How Far Can Your Smile Take You In 2021?

A smile can say so much about you. It can communicate warmth and openness, but it can also convey the wrong message. The saying is “eyes are the gateway to the soul,” but it can be said that the smile is the open/closed sign hanging above the gate.  Now that most interviews are happening online, your smile is even more important because instead of the interviewer seeing you from four feet away, they are going to be up close and personal in their view via the camera.  How can you ensure your smile is communicating what you want in a job interview or on a Zoom meeting?

Smile

 When job searching, it is important to put your best foot forward, come across approachable, nice, and open to opportunities. Start by checking your smile and your entire face in the mirror before getting on that Zoom interview.

Smile Tips For Interviews

What do you see?

Are your teeth clean? Be sure to always brush and floss before heading to an interview.

What color are your teeth?

Discolorations can cause someone to shirk away from you. If you see that your teeth are discolored and yellowing from all of the coffee, red wine, and soft drinks consumed, you may want to consider a tooth whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash, or professional teeth whitening in a dentist’s office.

Don’t forget your hair

Is it clean and neatly styled?  No one expects perfection, but you don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed.

Facial hair matters too

Your beard and mustache should be clean and neatly trimmed.

Make-up neatly applied

If you wear make-up, make sure it is neatly applied and not overdone.  You want to only use make-up to enhance your natural beauty.

Dress professionally

Yes, you are just on Zoom, but you still need to appear professional.  It is best to wear a solid color near your face and the color should be one that flatters you.  A pattern draws attention away from your face, so stick with a solid.  It can be a scarf, shirt, sweater, or tie.

If there is any chance you will need to move at all during the interview, you might want to make sure you have appropriate attire on your bottom half as well.  You don’t want to jump up and show your underwear, PJs, or stained sweats.

Meeting In Person

If you are meeting in person, there are three additional personal hygiene items to be concerned with.

What do you smell?

Cup your hand and do a “breath check”. Bad breath can be caused by a number of factors, some of which indicate gum disease and other issues within our mouths that need the attention of a dentist. Bad breath will kill an interview faster than you can say, “excuse me”.  An interviewer would prefer to end the interview quickly and get you the heck out of there than offer you a mint.  After all of your hard work and interview preparations, don’t allow bad breath to prevent you from moving forward in the interviewing process.

Hands up!

If meeting in person you will be shaking hands and perhaps moving your hands around as you talk.   Make sure your hands are clean and your nails are clean and trimmed.

What is that scent?

If you desire to wear cologne or perfume, use it lightly.  You don’t want the perfume or cologne to be overpowering.  Remember some people have allergies to scents.

You can find other tips for Zoom etiquette for meetings here.

A strong job search strategy will open interviewing doors for you, and a smile that looks great, is warm, and communicates that you are approachable, will keep you on the screen for a Zoom interview or in the seat in the interviewer’s office.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-10T00:48:19-05:00February 16th, 2021|career search, Interview Prep, Job Interview|Comments Off on How Far Can Your Smile Take You In 2021?

How to Master a Phone Interview in 5 Easy Steps

With the state of the world, a phone interview is more common than ever. With hundreds of candidates applying for a single job, it might sound and seem intimidating when you think of making a great impression with a phone interview.  How in the world will you do that?

Don’t panic, We’ve got your back!

Phone interview

5 Tips for Mastering the Phone Interview

According to a post on Zety.com, “On average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. Of those candidates, 4 to 6 will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job.”  These 5 tips will help you master your phone interview and stand out from the crowd.

1. Prepare 

Prepare the same way you would for an in-person interview. It’s crucial to spend just as much time prepping for your phone interview as you would an in-person interview.

Come up with a list of your strengths, the skills you bring to the table, and why you are interested in that specific job.

2.  Set A Time

If the call comes out of the blue, without warning, ask to set a time to talk. Let them know you’re thrilled to talk but ask to speak later and suggest a time.

Even if it is just for later that day, you need time to gather your thoughts, take a deep breath and find a quiet place to talk with a good connection where you won’t be interrupted.

3. Smile and Make Eye Contact

Try standing and smiling while talking. Standing boosts your energy level and smiling while looking at yourself in the mirror, affects your tone of voice and will make a more favorable impression.

4. Don’t Over-talk 

Don’t over-talk and listen closely. A phone call makes it difficult to read nonverbal cues that indicate the interviewer is about to speak.

Talk slowly, pause, and ask if more detail would be useful.

Take notes on what the interviewer is asking. This will help you write a personalized thank you letter, which you MUST do post-interview.

5. Ask About the Next Step 

Ask about the next step in the hiring process and then follow up. Before you hang up the phone, tell the interviewer how excited and appreciative you are for this opportunity and ask what the next step in the process will be.

Use the notes you took during the interview to incorporate specific details in your thank you note. It is also important to include specific ways you would contribute to the company.

Mastering a phone interview can seem overwhelming, but by following these 5 simple steps, you can make the impression you want and help you land that important job.

Do You Need Help?

If you would like to practice or hone your phone interviewing skills, contact Career Coach Rachel Schneider for an appointment.

By |2021-06-14T20:05:59-05:00May 28th, 2020|Job Interview, Job Search, Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to Master a Phone Interview in 5 Easy Steps

How to Land a Job Via Video Chat

Whether you are a student in college or a job candidate in the real world, the way you interview for a job is ever-changing. The latest way you need to be prepared to interview is via video chat.  It doesn’t matter if you use Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or another video conferencing program, now is the time to prepare.

Land a job via video chat

Companies from all industries now interview for jobs and internships over live streaming video. University career offices have now started to train students in the skill of conversing on video chat. It’s time all professionals get familiar with this skill as well.

While you would think the younger generation would truly excel at video chat interviews, it is something everyone at every age has to practice. So how do you come across as your most professional self in a video chat interview?

Some Important Tips for Video Chat

So how do you come across as your most professional self in a video chat interview?  Check out these tips.

Dress as you would in person.

People often make the mistake of taking video interviews more casually, which translates to the interviewer as not taking the interview seriously.  Dress as you would for a live, in-person interview.  Look your best and you will appear professional to the interviewer.

Handle a technology glitch the right way.

It’s easy to get frustrated when technology does not work as it should. Instead of your normal, possibly aggressive reaction to a problem, stay calm, be prepared and make sure you have a very strong wireless connection before getting on the video call.  It is good to have a back-up device just in case.  For example if you are interviewing using a laptop, have a phone handy to use in a pinch.

 Be aware of your surroundings.

It is best to have an interview backdrop of a private office or uncluttered room. If you are at your home, make sure you will not have any family or pet interruptions and be aware of what is hanging on the wall behind you.

These are just a few important tips.  There are many more.   Read the Top 10 Tips to Ace Virtual Interviews and be totally prepared for your next video interview.

 Do You Need More Help?

If you would like more help preparing for video chat and virtual interviews, consider working with me, your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider, at Career Find.  We can schedule a meeting to prepare and help you practice virtual interviewing.

Other Posts of Interest

Is a Thank You Note Important?

Using Text Messaging In Your Job Search

By |2021-06-14T20:56:06-05:00November 26th, 2019|Interview Prep, Job Interview|Comments Off on How to Land a Job Via Video Chat

9 Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Interviewing is hard work. You want to make a great impression and let the interviewer know how knowledgeable you are and how much value you can bring to the company. No matter how hard you try, there are a few things many people overlook in the interview process that can cost them a great job. Don’t make these interview mistakes.

Interview Mistakes to Avoid

Interview Mistakes to Avoid

These simple tips will help you know the interview mistakes to avoid and land your dream job.

  1. Not Making an Effort with Your Appearance

Regardless of the job you’re applying for and what the expected dress code will be, suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt, how you look is the first impression an interviewer will have of you. Put yourself together well. Tuck your shirt in, comb your hair, wear clean shoes. Even if you’re attire will be different if you get the job, make sure you look clean and professional.

  1. Not Arriving on Time

You’ve probably heard the old adage “early is on time and on time is late.” That is especially true when interviewing for a new job. According to CNBC, arriving late is the most common mistake people make during interviews.  Arrive at least 10 minutes early. Being late shows your future employer that you have poor time management skills.

  1. Bringing Coffee with You

Walking in with your coffee shop beverage or even a bottle of water is unprofessional. Your focus needs to be on your interview and bringing a beverage with you will make the meeting feel informal, not professional.

  1. Letting Your Phone Ring

Your phone should be kept on silent or, better yet, left in your car. Having your phone out is rude and disrespectful to your interviewer; it will make the impression that you don’t care about the interview.

  1. Not Doing Your Homework

Regardless of the job you’re applying for, do your homework. Look the company up online, read reviews, know what products and/or services they offer, and know who the key players in the company are.

  1. Not Paying Attention

It can be easy to zone out if the topic of conversation is not engaging, but make an effort to stay focused. Your interviewer will see you zone out and it will let them know you’re not interested in the company.

  1. Talking Too Much

While it’s important to answer questions, it’s also important to be efficient and stay on topic. Don’t get sidetracked and ramble on about things not related to the question that was asked of you.

  1. Badmouthing Past Coworkers

Regardless of how you feel about your previous positions and the people you worked with; a job interview is not the time to bring these things up. You want to be seen as a team player and discussing former coworkers and building yourself up against them will convey the opposite.

  1. Not Being Prepared

You will be asked some hard questions about your previous employment during your interview. Be prepared to answer questions about why you left your last position, how you worked with your coworkers and boss, and what you liked or disliked about your previous job.

Preparing in advance is the best way to make a great first impression on your next job interview. Dress professionally, do your homework, and show the interviewer you care about the job and the company.

Do You Need Help?

Learn how to stand out from your competition during an interview, check out our services at Career Find.

By |2019-11-20T08:50:01-06:00November 19th, 2019|Job Interview|Comments Off on 9 Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Is a Thank You Note Important?

Is sending a Thank You note old school?  Does it make a difference?    The Thank You note never goes out of style and is an important follow-up after an interview.  It needs to be a part of your job search strategy and it needs to be completed in a timely manner.  Let’s examine why it is so important.

Thank you note

Is the Thank You Note Necessary?

The answer is a big YES!  CareerBuilder recently reported that 22% of employers are less likely to hire a candidate if they skip sending a thank-you letter.  Everyone enjoys being thanked, including hiring managers and human resource officers.  Sending a thank you puts you in a positive light with them and that “top of mind” edge can make a big difference.

Digital or Handwritten Note?

While handwritten notes are often kept and sometimes placed on a desk as a nice reminder, time is often of the essence in the hiring process. An advantage of electronic mail is it will be received immediately.

If you are excited about this opportunity, it is important to send both an email and a handwritten thank you note sent via U.S. mail.  As soon as you get to the car after the interview is over, from your phone, send an email thank you note individually to each person that you met with. If you interviewed with two people, and a recruiter coordinated everything, then you will email the two people that interviewed you, and then send an email to the recruiter thanking for the opportunity to interview, as well as providing your feedback about the interview.

You can take a bit more time writing the handwritten note but send it as soon as possible.  Be sure to write legibly and check your spelling.  A handwritten note will make a big impression and help people remember you.

If you really did not like the opportunity, and are sure you do not want to move forward with them, then only an emailed thank you note is necessary.

Again, the email thank you note is sent before you leave the parking lot, and from your car.

What to Include

It should be a personal note, not a stock response or an online template.   A personal note helps your submission stand out.

Be sure to include the following:

  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Use a professional subject line  –  Job Title, Firstname Lastname–Thank You
  • Thank them for their time and the interview.
  • Include a sentence about your qualities of why you would be good for the job.
  • Reflect back on the conversation/interview and mention at least one point that showcases your qualifications.
  • If you told them you would provide something or send links, be sure to include them.  Even if you didn’t promise them you can always send a link to an online portfolio or another item of interest that lends credibility to your application.
  • Point out anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask.
  • Sign with both your first and last name and your contact info. (There could be a dozen people with the same first name applying.)

Things to Remember

Prior to clicking send, remember to do the following:

  • Proofread and spellcheck – Your document should be error free.
  • Remove anything in your signature that might make you look bad. (A quote or photos that do not show you at your best. This includes personal social media profiles that contain unprofessional pictures or behavior.)
  • Don’t be too casual.  No Slang. Be respectful.
  • Send the Thank You.

Send That Thank You Note

Get the Thank You note sent as soon as possible and keep your candidacy “top of mind”  and demonstrate that you have the good manners and proactive communications skills that employers desire.

Need Help In the Job Search Process?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a meeting to create a resume that will differentiate you from other job seekers and develop a  job search strategy to help you feel confident as you begin your job search.

By |2021-06-14T20:45:09-05:00June 18th, 2019|Job Interview|Comments Off on Is a Thank You Note Important?

Top 10 Tips to Ace Virtual Interviews

You have applied for your dream job and they have contacted you for an interview.  Surprise…it is a virtual interview.  You’ve never done virtual interviews before and now you are getting nervous.
Virtual Interviews
Virtual interviews are becoming commonplace now to cut down on travel costs.  Usually, they are used for your first round and employers use them to get to know you and determine if they wish to move you to the next round of interviews.  But some companies are using them for second and third-round interviews as well.  So it is important you are prepared for this type of interview and know how to use the technology.

Tips for Virtual Interviews

So how do you make a good impression and ace the interview?  Here are a few tips to help”

1. Look at the Camera

By looking at the camera, the person on the receiving end thinks you are looking at them.   If you are watching the computer screen it appears you are looking at the keyboard and not paying attention.  If you want to watch yourself onscreen, move the box closer to the top near your camera lens.  This also cuts down on drastic eye movements.

2. Lighting

Make sure you have sufficient light in the room where you will be interviewing.  The interviewer will want to see you, not shadows.

3. Dress Professional

Dress for an interview from head to toe.  If they ask for something and you need to get up to get it, you will look ridiculous if you are only dressed professionally from the waist up.

4. Grooming is Essential

The interviewer will probably see you up-close on the screen.  Most likely closer than they would during a regular interview, it is important to make sure you have taken some time to groom yourself.  Comb your hair, brush your teeth, floss, remove unwanted facial hair, and use some light make-up if female.

5. Background is Important

Set your computer or phone up in front of a calm area without distracting things in the background.   Everything they see will shape what they think of you.  Don’t skip this step.  I have heard of candidates who did not get jobs because of all the clutter in the room.

6. Colors to Wear

While you want to be professional, you also want to wear colors that complement your complexion and are not too busy on the screen.
  • Refrain from polka dots or busy prints.
  • Stick with solid colors if possible.
  • Avoid white, bright red and all-black outfits. All three of these colors pose technical problems.
  • Jewel colors show up best.
  • Keep jewelry simple.

7. Sounds

We talked about distracting visual backgrounds, quiet the noise.  Sounds can be distracting to you and the interviewer.

8. Speak Clearly

Now is not the time to mumble.  Make sure you practice speaking clearly and loud enough so the interviewer can hear you.

9. Important Documents

Have a copy of your resume next to you, as well as paper and pen to take notes, and some pre-written interview questions (At least two) that you want to ask them.  Treat this the same as an in-person interview.

10. Practice

Do a few trial-runs with someone to see how you look, sound, and how comfortable this interviewing format is.   It helps to use the technology in advance so you feel confident.  It IS unnerving, so to rock out, you need to try to practice to feel comfortable and shine.
Follow these tips and you should have a great virtual interview.

Do You Need More Help?

If you would like more help preparing for virtual interviews, consider working with me, your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider, at Career Find.  We can schedule a meeting to create a resume that will differentiate you from other candidates and practice virtual interviewing.

Other Posts of Interest

Is a Thank You Note Important?

Using Text Messaging In Your Job Search

By |2019-07-30T00:02:47-05:00February 12th, 2019|Job Interview|Comments Off on Top 10 Tips to Ace Virtual Interviews
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