This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
• Studies show that recruiters make up their minds in the first two seconds of the interview, so how you dress makes a big impression
by Sumita Vaid Dixit
|||Share| Post a comment
There’s a wonderful scene in The Pursuit for Happyness, where Chris (Will Smith) is asked by an interviewer: What would you say if a guy walked in for an interview without a shirt on and I hired him? What would you say? Chris: He must’ve had on some really nice pants. Wearing the right attire for job interviews shows you understand the nature of the business and you are familiar with the dress code of that field, thus increasing your chance in getting the job. Business fields such as accounting, banking, servicing, consulting and law require formal attire, whereas creative industries like advertising and technology are more flexible concerning the attire. All about shirts and trousers Clothes do make an impression and the right kind, if you pay a little attention to your interview wardrobe. HR professionals say that a candidate’s attire could actually make or break their chance of getting selected. Since how you look is going to be important, stick to the simple rules of dressing that you learnt in school. In other words, dress up conservatively, and you can’t go wrong. Wear single colour shirts. Stripes on shirts look good, but they shouldn’t be too bold or too thin and too close to each other. A white coloured shirt is a popular choice, but even a pink or a pistachio coloured shirt is perfectly acceptable as business formals. And a pair of plain cuff-links with an inconspicuous design gives a touch of sophistication. The length of the trousers should be just right; it should fall well and not bunch up at the bottom. Tapering trousers are in vogue, but make sure that it doesn’t taper to the extent of hugging your calves and ankles. Dark blue and solid grey go well with most of the shirts. Avoid self-print or striped trousers. And the suit should match your trousers. But if you want to try out different coat colours don’t sway beyond charcoal grey, dark blue, brown, fawn. A black suit looks too formal and is less appropriate for job interviews. The sleeves of the suit jacket should not cover that of the shirt completely. About half an inch of the shirt’s sleeves should be seen. While it is not entirely necessary to mention this but still avoid jeans or denims for interviews. The knotty bit about ties Now comes the knotty part. The double-knot tie is the right size to wear. Remember the way you tied the knot in school and the principal agreeably nodded? Yes, keep that in mind. A larger tie knot can give you a more confident look while a symmetric one looks elegant. As the four-in-hand is a small and asymmetric tie knot, it is less preferred; however, President Barack Obama wore a woven silk necktie with a four-in-hand knot with a large dimple on inauguration day. Choose a tie knot that fits the collar opening of the shirt. For example, a small tie knot like the four-in-hand suits shirts with a narrow collar opening, while a large tie knot like the Windsor suits shirts with a wide collar opening. As for the ideal length of your tie, the tip of the wider end should be at the same level as your belt. And be wise in deciding the colour of the ties. Ties with dark colours are preferred. For example, dark blue and dark red; needless to say that it should be coordinated with your shirt. The pattern and colour should not distract the recruiter. So no large polka dots or bold, shiny patterns or pictures; it should look formal. Silk ties are a good choice.
Ladies, go for Indian wear Depending on the position you have applied for and the industry, a cotton sari can be a good choice for an interview. A nicely pinned up cotton sari looks elegant when paired with a conservative cotton blouse (half sleeves, preferably). Sari is a good choice for tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors. While salwar-suits do look elegant, managing the stole can be a task, unless it’s of a material that stays and you don’t have to keep adjusting it in its place. A kurti and salwar is, in fact, a better option. Since there’s no stole with it, with the right pattern and colour, it can look formal and business-like. But no heavy sequins or embroidery! Traditional nose pins are acceptable, provided they are small and pretty.Don’t wear any gawdy stuff. As for necklaces and earrings, small is beautiful and smart. Western outfit is a safe choice However, for most sectors western wear is the perfect choice. A formal shirt and trousers, and low-heeled pumps, preferably black, or any dark colour – no purple, please – would go well. And if your pumps are peep-toes then please pedicure your nails. If you want to paint them, only light colours. In case you plan to wear a skirt, then it should be a formal, well-fitted, black or grey skirt that reaches below the knees. With a formal skirt, stockings are a must. No fishnet stockings but plain, skin coloured ones. They look graceful. Belt, shoes, bags and the works Gentlemen, if you are wearing a black belt then match it with black shoes,a brown belt with brown shoes. Recruiting companies say it’s a good idea to match the shoes or the belts with the colour of the spectacles, handbags or briefcases. So keep that in mind, as well. We all know that shoes should be polished; black is a safe colour, and no pointed, long shoes. And ladies: no fancy heels, stilettos, and bright colours. Women could wear a medium width belt with formal trousers; it gives a neat look. Choose a plain black belt, and resist fancy buckles. Make-up could be kept to a minimum. Lipstick: light pink or brown. Both mat and gloss are fine but avoid glitter in lipstick. Hair-say Nothing looks neater than a short haircut in men. Gel your hair to avoid any stray hair sticking out, but do not overdo it or back comb your hair as it will send out a wrong message. Women could wear their hair in a bun, neatly held in pins or a plain black scrunchy. A high, top bun will look right for the aviation sector. If you wish to wear your hair open, then blow-dry and set it. When you comb or brush your hair, please brush the stray strands off your shirts or tops. In case there’s a dandruff problem, take care of it; white skin flakes on a dark suit is not a good idea. As for bulging pockets, body-piercing, tattoos, low-waist trousers and male jewellery common sense would say: avoid it, please. One gem stone ring is fine; too many might show you in a different light. And a last piece of advice: don’t drench yourself in cologne or deodorant; it can give your recruiter a headache the moment you enter. A gentle spray is enough. And just before you leave, have a last look in the mirror. You know you are looking great!
Five Deadly Interview Mistakes
Making a good impression on the job interview is as much about what not to do as what to do. Here's how to avoid the most common deal-breakers
By Carl Wellenstein MANAGEMENT
• • • • •
Recovery and Globality: The Commodities Chase U.S. Bank Chiefs Urge Change, Defend Own Practices (Update1) Sarkozy Wants Clio to Stay in France, Minister Says (Update1) Barrick, NovaGold May Use Gas to Lower Costs at Donlin Creek Bharti Names Manoj Kohli to Head Overseas Expansion (Update1)
• • • • • • •
post a comment e-mail this story print this story order a reprint suggest a story digg this save to del.icio.us
Attending an interview with the intent to impress the hiring manager ) is dangerous if you go about it in the wrong way. Below are the five most common mistakes you can make. 1. Thinking the interview is about you. In an effort to "get their message across," some interviewees monopolize the conversation with long-winded responses, focusing on how they can enhance their skills and expand their experience. What you really want is a balanced interview with you talking no more than 60% of the time. Keep in mind that the interviewers are not interested in enhancing your skills or broadening your experiences. They will be trying to assess whether you already possess the know-how they need and how well you might fit into the company's organizational culture. When answering questions, limit your responses to two minutes. If they want you to give examples or provide other information, they'll ask.
2. Failing to translate your skills and experience. You use words and examples that are common to your function or industry and assume interviewers will understand them or be able to translate them to applications in their industry. Initial interviewers may not be familiar with the acronyms and terms specific to your previous jobs and, as a result, they might assume you communicate poorly with nontechnical people. Don't expect your interviewers to translate your experience to apply to their industry. That will be your task. You need to use terms and analogous descriptions they will understand in the context of their industry or type of work. 3. Being unprepared. True, sometimes interviewers aren't prepared themselves, but that doesn't mean they'll forgive you for the same mistake. The obvious preparation: Research the company on the Internet and in the news and talk to someone who has some inside knowledge about the company. If it's a publicly held company, check out annual and quarterly reports filed with the SEC. The not-so-obvious preparation: Anticipate what they'll be asking you about: your strengths and weaknesses, why you left your last company, why you chose your career path, and what your positive and negative work experiences have been. 4. Lacking candor. You can't think of any personal weaknesses, you've overcome all your weaknesses, or you say you haven't given it a lot of thought. Mistakes? Not you. You rose through the ranks and never made mistakes. No one progresses in a career without making mistakes and learning from them. Trained interviewers will be looking to see if you readily acknowledge and admit your weaknesses and can describe mistakes you've made and what you learned from them. Adding a humorous story about a mistake you made, how others may have chided you about it afterward, and what you took away from the experience can endear you to an interviewer. When confronted with a tough interview question about your past, don't give a measured response that sugarcoats reality, as interviewers will quickly see it as disingenuous. 5. Not asking any questions. The interview is coming to a close and the interviewer inquires as to whether you have any questions. You reply that you don't, or you ask a few insignificant questions that you could have easily answered if you'd visited the Web site or knew anything about the company or its industry. Unless you're the only qualified candidate, your job prospects with this company probably just ended. Interviews are two-sided events. The employer wants to determine whether you're the right person for the business, and you need to know if the employer is the right one for you. Always take a note pad with you when you go for an interview. Prepare your questions and write them on your note pad. You want the interviewer to see that you have questions.
Keep in mind there are only three things interviewers really want to know about you: • Do you have the right skills and experience to do the job we want done? • Do you have the personal characteristics that will fit in with our organization's culture? • From what I hear you say, do I believe you're telling me the truth?
Carl Wellenstein is an employment and career strategist located in Southern California and the author of12 Steps to a New Career. He specializes in helping clients with mid-career advancement, expediting job changes, and switching careers. His Web site is found at www.ExecGlobalNet.com.
• Job interviews: Ask these questions
• Quizzing a prospective employer is as important, as giving the right answers.
by Bharti M Borah
|||Share| Post a comment
When you are called for an interview, remember not to appear focused on yourself, money or the TA/ DA that you would need to be reimbursed. Do not appear fake. Honesty and frankness is appreciated, in the right dosage. Be prepared to ask your own set of questions during the interview to help decide whether you want to join or not. 1. What will be my scope of work, roles and responsibilities? It’s important to have an idea of the requirements as an employee. Nivedita Ghosh, Consultant and Client Manager, ABC Consultants advices, “Seek clarity on the duties and responsibilities for that position so that it does not come as a surprise package to you.” 2. What are the skill sets required for effective performance in the given role? Understand what is required from your side, if analytic ability or thinking out of the box are needed, you need to be able to deliver on the same Count. According to Nishant Mohan, Director, Venture Baron Technology, a Mumbaibased company, “This helps in understanding if the company is aligned similarly or if you would find it difficult in aligning yourself to the organisation’s goals and objectives.” 3. What is the guidance offered in the initial stages in the organization? This will decide how smooth your transition will be into the company. If effort is made to help you fit in, chances are the effort will reflect into other aspects as well. More willing the organization is to hand holding during the initial period, more you will deliver better and more is the intention of the company to make the relationship work. It is like the company Investing in you. 4. Is there an acclimatising camp to get used to the systems, work culture of the organization? Many companies place high importance on this, reflecting the organization’s ability to deliver on its promises and investment into human resources. Srinivasan, HR Director, HCL Technologies says, “It’s important to know this so that you have a clearer idea about whether you will find the right fit,the atmosphere is formal or informal.” 5. What are my KRA’s based on which I would be assessed? All employees are evaluated based on the key result areas. Know how your contributions will be rated, be prepared and be willing to deliver. 6. Is there an annual appraisal system where my deficiencies would be discussed for self improvement? Be open to appraisal and always strive towards self improvement. Remember that this is not personal and a process, be willing to change and mould yourself into your job. 7. What is your salary structure and other benefits? Most employers will make an offer, so you rarely have to broach the topic.Be careful in your negotiation process, don’t appear to be too money-minded.Mohan warns, “Try and understand the salary break-up because an unfavourablebreak-up may result in lower income and more taxes.” 8. How much does the company invest in their employees through learning and development programmes? Srinivasan, HR Director, HCL Technologies feels that your career landscape is also determined by the kind of career development programmes that are offered. Know what you can expect, be aware of whether you will get it or not if you join. 9. What would be your reporting structure? It’s important to understand this process early so that you avoid making any blunders as part of the company. Many companies state there is no hierarchy, it is better to understand that it does exist. Openness should not be taken as a given, be sure to maintain a certain decorum and ethical approach at work. 10. What does the organization think about work-life balance?
At a personal level this is important to be kept in mind. Srinivasan shared, “It will not be a question that puts to rest your mind in terms of deliverables but it would give you a sense of how flexible the company is in terms of other needs.” An interview is a two-way process, be prepared to be able to respond to an opportunity to ask questions. Remember each work space is a learning experience, be open to change and handling challenges as part of your work. No work should be impossible. Give it your best shot and not be scared to accept your limitations, work hard to learn at work and achieve success.
Customise your resume and your career
consultancy firm and manages a team of over 1,200 professionals across 60 locations. In an interview with Urmila Rao, he offers tips to job-seekers on a wide range of areas from smart salary negotiation to making an impression in an interview to attaining good appraisal review and being a star performer... What do employers look for when interviewing a candidate? Work ethics, honesty, loyalty, confidence and problem-solving ability are some of the traits looked for in a prospective hire. The key four Es here are exposure, experience, expertise and excellence. A student from a reputed college, without work experience, would be considered as having an exposure to certain concepts and will be expected to demonstrate those in his application. Experienced people would be expected to perform with limited or no supervision. An expert is a person considered to have good conceptual understanding of a wide range of subjects relevant to a domain, and who can guide others in the organisation. Finally, excellence is when a person's expertise is known beyond the boundary of an organisation and hence respected by the industry. Employers look for someone who is a good fit not just in terms of technical skills but also the social culture of the organisation. Your job interview tips... I recommend focusing on the three Ps: presentation, preparation, positioning. When presenting, your attitude, appearance and resume presentation carries far more weightage than you would imagine in an interview. Hence dress professionally and be punctual for your interview; it shows professionalism. Your resume is an opportunity to sell the brand 'YOU'. Customise your resume so as to highlight your skills to fit the kind of job you are applying for. Research thoroughly about the industry, company and job you are applying for. Ask relevant questions (usually at the end of the interview). And prepare by taking mock interviews. Formulate your responses using the STAR format [Situation, Task, Action, and Result] of answering questions; this method relies on your prior experiences to predict future behaviour. As regards positioning, all interviewers have a preconditioned mindset of the 'best fit' candidate. Hence positioning yourself in the minds of the interviewer that you are the best fit, is the key. Are you a person with unique competencies or superior skills for which specific companies are willing to pay a premium? And finally watch out for the big P Pressure! What factors contribute to a good appraisal of a professional? Today, performance review systems are focused on career development and enhancement based on open and detailed discussions with one's superiors. Many organisations are now moving towards a 360-degree feedback system wherein a performance review is sought from all sources that an employee has an interface with, which includes peers, team-mates and reporting seniors. For an effective appraisal you must be open to communication with peers and reporting seniors, and have a clear understanding of key performance indicators. What are the dos and don'ts of salary negotiation? Salary negotiations are the most sensitive yet important conversations of your career. Once the company has decided to hire you they will look at the least expensive cost-to-company to get you on board. Accepting whatever the
companies offer may make you appear weak and not worth your mettle. Yet being over-aggressive and pushy at the negotiation table may leave a bad taste in the mouth, especially knowing that you have to work with these people on a daily basis from here on. Being well-prepared on what would be a good compensation for your experience and expertise, goes a long way in the negotiation. Often the compensation could be coupled with equity or other perks. Study these well to see if they match what you want. Don't accept a salary lower than what you are worth in anticipation of future hikes. Understanding how much you need the company and vice-versa, will also give you an idea of your stance in the negotiation. Knowing when to stop negotiating can be tricky. It's not a case of who wins. If you refuse to bow down they will begin to think that you are a wrong choice. When you know it's time, accept your offer with grace, and thank the management for its time. When turning down an offer, thank management for the negotiation; it's professional and refined. Which sectors have potential for a promising career in the near future? Green jobs throw open several career options that are both meaningful and promise growth. Green-collar jobs are accessible to people from varied educational backgrounds and professions, engineers, bio-technologists, environmentalists, auditors, accountants, scientists, economists, media professionals and the like. Telecom was one of those highly resilient sectors, which weren't too affected by the recession. Infrastructure projects -- roads, bridges, and railways are gaining momentum -- and were one of the first few to experience a revival. Animation and gaming is an interesting and new avenue. Even private banking players are recruiting actively especially in wealth management, microfinance and insurance. The automobile industry is also revving up! How can a professional identify the best job profile for himself? Several personality profiling tests available in the market help guide a candidate in identifying the right career path. Apart from this it would be advisable to study your inherent traits and qualities and look for jobs that necessitate these qualities in abundance. Is it true that freshers who take up jobs in an economic downturn situation end up being in a disadvantageous position? More than a year back, there were unrealistic expectations on pay packages and growth rates. Freshers got unbelievable salary packages. Experienced candidates sometimes got 200 per cent hikes in a single year! There's a definite correction happening in the job market. The new, more normal economy will be seasoned with reduction in salary and benefits. Today, many are happy to keep their jobs and retain current salaries, even when presented with higher salaries. However, finding good talent has become tougher. Hence freshers have a greater chance of finding the right job. What can professionals do to insulate themselves from a downturn? Constantly updating oneself technically, skill upgradation and active participation in learning and development
programmes offered within the organisations is recommended. Finally ensuring a sound connect with the market, through professional networking sites such as LinkedIn will add some fillip to your job retention strategy.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.