How To Make A Connection During Job Interviews
A strong results-driven resume can help you get your foot in the proverbial door. But after that, you’re on your own.
Even the most compelling, well-designed resume is not a “silver bullet.”
There are a lot of ingredients to a successful job interview. Know your resume cold. Prepare to answer the most common interview questions.
The secret sauce, however, is making a connection with the job interviewer. To do that you’ll need to build rapport, communicate effectively, and end the interview on a high note.
#1 BUILD RAPPORT
Finding common ground and showing interest will help you quickly connect with the job interviewer.
Look for things you have in common like:
- Sports participation or favorite teams
- Interest in the arts or entertainment
- Attended the same college or university
- Share a volunteer cause
- Support or member of same organization
How To Prevent Screaming “I’m Old” During Your Job Search
Resume writers are often asked about the prevalence of age discrimination. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, serious concerns begin around age 55, but some people, particularly my female friends, tell me they begin to feel it in their mid-forties.
Yes, age discrimination is out there. But there are many other reasons why candidates don’t get hired.
The interviewer may think you are too young or too forward-thinking or too laid back. She may dislike you because you remind her of a former boss or spouse she doesn’t like.
We all have conscious and unconscious biases.
You can’t control other people’s bias, but you can eliminate things that make you look old and/or dated. Here are 5 things to change today.
#1 Have a Modern Email
Using an @aol or @yahoo email address makes you look like you’re stuck in 1995. Keep those addresses for family and friends but choose something more current like @gmail for your job search. Never use your company’s email to contact recruiters, resume writers, career coaches, etc.
Many employers monitor employee email accounts, and they have the legal right to do so.
Include your email address in LinkedIn About section to make it easy for recruiters and employers to contact you. If your job search is confidential you can include a statement like “always interested in connecting with like-minded people” or “always happy to connect with clients and colleagues” as well.
If you’re unemployed, you can include a pitch for hiring you.
How To Get The Starting Salary You Want Hint: You Have To Ask
Do you accept the first salary offered, or do you negotiate?
Before starting my own business, I worked for small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and international corporations.
And during those years, I always accepted the first salary offer.
I didn’t try to negotiate a higher salary.
Not even once.
Mostly I was afraid they wouldn’t hire me. It turns out until recently; most candidates accepted the first offer. But things are changing.
Consider Responses To Salary Questions
Most job seekers dread the expected salary question. That’s not surprising as most Americans aren’t comfortable talking about income, even with friends. 80% of respondents to a Lexington Law survey said they wouldn’t ask a friend how much they make.
Cover Letters and Thank You Notes: Why You Need To Send Them
Do you send cover letters?
How about thank you notes?
If you’re serious about your job search, you should.
I’ve read quite a few posts about cover letters and thank you notes. I’ve written several myself.
If you’re serious about your job search you need to take every opportunity to sell yourself to recruiters and employers.
Yes, an achievement-based resume and compelling LinkedIn profile that demonstrate your value are essential.
But don’t discount the value of cover letters and thank you notes.
How To Look For A Job During The Coronavirus Outbreak
Concerns about the Coronavirus are growing daily. It dominates the news and kitchen-table conversations. Here in Connecticut, events are being postponed or cancelled, some because of a State of Connecticut mandate.
If you’re looking for a new job or want to be prepared in case you need to, you’ll need to adjust your job search strategies.
Several months ago, I created a basic job search plan. I’ve adapted it here to be used during our current public health emergency.
The plan includes job search preparation (PREP) and continuing activities (ONGOING). If you’re actively looking, as in you really want to find a job, follow A activities. If you’re passively looking, you’re open but not in any hurry, P is for you.
How To Keep Your Job Search Confidential
Being employed does make you more appealing to employers. But it has a different set of challenges. Sneaking out of the office for interviews can be tricky. Other things, like being dressed appropriately, just take a little planning.
If you work a casual office wearing an “interview outfit” will likely be a red flag. Just as when someone comes into a casual environment for a job interview they stand out like a bikini at a funeral.
Want To Know What A Company Is Really Like?
Every job seeker knows they need to sell themselves to the employer. That said, remember that interviews are not only about the employer; they are about whether or not you want to work for them.
Preparing questions to ask the interviewer is as important as preparing responses to typical interview questions.
Start with a few questions about the job. A good place to start is asking about things that were discussed during the interview, maybe things that you would like clarified or explained.
Here are a few questions to learn what you’ll be stepping into if hired.
=> What are the biggest challenges of the job?
=> What are the expectations for my first 30,60,90days?
=> What are the biggest obstacles I’ll face in the first 30,60,90 days?
Beyond learning about the job, an interview is a good time to learn about your future boss and the culture.
Boost Your Interview Results By Demonstrating Your Value
Most of the resumes I see focus on what people do on a daily basis. The results is a boring list of duties and responsibilities that’s unlikely to inspire anyone to call them. .
Employers want to know what you can do for them. The best way to show your value is to focus on what you’ve done for your current and previous employer. They want to know about the positive impact you’ve made
The same is true for interviews. Employers don’t want to hear about your duties and responsibilities, what you do every day. They want to hear about your achievements.
Maybe you didn’t directly generate revenue, but maybe you saved the account by providing extra service. Perhaps you redesigned a process so it takes 2 days a month instead of 5 freeing staff to take on other duties. Maybe you leveraged your business relationships to build a promising pipeline.
5 Reasons Why You Didn’t Get The Job
Even if we don’t want the job, most of us want to get the offer. When you actually do want the job, getting a “pass” can be downright devastating. I’ve been there too.
Sometimes knowing the reason, you weren’t hired is easy. Maybe you didn’t have most of the “requirements” but you decided to apply anyway. Perhaps you didn’t click with the hiring manager. As soon as you left the interview your gut told you that you wouldn’t be moving forward.
Other times, you leave an interview feeling great and are stunned to receive a “we went another way” letter in the mail. You go over every interaction over and over trying to figure out what went wrong.
How To Create Stories That Sell You To Employers
Most of the resumes I see focus on what people do on a daily basis. The result is a boring list of duties and responsibilities that’s unlikely to inspire anyone to call them. Employers want to know what you can do for them.
The best way to show your value is to focus on what you’ve done for your current and previous employers. The impact you’ve made. The same is true for interviews. Employers don’t want to hear about what you do every day. They want to hear about your achievements in terms of the impact you’ve made.
Prepare for your interviews with stories that illustrate your value. Like all stories, there should be a beginning, a middle, and an end.