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The Laid Off Chronicles — The Interview

Week 5:

I’ve been on the job hunt over the last several weeks. I have had a couple of bites from employers in the Carolinas as well as outside the state, but nothing to report yet. However, I have been on numerous interviews both by phone and face to face. Which brings me to this weeks topic, “the interview”:

The interview process can be nerve-racking to say the least. Interviewing is like dating,  you get a few minutes to make an impression before opinions start to form about you. The way I have approached the interview process is to practice interviewing. It has been years since I’ve gone through this process and I needed to have someone help me practice. I received help from a couple of different people, my wife, father-in-law and my friend Matt Hames. Matt gave me what I consider the most important advice so far, “don’t be afraid to say a promotion or social media campaign wasn’t successful. Then follow-up and explain why the campaign wasn’t successful and what you would do differently.” This is good advice on being accountable. My wife and father-in-law gave me advice on what interviewers are looking for in terms of body language, appearance and tone of voice. They also said know the company before you interview with them. My wife has had several people interview with her company that had no idea what her company was all about. It made her feel like they didn’t even care about the position they were interviewing for.

Since I have received help with interviewing, I’d thought I would share some of the tactics I use before, during, and after the interview. These tactics work for me and hopefully if you are reading this, they can help you as well.

Interview Techniques:

Research the prospective company

Nothing will turn off an interviewer more than you not knowing about their company. Try to find out as much information as possible on the company you are speaking with.  Google them to see if there are any news articles about the company. Also, go to their website and see what they do and what their mission statement is. Another tactic to use is using social media to see what people are saying about the company.

Research: (if you can) the person interviewing you

LinkedIn is a great tool for this.

This may sound a little creepy but people put their profile on LinkedIn for a reason. If you know the person you will be speaking with, look them up on LinkedIn. This will give you an idea of their background and also let you know if you have anything in common with them. If you have  something in common with the interviewer, it  can help break the ice.

Confidence:

Phone interviews:
Be confident when you answer the phone. Make sure you are clear and up beat. This sets the stage for a more personable exchange.

Face to Face:
The first impression is key. Be confident and lead with a firm hand shake. Make sure you are energetic  and have a positive tone when greeting the interviewer.

Q&A:

During this part of the interview, try to go over your  history in a positive manner. Nothing bores an interviewer more than a monotone account of your past work life. When the interviewer asks questions regarding your work experience, try to interject examples of your own work experiences. Showing how you are able to work speaks volumes to the interviewer. This can lead to great follow-up questions from both sides.

A critical part of the interview is to be honest when answering questions. If you don’t know the answer it is better to own up to it then to make something up. The interviewer will probably see through this and ask a follow-up question to catch you. At this point the interview is over and you can kiss the position good-bye.

Wrapping Up:

During the last part of your interview try to leave on a positive note. Ask questions about the company and the position. This shows you are interested and wanting to know more about the company. If you feel the interview is going well ask about next steps. This will give you an opening to follow-up with the interviewer later that day.

Thank You:

After the interview is over wait a couple of hours before sending a thank you email to the interviewer. Let them know that you appreciate the opportunity to talk with them and let them know if they have any questions to contact you. Also, let them know you are looking forward to the next phase of the interview process.

Hopefully these  tips will help you out. If you have any suggestions about interviewing, please leave a comment. I am open to any ideas or suggestions. I have also included a link for DOs and DON’Ts at interviews.

If you want an example of DONTs during an interview check this video out:

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The Laid Off Chronicles – Marketing Evolution

Week 4:

As I was pursuing the online blogs last week, I came across an article on TalentZooMarketing’s Future and What It Means For Advertising by Mike Ogden. Mike’s article talks about how advertising/marketing professionals are needing to adapt with the times or get left out in the cold. What is it that advertising/marketing professionals need to change? They need to integrate themselves using traditional media (tv, radio and print) and mix in digital. Marketing campaigns need to take on a life outside of traditional media now more than ever. Advertising/marketing professionals that can intelligently plan a media strategy that uses TV, radio, social media, smart phones and other digital elements will provide a service that will be invaluable to an agency.

Some agencies may have advertising  professionals still trying to play catch up and learn the digital side of the business. I feel fortunate that I was able to get ahead of the crowd and  was able to immerse myself in social media and SEO a couple of years ago.  In my opinion, the most succesful advertising professionals will be the ones that have knowledge of how to integrate traditional and new media together.

Out in the job market, I am seeing job posting that look for advertising professionals that have both traditional and new media qualities. If you are in the advertising/marketing field and need to make a job change, make sure you understand digital advertising/marketing. In order to keep up with the marketing evolution, expertise in  digital marketing will enable you to be a become a needed asset to any organization  instead of being as extinct as the dinosaur.

In order to get well versed in digital media, my suggestion is to get hands on experience using it. My first suggestion, is to start using social media -create your own Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels. You should start using smartphone apps like FourSquare and TriOut to learn about GEO targeting apps. With all of the various social media channels out there you will need to learn how they can all connect with each other to help build a strong social media presence. Make sure you also learn how to monitor your social media channels. More and more clients are looking for people who have a grasp on social media analytics. My next suggestion is to learn SEO. You can learn SEO on your own by taking a course in SEO or if your agency employs a SEO professional go and learn from them. My last suggestion is to learn how to incorporate new media into marketing campaigns. Social media should be used to complement the overall campaign. All points of the marketing strategy should be woven together to create a campaign that reaches your target audience.

Lastly, continue to evolve. Read industry publications and blogs, try out different types of social media channels and  see what works for you and what doesn’t. The more you know, the more you can stay relevant.

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The Laid Off Chronicles – SEO

Week 3:

Last week was a slow week job hunting wise. With the Thanksgiving break, I assume everyone was busy trying to make those last-minute plans to travel and see family. They were also possibly busy wrapping up work, so that they could take an extended weekend. How do I know this? I know this because I was that person not so long ago.

There were a couple of good job posts last week. I also had some great conversations with possible employers. I spent a lot of time reading up on SEO or search engine optimization. Why am I reading up on SEO? One thing I am noticing in my job hunt is that employers are looking for people with, not only social media experience, but also SEO experience. I have experience with SEO, but I would not consider myself “the SEO expert” yet.

First for those out there that may not know what SEO is, let’s start by sharing a little knowledge: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. Put simply, when someone is searching for you, will they find you?  That means understanding what they are searching for, and why.

I started looking at my own blog and other social media channels that I have worked on in the past. What I have found out is ,that I have been engaging in SEO all along, albeit from a simplistic view.  Take my username NCMayhem for example, if you google NCMayhem, you will see that I show up on the first page of a google search. Impressed? Well, the kicker is that there are not a ton of NCMayhem’s out there.

NCMayhem Google Search

 

When I google Brian Perry the first thing that comes up is a Brian Perry that is a singer.  Brian Perry, the bassist for Prong ,shows up on the search as well.  I have put in a lot of time getting traction with NCMayhem and I now need to get traction for my own name.

I conferred with some friends of mine and they have challenged me to “own my name” on google. They also stated that in order to be found in SEO, I need to be associated with specific keywords. For example, Charlotte Social Media Manager/expert/explorer would be keywords that could be used to search rbrianperry.com. My first step in this process, is to secure a domain name. Since brianperry.com is already taken, I have chosen to go with rbrianperry.com.  I have chosen to own rbrianperry.com in lieu of contining to use the name “NC Mayehm”. My next step is to work on keywords to be associated with it to help promote my SEO visibility with rbrianperry.com.  If you click on this domain, it will direct you to my blog’s home page.  One problem I am running into, is that I have used the username NCMayhem for so long that it shows up on numberous social media sites, not rbrianperry. I now have to figure out how to “own” rbrianperry.com the same way I have owned NCMayhem.  I now have to research, plan, and work on “owning” my name to show case that I indeed know how to use SEO. In the coming days/weeks, I will be working on SEO for my own personal brand. I will update everyone on my progress.

Before I sign off, I had an idea over the long weekend. I am thinking of getting a sponsor or sponsors for this blog. If you are interested in sponsoring this blog please feel free to contact me personally.

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