Category: Interview Prep


What You Need to Know About Job Interviews of The Modern Era


Years ago when I used to work in college career services, the interview process for college administrator positions was apparently ahead of its time. A recent article entitled “How You’ll Look For A Job in 2018” says that exercise-based job interviews are becoming more common.

Lindsay Grenawalt, head of People for Cockroach Labs, says,

“Rather than guess if a candidate can do the job based on their answers to behavioral questions exercise-based interviews ask for candidates to show [what they can do].”

This includes interviews with case studies, individual exercises, and presentations.


My Toughest Job Interviews

When previously interviewing for college career services positions, I had to do much of the same.

I’ve had interviews where I had to do presentations and teach mock classes. Once I even had to create an idea for a program in 45 minutes and then pitch it to a search committee.

I’ve also had marathon interviews. They started with a dinner interview the evening before. Then they picked back up again the next day at 8am and lasted until 4pm.

These interviews involved meeting with just about everyone on campus, including the President of the college and a panel of students. (By the way, the students asked the toughest questions of anyone.)

I’ve had to do pretty much everything but a literal song and dance!


The Advantage of Exercise-Based Interviews

Now, nearly 20 years later, these types of situations are being incorporated into today’s job interviews in a variety of industries.

While these types of job interviews may sound intimidating, there’s good news. They give candidates an idea of what it will actually be like to work in that role on a daily basis.

Grenawalt says,

“Fear not. Because these interviews require a high degree of engagement, they are more collaborative and a better experience overall than traditional interviews in which candidates have to sweat through a series of stress-inducing questions.”


How to Prepare for Exercise-Based Interviews

So how do you prepare for such interviews?

Research

In some ways, you’d prepare similarly to how you would prepare for any ordinary interview by researching as much as you can about the company and the position.

Your research should especially include all the information companies make available on their hiring and interview process. This can also be found on sites such as Glassdoor.com.

If you can’t find this type of information, you can (and should) ask questions about the interview process as soon as you’ve received an invitation for an interview.


Know the problem BEFORE you go into the interview and have a solution prepared.

You also want to ask what the main priority or goal should be of the next person in that position, BEFORE the interview. Never wait until the interview to ask this question!

Find out what challenge or problem this person will be expected to help solve. Once you have this information, use it to prepare for the interview in ways I’ve outlined in my post Modern Interview Advice to Make You Stand Out From the Competition (this ain’t your grandma’s — or even your mom’s — interview advice!).

The approach described in that post will help you in preparing for case studies, presentations, or problem solving scenarios.


Ask the right questions

The other way to prepare for such interviews is to make it a two-way street. You do this by preparing the right kind of questions of your own.

Like I said above, asking what will be the top priority of the new person in the role is NOT a question you want to ask during the interview. (By then it will be too late to ask that.) But there are more appropriate questions you should ask during the interview.

In fact, certain questions you ask can actually help you win the interview! That’s how I landed my very first job offer. I was told I was hired based on the type of questions I asked them!

To find out exactly which questions you should ask in the interview, read my post The One Tip That Guarantees a Good Interview.


Knowledge is the Beginning of Preparation

No matter what type of interview you’re faced with, you can’t go in and just “wing it.”

You have to be prepared.

Knowledge is the beginning of that preparation. Become knowledgeable of the above items, and you’ll shine!

Click here for more interview prep tips.

job interviews

Faced With a Last Minute Job Interview? Help is On the Way!

You submitted your resume for the job your friend told you about, thinking you’ll probably have a week or two before you get a call for an interview. If you even get a call.

And if you do, you’re thinking they’ll probably schedule you for your interview the following week, giving you plenty of time to prepare.

While that’s often the typical timeline of a hiring and interview process, hiring processes these days are anything but predictable.

Sometimes you apply for a job and don’t hear anything back for weeks or even months. Other times, you may get the following call:

“Hi. We just received your resume for the director’s position and we want to know if you can come in tomorrow for an interview.”

Would you be ready for a last minute job interview?

If you got this call, would you be ready?

How would you react? Excited?

Probably, since it’s always nice when someone shows interest in your skills and abilities.

But then what happens? It’s likely your feelings of excitement will turn into panic.

You start thinking:

  • What am I going to wear?
  • Do I have time to research the company?
  • What questions should I prepare for?!
  • What questions should I have ready to ask them?!

Help is on the way!

While you probably can’t get an appointment on such short notice with a career coach to help you prepare for the big day, there is help.

paNASH has several last minute tips for you when situations like this arise (and believe me, they do, more often than you think). These tips are provided through a few different resources.

Good

Free advice is always good, and this blog provides a lot of that.

Just click on “Interview Prep” under the Categories section on the right hand side of your screen. Here you’ll find all my previous posts about interviewing containing free advice and tips.

Better

Another item available to help you in a pinch is the on-demand video series Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety. In less than 55 minutes you’ll receive a crash course on interview prep. And since it’s available on-demand, you can access it at anytime, day or night.

It’s only $87 which includes 3 videos and a downloadable handout covering the following topics:

  • Strategies to give you the confidence to overcome the fear and stress of interviewing.
  • What you’ve been doing wrong and how to correct it.
  • The best and most productive way to prepare for your next interview.
  • How to answer “Tell me about a time when…” questions and other commonly asked questions.
  • Questions YOU should ask in the interview.
  • And more!

As a result, you’ll have:

  • Improved interview performance.
  • Less stress and anxiety.
  • Better and more job offers to choose from.
  • More confidence to negotiate a higher salary and better benefits.

Here’s what others have said about the program on Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety:

  • “One of the job interview tactics Lori recommended really improved both my confidence and the company’s interest in me. It was such a great suggestion that came with great results!” Alphonso W.
  • “My confidence level in my interview skills jumped from a 4 to an 8!” Jamie H.
  • “I now have the tools to spot the red flags so as not get into the same work situation I was in previously. It’s so empowering to be able to recognize a job that’s not right for me and to have the confidence to say ‘no’ to it and ‘yes’ to something better.” J.S.
  • “I got the job! Thanks to Lori’s interview tips I’m now doing social media (my passion) for a toy company!” Robin G.

Best

Of course, the best option is to plan ahead and start preparing or even working one-on-one with a career coach such as myself on a regular basis so you’ll be ready no matter what comes your way in the unpredictable world of a job search.

But when that’s not possible, you have the above options available to you right here on the paNASH web site.

If you are interested in more in depth one-on-one preparation, click here to complete the paNASH intake form and I’ll respond right away.

Related Posts

last minute job interview

Can Finding a Job Be Like Finding Love?

Can finding a job be like finding love?

With today’s job market, it can be tough to find a good job. Almost as tough as it is to find a good companion.

But the way you approach finding a job is not so different than the approach you might take when finding a mate.

While it’s true that opposites attract, most people seek out a mate with common interests and values.

You’ve also probably heard you have to know and love yourself before you can know and love another person. The same is true when determining what career field you should enter into.

What Are Your “Must-Haves”?

First, you need to know enough about yourself to know what you like and what you don’t like. Do you prefer an outdoorsy, adventurous job to a nice, quiet desk job?

You also need to determine what you value most in an employer. Are you looking for an employer that’s honest and caring? Do you want one that’s going to spend a lot of money on you in salary and benefits?

If you recoil at the idea of a long distance relationship, location and commute may be important factors in determining what kind of job is right for you.

So the first step to a job search is self-reflection and self-assessment. Career assessments are similar to tests used in online matchmaking. They measure your interests and values to determine what career fields may be a good match for you.

However, these assessments should not be taken too seriously. The results of your career assessments don’t mean you can’t succeed in other career fields. Just like the results of your matchmaking test don’t mean you can only date those people who fall into your “perfect match” category.

Many times, potential mates come along when you least expect them, and so do other career opportunities.

Put Yourself Out There

Once you know what kind of job is right for you, now you have to go out and find it!

There are several ways to find a job, and it’s important to exhaust all possibilities.

First, there are online job boards which are similar in function to online dating sites and dating apps. However, keep in mind you can’t just post your resume to a 100 job ads and sit back and expect employers to call. Just like the ladies can’t expect to give out their phone number to every man they meet and sit at home waiting for them to call.

Instead, the most effective and successful way to find a job is through networking.

Networking is important because, just like the fact that not every person has a personal ad posted online, not every job is advertised online.

In fact, over half of all jobs go unadvertised.

Networking can be very intimidating (check out my post 7 Easy Networking Tips for Introverts). It can even make some people nervous because it’s very similar to being “fixed” up on a date.

Or it can be like trying to get up the nerve to approach an attractive member of the opposite sex at a party. Although in the case of networking, you usually don’t have any liquid courage to make it easier.

Networking also yields better results than attending a massive job fair, the singles bar of the working world.

But leave no job lead un-turned.

Even if the lead doesn’t turn out to be your dream job, the contacts you make from it could lead you to a more compatible job.

This is kind of like going on a blind date and instead end up falling for your date’s roommate instead.

Time to Flirt!

Once you’ve searched and found job openings that are right for you, it’s now time for the seduction scene.

You must spend some time fixing up your resume to make it more attractive to potential employers.

A resume is the occupational equivalent to flirting in the dating world.

The purpose of a resume is not to get a job, but to land a first-round interview. Just like the purpose of flirting is not to get a marriage commitment, but to land a first date.

Your resume should target the position for which you are applying.

For instance, instead of listing every job you’ve had since babysitter or lifeguard, list only the most relevant jobs. Or those where you developed strong transferable skills necessary to be successful in the available position.

If the “flirting” works, the seduction game continues with the first interview (i.e. the first date).

Do Your Research

If you’re being fixed up with someone, usually before the date you try to get the low-down from your friend the matchmaker on what the other person is really like.

It’s necessary to know a little background information about the potential match before meeting them. This helps you determine if the person has any of the qualities you’re looking for in a mate.

You want to do the same before meeting a recruiter or potential employer for the first time. In fact, your research should be even more thorough when it comes to preparing for your screening interview.

The research you do on the company before the interview not only will impress the interviewer, but will also help you determine if it’s a close match to your interests and values. (And, unlike in dating, it won’t be seen as stalking.)

Ask Lots of Questions!

Once you get past the whole “What am I going to wear?!” dilemma (which can be stressful since first impressions count, both on a first date and in a job interview), it’s time to see if the chemistry is there!

Both a first date and an interview is the time to determine if your personalities click with each other.

Questions help in determining if there’s a connection.

Keep in mind that the interview is a two-way street.

You must ask thoughtful questions to decide if this is a job you want to pursue further.

Not having questions about the job or the company would indicate a lack of interest in the job.

You wouldn’t go on a date and not ask the other person any questions about themselves, would you?

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

We all know that men and women communicate differently when interacting with each other. They also perform differently from each other in job interviews.

Men are more confident (and sometimes overly confident) when talking about themselves in the interview. Maybe it’s because they get a lot of practice from dating since men often treat a first date like a job interview.

They tend to talk about themselves because, since women ask their dates many questions, men think women want to hear all about them and hope they will impress the women in the process.

Many times, women are asking questions because they want to be asked the same questions by their dates.

Women feel it’s impolite to just initiate a conversation about themselves.

Some women aren’t as confident as men are in an interview because they don’t feel comfortable tooting their own horn.

During the job interview, women should highlight their skills and accomplishments by giving specific examples and relaying that into how they can make a contribution to the company.

Men should do the same while also asking more questions about what would be expected of them in the job.

Say “Thank You”

Hopefully, if the chemistry is there, your screening interview will lead to a second-round interview.

It’s important to follow-up the first interview with a thank you letter. This is the same as the “I had a great time last night” phone call or text after an amazing date.

Make sure you send a thank you letter within 24 to 48 hours. In it be sure to reiterate your skills and your continued interest in the job.

Once you’ve done that, move on with your job search.

Continue interviewing with other companies because it may take weeks to get a call back from the first company. Just like it may take weeks to get a call back from last night’s amazing date.

Ready to Go Steady?

After going through several rounds of increasingly intensive interviews, you finally get a job offer, the equivalent to the question of “Want to be exclusive?”

If you look around, you can tell some people put more thought into which job they’ll take than into which person they’ll spend the rest of their lives and procreate with.

And yes, there are factors of a new job that need consideration over a few days to a couple of weeks before giving an answer.

But keep in mind the high-paying, high-profile job that lacks challenge and opportunities for advancement is the same as the tall, dark and handsome or beautiful, blonde and buxom prospect. Although sexy, it won’t necessarily make you happy in the long run.

You need to ask yourself if you’ll love at least 60% of the day-to-day tasks of the job. If so, you could have a keeper on your hands!

For more career advice and job search tips, click here to subscribe to my newsletter.

finding love

paNASH’s Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017

Check it out! Below are paNASH’s top 10 most popular blog posts of 2017. They include topics such as such as pursuing your passions, career and life advice, interview tips and more.

This past year I’ve been posting my blog entries not only here on the paNASH web site but also to the awesome platform Medium. This has allowed for more reach and therefore the ability to accomplish my 2017 goal of using my business to help more people get unstuck in their careers. 

Please remember to “clap” on Medium for the articles you find most interesting. Doing so allows me to continue sharing my content with you and other readers!

paNASH’s Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017:

  1. The One Surprising Tip That Guarantees a Good Interview
  2. 8 Simple Hacks to a More Passionate Life and Career
  3. 7 Comfortable and Easy Networking Tips for Introverts
  4. 5 Books That Will Make a Huge Impact On Your Life and Career
  5. What NOT To Do In a Job Interview
  6. Modern Interview Advice to Make You Stand Out From the Competition
  7. How to Think Like an Entrepreneur (Even When You’re Not One)
  8. 10 Lessons I’ve Learned From 10 Years of Freelancing
  9. The Secret to Answering Behavioral Interview Questions
  10. Career Advice No One Will Ever Share With You

Note: If you have trouble with any of the above links, you can view the same articles here on the paNASH blog.

7 Things You Need to Know About Recruiters

Attention job seekers: it’s important to KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!

This is true for anyone (i.e. an artist, a freelancer, etc.). And it’s also true for those hoping to land the job of their dreams.

But one of the biggest mistakes I see job seekers make is not putting themselves in the recruiter’s shoes.

Below I want to teach you what you need to know about recruiters. I want to help you get in their minds so you can succeed in your next interview.

Disclaimer:  the following does not apply to all recruiters.

Let’s jump right in!

Recruiters are not looking for reasons to keep your resume. They’re looking for reasons to throw out your resume.

I always share this whenever I do a resume workshop. I also speak to this in my video guide Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets to Getting Your Resume Noticed. Recruiters will make decisions about your resume based on some of the most nit-picky things.

For example, they might throw your resume out if your bullets from one section of your resume aren’t lined up with the bullets in another section of your resume. This may be especially true if you’re applying for a job that requires you to be detail-oriented. The inconsistency reveals you’re actually NOT detail-oriented.

Other inconsistencies such as not having all your headings in the same font size and format give them a reason to throw out your resume. And of course, so do misspellings and grammatical errors.

Why do recruiters do this? With the volume of resumes received for each job, recruiters have to narrow down their options to something more manageable given all their additional job responsibilities.

How to respond:

Do everything you can to ensure your resume is the best it can be. This means leaving off the things you shouldn’t include and emphasizing the things you should.

To learn more, check out my video guide Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets to Getting Your Resume Noticed.

Sometimes recruiters will make decisions regarding your resume just based on your contact info.

As a result of the above, it’s quicker for a recruiter to just look at your contact info at the top of your resume and make a quick decision.

If your address shows you’re out-of-state, they’ll assume you’ll need relocation expenses covered. And the company may want to try to avoid that added expense if at all possible. So your resume gets tossed.

If you’re address indicates you’re local, this too can sometimes be a liability. For instance, if the recruiter recognizes your street name as part of a more well to-do area of town, the assumption could be the company won’t be able to afford your salary requirements.

How to respond:

It’s no longer required or necessary to have your address on your resume as long as you have your phone number and an email address (one with a professional-sounding handle!).

If you still want to put your mailing address on your resume, I suggest moving your contact info to the bottom of your resume.

Recruiters are no longer as concerned with what looks like “job hopping” on your resume as they once were.

Or at least they shouldn’t be.

But old habits are hard to break, so I’m sure there are some recruiters who still frown upon job hopping.

However, recruiters are now told they need to be more flexible when considering job hopping.

Why? There are a couple of valid reasons.

One, after the economy tanked in 2008, many people who lost their jobs took whatever jobs they could get at the time to survive. As soon as they were able to find better work, they left what they considered to be temporary work. This created some short-term job situations that were not always within the candidate’s control.

Two, most millennials who are now a vibrant part of the workforce don’t typically stay with a job they view as “dead-end” for very long (whether for good or bad).

One recruiter recently told me the average millennial will leave their job within 8-12 months if they’re not happy. (Brett Cenkus might be onto the reason why in his article “Millennials Will Work Hard, Just Not for Your Crappy Job“.)

How to respond:

Relax if you’re concerned about being seen as a job-hopper. It’s not going to be as big of a deal as you think.

And remember, you don’t have to include every job you’ve ever had on your resume. You can just include the ones that are relevant to the position under a heading called “Relevant Experience”

Recruiters can be just as nervous in the interview as you are.

I discussed this in my previous post when I gave a critique of the real interviews featured on CNBC’s new show, The Job Interview.

Recruiters are nervous because they know you’re also nervous. They’re nervous for you because they want you to do a good job. They’re rooting for you.

And they’re nervous they’ll make a costly mistake and hire the wrong person. They’re job performance could be dependent upon their hiring decision.

How to respond:

Acknowledge that recruiters can also be nervous. Doing so will help calm your own nerves too.

Approach the interview in a way that assures them you can do the job and solve the problem they need the candidate to solve in the job. You can do this by providing specific examples of how you’ve solved similar problems in the past.

I teach you the method for doing this in my video guides Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety and The 3 Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers: Stand Out Above Your Competition.

Recruiters don’t see your over-qualifications as an asset. Instead, they see them as a liability.

Don’t assume that if the job only requires a bachelor’s degree your MBA will give you the competitive edge.

And if they’re seeking someone with 10 years of experience and you have 15, that’s not going to give you a competitive edge either.

Instead, both of the above will often be viewed by the recruiter as liabilities. They’ll assume they won’t be able to afford you and will move on to the next applicant.

How to respond:

If the job you really want doesn’t either require or prefer an advanced degree, leave it off your resume. Just like you don’t have to include every job you’ve ever had on your resume, you also don’t have to include every degree or certification.

If you have a few more years of experience than what’s required, just say you have, for example, 10+ years for a 10 year experience requirement.

Neither of these responses is considered lying. The goal is to get your resume through the resume filtering software and to secure the job interview. Once you do that, then you can further explain why you’re interested in the job and why you’re willing to work at a lower level to achieve your career goals.

Recruiters will assume you’re not interested in the job or the company if you don’t ask them any questions during the interview.

I’ve said this time and time again, but it’s always worth repeating.

You MUST have questions of your own prepared in an interview. This is necessary for two main reasons:

  1. You have to show you’re genuinely interested in the job. Not asking questions shows you couldn’t care less about it. The offer will always go to the person who’s enthusiastic about the company and the position.
  2. You have to get the answers you need to determine if the job is a good fit for you. Remember interviewing is a two way street!

How to respond:

You can actually WIN the interview by asking the right kind of questions instead of the same old ones other candidates ask. Click here to know what questions you should ask to secure the job offer.

Recruiters do use LinkedIn to find candidates.

People often ask me, do people really find jobs on LinkedIn? The answer is yes. And recruiters often find YOU on LinkedIn because they’re using it daily to search for qualified candidates.

Therefore, the real question is, do you show up in the recruiters’ searches for the type of job you want?

If you’re like most people and all you’ve ever done on LinkedIn is create a profile with limited info and did nothing else with it, your answer is probably no.

How to respond:

You need to fill out your profile in full and make it keyword-rich. Use every field as a potential place to include the keywords you think the recruiter will be searching. (Here’s a hint:  you’ll find those keywords in the job ads of your preferred job.)

But there are other things you can do with LinkedIn to increase your chances of being seen by the right recruiters and finding the job you want. Too many things to cover in this post.

I typically spend a good hour to an hour and a half one-on-one with my clients showing them all they can do with the LinkedIn platform. They’re usually amazed at what all they can do with it.

If interested in learning more about how to use LinkedIn, fill out my intake form at http://bit.ly/paNASHintake.

Related Posts:

Receive a complimentary copy of the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan when you subscribe to the paNASH newsletter.

recruiters