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May 2016

Interview styles differ and then tend to inject the personality of the person conducting the interview, not to mention additional people involved with whom you may also meet and speak and it can be difficult to be prepared for everything. While that may be, there are some predictable patterns in each process, and one that is pretty common is the indication you are nearing the end of the interview. When they ask, “do you have any other questions?” it’s pretty clear you’re near the end and it’s almost over. You have a final chance to ask any remaining and outstanding questions on your mind – so take advantage of it. But there’s one final question I want you to add to your repertoire at almost every single interview you find yourself a part of and for the rest of your career. Ask

As a standard practice, when I represent both hiring managers and candidates during an interview process, I always debrief both sides. Among the questions I ask of both sides, but predominantly the candidate, is one that seems to catch people off-guard and one they are not used to hearing and rarely consider. I ask them, “Was there laughter?” Often this seems an odd question but rather one I have learned, during my long career, to be a key question. And okay, perhaps you were not giggling your way through the meeting but hopefully, there was some smiling and cordiality – the more the better. You see, there is more going on than just whether or not you, as a potential employee, are qualified for a job you seek. Are you qualified and suitable – and it goes both ways? Qualifications are

If you want help from a third party to increase your chances of finding a good job, through a recruiter or an agency, know this, it is rare that you will contact them and, voila, they just so happen to have the perfect job for you and your timing was impeccable and fortuitous. More likely, you will end up in their database and it is the info you provide to them that can accentuate your odds of success, now or later. But like many suggestions I provide, you have to apply a bit of effort in order to separate yourself from the crowd because, as I so-often say, if you look, sound and act like everyone else, why should they choose you over anyone else. It’s your choice -- be boring and un-remarkable and as a result go un-noticed --

Call it what you like, your attitude, energy, aura or something else, you can have a great resume and be perfectly qualified, but if your mojo isn’t working you’re going to come up short in your efforts.   The economy is picking up a bit lately but that often isn’t the issue as much as it is the systems in place that companies and HR departments utilize -- application and resume submission processes that are faceless and leave you wondering if they’ve even received your resume, or if it will be seen by a real person. It is the processes companies use to screen and evaluate potential employees, stupid psychobabble psychometric testing or inane interview questions having nothing to do with one’s ability to do a job, that make people feel powerless during the course of the process. Combined with other issues

Do professionals always apply to themselves what they dictate to others? Does a doctor provide his own family with the same guidance as for a patient?  I’ve heard of instances in which they don’t, such as chemo-therapy, for example, although I’m just posing a hypothetical question. During a recent conversation with an HR Director I know, I spoke about my advice to job seekers; that they should, instead of applying for a job through typical and accepted channels of applying online or establishing contact through HR, I instead suggest an alternate and more direct route. I advise people to do a bit of homework and try to learn who, by name, might be the person they’d work for and/or report to, in a particular company to which they would like to apply and work. Although she also admitted that it irritated her