Tips for job seekers


Chemistry is the Key!

Remember that the typical hiring decision is made within the first fifteen minutes of an interview. Employers hire people, not qualifications. Your credentials, experience and professional background got you the interview . The person that gets the job will be the person that the employer feels will work well with their team.  During the interview look for shared experience and common backgrounds. Remember studies have shown that education and experience are 35% of a hire, while chemistry is 65%.

Remember the Objective!

Every thing you do when you are looking for a new job should be directed toward one central goal: getting the job offer. You may decide not to accept the offer, but you have to receive the offer before you can make that decision. Once you feel that an offer is being considered your second objective is to raise your perceived value to the employer to increase the compensation package that may be forthcoming. Leave your ego at the door when you go to be interviewed – first and foremost get the job offer.

People Are Influenced by Conviction, Not Persuasion!

Experience shows that most people talk about themselves in negative or self-deprecating terms. There is a fine line between enthusiasm and desperation. Employers want to know that if a fair and competitive offer is extended, you will accept. If at some point you know you really want the job, let them know. Remember, quiet enthusiasm radiates eagerness to become part of the team.

Prepare for the Interview! 

Preparing for the interview is as important as the interview itself.  If they have a website, spend time learning about the company.  Both men and women should wear conservative business clothing and accessories. Hair should be trimmed and shoes polished. Never wear perfume, cologne or shaving lotion. Don’t smoke or put gasoline in your car before the interview. Give yourself ample travel time, a good rule of thumb is three minutes a mile plus thirty minutes for good measure. If invited for lunch, use discretion when ordering. Never choose hard to eat items. Do not smoke nor drink alcohol beverages. Start the morning of the interview day with an interview state of mind. Treat everyone you meet during the day with respect as they may participate in the hiring decision.

Employers Want Results!

During the interview be sure to emphasize on-the-job accomplishments during your career. Talk about decreased expenses, increased revenue and improved morale! Qualify your results in terms of a percentage or dollar amount.

Questions to Ask Interviewers!

  • What are the most difficult issues now facing the organization?
  • How are these issues being addressed?
  • Describe the organizational structure? Are decisions made quickly?
  • Who are the organizations clients, constituents?
  • What is the organization’s strategy for growth?
  • What new services, products, if any, is the organization planning?
  • What is the first matter that needs to be addressed in this position?
  • What others need immediate attention?
  • What are the organization’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • Who are the major competitors in the area?
  • How have the responsibilities for the position been performed in the past?
  • How does the organization measure performance?
  • Is there anything unique about the position?

Questions Frequently Asked to Candidates!

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What do you like about your present position?
  • What do you dislike about the positions you have previously held?
  • If you were starting your career over, what would you do differently?
  • What four critical things do you want in your next job?
  • What do people see as your best qualities?
  • Why do you want to join our organization?
  • Why would you hire yourself for this position?
  • Tell me about a time when a supervisor disagreed with the way you handled a situation. How was the issue resolved?

Compensation & Benefits!

Do no talk about compensation, benefits or salary. If you state a salary requirement that is too low, you could cost yourself thousands of dollars. If you quote a salary that is too high, you may have priced yourself out of the market. Why not say that you are open to a competitive offer based upon your qualifications and what you can do for the organization and give a dollar range and let them know that you are flexible!! . The key is to not give the impression that money is your motivation.

Factors That Lead to Failure!

  • Poor Personal Appearance
  • Intolerant, Strong Prejudices
  • Know It All Attitude
  • Limp Hand Shake
  • Inability to Express Oneself Clearly
  • Lack of Knowledge of Career Field
  • Lack of Purpose, Goals and Objectives
  • Poor Handling of Personal Finances
  • Lack of Interest or Enthusiasm
  • Expressing Unhappy Attitude
  • Lack of Confidence and Poise
  • Overemphasis on Money
  • Low Moral Standard
  • Expects Too Much Too Soon
  • Emphasis on Whom They Know
  • Making Excuses and Evasiveness
  • Inability to Take Criticism
  • Lack of Tact, Courtesy, Maturity
  • Radical Ideas
  • Late to Interview
  • Indefinite Response to Questions
  • Condemnation of Past Employers
  • Little Sense of Humor
  • Lack of Social Understanding
  • Failed to Look Interviewer in the Eye
  • Ask no Questions About the Position
  • No Interest in Community Activities
  • Poor Knowledge of Company
  • High Pressure Personality
  • Unwillingness to Travel
  • Cynical
  • Wants Job for Short Period
  • Indecisive
  • Failure to Express Appreciation for Interviewer’s Time

Send a Follow-Up Letter!

Write a short note or letter to each person who interviewed you thanking them for their time and reminding them of your interest in the position. To be most effective, these letters should be sent within 24 hours of completing the interview.  Express your interest in “becoming part of their team”.

All the best,

Dave Sgro

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