如何在北美找工作面试

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导读:如何在北美找工作面试
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如何在北美找工作面试:


1)美国通常的职业面试到底是个什么东东?


美国面试的问题基本上都是behavioral questions(简单的说就是让你举例子),尤其是在第一轮面试,根本不涉及任何技术性问题,不管你应聘什么样的职位。这也许和那些对技术性及专门知识要求比较强的工作面试有所不同。通过behavioral questions,面试者主要想要了解的是应试者的软性技巧 (soft skills), such as communication skills, personal skills, self-promoting skills and personalities etc. 根据这些了解,面试者给出几个判断:应试者的工作经验和skill set是不是fit这个职位,这个人的沟通技巧是不是足够好,这个人的性格是不是fit公司的文化,是不是一个和同事能team work的人等等。


面试,尤其是第一轮面试,通常是半个小时到一个小时。在这么短的时间里,面试者的考察当然不可能全面,有时甚至是很主观。所以在面试的短暂的时间里,最重要的是展现出自己最适合这个工作的特质,无论是hard skills(经验)还是 soft skills. 有时候,真实的你,真实的话,不一定讨喜,人家不一定愿意听。Fortunately, 越是大公司,越是正规的公司,面试的形式越程序化,越rigid, 所以只要好好准备,摸清了美国公司面试的套路,面试本身就不再是一个可怕的东西。


tips:


1。回答不要啰里啰嗦,没有structure, 没有重点,give too much details。如果一个问题你的回答超过3 - 5 分钟,你就已经死翘翘了。


2。认真听考官的问题。当答完一个问题时,不管答得如何,赶快move on。If you are not sure about the question, ask the interviewer to clarify it.


3。借一本专门指导如何面试的书。图书馆里有很多种这样的书。先找一本薄一点的,简单一点的,你可以在短时间里读完的。目的是读过以后,你会有一个general idea关于职业面试的概念。然后分析你的具体情况,如果有必要再去找针对性强一些的书或内容。 推荐 "55 Interview Traps"。这本书只有60多页,言简意赅,有很多例子,可读性强。"55 Interview Traps"的下载网址是:http://www.onlinetestprep.com/interview.html。上面一些techniques 在拿到offer的面试中特别有用。一本general interview book 加上 Interview Traps应该可以对面试有一定academic的认识了。剩下的主要任务是do your homework about company research, work on your stories and sharpen your story-telling skills.


2)如何回答behavioral questions?


前面说过behavioral questions是在美国的职业面试当中最常见的形式。通常是面试者抛出一个问题,让你从你的经验当中举出例子。而从你给出的例子当中,面试者得以对你的skills和personalities加以了解和判断。有工作经验的人,尤其是工作时间比较长的人,当然最好举你工作当中的例子。对于那些没有工作经验的人,可以举在学校和同学做project的例子,参加学校社团活动的例子,在community做 volunteer 的例子。


面试中,最常遇见的问题有:


Tell me about your self.


Leadership example


Teamwork example


Project management example


Problem-solving example


Taking initiative example

What's the most difficult decision you've made recently?


Why are you interested in this position/this company?


What do you see yourself five years later in this organization?


关于leadership,我们国人的概念是leader就是领导,就是有一定权力的人,有下属汇报的人。但要知道,有的人在领导的位置上,不一定就有 leadership,而有的人不在领导的位置上,但他或她可能在工作当中表现出很好的leadership的素质和能力。英文这个所谓的 leadership很抽象,很难具体化。但是,leadership can be demonstrated in different ways.


For example, sometimes, a leader needs to be a change agent. When you initiate something new to change the common practice or the status quo, you have to rationalize your ideas, convince others, motivate them to change, and overcome various obstacles etc. In this case, you are in a leadership role.


Another example. Sometimes, it'd be more difficult to lead people and have them work in concert when they are not reporting you. In my case, as an Export Sales Manager in charge of export sales to China, Japan and Korea, I need internal production, processing and logistic teams to work with me and to insure the production is in place on time, the product quality meets my customer's requirement and the shipments to my customers are on time. It takes leadership and teamwork skills to get the job done.


Leadership can also be demonstrated in crisis management, for example, when there is a quality problem with your company's products that may potentially cause a huge loss or negative publicity to your company or your customer. It takes leadership to act fast and decisively, so that the situation would be remedied and the potential damage would be minimized.


Leadership can be also demonstrated when you successfully carry out a project under the challenging timeline or with limited resource, or when you take initiative, identify a potential business opportunity and bring a new revenue stream to the company.


最主要的是不要把leadership理解的很教条和僵化。美国人可以把小小的或看似简单的事情给安上一个漂亮的名字。就象project这个词。只要是有这么一件事情,有一定的 objective, 需要人力物力在一定的时间里完成,都可以称之为project. 你完成个作业都可以是个project. 所以你没当过领导不要紧。大家把自己的工作经历和人生经历好好想一想,找出关于leadership的例子应该是不难的。


关于teamwork的问题,有很多varieties. 面试者可能有不同的方式发问。比如:


Give me an example how you work with a team to solve a problem/carry out a project


Give me an example that how you encourage your team members to do their jobs.


Give me an example that how you deal with resistance in a team.


想提醒大家的是,这些例子之间不是mutually exclusive。你可能有一个例子,which may fit different settings, such as leadership, teamwork, project management, problem-solving or initiative-taking. 你也有好几个不同的例子可以展示同一个quality。一般来说,你需要准备至少8 - 10 个例子来回答我列出的这几个topics.


除了Tell me about yourself 这个问题,the most commonly used structure/format to answer behavioral questions is STAR - Situation, Task, Action and Result.


一般来说,对每个问题的回答得控制在2-3分钟以内。在这很短的叙述例子的过程中,你的重点应该是强调Action 和Result,这是面试者最关心的部分。所以在时间分配上,对于Situation和Task你要非常简洁地一笔带过,交代清楚大概的背景就可以了。关于Result, 尽量用数字或百分比来表示。


如果原来工作的行业比较特殊,在面试当中常犯的一个严重错误就是在举例子时,没有把那些行业专业词换成人家能懂的,通用的词。因为人家听不懂,就试图想和人家解释,结果陷入给太多details的泥潭,纠缠在描述Situation 和Task上出不来。一个例子别说2-3分钟,就是5-6分钟也唠叨不清。


所以当你面试的工作是跨行业的,你一定要遏制住欲望,使用那些你耳熟能详的原行业的词或term。人家听不懂至少有两样坏处:听不懂,就没兴趣听了。而且还留下一个印象:你的经验离面试这个行业太远,你不 fit。不管是那种,你的面试已经完了。最好把你所有的例子写下来,严格按照STAR的形式写,然后反复斟酌记忆。有可能的话,找老美改下,要那些写作好的老美改。老美当中也不是每个人都擅长business writing的。面试的时候,千万不要让人感觉你在面无表情的背书。模仿老美讲话,抑扬钝挫,眉飞色舞。


很重要的一点是,你的例子不能用大白话写和说,要用professional business language来写和说。整个面试考察很重要的内容就是你的communication skills. 因为就算你成绩好,技术好,水平高,但你不擅长用business language 来沟通和交流,你的communication skills不好,sooner or later, 你的事业发展会受阻,尤其是在美国,这个非母语的国家。


记得有这样一句话,写得很好。"In business, communications are not only the way that we express ourselves, but also, more importantly, the way that we work with people."


但如何提高自己的business communication skills 呢?


比如,随身带一个小本子。在日常学习中,读到任何一篇business的东东(可以是课本,case,报纸,公司的宣传材料等等),听到学校讲座里请来的那些公司头头任何一句讲话,只要觉得在我面试当中可以利用上,就把它记下来。现在在面试当中说得很多话,都可以学人家的,靠平时这样积累下来。俗话说,好记性不如烂笔头。只有记下来,有空就看看,不知不觉你就记住了,那些professional business language就变成了你自己的了,到用的时候就可以随手拈来,运用自如。你如果注意观察一下那些成为公司executive的人,没有一个讲话没有水平的。如果有机会听他们讲话,可以观察他们的谴词造句,他们讲话的structure, the logic behind their speeches,还有他们的body language。还可以在各种场合观察美国人怎么interact, 怎么chitchat。这些技巧不管是在面试当中,还是将来工作当中,都是非常重要的interpersonal skills.


总结下,准备应对面试的那些behavioral questions,是临上轿才扎耳朵眼儿的事情。而提高business communication skills,对于在美国打拼的中国人来说,是需要constant, persistent and life-long efforts,需要learn smart and work smart,才能在美国的职场立于不败之地。


Tell me about yourself


这个问题大概不管你面试什么工作,都是铁定要问到的问题。这个看似简单的问题,实际上是个难对付的问题。通常我们会想,不就是介绍介绍我过去的经验吗,那很容易呀。别人不了解我,难道我还不了解我自己?








但是你有没有想过,既然你简历上已经把你的经验也得很清楚了,why bother面试者要你再复述一遍?所以说,面试者肯定希望听到more than what your resume tells。 他们通过你的叙述,除了工作和生活经验之外,最想知道的是在你made every each transition along the way,是什么原因使你做这个决定的。比如,你换了个工作或行业,why; 你选择来美国读书,why; 你选择读MBA,why?有些公司不错,在问这个问题之前会告诉你,他们对你做的每个决定后面的原因感兴趣。有的公司根本就不告诉你,但他们会 expect你在你的回答中告诉他们。


在回答这些原因的时候,you need to be very careful, you need to selectively choose a reason that would make sense from the interviewer's perspective, not necessarily from your perspective.


在短短几十分钟的面试里,很重要的一项考察内容是soft skills。所以,如果可能的话,在陈述你做过的每一个工作时,简单的summarize what soft kills were developed。如果你有一个很好的progressive track record,随着你的职位升高,你的responsibilities变化,你可以向面试者展示在每个不同阶段你培养的不同的soft skills.


要强调的是,除了谈到你的responsibilities, 千万别忘了讲到results,tangible results。Again,


最好把结果量化,用数字或百分比。用百分比有个好处,有时你的成绩,如销售或节约的成本,合成具体金额可能不那么impressive, 但换算成总销售或总成本的百分比可能就听起来比较厉害。


还有,回答Tell me about yourself,时间最好控制在5-6分钟,不管你有再长的工作经验。就算你有10年的工作经验,你也得在5分钟里面把它讲完。这就需要你用的语言非常 concise,需要很好的structure, 需要很流利地把它讲出来。试想,你如果吭吭巴巴,5分钟哪里讲得完。如果你做了若干个工作,但其中一,两个对你的事业发展起到重要的作用,或那些工作经验最接近你现在面试的这个,你需要highlight them,对于其他不重要的可以简单的说一下。


最好就是把你的回答写下来,反复研究修改,使的你的回答达到最简洁有力的程度,需要你大声的读出来,背下来。建议录音,自己听听,有发音问题的让别人纠正下,计算时间,别超时了。有条件的话穿的整整齐齐录像,最能看出自己的各种毛病了。可以和朋友,有经验的人,边看边讨论。俗话说,当局者迷,旁观者清。要不耻下问,不要怕丢丑,旁观者往往能看出你看不出的毛病。这个练习方法也适用于其他behavioral questions。


现在,这里为大家提供一个模版:


I would like to thank everyone for being here and interviewing me. I am going to give you a presentation about my resume.


My name is ~ ~. I got my bachelor degree at XXX University, a top-10 university in China. My major was Japanese. It's funny that I ended up in the US, instead of Japan.


I got my first job at N Company, which was a top-10 Japanese international trading company. I was working as a sales representative dealing with import/export business between China and Japan. This job brought me a great learning opportunity. I learned how to work with different people, such as importers, exporters, suppliers and customers in both counties. I learned how to negotiate with them, and how to close a deal. My communication and interpersonal skills were developed greatly. During 3.5 years, the business I was in charge of grew from 1.5M to 5M. Then, it reached a point, where I felt that import/export business was too broad and general. I wanted to go to an industry and gain specific industrial knowledge and expertise.


D Corporation presented me with a wonderful opportunity, where I could not only utilize my import/export experience, but also have greater responsibilities, such as strategic implementation and market development. I was reporting directly to the Asia Pacific VP. Since he was based in the U.S. and only visiting China 5-6 times a year, most of time, I was working on my own. It takes initiative, self-management and self-motivation to get the job done. From 1995 to 1999, I successfully implemented strategic plans, commercialized five products in highly regulated markets, recruited five exclusive distributors, and developed a strong distribution network. Sales grew from half million US dollars to 3.4M.


Due to my significant contribution to the company's bottom-line, I was promoted again from China Office Manager to Export Sales Manager in charge of export sales to China, Japan and Korea. I was transferred from Beijing Office to the company's headquarters in IL. In the meantime, D Corporation was acquired by M Company. We all became M's employees.


As an Export Sales Manager, my responsibilities included pricing, budgeting, production planning, inventory management, and coordinating internal production, processing and logistics teams to fulfill customer's demand. My focus was gradually transferred from developing the top-line to watching out the bottom-line. Profit of China sales continually doubled in 2000. Sales to Japan increased by 30% due to successful delivery of commitments to customers. Sales to Korea were maintained same during an economic recession.


However, during my work, I realized that I needed to expand my knowledge and understanding in accounting and finance areas. This was one of the major reasons that I decided to leave M Company and pursue an MBA degree. The second reason was that I believe an advanced US MBA education degree would bring me more career advancement opportunities in the near future. Thirdly, B-school is a perfect place to meet people, make friend, and build my own professional network in this country.


At XXX School, I took 22 credits in accounting and 11 credits in finance. Plus Business Law I took before, I am now eligible for sitting on CPA exam.


In 2003, I got my internship at H Company in the marketing department, which deals with climate control products for residential consumers. I worked on a distribution project to review the current distribution strategies, analyze distribution network coverage and evaluate the distributors' performance. I was able to finish the project under a limited timeline, and provide the management team with meaningful recommendations.


Today, I am ready for a new set of challenges and an opportunity to bring all I have learned to a more challenging and rewarding position at your Company。


Now, I am open for questions. Feel free to ask any questions. Thanks.



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