However, by indicating your high school, your potential employer will be able to determine your approximate age. Also, in most cases, what you did in high school will have little impact on your employer’s perception of your potential success in a professional occupation. Use Action Verbs That Emphasize Accomplishments Rather Than Duties o Enhance your resumé by describing your accomplishments powerfully using action verbs and avoid weak statements. o Review page 445 of your text for a list of appropriate action verbs and examples 11 • • • of results-oriented statements. ▪ Generated 35 new accounts last month. ▪ Developed new accounting system that reduced paperwork by 50 percent. Eliminate All Pronouns o I, Me, My, He, His, She, Her, It, You, Your, We, They, Our, and Us do not belong on your resumé. Create Full Pages Rather Than Partial Pages o It is advisable to limit your resumé to one full page or two full pages of text. Don’t forget to include a heading on the second page. o This may require that you make decisions regarding the content and format of your resumé. Include a Separate Reference Page o On a separate page titled, “Professional References,” list at least three references. Select references who can speak about your education, work – related skills, accomplishments, and personality traits. Avoid listing family members, neighbors, and casual acquaintances. It is strongly recommended you request permission to include a person on your list of references. o Person’s Name o Name of Position and/or Title Name of Organization o Mailing Address (If applicable) Email Address o Phone Numbers 12 Task 4: Employment Interview Questions Begin this task on a separate page in the same MSWord file you used to complete Task 1, 2, and 3. You can do this by using the Insert / Break / Page Break function in MSWord. Congratulations! Your potential employer liked your letter of application and your resume and is interested in interviewing you for the position. Pretend you are being interviewed by Ms. Rosemary Ferguson for the position you indicated in Task 1. Write your honest response each question of the ten questions listed to the right. Tip 1: Create A Positive Impression The initial impression you make on the others is, if not indelible, certainly a huge determinant in how they will feel about you for quite some time. This judgment is only magnified at job interviews — an activity designed to make sure you fit within an organization both personally and professionally. Tip 2: Review Your Textbook for Interviewing Tips Tip 3: Proofread Your Answers Check for format, content, grammar, and punctuation “mis-steaks.” 13 Employment Interview Questions for This Assignment When answering these questions, be certain to refer to your relevant skills for the vacant position. Avoid being arrogant, and don’t criticize current or previous employers, bosses, or peers Rather, be confident, well-spoken and answer each question as it relates to the position. 1. Tell me about yourself. It seems like an easy interview question. It’s open ended. I can talk about whatever I want from the birth canal forward. Right? Wrong. What the hiring manager really wants is a quick, two- to three-minute snapshot of who you are and why you’re the best candidate for this position. So, as you answer this question, talk about what you’ve done to prepare yourself to be the very best candidate for the position. Use an example or two to back it up. Then ask if they would like more details. If they do, keep giving them example after example of your background and experience. Always point back to an example when you have the opportunity. “Tell me about yourself” does not mean tell me everything. Just tell me what makes you the best. 2. Why should I hire you? The easy answer is that you are the best person for the job. And don’t be afraid to say so. But then back it up with what specifically differentiates you. For example: “You should hire me because I’m the best person for the job. I realize that there are likely other candidates who also have the ability to do this job. Yet I bring an additional quality that makes me the best person for the job–my passion for excellence. I am passionately committed to producing truly world class results. For example, . . .” Are you the best person for the job? Show it by your passionate examples. 3. What is your long-range objective? Make my job easy for me. Make me want to hire you. The key is to focus on your achievable objectives and what you are doing to reach those objectives. For example: “Within five years, I would like to become the very best accountant your company has on staff. I want to work toward becoming the expert that others rely upon. And in doing so, I feel I’ll be fully prepared to take on any greater responsibilities which might be presented in the long term. For example, here is what I’m presently doing to prepare myself . . .” 14 Then go on to show by your examples what you are doing to reach your goals and objectives. 4. How has your education prepared you for your career? This is a broad question and you need to focus on the behavioral examples in your educational background which specifically align to the required competencies for the career. An example: “My education has focused on not only the learning the fundamentals, but also on the practical application of the information learned within those classes. For example, I played a lead role in a class project where we gathered and analyzed best practice data from this industry. Let me tell you more about the results . . .” Focus on behavioral examples supporting the key competencies for the career. Then ask if they would like to hear more examples. 5. Are you a team player? Almost everyone says yes to this question. But it is not just a yes/no question. You need to provide behavioral examples to back up your answer. A sample answer: “Yes, I’m very much a team player. In fact, I’ve had opportunities in my work, school and athletics to develop my skills as a team player. For example, on a recent project . . .” Emphasize teamwork behavioral examples and focus on your openness to diversity of backgrounds. Talk about the strength of the team above the individual. And note that this question may be used as a lead into questions around how you handle conflict within a team, so be prepared. 6. Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How was it resolved? Note that if you say no, most interviewers will keep drilling deeper to find a conflict. The key is how you behaviorally reacted to conflict and what you did to resolve it. For example: “Yes, I have had conflicts in the past. Never major ones, but there have been disagreements that needed to be resolved. I’ve found that when conflict occurs, it helps to fully understand the other person’s perspective, so I take time to listen to their point of view, then I seek to work out a collaborative solution. For example,” Focus your answer on the behavioral process for resolving the conflict and working collaboratively. 7. What is your greatest weakness? Most career books tell you to select a strength and present it as a weakness. Such 15 as: “I work too much. I just work and work and work.” Wrong. First, using a strength and presenting it as a weakness is deceiving. Second, it misses the point of the question. You should select a weakness that you have been actively working to overcome. For example: “I have had trouble in the past with planning and prioritization. However, I’m now taking steps to correct this. I just started using a pocket planner . . .” then show them your planner and how you are using it. Talk about a true weakness and show what you are doing to overcome it. Perhaps the fact you have not completed your degree, but you are working on it, would be the perfect answer to this question… 8. If I were to ask your professors to describe you, what would they say? This is a threat of reference check question. Do not wait for the interview to know the answer. Ask any prior bosses or professors in advance. And if they’re willing to provide a positive reference, ask them for a letter of recommendation. Then you can answer the question like this: I believe she would say I’m a very energetic person, that I’m results oriented and one of the best people she has ever worked with. Actually, I know she would say that, because those are her very words. May I show you her letter of recommendation?” So be prepared in advance with your letters of recommendation. 9. What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have? Focus on two words: leadership and vision. Here is a sample of how to respond: “The key quality in a successful manager should be leadership–the ability to be the visionary for the people who are working under them. The person who can set the course and direction for subordinates. The highest calling of a true leader is inspiring others to reach the highest of their abilities. I’d like to tell you about a person whom I consider to be a true leader . . .” Then give an example of someone who has touched your life and how their impact has helped in your personal development. 10. Do you have any questions for us? Of course, you do. Refer your text for appropriate questions to ask the employer. 16 Task 5: Thank You Follow – Up Letter Begin this task on a separate page in the same MSWord file you used to complete Task 1, 2, and 3. You can do this by using the Insert / Break / Page Break function in MSWord. The interview was a success, and the interviewer, Ms. Rosemary Ferguson, was impressed with your skills and your interview style. Now it’s time to distinguish yourself from the other candidates by sending your interviewer a well written thank you letter that acknowledges the interviewer’s time and courtesy as well as conveying your continued interest in the position. This letter should show the reader that you are thorough, courteous, efficient, and sincerely interested in the job. On the personal level, writing this letter allows you to wrap up your application for the job; it is your last chance to tie up all the loose ends neatly. Tip 1: Review Your Textbook for Samples and Guidelines What do you include in the thank you letter? Convey your gratitude at being selected for an interview. • The tone of the letter is courteous and thankful. • Consider including an analysis of your visit to the company or your interview. • This may include impressions of the company itself, analysis of the interview proceedings or new facts you learned about the company. • Include any new information about your qualifications or education since your interview. • This letter will show the interviewer that you are thorough and sincerely interested in the job Tip 2: Select the Correct Letter Format Select either the simplified letter format, the block format or the modified block format for your letter. These Lett
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