Advanced Interview Tips

It’s hard enough to get an interview today and… easy to bomb once you’re there.

There are more people in the active job market, many who have not interviewed in years.  What will set you apart?

Back to basics!

1) Tailor your résumé for every job.  This will set you apart more than

anything else.

2) Review your résumé.  Be sure that if you list a skill set, you can discuss

your experience in this area.

3) Companies have more stringent background check requirements.  Do

not fudge dates of employment, titles, educational background or other

information which could be revealed on a background check and

potentially cost you the job.

4) Know the company.  Review its Web site and every module within the


5) Look at competitors of the company where you’re interviewing.  See how

your target company compares.

6) Use the search engines to research the names of the people with whom

you’ll be meeting.  See if they are listed on Linked In, Face book, and

other social networking sites.

7) Be prepared.  Make sure you come with a list of questions regarding the

company and the job.  (This is critical)

8) Freshen up your interview skills and know how to answer standard

interview questions related to your skills, background and career


Most important, put on your consultant hat when you interview for any position.  Find out what the key issues are for the role.

1) Why is the job open?

2) Is this a new position?

3) How long has it been open?

4) What are the challenges of the role?

Gear your interview towards ways you can solve the company’s problems and make your manager look more successful.

Be proactive in selling yourself, especially if you’re in a panel interview situation.  Unless you speak up and toot your own horn, the interviewer will not have the impression that you can handle the challenges of the position.

Follow up with all involved in your interview process.  Be sure to send a thank you note.  This will absolutely set you apart.

When unemployed, you are in sales.  The product you are selling is you.




Is there a Recession?

There is no recession, according to UCLA Anderson Forecast economists in last week’s Los Angeles Times.  That’s not to say that certain parts of the country, especially those areas hit by the mortgage crisis or facing job losses due to overseas outsourcing, are not having a tough time.  Workers who fell off the employment tracking charts aren’t even registered, but we know that these people are still actively looking for work.

This is a perfect time to hire.  There are numerous outstanding professionals available in every industry; hiring managers can no longer claim that there is shortage of good people.

The Internet has made hiring extremely complicated; employers don’t have the time and resources to identify the talent they require.  Jobs remain unfilled.  Qualified candidates remain unemployed.

Companies have also become overly picky in the hiring process.  Unless a candidate has the exact skills to make a lateral move, companies are not interested.  Fewer companies are willing to cross train at intermediate or management levels.  Learning a new industry is always easier than learning a basic career toolset, such as sales, accounting, human resources, or niches within IT.

For certain positions, degrees-and now advanced degrees-are required.  The same person, who 20 years ago needed a high school diploma, now needs an M.B.A. degree to be hired for the same position.  Candidates without degrees are often bypassed regardless of relative industry experience.  For example, an Internet Marketing Specialist, considered one of the top in the industry, was recently rejected by Microsoft and Yahoo for full-time employment.  This Internet Marketing Specialist had raised a family during her early 20s, the time when her peers earned their degrees.

We know that the cost of living has increased.  The key is economic development.  This means keeping our country at full employment capacity.  Experts from the UCLA study predict that the economy will slowly pick itself up, but certainly not fast enough to employ everyone who is currently without a job.

When you speak with people who are out of work, you hear the desperation as they struggle to take any paying position to stay afloat.  For those who are unemployed, finding a job becomes a full-time, non-revenue-producing slog through the Internet.  To compound the issue, those who work at all levels in volatile industries, such as construction, finance, or manufacturing, fear potentially losing their jobs.  These people pull back from spending money.  Our overall economy slows.

We can jump on the band wagon of the recession, or we can choose as individual hiring managers within corporations, to hire and promote economic development within communities.



Interview Tips to Land the Job


It’s hard enough to get an interview, let alone land the job.


We coach all candidates prior to interview.  Once the interview is complete, we speak with both the candidates and hiring manager to see how the interview went and if the intent is to go forward.  Here’s what we’ve found out:


1)      The résumé and technical skills get you in the door.


2) Personality, demeanor and appearance are judged before anything else once you’re in the interview session.


3) Everything you say will be judged and analyzed during and after the interview.


Once in the interview, it’s not about you.  Your skills and qualifications are important; however, the only thing that really matters is if you personally can make the company and hiring manager successful.


Hiring is expensive and hiring managers are afraid to make a mistake.


During the interview:


1) Never say anything negative about a former employer, manager, co-worker or company.

2) Stick to business.  How can you be successful in the position?  How have you handled similar challenges in the past?

3) Wear the consultant hat.  What are key challenges of the role?  Focus the interview on how you can make the company more successful.

4) Share information you have researched on the company.

5) Watch your body language.

6) Keep your personal possessions off the interviewer’s desk.

7) Don’t discuss compensation, overtime or benefits.  This will be covered at the point of offer.


As a candidate, your focus should be only on receiving an offer from the company.  Whether you accept the offer, depends on personal goals and interest.