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Interview Tips

Get the latest interview guidance from experts and develop your interview skills. Face your interview confidently and outshine among the crew.

Strong interview skills can make a huge difference when you're searching for a job. Regardless of when you had your last interview, it never hurts to brush up on those skills and prepare yourself for some common questions a hiring manager might ask you.

 Career site Glass door believes one of the best ways for job seekers to get ready for an interview is to practice their responses to any questions that may be asked.

"Over and over again, we see some very common interview questions asked at companies for nearly all job titles," Scott Dobroski, a Glass door career trends analyst, told Business News Daily. "If you are aware and prepared for what is nearly always asked in any interview, you'll start the interview off on a great foot.

Prepare for your upcoming interview by knowing how you'd respond to these questions.

  1. What are your strengths?
  2. What are your weaknesses?
  3. Why are you interested in working for [company name]?
  4. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
  5. Why do you want to leave your current company?
  6. Why was there a gap in your employment between [date] and [date]?
  7. What can you offer us that someone else cannot?
  8. What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
  9. Are you willing to relocate?
  10. Are you willing to travel?
  11. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  12. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
  13. What is your dream job?
  14. How did you hear about this position?
  15. What would you look to accomplish in the first 30/60/90 days on the job?
  16. Discuss your resume.
  17. Discuss your educational background.
  18. Describe yourself.
  19. Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
  20. Why should we hire you?
  21. Why are you looking for a new job?
  22. Would you work holidays/weekends?
  23. How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
  24. What are your salary requirements? 
  25. Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
  26. Who are our competitors?
  27. What was your biggest failure?
  28. What motivates you?
  29. What’s your availability?
  30. Who’s your mentor?
  31. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
  32. How do you handle pressure?
  33. What is the name of our CEO?
  34. What are your career goals?
  35. What gets you up in the morning?
  36. What would your direct reports say about you?
  37. What were your bosses’ strengths/weaknesses?
  38. If I called your boss right now and asked him/her what is an area that you could improve on, what would he/she say?
  39. Are you a leader or a follower?
  40. What was the last book you read for fun?
  41. What are your co-worker pet peeves?
  42. What are your hobbies?
  43. What is your favorite website?
  44. What makes you uncomfortable?
  45. What are some of your leadership experiences?
  46. How would you fire someone?
  47. What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
  48. Would you work 40+ hours a week?
  49. What questions haven’t I asked you?
  50. What questions do you have for me?

Dobroski said hiring managers can always tell when a candidate has spent time prepping for an interview.

"Try practicing answers to these questions out loud in front of a mirror, or ask a friend or family member to listen to your answers and give feedback," he said.

"Practice is key," added Dana Leavy-Detrick, founder and chief creative scribe at Brooklyn Resume Studio. "The more comfortable you become speaking about yourself in a marketing context, the easier it will be to answer any type of interview question that comes your way."

Leavy-Detrick noted that you should prepare a few anecdotal stories that speak to your strengths, such as how you turned around a difficult situation, achieved a success or stepped up in any way.


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First impressions matters the most, and the first impression that a potential employer will have of you, is dependent on how you present your resume.

Studies suggest that a recruiter only spends less than ten seconds looking at a resume, so it is imperative that it makes the right impression.

With an increasingly competitive job market, a professional resume with just the right amount of information, is what would catch the attention on any recruiter. It is such a resume, crafted in a concise manner, that will stand out amongst the countless other resume that potential employers will be sifting through, giving you the best possible chance of getting their attention.

Here are seven distractors which mean nothing to the recruiter while scrutinising your resume.

1. Summary Statement instead of Objective
Generic objectives have now become a cliché. Objective statements need to be replaced with a personalised summary statement that would serve as an elevator pitch. This should be a well-crafted brief paragraph that give insights on what you are best at doing, interests and the value- add you would be contributing to your prospective employer. Summarise your job goals and qualifications for the reader.

2. Inappropriate E-mail / Contact info
Contact details, email id in specific, should be professional ones. In that, addresses with crazy names or ones that are offensive in nature would have to be saved for personal use only – definitely cannot be used when you are seeking a job. It would be good to have an id exclusively for your job-search and networking activities. Avoid putting multiple phone numbers. Double check your resume, make sure it carries your personal email id and contact number, and not those from your current workplace.

3. Relevant Personal Information
The resume should focus on your professional capabilities. Keeping this in mind, personal details such as ethnicity, and religious / spiritual beliefs can be excluded. Unless you are a fresh graduate personal hobbies have no place in the resumes, unless they are directly related to you line of work. These are of no value- add to experienced professionals while seeking a job, unless asked specifically by the prospective employer.

4. Avoid Tables and Images
Every organization adapts an online applicant tracking system, known as an ATS system. Embedding tables or images in your resume, content of any format in the the actual Header and Footer sections of the Word document, can scramble the application in these systems. Hence avoid all of these.

5. Maintain Uniform Font 
Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Tahoma, Book Antiqua or Franklin Gothic, are some the fonts one should be choosing from while crafting the resume. These are fonts that are easy to read and would be picked up easily by any organisations’ ATS as well. Every employer would need a version of your resume that can be easily uploaded, deconstructed and stored in their online ATS. Hence keep any creative design, (if it is part of your job) for your online portfolio only.

6. Focus on Related Information
Be focused while crafting the resume. Any information that is irrelevant to your target job goals would have no place in the resume. If it cannot be linked as a contributor or enhancer of your professional skill sets, it is not going to be of any use to the recruiter. Do not digress.

7. Focus on The Present
For an experienced professional, any experience outside a 15 year time period is considered too old and is not given any weightage. List your career progression in the reverse chronological order, as is preferred by most recruiters. Removing dates from any degrees, certifications or awards that fall outside that 15-year window is yet another suggestion. Fresh graduates and entry level professionals need to highlight their education and relevant achievements, internships with a brief outline, and any leadership skills and professional skills developed in the college days. Most often than not, we find resumes still carrying details of higher education and the achievements there off. It is the most recent work experience that any recruiter would focus on and how relevant it is for the position one is being considered for.

Although 10 seconds comes across as a cursory glance, it is this one glance that could have a huge impact on your career. Your resume is a very important document and it is through this important piece of document that the recruiter gets to know you, the first impression that he builds on you, and decides whether or not to shortlist you as a prospective candidate. Spend quality time on crafting your resume detailing only the most crucial information giving no room for irrelevant details. Include keywords relevant to your profession and industry that could highlight your resume on online searches. Remember you resume is the most important tool you have in hand to secure that coveted job.


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A job interview gives you the opportunity to not only showcase your capabilities and credentials for the position applied for but also makes a compelling impression to stand out from the competing candidates.

But you need to take care of a lot of factors such as preparation, physical appearance and body language to create a favourable impression. Brinda Dasgupta brings you suggestions from experts on how to ace the interview.

Get the basics right
Keep the fundamentals in mind while going for a job interview. Dressing sharply and being punctual are of prime importance. “Ideally, reach the interview venue at least 15 minutes before time. Don’t show yourself as being nervous; be calm when you head in for the meeting,” says Swapnil Kamat, CEO, Work Better Training.

Focus on the handshake
The handshake is absolutely essential in cementing a positive first impression. “Shake hands firmly with your interviewer(s). Your grip should not be limp, neither should it be bone-crushing,” says Kamat. The ideal handshake should last at least two or three seconds and be accompanied by eye contact with the interviewer.

Pay attention to body language
Hiring managers form impressions about candidates by observing their body language, such as facial ex pressions and their style of sitting. “Maintain a posi tive, open position. Posture is important; candidates can sit at an angle from the interviewer rather than straight across, which will feel friendlier rather than confrontational,” says Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR Services.

Don’t jump to negotiations
Do be sure to enquire about the job -its challenges, projects you will work on and the expectations from you in the role. “Don’t jump to ask salary or designation. This will create a negative impression,” says Mishra. PNSV Narasimham, global head of human resources, Cyient, says, “Demonstrate your fitment and interest in the role confidently, respectfully and enthusiastically.



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Job interviews are sacrosanct. You do not want to goof up at them at any cost, be it fresher level or higher up. However, a good interview can turn bad because of the interviewee’s body language. Having good domain skills are not enough these days. The way you behave also matters. Here is a list (in descending order) of five body language blunders that turn off interviewers.

5. Looking lazy or too aggressive 
Do not lean back – you will look lazy. Do not lean forward- you will look aggressive. Just sit naturally – straight – you will look alert and comfortable. Also do not cross your arms. This shows defensiveness – like you are holding yourself back. HR people are good at reading people’s mind. Hence look comfortable, natural and confident.

4. Avoiding eye contact
Look calmly at the interviewer during the conversation. Do not stare or look away while speaking. Understand that you can say a lot through eyes too. A confident gaze will get him to believe that you are up for the task and challenges.

3. Constant nodding
Do not be in the habit of nodding and agreeing to everything the interviewer says. This shows you are more of a ‘yes’ person. At times, recruiters throw tricky questions to just gauge your yesman-ship. They don’t want a definitive answer but a probable and best one.

4. Weak handshakes 
There is nothing worse than a weak handshake to start off or end an interview. A firm handshake is a sign of authority and confidence. A close-fisted handshake is a sign of an aggressive and over confident personality. Just be calm. Also, if the interviewee is a lady and doesn’t offer her hand, don’t go about making the gesture.

5. Looking at the clock 
Some interviews can drag on for a long time. Still, if you want to have the job, avoid peeking at the wrist watch or the wall clock while you are in the middle of a conversation with the interviewer. Avoid giving them hints that you are short of time or unavailable.


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Ask any recruiter how much time he spends scanning a resume, the answer you get is always in terms of number of seconds. Yes, in seconds, not minutes. A recruiter receives and reviews hundreds of resumes every day and doesn’t have the time or inclination to spend more than a few seconds on our resume.

Given that we have only a few seconds to make a lasting impact, we would want to create a really compelling artifact. In an attempt to create a compelling profile, we all tend to make some mistakes.

A lot has been written and published on this topic already. If you search with the phrase “resume faux pas” or “common mistakes in resumes”, you will get a number of columns with amazingly useful tips. Here are the most commonly cited things that most of these articles written by career coaches or HR/business leaders would ask you to avoid:

• Typos/ errors of any kind – grammatical, spelling, formatting
• False/falsified information
• Verbosity
• Sharing too much of information
• Non-professional fonts, ineligible fonts

While these are absolute no-no’s for me, here are a few other missteps I wish candidates avoided:

Common gaffes –
Including generic, lengthy descriptions of your responsibilities, and even repeating similar responsibilities across organisations

What it tells me about you –

You are either not proud of your past experience, or are too lazy to share specifics. Job descriptions should have generic information, not resumes!

What you could do instead –

Focus on the impact you have created – how many dollars have you saved, how much of repeat business you have been able to generate, what standards of quality you have driven

Common gaffes –
Including logos of your current/previous employers; client names while describing projects

What it tells me about you –

You do not know how to handle confidential information

What you could do instead –

Do not ever include company logos on resumes. A logo is copyrighted information and including them on resumes is not legal. Similarly do not disclose client names, use powerful descriptions instead. Something like this – “A multi-billion dollar construction equipment manufacturer”

Common gaffes –
Not highlighting dates clearly

What it tells me about you –

You are probably trying to hide gaps in your employment or education

What you could do instead –

Dates should be highlighted next to your role in each company, and also each category of educational qualifications

Common gaffes –
Including hobbies like Watching Movies, Listening to Music

What it tells me about you –
You are lazy and don’t have hobbies where you play an active role. Most human beings listen to music and watch movies, there is nothing special about you

What you could do instead – 

If you are not actively pursuing any hobbies, it is ok not to mention any

These might seem obvious or insignificant but when you want to be the chosen one amongst hundreds, if not thousands, then avoid these errors and create positive impressions with your resumes. Good luck creating great resumes and building great careers!


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