How to Show Culture Fit in an Interview!!

Ask a hiring manager which top qualities they’re looking for in candidates, and culture fit is bound to be up there. It’s no surprise — research shows that hiring for culture fit leads to reduced turnover, cost savings and happier, more productive employees, so it’s definitely in a company’s best interest to find somebody who’s a good match.

But job seekers are often at a loss for how to show culture fit during an interview.  And although it can indeed be difficult, it’s far from impossible — you just need to follow a few best practices first.

1. Do Your Homework

The first step in demonstrating culture fit is actually knowing what a company’s culture entails. According to Megan Nunan, Career Specialist at Ama La Vida, “Culture fit sums up all the ‘extras’ about a company that you can’t classify into one bucket. Things like do you align with their values, do you mesh well with those already hired at the firm, could you thrive in the current environment, etc.” Luckily, you can find much of this through your own research before the interview even rolls around.

“Look at what they post about on social media, look at pictures of the office and people working there. These will all give you clues as to what they value and what the company’s culture is like,” she says. “It also never hurts to ask around — if you know someone that either works at the firm or knows someone that works there, taking them out for a quick coffee could be the best investment you’ll ever make in yourself.”

2. Get Introspective & Rehearse

As you learn about a company’s values, work style, office environment, etc., you’ll want to think about how those match your own. Not only will this help you identify whether or not the company is the right fit for you — it’ll also give you an idea of what points you’ll want to touch on during an interview. For example, if you’re interviewing at a startup and you realize that you’re highly independent, self-motivated and excel at working at a fast pace, you’ll want to proactively highlight all of those factors in your answers.

In order to do that, you may want to research some of the most commonly asked interview questions and think about how you plan on answering them.

“There are an endless number of cultural fit questions like, ‘what kind of corporate environment do you thrive in, who was your best boss and why, what do you love about your current job,’” Nunan says. “The key to answering these successfully is to first take the time to reflect on the type of company culture that best suits you and then answer in a way that shows you’re intentional about your desire to work at this firm and that your values align nicely with those of the organization.”

And remember: the more you rehearse the answers to those questions (yes, I mean aloud!), the more comfortable you’ll be when it comes time for the actual interview.

3. Dress the Part

When you show up for an interview, you want your outfit to be appropriate — but remember, “interview-appropriate” will have different meanings at different companies.

4. Ask Questions

The idea of having to ask questions in an interview can be stressful — after all, shouldn’t answering their questions be enough? But really, you should think of it as an opportunity. It’s a great way to get a sense of how things operate day to day and, perhaps even more importantly, prove how you would fit in there.

5. Be Honest

Demonstrating culture fit is important, but even more important is finding a job and company that fit your life. After all, if you’re going to spend 40+ hours a week there, you’ll want to enjoy it.

The perfect job and company are out there somewhere, so don’t feel like you need to force it. Odds are, when you do find the right opportunity, you (and the interviewer) will know.

Here’s What the Perfect Resume Looks Like

Resumes are essential to the job search, but let’s be honest: creating one is not exactly anyone’s idea of a good time. With so many conflicting pieces of advice, you might feel like you don’t know where to start or what to do. But don’t worry — this time, we’ve done the heavy lifting. We combed through some of our best resume advice and compiled it into one info graphic to give you an easy-to-follow outline for a resume that will wow recruiters and hopefully, land you the job of your dreams.

Ready for a resume revamp? Read on below!

1. Design Matters: Don’t go overboard with intricately decorated templates. Look for sufficient white space, margins of at least .7 inches, and a font size no smaller than 11 pt.

2. Be Reachable: Make it easy for recruiters to reach out to you by providing your contact info near the header.

3. Show Off Your Skills: Don’t make recruiters hunt for the most critical information on your resume — include a table of your key soft and hard skill sets up top. Make sure your highlighted skills show why you’re a good fit for the job — all the better if these are keywords from the job description.

4. List Your Experience: This section should include each company you’ve worked for, your title, the dates you worked there, and several bullet points that describe your key accomplishments and responsibilities.

5. Quantify Your Experience:  Whenever you can, use concrete data points — it helps provide recruiters with the scope and context of your work, and demonstrates how you contributed to the bottom line.

6. Include Other Positions: Don’t be afraid to include positions that aren’t directly related to the one you’re applying for, especially if you have limited work experience. You can still use it to demonstrate the skills and qualities you want highlighted.

7. Get the Grade: Many jobs require degrees or certifications, so make sure to list yours. GPA is optional, but may be worth including if you’ve graduated recently with high marks.

8. The Extra Stuff: Add some color to your resume with a short catch-all ‘Additional Experience’ section at the end. Include clubs/organizations, volunteer experience, awards you’ve won, and even interesting hobbies or activities.

9. Keep It Concise: Limit your resume to 1-2 pages at the most.

Source: http://bit.ly/2tUFGaB

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.