Sunday 26 August 2012

Interview Question Tip: How To Answer Why You Want To Leave

It is no secret that the job market these days is incredibly difficult to break through.

If you are currently employed and yet seeking new opportunities, recruiters and hiring managers are almost guaranteed to ask you why you are looking for work elsewhere.

Believe it or not, this interview question can either make or break your job prospects. Muovo well knows that HR professionals are looking for a few critical character traits by asking this question, which will help them determine if you will be a good fit for their organization.

This article, first published by, could prove an insurmountable help to anyone who wishes to leave her or his job and is currently going on interviews.

Tact, loyalty, and professionalism are the key to answering this question correctly and winning your way into the hearts of hiring managers in any industry.

Some preliminary notes
Before heading in to your interview, write down a list of honest reasons that you are looking for employment elsewhere.  Is it because you were overlooked for a promotion, or because you do not feel challenged enough?  Are you not happy with a recent change in management or are there simply not enough opportunities for corporate growth at your current job?

When you have your list, scratch off anything that seems defamatory.

Remember the key traits: tact, loyalty and professionalism?

Slandering your current employer will get you cut from a recruiters list instantly.

The first thing that goes through a hiring manager’s head when they hear negative remarks about a current employer (or even a former one) is that you cannot conduct yourself with a sense of decorum.  Even worse, they know that if you will slander your current employer, you will most certainly do it to them as well.

Once you have eliminated any negative emotions associated with your reasons to part from your existing organization, you will want to put the remaining reasons into the most positive light possible.  For instance, if you were passed over for a recent promotion, answer the question by saying “I would like to work in an environment that presents better opportunities for growth”.  Be prepared for a follow-up question, as an educated HR professional will most likely ask what type of growth opportunities you are looking for.

Some people decide well into their career that they are in the wrong line of work.  This is incredibly brave and can actually be seen as an asset in any interview process.

If this situation applies to you, answer honestly and let them know that you are pursuing your passions and felt that going in a new direction would enrich your professional life.

A good hiring manager will recognize the honesty in the answer and admire the fact that you made the leap, however difficult, in order to ameliorate your situation.

Remember, it is always better to answer a question honestly and be turned away than to answer a question dishonestly and burn a bridge.  Stay truthful and professional and show no animosity towards your current employers and you will do just fine.

Courtesy of

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Saturday 25 August 2012

Student Part-Time Job Interview Preparation

Although summer is half-way through, we know that many of you who are still studying will be looking for a part-time job to help alleviate some of the many expenses for studying.

However, a part-time job requires thorough preparation and a lot of motivation and commitment to your job, even if this is just a temporary job. You will never know what opportunities it can unravel in the future.

Muovo is sharing with you the following article, first published in CV Tips, which offers tips on how you can start preparing for your interview effectively.

Studying for the Interview
Prior to the interview, you should view the company website or do a search on a search engine about a company to find background information. If your friends or family members have worked for the company in the past, or in a similar position, ask them about the types of questions or work expectations you should prepare for.

Prepare for Basic Questions
Some interviewers may ask only basic questions about schedule and availability and if you have any previous experience in this type of job. There are also many sources of basic interview questions on the Internet, such as this list of Interview Questions to Expect and Prepare for, or you can take a look at the sample questions available in an interview book, such as Boost Your Interview I.Q. Ten Steps to Interview Success also has additional resources on interview preparation basics.

Job Specific Questions
Some interviewers may ask questions that are highly specific to the job concerned. A person interviewing for a position as a nanny will have to talk about their experience with children, as well as explain what First Aid and child development courses they have taken.

What to Wear to the Interview
Though most interview books will suggest you wear a suit, or even business casual, this may not be appropriate attire for an interview in landscaping, childcare or even retail sales. In this case, wear a version of the clothes that you plan to wear each day to work, but make sure they are brand new and clean. Don’t wear a T-shirt with a slogan, displaying offensive or sarcastic humor and especially not the uniform of a rival company, even if it is vintage. Pants don’t need to be pressed and you can’t really shine your steel toed boots, but they should be free of paint and stains and comply with safety standards.

Getting to the Interview
Get a map or directions to the interview so that you can show up on time to the interview. Punctuality is very important to employers, especially if they are arranging transportation to a work site, or if there is a safety meeting each day at the site, as can happen on some construction sites. If you have limited experience in these positions, punctuality is an asset.

Bring a Copy of Your Schedule
If the employer has offered to work around your schedule during the school year, bring a copy of your school schedule to the interview. Though you may be solidly booked with classes, some employers can be very understanding of these limits and will work around them. In other cases, an inflexible schedule may keep you out of the running for a position, so only offer the schedule if asked.

Read other blogs from this post for some extra help! Good luck!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Tuesday 21 August 2012

How To Negotiate Salary For Your First Job

If you are like many us and our candidates at Muovo, you dread the question about salary at your interview.

Is it not difficult to put a definite price on your talents, personal traits, education, background and experiences?

Yes, indeed.

However, candidates must come to terms with the dire truth that all managers can use this questions as a good indicator of a lot of things.

Muovo would like to share with you an article published by Marie Larsen in on how to negotiate salary effectively for your first job. The following are three questions listed by Larsen in her article:

1. Are the candidate’s expectations realistic?  
2.  Are the candidate’s expectations in line with our budgetary restrictions?  
3.  How much value does the candidate place on himself or herself as an employee?

It can be challenging to figure out which of these questions the recruiter is trying to have answered, especially if you are new to the job market.

In this case, it is a good idea to make sure that you have a response prepared in advance. This question is complex enough that you cannot simply answer it by saying “minimum wage” or “whatever the going rate is”.

Keep in mind that the interview process is an opportunity for both the recruiter and the candidate to determine if this job will be a good fit for them and vice versa. While you should not sell yourself short, you should have a few things ready before heading into that interview and being asked the question “what are your salary expectations?”

Remember to Do Your Research
There is a wealth of information available online that can help you determine what the going rate is for your particular field, position and level of experience.

Never refuse an interview on the basis of assumed salary expectations as the information provided online should only be used as a guideline.
Provide A Range, Not A Figure
It is always safer to provide a hiring manager with a range that you are hoping to fall within as opposed to a hard and fast figure.

Providing an exact figure can put off a hiring manager, especially if it is too high.  For example if you are going to an interview for an entry-level administrative position and you have no previous experience, you would fall on the lower end of the scale.

Always deliver your response confidently, and do not allow the intonation in your voice to turn your answer into a question.

A smart recruiter can recognize a candidate who has done their homework and is able to be realistic while at the same time, not selling him or herself short.

Have you negotiate a salary recently, and made a success? How did you do it? Muovo would like to hear from you!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Saturday 18 August 2012

How To Build Your Career Effectively

A career is more than your job.

It is the baggage that you carry with you throughout your life. It represents your experiences, studies, qualifications, personal traits and much more.

People often change jobs for a number of reasons. Although it is good (and healthy) to move on to different employments and try out new experiences, one should also be careful on how and when you are going to create a careful action plan and start working towards your goals.

It is always useful to hold a particular target and try work your way towards it. This will help you make a lot of wise decisions, and avoid any unnecessary blunders.

Muovo would like to share with you the following useful article, courtesy of CV Tips on how you should start planning your career - now is the time.

1. Learn to know your weak and strong points.
What do you want people to remember when they read something about you in a hundred years' time? Do you want to be rich, famous or known for changes made to the workplace, society or any specific field, or do you want to be remembered for a specific skill? Are people more important to you than objects? Do you want to settle at one place or like to move around?

2. Think about the things you dream about.
There must be something that you like to do very often! Is this your passion? If you're not sure, ask yourself: What do I like doing in my spare time?, or What is it that I have wanted to do all of your life?

Also, consider those things you dread whether it is change or routine, working with your hands, seeking advice, dislike in people, animals, or loads of activity. People differ and knowing what makes you tick and what irritates you will help establish your main interests.

3. Think about your skills.
Do you have the necessary skills for your career path? If you don't have, will you be able to acquire these skills through work programs, tuition or experience? If you like singing but cannot hold one musical note, then perhaps you should reconsider or decide whether it is worth all the training. Look at other aspects such as your age, gender, community, religion, race and the society. This also includes your family and friends and the importance you place on certain values.

4. Choose a career path.
It doesn't mean that you have to select a particular job and stay with it. Rather look at the broader spectrum of jobs available in a certain career field.

5. Set a career goal.
A career goal helps you to stay focused and motivated. Plan how you will get there and make space for alternative routes. The career journey should be just as rewarding as reaching the goals. You need to enjoy every step of the way even when you start at the bottom. 

However, keep your career goals flexible since there will also be disappointments and things out of your control. Your career goals will change with alterations in you environment and personality.

Reevaluate your goals every two years and make adjustments as needed. If you don't have any future plans, it means you are drifting and will miss many opportunities along the way to be the best you can be. Your career will always have a learning curve. Make the most of it and when you find that you are not satisfied anymore, sit down and reevaluate your position and career goals.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Tell Me About Yourself

Do you hate this interview question?

Well, I do!

A wise man once told me: when you don't want to answer a question someone asks you, either put on a blank face and ask bluntly 'Why?', or ask the question back. I don't know if this is a 'wise' setback or just a last-minute state of panic, but what you should do is, don't be afraid to ask the interviewer questions!

What you can say is...'I'm originally from XXX'. Then follow up with 'Have you ever been there before?' or 'Do you like this town/city'? If you state 'I worked on a consumer marketing project', you can follow it up with, 'Does your firm tend to focus on B2B or B2C marketing projects?' The point of all this is that you have to engage with the interviewer, not just rattle off points. It’s, after all, a conversation.

1. First things first, of course, start with your name. 
Many job seekers panic right off the bat by incorrectly assuming the interviewer asked a loaded question. In reality, the interviewer just wants to see how well you can sell yourself. Just state your name and feel free to include a line or two about your passions and hobbies – but don’t overdo it. You need to pace yourself and save precious monologue time for significant details regarding your career. Your total answer should be short and complete.

2. Follow up with your background.
You should include a brief history of your education and experience. Think bullet points and hard facts – don’t waste time on inconsequential details. In terms of goals and aspirations, mention where you came from, where you are currently and where you want to be. Don’t be surprised if the interviewer starts taking notes while you talk. This is a good sign and means the interviewer is engaged and actively listening. They may refer to these notes and ask questions regarding your statements after you finish talking, so make sure you are honest and that all of your facts line up.

3. Relate it to the position.
This is where the interviewer will know if you’ve done your homework or not. Your goal is to recount specific projects and achievements that are relevant to the position you’re applying for and mix them in with in your background history. You’ll want to research the company beforehand and focus on key requirements of the job description. You need to imply that you are the solution to their staffing need.

4. Avoid overexposure. 
Less is more. Get in and get out. The same rules apply to this age old question. If you sit there babbling on and talking your interviewers ear off with your life story you’re ultimately going to leave a bad impression. Smile, keep a positive and excited tone during your abridged, micro-autobiography and let the rest of the interview commence. You’ll have time to ask your own questions at various intervals throughout the process.

Muovo has found and adapted this interesting article from Your comments are welcome!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 12 August 2012

5 Benefits of Career Counselling

If you are confused on the career you would like to set yourself on, and all the 'counselling' you receive from your parents and/or friends doesn't seem to get you anywhere, some professional help from a career counsellor can actually work.

What are the benefits of career counselling?

There are many. With the handful of options available on the job market today, career counselling may be able to put you in the right direction, well at least as far as pinpointing what career path you should be really focusing on. A professional advisor is someone who can help you identify and work on your strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, you will in time, together with your career counsellour, understand what jobs and/or careers you are more likely to be interested in.

Muovo has found the following article of incredible help, and would like to share these insights from CV Tips with you.

1. Test to Determine Your Strengths and Weaknesses.
When you engage in career counselling, you will most likely be working with a trained professional who can provide you with various aptitude and career assessment tests. These tests are designed to match your natural skills, strengths and abilities with key components of specific careers. You will also be able to determine what weaknesses you may have so that you can avoid working towards a career that will only lead to frustration. Having this information ahead of time can be invaluable when choosing what career path to take.

2. Set Goals to Achieve Greater Results.
A large part of your professional advisor's job is to guide you through the process of goal setting in your career endeavors. She or he can help you identify the steps needed to reach important goals along the way as you explore new career options or make changes in the career you already have. This can be a major benefit for you if you struggle with reaching goals or making changes, as you will be accountable not only to yourself, but to another person.

3. Identify Choices in Careers.
Whether you are new on the job market or have been going through the process of switching careers mid-life, you may be amazed at the full range of career options available today. While this may be positive, it can also be overwhelming. A career counsellor can assist you with focusing on one area of a career path that works best for you so that you save time and efforts by working on realistic career goals that are right for you.

4. Use Educational Support and Guidance.
As you start working with a career counsellor, you may encounter many careers that require specific training or education. This process can be made more pleasant by sharing the experience with a supporting career counsellor who can help you along the way with support, resources and tools to help you achieve the training you need to be successful in your new career path.

5. Don't Forget Job Search Support.
If you are ready to start looking for a new job, a career counsellor can be an invaluable source of support and encouragement. Career counsellors often offer cover letter, resume and interviewing services in conjunction with their counselling services. A good career counselor will be able to provide you with the tools, feedback and resources you need to be successful in your job search.

Good luck!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Friday 10 August 2012

What Colour Should You Dress In For Your Interview?

It all depends on the impression you want to emit. 

Muovo sees a handful of candidates every day, and have come up with some tips on which colour leaves off the best impression. Of course, this goes hand in hand with your personality and perhaps, the mood of the day.

In a previous post, Muovo published an article called 'Dressing for Success'. In this article, and as I'm sure you already know, you have read that you should dress conservatively for the job interview, with suits and ties for the men, and formal wear for the women.

However, have you ever thought about what the best colour to wear for the interview would be? Probably, yes...but from what we see candidates wearing at times...for some of us, not that much!

Different colours can evoke different impressions in people, which is why you should consider the subtle message you are sending when you choose the colour of your clothes for your job interview.

The most popular colours are of course neutrals, like black, brown, beige, grey or navy. If you choose to wear black, however, be careful because it can represent power, authority and drama, not qualities you probably want to convey to someone who is thinking about hiring you. Consider using black only as an accent color.

Brown is a better choice because it signifies qualities like credibility and stability. Like brown, beige and tan tend to be calming, nonassertive colors that reduce stress and invite communication.

Grey is another good choice because it signifies sophistication, if you want to appear confident but not overpowering, wear gray.

The best-selling color worldwide is blue. Blue denotes loyalty, honesty, trust, calmness and authority and is a great choice for a job interview. As a result, a navy blue suit could make a very good impression.

Many people will choose white shirts or blouses to go under their suit jackets. Since white symbolizes order, cleanliness and purity, it is a good choice. A white shirt usually goes with everything and is a year round outfit

Your accessories will allow you to add a splash of color to your fairly neutral job interviewing wardrobe. Accessories include things like ties, scarves, shoes and jewelry. Make sure you choose accessories that go with what you are wearing and keep it simple.

Accessories should be used to accent and highlight your face. Keep religious artifacts and accessories at home during an interview. Also, keep dangling bracelets to a minimum because they can be noisy and distracting. When you interview, you want the interviewer to remember your face, not the noise you produced.

Green is a good accessory color. It symbolizes nature, wealth, success and security. The color is also a relaxing one that is easy on the eye.

Socks and Shoes
For men, the best bet is to wear socks that match the color of your suit or slacks to the best of your ability. If you are wearing a tan suit, wear slightly darker socks but a shade lighter than your shoes. Dark brown or black are the best color shoe choices for men.

Woman should match the color of the suit to their shoes and keep everything neutral. You should also choose close-toed shoes without heels that are too high and wear neutral hose with them.

Fashion blogger Lara Boffa commented as follows regarding what she would wear for an interview:

'Usually I like to stick to neutrals, especially black and white, because it's a classic timeless look that works every single time. To play safe but avoid being boring and predictable, one could always add one coloured detail like a scarf or a particular pair of shoes to make your potential employer remember you a little bit more and to add some personality.'

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Need a Professional Recommendation Letter?

A recommendation letter
is usually a written reference designed to highlight aspects of your character and work or study ethic. A number of colleges and universities require from one to three recommendation letters during the admission process. However, a recommendation letter is of invaluable help in the working world and may help you land the job of your dreams.

This being said, the RIGHT recommendation or letter of reference can make a huge impact on your employer.  Having the right recommendation letter can show that you are responsible, trustworthy, with a strong work ethic - and very much employable.

So how do you ask for a recommendation letter?
Of course, ask as politely as possible either face-to-face where you set an email, or preferably, via email. If you require a comprehensive and detailed recommendation letter where your referee would have to answer a series of open-ended questions, make sure you let him or her know the amount of time this letter will entail. The simple the solution you find, the higher your chances are of getting a good recommendation letter...shortly!

The following are some tips which we have devised for our readers of the Muovo blog. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Here they are:

1. Don't just ask anyone.
On a professional networking platform, if you send a general request for everyone in your network to send you a recommendation letter, you are bound to be disappointed. Apart from making the referee feel 'used' and not special at all, you will also be revealing your state of desperation (it shows that you don't care who writes the letter, as long as you do get a letter!). It is better then to ask for a recommendation letter only to individuals with whom you have worked closely and feel that they can write a sound, positive, recommendation letter for you.

2. Why do you need your reference letter?
There are a variety of reasons why you could be asking for a recommendation letter. Let your professional contact know why. If it's for a job posting, give them a link to the job advertised. If it's for a university program, course, or scholarship, give them all the necessary details by email or by post (or face-to-face) of the organisation body.

 3. Provide some guidance.
You might want your referee to comment on a project you have worked closely together, or on some aspects of your work character and personality that can be beneficial for your whatever reason you need your reference letter. Also, give them transcripts, CV resumes, internships, professional goals, due date for the application, and of course, a copy of the recommendation forms (if provided by the institution you're applying for).

4. Don’t just take—give.
Recommendations are often a two-way street. Offer to write a recommendation for other colleagues, if you are in a position to do so. Send thank you cards by email or by post (or both) to your referee to show your appreciation. Follow up with the results - your referee would want to know if your application has been a success or not.

Best wishes!

Related Articles from this Blog:
Networking: A Key to Developing Yourself Professionally
How to Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Why an Internship Might be Good for You

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Saturday 4 August 2012

A Job Seeker's Guide To Employment

Since its inception in 2007, Muovo has seen a rapid change in the employment market. A number of good candidates can spend several months looking for work, and sometimes to no avail.

The following points should help you secure a position in the job you desire.

What every candidate should start off with is the designing of a succinct, professional CV. Make sure that you highlight and accentuate all your key skills and relevant experiences, showing your interviewer and potential employer that you have already set off a career path for yourself and is focused and determined to achieve it. This being said, it does not mean that you are doomed if you do not have a career objective you want to achieve or a specific path you want to follow. However, it is good to show that you are strong-willed and focused, rather than a generalist who is open for all options that come his or her way.

This is why you should tailor your CV to different jobs. It helps if you have two or three versions of your CV to suit specific roles. Make sure that you demonstrate the key skills relevant to the job you are applying for, without - and this is very important - ever lying on your CV.

In fact, you should never lie on your CV. A skilled interviewer will instantly spot and fill in incongruousness or holes in your CV. As for the references, a lot of companies are actually checking up on referees if not employing specialist firms to carry out in depth examinations on their behalf. This can range from your ID number, National Insurance number, to experiences, academic records and so on.

After abstaining from lying on your CV, what should you do next? The answer is simple: Keep networking. Muovo has written a number of articles related to networking and building connections with new people (See below). Every industry should enable its employees and employers to interact with one another and meet new people within the industry or a related field. Try to keep in touch with ex-colleagues and recruiters who will be more eager to search up your name whenever a post that might interest you comes along.

Also, do not send your CV everywhere. If you have sent your CV to multiple recruiting agencies, insist that they always request your permission prior to submitting it to anyone. Keep track of whom you have already sent your CV to. Unfortunately, a number of good CVs end up being deleted after they are received from several different sources, given that neither the recruiter, nor the client wants to fight over who has received the CV first.

All in all, don't let a bad recruiting experience stain you forever!  Keep calm, remain optimistic and patient, and make the most of your key skills.

Related articles from this blog:
Networking - A Key to Developing Yourself Professionally

(and really all the other articles in this blog!)

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Thursday 2 August 2012

Why You Never Hear Back After Applying For A Job

If you're like me and probably many of us out there, you have felt 'rejected' or disappointed perhaps whenever you applied for a job you really want, but never got an answer back.

The good news is: You are not alone!

Why does it happen? Is it you, is it them, or is it just something every candidate must prepare for in the hiring process?

Muovo has found the following article, courtesy of Meghan M. Biro from BusinessInsider, a most interesting read and one which offers sound advice regarding this situation.

M. Biro begins by stating an oft-cited recruiter’s complaint is that 50 percent of people applying for a given job simply are not qualified. Adding to the challenge, most large companies – and many smaller ones – use talent-management software to screen resumes, weeding out up to 50 percent of applicants before a human even looks at a resume or cover letter. This makes  it rather difficult for the job seeker who does not have all the necessary qualifications. So how do you break through?

M. Biro lists these top 5 reasons why you’re not hearing back after applying for a job, with five suggestions for ways to avoid the Resume Black Hole.

Why You Never Hear Back:
1. You really aren’t qualified. If a job description specifies a software developer with 3-5 years of experience and you’re a recent graduate with one internship, it’s unlikely you’ll get a call. Avoid disappointment – don’t apply for jobs for which you lack qualifications. Most job descriptions are written with very specific requirements.Yes, the company is trying to find the most qualified candidate.
And yes, they are trying to weed people out. It’s not personal, it’s business.

2. You haven’t keyword-optimized your resume or application. Job descriptions are salted with keywords specific to the skills or attributes the company seeks in applicants. A close read of the job description is a necessity, as is keyword-optimizing your resume and cover letter, if you’re using one, or email. If the job description lists words in a certain order, e.g. a list of programming languages required, use the same order in your resume.

3. Your resume isn’t formatted properly. You might think distinctive formatting will set your resume apart, but automated programs don’t care if a document is pretty. Help a machine out. Be consistent in formatting and consider using separate lines for former employer, job title, and years worked.

4. Your resume is substantially different from your online profile. LinkedIn, Dice and other online profile sites can be useful tools, so it's important to make sure they match what’s on your resume.

5. Do your research. Know which companies you want to work for, organizations where you sense culture fit. Every morning scour the job postings and jump on anything for which you’re qualified (and in which you’re interested). Being early with your resume or application does matter. Check back often in the first few days to make sure the listing hasn’t changed. Often a company will post a job and halfway through the process change the description.

But How I Can Get Noticed?
You are surely right to ask this question.

Here are some tips:
1. Research interesting companies on social media. Find out who the recruiters are and follow them. Many will tweet new postings, so watch their streams and jump on anything for which you are qualified. And if they tweet news saying the company’s had a great quarter, retweet the news with a positive comment.

2. Consider starting a blog in your area of interest or expertise. It’s a social world; time to build a trail of breadcrumbs leading to you. Include the blog, and links to any especially relevant posts, in your emails to recruiters with whom you’re working.

3. Get professional help with your resume. Either a resume writer or an SEO expert can help you increase your odds of getting through the talent management software. If you can’t afford this step, read the top career blogs for advice.

4. Network. Old advice, but still true (just take a look at our Muovo blog!). Be visible, be upbeat, be informed about industry trends and news in your area of expertise.

Although finding a job, and even more so, finding the right job for YOU can be tough, remember that impossible is nothing. Don't give up!

Related Articles from this Blog:
Networking - A Key To Developing Yourself Professionally
4 Candidates That Employers Don't Want To Hire
Improve Your CV With These 5 Quick Tips
Flaunt Your Achievements in Your CV

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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