Anticipate employer interview questions and get a real edge in job interviews

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Many employer interview questions aim to answer one basic question – can this candidate do the job? After all, they’re hiring him to produce specific results. There are several aspects to this question and employer interview questions reflect that fact. Your answers to tough interviewing questions must take them into account.

The candidate’s professional qualifications (if they’re called for), his knowledge level, etc are all relevant. But more than all that, employer interview questions also seek to find out if the candidate has the experience and track record.

The candidate must have relevant experience. Usually, that means having worked in the same or closely similar area for a minimum time period.

This is the area where the candidate must provide the maximum ‘hard evidence’. Experience does not just mean having worked in such and such areas. What it primarily means is that the candidate has a track record of having produced results in those areas.

That’s what employer interview questions basically aim to find out.

In the case of a manufacturing firm, for example, they may want someone who has headed manufacturing for another automobile parts manufacturer who has successfully setup production facilities for a new line of products and has handled regular production to provide the required output.

Tying in to the candidate’s experience is the list of skills and strengths he has. Some of these skills are common to many areas – such as the ability to manage people, to communicate effectively in writing, etc. These are called transferable skills and they form key components of the candidate’s profile.

If the candidate is changing careers or if he is a fresher seeking entry into the job market, then transferable skills become critical. In such cases, the candidate may have experience in areas unrelated to what the new job requires. But there are still ways of effectively showcasing such skills.

The company would look for several less defined qualities as well – these include the candidate’s personal qualities, traits and other things. Personal qualities include things like leadership, creativity, extroverted-ness / introverted-ness, ability to work under pressure, ability to carry people along and a whole host of other variables.

An employer usually wants to hire someone who can adapt himself well to such situations. So you can expect employer interview questions that will probe this aspect of your makeup.

In fact, adaptability is an increasingly important criterion these days. When the marketplace throws up as many uncertainties as it does today, companies must literally adapt or perish. And they want candidates who can do that.

Once the company has looked into the above, they would be able to answer the question ‘Can he do the job?’

See this link for specific employer interview questions and best answers.

Interviewing With Senior Management – Commonly Asked Job Interview Questions

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There are many commonly asked job interview questions at various stages during the hiring process. See this link for such queries and smart answers you can give. Let’s consider for a moment the last step of the hiring cycle – meeting senior management.

You normally get to interview with senior managers only if the previous interviews have gone well and you have been positively recommended by the other managers. Many commonly asked job interview question at this stage is the same as what was asked at earlier meetings.

In that sense, this interview is usually only a formality. The senior manager wants to know who he is adding to his team. For this reason, such interviews can be fairly short. They know that many of the commonly asked job interview question has already been handled well earlier.

However, treat this interview with all seriousness and be prepared to field questions about your past accomplishments and background, just as you have in the earlier interviews.

The other thing to consider is interviewing with a board. This is common for recruitment to Government bodies, although private sector companies use it as well.

Board interviews feel like ‘grilling sessions’. But the fundamentals of how you prepare for one are not different.

The added element here is the interpersonal dynamics of the board members. Very often, the board members are trying to impress each other, even while their primary job is to evaluate you! That’s one of the valuable tips for interviews.

Therefore, you must be tactful and diplomatic in handling a board. When you are asked a question by one person, answer that person, but do not exclude the other members. You can do this by occasionally glancing at the other members while answering the question.

A group interview can be an effective demonstration of your interpersonal skills and ability to handle group dynamics.

See this page for 11 common job interview questions and effective answers you can give to each of them.

Are You Using The Right Body Language At Job Interviews?

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Using the right body language for job interviews is critical to success. According to some researchers, fully 92% of communication takes place non-verbally, with words contributing only about 8%. That’s why you must carefully evaluate your body language for job interviews.

Non-verbal means of communication includes your appearance – your dressing, and also includes the signals you convey with your body – the way you carry yourself, gestures, facial expressions, the way you sit and more. All of this is part of your body language for job interviews.

Let’s look at some very useful interview etiquette on issues related to body language.

In a stressful situation like a job interview, it’s possible that you might be more fidgety than usual. For example, you might tap your foot, fiddle with a button or a pen, repeatedly run fingers through your hair, nodding your head too much, etc.

These convey that you may be nervous or bored and makes for a fairly unprofessional image. That’s bad body language for job interviews.

Often, you may not be aware of such problems. Ask your family or friends to point such mannerisms out to you. If you have any such habits, be on your guard and work towards eliminating them.

A very powerful way to connect with your interviewer is to make eye contact. When you make eye contact with the person you are speaking to, you convey confidence and openness.

Answers To Job Interview Questions

Obviously, don’t overdo eye contact and continuously stare at the interviewer. Be sure to pull your eyes away from time to time and then come back to looking at him. They should never get the impression that you are staring at them continuously.

Body language specialists say that looking down is sometimes taken to mean that you have something to hide.

So when you break eye contact to look away from the person, try not to look downwards, particularly not at your heels or the floor near to you. Instead, you can try looking at a point upwards or on the same level as the interviewer’s eyes.

Your facial expression should be relaxed. A tense expression, brow furrowed, face twitching, etc is a red flag to an interviewer.

The best expression to have on your face is a smile. It’s one of the best body language for job interviews you can think of.

The way you carry yourself is also important. Your walk should be erect and energetic, with the shoulders pulled back slightly. Keep your posture straight while sitting.

Do not cross your arms across your chest – that looks defensive, as every body language book will tell you.

The first thing you do when you meet someone is to shake hands. There is a right way of doing this. The key is to be moderate – your handshake should not be too firm as if you were trying to crush the other person’s hands, nor should it be limp, as if your hands do not have any life in them at all.

It should be firm – there’s no way to adequately describe it in writing, but you know a good handshake when you receive one, don’t you?

And don’t keep on pumping up and down – just one or a maximum of two pumping actions is enough.

In general, keep unnecessary movements to a minimum. You can, of course, move your hands and gesture while talking, but do so in a slightly understated manner and in no case make exaggerated, wild movements. Abrupt movements are bad body language for job interviews.

There is also the question of personal space. As a rule of thumb, stay no closer than an arm’s length when you are standing or sitting next to someone.

Else they may feel that you are intruding on their space and even when they consciously do not want to do so, they may end up feeling hostile towards you.

Apart from all the above, it’s critically important to just be yourself!

The interviewer needs to connect with you as a person, besides hearing the technicalities of your skills, etc. For some reason, many candidates gloss over this basic fact.

There are many folks who go into a job interview and try to behave in what they think is their ‘best behavior’.

They sit in a stiff, erect manner, palms resting on their thighs, a perpetual smile on their face, over-eager to please the interviewer and answer any question he may ask.

They never ask the interviewer any questions and zip out of the room with a thank you after the interview is over. The interviewer is left with the impression that the job seeker is someone who does not seem to have a mind of his own.

Just focus on behaving as you normally would, keeping in mind the appropriate level of formality called for on such occasions. Try to establish a genuine rapport with the person you are talking to.

See this page for more issues related to body language for job interviews.

The Post-Interview Thank You Letter – Is Yours Effective?

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Here’s what should go into effective thank you letters and emails after the meeting. As you know, the follow up is a critical part of getting hired for a job.

Unfortunately, it’s also one area many candidates mess up. Use these ideas for writing a thank you note correctly. Make an effort and send one that truly differentiates you from the crowd.

Most job hunters send a letter that merely expresses thanks for the interviewer’s time and mentions their interest in the job. Well, you should say those things, they are important as well. But there’s more to effective thank you letters than just that.

Do express your thanks for their time and efforts. Say something like “It was a pleasure to meet you and (mention the other interviewers’ names). Thank you for your time.’

Answer any objections they raised. Do in a straightforward, non-apologetic manner. By the way, don’t answer objections they did not bring up! You’ll raise new doubts in their mind if you do!

Re-state your strengths and specific skills that were of interest to the interviewers. During the job interview, you would have got a sense of what they were. This is again one of the critical tips for interviews.

Of course, do mention you are very interested in the job. That’s part of all good after interview thank you letter samples!

Mention that in keeping with what they suggested, you’ll call them in ‘X’ days time to know their progress in making a decision. To be able to take this step, towards the end of the interview, always ask “What is the next step?” That’ll give you the time-frame which you should mention here.

That’s what truly effective post interview thank you letters look like. Tailor-make your own to suit your situation and come out ahead!