Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Intreview Questions - Part 2

Oral Communications

§ What types of experiences have you had dealing with irate customers or clients?
§ What was the hardest "sell" of a new idea or method you have had to make to get it accepted?
§ Tell me about a time when you "put your foot in your mouth" and what happened?
§ Describe a problem person you have had to deal with at work, what did you say?
§ What has been your experience in dealing with the poor performance of subordinates?
§ All of us feel shy or socially uncomfortable at times - when have you felt this way about communicating? Has that influenced your career?
§ Timing is very important in communications sometimes... tell me about a time when your timing was very good and one when it was bad?
§ The old proverb "silence is golden" is sometimes hard to live by - tell me about a time when you were proud of your ability to restrain yourself from saying something?


§ Tell me when you think it is important for a manager to use a participative style and involve work unit members in making decisions.
§ Describe the types of teams you have worked in and tell me what worked well and what did not.
§ Have you ever had to work with a team of people who did not work well together or did not like each other? Tell me what happened and how you reacted.
§ Give me an example of a situation in which you managed or led a team and were able to create a high morale, high productivity work group.
§ Tell me about a time when you had difficulty getting others to work together on a critical problem and how you handled it.
§ Some managers encourage people to work together while others encourage direct competition among their people. Tell me about the best manager you have worked for and what approach that person took and what you learned.
§ Describe a really difficult person you worked with and how you handled working with that person.

Amjad Alqaisi

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Soft Skills "Interview Questions" Part 1

Here are some soft skills interview questions, largely focused on a behavioral approach, you may want to use or adapt during your interview process.

Interpersonal Skills

  • Describe how you developed relationships with others when you were new on your current/ most recent job?
  • Have you ever worked for an extremely talkative manager? How did you ensure you were communicating effectively?
  • Have you ever worked for a very reticent manager? How did you ensure you were communicating effectively?
  • Describe a time when you had problems with a supervisor and had to communicate your unhappy feelings or difficult disagreements. Tell me what you did and what happened?
  • What words do your current co-workers use to describe you and how accurate do you think these are? If they are not accurate, what do you think caused the person to choose that word?
  • Tell me about a time when you became involved in a problem faced by a co-worker -how did it happen, what did you do and what happened?
  • When you are dealing with co-workers or customers, what really tries your patience and how do you deal with that?
  • Describe a situation when one of your decisions was challenged by higher management; what did you do and how did you react?
  • Describe how you changed the opinion of someone who seemed to have a very negative opinion of you?
  • Describe some of the most unusual people you have known - what was different about them and how did you work with them?
  • Give me an example of how you handled a very tense situation at work?
  • How skillful do you think you are at "sizing up" others? Give me an example.

Dears, Next is Oral Communication Questions..

Enjoy Learning,
Amjad T. Alqaisi

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Soft skills "Survey with Professor Anna Tzanakaki "

In a survey conducted by our team members titled “Soft skills & E-learning” with Professor Anna Tzanakaki (MSITT Program Director) she answered:

What do soft skills mean to you?

Communion skills, leadership skills, Negotiation skills, presentation skills etc…

Are soft skills as important as “Hard skills”?

Yes, although to some extend it depends on the person’s type of work.

Do you believe that soft skills can be taught through internet means (E-learning)?

Not very effectively

When you interview a possible employee or a student, how do you measure his/her soft skills generally?

By the impression I get through the interaction & specific relevant questions I ask.

Do you recommend AIT to include core subject about “Soft skills” in its curriculum?

It maybe a good idea although having it as elective maybe more appropriate.

Enjoy & Learn,

Amjad Alqaisi

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Communication Skills

Effective Communication Skills are very important for our professional /personal success, regardless in what business we participate to.

The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others clearly and unambiguously, and the communication becomes successful when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information as a result of the communication.

Searching online for "How to.." on Communication Skills, i cam across on some very useful videos which i want to share them with you.

Communication Skills_Part1

Communication Skills_Part2

Communication Skills_Part3

Communication Skills_Part4

More to come....


Tips to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills.

Recently i had a job interview with an International company, and despite testing technical / professional skills, a great importance on the interview process was given to the "Interpersonal skills".
Interpersonal Skills is one of the elements how you are perceived by your manager and coworkers, which play a large role in things as minor as your day-to-day happiness at the office and as major as the future of your career.
No matter how hard you work or how many brilliant ideas you may have, if you can’t connect with the people who work around you, your professional life will suffer.
Here are some tips, on how to improve our Interpersonal Skills.
  • Smile. Few people want to be around someone who is always down in the dumps. Do your best to be friendly and upbeat with your coworkers. Maintain a positive, cheerful attitude about work and about life. Smile often. The positive energy you radiate will draw others to you.
  • Be appreciative. Find one positive thing about everyone you work with and let them hear it. Be generous with praise and kind words of encouragement. Say thank you when someone helps you. Make colleagues feel welcome when they call or stop by your office. If you let others know that they are appreciated, they’ll want to give you their best.
  • Pay attention to others. Observe what’s going on in other people’s lives. Acknowledge their happy milestones, and express concern and sympathy for difficult situations such as an illness or death. Make eye contact and address people by their first names. Ask others for their opinions.
  • Practice active listening. To actively listen is to demonstrate that you intend to hear and understand another’s point of view. It means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said. In this way, you know that you understood their meaning and they know that your responses are more than lip service. Your coworkers will appreciate knowing that you really do listen to what they have to say.
  • Bring people together. Create an environment that encourages others to work together. Treat everyone equally, and don't play favorites. Avoid talking about others behind their backs. Follow up on other people's suggestions or requests. When you make a statement or announcement, check to see that you have been understood. If folks see you as someone solid and fair, they will grow to trust you.
  • Resolve conflicts. Take a step beyond simply bringing people together, and become someone who resolves conflicts when they arise. Learn how to be an effective mediator. If coworkers bicker over personal or professional disagreements, arrange to sit down with both parties and help sort out their differences. By taking on such a leadership role, you will garner respect and admiration from those around you.
  • Communicate clearly. Pay close attention to both what you say and how you say it. A clear and effective communicator avoids misunderstandings with coworkers, collegues, and associates. Verbal eloquence projects an image of intelligence and maturity, no matter what your age. If you tend to blurt out anything that comes to mind, people won’t put much weight on your words or opinions.
  • Humor them. Don’t be afraid to be funny or clever. Most people are drawn to a person that can make them laugh. Use your sense of humor as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people’s affection.
  • See it from their side. Empathy means being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel. Try to view situations and responses from another person’s perspective. This can be accomplished through staying in touch with your own emotions; those who are cut off from their own feelings are often unable to empathize with others.
  • Don't complain. There is nothing worse than a chronic complainer or whiner. If you simply have to vent about something, save it for your diary. If you must verbalize your grievances, vent to your personal friends and family, and keep it short. Spare those around you, or else you’ll get a bad reputation.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Soft skills "Survey with AIT's Managing Director"

In a survey conducted by our team members titled “Soft skills & E-learning” with Mr. Athanasios Zesimopoulos he answered:

What do soft skills mean to you?

This term refers to a set of personality characteristics and traits that are complementary to the “hard skills” acquired through formal education and training. Under the wide umbrella of soft skills someone could include leadership, motivation, communication skills, team management, confidence, versatility, reliability, efficiency among others.

Are soft skills as important as “Hard skills”?

One set of skills balances the other.

Do you believe that soft skills can be taught through internet means (E-learning)?

Soft skills refer mainly to personality and the conduct towards others/tasks/jobs, etc. Interaction and sometimes mimicking others behavior is a key component in acquiring soft skills. If an on-line method allows real time interaction then some soft skills could be taught by experts.

When you interview a possible employee or a student, how do you measure his/her soft skills generally?

An interview and direct interaction are the only ways to evaluate his/her personality and his/her ability to deal with a set of issues/problems/standards. Setting real problems and case studies evaluating his/her reaction to these is one way to measure soft skills.

Do you recommend AIT to include core subject about “Soft skills” in its curriculum?

As an academic institution that concentrates on the hard skills our students should acquired (especially in technical masters) and given the limitations of time and heavy work load such an addition could be difficult. However, in the MBIT program there is a mandatory course on negotiation which is in this direction. Moreover part of every day student life is presentation and defense of the projects, homework, thesis, etc. There are also team projects and a number of activities that involve the use of soft skills. Finally, the preparation towards AIT’s career days and the interview process with potential employers itself is a valuable activity through which a set of soft skills are acquired.

Finally, Tomorrow we will publish the MSITT Program Director Professor Anna Tzanakaki’s Answers (visit us again)!

Enjoy & Learn,

Amjad Alqaisi

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Soft skills "Survey with Professor G. Yovanof"

In a survey conducted by our team members titled “Soft skills & E-learning” with Professor Gregory S. Yovanof (Our respected and expert professor at AIT) he answered:

What do soft skills mean to you?

They are people’s skills, presentations, communication skills, team players, and openness to cultural diversity. Personal traits (such as time management, leadership ability, being dependable and honest) all fall under soft skills.

Are soft skills as important as “Hard skills”?

Yes, they are equally important since they contribute towards establishing an overall healthy working environment.

Do you believe that soft skills can be taught through internet means (E-learning)?

No! They are primarily social skills developed through personal relationships. The virtual world is a poor substitute for social networking.

When you interview a possible employee or a student, how do you measure his/her soft skills generally?

Through direct questions, but also relying on observation of body language clues, eye contact…etc.

Do you recommend AIT to include core subject about “Soft skills” in its curriculum?

It should be an integral part of “Human Resource Management” elective course, recently added to the MBIT curriculum (to be offered first time in the summer 2008)!

Tomorrow we will publish the AIT’s Managing Director’s Answers (visit us again)!

Enjoy & Learn,

Amjad Alqaisi