Job Interview en-US Best Money Tips: Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-essential-steps-to-take-before-a-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="interviewees" title="interviewees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on essential steps to take before a job interview, reducing stress in your life, and making money for your monthly bills.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">10 Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview</a> &mdash; Before a job interview, turn off your phone and take deep breaths. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Reduce the Stress in Your Life</a> &mdash; Eating right and exercising can help reduce the stress in your life. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">Fifteen ways to make money for your monthly bills: make &pound;1,000/$1,700 per month</a> &mdash; To make money for your monthly bills, build a blog or make/mend things. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="">6 Easy-to-Steal Rituals of Extremely Successful People</a> &mdash; Extremely successful people only use quality tools and spend quality time with quality people. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="">Too Busy to Side Hustle? These 5 Tips Will Show You How To Make It Happen</a> &mdash; If you are too busy to side hustle, systemize, regularize, and organize. [Budget Blonde]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Before You Quit Your Job - Ask Yourself These 5 Questions</a> &mdash; Before you quit your job, ask yourself what you want to do instead. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="">If It's Not on Your List...Don't Do It!</a> &mdash; To make sure you stick to your to-do list, take the time to order your list. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="">8 Keys to Attracting Healthy Relationships</a> &mdash; If you want to attract healthy relationships, know who you are and teach people how to treat you. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="">How Can I Add Wi-Fi to a Desktop PC?</a> &mdash; The easiest way to add Wi-Fi to your desktop PC is to use a Wi-Fi adapter. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="">Learning How To Learn</a> &mdash; When figuring out how to learn, you have to look at what strategies help you retain information best, not simply memorize information. [20's Finances]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting best money tips interview Job Interview Thu, 01 May 2014 08:48:33 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1137577 at This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-interview-technique-will-get-you-hired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="interview" title="interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've conducted a number of job interviews, and while I interviewed a lot of very nice, very smart and very qualified people, I have to say that there's a reason why job interviews make such great<a href=""> fodder for comedians</a>. But unlike in the movies, the job candidates who aren't charming, articulate, and interesting aren't funny&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash; rather,</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;they are almost invisible. I met a lot of people who were so terrified of screwing up that they refused to break from their rehearsed script. As a result, they couldn't really answer my questions, I couldn't get to know them, and they didn't get the job. (See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="">Things You Did Wrong at Your Last Interview</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">)</span></p> <p>That's why many employment experts recommend that job seekers answer questions &mdash; or at least some questions &mdash; in a narrative format. In other words, rather than spitting out job search cliches like &quot;I'm a hard worker&quot; or &quot;I'm a team player,&quot; job seekers should let go of the script a bit and tell the interview a story about themselves.</p> <p>I like a good story as much as the next person, but when it comes to telling one in a professional setting, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to do it. So let's take a look at what a little storytelling can do for your job interview &mdash; and how to get it right.</p> <h2>Stories Are Memorable</h2> <p>When you're being interviewed for a job, it's a good idea to put yourself in the interviewer's shoes. Think about what they're looking for in a candidate, what qualities you have that you think might make you stand out from other candidates, and how you can get that information across. You should also consider the fact that the person who is interviewing you might be sitting in that office conducting job interviews all day long. Please people; don't bore them to death. (See also: <a href="">Make a Good Impression at Your Next Interview</a>)</p> <p>Science (and possibly common sense) tells us that listening to a Powerpoint presentation or reading through bullet points activates the parts of our brain where we process language and decode meaning. The same probably goes for reading a resume...or having one repeated verbatim by a job candidate.</p> <p>When we hear a story, however, <a href="">our brains light right up</a>. Sure, those language processing and decoding areas are active, but so are the parts of our brain that would be active if we were actually experiencing those events. So, if you can tell your interviewer a compelling story, you will essentially be getting a bigger, more attentive piece of that person's brain. It will also give your interviewer a deeper, richer sense of the qualifications, experiences, and qualities you can bring to the job. If you're interviewing in a competitive field, that can mean the difference between standing out and being forgotten.</p> <h3>Caveat: Your Stories Need to Be Relevant</h3> <p>You can tell just about any kind of story in a job interview, but before you start reeling off your summer adventures in South America, make sure that what you're saying is <em>relevant to the job you're interviewing for</em>. Maybe your trip helped you uncover some important skills or characteristics you believe will help you on the job. That's a story worth telling. Maybe it included a turning point that helped you figure out what you want to do with your life. That's a relevant story, too. But the hilarious story that starts with too many beers? Save that one for your friends. The key is to use stories to reveal the most important, most relevant information about you in a compelling and interesting way. If you're telling stories for their own sake, you've probably gone off course. (See also: <a href="">How to Always Say Something Interesting</a>)</p> <h2>Stories Help Interviewee and Interviewer Feel Compatible</h2> <p>Have you ever finished a book that starred a character who was completely unlike you, but with whom you could identify by the time you turned the last page? That's how stories work. They help us bring other people into our world, and vice versa. That's important at work, too. After all, a hiring manager is a lot more likely to hire someone they &quot;get&quot; than they are to choose a candidate they can't imagine seeing eye-to-eye with.</p> <p>According to scientists at Princeton, when you tell a story, you not only implant information in your listener's brain, you also <a href="">inject ideas and emotions</a>. So, while you could mention a challenge you've overcome on the job, if you tell it as a story, your interviewer is much more likely to really understand and empathize with how big that challenge was and how difficult it was for you to overcome it. Plus, when someone empathizes with you, they are also more likely to like you as a person. And that, as much as any skill or credential, can be what lands you the job.</p> <h3>Caveat: Get the Right Information Into Your Stories</h3> <p>If you find you have something in common with an interviewer, such as a shared interest in sports or the arts, it's fine to chat about it briefly. But a job interview isn't a chat, and if you get too off topic for too long, it's unlikely to work in your favor. Before you go into your interview, make a list of the qualities and characteristics you want to portray about yourself, and think of some of the stories you could tell to help get those messages across. If you're really good at this, you'll be able to make your interviewer <em>feel</em> like they've had a nice conversation with you, while still coming away with all the information required to assess your fit for the job. (See also: <a href="">9 Interview Mistakes to Avoid</a>)</p> <h2>Stories Are More Convincing Than the Truth</h2> <p>I would never recommend lying in a job interview, but there are definitely two kinds of truth: there's plain and simple, and then there's fancy. The latter is better because it usually requires a few figures of speech. And that's what makes it more effective.</p> <p>So, for example, you could say that you were the top salesperson in your division last year. That might be a simple fact, and it's certainly one that a hiring manager would be interested in hearing. But what you really want your interviewer to understand is that <em>you could sell sand in a desert ... or ham to a pig ... or ice to an Inuit</em>. Well, you get the idea. What really hammers a point home is the use of similes and parables and other figures of speech. If the three I used caught your attention, it's because your brain is literally wired for them.<a href=";_type=blogs&amp;_r=0"> Several studies</a> have found that we actually process literal and metaphorical information in the same area of the brains. So, if you can use stories, metaphors and other devices that relate you and your skills with positive attributes &mdash; or even positive feelings &mdash; you can take a giant leap (metaphorically speaking) ahead of your competition.</p> <h3>Caveat: Keep Stories and Metaphors Simple</h3> <p>Metaphors are fun and interesting and engaging &mdash; to a point. If you get carried away, you're likely to sound like you're speaking in code. So keep literary devices to a minimum, and keep them simple (as pie!). This isn't a college-level comparative literature class. You don't want your interviewer to have to work too hard here. Or think you're crazy as a loon. (Also, now that I've tortured you with cliches, you're probably getting the idea that you should avoid those too. Some people like them, but many don't, so don't press your luck.)</p> <p>A good story, like a good metaphor, should transport the listener to another place &mdash; one where you're kicking ass and taking names in the employment world. Just remember that not all stories are good, and the bad ones are likely to harm your job prospects more than they help. So be creative, but also be sure to be concise, relevant and, above all, professional. If you get it right, you'll have a new story to tell: how you landed your new job.</p> <p><em>Have you used storytelling to land a job? Share your tale in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income Career Building Job Hunting interview skills Job Interview storytelling Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:33:06 +0000 Tara Struyk 1130236 at How to Brag About Yourself to Employers (Without Sounding Like a Jerk) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-brag-about-yourself-to-employers-without-sounding-like-a-jerk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="thumbs up" title="thumbs up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you find it hard to talk positively about your work experiences when facing a potential employer? Are you shy or socially awkward, or did you just never get used to talking about yourself positively?</p> <p>I am totally with you there, my friend. I personally can't stand talking about my skills, work experience, or job qualifications because it feels like bragging. But even shy people need jobs, right? So we have to learn how to &quot;brag&quot; about ourselves. Here are five simple tricks for promoting yourself without feeling like a jerk. (See also: <a href="">Make a Good Impression at Your Next Interview</a>)</p> <h2>1. Start Online</h2> <p>Because so many first impressions are now made online, you can't overlook your online presence when trying to promote yourself. The benefit of your online portfolio is that it's much easier to brag about your work experience and skills, because you have time on your side. Think of it as pre-bragging.</p> <p>Make sure that your LinkedIn profile, professional and personal website, Etsy storefront, or other online profiles are affirming and industry-specific. Display your letters of recommendation, industry awards, publications (blogs, articles, presentations), volunteer experience, and group memberships like Rotary Club. (See also: <a href="">Get Your LinkedIn Profile Noticed</a>)</p> <h2>2. Stay Honest</h2> <p>While it's important not to overlook your everyday responsibilities when building your resume, make sure not to exaggerate what you do or what you have accomplished. Nothing is more embarrassing than being caught in a self-promotional lie, so stick to the facts without downplaying your work.</p> <p>&quot;Stake a claim you can own,&quot; advises Jacob Hoehne, Chief Creative Officer for <a href="">Issimo Productions</a>. &quot;Nothing sticks in your throat like a statement you only kind of believe. I still shy away from superlatives, but I focus on irrefutable facts like, 'We've done work for clients like Panasonic, Google, and Jiffy Lube' or 'Our video helped an online software company increase lead conversion by 7x.'&quot;</p> <h2>3. Develop a Persona</h2> <p>This trick is a little unorthodox, but it's one of the few that I have found to be truly effective, especially for phone interviews, which I struggle with. Using a persona is, essentially, acting.</p> <p>Here's what I do.</p> <p>I imagine the person that I want to be &mdash; not a totally new person, but a better version of me. This is the Me that I would like to send to my 20th high school reunion. Alternative Me is athletic, is well-respected as a high-powered marketing exec, is raising the perfect family, lives in an amazing condo in the Big City.</p> <p>Then, I pretend I'm Alternative Me. I imagine that I'm this high-powered woman, and all of a sudden, I feel a burst of confidence. I even have a photo of Alternative Me (OK, it's actually a photo of Kerry Washington, but whatever) that I look at during phone interviews to think of the kind of confidence that I want to project. And for me, this works. (See also: <a href="">15 Ways to Be More Confident</a>)</p> <h2>4. Focus on the Team</h2> <p>For shy people, being forced to take the spotlight is difficult. After all, when you don't enjoy being the center of attention, singing a solo can be terrifying. But directing a chorus? That's a little less daunting. Changing the focus from &quot;Me&quot; to &quot;We&quot; can help you talk about your accomplishments.</p> <p>If you're not officially a manager, you can still give examples of how you took initiative and provided leadership. Fomenting collaboration is a skill in and of itself, but it also gives you the chance to talk about your success without directly saying &quot;I DID THIS!&quot;</p> <h2>5. Focus on the Value You Bring</h2> <p>As a potential employee or vendor, you offer skills and services that solve a problem for your employer or client. But if you feel uncomfortable saying &quot;I fixed this problem,&quot; change the focus of the sentence. Rather than talking about yourself, talk about the problems you fix and how you fix them. (See also: <a href="">How to Finally Get That Promotion</a>)</p> <p><a href="">Wokie Nwabueze</a> is a communication coach who helps women build the tools they need to promote themselves within their industry. &quot;I suggest focusing on the value they bring, problem they solve, and need they fulfill,&quot; she says. &quot;This approach takes self-promoting out of the 'me, me, me' realm.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Focus on how what you offer can transform someone's life or business,&quot; says Dr. Jennifer Howard, psychotherapist and author of <a href="">Your Ultimate Life Plan</a>. &quot;Then promotion can feel more like offering to help someone than trying to sell them something.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;It's not really bragging at all, but letting those who could really use your products or services know why either would benefit them,&quot; explains Megan Peterson, a <a href="">jewelry designer and entrepreneur</a> and self-described super-introverted woman who had to overcome her shyness in order to engage customers at shows.</p> <p>When you change the focus from you to the problem you can solve or the value you bring, it can be much easier to wax rhapsodic about your accomplishments.</p> <p><em>Are you shy? Have you found any tricks that help you promote yourself without feeling uncomfortable?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Brag About Yourself to Employers (Without Sounding Like a Jerk)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Job Interview self promotion Wed, 12 Mar 2014 10:48:30 +0000 Andrea Karim 1128930 at 10 Things You Did Wrong at Your Last Job Interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-did-wrong-at-your-last-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="interview" title="interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a lot that can go wrong in a job interview.</p> <p>If you think about what's actually happening, it's remarkable that anyone can go into a situation like that and avoid feeling incredibly nervous. You're being questioned, assessed, and judged, all while having to make conversation and present yourself in a way that's going to make those judging you want to pay you a lot of money to work for them. (See also: <a href="">How to Make a Good Impression at an Interview</a>)</p> <p>That's tough sledding, even for those who would consider themselves to have nerves of steel. But if you're going in for a job interview, knowing ahead of time what could potentially go wrong on your end might save you from hurting your own chances.</p> <p>If at the end of the interview you have no regrets and the ball is totally in a hiring manager's court, that's all you can ask for.</p> <p>To help avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, here are 10 things that happened in your last interview that you did wrong (and how you can do better next time)<span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">. (See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="">Weird Interview Questions and How to Answer Them</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">)</span></p> <h2>1. Spoke Negatively About Your Last Job or Supervisor</h2> <p>Sometimes it can be tempting to talk down your last job in response to questions like, &quot;Why are you looking to change jobs?&quot; or &quot;What makes you think you'd be a good fit here?&quot;</p> <p>Speaking negatively is a poor response because, first and foremost, it doesn't answer the question in full. Furthermore, the people interviewing you are going to be your next boss, and if they detect that you were insubordinate at your last job, they've no reason to believe that you won't treat them the same way.</p> <p>Demonstrate that you are a team player. Find something positive about your former (or current) employers, and keep your review honest.</p> <h2>2. Overhyped Your Abilities or Credentials</h2> <p>Interviewers can almost always tell when somebody is exaggerating what's on their resume. Often you'll end up talking about something that you don't have a lot of knowledge about, and you'll say things that are simply incorrect, which hiring managers will quickly pick up on.</p> <p>While you should be confident in your abilities (more on that next), you shouldn't try to oversell your potential, especially since it's so easy to spot.</p> <h2>3. Weren't Confident in Your Own Abilities</h2> <p>You might be well-qualified, but if you go into an interview without having confidence in yourself and some assertiveness about what's on your resume and what you can bring to the table to benefit them, interviewers will pick up on that right away. Make sure&nbsp;that you're confident in your skill set. (See also: <a href="">Break These Habits to Become More Confident</a>)</p> <h2>4. Forgot That Companies Hire for a Reason</h2> <p>It can be easy to forget that jobs aren't just a sort of entity out there that you have to be lucky enough to land so you can have a steady paycheck.</p> <p>Jobs and paychecks exist only for one reason: because companies and business owners need help to keep turning a profit. The only way you get one of those jobs is if you can help that person make money and make it easier for them to do their job.</p> <p>You have to present as that person and have that mindset as the foundation for a great interview.</p> <h2>5. Presented Yourself Poorly</h2> <p>One intensely practical aspect of interviewing is that those who <a href="">look neat</a> and well put together are going to have a better shot at getting hired than those who don't. It's not a bad idea to put up the money for a new outfit and make sure that you cover all the details, right down to your belt and shoes.</p> <h2>6. Talked Too Much</h2> <p>You should be confident in your abilities, but that doesn't mean you should be overly talkative or constantly having something to say about yourself.</p> <p>In an interview setting it pays to listen well and to only talk about things that are crucial and pertinent to the job at hand. Let whoever is interviewing you set the tone when it comes to opening up and talking about other things. If they're relaxed about it, you can follow suit.</p> <h2>7. Didn't Research the Company</h2> <p>There are a lot of people who apply for jobs without so much as reading the description, much less studying up on the company. The more you know about the company, the more you'll be able to articulate how you can help them and how your skills would benefit their mission statement. (See also: <a href="">Things You Should Know About the Company Before an Interview</a>)</p> <p>It'll also automatically put you a cut above the people who didn't do their homework.</p> <h2>8. Didn't Ask Enough Questions</h2> <p>When most of us think about an interview, we think about someone questioning us. While that's an important part of the process, you'll likely be given the opportunity to ask your interviewer some questions as well. If you don't have anything to ask, you run the risk of looking like someone who &quot;just wants a job&quot; and doesn't really care about their career. (See also: <a href="">Questions You Must Ask at an Interview</a>)</p> <p>Ask questions about the company, the position, and whatever general information you'd like to know, with the exception of one particular topic...</p> <h2>9. Inquired About Salary Too Early</h2> <p>Unless someone offers up information about salary, don't bring it up yourself. In fact, it would benefit you to steer away from the topic in all scenarios until you've gotten a job offer. At that point, you're the one in control, and you can go into a negotiating phase where the topic has a lot more relevance.</p> <h2>10. Failed to Follow Up</h2> <p>It can certainly be discouraging when you have a great interview and don't hear anything for a few weeks. Even waiting a few days can be tough, but if you feel like an interview went well and you don't hear anything back, follow up with whoever you spoke with. Some companies like to see that initiative, while with others it falls on deaf ears.&nbsp;You won't know until you try.</p> <p>Start with a phone call first, then if you don't hear anything for another week, send an email.</p> <h2>Avoiding the Self-Inflicted Injuries</h2> <p>If you cover these points, you'll at least have the confidence of knowing that you're avoiding the interview casualties that are typically self-inflicted.</p> <p>The hiring world is a complex science, without guarantees or formulas. You just have to know the basics, then get out there, and take your chances. If you do that, you're at least giving yourself a chance, and it's only a matter of time until you can find someone else who's willing to do the same.</p> <p><em>Have you ever messed up a job interview? What'd you do? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Things You Did Wrong at Your Last Job Interview" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting interview mistakes interview tips Job Interview job search Tue, 04 Mar 2014 10:24:14 +0000 Mikey Rox 1128459 at How to Sell Yourself to Potential Employers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sell-yourself-to-potential-employers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="interview" title="interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You customize your resume and cover letter to fit each application and provide thorough explanations of how your unique set of qualifications make you the ideal candidate for the job. But could you be doing more to sell yourself to potential employers? Even if you're an experienced job-seeker, you can benefit from learning a few new ways to convince a company that you're the one they're looking for. (See also: <a href="">Long-Distance Job Hunting Tips</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use the Right Keywords</h2> <p>Having the right language in your job hunting materials ensures that both human and automated resume reviewers know you have what they're looking for.</p> <p>To come up with your keywords, first, think about the phrases employers would use to find a candidate for the position. Next, review the job posting to determine the skills and knowledge the employer is looking for. Finally, think about attributes you possess that set you apart from other candidates. These can be certifications, specialized education, or uncommon or highly-desirable skills. Sprinkle these terms throughout your resume and cover letter and be sure to emphasize the most relevant experience and education. (See also: <a href="">Words You Should Delete From Your Resume</a>)</p> <p>Using keywords is especially important on LinkedIn and other networking sites to draw employers to your profile and let them know exactly what you have to offer. In addition to having including them in the Skills, Interest and Experience sections, the headline that appears in search results and on the top of your page can benefit from keywords as well. &quot;Banking customer service representative&quot; provides a basic concept of yourself, but &quot;Financial customer care professional with proven sales experience&quot; provides recruiters with a descriptive yet concise depiction of your expertise.</p> <h2>2. Ask the Right Questions</h2> <p>Instead of requesting information about salary and vacation time, or worse, having no questions at all, make employers take notice by proposing topics that show you're serious about the job. In addition to <a href="">questions that show your interest</a> in the everyday goings on of a job, ask about the long- and short-term goals and plans for the position, department, and company. Ask questions about any recent industry news and how it will affect the business. You should also inquire about any issues with the position that the company wants to solve. Finally, ask the interviewer if he or she has any reservations or questions about your suitability for the job. This last one is important, because you may not have another chance to offer an explanation and alleviate their misgivings. (See also: <a href="">13 Ways to Make a Good Impression at Your Job Interview</a>)</p> <h2>3. Explain How You've Contributed</h2> <p>When considering a candidate, one of the most important questions employers have is, &quot;How is this person going to contribute to the bottom line?&quot;</p> <p>To make yourself really stand out, you have to explain how you can use your position to increase profits and decrease costs. Think of realistic scenarios in which you can apply your expertise to benefit the employer on a day-to-day basis. Back those ideas up with stories of how your skills and knowledge have been an advantage to organizations in the past. Think of specific examples of your contributions, such as the time you landed the largest account of the year because your advanced technical knowledge allowed you to explain a product's complicated specs to the customer in laymen's terms. Also think of ways you saved previous employers from serious problems, like when your keen attention to detail helped you locate a small accounting error before it had a chance to turn into a big issue.</p> <h2>4. Be Passionate</h2> <p>Companies love nothing more than an employee who genuinely enjoys their job. Showing passion for the work signals to employers that you'll give your full effort and are likely interested in the job for the long haul, both of which are important considerations. Even if it's the most mundane job imaginable, find aspects of it that you like and expand on those points. If a customer service rep, for example, is enthusiastic and sincere about how much they enjoy helping people solve problems, the employer is much more likely to remember that candidate. You could even use examples from your personal life to show that you have innate affinity for the duties of the position.</p> <h2>5. Show Off Your Industry Knowledge</h2> <p>Read up on your industry's activities by visiting trade-related websites, perusing professional publications, and scouring the news. Look for information about openings, closings, mergers, new laws or regulations, management changes, and social matters that could affect the company and its competitors. To incorporate this information into your cover letter, simply mention your awareness of these items and request an interview to discuss how you can help the company with them. Once you're face to face, flesh out your knowledge of the issues and provide more in-depth explanations of your ideas. Tell the interviewer how you can help the company take advantage of the new situation or avoid adverse effects. As always, be specific. (See also: <a href="">Learn These Things About a Company Before the Interview</a>)</p> <h2>6. Dress to Impress</h2> <p>You already know that the outfit you wear to a job interview is important. But you may not be aware that even minor things about your appearance can make a big difference in an employer's opinion of you. A recent study found that after seeing an image for only three seconds, reviewers rated a man more successful, flexible, and confident when he was pictured wearing a tailored suit as opposed to when he was photographed in an identical off-the-rack outfit. These <a href="">quick assessments</a> also applied to images of women, who were thought of as more confident, responsible, authoritative, and intelligent when they wore conservative clothing, such as longer skirts and blouses with higher necklines. (See also: <a href="">5 Ways to Snag Affordable Business Clothes</a>)</p> <p>The colors you choose can also be an important factor. Studies have revealed that <a href="">navy blue is the best interview outfit color</a> because it conveys a sense of confidence and trustworthiness. Earthy colors such as brown and tan project dependability, while red shows interviewers that you are energetic and influential. By wearing your most well-made yet conservative outfit and choosing colors to suit the energy the position requires, you can use snap judgments to subconsciously boost an interviewer's impression of you.</p> <p><em>What are some tips and tricks you use to land a job?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Sell Yourself to Potential Employers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Lauren Treadwell</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting getting hired Job Interview job search Mon, 17 Feb 2014 10:48:16 +0000 Lauren Treadwell 1125263 at 13 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at Your Next Job Interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-ways-to-make-a-good-first-impression-at-your-next-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="interview" title="interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>First impressions matter, especially on job interviews.</p> <p>As much as we all wish that actual qualifications mattered most, <a href="">research suggests that first impressions shape perceptions of professional competence</a>. Those who perform well in the &quot;rapport-building stage&quot; of an interview (when you meet and greet people) are often rated higher on evaluations of professional capabilities, whether or not they are better qualified. Higher ratings lead to more follow-up interviews and eventually more job offers.</p> <p>So, making a good impression can help you land a job. Here are 13 ways to shine.</p> <h2>1. Dress for the Job You Want</h2> <p>Dress in professional attire as if you were making an important presentation, meeting with a key client, or having lunch with the senior vice president or CEO.</p> <p>Make sure your clothes are not too tight, too revealing, or too baggy. If you have a question about whether your attire is inappropriate, don't ask a friend to confirm your choice. Just change your outfit. Also avoid wearing too much jewelry, perfume, or aftershave lotion.</p> <p>Determining the exact clothing to wear can be tricky as dress codes vary. In many office settings, <a href="">a suit is the recommended attire</a>. For others, the dress depends on the targeted position, so research (e.g., contact HR, ask a friend who works at the company, and peruse LinkedIn profiles) to decide what to wear, leaning toward <a href="">classic rather than trendy colors and patterns</a>.</p> <h2>2. Arrive on Time, but Not Too Early</h2> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Ideally, you should arrive about 10-15 minutes before your interview.</p> <p>Being late for an interview sends the signal that you are unreliable and inattentive to details. Showing up too early makes you seem over-eager and stalker-like. If you arrive 30 minutes or more before your scheduled session, then the hiring manager may feel rushed to greet you or uncomfortable with the prospect of having you hang out in a reception area.</p> <p>Demonstrate promptness without seeming like you have nothing better to do than wait around for a prospective employer. To get the timing right, visit the interview location and determine the appropriate travel time before your meeting day.</p> <h2>3. Enter a Room Confidently</h2> <p>Your <a href="">entrance is a key to making a positive impression</a>, according to career and professional development advisor Elizabeth Dexter-Wilson. She recommends keeping your head up, acknowledging those in the room or reception area, smiling, and saying hello.</p> <h2>4. Offer a Firm Handshake</h2> <p>Shake hands with a firm grip. A firm handshake, not too tight and not at all limp, demonstrates confidence.</p> <p>Extend your hand in greeting to human resource representatives, hiring managers, senior-level managers, and potential colleagues. And, if you are not already standing, <a href="">stand up when someone enters the room prior to shaking hands</a>.</p> <h2>5. Be Kind to Everyone</h2> <p>Show kindness to everyone you meet. You want to make a good first impression in all encounters, not only for kindness' sake but also because those on the front lines may share their perceptions about you with hiring decision-makers.</p> <p>Be gracious to each and every person including parking lot attendants, security officers, receptionists, executive assistants, human resources team members, potential co-workers, and hiring managers.</p> <h2>6. Act Interested</h2> <p>Behave like you are excited about the job, even if you are secretly wondering if the position is a good fit for your talents.</p> <p>Acting interested can help you engage the interviewers. Then, you can learn more about the organization and its needs, and determine whether you should pursue the position.</p> <h2>7. Don't Open a Conversation With Careless Remarks</h2> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Though most interviewees wouldn't intend to be insulting or insensitive, you might accidentally say something you regret. Avoid conversation starters using <a href="">too-casual or off-color slang</a> or make comments about personal appearances, politics, religion, or controversial topics.</p> <p>Plan your opening remarks and be gracious if someone makes an unkind comment to you.</p> <h2>8. Be Prepared to Talk About the Company and Yourself</h2> <p><a href="">Be ready for conversation</a> with knowledge about the company, responses to common interview question, and questions of your own.</p> <p>Don't act like you know everything or you will seem arrogant. But certainly read the organization's website and relevant news so you can talk intelligently about the company.</p> <p>Practice your responses to typical questions and prepare stories about your recent accomplishments, particularly ones that illustrate how you make you a great fit for the organization. Finally, put together a list of questions to pose when the interviewer asks if you have questions.</p> <h2>9. Do a Pre-Interview Body Check</h2> <p>Take stock of yourself quickly, beyond your make-up and appearance. Career-services professional Barbara Safani <a href="">recommends three simple actions to prevent distraction and embarrassment</a>:</p> <ol> <li>remove loose change from your pockets;</li> <li>turn off your cell phone;</li> <li>toss your cup of coffee or bottle of water.</li> </ol> <h2>10. Check Your Smile</h2> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Make sure your smile is nice.</p> <p>Deal with major issues by visiting a dentist or dental hygienist before you begin the job-search process. On the day of your interview, <a href="">brush your teeth and floss, and avoid eating right before your meeting</a>.</p> <p>During the interview, remember to smile.</p> <h2>11. Carry a Portfolio</h2> <p>You'll want to bring hard copies of your resume, references, and other job-search materials to the interview. <a href="">Carry these in a portfolio for a polished look</a>.</p> <h2>12. Know the Answer to &quot;Why Are You Here?&quot;</h2> <p>To start your interview well, prepare your response to the question, &quot;Why are you here?&quot;</p> <p>Note that the response should be more substantial and insightful than &quot;to interview for a job.&quot; Tell the interviewer <a href="">why you are excited about the prospect of joining</a> this particular organization. Briefly explain how your expertise could contribute to the company's success.</p> <h2>13. Get Your Interviewer's Name Right</h2> <p>Impress your interviewer by getting her name right the first time. This technique is especially helpful if you are meeting someone with an unusual name or <a href="">if you have difficulty retaining new information</a>.</p> <p>Research the names and titles of those you may be meeting for the first time (hint: look them up on LinkedIn or ask human resources for this information). Rather than ask someone to repeat her name during a face-to-face meeting, memorize the name ahead of time.</p> <p><em>How have you made a good first impression on a potential employer?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="13 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at Your Next Job Interview" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting first impression Job Interview jobs Thu, 14 Nov 2013 11:36:03 +0000 Julie Rains 1098523 at 5 Things You Must Learn About the Company Before Your Job Interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-must-learn-about-the-company-before-your-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="job interview" title="job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Arriving to an interview as a well-prepared candidate can give you a huge advantage over those who chose not to take the extra time to learn about the company. Here are some quick ideas on what you should know going into a job interview. (See also: <a href="">Questions You Should Ask at Every Job Interview</a>)</p> <h2>1. Basic Company History</h2> <p>How did they start? Who is the owner/CEO/President? Did they start the company? Why was the company started at all? All of this info will give you an idea on the motivations behind the company you hope to work for, the people who built it, and where it is headed. (See also: <a href="">Joining an Excellent Startup Company</a>)</p> <h2>2. Awards and Important Press Mentions</h2> <p>Companies love to promote anything positive that puts them in the spotlight, so press mentions and awards should be easy to find. While this can seem like fluff in your research, it can show you the values the company has, what it's most proud of, and who its target customer is. A press mention in a fashion magazine is significantly different from a mention in the business section of a large newspaper, for example. Learning what the company is most proud of will help you flesh out what you should be saying during your interview; should you focus on your business experience or your passion of environmentalism? Know the company's key values, and figure out how to promote those in your own background that you share.</p> <h2>3. Company Culture</h2> <p>Sometimes a true snapshot of culture can be particularly hard to find. The Mission and Values Statements may say one thing, but what is it like to actually work at this place? Finding out any information can help you decide if this is a culture that you would flourish in, or if it is your own personal nightmare. (See also: <a href="">Become a Star Employee by Thinking Like an Entrepreneur)</a></p> <h2>4. Who Will Be Interviewing You</h2> <p>Most of the time this information will be given to you, and I would suggest you leave it at that. Googling your interviewer for information can only lead to a creepy &quot;stalker&quot; feeling, especially if you bring up anything you learned during the interview. Just be sure to know the basics: who they are, what their title is, and their email and phone number. (See also: <a href="">Leave a Memorable Impression</a>)</p> <h2>5. What the Company Does</h2> <p>This may seem like a ridiculous thing to point out, but one would be surprised at how often I've been asked this when interviewing candidates at my own company. Take the time to learn about the company, on even the most basic of levels, to show that you took the initiative. Putting no effort into the preparation of the interview will leave the interviewer feeling like you won't put any effort into the job, either, and will put you at a huge disadvantage against a candidate that took the extra hour to learn about the company ahead of time.</p> <p>And, as an extra tip...while you're doing all of this research on the company online, make sure to check out the info there is about YOU online. Make sure anything about you is something you would be OK with an interviewer finding out. If there are some details you'd rather not have impact a job interview, take steps to take it out of public view.</p> <p><em>Have you interviewed recently? What kind of research did you do to prepare?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Things You Must Learn About the Company Before Your Job Interview" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Megan Brame</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting company research employment interview Job Interview Thu, 29 Aug 2013 09:48:29 +0000 Megan Brame 981587 at 5 Questions You Should Ask at Every Job Interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-you-should-ask-at-every-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="interview" title="interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you go into a job interview, you likely have rehearsed what you're going to stay to the interviewer about your skills and experience. But then comes the part of the interview when your potential employer offers you the opportunity to ask questions. Many in the hot seat will often reply that they don't have any, even though their brain is rapid-firing plenty of unanswered questions.</p> <p>The presented opportunity to learn more about a company hiring new employees is one that should not be wasted. You want to be sure you are pursuing vacancies that are actually worth going after. If a job or company is not right for you, you will end up wasting everyone&rsquo;s time. If a job does sound like a good fit, you will want to be sure you have the right expectations if you do <a href="">get hired</a>.</p> <p>Here are five great questions to bring up during a job interview. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">How to&nbsp;Answer 23 of the Most Common&nbsp;Interview Questions</a>)</p> <h3>How Often Does Your Current Staff Receive Promotions?</h3> <p>You should understand how committed a company is to promoting from within. Many employees take positions just to get a job but fail to find out what the advancement potential is in a company. If the employer has a lot of positive things to say about an employee&rsquo;s ability to move up the ladder, you can ask more specific questions relevant to your own career path. If they are unable to provide you with information or try to avoid the question, you need to carefully consider whether the opportunity is right for you.</p> <h3>How Are Employees Compensated for a Job Well Done?</h3> <p>There are a wide variety of ways a company shows appreciation for loyal employees that exceed expectations. While financial rewards are always good, it is important to explore what else the company may provide outside of money. You want to identify businesses that do not acknowledge employee efforts, and asking such a question can give you a more in-depth look at how a company treats its staff.</p> <h3>Have You Ever Mentored an Employee to Help Achieve Their Career Goals?</h3> <p>If the interviewer is the person who will be your direct supervisor, you can learn a lot about their leadership characteristics through their answer to this question. There are many great leaders who are happy to help others get ahead and there are many in leadership positions just looking for a paycheck.</p> <h3>How Do You Promote Teamwork and Maintain a Motivated Environment?</h3> <p>If you are interviewing just to secure an income, you may not care to pose this question. However, if you <a href="">are interviewing for a long-term career positions</a>, you will want to check out the health of the work environment and understand things from the management&rsquo;s perspective. You may also want to reach out after the interview to employees who already work for the company to see how their experience compares. If you get a positive review from management and a negative one from current employees, you may want to do more research into the realities of the work environment.</p> <h3>What Is the Process for Employee Reviews?</h3> <p>Career-focused individuals should want to know how they are doing periodically. Find out how employee reviews are done and if they are done on a regular basis. Some employers do not bother to communicate effectively with their staff, which can ultimately leave you <a href="">dissatisfied and frustrated on the job</a> in the near future.</p> <p>While there are many more situation-specific questions to ask during an interview, you can use these starter questions to help you brainstorm. Ideally, you should take time to prepare your questions on paper in advance of your appointment day. As people tend to be nervous during the interview process, they forget their concerns and leave with too many unanswered questions.</p> <p>A job interview should be much more than just finding out what the salary and benefits will be. If you plan to commit to a job, you should have a good understanding of the company policies and the right expectations about the kind of work environment you will be reporting to every day.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Questions You Should Ask at Every Job Interview" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tisha Tolar</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting career goals interview questions Job Interview Mon, 20 May 2013 10:24:56 +0000 Tisha Tolar 974175 at The Brag Book for Job Hunters: E-Book Review and Tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-brag-book-for-job-hunters-e-book-review-and-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="fortune cookie message: hard work pays off" title="fortune cookie message: hard work pays off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="200" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some of my career-services clients have had tremendous success with &ldquo;brag books&quot; (professional portfolios of career highlights and areas of expertise), propelling them from good-but-average positions to the next level of leadership with accompanying salary and commission increases.</p> <p>Those in pharmaceutical sales are likely familiar with brag books; candidates may be asked to bring them to interviews. Outside of this industry &mdash; in fields as diverse as transportation and speech-language therapy &mdash; a professional compilation of achievements, acknowledgements, activities, etc. can also be valuable.</p> <p>Years before the popularity of personal branding and social media for career building, I worked with clients to create presentations of their professional successes and styles, all in a simple-but-elegant binder (purchased at the office supply store). The books showed their qualifications for specific openings and positioned them as future superstars by showing not only results, but also their unique approaches to developing business, building a team, retaining key accounts, and more.</p> <p>Getting a brag book ready is one challenge. Figuring out appropriate presentation is another.</p> <p>In <em><a href="">How to Design, Write, and Compile a Quality Brag Book</a></em>, Teena Rose, CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) guides job hunters through the basics of brag-book preparation and presentation. I found the casual tone of the e-book easy to understand, which is especially useful for those who need straightforward direction during the stress of the job search. She also offers valuable tips for senior-level candidates.</p> <p>Great tips include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Focus on quality and recentness when compiling a brag book.&nbsp;</strong>Choose the best of your accomplishments to highlight, ideally from the last few years.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Create categories with easy-to-find tabs for quick reference when making a presentation. <p> </strong></li> <li><strong>Develop a theme for your brag book.&nbsp;</strong>This theme may reflect your brand; for example, one of my clients created categories of professional strengths and then provided documentation to showcase these different capabilities (e.g., the presentations category included a list of public speaking engagements; the community outreach category had press coverage of special events).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Place items such as letters of recommendation, annual performance reviews, and thank-you emails in the brag book.</strong>&nbsp;Consider using these items as talking points during the interview.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Ideally, tailor the brag book to the hiring organization. <p> </strong></li> <li><strong>Avoid compiling a &quot;catchall portfolio.&quot;&nbsp;</strong>Demonstrate that you are an outstanding candidate, not just that you have basic qualifications.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Think carefully about when to present the brag book.&nbsp;</strong>Take cues from the interviewer. Look for a natural break in the conversation or reference a page that reinforces a point about your qualifications.</li> </ul> <p>Teena mentions that sales professionals and those who have quantifiable results can benefit most from brag books. I&rsquo;ll add that those who have less opportunity to produce measurable results may also use brag books. Illustrate soft skills by packaging items such as notes of thanks for going the extra mile or emails recognizing the use of creative ideas to solve a problem.</p> <p><em>Disclosure: I received a free copy of </em>How to Design, Write, and Compile a Quality Brag Book<em> for review.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Brag Book for Job Hunters: E-Book Review and Tips" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Job Hunting articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting book review getting promoted Job Interview personal brand Mon, 01 Nov 2010 13:00:13 +0000 Julie Rains 274013 at 5 Tips to Acing An Interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-tips-to-acing-an-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Standing Out " title="Standing Out " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before I embarked on my new life as a freelancer, I had both feet firmly planted in the Corporate World.</p> <p>With my DayPlanner in one hand and my resume in the other, I had big visions of the corner office, the corporate expense account, and business cards with some impressive executive title. Needless to say, I have had more than my share of interviews. And although the whole process can get a little nerve-wracking at times, I did learn some useful tips along the way.</p> <h3>1. Be Unique</h3> <p>This is by far, the biggest tip I can give anyone who's looking for a job and I'll tell you why it works: Everyone looks the same on paper. Anyone reviewing your resume has also reviewed hundreds of other resumes, both in relation to the job you're applying for as well as any other positions they might have open. As a result, they've seen the words &quot;Objective&quot; and &quot;Work Experience&quot; more times than they can count and honestly, it all becomes a haze after a while.</p> <p>So here's what you do &mdash; you stand out. You don't look like everyone else. Maybe you accomplish this with a not-so-standard kind of paper or something equally as subtle. As for me? I went all out. I created a website with a fun &quot;10 Reasons You Should Hire Me&quot; quiz and turned my resume into a full-color tri-fold brochure.</p> <p>Yes, there were times when someone else was just clearly more qualified than I was for the job but I'll tell you this &mdash; I ALWAYS got a call-back for that coveted interview and even in the instances where I didn't get the job, I almost always got offered a different position in the company. Why? Because they liked me too much to just let me go somewhere else.</p> <h3>2. Learn the Art of Resume B.S.</h3> <p>There is truly an art to writing a resume, and if you're not sure of where the line between fact and fiction lies, here it is: While you should never blatantly lie on your resume, it is acceptable and even expected to make your previous positions sound absolutely amazing.</p> <p>It doesn't matter how menial, how common or entry-level that position might have been &mdash; you were an expert at it and turned it into an important component of the company.</p> <p>I once reviewed a resume for a girl who had a position that sounded something like this:</p> <blockquote>&quot;...responsible for managing all corporate duplication equipment and overseeing document distribution for Fortune 500 firm...&quot; </blockquote> <p>Her job? She was a copy clerk. And I knew that when I read her resume. But she obviously took her job very seriously and anyone who can make something that impressive out of a copy clerk position was worth another look. Incidentally, I hired her.</p> <h3>3. Never Say Can't</h3> <p>Along the same lines as Rule #2, while you don't want to commit yourself to skills you truly don't have, there are ways to diffuse a lack of knowledge in a particular area.</p> <p>Instead of saying &quot;I don't know how to do that&quot; or &quot;I don't have that skill&quot; say something like &quot;I haven't used that particular software/system but I have used X, Y, and Z so I'm sure I'll have no problem.&quot; The point is to replace &quot;can't&quot; with something more positive such as &quot;I can learn it,&quot; &quot;I can do it,&quot; &quot;I can figure it out.&quot;</p> <h3>4. Look 'Em In The Eye</h3> <p>During one of my stints in Corporate America, our CEO ordered every employee to attend an on-site course on Business Communication. Most of the seminar revolved around identifying personality types and learning to match your conversation to the other person's natural type. It was interesting, but what really stood out for me was the coach's tip to always look people in the eye. It conveys the trustworthiness and confidence that prospective employers look for.</p> <p>This is actually harder than it sounds, especially when you're nervously trying to close a big deal or in this case, make it through an interview. So here's the tip I learned, one that has served me well: If looking them in the eye makes you uncomfortable, look at the bridge of their nose instead. They can't tell the difference and you'll come across as being direct, honest and confident.</p> <p>And while you're staring at the bridge of their nose, lean in (conveys interest in the conversation) and be animated. Smile, show concentration, even surprise if they tell a story that calls for it. The goal here is to turn your interview into an enjoyable, invigorating &quot;meeting.&quot;</p> <h3>5. Use a Strength as Your Weakness</h3> <p>It's not unusual for your interview to include some probing questions, such as &quot;What is your biggest strength?&quot; and the more dreaded &quot;What is your biggest weakness?&quot;</p> <p>Most people have an easy time talking about their strengths but what on Earth should you say about your weakness? The answer? Pick a strength and talk about its downside.</p> <p>For example, if one of your strengths is that you take pride in your work, then you could say perfectionism is your weakness. Likewise with being detail oriented &mdash; perfectionism is a perfect weakness to compliment that strength. Then you go on to say how you're able to &quot;manage it&quot; really well and have actually been able to turn it into a bit of a strength by using that higher standard of yours to produce stellar work.</p> <p>My choice typically revolved around my pet peeve &mdash; that's not my job. This always made the interviewer smile (because it was their pet peeve too) and ask, &quot;well, how is that a weakness?&quot;</p> <p>I responded by telling them how it was my instinct to &quot;go the extra mile&quot; and help someone with whatever it was when I knew it was something I could do. It just made more sense to me than to pass the buck to someone else. Of course (and here's the weakness part), in the Corporate World, there are departments and divisions so you have to be careful that you don't step on someone else's toes or disrupt the normal accepted process for getting that certain something done.</p> <p>And viola! I've just given them a weakness &mdash; something I strive to work on &mdash; that basically says I'm a &quot;team player&quot; and do &quot;whatever it takes&quot; to get the job done.</p> <p>The bottom line is that you want to be the person they don't soon forget. The person who stands out &mdash; the one who they can see themselves working with on a daily basis. To do that, you have to be more than just another resume...</p> <p>As in love, you don't want to be the one they can live want to be the one they can't live without.</p> <div align="center"><SCRIPT charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src=""> </SCRIPT> <NOSCRIPT><A HREF=""> Widgets</A></NOSCRIPT></div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Tips to Acing An Interview" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Kate Luther</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building employment Job Interview Fri, 05 Mar 2010 17:00:02 +0000 Kate Luther 5644 at The Law (of) Suits: Insurance for Men <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-law-of-suits-insurance-for-men" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="suit up" title="suit up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In this blog, on this site, I usually explore ways to <em>think</em> about spending rather than ways to actually spend. That&rsquo;s not my <em>blogcallojob</em> (blog calling or job) to tell you how to spend.</p> <p>But I&rsquo;d like to pop a sales tag of conversation for fellow men, or women with fellow men in mind, reading this right now and speak plainly. I&rsquo;m about to tell you how to spend money on something for which the worth cannot be measured.</p> <p>It brings smiles, impromptu favors, more respect, more enigma, better service, attention &mdash; usually the right kind &mdash; and did I mention smiles and respect.</p> <p>Not the automobile &mdash; the suit.</p> <p>Recently I was riding home with a soon-to-be jobless, soon-to-be former colleague. One word: awkward.</p> <p>But before he dropped me off, I asked where he was headed, and he said to the mall. And, curiously, making my own judgment on what one could be buying when one knows one won&rsquo;t have a job, I ask, for what?</p> <p>He says a suit.</p> <p>A light goes on and I nod because it makes sense. I nod proudly, in fact, at him. I say to myself, smart man. I nod in whimsical favor because he&rsquo;s thinking about investing in his future rather than moping over his present. I nod because he wants to plunk money down for something that in most cases brings the immediate return of self satisfaction as well as the intangible prospect of being in the right place and the right time, looking darn good.</p> <p>He mentioned he didn&rsquo;t want to &ldquo;over do it&rdquo; expense wise. Of course I understood that and then proceeded to rattle on about what could be done. I proceeded to monopolize the convo on what the pros and cons were of different aspects of suit procurement.</p> <p>Suits, I don't remember saying but will say here, are like insurance for the professional and non-professional but skilled American man. They are insurance for the man who wants to make inroads into achievement and stand out with a statement on who he is when wearing that suit.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s like a financial plan: better to be impeccably prepared (overdressed) than woefully underdressed (unprepared).</p> <p>Now let&rsquo;s say you&rsquo;ve paid your rent and gotten your groceries and have all your necessities and you&rsquo;re a grown, able and responsible man with $300 to $500 and are in the market for a suit.</p> <p>Okay, you&rsquo;re like my friend. After asking him what he planned to spend, without revealing too much of the young man&rsquo;s business, I went into a diatribe where I leaned back in the passenger seat and expounded wisdom using the famous pyramid hand gestures that most pseudo experts use on talk shows. This is the essence of what I said.</p> <h3>Suit up premium</h3> <p><strong>Heck yeah:</strong> Classic is called classic for a reason. For instance, classic American clothier <a href="">Brooks Brothers</a> recently harkened us back to the era of smartly-clothed ad executives from the popular television series <em>Mad Men</em>. The classic look remains just that and outlasts any fashion week. Plus the clothes usually last longer and are of better quality.</p> <p><strong>Uhhh but wait:</strong> The issue here is that suits that are tailored to your specifications and/or made of fine fabrics from top labels, usually begin at $400 per suit. Maybe not the extravagant purchase you want to make right now but there are always sales and alternatives. Maybe you&rsquo;re a forward thinker who sees their world beyond the recession or even sees opportunity in it. Maybe you want to go make an unmistakable statement. But maybe you don&rsquo;t which brings us to our next alternative.</p> <h3>Suit up quickly and bountifully</h3> <p><strong>Heck yeah:</strong> If you happen to live in a place with a population greater than half a million, there should be at least one or two places that have this <a href="">type of sale</a>: Three suits for &ldquo;x&rdquo; amount of dollars in a package. In other words, what you would pay for one Brooks Brothers or discount Italian or English designer suit, you can get three off-brand no-frill wool or down-market fabric suits, which you can freak just right if you have the right style sense.</p> <p>This is probably the greatest stitch-for-stich value because it gets you through the week and month and maybe even the year and allows you to mix and match if you have a pre-existing and respectable shirt game and at least one good pair of shoes.</p> <p><strong>Uhhh but wait:</strong> You may be sacrificing quality, which is kind of like buying liability without getting uninsured motorist. After four or five trips to dry cleaners, it&rsquo;s literally a wrap for these types of suits. I&rsquo;m not talking about the plastic coating to protect them from the elements. I&rsquo;m talking about fabric thinning and the appearance of nappy lent beads on your suit. There's not an afro-pick or lent brush in the world that can remedy this type of wear and tear. But that brings us to the last alternative.</p> <h3>Suit up without a suit</h3> <p><strong>Heck yeah:</strong> If you&rsquo;re easing into the game or just a novice or a stylish but not a &ldquo;suit&rdquo; man, you know how to accessorize on the cheap. Get a really nice blue or black sport coat or blazer, even a gray or solid brown one: or all four if you go to a thrift shop.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m talking blazer now chums. This is not to be confused with a suit jacket but an actual coat, which that 9 times out of ten won&rsquo;t match your pants directly. You can use your style to go for the professorial, business casual look and perhaps hunt Ebay or your local thrift store for &ldquo;pre-owned&rdquo; quality coats that will compliment brand new pants. Get brand new pants &mdash; don&rsquo;t be a tightwad on that.</p> <p>Also if you&rsquo;re not going to get a full suit, don&rsquo;t be a tightwad on shirts either. They should be dry cleaned or brand new and if you&rsquo;re considering your budget, why not buy a shirt that no one else has from a site such as <a href=""></a>. This site&nbsp;claims to have 7 trillion different designs. With that many variations, you will have your own style and through bulk save money by not having to go to the mall and be bilked by someone trying to get a commission. You design it and you order it. No plug here as I don&rsquo;t own a single shirt from that site but I like the idea and am considering it.</p> <p>Back to the stand-alone blazers. Save on the coats, up the quotient on the pants and shirt and it&rsquo;s the cheaper, less high-maintenance alternative. You can wear them with ties or with an open-collared dress shirt and maybe just maybe on rare occasions throw it on with jeans and sneakers if you believe you can pull it off. Or if you believe you can wear a straight face if you don&rsquo;t pull it off.</p> <p><strong>Uhhh but wait:</strong> You should be able to pull this off if you want to earmark this as a professional style. Remember, it&rsquo;s not a suit and shouldn&rsquo;t be carried off as one. If the pants are the same color as the jacket, please let them be close to the same fabric and if not, know your ledge. Shiny silk blazer and corduroy pants might get you unemployed as fast as the trickle-down effect of your company&rsquo;s falling earnings. Corduroy and silk pants might get you beat up or laughed at so hard you feel like you&rsquo;re getting beat up. Double polyester &mdash; let&rsquo;s not discuss that.</p> <p>Why are you still reading this? Go get a suit, no okay wait&hellip;look. This is mostly tongue and cheek and there are bigger issues in the world I know, but at the same time, if you&rsquo;re a professional or professional aspirant between 25 and 50 years of age, you should own a suit.</p> <p>If you are not independently wealthy through some sort of athletic ability, pop song, technological innovation or government defense contract &mdash; in which case you might wear a lot of Hawaiian shirts and khaki &mdash; you <em>need</em> to have at least one dark blue or black suit.</p> <p>If not, you ought to be thinking of a good mix of what was described up here. Are you a grown man or what?</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Law (of) Suits: Insurance for Men" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jabulani Leffall</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income Health and Beauty Shopping clothes Job Interview suits Thu, 05 Nov 2009 16:00:23 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 3786 at