How to Answer the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ Interview Question

Tell Me About YourselfAmong the top interview questions you must be prepared to answer, “Tell me about yourself!” strikes dread in the hearts of most job seekers.

Whether you’ve been on a leadership job hunt for some time, or this is your first job search effort in years, this query can throw you for a loop while you try to figure out the best response.

If this question always catches you by surprise, consider preparing for your interview with 3 critical steps to increase your confidence and effectiveness: Continue reading “How to Answer the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ Interview Question”

How to Ace The Panel Interview

Facing a panel interview? Prepare by anticipating the mix of personalities and questions you'll face

Had a call for a panel or group interview recently?

While you might be thrilled to make it to this stage of the hiring process, the mere thought of fielding not just one, but a whole TEAM of interviewers can be enough to put your stomach in knots.

However, the reason most employers conduct panel interviews isn’t to intimidate you; rather, it’s a time-saving way to meet with people that will likely interact with you in the new job, and gather their impressions all at once.

So, when you stride into that group interview, remember that the team is there to learn about you and your value-add, NOT to interrogate you or make you uncomfortable.

These 5 tips can help you feel more in control of the process while facing a group of interviewers—with a professional, enthusiastic demeanor that helps win the job: Continue reading “How to Ace The Panel Interview”

In interviews, what you ask is as important as what you answer

Facing an interview with dread? Sharpen your questions for the interviewer

What do interviewers want?

That seems to be the question on the minds of job hunters everywhere. You might have made it into an interview, only to realize that your competition is every bit as qualified, and that employers are being selective.

If you’re going on interview after interview with no end in sight, here’s a critical idea to take into your next meeting with employers:

The interview questions you ASK are just as just as important as the ones you ANSWER.

Employers are attuned to candidates that are attentive to THEM. In other words, the What’s-In-It-For-Me approach is alive and well in interviewing, and companies are eager to hear your ideas on what can help them.

My recent collaboration with colleague Tony Deblauwe of HR4Change, The Right Questions to Ask in a Job Interview, published here on Monster.com, shows that employers are not only gauging your fitness on your ability to field their questions, but also on your ability to throw some good ones back their way.

Formulating and asking solid questions for employers demonstrates 3 qualities important to company needs:

1 – The ability to think on your feet.

2 – A keen interest in what is happening in the company outside your potential department.

3 – An awareness of the strategic importance of the role to the employer.

These attributes are often equally important to your hard skills, technical knowledge, certifications, and credentials.

Arming yourself with ideas for interviewer questions is one of the most effective strategies for landing the job of your dreams.

So, take these ideas with you to the next interview, and get ready to field the best question of all: “When can you start?”

Need Interview Advice? Check Out This Q&A from About.com

Alison Doyle of About.com has issued a great list of job interview advice, with links to tips on every question from what to wear, how to handle behavioral questions, and what types of challenges to expect — and it’s all free for the taking on About.com! 

Even better, the site is used to gather feedback from other job hunters on their interviews, allowing them to post information on what really happened and what you should be prepared for in your own search.

I highly recommend bookmarking these sites for your own job interview preparation.

Interview Questions
Take the time to review the “standard” interview questions you will most likely be asked. Also review sample answers to typical interview questions: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewquestionsanswers/a/interviewquest.htm

How Employers Use Behavioral Interviews
Behavioral interviews ask the candidate to pinpoint specific instances in which a particular behavior was exhibited in the past. In the best behaviorally-based interviews, the candidate is unaware of the behavior the interviewer is verifying.

Here’s more on why and how employers use behavioral interviews: http://humanresources.about.com/od/interviewing/a/behavior_interv.htm

Interview Tips for Medical Job Seekers
Whether you’re interviewing for an entry level, hourly wage job, a high-paying hospital executive role, or a clinical role such as nursing or physician jobs, this link provides a few key steps you can take to assure that you’re prepared for your interview: http://healthcareers.about.com/od/gettingthejob/bb/MedJobInterview.htm

Dressing for a Job Interview
Getting dressed for a job interview can be tricky. You want to make a good impression, and your clothes will certainly influence whether or not you will do that.

Ask yourself these questions before you decide what to wear: http://careerplanning.about.com/od/jobinterviews/a/dress_questions.htm

Share an Interview Tip
It’s always helpful to get job interview tips from job seekers who have aced the interview and from career experts who can share their interviewing expertise.

Review interview tips and add your job interview tips to the About.com list:
http://jobsearch.about.com/u/ua/interviews/jobinterviewtips.htm

Checked out Career Masters Talk yet?

My personal favorite of the month is this list of 7 Pet Peeves from Human Resource Managers that goes on to describe precisely why many professionals don’t land the job.

Keep in mind that there is no substitution for basic interview etiquette and common sense!

Searching for Jobs in Colorado?

A key point to remember when looking for work in our great state is that many employers here take a conservative, wait-and-see approach to recruiting. What does this mean for you?

First of all, take care to polish your resume appropriately. Use adverbs sparingly, if at all. Very few employers in Colorado want to find out that you “successfully” did something (why else would it appear on your resume anyway?). Make sure that the format used is clean and easy to read, shows your strengths as well as past duties, and effectively conveys your career target without resorting to an Objective statement. (Hint: no one really reads those.)

Second, follow the employer’s lead. If the ad states “No phone calls,” do not brazenly call the receptionist hourly to ferret out the hiring manager’s name. This would demonstrates an inability to follow instructions and a lack of courtesy on the part of an applicant.

Third, dress conservatively for an interview. Yes, you will need to invest in a reasonable quality suit. Doing so demonstrates a willingness to meet the employer’s standards and put your best foot forward, so to speak.

Last, show a reasonable level of drive and ambition when answering interview questions. Nervousness is fine; lack of interest in the job itself is not. The interview is not your forum to find out all about benefits and salary right off the bat; rather, the purpose is to determine how you as a candidate can solve issues, handle problems, stay current on job tasks, and fulfill the employer’s needs.

Colorado jobs, like the state of Colorado itself, require more than a mere look by an interested party. Employers here have weathered recessions and volatile times in order to survive. Prepare yourself to meet challenges, in both the job search and the job, in order to impress them!