8 tips for giving thanks after an interview

Posted by Amanda Augustine

November 21, 2012 @ 02:00 AM

Set yourself apart by sending an effective, value-add thank you message after each interview. 

Thank YouQ: I've been interviewing a lot but I'm not getting the position. Any suggestions?   - Lana W. of Cincinnati, OH

A: I know it’s hard to stay positive, but the fact that you’re landing interviews is a good sign! This means your resume and online presence are sending the right signals to recruiters and hiring managers. Now all you need to do is brush up on those interviewing skills and your follow-up approach. 

Preparation is key for a successful interview. Research the company’s business on their corporate website and through sites like Hoovers and Yahoo! Finance. Set up a Google News Alert in the days leading up to the interview to stay on top of relevant industry and company news. Additionally, learn as much as you can about the company culture by talking to contacts who’ve worked at the company and by going to sites like Glassdoor and Vault.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing

How to pitch your value: Dissecting the elevator pitch

Posted by Amanda Augustine

November 14, 2012 @ 02:00 AM

Develop a strong elevator pitch that highlights your key skill sets, passions, and job goals.


Q: How do you implement the correct pitch with the right words that describe me and my skills?  - Gregory R. 

A: When you think about it, an elevator pitch is just one of the many methods you’ll use to communicate your personal brand to a potential employer.

As a job seeker, you instantly become a sales and marketing professional. You are now in the business of marketing your skills and expertise to people connected to your target job. Your messaging needs to be consistent across all of your branding channels, your resumecover letter, and online profiles; what you say when networking; and how you respond to questions in an interview

By taking the time to go through this exercise and craft your pitch, you will be better prepared to communicate your value through every phase of the job search.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Networking, Personal Branding

How to respond to the question, “What are your salary requirements?”

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 23, 2012 @ 09:58 PM

Research the going rate for your target job now so you're prepared to answer salary requirement questions during the interview. 

Question_MarkQ: When asked about my salary requirements, I never know what to say. If I say a low figure, they have no reason to offer more money. If I give a figure that’s too high, they may disregard me as a candidate. What’s the right response? – Deb H.

A: The first rule of salary negotiation is to avoid discussing numbers until the company has extended an offer. This is when you have the most power to negotiate. But as any job seeker will tell you, this is no simple feat. Recruiters typically try to pull this information out of you as early as the initial phone screen, if they didn’t already request your salary requirements as part of the application process.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Salary & Negotiation

Job search lessons learned from the politicians [Infographic]

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 23, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

We’re a mere two weeks away from the Presidential election. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing a commercial or news report related to a national or local candidate.

Regardless of your political beliefs, running for office is very similar to running a job search, and there’s a lot we can learn from our politicians regarding how to act while campaigning. In today’s economy, skill and experience alone don’t guarantee a job – you need to be likeable. As a job candidate, you need to evaluate your own image and communication skills. Tailor your approach with prospective employers to win their votes, and ultimately, the job offer.

Here are 5 simple tips to help you run your job search like you’re running for office:

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Networking, Job Search

How to choose the right references for your job search

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 16, 2012 @ 11:50 PM

What every job seeker should do when identifying and prepping job references.


Q: How can you ask your immediate supervisor or manager (who knows the most about your work and skills) to be your reference when you are secretly looking for another job?  Thanks.  – K.T.

A: In a perfect world, we would all have very good relationships with our bosses, openly communicate with one another and be able to let that person know we’re looking for work while still employed at the company.

Unfortunately, not everyone works in a place where they could tell their boss they’re looking for new work, and still maintain that job during the search. The reality is that if you’re conducting a confidential job search while employed, you most likely won’t be able to use your immediate supervisor as a reference.

So let’s talk about what any job seeker – regardless of their current employment status – should do when identifying and prepping references for the job search.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing

In the job search & over 50: Part III of III

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 05, 2012 @ 08:30 AM

The third and final article in a three-part series on conducting a job search later in life.

TheLadders_Age_Discrimination_InterviewAge discrimination doesn’t disappear once you’ve made it to the interviewing phase with a job opportunity. Read on for tips to help you maneuver around interview questions designed to reveal your age.


Before you head into an interview, do your research.  Visit Vault, Glassdoor and the company’s employment page on the web to get a better sense of the company culture. If you have any connections to the company, reach out to them for an informational interview to help you prepare. Depending on the company, you may need to adjust your interview wardrobe. For instance, if you walked into an interview at Google wearing a full suit and tie, you would look out of place.  Set a Google News Alert for the company in the days leading up to the interview so you stay up-to-date with relevant news.

Know your rights. There are certain questions that are off-limits – including those about your age. Oftentimes the interviewer isn’t aware of these laws, and is naively trying to break the ice by asking about your family, which may lead to inappropriate questions. In these cases, the best thing to do is redirect the question back to the interviewer. For instance, if they ask about your marital status, you can reply by saying, “It sounds like family is important to you. Are you married?” You’ve kept up the friendly chitchat without having to divulge any information about your personal life.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing

How to sell yourself without being too “salesy”

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 29, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Prepare for behavioral interview questions using the STAR Method.

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Q: What are you selling when you are at an interview?  What is a single sentence that one can convey what you are selling? - Brandon L. of Daly City, CA

How do you prove yourself to be capable during a job interview?  You don't want to over sell yourself which would end up sounded like a sales pitch, but at the same time how do you get the balance to be practical but proven and determinant? - Karen I. of San Ramon, CA

A: What I really think you’re asking is how to not come off sounding like a used car salesman. You’re going to sell yourself in an interview, but no one wants to sound cheesy or cliché.

To do this right, I recommend using what is known as a “value-based” or “needs-based” selling approach. Basically this means you shouldn’t go into an interview and rattle off everything that’s great about you. You want to position your abilities as the answer to their current challenges or needs.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Networking, Personal Branding

Scam artists take advantage of job seekers

Posted by Paige Tintle

August 02, 2012 @ 11:04 AM

Job seekers, beware! Scam artists who prey on those stuck in a tough job market.

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While the U.S. may very well be on the upswing following a recession, financial analysts and news organizations agree we will still feel the consequences for many years to come.

“It often takes time for the effects of a recession — or its end — to trickle down to everyday people's lives,” said Lynn Miori, a certified public accountant with KMH Wealth Management in an article for the Victoria Advocate. And while the economy might still be lagging for much of the US, for scammers business is booming.

Con artists are smart, they follow headlines about the economy and the job market, and sometimes they prey on job seekers looking to make a living. One unlikely, but highly publicized job scam of 2010 involves the U.S. government.

People posing as government recruiters approach job seekers and offer them government jobs. As part of the “recruiting process” the scam artists take personal information and sometimes even processing fee money from eager job hunters in exchange for a job. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says beware of these people.

Topics: Interviewing, Job Search

Follow up letter after a job interview

Posted by Paige Tintle

August 01, 2012 @ 11:49 AM

Sending a follow-up letter after a job interview is vital and could mean the difference between getting hired or not.

Topics: Interviewing, Job Search

How do I nail the next interview round?

Posted by Amanda Augustine

July 24, 2012 @ 10:09 PM

You nailed the first interview - now what? How to prepare for subsequent interview rounds.


Q: Could you please share with me the best things to remember going into an interview? I've had 3 face-to-face, and feel like the one coming up next week is the one! - Ron D., Lakeview, NY

A: Congratulations Ron, it sounds like your job search is going well. Many people struggle with maintaining momentum throughout the interview process. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your final interview rounds.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing