All posts tagged “Misconceptions”

32 Posters That Debunk Common UX Misconceptions


You may have heard of UX Myths from user-experience designer Zoltán Gócza. It’s basically a collection of 32 (now up to 33!) common web design user experience misconceptions that are systematically debunked using detailed data, deeply researched facts, and backed up and validated by quotes and resources from some well-known UX experts. We’re huge fans of the site and you should really check out if you haven’t already done so.

Anyway, Italian designer Alessandro Giammaria, from design agency That’s Com, is also a huge fan of UX Myths, and has created a beautiful collection of typographical posters that represent each and everyone of the myths. And the best thing of all? You can freely download all of them here. Before you download the posters you might like to have a look at all of them below.

The UX Myths Poster Series from Alessandro Giammaria

Myth 32: Success happens overnight

Myth 32: Success happens overnight

Myth 31: UX design is a step in a project

Myth 31: UX design is a step in a project

Myth 30: If you are an expert, you don’t need to test your design

Myth 30: If you are an expert, you don’t need to test your design

Myth 29: People are rational

Myth 29: People are rational

Myth 28: White space is wasted space

Myth 28: White space is wasted space

Myth 27: UX design is about usability

Myth 27: UX design is about usability

Myth 26: Usability testing = focus groups

Myth 26: Usability testing = focus groups

Myth 25: Aesthetics are not important if you have good usability

Myth 25: Aesthetics are not important if you have good usability

Myth 24: People always use your product the way you imagined they would

Myth 24: People always use your product the way you imagined they would

Myth 23: Choices should always be limited to 7+/-2

Myth 23: Choices should always be limited to 7+/-2

Myth 22: Usability testing is expensive

Myth 22: Usability testing is expensive

Myth 21: People can tell you what they want

Myth 21: People can tell you what they want

Myth 20: If it works for Amazon, it will work for you

Myth 20: If it works for Amazon, it will work for you

Myth 19: You don’t need the content to design a website

Myth 19: You don't need the content to design a website

Myth 18: Flash is evil

Myth 18: Flash is evil

Myth 17: The homepage is your most important page

Myth 17: The homepage is your most important page

Myth 16: Search will solve a website’s navigation problems

Myth 16: Search will solve a website's navigation problems

Myth 15: Users make optimal choices

Myth 15: Users make optimal choices

Myth 14: You are like your users

Myth 14: You are like your users

Myth 13: Icons enhance usability

Myth 13: Icons enhance usability

Myth 12: More choices and features result in higher satisfaction

Myth 12: More choices and features result in higher satisfaction

Myth 11: You need to redesign your website periodically

Myth 11: You need to redesign your website periodically

Myth 10: If your design is good, small details don’t matter

Myth 10: If your design is good, small details don't matter

Myth 9: Design has to be original

Myth 9: Design has to be original

Myth 8: Stock photos improve the users’ experience

Myth 8: Stock photos improve the users' experience

Myth 7: Graphics will make a page element more visible

Myth 7: Graphics will make a page element more visible

Myth 6: Accessible sites are ugly

Myth 6: Accessible sites are ugly

Myth 5: Accessibility is expensive and difficult

yth 5: Accessibility is expensive and difficult

Myth 4: Design is about making a website look good

Myth 4: Design is about making a website look good

Myth 3: People don’t scroll

Myth 3: People don't scroll

Myth 2: All pages should be accessible in 3 clicks

Myth 2: All pages should be accessible in 3 clicks

Myth 1: People read on the web

Myth 1: People read on the web

The UX Myths Cover Poster

The UX Myths Cover Poster


The post 32 Posters That Debunk Common UX Misconceptions appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.


Speckyboy Web Design Magazine

Common SEO Myths & Misconceptions


There isn’t a day that goes by that I hear from a client something they have heard about SEO that isn’t even close to the truth. It seems there are more stories about SEO than Chuck Norris. A quote by George Bernard Shaw comes to mind:

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

In the SEO world this quote rings true every day. Whether it’s an business owner that is wasting what little extra time they have on incorrect optimization, or someone in the industry making unfounded statements and making their agency (and themselves) look inept, false SEO knowledge is everywhere.

seo myths

The ever-changing search algorithms from various search engines may be to blame, but just as guilty are the snake oil salesmen and one-man SEO agencies spreading the myths faster than Paul Revere. Google’s webmaster blog does their best to debunk myths repeatedly. For example, they posted last year a reminder about selling links that pass PageRank, something they have been writing about since 2007. Despite their best efforts our clients still call us when a door-to-door SEO salesman comes to them about having a BOGOF deal on thousands of links.

Every ‘white-hat’ SEO provider should still do their part to make the Internet and their industry a better place so I’ll do my part here and try to banish some of the SEO bull-jive going around (and now I can check off using bull-jive from my bucket list).

1. Ranking No. 1 is all that matters

If ya ain’t first, yer last.” – Ricky Bobby

There is obviously a correlation between search results placement and click-through rates, but that doesn’t mean that it is the holy grail it used to be. Even in the past,having the best rankings didn’t guarantee success and high click-through rates, but were at least a good start.

Now, with search results being appended with enhancements such as author tags and rich text/snippets, the click-through rates for the top three slots have skyrocketed. The truth is relevant information and user-friendly listings every websites goal. A high-quality No. 4 can theoretically out-perform the No. 1 when it comes down to it.

2. SEO is Something Any Techie Can Do.

Fact: SEO is technical.
Fiction: Any technical person can take care of it.

SEO takes more than just being a technical person. Ask anyone in the industry how many clients come into their offices giving stories about how they entrusted their SEO to their IT guy or Web Designer or similar and have not had any results. They may be of assistance during the course of optimizing your site, and are valuable resources in the process when setting up XML site maps, redirects, and robots.txt files, but do not expect them to be your SEO go-to ‘guy’. That’s like expecting your electrician to fix your AC.

3. SEO is a One-Time Activity and You Are Done.

Too many times I have heard from other business owners that they just finished SEOing their site. This delusion is extremely rampant among the IT community, and it’s easy to see why. IT workers are given multiple “fix-it” tickets all day, so they treat SEO like every other assignment and tend to close the “ticket” and move on. SEO is an on-going process that requires a time investment on a periodic basis.

4. SEO & Social Media are Not Related at All

It’s a common misconception that SEO and Social Media are completely unrelated. In actuality, they are like kissing cousins. Search engines put value on content that has an element of social authority. This fact has spawned the term Social Search has become a common term because SEO and Social Media have been ‘going steady’ for years. Google has been working hard on this with Google+ and Google Authorship, but if you think about it, it’s only natural. Trusted and relevant content can drive your SEO and highly social content is easier to trust.

5. More Links > More Content.

YES, even with the changing link landscape in the search algorithms, inbound links are important; however, if SEO is your party than Content is your alcohol. Links are important, but if you focus purely on link building you are digging yourself a hole. The quantity of links might increase, but not necessarily the quality.

The problem here is that link building is no longer a numbers game. Investing in content, which can take form of a web page, blog article, and guest articles on other sites will often attract higher quality and more inbound links in the long run. On the other hand, please don’t think that having a blog is enough. It’s more complicated than that. You need to write with purpose, cater to your target audience, analyze traffic sources and performance of post types, and the list goes on and on.

6. SEO is NOT a Usability Issue.

I have heard this one with more frequency recently than ever before, and it’s not even close to being correct. SEO, at one point, was just getting found on the Internet but over the years this has changed forms more times than Goku. Now, true SEO includes how users of your website engage with your content. Yes, technically SEO stands for search engine optimization, but if they don’t click around on your highly ranked site, or even leave after clicking, the SEO serves no purpose.

To keep visitors on your site, ensure your content is personalized, relevant, intuitive and easy to browse through. If you have the usability of DOS, you wont convert. In the end that’s what SEO is all about.

7. <h1> is the Key to Great SEO.

This one is older than Larry King, and doesn’t seem to go away. The content structure on your site is an outline to presenting the content to search engines and of course users. The <h1> tag was extremely important at one point, but Google learns too. The old-guard of Black-Hat SEO spammed <h1> to death, so now it no longer really matters. Presenting your information towards the top of the page is a lot more relevant.

8. The Larger Your Sites Footprint the Better the Results.

If you think about it without insider knowledge, it would stand to reason that the more pages you have indexed by the search engine the better you would do. But you would be wrong. Just because you have more pages than the Twilight book series, doesn’t mean your pages are quality, just like Twilight. In fact, its more likely that the quality of the content was overlooked, and realistically, it is difficult to strive for both. Aim to publish relevant, quality content.

9. Since Search Engines Have Personalized Results, There is No Such Thing as Being Ranked #1.

You are absolutely correct that Google and Bing do have search results personalized to the user’s search history, even if the user is not logged in. On the other hand, the difference in results between personalized and non-personalized are extremely minor. In fact, check for yourself. Re-run your search terms by adding &PWS=0 to your SERP URL, or just go incognito (if you use chrome), and see how much (read: how little) the results shift around.

10. SEO is a Mysterious Dark Art.

Many people think of SEO being done by some rogue SEO employee that works in a closed office away from the rest of the company going about his experiments without involvement of clients or management. If this was true my life would read like a Jason Bourne novel. SEO is not a set of steps that can be applied to any site in any niche.

It is important to understand the industry, competitors, and a cooperative strategy to increase conversions for your company continually and consistently.

Concluding

Now, the future of SEO is in your hands, reader. Do your part. It takes a village to kill a myth. If there is only one thing you take away from this post, it is that SEO is about the overall experience of the user. From the initial search to leaving your site, the better the experience of the user from your results listing, to the quality and relevancy of the content, to the usability – the better your SEO will be too.


The post Common SEO Myths & Misconceptions appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.


Speckyboy Web Design Magazine

7 Deadly Misconceptions About Web Design Every Client Needs To Know

All beginner web designers are visionaries, idealists of their time, but at some point everyone encounters clients who turn them into cynics. This is when one learns that most clients are certain of what they want and that there are certain things that they may not fully understand. Are you prepared to face these hurdles?

Here are the 7 common (and sometimes deadly, othertimes frustrating) misconceptions clients need to know about web design. I have also included steps and tips on how you can counter and prevent these problems from surfacing during your client-freelancer relationship. If you have stories or advice to share, let us know in the comments section.

1. They Think They Own You

There are oblivious clients out there who think that just because you’ve entered a contract with them, they basically own you. Watch out for these kind of clients! They will email you every hour asking for revisions, requesting new design features, and when you do not reply (because even you need sleep), they will get mad and start throwing curses and threats all over.

The problem arises when you didn’t explain your work schedule to your client properly. Think of it this way, if you don’t mention you don’t work during the weekends, they will automatically assume that you are working during the weekends, particularly if you work freelance (which to many, is the opposite of a fixed 9-to-5 woking environment).

It is a game of technicality: If you didn’t mention it, then it doesn’t apply.

How To Counter This

In order to avoid this, explain your working hours/schedule to your client. That way, they won’t expect a reply or an update on a Saturday night, and if they did, then they are the ones who are unreasonable. If possible, have a separate phone for work, something that you can turn off when you’re not working because trust me, they will call you on a Saturday night just to explain a revolutionary idea they’ve just had.

The same applies for emails. If you aren’t working, don’t check or reply your work emails. Remember that there will be more where that came from, when you do.

2. Their Website Will Immediately Go Viral

To a certain degree, a web designer is responsible for optimizing the markup of the website plus ensuring that it loads quickly, because search engines also rank websites based on load speed. What isn’t an exact science is whether the site design will go "viral". This buzzword has been going around for some time now and services peddle it like a feature. If you are unlucky, you’ll get a client who wants everything to be viral.

I know that this is tempting, especially for beginners who are looking for a way to break through the large competition. But, here’s the kicker, if your client expects you to deliver thousands of visitors to their website, unless you can do it, don’t say yes. Otherwise, you are basically looking for trouble.

How To Counter This

What you can do is explain to your clients that geting their website to go viral is a different service they are looking for, and then refer them to a service that they can use. Trust me, this happens a lot. More so with business owners who have very little idea of how the Internet works (yes, those still exist) but take the opportunity to explain how things work, rather than be frustrated with their expectations.

3. They Know What People Want

Animated logo, marquee, loads of pop-ups, auto-play music, and many other travesties that were considered cool 20 years ago make make today’s web designer wet their pants in fear. And for some reason, people aka clients are still asking for these things because to them, "this is what people want." Take a deep breath.


(Image Source: theoatmeal)

How To Counter This

When talking to a client, tell them that you know what you are doing and that you respect their input. But if you believe that their suggestions are an affront to the face of beautiful design do not pay heed. This is your duty as a web designer: to never give in to bad ideas and give birth to them.

A simple statement like: “I’ll take it into consideration, but based on what users want, this idea might work better. Trust me, I’ve been doing this for some time now and I don’t want you to be in a tight spot” will do wonders. Okay, maybe you can phrase it much better, but you get the idea.

For more tips on how to handle this delicate situation, check out Convincing The Client – How To Win A Design Argument.

4. "Space Is Bad And It Should Always Be Filled With Something"

Everyone needs breathing space. Even websites. Having empty space doesn’t mean the website has been rushed or not well-thought through. In fact, it takes serious thinking to ensure these "empty" spaces complement the entire website.

How To Counter This

There is a reason why the cluttered, glittery, blinking website designs of the 90′s died out. Tastes, needs and requirements change with time. Generation gaps exist even online and well, there will always be a transition period in the world of design, whether we like it or not.

It just so happens that whitespace and minimalism is the "in" thing now (who knows what will happen a couple of years from now), and it is important that your client understands that visitors associate website design with how up-to-date their company is when it comes to the latest of trends.

Better yet, send them this article: Changing The Face Of Web Design: A Case Study Of 25 Years

5. Mobile App Design And Mobile/Responsive Site Design Are The Same

There’s a big difference between having an app for your website and having a mobile or responsive website.

A mobile app or application is what you can download from marketplaces like Google Play or the App Store to be installed on your mobile devices. These applications are compact and serve specific purposes, minus the newsletter sign up forms, header, footer, fancy images, and the like.

A mobile website refers to a copy of a website saved under a different directory or subdomain (m.youtube.com), while a responsive website is built to "respond" and change to accommodate the different screen size you view the site on.

They are not one and all the same: a designer who can build a website may not necessarily know how to build an app, and vice versa.

How To Counter This

Be wary of clients who think that app = web design = what you are paid to do; especially if you can’t do them all. You need to clarify this to them with clear examples. You can fall back on an actual responsive site, a mobile site and an app that all belong to the same company or brand. It gives them a clear idea of what each is, and what exactly they want for their purpose. Be patient with this issue, it could take a while to get through to them.

6. Since You Designed Their Website, You Are Forever Responsible For Any Redesign

Have you heard of animal imprinting? It’s when an animal that is born sees people nearby (or anything moving) and follows it devotedly around thereafter, thinking that they are its parents. Well, in design, some clients have this tendency to depend on you for redesigns and everything else after a project is done.

It starts out as something small, like a font change, or a background color change, then because you did not invoice them for the changes, they expect every other change request thereafter to fall under the after-sales service. And their requests keep coming, in batches, nonstop, until you need to wave your white flag.

How To Counter This

If you don’t have the habit of using a contract for freelancing, maybe you should start using one. And if you do, make sure that the "grace period" clause is clearly explained to your clients before any work starts. I usually give my clients 48 hours to send their revision requests and another 24 hours after that for minor changes that they need.

If you work on a much larger-scale project, you will need to give them a longer "testing" period to go through the design. The idea is to let them know that, if you need changes, you have the next [pre-determined period of time] to tell me to fix it for free. Beyond that, you are on your own, or liable to be charged for change requests.

7. They Think They Can Cancel A Project Anytime And You Will Receive Nothing

This is another reason why you should work with a contract. Clients are human, and some of them are very fickle-minded. They may tell you they want this project done when, you can start when, then disappear for weeks, only to come back and tell you, they changed their mind, they don’t want to continue with the project, and voila, they are gone from the face of the earth.

How To Counter This

Yes, it is frustrating, but unless you ask for a deposit upfront, don’t expect to be paid for whatever work you have already put into the project. Although it would be easier to ask for an initial commencement deposit if you have a reputation that precedes you, it is common practice nowadays to ask for a starting fee before starting any work.

In many cases, it prevents the client from bailing on you halfway since they have committed financially to the client-freelancer relationship. You can also charge them a pre-determined cancellation fee, if the project is of a very large scale. This will reduce the losses from the man-hours you have spent on a project that ended up getting cancelled because of no fault of yours.

Conclusion

Despite all the suggestions listed above to counter the 7 misconceptions or problems clients may have about web design, sometimes it doesn’t help to be as blunt. You might need to resort to hinting or dropping things casually into normal conversations. Don’t expect your clients to known most of these things but you want to avoid insulting them, if they don’t.

For the more important things, keep a black-and-white copy of the communication: emails, Skype conversation, text messages so you have evidence that you have informed them beforehand of what is involved.

Also never sign a contract without fully explaining things to a new client. Contracts are supposed to protect your rights, and your client’s. At the end of the day it is a money for service exchange, and both sides should walk away from the transaction happy with what transpired over the completion of the project. And who knows, they might keep coming back to you with more projects.





hongkiat.com

Learning Programming: 10 Misconceptions That Are Not True

There are plenty of misconceptions and myths surrounding the art of programming. Many view it as a job only for the very gifted; the process, methodical, the rewards, glorious. A career path only for geeks, or for the mathematically inclined, and a job not tolerant of mistakes.

programming

In this post we are going to debug, explore and fix these misconceptions about being a programmer, and maybe serve as a source of relief for those who are wondering if programming is the career path for them. If you have any other myths to add to the list, name them in the comments section below.

1. I Have To Master Mathematics To Learn Programming Languages

People confuse of the relationship between mathematics and programming because they want a flat out answer of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. In reality, the answer is more towards "it depends, but mostly not". As a programmer, we spend most of our time writing code, not Math formulas, and your knowledge in Math is not directly proportional to your programming skill.

Don’t get me wrong though, we still need basic algebra, but it’s basic, and well, it’s just algebra. Besides, there are libraries and plugins, which you can apply directly into your code to help you solve mathematical and algorithmic problems.

math doom

However, if you are trying to create stuff that require advanced mathematical calculations or physics or computer graphics, you certainly need to master some Mathematics (but not to worry, there are tons of physics and graphics solutions in the industry already).

2. I Must Be A Genius (With An IQ OF 160)

It does not matter if your IQ is 160 or 90, programming is not related to biological factors, but your interest. If you have taken tests to determine your IQ score, know that it does little to identify what you like to do or how far you can get based purely on a test score.

I’m not a MENSA member but I do have 4 years of programming experience, and I can program simply because I don’t mind failing repeatedly, and learning from my mistakes, which is basically how programmers learn anyways.

Now to put a threshold on this, anyone who knows how to communicate, can learn programming. Because deep in its core, programming is a "language" with its own grammar & vocabulary, and its existence is purely to help you communicate with machine to complete a certain purpose or action, just like what we do to every human. It’s really that straightforward.

3. I Have To Go To University To Learn To Code

They say in order to max up your coding kung-fu, you need a true master to guide your path. And at the pinnacle of that hierarchy is the label of Professor (that’s about as high as you can go, in your study of anything). But these, days, and thanks to the Internet, you can learn how to program from kind and enthusiastic programmers, with zero involvement from university lecturers.

codecademy

Pick a beginner course in interactive learning websites like Codecademy, or read tutorial sites like Nettuts+ that have clear explanations in both text and video formats. Have a problem and want direct answer? Stack Overflow and Stackexchange are your best friends. Google searches can help you make the right connections (and let’s ont forget we have plenty of development resources for you here as well).

Look, we’re not saying that universities can’t teach you anything. A professor or lecturer can certainly speed up your understanding of theories and concepts such as Object Oriented Programming, and there are few critical advantages you need to take into account too.

But regardless the path you choose, it’s best for you to master your self-learning ability because unlike most industries, programming is always evolving at a very fast pace, and only you can determine whether you can keep up.

4. I Must Be An Adult To Learn Programming Languages

Parents, please don’t use your child’s age as a deterrent for them to learn programming languages, and that’s not just my personal opinion. At Code.org, there is a petition to demand the insertion of programming as a compulsory school subject, so kids can learn to think analytically.

Nonetheless, there is a difference in the learning model between kids and adults. It’s best for kids to learn in a more visual way, since their visual perception is more developed. For this, Scratch and Alice are the perfect fit for kids to program visually (it’s way way better than ancient programming books).

And if they prefer an interactive environment (because who doesn’t?), the code community like Khan Academy is the place to be. Parents can also help out by staying in the loop with their kids’ progress, and guiding them with explanation, tips and resources, plus the parental support that promotes active learning.

5. I Must Learn Only The Best Language

‘The Best’ Programming language? That’s a little misleading, because the best language for you to learn is the one that fits your current purpose, either for work or study. In other words, there is no best programming language, it depends on what you want to do with it.

python

There are great programming languages for beginners, though. Python is a good starter due to its simplicity, readability and flexibility. Java is easy to learn too and best of all, it has extensive documentation and a die-hard community, or you can dive intoC# like I did. Afterward, it’s up to you to decide your tools of choice based on the language’s speed, exclusive features, compatibility, maintainability, etc.

6. It Only Takes Weeks To Learn And Master A Programming Language

Don’t believe this tagline. It’s sad to see most aspiring youths trying a programming language for a short time only to find out they cannot create a MMORPG within weeks. Then, they pull the plug, label themselves as ‘not talented’ then give up on the dream of becoming a game programmer.

In truth, you can spend weeks to learn programming, but it takes years to master programming. Like drawing, programming requires an interest and patience, and most of the things you create initially may be of little use. Yet if you keep moving forward, you just have to take it a step at a time. To become a good programmer, you should feel very good every time you fail, because that’s the only way you progress.

7. I Should Memorize All Syntaxes And Avoid Help

The psychology is that, if you program without external guidance, you will memorize everything and become a true pro that can build anything from scratch. But the truth is, you don’t have to worry about memorizing syntaxes, as you’ll be writing the same code for thousands of times before you can flip the table and create a framework yourself.

aptana studio

Google, IDE and Frameworks are not created out of boredom – they are specifically designed to help you pick up programming faster. The best practice is to use IDE with syntax recommendation and consult the Google crystal ball, whenever you run into trouble.

Adopting frameworks help you understand what that programming language does, and what limits it can be pushed to. Then when you have progressed enough, experiment with specific programming features. Explore, blow something up (figuratively) and have fun messing up.

8. I Just Can’t Write That Much Code

I’m one of those people who were scared when I first viewed the source of a web page, because you can bet that 4000 lines of code can be overwhelming. However, while HTML is not a programming language, its content pretty much reflects what every code file contains in general. If you pay attention, you will find that they are just piles of code consisting repetitive statements, methods and loops.

That’s it; programmers mostly use the same stuff you learn in beginner and intermediate course to do both simple and complicated solutions. And once you get used to it, you will feel that 10,000 lines of code is child’s play. It can get addictive very quickly!

9. I Am Woman. I Can’t Code.

At the risk at threading into dangerous waters here, let me straight up say I am a fan of women programmers. The girls in my class owned us in both math and science subjects and my programming career has further substantiated this belief. Women have and always been on top in influential programmer lists, here’s a brief one for you, just to drive the point home:

  1. Ada Lovelace was the first programmer in the world.
  2. Grace Murray Hopper developed the first compiler for programming language.
  3. Adele Goldstine help created the world’s first electronic digital computer.
  4. Jean E. Sammet developed FORMAC programming language, a variation of FORTRAN.
  5. Marissa Mayer was one of the earliest programmers in Google.

marissa mayer
(Image Source: SFGate)

The impact of women in the field of programming is evident, but like how most men aren’t attracted to the perfume industry, the lower ratio of women to men programmers in the field maybe due to other factors such as social and economic pressures as well as different perspectives and interests in life etc.

10. I Can Only Start Making Money Once I have Mastered Programming

Take a glimpse at most job vacancies for programmers, and you can see the demand of several years of experience with tons of other programming languages for the position. But reality is not that harsh. You can always get a programming job equivalent to your programming experience, but you can’t just sit there and wait.

If direct application does not work, an internship is a healthy way to gain work experience and bid for a chance of being a permanent hire, but above all, your work portfolio with impressive showcases of your abilities is where interviewers want to check out. Reputation helps, so start open source project today.

Freelance is also a great place to start because most clients here are far more forgiving (just beware of clients from hell). Either way, there’s always a room for discussion, and everyone has got to start somewhere, but you must do something.

Welcome To The World of Programming!

All in all, programming is just like any other industry, where hard work and determination are your assets for success. So with all the doubts cleared, take your first step and start your first programming lesson today.


    


hongkiat.com

10 Common Misconceptions About Job Interviews

Think you are free from the chains of academia and can now roam freely to do what you want in real life? Or maybe get a job? For those who don’t have any experience with job interviews, they might ask the people around them, their family and friends, or even the Internet for tips or advice on how to ace a job interview.

(Image Source: Fotolia)

But like all kinds of advice not all of them is good advice. As time goes on, some of the ‘experience’ that well-meaning friends share with you are not even applicable to the current job-seeking atmosphere anymore. Here are top 10 misconceptions about job interviews that you might want to keep an eye out for.

1. Your Resume Must Be One Page Long Only

Your resume must only have one page because it was believed that interviewers won’t read your resume if it’s more than that. This is not true. It is quite dificult to summarize your whole list of achievements, contact info, objectives or relevant qualifications in a single page.

Reducing the font size or cramping too much of everything in, just to fit this one-page rule not only sounds ridiculous, it may also ruin the good impression the recruiter may have of you. You can expand this to two pages but it is best to keep the maximum length at that.

More related posts:

2. No Call? No Job

So you have submitted your application and have waited days for the interviewer to call you but… no luck. Does that mean that you should move on since "someone else must have gotten the job"? Well, not quite.

Recruiters are a busy lot and usually only begin calling the selected candidates after the closing date of the job notice or a couple of weeks after your submission.

If you don’t get a call after applying, you can always send an enquiry email or give them a call to ask if they have hired someone for the spot, and you would probably find that they are still in the midst of processing the applications.

3. They Called, I’m Still In The Running

So you got the call, congratulations! Not trying to be a wet blanket here but sometimes you are called to interview for jobs that don’t even exist. Often enough companies invite applicants for interviews for the purpose of company studies or research to minimize expenses on recruitment research.

Instead of asking questions about you, they might ask questions how the working environment in your current or last work place, how much is your salary scale, what benefits you are enjoying etc. Even if you are caught in one of these ‘traps’, keep your chin up, you don’t know what it can lead too.

4. The Interviewer Is Well-Prepared

While being well-prepared is good for an interview, this rule will probably only apply to the candidates. Most interviewers have other more pressing matters to deal with and will only take a little of their time to prepare for your first meet up with them. Don’t expect them to have read your resume through and through. If they did, there wouldn’t have been a need for you to tell them "about yourself" at the start of the interview.

Take the opportunity to pitch yourself or your skills and make "you" stand out of the crowd. Highlight your strengths and other discerning factors and be prepared to be asked questions that clearly show that they have never even looked at your application.

5. Interviewers Will Ask All The Same Questions

Although you know what to say when they ask you about your strengths and weaknesses, the skills you can bring to the company and how you can help improve the company brand, sometimes they will throw you a curve ball and ask you a really strange question.

Trick questions like "How many balloons fit inside of San Francisco?" are popular with larger companies where the competition is really high. These questions can help them tell apart those who are creative from those who are book smart. How will you approach a seemingly overwhelming question like that? How will you react? That’s what they are looking for. Either that or they just like to see sweat through the rest of the interview.

6. Looks Don’t Matter, Heart Does

Fairy tales may end with the lesson that no matter how you look on the outside, it’s the inside that counts. But when it comes to reality, the human instinct is to stick to the winner, or anyone who looks like one.

Recruiters want candidates who look fresh, confident, energetic and enthusiastic. You don’t have to be Prince Charming but proper personal grooming and how you present yourself will definitely influence how much recruiters want you to join them. While we’re on the subject…

7. The Most Qualified Person Gets The Job

While being qualified gives the applicants a headstart, the job interview is more like a date. You might not be the most qualified but if there’s chemistry between you and the interviewer you most likely still stand a chance to be the winning candidate for the job.

Also, academic qualifications may have gotten you through the door, but that’s not the only thing interviewers are looking at. They need you to convince them that you are the man (or woman) for the job, that you can be a great addition to the company instead of just being dead weight.

8. Accept When Offered a Beverage

Interviewers may try to be accommodating and ask you if you would like tea, coffee or any other beverage. While the polite thing to do is to accept the offer, unless the mentioned drink is right in front of your eyes, decline it.

You may be making the interviewer go out of their way to get you a drink, when all they are there to do is decide just how good you are as a new addition to the family. And imagine if you’re in a lengthy interview, you sure won’t want your bladder to be full halfway through it. You’re already nervous enough as it is.

9. List Out All Your References

In some places, checking up with the references is only a practice used by human resources to confirm that you have previously worked where you said you did. Most of the time these references may never be contacted at all. However you can use this to your strategy. After the interview you would have gotten a sense of what the recruiters think of you or seek from you.

There is still time to pick the reference who can give you a leg up in the right sense, provided that you have contacted them beforehand and explained your situation to them.

10. Keep Your Answers Short

How would you feel if you ask someone a lengthy question, expecting a similarly lengthy answer only to get, "Yes, I think so" and "No, I don’t think that." as your answers? It’s okay to open up and talk about the company or to explain yourself when you are asked a question, particularly if you have done your homework.

If keeping your answers short will not help you get the job, why would you do it just because someone tells you to?

    


hongkiat.com

10 Common Misconceptions About Job Interviews

Think you are free from the chains of academia and can now roam freely to do what you want in real life? Or maybe get a job? For those who don’t have any experience with job interviews, they might ask the people around them, their family and friends, or even the Internet for tips or advice on how to ace a job interview.

(Image Source: Fotolia)

But like all kinds of advice not all of them is good advice. As time goes on, some of the ‘experience’ that well-meaning friends share with you are not even applicable to the current job-seeking atmosphere anymore. Here are top 10 misconceptions about job interviews that you might want to keep an eye out for.

1. Your Resume Must Be One Page Long Only

Your resume must only have one page because it was believed that interviewers won’t read your resume if it’s more than that. This is not true. It is quite dificult to summarize your whole list of achievements, contact info, objectives or relevant qualifications in a single page.

Reducing the font size or cramping too much of everything in, just to fit this one-page rule not only sounds ridiculous, it may also ruin the good impression the recruiter may have of you. You can expand this to two pages but it is best to keep the maximum length at that.

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2. No Call? No Job

So you have submitted your application and have waited days for the interviewer to call you but… no luck. Does that mean that you should move on since "someone else must have gotten the job"? Well, not quite.

Recruiters are a busy lot and usually only begin calling the selected candidates after the closing date of the job notice or a couple of weeks after your submission.

If you don’t get a call after applying, you can always send an enquiry email or give them a call to ask if they have hired someone for the spot, and you would probably find that they are still in the midst of processing the applications.

3. They Called, I’m Still In The Running

So you got the call, congratulations! Not trying to be a wet blanket here but sometimes you are called to interview for jobs that don’t even exist. Often enough companies invite applicants for interviews for the purpose of company studies or research to minimize expenses on recruitment research.

Instead of asking questions about you, they might ask questions how the working environment in your current or last work place, how much is your salary scale, what benefits you are enjoying etc. Even if you are caught in one of these ‘traps’, keep your chin up, you don’t know what it can lead too.

4. The Interviewer Is Well-Prepared

While being well-prepared is good for an interview, this rule will probably only apply to the candidates. Most interviewers have other more pressing matters to deal with and will only take a little of their time to prepare for your first meet up with them. Don’t expect them to have read your resume through and through. If they did, there wouldn’t have been a need for you to tell them "about yourself" at the start of the interview.

Take the opportunity to pitch yourself or your skills and make "you" stand out of the crowd. Highlight your strengths and other discerning factors and be prepared to be asked questions that clearly show that they have never even looked at your application.

5. Interviewers Will Ask All The Same Questions

Although you know what to say when they ask you about your strengths and weaknesses, the skills you can bring to the company and how you can help improve the company brand, sometimes they will throw you a curve ball and ask you a really strange question.

Trick questions like "How many balloons fit inside of San Francisco?" are popular with larger companies where the competition is really high. These questions can help them tell apart those who are creative from those who are book smart. How will you approach a seemingly overwhelming question like that? How will you react? That’s what they are looking for. Either that or they just like to see sweat through the rest of the interview.

6. Looks Don’t Matter, Heart Does

Fairy tales may end with the lesson that no matter how you look on the outside, it’s the inside that counts. But when it comes to reality, the human instinct is to stick to the winner, or anyone who looks like one.

Recruiters want candidates who look fresh, confident, energetic and enthusiastic. You don’t have to be Prince Charming but proper personal grooming and how you present yourself will definitely influence how much recruiters want you to join them. While we’re on the subject…

7. The Most Qualified Person Gets The Job

While being qualified gives the applicants a headstart, the job interview is more like a date. You might not be the most qualified but if there’s chemistry between you and the interviewer you most likely still stand a chance to be the winning candidate for the job.

Also, academic qualifications may have gotten you through the door, but that’s not the only thing interviewers are looking at. They need you to convince them that you are the man (or woman) for the job, that you can be a great addition to the company instead of just being dead weight.

8. Accept When Offered a Beverage

Interviewers may try to be accommodating and ask you if you would like tea, coffee or any other beverage. While the polite thing to do is to accept the offer, unless the mentioned drink is right in front of your eyes, decline it.

You may be making the interviewer go out of their way to get you a drink, when all they are there to do is decide just how good you are as a new addition to the family. And imagine if you’re in a lengthy interview, you sure won’t want your bladder to be full halfway through it. You’re already nervous enough as it is.

9. List Out All Your References

In some places, checking up with the references is only a practice used by human resources to confirm that you have previously worked where you said you did. Most of the time these references may never be contacted at all. However you can use this to your strategy. After the interview you would have gotten a sense of what the recruiters think of you or seek from you.

There is still time to pick the reference who can give you a leg up in the right sense, provided that you have contacted them beforehand and explained your situation to them.

10. Keep Your Answers Short

How would you feel if you ask someone a lengthy question, expecting a similarly lengthy answer only to get, "Yes, I think so" and "No, I don’t think that." as your answers? It’s okay to open up and talk about the company or to explain yourself when you are asked a question, particularly if you have done your homework.

If keeping your answers short will not help you get the job, why would you do it just because someone tells you to?


hongkiat.com