Job interview lasts for about an hour. HR specialist tries to find out about the applicant as much as he can and decide if he fits the position and is able to fit together with the team. Sometimes HR throws candidate out of comfort zone to check if he is able to deal with stress situations. At the same time discrimination questions about marital status, age, the number of children or sexual orientation and religion preferences is not allowed.
What is expected:
Coming in time.
Plan your way, so in a case of traffic, you still come in time. You are supposed to get to reception about 5 minutes before the interview. Don't underestimate complicated office buildings. It could easily take you more than 10 minutes to get from entrance reception to company one.
Basic knowledge about the company.
What do you know about the company and position, you are applying for. You not gonna believe how many candidates got blood pressure risen by this basic question. Therefore learn fundamental information about the company before an interview: the history, products portfolio, significant clients, future plans etc. Source of this information can be the company website, press releases and news section.
HR creates the first opinion about you within the first 30 seconds, while applicant opens the door, enters the room and says "Good morning". Thus much earlier, that he starts talking about his experience and skills. So don't dispraise, what you have on and your look overall.
Turn off mobile phone and spit out the gum. Smile and greet people around you in a friendly manner. Be careful about handshake ala scared fish or ala gladiator. Don't interrupt HR. On the opposite, let him/her set speech tempo. Don't be back-slapping and don't try to give the super-dominant impression. Watch out! Salary subject is always opened by HR, not by an applicant.
Frequent questions at an interview.
- What kind of job you are looking for?
- Why did you decide to apply specifically in our company?
- What are your expectations from changing workplace?
- Why have you quit your previous job?
- What were your responsibilities at your last job?
- Describe your typical day at your last job?
- What do you see as your biggest acquisition for our company?
- Why should we choose you for this position?
- How is your education corresponds with our requirements?
- Pick your three characteristics, that would you estimate as an advantage and three things you would like to change in yourself?
- What are your professional goals for the next 5 or 10 years?
- Do you have any experience with leading and managing people?
- What are your expectations about salary?
- When will you be ready to start?"
What applicant can ask
At the second part of an interview, HR can ask you if you have any questions. It would be good if you would prepare one or two questions:
- "Is it a newly created position?
- If I am a replacement, what did the reason for it become vacant?
- What are the key criteria to achieve success at this position?
- What are the possibilities of career growth?
- What are the possibilities for education?
- How are employees estimated?
- When can I start?"
Motivation letter narrates the story about why you are the proper choice, why you are the person that should be hired. Good motivation letter will prompt HR specialist to become acquainted with you in person.
Introduction - why are you addressing them?
Skip complements and get to the point. HR specialists are busy people and they need to know straight away why you address them. Specify position that roused your interest. Don't say that your are looking for any position that you are capable of doing. HR guys don't have time to invent a position for you.
Core of your message - why you are the proper candidate?
Don't write down everything you mentioned in your CV. Give just some examples of your experience and success. Prove good knowledge of the field or the company, you would like to work for. Represent your goals. Concentrate on things you can do for the company you want to work for.
Remember motivation letter main goal, ask for interview. Describe when and how they can contact you. If you are sending letter by paper mail, sign it.
A couple of good tips
- Content has to rouse interest, escape cliché. The very first paragraph should content exact reason why you are writing and draw addressee's attention.
- Write original letter for every position you apply. It's content should fit the specific company and the vacancy.
- Text should be brief and clear. No spelling errors. No typos.
- Don't be unceremonious or ass-kissing. Be self-confident, but not arrogant. Don't write motivation letter in negative tone.
- Address letter to specific person.
- You can raise interest if you mention a person, which your potential employer is acquainted with.
- Read your letter from employer's perspective before sending it.
You want to try a different job, but while looking through a job posting you always get stuck. Actually you are stopped by lack of experience, so you say they not gonna hire you anyway. Except that companies are not picking colleagues only in rely on what you can do - very important is what kind of personality you are. Here are 8 qualities, that you can apply almost everywhere no matter of your field or profession. Do you have any of mentioned below? Excellent! Try to sell your CV on interview.
In present-day changeable world adaptability is a key. It means you have to become adjusted to changes or new company policy, listen to clients and coworkers' requests. If you are following road tracks, you risk missing your train.
2. Decision Making
Daily you face dozens of situations, where you just have to make a resolve. Though it can be hard. Will your decision make good or bad? You'll know this just after you make it. Courage to make step in is appreciated more than shifting from one foot to the other.
3. Building Relationships
You need other people to succeed (colleagues, clients, suppliers...). Building relationships is a complicated discipline and you need to realize that relation is not about just you or only about them, but about both of you together being partners. Try always to connect people and always understand needs of the other side. You never know when they pay you back.
4. Risk Desire
People try to minimize risks by nature. This is why we usually go with the life stream because of being afraid of failure. However if you want to succeed, to make change, you need to face risk. And it's more than likely, that you flop several times. Then it's very important to stand up and fight again.
Every second job vacancy ad contains good communication skill requirement. But what does it mean? It certainly means being good listener and hear out your opponent. Another part of the skill is ability to convey your ideas, so they are interpreted the way you want it to be understood. And the last, but not least it's about other people feeling comfortable in your presence, having fun with you.
Learn being steadfast and think about what happens when you reach your goal. Hard work begins the moment after you convince another side. Think about client (or colleague) and about his experience when you close a deal. What do you want him to remember?
Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing. It's about understanding motivation of other people and then showing that it is you who can help. Empathy is followed by ability to persuade and motivate people. This quality will become even more necessary when you will have your own team.
8. Sense of Humor
Every time you find some humor in a difficult situation, you win. Nobody likes spending hours with people who are not able to laugh. Having fun and joking is also good for your health, relief from stress and muscular rigidity!
These skills are in high demand of the most of HR and managers. Especially it is true, when we are talking about junior vacancies.
HR specialist spends 20 seconds in average to process your resume. But as soon as you know how to create attractive CV you don't have to worry about this number. Let's create resume that will help you to find a job of your dream.
5 Quick Tips for a Good CV
- CV is not a novel. You should not exceed two A4 pages, but don't go too far with brevity. Every mentioned work experience should be confirmed with several points of your responsibilities description and what you succeeded in.
- No spelling mistakes. Stylistics of your CV is also supposed to be good - no conversational slang, but you are encouraged to use professional slang to show that you are familiar with your field environment.
- Your CV has to be eye catcher. Take care about lucidity. HR devotes up to 20 seconds of his time to your resume. Sometimes even 3 seconds is enough. During this time they should come to conclusion that your CV deserves more time to dedicate. You can choose nontraditional graphics and fonts if you are able to keep clear and stylish look.
- Truth, only truth. A lot of people yield to temptation to "improve" their CV: change start date at a company, escape naming some jobs and then it appears to be different from what CV HR got several months ago. If they notice such difference, they will estimate such behaviour like frivolous.
- Let people you know to check your CV. They can find out something that is not totally clear or any kind of inappropriate information.
What belongs to your CV and what is irrelevant
- Get rid of labels. When describing your responsibilities instead of annoying "Responsible for" or "Main Responsibilities" specifically define what were you really doing, what you have achieved, what were you working on and define results of you work.
- Don't justify text. Leave it left aligned otherwise unnatural spaces will occur and it would not look nice.
- If you have long experience, concentrate on the last 10-15 years. Work experience from bygone years doesn't really matter so much.
- Don't mention your height, weight, religion and political views. Also you don't have to describe reasons why you have quit previous jobs, to write your bosses names, work addresses, salary... you don't have to also attach your photo.
CV step by step:
1. Personal Information
Say your first and last name, contact address, phone number, e-mail.
Usually you define birth date, nationality if it's different from local. But this is not required.
You still can place photo in the header of your CV, but forget about your travel photos or pictures with your pets. Just some neutral photo of yours. Professional portrait photo would be the most convenient in this case.
2. Work experience
- This part of your CV is the most important. Sort it chronologically from the most recent to the earliest.
- Attach employer and your position to every experience mentioned. Define year and month of every job start and finish.
- Describe your work for every position you had, what was your routine duty, what you have achieved.
- Your CV will look much better if you specify number people in your team, number of customers you got, and growth of your company income...
- Define your highest reached education level. Don't mention secondary school.
- How to describe your education: school name, title, year you graduated.
- Write out courses you took and if you had to take exam afterwards.
- If you still study, define when you plan to finish the school.
4. Other Skills
- Bring together other experience, like foreign language knowledge, driving license etc. Here you can mention some personal characteristics. Decide what kind of your skills would be profitable for your future employer.
- Mention other non-working experience, like conferences you took part in, scientific work or publications, some awards and even hobby in case you think those could interest your boss.