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Things to Do Before your Virtual interview

Experienced businessman standing in office room and looking at camera. Indian content office employee in eyeglasses smiling and posing with folded hands. Business, management and corporation concept

There is a lot of work that goes into preparing for an interview. When you are interviewing virtually, there will be a few more steps added to this preparation specifically around Virtual interview tips.

Research the company 

The first step in preparing for any interview is to research the company. Ideally, you should do this this before applying to the job. However, if you didn’t, set aside time to review the company’s website to learn more about its products/services, values, and culture before the call.

Prepare to answer and ask questions

The most important part of interviewing is being able to answer questions clearly. You want to be able to communicate your experience and how it applies to the role that you’re interviewing for.

Employers typically ask behavioral interview questions to get insight into your prior experiences. Your past experiences and how you were able to deal with challenges help predict your future behavior. This is how an employer determines if you’re cut out for the job.

– Ask questions

An interview is not just for the employer to learn more about you, but it is also an opportunity for you to interview them. You want to know if they are a good fit for your career and interests.

Asking questions not only makes your look prepared, but it will give you more information to make an informed decision.

Before your interview, make a list of questions to ask the interviewer(s). These questions can pertain to the job that you are interviewing for, the company as a whole, and even their personal experience as an employee.

The one question to always ask in an interview is, “What are the next steps?”

Plan and prepare your attire

Planning your attire is the next critical step in preparing for your Virtual interview.

Although you won’t be in person, traditional interview attire still applies. You want to look professional and polished.

When deciding what to wear, keep in mind that certain colors and patterns do not show well on camera. You will want to avoid busy patterns, stripes, and loud jewelry.

Be sure to try and test your attire out on camera beforehand to ensure that everything comes off well on video and also fits properly and don’t forget about your hair, prepare all in advance.

Test your tech in advance

There’s nothing worse than having technical difficulties during an important call. That’s why it is important to get familiar with Zoom, google meet, Microsoft teams whatever you are using before your interview.

To begin, download the app to your phone or desktop ahead of time. If you’ve never used any of these techs before, familiarize yourself with it.

When setting up your account, upload a professional-looking headshot and add your full name to your profile. Both will appear when you join the call for your interview and you want to lead with a good impression

Final thoughts on how to ace an interview

With virtual interviews becoming more of the norm, it’s important to know exactly what to do to prepare. Hopefully, these interview tips help you prepare and feel confident in knowing how to ace your interview.

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Time to wear the HR tag as HeRo

My HR Friends,

What we are seeing today might be the toughest time we have seen in this age, and everyone in their respective role is trying to help humanity survives.

its also a very tough time for businesses and I feel that the responsibility to keep the momentum going lies on HR professionals like us, we are playing the role to help the entrepreneurs and employees to sail out of this problem together, wherein both understand the gravity of matter and support each other, rather some try to take benefit out of this situation 

There is a common question in HR circles these days about salary cuts and layoffs. I think as much as this is a business decision, I still would persist you to push the business consider the previous accounting books before taking this decision, and in case this really has to happen and becomes an unavoidable choice. Following points can be considered :

1. This Communication should only be done by the top leadership of the company, preferably the CEO.

2. Management to Lead by example and mid management’s inputs should be considered before communication

3. Should be done through a webinar/online conference mode. email or verbal communication should be strictly avoided

4. Most important, while communicating about this the leader should connect with employees, through stories, sharing his wisdom and ask them to contribute towards it, not just declare. 

As much as we all know this is a very sensitive topic and our bosses, CEOs, Leaders would definitely look upto us to help them find answers to address this problem and it’s our time to play the role to make our bosses, people, companies and humanity win. 

Time to wear the tag of HR as HeRo 😊

Thanks

Piyush Khaitan

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Employee Attrition is inevitable, but what is the harm in driving retention through a handful of simple best practices.

For many HR executives the single biggest challenge of their job is to retain their good employees and managers in long run, difficult business conditions and work place challenges make their job more difficult, realizing this fact some industries consider maintaining a rate of 30-40% attrition as acceptable norm but with a price of high cost of employee turnover and recruitment, while this may be a reality with some industries, it’s also a fact that maintaining a low turnover can yield better economic value for the employers.

How do we achieve this? Well, it doesn’t take a lot, all it takes is to put right human resources management practices and tactics in place to increase employee retention:

Define your vision clearly 

One key factor in employee engagement and happiness, is to provide them with a sense of responsibility, meaning and importance of their work. Offer a strong vision and goal for their work and increase their sense of belonging and loyalty to your organization. 

Make sure that your vision is provided as a roadmap for your employees and they are made aware of steps needed to be taken to achieve it.

Involve them in decision making

In many cases we have witnessed people are just coming to work however are not engaged completely, this creates loss to growth of business, employees are more dedicated when they are allowed to introduce the ideas and concepts they feel are important to project.

Get your employees engaged in planning and decision-making about the work they are doing. That way the project becomes their baby, something they are more attached to, regularly take their input and use their ideas though this they have a vested interest in seeing the project succeed. This can not only empower and inspire employees, it can also lead to more productive ways of working that normally would be ignored during more stable times.

Create a positive work atmosphere

It’s a proven fact that working relation with the immediate supervisor plays a significant role for employee to make a decision to leave the company. The ground reality is many managers are ignorant how their conduct and decisions affect attrition figures. An effective retention strategy includes training managers on people matters and enhance their people management capability. Appropriately trained managers can use their wisdom to take right decisions in hiring plans and retention strategy which directly reflects in increasing employee engagement levels in the organization.

Skills development

Many talented and ambitious employees are constantly searching for right opportunities to expand their knowledge base so that they stay up to date in their work area. If an employer does not offer enough learning and development opportunities, they risk letting talented employees go and end up with poor performers. Demotivation due to insufficient training or opportunities to acquire the required knowledge and desire to keep up with peer group inside and outside the company forces unsatisfied employees to look elsewhere for professional and own satisfaction. Contrariwise, happier and more contented workers supported through training initiatives are more likely to be loyal to their employer.

Pay right and Listen to the needs

Setting the right compensation and benefit standards are important too. Work with HR team to get current data on industry pay packages and get creative with benefit schemes, flexible work hours and bonus structures.  Make it a process to review compensation and benefits packages at least annually.

Paying attention to employees’ personal needs and offer more flexibility is another important aspect which should not be ignored. Most of the times these needs are clashing with the business obligations which ultimately when ignored bring losses to business only (most of the times)

Evaluate, Measure and give TIMELY Feedback

Studies show a very dismal picture of how employees feel about performance reviews. When not implemented correctly performance reviews most of the times are considered as biased and unjustified whereas Performance reviews should offer a prime opportunity for a big win to increase trust and fortify company’s relationship with employees.

To achieve this, companies should take the right measures for ensuring that a comprehensive Performance development program is available for all associates and managers to create learning, development and coaching opportunities.

A continuous evaluation program and regular dialogue approach should be introduced to help determine what satisfies and de-satisfies the employees, while creating such process defined measures on work ethics, confidence levels, revenue and the engagement levels should be included for the workforce.

All employees need feedback and guidance from their manager or supervisor on an ongoing basis. Managers need to engage in an ongoing and timely dialogue about performance with their employees. This feedback session helps improve employee performance and also builds a strong working relationship between them and their supervisor that contributes to employee engagement and retention.

Employees who feel valued tend to stick around, thus all these concepts should be mapped to organization rewards and recognition system and as we know such talent management practices not only contribute to employee retention, they also create a high performance culture in the organization, which directly means regular profitable business results.

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How to overcome an interview in English or a foreign language

You have just received a call from the HR department of your dream company and this is the opportunity you were waiting for long to click, you know that technically you have all the skills required for this job but you still don’t know how to convince the person sitting across the table that you are the best fit, the only thing makes you worried is your English communication, in your past experiences you have faced this challenge many a times when despite meeting the required criteria you could not clear the interview courtesy the poor communication in English language.

Somehow this vary thought is making you nervous that you might lose the chance again, but do you know this is one of the most common syndrome observed in the candidates appearing for the interview, but this is also a fact that those who overcome this fear have higher probability of getting successful.

There are ways to demonstrate that you are capable enough for the role and to get yourself shortlisted in the interview and I am sharing major Key points below to be considered before appearing for the interview

Relax and take things easy

Many job aspirants are found nervous during the interview, which daunts their chances to get selected, most of the times I have observed that such nervousness is not caused due to the fear of interview, but is due to the fear of rejection or losing the opportunity, whereas its easy to handle it by just changing your attitude towards interview, keeping a high self confidence in your abilities and not focusing on result of interview can turn things in your favor, always remember to keep your focus on the particular objective and here objective is to give right answers to the interviewer, hence take it easy, the best thing you can do is to answer the query asked in the best possible manner you feel, but the result of the same is in the hands of the interviewer and remember, no company prefers to hire a fearful person so overcome your fear of communicating in foreign language if you want that job

Prepare in advance

The best way to feel confident is to put enough preparation in your English communication skills, there are few practices which can be really helpful for enhancing your confidence.

Practice every day, it will make you a better orator, rather than waiting for someone to practice speak by yourself, try to pronounce the words used in general English language to make yourself comfortable in speaking it in right manner

Keep reviewing things you have learnt in the past and add new words to your vocabulary, learn the synonyms of the mostly used words and learn how to use them in right place will make you sure of what you are speaking

Start working on the ways to describe your job history, education details, achievements before going for interview, when you know which topics you will be talking about in your interview learn specific vocabulary for the topic, practice it several times, it will make you more confident

Listen, make a note and speak        

Pay enough attention to the questions interviewer is asking and carefully answer them in a constructed manner, it would be better if you start noting down the key words interviewer asks and structure your responses accordingly

During conversation your first job is to listen to the other person, don’t jump to the answer directly, there are times when some questions can be answered through a simple smile or few words too, but try to avoid complicated responses, sometimes when you know the answer you can get carried away, such things can happen when you are excited or rushing things up, but whatever it is try to slow down and don’t speak too fast to stop making sense to another person

Plan and work on the facts

Before you prepare for any interview, put yourself in the place of recruiter, study about the company and the job description, make a list of the questions which you could have ask if you were interviewing, check if you are aware about the areas mentioned in the Job description and prepare the solution’s you can provide, try to put in some facts that can describe that you are prepared, work on the dates, numbers and phrases which can be tricky to speak in English.

Also remember to dress smartly, arrive on time and don’t forget to keep yourself calm and relaxed, just ensure you give a right impression and showcase your skills by giving awesome answers to win that Job, All the Best!

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The importance of self awareness in building your leadership effectiveness.

The law of the jungle says “only the cleverest and strongest people in our society stay alive or succeed”, similarly in the highly competitive culture many of us tend to operate with this belief that we must exhibit ourselves possessing all the knowledge else others can question our abilities, which can fade our effectiveness as leaders

At the same time, we have observed numerous executive careers ruined by making this belief a ritual and taking crazy risks while not reading the signs or not paying the heed to the messages others were sending to them.

The reality is leaders, like all human beings, don’t have all the answers and are often wrong or fundamentally imperfect, the only difference is that the most successful are aware of this and knowing this makes them successful.

Self-Awareness is one of the most important ingredient for leadership , it helps you take right measures and do a great work, because you know how well you are currently doing, makes you aware of your blind spots and help you work on the previous mistakes to address them, it allows you to identify the gaps in your management skills and expose the areas that need additional work, these understandings help you in taking right decisions and help you in getting more effective in motivating the people to work towards positive outcome.

Learning to be self aware isn’t always easy but once you understand and master it you get far fetching results on leadership skills and create much better business culture for the people working with you.

Whatever role you are playing, be a manager, professional, teacher, or a student, in order to be a leader you have be self-aware enough to lead yourself first.

But the real challenge lies in the difficulty to see yourself from the others eyes, hence start taking Feedbacks, there are several ways to take feedbacks, take some time out for yourself and reflect on the day’s event, this will help you in understanding the pattern and behavior people have towards you, introspect the actions you have taken and how you dealt with a tough situation, work on your listening skills , check when was the last time you have spent time hearing your team mate out, when was the last time a water cooler session happened with your subordinate.

When leaders pretend that they know it all and don’t admit their mistakes, that create negative environment for themselves and their organizations, Contrariwise when one is self-aware enough to accept their shortcomings it opens the gates for new avenues and opportunities

Make a note, organizations benefit far more from leaders who acknowledge what they are not aware of than from leaders who pretend to know it all.

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Importance of improving the quality of dialogue in leadership team

“The emphasis on developing the performance is best summed up as spotting blind spots and making them visible in non-judgmental environment to simulate reflective exploration of opportunities for active learning in every individual”

The above statement reflects the vision of today’s leadership and a Quality dialogue approach helps trigger high performance through series of discussions between individuals with different mindsets or viewpoints with a goal to improve decision making process of the organization.

The directive style leadership is becoming less viable these days, technology and globalization have sharply reduced the worth of commanding, top to down model of leadership, developing team alignment in our rapid, network-based organizations, takes special efforts by leaders. The key is to create time for deep dialogues when needed while respecting cultural and professional differences.

Some of us regularly communicate with our employees, however not all communication can be considered as quality dialogue. In organizations, communication is often a one-way process in which messages are conveyed by leaders to employees with the purpose to inform them or influence them to do certain things and undertake certain actions. Although employees usually may speak and make suggestions during the communication process, these are often not heard and acted upon by leaders. Contrariwise, quality dialogue is a two-way process. Managers and employees exchange views and give content and class to the subject by discussing its significance, and improving it.

Managers can use dialogue for creating commitment, spreading conviction and driving clarity deep into the organization. They should do this by first listening before starting to send the message, so that the employees can help shape the message by providing their ideas. One should exhibit humility in the sense that they acknowledge they don’t have all the answers and that they need to consult the collective intelligence of the organization. And then, when a message takes shape, it can be presented with great passion and conviction while still being open to more suggestions.

 ‘Open door policy’ is used by many leaders to promote dialogue with employees, but the matter of fact is people always feel hesitant to enter the office of chief executive hence to create the atmosphere to reach their people out, leaders needs to leave the office and to go to the work floor at least once or twice for a general chat and see how their employees are doing.

Organizations run on conversations and successful organizations rely on the trustworthy dialogue between the administration and employee, it all seems so simple but it isn’t that easy otherwise everyone would be doing it and doing t well, a real good dialogue lies in encouraging regular interactions across all levels, leaders can provide opportunities to the employees for active learning through Appreciative dialogue, Value added dialogues and Performance improvement dialogues, which further creates an excellent context for all associates and managers to truly create a high performance culture, benefitting all by culture of active learning, development and ‘increased productivity’.