What your social media presence says about you

What you do on social media has the power to help, or severely hinder, your chances of a job interview. Three quarters of recruiters have looked up potential candidates on social media, according to the Guardian Jobs Recruiter Survey 2015. Of those who said yes in the Guardian Jobs survey, LinkedIn was the most popular channel (96% used this), followed by Facebook (56%), Twitter (41%) and Instagram (7%).

Here, the experts give their advice on how to approach your social media presence in a way that helps – rather than hinders – your job prospects.

Beware of online rants and outbursts
Social media allows people to reach instantly to situations, sharing their thoughts with an audience of anonymous listeners. Thanking a company or shop for treating you well or for going the extra mile spreads good cheer and thankfulness and has a positive impact, but ranting about your employer who made you stay late twice this week is spreading a negative message, points out Nicola McGuane, a consultant at recruitment firm Morgan McKinley. “Remember the six degrees of separation theory; everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so it’s highly likely that your employer will find out about your online rant.”

Privacy settings can only do so much

Using the strictest privacy settings on social networks like Facebook is a good start, but it doesn’t guarantee to keep your profile away from a potential employer’s eyes. “The world has become a much smaller place and you never know who your future boss is connected to, allowing them to see your activities,” warns McGuane. For that reason, it’s worth keeping your social postings on the tame side so that future employers don’t misjudge you, she says. “Some job seekers are known to suspend or delete certain social media accounts during their job seeking. It may sound drastic but it’s worth it to secure your dream job.”

Google yourself and consider your digital footprint

Search your name, just like a potential employer might do, to see what comes up. Is it good or bad? Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter. They will be asking questions such as, “Is this someone I would like to work with knowing what they publicly post online?”

It’s also important for candidates to realise that every “like”, comment, status update or photo posted online – whether it’s on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – leaves a mark on their digital footprint. “This digital footprint allows a potential employer to trace/track your online activity and get a sense of your character which could impact you positively or negatively,” says McGuane.

Think about photos

Photos are a big element to consider when you see what your search trawls up. “I’ve come across several dodgy photos, even on professional social media sites such as LinkedIn,” says recruitment professional Kate Croucher, FDM Group’s university relationship manager.

Candidates need to keep in mind that your visible photos across social media accounts make a first impression before you’ve even met a potential employer or recruiter – and that can help and hinder you.

“If in doubt, delete or suspend any social media account where the content could be deemed as damaging to your job search,” adds McGuane.

Use social media to showcase your knowledge

Use social media as a means to showcase your knowledge and thought leadership through publishing articles and blogs on your LinkedIn profile, says Charles McIntosh, head of talent consulting at recruitment firm New Street.
Professor Vlatka Hlupic, director of the executive coaching and leadership development programme at Westminster Business School, agrees: “Strategically developed LinkedIn feeds with carefully written profiles, professional photos, good recommendations and endorsements could be a very valuable tool for securing job interviews and employment.”

Build networks and demonstrate confidence

Social media can be used to build professional networks and demonstrate confidence, Hlupic points out. “Keep growing your networks, connect with new relevant contacts continuously, share relevant posts and articles (both written by you or others), join professional groups, participate in discussions and most importantly, enjoy networking.”

Effective social media use can also reveal a lot about a person’s confidence, adds Croucher. “If they are sharing lots of interesting things, and making insightful comments or forming strong opinions, and interacting with others in a positive way, it shows their ability to rally people behind them and develop effective relationships.”


Written by Kirstie Brewer – Sourced from: https://jobs.theguardian.com/article/what-your-social-media-presence-says-about-you/

Mastering Body Language In A Job Interview

In an increasingly digital world the importance of face-to-face communication and body language is easy to overlook. In an interview situation, body language can be a game-changer.

“Before you say a word, the interviewer will have made crucial decisions about you through the way you communicate with your body and through your facial expressions,” says Joan Kingsley, psychotherapist and author of The Fear-Free Organisation.

Of course, what you actually say in an interview is still crucial, but the interviewer will also be watching to determine if the body language is consistent with what you are saying, points out Sue Whaley, HR director of intercity rail operator, First TransPennine Express.

Master your body language and get the right message across with the following dos and don’ts:

First impressions do count

And that’s the impressions of everyone you meet on the day of the interview – in the lift, in the reception area, even in the toilets. Whaley says: “These people are your potential colleagues and they need to get the impression that you would like to join their team.” You don’t know who they are, but they might just be asked for their first impressions of you.

“Look ready and prepared, not flustered and late,” Whaley says. “Be approachable and friendly, smile, make eye contact and give a firm but not forceful handshake.”

Exude confidence

Stand, walk, and sit with good posture as it relates directly back to people’s perception of high confidence, according to body language expert Robert Phipps, author of Body Language – It’s What You Don’t Say That Matters.

Body language expert Mark Bowden suggests gesturing with open palms at exactly navel height is an instant way to show you are calm, assertive and confident.

“Gestures in this area of the body create a strong impulse both in the interviewee and the interviewer for open engagement,” he explains. “Not only will you feel more confident but the interviewer will feel more confidence in you and everything that you present to them,” he says.

Show an interest in the business

Demonstrate you are listening to the questions and to the information about the role and the organisation. “Engage with the interviewer don’t just answer their questions, lean forward, use your body, hands and facial expressions,” says Phipps.

Give them good eye contact, he adds – around about 65-70% when conversing, and a little more when you are the listener. “Anymore can come across as intimidating or threatening. Any less is perceived as a lack of interest or confidence in what you are saying.”

Demonstrate energy, positivity and enthusiasm

Use your hands and body movement to emphasise and animate your points and project a dynamic presence – but don’t get carried away, says Whaley.

“Show passion and belief in your achievements and views. Don’t say, ‘I really enjoy the challenge of managing others’, but you are slumped in your chair looking at the floor.”

As well as having your own body language mastered, take notice of how your interviewers are behaving too, says Whaley. Are they confused, bored, agitated, disengaged, entertained, trying to ask the next question?

“Read their non-verbal cues and adapt your responses accordingly and you will make their job easier and demonstrate yourself to be a skilled communicator,” she explains. “Nod and smile to show you understand and subtly try mirroring the interviewer’s posture and pose. This builds rapport and empathy.”

Don’t let your body language betray how nervous you are

You can’t stop the nervous looking behaviours that your body produces, but you can countermeasure them with confident ones, explains Bowden.

“If you choose to perform the behaviours of a confident person – even when you don’t feel it – your interviewer will have a theory of mind that you are confident and will then cherry pick data about you that substantiates their bias.”

On the other hand, if they can’t find that data, they will just use their imagination and make it up, Bowden warns.

Touching your face and crossing your arms are not necessarily an indicator of stress or deceit, says Bowden, “but enough people have read inaccurate body language books that say it is.”

Meanwhile, leg shaking, hair playing, pen clicking, teeth sucking and clock watching never make a great impression, adds Whaley.

Don’t arrive unprepared

According to Phipps, one of the best ways to avoid nerves tripping you up is to prepare before the interview.

“Practise, practise, practise with a friend or family members and get their feedback on how they perceive you,” he says. Video yourself to see how you come across or sit in front of a mirror and notice what is going on with your body as you engage with others. “You’ll be surprised at just what you do that you don’t realise, as most of our body language is unconscious,” he explains.

Don’t stress yourself out unnecessarily by arriving late. “Unless you want to arrive at the interview breathless, red-faced and in an emotional frenzy, leave lots of time to get there,” says Kingsley.

Plan to arrive early and go for a coffee. “With time to spare you can do some deep breathing to calm your nerves, check you’re looking the way you want to, and visualise yourself as conveying strength, confidence and power,” she adds.

“Remember, great actors use their bodies to give a convincing performance; act the part and you’ll feel the part.”



Written by Kirstie Brewer

Original source: https://jobs.theguardian.com/article/how-to-master-body-language-in-an-interview/ 

Why Steve Jobs’s success strategies are still relevant to today’s workers

Steve Jobs remains a legendary figure in the world of business, with his leadership maxims still inspiring greatness today.


Doing what you love

Jobs told his staff that the world is changed for the better by the persistence and enthusiasm of people who have passion. This genuine sense of enthusiasm is wholly authentic and cannot be faked, leading to success at every stage of employment.

‘Denting’ the universe

Jobs was known for having a huge vision and a way of expressing it that was compelling and intoxicating to everyone he came across. His vision with the Mac set his incredible force into motion and created the game-changing products we know today.

Checking the details

Jobs was known for driving his engineers nuts with demands that seemed irrational; however, this led to an incredible sense of detail in the customer experience. Every aspect is treated with care, from the tiles in the stores to the laptop angle tilts.

Kick-starting your intellect

Jobs believed that the secret to being creative was purposefully exposing yourself to the greatest things that humans had achieved and then attempting to bring these findings into your own work. This led to the CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison, calling Jobs the modern time’s Picasso. He also brought people together from a range of hugely diverse fields, stimulating their innovation and challenging assumptions.

Creating superb customer experiences

Tesla is one example of a brand that copied elements of the Apple experience, with Apple stores generating more sales per square foot than any other high-end retailer. Every element is considered and kept consistent across the world.

Mastering the message

Jobs was also known for his incredible presentations and message sharing. He was superb at building drama and stories without needing PowerPoint slides. Today’s business leaders still use his principles of minimal design rich in images, engaging delivery, clean presentation and entertainment.

Selling dreams rather than products

Many people originally thought that buyers of Macs were crazy; however, Jobs knew that genius existed in craziness and that his job was to provide products that helped people to achieve their dreams and goals. He knew how it was possible to create customers for life by selling products that allowed the individual to achieve their whole potential.

Ultimately, the success of Apple showed that a business could be started in a bedroom, a garage or any unprepossessing space by someone with the passion, energy and vision to make it succeed. This was – and still is – the Apple way, and the lessons apply to us just as strongly today.

Whether you work in HR, are a new employee, an employer or a recruiter, these lessons will help you to re-evaluate your own working methods and recalibrate your own goals and approaches. Allow the genius of Jobs to take you further and experience your own goal achievements!


Ref: http://recruitingtimes.org/business-movers-shakers/11411/steve-jobss-success-strategies-still-relevant-todays-workers/

How to master a Skype interview

Job interviews over Skype are becoming increasingly common. You might be able to see one another, but a virtual interview over the internet is not the same as one face to face and you need to prepare accordingly.

Here are some considerations to help you embrace technology and master a Skype interview.

Dress professionally
Should you still dress as if you are in a face-to-face interview? Yes – general interview etiquette still applies. “The dynamics are different, with body language being the main barrier, so it is vital to make a good impression based on your dress and surroundings,” says Matthew Roberts, CEO at NonExecutiveDirectors.com, a network site for employers.

Don’t be tempted just to dress smartly from the waist-up, assuming that’s all the interviewer will see, warns Graham Oates, CEO of Norrie Johnston Recruitment. “I’ve been in plenty of Skype interview situations where the candidate has had to stand up.” Being in formal dress will also help you to feel like it is a formal interview and put you in the right frame of mind, he adds.

Pick your backdrop wisely
How much attention will be paid to where you are sitting for the interview? The safe rule of thumb is to assume that a lot of attention will be given to your surroundings – so set up well in advance and take time to look at how the interviewer will see you.

“Find a neutral, tidy spot if possible. Mess, pot plants or food may subconsciously impact an interviewer’s view of the meeting and reflect badly on you,” says Jonathan Bennet, a director at Capita Resourcing. His advice is to set yourself up so the interviewer can see your face, hair, shoulders and upper torso. Consider the lighting and how you are sat too. “They don’t want a giant, poorly lit face talking at them for an hour.” Also, make sure you are in a quiet room which will not be interrupted.

Get to grips with the technology beforehand
Before you begin, make sure you’ve got to grips with the technology to avoid any last minute panic, especially if you haven’t used Skype before. “Set up a practice interview with a friend to make sure you are happy with how you come across on screen as well as being able to confidently use the system,” suggests Roberts. Check your microphone is properly set, your voice is audible, the picture quality is good and that you are in a spot with a strong internet connection.

But if technology fails midway through, don’t panic, says David Cairncross, director at Hays. “If a problem with your technology throws you off during your interview, just remain professional,” he says. The interviewer will be aware that some things are out of your control, should anything happen start the call again to regain a connection, and quickly make contact to update the interviewer so you can continue as soon as possible.

Don’t be late
“You wouldn’t dream of turning up late for a face-to-face interview, so having to delay one over Skype because you haven’t done your technical groundwork is inexcusable,” says Oates. Call and get it all setup a few minutes early to avoid any awkwardness. Equally, have your notes ready and a glass of water to hand so you aren’t fiddling with papers or getting a dry mouth once you make a start.

Remember body language
Skype interviews leave little room for those informal interactions you might have on the walk from reception or the ride in the lift – so it is important your eye contact and facial expressions are not compromised by the technology either.

“Remember to look at the camera – not the screen – that way the interviewer will feel you are maintaining eye contact,” says Oates. “Remember to smile and have an engaged and pleasant facial expression. Try to forget you are talking to a computer screen and imagine the interviewer being physically in the room with you.”

By Kirstie Brewer

Published: 16 Mar 2016


Ref: https://jobs.theguardian.com/article/how-to-master-a-skype-interview/

How to ace your second interview

You’ve got through the first job interview and have been invited back for another. You’re well in the frame for the role and now is the time for confidence – but not complacency or arrogance.

“You have to assume that every remaining candidate ticks all the required boxes and things are close,” says Jon Gregory, career coach and editor of win-that-job.com. The second round of interviews will be different to the first. Your interviewer(s) will aim to address any question marks that arose as a result of your first interview. Because as Gregory points out, if there weren’t any concerns, you’d likely already have the job.

“They’ll target your weakest areas to see whether or not they would reduce your ability to do an effective job,” he adds. “Be honest with yourself about where you struggled in your first interview and then prepare thoroughly in anticipation of that likely probing.”

The second interview shows that the selectors really liked you and decided to give you a chance to land that job but it also requires you to prepare so much more than for the previous round, adds Dasha Amron. The founder and managing director of Career Coaching Ventures explains: “This time, it is more likely to be competency-based questions that will be asked of you. I also often encounter various short tests and essays during the second round.”

So what will the interviewer ultimately be looking for in a second interview? In short, they want you to solve their recruitment problem. The good news is, if you’ve made it to the second round they’ve been impressed by what they’ve seen so far. “They’ll be looking for you to confirm their judgment and show them how you’re most definitely the one they want,” says Gregory.

The people on the other side of the desk will be hoping you can show full commitment to winning the job, genuine insight into the challenges and real enthusiasm to attack the role, should you get it.

Here are three top tips for succeeding in a second interview:

Use your first interview intel
Think carefully about what you learned about the organisation and its people from the first interview. Do your research again and use intelligence gained for that first interview to inform it. “The interviewer will feel comforted if they see you’ve learned from your previous meeting and have already stepped up your game,” says Gregory.

As part of your research, you should also try to establish who is going to be on the interviewing panel during the second round and find out as much about these people as possible, adds Amron. Follow them on Twitter, study their LinkedIn profiles, and read their articles and blogs if they publish. “In other words, make sure you understand their career history and their viewpoints,” she explains.

Reinforce the positives
Define the challenges that the successful candidate will face and plan to show how you could take up the reins and make real progress, says Gregory. Build on the previous examples of what makes you the best candidate and try to hit home the positives.

If you’ve made it this far it is likely you managed to connect with the interviewer on a human level before, this is your chance to establish a rapport that will leave them really feeling you could be part of the team. “Be enthusiastic, likeable and smile,” says Amron. “Nothing can impress more than a nice smile and a positive attitude.”

Articulate your edge and prepare questions 
Identify what added-value you might bring, especially in comparison to the likely profile of other applicants. “This is hard,” admits Gregory, “but dig deep as it can be a real deal-swinger for you if things are close.”

Be careful not to let this stray into unconstructive territory. Remember that all candidates have different strengths and weaknesses, so try not to obsess or worry too much about comparing yourself to others. “Instead, concentrate on showing the best of yourself and how you’re the very best choice,” Gregory says.

Finally, don’t neglect to prepare thoughtful and original questions to ask at the end of the interview, Amron points out. “Notable events within the company would require a question on your behalf,” she explains. This will really demonstrate you are imagining working at the company.

“Make sure you think about the financial performance of the company you are applying to and can tailor the questions accordingly,” she adds. Has there been a recent restructure? It would probably make sense to ask something about this as well.

Hopefully this article will set your second interview on the track to success, but why not find out how to structure your answers to interview questions using the STAR technique?

By Kirstie BrewerPublished: 09 Mar 2016

Ref:- https://jobs.theguardian.com/article/how-to-ace-your-second-interview-/

A Guardian Jobs guide to the top ten interview questions – and how to answer them

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew in advance what your interviewer was going to ask you? Unfortunately it is difficult to know precisely, but the following questions are more than likely to crop up in some shape or form. Here, interview experts give their advice on how best to answer them.

Tell me about yourself
Yes, it’s a very open question, but the interviewer isn’t looking for a long and rambling story of your life, warns Jon Gregory, editor of win-that-job.com. “What the interviewer most wants to hear is what you’ve got about you that makes you relevant and potentially a great choice,” he explains. Summarise your early career in as few words as possible to cover your background and then cut straight to your most recent and relevant experiences.

“Deliver the facts, rather than a sales pitch and try to relax,” says Gregory. “Smile, be enthusiastic and engage with the interviewer because this is your opportunity to help steer a positive tone to the whole proceedings.”

Why do you want to work here?
Find out as much as you can about the organisation and its competitors – this should help inform your answer.“This is your chance to demonstrate that you have done your research into the organisation’s unique selling points and core values”, says David Cairncross, director at Hays.

“Try to avoid saying things that suggest a short-term interest in the role,” advises Cairncross. For example, avoid saying that the role may be a stepping stone to your future goals or, perhaps for a UK-based role, that you are interested in the prospect of international work, as this will suggest you are looking to move on quickly.

What are your strengths?
For this question, Jonathan Burston, founder of the Interview Expert Academy, advises candidates to prepare in advance by following the ‘rule of 3’:

Rule 1: Make a list of what you think you’re good at, what you enjoy doing and what others say you’re good at.

Rule 2: Take that list a step further and ask yourself why you consider each strength to be a strength – list three reasons per strength.

Rule 3: For each strength listed, detail three examples of where you’ve showcased that strength.

What are your weaknesses?
Interviewers ask this question to see how self aware candidates are, according to Sarah Archer ofCareerTree. “They don’t want you to start listing all your weaknesses and provide them with a reason not to give you the job – remember they want you to do well,” she explains. “But you must prepare for the question because answering off the top of your head could be fatal.”

Think of a weakness that you have – that is preferably not a crucial requirement of the job – and show the interviewer you have a strategy for managing it. For example: “When under pressure my attention to detail can be less than I like so I build in extra time for checking my work or ask a colleague to do a final proof read for me.”

Why should we employ you?
This question isn’t simply about whether you meet the criteria of the job specifications, you need to demonstrate you can deliver what is required, says Victoria McLean, founder of CityCV. Start by reiterating the role outcomes (“My understanding is that the business requires an individual who can expand the client base and …”), then illustrate the skills you have to achieve those outcomes with some tangible examples.

Next give them your “differentiator”, says McLean – what sets you apart from your peers, what is your USP? “Use emotive language and wrap up with something super positive and memorable,” she advises. “Reiterate again how excited you are about the opportunity and to close your answer on a really positive note.”

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
Use this question as an opportunity to showcase your strengths, says Cairncross. “Think of where you have personally made a difference, but avoid overselling yourself,” he adds. Use the STAR technique to tell a compelling story, outline the situation you were in, the task you had to accomplish, the action you took and then the positive results.

Using the STAR technique should ensure your answer has a clear structure and doesn’t miss out any key details. Cairncross also advises that the candidate highlights the obstacles they overcame to reach the achievement.

Describe a time something went wrong and how you dealt with it
“We all have experiences where something went wrong and employers want to learn how you deal with it,” says Burston. He recommends making a list of examples of projects or goals that didn’t go according to plan and then listing what happened and why. Next, review the reasons it failed, how you felt about it and, most importantly, what you learned from the experience and what you’d do differently next time. Once you’ve got a clear example in your head, you can structure your answer using the STAR technique, in the same way as question 6.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
This is tricky. “You don’t want to be under ambitious, but equally you need to avoid having unrealistic or mismatched expectations,” says Gregory. What does work, according to Gregory, is to say that you would hope to develop and be trusted with increasing responsibility over this next five years. “This shows that first and foremost you want to be recognised as someone who does an excellent job, and that this would underpin any career development and promotional opportunities,” he explains.

What motivates you?
This is a broad question designed to understand a person in the round, according to Kelly Roberts, head of HR consultancy at accountancy firm Kreston Reeves. Perhaps you might like a challenge? Or you want a job that pays enough for interesting foreign travel? “There is no right or wrong, but honesty, enthusiasm and self-belief are qualities a recruiter will hope to see reflected in the answers,” she says.

Have you got any questions?
Remember that interviews are a two-way process. “Interviewers will want to know if you’re interested in them and their organisation, so you should never go to an interview without a list of pre-prepared questions,” says Burston. Ask about the company and the opportunities for personal development and, of course, ask more about the role, its challenges and the team. Questions directed at the interviewer themselves are a good move too, says Burston. What do they like about their job, the company, the culture?

Image: © Christopher Scott / Alamy Stock Photo

By Kirstie Brewer

Published: 17 Dec 2015

Ref: https://jobs.theguardian.com/article/the-top-ten-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them/