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Posts Tagged ‘Interview’

What NOT to do on interview

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on March 14, 2011

On ” JOB TALK” we usually talk about hot to put together your resume, cover letter, how to dress, etc. Those things are very important which is why I talk about them frequently.  However, for the purpose of this article, I want to talk about what NOT to do. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Here are some things you want to make sure you avoid in an interview.

Do NOT ask how much the job pays or if benefits are included. If a job offer is made the interviewer will explain salary and benefits at that time. You can always turn the job down.

Do NOT be late. The employers will assume if you can’t get to the interview on time, you can’t get to work on time.

Do NOT bring your children to the interview. Again the assumption will be if you can’t get a sitter for the interview you probably can’t get one while you work.

Do NOT talk badly about your former employers. Blaming others will not help your cause.

It’s best to say ” I’ve learned a lot from this job and now I wan to purse other career opportunities because  I have more to offer and  want to continue to learn new things”.

Do NOT answer your cell phone to talk or text once your car. All you need to be thinking about is how to impress the interviewer and others that you may encounter during the interview process.


Do NOT tell the interviewer you don’t have any questions. It makes you appear unprepared for the interview. Do research on the company prior to the interview so you can ask intelligent questions and let the interviewer k now you did your homework.

Do NOT monopolize the conversation , tell jokes, use slang language, or curse in the interview. EVER!


Do NOT give too much personal information. Keep your answrs guided toward your abilities as a prospective employee. The interviewer doesn’t need to know what sports you play, how much you party, or even how involved you are at church.


And Finally, Do NOT be depressed if you  don’t get the job. If you remain positive  about  yourself and others around you, you will be successful in your job search. Every time you get an interview, you’ll learn something new and you’ll get better and more comfortable each time.


Article by Sharon  Bateman, job coach on Job Talk Radio Show. Reprinted from Sparkman  Magazine.


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Overcoming Potential Obstacles in the Interview

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 8, 2010

Do you think there are any potential obstacles that could stand between you and your next position? Here are some suggestions for handling some common obstacles:


Obviously you can’t change your age, but you can overcome a perception that you may not be up to the job. You can project yourself as energetic with a lot to give. I suggest that job candidates give some thought ahead of time to stories that illustrate that they are able to handle the stresses and strains of the job. They should also convey subtly in the interview that they plan to be in the workforce for a while.

For example, an interviewee can mention in the beginning of the interview what type of physical activity he or she did over the weekend. The interviewee can work this in during the ice breaking period which comes before the interviewer gets into the tough questions.


Job candidates need to determine beforehand what their bottom line is in terms of the compensation package. This should of course factor in current economic conditions. They should be armed with information about what they are worth and negotiate accordingly. But they should also show the interviewer that they are worth more than their salaries. In other words, they should demonstrate to the potential employer that the employer will get a return on investment that more than compensates for what they will be paying out in salary and benefits. Stories about past accomplishments can make the business case for appropriate salaries.


If you look fit, that will go a long way towards dispelling any thoughts that the interviewer may have that you will be costly (in terms of health benefits) to the company if you are hired. If you’re not fit, it’s something you should start working on since this is a part of that first good impression that you want to make.

Personality Mismatches

You should do your due diligence prior to the interview to find out what the company’s mission/values statement is and what the culture of the company is to determine if this is a good match for both parties. If it is, you need to allay any fears that the interviewer may have that you might not be a good fit by connecting the dots for the employer. Speak convincingly about the alignment you see between your values and the company’s. Talk about what you know about the company’s culture and how you see yourself fitting in.

Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed. is a career coach and a certified professional resume writer. She is the founder of Call to Career, a career coaching firm that assists people in finding their niche or calling in life.

Combining her professional status as a career coach with her love of writing, Ms. Palmer has written articles such as “Thank God It’s Monday! which was published in Message magazine and “Finding a Job That Fits You Like a Glove” which was published in Community Jobs. Both articles were well received and have given her additional visibility in her field.

Cheryl Palmer has also been a guest on a radio show entitled Insight on Coaching hosted by Tom Floyd where she discussed the needs of Generation X in the workplace and how managers from other generations can get the best out of this segment of the workforce.

In an article on HotJobs website entitled The Art of Being Assertive, Ms. Palmer was quoted as a subject matter expert on how assertiveness can help a person advance in his or her career.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cheryl_Palmer

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Your Next Employer Is Calling

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 5, 2010

Finally. You got a response from an employer asking you for a phone interview.

Here are a few tips for a stellar interview:

Preparation is key. Preparation includes not just preparing for commonly asked questions, but also preparing your environment for the interview. Job seekers should ensure that they have a quiet place for the phone interview with no interruptions. That means making sure that everyone in your household keeps all noise away from the place where you will be conducting your interview. You will come across as very unprofessional if the interviewer can hear the dog barking and the children screaming.

It’s also best to use a landline phone instead of a cell phone for your phone interview. You don’t want your call to drop while you are being interviewed. The other issue with cell phones is that reception can be poor in some areas. If you have to use a cell phone, try to find a spot where the sound comes through clearly.

Be likable. The recruiter has already determined from your resume that you have the qualifications for the job. What is most important at this point is that you confirm the recruiter’s positive impression of you. Your smile will come through over the phone even though the interviewer cannot see you. It’s also a good idea to say, “Hmm,” or “Yes” when the interviewer is speaking so that the person knows that you are paying attention.

Do your salary research before the face to face interview. Even though you as a job seeker don’t want to discuss salary prematurely (before an offer is made), it is very common for interviewers to screen potential candidates over the phone and find out if the two parties are in the same ballpark as far as salary is concerned. If the interviewer presses you for an answer about what salary you are looking for, give a salary range based on the research that you have done. That will still give you room to negotiate once you have made an offer. If you give a specific dollar amount, you then lock yourself in and don’t leave much room for negotiation.

Take advantage of http://www.salary.com and find salary surveys done by professional associations so that you know what the going rate is for your profession in the geographic location that you are interested in.

Practice your answers before the actual phone interview. As is commonly said, “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.” With the competition being so stiff for jobs in a period of high unemployment, you want to make the best of any interview that you get, so it is to your advantage to practice your answers to commonly asked interview questions. This will give you more confidence and decrease your nervousness in the interview itself.

*Send an email to admin@calltocareer.com today to schedule an appointment with an executive career coach so that you can ace your next interview.

Cheryl Palmer is a certified executive career coach and a certified professional resume writer and is President of Call to Career, a career coaching and resume writing firm. She has been featured on the Wall Street Journal, CNN, MarketWatch, The Ladders, ExecuNet, and Yahoo HotJobs. Cheryl was also a guest on a radio show entitled How to Find a Job Fast hosted by Chris Russell of Secrets of the Job Hunt where she discussed tips for finding employment more quickly in this economic downturn. In addition, she was a guest on WMOV where she discussed networking for your career with host Greg Gack on the radio.

Cheryl has a social media program for executives to aid them with reducing the amount of time it takes to land a new position. She also conducts webinars on social networking. You can sign up for a free webinar at http://www.calltocareer.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cheryl_Palmer

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5 Knock Out Factors That Could Cost You the Job

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 28, 2010

These 5 things are reasons the interviewer could decide not to hire you without you even saying a word. Actions speak louder than words.  If you display these wrong actions at an interview, you are telling the interviewer not to hire you.

Poor or inappropriate appearance– Can prevent you from getting the job you want. Look professional at your interview remove any body jewelry( No piercings). Don’t wear too much cologne or perfume. Don’t show up to the interview drunk or high. Most employers have policies that prohibit drug use of their employees.  Men should wear a shirt and tie with dress slacks. Women have a few more choices if your wear a dress or skirt wear pantyhose. Your shoes should be polished. Get a good night’s rest don’t show up looking sleepy or tired. Wear a smile when you greet people at the company.

Weak or ” wet fish” handshake- This gesture is important because it officially signals the beginning of the interview. You want your handshake to be firm and not over powering.

Being late for the interview- You should always arrive at an interview 10-15 minutes before time. There are a lot of things you can do to avoid this from happening. Drive the route the day before, so you will know how long it takes to get.  Getting lost is no excuse, print out the directions from yahoo or google driving directions. You can even send the directions to your cell phone depending you your carrier. Buy a GPS or call ahead and ask for directions.

Failure to look directly at the interviewer- If you do not maintain eye contact with the interview it could be perceived as you  are not interested in the job or dishonest. Good eye contact shows that you are actively listening to what is said.

Lack of Maturity– Failure to be prepared for the interview demonstrates a  lack of maturity, simply meaning you are not ready for the job you applied for. Failure to be ready is being late for the interview.  Not researching the company culture and showing up for the interview with poor or inappropriate appearance,  displays a lack of maturity.

Based on the List for “Why Qualified Applicants Don’t Get Hired – Knock Out Factors” from SLATE Missouri Career Center, Career Success Strategies

Reprinted from The People’s Employment Journal

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Handle yourself on an job interview like you would if you were on TV

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 25, 2010

If you were on a guest on a television talk show you would want to present yourself as intelligent, articulate,  and seem enthusiastic.  You want to display those same characters for a job interview.

On television interviews, it matters what you wear. People have been known to undress  for both television and job interviews. You want to wear what’s appropriate for your job. Do your research find out  what is  right for that company’s culture. If you are a man wear a dark  suit or at least a tie and slacks. If you are a woman  you can wear a dress or pants suit. It’s important that you feel like yourself, and not feel as though you’re  wearing a costume.

Women should be careful with accessories, select accessories that allow for a statement of personal style, but don’t overwhelm the interviewer. Don’t wear piercings, expect earrings.  Be careful with applying make up, for television more make up is better.  For a job interview less is best.

The secret to success with television  and job interviews is  not to get too comfortable. Being in an interview situation can drain your energy. You have to counter that by being less relaxed and more animated. Body language and good posture are important.  Become less comfortable  by sitting straight on the edge of  the chair with your hands placed loosely in your lap and not leaning back in the chair, draping your arms over the arms. Smile as you extend your hand to shake the interviewers hand. Provide a firm 3 second handshake.

Use the interview’s name. Do not use their first name unless they suggest it. Do not talk too fast, it will make you seem nervous. It’s hard for the interviewer to concentrate on what you are saying when you are talking too fast. Speak clearly and use a friendly conversational tone.

Keep your responses brief while saying what you need to say. Avoid one word answers such as yes or no. Give elaborate answers.   Never share personal information. Unlike being  a guest on the television show it is okay and encouraged to use industry jargon so you can show your expertise.

Help the interviewer understand what is  the most important point by saying so. Use the” tell me about yourself” question to do just that.  Sell yourself, share your skills and strengths with the interviewer. Do ask questions about the job and / or the company.

Never go off the record. Do not say anything you wouldn’t want to see in print or hear on the news. Speak with the understanding that what you are saying will be used. Do not chew gum or bring food to the interview. No background noise. Never use profanity. Don’t talk bad about your former employer or managers. That will give the interviewer a bad impression. Do not talk about salary or benefits.

Correct inaccuracies or mis- perceptions. Always be polite and use good manners. Do not interrupt the interviewer while they are talking. Do express appreciation for the the interviewer’s time. Do not answer illegal questions, politely re-direct.  The interviewer is prohibited by law to ask about your age, sex, ethnic background, marital status, and religion.

When the interviewer ask if you’d like to add anything, provide additional important information, use this opportunity to express your interest in the job. Summarize your strengths and skills again. Thank the interview again for their time.

Reprinted From The People’s Employment Journal

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Connections to Employment

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 23, 2010

The unemployment rate in St. Charles County is currently at ten (10%) percent. Recently Charlie Gitto opened a new restaurant and over 4,000 applicants applied. Since the pool of potential job seekers is so high, they will need to be well prepared. Connections to Success Employment Specialist Jason Cleveland, assist job seekers in learning how to eliminate barriers to employment in a four (4) week employment workshop series. The series covers everything from job search strategy to the actual interview. Participants learn that they can use these strategies to search for employment positions regardless of experience level or industry. The class provides information for online employment search as well.

The next session, “Resume Refinement” will explain the two types of resumes and assist the job seeker in deciding which resume would best suit their needs. The last sessions will discuss interview techniques. This session covers professional dress, researching the company, verbal and non-verbal communication skills. They also participate in mock interviews in order to receive feed back regarding their strengths and weakness in an interview setting. The employment workshop series is open to the community. Contact Connections to Success to register for classes at (636)940-8027.

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39 Steps of Job Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 18, 2010

  • Do take a practice run to the location where you are having the interview be sure you know exactly where it is and how long it takes to get there.
  • Do prepare and practice for the interview, but don’t memorize or over-rehearse your answers.
  • Do dress the part for the job, the company, the industry. And do err on the side of conservatism.
  • Do plan to arrive about 10 minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable . If you are running late, do phone the company.
  • Do greet the receptionist or assistant with courstey and respect. This is where you make your first impression.
  • Don’t chew gum during the interview.
  • Do fill out an application neatly, completely, accurately.
  • Do bring extra resumes to the interview.
  • Don’t rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. No matter how qualified you are for the position, you will need to sell yourself to the interviewer.
  • Do greet the interviewer by title ( Ms. , Mr. , Dr.) and  the last name if you are sure of the pronunciations. ( If you are not sure , do ask the receptionist  about the pronunciation before going into the  interview).
  • Do shake hands firmly. Don’t have a limp or clammy handshake!
  • Do wait until  you are offered a chair before sitting . And do remember body language and posture: sit upright and look alert and interested at all times. Don;t fidget or slouch.
  • Don’t tell jokes during the interview.
  •  Do make good eye contact with your interviewer(s).
  • Do show enthusiasm in the position and the company.
  •  Don’t smoke beforehand so that you smell like smoke. And do brush your teeth, use mouthwash, or have  breath mint before the interview.
  • Do avoid using poor language , slang , and pause words ( such as like , uh, and um).
  •  Don’t be soft-spoken. A forceful voice project  confidence.
  • Do have high confidence and energy level, but don’t be overly aggressive.
  • Don’t act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Do avoid controversial topics.
  • Don’t say anything negative about former colleagues, supervisors, or employers.
  • Do make sure that your good points come across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner.
  • Don’t ever lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly. And don’t over-answer questions.
  • Do stress your achievements . And don’t offer any negative informatin about yourslef.
  •  Don’t answer questions with a simple “yes” or ” no”. Explaining whenever posible. Describe those things about yourself tha showcase your talents, skills an determination. Give examples.
  • Do show off the research you have done on the company  and  industry when responding to questions.
  •  Don’t bring up or discuss personal issues or family problems.
  •  Do remember that the interview is also an important time for you to evaluate the inter interviewer and the company she represents.
  • Do always conduct yourself  as if you are determined to get the job you  are discussing. Never close the door on an opportunity until you are sure about it.
  • Don’t answer cell phone calls during the interview, and do turn  off ( or set to silent ) your cell phone and /or pager.
  •  Do show what you can do for the company rather than what the company can do for you.
  • Don’t inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses , retirement , or other benefits until after you’ve received an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements, but do try to delay salary talk until you have an offer.
  • Do ask intelligent questions about the job, the company, or industry. Don’t ever not ask ay questions – it shows a lack of interest.
  • Do close the interview by telling the interviewer(s) that you want the job an asking about the next step in the process.
  • Do try to get business cards from each person you interviewed with or at least the correct spelling of their first and last names. And don’t make assumptions about simple names was it Jon or John- get the spelling.
  • Do immediately take down notes after the interview concludes so you don’t forget crucial details.
  • Do write thank you letters with on 24 hours to each person who interview you.

Reprinted with permission  from copyrighted material used in Employment  Training class at Connections for Success.

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The Day Before the Interview…(Interview tips pt 2)

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 6, 2010

  • Photographer: Filomena Scalise

    Make plans for getting to the interview: know exactly where you’re going to and to whom you’ll be speaking. Allow extra time to get to your interview in case there are delays due to weather or traffic.

  • Buy a subway , bur or train ticket: fill your car with gas: or reconfirmed other transportation plans.
  • Wear your interview attire, ensuring it is clean and pressed.
  • Make sure you have at least two pairs of new or as good as new hosiery. Your hosiery should be sheer, off-black or nude.
  • Confirm child care and any other plans that require you to depend on someone else. Have back -up plans in case your primary ones fall through.

The Night Before the Interview…

  • Check the weather forecast. Will you need a umbrella? Should you wear a coat ?
  • Plan how you wear hair and makeup. You shouldn’t try anything new, and your appearance should be appropriate for a professional setting.
  • Your fingernails should be conservative in length and color, and your polish should not be chipped.
  • Do as  much of your morning preparation as you can for both yourself and your family.
  • Do something to relax, such as taking a warm bath or exercising.
  • Eat a healthy dinner and go to bed early.

Pack your bag for the interview. Remember to bring

  • Photo identification for building security or your application
  • Directions to the interview and the exact address, including floor and suite numbers
  • The name and phone number of the interviewer in case you’re running late
  • A few copies of your resume and cover letter. Don’t forget to prepare a list of professional references, too
  • A pad of paper and pen
  • Samples of your work if you’ve been asked to bring them or think you might have an opportunity to show them
  • The questions you’ve prepared to ask the interviewer.

This information was reprinted from a brochure created by Robert Half International, the exclusive staffing services partner of Dress for Success

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5 Steps to Preparing for a Succesful Interview

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 3, 2010

Congratulations, you have made it to the second stage of the employment search. Now that you have landed an interview, what do you do?

1.  Do your Research

The first thing you want to do after you have been asked to come for an in person interview is research the company. You can do this  by checking out the company’s website. Read the company’s history, vision and mission statements. Search for  any information about the department that you are seeking  a position in. You can also check Sorkin’s directory in the library or read St. Louis business journal or search other , local publications for information about the company.

2. Create your Interview Questions and Answers

Next search on-line and  for sample interview questions or go to the library and check out some books about interviewing.  Select some questions and prepare your answers. Then practice interviewing in front of the mirror, set up a  mock interview session with a friend or family member. You can even recorder it with a camcorder.

3. Dress the part

Pick out a professional outfit. If you are in a creative industry you can show a little personality with your attire. For men select a suit and tie preferably in dark colors. Women  have more choices a dress, pants ,or suit with skirt preferably in dark colors. Leave your jewelry at home (wear minimum jewelry). No body jewelry. Women should decide to take a purse or portfolio. Make sure you have plenty of copies of your resume

4. Know before you go

Make sure you have a way to the interview. Remember to keep up the maintenance on your vehicle during your job search. The day of your interview is  a bad time to have flat or break down.  Before you go to the interview make sure you know where place is. Drive the route if necessary. Get directions if you need then from yahoo or google maps. Consult a street guide or call the company for directions, if you do not have internet access. If you are a parent arrange for childcare.

5. Ready, Set, Action

Arrive at the interview alone, no more than 10 to 15 minutes early. If you  are going to be late , call and let the interviewer know. Do not smoke before the interview. Turn off your cell phone. Once you arrive greet the receptionist. Ask for the rest room and check your appearance in the mirror, and take care of any other concerns. Get rid of any gum or candy.

Reprinted from the The People’s Employment Journal

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Interview Tips(pt 1)

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on July 25, 2010

Tips to help you prepare for your big day. Taken from Dress for Success (Suits to Self-Sufficiency)

Congratulations! Your resume caught the eye of the hiring manager, and you have a job interview scheduled. The prospective employer will use this meeting to determine  how well you ” fit” with the company’s staff, values and goals. Of Course, the interview also is an opportunity for you to find out more about the company and determine whether or not it is the right place for you.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your big day.

A few days before the interview…

Learn as much as you can about the prospective employer by reviewing its website throughtly, reading industry publications, and talking to others who may know about the company’s culture and what the firm may be looking for in an employee.

Review your resume. Think about how your skills and accomplishments can be assets to the company.

Compile a list of two or three professional references, or people that can speak positively about your skills and work ethic. Just be sure to ask if they are willing to serve as your reference before you give out their contact information.

Be prepared to complete a written application, which will likely ask for your contact information and the addresses and phone  numbers of your previous employers.

Practice answering  interview questions out loud. You want your responses to sound confident but not rehearsed.

Be prepared to answer these questions:

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Why do you want to work here? What do you know about the company?

What are your strengths/weaknesses?

Why did you leave your last job and what have you been doing since then?

Also be prepared for off – the wall questions , which are increasingly common. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked a question such as , ” If  you could have lunch with someone famous who would it be?” These questions provide information about your personality and how you think on your feet.

These Interview Tips were reprinted from a brochure created by Robert Half International, the exclusive staffing services partner of Dress for Success.

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