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Study And Visualise A Job Description Instead Of Reading It To Succeed In An Interview!

Posted On January 05,2020

Rahul was always intrigued by marketers, their approach in building campaigns, and the role of marketing in a company’s growth.

He would be eager to send a resume for the marketing position in any company. However, he did not receive even a single interview call. 

Rahul re-worded his resume to highlight achievements and previous work experience, but success was far away.

Why? - Rahul would always skip the job description and jump directly on the job application form. It hurt his chances as every job position had some specific requirements listed in the job description which he failed to highlight smartly in his resume. 

Job description not only informs you about the roles and responsibilities of a position in a company but also lists out the eligibility criteria or prerequisites required for the job. 

Our today’s blog explains how reading a job description carefully can help you before and during the interview:

  • Helps you get passed the filters of Application Tracking System (ATS) - Companies use the Application Tracking System (ATS) to conduct an automatic initial screening of job applications. ATS searches for specific words in a resume. If it finds those words, it processes the application for the next round, otherwise rejects it. 

 

If you don’t want a bot to reject your CV, include specific keywords from the job description in your resume, especially in the professional and educational experience, skills and achievements section. 

 

  • Proves you are serious about the job - If a job description has listed some specific requirements, there are likely chances that the interviewer will ask a few questions related to it. 

 

Reading a job description carefully in advance will make sure that you don’t go blank suddenly.

 

  • Helps you in answering tricky questions skillfully - Interviewers ask some tricky questions like “Tell us about yourself?”, “Why do you want to work with us?”, “If you get a better chance than our company, will you leave?” etc. to test your mental ability.

 

If you read the job description well in advance, you can describe your unique selling propositions and align them with the requirements listed in the job description.

For example, if a job description requires a candidate to have strong networking skills, you can describe how you attend in-person events to build new professional relationships.

Travis Bradberry says, “Get to know the job intimately that you're applying for. Don't just read the job description - study it and picture yourself performing every task required of you.”

Do your homework before appearing for an interview - Study and analyse the job description carefully. You will be more confident while sitting in front of the interviewer.

Reach out to us if you need any help in preparing for an interview. We are just a click away from assisting you!

How To Answer The Question In An Interview, "If You Get A Better Opportunity Than Our Company, Will You Leave?"

Posted On January 04,2020

If someone writes a book on “Tricky Interview Questions”, this question will top the ranks. Reason? - It creates a psychological dilemma in the mind of a candidate.

The interviewer is willing to identify whether you will continue with their organisation for a longer period. What will keep you going during tough times and slow growth periods?

Answering a clear “Yes” or “No” to this question might put you into trouble. Honestly, the interviewer cares least about hearing a specific answer. Instead, they are curious to observe your body language, convincing power and tone of delivery.

Logical ability, hypothetical reasoning skills and a positive tone of delivery can together help you formulate a convincing answer to the question “If you get a better opportunity, will you leave?”.

How to craft a suitable answer to this question?

  • Avoid a definite ‘No’ or ‘Yes’ - Both, you and the interviewer, know and understand that a company can not retain an employee if they find a ‘better’ opportunity. So, if you say a clear ‘NO’, the interviewer will presume that you are lying. However, a straightforward “Yes” will also put you into trouble since it can sound blunt and abrupt. So always avoid giving a direct answer.

  • Explain your perspective of a ‘better opportunity’ - Better opportunity does not always come in terms of more money or higher position. Sometimes, it also arrives when you get a chance to work out of your comfort zone and upgrade your skills. You could describe why you are confident that the company, for which you are giving the interview, will give you ample chances and opportunities to grow, learn new things, and take on challenges.

Also, through this question, you can indirectly answer “Why do you want to work with us?” as well.

Tell the interviewer why good culture, harmony between the colleagues, and seamless chances of growth provided at this company intrigues you. So, as long as you are getting enough ‘better opportunity’ here to learn and earn, why would you leave this organisation for another one?

PRO TIP - A job description highlights significant roles, responsibilities, and opportunities for growth & learning. You can say that the probable growth channels will motivate you to serve the company in years to come.

You can also look at the Linkedin profiles of key managerial personnel working there. Figure out if someone started his career at an entry-level position in the company, and gradually climbed up the ladder to become a manager or a key decision-maker?

With the help of an example, highlight the company’s policy for promoting high performance and rewarding it with promotion and recognitions.  

2Es - eagerness and excitement can help you achieve the third E - excellence in answering this question.

  • Keep a positive tone and body language - “Where body language conflicts with the words that are being said, the body language will usually be the more 'truthful' in the sense of revealing true feelings,” Glen Wilson puts it aptly. While handling these types of questions, you should have a smiling face and proper stance and posture. When you are confident, you will sound truthful to the interviewer.

“Often, the most tricky questions are the ones we secretly know the answers of.” You have to maintain composure and confidence to tackle these questions without fumbling.

An interviewer can ask these questions at any stage of an interview. If you practice them in advance, you will have little or no difficulty in answering them.

Skill Prodigy is the place to practice and learn from mistakes. Our mentors can help you in preparing well for every question and conquer the real test. Reach out to us!

Exclude These Slang Words and Fillers From Your Speaking To Succeed In The Interview

Posted On January 03,2020

With immense work experience, a distinct skill set, and meritorious grades, Rahul was a good fit for the finance executive position in a company. 

He gave near-perfect answers, spoke about himself and his achievements compellingly, and displayed confidence. Rahul was confident of getting a positive response from the recruiter. However, much to his disappointment, he never received a call. 

Why?

Rahul used slang words like gonna, umm, wohoo, etc. excessively during the interview which harmed his chances. 

Like Rahul, several deserving candidates suffer a setback due to the usage of slang language or undesirable words. 

Interviewers keep a vigilant eye on the verbal communication skills. 

If a candidate uses slang words or sloppy language during an interview, there are likely chances that they’re going to use similar words while communicating with clients, colleagues, and even the higher management of the company, which can sound offensive.

Our today’s blog dives deep into the words or phrases that you should avoid using during the interview: 

  • “Cool”, “Kinda”, or “Gonna”

An informal touch in speaking can help you turn a Q&A session into an engaging conversation, however, “informal” is not equal to a “casual” approach. You should avoid using too casual words like “cool”, “kinda” and “gonna”.

  • “You Guys”, “Dude” or “bro”

Even if the interviewer looks young, you shouldn’t use “dude” or “you guys” to address them or their team. You can address the interviewer by their name or “Sir/Ma’am” and their team by using “your team”, “team members” etc.

  • “Always” or “Never”

“I always complete work on time” or “I never take leaves due to personal reasons” - both these lines show overcommitment and impractical picture. Avoid using extreme words, which might put you in trouble at a later stage. “Perfection”, “100 percent” etc also fall under the same category.

  • “Probably”, “basically”, or “maybe”

These are not slang words but are equally hazardous. When you use terms like probably, basically, maybe, it shows that you aren’t 100 percent sure about the outcome. It also reflects your half-hearted preparation for the interview.

In our day-to-day language, you could use various words or phrases to express the thoughts spontaneously. However, in a formal environment like an interview, think twice before speaking. Verbal communication skills decide the fate and direction of the interview!

Practice and adequate preparation are necessary to put these tips into a habit. When you record your voice, listen to the recorded answers and get feedback from peers and experts, it enhances your confidence during the real test.

Skill Prodigy is the place to start practicing for your next interview. Reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to help!

‘Tell Me About Yourself’: Answering This Question Well Can Double Your Confidence During An Interview!

Posted On January 02,2020

‘Tell me about yourself in a few lines’ - A simple question which becomes the toughest one to answer for an interviewee.

How do you start answering it? What aspects do you cover - academics, work experience, hobbies etc.?

But, you have mentioned it all in your resume, right?

Our today’s blog dives into a few areas which will help you craft an answer that makes your interview engaging.

Why do the interviewers ask this question?

Candidates are nervous during the initial phases of an interview. To break the ice and make the interviewee feel comfortable, the interviewers begin the discussion by asking “Tell me about yourself”.

He or she also tries to suss out your communication skills, ability to summarise your professional history in a few lines and know a few things which haven’t been mentioned on the resume.

When you describe your personal and professional journey (which you know very well), you feel more confident and enthusiastic to answer other questions. It leads the way to a smooth conversation between the interviewer and you.

However, most interviewees fail in answering this question correctly. They read line-by-line from the resume or go into specifics of each job or education experience. It isn’t the right approach!

How to craft an appealing answer?

Before we dive deeper into the key components of an engaging answer, let’s have a look at some do’s and don’ts:

  1. Keep your answer under 2 minutes (If you can keep it under 90 secs, you’ve done a fabulous job!).
  2. Follow a chronological order - Don’t switch between the topics frequently.
  3. Keep a few points handy which you would like to cover. But, don’t mug up the answer as it is. Words should flow naturally out of your mouth.
  4. Don’t rush; speak slowly - Consider it your elevator pitch.
  5. Don’t reiterate the entire information mentioned in your CV. Pick up a few relevant details and add your own colour to them.
  6. Don’t dive into your family history unless the interviewer specifically asks about it. 

Here’re the key components you can include to make your answer persuasive and engaging:
 

  • An overview of your personal and professional journey - You can respond by telling about your birthplace, your educational qualification and the previous job experiences. Don’t detail down on any of these points as there will be other relevant questions to explain more on these aspects.

 

PRO TIP: As a fresher, you can talk about your internships or any projects completed during college time.

 

  • Achievements and instances of exemplary performance - Would you find a better way to increase your confidence than to describe your achievements and recognitions so far? You can tell one or two accomplishments and any awards you received for exemplary performance in your previous organisations/ college.

 

PRO TIP: If you’re a fresher, mention your meritorious grades or proficient knowledge of a particular subject. It will help the interviewer in understanding how will you add value to his or her organisation.

 

  • Hobbies and favourite resources - Finally, you can tell your favourite hobbies or timepass activities to show a picture of your overall personality. It’s also a good opportunity to describe your favourite books and go-to resources for upgrading the skills and knowledge. Who knows an interviewer might also like a specific book or TEDx video that tops your go-to list!

If you can answer this question well, you’ve won half the battle. It opens the doors for other specific questions related to the requirement or role. So, your best shot at answering this question can mould the interview and the interviewer's interest in your favour!

 

Want to prepare for the interview with the help of industry experts or mentors? Download our app or speak to us at contact@skillprodigy.com.

A Secret to Capture the Recruiter’s Attention by Highlighting Your Achievements (Number is the Game!)

Posted On January 01,2020

Can your education, work experience or skills and strengths set you apart from others when a recruiter is screening the job applications.

If your answer is yes, you might be thinking wrong!

We are living in a world of cutthroat competition where everyone is sailing in the same boat. For a job position, a recruiter gets uncountable resumes with the same job experience, qualification and skill set. 

What drives him to show interest in a job application and call a candidate for an interview?

“Key Performance metrics and recognitions”

If you can show your accomplishments in a convincing manner, you increase your selection chances.

But, what makes an accomplishment an impressive accomplishment? - Numbers attached to them.

Even while answering questions like “Tell me about yourself”, “Why should we hire you?” or “What makes you a best for this role?”, instead of highlighting achievements, describing quantified achievements can add more weightage to your candidature.

Highlighting the accomplishments is an art! Let’s dive deeper to understand how to master this art and convert your next interview into a memorable one -

  • Align your achievements to the relevant job/ education experience: Instead of highlighting your achievements or recognitions separately in a CV, write them below the relevant experience in the job/ education section. It helps a recruiter to understand your career graph and improved performance alongside it.
  • Quantify the achievements - Everyone loves seeing numbers among a plethora of words. When you attach numbers to your achievements and recognitions, they become more impactful. Instead of writing “helped the startup scale up”, you could say “helped the startup scale up by 235% from the last FY)”.
  • Use PAR formula to explain result-oriented impact - PAR Method (Problem, Action, and Result) helps you showcase the problem, your action towards it and the consequential result. If you can explain an accomplishment using the PAR method, you can convince a recruiter that you’ll be a good fit to resolve any such issues arising in their organisation as well. 

Many times, the way of presentation becomes a crucial factor in succeeding or failing in an interview. Especially when you have secured those accomplishments, you wouldn’t want them to go unnoticed!

If the achievement is the king, the quantified achievement is the queen. And, the lady rules the house! 

So, while preparing for your next interview, don’t forget to work upon these tips. For any assistance, we’re just a mail away. Reach us at contact@skillprodigy.com

Brand vs Job Title vs Salary – What’s your pick?

Posted On August 14,2019

There will be times in your career when you will have to decide a path you want to go down. And that path is not right or wrong but will determine the building blocks of your career, the legacy you build and ultimately where you finish. The path is choosing between Brand, Job Title and Salary.

There is a fourth attribute in the list which I touch upon later in the blog, hope the more experienced readers can figure out by now what I am referring to. Here is my take based on my 14+ year career span.

Note: These are solely my views.

A. Brand:
1. Work for a decent brand name at the start of your career. This will give you immense exposure to global clients, good mentors and more importantly an understanding on how different functions in an organisation tie together i.e. Sales, Delivery, Technology and Finance etc.
2. You will at most times have a clear career path and get involved in some exciting projects including overseas assignments – something that all of us dream of when we enter the workforce
3. The flip side with large organisations is that everything has a process and things take time. Not to mention the politics that comes as part of the package working for a monolith. But then this is a learning as well.

B. Job Title:
1. Now this is always a topic of debate, the question is does it really matter? May be it does but what are you benchmarking it against? VP in a startup or VP in a Fortune 500? Big fish in a small pond or small fish in an ocean? To be honest it does not really matter and this is where the fourth attribute comes into play. It comes down to the Role
2. Whether it is a 9am – 5pm job or 14 hour days, you need be to content with what you’re doing. Being content in a job is an amalgamation of opportunities to learn, think critically and be challenged. Time then flies and you transition from a ‘job’ mindset to a ‘career’ mindset
3. Stop chasing job titles, in fact use all your energy to find out what the role entails. If it is a 100% fit don’t go for it – you will be bored from day one. Go for a role that has unknowns, this will keep you out of your comfort zone and this is where you will learn.

C. Salary:
1. If you plan A & B properly, C will follow. You will be able to demand a number at the back of your tool-kit as a well-rounded individual.
2. It is important to have a long term view and not sacrifice your aspirations in return for some extra bucks in your pay cheque. I do understand that your personal situation may move salary to the #1 spot and that’s fine. Keep the end in mind.
3. There will be times when you will have to make a lateral move, the money will stay the same but the role will act as a catalyst in your career graph. If this time ever comes – go for it!
To summarise, it is important not to succumb to pressure from family, friends or peers. Do not compare yourself to others, remember – it wasn’t a level playing field when you started. Create your own path and be courageous enough to walk it on your own.

We are always with you in your journey.

Author – Ritu Raj Das, Co-Founder Skill Prodigy
 

 

 

 

Why do you want to change your job? Just bored…..?

Posted On July 30,2019

You have done the hard yards, scored a good job in a Fortune 500 with a decent pay cheque – life is set! Well that’s what one would think and I don’t blame you. It is the society we live in – it is subtly competitive and peer pressure does the rest. However, give it a couple of years and then reality sinks in. The train of thought changes course and questions like “what am I doing here?”; “am I just a number in this behemoth?” start popping in your head. Suddenly every new project seems like the last one you just finished; international assignments don’t seem attractive anymore and the decent pay cheque that was once something you were proud off seems low. In summary you have lost your mojo and in your mind the solution is simple – switch jobs. You take the plunge and………….the saga continues!

I have come across a number of candidates / professionals as a hiring manager days where they struggle to answer a simple question – “Why are you looking for job change?” Lack of career growth, toxic culture/office politics, been with the same organisation for a while are some of the common responses. These are all fair reasons, well to an extent but they lack a basic fundamental thought – what is the end goal from a career perspective and how will this new job help you get there. Not having the right drivers will definitely result in a short term gain but in the longer term you are still at the crossroads of the “What” and the “How”

This is what I do and it is not correct by any means. It just helps me put my thoughts into perspective:

1. Break each year into blocks of six months
2. Write what you want to achieve in each of these blocks. The key here is to write and read them every day. Sounds silly, but this definitely helps. I would even suggest having a white board in your room and call these your goals
3. Discuss your goals with your mentors. If you need guidance mentors and their importance in your career, feel free to read one of my earlier blogs
4. Once the goals are nailed, map them back to your organisation and find how it can help you achieve them. This is not easy initially but talking to your seniors/bosses will help. Be transparent, you’re investing time and effort for them, this is the least they could do.
5. Tick of the goals as you achieve them and add new ones
6. There will be a time when your current employer will not be able to offer what’s written on your board – that’s when you change your job and repeat steps 1 – 5.

I am cognizant of the fact that your personal circumstances will change as you go through this journey and that you may have to take few lateral steps to move up – nothing wrong with it. Just don’t lose sight of the destination.

Feel free to write to me at contact@skillprodigy.com if you would like to know more. We would love to help you on your journey!

Author – Ritu Raj Das, Co-Founder, Skill Prodigy

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