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Archive for the ‘Interviewing Skills and Tips’ Category

Writing an Action Plan for Your Job Interview

canstockphoto7926879The best tool you could ever bring to any job interview is an action plan for how you would attack the job and be successful in it.  Writing an action plan shows who you are and what you can do in a substantial way, and makes you stand head and shoulders above those who did not write their own plan.

How do you write an action plan?

Just like with any big goal, the best place to start is to break it down in to smaller, more specific goals.  So, with an action plan for the first 90 days on the job, you'd break it up into smaller sections:  the first 30 days, the next 30 days (60 day) and the last 30 days (90 day).

Then you'd think about what specifically you'd need to take action on in each of those time frames.

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Job Interview Question – Sample Sales Strategy

interview (7)Got a sales job interview coming up?  Get ready to talk about your sales strategy.  Giving the interviewer a sample sales strategy is a great way to demonstrate how you will operate on the job.

When you are asked about a sample sales strategy, it will likely come in some version of the classic challenge:  "Sell me this pen."  This is a role-playing exercise that many sales managers love as a part of their job interview questions.  After all, there's no better way to see how you sell than to see how you sell.

There are a lot of opinions (ahem...) about this issue, but I will tell you that as a sales recruiter, I can ask this of my candidates and tell what someone's skills are like, or if they are missing skills using this strategy.  So this is very valuable to hiring managers, so expect that you may be asked to role-play a sales scenario.

No matter what they ask you to 'sell' to them, the principles and the strategy are the same--just use the same principles you would use in any sales process. I am a big fan of SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham.  SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implications, Need-payoff.

So...I might say something like,

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Best Words to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

wordsThe words you use to describe yourself in the job interview should be as strategically chosen as any job interview answer you give. Every word you use in the job interview should work for you to sell you for the job.

What are great words to describe yourself in a job interview?

  • Dynamic – this says that you can change and adapt in order to succeed
  • Successful – if you are successful in some areas, chances are you’ll be successful in others
  • Strategic – you can make good decisions with the big picture in mind
  • Motivated – great for sales positions
  • Creative – this is a must for creative-type jobs, of course, but also good for companies that need problem-solvers
  • Focused – you don’t get distracted by unnecessary or unhelpful things
  • Organized – organized means you are in control and things happen the way they are supposed to
  • Enthusiastic -  this means you will also be motivated to work hard and well
  • Valuable – this is a great lead-in for some way you have made or saved money for your previous employers

Think about what qualities you possess that would be especially valuable for this job, and point those out in your interview.

For more words to describe yourself in a job interview, see these posts:

How to Answer Interview Questions Q69 – What makes you unique?

How to Answer Interview Questions Q41 – Tell me about yourself.

How to Answer Interview Questions Q7 - Describe yourself to me in one word.

 

90 Day Interview Plan

Businesswoman Interviewing Male Candidate For JobA 90 Day Interview Plan is also known as a 90-Day Plan, a Business Plan, or a 30-60-90-Day Plan. Whatever you call it, the point is that it’s a plan—a plan for how you will attack your new job in the first 90 days of employment. Having a plan, or a strategy, in place helps you show your true value to a potential employer.

Why does a 90 Day Interview Plan give you a better interview?

Discussing your plan with the interviewer goes much deeper than standard interview questions and answers. It helps them “see” you in the job and shows them who you really are and what you can do to benefit their company. It’s one of the best interview tools to enhance your communication (which is what interviews are all about).

What’s in a 90 Day Interview Plan?

The easiest way to create a plan is to subdivide it into 3 sections:

  • First 30 Days – This usually consists of getting familiar with the company and all the details of your new job. You’ll meet your co-workers, counterparts, customers, and support departments. You’ll organize yourself and get situated before you can be effective in your job.
  • Second 30 Days (60 Days) – This is when you get more involved in the details…become more active, make evaluations of your actions so far, and get feedback.
  • Last 30 Days (90 Days) – By now, you should be on your own…implementing changes, beginning projects, generating ideas, going after new customers, etc.

How to Create a 90 Day Interview Plan

Every plan should be customized for the job you’re interviewing for, and each section should be at least a page long. If you can do this on your own, that’s great. If you know you need help creating a job-winning 90 Day Interview Plan, get my proven 30-60-90-Day Plan with template, samples, and coaching. It will be the best move you can make before your next interview.

Perfect Interview Answers Free Training Webinar

Did you know that employers are listening for certain words, phrases, and concepts in your interview answers? If you don’t say what they want to hear, you won’t get the job.

In this webinar, you will learn perfect interview answers you can adapt for any job in any field.

These answers are the “magic words” that will unlock job offers for you. You will learn:

  • Perfect answers for the 4 most common interview questions
  • How to make them want to offer you the job
  • How to relieve the hiring manager’s 4 secret fears about you
  • An interview technique that will make them beg to hire you

Don’t go to another interview without this information!

Register Here

Crazy Interview Questions – If You Were a Car…

Job Interview Question:  If you were a car, which one would you be?

Yes, job interviewers have actually asked this question.  If they ask you, what will you say?

I recently posted this on Facebook and got some great answers that I wanted to share with you:

I was asked that as part of cheer tryouts in middle school. Of course I said a Shelby Mustang. No explanation needed! Lol

An SUV: one that could carry everyone, be very dependable, and be the one to have in event of a crash

Answer a question with a question - Where would I be used and what is my purpose? Clarify the purpose behind the question...
I would say a Toyota Sienna minivan...lol...safe, reliable, and practicle. Ok, I wouldn't get the job either because I am too boring.

 

Check out my Facebook page to see more great answers....

 

 

’30-60-90-Day Action Plan Made Me Stand Out and Get the Offer’

iStock_000017862376SmallI received this great letter from Stephanie about how the 30-60-90-Day Action Plan helped her shine in her phone interview and face-to-face interviews and beat out 3 internal candidates for the job!

Hi Peggy,

I wanted to take a few moments to compliment you on the 30-60-90 Day Action Plan... Last month, I used them to prepare for a series high profile [face-to-face] interviews.

[I first had a phone screen.]  After receiving feedback on my phone screen, the interview panel said that I did not distinguish myself from the other candidates in the pool. Once I heard this... I was on a mission!

I...decided to sign up for Career Confidential and download the [30-60-90-Day Action Plan] tools (Word doc and [PowerPoint] template).  I thought I knew how to do an action plan - was I wrong! ;) Your course and tools made me even more confident during my [2nd] phone discussion with the hiring manager. I was very capable in discussing my specific plan if I were given the job assignment tomorrow. And he bought!

As a result, I was invited to participate in 8 F2F interviews with 3 VPs, 3 Directors, and 2 Sr. Managers. With your help... I delivered! I could tell that each panel member was very interested in my thought process and was very impressed that I had given great thought to my action plan for the first 30-60-90 days. Apparently, the other candidates did not have an Action Plan. Following my interviews with the Leadership team, I had a 3 1/2 hour lunch with the hiring manager. His first question was, "Tell me, how did you prepare for this interview?"

He was blown away by my in-depth review of the job and what would be needed to on-board the new hire quickly. And get this... I am an external candidate and the competition was three internal candidates!

I am very happy to report that yesterday afternoon, I received a phone call with their intent to move forward with me and they will have a job offer in my hands tomorrow! I can't believe this all took place in less than 4 weeks! Thank you!!!

Now, since I have to negotiate the salary, I will be checking out your course on this topic tomorrow. ;) [Salary Negotiating]

Thanks again for your awesome videos and practical tools needed to shine during interviews. Well done!

Sincere regards,

Stephanie T.

Please notice this about Stephanie...in her first phone interview, she was good, but she did not stand out.  The only thing she did differently was to add a 30-60-90-Day Plan to her interview preparation and conversation.  The plan made an enormous difference for Stephanie and ended up getting her the offer, even over 3 internal candidates.

If you are doing well in interviews, but not getting the offer, I encourage you to create a 30-60-90-Day Action Plan for your next interview so that you can get the offer, too.

 

Job-Winning Interview Answers About Your Greatest Accomplishments

The toughest job interview questions are often those that require us to tell about our greatest accomplishments. First, you have to know what those are--which ones will be impressive to the hiring manager? Next, you need to be prepared to explain those achievements. They want to know details.

In the video below, I will give you a very easy way to prepare interview answers that will get you the offer.

If you want more help, see my blog series, How to Answer Interview Questions. You'll see detailed examples for 101 tough job interview questions.

Monday Motivator for your Job Search and Interviews- Find Solutions

 

Flower

Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.
- Robert H. Schuller

 

What problems are you facing in your job search? Whatever it is, I want you to realize today that this problem shouldn't hold you back--it should teach you something that helps you be more and better than you are now.

If you can't find the right jobs, it doesn't mean they aren't there. It means you need to find them in the hidden job market, which accounts for at least 70% of all available jobs).

If you have submitted your resume 437 times and can't get an interview, it doesn't mean you don't deserve an interview. It probably means that you haven't presented yourself properly with your resume. I've seen it over and over again...job seekers who redo their resumes in the right way (adding numbers often does the trick) start getting interviews immediately. Or, not getting interviews may mean that your resume isn't getting delivered to the right person. To get an interview, your future boss (the hiring manager) needs to see your resume. Submitting your resume online sends it to HR, and they may not send it to the hiring manager for you. To make sure it gets to the hiring manager, you need to contact them yourself. (Learn how to contact hiring managers.)

If you get interviews but not offers, it doesn't mean you're not qualified. It means that you aren't interviewing well--and that's a skill you can easily learn. Check out my blog series, How to Answer Interview Questions. Learn to create a 30-60-90-day plan. Both of these will guarantee you a better interview than what you are experiencing now.

If you let a problem be a stop sign, it will keep you in your job search for months, or even years. If you use it as a guideline to adjust your actions, you will find the path to success. Best of luck!

 

Stay-at-Home-Mom (18 Years) Gets Sales Job!

portrait of a strong business womanHave you been out of the work force for a while? This mom was home for 18 years, but she landed the job by "over-preparing" for her interviews and bringing a 30-60-90-Day Plan.

Peggy and Career Confidential,

Thank you for contributing to my success in closing the sale. In my first phone interview, I used many of your suggestions outlined in your "Interview Preparation Guide" and was OVER PREPARED for the call! Next, I used your template for a 30/60/90 Day Sales Plan and customized it in the in-person interview with the hiring manager.. she was so impressed that she told me that she was going to present it in her team sales meeting the next day!!!

For the third interview, I customized a PowerPoint presentation for the panel Mock CIO Sales call that I put together from the "Interview Preparation Guide" again. And finally, on the fourth interview over the phone with the Regional VP of Sales, he was so excited, he welcomed me to the team! Later that afternoon, the hiring manager sent me an email saying, "She just had to laugh, she didn't expect him to 'make the offer', but figured that she nailed it again!"

Peggy, I have been a stay at home Mom for 18 years after a successful 7 year sales career with IBM and have been searching for a job for 8 months!!

I am excited to begin my new career in sales next Monday! Thank you for your expertise and materials to provide the resources I needed to close the sale and get the job!

Regards,

DeAnne J.

DeAnne was able to go back to the same career she left 18 years before simply by learning how to interview very well (she used the Job Interview Prep Kit and the 30-60-90-Day Sales Plan).  Someone else might have given up after being out so long and coming back to the job market at her age (well over 40), but DeAnne brought her A game and got the job!  Way to go, DeAnne!

If DeAnne can do it, you can do it, too.  Get my free Job Interview Prep Kit and your own 30-60-90-Day Sales Plan today.

7 Ways a 30-60-90-Day Plan Gets You the Job

Handshake between businessman and businesswomanWhat is a 30-60-90-Day Plan?

A 30-60-90-day plan is a written outline of what you will do as an employee within the first 3 months of your new job.  It’s broken up into sections:  the first 30 days usually includes training and getting to know the company (customers/clients/products/services/procedures); the next 30 days are focused on getting out on your own and into the swing of things; and the last 30 days are often more about branching out, launching your own projects, or bringing in new business.

Creating an outline like this will set you apart from every other candidate for the job.  Job seekers who bring a 30-60-90-day plan see amazing results.

Why does it make a difference? Creating a 30/60/90-Day Plan shows several intangible but important qualities that they'll never be able to learn from your resume or interview answers:

 

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Job Interview Questions and Answers App for Android

See how to answer interview questions in a FREE video app for Android

iPhone Screenshot 1

Job Interview Questions and Answers App

Practice your answers with a professional coach in this free app--99% of users say it improves interview answers immediately!

We've launched a Job Interview Questions and Answers app for Droid, available on Google Play!

It makes how to answer interview questions a snap, giving you incredible confidence and effectiveness in your next interview.

How does it work?

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4 ‘WOW’ Factors to Help You Get the Job

Watch this video to see how 4 different job candidates did something special (that you could do, too) and got the offer. You've got to see it...these were some truly great ideas, and I know they will help you.

If you would like help or additional information on using these techniques to get the offer, click the links below:

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The Words You Should Never Say in Your Job Interview

fear

Think about the kind of impression you want to convey to your interviewer or hiring manager:  experience, ability, and confidence.

You communicate your experience and ability with a winning resume, a brag book, a 30/60/90-day plan, and high-quality references.

You communicate your confidence in your physical presentation, your body language, and what you say and how you say it.

Good communication skills are essential.  Sounding even remotely uncertain of your ability to do the job you’re interviewing for (and do it well) is an interview killer.  No employer is going to hire someone who isn’t even sure himself if he is capable.  What phrases convey uncertainty?

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How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions – Use the STAR Format

file3301274449947Employers want to know about more than just your skills and experience--they want to know how you'll get along day-to-day.  How will you react in stressful situations?  What will you do when a customer gets cranky, or there's some issue with the product?

One way for hiring managers to get to that information is to use behavioral interview questions that try to uncover how you have reacted in similar situations, or that set up a theoretical problem to see how you would go about solving it.

Both types of behavioral (or situational) interview questions show how you think, which can be much more informative for a hiring manager than asking about your greatest weakness.

The easiest and most effective way to answer Behavioral Interview Questions is to use the STAR format.

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