How to answer “Tell me about yourself” in job interview

We know this is most commonly discussed question on all forums but, still this week we chose to discuss the question “Tell me about yourself”. There are as many numbers of answers for this question as number of interviews. Today we are going to discuss about traditional ways of answering the question, why this question is asked at all and how to answer this question based on situation.

Traditional Answers

How many of you have answered this question by starting with details of you and your family members; then, going through details of your education and then your likes and dislikes? Although this strategy is not bad, it is inadequate especially for job interviews. We understand that in case you are a fresher you may not have anything else to speak about. For a second, put yourself into interviewer’s shoes. What would you expect?

Why this question is at all asked?

Many fresh college graduates are nervous in an interview. Few interviewers look towards this question as an ice-breaking question. Talking about oneself is considered to be one of the easiest tasks. Also, job of interviewer is to understand what the candidate knows and not pointing out what he doesn’t know. Intention behind this question is to make interviewee comfortable with environment.

Few interviewers are interested in knowing if you are serious for job interview and have you prepared this predictable question well. Failing to answer this question hampers your chances of selection badly. So, these interviewers might not be that bothered about details in your answer but, interested in delivery of the answer.

Few interviewers ask “Tell me about yourself” or “Introduce yourself” in order to know you genuinely, to understand background you come from. Answers to these questions give them pointers to ask further questions. Here, when we say background, we mean details related to job you have applied for.

So what is the right answer to this question?

Strategy to answer

Final answers may differ for this question but, strategy remains the same. While preparing an answer for this question, ask yourself following questions. Answers to which should give you your final answer.

  1. Where are you from?
  2. What have you done for so many years?
  3. What are you currently doing?
  4. What are your achievements?
  5. What is your objective?

Let’s look at the answers one by one.

  1. Where are you from?

Start by explaining where are you from?

Let’s take an example. Bharat spent 8 years of his professional career as sales and marketing person at various positions. He is basically from Bangalore. He can start by saying, “Hello, I am Bharat. I am excited to be here. Thank you for the opportunity to present myself. I have spent most of life as a student in Bangalore. I completed my Mechanical Engineering from XYZ college in 2004 with first class throughout.”

If Bharat is a fresh graduate student who wishes to, join sales department of a CAD solution company, he could say, “Hello, I am Bharat. I am excited to be here. Thank you for the opportunity to present myself. I am from Belagaon and currently studying in Bangalore. I will pass my Mechanical Engineering in June 2015.”

  1. What have you done for so many years?

For answering this question look at one thing which you have been doing for last few years.

Bharat could say “I am a result-oriented sales and marketing professional with over 8 years experience predominantly in CAD, CAE and PLM field. I have worked with sales and marketing departments of ABC group, XYZ Technologies and MNO Consulantants in these years.”

Bharat as a fresh graduate would say, “I am a Mechanical Engineer with interest in CAD, CAE and PLM field. Right now I am preparing for final semester examination. I am people oriented person who likes to interact with people. I also like providing them solutions for the identified problems.”

  1. What are you currently doing?

After understanding you in first few lines interviewer is interested in knowing what you do currently.

Bharat could say, “I am currently, leading newly launched Product Sales Division of XYZ Technologies with the help of 6 team members’ for sales and marketing functions for last 18 months. I interact with clients on regular basis. I conduct review meetings and also mentor junior sales Engineers.”

Fresh graduate could say, “I am currently busy on working on my final year project where we have decided to use Finite Element Analysis as a tool to do parametric study of bridges under variable loads. In the project we are changing loads considering various traffic trends throughout the day.”

  1. What are your achievements?

You could add your achievements in order to supplement your claim for the job.

Bharat could say, “I have specific communication and presentation skills to co-ordinate with internal and external customers and leverages finely-honed interpersonal, negotiation and time management skills to expand business. Last quarter, I met 95% of target. Throughout my career, I have been a consistent performer, always achieving at least 90% target.”

Fresh graduate could say, “I am trained on CATIA – a computer aided drawing tool by official partner of DASSAULT. During last break, I was an intern at ASD where I did market research on CAE field. During this internship, I talked to many clients of ASD which helped me introduce to the field of CAD/CAE sales really well.”

  1. What is your objective?

End with restating the same objective from your resume.

Bharat could say, “I am looking forward to an assignment where experience in Funnel Creation, Branding, Channel management and Team Building can be leveraged to contribute to organizational targets and overall growth”

Fresh graduate could say, “I am looking forward to work with CAD/CAE Company where I can join Sales and Marketing team where I can contribute to growth and in turn learn not only technical aspects but commercial aspects of the industry.”

I hope this helps. Keep rocking. Like us, so that we can continue to write quality content for you.

Express your point of view

Ability to express your opinion in written or in speech is one of the important part of human life. In this article we are going to look at few phrases which can be used to express opinions.

  1. In my experience…

While talking or writing about concepts or phenomenon, you can use this phrase to express your experiences. These experiences may support or contradict main idea in the discussion. For instance, everybody in group is discussing a particular bike that, always give starting problem in winter season. You haven’t used that particular bike often but you have a bit of driving experience in winter, you might express your opinion, “In my experience when I was riding that bike in my college days to attend early morning lectures, it started fine.”

  1. As far as I’m concerned…

“As far as I’m concerned Chocolate flavour is best among ice-creams”. This phrase is normally used when participant in discussion may have different opinions and everyone is entitled to their opinions or experiences. It can be used in writing and speech.

  1. Speaking for myself…

If you agree with public opinion but also have a bit different opinion about an idea or instance or phenomenon, you could use “Speaking for myself…” phrase to point out difference. “I am sure trip to museum was boring in general but, speaking for myself, I found the relics in desert really interesting.”

  1. In my opinion

This is stern phrase in use but used to state clear cut differences or contradictions in point of view. “In my opinion, the matter has no base and Charlie is unnecessarily trying to over blow the matter.”

  1. I’d suggest that…

This phrase is used to express suggestions during discussions. If discussion if going about planning 31st December celebration and you think that avoiding alcohol would be the best idea. You could start like, “I’d suggest that, we should better avoid alcohol as we are going to drive back after the party and not going to stay back at resort”.

  1. I’d like to point out that…

In discussion, if you feel that a particularly important point is missing, you could point it out by using the said phrase. If you are discussing, who is cooler among Batman and Superman and everybody forgot basic difference that, Batman didn’t have supernatural powers, you could remind everybody like, “I’d like to point out that Batman is a human with no superpower, still fights with crime and that makes him cool”.

I hope this discussion helps. Please write your comments below. Keep rocking!

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How to prepare for an interview (3 of 3)

In this series about job interview, we have already seen how to prepare in advance for an interview. Today we will discuss some tips regarding preparation for the actual day.

Dressing

Many people ask us what they should be wearing on interview. Is wearing a formal suit necessary or a plain shirt would do? Our advice is to wear regular formals which they would be wearing every day after joining that office. This means if you are interviewed for the post of Site Engineer then there is no necessity to wear the suit absolutely. If you are interviewed for office positions where clients visit rarely and wearing a bit casual clothes is a norm, then wearing formal plain shirt and trousers is more than enough. But if you are interviewed for the position responsible for sales of high end Luxury cars, wearing full suite is must.

Colours add a lot to your impression. Wear blue, white, grey or brown to create professional look.

For men plain full shirt with trousers are necessary. Wearing tie or suit has to be decided based on criteria discussed above. Wear black leather shoes along with black belt. Cut your hair short and shave clean. If you grow hair groom them into acceptable fashion.

For women Punjabi suits or office formals depending on the office culture and candidate’s comfort are necessary. Hair should be tied appropriately. Formal footwear depending on Industry type is advisable.

Travelling Logistics

A day before make sure you know the place you are supposed to report for the interview. If you do not know, please make sure you visit it or at least research about travelling logistics for reaching the place well in time. Figure out about distance and travelling time from your place. If you are travelling by public transport, make sure you are keeping sufficient margin.

Reach the destination about 15 minutes early to carry out formalities at security and reception counter.

Truth, Truth and Truth

On day of interview many people brag about achievements. Be reasonable. If they are really great then there is no problem in describing your achievements in quantifiable terms. Just avoid going overboard. The interviewer has already spent more years in the same industry than you have. He will catch you in few seconds and might not even let you know.

Be courteous

During interview make sure to maintain eye contact with all panelists. This ensures that nobody feels left out. Use “Thank You” and “Please” whenever required. If you are offered to drink or eat, don’t reject the offer right away but at the same time make sure that you still focus on discussion at hand than worrying about the snacks.

Do not play with mobile. Better switch it off. It shows your seriousness for the job and importance you assign to your future employer.

We have many more tips to talk about. Please visit our page on Career Building to know more. Keep rocking.

Usage of will and shall

Hello!

Today we shall look into difference, as far as usage is concerned, between will and shall. Most of us remember from school grammar classes that there is a difference between the two but hardly anyone can precisely tell it. Let’s have a look…

Shall is traditionally used with first person pronouns I and we. Will, on the other hand is used with first person pronouns.

I shall water the plants.

You will water the plants.

The distinction between two is blurring and the two are almost used interchangeably. New usage directs us two use will in cases where we wish to added sense of determination. Let’s take a look at following sentences..

I will go to his office and kick him.

I shall go to his office to see if he is there.

You will go to school.

You shall go to school.

This is even applicable in negative context.

I won’t go to school.

I shall not go to school.

It’s Legal

But, there are certain exceptions too. In cases where determination or duty, mostly in legal form, is to be defined, shall must be used.

You shall not leave the office before 6 p.m.

I shall take care of children.

Employees shall obey the anti-smoking policy in the office promises.

Ask or order someone

In cases of orders will is used invariably.

Will stop making that noise?

John, you will not eat chocolate today.

Ask for suggestions or advice

In British English, suggestions or advise are asked politely and hence use of shall is considered appropriate.

Shall we dance?

Where shall we go today?

Shall we go for lunch?

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Usage of may, might and must

Hello,

Today we will see the difference between may, might and must. Usage of may and might are very similar. In general both are used to describe possibilities. Choice of one is more likely in different situations, but use of both cannot be wrong completely. It is important to note that, might is simple past tense of may. Grammar pundits insist on using may in simple present tense while might in simple past tense. This is distinction is becoming blur day by day. Following are uses where may and might are replaceable with each other.

  1. Express possibility

Looking at the clouds, I feel, it may rain today.

Looking at the clouds, I feel, it might rain today.

  1. Ask permissions

May I enter your kitchen?

Might I have a chance to speak?

  1. Grant Permissions

You may enter the class.

You might speak now.

Grammar books suggest that use of may implies greater likelihood than use of might. Both are equally accepted these days. While asking permissions, may is favoured than might.

May is also used in following situation.

  • Express wish or prayer

May all your dreams come true on your birthday.

Might is used in following situations

  • Express counter facts

If they had lived in another time, their lives might have been different.

Must on other hand is used to imply compulsion or obligation. Following are its uses

  1. Be obliged

I must return his money.

  1. Necessity; need to

Humans must eat food and drink enough water in order to stay healthy.

  1. Compelled to, by law or force

You must complete to homework before you leave the class.

  1. Forced because of requirement of honesty

I must come out clean. It’s me who stolen money from your bag.

  1. Urge to do

I must attend your party.

In conclusion, use of must leaves you with no other possibility whereas use of may or might is full of possibilities. Keep liking us so that we can keep posting these new things over here.

Borrow, lend and loan: What’s the difference?

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Borrow

It originates from Middle English –borowen

Used as Verb

  1. To take something by promising to return which is same or equivalent

“I borrowed electric guitar for the concert at last minute.”

  1. To use from another source

“His ideas about dining chairs are not original; they are borrowed from the magazine.”

  1. (Arithmatic) to take from denomination and to add to lower

Lend

It originates from Middle English –lenden

Used as Verb

  1. Allow use of something of your own on condition that it or its equivalent is returned

“Could you lend me some money? I promise to return them back.”

  1. To give helpfully

“He lends his contribution through Academy’s aid for floods.”

  1. To furnish

“Distances lend enhancement of views”

Loan

It originates from Middle English –lon(e)

Used as noun

  1. Act of lending something temporarily for use

“I had, loan of a book”

  1. Something given on terms of interests

“Giving loans on interest is a profitable business.”

Used as verb

  1. To lend (money) on interest

“I asked couple of banks if they could loan me some money for my business”

So, in summary, borrow is used by the one who receives in the transaction. Lend and loan are used by the giver in the transaction almost interchangeably. In these times, lending something is not much attached with interest whereas loan is attached with interest.

Thanks for your attention. Keep looking at this space.

How to answer writing task 1 of IELTS

Greetings friends!!!

Welcome to career care’s IELTS blog for writing task 1.

This is a series of three posts. In this post we would be looking at how to structure your essay for the task 1.

Writing task for academic module test two of your abilities; first to write a well structured response and second, to organise ideas and use of vocabulary and grammar accurately. For task 1 you need to write a report of at least 150 words. You would be given information in the form of graph, table, chart or diagram which you have to summarise, describe or explain in your own words.

Few tips to start with

  • Remember you are asked to write approximately 150 words. Do not keep on writing, be crisp. People tend to over write. Keep in mind that there is another task to do which requires you to write twice as many words as task 1.
  • Plan your answers. There should be flow and connection between every paragraph.
  • Manage your time. Do not spend more than 20 minutes on task 1. Note that the 60 minutes time is given for both task of writing test so be carefully about not spending too much time on task 1.
  • You need to write in formal style so, avoid using informal language.
  • Do not write your opinion. Stick to the information given.
  • Lastly work on your handwriting. It should be clear to read.

You should have at least three paragraphs.

  1. Introduction- with 3 – 4 sentence including overview
  2. Two body paragraph giving details

In this task 1 you have to write 150 words. During the exam you do not have time to actually count the words. Then how to decide whether there are 150 words or not?

Here is a simple formula

Every sentence on an average has 10 words. So all you have to do is write 15 sentences. Distribute these 15 sentences into paragraphs.

  1. Introduction – 3-4 sentence – 30-40 words
  2. 1st body paragraph – 6-7 sentences – 60-70 words
  3. 2nd body paragraph – 6-7 sentences – 60-70 words

With this formula concentrate on number of sentence in each paragraph rather than on words

Hope you find this post helpful. Our next post in this series would be about how to write introduction of our essay for task 1. Subscribe with us so that you do not miss the next two posts about writing task 1.

Strategies for TOEFL Reading Section

In order to successfully crack reading section of TOEFL, all you need to do is practise, practise and more practise. In order to improve your reading skills, try reading good English Newspapers or magazines or blogs. In TOEFL you would find passages classified into (a) Exposition, (b) Argumentation and (c) Historical and organised into (a) comparison, (b) classification, (c) cause/effect and (d) problem/ solution. Try to get hold of articles on similar lines to read. Before starting on the reading sessions, you must understand following types of readings. Practising each of them will definitely help you strategise.

Skimming

Skimming is a process of extracting gist of the information through a passage with objective in mind. While doing so, you just roll your eyes over the article keeping in mind what are you looking for. When you find those ‘keywords’, you slow down to understand what is exactly written in the context and move on. It is very useful when you have a long passage to deal with.
Examples of Skimming:

  • The Newspaper (quickly to get the general news of the day)
  • Magazines (quickly to discover which articles you would like to read in more detail)
  • Business and Travel Brochures (quickly to get informed)

Extensive reading

In extensive reading main objective is to have general understanding of a subject. Mastering this method is really handy as you become familiar not only with overall topics but organization of overall text. During this reading you need not worry even if you don’t understand a particular word. You will still be able to manage understanding the sentence based on context, most of the times.
Examples of Extensive Reading:

  • The latest marketing strategy book
  • A novel
  • Magazine articles

Intensive reading

Main objective is of intensive reading is cover every aspect of the information right from main idea of the passage, its classification, organization, context of using particular words, interpretation and detailed points which might critical information. This is use especially when you are reading a short text.
Examples of Intensive Reading:

  • An insurance claim
  • A contract.

Form your own strategy:

Generally, our recommendation is to have two strategies in reading section. First strategy is for long passages while the second is for shorter passages.

Strategy for long passages

Use extensive reading to find out general idea of the topic. Try to categorise the topic and find organization of the passage. You may also practise noting short summary of the topic. Now you are fairly aware of the locations of key ideas that shape the whole passage. Now, turn towards questions. After reading each question you can go back to location in passage where you hope to find the answer. This strategy is useful for long passages since you won’t be able to recall all answers even if you do intensive reading.

Strategy for short passages

There are fewer number of questions based on these passages and hence it would be wise to read it carefully only once. Most of the times, you would be able to retain all your answers after intensive reading. You save some time by reading the passage only once.

I hope this helps. In case of any difficulties, please leave your question below. We will answer those in comments. You can also join our classroom teaching by clicking here.

Ace your interview preparation (2 of 3)

We have observed many times, eligible candidates fail an interview not on technical ground but on overall presentation. Everyone is nervous before an interview. To overcome it you need to practice a lot… In one of the interviews Shah Rukh Khan (Bollywood Actor, as if you did not know?) told viewers that there is only secret to success and that is practice. If you have done it 500 times, do it 501st time. So let’s first start from where we left last week. Last week we discussed how to research company’s profile and background. Click here to revisit that article.

Anticipate Questions from the interviewer. It will pay off to anticipate what questions an interviewer might ask. If you are a technical person, list down common topics on which you expect questions. Go through your projects of recent past, brush up your objective, Standard procedures, your contributions and difficulties you faced. As far as interview with Human Resources is concerned prepare answers for commonly asked questions. Practice them well.

 Think of questions to ask your interviewer. Quality of your questions tells interviewer about your enthusiasm to join the organization. Easy questions that could have been answered with simple internet search would give an impression that you are not serious or you are lazy to search about the company you wish to join. It’s a good idea to come prepared with at least three thought-provoking questions to ask your interviewer.

  • Ask questions related to your future prospects. “Which are new markets the company is planning to explore in next couple of years?” or “What are the chances for professional growth in this job opportunity?” Questions like these show that you wish to align with company’s point of view.
  • Ask questions about your interview. If there are few company related terminology or procedure that you heard first time, ask about them. It shows that you are interested in knowing the company well. Do not ask general questions just for the sake of asking it. It may show that you did not pay attention well in the interview.

Practice with a friend. Discuss with your friends about your good qualities. Note down various anecdotes and which supplement specific claims in your resume or your qualities. Practice telling these to your friend. Practice giving concise, complete answers and maintaining eye contact with the interviewer(s) while you give them. Make sure you aren’t speaking too slow or too fast and that your answers are stated with confidence.

  • Ask your friend to rate your responses. See if he is convinced. Even if you think their feedback isn’t on the mark, it will help you for sure.
  • Know basically what you want to talk about before the interview. If you’re stumbling and fumbling for an answer on a very basic question, you’re not putting your best foot forward. Have your very basic answers down pat, and anticipate some of the tougher questions before you step into the interview.

See you next week here. If you want us to work on your interview skills call on 9545803300.

Talking about morality

Talking about morality can sometime be confusing. Can you confidently tell difference between amoral and immoral? Here is the guideline.

Amoral

It originates from a- + moral

Adjective

  1. (acts) not concerned with morality; neither moral or immoral

An amoral society will eventually destroy itself.

  1. (people) having no moral standards or oblivious to standards of morality

Andrew for his part is one in a long line of highly intelligent and charismatic yet utterly amoral Buchan villains.

Immoral

It originates from im- + moral

Adjective

  1. (people or groups or behaviour) violating moral principle; not adhering to patterns of conduct accepted by society as moral

The sale of slaves (male and female) for immoral and gladiatorial purposes was forbidden.

  1. Licentious

Bacchan was unscrupulous, insincere and notoriously immoral, but he was pleasing in his manners.

I hope you liked today’s post. Please leave your comments below. We would be happy to see those.

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