Interview tips

Career Dos and Dont’s For Every Job Seeker

When I started my very first job, my parents had to sign off on the permit I acquired through my high school—that puts me at almost 18 years in the workforce. Over those 18 years, I’ve been an employer for the last seven and held 13 more jobs, so I have a 360-degree understanding of what many job seekers may endure during their search for employment.

Whether it’s your first job or you’re looking to move on from your current one, it’s important to know how to approach every aspect of the job search—from application to salary negotiation. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep you on track:

DO: Build a unique personal brand.

Defining your skills and personality is one thing, but truly building a unique brand increases your chances of standing out among the crowd. Creating and sharing content is just one way to make yourself known as a guru in your field.

DON’T: Search for jobs outside your skill level.

It’s good to have goals in place, but approach them in a realistic manner during your job search. We’ve all been tempted by high salaries and big job titles, but applying to these positions when they’re far outside of your skill level decreases your chances of landing a job.

Look for opportunities within a company that has an opening your talent can fill, but also offers growth for their employees. While you may not start out as the CEO, you’ll have a great place to start working your way up.

Answering Behavioral Interview Questions: Work Ethic

Every hiring manager loves a hard worker. No matter the job or the industry or the experience level, they want to hire someone with a strong work ethic and a commitment to getting the job done.

Many have been burned by candidates who talked a good game in the interview and then slacked off when hired.

This is because any candidate with a brain will claim to have a strong work ethic in a job interview. Also, the term “hard worker” can be defined in different ways for different people. Some candidates consider it hard work to just show up at the office (begrudgingly and 20 minutes late).

But is there a reliable way for hiring managers to get a sense of your work ethic in an interview?

The most reliable way (though certainly not perfect) is through asking behavioral interview questions.

For those who are new to Big Interview, let me do a quick overview of the concept here: Behavioral interview questions are the ones that ask you for specific examples of past work experiences. The ones that start with “Tell me about a time when you…” or “Give me an example of…”

The idea is to learn more about the candidate’s past job performance in order to predict how they might behave if hired. A good interviewer will then probe to understand more and determine if the example seems authentic.

Interview Strategies for Introverts

Finding the best jobs for introverts isn’t an easy proposition, which is why the interview process can be such a nerve-racking experience.

Job interviews don’t come along that often – in fact, it can take dozens of resume submissions before you are able to secure an interview with a prospective employer. This puts a lot of pressure on you to present yourself in a positive manner during the interview.

This entire process is likely even more stressful for recent college grads who haven’t had much experience with job interviews as of yet. Now add to all that being an introvert.

Issues for Introverts

One of the problems with being an introvert is that people will often mistake you for being shy or antisocial. This isn’t necessarily true. In fact, introverts can be just as social as extroverts – it’s just that introverts don’t tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves.

They also need to balance the time they spend with other people with time spent on their own in order to recharge.

Introverts tend to have a much more difficult time with job interviews than extroverts – and not just because of the state of their nerves. Introverts often come off as guarded, cold or even bored to the people they speak with – even if this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Insider’s Guide to Acing the Consulting Interview

Typically, the entire interview process begins with a Screening Interview (usually with a recruiter) to review your resume and overall background/experience to ensure you meet the basic qualifications for the position. Today, most of these interviews are conducted on the phone for about 20-45 minutes depending on your level of experience.

If all goes well, you would meet with someone for a Situational/Behavioral/Fit Interview that focuses on your past experiences and how they may relate to similar situations you could face at the company. Ultimately, this interview is to help determine whether you have been able to successfully manage various situations at school or work that may arise at a future client. You can provide examples of your experiences from class or work depending on your level of experience. This conversation could be between 1-2 hours.

In addition, you could also be given a Case Interview (this is mostly for more strategy-type consulting positions) in which you would be provided a client’s “problem” and asked to analyze the information and draw conclusions/make recommendations. The Case Interview focuses on your problem-solving and analytical skills as well as your business insight and communication skills. You may be asked to talk through the case and recommendations and/or provide a written summary. All in, it could take a few hours.

Afterwards, a Skills Interview is conducted in order to assess your technical or functional qualifications required for the position. Here, you would provide specific examples of when you had to utilize these skills (again, at work or school) to demonstrate how they are applicable to the role and level. This meeting could be 60-90 minutes based on your level of experience.