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The E.A.S.Y Way to Ace Your Next Interview

As career professionals, we can learn a lot from our clients. They come to us because of their perceived belief that we have all the answers. They believe we have the expertise to help them when they are seeking a professional resume to distinguish themselves from other candidates, or when they are looking for interview coaching to help them tell their stories and get hired.  Little do they know how much they also bring to the coaching relationship and how much we learn from them.

I am coaching a young man who is interviewing for a position in law enforcement. His contact at the agency suggested he retains a Career Coach to help him prepare for the interview. After our first session and I had given him his homework assignment, he sent a note to say someone in his network heard of an E.A.S.Y. way to practice for this particular type of interview. I was intrigued! After all, I had coached other law enforcement clients before and always used the S.T.A.R. or C.A.R. interview technique. Was this something new?

When I reviewed the concept, I found out it operates on the same premise as the C.A.R. technique we had agreed to practice. Now, we wouldn’t have to ditch our original plan, except that we would now be working with a different acronym – E.A.S.Y.Event, Action, Step taken and Yield (or Outcome). Once we got that straightened out, it was easy to get back on track to prepare for the next session.

If you are a job seeker and would like to ace your next interview, or you are a career coach and would like to incorporate another acronym into your interview coaching toolkit, it’s E.A.S.Y. :

E – Event:                           What event did you face?

A – Action:                         What did you do?

S – Step taken:                  What steps were involved?

Y – Yield:                            What did you get? What was the outcome?

So, Miss or Mr. Job-Seeker, the next time you are preparing for your interview, suggest to your coach that you use the E.A.S.Y. way to tell your success stories and get hired.

What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments below.

Case Study: Interview Coaching Nets Client $20,000 Pay Increase

The above title reads like a headline from your local newspaper, but this is a classic story of what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Rick is an IT Project Manager, and has been my client for the past three years. He reconnected with me recently for interview coaching as he was pursuing an opportunity through a recruiter. He met with the recruiter and got a clear idea of the challenges his target company was facing. Using that information he developed a strategic plan, prepared a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the challenges and offering solutions, and sent it to the recruiter for review. The recruiter was so impressed with his approach that he asked all shortlisted candidates to prepare a presentation.

By the time Rick came to me for coaching, he had updated the presentation to include matrices and charts, and was confident he knew what the company needed and the value he could offer them. I reviewed the presentation with him, then we focussed on interview questions he would most likely be asked. To cover all bases, we reviewed other questions that could come up based on the problems he identified and the environment in which he was going to work. He left feeling very confident.

At the interview, all eyes were focused on him and the presentation. When the interview ended he was told that he would hear from them by Friday. In less than two hours, and before he got back to his office, they called to offer him the position. Not only did he get the job, but it came with a $20,000 pay increase and an excellent benefit package.

Here are some things that Rick did right:

  • He took his job search very seriously instead of leaving it up to luck.
  • He did not wait until a day or two before his interview to seek coaching. Too many people go to the interview ill-prepared and with high expectation that something miraculous will happen.
  • He researched  the company, found out what problems they faced and offered strategies for solution.
  • He separated himself from his competitors by going the extra mile. He capitalized on his strength and, in so doing, raised the bar by which the other candidates were measured.
  • His expertise and enthusiasm shone during the coaching session and because of that we were confident he would do well at the interview.

Rick’s case is not unusual. More and more hiring managers are asking candidates, particularly those at the managerial and executive levels, to prepare to deliver a 10-15 minute presentation. Rick was not asked to do one, but it gave him an edge, and to a large extent, allowed him to set the agenda and control the interview.

I have coached many individuals to do what Rick did.  In one case, it was a corporate lawyer who wanted to apply for an internal position as Corporate Responsibility Officer. A presentation was not a requirement but I suggested she prepared one anyway, as she was competing with three other internal candidates. From her assessment, they appeared to have had the edge, including one who was with the company for 22 years and was acting in the position. The research that she did and the strategy we developed helped her to ace the interview and get the job!

As competition increases, job seekers are being pushed to find creative ways to stand out from the crowd. Not everyone will have the successes mentioned above; not everyone will be vying for positions at those levels, but if you are serious about moving your career forward, it requires an investment of your time.

Some people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their job search, and from my experience, it’s easy to spot these individuals. They call in a panic the day before the interview to ask “Do you guys do interview coaching, and can you see me this weekend?” or they leave a message wanting to know the fee for a ‘general’ or ‘generic’ resume so they can apply for a job that has a deadline the next day. This quick fix, microwave approach won’t work, and that’s the reason some people’s job search go wrong. Don’t let this happen to you.

Ace Your Next Interview: Strategies to Impress the Hiring Manager

Make sure to call in to my Radio Show “Career Tips2Go” tomorrow, Thursday April 16, at 3 pm EST. I will be interviewing Eric Kramer, owner of InterviewBest.

PH: 646) 478-5137

Listen:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/CareerCoach



Speak Well with Composure

Second in the series: Presidential Poise

This segment talks about being ‘well prepared and well practiced’ in order to deliver an effective speech.

“Not all of us need or have the opportunity to make a public speech. If we did we could certainly learn many lessons form Obama. Most importantly to be well prepared and well practiced. I’m certain he didn’t write a few notes on the back of his hand and just “wing it”. In fact he has been learning the craft of public speaking for many years and so can you. Even if you just speak up in meetings or conference calls being at ease in these situations is the sign of control and confidence.

Having a powerful, persuasive voice helps. Again this trait can be developed through being aware of what your voice sounds like, eliminating the ums and ahhs, you knows and perhaps getting some voice coaching.”

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As an aside, Toastmasters is a great organization to help you eliminate the ums and ahhs and deliver an effective speech. Visit www.Toastmasters.com and find a club near you.

The next post will be Being Well Mannered.

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Sue Currie, the director of Shine Communications Consultancy and author of Apprentice to Business Ace – your inside-out guide to personal branding, is a business educator and speaker on personal branding through image and media. To learn more about how you can achieve recognition, enhance your image and shine, sign up for free monthly tips at http://www.shinecomms.com.au

Virtual Job Interviews – A Reality!

Do you want to attend your next interview right from the comfort of your home or office? With Second Life, it’s now possible, and some major employers are using this medium to search for employees.

‘Some employers are experimenting with Second Life, the online virtual community owned by San Francisco-based Linden Lab, to screen prospective hires. The program allows job seekers to create a computer-generated image to represent themselves — known as an “avatar” — and communicate with executives of prospective employers as though they were instant-messaging.
A number of big companies put the new medium to a test last month, when recruitment-advertising firm TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications LLC hosted a virtual job fair with employers such as Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and Sodexho Alliance SA, a food and facilities-management services company. TMP says it will host another virtual job fair in August.”

Read the full article: http://www.careerjournal.com/jobhunting/usingnet/20070621-athavaley.html?cjpos=home_whatsnew_major

Daisy Wright
Career Coach
The Wright Career Solution

Jobseekers’ Biggest Inteview Mistake

Job seekers are often told to research the company or companies prior to the interview, but many do not believe that research is important. A national survey developed by Accountemps revealed that lack of company knowledge was the biggest interview mistake made by job seekers. See the results below:

Executives were asked, “What do you think is the most common mistake candidates make during job interviews?” Their responses:

** Little or no knowledge of the company 47%
** Unprepared to discuss skills and experience 17%
** Unprepared to discuss career plans and goals 9%
** Limited enthusiasm 9%
** Lack of eye contact 3%
** Monopolize interview 2%
** Focus on salary/benefits/perks 2%
** Lack of self-confidence 2%
** Inappropriate dress 2%
** Late arrival 2%
** Don’t know/no answer 5%

It may begin to sound like a cliché, but research is a key part of your job search.

Read the press release at:

www.accountemps.com, click on About Us, then Press Room.