Time and time again, I remind job seekers that your attitude in the interview can make or break your chances of getting the job. Keep in mind though that, “attitude” covers a lot of ground. Job seekers are reminded to keep a positive demeanor on interviews. Attitude also encompasses projecting an air of confidence during interviews. However, there can be a danger if it borders on cockiness. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some are not comfortable with listing their accomplishments as it sounds like bragging.
Managing this gray area of an interview can be tricky. But if simple guidelines are followed, you don’t have to worry about taking it too far.
You likely have heard that interviewing is like dating. Or interviewing is a complex dance with lots of steps. The translation: Interviewing is a unique conversation where there seem to be many rules and traps that could lead to failure. You can interview almost perfectly and still not get the job. So this prompts the question: If I’m a superstar on paper and meet all the requirements, why didn’t they hire me? Perhaps, it was the other major requirement: Because the boss has to LIKE you.
Read more on this reality in interviewing in my latest article for AOL:
It seems whenever I set up a panel interview for a job seeker, he or she groans, “Not a panel interview! I’d rather meet each interviewer one-on-one.” Many job seekers seem to have a fear of being interviewed by several people at once. In reality, panel interviews have many advantages. You actually may be better-suited for this style of interview. Check out my article for AOL for more on this topic:
These days, it seems I’m often advising unemployed job seekers on how to approach having an unemployed stamp on their resume. Most employers realize that it hard to have a career path that doesn’t hit a bump in the road somewhere along the way, especially with the economy the way it is right now. The key to overcoming the bias associated with being unemployed is to paint your picture with the brightest colors possible. Whether in interviews, resume submissions, or networking, there are key approaches to keep in mind. My latest article for Job-Hunt.org dives into this touchy subject.
Article: Overcoming the Unemployed Bias
One of my favorite oxymorons: “greatest weakness.”
When in an interview, your job is to present all your strengths, why you’re a great fit for the job, and how you could make an immediate impact to the company’s success. But often during the discussion, you’re asked about your faults, your skills lacking, your downside. There are many ways to approach this where some work well and some don’t. Take a look at my latest article for AOL for thoughts on this subject.
Article: What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
Recently I wrote an AOL article for job seekers on the types of questions to ask during an interview and I realized that I had hardly touched on the issue of “what not to ask”. As stated in my previous article, it’s essential that you ask questions in the preliminary interview that provide the hiring manager with insight into who you are. These questions should produce a thoughtful discussion, and not simple answers. If you are deemed a qualified candidate, you’ll have an opportunity later to ask procedural or compensation-related questions.
In this follow-up article is a list of questions that I recommend you do not ask in the first interview. Consider the more appropriate questions (and comments) I’ve provided.
Article: What Not to Ask Your Interviewer
Hiring managers want to hire someone who is excited about the opportunity and truly wants to make a difference at the company. Those who are looking for “any old job” are typically weeded out during the screening process.
So how does one convey a real desire for the job? Or equally important, not that you are just “kicking the tires.” Interviewers gage your interest in several ways: Your body language, your tone, the case you present, and the questions you ask. Read more about this in my article for AOL Jobs.
In my previous article on dealing with phone interview challenges, I discussed tone of voice, good listening skills, monitoring your answers, and wrapping on a high note. One of the biggest limitations of phone interviews is the lack of body language you can provide and read. Without seeing what your interviewer is doing and how they are reacting to your answers, you can be at a disadvantage.
However, there is a way around this. You need to make a connection to the interviewer to make the interview a more comfortable experience for both of you. Read my latest article for AOL to learn more about this.
Salary is one of the most sensitive topics when speaking with potential employers. Most people realize the interviewing stage is the last time you’ll probably have influence on the amount of your salary. Once hired, your salary is dictated by policy coupled with company and individual performance.
Although this is a common fact, many job seekers lose sight of this during the critical stages of landing the job. The might find out later they are paid less than colleagues in similar positions. The key to avoiding this fate is to be armed with information and be able to sell the value you bring. More on this topic is covered in my latest article for AOL:
There are hundreds of things you can do right and wrong during job interviews. For the most part, you should focus on simply having a good conversation about a topic you know a lot about (you and what you’ve done), and try to make a genuine connection with the interviewer. Yes, you should prepare. Yes, you should have good questions. And yes, there is etiquette involved. That’s your starting point. For in-depth advice, I offer the short interviewing guides highlighted in the right column on this blog (for the low, low price of FREE). My latest article for AOL covers small bits of advice I have shared with my candidates on the eve of their interview that are “slightly off the beaten path.”