Category: Interview Prep


A Proven Interview Hack

If you’re going through a job search, you know how competitive the interview process can be. And you’d probably like to know some ways to increase your chances of beating out the competition for an offer. Here’s a proven interview hack I recently shared on Quora.

My Favorite Interview Hack

My favorite interview hack is winning the interview with the questions YOU ask! When I landed my first job out of grad school, I asked my interviewers what made them choose me from the other candidates. Their response: “The questions you asked. Your questions showed us not only how knowledgeable you are, but also how much you care about the population you’ll serve in this role.”

The Questions You Should Ask

So, what kind of questions should you ask? There are six categories of questions you should be asking in the interview (because interviewing is a two-way street!):

  1. Questions you need to have answered to determine fit/questions related to the organization’s culture. For example, “How do you foster an employee’s connection to the organization?”, “How do you motivate your employees?”, or even “Do employees typically eat lunch together or at their desks?” (this one will tell you a lot about the company culture!).
  2. Questions that come up in your research you conduct on the company. This will be specific to the company, and will show your genuine interest in the company. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, especially if they exhibit your ethics. For instance, in my interview, I wanted to know how one of the practices I would be required to carry out in the job wasn’t in direct violation of a federal law common to that industry. I think this was also the question that impressed them the most.
  3. Questions to determine future opportunities for advancement. For example, “What opportunities are available for advancement?” This shows you’re interested enough in the company to want to stay long-term.
  4. Questions to determine their hiring timeline. (Okay, these questions are really just for you and your own sanity.) When candidates go on interviews and then don’t hear anything back either way, they freak out. Yes, it’s stressful, and also rude of the company to keep you hanging. So, before you leave the interview, ask when they plan to make a hiring decision. Also, ask if they will be letting each of those being interviewed know the results, or just the one being offered the job. That way you won’t spend your time and energy fretting over what they decided.

Here’s where it gets good!

These last two types of questions you should ask are the real hacks!

  • 5. Questions to show your initiative and to help them visualize you in the job. For instance, “What results would you like to see from me in the first 90 days of the job?”, “What will be the first projects I’ll be working on once hired?”, or “When we sit down to discuss my performance a year from now, what will success look like”? Wording questions this way helps them picture YOU as the person in the job!
  • 6. Questions to get them to verbalize what they like about you. In #5, it was all about helping them visualize, now you need to get them to verbalize! You want them to convince YOU why they should hire you, which will in turn convince them to hire you. (Yeah, that undergraduate degree I got in psychology is really paying off here!) For example, “What part of my resume stands out to you the most?” or “What made you choose to interview me out of all the other applicants?”

You should always have questions of your own prepared for an interview because interviewing is a two-way street. When you’re asked, “What questions do you have for us?” never say, “None.” If so, you’re for sure to lose the job to someone who shows more interest with their questions.

More Interview Hacks

Want more interview hacks? I’ll share numerous interview tips and hacks in my upcoming online workshop, Steps to Acing the Interview. Subscribe to the paNASH newsletter to receive notifications once it’s available!

It’s a New Year. Time for a New Career?

New Career:  The Question

“How long does it take to realize you’re in the wrong job?” This is a question I came across yesterday on Quora. I’ll share my response with you. But first, I want to ask, are you also wondering if you’re in the wrong job? Or is it already clear you are? Could it be time for a new career for you? It’s a new year, so why not a new career, especially if you already know you’re in the wrong job?

New Career:  The Answer

While the question posed isn’t, “How do you know you’re in the wrong job?” but instead “How long does it take to realize it?”, my response answers both questions:

The quick way to figure this out:

It doesn’t take long if you spend a few minutes taking some personal (and honest) inventory. Here’s an exercise that tends to work much better than a traditional pros and cons list:

  1. Take a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns. The first column should be the things you must have in a job (your “dealbreakers”). The second column should include the things you’re willing to compromise on. The third column should be “icing on the cake” things (things you would LOVE to have in a job, but don’t necessarily need to be content).
  2. Now compare your list to your current job. Does your current job have at least 60% of the things listed on your sheet of paper? Or at least 60% of the things from the “must have” column?
  3. If not, it’s time to start looking for the right job.

I say this because I always tell my clients you should love at least 60% of your job. Nobody loves 100% of their job 100% of the time, but if it’s less than 60%, you’re in the wrong job or career. This helps you stay realistic when considering different opportunities.

I’ve personally found this exercise to be more helpful than a pros and cons list when it comes to big life decisions. It also helps with analysis paralysis and keeps you from overthinking or second-guessing your decisions.

The more in depth way to figure this out:

Another thing that’s helped me personally and also helps my clients is to spend some time coming up with your own personal mission statement. This may take a little time to nail down, but it’s well worth it. Why? Because you can use it as a filter for your decisions.

For instance, my personal mission statement is: “To boldly pursue my passions and purpose, and to teach, encourage, and inspire others to do the same, resulting in lives overflowing with joy, peace, and fulfillment.”

When I’m faced with a difficult decision, I look to see if the choice in front of me supports my mission statement or not. If it doesn’t, I don’t select that choice. This helps me to live authentically and be true to my purpose.

One of the things I do with my clients is take them through a program I call Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic. Part of that program includes teaching you how to write your own vision statement, mission statement, and unique differentiators, which also prepares you for the interview for the right job!

New Career:  The Time to Decide

So where are YOU in this all-important decision? If you know it’s time for a new career, we can help you figure out your options and how to make the transition. Don’t wait until the end of 2017 where you’ll find yourself in the same situation. Shoot me an email today and we can set up an initial consultation to help you get unstuck and start moving into the right career! 

How this client landed her dream job (and how you can too!)

paNASH Success Story

I love hearing from a client saying they’ve found a job doing what they love! This happened a couple of weeks ago. The client landed a job doing social media management (her passion) for a toy company.

When she first came to me, she knew from her previous job interview what she needed to improve upon. She just wasn’t sure how to do so (can you relate?). It was clear from our first mock interview what the problem was, and it was easy for me to show her how to correct the problem.

Holiday Wishes Come True

This client understood the importance of improving her interview skills. And, she recognized the return on investment in paNASH’s career coaching services.

With just a few coaching sessions, she was able to apply what I had taught her and land the job with the toy company! Now, in her own unique way, she’ll help put smiles on children’s faces this holiday season when they unwrap their new toys!

Need Help?

Is there a wish you’d like to have fulfilled in your career? Do you need to work on your job search or your quest for a promotion? Need help with updating your resume, preparing for an interview, or negotiating a salary or pay raise?

paNASH is here to help! Click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation!

4 Reasons a Holiday Job Search is a Good Idea

It’s always a good time to conduct a job search when you need a job. And a holiday job search is no exception. Instead of taking a break from your job search during the holidays, here are four reasons why you should use the holidays to focus on your job search in a recent article I had published on The Daily Positive. Check it out here:

4 Reasons To Job Search During The Holidays

Need another reason why a holiday job search is a good idea? Most other job seekers slack off on their job search during the holidays. This gives you a leg-up or even a head-start on potential job opportunities!

If you need assistance maximizing your job search this holiday season, let me know. I’m here to help, but time is running out! The holidays will fly by and the new year will be here before you know it!

Stand Up For Your Worth

What’s your worth? My first year out of grad school, I worked at an institution where my male counterparts got paid A LOT more money for a lot less responsibility than me. I also once worked in an industry where I was often told, “Oh, we can’t pay you for your expertise, but this project will give you great exposure.”

HOLD UP! Am I the only one who sees there’s something clearly wrong with these scenarios? The second scenario mentioned will sound familiar to a lot of people here in Nashville, but it’s one that’s (at least in its particular industry) rarely questioned or challenged.

Know Your Worth

If you work hard and do a good job, shouldn’t you get paid for it??? My grandmother believed so. She was the hardest working person I ever knew. Here’s her story, and how she serves as an encouragement to stand up for your worth. I hope that both men and women will learn from her example and teach their children her example as well:

Know Your Worth And Close The Wage Gap