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Interviewing

From the Job Seeker’s Tool Kit! 5 Interview Statements. True or False?

Interview QuizAs a professional resume writer and Executive coach, I write blogs on success stories and tips for job seekers going through career transition on the topics of resumes, the interview, social networking, negotiating and many other subjects to help you through career transition.  Today, I thought it would be fun to do something a bit different.  So, this week we’ll take a quiz to review two of my blog posts written earlier this year on the interview and relevant today. Let's see what you remember.  If you haven't read my former interview posts, let's see how much you know. Let’s have some fun with this. Ready? Here we go…

Below are 5 true or false questions based on two of my popular blog posts titled “Job Interviewing Success! The 7 Critical Rules to Remember” and the “Top Job Interview Do’s and Don’ts for Women and Men to Dress for Success.”

5 Interview Question

 Review the interview statements below. Are they True or False?

 1. It's best to answer all situational questions with one of your accomplishments. Even if it’s unrelated to the job, it’s still one of your accomplishments.

 2. Focus your answers on your skills

 3. Wear conservative or power colors. This shows your confidence to the interviewer.

 4. On a warm sunny day, it is acceptable to wear sunglasses in the interview.

 5. Do wear light cologne or none at all.

 

Man Reviewing Interview Quiz1. It's best to answer all situational questions with one of your accomplishments even if it's unrelated to the job.  False. Do answer all situational questions with an accomplishment. However, you do want to direct your answers to the company needs.  And, present your answers on what you can do for the company, not what they can do for you.  Many interviewees do not remember to do this.  I also recommend using the S.A.R. statement to answer all accomplishments. S.A.R. stands for Situation, Action, Result.  Begin with the verb that best describes your role. For example, managed, developed or represented. Discuss briefly 3 or 4 actions without too much detail. And, end with the result.  What was the outcome of your accomplishment that made it a success? If possible, quantify the results with a specific dollar amount or percentage increased or reduced.  If the results are not available yet, projections are acceptable. Remember to speak the language of the industry where you are interviewing.  This will tell the interviewer you are a good fit and ready to make the change.

2. Focus on your skills. True. Be specific. Say the skills the interviewer is looking for in your answers at least three times throughout your interview.  For example, if you are in Human Resources Management, you may want to name drop the skills Talent Management, Human Resources Management, and Training and Development.  What the employer hears three times in the interview, they will remember.

3. Wear conservative or power colors. This shows your confidence to the interviewer. False. Do wear conservative colors onlyConservative colors include navy blue, black, tan or any earth tone colors that compliment you.  Do not wear power colors to the interview. For example, red is a power color.  Leave the power in the hands of the interviewer.

Business at interview wearing sunglasses4. On a warm sunny day, it is acceptable to wear sunglasses during the interview. False. It is not acceptable to wear sunglasses during the interview. Eye contact is important.  Let the employer see your eye contact. This sounds funny that anyone would wear sunglasses, however, interviewers see it often. I remember seeing someone in an interview with sunglasses and a bright orange tie.  This is a perfect example of what not to do.

5. Do wear light cologne or none at all. True. Ladies and gentlemen, your cologne may offend the interviewer or may even be the cologne of an allergy. Or, remind the interviewer of a former business or personal relationship, which could be a distraction to your interview.

 

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and found this week’s blog fun and helpful to you. If you're an Executive with a success story you'd like to share, please email your story to Kim@justresumesusa.com. I'll be happy to write your story and use it to encourage others. 

If you are a job seeker, I would like to encourage you to check out HiringforHope.org, and become a member of this very special non profit organization, whose purpose is to help people through career transition. This is where you can volunteer.  And, you too, can make a difference.  

Do you need immediate help with job interviewing, social networking or salary negotiating? Or, maybe you're thinking about hiring a professional resume writer to help you write your resume. I can help. To email me a comment, ask a question or schedule a free initial phone consultation, please give me a call or contact me at www.JustResumesUSA.com.

 

You will find me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. For more weekly career tips on Career Coach Kim Blog, stay tuned …

Job Seeker’s Tools! Interviewing? Think Big! Dress for Your Potential!

I was having lunch with one of my business colleagues, Jan from "Get You Started eMarketing "  She said something that reminded me of two great job interview success stories I’d like to share with you in my blog this week.  And, as many of you know, I write success stories and valuable tips in my weekly blogs to help job seekers through career transition. As a Career Coach, I write professional resumes and coach all levels of professionals with Interview Preparation, Social Networking, Networking and Salary Negotiating.

The first interview success story, I’d like to share with you is from one of my own experiences.  The second interview success story is an experience I observed in one of my workshops, as a facilitator. Sound interesting?  Read on… 

I remember sitting in an office at a call center for about 45 minutes waiting to be interviewed for a trainer position. I had never been in a call center before. As I watched people come and go, I noticed how they dressed. OMG. Suddenly, I felt so over dressed in my conservative business suit. I was wearing a mid-length navy blue skirt, white blouse and a matching navy jacket with nylons and 1-inch pump healed shoes. I was wearing the perfect outfit for your typical job interview. Right? Well, in the call center environment most employees were dressed very casual. Let's make this long story short…

I felt so over dressed!  But, guess what happened next. I interviewed and landed the Job!

Tip #1. You cannot be too over dressed.  Ladies and gentlemen, wear a business suit to the job interview.

 

The second  interview success story is about Joseph. I was facilitating one of my weekly, 40 hour classes to 20 new hire trainees on how to become a Call Center Operator.  This 5-day workshop provided training on the topics of Human Resources, Customer Service, Quality Standards and Internal Software for the call center computer systems.  The new hire trainees were not required to dress up for training classes and I told the class this on the first day.

Joseph was an operator trainee. He dressed for success to a 5-day “New Hire Training Workshop” with the intention to land an interview for a higher position. Joseph dressed for his potential!

On the first Monday morning of the new hire training class, I noticed Joseph, one of the new hire trainees, all dressed up in a business suit.  He continued to wear a business suit all week for five days.

I asked him, “Why do you get dressed up in a business suit for training?”  He said “I wear a business suit because I have call center supervisor experience and I heard there’s a supervisor position open. I want to be considered a candidate for this position.” 

Joseph got an interview and landed the supervisor job directly out of training.

Are you applying for a job or jobs you know you may be over qualified? If so, think big.  Do further research on the company. Get to know the internal scoop by joining conversations on Twitter. Seek out networking contacts on LinkedIn.  And, "Dress for your potential,"  in the interview and beyond.

Tip #2.  Remember, “Think big, think success,” when dressing up for the job interview and beyond.  Dress the role you want to be noted for.  If you’re applying for a trainee role and you’re interested in moving up the ranks, show the interviewer you are management material and ready to take the challenge. 

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and found this information helpful to you. If you're an Executive with a success story you'd like to share, please email your story to Kim@justresumesusa.com. I'll be happy to write your story and use it to encourage others. 

 

If you are a job seeker, I would like to encourage you to check out HiringforHope.org, and become a member of this very special non profit organization, whose purpose is to help people through career transition. This is where you can volunteer.  And, you too, can make a difference.  

Do you need immediate help with job interviewing, social networking or salary negotiating? Or, maybe you're thinking about hiring a professional resume writer to help you write your resume. I can help. To email me a comment, ask a question or schedule a free initial phone consultation, please give me a call or contact me at www.JustResumesUSA.com.

 

You will find me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. For more weekly career tips on Career Coach Kim Blog, stay tuned …

 

 

Great Interview? Top it Off with a Strategic Proposal in the Thank You Letter

Welcome to this week’s Ask Coach Kim’s Blog! – If you're new here, my blog topics are centered around career advice to help job seekers. With 27 years experience as a Career Coach and Resume Writer, this advice will help you or someone you know be successful through career transition.  If you’re on Twitter, please Retweet.  If you’re on Facebook, please Share with your friends or with everyone. If you’re on LinkedIn, please send to your Contacts.  LinkedIn was originally created for job seekers going through career transition.  Topics in my blogs include resume writing, interviewing, social networking, volunteering, public speaking, salary negotiating and managing change. Last week, we discussed Job Interview Success! The 7 Critical Rules to Remember.  These rules give you a framework to help you successfully answer any question the interviewer asks you.

 

Today's blog focuses on a strategy that positions you as the ideal candidate for the job by writing a proposal to close the deal.  How? By preparing for the interview and asking the interviewer the right questions.  Sounds too simple, doesn’t it? It is. The answers you receive will give you the information you need to turn the employer needs into a proposal.  A proposal of how you can make a positive difference based on the interview.  Sound like a strategic plan for you?  Read on …

When the interviewer asks you “Do you have any questions for me?” Answer “Yes, I have three or yes, I have four.”  Let the interviewer know how many questions you have so they give you the time you need to ask your questions.  After you ask each question, it is important to take notes. Write the key words to the answers the interviewer gives you, in their language.  Below are the strategic questions to ask.

Here’s an example of my experience with a client closing the deal with his proposal.

 

Jim was interviewing for the position of District Manager of three States. He contributes his proposal to landing a higher paying position, Customer Relationship Manager of Key Accounts, Western States, US. Jim received a call directly after he sent his proposal to the hiring manager. He said, “As soon as I emailed the proposal with my thank you letter, I got a phone call from the hiring manager telling me he wanted to hire me for another position he thought would be a "better fit."  He thought of me for this new position while he read my proposal."

 

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

  1. What would you like the ideal candidate to accomplish in the next 60, 90 and 180 days?
  2. What are the biggest issues you’re facing today?
  3. How have your business goals changed over the past two years and what are you expecting in the next one or two years?
  4. What’s the timeframe for the next steps in the hiring process?

 

What would you like the ideal candidate to accomplish in the next 60, 90 and 180 days? In my experience, the interviewer may give you an answer for each timeframe.  In many cases, questions #2 and #3 above will be answered with question #1.  There is no need to repeat the question if it’s already been answered, however remember to take good notes for your proposal to answer them each individually of how you can make a difference.  Do not give too much detail of how you accomplished this, however, do give the results of your accomplishments.  You want the hiring manager to need YOU to do the job. Not take what you wrote and run with it. I’ve seen this happen if you give too much information.

What are the biggest issues you’re facing today? Remember, if the employer already answered this question with your question #1, take notes here, but, there is no need to ask this one.  If they did not give you this information from your first question, do ask this question and take notes for your proposal.  They will be impressed you are asking this question. It’s been my personal experience that this one question can raise issues they hadn’t thought about when they created the position you're interviewing for and could change the job description.  This is another story for another time.

How have your business goals changed over the past two years and what are you expecting in the next one or two years? As in the previous question, if the employer already answered this question with your question #1, take notes here, but, there is no need to ask this one.  If they did not give you this information from your first question, do ask this question and take notes for your proposal.  Similarly, I found the answer to this question to be quite interesting in some interviews. Listen well, and remember your purpose for asking these questions.  To write a proposal of how you can make a positive difference and land the job.

What’s the timeframe for the next steps in the hiring process? Always ask this question.  You want to know the timeframe for your next steps before you leave the interview.  Why? So you'll know when to follow up. Collect a business card from each interviewer so you'll have the information needed to follow up with their correct name, title, direct phone number and email address. 

 

I recommend sending your proposal as part of your thank you letter or send it with your thank you letter as long as your thank you letter remains one page or less.  To format your proposal, create two columns.  One column will be titled Company Requirements.  These are the answers the interviewer provided for the questions you asked in the interview. The second column will be titled Your Qualifications. In this section you'll write how you can make a positive difference based on the interview.

 

I hope this week's blog has been helpful to you.  For a refresher of previous interviewing blogs, I recommend reviewing the blog titled "Interviewing Tip #1" and Dressing for Success for the Job Interview. 

 

If you are a job seeker, or know someone who is, I would like to encourage you to check out HiringforHope.org, and become a member of this very special non profit organization, whose purpose is to help people through career transition. This is where you can volunteer.  And, you too, can make a difference. I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and found this information helpful to you. If you have useful tips or stories to share, please email me at kim@justresumesusa.com.

 

Do you need immediate help with job interviewing, social networking or salary negotiating? Or, maybe you're thinking about hiring a professional resume writer to help you write your resume. I can help. To email me a comment, ask a question or schedule a free initial phone consultation, please give me a call or contact me at www.JustResumesUSA.com.

You will find me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. For more weekly career tips on Career Coach Kim Blog, stay tuned …

 

 

Job Interviewing Success! The 7 Critical Rules to Remember

Happy Monday everyone! – So far, this year, we covered topics on resume writing, interviewing, social networking, volunteering, salary negotiating and managing change.  We discussed the 3 things employers look for in the interview, i.e., your experience, motivation and fit.  And, specifically how to answer “Tell me about yourself,” while letting the employer know you have the experience, the motivation. and you're a great fit for the company.  For a refresher of all these details, I recommend reviewing the blog titled "Interviewing Tip #1." We also covered two topics on Dressing for Success to the Job Interview.  Today, we’re going to discuss the basic rules critical for your job interviewing success. These rules will give you a framework to help you successfully answer any question the interviewer asks you.

 

The 7 Critical Job Interviewing Rules to Remember

1.  Use your Impression Management skills wisely.

 

2. Focus on your skills.

 

3. Direct your answers to the needs of the company.

 

4. Answer every situation question with a S.A.R. statement.

 

5. Present yourself on what you can do for the bottom line and the people at the company.

 

6. End all negative response questions with a positive ending.

 

7. Speak the language of the interviewer.

 

____________________

 

Use your Impression Management skills wisely.

There is a buzz word many of you may not even know about yet. It’s called “Impression Management.” Are you Impression Management savvy?  Do you even know what Impression Management is?  Are employers looking for your Impression Management skills in the interview? Are your Impression Management skills more important to some employers, than your experience or education? Here’s an example of how I used Impression Management.

I was waiting in the lobby to have an informational interview with the Director of Consulting Services at Right Florida. The director came out to the lobby and greeted me.  She shook my hand and smiled. Using my Impression Management skills, I gave her a firm handshake and looked her in the eyes with a big smile on my face as we greeted each other. Then she walked me to her office.  Why did I call this Impression Management?  Because, for me, as I shook her hand, I was thinking, "I’m so nervous, I’m glad she doesn’t know how I am feeling right now." All she knew was what she saw, my friendly smile, look of confidence as I looked her in the eye and greeted her with a firm handshake.  This demonstrated the confidence she was looking for in me.  I was using “Impression Management” in a positive way and connected to her.  You see, it doesn’t matter how you’re feeling, what matters is what you do about it.  Over time, your feelings will catch up with you. This was a new beginning for me. I had a great interview and I landed the job. If you want more information and discussions on Impression Management, go to HiringforHope.org. They are going to be featuring this topic today.

 

Focus on your skills.  Be specific. Say the skills the interviewer is looking for in your answers at least three times throughout your interview.  For example, if you are in Sales Management, you may want to name drop the skills new business development, sales management and team development.  What the employer hears three times in the interview, they will remember.

 

Direct your answers to the needs of the company.  This is about your presentation.  It’s how you say, what you say.  Focus your answers on the company needs, what you can do for the company, not what they can do for you.  Most interviewees do not remember to do this.  And, speak the language of the industry you are interviewing.  This will tell the interviewer you are a good fit and ready to make the change.

 

Answer every situation question with a S.A.R. statement.  S.A.R. stands for Situation, Action, Result.  Remember to answer every situational question with the situation.  Begin with the verb that best describes your role.  With the action, discuss briefly 3 or 4 actions without too much detail.  And, end with the result.  What was the outcome of your accomplishment that made it a success.  If possible, quantify the results with a specific dollar amount or percentage increased or reduced.  If the results are not available yet, projections are acceptable.

 

Present yourself on what you can do for the bottom line and the people at the company.  Some of the questions you will be asked will give you an opportunity to answer how you can make a difference to the bottom line and the people you've managed or assisted.  For example, if asked “Where would you like to be in five years?”  A great answer would be “I would like to be your top sales manager for company growth and team development where I developed, mentored and promoted my team members to key management positions throughout the company."

 

End all negative response questions with a positive ending.  For example, if you are a social worker and the interviewer asked you “What did you like least in your job?” A great answer would be “The least favorite part of my job was filling out all the paperwork involved at the end of the day. “However, I always met my deadlines and I have had articles published in the company newsletters."

 

Speak the language of the interviewer.  Mirror the body language and communication style of the interviewer.  I recommend using the concept from the MBTI to speak the interviewer’s communication style.  If they use the word “think” in the question, respond using the word “think.”  If they use the word “feel” respond with the word “feel.”  For example, “tell me what you think of …..?  Or, tell me how you feel about ….?  This is a chemistry piece.  The chemistry goes up when you speak their language and can go down if you speak the opposite language.  This is the “fit” part of the experience, motivation, fit the employers looks for when interviewing each candidate.

 

If you are a job seeker, I would like to encourage you to check out HiringforHope.org, and become a member of this very special non profit organization, whose purpose is to help people through career transition. This is where you can volunteer.  And, you too, can make a difference. I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and found this information helpful to you. If you have useful tips or stories to share, please email me at kim@justresumesusa.com.

 

Do you need immediate help with job interviewing, social networking or salary negotiating? Or, maybe you're thinking about hiring a professional resume writer to help you write your resume. I can help. To email me a comment, ask a question or schedule a free initial phone consultation, please give me a call or contact me at www.JustResumesUSA.com.

 

You will find me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. For more weekly career tips on Career Coach Kim Blog, stay tuned …