Monday, April 20, 2015

3 Things you MUST take to your next job interview

A college senior recently asked me  "What should I bring with me to my job interview?" Great question, I thought. Here is my short list of things that I would recommend that you bring. These three things may seem obvious, but during my time as a hiring manager, they were often not obvious to many candidates. 

1. A copy of your resume. (heck, bring 3 copies)

A major mistake that many candidates make is forgetting to bring a resume with them to the interview. As a hiring manager, you may interview several candidates per day, receive several resumes per day, and have countless applications. As such, the interviewer may not have your resume. Or, he most likely has it - but really wants to see just how prepared you are. (Also, be sure to review your resume the day of your interview. You can bet your 1st paycheck that they will have questions about your resume.) 
2. A pen.
Sounds easy right?
Bring a pen.
I can't tell you how many candidates show up to an interview without a pen. Often times, you may be asked to complete an application. Don't be the guy or gal that asks for a pen to complete the application. 
3. A list of your references.
You may also be asked to supply some references during the interview process. Be prepared with a list of your references that you can easily hand over to the hiring manager if asked. This looks impressive.

These 3 things can all fit into a nice leather bound portfolio. Before your next job interview, make sure you put these three things into your portfolio.

I'd love to hear from you. Did I forget anything that you would take?

Interview Tutor
Professional Career Services


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Want to be happier? A better interview can help.

Your career is an epic journey. For most of us, it will last many decades and it will naturally just take some time to advance. One position  typically leads to the next better one. The position after that one should be even better yet. At some point, as you climb the ladder of success, you become happier. You become more confident. More experienced, respected, and knowledgeable. You become more satisfied and fulfilled with your daily responsibilities (and your pay should also improve). This creates a happier you.
If you are reading this and currently in your first job, rarely will this be your first and only job. For the rest of us, you know the twists and turns that your career can take with the ending and beginnings of different positions.
Curves in your career?
When taken in that context, the position you don't get now can affect you for years!

From my experiences as a hiring manager, most hiring decisions came down to very small differences between candidates. It was rare when interviewing for a specific position, that one candidate was far superior to the others. Most hiring decisions were very difficult and came down to the smallest of details.

Why is this important to know? 

Even the smallest improvement in your interview skills can mean the difference between a life changing opportunity and a rejection letter.
A typical hiring manager interviews 6 to 8 candidates for every open position.
One reason is that they really hope to find the perfect candidate. But the truth is that the perfect candidate is a rare find.
Why ?
Most candidates don't interview that well and as such they never represent themselves as the perfect candidate. They get nervous, don't work on their interview skills, and have trouble articulating. 
It is very difficult to hire a candidate that doesn't interview well, regardless of his or her qualifications. Trust me, it would save so much time and company resources to interview just half of the candidates that compete for the open position.
So, how does this relate to your happy place? One way is to become better prepared for your next interview. Over the course of a professional career, you will be given incredible opportunities. Many times, what stands between you and an incredible promotion, an exciting new job, or that coveted internship is THE INTERVIEW. 
Have you done everything possible to maximize your next interview?
If so, you will be soon be happier!