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Looking At Job Interviews From A Kid’s Perspective

Small children are fascinated by the world of adults, and this includes the world of work. When given the opportunity a favourite game is to dress up as different adult roles with which they are familiar – nurse, doctor, fireman, policemen, teacher.

Infographic about children's interest in adult work life.


Tips to avoid appearance negatively impacting your job interview

When you’re looking for a job, there’s a lot that goes into the process of getting hired. You have to really make sure all your ducks are in a row, and in a lot more ways than just one. To start you’ve got to have your resume in order, get your references in line, and make sure your cover letter is the most charming piece of writing you can possibly come up with. Once all this is said and done, though, you’ve got to make sure you look nice. Anyone who reads your resume and likes what they see is going to want to meet you in person, and unless you’re looking to work on the Internet, you’re going to want to make sure that your physical appearance — the very first thing about you that people will notice when they meet you in person — is nice and in shape. We’ll talk about some of the best ways your appearance might cost you. Of course, your ability to work isn’t always reflected by the way you look, but this doesn’t mean that your potential employers feel the same way. Appearance can be important, and we’ll five classic mistakes you can avoid making when you hit the job trail.

1. The Right Hairstyle. How you style your hair, much like the way that you choose to dress, essentially winds up acting as an extension of your personality. A different hairstyle communicates a different vibe, and by picking the right hairstyle before an interview, you can say the right things about yourself. Make sure you take care to at least do something with your hair, as arriving unkempt is almost guaranteed to make you look as ill-prepared as you might actually be. It’s likely that you’ve found something that works for you in the past, and you should stick with it. If you want to try something new, don’t make any permanent changes right before your interview.

2. Ill-Fitting Clothes. The clothes you pick are important, and the way they fit you is equally as vital to what kind of impact your outfit makes. If you clothes don’t fit you well, they’re not going to look good no matter how much they cost or where they came from. When you’re going in for an interview, you should make sure your clothes fit you appropriately — steer clear of anything that could be described as “tight,” but make sure you don’t wear baggy clothes that look too big or too loose on you. The proper fit sends a good message in terms of how much you value your appearance.

3. The Wrong Clothes. Even if your clothes fit you perfectly, the wrong clothes are going to be the wrong clothes. You should figure out exactly what kind of dress code is in place at the office where you’ll be interviewing, and make sure you adhere to it so you don’t miss the memo and come dressed in a way that you shouldn’t be. While it’s an honest mistake to come in a suit and tie for an interview at an office where business casual is the norm — nobody would fault you for this — it can cost you major points if you were to show up underdressed.

4. Obvious Poor Health. Looking like you’re out of shape and not really taking such great care of yourself doesn’t win you any points when you’re trying to convince a potential employer that you’re reliable, hardworking, and responsible. These habits are easily reflected by the state in which you keep yourself, and there aren’t too many ways you can hide this when you’re sitting in a room with someone. Whether you need to pay for personal training courses or just maybe eat a little better, taking an interest in your health goes a long way towards helping your appearance.

5. Your Face. Groom your face. That’s all there is to it. If you’re a man, shave. If you’re a woman, wear your makeup sensibly. Don’t overdo it, and make sure you look nice. Wash your face, do your best to take care of any blemishes, and make sure you’ve brushed your teeth thoroughly. Pluck your eyebrows if you have to. Your face is among the first things that are going to be noticed about you, so if anything stands out you want to make sure you neutralize it as much as you can so that your own face doesn’t go pulling the rug out from under you. It’s not hard to make sure you look proper and are ready to ace your next job interview with the right strategies in mind.


How important is education to employers

The recession has made the job market even more difficult and competitive than at any other point in recent memory. There are simply not enough jobs to go around, and many highly-qualified professionals remain underemployed or unemployed for months or even years at a time. Applicants will look for any possible strategy to appear more attractive to hiring managers, working personal connections, tirelessly researching their potential employers and even cyber stalking out of hopelessness or desperation. But if you look at the research, it becomes very clear that you hold a good deal of the power over the decision-makers at any company, when it comes to how you are perceived. Either you are an asset or not, and while that determination will only be finalized after extensive interviews, it often begins from the first read over you resume. But what elements factor into their decision? Is it your experience in that particular industry? The close friends and associates that recommend you? Or is it education?

If you ask the employees, education is very important. According to a recent poll, around 90% of American workers feel that education will have a significant role in the quality of opportunities they are presented. And more than two-thirds of those polled feel that people must focus on education if they want to stay competitive in today’s job market. After all, technology has now linked the world. Qualified candidates can come from anywhere, not just the obvious geographical region, and the quality of your education might be what ends up swaying the decision. And while technology has expanded the job pool, it has also created even more specialization.

Today’s professional can’t settle for a bachelor’s or master’s degree and consider his educational career complete. In fact, that’s only the beginning. As technology evolves, you must continue to learn the newest software and operating systems. The majority of Americans work at white collar jobs in busy offices. The days when someone could make a decent living with a high school diploma and a willingness to get his hands dirty are well and truly over. And while some of the older, more traditional careers are shrinking, jobs involving math, science and technology are becoming increasingly important. Each of those jobs requires constant training and development. And the more evidence an employer is given that you are willing to challenge yourself through education, the more likely he will trust you to maintain that enthusiasm when it is required.

Continuing education isn’t a fad, either. According to an additional study focused on education, more than 40% of the students in America are over the age of twenty-five. While college campuses may be packed with the young, online universities now offer degrees in almost any subject, all of which can be completed while juggling a family and a full-time job. Paying for education may still be very tricky, but access is no longer a viable excuse. If you’re applying to a music related industry you must expand upon your traditional education however possible, even if it is through online music degrees. Experience in the industry will obviously be very helpful, but the bedrock of your qualification comes from education. The more qualified you are, the more opportunities you’ll find in the workforce.


How to dress successfully for a job interview

Interviews are a lot of things, and your ticket to a new job can be one of them if you play your cards right. Pressure is a job interview’s best friend, however, and whether it’s self-imposed or coming from an external source, that fateful meeting (or worse yet, series of meetings) determines a lot of about what’s going to happen in the future, and can have a serious effect on our lives. What’s more is how much needs to go into a job interview. There are a lot of moving parts, so to speak, and a lot has to be gotten right for an interview to be pulled off successfully. One of these parts, of course, is your physical appearance. Judging people by the way they look is one thing, but when you’re running in professional circles, the way you present yourself is taken into serious consideration. We (mostly) can’t control the way we physically appear, but we have complete agency over the way that we present ourselves via things like clothing, hairstyle, and so on. As such, dressing the right way for your interview is of the utmost importance. A great outfit can make or break plenty of interviews, so we’re going to talk about the way to dress for success before you head to that next dream job interview.

Fit is perhaps more important to the way clothes look than is acknowledged. The same pair of pants can look expensive, modern and sharp when they fit, or tawdry and cheap when they don’t. If you’ve got a big job interview coming you want to make sure your clothes fit you. This is, of course, dependant on your body type, but if you’re a relatively svelte individual, then clothes with a closer fit will make you look sharper. At this point, level of formality isn’t even important. Above all else, your clothes need to fit, and they need to match. Wear complementary colors. Don’t mix patterns. Wear a belt that’s the same color as your shoes. Wear dark socks. These fashion basics don’t matter when you’re doing your own thing, but for a job interview they’re pretty sufficiently important.

Read the atmosphere and try to get an accurate reading of how you should dress. It also doesn’t hurt or look bad in the slightest to simply ask before you come in. Different offices have different dress codes, so depending on the type of business at which you’re interviewing, you might be better off going full-on office attire or keeping it dressy casual. Figure this out so you can dress the part when you show up for your interview, and if you need discounts, you can click here for Express coupons. It’s not hard to find a look that suits you, and to follow simple fashion guidelines for job interview success. Remember that you always have to make sure that your face and hands are clean and well-groomed, but other than that, you’re well on your way to interview success!


How to prove age discrimination in hiring

In most cases, it is extremely difficult to prove any form of discrimination in the workplace, and especially in the hiring process. Ageism is no exception. Very few employers will come right out and say that they’re not hiring you because you’re too old. And what are the odds you could prove they did so even if they were to behave in such an idiotic fashion? This is not to say that it’s impossible to win a court case involving age discrimination, but you’ll need to convince a judge or jury (or at least a pro bono attorney) not only that you were discriminated against, but that you have enough proof to reasonably support your contention. When it comes to the hiring process, it may be nearly impossible without certain factors on your side.

Just because you happen to have a pretty good idea that you weren’t hired because of your age doesn’t mean you can prove it to the satisfaction of judicial review. Suppose, for example, that you applied online, went through a phone interview, and were told that you were the top candidate for the job due to your experience and winning personality. Then you showed up at the office for a formal interview. The hiring agent got one look at you and realized you’ve been voting since before he was born. You knew immediately that you were out of the running; you saw it in his eyes. You went through the motions of the interview, doing your best to impress, but you knew it was over the minute he saw the silver in your hair. Ouch.

Now further suppose that he felt bad about it and against his better judgment (and company policy) he called to let you know the reason that you weren’t hired. Armed with this information you walked yourself right into an attorney’s office to file a suit for age discrimination. Here’s the problem. Were you taping that phone call? No. Will the employee of the company testify on your behalf? Not likely. So where are you? Even though you know you were the most qualified candidate and you know that the company didn’t hire you because of your age, it’s your word against theirs. No attorney will take this case. It’s like trying to hire a motorcycle accident attorney Atlanta to Albany to file suit against a beekeeper because a bee flew up your sleeve and caused you to lay down your hog. In short, it’s not going to happen.

Maybe you can show that a company has a long history of firing and failing to hire older candidates. Or perhaps you can convince someone at the business that rejected you to be a whistleblower (assuming you can find someone in the know that’s even willing to talk to you). But it’s a long shot, and it might not be enough to convince a judge or jury. The best thing you can do is try to use your age to your advantage. Remind prospective employers that you have not only the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to do the job, but that you have far more wisdom and a calmer temperament than kid right out of college. You may have a harder time landing a job than a fresh-faced twenty-something, but you have a lot to offer the employer willing to look past your age and see what you bring to the table. You just might have to toot your own horn pretty loud to be heard.


10 Tips For A Successful Job Interview

You have the perfect resume including all the right catch phrases, key words and experience listed. You found the perfect job and secured an interview with the employer. But no matter how great your resume and experience are, equally important is how you behave during the interview process. Employers are not only looking at the skill set you possess, but at how you will present yourself as a representative of the company. In today’s business world, employees are an extension of the company’s brand. Here are ten tips on how you can make an impeccable impression during your interview:


1. Be punctual. Arrive on time, or even better, arrive five to ten minutes early. Employers take notice of when you arrive for your interview. Arriving early is an indication of good organization; it shows that the individual plans ahead and allows extra time for preparation or unforeseeable events, such as traffic jams.

2. Be well groomed. Make sure hair is neat and nails are cut and clean. Business attire should be pressed and conservative. Avoid excessive jewelry, make-up, perfumes or colognes. Do not wear flamboyant colors or patterns and certainly do not show too much skin. The interview is not about your fashion sense (unless you are interviewing in the fashion industry!) but about how you will fit in with the corporate culture.

3. Speak in a tone that reflects confidence. Be assertive in your presentation.

4. Avoid using slang terms and inserting “like” and “um” in your statements. This is common and usually a result of nervousness. It’s important to be cognizant of this habit and curtail it, particularly if the position you are interviewing for requires public speaking.

5. Be direct and answer the question asked. Remain “on point” with your responses. Employers have little patience for rambling. If the interviewer wants more information, he/she will ask follow-up questions.

6. Don’t rush the interview. Speak at a moderate pace. You only get one shot at making a first impression so you want to make sure you cover all the relevant points as to why you are the right hire. If you speak too fast, you may forget to discuss important skills or experiences you bring to the table. Additionally, how you present yourself demonstrates how well you communicate in general (see #4 above).

7. Make sure you know the meaning of the words you use. Do not try to impress the interviewer by using overly technical or complicated terms. Keep it simple. As a human resources professional, I have interviewed many job applicants over the course of my career and it’s astounding the number of applicants who, in an attempt to impress, use words that either do not exist or do not have the correct meaning within the context of the interview. It’s a common occurrence and a common disqualifier.

8. Be engaged during the interview. Ask some questions about the company. The interview is not only the employer’s opportunity to learn more about you, but your opportunity to decide if you want to work for the employer. Some questions you may want to ask include, “How would you describe your management style?” and “What do you see as the biggest challenges for the company in the upcoming year?”

9. Never ask the interviewer “how did I do” or similar questions at the conclusion of the interview. Doing this shows poor etiquette and a lack of confidence. At the conclusion of the interview, thank the interviewer for his/her time and state that you enjoyed discussing the opportunity with them.

10. Send a follow-up thank you note. Never underestimate the power of thanking someone for their time. Many people fail to do this, and it can be the difference between a job offer or having your resume moved to the bottom of the pile. The thank you letter is also a great way to remind the employer that you are interested in the position and to restate (briefly) why you are the best candidate for the job.

Just remember, employers know that most applicants are nervous during the interview process. The interview should not be an intimidating or scary experience. Quite the opposite, the applicant should enjoy the opportunity to discuss with someone all their positive traits. Put the above tips into practice. Once you master the process, interviewing will be about as scary as having coffee with a friend.


Frank Giallorenzo is a human resources professional and operator of, a professional resume writing service. The author grants full reprint rights to this article. You may reprint and electronically distribute this article so long as its contents remain unchanged and the author’s byline remains in place. Copyright 2011 All rights reserved.

How to Deal With 3 Sticky Interview Questions

The good news is that you’ve been called in for an interview! But wait just a minute, the bad news is that you’ve been called in for an interview! The long-awaited interview can be your ticket to a new and better job, but it can also be an anxiety producer that keeps you up nights worrying. You are going to be called on to perform at a high level by people who may determine the course of your career and therefore you future. There’s no easy way to say it, this a critical chance to show them what you are made of.


Getting into the proper mindset is important. First, know that you need to prepare for the event. Second, realize you can’t memorize and rehearse every move you’re going to make, meaning over-preparation can hurt you. And third, you are going to have to rely on some confidence, instinct and self-knowledge.

Preparation for an interview involves a few basic things. Researching the potential employer, for example, makes you better able to align your skill set with their needs. Anticipating that you will need to communicate a positive attitude, subject matter expertise, interpersonal skills, and problem solving ability are important as well.

But knowing the type of questions you may be asked is one of the best ways to prepare. The purpose here is to see if you are a good fit for the open position. This is accomplished by directing questioning to see if you have the required skills, knowledge, and abilities to perform optimally. To determine this interviewers usually select questions that are behavioral and situational.

Behavioral questions are designed to analyze actual instances that you have faced in the past to see how you performed. A school principal may be asked how they handled an irate parent of a student, for example. Situational questions are similar except that the context is hypothetical. So a structural engineer may be asked what immediate steps she would follow if metal fatigue was identified in bridge supports.

But an interview team is probably going to want to get a general sense of your overall character beyond just your specific qualifications. There are three questions that often come up that attempt to elicit this.

#1: What is an example of a time you made a real difference for your employer? Even you felt that you were just a cog in a machine, being prepared to explain why you were a really good cog will help your cause. Telling how you increased production, saved costs, and handled unique challenges are ways of answering. Have a story or two ready for this question. And I do mean story, not just a short one or two sentence response.

#2: How do you deal with conflict on the job? No matter the industry one of the most common complaints of management involves employees, including managers, who can’t get along. Poor communication and mismatched personality types leads to lost productivity and poor morale. Having examples of how you did not contribute to and even improved a negative social climate at work will show you to be the team player every employers wants.

#3: Why did you leave your last job? Be honest. If the reason is because you truly see the next opportunity as an advancement for the new employer and your career, then the question is a softball. But if you were terminated, then answering honestly becomes more challenging. Still, don’t come across victimized, focus on what you learned and how it has made you grow, and explain on how you are even better prepared for adding value to their operation.

Here is your chance to shine, not shake. Do your part to turn the interview into golden moment.


William W. Ryan is a Concord, New Hampshire based career consultant specializing in customized career coaching, resume and cover letter writing, and personality assessments.

Getting Interviews But No Offers?

You’ve got the interview. You’re ready, willing, and able and pretty excited about the company. They’re a good company with a respected brand. They have an interesting product line – right up your alley. From all indications, they sound like a good employer. The job they posted sounds almost like they pulled the description right out of your resume. It looks like this might be “the one.” You have impressive qualifications, some good success stories that fit their industry and their goals, and you have the experience they need. It looks like an offer is almost inevitable. What could possibly go wrong?


Problem #1 – You don’t dress to fit the company you’re interviewing with. You can tell what kind of “look” they like by driving by the company at the beginning or end of the day some time before your interview. You should dress in a way that’s comfortable for you and comfortable for the team you want to join. One young Veteran chose a young professional look from Gentleman’s Quarterly that was comfortable for a transition from a military uniform to civilian clothing. It wasn’t the look that most software developers choose but it was as casual as he could comfortably go. His qualifications and personality carried him through the interview and into the job

Problem #2 -You don’t pick up on “buying signals.” The questions the interviewer asks need your focus. If you veer off from what the interviewer showed interest in, you’ve lost an opportunity to make the sale. You’re just another product on the market. There are other products that will fit the position. Your resume is a marketing piece that gets you the interview. The interview is your opportunity to make the sale. You might not think of yourself as a sales person but we all are, especially in an interview. Listening well and being prepared with clear, concise answers to the most obvious questions are key to selling yourself.

Problem #3 – There was no job to begin with. What? No job? It’s true. Some companies have found an excellent way to get help from experts without paying for it. Pay attention to the kinds of questions the interviewer is asking, especially those that sound something like, “If you were faced with this problem, what would you do?” You want to answer and you want to give evidence of your value in a situation like the one the interviewer poses. You don’t want to give a complete answer. What you want to do is give an answer that is like an “appetizer” – not like a whole meal. Give enough to show your value but not enough to eliminate any need to hire you.

Conclusion: Landing a job you really want takes clear, concise communication of your value in how you look and how effectively you listen without giving away the store.

Joy Montgomery is a coach for startups and job seekers. She helps you position yourself for growth, profitability, and acquisition. For a free 15 minute consultation, contact Joy through her website –



10 Interview Mistakes to Avoid

An interview is an integral part of recruitment process. There is no escape from that. If you have to land in a job, your CV and a satisfactory interview are the most important factors. Having said that, in this post I will be covering the 10 interview mistakes that everyone needs to avoid!

An interview is a process whereby the recruiter or employer meets a prospective employee who he wishes to recruit. You must understand that the interviewer or employer is not there to pass his free time.

You have prepared your CV well and you are at the interview. Here are the interview mistakes that you need to avoid. I am listing the interview mistakes in descending way:

10. Interview mistake: Lack of Company research 
One of the fundamental mistakes that the candidates do is to not research enough on the organisation that has called them for interview. It is very important that you learn the basic details about the company. Yes…. mission, vision, number of employees form a part of this. But you could do better by studying the sector in which the company is doing business. Companies these days look for candidates who think out of the box. Be prepared to mention about how the industry as a whole is performing. Do not limit yourself to mission, vision. Everyone does it. Be different.

9. Interview Mistake: I am a Perfectionist 
Do not give an impression that you are a perfectionist. You always must give an impression that you yearn to be a perfectionist. No human is perfect. All of us have some weaknesses. So do not try and put on a mask and convey you are a perfectionist. Be truthful.

8. Interview Mistake: Focussing only on what you did 
These days the companies are looking for people who do good in a team. Therefore bragging about your individual achievements will not yield the desired results. Tell them how you have exhibited your talents in a muti-cultural team i=of individuals and how you managed to succeed with the help of your team.

7. Interview Mistake: Not ending with a conversation 
Often, the interviewees do not seek clarification or ask questions to the interviewer. An interview is a perfect platform for you to quiz about the organisation structure and other company related information to the interviewer. So come out of shell and let them know you probe well on matters that are related to the company.

6. Interview Mistake: Focussing only on the JOB 
Most candidates give 100% attention to their previous jobs. An interviewer might also be interested in your hobbies and talents that you have other than the Jobs you did in the past. In your introductory address also mention what your hobbies and interests are other than your job.

5. Interview Mistake: Tense and Nervous 
The last thing an interviewer wants is a Nervous employee. If you exhibit tension and nervous, you may end up eliminated. Do not twitch your palms. Be confident. Show your confidence by speaking firmly on points. Give examples of how you achieved that one thing that no one could achieve in your previous job. Sweating and nervousness should be the last thing that should occur while on interview.

4. Interview Mistakes: Rambling during the interview 
Do not wander away from questions that the interviewer has asked. Do not provide unrelated answers. If you are not aware of the answers do not provide wrong answers.

3. Interview Mistake: Late follow up 
After the interview do not forget to take the contact details of the interviewer. Once home, do not forget to send a follow up note mentioning how excited you are with regard to the job and how positive you feel. This is a good thing to do. Remember, interviewers like this attitude.

2. Interview Mistake: Going through recruitment Solo 
You are aware of an opening. You decide to go alone without informing your friends who are also looking for a job. Let everyone who are interested among your friend circle know about the interview and if interested give them the details of the interview if they also wanted to attend. Going solo is the last thing you do. Do not be selfish.

1.Interview Mistake: Silently standing in the Line 
You have gone for a job fair and you are standing in the corner in a line, waiting for you turn to arrive. Bad news is that, that chance might never arrive. Quiz, query, ask questions to every recruiter. Break that ice. Recruiters like that. They like a person who is outgoing and takes initiatives on his own without waiting for his turn to arrive. Not only at the job fair but also in other conditions, if you have spotted a vacancy on the company website or recruitment agency site, do not wait to send your CV. Pick up that phone and dial that number. Chances are that you may directly connect with the recruiter and when you send your CV they will be able to put a tone to the CV. Helps a lot.

Avoiding these interview mistakes has helped me a lot. Hope they do help you as well.

Comment with suggestions and other points that you might know. Avoid these interview mistakes and you will definitely be successful.  Source:

Top 5 Toughest Interview Questions Executive Job Seekers Should Be Prepared to Answer

You’ve worked with an Executive Marketing Expert to create a successful strategy to find a new executive-level job or C-level position. You’ve re-done your resume, and repackaged your skill set to sell yourself to the search committees, HR directors, and recruiters. You’ve been found. You’ve made it through the initial review process and have landed the interview. And here you thought it was getting the interview that was the hard part. How job candidates at any level handle their interview in the highly competitiveness of today’s job market will determine how long you stay unemployed or whether you receive a job offer. Knowledge is power, be prepared for the questions they will ask and have a few of your own. 

1. What Should I Know about You? 
This is your 30 second  Elevator Speech. In 30-60 seconds you should be able to tell the recruiter about yourself, why they should hire you, why do you want to work for the company, and how you would fit into the companies continued success. An executive job seeker should be prepared for this inevitable question. Don’t leave your answer to chance or off the cuff. Tailor each answer prior to each new job interview and practice your elevator speech on professionals.

BEFORE the interview. Your husband or wife doesn’t count. It should flow and roll off your tongue with ease.

2. What Do You Consider Your Weaknesses?

I don’t know or I don’t have any are truly not an acceptable answer. Nor is a pat cliché response of I am a workaholic or I’m a perfectionist. Even most interviewers understand the limitations of these questions. They are asking to see how you handle it. No one expects you to details all the negative elements of your personality, like I am difficult to work with and am not a team player. Your answer allows them to see if you as a job applicant if you posses such key qualities as humility, sincerity, self-awareness, zest and skill set in managing both short comings and mistakes. It’s imperative to not reveal key weaknesses that interviewers might otherwise notice on their own. Remember, that this question is a way to actually highlight your strengths.

A successful response to this question can help the executive job seeker distinguish themselves and stand out from the pack.

3. What Do You Consider Your Strengths?

What are you good at? What makes you stand out from the next candidate? What do you have to offer this particular company. How does your existing skill set fit their corporate structure?

Determine your skills based on your personality traits, knowledge based skills, and transferable skill set.

a. your Personality Traits( are you a team player, flexible, punctual)

b. Knowledge Based Skills (based on education and experience – computer skills, 
specialized training, or degrees)

c. Transferable Skills (the skills you take from job to job, planning and strategy skills)

Choose 3-5 strengths that the potential employer is seeking in their executive job posting. Give specific examples to demonstrate that strength if questioned further. Scripting your answers to these questions allows you to answer clearly and with confidence.

4. What Are Your Salary Requirements? 
This question is a potential mind-field, and needs to be handled carefully and with tact. I’m flexible won’t cut it, it’s vague and non-committal. Don’t say at my last position my salary was….. If you state a salary base outside of the potential employers range your executive job candidacy is over. You need to have done your research, not only on the company but your executive niche market. It will make a difference if the company is a start-up vs a Fortune 1000 or 500 company. Where the company is located in the country will also make a difference. You need to determine what is the going rate in your job market for your specific skill set, then position your salary requirements within the going rate, based on the company and the company location. It’s imperative that you do your homework. You can determine your salary once you have a successful job offer.

5. Why Are You Currently Unemployed? 
This is a touchy question that can also be followed up with, how long have you been unemployed? First and foremost tell the truth. Don’t try and cover up why you left your last position. Cover-ups rarely work and usually lead to embarrassment. Also your response should be positive, this is not the place to air grievances for being down-sized, involuntarily terminated or merged out of your last executive position. You need to have an answer if you have been out of the job market for a long time or it’s been over 6 months since you where last employed at the executive level.

Fortunately, your executive marketing experts can help you prepare for your interview. You can work with your marketing coach, go through a mock interview and receive feedback on how well you answered a specific question. And if you need improvement, practice makes perfect.


Visit – NOW was founded in 1996 to assist top-level Executives and Professionals in their career search. This demographic has special needs. Job search methods that work for entry level and middle level candidates do not work for Executives and relatively few positions at upper levels get advertised. Most people in this demographic ultimately get hired as a result of what is referred to as the “unpublished job market”.

Six Ways to Successfully Handle an Interview

Many interviews are doomed before they take place because people have little idea of what to say or how to handle themselves once they walk through that door. They have given scant forethought to exactly why they’d be an asset to the company, or for that matter, who the company really is and what it stands for. Their understanding of the job requirements has not been given adequate thought as to how they would approach things if given the opportunity. And deep down they don’t really believe they’re going to get the job. In this negative state of mind is it any wonder that many of them don’t get past first base. The positive ideas and inspirations in this article are designed to turn this around and have you go for that job believing in yourself as a worthy candidate.


With this in mind, assuming that you’re appropriately dressed for the interview and have armed yourself with a professionally prepared CV, here are some sure-fire tips to ensure you’re among the leaders as you near the winning post.

Carry Yourself with Confidence. Even if you don’t feel it, act confident as if you really are the person for the job. This helps counter the unnatural, tense situation of the interview. Be aware that the interviewer feels a little awkward and nervous too, even though they mightn’t show it. Accept the fact that it’s normal for everyone to feel a bit uncomfortable in an interview setting. And don’t be afraid to engage in a bit of small talk to break the ice, it really does help.

Remember that interviews cost time and money and the person behind the desk is not out to get you or trip you up in any way. Hopefully you are just the person they’re looking for! So step forward with a firm handshake and the quiet confidence of someone who knows their own self-worth and is eager to learn.

Research the Company Beforehand. Before you even think of leaving for the interview get on the Net and find out as much as you can about the company. Now in answer to the question, “What do you know about our company?” you’ll be able to impress the interviewer with some intelligent comment relating to the organization’s recent expansion into South East Asia, their restructuring program, or the new plant they’ve just opened in Melbourne. Fundamental preparation like this will put you well in front of other contenders for the job.

Study the Job Requirements. Carefully consider the job requirements in the ad to determine your strengths and weaknesses with regard to this particular position. These are the main things the interviewer will be focusing on. If asked, use specific examples from your experiences to illustrate you understand the essence of each requirement. For those areas you’re not too good at, let them know you learn fast and don’t see it as a problem. Give them an example of where you’ve experienced the requirement under discussion somewhere else. For example an illustration of the initiative you had to show when working in the kitchen at McDonald’s would be ideal.

A young lady once applied for a job as a fire fighter with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. One of the job requirements was being able to ‘think clearly in time of crisis’ When asked by the interviewer to illustrate what this meant to her, she replied with a story.

When she was a young girl, Mary (not her real name) was often given the daunting responsibility of milking the 200 cows on her parent’s dairy farm in time of need or emergency. This particular day everything was going fine with cows hooked up to the milking machines contentedly chewing their cuds. All of a sudden the boards of one of the elevated platforms on which the cows were standing gave way and sent one of the cow’s back legs crashing through a gaping hole. With no time to reflect on the gravity of the situation, 15-year-old Mary went into action.

Although badly cut and scratched, their prize Jersey Strawberry’s legs had landed on a concrete wall directly beneath the shattered platform. Mary quickly undid the holding-bar from across her neck, released the cups from her udder, and with a great deal of pushing, heaving and shoving, somehow coaxed Strawberry to lift her legs out of this lethal trap. When her parents arrived home from their trip to Melbourne they were astonished to learn that not only had Mary’s quick thinking rescued one of their prize milkers, she’d calmly gone on to finish milking the entire herd!

The interviewer must have been impressed with this response for she was accepted into the rigorous training course and went on to become a professional fire fighter.

Prepared Spontaneity. A key factor in whether you get the job or not is your proficiency in handling people. So revisit that personal well of wisdom and self-esteem we spoke about earlier. Search out your real-life experiences as a team player, your reliability, how you get along with others, and your leadership qualities. Prepare something specific to say on each of these ‘people’ qualities. You may not need them, but then again you may. I call this prepared spontaneity. You may illustrate the qualities of persistence and reliability with an example of how you put yourself through university with a part-time job. Or you could demonstrate how you are slow to anger by replaying a recent incident where you had every reason to blow your top but didn’t.

Be ready for unusual questions. In answer to the question, “What do you see as your strengths?” You might reply, “I feel I get along well with people and would make a good team member.” You would of course be able to expand on this with a specific example that illustrates the point if asked to do so. Conversely, if you were thrown the question, “And what do you see as an area you need to work on?” you could well be in trouble. Here’s how to get around it:

As no one is perfect you’ve got to own up to something! But make sure the human frailty you select is harmless and in no way jeopardizes your chances of getting the job. Here’s what I said when the interviewer leaned back in his chair and threw me the question, “What do you see as your main weakness?” I told him that my enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of me and I tend to forget that others have valuable ideas to contribute as well as me… But there’s always a little man on my shoulder saying, “Hold back a minute and listen to what they’ve got to say!” This way I turned a negative into a positive by demonstrating that I’m continually working on being a good listener!” In other words my ‘problem’ of being over enthusiastic is under control and no longer a concern.

Not long back one of my daughters went for a job interview and when asked the question, “And what do you see as one of your weaknesses?” She said, “Well there are a couple of aspects of the job I’m a bit worried about, like do I have to know how to fill in all the forms straight away?”

“Oh don’t worry about that”, the interviewer said. “You’ll get lots of training in all that stuff”.

Satisfied with her response, the interviewer moved on. And yes, she did get the job. She told me later that she’d prepared her response to the likelihood of this ‘What’s an area you need to work on’ question before she went for the interview. Make sure you do the same.

Rehearse the Interview ‘Live’. Never ever would I speak in front of an audience or conduct a workshop or one-on-one coaching session without first running through the whole thing in my mind. Preparing for an interview is exactly the same. Here’s how: For five to ten minutes a day, a few days before the interview, sit down in a quiet corner and actually ‘see’ the interviewers in front of you and how they’re reacting to what you’re saying in response to their questions about specific job requirements. Don’t be concerned with the exact words you use, unless they’re key phrases or terminology you’d use for effect; just mull over your main ideas for each requirement and let the words intuitively flow as they would in normal conversation. Some of this is out loud; most of it will be in your head.

Especially concentrate on all possible questions they could throw at you and select key ideas and examples with which to answer these questions. Brainstorm a list of possible curly questions they could throw at you then get someone to ask you these questions at random. If you have to do this by yourself write the questions on little pieces of paper, mix them up, then randomly speak to them as if replying to the interviewer. Now you might only have to use one or two of these responses – but you never know. In any case you are prepared for them for you will have created an internal comfort zone within yourself so you’re in control of the situation. Only now are you ready to attend the interview and interact with confidence! If a particular meeting or interview is important to you, you should rehearse it ‘live’ beforehand every time.

In a nutshell 

  • Break the ice with small talk 
  • Carry yourself with the quiet confidence of one who believes in themself 
  • Learn as much as you can about the organization before the interview
  • Arm yourself with specific incidents and examples of your positive ‘people’ qualities 
  • Prepare a response to the questions: “What do you see as your strengths?” “…an area you need to work on?” 
  • Create an internal comfort zone within yourself by rehearsing the interview ‘live’ 

So there you have it… everything you need to know to handle yourself effectively in an interview. Remember that being a little on edge and keyed-up is normal, just act more confident than you really feel and this is what they’ll perceive you to be. Study these tried-and-proven tips a few times before any interview and put them into practice for they really do work. Now I can’t promise that you’ll get the job. But I can promise that you’ll give that job you’re after a real nudge!


About the author: Laurie Smale is an inspirational speaker, author and Master Speech coach. His ideas and inspirations on communicating effectiveness have changed the lives of thousands. This article is taken from his life-changing e-book “How to Be a Conversational Success!” To learn more visit The added bonus is that with all his products you get Laurie as your personal email coach for life!

Job Interview Preparation Tips to Help Get You Past Round One

The job interview is the most crucial part of any job application. This is where the employer meets the new hire for the first time, and the old adage “first impressions last a life time” could never be more applicable. You can do many things to be sure that the first impression is a good one. These job interview preparation tips are invaluable when getting ready for your next meeting.


Tip 1)Practice the interview at home, in front of a mirror.

The more confidence you have in the ability to sell yourself, the better chance you have to make a good first impression. Be prepared for the usual questions: “Why did you leave your last job? “What did you like about your last job?” What did you dislike about your last job?” and “What makes you think you would make a good choice for this company?” are all very popular questions for an interview.

Prepare these answers beforehand and practice them. Don’t use cliches like “I am a people person,” these are vague and tired. Instead, phrase the answer into one specific for the company hiring, such as “I have always enjoyed helping people find the answers to their questions, it gives me a sense of pride” or “I enjoy the challenges of working with people.”

Never speak negatively of your last employer. That will make your prospective employer see you in a negative light. Instead, try unspecific things such as, “There wasn’t much room for promotion” or “I really just want to expand my career.” Don’t talk negatively about your boss or your co-workers if you can avoid it.

Tip 2) Dress appropriately for the interview.

Again, your professional appearance will be the first thing your interviewer notices when they meet you. The same can be said for your unprofessional appearance.

For females, a nice business suit with a modest shell under the jacket is a professional look, as is a longer skirt with a dressy top and flat heeled shoes; your hair should be neat and tied back if possible.

For men, slacks, dress shirt and a tie or a nice suit is in order with special attention to facial hair. Trim or groom mustaches or beards, or shave smoothly the morning of your interview. Dress professionally but comfortably, for ladies this would not be the time to try those high heels that hurt your feet when you walk. For men, fidgeting in a scratchy shirt will not leave a good impression.

Tip 3) Be on time for the interview; in fact, be early.

Punctuality cannot be overstressed. Being late to the interview is faux pas that you cannot recover from regardless of how well the actual interview went. An employer is looking for a dependable person; being late casts a very bad first impression. After all, if you’re late to your interview, what are the chances you’ll also be late to your job, and important client meeting, or just about any other work function?

Tip 4) Relax, be comfortable, and project confidence.

Whiel this can be easier said than done, try deep breaths or some other form of relaxation exercises before getting started on the interview. This will give the relaxed, confident air that an employer is looking for from his new hires. This is especially true for sales, management, or executive positions.

Approach the desk or chair with confidence, offer to shake hands, and do not sit until the interviewer invites you to. Look him squarely in the eye with a self assured smile.

It helps to remember that the interviewer is just another person. Before getting started, find something in his office to comment positively on; “I like that painting” or “That is a lot of trophies” is a way get the interviewer’s guard down enough to level the playing field a little, and might even be an invitation to a quick chat about the subject. The tone of the interview might be more relaxed if this tip succeeds.

Tip 5) Research the company you’re interviewing at and the position you’re interviewing for.

Know the salary being offered before you go in to the interview. Quote the salary mentioned in the application, or a bit under it, if asked what your salary requirements are. Also, understand the work hours being offered before going to the interview so you are not blindsided by requests for overnight or weekend shifts.

Be familiar with the company, it’s background, and the products and/or services they offer, especially the division or section of the company which you’re applying to work at. Know who their competitors are, and what your prospective company’s competitive strengths are.

Tip 6) Be ready to make a graceful exit.

Thank the interviewer again at the end, stand when he or she does, and offer again to shake hands firmly and confidently. Here is something that you absolutely must do after almost any job in order to receive an offer; follow up with a thank you letter. Thanking him for the interview a few days later will also keep you in the interviewer’s mind when they are reviewing applicants.

The days following an important interview can be a tortured time of self doubt and stress. After the interview is complete, try to put it out of your mind; you cannot undo it or change any part of it once it is over. If the employer contacts you and says you were not hired, thank them and request that your application be kept on file for future openings.

Following these simple tips will put you ahead of may candidates, although competition today is fiercer than ever, with some determination and more than a little preparation, you will land that job you’re after.


Steve writes on many topics, and has been published in many locations, both online and in national print media. You can find out more about him and valuable tips on how to ace your next job interview at Job Interview Prep

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