20 Tips To Hack An Interview

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Interviews,especially job interviews are dreaded by almost everyone at some stage in life. Some dread it less and some get hyper-nervous. But it is no cakewalk for anyone. Definitely not for a college student, who, after long years of studying and enjoying is preparing to face the music.

While each interview is different, there are some general things you need to keep in mind before you go for it. The following tips comprise of both the general as well as some cool tips unknown to most job seekers, which can help you crack an interview.

1. Know what you want

I think the first tip for cracking a job interview is to go for the right job interview. A lot of times college students go for the wrong job; something which they know they’d dislike sooner or later. They usually succumb to peer pressure and follow the herd.

It’s true that we don’t always know what we want, especially right after college when the primary focus is to land a job and start raking in the moolah. That is okay but going for a job which is aligned to your interests will always shape up a great career for you. So think about it for a moment and decide on the interview you should appear for. Listen to your heart and then go for it.

2. Prepare, and then prepare a little more

You may have been the topper at your university and fetched medals in all sorts of activities. Good for you. But that doesn’t guarantee your success in the interview. The HR representatives from corporate firms are a different breed and being complacent is the last thing you can afford to do.

Hence, no matter how confident you feel (which is a great feeling to have), make sure you leave no stone unturned in preparing for the interview. And that means preparing for the common interview questions, refining your communication skills, taking advice from others and more. Here’s a list of common interview questions for your reference.

3. Study and get to know the firm

This is a very basic mistake which a lot of newbies tend to make. They are up for the interview but when asked what do they know about the firm, they don’t have much to say. That’s because they haven’t spent time checking the company’s website and googling its name to check its web presence.

Don’t be a noob. Do an in-depth study about the firm on the internet. Check their Wikipedia page if they have one, check their site, google their name, check who the founders are, check what does the company specialize in…all this will ensure that you leave a great impression on the interviewer when he asks what do you know about their firm.

4. Get your online profiles in order

While you are checking the firm online, don’t forget that they could check you online too. College students are known to be active on social networks and many companies now-a-days prefer to do a thorough online research about their job applicants. Hence it is important that you check out all your online profiles and make sure that you clear anything which you feel could obstruct your success in the interview.

5. Say “I don’t know” when you don’t know

Remember the interview of Chris Gardner (Will Smith) in The Pursuit of Happyness? He tells the interviewer, “I’m the type of person that if you ask me a question and I don’t know the answer, I’m gonna tell you that I don’t know. But I bet you what, I know how to find the answer and I will find the answer.” And he gets the job.

So be upfront and truthful. Don’t try to fake skills because there are strong chances you will get caught right there.

6. Don’t be aggressive

While it’s good to say I don’t know when you don’t know, it could be a possibility that you do know just about everything the person asks. And you might know much more than what the interviewer had expected. But this is where the problem begins. You tend to become aggressive and argue loudly.

Don’t let your confidence become your arrogance. Be calm and to the point when answering questions. You may consider being assertive but don’t try to be aggressive.

7. Have the right attitude

Have you ever wondered why a candidate gets the job even when he seemed far less qualified than the job profile required him to be ? Well, the answer is – attitude matters. And he had the right attitude towards the job. He was calm, curious, listened actively and demonstrated his potential to excel in the job, no matter what his qualifications are. That’s what you need to keep in mind too. Go in the interview room with the mindset that you will come out with an offer letter. Don’t treat it like just another interview.

8. Practice

Practice what, you may ask. Well, practice the interview…in front of the mirror. Yeah, you read it right. It’s old fashioned but still and will continue to be very effective. It can help you study your facial gestures and see where you need to improve. Plus it boosts your confidence.

You could also practice with your friends and classmates. Do role plays and try to create an environment of a real interview.

9. Think before you speak

Most of the time the interviewee assumes that his success in the interview depends on how quick he can respond to every question. And hence many times he says something which he shouldn’t have said. Therefore it is important that you don’t tread that path. There is no harm if you take a minute or two to think if you are stuck at a question. Ultimately, what you answer matters the most.

10. Begging for job

Emotional blackmails might work on some interviewers and you might get the job on the grounds of sympathy, but I’d say the chances are 1 in 100. You beg for the job and you lose the respect of the interviewer. It’s very hard to try any other trick on him after that. So don’t plead for the job. You would get it if you prove that you deserve it. Not by any other way.

11. Smile often

While crying and begging usually doesn’t work, smiling does. A smiling face often has a positive impact on the person on the other side. It makes the applicant appear confident and easy going. Of course for the candidate, a smile can do a great deal in reducing the nervousness and perform better in the interview.

12. Never badmouth college authorities or previous employers

No matter how much you hated your professors or any previous boss when you did a summer job, make sure you don’t tell that to the interviewer. This is when not being truthful is better. You don’t have to sing songs in their praise, just speak well of them.

By asking such questions, the interviewer will try to judge how comfortable you are under authority. That’s because you’ll have a boss at the job. So badmouthing your college authorities could leave a negative impression on him.

13. Money isn’t everything

It may be everything but you don’t have to show that in the interview. Also, as I mentioned earlier, you should go for a job which you know you would be interested in. Because when you appear for that interview, you would be enthusiastic about your future prospects irrespective of the money you’d make. And that is music to the interviewer’s ears.

14. Resume

How could I forget one of the most important things in an interview, especially when the applicant is a fresher just out of college. Your resume should clearly reflect what you were and what you are capable of.
A resume which is nicely done gives you an advantage over other candidates.

15. Be precise and clear

A common complaint which HR managers have when they interview college students is that the interviewees tend to beat around the bush and waste their time. That is again an indication of not preparing well for the interview.

So make sure that you answer precisely and clearly. Don’t add unnecessary sentences because that could give the interviewer a chance to grill you more.

16. Social networking

The importance of social networking before an interview is often ignored by the candidates. If you have a job interview coming up, why not go to LinkedIn or Facebook and try to find people who recently joined that firm. And then try to contact them to get some pointers. This is just one example of how you could utilize the social networks to prepare for the interview.

17. Take advice from seniors and professors

That’s why it is always advisable for a college student to maintain a healthy relationship with his seniors and professors. They are the ones who could give the most valuable tips which could help you crack the interview. So don’t forget to take advice from them before the D-day.

18. Ask questions to the interviewer

Every interviewer gives a chance to the applicant to ask him questions about the job and the company. You should utilize this opportunity to ask relevant questions about the job. Shying away from asking questions at this point could mean that you aren’t very enthusiastic about the new opportunity.

19. Switch off your cellphone

A simple but an important thing to do before the interview. It shows you are really serious about getting the job. In fact a better step could be not to carry your cellphone at all to the interview. That would eliminate the possibility of your cellphone ringing suddenly in case you forgot to switch it off.

20. Your posture and eye-contact

The way you sit and look at the interviewer matters a lot. It’s also a part of having the right attitude. Sit straight and have a constant eye contact with the interviewer. It shows that you are confident and ready to enter the corporate world.

50 Common Interview Questions and Tips

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50 Common Interview Questions and Tips:

Review these typical interview questions and think about how you would answer them. Read the questions listed; you will also find some strategy suggestions with it.

1. Tell me about yourself:

The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest back and work up to the present.

2. Why did you leave your last job?

Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co- workers or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward- looking reasons.

3. What experience do you have in this field?

Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.

4. Do you consider yourself successful?

You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good explanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and are on track to achieve the others.

5. What do co-workers say about you?

Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific statement or a paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith Company, always said I was the hardest workers she had ever known. It is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview herself.

6. What do you know about this organization?

This question is one reason to do some research on the organization before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they are going. What are the current issues and who are the major players?

7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?

Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.

8. Are you applying for other jobs?

Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus on this job and what you can do for this organization. Anything else is a distraction.

9. Why do you want to work for this organization?

This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the research you have done on the organization. Sincerity is extremely important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your long-term career goals.

10. Do you know anyone who works for us?

Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought of.

11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something like, That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position? In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not, say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide range.

12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready. Specifics that show you often perform for the good of the team rather than for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. Do not brag, just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.

13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?

Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I’d like it to be a long time. Or As long as we both feel I’m doing a good job.
14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?

This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like you like to fire people. At the same time, you will do it when it is the right thing to do. When it comes to the organization versus the individual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect the organization. Remember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction in force.

15. What is your philosophy towards work?

The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation here. Do you have strong feelings that the job gets done? Yes. That’s the type of answer that works best here. Short and positive, showing a benefit to the organization.

16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?

Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the type of work you prefer. Do not say yes if you do not mean it.

17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?

If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid saying negative things about the people or organization involved.

18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization.

You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to highlight your best points as they relate to the position being discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.

19. Why should we hire you?

Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not mention any other candidates to make a comparison.

20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made.

Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted and was then considered successful. One related to the type of work applied for is a real plus.

21. What irritates you about co-workers?

This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with anything that irritates you. A short statement that you seem to get along with folks is great.

22. What is your greatest strength?

Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples: Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability to work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects, Your professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive attitude

23. 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.

24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?

Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.

25. What are you looking for in a job?

See answer # 23

26. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?

Do not be trivial. It would take disloyalty to the organization, violence or lawbreaking to get you to object. Minor objections will label you as a whiner.

27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?

Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There is no better answer.

28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?

There are numerous good possibilities:
Loyalty, Energy, Positive attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise, Initiative, Patience, Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver

29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor.

Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of your boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former boss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay positive and develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.

30. What has disappointed you about a job?

Don’t get trivial or negative. Safe areas are few but can include:
Not enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction Company did not win a contract, which would have given you more responsibility.

31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.

You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an example that relates to the type of position applied for.

32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?

Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want another job more than this one.

33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?

This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples are: Challenge, Achievement, Recognition

34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?

This is up to you. Be totally honest.

35. How would you know you were successful on this job?

Several ways are good measures:
You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a success.Your boss tell you that you are successful

36. Would you be willing to relocate if required?

You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if you think there is a chance it may come up. Do not say yes just to get the job if the real answer is no. This can create a lot of problems later on in your career. Be honest at this point and save yourself uture grief.

37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead of your own?

This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry about the deep ethical and philosophical implications. Just say yes.

38. Describe your management style.

Try to avoid labels. Some of the more common labels, like progressive, salesman or consensus, can have several meanings or descriptions depending on which management expert you listen to. The situational style is safe, because it says you will manage according to the situation, instead of one size fits all.

39. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?

Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make it small, well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An example would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project and thus throwing coordination off.

40. Do you have any blind spots?

Trick question. If you know about blind spots, they are no longer blind spots. Do not reveal any personal areas of concern here. Let them do their own discovery on your bad points. Do not hand it to them.

41. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?

Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have.

42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?

Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well qualified for the position.

43. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?

First, if you have experience that the interviewer does not know about, bring that up: Then, point out (if true) that you are a hard working quick learner.

44. What qualities do you look for in a boss?

Be generic and positive. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense of humor, fair, loyal to subordinates and holder of high standards. All bosses think they have these traits.

45. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute between others.

Pick a specific incident. Concentrate on your problem solving technique and not the dispute you settled.

46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?

Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.

47. Describe your work ethic.

Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.

48. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?

Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control. Show acceptance and no negative feelings.

49. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.

Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organization.

50. Do you have any questions for me?

Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of projects will I be able to assist on? are examples.

And Finally Good Luck

 

Key tips to Write Resume

Resume Writing Tips Winged Post

Hiring managers and recruiters alike say they’ve seen more poorly written resumes cross their desks recently than ever before. Attract more interview offers and ensure your resume doesn’t eliminate you from consideration by following these six key tips to write resume:

1.   Format Your Resume Wisely “Do the Hiring Managers” Work for Them

No matter how well written, your resume won’t get a thorough reading the first time through. Generally a resume gets scanned for 25 seconds. Scanning is more difficult if it is hard to read, poorly organized or exceeds two pages.

  • Use a logical format and wide margins, clean type and clear headings
  • Selectively apply bold and italic typeface that help guide the reader’s eye
  • Use bullets to call attention to important points (i.e. accomplishments)

2.   Identify Accomplishments not Just Job Descriptions

Hiring managers, especially in technical fields like engineering, seek candidates that can help them solve a problem or satisfy a need within their company. Consequently, you can’t be a solution to their problems without stating how you solved similar problems in other companies and situations.

  • Focus on what you did in the job, NOT what your job was there’s a difference
  • Include a one or two top line job description first, then list your accomplishments
  • For each point ask yourself, What was the benefit of having done what I did?
  • Accomplishments should be unique to you, not just a list of what someone else did
  • Avoid using the generic descriptions of the jobs you originally applied for or held

3.   Quantify Your Accomplishments

Q: What’s the most common resume mistake?
A: Making too many general claims and using too much industry jargon that does not market the candidate. A resume is a marketing document designed to sell your skills and strengths rather than just portray a bio of the candidate.

  • Include and highlight specific achievements that present a comprehensive picture of your marketability
  • Quantify your achievements to ensure greater confidence in the hiring manager and thereby generate interest percentages, dollars, number of employees, etc.
  • Work backwards to quantify your accomplishments by asking, If I had not done X, what could have happened?

4.   Cater Your Resume for the Industry

Unlike advertising and design professionals who have greater creative license in designing their resume for those fields, the mechanical engineering industry won’t be impressed and may be turned off by distinctive resume design.

  • Err on the side of being conservative stylistically
  • Your accomplishments, error-free writing, grammatically-correct, clean, crisp type and paper will make the impression for you

5.   Replace your Objective” with a “Career Summary”

A Career Summary is designed to give a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Most Objectives sound similar: Seeking a challenging, interesting position in X where I can use my skills of X, Y, and Z to contribute to the bottom line. Not telling at all.

  • Grab a hiring manager’s attention right from the beginning, remembering you
    have only 25 few seconds to make a good impression
  • Spend time developing a summary that immediately gets their attention, and accurately and powerfully describes you as a solution to their problems

6.   Network. Network. Network.

For unemployed candidates, handing out resumes should be a full-time job. The majority of mid- to senior-level positions are filled through networking, so contact absolutely everyone you know in addition to recruiters who are in a position to hire you or share insights. Networking can include

  • Personal business contacts, people you’ve worked for or who worked for you
  • Vendors and sales representatives you’ve dealt with in the past five years
  • People listed in the alumni directory of your alma mater

With a solid resume in hand you’ll greatly increase your odds of earning a closer look and getting that interview.

If you have any questions, just post your queries in the comment box below and we will get back to you.