Group Interviews

What’s more stressful than a job interview? How about a group interview? Here’s some advice to help you shine at your next group interview!

 

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Interview Killers

interview killers

 

Dressing professionally, researching the company you’re interviewing with, preparing answers to tough questions in advance are all things that are going to set you in a good light with your interviewer. Here are things that will put you in the dark.

 

A ringing phone

Before the interview starts make sure you set your phone and other devices to silent. Nothing screams unprofessional and unprepared like a ringing phone or beeping device during an interview. The only thing you want to hear are questions and answers between you and your interviewer.

 

Complaining about past employers or companies

Even if you had the worst boss in the history of worst bosses in your last job, the interview is no place to discuss it. You can say the philosophy or environment was not in keeping with what you were looking for and leave it at that. Remember any negative thing you say will only reflect negatively on you.

 

Exaggerated or made up answers

If you don’t know the answer to a question say so. Make it clear that you are willing to follow up and learn more about the topic if necessary. Absolutely do not bend the truth or make up a story on the spot. Untruths or distorted truths always return to haunt you and the world is small enough that they will haunt you in places you don’t expect in the future.

 

Um, don’t um

We all fill our speech with ums, and you knows and obviouslies, but they are distracting, especially during an interview. Practice answering questions out loud before you ever step through the interviewer’s door. Be confident with yourself and your abilities and watch for those ums and stop them at the gate.

 

No follow-up

Whether you send a follow up message to the interviewer or not, you can be sure the majority of other candidates did. Remember to ask for an email where you can send a thank you note and then send it promptly. Mention specific things you discussed during the interview. Give them even more reasons to remember you and want too see you again.

The Airport Test And The Interview

Would you pass The Airport test?

 

Have you ever been stuck in an airport waiting for a delayed flight and there’s someone nearby who won’t stop complaining about the delay. You try and tune them out – really what can be done about terrible weather? But even with headphones on you can still hear them berating an airport employee.

 

Across from you, another passenger with headphones on catches your eye. They point their eyes to the annoying complainer and then roll their eyes. You chuckle a bit. Soon the two of you are conversing about your destinations and families.

The airport test is determining whether the person across from you is someone you wouldn’t mind  spending time with if you are stuck at the airport.

How an interview is like the airport test

In an article for Mashable Meredith Pepin writes that “in addition to candidates having the qualifications and technical skills to do the job, the manager asked herself after each interview: “Would I want to be stuck in an airport with this person?” The Airport Test may not be obvious throughout the interview. You may be asked to tell the interviewer about yourself, or what you bring to the table, but during the interview, the hiring manager is trying to assess whether you’re someone they could be stuck in an airport with.

 

Are you the complaining passenger, or the one who strikes up a conversation?

 

Passing the Airport Test

The truth is, sometimes no matter what you do, your personality may not be a right fit for what the hiring manager is looking for; but there are some things you can do to give yourself the best chance at passing the Airport test.

 

Don’t be Afraid to Get Personal

Outside of the “Tell us about yourself” question, you tend to focus 100% on your skills, accomplishments and past work experience. After all, these skills are usually the things that got you the job interview in the first place. While your skills are important, don’t be afraid to share personal details as well. If you find an answer could give way to a short personal story, share it. You want to show that not only are you qualified, but also personable and interesting.

 

Personal, but Professional

If the hiring manager asks you what you did on the weekend, and on Friday night you were at a party, leave that out. Maybe you saw a new movie that came out, or went to a museum; even something as small as reading an article you found interesting are great things to share. They demonstrate your interests while remaining acceptable in a professional setting.

 

Ask Questions

At the end of the interview, you’ll almost always be invited to ask your own questions. This is a great time to ask more about the company and the role you’re applying for. It’s also a great opportunity for you to bend the conversation to be a bit more personal. Asking the interviewer what they enjoy most about working for the company shows your interest in the company, but also gives you a chance to hear their feelings. You can assess whether or not you’d be okay being stuck in an airport with them!

Set Yourself Up For A Great Interview

Set Yourself Up For A Great Interview

 

On paper you might be the best candidate for the job you’re about to interview for but if you’re too nervous to get that fact across in person the interviewer won’t know it. It’s okay to be nervous during an interview. Everyone is. They key to getting past that nervousness so your best most competent self can shine through is setting the mental stage for it before hand.

 

Inspire yourself musically

Some songs simply make you feel great. They can have associations with previous happy times in your life, times when everything was going great. Create a playlist of songs that inspire you and make you feel like you can do anything and play that in the morning of your interview. If that music makes you want to dance, then go right ahead and take to that dance floor while you’re getting ready!

 

Lighten the mood

We’ve all heard laughter is the best medicine. You may not think of laughter as a remedy for nerves, but it certainly can be. Find some funny videos before you go into your interview and break up your pre-interview tension with a few laughs.

 

Do the interview in your head

Before heading onto stage, performers do a dress rehearsal in their head. Athletes practice their game in their head as much as they do on the field.

 

Ace the interview first in your head then ace it again in person. Don’t just do this in the car or on the bus on the way to the interview. The day before or the morning of, find a quiet comfortable place to sit and run through your brilliant, smiling answers with the attentive, impressed interviewer. Do it until you feel great about the interview!

 

Listen to the voices in your head

Pay very close attention to your silent words. Are you telling yourself you’re going to do a great job or are you telling yourself you’re not qualified? You may not think the words in your head have any impact on what happens outside of it, but they do.

 

Every time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought about yourself or your chances for success, immediately counter that with positive talk. “Jane,” tell yourself, “You are eminently qualified for this job and you are going to have an outstanding interview!”

 

Worst-case scenario

Even if you do the interview and you don’t get the job, well what next? You try again with another job and another interview.

 

No job is the be all and end all of your career. Each one is a stepping stone to a new place in your life and career. Put the interview into perspective in the big picture. Remind yourself that although it would be great to get this job, even if you don’t get it, it’s still okay. You’ll have had an interview experience that will help you during the next one.

 

Alleviate the pressure of perfection. You will do your best and if you’re successful that’s great. If you’re not that’s fine too. No worries.

I Have No Weaknesses

I Have No Weaknesses

In our continuing series on tough interview questions, we present the Greatest Weakness Edition.

 

One of the most common questions a prospective employer will ask is for you to describe your biggest weakness.

 

As with any question you get in a job interview, its important to understand what your interviewer is looking for in a response.

 

Avoid a long list of personal flaws

When and interviewer asks you about your weaknesses they don’t want a long list of things you don’t like about yourself. They aren’t looking for a big regret or even something you’re terrible at. What they want to know is how well you know yourself and how you are working to improve.

 

Don’t throw yourself out of the running

Before going into the interview make sure you are thoroughly acquainted with the skills and responsibilities they’re looking for. They’re likely in a list as part of the job description. If one of your weaknesses is in that list, it’s probably not a good idea to mention that as your biggest weakness.

 

Know matter how self aware you are, no interviewer wants to hear that key parts of the job you are applying for are the things you don’t feel confident about.

 

Avoid sounding self-congratulatory

You want to answer this question with honesty and integrity. Saying you are a perfectionist or that you work too hard or care too much are not going to get you any brownie points with the interviewer. It will make them think you don’t have any idea about what your weaknesses are or that you do know and don’t want to share them.

 

You can talk about something that you know you need to work on. For instance you could say you sometimes have trouble speaking up for yourself.

 

Talk about how you are already addressing the situation

After identifying the weakness, don’t just leave it sitting on the table staring at the interviewer, discuss the steps you’re taking to address it. Say although you’re not comfortable speaking up for yourself, you are currently putting yourself in situations where you have to speak up. Give examples. You will come across as a self aware individual who has plans to move forward with your own future.

Tip Tuesday: Wearing Skirts to Job Interviews

Ladies, if you’re going to wear a skirt to a job interview, make sure that it is conservative and not tight-fitted. The most important rule of thumb when choosing to wear a skirt is that it should be knee-length or longer. If possible, pair it with black tights. In terms of color, black is always the way to go but any neutral color will do.

Remember that you are trying to make a good first impression to your employer, not your friends at a party.