Job Interview Followup Preperation

If you are in the process of looking for a job, it is very important,particularly in this economy where we are in the middle of a recession, to follow up after any job interview that you might have. It is not a good idea to just sit on the interview and hope that they hire you because you’ve already done your part by showing up. These days it is not enough just to show up to a job interview, you must do everything you can to show that you both want the job and that you are qualified for it.

Consider two people applying for the same job. The first person does nothing after the interview except sit around and wait for the company to call her back. However, the other person sends a thank you e-mail to the interviewer and again expresses interest in the position. Even though the first person is more qualified to do the job, the second person gets it because he took the time to follow up on the interview.

If you are sitting around waiting for the right job offer but don’t follow up on your interviews, your chances of getting the job of your dreams goes down. In business, following up on your interviews is the best way to spread the word about you, and your qualifications.

Here are some tips for following up on your interviews.

1. Always send a thank you note or e-mail within a few days of the interview. This is a good way for your prospective employer to hear from you again. Even if you don’t get the position you applied for, you never know when another position may come up that you are also qualified for, and staying in touch is one way to help the interviewer keep you in mind for future consideration.

2. Make sure that your prospective employer has all your contact information such as your e-mail, your cell phone, and your landline phone numbers. That way they have no excuse for getting back to you.

3. Make sure you get your prospective employer’s contact information correctly. This way when you send a thank you letter, or e-mail you or letter you can be certain that you have the right information on it. There is nothing worse than sending a thank you note and mispelling the interviewer’s name, or putting the wrong address on the letter.

4. Let your references know that they could be hearing from a prospective employer. Don’t leave the people who have agreed to be a reference in the dark not knowing if or when they might hear from an employer. Letting them know ahead of time ensures you will get a reference that will help you get the job.

5. Never be negative with anyone who works for a prospective employer. Even if you don’t get the job, you can ask them to keep you in mind for future openings, and you may even want to network with others who work there to find out about jobs at other companies they do business with. It always pays to be positive.

Keeping these tips in mind will ensure that you will have a good chance of getting the job that you want.

Advice from an Interviewer: What Questions Do You Have for Me

Has this ever happened to you? You are finishing up a consulting interview, and everything is going great. You’ve aced the case and feel good about the fit part of the interview as well. And then your interviewer asks, “So, do you have any questions for me?” Your mind goes blank. You palm gets sweaty…

Just a few short years ago, I was in business school, going through the whole interview process. I never knew what question I was supposed to ask. What if I asked something that they knew and was already on their website? It would look like I hadn’t done my homework. But I couldn’t just not ask a question. I dreaded that part of the interview.

Today, I am on the other side of the table. Dozens of times, I have looked at a first year business school student and asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” And now I know what I am looking for. I’ve realized that there is one simple type of question that not only makes you look good, but also gives you a better idea of the company. I love getting questions like these:

  • What has been your favorite case you’ve worked on?
  • What does your day-to-day work look like?
  • What is the hardest part of the job?

The reason that I like this type of questioning is simple: it’s personal. (Obviously, you don’t want to get too personal). You can’t find it on a website somewhere. And it makes interviewers think that you want to get to know them better and that you’re interested in what they have to say. (As an interviewer, it can get lonely when all you do is talk about the other person!)

Best of all, there is no better way to learn about what a company is really like than to ask someone who works there about working there. Imagine that, you might actually learn something in an interview!

Common Interview Answers You Should Consider

What is your management style?

I recognize and bring out the best in my employees. Everyone has unique talents, strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing those traits in people allows me to assign job responsibilities the right people, which increases widespread productivity and results. I don’t treat those with whom I work like servants, because they’re not. Rather, I lead by example. If I set a large goal, then I work my hardest to achieve it using the help of those I’m supervising. I find that leading by example, recognizing my people’s skills and allowing people to be who they are within the confines of a work environment yield the best results.

Are you a good manager? Can you provide an example.
I think that the productivity of the entire workplace dictates whether a manager is good or bad. If the employees are happy and doing good, solid work, then it implies good leadership. I would not classify myself as a “good” or “bad” manager but rather as an effective one. The “good”/”bad” label doesn’t say much; it’s a feeling that people get about other people rather than a reflection of their work. Work should indicate my success as a manager, and I believe it has. For example, I get the most out of my employees by recognizing what work matches their inherent abilities. By doing this, I can focus my own energy on completing my own tasks. It’s a win-win for the workplace, and it speaks to my effectiveness.

Why do you feel you have top managerial potential?
My ability to perform under pressure, assign responsibilities in a fair and accurate way, and to increase overall productivity all contribute to my success as a leader and my potential to be top managerial quality. I have consistently performed within the confines of my job duties, as well as introducing new and effective ways to sustain the workplace. My employees enjoy working with me, and I believe that a certain amount of interpersonal relationship garners respect and increases productivity. I lead by example, and this sets me apart from many candidates.

What do you look for when you hire people?
I look for people who can add something that we lack or who will complement an existing workforce. Most people can perform a routine task well if you train them effectively. I look for people who can complete routine tasks but also take initiative to drive our business forward. When hiring, I choose people based on what they can bring to the table rather than just what their polished resumes present. I look for sharp individuals with diverse backgrounds, whether artistic and creative or logical and functional. You need both kinds for effective business, and I believe in hiring people who will propel us forward rather than just push paper around.

What do you see as the most difficult task in being a manager?
Two things affect me most as a manager: I hate letting people go, and I hate reprimanding employees. In an ideal world, I would need to do neither to complete my tasks. Unfortunately, I find myself having to occasionally discipline or terminate an employee. I have been fortunate that termination, in my experience, is a last resort. With my effective leadership, usually disciplinary action is as far as it goes. But I think of my employees as family sometimes, and as a parent hates to discipline a child, I hate to enforce my authority because I feel that I’ve earned enough respect for my employees to avoid difficult situations.

What do your subordinates think of you?
This goes back to respect, and I believe my subordinates respect me. They’re honest and trustworthy because I only hire and retain candid individuals. That said, I believe that they respect and value my opinions, even if they disagree with me. I have rarely had to discipline an employee because of insubordination. I treat them the way I would any other colleague, and I believe this mutual respect goes a long way in establishing trust and teamwork. When we discuss difficult situations, my subordinates offer candid feedback that allows us to work harmoniously together.

What is your biggest weakness as a manager?
My biggest weakness as a manager is my biggest weakness in general: I tend to be a reserved person. This reservation translates into being quieter than the average supervisor, which can come across as cold or shy. Rest assured that I am not a shy individual. I simply take extra time to determine if a situation merits my input. I also trust my employees to do the right thing because I hired them on the premise that they would, and while this may not sound like a weakness, it can become one when faced with the unfortunate situation of an employee who refuses to correct bad behavior.

Information Technology Job Interview Answers

1. Aside from taking courses, what sorts of things have you done to become better qualified for your pursuits as an IT Professional?

I learned to fix computers long before I went to school to gain a formal IT education by purchasing discarded “as-is” PCs from thrift stores. As valuable as my course material was, my experience troubleshooting in the field during several related jobs and doing work for family and friends was the most valuable way to develop my skills. I constantly do computer repair and troubleshooting for family and friends, and I build and configure my own computers from base components. My networking skills were well honed as I worked for an internet service provider as a Tier 1 technical support agent, and I gained valuable troubleshooting experience working at a computer repair shop as a bench technician fixing customers computers and building refurbished machines from scrap components.

2. Have you worked with building and maintaining networks? In which area of networking do you consider yourself most competent and why?

I have had plenty of experience in building networks. After all, building and maintaining networks was an essential part of my training. I have extensive knowledge of Network +, TCP/IP, IEEE 802.11a/b/n/g. I have also dealt in administering Domains. These are all subjects that I am familiar with when it comes to building and maintaining networks. I have participated in roll outs of 30+ node networks and have built Domain servers using Windows Server 2003. I am generally most comfortable and competent with hardware build and cloned network roll outs as I have had plenty of experience with imaging software such as Symantic Ghost and Boot-It NG.

3. What is the most difficult task you have performed or learned about with group policy with a Windows Server?

When I first learned about reservations for workstations/servers, that was difficult for me. However, now the most difficult task is fixing broken, corrupted, or sometimes just sloppy AD/GP s(Active Directory/Group Policy).

At the time when I first learned about reservations, it was difficult because I was learning by myself. I would work on a lab at my apartment and attempt make my machines static, however the IPs would be taken upon restart because I didn’t understand the concept of reservations at the time.

My most difficult task now as a consultant Network Administrator/Security Analyst is when I go into network environment that don’t have issues with their AD/GP. It’s difficult when for example the system administrator of the job site don’t have the correct privileges that they should, and you have to find what policies are disabling them.

4. What is the extent of your web application development experience?

I have very little experience with web application development other than at the basic level. I have worked with them in a classroom setting, but my field of expertise deals more with network administration and not web development. Therefore, I can easily assist with basic web development, but I don’t have enough knowledge in extensive web development to assist in major web development projects.

5. What makes you a good IT professional?

What makes me a good IT professional are a number of qualities. First, a fascination with technology and how things work. I enjoy puzzles and I am always determined to find a solution or a workaround to any given problem. My instructor always told me that there are a lot of ways to get a job done or fix an issue in IT, but there is only one OPTIMAL way to perform a task, and finding that optimal way is the apex of technical skill. Any time I do something in IT I always wonder if it is optimized, and wonder if there is a way to tweak what I am doing so it is more efficient and optimal. Anticipating problems before they happen and having a well planned backup and disaster recovery setup minimizes downtime and many times can avert catastrophic problems, and I always try to back things up and have a plan in place for inevitable hardware failure in the long term. The network is my domain and responsibility, and I take pride in my network.

6. What specific automated tools have you used to recover deleted files?

The three automated tools that I have used in the past to recover deleted files are Acronis, Recuva, and Pandora Recovery. Out of these three, Acronis is the tool that I’ve used primarily for backup purposes. It’s useful for that fact that it allows you to make an exact copy of the system without having to load into the system. After the process is finished, I can use the files in multiple ways: [1] restore the machine onto another physical machine (i.e. having two identical machines), [2] run as a virtual machine, or [3] look at the files directly.

Impact & Influence Job Interview Answers

1. Tell me about a time that you were able to influence an important decision at work.

As the firm’s marketing manager, I was to meet with a European doll maker interested in introducing their products to the U.S. market. Since the dolls were popular in Europe, the company assumed they would do well in the U.S. and our CEO was eager for a partnership. The dolls were beautiful; nothing compared on the American market–but that was the problem: my instincts said U.S. consumers wouldn’t buy those dolls for myriad reasons. Convincing the CEO would be difficult, but I made a list of everything we had to lose by contracting with this company, including the impact on our existing product lines and inventory. Thankfully, I was persuasive enough to squash the deal. Down the road, I learned that no other U.S. importer acquired the line, either. We dodged a bullet because I knew the market and was willing to speak up.

2. Give me an example of how you made an impact on an employee or a peer at work.

It’s never easy juggling projects plus direct reports, but I managed adequately until attendance issues arose when one of my staffers had a baby and realized that juggling two worlds can be overwhelming. Having walked in her shoes years before, I used my philosophy—never tackle a problem without a solution—to think through some work options for her that were creative, didn’t overstep my boundaries as her boss and wouldn’t appear as though I was playing favorites in the eyes of the other staff members. Did everything miraculously improve? Eventually. It took time, but she wanted to please me and tried hard, so we worked things out. I believe she knew I wanted to keep her on my staff, but she also knew I wasn’t willing to compromise productivity, her colleagues’ egos and the work flow to do so.

3. If you had two employees that were in a disagreement, how would you promote resolution?

As an anthropologist, I know the workplace can get downright primitive when egos, territoriality and personalities collide, but frankly, things were too hectic within our marketing department to put up with disruptions resulting from two staffers who battled over every project we undertook. I needed neutral territory and a solution with consequences, so I took them out for a late lunch, sat them down and gave each of them five uninterrupted minutes to have their say about the other before invoking the wisdom of Solomon: I threatened to cut their job responsibilities in half and bring in a third employee to take up the slack. They were appalled, but dramatic circumstances required dramatic action. “Tune ups” down the road—periodic lunches to air differences–kept the peace treaty in force.

4. How would you approach mentoring employees? What strategies would you use?

Pairing management with employees arbitrarily to establish mentoring relationships may be an expedient way to undertake the task, but if two people have nothing in common, the partnership can start off on bad footing and all of the advantages of the mentoring process can be lost. I would administer a compatibility test like the ones (don’t laugh) dating sites use to pair couples. Finding common ground is a great way to establish a long-term mentoring relationship and such common ground has the potential to advance the relationship at a faster clip. Does this mean mentors and mentees are guaranteed a honeymoon because a compatibility test forecasts a good fit? For the most part, it can. When personalities mesh, even diverse ambitions exhibited by both parties can result in a compatible pairing.

5. Tell me about a time that you were able to convince your manager to change their mind.

Management decided to sponsor an industry event that required weekend attendance. As the marketing manager, I was responsible for drumming up excitement and getting members of the association to sign up. Our event committee wasn’t feeling hopeful; we knew weekend were family time and we weren’t hopeful about luring enough attendees to hit target numbers management projected. I built a “back-out” schedule into my marketing plan so we could cancel at a critical point if event response proved as low as we estimated. When the last RSVP day arrived, the committee and I reported to management with the dreadful numbers and the back-out plan. They changed their minds once they knew we could bow out gracefully using those strategies. In the end, management saved face, our cash investment was minimal and we didn’t lose the confidence of our vendors or association members.

6. What’s the most important rule you follow for ensuring your team is happy?

I employ the same rule for ensuring team happiness (as much as can be controlled in the workplace!) as I did when I raised kids: Allow too much anger, resentment and conflict to build up, and things are going to explode. When people explode, work suffers and good employees stop being good employees because they can adopt bad behaviors to survive. My rule was “speak up at staff meetings” to air grievances, rumors and disputes. Invoking the famous line from the movie Fight Club, I insisted that what happened in staff meetings stayed in staff meetings. The premise? If people don’t feel safe being honest, why take personal or professional risks—particularly when confronting rumors and conflicts can grind a department to a halt? That’s why, in my opinion, off-site staff meetings are more productive and why getting people to speak up makes for a happy work team.

What is a Chronological Resume?

A chronological resume is one of the most standard styles of resumes used. It is also the formatting method that most employers tend to prefer; it is simple and straightforward for a prospective employer to read through quickly and it clearly delineates relevant work experience. The basic overall formatting when writing a chronological resume is to list your job history in chronological order, beginning at the top with your most recent or present work experience, followed by your subsequent work history. Additional skills, education and other pertinent information is then usually listed at the bottom of the resume.

The chronological resume format offers both certain benefits and disadvantages. The effectiveness of using a chronological resume format will depend largely upon your personal work history. This resume style focuses primarily on your work experience, therefore if you have large gaps in your work history or a trying to make a switch in careers, another resume format, such as a functional resume or combined resume, may be more appropriate for you. If you are applying within your current job field or have a solid work history, one of the advantages of this style is that it highlights these positive aspects for your employer.

What Is A Combination Resume?

A combination resume is a format that combines both a functional resume style and a chronological resume style. A combination resume begins with the functional resume attribute of functional skills. This allows candidates to seem relative, no matter what their previous employment history is.

Make sure to add key skills that would make you appealing to the job, not just personal attributes. From there, the resume lists work history in reverse chronological order. This is still important, as it is what employers value potential employees by the most. Many people can benefit from a combination resume, as it allows potential employers to see both sides of your workability. Not only does it list previous employment, but it also gives the employer a chance to see skills that you possess naturally.

By using a combination resume’, it is easy to clear up any long droughts of unemployment. Candidates entering the job market for the first time in years as well as people aiming toward a new career will benefit from a combination resume. Candidates that have a solid work history in the same field likely would not benefit from a combination resume. Combination resume’s combine the best of both worlds and can enhance your ability in landing a new job.