Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Pilgrimage for a job - Interviews

My job search has resulted unsuccessful so far. Should I be concerned? Well, I'm not. I have been applying to positions I know I could be a great ad to the companies out there, but I'm still to write my thesis, I suspect no one is going to employ me before this literary 'burden' is done and over. Nevertheless, let me share a personal view on the NOs I got through template rejection emails - They're the ones who missing on a great employee!

I am eager to get my first interview, and as part of that process it comes natural to me the need to acquire some interview skills. Honestly, I am more and more inclined to believe that all this being picked for a job is but luck, but in order to be lucky you need to make yourself visible to others. Then, and only then can you get lucky.

Doesn't this job searching and applying resemble a nearly-juvenile Friday night in a discotheque? Nice words, pitch properly, dress accordingly, sell yourself and pray to be seen. Yes, applying for jobs is just like that!!!


This post is part of a series of articles I posted under the 'pilgrimage for a job' tag. You can find the previous articles by 'fetching the toxic' up there on the left side.

I couldn't close this first chapter without going through what I found of juicy and pedagogical concerning interviews. How to behave, what to say, what not to say, where to look, what are they made of. These and other resolute questions always populate our minds when we are shortlisted for an interview. Since I am really inclined to abandon academia and join the industry (fingers crossed) most of the pages I have searched point out towards an exit from academia. I hope you find interest in all this information I collected.

The Dos and Don'ts of interviewing for a non-academic role

1. Do make eye contact, have a firm handshake, smile and stop looking at the floor 
The first exchanges of energy are crucial and if one comes out as confident and friendly, chances are that they are going to like us a lot more. Let's make it easy for them to like us then. And first impressions are extremely hard to change. :)))))))))))))

2. Bring up your 'market research' notes
Interviewers hate unprepared interviewees. You don't want to come out as lazy or not knowing exactly what you're there for. Research the job role, research the company, research the market you'll be working in. The more you know the more confident you'll be and they will sense that straight away. See it as a company meeting where you've taken your notes to share with your superiors.

3. Maintain a professional composure throughout
Regardless of whatever approach you interviewer stands for, you are the one under scrutiny so don't relax to the point of losing your professional attentive attitude. Yawning, vulgar jokes or simply thinking it is for you to spread legs and cross arms, it is totally unacceptable.

4. Ask questions. They need you as much as you need them.
Have some dignity for god's sake! They are looking for your kind of talent; this is not X-factor where Simon Cowell offends everyone, babbles whatever crazy adjectives he thinks of and is applauded by millions of people in need of being entertained. This is going to be your bosses and colleagues. You need to know them beforehand, so make use of this opportunity before you sign for some guys who couldn't care less about your needs.

5. Follow up notes are not kissing ass but polite reminders.

Mention something particular in your follow-up note. Try mentioning some points in common between you and the interviewer, but don't lose your grip thinking you're old time buddies. Just make sure he will remember you for something good.

Source: [1]


Keys to overcome a telephone interview job successfully

1. In this case basic common sense applies. Avoid public areas where noise can be a constraint.

2. Be prepared and open wide your CV to answer straight away to any of the key questions on your experience and skills.

3. The way you answer questions is ever more important than in a face-to-face interview. Here, mistakes cannot be made inconsequential with a smile or a gesture. Listening can help you hit the bull's eye later on by answering properly to a tough one.

4. It's all about your tone of voice when all else is discarded. Image is not present in a phone call, so in the end you will also be assessed for your safe and constant tone of voice.

5. And yet again the follow up. Track the call with an email by thanking the opportunity and reinforcing your motivation.

Source: [2]


What one should be asking at a job interview

Ask about everything you find pertinent. Think outside the box. If you are going to ask just for asking then please keep quite. Focus on the good and the bad of doing such job, if there will be training, an example of a typical day in the role, if there is way to progress and climb up the ladder, why do they think they're good a company for you; ask about their mission, values and culture. As you see there is a lot to ask about!


This is what I found for myself and for you also. Make sure you read Liz Ryan post on LinkedIn entitled "It's an Interview, Not an Interrogation", it is quite interesting and will reduce your panicking. And if you are over 40 by any chance, please make sure you read Bobby Edelman's article "Over 40? How to sell yourself at a job interview", everyone alive will be 40 one day, better get ready because the job market is a cold b...

That's it! Come back this Friday to help me blow the candles of the 5th anniversary of The Toxicologist Today. 5th!!!!!! Awesome.

[1] Five do's and dont's during a non-academic interview, White consulting, [http://www.whiteconsultingllc.com/five-dos-and-donts-during-a-non-academic-interview/], last visited on the 24th of August 2015, last update unknown.

[2] Keys to overcome a telephone interview job successfully, First aid for health care, [http://firstaidforhealth.com/keys-to-overcome-a-telephone-interview-job-successfully.html/], last visited on the 24th of August 2015, last updated on the 11th of January 2015.

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