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Posted On January 14,2020
After clearing the initial screening, aka phone interview round, the interviewer invites you for the next step - video interview round with the hiring manager!
You are nervous and excited - so you begin your preparation by making a checklist:
Everything is perfectly fine. You are all set for the interview. But wait! Have you worked on your body language?
Morihei Ueshiba delineates the importance of body language, “A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.”
No matter what, if your body language is not correct, you cannot impress the interviewer. During a video interview, it becomes even more crucial. The interviewer is minutely watching your stance and hand & eye gestures.
What is body language?
According to Wikipedia, body language is a type of nonverbal communication. Facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch, and the use of space together constitute body language.
Why and how do interviewers assess a candidate’s body language?
“Actions speak louder than words.” Sometimes, you cannot communicate your thoughts or connect with someone by speaking words as much as you can do by showing positive intent. While working in a company, you have to constantly interact with your team members, superiors, juniors, customers, and vendors. If you have a positive body language, you sound more approachable and confident, which impacts your conversations as well.
Hence, every recruiter closely observes the body language of candidates at various stages during an interview. During a video interview, right from when you start the conversation until you press the “END” button, the interviewer keeps a vigilant eye on your body language and stance.
How to show positive body language during a video interview?
When you adopt a natural, unforced body language during the interview, you can be relaxed and feel more confident. To be natural, you have to practice beforehand, so the tips mentioned above can get inculcated into your daily habits.
Skill Prodigy provides you an amazing platform where you can record your video answers to hundreds of interview questions. Industry experts and your peers will review those recorded answers and give their critical feedback about your body language and overall delivery. Join us today!
Posted On January 13,2020
Ramya and Nishtha are best friends and have recently qualified engineering exam. They both went for an interview in two different companies on the same date.
The interview process was going smooth until the interviewer asked a question, “What are your biggest weaknesses?”
Nishtha was scared as hell after hearing this question. She replied instantly, “I don’t think I have any weakness except being a perfectionist due to which I delay in submitting the project sometimes. I’m trying to improve it.”
On the other hand, Ramya was calm and thought for 10 seconds before answering this question. Then, she politely described her weaknesses without screwing up the chances of getting selected. She also explained what action points are she taking to improve that weakness and not letting it affect her output.
Who is the clear winner? - Ramya.
No one is perfect in this imperfect world, and your interviewer knows it.
So, you can’t get away with this question, “Do you have any weaknesses?” by answering a clear NO. Neither, you can speak up the cliches weaknesses ‘I am a perfectionist’, ‘I focus too much on details’, ‘I get angry when a project gets delayed’, etc. and expose yourself in front of the interviewer.
How to answer this question effectively?
You have to explain your weaknesses without bringing its impact on your candidature. Here are some actionable tips to help you craft a convincing answer -
Skill Prodigy provides you with ample opportunities to practice these kinds of questions. You can also get timely feedback from the industry experts and improve your shortcomings.
Posted On January 11,2020
“We will schedule your telephonic interview on XX date at XX time. Be prepared.”
If you have applied for a job recently, you must have heard this line from the recruiter.
The recruitment process is expensive and time-consuming. That is why the interviewers have begun conducting a telephonic round as the first screening of a job application. The goal is to examine if a candidate matches the minimum requirements expected.
You can not pick up the interviewer’s call without adequate preparation - your answers will decide whether your candidature will be moved ahead for the face-to-face interview.
Our today’s blog throws light on some vital tips you should remember while giving a telephonic round of interview -
Ensure a peaceful surrounding - We know you already understand the importance of a quiet environment. But, it was necessary to emphasize. You would not want an interviewer to hear the background noises or any interruptions.
Choose a peaceful environment in your home where you can answer the questions without getting distracted. If you can not find a place in your home, you can also book a place in a near-by coworking space. Also, make sure that the network bandwidth should be available, else your conversation with the interviewer can break down.
Listen to the interviewer patiently - You are eager to present your best answers and highlight your skills in the most compelling way possible - that is good. But, listening is essential to understand precisely what the interviewer is trying to communicate.
Do not cut-off the interviewer. Hear him out patiently and then answer the question.
Skip the “What are you expecting” conversation - Interviewers also use the telephonic interview round to assess if a candidate fits into the company’s budget. But, if you quote a specific figure, it might curtail your chances too early. You could instead say, “ I am expecting the salary as per industry standards. Also, I would be keen to know more about my role, responsibilities, and avenues of growth.”
Avoid usage of fillers and slang words - Slang words like “Heyaa, whatzz up, Cool, Okkzz, etc” can create a negative impression in the mind of the interviewer. Also, fillers like “umm, like, see, etc” show your half-hearted preparation. Do not use these words while speaking.
Interviewers conduct telephonic screening for usually 20-30 minutes. “You should avoid giving too long answers as it can lose the interest of the interviewer,” says Neeraj Puntambekar, Co-Founder of Skill Prodigy.
Adequate preparation can help you avoid any trouble in giving a telephonic interview. On the Skill Prodigy app, you can record your answers and feel more confident by getting feedback from the mentors.
Posted On January 10,2020
“Management Trainee” required in a leading multinational company!
Natasha’s eyes brighten up. She read the eligibility criteria and found her candidature apt on 9 out of 10 points. Buzzing with excitement, she opened her laptop, crafted an email, and sent the resume immediately to the recruiter.
In the mail, she wrote “Dear Sir/ Madam, PFA the resume. Rgds.” Her email ID was “email@example.com”.
HR was furious with the email and rejected her job application straightaway. In spite of being a good fit for the concerned position, Natasha lost out on the opportunity due to lack of email writing skills.
Candidates focus rigorously on improving their verbal communication skills while preparing for an interview. But, they forget to enhance their email writing skills without realising that email is the first medium of communication with the recruiter.
Our today’s blog focuses on basic etiquettes which will help you craft a professional email and convince the recruiter to process your job application for the next round -
Create a professional email address
“The first impression is the last impression” - we can’t emphasize upon it more. Your email ID is the first thing that a recruiter sees. If it sounds unprofessional, curtains might come down too soon. Avoid using words like “cool”, “beautiful”, “dude”, “diva”, “angel”, “love” etc in the email ID.
Usually, a professional email consists of a combination of your first name, last name, and if necessary, a few digits such as your birth year or year of creation of the email ID. Natashasingh@gmail.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com are some examples of professional email IDs.
Avoid capitalising the words
Capital words sound like “shouting”. Don’t capitalise any word. Instead, you can bold, italicise or highlight the important words to grab the reader’s attention.
Don’t copy-paste “Dear Sir/ Mam” in all emails
During job hunting, candidates have to send their resume and cover letter via email to whoever asks them to do so. Sometimes, they copy-paste the salutation “Dear Sir/ Mam” hastily in every email to avoid re-editing time. It can backfire.
If you can identify the gender of the recipient from the email address, you should use either “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam” or Dear [First Name]”.
While sending the resume to non-gender specific email IDs such as hr@, recruiting@ or info@ etc, you could use Dear Sir/ Mam or Dear [Job Title]
Eliminate usage of acronyms like PFA or FYI
Acronyms and abbreviations are commonly known but still not desirable to write while sending resumes. Avoid using terms like PFA, FYI, IMO, LMK etc. because they might create confusion in the mind of the recruiter.
Don’t forget to attach the documents
It might sound crazy, but a lot of us commit this mistake - forgetting to attach our resumes and cover letters! You can send it again, but it creates an embarrassing situation. Instead, double-check the email before hitting the “Send” button. Attach the documents, proofread the content and ensure that you’re sending it to the right recipient.
Ritu Raj Das, Co-Founder of Skill Prodigy, says, “Emails can make or break the chances of getting an interview call. In a world where every candidate has a similar skillset and education experience, these tiny things can create a massive difference.”
So, learn and apply these tips and improve your chances of landing an interview call. Download the Skill Prodigy app, learn more on how to improve your email writing skills and get vital advice from our mentors and experts.
Posted On January 08,2020
On a normal working day, Ayushi is working in her cabin - writing and replying to the emails constantly. Suddenly, the receptionist informs that a client has come to meet her - and he is enraged.
The company has failed to deliver a project on time which has annoyed the client.
Ayushi greets him politely with a soft smile on her face. She asks him to sit and detail down his concerns, but the client bursts out at her. His anger spirals out of control, in spite of Ayushi’s courteous behaviour.
She still maintains her composure and listens actively to the furious client.
Moments later, he gets calm, sits down, tells his concerns gently and asks for the reasons in delay. When the client goes back after half an hour, he is satisfied with the response and is eager to work again with the company once this project gets delivered.
What would you do if you were in Ayushi’s place?
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Listening patiently to irate or angry customers is a skill that only a few people are born with. When a customer confronts a person, their inner strength can destabilise quickly.
But, if you know the incredible skill of handling the angriest customers without upsetting them, you will be loved by one and all inside the company.
That’s why the interviewers often ask, “You have delayed in submitting the project, which has made the client angry. How will you handle the situation?” or “How would you handle an angry customer?”.
Our today’s blog explains how to answer this question during the interview masterfully -
At the same time, you should know the limits of tolerance beyond which you will not be scared to escalate the matter. If you show your anger management and assertive skills, the interviewer will consider you a good fit for front line roles also.
“If you don’t take care of unhappy customers, your competitors will.” A company can’t afford to lose its valuable customers. Employees who are an integral part of the company should and must know how to tackle the annoyed customers.
So, if you know the art of cooling down the angry clients, get ready to increase your scoring points during an interview.
To practice this question and get feedback from the industry experts, Skill Prodigy is the place you should be at. We’re happy to assist you in preparing for interviews and excelling at it.
Posted On January 07,2020
The interview process in a startup does not differ from a well-established company - until you dive deep.
When you observe closely, startup founders (generally, they are the recruiters as well) focus more on attitude and approach, apart from testing technical and communication skills.
The startup world is disorganised, fast-moving, and rapidly-changing. Hence, founders need those people in their team who learn quickly, are not scared to make mistakes, and fit well into their organisation.
Our today’s blog throws some light on common interview questions that the startup founders ask -
Do you know our company’s concerns and drawbacks?
Let’s be honest; not a single company is perfect in this world. Every organisation has certain challenges and flaws. By asking this question, the founder wants to check if you’ve done adequate research about their company and the competitors. You must already be aware of the flaws. If you still want to join the company and make a valuable contribution, you will play a pivotal role in the long term.
We don’t have fixed working hours. Will you be able to cope up with never-ending work?
You can’t expect a 9-to-5 job while working with a startup - everyone knows it.
But, the founder still asks this question to test your determination and mindset. If you answer a straightforward “yes”, you are inviting unwanted troubles once you join the company.
You should show your determination subtly, but also specify that you plan the work well-in-advance, so it finishes on time. Founders love those people who maintain to-do lists or memos to keep track of their work.
What are some books or articles that everyone in the team should read?
“If you are curious, there is always something new to be discovered in the backdrop of your daily life”.
Even if this question doesn’t evaluate you on technical or communication skills, it plays a crucial role. Why? - It describes your curiosity and eagerness to learn new things and upgrade your knowledge.
If you don’t read any books or articles or can’t recommend one during the interview, it shows that you are not willing to learn new things. Startups say a big “NO” to people who are not looking to learn something new every day.
Are you looking to begin your own startup soon?
If a candidate is looking to begin their own startup in the future, they might leave the company at some point. But, as long as they serve, the company will get benefited from their positive attitude, out-of-the-box thinking and ignited entrepreneurial drive.
You can tell an idea you’ve been working on or a side-hustle you’re passionate about. Don’t worry, startup owners like working with those people who are eager to commence their entrepreneurial journey in the future.
While answering these questions, you should have an energetic smile, confident body language and soft-yet-determined tone of voice. If you prepare them well in advance, you might get over the line without fumbling or showing nervousness. That’s what matters!
You know the place to prepare for interviews, right? Yes, you guessed it right. Skill Prodigy is where you will find these some amazing questions and detailed guidance from mentors on how to answer them skillfully.
Posted On January 06,2020
Imagine if problems could send an invitation letter or a notice before arising. We could throw them away and keep ourselves stress-free. However, they come suddenly and create chaos all around without giving us any time to respond.
As a result, recruiters look out for those people who think on their feet, anticipate a problem and solve it proactively instead of crumbling under pressure.
If you have a positive mindset, conscious intent, and systematic approach towards difficult, unusual, and challenging situations, you will be a valuable asset to any organisation.
Here are some common questions which recruiters ask to gauge the problem-solving ability:
A problems-solving question does not have a predefined correct answer. We all have our own ways of addressing and solving a problem.
As said above, approach and mindset are the keys to success for answering problem-solving questions in an interview -
Describe a situation where you noticed red flags, took some timely steps and safeguarded your organisation or yourself against a problem or a vital issue.
You should explain your preferable approach and give enough “Why” (reasons for a particular approach) to support your answer. Tell an event from the past where the selected approach fetched positive results for you or your organisation. It will be like the cherry on the cake.
Remember what Gerhard Gschwandtner said, “Problems are nothing but wake-up calls for creativity”.
Think creatively and give appropriate answers to the hypothetical problems asked in an interview. Meanwhile, you could solve the interviewer’s immediate problem - finding a more appropriate candidate than you for the concerned job position.
Speaking of problems, if you face a problem in preparing well for your interviews, Skill Prodigy is here to help you. Come to us, and let us together find what works best for you.