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Archive for the ‘Getting Hired’ Category

How to Answer Interview Questions If You Were Fired or Laid Off

Best Interview Answers if You Were Fired or Laid OffIf you were fired or laid off in your last position (or in recent years) you will almost certainly be asked about it in the interview. These can be difficult questions that can make even the strongest candidates stumble.

All you need to do is think about these questions ahead of time and prepare good, solid answers to their inevitable questions. Below are # questions you may be asked if you were terminated for whatever reason. Click on the question to go to the answer.

Discover the best answers to 202 tough job interview questions when you order How to Answer Interview Questions and How to Answer Interview Questions II, both available on Amazon.


Monday Motivator for Your Job Search – Know People

The secret of my success
is a two word answer:
Know people.

~ Harvey Firestone


Harvey Firestone (founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company) knew a thing or two about how to be successful.

People are important to our job search and career success--we learn from them, ask for favors (and grant them), make connections to others that we may otherwise never meet, and more. Never discount their importance to your success.

If you'd like some insights into how to easily cultivate those kinds of relationships that will benefit you throughout your career and life, check out my ebook on Amazon, Networking Effectively: How to Build Your Network for Career Success

Networking isn't always something we like to do, or remember to take the time to do, but it can be a lot easier than you think, and it will be worth the time you invest in it.


30-60-90-Day Plan Secures Job in Non-Profit

30 60 90 day plan for non profit job interviewMany job seekers mistakenly think that a 30-60-90-day plan can only help in sales job interviews--but that isn't true. We've seen people in education, healthcare, finance, accounting, administration, operations, engineering, project management, management and executive level roles, and so many more.

Today's success story is from someone who used the 30 60 90 day plan to secure a role in the non-profit world--and who used it in salary negotiations to receive a better offer:

Dear Peggy,

I'm writing to you today to let you know, and to let others who are looking for a great job know, that your 306090 works, and delivers results!  I'm so happy to report to you that the document I prepared using the 306090 day template worked fabulously. I used your technique to develop my 306090 for my non-profit world.  I'm sure that it was instrumental in the decision my (soon to be new) employer made about hiring me.  I'm also sure it helped me in my salary negotiations.  Thank you for such a great strategy and product.

My best to you,


Here is the 30-60-90-Day Plan that R.B. used:  30 60 90 Day Action Plan

We also offer plan templates and coaching for other needs:

30 60 90 Day Sales Plan

30 60 90 Day Plan for Managers

30 60 90 Day Plan for Executives

Get the best job offer possible with great negotiation tips - Jack Chapman Tells How to Make $1000 a Minute


How to Answer 5 Interview Questions You May Hear If You’re Over 50 (or 40)

how to answer interview questions you may hear if you are over 50If you're over 50 (or sometimes 40) in a job search, you may be asked interview questions that are indirectly related to your age. Employers are restricted in asking direct questions (because of anti-discrimination laws) but still have concerns about you, and try to address them in other ways.

Below are 5 questions you may be asked in a job interview. Click on the question to see the best answer.

Discover the best answers to 202 tough job interview questions when you order How to Answer Interview Questions and How to Answer Interview Questions II, both available on Amazon.

*If you are over 40, I encourage you to sign up for my free training webinar, 5 Simple Tips to Beat Age Discrimination and get the job offer!

Monday Motivator for Your Job Search – Help Someone

We can’t help everyone,
but everyone can help someone.

~ Ronald Reagan


Not only is this a great quote to remember in our everyday lives, it's great advice for our careers, too.

Mentoring is a wonderful thing you can provide for others. Lots of people need a mentor but are afraid to ask. When you mentor someone, not only are you helping them, you are developing leadership skills for yourself. If your company has a mentoring program, volunteer for it. If they don't, maybe you can start one.

Remember, mentoring doesn't have to be a formal event--it can just be lunch, coffee, or a quick phone call. What is really a small effort for you can turn out to be a big deal for someone else, and I think that will always come back to you in the end.

Want more motivation and encouragement? Come to one of our Free Online Job Search or Interview Training Webinars this week. I pack my webinars with top-notch tips, insights, and advice that will help you be more successful.  (Plus, we give free gifts for registering and attending each webinar.)

See what's on the schedule this week:  Career Confidential Free Training Webinars Page.


Interview Preparation with Total Access Coaching

TACIf you have interviewed and not gotten the job, it's easy to feel bad about yourself. However, in many cases, the problem isn't you--it's in how you prepare for the interview. Karen failed in 18 different interviews before she began preparing differently. With the right preparation, she did well in her next two interviews and she got the job offer.

I am happy to report that I have landed a job with the State of [name withheld], administrative support in the International Business Division.

Thank you for all of your support, encouragement, and for providing the tools necessary to put into the full-time search effort. I originally found Peggy's videos searching on You Tube. A month or so prior, I had blown a second interview on an inside sales position...the deer in the headlights syndrome for some of my behavioral interview answers. ...depressed about this for weeks, laying around in my PJ's, dazed and in a real funk. I finally got out of the pity party and found your videos, ultimately leading me to sign up for Total Access, which has really made a difference, and so worth the investment.

I feel so much more confidence and felt hope, that there would be light at the end of the tunnel. After almost a year of unemployment, the rejection can wear on you. I had 20 interviews over 11 months, but only felt I did a great job on the last 2 of them, thanks to my study of your materials. Attitude is everything! My resume was okay (it was generating interviews), but I did tweak it with more keywords based on your suggestions.

What really helped, was studying my answers to questions and practice. It's really amazing--you know yourself, but putting it into words when you're nervous and so much is on the line, is really difficult. It was nice to hear you say that I wasn't the only one that was having this difficulty.

Thank you again for all you do and sharing your knowledge. I will spread the word and share my good fortune of discovering you.

Best regards,

Karen P.

If you aren't doing as well as you'd like in your job interviews, I encourage you to do something different:

Best of luck!

How to Answer 13 Common Job Interview Questions

Monday Motivator for Your Job Search – Be Like George Foreman

That's my gift.
I let that negativity roll off me
like water off a duck's back.
If it's not positive, I didn't hear it.
If you can overcome that, fights are easy

~ George Foreman


I love this quote. There's a lot of negativity and rejection automatically built into job searching, and it can get you down if you aren't taking steps to counteract it.

Let job search negativity roll off you like water off a duck's back.  If one hiring manager doesn't have a job for you, move on to the next one.  If a situation seems negative, look for the positive--for instance, if you interview and don't get the job, ask the interviewer for any feedback they can give you and learn from it. Remember that you will be better and stronger from this experience moving forward. That is very positive.

Having said that, don't ignore rejections over and over again without doing something to correct whatever may be causing the problem. If your resume isn't getting interviews, find out how to improve your resume. If you aren't finding jobs that fit you, find out how to find hidden jobs. If  you are interviewing but not getting job offers, find out how to interview more effectively (and learn how to create a 30-60-90-Day Plan). You may want to work with an interview coach.

Remember to look at your job search like a field of stones. Under one of those stones is a job offer. If one stone isn't 'it,' simply move on to the next one.

Want more motivation and encouragement? Come to one of our Free Online Job Search or Interview Training Webinars this week. I pack my webinars with top-notch tips, insights, and advice that will help you be more successful.  (Plus, we give free gifts for registering and attending each webinar.)

See what's on the schedule this week:  Career Confidential Free Training Webinars Page.


Best Military to Civilian Job Search Tips

Veteran Job SearchIf you are active duty military or a veteran in a civilian job search, what are your biggest problems?

  • Finding enough opportunities
  • Finding the right opportunities that fit your skills
  • Some employers are wary about you and how you may relate and adapt to civilian work culture
  • Explaining your skills in a way that civilian employers see as valuable

These problems can get in the way even when you have true job skills and employers feel favorably about hiring veterans. This is why the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than average. Many a veteran has been passed over for jobs they were completely qualified for.

To overcome these issues and get good job offers, you need to...

Find More Opportunities

When you first begin job searching, you probably get on some kind of job board and look at listings. It looks like a lot at first, until you start narrowing it down to what fits you. What you're left with is a few jobs you can apply for. But guess what? For most people, it won't be enough. Very few of those online applications result in actual interviews (some say it's as low as 2% of applicants).

The big "secret" of job searching is that for every job you see listed, there's at least one more that isn't. That's the hidden job market. That's what you need to access in order to find the opportunities you need.

*See How to Find Unadvertised Jobs and Get Interviews.

Contact Hiring Managers Directly

You need to contact hiring managers directly, because applying online through HR departments won't cut it for you. This method doesn't work for anyone who isn't a letter-perfect fit for the job.

The most effective move any job seeker can make now is to stop applying for jobs online and instead go straight to the hiring manager. Very few online applications result in interviews (and this is true for everyone), so don't even waste your time. Think about what the job title of your potential boss would be, and look for people with those job titles at companies you're interested in and send them an email with your resume. 96% of executives say that contacting hiring managers gets more interviews.  It will probably take some research on your part, but your interviews will be worth it.

* See this video about How to Go Directly to the Hiring Manager to Land the Interview.

Have a Resume That Markets You

In today's job market, a resume that is only a job history won't get you the interviews you want. You need a resume that acts as a marketing document. It should 'sell' you for the job, and grab the attention of employers with a clear, strategically-written objective statement, bullet points, and quantification.

Communicate Effectively in the Interview

When you get the interview, you need to communicate in a way that helps them visualize you in the job. The very best way to do this is to bring a 30-60-90-Day Plan that shows how you would approach this job in the first 90 days. These plans take a lot of research to complete, but the effect on a hiring manager is huge.

30-60-90-Day Plans are the most effective interview tool for everyone from brand-new graduates to those with years of experience. The last time I was in a job search, my plans got my 5 job offers, and when I was a recruiter, I insisted that my candidates bring them, too (and they got hired at a very high rate).

* Find out more about 30 60 90 Day Plans and start creating yours for your interview.

Job Search Success for Active Duty Military and Veterans 

Because military folks (and their spouses, too) can have difficulty effectively communicating your value to employers and getting hired, we put together a targeted collection of tools especially for you called Mission: Transition.  It solves unique issues like job searching long-distance, translating military experience for civilian hiring managers (on resumes and in interviews), answering interview questions, 30-60-90-Day Plans, and more.

*See what's included - Mission: Transition.


Monday Motivator for Your Job Search – Educate Yourself

Formal education
will make you a living;
will make you a fortune.

~ Jim Rohn


I think that we all ought to keep learning, growing, and becoming more than we were before. The way to do this is to be constantly furthering our own education in whatever it is that we're working for.

If you're in a job search, it means you should make the effort to learn how to job search and to learn as much as you can about the company before you set foot into your first interview.

If you're already in your job, you need to be reading about your field, your competitors, trends, and how to be better at what you do. This is how you get chosen for raises, bonuses, recognition, and awards, and these are what propel you up the ladder to success.  Companies don't always provide opportunities for continuous learning or extra training, so this is something we need to take charge of ourselves.

If you're in a job search now, I encourage you to learn how to be better at your search (start by attending one of my free job search and interview training webinars this week). Learn how to research the company before your first interview and put all that into a 30-60-90-day plan.  Learn how to answer interview questions and negotiate a better salary.

Now and throughout your career: Get on LinkedIn and Twitter and follow thought leaders in your field. Read blogs and articles that make you better than you were before. Network continually to meet others that you can learn from. I wish you the best of luck!


Is the job search worse than boot camp?

Peggy McKee Job Search Interview CoachingFor active-duty military or veterans, a job search can be difficult.

Civilian employers don't always know what to make of your skills or experience. As a result, many extremely valuable people have been passed over for jobs. (Unemployment rate for vets is higher than average.)

We don't want that to happen to you. So...

Join me on Facebook for 4 Days of Live Streaming Job Search Tips to solve the biggest issues facing military veterans in the job search!

  • What does my resume need to show my value as an employee?Career Confidential on Facebook
    - Monday May 23 @ Noon (Central time)
  • Why can't I get an interview?
    - Tuesday May 24 @ 9 am (Central time)
  • How does LinkedIn fit into my job search? military to civilian job search
    - Wednesday May 25 @ 9 am (Central time) 
  • How can I show my true value in the interview and get the company to hire me?
    - Thursday May 26 @ 9 am (Central time) 

All on our Career Confidential Facebook Page!

These free talks are part of our special Memorial Day Promotion for Veterans:

Mission: Transition Memorial Day Sale

For a short time only, we are offering this collection of job-getting tools and coaching specifically for active duty military and military veterans at 80% off!

Be sure to check it out! See you on Facebook!

America's Job Openings Near Record High ... Great News, Except ...

America Job Skills GapMaybe you've seen the news that America's job openings are near a record high of 5.8 million (see this story from CNN Money).  That sounds like great news, but read on in that story and you'll see the catch: the job skills gap.
According to the article, employers are having a hard time finding people with the skills they want for the jobs they have open. Part of the problem is a real gap in the education needed for certain jobs, but for a lot of these jobs, employers' expectations are running a little too high. They want people who are ready to run on Day 1, who don't need any training in order to do the job. They got used to being able to ask for and get 'perfect' job candidates during the recession, and haven't all adjusted yet.

This is causing a problem for a lot of candidates. When you look at online job postings, you'll see a lot of overwhelming job requirements in their ads and think, "There's no way they'll look at me." If you respond to the posting and apply online so that your application goes to HR, that's probably true.  Now what?

If you know you can do the job even though you don't have all that the employer is asking for in an applicant, here's what you can do:

Monday Motivator for Your Job Search – Ask

If you don't ask, you don't get.

~ Stevie Wonder


This is a simple quote that tells it like it is. I like it because I work with job seekers all the time who are afraid to contact hiring managers directly to ask for an interview.

If you find yourself hesitating to take action, I want you to think about something:  What's the worst that can happen? The worst that can happen is that the answer will be 'no.'  That's it. It doesn't hurt you and it doesn't derail your career if they say no. The truth is that sometimes they will say yes.  If you don't ask, you don't get.

If you're willing but you're not quite sure how to get it done, get my Hidden Jobs Finder. It will tell you exactly how to find the job opportunities you need and what to say to hiring managers to get the interview.  You don't have to agonize over it. Just do it.

Want some motivation and encouragement? Come to one of our Free Online Job Search or Interview Training Webinars this week. I pack my webinars with top-notch tips, insights, and advice that will help you be more successful.  (Plus, we give free gifts for registering and attending each webinar.)

See what's on the schedule this week:  Career Confidential Free Training Webinars Page.


Monday Motivator for Your Job Search – Fan Possibility Into Achievement

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.

~ Golda Meir


How do you make the most of yourself and fan possibility into achievement? I think you do it by always investing in yourself--by reading books, talking to people, and doing the things that are difficult or that scare you a little.

Read books that sharpen your mind for work or for the things you need to do to open opportunities for yourself (like networking, job searching, leadership, management, etc.). Learn new things.

Talk to people around you (your network) and get a mentor or two to bounce ideas off of and learn from.

Do things that others won't do. Even if you only try or achieve 10% more than others, that still sets you apart.  Make the effort to find hidden jobs.  Create a brag book (and bring it to your interview). Bring a 30-60-90-Day Plan to your next interview.

Learn more and set yourself apart by coming to one of our Free Online Job Search or Interview Training Webinars this week. I pack my webinars with top-notch tips, insights, and advice that will help you be more successful.  (Plus, we give free gifts for registering and attending each webinar.)

See what's on the schedule this week:  Career Confidential Free Training Webinars Page.


Conference Call Monday - 5 Simple Tips to Beat Age Discrimination in Your Job Search

Peggy McKee Job Search Interview CoachingCall me Monday May 9th @ Noon (Central Time) for...

5 Simple Tips to Beat Age Discrimination in Your Job Search


- No sign up required - just show up!

 - Q&A time - bring your questions!

- Resume tips for those with 20+ years of experience!

- How to find jobs and get interviews!

- How to interview and get the offer!


How to Join the Conference Call

Simply dial in and enter your Participant Access number.
Dial-In Number:  Philadelphia, PA  +1 (267) 930-4000
Participant Access: 101-916

To join the conference from your iPhone, click this link:

To mute your line, press *#6 on your keypad.

Talk to you soon!