Posts tagged: Job Interviews

One Simple Trick To Finding A Job

So many candidates struggle with finding a position. I’m not going to insult you by telling you it is easy. It isn’t. In fact, for most it is hard work. Mainly because this may be new to you and with the exception of a few, this is not your area of expertise. It is always difficult to do something when  you are not an expert. In fact, it is frustrating because most professionals make it look so easy. Have you ever watched one of those home improvement shows do a complete kitchen remodel in just 22 minutes? They never have any problems, everything fits the first time, they never cut a board wrong, and it looks great in the end. Have you ever done a kitchen remodel and have it done that easily?

Their remodel happens so easily because they are an expert in it and we are not. So how does this relate to finding a job?

Companies in today’s market want the expert. They don’t want the jack of all trades, they want the king or queen.

Candidates have a very hard time accepting this. It is better to be great at one thing than good at many. Experts do 1 or 2 things 10,000 times, not 10,000 things once or twice.

What is your expertise? What unique passion, unique experiences, unique skill set, unique talent, unique accomplishments do you have that will, if not separate you from the 100’s of resumes received, at least get your resume to the pile of 5 to 10 to interview?

We live in a 140 character world. Millions tweet thoughts in 140 characters or less. Status updates on Linkedin are 140 characters or less. Can you describe your expertise in such a way that you stand out in 140 characters of less?

If not, then this is a great thing to work on over the holidays.

For example:

  • A CFO with extensive experience in international finance within X industry and X sized companies
  • Sales professional that enjoys the challenge of cold calls, increased first time customers by X% in first year directly by cold calling.
  • HR executive that excels at union neg, reducing benefit costs by X% and 70% of hires from employee referrals up from 20% when I started.

These are just some examples that at least help you stand out, identify your unique strengths and accomplishments.

I have worked with hundreds of people helping them identify what makes them unique. It always starts out the same, “I’m probably not all that unique. I do my job and so do others.” That may be true, but every person doesn’t do the same thing, even in the same functional area.

Think about becoming great at 1 0r 2 things instead of good at many. Do this, and watch how your job search results change.

If this was helpful to you, then help others in your network by passing it along so they also benefit. Helping others will always help you in your job search. You can add this to your status on Linkedin, tweet it, add it to your Facebook page, or email it to your network. Let’s help everyone that is seeking a new job.

For more help on this, join our Linkedin Job Search Networking group. It is free and loaded with helpful discussions and articles. CLICK HERE to join.

Get our FREE 8 Point Job Search Self Assessment Scorecard to evaluate your job search. You can’t fix it if you don’t know what is broken. This will help you. CLICK HERE to get yours.

You can also get a FREE sample cover letter proven to get you noticed. Thousands have downloaded this, and it is FREE. CLICK HERE to get one.

I welcome  your comments, thoughts and questions.

Brad Remillard



The Hot Potato Method vs. the Swarming Method of Applying for a Job

Pressing in a basketball game to illustrate the Swarming the Job Response Method by overwhelming the hiring manager to grant you an interview

We discussed the Hot Potato Method of responding to a job advertisement in my last blog post. Everyone recognizes it’s both dysfunctional and ineffective – so why does everyone keep doing it? The other day on our once-a-month candidate open forum – this exact issue came up. The participant indicated that they keep applying for jobs – but are getting no responses – Duh!

A much better approach is what I would like to term “The Swarming Method” of responding to a job advertisement.

Back to basketball metaphors. My HS team plays an upbeat, fast-paced pressure style of basketball. We press constantly. In one of our presses, we swarm the ball handler to the point where they are so overwhelmed they almost just hand us the ball on a silver platter. You want to accomplish the same outcome when applying for a job – your campaign is so intense and overwhelming to the company/hiring manager, they have no choice but to grant you the interview.

The Swarming Method of Applying for a Job combines an effective cover letter, a strong resume, social media leverage, and deep networking to produce the desired result – GIVE me an interview!

We could extend the same metaphor to football where the defensive line charges the quarterback and tries to “sack” him before he can run or throw a pass. The pressure applied to the opposing team is overwhelming. The same strategy needs to be applied to your responses to job advertisements.

From this point forward, I would like you to make me a promise: No more passive job responses, no more walking away and forgetting about your response to an advertisement has a campaign, a blitz, a press, an overwhelming amount of pressure brought forward in the goal of securing an interview.

I thrown out some ideas you could use in the press or blitz attack on a response to an advertisement. Let’s hear from our subscribers and readers:

What do you do that’s most effective in obtaining an interview?

What tactics have you not yet applied to your job responses?

How effective is your network, social media activity, and connectivity to hiring managers/executives, HR professionals, and recruiters? For example, have you downloaded our FREE LinkedIn Profile Assessment to discover if your Profile is effective in capturing the attention of hiring managers and executives, HR professionals, and recruiters?

When was the last time you tweaked your resume for a specific job and wrote a well-thought through custom cover letter?

Brad and I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas – we’re preparing a special report on the Swarming the Job Response Approach. Perhaps, we’ll feature your idea as a best practice suggestion.

Barry Deutsch

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Discussion Job Search Discussion Group to learn more about the Swarming the Job Response Approach.

picture courtesy of kmc14kmc

The Hot Potato Method of Applying to a Job Opening

The Hot Potato Job Responding Approach employed by most candidates in answering job advertisementts

I touched on this idea the other day in a blog article when I mentioned the idea that you should have a plan for how to attack or blitz a job opening. Let’s explore this idea a little further.

Most candidates treat responding to job advertisements like they are a hot potato – touch and get rid of it. Some of the girls on my HS basketball team play basketball in this same manner. OMG – somebody threw me the ball – I better get rid of it quickly. I’ll treat the basketball like it’s a hot potato.

Why does this happen – even after I suggest ever so politely to the young ladies on my basketball team that we are NOT playing hot potato basketball. It happens due to a lack of knowledge in what to do with the basketball, fear of screwing up, fear of being embarrassed, just plain “freaking-out” over the pressure of having to do something.

Why do so many candidates play hot potato with their responses to job openings? They respond frequently with a standard resume and a standard cover letter and that is the extent of their effort in applying for a job – let’s call this method “Hot Potato Job Responding”. The overall process of responding to a job opening takes perhaps 3 seconds – much like tossing the proverbial hot potato.

You’ll never get a job using the Hot Potato method unless random luck intervenes in the process. It’s passive! You sit by the phone praying it will ring. Your investment of 3 seconds yields nothing!

STOP playing “Hot Potato Job Responding!”

It’s depressing, dysfunctional, and reeks of desperation.

Start creating a campaign around every job response: custom cover letters, custom resumes that address the job requirements, targeting the hiring manager, connecting through social media, beating the bushes in your network for referrals and introductions. Imagine yourself as a linebacker rushing the quarter on a blitz. The same strategy should apply for every job opening.

Don’t be the one who waits helplessly like a victim for the phone to ring. Make the phone ring by shifting your approach to answering ads from “”Hot Potato Job Responding” to the football “blitzing” approach.

Brad and I explore the various methods of responding to ads in our Home Study Job Search Kit. We also have a wealth of FREE Content on our website in the form of templates, audio programs, and examples.

Are you doing everything you can to conduct an effective job search? Have you taken our self-assessment scorecard to determine if you are conducting a job search that will reduce the time in half it takes to find a great opportunity?

Barry Deutsch

Don’t forget to participate in our LinkedIn Job Search Group and join the discussion on how to get a call back for an interview after you respond to a job advertisement.

Why Most Interviews Are Box-Checking

Don't allow your job search to fall victim to hiring managers box-checking you against a traditional worthless job description

The traditional process of interviewing is typically an exercise in box-checking.

Hiring Managers and Executives use the traditional job description to check off whether you meet the criteria for the job. As we described in a previous blog posting, the traditional job description is a set of minimum and mediocre criteria. We’ve identified the use of inadequate criteria in a job description as the Number One Hiring Mistake made by CEOs and Senior Executives. You can download a copy of the study we conducted to identify the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes Made by CEOs and Senior Executives.

In the face of all rational thought and objectivity – why do most hiring executives and managers still cling to the outdated and ineffective job description? By all standards, it is a worthless document to measure and predict future success. Let’s explore some of the reasons why the traditional job description is the primary tool you’re evaluated against in a job interview:

1. Hiring Managers don’t know any better. No one has ever taken the hiring manager by the hand and shown them a more effective method of defining success for a position. We cling to tribal hiring methods passed down through the generations without thought as to whether or not they are effective.

2. Hiring Managers refuse to accept accountability. Defining success and then publishing the definition of success (we call this a Success Factor Snapshot) is high accountability. As a Hiring Manager, if I define success and you as the candidate don’t achieve the expectations, then I’ll be forced to do something about it – as will my boss when the department/team misses their overall goals.

3. Hiring Managers give lip service to the hiring process. Saying that people are NOT your most important asset and consequently it’s NOT worth spending much time on the process is akin to being against motherhood and other cherished traditions. Instead, many hiring managers and HR professionals talk about how important hiring is in their company, but their actions convey something else entirely – they are unwilling to invest the time it takes to define, measure, and predict success.

How can you overcome these 3 obstacles to winning the interview when you don’t match up perfectly with the job description? Who could ever match up to a job description – one that has a list of random and arbitrary criteria which has nothing to do with the real job – it’s not a job or role description – it’s more of a people description.

Over 25 years in executive search, 1000 executive search assignments, interviews with over 100,000 candidates has shown me that top talent rarely meets the criteria described in the job description. In fact, if I had to make my living as an executive recruiter who depended on candidates meeting the box checking of the job description, i would have been bankrupt long ago.

Sorry – got sidetracked there for a moment. Back to the core question – how do you succeed in a box-checking interview when the criteria established is guaranteed to exclude you from consideration??

You do it through asking the most important interview question “How will you measure my success?” (or other variations of this question such as “What do I need to do in the job for you to consider me a success”?” What are the top 3 things I must achieve in this role to be successful?”). I discussed this idea in a previous blog posting regarding the syndrome of most candidates to interview blindly, flailing away with irrelevant information that the hiring manager most likely couldn’t give a darn about.

It’s like a magical question! Suddenly the interview transforms itself from an interrogation of bright lights and rubber hoses over box-checking your background to the job description to a discussion and consultative dialogue about the work that needs to be accomplished. Now you have an opportunity to demonstrate how your unique accomplishments and abilities will ensure the expectations of the hiring manager can be met.

Shame on all candidates who don’t ask that magical question. You are doomed to a prolonged job search and constant rejection. STOP allowing the tribal hiring methods used by most companies to dictate your career and job search success.

Barry Deutsch

How to Fail at Interviewing Before You Start

Do You Know How to ACE the Phone Interview?

You might ask “How can you fail at interviewing before you start?”

The vast majority of candidates never get an opportunity to interview in a face-to-face meeting with the hiring manager or executive because they BLOW the phone interview.

These candidates failed at interviewing before they even got started. They’re like a runner who never leaves the starting block on the track.

I’ll use a basketball metaphor to describe this scenario. Many basketball games come down to the last few seconds with close scores. The game outcome is decided by who does a better job making free throws. But what if you never got the chance to get to the line and make your game winning free throws. What if during the game you missed lay-ups, your defense was mediocre, and you couldn’t rebound effectively? You’ll never have a chance to make a game winning shot since you didn’t set yourself up from the start to be in the right position.

Phone interviewing is the vehicle by which candidates set themselves up for success. You’ll never be invited to meet hiring managers if you don’t first ACE the phone interview.

What’s your “accuracy” in phone interviewing? After a phone interview, do you get asked in for a personal meeting with the hiring manager 80% of the time – 50% – 20%. If you look back on all your phone interviews in your current job search, I would bet you’d be stunned at the horrifically low percentage of time you actually get invited to personally meet the hiring manager.

Your minimum goal of interview invitations after phone interviews should be 50% – that’s the minimal acceptable standard. However, if you’re not hitting 80%, batten down the hatches, conserve every dime you have – because you’re headed for a job search that is going to drag on forever.

The big question is: How do you consistently get to 80%?

As many readers of our blog know, Brad and I have written the definitive guide to job search in our workbook titled “This is NOT the Position I Accepted”. The most popular download on our website over the last year has been the FREE Chapter on Phone Interviewing.

We’ve taken this Chapter stuffed full phone interviewing best practices, matched it up with recent real-life examples and stories from members of our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group, and put together a one-hour powerful webinar on phone interviewing that will transform your job search and dramatically reduce the time it takes for you to find a new job.

Would you invest an a minimal amount of time and expense to improve your phone interviewing capability to get to 80%. What’s 80% worth to you? What would you do to get 5 more interviews, 10 more interviews, reduce your job search by 50%, or avoid draining your savings account on a prolonged job search.

Join Brad and I for a powerful one-hour webinar on October 31st. If you implement just 5 or 6 of the ideas we’ll be discussing, you’re job search will immediately begin to kick into overdrive. SIGN UP NOW!


Don’t Underestimate the Power the Four “A’s” Have On Your Interview

In a previous article, “Leveraging the Power of the First Impression Helps You Win the Interview” we discussed just how critical (not important, critical) the first impression is to the interviewing process. One of the suggestions was to understand the most important points known as the four “A’s.”

These four “A’s” can dramatically impact the interview before the interview even starts. That is powerful.

Each of these must be integrated into your interviewing style and come off as if they come naturally to you.

  • Appearance – This is not just how you dress for the interview, it is much more than that. It includes your body language during the interview, how you sit in the chair, the appearance of your resume and cover letter, the appearance of any materials used during the interview, eye contact, and I hate to say it, but it does include physical appearance.
  • Assertive – This is mostly about how you project yourself during the interview. Please take note, the word was not “aggressive.” There is a big difference between aggressive and assertive. Most interviewers respect an assertive person and dislike aggressive people. Do you come across as confident, do you answer the question with a strong voice, do you engage the interviewer during the interview, do you ask probing questions or just sit there and answer questions, do you mirror the interviewer, does your body language and voice have a strong presence?
  • Affable – Are you friendly, outgoing, easy to communicate with, engaging and even have a sense of humor? Does the interviewer feel comfortable talking with you, are they relaxed and feel at ease, do you have some conversational questions to bring up on the way from the lobby to the interviewing room, do you engage in casual conversation and are you building rapport with the person the second they lay eyes on you?
  • Articulate – How well do you communicate? Do you listen to the question? Are your answers sharp and succinct? Do you have proper language skills, syntax, avoid using the word “like”, proper sentence structure and use of verbs? Do you ramble in the interview to make sure you hit every point in your background or are you able to quickly get to the point? This can be one of the easiest of the “A’s” to master. It takes practice and rehearsing, and you will probably need a coach to help you with this one.

On the surface, as you read these, they seem so obvious. Most are thinking, “I already know this stuff.” This may be true, but I think the purpose of the four “A’s” is to highlight in a very simple way some of the key issues many candidates take for granted. As a result they don’t work on mastering them.

There are a lot of dynamics happening at the same time during the hiring process. The more you can master, the better your chances of getting the green light.

Join our Job Search Networking Linkedin Group. There are over 2700 members and an extensive supply of resources for you to tap into. CLICK HERE to join. Membership is FREE.

We have numerous free downloads on our Web site to help you in your search. Sample cover letters, audio downloads from past radio shows,a transferable skills list, Linkedin Profile Assessment Matrix, and our Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. All can be downloaded from our home page.

Every Monday at 11 AM PDT listen to our radio show from anywhere in the world on channel 2.

Leveraging The Power of the First Impression Helps You Win The Interview

First impressions are so important in the initial meeting that one would not be too far off base if they argued the most important part of the interview. First impressions set the tone for the interview and often determine the types of questions, length of the interview, and ultimately the outcome. Making a strong first impression is often the deciding factor in who makes it to the next round. If the candidate makes a strong first impression they are immediately liked by the interviewer. This candidate just moved up the point scale towards the next round and they haven’t even been asked one question. On the other hand, if the candidate makes a weak first impression, the candidate starts out in the hole. This hole if often so deep  that no matter how well they answer the questions, the interviewer cannot overcome their first impression. In fact, they may have decided right in the lobby that this person isn’t getting the job.

Tips to making a strong first impression:

· Good eye contact.

· Remain a comfortable distance from the person.

· Firm handshake – even if you think you have one ask someone who will be open and honest. Many don’t, so don’t assume you do.

· Strong introduction coupled with a smile, a strong handshake and eye contact. Practice this introduction.

· Have a couple of conversational questions prepared in advance to engage the interviewer.

· The most important of all are the four “A’s.” A VP of HR at Rockwell Corporation gave us these. They are so important more than 25 years later we still remember them.

  1. Appearance

  2. Articulate

  3. Affable

  4. Assertive

Bring these four to the first impression and you will move up the scale – not down.

Study after study reveals that likability is the single most important factor used when determining who ultimately gets the job. Underestimating this is a failure of many candidates. Those that make a strong first impression will often do better in an interview than candidates with better experience.

Join our Job Search Networking Linkedin Group. There are over 2700 members and an extensive supply of resources for you to tap into. CLICK HERE to join. Membership is FREE.

We have numerous free downloads on our Web site to help you in your search. Sample cover letters, audio downloads from past radio shows,a transferable skills list, Linkedin Profile Assessment Matrix, and our Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. All can be downloaded from our homepage at

Every Monday at 11 AM Pacific time listen to our radio show anywhere in the world on channel 2.

I welcome your comments and thoughts

Brad Remillard

A Critical Interviewing Mistake Radio Talk Show

This is one of the most common mistakes I have seen in hundreds of interviews. Yet, it is one of the easiest to fix. Candidates know this is going to happen in 95% of all interviews, so why are they so unprepared for it. I don’t get it.

Avoiding this mistake cannot only ensure your success, but when done correctly and with some preparation it can ensure your success. You don’t have to make this critical and very common mistake.

Listen to all our past radio shows and download a free Job Search Self-Assessment Worksheet at