First Interview Etiquette

Posted: October 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on First Interview Etiquette

As I sit here in my office preparing for a speaking engagement in San Diego next week I find myself distracted by the engineers welding on my heating system. 5 minutes they told me…3 1/2 hours ago. So often, what we’re told or expect is different than what we receive. That’s how I stumbled upon today’s blog topic, Interview Etiquette.
How often have you shown up to an interview only to have it be completely different than what you expected? To be fair, this happens on the other side of the table too. In fact, it happens more than you think. Earlier this week I was speaking about interview stories, similar to the ones in this blog post, while on the radio during a social media marathon discussing my book, “Career Sudoku”, and shared that these stories help job seekers improve their skills by learning from other’s mishaps.  On with the learning…
Let’s use dating as an analogy. Consider the in-person interview a first-date, there’s the “are they the one” question lingering in both your minds. You both want this to be the right fit; the “ONE”. They’re tired of interviewing candidate upon candidate only to be disappointed and you’re tired of going on interview after interview only to have your hopes shot down.
Just like a first date though, there are some rules to the game, or etiquette standards, that you need to follow to give yourself a winning chance to landing the job.

No Kids

As an aunt to four amazing nephews, I know how cute those little guys can be and just how manipulative they get when they want to go somewhere. This is not the time to give in. Interviews, and for that matter, dates, are not a place for children. Hire a babysitter and book a back-up sitter. (This is not based on a true story; it is a true story.)

Eat Before You LeaveDo some interviews happen over lunch or dinner? Yes. If that’s the case, you’ll be notified by the company in advance. Otherwise, eat in advance. Do not bring your lunch to an interview where the hiring manager is not eating and explain that you’re running behind, didn’t have time to eat and are “starving”. (This is also a true story).

The Power of Assistants

If you’ve ever been one, you already know this. If you haven’t and you treated one poorly, you know this as well. However, this is where you learn the less “do unto others as you would have done unto you”. One V.P., Human Resources told me that their Receptionist started using Instant Messaging to tell them which candidates were polite, professional and seemed put-together. She became so good at predicting which applicants to hire that the interview panelists now message her for inside information before they’ll even talk to the candidates.

Respect Boundaries

When an interview is going well personal topics, such as kids or hobbies, may come up. While that’s a good sign and it’s nice to discuss these things, be careful to respect the boundaries and realize you’re still on a “first date”. Realize that you’ve only been with this person for an hour and avoid getting too personal by discussing religion, politics and the like.

Fresh Breath

Do you remember the last time you talked to someone with bad breath? Of course you do. Who wants to interview a victim of bad breath? Thankfully everyone from Listerine to Lifesavers have invented all sorts of tongue papers and mints to kill this for you. What you want to steer clear from is gum. Never chew gum in an interview. It can fly out of your mouth while answering a question (it’s happened) or you may need to spit it out during the interview (also a true story). Stick to the mints and both you, and the interviewer, will be happy.

Holiday Hiring: Not Just for Seasonal Help

Posted: October 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Holiday Hiring: Not Just for Seasonal Help

Happy Holidays: Apply Within
This holiday season has more jobs in store than ever and I’m not talking about the usual gift wrapping, Santa’s helpers and seasonal retail workers. Imagine, a lovely fall harvest, delicious Thanksgiving season and beautiful Holiday plus a new job. Now that sounds like a Happy Holiday!
Personal spending is up 2.6% from a year ago according to the Commerce Department and in return, companies like Omnicom Group’s MarketSar and Red Ventures are adding staff in greater numbers than they were a year ago. The positions they have open are professional, full-time jobs that include benefits.

Hewlett-Packard | Technology & Product Management
H.P. may still be experiencing downsizing in some divisions, however, they’re hiring in others. Specifically, this computer group is looking for technology engineers and project managers with specific titles including database engineer and infrastructure technology project manager. The positions are temporary and lower on the hourly scale however, they plan to keep the folks they hire on until 2011 and there’s a potential for full-time sales and research and development too.  If you’ve got a Bachelor’s Degree and 2-5 years computer science skills, log on here to see if you can snag of the computer giant’s temp positions this season.

Wells Fargo | 5,000 Jobs in 60 Days
Rates are low and consumers are taking advantage by refinancing their homes and buying new ones. October showed a 21% increase in refinances and 8.5% increase in new home purchases; that means new job opportunities in Denver, Minneapolis and Charlotte for Wells Fargo. If you’ve got experience as a consumer loan manager, underwriter or administration manager, apply here for one of the 5,000 jobs they’re adding in the next two months.

MarketStar | 1,000 Product Specialists
Focused on driving consumer sales for key clients Whirlpool, Verizon and Sony, MarketStar, based in Utah, is adding nearly 1,000 new team members.  MarketStar hires and trains product representatives on the “finer details” of consumer electronic and appliance brands and then sends them out to large retailers (e.g. Best Buy) to answer shopper questions and boost sales. The initial position is to help the company, and these top consumer brand clients, get through the holiday season however, there’s a potential for top performers to land a full-time job and stay on after the season ends.  Apply here for a MarketStar product specialist position.

Red Ventures | 340 Sales & Marketing Jobs
It’s not often you find a 6-figure sales or marketing job in North Carolina much less with a growing organization looking to hire 340 employees in the next two months.  As a social media and online business enthusiast, I knew this had to be a part of the company and, it is. Red Ventures does online marketing promotion for groups that are in the midst of a marketing war. That’s good news for you if you’re a Sales Director, Vice President or work in a related capacity.  The positions are all full-time and based in Charlotte, NC, Fort Hill and Miami.  Find out more about these careers here.

Starbucks Digital Network to Boost Your Job Search

Posted: October 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Starbucks Digital Network to Boost Your Job Search

If you’re a caffeine-addicted business enthusiast like me, you probably use the free Wi-Fi Starbucks offers (as of July 1st) across the U.S. in between meetings or even on the weekends. Life just got better.

Starting today, the Starbucks Digital Network  is here. This, unlike selling wine and beer alongside mochas and frappucinos, is a concept I immediately understood and am in love with to boot. Imagine launching your browser to find the robust SDN with loads of free content from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and for job seekers, the best part is yet to come.

SDN has partnered with uber-premium professional social network, LinkedIn, to create exclusive video and blog content available to users in this channel. It gets better; the network also provides job search candidates a 30-day free trial for a premium account.

As an advocate of social networking, this is where the term comes together both online and offline and creates a powerful ability for you to take your job search into your neighborhood Starbucks. Pack up your iPad, laptop or netbook and head over to your nearest Starbucks to log on to the SDN and start socially networking – both online and offline – to land the 80% of jobs that are landed through networking.

Undercover Boss Role Reversal

Posted: October 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Undercover Boss Role Reversal

Sunday night at 9/8c, CBS  airs the show Undercover Boss. Each week a different C.E.O. goes “undercover” into the trenches of his, or her, business and gets their hands dirty rotating into a series of different jobs day after day for the duration of the week. This icognito effort serves to give the C.E.O. the inside scoop on what’s really going on and to ignite change at the senior management level. Last night’s episode featured Bryan Bedford, top dog at Frontier Airlines, cleaning out lavatories and serving drinks as a flight attendant. Weeks past include Mike White, head of DIRECTV, installing satellites and taking customer services calls.

Your Job Search and Undercover Boss
What does this have to do with your job search or career change? Last week alone I was asked by five people, four of whom were clients and one of whom was a support person from (our site hosting company), how great it is to be the owner of a company.

Job searching can be long, arduous and frustrating. The process of finding a new job can lead to aggrivation and make you wonder if it’s time to start your own company. If you’ve received news that layoffs are coming soon you might be thinking now is the time to go out on your own.

Undercover Boss Role Reversal
I thought a little Undercover Boss Role Reversal would serve well for you job seekers thinking of giving it a go on your own. Here’s what the life of a Small Business C.E.O. looks like:

Sunday, 6a.m. to Monday 8a.m. (yes, this is my weekend day):
6a.m. – wake up, check email, social networks, brew coffee
7a.m. – shower, coffee #1, post to social networks
8a.m. – sales and market strategy meeting over coffee #2
9a.m. – breakfast w/the girls coffee #3, 4 and 5
10a.m. – drop off girls
11a.m. – drive to suburbs to say hi to mom, call w/beau in car, check email (coffee #6)
1p.m. – drive to farther suburb to see brother’s family and nephews, confirm this week’s meetings via phone
2p.m. – check email, respond to 20+ emails, play game w/2 nephews
3p.m. – help brother build roof and soffit for shed
5p.m. – dinner w/brother’s family
6p.m. – give 3 nephews baths, change them for bed
6:30p.m. – drive back to city (coffee #7), check email, call w/beau
7:50p.m. – get pulled over for talking on the phone w/out headset (oyey)
8p.m. – arrive at home office, brew coffee, check email and social networks
8:30p.m. – start writing weekly column, coffee #8 and 9
9:30p.m. – finish working, sign off networks and email, prep for tomorrow
11p.m. – shut down for evening

Monday (the ‘official’ work week begins)
5:30a.m. – ah, the day begins, coffee starts to brew
5:40a.m. – check email, social networks, jump in shower
6a.m. – coffee pot overflows into kitchen, mess everywhere. C.E.O. becomes janitor.
6:10a.m. – mess cleaned up, head out the door to Starbucks.
6:20a.m. – walking, checking social networks and e/mail (confirm post went live at 4:30a.m.)
6:21a.m. – coffee #1 in hand. sigh of relief.
6:25a.m. – walking to office, ready to start the day.
6:45a.m. – send attorney update on legal matters
7:00a.m. – check status on new website with Tony in Egypt via Skype
7:20a.m. – call Hammad about QuickBooks question (in Bangladesh) via Skype
7:30a.m. – time for coffee #2 and review of today’s news on, and
8a.m. – tweet today’s hot topics and take my daily vitamins
8:10a.m. – call mom to say good morning

Life as a “boss” is far less glamorous, exciting and wonderful than it sounds. What is it? Motivating and Exhausting. I work more now than I ever did before and I can honestly say that Thanksgiving is just another Thursday and every other holiday is just another day of the week. I take no holidays and no days off, they’re all just days of the week.

Just Do It

If you’re tired of your job search think about what you truly want to do and start doing it. Get clear about what you want and take Nike’s advice, Just Do It. (p.s. – all credit to Nike’s brand team on that slogan).