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Interviews

Via Refinery 29 : How To Follow Up After A Phone Interview If You Want The Job

Phone interviews can be incredibly intimidating. You are robbed of the ability to read your interviewer’s body language and facial expressions, so figuring out how to navigate them without losing your cool can be tough.

But the challenges don’t stop there. Just because you’ve finished an interview doesn’t mean that you’re home-free. After a phone interview — or any kind of job interview, for that matter — it’s in your best interest to send a follow-up email or thank you note. Though it’s not mandatory, sending a note is a great way to demonstrate your continued interest in a position and build rapport with the hiring manager.

In order to establish the best way to approach following up after an interview, we spoke with Cynthia Pong of Embrace Change who is a career coach specialized in working with women of color. Pong walked us through the best ways to gracefully and effectively follow up after a phone interview to make sure you get that in-person interview. She also walks us through how to continually follow up throughout every step of the interview process.

1. Always follow up.

Pong recommends always following up after every encounter in the hiring process — whether it’s an initial phone screen or another interview down the road. She says it’s important to thank the person for taking the time to meet with you, whether it was for 15 minutes or a whole afternoon. While not mandatory, Pong insists that sending a short email expressing gratitude is something everyone should get in the habit of doing after any kind of interview.

2. Refer to next steps.

Pong recommends mentioning in your thank-you email that you are looking forward to speaking further. At this time, you can allude to next steps by mentioning the next applicable step depending on your situation. “If you’ve just had a phone interview, it’s a good opportunity to say you’d like the opportunity to speak in person,” Pong says. She adds that no matter where you are in the hiring process, it’s important to say that you enjoyed the conversation and express your continued enthusiasm for the role.

3. Mention something they said that you thought was interesting.

One great tip Pong recommends is to relay back a piece of information that your interviewer mentioned that you found interesting (this is why it’s important to take notes if you can). It can sometimes be tempting to repeat reasons why you would be a great fit for the job, but incessantly stressing how perfect you are for the job can get to be a bit much, Pong says. Instead, she recommends referencing back to something the person said. “Maybe it’s: ‘I enjoyed our conversation about your philosophy on work,’” Pong explains. “It’s a nice touch that shows you were listening.”

4. Don’t send a boiler plate email.

Though great for saving time, canned emails are not a good approach when it comes to landing a job. Even if you swear by email templates, it’s worth taking time to personalize your note and make sure that it’s appropriate for the job and interviewer you met with. Even if you’re meeting with different people at each stage of the interview process, Pong recommends always switching things up. “If you send the same thank-you note every time they’ll probably notice it’s not authentic,” Pong says, adding that even if you’re emailing separate people, you don’t know whether they are sharing your emails amongst themselves.

5. Don’t rush.

We’re all busy, but make sure you take the time to write and double check your email and that you aren’t distracted or flustered when you’re writing it. “Recently, a client misspelled the person’s name in a thank-you email because they were in a hurry,” Pong says. She recommends double checking to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you. Looking for a job can be a stressful process, but you don’t want to make things more anxiety-provoking for yourself by sending a typo- or error-ridden email. Take time to write, read over, double check what you’re sending. As always, make sure you are spelling people’s names right and that you’re not sending a generic message without applicable information in it.

Ultimately, Pong says that it’s important to remember that people make decisions based on their emotions — whether or not they want to admit it. You don’t want to give recruiters or hiring managers any reason to pause and wonder if you’re the right candidate by not taking a few minutes to follow up. After all, Pong says, something as simple and easy as a follow-up email shouldn’t be the reason you’re eliminated from a job you want.

Via Forbes : 5 Storytelling Tips to Help You Ace Your Job Interview

Ten years ago, I spent two days in Seoul, South Korea, interviewing business school applicants for eight hours each day. They were accomplished, dressed to impress and very well rehearsed. In fact, that was a problem. They knew their credentials inside and out. But after my first full day of interviewing, I left the downtown Hilton feeling like I hadn’t had the chance to actually meet any of them. In fact, I felt downright lonely, even though I’d just spent an entire day talking and listening!

The interviewees had focused on their credentials and competence, and this made me feel like I was stuck inside a version of the movie Groundhog Day, having the same conversations over and over (and unlike Bill Murray, I wasn’t allowed to capitalize on the humor of that!).

What would have made a difference? Letting go of their over-polished self– just a little bit–just enough to tell a story that illustrated their character–would have been so refreshing I would have taken special notice! In fact, as the interviewing progressed, a few applicants did do this, and I still remember their stories.

Stories make a difference in job interviews. Here are five tips for using storytelling during the interview process.

1. Don’t overshare.

I encourage clients to choose stories from the realm of “personal” but not “private.” Perhaps you remember having some teachers who were good at this. Longtime teachers often establish rapport with their students by divulging some personal details (a food they abhor, a favorite album or movie, a cherished hobby). But they avoid private details that students have no need to know. You can walk that same line in a job interview.

Find the right level of vulnerability. If you want to tell a story about a failure (in fact you most likely will in a job interview), choose wisely and then tell it with confidence. Choose a failure story that suggests that you lacked experience but not character. Stories about procrastinating, treating a team member poorly, or doing halfhearted work should all be off-limits.

2. Don’t ramble.

Keep it under three minutes max. That’s enough for a 30-second beginning, a minute and a half to develop your story, and a minute to bring it to a close with reflections on why it’s relevant. Let my IRS model be your mantra as you structure stories for your interview:

I – Intriguing Beginning

R – Riveting Middle

S – Satisfying End

Include something within the first few seconds that will keep the interviewers’ interest. And then be sure follow that with a clear statement of what your story is about.

3. Don’t limit yourself to the role of “hero.”

When you’re trying to land an opportunity that just seems made for you, it’s easy to think you should be the hero of every story so that the hiring team can see how well you will serve them. But you have other options. Interesting stories can arise from your role as friend, mentor, sidekick, or witness to a discovery or a beautiful transformation.

4. Don’t forget the takeaway.

Frame your story so it leads to a takeaway. What do you want the exhausted interviewer– who may have seen 12 other candidates before you– to remember? If they remember nothing else, what do you hope they take away? Build on this to create an unforgettable ending.

5. Don’t replay the narrative.

It’s tempting to tell yourself the story of the interview again and again, scrutinizing the interviewer’s body language, reading into every raised eyebrow or awkward pause. Based on how the interview went, will we be sending out another round of resumes, or will we have secured a future at this company?

But this is the wrong narrative. Humans are notoriously bad at reading body language. So it’s important not to keep rehashing the subtle clues we think we noticed during the interview. Stop telling yourself that story.

Instead, tell yourself that you put in your best effort and that there is still work to be done. There are, for instance, thank-you notes to be written! Thank the interviewer for their time, and for some specific aspect of the interview experience that you appreciated. After writing thank-you notes, do something else productive as you await the decision. Focus on a hobby, tackle a new challenge, connect with a friend.

Ultimately, remember that interviewers are human too. Yes, they hold a certain power over you, but just like you, they want genuine connections and need to understand who you are as a potential future colleague in the organization. Applying these five tips will make the interview process more successful and enjoyable.

Via The Ladders : Why employers don’t always respond after job interviews

75% of people said they didn’t hear back from a position they had applied for. The reasons below might help explain why employers don’t respond after job interviews.

You had a great interview for a job you really want. Your answers were spot-on, you connected with the interviewer, your test went well…but you haven’t heard back from your future boss-to-be. As frustrating as it might be, this happens quite often.

According to a CareerBuilder survey, a staggering 75% of people said they didn’t hear back from a position they had applied for. The reasons below might help explain why employers don’t respond after job interviews.

Why Employers Don’t Respond After Job Interviews

They’re too busy.

A potential employer might be trying to not only fill the position you applied for but several others as well…simultaneously. So it makes sense, then, that they might be too busy to get back to just one candidate about just one job opening. And while it might not seem like a real reason, being swamped with reviewing job applications, scheduling interviews, and screening candidates can oftentimes be the real reason why employers don’t respond right away (if at all) after job interviews.

You weren’t chosen.

This might be one of the most obvious reasons why job seekers don’t hear back from employers. Still, most people would agree that they would rather get a friendly “Thanks, but no thanks” email or phone call than the alternative—being ignored. If you haven’t heard back after a few weeks post-interview (and you didn’t hear back even after you followed up on your job application), it’s safe to assume that you didn’t get the position and should keep interviewing with other companies.

They’re afraid of legal issues.

In today’s litigious world, it seems like almost any excuse can be grounds for a lawsuit—and companies know that all too well. So instead of calling to let you know why you specifically weren’t hired (e.g., you didn’t have the required skill set, you didn’t get a good reference from a previous employer, etc.), hiring managers may adopt a “silence is golden” rule when dealing with those not hired.

By not responding, the door is closed.

If by some chance a hiring manager did offer a reason as to why you weren’t hired, they might fear that you’ll contact them again with follow-up questions. To avoid having that line of communication—and potentially getting into trouble—they keep the door closed to prevent future questions and prevent hurting your feelings.

They’re still interviewing.

You applied for a job almost immediately after you spotted it online. Thing is, maybe 100 other eager job candidates did, too. One of the big reasons why employers don’t respond after job interviews could be because they’re slowly weeding through the stacks of job applications and following up with applicants they’re interested in interviewing.

Another thing to keep in mind is that maybe the position doesn’t have to be filled immediately, or some aspect of the job has changed and management is working out the new specifics of the role. In any case, the employer has extra time to go through the hiring process and might get back to you…eventually.

The job isn’t available anymore.

In an ideal world, a prospective boss would clue you in if the position you diligently applied for wasn’t available anymore, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the unexpected happens after a job is posted (for example, the position is eliminated, revamped, or it’s given to a current staffer), and employers don’t always explain what happened to the job; they just go radio silent instead.

They forgot about you.

Accidents can (and do) happen during the hiring process. Applications are deleted and job candidates can be forgotten about. That’s why it’s so important to always follow up on job applications (especially the ones that you’re really interested in). Not only does it show your continued interest in the job, it also allows you to correct any potential blunders you may have committed during the job interview. But most importantly, if a hiring manager did manage to misplace your application, it puts you front and center in his mind again.

They’re totally rude.

To you, the job you applied for could change the trajectory of your career—and your life. For a recruiter or hiring manager, you might be just another applicant. Don’t take it too much to heart. If you don’t hear back from a potential employer (and you’ve followed up and done everything that you can as an interested job candidate), don’t take it too personally. While it’s painful to sit and wonder why you never heard back, just remember—the job that’s truly meant for you could be just around the corner.

There’s just no real reason why.

Sometimes, an employer doesn’t get back to a job candidate for the reason that there just isn’t a reason. It wasn’t like you bombed the interview—but you didn’t exactly ace it, either. You were nice enough, but you might not have been a standout candidate. Your answers were good, but not enough to seal the deal. And for an employer to try to articulate that you did nothing wrong (but still didn’t get the job) can be confusing and upsetting to a candidate.

You didn’t click with your interviewer.

Sure, job candidates should be judged based solely on their qualifications and prior job experience. But that doesn’t always happen. Like it or not, some employers base their decisions on factors that are completely not related to the job, such as a person’s appearance, their lack of eye contact, or even their self-confidence level. And even though it might not be fair, if personalities don’t mesh well during a job interview (or worse, they clash), it can negatively impact your chances of getting hired. So if the reason for not hiring you is a personal one, it could open up an employer to a potential lawsuit if they were to disclose it.

You didn’t ask for it.

It might seem strange to ask a prospective employer for a reason why you didn’t get hired as the job interview is actually happening, but it could be a smart move. Let’s say that you’re on-ramping back into the workforce, just recently graduated from college, or are still an interview newbie, for example. Asking ahead of time (either at the end of the interview or during your follow-up communication afterwards), for an employer to assess why you might not get the job shows that you’re mature enough to realize that there are probably a lot of candidates vying for the same job, and you might not get a job offer. In this case, it’s not so much about placing blame towards your potential employer about not getting hired, but finding out what you may have done incorrectly so that you can improve your job interviewing skills for subsequent job interviews.

As you can see, there are a myriad reasons why you may not hear back from employers after an interview. Keep your spirits up, tighten your interviewing skills, and get back out there!

Via WKBW : An interview is your first opportunity to make an impression with a Hiring Manager. From the moment you walk into the building, you want to make sure that you put your best foot forward with every interaction, from the Parking Attendant to the CEO.

Always remember that an interview is a two-way street and you should interview the interviewer as much as they interview you (yes – YOU are also an Interviewer). The interview is your opportunity to show the Hiring Manager that you are the best person for the job, and it is your opportunity to see if the Hiring Manager and the Organization will be a fit for you! You want to walk out of that interview feeling like a Rockstar, right? There is a lot that you need to do to ensure you are prepared to ace that interview, which begins well before the start of the interview.

Preparation is key

It amazes me how many people do not prepare for an interview. Recently, I was talking with a top Executive in Buffalo about the lack of preparation they have seen in candidates during an interview. This Executive mentioned that they were interviewing MBA graduates from Ivy League Colleges and these candidates did not come prepared to the interview. What does being unprepared mean to that Executive? The candidates did not bring copies of their resumes, they were not prepared with questions for the interviewer, they did not know anything about the company, and the candidates were not dressed in a suit, which would have been the appropriate attire for the type of position they were interviewing for. Lack of preparation can happen at any level, whether a VP role or entry level role, and will prevent great candidates from getting the job offer.

Be on time

It is so important to be on time for your interview. You do not want to arrive too early – if you are there more than 15 minutes early, please wait in your car or a public place until it is 10-15 minutes before your interview time. Take this additional time to get your mind ready for your interview and do some last-minute preparation.

Rule of Thumb:

· In-Person Interview: Arriving 10-15 minutes early for your interview is the sweet spot. It will give the Receptionist, or HR Professional, time to get you situated in the interview room before the interview commences.
· Phone Interview: Call promptly at the designated time or be prepared to receive the call, depending on the instructions from the Hiring Manager. Calling early will interrupt the interviewer’s timeline and be a negative note in your interview folder.

Bring extra copies of your resume

Do not assume that the interviewer knows your work history off the top of their head, so make sure that each interviewer has a copy of your resume in front of them. It is important to bring a copy of your resume for each person that you will be interviewing with and a few extras. If you impress the Hiring Manager, you never know who else they might want you to meet. Have a copy of your resume in front of you, as well, so that you can reference it, as needed. You can go the extra mile by bringing a professional portfolio with you to the interview. Stock this with extra copies of your resume, any professional documents or projects you worked on, reference letters, and note paper.

Take notes during the interview

Do not be afraid to take notes during your interview. Remember the interview is a two-way street, so it is important for you to take down all the information that you can about the job, the Company, the Hiring Manager, and the team. This is a fantastic way to reference things that were discussed during the interview and to ask any follow up questions. Insider Tip- it always bodes well for you when you write things down that the hiring manager is saying, such as, answers to your questions or important information about the job you that want to remember. It shows you are interested and listening!

Have questions to ask

Make sure you have questions prepared and ready for the interviewer. Research the company, the culture, the position, and the person you are interviewing with. Research the industry, company clients, competitors, and find any relevant recent news. It is important to do as much research as possible so that you can formulate questions that are relevant to the position and the company. The worst thing you can do is not have any questions prepared for the interviewer!

Be Polite

There is a Proverb that says, “Politeness costs nothing.” Use your manners, be polite, and be respectful to everyone you encounter at the company. You could be on the elevator with the CEO or Owner of the company, so remember to acknowledge and be friendly to everyone – you never know who you might be interacting with.

I have been at interviews where they took into consideration how you interacted with the receptionist, while you were in the waiting room. This company wanted to make sure that you treated everyone politely and with respect, no matter what level. Customer Service is extremely important to them, so that was the first (hidden) test. It is a smart idea to make small talk with those you encounter. It is a great way to shake off some nerves and begin to establish rapport.

Practice your handshake

Never underestimate the power of a handshake. A strong, firm handshake goes a long way – just make sure not to crush the other person’s hand! A limp, ‘dead fish handshake’ typically does not make a great first impression. Practice your handshake with friends and family. Make sure people say that it is strong, secure, and not uncomfortable for the other person. Make sure to look the other person in the eyes as you shake their hand and smile! Often, the handshake is the first connection between two individuals, so make sure it is a good one.

Dress for success

I am a big fan of the phrase “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Unlike our MBA friends referenced above, not every job requires a suit, but you always should look professional. This is your first opportunity to make a great face-to-face impression, so you want to make sure that you look your best. If you are applying for a professional position in a business or corporate setting, you should always wear a suit, regardless of the level of the position you are interviewing for. If you are applying for a position that is more creative in nature, then definitely dress to show off your flair, but still keep it professional.

Always follow up

The more you prepare, the more confident you will feel going into an interview. Don’t miss out on a terrific opportunity or your Dream Job because you missed something simple.

Via Business 2 Community : Job Interview Don’ts: Expert Advice from Marketing Executive Recruiters

Today’s job market is in favor of candidates where employers are in fierce competition for top talent. Marketers who have cutting-edge skills, in particular, are in the position for promising opportunities in 2019.

If you’re interviewing for a senior-level or executive role, you’re likely well-acquainted with the interview and hiring process. Being at this position also means that there is a high level of expectations from both marketing executive recruiters and employers during the process.

However, as recruiters, we know interviewing can be unsettling and nerve-racking for candidates, no matter their level of seniority or experience. Frankly, even the most experienced executive and C-level job seekers can get value from the resources of marketing headhunters and career advice to present their best selves for any job opportunity.

Questions You Should Ask when Interviewing

Grab the Spotlight as the Top Candidate in Your Next Marketing Executive Interview

Getting through to the in-person interview process is a major victory, and something candidates should proactively prepare for rather than just seeing it as a mere “invitation” to the company. Just as much as you prepare your list of “to-dos” for your interview, there are several things to not do during the process. Prepare yourself for success by avoiding making these costly mistakes throughout your journey.

Failing to acknowledge your audience

If you’re not happy about a specific part of the job, discussing it at the wrong stage or with the wrong person isn’t an effective way to solve it.

For instance, discussing the title of the job with potential peers you’re interviewing with is an unproductive solution and can be problematic. Many things like job title and salary are outside of the scope of control of employees that are at the same level as the job you’re interviewing for.

There’s nothing to gain from speaking about things to people who can’t impact change. If you have concerns about the role, make sure you are presenting them to the right audience so you avoid coming off as careless. More importantly, don’t let things like the label of the position overrule your interest in the actual job.

Strategically evaluating who you’re interviewing with throughout each part of the process and directing matters toward the people who can effectively make changes will make you appear more credible and professional.

Complaining about current or past employers

Talking negatively or too critical about a current or past employer doesn’t put any power in your position for negotiation. And it certainly doesn’t help you get the job. Instead, your professionalism comes off as questionable to the interviewer.

As a marketing talent agency, we know it’s unrealistic to only have positive experiences with employers. It’s not only what you share, but how you share it. Figuring out how to share your experiences without your emotions tied into it is a smart approach to sharing less-than-pleasant circumstances.

Rather than shedding a negative light on a boss or company, figure out how to twist a negative experience into something positive. Be reasonably honest (without going overboard) and respectful. A great tactic is to adjust the focus onto the aspects of the job you genuinely enjoyed. Demonstrating that you’re able to remain positive amidst a negative situation will impress the interviewer.

Being impractical about compensation

Any recruiter can attest that we’re in a candidate-driven market. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should base your value outside of things in the market that are relevant. For instance, your skills, experience and services have value but certain elements like your cost of living or the specific location you choose to live don’t have as much weight.

Of course, an employer that’s located in a city with a high cost of living should appropriately adjust salaries. But when candidates over-estimate their desired salary unreasonably, it’s a major red flag for employers and interviewers.

It’s important to be confident in your skills and know your value but don’t let that deter your logic when negotiating salary. Long-term career growth and development is much more important and valuable than a short-term payoff.

Being insufficiently prepared

Interviewers are quick to recognize candidates that aren’t adequately prepared to answer critical questions during the interview. As marketing executive recruiters, we even see this problem in senior-level marketing executive searches. Even the most seasoned candidates fail to answer questions successfully because they don’t have a methodical way of thinking through their response. An obvious lack of preparation cripples your chance at a great opportunity.

It’s one thing to demonstrate that you know the ins and outs about a company, but walking the interviewer through your success and providing quantifiable information in a direct and concise way is critical. At the executive level, you should have plenty of successful campaigns and projects you’re able to present. You must also be able to effectively demonstrate and share results without being long-winded. Your interviewer wants to know how you’ve successfully driven ROI and success in quantifiable context.

For instance, you want to share the top campaigns in the last year you led in executing and implementing. How do you walk the interviewer through the process and results to provide meaningful, contextual data? You must approach this element of the interview in a way that proves impact on the bottom-line and drove true value.

Candidates that ramble and stumble through every question leave a less-than-satisfying impression. Have a methodology in place to help you thoroughly answer questions pointing to your expertise. Anticipate questions around your accomplishments you may be asked and practice your answers thoroughly. Elaborate on any times where you’ve reduced costs, improved processes or drove profitability for an organization. Focusing on the KPIs and goals you were tasked with meeting for specific campaigns will better prepare you to leave behind the fluff and get to the points that actually matter.

Preparing your successes and being able to share them in ways that are relevant to the interviewer shows that you are strategic and you came well-prepared.

Ignoring your long-term career goals

Know the job, company, and why you want it. If you’re pursuing an executive-level marketing role, you should certainly be aware of what you want out of the next step in your career. Thus, any opportunity you seek should be in line with that.

In addition to doing your due diligence in researching the company, also research yourself. Does this job fit into your personal and professional goals, and how? Do your values align with the company you’re interviewing with? What skills can you develop in this position, and how will they help you evolve in the long run?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you understand what you like about the job and prevent you from seeking one you’re not genuinely interested in.

Parting Words

The interview process is a two-way street, meaning it’s your chance to determine if a job is a right fit for you just as much as the interviewee is gauging if you’re the best candidate for the position. In short, you are a critical, deciding factor in the hiring journey. So, if you want a job, make sure to adequately and present your best self.

As marketing headhunters, we realize that no matter how much you prepare, there are factors that are out of your control. However, doing your best to avoid these top “don’ts” throughout your interviewing journey will improve your chances at landing a new opportunity. Some errors are unavoidable, but the candidates that fully equip themselves for anything that comes there way are able to recover and make a lasting impression.

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