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Master the changing face of job interviewing

The new trend in hiring in 2013? Challenge-based and video interviews. Read how you can master these new challenges.

Just when you got the hang of the in-person or phone interview, things are changing. According to HireArt, a company that helps employers make hires, the new trend in hiring in 2013 is utilizing challenge-based and video interviews.

“Businesses and recruiters are using video interviews and work samples as a way to effectively vet job candidates before bringing them in for an actual interview so employers can “try before they buy” and ensure they’re finding the right candidate for the job.”

For example, if a business is hiring an engineer, they may present a coding challenge to candidates; if they’re hiring a social media manager they may ask candidates to create compelling tweets.

Here are some tips from HireArt to ensure that candidates are prepared for both the challenge-based and video interviews that are becoming more common in today’s competitive job market.

1. Act like you want to be there.

Being energetic over a video interview can go a long way in making you stand out against other candidates that seem bored or uncomfortable. Even though it might be more difficult to seem enthusiastic about a job when you are just talking to the camera, you should try to come across as excited and passionate about why you want to be there.

2. Watch your presentation.

You don’t look as good on camera as you look in person (it’s true!). So, don’t let basic components of your interview, such as attire and lighting, negatively affect how you come across. Dress as you would dress were the interview taking place in the office. Record the view in a bright place that allows the interviewer to clearly see you. And make sure the quality of your audio allows the interviewer to really understand what you are saying. Although these things are not related to your skills, they could count against you when other candidates have them and you don’t.

3. Don’t be sloppy.

Typos and lack of attention to detail in your online applications often immediately disqualify you. Take the time to be careful!

4. Know your own pitch.

Most video interviews require you to record a two minute pitch about yourself. Really think about what you want to get across, what experiences you would like to highlight, what sets you apart from other candidates, and how you want to say this in a succinct way.

5. Make sure you know the company, its competitors and the industry inside and out.

If you are invited to an interview, even if it is an online interview, companies expect you to understand the position and know the company well. Use this information to craft your pitch and at every other chance you get. Articulate specifically why you want to work at the company – what specifically drew you to this position.

 

Find the full, original article written by Toni Bowers, over at TechRepublic.

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Future-proof your career

This article has been reproduced from a feature published by The Guardian. Credit to the original author, Rhymer Rigby.

Future proofing your career and being ahead of the curve are two sides of the same coin. If you’re doing one correctly, you should also be doing the other. But they’re not quite the same thing.

Future-proofing your career means ensuring you are as employable in the future as you are now. You need to stand back and think about your job strategically, rather than just letting it happen to you. Look at the bigger picture: what’s happening in your sector; where’s the growth; which jobs are vulnerable; how do you measure up?

Think about what you know

As the world speeds up, your technical skills will have an ever shorter lifespan and you need to learn constantly. Don’t just confine yourself to your field, either. Read up on fields adjacent to yours, the idea being that if your role disappears, you have other options. You don’t want to be the workplace equivalent of an animal that can live only in one species of tree. Rewrite your CV every year; if you can’t think of something new to put on it, you need to think about where you’re going.

Look at your sector and organisation

You should be working in an organisation that’s facing the future head on rather than one whose best years are behind it. The same is true of your sector. You want an industry which is driving change, rather than one that is being pummelled by it.

Work on your relationships

People often view building working relationships as a luxury when times are tough. But being liked and trusted can be more of a differentiator than being competent. Keep in touch with your network and ensure you’re visible and easy to find. A network that extends beyond your workplace and includes clients, headhunters and competitors is a good insurance policy if things go bad.

Aim to be agile and adaptable

Rather than having the mindset of someone who is happy to serve out their time, be psychologically ready to move and the kind of person who lands on their feet; a realistic idea of your abilities and what they’re worth will help. Focus on the positives be optimistic; when companies look at making redundancies, those who have an upbeat, can-do attitude are very rarely first in line.

If future proofing your career is dealing with bigger picture and long term, staying ahead of the curve is more immediate. It’s the kind of thing you can work on when you have 15 minutes to spare.

Broadly speaking there are two aspects to being ahead of the curve. One is informational. At its most basic, this is simply keeping up with the news that affects your industry. But those who truly want to be ahead will also keep abreast of areas that are either general or tangentially affect their industry. Being up to speed on general current affairs and areas beyond your immediate role is a good thing in itself, but is also likely to give you greater insights and vision.

The internet has made this far easier to do this. Look up TED talks that interest you, set up Google alerts for yourself and customers and follow influential people on Twitter. You do need to be selective, though.

The personal side involves identifying who and what can help you move forward in your career and working on these relationships; an example might be knowing what is important to not just your boss, but also your boss’s boss. Don’t forget office gossip either: it is often a better guide to what will be happening in three months time than the official channels.

Of course, there’s no point in being ahead of the curve, if you’re the only one who knows it. Demonstrate what you know, for example by emailing your boss interesting articles you’ve come cross across. Make yourself the go-to person in the office for your area and speak up in meetings. Put yourself forward, rather than hanging back. And spend some time around the watercooler immersing yourself in the organisation’s less formal sources of news.

Although all this might seem a lot, the trick is to make many of these actions habitual – and this is really where staying ahead of the curve segues seamlessly into future-proofing. On one hand, you read The Economist every week on the train and on the other, you do a gap-analysis on your career every six months. It’s about covering yourself in both the long and the short term and ensuring you’re the kind of person who looks forward to change, rather than fearing it.

Take a look at the origianl article over at the Guardian Careers Blog.


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Agile Careers

If you’re a software developer looking for work then this news might be of interest to you. The Scrum Alliance have announced their partnership with Agile Careers; a careers website aimed at agile practitioners.

 

AgileCareers.com is the only careers website dedicated exclusively to the needs of the Agile community, offering job posting and resume services as well as an interactive community which broadcasts news articles and information relevant to Agile and Scrum practitioners.

This partnership provides Scrum Alliance members (i.e. certified Scrum practitioners) with valuable benefits:

  • Scrum Alliance members seeking new employees can post open positions on AgileCareers.com with the confidence they will be viewed by Agile and Scrum enthusiasts worldwide.
  • Scrum Alliance members seeking new Agile career opportunities have greater visibility into potential positions with companies who desire Agile and Scrum expertise. Visit AgileCareers.com to post your résumé.

To celebrate our new partnership, AgileCareers.com is offering free postings for a limited time. After that, Scrum Alliance members will enjoy ongoing discounts for all AgileCareers.com job posting services.

Check it out and let me know what you think?


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Why women won’t apply for IT jobs

Women won’t apply for IT jobs unless they are certain they meet every single criterion for the gig, according to John Ridge, Executive Director of the Australian Computer Society Foundation Trust Fund (ACSF).

Ridge and the ACSF run a national Work Integrated Learning scholarship scheme for IT workers in Australia and have, over the scheme’s ten years of operations, placed 3,850 workers in one-year gigs designed to bridge between the worlds of university and work. The scholarships are designed to make it cheaper and easier for employers to hire entry-level staff, while giving graduates the chance to learn practical skills in the workplace and, often, to upgrade their university-taught technical knowledge to modern skills real businesses actually use.

The scholarship scheme struggles to attract women, largely due to pitifully low enrolment rates in Australian universities. Ridge also mentioned horrifying drop-out rates for women in IT courses, citing research conducted by the University of Wollongong that he said found 72.9% of women are unhappy with the IT courses they pursue.

The few women that do pursue a career in IT, he said, are then reluctant to seek opportunities like ACSF scholarships because they feel it is important to meet every single criterion an employer desires. Men, by contrast, happily apply with only half the skills an employer lists as desirable.

“Industry wants women,” Ridge said. “But women talk themselves out of applying for jobs”.

Credit to Simon Sharwood and The Register for the original content.

Remember to keep an eye on the jobs page over at The Register, it’s a great resource;

http://www.theregister.co.uk/jobs/


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10 things I wish I’d known before becoming an IT consultant

Takeaway: Careful research, thoughtful planning, and honest self-assessment can help you make a successful leap into the IT consultant role. But the realities of the job will still surprise you.

 

Before opening an IT consultancy, I did my homework. I interviewed lifelong consultants. I read books. I even took personality tests to confirm that my psychological constitution matched the challenges I’d face as an entrepreneur owning and operating my own business.

Some lessons, though, you just have to learn yourself. If you’re a technology consultant, or if you’re considering branching out on your own, take a few tips from my experience of supporting hundreds of companies of all shapes and sizes. Here are 10 things I’d wish I’d known before becoming an IT consultant.

By Erik Eckel

1: Some people are never happy

2: Not all IT pros make good consultants

3: Some clients never intend to pay

4: Vendors abandon you

5: Clients expect a know-it-all

6: And one more thing…

7: Immediate service, but 60-day payment terms

8: Clients only remember what didn’t work

9: You’re almost always working

10: Follow-up is not optional

Check out the full post for all the detail.

Credit to TechRepublic for the original article.

 


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Older Generation Forced To Embrace New Job Search Technologies

Dragged kicking and screaming, maybe. But online job search and the use of social networks in order to find employment is no longer just the preserve of Generation Y.

When job boards first came onto the scene a few years back, they were given a wide berth by most anyone over the age of 35. The ‘older generation’ were quite comfortable with what they regarded as the personal relationships they enjoyed with a trusted recruiter or headhunter, and viewed the internet with some suspicion when it came to searching for a new job.

‘It was mainly a trust thing’, says James Brookner, CEO of social networking job website Jobvidi, ‘Experienced professionals were used to dealing face-to-face with recruiters when considering a career move, or trying to gauge where the market was at’. But that’s all changed, Brookner says, as Gen X has had to overcome its fears and embrace new technologies in order to stay in the game.

‘The depressed employment market and the fierce competition for jobs these days has meant that jobseekers who had previously relied on personal connections to get a job have needed to familiarise themselves with online job search tools too. They have had to understand that new job search technologies are an essential part of their strategy’, Brookner added.

‘Gen X’s engagement with online job technologies not only indicates that more seasoned professionals are now better able to cope with these tools, but is a reflection of the challenging economic climate’, says Brookner, ‘It’s a case of evolve, or die’.

What do you think? Are you part of the ‘older generation’, if so I’d love to hear your thoughts?

Credit to HereIsTheCity, check out the original article for more details.