Tag Archive | Networking

Interview Tips


Even when you have gone on more interviews than you can count, job interviewing never seems to get any easier. With each job interview, you are meeting new people, selling yourself and your skills, and often getting the third degree about what you know or don’t know. And, you need to stay upbeat and enthusiastic through it all. This can be a challenge, especially when you’re interviewing for a job you would love to get hired for.

That said, there are ways to make a job interview feel much less stressful. Just a little preparation time can go a long way. The more time you take in advance to get ready, the more comfortable you’ll feel during the actual interview. Remember, though, that a job interview is not an exam: you don’t need to study for hours. Rather, you just need to take your time in researching the company, understand exactly what they are looking for in a new hire, and ensure that you’re able to discuss your experience and what makes you a great fit for the job.

It is a good idea to focus on your communication skills in particular, so you can speak clearly and concisely about the assets you can offer the employer.

Ultimately, the key to effective interviewing is to project confidence, stay positive, and be able to share examples of your workplace skills and your qualifications for the job. Take the time to work on your interview skills so that you can develop effective interview strategies to use in all of your interviews.

With some advance preparation, you’ll be able to nail the interview and showcase the experience that makes you the ideal candidate for the company’s next new employee.

7 Interview Tips That Will Help You Get the Job

Here are some job interview tips that can help you interview effectively. Proper preparation will help alleviate some of the stress involved in job interviews and position you for a positive and successful interviewing experience.

  1. Practice and Prepare

Review the typical job interview questions employers ask, and practice your answers. Strong answers are those that are specific but concise, drawing on concrete examples that highlight your skills and back up your resume. Your answers should also emphasize the skills that are most important to the employer and relevant to the position. Be sure to review the job listing, make a list of the requirements, and match them to your experience.

Note that even the most well-prepared response will fall short if it does not answer the exact question you are being asked. While it’s important to familiarize yourself with best answers, it’s equally important to listen carefully during your interview in order to ensure your responses give the interviewer the information they are looking for.

Also, have a list of your own questions ready to ask the employer. In almost every interview, you’ll be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. It is important to have at least one or two questions prepared in order to demonstrate your interest in the organization. Otherwise, you might come across as apathetic, which is a major turnoff for hiring managers.

  1. Develop a Connection with the Interviewer

In addition to indicating what you know about the company, you should also try to develop a connection with your interviewer. Know the interviewer’s name, and use it during the job interview. (If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. And, listen very carefully during introductions. If you’re prone to forgetting names, jot it down somewhere discreet, like in small letters at the bottom of your notepad.)

Ultimately, building rapport and making a personal connection with your interviewer can up your chances of getting hired. People tend to hire candidates they like and who seem to be a good fit for the company’s culture.

  1. Research the Company, and Show What You Know

Do your homework and research the employer and the industry, so you are ready for the interview question, “What do you know about this company?” If this question is not asked, you should try to demonstrate what you know about the company on your own.

You can do this by tying what you’ve learned about the company into your responses. For example, you might say, “I noticed that when you implemented a new software system last year, your customer satisfaction ratings improved dramatically. I am well-versed in the latest technologies from my experience with developing software at ABC, and appreciate a company who strives to be a leader in its industry.”

You should be able to find out a lot of information about the company’s history, mission and values, staff, culture, and recent successes on its website. If the company has a blog and a social media presence, they can be useful places to look, too.

  1. Get Ready Ahead of Time

Don’t wait until the last minute to pick out an interview outfit, print extra copies of your resume, or find a notepad and pen. Have one good interview outfit ready, so you can interview on short notice without having to worry about what to wear. When you have an interview lined up, get everything ready the night before.

Not only will planning out everything (from what shoes you will wear, to how you’ll style your hair, to what time you will leave and how you’ll get there) buy you time in the morning, it will also save you from having to make decisions, which means you can use that brain power for your interview.

Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy, and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with extra copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note-taking.

  1. Be On Time (That Means Early)

Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Take into account the time of your interview so you can adjust for local traffic patterns at that time. Give yourself a few extra minutes to visit the restroom, check your outfit, and calm your nerves.

  1. Try to Stay Calm

During the job interview, try to relax and stay as calm as possible. Remember that your body language says as much about you as your answers to the questions. Proper preparation will allow you to exude confidence.

As you answer questions, maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Be sure to pay attention to the question so that you don’t forget it, and listen to the entire question (using active listening) before you answer, so you know exactly what the interviewer is asking. Avoid cutting off the interviewer at all costs, especially when he or she is asking questions. If you need to take a moment to think about your answer, that’s totally fine, and is a better option than starting out with multiple “ums” or “uhs.”

Check out these tips on avoiding job interview stress to help keep your nerves calm. If the thought of a job interview puts you in panic mode, reviewing these interview tips for introverts will be a great place to start.

  1. Follow-Up After the Interview

Always follow up with a thank-you note reiterating your interest in the position. You can also include any details you may have forgotten to mention during your interview. If you interview with multiple people from the same company, send each one a personal note. Send your thank-you email within 24 hours of your interview.


Source: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-interview-tips-2058577

10 Networking Tips To Help You Make A Great First Impression At An Event

1st_impressions_web1. Build genuine personal connections.

Networking events are a bit like being set up on a blind date, and similar rules apply. Don’t take over the conversation and talk about yourself and your business. People want to feel that you are genuinely interested in them. Ask questions to get to know the other person and understand what they do. As you build a personal connection, potential business opportunities often present themselves.

2. Smile.

Not only does smiling make it easier for people to connect with you because you are more open and welcoming, it also helps them remember you — and your company. Show real interest in what the other person does and ask questions before talking about you. Your smile and authentic self will go a long way toward a positive first impression. 

3. Listen when you join a conversation, then show you were listening.  

Take a few minutes to listen to the conversation when joining a group of people. An effective way to make a good first impression is to join a conversation with a comment that shows you were listening to the current group of people. Acknowledge a key point to add to the conversation rather than refocusing on you and your work. Nothing will stop a conversation faster.

4. Be yourself and don’t try to sell. 

I’ve found that the best approach for any networking event is to be myself and talk about my business in a casual, non-salesy way. When I discuss my business, I always try to share, not sell. I also do a bit of homework on which connections make sense for me to connect with, so I am focusing my energy chatting with people who are relevant to my career and industry.

5. Research attendees and come prepared with questions. 

The best impressions are the ones that appear effortless. Approaching others too aggressively and not paying proper attention to the people and conversations around you can have a negative effect. Be prepared with questions that help you learn about others, hold mutually interesting conversations and make it easy to share what you want to about yourself or your business when it’s appropriate.

6. Bring a friend.

If you are able to attend an event with someone you know from another company, it is great to meet people together — that way you can talk each other up. It can be so hard to boast about yourself and your firm’s accomplishments, but your friend from another company can do that for you and vice versa.

7. Be curious.

People love to talk about themselves. The key to making a great first impression is to be curious about the other person. Asking a thoughtful question (having done your homework on the attendees first) is a great way to put others at ease and demonstrate your listening skills. The more interested you are in others, the more interesting you become. 

8. Introduce yourself with an anecdote that resonates.

We all have that one line or story about what we love about what we do and what our company does. Make your intro personal. People will see you are genuine and it will resonate.

9. Learn how you can help each new connection.

Networking is a powerful way to build business connections, but it’s important that your objective in meeting new people isn’t self-serving. Be authentic, ask questions and start every conversation hoping to learn, “How can I help?” Something as simple as offering to make a helpful introduction goes a long way in leaving a positive impression and will often lead to long-term relationships.

10. Go in without a strict agenda and try to make a new friend. 

Networking events can be intimidating, awkward and loaded with pressure. If you go into it with the intention of getting new leads or gathering X amount of business cards, it’s likely to become uncomfortable. I was recently given the best networking advice: Be authentic and simply try to make a new friend. This takes the pressure off, allows you to be yourself and leads to stronger connections.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2018/04/23/10-networking-tips-to-help-you-make-a-great-first-impression-at-an-event/#3404d7a9301b


Networking & Communication

stack of business cardsOn my desk is a decorative box that’s full to the top with business cards. I’ve collected them at casual encounters, ASJA conferences, and speaking engagements over the past several months. I have a business card scanner, mobile business card application, and a human assistant, any of which could help me get those names into my contacts list. I haven’t bothered because, deep down, I know most or all will come to nothing.

So I was more than intrigued to discover that consultant and author Andrew Sobel recommends in his new book “Power Relationships that the best place for all those cards might be the circular file. His thesis is simple: When it comes to networking, quality trumps quantity.

“There is a penchant to meet lots and lots of people,” he says. “It’s fueled a bit by social media, where we’re told we need large numbers of Twitter followers, followers of our blogs, LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends.” In fact, he says, there are only a few professions where knowing many, many people in a superficial way can be an advantage. “Maybe if you’re promoting a nightclub,” he says.

For just about everyone else, he says, it’s a different story. After interviewing hundreds of successful executives he found that most could identify 25 or perhaps 30 relationships that had made all the difference to their careers. And they recognized those key relationships right from the start.

That’s led Sobel to recommend a different, and likely more effective approach to networking:

  1. Figure out who matters most.

This group is what Sobel calls the “critical few.” Whether a co-worker, customer, mentor, or someone who’s helped you make valuable connections, these are the contacts whose presence in your life is clearly valuable to your career. “If I asked you to make a list of the 20 most important professional contacts in your life right now,” he says. “It’s those people.”

Once you’ve identified your critical few, make sure to keep regular contact, he advises. “These aren’t people you should just send a holiday card to,” he says. “You should be talking two or three times a year. You should know what their interests are and follow up with them around those.”

  1. Pick your next tier.

This group might be 50 to 100 contacts, Sobel says. These are people who have perhaps helped you or have the potential to do so in the future, contacts you may not know well enough to socialize with. “I don’t follow up with them with the same intensity,” he says. “I make sure I’m sending my monthly newsletter, but I may also send some other things of interest. For instance, when I’m quoted in Inc.com, I may send a link to that.”

  1. Find easy ways to engage everyone else.

In Sobel’s case, “everyone else” is about 10,000 people. He sends them his monthly newsletter, and at the end of the year, also provides an instructional video just for them.

  1. If you want to connect with someone, find a way to help that person.

It’s easy to assume that a wealthy and successful contact already has everything he or she desires and wants nothing from the likes of you. If you’re thinking that way, get over it, Sobel advises.

It’s always worth the trouble to find out a contact’s desires and concerns. The chances are high that you’ll be able to find something worthwhile you can offer. At one event, he recalls, he was introduced to a former CEO of Walmart, which he wasn’t expecting. Left alone to chat, he soon learned that one of the CEO’s family members suffered from a certain medical condition. Sobel’s brother is an expert in this condition and was able to suggest some useful articles that he sent on to the Walmart CEO.

  1. Be intriguing.

If you want to make a connection with a new contact, especially a very busy one, the quickest way is to arouse that person’s curiosity with something unexpected. Sobel saw this demonstrated years ago when a friend of his met with an executive of a large telecommunications company. At the time, re-engineering was all the rage and that’s what Sobel’s friend had come to sell. But the telecom executive cut him off before he began, saying that the company had already engaged a high-profile firm and had its re-engineering well in hand.

Sobel’s friend was quiet for a moment and then remarked, “We used to do re-engineering.”

“The guy got upset,” Sobel says with a chuckle. “It’s good to get people emotionally engaged.” The executive was now very much listening to whatever Sobel’s friend had to say.

  1. Think people, not positions.

“Everyone reading this knows people who are smart, ambitious, motivated, and interesting,” Sobel says. “Some of those people, in eight or 10 years, are going to be influencers. They may even be CEOs.”

It’s a lot easier to get to know someone and form a connection early in that person’s career, he explains. “It’s not that easy to break into the inner circle of 50- or 60-year-old executives. It’s a lot easier to build up that equity early. So think about who in your network seems to be going places and is really interesting and make a strong connection. Even if they don’t become an influencer, it’ll be an interesting relationship.”

  1. Give before you ask.

Recently, Sobel got a lengthy email from a business school classmate. “I hadn’t heard from him in 30 years,” he says. The email was a request that Sobel invest in a new venture–in fact, the entire business plan was contained in the body of the email. “He did not maintain a relationship with me, and he didn’t evoke my curiosity,” Sobel notes. “I think he failed in all his attempts to raise money.”

Worst of all, the contact had committed the sin of asking for something without giving or offering anything, or even demonstrating any caring for Sobel at all. “Before you ask for something, make sure you’ve invested in that person,” he says.

  1. Be generous.

That doesn’t mean you should only reach out to contacts or do things for them when you expect something in return. “You can’t operate with the thought of reciprocity in mind,” Sobel cautions. “If you go around with that mercenary attitude it will show, and people will think you’re a self-interested schmuck.”

Instead, he says, “You have to have a generous spirit. The greatest networkers I know genuinely like to help others. They’re always doing it. And if they ever do need anything, people will fall over themselves to help them.”


Source: https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/8-things-power-networkers-do-make-connections.html

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Working & Writing in San Francisco

We love working with Rachelle Ayuyang.  She has been doing contract work with Monroe Personnel Service & Temptime for a few years.  Rachelle is also a writer and has a blog where she shares her musings about working and living a creative life in San Francisco.  It’s called “Bookends”, here is the most recent chapter which you can find at http://bookendsrqa.wordpress.com

In Illness, Women Icons a Welcome

I got sick at the end of May on my birthday no less, and it wasn’t a tragedy, with the exception of how awful I felt. Nevertheless, I had no choice but to stay at home all weekend and park in front of my TV and recuperate. I was a captive audience, and, well, here are just some highlights:

Gloria Steinem on Oprah’s OWN: I’ve had conflicted feelings with both women, but perhaps as I get older, I’m more forgiving and perceive them more as women of wisdom. In the broadcast, they both appeared at the all-women Barnard College in New York City to discuss their successes, trials and hopes for the younger generation of women. In the 1990s when Oprah was peaking, the catch phrase was finding one’s own voice.  Twenty years later, mine is still a work in progress that is shifting with every experience and my own longevity. Steinem later regrets forgetting to tell the students how their expectations may have to change over time and encourages having more than one career, among others things, in a lifetime. I could certainly vouch for that advice, since my thirties were largely an exploration of where I want to eventually land.

Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee: By contrast, here’s a woman so steadfast that she has stuck around one workplace for 60 years. But the most fascinating thing about this was Sunday on the Thames with 1,000 flotillas, where revelers, the queen included, braved the deluge and cold gray London weather to fete the ruling monarch. It was pretty much a display of deliriously happy Londoners who no doubt would eventually succumb to an illness worse than mine. I felt complete simpatico. The best part was the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s serenade alongside the Queen’s royal barge. Such British anthems as “Land of Hope and Glory” and “Rule Britannia” known throughout the UK, which I was only familiar by ear, were played and sung by an intrepid thoroughly drenched choir, who probably won’t get out of bed for weeks. The queen hung tough, standing for about two hours throughout the celebration.

It’s said your body has a way of telling you something, perhaps to hold up and have a listen, this is important. I’m rationalizing now, but I guess being sick was a way of getting me to slow down, look at the lay of the land, and assess where I am, especially if I’m going on a less-than-desirable path. Maybe I’m taking my work situation too seriously, and maybe I don’t have to do everything that I want to do in a week, like I’m stuffing a sausage. At this point, the valuable lesson I learned is the quality of life supersedes most things, and it’s nice to be reminded of it in the company of this sisterhood.Image