5 Ways to Woo Hiring Managers During The Interview Process

Interview Advice

Preparation is key to having a successful interview.  Making a strong impression and giving the proper consideration to those who are interviewing you, including hiring managers, will go a long way.  Here are some great tips to help you prepare.   

Original article click here.

 

While it’s easy to think you’re the center of attention during a job search or interview, you’re actually wrong.

Although 92 percent of job seekers fear something about the interview process, hiring managers have a lot of pressure, too. Hiring managers are expected to select candidates who possess strong skills and experience while also making a great cultural fit.

As you prepare for your upcoming job interview, here are five things to keep in mind that will help the hiring manager make a decision in your favor:

1. Think ahead and be prepared.

Landing a job interview is like striking gold. After weeks of searching for jobs, submitting applications, and networking with employers, securing a job interview is a rewarding feeling.

When the interview process begins, the hiring manager may follow up with you before the job interview itself. Whether it’s via phone or email, be prepared for this communication. This initial contact is a chance for the hiring manager to screen you prior to the interview.

If the hiring manager schedules a phone call before your interview, have all of your bases covered. Thoroughly research the company, have your resume in front of you, and a list of references available. You should also have a few questions prepared just in case because this shows the hiring manager you are eager to land the job and will be prepared for the upcoming interview.

2. Relax and be yourself.

During every job interview, hiring managers want to learn about the real you. Sure, while they don’t care about the fact you love watching Netflix on the weekends, they do care about what makes you unique.

When you enter the job interview, think of it as another networking opportunity. The only difference is you need to market your best qualities and skills to the interviewer. Tell the interviewer about your work-related interests, relevant experience, and things you enjoy most about your career.

3. Demonstrate why you love the company.

Hiring managers love talking to candidates who’ve invested their time in getting to know the company and develop a relationship with it. During the interview, explain to the interviewer how you genuinely care about the growth of the company and how you plan to contribute to its success.

Take a look at any unique challenges the organization faces and come up with some solutions to the problem. This shows hiring managers you’ve done your research and you’re enthusiastic about working for their organization.

4. Prove your interpersonal communication skills.

Anyone can say they’re a team player or they are good listeners. However, to help hiring managers make a good decision, you need to be able to prove these interpersonal communication skills.

To prove your interpersonal communication skills, be ready to answer any question regarding your experience working in a team or making decisions. Bring plenty of accomplishment stories relating to your communication skills that demonstrate your success working in a team, too. This will show the hiring manager what you can accomplish and the strength of your communication skills.

5. Follow up with what you learned from the interview.

Every job seeker knows you need to follow up with a thank you letter after the interview. However, to make a sincere first impression, you should share what you learned from the interview in your thank you note. This shows the hiring manager you paid attention to details during the interview and were genuinely invested in the opportunity.

When job seekers understand what hiring managers expect out of a job interview, it can make the interview run more smoothly and work in your favor. Always remember to do your homework on the employer, prepare relevant accomplishment stories, and remember to ask thoughtful questions. This will give you the opportunity to help the hiring manager make a better decision and choose you for the position.

What tips do you have for helping the interviewer during the hiring process?

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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!

Executive Interview Tips

Executive Interview

There is a plethora of resources that exist for how to prepare for an executive level interview including books, online articles such as this, interview coaches, seminars, YouTube video.  We are sharing a few points we feel are important to your interview success.  

Be Prepared to answer unstructured questions

When open ended questions are inevitably asked such as “Tell us about yourself”, be prepared to seize the moment and offer some positive insight, open up about your career trajectory, and focus on your strengths. Be careful though, accordingly to Fast Company There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?”  You are better off considering the type of information a hiring manager or recruiter is looking for.  Think about the qualities they want in a candidate and apply your strengths to answer this common question.

Let your accomplishments be known

It’s no surprise that interviewers and hiring managers are looking for someone effective to bring on board their organization. Prepare in advance to hit on a few key accomplishments that truly demonstrate how effective you can be.  Capture your opportunities by listening closely to the interviewers and interject with a relevant accomplishment.  Use the CAR (challenge, action, response) to paint a picture of the situation, how you acted, and what the outcome was. Entertain your listeners as best you can with a brief but powerful story.  Remember to finish your accomplishment example with how your decision positively affected other people involved, whether it was a satisfied client, a boost in office morale, increase in stock price etc.  Also, keep in mind that demonstrating your accomplishments should not come across as bragging, but offering insightful information about how you handle adversity.

Be human, mention a weakness

Give time for self-reflection in advance of your interview and offer your interviewers and hiring manager a genuine response about a weakness you feel you have.  According to the Harvard Business Review “When leaders showcase their own personal growth, they legitimize the growth and learning of others; by admitting to their own imperfections, they make it okay for others to be fallible, too.”  Don’t stop there, explain what you are actively doing to turn your weakness into a strength.

Tips for Discussing your last position
  1. Explain perceived “job-hopping”.  Perhaps on paper it looks like you’ve bounced around a little too much in the past 5 years.  Or perhaps a company you worked for was acquired.  Be honest and forthcoming with your transitions, following up with a statement explaining where you want to land.
  2. Leaving your last position. You may be asked why you left your last job.  Give an honest answer, even if there was conflict, and keep the mood and the tempo of the interview upbeat.  Perhaps you can explain your decision in a way that you wanted to make a move to grow and develop, or were looking for a new or different kind of challenge.

 

Do your research

Whether you are changing industries or are looking for a new position within the same industry, do your research.  Not only about the company but industry trends.  Offer up some insights and your perceptions of the industry to your interviewers.  An interviewer may ask how you would handle a company or industry specific issue and you will need to be prepared.

 

Closing the Interview

You are essentially selling yourself in an interview, right?  Treat an interview the same as a sales opportunity and be prepared to close the deal if you think it is a good fit.  BlueSteps suggests you close with “I’m very excited about this opportunity. What’s our next step?”  Clearly let the interviewers know that you are interested (if you are) and remember to be enthusiastic and smile.

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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!

 

Interview Tips to Help You Land the Job You’re After

Interview Tips

Being aware of the most current job interview tips and best practices is valuable, but so is knowing what not to do. Recognizing some of the most common interviewing “don’ts” can help you present a favorable and honest picture of your skills and experience.

Here are some job interview tips regarding frequent mistakes and how to avoid them.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

This may seem like the most obvious of job interview tips, but some candidates don’t give preparation the attention it deserves. Prepare by mentally rehearsing your answers to common job interview questions (such as “Why do you want to work here?”), but also ask yourself what you’d like to know if you were the interviewer. Doing so can help you respond with confident answers.

Be flexible and confident

Preparation includes being ready for anything. Rather than thinking of off-the-wall questions or an unexpected turn to the conversation as intimidating, go into the interview with the attitude that no matter what you’re asked, you’ll be getting the chance to show that you can think on your feet.

Understand interview question types

In addition to being ready for the possibility of off-the-wall questions, be aware that the interviewer could employ four other types of questions: closed-ended, open-ended, hypothetical and leading. Understand that while short answers are fine when answering closed-ended questions, your answers to other types of questions will likely need to be a little more detailed and expansive.

Learn seven more common interview mistakes to avoid to increase your chances of making a favorable impression.

Research your target company

A survey from our company found the biggest mistake applicants make in interviews is not knowing enough about the firm. Do some digging on the Web, tap members of your network for their insights and work with a recruiter who can offer additional information about the firm.

Master your communication skills

Keep your responses to interview questions concise. When asked a question, take a deep breath, pause and collect your thoughts before you begin to speak. Avoid verbal crutches (such as um, like and uh) and refrain from making jokes or discussing controversial subjects.

Manage your emotions

Not exaggerating your interest or qualifications is one of our most important job interview tips. While it’s necessary to express enthusiasm for the position, candidates who answer every question with upbeat eagerness may come across as insincere. It’s also important to avoid overstating your qualifications.

Be positive

No list of job interview tips would be complete without this advice. Avoid disparaging comments regarding former employers, colleagues and companies. Also stay away from self-deprecating comments, which do not support a positive image or demonstrate competence.

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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!

Tell me about yourself—Ways to answer this interview question

interview questions

This ice-breaking yet important interview question has a way of making candidates blurt out their life stories. But is that what potential employers want to hear?

Original article click here.

It’s one of the most frequently asked interview questions: Tell me about yourself. Your response to this request will set the tone for the rest of the interview. For some, this is the most challenging question to answer, as they wonder what the interviewer really wants to know and what information they should include.

When an interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself,” the interviewer wants information that is pertinent to the job you’re interviewing for.

Eleanor dreaded this question. When it was the first one asked at her interview, she fumbled her way through a vague answer, not focusing on what she could bring to the job.

“I’m happily married and originally from Denver,” she began. “My husband was transferred here three months ago, and I’ve been getting us settled in our new home. I’m now ready to go back to work. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs, usually customer service-related. I’m looking for a company that offers growth opportunities.”

The interview went downhill after that. She had started with personal information and gave the interviewer reason to doubt whether she was an employee who would stay for very long.

  • She’s married, and when her husband gets transferred that means she has to leave; she did it once and can do it again.
  • She has some work experience with customers but didn’t emphasize what she did.
  • She is looking to grow. What about the job she is applying for? Will she stay content for long?

The secret to responding to this free-form request successfully is to focus, script and practice. You cannot afford to wing this answer, as it will affect the rest of the interview. Begin to think about what you want the interviewer to know about you.

Focus

List five strengths you have that are pertinent to this job (experiences, traits, skills, etc.). What do you want the interviewer to know about you when you leave?

Eleanor is strong in communications and connecting with people. She has a strong background and proven success with customer relationships. Her real strength is her follow-through. She prides herself on her reputation for meeting deadlines.

Follow your script

Prepare a script that includes the information you want to convey. Begin by talking about past experiences and proven success:

“I have been in the customer service industry for the past five years. My most recent experience has been handling incoming calls in the high tech industry. One reason I particularly enjoy this business, and the challenges that go along with it, is the opportunity to connect with people. In my last job, I formed some significant customer relationships resulting in a 30 percent increase in sales in a matter of months.”

Next, mention your strengths and abilities:

“My real strength is my attention to detail. I pride myself on my reputation for following through and meeting deadlines. When I commit to doing something, I make sure it gets done, and on time.”

Conclude with a statement about your current situation:

“What I am looking for now is a company that values customer relations, where I can join a strong team and have a positive impact on customer retention and sales.”

Practice

Practice with your script until you feel confident about what you want to emphasize in your statement. Your script should help you stay on track, but you shouldn’t memorize it—you don’t want to sound stiff and rehearsed. It should sound natural and conversational.

Even if you are not asked this type of question to begin the interview, this preparation will help you focus on what you have to offer. You will also find that you can use the information in this exercise to assist you in answering other questions. The more you can talk about your product—you—the better chance you will have at selling it.

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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 Negotiate Your Salary Like a Pro

Negotiate Salary

You’ve read our other blog posts and are prepared to have a great interview.  You nail the interview and are made a  job offer.  You should take advantage of the timing to negotiate a higher salary.  Your next opportunity may not be for a long time and you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.  This article shares some professional advice for how to best approach the situation.  Also read “The Careful Art of Negotiating Your First Salary”.

Original article click here.

You got the job! But the salary stinks. Sound familiar?

Negotiating your salary can be challenging, but it’s especially important for young professionals. Your first 10 years in the work force will likely determine your earnings for your entire life, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

 Here’s how to ask a potential employer for the money you want.
1. Stop worrying

Talking about money with a future boss can be nerve-wracking. That could be why nearly half of Americans don’t negotiate their salaries, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.

“A lot of people are just happy to have a job offer in an uncertain job market and don’t want to rock the boat,” explains Angela Smith, the founder of career coaching firm Loft Consulting.

It can help to put the conversation in perspective.

“I’ve never heard of a hiring manager who has retracted an offer because a candidate wanted to negotiate a salary,” Smith says.

Many employers actually offer slightly less than they can afford to pay because they expect candidates to negotiate, adds career coach Maggie Mistal.

2. Schedule a meeting

Experts generally recommend discussing salary after you’ve been handed a written offer.

“After they offer you the job, they’re not thinking of anyone else but you,” explains career coach Robert Hellmann of Robert Hellmann Career Consulting. “Suddenly you have all the leverage.”

Hellmann suggests reviewing the offer with your prospective manager a few days after receiving it. This way, you have the opportunity to devise a game plan.

3. Do your research

There’s a time and place for feelings, and the negotiating table isn’t one of them.

Take those few days before meeting with your prospective manager to research the job and determine your value based on facts, says Hellmann.

Career sites like Glassdoor and PayScale can help you figure out the salary range for the position based on your industry and geographic location, adds Smith. You might also weigh your education and experience level when determining your desired figure.

Entrepreneur Molly Hayward once asked a prospective manager for 50% more than she was offered — and got it.

“There’s no black and white answer” when it comes to how much more you should ask for, says Hayward, who is now the founder and CEO of organic tampon company Cora. Still, Hayward says young professionals should only ask for what is reasonable.

Once you know your market value, you can decide whether the salary you’ve been offered is fair. Be sure to examine the entire offer, including any bonuses and 401K benefits, says Hellmann.

If you’re not sure whether the benefits package you’re offered is fair, Mistal recommends talking to employees at the company to get details about common packages.

4. Be a team player

When making the case for a higher salary, remember to be sensitive and thank the employer for offering you the job.

“You don’t want to come across as entitled” explains Mistal. You might also approach the conversation as a team effort.

“You always want to try to make it about we want, not about what I want,” says Hellman. Ask, “What can we do to bridge this gap?”

If a hiring manager asks how much you made at your old job, you may not need to answer.

New York, Massachusetts and Philadelphia have all passed laws barring employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history. More than 20 states are considering similar legislation.

These laws are designed to help combat the gender pay gap by giving applicants the chance to reset their salaries at a new job.

Experts also recommend negotiating terms in addition to salary, such as stock options or the ability to work from home.

“This way, if you don’t get one thing, there are other levers you can pull to improve the overall offer,” Smith explains.

5. Be prepared to back down

You made a case based on facts, but your prospective boss just wouldn’t budge. Now what?

“If you’re being offered far below industry standards, make a decision about whether you’re willing to take the cut in pay [in exchange] for a good experience,” says Smith.

You could also ask for a salary review in six months, says Mistal.

If you do decide to walk away, be careful not to burn a bridge with the employer.

“You may be able to help each other down the road,” says Hellmann.

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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!

7 Job Interview Tips That Will Help You Get Hired

job interview tips

Having a great resume that helps you get the call for an interview is an awesome start to landing your new job but you still need to invest time in yourself to prepare for your interview.  Here are some smart and simple tips to guide you in a winning direction!

Original article click here.

Whether you’re getting ready for a video interview or the old-fashioned (and still quite common) in-person kind, you’ll want to be prepared. It’s essential that you make a good impression during this crucial stage of the hiring process. There is more to getting ready than just deciding what to wear and entering an address into your GPS. There are a few pretty important steps you should take to prepare.

1. Research and reflect on the mission.

It’s not difficult to research a company’s mission ahead of time. In fact, these days, you risk coming off as unprepared if you don’t. So, spend some time online. Learn about the mission and philosophy of the company. Reflect on them. Demonstrating that you have an understanding and attachment to the heart and soul of the company could help you connect and make a good impression.

2. Explore any and all connections.

Sometimes we find ourselves interviewing for a position, or with a person, that we have some kind of connection to. For example, if you came across this opportunity through someone in your professional network, be sure to touch base with them before your interview. Reaching out to your contact could help you feel more prepared, but it’s also just courteous. Thank them for any way in which they facilitated the connection, and tell them you’re looking forward to the interview. Even if the conversation simply ends there, you’ll know you’ve done the right thing by following up with someone who helped you.

3. Prepare to answer questions that are easy to anticipate.

It’s tough to know exactly what you’ll be asked during your interview. But, you should be ready for a few likely questions. Know how you’ll respond to inquiries like “tell me about yourself” or “why do you think you’d be a good fit here?” It will help you feel prepared. You don’t want questions like these, ones you can anticipate, to throw you off.

4. Attend to practical matters.

Before the day of your interview, be sure that you have all your ducks in a row. Know where you’re heading and how long it takes to get there. Consider heading down to the location once beforehand, if you need to. This way you won’t have the added stress of trying to find your way for the first time the day of your interview. Also, polish up your resume and print some fresh copies. Gather business cards or whatever else you’d like to bring with you in advance so that you’re not hustling around at the last minute. The more you set things up for yourself in advance, the less you’ll have to worry about right before your interview.

5. Be positive.

It’s normal to feel nervous before your interview, but allowing your mind to linger on these fearful thoughts won’t help you. Instead, focus on the positive. List your accomplishments and all the steps you took that helped you meet those goals. Go over your strengths. Think about all the wonderful things you’d like to do next, and how much fun you’ll have doing them.

6. Relax.

Preparations are important, yes, but there also comes a time to let it all go and relax. Be sure to leave time the night before your interview for some down-time. Take a bath, or read a book. Do something calm and peaceful to help quiet your mind. Also, go to bed early so that you’ll be well-rested the next day. All the work you’ve done to get ready should help you settle down and rest easy. Allow those preparations to raise your confidence and lower your stress levels. Relax. Doing so will help you put your best foot forward the following day.

7. Know that it’s not over when it’s over.

Be sure to keep in mind that your work here isn’t done once the big day has come and gone. There are a few things you should do after your interview that could help you land the job. Be sure to record some notes as soon as you’re done, for example, so that you can send personalized thank-you notes to the people who met with you. Attending to all the details, at every step of the interview process, could help you stand out as a strong and capable candidate.

 

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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!