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5 questions never to ask in a job interview

questions not to ask in a job interview

At the end of the interview, it’s your turn to ask the interviewer a few questions. You should already have a planned list of questions.

Don’t ask questions just for the sake of asking questions. Ask meaningful questions that will help you make an informed decision about whether or not you want to work here.

On page 83 in the Complete Interview Answer Guide, there is a very good list of questions you might consider asking…

Ideally, I like to weave my questions into the conversation throughout the interview. That way, at the end of the interview, I only have a couple of questions where I need answers. When you use this technique, make sure to keep your questions in context.

Here are 5 questions that can make you look real bad and end all hopes of a second interview.

1. “What sort of flextime options do you have?”
This kind of question makes it sound like you don’t want to work before you even have the job. Stay clear of any related questions unless it’s critical to you accepting the job.

2. “When can I expect a raise?”
Talking about compensation can be difficult, but asking about raises is not the way to go about it. You’d do better to ask about the process involved towards working up to a higher salary.

3. “When will I be promoted?
This is one of the most common questions candidates ask. I don’t know why candidates would ask such a question. A better way to turn this question around would be to ask what you need to do to get a promotion.

4. Any question that shows you haven’t been listening.
If the interviewer tells you early on in the interview that telecommuting is not an option, and then at the end of the interview in one of your closing questions, you ask if you can work from home – that shows you have not been paying attention.

5. “What’s the salary for this position?”
Phrasing the question in this manner can be a turn-off for some employers. A better way to ask this is, “Has the salary range been determined for this position?”

As I said, some employers are turned off by this question, but if the salary range is $30k less than you are willing to take, then you would want to find out as soon as possible so you don’t waste your time pursuing this opportunity any further.

5 Best things to say in your next job interview

Break through interviewing screening wall that is keeping you out

Saying the right thing in an interview won’t necessarily get you the job, but it can help keep your interview on track, avoiding disaster.

Here’s my top 5 list of the best things you should consider saying in your interview.

Keep in mind my top 5 list is more of a framework or methodology than a bulleted list of statements or words – so here it goes:

1.) Ask Good Questions – don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking questions, look in the Complete Interview Answer Guide on page 83 to find a complete list of suggested questions you should consider asking in some form or another.

The list is meant to give you some guidelines for asking good questions and in no way suggests you ask any or all of them – you need to develop your own questions that mean something to you.

It’s important that you ask meaningful questions that will help you decide whether you want to work there or not. By using that mentality as a rule of thumb, then all your questions will likely be good ones. By doing this, it shows you are genuinely interested in working for them.

2.) Be flexible – no matter what it is about, job duties, start dates, weekend hours, setting up a date for a second interview. Just say “yes.” Don’t make their job difficult – be as accommodating as possible. Though when it comes time to negotiate salary, don’t be a pushover, but don’t be impossible to deal with either.

3.) Using their own words – as you read the job description, become familiar with their choice of industry buzz words or language and use that in your interview.

Weave those words or their style of language into the fabric of your conversation and when they start hearing their own words coming out of your mouth, they’ll start to think you are one of them. It can also show that you understand them and their needs.

4.) Compliment them when you don’t know — everyone loves a compliment. When they ask you a question you don’t know, instead of saying “I don’t know” say “that’s a good question.” And then tell them to give you a minute and you’ll give them an answer. Do as much as you can to avoid saying “I don’t know.”

5.) Let them know you want the job – don’t keep this a secret. Most candidates just assume the prospective employer thinks you are interested, but it’s important for you to verbally express your interest in their company and products. Tell them how you see yourself fitting into their organization and why it means something to you to work for them.

When you adopt this methodology or framework in your job interviews, it humanizes you. It shows them you are a real living breathing person with a mind of your own, with career, family, and personal goals – not one the masses, not one of the countless people who are looking for a job, but a real person.

Do this and you’ll find more employers wanting to hire you.

These are the exact strategies I help clients develop and implement through the Complete Interview Answer Guide and they get hired for the job they want.
-Don

4 Smart Things Job Seekers Do

interview preparation

Let’s face it — Getting hired for a job is not easy.

Some people seem to be better at it than others. So what are some of the key characteristics that make up the elite group of successful job candidates?

What are they doing that makes employers want to hire them?

1. They show relevance
They clearly demonstrate to interviewers how their background and career goals are consistent with the requirements for the job. When your background and experience matches the job description, that makes it all the easier for employers to want to hire you.

Make it easy for them — connect the dots and show them why you are the right person for the job.

2. They show consistency
All of their recent work experience is consistent with the requirements for the job. Their resume is consistent with the job description. When employers talk to them, their conversation is consistent with their resume.

When employers search them out on LinkedIn, their profile is consistent with their resume. In short, their whole career profile, both off-line and on-line is consistent and comes around full-circle.

There are no dead ends — they know exactly what they want, and thus are more likely to get what they want.

3. They practice how they’ll answer interview questions
You can’t walk into an interview cold. You have to practice how you’ll answer common interview questions, like: why do you want to work here, tell me about yourself, how does your background fit in with our department, etc.

Preparing for interview questions is paramount and nothing will help you get more prepared with knowing exactly what to say than the Complete Interview Answer Guide.

4. They are always planning their next move
Successful candidates are always thinking ahead. They are planning out what they will say and do based on how their interview goes. If the employer says, “we’ll get back to you,” they’ll say, “when can I expect to hear from you?” or “do you mind if I follow-up with you in two weeks?”

It doesn’t end there – they know exactly how to drill-down into employers to poke and prod them for useful information that will aid them in navigating their candidacy towards a job offer.

This is a complicated strategy, no doubt about it, and having a strategic job coach guide you through this maze can make all the difference in developing a sound strategy that is certain to close the gap on landing your dream job.

Enjoy!
-Don

When should you follow-up after a job interview?

when to follow-up after an interview

This topic keeps coming up so I wanted to touch on it again with you.

Just the other day I was working with a client and she asked these questions:

“When should you follow-up after a job interview and how long should you wait before following up after the initial thank you note?”

These days, some companies take several weeks to get back to you. What are you supposed to do? I don’t want to appear to be a “job stalker” yet I want to appear interested and qualified.

Here’s what I told her:

Never feel like you are harassing them, especially when you have their permission (and I’ll get to that in a minute).

I think the best time to follow-up with your interviewer is Tuesday – Thursday around 9:00AM within 2 weeks of your last interview. But that two week number is rather a loose figure and it depends more on their hiring timeline.

I don’t like to follow-up on Monday because it’s the first day of the week and is likely to be hectic. And I don’t suggest follow-up calls on Friday because it’s a casual day and employees like to start thinking about the weekend, not a new hire.

Best Way to Answer Behavioral and STAR Questions

I like 9:00 AM follow-up phone calls because it’s an hour after they started working and likely to be before any meetings – so you have your best chance to catch them at their desk instead of leaving voice mail.

Ideally, you want to get their permission to call them. You get this by asking them at the close of the interview. I covered this before in more detail, but basically, ask if you can follow-up with them in a week or two.

They always say yes.

Now you have their permission to call or email them without feeling like you are pestering them.

Should you call or email?

Me personally, I like to call – it’s just more personal that way and I have a better chance of carrying on a conversation with them where they get the chance to know me a little better.

The more conversations I have with them – the more likely they are to hire me. Whereas with email, you can send a follow-up, but you might not hear back, or their response is cryptic and you’re no better off than before you sent the email. And now what are you supposed to do, reply back and ask them what they mean?

Following up is critical to your success in landing a job and that is just one of the many topics I cover with my students in Accelerate.

To your success,

How to interview for an internal position

internal job interview

Even though you may not be interviewing for a job at your existing company, some of these tips are perfectly in line with interviewing for jobs everywhere. It’s a good read either way…

You have a great advantage because you already work there. I would suggest talking about your current accomplishments within the company where you work. Highlight many of the things you have already done and the impact they had on the company. Use numbers to quantify your results.

Most importantly, let them know you have a plan for this new position and tell them how you would approach it. (this is a great tip even if you don’t have an internal interview)

Don’t take anything for granted, like the fact that you already work there and that getting this job will be easy.

Work hard for it. Do your homework and research on the position and present yourself as a unique and genuine candidate who can clearly do this job better than anyone else.

That’s how I was always able to get any job I ever wanted.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

I gave them more than they were looking for and proved to them that I could not only do the job at hand, but could embellish the position in two other ways – making me look like I could do the job of three people all rolled into one.

But the trick here is not to dilute your candidacy. These extra talents you possess need to be closely related to the requirements for the position.

When you do this correctly, you basically knock out everyone else and emerge the only clear choice for the job.

Let me know what you think.

4 ways to brag about yourself in the interview

What are your biggest accomplishments?

It’s okay to brag here, but just a little. Don’t spend too much time with this answer as the interviewer is just looking for a short answer and is interested in what you have done recently. Make sure your answer is related to your career and not your personal life. Don’t give frivolous answers, like: “I fixed the copy machine when it was jammed,” or “I got all my work done in one day; the same day it was due.”

It is essential for you to explain how and why you made these accomplishments.

Watch the video for ideas on how you can prepare yourself for this question.

If you like this video, please share it.

How to answer questions about employment gaps

Are you worried about employment gaps?

Are you even more worried what you’ll say to prospective employers about the large gaps on your resume?

I made a short video for you that will give you a few good pointers on how to handle situations like this.

Ace Your Job Interview With This Little Trick


129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

This stuff is right out of my #1 resume guide. If you don’t have it, the Resume Masterpiece is a real gem. It’s one of my best selling guides that all my clients rave about.

If you don’t have it yet, do yourself a favor and download it today.

I’m certain that after glancing through the guide for just 30 minutes, you’ll immediately discover 10 things you are doing wrong on your resume and I’ll show you how to fix them.

You are certain to find at least 10 things wrong with your resume.

You don’t have anything to lose, but you’ll likely end up with a resume that is 10x better than you have right now.

Download the Resume Masterpiece today and make your resume stand out!

3 key factors when applying for internal positions

internal-position

Even though you may not be interviewing for a job at your existing company, you can use these concepts when interviewing for jobs everywhere. It’s a good read either way…

You have a great advantage because you already work there. I would suggest talking about your current accomplishments within the company where you work. Highlight many of the things you have already done and the impact they had on the company. Use numbers to quantify your results.

Most importantly, let them know you have a plan for this new position and tell them how you would approach it. (this is a great tip even if you don’t have an internal interview)

Don’t take anything for granted, like the fact that you already work there and that getting this job will be easy.

Work hard for it. Do your homework and research on the position and present yourself as a unique and genuine candidate who can clearly do this job better than anyone else.

That’s how I was always able to get any job I ever wanted.

I gave them more than they were looking for and proved to them that I could not only do the job at hand, but could embellish the position in two other ways – making me look like I could do the job of three people all rolled into one.

But the trick here is not to dilute your candidacy. These extra talents you possess need to be closely related to the requirements for the position.

When you do this correctly, you basically knock out everyone else and emerge the only clear choice for the job.

Let me know what you think.

If you like this, please share it.
-Don

What everybody ought to know about job interviews

how to ace interviews

I’m always getting asked by job seekers, “what can I do to really stand out in my interview.”

Here’s three simple things you can do that will make a world of difference on your next interview.

1. Ability to prove worth

It is one thing to call yourself an effective leader or that you’re able to do many things. It is another to back it up. You need to prove to employers you have what it takes or it’s all lip service.

What you need to do is provide real, tangible examples of accomplishments from your past jobs. It’s one thing to say you can do something, and another when you back it up with real life stories from your past.

This is how you can clearly separate yourself from your competition.

2. More than a simple knowledge of the company

Most people take a quick look the company’s website before heading to the interview.

You need to do more than that to stay ahead in this game.

To stand out, you need to show that your research was a mile deep and not an inch deep like most candidates.

You need to go above and beyond in your efforts to show that you understand this company inside and out.

Annual reports and financial statements can help. Likewise, check for any recent news events or press releases. It’s good to look at their:

• Company vision
• Products
• Competitors
• Stock price
• Etc.

But you don’t want to go overboard either. You want to keep your questions someone relevant to the position. For example, if you’re applying for the janitors job, asking questions about their stock price and senior management history might not go over all that well.

3. Enthusiasm

If you’ve taken the time to demonstrate your worth and to do homework on the company, you’re probably in good shape.

So how do you demonstrate enthusiasm?

It’s hard to teach enthusiasm and you can’t fake it. It’s your own level of interest in the company, how excited you are to be there, the expressions on your face, the tone of your voice, your attentiveness – it’s all those things and more all rolled into one.

But I think the root of enthusiasm is the confidence you have in yourself. When you are confident in yourself and what you are doing, enthusiasm shines through.

Once you know what to say and how to say it, that makes all the difference in the world and dramatically raises your chances for getting the job and the Complete Interview Answer Guide will help you do just that.

Enjoy!

Top 5 Things You Should Be Doing To Prepare For Interviews

Getting ready for a job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience.

However, when you keep your wits about you and prepare diligently for the task at hand, you can use the days leading up to your interview as an excellent opportunity to prepare yourself. Employers are going to spot individuals who are well-prepared from a mile away. Follow these steps and you can be one of the top contenders.

1. The first thing you should do when you land a job interview is learn as much as you can about the position and the company. Memorize the job description so you know exactly what you’re applying for down to the very last detail.

Best Way to Answer Behavioral and STAR Questions

Go over the job requirements and learn these as well. If there are any preferred qualifications that you don’t have, be prepared with an explanation of why you’ll be able to perform the job well despite this particular setback.

2. Get online and do thorough research into the company. Look at their website, social media sites, and blog. Make sure you’re up to date with any recent developments in the company.

When answering interview questions, its best if you can apply your answers to the specific company in question, rather than providing a generic answer that could apply to any job. Referring to recent news stories that pertain to the industry or the latest developments within the company will make a truly outstanding impression.

New for 2014 - Resume Strategies That Work

3. Next, you should choose your interview attire. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed, so err on the side of formality. Even if the company allows business casual attire, you’ll do best to show up in formal business wear.

If you’re applying for a job where the employees wear jeans and tee shirts, dress up in business casual clothing. Keep your clothing conservative and professional. Get to know the corporate culture and attire expected within the company as well as you can so you’re dressed appropriately.

4. You should also prepare any items that you’ll be taking along with you. If the job requires a portfolio, make sure you double check all your items to ensure that they’re in good shape well ahead of time.

It’s also a good idea to print out an extra resume and bring this with you. Keep these documents in a professional-looking folder, briefcase, or bag. Don’t weigh yourself down with too many things, though. Make sure you still have a free hand for a good hand shake.

5. Finally, prepare some sample interview questions for yourself and practice answering them. You should expect to address your reasons for leaving your current or last job, reasons for wanting to join the company, and special skills or talents which will make you best-suited to the position.

You will probably be asked about your weaknesses as well. Prepare solid answers to these questions and go over them several times so you have the essence of your responses in mind. Good preparation will go a long way toward helping you land that job. Taking the time to thoroughly prepare for your interview is sure to pay off in the long run.

How to Write Cover Letters to Get the Interview

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