Tag Archives: interview

How To Prepare For The Great Job Hunt

By, Diana Ouzts

I’ve written a lot about The Great Job Hunt from the hunter’s perspective. How to target the job and shoot true are vital components to bagging a job because one never wants to go on The Great Job Hunt without being armed and ready. But, let’s look at The Great Job Hunt from a different perspective, from the perspective of the game, in this case known as, “The Employer.”

What do prospective employers see when faced with a multitude of faceless job hunter resumes? How does The Employer decide which great hunter will score an interview? What kinds of questions do employers ask when the hunter sits across the desk, all locked and loaded ready to snag the job?

Every now and then, I come across books that really deliver value. Recently, I discovered a wonderful book that gives job hunters an inside look at the thought processes of prospective employers and what motivates them to, “Pick me!” In the book, This is How to Get Your Next Job: An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want, author Andrea Kay interviewed hiring managers and asked them one question: “Why didn’t you hire the last ten people you interviewed?”

The answers were unexpected. The overarching answer wasn’t that the applicants were lacking in skills or experience, but hiring managers based their decisions upon how applicants seemed during the interview. If an applicant told too many personal things, itseemed like the applicant would talk too much on the job.

I talk a lot when I’m nervous. Oops.

Typos on a resume make you seem careless. Being late for an interview makes you seemunreliable. Kay writes, “Before you walk into the interview room, think about how you’d like to be remembered after you walk out.” Applicant behaviors before, during, and after an interview absolutely affect job offers.

I had one very qualified job applicant not get a job because of her behavior after the interview. After the interview, my candidate did not realize she was standing outside the open window of the hiring manager while she talked on her cell phone in the parking lot. Her use of off-colorful language made her seem like she’d be rude to the company’s clients.

An interview is an evaluation process and everything about you is fair game, from your appearance to the very way you speak. This is How to Get Your Next Job actually helps to put the right words in your mouth. For instance, instead of saying you have good people skills, say instead, “I put people at ease,” or, “I speak and write in a way that makes it easy for customers to understand what I mean.” That’s an awesome replacement for, “I provide excellent customer service.” Don’t you think? I’m going to use that!

There are several great components to This is How to Get Your Next Job, including a “Would You Hire You” test, and “20 Things You Should Never Do.” Number nine is saying, “I won’t do that!”

I’ll make sure not to do that!

Job-hunting is just that—it’s a hunt, and it can be scary out there. The outcome will be determined by preparedness, awareness, and tenacity. Remember, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. So, load your hunting arsenal, wipe on the bug repellent and let The Great Job Hunt begin!  What’s your best job hunting strategy?

The Interview—What Should You Wear?

Did you know that 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look?

Congratulations! You landed the hard-to-score job interview. Now comes the next hurdle: What should you wear? What you wear to a job interview will determine whether or not you will even be considered for the job. It is true! In these days of political correctness and human kindness, some assume that being judged by clothing just isn’t right. I mean having a resume written so well that it almost heralds the Second Coming should be convincing enough. Right?

Wrong. “Dress For Success,” is a job-hunting commandment for a reason. What you wear to a job interview is the visual piece to influencing your prospective employer that you are the one for the job. Let’s explore this notion. What do you immediately think of when you see a group of people wearing bright orange jumpsuits, or depending on your neck of the woods, white suits with big black horizontal stripes? Or, how about people dressed in scrubs? Let’s go just a little bit further, would you recognize Santa Clause without the Big Red Suit? Well, the big white beard might be a give-away, but if you saw Santa wearing shorts and a Hawaiian-print shirt, he sure wouldn’t look ready to go to work, now would he? What you wear to a job interview is like a magic key that has the power to unlock your future.

Countless unbelieving candidates have lost out on being considered for their dream jobs purely because they broke the, “Dress For Success,” commandment. In fact, I had a candidate show up for a professional job interview dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. The employer told me that he simply could not take that person seriously, no matter how great the resume. See?

Dressing well for your interview is really quite simple. And, that is the key word, “Simple.” Dressing professionally means leaving sagging pants, stilettos, and spandex in the closet. Again, remember clothing defines the wearer. Wearing a skirt so tight that the rear view looks like two cats fighting to get out of a burlap sack is not the image you want to present for a professional office. Below are two simple lists with the basic ideas. Keep reading…

Women
Solid color, conservative suit
Solid color, conservative slacks, or skirt
Coordinated blouse
Moderate shoes
Limited jewelry
Neat, professional hairstyle
Sparse make-up and perfume
Manicured nails

Men
Solid color, conservative suit
Solid color, conservative slacks
White long-sleeved shirt
Conservative tie
Dark socks, professional shoes
Limited jewelry
Neat, professional hairstyle
Go easy on the aftershave
Neatly trimmed nails

Regardless of the dress code at your prospective place of employment, it just makes sense to dress your best for the interview. A quick Internet search with, “How to dress for a job interview,” in the search bar will reveal a plethora of ideas on the subject. One of my favorites is http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2011/11/08/how-to-dress-for-a-job-interview.

Above all, remember that your recruiters at The Temp Connection are invested in your success. If in doubt, just ask and we’ll steer you in the right direction. When it’s time to go to work (and job hunting certainly is work), be like Santa Clause and put on “The Big Red Suit.”

How to Ace the Phone Interview

Factoid
A candidate who flushed the toilet during an interview made a top-10 list of job-hunter blunders.

How to Ace the Phone Interview

You just got the great news: you scored an interview! And then the other shoe dropped—it’s a telephone interview.

Employers and HR Departments are increasingly using telephone interviews as pre-screening to the “real” interview. Why? Because telephone interviews save employers time and money; they are a great way to disqualify applicants, not a great way to be hired.

Telephone interviews leave out an important piece in the job-hunt puzzle, namely, the reciprocal warm-and-fuzzy, give-and-take of human interaction—the element that can make interviewing tolerable, and sometimes even fun. Never fear, dear Candidates, here are some tried and true techniques for acing the dreaded phone interview.

  1. Find a quiet place. Close your windows; silence cell phones, landlines, dogs, children, and dripping faucets. Have a hard copy of your resume on hand.
  2. Take the call on a land line.  Cell phones are notorious for poor connections and dropping calls.  If possible, suspend call waiting.  As much as we enjoy personalized and fun out-going messages, make sure your contact phone has a professional out-going phone message.
  3. Have cheat notes ready.  Here is one glorious advantage of the phone interview. You get to sound prepared and knowledgeable. Google the company and organize some notes in bullet form. Don’t write full sentences because you will be tempted to read. Try to sound as natural as possible. Prepare questions and sound interested in the company.
  4. Practice, practice, practice.  You might feel weird and unnatural, but this step will pay off. Grab a friend and roll-play a telephone interview. It is very helpful to record your mock interview. This way you’ll catch verbal weakness such as speaking too fast and repeatedly saying, “Um,” and, “You know.”  You know?
  5. Smile. I know, it feels silly, but it has been proven that when people smile while they speak, their voices sound more friendly and exuberant. Wear professional clothing. You won’t be seen, but you will feel more confident when you make this effort. Wear a headset, if possible. You will be able to move around and use natural hand movements while speaking, making you seem more natural and confident with your responses.
  6. Don’t be a blabber mouth. If you’re like me, you might tend to blabber when you’re nervous. Resist that temptation. Keep in mind that the interviewer will, more than likely, be taking notes.  Give the interviewer time to jot.
  7. Always say thank you. Follow your phone interview with a thank-you card or an email. Thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate your interest in the job.

 

Trust me, Candidates, these techniques work. I’ve had candidates win face-to-face interviews just by smiling during the phone interview and confidently answering interview questions. Tweak your technique and you’ll ace the phone interview, too.

The Three Most Important Questions In An Interview

You may have seen this article in Forbes by contributor, Bradt but if not, we wanted to share a brief summary with you.

1. Can you do the job?
It’s not just the technical skills, but also about leadership and interpersonal strengths. It’s so important to be able to deal with people and build relationships with colleagues so that discussion and teamwork are productive.

2. Will you love the job?
Will you be motivated to learn how your skills and talent contribute to company goals and culture? Will you take your job seriously? Will you be interested in learning new skills and seeking new opportunities within the company? If you don’t love your job, it affects you and your outlook negatively….and you feel trapped.

3. Can we tolerate working with you?
Try to learn the culture so there are no surprises when an employee or a supervisor does something that may seem strange to you at first. Ask those questions in the interview that reveal the corporate environment and the MO under which employees operate. The more information you have, the better you can decide if the fit will be right or not.