Top Tips For Acing Your Next Job Interview - #career #careeradvice

If you want to get hired at the next interview, then here are some tips to follow. To help you to ace your next interview, you’ll want to stand out from the crowd. It isn’t as difficult a process as you might imagine; you just want to focus on making a great first impression.

Research The Company

Unless you are going out on a blind date, you should know a little about the person that you are going to be meeting up with. If you’d do that for a date, then it is a huge mistake to not go to a job interview without any knowledge of the company. You could even look up the company on a site like LinkedIn to see the individuals that are likely to be interviewing you. You can easily ace a job interview when you have shown that you have taken time to research the company. If you know what has been going on recently in the company, then it can be a good idea to have some questions ready for them too. When you are prepared, it looks good; the interviewer will know that this job means a lot to you and that you have an interest in the company that is genuine.

Use Your Resume Well

As someone that is applying for a job, you should know your resume practically off by heart. It isn’t the interviewer’s job to know these kinds of things about you. They will want to hear about them all. Plus, through the application process, they are likely to have a copy that they can read from and ask you anything about. If you’ve forgotten that you did some express training a year ago, or forgotten that you wrote about a position of responsibility that you may have embellished, and they ask you to explain but you’re unable to, then it isn’t going to look good. If you are able to implement this kind of strategy, then it will definitely help you to be on the way to ace your job interview. The interview is the time that you use to convince the interviewer that you are able to do the advertised job. Have something intelligent to say about each aspect of your previous work and roles. It is one of the best things that you can be doing in an interview.

Understand the Job Description in Detail

After getting the offer of an interview, you need to go back and make sure that you have a copy of the job description that you have applied for. Just the role’s title isn’t going to be enough to help you through. Study what the role description is. It can really help you to understand what the interviewer is looking for in a candidate. There will be specific words that the job description uses, such as attention to detail. When you know this kind of thing, it can help you to make specific examples based on your resume. These can be used at the interview to demonstrate how you fit this role. If you can do this for all of the main qualities or traits that are listed in the job description, then you will be well on your way to acing the interview.

Be Friendly; Build Rapport

There is an old saying that there is no second chance to make a first impression. That is something that holds very true for jobs and job interviews. You need to know how to be friendly and build a rapport with your interviewer right from the start. If you get their back up, then they won’t be able to imagine you working there. Simple things like starting off by greeting the interviewer with a firm handshake and a smile is a good place to start. Making small talk before you get into things is also another step to showing some of your personality and that you are a friendly person that would fit into the office environment.

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Make Eye Contact

Along similar lines, building a rapport with someone is all about things like eye contact. Using it well is important as it is one of the biggest forms of nonverbal communication; a must for acing a job interview. Having eye contact also helps to show whether you are someone that is strong or weak. It is through that direct eye contact shows two qualities that employers will want; confidence and self-esteem. Even if you don’t think you fit into that category, fake it until you make it. Make sure you use eye contact. Look the interviewer in the eye as they greet you and when shaking hands. Having eye contact when you’re telling stories or answering questions will also help you to really exude confidence.

Follow Up After An Interview

Immediately after an interview, it is a good idea to send a note or an email to thank them for their time. By simply thanking the interviewer for their time and letting them know that it was great to meet them can be a wonderful thing for them to receive. The team may deliberate over who to get the job too, and something like that can help you to stand out in their memory. It can be a simple thing, but something that can help you to do well in a job interview, nonetheless. If you understand and take on board these strategies, then you can be well on your way to getting the job that you have been dreaming of.

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Top Tips For Acing Your Next Job Interview - #career #careeradvice

If you have managed to bag yourself an interview for a job, you may be feeling a little bit nervous, especially if this is your first interview or you have not had one for quite some time. However, there is no need to panic, it is all about being prepared. One of the ways you can do this is by avoiding some of the common mistakes that people before you have made. 

Not Practicing

There is only one place to begin, and this is with failing to practice. There really is no excuse for this. If you take a look online, you will see that there are so many articles and resources regarding the most common interview questions. You should also be able to find questions for the specific role you are going for, be it a vet, accountant, or something else. Practice makes perfect, so they say. Take the time to try and answer as many practice questions at possible. However, make sure you rehearse them in a natural manner – you don’t want it to come across as if you are reading from a script.

Lying

Lies catch up with you in the end. Let’s say you tell a lie, you bag the job, and then you don’t actually have the experience to carry out the tasks required of you. It’s going to be worse in the end. Being truthful is always the best approach, irrespective of the situation. Let’s say you’ve been caught drink driving in the past. The interviewer wants to know why you don’t drive. You lie, and then they do a background check and find that you’re suspended. Again, it doesn’t look good does it? You can read up on how DWI affects a nursing license and other professions online. If you’re honest and explain that you have learnt from the situation and you’re trying to move forward, your potential employer will respect you for it.

Not Preparing

Not only do you need to practice for the job interview, but you need to be prepared. What’s the difference? Well, preparation covers everything from having your suit ready the evening before to arriving at the interview 15 minutes early. If you do not know where the building is, you should try out the route in advance so that you can see how long it takes you and ensure there are no mishaps on the day.

As you can see, there are a number of mistakes that people commonly make when taking a job interview. If you can avoid the blunders mentioned above, you will give yourself a great shot at succeeding and securing the job you want.

Related: Why I’m not Hiring You – Confessions of a Hiring Manager

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Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid - #jobinterview #career #careeradvice

If you’ve been searching for a job for awhile, it’s easy to get discouraged when you can’t get an interview—or worse, when you land interviews, but never hear from the employer again. After countless applications and resume tweaks nothing is coming back positively for you. You wonder if you will ever manage to get a job and you’re starting to lose hope.

The first thing you should do is read our article on the 9 Reason I’m Not Hiring You. Katie talks about her experience as a hiring manager for our parent company, and the biggest mistakes that keep her from hiring applicants.

Then, there are three positive actions you can take right now to improve your chances of finding a job. Take a deep breath, then get started!

Spruce Up Your Resume

You will start to notice a much quicker and more positive response rate from your applications if you give your entire resume an overhaul. You need an excellent resume objective in order to land an interview. You might need to tweak your resume for each individual job you apply for, so that you can showcase and highlight your strengths. This will take time to refine but once you have got the hang of it, you will soon become a pro.

Our Top Resume Articles

We will makeover your resume for just $49!

Raise Your Interview Game

Landing the interview is one of the most difficult parts of obtaining your dream job. Once you have the interview in the bag, you will need to brush up your interview techniques. Don’t rest on your laurels or credentials in order to bag the role, you will need to be articulate and well informed during the interview. Making a good impression in the interview room is easier than it sounds. All you have to do is be yourself, tell the truth and tell stories about how your previous experience will help you in this job. Make sure you can explain exactly why you applied for this job too, otherwise the panel won’t feel invested in you.

Our Top Interview Articles

Strengthen Your Skill Set

In order to reach your career goals you need keep your skills on top form. The more you can talk about first-hand experience in an interview environment the more impressive it will be to your prospective employer. Go above and beyond to meet the criteria of the job description and you will be sure to impress your future bosses.

Our Top Articles about Strengthening Your Skill Set

Bonus Tip: Start a Side Hustle

If you’ve been out of work for awhile, you’re probably running low on funds. One way to make some money and strengthen your resume is to start a side hustle. There’s a million ideas, from teaching English to Chinese students online for VIPKid, to selling your freelance services on Fiverr.

Our Top Articles on Side Hustles and Saving Money

So get your resume together, gain the skills you need, and get some hands on experience. Employers will be jumping at the chance to hire you as long as you aren’t afraid to showcase your skills and talents. It can be a cut throat world, so there is no time to be shy and reserved. Know your worth and always be positive about your abilities.

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3 Things to Do if You Can't find a Job - #career #getajob #resume

 

Dear HR,

I hate going to job interviews. I always freeze when the interviewer asks me a question that I haven’t prepared for, then I feel like a dork for the rest of the interview. What do I do if I don’t know the answer to a question? Is there a way to keep from freezing during a job interview?

Thank you,

Awkward Interviewee

 


What do I do if I don’t know the answer to a question?

Dear Awkward Interviewee,

We’ve all been there; you stay up all night studying interview questions and how you’ll answer them, only to have the person conducting the interview not ask a single question you’ve studied. Instead, they start asking weird, curveball questions no one could have predicted.

Employers think they’re cleverly weeding out people who can’t think on their feet, but instead, they’re freaking out the people who can actually do the job. A lot of interviewees fall into an abyss of awkward self-loathing and completely bomb the interview. There’s a better way to handle it.

Breathe and Smile

First, take a breath and put on your best smile. Keep eye contact with the interviewer. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Do all of this consciously.

The idea is to remain composed and to not let the interviewer know you’re stressed. Remember, this is just a conversation. People ask weird questions in conversations all the time. It’s just another weird question. You can handle it. Keep your cool.

Restate the Question in Your Own Words if You’re Stumped

If you aren’t sure if you understood the question, start by saying something like, “I think you’re asking me…” or “Just to make sure I’m answering your question correctly, I think you’re wanting to hear about…” This method gives the interviewer a chance to clarify the question. It also gives you time to construct your answer.

Repeat the Question as Part of your Answer

Have you ever watched how Miss America candidates answer interview questions on stage? If not, watch thevideo from the 2016 interview segment.

A beauty contestant starts her answer to the question by restating the question as a statement and then leading into her answer. The first contestant is asked “if you could put a woman alongside Alexander Hamilton on the ten dollar bill, who would you choose?” the contestant thanks the interviewer for the question, and then begins her answer with, “the person that I would put on the ten dollar bill is…”

She starts her answer this way for a couple of reasons. First, it shows the interviewer that she was listening and ensures she’s answering the right questions. Second, it gives her a few extra seconds to think about her answer.

You have to have an answer by the end of the statement, though. There’s a trick Miss America knows about that, too: Your actual answer doesn’t matter as much as your poise and confidence do.

Beauty contestants are asked far dumber questions than most job interviewers will dream of asking. Seriously, watch how they handle those dumb questions. Pay attention to which contestants win. Their answers may not be the best, but they always look calm and collected as they answer the question.

Come up with an Answer—any Answer

I was once asked by an interviewer during a panel interview to tell him a story about a boy, a dog, and a ball. Without missing a beat, I told a story about how there was a boy named John who was the most special boy you will ever know because he was from outer space and carried his home planet with him everywhere, even though everyone thought it was just a ball.

In another interview, I was asked to tell a story with my hands. All I could think of was the nursery rhyme, “here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors, and here’s all the people.” So, I smiled and rocked through it. Believe it or not, I worked for that employer for five years.

The point is, the delivery of your answer is more important than your actual answer. Stop stressing about what you’re going to say and work on saying something.

How to Prepare for Unexpected Interview Questions

Just like you study for “real” questions like “where do you see yourself in five years?” and “why should we hire you?” you can study for unexpected questions, too. In fact, practicing for this kind of question will help you improve your answers to the “real” questions.

Start by asking your friends to help you. Have them come up with the most outlandish interview questions they can think of, and then sit at your dinner table and have them ask you the questions. Practice breathing, smiling, and making eye contact as you answer the questions. Practice until it becomes second nature to you.

We’ve recently found a game that’s helping us and our students prepare for wild interview questions. The game is called Fun Employed. To play, each person is given a set of qualifications, and they have to use their qualifications to convince an employer they’re the right person for the job. Of course, the jobs and the qualifications are both unorthodox, meaning you have to learn to work with what you have, no matter how disconnected that is.

Another way to practice is to take an improv class at your local community college. Improv games and exercises help you learn to think quickly without worrying about what other people think. They’re invaluable practice for interviews and presentations, too.

It’s About Survival

Go into the interview knowing that you can handle whatever they throw at you. No matter what they ask, remain composed. Breathe. Smile. Have an Answer. Be as specific as you can in your answers, even if you think they sound wrong. Sell it with confidence. You’ve got this!

Best of luck,

HR

weird interview questions

Thank You letters are a lost art, but they’re a vital element to the job interview process that shows employers that you’re not only qualified, but a decent human being. If you want the job, write a Thank You note after the interview.

Since most people have been skipping this interview step, you may not know what to write in a Thank You letter. It’s simple, really. Here’s what to do:

Who Should I Thank?

Send a Thank You note to the person with whom you interviewed, and anyone who was especially helpful in the interview process. We always send thank you notes to recruiters if they went the extra mile to set up the interview and make sure we had all the information we needed to be successful at the interview, too.

Should I Send a Thank You Email?

In our modern world, where everyone communicates in text messages, you may think sending an email is the same thing as sending a proper thank you letter. It’s not. However, there are some times that a thank you email is perfectly appropriate.

Send a Thank You Email after a Phone Interview

If you’re interviewing with a big corporation, the first person you talk to at the company is likely an HR representative. Many times, HR representatives call you for a short, preliminary interview to make sure your qualifications indeed fit their needs, and to make sure you can put a sentence together before they send you on to the next interview stage. At the end of this phone interview, you should immediately send the HR representative a thank you email.

Send a Thank You Email after an Interview, but Follow it with a Real Thank You Letter

Immediately after you leave the interview, you should send a thank you email to the interviewer. You want them to know that you’re grateful, and that you know your manners, but this email does not excuse you from sending a for-real thank you note.

Handwritten or Typed?

If you want to stand out from the crowd, send a handwritten thank you note. The point of the note is not only to show your gratitude, but to show that you are a decent human being. To make a human connection, use writing written by a human (that’s you).

You should keep a package of blank Thank You notes and a sheet of snail-mail stamps handy throughout your job search process. Thank You notes are available almost everywhere. We buy ours at the Dollar Tree, where they are 10 for $1. They should not be cute—skip the kittens and flowers. Instead, opt for a simple thank you note that just says “Thank You” on the outside.

How Do I Start my Thank You Letter?

Start your Thank You note with a simple “Dear Mr. XYZ.” Unless the person with whom you interviewed asked you to call him or her by his first name, use the formal “Mr.” or “Ms.” and their last name.

If your interview was with multiple people, send each of them a separate Thank You note. You want to make an individual connection with each of them, and you can start that by showing your gratitude to each of them, individually.

What do I Write in my Thank You Note?

Your Thank You note should be short—three to four sentences are all you need. Start with one sentence that gives an overall thank you statement, then 2-3 sentences that refer back to the interview. Here are a few examples:

Example 1

Thank you for meeting with me yesterday. I enjoyed learning about the fabrication process and Plastics-R-Us, and I appreciate the time you took to show me around the plant. I am fascinated by your work, and would be excited to join your company.

Example 2

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday. It was a pleasure to meet you, and I appreciate your kindness in introducing me to your colleagues and answering my questions about the executive assistant position at Telephones-R-Us. I can see how important your work is to maintaining the communication channels throughout the United States, and I would welcome the opportunity to work with you.

Example 3

Thank you for a wonderful meeting yesterday. I can see you work with inner-city orphans is essential to ensuring the children have the opportunity to go to college. I am grateful for the time you took to teach me about your work and how I might fit into your processes as a grant writer for Orphans2College. It would be a privilege to join your organization, if selected.

Mail Your Thank You Note Quickly

Don’t procrastinate writing and mailing your Thank You note. Address it and put it in the mail no later than the day after your interview.

Should I lie about my salary

Dear HR,

I have been in the same job with the same company for five years. I am ready to take the next step on my career path into a management position. Unfortunately, my current company does not have a position open, nor will it have a management position open for quite awhile.

I’ve started applying to management jobs with other companies, and one question they all seem to ask is, “What is your current salary?” In comparison with management jobs, my current salary is significantly less. I don’t want to ruin my chances of negotiating a salary that honors my experience and skills, so what should I say? Should I lie about my current salary in order to get a higher offer?

Sincerely,

Show Me the Money


One question they all seem to ask is, “What is your current salary?”

Dear Show Me the Money,

It’s admirable that you’ve recognized that you’re ready to make a step forward in your career. Good for you!

With a step up to a management position, you should expect to be paid a fair salary that reflects the duties of the position. Managers have more responsibility and are often expected to work more hours than worker-bee employees. For this reason, salaries are often lucrative. If you are applying for manager positions within your industry, you can expect a decent pay increase when you change jobs.

You ask if you should lie about your current salary, and the answer is no, you should not. If you are hired, and your new employer finds out you lied to them, your work environment will become quite awkward. You may even get fired. Besides, do you want to start a relationship with your new boss based on a lie?

That said, you don’t have to disclose your current salary. You can say it’s confidential. However, this may not help your salary negotiations. If you are being asked about salary in an interview, you can explain the factors you are considering when it comes to your salary requirements. Perhaps your current job only requires you to work 35 hours per week, but the new job requires 40. Maybe you have a longer commute that will cost you extra transportation costs.

You should also consider the new job’s benefits package in your negotiation process. Always ask about benefits before discussing salary. Some employers offer excellent health care coverage with low premiums, while others have bare-bones high deductible plans that will cost you thousands per year. We’ve seen job offers that included transportation reimbursements that save employees hundreds per year. So, salary alone isn’t the only thing you should consider. Gather all of your information before you start negotiating.

Happy Negotiating,

HR

You’ve done the work and landed an interview for a great job. You’ve been reading our blog, and know what you should wear to the interview. There’s just one problem: You’re broke. You need a cheap job interview outfit!

If you haven’t noticed, most of the outfits we put together for this blog cost around $80-100, with no single piece over $50, but if you’ve been out of work for any amount of time, that can seem like an insane amount of money. However, if you can scrape together $30, you can still put together a professional outfit that makes you look like a million dollars.

Where to Find a Cheap Job Interview Outfit

Online sites like Zulilly and even Groupon have inexpensive clothes too, but you can expect to wait two weeks for your clothes to arrive. Most of the time, you’ll have to plan ahead if you want to shop online.

If you need an interview outfit quickly, start by visiting local thrift stores. Not all thrift stores are created equally, so do a little research and find better neighborhoods that have thrift stores with good online reviews. One trick we use is to search for Barnes and Noble, and then look for thrift stores near there. Most of the time, Barnes and Noble is located in a nice part of town, so thrift stores near it should have nice clothing too.

Job Interview Clothing Trip Report: Goodwill

We made a quick stop at the Goodwill in Ocala, Florida today while waiting on Chipotle to finish our online order. The store is filled with clothes! The dress section had a lot of potential outfit pieces, but the best outfit we found was on a mannequin near the dressing room.

Cheap Job Interview Outfit from Goodwill

The employees put together this professional outfit with a skirt suit, undershirt and necklace for around $20.

Over in the shoe section, we found several pairs of black pumps that would easily pair with most any interview outfit, all for less than $7. One pair in the picture has an original price tag of $19.99, but the Goodwill price tag on the bottom of the shoe read $5.99.

Cheap job interview outfit shoes at Goodwill for $7

We found a cute pair of pinstripe dress pants on the end cap of the pants aisle. They were priced at less than $7.

The One Piece of Clothing You Must Buy

When you aren’t sure what to wear to an interview, a blazer is always a good choice. You can pair it with a dress, skirt and blouse, or even slacks and a blouse, and immediately, you look more professional. Likely, you have something in your closet you could wear to the interview if you paired it with a blazer. So, if you can only buy one thing for your interview, it should be a blazer.

The Ocala Goodwill has two large racks full of blazers in all sizes. When looking for blazers, we look for fit first. Avoid the boxy 80’s “Working Girl” blazers with stiff shoulder pads in favor of feminine princess seams and buttons in the right places. These were our favorites because of the flattering cuts and lengths. All were less than $8.

Cheap job interview outfit blazers at Goodwill for 7 dollars

If you find a blazer that fits in most places, but is a little baggy in other places, wear a belt over it.

Rules for Finding a Cheap Job Interview Outfit

The key to finding a job interview outfit quickly at a thrift store is to know what to look for and to remain open minded. Here are a few rules to keep you focused:

  • Try on everything. No exceptions.
  • Focus on the dress section first. You can get more outfit for your dollar by pairing a dress with a blazer.
  • If you can only afford one piece, buy a blazer.
  • Don’t forget to look at accessories. If you have something in your closet that will mostly work, you can add a scarf or necklace for a few dollars to polish the look.

Of course, everything you buy at a thrift store should be washed, dried, and ironed before you wear it to a job interview. No one likes ironing, but it’s an important step in making a good first impression.

What to Wear to a Teacher Job Interview - #whattowear #jobinterview #career #careeradvice #teacher

You’ve landed a teacher job interview at the school of your dreams. Congratulations! Now, what are you going to wear? Remember, the people interviewing you are looking at more than your shiny college degree and your resume. They want to know they can trust you with their students…and their students’ parents.

You have several outfit options that will work for this interview. The goal is dress in a way that shows you’re fun, but also serious. You have to find a balance between professional and approachable. You can’t just wear black and call it a day.

Impress the Principal with a Colorful, Long-Sleeved Dress

Color is important for any outfit for a teacher job interview. One outfit that could work for this interview is a dress in a jewel-tone color like dark green or dark blue. Long sleeves always look more professional than short sleeves, so if you can find a long-sleeved dress, go for it.

In this example, we are pairing a dark green dress with a fun pearl necklace. Nude pumps with a low heel are not only comfortable, but elongate the line of your leg and make you look taller and more elegant.

 

Notice that the neckline on this dress is conservative—it hides cleavage—but the shape of the dress shows off your figure in a flattering, feminine way. The hemline of this dress falls just below the knee. Look for dresses that flow at or just below knee level for the most flattering silhouette.


Be Memorable and Approachable in a Sleeveless Dress and Wrap Sweater

If you have a cute (but sleeveless) dress already in your closet, you can pair it with a wrap or ballet-style sweater for an approachable look.

In this outfit example, we found a navy blue dress with a feminine shape, and paired it with an off-white wrap sweater. Red shoes and dangly pearl earrings complete the look with a pop of color and a classic, polished accessory.

A Skirt and Blazer Raise You to the Top of the Class

If you like wearing separates, find a colorful blazer that fits you well, and pair it with a neutral-colored skirt and a lacy camisole.

If You Hate Dresses, Wear a Slacks and a Blazer

You don’t have to wear a dress to a teacher job interview. If you want to wear slacks, pair them with a blazer and a colorful camisole or blouse. Always wear a shoe with a bit of a heel. Flats make you look “flat” when you wear them with slacks.

  

This example outfit pairs grey slacks with a black, fitted blazer and a red camisole. Black pearls and a low-heeled Mary Jane pump polish off the look.

 

Rules for Teacher Interview Outfits

When you’re picking out your teacher interview outfit, follow these rules:

  • Feature color prominently either with a colorful dress or blazer.
  • Wear classic accessories like pearl necklaces and earrings.
  • Keep your necklines conservative.
  • Hemlines should fall at or just below your knee.
  • Fit is king. Make sure everything you wear fits you well. If it doesn’t, your dry cleaner has a tailor who can make alterations inexpensively (usually for less than $15).

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What to Wear to a Teacher Job Interview - #whattowear #jobinterview #career #careeradvice #teacher