How I’ve Landed Every Job I’ve Ever Applied For
Posted on February 20, 2015
This is part 3 of a 3-part series on maximizing your income and earning your dream job:
- Part 1 – How I Get $10,000 Raises Every Year
- Part 2 – How I Got a $60,000 Job at 26 With No Degree
- Part 3 – [You Are Here] How I’ve Landed Every Job I’ve Ever Applied For
I’ve gotten every single job I’ve ever applied for. No lie. This includes Sr. level positions at Fortune 500 firms such as Verizon.
In this article I’m going to give you my top 10 tips to help you nail one of the biggest components of the job hunting process… The Interview!
Landing the job of your dreams is just 10 tips away.
If you’ve got a winning resume’ and you’re willing to add some proven tactics to your interview process, you’ll be well on your way to acing your interview!
What follows below is just a small sample of the advice I have to offer. To benefit the most, I’d highly encourage you to checkout my career development course. I’m currently offering a deep discount of 95% off bringing the total to $10.00. That’s a $190 discount!!!
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1.) Do Your Research:
Thoroughly researching the company, interviewer and position you are applying for is of utmost importance, and it’s a step that’s often overlooked. Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com are great resources for researching the company. Here you can find employee reviews and salary estimates. This process is important because it gives you an inside look into the company and position you are applying for prior to moving forward. During the research phase, you will either confirm your interest in the position or you may find negative information that leads you to look for employment elsewhere.
Linkedin.com and Twitter.com are great sources for researching your interviewer. When conducting this research via Linkedin, be sure that you are not logged in when viewing the interviewer’s profile you are researching. If you’re logged in, Linkedin will notify the person that you have viewed their profile. It’s important for this process to remain anonymous so that you don’t make your interviewer feel uncomfortable by making it appear as though you are spying on them. Details you uncover about your interviewer on Linkedin will give you some great talking points during your interview. As an example, you’ll be able to determine how long they’ve worked at the company you’re interviewing with. This could prompt you to ask, “how long have you worked here and what keeps you motivated to stay here?” This is a really great question to ask if you find that the interviewer has worked at the company for at least 3 years or more.
Twitter is a great tool for getting an idea of what kind of interests the interviewer may have. This could also give you some great talking points. As an example, if after discovering that one of the latest tweets from your interviewer says, “YES! The Yankee’s win the World Series again!” you could use this as conversational banter during the initial 10 seconds of the interview. This initial 10 seconds is critical. Research shows that an employer decides whether or not they like you in the first 7 – 10 seconds of an interview. If you’re able to immediately launch the interview with a question or comment about something that appeals to the interviewer, you’ll instantly get on their good side. This could literally be the difference between landing the job or not, so use as much “top secret” info you can dig up as possible to your advantage.
Lastly, be sure you thoroughly research the position. You’ll want to make sure you are fully qualified, and if there’s any questions you have about the job description, be sure you write them down and ask them in the interview to be sure you are in full alignment with the position you are applying for.
2.) Develop Your Story:
Everybody has a story. Your story is a brief 3 sentence pitch that expresses your experience, proof and value. Your story isn’t something that you necessarily need to remember word for word and spit out on command. However, it’s possible that you might, so be prepared if asked. The idea here is to get a deep understanding of yourself and be able to quickly and succinctly express your work history and value when asked. Here’s an example of a story statement: “I’ve been a digital media marketer for 8 years. I’ve launched dozens of successful campaigns that met the objectives outlined by Sr. leaders. If given the opportunity, I believe I could achieve these results for XYZ Corporation as well.”
3.) Prove Yourself:
Throughout an interview process, the interviewer will ask a series of questions aimed at figuring out how experienced you are. They are essentially trying to get you to prove yourself. The best way to do this is to come prepared with a portfolio. If possible, you should have a digital version and a tangible version. The digital version should be emailed before or after the interview and the tangible version should be available to leave with the interviewer after the interview has been conducted. Second, you should have a series of short stories prepared that illustrate successful activities you’ve worked on throughout your career. This helps paint the picture for the interviewer, which will get you one-step closer to closing the deal.
4.) Be Prepared to Answer Commonly Asked Questions:
There is virtually an endless list of “commonly asked interview questions.” To add them all here would be impossible and impractical. However, there are a few that I’ve come across several times throughout my career. Your answer to these questions will vary. Be sure you practice your responses out loud. Performing this task in front of a mirror can be very helpful.
- Tell me about yourself? – Your “story” could be used here to help answer this question
- Why do you want to work here? – Your answer should express your interest based on the research you conducted about the company (ie: lots of positive reviews from current and former employees, the company is highly regarded in the industry, company culture, etc.)
- Why did you leave your last job? – Be sure you have a positive answer, even if you didn’t necessarily leave on good terms. (ie: you reached a career ceiling, you’re looking to explore new opportunities after being at your previous company for an extended period of time, etc.)
- What’s your greatest weakness and how are you working on resolving it? – Be honest and be sure you have a plan on getting better
- Tell me about a time when “BLANK” didn’t go so well? – Be honest, but be sure your answer ends with a positive outcome
- Describe a difficult work situation or project and how you overcame it? – Be honest, but be sure your answer ends with a positive outcome
- Why should we hire you? – Your “story” could be used here to help answer this question. Be sure you express the value you bring. Value could be years of experience, case studies of successful projects, proof of your capabilities from reference letters, etc
5.) Dress Appropriately:
“Dress appropriately” may sound like common sense, but it’s not. Dressing appropriately isn’t just about ensuring you don’t show up to an interview scantly-clad or disheveled. Your attire says a lot about you. It’s the first thing people notice. In recent years workplace attire has changed tremendously, as many companies now have a corporate casual dress code. If this is the case with the company you are applying to work for, showing up in the standard suit and tie or skirt and blouse may be over-powering and inappropriate. You can appear as though you’re out of touch with current workplace fashions, or even worse, your attire could be overly conservative (ie: suit and tie). This disrupts the power dynamic and could make the interviewer feel uncomfortable, especially if they walk in with a pair of khaki pants or jeans. Inappropriate attire may also lead the interviewer to wonder whether or not you’re a good cultural fit. The best way to determine the dress code for the company you are interviewing with is to ask the person who is the point of contact for your interview. Only reach out to this person if they are a human resources manager or a recruiter. You do not want to ask the person you are interviewing with for the dress code. This is unprofessional. A second option, is to call anonymously to the front desk. Say, “Hello, I’m scheduled for an interview in a few days. Would you mind giving me a recommendation of appropriate office or interview attire? I want to make sure I’m not under or over-dressed.”
6.) Mimic Their Mannerisms:
Research has shown that mimicking the mannerisms of a person you are speaking to makes them feel more comfortable with you. This scientific discovery is crucial in understanding for the interview process. When interviewing, take note of your interviewers mannerisms and copy them. This should be subtle, but intentional. Examples of mimicked behavior include: voice tonality, enthusiasm, crossed-legs, distance from chair to table, etc.
7.) Ask Insightful Questions:
After you’ve completed your interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. This is when it’s your time to put them on the spot. Break out your pen and paper and ask insightful questions. When appropriate, write down their responses. Here are a list of a few good questions to consider:
- How will my performance be evaluated?
- Why is this position open and why did the previous person leave?
- If I were to be hired, what would a typical work day look like?
- What do you like most about working at this company?
- Now that we’ve discussed the position, my qualifications and got better acquainted, do you have any concerns about me being successful in this position?
8.) Ask for Next Steps:
Once the interview has ended be sure to ask for next steps. This is key as it will give you an indication of when the selection process will conclude and what if anything you need to do to move forward to the next stage.
9.) Send a Thank You Note:
Within 24 hours of the interview, send a thank you note via email to the interviewer. Ideally, the thank you note should be sent within 1 – 2 hours. Your thank you note should be brief, and should thank the interviewer for their time and consideration, re-affirm your interest in the position, re-iterate your value and give them an opening to follow up with any questions they may have. Here’s an example: Hello Sally, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to meet with me today in consideration for the Digital Media Manager position. I would love an opportunity to work for XYZ Corporation. As mentioned in my interview, I’ve been in this field for 8 years and have a proven track record of success. Please feel free to follow up with me with any questions you may have.
10.) Follow Up:
If you haven’t heard back from the interviewer within 1 week from the date of your interview, be sure to follow up with them via phone or email. The time frame for follow up should coincide with the time period of selection you were informed of during the next steps process. So as an example, if you were told that a candidate would be selected in 2 weeks, follow up a few days prior to this period ending.
If you follow the 10 steps outlined in this article, you should be well on your way to acing the interview. One thing that’s important to note is that beyond the job you are interviewing for, there’s a much bigger picture. It’s your career as a whole, which is comprised of a series of jobs and job-related experiences. In order to mold your career properly so that you A.) maximize your income, B.) get the jobs of your dreams and C.) become unemployment-proof, you must go through a series of career development protocols. Lucky for you, I’ve developed a video course that teaches you everything you need to know. If you enjoyed this article and this 3-part series, you’re going to love this course! Topics include:
- Personal branding
- Social networking
- Job search
- Resume’ building
- Interview skills training
- Salary negotiation
- Work life balance
- Raises and promotions
- Career change
Students of this course also have unlimited access to ask me questions through the course dashboard. Through this dashboard I’m available to answer any and all career-related questions you may have.
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