The easiest way to see the exponential power of networking is watching your network grow in LinkedIn. A mere 60 direct connections can build of a network of over 1,200,000 people overnight.
How? By connecting to the Super Connectors – people with the biggest and widest networks. And it’s easy to do. Connect to the Super Connectors you already know. They are typically successful sales people in their field. Then, just push yourself out the door and go to meetings, professional events, seminars and networking events. And, you don’t actually have to do anything because the Super Connectors are always on the hunt to connect with new people. Talk to them, tell them “how you help companies with your expertise”, exchange business cards, and then remember to invite them to join your LinkedIn network.
Now here’s the key, keep their memory of you alive by keeping in touch with them, especially with insider industry news and information. But, just remember, Super Connectors networks are broad not deep so don’t be disappointed if one of their contacts doesn’t immediately call you back.
Use these questions as a starting point to prepare for your next job interview. They’ll provide you with a foundation for responding effectively and powerfully to the 12 most-asked questions. Preparing your responses will help you build a framework for thinking on your feet during interviews so that you can land the job you really want!
- Tell me about yourself
- What are your salary expectations?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Tell me about your strengths?
- Why did you leave or are planning to leave your last position?
- Why has it taken you so long to find a job?
- What would a boss or co-worker say about you?
- Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or co-worker?
- What do you know about our company?
- What are your goals?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work here?
Want to know exactly how to prepare your answers to these questions, grab a copy of our eBook – What Top Professionals Need To Know About Answering Job Interview Questions.
My clients often want to know the questions interviewers will ask. But, that’s almost impossible to predict because there isn’t a list of common questions. Yes, there are standard questions, but that’s a short list. Besides, many interviewers are seasoned executives, and not necessarily expert interviewers. However, there’s a better way of preparing – by understanding what the hiring organization needs to achieve at each stage of the interview process.
During the interviewing process, the hiring organization needs to answer these five questions:
- Do you have all the required skills, abilities and experience to do the job?
- Can the organization afford you?
- Do you have the necessary motivation, drive and work ethic to get the job done?
- Are you easy to supervise and manage?
- Will you fit with the team and the organization?
Most hiring organizations structure their interviewing process into two or three stages. Each stage delves deeper into each of these questions, and goes further down the list.
This is the last of six steps to acing your phone interview and often the most difficult. Let any silence during conversation just be there.
- This is tough to do when you’re on the phone. However, being comfortable with brief silences will keep you from saying things you haven’t practiced and really don’t want to say.
- When you do break the silence, ask if the interviewer wants you to expand on anything. If not, ask an appropriate follow-on question.
Practicing all six steps will help you master your phone interview skills so that you can move to the next step in the hiring process – a face-to-face interview.
To sound professional, it helps to:
- Stand up so you remain alert and focused.
- Speak clearly so they hear your entire response.
- Smile because smiling makes you sound warm, friendly and approachable.
- Dress in interview clothes to achieve a confident, professional manner
- Avoid chewing gum, coughing or clearing your throat directly into the phone. It’s always better to excuse yourself for a minute if necessary.
- Practice beforehand with friends or family members.
Because it’s a phone interview, you can easily keep the following close at hand:
- A glass of water in case your throat gets dry
- Paper and pens for taking notes
- The job description and/or job ad
- Your resumé and cover letter
- Your prepared responses, including your “interview stories” with the key points highlighted.
Many people forget this simple step in preparing for their phone interview – Find A Quiet Space.
Tell household members the specific time and expected length of the call. Before taking it, remind them that you are being interviewed on the phone so they do not interrupt accidentally.
Keep pets in another room or shut the door so they don’t distract you.
Use a Landline is the second of six key steps you can take to ace your next phone interview, move forward in the hiring process and land the job you really want. And, it’s an easy one that most people forget.
It’s important that the interviewer hear you clearly throughout the call and that you understand exactly what the caller says during the conversation. Because cell and wireless phones can cut out from time-to-time or have static, use a landline for a clearer connection. Also, be sure to turn off call waiting and any other service that may be distracting by making beeping sounds.
Taking The Call is the first of six key steps you can take to ace your next phone interview, move forward in the hiring process and land the job you really want.
When a search consultant, recruiter or researcher calls unexpectedly, resist the urge to put them off. They’re busy making a lot of calls to find qualified candidates. Putting them off may mean they forget to call you back. So, take the call right away. If it turns out the job they’re calling about isn’t for you, be helpful. Offer the names and phone numbers of people who may be qualified for the position or of people who may know of someone who is qualified. Because you’ve been helpful, the caller will remember you in a positive way and feel comfortable calling you about other positions that may be more suitable.
If the call comes when you’re in the midst of something or have time constraints, let the caller know that. Ask how long the call might take. Re-schedule it if necessary.
When someone calls to follow up on your application or resumé, ask if it’s possible to schedule the call. This will give you time to prepare.
- Controlling the exact time of the call allows you time to find a quiet space where all your materials are easily accessible.
- Ask if it’s possible to get a copy of the job description before the call. This will help you understand the details of the position so you can prepare thoroughly.
- Always confirm the callback number, the date and time, the name and title of the person you will be speaking with and who will initiate the call.
This is another common job interview trap we can fall into – waiting for someone to tell you that you’ve lost your perspective
The Trap: Believe that you don’t sound like every other job candidate.
The Solution: It’s hard to look from the inside out without getting a distorted view. But, you need to become aware of how you’re perceived by the hiring organization. Otherwise, you won’t be able to shift your perspective and talk to prospective employers about how you can meet their needs and challenges with your unique skills and experience. This is very difficult to do yourself unless you’ve done over and over again. To gain that perspective, you can practice with low-risk contacts such as family members, friends or former colleagues who “listen” to your pitch and provide feedback. But, never be afraid to seek professional guidance from a career specialist – you’ll achieve your goals faster – and with less pain.