How to Nail “The Hello” and Get the Job

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Want to know the secret to getting a leg up on your competition during a job interview? It’s all about how you handle the initial meeting with the hiring manager, also known as “The Hello.” Studies have shown that everything from the handshake to the smile of the initial hello shapes the way that hiring managers think of candidates during the interview. Here is the advice you need to nail “The Hello” and get your interview off in the right direction:

Be Smiling Before “The Hello” Commences

People want to interact with others who seem positive and happy, and there is no better way to show this off than your smile. If your natural resting face is anything less than smiling and enthusiastic, practice and be aware of how you carry yourself from the moment you drive onto the parking lot. You never know who is going to see you or when, and it may be too late to put on a big smile if you wait until your name is called in the lobby.

Let Eye Contact Show Your Confidence

Eye contact is important to maintain throughout the interview, as it shows you are engaged and confident in your abilities. This engagement needs to be shown from the very start. When the hiring manager first comes to greet you, try to lock eyes before you start your handshake. If you have a bad habit of not making eye contact during conversations, train yourself by doing it with people you deal with on a daily basis. A couple of hours of looking people in the eye as you talk will reverse your bad habit and make it a regular part of your conversations.

Squeeze… But Don’t Crush: Find the Right Balance for Your Handshake

The perfect handshake is all about finding the right balance: it needs to be firm, but not so hard that it feels crushing. As you approach for the shake, remember to keep smiling warmly and make confident eye contact. Connect with palm to palm contact instead of just reaching for the fingers. Keep the grip for one or two pumps, and then release. As with other aspects of your job interview, practice your handshake with friends and family, and be willing to hear advice from those who give plenty of handshakes throughout their workday.  If your palms get sweaty when you’re nervous, consider keeping a hanky in your purse or pocket so you can give your palm an unobtrusive wipe before you meet the hiring manager.

The Practical Gifts That Job Seekers Want To See Under The Tree

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Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the job seeker in your life? Think practical. Whether they are a new graduate who is jumping into the job market for the first time, or a seasoned veteran looking to take the next step in their career, here are some great ideas for practical gifts they can use:

A Stylish New Interview Outfit

A crisp, comfortable professional outfit makes a huge psychological difference in a job interview. When you know you look good, you feel like you can take on the world. With this in mind, give the job seeker in your life either a brand new interview outfit, or a gift card to a their favorite store where they can pick out their own. Accessories like belts, shoes, ties, and scarfs make great gifts as well.

A Gift Card to a Local Dry Cleaner

Job seekers need a clean, wrinkle-free outfit every time they go in for an interview, meaning that they will be making multiple trips to their local dry cleaner during their search. These costs can add up, which is why a gift card to a local dry cleaner will be a welcome gift to them this holiday season.

A High-Quality Haircut from a Salon

Many job seekers would not even think of indulging in a salon-style haircut. While they may be happy with the cost-effective haircuts they get on a regular basis, treating them to a salon-experience haircut of the highest quality is a great gift, and one that will give them the confidence to take on any interview.  Gift cards to places like nail salons and day spas will likely be appreciated as well.

A Handy New Portfolio Bag or Briefcase

Walking into a job interview holding four copies of your printed out resume makes you look unprofessional even before the hiring manager opens their mouth. With this in mind, every candidate needs a professional-looking portfolio bag or briefcase to accompany them to interviews, making it a perfect gift for job seekers.

Going For Gold: How Thinking Like A Superstar Athlete Will Get You The Job

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A world-class athlete will tell you that, when they think of big moments, they visualize winning. Whether it’s inching out the competition for a Gold Medal, or sinking the game-winning shot with one second left on the clock, successful athletes don’t have times for “what ifs” in their outcomes. When it comes to a job search, having the same positive outlook will help you towards success. Don’t worry about “if” you’ll get a job, visualize yourself getting it. This way, you won’t need to worry about the outcome, but rather how you are going to get there. Here are three things to remember when it comes to conducting a job search without worrying about the outcome (because you know you’ll succeed):

Work Backwards: Know Your Goal and Identify Steps That Will Take You There                              

A successful sprinter doesn’t worry about the outcome of a race; they instead focus on the steps that they will take to the top step of the podium. When you are applying for a job, don’t worry about the outcome. Instead identify what you have to do to get there. Working backwards from your goal allows you to work out the steps logically. Start from the last part of the process, accepting a job offer, and look at what goals you have to hit to get there. For example, a job offer comes from a great interview, which you will get by submitting a resume that matches the position, which will be seen if you can work your network to get it to the right people. By the time you lead all the way back to the beginning of your search, you’ll know how to move forwards towards a successful outcome.

Turn a Perceived Weakness Into a Strength

When Kobe Bryant missed a game-winning shot, he would stay long after the rest of the team left the arena to work on that shot.  After losing a race in 2012 by less than .1 second, Michael Phelps changed his training to include high-altitude workouts to help his closing speed.  All athletes have weaknesses, but world-class athletes work to turn their weaknesses into strengths. There are going to be parts of your resume that you may perceive as a weakness. Instead of just hoping you get a job despite them, do something about it. If you don’t have certain skills you see in ads, take an online class to learn them. If you don’t have a lot of experience, take temp jobs to learn on the job. If you feel like something is holding you back, don’t shy away from it, do something about it.

As Long as You Keep It Up, You’ll Succeed

Dan Jansen was considered one of the best speed skaters in the world and was a lock at the 1988 winter games for a medal. He fell in both events. In 1992 he was a gold medal favorite again in his two events. He again failed. In 1994, he finally won gold in his last-ever event. It may have taken him longer than he would have liked, but he achieved his goal. Job searches don’t always go as planned. They have setbacks. They have rough patches. But if you stay positive and keep moving forward, you’ll get there. If you fall down, you’ll come back the next time. If you didn’t get a job, you’ll get the next one. The outcome should never change in your mind, even if you have to adjust the path a little bit.

 

Declare Your Independence: Tips For Finding A New Job Without Setting Off Fireworks with Your Current Employer

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We hold these truths to be self-evident that all people deserve a rewarding and fulfilling job. If yours is starting to feel like a grind, it’s time to stand up and get the job you deserve. To ensure that you leave the fireworks for the 4th of July and don’t burn any bridges, here are four tips to help you keep things from detonating:

Keep Your Job Hunt Hush-Hush, Even to Your Work Friends (They’ll Understand)

Your work friends might mean well, but telling them about your new job search could backfire. Things have a tendency to get out in an office environment, and all it takes is a slip of the tongue for everyone from HR to the mailroom to know your intentions. While it might be hard, keep your search to yourself. Your friends will understand as there is a good chance that many of your work friends are dabbling in the idea of new finding a new job themselves.

Keep Your Job Search Separate from Your Current Job

Ignore the temptation to bring your job search with you to work. This means there should be no looking for a new job on a work computer. Do your searching at home on your personal computer. You have plenty of time to search for a new job without bringing it to work.

Keep Interviews Outside Of Your Normal Work Time, Or Aim for Your Lunch Hour

Hiring managers are used to interviewing employed candidates, and they will try work around your schedule, when needed. They may be able to interview you during your lunch period, or before or after normal work hours so you don’t need to call in sick or come in late. Just be upfront about your schedule and see what they are willing to accommodate.

When The Time Comes To Leave, Give Your Current Employer Plenty of Notice and Make Sure Things Are Set Up for Your Successor

One sure way to burn bridges with your current employer is to bail on them unannounced when you get a new job. Most companies understand that employees’ needs change, and that changing jobs is a part of business. What they don’t understand is someone not helping them properly transition. While two weeks is standard, give more time, if possible. Make sure that the company is in a good place when you leave. They may have you train your replacement, which you should tackle with gusto. If they do let you go the day you give notice, don’t take it personally. The best way to celebrate your own Independence is to go with the flow and let your soon-to-be ex-employers figure out the best way to transition.

3 Things You Can Do In A Job Interview to Get a Second Interview

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A job interview is your time to shine. While your resume enticed the hiring manager enough to want to meet you in person, the interview is your chance to show them why you would be a great fit for the company and the position. Most companies will go through several rounds of interviews before extending a job offer, so one of your key goals of your first interview should be to demonstrate your strengths and secure a second interview where you will have a chance to make even more of an impression on a hiring manager. There are certain things that can help you stand out during a first interview that can help translate into a more in-depth second interview, including the following three items:

Demonstrating Your Exceptional Preparation/Research Abilities

Hiring managers like to see candidates who are excited about the opportunity and have obviously done their research about the both the position and the company. Your goal shouldn’t be just to show that you know what the specific job entails, but also that you would be a great fit for both the position and the company culture.  Don’t just talk about how you would be a great fit; give examples of how your skills and experience make you a candidate that they can’t pass up. Have this come through in questions that you ask at the end of the interview. If you can end your brief meeting demonstrating that you have done your research and know specifics about the company, they will take notice!

Practice the Art of Job Matching

The biggest question in an interview, the one you have to answer correctly, is one that the Hiring Manager isn’t even asking you. It’s a question they are asking themselves and it is: Would this person be the best person to do what we need done?

Job matching allows you to answer that question for the hiring manager, and that will help you stand out from other candidates.

Job Matching Steps

  1. Research to determine what the job entails. Sources of information include the job ad, the job description, coaching from your AppleOne Hiring Advisor, discussions with friends who work in the company, the company web site, LinkedIn profiles for people who had the job previously, etc.
  2. Outline key requirements, skills and tasks needed for the job. Focus on the 3 to 5 most important factors you are able to identify.
  3. Map your skills and experience to each job requirement and provide a specific example that demonstrates your competence in that area. For instance: It sounds like time management will be a critical skill for this role. In my previous job, I supported 3 executives, which as you may imagine requires exceptional time management skills. Each executive always got exactly what they needed when they needed it. In fact our CEO, Jane Smith told me she thought there must be 3 of me because she didn’t see how I always managed to get everything done.

Determine Their Schedule so You Know When to Follow-up

It’s a no-brainer that you need to leave a thank you note at the front desk before you leave your interview, but how about making sure that you know the time-frame for any decision making that will occur with the job? While they may give you just a general idea of when they hope to make a decision, that ball-park time frame will help you know when to further enquire about the job. If they say that they will make a decision in a couple of days, plan to call by the end of the week to inquire. On the other hand, if they say that it may take a month, plan to check in regularly during that time period. Showing a hiring manager that you are interested during the decision making process is important. In fact, many expect you to inquire, and could hold it against you if they notice you haven’t called if have to wait a little longer to make their decision.

Four Ways That A Job Interview Is Like A Presidential Campaign

 

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We are smack-dab in the middle of primary season with nearly a dozen individuals trying their absolute best to secure your vote. In a sense, these candidates are in a year-long job interview, and they are hoping that you’ll remember them as the best choice when it comes time to make a decision. When you think about it, there are some parallels that you can draw between a Presidential Campaign and the job interviews that you yourself will go on, such as these three:

You Have To Be Ready For Any Possible Question

When you are on the campaign trail, you need to be ready to answer any question that comes up. The same is true when you are in a job interview. While it’s impossible to know everything that a hiring manager is going to ask you, you can properly answer most questions by not only knowing your own work history, but also what the job will entail. While what you say is important, how you say it will matter equally. Answer with confidence, even if you don’t fully know the correct answer, and you’ll come off better than if you struggle to find what “right” answer that might not exist.

Don’t Bring Up Negatives; If They Do, Have A Great Response Ready

A candidate knows that they’re not perfect, even if they may act like they are. Because they want to keep their message positive and focused on what they can bring to the table, they aren’t going to go out of their way to bring up negative aspects of their career, or a lack of relevant experience. When you are in an interview and you know that there is a “glaring” hole in your resume, or a former employer who may not say great things about you, stay on message and don’t bring it up unless the hiring manager asks you about it. They may be so impressed with the other aspects of your resume that they don’t plan on bringing it up. If they do end up asking about it, have a great response ready that will answer the question, and quickly move the interview on to a more positive area of discussion.

You Need To Make Them Remember You, For The Right Reasons

A candidate wants you to remember them when you go into the voter’s booth. Many people make up their mind on whom they are going to vote for at the last minute, so being memorable, for the right reasons, will be beneficial for those who may be wavering with their vote. After a job interview, you want a hiring manager to remember you to. They have to weigh a lot of factors when deciding the “best person” for the job, and it’s not always clear-cut in their mind whom they will pick. If it comes down to two or three people who have the right resume for a job, simply standing out in the mind of the hiring manager could prove to be vital in getting you the job.

Four Important Things To Do The Night Before Your Interview

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While it is natural to feel a little bit of stress going into a job interview, you want to take steps to limit it, especially on the day of the interview. One of the best ways to limit your stress is to be properly prepared the night before. Here are four important things to do the night before your interview.

Drive By The Interview Location

It is important not just to know where your interview is being held, but also what the surrounding area is like. You need to know whether there is ample parking out front, whether there is any traffic in the area that you have to account for, and whether you have a long walk from the parking lot to the office. While you can get a lot of information via the Internet, nothing beats driving by the location to get an idea of what you can expect. Also, while you are out, fill up your car with gas so you don’t have to worry about it in the morning.

Figure Out What You Are Going To Wear

Deciding what you are going to wear to an interview is something that should be done before you go to sleep the night before your interview. While you may have a dry cleaned outfit ready to go, accessories like ties, jewelry, and even socks should be out and ready to go the morning of your interview. If you are going to limit stress in the morning, you want to simply be able to get dressed without having to think about what you are going to wear.

Complete Your Interview Success Form from the Navigating the Hiring Process Workbook

The “Interview Success Form” in the AppleOne Navigating the Hiring Process Workbook allows you to go step by step in your preparation for your interview. Personalize the form to the specific job you are interviewing for so that you are ready to present a smooth rendition of your WIFM commercial, and answer even the toughest questions with ease.

Get To Bed Early

If you can get to bed early the night before your interview, take advantage of the opportunity. A solid eight hours of sleep will leave your brain in peak condition for the interview. Also, the earlier you go to sleep the earlier you can get up in the morning without sacrificing sleep. If you have a bad habit of rushing through your morning routine because you sleep through your alarm, this is a good time to break it. Give yourself an extra hour to get ready in the morning, meaning that you won’t feel rushed.