Tag Archive: job interview


It’s no secret that jobs are scarce. Don’t be misled by encouraging downward trends in unemployment – a lot of the new jobs being created are of the low-level service variety. Quality, career-type positions are few in number and applicants are many. Add in the fact that today’s companies are terrified of making a bad hire, due to the intense dedication of money and resources involved in bringing on a new staff member plus legal ramifications of firing someone, and finding a job that will let you achieve your professional and personal aspirations is tougher than ever.

But it can be done. However, the key to obtaining the kind of job that will advance your career is acing your job interview. The interview is absolutely crucial to getting hired, and demonstrating you have the necessary skills and background is only a small portion of what you must accomplish. Here are 6.5 fresh steps to acing your next job interview.


  1. Do Your Homework. You need to do a lot of research before the interview takes place. The Internet makes this task easier than in the past, but you still need to check out the company’s website, as well as websites of its major competitors. Do a Google search of the company, its executives and its industry to find out what challenges it is facing. Also it may reveal important details about executives you will speak with, such as their alma maters, social activities, etc. you can use to personalize your conversation. If possible, discreetly visit the company’s lobby to get a sense of what people are wearing and how they act.
  2. Appearance counts. You are essentially hired (or not hired) in the first 30 seconds of the interview. Your potential employer decides very quickly if you are right for the job or not, and the rest of the conversation serves to prove or disprove this first impression. The very first thing your interviewer(s) will see is your personal appearance. Are your hair and nails freshly groomed? Are you wearing tailored business attire that is in line with current fashion but not too “trendy”? Is your breath fresh and are you well-rested but alert? Do you carry a quality leather attache case and have professionally printed business cards and resumes to distribute? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” make sure it becomes “yes” before your interview occurs!
  3. Talk to everyone. Even if you arrive on time (I’m assuming you know enough to never be late, and ideally should be 10-15 minutes early), you will likely be asked to wait for at least a few minutes before the interview starts. If there is a receptionist in the waiting area, engage them in pleasant conversation. Also smile and say hello to anyone who passes by. Do not ask any questions or initiate in-depth conversations (remember everyone will report what you say and do), but if you are lucky someone in the company might reveal a valuable piece of information, such as what type of mood your interviewer is in or how many other people have been interviewed. Plus you immediately establish yourself as a social, professional individual who makes a good impression.




  • Last week we discussed meaningful job hunting.
  • This week we will talk about how you can get and nail the interview for your next meaningful job.
  • Especially in a tough job market like we are experiencing now, competition is fierce for every position.
  • In order to get an interview, you have to find a way to separate yourself from your competition.
  • Below are a few tips on differentiating yourself in a crowded field:
    • Be quick: Respond to the job posting as soon as it is posted; to do this you need to be on top of job boards in your field.
    • Be explicit: Tell the potential employer exactly how you meet the criteria for the job.
    • Be brief: Hiring managers will be flooded with responses; keep your initial application short and to the point.
    • Be creative: Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through or to do something very different than a standard cover letter and résumé, as long as it aligns with the industry in which you work (i.e. a video résumé for a job that involves presenting, or marketing collateral about yourself for a marketing position).
    • Be persistent: Follow up early and regularly, but not in an annoying way; you want to keep your name in the hiring manager’s mind and make it clear that you are interested.
  • Once you get the interview, you need to make sure you do well in it.
    • Be prepared: Do your homework about the company and the position; know as much as you can before you walk in and be ready to talk about it.
    • Be inquisitive: Prepare meaningful questions in advance and aske them in the interview. It goes without saying that you should not ask about money right away; save that for follow-up interviews.
    • Be direct: Tell them why you are a strong candidate for the job by linking your skills and experience to the skills and experience they are looking for.
    • Be confident: Give firm handshakes, make eye contact, speak with authority; you are selling yourself here, so you have to believe in yourself.
    • Be appreciative: Thank them for the opportunity and follow up with a handwritten thank-you card.
  • Any tips for readers on getting or nailing a job interview? Share your ideas in the comments section.


For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

You Know How Great You Are—Don’t Be Afraid to Tell the World!
From my earliest work experience as a child handyman for an overbearing, demanding woman who was virtually impossible to please, I have constantly promoted myself as a person who delivers top results in even the most challenging of circumstances. To help me develop a personal brand based on this ability, I created a methodology I call Fresh PASSION. This is a fresh approach to Preparing yourself, Aspiring to reach your goals, Staying laser-focused, Selling your value, Invigorating yourself, Omitting the negative, and Nailing the brand.

Selling like you are crazy means understanding your return on investment (ROI). You have confidence in your fullest potential, and you are constantly searching for new opportunities that will help you meet, and maybe even exceed that potential. These opportunities could come in the form of a new job, a promotion, an opportunity to run an extracurricular school club or event, or an award or other form of peer recognition. Whatever the opportunity may be; forget the advice about opportunity knocking. You have to go out knocking on doors, as many as you can find and at all times.

Now it’s time to let the world know who you are. You must convey what makes you different, distinctive, and competitive (i.e., your brand). This statement is your definition statement. You will use this during networking and interviews to alert your current company and the outside world, your customers, and potential and current employers about just how much value your brand truly provides.

Your statement has to be competitive internally to the organization, company, or business that you are in, as well as competitive externally to the marketplace. If you are an entrepreneur, your statement must inspire and maintain the respect of your employees; and even if you work as a solo contractor, you must develop a statement you truly believe in yourself! This is critical to gaining exponential personal and professional success internally while keeping you competitive on the open market, which provides you with the critical back-up plan in the event of downsizings, rightsizings, and economic slowdowns that may affect your current organization. In plain English, make sure your eggs can produce the world’s best omelet, no matter what basket they end up in.

So remember the three rules of sales: Sell, sell, sell! Aggressively pursue as many chances for face-to-face interactions with people who can help you reach your goals as possible. And sell with confidence. You must believe in the value you bring and what you can do for your sales prospect. Frauds always reveal themselves, whether in sales or in any other aspect of life.

Also remember that a closed mouth will starve you to death. You must passionately communicate both how great you are and how your greatness will spread throughout any organization you join if you want to dine on your aspirations.

Thus, by effectively communicating your message both verbally and non-verbally (this is where the confidence and sincerity you exude in every aspect of how you carry yourself comes in), you are arming yourself to solve the root cause of a large percentage of the potential situations that could damage your brand or limit your opportunities for success. Furthermore, considering how widespread communication problems are, imagine the competitive advantage you gain when you become one of the relatively few people who can truly communicate!