Tuesday 29 April 2014

How to Know when your Interviewer is Losing Interest...

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..and how to change the interview around!

Finally, you have made it to the interview room. You're sitting in the waiting area, hoping that everything is still in place, no lipstick smudged on your face (women), tie straight (men), and praying fervently that small droplets of sweat are not forming on your forehead (but they're really feeling like they are...). Clickety-clack. A lady walks along the corridor, comes towards you half-way through the waiting room, asks for your name, smiles and sends you off to a room across the end of the corridor. There, you will finally meet the hiring manager. As you come into the room, you see a middle-aged man busily jotting down notes on his paper, mumbling 'I'll be with you in a second' to you. You feel that you have officially formed droplets of sweat now that are sitting their way shiningly, visibly on your forehead. Gosh!

You start the interview, and you're feeling satisfied and more relaxed with how things are unfolding. Maybe you shouldn't have worried that much after all!

However, at some point you feel that your interviewer might not be that into you any more...and even seems like he's losing interest. Are you being paranoid, or is there some tinge of reality into your doubts?

The following are some tips that the hiring manager may be actually losing interest in you during the interview - and how to change things your way:

1. He becomes easily distracted.
If your hiring manager becomes distracted during the interview, it’s a surefire sign they’re losing interest. Do they glance at their computer when new emails come in? Does the amount of eye contact they make with you dwindle? Perhaps you catch them glancing at the clock or other work on their desk. You need to bring the focus back to your conversation immediately.

How to turn it around: You should’ve researched the company and industry when preparing for this interview, and now’s the perfect time to leverage this information to sell yourself.

Comment on a piece of pertinent industry news and ask how it affects the company. Draw connections between market trends and how they might affect the company’s services or product line. These topics make an impact on the interviewer’s job, so it’s a good tactic to grab their attention.

You’ve sent applications to dozens of employers, posted your resume online and taken all the steps you can think of to find the job of your dreams. At last, your diligence pays off and you begin to land a few interviews.

Remember that when you’re invited to interview for a position, the hiring manager already feels you’re qualified for the position. But truly connecting with your interviewer can be tough, and conversations don’t always go as planned.

2. They stop taking notes.
When a hiring manager stops taking notes during an interview, this indicates your responses are leading them to believe you’re not the right candidate for the job. They’ll be recounting the details of the interview to company management, so detailed notes on their top candidates help them make a case for hiring you.

How to turn it around: When a hiring manager stops taking notes, don’t panic. Keep an eye on what interests them throughout the interview. What responses do they take notes on and when do they stop?

Highlight the skills and experience they find most intriguing, even if you feel those topics aren’t your strongest attributes. Guide the conversation back to those points and expand on them as much as you can without pushing it too far.

3. They don’t ask how you would use your experience for the benefit of their company.
At the end of the day, a hiring manager’s job is to find potential employees who can make a contribution to the company. If they aren’t sure you’re the right person for the job, they may not initiate a conversation about your experience and skills in relation to the job.

How to turn it around: You should be proud of all your professional accomplishments, but emphasize the ones this company needs. Did the job description mention they need someone who can make killer presentations? Guide the conversation in that direction. Are they looking for someone with the ability to work well in groups? Give examples of how well you’ve done in the past.

Always bring the conversation back to how you can be an asset, as all companies are looking for someone who can provide them with solutions to their problems. If they don’t bring up your potential, you need to make it part of the conversation.

4. They don’t mention a second interview or future communication.
The end of the interview is usually when the hiring manager will discuss the next steps in the interview process. This includes when you can expect to hear from them, whether there will be a second interview, and any further information they might need. If they don’t offer opportunities for further communication, it might be a sign they’re on the fence about you.

How to turn it around: Let the interviewer know how interested you are in the job and the company. Ask when you can expect to hear from them or inquire about the next steps. Be polite and confident in your inquiry and it’ll impress upon the hiring manager that you’re serious about the job.

Within 24 hours of the interview, you should also send a formal email to thank them for the opportunity to interview. Not only is it courteous, but it also keeps your conversation fresh in their minds.

Not every interview is a smooth conversation. If you find you aren’t connecting with your interviewer, it doesn’t mean you won’t get the job. It just means you may have to work a bit harder to impress them. Steer the conversation in a way that casts you in the best possible light. Didn't you ever sat for an exam for which you felt you did really badly - possibly failed, only to turn out it being one of your top marks?

The four tips were taken from Brazen Life

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 23 April 2014

I Never Have the Right Level of Experience for the Job!

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This is a very frustrating situation to be in...and most of us, have been in it!

Especially at the beginning of starting out a career, it can seem or be difficult to find a job. Why? Well, everyone demands experience. If you haven't had the chance the work, how can you get the required experience?

Notably, this problem does not exist for new jobseekers on the market, but also for those individuals who, for some reason or other, wish to change their line of career. This would raise your eymployer's eyebrows even more if you are over-qualified for the job. Employers are likely to be reluctant to invest in someone who may not wholly commit to them, who might change their job to some other higher position elsewhere, and therefore use the current experience as a stepping stone to what they really want - which would hence result in the employer's loss of time, money and resources.

Do not fret too much though! There are two approaches to resolving this situation:

(a) Turn your lack of experience or over-qualification into an asset in your covering letter. Here's what a managements consultant does when faced with the situation:

I can sell my lack of experience as a strength because I have no preconceptions or prejudice. I can bring fresh ideas, and am eager to learn more.

I can sell my over-qualified experience as a strength because I bring a wealth of practical experience coupled with pragmatism based on a level of maturity that few others can offer.

(b) Try to find ways to maximize your working experience through voluntary work, odd jobs for friends and family. Whatever you do will always become useful at some point in your career.

Adapted from Judith Leigh, How to write: Successful CVs & Job Applications (2013), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 20 April 2014

7 Tips to Make a Good First Impression at Work

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It's your first day at work! You're so thrilled that you have landed that job you've been dreaming of...that you've just bought a mug, a coffee jar, and some powdered milk to go with it...and of course, the chocolate brownies!

Well...not so fast! Although the coffee will surely come in handy, in many jobs the first six months are called the 'probationary period' which means that you should start trying to impress your boss as from Day 1.

Muovo would like to share with you (on Easter Sunday!), the following tips that will help you make a good first impression at work.

1. Plan what you're going to wear.
From the night before, prepare the clothes that you will be wearing for your first day. This will save you time in the morning, apart from giving you enough time the night before to pick out proper attire.

2. Get there early.
Knowing what you're going to wear does save you time, which thereby should allow you with enough time to arrive early. Employers always admire individuals who are on time, and possibly, earlier than required. This shows dedication, respect, and ambition towards the job.

3. Prepare how to introduce yourself.
It is likely that your new colleagues will be asking you some questions, such as qualification or previous experience and some other basic stuff. Don't forget to work on your eye contact, a pleasant smile, confident posture, and a firm handshake.

4. Remember names.
Don't be the one who says 'I'm not good with names'. The fast you learn names, the easier it will be for you to make your way around and to get to befriend your colleagues.

5. Be a good listener.
If somebody is trying to teach you something, or is showing you around, don't stand there daydreaming about what you'll be cooking in the evening, or how much you miss your bed. Make sure you understand what you're being told, and take down notes if needed.

6. Be positive.
You should be happy! It's your first day at a new job, which means, a new chapter in your life! Make sure you appear delighted to be there, even though it may not be your dream job.

7. Don't run off when the clock strikes five!
Especially on your first day at work, don't rush out the door when it's end of your working day (whatever time that might be). It won't hurt if you stay a little longer than required which shows to everyone that you are committed to your job and eager to learn more and do well.

Do you have any other tips? Muovo would like to hear from you!

Adapted from AoL Jobs

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Write the Perfect Email Subject Line for Job Hunting

Email is often the first point of contact for job seekers and hiring managers. Make your subject line stand out! Apart from showing the recipient of the email who you are, what your position is, it can also be used as a marketing tool to show off your area of expertise which may eventually bring you new opportunities.

Muovo would like to share with you the following examples of witty subject lines that are sure likely to bring success!

1. Keep it short.
Try to get straight to the point. Avoid frivolous words. Six to eight words should be more than sufficient.

For example: Human Resources Assistant Application

2. Be clear and specific.
Recruiters are likely to spend less than 10 seconds on a resume, and even less if they are scanning a job seeker's resume online. The subject line should communicate exactly who you are and what you're looking for without having the need for the recruiter to open your email.

For example: John Gatt following up on Marketing Position

3. Use logical keywords for search and filtering.
Inserting keywords like 'job application' or 'job candidate' will make your email searchable later.

For example: Job application: John Gatt for Marketing Executive

4. If someone referred you, be sure to use their name.
State immediately that you have been referred by, possibly, a mutual acquaintance. Placing it in the subject line will get the hiring manager's attention straight away.

For example: Referred by Neville Psaila for Content Manager position.

Using all caps might grab attention, but certainly not the good way. All capitals in an email suggests that you are shouting, or do not simply possess enough email etiquette to know that this is considered as most impolite. Instead, use dashes or colons to separate your thoughts, and avoid caps and special characters like exclamation points.

For example: Job Inquiry: Qualified IT Marketing Specialist - Seeking New Opportunities

Adapted from Aol Jobs

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 9 April 2014

The Exit Interview: Be Careful of What You Say!

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If you're like me, a question might have popped to mind: 'What's an exit interview?'

AoL's article entitled, 'Why honesty is not the best policy at your exit interview', states how, at some point between giving the notice and your last day, your employer will likely to ask you to meet with the HR for an exit interview.

The purpose of this meeting is for the company to see what might be causing the turnover; in other words, they want to know what had induced you, as the employee, to leave them. Companies are likely to invest a lot of time and money into selecting the best candidates for the job. 

The following are four reasons why you shouldn't be completely honest in your exit interview. These are:

1. It won't matter anyway.
If the company is already well aware of most of the problems or issues that you bring up during the exit interview, then it is more than likely that the HR will not pass on your feedback unless requested for.
Also, if you feel that not much change will come out of it, then, that would probably be the case.

2. You could end up burning bridges.
It is not wise not to tick people off because you get carried away during the interview. Instead, try to keep things positive and bring up any problems that you want to help the company to improve in the future. Don't forget that whatever you say about your employer, might actually get to them. This will destroy any chances of getting a good reference letter from them.

3. It could compromise any pending legal issues.
If there are any pending lawsuits, less is more. If the answers to the questions could in any way compromise proceedings, either decline the exit interview altogether or say 'no comment' when you're in the 'hot seat'. 

4. You may come off sounding bitter. 
If you are existing because of a 'toxic' boss, anything negative you say will sound like 'sour grapes', in the sense that your bitterness towards a dysfunctional boss does not give you the license to get revenge during the exit interview. After all, you may not be believed anyway if your boss hold a position of power in the organisation or, perhaps, in other institutions or organisations.

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Courtesy of AoL Jobs

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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