Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Top 10 list for phone interviews

A friend asked me the other day for tips on handling a phone interview.

Here is what came to me in my 3 minute email blast:

1. Have all your "stories" laid out so you can tell specific success stories.

2. Sheets of paper and a pen (no kidding, some people don't) so you can write down the questions

3. Be patient when talking - it can be difficult not to talk on top of each other

4. Like all interviews, manage the time. You could even use a stopwatch since it is not in person, to ensure your answers are 3-4 minutes long.

5. Using names can show you are a STAR. Write down their names to start, then when they ask a question, answer them. "Well, Brian, when I produced a series of reports on...." and you can also thank them by name at the end too.

6. Have the laptop/ipad/desktop ready for quick googling.

7. Avoid distractions. Watch out for dogs barking, doorbells, other phones...I have had a

few that I could hear the TV

8. Don't take the cordless into the bathroom with you - seriously, again it happens more than you think.

9. Use some transition type phrases once and a while - Would you like to hear more, am I speaking to fast?, I could go into more detail if you would like... since you can't see them, it can be difficult to know what is going on over there.

10. Practice. Look at the job ad and create a few questions you might ask someone.



Let's face it - a phone interview is like an open book exam. Prepare and you should be able to handle the normal questions with ease and professionalism

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm back

Wow that was a well needed rest!

My passion was not enough to sustain my schedule and my mental health.  At the end of June I was feeling run down and exhausted.  I think I needed someone to put the silver blanket around me.

But all I needed was a little inspiration and I am ready to get back in the race (to extend the metaphor to it's bitter end!)

Back in May, I met a guy, had a few beers and gave him some advice.  I told him that if you are looking to stretch your career or take it in a different direction, your worst enemy is going to be job boards and HR recruiters.  They will screen you out because your expertise is not clearly evident - you haven't done the work before so how could we expect you to do it in the future.

We discussed how he might frame his resume and how he needed to talk with the hiring managers and senior leaders.  He needed to talk about transferable skills, his attitude, his successful behaviours and his potential.

Well, it seems he got through... & I got an email today.

"I wanted to thank you for the resume advise and information on HR managers that you were able to pass on. The information has proven invaluable as I have seen first hand the role of the HR managers as the 'gate keepers' in their effort to keep people out!

On the positive side of things I did find a company with an opportunity that I was very interested in, and although not 100% qualified (I lack the direct experience as we discussed) they decided to look
past it and offered me a position as a project manager. I start August 20th. I am very excited, and have no doubt that your assistance with looking at my resume and the advise you gave me was the tipping point for the company being able to see the qualifications I did have instead of the ones I didn't." 

If anyone else needs a little push or a fundamental paradigm shift, please feel free to contact me or access what I already have out there.