We all get down on ourselves sometimes and need a little reminder!
What does Sir Isaac Newton have to do with your career path and aspirations in life? Whether you’re looking for a job or already employed. One of the key things is to never sit back and relax if you haven’t found that “dream job”.
Something That’s Moving, Keeps Moving:
Newton’s first law of motion states that: “An object is either at rest or moves at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force.” So what does Newton’s law of motion have to do with me and my job search?
Plenty, actually. The law is saying that something that’s already moving will keep moving and something that’s not moving will be idle forever. So you wrote your resume, checked it twice and saved it in your computer to be sent out to any job that comes up. Once it’s saved and unchanged in your computer, it becomes one of those unmoving objects. It loses momentum and relevance and it’s going to continue to sit there until acted on by an external force – YOU! By updating it, you tailor it to each job and you’re continually adding new things to it.
The More Force You Apply, the Faster the Movement:
The wisdom of Newton doesn’t stop there. The second law states: “The acceleration of a body is directly proportional to the force being applied.” It’s pretty easy to see how that applies to you. The more attention you pay to that job search the more force you apply and the more movement you’ll see in your situation. Essentially, it all comes down to momentum. It’s a lot easier to keep momentum moving than to build momentum – or worse, to start momentum.
Before we close off, one more bit of Newton wisdom. A few words of inspiration actually: “Live your life as an Exclamation rather than an Explanation.”
Video interviews usually occur if the candidate is located in another country, state or city from the company. However, any company or organization can conduct video interviews even if they’re located right down the street from you.
If you are freaked out by job interviews via Skype or any other form of video conferencing, it’s really not as stressful as it sounds. Just treat it like any other in-person interview. Here are five common mistakes people make when they’re being interviewed on webcam.
1. Not technologically prepared
Your worst nightmares about job interviews will all come true if you don’t prepare. The worst thing is for your laptop, mic or webcam to not work when it’s time for the interview.
Make sure you test all your equipment a week or two before the scheduled interview so you have enough time to fix it. Test your webcam on Skype with your friend for about an hour (or however long you think your interview will be) and see if your mic works. You should also check the clarity of your camera. The Wi-Fi connection is also very important because the Internet can determine how clear or blurry you will appear on camera. The faster the connection, the less delay your motions and voice will appear.
If you have trouble with all of the above, go to a friend or relative’s house with a good Internet connection or borrow someone’s equipment.
2. Bad surroundings or background
Just because you will be at home during the job interview doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be aware of your surroundings. Yes, the interviewee knows you are home but you should also clean up the background that he or she will be seeing on camera. For example, don’t sit in your bed with the laptop on your lap and your favourite teddy bear beside you with a KISS poster on your wall – that looks unprofessional. A better background to display would be in a room with bookshelves or just a blank wall. Something that will make the interviewer take you more seriously.
3. Inappropriate attire
Just because you don’t have to meet the interviewer in person, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to dress up. Any kind of job interview is just as important as the next so you must wear appropriate attire. (See “How to Decide What to Wear to a Job Interview”)
4. Inappropriate Skype name
Lots of people look over this because they’ve had Skype for so long and they forget that their username is there. Just like your surroundings, your username must be professional and not “Baby_Gurlxoxo”. If you are unsure whether or not your name is professional enough, make another Skype account and use your full name.
5. Bad posture
You will most likely be sitting in a chair with the laptop on your desk in front of you. Slouching or sitting back and rocking your chair is a no-no. It’s unprofessional and disrespectful. Sit up-right with your hands on the table and look straight at the camera lens. This shows engagement and interest in the interview and position you’ve applied for.
You may be an amazing candidate with all the qualifications and experience. But whether you like it or not, the interviewer will most likely judge you based on everything they see in the camera frame. So make sure nothing inappropriate is in view and that you look presentable.
Drake definitely achieved that by 25-years-old and he said he plans to have $250 million by the time he’s 29. Materialistic or not, he had a goal and he achieved it at such a young age. And he’s still got more he wants to accomplish in his career.
Watch Drake’s CBC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on his road and secrets to success and his drive to be the best he can be.
It’s obvious, but we all need a little reminder sometimes. No employer likes an employee who is late. Be on time and set a good example for others in your work environment. Being punctual shows responsibility and respect. It also shows that you care about your job.
So don’t be late!
With the competition so steep in the job market and the fact that the Internet is practically a necessity, there are all sorts of job interviews that hiring managers use that are not your typical one-on-ones anymore – sometimes one of the interviews might even be on the other side of the world.
1) One-on-one Interview:
The most generic kind of interview. This probably doesn’t need much explaining since it’s pretty self-explanatory. We’ve all been through the process where you sit in front of the hiring manager in their office or a room and it’s just you two chatting away. This is the most common kind of job interview but it gets more complicated as more people get involved…
2) Group interview:
This type of interview is usually with two or more candidates fighting for the same position. It really tests your social skills and in a way, it can be a situational interview because the it shows how you react, speak and compose yourself under pressure.
You need to have a balance:
A group interview is all about thinking on your feet, standing out from all the other candidates, being well-spoken and making sure you don’t interrupt or use the same answer as someone else – all at the same time. If all that freaks you out, you have some things to work on.
How to prep for a group interview:
Feeling nervous? A great tip to shake off the nerves is to pretend it’s only you and the hiring manager(s) in the room. When they ask everyone a question, pretend they are directing it to you and no one else. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to answer the question. This shows leadership. Also, if you aren’t the first person to answer the question, patiently wait for the other candidate to finish and then speak up.
Tip: Try being the first to answer the questions so your answer seems original and it won’t look like you took it from the person before you!
It is so important to speak during this type of interview because if you remain silent the whole time, chances are that you will not be noticed and won’t get the offer.
3) Panel interview:
This is when you are sitting in front of two or more people in the company while they grill you with questions (just kidding, it’s not really that bad unless you’re unprepared).
Who’s on the panel and why?
Depending on the position you’ve applied for, a panel interview can happen in the first or second interview – but usually in the second. This happens because when they bring you back for a second round, they want different perspectives from different people in the company. For example, there may be one HR person, the boss of the company and one or two others from the department you will be working in.
How to Prep for a panel interview:
Have you ever said to your friend after an interview: “O-M-G there were five people interviewing me at once! I was so not prepared!” Well, to avoid being overwhelmed, see if you can find out how many will be interviewing you and their names from the recruiter or administrator in the company. Then, you can research them and get to know them beforehand.
4) Phone interview/screening:
This is usually the qualifying phase where the recruiter weeds out certain candidates based on the company’s requirements before bringing them in for an in-person interview. You may be asked why you are interested in the position, where you are located, how you will travel to work and what you can bring to the company – all the generic questions.
How to Prep for a phone interview/screening:
Don’t just give one-worded answers like yes or no. Answer the question and take the conversation to the next level. For example, if they ask you how you will get there, don’t just say “I can drive”. Say, “I have a car and can drive to your location everyday. I live in the central part of downtown so it will take me about 20 to 30 minutes.” Add relevant information so the person on the other line will be engaged.
Talk about your goals and the company:
Use every chance you get to talk about the company and your goals if they are relevant to the questions you are being asked. You want to have a conversation with the person on the other line for them to be interested enough to bring you in for the in-person interview. Don’t make it sound like an interrogation. Engagement is KEY!
5) On-site interview:
Hiring managers can bring in candidates and interview them on the job. For example, if you were going in for a retail position at a store, the manager(s) may interview you on the floor while stocking products and speaking with customers – basically when the hiring manager(s) are working. This tests the candidates’ composure, interest in the job and social skills – similar to the group interview above.
How to prep for an on-site interview:
Whether the company tells you that it will be on-site or not, always keep a smile on your face because you will most likely be bumping into other employees on the job. Shake everyone’s hand, introduce yourself and say “Hi, nice to meet you”. Be observant of your surroundings and ask questions during the interview to seem engaged. The hiring manager(s) will notice this and appreciate the fact that you are paying attention while there are other distractions around you.
All in all, look confident. Talk to the hiring manager like you’ve known them for years, but keep it in a professional tone. Confidence will give you a huge advantage over other candidates.
You applied for a job, sent in your cover letter and resume and VOILA! The company has called you back for an interview! What’s next? Well, there’s no other way to put it but, it’s all about preparation. Research the company so you don’t go into the job interview looking clueless.
Where to do your research
The best resource is the Internet. However, going out of your way to contact a current or previous employee about the company doesn’t hurt either. Either way, you need to know where to look and what to look for so you’re efficient in order bring all the relevant information to the job interview.
Check the company’s website
This is the first thing anyone should do. Almost all companies and organizations have a website filled with useful content. A company’s website is kind of like a one-stop-shop for your research, so technically you can get away with using only their website to do your research. Start with the basics and go to their “About Us’ section where you will get an overview of the company. You will find the company’s history, their achievements, future goals, current projects they’re working on, employee profiles and many more.
Tip: Even if you’re not searching for a job, click on their ‘Careers’ or ‘Find a Job’ tab because some companies may have step-by-step information about their hiring process. There may also be helpful tips about the candidate they are looking for and advice on how to format and write your resume and cover letter.
Check the company’s social media pages
This is where you will find all the “fun fluff” that you won’t find on their official website. By looking through their company page’s photo album, you can get an excellent glimpse of their company culture and what and who they are involved with.
Studying the page’s content and how they phrase their words can also help you get a feel for whether they are more laid back or more corporate. Also, look at who the company is interacting with and how they’re interacting on Twitter.
Check news articles and videos:
The news gives you the latest information on everything that is going on. Use this to your advantage – type in “[company name] news” and everything that has been written about them will appear on your screen. The good thing about search engines is that they list the most recent articles about the company at the top, which is what you want. Click on a few of the headlines and see what going on with the company. You can find out how involved they are with the public and the community as well as information about their products and business strategies.
Talk to people:
Try going on to LinkedIn and look up anyone that has worked at the company currently or previously. Talking to real people can help you get information you can’t get on the Internet, like a personal perspective of their experience as an employee.
This shows initiative and they may spread the good word to your hiring manager. You’ll never know!
Part 2 on how to prepare yourself for different types of interviews will be up tomorrow. Stay tuned!
One of the worst things you can do at work and in your life is be late. You don’t want to be ‘that guy/girl who’s always late and makes everyone wait.’ Your creditability and reliability as a person from others will decrease and can lead to being fired or just not taken seriously anymore.
So DON’T EVER BE LATE!