Posts tagged: Phone Interview

How Can I Improve How I Interview Over the Phone?

Q. I interview better in person than on a phone interview. What are some tips to improving how I phone interview?

Most candidates conduct a phone interview the same way they conduct an in person interview. When in fact they are completely different and require a different approach. There is no eye contact, body language or a warm friendly introduction and handshake on a phone interview. Usually there is just a cold hello. You only have your voice.

There are basically three things that can be evaluated during a phone interview, energy/enthusiasm, communications ability and a basic understanding of your skills. So you have to adjust to these conditions. Here are some tips: 1) always stand up and walk around during a phone interview. This helps create energy and enthusiasm. 2) You must learn how to use your voice.  Things such as using voice inflection, timely pauses, tone changes to stress points, lowering your voice, speaking slower and enunciating clearly and pacing the speed of the interviewer’s voice are all very important. Not to mention using proper sentence structure and avoiding the word “like.” 3) Since most phone interviews are shorter than in person interviews you must be succinct. You don’t have time to ramble on and on as the interviewer will begin to wander. You should practice keeping your answers to about one minute in length. While you are talking they are sitting there listening. Sitting and listening for one minute seems like five. Since you can’t see them you can’t tell from their expressions if they are bored, losing interest in what you are saying or if they put the phone down and are now checking their email. So you must get right to the point in your answer in order to keep the interviewer’s interest.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Do you have the right tools for your search?

Like most recruiters, I attend too many networking events. Once a person hears that I’m a recruiter, they generally want to engage me in some conversation that usually ends up with giving me a business card or resume. WRONG TOOLS.

Even when I meet candidates, not for an interview, but just to help them in their search they give me a business card and a resume. WRONG TOOLS.

Most candidates don’t have the right tools for the right purpose or they have one set of tools for every aspect of their job search. WRONG AGAIN.

When one is trying to fix anything, they need the right tools to do the job correctly. Would you try to hang a picture on your wall using a 16 pound sledge hammer?

One tool does not fix all problems – same with a job search.

At a minimum, there are two types of tools you need to use during a job search. One set is for networking, and the other set is for use when applying for a position, interview, responding to ads, or anything directly related to a specific position.

Networking tools are designed to accomplish a couple of specific goals:

1) Assist the person or contact in remembering you and something about you. The contact needs a tool to identify you from all of the other contacts in their stack of business cards. This is so they can refer you. In two weeks, most contacts don’t know which Pat you are in the stack, if Pat is male or female, or what industry Pat has experience in. Not a good way to get a referral.

2) Assist with referrals and introductions. How many times have you had a networking meeting with anyone and walked away with a specific referral to a hiring manager, HR person, lead directly into a company that fits your background, or someone other than a service provider or recruiter. It happens, but this is less often.

These two things happen because most candidates don’t have the correct networking tools. They too often just hand the person their resume and a general business card. THESE ARE NOT NETWORKING TOOLS. Stop using them. They are the wrong tools.

Get the right tools.

1) Use networking business cards. These cards use the back of the card. On the back is a list of industry experiences, titles, target companies or anything that will help the person remember you from all the rest in their stack of cards.

2) Use a bio not a resume. Don’t just use a generic bio. Use a targeted and focused bio on what introductions and referrals you are seeking. The bottom third of the bio should list the specific company names and people you want to meet. This way when the contact is looking at your bio they can easily identify if they know the company or person. Then right there on the spot they will often indicate they can facilitate an introduction.

There are other tools you need, but these are the most important.

Good networking tools help people help you by remembering who you are and what connections you are seeking

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard


Four Things Candidates Do To Shoot Themselves In The Foot While Conducting A Job Search

As the job market begins to pick up, more opportunities for candidates will arise. For those candidates who have been looking for some time this may be your chance to land the job you really want. Here are the four things that I find that candidates continually do to mess up a good opportunity:

1)    Conducting your search the same way you did it the last time. Candidates  seem to think this is 2006 or 2007 and all they have to do is the same things they did back then to find a job. WRONG. It’s not only 2012, but the market and the tools are completely different than they were back then. Candidates need to come up to speed quickly. It is not unusual for me to meet candidates that wasted the first three months of their search.

To adapt to 2012 you must embrace social media. You must become an expert on LinkedIn and then leverage this tool, with groups, updates, postings and connections. Instead of sitting in your pajamas searching the job boards you now should be leveraging LinkedIn.

2)    Resumes and cover letters are another problem area. A one size fits all resume will not cut it. Companies are seeking very specific skills and experiences that more often than not a generic resume doesn’t address. It is acceptable to use this generic resume to post on the job boards, but if you are targeting a company, responding to an ad or attempting to connect with a recruiter for a search, you must redo the resume so it targets the specific issues they are seeking like a laser beam.

A cover letter is not a resume. You cannot just write a nice cover letter with these updates and attach it to the generic resume. What will happen if your cover letter gets separated from the resume? Then what? Take the time to update your resume.

3)    Interviewing is much more than explaining your background. It is about connecting with the interviewer. For most interviews, you wouldn’t even be there if the interviewer didn’t believe you met the basic skills and experience. So rule number one is listen, hear and answer the question asked. Do it in a way that connects with the company’s culture and the interviewer. For example, if your background is in very large companies and you are interviewing at a small company, constantly emphasizing how you managed a large staff and had a budget that was more than the sales of the company, is probably the best way to communicate that you need a large staff and a lot of resources to be effective. This is something a small company doesn’t have. You made the fatal error of not adapting your experience to the company. Think about your audience and what they want and need.

4)    Networking too often burns people out because they aren’t focused on the purpose of networking. Over the years people, especially candidates, have come to believe that networking is all about meeting a lot of people. Get a lot of first level contacts on LinkedIn. The one with the most contacts wins. Nonsense. Networking is about the right contacts not the number of contacts. The one that has the ability to take a contact and turn it into a connection generally wins. It is far better to have one hundred strong connections, than it is to have 1,000 contacts that don’t know you and forget you within twenty-four hours of meeting them.

Stop going to every networking meeting in Orange County. Instead, target three or four that really make sense for you. I suggest one in your functional area, one in your industry, one at a peer level, and one with the types of advisors that connect with the people who will hire you. Build strong relationships with the members of these four groups and it will do more good than running to all the other networking groups.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Why is hiring a job search coach so unusual for most executive job seekers?

Could an Executive Job Search Coach help you to reduce your job search timeframe by 50% or more?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I just presented to one of the largest gatherings of job seekers in the Los Angeles area. The program was sponsored by the Catholic Arch Diocese and Interfaith Council.

Thousands of job seekers showed up who were desperate, not sure what to do next, and had been our of work for 6-12 months or more.

I don’t know about you – but I couldn’t handle being out of work for a year – and the bad news is that the job market will likely stagnate or get worse before it starts to turn around. It’s likely to be a year or more before we see a significant improvement in the job market.

Difference for coached/non-coached job seekers

This morning I started to think about what is one of the key differences between the executives I’m coaching in their job search, and those who showed up for the job search conference titled HOPE WORKS!

The key difference is that the job seekers I’m working with are getting coaching and the others are not. Allow me to be more specific:

Almost every executive candidate we have agreed to take on to conduct job search coaching has found a job within 90 days. By the 30 day mark, they are getting numerous leads, referrals, and interviews scheduled. In addition to real job opportunities, they are typically deluged with temporary and consulting opportunities. By the 60 day mark, they have a continuous stream of abundant job leads, referrals and opportunities. Their pipeline is full to the point of overflowing and they are overwhelmed with the response from their expanding network.

These candidates who are being coached have hundreds of job search tasks and activities and the combination of all those best practices is yielding great outcomes.

Conversely, the candidates not using coaching are floundering, frustrated, and not sure what to do next. Many have actually lost hope and have taken themselves off the job market.

Why are you not using job search coaching?

So, why are you not using coaching to help you in your job search?

I don’t mean the soft kind of career coaching that helps you figure out what you want to be when you grow up – I’m talking about the nitty-gritty, hardcore, focused effort around finding a great job in your specific niche.

You’ll invest in coaching for your kids piano lessons, baseball, basketball, and math tutoring – but you’re unwilling to invest in yourself to find a great job quickly.

I don’t get it.

I don’t see the logic.

Many of you might say “I can’t afford job search coaching”

Keep in mind the cost of effective job search coaching is inconsequential compared to the lost income of not being employed for another 6-12 months.

Let’s break it down into simple math. Let’s assume you earn $120k per year. If you go another 6-12 months without landing a job – which is very likely unless you’re generating at least 2-3 interviews a week right now – you’re going to be out-of-pocket $60-$120k in savings. Can you afford to do that?

What would you invest in yourself if you could cut that time in half and save $30-$60k?

It’s nothing more than a cost/benefit equation.

Okay – there is one huge issue bigger than the cost – picking a coach that has the proven ability to help you find a job within 3-6 months at the executive level.

Most job search coaches are useless – they don’t understand the process of networking, leveraging social media, blitzing an opening, having multiple strategies, and circumventing HR and recruiters to get to the hiring manager. As one example, most job search coaches tell you that it’s important to network, but they can’t walk you through step-by-step the 50 different things you have to do to generate an abundance of job leads and referrals.

Has this been your experience or frustration?

Self-Assessment of your job search

If you would like to see firsthand the value of good job search coaching, take our FREE Job Search Plan Assessment which you can download by clicking here. If you’re not hitting in the top 90% on your self-assessment, you desperately need job search coaching to accelerate and improve your job search plan. If your current job search coach is NOT covering everyone one of these issues, it’s time to make a change.

EVERY SINGLE DAY that goes by in which you don’t substantially improve your job search techniques, strategies, and tactics – means that you can basically add another week to the length of your job search. For example, if you HAVE NOT made huge leaps forward in your job search over the last 5 days, you can count on your job search taking another week tacked on to the end of 6, 12, or 18 months.

How many weeks are you going to add onto your job search, before you decide to invest in yourself like your parents did when they hired coaches/tutors for you when you were young, or like what you do now with your children.


STOP being in denial about how hard it is to conduct a job search!

STOP thinking you have all the knowledge to conduct an effective job search!

STOP thinking you have the internal discipline to stay focused on conducting an effective job search all by yourself!

STOP thinking in terms of fees for a job search coach, and start thinking about minimizing your lost income!

If you’re seeking a $100k or above level job, you owe it to yourself to find a great job search coach and immediately cut in half the time it’s going to take to find an outstanding career opportunity.

Barry Deutsch

PS – Once again, you can download the FREE Job Search Self-Assessment by clicking this link. If you’re not conducting an effective job search, perhaps now is the time to consider investing in a job search coach before you waste another 2-3 months.

Job Search Success: Can Targeting Make a Difference?

Will targeting improve your job search success?

Don’t even think about trying this technique unless you’re prepared for an employer to offer you a job.

I was speaking with a client a few days ago and he told me a story about a candidate he had just hired for a sales position. She had lost her job at a company who was not a direct competitor, but was providing services at a different distribution level in a tangential industry. (I amaze myself sometimes with my ambiguity).

She had sent her resume to the CEO requesting an interview. He blew her off – wrong skill set – wrong industry – wrong level in the distribution/supply chain. And to top it off – he didn’t have a current opening.

She was persistent. She began an aggressive campaign of sending him letters detailing why he needed to hire her in his sales department.

She had conducted extensive research on the company, talked with their suppliers, talked with their customers, and found people within the company (using LinkedIn of course).

She described in “precise” detail the problems she perceived, the steps that needed to be taken, and where she could help to resolve those problems.

Over the course of a few interviews, she became more and more specific about how she could make a difference – through fact-finding in the interviewing, she collected great information.

The company was still undecided (hard to believe). Finally, she sealed the deal by preparing a plan of action of what she would do in her first 90 days. She convinced the company to allow her to present her plan at a meeting. Upon hearing exactly how she would translate her prior experience into actionable steps in this new company, they hired her.

That’s how targeted job search works.

What’s the alternative? The alternative is the shotgun scatter method to job search used by many job seekers. Under the shotgun scatter model, you send out hundreds of standard cover letters and resumes to every company that remotely includes a keyword of interest in their ads. 99.99% of these end up in the trash can. You just wasted 20 hours of your week responding to job ads for which you had no chance of ever making it to the stage of an interview.

Wouldn’t your time be spent more productively targeting jobs, opportunities, and companies – rather than wasting time on the shotgun scatter model of job search?

Discover if you’re job search is effective by downloading our FREE Job Search Plan Self-Assessment. Discover if you’ve got all the elements in place to target the perfect job.


Why is Flawless Execution Important to Prove?

roadblock in the way of you achieving flawless execution on a project - can you overcome it and prove you do it consistently in an interview?

One of the 3 core success traits we insist our clients focus on in the interview process to measure top talent is:

Flawless Execution

Flawless Execution is not about doing your job perfectly – it’s about the ability to overcome problems, hurdles, roadblocks, setbacks, and other issues which are standing in your way of delivering results on time, on budget, and on target.

In most companies there is a multitude of “crap” that gets in the way of meeting the expectations of your boss. This is where you go to your boss on Thursday at 4 pm and say “Boss, I know you needed this project completed before the end of the day for your meeting tomorrow – unfortunately Dept. A didn’t give me the report I needed in time, and the vendor that had promised to get us the critical sub-component is running late and will not be able to get it us until next week.

What do we call these things?

I can call it “E&E” – excuses and explanations.

Top talent doesn’t give “E&E”. They know little disasters, set backs, are problems are going to happen. They know Murphy’s Law will rear it’s ugly head at the worst possible moment.

Top Talent makes contingency plans, builds in slack time, goes under the speed bumps, around the roadblocks, and climbs over every wall thrown in their path.

Top Talent is the group of people hiring managers can count on.

On many teams, executives and managers have 1 or 2 people they consider to be their “go-to” people. Every time they have a tough, critical project with lots of obstacles, hurdles, problems, and roadblocks – they keep turning to the same few people.

Would you consider yourself a “go-to” person?

Do you possess this critical trait of top talent?

Hiring executives and managers know these individuals will get it done every time in spite of the obstacles, hurdles, problems, and roadblocks.

As many of you know, I coach high school girls basketball. I tell my team, it’s not enough to run 90 some feet down the court and fling the little orange ball in the air hoping for the best outcome. You’ve got to put the little orange ball in the little orange hoop. One of the primary reasons basketball teams lose games is that they cannot make lay-ups within 2 feet of the basket.

The business environment is exactly the same. You’ve got to be task-oriented. You’ve got to finish. You must put the ball in the basket.

Many candidates cannot consistently demonstrate or prove they have a “go-to” person mentality. They give “E&E”, they blame others for their short-comings or failures. They don’t take personal responsibility or accountability for their actions and assignments. They continually try to transfer the “monkey” onto the backs of their peers or bosses.

Can you prove you possess the trait of flawless execution in an interview? Can you demonstrate how you’ve handled numerous projects and assignments which had lots of obstacles, hurdles, problems, and roadblocks?

Here’s a “homework” assignment to improve interviewing: Write a comment to this blog post on your most significant accomplishment in your current/last job where you demonstrated the success attribute of flawless execution – overcoming whatever it took to complete the project. I’d love to hear your examples. I’ll offer some ideas on how you might want to “format” or describe the accomplishment in an interview.

Now, here’s the hard part: I teach my clients – hiring executives and managers – to never except just one example. It could be a lie, exaggeration, or luck. However, when you get 2-3 examples, now you’re starting to substantiate a pattern of behavior that someone is likely to continue once you’ve hired them.

Could you offer a prospective employer at least 3 great detailed examples of flawless execution?

Barry Deutsch

Answering Those Box Checking Interviewing Questions – Audio Recording

Don’t Be A Box-checking Victim

STOP allowing yourself to be box-checked in the interview by recruiters, HR, and hiring managers. You CANNOT SUCCEED in the interview if you are being box-checked against a traditional job description listing precise years of experience, exact industry experience, product knowledge, specific channels, and detailed skills. No one could pass these interviews with flying colors. Successful interviewing requires you to move the interview from a typical interrogation into a conversation about the needs and obstacles in the job. Brad and Barry provide specific examples, tactics, and recommendations in this radio program on how to move every interview from a box-checking interrogation into a conversation about the work that needs to be done.

To listen or download this recording from our audio library CLICK HERE.

You can also join our LinkedIN Job Search Networking Group. CLICK HERE to join


The Best Recruiters Eliminate YOU With their First Question

Candidate being eliminated after the 1st Interview Question

How is this possible you might ask?

How could anyone determine whether I am a fit for a job with only one interview question?

Even more shocking is the idea you could be eliminated through the very first interview question?

Shouldn’t there be many factors which determine whether you will give me a change to prove myself in a phone or physical interview?

NO and NO again.

The BEST recruiters approve or eliminate YOU in the first interview question. Your response to my first interview question determines whether I’ll invest more time probing, digging, and validating your claims – OR we’re DONE. The BEST recruiters live and die by this methodology.

Our clients are expecting us to validate, verify, and vet YOU as a candidate who is capable of achieving their expectations of results. We’re not resume factories and we don’t throw paper in the door wishing it sticks. We don’t cross our fingers and hope you’ll be successful. We take a very structured, careful, disciplined approach to interview YOU.

We don’t measure ourselves by the brokerage model the recruiting industry is so well known for – I toss in a resume and if the Hiring Manager falls in love with the candidate – I get a brokerage fee.

The best recruiters do the hard disciplined work for their clients by validating, verifying, and vetting YOU before they’ll considering presenting YOU to their client.

Now that we’ve drawn the distinction between what most recruiters do vs. the BEST recruiters, let’s refocus on how the BEST recruiters eliminate you in their first interview question.

There are a number of factors in measuring a candidate’s ability to succeed in a job. There are also a wide variety of interview techniques to collect this information.

However, one factor stands “head-and-shoulders” above all others – particularly for high level professional positions, management roles, and senior executives. At lower levels in an organization, the primary focus is on executing tasks and activities that can be taught or learned. With a little bit of skill, knowledge, and training, many employees can master the requirements of entry level to lower level roles in an organization.

A common misperception is that high level professional, managerial roles, and executive positions can be defined through the same techniques of entry level/lower level jobs –  writing traditional job descriptions listing minimums of education, skills, knowledge, attributes, tasks and activities.

At higher levels, employees are not measured for doing tasks and activities and applying their skills. They are measured on their accomplishments, achievements, outcomes, deliverables, and results.

Okay – so now we’ve defined the major difference between entry/lower level positions and management/executive positions. At a lower level, you’re measured for your ability to apply your skills and knowledge in performing tasks and activities. At a high level, you’re measured for delivering results and outcomes.

Now that we’ve got that long-winded explanation of what differentiates lower level roles from higher level roles, we can move onto the core point of this blog post:

How The Best Recruiters Can Eliminate You with the First Interview Question

Once I know the most important outcome for the position (this is an entirely different issue for which many employers fail miserably – read more about the first step of our Success Factor Methodology), all I have to do is ask you if you have a comparable – similar – like – accomplishment to this most important – critical – game-breaker outcome that is the NUMBER ONE determining factor of whether you can be a successful hire.

Every high level professional, managerial, and executive role has one or two critical game-breaker outcomes that are required for success.

If your accomplishment IS NOT COMPARABLE – SIMILAR – or LIKE what needs to be done in the job – defined as similar in scope, size, project duration, budget, number of people, outcomes, resources, timeframe, metrics, deliverables – then it’s unfortunate, but


Our interview is over.

Time for me to move on and pose this question to another candidate.

The process repeats itself hundreds of times on a typical retained executive search.

Does this sound cold and impersonal?

You might be a wonderful human being with tremendous potential to do lots of different things for a company

However, my client has paid an enormous sum of money for me to efficiently and effectively find them the best candidate. There is no better interviewing method than using behavioral interviewing techniques layered against future results needed.


In 25 years of executive search, Brad and I have conducted 1000s of searches, interviewed hundreds of thousands of candidates, and implemented more effective hiring best practices in thousands of companies – NO interview question or technique comes remotely close to the methodology of:

What is the number one game-breaker result needed in the job – and then asking the candidate what is their most comparable-similar accomplishment.

Forget about your skills, knowledge, prior experiences, style, behaviors, values, and all the other little things that make you a wonderful candidate. If there is NOT a high probability based on behavioral interviewing techniques focused on the defined results – you’re too high risk. You might be able to achieve the outcomes required, but the risk of failure is too high to justify investing more time in the interview.

DON’T HOLD THIS METHODOLOGY AGAINST ME! I’m not a bad person. You’re not a bad person. You’ll be a great asset to some company – unfortunately NOT my client at this moment in time. I’m performing my role as a recruiter using best practices of interviewing and effective time management to produce results for my clients. It’s a function of the recruiting business model.

Here are some examples to illustrate HOW YOU GET ELIMINATED IN THE VERY FIRST INTERVIEW QUESTION (We define this structured approach in our best practice methodology which we call the Success Factor Methodology):

Result Needed: Reduce the accounting closing process from 21 days to 8 days within 3 months.

Question: Can you give me an example of a significant comparable accounting process that you improved or changed?

Result Needed: Grow profit as a percentage of revenue over a 3-5 year period regardless of revenue and economic cycles.

Question: Please describe a comparable accomplishment where you were the President of a business over a 3-5 year period  and achieved an improved profit percentage each year.

Result Needed: Increase sales by 15% year over year for the next 3-5 years.

Question: Can you describe a comparable accomplishment of growing sales by at least 15% year over year when you’ve led the sales function/team over a 3-5 year period.

If you can’t answer the first question about the game-breaker outcome, nothing else matters. Neither I OR my clients are willing to take the risk that you “might” be able to do it.

You can learn more about best practices that recruiters and employers use to screen and evaluate YOU as a candidate by reading about our Success Factor Methodology. We’ve named our process – but any effective implementation of recruiting/interviewing best practices encompasses these 5 steps. Discover the primary interview questions that quickly eliminate most candidates.

Barry Deutsch

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group where you can talk about the issues, problems, frustrations regarding your job search and get direct answers from two of the top retained recruiters and thousands of other job seekers.

P.S. Download our FREE Cover Letter Sample. The Resume and the Cover Letter are the first two things the BEST recruiters look at before picking up the phone to call you. If you don’t give them a tease/hint that you’ve accomplished something similar to there game-breaker objectives, you will NOT even receive a phone call. Click here to get our FREE Cover Letter Sample Format to address the game-breakers.

An Absolute Must For A Job Interview

One of only three things that can be measured during a phone interview is communication.  The interviewer is determining how well you communicate and how well you will work with the management team. Communication style is critical to cultural fit. If you are thinking verbal communication, in this instance you are half right. Most candidates think we are talking about one’s use of the English language and proper use of verbs, avoiding the word “like,” being succinct, and all the other verbal components of communication. Generally you are correct, but not this time.

This time I’m referring to listening skills. This is also a component of communication. Before you click away, recognize that study after study revealed that most people are not good listeners. In the case of candidates not being good listeners, this happens not necessarily because you are not generally a good listener, but rather because of the interviewing process itself.

Too often candidates don’t hear the complete question because mid-question they start thinking of an answer to the question that hasn’t even been asked yet. The candidate anticipates what they think the interviewer is going to ask and then starts formulating an answer in their mind. Too often to the wrong question.

I have interviewed over 10,000 people in my 30 years as a recruiter, and this is a constant battle. This is even more profound on a phone interview. I believe it’s due to the fact that the candidate can’t see the interviewer, and can’t tell by body language or eye contact when the end of the question is coming is one reason why it is such a problem on a phone interview.

Failure to listen to the complete question and then targeting the answer to actual question is one reason why so many qualified people never get the job. I hear this from hiring managers all the time.

Most candidates will be better off taking a slower approach and listening carefully prior to jumping in with an answer that isn’t relevant to the question.

Work on your listening skills. Don’t just assume you have good listening skills in an interviewing situation. This is a unique environment. You may be a great listener day to day, but when the pressure of an interview and your desire to do a great job collide during the interview, listening is usually the first thing to go.

If this was helpful to you please help others by passing it on. Everyone needs to help everyone until the economy turns. Consider emailing it to your network, posting on a blog, adding to your status on Linkedin or Facebook or Tweet it. Let’s help others. It will come back to you.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group for a lot more discussions and articles to help you with your job search. CLICK HERE to join in.

Download our FREE 8 Point Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your job search so you jump start your search in 2010. CLICK HERE to get your free copy.

You can also download a free sample cover letter that  has proven to align your background with what the company needs. Thousands already have and it really works. CLICK HERE to get yours.

I welcome your comments and thoughts.
Brad Remillard




I’m Getting Interviews But No Offers. WHY?

This was a question a potential job search coaching candidate asked me. Although frustrating, at the same time it is a very good problem to have. At least she was getting interviews.

In today’s world just getting up to bat can be difficult, but striking out is frustrating. So what do you do if this is happening to you? Over 30 years of working with candidates and over 10,000 interviews, it is my experience that when this happens the candidate is generally making some fatal mistakes in the interviewing process. They don’t need a major overhaul. They are either doing something small, that is easy to fix, or in most cases NOT doing something that eliminates them.

After all, the hiring manager has seen their resume, often interviewed them and asked them back, and they may have even come in second place a couple of times.  So rarely, if this happens a lot, is it always experiences, skills or abilities. Those have already been taken into account. Also, as everyone knows that has done extensive  hiring, the most qualified person doesn’t always get the job. Often, and unfortunately, it is the best interviewer that gets the job. A fact candidates have a very hard time accepting.

Many candidates have this  happening to them and never really understand, “why?” The sad part is the candidate ends up spending a lot more time in job search mode than necessary. Often months and that is expensive. To help, our job search workbook, “This is NOT the Position I Accepted” deals extensively with this exact issue.

The first step in dealing with this issue is knowing the answer to this critical (yes critical) question, because if you don’t know the answer chances are very good you will never know what’s wrong, so you can’t fix it. What are the most important three words in a job search and interview? Hint, they are the same words for both a job search and interview.

If you guessed preparation, good guess, but wrong. Preparation is the outcome of these three words.

Presentation is key, and the answer. Candidates are judged so much on the their presentation that it is often a bigger factor in getting a job than qualifications. For example, I heard on a news channel that Whole Foods will not hire anyone that shows up to an interview wearing a suit. I don’t know if this is true or not, (just because it was on the news doesn’t make it true) but that is presentation. Show up in a suit, and before you even leave the lobby, before you introduce yourself, in less than 1 second the hiring manager has already decided you won’t fit in their company’s culture. They assume you didn’t research the company or you would know this.

If this is happening to you, I have found from coaching candidates that it is time to take a hard look at their presentation. This is very hard to do. It means I have to be tough, possibly risk hurting feelings, get critical, tell people they come across too casual and therefore possibly signaling a lack of energy, and for older candidates this is often interpreted as burned out or just waiting to retire.

None of these may be true. It doesn’t matter if it is true or not. It is reality. A dose of reality is often exactly what many candidates encountering this issue need.

Another issue is confidence. Too often when candidates become desperate and really need a job they are too afraid to engage the interviewer. This lack of confidence comes across as weakness. This is the kiss of death especially if you are interviewing for a manager.

You should always interview the same way you would if you had a great job and didn’t need this job. That confidence will come out. Most companies want to hire people that are leaders, and confidence is an essential element of leadership.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group along with the other 3300+ members. The discussions and articles will do nothing but make your time looking for a job shorter. CLICK HERE to join.

If you are getting interviews but no offers, you should consider reading our job search workbook, This Is NOT The Position I Accepted. It was written to get you through the interview with confidence. We will send it to you to review for just$5. CLICK HERE to get  your copy.

I welcome and encourage your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard