Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

You have just completed your interview which you have been prepping for over a week and you feel relaxed and confident at the same time that the interview went pretty well. But as you come out of the interview room and see the number of people waiting outside, you start feeling the jitters. Now you feel the competition and your confidence level converts into a doubt, “How did I do the interview?”

Seconds ago you were super confident and now you start feeling nervous and want to know the result as soon as possible. Do you think calling up the recruiter and following up is a good idea? Well Yes! You can always follow-up in fact that shows how serious you are about the job.

Having said that, there has to be some tips that can be followed on the same:

  1. Don’t be desperate: I know it is very difficult to wait for the recruiter to call and you feel desperate and an urge to call them every now and then to know the status. But never show your desperation to the recruiter. It shows a negative impact on them and your desperation can become your enemy. So show your interest but not your desperation.
  2. Call/email the recruiter: The best practice as soon as you finish your interview should be email the recruiter or call them. Some find it unprofessional to call the recruiter, so you can always email them and let them know about the interview details. Having said that, don’t keep emailing every now and then, this could irritate them and it looks very unprofessional as well. A proper follow-up with regular intervals are still fine.
  3. Build a rapport: Right from the time you get a call from the recruiter, you can build a rapport with them, so post interview, it becomes easy for you to just make a friendly call or email and let them know how serious you are about this job. Also, a friendly call should be in a professional manner, you don’t have to be too casual, that again gives a wrong impression.
  4. Don’t stalk: Following up can take a negative shape of stalking. Calling up every day and asking about the feedback becomes irritating for anyone. Remember, a recruiter too has to follow-up with the client and it takes time for the client to respond. SO unless and until they don’t get any update they cannot let you know how much ever you follow-up.  SO don’t let your follow-up take a shape of stalking.
  5. Be professional: I understand you might also feel frustrated after some time, if you don’t get any update.  That doesn’t mean, you behave in an unprofessional manner. Always be polite and professional and give them the message loud and clear that, I have other opportunities as well and I am not being desperate but curious.
  6. Learn to move on: Give yourself some time, and if you do not get any mail or call from the recruiter, it is better to move on. After all, that is not the only company in the market and you can always get better opportunities elsewhere.

Also, you will come to know about the status, by the way the recruiter’s response. If they give a cold reply and say “We will get back to you”, it is clear that you are not selected. So, you are doing your job of following up, so don’t lose hope if they don’t get back and try to move on.

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I have never regretted so much while changing so many jobs, that I am doing right now after being jobless and helpless. Apparently, I wasn’t aware that my job hopping will bring me to a stage where I have to justify for each and every job change in my entire career and that is quite painful you see. And now I feel had I been to one job or two, for that matter, my career would have been far more stable and secure.

Well, I am not here to crib about my past or present, but to help people know the cons of too many job hopping. In the recent past, big organizations have become very particular when it comes to job change and they prefer more stable employees. Even if the technology is very niche, people prefer to stay long in a company for visibility and better future. The major drawback of job hopping is that, you end up in the same designations for years together, if you change so many jobs and you won’t get an opportunity you want. And in search of a better opportunity, you end up putting your whole career at risk.

The major reasons of job hopping are salary, better opportunity, promotion, brand name and similar factors which lead to retention and frequent job hopping.

SO let’s discuss ways to prevent job hopping:

  1. 1.      Prepare an impressive resume: When you know your resume will showcase you career history clearly, you have to prepare an impressive resume where all your flaws are invisible.
  2. Valid reason: You have to justify each and every job change that you have done. Only when you have a genuine reason, the employer tries to consider your resume otherwise, they will reject you upfront.
  3. 3.      Discuss things clearly:  We have already discussed the major reasons of frequent job changes. So before joining the organization discuss everything clearly like salary, stability, future and all the major things which matters to you and which can be a major reason of frequent job hopping.
  4. Stability: Juts like you want stability in your organization, similarly, the employer also expects the same and so when you have made up your mind about being stable in the organization, your employer will do their best to retain you and help you stay longer in the organization. You have to talk your heart out about the same. It should be a win-win situation for both of you.

 

So in order to prevent job hopping, one has to carefully handle the way they present their career history and try to get the best out of it. When you showcase your talent, every other thing becomes irrelevant and that’s what matters. Always be positive and move ahead with confidence and try to be loyal to your organization and get the best out of it.

Spending hours together in the portals and other sites to search for the best candidate for a particular position and once hired, if the candidate backs off at the last moment, it’s the most disquieting thing in the world. 80 % of the candidates do this. And when any such thing happens, the recruiter is back to square one and has to start from the scratch. At the same time escalations from the hiring manager and your boss is an inexplicable feeling. You just can’t help it but start all over again.

But, as a recruiter, when you have faced the situation N number of times, it is important that you take some measures to curb the last moment backing offs. Let’s discuss some of the measures that can be taken on this front, but before that lets point out the reasons of the last minute changes or backing offs:

  1. Better Offer: If a candidate has many offers in hand, it is up to them to decide on which offer they would go for and this could be one reason of backing off at the last moment. May be they got a better offer from a better company.
  2. No follow-up from the recruiter: The major reason could be, after the interview, if the recruiter doesn’t follow-up or be in touch and then at the last moment come out with the offer. The candidate gets pissed off, at the same time, makes up his/her mind to back off.
  3. Market conditions and salary offered: Any candidate when searching for the job also evaluates the market conditions and their market value and accordingly negotiates the salary. So if they feel that the salary offered is not as per their market value, they can take the offer but do not join.
  4. Unprofessional behaviour: An unprofessional behaviour on the recruiter’s side is also a reason for last moment changes.  Talking to the candidate rudely, showing apathy, not responding to their mails or calls, could make the candidate feel disappointed and can reject the offer upfront.

It’s not always that the recruiters are to be blamed, because, there are times, when the feedback from the client itself is delayed and that in turn forces the recruiter to back off from any follow-ups.

Having said that, the recruiter has to go ahead and take some necessary steps to pacify the candidate:

  1. Back up: When you are not sure about a particular candidate’s joining status, always keep a backup of the same and any last moment changes will help you close the position on time without you being affected by the escalations and thrashings from your boss. So be proactive and always keep a backup of any position you are sourcing for.
  2. Follow-up: As discussed above, the major reason of the last minute changes of any candidate can be lack of follow up from your end. A smart recruiter should always keep in touch with the candidate and the client and always follow up on the status of the candidate as well as the status of the position. If any client or candidate for that matter insinuates their status as negative, inform the same to the either party.
  3. Building a Rapport: The major factor which can hold back a candidate to accept any other offer could be your building a rapport with them. Keep talking to the candidate frequently and ask them what’s going on, just initiate a casual talk and build a rapport which will hold back the candidate.
  4. Build a network: At the same time, get other contacts from your candidate and build a strong network, so that any such opening related to the same skill, will help you close the position fast.

The recruiter is the backbone of any company and so it’s your responsibility to meet the expectations of the client, your boss as well as the candidates. A proactive recruiter always follows a proper procedure and helps close the position on time. However, the last minute backing offs or changes from the candidate is mundane and one has to be careful and take measures to curb the same.

How to write a cover letter

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Career, Interview, Job
Tags: , ,

Your job application is in full swing and you have your resume ready, you are good to go for the interview, but you should get a call letter. Unless you have a cover letter, you won’t be considered these days. So, with every application, cover letter has become very important without which your application looks incomplete.

What is a cover letter? It is a brief introduction of you and it should be short and crisp yet compelling and appealing. Whether you are sending your resume through mail or Email, a cover letter attached shows how professional you are and that itself makes a first impression.

Having said that, don’t write a 2 page letter, because it says cover letter. It has to be a small paragraph or two and should be such that, the employer should be interested in reading.           A cover letter has to be sent for every position and it should not be the same. So this could be a tedious job, as for every job you apply for, you have to format a cover letter based on the position. But Guess that will make you a pro in writing a cover letter :). Let’s discuss some important points when writing a cover letter:

  1. Mail or Email: If you are mailing your resume, a plain white paper with a cover letter, neatly written and attached with the resume and sent to the employer. However, if you are applying via email, write the cover letter in the body of the mail along with your CV attached.
  2. Simple and short: Don’t write a whole story of your career, starting from your education to your current employer, it will take ages to complete writing for you and it will take seconds for the employer to reject it upfront. You career details have already been mentioned in your CV and they don’t want to read it again and again. A brief about, how you came to know about the opening, why you feel you deserve this job, your strengths and weaknesses are all that is required. However, the format is discussed below.
  3. Formatting: The basic format of a cover letter is this:
  • Salutation like “Dear (First Name of the hiring manager)
  • Body of the letter with first paragraph mentioning about the job you are applying for and where did you find the opening.
  • Second paragraph discussing about your qualifications which should be specific to the job requirement. You can also write a reason why you would like to apply with this company. But all these should be crisply written.
  • Then the last Paragraph should be the conclusion mentioning, you are positive with working this company and look forward to discussing your qualifications further. Don’t forget to mention your Email ID and phone number for them to contact you.
  • And Write Regards or Thank you with your name signed.
  1. Check the language and spelling: Before pressing the send button, check thoroughly the language you have used. Does it sound professional or it sounds too casual. Casual will give an impression of you being casual and not really interested in the job. SO write in a professional way, if required take the help of the experts. Also, do spells check of your cover letter several times and then send. A small typo is still acceptable sometimes, but if you’re whole cover letter has a spelling mistake that might go against you.

 

You can save this cover letter and can re- format it based on the application and postings you are applying for. So all in all, a proper and professional cover letter is indispensable to get your dream job and to crack the interview.

How to crack it over the phone

Posted: December 23, 2013 in Career, Interview, Job
Tags: , ,

Economical hiring is something which most of the companies are opting for these days. Spending a bomb on the hiring process is receding slowly. The major reason being recession hitting the market frequently, most of the companies want to hire the best of talent, but at a minimal cost. Having said that, not all telephone interviews go well and it becomes difficult to gauge the overall personality of the candidate over the phone, the body language, the confidence level and other factors. Moreover, the chances of the employer getting cheated are also there.

But, the first interview is mostly done over the phone and that itself helps gauge the candidate’s caliber. As a candidate, one has to be very smart and active, when giving an interview over the phone. Let’s point out some important points that can be considered when giving a telephonic interview:

  1. The background or environment: Ideally, a recruiter informs the candidate in advance about the technical interview from the client. So you have to make sure your background should be pin drop silent. Because every little sound can be heard when on call and it becomes difficult for the interviewer as well as the candidate to concentrate on the conversation.
  2. Prepare yourself: The major advantage of a telephonic interview is that you get a time to prepare yourself for the interview. SO brush up your theoretical knowledge because they would majorly ask you theoretical questions. You should not fumble or let the interviewer know that you are struggling to answer the question.
  3. Be honest: This is something which is very important in any interview, whether face to face or telephonic. If you don’t know the answer to a particular question, be honest and tell them straight that you don’t know, instead of beating around the bush. Interviewer always considers an honest candidate over a candidate who pretends they know everything and giving the wrong answer.
  4. Professionalism: Don’t talk to the client like you are talking to friends be professional and crisp in your usage of language and tone. This will make a great impression to the interviewer. Professionalism is something which is the crux of an interview. Munching or slurping while on call is a big NO.
  5. Confidence: When giving a telephonic interview, being nervous is mundane. But never show your nervousness on call. Drink a glass of water before the interview and be confident and smart while giving an interview. Apparently on a telephonic interview, the interviewers build an image of the candidate while talking. So if you fumble and stammer and show your nervousness, they will imagine you as a low on confidence candidate and will reject you upfront.
  6. Active and attentive: Never be too laid back when giving an interview, which can be quite prominent on the call. If you are too laid back and talk very casually, an interviewer can make out your interest and seriousness for the interview or job for that matter. SO always be active and attentive while on call. Don’t let the interviewer repeat the question too many times. That looks unprofessional and disquieting.
  7. Never interrupt: When the client is asking a question, never ever interrupt and try to jump into conclusion. Listen to the question first, take some time to think and then answer even if you know the answer. A hiatus in an interview can put the offer down for you.

Small things that have to be taken care of and you can definitely crack it over the phone.

Being into the recruitment business, the most difficult task for the recruiter is to identify the fake candidate and the genuine one. Well, there is a thin line between the two and one should know the art of recognizing who is who. Having worked in this field, out of personal experience, I am writing this. The recruiter is blamed, if a resource hired happens to be fake. However, we all know, that’s not their mistake. People these days have become over smart and too tech savvy, to fake their resume.

SO, when the candidate has become too smart, then the employer has to be ahead of them and take some necessary steps to identify the fake and genuine candidates.

  1. Face to face interview: These days, to save the time, employer takes a telephonic interview and they cannot see who is giving the interview. It can be that the person who is giving the interview is not the person who is hired. SO, the best way to indentify is through a face to face interview. This way, you can read the body language and probe more and more to identify if he is genuine or fake.
  2. Check the Manager he was reporting to: Ask for the name of the managers he was reporting to, the team lead, which domain he was into and all. I am sure; if he is fake he will give some fictitious name. Always go back and check in LinkedIn if a person with that name exists and if he works with that company. There is not a single person these days who doesn’t use LinkedIn. SO, this is the best way to find out if the person is fake.
  3. Initial screening: You can identify a candidate’s profile in the initial screening itself. If the candidate has mentioned too many skills, probe them deeper into that skill.
  4. Background check: Even before hiring a candidate, it is imperative that you do a proper background verification of the candidate. Contact the previous employer to check whether he candidate has worked with them or not. This is for people who claim to be experienced. For freshers check the educational institutions for a proper check on their academic background.
  5. Documents: Faking the documents also has become a trend these days, so check all the documents including the educational documents. Because people get education certificate also faked.

 

Also, there are small firms which provide fake certificates to the candidates, so check them thoroughly and prepare a list of these companies and keep them in the blacklisted category.

These are some of the measures to be taken to identify a candidate, but remember, some candidates are too smart and they leave no stone unturned to prove their credibility. So, if you are still doubtful on that candidate, just tell them “We will get back to you”.

 

Whether it’s your first interview or one out of many, there are always jitters that whether you would be able to crack the interview or meet the expectations of the interviewer. You have to be impeccable in your very first few minutes. Because they say the employer makes the decision in the first few minutes itself and the rest of the time they just drill you more and more in order to get the maximum out of you. If you are not impressive in those first few minutes, then do whatever possible to woo the interviewer, they are not going to change their decision.

So, it’s really important to research what is expected out of you in an interview. It’s not a rocket science though, just small things to be kept in mind:

  1. Personality:  They say “first impression is the last one”. So showcase your personality to the interviewer in a positive manner. Well how do they know your personality? By the way you dress up. Your dress makes a great impact on the interviewer. If you enter the room shabbily dressed and talk to the interviewer in a very casual way, you are rejected upfront. Instead, dress up in your formals, neatly ironed and tucked in. For men, wear a tie and polished shoes. Hair nicely combed. This will impress the employer and your initial job is done already. Next all you have to do is shake your hands in a firm and professional manner and introduce yourself. Don’t use language like “HI DUDE!” This sounds too unprofessional and rude. Instead “Hello sir!” is more professional and polite.
  2. Address the interviewer: Never address them with their first name unless they ask you to. Always maintain a polite “SIR”, when talking to them. This shows how professional you are.
  3. Impressive Resume: Before going for the interview, make sure that your resume is up to date.  It shouldn’t look like rhetoric written on a piece of paper. Highlight important things and project your roles and responsibilities in bullet points. Showcase your strength and weaknesses. All in all, it should be simple and precise, yet crisp.
  4. Wear a smile: Don’t show the interviewer that you are nervous and about to breakdown. Always wear a polite smile on your face. Remember even the interviewer has been having a long day and if you enter with a lousy face, they are going to reject you upfront. Your smile should be a treat to watch for the interviewer, so they are avid to probe you more.
  5. A two-way conversation: The interview should always be a two way conversation. Ask question to the interviewer about your role, the process. Make it more interactive and pleasurable for the interviewer. He should feel that working with this person will be fun. Build Rapport and always maintain eye contact when talking. This shows your confidence.
  6. Don’t beat around the bush: If you are not too sure about the answer, just be honest and accept the fact, instead of beating around the bush. This will confuse the interviewer and you also look confused and stupid. They are more biased toward honest candidates, so just be honest and accept your mistakes; this will not make you small in fact it will increase your chances of getting selected

 

SO, these small things when followed, there will be no such interview which you would not be able to crack. SO be confident and composed. This is the Mantra to success.