So you have sent off your documents, waited patiently and finally you get summoned for an interview, well done! This is when the fun starts and you now have to think tactically to ensure you are offered the job after all interviews have been done. You will now have to show that you are the…
There can be no mistaking that the reason employers are on the hunt for new members of staff is a need. This need is not about you, it’s all about them and their need. Therefore you have to sell yourself and tune in to their WIIFM. The reason a manager hires somebody is to make…
LinkedIn has been adding a great deal of applications lately and my best guess is that they are trying to emulate what Facebook and the iPhone have already achieved on that front. A few of these applications are very useful for all of us but one in particular is handy for job seekers.
We already know that LinkedIn is a temple for job seekers and if the LinkedIn Corporation had its way they would probably put out every job board out of business tomorrow. So instead of being beaten, the job boards are joining up as well.
LinkedIn Jobs Insider
The brilliant little app I am talking about is the Jobs Insider tool on LinkedIn. It comes as a plugin to the LinkedIn browser toolbar, which you may have installed already. You download it to either your Explorer or Mozilla browser and it combines a number of technologies to bring you the best job search experience. The tool works with 7 major job boards at the moment: Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Craigslist, SimplyHired, Dice, and Vault.
Once you have installed Jobs Insider, your new tool will appear as a pane on your left hand side. Now do some digging around the 7 job boards and search for a few job openings relevant to your experience. LinkedIn will very cleverly indicate which contacts you are connected to at the particular company that is hiring. If you are anything like me, you will have a few connections that you couldn’t say where they are working at the moment. This tool will pick up where your memory gave up and help you.
When you get a few matches, you can go about your sleuthing activites. Contact your connections quietly and try to gather as much background information as possible. I would advise to find out exactly who the hiring manager is and why the job has come about, so that you understand what situation the manager is in. If the best person on the team got up and walked out, the manager will be very motivated to get a good replacement pronto. If it’s a planned expansion with no deadline, you know the manager will take their time and potentially drag their feet.
If you happen to be a recruiter looking for new jobs to work on, it just so happens that this tool will be very useful for you as well. Search away on jobs that you want to work on, find out what connections of yours works for that company, smile and dial.
You will find the link to the Jobs Insider listed under tools at the bottom of your LinkedIn homepage, or click here.
A couple more useful tools for job seekers
MyResume is an application that allows you to post your resume or LinkedIn profile on Facebook. Finally you can convert all those friends on Facebook in to something useful; spreading the word about your skills, experience and what a great hire you would make. The application is available here and also very simple to set up.
If you have a Wordpress blog, you can now syndicate your LinkedIn profile on it and show the world your online resume. This application is called LinkedIn hResume for Wordpress and it grabs the hResume microformat block from your LinkedIn public profile page allowing you to add it to any Wordpress page and apply your own styles to it. The plugin is available here.
What other tools are out there that you can recommend?
Image credit SF Brit
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During the interview, you will be asked to demonstrate your suitability for the job. Why have they asked you this particular question? What are they trying to find out?
Below are some of the more commonly asked questions, and some simple suggested responses.
Q: Tell me about yourself?
A: They want you to open up to them. Tell them about your qualifications, career history and range of skills. You may even want to tell them a little about your hobbies and interests – it shows what motivates you.
Q: What has been your greatest achievement so far?
A: This doesn’t have to be work related. The interviewer is trying to find out if you are an achiever. Demonstrate how you achieved and how it has benefited you. Do you still use those skills?
Q: What are your strengths?
A: We all have them, it’s just acknowledging them in a proficient manner. Try to look at personal attributes such as ‘I’m a team player’, or ‘I have great attention to detail’, then demonstrate how they could be a benefit to an employer.
Q: What are your weaknesses?
A: The interviewer wants to see how self-aware you are. Don’t use personal weaknesses such as ‘I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning’. A weakness can also be considered a strength. Use a professional weakness such as lack of experience (training can always overcome that) or one that can be turned around into a strength such as ‘I’m very focused at work, so sometimes people think I’m ignoring them’.
Q: How would your family/friends/spouse describe you?
A: Another way of asking how you perceive yourself. Choose three or four adjectives that show the positive side of your personality, such as ‘they would say I’m outgoing, reliable and loyal’.
Q: Why do you think you’re suitable for this role?
A: If you haven’t done your research, you’ll not be able to give an answer with substance. Use your prepared list and match your skills and personal attributes. By this stage, the interviewer should have told you about the role. If they haven’t, ask them to explain it fully, then give them your answer. You cannot tell them you’re the perfect candidate if you don’t know what the job is.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years time?
A: Do not be tempted to respond in an arrogant manner – i.e. ‘in your chair’. The interviewer wants to know your motivation and career aspirations. Whilst wanting to progress is a natural desire, don’t let this overshadow the job you are being interviewed for. Try not to give a specific job title, but more what you will be gaining from a role and environment. Such as ‘I see myself in a role that allows me to be autonomous, and one that is both challenging and rewarding.
Final points to bear in mind
The interview is a two way process. You will have a chance to ask questions, but make sure they are relevant to the role and company. Do not get involved in discussing money at this stage – unless the interviewer asks you. Remember that the questions you ask tell the interviewer more about you than some of the answers you give.
For more on Job Interview Questions, click here.