Posts tagged personal branding
5 Tips to Master a Skype Job Interview

Skype interviews are popular because they save time, avoid travel and allow recruiters to get in touch with ideal candidates all over the world. For remote positions, they make the most sense, as this is how the employee would engage with their manager on a daily basis anyways. Unfortunately, so many people are uncomfortable seeing themselves on video and actually dread a Skype interview.

The most important thing to remember is that a Skype interview is essentially the same as any other interview. You’re talking to someone about a position, answering questions and getting to know more about a company. So, if you have a video interview coming up soon, first - take a breath, you’re going to be ok! Second, here a 5 simple tips to master a Skype job interview.

Give Yourself Time for Technical Troubleshooting

Don’t wait until 5 minutes before the call to log in. Take the time to get set up beforehand. Simple things like checking the lighting, your camera and speakers will be paramount in setting the tone for your interview. Make sure all your other tabs and programs are turned off. There’s nothing more awkward than encountering technical difficulties when your interviewer calls. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot! Plus, the nerve-racking experience of fumbling with your settings or microphone might negatively impact the rest of your interview as well.

If something does happen - don’t panic! Maintaining your cool and fixing whatever technical issue you might encounter will prove to the interview that you are professional under pressure and have problem-solving skills.

Check Your Surroundings

When you’re in a video interview, you must pay attention to what’s going on around you. Before the interview, make sure that the background is clean, plain and bright. Generally, a white or light-coloured wall is best. Light should be natural and NEVER directly behind you, as this will make your face harder to see. To avoid distractions, make sure your phone is turned off and disable any other notifications. Use a private room in your home (or office) to ensure that you will have no distractions like your door bell or interruptions from your children, pet or spouse.

Dress for Success

“I love working from home because I don’t have to wear pants.” - You might have heard this before. While it is true for many, I find that if you want to feel confident and successful, it is best to dress the part. I recommend the usual rules of when you dress for an interview, while also being mindful of how they will present on screen. Avoid shiny or noisy accessories, as they might get picked up by the mic and chose colours that will stand out well from your background. Your outfit should be industry / position appropriate, and make you feel empowered and ready to rock the interview.

Use “Cheat Sheets”

One advantage that Skype, video or telephone interviews have over others is that you have the ability to take notes and have references near by. Just remember to maintain eye contact with the interviewer and use the notes as PROMPTS only. Never read from the page - you won’t be fooling anyone.

Act Natural

Ultimately, even though a Skype interview might feel the furthest thing from natural, you need to treat it like any other interview. Be yourself, smile, make eye-contact and present yourself in the best way you can. Be conscious of your body language and speak clearly. Most hiring managers are understanding that video conferencing may feel a little strange to those who aren’t used to it, but you still need to be on your A-game.

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As an HR professional, I always prefer meeting a candidate in person whenever possible. However, sometimes distance and / or time will get in the way. Tell me about your best experience during a Skype interview! What do you think made it work? Let me know in the comments.

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25 Awesome Interview Questions

Job interviews can be nerve racking for people on BOTH sides of the table. (Believe me, I’ve been there!) Before an interview, it is always best to prepare some answers and recall situations that you may be able to talk about when you meet with the recruiter or hiring manager. Researching the position, company, industry and possible job interview questions before you meet can really help reduce stress and anxiety. This allows your answers to be better organized, more fluid, and hopefully (* fingers crossed *) get you your next job.

Here are 25 common generic interview questions that would be relevant for almost any job, career level or industry. Try asking yourself this questions and think of possible responses. For more info about job interview questions, check out my free guide to frequently asked job interview questions. Good luck!

  1. Tell me about a time that you had to deal with a difficult coworker or boss?

  2. Tell me about a time that you offered exemplary customer service?

  3. Tell me about a time you had to work within tight deadlines?

  4. Tell me about a time you made a mistake to work and how you managed it?

  5. Tell me about a time that you needed to work in a group? (Remote or in office)

  6. Tell me about a time you needed to learn a new skill to finish a project?

  7. Tell me about a time you had to handle an irate customer?

  8. Tell me about a time you’ve had to motivate your coworkers?

  9. Was there ever a time that you did not meet a deadline?

  10. Have you ever had a disagreement with your manager?

  11. Have you ever needed to make an unpopular decision? How did you handle it?

  12. Give me an example of a goal you achieved and explain your process?

  13. How do you stay current in your field / industry?

  14. What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t meet a project deadline?

  15. What would you do if your best client called and was angry because their order was late / incorrect?

  16. What would you do if your partner for a project was unreliable?

  17. What would you do if your coworker received a promotion that you had also applied for?

  18. What would you do if you found an aspect of this position unsatisfying?

  19. What would you do if your team did not support your idea?

  20. What would you do if one of your employees was not meeting targets / expectations?

  21. What would you do if one of your employees came to you with a complaint / personal matter?

  22. How would you handle overhearing office gossip?

  23. How would you handle criticism from your boss or manager?

  24. How would you ensure that confidential or proprietary information stays secure?

  25. How would you respond if you were asked to work overtime in order to meet a deadline?

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Of course there are literally thousands of interview questions you could be asked - it all depends on the position, industry or interviewer. Have you ever been asked an interview question that really surprised you? Let me know in the comments! ! If you find this content helpful, please share with your network and consider subscribing to my newsletter for the latest updates.

9 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out in 2019

LinkedIn has been around since 2002 and has over 562 million users around the world, and yet to most it is a tool that is never used to it’s fullest potential.

If you are a young professional, it is beneficial to have a stellar LinkedIn profile - after all, an estimated 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find potential candidates. (Read more awesome stats here!) With hundreds of new jobs being posted worldwide on a daily basis, not to mention the hidden job market, anyone serious about landing their next big break needs to make their profile stand out!

So, what can young professionals do to make their LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd this year?

1 - Get a Professional Head Shot (Profile Photo)

Your profile photo should be a professional head shot, NOT a Selfie or some grainy photo from your best friend’s wedding. While LinkedIn is considered a social site, this is where you build your professional brand. Take a head shot that shows your personality while still maintaining professionalism. Because the profile photos are small, a clear shot from the waist or shoulders up is great. A white or light background is also ideal.

2 - Customize your Headline

A catchy headline works for click bait - so make it work for you! Focus your headline, keeping it short and to the point. Mention what you’re looking for or working on at the time. It should be no longer than 2 or 3 brief paragraphs. Treat it like your 30 second elevator pitch - what do potential employers need to know in order to make them want to read more?

Samantha is knowledgeable in a wide variety of Human Resources disciplines with focus on recruitment, retention, succession planning, and talent management. She advocates for hiring diversity, employee engagement and professional development.
— An example from my LinkedIn

3 - Add Details to your Job Description

Avoid the basic bullet lists of basic job functions. Instead, use your profile to showcase your accomplishments, projects and career progression. use action words to make powerful statements. You can also add media to show your accomplishments. (See #6) Keep the list short and relevant to your personal brand - feel free to leave out your part time high school gigs, unless you’re just starting out. (READ: How to Write a Resume when you have No Experience)

4 - Customize your URL

A customized URL makes your profile look polished and it’s much easier to remember. If you include your profile link on your business card, resume or email signature, you most definitely want to ensure that the link is easy to read, click and copy. When possible, always try to use your name. (PSST … I’m over at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samanthacbell/ if you want to say hi!)

5 - Share Relevant Content

Scroll through your LinkedIn homepage and you’re sure to come across a interesting article or a new job milestone of one of your connections. Don’t be shy to engage in the social aspect of LinkedIn. Join groups and follow influences that inspire you. Post, share and comment to your heart’s content - but one word of warning: LinkedIn should not be treated like Facebook or other personal social media. Use the content you share to help build up your personal brand, open networking opportunities and educate your peers.

6 - Post New Content, Articles and Media

In a 2017 article, Paul Davies encouraged all of LinkedIn’s users to share their perspective and expertise. Once you’re comfortable being a spectator, why not try your hand at creating content? If you have a knack for writing, try posting an article or if vlogging is more your style, LinkedIn now has video. Always ensure that your content is professional and appropriate. (AKA - if you wouldn’t want your boss or grandmother to see it - don’t post it!)

7 - Brag About Yourself (Nicely)

On LinkedIn, there are areas where you can post your certifications, awards, articles, patents, you name it! If you have completed projects or obtained qualifications that might help your profile stand out from the millions of others, you can share it to give yourself a boost over the competition. Just make sure that nothing you post as sensitive, proprietary information; if it was a collaborative project, make sure you have permission for your team/boss as well.

8 - Let Recruiters Know you’re Interested

By modifying your career interests and settings in your dashboard, you will be able to let recruiters know if you are looking for work, open to opportunities or currently not interested. You can highlight specific fields or positions, ideal locations, as well as send recruiters a customized note.

9 - Keep your profile updated!

Your LinkedIn profile might be more important than your resume, depending on your industry, so it’s very important to keep it up to date. A neglected profile might indicate that you’re not taking your job hunt seriously or you’re not technically savvy enough to bother updating or engaging with your peers online. I recommend updating at least once a month or every time your job or interests change.

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Did I miss anything? Comment down below with your tips and tricks to make your LinkedIn profile stand out to recruiters! If you find this content helpful, please share with your network and consider subscribing to my newsletter for the latest updates.