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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.

HR Interview Questions That You Must Be Ready For

Behavioral interview questions ask you to spill out as to how you have behaved in certain situations in the past. Your responses give the HR interviewer an insight into how you might respond to a similar situation in the future. A small mistake in answering these HR interview questions can cost you that job; here are three questions that you must be prepared for.

So what is your salary expectation?

This is the dreaded money question. In the best case scenario, you want to do whatever you can to keep your options open and get the hiring company to provide a salary range first. “Competitive” means you expect to be compensated fairly and this approach puts the money ball back in the interviewer’s court. The interviewers may very well keep pressing you. Follow-up questions could include “What does competitive mean to you?” or “What do you make now?”

If you feel you must name a figure, choose a salary range that provides some negotiation room, and it is fair based on market value in your industry and city, as thumb rule the top of the range should be a number that would make you very happy (within reason).

One of the likely answers for this HR Interview question that you can give is,  “I’m very interested in this position so that I would be open to any competitive offer.”

Can you please explain this gap on your resume.

The HR interviewers tend to review your resume carefully and will notice if you have bee out of work between positions, and this is often seen as a sign that one of your job stints didn’t go, as you would have planned for. The career break may be for reasons that may be beyond work performance; your ex-employer may have gone out of business, your division got restructured, etc.  However, unless you clarify the interviewers tend to assume that you were fired or left under unfavorable circumstances.

You May Also Like To Read: 10 Tricky HR Interview Questions & Their Answers

If you have a positive or neutral reason for the gap, go ahead and concisely explain it. If it was a layoff that was unrelated to your performance, make that amply clear. If you were let go or there was another potentially sensitive reason for your departure, you’ll have to tread a bit more carefully. The key is to keep your explanation crisp and then make an effort to move the conversation along to more positive topics.  In these cases, it’s widespread to get sidetracked into discussing the grisly details of the separation or criticizing your former bosses or coworkers. You must explain what happened in few words and make it clear it’s something that could never happen again. At all costs, you should try to avoid using the word “fired” if you can. Deflect the interviewer attention to your track record of jobs that ended well. If the gap between jobs was lengthy, you should also make it clear that you were keeping busy with up-skilling, volunteering for social work, or taking a break to do your hobby. This shows that you are proactive and energetic.

One of the likely answers that you can give for HR Interview question is,  “The job and I did not fit together. On the hindsight, I ignored my gut feeling and took the position because it was a very generous offer. I have learned a lesson and won’t remake the same mistake.  Apart from this slip-up, I have been very successful in all the roles that I have picked up.”

Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone difficult

This HR interview question is designed to test your ability to handle conflict and work with different personalities. This question puts you in a spot because it forces you to talk about someone who derailed your apple cart. You have to handle this HR Interview question diplomatically and avoid any sign of negativity of ill feeling. Step out of the zone and try to recollect a situation in which you managed to keep a positive professional relationship with a difficult coworker, manager, client or partner.  By answering this HR Interview question smartly, you can help the interviewer see your professionalism and ability to remain calm under pressure.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2z9NCTu

10 MOST DEMANDED PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCIES BY COMPANIES

 

If you are looking for a job, you should definitely know which the most demanded professional competencies by companies are.

First of all, we should say that a competency is the capability to apply or use a set of related knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully perform your tasks at work. Nowadays, as the number of offered candidates is continually growing (not to say that a lot of them has quite a similar academic profile), the keys to a proper recruiting process rely on revealing the inner competencies.

Here you will find the top 10 of most valued competencies when it comes to hiring the right employee:

Optimism: try to show an enthusiastic and always-willing-to-help attitude. Seeing tough situations with positivity is really valued on anyone.

Flexibility: show capacity to adapt to changes. Don’t just react, be prepared as things never stay the same.

Team work: it is really important to get along and bond with your colleagues. If you are a “team person” you should already know that great things can be accomplished when working in a strong and committed group.

Initiative: show that you want to learn, every day. Don’t wait for your superiors to always tell you what to do, show that you know your work and ask for help when needed.

Loyalty: simple, be loyal to your company and culture. If you don’t really trust who you are working for, you should rethink if it’s is the right place for you.

Leadership: can you take decisions? Do you continually motivate your team? Does people see you as a role model? Then you are a natural leader!

Communication skills: knowing how to communicate with superiors and equals is a great asset, but alone is not enough. You should be a good listener too and take every opinion into account.

Creativity: a creative person will bring new fresh ideas even when not asked to. Innovative and problem-solving are two of the abilities that comes with this competency.

Transparency: be honest and clear with your words.

Energy: give the most you can, every time.

Though you shouldn’t have all of these, and of course, each job will demand its own, remember to always highlight and show your professional competencies. This will help you get through your job interview and, if you are already working, to grow in the company.

 

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2BuCow1

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.

Source: http://bit.ly/2zgAGyP

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.

Source: http://bit.ly/2AWJ0Tj

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.

The Two-Minute Resume Review: Where Skills Meet Results

Many of us who have chosen to navigate the constantly variable — and often unpredictable — waters of human resources are familiar with the common components of the resume. Most applications ask for them, many demand them.

With all of the resources available for candidates to search and reference for resume preparation, there is really no excuse for the submission of a sub-standard presentation of their career snapshot. The action verbs that are trending, examples of job descriptions, requirements and templates galore are literally at the fingertips of those who sit in front of a search engine. Knowing that all of these tools are at the disposal of the applicant should imply that the resume quality would be somewhat less variable among the candidate pool. So, should we even spend time on the details of what was once the only passport to the next round of the process? In short, absolutely.

The candidate who leverages the components of the application process to tailor their resume to your posting should migrate toward the top of the pile, simply because they’ll waste less of your time. To help decipher those detail-oriented applicants, here are five ways to cut through the fancy verbiage and get to predictive results, section by section:

1. Objective: “To obtain a position in…” This section can provide insight to the candidate’s maturity in the job market — it should be obvious that they’re seeking a position, so restating that concept is a waste of space that could be used further outlining their qualifications. Assessment: Skip it.

2. Education: It’s always perplexed me when I see this section toward the top, as if the candidate believes that promoting the formal aspects of their training is worth making note of first. The degree displays the candidate’s ability to learn and demonstrate proficiency in a controlled environment. Where they went to school outlines their professional network and perhaps the “culture” of learning they experienced. If the position requires a bachelor’s degree, we shouldn’t see high school graduation information as it just takes up space. And, unless specifically called for within the posting or they’re applying for a scholarship, GPA isn’t as relevant as applicants would like it to be. Assessment: Skim it.

3. Experience: Review for merely a restating of the job description, but hope for a collection of results achieved. Working backward from their most recent position, candidates should describe their experiences in terms of what they actually accomplished, not what they were responsible for. For instance, seeing the bulleted phrase “Responsible for leading a team of 15 employees to success in plastics production,” sounds important. But, were they actually successful? If the candidate has the necessary experience but fails to make their results clear, either place them in limbo until all have been reviewed or advance and target results in the behavioral interview. Assessment: Review for results.

4. References: Candidates should be selecting references specifically pertaining to the job for which they are applying, and if your hiring process requires personal and professional references, they should be included the application. The removal of required references from the resume allows the candidate more space to describe their qualifications as opposed to someone else’s contact information. The astute candidate will avoid this repetition and optimize their space. Assessment: Skip it.

5. Skills and certifications: Given the increasingly standard requirement of the bachelor’s degree, this section will often generate the most relevant substance for candidate evaluation. Unfortunately, applicants will often focus most of their efforts into a robust description of experiences and minimize the skills categorization. A candidate’s ability to demonstrate enough self-awareness to define what tools are in their toolbox will provide the hiring manager with an insight into how they may align with the responsibilities of the position, regardless of their experiences.

The increasingly popular preferences for certifications such as the PHR, PMP, SHRM-CSP, display the higher emphasis on specialization and proven skills acquisition — all accompanied by a third-party validation. This is where candidates can draw on their previous organizational experience to promote the skills obtained as well as the formal and professional experience. For example, if I see a candidate list the “Texas FFA Association” anywhere on their resume, I should expect a skills section including advanced record keeping, public speaking and communication, efficient conduct of meetings, emotionally-intelligent leadership, etc. The intuitive candidate will highlight this degree of proficiency through maximizing the skills they bring to the table as they relate to the position. Assessment: Of crucial importance — read it.

The resume’s relevance can be determined by the organization’s desire to seek insight into the candidate’s attention to detail, coupled with the hiring managers’ understanding of the relationship between skill sets and results. Experience in one position of the same name doesn’t guarantee success in another, as the cultural aspect of an organization may be enough to force a new hire to draw a little deeper into their arsenal of resources. Their resume should describe those resources in enough detail to provide a baseline for the behavioral interview, at which point you will have enough to dig a little deeper into how they’ve applied the skills to achieve results.

Two minutes spent on the resume can lead to hours saved in unfulfilling interviews and disappointing hires. Skills coupled with past results are a definite predictor of future success, and the prepared candidates will make this understanding abundantly clear.

Source: http://bit.ly/2ych2Rn