Acing a Telephonic Interview: How Difficult or Easy Can It Get? — A Guest Post

You’ve put immense thought in building an efficient resume and guess what, it caught the eye of your targeted employer.

Although this calls for some celebration, but you need to confine your excitement because the scrutiny has just begun.

So, what’s next?

Yes, you answered it right-the telephonic interview!

Your selection for the next set of rounds depends on how efficiently you ace this one. However, there are certain subtleties which make all the difference between making it to the interview room and heading back to applying again.

phone interview

Make Sure You’ve Done Ample Research At Your End

Whether the interview is in person or over a phone call, studying about the company and your potential employer will surely pay-off.

It goes as a part of pre-interview research for you to check the company’s website and various social media platforms it is active on.

You should also be familiar with the job profile and the responsibilities associated with it. This will help you to answer how you can be the right fit for the role.

Use Your Landline Phone and Avoid Noise- If possible!

Any distractions during the interview might prove to be fatal interruptions. Make sure that you’re well rested, in a quiet place, to avert coming across as an unprofessional candidate.

Keep Some Handy Notes By Your Side

One of the major benefits of a phone interview is that your potential recruiter can’t see you. So why not use it for your own advantage!

You can have notes, your resume and job description next to you, to be more accurate and to make your answers substantial. These will work as perfect reference tools.

Short Responses Would Definitely Work

Obviously, a phone interview would make it impossible for you to pick up on the interviewer’s non-verbal cues. This would make you go prattling on even in the shortest of gaps. Avoid this by keeping your answers short and crisp. Keep them under two minutes and wait for his or her response or a follow-up question.

Breathe and Speak Clearly

Since the only communication you can carry out with the hiring manager at this stage is through the call, make sure whatever you say is expressed clearly. Being a bit slow while answering might help in this regard. Your voice has to be engaged and enthusiastic, so don’t ramble and exhaust yourself. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and speak like a professional.

And Last, but not the least…

Considering that you’ll have other interviews as well, taking notes is a good idea. Jot down the key points to review yourself and start working on the pitfalls you may have stumbled in so you’ll be better prepared for your next phone interview.

It’s not the last one, just do your best.

Anshuman Kukreti

Anshuman Kukreti

Author Bio: Anshuman Kukreti is a professional writer and a keen follower of the global employment market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the globe. Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

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Career Opportunities: Rejoining Society after Prison– a Guest Post

“Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”
– Richard M. Nixon

Keeping the tenure of a convict in prison aside, the challenges they face when searching for employment is another story all together. Looking for work is no mean feat, but when ex-convicts start probing for a job, they are faced with additional hurdles and trials.

convicts

Some employers may cringe from hiring such individuals. But many organizations across the globe – felon friendly employers – do take them on, thereby leaving an exemplary example in their wake.

Companies, at times, conduct a background check after 2 – 3 rounds into the interview. According to a report by Prison Policy Initiative (PPI), a criminal-justice research and advocacy group, in United States, around 688,000 people are released from prison every year.

Some Advice
Ex-convicts need to keep certain pointers in mind before they embark on the arduous journey of looking for a job. The suggestions given here may help.

Networking: The first thing to do before looking for any job is to ask around. Most jobs are acquired through contacts. A stint in prison leaves you quite disoriented; hence, ask friends and family to vouch for you if you find something interesting.

Part-time work: Acquiring full-fledged employment instantly is difficult. If you are tired of twiddling your toes at home, look for some part-time evening work. Employers don’t often conduct background checks for such positions.

Follow your passion: Being an ex-convict does not make you talentless. You could have a flair for painting, writing, or tattoo designing. Music and dance might flow freely in your veins. Some ex-convicts are great with their technical skills and could find work as computer operators. If you think you have a hobby which can be turned into a career, go with it.

Look for specific jobs: Certain companies are comfortable with hiring former felons and deem background checks unnecessary. Construction work, driving and customer service positions, delivery work, etc. are some of the job profiles that could serve your purpose for starters.

Start your own business: This is the era of start-ups. Whether it is marketing your paintings or writing content-pieces as a freelancer, being your own boss is not only gratifying but shifts focus from your conviction as well.

Where to begin

The dilemma faced by all – where do I look? – can be answered very simply. There are many ways for ex-convicts to begin their job search. By employing traditional methods you could find a company that does not conduct background checks, or a company that may not reject you based on your criminal record.

Look to cold calling, going through community assistance programs, and the best option – job search engines that list all possible jobs by category and requirement. Start communicating with people and let them know that you are ready to rejoin society and are seeking employment.

Create an account on social media websites like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. which help in making connections in a small time frame.

Enhancing skill-set
Ex-convicts can improve their skill-set by undertaking diploma or certification courses. Short courses or workshops of three= six months are being conducted by leading academic institutions all over the world. Enrollment requires a nominal fee and classes can be taken in shifts if required.

A crash course in design, computer operating, programming languages, communication, etc. can definitely provide an edge. Use this opportunity to upgrade your competencies and build out your resume.

Justifying your Resume

The one thing that gives every ex-convict cold feet is how to justify a conviction on the resume.

Expecting a background check, it is wise to tell the whole truth. Here is what you need to do:

• Do not give out additional information. Read the questions carefully and supply to-the-point truthful answers. Giving unnecessary leads is not required.

• Conduct your own background check before sitting for an interview. Knowing what the employer knows will give you the added benefit of preparing appropriate answers for the difficult questions.

• Recite a platonic version of what happened. Do not sound needy or desperate.

• Have a positive attitude. Appear friendly and not menacing. Give the employer constructive reasons to hire you by exhibiting a desire for change and development.

Keeping the global economic crisis in mind, looking for employment in the current job market is quite a harrowing experience. Ex-convicts require perseverance when embarking on this trail. They must be prepared to accept work that is low-paying and sometimes, menial. Despite all the applications and interview calls, ex-convicts still need a little extra help.

Agencies that provide professional assistance to such job seekers are:
• Xamire.com
• National H.I.R.E Network
• America Works
• One Stop Career Centre
• Chrysalis
• Delancey Street Foundation

Organizations such as these not only provide expert help, but endeavour to improve the lives of many dejected souls. Investigate some of these resources to get the best assistance for increasing your chances of getting a job.

Guest blogger Tina Jindal

Guest blogger Tina Jindal

Author Bio: Tina Jindal is a professional content writer who works on a variety of topics like employment, real estate, and education. She has been involved with publications such as Cookery, Gardening, Pregnancy, and Healthcare. She loves to travel and is crazy about dogs. You can contact her @Gmail | LinkedIn | Google+.

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How to get a job interview: a guest post

So, you’ve applied to dozens of jobs and sent out hundreds of resumes, but still haven’t heard back from anyone? Here are top tips for landing a job interview that will help you to break this unsatisfying routine and grant a chance at getting the job of your dreams.

Isabel Williams

Isabel Williams

Research the market

Before setting out on your job hunt, you need to know what kind of position, company and industry you’d like to get into. Be specific. Instead of vague “I want to work in fashion”, establish your goals and formulate a precise message: “I want to be come a digital marketing director for the X brand”.

This will help you to understand better what you’re after and how others can help you to get into that X company, opening up some networking possibilities that often prove decisive for getting that first meeting.

Market yourself

Know what you’re good at and what value you bring to companies – then market those qualities to impress each and every professional contact you make during your job hunt. Most people resort to business cards, but how about something more original and suited to your prospective industry? A biographic that tells your professional story in visuals is a great way to be remembered.

Prepare a killer resume

Your resume should be adjusted to fit the context and company you’re interested to join. Resumes that get noticed are those that send a clear message and answer the question: What can I do for the company to help it grow? Recruiters will be more than happy to receive a resume which already suggests the problems you’re able to solve for the company,

Network

Instead of relying on job boards, try your hand at networking – it’s a great strategy for landing on top of the resume file. Get in touch with people who might be willing to refer your in the recruiting process. Always use a good motive to contact someone – offer something of value.

Take initiative

This goes together with the point about networking – instead of sitting in front of the computer screen and automatically sending out your resumes, try to adopt a proactive approach and get in touch with companies and individuals yourself. As soon as you establish your goals and prepare a great resume, you’re ready to get out there and find a job, instead of waiting for it to find you.

Treat job postings as indications of a company’s interest in hiring new staff. Use the backdoor and contact department heads to get more information on the offer. Don’t be too eager – in your emails say that a colleague passed you the job posting and, given you’re not actively looking for a job, you’d like to know more details before applying for the position.

Know what you want and you’ll find a way to get it – don’t expect the overcrowded job market of today to work in your favor!

Th article was contributed by Isabel Wiliams of http://www.bizdb.co.uk/. Isabel Wiliams is a passionate educator and an accomplished businesswoman. With a strong background in Internet Science and New Technologies combined with huge IT expertise she regularly give seminars on leveraging the potential of the World Wide Web for business success.

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Top 5 Body Language Signals to Land a Job: a guest post

In today’s shaky economy, job interviews are more stressful than ever. In order to make a good impression during a job interview, you must learn to harness your involuntary bodily responses to stress and become a calm, collected candidate whose skills and qualifications won’t get squandered by an awkward body language. Here are top 5 body language tricks that will improve your chances at landing a job.

Guest blogger Angelica Jennsen

Guest blogger Angelica Jennsen

Project Confidence

The very first seconds of your interview are already significant – if you enter the office with a shy knock, limp handshake and avoid eye contact, your body language will convey a lack of confidence. Instead, give the interviewer a firm handshake and maintain eye contact. Remember not to go overboard and dominate the room – always follow the basic rules of politeness.

Our body language doesn’t only impact the way others see us – it can also change the way we see ourselves. Check out this incredibly popular and inspiring TED talk by Amy Cuddy, where she demonstrates how assuming a confident posture (even when we don’t feel too self-assured) affects our brain chemistry and impacts our chance for success.

Maintain Eye-Contact

Eye contact simply means you’re open and honest. Relax your face muscles and make sure they match the tone of what you’re saying – when stressed, you might appear rigid or even untrustworthy.

Gazing into your interviewer’s eyes for too long is risky too – more than 7-10 seconds of intense stare would induce discomfort in anyone. Try to be as natural as possible – when rehearsing your answers to potential interview questions, train in front of the mirror to see whether your facial expressions convey an image of calm confidence.

Relax and Speak Your Mind

What you say during a job interview is just as important as how you say it. Monitor the tone of your speaking voice to make sure you’re a picture of relaxed confidence. Don’t modify your normal speaking style too much – control your pitch and volume. Avoid clearing your throat, accompanying your responses with ‘ums’ and constructing extremely long sentences that never arrive to their point.

Manage Your Gestures and Posture

Crossing your arms, fidgeting or maintaining a firm hold to your briefcase will all impede you from making a great impression. You need your hands free to be able to punctuate your words – go for natural gesticulation and avoid choppy gestures or touching your face. Keep your hands at the level between your hips and shoulders to project confidence.

Mirror the Interviewer

This trick has over the years been proven to work no matter what. All you need to do is imitate the movements of the interviewer. If they lean, you lean as well – if they move their hand on the desk, you can do something similar. Remember – those are just body cues for you to follow, not replicate in detail.

In order to fully benefit from all the tips listed above, try to integrate them in your daily life. Practicing those simple steps will help you to render them more natural and easily handle all kinds of professional meetings, not only job interviews.

Angelica Jennsen is an experienced marketing specialist with vast IT experience currently employed by Seven Spots who divides her time between work and her passion for traveling and learning languages.

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Common job-hunting mistakes by the long-time unemployed, a guest post

In the unstable economy of today, it is fairly common for a number of people to be incapable of finding a job for a prolonged period of time. A sudden influx of spare time after either getting fired from a previous position or graduating from university may appear overwhelming at first, but it is in the job seeker’s best interests to use it for the best. Avoiding typical mistakes of the “chronically” unemployed may aid in landing a new, promising position sooner than expected.

Guest blogger Kelly Smith

Guest blogger Kelly Smith

The fact that you have already attended many job interviews does not mean that you shouldn’t prepare equally, for all of them. When unable to eloquently answer common job interview questions, which can easily be found online, a candidate can often portray their dependency on getting the job, as opposed to their willingness to cooperate and fully commit to work in order to add to the company’s success.

Constant rejection can also make it difficult for job seekers to believe in their abilities and skillset. However, losing hope and toning down the intensity of job searching may prove counterproductive, leading to missed work opportunities. Switching to a positive attitude could open doors to expanding networks and increased self-confidence, both of which play a significant role especially in the time of unemployment.

Also, being on a lookout for a job does not – and should not – rule out investing extra time in self-development. Broadening experience, developing the skill and perfecting the craft may result in remarkable increase of valuable offers. Any exposure to the industry, even if reduced only to unpaid volunteer activities or short-term temporary jobs, prevents from losing contact with regular professional duties and, additionally, helps freshen up knowledge. Going to workshops, enrolling in courses and getting involved in groups of shared interest is a decision well made.

Furthermore, staying away from social media is not advisable. LinkedIn and other online resources are places where not only lucky position holders, but also job seekers can set up their profile and regularly update it with the hope to get noticed by a potential employer. Leaving the “job” gap blank is also no reason to panic – it lets recruiters and company employers know who is currently in search for offers and open to collaboration.

Remaining inflexible is another job seeker sin, committed much too often. Staying too attached to one’s place of residence and refusing to relocate could, in most extreme circumstances, stop your chances of getting employed. Oftentimes it only means a dramatically diminished selection of offers to choose from and the risk of having to your lower standards, accepting a position that not necessarily fulfils your professional ambitions or needs, interests and educational background.

Avoiding anything industry-related altogether may mark a significant pause in your professional life and negatively influence your job search and ability to switch back into the work routine. Staying away from career-enhancing courses or temporary assignments could also prove little beneficial in one’s quest for the perfect job. In short, it is essential to bear in mind that stagnation is a blind alley, just like constant exposure to professional duties is, especially in the long run, a key to success.

Kelly Smith is a dedicated tutor and writer. Currently, she develops her passion at Career FAQs, one of the leading providers of career and educational resources in Australia, where she provides career advice for students and job seekers.

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Five Steps For A Successful Job Search, a guest post

Searching for a job is one of the most arduous tasks for an individual or a professional. It is important for the candidates to cover all the basics of a job search which include important steps like creating a résumé and meeting with recruiters etc. One must take special care that everything should be focused and professional in order to get the job position that you applied for. Keeping up to date with the latest career trends and developments in the organizational workflow is essential for a successful job search. Searching for jobs without a plan will not only waste precious time but will also land you with a job that doesn’t fit your skill set. Here are some quick tips for the first time job seekers for a successful job hunt.

successful-job-search

Guest blogger Luke Peters

Guest blogger Luke Peters

  1. Research Is The Key

Finding the right job always comes down to amount of research that a job seeker does looking for appropriate positions. One must spend at least 30 hours in a week on searching for various jobs that match your skill set and experience. Searching for jobs is similar to a full time work and one must plan their actions as if being paid by someone to do the job. Most successful job seekers consider job search as real work similar to a full time job. The higher the amount of research you do, the better opportunities you get.

  1. Work With A Plan

Looking for a job without a plan or strategy will only waste your and the organization’s time and will rarely provide you with the satisfaction that you seek with your job. Review your qualification as it is important to know what kind of job matches your area or expertise. Clearly identify the job objectives and your role in an organization if you are hired. It is common for new job seekers to fill up their résumé with information that is totally non-relevant to the applied positions. So, one must make sure to include only the information that is important for the job position.

  1. Online Networking Is Essential

With the growing popularity of social media for personal and professional use, it is important for the job seekers to maintain their profiles on social media platforms like facebook, LinkedIn etc. Connecting with the other people who are already working in your field can provide you with some vital insights on the organization and the work environment. New job seekers often talk too much about their accomplishments and qualities on social media and fail to learn from the connections they have made.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid To Talk To The Employers Directly

More than 85% of the organizations do not list their open positions on the job seeking portals and directly hire the people who already know about the open positions. Once you have narrowed down your own goals, do not be afraid to approach the companies directly for available positions that suit your skill set. One must make a list of all the organizations that are relevant to your experience and qualifications and should not be shy to ask for an open position.

  1. Persistence Is A Must

A never give up attitude is one of the essential qualities that a job seeker should have. Job search is a complicated and time consuming process and facing failures is unavoidable. Rejections can often bulk up and lead to the feeling of depression and dejection. Having your résumé rejected by an organization can be disheartening but one must take it as a part and parcel of life and should never stop trying. Failures often are an indication of loopholes in your plan. You must properly review your strategy in order to lower the chances of rejection in the future interviews.

While job searching contains several uncertainties and risks of being rejected, it is important for job seekers to keep in mind the abovementioned tips to ease the situation. A well planned and confidant approach can limit the chances of your résumé being ignored or rejected by the interviewer.

Author Bio:

Luke Peters has written several articles on topics such as recruitment, hiring, management, finance and marketing etc. He is also the current contributor for http://www.currentitjobs.co.uk and likes to spend most of his time reading about  about management and keeping up with the latest trends and developments in the market.

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Are We Ready for a World Without Resumes?

John N. Frank:

A world moving beyond resumes? Sounds exciting,

Originally posted on One Man's Opinion:

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

Updating resumes and writing cover letters can feel like an insurmountable obstacle in the job hunting process, even when you’re desperate for a new gig. For one thing, it’s hard to see typos or inconsistencies once they’ve been introduced, making the process dull at best and frustrating at worst; for another, well, it feels weird to pitch yourself so openly. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to deal with resumes and cover letters at all?
Now, some researchers are advocating just that.

“It’s time for the resume and the cover letter to die,” writes Jesse Singal at The Science of Us. “The problem is that the resume-and-cover-letter bundle — call it ‘the packet’ from here on — is an inefficient, time-wasting way for employers to sort through a first wave of applicants. It doesn’t provide nearly as much useful information about potential employees as we’ve…

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