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August 31, 2012 in applicant advice | Tags: applying for jobs, be fulfilled in a position, before the interview, convey your priorities, Do you have any questions for us?, figure out your priorities, hated about your pre-professional jobs, interview, Interview help, Interview help: Do you have any questions for us?, Jefferson McDowell, job description, Lifehacker article, look at those priorities, loved about your pre-professional jobs, review what's important to you, The Interview Question That’s Always Asked (and How to Nail It), why you are leaving your current position | Leave a comment
If you’re applying for jobs or will in the future, go read this Lifehacker article, The Interview Question That’s Always Asked (and How to Nail It) by Jefferson McDowell, now.
You should memorize and practice these responses.
In addition, before the interview, review what’s important to you. What do you need to be fulfilled in a position? Autonomy? A team atmosphere? A place to grow with potential for internal advancement? Scheduled feedback? The opportunity to continue learning? Mentors? There are no right or wrong answers. The easiest way to figure out your priorities are to think about why you are leaving your current position. Or if you’re a new graduate, what you loved or hated about your pre-professional jobs.
Now look at those priorities and match them up with the job description and what you know from your research about the company.
Is there a way to convey your priorities while also, as the article points out, meeting the needs of the organization? The more prepared you are for your interview, the more you will appear as a strong candidate and increase your chances of being hired.
July 4, 2012 in applicant advice, Resources | Tags: 15 Toughest Interview Questions, 15 Toughest Interview Questions (and Answers!), Advice, Angela Astley, challenges facing the industry, follow up questions, give examples, interview, Interview Advice, key points, logical follow up questions, management style, management style works best for you, New Grad Life, New Grad Life blog, Resources, specific examples | 1 comment
If you haven’t read 15 Toughest Interview Questions (and Answers!) by Angela Astley on the New Grad Life blog, go read it now. The post is two years old, but is still very relevant.
Some key points:
None of the suggestions should be new to you. If you find you can’t answer any of them, be sure to do additional research prior to the interview. Then, think through the logical follow-up questions. For example, with the question of why you want to work in the industry, think of specific examples of projects or challenges related to the industry. For PR, feel free to talk about the time you helped a campus group get press coverage for their event. Know the challenges facing the industry and be prepared to ask your interviewer about how the firm you are interviewing with views those challenges. You can ask follow-up questions, too!
Be ready to give examples of how you worked with your previous boss and what kind of management style works best for you. You shouldn’t come out and say, “I like to be left alone to do what I want and hate micro-mangers,” that may be true, but it isn’t the impression you want to leave the interviewer with. Instead try, “I like working with deadlines that give me the opportunity to be creative in reaching specific goals.”
What was the hardest interview question you’ve ever had to answer?
June 18, 2012 in applicant advice | Tags: addresses, advertising, advertising department, applicants, Applicants Beware, applying for job scams, Assistant, avoid job scams, backpacks and business suits, bad grammar, Beware, business, CareerBuilder.com, check out the scam websites, dvertising, dvertising Department Assistant position, eagerness of young graduates, employment, five “B’s”, Grey Marketing Team, human resources, in the field, interview, management, marketing, marketing campaigns, misspelled words, Monster.com, national management and marketing firm, position, qualified, recent graduates, resume, standard Google search, standard interview questions, starting salary, verifying phone numbers, viewed your resume, Vonda Dixon | 2 comments
I hope in sharing my story, some of you will avoid the same situation.
Like lots of recent graduates, by July 2005, I was freaking out and applying for any position that I was even remotely interested in. Unfortunately, using Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and a few others meant, I was also unwittingly applying for job scams.
Below is a word for word email I received from “Grey Marketing Team” (to my knowledge, they are no longer in existence).
I have recently viewed your resume online and feel you may be qualified for our Advertising Department Assistant position. We are Grey Marketing Team, a national management and marketing firm. We assist companies in maximizing their marketing dollars by developing advertising, sales, and marketing campaigns.
We are currently seeking an Assistant to our Advertising Department to help our Creative Team develop print, internet, radio and television ads for our clients. An Advertising Department Assistant’s responsibilities would include the following:
Working with in house creative team
Assisting on sets and shoots
Acting as a liaison with production companies, photographers, etc
This position offers direct hands on experience working with clients. We offer the following:
Starting Salary of $41,600
Quarterly and annual bonuses
Top benefits package including medical, dental, 401k, tuition re-imbursement, paid vacation and holidays, and paid holidays
Rapid advancement opportunities
The person we are seeking must fit the following description of the five “B’s”
Be a self starter
Be motivated to succeed
Be willing to travel occasionally
Be a team player
Be willing to learn and educate himself or herself
If you feel this position is for you please apply online at: www.greymarketingteam.com
Go to the “employment” section
Select the “Advertising Department Assistant” position
Fill out the application.
Once you have filled out the application completely I will contact you for an interview.
Grey Marketing Team
Surprise, surprise, I applied and was granted an interview. When the HR Director I spoke with sounded really young and told me the dress was business professional, I got an uneasy feeling. But I brushed it aside. I arrived for my interview at a nondescript building in St. Louis. As I found the suite, I noticed a lot of people wearing backpacks and business suits, which I thought was odd. The suite looked like any other office suite, only everyone in the office was young, really young. I interviewed with three people who couldn’t have been older than 25.
They asked the standard interview questions and others that were really off the wall. Like super powers and wishes. The entire process lasted about an hour and a half. At no point did we discuss what I would actually be doing for the “company.” The interviewers talked about a second interview, which would be going out with one of their employees “in the field” for a day and that I would be hearing from them soon.
When I got home, I researched the company and realized it was more door-to-door sales and less actual advertising or marketing work. I decided I would not be going into “the field” with one of their employees for any amount of money. Apparently, soon meant less than 24 hours later. I got a call from the woman I interviewed with. I politely turned down the second interview and was barraged with “you’ll regret not taking this opportunity.”
The more I’ve talked to recent graduates in the last seven years, the more I’ve heard about these kinds of job scams. Positions likes these are preying on the eagerness of young graduates and unfortunately, seem to be becoming more and more popular.
You can avoid job scams by throughly researching the company you are applying to, which you should be doing for your cover letter anyway! This includes a standard Google search, verifying phone numbers, addresses and general details. You should also check out the scam websites and search the key words used in the ad. Also, misspelled words and bad grammar are dead give aways that something isn’t right.
Similar scams include: Steel Town Promotions
Have you encountered a job scam of your own?
January 11, 2011 in applicant advice, Etiquette, Responsibilities, Workplace Relationships | Tags: angry over the hurdles, application, application process, are friendly, defiant about the process, enter the work force, good candidate, good fit, interview, jump through more hoops, land an interview, make sure you can follow directions, question when requests are impractical or illogical, reflects poorly on the applicant, skills they require, steal all the office equipment, subsequent tests, think for ourselves, who won't question the status quo, why jump through hoops for employment, you aren't lying | Leave a comment
During the application process, you will likely jump through more hoops than you ever could have imagined. Yes, you do have to fill out the same piece of information three times, in three different places. Yes, you do have to include your high school education information even if you graduated 20 years ago if the form requires it. It’s frustrating, but if you want the job necessary. Getting angry over the hurdles or defiant about the process reflects poorly on the applicant.
I’d like to think that all these hoops are to make sure you can follow directions. That you’re a good candidate who won’t question the status quo. That you aren’t lying. But the reality is an application, interview and subsequent tests are the only ways employers have to gauge whether or not you would be a good fit or would steal all the office equipment. They are trying to look out for the company.
Just grin and bear it. Hopefully, you’ll land an interview and can show the company you have the skills they require, are friendly and truly want to work for them. Good luck!