Showing posts with label Job Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Job Interview. Show all posts

July 11, 2018

How to master a Skype interview

Job interviews over Skype are becoming increasingly common. You might be able to see one another, but a virtual interview over the internet is not the same as one face to face and you need to prepare accordingly.

Here are some considerations to help you embrace technology and master a Skype interview.

Dress professionally
Should you still dress as if you are in a face-to-face interview? Yes – general interview etiquette still applies. “The dynamics are different, with body language being the main barrier, so it is vital to make a good impression based on your dress and surroundings,” says Matthew Roberts, CEO at NonExecutiveDirectors.com, a network site for employers.

Don’t be tempted just to dress smartly from the waist-up, assuming that’s all the interviewer will see, warns Graham Oates, CEO of Norrie Johnston Recruitment. “I’ve been in plenty of Skype interview situations where the candidate has had to stand up.” Being in formal dress will also help you to feel like it is a formal interview and put you in the right frame of mind, he adds.

Pick your backdrop wisely
How much attention will be paid to where you are sitting for the interview? The safe rule of thumb is to assume that a lot of attention will be given to your surroundings – so set up well in advance and take time to look at how the interviewer will see you.

“Find a neutral, tidy spot if possible. Mess, pot plants or food may subconsciously impact an interviewer’s view of the meeting and reflect badly on you,” says Jonathan Bennet, a director at Capita Resourcing. His advice is to set yourself up so the interviewer can see your face, hair, shoulders and upper torso. Consider the lighting and how you are sat too. “They don’t want a giant, poorly lit face talking at them for an hour.” Also, make sure you are in a quiet room which will not be interrupted.

Get to grips with the technology beforehand
Before you begin, make sure you’ve got to grips with the technology to avoid any last minute panic, especially if you haven’t used Skype before. “Set up a practice interview with a friend to make sure you are happy with how you come across on screen as well as being able to confidently use the system,” suggests Roberts. Check your microphone is properly set, your voice is audible, the picture quality is good and that you are in a spot with a strong internet connection.

But if technology fails midway through, don’t panic, says David Cairncross, director at Hays. “If a problem with your technology throws you off during your interview, just remain professional,” he says. The interviewer will be aware that some things are out of your control, should anything happen start the call again to regain a connection, and quickly make contact to update the interviewer so you can continue as soon as possible.

Don’t be late
“You wouldn’t dream of turning up late for a face-to-face interview, so having to delay one over Skype because you haven’t done your technical groundwork is inexcusable,” says Oates. Call and get it all setup a few minutes early to avoid any awkwardness. Equally, have your notes ready and a glass of water to hand so you aren’t fiddling with papers or getting a dry mouth once you make a start.

Remember body language
Skype interviews leave little room for those informal interactions you might have on the walk from reception or the ride in the lift - so it is important your eye contact and facial expressions are not compromised by the technology either.

“Remember to look at the camera – not the screen – that way the interviewer will feel you are maintaining eye contact,” says Oates. “Remember to smile and have an engaged and pleasant facial expression. Try to forget you are talking to a computer screen and imagine the interviewer being physically in the room with you.”
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Author: Kirstie Brewer

June 1, 2018

11 Answers You Should Have Ready Before Any Job Interview

For any job interview, the overarching point you want to get across is why the prospective employer should hire you. The interview is your sales pitch that you are the ideal candidate for the job at hand. It is also a get-to-know-you conversation to show the company staff that they would enjoy working with you. So make your case and be likeable! Here are 11 questions to practice:

How much do you make?

This won’t be your opening question but you can count on compensation coming up early in the discussion. The company doesn’t want to waste its time if it turns out they can’t afford you. If you currently make more than the role advertises (for example, you are making a career change from a high-paying job) then focus on what you’re targeting for this role, so you can let them know that, yes, they can afford you. If you have been underpaid and don’t want the company to think they can get you cheaply, also focus on what you’re targeting for the role so that you keep the focus on the role at hand and not your low compensation. But you want to have something to say confidently and directly when the money talk comes up – don’t just wing it.

Tell me about yourself.

This also might be phrased as “Walk me through your resume” or “Walk me through your career” or simply “Why should I hire you?” It’s a common opening question where you get to summarize your background in order to point out the most relevant skills, expertise and accomplishments that make you the best hire. That second part is key – you want to highlight the relevant aspects of your background. You’re not just talking about yourself in general – that’s a date, not an interview.

What is your biggest strength?

Ideally you have already enumerated your strengths as you introduce yourself. But you may get a pointed question that asks you to choose one (or more) to specifically focus on. Pick your most relevant strength(s) for the job. Then give a specific example for each so that the interviewer can see exactly how your strength manifests itself in the workplace.

What is your biggest weakness?

On the flip side, you may get asked about your weaknesses. Here you pick a weakness that is NOT relevant to the job so that it’s clear it won’t impede your ability to perform. You also want to give a specific example to make crystal clear to the interviewer what you mean by your weakness, so that the interviewer isn’t left to imagine and possibly over exaggerate how bad the weakness might be.

What is your biggest accomplishment (or biggest mistake)?

Related to the strength/ weakness line of questioning, you may be asked for an accomplishment, or on the flip side, a mistake. While the strength or weakness is a quality or a skill, the accomplishment or mistake is an outcome that happened. Despite the subtle difference, this type of question should be handled similarly – pick an accomplishment relevant to the job and pick a mistake that isn’t so critical.

Give me an example of __________ (where BLANK is a key function of the potential job)

This line of questioning draws directly from the job description for the role you’re interviewing for. If a key part of the role is direct marketing, the employer may ask for an example of a successful email campaign. If the job requires managing a team, the employer may ask about your management experience and style. Go line-by-line through the job description and be prepared to give an example for each and every requirement.

Why do you want this job?

In addition to whether or not you can do the job, the employer will want to know that you want to do the job. Your motivation is very much under scrutiny in the interview process so you should have a genuine and excited response for why you want this job.

Why did you leave your last job?

Another way to gauge your motivation is by looking at past transitions. Why did you leave other jobs? Why did you make the career choices that you made? You will most probably be asked about your most recent job, but you may also be asked about every career decision you made. The interviewer is looking for what draws you toward and away from different opportunities.

What do you know about our company?

Yet another way to gauge motivation is by looking at how much preparation you did into learning about the company. When I recruited for a magazine publisher, I would ask candidates to list their favorite magazines that we published. I wanted to see how well they knew our products. If your interest is genuine you will know about the company and its industry, so the only right answer to this question is A LOT (and then proceed to share).

Where else are you looking?

Finally, motivation and genuine interest can also be gauged by how seriously you’re focused on the company’s industry and competitors. If you’re interviewing at a bank, but also a manufacturer and a leisure company and an energy company…, then your interests are all over the place. If you are pursuing diverse types of jobs, keep it to yourself lest you seem scattered and undecided. Let the employer know that you have eyes only for the role at hand.

What questions do you have for me?

The interview is a two-way conversation. This is your chance to learn more about the company and the role. Prepare thoughtful questions in advance. Having questions shows that you’re interested and curious. Having intelligent questions shows that you’re prepared and ready to talk business.

In addition to general interview questions, you may be asked specific technical questions or case-based questions (the case style of interviewing is most popular with management consulting roles, though other industries use this line of questioning as well). Research the company in advance – what types of interviews do they conduct? Will you be taking a technical test? I have recruited for companies that gave coding tests or analytical tests or asked for writing samples. Prepare for all types of interviews you might encounter.
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Author: CAROLINE CENIZA-LEVINE

April 20, 2018

These 16 Job Interview Behaviors Are a Huge Turnoff (and Will Negatively Affect Your Chances of Being Hired)

Statistics show that on average every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. This makes interviews more important than ever.

We all know the importance of the job interview for getting hired. You can have a stellar résumé, a great record of employment, and terrific references, but if you blow the interview, chances are you're not going to get the job.

According to statistics compiled by Glassdoor for Employers, every corporate job opening, on average, attracts 250 résumés. But only four to six of these people will be called for an interview, and only one of those will be offered a job.

In a recent post, job search site Simply Hiredrevealed the results of its survey of more than 850 hiring managers -- men and women in the U.S. who have interviewed and hired employees as a part of their job, currently or in the past. In this particular survey, the hiring managers were asked what application and interview behaviors they viewed most negatively in job candidates.

Here are the top 16 behaviors that every job applicant should be sure to avoid to make the best impression possible -- and hopefully land the job of their dreams:

  • Arriving late to an interview (93%)
  • Whining (92%)
  • Showing lack of preparation (89%)
  • Bad-mouthing a former boss (88%)
  • Making grammar or spelling mistakes on a cover letter (86%)
  • Using poor grammar in an interview (84%)
  • Having unrealistic compensation requirements (84%)
  • Being underqualified (80%)
  • Answering questions incorrectly (77%)
  • Lacking eye contact in an interview (76%)
  • Bragging (73%)
  • Lacking a résumé copy at an interview (65%)
  • Rambling (63%)
  • Dressing casually for an interview (59%)
  • Using a gimmick (sending baked goods, gifts, etc.) (56%)
  • Talking about other interviews (55%)

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Author: Peter Economy, The Leadership Guy.

March 20, 2018

10 Ridiculously Smart Questions You Should Ask in a Job interview

In a crowded job market, the last thing you want in a job interview to be is forgettable.
Yet people do it every day with this one mistake: not asking any questions in a job interview.
The mistake is understandable. You’ve been so busy preparing to answer questions, that you’re forgetting to show the curiosity that lets interviewers see what you really want to know. After all, even if every single one of your responses are flawless and on point, by not asking a question or two of your interviewer you run the risk of coming across as generic.

On the other hand, you don’t want to ask terrible questions. That’s even worse.

Here’s how to show the person interviewing you how you’re different and why you stand apart from the rest.

Why did you join the company?

Mark Phillips, who runs a top office for Sanford Rose Associates, one of the largest recruiting networks in the U.S. had a simple question that could be quite complicated. If the interviewer tells you it was because of vacation days or benefits, chances are good that there isn’t all that much below the surface. If, however, they tell you about the creativity or integrity of the brand, you know you’re potentially going to work for a winner.

How does this role further your company’s mission?

Kelly Lavin, chief talent officer for newly launched Canvas, the first text-based interviewing platform suggests you ask this because “While job duties and company culture are important to understand, determining why a company and role exists is just as, if not more, important.” It will also allow you to better understand if you “align with the company’s mission and will feel a sense of purpose in your new role.”

Tell me about your most successful employees.  What do they do differently?

Believe it or not, this one is almost a trick question for potential employers Lavin says. “The answer to this question will help a candidate understand how a company defines success and what specific behaviors can lead to that success.” In one fell swoop you’ll find out what success means to this company and how you can better achieve it.

What do you expect someone in this position to accomplish in the first 60-90 days?

University of Richmond Career Advisor Anna Young says, “Great candidates hit the ground running, find out how you will be expected to jump in and start contributing to the organization from day one.” And in case you’re wondering, it’s fine to modify the question for an internship and ask about expectations for the first few weeks.

What, if anything, in my background gives you pause?

Roberta Matuson, President of Matuson Consulting, says this is pretty much the one must ask question job seekers should ask in an interview. She says “By asking this question, you’ll be able to overcome any objections the interviewer might have before you leave the room.” And if you’re smart, you can find a way to combat any preconceived notions by addressing them in a follow up note.

What is the turnover in your company, in the executive suite and in the department, I am interviewing for?

Dave Arnold President at Arnold Partners says as a leading independent CFO search consultant for technology companies, he’s had 100’s of people go out to interview with clients, and he thinks that’s a question worth asking. While people no longer expect to stay at any given job for decades or more, it’s nice to know how long you can expect to stick around if given the opportunity. If the interviewer grows uncomfortable or shares the fact that turnaround at their company is higher than Dancing with the Stars, you might want to think twice before accepting the position.

What are the opportunities for growth and advancement?

Young says, “This can help you to understand the structure of the organization and if there are opportunities to move up and advance your career.” It’s also a great way of finding out about different ways to progress or move into different roles “Also, it could help you to learn if they offered continued training or professional development for employees.”

If you had a chance to interview for your company again (knowing what you know now), what questions would you ask next time? 

Ashley White, executive director for Human Resources for APQC, a member-based non-profit that produces benchmarking and best practice research suggested this toughie.

This one is slightly sneaky because it also allows you to surreptitiously monitor the interviewer’s hidden signals. Do they suddenly look uncomfortable before spouting the company line? Do they greet this with a giant grin? You might have more answers to this question by what they don’t say, than even by what they do share.

What haven’t I asked that most candidates ask?

Phillips also suggested asking this question, which sets you apart immediately. On the one hand, you’re lumping all the other applicants together and showing a level of confidence; on the other hand, you’re gaining insight into your potential competitors: they asked this, but it never even occurred to me.

One last thing: so that you don’t spend the coming days or weeks on pins and needles, it’s always a good idea to ask this next question.

What are the next steps in this process?

Young says, “If they haven’t already shared this information, it’s important to ask about their timeline so you’re aware of when you could be notified of a second interview, or a potential offer.”

What to ask yourself 

Shannon Breuer, President at Wiley Group was once one of 800 laid off at her former job, Shannon now draws on her own personal experience to provide clients with career coaching and transition services. She offers a list of questions you should ask yourself before an interview, and if needed – you can flip them and ask the interviewer.
  • What level of work-life balance do you wish to enjoy? 
  • How casual do you like to dress? 
  • Is your ideal employer an up-and-coming small business, or a century-old corporation with time-tested values and a clear path for future promotions? 
  • Do you like the management style of the leadership team? 
  • What are the company initiatives you can stand behind?
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Author:  Rachel Weingarten is a marketing & brand strategist and president of 729.marketing. She's a pop culture and trends analyst who frequently writes about business and style and the business of style. Rachel's a sometimes professor, teaching personal branding on the graduate and undergraduate levels.

February 13, 2018

How would you answer the question "Are you smart" on the job interview?

I would answer with the following:

I'm smart enough to know that raw intelligence alone isn't enough to solve anything serious.  Other things matter just as much, if not more so.  In particular:


  • Learning is about acquiring knowledge and wisdom from others. Wisdom and knowledge gives you the background necessary to find connections between seemingly unrelated concepts -- that is where the true breakthroughs often happen. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: "Every man I meet is in some way my superior, and in that I learn from him."  (apologies for the quote not being gender neutral)
  • Collaboration is about harnessing diverse skill sets so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Any serious project requires a serious collaboration.
  • Perseverance is about not giving up when the going gets tough.  No one is smart or wise enough to anticipate all the problems that the world might throw at you.  Smarts without the will to succeed generally doesn't result in much.
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Author: Yisong Yue, Machine Learning Professor @Caltech

November 14, 2017

5 Tips for Job Seekers Jumping In After a Long Employment Gap

Not everyone is meant to work 40, 50, or 60 straight years. Not everyone gets a job at twenty and very few people get through their entire career without taking a short break, voluntary or not. We retire early, go on an extended maternity leave, join the Peace Corps, or any number of other things between jobs. And, that’s totally fine.

Problems arise when you’re headed back into the job market after a gap in employment. Things have changed. The economy is different, industries have shifted, and the job search is more challenging and competitive than ever.

Jumping back into the job search can be an overwhelming, scary experience, but you can do something about it.

Check out these 5 tips for job seekers jumping in after a long employment gap:

Learn

Unless you work in medieval map restoration, your industry is constantly changing. Companies fall in and out of favor, profits fluctuate, and processes change all the time. Do some research and learn where your unique skills and experience fit best, and how they create a competitive advantage for you in the job hunt.

Websites like LinkedIn, GlassDoor, and company websites can help you gauge how things have changed since you last worked.

Assess

The job search requires a great deal of self-evaluation. As a worker, who are you? What do you have to offer prospective employers? Why do you want to work in this industry?

If it’s been a while since you worked, how has the industry changed? Figure out what skills make you a competitive applicant and which ones are irrelevant. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but honesty is key.

Re-build

If you haven’t been job seeking in more than a month or two, you’ll need to rebuild your job search tool kit. Look at your resume, your portfolio, personal website, and even your professional wardrobe.

Some things may stay the same, but you’ll find you might need to completely re-haul others.

Join the conversation

Not too long ago, the hiring process was rigid and regimented. Job seeker submits an application, hiring manager processes it, an interview happens, and a job pops out. Thanks to today’s technology, this process has loosened considerably. Job seekers can connect with their peers and important people in the industry to score job leads and advice.

If you haven’t already, join one or more social media site(s) (we suggest Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or the top discussion board forums for your profession). Make connections with people in your industry. Join a conversation and you could be talking to your next boss!

Start off slow

Just like running a marathon, sculpting a pot, or writing a novel, start things off slow and steady. If you’ve been out of work for a while, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with everything at once. Make a list of all the things you need to do in your job search and consistently knock one or two off the list every day.

Once you get back in the swing of things, you’ll find that you don’t need a list anymore, and you won’t be burnt out either.

What do you think? What other steps should job seekers take after a long employment gap? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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About the Author

Tony Morrison is the Vice President of Business Development at Cachinko, a unique professional community where social networking and job opportunities come together. His roles include sales, marketing, and business development. He is passionate about building B2B and B2C client relationships and brings this passion to Cachinko where he focuses on helping job seekers to find their ideal job and employers to find, attract, and engage their next rock star candidates.

October 10, 2017

3 Interview Tips From Recruiters

If you are about to have an interview, then you need to prepare yourself ahead of time and know exactly what to do to show the best side of you to the interviewer. You could get some solid advice while working with technical recruiters, but it is also useful to do some research to find out what hiring managers really want.

Knowing what hiring managers want or at least determining what they want job seekers to know is not easy, which is why we have compiled three interview tips from recruiters themselves.

1. Come Prepared

One of the most important interview tips that interviewers can provide is to come prepared. If you’re already taking the time to do your research, then you’re on the right track. It’s important to impress a hiring manager by demonstrating your preparedness for the interview and for the job.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to construct a script beforehand and then present it to the interviewer; that would seem far too robotic. Rather, what you should be doing is researching interview tips, roleplaying common interview questions, and researching the company to which you are applying.

Memorize a couple of details about the company and figure out what the hiring manager wants from an employee based on the company’s needs and the job description. Doing your homework will show the interviewer you’re well-prepared and ready to take on the role of an employee for the company.

Demonstrating how prepared you are for the interview will also reveal a lot of positive aspects about your work ethic and your passion about getting the job.

2. Appearance Does Matter

There have been countless debates on how important appearance really is, but all hiring managers can agree on one thing: appearance does matter. Therefore, one of the most essential interview tips from recruiters is to appear clean, well-groomed, and sophisticated.

This doesn’t mean you have to wear your most expensive outfit, but it does mean you have to dress in a way that demonstrates your professionalism. You’re being interviewed for the potential to enter a professional environment so you must be able to show that you belong in such an environment. Even though you don’t want to be too fancy, you have to understand that it’s always better to be overdressed than to be underdressed.

Additionally, your body language during an interview is part of your appearance and the way you carry yourself. Therefore, you have to be mindful of how your body language makes you appear. Avoid bad posture or nervous tics as much as you can; instead, keep your back straight while maintaining steady eye contact with your interviewer.

3. Leave a Lasting Impression

Your ultimate goal during an interview is to leave a lasting impression upon the employer.

There are several ways to accomplish this: Showcase your skills and experience, emphasize your passion for the job, and, most importantly, let your personality shine. Interviews may seem like they are an opportunity for showing off your skills and talents, but they are also the crucial moment in which hiring managers decide whether or not you are a good fit for the company.

Hiring managers are constantly asking themselves whether you would blend into their company’s culture. Therefore, you must recognize the company’s vibe and emphasize your ability to be sociable and confident in such an environment. You want to leave the interviewer with a sense that you have made a strong first impression and that your personality is on par with your qualifications.
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Author: George Hoadley brings 11 years of experience in management to his role as the Branch Manager of Design Group Staffing in Vancouver. With a LinkedIn Recruiter Certification, his areas of expertise are construction management, engineering, project management, estimating, and operations.

September 13, 2017

Body Lanuage in Job Interviews: What to be Aware of

You’re preparing for an interview (or maybe several). You’ve read up on the latest tips, and you’ve been rehearsing your answers to the most common interview questions. Maybe you’ve even done some research on the company you’re interviewing with, and you’ve come up with a few questions of your own.

In your research, though, did you think much about body language? It’s common for job seekers to focus on what they’re saying with words, but even seasoned candidates think less about what they’re saying with their bodies.

You can send many messages with your posture, your hands, and your face. What should you be aware of during your job interviews?

Your Hands and Arms

Some people complain about not knowing what to do with their hands during job interviews. Some people will hold pens; others will cross their arms or clasp their hands, simply because they don’t know what else to do.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have people who gesticulate wildly—their hands are everywhere as they illustrate every point they make with hand gestures.

It’s important to be aware of what you’re doing with your hands, because you don’t want to be caught at either extreme. Folding your arms could make you appear judgmental or nervous. And holding a pen might seem like a great idea—until you start playing with it.

Similarly, doing too much with your hands is a problem. While most experts agree some gesticulation is a good thing, too much may make you seem overdramatic. Pay attention to how much talking you do with your hands.

Your Posture

How do you usually sit in job interviews? Are you rigidly upright, or do you tend to slump or slouch in your chair? Do you cross your legs, or prop your ankle up over your knee? All of these different postures say something about you. The question is if they’re communicating what you want to say to your interviewers.

Most people recommend sitting up straight and well back in your chair. However, this might seem too formal for some; you might look uncomfortable or nervous. On the other hand, slouching could indicate you feel a little too comfortable—or that you’re bored or not interested in the job.

Try to find a natural sitting position in which you feel comfortable without slouching. A slight forward lean can communicate interest and confidence.

Your Face

You may not know exactly how expressive you are; relatively few people spend a lot of time talking to themselves in front of a mirror or a camera. But human beings are incredibly expressive—and most people express a lot through their faces. Some people are more expressive than others, but happiness, sadness, and anger all show plainly on your face.

Much like hand gestures, you want to use facial expressions moderately. Smiling, naturally and genuinely, says “I’m friendly” and helps your interviewers feel more at ease. A stony facial expression throughout the interview might say you’re cold and standoffish, but smiling too much can also be off-putting.

Practise in front of a mirror to see how you’re using facial expressions to accompany your words.

Your Feet

Do you cross your legs or ankles? Do you tap your toes or swing your foot to and fro in an interview? Sometimes, this kind of fidgeting is a result of nervousness—but it can also look like impatience or boredom. Do you really want your interviewer to think you’re tapping your foot because you want to get out of the interview as soon as you can?

Try to pay attention to what you do with your feet during an interview. While you may not think the interviewer will notice, it could be distracting—and more noticeable than you think.
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Author: Howard Gang. He is the Branch Manager of Design Group Staffing in Markham, Ontario. With over 30 years of electronics design and manufacturing experience, Howard has held a variety of progressive positions including product design engineering, program management, business development and executive level leadership roles where he influenced company strategy and direction.

July 18, 2017

To Keep Interviews Engaging, Use Plenty of Eye Contact

A number of years ago, I was trying hard to get support for an undertaking at work. When I finally got a meeting with a key stakeholder, I was determined to make the best of it.

I arrived at the senior vice president’s office prepared to capture and hold her attention. We sat at a coffee table in the corridor of the busy office, and I thought at first this was a good thing. She would probably be more relaxed here, I reasoned.

I didn’t realize she would be distracted by the many suppliers, clients, and executives walking past. It was like a having a meeting at a circus.

Five minutes into our meeting, I noticed the VP’s gaze shift from my eyes to somewhere over my shoulder. Without thinking, I turned around to see what caught her eye. It was her boss. I thought nothing of it, but when I turned back to the VP, she looked a little embarrassed for the disruption. Despite her best efforts, it happened again. That time, I tried something different: I redoubled my efforts to make eye contact, leaning slightly forward. A surprising thing happened: The VP shifted in her seat, adjusted her glasses, and fixed her eye contact on me. It was like she was saying, “Sorry, I have been rude. It will not happen again.”

While an entire book could be written on the subject of eye contact, today’s article is limited to how we can use eye contact to get and keep someone’s attention.

The Power of Eye Contact

We can feel it when people are looking at us, even from across the room. If someone raises their eyebrows in surprise (or delight) as they look at us, we subconsciously take it as a cue that they want to engage. When we want to go unnoticed, we’ll only glance at someone, usually sidelong. A longer stare is generally a strong indicator that we want to register our presence with the person we are gazing at.

The placement of your gaze on someone can say a lot about your intentions:

1. When you’re all business, your gaze will tend to form a triangle from the eyes to the forehead.

2. Turning the triangle down from the eyes to the mouth signals friendship.

3. Extending the triangle from the eyes down to the chest will indicate romantic intentions – or creepy ones, depending on the context.

You can certainly get someone’s attention by glaring at them, or staring at them when they look away, or staring at them when their eyes meet yours – but all that staring gets off-putting fast. So, just how much eye contact is recommended?

Generally, I say that 70 percent is the sweet spot – that is, maintaining eye contact for 7 seconds out of every 10. While you’re listening, you can increase that to 90 percent. While you’re talking, 50 percent should be plenty. It is very natural to look away while formulating your thoughts and then make eye contact to confirm you are being heard and understood.

As in all aspects of communication, variation keeps it interesting. Occasionally breaking eye contact is one way to bring some variation, but there is more you can do as well. For example, expressions like narrowing your eyes in concentration and widening them in surprise can change things up a bit.

Our expressions are usually congruent with the idea we’re discussing, and they generally occur naturally. However, in a recent workshop, a client told me they didn’t have expression in their eyes when they spoke. This is not unusual. Some people are just not that expressive. I advised this client to practice eye gestures that were congruent with what they were saying – e.g., if recalling information, shift your gaze upward; if formulating a thought, look down. This type of “avoidance” actually makes eye contact more interesting, which helps to keep the conversation engaging.

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Author: Anthony Awerbuch is a certified body language trainer and an expert in facial expression identification. You can contact him at anthony@bodylanguageonpurpose.com.




February 21, 2017

Top 5 Job Interview Blunders

1. A candidate took out a hair brush and brushed her hair in the middle of the interview.

2. A candidate answered her mobile phone and asked the interviewer to leave his own office because it was a "private" phone call.

3. A candidate kept ranting about the last company she worked for. Speaking negatively about your last job will give the interviewer the impression that you are a difficult person to get along with.

4. A candidate was overly modest during a job interview. Modesty won’t help you land a job. Confidently highlight your strengths and accomplishments.

5. A candidate arrived casually late for a job interview. Arriving late to a job interview won't help you in any way. Make sure to appear 10-15 minutes in advance and notify a receptionist that you have arrived.

October 13, 2016

Bad Advice from Friends

This particular scenario happens way more often than you might think, so I’m sharing a recent experience in hopes of saving someone else.

One of my candidates was offered a job. The salary offered was over the top of the original salary range. By the way, this is a clear indication that the company really, really wants to hire you. It is extremely rare for an offer to come in at the top of the range, let alone more than the top of the range.

I found out after it was too late that the candidate took the advice of a “friend.” The friend advised my candidate to push for more money with specific instructions to avoid the recruiter and go directly to the hiring manager with the request/demand. The friend’s point was “What have you got to lose?”

And the answer to “what have you got to lose” is: The job offer. It was withdrawn.

This particular candidate had already exhausted his unemployment benefits and had told me he was desperate to find work. The salary that was offered was more than he had ever earned in any past job and he was convinced by his friend that even what was offered was lower than he could get if he just pushed for more money.

If you are working with a Professional Recruiter, you may want to consider this person actually knows what she is doing and will be able to advise and guide you in a way that your friend can’t.

After all, your friend truly does have nothing to lose when you lose the job offer.
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Author: Nancy Baughman President (nancybpres), Author at Calm Water Business Partner, LLC. She has over twenty years of general management experience in human resources, operations, marketing and finance, predominantly with start-ups and small to mid-size companies.

August 29, 2016

Networking Your Way Into a New Job

Is networking your way into a new job the best approach? When it comes to questions like this my answer is always "it depends." I don’t see the world as black and white.  To me there are always gray areas.

There is so much black and white/one-size-fits-all advice on job hunting. I see people taking this advice to heart and not getting the results they thought they would get.

Standard Advice says:  Network your way into the hiring manager. Don’t go through Human Resources.  Use social media sites and all of your networking connections to find the name and contact information for the person who is ultimately hiring for the position you want.  Then, contact that person directly and ask for an informational interview.

That advice actually works, sometimes.  Other scenarios I’ve seen have not worked well at all.

In some cases, I’ve seen the job seeker succeed in getting the information.  They have bypassed all the gatekeepers including Human Resources and are in direct contact with the hiring manager.

Depending upon the size and configuration of the company, they may have just succeeded in eliminating any chance of getting the job.

If it’s a very small company, the Human Resources person may be related to the owner/president of the company.  The HR person may have more influence than you think.

If it’s a very large company, the Vice President of Human Resources may have the ultimate signature authority on the position.

Either way, they won’t be smiling favorably on someone who didn’t bother to submit a resume through the proper channels.

"Informational interviews" have become synonymous with trickery.

What used to be a good way for someone to find out if a career field, company culture or company mission was the right place for them, has turned into a sneaky way to get a job interview.

So many people use a request for an informational interview for the wrong reasons now; it is increasingly rare for anyone to agree to it.

While this method of job hunting may still work in some situations, be very careful who you bypass, step on or step over on your way to that perfect job.

Remember, even if you get the job, you will have to work with the people you avoided, alienated and in general ticked off.
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Author: Nancy Baughman President (nancybpres), Author at Calm Water Business Partner, LLC. She has over twenty years of general management experience in human resources, operations, marketing and finance, predominantly with start-ups and small to mid-size companies.

August 10, 2016

Stages of Grief – Job Loss

I thought everyone knew about the stages of grief.  When you lose someone you love, you go through five stages of grief.  Well, that’s the theory at least…
Some people go through five, some people skip a stage or two and some people get stuck in one stage and can’t seem to move on.
Why am I talking about this?  Because I see these same stages in people who have lost their job.
They are mourning and everyday I see and hear job candidates who are obviously in a “stage” and need to get through to the “acceptance” part because interviewing in any of the other stages is pointless.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross outlined the stages of grief for those facing their own death as:
1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance
From a job interview perspective, this is what they look/sound like and why it’s not a good idea to go into an interview with any of these attitudes:
Denial – When asked why you left your last job.  The correct response is not – “I was laid off, but I’m sure they will call me back any day now.”
Why should I hire you, you’re not really looking for a job.  You expect to go back to your former employer.
Anger – You can guess where I’m going with this one.  The answer to why you left your last job should not include any four letter words or expressions that would tempt your grandmother to hand you a bar of soap to use to wash out your mouth.  Also any description of your former employer other than glowing is going to be perceived in a negative way.
Bargaining – I don’t see much of this one in the recruiting world.  I don’t doubt it goes on privately.  Most of what I’ve read and heard about the bargaining stage includes talking with a higher power.
Depression – Oh boy!  Nothing screams “don’t hire me” like someone dragging themselves into an interview, staring at their feet, hair not combed, clothing rumpled, mumbling answers to questions and even (yes, I’ve seen this) crying.
Acceptance – Why did you leave your last job?  The company hit a financial rough patch and had to let some people go.  Unfortunately, one of them was me.  But, I understand why they had to do it.   My time there was a great experience, but now I’m ready for a new and different challenge and am looking for my next great employer.
If you don’t recognize where you are emotionally, ask someone who knows you well.  I bet they can pick out a stage almost instantly.  They will have to be a true friend though because it’s a tough thing to tell someone and even tougher to hear.
I’ve seen people get stuck in Anger for years and not understand why they never get a job offer.  I’ve seen others go straight to the Acceptance stage the day after they’ve been laid off.  Everyone is different.  Don’t be too hard on yourself!
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Author: Nancy Baughman President (nancybpres), Author at Calm Water Business Partner, LLC. She has over twenty years of general management experience in human resources, operations, marketing and finance, predominantly with start-ups and small to mid-size companies.

April 4, 2016

How to "Ace" a Follow-up Job Interview

You recall a friend telling you that at the second job interview level the competition is that much tougher than the first, and the questions you'll receive will be more challenging to answer. This time the employer wants to make sure you're the most qualified of all candidates who've applied.

That means preparing for the new interview even more carefully. Consider doing a little more networking and inquiring from people who've had a similar experience. If possible, talk to a human resources representative who may be willing to give you feedback on your progress. Or if you know an employee at the company, he or she might help you prepare for the next interview.

Never Hurts to Ask . . .

Assure them you're not looking for an unfair advantage or inside information—just support for making wise choices on what to prepare for. If you know the name of the person who will be interviewing perhaps you can gain some insight into that individual's personality and interviewing style.

Once you've reached the second job interview, keep your cool. Remember how well you did the first time. Something you said or did won you this current opportunity so you don't want to change your approach. Answer questions in a friendly yet forthright way, citing an example to back up the response whenever you can.

For example, if you're asked about your problem-solving ability, avoid a general response such as "I'm pretty good at restoring tranquility after chaos." Instead share a specific incident: (example) "During a power outage at my previous place of employment when all computers went down, I gathered the employees in my department together and led a discussion on how to remain calm in a crisis so that everyone benefits. I received the Employee of the Year Award for having turned the tide at the company during that time."

By the time you've gotten to the second interview, you will likely be meeting with a high-level company executive. The interview may allow time for informal conversation so he or she can get to know more about you on a personal level. Be ready and willing to share a few anecdotes and experiences from your life outside the office. Keep in mind that the interviewer will be hiring an individual, not just a professional.
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Author: Jimmy Sweeney is the president of CareerJimmy and author of the brand new "Secret Career Document" job landing system.

January 19, 2016

6 "KEYS" To Job Interview Success In The New Year

A new job in the New Year. Wouldn't that be wonderful? You may be nodding your head. Read on to find out how to ring in 2016 with a first class interview. The keys below will help you unlock the door to your next job interview.

Key #1:  Turn off negative thoughts. Look at yourself in a mirror and affirm what you see and know. You are a capable and experienced person who can talk clearly and with confidence.


Key #2:  Practice with a friend what you want to say and do during the interview. Such an exercise is a good way to shake off worries and to make changes before the big day.


Key #3:  Remember that fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real. Some apprehension is perfectly normal. It means you are eager to do your best and you're taking the interview seriously.


Key #4: Avoid drinking or smoking before your appointment. Raising a glass or two during the holiday season may be fun at a party but not before an interview.


Key #5: Put off vigorous exercise for another day or when the interview is over. You'll want to be alert and attentive as you listen to the interviewer's questions and to your own responses.


Key #6: Stick to the point. Talk about what is relevant to the interview––your work experience, job qualifications, and your goals for supporting the company and increasing revenue and so on. Avoid talking about their family and friends, hobbies and health. If you are asked questions about such matters, of course answer honestly, but briefly. Too much unrelated information can ruin your chances.


Before the interview, slip these 'keys' onto your keychain, review them, and use them. Watch how they will unlock the door to a first class interview for the job you desire.


Happy New Year!
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Author: Jimmy Sweeney is president of CareerJimmy and creator of the brand new, "Job Interview Secret Document." 

September 23, 2015

How to Handle Interview Questions on Employment Gaps

When asked about employment dates, DO NOT lie; do not even try to hide the gaps.

You should have an acceptable reason for leaving a job and explaining a long gap in your career.

The acceptable reasons for leaving a company:

1. Relocation

2. Taking time off to take care of your children.

3. Health Problems



4. You were underpaid for your skills and contribution.

5. The company was not stable.

6. You wanted to join a reputed company.

Be positive in attitude while answering. Appear composed and unapologetic.

A simple and honest interview answer that explains the long gap in your career is the the best way to handle Interview Questions on Employment Gaps.

July 24, 2015

Phone Interviewing Do's and Don'ts for Job-Seekers

Here are the keys to successful phone interviewing. Job-seekers who follow these simple rules and guidelines should achieve success in this important phase of job-hunting.



Do give accurate and detailed contact information in your cover letter so your interviewers can easily connect with you.

When in job-hunting mode, don't have a disproportionately silly or long greeting on your answering machine or voicemail.

Do ensure that household members understand the importance of phone messages in your job search.

Do know what job you are interviewing for.

Do practice, if possible. Have a friend call you to do a mock phone interview so you get the feel of being interviewed over the phone.

When being interviewed by phone, do make sure you are in a place where you can read notes, take notes, and concentrate.

If you cannot devote enough time to a phone interview, do suggest a specific alternate time to the recruiter. It's often best to be the one who calls back so you can be mentally prepared.

Do consider using a phone-interview log.

Do consider keeping some notecards or an outline in front of you to remind yourself of key points you want to cover with the interviewer. You don't want your responses to sound scripted, but you don't want to fumble for important points either. Do also have your resume in front of you so you can remember highlights of your experience and accomplishments.

Do ensure that you can hear and are being clearly heard.

Do consider standing when being interviewed on the phone. Some experts say you'll sound more professional than if you're slouching in an easy chair.

Do consider dressing nicely for the phone interview. It may sound silly since the interviewer can't see you, but you really will project a more professional image if you're dressed for the part instead of wearing, for example, a ratty bathrobe.

Don't feel you have to fill in the silences. If you've completed a response, but the interviewer hasn't asked his or her next question, don't start babbling just to fill in airtime. Instead, ask a question of your own related to your last response.

Do create a strong finish to your phone interview with thoughtful questions.

Don't panic if you have special needs. If you are hearing-impaired, for example, phone interviews are still possible.

Don't snuffle, sneeze or cough. If you can't avoid these behaviors, say "excuse me."

Don't chew gum or food, or drink anything noisy.

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Author: Maureen Crawford Hentz. She is a nationally recognized expert on social networking and new media recruiting. With more than 15 years of experience in the recruiting, consulting and employment areas, her interests include college student recruiting, disabilities in the workplace, business etiquette, and other issues. 

May 28, 2015

What Should a Woman Wear for a Job Interview?

1. Dress professionally. You may wear a great blazer or a fitted jacket with a tailored trouser.

2. Choose neutral colours.

3. A pair of comfortable shoes.

4. Always wear light make up.

5. And, above all, wear a confident smile.

January 27, 2015

The Job Interview: A New Look For the New Year

It's that time of year again—the opportunity to start fresh as you plan for the job interview that's coming your way in 2015.
Being invited for an interview is a good sign. It means you've said something in your cover letter or resume that prompted the employer to call you. So rather than letting worry or fear drive you, focus on the positive aspects of a job interview and look at the experience in a new way for this new year.
•  The hiring manager is a human being—just like you.
He or she probably has a family, hobbies, problems, and interests, as you do. Meet and greet the person with a firm handshake, a friendly smile, and eye-to-eye contact. People can tell immediately if you're sincere or merely going through the motions. Are you sincere and friendly or a character in a story? Make this opportunity count for you and for the other person.
• Present a professional appearance so you will create a favorable impression.
Dress appropriately for a job interview. A suit or sport coat and slacks and polished shoes for men work best. A dress or jacket and skirt or pants for a woman are perfect. Avoid spike heels that might cause you to slip or fall. Press your clothes the night before and choose accessories that are simple and tasteful. Avoid flashy jewelry, dangling earrings, gaudy belt buckles and so on. You'll want the hiring manager to look at you, not your accessories.
• Be prepared to show the employer that you're the ideal candidate for the job.
Mention practical and specific examples of your talent, skills, and experience. Avoid talking in generalities about your character traits (leader, problem solver, and decision maker, and team player). Instead illustrate those attributes by sharing a 'true story' from your education or work life that shows your ability to lead or solve a problem.
For example, did you step up and resolve a crisis or settle a conflict between two employees or make a spontaneous decision that determined an essential outcome? A word picture will help the hiring manager envision what happened.
• End the interview with a sincere 'thank you' and follow up with a written note of gratitude.
People who remember to express their honest appreciation are rarely forgotten. The road that leads you from job interview to job placement intersects with honesty and gratitude. Don't miss it!
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Author: Jimmy Sweeney

November 6, 2014

Top 5 Things You Should Never Say In A Job Interview

1. "Let's talk money."

2. "I don't have any question for you."

3. "I had so many problems with my former boss; he was a constant headache."

4. "You look great."

5. "You'll regret it if you don't hire me, I'm the most qualified."

You won't get a second chance if you make a mistake and say something inappropriate in a job interview. So, be really careful! All the Best!