Tag Archives: resume

Great Project Management Job Search Sites

Indeed.com has an RSS feed while Careerbuilder.com has an iPhone application. In general, but in your key words (like project manager, or PMP) and then zip.

Why not try them both?

Don’t Send a (regular) Cover Letter


Tip #1: Always use a PS at the end of your cover letter… Click on the link for more info.

How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions

Let’s face it; no one likes the interview process. Well, certainly not the people being interviewed anyway. You have to be on your best behavior, you only get one chance to get it right, and it’s like taking your driving test all over again. Over the years I’ve been to countless interviews. To get my first job out of college I attended some 15-20 interviews a week. Whether it was in Britain or over here in the States, the questions never really seemed to change from job to job. Not only that, but the answers to them are usually the same, with your own personal interpretation of course.Here I present 23 questions you’re likely to be asked, and how I have learned to answer them. Why 23? Because I had more than 20 and less than 25. Remember, being interviewed is a skill, and if you do the preparation you should ace it every time.

1. So, tell me a little about yourself.
I’d be very surprised if you haven’t been asked this one at every interview. It’s probably the most asked question because it sets the stage for the interview and it gets you talking. Be careful not to give the interviewer your life story here. You don’t need to explain everything from birth to present day. Relevant facts about education, your career and your current life situation are fine.

2. Why are you looking (or why did you leave you last job)?
This should be a straightforward question to answer, but it can trip you up. Presumably you are looking for a new job (or any job) because you want to advance your career and get a position that allows you to grow as a person and an employee. It’s not a good idea to mention money here, it can make you sound mercenary. And if you are in the unfortunate situation of having been downsized, stay positive and be as brief as possible about it. If you were fired, you’ll need a good explanation. But once again, stay positive.

3. Tell me what you know about this company.
Do your homework before you go to any interview. Whether it’s being the VP of marketing or the mailroom clerk, you should know about the company or business you’re going to work for. Has this company been in the news lately? Who are the people in the company you should know about? Do the background work, it will make you stand out as someone who comes prepared, and is genuinely interested in the company and the job.

4. Why do you want to work at X Company?
This should be directly related to the last question. Any research you’ve done on the company should have led you to the conclusion that you’d want to work there. After all, you’re at the interview, right? Put some thought into this answer before you have your interview, mention your career goals and highlight forward-thinking goals and career plans.

5. What relevant experience do you have?
Hopefully if you’re applying for this position you have bags of related experience, and if that’s the case you should mention it all. But if you’re switching careers or trying something a little different, your experience may initially not look like it’s matching up. That’s when you need a little honest creativity to match the experiences required with the ones you have. People skills are people skills after all, you just need to show how customer service skills can apply to internal management positions, and so on.

6. If your previous co-workers were here, what would they say about you?
Ok, this is not the time for full disclosure. If some people from your past are going to say you’re a boring A-hole, you don’t need to bring that up. Stay positive, always, and maybe have a few specific quotes in mind. “They’d say I was a hard worker” or even better “John Doe has always said I was the most reliable, creative problem-solver he’d ever met.”

7. Have you done anything to further your experience?
This could include anything from night classes to hobbies and sports. If it’s related, it’s worth mentioning. Obviously anything to do with further education is great, but maybe you’re spending time on a home improvement project to work on skills such as self-sufficiency, time management and motivation.

8. Where else have you applied?
This is a good way to hint that you’re in demand, without sounding like you’re whoring yourself all over town. So, be honest and mention a few other companies but don’t go into detail. The fact that you’re seriously looking and keeping your options open is what the interviewer is driving at.

9. How are you when you’re working under pressure?
Once again, there are a few ways to answer this but they should all be positive. You may work well under pressure, you may thrive under pressure, and you may actually PREFER working under pressure. If you say you crumble like aged blue cheese, this is not going to help you get your foot in the door.

10. What motivates you to do a good job?
The answer to this one is not money, even if it is. You should be motivated by life’s noble pursuits. You want recognition for a job well done. You want to become better at your job. You want to help others or be a leader in your field.

11. What’s your greatest strength?
This is your chance to shine. You’re being asked to explain why you are a great employee, so don’t hold back and stay do stay positive. You could be someone who thrives under pressure, a great motivator, an amazing problem solver or someone with extraordinary attention to detail. If your greatest strength, however, is to drink anyone under the table or get a top score on Mario Kart, keep it to yourself. The interviewer is looking for work-related strengths.

12. What’s your biggest weakness?
If you’re completely honest, you may be kicking yourself in the butt. If you say you don’t have one, you’re obviously lying. This is a horrible question and one that politicians have become masters at answering. They say things like “I’m perhaps too committed to my work and don’t spend enough time with my family.” Oh, there’s a fireable offense. I’ve even heard “I think I’m too good at my job, it can often make people jealous.” Please, let’s keep our feet on the ground. If you’re asked this question, give a small, work-related flaw that you’re working hard to improve.Example: “I’ve been told I occasionally focus on details and miss the bigger picture, so I’ve been spending time laying out the complete project every day to see my overall progress.”

13. Let’s talk about salary. What are you looking for?
Run for cover! This is one tricky game to play in an interview. Even if you know the salary range for the job, if you answer first you’re already showing all your cards. You want as much as possible, the employer wants you for as little as you’re willing to take. Before you apply, take a look at salary.com for a good idea of what someone with your specific experience should be paid. You may want to say, “well, that’s something I’ve thought long and hard about and I think someone with my experience should get between X & Y.” Or, you could be sly and say, “right now, I’m more interested in talking more about what the position can offer my career.” That could at least buy you a little time to scope out the situation. But if you do have a specific figure in mind and you are confident that you can get it, I’d say go for it. I have on many occasions, and every time I got very close to that figure (both below and sometimes above).

14. Are you good at working in a team?
Unless you have the I.Q. of a houseplant, you’ll always answer YES to this one. It’s the only answer. How can anyone function inside an organization if they are a loner? You may want to mention what part you like to play in a team though; it’s a great chance to explain that you’re a natural leader.

15. Tell me a suggestion you have made that was implemented.
It’s important here to focus on the word “implemented.” There’s nothing wrong with having a thousand great ideas, but if the only place they live is on your notepad what’s the point? Better still, you need a good ending. If your previous company took your advice and ended up going bankrupt, that’s not such a great example either. Be prepared with a story about an idea of yours that was taken from idea to implementation, and considered successful.

16. Has anything ever irritated you about people you’ve worked with?
Of course, you have a list as long as your arm. But you can’t say that, it shows you as being negative and difficult to work with. The best way to answer this one is to think for a while and then say something like “I’ve always got on just fine with my co-workers actually.”

17. Is there anyone you just could not work with?
No. Well, unless you’re talking about murderers, racists, rapists, thieves or other dastardly characters, you can work with anyone. Otherwise you could be flagged as someone who’s picky and difficult if you say, “I can’t work with anyone who’s a Bronco’s fan. Sorry.”

18. Tell me about any issues you’ve had with a previous boss.
Arrgh! If you fall for this one you shouldn’t be hired anyway. The interviewer is testing you to see if you’ll speak badly about your previous supervisor. Simply answer this question with exteme tact, diplomacy and if necessary, a big fat loss of memory. In short, you’ve never had any issues.

19. Would you rather work for money or job satisfaction?
It’s not a very fair question is it? We’d all love to get paid a Trump-like salary doing a job we love but that’s rare indeed. It’s fine to say money is important, but remember that NOTHING is more important to you than the job. Otherwise, you’re just someone looking for a bigger paycheck.

20. Would you rather be liked or feared?
I have been asked this a lot, in various incarnations. The first time I just drew a blank and said, “I don’t know.” That went over badly, but it was right at the start of my career when I had little to no experience. Since then I’ve realized that my genuine answer is “Neither, I’d rather be respected.” You don’t want to be feared because fear is no way to motivate a team. You may got the job done but at what cost? Similarly, if you’re everyone’s best friend you’ll find it difficult to make tough decisions or hit deadlines. But when you’re respected, you don’t have to be a complete bastard or a lame duck to get the job done.

21. Are you willing to put the interests of X Company ahead of your own?
Again, another nasty question. If you say yes, you’re a corporate whore who doesn’t care about family. If you say no, you’re disloyal to the company. I’m afraid that you’ll probably have to say yes to this one though, because you’re trying to be the perfect employee at this point, and perfect employees don’t cut out early for Jimmy’s baseball game.

22. So, explain why I should hire you.
As I’m sure you know, “because I’m great” or “I really need a job” are not good answers here. This is a time to give the employer a laundry list of your greatest talents that just so happen to match the job description. It’s also good to avoid taking potshots at other potential candidates here. Focus on yourself and your talents, not other people’s flaws.

23. Finally, do you have any questions to ask me?
I’ll finish the way I started, with one of the most common questions asked in interviews. This directly relates to the research you’ve done on the company and also gives you a chance to show how eager and prepared you are. You’ll probably want to ask about benefits if they haven’t been covered already. A good generic one is “how soon could I start, if I were offered the job of course.” You may also ask what you’d be working on. Specifically, in the role you’re applying for and how that affects the rest of the company. Always have questions ready, greeting this one with a blank stare is a rotten way to finish your interview. Good luck and happy job hunting.

from http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions

100 Resources for Interviewers and Candidates

By HR World Editors on September 25, 2007

There’s no doubt that the interviewing process can be stressful, not only for the person applying for the job but for those doing the hiring as well. There are ways, however, to make job interviews a more rewarding and successful experience for both parties. With a little preparation and research, you can make interviewing a positive experience; read on to find useful articles and resources that will get you on the fast track to interviewing success.

Sample Interview Questions
Not sure what you’ll be asked when applying for a job? Unsure of what to ask potential employees? These are a few lists of common interview questions that cover a wide variety of professions. 1.Types of questions: This article from the University of Manitoba lays out some of the basic types of questions asked at interviews including direct, indirect, hypothetical and behavioral questions. 2.Fifty standard interview questions: CollegeGrad.com lays out some of the most commonly used interview questions. 3.Illegal interview questions: Not everything is fair game to ask at an interview. Make sure you know what’s allowed. 4.Questions for academic positions: This guide can help you know what to kind of questions to expect when applying for an academic position, as well as some pointers on how to answer. 5.    Sample interview questions for engineers: Engineers looking for work can expect to hear these kinds of questions at an interview. 6.Interview questions for tech companies: This article provides sample interview questions for numerous types of high-tech programming jobs. Questions pertain to Perl, shell scripting, MySQL and more. 7.Sample interview questions for teachers: Virginia Polytechnic Institute provides a list of commonly asked questions for teaching candidates. 8.Interview questions for lab positions: Here you’ll find a list of questions you might be asked when applying for lab work. 9.Interview questions for health-care positions: Nurses and other health-care professionals will find this a useful resource when preparing for an interview. 10.Sample interview questions for management: If you’re applying or interviewing for management and supervisory positions, these questions can be a valuable resource. 11.Seven interviewer questions for first-timers: If you’re new to interviewing candidates, this article’s seven important questions can help you get started. 12.Questions to ask your interviewer: When you interview for a job, you’re not the only one who should be interviewed; you should ask questions of your interviewer as well. Here are some important questions to ask before you accept a new job.

Answers for Candidates
Knowing the questions you’ll be asked is only half the battle; you’ll also need to be prepared with good responses. Here are some examples of answers to commonly asked questions. 13.Fifty common interview questions and answers: Blogger Bhuvans provides answers to the most common interview questions, excerpted from the book “The Accelerated Job Search.” 14.Job interview questions and answers: Job Bank USA gives sample answers for more than 60 types of interview questions. 15.How to answer interview questions: Tips on how to answer 10 common interview questions so you can make the most of the opportunity. 16.Twenty-five most difficult questions: Reprinted from FOCUS magazine, this article gives you advice on how to answer some of the hardest questions you’ll be asked at an interview. 17.Ten tough interview questions and ten great answers: This article provides some guidance on how to answer tough interview questions. 18.Interview questions and answers for IT professionals: Those looking for IT jobs will find good advice on this site. It provides questions and answers for programming languages like C++ and Java, as well as information on interviewing with companies like Microsoft and Google. 19.How to give job-winning answers to interview questions: Don’t just give answers, give the right answers. This article can help. 20.Find the best answers to interview questions: This article from The Wall Street Journal offers advice on thinking over and formulating your answers to interview questions. 21.How to give great answers to tough interview questions: Here, you’ll find advice on how to formulate and think about your answers to tough interview questions. 22.Ten killer job interview Questions and answers: Many interview questions have a hidden agenda. This article offers tips on recognizing it and giving the answers that will get you the job.

Types of Interviews
There are many different ways to interview candidates besides the simple one-on-one interview. Here are some helpful articles on different interview styles that can give employers some ideas and let candidates know what to expect. 23.Group interview: Group interviews are often used to see how potential employees will act in a group setting. This article gives some tips on how to prepare and excel in this format. 24.Panel/board interview: Panel interviews require candidates to present themselves before several people from the hiring company. Here, you’ll find advice on how to handle a panel interview. 25.Telephone interview: Phone interviews can sometimes be as stress-inducing as face-to-face interviews. This article from Quintessential Careers gives candidates some advice on the proper etiquette for interviewing over the phone. 26.One-on-one interview: By far the most common type of interview, this article from Monster gives some insight into what the one-on-one interview is all about. 27.Impromptu interview: Impromptu interviews are often not much like interviews at all, but you still need to know how to handle one. This article can give you some helpful pointers. 28.Dinner interview: A dinner interview can often feel informal, but you should remember that it can still have a big impact on getting the job. Use this article to help you ace the dinner interview. 29.Situational interview: Situational interviews attempt to put the candidate in a situation like one they would experience on the job. This article provides tips on how to prepare for this style of interview. 30.Structured interview: Structured interviews ask all candidates for a job the same questions. Learn how to make this style of interview work for you with this Cando Career article. 31.Multiple interviews: Multiple interviews can be taxing, as candidates have to talk to many different people. Careerhub.com gives advice on how to prepare for multiple interviews.

Interviewing Techniques and Advice
How you conduct an interview can make a big difference in your ability to find good employees. Below are some techniques and tips for interviewing to help you find the best person for the job. 32.The Microsoft interview: Your tech company might not be as big as Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the same interviewing technique. 33.SOARA technique: Here you’ll find the basic definition of the SOARA (Situation, Objective, Action, Results, Aftermath) technique and how to use it to gather all the information you’ll need from a candidate. 34.Developing a behavioral interview: This site gives you instructions on how to develop behavioral interviews, as well as some sample questions. 35.How to interview candidates: This guide from Monster gives you tips on every step of interviewing and hiring candidates. 36.Five steps to giving quality interviews: Interviewing is serious business, and this article from CareerBuilder.com gives you tips to preparing for yours. 37.How to interview and hire top people each and every time: Businessman Gregory Smith gives his take on interviewing in this informative article. 38.How to conduct an effective employee interview: This article offers pointers on building your interviewing skills, so you’ll always find the best employees for the job. 39.Interviewing for employers: While written specifically for those working in the legal field, this extensive article gives some great guidelines for interviewing in any kind of business. 40.Seven steps to hire the best: Manager Michael Mercer provides seven tips regarding how to predict who the best employees will be before and during the interview. 41.Seven warning signs to look for when interviewing candidates: This TechRepublic article gives interviewers seven things to watch out for when interviewing potential employees.

Interviewing Strategies for Candidates
No matter what kind of job you’re applying for, you should go into the interview with a strategy. Here are some ideas on how to be successful in a variety of different interview styles. 42.How to behave in a behavior-based interview: This article from JobWeb.com gives job seekers insight into what they’ll need to know for a behavior-based interview. 43.How to beat the stress interview: Stress interviews can be extremely taxing if you’re not prepared. This article gives you some helpful hints that can help you be more successful with this type of interview. 44.Post-interview strategies: Don’t let your interview strategy end with the interview. Use this article to help you find success even after the hard part is over. 45.Behavioral interviewing strategies for job seekers: This extensive article gives candidates everything they need to know about preparing a behavioral interview strategy. 46.Interview strategies: This article from The Princeton Review Inc. gives some great general tips for making a good impression at your interview. 47.Case interview strategies: Case-based interviews are growing in popularity among employers, and candidates can get step-by-step advice on looking great in them with this article.

Interview Attire
The first thing employers will see when they meet you is how you’re dressed, so be sure you’re making a good impression; the following articles can help. 48.How to dress for your interview: Here, you’ll find general rules for both men and women when it comes to dressing for interviews. 49.SYMS dress to achieve: SYMS is dedicated to helping young professionals and recent college grads learn how to dress appropriately for business. Here, you’ll find complete guides to dressing for an interview. 50.Dress to impress: Geared toward women, this site uses photographs to show what you should and shouldn’t wear to an interview. 51.Dress appropriately for interviews: This article gives basic advice on dressing appropriately for your interview. 52.What to wear by industry: This site gives candidates suggestions of proper attire for women in five different fields. 53.Dress codes deciphered: If you’re not quite sure what business casual entails, you can use this guide from CNN to give you some insight.

What Not to Do
While it’s useful to know what you should do in an interview, it’s also important to know what you shouldn’t do. These articles offer advice that helps both employers and candidates alike avoid common mistakes. 54.Eight hiring mistakes employers make: This article on About.com gives some assistance in avoiding common hiring pitfalls, saving you time and money. 55.What not to wear to an interview: Think yo have the perfect outfit for your interview? Check out this article to make sure you’re not making one of these fashion blunders. 56.Avoid these 10 interview bloopers: You can be the most qualified candidate and still botch your interview if you make these mistakes. 57.Make-or-break interview mistakes: This article from BusinessWeek gives some advice on what not to do in an interview and how you can impress HR. 58.The most common hiring mistakes and how to prevent them: This article gives some statistics-backed reasons not to make these hiring mistakes. 59.Six IT interview mistakes: Score that tech job you’ve always wanted by avoiding these interview mistakes. 60.Twenty things not to do at an interview: This site provides a guide to the most basic blunders to avoid when interviewing. Much of it may seem like common sense, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 61.How not to act in an interview: Here, you’ll find real-life examples of outrageous interview behavior, which is definitely not to be imitated. 62.What not to put on your résumé: GeekInterview.com gives advice on things you should never put on your résumé if you want to get hired. 63.Things not to say at a job interview: Top personnel executives of 100 major American corporations compiled a collection of the absolute worst things to do at a job interview, providing education and humor to the rest of us.

Preparation Resources
Don’t go into an interview just expecting to wing it. You need to prepare beforehand if you really want to be successful. Try checking out these resources before you go into your next interview. 64.Six steps to prepare for an interview the right way: This article walks you through the steps of preparing for an interview to make sure your interviewer will want to hire you. 65.The ultimate guide to job-interview preparation: This extensive guide helps you get ready for your interview with tips on self assessment, research, references and more. 66.Preparing for a software-engineering interview: Written by Niniane Wang, who has worked for Google and Microsoft, this article offfers helpful pointers on what you need to do to get ready for a software- engineering interview. 67.VideoJug’s how to prepare for an interview: VideoJug has how-to videos on almost everything, and interview preparation is no exception. Watch this short video to get on the path to success. 68.How to prepare for a behavioral interview: This wiki can give you the tips you need to prepare for any behavioral interview. 69.How to prepare for a phone interview: Even though you don’t have to see your interviewer face-to-face, you need to prepare. This article can help get you ready for that phone call. 70.Preparing to interview candidates: These simple criteria can help you prepare to interview candidates for any position. 71.Practice interviews: Practice makes perfect, so why not give your interview a test run with these practice interviews? 72.The virtual interview: Get a friend to help you go through this virtual interview so you’ll be better prepared for the real deal.

Follow-Up Resources
Just because the interview is over doesn’t mean your work is done. Following up is just as important, so use these resources to make sure you’re getting it right. 73.Interview follow-up do’s and don’ts: Professor of Marketing Dr. Randall Hansen offers some advice on what you should and should not do after the interview. 74.Ten tips for interview follow-up: This article provides an informative look on what to do while you’re waiting to hear back about the job you interviewed for. 75.Guide to follow-up letters: Don’t let a job slip through your fingers because you fail to write a follow-up letter. This guide can help you through the process and offers sample letters and advice on what to include. 76.The follow-up process: Here, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to dealing with the follow-up to an interview. 77.Thank-you letters: Want to write a thank-you letter but not quite sure how to go about it? This article gives you insight on what to include and how to address the letter. 78.The two most important post-interview activities: Don’t drop the ball on these two very important elements of the interview process.

Résumés and References
Doing well in your interview is important, but you also need to have a great résumé and some reliable references for potential employers to call. Use these resources and articles to help you with both. 79.Resumes.com: Whether you get a free or paid membership, Resumes.com can help you build a better résumé with a résumé database and tools to help you create your résumé. 80.Resume Help.org: Resume Help.org provides readers with resources for writing cover letters and résumés, plus advice for doing well in interviews. 81.Best Sample Resume: If you’re not sure how to format your résumé or what to include for your particular field, résumé samples can be helpful. This site has offerings in dozens of professions. 82.How to write a résumé: Find out how to put your résumé together using this site. 83.Ten tips for an interview-winning résumé: It’s hard to get an interview when you don’t have an effective résumé. Check out this site for advice on how to put together a résumé that will fill your calendar with interviews. 84.Reference guidelines for your job search: References can be an important part of getting a job. This article offers advice on who to recruit. 85.Keys to choosing and using the best references: Here, you’ll find a list of tips on the do’s and dont’s of giving references to a potential employer. 86.Sample reference-check questions: If you’re not sure what to ask when calling a candidate’s references, try these questions. 87.Cover-letter checklist: Before sending out your cover letter, make sure it includes these basics. 88.Ten tips for writing effective cover letters: The cover letter is arguably the most important part of your résumé. Make yours stand out with these ten tips.

General Resources
Make sure to take a look at these general resources before your interview. They provide a wide variety of useful information for both interviewers and candidates. 89.Interviewing potential staff: Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about interviewing candidates, from preparation to questions. 90.Tips for job seekers: Job seekers will find tons of information at this site, including strategies for before, during and after the interview. 91.Interview resources at Monster: Monster is one of the largest job-placement sites on the Internet, but its usefulness doesn’t stop there. It also has loads of information and resources for interviewing. 92.Quintessential Careers: Here, you’ll find articles on just about any career-related topic you may need information on, including a job-interview-question database. 93.Interview Info.net: InterviewInfo.net is a place where job seekers can get together and discuss their experiences and provide advice. 94.JobWeb.com: JobWeb.com provides job-search and career advice for new college graduates and has a lot of valuable interview-related resources. 95.WetFeet: WetFeet, a site for job seekers, has a great collection of interview-related articles. 96.HR.com: HR.com is your one-stop site for everything related to human resources. Find articles on hiring, talent scouting and more. 97.The Riley Guide to Interviewing: The Riley Guide compiles tons of articles on everything you’ll need to know about the interviewing and hiring process. 98.CareerOneStop: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop has resources for education, training, job searching, interviews and résumés. 99.Job Searching at About.com: You’ll find lots of helpful information on interviews, networking, job listings, résumés and more on About.com. 100.Free course in taking on new employees: Expand Your Business created this extensive guide to hiring, with step-by-step instructions for interviewing candidates. 

CV v.s. Resume

According to Capella (2007):

A curriculum vitae (“CV”) is a comprehensive document that emphasizes your education, professional qualifications and related activities. Effective vitae provide the depth necessary to showcase your qualifications without providing so much information that it overloads the reader. In general, CVs are longer than resumes, and are often 2 or more pages in length. They are written without using the words “I,” “me” or “my.”

A CV should only be used when specifically requested; they are often required for:

  • Applying for positions in academia/higher education (adjunct instructor, full-time faculty, researcher, school administrator)
  • Seeking admission into graduate or professional programs
  • Applying for employment with international firms

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