Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Resume formatting rules

Bold and enlarge your name at the top.
Keep the sections lined up and consistent.
Use an Arial or Times New Roman font (or similar).
Font size shouldn't be smaller than 11pt or larger than 12pt, except for your Name and Headings.
Do not include pronouns such as "I," company street addresses, salary, or reasons for leaving.
Two-page resume: be sure to fill the second page at least halfway down the page.
Place “Continued” at the bottom of page one, and your name and “Page 2” at the top of page two.
Use graphics sparingly unless you are in a creative field. It is safe to use a border and shading.
Leave out personal data, photos, and unrelated hobbies, unless you are an actor/actress or model.
If you spell out the state in your address, such as New York, spell out the states for your jobs.
Proof, proof, and proof again!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ways to make your profile better than the rest

In the world of hourly and part-time jobs, you’ll rarely have to write a resume, which is a short and snappy document you create by listing all of your employment experiences, skills and references. Resumes are usually reserved for upper-level jobs and careers, depending on the field and employer.

As a job seeker looking for hourly jobs, you’ll be asked to make a job seeker profile. This is an easy online process in which you answer several questions about your work experience, availability, skills, interests and more. The best thing about having an online profile is that it saves you from having to fill out the same information again and again. Once you have a profile, you can apply to multiple jobs with just a few clicks. Some employers may ask a few additional questions once you’ve applied for a job.

Of course, if you go into a store, you’ll still find the familiar paper application. Here are some tips that apply to resumes, applications and online profiles:

Be complete.
Be accurate.
Be professional
Stay fresh.

A Job seeker's profile

A super smart dandruff shampoo commercial once stated, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

In your hourly job search, when you might be competing with dozens of people for the same job, sometimes you’re fortunate even to get that first chance. And the first impression you make will more than likely be your job application or online profile.

A lot of job seekers fill out their profile in a hurry. But did you know that when you apply to a job, all your profile information is included in your job application? If your job seeker profile is neat and complete, employers will notice you. We’ll tell you how to stand out in the crowd! Read up, and you won’t need a second chance to make a great first impression.

So read up, and you won’t need a second chance to make a great first impression.

Friday, March 13, 2009

What contributions could you make in this organization that would help you to stand out from other applicants?

In previous internships, my industriousness and ability to teach myself have been valuable assets to the company. My self-teaching abilities will minimize overhead costs, and my industriousness at targeting needs without prompting will set me apart from others. Additionally, one thing that has always set me apart from my scientific/engineering peers are my broad interests and strong writing abilities. I am not your typical "left-brained" engineer, and with my broad talents, I am likely to provide diverse viewpoints.

Commonly asked interview questions

Why Should We Hire You?

This is often the last question you will be asked in an interview. Prepare for it. This is your chance to restate the skills you possess that are most relevant to the position and to summarize your other qualities that make you the perfect person for the job. Outline your answer before you go in, so that you can answer clearly, concisely, and with confidence.

In formulating your answer, be sure to address these areas:


Determine their goals for the position. 
Show you have the skills needed for the job.
Articulate shared values.
State your interest in the position. 
The most important aspect of this exercise is to make you comfortable in identifying and articulating the skills you possess. Even with a prepared answer, it is important to be flexible within the script itself. You may need to modify the specifics based on the situation.

If an important issue comes up during the interview, be prepared to adapt your answer accordingly. For instance, if the interviewer stresses the need for a certain skill, you will want to address that, even if it was not one of the skills that you included in your original script.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tips for telephonic interview

In this age of globalisation and with recruiters having no time to send interview letters by snail mail, you need to be prepared for an impromptu interview over the phone anytime a company may want. You may have forgotten when you applied for a position in a particular company, or you may just be hunted down by a recruitment company – no matter what it is, always be prepared to face telephonic interviews. The first round of the interview is often a HR round and if time and distance are genuine constraints, then the following rounds may be conducted over phone as well. While it is difficult to assess or judge your interviewer on the opposite side of the phone as you cannot see him, you would need to give your best effort to impress the person on the other side. A few tips that may help you to achieve your goal:
1. After you come to know the purpose of the call, be polite, expressing your interest in the position.
2. Don't forget to address the other person with short greetings.
3. Be articulate and confident during the conversations - don't project overconfidence.
4. Listen very carefully to the questions that are directed at you.
5. Understand the question, if you are confident enough, then elaborate.
6. If you do not know the answer, do not waste time dilly-dallying. Decline politely and apologise for not knowing. The truth has a positive effect on your interviewer.
7. Give to the point answers.
8. Do not exaggerate. Know where to stop.
9. Give proper information regarding your present position. Be brief in your delivery and mention your current job role in a nutshell.
10. Make queries about the organisation, once you have the opportunity. Do not start negotiation on pay packages or benefits at the very beginning.
11. Avoid going into arguments, be formal in your language delivery – do not aggravate your interviewer.
12. Avoid discussing controversial issues.
13. Show your interest only if you are really interested. An endnote like “I would like to hear from you again” will definitely explain your interests.
14. After the interview, don't forget to say, “Thanks for your time.”
15. If you manage to impress your interviewer enough to get the job, be courteous and express your gratitude by saying “Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work for your esteem organization and I will always try to deliver my best.”
16. If you are not hired, don't be disappointed. Learn from your mistakes and try to overcome the problems the next time around.
17. Last but not the least, Be Positive.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tips for success

What is Success?

Simply put, it is happiness or satisfaction derived from a goal accomplished or a purpose realized. It can be of a personal nature, such as losing weight or giving up smoking, or it can be of a professional nature, as in winning an election or securing a job promotion. It can be small, or big, something as palpable as becoming a millionaire or as intangible as waking up happy every morning.

Learn From Your Mistakes

The first common thread in the fabric of failure is that failures almost never learn from their mistakes. They repeat them again and again. People who land on their feet even when they stumble are those who learn from mistakes, make positive changes, and succeed in avoiding subsequent calamities.

Be Willing to Take Advice

A second common trait in failures, related to the first, is that failures refuse to take advice. When circumstances warrant, being able to solicit counsel and listen to what others have to say is important. A willingness to listen to others, and being humble enough to take advice, is important for success.

Don't Delay

Procrastination is a common attribute of failures. Deliberation is fine, but in chronic delay are the seeds of failure. First, a task becomes more difficult to undertake with each successive postponement. Second, in this world, real opportunity often has a shelf life.

Finish What You Start

Related to the advice on delay is the admonition to finish what you start. Successful people will see tasks through to completion, even through difficult times. They are not short-termers, they keep their eyes on the goal even though they have to suffer some temporary pain to get to it.

Stop Running Around in Circles

One common trait of failures is that they are almost always inefficient.

Don't Be a Victim

Chronic whining wastes productive time and underscores one's impotence. It's a fairly common trait among failures--the focus on assigning blame rather than rectifying the situation.

How to improve your relationships at work

The relationship you have with your colleagues or team members is important. Not only does it often define your emotional condition, it can guide your effectiveness, career growth and long-term success. Here are a few tips which can help you improve your relations at work:

Weigh your words

How one says something counts for far more than what one says. When confronted with a difficult situation, one must always say less than one thinks. Curbing one’s tongue in a stressful situation is critical to avoid unnecessary disputes or misunderstandings.

Keep your word

Whenever you make a promise, no matter what the cost, be prepared to keep it. The easiest way to lose the respect of others is by promising things/ facilities that cannot be delivered.

Be supportive and encouraging

Never let an opportunity to show kindness or encouragement to others to pass by. Praise good work, regardless of who did it. Sometimes, one can turn even the most hardened of fellow workers into real softies once they realise that you are not afraid to compliment them or be encouraging.

Know people

Learn about others’ interests, their homes and families and their problems. Gaining the confidence of fellow workers is made much easier when you demonstrate that you care. Make everyone feel important.

Be positive

Learn to be positive ‘magnet’ with your attitude towards yourself and others. Maintaining a cheerful attitude at all times will not only make others more comfortable in your presence, but you will feel better as well. Develop your attitude, which clearly says ‘I care about you and want to get along.’

How to deal with your mistakes at work

Everyone make mistakes at work. Learning from mistakes leads to growth and to greater understanding. If you make a mistake of a more serious nature, consider these suggested steps:

1. Admit responsibility.
2. Determine who needs to know.
3. Communicate the error to the appropriate person(s)
4. Give only the facts.
5. Don’t make excuses. Only offer the person an explanation.
6. State how you fixed the problem – or how you plan to fix the problem.
7. Plan and communicate to the employer how you will prevent the mistake from occurring again.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Career Counseling - Research Your Options

After compiling a list of possible career options worth exploring, it is time for you to research those very options. This is important because before you can make a decision on a career, you have to ask yourself how much you know about each option. Once you have information on each of the options, you can then use your criteria to evaluate the options and choose a career goal. Some of the questions you may wish to ask during the research process include:
How much do I know about each career?
Will there be a demand for such careers in today’s and tomorrow’s job market?
What does a typical workday entail with each career?
What special skill or field-knowledge is required for each career?
What are the training and education requirements?
What is the salary potential for each option?

How do I begin to generate and explore career options?

BrainstormingWith the help of your Career Counsellor, you can expand your career options by brainstorming about various potentially appealing occupations. These occupations will be related to your previously stated interests, skills, and values.
Reviewing Strong Interest Inventory and Myers Briggs Type Indicator resultsDiscussing test results with a Career Counsellor may assist you in creating a list of potentially satisfying career options that match your interest areas and your personality type.
Utilizing Counselling and Development’s Career Resource CenterYou can obtain a number of books, periodicals, and newsletters outlining career options linked to your area of study as well as related career options.
Searching CHOICES’ Occupational DatabasesYou can access CHOICES’ Occupational Databases. It contains descriptions of close to 1,000 occupational fields in Canada. You can find information on occupational fields of interest as well as related fields.
Researching OnlineThere are numerous credible websites that can help you research the various career options linked to your major. For example, "What can I do with my studies?"
provides career options connected to your particular program of study. Your Career Counsellor can also give you more websites to assist you in your search.
Attending Career FairsCheck out dates and locations of Career Fairs offered by your Faculty (e.g. Arts and Science, Fine Arts) to expand your knowledge of career opportunities in your field.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

General Interview Questions and answers

What kind of job do you see yourself holding five years from now ?

I am looking for the job which makes me more productive, in which I can have more interest, a job in which I can learn more, in which I can be more creative, to work with good environment and with good people and management, if i get the job which have all these things, then i don't think about any jumping.

What is your long term employment or career objective ?

Job Satisfaction is the only means where in I can put myself in long term career objective. If I am satisfied with the job then there is no question of quitting or changing the career objective. But of course this is always associated with the horizontal and vertical growth in the career.




Career Goals Interview Questions & Answers

Tell me about your dream job-

Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job, you are contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say another job is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be dissatisfied with this position if hired.
The best is to stay genetic and say something like: A job where I love the work, like the people, can contribute and can't wait to get to work.

Where i can do at my lavel best with the best performance in progressive way so that i can learn as well with my personal experience and others learning attitudes.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tips for cracking an interview

1-Make sure that you are clean, neat, and well-groomed. Interviewers do notice your appearance, and first impressions are critical in an interview situation

2- Smile and maintain eye contact. This is one way of communicating confidence, even if you don't feel it

3- If the interviewer offers his or her hand, shake it firmly. If they don't, it is appropriate to offer yours.

4- Wait until the interviewer sits or offers you a seat before sitting down

5- Be aware of the interviewer's reactions. If he or she looks confused, ask if you can clarify anything


6- Be aware of what your body is saying. Avoid closed postures. Sit upright, but not stiffly


7- Control your nervous habits. Don't swing your foot, talk with your hands (to an extreme), or fiddle with jewelers, buttons, pens, etc

8- Show that you are interested in the job by asking questions.
Thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration.


9- If it is not known when a decision will be reached, ask if you can phone in a week's time to inquire about the progress.


10-If the interviewer offers his/her hand, shake it firmly. Otherwise, it is fine to offer yours first.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Impressive Resume and Cover Letter

The Resume

The resume is a promotional sales tool designed to sell YOU to a prospective employer. The résumé's primary purpose is to get you a foot in the door and secure job interviews. It must attract the attention of employers and interest them in what you have to offer as a potential candidate for employment.

A resume should not be a full-fledged autobiography. Rather, it is a written summary of personal qualifications, education, and experience intended to demonstrate capabilities for a particular position. It should contain enough information in a brief, detailed, and specific manner to inform the prospective employer about you. Your resume should reflect strengths and achievements in a well-arranged, attractive, easy-to-read format. Your resume should always be current and contain relevant information.

The Cover Letter

An effective cover letter is as important to the job search as an effective resume. A cover letter serves as an introduction to your resume, and no resume should be sent without one. Research indicates that your cover letter has the life expectancy of about thirty seconds; so it must be brief, informative, and hold the reader's attention. Employers often use cover letters as an initial screening tool when deciding who to interview.

The goal of the cover letter or letter of application is to obtain an interview while the resume is the selling tool. A cover letter allows you to personalize and expand on the resume. A good cover letter should draw a connection between the needs of the current job opening and the skills you can bring to the job and is intended to summarize, mention particular points, provide additional information, and ask for an interview. Cover letters and resumes follow the same general rules of being specific, concise, and error free. A cover letter should always be enclosed with a resume that is being mailed.

Submit your CV here

General Interview Questions

So, tell me something about yourself?
Remember, this question is totally job-related. It is designed for the interviewer to hear you talk and see how you express yourself. Don't talk long about your marital status, your hobbies or go through your whole resume. Instead, you need to summarize your response and talk about key accomplishments in your career: " These are the things I am good at ..., these are the things I can do for the company ..." You can briefly show your professional identity, and what you are looking for (professionally).

Name 3 positive and 3 negative qualities of yours.
Positive qualities: get along with people, high motivation to learn, never give up facing a problem , responsibility
(at least not switching jobs in the middle of the project) etc.
Negative: Hey, nobody is perfect. You have to give something.But don't go too far, you don't want to look as a bad person either.

Where do you see yourself professionally, in 3-5 years?
Some people talk about their professional development.
It is a good idea to tell if you want to take any particular classes or explore any particular areas in the professional environment.

What is the most exciting and boring part of your job?
There is no 100% exciting job. Every job has it's boring part.

Do you prefer team work or individual?
Be carefull. If you say "individual" - it may sound like you are not a team player, if you say you prefer team work - it means you can't work alone.

What is the most significant responsibility you have ever had in your life?
Peter M. said he was asked this question on his interview recently.

You are assigned to work on an important project containing 7 design modules and you are short of time.
By the end of the month all you can do is either to have 3 modules accomplished or to have all 7 modules started in parallel but not finished. What strategy will you choose?

You definitely want to have at least part of your work finished.You can demonstrate it, explain your problems and ask some more time to complete the project.

Why do you want to leave your present job?
Do not blame your company,your job,managers. The interviewer may think you are not getting along with your supervisor or coworkers. In this case you are not someone they would want to hire. Instead, you can say it is a time for you to move on, try yourself in the new area, etc

What do you know about our company?
You have to do some homework before the interview. At least look at the company's WEB page.

I am looking for suggestion on answering an interview question regarding handeling routine engineering in positive answer.
This and the next question we received from Wayne. Your comments are welcome.

How to answer a question regarding solving a problem in which there appeared to be no answer?
Your comments are welcome.

What particularly would you like to work on?
Some people say:"What ever you want me to do!" In most cases this answer will not be appreciated, especially in start up companies.
It may sound like you have no any other interest in this job but money.

Tell us about one of the technical problems you had to solve recently
Bill Benson, technical recruter from Silicon Valley, says this question is quite frequent on interviews. Don't miss this chance ! Tell how good you are in solving technical problems.

Tell me about a conflict you encountered and how you handled it.
HINT : This is one of the toughest interview questions of all. It's sort of a trick question, as a matter of fact. Never speak negatively about anyone. The ability to successfully resolve conflicts is important for all members of a team. It may be the most important factor if you're working in a service environment, such as a large consulting firm that deals with outside clients. The answer you give here could go a long way toward getting you a job offer. Managers want to see that you are mature and unselfish. The answer should involve proof of your maturity level. They are looking for your ability to handle conflict. Compromise and working it out without external intervention are the keys. A disgruntled person is not going to be productive, and tends to bring down coworkers' morale as well.

What changes have you made in your life that you are most proud of?
HINT : This tells the manager more about your ability to take control of your life. It illustrates your leadership potential, and suggests just how promotable you might be. After all, if he produces a star, he looks good.

What are your salary requirements?
HINT : The use of the word "offer" is critical. It's a subliminal message that an actual job offer is what you are discussing, not just your salary needs in general.
A : "Salary is not my primary consideration. Of course, I have to pay the bills. I'd be open to any reasonable offer." Pause and maintain direct eye contact, even if it seems like forever. Do not be the first one to flinch. Do not over-talk. Be prepared for a long silence. Let the manager be the first to present a figure. It will give you power and control.
If forced to give a specific number, never give a broad range -- you will usually be offered the low end. Instead, be as precise as possible: "I'd be open to something in the low-fifties (or mid-forties, high-seventies, whatever)." Giving such a specific number presumes you've researched the local job market and know what people with your skills are making.

Are you interviewing at any other companies?
HINT : You want the manager to know that you're extremely interested in his opportunity, but are keeping your options open.
A : "Yes, Mr. X, but at this point XYZ is my first choice."

Do's and don'ts during and interview

Do
BE ON TIME!!!
Be polite to everyone you are in contact with - you never know who they might be
Have specific, relevant questions about the company/position - it shows you are interested
Exude confidence, poise and a sense of energy
Get a good night's sleep so you'll be fresh and well rested.
Maintain good eye contact with the recruiter
A firm handshake for men AND women communicates self-confidence
Try to learn the interviewer's name in advance so you can pronounce it correctly
Sit up straight and lean slightly forward, but be comfortable as well, this projects interest
Follow up with a handwritten Thank You note

Don't
Be too nervous if you can help it! Remember to take deep breaths, it will help
Put on a false self - be your best self, but be you
Forget to turn off your pager and cell phone - it's disruptive and inappropriate
Say negative things about former employers, even if they are true. It will make you sound like you complain too much
Leave early if you can possibly avoid it. While it is like you will have several companies to interview with, try and give yourself plenty of time between them
Allow your nervousness to show! Your preparation will go a long way to calming you
Don't fidget or touch things - breathe deeply to relax

Monday, February 16, 2009

How to Search Job in a Recession

During a recession it is best to move forward with force, while your competition is moving slowly. It is easy to use the economy as an excuse. "Successful job seekers know that even in tough economic times, there are opportunities. You just have to dig a bit deeper.

1. Take a closer look at industry data

2. Freshen up your skills

3. Try part-time or freelance work.

4. Rev up your social networking

5. Think in terms of results

6. Role play

7. Polish your brand and market it

8. Find opportunity in your current position

9. Be realistic


Professional Career Counselor

What is a Career Counselor?
Career counselors hold a graduate degree in counseling with a specialization in career counseling. Services of career counselors differ, depending on the counselor's level of competence, the setting,client needs, and other factors. National Certified Career Counselors, Registered Professional Career Counselors, and other professional career counselors help people make and carry out decisions and plans related to life/career directions.
What do Career Counselors do?
Strategies and techniques of professional career counselors are tailored to the specific needs of the person seeking help. It is likely that the career counselor will do one or more of the following:
    • Conduct individual and group counseling sessions to help clarify life/career goals
    • Administer and interpret tests and inventories to assess abilities, interests, and so forth, and to identify career options
    • Encourage exploratory activities through assignments and planning experiences
    • Utilize career planning systems and occupational information systems to help individuals better understand the world of work
    • Provide opportunities for improving decision-making skills
    • Assist in developing individualized career plans
    • Teach job hunting strategies and skills and assist in the development of resumes
    • Help resolve potential personal conflicts on the job through practice in human relations skills
    • Assist in understanding the integration of work and other life roles
    • Provide support for persons experiencing job stress, job loss, and/or career transition

Friday, February 13, 2009

Job Interview Fashion

What to wear for a job interview


More than fifty percent of another person's perception of you is based on how you look and therefore your appearance is crucial to making a good impression. Pay particular attention to your shoes. Managers, especially those who have been in the military, can determine a lot by looking at your shoes.

What to wear for a job interview has to be researched by doing a good job interview preparation. These tips can guide you but are not applicable in all situations.

General tips on what to wear for a job interview for both man and women:

  • Be conservative. Conservative is best for the interview regardless of the dress code at the organization.
  • If you're unsure, call them and ask! Do not ask the HR manager. Asking the receptionist or an HR assistant is easier. If you are still unsure, go for a conservative look.
  • Well-groomed hair style.
  • Clean, trimmed finger nails.
  • Minimal cologne or perfume.
  • No visible body piercing.
  • No gum, candy or cigarettes.
  • Wear one ring and limited jewellery.

Job Interview Tips

Job interviewing never seems to get any easier - even when you have gone on more interviews than you can count. You are meeting new people, selling yourself and your skills, and often getting the third degree about what you know or don't know. Here are job interview tips to help prepare you to interview effectively. Proper preparation which help alleviate some of the stress involved in job interviews.

Get Ready

Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note taking.

Be On time

Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, take some time to drive to the office ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there.

Stay Calm

During the job interview try to relax and stay as calm possible. Take a moment to regroup. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Listen to the entire question before you answer and pay attention - you will be embarrassed if you forget the question!

Show What Your Know

Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions. When discussing your career accomplishments match them to what the company is looking for.

Follow Up

Always follow-up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position. If you interview with multiple people send each one a thank you note.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Successful Job Interview Tips

Job interviews in many organizations are getting sophisticated these days. Psychological tests, role plays, and challenges to one's "quick intelligence" and street smarts are often part of the package. While it's impossible to anticipate everything you may encounter, here are ten tips that will help you negotiate the interview process successfully.

1. Prepare and over-prepare.

It is assumed that you don't go in with egg on your tie, spinach in your teeth, or without a thorough knowledge of the organization and position for which you are interviewing. Beyond that, there's an important principle that will enable you to be much more confident. It's called, "over-preparing." It goes like this: Plan your strategy--your answers to all the possible questions you may be asked or the challenges that may be thrown at you--and then practice, practice, practice. Role play and repeat your best responses until they are entirely natural, until they simply roll off your tongue with the apparent spontaneity that comes only with successive repetition.

2. Be particularly clear on what you know and what you want to achieve.

If your interview is resume-based (you've had to supply a resume either before or concurrently), have the facts of your stated objective, relevant experience, education, etc. thoroughly memorized and mentally supported. As to your job objective, be clear on what you want, as well as what you don't want. There's little room in the job market for the applicant who's willing to take anything; he or she will usually get nothing!

3. Make sure your responses match your claims.

If, for example, you've taken extra coursework to qualify for a particular position, license, or certification, tie it into your narrative, e.g., "When I took my coursework for my CPA, I learned that ..." Build on your resume, but don't refer directly to it (assuming the interviewer has it in his or her possession); make sure the connections are there, but do it subtly.

4. Be clear about your strengths.

You're almost certain to be hit with questions pertaining to your strengths and weaknesses. Know your strengths and emphasize those that relate specifically to the position for which you're being considered. If, for example, you're applying for a sales position, you might describe one of your strengths (if it's true) as follows: "I've made a study of personality types and I've learned to quickly type people in terms of the kinds of approaches that might best attract them." Be prepared, in this case, to back up your claim if the interviewer suddenly asks: "What type would you say I am?"

5. Describe your weaknesses as strengths.

This is tricky, so let's think about why the question is asked. The interviewer probably wants to learn several things about you with this question, such as: whether or not you are arrogant ("I really don't think I have any weaknesses"), whether you know yourself ("Well, I've never really thought about that"), and finally, what you are doing to eliminate your weaknesses. Here are two ways to answer this question so that you leave a positive impression in the mind of the interviewer: (a) Show that, in overcoming a weakness, you've learned. If, for example, there's a period in your chronology that just doesn't fit (say that you took a job selling cars between jobs as an accountant ... it happens!), you might tell the interviewer: "One weakness, which it took me some time to overcome, wasthat I really wasn't sure that I wanted to be an accountant. For example, in 1988-90, I worked as a car salesman. I did so because I couldn't decide if I wanted to make accounting my career. That experience taught me that I really didn't want to sell products, and that I was much more challenged by the opportunity to solve client problems. (b) Pick a weakness that is really a strength. If, for example, you're interviewing for a job in an organization you know is hard-charging and unforgiving of average performance, you might say, "One of my weaknesses is that I tend to be impatient with people who aren't willing to pull their full weight and give 110%." In this case, your "weakness" may help you get the job.

6. If you've been fired, be forthright about it.

So many people have been laid off through no fault of their own in the past ten years that it's no longer a stigma to have been fired--unless it was for justifiable cause (e.g.,- you socked your boss). Answer directly, but without a "charge" in your voice. Expressing your bitterness over being let go tells the interviewer (rightly or wrongly) that you can't accept the realities of modern free enterprise -- that downsizing is acceptable and often necessary.

7. Be clear where you want to go.

A standard question which has all manner of variations is: "Where do you want to be five years from today?" Only today, the answers are different. Unless you plan to inherit Dad's company, your answer is apt to be a lot more general than it might have been a decade ago. Why? Because the economy and nearly every industry are changing so fast that specificity with respect to the distant future is extremely difficult. So, instead of responding to the question with, "I plan to be in a position of senior leadership in this company," you might want to say: "I plan to become qualified in every phase of this industry." The exact response depends upon the specifics of your job hunting campaign, but the principle is: be specific while allowing yourself the flexibility which suggests that you understand the complexities of the business you're applying for.

8. Have clear personal standards.

This is a sleeper because, on the face of it, the question doesn't seem to have much to do with the immediate interview. Today, however, many organizations are looking for people who DO have standards regarding their personal and professional lives, who can articulate them clearly and concisely, and who live by them. In this case, the briefer, the better. "I delegate my weaknesses." "I don't take on projects unless I can give them 100% dedication." "I respond in specifics and avoid meaningless generalities." "I am committed to life-long learning and growth."

9. Interview the interviewer.

The applicant who will take anything offered is unlikely to win any but the most temporary of positions. A competent interviewer (there are some) will respect your efforts to assess the organization and the position in terms of whether or not it meets YOUR requirements. And you owe it to yourself to have defined before hand, what you ideally want and what you are willing to settle for, under certain conditions. For example, you might really want a salary of $75,000 to begin with, but you'd be willing to take less if the opportunities for growth are clearly in the picture.

10. Don't allow yourself to be badgered by the salary issue.

Even today,it's still not uncommon to hear the old refrain: "Our policy is not to pay a new employee more than X% higher than he/she is currently making." Sorry, that doesn't fly. The real issue, and the only one at stake here, is whether or not your prospective employer is willing to pay WHAT YOU ARE WORTH. And, your worth is a function of the job itself and your capability and willingness to perform it. In most organizations, there are clear parameters for a given job, a range of salary that is adjustable depending upon the market and the applicant's experience. In most cases, unless you are very good, you will have to work within those limits. But, within the limits, what you are worth is a matter of mutual agreement based on your own knowledge of your worth and your ability to convince those interviewing you. So, to sum it up: Know the range of compensation for the job you're seeking, make your own realistic determination of what you're worth, and then be prepared to stand your ground.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

HR Interview Tips

Introduction
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Okay, so you have managed to hold your nerves in control and brave the questions of the HR. You are now at the end of your interview session. What next? The answer is, there are a few more steps to go. For instance, the HR person may ask you if you have anything to ask of him/her. How do you respond to that? It is quite likely that you are stressed out and nothing comes to your mind. This article deals with this situation and gives you a few intelligent questions that you may ask. Some Useful Questions

Before you set out to ask questions, keep the above reasons in mind. It would be good to sincerely thank the HR person for such an opportunity. You can start with something like “I have really enjoyed this opportunity to meet you and your team at .. (the company name). Yes, there are a few things I would like to know, thank you for asking” However it is not wise to ask the HR a volley of questions and turn it into a counter interview. Consider the questions below and choose one or two from them that you find the most useful to you.

  • What do you personally find the most enjoyable part of working for this company?
  • May I ask why or how you joined this organization? / What brought you here?
  • I would like to know about the work atmosphere here…
  • Would you be able to tell me about this company’s vision/philosophy?
  • How would you evaluate this organization’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • I would like to know a little about my day-to-day responsibilities.
  • Is this an immediate requirement? How soon would you be taking people on board for this position?
  • I would like to know how my skills compare with the other people who have applied for this position.
  • I am really interested in this opportunity and I feel I have the required skills for this position. What would I have to do next?
  • Now that our interview is coming to close, is there anything you would like to know about my ability towards this job?
  • Would you be able to tell me a little about what the company expects from its employees? What are the most important assets and skills for this company?
  • Does the company follow a structured path in promoting the employees? How does it go?
  • If the company finds me good at the job, how would it advance me? What would be the next step in my career growth?
  • If I performed well in the current position, what are the additional likely opportunities for me within this company?
  • Are there any special areas in this company that the top leaders emerge from?/ Are there special areas like say sales or engineering that have more prospects for growth within this company, or do the leaders come from a cross section of different areas?
  • The company has decided to recruit for this position from outside. How does the company choose between recruiting from within or outside?
  • How far does this particular position contribute to the bottom line?
  • What advice would you give to someone selected for this position?
  • What are the current challenges of this position/department within the company?
  • Before I leave, can I have a formal/written description of the position? This would help me to review the activities and evaluate what is expected of me.
  • Is this job likely to lead to other positions in the company? What is the usual route?
  • Would you be able to tell me a little about the people I will be working with?
  • Before I take your leave, let me check my understanding of the position. The designation is …., the responsibilities are …., it is in the ….. department, and I would be reporting to ……. Please correct me if I have got it wrong anywhere.
  • How does this company promote equal opportunity and diversity?
  • Would you be able to tell me who the company regards as its stars? What have been their most important contributions?
  • How do the subordinates address their seniors in this company?
  • Could you tell me about the management style of this company?
  • If you selected me for this position, what assignment would I be starting on?
  • Does this company have a formal mission statement? Am I allowed to see it?
  • What are the most important parameters along which this company evaluates an employee’s contribution?
Some Usefull Question Answers

1. Tell me about yourself?

I am down-to-earth, sweet, smart, creative, industrious, and thorough.

2. How has your experience prepared you for your career?

Coursework:

Aside from the discipline and engineering foundation learning that I have gained from my courses, I think the design projects, reports, and presentations have prepared me most for my career.

Work Experience:

Through internships, I have gained self-esteem, confidence, and problem-solving skills. I also refined my technical writing and learned to prepare professional documents for clients.

Student Organizations:

By working on multiple projects for different student organizations while keeping up my grades, I've built time management and efficiency skills. Additionally, I've developed leadership, communication, and teamwork abilities.

Life Experience:

In general, life has taught me determination and the importance of maintaining my ethical standards.

3. Describe the ideal job.

Ideally, I would like to work in a fun, warm environment with individuals working independently towards team goals or individual goals. I am not concerned about minor elements, such as dress codes, cubicles, and the level of formality. Most important to me is an atmosphere that fosters attention to quality, honesty, and integrity.

4. What type of supervisor have you found to be the best?

I have been fortunate enough to work under wonderful supervisors who have provided limited supervision, while answering thoughtful questions and guiding learning. In my experience, the best supervisors give positive feedback and tactful criticism.

5. What do you plan to be doing in five years' time?

Taking the PE exam and serving in supervisory/leadership roles both at work and in professional/community organization(s).

6. What contributions could you make in this organization that would help you to stand out from other applicants?

In previous internships, my industriousness and ability to teach myself have been valuable assets to the company. My self-teaching abilities will minimize overhead costs, and my industriousness at targeting needs without prompting will set me apart from others. Additionally, one thing that has always set me apart from my scientific/engineering peers are my broad interests and strong writing abilities. I am not your typical "left-brained" engineer, and with my broad talents, I am likely to provide diverse viewpoints.

7. What sort of criteria are you using to decide the organization you will work for?

Most importantly, I am looking for a company that values quality, ethics, and teamwork. I would like to work for a company that hires overachievers.

8. What made you choose your major?

My academic interests are broad, so I sought civil engineering to achieve a great balance of mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, and writing.

9. Have your university and major met your expectations?

The College of Engineering at MSU has exceeded my expectations by providing group activities, career resources, individual attention, and professors with genuine interest in teaching.

My major has met my expectations by about 90%. I would have enjoyed more choices in environmental courses, and would have preferred more calculus-based learning.

10. What made you choose this college?

I chose this college for the following reasons: my budget limited me to in-state schools, I was seeking an area with dog-friendly apartments, the MSU web site impressed me, I saw active student groups, and the people were very friendly.


Cheers


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Work from home using Internet

Working at home while pursuing a full time career can be stressful, but with these tips and suggestions you’ll be well on your way to striking a balance between work and your personal life.

Time Management Tips for Working at Home Part Time

1. Keep Focused on Your Full Time Job - During working hours it will be easy to think about your work at home job, especially if your plan is to eventually quit your day job and come home full time. As hard as it may be keep yourself focused on your regular job while you are working. Don’t let your quality of work suffer.

2. Work Your at Home Job during Your Spare Time - Keep your at home job on somewhat of a schedule and work it after regular business hours and weekends. This will enable you to build a business without stressing yourself, which brings us to the next tip. Make certain that you take time out just for you to do things you enjoy other than working.

3. Don’t Overwork Yourself Just to Make Money Faster - Running a freelance business on the side can wear you down if you don’t make it a point to set limits for yourself. Take your time and don’t push yourself too far or take on too many clients just to make money faster. It will catch up with you in the long run and both jobs will suffer as well as your health.

Perfect Part Time Job Opportunities for Those with a Full Time Career

1. Typing at Home - There are various opportunities for part time typing jobs. From companies who need data entry personnel to podcast and website owners who need audios transcribed, the possibilities are abundant. Typing at home also pays well. Depending on what exactly you are doing you might get paid by the piece or by the hour. This makes it easy to schedule your work at home job during non-working hours.

2. Online Paid Surveys - These not only are fun, but they allow you to do work when you have time. From online surveys, mail in surveys, and even focus groups you can easily pick and choose the ones that fit your lifestyle, including the time you have available to work.

3. Freelance Writing - Freelance writing opportunities abound. There are always newspapers, magazines, and other print publications that are looking for columnists, editors, and more. Don’t forget to check with online business owners as well. Content is a necessary part of running a successful online business and webmasters just don’t have the time to keep up with the time it takes to create the amount of content they need.

Many online business owners regularly hire ghostwrites to write content ranging from advertising brochures and articles to eBooks and How-To Guides and everything in between.

4. Virtual Assistance - As a VA, you can do almost anything you have the skills to do. There are very successful virtual assistants who perform tasks for business owners online and off. Just a few of the services a VA can provide includes:

- Web design
- Transcription
- Ghostwriting
- Data entry
- Bookkeeping
- Accounting & Tax preparation
- Press services
- Audio and video creation
- and more…

While it won’t happen overnight, it is possible to work a full time day job and pursue making money at home with part time work. Following the tips above will help to make it easier. Before you know it you’ll have reached your goal of a more secure financial standing or creating the basis for a full time work at home business that will meet or even exceed your current income.