10 good ways to 'Tell me about yourself'

Posted by Guest Contributor

July 22, 2014 @ 01:50 PM

'If Hollywood made a movie about my life, it would be called...' and nine more memorable answers to this dreaded job interview question.

By Scott Ginsberg

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You know it’s coming.

It’s the most feared question during any job interview: Do you think I would look good in a cowboy hat?

Just kidding. The real question is: Can you tell me about yourself?

Blecch. What a boring, vague, open-ended question. Who likes answering that?

I know. I’m with you. But unfortunately, hiring managers and recruiters ask the question. Even if you’re not interviewing and you’re out networking in the community — you need to be ready to hear it and answer it. At all times.

Topics: Interviewing, Networking

Quick tips for job interview emergencies

Posted by Amanda Augustine

July 15, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Prepare for the worst to ensure the best during your next interview.

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You’re lost -- and the interview is in 20 minutes!

The best option is to avoid this completely. Try a dry run by commuting to the office location at the same time of day your interview is scheduled so you are familiar with the route and can properly budget your travel time. If you still manage to get lost, pull out your smart device and use apps like Google Maps or HopStop to estimate how long it will take you to get to the office. If you’re sure to be late, give your main point of contact a heads-up as soon as possible. 

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing

Mind your manners: Interview etiquette for a mealtime meeting

Posted by Guest Contributor

July 08, 2014 @ 06:04 PM

Ace any interview in a restaurant setting by practicing proper decorum.

By Frances Cole Jones

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These days, job interviews can take any form. Don’t be surprised if your next interview lands you in the hot seat across from your interviewer with two plates of food between you. Generally the final round in a series of hurdles you’ve had to clear, these business lunches or dinners are less about assessing your business acumen – this has been solid enough to get you to the final round – than about seeing how you are able to interact with others in collegial and social situations. In short, this is where the smallest of small details are what separate those who receive a job offer from those who get a phone call saying, “I’m so sorry to have to tell you this – it was a really tough decision – but we’ve decided to go with someone else.”

Topics: Interviewing

Interview due diligence: What to ask the hiring manager

Posted by Amanda Augustine

June 24, 2014 @ 03:11 PM

How to properly assess a potential opportunity during the interview process.

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Interviews can be nerve-racking affairs. It’s easy to get so caught up in crafting the perfect responses to your interviewer’s questions that you forget to ask questions of your own.

Remember, an interview is a two-way street. As a candidate, you’re not there to simply answer the hiring manager’s inquiries. It’s important to take a consultative approach and ask questions that help you understand how the company operates, whether the position is a good fit for you and your goals, and if the organization is stable. 

This is even more important if you’re job hunting while employed. No matter how miserable your current position may be, focus on finding the right opportunity rather than simply escaping your current situation.

Here are some questions you can ask to get a deeper understanding of an organization and position yourself as the right candidate for the job.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing

It's not about me, it's about you... the 21 questions you need to ask in a job interview

Posted by Marc Cenedella

June 09, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Ask these questions in your next job interview and watch the hiring manager's face light up.

It's time for my twice-a-year update of the best questions for you to ask in an interview.

I've put this list together because so often we can forget what an interview's all about.  It sure feels like it's about you, but it's really not.

An interview is actually about how you can help your future boss and future employer succeed.  It's about finding out what their requirements and hopes are and matching up your background and experience with what they need.

Topics: Interviewing, Marc's Newsletter

9 signs you didn’t land the job

Posted by Amanda Augustine

May 27, 2014 @ 12:18 PM

How to know when you won’t be getting a call-back after the job interview.

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You spent hours crafting your cover letter and tweaking your resume for the job application. You pass the phone screen with flying colors and are invited to interview in-person with the team. You practice your elevator pitch, don your best interview outfit, and head out to the meeting. Then you leave the interview feeling … confused.

Did it go well? If you’re unsure where you stand after the interview is over, consider these telltale signs that you didn’t land the job.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing

Lose the 'frump factor,' win the job

Posted by Guest Contributor

May 19, 2014 @ 08:44 AM

The right look can increase your confidence, show your personal style and make a lasting first impression.

By Joyann King

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In a perfect world, we would all be judged on our inner beauty and the most qualified candidate would always get the gig. Unfortunately style, charisma, connections and the proverbial cool factor all play an influential role when considering job candidates. If you haven’t thought about your look since the ‘80s (or even within several years), chances are your go-to-interview look could use an update. You don’t want to dress too young for your age, but who doesn’t want to appear 10 years younger?

It’s true you spend hours revamping your resume, researching the company and practicing your selling points, but if your outward appearance does not reflect your energy and enthusiasm about the position, chances are someone else’s will. The right outfit can increase your confidence and make a lasting first impression.

The word “fashion” can be intimidating, but what you are really trying to do is update your personal style, not look like a runway model. If you like classic cuts and play-it-safe solids, then stick to what you are comfortable with; just focus on finding a modern cut and a flawless fit. Have a penchant for flair? Try wearing interesting shapes and statement accessories.

Topics: Interviewing, Job Search

How to answer the ‘Tell me about yourself’ interview question

Posted by Guest Contributor

May 01, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Don’t be afraid of this question; instead use it as an opportunity to position yourself for success.

By Lee E. Miller

Interview_SkippyWhen I was a human resources executive doing hiring interviews, I almost always began my interviews with candidates by requesting, “Tell me about yourself.” I did that for a number of reasons, the most important of which was to see how the candidates handled themselves in an unstructured situation.

I wanted to see how articulate they were, how confident they were and generally what type of impression they would make on the people with whom they came into contact on the job.

I also wanted to get a sense of what they thought was important.

Most candidates find this question to be a particularly difficult one to answer. That is a misplaced view. This question offers an opportunity to describe yourself positively and focus the interview on your strengths. Be prepared to deal with it. These days, it’s unavoidable. Like me, most interviewers start off their interviews with this question. A lot of interviewers open with it as an icebreaker or because they're still getting organized, but they all use it to get a sense of whom you are.

Topics: Interviewing

The most important two minutes of your job interview

Posted by Amanda Augustine

April 29, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

You only get one first impression. Make it count with these job-search tips.

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This Saturday marks the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby; the “fastest two minutes in sports.” On that day, approximately twenty Thoroughbreds will race down one and a quarter miles of track at Churchill Downs, each competing for a piece of the multi-million dollar purse and a chance to be draped in a blanket of roses at the winner’s circle.

When a race is so short, every second counts. The smallest slipup out of the gates can destroy your chances of victory. The same can be said of the interview process. While an interview will certainly last longer than two minutes, the first few minutes of an interview can set the tone for the entire meeting. As Will Rogers once said, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” [Tweet this]

With that in mind, here are some job-search tips to ensure your interview begins on the right foot.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing

10 questions to ask a recruiter (and 1 to avoid)

Posted by Guest Contributor

April 17, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Are you so flattered when a recruiter rings you that you forget to ask them critical questions? Take this quiz to see if you’re covering your bases.

By Andrea Sobel

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Every once in a while, the phone rings, and it’s a recruiter on the other end. While you might not be interested in what he is offering, you have to admit that it’s flattering to get the call. (“Someone thinks I might be right for a job!”)

Once you get past the initial compliment, though, you have to get down to the serious business of determining if you are interested. The recruiter wants to know about you, but before you turn over your resume, there are things you should know about him.

Here are 10 questions to ask a recruiter and one question to avoid. See if you can figure out which is which. (Answer at bottom.)

Topics: Interviewing, Working with Recruiters