Don’t Let What You Wear Distract From Your Job Interview

Don’t Let What You Wear Distract From Your Job Interview

We all know the importance of first impressions. How we should dress for success. For some companies dressing for success means a suit. Others prefer business casual. Prior to your interview it’s important to get a feel for company culture through their social media channels, and dress accordingly.


Make sure you feel good in what you wear

Whatever you choose to wear, make sure you feel comfortable and well put together. If you’re uncomfortable with what you’re wearing, all the interviewer will notice is your discomfort. They’ll most likely assume it has something to do with how you’re feeling about the job.


Don’t wear new shoes for the first time. Who knows how they’ll feel once you get to the interview. If you think something is too loose or too tight, choose something else. Feeling good in the clothes you choose is as important as what you choose.


Don’t forget about how you smell

We are not here to remind anyone to take a shower before heading into a job interview. That goes without saying. What we are here to say is, no matter how much you love your favorite perfume or cologne or how great it makes you feel, don’t wear it. Many offices have a scent-free policy.


Even if that’s not the case you don’t know if the person interviewing you has a fragrance allergy. Even if they don’t, scents are distracting. You want the interviewer focusing on your skills and attributes, not on what you smell like.


Do a final check before you exit the house

Before heading out the door give yourself a thorough once over in a full-length mirror. Ensure you are wrinkle free. That you don’t have any pet hair tagging along with you, or lint.


If you look good, you’re more likely to feel good. If you feel good, you’ll have the chance to distract them for all the right reasons!


Indications Your Job Interview Went Well

Indications Your Job Interview Went Well

You had your job interview and things really seemed to click, but you’re still not sure how you might be ranking. These are signs you have ranked as a top contender.


Contacted references

One of the first signs of definite interest in when the interviewer checks in with your references. When they call your references you are in the running.


You are interviewed by more than one person

In general, interviews are conducted by one person. Sometimes you might find yourself in a group interview situation. If you are called back to be interviewed by different people, it probably means the first interviewer wants to confirm their choice with others in the company.


Next steps are discussed

At the end of an interview, the interviewer will often finish by letting you know they’ll get back to you if they’re interested. If your interviewer provides specifics about next steps, like we will be in touch to arrange for your next interview by the end of the week, you’re in good shape.


You are introduced to other people in the office

If you are introduced to other people in the office, even in passing, you know you are a top candidate.


You get a response to your thank you note

Everyone sends a thank you note at the end of an interview (or at least they should). Not everyone gets a response. If it’s an enthusiastic response you can rest easy that wouldn’t be happening if you weren’t somewhere near the top of the candidate pyramid.


The interviewer walks you out the door

The interviewer is a busy person with a lot of people to see. Generally, you shake hands with them and make your own way out of the building. If the interviewer walks you out of their office, they’re interested in spending a couple more minutes with you.


You won’t actually know whether or not you got the job until the offer comes through, but you can use these clues to determine if you’re running somewhere near the front of the pack.

Strong Answers to Greatest Weakness Question

SStrong Answers to Greatest Weakness Question

You’re excited about your upcoming job interview. Your qualifications match up with the job description. You’ve had your eye on this company for a while. You believe the experiences you bring to the table can be of great benefit to the organization. There’s just one thing that worries you. The greatest weakness question. You don’t know whether or not they’ll ask it, but you’ve never felt comfortable answering it when it’s come up in the past.


Not really looking for weaknesses

The interviewer isn’t asking the question to determine what possible issues they’ll have to deal with by bringing you on. Rather they want to see how you handle demanding,  awkward or uncomfortable situations. Can you recognize when something needs to be changed or addressed? Are you someone who focuses on problems or solutions?


Find what’s positive in the negative

If for instance you’ve had issues prioritizing in the past, don’t answer with I have trouble with organization. Talk about how you recognized the problem and steps you took to improve. When I began my last job, I had trouble finishing my allotted tasks on time. I realized I my attention was being diverted with less significant time-consuming issues like answering emails and returning phone calls. I learned to prioritize my days by focusing on the most important undertakings first and created daily schedules for attention diverting tasks so they would stop interrupting the flow of my days.


There is room for improvement in everyone

The worst thing you can do with this question is to avoid it by saying you’ve been working on yourself for so long and so hard you don’t have a weakness. Or nothing springs immediately to mind. Next worst are when you try and turn a positive trait into a negative. My job ends up taking priority over the rest of my life. Those kinds of answers sound insincere and dishonest.


Before going into the interview think long and hard about situations you’ve overcome and how. Incorporate your greatest weakness answer into one of those.

Job Interview? Don’t Forget These Things

Job Interview? Don’t Forget These Things

With everything you need to keep in mind when you interview for a job, some basics you may not even think about can get lost in the shuffle.  You spent a lot of time figuring out what questions they might ask and coming up with answers. That’s the meat of the interview, but what about the bread? Did you check directions to the location in advance? Did you remind yourself to keep eye contact and have a firm handshake?

Here are a few things to remember when your going for job interviews.

Don’t Be Too Early

Timing is everything. Showing up late is worse, but showing up too early demonstrates a difficulty with scheduling and planning appropriately. If you show up really early it signals that you don’t care if your arrival disrupts other things. If you are very early wait near by. Find a coffee shop to pass the time so you can arrive closer to the expected time.

Personal Hygiene

You might be the best applicant, but if there is something unwashed about you, something in your teeth or if your hair is greasy, you can count yourself out of the game. Give yourself a very good once over in the mirror before heading out. Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle free! If you use a mint or some gum to give you fresh breath, make sure it’s gone by the time you arrive at the job interview.

First Impressions

Make sure you look your best when you arrive for the job interview. First impressions last! If you have the chance, spruce up in the washroom before heading into your interview.

Phone Interviews

If you’re conducting your job interview over the phone, make sure to find a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted. The interviewer has much better things to do than listen to you shush your dog.

Online presence

It’s commonplace for interviewers to search your online profiles like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure your privacy settings are what you want them to be so everything others can see is positive and professional.


Late Arrival Doesn’t Have to Kill the Interview

Late Arrival Doesn’t Have to Kill the Interview

Lateness happens. Buses don’t come, traffic is awful, trains are slow. It’s not always your fault, but on your way to important meetings like interviews, it can seem that way. Here are some ways to not crash and burn if you’re late to your interview.

Keep your cool

The top tip, as always is, don’t freak out. That’s generally good advice for interviews. No matter what happens, keep your cool. No matter how late you are, remain calm.

Make the call

If you know you won’t make it time, then as soon as you have access to a phone give them a call. Apologize. Tell them what’s going on and let them know when they can expect you. Don’t make excuses. “Sheesh THE 22 BUS, HUH?” Is not going to earn you brownie points.

Take responsibility. Admit it was your mistake and apologize, but don’t go overboard. Life gets in the way all the time. People understand.

Stay confident

It’s important to recover and remain confidant. This is a test to see how you will react if you’re ever late for work – it’s a test to see how you will react under pressure.

Don’t pull into the location, run in and arrive flustered and out of breath. Before you take yourself through those doors take a minute and re-center yourself with a few deep breaths. Remind yourself of exactly why you are a great candidate for this job. Do a quick run though of all the questions and answers you already prepared for this interview. Put a smile on your face.


Apologize again briefly at the start of the interview and tell a lame joke if you can. Remind yourself, one day this will be a great story about your introduction to your new job.

So, if you’re running late for an interview don’t break a sweat about it. Act calm and professional, they’ll be impressed by your grace under fire.

To Do and Not To Do Following a Job Interview

To Do and Not To Do Following a Job Interview

You had a job interview and you’re pretty sure everything went well. You had done your research and had noteworthy things to say about the company. You showcased your accomplishments well with quantitative examples of how you brought your experiences to bear in your last job. Now that the job interview is done, should you just sit around and play the waiting game?  Not quite. There are things you still need to do and others you should definitely not do.


Thank you

The thank you note isn’t something you  do post interview. It is the final step of the interview.  Always do send a thank you note. Whether you think the interview was a success or a failure, send it. Within twenty four hours of the interview.


Follow up with references

Do remember to follow up with your references. The last thing you want is for an excited prospective employer to call up a reference and for the reference to have to scramble for something to say!


Use social media as a sounding board

Maybe the interview didn’t go as well as you hoped. Or you weren’t impressed with the company or the person interviewing you. That is information you either keep to yourself or possibly tell a close friend in private. It is absolutely not anything you should ever post on social media for the world at large to see. If there is anything you wouldn’t be very happy for a potential employer to read that you said or did, do not put it on social media for someone to find. Make sure your online presence is a professional as your professional presence.


Maintain professional interactions

Following the interview, you may want to follow up with the prospective employer. Maybe they seemed really eager and you can’t understand what’s taking so long. Beware of being too aggressive in your follow up. Also, don’t take the chill vibe you felt during the interview as an indication that it would be alright to get all informal during your post interview follow up.


All interactions with prospective employers must be as professional as they were the first moment you stepped through the door the first time.


Until you have an offer in hand keep looking

Based on your amazing interview, you might think you’ve got this whole job offer thing all sewn up. Until someone contacts you with an offer you are as unemployed as you were before the interview. Don’t sit back and wait for an offer that may never come. Stay proactive and ensure one does come!


Take The Time To Make The Most of Your Next Interview

Take The Time To Make The Most of Your Next Interview

You’ve already got your next interview scheduled. You might think you’ve got what it takes to go there and wing it. If so you’ll most likely be knocked off your perch by others who took the time to prepare.


Write down the most relevant things you want to convey at the interview

There are things you want to ensure the person doing the interview knows about you. If you just think about them, there’s a spectacular chance they’ll fly out of your head when you come face to face with the interviewer. If you write them out before hand and read them a few times before the interview, they’ll dance out of your mouth at the appropriate time like choreographed works of art.


Take timing into consideration

There’s a thing called decision fatigue that comes over people as the day wears on. Essentially everyone has a finite amount of decision making capacity throughout the day. As the day wears on decisions become harder to make and the quality of decision making deteriorates. When booking your interview do your best to get yourself scheduled earlier in the day when the interviewer is still at their decision making peak.


Invest in business cards

You might think the only people who carry business cards around are the ones who already have jobs, but that’s not necessarily the case. Rather than thinking of it as a business card, think of it as a calling card. Something to set you apart from the other candidates. A tangible reminder of who you are and what you’re all about. Include your name and all your contact information and a line or two about what you do. It’s a great way to make an impression and ensure the potential employer remembers who you are!


Create a field of positivity around yourself

Do all your homework in advance. Research the questions you think they’ll ask and your answers in the days before. Don’t do any more preparing the day of the interview. Go in knowing you are qualified and experienced and ready to take on new challenges. Ensure you arrive well before the interview, cool, calm and collected. Radiate positivity. Leave them wanting more!

Solid Questions To Finish Your Job Interview

Solid Questions To Finish Your Job Interview

Your job interview is coming to an end. Everything has gone well so far. You did your research on the company. You answered their questions confidently, you were enthusiastic and you can already see yourself working there. Now they want to know your questions.


When they ask if you have any questions they are not just being polite and rounding off the interview, they are gauging how invested you are in the job. They are seeing how well you listened to the questions they asked you and how you integrated them into your perception of the job.


Even if all your questions about the company and the position have already been answered, you still don’t say “No,”. It makes you sound uninterested and unmotivated. The correct answer is always, “Yes.”  If you do come up with specific questions to ask during the interview that’s great, start with those.


But you can’t guarantee that will happen so it’s important to come prepared with questions to ask.


Demonstrate enthusiasm

“Where do you see the company in the next few years?”
“What do you enjoy most about working here?”

Show you are interested in a long term relationship

“Are there opportunities for training with the company?”

“What are the prospects for growth in this position?”

“What is the next step for someone successful in this position?”


Clarify their expectations

“How will my performance be measured?”

“What is the most important aspect of this job?”

“What are the short-term/long-term goals for this position?”


Find out what you can expect

“When do you expect to make a hiring decision?”

“What are the next steps in the interview process?”


There are all sorts of things you can ask, but there are also a few topics to avoid. Those include questions about salary, benefits, perks, and vacation time. Those types of questions send the message that you are more interested in what you’re going to get than what you’re going to give. The appropriate time for those is once you have an offer.



If you’d still like a few more options, check out this list of the 30 best questions to ask the interviewer from Balance Careers.

“Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?”

“Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?”

There are all kinds of reasons to leave a job. A better opportunity comes along. You’re looking for a better opportunity. You’re not happy with the direction the company’s going. You want to take your life in a different direction. The list goes on and on. Eventually you will find yourself explaining the reasons for why you left or why you are leaving your current job to a prospective employer.

They will want to know several things about why you left/are leaving. Did you leave to pursue something else? Were you just tired of your job? Did you leave voluntarily? Did you leave on good terms? What are your work values?

Remember your prospective employer is looking for someone who’s going be loyal and responsible. Ensure your answer demonstrates integrity and forward thinking.

Professional growth

Maybe you feel like you’ve gone as far as you can in your present situation. You are looking for more challenges, or more responsibility. In that case, talk about how you contributed to your current organization (with quantifiable examples) and how you excited you are to learn and grow in this new position.

“I’ve been in my present job for the past four years. I became a department lead after fourteen months and helped implement a new distribution process that increased the speed of product delivery by 10%. I’ve been department manager for the last year. As much as I enjoy my job and the people I work with, I feel like I’ve learned everything I can in my current position and am ready to take on new challenges. The job you are offering appeals to me because of the scope of your operations.”

Always make it about moving toward a better opportunity. Keep your answer positive. Sometimes your situation is a little more negative, like your current position is being eliminated or the company is going out of business. It’s still important to stay positive in your answer. Talk about your successes and accomplishments and then briefly say that due to unfortunate economic downturn the company had to downsize. Downsizing is something everyone can relate to, especially if you were not the only person affected.

Change of direction

You have re-evaluated your present circumstances and have decided it’s time to change direction. Your life goals or career goals have changed and you are excited to pursue a new direction. Make sure you explain how this new opportunity is a good fit with your goals and how you can successfully use your skills in this new job.

Always stay positive

You may actually have negative reasons for leaving a job, like problems with management personality or style. You simply don’t like the job or were passed over for promotion too many times. No matter how negative your experience was, focus on what was positive. What you learned, what you contributed and move on to growth opportunities.

Keep Negative Discussions Out of The Interview

Keep Negative Discussions Out of The Interview

You got the interview and it’s going well but the questions have come around to difficult or negative situations. For example, they might ask you to describe a negative situation or person you had to deal with in the past.


Keep the soap opera out of it

The employer is asking about difficult situations or people to see how you handle yourself professionally in those situations. They don’t want a long drawn out discussion about the impossible person you had to deal with or all the rotten things that happened in association with the situation.


Essentially, they’re looking for the positives buried in the negatives. That means if there are no positives do not use that example! Instead find one where because of your hard work or problem solving or negotiating skills a negative was turned into a positive.


Don’t try and skirt the issue

Some people try to find a work around for the question by saying they have never dealt with a negative situation or person. Well no one is going to believe that. Every one of us runs into negatives all the time. If not professionally then personally or on the bus or in a grocery store. If you have been asked a question then find a way to answer it.


Before your job interview anticipate this question and come up with a few situations in which you can demonstrate your ability at turning negatives into positives. Describe the situation and the steps you took to resolve it. Remember to highlight your great contributions!


Don’t speak badly about your last employer

Even if your last work situation was hell on earth with an impossible to please boss and co-workers that made the thought of coming to work less palatable than the idea of skinny dipping with sharks don’t dwell on the negatives. You probably learned something from the experience. Touch on that quickly then end the discussion with it didn’t work out or we had different expectations. Something brief. Then talk about how excited you are at the prospect of new challenges and move the conversation back to the positives.