How To Answer Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral job interview questions are based on the premise that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior – and that’s why they are so often asked by employers when assessing candidates during a job interview.

These types of competency-based interview questions typically begin with the phrase, “Tell me about a time when…” – and if you’re able to understand the specific requirements of the role before your interview, you’ll be much better prepared to predict these kinds of questions and think about how you’ll answer them.

THE CAR PRINCIPLE

The golden rule when you’re answering behavioral interview questions is to adhere to what’s called the CAR principle: Context, Action, Result.

Context is about describing a situation and setting the scene for a relevant example. The key here is to choose your example well – one that clearly demonstrates the quality or skill the employer is asking about.

Action is about explaining what action you took. Be really specific rather than making vague statements and outline your steps and rationale.

Result is about detailing the outcome of your action. Offer specific facts relating to the result. For instance, quote figures and statistics that back up your declaration.

Remember these three steps to answering behavioral interview questions and you’ll be well on your way to thoroughly impressing your interviewer.

CAR IN ACTION

Q: Tell me about a time when you helped to turn around your team’s sales performance.

Context: “One of my previous employer’s sales divisions had been experiencing decreasing sales – so I was brought in to help reverse the situation. My challenge was to manage the team effectively so they were able to actually exceed (not just meet) their sales targets.”

Action: “Over a six-month period, I introduced several initiatives within the team, including: setting specific and measurable sales targets for each individual within the team; introducing weekly sales meetings for the team and for each individual within the team; and implementing a structured sales training program.

I also conducted market research to identify what our main competitors were doing, set up focus groups with major clients to establish key goals, and introduced a new remuneration system that linked sales performance to remuneration packages.”

Result: “We lifted sales by 60% and exceeded sales targets by 25% in the first quarter, and continued the upward trajectory throughout the next year.”

SAMPLE BEHAVIOURAL JOB INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Your ability to answer behavioural interview questions can make or break your attempt to secure that dream job – so we’ve put together some sample behavioural interview questions to help you more adequately prepare.

Communication

“Give an example of a time when you were able to build rapport with someone at work, even in a stressful or challenging situation.”

“Tell me about a time when you had to give someone constructive criticism.”

“Give me an example of how you were able to use your ability to communicate and persuade to gain buy-in from a resistant audience.”

Teamwork

“Give me an example of a time when you had to cope with interpersonal conflict when working on a team project.”

“Tell me about a time when your fellow team members were de-motivated. What did you do to improve morale?”

“Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?”

Problem-solving

“Tell me about a difficult problem you were faced with, and how you went about tackling it.”

“Describe a time when you proactively identified a problem at work and were able to devise and implement a successful solution.”

“Have you ever faced a problem you could not solve?”

Creativity

“Tell me about a situation in which you worked with team members to develop new and creative ideas to solve a business problem.”

“Describe the most creative work-related project you have completed.”

“Give an example of when your creativity made a real difference in the success of a product or project.”

Organisation and planning

“Have you ever managed multiple projects simultaneously? What methods did you use to prioritise and multi-task?”

“What specific systems do you use to organise your day?”

“Describe a time when you failed to meet a deadline.”

Analytical skills

“Describe a situation where you had to interpret and synthesise a large amount of information or data.”

“Give me an example of a recent roadblock and your logic and steps in overcoming it.”

“What was your greatest success in using logic to solve a problem at work?”

Integrity

“Give an example that demonstrates your professional integrity.”

“Tell me about a time when you had to stand your ground against a group decision.”

“Have you ever had to work with, or for, someone who was dishonest? How have you handled this?”

Accomplishments

“Describe some projects that were implemented and carried out successfully primarily because of your efforts.”

“What are three achievements from your last job that you are particularly proud of?”

“What has been your most rewarding professional accomplishment to date?”

By preparing yourself in advance and familiarizing yourself with these and other sample behavioral interview questions, you’ll be primed and ready for any number of behavioral questions that may come your way.

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The 5 “Must Knows” of Job Interview Preparation

You’ve impressed an employer with your resume and they called you to schedule an interview. You’re ecstatic. Now, it’s time to get over the ecstasy and start preparing for the interview.

How do you prepare properly? Follow these five “must knows” of interview preparation:

Know Yourself. You got the interview, so you must have already communicated much of this in your resume and cover letter. Now, think about how you’ll describe yourself. What truly sets you apart from other candidates? What’s your “personal brand”? What are the strengths you bring to the job? Also, be prepared to answer typical and atypical interview questions. What are your career goals? Why do you want to leave your current employer? How can this job help you accomplish your career goals?

Know Your Resume. The interviewer has painted a mental picture of you by reading your resume and cover letter. Be sure you have a copy to refer to as you prepare for the interview. Since your resume should be targeted at the job description, you need to look for the parts they might ask questions about. For instance, you may have written about an accomplishment from a previous job that is not fresh in your mind but is critical to the position you’re seeking. So, jog your memory for some details that you can cite during the interview. CareerBuilder.com recently asked about 3,000 hiring managers about interview blunders by job candidates, and 30% said “not offering specific answers to interview questions” was a common and detrimental gaffe.

Know the Company. Go into an interview without having researched the employer and your candidacy may well be dead before your seat turns warm. With all the information available on the web, and the rise in importance of networking, you have no excuse for not knowing important data about the company before you walk into the interview. Fortunately, we’re getting better at this, according to a recent Accountemps survey of senior executives with the nation’s largest companies. The survey found that about four of every five executives (79%, to be exact) said candidates either somewhat or very frequently demonstrate knowledge of companies during interviews. That’s up from 59% in 1997.

Know What You Want to Ask. Close to half (48%) of the CareerBuilder survey base named “appearing disinterested” as a common interview faux pas among candidates. To demonstrate your interest, prepare two lists: questions whose answers you need to know and another of what you want to know. Which questions go where? That depends on what you feel is crucial to deciding whether you might want to take the job if it’s offered.

Know Your Interviewers. If the hiring manager or would-be boss is interviewing you, get to know about them, namely, their managerial styles, how they might react in a hypothetical scenario, such as a pressing project deadline or an unexpected drop in revenue. If you know the names and roles of your interviewers ahead of time, find out about them through their bios on the company web site (if they’re available) or through a web search. Gain a sense of what it would be like working for and with these people.

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5 Types of Decision Making Skills You Need To Know

 

Every workplace needs people with different types of decision making skills. All workplace decisions, both big and small, require a decision making process. Even if you do not realize it, you’re using some type of decision making process every day.

 

There are many different types of decision making processes, not all of which are explored here. For example, “Emotional” is a very common decision making process, used by people that make decisions based on how they feel.

 

There are some types of decision making that are both common and valued in the workplace. Those are the ones we’d like to highlight here.

The following are several examples of decision making, and an example of how you might use it in the workplace.

Intuitive – Intuitive is one of the simplest, and arguably one of the most common ways to make a decision. It should be noted that it is not always the best way. Intuitive decision making involves relying on the decision that feels right, without necessarily thinking about the logic that goes into that choice. An example may be deciding to use a software because you like it after a few minutes, rather than comparing it to other types of software and determining which is the better value.

 

 

Rational – Rational decision making is the type of decision making most people want to believe they do. It is the act of using logic to determine what is best, by reviewing all possible options and then evaluating each option using logic and rationality. An example would be listing out all possible marketing methodologies, along with budgets, data, and more, and then working out which one(s) would provide the best investment.

 

 

Satisficing – Satisficing is accepting the one that is satisfactory for the needs of the company. A non work example would be deciding you need coffee, and then going to the nearest coffee shop even if it’s not the best, simply because you get the job done. It means you may miss out on better options.

 

 

Collaborative – Collaborative is exactly as it sounds. Rather than make a decision yourself, you collaborate in some way to make the decision. An example might include meeting with others to get their input, voting on the final decision (although that may integrate other types of decision making models), or, otherwise relying on the group as a whole.

 

 

Combination – Not all decision making falls into a simple bucket. Many people use a combination of these different types of decision making styles. For example, rational and intuitive may be easily combined. The person doesn’t necessarily use any data, or create any logic charts, but they think about the decision from a logical perspective and then go with their gut on the final decision.

 

 

Understanding your preferred decision making style will help you prepare answers to interview questions.

Source: http://bit.ly/2ExTcqp 

Soft skills for successful career in 2018

Soft skills at Morpheus Consulting

What is it that truly differentiates one candidate from another during the job application process? While most candidates may have similar academic qualifications for a specific job, it is the soft skills and extracurricular activities that set one job aspirant apart from the others.

Soft skills are key to building relationships, gaining visibility, and creating more opportunities for advancement. These skills are not specific to one career but are generic across all employment sectors. Have a look at them here:

Communication:

Communication skills are perhaps the first set of skills that all potential employers notice. Employers look for people who cancommunicate well – both verbally and otherwise. Communication skills boost your performance because they help you put exact messaging forward.

Team Player:

Employers look to team players to help build a friendly office culture, which helps retain employees and, in turn attracts top talent. A positive attitude – especially when it comes to working with others – is essential since it fosters team harmony.

Adaptability:

The ability to adapt to change and a positive attitude about the change, go a long way towards growing a successful career. Employers need workers who can adapt to industry shifts and keep the company running.

Leadership:

Leadership is the ability to influence others and achieve a common goal. Bosses and managers are always looking for employees with leadership potential because such workers will one day take over the reins and build on the company’s legacy.

Problem Solving:

Decision making and problem solving is another skill that is high in demand. The ability to identify complex problems and review relatedinformation in order to develop and implement solutions, can distinguish one employee from another.

Artificial Intelligence trends are HR realities

 

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in the past years has profoundly impacted a tremendous number of companies and sectors. Take the example of supply chain functions – these have been completely reshaped and fully robotized warehouses are now the new standard. In parallel, other support or corporate functions have also caught this technological wave, but not with the same speed and pace. Human Resources today are the perfect illustration: the shift towards Digital HR has started for pioneer organizations, but the majority of companies are still in the reflection and conceptualization stages. On one hand, there is an overwhelming feeling related to the immensity of ‘the possible’ in terms of HR technology offerings, and on the other hand, there is a need to answer growing expectations from an evolving workforce.

Today, HR C-levels are facing a common main equation: Ensuring that HR roadmaps will become even more relevant in the C-suite and help streamlining organizations while improving the employee’s experience.

But how are AI technologies concretely impacting the HR community?

 

Beyond the reflection and conceptualization stages mentioned earlier, AI is clearly acknowledged as a critical component of the future HR service delivery model. Most of discussions today are about how to incorporate chatbots, robots or other cognitive solutions within Human Resources departments.

Just to name a few examples:

 

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) is a new norm today. Any process optimization exercise almost always considers robotic automation as a solution. In this context, almost all HR processes are subject to automation. The main recurring ones that we observe are related to recruitment, core HR administration, compensation, payroll and performance, but all HR processes that require significant manual input are candidates for automation.
  • Chatbots are also getting a lot of traction. For example, in the HR space, chatbots are replacing traditional FAQs. Cognitive chatbots can also be trained by humans in order to improve their correct answer rate. This is a real game changer and robust accelerator to change the employee experience.
  • Robots are less and less considered as exhibition gadgets and can now be found in some HR front office departments.
  • Voice assistants on mobile for any employee, anytime, anywhere are becoming more common – say hello to the new HR ‘Siri’. A vacation request for example can then be part of a quick phone conversation, instead of several less efficient transactions involving HR systems and emails.
  • What we are observing, is that AI technologies are becoming fully embedded within the HR community. The initial doubts and fears have been overcome by most HR professionals and AI is recognized as a real added value to the employee. The HR operating model shift is ongoing and we are only at the early stages as the technological change is evolving at an exponential speed. Tomorrow new Artificial Intelligence offerings will emerge and will continue to reshape HR departments.

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Tips To Clear The Internship Interview With Flying Colors

Getting placed in good company for internship goes a long way in building your career, it gives you a head start. Here are few questions that will help you in clearing the HR interview round for securing a dream internship role.

Why do you want to intern with us?

As a golden rule, you must, research the company and the internship description before stepping in the interview, so that you can speak intelligently about why it appeals to you. The best answer to this question will go beyond talking about what you are looking for and gives them insight into your specific ability/ skills that prepares you to do great work in the internship role

Sample interview Answer:

“I have always been awed by your company and my marketing professors tell me that your internship program is one of the best in the service industry. Our college alumni’s tell me that your interns get an opportunity to do a lot of hands-on field marketing work. Marketing is one of my greatest strengths and I stand in the top ten students in the service marketing elective, hence I firmly believe I can make a valuable contribution during my internship stint.”

How will this internship help you meet your career goals?

By asking this question during the internship interview, the interviewer is probing to learn more about your careergoals.  He is looking for more information on these areas

  1. Do you have a clear idea of the next steps in your career path?
  2. Do your career goals fit with what the internship offers?
  3. Your knowledge and understanding of the internship position.
  4. Whether you have you done your research to understand the organisation and the internship program?

Though this question is about you and your goals, make sure that you are not coming across as self-centered. Weave your answer to show how it will be a win-win situation for both you and the company if you are selected for the internship role.

Sample interview Answer:

“Thanks a lot for asking me this question, this internship stint would give me an opportunity to gain some very valuable hands-on experience in the manufacturing industry. My goal is to find a full-time position as a production assistant on the shop floor, after my graduation next April. By working with your company, I will get an opportunity to work in a smart factory with some of the best minds. As a fresher, I am ready to work hard and work on any assignment in the Production division that adds value to the company and my career experience.”

I am sure you would have made some tough academic choices; tell me about it?

Through this question, the internship interviewer is trying to understand how you think, how you make decisions, and how you operate under pressure. Through this question, the interviewer is trying to see how you might respond in a similar situation while working for them. For this question, choose a real life academic situation in which you utilised your smart decision-making skills and it led to the positive outcome.

Sample interview Answer:

“In the early days of my career year, I accidently bumped into seniors who were doing doctoral research in Machine Learning. The first year curriculum for engineering was very heavy, leaving me with little or no time, and the doctoral student would have completed his thesis by the time I would have gone into the second year. I am a state level badminton player, I decided to skip my sports sessions for a year and spend the evening time, assisting The Doctoral student as a research assistant. I knew that my long-term career path would be in Machine learning and I wanted to learn as much as possible early on. I had to work hard and give up a lot of social activities over the last year, but I know I made the right decision and I am currently on track to publish a research paper on ML.”

Tell me more about our industry?

The interviewer is asking you this question to test your industry knowledge; they are not expecting a monologue on the history of the industry.  They are keen to see if you know about the latest industry trends, what are three-four big challenges facing the industry and what are the new innovations that could shape the industry in times to come.

I am curious to know, how did you choose your college and this stream?

Through this question, the internship interviewer is going to gauge how you have approach decision-making and your educational goals and priorities. In case you are applying for an internship that is not closely related to your field of study, be ready to explain as to why you are making a changeover and how your curriculum gives you the leeway to do this role. As a spin to throw you off guard, it is common for the internship interviewer to follow up by asking you whether you feel you made the right choice. Keep off from negativity about your college or your stream.

Source: http://bit.ly/2zf0cnY

Legal HR: Recruitment strategies for MNCs entering India

India has become an attractive business destination for multi-national companies over the past few decades. The Indian market throws several opportunities for talented individuals, and it is essential that the MNCs are well prepared to grab the best talent at the beginning of their operations. In this article, we delve into the important recruitment considerations that an MNC entering India must keep in mind while devising its recruitment strategy.

Building the Set-up

For a multinational, while it is not only essential to understand the various statutory benefits for employees in India and their applicability to the concerned organization, it is also equally important to understand and strategize for the various industry practices. Employees in India are eligible for several benefits like provident fund, gratuity, compensation in case of injury, statutory bonus, etc. Further, employers are obligated to comply with laws that mandate the development of a safe, and employee-friendly workplace, viz., prevention of sexual harassment, factories act, shops & commercial establishments act, etc. Registrations and ongoing compliance with applicable laws are not just legal requirements, these are also essential for retaining the talent pool.

Tailoring Employment Documentation

Most MNCs coming to India would already have in place their global employment agreements and employment policies, and we often hear from them if they can replicate these in India to maintain uniformity of standards applicable to their workforce globally. While the short answer to their requests would be a ‘yes’, the MNCs will also be required to undertake necessary revisions to ensure that the policies are not only aligned with the applicable laws in India but also reflect the industry practice.

One such aspect which requires closer review and consideration to suit Indian needs is ‘non-compete’ covenants. Considering the edict under Section 27 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, post-employment restrictions like ‘non-compete’ are not enforceable under the laws of India. However, mostemployers may still retain such covenants in the employment agreements to act as a moral deterrent for the employees. Typically, a ‘non-compete’ restriction is applied on an employee during the tenure of his employee and between 6 (six) months – 24 (twenty-four) months after cessation of employment. Coupled with attrition in some of the sectors (IT/ ITeS being one such), without careful consideration, this may not fare well for organizations. ‘Garden leave’ is also an offshoot of ‘non-compete’, and is a common addition to employment agreements of mid to senior-level employees of MNCs.

Jurisprudence in these matters reflects a nuanced approach taken by courts in instances of ‘non-compete’ – while ‘non-compete’ continues to remain unenforceable on individual employees, courts have successfully carved out instances wherein such negative covenants may still hold ground.

The other area of concern which requires a sensitive approach is a manner of handling confidential information. Necessary attention must be given to fine-tuning confidentiality clauses.

Bringing foreign talent to India

MNCs planning to parachute foreign employees to India for undertaking specialized projects must understand the legal implications of such import of talent in India. The applicable law requires foreign citizens employed in India (referred to as ‘international workers’) to get themselves registered with the provident fund regulator, and a percentage of their entire salary shall be deducted towards provident fund contribution. It is advisable that this contribution be factored in upfront while computing the remuneration package of the ‘international worker’.

Marrying global best practices with Indian employment trends

MNCs may consider few facets of employment practices as routine in their home jurisdiction. However, implementation of such practices locally may give them an edge over their Indian competitors. For instance, the Indian law on prevention of sexual harassment at workplace gives protection to only female employees in case of a claim of sexual harassment. MNCs with gender-neutral anti-sexual harassment policies may come forth as progressive and welcoming to potential recruits. Similarly, the addition of ‘paternity leave’ and ‘bereavement leave’ in the employment policy of the MNC may be a good addition to their package, since such leaves are otherwise not statutorily mandated under Indian laws.

Conclusion

MNCs must make the most of their global expertise in attracting the brightest talent for their Indian desk. They must leverage their international reputation to the fullest potential to maintain the competitive edge in talent market. We firmly believe that compliance of employment laws in letter and in spirit, coupled with the universal best practices, will keep MNCs in good stead.

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10 Tech Tools to Help You Get Excellent Hiring Results

The hiring process is getting simpler… and more complicated by the day. How is that possible? One word: technology. As a recruiter, you have the option to make your job easier by using all the right tools. They help you pick the right candidates and eliminate the expense of a bad hire.

However, technology also complicates things for you. With so many tools to choose from, how do you pick the right ones? If you use the wrong tools, they won’t help you make good hiring decisions.

Does this mean it is okay to skip technology because of the risks it comes with? No. With the right tech tools, the entire talent acquisition and retention process become more effective. You just need to find those right tech tools, and you’ll be on the right track with excellent hiring results.

  1. Recruiting Chrome Extensions

If you could only have a tool to find the emails, phone numbers, and social profiles of the people you’re interested in… oh wait; there is such a tool.

It’s a Google Chrome extension called Prophet. Whenever you see an attractive LinkedIn profile, you can use Prophet to search for more information about that person. It will show you their Facebook and Google+ profiles, emails, phones, blogs, sites, and all kinds of details they’ve shared under their name.

  1. Productivity Tech Tools

Strict Workflow, a Google Chrome extension, helps you organize the workflow in productivity-boosting sections. You’ll be working in 25-minute sessions; after which you’ll take a 5-minute break. That’s enough to get the refreshment your brain needs and get back to work.

Google Calendar is another productivity tool that a recruiter definitely needs. Plus, you can explore to-do apps, such as Remember the Milk and Wunderlist. When you have your daily goals outlined, you’ll be more inspired to achieve them.

  1. Distraction-Blocking Browser Extensions

You’re browsing Facebook for new candidates, and you suddenly find yourself looking at cat videos on YouTube for half an hour. With distraction-blocking extensions, you can prevent that from happening. StayFocusd is such a tool. It will limit the period of time you’re allowed to spend on distracting online destinations.

  1. Graphic Creation Tools

How do you create a great job ad? How do you develop a successful employer brand that would attract talent? Content is the answer. But it has to be visually intriguing.

You don’t have to hire a graphic designer. Canva and Piktochart are great tools that help you create infographics, banners, and posters in a matter of minutes.

  1. Content Sharing Tools

Where will you share all that content you create for the sake of employer branding and attracting new candidates? Social media, of course. But, managing several social profiles will take way too much time. You’ll make things simpler if you use Buffer, or Hootsuite – tools that automate the content sharing process.

  1. Applicant Tracking System

It will process all submitted resumes, leaving you with the most relevant ones to review. You just look for the right keywords and you’ll get a narrower selection of candidates.

The top choices for applicant tracking systems are Jobvite, Newton, and JazzHR.

  1. Interview Scheduling Tools

It’s not easy for a recruiter to schedule a meeting at a time that works both for them and the candidate. With Assistant.to and YouCanBook.me, online scheduling tools, you’ll eliminate the inconveniences. You’ll just share your schedule and allow people to schedule at an available time that works for them.

  1. RecruitmentProcess Management Tools

Every recruiter needs a system that helps them keep track of all candidates. There, you’ll make notes of the first impressions. Entelo is such a tool. It allows you to create entire profiles of the candidates. These profiles will indicate their presence on the web, your notes, and all information you collect.

  1. Email Management Tools

You know you had a great candidate a couple of months ago, but you forgot their name and now it’s impossible to find that message in the mess that your inbox is?

You absolutely need an email management tool. MixMax and Streak are good options. They allow you to schedule emails and see when people open your messages.

  1. Twitter Management Tools

To get the fullrecruiting potential out of Twitter, you need a management tool that lets you connect with the right target audience. TweetDeck is such a tool. You can use it to schedule posts and content to share and search for popular tweets and influencers by conversations, topics, and interests.

Yes, there’s a lot of technology to use. All these options may be overwhelming. But, think of it this way: thanks to technology, your job as a recruiter will never get boring. You always have new tools to explore!

Source: http://bit.ly/2l0AxL9

Improve skills of Recruiting Cold Calls

Choosing the Perfect employees is the key to a successfulcompany. One of those manners of locating deserving staff members is by way of cold contacting. Most virtual recruiter avoid cold calling since it will acquire awkward, disagreeable, and it is frustrating as well as the candidates may possibly not likewise be curious.

Despite all that, cold calling is a Remarkable method to hire since it could yield immediate results. Whatever you need to do is find the best resumes from job portals and previous contacts and provide them a telephone as opposed to going right on through hundreds of candidates.

Here are just five hacks which will enhance your Cold call recruiting match:

  1. Socialize with the candidate:

You may be exhausted of calling 20 distinct Potential candidates, but you have to seem stimulating every single time you telephone. If you sound boring and dull, the offender will most likely not bother in exactly what you need to state. They may feel that you’re not interested from the telephone and also certainly will reciprocate in the same method. Start by asking whether it’s a superb time to chat and get to know the candidate by actually revealing fascination.

  1. Sell Your Business:

Before educating the possible candidate around the job profile, describe exactly what your company is doing. Keep it crisp and prolonged enough to have the offender eager. So to allow the prospect realize that your business is a joyful and effective place to just work at, is actually a fantastic place to begin the dialog. Make clear them the work profile in depth and tell the reason why they ought to join the firm. Many recruiters seek the services of high management employees with this particular hack and it works each and every moment; point.

  1. Telephone the candidate back:

Telephone the offender a couple of days following the First telephone. Even in the event it’s the case that the candidate mentioned that they aren’t interested from the first call, provide an opportunity to think about doing it. They may accept come back for a meeting following the second telephone. Whether they ace the meeting or not, then you may still receive a candidate on your own shortlist that you are able to contact to get another job profile

  1. Request a referral:

Proceed on social media and await Men and Women that Might be ideal for your task opening. Your friend list may have individuals who are qualified for this occupation. You may also ask your employees whether there is something they know who can meet in the position. Once you cold call someone using a mutual contact, it gets easier to strike up dialog.

You Might Have to create your own Techniques to Excel in cold calling recruiting. It is going to be difficult initially and very stressful way too, but if you proceed with all your campaigns, it is going to provide excellent results.

You Are Able to also list the forecasts for coaching Purposes and utilize it for the study also. It can allow you to locate the areas by that you simply want to increase.

Source: http://bit.ly/2iG6vaS 

Preparing For A Phone Interview? Four Tips To Keep Top Of Mind

You made it past the initial resume screening and are scheduled for a phone interview. It’s easy to overlook this step in the process, but remember, if you don’t do well here, the chances of getting to the next step in the hiring process are next to nil. The person conducting the interview is either going to put their stamp of approval on you as a candidate or send you a rejection letter. Ace this step and you may even gain an ally in the hiring process.

Here are a few dos (and don’ts) to make sure you get the face-to-face interview.

1. Make sure you set aside time so there’s no conflict.

Set up a quiet place where you can have a candid conversation without risk of intrusion. As an interviewer, I always ask a candidate prior to starting if it’s still a good time for them. Recently, I have gotten responses like:

• “Hang on, let me go outside. I’m at a restaurant.”

• “Sure, I’m in the car driving so I may cut out, but go ahead.”

• “I may have to put you on hold if someone like my boss comes into the office.”

• “If you don’t mind the (kids, pets, etc.) making noise…”

The truth is, if you can’t set aside the time to talk about a career move to my company, I will assume you are not taking the job seriously or respecting my time. Why would I want you to join our team? If there is a conflict, let your interviewer know ahead of time so you can reschedule.

2. Do a little research.

You are almost guaranteed to be asked the question, “What do you know about our company and/or this role?” If you are not prepared to answer this, your interviewer is going to lose interest in you quickly.

While it’s the interviewer’s job to learn enough about your background and skill set, your job should be to learn enough about the company and the role to see if you want to move to the next step. They’ve read your resume, done some background research on you and have a set of questions tailored to what they have already learned. You should be equally prepared.

Spend some time Googling the company, and read their website to learn the core business and know their competitors. Take a look at LinkedIn and get a better understanding of their general organization. Once you have done this, make a list of key questions you want answers to. Have those ready during the phone interview so you’re not improvising.

3. Remember to be professional.

One of the things I like to do is get people to let their guard down. But over the phone, it is easy to fall into the trap of becoming too casual. You would be surprised at what folks say over the phone once they get too comfortable.

I cannot tell you how many times a candidate has dropped a swear word or used an inappropriate phrase. This only makes your interviewer wonder whether you will do this with clients, co-workers or other leaders who would interview you if they were to move you ahead.

Talk to the interviewer as if you were in their office. Envision yourself at the conference table with them. A neat trick is to pull up their profile on LinkedIn so you have their photo in front of you while you interview. It will help you stay focused. In this case, a picture is worth more than 1,000 words!

4. Be prepared to close.

When the interview is over, be sure to ask about next steps. Leaving the phone interview with an ambiguous ending is a sure recipe for not moving ahead. Not indicating that you want a next step is also telling.

Even if you need to dictate what the next step is, be sure it’s mutually agreed upon. For example, “This was a great conversation, but I would like to talk it over with my spouse. I will get back to you by Tuesday.” Similarly, you should expect to hear, “We’ll be interviewing several candidates and will get back to you by Tuesday to let you know if we are moving you ahead.”

Think of your phone interview as a low-stress, initial opportunity for you and the company to get to know each other. Don’t torpedo your chances of getting hired because you exemplified your weaknesses over your strengths.