Interview and Resume tips

Interviews are an integral part of any recruitment process and give candidates the opportunity to sell themselves. Unfortunately, many smart professionals who clearly understand what it takes to succeed still struggle to go past the interview stage and fail to bring their career growth vision to reality. To help our candidates succeed in interviews, we have established a career advice corner to help those who wish to strengthen their job prospects. We provide practical advice on cover letter and resume/cv writing, common interview questions and techniques of networking among others.

We cover the following under this section:

  • The best interview tips
  • Common interview questions
  • Resume/CV advice

Preparation is the most important step towards a successful interview. It’s worthwhile to prepare a list of potential questions you are likely to be asked, research for the most suitable answers and practice how to answer them. Having some interview questions to ask about the company can put you top on the list as this will demonstrate your interest in the opportunity at hand.

The best Interview Tips

Congratulations for making it to the interview level! During the interview process, the HR personnel are looking for specific things and as contained in three main questions that you need to answer to be considered as the right fit for the job:

  • Can this person do the job?
  • Will he/she do the job?
  • Will he/she fit in with the company culture?

These three questions are what I call “the question within the question,” and helps hiring managers make a better hiring decision. As a job seeker, ensure you answer all these questions honestly. Below are 10 top most common questions that interviewers often ask. Revise them carefully because your answering approach will say a lot.

1. Reflecting back at your last position, what do you think was missing that you hope to find in your next role?

This question simply wants to find out why you’re leaving your current job. Such answers like, “I didn’t have access to my boss and thus lacked support”, be ready to answer this next question, “Do you have a specific example where you made a decision on your own because your boss was not available?” This follow-up question will help the interviewer determine your level of decision making and how much access to the manager you’ll need.

2. What qualities of your last boss did you admire, and what qualities did you dislike?

This question is tricky and you need to strike a balance of positive and negative feedback. How you answer this question will reveal to the interviewers how tactful you are as well as the kind of leadership style you prefer and/or abhor. If you mention a trait the interviewer dislikes or that’s not in line with the company’s culture, then you might not be considered fit for the position.

3. How would you like to be rewarded for good performance?

As simple as the question may sound, it give the interviewer a sense of what motivates you; money, time off or more formal recognition? If you’re interviewing for a management role, the follow-up question would be: How would you reward the good performance of employees who work for you? Are you a “do as I say, not as I do” type of manager? Here, the interviewer wants to find out if you practice what you preach, or whether you preach water and take wine and if so, then you might not be a cultural fit.

4. Do you have an example of when and how your relationship with your manager went off track and how you handled it?

The interviewer will be keen to find out why the relationship went off track. Did you take responsibility for your own actions first or placed blame on the manager? In this case, the interviewer wants to know more about your communication style and how you solve conflict.

5. What does the phrase “I have integrity,” mean to you?

As you answer this question, prepare for this follow up questions, “How have you demonstrated integrity in your work?” Integrity is expansive, and most people think they have it when they don’t, but do you really understand what it looks and sounds like? Here, the interviewer is looking for congruency of words and actions.

6. What’s your experience like working with generation X or Y? What are the three strongest qualities you like about them?

Various generations have been associated with certain work habits. For instance, if you’re working with younger people, interviewers will want to know how you will integrate with this population. The interviewer will be interested in finding out how you’ve collaborated with workers of all ages and used each other’s talents to achieve organizational objectives. Are you a strong team player or just a team leader? — do you have the energy, drive and attitude to work well with others?

7. Why do you think you are the most qualified person and why should I hire you for this role based on what we have discussed?

The interviewer wants to ensure you clearly understand the challenges that exist and what would be expected of you in the event of your hire. This is the most opportune time for you to sell yourself effectively for the post.

8. As you look at your previous companies, can you describe in detail which company culture you excelled in the most and why?

The interviewer is wants to know about your preferred culture and whether you’ll fit in the company’s culture, which is one of the essential criteria for job satisfaction. They want to hire someone who is reliable and likely to add value to the organization.

Proper preparation for interviews is essential, and with the above questions and answers, you now know better.

Common Interview Questions

Below is a list of other common interview questions. Take some time to review them, as you think about how you would respond. It helps to write down short answers to the questions and reviewing them prior to the interview. Practicing will help you be more confident during the interview.

If the interviewer asks you questions that are not included in this list, just stay calm and take a moment to think about your response before answering. Device some interview questions to ask the interviewer. Such may include; what are the job responsibilities? How many working hours per week?

General Questions

  • Tell me a little about yourself.
  • Why should I hire you?
  • How do you define success?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • Where would you like to be in five years? Ten?
  • Describe your personality.
  • What past accomplishments have given you satisfaction? Why?
  • What made you choose to apply to this position?
  • Why do you want to leave your current position?

Job Specific Questions

  • What do you know about this position?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • Explain why you are qualified for this job.
  • Are you looking for a permanent or temporary job? Why?
  • Why did you leave your last or current job?
  • What are you looking for in a job?
  • What kind of people do you like to work with?
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • Describe the best boss you have ever had.

Experience Questions

  • How would you define a great work environment?
  • Have you ever worked for a difficult person?
  • Have you mostly worked alone or in groups?
  • How many projects can you handle at one time?
  • What was your workload in your current/last position?
  • What are some things you find difficult to do on the job? Why?

Education Questions

  • What tertiary qualifications have you attained?
  • What if (if any) self improvement courses/programmes have you attended?
  • What certificates have you attained?
  • What is the most recent skill you have learned?
  • What have you learned from your past jobs?

Behavioural Questions

  • Are you a persistent person? Give me an example of this, if so.
  • Where do you stand with your former employer?
  • Explain a difficult situation in which you were involved and how you handled it.
  • How do you work with new people?
  • We have a problem with “______”. How would you handle this problem?

Stressful Questions

  • How do you handle stressful situations?
  • Describe a stressful situation and explain how you handled it.
  • Can you work overtime? Weekends? Travel?
  • Do you have any questions?
  • How do you think this interview is going?
  • How long have you been looking for a new job? Why?
  • How long would you stay with us?
  • Have you ever had problems getting along with others?
  • What can I tell you about my organization?
  • What can you bring to the table that someone else could not?
  • What outside interests do you pursue?
  • Do you have any reservations about the job of the company?

Standout professional CV

Partnering with Ayan Infotech gives you a priceless opportunity to achieve your dream IT role, team and working environment with a reputable company. Creating an outstanding professional CV is the beginning of career success. This requires a clear strategy that emphasizes on your strength and ability to work smart, turn out good volumes consistently with accuracy and a keen eye towards achieving outstanding timely results that would make a great significance and valuable contribution to your employer organization.

Considering how crowded the market is, it’s essential that your CV stands out from those of other job candidates. To do this, ensure you nail down the basics, resume has a clean look, is free of grammatical errors, and clearly presents your skills and experience.

How to write a resume

Your resume should be up-to-date and must be catered with different job applications in order to highlight the skills and experiences relevant to the job being applied for. Customized resumes are more successful as compared to generic ones.

Even though academic background and work experience are considered the strongest factors for a candidate’s suitability for a given job, having no much experience shouldn’t discourage you. You can demonstrate your suitability for the post in some other ways including:

  • Strengths - things you're best at or enjoy doing
  • Experiences – voluntary tasks done or extracurricular activities
  • Key responsibilities and achievements - any awards or recognition received
  • Personal traits – Hardworking, honest, team player, leadership skills among others

How to organise your resume's Content?

The structure of your resume will depend on your work experience and education background. A resume presents information in a reverse order with the most recent work experience and study details at the top of the list. Here's a brief of the most essential things to include on your resume:

Personal details

Education and training

Employment history

Skills and abilities

Career objective

Interests

Referees

 

Resume checklist

It’s of great essence that before sending your resume, peruse through it and ensure the following:

  • Proofreading – Ensure there are no spelling mistakes, typos or grammatical errors.
  • Tailoring - Make sure everything you mention complements your suitability for the job you're applying for.
  • Presentation – Ensure the resume is well laid out, easy to read and printed on clean, white paper in a standard font like Times New Roman, Arial or Verdana and at a standard size of 10 or 12 point.
  • Detail - Be sure to list specific examples of your achievements and how you've utilized the skills acquired.