How to Interview Part 4

by Easter on August 12, 2011

10 Job Search Tips

Learn to Use social media with your job search. Sign up for Linkedin and use it to promote yourself. Recruiters frequently search Linkedin for job candidates.

Become a networking pro. Learn to network comfortably at local events in your area. Be able to network by phone. Learn to use Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to network and expand your job search efforts.

Prepare more than one resume. Most people look for more than one position. Your resume should reflect the type of job you are applying for. You would not want to send a
resume about all about your training experience, if you are applying for a customer service or sales position.

Be prepared to write cover letters. A basic cover letter is a good to have as a writing foundation. You need to customize it to the job and the person who interviewed you.

Have clothing for 2 consecutive days of interviewing. One set of clothing will not work if you have interviews two days in a row. You at least need two different shirts
or tops.

Be ready to speak about what makes you unique. This means that you really need to know yourself and know what you offer a company.

Prepare questions to ask your interviewer. Don’t ask about pay in the first interview. Do ask questions about the position you are applying for.

Write thank you letters. It a forgotten art to write a thank you letter to anyone for anything. Your interviewer will take notice when you do write a thank you for the
interview.

Listen to inspirational quotes or books before an interview or any time when the job search is disappointing or you feel discouraged.

Take time off from your job search, to do something fun. Follow the Stephen Covey rule of, Sharpen the Saw, so you feel up to continuing your job search.

And one more tip, did you sign up for the **FREE** webinar yet? If so, you are on your way to getting lots more job search information. If not, take a moment now to fill out the form that’s to the right of this blog.

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How to Interview Part 3

by Easter on August 10, 2011

Follow Through with Interview Follow Up

A successful job search includes interview follow up. You can’t just go to an interview, leave, wait for a call and never do anything else. That’s like a golfer who stops his swing at contact with the ball. The ball won’t go very far, will it? The golfer has to follow through with his swing and you have to follow through with your job search or you won’t go very far. You must follow up after the interview.

The first must do rule for your interview follow up is to get the business card from the person who interviewed you. Imagine trying to write a thank you email to someone and you don’t know how to spell their name. Or worse yet, you might remember your interviewer as Teresa Blackwell, when her name is actually Trisha Blackwall. There is no room for error with the interviewer’s name.

If your interviewer does not present his business card by the end of the interview, be sure to ask for one. Most business cards include the name and title of the person, their email address, phone number, and the address of the business. Check to make sure you have all that information before you leave. Now you can write your thank you email within the next two days.

Another important step for your interview follow up is to find out the next steps of the interview process. You need to know if the company is going to make a decision based on one interview, or if there will be multiple interviews. You can also ask how soon or when they expect to fill a position. That is important information for you to know. Suppose this company is not going to fill their job position for 3-4 months, and you get a job offer in the next two days from someone else. You can see it is important to know a company’s interview process.

In Part 4 I will give you 10 Job Search tips that you won’t want to miss. In the meantime, if you have not already signed up for the **FREE** webinar, take a moment and fill out the form on the right to reserve your place on the call.

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How to Interview Part 2

by Easter on August 9, 2011

Interview Questions and Answers

There are two interview questions that you are likely to be asked and you need to know how to answer them. The first question is, “Tell me about yourself?” I have only heard of a few times where the job interviewer was actually wanting to know something about you personally. Usually this interview question is not about your personal life. Instead the interviewer wants to hear about your career. They are listening for who you are at work, what your experience and expertise is, and what you have accomplished. Your answer is often referred to as an “elevator pitch,” because you want to sell yourself in a 30 seconds to two minutes, about the length of an elevator ride.

Here’s an example of an interview answer from a medical billing specialist that nails the question, “Tell me about yourself?”:
“I have been in medical billing for five years. This past year I found and corrected billing errors from three neglected accounts, which totaled to over 2 million dollars. That money would have been a huge loss to the company I work for, but I found the errors in time and all monies have been billed appropriately.”

That quickly says how long you have been in the industry and what you have done, which gives the interviewer an idea of what you can do for them.

Give them the WOW factor. Think of the most important thing you have accomplished and work that into your statement. Be sure your statement is factual, and not exaggerated.

Practice saying your statement about you! You don’t want to stumble on your words. Say it confidently and sincerely, so that you are believable.

Another common interview question is, “Why should I hire you?” Think about it, this question is similar to, “Tell me about yourself?” Both interview questions are about your experience and your accomplishments.

The interview answer from the medical billing specialist for, “Why should I hire you?” would sound like this:

“I am an experienced medical billing specialist, who is able to dig into problems, resolve them and recover substantial money for the company. I found over 2 million errors at company ABC, and I can do the same kind of detail work your company.”

You can see the the interview answers are nearly the same, just a bit of a change of words, but the message is the same. It is about what you can do and have done at work.

Both interview questions and answers require that you practice your words. Be able to speak them confidently and smoothly. Practice your interview answers, and then practice them again.

In Part 3 of How to Interview, we will talk about the interview follow up. In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up for your place on the **FREE** webinar call to the right of this blog.

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How to Interview Part 1

by Easter on August 8, 2011

Make a Good Impression

We have all heard that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. It is so true, and especially with job interviews. There is no do-over with a job interview. You either make a good impression, ace the interview or your application and resume goes in the rejection pile.

I had an Human Resources Director tell me that he knew whether he would hire someone or not within the first two minutes of the interview. I do not support that kind of decision making when hiring, but it further illustrates how crucial the first two minutes of an
interview are.

How to interview in the first two minutes? There’s that fine line of coming across well, but not trying too hard. You know how uncomfortable and awkward it is to be with someone who over does it and tries too hard.

First, make sure you look the part of the job your are interviewing for. It’s okay to be dressed as well as the boss would dress. It’s not
okay to be too casually dressed. Coming into the interview too casual is a call to disaster.

Be sure to walk into the interview with good posture. So many people walk slightly hunched over, or with rounded shoulders. What do you think when you see someone with poor posture? It makes the person look older than they may be. It also gives the impression of lack of confidence. You want to show confidence right away during your job interview.

I am sure you have heard that a firm handshake is important. It is true. Combine the good firm handshake with a smile and introduce yourself clearly. You don’t want to mumble your name.

Follow the above advice, make a good impression and your interviewer will want to talk to you beyond the first two minutes of the interview. Remember a good first impression makes a lasting impression.

In Part 2 of How to Interview, we will talk about common interview questions and how to answer them. In the meantime, take a moment to sign up for the **FREE** webinar to the right of this blog.

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Millions of people are out of work and job hunting. So many people are stretched to the limit and keep thinking, “I have to find a job.” It may even be, “I have to find a job this month, this week, or even today.” Any similar statement sends the message of desperation. When rent is due, when you have yourself and family to feed and money is running out, despair easily sets in.

The problem with feeling desperate is that when you do, you come across that way to the job interviewer. It’s sort of like dating, you don’t want to ever seem desperate for a date, right? No one wants to go out on a date with someone who is so overly anxious, it’s a turn-off.

Interviewers feel the same way, and don’t want to hire someone who appears overly anxious and desperate to be hired. If the job interviewer asks you why you want to work for them and you answer anything like, “Because I have to find a job” or “I am supporting a family and I need a job right away,” you are dead in the water.

Job interviewers don’t want to hear about your problems, they want to hear about what you can do on the job. So, if despair and anxiety are getting the better of you, take time to relax before you go to your job interview. Reread your resume and remind yourself of your abilities. Listen to your favorite upbeat music. Read inspirational quotes. Read about someone who overcame adversity, and made an impact in the world.

Focus on the good news that you hear about the economy and job market, not the bad. Recent good news is that US job growth increased more than expected in July.

Remind yourself that you are in a temporary set-back and that you will find work and life will get better. You will be more relaxed when you go to you job interview. When you are more relaxed, you can think better, which means your interview answers will be better. You know that the better you do on the interview, the better your chance of getting hired.

Looking for a retail position or pharmacy position? See blog about Wal-mart interviewing opportunities.

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Conflict in the Workplace, It Happens

by Easter on July 28, 2011

 

Many of my clients and people I meet tell me that they don’t like conflict in the workplace. They want everything to be smooth sailing, with everyone doing their job, everyone getting along with each other, and no workplace conflicts.

There are days when that ideal world happens at work. However, it is unrealistic to expect that a group of people who spend at least eight hours a day in the same building, five days per week, will never see conflict at the workplace.

First, what is conflict? It is defined as “a fight, battle, or struggle, discord of action, feeling, or effect.” Discord of action, feeling or effect means that if someone disagrees with you, they will feel discordant or disconnected with you on that particular topic or idea.

There will always be disagreements at the workplace, or within any other group. If everyone always agrees with each other, someone or multiple people are not being honest with themselves. There will always be differences of opinions within groups. The degree of the differences, determines the degree of discord or the level of conflict.

Accept the fact that conflict at the workplace is always a possibility, simply because people have different opinions. With that acceptance, you will find that a conflict does not have to shake your day. Instead you will see the unfolding of conflict as something that naturally happens when people work together.

 

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What is Important in Management?

by Easter on July 28, 2011

What is the most important thing you must learn to manage? Coach Easter Becker-Smith’s add on video to “The Simple Difference Between Management and Leadership”.

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Some Employers Make it Hard to Find a Job

by Easter on July 26, 2011

The US unemployment rate has been around 9% for months. We hear of lay-offs every week. Everyone has friends, family members and neighbors who have lost their job through no fault of their own.

It is well known that millions have lost their jobs due to downsizing, yet there are employers out there who are making it hard to find a job. There are companies who are literally posting that if you are unemployed, don’t apply. That is shameful. There is no other word for it.

It can easily take 6 months to find a job, but some companies think that puts you on an undesirable list. I would not want to work for a company that was so rigid and narrow-minded that they would not consider hiring someone who is currently unemployed.

Don’t let this kind of news discourage you in your job search. Stay on course and you will find your job. Not every company is so wrongfully discriminatory in their hiring. There are plenty of companies out there who are smart enough to recognize great talent, whether you are currently employed or not.

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Are you a leader, a manager, or both? What is the difference between management and leadership, and what difference does it make?

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Employee Motivation: 10 Ways for under $10

by Easter on July 18, 2011

Little things mean a lot. Taking time to give employee recognition and appreciation results in employee motivation.

Here are some employee motivation ideas to use. Include a short thank you note that is specific about why you are doing something to recognize your employee, not a general, “Thanks for your hard work.”

  • Put together a trail mix in a decorative tin (can get cheap from the dollar store) with a note, “It’s been a liitle nuts around here…
  • If your employee reads a lot find out the kind of books he likes, and buy a paperback.
  • A small potted plant is a good green addition to any office, away or home.
  • If your employee has a special interest or hobby, go to Barnes and Noble or Borders and buy a magazine relating to their interest.
  • If you have an employee who has been working a lot of overtime, surprise her by letting her leave at 3:00 one afternoon.
  •  Bring in with his favorite muffin or bagel one morning.
  • If your employee has her name or photo in the paper, make a copy and post it in the office with a note.
  • A Target gift card for an employee on target for his sales goals.
  • Bring in some baked goods for an afternoon break.
  • Buy an ITunes gift card for your music lover employee.

Employees appreciate recognition for what they contribute. A verbal or written thank you does not cost anything, and it tells your employee that you are taking the time to treat them as a person.

For information about the psychology of what is employee motivation see Harvard Business Review article

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