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Posted July 16, 2016 by

10 most tricky HR questions for students

Interview photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You know what the problem is when you graduate and start the interviewing process? You have perhaps half a dozen, perhaps twice that number of interviews under your belt. The people sitting there behind those big desks staring at you steely-eyed? They have done hundreds. That means they know the tricks, they know the strategies, and they know how to make you stumble. If you want to stand a chance at beating them at their own game, you have to be prepared.

Why should I hire you?

This one catches people a lot. They are afraid they will either come across as too arrogant or that they will not push themselves enough. The thing is that is not really what the question is about, and both those traps can be easily avoided if you realize that.

This is not about you telling them how amazing you are. This is about you showing how much you know about them (which is everybody’s favorite topic). So show them that you know what the position entails and what skills will be required. After you have done that you can modestly admit that you have those skills (preferably with a few examples of where you’ve used those skills as showing is always better than telling).

Why is there a gap in your work history?

You have been unemployed for six months because you needed some time to chill out and get your priorities sorted. Or you spent some time living on a beach seeing if it is really true your skin turns green when you drink too many mojitos. Or you lived in your parents’ basements and played video games. Fantastic! You do not necessarily want to tell them that though.

Instead, talk about how you used that time to make yourself a better person. Talk about freelancing work you did, social outreach, or how you spent your time searching for the perfect job (which is obviously the one you are interviewing for right now). Put a positive spin on things by showing how much you grew as a person.

You have been fired from your last job. How did it make you feel?

You have to demonstrate that you can take a blow without becoming either angry or resentful. So even if you are, burry that deep and instead tell them about how you used this as an opportunity to improve yourself so that nothing like this can ever happen to you again.

What is your biggest weakness?

A nasty question! There is no doubt about it. You better prepare to meet this one every so often, because a lot of HR managers have this one in their repertoire and like to throw it out there to see how you react.

The right way to go is to remember that strengths and weaknesses can be different sides of the same coin. So if you have a weakness, admit it and then explain to them how in some situations it can be a strength. Alternatively, take your greatest strength and admit when it might actually be a weakness. That way you show you understand yourself.

Have you ever had a bad experience with an employer?

This one is as much to see how you handle being put on the spot as to see if you will be honest. Remember, everybody is bound to have bad experiences occasionally. We are all human. So they are not going to believe you when you say ‘no, never.’ Instead think of something that did go wrong then admit that it was at least partially your fault and explain how you learned from it and how you will be better next time. That shows both humility and wisdom.

Do not bag on your previous employer! That will raise all sorts of red flags. Yes, it they might be bad people, but this person sitting opposite you will not have a better impression of you if you decide to tell them that.

Frustrated businesswoman screaming photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Tell about a day when you messed up at work

Another one of those situations where you have to be honest and admit you have done something wrong. After all, nobody is perfect, and if you are not willing to admit you have screwed up you can wave the job you are interviewing for good-bye. Just like with the last question the trick here is to show what you have learned.

How would you deliver bad news to a colleague?

Here is your opportunity to demonstrate empathy and your ability to deal with a stressful situation in a grownup manner. So do not suggest you would send them a text or first let everybody in the office know so that you can all have a laugh. Instead, show them how diplomatic you are.

Will you be out to take my job?

Okay, here you can lie. ‘No’ is the correct answer. ‘I doubt I could do it as well as you’ is a good follow up.

How did you prepare for this interview?

Here is where you demonstrate that you care enough about the job to actually have researched the position (you did research the position didn’t you?). So tell them how you went to the website and read this that and the other. Here you get to show off some of the things you learned, including talking a little bit about the industry as well as what their company specifically does.

Where would you really like to work?

‘Here’ is the right answer. Now you can be a bit honest and suggest that you want to ultimately move into another area in the company, but whatever you do, do not say another company name! That is a fantastic way to close the door on any opportunity to work there.

Last words

The most important thing to remember is that there will be other interviews and however many ‘no’s you get you only want one ‘yes’, so don’t get too stressed out. You will get there in the end. After that, you will have to go through the hard work of keeping the job. That is not exactly easy either, but at this moment, that probably feels more like a ‘wish I had that problem’ problem.

Need more interview tips? Visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Dante Munnis, guest writer

Dante Munnis, guest writer

Dante Munnis is a blogger and idea maker from Stockholm who is interested in self-development, web related topics, and success issues. He shares ideas for students living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance, you can get in touch with Dante via Twitter.

 

Posted April 21, 2016 by

Reviewing job candidates’ social media profiles

Businessperson with social networking sites on digital tablet courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

As college recruiters review job candidates’ social media profiles, they will find things they like and others not so much. These profiles tell recruiters not only whether or not candidates are qualified for specific jobs, but also if they are the right fit for their companies. Brandi Britton, District President of OfficeTeam, shares tips on what recruiters should look for when reviewing candidates’ social media profiles.

– “Many recruiters and HR professionals perform online searches of job candidates’ social media profiles to learn more about them, including their industry involvement.

– It may be a red flag to some recruiters if they can’t find candidates’ LinkedIn profiles or anything else about them online.

– A good gauge of candidates’ online activity is how often they update their profiles and if they post useful advice or comments on articles on LinkedIn and industry forums.

– In certain fields or positions, a greater emphasis is placed on digital activity. For example, many companies today rely on creative professionals to help build their firms’ online image, so they want to see that prospective hires have done the same for themselves.

– Negative comments, especially about former employers or colleagues, can cause recruiters to question a job seeker’s professionalism. There may also be concerns that this job seeker’s improper language/behavior will continue in the workplace.

– Employers may form conclusions about people’s personalities or whether they will fit in with the company’s culture based on online remarks.

– Pictures showing candidates in an unflattering light may also deter recruiters from pursuing candidates.

– Recruiters should look to get a sense of candidates’ capabilities through their online profiles. For example, check for information about candidates’ work history and key accomplishments.

– It may be helpful to check if candidates incorporated key industry terms that describe skills and specialties recruiters are looking for.

– Employers may also look for red flags like inconsistencies made on applicants’ resumes that would deter them from considering candidates.

– Keep in mind that looking up candidates online definitely has some risks. Information on the Internet isn’t always accurate; it’s hard to be sure what recruiters find relates to particular candidates and not others with the same name.”

At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. We are committed to creating a quality candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and graduates to excellent entry-level jobs and internships. Why not let College Recruiter assist you in the recruiting process? Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook for more information about the best practices in college recruiting.

Brandi Britton, District President for OfficeTeam

Brandi Britton, District President for OfficeTeam

Brandi Britton is a District President for OfficeTeam, the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled administrative and office support professionals. OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and places tens of thousands of highly skilled candidates each year into positions ranging from executive and administrative assistant to receptionist and customer service representative.

Posted January 13, 2015 by

Searching for a New Job on Social Media? 6 Tips that Can Help

Social media can not only serve as a personal platform but also a professional one.  It can help you establish your personal brand and connect with the right people if you’re looking for a new job.  In order to succeed on a social level in your job search, there are certain things you need to understand.  Otherwise, social media can actually harm your search.  Here are six tips to remember when trying to find a job on social media. (more…)

Posted August 18, 2014 by

Wondering If an Entry Level Job is Right for You? 8 Factors to Consider

Before you accept an entry level job offer, be sure you know what you’re getting into.  In the following post, learn eight factors you should consider first.

When you’ve been job hunting for ages, you may be tempted to accept the first offer you get — even if you sense it’s probably a bad fit. In a tough economy, you may feel lucky to have even been offered a position. But sometimes, it’s better to

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Posted August 11, 2014 by

5 Red Flags Concerning Your Resume and Interview that Will Not Impress Recruiters

Any mistakes in your job search can hinder employment opportunities.  Learn five red flags that won’t impress recruiters concerning your resume and interview in the following post.

Every year, hiring managers and HR professionals read thousands of resumes. They know what to look for in a good way. And they sure know how to find the red flags that indicate a less-than-desirable candidate. Should they miss a red flag, now worries; they have an entire job interview to uncover what you are trying

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Posted August 07, 2014 by

Not Hired for an Entry Level Job? 15 Reasons Why You Were Beat Out

If you were hoping to land an entry level job, but ended up losing out to another candidate, check out the following post for 15 reasons why.

You’ve worked hard; you’ve done everything right. And now, you find yourself neck-and-neck with another candidate; the job will go to one of you. When you’re in this position, what makes the difference? How does an employer know who to choose, and who to disappoint?

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Posted July 18, 2014 by

Social Media Red Flags Recruiters Are Focusing On

CollegeRecruiter.comAre you a job seeker on social media?  If so, understand that recruiters are checking out your profiles to learn more about you as a potential job candidate.  Any red flags they discover in your profiles can hurt your job search.  While it may seem unfair to rule you out because of certain mistakes, it is important not to give recruiters any reason to disqualify you as a candidate. (more…)

Posted May 07, 2014 by

Searching for Entry Level Jobs, College Grads? Don’t Show Desperation to Find Employment

It might be easier said than done but when searching for entry level jobs, college grads should not act desperate an for an opportunity.  Learn more in the following post.

You’ve tried everything, and it seems no one recognizes your potential; that you’d be a great employee… at any company, for any work! All you need is for someone to see you for what you are. Right? Trouble is, they may already have seen the “real” you. If you’ve done any of the following, they may already have classified you,

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Posted April 18, 2014 by

Writing Resumes to Go After Recent College Graduate Jobs? 4 Mistakes Not to Make

If you’re writing resumes for recent college graduate jobs, the following post focuses on four mistakes to avoid.

Spelling and grammar errors. Gaps in unemployment. Vague job descriptions. Most job seekers are well aware of the major no-nos on resumes, but here’s the bad news: your resume probably has other red flags you’re not aware of. Here’s the worst news: There’s no way to know for sure what they

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Posted April 07, 2014 by

Writing Resumes for Jobs for Recent College Graduates? 10 Red Flags that Might Keep You from Finding Employment

In your search for jobs for recent college graduates, there are certain things employers don’t want to see on your resume.  Learn 10 red flags that might hurt your chances of finding employment in the following post.

Our friends at YEC asked members of their council to answer this question… Question: What’s one thing you never, ever want to see on a resume from a potential hire? Read on for some enlightening insights into the minds of some experienced businesspeople who may read your resume!

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