Two Ways to Know You Got the Job

When interviewing for a company, you might be running up against some stiff competition. Other than making sure you follow the tips posted earlier, there is a fairly reliable way to deduct whether or not the employer would like to see you again.

1. Did you Stack up to the Competition?

If you are applying to a corporate job through Monster or Indeed, the website will usually give you a basic statistic of who else applied for the job, average level of education, years of experience, etc. If you found out about the job through a connection, the task gets easier. If you got the interview with the help of a staffing company, ask your recruiter what he knows about others applying and how many other recruiters were put to the task to his knowledge. If your interview was set up by a friend, make sure you ask them who else is coming in and how they received their opportunity. Moreover, it’s always easy to spot someone who came to interview before you. He will be dressed to the 9s (such as you should be) and look just as nervous. Don’t be afraid to size them up to yourself.

2. Did you Do Your Research?

Have you figured out that the other guy looks the part more than you do? Trouble doesn’t end there. If you find yourself stumbling over the question: “why do you think you would make a great addition to XYZ?” –you didn’t do your research and it’s about to become obvious. You can be positive someone is going to come in right after you and know the exact answer to that question. Another thing: no matter how terrible your name memory is, and most of us admit having a pretty bad one, one thing should be engraved into your memory. If the receptionist asks you and you don’t know the name of the person you are interviewing with, stumbling or saying the wrong name is going to make you seem careless. If you know names are not your specialty, write this one on your hand and prepare jokes in case you forget somehow anyway. Finally, do not forget the simple task of Googling. I cannot begin to describe how many people have came back from an interview with positive feedback just because they knew about a merger the company had five years ago. Google will also answer the question: “do you know what XYZ company does?”

Knowing that you can answer both of those criteria successfully will be the difference between success and continuing to search for work. It will boost your confidence enough to a) believe in yourself enough to avoid jitters and b)actually get the job because you’ve done your best to deserve it.

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TIPS AND IDEAS TO ACE YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW

Tips from WinstonTIPS AND IDEAS TO ACE YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW

Just So You Know:

When hiring managers were asked to name the most common and damaging interview mistakes a candidate can make, 51% listed dressing inappropriately. 49% cited badmouthing a former boss as the worst offense, while 48% said appearing disinterested. Arrogance (44%), insufficient answers (30%) and not asking good questions (29%) were also top answers.

You Should:

  •  Dress appropriately for the industry. It doesn’t hurt to be extra conservative.
  •  Arrive at least 10 minutes early (or earlier if the employer instructs for you to do so).
  •  Treat other people you encounter with courtesy and respect. You never know who is asked for an opinion when the hiring decision is made.
  •  Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer.
  •  Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question. Don’t lie: If the conversation drifts to a topic you’re not knowledgeable about. Admit you don’t know the answer and then explain how you would go about finding a solution. Displaying your problem-solving skills is better than babbling about something you don’t understand.
  •  Exhibit a positive attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with.
  •  After the interview, make notes right away so you don’t forget important details.
  •  Collect business cards, so that you can connect with the interviewer on professional social networking sites.
  •  Draft a Thank-You letter promptly and email a copy of it to your recruiter for an extra set of proof-reading eyes.
  •  Don’t make negative comments about previous employers (or others).
  •  Don’t chew gum, smell like smoke or wear too much perfume.
  •  Turn your phone off before the interview. Checking a text or silencing your phone during the interview looks unprofessional.
  •  Do some research: knowing small details about the company you want to work for shows your commitment and preparedness.
  •  Keep it professional: although interviewers often try to create a comfortable setting to ease the job seeker’s nerves, you shouldn’t forget you’re trying to get the job not make friends.
  •  Expect to hear questions such as “What’s your biggest weakness?” “Why do you want to work here?” “Tell me about yourself.” “Why did you leave your last job?” These open-ended questions are harder to answer than they sound, so think about your responses before the interview.
  • Don’t take your parents or your pet (an assistance animal is not a pet in this circumstance), to an interview.

Make Sure to Ask Questions. Such As:

  •  What do you consider to be your firm’s most important assets?
  •   What can you tell me about your new product or plans for growth?
  •  What were the major strengths and weaknesses of the last person who held this job?
  •  What types of skills do you not already have onboard that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
  •  What is the overall structure of the company?
  •  What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?
  •  What are the skills and attributes you value most for someone being hired for this position?
  •  Could you describe a typical day or week in this position?
  •  What are the most immediate challenges of the position that need to be addressed in the first three months?
  •  How will I be evaluated and how often?
  •  What are the next steps in the interview process?

Good Luck and find us on facebook! facebook.com/winstonstaffnj for more tips, ideas, funny stories and more importantly, job postings.

Who Cares About Your Life Experience?

Well you should, because who knows who else will. Truth is, the world, specifically, the corporate world, is a cold, lonely place. When I decided to take on the debt of college I thought it would certainly be worth it, considering the payoff is a BA degree. While that can now be easily debated because of the economy, I am still pretty sure that I was right. That being said, I did get a job. But it certainly didn’t land in my lap like I felt my new BA would guarantee.

I started my search in December, around the time that I finished my senior thesis. Along with the BA degree entitlement, I expected that my two internships, student-faculty research, etc. etc. would speak for me and that any company I applied to would want  someone with such an extensive background. Based on the 100 emails I sent each week–wrong. I used every resource I could: LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, my college counselors, Simplyhired, Mediabistro you name the site, I was on it. Not to mention that I was still in school and all of those profiles needed to be kept updated to avoid disappearing from feeds into the resume oblivion the internet powers. Between the obsessive compulsive habits that soon accompanied every evening I had just a bit less homework to do, I soon turned my entitlement into anger/anxiety, which was just up the road from fear and more anger. Finally, my emotions settled down into exhaustion and exasperation. Why not me? I will go for any job you have, I have experience in a corporate and small business environment, I am peppy and I paid 60K for my college degree?

The truth was the following, there are bazillions more like me, who would also take any job they possibly could and who might have had a pretty great background. The deeper truth was no matter how great I thought I was, I still made mistakes. From the moment I applied for my first retail job at 16 to the last resume I sent. I write here to explain these mistakes and just spread knowledge. Knowing where the nail is sticking out in the floor might help you not stub your toe on it. Are there still going to be times, when you know that the nail is there, but for the split second you are distracted and stub your toe anyway? Absolutely. I am going to start from the beginning of my working career and move up. Feel free to distract me and ask about something else, because I don’t mind stubbing my toe. I would appreciate feedback, condolences, questions for advice and comments for that reason.