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Resource: Resume Info
Be Equipped With An Interview Preparedness Kit
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Once you send a resume out, there's no telling when you'll get a call back or if you ever will. Because of this, some people might not even bother to prepare for an interview until they are certain one is in the works.

Not being prepared is never a good way to go. Most hiring managers will schedule interviews in advance but if they're in a hurry to get the position filled they might schedule one for the very next day. And if you're resume or application says that you're ready to begin ASAP then why shouldn't they expect you to be ready at a moment's notice?

If you woke up tomorrow would you have the appropriate attire and necessary documents ready to go? The following items are essential for any job seeker to prepare themselves for anything that comes up in their job search:

Dress clothes. While you might have them in your closet, you should double check that they are clean and ready to wear. That means no holes, tears and fits like it should. You might not have time after their call or before the interview to stop by the mall and pick up some new digs.

Questions to ask. Whether you had a day or a week to prepare for your interview you should always have questions ready to ask the interviewer. These shouldn't be run of the mill questions that you can find anywhere online. Do a bit of research and ask questions that will pertain the company. Interviewers enjoy being asked questions that are thoughtful and show genuine interest.

Answers for touchy questions. There might be some things you know the interviewer is bound to bring up that you'd rather not talk about. Knowing you'll have to anyway, better equip yourself with the best possible answers. If you were fired or out of work for a long period of time, provide an answer that doesn't seem like an apology or an excuse. Simply explain your situation while exuding a positive attitude about the situation. Bitterness and negativity are always a turn-off for hiring managers.

Your selling points. No matter who you're talking to, you want to be able to point out the things about you that make you a desirable candidate. Don't expect the interviewer to pull this information out of you. They might ask you surface questions to get to know you better but it's up to you to really convince them that you are the right choice. Hiring managers also love good stories.

Plan for following up. Follow up plans are pretty basic but you should always have one if you don't already. Thank you notes are an essential part of the interview process. You'd be surprised at how many people don't take the time to solidy their own standing with a hiring manger. These should be personal and reflect on points made during the interview. Did you and the hiring manager discover that you share something in common? Mention that in the note as well.

Keep a stack of Thank You notes that aren't too flashy so that you can send them to any company. Another important thing to remember is to spell everything accurately. The hiring manager will feel reassured that you can proofread both on the computer and on paper.

Common Interview Mistakes You Never Want to Make
Friday, November 16, 2012

It's a fact of life that mistakes happen to everyone. And even though they are unavoidable, they can oftentimes be preventable. We can try to do as much damage control as we want but when it comes to doing them in an interview, the situation is out of your hands. At that point, there's really no return.
Whether you simply don't know or think that it's not a big deal, there are certain mistakes that can ruin your chances of ever getting hired. Here are some of the major ones that will prolongue your job search:
1) Answering your a call or texting
Being on your phone in any kind of situation that involves interacting with other people can be rude,  unless it's important of course. In an interview setting, the most important thing is keeping the interest and attention of the interviewer. Of course, that has to be reciprocated. If you're more concerned with who your friend saw while they were out, you can be assured that you won't be answering any calls from a potential employer.
2) Seeming bored
You can't pull off being interested in getting a position if you aren't enthusiastic about it during the interview. Even if you aren't bored, you want to take every measure to look excited about being there. Your resume and cover letter passed the test of making a good first impression. The interview is your chance to bring it home, don't let it slip away by being unaware of youre facial expression.
3) Wrong attire
Companies will have their own look and feel. In some cases, dressing up isn't the right look. It's always a good idea to ask the interviewer what the appropriate kind of attire is to wear. They can also tell you what other materials they'll want you to bring. Getting a job is like a test. The hiring manger won't just give you the answers. If you're unsure, this is definitely something you'll want to clarify.
4) Too sure of yourself
Don't confuse confidence with being arrogant. It's extremely hard to seem friendly when you have an attitude that you're the best thing to walk through the doors. Hiring managers want to make sure that you'll be a good fit for the company and a major part of that is how well you'll get along with the rest of the team. Maybe you are the most qualified for the position, but let your qualifications speak for you instead of boasting.
5) Making previous employers look bad
Whether you've had a bad experience or are at a competitor of a former employer, bad mouthing of any sort is bad form. It looks very bad on your character to leave one employer only to start tarnishing their name to others. Talking down about employers will send a red flag to an interviewer because it shows that you have no problem pointing fingers and spreading the word. Not a good trait to adverstise.
6) Gum chewing
There are plenty of other ways you can keep your breath smelling fresh. Gum chewing is very inappropriate for a professional setting. Even if you are interviewing at a relaxed place, chewing gum still looks bad.

Using Your Observational Skills In An Interview
Tuesday, November 06, 2012

In an unfamiliar setting the first thing anyone does is scope out their surroundings. In an interview, an interviewee should be doing the same thing whether they feel completely comfortable or not. You could have all your moves and answeres prepared down to the handshake.

But without a good sense of the type of company you're in, no amount of preparation will ready you for whatever curve ball they throw at you. If you have an idea of what kind of workplace this is, there are no curve balls.

The appearance of the company's office is a reflection of its culture. It says a lot about who they are and how they want to represent themselves. When you begin to understand this, you learn a little about the people behind it and the people it hopes to attract. This will help you determine whether you will fit in well.

Look, listen, and learn. Take everything into consideration from the greeting you get upon arrival to the artwork displayed on the walls. One of the most important things to observe is the way people interact with others. Notice how they talk to certain people such as colleagues, subordinates, supervisors and even clients. This will tell you a great deal about how they conduct themselves as employees and as a company.

Companies don't typically offer tours but for big enough places, it doesn't hurt to ask for a quick one. The front and back end could be very different and it's better to know early. It always looks better for a candidate to get to know the company and it's people right off the bat. It shows that you're truly interested and aren't afraid to take initiative.

Take in the demeanors and attitudes of the workers there. You can easily gauge the company's energy from them. What are they wearing? Are they casual? Smiling? Do they seem busy or not so much? They can tell you a lot about the everyday ongoings at a company so be sure to take mental notes.

An interview is a good chance for you and the interviewer to get to know each other one-on-one. Since you can't interview the entire company, take in all you can while you can. In the case that the interviewer does like you and decides to bring you on, think about what you've seen and whether you want to accept their offer. As much as you might want a job, can you see yourself there for at least a couple of years?

An interviewer can tell you every detail there is about working there but it won't reveal as much as the office itself. Interviews are very much a two-way street. While the interviewer is evaluating you as to whether you'd be a good match, you should be making your own evaluations as to whether they are a company you would be happy working for.