Having Trouble Landing the Interview, And the Job?

July 3, 2009 on 9:05 am | In Interviewing, Job Hunting, Video Resumes | No Comments

I was talking with a client last month about how things were going since the production of her video resume. She had previously been looking for a job for over 6 months, and only landed 2 interviews.

The good news is, she had 5 interviews (4 in person, 1 over the phone) in the last month. The bad news, the interviews didn’t seem to go well. She said they would ask her a few questions, and then seemed to lose interest and the interview was over. So I pitched her a few standard interview questions to gauge her responses and I think we found the problem.

I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until yesterday, when I was producing an interview style video resume for someone else. I had sent him the instructions for preparing, and called the day before the appointment to make sure he didn’t have any questions. When he showed up for the appointment, he hadn’t even selected his interview questions, thinking he could wing it. He checked off a few questions on the spot and said “Just ask me these. I can do this.”

Ok, the customer is always right, right? So I pitched him a few of the questions (off camera) to see how it went…

Have you ever answered an interview question, then later thought “ugh, I should have said…”. Or even worse, realized you should have said something different while answering the question, started back peddling and trying to correct the answer and end up rambling? Things can sometimes sound better in our heads then they do when they come out of our mouths! And sometimes, we don’t even realize how the things we say come across at all, especially when we’re nervous, under a microscope being interviewed by someone else.

Both clients seemed to have similar difficulties answering interview questions :

  • Concisely including all pertinent information
  • Coming across positive

Below are a few tips I tell my clients when filming an interview style video resume to avoid the “foot in mouth syndrome”. These also apply to telephone or live job interviews.

Never be negative. ALWAYS be respectful of others and do not place blame. State your answers in a positive form.

Examples:
WRONG: I’m looking for a new job because there aren’t any opportunities available at my current company.

RIGHT: I’m looking into new opportunities that might be available in other companies and industries that can help me to grow professionally.

WRONG: There was an occasion when this customer was being irate and yelled at me.

RIGHT: There was an occasion when I helped a customer who was very upset because…

Never interrupt. Wait until the interviewer is finished asking the question. Take a moment to pause and consider the question before you start to answer. Then answer the question clearly and completely.

Tell the Story. Use the STAR method of answering interview questions. Describe the Situation or Task clearly, discuss the Actions you took, and talk about the positive Results that occurred due to your actions.

Do not ramble. Listen carefully to the question, and answer it concisely without unnecessary background information. Once the question has been answered, stop talking. :)
Do not back track, reiterate, or continue adding more information.

For more information (or for help landing the interview), visit the resource center at www.CNVideoResumes.com

HAVE A GREAT AND SAFE INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Tip: Control how your Viewed by Potential Employers with Social Media

July 2, 2009 on 7:04 am | In Job Hunting, Social Media | No Comments

83% of companies say they use Google search (or other search engines) to compile information on potential candidates. Some admit they’ve eliminated candidates based on their findings.

Below are suggestions to help control how you are viewed by potential employers:

- Have you ever used Google to search your own name? You may be amazed at what you find and what hiring professionals are finding as well. Go to www.google.com and type your name in “quotes” to search.

- Control findings by setting up your own social media and social networking sites. These will appear on page 1 of the search results when employers google you. Some of the more popular sites are FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. (make sure content is interesting, professional, positive, and genuine).

- Blog about your industry and area of expertise. Your posts will also show up when employers search for you, and showing your expertise and knowledge makes a great impression. I use WordPress… it’s fairly easy to use and has a great “help” site for those less experienced bloggers (support.wordpress.com)

Be patient. It does not happen overnight - but when it does, the results are amazing. Don’t get frustrated and give up if you don’t get immediate results.

Something else to consider… when preparing for a job interview; do a Google search on your interviewer. The more you know about them, the better.

For more information, visit the resource center at www.CNVideoResumes.com

Tip: What to do with your Hands and Arms when Interviewing or Filming a Video Resume

July 1, 2009 on 5:04 am | In Body Language, Interviewing, Job Hunting, Video Resumes | 2 Comments

85% of what you communicate is not with words. It’s through the tone of your voice, the way you sit and a wealth of other messages that your body involuntarily sends.

What to do with hands and arms when interviewing or filming a video resume:

  • Clasping your hands is a signal that you are closed off.
  • Putting your palms together with one thumb over the other says that you need reassurance.
  • You should never cross your arms over your chest, since this gives the impression that you are not in agreement, closed off, defensive or insecure.
  • Open hands and showing palms show that nothing is being concealed.

To come across confident, have your hands open and relaxed on the table or at your side. When your body is open, you project trustworthiness and will actually feel more confident. It is ok to use some hand gestures, as long as they’re in sync with what you’re saying, and not too wild.

For more information, visit the resource center at www.CNVideoResumes.com

Tip: How to Use the STAR Method for Behavioral Interviewing

June 29, 2009 on 5:21 pm | In Interviewing, Job Hunting | No Comments

In order to be successful in behavioral interviewing:

1. Wait until the interviewer is finished asking the question, pause and think about the question and your story before answsering the question.

2. Make sure you answer the question completely. If they ask a question with “and why” make sure you explain why.

3. Use examples of situations from your experiences on your resume where you demonstrated desired behaviors.

4. State your answer as a story that you can tell.

5. Be specific and detailed. Make sure the story relates to the question and isn’t too general. Briefly tell them about the situation, what you did specifically, and the positive result or outcome. Your answer should contain these four steps Situation, Task, Action, Result or “STAR”) for optimum success.

6. Quantify your results. Give specific numbers whenever possible. For example: “I was a supervisor.” could be “As Supervisor, I trained and evaluated 6 employees.”

For more information, visit the resource center at www.CNVideoResumes.com

Tip: Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method of Answering Interview Questions

June 27, 2009 on 6:22 pm | In Interviewing, Job Hunting | No Comments

About Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method

Behavioral Interviewing is a style of interviewing that is becoming more and more popular with organizations in their hiring process. The basic premise is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is understanding past performance in a similar situation. It focuses on experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that are job related.

The STAR method provides a logical approach to answering questions by describing one of your past successes in responding to the question.

What is STAR

STAR = Situation or Task - Action - Results

Situation or Task
Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. from a previous job, volunteer experience or any relevant event. Make sure you describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Give enough detail for the interviewer to understand.

Action you took
Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did — not the efforts of the team. Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did.

Results you achieved
What happened? What was the outcome? What did you learn? Discuss how the task was successful as a result of your action.

For more information, visit the resource center at www.CNVideoResumes.com

Tip: Confident Body Language when Interviewing or Recording a Video Resume

June 26, 2009 on 5:41 pm | In Body Language, Video Resumes | No Comments

85% of what you communicate is not with words. It’s through the tone of your voice, the way you sit and a wealth of other messages that your body involuntarily sends.

Coming across confident
Start with a real smile that engages your eyes by thinking happy thoughts. Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest, so look at the interviewer, or camera/teleprompter while speaking. Use an open stance (do not cross arms or legs). Relaxed shoulders (not tense) with limbs “hanging loosely” show relaxed confidence.

For more information, visit the resource center at www.CNVideoResumes.com

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