3 Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

You’ve answered their questions, you’ve talked about yourself and your strengths. The interview is winding down and your interviewer asks their final question: “Do you have any questions for me?”

Your answer needs to be yes. If you have no questions for your interviewer, you seem uninterested or like things are bit over your head. You have an opportunity not just to learn more about the position you’re applying for, but also to learn about the company and what it will take to succeed if you get the job. 

What do you enjoy most about working here?

Get an idea of what your interviewer likes most about the company. Not only will you learn what sets this company apart, but you’ll also get an idea of what values your interviewer and the company have. You can take their answer and see how well it aligns with what you want in your workplace. 

What are you hoping this role will accomplish moving forward?

It’s nice to know what the expectations are. When you’re new to a role, it can be difficult to know what you’re supposed to accomplish. Are you there to support others, or would it be ideal to take charge of things? Getting expectations laid out at the beginning will help you understand if the role is right for you, and if you land the job, you’ll know where to direct your efforts.

What are opportunities/challenges facing the company/department currently?

This is one of the things that will be hard to turn up in research. This question will help you understand the business, what some of their goals are and what to watch out for. As an employee, your interest in helping the company with opportunities and challenges will be valued and appreciated.

Asking your interviewer questions isn’t just about looking good during the interview. The questions you ask can help you in your role if you land the job. 

Things Your Resume Doesn’t Need

There are lots of things you should make sure are on your resume, like your name, past jobs and specific skills. In the same way, there are a number of things you’re going to want to make sure keep off your resume.

The Objective

Do you include an objective that starts by saying ‘to obtain the position of…” where you then write the position your applying for? Don’t bother. They know you want the job because they are looking at your resume. Instead, write a quick summary of who you are and what you bring to the table.

Irrelevant Work Experience

You want to keep your resume focused on the position you’re applying for. Adding a bunch of work experiences that have nothing to do with the job you’re applying for will cause the hiring manager to lose interest and assume you haven’t tailored your resume for this specific job.

References

If you’ve got a little section at the bottom of your resume that says references are available upon request, trash it. The hiring manager knows that if you make it to the point where they check your references, you’ll make those people available. That’s valuable space you’re wasting.

Spelling Mistakes and Improper Grammar

One of the quickest ways to get your resume tossed is poor spelling and grammar. So many job ads say that one of the requirements for the position is excellent written communication skills. Prove you have those by double and triple checking your resume for errors.

Graduation date

This one is a bit newer. Including your graduation date can lead to the employer assuming your age. In some cases, the employer may make assumptions about your fit for the position due to your age. Leaving off your graduation date ensures this doesn’t happen.

Personal Hobbies

The resume is a professional document. Unless your personal hobbies have a direct and positive relevance to the job you’re applying for, it’s best to leave them off. Focus on your professional skill and history instead.

Funny or Juvenile Email Address

If you’re using the same email address you’ve had since high school, you may want to consider changing it. The employer may think you’re perfect for the job, but if they have to email sassyprincess4life@hotmail.com to offer you the job, they may reconsider.

Salary Expectations

Unless you are expressly asked to do so, don’t include your salary expectations with your resume or cover letter. Money is always a touchy subject, and starting off with it suggests your interest in the position is purely monetary.

Colorful Text and Strange Fonts

You want your resume to be different from the rest. The way to make it stand out is by being a great candidate and following the steps above. Using a variety of colors and many different fonts will make your resume stand out for all the wrong reasons. It makes it difficult to read and if it’s difficult to read, it’ll go into the trash.

The Most Important Product You’ll Ever Market

People are always talking about selling yourself but very few people mention the altogether more useful advice – market yourself. Selling yourself is all well and good, but even better is the ability to market yourself and let people know about you. What do we mean by that?

Business cards

Well firstly, business cards. Yes, you just graduated, that sounds scary and grown up, but trust us. Business cards. Don’t cheap out on the cardstock either – we’re talking good, firm business cards. Blow some money on them. As we’ve talked about before, networking is the most important part of job searching, hands down. Business cards are an invaluable tool for networking. When you meet someone you’d like to work with, or you think might be willing or able to help you, a business card is the easiest way to make sure they have your information. It also lets them know you are a professional adult despite being a recent grad.

Create a website

Make a website for yourself – an online portfolio of your work. And make it look good. If they google you, you want this elegantly designed web page with a showcase of why you are amazing to pop up first. Again, it establishes that you are a professional adult. (WARNING: Be careful with this one, because it can backfire if your website looks like crap. Appearances matter, and this one is important, so your website is one place you do not want to skimp on.)

Additionally, for your website, ask employers (or former professors if you’re very new to the game), for quotes you can display on the website. Positive character and work reviews that will catch the attention of those nice people who checked out the website they saw on your professional business card and may be willing to pay you lots of money to do the thing you want.

Work to impress them at every opportunity andyou’ll get the gig you’re looking for soon. You just need to put in insane amounts of effort now – it’ll pay off. We promise.

The Confident Job Interview

Job interview jitters – we all get them no matter how many times we’ve done them. The shaking, sweaty palms, stuttering and forgetting all the answers that you worked so hard to prepare for. But here’s the trick to make a long, lasting impression even if you’re shaking in your boots. Look confident on the outside and know how to hide your nervousness.

Arrive early to the interview


Get there 10 to 15 minutes before your interview starts so you have time to calm your nerves and soak in the atmosphere. If you arrive right on time, you’ll be disheveled and before you know it, you’re in front of the interviewer before having the chance to practice the interview questions. That 10 to 15 minutes of your life could be the game changer in your confidence during the job interview.

Make eye contact with the interviewer


Looking at the person while talking shows confidence in many different ways. It shows that you are confident with yourself, the things you are talking about and the overall situation. Like we mentioned earlier, you don’t have to feel confident, but you have to look confident. Make eye contact and throw in a couple smiles here and there to hide how nervous you really are.

Pause. Collect your thoughts

Sometimes when people get nervous they tend to speak faster and ramble on. To avoid this, use a few seconds to think about your answer after the interviewer asks the question. Pause between sentences to collect your thoughts if you have to. It’s ok to take your time to answer the question. Hiring managers are human too and don’t you want a well, thought out answers instead of something that doesn’t make any sense?

Pretend you’re trying to get to know the other person

This is easier said than done, but pretend it’s not an interview and just a casual conversation between you and someone you’re getting to know. This will ease your mind and take the pressure off. Get the fact that it’s a job interview out of your head (but still remain professional).

How NOT to Get the Job

There’s a lot of job search advice out there. We’ve given plenty. But not all advice is good advice. Most of it comes from a good place. Anyone who is handing out advice is probably just like The Job Window, they want to help you find work. Sometimes that advice might be a little misguided.

We thought we’d put together a couple of key job search tips that you should avoid. Most of these tips sounds like a good idea, but taken in the wrong way, or taken too far, they’ll actually hurt your chances to get the job.

Take too much initiative

First on The Muse’s list of job search tips to avoid is “Take Initiative.” Taking initiative is great, to a point. Get those resumes out there, have cover letters ready to go. Try and find the name of the hiring manager so you can address your cover letter correctly. There comes a point when it can be too much. As The Muse points out, trying to schedule your own interview, or showing up unexpectedly will not help you get the job. 

Ignore the cover letter

There are still some people out there who think that no one reads a cover letter anymore, and that sending one in, especially when it’s not specifically asked for, is a waste of time. Now more than ever, having a well crafted cover letter is essential to each and every job application. A cover letter allows you to make a more personal introduction, and helps the hiring manager see how well you’d fit in.

Don’t bother with follow-up

Following up after you’ve applied for a position or after your interview is a key part of your job search. However knowing when, and how often to follow up is crucial. Depending on the job, a hiring manager might get hundreds of applications. If every single one of those applicants tried to follow up and contact the hiring manager they’d be pulling out their hair. That’s why most job postings say only those who are sought for an interview will be contacted. After an interview, if you don’t hear anything for more than a week, a polite email is a great way to keep in contact with your potential employer.

Most job search tips come from good intentions. We want you to show employers how awesome you are and help you get a job. Sometimes though, advice can be a little misleading and taken too far. Just remember to be respectful and not overly tenacious and you’ll be well on your way to landing a new gig!

Using Twitter for Your Job Search

If you’re on the job search, you’ve probably already tried the usual routes. You’ve checked the job boards online and looked through specific company websites. You have checked LinkedIn as well. You’ve talked with friends and family to see if they know of any openings where they work. One place you may not have looked in your job search is Twitter

An increasing number of people are finding jobs through Twitter

Twitter is quickly becoming an important resource for your job search. According to an annual survey done by Jobvite, “last year 26% of job seekers said they were using Twitter to find work. This year, the number jumped to 34%.” As more and more job seekers move their search to Twitter, more and more companies will be looking there for great employees. 

If you want to use Twitter to help in your job search, the first thing you should do is start following people and companies that work in the field you want to work. Find people who are tweeting out jobs in your field. Don’t be afraid to interact with companies and individuals and start conversations with them on Twitter about the things they’re tweeting.

One habit to avoid is following people just to tweet at them about wanting a job. You’ll find yourself tuned out very quickly. 

Stay mindful of your profile

Another important thing to be mindful of is what your Twitter profile and timeline look like. If you’re using Twitter for your job search, you don’t want past tweets to come back and bite you. Make sure what you’re tweeting, re-tweeting and sharing is interesting and professional. Even better, are you writing blog posts or attending seminars and conventions relevant to your field? Make sure you’re tweeting about those as well. 

You’ll also want to make use of hashtags. Hashtags make your tweets more searchable, and they’ll allow you to refine your own search. If you search #jobposting, #hiring, #jobs and the name of your city, you’ll find a whole host of opportunities. You can even narrow down these details by including your industry in your search. 

You can also get involved in specific “chats”. Search for #jobhuntchat, #careerchat and #hirefriday to see when these chats happen. They’re filled with helpful advice and offer a great opportunity to ask questions. Mashable has a whole host of hashtags you can use.

Shake Up Your Routine

There’s nothing wrong with having a routine. In fact, it’s completely natural to fall into a rhythm for your day. The trouble comes when your routine starts to make you feel just a little too comfortable. Soon, you’re feeling stuck rather than comfortable and you’re not sure how you ended up there. 

If you’ve found that you’re feeling stuck in a rut and you’re not sure how to get yourself out of it, try shaking up your routine. Getting yourself out of the familiar day in and day out is one of the best ways to break out of your rut.

Talk to a Stranger

Here’s a simple suggestion that might prove the hardest to do. How often are you in a situation where you could easily just say hello to someone. An elevator ride in your office building, or maybe in line at the coffee shop. A quick “How about this weather” is all it takes to start a conversation, and you never know where it could lead. 

Take a Class You’re Interested In

Have a hobby or interest you’ve never really explored? Take a class! There are many night classes or weekend sessions for all kinds of different interests. Exploring your hobbies is an excellent way to get out of your comfort zone and shake things up. If you haven’t heard of Meetup, check them out too.

Get Out of Town

A change of scenery is always a good idea. For just an evening or maybe for a weekend, take a trip to somewhere new. It could be a place you’ve always wanted to visit, or somewhere that looks interesting. A spontaneous trip gets you out of your natural habitat.

Change Your Surroundings

Where do you usually work? Can you switch desks at your workplace? Rather than spend the evening at your home office, go to a coffee shop and hang out. Changing your surroundings can have a huge impact on how you feel and how you approach your work.

Listen to different music.

We all have favorite artists and genres of music. One of the ways to get you feeling and thinking differently is to change up what you’re listening to. Music has a profound impact on your mind and your thinking. Different types of music help and change how we think. If you’re feeling stuck, music could be an answer. 

If you’re stuck in a rut and not sure how to get out, try changing things up and doing something new. A fresh prospective will always help.

Increase Your Sales Success

Increase Your Sales Success

Salespeople spend so much time working out the perfect pitch for the perfect person. They can recite endless facts on command. They’ve got statistics and testimonials to back up everything we say.

 

The thing is, what you say isn’t going to be the only determining factor in your success. As a matter of fact what you don’t say may be equally important. That’s because while you’re not talking, you are listening. A salesperson who listens to his or her customers generally has an easier time making sales, which in turn lead to increased earnings and more job satisfaction.

 

Listen before speaking

Did you know that a great percentage of top sales people are introverts? That’s because introverts are naturally more centred on the other person rather than themselves. They prefer to listen than speak.  Rather than dominating the conversation, they dominate the listening.

 

Help your customers feel secure

When they’re being listened to, customers feel comfortable and secure in your presence. They don’t feel pressured. Because of that, when you do speak they in turn listen to what you’re saying and are more apt to buy.

 

Clarify and paraphrase

It’s important the person in front of you knows they’re being listened to. Paraphrase what they say in your own words and that will encourage them to go deeper.

 

Slow down your own conversation

When it is your turn to speak don’t whip through the conversation. That can stress people out. You don’t need to go slowly, but you should take your time and pause to give them time to ask questions or clarify what you’re saying.

 

Check out this article from allbusienss.com to see how you rate as an effective listener.

Find the Best Job for Your Personality

Find the Best Job for Your Personality

Finding the Best Job for Your Personality

If you’re trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, start by figuring out what makes you tick. Knowing your personality is a great way to find jobs and industries that will suit you best. But how do you dissect your personality? 

 

Personality Tests

There are a number of different systems and ways to look at your personality. One of the most common is called Myers-Briggs. Myers-Briggs is a personality test that many companies use to determine the personality of their employees. It measures your preference in different categories, like whether you’re introverted or extroverted. There are a number of places you can take the test, including 16 Personalities which has a free version.

 

Myers-Briggs assigns you four different letters for your personality. Once you have the four letters of your personality, you’ll be able to look online and see what a variety of sources say about your personality. And what role that will play in your career choice. For instance: some people are best when working with rational things and making non-emotional decisions. So things that involve math and numbers may be suited for them. Other people thrive on working in busy workplaces with lots of people. They might look for work where they constantly interact with others.

 

Business Insider has a great breakdown of the 16 separate personality types and what jobs might be best suited for each. If you’re introverted, chances are you don’t want a job where you have to be in the midst of crowds all day. 

 

To be clear, these personality tests and their suggestions aren’t guarantees. They offer interesting guidelines and ideas for what the right job for you could be. In the end, you should aim to work at something that makes you happy and that fulfills you no matter what. Personality tests simply offer a possibility of narrowing down that search. 

 

One thing remains true. To find a job you like, you have to have an understanding of yourself first. 

 

Don’t Let Rejection Hold You Down

Don’t Let Rejection Hold You Down

Rejection is hard. It can make you feel unworthy, sad, angry, frustrated. It’s not just hard emotionally it’s also hard physically. A rejection can feel like a punch in the stomach or an ache in your heart. Emotionally and/or physically so draining and negative it’s a wonder anyone would choose to wallow in the pool of rejection, but that’s just want so many of us do.

 

After a rejection it’s normal to be wary of trying again so we hold back, licking our wounds for a while. The problem is, all the negative emotions surrounding the rejection stick around because there’s no reason for them to move on. That’s why it’s so important to bounce back.

 

Ask for feedback

You cannot always get feedback after a rejection, but if you can, ask for it. You may not like what you hear. But finding out specifically why you were not successful can be immensely helpful. Use what you hear to improve for next time. With the right attitude you can use the feedback to inspire you in your next attempt.

 

Give yourself a timeline

You may not want to get up and start running again immediately after your fall, but don’t let yourself stay down for too long. Go ahead and feel bad about the rejection but give yourself a timeline for that then get back on the move. Recognize that it was just a temporary setback and with some determination and revisions you can make a success of your goals.

 

Make a pledge not to give up

If you decide the rejection is the end of the road for you, then it will be. However, if you make a pledge with yourself to try and try again, then that’s what you’ll do. Remember, there’s a lesson to be learned in every rejection. Figure out what that is. Build on your strengths, improve on your weaknesses. Choose to chase success until you catch it!