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Job Interview

The most critical part of the interview

Do you leave interviews wondering if you will get the job, or what they thought of you?  You shouldn't.

It may feel uncomfortable to ask someone if they want to hire you in a live conversation, but doing this at the right time will greatly increase your chance of landing the job. Here’s how:

As an interview is nearing the end, you will almost always be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer.  This is your chance to ask THE question. The way you ask matters. You also need to brace yourself because they will always have something critical to say about you.

When you're given the opportunity to ask your questions, make your first question the most important because some interviewers try to rush off to see what you will do.  If they don't give you the time to ask any questions, be sure to speak up and say, "Before you head out, I had one quick question for you."  Everyone has an extra 30 seconds to spare.

If you’re speaking to a hiring manager, ask, "Do you have any reservations in hiring me?"

If you’re interviewing with a recruiter, ask "Do you have any reservations recommending me for next steps?"

Next, you will be told something negative (hey, you literally asked for it) and you need to be ready to squash their concerns and show that you’re not afraid of criticism or growth.

Take just a moment to process whatever they have come up with. It will typically be something about not having enough direct experience, or perhaps they see some short stints on your résumé. Whatever it is, stay positive and confident when you respond.  Employers want to see how you will react under pressure.  

Acknowledge their concern, assure them why you will overcome it, and give specific examples.  After you have responded, go back and ask them the question again.  "Since talking through your concerns, do you have any other reservations in recommending me for the job?"

Closing your interview in this way will set you apart. It also allows you to know how to proceed with following up, and address any of their concerns directly instead of giving those concerns a chance to dig in after you’ve left. Ask them what the next steps in the interview process are after you have received their approval to move forward.

Whether you're a C-level executive or straight out of college, we all need to know how to make a lasting impression because there is always someone else trying to get the job that you want.

The question you can not afford to forget.
By: Lindsay Drumm

Smiling Businessman

A sharp résumé to get you that interview

Your résumé is an ad for you. But don't make it all about you.
By: Greg Marano, The Syracuse Pen

You wouldn’t buy a product based on the seller’s needs. So why would you try to sell yourself based on your own objectives? This is the mistake too many people continue to make with their résumés.
Let’s say you need a new dentist, and you see two consecutive commercials on TV for local dentists. Here’s what the commercials say:
“Dr. Alphonse has been practicing for 20 years, and is consistently named among the top 10 dentists in the tri-state area. His office is equipped with the latest technology, and his staff is always friendly and courteous, ensuring you leave every appointment with a smile.”
“Dr. Bravado’s goal is to increase his number of patients by 20% this year. He’s looking for patients who can help him hone his skills in abscess removal and improve revenue so he can give his well-deserving hygienist a raise.”
Which dentist will you be trusting with your teeth? In all likelihood, you’re much more concerned with the quality of service you can expect from the dentist (what he can do for you) than with what his goals are (what you can do for him). Dr. Bravado’s objectives for his practice are less compelling than Dr. Alphonse’s ability to deliver for you.
So why do people still insist on opening their résumés with objective statements? A résumé is, at its core, an advertisement for you. You’re selling yourself to prospective employers, convincing them to invest their resources in hiring you. Their objective is to hire a strong candidate; your objective is irrelevant.
That’s why the objective statement, traditionally placed at the top of a résumé to let a prospective employer know your goals, has largely been phased out. An employer doesn’t care what they can do for your career any more than you care about what you can do for your dentist. You want to know what your dentist can do for you. Similarly, an employer reading your résumé cares about what you can do for the company.
Instead of a statement of their own objectives, you’d be better off with a professional summary statement headlining your résumé. It tells the reader who you are, what you can do, and why you are the best candidate for the job. Make sure the reader knows immediately what you’re capable of. And make it absolutely clear that hiring you would be the right move—more for them than for you.

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