Your Resume is Only the Start, Do You Know How to Interview?

Interview

Having a professionally written resume, personalized cover letter, and updated LinkedIn profile may get you callbacks and interviews, but will these things actually get you the job?  No!  You must also excel at your interview to be considered for the job and to negotiate a salary.  There is huge amount of interview prep material available online, in libraries or through the help of a professional interview coach so we are going to narrow this article down to a few key points for you to consider while you prepare for your interview.

Preparation is Key

You’ve probably heard this a million times over but there’s a reason why.  Preparation makes a huge difference.  While preparing for an interview seems like a fundamentally easy thing to do, it can be a huge challenge.  Time and attention are 2 major factors that can derail your preparation ambitions.  So here is a suggestion:

  • Write out what specifically you need to prepare for or practice. This could mean a specific question like “what is a weakness of yours?”, or brushing up on metrics and achievements you haven’t given recent thought to.  Make a checklist if it helps.
  • Work backwards and schedule time each day to practice and prepare. If your interview is in a couple weeks, or even in a week, 15 minutes a day may be enough. But DO IT EVERY DAY.
  • Mark off the consecutive days on a wall calendar that you prepare. You will start a chain, don’t break the chain!
Do your Research

Learn as much about the company and the position you are applying for so you can be prepared with the right questions.  You need to make sure that the position is a good fit for you.  You may be able to find some insider information or previous employee reviews on websites like glassdoor.com.  Also, doing this type of research will prime you to think about how your current position and accomplishments relate to the job you are applying for.  You may be able to anticipate some questions that could arise in the interview.

Invest in Yourself

You are worth investing in.  You may be considering a job that requires a certification.  Get that certification!  You will impress yourself with your ability to learn, you will gain knowledge others within your future organization may rely on, and it could mean a higher salary.  Engage in self-improvement, travel adventures, books, and hobbies.  Doing interesting things outside of work gives you something interesting to talk about with coworkers or hiring managers and helps boost your image of being a dynamic and rounded individual.

Feel Confident

Do things to help you feel more confident.  For some this may include going to the gym, excersicing to gain strength or endurance, and for others this may mean freshening up your image with new clothes and hairstyle.  Challenging yourself with obtaining a new certification or college course can give you a big boost.  This confidence will roll over into your interview and greatly improve your odds.  We aren’t talking about being a braggart, just a steady, smiling confidence.  This also comes back to preparation.  The more you prepare the more confident your will feel in your interview.

Get Help

If you are unsure about how to prepare for an interview, ask for help.  Even if this means you hire an interview coach, you are worth it.  Competition is heating up in the job market and you owe it to yourself to help yourself anyway you can to land the job you want.  We believe in you, you should believe in yourself too!  Best of luck!

____________________

Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

5 Expert Tips for Interview Success

Interview Success

Having a well prepared resume and getting callbacks for interviews can be a big enough challenge in and of itself.  When you do get the opportunity for a job interview you want to give yourself the best chance possible to land your new job, right?.  Interview success comes with a lot of preparation, practice, and positive thinking.  You can increase your chances of success with these 5 expert tips.  Best of luck!

Original article click here.  Image credit (Robert Daly/ Getty Images)

While it is important to be qualified, it is even more important to create the right impression.

Americans will have at least 10 jobs before retirement, based on current Bureau of Labor Statistics research that shows average job tenure in 2016 was a little over four years. Companies often conduct two or more interviews of a potential candidate before deciding to hire them. This means, at best, most of us must interview at least 20 (and likely 30 to 40) more times before we retire. Like it or not, acing the interview is a must for long-term career growth. Here are five tips for interview success:

1. Dress to gain trust and command respect. In her book “Presence,” Harvard professor and social psychologist Amy Cuddy reports that humans are judged on two primary factors – trustworthiness and respectability. Creating an ideal image does not require expensive outfits. It means selecting clothing, accessories, makeup and a hairstyle that command respect in your targeted industry. To portray this image, you have to think about the fit of the clothes, make sure they are wrinkle- and stain-free, look modern and are both age- and profession-appropriate.

2. Show up in the office five minutes before your appointment time. Although that sentence looks simple enough, it has two powerful and often overlooked components: “in the office” and “five minutes.” This does not mean park five minutes before the interview or get in the building security line with five minutes to spare. It means walk through the office or suite door five minutes before your appointment.

While it is clear why running late or cutting it close are not good strategies, the same goes for walking into the office more than five minutes early. Not every company has a huge lobby or waiting area. Arriving too early may mean that you are staring at the person who will interview you and have now obligated him or her to start your meeting earlier than planned.

If you arrive earlier than intended, hang outside the building or even in the bathroom before your ideal time. The extra few minutes will give you time to prepare and ensure that you don’t impose on your interviewer.

3. Arrive prepared. Bring a pen, notebook or portfolio with paper, several resume copies and a list of questions you would like to ask the interviewer. Many interviews start first with a request for your resume. Removing a neat, unfolded version from your notebook is an excellent first step.

Next, all interviewers like to know that they have said something useful enough for you to write it down. Jot notes throughout the meeting, no matter how positive you are that you will remember everything. Writing not only tells the interviewer you value her input, but it also gives both of you a break from staring at one another. Furthermore, it can give you a chance to glance at the notes you prepared before the meeting regarding key strengths you want to reference or questions you want to ask.

Finally, remember to look up at least as much as you look at the paper. Writing notes is important, but active eye contact tells the hiring authority you are paying attention.

4. Select real-life examples that display key hiring traits. One of the biggest complaints made by hiring managers is when a candidate seems “all talk.” Candidates who prove they have the desired skills fair better in the interview process. Identify the top desired traits for a role and prepare examples that clearly demonstrate your experience and abilities.

 5. Have a conversation. The best interviews are a give and take. Come prepared to discuss the company, the role, your background, current trends in the industry, the reason for the opening and any recent business events that may impact the interviewer, role, company or industry. Companies want to hire engaged employees who have taken the time to learn about the company and role for which they are applying.

Without this critical preparation, most interviews are merely one-sided exchanges in which the interviewer asks questions and the candidate responds to the question but cannot expand beyond it. The ability to have fluid conversation conveys preparation, intelligence, people skills, active listening and a commitment to your career. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to display these traits in the meeting.

Interview success is more about how the interviewer feels about you than about how well you can do the job. That is not to say that you don’t need to be qualified – you do need to be in the ballpark. However, many highly qualified people get rejected because they do not clearly convey how they are an ideal (and likable) match for the role. While it is important to display your business qualifications, it is even more important to create the right impression.

Securing an interview is a significant accomplishment. Make the most of the opportunity by factoring in these tips for an instant boost in your next interview.

____________________

Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

How to Nail a Marketing Job Interview

Interview

This week we’ve focused a few articles on the marketing and sales industries.  This article is directed towards learning how to nail your marketing position interview.  

Original Article

Marketing positions require a combination of communication skills, creativity, critical thought and organization. When applying for a marketing position, whether entry-level or CMO, you must prove that you operate at a high level in each of these categories. The more you stand out from the long list of straight-line candidates, the more you will create a presence in the mind of your interviewer.

Know the Target Market

Marketers must be prepared every day to attack the market as it relates to a specific industry or target segment. Preparedness is a large part of a job interview, and you should make it clear to your interviewer that you understand the goal and how to achieve it. For example, it is nice to mention facts about your potential employer’s business, but it is better to provide some analysis of its current marketing campaigns and how they positively affect you. In addition, research background data, such as the origins of the company and its movement in recent years. Determine where the company is headed and what role its marketing plays in getting it there.

Show Your Skills

Many marketing professionals have a portfolio that comes along with them everywhere they go. The collection typically consists of past achievements; awards received in recognition of your work; and high quality impact pieces of either web or print marketing initiatives. It is meant to display your creative thinking ability and show the interviewer how you think and why, while highlighting the positive results of your efforts for other companies. If you have pieces that directly relate to your potential employer, that’s great. If not, lay out a tangible connection that shows how you will transfer your skill set to a new challenge.

Make the Pitch

 The interview is a perfect time to demonstrate your ability to coerce by selling yourself. If a candidate cannot market herself, the odds are she will not be able to market the company or service in question. Marketing yourself requires confidence in your abilities and the skill to read and respond to the interviewer. Knowing your audience is the key to all successful marketing, and it’s no different when it comes to your job interview. Probe a bit with a few questions, take in your surroundings and play to the crowd. If you can manage to deliver the message the interviewer is looking for, you are a long way toward hooking the consumer and making the sale.

New Ideas

Use your interview time to reveal the ways that you would help to improve the current message or create one that addresses deficiencies in the company’s marketing efforts. Make your suggestions in a delicate and positive way, because you don’t want to criticize the marketing director for the work her department is putting out. For example, instead of saying that the current promotion is missing the mark with the college-age consumer, try saying that you’ve been researching an approach that you think may pay some dividends for the company as a supplement to any existing campaigns. You want to make friends, and show your ability not to make enemies and create conflict.

Relate Your Experience

If you are applying for a marketing position and come from a seemingly unrelated background, use the interview to show how your past experiences were all based in marketing. Let’s say you have worked in retail for years and want to make the switch to a marketing position. Evaluate your experience and reword your descriptions of it so that any role you played in promotion is highlighted. For example, play up your participation in merchandising, retail floor layouts, customer promotions and interaction with suppliers. These skills are all valid and useful parts of the marketing game. A well-rounded applicant who understands how her own skills relate to marketing can open the eyes of the interviewer who may otherwise have missed the connection.

What You Need to Know About Video Interviews

Virtual interview

Not all interview are conducted in person.  Thanks to technological advances video interview are becoming more common.  It can be strange talking to someone via a computer screen.  So how do you prepare?  Check out this helpful information about video interviews to learn more.  

Original article click here.

Virtual interviews for job candidates are becoming part of modern recruitment. They’re certainly one of the most popular contemporary recruiting trends. In fact, more than half of employers report using video interviews to screen candidates before meeting them in person. Why the popularity of the video interview? These kind of screening interviews are more efficient and inexpensive for employers than in-person interviews. Additionally, it’s easier for hiring managers to reject a candidate they meet over online video than someone they meet in person. Sad, but true.

Video interviews can certainly be daunting. Hiring managers judge you from your first moments on-screen. Certainly, you want to nail your interview questions, but you also want to make sure you have all the other steps in place that make you look good before you even open your mouth. Here, we’ll offer our top tips for nailing any and all of your video recruiting interviews.

Familiarize yourself with Skype, Google Hangouts, or the program used for your video interview.
By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you already should have downloaded Skype onto your computer. About 60% of employers use Skype for interviews in the early stages of screening candidates. Regardless of whether you’re using Skype or another program, it’s important to be a whiz at whatever video interview program your company requests.

You’ll likely have time in between the company’s request for an interview and the actual interview day, so use that time wisely. On the day of the interview, check out your system: look at yourself in your software’s video and also check to see that the sound is working properly on your end. Further, if your interview software has any bugs — like a faulty microphone or a terrible connection — you’ll want to know how to fix it, demonstrating that you’re technologically savvy and stay cool under pressure. Remember, the point of these interviews is to save your potential employer time.

Set the scene.
If you’ve ever used video software before, you know that you can see more than just the person’s head on the other end of the line. So make your space look presentable. First, find a place in your house that isn’t visually distracting; you’ll likely want to position yourself in front of a blank wall. Next, find a place that’s quiet; choosing a public place for your interview is most likely out of the question. After you’ve scouted your ideal location, put a light behind your computer to light up your face. Check out your reflection in your software’s video first. If the light casts shadows on you, move, and if your face looks shiny from the light, powder it. (Yes, even men).

Dress to keep their eyes on your face.
In a lot of ways, dressing for a video interview isn’t any different than dressing for an in-person interview. That means conservative tops for women with minimal jewelry and hairstyles that don’t cover the face. For men, button-up shirts are the appropriate go-to choice. Guys, if you’re interviewing somewhere you don’t know if a tie is appropriate, wear one for your video interview anyway. A tie that doesn’t have wild prints on it never hurt anyone. And don’t just dress from the waist up! You never know when you might have to adjust a piece of technology or, God forbid, quiet your barking dog or some other surprising mishap.

____________________

Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!