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Pre-Interview Logistics: Ten Tips To Consider Before You Interview

In this day of job search anxiety, there are so many articles written about the importance of preparing for your interview, and many of them cover subjects like how to answer tough interview questions, or how to assert yourself in an interview, or how to relax during an interview. Sure, many of these articles are helpful in keeping us focused on our goals, but what we don’t often read about or think about until the last-minute is the issue of pre-interview logistics.

What do I mean by pre-interview logistics? Well, I mean all of those little things that will help the actual serious and potentially life-changing part of the interview go smoothly. If left to the last-minute, these little worries can actually get quite in the way of the most important part of the interview: how you handle yourself during the interview. So, I’d like to give you a list here of several pre-interview logistics tips to consider as you get ready for your interview!

Know Exactly Who You’re Meeting With

Once you hear from the employer about your interview, you should make sure you know who exactly you’ll meet for the interview. Find out their names and their positions, especially if one of them would be your direct supervisor if you were hired. Look them up on the company website and familiarize yourself with their profiles.

Establish How You Will Meet Them

Make sure you get clear directions from whomever scheduled the interview. Should you wait in the lobby of the entire building or are you supposed to take the elevator to their floor? At what time is the meeting? Where will the meeting be held? Ask these questions so you can get your bearings regarding how the company functions and what they expect of their employees.

Ask About Parking

This is something we rarely think about when we prepare for our interviews. You should ask about parking and where you can park. Also, if there’s a parking garage, make sure you keep your ticket with you in case the company will validate it.

Get Some Sleep

This probably goes without saying, but you should get some sleep the night before your interview. Fight the impulse to stay up late preparing for the interview. If you’ve waited that long, then your chances aren’t good no matter how late you stay up. Instead, try to get some sleep so you’re refreshed and clear-headed the next day.

Eat Your Usual Meals

On the morning of the interview, don’t risk changing your diet. Eat exactly what you would normally eat. Any changes in your diet could risk making you uncomfortable during the interview.

Save Your Contact’s Phone Number

In case something comes up, you’ll want to have a phone number to call. Save the phone number of whoever scheduled the interview. That way, you can call to tell him or her that you are stuck in traffic, should something like that happen.

Research Your Route

Research the route you’ll take to get to the interview, and, if you can, test-drive it to make sure you don’t get lost and are familiar with the traffic patterns. By knowing the route on the big day, you’ll be less anxious about traffic, which will let you focus on preparing for the interview itself.

Plan Two Alternative Routes

Yes, this is simple, but necessary. You should plan out two alternative routes to get to the interview just in case the primary route is blocked. Always have some sort of contingency plan in place to make sure you get to the interview on time.

Check Traffic

Before you leave for the interview, check your local traffic reports just to make sure that you won’t have to use an alternative route on your way in. If possible, also use your radio in the car to get live traffic updates as you are on the road.

Save Some Time For Yourself

Finally, give yourself an extra cushion of time on the drive in. This will let you relax in the car and go over your notes one last time. Of course, don’t go into the interview too early. You want to be on time, but have some extra time to yourself for one final pep talk. Good luck!

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to

Video Resumes – 6 Effective Approaches

You have taken the initiative to create a video resume. The video has distinguished you from your competition in the job search marketplace. Now, what are you going to do with it? Here are 6 excellent approaches.

Send your video, by email, to your employment networking partner before you have that face-to-face meeting. It instantly answers the learn-about-me questions allowing your meeting to concentrate on how he/she may help you get in front of potential hiring managers. Best of all, your networking partner can forward your video web-link to his/her network with positive references.

Follow up your on-line applications that seem to have fallen down the black hole of no-reply. Many on-line applications are screened by computers looking for keywords. The application with the most correct keywords wins the interview. Your application may be a couple of keywords short, but you have nothing to lose by following up with a nice email presenting your video resume link. You may gain a second look by a human being without computer discrimination and intervention.

Follow up your paper resume “drop-off” at job fairs with a polite “thank you” email containing a link to your video resume. You certainly get that extra opportunity to tell your story on top of the 30 seconds you had in front of the company’s table at the job fair.

List your video web-link in the address block at the top of your paper resume. You already have your name, address, home phone, cell phone, and email address. Now, add your video resume web-link and you may get that extra consideration by the hiring manager who is on the fence about inviting you in for that first interview.

List your video resume web-link on your job search business cards. Always have plenty of business cards available at all times. It demonstrates that you are professional and makes it much easier for people to follow-up with you.

Embed your video web-link into your cover letters or target letters sent for potential employment opportunities. The P.S. at the end often has great results.

Finally, if a prospective employer has seen your video resume and still did not choose you for additional interviews, don’t be discouraged. In effect, you have had the face-to-face interview, but were spared the emotional roller-coaster ride and the waste of your time.

Jerry Cronlund is President of Sharp Candidate LLC. Our web site,, offers free hosting of your first 90 second video and excellent guidance about job search techniques using video resumes. Watch the “why” and “how” of video resumes at:

Tips for the Executive Interview: Intensity Versus Energy

This situation could apply to you. You have been in the job hunt for several months. Connecting with recruiters and potential employers has been very time-consuming. You have managed to land interviews with both recruiters and employers and have not come away as a finalist, much less a job. No one has bothered to give you any meaningful feedback. What are the reasons?

The reasons candidates do not advance in the hiring process are legion. In my experience as a retained executive recruiter placing senior executives in the US and abroad, I have narrowed them to a few. The one I will address in this article is “intensity level.” Hard charging executives are supposed to be intense, right? Well…to a point. The downside of intensity is that interpersonal savvy is often overshadowed by it (if there at all).

First, a brief review on leadership and management. Leadership is an influencing process while management is a control process. You influence people and control resources. In the process of leading (influencing) people, the single most important skill necessary for success is “communication.” Communication is the medium of leadership. Think back on your career and identify the best leaders you ever knew. The odds are that one of the key attributes that set them apart was their ability to be engaging communicators. We’re all human. Interviewers should be influenced not managed. High intensity impedes one’s influencing ability.

Clearly, interviewers must zero in on experience and competence. There are a variety of ways to do this. What works best for me and my search clients is the use of a detailed, job-specific online candidate questionnaire pertaining to the job for which I am recruiting. These are developed jointly with my clients. I ask them to identify the critical success experiences that apply to the job. What do you want to know from this candidate before you even decide to have an interview? Typically, the questions they ask are job-specific, focusing on experience, e.g., What was the situation? What did you do? How did it work? What did you learn? Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager who must sift through a half-dozen or more viable candidates’ portfolios. Questionnaires help as much or more than resumes. Most organizations do not use this approach so must accomplish a great deal in a short time in their interviews. The interview, therefore, become a race against the clock during which the interviewer must gather as much factual information as possible while getting to know you.

What often happens with candidates, especially those who have interviewed several times elsewhere and walked away empty-handed, is that they increase their intensity level in both phone and face-to-face interviews due to time limitations, and perhaps, a bit of anxiety. It can be very harmful to your chances of winning the job if you are too intense.

All things being equal in the areas of competency and experience, what often sets apart candidates who advance boils down to their level of engagement with their interviewers. In the course of a 60 to 90 minute phone conversation or meeting, the interviewer, either consciously or subconsciously, wants to connect with the candidate and make the interview as pleasant of an experience as possible while still gathering the necessary information. It is at this point that interpersonal savvy rises near the top as a critical interviewing skill, even when time is short.

Don’t make the mistake of confusing intensity with energy. Most interviewers look for a high, positive energy level. When coupled with being engaging, this bodes well for an interview. Intensity, on the other hand, can be exhausting for the interviewer. I have ended many interviews really needing a break due to the high intensity level of the candidate. I was worn out. It is better for a candidate to be energetic and engaging. It is hard to be intense and engaging.

As the poet, Robert Burns, said (and I paraphrase), “Would the gift the gifter give us to see ourselves as others see us.”

Check your high intensity level at the door. If doing a phone interview, imagine yourself sitting across the table from the person interviewing you. Gauge that individual’s temperament early, as much as possible. Bend the Golden Rule (i.e., Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.). Have your competencies and experiences at the ready for discussion, then focus on engaging your interviewer. All things being equal, it might make the difference the next time you interview.

Michael K. Burroughs, Managing Principal of ESI Associates has been recruiting and coaching executives for the Fortune 500, healthcare systems, nonprofits and universities for over three decades. He is a former Organization Development executive for divisions of three Fortune 500 companies, a retired Army colonel, and a former managing director for a “top five” retained executive search firm. As a thought leader in executive recruiting innovation, his New Leader Integration process ensures that newly recruited executives arrive fully prepared to get the right results, quickly. For more executive recruiting and career management tips, follow Michael’s blog, Leading Edge Memo’s, at

A Telephone Script For Contacting Potential Employers

Below is a telephone script you can use to follow up the emailed resume’s or web applications you’ve submitted. This is not exact, but it’s a start. As you use it, edit it so you’re more comfortable with it. After a while you’ll have the script memorized and it will come easy. Also, feel free to ad-lib. It will sound more natural. Finally don’t get tied to a script. If the conversation moves in another direction, go with it. The key is to be relaxed and natural. This will be difficult at first, but will become easier the more you do it. If you blow it, don’t worry, you get to do it 10 more times tomorrow (if you’re using my “Selling Yourself Into a Job” system.)

Practice this several (MANY) times before you make your first call. Print a copy for you and a friend and practice with them (this is easier with a glass of wine or beer…trust me.) Have your friend ad-lib to so they can try to throw you off the script, since this will probably happen on most calls

Have fun with this. If you enjoy it, the people on the other end of the phone will sense it and will be more engaging. Smile when you talk; people can actually tell when your smiling over the phone.


Hello, my name is _________________ and I’m calling to confirm that you received the resume’ I emailed you a couple of days ago. Do you recall seeing it?


NO, who did you send it to?


I sent it to (Contact Name) (or, I applied in the employment section of your web page, or I entered some notes in your “Contact Us” Section of the web page)




I don’t recall seeing it. When did you send it?


I sent it two days ago (or on Monday.)


It usually takes several days to review these


OK, I understand. When should I call back? (after they answer, go to “Ending the Call” below.)




I did receive it. We currently don’t have any positions open, but we’ll keep it on file in case a position opens


I appreciate that. I know you’re busy, but can I ask one more question? Is this the best way to apply for a position at your company?


They may say, yes, or provide some advice, or say anything. Be prepared for a conversation. Take brief notes and then either ask additional questions or End The Call.




I didn’t receive it. Resume’s and applications usually go to (someone’s name.)


I see. Can you connect me with him/her?


I’m afraid they are unavailable.


May I have their voice mail? If you get their voicemail, Leave the following message.

“Hello, my name is _______________ and I’m calling to follow up on a resume’ I sent you on Monday.

or (to follow up on an application I submitted on your web site on Monday)

or (to follow up on a message I submitted to your web site on Monday.)

I’m interested in learning more about employment opportunities at (Company Name) and specifically, a position in the (Department Name) doing (brief job description.)

If you have a few minutes, I’d like to talk to you about my qualifications and how I believe I can help (Company Name) (Value Proposition: Examples are; “to retain their customers by creating a positive customer service experience”…”to increase its revenues by creating compelling marketing messages”…”to become more efficient by accurately managing the information you collect and retain.”) Pick one of these or create one of your own for each position you apply for.

If you’d like to learn more about my qualifications and experience you can contact me at (Phone Number) Say the number slowly and clearly, then repeat it at a normal pace.

Thanks for your time today. I look forward to speaking with you.

PS: If you get through to the person you want to speak with, you can use this same script. Just stop after each paragraph as they respond to you and/or follow their lead in the conversation.



Thank you very much for your time today. You’ve been very helpful. If all the people at (Company Name) are as friendly as you, it must be a great place to work! (Be prepared for any type of response at this point; either more conversation or an end to the call.)

If you found this article helpful and would like to learn more about my “Selling Yourself Into a Job” system, visit my website at All the resources and tips are free.

Thanks for reading my article.

Bill Swansen,, 760-525-4260

Bill Swansen is a expert author on the subject of job search techniques. He as helped dozens of people find their ideal job using a systematic approach to the job search process. Bill has over 30 years of sales and marketing experience and has applied the techniques he’s used in his career to create a system to help people find employment. Bill’s website discusses the system he developed and provides visitors with a wealth of resources to help them find a job and thrive once they’ve been hired.

10 Tips For Finding a Job When You Are Over 40


Here are 10 top tips for finding a job if you are over 40. I encourage you to read them all because any one of them could make the difference for you. As a qualified leadership trainer I am very conscious that breakthrough ideas may come either from what you read, or they may just come as a flash of inspiration triggered by something in your unconscious mind as a result of reading. In other words, this is a process that stimulates creative thinking and forces you to consider new ideas. I hope you find it useful. Here are the Top 10 Tips:


1. Specialise – There has been a trend in recent years for employers to seek out increasingly specialised skills in their recruitment process. Think about what your specialist strengths are and how you could help an organisation by applying them. Then seek out opportunities that require these specialist skills. Although there may be a smaller number of jobs in your particular specialism, your chances of securing one of them are much better. So for example, if your skills lie in sales, think about what industry sectors or geographies you might have built experience in. Which other companies need to sell into those customers?


2. Broaden your search – It may be necessary to look outside of your immediate geographic or industry area in order to find the right job. By broadening your search you expose yourself to the opportunity of finding something that you would otherwise have missed. This may give you a difficult decision to make but at least it will be your decision which is always better than not having a decision at all.


3. Register with agencies – It may sound too obvious to mention but it is important to register with a reasonable number of appropriate recruitment agents. The opportunity to use the internet to do this makes life a lot simpler. It does however remove the human element and you do run the risk of just becoming a statistic if you don’t insist on a face to face meeting or at least a telephone conversation. Furthermore there are some agencies that specialise either directly or indirectly on more mature or experienced workers. Search out this type of agent in your area and make friend with them!


4. Dedicate a specific amount of time to job searching – With plenty of time on your hands it is easy to function without urgency. Treat your job search as if it was your job. Start at a particular time, form a to-do list of activities you need to complete during the day, schedule your own coffee and lunch breaks and decide how many hours per day you wish to spend on it. This is important to enable you to make structured progress but it is also important because it should allow you to switch off when you have achieved your objectives or tasks for the day. I cannot stress how important it is to switch off and don’t forget to celebrate your successes or progress each day.


5. Exercise Use your spare time to keep in shape – We have all heard the saying that a fit body = a fit mind. By doing exercise and getting the oxygen flowing around in your body you will make yourself far more productive on a day to day basis. You will also feel good and present yourself better when you meet people.


6. Do something for the community – Most working people are so busy with work that they never have time to get involved with local activities. Why not use your temporary spare time to support a local charity or help to organise local events in the community. You will be amazed at who else you might meet in these “unusual” places. I know CEOs who help out at the local boy scouts or girl guide associations


7. Consider part time work – There are numerous part time job opportunities that you may be able to use to bring in some short term income. Many of these may expose you to new people, new industries, with the potential of turning into a permanent job or business opportunity. it is worth registering with at least one agency that specialises in part time work. I know people that do any of the following part time: HR, finance, sales, IT support, training, restaurant and bar work, community work, charity work.


8. Take a sales job – For many people who have never sold, this may seem like a fate worse than death. But rest assured that many sales people are among the top earning employees in most organisations. If you have never sold before, you will possess knowledge and experience that is valuable to another company. They are often prepared to provide you with some selling skills training and are also willing to pay you handsomely for your contribution (albeit partly commission based). If you are nervous about this type of move, try to negotiate a bigger basic salary and other perks such as travel, car, phone, pension and laptop.


9. Networking sites – Most people now have some experience of social networking through Facebook, Linked-In and many more. They provide a great way to cost effectively build a community of connected people. Although I resisted for a long time, I specifically selected LinkedIn because it seemed to be more business orientated than Facebook. I now have hundred of people that I can communicate with on a regular basis and it automatically updates me on their movements.


10. Retraining – Some people are horrified by the idea of retraining after the age of 40. But this may not be as ridiculous as it may sound. Many mature people have become web designers or developed some other specialism as a result of retraining and many have gone on to become very successful as a result. The beauty or retraining in the modern world is that it has become much cheaper and much easier than ever before, particularly with the advent of the internet. With the pace of change and the emergence of new technology, it is possible to become a leading expert in almost anything in just a matter of months. Just imagine how much free information is available on the web on any subject you can imagine. Did you know that if you were to read the top 20 articles or 5 books on almost any new subject you would probably be in the top 1% in terms of your knowledge expertise? Why not pick a subject and just go for it! You can read more tips and advice on how to find jobs for over 40s by visiting Article by Joe G Nathan.

Get That Interview Every Time

Prospective employers will use selection processes to confirm that you have the required knowledge, skills and willingness to contribute and fit into their organisation’s culture. They also want to see if your career aspirations are in line with opportunities available within the organisation. They are looking for the potential in you to become a valued, trusted and productive team member.

In order to make the most of each opportunity, you need to present yourself to a prospective employer. In order for you to do this, most companies will ask for your Resume or (CV).

Think of your CV as your sales brochure. You are managing your own personal marketing campaign and your destiny is in your own hands. You will need to prepare fully. Spending some time on getting it right may make all the difference in getting the job you really want. The time you put in to developing your CV will also provide you with an excellent starting point for your interview preparation.

When assessing a job advert, you will need to study the advert and highlight the main points that show what the employer is looking for.

In addition to this, read between the lines. Think about what other requirements they will be looking for which are not actually stated.

For example:

Results driven

Are there targets set? Do you thrive on success?

Good communication skills

Does it involve networking? Will you be dealing with a variety of people? Is there report writing?

Unsociable hours

Does this include shift work? Will overtime be required? Would you be expected to partake in overnight stays or weekend work?

Also consider what you know about the nature of the work, the industry, or that particular employer. This knowledge will help you to predict the sort of person the employer is likely to be looking for.Think about which requirements are essential and which would be desirable. Make a list of these requirements and think about what you have to offer that matches what the employer is looking for.

There are many views around about CVs but there is no set format. Remember, your CV has only one objective – to generate an interview! It is your personal advertisement and the message must be clear and easily understood. Don’t expect the reader to read between the lines or spend too much time reading it. Go for IMPACT.

Graham Moore Graham has 9 years experience working with companies and individuals in the areas of recruitment and development. Follow my bog for further free tips and advice.

Help, I’ve Got an Interview Next Week, What is the Best Way to Prepare For It?

The concern about interviews is coming up a lot at the moment. Many people have been thrown onto the job market after working for a company for a number of years and now have the problem of not being “match fit “ when it comes to an interview.

Here are the answers to some of the major concerns

1. Not being nervous in front of the interviewer/s. Nervousness is quite normal. It simply means you are adrenalin charged. The key here is to prepare yourself mentally before you walk through the company’s door. Confidence comes from knowledge. The more you know about a company the more confident you will be in front of people. In fact I have had a number of clients who have said when I have asked them for feedback after an interview that they have told the interviewer things they did not know themselves about their own company!

2. Being asked questions that are difficult to answer. Again the key is preparation. Think of the most difficult questions you could be asked and prepare answers for them. Questions such as “ Tell me about yourself “ can be answered very professionally by having a ninety second presentation which you have written out beforehand and rehearsed. This will impress the interviewer and put you ahead of ninety percent of other candidates. Questions such as “ why were you made redundant “ can be answered by statements such as “ I was not made redundant, the job was “ and then go on to explain how your time on the job market has given you time to reflect and realise that you have considerable skills and abilities and you have been surprised at the demand you have noticed for them in the job market!

3. The feeling of being controlled by the interviewer. Take and keep the initiative. Many job seekers go into interviews with trepidation and allow the interviewer to take control. Very few people are skilled and experienced interviewers. You would be surprised at how easily you can take control of an interview at the outset by asking the simple question “ What is the particular problem / need your company is seeking to address “ When the interviewer tells you then you can relate all your past experience and knowledge to that particular need.

4. Being interviewed by several people at once. Learn how to control an audience. Watch how media spokesmen control reporters “ baying for blood “ at say a White House briefing. Watch how they take time to understand the question, and use the techniques any good interview coach can teach you. Techniques such as “ pitch, pace and pause “

Try practicing in front of a mirror. If you have a video recorder and really want to impress, film yourself or use your mobile if you can. You will soon spot the areas to work on.

For more job interview tips or to enroll on our 5 day mini job hunting course go to

Peter Robson has over 20 years experience in the career guidance industry. he has worked with people from a variety of job backgrounds and industries. He works with people individually as well as project managing large outplacement assignments. His personal email address is and you can sign up for his free 5 day job hunting course at

Have Correct Interview Body Language

People often underestimate the importance of good body language in an interview whether it’s a job interview, MBA interview etc.

The correct posture and non-verbal messages you give in an interview are of up-most importance.

In this article I am going to take you through seven main points that will help you achieve the correct body language techniques.

1. Prepare

2. Purpose

3. Posture

4. Listen

5. Cool

6. Read

7. Confident

1. Prepare It sounds obvious to be prepared but it is also often overlooked. There are a few ways you can prepare, read some books about interview techniques, speak to people who have been interviewed, practice answering typical interview questions with a friend or colleague. Remember that you want to be natural, comfortable and confident during the interview.

2. Purpose The moment you walk into the room your interview starts so be purposeful and strong from the beginning. Walk in tall and with a natural friendly smile. Your hands should be free at your sides, not in pockets. Also be ready to offer your hand. Your handshake should be confident, strong and firm, only pump your hand once or twice and then release. If your handshake is weak or too strong (bone crushing) this will leave a negative impression. Practice shaking hands before your interview.

The interviewer will probably ask you to take a seat, if not use the seat across from him or her (ask if it is alright first). When you sit down, use the whole chair. Don’t sit on the edge you will look nervous and uncomfortable.

3. Posture Remember when you sit down, use the whole chair. Don’t sit on the edge you will look nervous and uncomfortable. If there are arms on the chair lightly rest your hands on them. If not then place your hands on your legs. Don’t cross or open your legs, place them parallel with your shoulders.

Sit with a straight back and don’t cross your arms. If you cross your legs, hands or arms you are effectively pushing the interviewer away.

4. Listen You need to be an active listener during the interview, do this by paying attention. Don’t look at the walls or out the window give all your attention to the interviewer. Don’t stare but maintain eye contact. You can also lean forward, nod and smile when appropriate.

When answering a question feel free to use your hands to gesture but don’t overdo it. If you are being interviewed by a panel pay most attention to the person who asked the question but don’t ignore everyone else. Try to make eye contact with everyone.

5. Cool Don’t fidget or look at your watch, keep still. If you lose your concentration when answering a question, take a deep breath and continue. If you have lost your thought then ask if you can begin your answer again.

6. Read Of course you want the interviewer to pay attention to you as well. If you feel that you are losing their attention then ask them a question or try to remember the last time you had them engaged and return to that subject.

7. Confident Whether you thought you performed well or not the end of your interview is an essential time. Finish with confidence, a good firm handshake, thank them for the opportunity and smile. Maybe their just having a bad day, their unhappy mood might have nothing to do with you.

Whatever the outcome of your interview make sure you learn from it. Ask yourself what you did right and wrong – be honest.

Have a look at my earlier article ‘How to Answer Interview Questions Effectively’ to help you answer interview questions effectively.

If you have an upcoming interview I hope this has helped you and wish you all the best.

By Liam Lusk. I hope you enjoy my articles here. The articles I post will offer tips on increasing your English ability. Here is a little information about me, I have been teaching communication English, business skills and presentation skills in South Korea for 8 years now. Before coming to South Korea I worked in the theatre industry in London for 14 years. Check my linked in page for more info.Also feel free to visit my blogs:

Curiosity Doesn’t Kill the Cat – Questions to Ask During an Interview

After you have submitted your application letter to your desired company to work for, you are most probably waiting for them to call you for an interview. And once you are lucky enough to hear that magical “ring” on your phone, with someone on the other end asking you to drop by their office for an initial interview – you suddenly ask yourself: “What’s next?” Well, aside from preparing for your best looking outfit and conditioning your mind to “feel” your best, you may need to prepare yourself by thinking of questions to ask during an interview.

Not The Time to be Spontaneous

Although being spontaneous is a good thing, because you would give an impression that you are bubbly and perky, you might want to prepare your questions to ask an employer in an interview so that you will come off as smooth, prepared, and well-composed. If you are not prepared with your questions to ask during an interview, you might as well not ask because it might end up badly causing you to lose the position.


To come up with effective and catchy questions to ask an employer in an interview, you have to have a good background of the company that you are applying for. If you are not very familiar with the company that you are applying for, it would be best if you research about it – its background, history, operations, etc. That way, you can formulate questions that are relevant and can strike an impact (a good one) to your employer.

Asking the Right Questions at the Right Time

Assuming that you are already prepared with questions to ask during an interview, you just can’t blurt out your questions in the middle of the interview. You have to know the perfect timing to ask a specific question or else you might make your potential employer think that you are a scatterbrain. Try to feel the conversation first and be alert and witty enough to know when to ask your questions. That way, your interview with your potential employer will go smoothly. Anyway, you are always given the change to ask after each interview so you’d better grab that opportunity.

Knowing what questions to ask during an interview will not only give you an edge among the other applicants (especially if your questions are interesting and relevant), but it will also give your potential employer an impression that you are interested in learning more about the company as well as envisioning yourself working in that company in the future.

Landon Long is the founder of You can download his FREE Video Course to learn about how to write a resume and stand out in a slow economy.

Job Interview Dos and Don’ts – How to Sabotage Your Job Interview

1. Don’t be late. Nothing says ‘unreliable’ quite like showing up late for the interview.

Do: Phone ahead to ask directions or do an online search and print out directions. Or use your GPS. If you really can’t be there on time, call as soon as you realize you’ll be late.

2. Don’t be rude. During the interview, text your friends to let them know how it’s going.

Do: Switch off your cell phone and give the interviewer your undivided attention.

3. Don’t be a slob. Turn a first impression into a worst impression by appearing with unwashed hair, dirty nails, or wrinkled, overly casual clothes.

Do: Remember the rule: Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.

4. Don’t be clueless. Say, “So tell me, what is it you guys do again?”

Do: Make sure to research the company before you go to the interview. Today, with Google and other search engines, there are no excuses not to be informed before you go.

5. Don’t be disorganized. Dig in your purse or pockets for a folded-up, dog-eared resume. Ask the interviewer to refresh your memory as to exactly which job the interview is for.

Do: Get your act together before you go! In the employer’s mind, being disorganized equates with being irresponsible and possibly incompetent.

6. Don’t be outdated. Resurrect that great resume that got you a job in 1989! Do it up on your grandmother’s electric typewriter!

Do: Keep up with current technology. The fact is, as technology changes, what is appropriate in a resume or interview changes. Find out what’s new in resumes, like ASCII or resume scanning software.

7. Don’t be too cutting-edge. Job-seekers with facial tattoos, multiple body piercings and purple hair can still find work, but keep in mind that your opportunities may be limited by the image you project.

Do: Consider removing some facial jewellery and covering up the giant skull tattoo on your arm, if you’re applying for a job at, say, a conservative accounting firm.

8. Don’t talk too little. Sit there mutely, responding to questions with nods, one-word answers and the occasional mumble, while staring at the floor.

Do: Go online and check out common interview questions, and think about how you would respond.

9. Don’t talk too much. Regale the interviewer with a non-stop monologue about your life history, favourite hobbies, and what a wonderful employee you would be if they hired you.

Do: Talk about 50% of the time, and listen for the rest. One hiring expert says many people have talked themselves right out of a job at the interview, by not knowing when to be quiet

10. Don’t bring your girlfriend. Seriously, this really happened. One young man brought his girlfriend with him when he applied for a job. She sat beside him during the interview. He did not get the job.

Lorraine E. Wright – 21st Century Resumes specializes in resumes and cover letters that are technology-friendly and attention-grabbing, designed uniquely for each job searcher, in a way that presents them at their very best in today’s crowded and competitive job market.

Interview Answers

Knowing how to answer interview questions takes a lot of the stress out of attending interviews. So is there a format you can follow? Are there tips that cover almost any question? Is there some homework you can do to get you through the most challenging of interviews?

Our first tip is always, 100% of the time, be honest. Sometimes you feel that the interview is slipping away from you and that the Company is looking for something a little different. If that is the case, which it is sometimes going to be, then trying to pretend you are a round peg for an hour is one thing. Getting the job and having to be a round peg eight hours per day, five days per week is quite another. If the Company are looking for a round peg and you know without a shadow of a doubt that you are a uniquely shaped somewhat squarer peg then be honest with them and be honest with yourself; however it looked up until this point, this is not going to be the job for you. Lucky you found out now. Thank goodness for the interview eh! It is after all a two way process giving you the chance to assess if this role and this Company are really what you are looking for!

If on the other hand, you’re being honest and things are looking good then a few well placed answers are only going to help things look even better. You set your intention before you arrived so you are feeling calm, happy and confident. You are smiling a lot, they are smiling a lot and you really hitting it off. Remember you are still being interviewed and keep your answers articulate and professional. Always give a positive answer, even to questions such as ‘what is your weakness’. Find a weakness that can be portrayed as a strength. So ‘I am a perfectionist, which means I always have to complete every project to the best of my ability, even when that means working longer hours’ sounds much better than ‘my timekeeping leaves a lot to be desired’.

Above all keep in mind that you are going to have to spend a lot of time with this Company if you get the offer and accept this job. So give well thought out, positive and informative answers. Listen for clues to assess if this is indeed the right fit for you. An interview is like a date; you wouldn’t marry every single person you ever dated and likewise you don’t want every single job you interview for. Remember a job is like a marriage. Most people probably spend more time at work than they spend with their spouse, so take the meetings seriously, use them like you would a date, to assess if this is right for you and if you want to be ‘married’ to this Company for the next few years at least.

For help with your interview technique or making the transition from where you are to where you want to be please contact one of our Consultant Coaches via our website at

Julie Holmwood worked for twelve years as an international headhunter prior to training as a coach. Her approach is that of part coach, part mentor and part consultant and she is available to work with clients on either a one-to-one basis or via our group classes. Julie is an expert at getting candidates noticed by companies and had one of the highest success ratios for CV submission to hire that we know of within the recruitment industry.

On the Spot Networking

We’ve all heard stories about the unexpected ways that some people have landed jobs; the man who gave his business card to a complete stranger in a coffee shop, the woman who pitched an idea while waiting for a bus, or the man who commented on a product and had great ideas to improve it or its marketing. The thing that all of these stories have in common is that these people had their minds set on networking all the time. This mindset is not something that comes naturally to most people, but it is something that can be learned and, as we see from these examples, can lead to great rewards.

One of the first things that we need to learn is to lower our expectations. For every story that we hear of someone landing a great job or closing an incredible deal, there are thousands of stories of people getting nothing except a nice conversation – if their lucky. Don’t be discouraged that your first encounter doesn’t lead to anything. Be prepared to try again and again, and don’t only think of your short-term gains, but consider what benefit you can give to the person you are speaking to. You may not be able to help in their present situation, but they may remember you in the future when they run up against a problem that fits your expertise perfectly. The more you talk to others, the wider your personal and professional web becomes.

Never Meet A Stranger

William Butler Yeats once wrote, “There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” This needs to be part of your mindset so that you enter every situation prepared to meet your new friends. Networking is all about meeting people, learning about them, and then letting them know how you can benefit them. Networking is not about finding out how others can benefit you. This mission will often mean you need to leave your comfort zone and do things you never thought you would do. You need to be where the people are and be ready to pitch yourself and your skills, something not everyone is comfortable doing. Practice talking about yourself, what you do, and how you can help others with those you are comfortable with. Then you can put yourself in situations where you are talking with people you don’t know yet, but are able to act as if they are long-lost acquaintances. Avoid being too familiar during your first encounters, since this will put some people off; you will get a feel quickly for what level of familiarity you can have with others.

Don’t Let Them Go Empty-Handed

It should go without saying that one of the things all good networkers have in common is that they always have a business card to give to people they meet. These cards should be treated as a commodity, but shouldn’t be kept as precious gifts. Don’t be afraid to give them, even to those who only seem mildly interested. Also, try to be mindful and not hand them out to every person you pass on the street, either. Business cards are often the only link that people you meet have back to you, so make them stand out. Spend time on the design and wording on your cards and make them something that people will remember, rather than just another piece of paper to add to their wallet/purse.

Networking in today’s business climate is more important than ever, and standing out in a crowd is essential to getting noticed and remembered. Always be ready to actively pitch yourself and your skills and you will soon be the one that everyone is telling success stories about.

Brendan Cruickshank (Vice President of Client Services) – Brendan is a veteran of the online job search and recruiting industry, having spent the past 8 years in senior client services roles with major sites like and These sites cover employment searches on everything from Illinois jobs to customer service jobs.