Job Interview Fundamentals

Posted on August 28, 2012. Filed under: Interviews, Job Search Tips, Personal Branding | Tags: , , , , , |

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

Interviewing

In a prior post, we talked about the importance of effectively communicating your personal brand message during an interview (Personal Branding and the Interview: Closing the Loop). This post, however, focuses on some of the fundamentals of an interview that people can’t seem to grasp. If they do, they simply have a difficult time putting the skills into practice.

The Basics

The purpose of the interview for most employers is generally two-fold.

  1. Employers want to confirm that the person they meet matches the one depicted in the resume.
  2. Employers want to get a glimpse into the personality, communication skills, confidence, character, and other traits beyond a candidate’s experience and education (i.e., things not evident in a resume).

Every question an interviewer asks will help shed light on the latter. Questions targeted to a candidate’s experience and achievements are meant to identify back-tracking or hedging. When a candidate back-pedals regarding information in the resume, the interviewer takes that as a sign that it didn’t really happen or that the candidate’s contribution was embellished.

Interview Signals

I mentioned that every response a candidate provides offers a glimpse into their personality, character, etc. Many factors contribute to how the interviewer receives the candidate: favorably or unfavorably. Candidates can prepare for interviews and work on how they will be perceived. Some of the key factors include:

  • Attire
  • Posture
  • Eye Contact
  • Tone of Voice
  • Vocal Clarity
  • Body Language (including nervous habits, arm/hand motions, etc.)
  • Length of Responses

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

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What Is Leadership Anyway?

Posted on July 24, 2012. Filed under: CIO, Personal Branding, Resumes, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

Where have all the leaders gone?

What is true leadership in business? Would we recognize it if we saw it? You bet we would! There aren’t a lot of leaders, but there are a ton of people in leadership roles. What gives?

Join the discussion

Join us on Wednesday, July 25th at 3pm Eastern for the Tech Career Forum discussion on this great topic. To be a part of the action, simply follow the #TCFchat stream on Twitter and be sure to include the #TCFchat hashtag anytime you want to give someone a piece of your mind.

Driving the discussion

To “lead” the process in a structured manner, we pose questions to provide a framework for discussion.

The questions for the leadership discussion include:
  1. What does “leadership” mean to you?
  2. Who can be a leader and how does one become a leader?
  3. In the IT world, what should leaders be focused on?
  4. How do you convey leadership capabilities on a resume or online profile?
  5. Can you describe what you learned about leadership, good or bad, from those that led you?

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to view the recap or go to the Storify page.

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Personal Branding and the Interview: Closing the Loop

Posted on July 18, 2012. Filed under: Interviews, Job Search Tips, Personal Branding | Tags: , , |

 

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

The Afterthought: Interviewing

I am amazed at how many people don’t truly prepare for a job interview. It’s the afterthought of the whole job search process. Many short-change the search and the strategies involved as well, but nearly everyone shrugs off the interview. Why? Well, most candidates I speak with are convinced that they are a great interview. Yet when you ask those who themselves have been in a position to hire others, they comment on how such a large percentage interview poorly. Do you think there’s a disconnect here? So what should a candidate do to prepare for an interview? They should start with a review of their personal brand.

Personal Brand Message

Your personal brand simply communicates what makes you special to a prospective employer. Just like a brand message in a resume, your brand statement when communicating verbally needs to by clear and concise. Your audience should be able to digest it in 20 seconds or less.

 

A mistake that many candidates make that get professional help with their resume is in not carrying over the key themes and accomplishments from the resume into the interview process. The company is impressed with the resume, so they call the candidate in for an interview. At this point, many companies are simply looking at personalities and are trying to validate that the candidate lives up to the lofty claims in the resume. When a candidate isn’t prepared for the interview and is unable to effectively communicate their brand in a face-to-face setting, it can raise the alarm and cause some concern with a trained interviewer. So prepare to reiterate your brand message and prepare to answer common questions with facts that support your brand.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

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