Applying & Interviewing for Employment

Writing Application Letters & Other Employment Messages

  • Application/Cover letter
    • To let readers know what you are sending, why you are sending it & how they can benefit from reading it
    • Keep your letter straightforward, fact based, short, positive, & professional
    • Make sure your opening paragraph state a clear reason for writing & give the reader a reason to keep reading it
    • Use the middle section to present more of your strengths
    • Do not bring up salary unless the recipient has asked you to include it
    • Respectfully ask for specific action in the final paragraph where the reader easy to respond
  • Application follow-up
    • When no response within a month, follow up with a second message so the company know you are still interested

Understanding the Interviewing Process

  • Typical sequence of interviews :
    • Screening stage – try to differentiate yourself with other candidates
    • Selection stage – show how your skills & attributes can help the company
    • Final stage
  • Common types of interviews
    • Structured interviews – follows a set sequence of questions, answers from candidates can be compared
    • Unstructured interviews – open-ended interview, question based on candidate’s response
    • Panel interview – candidate will meet several interviewers at once
    • Group interview – some candidates will meet with one or more interviewers at once
    • Behavioral interviews – candidates are asked to describe how they handled situations from their past
    • Situational interviews – candidates are asked to explain how they would handle various hypothetical situations
    • Working interviews – candidates will perform work-related task
    • Stress interviews – candidates are asked questions design unsettle to see how they manage the stress
  • Interview media
    • In-person conversation
    • Virtual meetings
    • Telephone interviews
    • E-mail/Instant message
    • Video interview
  • What employers look for in an interview
    • Whether you can handle the responsibilities of the position
    • Whether you will be a good fit with the organization & the target position
  • Pre employment testing & background checks
    • Integrity tests
    • Personality tests
    • Job skills tests
    • Substance tests
    • Background checks

Preparing for Job Interview

  • Learn about the organization
  • Think ahead about questions
    • Common employer’s questions :
      • Hardest decision ever made
      • Greatest weakness
      • Where you will be 5 years from now
      • Dislike of previous job
      • Something about yourself
    • Ask yourself :
      • Are these my kind of people?
      • Can I do this work?
      • Will I enjoy the work?
      • Is the job what I want?
      • Does the payment worthy?
      • What kind of person would I be working for?
      • What sort o future can I expect with this organization?
  • Bolster your confidence
  • Polish your interview style (clarity & nonverbal behavior)
  • Look good/well groomed
  • Be ready

Interviewing for Success

  • The warm-up
    • Body language is very important
    • Sit when you are asked to do so
    • Let the interviewer start the discussion
  • The question-and-answer stage
    • Listen carefully before you answer
    • Pay attention to verbal & nonverbal messages
    • Handle the discriminatory questions well
  • The close
    • Conclude with courtesy & enthusiasm
    • Salary negotiation

Following Up After an Interview

  • Write thank-you message within 2 days of the interview
  • Make an inquiry if there are no decision by the promised date or within 2 weeks
  • Request for time extension if needed
  • Reply the job offer by letter of acceptance within 5 days
  • Decline a job offer tactfully
  • For resignation, write a gracious & professional style letter

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