Job Interview

Few things in life are more nerve-wracking than a job interview. Here you can find out what questions recruiters ask and how to answer them. Follow expert strategies and tips, go through the interviewing stage stress-free, and land that job.
  • How to Sell Yourself in a Job Interview

    Before every job interview, you may wonder how best to convey your professional skills and abilities. After all, out of dozens (maybe hundreds) of applicants, you were chosen to meet with the interviewer to further gauge whether you’d be a good fit for the company. Learn more about why it’s important to understand how to sell yourself in an interview by following the tips and examples in this article. ## Why should you sell yourself in an interview? The reason why you should ‘sell’ or self-promote yourself during an interview is that doing so gives your potential employer a good first impression regarding your skills, abilities, experience and overall personality. ## How to sell yourself in an interview Follow these steps to sell your experience and skills: **1. First, dress for success** What you choose to wear to a job interview factors into the employer’s overall impression of you. That’s why it’s important to dress cleanly and professionally, even if the company dress code is more casual. Save the casual days for later, when you’ve been hired. During your interview, wear business clothes in neutral colors and keep accessories to a minimum. Well-groomed hair and nails enhance your look of professionalism. **2. Second, display confidence** Appearing confident during an interview is often more challenging than you think, especially if you feel uncomfortable talking about yourself. The fact is, you’re interviewing for a job that has other candidates you’re competing against. If there ever was a time that you needed to put aside your fears and be brave, it’s now. Internalize your worries during the interview and project self-confidence by smiling, making eye contact and speaking well. **3. Third, pay attention to your body language and word choices** Sometimes it’s hard to recognize when our bodies are giving negative signals. That’s why it’s important to be aware of body language that may compromise your chances of getting hired. Avoid slumping down in your chair, fidgeting or looking around the room or at the floor instead of straight at the interviewer. This makes the impression that you’re uninterested in the job. Good posture, eye contact and a firm handshake show that you’re engaged in the interview and truly want the job. When speaking, avoid saying ‘um’ and ‘like,’ as it often associated with immaturity. **4. Fourth, practice your responses** It’s highly likely that you’ll need to give an elevator pitch or a summary explaining who you are and what you’ve accomplished in the past. The best way to deliver this information in a polished way is by practicing what you’ll say ahead of time. Also, do some research as to what type of questions you may be asked and practice your responses to those questions. Prepare a few meaningful anecdotes that help. **5. Fifth, try to imagine yourself as the interviewer** Research the company you’re interviewing before your arrival to get a feel for its culture. Interviewers want to hire people who meet their requirements, possess great skills and fit in with their current employees. Think about the type of person they’d want to hire, then study the job listing and imagine yourself in that role. Deliver what the interviewer wants to hear and see to increase your chances of getting hired. **6. Sixth, describe your achievements using metrics** When explaining why you’d be a good fit for the company, make sure you reference your past accomplishments with specific numbers. For instance, if you helped your last company find new clients, specify how many and in what amount of time. While mentioning any time-related accomplishments, mention how much time and money your efforts helped the company save. Interviewers like to hear percentages and numbers because it shows you know how to produce actionable results and how those results benefit the company. **7. Finally, ask smart questions** Even though the interviewer will be asking most of the questions, he or she will likely give you time to ask yours. Write down some unique questions ahead of time so you’re prepared to receive the right information. Consider which questions’ answers would be most beneficial for you to know. Showing that you took the time to thoughtfully prepare questions shows your dedication to success. ## Examples of interview questions and answers that sell yourself Here are some common questions that interviewers may ask you along with the corresponding answers: **What are your biggest strengths?** Interviewers ask this question because they want to know how well your skills and attributes align with the job position your applying for. Before the interview, create a list of your strengths and how they support the desired position. Think about how your traits, transferrable skills (learned from previous jobs) and knowledge-based skills (gained from formal education and experience) have shaped who you are and what you have to offer. **Example**: ‘I have many strengths that help me be successful at work. First, I have a strong work ethic that drives me to meet deadlines well ahead of schedule. I enjoy feeling the sense of accomplishment that comes with doing a job well and on time. Second, I am passionate about what I do, which makes me feel happy when I’m working. Third, I have extensive experience managing a team of writers over the past five years and feel that it will help me lead the creative team here.’ **What are your biggest weaknesses?** While it may seem daunting to discuss anything negative about yourself in a positive way, there are ways to do this that show you’ve overcome these challenges or that you’re aware of your weaknesses and plan to strengthen them. **Example**: ‘I am such a detail-oriented person that I sometimes have a hard time seeing the big picture. I have learned to step back and reevaluate project goals. Sometimes, this means making revisions to our current assets. But I’ve noticed that the best work I’ve produced has been the result of a group effort that has been refined to better meet our brand image.’ **Where do you see yourself in five years?** Interviewers ask this question when they want to understand your career goals and how the particular position you’re applying for fits into your five-year plan. They also want to ensure they’re hiring someone who plans to stick around for a while so they don’t have to go through the time-consuming hiring process again. Try to answer truthfully while not being too specific. **Example**: ‘In five years, I’d like to build upon my current skill set and learn how to do some design work, which requires knowledge of Adobe software. I want to become proficient in all programs that are relevant to my role so I may assume multi-media requests that allow me to take on more responsibility.’ **Out of all the other candidates, why should we hire you?** Think of this question as your sales pitch. Explain the main reasons why you’d be a great fit for the company and let them know how a particular skill or attribute makes you more valuable than the other applicants. **Example**: ‘Great question! I believe that managing a creative team for the past six years has prepared me for this leadership position because I’ve learned firsthand how to guide, support and encourage people to do their best work. I’ve realized that the best leaders not only ensure that their team members meet deadlines and produce high-quality work, they also show compassion and respect in their position. I plan to do support my new team in the same way.’
  • Best Things to Say in an Interview

    While every interview is different, there are certain things you can say during any interview that can help you impress the interviewer and increase your chance of getting the job. When you are preparing for an interview, there are specific questions you can prepare and practice answering, but knowing what to say involves more than being prepared to answer the interviewer’s questions. This article discusses things you should always try to say during a job interview to help you stand out as the best candidate for the position you are applying for. ## Why is it important to know what to say in an interview? Knowing what to say in an interview is important because saying the right things can help make you stand out as the leading candidate. Knowing what to say in an interview shows the interviewer you have taken the time to prepare for the interview and that you are taking the position seriously. It also helps to ensure that you clearly convey why you are the best candidate for the position you are applying for. ## Best things to say in an interview Here is a list of the most important things you should try to say in an interview: **How well you know the company** One of the first things you want to make sure you make clear during the interview is that you have done research about the company. You can do this by telling the interviewer things you found during your research that made you more interested in working for their specific company. Prior to your interview, review the company’s website, social media pages and online reviews to learn as much about the company as possible. Then, try to use the same words and tone that the company uses to present itself as you answer questions throughout the interview. **You read the job description** In addition to doing research about the company, the interviewer will also want to know that you fully understand the duties and responsibilities of the position you are interviewing for. You can make it clear that you know what the company expects from a good candidate by letting them know you read the job description. **Why you are a great fit for the job** When discussing what you learned by researching the company and reading the job description, you should also use the information you learned to express why you are a great fit for the job. You can do this by talking about how your personal morals and values align with the company’s core values. You can also express why you are a great fit for the specific job by discussing how the duties and responsibilities in the job description align well with your education, skills and experiences. Use personal anecdotes and stories to show rather than tell the interviewer why you are a great fit for the job. **How you will add value to the company** Part of showing the interviewer that you are the right candidate for the position you are applying for involves discussing how you will add value to the company if hired. Use previous accomplishments to show the interviewer how you have achieved success in your past. Then, try to connect the skills you used to achieve those accomplishments to a specific need or goal that the company has. **You work well on a team** Most employers are looking for employees who work well on a team and who will be a good fit with the company’s culture. You can express that you work well on a team by describing a project or task you have worked with a team on in the past. You should try to describe what your personal role on the team was, how your contributions helped the team succeed and how the team working together helped make the overall project a success. **The power of ‘you’** One of the most powerful words you can use during an interview is the word ‘you.’ The interviewer will naturally make most of the conversation about your education, skills and experiences, but looking for opportunities to discuss the needs and interests of the interviewer and the company can have a memorable impact. This shows that you are interested in how the job can benefit yourself and what the company’s needs and goals are. **You’re interested in learning and developing yourself** Talking about your interest in continuing to learn and develop yourself professionally tells employers you are open to change and learning new ways to do things. You can express your interest in continuous learning and development by talking about what you intend to do to stay current on industry trends and changes. You can also ask the interviewer if they offer any career development or continuing education programs. **What your career goals are with this company** Hiring, training and developing a new employee is often a costly process to an employer. A great way to stand out during your interview is to express your interest in building a long-term career within the company. You can do this by asking the interviewer what advancement opportunities exist within the company and what people who have previously been successful in this role are doing in the company now. These types of questions show the interviewer that you will be an asset to the company because you plan to stay with them long-term. **Questions you have for the interviewer** At the end of the interview, the interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions for them. You can use this as an opportunity to show your genuine interest in the company by asking thoughtful questions you prepared prior to the interview. ## Examples of what to say in an interview Here are a few examples of specific things you can say during an interview: **Acknowledge that you have read the job description** A great way to tell the interviewer you read the job description is in your response to the question, ‘Why are you interested in this specific job or company?’ You should focus on things specifically listed on the job description. **Example**: ‘While reading the job description, I realized you are looking for someone who excels at both the strategic side of planning a content marketing project and at the creative side of content formatting. These needs align with my experience and strengths in content marketing.’ **Focus on how your strengths can benefit the role** If the interviewer asks what your greatest strengths are, use this opportunity to show interest in the needs of the company. While the question is about your personal strengths, using the word ‘you’ in your answer allows you to connect those strengths to the needs of the company. **Example**: ‘My experience as an account executive helped me strengthen my time management and customer service skills. Based on the job description it looks like you need a candidate who can manage their time to complete tasks efficiently while also providing excellent customer service.’ **Mention what your career goals might be with this company** Even if the interviewer doesn’t specifically ask about your career goals during the interview, you could also use this same statement as a response when the interviewer asks if you have any questions. **Example**: ‘I look forward to continuing to develop my skills so I can maximize my performance within this role. Within the next two to three years I would like to be in a position of leadership. What advancement opportunities exist for people within this role?’ **Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer** You should always prepare a few general questions to ask at the end of your interview. This step can indicate your interest in the role and the company. During the interview, you might even make a note of something specific you would like to ask as a follow-up question. **Example questions you can consider asking**: - ‘What goals do you have for the next quarter?’ - ‘What qualities or skills do you find that put top performers in this role apart from other employees?’ - ‘What can you tell me about this position that isn’t in the job description?’ - ‘How is success measured in this role?’
  • Top 11 tips for acing your video interview in 2021

    As the COVID-19 pandemic has led many companies to close their offices and storefronts, many employers and job seekers will soon be experiencing online job interviews for the first time. Video interviews aren’t unheard of—they are often used for remote job interviews—but they are likely to become more common in the coming months. This will be jarring for many people, even if they have had lots of experience with in-person interviews. It can be difficult to get used to the experience of staring at a screen instead of a human, and many find that the rhythm of a video conversation can be stilted and strange compared to a face-to-face meeting. Further, you don’t have just your own appearance to worry about; you also need to make sure your equipment is working and your interview space is presentable. Fortunately, this is nothing that can’t be overcome with a little practice and preparation. With these eleven steps you will be well on your way to acing your next video interview. ## Test your hardware The last thing you want to discover on the day of the interview is that your microphone doesn’t work. Be sure to test out your microphone and camera long before the interview so that you will have time to replace them if necessary. It’s also a good idea to use headphones, as relying on your computer’s built-in speakers may result in poor sound quality and loud feedback. Most modern laptops come with webcams and microphones built in, but if yours does not, you may need to buy or rent external equipment. An external camera and microphone will likely be better quality than the built-in kind, so this may be a blessing in disguise. Of course, if this expense is not acceptable, you can work with what you have. Today’s phones and tablets have far better video and audio quality than they once did, so your iPhone should be good enough for an interview in a pinch. ## Get your software ready You should know what software is being used for your interview before the interview begins, whether it’s Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, MS Teams, or some other platform. If you are not familiar with the software, make sure that you have it installed and that all permissions have been granted. You don’t want to spend the first several minutes of the interview making sure the program can access your microphone. You should also double-check your account settings. Make sure your username is your real name, or at least something acceptably professional. Your picture should also be an appropriate image, ideally a professional headshot that clearly shows your smiling face. ## Establish a nice background You wouldn’t host a business meeting in your kitchen or bedroom, so you shouldn’t attend a video interview there either. Even if your interviewer is impressed by your answers, the fact that they can see your cluttered countertops or laundry in the background will be very distracting. Find a room with a neutral background that allows your interviewer to focus on you, not your furniture and appliances. Of course, you may not have the option to move to a different room. If that is the case, do your best to make sure the background is neat and tidy, and that there is nothing embarrassing in view. If the camera can’t face a wall, angle the camera so it is looking at your bookshelf (full of industry-related books, of course) or at some tasteful art. This may require placing a desk in the middle of your room so that your camera is facing away from the bed, but you can always rearrange the room back to normal when you’re finished. ## Think about framing and lighting When you FaceTime with your family, you probably don’t think too hard about where the camera is. As long as your face is visible, the camera is doing its job. This is not the case in video interviews. You shouldn’t do the interview while walking around the house, camera swinging around in your outstretched hand, nor should you have your laptop on your lap, camera pointing up your nose. Take the time to place the camera in such a way that you are facing it directly and your features are easy to see. The best way to frame yourself is to have the camera right at eye-level. This may require placing your laptop on a stack of books, or securing your phone to a tripod. An improvised stand will do fine, as long as it’s stable enough that it won’t tumble to the ground mid-interview! Another important aspect of looking good on camera is lighting. Diffuse, natural light is generally the most flattering, so if you can, take the interview facing a window. If this is not possible, make sure that the room’s primary light source is in front of you, not behind you. Lights in front of you will illuminate your face, whereas lights behind you will make your face dark and difficult to see. If the lamps in your room aren’t ideally placed, move them for the interview. Placing a couple lamps behind the laptop or on either side of the webcam will give you the complimentary studio lighting you need. ## Allow no distractions It is important to be sure that your interview environment is distraction-free. The interview should not take place in a coffee shop or in a high-traffic area of your house. Any interruption could derail the interview and distract you from the task at hand. Further, interruptions may appear unprofessional, and you are trying to make a good first impression. Find a quiet room in your house. Close the window to block as much traffic noise as possible. Make sure that everyone who you live with knows that you’re doing an interview, and post a sign on the (closed) door that reminds them not to disturb you. If your roommate has a particularly yappy dog, ask them to take it for a walk for the duration of the interview. Close any apps that you are not using, and set all devices to Do Not Disturb mode so that you don’t get any irritating notifications. Anything you can do to ensure silence is worth doing! ## Dress the part If your interview comes during a stretch of unemployment, you might have fallen out of the habit of dressing for the day, but when the interview comes it’s time to take off your PJs and put on some office-appropriate clothes. Just because the interview takes place in your home doesn’t mean you can dress casually. The old rule of dressing for a job interview still applies: wear clothes one level better than you would have to wear for the job’s day-to-day. Make sure your hair is neat. A tie, a nice blouse, or a blazer can all do wonders for your presentability, and don’t forget the pants—the camera might not show them at first, but you never know if you’ll have to stand up during the interview to grab something you forgot. ## Be conscious of your body language For the most part, your body language should be the same on camera as it is in person. Keep your back straight, smile when appropriate, and try to appear friendly and at-ease. Don’t fidget or make any unnecessary noises—drumming your fingers on the table, even quietly, could be picked up by a laptop mic. If you are in a computer chair, don’t be tempted to swivel back and forth when you’re thinking. One important thing to remember when on video is to look at the camera when speaking, rather than the monitor. When you look directly at the camera lens, you will appear to your interviewer to be making eye contact. Don’t be tempted to look in the feed at your own face while talking. You can look at the screen when your interviewer is talking, as you want to be able to see their body language and demeanor, but when you are speaking, look at the lens. ## Master the mute button Any sudden noises will be picked up by your microphone. If you have to cough or sneeze, quickly mute your mic so that your interviewer doesn’t get an earful in their headphones. If you are not the one speaking, you can also use the mute button to block unavoidable outside noise, like a truck backing up or a plane overhead (though if you are speaking at the time of the interruption, it may be better to acknowledge the noise and wait until your interviewers are able to hear you again to keep speaking). You should also make sure to mute your microphone if you have to type something, as the click-clacking of keys will be very loud on the other end, but it is better not to type at all—keep your keyboard note-taking to a minimum. ## Have your notes and resume ready As with an in-person interview, you should have your resume and any relevant documents with you when the interview begins. This way, if a question requires you to refer back to a certain item on your resume or a specific portfolio item, you will be able to reach for it without rooting around in your backpack. One advantage a video interview has over an in-person interview is that you can keep notes nearby relatively inconspicuously. The interviewer can’t see what you are reading, so it is acceptable to have a few more papers on your desk at home than you would typically bring to a face-to-face meeting. This does not mean that you can simply read from a script; it’s just an opportunity to remind yourself of a few key points. The best way to read from notes without drawing attention is to use sticky notes. By placing sticky notes around your monitor or webcam, you can flick your eyes a few inches to the side to read a note instead of down at your lap. If you do this subtly, the interviewer won’t even notice that you have notes at all. If there is a specific point you want to make, or a particular anecdote that you want to remember, place a sticky note in front of you so you don’t forget. ## Practice Preparing questions and practicing is integral to any successful interview, but there are nuances to a video interview not present in face-to-face meetings. You will be on camera, and it is important to know what you look and sound like on video to ensure that you are making the best possible impression. Fortunately, the presence of the camera also means you can record yourself and review your performance. When you’re practicing your answers to expected interview questions before the interview, record yourself on your webcam, ideally in the same location and clothes that you will use for the real interview. This way, you will be able to watch the recording and preview the acoustics of the room, see how your interview clothes look on camera, and ensure that the lighting and sound quality is good. Keep an eye out for any nervous fidgeting, and make sure you’re making adequate eye contact. ## Remember that the standard interview rules still apply You may not need to practice your handshake, but otherwise the standard rules of a face-to-face interview apply to the video interview as well. Remember to be polite, punctual, and prepared. Research the company beforehand, and be sure that you understand the role that you are applying for. You should have answers ready for any common interview questions, and be ready to give an elevator pitch for your skills and abilities. The interview may seem less formal because it is not in an office, but it will require just as much preparation as a regular interview (if not more).
  • What Not to Wear to a Job Interview

    Making a good impression during an interview and understanding what not to wear can increase your chances of getting a job offer. The clothes you wear to an interview usually have an effect on the hiring manager, so it’s important to make sure you pick professional attire. Follow the tips in this article to learn more about what not to wear to your next interview. ## Why is dressing professionally for an interview important? When you dress professionally for a job interview, you show the employer that you respect them and their time. Though your clothing may not directly relate to the job you’re interviewing for, it can still affect the interviewer’s perception of you. Wearing clean, neat clothing gives off an organized, tidy appearance that hiring managers may seek. Your attire often reflects your personality. While you want to show off some of your personality during the interview, there are still some general rules to follow when you pick out your interview outfit. Finding the right balance can help you make a positive impression while allowing the focus to remain on the interview. ## What not to wear to an interview Here is some apparel you should avoid wearing to your interview: **Too many accessories** Avoid wearing too many accessories to an interview. Too many rings, bracelets or necklaces could make your appearance seem busy. Similarly, big or bright accessories can be distracting. Opt for only a few pieces of modest jewelry and accessories. **Strong fragrances** Strong fragrances can distract interviewers, and many people are allergic to certain ingredients in perfumes and colognes. You can avoid wearing fragrance all together or keep it minimal so your interviewer can focus on your answers. **Flashy clothing** Flashy clothing can seem out of place in an interview setting. Avoid bright colors and large patterns unless the rest of your outfit is modest. For example, you could wear a bright shirt or blouse under a navy, brown or black blazer. Avoid wearing clothing that is too tight as well. **Casual attire** Even if the company dress code is casual, it’s best to give a positive impression by wearing professional attire. Avoid t-shirts, shorts, sneakers and workout attire. Hoodies, sweatshirts and any clothing with words on them are also best left in your closet. If a hiring manager informs you that you can wear business casual clothing, you can opt for khakis or chinos, a button-down shirt or nice blouse and a blazer or sweater. You don’t need to wear a tie for business-casual dress, but it can make a good impression. You can button your shirt up to the collar or unbutton the top button for a more casual look. **Headphones** If you wear headphones to listen to music or podcasts during your commute to the interview, make sure to put them in your bag before you enter the building. Keeping headphones around your neck can make you seem distracted. **Excessive piercings or tattoos** Some traditional employers may prefer candidates with few piercings and no visible tattoos. If possible, wear clothing that covers any tattoos to let interviewers focus only on the discussion. Don’t wear more than one set of modest earrings, and switch any other piercings for studs or retainers. **Dated clothing** Outdated clothing can make candidates seem like they’re also out of date in their industry. Avoid clothing that’s noticeably out of date, like large shoulder pads, pleated pants or jackets with wide lapels. You can wear classic pieces that never go out of style, like a trench coat or well-fitted, dark-colored, straight-leg pants. **Sandals** Avoid wearing any type of sandals to an interview. It’s a business standard to not wear sandals in the workplace, and even most casual offices have a rule against this footwear. Leather or suede, close-toed shoes are best in most situations. **Stained or wrinkled clothing** Stained or wrinkled clothing can make a candidate seem disorganized. Stains can also be distracting during an interview. It’s important to inspect your clothes for stains or wrinkles before you leave your house. Trying an outfit on can help you notice any spots. Avoid wearing light clothing if possible since it’s easy to see stains on them. **Attire with holes** Don’t wear any clothing with holes or patches, which can seem unprofessional. Check for holes and any excessive wear in your shoes too. If necessary, take the time to polish or clean your shoes the night before. **Ill-fitting clothing** Clothing that doesn’t fit you right can make you feel uncomfortable, which isn’t something you should worry about during an interview. Wear your outfit for a while the night before your interview to ensure you can feel comfortable. If you plan to wear a pair of shoes you don’t wear often, practice walking in them until you’re confident with your steps. **Hats** Hats of any kind shouldn’t be part of your interview outfit. If you wear a hat during your commute, make sure you take it off and place it in your bag before entering the building. Since wearing a hat can change the appearance of your hair, it’s best to avoid them on your interview day altogether. **Unkempt hair** If your hair is tangled or disheveled, it can give you a disorganized appearance. If your hair hides most of your face, interviewers can find it distracting. Make sure to comb your hair or pull it back, and keep any facial hair neatly groomed. **Ankle or athletic socks** Don’t wear ankle socks that show any of your legs. You should also avoid athletic socks. Find socks that cover your leg when you sit down and cross your legs. It’s best to wear socks that are the same color scheme as your shoes or pants, though you can wear bright or patterned socks for a flash of color. **Cell phone** Keep your cell phone out of sight as soon as you enter the building. Make sure it’s silent or turned off until you leave. If you want something to do while you’re in reception or waiting for the interview to start, review any notes or questions you want to ask for final preparation. ## Tips for finding an interview outfit Here are some tips for finding a good interview outfit: - Check affordable stores for new clothing. If you’re applying for jobs where you’ll have a casual dress code or need to wear a uniform, you may not need a lot of professional attire. When you only need one or two professional interview outfits, look for clothing in stores within your price range. You can also search for sales for additional savings. - Search vintage and thrift stores. Vintage and thrift stores often have classic clothing that you can wear to an interview. You can also choose separate pieces to pair with a more modern article of clothing that you already have. - Borrow clothing. Ask a friend or family member if you can borrow a professional outfit if you don’t have anything in your closet. This can be a good option if buying new clothing isn’t in your budget. Remember what you shouldn’t wear when you’re searching for your interview outfit.
  • How to Recognize Signs of a Bad Interview

    You may wonder how you did after an interview as you wait for an employer to get back to you. At first, it can be unclear as to how well you did if little to no feedback is given during the interview. This article discusses signs that indicate a poor interview and tips that can help you succeed during your next interview. ## Common signs that an interview didn’t go well If you are unsure of how your recent interview went, here are some signs that may help you decide if the interview went poorly: **The interviewer seemed distracted or disinterested** It is never a good thing if your interviewer shows their distraction or disinterest. They may display this by walking around the room, texting, checking email or by staring somewhere other than in your general direction while you speak. **They hardly discuss your accomplishments, goals or achievements** Typically, employers want to know more about your goals and accomplishments especially if you fit the job they are hiring for. When hardly any discussion about these things happens, the employer may have decided they aren’t interested in you as a candidate any longer. **Eye contact is minimal** Participation in an engaging conversation or interview typically involves some eye contact, although there may be occasional glances towards interview notes for reference. Their attention may be located elsewhere such as their computer, your outfit or some other item they may find more interesting. **They frequently contradict you** Sometimes contradictions to your answers to challenge you and to see if you can keep up with the interviewer. However, if they are making you feel unintelligent and purposely antagonizing you, this is a sign that they don’t want to hire you and are probably just wasting time. **Details about the position or company are not discussed** Interested employers tell you about the position and provide an overview of their company’s vision, mission and values. If they don’t give you this information then they may not care if you are a good fit or not. **The interview is cut short** When your interview ends abruptly, it can be a sign that the interview didn’t go well and that they aren’t going to hire you. The interview may end because of an emergency, but if this is the case the interviewer should let you know. A short interview is typically considered anything less than 30 minutes. **It seems like your answers aren’t being carefully considered** If the interviewer is interested in your answers, they typically consider your answers thoughtfully. They may even ask follow up questions to your answers in order to further clarify what you mean or to discuss the answer in further detail. If they make you repeat yourself or they simply move on to the next question without commentary, they may not be interested in you for the position. **They bring up other candidates and their qualifications** The interviewer should not bring up other candidates if they are only interested in hiring you. They may be hinting towards your lack of experience or qualification for the job if they mention other qualified candidates. **There was no effort made to sell you on the company** The purpose of an interview is not only for you to sell yourself but for the company to sell themselves to you. Interviewers that are interested in you typically discuss all the company has to offer and they make the benefits and company culture seem appealing to you so you want to work for them. **They didn’t smile** An interviewer may smile or get excited about some of your answers if they feel a connection with you or believe that you are a good candidate for the job. They may lack excitement and enthusiasm if they don’t like you or what you have to offer. **You felt little to no connection with the interviewer** One of your goals, when you interview, should be to build rapport with the hiring manager and to familiarize yourself with them to make a connection. If there is no connection or you struggle to find a connection with them, then the interview may have gone poorly and they may choose to select another candidate. **They made you aware of their concerns** Sometimes interviewers may voice their concerns about how you may fit within a position or the company. For example, they may say, ‘Your educational background is impressive, but I’m concerned about your lack of on-the-job experience. This position requires someone with the ability to do the work quickly and efficiently.’ You may always convince them of your abilities, but they may have already decided that you are not the right candidate to choose for the position. **They interrupt your answers** Interviewers that interrupt you while you are speaking are a bad sign. This may mean that your answers are too lengthy, they aren’t interested in what you are saying or that you aren’t communicating clearly. **You’re not asked to provide your availability** An interviewer that wants to hire you may ask you what your availability is to see if it works for the open position. If they don’t ask you about your availability it could indicate that they don’t want to hire you since most employers want to know this information before the second interview to make sure there are no scheduling conflicts. **They don’t introduce you to other staff** Hiring managers that are excited to offer you a position may introduce you to the office staff members that are working close to your interview location. They do this to gauge what the other employees feel or think about you to begin the decision-making process to determine if you are the right candidate to hire. If you don’t get introduced to any of the office staff, then it might mean that your interview went badly. ## Tips to improve your next interview It is likely that you may have more opportunities to interview for other companies. Here are some tips that can help you improve your next interview: - **Prepare ahead of time**. The best way to cultivate interviewing confidence is by being prepared. Try looking up possible interview questions and practice your answers with a friend or family member. - **Plan your interview outfit well**. Try looking up appropriate interview attire for the job you are interested in. There may be some useful tips and guidelines about how you can present yourself in the best way possible. - **Show up a few minutes early**. Some interviewers may not give you a chance if you are not on time or a few minutes early. It is always best to be early to show that you are prompt and that you truly appreciate the job opportunity. - **Focus on listening**. Apply active listening by using verbal and non-verbal cues to show that you understand the questions and any other information the interviewer provides you. This may show your interviewer how attentive you are and that you are a good communicator. - **Make eye contact**. Making eye contact while you discuss your qualifications and answer questions can show your sincerity. Sometimes indirect eye contact can mean that what you’re saying is inaccurate or untrue. - **Research the company**. Conduct thorough research about the company and look into its mission, vision and values before your interview. Interviewers often ask what you know about the company and it may impress them if you discuss the information you know about the company including their achievements and any philanthropy.
  • How to Negotiate a Job Offer

    Job offer negotiations are an essential and expected part of finding a job because this process allows you to demonstrate the worth your expertise provides to a company. Knowing your worth can help you accurately present your qualifications and secure the compensation, benefits and other elements of a job offer that best match the value of your education and experience. If you are considering a job offer and you would like to negotiate pay or benefits, it may be helpful to review this article about how to negotiate job offers. ## What is a job offer negotiation? A job offer negotiation is a process of negotiating benefits, salary or other aspects of a potential job that you are interested in taking. Job offers are extended when a company wants you to become a member of their team. They tend to offer you a salary and benefits that they believe is fair. However, you may decide that you would like higher pay or different benefits. In this case, you would try to negotiate with the employer to meet your needs as well as theirs. ## What is part of a job offer? The part of a job offer is when you negotiate with a company for a good position, benefits and salary. The employment and role details are negotiating for pay or position appropriate for your skills and education or for more money or a more senior position. Other forms of compensation such as benefits can be a part of the negotiation during a Job offer. These negotiations are important to your career because they can give you a better salary or more seniority. To be successful in a job negotiation, you must know when to leverage your skills, education and experience for a better position and salary. ## How to negotiate during a job offer Consider these steps to help you to negotiate your job offer successfully: **1. First, decide how much money you need in a job offer negotiation** Assess how much money you need to live on and how much money you will need for retirement. Be realistic about a sustainable budget for your job offer negotiations, assessing how much you need for your current life requirements and retirement savings. **2. Second, determine how far you want to go in your career** Your final goal may be to learn enough from your career that you can start your own business or even become a CEO at the company. Having a clear idea of your career goals can put you in a strong position to negotiate a start to your career and the salary you earn. Having a good idea of where you want to go in your career and how much salary you need can give you a better career trajectory and a higher salary. **3. Third, assess what benefits you need and want** Some benefits you may want or need include medical, dental and vision insurance. Family leave and work from home flexibility are also benefits some companies offer. Some companies offer vacation, sick days and paid time off (PTO). Remember the importance of learning opportunities for your career and the effect it can have on your professional advancement. Tuition reimbursement is a benefit that some companies offer to give employees a career boost and create skilled workers for the company. **4. Fourth, research the average salary and benefits for your position** Research benefits in the context of the position, industry and area where you live. Your leadership experience, education level, years of industry experience, license or certifications, skills and current career level should make a difference in how you negotiate when discussing your salary and position. Asking other people working in your chosen industry for information can also be useful. Many companies don’t have salary or benefits information posted, so industry research is essential. Research can give you a stronger stance to negotiate for a better career start and salary. **5. Fifth, focus on position and salary** An employer wants to know what value you will bring in exchange for the career opportunity and the salary they offer. Focus on position and salary rather than your personal reasons for a particular stance in job offer negotiations. **6. Next, present value to your employer** When talking to the hiring manager, you can show your value to an employer by coming to a job offer negotiation with a list of knowledge and skills you have as well as previous work experience related to the position. Relate your knowledge, experience and skills to the job and the company culture when you are discussing a job negotiation with a hiring manager. Showing that your knowledge, experience and skills relate to the job and to the company can give you an edge in negotiations. **7. Then, accept the offer, make a counteroffer or reject the offer** When you accept an offer, ask what the next steps are to be hired. With making a counteroffer, be realistic about how much you can counteroffer based on the salary and benefits offered. Show the hiring manager why you are making the counteroffer based on your skills, knowledge and experience. Be firm and polite about how you can add value but be realistic when you reach an impasse because of an offer that does not meet your expectations, goals or needs. It is acceptable to walk away from a job offer negotiation that does not meet your criteria, does not follow industry standards in general or geographical-specific standards for the area, or that does not reflect your hard work to improve your education, knowledge and skills. **8. Finally, send a polite thank-you note or email to the hiring manager** Thank the manager for their consideration of the counteroffer. Keeping on good terms with hiring managers is essential to establish your credibility in your chosen industry.
  • Top Questions to Prepare for a Recruiter Interview

    Recruiting is a highly competitive field that requires candidates to have demonstrable skills in networking, customer care and sales, as well as human resources. For this reason, hiring managers ask recruiter candidates questions that help them display their knowledge and skill during the interview. By studying these recruiter interview questions, you can be better prepared for your next interview. ## What are recruiter interview questions? When hiring a recruiter, interview questions are likely centered around the skills required for the job. Recruiters are highly effective at asking interview questions and evaluating responses, as is required for the job. That means those interviewing to be part of a recruitment team should be prepared to navigate tough questions about their skills and abilities. **Examples of topics that candidates should be prepared to discuss during a recruiter interview:** - Recruitment experiences - Common recruitment practices - Industry information - Measuring success Recruiter interviews may also cover specific operational experiences, like comfort level with contract staffing or as a headhunter at a large recruitment firm. As a recruiter candidate, prepare by researching the firm you’re are applying to. While the questions in this article are geared at demonstrable recruiter experiences and skills, general questions like, ‘What do you know about us?’ can also be included in recruiter interview questions, so it’s important to prepare for both. ## Why do hiring managers ask recruiter interview questions? Recruiters are specialists in the hiring process. Therefore, interview questions for recruiters not only provide insight into skills and past experiences, but they can give a hiring manager an idea of a candidate’s comfort level with the whole process. Recruiters hiring other recruiters may pay more attention to things like body language and use of micro-expressions. They may apply the candidate’s answers to determine if they are a good fit for the organization, looking for things like confidence, passion and ambition, in addition to skill and experience. Recruiters may also expect other recruiters to be knowledgeable about current trends and technology in recruiting. By asking recruiter interview questions, they can determine who is the best, most knowledgeable and experienced candidate for the job. ## Common recruiter interview questions Here are some common interview questions that recruiters might ask candidates who are looking to join the recruitment team: **Describe your best client relationship and a client relationship that needs improvements** When an interviewer asks a question like this it helps them understand how you work with clients. In sales, some client relationships work really well and others are more challenging. However, understanding how to improve client relationships is an important part of the job, and that means knowing where improvements can be made. Answer this question by being positive and offering a good client relationship and a client relationship you’ve improved upon. **Example: **‘My best client relationship is with Gold Star Manufacturers. When I began working on the business side of recruitment, I found I have a knack for picking up clients in industries that need labor and shift work. My client relationship that exemplifies improvement is with Morris Home Bank. When I first began working with them, I struggled to get out of the manufacturing labor mindset and working with a bank is very different. They have different staffing needs, but I was able to improve the relationship by listening to their needs and providing strategies for successfully recruiting professional candidates.’ **What recruiting industry trends are you most excited about?** This question helps the interviewer understand how aligned you are to the overall recruiting industry. Recruiters like candidates who seek out information from trusted sources and stay up-to-date on trends. Provide an impressive answer by speaking competently on at least one industry trend. **Example:** ‘I’m most excited about the trend of employment agencies to move toward embracing a truly people-first company culture. When firms do this, they are able to get their employees behind their mission and excited about meeting recruitment goals. I find offices that embrace a positive culture are more fun, competitive and successful, which is important in recruiting.’ **What’s your process for finding new business clients?** Recruiters are often responsible for two primary recruiting tasks. First, they find business clients who need candidates to staff empty positions. Second, they find candidates who are qualified for jobs. That means, in some cases, recruiters have to be knowledgeable about the processes that allow them to do both. This question seeks to understand how you work with business clients. Answer it by defining your process clearly. **Example:** ‘One way I like to seek out business clients is by going to professional awards ceremonies where businesses are being awarded for things like being ‘the fastest growing’ or ‘largest in the industry.’ I find these kinds of events offer pre-qualified clients that have the needs and desire to work with staffers. Then I network with the company leaders and engage them in a discussion, before offering my business card and getting theirs for follow up.’ **How do you find candidates?** When a recruiter asks you how you find candidates, they want to know what steps you take to secure qualified candidates. Answer this by providing examples of how you find candidates. **Example:** ‘I find qualified candidates by using social media and professional websites that connect me with new potential candidates. I have also used top-of-the-line recruiting software, like client databases, to make connections, as well as networking.’ **Tell me what you like best about working as a recruiter** This question gets to the core of a candidate’s passion for the profession. Recruiters want to hire positive, passionate recruiting candidates who will be an excellent fit for the company’s culture. Answer this question by emphasizing what you love about the profession. **Example:** ‘My favorite thing about working as a recruiter is all of the people I get to interact with every day. As an extrovert, I really enjoy working with people. And working with both business professionals seeking candidates and candidates seeking work is very rewarding.’ ## Tips for recruiter candidates Here are some things that a hiring manager might be mindful of while interviewing a candidate for a recruiter role: - Whether or not the candidate arrives early and values time-management skills and maintaining a calendar - If the candidate practices effective networking by exchanging contact information with business cards or other methods - The candidate’s appearance as a signal for their level of professionalism Since recruiters should be knowledgeable about the hiring process walking into the interview, hiring managers may consider things like how well prepared a candidate is for the interview and if they understand the kinds of things that a candidate needs to do to be more impressive.
  • Popular Team Leader Interview Questions With Example Answers

    Team leaders applying for a new position must be able to effectively demonstrate their ability to lead during interviews. There are a few different types of leadership questions to consider, and being familiar with these types of questions as well as various examples of common team leader questions can ensure you are as prepared as possible to answer interview questions. Here you will learn what team leader interview questions are, the different types of leadership questions you may encounter during an interview and the most commonly ask team leader interview questions to prepare for. ## What are team leader interview questions? Team leader interview questions are questions that allow the hiring manager to assess a person’s leadership abilities. These questions can vary greatly but typically focus on assessing the soft skills that a candidate possesses. Leadership questions will often require candidates to provide examples of how they handled a particular situation in their previous work history that directly demonstrates some aspect of their capabilities as a leader. ## Are there different types of team leader interview questions? Here are the most frequently used types of leadership interview questions: **Behavioral interview questions** Behavioral questions are asked to determine how a person would behave in a certain situation. These questions, which also may be referred to as competency-based interview questions, involve asking a candidate to describe how they handled a specific situation in their career. For example, a leadership behavioral question may be ‘tell us about a time when you had to give a team member negative feedback and how you handled the situation’. **Operational or situational interview questions** These types of interview questions often involve providing a candidate with a hypothetical situation and then asking them to describe how they would handle that situation as a leader. **Role-specific questions** Role-specific interview questions are used to determine if a candidate can perform the job that they are applying for. For example, an interviewer may ask a role-specific question such as ‘how do you determine each team member’s goals for a project and then keep track of their progress?’ ## Popular team leader questions to prepare before an interview The following are popular questions asked during a team leader interview: **What leadership experience do you have?** Interviewers want to know that you have experience in a leadership position. Depending on the job that you are applying for, the hiring manager may be looking for several years of experience or they may want to simply know that you have been exposed to leader-level responsibilities in your previous roles. Your answer should describe specific instances of leadership and mention any job titles that were at a managerial level or higher. **Example**: ‘In my previous position, I was in charge of leading a team of three writers that were assigned to complete a newsletter every two weeks. In this role, I had to determine each team member’s skills and then assign tasks according to their abilities. I also had to ensure tasks were completed on time and were ready for production when submitted. Due to my success in this role, I was promoted to managing a team of six writers and eventually oversaw more than 15 writers at a time.’ **Describe your ideal manager.** This kind of question allows your interviewer to get a better idea of your opinion on what effective leadership looks like. When answering this question, be specific about the practices that your ideal manager utilizes as well as their particular leadership style. **Example**: ‘My ideal manager would be a person who practices and values open communication with team members and other employees. They would ensure that employees are comfortable coming to them with issues or concerns and take the time to fully understand why a team member feels or acts a certain way. Additionally, my ideal manager would ensure that team members were recognized for their successes rather than only noticed when they make mistakes.’ **How do you assess success in the workplace?** Hiring managers often ask questions like this to analyze how a person asserts their self-knowledge in a leadership position. These types of questions give you the opportunity to demonstrate the leadership qualities that are being sought after for the position, such as motivation and drive. When answering this question, be sure that you show you care about the success of others and are committed to recognizing their successes as well as helping team members meet their goals. **Example**: ‘I believe that each person demonstrates success in a different way and each role within a company will have a different definition of what success looks like. With that being said, team members who meet goals on time, are actively participating in team projects and are willing to be helpful whenever possible are successful in my eyes. I have also learned that when my team is not as successful as they could be, I need to first take a look at myself and how I am leading them before taking steps to help team members be more successful at work.’ **How do you handle disagreements that arise between your team members?** Successful teams are often successful because they have an effective leader in place. As an effective leader, you should be able to quell disagreements and ensure that everyone on the team is working towards one goal. When answering this question, be sure to specify how you would handle this challenging situation in a way that would both resolve the conflict as well as encourage team members to get back on track in the right direction. **Example**: ‘Disagreements among team members, while not ideal, are often a common part of a healthy team. Being willing to disagree with someone shows that the team member cares about what they do and have an opinion. When a disagreement arises, I would call a team meeting in which the individuals can describe their points of view and feel understood. I would then help them reach a compromise in which both team members can agree upon. If no compromise can be negotiated, I would handle the situation by implementing my own solution and make it clear as to why I chose that solution.’
  • Common Tricky Interview Questions With Example Answers

    Preparation is the key to success in any interview. Though it’s wise to spend a substantial amount of time researching career-specific interview questions, you can rehearse answers to tricky interview questions as well. Learn what tricky interview questions are and why interviewers ask them and review some examples of confusing interview questions with sample answers. ## What are tricky interview questions? Tricky interview questions are confusing or seemingly random questions that are designed to startle a candidate. They can range from difficult questions about your career to inquiries about the number of windows in a major city. ## Why do interviewers ask tricky interview questions? Interviewers ask tricky questions to evaluate your thought process and problem-solving skills when faced with a difficult situation. They want to know how you handle the unexpected and uncomfortable. ## Common confusing questions to prepare for before an interview Here is a list of tricky interview questions along with sample answers. **Everyone exaggerates about something on their resume. What did you embellish?** This question is hoping to coax you into admitting that you have misled hiring managers with the information on your resume. It’s important to remain truthful on your resume and cover letter so that you can provide an honest answer to this tricky question. **Example**: I have complete confidence that my abilities and experience are accurately depicted in my resume, cover letter, and portfolio. If you’d like, I can answer any questions regarding the information I’ve presented. You are free to confirm those details by contacting any of my listed references. **Describe your dream job** This question is often used to evaluate a candidate’s commitment to the role they are applying for. When answering, it’s a good idea to connect the job you are applying for to your dream position by highlighting the opportunities for you to learn and grow. Adversely, if the position you are applying for is your dream job, make that clear with your answer. **Example**: I have always dreamed of working in advertising as a creative director, and I know that a junior art director role, like this one, with an agency that has so much recognition, is the perfect place for me to begin my career path. **What aspects of the job description sound the most difficult and why?** Interviewers ask this to assess whether your strengths are able to match the needs of the company. As with your resume, it is wise to remain as truthful as possible about your capabilities, but you can counteract any discrepancies by communicating that you welcome challenges and actively search for opportunities to develop your skills. **Example**: A majority of my experience as a graphic designer has been spent developing ad campaigns, flyers, and logos. I’m less familiar with designing websites, but I have been actively searching for a chance to grow my skills in this area. **What will your references likely say about you and your work?** Hiring managers want to see if you’ll offer any details that could indicate a negative past experience or inability to fill your position. Remember that your references have agreed to vouch for you and are likely planning to speak positively about you and your professional abilities. **Example**: I really enjoyed working with every reference that I provided, and I’m sure that they feel the same way. I accomplished a lot while working with them, and we have developed meaningful professional relationships. **Where do you hope to be in five years?** Employers want to know that you are committed to your career and the role that you are interviewing for. Even if you are uncertain if you will be working for the same company in five years, your answer can demonstrate a commitment to the industry or field. To communicate a dedication to your professional development, it’s a good idea to provide a few specific things that you hope to achieve. **Example**: In five years, I hope to be working in this industry but in a position that holds more responsibility. I hope that my determination to continuously learn and grow will help me continue to develop into an expert in my field while remaining challenged and fulfilled. **Why do you want to work for this company?** This question is trying to gauge whether you have researched the organization and are eager to join their team. Try to focus your answer on the company’s mission and values. After you have outlined why you want to work at the company, talk about your interest in the role you are interviewing for. **Example**: This company is invested in things that I’m passionate about. It would be an honor to work at a place that is so committed to creating excellent products that help the environment. I think that this position would be a wonderful chance for me to help the company reach its goals. **If you could work anywhere, which company would you want to work for?** Interviewers want to evaluate your interest in their company and some of the other places you may be applying to. Avoid mentioning other companies and focus on illustrating how their company is your primary choice. **Example**: I’ve spent a lot of time researching places that I might want to work. This company aligned with my goals, values, and mission the most. I think this work environment would be great for me and that I could add value to this team. **What is your biggest weakness?** An interviewer wants to evaluate your self-awareness and determination to overcome your biggest challenges. Though it’s okay to name a few areas that could use improvement, frame them as opportunities to grow. **Example**: I’m extremely detail-oriented, which often translates into perfectionism. My work is usually high-quality because of it. Still, it can cause me to become obsessed with inconsequential details and spend more time on a task than I should. I’ve been working on this by experimenting with productivity and time management strategies. **Are you considering any other roles that are similar to this one?** This question is intended to discover your professional goals as well as where else you are applying. Avoid naming specific companies. Focus on the skills and interests that are relevant to the position you are interviewing for. **Example**: Yes, I’m looking for opportunities in this field that match this job description. I’m passionate about this type of work, and I feel that the details of this particular position really match my interests and experience. **Are you the kind of person who works while on vacation?** This question can be tricky because you want to appear dedicated to your work and create healthy boundaries. Emphasize that while you are committed to your work, you understand you can only be effective if you take care of your well-being. **Example**: I’m willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish my goals, but I take my vacation time seriously. I know that it is the key to my professional growth and success. I avoid working while on vacation, but I always take care of my responsibilities before I leave and assure my manager that I can be reached during emergencies.
  • “Why Should We Hire You?” - 10 Best Answers for 2021

    Job interviews can be daunting. You will find yourself sitting in a room with the hiring manager, having to answer tough questions about your experience and qualifications for the position you are seeking with the company. Throughout the interview, it’s important to deliver specific examples as often as you can. The more concrete examples you can give, the better you will be able to showcase your value to the hiring manager. That brings me to one of the most challenging interview questions you could potentially face: **Why should we hire you?** During the interview process, it is nearly inevitable that you will be asked to answer the question, “Why should we hire you?” At this moment, you need to proceed with caution. After all, you are comparing yourself to other candidates and trying to set yourself apart from these unknown personas without seeming too boastful. You don’t want to risk derailing the interview process by talking too much and sounding like a show-off. The hiring manager is gauging your response to determine if you are the perfect person for this job. When asked, “why should we hire you?”, tread lightly and have a few different answers prepared in advance. While the question might be archaic and intimidating, it is a favorite question among hiring managers, so it's important to be well-prepared. Read the full job description in detail and think of a few skills that make you uniquely qualified to perform the job duties. While you cannot possibly know the qualifications of other applicants, now is the time to sell yourself and state the things that make you the best fit for the job. Before showing you how to answer: “why should we hire you?”, let’s explore some possible pitfalls and things to avoid when describing why you should be hired for a position. Don’t just respond with a generic answer like, “I’m smart, qualified and I want this job.” Of course, you do, or you wouldn’t be sitting in this interview. It’s almost certain that every other candidate is going to be saying nearly the same thing. You need to be unique and separate yourself from the talent pool. Otherwise, you risk falling into the same category as everyone else, which is what you're trying to avoid in the interview. While you don't want to sound like an overconfident show-off, now is the time to brag about your skills and experiences humbly. It's great to list some bullet points that you will want to emphasize in advance and prepare a few responses to this question. Don’t memorize a script but proper preparation will set you apart. Avoid talking too much in your response, just state the qualifications you want to convey and move on. The more you continue to blubber about yourself, the more likely you will lose the interest of the hiring manager, and they will move on to another candidate. This is your sales pitch to show the hiring manager you’re ready to do the job. Think clearly and prepare with vigor and you will be decorating your new desk in no time. Here are some examples to help you craft your response to this common interview question: **Why Should We Hire You Answer - Example #1** That's a great question! You have a slight advantage over me since you know what you're looking for and I am still learning about your company. From what I've learned, it sounds like you are looking for someone who will be able to handle customer concerns quickly and effectively, is that accurate? (Assume the interviewer responds, “Yes.”) In that case, I'd like to tell you about a time where I handled a customer issue, and they walked away with renewed confidence in our capabilities and services. **Explanation**: When responding to this question, you always want to thank the interviewer for asking the question. This response poses a question back to the interviewer, which helps you get further clarification on what they are looking for. If you can confirm what they need in a candidate, you can then refer to a specific instance where you performed that job duty with a positive outcome. The more specific examples you can provide, the more memorable you will be to the hiring manager. **Why Should We Hire You - Example #2** This is a critical question in the process, thank you for asking. Based on what you've said today and from the research I've done, your company is looking for a skilled communicator and experienced marketer to grow your business and help your company stand out from the competition. At my previous company, I increased their activity by 24% by implementing targeted social media advertising. I will bring that innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to your company, and your success will be my top priority. **Explanation**: This response uses a specific percentage to demonstrate the candidate's ability to perform the job responsibilities effectively. The more descriptive and accurate you can get, the better your chances of landing the job. If you can show your direct impact on an organization, the hiring manager will remember that and will be more likely to recommend you for the position. **Why Should We Hire You - Example #3** I believe that my experience with technology, specifically in the web design space, make me the best match for this position. In my previous job, I was responsible for maintaining and updating our company website. This required keeping employee profiles updated and continuously posting information regarding upcoming events. I truly enjoyed what I was doing, which is what drew me to this position with your company. I would love to bring the coding and content skills I learned there to this position. **Explanation**: By highlighting your experience with a particular skill that the position requires, describe in detail what that experience looks like and how you have used it previously. This gives the hiring manager the chance to see some of your work and determine if it fits what they are looking for in a candidate. If this is your strongest skill, don't be afraid to say that in your interview. **Why Should We Hire You - Example #4** I’m glad you asked. You explained earlier that leadership qualities are a bonus for this position. In my 10 years of experience as a sales manager, I have effectively managed teams of over 15 people. I developed motivational skills that earned my region the “Region of the Year” five years in a row for consistently meeting and exceeding sales goals. I will bring those leadership abilities to this position. **Explanation**: Showing that you have “bonus” skills is a great way to separate yourself from the other candidates. If the hiring manager explicitly states that they are really looking for someone that also has certain skills, answering this question by showing you possess those skills will only strengthen your qualifications in the interviewer’s mind. **Why Should We Hire You - Example #5** The job listing states that you are looking for someone with patience and superior communication skills. While volunteering and holding an office for the Special Olympics, I learned how to be patient with the athletes and participants at our state’s Special Olympics. Coordinating the event helped me develop better communication and planning skills which are imperative when performing the responsibilities you described today. **Explanation**: When you don’t have a lot of experience in the industry you are applying to, you can use skills you learned while volunteering or in other aspects of your life to demonstrate how you are the best fit for this position. **Why Should We Hire You - Example #6** While I don’t know the experience of the other candidates, I can speak to the qualifications that make me the best fit for this position. After working in this same position with another organization for over eight years, I successfully managed a team of 12 in our marketing department where I was responsible for approving and managing budgets and developing creative campaigns. In fact, one campaign I oversaw generated a 14% increase in awareness among our target demographic. Now, I’m ready to spread my wings at a company of your size. **Explanation**: Setting up your response by immediately calling out your inability to respond directly to the experience of your competition gives you a look of transparency and earns you credibility with the interviewer. In addition to your experience, you can highlight why you are interested in this position with this company. This response demonstrates the candidate's passion for the industry because, after eight years, they are still looking to do the same job, but in a larger capacity. **Why Should We Hire You - Example #7** As a recent college graduate, I know that what I'm lacking is career experience. However, the qualifications that I bring cannot be measured by traditional experience. After holding offices in four different organization and managing a full course load with a job at the university's admissions office, I learned how to multitask and prioritize responsibilities. In your fast-paced organization, the ability to effectively prioritize is a significant component of success. **Explanation**: By stating your lack of experience right off the bat, you can get that out of the way and focus on what you can bring to this position. Without a lot of direct skills and knowledge, highlighting soft skills like prioritization, communications or leadership can serve you well in the interview process. If this is an entry-level position, those soft skills will make you more appealing to the hiring manager. **Why Should We Hire You - Example #8** For starters, I have all the skills and experience listed in the job description, and I'm confident that I can make an immediate impact on your company. It's not just my background in leading successful projects for Fortune 500 companies, but also my passion for the industry that drives me to succeed. If chosen for this role, I will continue to deliver high-quality work for the continued success of your organization. **Explanation**: While this response is a bit generic, it conveys a high level of confidence and positivity which are essential qualifications for an experienced professional looking for a high-ranking position. With the assumption that this candidate has already discussed the specifics of their experience in earlier interview questions, it's okay to be a little more generic here. **Why Should We Hire You - Example #9** I’m glad you asked. With over 15 years of leadership experience in the agency world, I will bring my creative, motivational and strategic marketing skills to the client side with your company. While I don’t have direct experience working in a corporate environment, I have delivered results above and beyond the ask from my clients in the agency where I’ve been a key stakeholder for over 20 years. **Explanation**: This candidate who is switching industries can focus on their leadership and strategic marketing skills to transfer over to a new company. Stating the tenure and critical leadership role at your most recent position can demonstrate loyalty and the ability to adapt over the years. Leadership is always a skill that can be transferred between industries. **Why Should We Hire You - Example #10** I know you have a big decision ahead of you and for that, I am not envious. In our discussion today, I hope I've demonstrated my understanding of the financial markets and analysis along with my passion for carbonated beverages. I'd love nothing more than to join your team here and grow this business unit. **Explanation**: If you’ve already had a lengthy discussion about the position and your qualifications, this question may be best answered by showing empathy and reiterating your passion for the company and your experience as it relates to the position. You can also ask the interviewer if there is any part of your qualifications they would like to expand upon. The interview process can be filled with speed bumps and landmines. Don't let the question of, “Why should we hire you?” trip you up along the way. The hiring manager is trying to find out why they should hire you over the others waiting to be interviewed, and if there are a lot of candidates, this response could make or break your interview. Study these examples, pick out your unique qualifications as they relate to the position, be prepared, and you will ace the interview.
  • Popular Team Leader Interview Questions With Example Answers

    Team leaders applying for a new position must be able to effectively demonstrate their ability to lead during interviews. There are a few different types of leadership questions to consider, and being familiar with these types of questions as well as various examples of common team leader questions can ensure you are as prepared as possible to answer interview questions. Here you will learn what team leader interview questions are, the different types of leadership questions you may encounter during an interview and the most commonly ask team leader interview questions to prepare for. ## What are team leader interview questions? Team leader interview questions are questions that allow the hiring manager to assess a person’s leadership abilities. These questions can vary greatly but typically focus on assessing the soft skills that a candidate possesses. Leadership questions will often require candidates to provide examples of how they handled a particular situation in their previous work history that directly demonstrates some aspect of their capabilities as a leader. ## Are there different types of team leader interview questions? Here are the most frequently used types of leadership interview questions: **Behavioral interview questions** Behavioral questions are asked to determine how a person would behave in a certain situation. These questions, which also may be referred to as competency-based interview questions, involve asking a candidate to describe how they handled a specific situation in their career. For example, a leadership behavioral question may be ‘tell us about a time when you had to give a team member negative feedback and how you handled the situation’. **Operational or situational interview questions** These types of interview questions often involve providing a candidate with a hypothetical situation and then asking them to describe how they would handle that situation as a leader. **Role-specific questions** Role-specific interview questions are used to determine if a candidate can perform the job that they are applying for. For example, an interviewer may ask a role-specific question such as ‘how do you determine each team member’s goals for a project and then keep track of their progress?’ ## Popular team leader questions to prepare before an interview The following are popular questions asked during a team leader interview: **What leadership experience do you have?** Interviewers want to know that you have experience in a leadership position. Depending on the job that you are applying for, the hiring manager may be looking for several years of experience or they may want to simply know that you have been exposed to leader-level responsibilities in your previous roles. Your answer should describe specific instances of leadership and mention any job titles that were at a managerial level or higher. **Example:** ‘In my previous position, I was in charge of leading a team of three writers that were assigned to complete a newsletter every two weeks. In this role, I had to determine each team member’s skills and then assign tasks according to their abilities. I also had to ensure tasks were completed on time and were ready for production when submitted. Due to my success in this role, I was promoted to managing a team of six writers and eventually oversaw more than 15 writers at a time.’ **Describe your ideal manager.** This kind of question allows your interviewer to get a better idea of your opinion on what effective leadership looks like. When answering this question, be specific about the practices that your ideal manager utilizes as well as their particular leadership style. **Example:** ‘My ideal manager would be a person who practices and values open communication with team members and other employees. They would ensure that employees are comfortable coming to them with issues or concerns and take the time to fully understand why a team member feels or acts a certain way. Additionally, my ideal manager would ensure that team members were recognized for their successes rather than only noticed when they make mistakes.’ **How do you assess success in the workplace?** Hiring managers often ask questions like this to analyze how a person asserts their self-knowledge in a leadership position. These types of questions give you the opportunity to demonstrate the leadership qualities that are being sought after for the position, such as motivation and drive. When answering this question, be sure that you show you care about the success of others and are committed to recognizing their successes as well as helping team members meet their goals. **Example:** ‘I believe that each person demonstrates success in a different way and each role within a company will have a different definition of what success looks like. With that being said, team members who meet goals on time, are actively participating in team projects and are willing to be helpful whenever possible are successful in my eyes. I have also learned that when my team is not as successful as they could be, I need to first take a look at myself and how I am leading them before taking steps to help team members be more successful at work.’ **How do you handle disagreements that arise between your team members?** Successful teams are often successful because they have an effective leader in place. As an effective leader, you should be able to quell disagreements and ensure that everyone on the team is working towards one goal. When answering this question, be sure to specify how you would handle this challenging situation in a way that would both resolve the conflict as well as encourage team members to get back on track in the right direction. **Example:** ‘Disagreements among team members, while not ideal, are often a common part of a healthy team. Being willing to disagree with someone shows that the team member cares about what they do and have an opinion. When a disagreement arises, I would call a team meeting in which the individuals can describe their points of view and feel understood. I would then help them reach a compromise in which both team members can agree upon. If no compromise can be negotiated, I would handle the situation by implementing my own solution and make it clear as to why I chose that solution.’
  • Signs You Got the Job After an Interview

    While it’s good to be realistic in your expectations after a job interview, there are a few subtle signs you can look for that may indicate your interview went well. After an interview, you may feel anxious as you wait to hear back from the hiring manager about their decision. In this article, you can discover the signs that might indicate you got the job you interviewed for. ## Signs an interview may have gone well You can tell your interview may have gone well if you notice any of these signs: **The interviewer uses definitive rather than vague language** Interviewers typically use vague language throughout the interview process intentionally to prevent a candidate from getting their hopes up for a job offer. But if they feel strongly that you are the right person for the position, they may unintentionally switch from using vague language to using more definitive language. **Examples of an interviewer using definitive language instead of vague language:** - Saying ‘when you begin’ instead of saying ‘if you are chosen’ - Saying ‘you will be expected to’ instead of saying ‘the person we hire will be expected to’ - Saying ‘you will be working with’ instead of saying ‘the person in this position will be working with’ **The interviewer says they like what they hear** Sometimes, an interviewer will be even more direct and specifically tell you that they like what you have said during the interview. Throughout the interview, you can listen for signs the interviewer agrees with what you are saying in your responses. The more the interviewer likes your answers to their questions, the more likely you are to receive an offer for the job. Sometimes the interviewer makes it very clear that they like your response. For example, they may respond with a statement like ‘those are the same qualities we’re looking for in a candidate’ after you answer a question about your strengths. They may also use more subtle statements such as occasionally saying ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ in response to your answers. **The interviewer’s body language indicates they like you** Even if an interviewer is really good at keeping their language vague and not making statements that show they like what you are saying, their body language may indicate that they like you. **Examples of a few good indicators that could be a sign that the interviewer likes you:** - Maintaining direct eye contact - Shaking or nodding their head in approval - Smiling throughout the interview - Leaning in closer to you While these signs could just be the interviewer being polite and professional, they may also be an indication that they like what you are saying and think you are a good candidate for the position. **You receive an invite for another interview** Receiving an invitation to participate in another round of interviews is usually a good sign that the phone screener or initial interviewer was impressed by you. Recruiters and hiring managers typically have a lot of candidates to consider, so being asked to participate in another round of interviews usually indicates they still think you are a good candidate as they narrow their candidate pool down. **The hiring manager tells you what’s great about the company** Interviews typically consist of the interviewer asking you a lot of questions to determine whether you meet their qualifications and will fit in with their culture. If you realize that the interviewer or hiring manager has switched from trying to make you prove you are a good fit for their company to trying to market the perks and benefits of working for their company to you, this could be a sign that you will receive a job offer. Interviewers and hiring managers may do this if they think you will receive multiple job offers and they want to make sure you choose to accept theirs. They may also do this to try to make sure you like their company just as much as they like you. **The conversation turns personal or casual** The majority of your interview will likely be professional while the interviewer tries to determine if you are a good fit for the position. But if the conversation turns personal or casual at some point during the interview, this could be a sign that the interviewer has already determined you are a good fit for the job and wants to learn more about your interests and hobbies to see if you are a good fit for their company. **The interviewer discusses compensation or benefits** Many companies will only begin to discuss compensation and benefits packages in detail with serious candidates. If the interviewer begins negotiating salary, telling you about the benefits the company offers or asking you what you would need to accept an offer from them, these are all good indicators that you may receive an offer. They may do this if they want to be sure the details in the job offer will be acceptable to you. **The interviewer discusses next steps** If the interviewer begins to discuss the next steps at the end of the interview, this could be a sign that you will likely hear from them again. This is particularly true if they begin to offer information about the next steps without you having to ask about them. This could include information about contacting your references, conducting a background check, choosing a start date or informing you of a time frame for when you should expect to hear back from them. **They give you a tour of the office and introduce you to other employees** If the interviewer offers to give you a tour of the office at the end of your interview, this is also a good sign that you may receive a job offer. Usually, they are offering to give you a tour because they want to make sure you will feel comfortable and know where to go when you begin working with them. Likewise, if they bring other employees, supervisors or managers into your interview for you to meet, or if they introduce you to them while giving you a tour of the office, this could also be a sign that you may receive a job offer. They normally do this when they want to make sure you feel welcome within their team. **The interview runs over its scheduled time** If the interviewer spends more time talking to you than the interview was scheduled for, this is also a good sign that they are considering giving you a job offer. Typically, interviewers will not spend a lot of time with candidates they know they are not interested in. The interviewer being willing to spend extra time with you is a good indicator that they are interested in learning as much about you as they can.
  • 15 Ways to Prepare and Succeed at Virtual Job Interviews

    Globally, COVID-19 has seen much of the workforce move from physical, face-to-face interaction to the virtual, online world. As a result, many job interviews are now being conducted virtually in Singapore. Recruiters and hiring managers will require candidates to get organised and prepared quick-smart, ensuring they are set up with the right technology and tools. FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram Live and Stories have helped us grow accustomed to communicating socially via screens (mainly on our mobile phones or tablets). But when it comes to job interviews, there are numerous additional considerations to be taken into account when preparing for your online job interview, whether it's through Skype, Zoom, or any other communication platform. Importantly, just because you are not physically present does not make the interview any less formal. So what are the common platforms used by recruiters and hiring managers when you can’t physically meet at an office or worksite? It’s essential to be familiar with these popular video interview platforms: - Skype - Zoom - Google Hangouts - Microsoft Teams A simple Google or YouTube search can provide you with a quick introduction, tour and tutorial of how these platforms work. By doing so, you’ll avoid any additional stress that comes with navigating new technology – you’re dealing with enough pressure for the interview as it is. ## Navigating virtual calls and video interviews: The Right Interview Setting It’s not as scary as you think. Many job seekers have said it’s more intimidating to meet face-to-face. Meeting in a comfortable and familiar environment at home can be a positive factor as you would have control over your surroundings. On the other hand, if you find that you don't have the proper setup at home for an online job interview, run through the following options: - Ask family or friend if you can interview at their place. - Ask a work colleague if they can lend you their laptop. - Reach out to your network for the use of their office’s spare meeting room - Research co-working spaces and one-time shared office facilities (this will come at a cost) Whether or not you’ve had a video interview before, our updated checklist (below) will help ensure your best chance at impressing your interviewer via video call. ## 15 Hot tips for video interviews 1. If you’re using your mobile phone, do not hold it in your hands in selfie mode. Find a way to prop it up either on a stand or shelf – and consider the camera angle. The interviewer should not be looking up your nose or seeing your side profile. 2. Conduct the interview indoors. Just because you have a mobile phone or laptop doesn’t mean you should do it at the beach or the park. 3. Don’t conduct your video interview on the couch. 4. Do a test run with a friend or family member. Check connection, lag, microphone, volume, lighting and outside noise. If you already know the platform used for the video interview, create an invite with a friend, and test that the web link or app opens up and connects successfully. 5. Your interview attire should be what you would otherwise wear to a face-to-face interview. Some candidates think that just because they’re at home means they can stay casually dressed. That will not bode well with the recruiter or hiring manager. Simultaneously, only dressing your top half should be done with caution – people have been known to stand up or grab a glass of water, only to reveal they are not appropriately dressed for their bottom half. 6. Related to the point above, ensure you have a glass of water nearby. You may get a dry throat from talking, and getting up to leave the interview is not only rude, but it will ruin the momentum. 7. Still, on the topic of interview attire, be wary that some colours and patterns will not translate well on camera. Avoid anything too bright or clothing with stripes, patterns or checks. 8. Watch your posture. You may appear slouched on the screen, so make sure you’re seated comfortably but also upright. It helps to check how you appear beforehand in the ‘video preview’ settings. 9. Ensure your interviewer is not looking at a zoomed-in close-up of your face. A reasonable distance is a headshot or having your shoulders in the shot, depending on the space you have around you. 10. Show you’re engaged and try to make a connection. Natural physical cues are less evident due to screens. Show engagement by nodding your head or responding every few minutes. You will otherwise appear bored or not focusing on the discussion. Also, find a way to establish rapport so that the video interview is not so clinical. 11. Have a pen, notepad, questions and your CV in front of you. A video interview from home means taking notes or referring to your CV and list of questions is generally acceptable, as long as you’re not entirely relying on them or causing you to forget to interact. 12. Since the interviewer cannot see you physically, get your notes ready and keep standard answers next to you. These will keep you focused, especially if you tend to get nervous or worried that you will miss out on vital information that you want to relate to the hiring manager. 13. Accept that because of technology, no matter how good your connection is, there will be lags or buffering or sound cutting out. Leave more gaps of silence between questions and answers, and don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer to repeat themselves if the sound does cut out. 14. Related to the tip above, ending the video interview may not occur as naturally as it does in person. Ensure you have asked all your questions and find out what steps are next. When you say goodbye, stop yourself from repeating goodbye once the interviewer has responded. You will end up in a cycle of repeating yourself. Wait until they’ve answered, then hang up. 15. Ensure you have officially logged off before you relax. Many candidates have reacted without realising that the interviewer was still connected to the interview video call. The good news is, despite the current climate of uncertainty due to COVID-19, companies and recruiters are still meeting candidates. Now is not the time to be complacent or assume a hiring freeze everywhere – you may still land a new role. While it’s doubtful that you will be asked to attend a face-to-face interview any time soon, demonstrate your preparedness when you speak to your recruiter on the phone. In your email replies, state that you are set up and ready to do the interview virtually. Video calls and video interviews can be highly effective when you prepare and practice – from now on, it will be the standard process and expectation for most jobseekers, as COVID-19 continues to impact the hiring process.
  • The Etiquette of Interviewing During COVID-19

    ## Advice for navigating interviewing during COVID-19: ### Interview remotely if possible Since the pandemic started, we’ve had some of our client organizations successfully hire candidates with 100% remote interviews. In some instances, our candidates have made relocation decisions without ever visiting in-person by relying on remote site-visits, virtual community tours, and virtual house hunting. While some organizations and candidates are comfortable with a 100% remote hiring process, understandably we’re also seeing some that aren’t comfortable progressing without the reassurance of a face-to-face final interview. If you have any concerns about an in-person interview, make sure you advise your potential employer and see if they’ll accommodate virtual interviews. Most employers are extremely understanding in the current environment. We’ve seen organizations be especially flexible for candidates that are transparent about having a high-risk family member or other reason for needing to be extra diligent about staying healthy and avoiding potential exposure to COVID-19. ### Ask your recruitment contact what the protocols will be for interviewing on-site during COVID-19 Many of our client organizations have added information to their careers page on their website about the ways they’ve changed their hiring process in response to the pandemic and what job seekers can expect from them when interviewing during COVID-19. Be your own advocate and if the organization doesn’t have current information on their website, call ahead of time and ask what their policies are. To assist my candidate, I called the hiring organization to ask what their office protocols would be during the individual and team interviews of the candidate. They assured me there would be a “6-foot rule” during all interviews (even during team interviews in a conference room). Interviewers and the interviewee could wear masks if they felt more comfortable. Armed with this information, the candidate was able to prepare accordingly. ### Wear your mask Ideally, you’ll hear from the employer that everyone will be wearing a mask during your interviews. In that case you should absolutely wear one or you risk looking inconsiderate and cavalier about the pandemic. Even if the employer you’re interviewing with doesn’t have a mask requirement, my team and I highly recommend you wear one when interviewing during COVID-19 to protect your health. To ensure your mask doesn’t put you at a disadvantage in your interview: - Obviously, you’ll be wearing a suit to your interview. It should go without saying, but your mask should also be “professional.” Don’t attempt to make a statement with your mask but rather look for a solid colored mask or a mask with a small, simple pattern. - The way you carry yourself will be more important than ever. Practice good posture, and ensure you carry yourself confidently. - Masks slightly muffle our voices; put a bit more power and volume in your voice when wearing your mask to an interview. - Maintain good eye contact. - Masks make it harder to see the non-verbal cues your interviewers are projecting. It will be harder for you to tell they’re smiling to let you know that you hit a home-run response to a question, or have a puzzled look letting you know your response may have been off-base. You’ll need to listen more attentively than usual and may need to ask more questions to determine what your interviewers are thinking. - Nearly everyone is more stressed than normal right now and potentially experiencing feelings of fear, uncertainty, loss, or loneliness. Be extra patient when interacting with others including your interviewers. ## Final thoughts on interviewing during COVID-19: The interview process is going to look different for the foreseeable future. Your goal hasn’t changed despite all the new challenges of interviewing during COVID-19. Ultimately, you need to convey to the employer “if you hire me, you’ll get these specific benefits” which is key to getting the job offer.
  • 9 Interview Questions for Job Seekers to Ask about COVID-19

    Although many people are out of work due to COVID-19, some employers are hiring during the coronavirus pandemic. But some of the jobs that need to be filled require that employees go to work in person. Job seekers may be worried about getting sick. So how can job seekers know that an employer has their safety in mind? Here are some interview questions for job seekers to ask about COVID-19 — especially for in-person work. ## 1. How can we make the interview as safe as possible? Remote interviews have become common since the coronavirus pandemic began. But what if your interview is in person? First, you can ask whether a phone or video interview would be OK. The employer might be flexible. If you do need to go in person, here are some questions you could ask ahead of time: Since people aren’t supposed to shake hands these days, does your company have a preferred alternative? Do I need to wear a mask or plan for any other safety precautions? Will the interviewer be wearing a mask? What can we do if I have trouble hearing and need to see people’s mouths to understand what they’re saying? If I’m not feeling well on the day of the interview, who should I get in touch with to reschedule? Is there anything else I should know before arriving? ## 2. What changes have you made to safety protocols because of COVID-19? Many employers are taking new steps to keep their employees safe from COVID-19. For example, some have put extra cleaning measures in place. Some are providing gloves, masks, and other protective gear. And other employers have changed employees’ schedules so that fewer people are working at any one time. Because of safety concerns, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has said that employers are allowed to take certain steps during the pandemic, like taking employees’ temperatures. But workplace anti-discrimination laws, like the Americans with Disabilities Act , still apply. An interviewer should be able to tell you about any changes to workplace safety protocols related to the pandemic, or refer you to someone who can. ## 3. How are you keeping employees safe during customer disputes over face masks? Many businesses around the country now require that all employees and customers wear masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19. In some cases, customers have refused to comply and have initiated violent confrontations with employees. For customer-facing roles, find out how the employer plans for the possibility of dangerous customer interactions. Here are some questions you could ask: What guidance does the employer provide to help employees manage or de-escalate customer disputes involving face masks and other safety rules? If a customer interaction turns dangerous, how can employees get help? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided detailed guidance for employees and employers on limiting workplace violence associated with COVID-19. ## 4. If one of your employees gets COVID-19, what steps will you take to keep the rest of your employees safe? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says: “Employers should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure.” The employer should be able to tell you their protocol for when an employee is suspected of having COVID-19. According to OSHA, employers should have clear procedures in place for isolating people who have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, and workers should know how to implement them. ## 5. How do you communicate real-time health updates about the coronavirus pandemic with your employees? If there’s an important public health announcement while you’re at work, how will the employer keep everyone informed? Or if someone at work tests positive for COVID-19, what steps would the employer take to provide necessary safety updates? ## 6. What is your sick leave policy? What happens if I get COVID-19 or need to be quarantined? Ask the interviewer to provide information about the company’s sick leave policy. Earlier this year, the federal government passed a new paid sick leave policy in response to the coronavirus. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s currently set to expire on December 31, 2020. It also contains some loopholes. Not every employee will be guaranteed enough sick leave through this policy to manage COVID-19. But employers may have their own policies that go beyond what’s required. Keep in mind that some employers will ask for documentation of illness, like a doctor’s note. Ask a potential employer for policy details to find out what you’d need to do to access the sick leave. ## 7. What if I have to care for a sick family member? Some employers have flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. In some cases, this type of leave might be covered by the new sick leave law. But the new law doesn’t cover every company or circumstance. Ask a potential employer what options you’ll have if you need to care for a sick family member. ## 8. Who can I ask in the future if I have a question about COVID-19 safety protocols? Because the coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing event, the employer’s policies may change after you start the new job — or possibly in between when you accept a job offer and when you start working. Before you accept a job offer, the employer should be able to tell you who to contact if you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 safety protocols later on. ## 9. What can you tell me about job security? Because of the coronavirus pandemic, some jobs and industries are facing more uncertainty than others. It’s hard to predict the future — there are many unknowns right now for everybody. But an employer should be able to speak honestly with you. Is this likely to be a short-term hire or a long-term hire? The coronavirus pandemic has many people facing difficult decisions about work. By getting the answers to these interview questions, you’ll be able to make a more informed choice about your safety as a job seeker and employee.
  • How to Nail a Job Interview in the First 5 Minutes

    The first few moments of your interview can have a decisive impact on how well the rest of it goes. Here’s how to start strong – together with some cautionary tales of what not to do from real interviewers… ## 1. What time should I arrive at my interview? Whilst it's important to make sure you arrive early enough to allow yourself time to settle in (five to ten minutes should be enough) remember that the interview starts long before you shake hands and sit down infront of your interviewer. You never know who you might bump into on your commute, or whilst in the company’s building lift. So make sure you project a friendly, confident, professional manner from the moment you set off. On arrival put your phone on silent mode, make conversation with the receptionist and take in your surroundings – you might notice something that will make a useful 'small-talk' topic later. Don’t try and cram in any last-minute facts – you want to come across as calm and organised, not flustered and under-prepared. **What not to do:** ‘I once heard someone standing outside our building, smoking furiously and complaining loudly on their phone about the early start time of their meeting and wondering aloud why they were even there. When I got to my next interview, I realised to my dismay the noisy moaner was my next candidate! Not a great start.’ ## 2. What should I do before my interview? Make sure that you’re polite and friendly to everyone you come across in the interview process. From greeting the receptionist, to the people you share a lift with, to walking through an open-plan office to reach your meeting-room. These are all touchpoints with your potential future employer and colleagues, who will often share their impressions of visitors afterwards. Make sure that everyone you come into contact with sees you in a positive light. **What not to do:** ‘I like to make a point of coming down to greet candidates in person. On one occasion, a candidate assumed I was an assistant, treated me in a very offhand way and rather rudely asked me to get them a drink. They got quite a shock when they saw I was heading up the interview panel! But what most disappointed me was the idea that it’s appropriate to treat staff of any level in such a way.’ ## 3. How can I create a strong first impression? First impressions count, and non-verbal cues matter even more than verbal ones. So in those first few minutes, it’s all about smiling confidently, shaking hands firmly, making eye contact and generally looking as if you’re glad to be there and you want the job. In everything you do, project an attitude of energy, enthusiasm and interest. Clothes-wise, try to match your dress style to that of the company you’re meeting. You should be able to get a good idea of the company’s typical dress code through its website and social media output, especially any content about its working culture, and your recruiter can advise you too. You want to project some personality and charisma, but you also want to come across as a good fit, so if in doubt always err on the formal side. **What not to do:** ‘One candidate I interviewed asked for a glass of water while they waited. It was icy-cold and they must have spilled it just before we met, so my first impression was a very damp, chilly handshake. So always hold your drink in your left hand!’ ## 4. How can I prepare for the small talk? As part of your interview preparation, it’s a good idea to think ahead to some likely topics that might come up, so as to help keep the conversation flowing smoothly. The key is to come up with topics where you may have a shared interest, so that you’re able to both ask and answer credible questions. Think, about topical themes. For example, has your potential employer been in the news recently? Or could you ask about the potential impact on the company of a recent event, such as new immigration laws, falling share prices or a serious malware attack? In each case, make sure you have an interesting thought of your own to contribute too. **What not to do:** ‘One candidate I interviewed recently asked me a non-stop string of questions about my family, the job, the company, things in the news – all sorts of things. But he didn’t really have much to say himself and he didn’t really wait to hear my answer before asking the next question, so he just came across as rather anxious and scattered.’ ## 5. How can I express a key message? Politicians coached in handling the media are always advised to have a maximum of three key messages to get across, which they should stick to and repeat throughout any interview. Similarly, it’s a good idea to have two or three key points that you want to make about what you have to offer and what you’re looking for – for example, ‘I’m ready for the challenge of managing a team’, ‘I combine compliance experience with technical expertise’, ‘in my career, I’ve developed an extensive digital transformation skillset’. These are the three key points that you want your interviewer to remember about you. So try and work them in naturally whenever you can, even in the first few minutes. It’s also important to have a ready answer for some of the most common questions that come up early on – such as ‘tell me why you want this job’ and ‘what’s your understanding of what this job involves?’ **What not to do:** ‘I always start by asking people to explain what our business does. This deceptively simple question floors lots of people – it’s amazing how many people struggle with it, perhaps because they’re attending several interviews in a row and haven’t made the time to do much research. But if you don’t come across as having a firm grasp of the company and why it’s hiring, the interviewer can only conclude that you’re not really that bothered about the job.’ ## First impressions count Survey after survey highlights the importance of getting the first few seconds and minutes of your job interview right: - Six in ten managers say an interviewee’s dress sense has a big impact on their employability - 33% of bosses say they know within 90 seconds whether they will hire someone - It can take someone about a 1/10 of a second to form an impression of your trustworthiness – and that impression rarely changes later - Looking your interlocutor in the eye can help to raise their perception of your intelligence - More conservative colours such as blue and black are a safer bet in interviews, according to one survey of over 2000 hiring professionals. Orange is the worst!
  • Work Experience: How to Talk About It

    During the interview, we may be asked a variety of questions about our work experience, sometimes these questions leave us unable to answer, to help even further we have researched a list of six of the most common interview questions relating to work experience. For each, we have explained what the question is seeking from the candidate – in other words, you – and also a model answer that can be adapted to our own circumstances, skills and experience. ## 1. Question: What work experience have you gained that will help you with this job? ***Context***: *This is a nice, friendly, warm up question which is there to put you at ease. Remember, the interviewer will already have seen the answer to this question on your application form. The key is to be concise. Say what you have done and why it will help. For this example, we will use the example of applying for a job as a waiter or waitress.* **Model Answer**: I have some strong work experience that will help me with this job if I am successful. I worked for a year as a student in a local Pizza restaurant. That helped me to get confidence in talking to the public, and also showed me that this is a job where I will need to work hard. I then worked for a short while in a kitchen, helping the chef. That showed me the other side of working in a restaurant, so I can understand the importance of giving the chef accurate information with orders. I also worked for a while in a bank. That shows that I am confident with handling money, which will help when I take payment for meals. ## 2. Question: What will be the most important part of your work? ***Context***: *A tougher interview question. Although your work experience is not mentioned, you need to refer to it, otherwise your answer will lack authority. We will use the example of working in a retail store.* **Model Answer**: I think that dealing with customers will be the most important part of my work. For my previous work experience in a shop, I needed to develop a good understanding of the products we sold so I could help customers. I also learned to be polite and keep smiling, even with some of the more challenging shoppers. ## 3. Question: How would your friends and colleagues describe you? ***Context***: *A good, but common question. You need to show that you are competent, but modest. Let us use the example of applying for a college course.* **Model Answer**: (Little Pause!) I think that I did well on my previous course. I got on well with other people, and really enjoyed working with them. At the same time, sometimes I had to put my work first, and make sure that I completed what I needed to do. So, I would say that they would describe me as disciplined, but friendly and supportive. ## 4. Question: What will you find most satisfying about this job? ***Context***: *This interview question gives you a chance to show your true self. Be positive and show what an enthusiast you are. Let us use the example of applying for a post as a receptionist.* **Model Answer**: Where should I begin. There is so much I would enjoy about this job. Meeting people, helping the public, getting to know my colleagues. But I think best of all will be meeting a visitor who is confused, or worried, and helping them to know what they want. I would really enjoy doing that. When I worked at (your previous job) I loved helping my customers. ## 5. Question: What part of the job would you find hardest? ***Context***: *A challenging question. You need to answer it, without suggesting that you are not able to do the work. Since English is not your first language, that is likely to be your biggest challenge whatever work you are trying to win. Again, bring your work experience in to show.* **Model Answer**: You can hear that English is not my first language. But even when I was less good at speaking in my job as a (relevant work) I learned to cope. My English is getting better all the time, but I am not afraid to ask if I do not understand something, and my studies are helping me to improve. ## 6. Question: What has your work experience taught you about yourself? ***Context***:*A tough interview question to finish. You need to answer the question honestly, but in a way that shows your positive side. Try to find an example from your work experience. Here we will use the example of becoming an assistant in a school.* **Model Answer**: The last time I worked as a language assistant, I found the work really interesting but sometimes hard. I learned a lot from my work experience. On one occasion I found two boys fighting in the playground. I managed to calm them down by being calm myself. I asked them what had happened and helped them to resolve their fight themselves. I thought that in a situation like that I would get angry myself, and perhaps take sides, but I did not. I think that this was a great lesson for me. Of course, many questions about work experience can be asked at interview. However, those above are some of the most common. Preparing your own answers will not only help should these questions arise but will really be of use to give you confidence in responding to other questions about your previous work.
  • Interviews: The End Can Not Be Ignored

    When your interview is coming to a close, you’re probably focused on how relieved you feel and how excited you are to get the heck out of there and call your mom. It’s easy to lose sight of your long-term goal when there’s a short-term finish line in clear sight. Here’s the deal: Final impressions can have just as big of an impact as first impressions when it comes to getting a job. The end of your interview can be your secret weapon in clearing up any doubts and reminding the hiring manager that you’re the best person for the job. The end of your interview is your last chance to sell yourself to an employer, so it’s essential to use this moment to your advantage. ## How to End An Interview There are a number of ways to end your interview on a positive note, and we’ll cover all of them. You can blend a few strategies or choose a strategy that best suits your personality (or the interviewer’s). **1. Ask questions.** Your interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions as the interview starts winding down. Even if they don’t, walking out of the room without asking any questions is a huge mistake. For starters, it’s important that you understand the role thoroughly for your own decision-making process. More than that, though, you want to show the interviewer you’ve been paying attention. A great way to do that is to ask some thoughtful and pointed questions about the company, the industry, or your department’s role in the bigger picture. **2. Reiterate your interest in the job.** The end of an interview is a great opportunity to remind hiring managers that you’re excited about the job opportunity. Confirm your interest in the position by telling the hiring manager that the interview has made you even more eager for the possibility of working with their company. You can discuss what attracts you to the company culture, how your values align with the company’s mission, or how the job really excites your passion and curiosity for the field. Anything that can make you seem like an excellent cultural fit can go a long way in hiring decisions. **3. Remind them that you’re qualified.** You’ll want to leave your interviewer with a fresh image of you as a capable and excited candidate. Remind them that you have the specific qualifications and skills needed to get the job done to leave them with the impression that you’re a perfect match. Try to be specific about what value you could provide the employer based on your past experiences. It’s good to talk up your accomplishments throughout the interview, but if you have an extra-impressive achievement under your belt, consider closing with it. **4. Ask if they need any convincing to ease their doubts.** It’s hard to tell how well you’re doing in an interview when the hiring manager has a poker face made of stone. If you get the feeling that your interviewer just isn’t convinced that you’re the best person for the job, go ahead and ask what you can do to convince them otherwise. Think of your greatest professional strengths and assets and be ready to discuss them at length. Tell your interviewer any additional information about your skills and experience that didn’t come up during your conversation, and combine it with an overall statement about your overall candidacy. **5. Ask for the job without really asking for it.** This part of ending the interview requires some finesse. If the interview is coming to a close and you’ve realized that you really do want the job, a bold move to make that will make you stand out to the interviewer would be to ask for the job, but in a super sneaky way. Instead of just straight up asking, “Can I have the job pretty please with a cherry on top?” you’re going to have to be tactful and professional. You could slyly mention that you’re excited to look over the job offer. If you’re feeling bold and you want to be a little more straightforward, you could just ask straight up, “Based on this conversation, do you feel that I would be a good fit for this position?” Even if they don’t hire you on the spot, they’ll appreciate your confidence. **6. Figure out the next steps.** Before you leave the interview, make sure to ask about the next steps in the hiring process so you know what to expect going forward. Ask your interviewer if they have a certain time frame in which they’ll get back to you with a decision, or if there are any other layers of interviews you should prepare for. Once you’ll know what to expect after your initial interview, you can start to prepare how you’re going to follow up with the employer. **7. Be polite.** You don’t need a fancy closing to your interview. You can simply end with some good manners by thanking your interviewer for their time, consideration, and fleshing out the job’s responsibilities more fully for you. Showing that you’re professional and considerate can highlight your soft skills and round out an already impressive interview performance nicely. **8. Show that you’re ready to go.** Another powerful tactic that’s similar to asking for the job is simply showing how prepared you are for your first day. Give a positive outlook for the future and detail how this is the beginning of a mutually beneficial professional relationship. If you can give a specific plan of action for your first 30/60/90 days on the job, you’ll help the hiring manager or recruiter see you in that position. That’s a good step towards receiving a job offer. **9. Follow up after the interview.** One of the cardinal rules of interviewing: always follow up and send a thank-you letter. This is one of the most important aspects of interviewing, and it’s a sure way to make either a good final impression, or a bad one. Sending a follow-up letter shows that you’re considerate and professional, while not sending one sends the message that you couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the job opportunity. Within 24 hours after the interview, send an email thanking the interviewer for their time for the opportunity to learn more about the company and the position. Use your thank-you letter as a chance to follow up and reiterate your excitement for the position. Your effort won’t go unnoticed, and you’ll be remembered as the person who was thoughtful enough to reach out — especially if no one else does. ## Final Thoughts Finding a job is hard work. When you’ve put countless hours into preparing for an interview, it’s easy to get blindsided by the excitement of seeing the finish line. It’s important to not rush through the end of an interview, and to use it as your final sales pitch instead. Taking advantage of this final moment is a great way to clear up any concerns and to make yourself stand out from other candidates. Now that you know what to do, it’s time to get ready for that interview. Make sure you do everything necessary to make a good first and last impression, and you’re sure to land the job.
  • How to Answer Job Promotion Interview Questions

    Internal promotional opportunities can be a great way to advance your career while remaining with an employer of whom you have extensive prior knowledge. By taking the time to review possible interview questions that could be asked of you at your promotional interview, you can present yourself as a seasoned professional who is ready to take on an advanced role in the company. Here is some helpful information to help you understand the importance of promotion interview questions, as well as a list of sample questions and answers to help you craft your own response. ## Why do interviewers ask promotion interview questions? Interviewers ask promotion-related questions to employees seeking internal career advancement opportunities to gauge their readiness to take on a more complex role within the company, as well as which skills and company knowledge they could apply to the position they are interviewing for. ## What are promotion interview questions? Promotion interview questions are questions that are asked to an employee during an internal interview for a job position that is above their current position within a company. They may test the employee’s knowledge of the company, skills relevant to the position and overall aptitude. ## Common promotion interview questions Here is a list of possible promotion-related interview questions along with sample answers and explanations: ### Why do you want to leave your current position? This question is asked by an employer to gauge your reasoning for suddenly interviewing for a different job position within your company. Your answer should avoid negative language, express your loyalty to the company and highlight your readiness to take on a new challenge in the workplace. Example: ‘I love my current job and the team-oriented attitude that my coworkers and I share, but I am also ready to take on new challenges within the company. I think I have a lot more to contribute in terms of marketing strategy and team leadership, so I feel I am qualified for this position.’ ### What skills from your current position could you apply to this new role? Your employer might ask this question to better understand your qualifications for a more advanced company role. Your answer should explain these skills in detail, relating them to specific tasks or incidents that helped you evolve into a professional who is ready for more complex responsibilities. Example: ‘Through my current position, I have been able to acquire skills such as time management, budgeting and client relations. I can use these three skill areas to improve our customer service while also keeping detailed records of our department budget and upcoming deadlines.’ ### What was your greatest accomplishment in the position you currently hold? This question is used to evaluate what you have achieved during your current job. Your answer could be directed toward a specific event or project and should include quantitative data to help your interviewer measure the success of your accomplishment. Example: ‘By revising our sales pitch and target audience, I was able to increase department sales by 15% within three weeks.’ ### What do you admire most about your current supervisor’s leadership style? This is a question that an employer might ask if you are applying for a supervisory or management role. By asking this question, they are trying to identify what you believe makes someone a good leader. Your answer should provide admirable character traits and habits along with how you plan to implement them into your own leadership style. Related: ‘I admire my supervisor’s leadership style because of their personable yet deadline-driven attitude. They make sure that every member of our department feels heard and valued, providing praise when appropriate, but they also enforce the importance of time management and consequences for late work.’ ### How would you respond if you did not receive this promotion? By asking this question, your employer is trying to figure out whether you would stay with the company if you were not given the promotion. Your response should include a statement about your loyalty to the company and your desire for the right person to be hired for the position. Example: ‘I am devoted to this company and its prospects so if I am not hired for the promotion, I will understand that it was for the best interest of the department. I would rather see someone else effectively doing the job I applied for if it meant achieving our overarching goal, company success.’ ### What would you like to accomplish within the first 30 days of your promotion? This question seeks to understand your knowledge of the job position and whether you have the right ideas to implement within your new role. Your answer should demonstrate your knowledge of the company, its practices and the job duties expected in your desired role. Example: ‘I want to maximize productivity by establishing a task delegation system that divides tasks among my team members based on their strengths. I also want to minimize communication errors by appointing a member of staff to take meeting minutes during department discussions to be distributed by email for my employees to review.’ ### Would you be open to other promotional opportunities if you were not chosen for this one? Your employer might ask this question because they consider you to be an eligible job candidate for the advanced position but they might have another opportunity for you that they believe would be a better fit for your qualifications. Your answer should express your willingness to pursue opportunities that the company believes would be suitable for you. Example: ‘If I wasn’t given this opportunity I would definitely still be interested in taking on other promotional roles within the company. I trust that my supervisors and upper-management can identify a position that makes the best use of my qualifications.’ ### How well do you think you would cope with transitioning from your old job to this new position? This question is used by an employer to gauge your ability to adapt to new routines, environments and responsibilities. Your answer should include a statement addressing your motivation for new challenges and your ability to adapt to new situations. Example: ‘As difficult as change might be, I am ready to move forward in my career, and I know that I have the experience and skills that are necessary to succeed in my new role while contributing to company progress.’
  • How to Answer ‘Tell Me About a Time You Failed’ Interview Questions

    If an interviewer ever asks you to explain a time you failed at work, you can answer in a way that frames you in a positive manner and demonstrates your ability to grow and learn. This question also gives you the opportunity to present examples of how you’ve worked with diverse groups of people to achieve sustainable results for the company previous employers. Learn more about why employers ask this question during an interview, along with the best way to answer and examples that you can reference for future interviews. ## Why employers ask, ‘Tell me about a time you failed’ Employers asked about a situation when you’ve failed to test your problem-solving skills. These types of skills show that you can solve problems on your own, and they can benefit the organization as a result of your persistence. Also, discussing a failure during your professional career describes when you’re the most vulnerable, and how you can use these situations to improve your work and interactions with your coworkers. ## Surprising ways employers ask, ‘Tell me about a time you failed’ Employers may ask ‘Tell me about a time you failed’ in multiple ways to have you guess what they’re trying to ask you in an interview. The way you answer this question determines if you’re the right fit for the company’s culture. Here are a few ways an interviewer can ask you this question: - When was the last time you failed in your current role? - Can you describe one of the largest failures you’ve had in the workplace? - What is a decision that you regret? - Discuss your greatest professional failure and the way you’ve learned since you’ve made it. - Do you believe that you can learn from failure? - Are you known for taking risks? - What is your view of success and failure in the workplace? - How you can learn from failure to become successful? Employers want to understand your perception of risk to see if you’ve grown from any projects that didn’t work out in your favor. Your answer to these types of questions displays when you’ve taken risks, even if they’ve been unsuccessful, and the importance they’ve had in your professional development. ## How to answer, ‘Tell me about a time you failed’ Here are a few steps to follow when preparing an answer to ‘Tell me about a time you failed’: ### 1. First, choose a specific situation Reflect on your professional career and select a failure that resonated with you the most. Focus on staying calm when you’re presenting your answer to the interviewer, which will help you maintain a clear mind to detail each part of the situation and what you learned from it. If possible, it can help to choose a failure from long ago that doesn’t relate to the job you’re applying for, which further emphasizes how you’ve grown professionally. You can also outline one element of the situation that you consider a failure in comparison to the whole experience. This will show the interviewer that you have the insight to analyze exactly what part of a project or undertaking went wrong, allowing you to prevent the same thing from happening again in the future. ### 2. Second, define what failure is to you Take the time to express your definition of failure based on the experiences you’ve had in the workplace. For example, you can say that failure can be defined by not reaching a goal you’ve set for yourself or not meeting the expectations set out by you or your employer. Explaining what you think failure is can help you more easily set up your story. ### 3. Next, describe the story you’re telling Include a brief description of what led up to the failure you’re planning to discuss to give the interviewer enough context about the situation. Begin with what you found challenging about the situation you faced, how you approached the solution and the actions you took to address it. Keep this part of the answer short enough to allow yourself plenty of time to discuss what you learned from the experience and how you apply that knowledge to your work now. ### 4. Lastly, identify key learnings Discuss the lessons learned from the failure you’ve experienced. You should get to this point right after you describe the outcome of your failure. You can say what results occurred regardless of the original plan, but make sure to finish the response with a reflection on what you could have done to rectify the situation and how you approach your work differently now. ## Example answers to use in an interview Here are some example answers to help you answer, ‘Tell me about a time you failed’ in an interview: ### Example describing your biggest failure in the workplace **Example:** ‘My biggest failure in the workplace happened when I was a project coordinator two years ago. At the time, I worked with one of our top clients while the usual project manager was sick for a few days. I informed them that I could finish a presentation by the end of the day, but I realized later on that it would take me at least three days to finish it. I was honest with the client, and I let the project manager know as soon as she came back to the office. Since then, I’ve learned to recognize my limits and stop overextending myself, which has helped me give clients more realistic and honest expectations.’ ### Example of a willingness to take risks **Example:** ‘Taking risks is an important part of growing your skills and learning how you can boost your work performance. I worked for a software company three years ago, and I decided to purchase and implement our project management system right away. After one week, we realized that tasks fell behind because people didn’t understand how to use the system, so we halted the implementation process and met with our team. After coming up with a plan to streamline workflow, we doubled production and learned about the importance of having a framework to help execute the risks you take.’ ### Example of the most recent failure in the workplace **Example:** ‘My latest failure in the workplace occurred when I tried to hire an intern on the content marketing team. Even though I saw a few grammatical errors in some of the published articles they wrote, I decided to hire them anyway. This decision didn’t work in my favor, since the intern never made an effort to improve their writing during their time at the company. The lesson I learned was to take my time when I make decisions and to perform thorough research on candidates’ resumes and portfolios. Currently, I’m in the process of hiring another intern, and I’m doing my part to make sure they’re fully qualified for the position.’
  • How to Answer ‘Why Do You Want to Work Here’ Interview Question

    When you interview for a new position, the hiring manager might ask ‘Why do you want to work here?’ Finding out what interests you about the job, your reasons for applying and what makes you think you would be a good fit are three of the main reasons interviewers ask this question. With the right answer, you will have a much better chance of impressing your interviewer and convincing them that you are the best person for the job. ## Why hiring managers ask, ‘Why do you want to work here?’ Some interview questions address the responsibilities and skills of the job you applied for, but many interviewers may also want to learn more about your career goals and if this position fits into your plan. Your answer can illustrate how this job can help you grow professionally. A hiring manager may ask why you want to work at the company to determine if you are genuinely interested in the job. Employees that care about their job are more likely to be motivated and excel in their positions. You can use your answer to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the opportunity and show that you care about both your success and the success of the company. ## Surprising ways employers ask, ‘Why do you want to work here?’ While hiring managers are likely to ask why you want to work for their company, the question may not always be in the same format. Your interviewer could frame the question in such a way to find out what you know about the company and to find out your reasons for submitting your application. Here are the different ways an interviewer can ask you, ‘Why do you want to work here?’: - What interests you about the position? - What made you decide to apply for this job? - Why are you interested in working for this company? - Why do you want this job? - How does this position fit your professional goals? ## How to answer, ‘Why do you want to work here?’ Providing a clear and effective answer to this question can help the interviewer see your future with their company. Here are three steps to crafting a response to prove you are a strong candidate: **1. Understand your goals and motivations.** Before the interview, think about what you hope to gain in this position and how your goals can help the company achieve its own. Review the job description and write down what the company is looking for in a candidate. **2. Research the company.** Search the company’s website and ‘About Us’ page to better understand their mission, goals and values. You can also search their social media platforms, company review pages, press releases and other news articles regarding their history and events. **3. Highlight your qualifications.** Using your goals and the company research, identify specific qualities and skills you would add to their company. Compare your motivations and skills to determine what ways you match their requirements. Measure their mission, goals and values with your own, and showcase how you can promote their company culture and help them succeed. ## Example answers to use in an interview Reading example answers to this common interview question can help you formulate your own response. Here are some example answers to get you started: **Example 1: Speaking on the company’s values** ‘I read that your company is involved in community outreach like sponsoring last month’s local food drive. Volunteering has always been one of my passions, and I was very excited to learn that your company shares this passion. When I saw that you were hiring for this position, I was excited about the opportunity to incorporate volunteer time into my next job.’ **Example 2: Focusing on the company’s products** ‘I have used your products for a few years now, and I appreciate your focus on innovation and improving user experience. Providing demos and free trials are effective ways to encourage loyal customers to try your new releases and invite new customers to try them as well. I would be proud to be a part of your team and to use my skills to contribute to the innovative work that your company is known for.’ **Example 3: Showcasing your skills** ‘I love collaborating with other people, and I feel that my ability to lead successful team projects makes me the perfect fit for this position. The position excites me because of the opportunity to work alongside some of the most skilled professionals in this field, and I’m ready for the opportunity to innovate new products and improve the quality of existing products that your customers love.’ **Example 4: Praising the company’s reputation and culture** ‘Your company has a sterling track record for industry leadership. The testimonials I’ve read from your current and former employees show me that your company values its employees and provides training and educational opportunities to help them learn new skills and grow as professionals. Working in such an encouraging environment has been a dream of mine, and I believe that I would be a valuable addition to your team.’
  • How to Be Confident in Your Interviews

    If you’ve applied for a job and already have an interview coming up, then congratulations! You’ve already jumped one of the biggest hurdles in the job hunt, which is landing an interview in the first place. Employers have a lot going on and are too busy to interview every applicant, so if you have an interview, your potential employer already liked what they saw in your resume! Now it’s time to prove to them in person why you’re the best person for the job. Learn how to be confident in your interviews! ## Why confidence matters Confidence is the act of trusting yourself. During a job interview, showing that you trust yourself is critical because it can lead your interviewer to trust in you, as well. Aim to communicate to your interviewer that you know you can do this job well. However, it is normal to feel nervous when interviewing, so try to take some time to practice how to appear confident before your meeting. ## Separate Confidence from Arrogance In theory, you know all about what it means to be confident. But you also have to remember that there’s a difference between confidence and arrogance. If your interviewer feels that you are overly confident, they may feel like you won’t be a good team player or fit in with their company. You should be proud of your accomplishments and be ready to tell your interviewer why you’re the best choice for the job, but don’t do it in a way that belittles anyone else. Also, if some of your accomplishments happened when you were working with a team, don’t be afraid to mention that you didn’t do it alone. Someone who works well in a team is a quality that many employers think very highly of and many times it’s what they are looking for. ## How to appear confident in an interview Use these tips to impress interviewers with your confidence: **1. Make eye contact** To show confidence, start by practicing your eye contact. Keeping natural and steady eye contact throughout your interview is an excellent way to project confidence. Aim to maintain natural eye contact instead of making eye contact that feels intense or prolonged. Try occasionally looking at your resume or other material you brought with you to the interview before turning your attention back to the hiring manager. **2. Maintain good posture** After you work on your eye contact, you might also find it helpful to practice good posture. Body language is an important aspect of communicating confidence during your interview. Start by sitting with your arms unfolded in your lap to convey an open, friendly attitude. Make your back straight with your shoulders back and your chest and chin raised. **Pro-tip:** Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, chest and chin high, back straight and your fists on your waist for a few minutes before your interview can make you feel calmer and confident. **3. Practice your handshake** One great way to show confidence in an interview is to greet the interviewer with a firm handshake. A firm handshake shows experience and confidence, and it gives the interviewer a good first impression. Keep the following tips in mind to give a good handshake: - The interviewer should be the one to initiate the handshake. - Stand and look the interviewer in the eye when you shake hands. - Offer a sincere smile to show you are happy to be there. - If your palm is damp, quickly blot it on the side of your pants or skirt before shaking hands. - Greet the person with her name and a pleasantry, such as, “It is very nice to meet you, Ms. Smith.” - Have a firm handshake, but do not apply too much force. - The handshake should last between two and five seconds, which usually equals two or three pumps. - Make sure your other hand is visible and unclenched. **4. Practice breathing techniques** When you get nervous, the blood flows away from your brain and into your muscles for fight or flight mode. This lack of blood in the brain can impact cognitive functions. However, when you take slow, deep breaths, you bring oxygen back to your brain to help you think. For the most effective breathing technique to calm your nerves, follow these steps: - Take a deep breath in through your nose. - Try to take in enough air to feel your stomach expand. - Slowly exhale through your mouth. - Repeat this process three times, and focus on centering your thoughts while you are exhaling. **5. Calm your fidgeting** Fidgeting is a sign of nervousness. If you tend to tap your fingers or twirl your hair, practice keeping your hands on the table. You should also make a point not to keep a pen or paper in your hands if you typically fidget with anything you are holding. If you often shake your leg when you are nervous, you can keep your hands in your lap and apply a little pressure to remind yourself to stop shaking. Try asking a friend or family member to tell you how you fidget so you can be aware of your habits and work on them. **6. Prepare and rehearse your answers** One great way to showcase interview confidence is to prepare your answers to common interview questions. When you walk into an interview with the knowledge that you are prepared, it can take off the pressure and help you feel more confident. Consider sitting down with a friend or family member to think about your answers. They do not need to be memorized but aim to prepare enough so that you can produce responses you are proud of. **7. Talk slowly** Speak calmly and slowly. To stop yourself from rambling, try to answer each question by addressing one a point at a time. Confident people also tend to take their time when answering questions. If you feel like you need a moment to compose your thoughts, feel free to say, “That is a good question. Let me think about that for a second.” Also, do not be afraid to ask the interviewer for clarification of the question. **8. Dress the part** Choosing the right outfit for your interview can help improve your confidence. Research the company’s dress code to see how you should dress for the interview. If the dress code is formal, men should wear a suit, and women should consider a pantsuit or skirt suit. Look for clothing in classic and neutral colors, such as black, navy or brown. If the company is casual, proper interview attire can include slacks, dark jeans, button-up shirts and polo shirts. When in doubt, it is wise to dress more formally. **9. Think positively** A final way to calm your nerves and boost your confidence is to think positively. One step you can take to think positively is to focus on areas where you lack confidence and practice making them better. Areas of low confidence can include: - Shaking hands with the interviewer - Starting the interview - Beginning to speak - Answering questions Once you pinpoint where you feel most nervous, you can make a plan on how to address these areas. To work on the previous examples you can: - Practice shaking hands with friends. - Sit down for mock interviews with family. - Record your mock interviews to review them. - Practice answering different types of interview questions.
  • What to Bring to an Interview | Look Professional and Be Prepared

    Bringing the right things to an interview shows that you are organized and prepared. Physical things like ID or a notepad or non-physical like a mental list of questions can show that you are a serious candidate. This article will teach you what you can bring to an interview to show the employer that you’re professional and prepared. ## Preparing for a Job Interview To prepare for a job interview, you should do the following: - **Work Attire.** Make sure your appearance is neat and clean. Dress appropriately for the interview by wearing professional work attire such as a skirt or pantsuit and close-toed shoes. Accessories such as handbags, ties, and belts should be conservative. - **Directions.** If you're not sure where you're going, bring directions and any instructions the hiring manager may have given you. Also, if one was sent, bring an email confirmation of the appointment. Determine how long your commute will take either by viewing a map application such as Google maps, or a train or bus schedule. Allow 30 minutes extra travel time for any unforeseen delays, as you want to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes early. - **Research the Company.** Make sure you become acquainted with your prospective employer prior to the interview, as you may be asked questions about your familiarity with their business. Many company websites have an "About" section that provides information on a company's history as well as its beliefs and goals. - **List of Questions.** Have a list of questions ready to ask the interviewer if they invite questions at the end of the interview. You can also ask additional questions based on the conversation, which demonstrates good listening and comprehension skills. ## What to Bring to the Interview **Identification.** If the building has security, you may be asked to show identification, or you may need it to complete a job application. Bring your driver's license or another form of identification with you. **Notepad and Pen.** Make sure to bring a notepad and pen so you can write down names, company information, or questions that may come up during the interview. Bringing a pen and notepad shows you came to the interview prepared. **Names of Contacts.** Write down the name of the person you're interviewing with on your notepad. It can be easy to forget a name, and you don't want to be embarrassed. Also bring the name of the person who arranged the interview, if it's a different person. You may also need to provide this name to security upon your arrival at the building. **Extra Copies of Your Resume.** Bring several copies of your resume to distribute upon request. Retain a copy for yourself, as it will assist you in filling out the job application. **Reference List.** Bring a printed list of references to give to the hiring manager. Include at least three professional references and their contact information. Choose references that can attest to your ability to perform the job for which you are applying. Also, retain a copy for yourself in case the information needs to be recorded on a job application. **Work Samples.** Depending on the type of job for which you're interviewing, you may need to bring samples of your work. If they don't lend themselves to print, consider bringing your iPad or laptop. **Portfolio.** A portfolio is an efficient way to package all the items you're bringing to the interview. It shows employers that you are organized and prepared to produce documents upon request. **Personal items.** You might have a personal emergency before or after the interview, so make sure you bring some personal items to help you look your best or freshen up. These items can include: Breath mints or a toothbrush if you ate shortly before the interview Makeup if you need to touch it up Wet napkins if you need to clean your hands or face ## What Not to Bring or Do Doing the following will likely ruin your chances of getting the job: - Don’t carry in your morning coffee or protein shake. - Don't bring your parent or anyone else with you. - Don’t arrive talking on a cell phone or texting. Turn off your phone before you enter the building and store it in a handbag or briefcase. - Don’t wear a hat or cap; leave it at home. - Don’t chew gum or suck candy. - Don’t overwhelm the interviewer with your piercings or tattoos. If you have a lot of piercings or earrings, remove them, so they aren’t a distraction. One pair of earrings, such as small studs or hoops, is acceptable. Do your best to cover your tattoos. - Don’t wear strong perfume or cologne; you never know if someone is allergic in the office. - Don't wear leisure clothes such as jeans, workout wear, sneakers, or flip flops. Wear a pants or dress suit and close-toed shoes. - Don't appear with messy, unwashed hair. Make sure your hair is clean and off of your face.
  • How to Answer ‘What is Your Greatest Weakness’ Interview Question

    During job interviews, hiring teams often ask about weaknesses as a way of learning more about the candidate. It is important to prepare for this question so you can deliver a thoughtful, honest answer that impresses your interviewer. In this article, we discuss what employers want to know when they ask, ‘What is your greatest weakness?’ and how best to answer this common interview question. ## Why employers ask, ‘What is your greatest weakness?’ Employers ask this question to determine if you have enough self-awareness to identify areas that need improvement. Your answer to this question can also reveal whether you can talk about your weaknesses honestly and if you have the right qualifications for the job. In other cases, employers pose this question to find out if you have overcome obstacles, if you have the ability to learn from challenges and if you strive to improve yourself. ## Surprising ways employers ask, ‘What is your greatest weakness?’ Employers can ask you about your areas of improvements in many different ways instead of simply asking, ‘What is your greatest weakness?’ They might state the question differently to prompt a more honest response or to encourage you to focus less on faults and more on improvement. To make sure you are prepared to answer any version of this question, familiarize yourself with a few other ways interviewers might present it. - Describe your biggest challenge at your last job. - What would your last supervisor say you struggled most with? - What do you most want to change about yourself? ## How to Answer "What is Your Greatest Weakness?" There are several different ways to answer when you're asked during a job interview what your greatest weakness is. **Tips:** You can mention skills that aren't critical for the job, discuss skills you have improved on, or turn a negative into a positive. Even though the question is about weaknesses, your answer should always be framed around the positive aspects of your skills and abilities as an employee. ### Option 1: Discuss Non-Essential Skills One approach to answering this question is to analyze the key skills and strengths required for the position you are interviewing for and then come up with an honest shortcoming that is not essential for success in that job. For example, if you are applying for a nursing job, you might share that you are not particularly adept at conducting group presentations. In this case, it would be critical to underscore your strength in one-on-one communication with patients while providing an example of your difficulty with presentations to large groups. Likewise, if you’re applying for a position as a writer, you could focus on a skill that isn’t required for the job, as in the example below. **Sample:** Numbers have not always been my strong suit. Fortunately, as a copywriter, I can focus most of my time on the creative process of writing. However, in recent years I have begun to familiarize myself with the digital analytics tools used in the various websites and apps I write for, and I have found that when you add context, “numbers” can actually be quite enlightening. **Why It Works:** This response features a weakness that isn't critical for success at this job. It also shows how the candidate has improved and upgraded her skills. ### Option 2: Mention Skills You Have Improved Another option is to discuss skills that you have improved upon during your previous job or that you are actively working on improving. This shows the interviewer that you’re committed to self-improvement. **Tips:** Begin your answer by talking about where you started and the steps you took to improve, and then highlight the outcome. If you use this strategy, be sure not to mention anything that you improved upon that would be critical to the position for which you are interviewing, as you don't want your qualifications for the job to be questioned. **Sample:** One area I improved on in the past is my salesmanship skills. As a product manager who works with internal teams and does not interface with clients or sales prospects, I don’t do much, if any, selling in my role. However, since I do communicate quite frequently with the sales team, I felt it might benefit me to have a greater understanding of their strategies and tactics. I took a sales skills course online. It improved how I work with sales teams, and now, when I join sales meetings, I have a much better idea of what’s going on, and I feel more effective in communicating with the sales team. This course also helped me build upon the skills I use to "sell" my vision for the product internally. **Why It Works:** This response works well because it clearly shows how the candidate has improved upon the skills needed to do the job effectively. ### Option 3: Turn a Negative Into a Positive Another option for answering is to turn a negative into a positive. For example, a sense of urgency to complete projects can be turned into a positive; e.g., you are a candidate who will make sure a project is done on time. Or perhaps you find yourself with an attention to detail that leads you to triple-check every item on a spreadsheet and proofread every email you send twice. Regardless of what you say, it is critical to indicate that you are mindful of this trait and capable of preventing it from interfering with your productivity. **Sample:** I have a very strong attention to detail. Sometimes, this can turn into a tendency to perfectionism. In the past, I found this leading me to triple-check every item on a spreadsheet, closely proofread emails to ensure I’d communicated what I was trying to get across in a clear, concise way, or fiddle with the layout of a presentation to ensure that it was perfect. I’ve since learned to successfully budget my time and gauge which tasks require and actually benefit from this level of precision. **Why It Works:** The candidate is showing the interviewer that she has the time management skills to focus on a detail-oriented project. ## More Examples of the Best Answers Review more examples of answers to help you frame your own response. **Sample:** Organization hasn’t always been my strongest point. I’ve always been inclined to prioritize tasks that directly impact the bottom line, and maintaining a pristine desk or an organized inbox didn’t seem to truly move the needle in terms of my output. Over time, I’ve learned that keeping a clean workspace—both physically, and digitally—does support my ability to focus and enhance the efficiency of my workflow. I’ve implemented a time management system that enables me to stay organized without encroaching on my other responsibilities. **Why It Works:** The candidate is mentioning a weakness and showing how he solved the problem. **Sample:** When I'm working on a project, I don't just want to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of its due date. While this means I never miss a deadline, it also means that sometimes I can find myself rushed when I’m working. I’ve since learned to slow down, be more patient, and give each project the careful attention it deserves. **Why It Works:** This response shows that meeting deadlines and getting the work done accurately are both important. **Sample:** I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week, but I realized that scheduling in advance makes much more sense. I’m now much more proactive about scheduling meetings, and this allows me to plan and segment out my work for the week without having to guess at when I’ll need to leave time for meetings. **Why It Works:** The candidate’s response shows that he established time management skills that enable him to effectively do the job. **Sample:** Sometimes I spend more time than necessary on a task or take on tasks that could easily be delegated to someone else. Although I've never missed a deadline, it is still an effort for me to know when to move on to the next task and to be confident when assigning others work. In my recent position, I implemented a project management tool that allowed me to easily oversee the progress of all the tasks I assigned. This helped me feel much more comfortable about delegating work. **Why It Works:** This response shows that the candidate can handle delegating work and managing a project, which are required skills for leadership and management roles. **Sample:** I used to like to work on one project to its completion before starting on another, but I've learned to work on many projects at the same time, and I think doing so allows me to be more creative and effective in each one. **Why It Works:** This response shows the candidate’s successful shift from working on one task at a time to multitasking. ## What Not to Say **Don’t go overboard.** It’s important not to talk too much about your weaknesses or what you need to improve. You don’t want the interviewer to perceive you as a candidate who isn’t qualified. **Don’t say that you’re perfect.** It’s important not to come across as arrogant or dishonest by claiming that you don’t have any weaknesses. **Keep it positive.** You may have noticed that the term "weakness" isn't used in the sample answers. You always want to focus on the positive when interviewing.