There are endless articles and books about how to act and what to say during a job interview. But when it comes down to it, if you follow these twelve tips, you will be on your way to your first paycheck from your new employer: RELATED: Need some interview advice? Watch these tutorials!
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Face-to-face interviews can be tough, but trying to ace a phone screening interview can be even harder sometimes. Not long ago, I was at Disneyland on vacation. While waiting to get into the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor in the Magic Kingdom, I spotted a sign on a door that read: “Inhuman Resources.” Good humor, of course, is best based in reality, and the reality here is simple: most job hunters think of HR as inhuman. HR staffing specialists often get “no respect," as the late great Rodney Dangerfield would say. Take a minute, however, to look at the hiring process from the other side of the desk. A typical HR staffing person might be assigned to deal with 20 to 40 job requisitions at a time. Each one of them might attract 100 – 500 candidates in today’s job market. If you assume each applicant has a two-page resume, that amounts to 200 – 1,000 pages of repetitive, boring, and all too often, irrelevant resumes for EACH job requisition. Overburdened staffing specialists can’t possibly afford the spare seconds to ask: “The candidate said XXX. I wonder if that means he has done/can do YYY.” The reality is that the HR person’s role is screen OUT more than screen IN: to look for any excuse to reject rather than accept a candidate. The human impulse to help people can be replaced by the “inhuman,” unforgiving response to any typographical error or small doubt about any given candidate. It isn’t about whether any given candidate might be able do the job if given a chance. Rather, it's about winnowing the field to find five or 10 exceptional candidates out of hundreds to pass on to the hiring manager. I know this to be true because I used to be one of those people: sorting through the resumes, dealing with Applicant Tracking Systems, and conducting those initial phone interviews. The wise job hunter will look at the phone screening interview as a prized opportunity to gain an initial advocate. Here are tips how to do so:
Virtually every career coach, outplacement advisor, and college career service officer will agree: the best way to get a job is to network your way into it. But that can be a tall order if you’ve been out of work for some time, or if you think of yourself as a shy or introverted person. And, it is doubly hard if you think of networking as just telling everyone in real or virtual earshot, “Help me! What should I do?” Networking is fundamentally about building relationships, whether online though social sites like LinkedIn, or in-person at all kinds of meetings and informational interviews. Chances are, if you step back and think about it, you already have a good network to begin with: family members, current and former co-workers, members of professional organizations, alumni groups, church or synagogue, and so forth. And then the question becomes: how do you make your network work for you effectively? In my article, “6 Ways to Mobilize Your Network,” published by U.S. News & World Report, I explain how you can make it easy for people to help you. If you think carefully about how your audience will understand your message, ask for reasonable things, provide specific guidance for people about how they can best help you, and treat the members of your network with respect, you will be well on your way toward success. Read more about how to put these tips into action by clicking the button below. Happy hunting! READ FULL ARTICLE ► Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Job hunters ask me all the time about how to respond to difficult questions. But when preparing for an interview, people often forget to prepare questions to ask when the interview is winding down and the person on the other side of the desk asks, “So... are there some questions of yours that you have for me?” Just because you are asking the questions at this point does not mean the questions should be about you, your wants, or your needs. The biggest mistake of all is to use this as an opportunity to ask what everyone already knows is on your mind:
After years of very high unemployment, things appear to be turning around. But how can you focus your job hunt message to ensure you're one of the next 100,000 people to be hired? Your job as a job hunter is to make it easy for people to understand how you can add value to the company that hires you. Everything about your resume, networking, and interviewing should be designed to strategically further this fundamental message.
The spring days are getting longer and warmer, flowers are sprouting, and recent economic reports show signs that the economy is bouncing back to life at long last. Now is the time to dispense with winter's funk, take a breath of fresh air, and put some spring into your step. In your actions and personality, you can reflect the sense of newness and possibility inherent in this season. Here are five ways you can use this season to spring forward your job hunt:
“My job hunt is stuck in the mud. I know I need to fix it, but I’m feeling overwhelmed and I’ve got no energy left. I’ve tried everything, and nothing seems to work.” Does this ring true for you? The simple truth is: Hunting for a job can be tiring, demoralizing, and frustrating. I often encounter people who have internalized their inability to find work as a sign of personal failure. Confidence and self-image suffer. As that happens, it becomes increasingly difficult to present the optimistic, energetic “can do” persona that employers seek. We all hear the longer you are out of work, the harder it is to get work. One of the reasons for this is employers are looking for you, Mr. / Ms. Jobhunter not to be jaded, tired, and “down.” And, they fear that the longer you are out of work, the more likely it is you won’t have the vim and vigor they seek.
I often say that getting a job IS a job. It turns out that the IRS sees it that way, too! Job hunters can (under certain circumstances) deduct expenses they incur in their search for employment as if the job hunt were a business. In this week's U.S. News and World Report article, I offer some tax and financial management suggestions from a CPA specifically for job hunters. You're probably not cheered up by carefully tracking and recording all your expenses - especially when you're unemployed or looking for a new job. Yet, when you take charge of your finances and maintain good records, you can claim the deductions that are legitimately yours at tax time, and maintain your best possible financial situation for both the short and long term. Happy hunting! READ FULL ARTICLE ► Photo Credit: Shutterstock