Interviewing Tips and Templates that you can use
In preparing for an interviewing, whether face to face or phone, it is important you know about the company and individual you're interviewing with. Company information is easily obtainable off the company's information web site. There are also many other sources if the company is publicly held.
Knowing yourself, your skills, accomplishments and goals can play a big part in your interviewing success. You should be prepared to give the hiring official the information they ask for at the time of the interview. Below are a few questions to help you know yourself. There are many good interviewing books on the market to help you in the process. You can never be too prepared.
Can you tell me about a time when you...
Worked effectively under pressure.
Had to adapt to a difficult situation.
Had to deal with an irate customer, tenant, etc.
Made the wrong hiring decision.
Had to fire an employee.
What is the most significant thing you have learned from your present/last job?
Which job in your career did you like most and why?
Describe your personality.
How do you handle criticism?
What would your boss say about you?
What is the hardest thing you've ever had to do in your job?
If you could change anything about your present/last company, what would it be?
What type of people do you not like to work with?
What is your biggest accomplishment in your career?
Do you consider yourself to be a team player? In what way?
Resignation Letter Sample
I. STATEMENT OF RESIGNATION
I have accepted a position at another company that is clearly the next step in my career. Therefore, I hereby resign my position at (Company) effective (day, date).
II. STATEMENT OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Contribution the person has made to you personally
Learning process in the technology
It has been a pleasure working with you (state appropriate situation). My decision is in no way indicative of any problems or bad feelings with you or (present company).
III. INTEGRITY OF DECISION
Statement of excitement regarding new position
Decision is not a reflection of current manager
Decision is irrevocable
Support requested for transition
I am writing to inform you that I have accepted a position with another company and am resigning my position with (Company). My last day of employment will be (day & date).
I have been on the research center’s staff for nearly three years and, during the last year, I have enjoyed a close working relationship with you in the development and production of the BEST project. The success of the project is largely due to your leadership, skills and wisdom. You have forged a new bond of mutual respect and technical cooperation between the Research Lab and the other divisions. It is clear that the professional caliber of the Design Auto. Res. Dept. has been substantially raised during this period.
A talented group of BEST project engineers remains. I would like to especially note the contribution of (person’s name) that also deserves a great deal of credit for the project’s success. He has well developed leadership skills and I can confidently recommend that he assume leadership for BEST.
I am excited and enthusiastic about my new position. My decision in no way reflects on your management style or effectiveness. I request that you support me in my last days at (Company) to make my transition as smooth as possible.
I further request that no counteroffer be made as I am comfortable my decision is the best for myself and my family and it is final.
Thank you for your contribution and continued support.
Interviewing Tips Pt 2
A Seven Point Guide to Successful Interviewing
Edited from a Business Journal article by Richard Pinsker with thanks to Nyborg-Dow Associates.
It’s important for job seekers to realize that potential employers may not immediately recognize everything you have to offer. This is intended to help you succeed and may give you leverage over other candidates. Your experienced recruiter can help greatly in presenting the qualities you possess that go beyond what you’ve written in your resume and you should value their assistance highly.
• In order to gain the greatest benefit from past experience, carefully organize your achievements and think about the technical theories and aspects of them. Be ready to discuss how you implemented your ideas in order to accomplish your goals. During the interview speaking about your career in vague terms will only make you seem unsure. Know who you are and be able to speak confidently. Be clear about how you think you can fit into the organization and what you can "bring to the party".
• Most managers give minimal attention what you’ve written. Instead, they for "buzz" words that stand out as a potential solution to their immediate dilemma. Designing your resume as though it was a marketing tool will increase your success ratio greatly. The content should be no more than two pages with further enhancement discussed verbally or added as a supplement. Depend on your accomplished recruiter can give you feedback.
• While the HR department tries to circulate resumes to the correct department, they are often so overloaded that expedient delivery is impossible. They are generally not your best inroad to a company. If you are not working with a reliable recruiter, target people in the group you wish to penetrate.
• References from former employers and peers are almost always checked and often via indirect methods. Over the years, managers and senior engineers build strong, wide networks that allow them to "back door" reference most potential candidates. Be sure to contact all your references and alert them to possible calls. Having your recruiter pre-check references, especially if you are in doubt, gives the reference an opportunity to think through their response before being interrogated by your potential boss.
• Don't burn your bridges! Handle each interview as if this were the opportunity of a lifetime. You can always reject an offer, but there is no way to change a first impression. The folks you speak with may be the ones who interview you for a job next time around.
• Salary Negotiation. Don't offer information about what you expect or desire. If asked, give only the facts: Current salary, last review and if asked what you expect, "I'm sure you would make me a fair offer." It is unlikely that you would be able to "name" the correct salary and could leave yourself open to messy negotiation. A seasoned recruiter will help get you the best possible offer and keep you from seeming either naïve or over expectant.
• The most important thing I can add to this list is: People hire people that they like and want to work with. Try to see what you and the interviewer have in common personally. Most importantly, ask for the job! No one knows what is going on inside your head. You must express a desire for the position (if you are truly interested) so that the interviewer knows you want to join the team.
• Ask if the moving company goes directly to your final destination. Moving companies will often transport your things to another mover who will then take them to your new home. This is clearly not the least expensive or most secure way to go.
• Moving companies that have made over 100 interstate shipments are required to file a standard report which gives data regarding breakage and other pertinent information.
• If your homeowners' insurance policy covers damage to your property during a move, you have one less expense to worry about. Be sure to check.
• Don't let your mover charge for a "stair carry" for steps inside your residence. Steps outside your residence, including steps in an apartment building, do justify extra charges.
• It is rarely a good idea to ship appliances. They are expensive to transport, and sometimes they are not compatible with the new residence (e.g. a gas dryer in an electric building).
• For shipping books, the post office book rate is much less expensive than moving van rates.
• If you are shipping less than 1,000 pounds total, consider selling furniture and shipping other goods via the post office or a competing box shipper. Small shipments cost more on a per-pound basis.
There is no set format for the perfect resume. Ideally the most concise and the easiest to read is the reverse chronological resume.
Simple guidelines to follow are:
a) tell them what you want,
b) why you're qualified,
c) where and how you've done the work and
d) your accomplishments in that job (quantified with numbers, statistics, etc.).
Putting an objective on your resume may give the hiring official guidance however, it may also limit you as far as options for other possible positions in a company. If you decide to put an objective on your resume, be sure it is directed and encompassing of your skills, don't be vague. Hiring officials want to know the route of your resume. You may change your objective for different markets if necessary.
The information on your resume should be factual, positive, quantitative and concise. It should list education, accomplishment and work history. The accomplishments seem to be more effective when built into the body of the resume under each position. The information should also support your objective or goal. Leave out any information not pertinent to the position.
Be aware of any time gaps in your employment history. This is unaccountable time and may cause the elimination of your resume.
Use strong action verbs and descriptive phrases for emphasis. Accurate phrases are more effective than lengthy sentences. Also, do not use a font size that is too small or difficult to read. It's better to have your resume expand to another page if necessary.
Keep a list of pre-notified references, which would be available upon request.
Always attach a cover letter specifically referencing the company. This is your introduction into a company; it can open or close the door for you. The main goal is to get the interview.
Prior to submitting your correspondence to any company, proof read thoroughly for proper grammar, syntax and any typing errors.
Make sure your phone numbers are clearly identifiable and dates of positions are in the proper chronological order.
What to expect when changing jobs
All companies do things in their own manner, which can create a bit of culture shock when you change jobs. Initially, you will probably feel like the new kid on the block and somewhat unappreciated. Keep in mind that saying "We always did it this way at XYZ." will not make you popular.
This discomfort is usually resolved in time. As a new employee, watch, look and listen before you make suggestions. Any ideas you may have should be discussed in a positive tone with a hint of humility. You will learn more by reading & listening than you will ever learn by talking.
You will probably have to change roles, going from the authority to the novice in some areas when you change fields. While this can cause stress, try to think of it as returning to school and learn as much as you can.
If you can remember how quickly you adapted in the past, your discomfort should quickly dissipate.
Six Phases of Change
Pre-Decision - This can be a shaky time for most. It is when we swing from euphoria to despair, and switch from making a move to dreading it.
Paralysis - As its title indicated, you can’t do a thing! This can apply from making your bed to balancing your budget. Thankfully, this stage is generally short lived.
Make the Move Now - This is the "Tell anyone who will listen" phase. It’s exciting and exhilarating and you can’t talk enough about it.
Buyer’s Remorse - This phase usually visits in the middle of the night waking you up in a cold sweat and demanding to know what you have done! Like the paralyses phase this, too, is fortunately short lived.
Settling in - This is a good phase. Some call it the honeymoon stage. Your decision is so good you wonder why it took you this long to make the change.
Real Adjustment - This phase takes time. During this period, you make the adjustments and compromises necessary to have the new company work for you!
If you have accepted an offer from a new employer and on giving notice to your present company, a counter offer is made, here are some points you might choose to consider:
• If you were worth $90K yesterday, why is your employer suddenly willing to now pay you $110K today? If you're worth $110K, then why did they wait to offer your true worth until you decided to leave and not previously?
• Consider the possibility that your present employer could be buying time with this raise until he can locate a replacement. If you were given an annual raise of $3,000 (as the counter), it would only cost the company $500 were they able to find a replacement in 60 days.
• Companies often feel "blackmailed" because you are a necessary employee that can not comfortably be lost without immediate replacement. You are now a marked person. Possibilities regarding promotion or salary increases will be limited for one who has shown disloyalty. The company is now vulnerable and will not risk giving more responsibility to an employee who has once expressed a desire to leave.
• Is more money going to change the aspects of your present position that made you begin your search? Think about the new opportunity that looked so favorable when you accepted it and decide if it was just financial or if there was something more.
• As an employee that has expressed some level of dissatisfaction with the current employer, you may be leaving yourself open to being one of those asked to leave when economic slowdowns occur. Your stated intention to leave once before may make you a natural target.
• Statistics compiled by the National Employment Association state that over 80% of those who accept a counter offer from their current employer are no longer with the company six months later.
After all this, should you decide to go ahead and accept a counter offer, be sure to ask your present employer to confirm the details of the offer in writing including future promises.
Sample Declination Letter
If you have recently been offered a job and accepted it, only to be given a more appealing offer you wish to accept in its place; this letter will help you inform the first company that you will not be joining them. Do not use this letter if it is even remotely possible you might change your mind.
Dear Potential Employer’s Name,
This is a very difficult letter to write. Your offer of Title on Date was very attractive. Based on the information I had at that time I felt it appropriate to accept your generous offer.
Unfortunately, other options have occurred. Life is a path of continual motion, growth and learning. As more has been revealed in the last few days, I must choose a different path than working for Company Name. I apologize but I must decline your offer. There is no fault, just a difficult decision I had to make for my future best interest.
I wish you and Company Name the best of success and luck.