This is more or less a newsletter for job seekers like myself. I try to find good job search strategies, bad job search strategies, pure BS and job related articles every week. So far I’ve never run short. Please pass this around. I’m not doing this for any reason other than the desire to help and communicate with other job seekers. If you have any good links or stories, especially stories please comment. If you want the story private, just put that in the comment and I will trash it and not let it post.
How to prepare for interview questions.
. Show that you have the skills
When you applied for the job, you probably looked at the list of skills and requirements to make sure you are a good fit (I hope). Before the interview, go back and review that list. Which skills seem to be most important to the employer? Where do your skills particularly shine?
In preparing, take a few minutes to think of some good examples that show your proficiency with the skills you want to highlight. There’s a classic rule of good writing that says you should “show, don’t tell” — and the same applies here. Don’t just tell the interviewer that you’re a strong leader, show them by giving them an example that illustrates your leadership.
Be sure to consider both hard and soft skills while you’re preparing. Hard skills are things like computer programs you have mastered, trainings or certifications you have, and so on. Soft skills are things like communication, leadership, and creativity. Come up for one or two examples for each of the hard and soft skills that seem most important to the position, or that are your best qualities.
Consider what questions you can ask here; if some of your skills need nurturing, you might ask about training or mentoring opportunities within the company.
2. Research the position and the company
Hiring managers are looking for employees who are enthusiastic about the company and the position, and the best way to communicate your enthusiasm is to be knowledgeable about both.
During the interview, you want to be able to demonstrate that you understand the company, the industry, and the position as much as possible. Therefore, in your preparations, do some digging. Start with the company website and look for the about page, a mission statement, annual reports, letters from the CEO, key statistics, and company history.
Take it a little further by doing some market research. A basic Google search of the industry with the word “news” will bring up any recent news articles, so that you can get a feel for what’s happening in the industry and marketplace. These can be great in an interview when you can say, “I was reading an article about…” and demonstrate your knowledge.
Finally, research the position. Do some research to understand what the average salary is, whether or not there is a lot of demand, and typical qualifications. This is also a great place to consider your own ambitions and goals and how they fit with the position.
Think about the kinds of questions you’d like to ask about the company and the position that you can’t easily find the answers to in your research. These are wonderful to ask when the interviewer turns the tables and asks if you have any questions.
3. Consider the culture
Finally, an important consideration for both you and the interviewer is how you will fit into the company culture.
A look at the company website and any social media channels they have will give you a quick feel for the place — whether they are three-piece-suit corporate or casual Friday relaxed. Do they talk about dress code, flex time policies, or other topics that might clue you in to the company culture?
One good resource for this is the website Glassdoor, which offers company reviews from former employees. Although you won’t find many small businesses listed, many large corporations are included.
Think about your personality traits and habits that will make you a good fit with this company’s culture. Someone who values being neat, organized, and prompt will probably fit in well in a classic corporate culture, whereas someone who values creativity and spontaneity might do better in a more relaxed startup culture. A person with a young family would value family-oriented values and policies, whereas a young or single person might be willing to work long hours to accomplish a big goal.
Again, anything that you can’t determine from public sources about the company makes a good starting point for questions to ask the interviewer when it’s your turn.
Take the time to prepare for each and every interview by following these three steps, and you should be well prepared for whatever an interviewer throws at you.
All good stuff, but it’s always the same advice. In my experience, no matter how much you do all this stuff, there’s no real way to be as ready as you would like.
What is the real impact of a layoff?
Why developers hate recruiters? This piece doesn’t get it.
I’m not a developer, but in my long and deep experience with recruiters, empowerment of the job seeker is the last thing they want. In fact in 99% of my encounters with recruiters of one form or another the whole tack of the conversation is to try to make me feel as small as possible.
Not working out well with your boss? It might be your parents. Then again it might be his.
Relationships are complicated. Still if you are a manager, a certain degree of empathy goes a long way.
Hiring for aptitude is what should be happening.
Instead we get fear based hiring and nothing is working.
Being angry at work does not help. Trust me, been there done that on both sides of the equation.
The only problem with this approach is that the best people don’t fit into metrics. so they get excluded by a system that doesn’t understand how to cope, killing the BASIC’s
The rise of the new unemployables.
The problem I’ve been seeing this time around is that once you are categorized as one of the “unemployables,” all the training you do, the time you spend on new things, the attempts to remain current and relevant are essentially a waste of time.
How can your startup attract great talent?
My advice is to not reject anybody out of hand, have an open mind, share the vision and the rewards and just be great.
Funny how this works.
Yet another article about trying to get more women science and engineering.
They’ve been trying to do this, given every advantage to women that they could and the results are that it just hasn’t changed anything. Unfortunately there comes a time when yo have to admit that you have lost and let things be. I’ve known some great women in science and engineering over the years, but they were the exceptions, not the rule.
The Job Stuff Series.
Job stuff 46.
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