How do you keep your team motivated on a project?

In this question the hiring manager is trying to find out the value you place on a motivated team and how you keep the morale high on any given project.

A good answer could be:

I’m a believer that a motivated team can facilitate a successful project. On my last project I would debrief with my team at the end of the day. I try not to dwell on the tasks that went wrong and only mention it constructively as an area for improvement. To keep spirits high I would then turn the focus to the activities that went well and thank my team for their contributions. I also recognised and praised any stand-out co-workers whom have gone above and beyond.

Click here to download the complete “Interview Preparation Guide”.

5 Things You Should Avoid During Job Interviews

5 Things You Should Avoid During Job Interviews

Job interviews are crucial platforms for candidates to showcase their credentials and convince panelists on why they (candidates) are best-placed to fill advertised vacancies. Despite this, the conduct of interviewees during these important sessions may work against their impressive curriculum vitae.

The following are hazards you should avoid if you want a successful job interview:

1. Don’t dress inappropriately

As you prepare for a job interview, remember that you mode of dressing will play a crucial role in determining your success. How you dress on this important day gives people a glimpse into your deportment once you are hired. Your fancy clothes and extreme accessories have no place in that official meeting. No tight or ill-fitting clothes should find their way into the room where you will face the panelists. Leave your revealing clothes for an evening date. Dress decently.


2. Don’t panic

For a few crucial minutes, you will come face-to-face with a group of mortal human beings who will ask you questions about yourself. You don’t need to panic because you have all the answers with you. Remember you will still be alive after the interview. Further, this may be one of the many interviews you are going to attend before you finally find a job. Start getting used to the normalcy of attending these kinds of platforms and expressing yourself before interviewers.

3. Don’t speak too much

It is true that you have the opportunity to blow your trumpet as you compete with other equally able individuals. However, do not appear to lecture the panel or dominate the session with endless and repetitive speeches on what the panelists already know. Talking too much may give the impression that you are trying to cover up some weaknesses. You may even end up mentioning irrelevant issues that may jeopardize your chances of finding a job. Compose yourself, say exactly what you have to say, and when you are done, keep quiet.

4. Don’t interrupt panel members when they are speaking

When some people attend job interviews, they tend to become so comfortable with interviewers that they begin to interrupt the latter. You etiquette and communication skills will be questioned if you cannot keep quiet and let others talk. Irrespective of how much you know and how eager you are to get employed, do not destroy your chances by appearing to be a know-it-all. Learn to listen before you respond if you must have a successful job interview.


5. Don’t lie or present inaccurate information

A formal meeting where you discuss your suitability for a job is the culmination of a long process during which the organization has gathered a lot of information about you. Most of this is contained in your resume and academic and professional papers. Similarly, your conduct and past will be under scrutiny throughout the time you will be employed, in case you pass the interview. Consequently, as you prepare for a job interview remember that the information you volunteer has legal and social consequences.

What is your favourite project management methodology?

In this question the interviewer is trying to test your knowledge of the many industry standard methodologies and their advantages & disadvantages, and whether you’re able to apply the right methodology for the given project.

The best way to answer it is to pick two opposing methodologies which you’ve used when delivering a project. Then state a positive attribute of both methodologies whilst placing a greater positive emphasis on the favourite methodology of the two.

For example for a project manager delivering an IT project a good answer could be:

I like the structured approach and the sense of control I get with the waterfall methodology, however in this industry changes to the specification are sudden so an iterative methodology like Agile is my favourite for technology projects.

Click here to download the complete “Interview Preparation Guide”.

7 Resume Mistakes to Avoid

7 Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Many job-seekers, with impressive academic and professional qualifications, are not invited for job interviews owing to various errors and inaccuracies in their resumes. A document that encapsulates your suitability for a job should be error-free. A resume is the first significant contact between a prospective employer and a potential employee. Unfortunately, for thousands of job-seekers, this becomes the last interaction because this vital document portrays them as being irresponsible and careless.

The following seven biggest resume mistakes are obnoxious and detrimental to job hunting and should be avoided.

1. Grammatical and Spelling Errors

Job-seekers who present resumes replete with spelling and grammatical errors stand little chance of succeeding. Potential employers detest such blunders considering the owners had time to design and write the documents. Language-based blunders portray a job applicant as being thoughtless and unworthy of responsibility. If you cannot identify and rectify faults in such a vital personal paper, how will you handle organizational responsibilities?

2. Illogical Arrangement

Many job-seekers sequence the items on their resumes in an inconsistent or illogical manner. It is crucial to appreciate that potential employers read through numerous solicited and unsolicited documents. One of the most common resume mistakes is to use functional chronological styles in one document. For example, if you are at the job entry-level, arrange work experience and educational background chronologically to avoid annoying potential employers.


3. Inaccurate Information and Lies

To forge inaccurate or untruthful information, and to insert it in a resume as means to having an edge over competitors, damages a candidate’s credibility. If an employer discovers a lie, the employee may lose a job or even be jailed. Committing such mistakes, deliberately or otherwise, may have lifelong repercussions. These are resume writing errors that may return to haunt you long after you are hired.

4. Unexplained gaps

Inexplicable gaps in a resume contribute to the downfall of numerous job-seekers. It is normal to undergo periods of unemployment. However, when designing and writing your document, you should never assume that the employer will gloss over such omissions. Interviewers might attribute this to crime, misbehaviour or ineptitude in a previous job, thus making this one of the biggest resume mistakes.

5. Incomplete information

Closely related to unexplained gaps in resumes is the error of presenting incomplete information. For example, if you were working in a certain firm, state the duration and the responsibility assigned. Moreover, when using a pattern in which you state the duration, title and responsibility in a sequence, ensure that every entry in your resume adheres to this categorization. Similarly, referees’ contact details should be comprehensive and accurate.

6. Clueless Referees

One of the most common resume mistakes is failing to inform your referees that you have assigned them that significant role. Potential employers will call these people to ascertain the information you have given and to understand your suitability for a job from another person’s point of view. What would happen if your referee tells a potential employer that your name is not familiar or he has no current or relevant information about you? To avoid such situations, talk to referees and request them to be your backers before including their names in a resume.


7. Fancy Internet Templates

The internet contains several resume templates you can adopt. However, avoid unnecessary excitement concerning formats as this may cause you to forget the crucial intention of impressing a prospective employer. One of the resume mistakes to avoid is to accentuate a template at the expense of the content. A wise job-seeker would rather have a simple format that communicates effectively than a fancy one devoid of content.

How to Avert Resume Blunders

To ensure a resume is error-free, print a copy and edit it thoroughly. You can also proofread it using a spellchecker or online software. A friend who is well-versed in language and grammar issues can also correct the resume. Unless you don’t desire a job, you cannot forget or ignore the editing of your document.

These are the most detestable resume writing mistakes job-seekers commit. The next time you are preparing a resume, create time to edit it. Remember that your chance of being invited for an interview largely depends on having an error-free resume.