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Posts from the ‘Career Advice’ Category

19
Jun

Job Interview Etiquette

The Job Interview Skills That Will Get You Hired

Job Interview Etiquette

“Like anyone at work, your interviewer is in the midst of a busy workday. Show them that their time is valuable to you.”

So, your resume has gotten you a job interview; it’s the first big step toward the job you want. When your interview begins, however, job skills become secondary. You’re now being interviewed largely on the kind of person you are. Your resume tells people who you are, but your manners — good or bad — show them.

the “e” word

Don’t panic over the “E” word. Etiquette is nothing more than the grand set of all good manners, and although people may have told you that good manners take a lifetime to learn, we can prove to you that’s simply not true. Put simply, etiquette is a language used to relate your respect and consideration to others. For the sake of this article, the “others” are the interviewers of the world, the ones who typically matter no more (or less) than anyone else in our lives, until one day when, instantly, their opinion of us matters most.

Therefore, the day of your interview is not the time to appear uncouth, disrespectful or inconsiderate by violating any of the following etiquette tips.

Be punctual

Like anyone at work, your interviewer is in the midst of a busy workday. Show them that their time is valuable to you — after all, aren’t they showing you that same respect with this chance to come in and present yourself off of the printed resume page?

Being late tells others that you’re self-centered, disorganized, rude, or all three (qualities only sought after by the recruiters of reality television. So, unless you’re seeking a spot on the next The Real World, leave home with plenty of time to account for delays otherwise beyond your control.

Dress accordingly

At an interview, proper etiquette dictates that your manner of dress should by and large fit in with the scene around you, but in a show of respect for the occasion, you should dress just a step above the norm of that environment. The reason is because inappropriate business attire — in either direction, up or down — creates an unacceptable distraction. When the focus should be on you and all your skills, your clothes shouldn’t be stealing the show.

Consider these examples, in which a pattern is clearly visible: If everyone at the workplace wears jeans and T-shirts, wear slacks and a long-sleeved button-down shirt. If they’re in slacks and button-down shirts, wear a coat and consider a tie.

Take note of that handshake

Having a strong handshake is absolutely crucial to a good first impression, but you don’t want to take it too far. At an interview, it’s a physical interaction between strangers, making it a prime moment for etiquette. A firm handshake — in which you pump the hand once or twice with a secure, steady grip, then release — conveys affability and openness, and can create an immediate feeling of comfort between two people.

On the other hand, a meek, milky handshake or a flesh-grinding cinch can make a person uncomfortable. Before they have the chance to get to know you, you’ve already given them an unpleasant feeling. Making people comfortable around you is an essential aim of all etiquette. Think about it: Do you really want to make your interviewer uncomfortable?

Speak well, make eye contact, sit up straight, and thank them the right way.

“Use your interviewer’s name, but in moderation..”

So, your resume has gotten you a job interview; it’s the first big step toward the job you want. When your interview begins, however, job skills become secondary. You’re now being interviewed largely on the kind of person you are. Your resume tells people who you are, but your manners — good or bad — show them.

the “e” word

Don’t panic over the “E” word. Etiquette is nothing more than the grand set of all good manners, and although people may have told you that good manners take a lifetime to learn, we can prove to you that’s simply not true. Put simply, etiquette is a language used to relate your respect and consideration to others. For the sake of this article, the “others” are the interviewers of the world, the ones who typically matter no more (or less) than anyone else in our lives, until one day when, instantly, their opinion of us matters most.

Therefore, the day of your interview is not the time to appear uncouth, disrespectful or inconsiderate by violating any of the following etiquette tips.

Be punctual

Like anyone at work, your interviewer is in the midst of a busy workday. Show them that their time is valuable to you — after all, aren’t they showing you that same respect with this chance to come in and present yourself off of the printed resume page?

Being late tells others that you’re self-centered, disorganized, rude, or all three (qualities only sought after by the recruiters of reality television. So, unless you’re seeking a spot on the next The Real World, leave home with plenty of time to account for delays otherwise beyond your control.

Dress accordingly

At an interview, proper etiquette dictates that your manner of dress should by and large fit in with the scene around you, but in a show of respect for the occasion, you should dress just a step above the norm of that environment. The reason is because inappropriate business attire — in either direction, up or down — creates an unacceptable distraction. When the focus should be on you and all your skills, your clothes shouldn’t be stealing the show.

Consider these examples, in which a pattern is clearly visible: If everyone at the workplace wears jeans and T-shirts, wear slacks and a long-sleeved button-down shirt. If they’re in slacks and button-down shirts, wear a coat and consider a tie.

Take note of that handshake

Having a strong handshake is absolutely crucial to a good first impression, but you don’t want to take it too far. At an interview, it’s a physical interaction between strangers, making it a prime moment for etiquette. A firm handshake — in which you pump the hand once or twice with a secure, steady grip, then release — conveys affability and openness, and can create an immediate feeling of comfort between two people.

On the other hand, a meek, milky handshake or a flesh-grinding cinch can make a person uncomfortable. Before they have the chance to get to know you, you’ve already given them an unpleasant feeling. Making people comfortable around you is an essential aim of all etiquette. Think about it: Do you really want to make your interviewer uncomfortable?

Speak well, make eye contact, sit up straight, and thank them the right way.

15
Jun

Step by Step Guide for Writing a Successful CV

Contact Details

Begin with your name, address, phone number and email address, centred at the top of the page. Remember your name should be bold and one font size larger than your address and other information.

Objective

Stating a career objective at the beginning of your CV is optional. It enables employers to quickly identify your career objective(s) however this may limit your appeal.

Education

Your formal education and any further education you are currently undertaking should be included on your CV. Education can be placed either before or after your experience, depending on its relevance. You should include the institutions name and location, major/subject, dates and any other relevant information that will highlight your educational experiences and successes.

CV Guide

Experience and Skill Summary

Your skill sets are as important as your work or educational background, as they highlight what makes you special – this is true particularly in the international job market where language skills can be the difference between getting an interview and not. Your skills section should include:

  • Language abilities
  • Computer skills
  • Technical abilities
  • Job skill summary
  • Any further relevant and specialized skills you wish to highlight

State your level of ability (beginner, intermediate, advanced, etc.) in each skill set.

Work Experience

You should clearly state the companies’ name, its location, your position and job title, dates, responsibilities, skills utilized and any accomplishments. To make it easier to read it can be formatted using bullet points or simple sentences. Any awards or citation you have received should also be included.

If you are a new graduate or have no work experience, you should substitute other experiences that will illustrate your skills and abilities to employers e.g., projects, volunteer activities etc.

Other Information

You can also include further areas that you wish to highlight or are relevant to the particular field you wish to apply for. This may go at the top or at the end. Some examples are:

  • Membership of clubs and societies
  • Leisure activities and hobbies
  • Contacts and networks
  • Other achievements

References

You can include contact information of references on the CV or write ‘References can be supplied on request’ instead. Either way references should include one personal reference and one work or school reference and they should have known you for a minimum of two years. You should detail their titles and position, telephone, address and email contacts.
Always get an individual’s permission before citing them as a referee.

7
Jun

Confident vs Arrogant in a Job Interview

Confidence in a job interview

Confidence is key to a successful interview. You step into the interview room with all of the confidence in the world. You score big with your answers and you know that you were meant for this position. You have the whole package: language proficiency, the right skill set, experience and more. It’s a done deal, at least in your mind. But then you take a moment to reflect on the interview and you realize that you are in a foreign land and just maybe your assured confidence may have been mistaken for arrogance. Even worse, what if you were just plain arrogant?

 

Your first step is to relax. Many say that those who are chosen for an interview are already practically hired for the job. The interviewer just wants to see if the interviewee’s personality and character are right for the company. You are a foreigner so culturally, you may be perceived a little more or less arrogant, but it is of little importance in the large picture.

Without self confidence, there is no career success. It is a must if you want to succeed. However, self confidence should not be confused for arrogance. Studies have shown that interviewees who are unsuccessful for managerial positions are rejected because of their arrogance or lack of self confidence; the two sides of the spectrum. Humbleness and respect are always appreciated in the interview room and can help to balance out any signs of arrogance in front of a foreign interviewer.

Foreign companies often have a western take on their company so that it globalizes more successfully on an international scale. Interviewing in a foreign country is not much different from interviewing nationally because these companies are looking for bilingual candidates. The interviewers are cultured themselves, making it more common for them to break with tradition. Many employers are on the lookout for the self motivated workers who take the initiative and are responsible over other candidates who are submissive and wait for their orders. Self confidence is important to demonstrate but it should be done in a respectful manner in order to not come off as complete arrogance.

There are various ways to express yourself. Take some time for reflection and think about all the different ways you can answer the same question. Do not speak completely about yourself. Try to answer your questions like a team player using “we” or “our company” to show that you are not just a self motivated worker but also a team player. You are able to boast about your triumphs without demonstrating egotism. Stay positive the whole way through, from the moment you walk through the door until you leave the building. Make small talk, smile. There may be some onlookers who are viewing how well you communicate outside the interview room.

Remember, your cover letter and CV have already set the tone of your self esteem and positive attitude. You should reflect what your CV has already stated including how you describe your skills and abilities. Remember, if you lack experience, employers view skills such as multitasking, problem solving and leadership highly and can make the difference between a successful and not so successful interview. Your skills are impressive and you should treat them as such.

Rewording your previous job titles may prove to be very successful. Although the job titles allude to the same understanding, how they are phrased makes a lot of difference. Keep into consideration the following titles: Were you previously a Web designer or Web architect, a reporter or a journalist, a company president or its founder? Certain titles may be looked upon more highly in a foreign nation than others. This can also help to determine a better salary for your services. You will need to be prepared to accurately and truthfully describe your previous work as this will demonstrate the balance between self assurance and confidence while leaving arrogance off to the side.

6
Jun

What to Do (or not) in a Job Interview

Overview

Before walking into an interview, you should brush up on what you should or should not say throughout the entire interviewing process.

  • Do study the company’s website before speaking with representatives of the company.
  • Do show up to your interview about 5 to 10 minutes early. You do not want to be there too early or much worse, too late.
  • Do leave early for the interview, ensuring that you have enough time to arrive on time, relax and get your mind in order before walking into the reception room of the interview.
  • Do dress yourself appropriately for your interview. Men should wear a suit and tie and women can where a skirt or pant suit.
  • Do keep your jacket on unless you are invited to take it off.
  • Do stand up if the interviewer enters the room while you are seated. It is rather rude to stay seated.
  • Do make sure that the interviewer sits before you do as it is rude to take a seat before he/she does.
  • Do stay polite and positive throughout the whole interview regardless what happens.
  • Do shake hands firmly with the interviewer and look affirmatively into his/her eyes.
  • Do offer your business card to the interviewer even if he/she already has your CV.
  • Do not fiddle around with the interviewer’s business card or any other object on the interviewer’s desk. Any material provided to you should be placed on the interviewer’s desk.
  • Do not smoke at any time before, during or after the interview.
  • Do throw out your chewing gum before the interview.
  • Do turn off your mobile phone for the duration of the interview.
  • Do not complain or disrespect your previous work company.
  • Do show interest and enthusiasm for working for the new company.
  • Do not come off as overly confident or ambitious.
  • Do show your yearning to succeed in life.
  • Do not be overly aggressive or defensive.
  • Do be proud of yourself and your accomplishments in your field.
  • Do not respond to questions with a one word answer like yes or no – always develop your answers.
  • Do keep your responses under 2 minutes each.
  • Do inquire about the company and the position you are applying for.
  • Do avoid asking about salary and holidays until at least the second interview.
  • Do thank the interviewer for their consideration and time.
  • Do shake the interviewer’s hand before leaving the interview.

 

5
Jun

Sample Job Interview Questions

Overview

Microphone

During a job interview, it is very likely that you will hear some familiar questions. If you are able to remember questions from past interviews and prepare your statements for these questions, you will be well on your way to succeeding in your interview. Other factors you will need to consider include whether you have the skills that it takes to perform the job in question. Remember, interviews are difficult for both the interviewee and the interviewer. Therefore, you should make the best of the situation, trying to make the interview as interesting and easy as possible. Here are some standard interview questions:

Let’s begin by telling me a little bit about yourself?

This is a common ice breaking question to start off the conversation. Offer a short introduction about yourself and then ask if there is anything in specific that the interviewer would like to know about you.

Lightbulb
Humor usually
goes a long way

What are your strong and weak points?

Although you may be able to easily respond to your strong points, try to do so with modesty. When answering the second half of this question be careful to not reveal your insecurity about your weak points. Humour usually goes a long way while explaining these weak points.

What are your long-term goals?
What would you like to be doing in 5 years time?

Try not to come off as an over achiever, but mention how you would like to succeed in the company.

Be heard
Be positive

Why do you wish to leave your present company?

Avoid speaking poorly about your present or past companies with whom you have worked for. If there are negative reasons for wanting to leave your work, try to explain them in a positive attitude. Be truthful but be positive. You can always smooth over the question by stating that you are looking for a change in direction and are looking for a challenge which you believe this present company will be able to afford you with.

What sort of salary are you looking for?

This question often makes people feel nervous when asked. You can start off by stating that money is not your main interest but rather the experience that you will acquire by working in the company. If pushed for an answer, you can honestly answer by mentioning previous salaries for the same type of work. Also, look up the current salary rate for your job position so that you can make an accurate estimate.

Do you have any questions?

You should definitely ask questions about the company and the job. However, refrain from asking questions about salary, holidays, vacations, professional advancement, etc.

Additional Points

Warning
  • Be positive, confident, self assured.
  • Small talk is not necessary during the interview. Be professional and talk about job related topics.
  • Never use one word answers like “yes” or “no”. This is the time you can use to expand on your knowledge and explain what you could not more thoroughly explain on your CV or in your cover letter.
  • Some questions may go beyond your expertise or you simply have never faced the situation. Reply truthfully if you have not, but you can always offer some type of response stating “Although I haven’t (whatever), I would recommend…”.
3
Jun

SAVE THE CHILDREN LATEST JOB VACANCIES, MAY – JUNE 2013

Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in over 120 countries around the world. Recognized for our commitment to accountability, innovation and collaboration, our work takes us into the heart of communities, where we help children and families help themselves. We work with other organizations, governments, non-profits
and a variety of local partners while maintaining our own independence without political agenda or religious orientation. Save the Childrens mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.

Save the Children is now looking for experienced development professionals to work within the Nigeria Country Programme. These roles will be critical for the delivery of results for children expected by this programme.

We are recruiting to fill the following positions:

Position:  Advocacy Adviser

Location: Abuja

Description

  • To provide support to the Advocacy team on policy analysis, new programme development, advocacy initiatives, strategy development and pro-poor governance agenda in the delivery of basic social services with focus on improving quality and access to health services.

Qualifications:

  • Post Graduate Degree in Public Health/ social science with at least 5 years experience in health! social services delivery focusing on governance and enhanced voice and accountability.
  • Profound knowledge in Nigeria governance and health systems and political terrains with ability to clearly communicate and easily relate to federal/state authorities.

Position:  Advocacy and Communications Officer

Location: Zamfara

Description

  • The ideal candidates will contribute to Save the Childrens efforts to influence and bring about change in the awareness, attitudes, behaviours and policies related to the rights of children in the country programme in the state of posting. management of Human Resources functions, for the development and maintenance of policies & procedures, for or the security of staff and for the promotion of the Child Sale Guarding Policy.

Qualifications:

  • University degree in health, nutrition, communications or related social science field. Substantial experience in advocacy and policy development/research in the development context.
  • Good understanding of the possibilities and tactics for influencing decision and policy makers, politicians, donors, and other key actors.
  • Knowledge of the media and its role in raising awareness and shaping public policy.
  • Prior work experience in advocacy in Nigeria is desirable. .

Position:  State Technical Advisor

Location: Zamfara

Description

  • To strengthen the capacity of the: State Nutrition Officer (SNO) and deputy(s), if applicable, in management, delivery, and advocacy of cost-effective malnutrition prevention and treatment interventions (interventions include -Infant & Young
    Child Feeding, Community Management of Acute Malnutrition, Maternal & Child Health Weeks).

Qualifications:

  • A University degree (B.Sc. or equivalent) in health, nutrition or related subject. A Postgraduate qualification in health related subject will be an advantage.
  • Strong programme management background with at least 5 years professional experience in managing health and/or nutrition programmes.
  • Significant experience in planning, managing and monitoring budgets as well as effective resource planning, including commodities and technical expertise.

Position:  Local Govt Area Technical Advisor

Location: Kebbi

Description

  • To strengthen the capacity of the Local Government Area (LGA) nutrition focal person or team (as designated by the LGA) in management, delivery and advocacy of cost-effective malnutrition prevention and treatment interventions (interventions include – Infant & Young Child Feeding, Community Management of Acute Malnutrition, Maternal & Child Health Weeks).

Qualifications:

  • At least a B.A. in programme management, health and nutrition, or related social science. Strong programme management background with 2 years professional experience in managing health and/or nutrition programmes.
  • Significant experience in planning, managing and delivering a programme, including costing, managing and monitoring budgets. Previous experience with local and international NGOs; and Good knowledge of Hausa is desirable.

Position:  M&E Officer

Location: Zamfara

Description

  • To lead the monitoring and evaluation of programme activities at state and LGA level for the new DFID-funded cash transfers programme, the Child Development Grant Programme.
  • Ensure that all data collection, consolidation and documentation are conducted in a timely manner and consistent with DFID requirements and Save the Children guidelines and best practice.

Qualifications:

  • Advanced training in quantitative methodologies, including database management.
  • 5 years of direct experience of monitoring and evaluation related to one or more of these fields: health, HIV, nutrition and/ or economics.
  • Strong analytical skills, and an understanding of a range of methods for monitoring, evaluation and assessment to promote evidence-based learning.
  • Demonstrated ability to design, commission, and manage assessment methodologies and evaluation.

Position:  Human Resources Officer

Location: Zamfara

Description

  • To provide administrative support and assistance for the development and management of Human Resources functions, for the development and maintenance of policies & procedures, for or the security of staff and for the promotion of the Child Sale Guarding Policy.

Qualification:

  • A bachelors Degree in Business Administration or Social Sciences with at least 2 years experience in similar role covering Staff and performance management as well as HR administration.

Position:  Finance/ Admin Assistant

Location: Lagos

Description

  • The ideal candidate will be responsible for assisting all financial and administrative support functions for the state office.

Qualification:

  •  A University Degree/HND with specified Area in Finance/ Accounts/Business Administration.
  • Experience in working with partners accountable for grants and other financial support provided to implement project activities, particularly at community level. 

Position:  Health and Nutrition Advisor

Location: Zamfara

Description

  • To provide technical support to the design, implementation and monitoring of health and nutrition activities for the new DFID-funded cash transfers programme, the CDGP, with a particular focus on behaviour change communications for improved nutritional knowledge, attitudes and practices among others.

Qualification:

  • At least a B.A. degree in programme management, health and nutrition, or related social science. Strong programme management background.
  • Experience in community based nutrition programmes (CMAM and/or IYCF).
  • Technical expertise and experience in behaviour change communications programming and community mobilisation.
  • Significant experience in planning, managing and delivering a programme. including costing, managing and monitoring budgets.

Position:  Local Government Area Supervisor

Description

  • To plan and manage the delivery of project activities for a new DFID funded cash transfer programme at LGA level including targeting and enrolment of beneficiaries via community based structures, supporting the monitoring of beneficiary accountability mechanisms, post distribution monitoring and case management, nutrition behaviour change communications, advocacy and act as focal point for partnership with LGA authorities.

Qualification:

  • At least a B.A. in programme management, health and nutrition, or related social science, Previous experience with local and international NGOs.
  • Strong programme management background, including HR management.
  • Significant experience in planning, managing and delivering a programme, including costing, managing and monitoring budgets.

How To Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should forward their cover letter and CVs to: nigeria.recruitment@savethechildren.org

Note:

  • State position clearly in the subject field as applications without appropriate subject will be disqualified. Also, applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Application Closing Date 11th June, 2013.

3
Jun

Most Common Interview Questions & How To Answer Them? – Must Read

Although there is no set format that every job interview will follow, there are some questions that you can almost guarantee will crop up. Here’s a list of the most common questions and a guide to the kind of answers your interviewer wants to hear.

Common Interview Questions

1.) Tell me about yourself  
This is usually the opening question and, as first impressions are key, one of the most important. Keep your answer to under five minutes, beginning with an overview of your highest qualification then running through the jobs you’ve held so far in your career. You can follow the same structure of your CV, giving examples of achievements and the skills you’ve picked up along the way. Don’t go into too much detail – your interviewer will probably take notes and ask for you to expand on any areas where they’d like more information. If you’re interviewing for your first job since leaving education, focus on the areas of your studies you most enjoyed and how that has led to you wanting this particular role.

2.) What are your strengths? 
Pick the three biggest attributes that you think will get you the job and give examples of how you have used these strengths in a work situation. They could be tangible skills, such as proficiency in a particular computer language, or intangible skills such as good man-management. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the job description. There is usually a section listing candidate requirements, which should give you an idea of what they are looking for.

3.) What are your weaknesses? 
The dreaded question, which is best handled by picking something that you have made positive steps to redress. For example, if your IT ability is not at the level it could be, state it as a weakness but tell the interviewer about training courses or time spent outside work hours you have used to improve your skills. Your initiative could actually be perceived as a strength. On no accounts say “I don’t have any weaknesses”, your interviewer won’t believe you, or “I have a tendency to work too hard”, which is seen as avoiding the question.

4.) Why should we hire you? or What can you do for us that other candidates can’t? 

What makes you special and where do your major strengths lie? You should be able to find out what they are looking for from the job description. “I have a unique combination of strong technical skills and the ability to build long-term customer relationships” is a good opening sentence, which can then lead onto a more specific example of something you have done so far in your career. State your biggest achievement and the benefit it made to the business, then finish with “Given the opportunity, I could bring this success to your company.”

5.) What are your goals? or Where do you see yourself in five years time? 
It’s best to talk about both short-term and long-term goals. Talk about the kind of job you’d eventually like to do and the various steps you will need to get there, relating this in some way back to the position you’re interviewing for. Show the employer you have ambition, and that you have the determination to make the most of every job you have to get where you want to be.

6.)  Why do you want to work here? 
The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you’ve given this some thought. If you’ve prepared for the interview properly, you should have a good inside knowledge of the company’s values, mission statement, development plans and products. Use this information to describe how your goals and ambition matches their company ethos and how you would relish the opportunity to work for them. Never utter the phrase “I just need a job.”

7.)  What are three positive things your last boss would say about you? 
This is a great time to brag about yourself through someone else’s words. Try to include one thing that shows your ability to do the job, one thing that shows your commitment to the work, and one thing that shows you are a good person to have in a team. For example, “My boss has told me that I am the best designer he has ever had. He knows he can always rely on me, and he likes my sense of humour.”

7.)  What salary are you seeking? 
You can prepare for this by knowing the value of someone with your skills. Try not to give any specific numbers in the heat of the moment – it could put you in a poor position when negotiating later on. Your interviewer will understand if you don’t want to discuss this until you are offered the job. If they have provided a guideline salary with the job description, you could mention this and say it’s around the same area you’re looking for.

8.)  If you were an animal, which one would you want to be? 
Interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. If you answer ‘a bunny’, you will make a soft, passive impression. If you answer ‘a lion’, you will be seen as aggressive. What type of personality will it take to get the job done?

You should always have some questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position. Prepare a minimum of five questions, some which will give you more information about the job, and some which delve deeper into the culture and goals of the company.

Source: Motivation Jobber