Vijay Ingam, CFA Quoted on Careerbuilder’s WorkBuzz Website

February 23, 2013 Posted by Vijay Ingam

Careerbuilder’s Work­Buzz web­site  quoted Vijay Ingam, CFA in a recent arti­cle titled “The lit­tle white lies we tell dur­ing a job search.”

How to Overcome Anxiety about a Job Interview

February 20, 2013 Posted by Vijay Ingam

The best way to get over your anx­i­ety is being pre­pared. Spend as much time as you can to get ready for the inter­view both in research­ing the com­pany and prepar­ing answers to com­mon inter­view questions.

If you find that you are still ner­vous about job inter­view, than we sug­gest rehears­ing under less than ideal cir­cum­stances. Our sug­ges­tions are as follows:

Loud Music Strategy

Play some music you don’t like loud enough that it inter­feres with your thoughts but doesn’t wake the neigh­bors. Then rehearse your answers to com­mon job inter­view ques­tions. Don’t try to talk over the music just deal with it. Prac­tic­ing for your inter­view under less than ideal cir­cum­stances will help you do better.

Insult­ing Friend Strategy

Ask your friends to help you rehearse for you job inter­view. Tell them they can say any­thing mean or insult­ing they want to say to you (within rea­son), while they ask you com­mon job inter­view ques­tions. You can­not respond to their insults, only respond to the job inter­view ques­tion they are ask­ing you.

The con­ver­sa­tion should go some­thing like this:

Friend: “Why are you inter­ested in work­ing for com­pany x? By the way, I think your car is really ugly.”

You: “I really admire com­pany x for rea­son a, rea­son b and rea­son c. [do not respond to car comment]”

Friend: “Your room is always such a mess. You are such a slob. What is your great­est weakness?”

You: “My great­est weak­ness is my math skills. I over­came this weak­ness by study­ing extra hard for my math final exams. [Do not respond to slob comment.]”

Both of these strate­gies are very child­ish, which is why they are so effec­tive at get­ting rid of anx­i­ety. The real job inter­view will never be as bad as the arti­fi­cial sit­u­a­tion you cre­ated when you were prac­tic­ing for it.

Don’t Lie in Job Interview!

January 25, 2013 Posted by Vijay Ingam

I advise all of my clients to be hon­est in their job inter­views. “You can sugar coat the truth but never lie.”

As a cau­tion­ary tale, I’ll men­tion a friend from busi­ness school that recently had to let go of a new employee. The employee was great, but she had lied on her job appli­ca­tion. As a pol­icy, my friend’s com­pany asks appli­cants to dis­close all the jobs they have had for in the last 5 years. She hadn’t men­tioned that she had recently worked as a wait­ress in a restau­rant because she had been fired from that job. The sad part is that this woman would have still got­ten the job if she had been hon­est. My friend could have cared less that his poten­tial employee had been a bad wait­ress. After all, the job was secretarial.

After a few weeks at my friend’s com­pany, the employee men­tioned to another employee that she had worked as a wait­ress at a nearby restau­rant. My friend noted this was not dis­closed on her job appli­ca­tion and con­fronted her about it. She admit­ted lying and he had to let her go. He felt bad about los­ing a good employee, but he couldn’t keep a liar in his company.

Please be hon­est in your job appli­ca­tion and interview.

How to Prepare for Skills or Subject Matter Tests

January 6, 2013 Posted by Vijay Ingam

Lately, I’ve had a few clients who expressed con­cerns about skills or sub­ject mat­ter tests dur­ing an inter­view. I thought I’d cre­ate a blog entry about the topic to help. I’ve also added the infor­ma­tion below to The Defin­i­tive Guide on How to Ace Your Inter­view and Get the Job.

Some­times employ­ers will give you skills or sub­ject mat­ter tests to assess your knowl­edge of the soft­ware pro­grams and other skills or knowl­edge you need for the posi­tion. They will usu­ally warn you ahead of time so you can be pre­pared for such test­ing. Some­times an employer will use test­ing soft­ware that is designed to assess your skills and knowl­edge. Other times they will ask you to demon­strate your abil­ity to do a few com­mon func­tions on a com­puter pro­gram or answer a few ques­tions about a spe­cific subject.

The best way to pre­pare for a skills test is to know the sub­ject or com­puter pro­gram you are being tested on but be aware that some­times skills tests can be on aspects of a sub­ject or com­puter pro­gram that you do not use reg­u­larly. Inter­view SOS sug­gests the fol­low­ing preparations:

Tests on Microsoft Office Appli­ca­tions (Microsoft Excel, Word, Pow­er­Point, Access, or Outlook)

Before tak­ing a skills test on a Microsoft Office pro­gram, we sug­gest you use the Pro­fes­sor Teaches Office 2010 from Indi­vid­ual Soft­ware. It’s a great pro­gram that shows you how to usethe  most basic func­tions on each of the major pro­grams of the Microsoft Office Suite. Expect to spend 3–4 hours learn­ing the basic func­tions for each pro­gram. We sug­gest doing both the basic and advanced lessons for each office pro­gram prior to a skills test.

Typ­ing Tests

We sug­gest using either Mavis Bea­con Teaches Typ­ing or Typ­ing Instruc­tor before tak­ing a test to improve your typ­ing skills. Depend­ing on your cur­rent typ­ing skills and those required for the posi­tion, you should antic­i­pate spend­ing 10–40 hours learn­ing to type well if you don’t have the skill already.

Account­ing Software

To pre­pare for tests on account­ing soft­ware such as Sage Peachtree, we sug­gest using Mas­ter­ing Peachtree Made Easy Train­ing Tuto­r­ial. To learn Quick­Books, we sug­gest Mas­ter­ing Quick­Books Made Easy v. 2013 Video Train­ing Tuto­r­ial Course DVD-ROM .

Sub­ject Tests

If you antic­i­pate a sub­ject test on some­thing like finan­cial account­ing or nurs­ing, we sug­gest spend­ing a few hours review­ing a respected text­book on the sub­ject even if you feel you are already knowledgeable.

Meeting Clients in the Redwood Forest

November 23, 2012 Posted by Vijay Ingam

Elk outside Cabin in the Redwood Forest

There were 28 elk out­side my cabin in the red­woods. They didn’t stop me from meet­ing a client over Skype.

I’m in a cabin in the Red­wood For­est seven hours north of San Fran­cisco. My fam­ily is out hik­ing so my only com­pan­ions are the 28 elk graz­ing out­side our cabin (I counted them). I have no cell phone cov­er­age here, but I do have inter­net. There­fore, I was able to have a suc­cess­ful job inter­view coach­ing ses­sion with a new client this after­noon using Skype.

The ver­sa­til­ity of Skype and Google Video Chat is amaz­ing. I can really help a client any­where in the world. You could be next!

A Revolution in Job Interview Prep?

November 4, 2012 Posted by Vijay Ingam

I have decided to start pro­vid­ing job inter­view prepa­ra­tion ser­vices by phone, Skype and Google voice and video chat. In fact, my whole com­pany, Inter­view SOS, is based on that concept.

Joy and Vijay at Shanghai Expo 2010

Joy and Vijay at the Thai­land Exhibit at Shang­hai Expo 2010

I have to thank my friend Joy for the idea. (Enclosed is a photo of me and Joy at the Shang­hai Expo in China in 2010.) Sev­eral months ago, Joy asked me for help with her job inter­views for posi­tions in law. The prob­lem is that Joy lives in Shang­hai and I live in Los Angeles!

So, I decided to help Joy by video­con­fer­enc­ing with her over Skype for a few hours. Joy was like a reg­u­lar career coach­ing client; the only dif­fer­ence was we were video­con­fer­enc­ing instead of meet­ing in per­son in Los Ange­les. I could help Joy over­come her ner­vous­ness, iden­tify the strengths in her job appli­ca­tion, and pre­pare answers to tough job inter­view ques­tions very effi­ciently by video­con­fer­ence. She sub­se­quently landed a job at a pres­ti­gious law firm in Shang­hai.  It made me real­ize that I could pro­vide the same job inter­view coach­ing ser­vices for any­one in the world.

There are huge ben­e­fits to get­ting career coach­ing by inter­net video­con­fer­ence or phone:

  • Skype and Google are free
  • It saves time in commuting.
  • You can get a career coach­ing ses­sion any­where in the world

So if you’re look­ing for some­one to help you pre­pare for a job inter­view please con­tact me and we’ll sched­ule a time to talk via Skype. And if you’re look­ing for a sharp cor­po­rate lawyer in Shang­hai, Joy is def­i­nitely the one for you.

 


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    • Tes­ti­mo­ni­als

      Just a quick note say­ing thank you! Got accepted for a great job sell­ing cars so that I can once again take care of my fam­ily. I owe you big time for your sup­port and wis­dom you shared.

      William C (Sales)  Rochester, NY

      Hi vijay. I wanted to let you know that I got into duke! Thanks for your help.

      Kelsey (Nurs­ing) Los Ange­les, CA

      Vijay is a great inter­view coach. Very pro­fes­sional. I was always so scared of inter­view­ing before. He gave me confidence.

      Julia (Biotech) Los Ange­les, CA

      I got the job ! Thanks for all your help in the inter­view process.

      Andrew (Finan­cial Ser­vices) Los Ange­les, CA

      I was work­ing in a bank for the last 5 years but my growth was almost zero. No appre­ci­a­tion, no mon­e­tary incen­tives and no addi­tional ben­e­fits I was get­ting. Then I moved on to find a good job. I got chances to give inter­views but even being an expe­ri­ence banker I was unable to clear the inter­views. With some of my ref­er­ence I took coach­ing classes online from Vijay and enhance my abil­ity to answers the ques­tions, how to sit, talk and other traits. I greatly appre­ci­ate Vijay as he makes me will­ing­ness to get suc­cess in inter­views. I still in touch with vijay and rec­om­mend all to inter­act with him if you want bright career.

      Nancy (Bank­ing) Dal­las, TX

      After the con­struc­tion com­pany I worked for over the last 5 years closed down, I found myself out of work. I went to a cou­ple of job inter­views and found I did badly. VJ at helped pre­pare me one on one via Skype for the inter­view process again and coached me on over­com­ing my ner­vous­ness. He also helped me tweak my resume so I would stand out. To be hon­est, I haven’t found a job yet, but VJ helped me in my job search.

      Keri R (Account­ing) Salem, OR

      My com­pany matched [retracted] offer so I ended up stay­ing. Still appre­ci­ate all your help. If you need a ref­er­ence let me know.

      Alec (Sales and Mar­ket­ing) Los Ange­les, CA

      You gave me some good ideas about how to men­tion the best parts of my resume in the interview.

      Vin­cent (Retail Man­age­ment) Los Angeles