Interview Practice Quiz and
Tough Job Search Questions Answered
Don't assume this job search will be just like the
last job search. It may be harder or easier, but chances are it will be different. The
methods used to secure the last position may not be the methods that succeed in securing
the next. Use all the avenues available to you in this job search.
Don't set your sights on the one perfect potential offer
and stop all other activities and search efforts. No job opportunity is a guarantee until
the job has been offered and accepted. Keep looking, keep submitting resumes, keep
applying, and keep interviewing for other positions, even when you believe, in your heart
of hearts, that an offer is in the air.
Don't focus all your energy and extra time on your
job search. Establish a set number of hours per day or week that you will devote to
securing a new position and use any extra time available to: improve yourself (take a
course, read, learn a new skill), catch up with friends and family, catch up on activities
or projects you haven't had time to enjoy or complete, volunteer to a cause that means
something to you, meditate and relax, help someone else, and have some fun. Even though a
job search can be a stressful and frustrating process, you've been given an opportunity
(particularly if you're temporarily unemployed) to take stock and breathe. Creating
balance in your job search will make you more productive and enthusiastic, and will
increase your chances for success. Besides, you ought to enjoy this time, because once
you've secured a new position it may be a while before you have such freedom again.
Don't let fear of the unknown overwhelm you. Rather,
think of all the possibilities, envision yourself doing what you want to do and being
where you want to be. Focus your energies on the positive, see it in your mind, believe it
will happen, and make it happen.
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Don't be afraid to offer help. The
interviewer and potential employer are looking for solutions. Go in as a problem
solver and you will increase your perceived hiring value, tenfold.
Don't let negative experiences or feelings from past
events or positions cloud, hinder or otherwise damage your ability or
opportunity to secure a new
position. Rethink these situations and find the positives. Determine what you
have gained or learned from the experience and use this new level of
understanding to your advantage. Speaking negatively about past employers,
coworkers, or employment situations reflects negatively on you, the candidate.
Instead, think of how you have overcome this negative situation and identify the
positive attributes you now possess - and bring to the table - because of it.
Do have your resume reviewed for strengths and
weaknesses. Talk to people who are responsible for hiring in the field,
industry or position you want to secure, regardless of whether a position opening
currently exists, and have these individuals review your resume. Have them offer you
suggestions on areas in need of definition, improvement, or greater experience. Allow them
to guide you in ways you can improve your opportunities, and follow through on these
suggestions. If willing, have them review a second version of your improved document.
Do network with professionals in your industry of
choice. Talk to the people currently doing the type of work you want to secure and learn
from them. Join professional associations relevant to your field and industry. Participate in professional events. Do offer to
mentor other individuals when given the opportunity.
Do establish goals, but don't set
your ultimate goal as your immediate goal, or you may inadvertently set
yourself up for failure. Instead, envision your ultimate goal and determine
what steps are necessary to reach it: what short-term goals must be met,
first, in order to reach the ultimate goal. Then, establish flexible time
frames in which to meet each of these smaller goals and celebrate each new
success, before moving to the next goal.
avenue available to get your resume and information out to your target
market. This includes applying for jobs posted in Internet databases,
career-related Web sites, company websites, professional association
websites, newspaper ads, and professional publications. Contact and utilize
recruiters who specialize in your field and industry. Network with
professionals in your community and industry associations. Contact college
placement professionals and representatives from your alumni college and
utilize their services. Conduct detailed research via the Internet, phone
book, library reference guides, and professional publications and locate
information (press releases, annual reports, articles, etc.) on companies
that interest you, and make contact. Attend career fairs and
industry-related events (and have your resume ready for distribution at
these events). Attend corporate open houses. Tell everyone you know that you
are in the job market, what you have to offer, and what you hope to secure.
Volunteer your services to organizations in need (amazing network contacts
can be made when you give the best of yourself to non profit organizations
that mean something to you).
Do prepare yourself for interview
situations by practicing your public speaking and interviewing skills,
preparing appropriate answers to difficult questions, recognizing your own
value and the ways in which you can positively contribute to a company, and
how you are presenting yourself to others in both mannerisms and dress. Do
mock a mock interview with someone who will offer constructive feedback and
alter your approach where necessary. Work on problem areas until your
answers and responses to these situations are comfortable, natural,
professional and effective.
Do thank everyone who has helped
you in this job search, and follow up on all job interviews with notes of
appreciation. These “small” acts of courtesy and appreciation can be the
deciding factor between two equally qualified candidates. Don't assume that
everyone follows up an interview with a note, because very few candidates
actually do. By showing your appreciation to those who have helped you in
your job search, you'll build a quality network of strong and supportive
Do continue managing your career and building up
your network, even after you secure the perfect job. Update your resume periodically,
while the information is current and fresh in your mind. Record your achievements and
recognize how your efforts have made a difference and benefited those who employ you.
Career management is an ongoing process.
Do offer to help others in similar situations and
become a mentor.
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