Posts Tagged: ‘group interview’

How to Be Prepared For All Types of Job Interviews

May 24, 2011 Posted by

How to Be Prepared For All Types of Job Interviews

Types of Job Interviews

There are several type of job interviews that the job seeker faces in the job search. Here are some of the interview types that you may face: phone interviews, group interviews, and multi-tiered interviews.

Group Interviews

Ever been to a group interview type with several other job candidates and a small roster of interviewers? These are cream of the crop situations where the best of the best must rise above the rest. What that means: there are several positions available but too many best matches for the positions available, or there one to two positions available and the competition is steep. What it all boils down to is how do you handle stressful situations? Then there is the interview type where the job seeker is faced with more than one interviewer. Congratulations, you are the cream of the crop and half the battle is already done. This type of interview is a collaborative process that not only defines your flexibility in a stressful situation, but shows whether or not you are truly the best match for the company. Don’t let this type of situation stress you out. You, the jobseeker, are also looking for a company that best matches you.

Multiple Interviews

Then there is the multi-tiered interview process. Sometimes, this type of interview is done in two steps or three steps. Whichever interview type you encounter, there are multiple doors you must open before the final meeting. Your first interview maybe a group interview or a personal face-to-face interview. Either way this is the sorting process, where once again they sort out the best of the best. The interviewers at this type of interview either generally sift through the obviously mistaken at the interview, or relay to the hiring manager who they should “keep an eye out for”. Then you get to the second interview, which is usually one on one. This interview means the company expresses a unique interest in hiring you. At the second interview, the job seeker will face questions that are more technically inclined towards the position that you applied, your goals within the company if hired, and the character of your personality. Basically are you, the job seeker, truly fit for this position, the best match for the company, and should I alert the big hiring boss that we have found a winner? Strangely, you’re called back for a third interview. This is the last step in the multi-tiered interview process. You, the job seeker, have finally made it to the hiring manager. The hiring manager is the catch all in the process. They catch anything that their human resources team may have missed, and decide during that interview whether or not they want to work with you.
Now that you have reached the end of this article, remember that this type of interview process can start with a phone interview. Use the career advice below to pass the elusive phone interview and find useful tips on a face to face interview.

Phone Interviews

Before the face-to-face interviews, you may have a telephone interview. Here are some tips to ensure a successful telephone interview:

• Schedule the interview period for a time when you won’t be distracted.
• Control your environment. Keep the dog chained in the backyard. Make sure the kids have a babysitter. Turn off TVs and radios. Ensure all distractions are kept to a minimum. Better yet, eliminate all distractions.
• Use a landline if one is available.
• Have a glass of water nearby, in case you get dry mouth.
• Have your interview notes and resume in front of you. Highlight those areas you believe are most important.
• Vary your pitch and response time. Don’t rush. Calculate your responses.
• Do not multi-task. Pay careful attention to the process. Having to ask the interviewer to repeat a question or comment indicates inattention.

Face-to-Face Interviews

Once you have gotten past the phone interview, here are some strategies designed to ensure a smooth, in-person interview process:

1. Sell it, Don’t Tell it

The interview is the time to “Sell” you. For example: You might be asked how many people you managed in your last position. You might be inclined to answer “35″. That’s “Telling”.
The “Selling” approach should be: “I managed a staff of 35, including both professionals and support personnel. Not only did I manage those individuals, I directed all recruitment and hiring activities, set salaries, designed and implemented bonus plans, facilitated annual performance reviews, and projected long-term staffing requirements. Additionally, my team increased sales by more than 35% in one year while reducing expenses by 10%”.
When presented in this fashion you have “Sold” your achievements and not just “Told” what you did.

2. Spin a Negative into a Positive

Suppose you’re asked about your experience having managed people and you’ve never before done that. Your instinctive response might be to respond that you have no supervisory experience. Never answer “No”, “Never”, or “I don’t know”. Alternatively, use related experience to answer the question and illustrate your specific skills. For example, you might respond with “My background includes experience coordinating workload distribution among a team of 50+ personnel and responding to their specific inquiries about job assignments, deadlines, and resources”. This approach is honest (you never said you supervised anyone), and you’ve positioned yourself positively.

3. Use “Big” to highlight the “Little”

Suppose someone asks you if you have any experience with mergers and acquisitions. To organize your thoughts, make your response flow seamlessly, and make it easy for your interviewer to understand your specific experience in that area, use the “big-to-little” strategy. Start “big” with an overview of your experience in M&A transactions; just a few sentences to describe your overall scope and depth of experience. Then, follow up with 2- 4 specific, “little” achievements, projects, or highlights that are directly related. You might talk about your involvement in due diligence, negotiations, transactions, and/or acquisition integration. In essence, you’re communicating, “This is what I know and this is how well I’ve done it.”

4. Remember: You’ve passed the First Test…

Before you enter the interview remember you have passed the first test – You’ve been invited to the interview based upon your stellar resume, reputation, and performance based upon a telephone pre-interview. If you are meeting with top executives of the company they’re already interested in you. Their time is valuable. They wouldn’t be meeting with you if they weren’t interested. Approach the interview knowing you’ve got them hooked. Don’t be cocky, but use this knowledge to relax and present your best self. Be confident, poised, and work with the objective that you are there to “close the deal”.

5. Take the Initiative

It is likely that something within your resume, skills or experiences, may have been overlooked. Perhaps it was your experience with Supply Chain Management or Mergers and Acquisitions. It is your responsibility to introduce this information into the conversation before the interview concludes.
You might comment “before we end the interview I’d like to share some more information about myself as it relates to the position and your company”. Proceed with the information, making certain it is pertinent to the conversation and that you communicate all information that has value. It is important to produce this information whether or not the interviewer addresses a particular topic.
Understandably, the interview process is a stressful and difficult situation. Keep in mind your professional life is on the line. Remember to walk into each interview with an agenda of your desired outcome, and work towards that goal. Demonstrate and illustrate your qualifications and experience. Quietly control the interview process and paint a picture that positions you as being the ideal candidate for the job.
With that in mind, some people look great on paper… but miserably fail when presented with the opportunity of the interview. Here are some tips to keep in mind when approaching your interview:

• The Handshake

Keep the handshake firm, not too tight, and certainly not loose. It should last no more than 3 seconds. Maintain eye contact during the handshake and remember to smile.

• Talking too much

Don’t talk too much. Certainly engage in conversation with the interviewer, but let them set the pace. Speak slowly and deliberately. Maintain eye contact, but don’t glare.
Be comfortable with “uncomfortable silence”. You may be asked a question to which you respond, and the interviewer sits there as if they’re waiting for more. This may be a test of your patience and confidence. If you’ve answered the question to the best of your ability remain silent, yet poised for the next question. If it appears that the interviewer isn’t wavering you might inquire if your response was satisfactory, and whether they desire a more elaborate response.

• Previous Employers

Never bad-mouth your previous employers. Even if your last boss was a mean- spirited dictator, never present your true feelings about him/her. No matter how reasonable your complaints… you come out the loser. When faced with the challenge of describing your previous employers remember to focus on the positives. Certainly there were some admirable traits you recognized in your previous employers (He/She was diligent in overcoming any obstacles to completing a project. He/She showed no favoritism, treating everyone equally.)

• Show up on time

Never arrive earlier than 10 minutes before the scheduled start of your interview. Anything earlier than 10 minutes is a giveaway that you’ve too much time on your hands. Act as though your time is as valuable as theirs.
Never, ever, arrive late for an interview. Anticipate traffic delays or a flat tire. If an emergency causes you to be late telephone the company, explain your predicament, remind them you appreciate how valuable their time is, and inquire if they desire to proceed with the interview or reschedule.

• Be polite to the Receptionist

The Receptionist often is the first person you will meet at the company, and will be the first person for which a good impression should be made. Be polite, and not overly talkative. The Receptionist has the power to present you to the interviewer in a positive or negative light. Never underestimate the power of the receptionist.

• Pay, Benefits, and Vacation time

Never discuss pay, benefits, or vacation time during the initial interview. This meeting is to determine if you are a candidate for the position and if the employer is a candidate for you. Your objective is to receive an offer of employment.
A second interview is the time to discuss pay, benefits, and vacations. At this point you are assured that your experience and skills are valuable to the employer, and discussions about pay and benefits can be presented.

• Prepare for the interview

Find out how people at the particular company are attired. Dress the part. Dress as if you could start work right now.
Anticipate which questions the interviewer may present. Be prepared to answer any question that might be presented.
Prepare questions for the interviewer as it relates to the position and the company. Consider asking questions to which you already know the answers. Ask questions that are out of the ordinary. If the company has been involved in a large project, make an inquiry. This signals the interviewer that you’ve done your research and genuinely are interested in the position and not looking for just another “job”.

• Certain questions you might consider asking:

o What are the company’s plans for the next five years, and how does this position contribute to achieving those objectives?
o How will my performance be measured, and how often?
o What are the day-to-day core responsibilities for this position?
o Can you describe the company’s management style and culture?
You want to be armed with from 5-10 solid questions… ask questions that otherwise you couldn’t find answers to on the Internet.
Don’t ask:
o What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses compared to the competition?
You should prepare, in advance, to identify what those strengths and weaknesses are, and how your skills and experience will contribute.
Remember; demonstrate to the interviewer that you’ve done your homework, that you have the initiative to seek out answers.

• Communication styles:

o Everyone has a different communication style. Focus on how the interviewer communicates, and mirror his approach.
o If the interviewer seems all business, don’t shake things up by telling jokes or anecdotes. Be succinct and businesslike.
o If the interviewer is personable, respond in kind. Identify common interests. Scan his/her office for items that might be a topic for conversation. Keep it short, and not too personal.
o Respond to direct questions directly. Consider following up on a question by inquiring if your answer was sufficient or if it requires further elaboration.

The internet has become a main source of information for job candidates. The internet, being an extremely popular source, makes competition for getting that job highly competitive. Get started with My Online Career Space and let that prospective employer know you are the primary candidate for them. With your own personalized career space you will rise above the rest of the job seekers on the internet. Connecting Job Seekers to Employers and Ideal Careers

Find the best employment for yourself using the newest job search website My Online Career Space, by using MyOnlineCareerSpace you can find the job at the company that best matches you.

The internet has become a main source of information for job candidates. The internet, being an extremely popular source, makes competition for getting that job highly competitive. Get started with My Online Career Space and let that prospective employer know you are the primary candidate for them. With your own personalized career space you will rise above the rest of the job seekers on the internet. Connecting Job Seekers to Employers and Ideal Careers

Find the best employment for yourself using the newest job search website My Online Career Space, by using MyOnlineCareerSpace you can find the job at the company that best matches you.

Passing a TEFL/ESLTESOL Job Interview and Landing that Dream Job Abroad

May 22, 2011 Posted by

Passing a TEFL/ESLTESOL Job Interview and Landing that Dream Job Abroad

The job interview in TEFL/ESL/TESOL is vitally important for so many reasons. You have to prove yourself capable and competent in an increasingly competitive market, you have to find out what kind of establishment your potential employer is, whether or not you can negotiate pay and other conditions, and for many more reasons. As we learn in this article, careful planning and an astute and charismatic approach on the day works wonders. Think now you have applied for a job in a private language institute and have been invited to attend an interview like any other job. So begins the preparation stage to the TEFL/ESL/TSEOL job interview. Getting your appearance, interview answers and interview questions right, through careful preparation, will put you way ahead of the competition. This is when you must invest your time doing your homework. But what do you need to know?

English teaching jobs abroad by their nature represent challenges for companies when trying to recruit teachers. The challenges of long distances are reflected in a variety of job interview formats, which you should make yourself aware of before attendance. Let us identify the three main types of interview and their unique quirks. Firstly, there is the standard face-to-face interview, which is most similar to any other employment type.  Such interviews can be done in your home country and are very common if you are looking for teaching jobs in the country where you want to teach. The majority of advice in this article is primarily concerned with passing this format.

Second, is the group interview. In this format, a group of usually five to twenty people are invited to attend, usually for several hours,an interview and seminar. This format can be challenging as it will be more obvious that you are in competition with other candidates. Also, you will most likely be asked to engage in some teaching or teamwork-related tasks. The main thing to bare in mind in such tasks is how you conduct yourself with your fellow interviewees, rather than how well or quickly you can complete the tasks. Show yourself to be cooperative, a good communicator and conscientious – all necessary charateristics in the classroom.

Thirdly, if you are applying for a teaching job abroad from your home country, be prepared to do a telephone interview. Telephone interviews are rarely popular with candidates, or interviewers surprisingly. The lack of face to face reassurance brings out people’s insecurities and this can result in a generally poorer performance. Other annoyances like time zone differences and potential time lags over the phone also make this format more unpleasant. In response to these difficulties, respond to the interviewer’s ice-breakers, make your own to create an atmosphere of ease, and remain calm throughout.

Let’s assume now you are attending interview format one; a basic face to face meeting with the OS/ADOS of the school you want to work for. Do not overlook cultural differences when considering what to wear when you attend the interview. If you are already in the country where you intend to teach, you can find out the social norms easily enough. However, if you are attending an interview for a job abroad in your home country, do your research. One of the most curious interviews I have ever attended involved a large Japanese company recruiting in the United Kingdom. Upon arriving at the group interview in London, all male candidates not dressed in a suit and tie were politely asked to leave. Female candidates not dressed in a similar level of formality were also cut. On this occasion, like any other when I am not sure about appropriacy, always be too formal rather than too casual.

It is not an inevitability that you will be asked questions related to English grammar, but if it is your first job or you have less than the golden two years experience, spend time before the interview brushing up on your grammar. As the TEFL/ESL/TESOL market place becomes saturated with more candidates and qualifications like the CELTA/Trinity TESOL become the norm, not the exception, it is vital you do not embarrass yourself in the interview by stumbling over elementary language issues. In no way do you need to know all the intricacies of English, but basic language awareness is essential; after all how can you teach something which you don’t know yourself? As a guide, look at a Pre-Intermediate level course book; the interviewer will not ask advanced language questions, so do not worry. From my experience, prepare yourself to explain the difference between the past simple (I went) and the present perfect  (I have gone), the rules of comparative or superlative adjectives (taller, the tallest), what modal verbs are (must, can) and what gerunds are (swimming, being late) and more.

The job interview is now in a few days time and it is essential that you prepare your ideas to a range of open questions the interviewer will ask you. TEFL/ESL/TESOL job interviews, I believe, are easier than other interviews to pass in this respect, as there really are only a limited range of questions you should expect to be asked. It is advisable to prepare ideas, not wholly scripted answers to the following (question advice in brackets):

Why do you want to work for us? (Impress them with your knowledge of the company). Why have you become an English teacher? (Mention your love of teaching and learning; not travelling – your employer doesn’t want to think you will get up and leave through your contract!) What work experience (in TEFL/ESL/TESOL) do you have? (If this is your first job, explain how your previous work experience relates to teaching and learning). What were the challenges/difficulties you faced on CELTA/Trinity TESOL/ your last teaching job? (Make sure you spin this so it appears you reflected on your teaching practice and grew as a teacher). What English course books have you taught from/ What did you think of them? (Identify a book you liked and say how it helped your students learn) How long do you want to work for us/in TEFL/ESL/TESOL? (It is advisable not to mention English teaching as a stop gap or just an excuse to get out of your home country. Give the impression you’re in it for the medium to long haul).

Naturally, there are quite a few other questions that could be asked – the above is supposed to serve only as a guide. Remember to always try and put a positive presentation on any teaching practice or experience you have had. Never appear disgruntled with a previous employer or ex-colleague and do not bad mouth a society you have lived in.

Interviewers such as DOSs and ADOSs do not expect the interview process to be a one-way street so neither should you. In actual fact, I think TEFL/ESL/TESOL job interviews involve as much assessment of the school as the school does of you. Unfortunately, experience teaching and working within TEFL/ESL/TESOL best draws out the questions and issues you want answered. If you have never worked in teaching English, just try and think what will most impinge on/benefit your daily working life. Here are some essential things to find out about:

Do I have to work split shifts? (never popular with teachers) Do I have to travel from class to class? (seldom paid) How will the school support me If I am teaching children? (the best schools work very closely with parents and teachers – the worst, not at all) How are student levels determined? (hopefully, through a comprehensive test administered by a native speaker) What are the procedures for cover and overtime? (how easily can you get cover if you are ill and can you get extra hours if you want to?) What materials (books, stationery etc)/resources (photocopier, printer etc) have you got? What are the opportunities for promotion/pay rises? (it is reasonable to ask) What are the opportunities for professional development? (can the company help make you a better teacher?)

Obviously, there are a lot of issues which you may want to raise in the interview, but try not turn the meeting into you interviewing the school! Hopefully, the interviewer should assuage your fears and provide answers that demonstrate the school is committed to academic quality, job satisfaction amongst teachers, and administrative competency. Alarm bells should ring if the interviewer dodges the issues above or provides unsatisfactory answers.

If you have impressed the interviewer, and have conversely been impressed by the interviewer’s responses to your questions, it is time to think about acceptance. You may have been to several interviews at the same time and are wondering which one to accept. I would recommend weighing up the pros and cons of each job very carefully and remember that it is not always salary that affects job satisfaction. Is a month more really worth it for a poorly administered school that prioritises money over student/teacher welfare. The interviewer may ask for your acceptance on the day. If that is the case, it is not unreasonable to ask for thinking time of a day or two – you are committing yourself to a year or more abroad and the interviewer should understand that.

In conclusion, with thorough preparation, being formally dressed, and having a charismatic performance on the day, you should land that dream TEFL/ESL/TESOL job easily. Schools are always looking for teachers and it’s often the case that there are too many jobs to choose from. Use the interview as an opportunity to suss out the employer. Speak to other teachers and go round the premises. On a final note, learn from every TEFL/ESL.TESOL job interview – write down what went well and what you could improve upon so you can raise your game up a level next time. Good luck!

Having been an English teacher for three years in various destinations such as Russia, the UK and Singapore, Will has developed a keen interest in TEFL/ESL/TESOL resource development and management. He has established his own TEFL/ESL/TESOL supplementary handouts website, an Internet subscription database of over 1000 downloadable supplementary handouts.

Tips for a successful interview

April 13, 2011 Posted by

Your skills on paper are one thing: being able to sell yourself face to face, quite another. Hear what experienced interviewers look for in a candidate, their simple tips to help you stand out, and the keys to success in group interview activities.
Video Rating: 5 / 5