Greythorn Resume and Interview Tips


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Your resume is one of the first things an employer will have to assess your suitability as a candidate. It is important that it creates a great first impression. You will also want to ensure you're prepared for your interview, whether it's in person or over the phone. This guide will walk you through all these important steps.

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Greythorn Resume and Interview Tips

  1. 1. Greythorn Career Suite Resume & Interview Tips
  2. 2. Greythorn Career SuiteResume Writing Tips Your resume is one of the first things that an employer will have to assess your suitability as a candidate. It is important that your resume creates a great first impression, and communicates key points in a concise, clear manner. 1. Be Honest Exaggerating your responsibilities or achievements is not recommended, and could greatly impact your future chances of securing a role. Never flasify dates or jobs to hide periods of unemployment. Basic checks will expose your deceit and ruin any chance of you getting the job. 2. Resume Length A maximum of three (3) pages is preferable; your resume only needs to get you an interview. Use bullet points with your most recent experience at the top of the list. This will help to keep your resume concise and relevant to the role that you are applying for. 3. Layout • Keep the language simple; avoid jargon that a recruiter or employer may not • understand. • Highlight achievements in bullet points so they are easy to skim. • Do not include a photo. • Ensure your resume is in Word format. • Use a clear typeface. • Ensure there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. • Any roles over 10 years ago do not need much detail. 4. Structure Page 1 • Personal details: name, address, cell phone, email, visa status (if applicable) • Qualifications: professional qualifications, education • Technical skills: software used • Career highlights: short bullet point sypnopsis of your recent positions and achievements • Highlight anything else that sells your strengths. Page 2-3 • Outline your owrk history in reverse chronological order • Where possible, include quantitative measurements of success • Place emphasis on the most relevant role to the job you are now applying for • Job title: Company name, dates employed • Key experience areas: overview of responsibilities (5-10 bullet points depending on the seniority of the role) • Achievements: List any key achievements within the role, key projects you participated in, etc.
  3. 3. 5. Relevance Highlight any key skills you have which are requested in the job description. These should appear on the front page as a summary. 6. Education If it has been more than five (5) years since you graduated, place your edu- cation at the bottom of your resume. If you have not finished your degree and do not have a diploma, do not claim to have one. It is extremely easy for an employer to find out from the institution whether or not you have graduated. 7. Keep It Updated Regularly revisit your resume and maintain the content. Trying to remember what you did when you started your role five years ago may be difficult. 8. Don’t Try to be Funny Your sense of humor may be very different than other people’s, and it can come across differently than intended. Stick to the facts when working on your resume. Greythorn Career SuiteResume Writing Tips
  4. 4. Greythorn Career SuiteBefore the Interview Preparation Research • Check the location before the day of your interview, and explore transportation options. • Read through the job description, and know where your role will fit into the organization. • Expect the interviewer to do a resume walkthrough. Spend some time going through your resume, making sure to refresh your memory about previous roles and projects, along with dates. • Be prepared for any technical questions that could arise from reviewing your resume. • Be prepared to explain your reasons for leaving each role. • Have a mental note of all key achievements in each role. Find out as much as you can about the company to which you’re applying: their products/services, scale, structure, etc. In addition to the information your Greythorn recruiter will supply, there are a few other sources for this information: • The company website • Annual reports • Company directories • Company brochures • LinkedIn • Google If you can, speak to someone who works for the company. Of course, this is not always possible, but it is a very useful source of information. Day of the Interview Plan to arrive 15 minutes early. Always leave plenty of travel time, and assume you are going to be held up in traffic and have trouble finding parking.
  5. 5. Greythorn Career SuiteDuring the Interview Telephone Interviews • At a minimum, you should brush up on the company’s business structure, clients, products, indus- try terminology, or anything else that may relate to the position you are applying for. Spending an hour or two researching before an interview can make a great impression on your interviewers and possibly land you a second interview or even a job. • Keep a glass of water handy. • Smile. Smiling will change the tone of your voice, and project a positive image to the listener. • Speak slowly and enunciate clearly. • Keep your resume in clear view in front of you, so it’s at your fingertips when you need to answer questions. • Have a short list of your accomplishments available to review. • Have a pen and paper handy for note taking. • Make sure your phone is charged and you are in an area with good reception. Compentency Based Interviewing (CBI) You may be aware of the term “competency based interviewing” (CBI), or behavioral based interviewing. In essence, a CBI interview is a series of scenario-based questions designed to examine your strengths across a number of soft skills. The concept behind this type of question, where you are asked to give a specific example of a real-life situation in the work place, is that the interviewer is able to determine how you will behave in the future, based on how you behaved in the past. A competency question will start with something like, “Describe a situation when...” or “Tell me about a time when...” It is important that you respond accordingly, with one specific example, rather than saying what you would, could, or should do. To prepare yourself for the competency questions, you will need to understand the STAR method of structuring your answer: situation, task, action result. Prepare examples using this response method for each of your competencies, and rehearse your answers. Remember that word “we” should not be a part of your answer; replace it with “I.” The hiring manager is, after all, interested in hiring you, not your team. However, if you were managing a team, be sure to convey that fact. Don’t discount your ability to lead or work as part of a team.
  6. 6. Greythorn Career SuiteDuring the Interview Best Practices • Arrive on time (or early). • Turn your cell phone off before the interview. • Introduce yourself politely. • Express yourself clearly. • Smile as much as possible during the interview. • Show how your experience can benefit the company. • Ask questions about the company for which you are being interviewed. • Construct your answers carefully. • Show willingness to learn and progress. • Be assertive without being aggressive. • Prepare 10 relevant questions; you will probably cover five during the interview. • Refrain from answering questions with a “yes” or “no.” Expand when possible. • Answer all questions honestly. • Do not talk about the salary and benefits package--getting an offer is the main priority, and salary negotiations will follow. • Stay positive about previous employers. • Show that you have put time and energy into planning your career and that this is a crucial step toward your future. For every responsibility or requirement listed in the job description, ensure you have at least one exam- ple of an experience or transferable skill that covers that requirements for the interview. Talking About Your Experience • Keep examples recent and relevant. Use a variety of different examples. • Think about the different interviewers’ motivations: • An HR interviewer’s main concern will be to ensure you fit the company culture, but they will not be able to assess your ability to do the job. • A manager will be able to test your skills and assess whether they will be able to work with you on a daily basis. • If you do not understand a question, ask for clarification. • Take your time in answering a question--it is better to give a good answer after a few second’ pause, rather than a garbled answer immediately. • Avoid cliched answers to questions, such as, “I’m a great team player.” • Refrain from criticizing your current employer.
  7. 7. Greythorn Career SuiteDuring the Interview Questions to Be Prepared For • Describe a situation in which you were able to successfully convince someone to see things your way. • Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your cop- ing skills. • Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment in solving a problem. • Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to achieve it. • Tell me about a time you had to use your pre- sentation skills to influence someone’s opinion. • Give an example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree. • Tell me about a time you had to go above and beyond the call of duty to get a job done. • Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks. • Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision. • How do you typically handle conflict? Give an example. • Tell me about a time you successfully dealt with another person even when that individu- al may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). • Tell me about a difficult decision you made in the last year. • Give me an example of a time you tried to ac- complish something and failed. • Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker. • Give an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead. • Give an example of a time when you motivated others. • Tell me about a time you delegated a project effectively. • Give an example of when you used fact-finding skills to solve a problem. Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and devel- oped preventative measures • Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision. • What are the reasons for leaving your last role? • What are your expectations for your next role? • What is your most noteworthy achievement? • Why do you want to come to work for us? • What do you know about this company? • Why did you choose this career? • How was your last review? • What has been the biggest challenge in your career to date?
  8. 8. Greythorn Career SuiteDuring the Interview Prepare Questions to Ask • How do you see this role developing over the next two years? • What are the company’s growth plans? • What are the three most important things you are expecting this person to deliver in year one? • How would my performance be managed? • How do you like to manage? • What are the biggest challenges to be faced in the first six months? • What is the company culture like? • What makes this a great company to work for? • What new initiatives or technologies have recently been implemented? • Is there any internal training available for employees? This is a good time to find out more about the role. At the end of the interview, it is fine to ask how the interview felt it went and when you can exptect to hear back. You should reaffirm your interested in the role, and thank them for their time. Some questions you could prepare: Communication • Be aware of the tempo of the interview; if your interviewer is talking and asking questions slowly or quickly, respond in a like manner. • Try to maintain eye contact. • Be aware of your audience; try to gauge the understanding of the individual(s) with whom you’re meeting. Don’t become too technical and lose someone who is unfamiliar with what you’re talking about--and the same applies for the reverse. Don’t talk high level when you have a technical audi- ence, as they will be looking for detail. • Try to speak the interview’s language: if they’re formal, you should be formal. If they make a joke, laugh! But be careful about making a joke yourself--it’s usually not a good idea. • If there are multiple people interviewing you, distribute your attention between them and be sure to direct your answers to the person who asked the question. • Avoid talking too much--this is difficult, but the talking should be fairly even between interviewer and interviewee. Make sure you pause if you’re in the middle of a long answer to allow the interviewer to speak if they need to.
  9. 9. Greythorn Career SuiteDuring the Interview Feedback After the interview, it is essential that you call your Greythorn recruiter and provide prompt feedback. In most situations, the recruiter will not be able to get feedback from the client without speaking to you first. Any delay in providing this feedback can slow down the whole process. One of the most important aspects of interviewing is the feedback that you receive from Greythorn after they have spoken to your potential employer. Whether it is positive or negative, it is essential that you take it to heart and use it for future interviews. Feedback is a great learning opportunity, and even the best candidates often need several interviews in order to secure their ideal role.