Job Interviews: See no evil. Hear no evil.

Abridged: CNET Networks

It’s a common mistake of the job seeker to believe that interviewers possess some kind of clairvoyance. They think that they really don’t have to go out of their way to present a certain image because an interviewer is going to just magically pick up on their sterling qualities. But the cold, hard reality is you do have to put forth an effort and present some behaviors that your interviewer will respond to. Here’s what to avoid:

Bad non-verbal cues. I know it’s a cliche, but a firm handshake and good eye contact really make a good impression. People tend to equate a limp handshake with weakness. And, unless weakness is a job prerequisite, you’re out of luck. Many people will say they’re so shy they can’t make eye contact. Be prepared for an interviewer to take that as a sign that you won’t be able to stand up for yourself at work, and judge you accordingly.

Talking too much or not enough. Watch the interviewer’s eyes. If you’re coasting into 20 minutes to answer one question, and the interviewer is starting to fidget or yawn, wind it up. On the other hand, if the interviewer pauses after you answer a question, then that may mean he was expecting more. Beware of not asking questions. Sometimes the interviewer has been so thorough in his descriptions of the job and company that there doesn’t seem to be any more to ask. The best questions to ask are those that pertain directly to something the interviewer has said during the interview. It shows you’ve been listening.

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One more tip – have at least three questions ready BEFORE you go to your interview. That way, you’re prepared no matter what. What questions do you ask? Do your research on the company – have at least two of the questions related to your company research. Then ask, “What are your expectations of this person in the first 60 to 90 days? Or “Describe your boss.” Or “Name the qualities you’re looking for in a top candidate.” Want more? Check out our newsroom.

 

Personal Branding & Coco Chanel

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different”

– Coco Chanel

This weekend I watched the life story of Coco Chanel with the older Chanel played by Shirley MacLaine and I thought WOW, this woman is not only courageous and ahead of her time, but because of this, she is timeless and recession-proof.

Coaching Challenge: What’s one thing that makes YOU different – and irreplaceable?

One Degree from Sarah Palin

Today I just received my LinkedIn updates and found that one of my clients was directly linked to Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin. WOW. That means I am only one degree from Palin and two degrees from McCain.

Exciting stuff. But, when emailing my client to find out more, I learned that she had volunteered for the Republican party regularly and that they are using LinkedIn to generate emails for campaigning purposes and to “spread the message.”

An interesting use of online media, eh?

And, to ensure equal coverage (yes, I was a former reporter), Obama’s been sending emails regularly to solicit campaign funds. Although Obama has not invited me to join his LinkedIn network.

What are your thoughts on this?

My View: Every contact in my LinkedIn network is someone I actually know personally. At the very least, I have had a positive and in-depth conversation. That’s how I roll.

How do you? Share your stories!

Personal Branding and The Cold Call King

Fred was dubbed The Cold Call King. And he was. Fred could walk into any office building and walk out with an order. It was amazing.

 

How does this apply to your job search? Take it from Fred; sometimes making a call will get you to the right decision maker. Sometimes it’s a matter of timing. Your call came in, when Shirley walked out. You look professional. You have the right skill set. You get the interview — today. 

 

Your enthusiasm can shine through on a call. I recently hired an intern because she had guts cold calling me. She had a great pitch. She just graduated with her Masters degree in Counseling. She wanted to get her foot in the career industry and learn from the best. (Hey, who doesn’t like being called the best?) And she said she’d do whatever it took to get there. If I needed filing done, she could do it. She wasn’t picky. She also had tons of enthusiasm. Throughout the interview process — and since the day I brought her on board — she was on time, dressed professionally, and the one word she used to describe herself was “excited.” It shone through. My clients loved the positive attitude and professionalism. Now it’s your turn.

 

Avoid the Instant Expert

Pat Schuler, Business Development Coach

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Have you noticed in your job search that you’re encountering what I call the “instant expert”? Professional salespeople often find themselves receiving advice on negotiation and closing techniques from people who never even sold band candy in high school. These are the people who know everything and share it with generosity. How do you separate this kind of thing from legitimate and valuable advice? Ask yourself:

* Is their previous experience extensive and relevant?
* Do they have your best interests at heart?
* Do they always need to find something wrong?
* Do they always have a cheaper way?
* Do they “know someone” who did better than you?

If you network to someone with extensive experience in an area you need, by all means take advantage of their experience as a former recruiter or hiring manager, etc. But if the expertise was one job search 15 years ago, thank them kindly for the suggestions. Then invest your time and money with those who will help you reach your goals faster.