Hey everybody, Don Georgevich here. And today, I’m answering your questions. I’ve got my e-mail open and I’m going to answer your questions. This is my brand new 10 by 10 Series, where I answer 10 of your questions in 10 minutes.

Alright, first question here is from Patty and she writes and she says;

Hey Don, I had an interview yesterday and I sent a follow up Thank-You letter to the hiring manager. My question is should I send it to the HR rep as well?

Well, that’s a good question, Patty, and I’m sure that you run into the situation too. Because as a general rule, you don’t want to send everybody that you’ve dealt with a thank-you letter. I mean, you can, but you also don’t want to overdo it. I suggest sending a thank-you letter to the most important person; the hiring manager. Because that’s the person that matters the most since.

Patty’s first contact with the company was through human resources, and then she was referred over to the hiring manager, she wants to know if she should send a thank-you letter to the Human Resources Manager, as well as the hiring manager.

Whether you send the thank-you letter to the HR rep or not, it’s not going to affect the outcome; it’s not going to make a difference as to whether you get the job or not. The relationship that you want to nurture is the one with the Hiring Manager because that’s the one that matters the most.

So, if I were you, I would just send one to the Hiring Manager and leave the HR rep out of it, but that’s optional. If you really feel that you’ve made a connection with this person, maybe you’ve made a small friend with the HR rep and you’ve had some conversations, sure, you can go ahead and tell them that,

“Thank you for introducing me to the Hiring Manager. I met him we had a great connection and it looks like we’re going to be moving forward with a job offer”

Something like that. But again, it’s optional and it’s not going to make a difference. I hope that clears things up and I wish you the best of luck, Patty.

So, the next one here is from Cheryl. Cheryl says,

Hey Don, I need your advice. Today, I went on an interview for a position for a Medical Billing Supervisor. The interview went great. During the interview, the Executive Director kept insisting that she needed someone with strong skills to handle the job. I assured her that I can do the job.

And now, she would like me to come back for a second interview next week to meet with her and another person. Can you please give me some advice on how to handle a second interview?

Hey, that’s a great question, Cheryl. And second interviews are different from first interviews. If they like you in the first interview, they’re going to give you a second interview; which means they’re going to want to dig deeper into you your abilities to do the job.

So, let me tell you what I would do in a second interview. The best way you can prove to your interviewer that you’re the best candidate for the job is by example.

Talk about your past experiences to current job responsibilities and make sure you address each one of her concerns and objections.

Now, before you go back for the second interview, make sure that you have a list of everything that you talked about for the job. Then break it down into responsibilities with her concerns and objections and isolate each one. Then take your time and address each one with how you will handle the responsibilities from your past experience and neutralize any concerns or objections that she may have.

Since this is for a supervisory position, you’re going to need to demonstrate that you can manage other people and show her how you’re going to be able to do this effectively. Give her examples of how your past management skills have prepared you for this job. Let her know that you know how to effectively manage other people and that you know how to get things done. Let her know that you are a fair and impartial manager. Alright, Cheryl you should be all set for your second interview. Okay, let’s go to the next question here.

This one’s from Julie. Julie writes here; she says;

Hi, Don. How do I get your interview coaching help?

Well, Julie, that’s a great question. And whether you get me as a coach or you get someone else, just having a coach with you while you’re searching and interviewing for jobs is going to help you so much, because they’re going to see things that you’re not able to see for yourself and they’re going to be able to give you that extra advice along the way to help guide you towards the job that you want.

And if you’re interested in my coaching, I offer coaching through e-mail and I offer one-on-one coaching sessions over Skype. And if that’s something you’re interested in, you can go to a jobinterviewtools.com/coaching and that’s where you can see the different options that I have that will allow you and me to work together on the phone or Skype or through e-mail. Okay.

Next question here. So, Andrea says;

Hi, Don. I have my interview and I can say this was the best interview I ever had. I’m very excited about the job and I was told that I’ll know by the end of the week.

I was also the first person that they interviewed for the position and I read somewhere that the first person interviews last gets the job. Is that correct?

Well, Andrea, that’s a really good question, because if you think about it, if a company is interviewing 10 candidates and you were the first and then by the time they interviewed the 10th candidate, several days or maybe even weeks have passed.

So, you might think that you’ve been forgotten and that the last person is the freshest in their mind. And that’s the one that they’re going to remember the most and that’s the one they’ll hire. I don’t believe in any of that.

But I don’t think you’ve fallen out of consideration. They may not remember you as well. So, what you can do in cases like this, if you know you’re the first one interviewed and maybe a week or two later, they’re going to finish up their interviews, what you want to do is send gentle reminders to your interviewer.

E-mail them or call them and just let them know that you appreciated their time, you thank them for their time. Basically a thank-you or follow-up letter is ideal. But just let them know that you’re still interested in the job. Just reach out to them through e-mail and just say,

“Hey, this is Andrea. I just wanted to follow up on the position. I know you haven’t finish all of your interviews, but I just wanted to reaffirm my interest with you and let you know that I’m still really excited and interested about this position based on everything that you told me. This would be perfect for me and I know that I’m going to be able to do a great job for you”.

So, hang in there Andrea. If you had a great first interview, I’m sure they’re going to call you back for a second interview; whether you were the first or the last person. Okay. Let’s move on over to the next question.

This one’s from Linda. Linda writes and she says;

Don, I want an expert answer to a burning question, because I get asked this all the time. I worked in the automotive industry and I received a buyout from the company that I worked for. So, it’s kind of like a lay off, but it was a buyout; which means they paid me to leave. And so, I decided to take some time off. And now that I’m interviewing again, everybody keeps asking me, ‘Why did you leave your last employer?’”

Oh, Linda, there’s nothing wrong with accepting a buyout. And a lot of people do it all the time and they receive a large sum of money, usually it’s usually six months or a year’s worth of salary, and they’re not that eager to go back to work. They decide to take some time off, recoup, refresh, regenerate. And it sounds like you did the same thing.

And what the employers is to do is to make sure that you haven’t lost any of your skills. So, you want to show them that you kept up on your skills. You want to let them know that you were reading and educating yourself, maybe going to seminars, reading books, trade magazines, whatever.

Let them know that you weren’t just sitting around, eating potato chips on the couch and then watching TV every day. Let them know that you were active and that this was a rejuvenation period for you and that you’re actually better now than you were a year ago.

That’s how you overcome being out of the workforce for a year. You just want to overcome those concerns, address those concerns for them and let them know that those really aren’t concerns and tell them why. OK. Alright, let’s move onto the next question.

Next question here is from Jerry. And Jerry writes and he says;

Don, I have an immediate question and I need your help. I got a degree with 10 years of work experience in general accounting. I was asked a question many times during interviews, do I have skills in finance?

Now, accounting and finance are similar, but they have different applications. I’ve been telling employers that I’m a quick learner, but I feel that they’re not convinced. Can you help me answer this question?

That’s a great question Jerry and a lot of people have that same problem. They’re skilled in one area and there’s some somewhat of an overlap into another area, but they really don’t have direct experience in that area. And so, the employer is probing them to find out what level of experience that they do have.

But what you want to do, Jerry, is show them transferable skills. Talk about your accounting skills you have that are relevant to their finance requirements. Not all of your accounting skills, just the relevant ones; connect the dots for them. Show them why you are qualified by talking about any related experiences that you have in accounting that they will understand.

You need to convince them that you have the core skills they’re seeking. And when you tell them you’re a quick study, you’re really telling them that you don’t have what they’re looking for.

So, what you want to do instead is tell them what you do have. Tell them what pieces of accounting experience you have that is relevant to finance to try to bridge the gap; try to connect the dots for them. Show them the experiences that you have an accounting and how they related to finance.

And that’s really the key to answering any type of question like that. Alright, let’s move onto the next one.

Next question I have here is from Cheryl. She says;

Hey Don, would you please review my thank-you letter?

Alright Cheryl let’s take a look at your thank you letter.

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet with you last week. I hope my experience and skills were a good match for this position. I really enjoyed speaking to you and Mrs. Gale.

I appreciate you considering me for the medical billing supervisor position and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely. “

Well, Cheryl, the thank-you letter itself is very brief and I do like a brief thank-you letter. I think your letter can be actually better.

So, let’s take a look at your letter. The introduction you have is fine because you thanked her for meeting with you last week. That’s perfect.

And then you go in and you say, “I hope my experience and skills were a good match”. You don’t really want to hope, you want to assume.

So, if I were you, I would change that statement a little bit and I would try to reference something from the interview. Connect back to the interview and reference to the position. I would rather connect back to the interview, reference the position, and tell her that based on the requirements for the position and everything that she’s looking for, you believe that you would be the perfect candidate for the job.

And then going for the close and tell her that you’re looking forward to hearing from her soon.

But as you have it, it’s just a mediocre letter. So, you can make it better by connecting back to the job description and letting her know how and why you feel you are perfectly qualified for this position. Alright. And good job on sending a thank-you letter.

A lot of people don’t do that, a lot of people miss that and I think they miss out on a lot of potential job offers. Let’s go to next question.

So, the next letter here is from Peggy. Peggy writes in, she says;

Hey Don, I had an interview; it was two and a half hours long and everything went great. They loved me. They checked my references and they told me that they’ll be in touch with me next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Is there anything else I can do to make sure I get the job or is it just a matter of fate?

Alright, Peggy, I mean, that is a great question. Now, there are a few things that you can do. The first thing I would do is I’d start planning for, what if they don’t call me? I know they said they’ll call me, but what if they don’t call me, what am I going to do?

I would have a plan ready, so that if they don’t call me by a certain day, then I’m going to call them or I’m going to e-mail them to follow up again to find out where they’re at.

The next thing I would do is I would start preparing for, if they offer me the job, what am I going to do? Am I going to say yes, am I going to say no? What is the criteria that I’m going to use to decide whether I accept the job or not. Is it going to be salary, is it going to be benefits, start time, travel, location, whatever it is, I would find out all my criteria for accepting or rejecting a potential job offer.

The last thing I would do is plan my negotiation strategy. So, if they’re not giving me everything I’m asking for, maybe salary or benefits, what’s my threshold there? At what point am I going to negotiate and for how much am I going to negotiate? If they offered me $70 thousand and I was looking for 80, am I going to try for 80 or am I going to try for 75?

I would get all this stuff figured out and know exactly what I’m going to do and how I’m going to negotiate this offer and what is going to be a successful negotiation for me.

Most people don’t even consider that. They just think that they’re going to go and negotiate and try to get more. But if you don’t know what you’re aiming for or how much you’re negotiating for, you’re not going to get it. So, decide.

So it’s very important for you to decide what you want, how much you want and how little you’re willing to take. Alright. So, that was a great question. Good luck on your interview. I really hope you get this job and I hope they give you everything that you’re asking for. Let’s go on to the next question.

Next question here from Charles. Charles writes, he says;

Don I really like your book, but I have a few questions I can’t figure out. I quit my job about six months ago to start a franchise business. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. So, now I’m looking for a corporate job again. What’s the best thing for me to say? Should I mention the fact that I tried to start a business but failed?

Hey, Charles that’s a really good question, because you left your corporate job to go and try to be an entrepreneur and it didn’t work out. But trying to be an entrepreneur and starting your own business takes guts; takes a lot commitment a lot of time and it doesn’t always work out.

So, that tells me a lot about the type of person that you are and that’s the kind of person that I would like to hire. I love hiring entrepreneurs who tried, but couldn’t work out. I like them for the work ethic, because if they’re willing to work 16-hour days really, really hard days for themselves, they’d be more than happy to work 8-hour days for me and I’m probably going to get a lot more from them.

So, that’s the kind of message that you want to convey. Be proud of yourself for quitting your job and trying to start a business. People who want to work for themselves are really going to work harder for other people. That’s what I’ve found.

Don’t see yourself as a failure for trying to start a business and having things not work out. I mean, if everyone who ever tried to start a business succeeded, there wouldn’t be any available jobs anymore. Really.

So, I remember a time when I was interviewing a guy who was in the same position and he had been working 12 to16-hour days for himself. Not that his business didn’t work out, he just got tired of doing it and he wanted to step back into an 8-hour day in a corporate job.

And I couldn’t wait to hire him, because if he was willing to work 12 to 16 hours for himself, just that intensity level, just imagine what he could do for us in 8 hours.

So, to me, I was really attracted to an entrepreneur who wanted to come back to corporate America. To me, those are the hidden gems, those are the real stars, those are the people that can really excel in a company. And if you have those qualities I would make sure that you express them in your interview. And don’t see yourself as a failure just because you try to start a business and it didn’t work out. Alright, let’s move onto the next question.

This is the last question and it’s from Kay. Kay writs and she says;

Hey Don, I had an internet interview with a pharmaceutical company and I passed it and I have a phone screening interview with them on Friday. I’m interviewing with a huge company with a lot of employees and big numbers.

How do I talk about my small company with a few employees and no millions in their record? I feel so insignificant. Please let me know how to address this.

Hey, you know what? This happens all the time. People work for a small company and they’re trying to get a job for a big company and they feel the big company is going to just dwarf anything they’ve done in their smaller company and it just makes them feel so insignificant.

So, what I would suggest you do is talk about your ability to build relationships and nurture relationships. That’s transferable from any business. Talk about your own quotas and percentages of dollars and when you consistently exceed a quota by 25 percent, that’s going to speak wealth your sales skills. Talk about how you feel limited by working for a smaller company and that there’s so much more you could do if you only had blank and fill in that blank with what this company has to offer.

I mean, whether it’s more products, more territory, more responsibility, whatever it is. Let them know that you are looking for more than you can currently get from the small company that you’re working at.

And like I said, talking about your own quotas in percentages versus millions of dollars is just going to sound good, no matter how you say it. Alright, Kay. So, that’s how you can compete for jobs in big companies when you’ve come from smaller companies.

Alright, that’s all I have for you today. Thank you so much for watching my new series; 10 Questions In 10 Minutes.

Now, if you have a question about your job search or your resumé or anything like that. Something that I haven’t already answered on the show, send it in to me at don@jobinterview.com and I’ll answer it for you on the next show.

Thanks again for watching. And before you go on your next interview, if you’re looking for more help, more guidance and you want to go deeper into how to answer interview questions, I can’t recommend The Complete Answer Guide enough.

This guide has over 140 different questions and answers in it; behavioral questions, common interview questions, experience questions. It’s going to teach you how to answer any type of any of interview questions.

And when you get this guide, when you download this book, this is also going to give you email support with me.

So, if you have those questions and you need a fast response to them, you don’t have time to send them into the show and you want to get my take on it right away, you can get this guide and that will come with 30 days of e-mail support with me.

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