How To Research A Company Before A Job Interview

We know that the job hunt can be exhausting. All the digging, applying and letter-writing can really take a toll. But that doesn’t excuse shoddy research. If you’ve done enough to wow the hiring managers into calling you up to talk about the position, be sure that you at least sound like you know what you’re talking about. Nothing kills a job interview faster than not knowing about the company you’re trying to join.

Beyond the fact that it demonstrates basic competency and it’s just good manners, you definitely should do a little looking around to get a feel for a company before you’re standing in front of a recruiter’s desk. They can tell when you haven’t prepared and it’s a red flag for them that signals you might not be taking the position seriously.

Of course, if you don’t come from a research-heavy background, knowing how to find the information you need to effectively stunt on an interviewer can be tough. What questions should you even be asking? Luckily, as with all things job-search-related, we’re pros and we’ve got your back.

What To Ask

You can’t find the right answers without asking the right questions. So, here’s a few stock queries that you’ll want to know before any interview.

  • How did their company mission come to be, and does the press around the company support it?
  • What’s their primary product, and who is their customer?
  • Who are their direct (and indirect) competitors?

How To Find It

The company mission is almost always a simple find. Take a look around the website with an eye toward an “About” section. These typically include not only a plain statement of their company’s core values and what they wish to be, they also tend to feature biographical information that will let you know why they felt the need to start the company in the first place.

The primary product can typically be discerned via similar methods. Just look around their online presence to see what it is they are selling. Read over the copy to try and get an idea of who they are talking to if their customers aren’t immediately apparent.

Competitors can be found via a quirk of Google. Type in the name of the company followed by “vs.” and the search will auto-populate with companies that people are considering as an alternative to whatever Company X is offering.

For a deeper dive, search the news for stories about the company to see if it’s fulfilling its core mission or has made any big moves in the recent past. Beyond that, scanning the company’s profile on Crunchbase can give you crucial info about who is supporting the company and who works within it.

How To Use It

Try and incorporate your knowledge of the company into the discussion at an interview. Mention that you saw their most recent positive news in an answer. Ask what they’re doing to fight Competitor Y and offer a few ways that you could join in that scuffle. Talk about the ways that you find their product or mission useful.

If you appear to be engaged with the company, recruiters can’t help but notice.

Of course, you can’t wow a recruiter if you never get in the room with them. That’s where we come in. We can optimize your resume to guarantee that it catches the eye of potential employer and automatically send it to jobs matching your skill set. For just $10, we guarantee that you’ll get your shot to knock off some HR socks.

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The Three Job Interview Questions You Should Have Down Pat

Preparing your resume for a new job is difficult, but not impossible. You have the benefit of time — no one is going to burst into the room and demand to look at your CV before you send it — and the comfort of multiple edits to help you feel alright about the part of your history you’re showing to the world.

Interviews are an entirely different beast. You only get one shot one opportunity to look great and whether or not you do is entirely based on your ability to improvise around an interviewer’s pet questions.

Here’s a sampling of a few odd questions I’ve personally been asked:

  • Can you fold a fitted sheet?
  • How do you feel about your name?
  • What kind of animal would you want to reincarnate as?
  • Thoughts on karaoke?
  • (In a windowless room) Which way is north?

These questions are meant to startle, to get you thinking creatively or to get a sense of your priorities without asking about them directly. And because they are so rare they can be hard to prepare for, leading to the dreaded moment of actually having to sit and think about your words before you say them (a big no-no in the job hunting world and nowhere else).

But you can smooth over any potential speed bumps by preparing yourself with a few solid answers to questions you know are going to be asked. I know we just said that interviewers are trying to rattle you with let-field queries, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few questions that almost every recruiter is going to ask.

Tell Me About Yourself

This is the opener for 99% of interviews for obvious reasons. It’s a good, open-ended way to get started talking about the subject at hand, allowing multiple jumping-off points for the interviewer to move forward with the conversation. Or, at least, it will if you don’t completely bungle it.

Knowing that this question is coming is half the battle, as a long-forgotten war hero said. And since you can almost guarantee that this question will kick off any interview, there’s no excuse for flubbing it.

The interviewer wants you to recap your experience in your own words, hopefully leading up to the point that you’re clearly qualified for this gig and ending in an explanation of why you decided to apply.

Job Search Tip: Write out your response, going through your history chronologically and run through it a few times until it feels natural.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This question is truly tough. It flies in the face of a lifetime of home training, asking you to talk bluntly about things you’re good at. It’s akin to straight-up bragging, but within limits.

Both knowing how to brag on yourself and knowing when to stop are difficult, but that can be fixed if you think of it in terms of resume bullet points. What they want to hear is your most relevant skill backed by an example of you using that skill in the past. “I’m really good at X and I got that way doing Y.” Keep this formulation in mind when practicing for your next interview.

Weaknesses can be even trickier. You don’t want to share anything that might disqualify you, but you don’t want to give a non-answer that will leave the interviewer rolling their eyes. Be honest here and share something that you have struggled with in the past, but follow that up with an explanation of the steps you took or are taking to change that. They want to know that you’re self-aware and adaptable.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This is a great one for all the dungeon masters out there, because it’s plotting out a bit of a fantasy. Imagine a magical land where job security is assured and you’ve found a job you like doing. Might as well throw in some orcs at that point, right?

What the interviewer wants to hear from you here is how you plan to grow at the company. What do you see yourself doing when you outgrow the position they have offered? What skills will you have honed by that time? And what passions will the job be fulfilling for you? You need to show that there’s something about the job that interests you and that you’ll be willing to grab that part of the gig and run with it.

Job Search Tip: Plot out several trajectories based on the requirements of the job at hand and try and use the one that you feel will resonate the best with the interviewer. If you need to know which skills they are looking for, look out for the points where they ask follow-up questions.

To even get to these questions, though, you have to leap some pretty big hurdles. That’s where we can help. Allow us to optimize your resume and automate your job search to ensure that you’re sweating over interview questions quicker. For just $10, we guarantee that we can land you the interviews you’ve been after.

 

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How should I explain my layoff in my job interview?

Dear Sarah,

I was laid off 5 months ago due to a company merger and it has been tough finding work. I’ve finally managed to snag an interview recently, but now I’m struggling to prepare how I’m going to frame my layoff. Any advice?

Thanks,

Laid Off and Out

Hey LOO,

First of all, congrats on the job interview!

Secondly, you’re not alone having had a tough time getting an interview. At Talent.Works we’ve actually found that the job hunt is tougher for those that have experienced layoffs/firings; having either on your resume is the equivalent of losing 5 years of work experience. (It’s especially hard if you were fired, quit, or laid off in the first 15 months of being there).

The good news is, you’re past the hard part! This company has already viewed your resume, liked what they saw, and decided to start the conversation. At this point, it’s all about communication:

Be Transparent  

Understand that there is nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to a layoff. There are a multitude of reasons that someone will get laid-off in their lifetime and it happens to everyone from star employees to 80% of an entire sales department, for example. (In other words, don’t take it personal as there are business decisions.)

Be honest and transparent about communicating your situation, for example, include the correct start and end dates to your jobs. In your case, explaining the circumstances surrounding your layoff (RE: merger) will also eliminate this as being a performance issue. Whatever the reason, keep it brief.

Explain your value add

Regardless of the amount time you spent at your job, hiring managers want to know how you contributed. Make sure you list out your accomplishments such as raising funds or saving money and tie it back to the bottom line. Even if you were there for 6 months, emphasize your skills and how you contributed to departmental goals.

Make available past work

If you haven’t already considered it, crafting a specialized blog, website, or portfolio showcasing your work is a great way to convince hiring managers you have the skills necessary for this position regardless of past circumstances. Case studies, writing/design samples, and lesson plans are all great examples of what a manager would find helpful in making their decision. Of course, don’t share anything of a proprietary nature.

Gather your references

Social proof! Colleagues willing to provide testimonials as to your work ethic and past performance is incredibly valuable, especially if it’s coming from the job where you experienced the layoff. It will offset potential concerns and they’ll be able to briefly speak to the situation, if asked. If they’re not able to provide a phone reference, send them a reference request via LinkedIN and make sure your hiring manager has access.

All the best!

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Speed Up Your Job Search With A Cover Letter Cheat Sheet

We all know that sending the same canned cover letters to every job opening is a waste of time. Even if we ignore the fact that every job is different, making it impossible to meet all the requests of every posting in one single document, there’s the person on the other end to consider. Scanning cover letters is their actual job and they’ve developed a strong sense of when they’re being fed a form letter.How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?

It would be a  waste of time to send out letters about your [INSERT SKILLS] to [HR MANAGER NAME GOES HERE]. But writing custom letters from scratch for every application is an equally unjustifiable timesuck. Luckily, there’s a happy medium: a cover letter cheat sheet.

Whazzat?

A cover letter cheat sheet is a form of plug-and-play elements that you can insert into any letter depending on the asks and qualifications of the position you’re throwing in for. It gives you the ability to address the needs of every posting without writing out every last letter by hand.

Beyond the need to save time, a cheat sheet can also save you from costly mistakes. The more you have to type out, the greater chance of typos and other errors appearing in your application. With a cheat sheet, you only have to proof your premade paragraphs.

How’s It Work?

Make a list of skills that you think are relevant for the jobs in your field. It should be easy to find these, they are probably in the “Skills” section of your resume. For every skill, write out a paragraph explaining how you have used or came to possess that talent in the past.

Check out two examples below:

Skill Relevant Experience
Organization & Administration I honed my administrative and organizational skills during my time at SaveTheWhales.org. Tasked with taking minutes, case management, phoning patients, data entry and general filing, I’m able to handle any administrative duties given to me with little to no supervision.
Clinical Interviews During my time at the King County Health Department, I conducted hundreds of clinical interviews with AIDS victims. By being sensitive, sympathetic and understanding of their situation, I was able to distill useful information that subsequently helped educate the community on risk factors of the disease.

With this list of skills in hand, you can quickly customize any cover letter to address the needs of any position.

 

Of course, cover letters aren’t the only thing that need to be tweaked in order to catch a recruiter’s attention. And they are far from the only bit of the application process that can be a pain. Luckily, we can help!

For just $10, we can optimize your resume to make sure that it’s landing on the top of the pile. And we can take that clean, new resume and send it out to jobs you’re interested in on your behalf, automating your job search and landing you an interview that much faster.

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Why Smaller Companies Are Better Early on in Your Career

The allure of large, name-brand companies such as Google, Edward Jones, Deloitte and Hyatt (all included in Forbes 100 Best Places to Work 2018) is understandable. Great perks, brand association, more resources, and exposure to the workings of core business on a large scale (i.e.: processes, performance, making an impact, etc.) make for an environment that can help you reach your career goals…maybe.

Although the corporate mold has major benefits in some respect, applying to smaller or medium-sized companies (<200) especially early on in your career will not only increase your transferable skillset but foster a ‘think outside the box’ mentality that will serve you in any working environment.

You’ll quickly learn a ton.

With varied responsibilities that don’t always fit your job description, you’re expanding your skillset on a regular basis. Getting to wear multiple hats and work cross-functionally with different departments is a highly sought after professional attribute in any business setting.

Creatures of habit will balk at change in responsibility, and if not presented correctly (i.e.: not being offered the proper resources to help you succeed) this type of transition can be stressful. Ultimately for your budding career, more opportunity is best and employees that work in smaller companies are visible and less likely to be siloed where they can’t professionally grow.

You’ll have more influence.

In a small business setting, the work you do is naturally more visible. For this reason, you’re able to make a tangible impact on a daily basis. Larger companies may offer a built-in support system but the connections you make at a smaller company where your immediate team and beyond are regularly witnessing your wins and contributions arguably makes for intimate references and networking connections.

Your professional success is vital to the success of a small business and this is a huge motivator for managers to make themselves to you. Your first job(s) are learning experiences and your boss/mentors have a great deal of information and experience to share. In larger companies (perhaps where the bottom line isn’t the #1 goal) it may be more difficult to gain access to your manager.

More flexibility to discover what works for you.

Larger businesses have corporate policies and regulations that are put in place regarding what an employee can and cannot do; not doing so would absolutely burden a corporate structure of 500+ employees. Smaller companies inherently have the wiggle room to offer things like flexible work schedules/breaks, adaptability in hiring, and even work from home options. This fosters a certain work ethic early on in your career where trust between yourself and your manager/co-workers is vital. There is no room to take advantage of long breaks everyday as your presence is noticed.

Applying to smaller businesses and start-ups requires a different approach. If you’re looking for guidance in how to get a small business interview (or what jobs would best fit your skills), we can help.

For $10/month we can automatically find the best jobs and pre-fill job applications for you based on your desired role, location and years of experience. In addition, you’ll get our Interview Guarantee — if we can’t get you an interview within 60 days, we’ll refund everything back to you, guaranteed. (90% of job-seekers using TalentWorks get an interview in 60 days or less).

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Searching For A Job? You Should Have A Portfolio

Listen, you need a portfolio. This isn’t some moment at the open mic where you can pretend the person on stage is talking to someone else. This isn’t a stage production of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If you’re reading this, you should know that you need a portfolio.

How do I know you need one? Well, for one, you’re looking for a job and a clean-looking collection of all your accomplishments can only help. But mostly, a portfolio is just something that every person, no matter their field or job, should have.

The Big Reason Why

I know I’ve been telling you that you need a portfolio, now let me show you why they’re necessary. That’s actually exactly it: showing over telling.

Literally every single person who is applying for the same jobs as you is saying that they’re the right fit for the job. After a while, it’s all so much white noise. A portfolio showing that you’ve handled the exact sort of work that they’ll expect from you at this new gig is a surefire way to stand out among all the people who are just saying “trust me.”

If they are looking for leaders, go ahead and share a few projects you’ve lead. If they’re looking for someone with an eye for design, wow them with your work on a website that looks great. There’s no reason not to have examples of your work contained in one easy-to-navigate space.

But I’m Not A Creative

Doesn’t matter. Even if you don’t have copies of projects to share, a personal website with crisp and clean photos of yourself alongside you accomplishments is bound to make the right impression. As we’ve mentioned before, being heard above the din can be hard. You want to do anything that will help you stick out in a hiring manager’s mind even a tiny amount.

Knowing What Type Of Portfolio To Create

Since everybody needs one, quite a few places have cropped up that work well to host portfolios. Which portfolio works for you depends entirely upon what type of work you’re looking to do.

Behance works well for creative work, Medium is the spot for written words and Dribbble is for all the graphic designers. For the B.S. types, GitHub is great for engineering work. If your jobs have been a bit more nebulous, try out Squarespace or WordPress and fill the pages with stories about your experience.

What Should I Share?

Only your best. Seriously, go over all of your potential best projects and ding them. Be as ruthless to your own work as you possibly can. When you get done, you’ll probably be left with 3-5 really good examples and that’s what you want to build around.

Job Search Tip: While you’re in the mood for criticism, pass your portfolio off to friends and have them critique it. A fresh set of eyes never hurt.

While You’re Here…

We’re sure your portfolio is great, but that isn’t going to matter if your application never grabs a recruiter’s interest in the first place. For just $10, we can optimize your resume to make sure that it’s what hiring managers are looking for and automate your job search, sending out applications to all the jobs you want without wasting any of your time. We even offer a money-back guarantee because we know that our portfolio would be stacked with successfully placed candidates.

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Making Sure Social Media Doesn’t Hurt You In The Job Search

We all preach keeping our personal life and work life separate. But in this endlessly interconnected age, that’s not always possible. Your personal online life will absolutely intersect with your professional online life at some point. It’s unavoidable.

But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With proper planning you can make sure that the crossroads at Facebook & Your Resume isn’t the site of a flaming wreck. Knowing that hiring managers are going to snoop on your social media profiles gives you the upper hand, allowing you to craft your online presence in a way that will show them what they want to see when they come digging.

To make it a little easier to snoop-proof your socials, we’ve put together a few tips.

Visit Like A Stranger

This is the most important part of any steps you might take to make your social media profile more presentable. You have to visit your page as an outsider if you want to have any hope of finding all the things that might pop up and scare off a prospective employer.

Dig around. Click on links that you wouldn’t if you were just using the platform in your day-to-day life. Double check what friends have tagged you in. If anything comes up that you think might throw off an employer, delete it ASAP.

Job Search Tip: Visit your pages in incognito mode to see what they look like to everyone else.

Make Sure You Match

Everyone stretches the truth during the job application process. You’re trying to make the best possible case for yourself, so you go ahead and look at your experience through rose-colored glasses and share that idea of yourself with recruiters. But that carefully constructed rosy reality can come crashing down quick if it doesn’t jibe with your social media profile.

Make sure that any recruiter who would stumble upon your page will find something roughly consistent with what you sent them. Your page doesn’t have to match your resume line for line. People do present themselves differently in different spaces, after all. But your employment history should match in a way that’s not going to send up any red flags.

Use A Professional-looking Profile Photo

This one’s easy. Try and get yourself a headshot. The first picture that any snooper might see should be a clean, clear photo of just you. Bonus points if you’re professionally dressed and smiling in a way that seems candid.

It Ain’t All Bad

I know we’ve made it seem like social media is nothing but a minefield meant to blow up any chances you have at landing your next gig. But social media can do at least as much helping as it does hindering, if you know how to make it work for you.

LinkedIn can be a great resource to provide you with legs-up and ways in if you regularly make a point of connecting with the people you’ve worked alongside. Growing your network (and maybe getting a few recommendations for skills you claim to have along the way) is a great way to show recruiters that real, live people enjoyed working with you.

Beyond that, Twitter is an excellent resource to find out who is hiring in the first place. Following people from the companies you want to work for can provide an inside scoop on a new gig, allowing you to get your resume in ahead of the horde.

We Can Help!

While we can’t paper over the pitfalls in your profile, we can help with everything else. For just $10, we will not only optimize your resume to guarantee that it’s giving hiring managers what they want, we’ll also automate the application process and send out that resume for you. We’re so confident in our method that we’ll put your money where our mouth is. If you don’t land an interview, we offer your money back. Luckily, our success rate makes this an easy bet to make.

 

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How To Make Sure Your Resume Is Right For The Job

No resume is ever perfect. You might have selected the perfect font, put together the crispest heading and explained your crazy amount of experience. But all that smooth, flowing work history is bound to need re-arranging once it smashes up against the sharp rocks of the job search.

Frankly, almost every application is going to require little tweaks to your resume to guarantee success. Your painting in broad strokes while recruiters are looking for a photorealistic rendering of the person they want. But that’s no reason to lose hope. You just have to work hard to be given the opportunity to maybe, one day work hard.

Here’s a few tips to make sure that your resume is as close to perfect as any one piece of paper can get.

Include keywords from the job posting in your resume

This is the easiest and perhaps most-crucial step in getting through the callouses that the average hiring manager has over the CV-scanning part of their brain. People are attuned to respond positively to people who speak like them. (Semi-related fun fact: when people like each other, their accents move closer together over the course of a conversation. Cute and scientific!) If you reflect the words that they chose back to them, you’re not only piquing their interest in this way, but you’re guaranteeing that you address their specific needs.

Resume Tip: You can shorten this process significantly by searching for 10-15 jobs in your field and noting the skills that all the listings have in common. Be sure to list those words in your skills section.

K.I.S.S.

Don’t have to talk dirty, baby,  to impress recruiters. While we don’t imagine you’re chucking vulgarities into your bullet points, there’s more than one way that a resume can be unclean. Follow the acronym K.I.S.S. (“Keep it simple, stupid.”) to keep yourself in line of you’re thinking about adding a little too much flair to your application. The less you have going on with your resume, the easier it is for people (and the machines that aid them) to read. A few quick and easy resume tips under the KISS umbrella:

  • Use standard fonts: Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Times New Roman and the like
  • Try to avoid tables, graphs or pictures
  • Save it in a widely used format like .docx or .pdf

The average hiring manager spends less than seven seconds looking at your resume before making a decision on whether or not it’s going in the trash. Make it easy to read or you’re going in the worst kind of outbox.

Use task/result structure

Instead of telling hiring managers what your job responsibilities were, try telling them what you did specifically that made your last workplace better.

Here’s a comparison of two bullet points:

BAD:

  • Ran fundraising campaigns

GOOD:

  • Launched a fundraising campaign that raised $10,000 in 8 weeks which extended runway for X months

Take note of the use of numbers, too. Quantifiable impacts are catnip to hiring managers.

Isn’t there an easier way?

Of course! We understand that all of this can be a hassle. It’s very hard to land a job and making sure that your resume is on point every time is a lot to keep in your head. So, why not use ours? Our collective brainpower and our ResumeOptimizer tool can help make sure that you never send out a bad resume again. For just $10, we’ll clean up your resume to fit the positions you want and automatically send it out to the people who are looking for you! And we stand behind our work, guaranteeing that we’ll land you an interview or your money back.

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5 Tips for Beating Imposter Syndrome in Job Interviews

“What gives me the right to be at this interview?” 
“Do I belong here?”
“Did their HR make a mistake?”

 

Is it difficult to communicate your accomplishments during interviews? Do you feel as if what is on paper doesn’t represent the “real you”?

Many people suffer from interview jitters, but for some it’s an all-consuming feeling where they believe themselves a fraud and their interview a complete fluke despite their quality as a candidate. This persistent feeling of self-doubt may also sometimes hamper a candidate’s chance of moving forward in the hiring pipeline if they are coming across as unconfident. It’s called ‘imposter syndrome’ (IP) and many people from all walks of life will experience it in their lifetime. 

In job interviews especially, the last thing you would want to do is discount your achievements and have trouble remembering all the awesome projects you managed. So, how do you beat it during the interview process?

Familiarity will calm your nerves

Do your homework. Research typical interview questions for your specific job title and of course the company itself. Glassdoor is a great resource for checking out the specific questions candidates were asked and their overall interview experience. (Of course, take it with a grain of salt as everyone’s experience differs.) Realize that it is normal to expect to learn new skills in a new job and practice how you are going to frame questions around areas you need to improve.

Your internal dialogue isn’t reality

You may think you’re tanking the interview, but understand that the hiring manager sees something different and even expects some level of nervousness. While you’re overthinking how they must be perceiving you, you’re actively forgetting that an interview is a two-way street. You are there to interview the company, meet potential coworkers and managers, check out the workspace and generally see if this would work for you. Be present, focused, and try to enjoy yourself.

Hard work>Perfection

High-achievers and perfectionists are vulnerable to imposter syndrome because they’re constantly setting unrealistic expectations for themselves. It’s important to realize that nobody knows everything, and that’s okay! Seeing yourself as a hard-worker who gets things done as opposed to someone constantly chasing perfection will help you recognize your strengths and speak to them authentically.

Take your time

When candidates are nervous they tend to talk fast and immediately respond to every question. Give yourself a moment to absorb the information and ask clarifying questions, if necessary. You might even take notes or request to use the whiteboard. Hiring managers are looking for thoughtful, calm responses and prefer you take as much time as you need to answer their questions.

Post-interview evaluation

After the interview is over, give yourself an honest self-evaluation. Write down all the positive aspects that you believe contributed to your possibly getting the job. This behavioral conditioning exercise will help steer you away from focusing on the negative unnecessarily and instead how well you managed your stress.

Conclusion

Imposter syndrome is the idea that you got to where you are professionally due to some kind of error. The causality is unclear, but there are steps to take to better help you realize your accomplishments with the confidence you deserve. Interviews may seem daunting but, as the job seeker, much of what seems intimidating is controllable.

For $10/month we can automatically find the best jobs and pre-fill job applications for you based on your desired role, location and years of experience. In addition, you’ll get our Interview Guarantee — if we can’t get you an interview within 60 days, we’ll refund everything back to you, guaranteed. (90% of job-seekers using TalentWorks get an interview in 60 days or less).

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Avoid These Five Mistakes At Your Next Job Interview

You finally made it. After weeks or months of looking and applying, someone finally wants to talk to you about maybe, possibly giving you a job. You put on your best (or at least cleanest) dress clothes and head down to an unfamiliar part of town.

Afterward, you feel pretty good about your odds. But the weeks pass and your phone doesn’t ring again, leaving you wondering which of the thousand variables in a given conversation you could have plugged in wrong.

Of course, you aren’t going to hear any feedback from the people who made the decision not to hire you. But we can probably guess. After all, we’re pretty well-versed in this sort of thing and we actually care whether or not you land your next gig so of course we’re willing to spill.

The truth is that most people are making the same kind of mistakes while they’re sitting on the wrong side of the desk and trying not to sweat too noticeably. Here’s a few easy mistakes to train your way out of next time you find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile sitting in an unfamiliar office.

Consider Logistics

This one may seem obvious. In truth, that’s why we put it first. But you would be surprised at the number of people who can’t seem to show up on time for a job interview. If you’re driving to an interview, make sure you get there with time to spare. If you’re taking transit, know your route and consider leaving some extra wiggle room for unforeseen happenings.

And if you show up super early, 30 minutes or more before the interview, use the opportunity to take a walk. Being too early can also hurt your chances, but familiarizing yourself with the area might give you something to connect with the recruiter on.

Job Search Tip: Do a dry run of the route you plan to take around the same time as your interview to ensure that you know how the trip will go.

Do Enough Research

You should know quite a bit about the company you plan to work for so that you aren’t wasting the recruiter’s time getting you up to speed. They want to talk about how you will fit in with their company today and they can’t do that if you’re asking obvious questions about things you could easily learn on your own.

Of course, failing to ask questions entirely is also not a good look. It can either read as you not knowing enough to ask or thinking you know too much. Just about every interview is going to end with a request to ask questions. Have a few prepared and make sure they aren’t the most obvious.

Interview Tip: See if the company has been in the news any and ask about that. Of course, this only goes for positive stories. Don’t ask them about their latest scandal if you aren’t applying to be Olivia Pope.

Wrap It Up

Talking about yourself can be difficult or it could be your favorite thing. Either way, you need to keep it quick. The interviewer only has a short period of time to talk to you and if you ramble, then they might not be able to get to everything they need to learn to make a decision.

Not to mention, rambling directly contradicts all that stuff you put in your application about being a good communicator. You don’t want to be a blabbermouth and a liar, do you?

Don’t Whiff On Lobs

There are certain questions that interviewers are almost always going to ask. They’re allowed to be lazy where you aren’t. So have solid answers worked out to the Greatest Hits of recruiters.

Know where you see yourself in five years, have an answer for why you applied that doesn’t involve money and prepare an honest answer about your biggest weakness that won’t completely disqualify you from the gig. These questions are coming and you should be ready for them.

Job Search Tip: Be ready to talk about salary expectations in an interview. We know it’s difficult, but it’s necessary to get the job you want at the pay grade you deserve.

Posi Vibes Only

Not to get all schoolmarm on you but sit up straight, be nice and don’t talk down on people who aren’t there to defend themselves.

Bad-mouthing former employers is almost never going to come across in a way that reflects well on you. And you definitely shouldn’t do anything that might make the receptionist or the people who already work in the building think of you as curt or rude. You need to be on and pleasant from the second you walk in. Save the slouching for the car ride home.

Of course, to even take these tips into account, you have to get the interview. That’s where we come in.

For just $10, we can optimize your resume and automate your job search to guarantee that you’ll get a call back. And that’s not just long talk, we actually guarantee it. Stop stressing about how to get the interview and start worrying about what you’re going to wear.

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