Tag Archives: work

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.

Week 1:

It was a Monday morning just like any other Monday morning. I got up at 7. Walked the dogs, got the kids ready for school and got myself ready for work.

It was a balmy morning. I had condensation on my car windows. I backed out of the driveway without being able to see almost hitting the mailbox. That should have been a sign that the day was not going to go well.

Before I went to work I needed to stop by a clients shop to pick up a camera we were going to use for a shoot. I picked it up and went on my way to work. While driving to work I felt a bump on my lip. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the beginnings of a cold sore. That was sign number two that I should just turn around and go home.

I arrived at work and started my daily routine of checking email and some online sites for news and content. I received a call from my boss asking me to come by and chat. It did not go well…..

Laid Off!!

D’OH!

I left my boss’s office thinking about what a great opportunity this was going to be. You must be thinking that I am crazy but I really felt good about the lay off. Yes, money is going to be an issue but I now have freedom. Being laid off forces me to branch out of my comfort zone and look for opportunities around the country (just don’t tell my wife). I immediately started to network. I first posted my situation on Facebook and the outpouring of good thoughts and people wanting to help was phenomenal. I then went on to LinkedIn and made sure all my setting were up to date. I contacted old collegues and asked for recommendations. One thing to note: You should ask for recommendations way before something like this happens. Also, keep your resume fresh. It helps when you have to post it on a job board quickly.

So with that I am starting a series of blog posts dealing with my being laid off. I might even add some video content as well. I am a little camera shy though…..

Oh, and if you are reading this and need a communications professional send me a message. Click Communications Professional to view my resume. 🙂

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