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From the UK: Job Hunting 21st Century Style: The Interview

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shutterstock_400222735We have discussed about how job hunting and finding work in this new dawn of an age has changed, and also stayed the same.

While technology makes job hunting somewhat easier due to the Internet and being able to post your CV online, and complete applications online, some of the old fashioned mechanics of getting a job have not changed.

It can still come down to who you know, and also the interview.

Even with this new “blind recruitment” employers still will need to interview any potential candidates to inquire as to if they will not just be able to do the job required of them, but also fit into the company.

Just like it can be who you know in getting a job, many times in a job interview it can be about personalities, and fitting in with the rest of a group or team.


My Interview History

In my many years on this third stone from the sun, I have had my share of interviews. Mostly they went well, however, some did not go so well.

My saying always has been, if I can get short-listed and get an interview, I can get the job.  Confident I know, and in some instances, it has been true.

If you read my blog on getting a job in the 21st century, you will recall I applied for one on my first jobs at a fast food restaurant five (5) times pior to my friend getting me an interview, and subsequently the job.

During that interview, the manager who interviewed me used an interview tactic known as silence.

It’s a mind game that some interviewers use to throw the person being interviewed off guard a bit, using awkward silence.

Why that manager felt the need to use this tactic on a 16 year old applying for a job at a fast food restaurant is beyond me.  However, they did, and I just sat there.

I didn’t feel awkward, I thought maybe the interview had ended??

For the most part, many of the interviews I went on had stock questions:

*  Tell us your strengths.

*  Tell us your weaknesses.

*  Why do you want this job?  (Never say for the money, while true, not what they want to hear.)

I recall one particular bad interview which was done via the phone, and was for a bank call centre. The woman doing the interview was brutal, and actually nasty the entire time.

She asked me, “Tell me something you have done above and beyond your current job requirements to aid a client”.

When I gave her, what I thought was a good example, her response was, “It sounds to me that you just did your job, what you are supposed to do”.

She hammered away at me and said some not nice things as she went through my CV for another 15 minutes, and that was the interview.

I never followed up for the job, and I never heard back from the bank.

One interview I had shortly after I finished university, again in a banking environment, was almost surreal.

The manager who interviewed me stated the following as he read my CV:

*  You did not graduate in the top 1% of your class.

*  You do not have five years experience in banking.

*  Your grade point average is not in the highest percentile.

This was for an entry level job paying buttons as a salary.

My response to these statements was that I agreed with him.  I did not have any of these things, and if I had, I would not be interviewing for this job, I’d be looking at better employment/jobs.  I bid him a good day and left.

I never heard back from that company, so surprise there.

Interviews can make or break getting a job.


shutterstock_256056607Prep Work

While there are do’s and don’ts for interviews, which we will discuss in a bit, you need to do your homework and prepare for the interview.

Just getting an interview is a huge hurdle to overcome.  There may have been hundreds of applicants for the one position.

Research the company online, and also research the industry as a whole.  Know this company’s competition, who they are competing against for business.

Look at the what ways this company may be unique from others in the same industry, and also know their history.

If possible, familiarise yourself with key figures within the company, the President, if they have one, or other Directors.

Also prepare for the battery of questions they may ask you.  If possible, role play with someone, having them ask you various questions.

Know your answers, it’s OK to take a moment to think before speaking, but you don’t want to get tongue-tied, or not have an answer.

Questions such as:

*  Your strengths

*  Your weaknesses

*  How do you see yourself working here

*  Where do you see yourself in (insert number of years here)

*  Are you a team player

*  Can you work independently of supervision

*  Why do you want this job

*  What are your hobbies

All basic questions that can be asked in an interview.

And remember, not only are they interviewing you, you are interviewing them.  You can have a list of questions to ask them as well.

*  Is there growth potential in the future

*  What training programmes do you have in place

Let the interviewer know you are looking at this as a long-term job prospect.


shutterstock_153117149Do’s and Do Nots

OK, now you’re prepared for the interview, there are a few things you need to do, and not to do.  And the first thing is to be on-time, in fact be a little early for the interview.

Nothing gets things off to a bad start then being late.

I myself have even drove to the place where the interview is to be held the day before as a practice run if I was not 100% sure of the location.

Another big thing is to dress appropriately.  If need be, wear a suit and tie.

A few other do’s:

*  Be on time

*  Dress right

*  Shake hands

*  Be polite

*  Make eye contact

*  Be aware of your body language and how you sit

*  Speak clearly

While all of this may seem like common sense, you’d be surprised at how many people don’t keep these points in mind.

Another “new age” thing employers are doing is searching out prospective employee’s Facebook page.

You may want to clean your social media accounts up in the sense of if you post highly political rants, or give likes to any other questionable posts.


Odd Interview Questions

While there can be some employers and interviewers that use “head games” in the interview process, there can also be some strange and odd questions they may ask you.

Once I was asked if I had any regrets?  That is a double edged sword question, you almost cannot win no matter what you say.

However, some questions you may be asked in a job interview seem to have no relation to the job at all.

Questions like are you an Eastenders or Coronation Street fan, really have no relation to working in a bank or as an acountant.

Some questions that you could be asked have no right answer.

So what to do?

The best you can.

If you haven’t go a clue, then you haven’t got a clue.  Odds are, you are not alone in not knowing the answer, if there really is one.

So again, even with all the technology and power of the Internet that is available to us in finding suitable work and jobs, the interview process is still crucial for employers, and for us as employees.

,We have discussed about how job hunting and finding work in this new dawn of an age has changed, and also stayed the same. While technology makes job hunting somewhat easier due to the Internet and

This article by Jon Emge was syndicated by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.




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