Posted on: December 26th, 2017 by
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Which is more effective interviewing for a job, the telephone or Skype? The telephone is less effective in making a positive impression. Why? With Skype, you have more opportunity to present yourself in a positive way: Appearance, demeanor, eye contact and pictorial clues. When you can’t see the interviewer you have no way to gauge your impact: Head nodding, smiles/frowns, blinking or boredom.


If you have a choice, pick Skype over the telephone. You’ll be more successful if you know what to do and what not to do:


  • Practice Skype interviewing with an experienced friend. Get comfortable with the process of Skype. This is an important skill to learn.
  • Create a comfortable environment. Don’t have a bright light behind you or you’ll look like a shadowy figure. Have a neutral background.


  • Keep children, pets and visitors out of the room. Disable the telephone. Put a note on the door, “On a conference call”
  • Dress and act the same as if you were in the interviewer’s office


  • Prepare key words on small post-it notes so you don’t forget important items. Place them on the monitor screen. The interviewer can’t see them, but you can, to make sure you cover all the key points. Have your resume handy
  • Keep the red light of the camera at eye level. Assume the camera light is the eye of the interviewer, because in a way it is. Too high or low and your image gets distorted.


  • If you write notes on an important point, write one or two words on a pad. You might want to say, “That’s an important point”. Don’t make many or lengthy notes as it would be impolite.
  • Always look at the camera while making a point or when talking. You’ll appear a stronger candidate. Eye contact projects confidence, honesty and self-assured strength.


  • Never, ever eat or drink while interviewing. Have a sip of water handy if your mouth gets dry, but make sure your don’t spill it on your lap or short-out the computer.
  • Use the rest room prior to the interview. Some interviews will go over an hour, which means the interviewer is really interested in you. Don’t spoil the moment by having to leave.


  • Everything you do is magnified because all eyes are on you. Put a pleasant smile on your face and pay attention at all times. When your eyes drift away or begin to close, it means you’re not interested. Stay focused and engaged.
  • If your interviewing with a group, make sure everyone has a chance to speak. Asking if there are any more questions about each subject shows that you’re a facilitator and are interested in everyone’s input: A team player. Use their names whenever appropriate.


Skype interviews are popular and it’s necessary for you to perform well. Show that you’re comfortable with advancing technology as your new job may depend on it.


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Posted on: December 19th, 2017 by
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Let’s assume you’re doing very well in your current job, then get a phone call from a recruiter who tells you he has the perfect job, with a 30% increase in compensation, a higher title, in a fast growth company within an exciting industry. What do you do? My advice? Take 2 aspirin and think calming thoughts.   What not to do? Do not get excited and call your spouse, family and friends with the great news, nor dream about your new lifestyle and a vacation home.


As a recruiter, it’s very easy to hype an opportunity and get potential candidates excited about a dream job. You need to make the assumption that you’re probably being hyped, until you can validate that your not. Here are some suggestions:


  1. Pull out the file you should have created earlier called, “What will it take for me to leave my current job?” This file should have four headings and lists:
    • What are my “Must Haves”? (This list identifies what you will not compromise on)
    • What are my “Nice to Haves”? (These are the “add-ons” to make a change very attractive)
    • What are the things outside the job to be considered? (Family, social, education, relocation)
    • What are the items to avoid at all costs? (These are the knock-outs)


  1. Always ask what kind of recruiter your talking to! A company recruiter? An Executive Recruiter (exclusive to the hiring organization?) A Contingent Recruiter (one of many looking to fill the same job)? Or an Agency Recruiter that is paid by you, the candidate?


  1. Many times the following questions won’t be answered until you commit to being interviewed by the recruiter, but it’s worth asking anyhow:
    • How did you find me? (Is your current company testing your loyalty?)
    • Why do you think I would be interested in this position? (The answer could save time)
    • Is the hiring company a competitor? (Tread lightly, they may be looking for sensitive data)
    • Why is the organization looking to fill this position? (A new position, replacement or crisis?)
    • To whom does the position report? (To a key decision maker?)
    • How long has the position been open and when does it need to be filled? (A hasty search?)
    • What are the salary range, incentives and benefits? (Is it worth it for you to pursue?)


  1. Assuming the #3 questions above will be answered later, here are more immediate questions:
    • What industry is this position in? (High growth, a potential takeover, acquisition bait?)
    • Is the function at a plant, division, sector or corporate level? (Responsibility level?)
    • Where is the position located? (Do you need to move or commute?)


Having a good job and a better opportunity is the best combination: Two birds in a hand. However, leaving a good job for a high-risk venture is the worst situation to be considering. Take these moves very cautiously.


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Posted on: December 12th, 2017 by
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Some people believe that the best way to present their expertise in a resume is to demonstrate a very broad-based set of experiences in different jobs, functions, or responsibilities. What they may not understand is that hiring organizations are looking for candidates who have specific skills, along with very specific RESULTS, that parallel the position description of a specific job. So if your resume shows your experiences are broad but not very deep, you’ll be at a distinct disadvantage in the marketplace. Why would a hiring manager interview and hire a candidate who doesn’t fit the specifications of the job they need done?


The three questions that a hiring manager will ask themselves as they interview you are:


  1. Does this candidate have the specific experiences that I need in the short and long term?
  2. Does this candidate have similar results from another company that can be transferred successfully here into my organization?
  3. Will this candidate be compatible with the working group already in place and fit the culture, or will they be disruptive and not be a “team” player


So how do you become a finalist candidate? How do you go “all in”?


  1. Being “all In” when applying to an open position means you focus on the key elements of the position description and target the specific results that the organization needs
  2. Highlight your experiences and contributions that demonstrate your competence and ability to reach the goals and objectives of the job to be filled. Underscore measureable results.
  3. Emphasize your “team work” attitude and ability to “fit in” with an ongoing group


What do you need to do to accomplish a successful “all in” strategy? These are the steps to increase your potential for being a finalist candidate:


  1. Analyze the position description of the job you are looking to fill. Summarize, and then compress the key items into 4 or 5 primary and essential responsibilities. These are the key tasks and measurable results for which the organization is looking.
  2. Take each of the key tasks and measurable results required and match them with a key result in your own past experience. Find a comparable equivalent of experience so the hiring agent sees a parallel of what he or she needs in a top candidate and your background.
  3. Quantify the results you’ve achieved in those key result areas. Others may say they have experiences but be unable to corroborate their achievements. You, on the other hand, must validate your results in a measureable way to be the finalist candidate.
  4. Compose a 20 to 30 second response to each of the key responsibilities when asked by the interviewer, “How did you achieve that result”. Tell them what the issue was, what action you took, and what was the outcome.


An “all in” strategy means preparing for the ideal job you want. If you’re not prepared for going “all in”, you’ll fall short.


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Posted on: December 5th, 2017 by
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One morning you realize that your current career direction might not be the right one for you. What are your options? Think it through and reset your goals if necessary. Here are some early indicators that tell you it’s time to reexamine your career goals.


FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY – Most career goals are developed when you’re younger and less experienced. Now that you’re into the profession, reality sets in. If you currently don’t have the energized passion you once had, reassess. Idealized goals may not fit what your want now.


A SHIFT IN PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL PRIORITIES – As your life changes so do your priorities: Marriage, children, and mortgages. You may become bored with a “numbers” job and want a “people” job to solve issues. The question: What are your key drivers?


EXPANDED EXPERIENCES AND SKILLS – As your skills and experiences expand, your view of career opportunities changes. Jobs and functions that were invisible to you beforehand can now be seen. Certified accountants may see major opportunities in forensic accounting, in high demand, low supply, and highly paid. Expanded vision produces expanded opportunities.


So, how do you reexamine your career goals?

RESEARCH YOUR OPTIONS – Be highly creative. It’s a two-phase process. First, research what it will take to reach your initial career goal. How many steps, and how long in each step to reach your goal? Second, research other options that are possible. Only you know the answers to these questions. Answers are different for each individual and career direction.


WHO DO YOU KNOW THAT IS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE? – One of the best ways to examine alternatives is to find a real-live model and figure out how they got to where they are, and then replicate it. Find out how he made the transition, what are the positives/negatives of the position, what were the steps he took, how much time to become expert, and so on.


DEGREE OF CHANGE VS. TIME – The more steps, education, certifications or experiences you need, the greater the time it will take you to reach your ultimate career goal. If you run out of time, you run out of options. Managing your plan within a reasonable time-line is the strategy for success.


DOWN OR OVER BEFORE UP AND OUT? – In some situations a potential boss is willing to take a risk on you, but in order to make the shift you may have to move down a level before you can move up the career ladder. Assess your risk/reward, over what period of time and decide.


Reexamining career goals is usually a painful process because it requires a great deal of introspection: What you could or should have done earlier in your career. However, the rewards are great as you renew your energy and passion to succeed. Don’t waste any more time, as time is not on your side. Do it!


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Posted on: November 28th, 2017 by
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Have you been out of the job market for a while? Are you concerned? You can’t agonize over things you have no control over, but you can have a workable plan in place. Overcome your concerns through a strategy of steps to prepare you for re-entering the marketplace. The key is not to wait until the last minute to start your reentry, but rather design and execute your plan well beforehand.


Targeting: There are three steps in targeting. First, target your greatest skill or ability. What can you do better than most? If you were a hiring manager, what value could you add to the job? Second, target the kind of industry that needs your contribution: Where the supply of talent is low and the demand for results is high. Healthcare? Digital Marketing? Personal Services? Computers? Sales? Third, target the companies in your location that need people like you. Why target these three areas? With the economy turning upward, companies are hiring new talent to help them grow ahead of their competitors.


So how do you get ahead of your competition for an open position? Plan ahead: A year or two before entering the market identify the education, certification, requirements, experience, or preparation for the work you want, then sharpen your skills sets in those areas. It may mean night school, on-line classes, certification courses, intern hours, or volunteering at a non-profit organization. You will be a top candidate when you get some direct experiences in the work you want to do. It will also greatly impress the hiring manager.


When interviewing for an open job, show how you are uniquely qualified:

  • Present yourself as an experienced problem-solver. Show you’re a practiced hand.
  • Be a “cheerleader”: Support the goals and direction of the boss and the team.
  • Show you’re flexible: Give examples of quick responses to problems and multi-tasking.
  • A team player: Give examples of assisting others to succeed in a team project.


When making a hiring decision, a manager plays the percentages, looking at the candidate’s potential, cost and performance. Potential is viewed from past results; the marketplace will determine cost; and future performance is predicated on successes in similar situations.


How can you show you are worth the risk?

  • Demonstrate value: Results that have worked other places that are applicable here
  • Achievements: Success breeds more success. Show you can get things done
  • Communications: Be articulate. Show you can communicate up, down and across
  • Productivity: Research shows that older, more experienced workers are more productive
  • Make your boss look good: Give examples of how you made your prior bosses look good
  • What can you do that others can’t?: Emphasize your value. Help the boss with alternatives


Many talented people are out of the marketplace and want to get back in. Follow these steps and reposition yourself to regain traction in the job market.


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