interview

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How to answer “What is your strength?”

 

 

Interviews can make us feel nervous. Fortunately, there is a lot that we can do before going to an interview! Help prepare yourself by considering this question before your interview:

What is your strength?

It sounds like an invitation to talk about those superb skills you think they need, and you know you have. Be careful though, this is a tricky question that deserves attention. Be specific, be relevant and be prepared to give an example!

 

Step 1: Think of the thing you believe to be your strength. Now think more specifically. Try to recall an experience that can be used as a relevant example for the position you are interviewing for. If you don’t have any experiences that are relevant to the position, think about how you can connect an unrelated experience.

Example: As a waiter, you could carry 5 plates without a spill. This is not relevant for a security officer interview. However, the ability to quickly connect and communicate with any patron, proven by the number of repeat clients requesting you as a waiter, demonstrates transferable skills that can be used in a security position.

Step 2: Try to demonstrate your strength by talking about any awards, training, special recognition you received or quantifiable goals you met.

Example: If your strength is in sales, talk about how often you met your sales targets or how often you exceeded them and by how much. This allows the interviewer to relate your experience to their business goals.

 

Not every recruiter asks what your strengths are, but you can use the answer with a number of other interview questions, such as:

What do you think you can bring to the company?

Why should we hire you?

If I call your supervisor, what will they say about you?

As a last thought, try to have between five to ten strengths prepared with good stories as examples. This way, the only thing to do before the interview is to match the strength to the job description! Good Luck!

 

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5 Tips for Perfecting an Informational Interview

What is an informational interview?

Informational interviews are an informal opportunity to collect information about a career that interests you. By talking to someone else who’s already in the know, you have the potential to gain insider information about a company, industry, specific job role and/or career path.  

Switching the tables, and becoming the one asking the questions, is a skill that takes time to master, but it can help you with reducing interview stress and building confidence. Being able to conduct an informational interview can become one of the most efficient tools in your job hunt, so here are some tips to help you master it!  

 

1. Don’t let fear control you. 

Connecting with strangers can be daunting, but you can take baby steps. If you don’t feel comfortable messaging people on social media and Linked In, ask your family, friends and neighbours if they know anyone in their own network they could refer you to. You know what they say, 70% of success in life is just showing up! So… get out there and try!

 

2. Keep it short, keep it sweet. 

Ask for 20 minutes of their time. You want to create a professional work connection and gain insight, so 20 minutes should be plenty of time to make a good impression and gather the precious advice you seek.

 

3. Research and prepare.

Think of 10-15 questions that you want to ask, then have a look at the company’s website or google information about the profession and see if you can find answers that satisfy you. Doing research will help you create and identify the best questions to ask.

 

4. Dress to impress.

It’s true, you are not interviewing for a job, but you want to be remembered for your smart, professional approach, not for the comfortable hoodie and flashy runners you put on in a rush.

 

5. Follow-up.

This is potentially the most important! The hardest part is over, now you just need to follow-up to cement the connection for the future. Remember, this person has taken time to talk with you, a thank you note shows that you are grateful and it may even be the difference between recommending you for a job… or not! 

 

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