Monday, July 29, 2013

How to get hired on your first interview

Or... Never say never.

As promised this article is about how to get hired on your first interview.  Before I get into that, let me share with you the email from my client who was HIRED last month AFTER HER FIRST INTERVIEW:

     I want to THANK  YOU SO MUCH for all your help, support, ego boosting,empathy and confidence. You have been so helpful to me about opening my eyes to my '"new life" beyond my injury. I don't know if I could have landed this job without you behind me. You are so much fun and easy to talk to.I look forward to keeping in touch with you in the future and to give you updates on my career wherever it takes me. Thanks again. Eileen P

What a great way to start my work day!  I began to think about a conversation I had with her when preparing her to for an interview. She had worked at the same employer for over 20 years and had never really interviewed with anyone else.  She was very nervous.

To allay her concerns, as I often do, I told her, "Eileen, don't worry you NEVER  get hired on your first interview. It usually ends up being more practice than anything.  Do your best, but try not to put a lot of pressure on yourself."  We continued to discuss and practice for her interview later that day.

Later in the day I got a phone call - she was asked to come back for a second interview in a few days.  We discussed second interviews and worked on preparing her for that.  A few days later I received another call... SHE GOT THE JOB!

We were both ecstatic, of course. It was a brand new career for her as she was recovering from  a serious back injury and surgery. I gave some thought to what she did differently from the other clients I am currently working with who I thought would be hired by now.

Why didn't they get job offers and she did? After some thought I realized the difference:  She did EVERYTHING I asked her to do.  When we met, I could tell she was really listening to me.  When I gave her assignments, she did them.  She was ENGAGED in her own job search and not just going through the motions.

Yes, there are certain things job seekers need to know and do.  I use a workbook to make sure all the basics are covered.  I review everything in the workbook with them verbally as well. If they are not getting the interviews and/or job offers, I review each step with them:
  1. Job searching - are you varying your sources and approaches? 
  2. Follow up - are you doing your research and following up on your applications? 
  3. Interviewing - are you practicing?  Preparing questions to ask?  Sending thank you notes?
  4. Cold calling - are you tapping into the hidden job market
  5. Activity - are you active everyday?  Scheduling your job search tasks to make sure you cover all the bases? 
  6. Feedback - are you asking for feedback from friends, family, counselor, or even employers to whom you are applying? 
If you are a job seeker ask yourself the questions above.  Then think about it - are you really?  If you aren't getting interviews or a job offer you are not.  Period.

You can get hired on your first interview if you do each of these tasks fully, completely and with gusto! 

If you would like an interactive four part toolkit to help you get hired on your first interview, email

Questions or comments welcome - enter below!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Use LinkedIn to Network for a New Job

Clients often ask "How do I use LinkedIn to find a job?"  Typically they have spent time on their profile, but can barely remember their login (if at all) and/or password.  In shorts, they "Set it and forget it." The next question they ask why they are  not getting any "hits."

I ask these quick questions to get them started in the right direction:

1. What are you trying to accomplish on LinkedIn? Enhancing your professional knowledge and/or creds? Networking to see what might be out there/meet new people?  Finding a job? Selling a service (whether you are employed or self-employed).  Other?  Only you can decide!

2. Closely related to number one: Identify your target audience - who are you trying to connect with? Employers? Colleagues? Customers?

Once you have answered thee questions, follow a few simple tips:

1. Develop a plan for connecting with those you have identified as being beneficial to your overall goal.  You will want to take advantage of:

  •      Status Updates
  •      Mentions
  •      Groups
  •      Polls
  •      Questions and answers

2. Stay active on LinkedIn!  Share something interesting to you every day, even if it doesn't relate directly to your industry.  Read what others are sharing and posting. Follower an "Influencer" or a few.

Weekly, comment on a group or contribute yourself; write a status update that is positive and work-related; review your profile; review your connections.

3. Set up and save a job search - have an email sent to you daily.
I think this is a good idea for anyone, even if you are not seriously looking for work.  Keep up with what is out there being offered by other employers to other employees.

4. Set aside time each day to explore and share - LinkedIn can be a powerful tool, but only if you use it!

5.  Connect!  Let LinkedIn access your email account and get you started - it is easy and safe!  Then pay attention when you get notifications about people you may know.

I'd love to hear from you! Comment below...

Mary Sherwood, MS, CDMS, CCM
Professional, Rehab, &; Occupational Services, LLC
Landline 302.644.1827 | Mobile: 410.444.1989 | Skype Mary E. Sherwood

Read another great article: job search tip - map out your ideal day 

Let me know how you are doing or how I can help! 

Comment below or reach out.

EVERYONE Needs a Resume in Today's Job Market

Injured Worker Help Desk: In Today's Job Market EVERYONE Needs a Resume: Everyone should have a current résumé ... In today's job market you just don't know what change may come your way - good or "bad." Here are some sample résumés to get you started. Let me know if I can help!

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