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Points to Consider

Job hunting is a daunting task.  You have many issues coming at you.  Of course you want to focus on the prize, getting that elusive job.  Your journey has an unknown length and during this trek you will encounter many pitfalls.

Many blunders will stall or stop your employment search.  Even when you focus on positive ideas and stay pumped a small blunder can lead to a great fall.

Keys to effective interviews: Ten (10) Points To Consider

1. Generalizations - I'm too old or too young. No one is hiring in my field. Because of this economy no one is hiring.  This type of self talk can become your reality.  A statement I would say to my young daughter when she would have a difficult time with school.  "If you believe you can't do it you are correct if you believe you can do it you are correct, what do you want to do?"  Her reply was I can do it.  Same thing here, negative thinking can become real and your attitude will be projected in your interviews.  Your new belief system become true, no jobs for a negative thinking person.  No matter how tight and tough things are employers are always looking to hire candidates who present themself as professional and upbeat.

2. Clothes make the person - Have you ever heard the expression, "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression"?  You may have friends who go to work in casual clothes.  Your interview is in a very competitive environment and you will want the WOW factor on your side.  The selection of clothes to wear for your interview is ony one factor to consider in your employment journey.  In my years as owner of an off site human resource employment service I have seen my share of job applicants dress as if they are going out with friends.  Never dress casually for your interview.  The traditional, normal approach is to wear a business suit with tie (skirted suit for a women).  What you wear for the interview will make a statement about who you are. Since first impressions play a big role in the job market, dressing well will make the best possible impression.

3. Relying on one method to secure employment - Have you ever heard the expression, "Don't Put All Your Eggs In One basket"?  The same thing applies to job searches, your research needs to cover many avenues for potential jobs.  Check out job fairs, the internet, help wanted ads, network with friends, check out trade journals, social events, chamber of commerce functions, and conventions is a great way to see what is available and also get word out about you.  Sometimes a person knows a person really works.  With this in mind all your work will generate activity about you and what you offer.  You are your biggest promoter and you are the product.

4.  No goals set, just looking for anything - This is a major concern of mine.  I have no idea how many times the applicant said to me I'm looking for anything.  My reply is, what do you feel you qualify to do?  The answer is seriously lacking.  Set your goal and objective as to the industry you want to focus, the specific area you want to work (distance from house).  Not setting a goal is perhaps the biggest omission job seakers do when they start their employment journey.  Your goal may have to be evaluated after a while.  You may have set too high or you may have put many variables which make it an issue of contension.

5. Don't go into the high grass and weeds - Your journey for employment will take you on many roads, however you should never go down the road of high grass and weeds, another words, avoid tangents.  While in the interview you will be asked questions.  Answer the questions and don't embellish, what you say in an inpromptu manner could very well disqualify you from further consideration.  One of  the main purpose of the interview is to disqualify you from further consideration.  Remember the golden rule "Once You Have Reached The Interview You Qualify For The Job".  Your interview needs to be tight, allowing no room for wandering or drifting.  You will not accomplish your goals unless you stay focused.

6. One way conversation - When you sit in front of the interviewer be prepared to have a two-way conversation.  Be interactive and dynamic.  You know you are having a successful interview when both parties are having a conversation and time just slips by.

7. Going in blind - Every company you are evaluating for possible placement needs it's own file and background information.  Do your homework on every company.  Many years ago when I was in the job journey phase of my life I would visit each company I had interviews scheduled, this was well before the internet.  I would get company brochures and information and study up on every company and also look into potential competitors.  I was always well prepared for each interview.  With todays technology this task can be done with little effort, check them out on the internet.  The internet makes it so easy to gather information.  Not only will this information assist you in deciding if this position is a good fit for you, but you will be able to demonstrate sincere interest in the position, the people and the product.  Your knowlege of the company will put in one step or more ahead of competition.  Do your homework.

8. Expect positive results - This will tie into point number one.  When you expect a positive result for your efforts your entire being, conversation, body language and interaction will reflect your positive frame of mind.  The interviewer will see your smile and sparkle in your eyes.  They see a person who is upbeat and dynamic.  We all like being around people who bring us up and we avoid people who complain and bring us down.  The interviewer will remember a person who is dynamic and positive. Create a great dialogue between you and the interviewer that is lively and compelling.  Your conversation will be a balance of what you bring to the table and why you would like to work for them.

9. Put forth effort - This process starts with your cover letter thru the interview process and ends with follow up.  Don't expect your journey to be successful when you are using the shot gun approach to distribute cover letters and resumes.  Showing up for your interview dressed casually and not knowing much about the company who is interviewing you.  You will get the most out of your journey if you put forth solid, concentrated effort into preparation time, and are rested and enthusiastic when it comes time for your interview.

10. Follow thru - I use those words because this process is more than just a phone call a a touch back to the interviewer.  Sometime during the interview you will ask for the business card of the the person interviewing you.  At this time check the contact information and make sure the email address is noted on the card.  If this information is missing ask for this so you can follow up.  You have four methods to get back with the interviewer 1. Phone 2. email 3. in person 4. letter  Sometime the job is placed on hold or the process is drawn out.  What ever the case you need to stay in contact with your person.  This can be done by writing a note and leaving it at the reception desk for the interviewer to read later.  You can also send email as another method.  I am not in favor of phone or in person.  These put you in a position of receiving negative feedback, don't want to talk, because they want to be left alone.  The other two methods are passive and gets your message across.  Your emails or hand note left at reception desk shows that you follow thru, are assertive and professional, and are appreciative of this opportunity.


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