Job Search Series – Nailing the Interview – Part 6 – Those Sticky, Tricky Questions

Those Sticky, Tricky Interview Questions

 Why Should We Hire You?

This question has stymied many candidates. And it's not the only one. Recently, I had a conversation with career counselor Lyn Nelson, who enlightened me with her insight on the hot topic of interview questions. Today's post combines Lyn's insight with my experiences on both sides of the interview desk.

Job Search Series – Nailing the Interview – Part 5 – That First Impression

12 Hot Tips for Making A Show Stopper of a First Impression

Be Nice to the Receptionist (see Tip 6) and 11 Other Hot Tips

As we continue our Job Search Series after a break for National Etiquette Week and a guest post last week by fellow business etiquette authority John Daly, today’s focus is on providing a show-stopper first impression at the company to which you are interviewing.  Here are a dozen tips and reminders to help you dazzle your interviewer, and progress to the second interview -- or to the job:

Job Search Series – Nailing the Interview – Part 4 – What Men Should Wear

What Men Should Wear

Vestis virum facit.” ~ Erasmus (c. 1466-1536)

“What a strange power there is in clothing.”
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991)

Regardless of the century in which one has lived clothes have always been important to a man’s image. Erasmus and Singer both recognized the authority and influence that dressing well commands. (I recently discovered that it was Erasmus, not Mark Twain, who first uttered the famous sentiment about clothes making the man!)

Job Search Series – Nailing the Interview – Part 3 – What Women Should Wear

What Women Should Wear

“Good clothes open all doors.” ~ Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) 

"Dress shabbily and they remember the dress;
dress impeccably and they remember the woman."
~ Coco Chanel (1883-1971) 

Thomas Fuller and the great Coco Chanel were right. There's no question of the importance of clothes to one’s image, no matter your age or the circumstances. It's no different in the workplace, where your brand will help you to gain respect, admiration and career advancement. There are few more important occasions when the way you dress will help determine your future than the job interview. Consequently, an investment of thought, time and a little money will be essential to your success.

Job Search Series – Nailing the Interview – Part 2 – Prep

Interview Prep

“One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” – Arthur Ashe

In a recent poll of chief financial officers nearly half said that job candidates make the most mistakes during the interview. Swell, you say, just what I needed to hear. But, you needn’t worry; if you adopt the tips and techniques offered in this Job Search Series, you’ll be better prepared -- and increase your confidence -- to nail the interview.

Job Search Series – Nailing the Interview – Part 1 – Types of Interviews

Types of Interviews

“Besides getting several paper cuts in the same day or receiving the news that someone in your family has betrayed you to your enemies, one of the most unpleasant experiences in life is a job interview.” ~Lemony Snicket

It is my hope that Mr. Snicket will read the next few blog posts along with you so that he, too, might gain some snippets of advice that will help smooth the way to the job interview process. 

Let's start by taking a look at the various types of interviews you can expect to come across: 

Job Search Series – Telling Your Story


"You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you
 had to overcome to reach your goals." ~ Booker T. Washington

An important element of your communications strategy is to identify and demonstrate to others your ability to get the job done through stories about your accomplishments.  Employers, as well as recruiters and others who can connect you to employers, want to know about your problem-solving, leadership and team building skills and these can aptly be portrayed through stories that may be told at job interviews as well as -- when appropriate -- networking events, casual conversations and correspondence (cover letters, follow up thank-you letters, etc.). 

Job Search Series – Reduce Stress

"That the birds of worry and care fly above your head,
this you cannot change.
But that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent."
Chinese Proverb

It seems that we humans have an ongoing struggle to reduce stress in our lives. But whether we are coping with our work, social or private lives we can take steps to reduce stress, or as the Proverb says, keep those blasted worry birds out of our hair. 

But, first we should differentiate between chronic stress, which is the kind we wish to lessen, and acute stress, which might not be so bad for us. Studies have shown that the latter in small periodic doses of stress might actually be good for us, boosting our brain cells, focus, memory and resistance to disease. Acute stress comes in handy when cramming for an exam or meeting another deadline, focusing in an emergency, coping with a difficult situation or job hunting.

Dining Etiquette Series – Napkin Etiquette

“When the candidate sat down, he did not remove
the table napkin throughout the entire lunch.” 

A number of years ago, Seattle Times business reporter Stanley Holmes wrote an article on the importance of business etiquette, and he included this example: “A comptroller at a big company was instructed to take a job candidate to a lunch and offer him a $100,000 public relations job. The candidate had won the job but did not yet know it. When the candidate sat down, he did not remove the table napkin throughout the entire lunch. He was not offered the position. The comptroller reasoned that the man had no business serving as the company's public relations manager if he did not have the basic elements of table etiquette down.”

Today, employers are sitting down with job candidates at meals much more frequently in order to assess their dining etiquette skills. So that you don’t miss an opportunity because of a mishandled napkin, this week’s post is devoted to important etiquette topic.

A New Year – A New Start – Dining Etiquette Series

New Year’s Resolution: Perfect Your Dining Etiquette

To start out the New Year, in a series of posts I’ll be addressing a subject that is essential to the success of every professional – dining etiquette.  In fact, this is such an important topic and of great interest to students and young professionals that in 2013 I will be concentrating on this topic, as well as networking techniques, in my PROWESS Workshops