Category Archives: Interviews

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Do These Things If You’re Rejected For A Job

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Category : Interviews

Make sure you have a plan B, just in case you don’t land that one job. If you don’t land the job, the chances are you’ll become depressed. This is why you should always have a backup plan in the event you are refused a job.

Don’t think you will be able to satisfy your professional validations in an interview. If you do, the chances are you will be disappointed. This is because employers don’t want to know how they can help you out, as they want to know what you can do to help them and their company.

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, even though many employers don’t share solid feedback on why you don’t get a job. You might not like what the employer tells you, but at least you will know why you didn’t land the job, and it gives you peace of mind. You don’t want to be left wondering why you didn’t get the job you interviewed for. You might even get the opportunity to try again in the interview process if you ask.

Don’t go blaming others in the event you don’t get the job. If you’re not offered a job, then move on and just accept that you may not have been the right person for the job. Sure, it’s easy to blame other people for failures, but do your best to not blame others because the chances are you will not have any luck finding a job.

After you’re rejected, don’t try to relive the situation with others because this won’t do you any favors. Instead, you should focus on situations that you have succeeded in. If you remember the positive things that you have done, then your confidence will receive a boost and you will feel good and you will feel as if you’re meant for bigger things and better things.

Don’t start picking out your faults after you are rejected a job offer, even if you have been refused jobs on numerous occasions because this will not do you any good. You want to focus on your strengths and the things you are passionate about. If you do this, then you will start showing that passion during interviews and if you need further help, look at this infographic on successful rejects from Ecardshack.com.

You are not alone. You may feel like that, but you are not. Once you realize this, you will be able to move forward.

Finally, keep a positive attitude, even if you have been rejected for a job. Turn every single rejection into an opportunity. Remember, eventually the day will come when you’re offered a job you will love.


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Preparing For an Interview

Category : Interviews

I’ve hired almost 100 people in my corporate career at all career levels from entry through expert and I want you to know how to ace an interview with someone like me. What follows gives you a great understanding of what I look for and how you should get ready for any Corporate America interview when you’re just starting out.

The Phone Screen

Phone screens are generally 30 minute phone calls or video conferences focused on figuring out if you:

  1. Communicate effectively
  2. Have the basic skills needed for the job
  3. Want the job

I personally start by introducing myself, telling you about the position, and then allowing you to ask questions about the position. I learn a lot from your questions so you need to be prepared with some. If you have an interest in the position then we will move on.

Next up is generally a skills based question. I want to get an understanding for whether you actually have the skills that are on your resume that are relevant to the position I’m hiring for. Here I’m listening carefully to how you communicate and assessing your skill level.

Finally I’ll generally ask an experience or a problem solving question. These let me know how you deal with situations you’ve been exposed to in your past work experience or present you with a theoretical one so that I can hear about how you think and approach problems.

The best way to get through the phone screen is to:

  1. Know who I am ahead of time
  2. Ask good questions about the company or position
  3. Show me you have the technical skill I’m interviewing for and can communicate them
  4. Show me you can solve problems and that you’re open with me

To get ready for a phone screen:

  1. Look up the person on LinkedIn
  2. Learn about what the company does
  3. Create a list of a few questions
  4. Find some sample technical interview questions for the skills on your resume and practice them

The Phone Interview

dreamstime_m_31903135If you make it past a phone screen often you’ll make it to a phone interview next. Phone interviews are generally 60 minutes on the phone or a video conference. If you’re interviewing for a technical skills role you may need internet access so that you can collaborate with the interviewer.

The most important thing for you to get out of a phone interview is an understanding for the position and whether you want it. To do so you need to ask questions! At the end of the interview, if you don’t want the position, just let the interviewer know, you’ll save them a lot of time.

When I conduct phone interviews I’m focused on figuring out:

  1. Do you really have the technical skills I need
  2. What are the limits of your technical skill
  3. How you work on a team
  4. Whether you will fit with the team I have an opening on

If we haven’t talked already in a phone screen I’ll start with an introduction of the role, the team, and the position. You then will have the opportunity to ask questions. Finally we’ll jump in to the phone interview questions.

Questions will be specifically designed to show me where your skills are, how you work with other people, and how you handle things you don’t know how to do, and the behaviors you have had at previous jobs.

To get ready for a phone interview:

  1. Look up the interviewer on LinkedIn
  2. Look up recent news on the company
  3. Figure out an answer to any phone screen questions that you bombed
  4. Run through sample interview questions for the position you are interviewing for (meaning: practice!)

The In-Person Interview

Teacher meme by Filip PticekWow, you made all the way to an in-person interview. If you’re going for a job at a large company this is a big deal! Apparently the interviewers so far liked what they heard and they want to get a better understanding for you and get opinions on you from some of the team members or the interviewers peers (a multi-session interview with different people is called a “loop”). This is exciting and can make you nervous.

Tip #1: Relax! This is just another day and you’re talking with some people you don’t know about stuff you do know.

In an in-person interview loop, as the hiring manager, I want to:

  1. Sell you the position
  2. Give you an impression of what it will be like to work for me
  3. Get a final opinion on your fit on the team

Other interviewers will focus on different areas of your skills and abilities and the limits of your capability. Don’t be worried about getting the right answer… I and the interviewers working with me are far more interested in how you deal with things you don’t know. So, we’re going to try to figure out what you know and where that ends. This way we know where your boundaries are. We also want to see you figure things out.

Tip #2: Clarify Questions! We want to know that you don’t go running blindly into walls, rather, you ask where the light switch is first

Tip #3: Don’t Worry About Not Knowing! We are trying to find the limits to your experience and skills.

Tip #4: In-Person Interview days can be tiring! Be sure to ask for breaks, get liquids, eat a snack, and get a walk in if possible.

 

Here’s how to get ready:

  1. Relax
  2. Dress professionally
  3. Print and bring a couple resumes, just in case
  4. Arrive early
  5. Be yourself

If you’ve made it this far and done all this you can be confident that you’re being given the job, or not, based on who you are.


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Student Job Search

Category : Interviews

There comes a time in the life of an average high school or college student when the need for a student job search arises. While having extra spending money is usually the main reason for a looking for a job, there are several other benefits to be gained by working while still a student. But then, how do you carry out a successful student job search? Where do you look? Read on to find out the answers.

Resume is Key

Chances are that your desired student job will require you to submit a resume. Your success in landing the position will depend on how well you compose your resume. Therefore, careful efforts need to be put in to make sure your resume does a good job for you. Find and read through tips on how to write an effective student resume. A tip is that your education information should be near the top, after your summary, since it is unlikely you already have significant work experience. Ensure your resume uses the right format and length. And do not forget to check your spellings and grammar.

Where to look for jobs

There are many avenues you can explore for a student job search. Below are some of them.

1. Career office – One good way to get your student job search going is to visit the career office in your school, if one exists. You will be able to access listings of jobs you can apply for, including internship opportunities. And that’s not all. You could also be provided with personal career counseling and other forms of assistance, including resume writing and review. Some college career offices also offer recorded practice job interviews to help.

2. Job fairs – It is advisable to also consider attending job fairs whenever you have time to spare. At such events, you are provided with the opportunity to meet several companies looking to hire students. A job fair may be organized on your campus or off it. Interviews are sometimes conducted at these events and, if you are able to prove your mettle, you could land yourself a good job. For this reason, it is important that you have your well-written resume ready when attending a job fair.

3. College recruitment programs – Some large organizations have formal agreement with schools through which they hire students to work with them after graduation or during holiday breaks. These opportunities usually include paid or unpaid internships for gaining work experience. Participation in such recruiting programs could be helpful in your job search.

4. Online Job Search – Given you can do almost anything online these days, you can also do your student job search there as well – right from the comfort of your home. One great place you can find a job this way is myfirstpaycheck.com/jobs/. On that job search page, you will be able to search for whatever job you desire and also stipulate location where you want it to be. If you want, you can get more specific by stating the name of the company you would like to work with and how much you want to earn.

You need an open mind to achieve quicker success on your student job search. Try to be flexible about the fields you where you would like to work and apply for many jobs to improve your chances of getting a job.


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The Resume Guide

Category : Interviews

        Welcome Everyone to  Resume Guide and Tips Page

We cannot say this enough, having a good resume for perspective employers and for interviews is essential. It shows that you are serious about the position, and that you are mature and responsible. Plus, you can use it to remind yourself of how great you are during interviews.

There are many different résumé styles, but we have put together some fundamental guidelines below to make the process easier for you.It should be neat, persuasive, and accurate. After you meet a potential employer, this document is how they are going to remember you! Put some effort into it! And remember, proofreading is essential. Make sure to have someone else double check your work for errors.

Résumé Tips:

A résumé is an outline of your academic, employment, and personal experiences created to promote your skills and abilities to potential employers.

Basic Design Guidelines:

* Your résumé should only be one page, so pick the best things — not everything — that you think potential employers should know.
* Stick to basic fonts, like Times New Roman, and do not use a font smaller than 10. Remember, your font should be readable!

Name & Contact Info:

* Employers must know how to reach you, so be sure to list your address, phone numbers, and e-mail on your resume.
* Contact information can be centered, or placed in the in left or right corners at the top of your résumé.
* Make sure that your voicemail message, e-mail address, and e-mail signature is work appropriate.

Education:

* Always start your list with the most recent school you attended.
* List your school and location (town and state).
* Include your G.P.A. if it is 3.0 or above.
* List all honors, awards, and/or special recognition that you have achieved.

Experience:

* Always start with the most recent job you have held.
* Be specific! If you babysat, list how many families, how many kids, how many hours, etc. If you mowed lawns, list how many lawns you mow a week. The details will distinguish you from everyone else.

Personal:

* List all important and interesting information that doesn’t necessarily fit under experience or education, such as special skills, clubs, and activities.
* When listing activities, make sure that you add details. Saying you were on the high school football team is not as effective as saying you played two years on JV and one on varsity, for a state championship team. This shows progress and determination and will set you apart.

Interview Tips

Bring materials to leave behind. It is a good idea to bring a resume with you when inquiring about jobs or attending a job interview. Oftentimes the decision maker will be out of the office or will forget about your conversation, so it’s effective to leave them with something to remind them why they should hire you!

Dress appropriately. If you have any questions about what’s appropriate, dress up. Being overdressed is a lot easier to forgive than being under dressed. Not to mention, it shows that you are responsible and that you care about the job opening. First impressions are important, take advantage of yours.

Be optimistic. When an employer decides to hire you, they are making the decision that they want to (or are willing) to spend a good chunk of their time with you. You will never make a favorable impression with a poor attitude or by speaking negatively of a previous employer. If you get rejected, apply somewhere else. If you aren’t getting rejected, you’re not stretching yourself enough.

Practice, Practice, Practice. Have answers prepared for possible interview questions, and find a parent or friend to help you practice. The first time you should think about why you want to work somewhere should not be in the interview. You should already have a ready, true, and compelling reason. Pracitce makes perfect.

Make sure you ask questions as well. At the end of an interview, an employer will often times provide you with the opportunity to ask questions. Take advantage of this opportunity! It will make you sound intelligent, engaged, and you’ll learn something too!

Cover Letter Guide & Tips

Cover letters are personal introductions to potential employers. While many first jobs might not require cover letters, it’s a great way to practice and to make your application stand out.

A great cover letter should tell the prospective employer who you are, why you are applying for the position, and why they should hire you all in one page.

Sounds hard, right? It is. However, writing a cover letter provides you with the opportunity to think about why you want the job before meeting prospective employers. This will help you out in the interview.

The most important thing to remember about cover letters is to personalize them. You absolutely positively cannot just create a template and change the name of the company. Your cover letter should be targeted to match the specific company and position that you are applying for. It also helps if you can address the letter to a specific person instead of “To Whom it May Concern.” Remember, this is a formal document.

A cover letter should read something like this:

(this info is usually placed on the right side of the page)

Applicant’s Name
Your Street Address
City, State Zip

(insert paragraph break)

Today’s Date

(This info is usually aligned to the left)

Employer’s Name
Title
Organization
Street Address
City, State Zip Code

(insert paragraph break)

Dear Ms./Mr./Dr. Last Name:

(insert paragraph break)

Opening paragraph

The opening paragraph is your opportunity to introduce yourself, tell the employer why you are writing, and the position you are applying for. To capture and keep the employer’s interest this paragraph should be short and specific.

Quick Tip: If you’ve already talked to the person to whom you are sending the letter, indicate this in your introduction. This is also the place to mention if a parent/friend/teacher recommended you. The goal is to remind the potential employer who you are so they can attach a story (and hopefully a face) to your application.

Middle Paragraph

The middle paragraph is where you have a chance to show off a little bit. Describe the parts of your education, experience, and interests that are relevant to the employer and to the position you are applying. Use the job advertisement, and what you know of the position, to relate your skills to the job. It’s a good opportunity to demonstrate that you know what will be expected of you, and you are qualified for the position.

Closing Paragraph

The closing paragraph should help move the application towards the next step. Thank the employer for taking the time to consider your application and offer to answer any of their questions.

Sincerely,
Signature (signed)
Your Full Name (typed)

Finally, spell check, spell check, spell check. Ask a friend or family member to proofread it for you. Once you are convinced it is error-free, submit your cover letter with your résumé and keep your fingers crossed! Hopefully you should hear back in a few days regarding your application, but if you do not, be sure to follow up with a phone call in case after a week has passed.

On The Job Tips

And you thought getting the job was hard, some advice for once you actually start working.

Show up: It sounds basic, and it is basic, but it’s not going to be a successful experience if you can’t show up on time. And showing up on time doesn’t just mean being there at 5:00, when you’re supposed to be there at 5:00, it means showing up at 4:45 and being dressed, in your position, with the right attitude.

Act appropriately: Having a job is a big deal, and you have to act like it. That means being respectful, dressing appropriately, talking appropriately, and acting appropriately. It’s your job, you should know what’s expected of you, but if you have any doubts, overdo it, it can’t hurt.

Ask questions: If you aren’t sure, or don’t know about something, ask. It won’t make you look stupid or young, it’ll ensure you do what you are supposed to. Asking questions also helps you learn more about the workplace, get to know your co-workers better, and improve as an employee. When you finish a task, don’t wait for the next assignment, ask your boss or your coworkers how you can be of further assistance.

Volunteer: There is what you are asked to do, and what you are supposed to do. The workplace is a good place to go above and beyond the call of duty. Your boss will notice when you come early, stay late, and do the things that others aren’t willing to do.

Top Ten Terrific Things To Do At Work:

  1. Show up early
  2. Ask questions
  3. Display a friendly attitude
  4. Promote your company to your friends and family
  5. Befriend your co-workers
  6. Keep up your school work
  7. Volunteer to take on additional tasks
  8. Be proud of your work
  9. Work hard
  10. Have fun!



Image: Flickr-Gangplank HQ


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Building a Teen Resume For Your First Job

Category : Interviews , My First Job

Your first job is always a memorable one. Most kids start searching for those summer jobs early and are already working by the time they are teenagers. It can be hard trying to find the perfect job because as a kid you have so many other activities such as school, sports and extra curriculars. However, there are a lot of valuable lessons you can learn from your first job and build your resume. The best part is as a teenager you have room to look around and decide what job works with your schedule and is a fun way to make money.

The first job search is usually found by word of mouth or with the help of other friends who have some experience. Many times teenagers begin working over the summers in order to make some money while they don’t have the commitment of school. With a good employer you can hopefully find a way to work a part-time job into your school year as well. As a rule of thumb, when you go in for the interview process you should make your potential employer aware if you will or will not be able to consider continue working during the school year as well.

As a teenager searching for a job you need to be a little more flexible about what you are going to find. As you are just starting, you are on the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to pay and experience. No matter how smart and capable you are of the job, it’s hard to convince someone of your talent without any previous experience. That’s why in your first job you should be looking to build your resume and experience. A great way to do that is by beginning to write your resume even before you start your job. That way as you are completing tasks it’ll be fresh in your mind of all the new tools you are learning. You’ll be surprised by how many different little skills you learn that maybe later you wouldn’t even consider writing on your resume. For example, if you are using any sort of computer program that’s definitely experience you want to include. Even if it is only for helping customers to check out that is experience not everyone has had and the next time you are looking for a job it may be able to give you leverage over your competition.

It’s incredible how important that resume will be in later years when you are searching for another job. A well-written and organized resume can definitely get you the job over another potential candidate. Plus, you automatically are in a better place than with your first occupation because you have actually job experience. Even if your second choice of job has nothing to do with the first, any experience is always better than no experience at all. Take your first job for what it is and begin to build your resume as you go.




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Resume Tips For Teens

Category : Interviews , My First Job

As a teenager begins his or her first job, they are often scared and have little courage.  Whether it is because of the lack of experience or going to an interview for the first time, looking for a job at such a young age can be scary.  One thing that can help children to ease their worries is being well prepared and having confidence.  Having a well put together resume can either make or break a job interview.  Even if you don’t have experience, a resume will show what skills, experience and other qualifications you have to make you stand out.

Keep it simple.  The best resumes contain all information pertinent to the job you are applying for, but don’t overdo it.  If you add in qualifications that are not relevant, if may get confusing and turn employers away.  The resume should be easy to read and clearly understood.  It should highlight your best qualities and point out why you are different than the average applicant.

Be professional.  The presentation of your resume should use a standard font and format.  There is no need to make a resume appear more visually appealing with cursive writing or pictures.  Make sure your name and contact information is clearly put at the top and print it out on a plain piece of white paper from a quality printer.

Order is important.  When forming your resume, keep in mind that you want the most important qualities you possess to be first.  Prioritize your qualities and make sure that they stand out when an employer reviews your resume.  With your previous experience, things should be ordered based on the date.  Your most recent job experiences or other types of relevant experiences should be listed first.

Content.  Even if you don’t have job experience, there are still many things that you can put in your resume.  Begin with a brief introduction of yourself that contains basic information, such as your name, sex, birthday and contact information.  After an introduction, you’ll want to list your strengths.  Here, you will put what you consider your most important strengths that are relevant to the job you are applying for.  Next, you’ll want to highlight any qualifications or awards you have received.  If you have a diploma or received educational awards while in school, you will list them in this section.   After highlighting any qualifications, you’ll want to list any job experience that you’ve had in the past.  Whether it is volunteer or paid, any previous work experience you have will be listed here.  Furthermore, you’ll want to include a brief description of what duties each job entailed.  Last but not least, you’ll want to list at least three references for the employer to contact.  These should not be family members, but instead people who know you on a work basis or from an educational standpoint.  When listing references, be sure to contact them and let them know that they may be contacted by the potential employer.

Keep in mind that your resume should be clear and concise.  It should not be any longer than two pages and should contain anything that makes you stand out.  Make sure that there are no grammatical errors and that you have not put anything inaccurate on your resume.




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Interview Tips for Teens

Category : Interviews

Bring materials to leave behind. It is a good idea to bring a resume with you when inquiring about jobs or attending a job interview. Oftentimes the decision maker will be out of the office or will forget about your conversation, so it’s effective to leave them with something to remind them why they should hire you!

Dress appropriately. If you have any questions about what’s appropriate, dress up. Being overdressed is a lot easier to forgive than being under dressed. Not to mention, it shows that you are responsible and that you care about the job opening. First impressions are important, take advantage of yours.

Be optimistic. When an employer decides to hire you, they are making the decision that they want to (or are willing) to spend a good chunk of their time with you. You will never make a favorable impression with a poor attitude or by speaking negatively of a previous employer. If you get rejected, apply somewhere else. If you aren’t getting rejected, you’re not stretching yourself enough.

Practice, Practice, Practice. Have answers prepared for possible interview questions, and find a parent or friend to help you practice. The first time you should think about why you want to work somewhere should not be in the interview. You should already have a ready, true, and compelling reason. Practice makes perfect.

Make sure you ask questions as well. At the end of an interview, an employer will often times provide you with the opportunity to ask questions. Take advantage of this opportunity! It will make you sound intelligent, engaged, and you’ll learn something too!


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Persistence Pays Off

Category : Interviews , Other Stuff

In any economy, but particularly now when jobs are a little harder to come by – persistence and follow-ups pay off.

3 basic follow up tips to help you stand out from the competition

* Send a thank you note to the interviewer within 48 hours
* Follow the interviewers directions completely regarding follow-up to the interview
* Call the employer to reiterate your interest in the position if you havent heard about the employment decision, but wait at least a week after the interview.


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Sell Sell Sell

Category : Interviews

In my state-wide standardize testing this week, one prompt was about resume and cover letter writing for teens. Quelle coincidence! This of course was a topic I knew a lot about already, but I was very surprised to see certain wording in the description of the cover letter (CL). The prompt repeatedly said that the CL is a tool to “sell yourself.” Perhaps this is how most people view job applications (and maybe all applications in general) but personally, I find this description a bit disgusting. Selling yourself implies handing yourself over and losing yourself to somebody else. I know that we are capable of filling out an application and writing a CL while maintaining a sense of self. Yes, there are certainly compromises we have to make (like taking down those drinking photos from Facebook), but for the most part, these pieces should be an accurate reflection of yourself. You do want to present yourself in good light, but if this is a job (or college or program or internship) that is really good for YOU then you shouldnt have to compromise yourself to the point of “selling.”