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Mark Montoya
Mark Montoya
Resume Expert
"Make visible what without you, might not have been seen."
Coach Karen is a Resume ExpertCoach Karen
Interview Expert
"You only live once, so don't live with regrets."
Coach Stephanie is an Interview Expert

 Coach Stephanie

CEO Coach

"You only live once, so don't live with regrets."

Coach Kisha

Career Transition Expert

"A Stop Doing List is More Important Than A To-Do List."

One-On-One Interviews

Find job interview tips before your next in person, face to face interview at MyOnlineCareerCoach.

Interviewing Strategy - Clues to Uncover Corporate Culture

When you are interviewing for an open position, you are interviewing the employer as much as the employer is interviewing you. By paying attention to the subtle clues in the office environment, job seekers can gain a better perspective on the culture of the company or division. This way candidates can make more informed decisions regarding fit. Here are a few tips to help you size up the work environment of the company you are interviewing with.

If possible, schedule your interview early in the morning, late in the day, or during lunchtime.

When you arrive look around and see who else is there at that time. If you have an early morning or early evening appointment and the office is packed, chances are that the culture is one that necessitates coming in early or staying late. If you interview during lunch and everyone seems to be eating at their desk, that could be a clue about the culture of the organization. If you are interviewing with a company that has a company parking lot, observe how full the lot is during these hours to determine if late nights or early mornings are part of the culture of the entire organization.

The 10 Biggest Minutes of Your Interview

You've heard it said before: First impressions are the most important.

When it comes to the job interview, here's recent proof that proves this point:
A new survey suggests hiring managers often know whether they might hire someone soon after the opening handshake and small talk. Executives were asked, "How long does it typically take you to form either a positive or negative opinion of a job candidate during an initial interview?" The mean response was 10 minutes. Those polled said it takes them just 10 minutes to form an opinion of job seekers, despite meeting with staff-level applicants for 55 minutes and management-level candidates for 86 minutes on average.
Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, sums it up when he says, “The interview begins the moment job seekers arrive, so applicants need to project enthusiasm and confidence from the start. The opening minutes of the conversation often set the tone for the rest of the discussion, making it wise to prepare especially well for the first few interview questions."

Know Your Role

First impressions count for a lot, especially in the job interview. You're on stage from the minute you enter the room. So play your role by first getting into character:
Remember: The character you play is that of a problem solver, not a job seeker.
As a problem solver, you know why you are here, you're excited about this company, and you know you can help them achieve their goals.
With this kind of ammunition, you can score direct hits on their opening questions and win big points for yourself by demonstrating you are both knowledgeable and excited about their opportunity.

Know the Company
Do your homework. Always research the company before you interview. Know who they are, what their major challenges are today and the current "buzz" about them.
Why? The first few minutes of the interview are the time to flatter them.
Remember the question, "Why are you here?" Show them that you've done your research and not only know something about their company, but also have several reasons for being enthusiastic about working for them. Let this enthusiasm carry over into your demeanor as you walk in the door.

Know the Four Most Important Questions

Pay close attention to the four most important questions employers want answers to when they’re interviewing you:
“Why are you here?”
(Also phrased as “What do you know about us?” or “Why are you here today?”)
“What can you do for us?”
(Also phrased as “Tell me a little about yourself,” “Why are you looking to change jobs?” or “What's your most important accomplishment to date?”)
“Will you fit in?”
(Also phrased as “Will you get along with our values and culture?”)
“What makes you different from everyone else that we may have talked with?”
(Also phrased as, “Will you go that extra mile?” or “Why should we hire you?”)
Rehearse your answers with your own "personal stories." These are short narratives describing specific times in your past when you overcame a crisis, led a team, met a deadline, or resurrected a failed project.

Ask to do a walk-through of the office.

If you have made it to the second round of interviews, consider asking to see the office space. This allows you to canvas the physical space, but again gives you important clues about the office culture. Is the set up cubicle style, big open spaces, windowed offices, or a lot of closed doors? Does the space appear clean, well maintained and feel like a place where you would feel comfortable and safe?

Observe preferred communication styles.

How were the interview and follow-up meetings arranged? Were they set-up by email, phone, or snail mail? Does the company prefer one-on-one or group interview formats? Did the hiring manager give you any technical tests or assessments as part of the interview process? By observing the different ways companies interview and gather information, job seekers can begin to uncover how information is managed and validated by members of the organization.
Of course, no interview scenario is perfect and I’m not suggesting that you penalize a company or hiring authority if a glitch occurs during the interview. But it is important to observe the rhythm of the office and factor that information into the final decision making process. What have you observed during your interviews and how has that information influenced your feelings about a company or a job?


Success Stories

"I wanted to let you know that I was successful in finding a new position to which I transitioned on December 1. I am convinced that the improvements you made to my resume were instrumental in helping me communicate a true value proposition to prospective employers. I feel very fortunate, and I really appreciate your efforts.”
- Franklin Trusk

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Tips and Techniques

 1. Be Specific. Have Focus in your job/career search.

2. Beef up your email signature.

3. Authenticity Matters

4. Cross-promote.

5. Become visible in the industry.