Job interview answers that make hiring managers sit up and take notice of you are ones that clearly show how you will be a benefit to the company. With that in mind, here are 9 links to answers in my How to Answer Interview Questions Series that will especially help you grab that attention—and the offer.
Click the links to go to detailed answers for each interview question.
Tell me about yourself– your answer here sets the tone for the entire interview and gives them a succinct framework for why you would be a great hire.
The more we learn, the more we can do. The more we do, the better we are at whatever it is. We get faster, stronger, and better.
I think that we should always be learning and growing as much as we can--not just in the skills that may make you great at your job, but in the things that will help you long-term in your career: networking, marketing yourself, and reaching for new opportunities.
It can be hard to get started, but once you do, it gets easier.
I want to encourage you to take action this week. Make that phone call. Talk to that person. Send your resume to that hiring manager. Learn how to market yourself, even if it means working with a career coach.
This is a great story. TJ wowed them so much that a hard-to-get-into company searched to find just the right position for him. Congratulations, TJ!
I wanted to tell Peggy McKee a thousand thank yous.
Even though I narrowly lost out on the position I interviewed for, they were [so] impressed with the answers I gave based on her advice that they searched to find a position for me. I wound up getting a different, equally exciting job offer with the same company (who are hard to get into to).
Have you ever noticed that when you start your day with a plan, a goal, or a schedule, you get more done than on days you don't? In a job search, it's all too easy to get distracted by home things, spend too much time surfing the web for job listings, or even just making "just one more" tweak to your resume before you send it out.
Take control of your time while you're in your job hunt. Set measurable goals for yourself:
"I will spend an hour brushing up on my job search or interview skills by attending a webinar"
It's important to send out the best resume possible, but at some point you have to take a breath and send it. Make a plan for concrete, measurable activities that will move you forward in your search.
Don't spend 8 hours a day on job search activity. Instead, spend 4-6 hours on it and then take a break. Take care of yourself. Get a workout. Visit friends. Read a great book. Volunteer. Do something fun. Plan these things into your day. There's a lot of rejection built into any job search, and these things will keep your spirits up, help you feel better, and boost your confidence.
Make a plan for every day this week. Take control of your time, and you'll be more productive.
In job interviews, employers will be very interested to know how you will plan to approach the job if they hire you. The best way to answer that question is with a 30-60-90-Day Plan.
Jeanne was having a lot of trouble landing a job offer (lots of applications, lots of interviews). She knew she needed help to land the job offer, so for her next interview, she got my 30 60 90 Day Sales Plan. See what happened:
Hello Peggy! I just wanted to let you know my results from using your 30 60 90 day sales plan. ...I moved from NJ to AZ [but] I didn't have a job waiting for me here and thought it would be easy to get a job once I got here. Well, turned out to be the exact opposite.
Fast forward almost five months, after countless online applications and interviews that I never heard anything back from, I was contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn about a job that sounded amazing! My confidence [was] now a bit shaken and deep down I had some insecurities that I was never going to get this job.
I had a phone interview with the recruiter (who works for the employer) and took an online assessment and made it to my first in-person interview with the hiring manager. The interview went great!
As we wrapped up he said we are going to have another interview and I want you to be able to tell me in our next meeting how you plan on tackling this job. I really wanted this job so I started researching online and came across your web site. After watching any video that was available on you and the 30 60 90 day plan, I knew I needed you. Let me also say that since I have been without a job for so long, money was super tight! I knew I couldn't afford not to spend the money on this. I was going to do whatever I had to do to nail this interview.
With the help of your site, I put together my 30 60 90 day sales plan. At my next interview, when the hiring manager asked if I had given any thought as to how I would tackle the job and when I responded with "well yes I have. I have prepared a 90 day plan that I would love to share with you" the look on his face was priceless!! He was not expecting this Peggy!!! I was so prepared for this interview with my written plan and with your guidance on how to present it. The interview went amazing. I was offered the job within 24 hours.
I can't thank you enough. What valuable information you pass along to job seekers. I start my new job on [date removed] and know I have you to thank. I thought you may like to hear my story and how the 30 60 90 day sales plan worked for me.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words...this one shows you how your job search works and why it's so important to reach out to as many people as you can and contact hiring managers by the hundreds. (Thanks for the pic, Gregory Winkeleer!)
The more people you put into the top of your funnel, the more job offers you'll end up with.
How can you throw as many people as possible into your jobs funnel?
Here's a quote to help you get your swagger on in your job search this week: "Either I will find a way, or I will make one." This is a great thing to say to yourself as you contact our network, contact hiring managers to get an interview, or before you go to the interview.
Remember that knowledge is power...learn what you need to in order to make things happen.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
~ Helen Keller
Life is a mental game that no one prepares you for. The only way to approach it is with a positive outlook. If you are negative, you are killing yourself. You need a positive inner dialogue (how you talk to yourself) to achieve the things you need to achieve. A positive outlook keeps you from depression, boosts your immune system, makes you better at your job, and makes you happier. If you need a little help to get to a more positive mental place, I recommend that you read the book Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin Seeligman.
As you approach your job search this week, expect good things to happen. Remember the times you felt the best or strongest in your career, and try to feel that feeling again before you call a hiring manager, reach out to your network, or go to an interview. If you need help, look through your brag book (another good use for a collection of your successes). Also, check out How to Stay Motivated for Your Job Search.
I would also encourage you to come to one of our Free Job Search or Interview Training Webinars this week. I get a lot of feedback from job seekers who say these help them feel more positive, more confident, and more energized--both from the tone and from the wealth of tips and advice they get to help them be more successful. (Plus, we give free gifts for registering and attending each webinar.)
There is no such thing as a failed test.
You will learn every time
you challenge yourself.
~ Marsha Blackburn
I love this quote, and I hope that it inspires you this week. Some people don't try because they are afraid to fail; but if you can learn something from the experience, you are better and stronger than you were before. And you are much better off than the person who didn't try at all.
See what an HR manager thinks of Career Confidential's webinars, insights, and advice for getting hired:
I was a recent participant on your webinars and took copious notes on many of your interview techniques. As an HR manager, I was aware of and agreed with your approach and expectations. Although I knew what to expect and how to interview, your comments gave me a fresh perspective and reminded me of things I had forgotten. I brought these back into practice and I was able to sell myself extremely well in my following phone screen interviews. My first face to face following the screen resulted in an offer for my dream job!
Thanks so much for your insight. I am a great believer in that regardless of our position we can always take something away from a workshop that will prove to be valuable. You provided that value for me. I am very grateful for your assistance.
What can we learn from this?
(1) No matter how experienced you are in your career, you can always be refreshed in your interview skills and even learn something new.
(2) You can get your dream job in one interview, if you interview well enough.
The task of finding your next job can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you don’t go about it the right way. While working with the best resume writing services and creating a solid executive LinkedIn profile can go a long way toward making you attractive to prospective employers, it’s important to learn how to walk the fine line between looking desperate and showing determination.
You spend a lot of time creating your resume so it seems like a lot of work to customize it to every employer you are considering. This can lead you to send out a mass resume mailing to every job you want. Unfortunately, sending carbon copies of your resume to every potential employer can actually cause you to lose your chance at the job. Instead, you need to do your research on every company you are considering and make minor adjustments that reflect the company philosophy and the exact requirements of the job to which you are applying. Read more...
The classic dilemma for career changers and new graduates is this: Employers want someone with experience (because they want proven ability), but you can't get experience unless you can get a job. So how can you show them you have the ability and get the job offer even when you don't have the actual experience of doing the job?
This was a question I recently received in one of the group coaching calls we have as a part of our Total Access Coaching Club, and I wanted to share it with you.
Here's the answer:
To convey ability without actual experience, the most important thing you can do is to provide them with a forward-looking document that shows what you would do in the job.
Present this document in the interview and communicate to them that “this is what I will do in the first 90 days of this job.”
When you create and present this document to them, you'll be demonstrating your ability to do the job without experience because you’ll be talking about key pieces of the job that you’ll execute on. They’ll be asking you questions and you’ll be answering them. Through your ability to answer those questions, through your ability to present that plan of what you can do and show them the insight you’re going to have in this job, you will convey your ability to do this job without experience.
I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars:
I look around for 1-foot bars
that I can step over.
~ Warren Buffett
It's clear that Warren Buffett knows a thing or two about success, as the world's most successful investor. How can we apply his thoughts on success to your job search?
Finding Jobs and Getting Interviews
7-Foot Bar: Applying Online
When you apply online for a listed job, you are fighting for attention among dozens (if not hundreds) of job seekers. That's a huge obstacle for you, and it makes it almost impossible to get an interview.
Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments
you make the better.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
All of the stress and tension of a job search can make you hesitate to step out of the box and do something different than others are doing--at the same time, we all know how important it is to stand out from other job seekers so you get noticed, get the interview, and get hired.
To be clear, there are some things you don't want to 'experiment' with in a job search--don't send your resume out on florescent pink paper, and don't show off your tap dancing skills in the interview.
You can be completely professional and appealing to employers by doing a couple of things that are new to you but are working for thousands of job seekers.
(1)Don't be intimidated by the HR machine that says, "Fill out this form and don't call us--we'll call you." First of all, MAYBE they'll call you. Most of the time, they don't. How many times have you filled out online applications and heard nothing? Probably a lot--that's true for most people. Not only are you missing out on hidden jobs that aren't posted right now, you are making yourself a number in their system instead of a face in front of the hiring manager.
To get interviews consistently, you need to contact hiring managers directly with your resume. Sometimes they'll ask you in for an interview. Sometimes they'll say, "You need to fill out HR's application." Even if that happens, you are still in a better position, because now they know you're there, and that you're someone who actively pursues success.
See my proven system to find hidden jobs and contact hiring managers with exactly the right thing to say:Hidden Jobs Finder.
(2)Show up at your first interview with a 30-60-90-Day Plan that outlines how you will approach this job in the first 3 months.
In your interviews, go the extra mile and create a 30 60 90 Day Plan. It takes some time and effort to make one, especially before you've spoken to them at all about the job--but it can be done and you will stand head and shoulders above other candidates who didn't work this hard before their interview. You will be better-prepared for the conversation and for their interview questions.
Get a perfect 30-60-90-Day Plan Template and Coaching: