Category Archives: Job Interview

Cracking the Coding Interview

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Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition is here to help you through this process, teaching you what you need to know and enabling you to perform at your very best. I’ve coached and interviewed hundreds of software engineers. The result is this book.

Learn how to uncover the hints and hidden details in a question, discover how to break down a problem into manageable chunks, develop techniques to unstick yourself when stuck, learn (or re-learn) core computer science concepts, and practice on 189 interview questions and solutions.

These interview questions are real; they are not pulled out of computer science textbooks. They reflect what’s truly being asked at the top companies, so that you can be as prepared as possible. WHAT’S INSIDE?

  • 189 programming interview questions, ranging from the basics to the trickiest algorithm problems.
  • A walk-through of how to derive each solution, so that you can learn how to get there yourself.
  • Hints on how to solve each of the 189 questions, just like what you would get in a real interview.
  • Five proven strategies to tackle algorithm questions, so that you can solve questions you haven’t seen.
  • Extensive coverage of essential topics, such as big O time, data structures, and core algorithms.
  • A behind the scenes look at how top companies like Google and Facebook hire developers.
  • Techniques to prepare for and ace the soft side of the interview: behavioral questions.
  • For interviewers and companies: details on what makes a good interview question and hiring process

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Interviewing Basics

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By Duncan Gotobed

Let’s face it successful interviewing is much more than just giving the right answers to questions. As with most things, preparation is the key to success. Without proper preparation, you will go into an interview as if you were driving a car blindfolded and on the wrong side of the road.

Plan your travel route.  The last thing you want to do is get lost or be late for an interview, so plan your travel route ahead of time. Find out where the interview will take place and decide how you will get there (car, bus, taxi, etc.), then conduct a “trial run” using that mode of transportation. Factor in any other possible complications such as road construction or rush hour traffic do determine how long it will take you to get to the interview.

Once you know how long it takes to get there and you have factored in other issues such as traffic, add at least 15 minutes to the amount of time you think it will take. This extra bit of “insurance” means you will be better able to deal with unforeseen events and last minute issues.

Get to know the organization.  Potential employers want to know that you are interested enough in their organization to learn a bit about it before an interview. Conducting research to learn about an organization also demonstrates that you are proactive, forward thinking, and willing to put in extra effort to be better prepared.

The internet is an excellent tool for researching an organization, as are marketing brochures and annual reports from the organization. Ask around to your friends and professional contacts to find out if anyone has any experience with or knowledge of the company. Some experts also recommend that you check the electronic archives of the local newspaper to see what, if anything has been written about the company over the previous twelve months or so.

Plan your approach.  Once you get to the interview you will have to “sell” yourself. The interviewer will be evaluating you on the answers you give to questions, of course, but also on many other things that you might not think about, so plan for these in advance.

Dress the part.  The way you are dressed and how you enter the interview room have a huge effect on the first impression you make. Select an outfit that is appropriate for the culture of the organization (conservative, modern, casual, etc.) and practice walking into the interview room with confidence and a smile.

Plan and practice your answers to likely questions, especially those behavioral-based questions that are so popular right now. Here are a couple of example questions:

  • Describe a situation in which you had to deal with an angry customer.
  • Describe a situation in which you made a mistake

The key to successfully answering these questions is to cover three key things – the situation, the action you took, and the result you achieved.  Keep your stories short and factual, and even practice them in advance so that you become fluent when talking about them.

Make no mistake about it, the better prepared you are the more comfortable you will feel in your interview

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.  Duncan Gotobed makes it easy for you to get your next job and hit the ground running. Learn more great ways to enhance your employability. Visit Top Briefings.com today to access a range of e-briefings that can help you become more successful.

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Behavioral Interviewing Questions

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By R.J. Sullivan  

Behavioral interviewing uses behaviors presented in the past to predict future behavior.  It is the best interviewing method to avoid gut feelings, stereotypes and biases.  

The focus on behaviors will allow you to choose the best candidate for the job.

Behavioral interviewing is the most effective way to hire a qualified employee. It takes gut feelings, stereotypes and biases out of the process and allows you to look at candidates in more scientific terms. The process is called behavioral because it uses behaviors presented in the past to predict future behaviors. The process sounds easy but it takes practice and persistence. You need to know the exact behaviors that are critical for the job you are interviewing for and then you need to prepare questions that will illicit the responses you need to analyze the candidates behaviors. When you ask behavioral interviewing questions it is imperative that you probe and allow the candidate time and silence to answer the questions.

  1. Give me an example of a time you where you had a particularly difficult customer and how you handled the situation.
  2. Describe for me a situation where you didn’t agree with a company policy and learned to work within the confines of that policy.
  3. Give me an example of a time when you were given instructions by your manager that you didn’t agree with and how you handled the situation.
  4. Tell me about a time when you had conflict with a co-worker and how you were able to resolve that conflict.
  5. Give me an example of a time when you provided extraordinary service and please be specific with the steps you took to achieve this result.
  6. Describe for me a time when you didn’t understand how to complete a task and what you did to finish the work.
  7. Tell me about a time that you had to use creativity to solve a problem at work.
  8. Tell me about a time when you were not feeling well or in a bad mood and had to motivate yourself at work.
  9. Describe for me a time that you had a co-worker with a bad attitude and how you handled that situation.
  10. Give me an example of a time you made a mistake when working with a customer and how you handled the situation.

Remember to research the behaviors needed for the position you are interviewing for and prepare your questions carefully. Also, use silence and probe further so you can get the information needed to make an informed hiring decision. Behavioral interviewing will take the gut feelings, stereotypes and biases that we all have out of the equation and you will make better hiring decisions.

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Phone Interviewing Quiz

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Most interviewing processes start and stop with the phone interview. In our opinion this is the most important interview. Not only because if you fail here the process stops, but mainly because it sets the stage for the in-person interview if you do well. Have a great phone interview and the mindset of the person bringing you in for the face-to-face interview is already positive, they believe you must be qualified, and you are starting out in a strong position.

Here is a quick quiz to see if you are ready to, “Win The Phone Interview.” Answer these in your mind, not fair if you already read the book or downloaded the free chapter. (Answers below)

  1. List all three factors that can be measured during a phone interview. Must list all three.
  2. How long should you talk before re-engaging the interviewer?
  3. Is the format for answering a question different than a face-to-face? If so, what is different?
  4. Is there a possible benefit from not answering the phone? If yes, what is it?
  5. What is the only purpose of a phone interview?

If you can answer all of these, then you are aware of how different the phone interview is from the in-person interview. If you can’t answer all of them then you should consider doing your homework. It is possible you’ve missed an opportunity because you were weeded out during a phone interview.

To help you, we have a number of completely FREE resources to make sure you know how to win the phone interview.

  1. Our chapter on “Winning the Phone Interview” from our job search workbook is free to download. It answers all these questions and more.
  2. We just posted a 1 hour audio file from our radio show focused completely on the phone interview.
  3. There are also a number of other blog entries dedicated to the phone interview for you to read.
  4. Our Linkedin discussion group is a great forum to discuss any issues you have regarding your job search.
  5. Our monthly Candidate Open Forum tele-conference has been one of our most successful methods to discuss all job search related topics. These forums fill up in less than a day. Click here for the next date and time.

Please consider taking advantage of these. They are all free tools you can use to ensure you not only win the phone interview, but win the job.

Help your friends and family know how they can win a phone interview by sharing this with them.

Please let us know how you did on the quiz. Did you really know all of the answers?

Answers:

  1. Energy level, technical abilities and communication skills
  2. 1 minute.
  3. Yes, since it shorter and you can’t read their body language it is very important that your answers are succinct and impactful.
  4. The hiring manager leaves a message sayingArticle Search, This is the VP of HR from ABC company. I’m calling about X opening and would like to speak with you.” Now you can do some basic research on the company.
  5. To screen you in or screen you out.

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Smile, You’re On Video-Conference! Overcoming Obstacles When Job Interviewing

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By Karen Friedman

In today’s competitive job market, companies are looking for ways to save money when interviewing prospective job candidates.  For many, that means being interviewed by satellite or video conference versus a trip to the home office.  How can you shine?  What do you need to know about making a good impression from miles away?

It’s all the rage especially if your company is doing a little belt tightening and you can score some points by saving a few bucks. Instead of paying for travel expenses and spending your free time whining and dining a lot of potential job candidates, what about speeding up the time consuming process by conducting the interview during a videoconference that is inexpensive by comparison? Companies can save time until they’ve narrowed the search and job seekers can try to impress without traveling to all corners of the globe. After all, universities offer videoconference lecture series and companies frequently use the technology to hold global meetings. In fact, a study on web conferencing quoted in HR Magazine shows the market jumping nearly 300 percent between 2005 and 2011, to $2.9 billion. So clearly, the technology is certainly gaining popularity. The question is: to whose advantage?

While there are clearly benefits, from where I sit as a communications coach, there are also a host of barriers that prevent job candidates from feeling at ease and making their best impression. How can you possibly connect with someone and make them feel who you really are if you can’t shake their hand and look them directly in the eye? It’s like buying a car without taking it for a test drive. Given that first impressions are critical, if the job applicant is unfamiliar with the technology, appears nervous or looks off, then decision makers may form incorrect impressions. Then there’s the lighting issue. If the lighting isn’t good, the applicant can look pasty or washed out. Additionally, there are often delays as video and audio are compressed and transmitted between locations. So, that means people unknowingly talk over each other or try to fill the silence without realizing that those on the other end of the connection are still listening to someone’s response. On the other side of the screen, interviewers often forget that they are also visible and need to make a good impression. That means no slouching, checking e-mail; leafing through magazines and making potential employees feel as if they’re boring you.

Like any interview or presentation, the key to success is for both sides to prepare in advance. The first step would be to set up a phone call and talk about videoconferencing etiquette.

PHONE PRIMERS – Before the interview, the company should schedule a phone call with the applicant to explain video protocol. For example, tell them how the room will be set up, who will be there, where to look, how wide the video image will be or what technical issues could arise. Can they interrupt? Who will hear them? Will there be feedback or delay time? What’s the format and how much time will they have? It’s up to the company to send a message that says they want the interview to be successful for the prospect.

THINK TV – Appearing for a video interview is a bit like being on TV. You have to connect with people you can’t see so it’s important to engage your audience quickly. In most cases, you want to look directly into the camera so you seem completely attentive to the people on the other side of the screen. The trick is to appear natural and not over focus on the camera which is very hard for an untrained person to do. Instead, pretend that camera is one person. As a former television reporter, I used to speak to more than one million people every evening. By pretending the camera was my Mom or a friend, it was easier to speak from the heart and focus on the information I wanted to convey. It’s also important to gesture and use your hands so you’re animated, but movements can be magnified on the screen so aim for smaller, smoother movements.

DRESS FOR SUCCESS – What looks good in your mirror doesn’t always translate to the big screen. The number one rule is to wear what makes you feel good as long as it doesn’t distract from your message. For women, that means leaving big earrings, frilly tops and clunky jewelry at home. But putting on some lipstick, eyeliner and a little blush will prevent you from looking washed out. Both sexes should avoid small patterns like checks and tweeds which can “bleed” on screen. As for colors, warm bright colors typically look great, but if that’s not your style, think contrast such as a white shirt with a navy blazer as opposed to just a white shirt. And men, a viewer’s eye will go straight to your tie, so make it a good one! Finally, find out what the background is. If you’re up against a green screen and you wear green, oops, you’ll disappear.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT – Set up a video camera and practice with a pal who can ask you questions and offer feedback. Play it back and check your body language, expressions and pace. Are you talking too fast? Are you speaking loud enough? Do you look friendly and approachable?

While videoconferencing should not replace face to face interviewing, as technology gets easierScience Articles, so will video interviewing. And the job of tomorrow may very well come down to the person who seems at ease on camera.

 

The 3 Biggest Mistakes Teens Make When Trying to Get a Job

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By Stu Schaefer 

As an employer, I interview a lot of folks… and a lot of teens. I hate to say it, but teens usually have no clue how to interview and get a job! They blow it!

This article will address the three mistakes most teens make so that you or your kid can learn how to get your favorite job.

  1. Resume

I would say about 8 out of 10 kids drop off a resume with misspellings. This is the FASTEST way for the resume to be thrown in the trash!

In addition, most resumes look like someone just spit a bunch of information into a template and hit print. The information is rarely organized and often unformatted. The result is a messy-looking resume with misspellings that gets thrown in the trash before there’s even a chance to interview.

Here are a few keys for a good resume:

  1. Triple check spelling!
  2. Don’t add an objective. Rather, write a couple of sentences explaining why you’re different and HOW you would help the company.
  3. List the jobs you’ve had… and how you impacted the company rather than just the job. I don’t care that you were a pizza delivery person. What did you do different that helped the company?
  4. List your education at the bottom because it’s not as important.
  5. Contain your resume to ONE piece of paper – front side ONLY. Most people don’t want to read a lot, and multiple pages just makes things difficult.
  1. Follow-up

OK, let’s say you submitted a great resume… that’s the least of your worries now. Many companies won’t call you back.

I don’t call anyone back. Why? Because I want to see if they’ll take the initiative and call me. I want to know if they’re a go-getter and willing to be persistent.

Most people never call back!

The call-back is very simple. All you have to do is ask if they received your resume. When they say yes, simply say “Great! Well I’d love to set up a time to interview.”

Maybe they’re actively looking for employees so they will set up an interview. Maybe they want resumes because they want to have some people ready to call IN CASE they need someone. In that case they might tell you they’re not hiring.

Ask to interview anyway. Tell them you understand, but you want to meet them so they know who you are in case they need someone.

If someone called me and said that… I might even hire them and replace one of my employees that wasn’t doing a good job. That kind of call shows initiative and demonstrates that you would be a great worker.

  1. Dress & Presentation

So now you have the interview… big deal. Most kids blow their chances because they dress terrible – They wear a tank-top, shorts, and flip flops to the interview.

Even though that might be standard clothing for most teens, it creates a bad first impression. As an employer, we think, “Oh no, this kid is unprofessional. They’re probably not a good fit.”

You just made a great phone impression, so you need to reinforce that with a good visual impression. Make sure you wear a collared shirt, either slacks or khakis, and some nice shoes. Women should wear the same thing or a nice dress that isn’t too short.

his will set you apart from the other kids applying, and it will leave a great impression with the employer… HELLO JOB!

In addition to dressing well… always remember to sit tall and speak well. Make eye contact and answer questions confidently.

When you slouch, chomp gum, or look around, it makes you look dumb and unqualified.

There you have it! If you can make these simple changes, you will make yourself much more valuable to the employer and be more likely to get the job you want!

Prepare your kid to nail the job interview!

Check out this free lesson and video tutorial that will explain, step-by-step how to get the job and set yourself apart from the other applicants!

https://preparemykid.com/lesson/nailing-any-job-interview/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Stu_Schaefer/2447706

Delete These Useless Words From Your Resume

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By Victoria LoCascio 

For the past 5 years as president of a company that helps clients to ignite their job searches and land their dream jobs, I have reviewed thousands of resumes. Since space is limited on your resume, every word needs to earn its way onto this document because of its importance. Unfortunately, many resumes contain overused or ineffective words that do not add value. Here is a list of the most common offenders that should be immediately removed.

Delete These Useless Words From Your Resume:

  • Successful / Accomplished (do not add adjectives to try to boost your status, instead show that you have been successful through the text written on your résumé)
  • Guru / Ninja / Rock Star (informal and not helpful for keyword purposes)
  • Seasoned (makes one sound old)
  • Honest (this is obvious and does not need to be stated)
  • Results-driven / Results-oriented (explain your specific results under each job position, instead of simply writing results-driven)
  • Driven / Motivated / Passionate / Focused / Hardworking (this is obvious and does not need to be stated)
  • Goal-oriented (give concrete examples using goal numbers to show that you achieved or exceeded your yearly/monthly/weekly goals)
  • Significantly (include concrete numbers or strong text to show the reader your significant results)
  • Go-to person (clearly explain your level of responsibility)
  • Team Player (it is understood that you know how to work with people)
  • Responsible for / Duties include (use more exciting action verbs to explain your responsibilities and duties; Google resume action verbs to find lists of appropriate verbs; and make sure that every bullet under each job description starts with a verb)
  • Familiar (does not convey that you are good at whatever follows)
  • Stay-At-Home Parent (potential employers should not know about your children as it is not relevant to your career)
  • Resume (do not write Resume at the top of your document)
  • Objective (do not write Objective at the top of your document, instead use a career summary section and label it with your current job title)
  • References (do not write References Available Upon Request at the bottom of your document)
  • First-person or Third-person Language (do not use first-person or third-person language, instead use formal resume language to look professional)

Make sure that you carefully proofread your resume to ensure that every word is powerful, specific, and needed. Once you believe everything is perfect, have at least 3 other people read through it to verify that there are no mistakes or unnecessary words.

Victoria LoCascio, president of http://AceYourInterview.com, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Employment Interview Professional, Certified Negotiation Expert, Certified SEO Expert, and has master’s degrees in both Leadership and Communication. She specializes in writing powerful resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, as well as coaching clients on interviewing skills.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Victoria_LoCascio/2501308

 

7 Important Questions Every Job Seeker Should Ask Themselves

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By Gordon Walter

Whether you’re just beginning the job hunt or you’ve been searching for months, it’s important to regularly monitor your activities and reevaluate your strategy. Keep your job search on track by asking yourself the following questions throughout the job-search process.

Am I qualified for this position?

Read the job description carefully before you submit an application. Do you meet the core requirements of the role? Only apply to jobs where you possess these must-haves. If your dream job requires a skill you don’t have, brainstorm ways to develop this skill in or out of the office.

Does my resume tell the right story?

Having the right skills is half the battle; having an application that demonstrates your qualifications is the other half. Consider your resume to be part of your personal marketing campaign. It should show potential employers why you are qualified for, and excited about, your target position.

Do I know someone at the company I can talk to?

Studies have shown you are ten times more likely to land a job when your application is accompanied by an employee referral. Search your network before you apply to a position. If your network is stale, it’s time to get out there and make new connections! .

Have I Googled my name this month?

A Jobvite survey found that 93 percent of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social profile. Additionally, 42 percent have reconsidered a candidate based on the content of their online profiles, leading to both positive and negative re-assessments. Regularly monitor and manage your online brand to ensure it supports your goals, rather than sabotaging them.

What have I learned recently?

Whether you’re looking to climb up the corporate ladder or you’re currently unemployed and seeking work, it’s important to continually seek out relevant professional development activities. By learning new technologies, attending workshops and gaining certifications, you are becoming a more attractive candidate and opening yourself up to new networking opportunities.

Have I stepped outside my comfort zone to find new job leads?

Oftentimes job seekers will default to the one job-search method that’s most comfortable to them. However, it’s important to employ multiple methods to find the largest number of relevant job leads. Apply to opportunities online, engage in recruiter activity, and leverage your network.

Am I ready for the interview?

Don’t set foot in the interview room unless you’ve researched the organization and prepared thoughtful questions for the interviewer. Employers want to know that you’ve done your homework and are taking the interview seriously.

 

What Should You Include in a Resignation Letter?

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By ELIZABETH GARONE

I am often asked, “What should I include in my resignation letter?”  The more important question to be asking is what not to include, say the experts. “Less is always more,” says Roy Cohen, a Manhattan-based career counselor and executive coach. “This is not the time to set the record straight. Know that it’s a small world.” By leaving on the best note possible, you also keep open the option for a return to the company should your circumstances change.

By leaving on the best note possible, you keep open the option for a return to the company should your circumstances change.

Rather than airing your grievances with the company, you should set a positive tone from the start, says Marilyn Puder-York, a psychologist and executive coach in the New York metro area. One way to do this is to include a sentence or two at the top that shows your appreciation for the opportunity to work at the company and the experience it has given you.

Small courtesies are also important. This includes giving enough notice: a minimum of two weeks but preferably one month, says Ms. Puder-York, who has seen people give as much as six months, a move that she wouldn’t recommend. “You lose a lot of power and credibility in six months,” she says. Your preferred last day should also be included in the letter.

Both Mr. Cohen and Ms. Puder-York recommend that you don’t list reasons for your resignation, no matter how tempting it might seem. “Once you’ve made the decision to leave, the reasons are superfluous,” says Mr. Cohen. One option is to include the following sentence at the end of your letter: “I would be happy to discuss my reasons for resigning as well as any particular support I can give you during the transition,” suggests Ms. Puder-York.

“Make the letter clear, direct and simple,” she says. “You should always wait to give additional information in a verbal discussion. The letter ends up in your file. You don’t know where it is going to go.”

At some companies, a formal resignation letter may not even be necessary, says Ms. Puder-York. But she still recommends submitting one, equating it with the increasingly rare written thank-you note. “It is the smart, respectful thing to do, and it’s a gracious thing to do if you do it well,” she says.

Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing a Job You’ll Love

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By Sue Kaiden

You want no, you need a new job. But not just any job. The job. So you polish your resume till it shines. You apply for countless openings, tailoring your message to each. You search for the hidden job market, although it remains very well hidden. And the response? Well, it’s underwhelming. To top things off, maze-like online application systems appear designed to keep you and the perfect job apart. What’s going on?

How people successfully land jobs has changed. You need help from a pro, someone who navigates career data, the labor market, and hot jobs with ease. You want a coach who will tell you what to pursue and what to avoid, and an expert who has mastered job-hunting and career change to offer wisdom gained from experience. What you need is a career coach. Better yet, several.

Expert career coaches contributing to this volume include Lakeisha Mathews, Dan Schwartz, Sheila Margolis, Alisa Cohn, Michelle Riklan, Marie Zimenoff, Laura Labovich, Lynne Williams, Thea Kelley, Jean Juchnowicz, Alan DeBack, Marilyn Feldstein, Vivian Blade, David Hosmer, Barbara Seifert, and Nicole Miller.

Find Your Fit guides you through answering foundational questions like: What do I want to do with my career? Where should I do it? And how do I get there? As you develop a strong sense of self-awareness, you’ll be able to identify the work environment best for you, shape your online identity, and network more effectively by focusing on people instead of openings. You’ll learn about coveted employee referrals, and how to get one at your target company. With the help of experienced career coaches, you’ll be able to handle any kind of interview. And, you’ll become familiar with the pre-employment testing and assessments increasingly common today.

What are you waiting for? Your personal coaching session awaits