Friday, 21 March 2014

Want to Ace that Interview?

Interviews are a gateway to the job you want. They are the key that can really open a door of opportunity. You might have great potential, enormous faith in your skills and relevant experience, but if you don’t ace an interview the opportunity could be forever lost. Interviews are not just about going to a meeting for a job but also an opportunity to exhibit your selling skillsHere are some real interview tips:
Prepare for the interview
Don’t just pick up your resume, dress up and go for an interview. If you really want that job, prepare yourself. Take some time to read up on the organization, their branding, history, current affairs, annual reports, their people and even employee reviews.

Understand the job requirement through the Job Description which is available. This really helps see if you have missed something on your resume that you can add up now. You can even project your skills according to the Job Description given. That is not to say you can make up some skills, but there could be something you didn’t add because you didn’t think it counted. Now is the time to amend that CV.
Remember you are also assessing the organization so be prepared to ask questions which can help you understand the underlying culture, the role, the people and more. This will prepare you for what you will be up against especially challenges.
Practice what you are going to say. Because, interviews are about selling yourself and your skills. Make sure to brand yourself well and practice in front of a mirror so that you sound confident enough not aggressive or subservient.
Back to Basics                                        
Etiquette – Good manners, they say, can open any door. Remember to be courteous while speaking or even in your body language. Keep a pleasant smile, be a good listener and speak when it’s your turn – unless of course you have to be persuasive.
Dress the part – Dressing appropriately is good etiquette too. Find out in advance about the organization’s dress code and clothe yourself accordingly. Don’t turn up poorly dressed even if the company has a casual dress code policy. Being well-dressed doesn’t mean wearing expensive clothes. It just means wearing clean, smart, clothes that suit the position. For instance, if you are applying to a counter sales job at a funky consumer brand like say Puma or Levis, you might want to dress in smart, casual clothes. If you are applying for a job as a receptionist at a big corporate, it  is better to dress in conservative formals.
Show up on time – Being punctual, or even early for an interview, is a good indicator of being seriously interested in the job. Employers appreciate candidates who make that effort. If, for some reason, you are unable to make it on time, be sure to call in advance and explain why you are running late or have to re-schedule the interview.
Take References – If you’ve worked before and have good references from a previous employer, be sure to carry them. They always make a difference to employers. If you are a fresher, but you can get a good reference from a college teacher or a trainer, if you did some vocational course, then that is also good.
Acing an interview is no rocket-science but it certainly needs some skills and knowledge. So prepare yourself and brush up your fundamentals and you are sure to make it.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The fine art of customer service

A business ceases to exist without customers. Businesses that have a clear strategic focus on customer service are the ones with the most loyal set of customers, increased sales, bigger profit margins and better brand image. So whether you are selling a product or a service, customer service should be your priority and part of your long term plan because in the long run loyal customers are those that matter. What is key is to ensure that all your staff, right from the customer service executive to the ominous finance guy to the receptionist, is customer-oriented.
What encompasses customer-orientation?
Customer satisfaction should be at the center of the values, decisions and actions of an organization and its employees. It should be at the core of every function in an organization, and then it is all about defining values and seeing to it that the entire organization lives those values. This collective effort at customer satisfaction is what leads to customer-orientation. It is about changing the mentality and eventually the culture of the organization.
Creating Customer Oriented Employees
It’s important to understand what your customer needs and assess the potential and skills of your employees before you embark upon all-encompassing customer satisfaction strategies. Once you are clear on that, you need to create a set of customer-oriented values and a communication plan to help all employees live those values. The approach of the communication should be engaging and everyone, right from the top management to the office boy should be a part of it. The communication plan should involve different approaches for different category of employees, to ensure everyone understands and speaks the same language. For instance, employees who are in touch with customers directly need a more elaborate training, whereas an office boy might need to learn basic etiquette and housekeeping skills, keeping the core of the content, constant.
Attracting and retaining customers is an art and unless it is deeply imbued in the system, it might turn into a fallacy. It’s important for employees to see the bigger picture and the value of customer satisfaction. What is the correlation between their performance and customer satisfaction ? How can they delight customer daily? How can they respond effectively and communicate in such a way that it never offends a customer? These are some of the topics that need to be covered in the training program.
Ron Kaufman the popular proponent of Up! Your service made Singapore airlines the no. 1 in customer service with his training methodology. He says, “What goes around, comes around. What you send out does come back. Service is a two-way street”. Customer service is vital in conducting a business. It reflects directly on how a company does business and to what extent it can go to understand the needs of its customers.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Data Entry Jobs

At one time, data entry jobs were synonymous with easy, part-time jobs which can be done from home. Over the years however, organizations and people offering data entry jobs look for certain skills and qualifications that make this job fulfilling to the employee as well as the employer. This job is not as easy as typing down what needs to be transcribed. Nevertheless, it remains a job that can be done by someone with limited technical skills and looking for project-based work
What is data entry?
As the name suggests, data entry is transcribing information from one medium to another by using a computer. Data might be in the form of hand-written papers or on word document, spreadsheets, names and addresses, information of customers, number sequences, codes and more.
What are the skills required?
A person has to have basic educational qualifications so that he or she can read, understand and type the information into the required program. It’s important to have good typing skills but besides that it helps to know how to work on spreadsheets, a bit about using codes and an detail so as to ensure that what is transcribed is free of errors especially typographical errors. Data entry jobs are labour intensive hence the person working in this line has to be resilient and hard-working with an ability to work long hours on a computer.
What are the challenges?
There are a few things to watch out for when looking for job opportunities in data entry. Listed below are three of them:
Health challenges: This job while being low-skilled proves to be highly strenuous because it requires high levels of concentration and focus which is mentally and physically tiring. It’s important to keep ergonomics in mind while working on this kind of jobs. How you sit, whether you blink enough, are your hands in the right level with the computer, is your back aligned enough – these are some of the important things to keep in mind lest they have long standing problems such as backaches, eye strains and ‘Repetitive stress Injury’ which causes serious bone and muscle illness like carpel tunnel syndrome.
Scam Offers: The other big challenge seems to be too many scam offers that it has indeed become difficult to choose the right from the wrong.
Automation: With automation, to there is a chance to eliminate a lot of manual jobs especially one like data entry. This is why this job can be a good project related job but it being a long-term career is debatable. It is better for people working in data entry to gather qualifications and experiences for additional skills that help further their career.