Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Impress the interviewer! Job interview advice. All about 'dressing to impress', communication skills, and asking the right questions.

Our signatures tell -- frustratingly, the only thing that we've been consistent on telling on this blog, one reader has pointed out-- what JobsDB.com Singapore is all about and what its sworn goal is in the recruitment process. That it's a one stop spot for job hunters and career professionals, which contains the latest Singapore jobs as well as expert advice from various career personalities. In all seriousness, though you may laugh at this confession, we have the same goal as our parent website. Doesn't it show in our publishings?

Anyway, yes, you've read those words right. A habit of hodgepodge-ing is certainly not a good thing for writers of career such as ourselves, but will you be surprised if we say that we're still learning? Give us more time. We promise to deliver something clear soon. In the meantime, just keep on reviewing us. Laugh, if you need too. It's okay. Criticisms are a part of a writing job and they denote subscriptions. At least we know, we're being read...and that is, on a regular basis.

This blog's charm comes from the fact that we also effort on entertaining you....we think. The topic of career may be tricky, but this is a blog after all, not a newsletter or a bulletin for press releases. There has got to be humor, and so that's what we deliver as a side-dish. The only conflict we see is that we tend to overdose on the fun factor at certain times, especially when the topic is close to us in certain aspects.

But don't get the idea that we're playing blind to the fact that being unclear in writing has a far-reaching consequence. Our blog is supposed to be the 'sociable' extension of www.jobsdb.com.sg/Singapore; but the reviews we've been getting -– to step from the realm of the moral judgment into that of the purely corporate –- are rather a downer. And so we feel inclined to prove ourselves worthy of the title.

What is today going to be about, anyway? You're right if your guess is something to do with a writing exercise. But of course, with a sense. It's a requirement for us to always make sense on this blog and we think we haven't failed the rule as of talking, thank heavens (or so we'd like to believe?) Anyway, our Tuesday-as-announcement-day proposal is still on the rake, just so you're curious, so this exercise doesn't have the least bit anything to do with testing our selling skills or whatnot. With the career topic of job interview as backdrop, we'd like to find out whether or not we're capable of writing without hodgepodge-ing. So, writing in focus, off we go.

We've grown to endear job hunting for a special reason -- and that's not because the topic is a click bate (although, we don't deny its popularity to casual blog surfers). The reason is that it's a very wide realm of career building: really, it can be divided into three stages, with each stage calling for 1000 words or more to be explained properly.

From the three, the 'before' stage is a personal favourite. It spans those things we just love to blab about over and over. There's the issue of dressing to impress, and then communication skills. Plus the fact that asking questions to the interviewer is another thing to prepare for entirely. That's why we keep on insisting that the word preparation isn't enough to summarise what needs to be done in this stage, unlike most other career writers. Because job hunters are expected to follow certain job interview rules -- rules that may not be physically available for reading, but are mutually understood by recruitment agencies and top companies -- specifics are needed.

To be able to dress to impress, one needs to prepare, yes. But prepare for what? Showing up in casual clothes, no matter how neatly ironed, isn't going to work as its a mistake according to these 'rules'. It's expected for job hunters to show up in a formal attire. Make yours formal enough to give you a professional image -- someone that can be trusted with tasks and things. Tattoos are also advised to be covered, and extra piercings, removed.

As for honing your communication skills, research to get ideas on what questions you'll likely be asked. If it's a banking job you're applying for, research on the latest goings on in the finance industry and also, about the bank employer. For other industries, go along that idea. But of course, we're not suggesting you ignore the 'staples'. Include them in your planning too. You never know.

Rehearsing is another thing. Career expert Terri Levine, in her The Top 10 Questions Most Often Asked article, has this advice: "Another great tip is to record your answers into a tape recorder and then play it back and see what it sounds like."

But going for staples won't work in the questions-to-ask-the-interviewer aspect, so... "Start by giving a bit of a description of what you know about the subject of your question", says Jonathan Kwan, Principal at Kwantum Leap in his It's Not About You, It's About Them article. What does this imply? You need to research, hard. "Following this format will give you the opportunity to bring up all the research you've done ahead of time and maybe even get some credit for it. "

Here are some Job Interview Preparation Do's that we've picked from the experts featured at www.jobsdb.com.sg/SG/EN/Resources/JobSeekerIndex:

  • "Pronounce your words clearly, and one way to do this is to enunciate your words so you don’t sound like you’re mumbling." - Jessica Seet, Founder of Art of Voice.
  • "It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed." - Aimee Young, Consultant at Robert Walters.
  • "Always remember that the interview is a two-way process so have a list of questions you can ask your interviewer at the end!" - Shelley Tilson, Manager at Robert Walters.
  • "Always be humble and friendly and LISTEN carefully to the interviewer for clues about what he is REALLY getting at." -- Harold Tan, Consultant at Vista Associates.
  • "Keep it professional, and try to never put the interviewers in an embarrassing
  • situation. It's not about you, it's about them." - Jonathan Kwan, Principal at Kwantum Leap.
  • "You may want to say your answers out loud while looking in a mirror to see how you look and sound." -- Terri Levine, author.

Other job interview articles for you to read:

How to Ask Good Questions? It’s Not About You, It’s About Them

The Top 10 Questions Most Often Asked

What To Do Before an Interview

12 of the Toughest Interview Questions

Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions

How to excel at your job interview

We wish you luck in your next job interview!

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For career tips, we recommend Career Advice. From job hunting tips to career development guidelines, get advice from experts @ www.jobsdb.com.sg/SG/en/Resources/JobSeekerIndex.

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