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“As a marketer, I’ve always been motivated by creative projects, teamwork and being able to draw a connection between my efforts and the organization’s bottom line. One of the things I loved about my last job was witnessing the results of our team’s campaigns and watching as the leads we nurtured became customers. Having the opportunity to lead campaigns from ideation through launch was one of the reasons I was so excited to apply for this role.”

“The gratification of overcoming an obstacle is my greatest motivator. Math has never been my best subject, but I opted to take calculus in college, even though it wasn’t required for my major because I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. The course wasn’t easy, and I spent many nights studying late, but I passed with an A. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with exceeding challenging goals is what drew me to a career in sales.”

“I’m motivated by the fact that, when I leave work at the end of a shift, I know I’ve helped make a difference in the lives of my patients and their families. Seeing the smiles on their faces and watching them improve makes me look forward to work. That’s why I became a nurse, and why I’m pursuing a position in pediatrics.

Essentially, “what motivates you?” is another way of assessing whether you’re passionate and excited about the position and how you ensure you’re always doing good work. By identifying and expanding on your motivations, you can leave the interviewer with a positive impression and clearer expectation of how you’ll be as an employee.

Shared by Ivan Nkono
Professional CV Writer
Human Resource Service Centre
Whatsap: +256772481995
Five Tips For Answering A “Motivation” Type Question ‘what motivates you for this position’

Here are five easy tips to help you prepare your own answer.

1. Be prepared.
Ask yourself this question ahead of time and outline possible answers as well as examples from your own past life/work history that relate to the job you’re applying to.

2. Be self-aware.
This goes hand-in-hand with being prepared. Hiring managers want to know that you’re genuinely thinking of what motivates you. A fast answer with a generic response isn’t going to win you any points. Take time to really answer the question by first really looking at who you are and what you love…and most importantly, what drives you!

3. Be enthusiastic.
This is what drives you! This is what you’re passionate about! Let that enthusiasm show! The more enthusiasm you have for what motivates you, the more enthusiasm the hiring manager will have for you!

4. Be self-motivated.
Hiring managers love self-motivated people. Even if the job you’re applying for has you working on a team, hiring managers want to know that you’re strong enough on your own to complete the tasks assigned to you. If all your motivation comes from outside forces, a hiring manager might feel some concern about your ability to complete tasks if not constantly supervised.

5. Be honest.
We’ve already gone over this but just in case…one last time. Be honest.

Three Example Answers to Guide You
In order to get you ready to craft your own answer to the interview question “What motivates you,” we thought we’d give you three example answers. Use these as a jumping off point for your own answers and don’t forget to tailor them!

EXAMPLE 1 – Sales job:
I'm highly motivated by seeing happy customers... customers that have appreciated the process as much as the actual purchase. In my previous job, I really try to ensure that the customer was treated with respect and that they never felt pressured. Not only did that mean they were satisfied with the experience they had with my company but it also resulted in a number of repeat purchases. It was this approach to sales that helped me become the top earner in my district three years in a row, which further motivated me to continue to focus on customer experience.
EXAMPLE 2 – Design job:
I’m directly motivated by seeing the results of my efforts translate into a physical object. I enjoy every aspect of product design but nothing makes me happier than seeing the actual working prototype. That’s why I’m driven to be hands on every step of the way an why I’m so focused on quality control.
EXAMPLE 3 – Team job:
I love learning new things which is why I love being on a team. For every project we had at my last job, we had a half dozen different ideas and ways to tackle it. We would all work together to refine those into one final plan. Being open to what others have to say and seeing new and exciting ways others would think outside the box not only kept me interested in the work I was doing, but drove me to further my own education outside of work so I could continue to contribute to the group overall.
Putting It All Together
Remember that while there are right ways and wrong ways to answer this question, there is no truly single perfect answer to this question. Your answer will be as unique as you are.

Of course, knowing how to answer it will help bring you one step closer to going from a potential hire to an actual employee, which is why it’s so important to think about it before you get to the interview stage.

Just remember to follow our tips, craft your own response using your own specific examples and be honest.

And as always…

Good luck!

Shared by Ivan Nkono
Professional CV Writer
Human Resource Service Centre
WhatsApp: +256772481995
How to Prepare for a Skype Interview: 9 Tips and Strategies
Interview Preparation / By Biron Clark

how to prepare for a skype interview

More and more employers are using Skype interviews and other video interviews during their screening process.

They may use a Skype interview in place of a phone interview, or after the phone interview before bringing you on-site.

And while you’ll face a lot of the same questions they’ll ask in any interview, there are some important steps you should take to prepare. In this article, I’ll walk you through how to prepare for a Skype interview to make sure you’re ready to impress them.

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Preparing for a Skype Interview
1. Test Your Technology
The first thing to do when preparing for a Skype or video interview is make sure you’re comfortable and ready to use your technology (computer, mic, webcam, etc.)

It’s not going to go over well if you hop on a Skype call and the interviewer can’t hear you because your mic is muted.

So make sure to test everything out before your Skype or video interview to make sure you’re comfortable with the technology and the settings are correct. You can do a “test run” with a friend or family member to be sure. If there are any technical issues, you want to know that before the interview.

Other things to consider from the technical perspective when preparing for a Skype interview:

Camera Position: Position your computer in such a way that you can look directly into the webcam — because you don’t want to be looking up or looking down during the interview.
Surroundings: Remember your surroundings. When you’re being interviewed, you don’t want the interviewee to see clutter or other people walking about. You need to be the star of the interview; don’t allow yourself or your interviewer to become distracted.
Lighting: Position a light right behind your laptop or tablet. This will illuminate your face. Because the light could make your face appear shiny, however, you should think about applying a bit of powder to cut down on any unwanted glare.
2. Print the Job Description and Your Resume
This next step in how to prepare for a Skype interview is something most job seekers skip, but it’s a viatl part of preparing.

Print out a hard copy of your resume, along with the job posting or description. This is something I recommend for phone interviews as well as video interviews.

That way, you can refer to the job description when answering interview questions. For example, if they ask, “why are you applying for this position?” you’ll be ready to name a few things that caught your interest on the job description.

Other common Skype/video interview questions where having the job description in front of you would be helpful:

“Why do you want this job?”

“Why should we hire you?”

And here’s a question where having your own resume in front of you will be helpful in an interview:

“Tell me about yourself?”

If you want more questions to practice, here are 8 of the most common video interview questions and answers.

3. Choose a Location that’s Distraction-Free
The last thing you want during your Skype interview or video interview is to have a family member or pet come running across the screen.

So find a quiet, distraction-free room where you can shut the door and have relative silence, and nothing moving in the background.

If you are conducting this from home where family members will be present, consider hanging a “do not disturb” sign or at least warning all to stay clear of you during the Skype call!

Be sure to silence notifications on your devices your conversation does not get interrupted by beeps and pings, too

4. Choose Your Wardrobe Wisely
Dress from top to bottom as you would for an in-person interview. Sweatpants with a shirt and tie won’t cut it.

Even though it is likely the person at the other end will only see your top half, it’s better to be ready for the unexpected when preparing for a Skype interview, and you may feel more prepared when you look the part.

Additionally, it’s wise to keep your clothing color choice in mind.
I recommend avoiding white and black wardrobe choices as they don’t always look as great on camera (this is why news anchors tend to wear colors like blue, grey, charcoal, etc.)

5. Research the Company
Before the interview, research the company and make sure you know how large they are (100 employees? 10,000 employees?), what they sell or how they make money, when they were founded, who their competitors are, etc.

This may seem like a lot but it should only take 10-15 minutes on the company website and can make a huge difference in the quality of answers you give and your confidence level in the interview.

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If you follow the advice above before your next Skype or video interview, you’ll be more prepared and have a much greater chance of success.

6. Practice Your Body Language
Be aware of your body language when you’re doing your Skype or video interview. Previous research by Albert Mehrabian shows that body language counts for a lot during communication.

Specifically, he finds that 55% of communication is done through body language, 35% is done through tone, and 7% is done through words. So while what you say is important, how you say it and your body language count just as much. Here are some body language tips to follow:

Avoid crossing your arms during the interview since this can be taken to mean that you’re nervous or defensive and unreceptive to what the interviewer is saying.

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Make eye contact to show you are paying attention — and nod as appropriate. But don’t do either of these things too much as they could be distracting.
Avoid fidgeting since this can make it look like you’re not paying attention or are overly nervous.
Smile. You’re more likely to make a good impression if you smile than if you don’t. Smiling also helps you talk with more energy.
Sit forward in your chair since it will make it look like you’re paying attention and are interested. By the way, slouching can convey that you’re bored or disinterested — so avoid it.
7. Know Who You’ll Be Speaking With
You’re going to be a lot more confident in your video interview or Skype interview if you know some general info about the person who’s going to be calling you.

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So find out their name (ask the person who scheduled your interview if you don’t already know), and look them on LinkedIn.

Are they an HR person? Or do they have more of a technical background? This can give you clues about the type of questions you can expect. For example, a Software Development Manager is going to be able to grill you a lot more on the technical details than an HR Director.

Make sure you’re doing this research when preparing for a Skype interview. You’ll be more confident on the video call and better prepared for their questions.

8. Practice Delivering Your Answers
In the lead up to your Skype or video interview, you’ll want to get as much practice as you can. Find a friend or acquaintance and conduct a mock interview.

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Practice your composure, body posture, tone, delivery, and other things that can help your cause. As well as practicing with other people, you should also practice on your own so that you can work on your delivery and confidence.

9. Manage your Time
Skype and video interviews are usually shorter than in-person interviews — however, depending on the interviewer, can take as little as 15 minutes and as long as an hour. My recommendation? Ask how much time to allot and add 15 minutes to your schedule – just in case.

You don’t want to be planning on sharing some important highlights of your background at the end of the conversation only to find time runs out.

So as part of preparing for your Skype interview, write yourself a note or find some way to remind yourself to ask how much time is allotted for the video call.

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You could also email the employer (write to whoever scheduled this interview for you) and ask how long it’s scheduled for. They should be able to tell you.

Of course, your Skype interview can go a bit longer or shorter than planned.
But by asking how long the Skype interview is scheduled for, you’ll at least know the target amount of time.

Shared by Ivan Nkono
Professional CV Writer
Human Resource Service
WhatsApp: +256772481995
*5 References That Should Be on Your List to Land the Job*

February 18, 2020 by Heather Huhman

When you’re applying for jobs, a common request among employers is for you to provide a list of professional references. After your interview, your references could be a key component of whether you receive a job offer from a company.

For each new job opportunity, you should make sure your list of references is the right fit. Think about your relationship with each person. How closely did you work with them? How recently did you work together? How will they explain your qualities to the hiring manager? All these details play a role in who goes on your list. You need to select people who will emphasize your strengths to potential employers.

It’s a good idea to prepare a document listing your references so you can have them ready for employers. Here are five people you can include on your list of professional references if you want to land the job:

1. Former Employer

A previous employer can provide the best insight into your work ethic. They know what your responsibilities were at your job and how you handled them.

5 Email Templates to Use When Asking for a Reference
2. Colleague

Someone you worked alongside at a previous job, even if they weren’t your boss, can be an excellent reference. They will be able to speak about things you worked on together and what you achieved as a team. Teamwork is one of the most important soft skills an employer looks for, so having someone to vouch for your teamwork skills is vital.

3. Teacher

A teacher or professor can provide a really strong reference, especially if they taught a course pertinent to your major. They will be able to talk about the skills you picked up during their course, as well as your personal character.

4. Advisor

An academic advisor, depending on the amount of time you spent with them, is another great option for a reference. If your advisor is someone who got to know you really well during your college career, they can talk about how you’ve grown into the professional you are today.

What Your References Should Say About You
5. Supervisor

Someone who supervised you, but wasn’t necessarily your boss, could be another excellent reference to include. This could be a supervisor from a volunteer project, an internship or some other extracurricular activity. Any of these people spent enough time working with you to get a sense of your character, and probably your passions. That combination makes for a great reference.

Choose at least three of these people to include on your list of professional references. Always bring a few copies of your list to interviews, in case you’re asked to provide them. Promptly let the people on your list know when a hiring manager asks for your references, so they know to expect a call or email.

Your references could make or break your chances of landing a job, so make sure you select the best people to speak on your behalf.

Shared by Ivan Nkono
Professional CV Writer & Human Resource Consultant
Human Resource Service Centre
WhatsApp: +256772481995
*What Was The Toughest Decision You Ever Had To Make?*

Hiring managers are trying to grasp a better feel for who you really are in an interview. They only have a few minutes to determine if you will be a good fit for the team and the role. They may ask a question like “what was the toughest decision you ever had to make” to gain a better understanding of what kinds of things you find tough, how quickly you can make a decision and your rationale behind the decision.

Points to Emphasize
In your response, try to limit how much you discuss personal and especially private details. This may make a hiring manager uncomfortable. Instead, try to focus your response on work or school-related decision you have made. Keep the overall tone in your response positive.

Keep your response concise and mention the tough decision in brief detail.
Focus the majority of your response on how you made the difficult decision.
Mention any important skills you have that helped in making the decision.
Provide information on how the decision was ultimately the right one and why.

Mistakes You Should Avoid
It’s easy to let this question get too personal or too lengthy. Keep it brief, but be optimistic. It’s important to only mention one specific decision that had a positive result. Also avoid:

Speaking negatively about anyone else. Provide details, but don’t be degrading.
Elaborating the details. Don’t lie to the hiring manager.
Being boastful or prideful. It’s important to be confident, but don’t come across as cocky or conceited.
An incomplete response. Don’t leave the hiring manager hanging. Provide a conclusion to your decision that showcases how it became a positive result.
Sample Answer
You might consider answering the question like this:

A few years ago I was asked to lead a team of employees on a new project that dealt with extremely private information on customers and employees. One of the members of my team was a good friend of mine in my personal life, and we worked well together professionally also. It was brought to my attention several months into the project that he had accessed personal information on his family members through our secure database.

While this fellow employee was a good friend of mine, I had to make the very difficult decision to cut him from the team and tell senior management what he had done. It wasn’t easy for me, but he had violated my trust and the trust of our company. His poor decisions ultimately lead to his being let go. I was saddened this was the result, but knew it was for the best. My actions resulted in increased trust and greater opportunity from senior management and ultimately helped me to realize the importance of following company guidelines on privacy and security.

Shared by Ivan Nkono
Professional CV Writer and Human Resource Consultant
WhatsApp: +256772481995
*What Is the Biggest Mistake You’ve Made?*

There are numerous behavioral interview questions out there- and one of the most common and important is- “What is the biggest mistake you’ve made?” This could also be asked as- “Tell me about a time when you failed”- or “Tell me about a time when you made a mistake.” The reason hiring managers often ask this is not to see whether you are perfect- it is to see how well you stand against failure and if you are capable of picking yourself back up after experiencing a setback.

You should be thoroughly prepared for these interview questions- because inquiries regarding your past failures are becoming increasingly common. You do not want to say that you have never made a mistake because the interviewer will obviously know you are either lying or not very self-aware. You will do yourself a lot of good by preparing a response beforehand so that this question does not catch you off-guard- and you can answer it honestly.

How to Answer the ‘What Is the Biggest Mistake You’ve Made’ Interview Question
Focus on What You Learned Through the Experience: No one is perfect- and everyone has made mistakes throughout their professional career. Chances are good that the person interviewing you has made a mistake or two- so no reasonable individual would expect you to have worked a job without failing to some capacity. When answering- “What is the biggest mistake you’ve made”- you need to show you have come out on the other side of this error ultimately a better employee. Did you learn to become better organized? Do you hold yourself to a higher standard than you did previously? After discussing the story behind your mistake- talk about how you are a better worker because of it. At the end of the day- this is what prospective employers want to see in a candidate- one they know has the capability to grow.

Do Not Pass Blame: As tempting as it might be to say that a mistake was the fault of a coworker or boss- you do not want to take this route. Saying that the mistake was ultimately someone else’s fault will only make the hiring manager assume you do not know how to take responsibility for your actions. When responding- you want to say something along the lines of how the mistake was your own doing. Maybe there were other factors at play- but you need to own up to what happened. This may seem counterproductive because the whole point of an interview is to sell yourself and make it apparent that you are the best person for the position. However- the best person for the job is likely someone who knows there are areas he or she can improve upon.

Try Not to Raise Any Red Flags About Yourself: Admitting that you have made mistakes is one thing- but it is another thing entirely to mention something extremely detrimental about your personality that could prevent you from getting the job entirely. For example- talking about a time when you missed an important meeting with a client because you spent all of the previous night partying- slept in and forgot to set your alarm might not be the best story to go with. There is generally no need to go into the reasons for why the mistake happened- you just need to get into the story.

Sample ‘What Is the Biggest Mistake You’ve Made’ Interview Answers
1. Last year- I was leading a team of coworkers to secure a deal with a new client that would have gotten us a lot of business. We did not get it- and as leader of the team- I accepted full responsibility. I took it upon myself to reach out to the potential client to see what we could have done better. It turned out our business just was not as experienced as the company they went with- so I talked with my boss about how we could accentuate other positive aspects of the company to any future clients. A few months later- another client surfaced- and by implementing different strategies- we landed the deal.

2. Early on in my career- I took on more responsibilities than I could handle at the store. It was a foolish mistake on my part- and it ended up costing the company some money.
I am very grateful for my boss for being patient with me and for being my mentor early on. Slowly over the course of a few months- I became more accustomed to my position- and when I felt truly comfortable- that was when I started taking on more responsibilities.

Sometimes you can impress an employer more with your mistakes than your successes. With a little work- you will be ready to thoroughly answer interview questions such as- “what is the biggest mistake you’ve made?”

Shared by Ivan Nkono
Professional CV Writer & Human Resource Consultant
WhatsApp: +256772481995
*Effective Ways to Deal with an Underperforming Employee*

If some of your team aren’t performing at their best, it can bring down morale and affect the overall goals of your business. It’s important, and fair, for both yourself and the underperforming employee, to find a solution to the issue.
Every manager, at some point in their career with have to learn to deal with an underperforming employee. There are a number of good ways, and equally as many unhelpful ways to deal with this issue.

Let’s go through 15 proven methods to effectively deal with an underperforming employee.

Question yourself
Ideally, all employees should understand what is expected of them, and indeed if you feel this isn’t clear, then they may not even realise they are underperforming.

Ask yourself these questions before approaching the person.

Have all employees been told explicitly what you expect from them?
Do they understand what the repercussions are from underperformance?
Are they given regular and clear training, such as face to face, training materials or otherwise?
Are you confident that they understand they are underperforming?
If you feel that they are not even aware of their own performance failures, perhaps education rather than confrontation, is what is actually needed.

Avoid emotional confrontation
An emotional argument helps nobody. Neither you nor the underperforming employee will benefit from loaded accusatory questioning, or threatening behaviour. Ensure that you keep calm as you collect your thoughts and approach the topic.

Related: How to Deal with Workplace Bullying & Conflict

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Be prepared
Ensure that you gather as much evidence and materials prior to speaking with the employee, so you have as many facts as you can at hand. Vague commentary like “you aren’t doing a good job” is not useful; be specific as possible in measuring and coaching performance.

Be specific
Instead of just speaking in broad terms, be as specific about the performance issue as you can; be prepared with notes or documentation showing exactly where the performance problem lies. If the issue is targets related, have your figures ready. If the employee is not complying with company policy, have the policy on hand.

The discussion should leave absolutely no room for misinterpretation. You should be sending a clear message and explaining your expectations in a way that is easily understood.

Deal with underperformance as soon as possible
If you don’t deal with an underperforming employee urgently, then you are sending a message that this performance or behaviour is acceptable, and it sets a bad precedent for both that individual, as well as the rest of your team. You should try to speak to the employee as soon as practical once the performance issue has come to your attention.

Highlight the fact that the aim of the meeting is to find a solution to any problems, rather than to serve as an opportunity to vent. Listen 80 percent and talk 20 percent. This collective approach will help employees feel valued and part of the company’s development — a morale booster in itself.

Confirm that your employee understands. Don’t proceed until you and the employee are both perfectly clear.

Shared by Ivan Nkono
Professional CV Writer & Human Resource Consultant
WhatsApp: +256772481995
How to Prepare for an Interview

March 9, 2020
Preparing for an interview might seem intimidating, but there are several steps you can take to prepare yourself for a successful interview. In this article, we create an interviewing prep checklist with 11 items.

Preparing for an interview

Preparing for an interview primarily means taking time to thoughtfully consider your goals and qualifications relative to the position and employer. To accomplish this, you should perform research on the company and carefully review the job description to understand why you would be a good fit. Let’s look at the steps to preparing for an interview.

1. Carefully examine the job description

During your prep work, you should use the employer’s posted job description as a guide. The job description is a list of the qualifications, qualities and background the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. The more you can align yourself with these details, the more the employer will be able to see that you are qualified. The job description may also give you ideas about questions the employer may ask throughout the interview.

2. Consider why you are interviewing and your qualifications

Before your interview, you should have a good understanding of why you want the job and why you’re qualified. You should be prepared to explain your interest in the opportunity and why you’re the best person for the role.

3. Perform research on the company and role

Researching the company you’re applying to is an important part of preparing for an interview. Not only will it help provide context for your interview conversations, but it will also help you when preparing thoughtful questions for your interviewers.

Researching the company and role as much as possible will give you an edge over the competition. Not only that, but fully preparing for an interview will help you remain calm so that you can be at your best. Here are a few things you should know before you walk into your interview:

Research the product or service
Even if the role isn't directly related to the company's product or service, you're still looking to be part of the team. It's important to learn all you can about the product or service the company produces and promotes. You don't necessarily need to understand each and every detail, especially if it's a technical product, and you're interviewing for a non-technical position, but you should have a basic understanding of the main products or services the company offers.
If possible, request a sample of the product to familiarize yourself with the customer’s perspective. The more you can tell them about the product from both a company and customer standpoint, the better you'll perform in your interview.

Research the role
It's important to read the job description carefully and make sure that you understand all the requirements and responsibilities that go along with it. This will not only prepare you with thoughtful, targeted questions about the position during the interview, but it will ensure that you're truly qualified and prepared to tackle the responsibilities if you get the job.
If possible, research similar positions and read reviews from individuals in those positions, so you can get an idea of what the day-to-day activities will be. During the interview, ask for clarification or details about the role, so you can be sure you're ready should you receive a job offer. Researching the role before an interview will also help you to decide whether or not the position is right for you.

Research the company culture
Modern companies usually have social media accounts and blogs that discuss their company culture and industry. This information can give you an impression of the tone and personality of the company, as well as what they value. No matter how good a job seems, it's important that you fit within the company culture and share a similar personality and values.
If you have questions about the workplace environment, culture, personality or values, be sure to ask during the interview.
These questions can range from the software and tools used by the company, to their policies on vacation and sick time. Remember that the interview is just as much about you finding a good fit for your own work environment as it is about the company finding a good fit for the role. Knowing that your values align with the company ensures a happy professional life. This is also the perfect opportunity to find out more about the company and show the interviewer how you'll fit.

4. Consider your answers to common interview questions

While you won’t be able to predict every question you’ll be asked in an interview, there are a few common questions you can plan answers for. You might also consider developing an elevator pitch that quickly describes who you are, what you do and what you want.

There are some jobs that may involve a test or evaluation during the interview process. For example, if you are interviewing for a computer programming, development or analytics role, you might also be asked to write or evaluate lines of code. It might be helpful to consult with colleagues in the industry for examples of tests they’ve been given to prepare.

You should also prepare to discuss your salary expectations, just in case. If you’re unsure about what salary is appropriate to ask for the position you’re applying to, visit Indeed's Salary Calculator to get a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience.

Here are a few examples of common interview questions:

Why do you want to work here?
The best way to prepare for this question is to learn about the products, services, mission, history and culture of the company. In your answer, mention the aspects of the company that appeal to you and align with your career goals.
Example: “I’d love the opportunity to work with a company that’s making a difference. Finding a company with a positive work environment and values that align with my own has remained a priority throughout my job search, and this company ranks at the top of the list.”

What interests you about this role?
Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the role, and to give you the opportunity to highlight your relevant skills. It can be helpful to compare the role requirements against your skills and experience. Choose a few things you particularly enjoy or excel at, and focus on those in your answer.
Example: “I’ve been passionate about user experience design for most of my professional career. I was excited to see this company uses Adobe products because I’m well-versed in the entire suite. Also, I’m a huge advocate for applying agile workflows to design. I think it’s the most effective way to tackle large projects. I was able to successfully build and launch an agile process in my previous role as UX manager, and we saw considerable improvements in project speed.”

What are your greatest strengths?
This question gives you an opportunity to talk about both your technical and soft skills. When an interviewer asks you to describe your strengths, share qualities and personal attributes and then relate them back to the role for which you’re interviewing.
Example: “I’m a natural problem-solver. I find it rewarding to dig deep and uncover solutions to challenges—it’s like solving a puzzle. It’s something I’ve always excelled at, and something I enjoy. Much of product development is about finding innovative solutions to challenging issues, which is what drew me to this career path in the first place.”

5. Practice your speaking voice and body language

It’s important to make a positive and lasting impression during the interview process. You can do this by practicing a confident, strong speaking voice and friendly, open body language. While these might come naturally to you, you might also want to spend time performing them with trusted friends or family or in front of a mirror. Pay special attention to your smile, handshake and stride.

6. Prepare several thoughtful questions for the interviewer(s)
Many employers feel confident about candidates who ask thoughtful questions about the company and the position. You should take time before the interview to prepare several questions for your interviewer(s) that show you’ve researched the company and are well-versed about the position. Some examples of questions you could ask include:

What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?
Why do you enjoy working here?
What qualities do your most successful employees have?
I’ve really enjoyed learning more about this opportunity. What are the next steps in the hiring process?
Related: Interview Question: “Do You Have Any Questions?”

7. Conduct mock interviews

Just like public speaking, practicing interviews is the best way to relieve anxiety and improve your confidence. Practice may be tedious, but repeatedly experiencing the interview process will make you more comfortable and help you give the right impression.

If you have friends or family to help, conduct mock interviews as much as you can. If you don't have another person, practice your questions and answers out loud. You may find that an answer sounds awkward or doesn't convey what you wish when it's spoken, so this gives you an opportunity to refine your answers and commit them to memory. The more you repeat your interview, the more confident you'll be during the real thing.

8. Print hard copies of your CV

Most employers ask for digital copies of your CV with the application, but they may not have easy access to it during the interview itself. Having copies to present to multiple interviewers shows that you're prepared and organized. You should have at least three copies to provide for multiple interviewers, plus one for yourself to follow along.

During your preparation, read over your CV and rehearse explanations for any gaps that may appear or other oddities. For example, you may have taken time off work to care for a child or family member, switched careers or had other legitimate reasons for employment gaps. These can be a concern for employers, so it's best to prepare your explanation to show them that you're not a risk.

You may also encounter questions about your CV that are awkward. It's important to be honest but diplomatic in addressing them. For example, you may have left a job because of your supervisor or manager, or policies that you didn't agree with, but you don't want to speak negatively about a former employer. Consider these possible questions and prepare your answers in advance, so you don't accidentally say something you'll regret.

Like the rest of the interview, it's best to prepare for these questions by writing notes and rehearsing your answers out loud multiple times prior to the interview.

9. Prepare your travel arrangements

Job interviews tend to be stressful for most people for many reasons, but getting to the interview can be a challenge in itself. If your interview is an unfamiliar area or even an entirely new city, it can be a source of anxiety to find your way around and make sure that you show up on time.

To avoid becoming too anxious for your commute, prepare yourself to ensure everything goes smoothly on the day of the meeting. Here's how:

Leave early: This may seem obvious, but it's better to leave with plenty of time to get to your interview, even if it means arriving way too early. Even if you leave yourself a few extra minutes to get there, small obstacles can be enough to make you late, such as heavy traffic, accidents, no parking or trouble finding the building. If you arrive too early, just use the time to go over your notes and mentally prepare for your interview.
Save the interview contact information: Even with plenty of time for your commute, sometimes situations out of your control can still cause you to be late. If something happens and you know you'll be a little late, call your interview coordinator and make them aware of the situation.
Most people are empathetic to these situations and understand that some things just can't be helped, especially if you're letting them know in advance and have a reasonable explanation. In this situation, the worst thing you could do is show up late without any notice and try to explain yourself.
Search the location in advance: Most interviews are scheduled days or weeks in advance, so you have time to research the location. If your interview is close enough, you can take a day to go to the location and check out the parking, take note of the traffic and find the suite or office where your interview will be. If you're anxious about parking or any other aspect of the location, contact your interviewer to ask them for more information.
10. Sell yourself

One of the biggest challenges in an interview is selling yourself. Most people are uncomfortable with this idea, but presenting yourself accurately and positively doesn't have to feel like a sale. The truth is that you do have professional skills and experiences that may set you apart from other applicants, so it's acceptable and expected for you to acknowledge them to your potential employer.

When you prepare for a job interview, make note of your skills that relate to the role and think of how your experiences and abilities can contribute to the overall goals of the department and company. Your answers will be somewhat short, so you want to choose the most positive and relevant information to share during the interview.

If you have metrics or stats to show your accomplishments or growth during your previous roles, they're a great help in selling yourself during the interview. For example, you may have increased sales by a certain percentage or increased social media engagement in your last position.

Whatever accomplishments you have, don't be modest about sharing them during your interview. Your potential employer wants to know that you'll be the right fit and that you can deliver something to the company, so they need to know all the reasons that you can provide that for them.

11. Get ready to follow up after the interview

After your interview, you should prepare to follow up with the employer. Doing so reminds the employer of your conversation, shows them you are genuinely interested in the position and gives you the opportunity to bring up points you forgot to mention.

Here are a few steps you can follow when crafting a follow-up note:

In the first paragraph, mention the specific job title and thank your interviewer.
In the second paragraph, note the company’s name as well as a conversation point and/or goal that seemed especially important to the person you spoke with. Connect that point to your experience and interests.
In the final paragraph, invite them to ask you any additional questions and close by saying you’re looking forward to hearing back.

Shared by Ivan Nkono, Human Resource Centre - Uganda

Whatsap: +256772481995
Everything You Need to Know About Job Interview Etiquette

January 27, 2020

Whether you’re a seasoned professional, new to the job market or returning to work, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the basics of interview etiquette. Here are six essentials to help you shine on the big day:

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Taking time to prepare is the most conscientious thing you can do before an interview. A job opening at a company typically indicates a real need for more people, meaning that the individuals you’re interviewing with are taking time from their schedules to speak with you. The best way to be respectful of this time is to arrive fully prepared to answer their questions and ask your own insightful questions.

Here are more resources on how to do just that:

Phone Interview Tips to Get You to the Next Round
Behavioral Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)
Questions to Ask Your Interviewers
How to Ace Your Final Interview
2. Treat everyone you meet with respect

This extends to all areas of life, and it remains true in the context of a job interview. From the moment you leave your home on the day of the interview, make a conscious effort to be respectful. Be mindful of how you behave on the commute or in an elevator — no one wins points for cutting off the CEO in the parking lot or failing to hold the door for the hiring manager.

Think ahead of time about how you’ll treat everyone in the office with respect and present yourself well. Security personnel, receptionists and anyone else you encounter on your way to the interview room may be asked to give feedback on you.

3. Practice polite, confident body language

As you walk into the building, hold your head up and pull your shoulders back. Your posture and stride will help you convey professionalism and confidence. You may want to practice this walk before the interview so it feels natural.

While you’re waiting for your interviewers, sit with your back straight and shoulders open. Hands can rest on your lap or armrests. Feet flat on the floor or crossed at the ankles. Avoid being on your phone so you can keep your body language open and focus on being present.

Bring your things in a bag or portfolio that’s easy to hold and can neatly contain everything you need — you don’t want to appear encumbered or disorganized.

Respect communal space. Don’t lounge in the waiting or interview rooms in a way that inconveniences others (resting your feet on another chair, spreading your legs, placing your belongings in a chair someone else could sit in, etc.).

During the interview, find the right balance for your energy. You want to be upbeat without being aggressive. One way to strike this balance is to avoid leaning too far back or coming forward too much. Sit up straight, using your hands to gesture rather than moving your body.

4. Ace the introductions

If you are sitting when someone approaches you, stand up before you shake their hand. Look them in the eyes and smile. Offer a greeting like, “It’s nice to meet you…” and say their name. You’ll be more likely to remember their name if you say it out loud when you first meet.

For the handshake, you want to be firm but not grip their hand too strongly. Make sure your hand isn’t limp. Pro tip: if you happen to be on the receiving end of a limp handshake, give their hand a gentle squeeze. This can prompt them to make their hand more firm.

Make eye contact when you’re being asked and answering questions. This eye contact doesn’t need to be continuous or too intense. Use it strategically to indicate that you’re listening or to emphasize an important point. You want to convey to the interviewer that you are focused on them and very much in the moment.

5. Remember your table manners

Some interviews may be conducted over a meal. All the basics of how to be polite at the table apply here:

If your meal arrives first, wait to eat until others have received their food as well
Place your napkin in your lap
Don’t talk with food in your mouth
Take small, manageable bites
It’s best to not drink alcoholic beverages during an interview. If your interviewer orders alcohol, use your best judgment and stay within your comfort zone. You can always opt for a seltzer or soft drink.
6. Send a thank you note

You should follow up with an email thank you to the hiring manager within 24 hours. This can be a quick note simply thanking them for their time or a longer note that elaborates on some of the things you talked about. Read our tips on how to write a thank you note .

If you have multiple interviews on the same day with various people, it’s best to send a personalized thank you note to each individual who interviewed you.

In addition to the email, it’s appropriate to send a handwritten note. Especially if you felt a connection with the hiring manager, this is a good way to leave an impression. Even if you don’t get the job this time, closing the loop with a thank you note can be a way to continue a professional relationship with this person.

Shared by Ivan Nkono, Human Resource Service Centre – Uganda

Whatsap: +256772481995i
Why do you want to leave your current job

• I am interested in learning more about (something this job includes), and this job provides an opportunity to leverage my current areas of expertise and increase my skills in...

• Your focus here is on (something that you like), and I really enjoy doing (whatever that is). So, I expect to increase my enjoyment of my work when I am able to focus more on (that aspect of the job).
• I enjoy working as part of a team and am looking for an opportunity to work on an interesting project. This job is part of a team working on a fascinating project, and I would love to join in this work.
You can demonstrate your interest in this new employer by saying:
• I’ve enjoyed working with a great group of people at my current employer, but this opportunity in this company fits very well with the direction I want to take my career. 
• I’ve learned a great deal in my current job, but I’m interested in working at [name of employer] based on the great things I have learned about this organization.
• This job has been a great experience, but growth is limited because the company is relatively small. So, to continue to grow, I need to look elsewhere, and working in this this opportunity looks very interesting to me because…
Be honest, positive, and frame your response in a way that includes the job you are interviewing for.
Bottom Line
If asked this question on an interview, remember to keep it positive, promote yourself and your accomplishments, and follow the old adage of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
*What is a Motivational Letter and Why it Matters?*

A motivational letter is a one to two-page letter that’s used to describe why you are the perfect candidate for a certain position. It is usually attached to your CV.

You are required to write a motivational letter in these 4 specific scenarios...

You are applying to get admitted to an educational program at a college or university (undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate).
You are applying to work at a non-profit organization.
You are applying as a volunteer in an organization.
You’re applying for an internship in a company.
The motivational letter shouldn’t be confused with a cover letter, the purpose of which is to highlight how specific information on your CV matches a job opening. Think of a cover letter as the introduction to your resume for a hiring manager and your motivational letter as the powerful closing sales pitch for a university or non-profit.

So why exactly does the motivational letter matter? You’re a doer more than a talker: you’ve listed everything there is to know about you on your resume. That should be enough, right? Wrong!

All organizations are looking for people who genuinely want to be there and are excited about what they do. The intent should be your driving motivation!

Writing a good motivational letter can be an absolute game-changer. It can provide a boost for your resume, but also make up for lacking required skills.

How to Structure a Motivational Letter

A good motivational letter is a 1 to 2 pager where you introduce yourself, your story, and show your interest in the position or organization you are applying to.

There are two main ways to structure your motivational letter:

Using the classic 3 main paragraphs structure, where your motivational letter has the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
Using the 5-7 paragraph structure, where you divide your main body paragraph into smaller 1-3 sentence paragraphs according to the main points.
Now, which one do YOU go for? The rule of thumb is if you want to be more factual and to the point, go for the 7-paragraph structure. This way, you can use each body paragraph to discuss specific achievements or points.

If, on the other hand, you’re going for a more story-telling approach, you’d go for the 3 paragraph option, so as not to break the flow of the story.

Shared by Human Resource Service Centre
Join the HRSC telegram group and Listen to audios on how to respond to interview questions
A lot of resources in there