How To Take Control of Your Next Job Interview [TIPS]


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At the end of every job interview, you’ll encounter the inevitable question, “Do you have any questions for me?”

While it’s an oh-so-predictable event, many job candidatesaren’t prepared to shine when they reach this final test in the interview. Failing to ask any questions or asking the wrong questions can send the wrong signals.

Stephanie Daniel, senior vice president of career management company Keystone Associates, spoke with us about her thoughts on how job interviewees can take control of their next job interview by asking the right questions. Read on for her thoughts on what to ask and which questions to avoid when it’s your turn to interrogate.

Asking Right Questions


When the interviewer gives you the opportunity to ask your own questions, be prepared. Daniel recommends that interviewees prepare five to seven questions, with the expectation that there will probably only be time to ask just three. “Keep in mind that some of the questions you might have prepared will be answered during the course of the interview, so it’s always a smart idea to have back-ups,” says Daniel.

“Too many job seekers respond to this standard interview question with the standard ‘safe’ responses,” says Daniel. “‘Will I be hearing from you or should I contact you?’ or ‘Why is this position open?’ In this very competitive job market, job candidates cannot afford to ask safe questions. Candidates must show that they are the best candidate by demonstrating that they are looking out for the needs and interests of the interviewer.”

So, what types of questions should you ask? Daniel suggests considering a few of the following:

  • Is there a work issue that keeps you up at night and, given what you know about my background, how do you think I could help?

“Here’s your opportunity to demonstrate a genuine interest in the day-to-day challenges your future manager is facing, Daniel explains. “By asking this question, the interviewer will start to envision you as an employee and will give you some initial thoughts on how you might help solve their most pressing problems.”

  • What is the most gratifying aspect of the work you do for XYZ company? What’s your best advice to someone starting out at this company?

“Asking the interviewer about the most gratifying aspect of the work she or he does helps you better understand what drives them,” Daniel explains. “Drivers include things like making the best product on the market, helping others, making money, curing an illness or creating a hot, new technology, etc. Ask yourself how the interviewer’s drivers align with your own. The answer to the ‘best advice’ question yields valuable insights on what behaviors lead to a successful transition into the company. It gives you clues on what you can do to put your best forward in your potential new role vis-à-vis building new relationships, gaining product knowledge, and avoiding potential pitfalls.”

  • Could you describe your ideal candidate for this job? Why are these qualities important to you?

“The ideal qualifications were probably outlined in the job posting,” says Daniel. “But many of these postings are not actually written by the hiring manager. Here’s your chance to directly ask the interviewer what he views as the most important qualities of the successful candidate and why.”

  • I’m sure you have a number of goals you’d like to achieve in the coming year. Do you have a particular one that is top priority?

“This question allows you to turn your attention to the interviewer and his most important priorities,” says Daniel. “Is there a particular goal the interviewer has talked about that lines up well with some of your current experiences? If so, let the interviewer know how you can contribute.”

Other great questions may revolve around key drivers for employees, what characterizes top performers at the company and whether the interviewer would like to know anything more about the interviewee’s background, says Daniel.


Avoiding Questions with Negative Connotations


To avoid making a bad impression at your interview, Daniel suggests thinking about the connotations behind each of the questions that you’re asking before you ask them. Here are three questions that tend to leave a bad taste in interviewers’ mouths, she says:

“A valid question, yes, but if you ask it too soon, it might appear that you are more concerned about the work schedule than you are about the actual work,” says Daniel.

  • Is there a possibility I could work remotely?

Telecommuting can be a positive thing for both the job seeker and the company, but your timing in asking this question is critical,” Daniel explains. “If asked too soon, it will convey a lack of enthusiasm for getting to know the team and work environment. Demonstrate your interest in the role and potential contributions to the company before inquiring about telecommuting/flex-time, etc.”

  • How long do people typically stay in this position before they move on the next role?

“A desire to grow in the organization is admirable,” says Daniel. “But if you’re asking this question early on in the interview process, the interviewer may question your genuine interest in the position you’ve applied for. Frame the question in a way that demonstrates both your long-term commitment to the company and your professional growth.”


Preparing and Managing Time


Once you’ve chosen which questions you’d like to ask, you can either memorize them or write them down. Daniel advises:

“It is not unprofessional to bring a list of questions on paper. If you choose to write them down, make sure you bring them in a presentable notebook or folder, not on a crinkled, loose-leaf sheet of paper. Presentation is very important. That said, make a conscious effort to remember the questions so that you don’t have to rely on your notes. Opening a notebook can be somewhat distracting, and what’s even worse is reading the questions verbatim without making eye contact with the interviewer.”

Once you’ve finished asking all that you’d like to ask, it’s important to close an interview on a good notes, says Daniel. “Rather than fretting about running out of questions, take the left-over time to thank your interviewer and let him or her know how much you’re interested in the position. Cite specifics about why and briefly reiterate a key point about your background that relates to the position. This is called the ‘close,’ and it’s a critical phase of the interview.”

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Reference: http://mashable.com/2011/11/20/job-interview-tips/

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Websites that Changed the Internet


It is an informative article on how internet is affecting us through websites.

There are millions of websites out there. Many of them are unique, either in small ways or in large ones. But the individual impact of any particular site on the overall Internet is generally negligible, if there’s any impact at all.

Not so with the fifteen sites here. These sites changed the Internet, mostly for good, in substantial ways. Included here is everything from Geocities (which could probably be blamed entirely, either directly or indirectly, for every ugly web design “trend” that’s ever been) to Wikipedia (which has made information almost universally accessible) to Google (which has changed or influenced virtually everything online).

1. Wikipedia.com

Changed the way we find information. Before Wikipedia, most online encyclopedias were either sorely lacking in information, or required you to have a paid subscription to access their content. Wikipedia changed all that by not only allowing anyone to view the content for free, but also by allowing individual users to review and update content, making it more complete and accurate overall. Wikipedia also brought crowdsourcing and user-generated content to the mainstream online, making both much more viable and valuable.

2. Amazon.com

Changed the way we shop. Prior to Amazon.com, online shopping wasn’t much different than shopping out of a mail-order catalog, except it wasn’t nearly as popular. While Amazon started out selling just books and related items, it has expanded to sell virtually anything you can think of, either directly or through partner sites large and small. Amazon also made free shipping a standard on orders over a certain dollar value, which has impacted the shipping rates and policies of many other online retailers.

3. Hotmail

Changed the way we use email. Before Hotmail came along, email was basically tethered to a single computer. When you checked your email, it was pulled and deleted from the remote server, meaning the only place you could view it was at your computer. Need an email at home that you received at work? Too bad. There was no way to access it unless you went back to the office. Hotmail changed all that by providing webmail that could be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection. Now, web-based email is widely used and provided by a huge variety of providers. Even though Hotmail is no longer the primary provider of webmail (and is now owned by Microsoft), they were still pioneers in the technology.

4. Facebook

Changed the way friends connected. While Facebook wasn’t the first social network, it has definitely become the most popular and has really changed the way friends interact with one another. Sure, people use FB to talk online, but they’re also increasingly using it as a way to plan get-togethers offline. They’re using it to follow and interact with their favorite bands, actors, and other personalities. People use it to keep in touch with business contacts, friends, family, and acquaintances. Facebook has made social networking mainstream, across a variety of demographics and virtually worldwide.

5. Project Gutenberg

Changed the way we read. Project Gutenberg has a much longer history than most people realize. They created the first ebooks, and gave them away for free. You can now read virtually every major book in the public domain, sometimes in multiple languages on their site. Without the pioneering steps the founders of Project Gutenberg took, ebooks would not be where they are today.

6. Twitter

Changed the way we communicate. Twitter has made one of the biggest impacts on the Internet in recent memory. The idea that 140-character messages, broadcast publicly (for the most part), would change the way people communicate with one another would have been hard to believe ten years ago. But Twitter has become not just a powerhouse in the way individual communicate with one another, but also in the way businesses communicate with their customers. Complaining about poor customer service on Twitter can often result in almost instant messages from the company in question, and often results in a satisfactory resolution. Twitter has also made celebrities more accessible, with hundreds of celebs now using the service to interact with their fans.

7. Pandora

Changed the way we find new music. Before Pandora, if you wanted to listen to music online, you usually turned to a streaming radio station with pre-programmed content. Sure, you might get lucky and find a station that had mostly music you liked, but maybe it wasn’t diverse enough, or it still kept playing that one song you HATED. Pandora changed all that. Now, you can program your own radio station by just entering the name or a song or artist and then giving the thumbs up or down to music played. With a minimal amount of user input, Pandora has gotten surprisingly good at creating playlists that reflect one’s musical taste. The bonus is that songs or artists you might not have heard of are often thrown into the mix, based on what you already like.

8. Apple

Made minimalist web design cool. Apple had one of the first corporate websites designed with a minimalist aesthetic. As far back as the late 90s, Apple was starting to show a more minimalist take on web design than many other corporate sites, and by early 2000, they’d adopted the white and gray color scheme and top navigation they still employ today.

9. YouTube

Changed entertainment. Before YouTube, there weren’t many options if you wanted to watch a video online. You could sometimes find a video here or there, but with bandwidth costs, they were few and far between. Website owners just didn’t want to pay the extra costs associated with video content. Then YouTube came along and made it free to post any video you wanted (as long as it wasn’t copyrighted or over ten minutes long). Web users now had a centralized place to go to watch video online. And because of YouTube’s pioneering effort, online video is now enjoyed by millions every day.

10. Craigslist

Changed classifieds. Online classified sites used to be nearly unusable. Between the huge number of spam postings and the fact there were few if any local listings in most areas, there wasn’t much point in using them. But then Craigslist caught on and suddenly there was an online classifieds site that rivaled most local newspaper classifieds. Now you can use Craigslist to find almost anything, no matter where you live.

11. The Drudge Report

Changed the stature of online news. When the Monica Lewinsky/President Clinton story broke in 1998, it wasn’t a mainstream news source that first reported it. Instead, The Drudge Report held those honors, forever changing the standing of online news sources. Now, online news sources break stories on a regular basis, and are considered by most to be just as reliable as television or print news sources.

12. GeoCities

geocities

Made the web more accessible. In the early days of the Internet, the only people online (for the most part) were scientists, academics, and those involved in technology. It wasn’t a very exciting place. Then cameGeoCities, and suddenly anyone could set up their own webpage for free. Sure, GeoCities spawned a legion of horrifically ugly websites, but it also got a lot of regular people involved in the Internet for the first time and was likely the first design experience of many early web designers.

13. Digg

Changed the way we find and share news. Digg was originally set up as an experiment, but it has completely changed the way many people find news online. The idea of users determining which news was important, relevant, and interesting rather than editors or executives at big news organizations was revolutionary. Now, user-generated news sites are all over the place, both for mainstream news and for individual industries and niches.

14. LiveJournal

Hooked millions on blogging. Blogging wasn’t invented by LiveJournal, but they were the first site to offer free blogs to their members. Millions now use LiveJournal, and tens of millions more blog elsewhere, either through other blog hosts or on their own websites. If it weren’t for LiveJournal and similar free blogs hosts that came later, blogging might not have caught on as the global phenomenon it has become.

15. Google

Changed everything. This one might seem a bit dramatic, but it really is true. Google has invaded virtually every aspect of the Internet. No matter what you do online, you probably interact with one Google service or another multiple times every day. And most people use at least one Google product or service one a regular basis personally.

Whether it’s a Blogger blog, a Picasa photo album, a Google search, or even a YouTube video (or any of the dozens of other services Google owns), Google-controlled sites are everywhere.

Reference: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/

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