Top 5 Questions to Prepare For to Nail Your Next Interview

Part 2: “What Is Your Biggest Weakness?”

 

As we discussed last week, we have listened and learned from many hiring managers and other decision makers regarding how to best prepare a candidate for a job interview. This week brings us to Part 2 of the series, addressing the second of our Top 5 questions: “What is Your Biggest Weakness?”

 

This is a question that rarely goes unspoken at job interviews across the board. It doesn’t matter if you’re applying to become a secretary or a CEO, addressing the issue of your greatest weaknesses is still a very common question.

 

It is also one that needs to be given ample time when you consider how to best prepare yourself for the upcoming interview. Why? Because most people find it difficult to speak about their biggest weakness, to spill their guts out in front of perfect strangers whom they are trying to impress and not repel. How can you expose yourself in such a way that is honest yet not going to shut the door on your possibility with this company? Well, that’s a tricky question that we are here to help you better grasp and build upon.

 

Weakness is hard to digest, but we all have to deal with it. In a job interview, the hiring manager is seeking to discover who you are in a nutshell. What can you bring to this company? What sets you apart from the other candidates that have been through these doors? Discussing your weakness, although exposing you, also provides a glimpse both into your past and your future. How you have handled yourself in the past will often be telling of how you will process similar problematic scenarios in your future. Therefore, it is important to reveal how your weakness and/or mistakes in the past have changed you for the better, setting you on a course of improvement and growth.

 

In order to nail the interview, you need to rehearse specifically in how you will answer this question, being prepared to give a vivid example. One of the most helpful hints that we offer in our interview coaching addresses just this. When you share your biggest weakness with your future employer, you need to give a specific example to highlight exactly what it is that you are saying about yourself and the way in which this weakness has shaped you. For example, “I used to struggle with a quick temper and got into an argument with a coworker one day in the middle of a meeting. However, more recently, I have improved in that regard, as exemplified by my more calm behavior and sincere, peaceful interactions with the same coworker.” Such an example shows the hiring manager that you have an informed and intentional grasp on you biggest weakness and that you are being proactive in facing it.

 

Developing a deeper understanding of yourself and how you operate in a workplace environment will help you greatly because you can then explain and market yourself to someone else. In order to nail that next job interview, you need to take a hard look at where you have been and how you have grown. Your past failures don’t have to be the end of you…they can be the beginning of a new chapter. Mistakes create opportunity for growth and learning how to best define your biggest weakness will set you apart as a potential job candidate.

 

June 26th, 2015|Blog|

Top 5 Questions to Prepare For to Nail Your Next Interview

Part 1: “What Are Your Greatest Strengths?”

 

Over the years and for your benefit, we have spent a lot of time in research. We have listened and learned from many hiring managers and other decision makers. Our findings have led us to what truly works best in helping a job candidate prepare for the interview process, and we want to take the next several weeks to really emphasize the top 5 most important questions that are commonly asked.

 

To kick it off, let’s talk about the golden interview question, the one which you can guarantee will be heard. And, it sounds so simple. I mean, who doesn’t like to talk about themselves? Even if you take the modest approach, everyone finds it rather relaxing to answer a question that allows you to pump yourself up a bit, to share why exactly you are so great and will be an asset to the company. But, you might be surprised at how often candidates get tongue-tied by this question. It’s like, all of a sudden, you lose your words in explaining that which comes to you so naturally!

 

We’re here to shed some light on a few helpful hints that will work together to help you avoid that moment. We do not want to see that job interview as a failure for you, and, thankfully, the key to the success of it is largely within your grasp.

 

Let’s start by learning to evaluate yourself, developing a list of your strengths. You want to gather a solid list of three to five strengths. The same strength will not necessarily always work with every job opportunity, even in the same company, so you want to have a list to choose from. These strengths should speak to the qualities about yourself that come easily to you and bring benefit to those around you. These strengths can typically be categorized as Knowledge-Based Skills, Transferable Skills, or Personal Traits. Basically, you need to know where from these skills originate. Is it a unique quality that you were born with, such as being friendly or expressive? Or is it a strength that you gained from your degree and educational experience? Understanding yourself first will help in relaying that particular strength to the hiring manager.

 

Secondly, you need to keep in mind the question behind the question. The ultimate concern in asking about your greatest strengths is really determining whether or not you are a good candidate for this job. Do your strengths align with the job opening? Will you be the right fit for this company? Having this ultimate question in the back of your head throughout the interview allows you to tailor your answers accordingly. When describing your strengths and assets, you want to use words that appeal to the job specifically. Highlighting the award that you received three years  ago at your former company may mean nothing to the hiring manager, whereas discussing the positive performance review that you had six months ago may be very telling of the same skills you can bring to this new job. Knowing what sort of characteristics the employer is looking for ahead of time will help you in knowing how to write down exactly how you want to express yourself and your strengths.

 

Lastly, you should ALWAYS be ready to back up your greatest strengths with specific examples. Instead of just describing yourself as tenacious, give a specific example from a former scenario within your work environment that proved your tenacity. Being a detailed and successful problem solver is a great strength to have, but let the hiring manager know about that one particular time when you handled that very messy problem with ease and triumph. These examples speak volumes, and you should have great confidence in them. You need to share your greatest strengths with authority and be able to carry those away with you intact, regardless of the outcomes along your path.

June 19th, 2015|Blog|

Exploring the Job App Debate: Jobr vs. Switch

In today’s world, we have more apps on our smart phone than we have names on our Christmas card list! We are connecting with one another more so with our fingers on our phone than with our actual voices. As sad as it may sometimes be that our interactions with the world have been reduced to how we can best utilize the little rectangular device that we hold in our hand, it is our reality. Therefore, we have to do our best to make sure that the way we are taking care of our business is done with efficiency, that we are on point and using the most current and beneficial apps and services to meet our needs. Our time and money are too precious of commodities to be wasted.

 

So, that said, how does the exploration of smart phone apps apply to the job seeker? Research shows that the job seeker, just like anyone else, has a list of specific needs in mind when looking at the many options of job search apps. The typical hiring manager spends about 5 seconds looking at a resume before he or she decides to throw it in the ‘keep it’ or ‘toss it’ stack. Likewise, the typical individual on the job hunt has a lot of options when sifting through job offers online, a lot of junk and a few treasures here and there. There are a lot of tasks to accomplish in one day’s time, and, when you have been pouring over job options for hours and hours, your patience is quick to dwindle. In considering a job search app to download and start using, you want something that is fast and easy to navigate.

 

Another need that that the typical job seeker has is the desire for anonymity when looking for a new job. Maybe he or she does not want their current employer to know they are looking for new employment, wanting to fly under the radar while they are searching for something better out there. Some job search apps consider this aspect of the candidate’s predicament and some do not.

 

This brings us to our main debate between Jobr and Switch, both cutting edge apps that were designed after the concept of Tinder but for your job hunting needs, without the hassle of a formal job search. Although this list is not exhaustive, we will highlight their similarities and notate a few differences, which may or may not push one ahead of the other for you. We are not here to guarantee one service or the other, but we do believe that these two companies are the top contenders for your on-the-go, easy access, efficient job search needs.

 

Jobr… “Connecting talented people with the job they never knew was waiting.”

 

Switch… “Love your job search: Connect with your future employer in minutes.”

 

Similarities

 

  • Both have easy-to-use swiping function. Swipe right if interested in the job, swipe left if not.
  • Both offer a matching platform where recruiters and hiring managers can be connected with talented candidates, creating a place for easy chat and communication once a match has been established.
  • Both deliver relevant jobs based on a candidate’s preferences (salary range, location and career track) combined with their work experience, skills and education.
  • Both offer the option to like or pass on a job while remaining anonymous.
  • Both make it easy for hiring managers, too…meaning they’ll be more likely to keep using and to keep listing quality jobs.

Differences

  • Jobr offers a $1,000 to each person who refers someone and gets a candidate a job.
  • Jobr, at least on their website, seems to exist just as much or more for the recruiter than for the job seeker.
  • Switch offers recruiter the glance at your information without disclosing your name, thus the app caters well to people who are not actively seeking a new job but may be open to the right opportunity if it presented itself.
  • Switch boasts companies such as Facebook, Ebay, Soundcloud, Taboola, wikipedia, Crowdtap, and Dropbox are already users.
  • Jobr boasts that they’ve brought on the co-founders of Tinder (Sean Rad & Justin Mateen) as advisors and investors to help us continue to grow.

 

For further information…

http://www.jobrapp.com

http://www.switchapp.com

June 12th, 2015|Blog|
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    Work Benefits: There’s More To Consider Than Just a Paycheck

Work Benefits: There’s More To Consider Than Just a Paycheck

You’ve been busy on the job trail for months on end until… Finally. You received the phone call you’ve been waiting for, the job interview is yours for the taking. Now it’s time to kick your interview prep work into high gear, to refine the list of questions that may or may not be asked of you. Knowing how to answer such questions will make a huge impact on whether or not you will be highly considered for the job.

 

However, although there will be a number of questions from your hiring manager that you should be prepared to answer, you should also be prepared with a list of questions of your own. What knowledge do you have of this company? Exactly how much will you get paid? Do you really understand the logistics behind the position you are being considered for? You will want to know the answers to such questions.

 

Additionally, you will want to consider all of the benefits that may or may not be awaiting you if you are to land this job. Although the presence of absence of such benefits do not always create a “deal or no deal” scenario, there are definitely some aspects of work benefits that are of vital importance. For instance, 26% of US workers feel that company culture is a vital aspect for job satisfaction. While 59% think that opportunity for personal growth or advancement is an important job aspect.

 

If you find yourself in the category of job seekers that need to know what lies within this job outside of the salary, then you’ll be pleased to learn more, from the staff at The Muse, about these six factors to consider “beyond the paycheck”:

 

Location – If you’re changing jobs regionally, how will your commute change? If you’re switching jobs to a whole different area, what’s the cost of living?

 

Opportunity to Grow – You want a job that will make the best use of your talents and develop your career.

 

Company Culture – Consider what company culture will best suit your personality.

 

Vacation and Flexible Working – Your new job should have a healthy work/life balance, allowing you to enjoy your time off and juggle responsibilities.

 

Wellness Program – A good employer will invest in your wellbeing through subsidized gym memberships or employer-sponsored health programs.

 

Voluntary Benefits – Life insurance, disability, vision, childcare, eldercare, and a 401(k) are all essential for the modern worker.

 

For further details or sample questions to ask your potential employer, follow the link below.

 

https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-work-benefits-that-are-just-as-important-as-your-paycheck

June 5th, 2015|Blog|
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