Monthly Archives: August 2013

15 key job interview questions

This entry was posted in Articles, Job interviews and tagged , , on by María Aragón.

…and how to answer them.

Getting a job interview isn’t easy – that’s why you can’t  just leave it up to chance. Here are 15 common questions that you are likely to be asked, either directly or indirectly, during the selection process. Preparing for them well will help you to stand out from other applicants.

Common interview questions

Common interview questions

list_ok“Can you tell us about your professional experience?” Summarise your curriculum, putting emphasis on work relating to this job offer.  It’s all about explaining your career to date without it sounding like you’re making it up ;)
list_ok“Have you done any extra training recently?” The aim is to evaluate your interest in continuing to progress professionally. Talk about seminars, conferences, courses, etc. that you’ve attended and how you’ll apply what you have learned.
list_ok“What experience have you had relating to the responsibilities attached to the vacant role?” Be precise and speak about tasks that are specific to the role you are applying for. If you do not have previous experience, concentrate on similar tasks that you have performed.
list_ok“What have you achieved during your career?” Go over your successful professional experiences and convince them that the decisions and attitude that helped you with these achievements are also of value to their company.
list_ok“What are your strong points?” Remember that, in general, companies value attitude and aptitude as much as or more than knowledge: analyse your skills and highlight the most appropriate ones for this job offer, giving arguments with examples for each of them.
list_ok“What are your weak points?” Nobody’s perfect. It’s about showing that you are aware of your weaknesses and your capacity for minimising them.  But beware an attack of over-sincereness! Don’t share all your weaknesses, and try to present each fault in light of what you’re doing to correct it.
list_ok“What have you learnt from your mistakes in previous jobs? Reflect on a professional target that you did not meet and speak about the actions you would implement now in order to meet it. Also highlight what you have learnt from each failure. There are two mottos that are worth remembering: “To err is human” and “You learn from your mistakes”.
list_ok“Why did you leave your last job?” If you are working, you will be asked why you want to change job. In any case, focus on your professional aims or your desire to progress, but never criticise your previous or current company: this is one of the answers that is most penalised by personnel recruiters. Speak about yourself and be positive!
list_ok“Do you like working as part of a team?” Companies closely link team work and productivity so the expected answer is a firm “yes”.
list_ok“What do you know about this company?” Learn about the company, speak to them about what you like most and even (if you feel it’s suitable) propose action for improvement. This is the best way to show that you are proactive and interested.
list_ok“Why should we hire you?” It is not enough to say that you are capable of doing the job. Analyse all of your experience, knowledge and aptitude; contrast it with the requirements for the job offer and put it all together in one sentence that shows that you are ideal for the role.
list_ok“What salary do you expect to earn?” Avoid giving a figure: if you are chosen, then you can begin negotiation. It is best to comment on factors that you consider more important than salary and say that you expect a salary adapted to your responsibilities.
list_ok“How do you see yourself in the future?” Companies like people who know what they want and have a clear career/training plan to help them achieve it. Show them that you are one of those people!
microphonequestionslist_ok“Do you have children?” Although it’s actually illegal to ask this kind of question in the UK, be prepared that the topic may come up in a roundabout way. Focus on underlining your abilities. You can refuse to answer but do it stylishly - with another  question, like: “Is that question relevant to my ability to perform the role?” You can also subtly change subject with questions such as: “If you are wondering if I have commitment, I have to say that…” Above all, never take it personally.
list_ok“Do you have any questions?” Yes, of course you do! Ask for details regarding the role you are applying for – show your enthusiasm. If you also show interest in the company’s business culture, its values and global strategy vision, you will be showing that as well as being able to perform tasks, you want to fit in with company interests. And these candidates are the most sought-after ones.

We wish you lots of luck in the selection process and we’d love you to share your job interview experiences with us! As well as these common interview questions, you can read about more interview tips and tactics here.

Image: Microphone thanks to Pete (CC)

5 of the best: video CVs

This entry was posted in Articles, CV writing and tagged , , on by plabram.

Video CVs are clearly a popular topic – our recent article on creating a video CV was one of our most successful to date. Ever responsive to the wishes of our treasured readers (that means you), we decided this subject was meaty enough to warrant another article. This time, we’ve looked at some of our favourite YouTube CVs.

Most creative use of limited materials
Proving that you don’t need a host of professional tools and software to create a decent audiovisual CV, Yvonne Young has produced an incredible CV with a great soundtrack using PowerPoint. If this is for an internship, we can’t wait to see what you’ll produce when you’re looking for a full-time job, Yvonne!

Best interactive video CV
Of the several interactive video CVs out there (a bit like a website, but in a CV), Graeme Anthony’s is one of our favourites. The links in this video have been added using YouTube annotations.



Best “faceless” CV
We love this creative video from Alyssa Berkovitz. Artistic, well-made and goes to show that even the most camera-shy among us are capable of making a stunning audiovisual CV (with a good helping of talent and creativity, of course). Wonder how long it took to produce?


Best narrative
Matthew Epstein landed 80 interview offers from this video (including some in well-known companies such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft), as well as abundant traffic for his blog and 2,000 good-luck emails from well-wishers.


Best professional CV
Despite being for a sales and marketing position, this CV could work well for many professions. It’s simple, direct and professional without being boring, and cleanly made. A great example of how high production values can turn a video of you talking about some of your values and achievements into a worthwhile way to apply for a job.

You can vote for your favourite video CV using the comments box below ;)

CVs in other countries

This entry was posted in Articles, CV writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , on by Lynn.

How should your CV look in France, Spain the Netherlands or the USA?


Like to work abroad? Be aware that there’s a minefield of cultural idiosyncrasies to navigate if you want to create a decent job application. Having interviewed various natives of each of the following countries, we’ve compiled a list of the most important points to bear in mind when submitting your CV in each of them.

France

Let’s begin with the most important thing: your “Curriculum Vitae” must fit on oneTypewriter for application side of A4! You should include an (appropriately small) photo, which is placed on the left, right or at the centre. If you’re wondering: “how on earth is all this supposed to fit onto one page?”, then you should know that all successful Frenchman and woman have a good few formatting tricks up their sleeve. Decrease the margins of your CV, avoid paragraphs, divide the document up into two columns if necessary and abbreviate for all you’re worth. In case you’re still thinking of submitting a second page, be aware that it will almost definitely not be considered, unless you have important research trips, awards or 15+ years of experience to talk about. In general, the rule is: don’t provide drawn-out descriptions of your experiences, and make your point in a brief, incisive manner. You should also include your nationality and your date of birth in your CV for applications in France.

The Netherlands

Job applications in Holland are made using clear arguments. A CV is, of course, obligatory, but it’s really your cover letter that is used to give things a personal touch and make you stand out. You shouldn’t specify your religious persuasion, and don’t need to include a photo, but you should specify your education, employers and skills as you would with a British CV. Do so in a concise and down-to-earth manner, because in the Netherlands one thing applies above all else: “understatement”. What’s more, it is not usual to be expected to provide certification. Documentes are normally asked for in the later stages of the application process, so don’t worry about including them with your initial application.

Spain

The Spanish CV is similar to its British counterpart, and starts by stating personal details, followed by education, professional experience and relevant skills. You enjoy lots of freedom with regard to layout and design, but the usual two A4 pages should not be exceeded. As when submitting a job application in France, you should also include a photo in your CV as well as your nationality and date of birth. Another tip: great emphasis is put on language skills in Spain, and these are often awarded a special section all to their own.

The USA

The concept of the anonymous CV (or, should we say, the anonymous “resume“, as it’s known stateside)Jobs abroad was introduced in France in 2004, but never really took off. In the USA, however, it’s obligatory. That means that, as in the UK, you should not provide a photo or any indication of race, age, gender, nationality, marital status or religious or sexual orientation. Apart from that, the usual also applies in the USA: keep it short and sweet. That means the golden general rule of two pages max. applies here just as much as in the UK. Finally, be aware that recruiters may not be familiar with the way things are written over here, and consider using US spellings in your application (“specialised” -> “specialized“, “programme” -> “program“, “fulfil” -> “fulfill” and so forth). Only do so, however, if you’re sure you are able to do so consistently all the way through your CV – otherwise, use the spellings you’re most comfortable with.

JobisJob operates in 22 different countries, and as such we’re very familiar with job applications in all of them! The different destinations we operate in are listed at the footer of our homepage.

Will an infographic CV really help you get a job?

This entry was posted in Articles, CV writing and tagged , , on by plabram.

You might have read about infographic CVs before (maybe even in this blog). And you might even have decided you want one too. But if you’re not working in a creative profession, you might also, quite rightly, ask yourself if your weird and wonderful infographic CV will genuinely be appreciated by recruiters. To put the idea to the litmus test, we tested initial reactions by showing an infographic CV and a regular CV to recruiting professionals from all sectors and asking them to compare the two. Here’s what we found.

Infographic CV v. traditional CV?

infographiccv
Patricia (Talent Manager, Grupo Intercom): “Sales Executive”

“I see the infographic CV as being complementary to the regular CV. You never know which type of recruiter you’re going to come across – if they’re going to be left or right-brained, which they’re going to prefer… – so handing in both CVs hits both targets. This way, you allow the recruiter to stay in their comfort zone, but give a new spin on things. From the infographic CV, I can tell that the candidate is technically literate and innovative, and organises information well – all important qualities in a sales position.”
“Yes, it’s a risk, but like everything, if you want to stand out from the crowd you have to take risks. Make sure the infographic CV is well-made, however, as an unsuccessful attempt will do far more harm than good. And if you have any doubts, don’t do it.”

Maite (Director/Chief Hiring Manager, Amma Horta Old People’s Residence): “Senior Nurse”
“They both have their good points and their bad points. The standard CV is more familiar, although I have to say that the infographic CV is very graphic and well-presented, and gives a good summary of the information provided.”
“Assuming that the infographic CV contains the same level of description as the standard CV, I would have no preference between the two, but it may be difficult to include everything in an infographic CV.”

infographiccvJavier (CEO of JobisJob): “Java Technician”
“Recruiters get a ridiculous amount of CVs. Prior knowledge of conventions help your eye adjust far more quickly to a more traditional CV – you know more or less where to expect everything and where all the information will be found. So it could be that your infographic CV gets chucked out on the grounds that it takes too long to read. It also might be easier to add in second-level detail and description in a normal CV than an infographic CV.”
“An infographic CV is really like a souped-up business card, and could be appropriate to hand out to recruiters on the second interview, alongside your traditional CV. This will help recruiters remember you, and show you are different and innovative.”



One thing is clear – if you’re going to hand in an infographic CV, even if it is just as an accompaniment to a regular CV, you need to make sure it’s made to a high standard. Take a look at our previous article for some tips.

Employment trends in the construction industry

This entry was posted in Employment trends, White papers and tagged , , , , on by plabram.

The number of skips in your average street is said to be a good indicator of fluctuating economic times. With this in mind, we decided that the number of jobs in construction advertised on JobisJob would also be a fairly good barometer of the 2013 UK economy. Take a look at what we found, or, if you prefer, read our summary on the topic instead.

Taken from a sample size of 44,000,000. Download this PDF here.