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5 Job Interview Myths That Ruin Your Growth

By Warren Fowler

Only a handful of situations in life are more stressful than job interviews. Sitting in front of strangers who want to expose your weaknesses while you are hoping to get that much-needed job sounds terrifying. Most people feel like they are participating in their own interrogation, which makes them choke or give superficial answers.

The only way to avoid this is to prepare for an interview and be ready to answer even the most demanding questions. However, some professionals don’t get it right because they believe in some common recruiting misconceptions. In this article, we will reveal 5 job interview myths that can ruin your growth.

5 Things to Know Before the Job Interview

There are dozens of misunderstandings related to the hiring process. A lot of applicants use the wrong tactic and reduce the odds of getting a job. That’s why we decided to make a list of the 5 most common job interview illusions. Let’s take a closer look here.

1. It’s impossible to prepare

Interview SkillsThere is no such thing as impossible, especially in terms of job interviews. We know that it’s hard to predict the outcome of human interaction but you have many ways to prepare and reduce the possibility of getting caught by surprise. First of all, you should make a list of frequently asked job interview questions.

Start by identifying the obvious questions such as ‘Tell us more about yourself’. You will hear generic inquiries like this one in all sorts of industries. On the other hand, there are other, more specific industry-related questions. For instance, a recruiter might ask you to predict a few industry trends for 2018. This is where your experience and expertise come into play.

At the same time, you should organize a role-playing session with your friends and exercise answering the questions that you previously identified as most probable. This gives you the opportunity to perfect your feedback on standard questions but also to improve your non-verbal skills.

2.  Overestimating competitors

Some professionals are too afraid of competitors and strongly believe that their skills cannot compete with other people’s expertise. However, you should bear in mind that the average job opening attracts 250 resumes but only 2% of applicants are actually invited for an interview. In such circumstances, the sheer fact that you received a job interview invitation suggests that you can rightfully compete with other candidates, so try to relax a little.

Instead of panicking, you should embrace a different mindset. Keep reminding yourself that you have a lot of professional experience and a broad scope of knowledge and interests. Remind yourself of the biggest career achievements and the times when you proved to be an excellent employee. All these auto-suggestive messages can boost your confidence quickly. That way, you will stop thinking about the qualities of other applicants and begin focusing on your own strengths.

3. Fighting with generalization

The worst thing you can do during the job interview is to talk about generic issues. What you should know is that HR managers take an average of 6 seconds to scan a CV and they rarely ever remember details from the candidates’ resumes. That’s why you need to do your best to present them professional results and qualities. We suggest you focus on 3 aspects of the business:

  • Career achievements: You should always emphasize the most important results of your work. Make it data-driven and tell recruiters about concrete career achievements. For instance, you can say that your former company increased lead generation by 47% since the time you were appointed digital marketing executive.
  • Previous positions: Let them know what your earlier roles and positions in the hierarchy were, as well as the number of employees you were monitoring.
  • Details of work: Try to explain the details of your work and the knowledge and skills you gained. Mention every certificate, software, course, or training you went through in your career.

4. Lack of research

Almost half of the recruiters say that having little or no knowledge of the company is the most common job interview mistake. Candidates usually make such mistakes because they only prepare for the FAQ. But your duty is to conduct a thorough research about the company and find out as many details about it as possible. You should know the names of the most important persons in this organization, products or services they offer, relations with other businesses, company news, etc.

An anchor of your research is the company website but you also need to dig deeper and explore their social media accounts and posts you find via the Google search. Besides that, you also need to follow the latest industry developments, community discussions, and expert opinions. Try to find out who are key opinion leaders in this field and read their predictions and analysis. The more you learn about this company and the niche in general, the higher the chances to get the job eventually.

5. You don’t do the follow-up

An average job applicant would probably say that the interview follow-up deems too obnoxious and pushy. It does sound logical but it’s not true because polite follow-ups actually increase the odds of earning a job. Namely, 42 days is the overall average time it takes to fill a given position. In such circumstances, an interviewee has the right to ask for employer’s feedback. As a job candidate, you should thank recruiters for inviting you to the interview and ask when to expect to make their final decision. It will not only make you stand out from the crowd of other candidates but also give you a post-interview peace of mind.

Conclusion

Job interviews are extremely demanding for most individuals and the only way to present yourself well is to prepare thoroughly. Understanding common recruiting misconceptions is an important activity in that regard. In this article, we showed you 5 job interview myths that can ruin your growth. We hope our suggestions will be helpful for you but don’t hesitate to share your opinion with us in comments.

Author Bio:  Warren Fowler is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at EduGeeksClub, who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online!

Free Holiday Templates from Microsoft

With the holidays fast approaching, many of you are tasked with creating a variety of holiday documentation including party flyers, party menus, writing gift tags, creating holiday gift lists, Christmas card lists and more. The good news is that Microsoft has many free holiday templates all ready for you to use that will help make your job so much easier.

One easy way to find the exact holiday template you are looking for is to go directly to template.office.com where you will find thumbnails and direct links to all the featured categories and events and occasions.  On this page, you can also search by application (Word, Excel or PowerPoint) or go directly to the type of templates you are looking for by browsing through their extended list.

Once you locate the category you are searching for, just click the category and you will be taken to a page full of related templates for that category.  In the example below, I selected the Christmas category as I want to make a holiday party flyer.

Office holiday templates

Browse through the available templates until you find the exact template you are looking for.  Once you locate your template, click on the template and you will be taken to a download page where you can download your template to your office application.  Note:  Right next to the template name, you will see what application the template supports (Word, PowerPoint or Excel).  In the following example, I chose a Microsoft Word Holiday Party Invitation as want to modify my template in Word.

Word Party Invitation template

On the download page, click the download button and your application will be downloaded directly to your computer.

Download templates from Office

 

Once downloaded, click on the template to open it and it will open in the Office application.  If necessary, click the Enable Editing button at the top of the page so you can modify your template.  To modify the template and add your own text, just select the text you want to change and type in your own information.  Once completed, save the template to your computer drive or to the cloud and it will be ready for printing and distribution.  Happy Holidays!

Using E-Learning in Employee Training (infographic)

Many people will be familiar with the long, boring day sat in a room listening to an instructor speak about how you can improve at your job. At the best of times, these days are tedious, but the reality is they are also not very productive at all. This infographic from One Productions takes you through how much more effective e-learning can be in employee training and outlines why traditional employee training is so ineffective.

After a long day of training, the average employee forgets 65% of the material covered just 7 days later and this figure jumps to 90% after 6 months. The problem with these training sessions is that when they’re done, they’re really done. There is no way for employees to really follow-up if they’re confused about an area. Sure, they could ask their boss, but many employees wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that.

The e-learning industry has grown 900% since the year 2000 and it’s easy to understand why we’ve seen such growth. Think about it from your own perspective. Would you rather be lectured at for an entire day or learn at your own pace with a collection of training videos. Videos allow you to learn at whenever is convenient on any device. If you don’t understand something in the videos, have a look back over it at a time of need rather than it being forced down your throat.

For employers, it’s important to put effort into making these videos. Don’t slack of on production quality just because it’s being circulated internally. Produce them as if the content were being used for your customers. A poor-quality video will make employees less attentive to the content.

Check out the full infographic for more information and remember that 40% of poorly trained employees leave a job within one year. Consider using e-learning to ensure this doesn’t happen.

 

Business Cards: What You Need to Know

Are business cards still worthwhile? According to this infographic from Colourfast they are still highly effective in the business world. The essential message is that no business card is better than a bad business card as 72% of people judge a company or person on the quality of their business card. Remember that business cards are not expensive so it’s the one area where you really shouldn’t be watching the pennies.

Make sure all of the crucial elements are included in it and take the time to make sure the card is absolutely perfect before committing to the final design. One point where people have different opinions is if you should add a photo to your business card. Many believe you should add it as people will remember faces and not cards. This may be a slightly industry dependent but it is certainly something worth considering.

Another thing to remember about business cards is that you don’t need to give them to absolutely everyone but you should be prepared. Just because you printed a thousand business cards the week before a conference, doesn’t mean they need to be given to every Tom, Dick and Harry you meet. A good rule of thumb is to give a business card to anyone with whom you shake hands as this is generally a good indicator as to whether you’ve made a real connection.

Having said that, no matter where you are you should also have a few business cards in your wallet. Not all business occurs at conferences and who’s to say who you’ll meet in the grocery store or while on vacation.

The infographic below takes you through the subtle differences in business etiquette you need to be aware of, especially if you’re doing business in different parts of the world such as Japan or China.

what you need to know about business cards

Ideas on How to Create Organizational Charts

An organizational chart (org chart) is a visual aid used to clarify who reports to who, and who is responsible for what in your organization. It typically shows the business owner or department head at the top. It can be in the format of a drawing, diagram, flow chart, or picture. Most are stored as an electronic document, and often they’re printed and distributed to staff.

In this article, we’ll show you how to create an organizational chart. We’ll also share some tools to easily create org charts, find organizational chart templates, and suggest creative approaches for communicating your organizational structure.

Two Types of Organizational Charts

For the purpose of managing your small business, there are really only two types of org charts you’ll need to know about:

  • Hierarchical/Top Down
  • Matrixed/Cross-Functional
  1. Hierarchical/Top Down Organizational Chart

A hierarchical, or top down, organizational chart is a diagram that shows an organization’s reporting structure from the top down, starting with the business owner or department manager at the top of the chart, and employees who report to her appearing below her name. All roles appear in boxes connected by a line to illustrate reporting relationships.

  1. Matrixed/Cross-Functional Org Chart

A matrixed, or cross-functional, organizational chart shows multiple reporting relationships. It is used to depict complex business organizational structures with functional or project reporting relationships in addition to supervisory (top down, hierarchical) relationships. It shows both supervisory relationships such as ‘who is my boss’, as well as project or team relationships.

If your organization needs an organizational chart, there are many things to consider such as what tools to use (free or paid) to create it and what to include in your organization chart.  Also, once your organizational chart has been created, how do you use it?   To read more about how to create your own organizational chart including some non traditional approaches you may wish to consider,  take a look at this article compliments of Fit Small Business.