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What shouldn't you do when interviewing? Here are more Crappy interview mistakes, blunders, and errors a candidate for employment can make. Spend time preparing to interview so these don't happen to you!
1 - Don't Prepare:
Not being able to answer the question "What do you know about this company?" might just end your quest for employment, at least with this employer. Background information including company history, locations, divisions, and a mission statement are available in an "About Us" section on most company web sites. Review it ahead of time, then print it out and read it over just before your interview to refresh your memory.
2 - Dress Inappropriately:
Dressing inappropriately can work both ways. You will certainly want to wear a suit if you are interviewing for professional position. When interviewing for a summer job at your local theme park or as a lifeguard, for example, dress accordingly in neat and casual attire. If you aren't sure what to wear, visit the organization and watch employees coming in and out of the office to see what they are wearing.
3 - Poor Communication Skills:
It's important to communicate well with everyone you meet in your search for employment. It is, however, most important to positively connect with the person who might hire you. Shake hands, make eye contact, exude confidence, engage the person you are speaking with, and you will let the interviewer know that you are an excellent candidate for this position - before you even answer an interview question.
4 - Talk Too Much:
There is nothing much worse than interviewing someone who goes on and on and on... The interviewer really doesn't need to know your whole life story. Keep your answers succinct, to-the-point and focused and don't ramble - simply answer the question.
5 - Don't Talk Enough:
It's really hard to communicate with someone who answers a question with a word or two. I remember a couple of interviews where I felt like I was pulling teeth to get any answers from the candidate. It wasn't pleasant. So, even though you shouldn't talk too much, you do want to be responsive and fully answer the question as best you can.
6 - Badmouthing Past Employers:
Your last boss was an idiot? Everyone in the company was a jerk? You hated your job and couldn't wait to leave? Even if it's true don't say so. I cringed when I heard someone ranting and raving about the last company she worked for. That company happened to be our largest customer and, of course, I wasn't going to hire someone who felt that way about the company and everyone who worked there.
It's sometimes a smaller world than you think and you don't know who your interviewer might know, including that boss who is an idiot... You also don't want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about his or her company if you leave on terms that aren't the best.
7 - Forget to Follow Up:
Afraid you didn't make the best impression? Are you sure that you aced the interviewed? Either way, be sure to follow up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position and the company.
Finally, even if you do flub the interview, don't take it to heart. I don't think there is anyone hasn't blown an interview or two. If it happens, look at it like it just wasn't meant to be, learn from your mistakes and move on to the next opportunity.
Have you made any of these blunders???
Let us know in the comments...
Recruiters have one job: Find the right person for the position.
Their performance is evaluated on how efficiently and effectively they match top talent to job requirements.
Ironically, in the current economy, recruiters are finding their jobs harder than ever.
There’s too much talent for them to weed through. What used to be “finding a needle in a haystack” has now become “finding a needle in ten haystacks.”
As a result, recruiters have to determine a candidate’s marketability much quicker.
Translation: Candidates must pay even more attention to the power of the first impression factor.
So, if you aren’t getting called back by a recruiter after either an in-person meeting or talking by phone, there’s a good chance, in addition to the fact you didn’t have the right skills, you also might have displayed one or more traits on the “I can’t market them,” list.
Now, most recruiters won’t tell you what you did wrong.
For one reason, they aren’t paid to give you the bad news.
Second, they don’t want to burn a bridge.
And third, as I mentioned, they just don’t have the time.
And yet, how are you going to fix the problem if you don’t know it exists?
I’ve put together 7 of the most common "crappy" reasons why a recruiter writes a candidate off. You may not like what you read, but the good news is with a little attention and practice, all of them can be improved upon.
So, ask yourself, “Am I guilty of the following?”
1 - Your interview attire is outdated, messy, too tight, too revealing, or too flashy.
2 - Your physical appearance is disheveled, outdated, sloppy, smelly, or overpowering (i.e. too much perfume).
3 - Your handshake is limp, too forceful, or clammy.
4 - You say "ah," "um," or "like" too much.
5 - You talk too fast, too slow, too loud, or too soft.
6 - You lack sincerity, self-confidence, clarity, or conviction.
7 - You talk too much, use poor grammar, say inappropriate things (i.e. swearing) when you answer interview questions.
OK, So how do you fix these crappy things you do?
Well, given 93% of communication is non-verbal, I can tell you many of the negatives above can be improved by focusing on one thing: attitude.
This comes from knowing your strengths and embracing them.
It also comes from doing your homework on a company so you can articulate clearly and with enthusiasm why you would be a great fit for the job.
I realize this is easier said than done, but it can be done.
And one last thing to NOT do id look like this ------>>
WHEN YOU SHOW UP FOR WORK.....
Any stories YOU want to tell, let us knoww in the comments.
This study hhas been done by Glassdoor.com
Think ultra-selective companies like Google give the toughest job interviews? At least 20 firms put job candidates through an even tighter ringer, according to a new report.
A new study from Glassdoor.com, a Sausalito, Calif.-based workplace culture website, ranked the toughest companies to interview at, analyzing user comments about the interview practices of specific companies.
The toughest firms put their job candidates through several rounds of interviews riddled with brainteasers, technical questions and case study analyses. While a few of the usual suspects were in the top 20, some of the list-makers might surprise you.
At the top of the list were: consultancy McKinsey, proprietary trading firm Jane Street Capital and semiconductor manufacturer Cree Inc. Firms like BP (No. 10), Procter & Gamble (No. 12), investment fund Bridgewater Associates(No. 16) and Amazon (No. 18), followed. Notably absent from the top 20 were tech giants like Google and Apple, both notorious for their high levels of competition and challenging interviews.
Cutthroat interviews at firms big and small are indicative of the current job climate, said Samantha Zupan, a Glassdoor spokesperson. "The pressure has certainly been turned up in the interview process," she said. "You need to go in armed with information and with your eyes as wide open as you can."
Some companies made the list for rejecting candidates who made only one mistake during a lengthy interview process. "If you screw one interview out of seven, you will not have [a] chance to get hired," said one Glassdoor user, who commented on their experience as a software engineering candidate with eBay, which clocked in at No. 19 in the report.
"At the end, you are asked a simple brain teaser," said a Jane Street Capital quant candidate. "I failed the third round phone interview with a trader. I got stuck at one problem and that trader lost his patience on me." New York City-based Jane Street Capital was ranked second in the report.
Sprinting through marathon interviews felled other candidates. Sean Brody, recruiting manager at Raleigh, N.C.-based Cree, which landed the No. 3 spot on the list, said that this is where he sees candidates slip up the most. "Most of our candidates aren't local to Raleigh," he said, which means interviewees are flown in for day-long sessions. Stamina is a factor.
"Toward the end of the day, a candidate may have been with four or five people and may still have more to go," Brody explained.
Being prepared to explain everything from your personal history and behavioral competency to your high-tech know-how in a single day may require an exhausting amount of research. "Preparation is an absolute must," said one candidate at Boston Consulting, which was No. 5 on the list. "I know many people do not prepare, but I certainly did and I performed much better because of it."
So what can candidates do to get ready? Be comfortable with your skill-set and experience, rehearse responses to interview questions -- the common and not-so-common -- learn how tobluff, and try not to blow it. But overall, remember that a bombed interview might be a sign that the company wasn't a good fit for you after all.
"Don't forget that this is an opportunity for the company to interview you and for you to interview the company," said Zupan. "It's tough out there, but you want to land somewhere you feel comfortable and feel like you can succeed."
Below is the full list of Glassdoor's Top 20 Most Difficult Companies for Interviews:
1. McKinsey & Co.
2. Jane Street Capital
4. Bain & Co.
5. Boston Consulting
6. Palantir Technologies
7. Teach for America
8. A.T. Kearney
9. Red Ventures
11. ZS Associates
12. Procter & Gamble
15. Oliver Wyman
16. Bridgewater Associates
Let us know in the comments and maby we can help on the next one.
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What you don't do is as important
as what you do when you're job searching.
When you're looking for a new job,
job search mistakes can - and will -
count against you. Here are some DON'Ts...
2- Talking too much, or not enough, are both ways you can blow an interview. Dressing inappropriately for a job interview, including showing too much cleavage or your underwear, can cost you.
3- What you do, of course, matters, as well. Telling a potential employer that they are unprofessional or asking an interviewer for cab fare are both good ways not to get hired.
4- Not sitting up straight (remember what your mom always told you) and slumping in your interview chair, not making eye contact with the interviewer, and other nonverbal communication can all make a difference in the outcome when you're interviewing.
5- Not making an extra effort to proof your resume and cover letters can knock your candidacy out of consideration. Forgetting to send aninterview thank you note won't help your chances of getting a job offer.
6- Then there are all the really bad interview outfits our visitors have shared. I can guarantee those applicants didn't get a job offer.
7- I'll spare you the details of the applicant who started taking off his shirt to show me his scars during an interview. I'll also spare you the details of the woman in the dress that was so short she could barely sit down. She did impress some of my colleagues though!
Send me your nightmares or worst interviews.
I bet this list can go on and on, and on, like the energizer bunny. It keeps going and going and going.
Another Blog Post on my Crappy series, hope you like it. Let me know in the comments.
1- Criticism of a Prospective
Thumbtack.com, a San Francisco-based site that connects customers with small business services, asked potential employees to submit in their cover letters feedback about their website. One candidate, a contender for an entry-level position in April, didn't pull any punches.
"The engineering of your site looks lazy and ineffective," the applicant wrote, proceeding to describe the color scheme of the site as "disconcerting to my eyes."
Needless to say, he was not considered for the position, though not before the hiring manager got in some laughs around the water cooler at his expense.
"We forwarded the cover letter to our managers sort of as a joke," says Sander Daniels, co-founder of the site. "It was the most caustic feedback we received. But we responded kindly to him -- we didn't suggest any improvements to him in approaching other employers. We don't see it as our role to counsel failed candidates."
Daniels observed that while many strong candidates turn in well-written cover letters, some have let the demand for engineers get to their heads, as Silicon Valley romances them with six-figure salaries and other job perks.
"Maybe they think they can get away with it -- but in our company, culture is a very important factor." Daniels says. "Even if Facebook's best engineer came to us, we wouldn't hire him if he was a jerk."
2- Personal Stories:
While employers are sometimes interested in personal stories, especially if they give some idea about work ethic, it's best to save these stories for the interview, says Lindsay Olson of New York-based Paradigm Staffing, who specializes in recruiting communications and marketing professionals.
"I think my favorite of all time was the salesperson who poetically told me about how he decided to run a marathon, climbed to reach glaciers to have a taste of pure water, ran at heights of 5,000 meters in Peru, and biked down the world's most dangerous road and survived (over 300,000 have not)," says Olson, of a candidate who was applying for a business development position at a recruiting firm in June last year. "All this in his opening paragraph."
If you are asked in an interview about your hobbies and adventures, be prepared with a strong answer, says Olson. "What a [job candidate] likes to do outside of work might show how they are in their job," she says. "As a hiring manager, what you don't like to hear is, 'I just like to sit around at home and read books all day.'"
3- Next to Nothing:
While writing something that's too long is a common cover letter mistake, what can be even more damaging is a cover letter that's too short.
Bruce Hurwitz, President of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing, Ltd., a New York-based staffing firm recalls a cover letter he received a few months ago for an entry-level IT sales position. It read simply, "Here's my resume. Call me. [Phone number]."
"I cracked up," Hurwitz says. "This person had only just graduated with a Bachelor's degree. It was ridiculous."
A good cover letter should be somewhere between 200 to 250 words, Hurwitz says, and should answer the question of why a recruiter should look at the resume. "The key is to highlight one success," Hurwitz says. "For example, 'I successfully increased sales 500% over two years, resulting in increased, sustained revenue of $25 million.' Once I read that, I look at the resume."
It's one thing to promote yourself favorably in a cover letter, but watch that it doesn't degenerate into overt bragging.
This is especially true when it comes to ambiguous skills, says Jennifer Fremont-Smith, CEO of Smarterer, a Boston-based tech startup aimed at helping IT applicants improve their resumes.
"People claim to have things like, 'superior Internet skills.' What does that even mean?" says Fremont-Smith. "I saw an application from a Web developer about a month ago where he described himself as a 'rockstar in design tools,' and an 'expert in developer tools.' That kind of inflated language doesn't really tell your employer much about your skills."
Fremont-Smith recommends carefully personalizing your cover letter to the employer and listing the most relevant of skills for the job you want, and why you want it. "The cover letter is the place to tell your story about why it is that you're the right person for the company," she says. "It's about really crafting a narrative that answers the question of why the employer should talk to you."
5- Wrong Company Name/Wrong Cover Letter:
Talk about mistakes that are easy to avoid.
"The biggest mistake I see on a regular basis is that candidates either misspell the name of the company or get the name wrong," says Gary Hewing of Houston-based Bert Martinez Communications LLC. "If it's a small misspelling like 'Burt' instead of 'Bert', I'd be willing to overlook that. But the big, unforgivable mistake is when someone copies and pastes a cover letter without the name or address to the correct company. That, to me, is someone who's lazy and not paying attention."
Hewing says sometimes it's hard to tell if a cover letter was meant for a particular job, even if the candidate got the company name and position right, if they talk about disconnected experience without explaining themselves.
"We're a sales organization, but at least twice a month, we'll get a cover letter with someone talking about their banking background instead of sales," says Hewing. "It's a complete disconnect to the job description and it doesn't even explain if the candidate is seeking a career change. It tells me that they're just not paying attention."
6- Irrelevant Experience:
As noteworthy as an impressive Girl Scout cookies sales record may be, it's not worth trumpeting that experience when trying to break into a field like software sales. Rich DeMatteo, co-founder of Philadelphia-based Social Media Marketing firm Bad Rhino, remembers a candidate who did just that when he was working as a corporate recruiter at a software company.
"I was recruiting for a software sales position and one candidate was sure she was qualified because of her success selling Girl Scout cookies when she was a young girl," DeMatteo says. "I think she was young and didn't realize how important it is to state the right experience. Younger applicants tend to reach for skills, and try to find them anywhere in their life."
Some candidates take it even further, acknowledging they have no relevant skills, but pushing to be hired anyway.
"I read one for an IT analyst position that says, 'Although my qualifications do not exactly match your needs, the close proximity to my home is a big bonus for me,'" Levy of Just Military Loans recalls. "You have a lot of underqualified people just out of college just throwing resumes at the wall, and hoping something sticks."
DeMatteo suggests trying to focus on specifc sales figures or experience in relevant projects. "A lot of sales, for instance, is numbers-based. Stick to that."
Breaking the ice with humor isn't necessarily a bad idea, but jokes in cover letters are usually a turn-off for busy employers, say recruiters. It might be better to save them for the interview, if they are to be used at all. Olson recalled a candidate for a communications executive position who rubbed an employer the wrong way with an off-color joke.
"She decided in her interview, for some reason, to compare kids to Nazis," says Olson. "She thought she was being funny, but the interviewer happened to be Jewish and didn't think she was very funny."
Recruiters agree that it's best to stick with tried-and-true unfunny, but effective conventional pitches about your education and work experience.
"The thing with trying to be chummy and funny is that you lose credibility," says Gurney of Careerguy.com. "It looks desperate. And the worst thing you can do in job-seeking is looking desperate or needy."
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