about yourself 
by Sanjeev Sharma
Tell me about yourself 
is a question that most interviewees expect and it is the most difficult to answeras well. Though one could answer this open-ended question in a myriad of ways, the key to answering thisquestion or any other interview question is to offer a response that supports one¶s career objective. Thismeans that you should not respond with comments about your hobbies, spouse, or extra curricularactivities. Trust me, interviewers are not interested. To start with there is no correct answer to thisinterview question. I would lean in the favour of a quick reference to some personal traits that give aquick view of who you are. From there one could move to a one sentence of any relevanteducation/qualification. There should also be a mention of employment history.
Purpose of the Question:
 In one of my write-ups,
Across the interview table
, I did mention that there is a purpose to each andevery question in the interview. One cannot ask anything and everything. Again, a set of interviewquestions varies from industry to industry and position to position. Interviewers use the interview processas a vehicle to eliminate your candidacy. Every question they ask is used to differentiate your skills,experience, and personality with that of other candidates. They want to determine if what you have tooffer will mesh with the organization's mission and goals.
What type of answer is expected?
 Try to avoid this type of answer: I am a hard-worker who is good with numbers. After I worked as afinancial analyst for a few years, I decided to go to law school. I just finished and now am looking for anew challenge.Say something like this: I began developing skills relevant to financial planning when I worked as afinancial analyst for three years. In that role, I succeeded in multiplying the wealth of my clients bycarefully analyzing the market for trends. The return on the portfolios I managed was generally 2% morethan most of the portfolios managed by my company. My initiative, planning, and analytic skills wererewarded by two promotions. As the manager of a team, I successfully led them to develop a moreefficient and profitable strategy for dealing with new accounts. My subsequent training in the law,including tax law and estate law, gives me an informed view of what types of investments and charitablegifts would be most advantageous for your clients.
Preparing for the answer:
Follow the following steps as outlined below to ensure your response will grab the interviewer¶s attention:
Provide a brief introduction.
Introduce attributes that are keys to the open position.
Provide a career summary of your most recent work history.
Your career summary is the"meat" of your response, so it must support your job objective and it must be compelling. Keepyour response limited to your current experience. Don't go back more than 10 years.
Tie your response to the needs of the hiring organization.
Do not assume that theinterviewer will be able to connect all the dots. It is your job as the interviewee to make sure theinterviewer understands how your experiences are transferable to the position they are seekingto fill.
Ask an insightful question.
By asking a question you gain control of the interview. Don't ask aquestion for the sake of asking. Be sure that the question will engage the interviewer in aconversation. Doing so will alleviate the stress you may feel to perform.There you have it: a response that meets the needs of the interviewer AND supports your agenda.When broken down into manageable pieces, the question "So, tell me about yourself?" isn't overwhelming.In fact, answering the question effectively gives you the opportunity to talk about your strengths,achievements, and qualifications for the position. So take this golden opportunity and run with it!
When asked by different people?
 HR managers or CEOs of the company or the Departmental Heads can ask the same question and youranswer should vary. The expectation of each person is different.When asked by the HR Manager your response must be like this: "My career has been characterized bymy ability to work well with diverse teams. I seek out opportunities to involve others in the decision-
making process. This collaboration and communication is what has enabled me to achieve success in mydepartment. People are the most valuable resource of any organization."When asked by the CEO your response must be like this: "I have achieved success in my career because Ihave been focused on the bottom line. I have always sought out innovative solutions to challengingproblems to maximize profitability. Regardless of the task or challenge, I always established benchmarksof performance and standards of excellence. I have never sought to maintain the "status quo." Anorganization that does not change and grow will die. I would enjoy working with you to help define newmarket opportunities in order to achieve the organization's goals."In each instance, we responded to the "needs of the individual." It is almost guaranteed that when yourespond appropriately to the diverse needs of the different managers, you will become the standard bywhich all of the other candidates will be measured.
 The question is very tricky and being the first question of the interview«one need to be a bit more carefulin answering the same. This question can make or break the interviewer¶s interest in you.
Be a good listener!
 Are you good at listening? It's an interesting question because listening, as apart from just hearing, is anacquired skill. And by being able to listen well, you have a skill that can be put to good use during jobinterviews.Good listening skills, however, just don't happen. You will have to work on improving them. Activelistening requires that the listener receive both the speaker's spoken and unspoken message. This can bedifficult because very often, the listener is so busy thinking about responding to what the speaker issaying that he misses much of what the speaker is trying to say across. If you want to be an effectivecommunicator, especially in the job interview, you need to develop your active listening skills.One way to help you become a better listener is to take notes while you listen. Here's why.
It gives the interviewer a non-verbal message that you are serious and you value what theinterviewer is communicating.
The notes helps you raise significant questions when the interviewer asks, "Do you have anyquestions?"
They help you with your follow-up communications because you can refer to specific commentsor topics covered in the interview. The more specific and customised your thank-you follow-up is,the greater the chance it will make a favorable impression on the interviewer.But while most interviewers will respect your need to get accurate information, some may find your notetaking to be a distraction. So before you start taking notes, always ask the interviewer for permission first.Other helpful hints:
Be discreet. Don't make a big show out of pulling a pad of paper from your briefcase.
Maintain eye contact even while taking notes. Keep looking at the interviewer. Don't give him theimpression that taking notes is more important than actually listening to him.
If the interviewer seems distracted, stop your note taking. It's best to let your notes be out of theinterviewer's direct sight. Don't try to write complete sentences; jotting down the key words orquestions will do.
After the interview, review your jottings to fill in the blanks and complete your thoughts.
What can I do to improve my job-interviewing skills?
byPaul Shearstone
 Whether you¶re a student job seeker or a polished and proven executive, the first thing you must come toterms with is, ³Regardless of the position you seek, you are now in sales!´ The product you are selling isYOU! The interview is your opportunity to differentiate yourself in the eyes of your customer [theinterviewer] when compared to your competitors [other job applicants].Successful companies today, are focused on building what¶s known as, corporate ³Unique Value-Add
Propositions.´ Simply put, a unique value proposition is designed to differentiate companies / products andservices, by making a decision to do business with you, an easy one. This is accomplished by means of removing the risk in customer¶s minds through obvious value-add.So before you go into an interview, ask yourself, ³What is my unique Value-add for this company? Whatcan I say, do, or show, that will separate me from all other candidates?´ And, ³How convincing am I?´ There is no secret that in many cases today, the most qualified are not always the ones hired. Sadly,many qualified individuals lose out on opportunities expressly due to their inability to distinguishthemselves [in the interview] by showing unique value-add. You may then ask, ³How does one construct avalue-add interview?´ The process is surprisingly simple.
As quickly as you can, write down all the words that describe your unique strengths that relate to theposition to which you¶re applying. [Note: Five words are not enough. Try for at least fifteen / you may alsoask others for their input].
As quickly as you can, write down all the words that describe your potential weaknesses as theyrelate to the position to which you¶re applying.
Turn each word into a sentence or statement. It does not have to be complicated. For example, if oneof your strength-words was, ³experience´ - you could simply say, ³I am experienced.´ [Note: Do the samefor your weaknesses list as well].
Take each sentence / statement, and turn them into a question. ³I am experienced´ becomes, ³Whyam I experienced?´ To answer the question, ³Why am I experienced?´ inexorably brings to light your real Value-Add. From aselling point of view, µbeing experienced¶ may be true, but it is only, however, a fact. ³How specifically, amI experienced, and, How it will therefore benefit the new company,´ is the real Risk-Removing, Unique-Value-Add-Information needed to showcase your talents.Knowing the answers, ahead of time, to questions like, ³Why is [this] a potential weakness for me - forthis position?´ is equally integral to the success of any interview.For more detailed information on Interviewing Skills, visit [www.s150.com]. On the µSpeaker Profile¶ page,is a hot-link to ³The Art of the Interview´. There you can order [$5 Admin-Fee] a 55-page booklet thatguarantees better interviewing results. It details the specific types of questions trained interviewers willask and the reasons why they ask them. The do¶s and don¶ts of a good Résumé¶s as well as ways to betterprepare mentally for an interview are also there in a comprehensive easy to read format.Remember that in business, ³The degree to which you cannot provide a unique Value-Add Proposition is indirect proportion to the degree you hurt yourself, your company and your industry.´ In any job interview, ³You are the company. The product you¶re selling is YOU!´ 
How important is it to stand apart from others in an interview and how difficult is it?
byPaul Shearstone
 Any professionally trained interviewer can verify these questions are the most asked by people involvedwith job-hunting. How important is it? Absolutely vital! « How difficult is it? Nothard at all.In the early 1980s I interviewed a young man who, in our meeting, began to quoteinformation pertaining to the company he was applying. He talked about theprevious year's corporate gross revenue figures, the number of employees countrywide, projected new product launches and other related information. Needless tosay, I was impressed. He got the job.In retrospect, although I tried to be unbiased, when comparing him to the other candidates, hisknowledge of the company [The Company I worked for and Loved] coloured in his favour, the wholeinterview. My impression was he had spent a lot of time researching the organisation, which showedconsiderable interest and effort on his part. Not one of his competitors had done so.Months later, I asked him where he had done his research to find so much about the company. He smiledand said, "Remember our meeting was scheduled for 2pm that day and you were running 15 minutesbehind?" I nodded affirmatively. "Well, as I sat in the reception area waiting for you, I noticed, among the
I can demonstrate theimportance with a truestory from my book'The Art of theInterview'.[*Now on CD-ROM] 

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