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What Not to Do In An Interview – The Dick and Jane Series Contd.

November 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Do not show up late, but don’t be too early either:  Take the time before the interview to find out exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there and then plan to be there about 10 minutes early.  If you end up getting there a lot earlier, take a breather, go get a drink of water, find a rest-room, but do not head into the main building until about 10 minutes before the interview.  It will seem a little odd if you are sitting in the office for 30 minutes before they are ready for you.

Do not show up unprepared:  You want them to know that you are specifically interested in this job at this company, so do your research.  Read their mission and vision statement, review the job description, find any documents that you can on the company’s strategic plan etc.  Also pay attention to what is in the news that relates to that industry.  You want to be up to date on current affairs and how they may impact the job that you are applying for.  If you are not prepared an employer will feel that you are wasting their time and are not dedicated to the company or this specific job.

Do not chew gum, bring your cell phone in (even if it is on vibrate),  wear perfume or cologne, wear anything too casual or revealing (no cleavage, no baseball caps, no yoga pants [yes that includes lulu lemon]  I don’t care if they cost as much as a suit, they are not appropriate).

Do not ask about holiday time, sick days or other perks during an interview.  This sort of stuff is fair game when you are negotiating a job offer, but not at the point of an interview.  If they are going to be an important factor in your decision to take the job, you should take some time to find out what the salary range is and  benefits are ahead of time.

Do not complain:  Don’t complain about your old job, your current job, your boss, the weather, your cold, how tired, stressed, rushed, overwhelmed, anxious, . . . you are.  Just don’t complain.  Employers are looking for someone that they want on their team, someone who is going to be a positive addition, not bring them down.  Not only is it entirely inappropriate to complain about past employment or bosses, but that negativity will compromise more than just your sanity.

For further tips on interview etiquette check out:

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Preparing for an Interview – the Dick and Jane Series:

November 5, 2012 2 comments

I would like to say that this video is an extreme example of what not to do; however, I have been told many tales from employers that make Dick look like a pretty good candidate.

  1. The reality is, like everything in life, you get from it what you put into it.  If you want to impress, take the time to get to know the company that you are interviewing with. Read the mission and vision statement, look for strategic plans and other planning documents that will help you understand what the company’s goals and challenges are.  Stay up to date with market trends and information that may be impacting them at the moment.  If you can reference current conditions in that industry and show your awareness, they will see that you are a focused, diligent and generally aware.
  2. Think of an interview as a conversation about possibilities, a chance to learn and an opportunity to share information. Make the most of your interview: relax, take the time to respond clearly, and be yourself. The more worked up you allow yourself to get about an interview, the worse you will perform.
  3. Practice potential responses out loud, in front of a mirror or patient friends and family members. Discover various strategies, transitions, and lead-ins for answering different kinds of questions, talking to one person or a group, and changing topics or focus.
  4. Practice asking questions. Employers will expect you to ask one or two questions at the end, so prepare something ahead of time.
    Ask things like: What are your priorities for this position within the first 6 months?
    What are you looking for in an ideal candidate for this role?
    Do not ask things like:    What is your vacation allotment?
    Do you have a maximum number of sick days that employees can take?
    If you ask the right sorts of questions, it will give you an opportunity, once they answer it, to follow-up with further examples of how you would be a good fit.  If they mention that their ideal candidate would be exceptional at multi-tasking and time management and you did not highlight that in your initial responses, now is the time.
  5. Anticipate commonly asked questions by interviewers and develop a set of related responses that you can mold to a variety of individual situations. Prepare responses that cover the main areas that just about all employers are going to want to know about.  Such as: ability to work in a team, ability to work independently, communication skills, work ethic and reliability, interpersonal skills and conflict management, multi-tasking and time management skills, project management and organizational abilities, career goals, greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses.
  6. Choose an interview outfit that is clean, respectable, and modest.  What you wear tells them how seriously you are taking this interview.  If you show up in a suit, they know that you respect them and the job.  If you show up in regular pants and a sweater, you are not too keen or interested in making a good impression.  If you show up in jeans and have a baseball cap on, then you are wasting their time.

Tell me about your best and worst interview experiences.

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