Thursday, July 12, 2007

job application

Job Applications: Online, Direct, Email, Samples, Forms

Job application guide including how to complete a job application, paper job applications, online, and employer direct applications. Also job application samples, examples, and forms.

Job Application Forms

In some cases, even if you submit a resume, you will also be asked to complete a job application. This way the employer will have consistent data on file for all prospective applicants. Also, your signature on the job application acknowledges that the information is accurate.

Job Applications

Thursday, May 31, 2007

inTErview AtTiRe

Interview attire guidelines for men and women

Suit: A two piece matched suit is always the best and safest choice.

But what if the job is in a non-suit-wearing work environment:
Even if you would or could wear jeans on the job, or the work environment is outdoors and very non-suit, wearing a suit to the interview shows you take the interview seriously as a professional meeting.
Dressing well is a compliment to the person(s) with whom you meet. If you think the industry in which you're interviewing would frown on a suit, or the interview will involve going to a work site where a suit would be inappropriate, look for advice through professional organizations, your professors who have been employed in that industry, and/or by asking the employer directly and politely.

Conservative colors / fabric: Navy, dark gray (and black for women) — are safe.Other color trends may come and go; avoid the extremes. Solids or very subtle weave patterns or plaids (the kind that look solid across a room) are safest. Wool, wool blends, or good quality micro fiber for women only, are generally the best fabrics in all seasons. Avoid acetate / rayon blends.

Cost / quality: You are not expected to be able to afford the same clothing as a corporate CEO. Do invest in quality that will look appropriate during your first two or three years on the job. One good quality suit is sufficient for a job search if that is all your budget allows. You can vary your shirt/blouse tie/accessories.

Details: Everything should be clean and well pressed. Carefully inspect clothes for tags, dangling threads, etc.

Additional interview attire specifics for men

Suit: A two-piece matched suit is always the best and safest choice. Don't combine a suit jacket with pants that don't match.

Conservative colors / fabric: Navy and dark gray are safe and are the most conservative for men.

Black for men was once considered severe or overly formal, and may still be considered so in very conservative industries, although it is commonly worn by many. Other color trends may come and go; avoid the extremes. Choose a solid or very subtle weave pattern or plaid (the kind that look solid across a room). Wool, wool blends, or very high quality blends with natural fiber, are the only acceptable fabrics for a conservative men's suit.

Cost / quality: You are not expected to be able to afford the same clothing as a corporate CEO. Do invest in quality that will look appropriate during your first two or three years on the job. One good quality suit is sufficient for a job search if that is all your budget allows. You can vary your shirt and tie.

Ties: Tie styles come and go. Select good quality silk ties. Avoid fashion extremes, like character ties, in interviews. Notice what men in your industry wear on the job, at career fairs, at information sessions, when they meet with clients.

Shirts: Long-sleeved shirts, even in summer. Choose white or light blue solid, or conservative stripes.

Socks: Dark socks, mid-calf length so no skin is visible when you sit down.

Shoes: Leather, lace-up or slip-on business shoes, preferably black or cordovan. Invest in a good pair; even if you don't wear them daily on the job, you'll need them for other occasions and you should expect to get lots of years out of good shoes.

Belt: Black or cordovan leather, to match your shoes.

Facial hair: If worn, should be well-groomed. Observe men in your industry if you are unsure what's appropriate or are considering changing your look.

Jewelry: Wear a conservative watch. If you choose to wear other jewelry, be conservative. Removing earrings is safest. For conservative industries, don't wear earrings. Observe other men in your industry to see what is acceptable.

Details: Everything should be clean and well pressed. Suits typically have tacking stitches to hold vents — on the jacket back and on sleeves — in place before the garment is purchased. Cut them off if your retailer / tailor doesn't. And that tag stitched on the outside of your sleeve is not meant to stay there like a Tommy Hilfiger label — cut it off! Carefully inspect clothes dangling threads, etc.

Additional interview attire specifics for women

If you would wear it to a club, you probably shouldn't wear it in a business environment.

Suit: Wear a two-piece matched suit.

Suit - pants / skirts: Tailored pants suits are appropriate for women. Pants suits can be an excellent choice for site visits, particularly if the visit involves getting in and out of vehicles and/or the site is (or includes) a manufacturing plant or industrial facility. If you wear pants, they should be creased and tailored, not tight or flowing. If you are pursuing a conservative industry and are in doubt, observe well dressed women in your industry on the job, at career fairs, at information sessions, etc.

Skirt lengths: Much of what you see on television shows that masquerades for professional attire is actually inappropriate for a work environment. Your skirt should cover your thighs when you are seated. Showing a lot of thigh makes you look naive at best, foolish at worst. A skirt that ends at the knee when you're standing looks chic and professional. Longer skirts are professional too; just make sure they are narrow enough not to be billowing, but not so narrow that you can't climb stairs comfortably. Don't purchase a skirt or decide on a hem length until you sit in the skirt facing a mirror. That's what your interviewer will see. Ask yourself whether it will be distracting or reinforce your image as a person who looks appropriate for a business environment or gathering. High slits in skirts are not appropriate. A small back, center slit in a knee-length skirt is appropriate. On a calf length skirt, a slit to the knee to facilitate walking and stair climbing is appropriate.

Color / fabric: Navy, dark gray, brown and black are safe. Other color trends may come and go; avoid the extremes. Women generally have more options with suit color than men. For example, while a women could look conservative in a slate blue or light gray suit, these colors would be inappropriate for men. Choose a solid or very subtle weave pattern or plaid (the kind that look solid across a room). Wool, wool blends, and high quality blends and synthetics are apprpriate for women's suiting.

Shirt / sweaters: Underneath the suit jacket, wear a tailored blouse in a color or small print that coordinates nicely with your suit. A fine gauge, good quality knit shell is also appropriate underneath your suit jacket. Don't show cleavage.

Jewelry / accessories: Wear a conservative watch. Jewelry and scarf styles come and go. Keep your choices simple and leaning toward conservative. Avoid extremes of style and color. If your industry is creative, you may have more flexibility than someone pursuing a conservative industry.

Cosmetics: Keep makeup conservative. A little is usually better than none for a polished look. Nails should be clean and well groomed. Avoid extremes of nail length and polish color, especially in conservative industries.

Shoes: Should be leather or fabric / micro fiber. Shoe styles and heel heights come and go. Choose closed-toe pumps. Regardless of what is in style, avoid extremes; no stilettos or chunky platforms. Make certain you can walk comfortably in your shoes; hobbling in uncomfortable shoes does not convey a professional appearance.

Hosiery: Should be plainly styled (no patterns), sheer (not opaque), and in neutral colors complementing your suit. Avoid high contrast between your suit and hosiery color.

Purse / bag: If you carry a purse, keep it small and simple, especially if you also carry a briefcase. Purse color should coordinate with your shoes. You may choose to carry a small briefcase or business-like tote bag in place of a purse. Leather is the best choice for briefcases; micro fiber or fine wovens are also acceptable.

Grooming tips for everyone

- Hands: Clean fingernails.

- Fit: Clothes should be clean, neatly pressed, and fit properly.

- Smell: Perfume or cologne should be used sparingly or not at all. No odors in clothes. Don't smell like smoke.

- Pad folios:Preferred over a bulky briefcase. A small briefcase is also appropriate. But if you h
ave no reason to carry a briefcase, don't; you risk looking silly.

- Book bags: Leave it at home for an on-site interview. For an on-campus interview, you can leave it in the waiting area.

Interview DOs and DON'Ts

Interview DOs

Dress appropriately for the industry; err on the side of being conservative to show you take the interview seriously. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be impeccable.

Know the exact time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there, park, find a rest room to freshen up, etc.

Arrive early; 10 minutes prior to the interview start time.

Treat other people you encounter with courtesy and respect. Their opinions of you might be solicited during hiring decisions.

Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer.

Listen to be sure you understand your interviewer's name and the correct pronunciation.

Even when your interviewer gives you a first and last name, address your interviewer by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name, until invited to do otherwise.

Maintain good eye contact during the interview.

Sit still in your seat; avoid fidgeting and slouching.

Respond to questions and back up your statements about yourself with specific examples whenever possible.

Ask for clarification if you don't understand a question.

Be thorough in your responses, while being concise in your wording.

Be honest and be yourself. Dishonesty gets discovered and is grounds for withdrawing job offers and for firing. You want a good match between yourself and your employer. If you get hired by acting like someone other than yourself, you and your employer will both be unhappy.

Treat the interview seriously and as though you are truly interested in the employer and the opportunity presented.

Exhibit a positive attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with.

Have intelligent questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Having done your research about the employer in advance, ask questions which you did not find answered in your research.

Evaluate the interviewer and the organization s/he represents. An interview is a two-way street. Conduct yourself cordially and respectfully, while thinking critically about the way you are treated and the values and priorities of the organization.

Do expect to be treated appropriately. If you believe you were treated inappropriately or asked questions that were inappropriate or made you uncomfortable, discuss this with a Career

Services advisor or the director.

Make sure you understand the employer's next step in the hiring process; know when and from whom you should expect to hear next. Know what action you are expected to take next, if any.

When the interviewer concludes the interview, offer a firm handshake and make eye contact.

Depart gracefully.

After the interview, make notes right away so you don't forget critical details.

Write a thank-you letter to your interviewer promptly.

Interview DON'Ts

Don't make excuses. Take responsibility for your decisions and your actions.

Don't make negative comments about previous employers or professors (or others).

Don't falsify application materials or answers to interview questions.

Don't treat the interview casually, as if you are just shopping around or doing the interview for practice. This is an insult to the interviewer and to the organization.

Don't give the impression that you are only interested in an organization because of its geographic location.

Don't give the impression you are only interested in salary; don't ask about salary and benefits issues until the subject is brought up by your interviewer.

Don't act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.

Don't make the interviewer guess what type of work you are interested in; it is not the interviewer's job to act as a career advisor to you.

Don't be unprepared for typical interview questions. You may not be asked all of them in every interview, but being unprepared looks foolish.

A job search can be hard work and involve frustrations; don't exhibit frustrations or a negative attitude in an interview.

Don't go to extremes with your posture; don't slouch, and don't sit rigidly on the edge of your chair.

Don't assume that a female interviewer is "Mrs." or "Miss." Address her as "Ms." unless told otherwise. Her marital status is irrelevant to the purpose of the interview.

Don't chew gum or smell like smoke.

Don't allow your cell phone to sound during the interview. (If it does, apologize quickly and ignore it.) Don't take a cell phone call.

Don't take your parents, your pet (an assistance animal is not a pet in this circumstance), spouse, fiance, friends or enemies to an interview. If you are not grown up and independent enough to attend an interview alone, you're insufficiently grown up and independent for a job. (They can certainly visit your new city, at their own expense, but cannot attend your interview.)

inTerview ThE InTerviEWeR

The importance of asking a question (or several questions) during a job interview. This lets the interviewer know that you are capable of more than just answering questions and that you have a genuine interest in the company.Don't allow the interview to become a one-way conversation.
Sure, you want the interviewer to learn whether you're the person for the job or not, but you also need to learn more about the company yourself, in order to come to the same decision. Too many job candidates find themselves interviewing for a programming position, receiving an offer and then finding themselves in a position they don't like.
How can you avoid this?Be prepared to get the answers that will shape your future work life at this company. Don't wait until your first day or first week on your new job--find out during the interview.I'm not talking about fundamental questions such as salary, work hours, vacation time and other benefits -- these are likely to be part of a standard package provided to you prior to the interview.I'm talking about questions such as:-What type of work will I be doing?-Will I be programming?-If so, will it be new development, or maintenance of existing code?-If code maintenance, is the original author still with the company?-What language or languages will I be writing?-Will I be working as part of a team?-If so, what are the skill levels of my team members?-How many years with the company do my team members have?-Who will be my supervisor?-How many years with the company does he or she have?While these are questions to which you can easily obtain answers on your first day on the job, by then it may be too late.
Particularly if you've left a previous position to obtain that long awaited developer's job, only to find out you'll be manning a Help Desk for the next 6 months, until the company signs a big contract.Of course, you may not be in a position to be picky - if you are a candidate just trying to get your foot in the door, any job offer may be a good

interviewer questions bank


The first interview happened at my university. What goes on in a 2nd interview?
How do I handle questions about my grades or requests for my transcripts?
I am currently going through the interview process for a summer internship. I wanted to know how honest should I be during an interview.
It's my first job. What can I do/say to convince the interviewers I will be able to handle the job despite my lack of experience?
You have a degree. Don't you think this position is a bit below your capabilities?


What makes you think your management experience in the military will transfer over as experience in the civilian workforce?
I am married to an Air Force officer and as such I move once every 3-5 years. I dread the questions, "Why did you leave your last job" and "Where do you see yourself five years from now". Are there any tactful or positive ways that I can tell a prospective employer that I won't be with them for the next election?


How can I ask the interviewer to negotiate (my salary), after the fact that I have already given him my price? The interviewer acted as if the figure I gave was more than what he had in mind.
What do you expect your starting salary to be?
I will need to take a step back in salary. I don't know how to handle the question " What is your current salary"?


What are is the Situation Task Action Results (S.T.A.R.) method?
What is the proper way to ask for relocation packages and interview fees?
How do you explain why you are now returning to work after many years of child rearing?
How would a person deal with questions as to why they might have been off work due to a previous injury?
I have a job interview and my baby is due in three weeks. The company does not know that I am expecting.
I have just been released from jail. Any suggestions about interviewing with a felony record?
I have been employed as a temp with different companies. How do I answer the question, "Why have I had so many employers in the last two years?""
I am a female seeking a job in a male-oriented profession. How do I show the interviewer that I am not afraid to get my "pretty, clean hands dirty"?
What is a women's dress code for interviewing?
What steps can I take to increase my effectiveness in a telephone interview?


If hired, how soon will you be able to start work?
How do you explain being terminated from your last position particularly when that position gave you the skills that you'll need to succeed in your career field?
What do I say if I don't want a prospective employer to contact my current employer?
What if a person has years of experience, but no college degree to back it up?
What is the best way to "close" an interview?
With all your experience why would you want to take an entry position job?


After an interview, when do I write a thank you letter?
Do I send a follow-up thank you letter after a second interview?
How long after the interview before I call to see if I have been hired? What do I say or ask?
How much follow-up is enough? I have sent follow up letters and have made numerous follow up calls to a start-up firm.
When do you notify a prospective employer of nonrefundable vacation plans?


Here's a listing of the questions, click on the question to review Matt and Nan's expert analysis.
Describe a challenging work issue you had to face, and how you dealt with it?
How do you handle conflict?
If you were on a merry-go-round, what song would be playing? If you were going to be an animal on the merry-go-round, what would you be?"
In what way do you think you can contribute to our company?
Tell me a story.
Tell me about a time when you tried and failed.
Tell us about your analytical skills.
What are some of the things you find difficult to do?
What are your short and long term goals?
What can you add to what we have already asked you that should make us want to hire you?
What does "customer service" mean to you?
What do you wish to gain from our company?
What do you know about our company?
What do you think the employee's responsibilities are to the company?
What is your biggest weakness?
What motivates you?
What things make a good team member?
Why do you feel we should hire you for this position?
Why do you want to change jobs?
Why do you want to leave this job after only four months?


How do you deal with an unhappy or frustrated employee?
What are the attributes of a good manager?
You have an exemplary employee who suddenly starts coming in late. How will you handle this situation