Sunday, March 15, 2015

7 Easy Ways to Kill Job Interviews

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Do not yawn in job interviews (Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Do not yawn in job interviews.
Getting a job interview is a positive sign in your job search. It means an employer has looked over your resume or job application and is interested enough to call you in for an interview. Employers are busy people, and they usually won’t take the time to interview you if they don’t see promise in you as a potential employee.

In addition, employers don’t want to interview lots of people because of the time and effort it takes on their part. So if you get called for a job interview, make sure you don’t make mistakes that will unnecessarily end your chances for getting hired.

In a job interview, an employer is scrutinizing you to determine whether you are the person to hire. A job interview means you are perhaps just one step away from a job offer. If you successfully interview for the job, it may be yours.

Even if you are shy or introverted, it’s easy to steer clear of the following job interview errors by preparing yourself and also doing an attitude check. Here are seven easy ways to kill a job interview and what to do to avoid the problem.

  1. Not dressing or looking the part. Take some time to dress up a little. You can’t be overdressed for a job interview in my opinion. Most employers are pretty traditional, so be conservative with hair, grooming, jewelry, and accessories.
  2. Acting uninterested, bored, or too casual in the interview. I’ve interviewed people who have acted as if they’d rather be in a dentist’s chair than at the job interview. Candidates have yawned, looked out the window, not made eye contact, checked their cell phones, and answered questions with one or two words during interviews. If you really want the job, be friendly, enthusiastic, and focused. And please ask some questions; it shows interest.
  3. Not responding well to questions. Answering job interview questions with examples of your skills and accomplishments is key to your job interview success. The employer wants proof you will perform the job’s duties well. So be sure to respond to every question in a way that convinces the employer you are the best person for the job.
  4. Not taking notes. I appreciate candidates who take notes in job interviews. It shows they are serious enough to want to remember everything about the job, the company, and their potential role.
  5. Not saying you want the job. Some candidates indicate they will take any job, which is not good. But I think a bigger problem is the candidate who does not seem to want the job at all. I have hired people because they came right out and said, “I really want this job” or “I’d really like to work here.” Such statements will make you stand out.
  6. Not thanking the interviewer. It’s so simple to say thank you at the end of the interview. And it’s mind-boggling when some candidates don’t. Also be sure to send a thank-you note. It’s one of those steps few job seekers take.
  7. Not following up. If you want the job, be sure to ask the interviewer what’s next in the process and then follow up in a couple of days. It’s probably best to make a phone call, but an email may work as well. Restate your interest in the job and ask if the employer has any additional questions.
Although you may not get hired after a job interview, don’t let it be for reasons you can control. Keep the preceding points in mind, and you may be a heartbeat away from a job offer.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Start Your Education and Training Research at New CareerOneStop Credentials Center

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Deciding what type of education or training to pursue is a huge decision. The choice you make can affect all parts of your life, both now and in the future, including
  • your career path 
  • your career prospects 
  • your career fit and satisfaction
  • your paycheck
  • your debt
  • your time
  • your relationships
  • your priorities
  • your overall happiness
CareerOneStop's Credential Center [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
You can find helpful links for education and training
 research at the CareerOneStop Credentials Center online.
The newly launched CareerOneStop Credentials Center site, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, is a place to start when facing the education/training puzzle.
The site “is for anyone interested in beginning or advancing their career through education or training. It offers tools, resources, tips, and information for a wide range of credentials seekers—from those who do not have a high-school degree to those who already have a graduate degree,” states the Credentials Center.

The Credentials Center organizes the key points in the education decision process, including how to decide which education or training to pursue and how much it will cost:
  • Training Options defines various credentials and gives links to search for programs in your field of interest and in your local area. The credentials include GED, adult basic education, short-term training, college, certifications, apprenticeships, internships, and professional development.
  • Afford Training lists points to consider for education expenses and then identifies possible ways to pay for the education or training, including financial aid and scholarships.
  • Find Your Path gives tips on which education options may be best for you, what jobs are in demand and what they pay, and how to make a training plan.
  • Toolkit provides online finders to search for local training, certification, apprenticeships, licenses, professional associations, and jobs. 
The Credentials Center links to other sites for detailed information. So be prepared to spend some time clicking links, reviewing other sites, and doing additional research. If you have already done research on your education or training options, this site is probably not for you because it’s pretty basic. For example, the information on internships is quite general and links only to federal internship options. If you are an older working who wants to change fields, you can get links on the site for research, but you still need face additional questions, such as “Is education worth it at my age?” “How can I get the training I need if I have a family to support and household bills to pay?” “Will I be able to keep up with and finish school given my other responsibilities?”

Still, the Credentials Center may lead you to resources and information you had not considered. In my opinion, the site is most useful for anyone just beginning to think about education or training. Perhaps the Credentials Center’s information will be expanded and enhanced over time.

The site’s headline says, “Start Your Journey to a Better Career.” From what I can tell, “start” is exactly what the Credentials Center helps you do.