Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Are You Making These 8 Job Interview Mistakes?

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Are You Making These 8 Job Interview Mistakes? [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Avoid eight common job interview mistakes.
Have you ever thought a job interview went well but then didn’t hear back from the employer or get hired? Perhaps another candidate was a better fit for the job. Or perhaps you made avoidable interview mistakes that caused the employer to keep looking.

Here are eight preventable job interview errors that can hurt or kill your chances of getting the job:
  1. Being late to the interview. Timeliness is important to employers. If you are late for the job interview, you are signaling that you may be late for work. Allow yourself enough time to get to a job interview about 10 minutes early. Add extra time for bad weather, commuting problems, parking, and building security. Be sure to know exactly where you need to go, so you don’t lose time trying to find a certain building or office. 
  2. Not being prepared for the interview. Being prepared for an interview shows employers you are an organized, considerate person who thinks ahead. Bring extra copies of your resume, your list of references, your portfolio if appropriate, and a list of questions you want to ask. Research the organization and the job as much as you can ahead of time so you don’t ask inane questions like “What do you do here?”
  3. Sounding desperate. Avoid sounding desperate for a job, even if you are. It's a turnoff for employers to hear, “I really need this job. I’ll do anything.” Employers want workers who understand what's unique or special about their organizations. 
  4. Dressing inappropriately. Most employers are conservative, so dress conservatively and neatly for job interviews. If in doubt about certain clothing, wear something else. Also pay attention to your grooming, shoes, and accessories.
  5. Badmouthing a current or former employer. If you badmouth your current or past employer, the interviewer may label you as a complainer and believe you will also complain about his or her organization if you are hired. It’s best to avoid criticisms about past jobs and say something more neutral like “I needed more challenge in my work” or “I am ready for a change” if asked why you left or are leaving.
  6. Acting disinterested. Interviewers want employees who are interested in their jobs and in coming to work every day. If you seem disinterested or bored at a job interview, you will probably be disinterested in the work if hired. So shut off your phone, make eye contact, nod your head, uncross your arms, be enthusiastic, smile, and ask questions. 
  7. Giving weak answers. Employers want to make sure you are a good fit for the position. So answer all questions succinctly but fully. Avoid “yes” or “no” answers but don’t ramble. Highlight your skills, training, and experience that suit the job. It may be helpful to rehearse answers to common interview questions, such as “Why do you want to work here?” and “Why should I hire you?” 
  8. Not closing the interview well. Always be sure to tell the interviewer you want the job (if you do). Thank him or her and ask what’s next in the hiring process. Send a thank-you email or note within 24 hours. Then make a follow-up call or send a follow-up email in a week reiterating your interest in the job.
Fortunately, many job interview mistakes are avoidable with awareness, preparation, and follow up. If you pay attention to the eight points above, you may be well on your way to a job offer.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Your Biggest Job Search Time Waster

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Looking for a job is a time-consuming process. But one thing in particular wastes more time than any other task in your job search. It’s applying for job after job online. “But how am I supposed to find a job otherwise?” you may ask. To a certain extent, you are right. More and more employers have migrated to online job sites as their sole way of taking job applications. 
Your Biggest Job Search Time Waster [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Don't let your job search time go down the drain.
But that doesn’t mean you should sit at the computer, hour after hour, and endlessly apply for job openings. In fact, doing so is the biggest job search time suck. Instead, you should do the following, to both save time in your job hunt and to get hired faster in the right job:
  • Apply only for jobs that suit you. For an effective job search, you’ll want to apply just for the jobs that fit your interests, skills, education, experience, and background. Don’t apply for jobs just because they are advertised. Don’t apply for jobs for the heck of it. You will waste tons of time. You’ll never get a response, because your application won’t pass the automated screening process that matches your background to the job’s requirements. The more you can target your job search, the more quickly you will find the right opportunity.
  • Apply only for jobs you want. “I can do that,” you may say as you review job ads. But do you want to? Do the job’s duties interest and energize you? Do you want to work in that industry and that location? Does the job match your desired responsibility level? Can you see yourself doing the job well and enjoying it? Ask yourself such questions before applying. 
  • Get away from the computer. As any job seeker knows, you can spend endless eons applying for jobs with nothing to show for it. So in addition to applying for just the right jobs online, use other job search methods that have been proven effective: network with people who may lead you to job openings, tell everyone you know about your job search, attend conferences and events in your field, stop in at smaller employers, and contact employers of interest directly (see next point). 
  • Contact employers of interest, even if no suitable jobs are advertised. Many employers will not advertise openings because it’s costly, inundates them with bad job applications from strangers, and creates a time-consuming search process. So, contact employers of interest directly. Let an employer know you are interested in the organization and explain what you can do for it. This approach can take you to the front of the hiring line when a job opening occurs. I have found jobs this way in the past.
  • Follow up on job applications with human contact. After you apply for a targeted job online, try to follow up with a real person at the company or organization. Perhaps you can connect with someone on LinkedIn or email or call a company insider to express your interest in the position. This human touch can pull your resume out of the pile.
So stop seeing your time go down the drain in your job search. Apply just for the jobs that fit you and excite you, and watch what a difference it will make.