Archive for the ‘the interview’ Category

Super Phone Interview Tips

Friday, March 25th, 2011

More and more job interviews these days take place over the phone.

This is bad news for people who don’t like talking on the phone.  But, take heart, this is a skill you can improve and there are real advantages (to the job hunter) to phone interviews. 

So if there’s a phone interview in your future, click on over to “Interview Dos and Don’ts” and pick up some tips (from WG et al.).

How to Ask for a Job

Friday, April 9th, 2010

“They”  say that you should be clear about saying that you want the job at interviews (assuming you do).  It’s called “asking for the order.”

But how exactly do you go about this?  It seems kind of forward.  To get you started, here are ten possible ways to “ask for the job.”

Caution People! How Social Media is Muddying the Waters for Perfectly Good Jobseekers…and How Companies are Letting it Happen

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Check out this guest post with an original point of view from career coach Teena Rose:

Invited to an interview, you step into the room and unload that heavy photo album you’ve been clinging to onto the conference table. In addition to a resume and brag book, you have pictures on your iPhone of your dogs and the neighbor’s cat stalking the birds enjoying your new bird feeder. The interview progresses by you opening and flipping through the pages of your album, pointing to your family and friends. You gladly draw the interviewer’s attention to those older pictures taken during your college days … and to the many of your drunk, sleeping positions your friends encapsulated forever through one click of a camera.


What? Personal items presented during an interview?

Why not? Isn’t that basically what hiring companies are doing rummaging through your public social media accounts, learning more about you and your online activities?

The next few years are certainly gray, uncharted waters for jobseekers. The issue of whether a person’s personal life and involvement online should have any place in the hiring realm is definitely a topic that will be battled over for years — maybe even decades. Some might unexpectedly find themselves entangled in lawsuits, as privacy experts grow increasingly concerned that disqualifying a candidate based on information gained online can introduce certain forms of discrimination into the hiring process.

Jobseekers have every right to be concerned about protecting their online identities from prying eyes, but where should the line be drawn? Employers shouldn’t be given uninhibited access to a jobseeker’s private life, should they?

Interestingly, a recent study released at Microsoft’s 4th Annual Data Privacy Day identified that 70% of those surveyed in the US indicated they had disqualified a candidate based on online information. What was the incriminating online information that caused the disqualification? Of course this was not made public … and behind the curtain of hiring, only HR managers and recruiters seem privy to such information.

The deeper issue is whether employers should be allowed to open that flood gate by bringing social media activities into the hiring world in the first place. I’m reminded of a line from the movie Jurassic Park. When referring to scientists, Jeff Goldblum’s character says, “Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Maybe employers poking through a jobseeker’s online activities are so preoccupied with the fact that they could that they never stopped to think whether they should.

Ahh, but hiring companies won’t find my online activities. Think again. Technology giants have only just begun leveraging the social media phenomena; and not surprisingly, for financial gain.

Microsoft announced the integration of Social Connector software, which will be released mid-2010. The add-on software is designed to let someone like me readily see the online communications from those who send me email. Microsoft’s Group Product Manager, Dev Balasubramanian, was quoted as saying: “As you communicate you can see their social activities; you can see all the folks in your social network and it updates as you are reading your e-mail.” Certainly it appears to offer great benefits to the masses, but for jobseekers, it just might leave an unpleasant sour aftertaste.

No doubt, employers will soon be given a larger spy glass — and unfortunate for jobseekers, Microsoft isn’t the only company abuzz with developing new applications that will take public social media data and translate it into something that can be researched and used, for good and evil.

Regardless, employers need to take a long look at their current hiring practices to determine whether a drunken party photo showing Joe Jobseeker has anything to do with the value Joe brings to the table professionally, and how well he performs while on the job.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – ~**~ – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Teena Rose is a professional speaker, career coach, book author, former columnist, and top-endorsed resume writer and job strategist. She leverages job-search collateral (i.e. resume, cover letter, executive bios), applying new social networking, personal branding, online portfolios, and new technologies/tools to further benefit the careers of her clientele. Contact Teena Rose at (937) 325-2149 or at her website;

A Real Life Great Interview Pitch

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Last week’s “50 Worst of the Worst (and Most Common) Interview Mistakes” brought in tons of feedback.  One of the best responses came from a reader whose first name is Bob.  It was so good that Working Girl asked if she could reprint it.  Here it is:

That’s a very good list, definitely one of the better job interview articles I’ve ever read.

 I have probably done 30+ interviews, mostly at a ‘Big 6’ accounting/consulting firm (yes, that’s a while ago, now ‘big 4’, big countdown), and I was kind of amazed how so many new grads, who were better students than I had been, were not well prepared for interviews.  All that work to get to that point, without the emphasis on the payoff moment.

 I was pulled off a client to do 3 days of interviews, with no prep, so I have to admit my style was my own, and somewhat relaxed (I had done some interviews at a previous company) – my attitude was ‘you’ve got 50 minutes of my time – give me your pitch’, although I did gently lead the interview to give it structure and to be fair to the candidate.  All I wanted was:

  •  Tell me that you understand who we are
  •  Tell me that you understand what the job is
  •  Tell me why you are prepared for the job
  •  Tell me (very carefully) that you understand the challenges (negatives) of what you are getting into (‘Big 6’ was somewhat of a harsh life, but a big career accelerator – this point may not be as applicable for other jobs) 
  •  Tell me that you still really want the job, that this is where you really want to be

 Of course I wanted it to be a little more polished and subtle, but that’s what I was looking for.  Pretty common sense, and anyone who could do it got my support for hire, because I really didn’t have any ‘extras’ to choose between.  And I was looking out for the applicant as well as the firm, it wasn’t going to be a good fit for the firm if the firm wasn’t a good fit for the candidate.

 Most of these issues are covered in your tip list, and that’s why I agreed with it.

 It’s been a while, and I don’t know if it’s still valid, but it seems to be helpful to friends I have coached.

What Not to Say at Work

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

US World and News ReportsYour mom was right.  If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. 

Substitute “smart” for “nice”  and you can apply this to the workplace.  For more specific advice, and seven examples of what NOT to say, check out today’s post over at U. S. News.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to take a look at last week’s post on 50 of the Worst (and Most Common) Job Interview Mistakes.  It got picked up on Yahoo and sort of struck a chord.  It inspired agreement, questions, some criticism, and even humor.  Need a laugh?  Check out MisfitWisdom‘s “helpful” additions to some of the 50 not-to-do’s. 

Finally, while we are discussing all things U.S. News, if you missed “How to Answer 10 Tricky Interview Questions,” it’s worth skimming (some) of the 300 comments.  Yikes.

The 10 Trickiest Interview Questions

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

US World and News Reports This latest U.S. News & World Report post actually appeared three days ago, but Working Girl was outta town and is just now getting back to all things computer.

It’s all about how to field the most common “trick” interview questions.  Let’s hope it comes in handy, real soon.

Turbocharge Your Thank You Note

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

US World and News ReportsJobhunters are probably tired of hearing it.  But “You gotta send a thank you note afterwards” is still one of the golden rules of interviewing.

So it may be extra annoying to learn that a simple “thanks for your time” is not cutting it these days.  Nope, your thank you note needs to work much harder than that. 

Scoot on over to today’s post at U.S. News & World Report for some tips.

The Dreaded Phone Interview

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

US World and News ReportsMany employers nowadays are conducting interviews by telephone.  Especially initial screening interviews.

If, like Working Girl, you don’t particularly like talking on the phone you will find this a special challenge. 

 And even if you do love gabbing on your cell or land line all the day long, you may be interested in these do’s and don’ts for the phone job interview

Over at U.S. News & World Report today (their blog is still in business despite the snow)!

Chitchat Can Pay Off

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

US World and News ReportsA job offer is the end result of a very successful human interaction, wouldn’t you say?

Very successful human interactions depend, to a large degree, on chemistry.

Chemistry happens when people feel at ease in your presence.

How to make people feel at ease?  You can be at ease yourself (relax).  You can look pleasant (smile).  And you can indulge in that good old tried and true social lubricant:

small talk 

Some tips for how to be a small talk master over at today’s U.S. News & World Report post.

What NOT To Do At Interviews

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Have you done any of the following at job interviews:

  • slouching
  • sniffling
  • yawning
  • nail biting
  • knee jiggling
  • hair twirling

If so, this is not good.  Find out why these things, and more, are bad and what to do about them in 15 Ways to Annoy Your Job Interviewer.