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Most Common Job Interview Questions

October 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Job Interviewing is all about research, confidence and creating a good rapport. The hiring manager needs to know that you are capable of performing the tasks of the job and also that you will be a good addition to the team.

Without doubt the two most asked job interview questions are “what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses”. Below are some tips on how to answer these tricky questions.

1) What are your greatest strengths?

Few candidates can show up to an interview and answer every question with ease. Preparation is key to a successful interview. If you have to sit and think about what your greatest strengths are during the interview, you’ll risk appearing unsure of your own capabilities and the interviewer won’t be reassured in your ability to perform well in the position. Prior to an interview, you should know exactly what your top strengths are in the workplace. Make a list of all your strengths and then choose the top 5 you want to express in the interview based on the desired skills and attributes for the specific position you are interviewing for. You should always remember to back up the strengths you profess with examples of times you have demonstrated those strengths in the workplace. Use this question to highlight how your attributes will help you succeed in this position.

Tip: Use the job posting as a guide to match your own strengths with the skills and attributes the company is looking for in an ideal candidate. Although you might be a whiz with numbers, there’s no point listing it as your greatest strength if you’ll be working directly with clients and not using any numbers in the position. Be honest and don’t say you’re great at something you’re not, however you should prioritize the key strengths you want to express to the interviewer with the ones they list on the job description. For example, if the job description says the candidate they want is “highly detail-oriented and organized”, then one of the strengths you mention should be your strong organizational skills or that you are detail-oriented.

2) What is your biggest weakness?

This is a tricky question if you’re not prepared. You are trying to land the job, so of course you don’t want to tell employers all of your weaknesses that may make you look bad. On the other hand, you also don’t want to avoid the question, lie and say you have no weaknesses, or give a clichéd response. For example, I’ve heard a lot of candidates say their biggest weakness is that they are a perfectionist in the workplace…really? Although some interviewers will enjoy a joke to this question, most hiring managers want a real answer.

This is a key question you need to prepare for before the interview. Don’t mention any weaknesses that will prevent you from getting hired for the job. Remember the weakness should be work-related so hiring managers don’t want to hear about how you leave your dishes in the sink for over a week. A well thought-out answer can turn this tricky question into a positive. Be sure to back up each weakness with things you are proactively doing to improve on that weakness.

The best way to respond to this question is to either:

a) Mention a weakness that is irrelevant (or at least not critical) to the position you are applying for. In order to be effective, you should already know the key skills and attributes desirable for the position and think about skills that are not essential to succeed in the position. You can even find weaknesses that can actually be seen as strengths for certain positions. For example, if the position requires strong attention to detail you can say that sometimes you are overly meticulous about the details of a project.

b) State a weakness that is only a weakness because you haven’t had the opportunity to develop your skills in that area. For example, you can say that although you’ve taken a course in public speaking, you haven’t had the opportunity to use your presentation skills in your previous position and you’d like to develop your skills more in this area.

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com

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Where Do I Go From Here?

guest-blogging-1The summer after I completed a year-long national service program, I attended a leadership and career development workshop at my alma mater. The goal of the workshop was to evaluate our experiences thus far and the skills we had learned in order to figure out the next step in our careers. One of the most valuable exercises we did that week was a prioritization activity used to evaluate the tasks we performed in the past, the things we liked doing the most, and to figure out which things we’d like to do more of in our next job. It’s one of the most useful activities

I’ve found for providing insight into what you’re currently looking for in a position. The activity goes like this:
1. Write down a list of action, –ing words that you’ve done in your previous positions or that relate to the work you do in a job. List as many words as possible. Words such as planning, organizing, creating, researching, calling, directing, counseling and so on.

2. Evaluate your list of words and choose the top ten activities that you enjoy doing the most in a job, and want to continue doing more of in your next position.

3. Next, you’ll compare each of the activities individually with the other nine, choosing the activity that you’d like to do most in a job. Keep track of how many times you choose each activity.

4. Once you’ve gone through comparing each of your ten activities with one another, count up the number of times you chose each one.

5. Order your list of activities according to the amount of times you chose them.

Your new ordered list of ten activities should show the priority of activities you want to do in future positions. This can help you to tailor your job search for positions that will allow you to do the things that matter most to you in your job and give you a better idea of where you want to end up in your career.

1. _________________________

2. _________________________

3. _________________________

4. _________________________

5. _________________________

6. _________________________

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

Need the help of a professional resume writer with expert resume writing skills? Contact the team at RedStarResume!

10 Great Questions To Ask In A Job Interview

Interview_Secrets_Exposed1 (1)In a job interview, the majority of the questions are directed at you. Interviews can seem very one-sided and intimidating at times. However at the end of each interview, most employers will leave some time to ask you if you have any questions for them. Some candidates get taken aback by this question or are too nervous to think of any questions to ask. Employers say most candidates don’t take advantage of the opportunity to ask them questions enough, leaving them to assume that maybe the candidate is not serious about the position or thinking seriously if the job is the right fit for them.

Be prepared with some questions about the position you’re applying for before you go in for an interview. If your questions are answered during the interview, try to at least ask some follow-up questions to the information they provided. Asking questions is a great way to show the research you’ve done on the company—new projects, partnerships or campaigns they’ve launched, and express your seriousness about the position. Through intelligent, inquisitive questions you can end the interview with a bang and leave the interviewers with a positive impression of you even if the entire interview wasn’t perfect.

Remember that the more detailed questions you can ask specifically about the company, the better. Just be sure to phrase them in a professional way, keep it positive and don’t bring up any controversial topics. Check out some of the best questions to ask in an interview below. You can tailor them to the position/ company you’re interviewing for.

1) If hired, how could I best help the company meet its goals?

2) What do you like most about working here and what would you say is the most important aspect of your company culture? What is your ideal communication style with your staff?

3) If I were to start tomorrow what should the top priorities be on my to-do list?

4) What are your expectations for this position and how can someone surpass your expectations?

5) What are the top skill and qualities you feel the right candidate needs to excel in this position?

6) What improvements or changes do you hope the new candidate will bring to this position?

7) What does a typical day or work week look like for the person in this position? Could you tell me any examples of projects I would be working on if I were to get the position?

8) Does the company offer any continued education or professional training opportunities?

9) Is there anything that stands out to you that makes you think I might Not be the right fit for this position?

10) What are the next steps in the selection process? When do you expect to make a decision?

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com

The Brand new Ebook from RedStarResume “Interview Secrets Exposed” is an insider’s guide on everything you need to know in order to nail your job interview.

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Find A Job In Australia

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How To Stand Out During the Job Interview

Making the right impression in your job interview is one of the most important steps in your future career. Many people don’t know this, but job interviews require careful planning and research, otherwise you will significantly reduce the chance of getting the job. In the current economic climate it is very hard to land yourself a job, thus planning your interview before is the key to success

The first (and often the most important) thing to prepare for is your attire. Don’t wait until the last minute to find something to wear – you should prepare for it days in advance and get it properly cleaned and ironed. Remember that you should always dress to fit the context of a job. If you’re applying for a casual gardening company, a suit might not be ideal, but if you’re applying for a position as an accountant or a banker, then a full suit would be the required minimum. Despite what people say, first impressions are everything.

Conducting research about the job and company you’re applying for is imperative. Consider doing a web search and learn as many facts about the company as you can. You can subtlety include these facts during the interview (when appropriate) to show the interviewer that you have done your homework on the company. Don’t overdo it though – you don’t want to sound like you’re repeating their whole website!

Non-verbal messages are often more important than words, so make sure that you greet your interviewer with a firm handshake. Maintaining correct posture and eye contact are also two very important non-verbal messages as they make you appear more confident and presentable. These are two big qualities that hiring managers will be looking for.

You should also be able to recite your resume off by heart. As a general rule, you should not need to consult your resume. The interviewer will already have a copy of your resume, and they will ask you questions about it, so don’t try to make up an answer as there is a big chance that you will get it wrong. Highlight your achievements and the value added skills you can bring to the job and back up your statements with examples.

As preparation is the key to a successful job interview, consider doing a short role-play with a friend or family member. Ask them to question you on your resume and the job to fully prepare you for the interview. The more you are prepared the greater your chances of success. Following the interview, thank the interviewer for his or her time and ask when they expect to make a final decision and don’t feel discouraged to follow up with them if you haven’t heard back within a few days.

Good luck!

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com

RedStarResume is the number one source for expert Resume Writing and Job Interview Tips

During the last decade, RedStarResume has successfully written hundreds of professional resumes for candidates across the globe. From the student or entry level position to the CEO, our unique, custom-made resumes are written specifically to match the goals and desires of our clients and to help them land jobs.

The Dreaded Job Interview

November 17, 2011 Leave a comment

After you have constructed the perfect resume and applied for the perfect job you will hopefully receive that favourite phone call congratulating you on receiving an interview request. Typically when you apply for a job you can expect your competition to share similar skills, education and experiences as yourself. This is why you need to demonstrate to the interviewer that you not only possess the right skills, and that you are also the right fit for the company. Considering the importance of your job interview, there are a few key factors you need to do to ensure that you give yourself the greatest opportunity of finding success.

Conduct Research

Researching the company that you are interviewing for is a great way to acquire a sense of knowledge about your potential future career.  When you show that you have done a good amount of research, an employer will see the enthusiasm that you have about the particular position as well for the company and this will aid you in developing a good first impression.  When you are performing your research, don’t just use the company website for information. Use your imagination and look at anything from past market shares to any philanthropy or humanitarian involvement that the company is currently engaged.

Practice Makes Perfect

The days before your interview you should research popular-asked interview questions.  This way you can rehearse your answers, which can help you to phrase them in the most beneficial way.  The more practice you put into your interviewing, the greater your answers will flow when it comes time for the main event! If you bring forth a comfortable aura to the interview, your potential employer will see how relaxed and confident you are.

Contact Your References

Prior to going into the interview, it is a good idea to contact the people that you have placed on your reference sheet.  More often than not you will be asked to bring in your resume and a copy of your references and so it is imperative that these people know that they may be receiving a phone call.

Prepare Your Outfit in Advance

Don’t wait until the day of the interview to determine what you are wearing.  Keep in mind that you will want to pre-plan your travelling route in order to arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes early. Arriving late is the greatest mistake you can make! Planning your outfit the day before your interview gives you time to wash, iron, and hang up your clothes so that they are in pristine condition for your interview.

Preparing correctly for the job interview will give you the greatest opportunity of getting the job. If you are hoping to succeed in your interview, you must ensure that you are sufficiently prepared in advance. Do not let yourself down. Leave no stone unturned in your interview preparation.

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com

RedStarResume: The number one source for professional resume writing, job interview tips & cover letter writing services

What Are The Key Ingredients To Preparing A Resume That Will Get You Interviews?

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

I decided this week to bake a double chocolate chip cake. It was so delicious and cooked to perfection that I only managed one piece before my friends had collectively finished off the rest of the cake. Before I baked the cake, I prepared the ingredients and even added in a few “extra” items to make my cake as tasty as possible. When it comes to resume writing the exact same process is required:

Key Ingredients:

Strategic Keywords

Using strategic keywords throughout your resume is imperative for a number of reasons. Recent reports suggest 80% of companies use some kind of software or scanning program to search for candidate resumes.  In today’s society it is no longer good enough to target your job toward the role you are applying for – you also need to target your resume toward software programs that are now performing first rounds of candidate selections.  In this technological world where applying for a job can literally take a couple of clicks of a button, hiring managers are seeing hundreds of resumes (sometimes thousands) for one particular job. As much as we would like a hiring manager or recruiter to read through our entire resume, this rarely happens.  As such, using strategic keywords will help your resume rank higher and ensure that it passes the first test of being read by either a recruiter or hiring manager.

Highlighting Achievements

Resume writing and job seeking has changed a lot over the past couple of years. With new online networking sites such as LinkedIn being available and making it easier for a job seeker to network with a potential boss, highlighting your achievements on your resume and cover letter is more important than ever. When a boss or hiring manger decides to employ a new person to their staff, the first thing they want to know is how this person is going to add value to their organisation. Including basic duties and responsibilities is not enough to make you stand out as the perfect person for the job. You need to prove that you are the best person by highlighting your skills and achievements.

Presentation and Format

Your resume is the first impression a hiring manager will make about you. A well presented and structured resume that is written in a clean font will portray your resume in a professional manner and immediately give your resume application a higher ranking. Alternatively, a resume application that has spelling and grammar errors, different sized fonts, long sentences (as opposed to bullet points) and a lack of headings will not portray a positive image to the reader, and you won’t look like the right person for the job. A lack of professionalism may even lead to your resume being deleted without even being read. No matter how good your skills and experience may be, once your resume is deleted, it will never be read again.

In order to prepare the perfect resume follow these three main ingredients. Take time to prepare your resume and ensure that you give yourself every opportunity to succeed!

© RedStarResume Publicationswww.redstarresume.com

During the last decade, RedStarResume has successfully written hundreds of professional resumes for candidates across the globe. From the student or entry level position to the CEO, our unique, custom-made resumes are written specifically to match the goals and desires of our clients and to help them land jobs

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