3 points to answer “Why do you want to work with us?”

We meet many people in our office, who blow their interviews by not preparing well for question, “Why do you want to work with us?” They also complain, “You know, I have sent about 50 copies of my resume still no results”. Jobseekers must understand that seeking jobs is not mere a number game. It is not about how many resumes you sent or how many interviews you attended. It is how well you prepared your resume and what was your strategy for interview. Our advise is, don’t just hope to get success by distributing resumes.

Imagine one fine morning you get a call, “Hello, Mr. Rajat. I am Deepa from ABC Company. I am responding to your resume submitted for post of Support Engineer. May I know why would you like to work with us?” Response to this question must be prompt and precise. If Rajat starts like, “Hmmm, well, I have applied to many companies and talked to many HRs, would you please elaborate in detail what were the responsibilities of the position?”, he has blown his chances. Hence you need planning. Before going to strategy to answer this question let’s look at why is this question asked at all?

Why this question?

Answer to the stated question explains many aspects of you and your planning to the interviewers. Most prominently it tells following:

  1. Your career goals and how this job fits into it
  2. Your seriousness for job and would you perform if hired?
  3. How much do you know about company, industry and position?

Strategy to answer this question

Before starting to strategize the answer, have a look at three things you future employers want to know. We can sum them up as, your future employer is looking for an individual, with serious plan for future, who is well aware of industry. So answer to this question should reflect said qualities about you.

Let’s simplify things for you. Just address each point in one to two sentences and you get your answer.

Explain in short what your goals are, may be for next three to five years. Explain that in order to achieve it, offered position can be a big milestone. This reflects you have a clear plan which is achievable and also if hired, you plan to stay at that position at least for next three to five years. This also shows that you are not a job hopper.

For addressing next point, you need to do a bit of research about the company, its background, products, markets and most importantly things in which company takes pride in. Companies pride is hidden in its tagline. For example, Coca-cola takes pride in spreading happiness. You must mention it and then also express you interest to do same.

Samples

  1. I have been working as Sales Engineer for about three years now and I have achieved all targets till date. I understand basic role and expectations of the position. I wish to move forward in my career by becoming Territory Manager where, I can use my experience to help Sales Engineer sell. This will help increase my share of contribution. Also, I have read in CEO Interview dated 12th January for XY News that the company takes pride in best service. I completely agree that best service in market can ensure long term business. I would be more than happy to contribute my bite to your service and in turn business. So, I would like to join your company.
  2. I have been working as Senior Engineer for couple of years, working on JAVA. Now, looking forward for about next four years, I wish to learn a leader’s skills and implement them successfully. I am sure I can perform at this position because I take initiatives; I am a good technical resource and an efficient team member. Your company is known for coding and I am proud of my contributions in establishing Standard Operating Procedures for our team, which improved our codes quality dramatically. With a team to work with me, I am sure; I can contribute in even better at this task.

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.

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.

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.

How to make impression on your first day of new job?

On first day of a new job, we get nervous, even people with good communication get nervous. It is natural, considering the expectations from new employers, your expectations from new work place and most importantly your colleagues. You would spend considerable amount of time of the day with them. If you can manage to impress your team on first day, your overall sailing is going to be relatively easy. This can be an important day in you career. Remember you don’t get second chance to create first impression.

Here are few tips on how to handle your first day smoothly.

  1. Greet everyone and offer handshake.

After all formalities in Human Resources Department, one of HR person will introduce you to your new colleagues by taking you to everyone’s department. This is your first chance. Greet everyone hello or Good Morning. Offer a full hearted firm handshake. Your way of handshake actually reflects your level of confidence.

  1. Show interest in your colleagues.

Don’t you like when people get your name right on first meeting? Yes! People like to hear them name in first meeting and they will be really impressed if you can recall their names after that too. So, after your conversation repeat colleague’s names.

A typical conversation with new colleague Gopal may go like this:

HR: Hello Gopal meet Venky. He is joining as consultant in your team.

Gopal: Oh! Hi Venky. How are you?

You: Hello Gopal, am good. Thanks. How about you?

Gopal: I am good. So from which college you completed your Engineering?

You: I was in NIT, 2009 batch.

Gopal: Oh! Really I passed from same college.

You: That’s a real surprise. How come I never saw you.

Gopal: 2005. We have considerable gap. Nice to see you here.

You: You too Gopal. See you around.

  1. Participate in staff meetings.

Normally, this introduction is followed by a team meeting where your manager will introduce you formally to your team and also few senior members. Here, you would be asked to introduce yourself. Please elaborate on your past in short. Don’t bore people with long stories of your brilliance. Let your work speak about it. Also, explain what was your perception of the new company? Don’t criticize or be too informal during this description.

  1. Dine with new colleagues.

Invite your colleagues to join dining with you. Don’t ignore any invitations; grab opportunity and join them to interact. They say, you know more about a person on dining table than spending entire day with him.

I hope this helps. Keep looking this place for more updates every Thursday.

Ace your interview preparation (Part 1 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 lets take a look at how to prepare for the big interview.

 

Research the company’s profile and background. Start by looking into their future goals and plans. Conducting the interview with this in mind will make you seem like a good long-term investment. You should also be ready to talk in depth about the industry, the organization, and the position you are applying for.

  • Learn your interviewer’s name and job position before going to the interview. You may need to call the company to find out.
  • Talk to current employees. Show initiative while getting a feel for the office environment. Learn as much as you can about the company from people who work there.
  • Know as much about the company as possible. You can’t change your employment history or your qualifications, but you can work harder than every other applicant by being supremely knowledgeable about the company. Use the company’s website, their annual report, and newspaper/business magazine articles to gather as much information as possible.

Keep looking this space on every Friday for more interview related posts. We will be happy to receive your responses.