Fighting Against ‘Overqualified’ Label: Must Read

How is to be a “No fit” applicant for any particular job listing? Hurting isn’t it?
No fit means not competent. No fit equals lack of skills. No fit implies a lack of experience and so on and so forth.

What do you do when your resume earns a “No- fit” tag?…..You feel your Career goals are shattered. You are horrified by the thought of starting it from the scratch again. You feel disheartened.overqualified labeljob_rejection_overqualified

All said and done, you need to believe that this is still a better situation to be in. You at least have scopes for improvement. You work hard, and you are there. It’s that simple.

You may be taken aback by surprise to know that shortcomings are just one side of this no fit story. There are people who earn this tag, simply because they lack imperfections. Yes, you read it right. People do get rejected after interviews because they know more than they need to.

Disqualified for being overqualified – an ouch situation. It’s like you are asked to jump into a well, because others were not able to climb up the wall. It’s like you are asked to stop breathing, as you could smell those pungent tomatoes while others were suffering from clogged nose.

You know more than others. So, what’s the harm? You worked hard to learn more, and now you cannot just shift + delete it from your memory. While it is so very frustrating to get eliminated from the competition, just because others were not up to that level; recruiters have their own set of reasons to label and reject overqualified candidates.

Recruiters do not hire “overqualified” professionals – Let’s know why?

Even though recruiting may appear to be a relaxing task performed by HR professionals, it is not so. The process involves a considerable amount of time, company resources and money – most importantly.do not hire overqualified

Therefore, if we say that hiring an inefficient candidate brings huge loss to the company; then, retaining employees for a very short duration of time is an equal setback. And this is one of the major reasons for rejecting overqualified professionals.

Apart from this, here are other varied reasons that work against hiring overqualified professionals:

  • Your recruiter may feel that you will leave the very moment you come across something better
  • You may be a little unhappy about the situation and will not work efficiently
  • You may not be able to take up orders from superiors who are, in fact, inferior to you in terms of academics or experience
  • You may get a little disinterested in handling less significant job roles
  • Paying your salary is like having an elephant as a pet at home
  • You may behave a little arrogant and will not accept your mistakes easily

These were a few of the reasons recruiters give when they advocate against hiring professionals who have skills much more than required.

Now, no matter what and how the reasons are, getting a solution is your prime concern.

Rejected for being overqualified – This is what you can do:

Once you can see that suspicion in your recruiter’s eyes, and you know it is for your superior levels of qualifications; this is how you can work it out:

Tell them that they are getting some extra cheese with the same price:talking to recruiter

When you know that you are more than capable of handling this particular job role, you also need to know that this will bring lesser monetary benefits than what you deserve.

If you are absolutely fine with this situation, make sure you inform the same to your recruiters. Convince them that money is not the only concern for you, and you have other reasons for choosing their job listing. Also mention that you will be happy to be paid according to company norms and do not want any extra privilege for your extensive skills or knowledge. In addition, you may use your competence to add greater value to their organization.

You don’t need a mentor – you could be one:

Any fresh employee needs to undergo some specific period of training to get accustomed to the company work culture. However, since you have greater qualifications, you may perhaps need to spend a lesser period in training rooms. Thereby, saving time and money up to a great extent.you could be oneAgain, if your employer is smart enough, your extensive knowledge could be used to train other professionals working in different setups that you are familiar with.

However, this is very tricky, as many of you may sound a little egocentric while putting this point before recruiters. If your recruiters somehow smell your sense of pride in accomplishments, your game ends there and then.

Therefore, be polite and say that you will be happy to learn from them as quickly as possible. In addition, you would love to share your knowledge beyond your job tasks whenever required.

Showcase your loyalties and commitments:

Tell your employer that you value commitments more than anything else. Ascertain that you are not in favor of job hopping and consider it to be a bad professional etiquette.loyalties and commitmentsSince you have a vast professional experience, you can take examples of work histories, where you have spent a considerable amount of time. This can convince your probable employers that you will not run away as soon as you get a better opportunity.

Depict the real story – Do not manipulate:

While everyone is trying hard to climb up the corporate ladder, your descending is mysterious. However, you may have your own reasons to do so and there is no harm in it.real storyYour current employer may offer you an advanced position with salary hikes that may affect your work-life balance. Therefore, think before accepting the offer. Hence, you may be happy to handle lower job roles to retain other priorities in life. This may be the reason, that you have appeared for this interview.

Make sure that you tell the truth to your recruiter. Do not try to make up cock and bull stories as they do not serve to convince and rather hinder the process.

These were a few tips to fight against being overqualified. Hope you have found the post useful and relevant to your search.

An Interview: Body Language Do’s and Don’t s

The City Business solutions has recently announced a job vacancy for the position of Sales Executive with their organization. Sara, a Business graduate from one of the top Business schools, suddenly comes across this particular job listing and decides to apply for the position.

It was pretty obvious, that she would definitely receive an interview invitation from their side. Sara, being the top scorer throughout her graduation, was expected to do quite well in her interview session.body language at an interview

Her friends and college instructors as well, assumed her to be someone with great interpersonal skills, merged with the right amount of confidence and wit. In addition, she was conversant in three different languages, that was marked as one of the essential candidate requirements.

Sara qualifies the telephonic interview session and now needs to prepare for the last and final round of personal interview. Just the night before her interview, she works on her graduation subjects, sets her interview attire ready(decided after some extended research) and arranges all her required documents.

“Sorry we cannot offer you this position.” This is what her email read the next morning. Sara could not believe her own eyes and read the mail several times. However still, sorry was not replaced by congratulation and can did not replace cannot in the mail.

What went wrong??

She recollects the interview session, only to find that she had replied to all questions with the best possible answers. She fulfilled all candidate requirements and was appropriately dressed as well.

Who on this earth can give her one single reason for her rejection??

Perhaps, it is Mr. Brown who had interviewed her the day before. However, how can she reach him at this point of time?

Mr. Brown on the other hand, was still thinking about this interviewee named Sara. Yes, he had rejected her; however, it was with a heavy heart indeed. Is he going to change his decisions now?….No not at all.

Mr. Brown was highly impressed by her resume and the interview session that followed. He was keen to meet her and thought her to be a potential applicant for the required position.

However, he was awestruck to know that the girl, who he had seen, fidgeting with her hair while waiting in the interview queue was the same Sara he was so interested in meeting.fidgeting hairs

He would still ignore this, as she really possessed strong skills required for the position. However, the way she used her teeth as a nail filler and the continuous movement of her hands each time she explained her answer was quite annoying for the entire interview panel.teeth as a nail fillerThereby, Sara was unfortunately rejected. Despite being multilingual, she lacked the much needed non verbal communication skills or effective body language as you can term it.

This scenario is not something that occurs rarely. Interviewers, similar to Mr. Brown have revealed, that almost a quarter of applicants they come across on a daily basis; get knocked out of the race, as they do not know how to present themselves seemly.

When asked about the importance of appropriate body language and things they consider while taking the fit or no fit decisions; this is what they had to say – 90 Percent of personal interviews are conducted to study the candidate’s non verbal communication. And it takes only 30 seconds for interviewers to judge your potentialities required to handle the job role through your body language displayed.

The following section discusses applicant mannerism that snatches job opportunities from right under their nose and some that makes the journey to landing desired job role a cake walk experience.

This is how you need to present yourself:

Nail it with a handshake:

Handshake – firm, dry and short. However, not strong enough that it starts hurting the bones of the other person you are greeting. And not so brief, that you appear to be someone who was forced to shake hands with a person you dislike the most.handshake

Your handshake needs to display your confidence and enthusiasm. Therefore, have it moderately firm, where your right hand clasps the same palm of your interviewer; to shake hands in an up and down motion for three times at the max. This needs to get over by three seconds approximately; after which, you can release your hands.

While you shake hands, it is very essential that you look straight into the eyes of your recruiter and have a pleasant smile on your face. This is how you initiate your interview session and remember to close it in the same manner. Now, if we are to talk about dry hands, this is something you need to work out on your own.

Not stiff nor shaky – Just sit up straight:

Well it has been from our Montessori days, that we were taught to sit up straight. However, the extent to which we actually follow proper gestures is something we need to think over.Just sit up straight

Do not be extremely stiff and rather be comfortable on your interview chair. For those who cannot stretch for longer periods sitting straight in one posture, you can slightly lean your back on the chair. Sometimes you can even subtly move forward. This gives an impression that you are interested in the conversation and are finding it useful.

Again looking straight into the eyes and not swinging your legs continuously during the conversation is so very essential. If you miss out these,you may even loose the job opportunity; that was otherwise very easy to land. Therefore, practice to have still legs, while you are comfortably seated before your interviewer.

Lets not be the traffic in – charge:

Sara slipped out from the interview race for the over use of her hands, in an attempt to demonstrate perfect answers. However, her actions made a wrong turn and interviewers instead got distracted by the over use of hands and found it difficult to concentrate on what she intended to say.hands

Similar to her, there are perhaps number of such unfortunate cases. Well this does not mean that you will need to tie up your hands as tightly as possible. However, do not over do it. Your interviewer may interpret it to be a gesture to conceal your nervousness or perhaps they may think that you are lying.

It is best when you place your palms on your lap and never cross your arms during the conversation. Also, do not touch your face or any other part of your body during conversation.

This was all about maintaining a perfect body language during interview sessions. Hope you come out with flying colors in your next interview session. All the best and with this we wrap up today’s discussion.

Mistakes that Every First-Time Job Seekers Make

Completed your graduation with a 9 point GPA score; what else do you need? All the good wishes and congratulatory notes you receive from friends and family, are good enough to instill a sense of accomplishment and pride in you. You are at the top of the world, confident to conquer just anything that comes across.

It is only a job you need to land now. You know your destination, you think you have the relevant expertise and above all, you have a score card to flaunt. However, easier said than done; your first interview comes as an eye opener.interview mistake

A small window of your fantasy world opens to the real world. Yes, you get rejected just at the first round of interview despite exceptional GPA score. What next?? You feel dejected and lost. Perhaps, you were one of those, who never failed semester exams. And now, getting rejected is just unbelievable.

You take some time to let go these horrifying experiences and again gather strength to face interviews with better preparation and courage. However, a second failure is not what you can handle any longer. You have no clue about why you are not being able to get through these interviews, despite having the best preparation possible.

Nevertheless, you need to believe, that this is not something that cannot be dealt with. And more importantly, you are not alone who is stuck in this situation. Almost all first-time job seekers tend to make some common mistakes.

Now what are those mistakes and how to overcome them is what concerns you – right??
Well, before that, how many of you know that graduating from a famous college is not a confirmed ticket to a desired job? Not many I suppose.

Scoring in graduation program is important and perhaps that is why we slog day in and day out. Having said so, what if someone comes and tells you that there are factors that can underplay your excellent scores?? How much time do you need to sink yourself in this thought?

Well, the more time you need, the more you will need to wait before you taste those fruits of success. To start with today’s discussion, the first on the list is:

Getting stuffed with your GPA:

Being happy and staying confident is one side of the story, and thinking that you are as wise as King Solomon is something different.

Yes, you have scored well; however, that does not mean you can get a CEO position. You are yet to gain loads of experiences and knowledge, before you reach that top position. Therefore, leave room for learning further and do not get stuffed with you GPA, so much that it hinders your process of learning.happy and confident

Spend your time talking to veterans and career coaches to know about the latest hiring trends and abilities required for handling job roles of your choice. Review yourself to check if you really have those skills. Only when you stay grounded, you will realize that you have plenty to learn. Once you can do this, you will never go unprepared to your interview, and therefore, will face no rejection.

Building castles in air:

As fresh graduates, we have a dreamy conception about our professional lives. And why shouldn’t we? After a long time, we are about to earn our own money to spend on luxuries and spare ourselves some indulgence.dreaming big

Nothing is wrong with that; and of course you will land in positions where you will earn in singles and spend in doubles. However, that just cannot happen within the first three months of your professional career.

Various career coaches have said that college grads have too many expectations from first career opportunities. Most of these are undue and cannot get fulfilled at initial levels. Unfortunately, due to lack of experience, job seekers tend to waste some of the lucrative opportunities assuming these factors.

Hence, it is advised that, job seekers who are yet to begin their career, need to take opportunities as a means of learning new things and gaining experiences. Monetary benefits and other perks will soon follow once you make yourself deserving enough.

Not being presentable:

Going through graduation topics for the 13th time at midnight and then waking up scratching your eyes to go directly to the interview spot is the worst thing you can do.

Excelling in interviews requires you to present yourself in the best possible way. This includes a good professional attire and a positive body language. If you appear very dull and lack enthusiasm, you are already out of the race.Not being presentable

The interviewer at the first place is exhausted, interviewing thousands of applicants. Now when you seem as though you were starving for a week and is surviving on the last bit of energy; the recruiter feels that it is better to let you go, than to make you sit for the interview.

Thus, it is important that you prepare yourself few days before the interview, so that it does not get very hectic just the day before your interview.

Administrating a self centric interview:

Well, we all pursue academics to gain knowledge and pursue relevant job profiles and earn a good lifestyle. However, you cannot tell this to your interviewer.

Many first-time job seekers tend to explain their needs and expectations from the company; instead of explaining what they can do to bring profit and add value to their organization.Administrating a self centric interview

Remember that the company is hiring to make profit and not to give platforms to enhance your skills. Therefore, present your skills, education and knowledge that seem to be useful from your employer’s point of view and not yours alone.

They say that mistakes are the pillars of greater success. Do not get disappointed with your mistakes and rather work to overcome those as soon as possible. The above mentioned, are few very common mistakes that are seen in first-time job seekers. If you too have made such blunders, that’s perfectly alright. At least you now know how to overcome those mistakes efficiently.

How to Prepare and Execute Phone Interview

It is 9.45 AM in the morning and you hear your phone ringing. While walking towards your phone, various thoughts cross your mind. Is it an old friend calling or a telemarketing call or perhaps a call from the recruiter’s office,to whom you had mailed your resume, few days back.phone interview

Taking the call, you hear your probable employer, who is eager to arrange a telephonic interview session for you. Yes you have made it. Your resume got through those difficult screening procedures and was sufficient to impress recruiters, that they have invited you for the next round. Congratulations on this.

Qualifying this phone interview will lead you to a face to face interview and finally you may even land your desired job role. Therefore, a first rate performance here, is your prime focus for the moment.

On one hand you feel it is easier, as you do not need to worry about your appearance during the interview. On the other hand you think that it may get a little awkward; as you are not very habituated in administering professional or business telephonic conversations.

How can you go about it? What if the phone disconnects abruptly? What if you could not get that question the first time….

Well, you get an answer to all your questions only when you start preparing yourself, the way you had prepared your resume. Every interview procedure is unique and it can only be nailed, when you know the trick. Here are few tips to prepare and execute phone interviews.

Get all your paper work done:

Can you guess one advantage of phone interviews over personal interviews? Well, it is your notebook that you cannot carry to an interviewer’s cabin; you can very well have it before you, while executing phone interviews.paper work

Have a copy of your resume and the job description, before you start with the interview. Your notebook needs to list all your accomplishments and expertise briefly. This does not mean that you read out whatever you have jotted down; rather, it is for assuring that you do not miss out some essential points. Again, having a notebook will help you to quickly jot down some important information from your recruiter’s side as well.

Keep Smiling:

This is more like a psychological preparation rather than any stereotypical practice guideline. It is said that, when we smile, it generates optimism and positivity within ourselves, that gets outwardly radiated in the form of enthusiasm and energy.smiling talking on phone

Therefore, make it a habit of smiling, when you are taking such crucial calls and talking to people you precisely have not met earlier. This will boost your confidence that will get reflected through your voice. It will help your recruiters to get a positive impression that will accentuate your chances of selection.

Choose your location:

Try attending the call from the most favorable place, perhaps your own apartment. Ensure that no background noise interrupts your conversation. This is something that is considered as bad professional etiquette and needs to be avoided at any cost.choose your location

Now, if you suddenly get an interview call when you are in a clumsy situation, you can definitely request to schedule the interview sometime later when you can be at a more appropriate position. This gives your recruiter a sense, that the applicant is serious about the interview and wants to perform at the best possible level.

However, if you have already scheduled your interview timings, you need to attend the call at the said time only. Lock yourself in one of the isolated rooms in your apartment and ensure that there is nothing or no one to disturb you. Have a glass of water on your table along with your mobile charger and all required documents. Unless, you have a very sound wireless connection, prefer using a land-line as it provides better audibility.

Avoid saying “pardon me:”

Now this is something that appears to be a very polite gesture, to show that we have missed out something that the other person said and we want them to repeat the same. However, this does not work well with interview sessions. This gives a sense that you are not very attentive or not taking the interview opportunity with due importance.pardon me on phone

Again, if you unfortunately land in some unexpected situation, that forced you to get distracted; be honest and inform your recruiter the same. Some things are out of our control and your employers do understand these scenarios. However, if you have a divided attention and your recruiter does not know the very reasons behind, he/she may consider this as something offensive.

Mock test:

Remember, how you appeared for mock tests prior to main exams as a school or graduate student. They always proved to be helpful, isn’t it? Well, you can still do the same for phone interview sessions as well.M

Prepare a set of commonly asked questions and ask someone from family or friends to take a mock call for you. Take their feedback and listen to your recording. Doing this, you will know about your pitch levels or the pause duration.

In addition, this helps you to get rid of all your “uhs”, “umms” or “u knows” that usually hinder the pace of your conversation. During the practice session, you can even dress up in some professional attire that can give you a real feel of interview sessions. Well, this may sound a little out of the box; however, try this and you will know how effective it is..

The END:

Alls well that ends well. Something that is important here, as it is for any other purpose. It is a human tendency to retain the initial and the ending conversation for a longer duration of time as compared to the middle portion. Therefore, most of your selection decision depends on this factor. So you need to reach the finish line accurately.the-end

Never forget to thank the interviewer for his/her time. Request for feedback and appreciate the same when received. Inform them that you will be be happy to be a part of their organization and use your relevant skills . This is how you again re-emphasize on your skills, so that they remain fresh on interviewer’s mind.

Well acing phone interviews is no longer that awkward. You now know how to prepare yourself and excel in similar interview sessions. Following these above mentioned tips will greatly accelerate your chances of selection. Hope you will do well in your upcoming interview and wish you all the very best.

Be Aware: These are Few Illegal Interview Questions

Job seekers receive loads of advise regarding interview preparation. Starting from topics they need to prepare; to the type of attire they need to wear during the selection process. For just anything you want to know regarding interviews, you have millions to help you out.

Often, we come across people who caution interviewees that they need to prepare well; as the interviewers can ask anything under the sky….Excuse me! What is that “anything??”

Can you ask me my clothing brands?? Can you ask me how I had spent Valentine’s Day previous year? Or for that matter, how often I visit children amusement parks??asking Illegal Interview Questions

No and never. Yes, interviewers can ask anything under the sky; only in an attempt to know the candidate’s skills and expertise or knowledge relevant to the job postings.

While there is much hue and cry about interview preparation techniques, very less do we know about things an interviewer cannot ask applicants. Yeah….Don’t be surprised. This is a fact.

Well, to term these questions as illegal will be an exaggeration. However, when recruiters take their hiring decisions based on these personal attributes, they can be dragged to the court by candidates.

The next time you suffer interview rejections for that one question you felt was inappropriate, do not be confused. Refer to this post to know what your recruiter cannot ask you and suggestions on how to dodge them out.

AGE:

  • How old are you?
  • What is your age?
  • Can you provide your birth certificate or photo ID that has your birth date on it?
  • How long have you been in the workforce?
  • When did you graduate or when did you start working?asking age

Your recruiter’s only concern is to verify your legal age required for the job role. Therefore, knowing that you qualify above the legal age is more than sufficient. In no way you are required to specify the exact date and timings of your birth.

Secondly, your photo Ids are only required when you are already hired and not during the hiring process. Again, there is a huge difference when you are asked about the number of years you have spent in the workforce and the number of years you have spent in some particular domain. The former help recruiters guess a candidate’s age, while the latter helps to judge relevant expertise.

CITIZENSHIP:

  • What is your nationality?
  • Where are you from?
  • Do your parents hold US citizenship?
  • For how long have you been in the US?
  • What is your first language?asking citizenship

State laws do require professionals to follow some legal norms that earn them permit to work in their natives or somewhere abroad. These are all legal procedures that are handled by definite judiciary departments. Your recruiters only need to know if you are abiding by these laws or not.

Yes, they can ask you to prove your employment eligibility with suitable documents; however, it is only when they are done with scrutinizing your talents and knowledge relevant to the job vacancy.

It is a matter of additional expertise when applicants can prove their bilingual or multilingual skills. Many job roles do require this as an essential candidate requirement. Therefore, wanting to know your language proficiency is of no harm; however, your first language need not be of any concern for your employers.

FAMILY DETAILS:

  • Are you married?
  • What is the name of your spouse or kid?
  • When do you plan for having a family?
  • How much does your spouse earn annually?
  • How will you manage your family if you need to work for longer hours?
  • When does your pregnancy period end?asking family details

The questions listed above are just few examples from this section. Any question related to your family cannot be asked and never entertained by you. Family details; precisely marital status, is only required while filling some insurance forms.

However, that is done only when candidates have been selected and have spent few days In the workplace. In no condition,interviewers can ask these questions during the recruitment session.

Many women complain that interviewers are biased while selecting candidates and very easily reject those female applicants who are pregnant. Well, this is something very serious and is a criminal offense under Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

SPIRITUAL INFORMATION:

  • What religion do you practice?
  • What religious holidays do you observe?
  • Do you attend Sunday church regularly?
  • What is your religious affiliation?asking spiritual information

Many experienced HR recruiters do not ask these questions. These are usually put forth by professionals who are new to this job of hiring. It may happen that some job roles do require professionals to work for rotational schedules including weekends or State holidays.

Therefore, recruiters want to know candidate’s availability during these days as well. Whatever may be the case, these questions are not expected during interview sessions or even after selection.

MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS:

  • Where do you live?
  • Are you taking some forbidden drugs?
  • Were you ever been arrested?
  • Are you comfortable working with male/female co workers?
  • Don’t you attend gym, what is your weight or height?
  • Are you a member of any club?

The list goes on….Illegal Interview Questions

You may have attended numerous interviews; however, every interview experience might have been unique in its own way. Some may have come across these above mentioned questions as well and are perhaps working in that particular organization.

However, as it has been mentioned above that, simply asking these questions is not a punishable crime. Most recruiters do not even know these legal aspects and just put forth these questions in an attempt to be friendly and make applicants feel more comfortable during the session.

Therefore, do not just come out of the hall agitated if you are asked these questions in any of your future interviews. Try to understand the interviewers intention of knowing your non job relevant information and answer aptly without disclosing your personal details.

However, if you feel you have been rejected on the basis of any of these factors, you need to take some legal steps to get something you truly deserve.

What to Research Before Your Job Interview

Are you gearing up for an interview next week? Then you might be going through common interview questions and answers. Usually job candidates devote much time on preparing for the interview. Yes…interview is the most essential part of getting a job. But you must not ignore another important aspect in the whole process- research. what before interview

Researching the career field, industry, company and its values is of utmost importance. Knowledge of all these is required in choosing the right job. One mistake may land you in trouble. Let us take an example. You get a good job with a lucrative salary in a company of your choice. You join your office and within few days you come to know that the work environment prevailing within the company is very different from what you expected. Within few more days, you start feeling suffocated and decide to look for some other job opportunity. If you have researched thoroughly the company’s work ethics before job interview, you might not have to regret your former decision. Although you may not be able to get 100% truthful information, you are likely to get some idea of the several aspects, based on which you can take your decision.

Tips on what to research before job interview:

Your research should not be restricted to searching different websites on the Internet. You must try to gather solid information and use that to the best of your benefit.Before Interview

  • Learn about the company’s aims and objectives: One of the simplest ways to know about your prospective company’s objectives is to see its mission statement. Open your company’s official website and see the ‘About Us’ section. Also use social media networks to learn about the company culture. Studies show that 43% of HR professionals believe a candidate should be a good fit for a company’s culture and they consider this point during the recruitment process.
  • Know from the employees: Although it is not possible to ask employees about how much they like the company, yet you can connect with few employees you might know personally. Use the professional network, LinkedIn, to see whether you are connected to any present or ex-employee. Employees can give you various insights into the company’s culture, business plans, products and services, divisions of the company etc.
  • Research the interviewer: Many times it is not possible to find out who your interviewer will be. Luckily if you come to know from sources like e-mail or any employee who knows the hiring manager, research the person. Get some information about the person on Twitter or LinkedIn, like their interests or ways of interviewing, their background and any recent professional achievements of your company. Use your company’s search tool, if any, to search for the names of the interviewers you might meet.
  • Know your career-field: Whether from industry persons or any other sources like trade journals, business magazines- learn about your career field. Educate yourself on certain topics like the significant trends in the industry, how the company makes money, skill sets and personal qualities of the renowned professionals in this industry etc.
  • Discover the inside details of your company: You can take help of certain websites like Glassdoor that is not found on the company’s website. Interestingly, you can find information about certain inside topics like recruitment process, salary, employee roles and responsibilities, leaves structure etc. Not only this, look for certain company industry research centres that provide valuable information like annual reports of companies.
  • Find out the dress code for the interview, if any: Although this may seem as very insignificant, but you need to research ‘what to wear’ before your job interview. You may find some pictures of employees on the company’s websites. Grab a look at the pictures and see what dress code they are following. Choose your business formals or casuals accordingly.
  • Learn about the key persons of the company: Spend some time researching employees who hold important positions in the company like CEOs, managers, department heads, etc. You can check their profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and learn about their views and opinions. You can use this information on specific subjects during your interview session.
  • Keep yourself updated about the latest company events: By keeping yourself updated about latest news, events and press release, you can take an effective step of making yourself stand out of the crowd during the hiring process. Newspapers, online news portals, company’s official website are the great sources that you must use to learn about all the latest updates.
  • Research the company in details: Researching the company in details must include the following points:
  1. Company’s products and services
  2. Quality of the products or services
  3. Its latest achievements 
  4. What it holds for in the near future?
  5. Customers and clients of the company
  6. Financial stability- their annual turnovers, profit margins over the last few years
  7. Is the company laying off or hiring people recently? 
  8. Is any expansion right now on the cards?

Although these are the common subject areas of research before your interviews, you must devote some time for researches pertaining to specific career fields. The way you research for a teaching job will be different from that of a marketing job. Thus depending on your career field, methods that you adopt for your research will vary.

Researching all these things will help you cast a good impression on the interviewer. Since you are well-informed about the current industry, the hiring manager might position you as the best candidate. Career experts say that an interviewee must have basic information about a company, its services, opportunities and competitors before they walk into an interview. Digging up facts and information will help you demonstrate your willingness for the post and the company. Based on your research you can ask intelligent questions about the company to the interviewer and this is a smart way of impressing your would-be manager. Besides, you will also feel more confident to join the industry once you get the job.

Best Practices for Interviewing While Pregnant

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, and it changes the life of the would-be parents in many ways. Both the parents, especially the mother take various important steps to make this experience an enjoyable one. But if the mother is a working woman continuing her job or getting ready for a new job, being pregnant can pose some challenges. If you are pregnant and wishing to take some new work opportunities, you may have to consider certain vital factors. Usually expectant mothers remain concerned about how to deal with interviewers during the hiring process. Whether to reveal your pregnancy to potential employers, how to reveal and what will be the future of the job are some questions that baffle the minds of expectant mothers a lot.pregnant-woman-at-interview

Pregnancy, in no way, should be linked to a woman’s academic background and professional achievements, which are the basic parameters for any logical hiring interview and decision. Yet there are some practices, which you must know to keep your focus on the interview process itself and not your bump. Some beforehand preparations and strategies will surely make you a winner. Let’s discuss the various aspects:

1. Before the interview: If you want to search a real good job, you have to start early. Be practical. Scouring websites, contacting friends and colleagues, making calls for checking vacancies, doing some basic preparation for interviews are not that easy. When you are pregnant you may lose energy more quickly and suffer from mood swings. So doing all these will take bit more time in your case than a woman who is not pregnant.

Secondly, there are chances of you not getting too many offers if the hiring authority comes to know about your pregnancy. Whether to disclose the truth is a point that we will discuss later. But yes…no company can deny you employment legally because of your pregnancy. What happens in reality is not always what should happen. A hiring manager may look at you with raised eyebrows during the interview process when you show up with that bump. They may doubt your productivity and availability at work. They may even interview you although they decided to reject you at your very first sight. This is illegal, but you cannot do much to prove that your pregnancy was the sole reason for you not getting the offer. In this way, you may lose many offers. Since you have to keep trying on, you must start early.

2. During the interview: You might already have learnt about all the contradictory ideas regarding whether to disclose or not your pregnancy news to your employer. There are two sides of the coin:

  • It is not mandatory to reveal your pregnancy. But you can inform your employer, if you want. If you desire to work for 7-8 months during pregnancy, it is better to make them informed as they will eventually come to know when your tummy will go bigger. So chances are that your manager will like your honesty and help you during tough times. Even if you are newly pregnant and choose not to reveal the fact, your manager may feel resentful thinking that you could have told them something sooner during the interview process.
  • According to many career coaches, it is best not to disclose the truth while job hunting. Until the point you get a good, firm offer, you must not reveal. In many cases, this truth may act against your favour. Once you join the job, try hard to please your manager with hard work and great presentation skills. This is possible in earlier months of pregnancy. Once your suit jacket doesn’t button up, you may talk with your boss in a polite way. Now, if you are fifth month pregnant and going through the interview ordeal, you may also choose not to reveal. If this is a telephonic or online interview, you need not. Once you get the confirmation letter from the company and if you need not go to the office throughout the entire process, don’t disclose the matter. Once you start going to the office, look for some befitting situation when you can tell your boss about the reality. And if you are fired, you may go for a pregnancy discrimination case.

3. Dealing with doubts of the interviewer: Your interviewer may express their doubt whether you will able to give your 100% at work, take maternity leaves at an early period, or quit your job, to think of the worst. Here you must show your eagerness for the job, your preparedness for the coming times and how you plan to manage your family and work. Devise some strategies well in advance and let the employers know how responsible you can be as a professional. Talk about your future plans and how your availability and skill sets will fit what the organization strives for.

4. Use your experience: If you are an experienced mother, you can speak from your previous experience regarding how to create balance between job and personal life.

5. After the interview: It might happen that the entire interview process has happened over telephone and you have been called to the office to meet team member, some specific clients or simply to collect the appointment letter. You haven’t disclosed your pregnancy. You are thinking about the fears your manager or clients may have regarding your work ethic and availability. The best way to address these fears is to look confident, prepare for the typical questions-answers as discussed above and talk about your skill sets and commitment level. The sight of any office member looking at your belly must not lower your confidence. Break the ice with some words like “surprise” and tell them that you are ready to answer their questions regarding your availability and professionalism.

Thinking about all these issues is normal. But that does not mean you start ignoring new opportunities. If you are miserable in your present office, looking for ways to adjust with your manager, fired because of a huge company layoff or relocated to a new place due to family matters, you will have to search for a new job. Again there may be other situations also. You start searching for a new job and find yourself pregnant. In both the ways, you need to be careful while being interviewed. To score the job, you have to convince the interviewer by your professional attitude, strategic planning skills, ability to think differently and manage situations accordingly and of course, by your smartness and sense of humour.

Why to Approach a Staffing Firm while Searching for a Job

Hunting for right jobs is indeed a herculean task, especially in this world characterised by rat-race and tough competition. Being a right candidate with brilliant academic background and skill sets does not entitle you for the right job. To land the best job, you have to know and apply the best job search techniques. Otherwise you will be a part of the crowd, not being able to stand out. If you take the beaten path, you cannot expect any good or extraordinary result. While searching for your dream job, try to incorporate all possible methods- asking your friends and acquaintances, going through various online job portals, researching individual organizations, discussing vacancies with people during seminars and conferences, attending job fairs and of course approaching a staffing firm.Staffing firm

Approaching a staffing firm or human capital management firm is a useful job searching method. In this candidate-driven marketplace, companies look for the fittest candidates so that they get good returns for what they are paying for. So they hire employment agencies or staffing firms, which will alleviate the hiring process and make it hassle-free. Before knowing about how a candidate may benefit from a staffing firm, let us take a look at how these firms work.

What is a staffing firm and how does it work?

A staffing firm help candidates in landing fulfilling jobs. In other words, these firms help companies or employers in finding the right candidates. They are instrumental in bridging the gap between employers and employees. Today, any job opening attracts a huge number of candidates. So it becomes difficult for the employers to choose the right candidate; interviewing so many applicants becomes both time and money-consuming. Again, a candidate may think that they are not getting the right job even after spending valuable time on searching jobs and appearing for interviews. Here comes the need of staffing firms, which help both businesses and job seekers by making the hiring process faster, easier and profitable.

If a company requires a particular candidate for a particular type of job, they will get into a contract with a personnel placement services firm, which will make the perfect match. Again, if a business needs candidates for higher-level management positions, it may contact any executive search firm which will work under the business’ retainer contract. The third type of employment agency is known as staffing firms which finds employees willing to work temporarily or on contractual basis. Examples may be vacation fill-in posts. Many times companies may also ask staffing firms to find candidates for ‘temp to perm’ posts; this mean that the posts are temporary, but may be extended to permanent positions if both the employer and the candidate are willing to work with each other.

Although the terms used may be different for the purposes these serve, all these agencies do the basic work of connecting a good candidate to a prospective employer.

Why to approach staffing firms?

There are certain valid reasons for contacting a staffing firm when you are hunting for a job.

  • Knowledgeable access to a wider number of jobs: You may get to know about jobs through job portals, advertisements and references, friends and colleagues etc.  But these sources may give you information regarding 10%-15% of the available jobs. Wouldn’t you like to research the rest 85%-90% jobs? Thus to widen the scope of your job hunt process, a staffing firm can be of great help.
  • Providing negotiation assistance: A staffing firm is just like an agent. It will not only help you in landing a good job. If you are finding difficulty in negotiating your salary, benefits or commissions, it will help you. It will make sure both the employee and the employer are satisfied.
  • Providing coaching: Such a firm will work in making you a perfect candidate. If your resume is not impressive, the agency will make sure it fits into the job profile, the employers are interested in. Looking into the resume style, formats and designs also comes under its purview. It will provide you training on some special skill sets, if required. Not only this, you will get invaluable career advice, interview tips and personality development tricks that will help you in achieving great heights in your career.
  • Finding a ‘temp to perm’ post: If you are opting for a ‘temp to perm’ post as discussed above, you must go to a staffing firm. There are many client companies who will like to gauge your performance before hiring you for a permanent post. If you become the right-fit for the company’s position and the company’s work culture impresses you, it will be a win-win situation for both ends.
  • Extending the job-search scope: As these firms are working with a number of different companies, both big and small, they develop strong bonds with those. So you need not know about each and every company and the job opportunities they are providing. You enjoy a process of hunt that is less burdened. You can actually opt for better jobs through their established network.
  • You gain even if you pay: This means that even if you have to pay for enjoying the services of staffing firms, in the long run you are the gainer. Yes, there are many firms that charge both employers and the employees. They may ask you to sign a contract mentioning you have to pay a certain amount of your salary if you get a placement. Don’t cringe at this idea. Think seriously. These companies do spend a lot in training you and placing you in the right position. Many of their staff are themselves specially trained in some skill sets or fields like finance, risk management etc. So they need money to run their business and they get this from job candidates and employers. If you are unwilling to pay, you may ask your employer to negotiate with the staffing firm.

Thus to explore your job search options you must go to a staffing firm. Try to use the presence of staffing firms on social media and attend real time networking events to get the best result.

How to Spot a Bad Boss in an Interview

Working with a good boss is a pleasure for any employee. A good boss knows how to make their employees work in a healthy environment. An employee who enjoys his work will produce good work. Thus an employee’s productivity can be negatively affected by his relationship with his boss. Bad bosses are not common in workplaces. Even if you are working in a company of your choice, your boss can turn your job into a nightmare. But you can spot such a toxic boss during your interview. Interviews are tough times for candidates; but interviews also provide you opportunities to assess your future manager- whether you can work with him or consider some other companies for job openings.bad boss

It is not always possible to predict whether a person will prove to be a bad boss during interviews, as candidates themselves remain nervous and pre-occupied with their performances. Knowing a few warning signs beforehand will surely help them to spot such a bad person:

1. Arriving late for the interview: Being late for the interview is a warning sign that the manager does not know the value of time. Or he is not enjoying his work. On the other hand, if he informs you well ahead of time that he will arrive late or says ‘sorry’ or asks for apology on being late, he may be a nice person to deal with.

2. Unimpressive body language: A person who displays negative body language, being in an important role like that of manager is sure to prove a bad boss. He may look at the door, phone or watch again and again, avoid making eye contact, attends to personal calls over his phone, recheck your resume. Again he may look down or point fingers at you while talking. Such behaviour shows his disinterest in conducting the interview.

3. Choice of Words: If he is a good manager, positivity will dominate his ideas and use of language. It may happen that most of his sentences begin with negative words or ideas and he tries to justify that or change the topic in a tactful way. This is a clear sign that the person takes things negatively and this negativity may prevail in his work also.

4. Willing to discuss irrelevant and illegal topics: The hiring manager is here to judge whether you are the best candidate to suit the company’s job requirement. His discussions should be focussed on your education, experience and any topic regarding the company, job profile or current affairs. If he asks you questions regarding illegal topics like gender identity, nationality, sexual orientation, disabilities, religion, etc. it means that the person is unethical and surely not trained.

5. Not ready to listen: Listening is an art; not everyone can be a master in this. But a boss is expected to excel in this basic mannerism. During the interview, if a person is not ready to listen to your answers, he will probably be a bad boss who would like to dominate and let people listen to his thoughts only. The common gestures these persons do are signalling you to speed up, interrupting you to listen to what they have to say and jump to the next question before you finish the previous answer.

6. Not knowing about the company’s culture and immediate goals: A good manager will surely know for sure what is happening within the company, it’s goals and mission. If you ask 2 or 3 questions regarding the company’s culture, annual turnover and current projects, his answers will be indicators of whether he is a resource or burden to the company.

7. Pre-occupation with his own self: If he is a toxic boss, he will be pre-occupied with his own self and own ideas. He will not listen to what you are saying in order to explain his own view-point. He will probably interrupt you and try to glorify himself. Usually these narcissist people try to impose their thoughts on you and take credit for your achievements.

8. Employees try to avoid him: To spot a bad boss, you need to be a bit cautious. Try to observe the behaviour of other employees when the boss passes by. If the employees go back to their seats hurriedly and start working, he may not be an easy person deal with. If his co-workers are not friendly towards him and quickly turn around to avoid eye-contact with him, it’s time for you to look for the exit door.

9. Conducting the interview in unprofessional ways: Any manager must follow the basic rules of interviewing. For example, he must greet the interviewee, introduce himself and take efforts to make the candidate comfortable. He must be calm, polite so that a good atmosphere is built for the upcoming conversation. But if he comes straight to the point and starts asking questions, he is probably too professional and is concerned only about his work. He might give you a tough time in the future when you will be requesting him for leaves, promotion or any other work-related issues.

Again if the manager asks you too simple questions, answers to which can be found in your cover letter or resume, he himself might not be a very efficient person who knows his work well. A good manager must ask you questions that help them to know your talents in a way that can benefit the company.

10. Some common bad behaviour: Bad-mouthing other employees, lack of trust, stressful behaviours, lack of enthusiasm for the company, lack of serious thoughts etc. are some dangerous signs. Besides, if the person yells at others (including employees, peons or office boys), throw things, slams doors and over-reacts to simple things or comments you must not opt for the current position in the current company.yelling boss

A good boss is an efficient leader who must not be scatter-brained. A bad boss can use means of threatening, public humiliation to make your professional life hell. If you notice some of the above-mentioned signs existing in the boss during the interview, you know that he is surely not the person you would like to work with. Assess him and make good decisions for your future life.

 

Attention!! : These are Some Common Job Search Mistakes

Mistakes during job search are common both for new applicants and seasoned employees. And the hiring authorities like human resource managers do not think twice before pointing out those mistakes. From silly mistakes like showing up in casual, funky pants during the interview process to serious mistakes like badmouthing the previous employers- all these do really happen in the real world. It’s a fact that these mistakes grate on the nerves of the employers. So jobseekers… avoid those mistakes, avoid being on the bad books of employers and avoid derailing your job search by knowing about those pitfalls.job search

We know that job-searching is a difficult process; so you need to be careful at every step-from drafting a tailored resume to following up with the hiring authority post the interview. Go through these common blunders that are enough to make your job search process a bad and exhausted experience.

1. No solid groundwork for job search: Not following any methodology during the job search process job is surely a big blunder. A person cannot be eligible for all jobs. You must not look for jobs that do not match your educational qualification and experience. It simply leads to waste of effort, time and energy. You must know what profile suits your skill sets, education and experience, if any. Don’t panic. Instead do some basic groundwork to define your job target. Many times new applicants or people who join work after a sabbatical take the easiest process and land up spending more time, unnecessarily. Listing your target jobs, preferred location, salary expectation and searching accordingly will surely narrow down the process.

2. Relying only on job advertisements: Most of us search for job advertisements in newspapers or through online job portals. Yes, these searches can lead you to your dream job. But you must not rely on these sources only. If you have a list of companies you like to work with, you must visit their websites to have a look at their job openings or career section.

3. Not using technology and social media: In this age of social media and networking, you must not limit your job search to the above options like job ads only. Use Facebook, Twitter and messenger applications on your phone to advertise for your talents and search relevant jobs.

Networking is also important in doing job search. Networking means to establish contact with persons who can help you with information about job openings or refer you to some managers or hiring authorities. In your quest for the perfect jobs, these people will help you. You can start with one friend of yours who can refer you to others. You must help your friends or friends of friends to know you better. Many times, individuals land in getting good opportunities in lesser time through this networking process.

4. Drafting long resume with clichéd phrases: Many employees consider the same resume for all the jobs they are applying for. How can you use the same resume for all applications? The purpose of a resume is to let the prospective employers know about your qualifications and experience and most importantly, how you fit into the role they are looking for. Giving unnecessary details will only annoy the person reading the resume. Although you may be knowing the golden rules of writing a perfect resume, going through the following points will surely benefit you:

i. Don’t use clichés or buzz words that may affect your image negatively. Put in simple words what you have to say without beating around the bush.
ii. Even if you are expert in using your language, it is better to have someone check your resume for grammatical mistakes, typo errors.
iii. Don’t mention any information like those of hobbies, which are not related to your work at all.
iv. Putting wrong information about skills is no way to impress others. Once they get to know about this, you may be shown the door to exit even after performing well during the interview.

5. Not including cover letter: You must send a cover letter along with your resume. Like resumes, you must draft different cover letters for different companies.

i. Pay attention to include any specific information regarding your education or experience that the managers might want to know.
ii. While sending so many resumes and cover letters, it may happen that you put the wrong company name. Don’t forget to check whether you have used the right company name.
iii. Refrain from telling life stories or information irrelevant to the job in your cover letters. Managers simply don’t have time and interests in reading stories. Two points ‘why you want the job’ and ‘how can the company benefit by hiring you’- must be clearly mentioned.
iv. Do not sound too aggressive or over-confident by using sentences like ‘I would like to call you next week to fix an appointment’. You may use sentences like ‘I would like to speak with you further regarding the position at a time of your convenience.’

6. Not preparing for interviews: Landing your dream job by beating out other competitors will require some effort on your part. One of the worst things you can do to prolong your search is going unprepared for the interview. Do some homework regarding the company, the job profile you will be interviewed for, some common interview questions and answers.

7. Not creating a good impression during the interview: Although no one wants to create a bad impression during the interview process; sometimes, unknowingly we commit such mistakes. Dressing too casually, reaching late, badmouthing the previous employers and colleagues, exaggerating our skills can be some examples.

8. Forgetting about sending ‘thank-you’ notes: Not sending a thank you note can be a big mistake. Such a note should be written in simple words and sent within 2 days of your interview process. Don’t send the same letter to every manager who has interviewed you as they keep forwarding the letters to one another.

Avoiding all these mistakes will surely help in building your image and take you closer to your dream job.