Your job references can make or break your chances of getting hired. Even if you have good references to call on when you're up for a new job, what you say about them can kill your chances of getting the offer.
You need to know what to say (and what not to say) when the interviewer asks about your references. In the audio below, I talk about a candidate who made a fatal mistake when I asked her about her references.
Listen to this audio to find out what a big references mistake is and how you can avoid it:
One iron-clad job interviewing rule is: Always have questions of your own to ask.
Here are 3 great questions to ask in your next interview:
What qualities does does the perfect candidate have for this job? Ask this near the beginning of the interview, and you'll find out specific desired skills that might not be in the description (who knows who wrote the description or when they wrote it?). Once you know what the manager really cares about hearing, you’ll be able to talk up those related skills you have in your interview answers. This way, you'll get the maximum mileage out of every interview answer you give.
Is there any reason why you wouldn’t hire me for this job? This is a hard question to ask--but it’s the only way you’re going to find out if they have any doubts about hiring you. Knowing what they are gives you a chance to address those doubts and hopefully clear them up. Job seekers who ask this question increase their chances of getting hired by 30 percent.
What are the biggest challenges of this job? This question lets you know what the most important tasks are for this job, or what potential pitfalls may be waiting for you. Show how you’ll use your skills to handle the challenges.
Find out more questions to ask, how to research the company, and lots of interview do's and don'ts in our Free Job Interview Prep Kit.
Will your recruiter help you create a 30/60/90-day plan? The short answer is yes--especially if it's an external recruiter whose paycheck depends on you getting the job.
What's the catch? The key word is 'help.' You will have to get the ball rolling by asking the right questions to get the recruiter to share with you what they believe and know about the company and the job. Then the recruiter can point you in the right direction for your research on the company.
Here are some basic questions to ask your recruiter to help you create a killer 30/60/90-day plan:
I want to share Dan's story with you for 3 reasons:
1. It shows that even after a layoff, you can step up into senior management (Dan got a Senior Project Manager role)--so if you've been laid off, don't give up hope.
2. It reminds us that when you're in a job search, it's important to stay connected to things that keep you motivated and upbeat.
2. It shows that a 90-day plan can help you overcome a lot of obstacles that might otherwise hold you back--so if you're dealing with a difficult job search for whatever reason, use a 30-60-90-day plan in your interviews. It will do great things for you, like it did for Dan.
I have recommended for years that my clients and candidates use a 30-60-90-day plan when they go into job interviews (I've even used it myself), and for good reason--it WORKS!
A 30/60/90-day plan is, of course, a written outline that tells the hiring manager what your plans are for the first 3 months on the job. It covers how you'll get your training, how you'll begin to incorporate yourself in to the flow of the company, and how you'll begin contributing to the team. It's very impressive because it shows your initiative as well as your strategic thinking skills, and it also demonstrates to the hiring manager that you are prepared for the job (even if you are new to the field). I have never heard of any hiring manager who's failed to be impressed by this document and the candidate who created it.
Job seekers are always looking for the “secret” to what the interviewer is really looking for, so they can make sure to say and do the things that will get them hired.
I've been a recruiter and a career coach for over 15 years now, dealing with a massive variety of personalities, companies, and business arenas, and I've found something important that you absolutely need to know...all interviewers are looking for the same 4 qualities in every candidate:
Are you getting interviews but not job offers? Maybe you can't even get to the second interview? I speak to job seekers every day who've had their confidence shaken because of situations like these--but believe it or not, this is an easy fix. Here's what to do if you can't make it past the first interview:
Always bring a 30/60/90-day plan. If they aren't moving you forward (to a second interview or a job offer), you haven't clearly demonstrated to them that you understand the job, you can do the job, you will do the job, and you won't be a risk to their own job if they hire you. A 360-60-90-Day Plan helps them to 'see' you in the job and makes them feel great about you. The first face-to-face interview is the ideal time to introduce to the hiring manager how you would attack the job in the first 90 days. It can be as simple as you want to make it, but it’s critical that you think about how you will be successful and write it down. It will result in a better interview conversation and make you stand out over other candidates.
Practice answering interview questions. Every question is another opportunity to sell yourself for the job. Check out my How to Answer Interview Questions Series to see if you are answering interview questions the way that you need to.
For many job seekers, job interview prep means getting your answers ready for the toughest interview questions--and there's no doubt this is important. But remember--interviewing is a two-way street. They're looking to see if they want to hire you, and you need to know what will make that happen. You also need to know if this company is somewhere you can shine and advance in your career. The questions you ask can give you all the information you need.
Asking questions also makes you stand out as a candidate. You seem more intelligent, more enthusiastic, and you elevate the conversation from a one-sided interrogation into a conversation between professionals. You establish better rapport, and discover what the interviewer is looking for--so that you can tailor your answers to what's going to make the best impression--and get you hired.
Your thank you emails or notes are so important--maybe more than you know (see the first article here). It's worth it to read as much as you can to write a great thank you note that moves you forward in the hiring process. Enjoy!
This is where you may stumble (many do). In this video, I'll give you critical tips about what to say, how to say it, and what great qualities it demonstrates to the hiring manager about you. This is vital for your success (the job offer).
Click on the video to watch.
Learn much more about how to do this easily and effectively here:
Phone interviews are a big, big deal--companies use them to screen job candidates and weed them out before they get down to the more serious business of face-to-face interviews. Before you get on any phone interview, you need to know what phone interview questions you'll probably be asked--so you pass their screen test and get invited to interview in person. Here are some common phone interview questions:
Tell me about yourself. Don't fall into the trap of thinking it's a social question to break the ice. It isn't. All your answers should relate to the job.
I got this great comment from a CFO / Controller that I want to share with everyone looking for new roles in Accounting or Finance fields:
Having been in the Accounting field for over 20 years and received many job offers in the past, I realized that the job market now has changed and I was getting conflicting advice from everyone. The only person to make sense is Peggy, as I realized how much marketing and sales is required these days and Peggy's system makes all the sense in the world. It is unique and it is a game changer. I am truly excited to get started her on her program and know that it will lead to great results. - Mario Reyes
I always recommend that everyone needs a mentor (or several) for many reasons, but the main one is that because we can learn from their experiences. Mario's 20 years in accounting is something we can learn from. So what I think that you should take from this (not just if you are in accounting or finance) is that to get a job these days, even if you have been successful at getting hired before, you need to use concepts and techniques from sales and marketing to be your most successful. But don't let that scare you. Anyone can learn how to do this.
It happens to everybody: You make a mistake about something during your important interview. It my the way you dressed for the occasion and you went too formal or too casual. It might be addressing your interviewer by the wrong name. There are lots of ways a candidate can make a mistake, and it’s true that a mistake can possibly cost you the job. It’s also true that the way you respond to your own mistakes can be what makes the interview successful and gets you the job.
Mistakes Can Be Opportunities
Everyone makes mistakes, but those who are confident enough to admit their mistake and correct it appropriately are valuable in any workplace. If you walk into the interview without having done anything to hone your interview skills or research the company, then your mistakes will be more like learning opportunities and use the interview as a reminder to be prepared next time. But a mistake by an otherwise qualified candidate is an excellent opportunity to display how you will be on the job. Read more...
Online interviews are peculiar beasts. They're a strange quirk of the modern world, but increasingly people find them becoming a part of their job search. Usually employers use Skype, although they might occasionally use different software. There are lots of things you have to consider with an online interview that you don't have to think about when you meet someone in person. Even once you're past all the technical hurdles, there are ways that you need to adjust your interview technique to come across better over a webcam. Some people prefer video interviews while others would like to avoid them altogether. But whether you love them or hate them, they could be on the increase. You'll probably end up doing one eventually, so why not prepare yourself ahead of time? Frank Mixson