General Job Searching/Interviewing Tips

  • Dress Appropriately. Be sure to ask what is appropriate interview attire for the company you are meeting with. A suit is not always appropriate and business casual can be too casual.
  • Don’t be late. It is so hard to recover from this one. Map out where the interview is taking place and give yourself plenty of time to get there.
    On the flip side, don’t be too early either. 10-15 minutes early is ok, but 30 minutes or more is annoying to your interviewer.
  • Be prepared with questions to ask your interviewer. Questions that show you have done some homework about the company and already viewed the website are ideal.  Please save questions about time off, benefits, etc for later in the interview process.
  • Make sure you actually answered the questions asked. All too often I find that people can spend a lot of time talking in response to a interview question, but not actually say anything. Be concise. Be clear. Talk about what YOU did. Avoid over-use of “we.” It is great that you are a team player, but if the interviewer can’t be clear about what you actually did – you probably won’t be getting the job. If you aren’t sure if you answered their question- ask.
  • Pay attention to your breath and how you smell. Bad breath and or smelling like an ashtray/or over perfumed are not reasons why you want to be rejected.
  • No matter how well you “click”, the interviewer is not your new best friend.  Be very careful about over-sharing personal details.
  • Be honest. About salary, about why you left jobs, etc. The truth always comes out, so if you were terminated, say that and explain why and what you learned from that situation. If you feel like you were underpaid at your last position, explain why you are asking for more now – but don’t lie about what you made to get yourself a better bump.
  • Prepare your references. Ask them if they are comfortable giving you a reference and then tell them about the role and company so they can have some guidance about what the client is looking for.
  • For technology industry jobs it is very easy to have a resume 3-5 pages long if you are more senior in your career – try not to let it get longer than 5 pages max.
  • Proof read your resume. Have someone else do it as well. No matter how great your experience is, if your resume is full of grammar and spelling errors you may never get the interview.  Google technology terms and make sure that you are writing them like the vendor does. IE Salesforce and not SalesForce. Also be consistent. For example, don’t switch between UNIX and Unix.. it’s sloppy.
  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Thank you cards. A thank you email is nice – but sending a hand written note card is becoming a lost art and does set you apart from others.
  • Don’t burn bridges. This is one that can come back and bite you years later. Give appropriate notice when leaving a position.
  • There is being a go-getter and then there is being a stalker. Don’t harass your targets. Calling hourly, or emailing daily is overkill.
  • Use every interview as practice- ask people for feedback and use each interview as an opportunity to improve.
  • It is ok to tailor your resume to different positions – make sure your resume speaks directly to the requirements of the job. Instead of having one really long resume to cover all positions, have multiple versions of your resume and then tweak them each time you send them out.
  • Keep track of the companies you are applying at. Don’t allow multiple sources to submit your resume in addition to submitting yourself directly. Make sure the recruiting firms you work with always check with your first and get your permission.
  • Keep a “brag book” if it makes sense for your skillset with examples of your work product, screen shots, code samples, emails praising you from co-workers, reference letters, etc (always black out proprietary information). Ask the interviewer at the end of the interview if they would like to look at it.

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