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Job interviews got you bummed out? This won’t help…

interviewing for jobs and not getting the job

Today’s topic is just to help you feel better if you’ve ever had an interview and didn’t get the job.

We all work hard in preparing for a job interview. We research the company, we practice answering interview questions, we tweak our resume, etc. The list of things we do is endless. And after all those countless hours of preparation we find out after a couple of weeks that we didn’t get the job.

Sometimes it’s very difficult to understand the reason why. We knew we were right for the job and they seemed to like us. Everything fit, but for some unknown reason they chose someone else.

This story happens more often than not to countless job seekers. If it happened to you, don’t feel bad, just treat it as a learning experience and move on.

Sending a letter to the hiring manager and asking what it was about you they didn’t like seems like a good idea, doesn’t it? It’s a very genuine request and if they shared with you the answer, that might help you in future job interviews, right?

But the reality is a cold shoulder and you’re likely to feel even worse after sending a letter only to never hear back from them again.

It’s very unlikely that an employer will share with you the reason(s) they did not choose to hire you. They probably won’t even respond to you at all.

You see, companies can be held liable for what they say to you, so that’s why they keep their response to the standard “we found another candidate to be a closer match for this position.”

They’ll never really tell you why, in fact, they probably liked you – they just liked this other candidate a little better.

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

If this has happened to you, rest assured you are not the only one. Keep your spirits high and keep interviewing until you find the place that is best for you.

Are employers trying to trick you with this question?

The other day one of my clients told me she was asked the following question on a recent job interview.

“Do you have any additional qualities/strengths you would like to add as it relates to this position?”

She wanted to know what the hidden meaning was behind that question and… why would an employer ask such a question.

She really felt like they were trying to trick her into revealing something she might not have otherwise told them.

From her perspective, she has already given them a resume that clearly lists her skills – so what else could there be?

Here’s what I told her:

“I don’t suspect trickery. I think they are simply giving you the opportunity to add other strengths and qualities that you might not have included on your resume, but after reading the job description, you realized that you have a few extra skills/strengths you feel would add value to your candidacy.”

Don’t assume interviewers and employers are always out to trick you. They might ask you a trick question here and there, though ultimately they are just looking for the right person for the job.

Learn How to Answer ANY Behavioral Question in 17 Minutes

Applying for jobs when you are not ready

aplying-for-jobs

Surprisingly, I’ve been getting several emails from customers asking me if it’s okay to start applying for jobs, even though they won’t be able to interview for them for a few months.

Recently, I received an email from Rhonda who received a severance package after 23 years with her company. The next day she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Right now, she is going through chemo and expects a full recovery.

She wanted to know if it would be okay for her to start applying for jobs even though she will be physically unable to interview for them for at least a few months.

Here is what I told her:

“Applying for jobs without being in a position to act on them is a bit of a catch 22. But on the other hand, you’re more likely to get your feet wet by looking and applying for jobs — and even if you have to turn down a few interviews, you’ll have gained some traction in the job market.

You might even get a few phone interviews that you can actually take — and if they ask you to come in, in person, then you can decide how you want to proceed with that.

But since you expect to be hitting the job market in a few months anyway, I don’t see any reason why you should not start sending out resumes.”

It takes time to build up momentum while searching for jobs – that’s true for everyone, even me.

So if you can, I would suggest sending out resumes and making phone calls to get some traction in the job market, and who knows, by the time you are ready to start interviewing, you’ll be all warmed up and might snag a job right off the bat.

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

A Perfect Answer to the Weakness Question

weakness job interview question

Here’s a great way one of my customers answered the weakness question…

He recently sent me his answer and I loved it… and wanted to share it with you.

Here is what he said…

“My greatest weakness is interviewing and talking about myself. However, when the company I used to work for closed, they offered us an opportunity to take a workshop in dealing with the challenges related to finding new employment. I signed up for this with the hopes in understanding and overcoming this weakness. I found this was very insightful in letting me understand and also how to overcome this weakness. I am much more confident now and I believe this is no longer a weakness.”

It’s a great answer because he identifies a weakness he used to have, and briefly describes how he overcame it. Plus, he’s proving to them he overcame it by confidently delivering a solid interview presentation.

It’s a beautiful answer and I hope it helps you.

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

7 reasons why you didn’t get the job

7 reasons why you didn't get the job

You knew you were right for the job and they seemed to love you. Everything went well… so well in fact that they made you feel like an offer was looming.

And two weeks later, you either never heard back from them or they informed you someone else was selected.

Just because you were right for the job doesn’t always mean that you’ll get it. In fact, there are many reason why.

Here are 7 of the most common reasons you didn’t get hired:

1.) You were qualified, but someone else was more qualified: You’ll never really know if this was the true reason or not, no matter what they tell you.

2.) You weren’t as qualified as you thought you were: Initially, you might have thought you were a good fit, but after the interview process, the employer elevated their requirements for the job that pushed you out of the running. This is not your fault.

3.) You turned off the hiring manager in the interview: You might have rubbed the interviewer the wrong way. For example, this could have been a casual comment you made about your dislike of hunters, or guns while not realizing your interviewer was an avid hunter. Not your fault

4.) You weren’t a culture fit: All companies have their own culture. From strict cultures like IBM to as laid back as it gets at Apple. For whatever reason, you did not fit it, even though you were qualified.

5.) You weren’t able to articulate why you were the best person for the job: This can happen if you are nervous, or you don’t understand what qualities they are looking for in a candidate for this position.

6.) The job was already set aside for someone else: This tends to be true for larger employers. If the hiring manager already has someone in mind for a job opening, the HR department sill makes them post the job and interview at least ten applicants. This is their corporate policy and they have to abide by it.

Then after they interview ten candidates, they can hire the person they wanted to in the first place. Unfortunately, it creates a lot of false hope for ten job seekers.

7.) You didn’t seem enthusiastic about the job: Let’s face it, some jobs are no fun and the only reason we even interview for them is because we need the money. And that type of attitude shows through. Some jobs you just can’t get excited about. And employers don’t want to hire someone who is not interested in the job.

So if you had an interview and didn’t get the job and are still scratching your head as to why — chances are you’ll find your answer above.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Treat each job interview as a learning experience and find something positive to take away from each one as this will help you become better at interviewing — eventually leading towards an offer letter for the job you want.

If you feel stuck in a rut and just can’t get out, you might need to re-engineer yourself in a brilliant new way.

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

7 dumb interview questions to avoid

interview questions to avoid

One of the techniques I always cover with students in my top tier coaching class, Accelerate, is questions that are good to ask employers…

…Questions that will leave them with a positive impression of you.

But you want to avoid questions that might negatively affect your candidacy — leaving you wondering why you never heard back from them.

We’ve all been on an interview we thought went well, but never heard back, right? Even me. It happens to the best of us. Usually it’s because of a little mistake we made that we didn’t even know about.

I can’t stress this point enough – During the first and second round of interviews — avoid asking your interviewer the ME questions.

Such as,

1. Do you allow your employees to work from home?
2. Do you pay for mileage?
3. Will you pay for my home Internet?
4. Will you pay for my training?
5. Will I be able to get my paycheck directly deposited?
6. How much vacation will I get the first year?
7. I won’t have to work weekends, will I?

There’s a million of them, but I think you get the idea.

You may not realize it, but when you ask these questions you are putting yourself in the class with the deadbeat employee. The deadbeat employee wants the company to bend over backwards for them. They want the company to pay for everything. They are whiners and complainers.

They want this… they want that…They are always wanting something and are rarely grateful for the job they have.

They come in late, they leave early – they want the company to pay for their lunch, their car, their mileage, their home Internet…the list is endless. I’m sure you’ve seen this type of worker.

When you ask these kinds of questions in a job interview, they immediately classify you with the deadbeat employees they already have – and I’m pretty sure they don’t want anymore employees like that.

Chances are — you are interviewing for the deadbeat’s job.

Unless the answer to any of the above questions is vitally important to your acceptance of this job, then I would strongly advise you not to ask these types of questions.

A couple weeks ago in Accelerate, I worked with Mike T. to create a rather unique strategy for his Telecom management interview.

We reverse engineered the “deadbeat employee” classification. Mike went into his interview already knowing how interviewers perceive candidates and the hidden notes on which they are judged.

He knew not to ask all those ME type questions, but we took it one step further and reversed the idea behind each of those questions, making it Mike’s own personal philosophy. Then he weaved those ideas into the conversation of the interview.

Now, Mike looks like a guy who believes that employees should work weekends when needed, is willing to pay out of his own pocket for piddly expenses, as well as his own lunch and believes that working in the office is more productive than working from home.

He basically told them everything they wanted to hear without them ever having to guess or ask him. Long story short – he got the job.

This is just one of the tactics I teach in success coaching and show the student how to successfully apply it.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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,

Don

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

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