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How To Answer 3 Interview Questions For The "Over 50" Job Seeker

Navigating a successful job search can be tricky for job seekers over the age of 50 (and very often those over 40 too). Age discrimination is alive and well, and even though your resume got you to the interview, your “experience” might be a drawback.

Here are three interview questions you may be asked as an older job seeker with the best strategies for how to answer them.

1. You Seem To Be Overqualified For This Job.

This isn’t framed as a question, but it does demand a response—or you’ve lost the opportunity. You know they liked what they saw in your resume, but when they’re staring you in the face, they’re wondering if you’re really going to be a good fit. Will you be unhappy that you’re taking a job that’s "less than" what you’re capable of? Will you be bored? Will you fit in? Are you only marking time until retirement?

Help them see that you’re a good fit with an answer that addresses those underlying concerns:

“I may be overqualified, but I see that as a bonus for you. I am more than ready to do this job, and I understand what it takes to be successful in it. Aside from learning the specific way you do things at this organization, my actual task learning curve would be flat and I could produce results almost immediately.”

Pointing out what they stand to gain from this deal is always a good idea.

“I may be overqualified, but this particular position looks great to me because of X.”

"X" may be any number of reasons: you really like their product /service, you are excited about the work they’re doing, or even a more personal reason.

One gentleman I know told his interviewer, “My current job is over an hour away and I don’t want to move because I like where I live. The quality of life I’d get from eliminating that long commute would mean a lot to me.” It was a real reason and calmed their fears about hiring him.

2. How Do I Know You’ll Be Really Motivated To Do This Job?

This is not just a question of motivation, but also one about your energy and enthusiasm. You have several good options for answering it:

  • Offer your references to speak for you and your work ethic. References are powerful.
  • Point out a recent big accomplishment. If it’s only been a few months since you won an award or conquered a major challenge, the motivation question should be answered.
  • Bring a 30-60-90 day plan to your interview. There’s nothing like putting together a plan for success on the job before you get it. It’s a powerful demonstration of your work ethic, your knowledge, and your critical thinking skills.
3. How Would You Feel If You Worked For Someone Who Knows Less Than You?

Working for someone who knows less than you do is not great—and if you truly are someone who’s been around the block, you’ve probably gained a lot of wisdom and judgment that a younger person just can’t have. However, to answer this question, the only really good answer sounds something like this:

“I have found that even if someone knows less than me in one area, they know more than me in another. I usually find that I can learn something useful from everyone, and I think it’s exciting to work with a wide range of people because of that.”

Keep all your answers focused on the positive, and they will go a long way toward supporting your candidacy.

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 15 hours 33 minutes ago

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6 Things Recruiters Want To See On Your LinkedIn Profile

The right recruiter can put you in front of dream job opportunities. This is especially the case for higher-level positions because there are employers who will not post a job opening publicly and instead will rely solely on recruiters to find the right talent.

The good recruiters are paid by employers (as much as 20-30% of the annual compensation for the position) to find the right people for the job, so when you work with one, understand that their loyalty is to the employer. They are not necessarily there to help you find a job unless you have what they need to fill the job opening.

In order to spark interest in recruiters, you have to show you meet most—if not all—of the qualification requirements for the job. Here are six things recruiters want to see on your LinkedIn profile.


Your headline on LinkedIn is essentially the descriptive line that comes with your profile (before people click on it). By default, it will list your name and current job title. Recruiters depend on this piece of information to decide whether or not to click on your profile.

What you can do: Tell the recruiter what you have to offer in a few words. A job title is okay, but it has to inform the recruiter of the specific industry you're in as well. For example, "Account Manager" doesn't say a lot, but "Healthcare PR Account Manager" says a lot more. You also want to optimize your LinkedIn headline with keywords so you can be found by recruiters when they search for potential job candidates with specific skill sets.


Your summary, located in the "About" section of your LinkedIn profile, needs to succinctly inform the reader of what you bring to the table. This is where your personal branding statement belongs.

What you can do: Include your personal branding statement, information on your specialty as a professional (how do you like to add value?), and list your core skills and accomplishments. Adding keywords and phrases that are relevant to the jobs you're looking for will also help increase the chances of your profile showing up in recruiters' search results.

Experience & Skills

Recruiters want to know you'll do the job and do it well. On your LinkedIn profile, detail what you've accomplished and how you've used skills to achieve success and results.

What you can do: Present measurable results. This means you need to quantify your work experience. Recruiters are also doing searches based on skills, so you want to include key skills for the jobs you've had in your profile and get them endorsed.


Recruiters look at your connections for a combination of quality and relevance. Quantity is less of a factor (but you do want to have at least 50 quality contacts) because if you have 500+ connections, but 95% of the contacts aren't related to the field or industry for the job, it doesn't offer much value.

What you can do: Begin to engage in conversation with relevant people in your network (in the profession and industry you want a job) by joining the same LinkedIn Groups and participating in discussions, commenting on their posts or articles, seeking the help of connections you both have in common to help with the introduction and sending a direct connection request offering a reason to connect.


Recommendations on LinkedIn are like doing a pre-check of your references. Recruiters want to see that you have other professionals in the field or industry vouching for your experiences, skills, and capabilities. The best recommendations to have are ones that come from your supervisor, clients, and senior colleagues.

What you can do: Depending on the type of relationship you have with one of your LinkedIn connections, ask if they wouldn't mind writing a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. You can assist in the matter by reminding them of an experience that can serve as a focal point for the recommendation. Also, when you write a nice recommendation for others, they will usually reciprocate, or be willing to return the favor if asked.

Profile Picture

A profile picture with your LinkedIn profile increases the chances it gets clicked on. It informs others that your profile is likely complete.

What you can do: Include a profile picture that allows the recruiter to envision you in the position you're applying for. You should look professional, yet approachable.

Get your LinkedIn profile in tip-top shape with these tips if you want to find the best job opportunities that only recruiters may have access to.

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 18 hours 33 minutes ago

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How To Get A Job Interview In One Week

If I wanted to get a job interview within one week, here's what I would do as a 20-year career coaching veteran who has helped thousands of people get new, better-paying jobs.

Step-By-Step Guide: How To Get A Job Interview In 1 Week!

The first thing I would do is find 10 jobs for which I am 100% qualified and a good fit. Not overqualified or underqualified—100% qualified. It would take me a little while to research jobs on various job boards that fit that criteria, but once I do, I would not apply on the job boards.

The second thing I would do is find the companies' career pages and make sure those jobs really exist because there are a lot of fake/bogus jobs on job boards. So go over to the actual careers page for each company you're thinking about applying to and make sure that the job posting is there and it's open and active.

Once I do that, I would apply directly on each company's career page, but only because when I get an interview, they're going to need my information in the system. So I'm not applying through the career pages thinking I'm getting job interviews from them. I'm applying because I'm preparing myself for when I actually get the interview.

When I apply for those 10 jobs, I would fill in every field in the job applications because I know that some of these applicant tracking systems (ATS) can make you less of a match for the job if you skip or don't fill in a field.

After I've applied through the career pages, I would move on to the real work that would help me stand out and get that job interview. I would write up a short connection story about why I think each company is amazing. And it's not because I think they have the greatest benefits or I heard they're a good place to work. I want to talk about what I nerd out on or what I care about as it relates to their business. How do I know that what they do, what they sell, is really fantastic? Where did I learn that in my own life?

This connection story is my secret sauce for when I reach out and connect with people at each company because when you tell a good connection story and you can tell someone who already works there why you think their company is so amazing and can give that custom reason why, you stand out. You are going that extra step and making yourself come alive to that person.

Once I've written a connection story for each company I'm applying to, I would research people who work at those companies, and not the recruiter or HR manager. I would try to find the hiring manager. I would try to find people who work in the department I'd be working in, who have job titles I want to have. Ideally, I would find five people at each company to connect with, and then I would send each person a custom connection request on LinkedIn. I would say something like, "Hey! Can we connect? I'd love to share a quick story about why your company's so amazing." Not every person will connect with me, but many will.

For those who do, I would then message them my connection story. Here's an example:

"Thank you! Here's the story of why I think your company is amazing. (Insert your connection story.) P.S. I'm so inspired by your company that I just applied for your XYZ job. I would be so grateful if you gave me your one best tip for standing out in the hiring process."

Notice I'm not asking them to introduce me to the hiring manager or put in a good word for me. I am asking them for their expertise—their one top tip for standing out. People love to give advice after you've just complimented the company sincerely. They can message you back the advice, but you know what else happens? They look at your LinkedIn profile, and sometimes they forward you to the hiring manager.

I help people every day inside Work It DAILY get interviews by back-channeling (the technique I shared above). It really works. You're going to get rejected through the online application, but by sharing your connection story on LinkedIn, you'll stand out to hiring managers no matter how much competition there is for the position you want.

Good luck, and go get 'em!

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 1 day 15 hours ago

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Is A Summary Necessary On A Resume?

Is a summary necessary on a resume? The short answer is: Absolutely not!

“No paragraph should ever lead your resume!" warns J.T. O'Donnell, LinkedIn Influencer and founder of Work It DAILY. “It does not get read." This is especially true if you plan to write an “objective" statement about yourself such as: “I'm a high-achieving top performer with outstanding and incredible skills…"

This is a huge no-no, according to J.T. “I get the same answers all the time from recruiters—they don't like [summary statements]," she says. “In fact, it's like double nails on a chalkboard to a recruiter to see [them]."

Why A Resume Summary Doesn't Work

Studies show that you have six seconds to make an impression with your resume. According to J.T., recruiters will scan your resume in a Z-pattern (left to right across the top fold, down across the page, and over). In those six seconds, they have to decide if they're going to keep reading. So, what are they going to be drawn to on a resume?

  • Bold text
  • Text with white space
  • Simplified text

“I cringe when I see people waste valuable space in the top fold of their resume with this big, long summary paragraph," says J.T. “Do not do it!"

What To Do Instead

Instead of struggling to write your resume, learn how to properly format it for success. This includes changing your top fold from a summary or objective statement to an experience summary, which is a list of 6-8 hard or transferable skills needed for the specific job you're applying for. Also, don't forget to quantify your work experience so your resume stands out from the competition!

If you want to learn more about how to do this, we can help.

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 4 days 20 hours ago

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Being Your Own Reference: Rating Yourself As A Professional In The Job Interview

Have you ever been asked, "How do you rate yourself?" in a job interview? The qualifier could be "as a professional," "as an employee," or maybe as the holder of a certain skill set. In most cases, they want you to give them an answer between 1 and 10 in order to get some concrete idea of where you and your skills are.

This is a tough question to answer. You will find advice that you should always rank yourself as a 10, or even higher. They say that anything less makes it look like you don’t have confidence in yourself or that you’re admitting a weakness.

In my opinion, automatically rating yourself at a 10 makes you seem a little conceited (at best). It sounds like a false answer, just like "I’m such a perfectionist" does to the "What’s your greatest weakness?" question.

At the same time, answering "5" may keep them from offering you the job.

Here’s how you should really answer, "How do you rate yourself?" in a sincere, job-winning way:

The best answer for someone with experience is a 7 or an 8. You’d elaborate on that by saying something along the lines of you see yourself as someone who’s learned a lot and is valuable at this point in your career, but you also realize that you can learn more from this organization—and then say what that is. This is reasonable, positive, and appealing.

If you’re just out of school or have very little experience, you should answer a little lower, at maybe a 6 or a 7. Again, elaborate on your answer. You see yourself as better than average (5) but with room to grow. You’re excited about what you can learn from this company and how you can contribute to it.

Is it ever okay to rate yourself at a 9 or a 10? Yes, but only if you’re a true subject matter expert with extensive experience. In most cases, we all have room to learn and improve.

Your interviewer will be surprised that you don’t automatically tell them "10" (or in some cases "11"). So make sure you explain your thought process. Say something like, "On a scale of 1 to 10, a 5 would be a true average, and a 10 is perfect. I think I’m better than average, and no one is perfect."

Continue the conversation in a positive vein by pointing out what you’ve learned that makes you valuable, qualities that make you a great fit for the job, and why you’re excited to continue your career at this company.

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 5 days 16 hours ago

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Interview Questions About A Time You Went Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty

We all put a lot of thought and effort into how to answer questions about times we failed so that we don’t look bad in the interview, but how much thought do we put into choosing stories to answer softball questions like, “Tell me about a time you went above and beyond the call of duty?”

Even though this is a positive question, it’s very important to carefully choose a good story to answer it well. You should always have a story or two to tell about times you went above and beyond at work. It points out that not only did you meet the expectations of your employer, you exceeded them. That shows you as extremely valuable to a future employer.

The key to keep in mind when choosing a story to tell is to choose one that speaks to how you could and would be successful in this new role. Think about the job description for this new role. Your first choice of story should be one that describes how you went above and beyond in relation to a central task in the description. This should talk about a conflict or a difficult situation related to your job that you overcame. If you don’t have a story like this, then a story that highlights a positive character trait can also be good, although there should still be a conflict and a resolution.

Whatever story you choose, you've probably heard you should tell it using the STAR method: (S)ituation or (T)ask; (A)ction you took; (R)esult you got. So it sounds like, “I faced this situation, and we needed that done. Based on (specific factors), I decided to do (specific actions), and the results were (whatever they were).”

However, a more effective way to answer behavioral interview questions like, "Tell me about a time you went above and beyond the call of duty?" is by using the "Experience + Learn = Grow" format. Employers nowadays can spot the STAR method a mile away, and your answer will come off as more genuine by using the "Experience + Learn = Grow" format instead.

An alternative way to answer this question is to bring out your brag book for a little show-and-tell time. Brag books are wonderful visual aids for your job interview. They help you communicate more clearly and more powerfully about who you are and what you can do.

Evidence can do great things for the impression you make with your answer. So, along with your story, show the note from your happy client or boss; the graph that shows how the production numbers went up after your action; or the award you received from your action.

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 5 days 18 hours ago

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7 Sweet Summer Jobs For Teachers

As a kid, I remember thinking teachers had great jobs because they got to take summers off. I didn't quite grasp the challenges of the position nor did I understand that, unlike their students, teachers do not spend the summer at sleep-away camp or catching up on video games.

I still think that teachers have great jobs, although for entirely different reasons. They get to play a meaningful role in the lives of their students, they solve new problems every day, and they are constantly challenged and constantly learning.

While very few teachers have the privilege of taking summers off, their unique schedules do allow them to take advantage of some cool opportunities.Here are seven of the best summer jobs for teachers.1. Teaching Abroad

Spending your summer teaching abroad can be a wonderful change of pace from the U.S. education system. These jobs also give you the opportunity to travel and experience a foreign culture with new students.

Abbey Road is one great organization that offers abroad summer teaching jobs. Qualifications include experience working with teenagers, experience of work, study, or travel in your destination country, fluency in the local language, passion and professionalism, and a college degree. Responsibilities include teaching classes, supervising students, and being on-call up to six days a week.

Compensation includes airfare, room and board, and a weekly allowance for incidental expenses.

2. Camp Staff

Working at a summer camp involves many of the same skills and responsibilities as teaching but in a more laid-back and enjoyable environment. As a teacher, you should qualify for more than just a position as a counselor, so look for a job that involves some administrative or supervisory responsibilities to earn a higher wage.

Qualifications generally include prior experience working with youth, as well as evidence of competency in any additional area of responsibility (e.g., administrative, teaching subject). You should expect to supervise campers, lead group activities and be on-call at night.

Pay generally ranges from $175 to $400 weekly, with provided room and board.

3. Tutoring

By taking advantage of your contacts with colleagues, students, and parents, you should have no trouble finding tutoring opportunities if you want them.

In addition to tutoring students in the subjects you teach, it may be worth considering tutoring in other areas. If you scored well on a graduate school admissions test when applying for your Master of Education, for example, you might be able to earn $50 to $100 an hour tutoring graduate school applicants.

4. Summer School

Of course, you always have the option of taking a summer position in the education field. Summer school jobs are usually comparable to your school-year job, but the shorter hours will allow you some time to enjoy the spoils of summer.

It also gives you the opportunity to engage students and reignite their interest in learning by teaching the students at their own pace, which can be incredibly rewarding.

5. Freelance Work

English teachers have more than adequate writing abilities for many freelance jobs. Many STEM teachers will have the necessary skills for work in web design, computer science, or online education fields. Working from home and making your own hours may also feel like a treat after nine months of rising early to commute to a crowded classroom!

It is hard to generalize about freelance work because you will likely end up working for multiple employers and negotiating your own deadlines and wages. A good bottom line for negotiating is not to accept any job that would pay less than you make as a teacher for the same time commitment.

6. Institute Of Reading Development

The Institute of Reading Development provides literacy programs that seek to instill a lifelong love of reading in students. Unlike most literacy programs, the institute not only provides classes for children but also trains parents on how to nurture and support their children's literacy development.

Responsibilities include preparing lesson plans, teaching children and parents, reporting student data, and more. Qualifications include a love of reading, leadership, warmth, professionalism, intelligence, and communication skills.

Compensation ranges from $500 to $700 a week.

7. Jobs In The Great Outdoors

Tired of working in a classroom? Get a job working to conserve the environment by building mountain bike trails, building bridges, and/or leading a crew of youth environmental conservationists!

You must be positive, articulate, hard-working, comfortable getting your hands dirty, and physically fit. Responsibilities include supervising youth, construction, and, in some cases, being on call at night.

Pay ranges from $260 to $575 a week

However you end up spending your summer, you should aim for a position that will give you a break from the particular stresses of the school year. As much as any teacher loves his or her job, the work can sometimes feel exhausting. A summer job should be a position that offers challenges and rewards of its own so that you can return to teaching refreshed and invigorated.

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This article was written by Senior Social Media Outreach Coordinator Sarah Fudin on behalf of Work-It-DAILY-approved Partner, 2U—an education-technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as USC to deliver their Online Masters in Education and MSW programs.

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 5 days 20 hours ago

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3 Signs You Should Look For A New Job

In most cases, people don't realize their job is in jeopardy or that it's time to move on to something else. However, I understand that changing jobs can be scary, especially in the current economy. But at times, it's necessary because you can be happy and fulfilled one day, then laid off and depressed the next.

Nothing can be worse than holding on to a job that will give you a headache in the end. Here are three signs you should look for a new job.

1. You're Underpaid

The main reason why you seek employment is to get paid to be able to pay your bills and meet other basic needs. Moreover, you deserve to be rewarded for the work you do.

If you're underpaid, it will be hard for you to put extra effort to really excel. This is because, to most people, pay is the best motivator. If you're not motivated, you may fail to perform as required and you may end up being fired. Therefore, if you're not being paid or you're paid significantly less than you deserve, this can be a good reason for you to look for a better job that meets your needs.

You can talk to your boss about a raise first, but if they don't recognize the value of your skills, then it's about time you look for a new job.

2. You're Undervalued

When you do spectacular work on a given project, but no one appreciates or recognizes your effort, it's terribly discouraging. A good company should give you a pat on the back for a job well done.

Recognition is a very effective non-monetary motivator, but if no one recognizes your efforts, it's like being in a relationship that has no affection. If your boss refuses to acknowledge or commend your accomplishments, you're less likely to be promoted or given any opportunity to advance in your career. There are no signs of future growth—more reason for you to look for employment elsewhere.

There are companies out there that can value your contribution. Don't close your eyes and continue working for such an organization. Start looking for a new job.

3. Your Company Has Financial Challenges

If your company is losing money, its future (and yours) looks grim. It would probably be wise for you to open your eyes wider for new job opportunities. It doesn't matter how important or fulfilling your job is because the company may not be able to keep you in that position. You may find yourself jobless whether you like it or not.

In such a situation, the future is not guaranteed and you should play it safe. It's better for you to be proactive and start looking for a new job at the first sign of trouble in your beloved company.

Whatever the case may be, if you see such signs and feel it's about time you secure a job elsewhere, don't be discouraged by stories about the tough job market. Just dust off your resume and put together several applications to test the water. This may be the start of a new chapter in your life.

Your daily sanity and comfort at work depends on you. Start looking for a new job and don't ignore the signs!

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 6 days 14 hours ago

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#1 Resume Improvement All Job Seekers Can Make

Is your resume generating offers to interview? If not, it’s time to make some changes. The number one resume improvement any job seeker in any field can make is simple.


Quantification means to describe your accomplishments in terms of numbers, dollars, and percentages. For instance…

  • “Led accounting team for division” is less effective than “Led team of 14 accountants in a $34M division”
  • “Increased efficiency” isn't as strong and specific as “Increased efficiency by 50% in 2 years”
  • “Won awards” is good but “Won #1 spot in sales team 3 years in a row” is better

Numbers are attention-grabbing, hard evidence of your success. They make hiring managers (your future boss) sit up and take notice of your resume. Hiring managers see resumes all the time that talk about job responsibilities and accomplishments. Seeing the numbers helps them put it into perspective and see you as more valuable.

Quantification boosts your chances of getting called in to interview. Almost anything can be quantified. One person tried to trip me up once by asking if even a janitor could quantify, but the answer is absolutely "yes." They could talk about how cleaning things up reduced workplace accidents or contributed to a company culture that was able to achieve 95% retention.

All jobs contribute to the bottom line of a company in some way. If they didn’t, the company couldn’t justify keeping someone in that role and paying them. All you need to do is think about how you in your job contributed to those goals. Show that potential new boss how you can benefit their company.

When you look at your resume with a goal of quantification, ask yourself these kinds of questions:

  • How many?
  • What size?
  • What amount of time?
  • When?
  • How much?
  • How often?
  • At what rate?

You may not have complete records of everything you’ve accomplished. My best advice is to guesstimate. Don’t exaggerate; you need to be able to back up your numbers with some kind of evidence and stories that support them, and they need not be contradicted by your references.

Anything you can do to begin quantifying your accomplishments will help you stand out from other applicants and get you the interview. On top of that, it will set you up to appear more valuable to the hiring manager when they do interview you. That gives you a leg up in the interview and in later salary negotiations. It’s all good.

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 6 days 16 hours ago

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5 Things To Consider Before Quitting Your Job

Quitting. It's a huge decision. It's also something all of us have considered at least once. Are you thinking about quitting your job? Before you make any rash decisions, you need to ask yourself a few very important questions.

The last thing you want to do is regret a major life move like quitting your job.

So, here are five things you should consider before quitting your job.

1. Have You Worked In That Job For Two Years?

What the heck is the two-year rule, and why does it matter? Well, typically, it takes a few months to train and get comfortable in a position. However, most people aren't just automatically great at their jobs. They need to take some time to hone their new skills and provide value to the company before they can market those new skills toward another job.

Developing new skills or building on current ones usually happens sometime during your first or second year at a job. Spending less than two years at a job could hurt your career and give employers the impression that you're a job hopper. But if the situation is dire, staying could be worse.

It's important to ask the following questions to better determine if quitting your job is the right career move for you.

2. Do You Have The Right Experience?

Have you built up enough experience so you can effectively market yourself for another role? You may need to stay a little longer so you can build that credibility and hone those skills. That way, you'll have a better shot of getting that job you really want.

On your resume, the best way to get a hiring manager's attention (and get your resume past the ATS) is to quantify your skills and accomplishments. So, ask yourself, "Can I quantify my work experience on my resume? Or have I not accomplished enough in my current role?"

If not, it's probably best for you to stay a bit longer at your job before quitting. Finish up that big project, or try to get as much experience as you can before the quarter ends.

3. Are You Overworked?

Are you feeling like things are getting a little out of control? Are you just burned out? If that's the case, you want to try to "reclaim" the job, as J.T. O'Donnell, founder and CEO of Work It DAILY, says. Look for assistance, tools, and resources so you can take more control over your job and tasks.

If being "overworked" is part of the workplace culture at your job, then it could be time to quit, especially if it's negatively affecting your mental health and you've tried to make changes but you still feel burned out at work. Just make sure you ask about workplace culture in your future job interviews so you don't accept a job offer at another company with the same overworking atmosphere.

4. Have You Tried To Energize The Role, Or Take It To The Next Level?

"Sometimes, we get bored," says O'Donnell. "We know the job like the back of our hand, it's easy, and we're looking for more of a challenge. So, you should be stepping up to the plate and asking for those responsibilities." Instead of quitting your job, it might be a good time to leverage the skills you've learned.

Before asking for a promotion, try asking your manager if there's anything you can take off their plate. Not only will this show initiative and make it easier for you to ask for a raise or promotion in the future, but it could help protect you from getting laid off.

If your company is laying off employees, your manager might be more likely to vouch for you to the higher-ups because if you're gone, your manager will have to go back to doing everything you took off their plate (and they don't want that).

5. Is There Something Else Going On?

Are you blaming work when it's really something going on in other areas of your life? Things like relationship issues or other challenges can cause extra stress. If you're blaming your job for that extra stress, quitting is probably not your best option because that stress is just going to carry over to the next job.

It's better to resolve the issues that are happening outside of work before you leave your job—if you decide that's still the right career move.

BONUS TIP: Be Careful

"If you choose to quit a job, don't do it without having another job lined up first," says O'Donnell.

According to O'Donnell, the average job search takes about nine months. That's a long time to be without work. And if you're looking for a management or executive position, it could take much longer.

Think it through and make smart choices. If it's time to quit, you know what to do!

After asking yourself these five questions, you should have a good idea of whether you should quit your job or stay put. Once you quit your job, there's no going back. Make sure you think long and hard about the decision and be strategic about your exit. Your career will thank you!

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 6 days 19 hours ago

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The Job Search Tip Introverts Hate (But Desperately Need)

No matter how talented, skilled, or educated you are, if you're an introvert, you're at a bit of a disadvantage in a job search. I am not an introvert, but I speak to a lot of them, coaching them through the process of getting a new job. The vast majority of them are amazing, highly qualified people who do their jobs extremely well—but they have a lot of trouble when it comes time to get hired.

There's one piece of advice I give that introverts almost universally step back from or even sneer at. Here's what it is…are you ready?

The job search is a sales process, and you need to "sell yourself" within that process.

What I've found is that job seekers with more reserved personalities aren't as interested in hearing this. They take a big step back from this kind of mindset because it comes with a need for more aggressiveness or assertiveness than they might be naturally comfortable with in a job search.

If you're an introvert, what kind of image pops up in your mind when you hear that? An overly aggressive used-car salesman? A pitchman on a TV infomercial? Put those thoughts out of your head. That isn't at all what I mean.

What I'm talking about is a guideline or a frame of reference you can use to take action that will get you hired. It does require you to step out of your comfort zone, but the rewards for making that effort are great. You have a greater chance of winding up in a job you love, rather than a job that appears in front of you that may not be the best fit. You will almost certainly get a job faster, which puts money in your pocket in terms of a paycheck. Months without earning a paycheck adds up to thousands of dollars in lost income.

How does "selling yourself" work in practical terms? In the big picture, you are the "product" (aka business-of-one), the hiring manager (your future boss) is the "customer," and your salary is the "purchase price." The psychological process of an employer choosing to hire you is the same as that of a customer choosing to buy a product. When you break that down, you see that:

1. Your resume is a marketing document (not a job history) that needs to reveal the benefits of the product using data-based evidence. That means using numbers, dollars, and percentages to describe your accomplishments.

2. Your social media profiles are advertising—like commercials or billboards that grab attention and generate interest in your product. (You must be on LinkedIn, but don't forget the power of other social media platforms.)

3. The interview is a sales call where you're talking to the customer about what your product can do for them. How can you benefit that company? What value do you bring? When you think of it this way, all of your interview answers become another way for you to show or describe what they'll get out of hiring you. This makes all your answers much more effective.

4. Also in the interview, you'll bring "sales materials" that are printed evidence of the benefits of your product. You'll bring a brag book that shows your past successes, as well as a 30-60-90 day plan that maps out what you will do for them in the future.

5. At the end of the interview, you act like a sales rep and close. This means that you ask for the business or the sale—the job. You say something like, “Based on what we've talked about so far, do you agree that I would be a good fit for this job?"

This question is a technique borrowed directly from sales pitches. Most introverts are intensely uncomfortable with the idea of closing. However, I think that the results you will get from it are worth stepping out of your comfort zone.

If you do feel uncomfortable, stop thinking of it as a sales technique. Think of it as good communication—because it is. You're simply asking, "Are we on the same page? Have I told you everything you need to know?" All of these steps are really about communicating more effectively with hiring managers.

Better communication is a goal worth chasing for all of us. If you're an introvert, coming at your job search with this mindset will help you get a better job.

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 1 week ago

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The 4 Amazing Benefits Of A Mock Interview

Job interviews can be intimidating, especially if you're not prepared. There are a number of ways to prepare for a job interview, but one of the best ways to simulate the actual interview process is by doing a mock interview.

Mock interviews provide candidates with an opportunity to test out their job interview skills with someone who isn't evaluating them for an actual job.

If you're a college student, mock interviews may be offered through career services for students or recent alumni. If you're already in the professional world, a mock interview could be done with a trusted colleague, professional connection, or friend. Never do a mock interview with a family member.

Here are some of the major benefits of a mock interview.

1. They Help Reduce Stress And Anxiety About Interviewing

If you're not sure how to answer typical job interview questions, mock interviews provide a great opportunity for you to "test drive" your answers. The person conducting the mock job interview can give you feedback on whether or not your responses are suitable.

2. They Help Boost Your Confidence

Whoever is conducting the mock job interview can point out your strengths and weaknesses as the interview process goes along, which gives you time to address the weaknesses and build on your strengths. By having confidence in your skills, you will perform better during the actual job interview.

3. They Provide Constructive Feedback In A Low-Stress Environment

No one is the perfect candidate, so mock interviews help you clarify responses to certain questions and help you work on areas where you may have weaknesses. In an actual job interview, you don't usually get feedback about your interviewing abilities, so a mock interview is a perfect opportunity to find out why you may be having some difficulty in landing your dream job.

4. They Can Help You Prepare For Behavioral Interview Questions

Many companies use behavioral interview questions. If you're not familiar with this type of interviewing, it may be advantageous to give it a practice run in a mock interview.

Practice makes perfect! Even the best athletes struggle without practice, so you should never assume that you could just wing a job interview unprepared.

Take advantage of mock interviewing opportunities even if you think your skills are at a very high level. There are things that we can all improve upon when it comes to making a great impression on a prospective employer.

While mock interviews are an important part of preparing for an actual job interview, there are many other ways to practice when you're alone. This includes writing down and answering as many potential interview questions as you can think of and practicing your answers over and over again. When practicing alone, it also helps to visualize as much of the interview process as possible.

Mock interviews are an essential part of interview prep. Do a mock interview with a trusted colleague before your next job interview and reap the benefits above!

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 1 week ago

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Why You Should Quit Trying To Make Your Resume ATS-Friendly

There's no such thing as an ATS-friendly resume. I'm going to dispel that myth right now. I do not want you wasting your time on scams that tell you they're going to make your resume ATS-friendly or that you're going to get past the ATS with their technique.

There are over a hundred different applicant tracking systems (ATS) and they all parse your resume in a different way. So the idea that any single resume can game the system for all 100 of these applicant tracking platforms is just not true. More importantly, so many people are using tools like ChatGPT to create fake resumes that companies are now trying to figure out who's a real human with real qualifications or someone who used fake systems to game the system. The technology is coming for them to be able to figure that out.

In fact, I think text-based resumes are going to die. We've hit a tipping point where they're going to die because so many people are trying to game the system with their resume to get it through an ATS. That whole concept is going to collapse on itself. I am talking to recruiters and companies who are pivoting toward something called evidence-based hiring. They're already doing it. Evidence-based hiring is when companies require you to prove to them (through evidence like quantified work experience, video resumes, etc.) that you know what you're talking about because they can't trust a resume or a text-based profile anymore.

Please don't waste your money on this idea of gaming the system to get you through to the hiring manager because even if you get through, if you then get a call and you can't back up what you're saying on this resume, they can tell, and then you're going to be blacklisted and banned from getting hired at the company.

Right now, though, employers still want text-based resumes. So, what do you do instead of trying to make your resume ATS-friendly?

A Skimmable Resume Will Get You Job Interviews

You need a skimmable resume. A skimmable resume is a resume with a simplified layout that quickly lets a recruiter skim through (in six seconds or less!) and see that you meet the basic requirements for the job that they were told to look for in a candidate.

The reason you build a six-second resume and make it skimmable is that when they see you're qualified, they will also think, "I need more information. There's not enough information on this resume. I should schedule an interview with this job candidate to learn more about their qualifications."

You want to think of your resume as teaser copy. You don't want to tell them everything you've ever done. You don't want to have an epic novel resume. By doing those two things, you actually make it easier for them to screen you out of the hiring process.

A simple, skimmable resume with just the facts can get employers to call you. Also if you want to beat the competition for the positions you're applying for, instead of sending your resume through an ATS, you should try a strategy called back-channeling where you send this skimmable resume directly to the recruiter or the hiring manager so it actually gets looked at and you get more job interviews.

If you want to learn how to do that for free, sign up for a Work It DAILY membership today. Let's get you the job you want and deserve.

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 1 week 1 day ago

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Dread Going To Work? How To Deal With The Feeling

You dread going to work. Every morning is the same: You have to drag yourself out of bed. It's not that the body is weak. It's that the mind is not willing. Most of us know that. Many people have felt this way at least once in their careers. Is there a way to overcome the dread of going to work every day?

I am not sure if I have the absolute solution, but these are some of the strategies I have personally tried in my years of experience.

What Should You Do When You Dread Going To Work?

If you dread going to work, do these four things:

  1. Don't dwell.
  2. Locate the source of your dread.
  3. Seek not perfection.
  4. Think of work as a pedagogue.
Is It Normal To Dread Working?

Yes, it's completely normal to dread going to work. If you wake up and can't bear the thought of working, take a mental health day. If the feeling lasts for days, weeks, or even months, that may be a sign that it's time to look for a new job.

Before you decide to quit your job and find a new one, try doing these four things...

Don't Dwell

Do not let the Monday blues or the "dread going to work" syndrome become your dominant thought. Yes, I know it is easier said than done. But you have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is your thought process.

The more you think about how much you dread work, the deeper you will dwell on that feeling. Stop thinking about it. Take that thought out and focus your thoughts on something else.

Locate The Source Of Your Dread

Find out the source of your dread. Otherwise, you will not be able to tackle it. Do not complain if you do not know what you are complaining about.

Why do you dread going to work? Is it because of your co-workers, your boss, your routine work, your pay, or the commute?

Write all the reasons down and see if you can tackle them. I am sure resignation has crossed your mind. But before you do that, let's see if there is a way to alleviate your feelings of dread. We cannot expect life to be perfect, or work to be perfect, for that matter.

Seek Not Perfection

As I stated above, life is not perfect. Why should work be? Accept that things being imperfect is how things work. If you expect perfect colleagues, perfect bosses, perfect resources, or perfect processes, then you are in for a shock.

There can never be a perfect system, perfect factory, and perfect office wherever you work. Because, trust me, no matter how high your pay is, it can always be higher; no matter how good your colleagues are, they can always be better; and no matter how understanding your boss is, he or she can always be better.

Seek not perfection if you do not want to dread going to work. Seek adaptation—adaptation from yourself. What can you do to make the work environment better?

Think Of Work As A Pedagogue

Ever think that the process of work can also teach us something about life? Think of work as a pedagogue.

It teaches us that we do not always have things our way and that life can sometimes mean having to do things we do not like or even enjoy. But it's only temporary, and we have a choice of doing something about it.

Use this experience of dreading work as your teacher. What does it teach you? Ask and answer, and you will immediately see this experience in a different light.

There is something you can do about the feeling of dread you get when thinking about work. Do not fear it. Sit down calmly and have an action plan to tackle it. When you start working on a plan to diffuse it, you will feel better—even if the plan does not work in the long term.

Remember: Every job is temporary! You'll get through this rough patch in your career soon.

We know most people don't enjoy going to work, especially if they're feeling lost, trapped, or burned out in their career. If you're struggling to find a job that you like, we can help.

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 1 week 4 days ago

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7 Ways To Prepare For A Phone Interview

If you're like most people, you either (a) hate phone interviews or (b) don't take them as seriously as face-to-face interviews. The truth is that phone interviews are incredibly important because if you don't do well, you'll never get the chance to interview in person.

With the right preparation, you can learn to hate them a little less and practically guarantee yourself an invitation to an in-person interview. These seven phone interview tips will help you prepare for (and ace!) any phone interview.

1. Set Up The Phone Interview At A Time That Works For You

You often have choices about when to schedule your call. It only makes sense to schedule it when you're most alert. If you're a morning person, schedule it early. If it takes you a good few hours to become your best, schedule it for the afternoon. If they call you and it isn't a good time for you, let them know that it isn't the best time (no need to tell them why) and ask to reschedule. Just don't wait too long to make that happen.

Hint: Make sure that when you do set your phone interview up, you leave yourself a cushion of time after the call, in case it goes especially well and runs long. Some phone interviews stick with a time limit of 10-15 minutes, but others last 30-45 minutes or longer.

2. Pick A Quiet Spot To Talk

There's nothing like being on the phone in a noisy public place to signal that you aren't taking this call seriously. Instead, do the phone interview at home, in a room by yourself. You want no distractions.

3. If You Can, Use A Landline For Your Interview

Bad reception can ruin your call. Play it safe and use a landline, if possible.

4. Research The Company

Some job seekers think phone interviews are basic information sessions, but you'll make a much stronger impression if you already know everything you can about the company before your call. You'll ask better questions and give more impressive answers to their questions.

5. Dress For The Interview

It's easy to be tempted to stay in your pajamas for this call, but it's better to wear work clothes. Clothes do affect how we behave and you need to be all business.

6. Make Sure You're Physically Comfortable & Relaxed

Eat, drink, take a bathroom break, and take a few moments to breathe and relax before your call.

7. Prepare 'Cheat Sheets'

Since the hiring manager can't see you, this is the perfect opportunity to have a printed-out resume, notes on the company, questions you want to ask, and words and phrases you want to use in your phone interview answers out in front of you. This is one of the few advantages of a phone interview, so make the most of it. Just spread them out in front of you so they can't hear you shuffling papers. Make sure you also have blank paper with a pen to take notes.

It's important to do as much interview prep as you can. You will never get another chance to make a first impression with this company. How you do now will affect whether or not you get the face-to-face interview, and it can bias them to like you even more before you set foot on site.

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 1 week 5 days ago

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How To Follow Up On Your Resume

You sent out the resume. You think you're a perfect fit. And yet no one calls. Sound familiar?

In fact, the majority of candidates today do not receive a response on a submitted resume. So, the big question is, “When is it appropriate to follow up with an employer on my submission and how do I do it?"

There is no answer that will fit every scenario, but there are some good rules you should follow when following up on your resume submission.

1. Use The 1-2 Week Rule

Hiring managers and recruiters are busy and they can't acknowledge every resume and cover letter, even if they wanted to, because there's just so much that they need to process.

It's best to follow up one to two weeks after you have submitted your resume. That is generally the amount of time most employers take to review all applicants and contact candidates of interest for an interview.

2. Follow Up In The Morning

This may not always be universal, but in many cases, if you make contact during the early morning you'll have a better chance of reaching someone before they are bogged down with other tasks to do for the day.

Also, never follow up on a Monday. It's common for people to have a case of the "Monday Blues," which could make them more likely to ignore your email or say "no" to an interview more quickly.

So, you should absolutely follow up on your resume in the morning—just not on a Monday morning.

3. Be Proactive And Polite 

Whether you're reaching out to the hiring manager by email or LinkedIn connection, it's important to be professional and not overzealous. Keep the message simple:

"Hi, XYZ. We haven't met, but I applied for the XYZ position and I just wanted to be proactive and see if there's anything that I could do to further my candidacy or check on the status of my application. Thank you for your time."

This simple note at least gets you on the hiring manager's radar.

It could be that they've been meaning to get back to you and this note will get them to respond. It's also possible that they looked past your application and your note got them to take a second look. Either way, it's worthwhile to always follow up.

Follow these tips the next time you want to follow up on a resume submission. Following up the right way can get you the interview you deserve.

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 1 week 6 days ago

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Interview Questions When Transitioning From Academia To Industry

Is your career experience in academia, but you’re ready to move to business? If you’re a teacher, a professor, a scientist, or a lab tech, employers can see a move to business or industry as a pretty big leap.

They may have some perceptions about academic types that will bias them against you, and they will want to know why you want such a dramatic career change. What will you say?

This answer is a wonderful opportunity to present yourself as a great fit for business by talking about your drive, ambition, and enthusiasm, and turn any bias from a negative to a positive. Here are a few examples of potential answers and corresponding questions:

Interview Question: "Why do you want to move from academia (or the lab) to industry?"

“I’m ready to move now because I want to be more directly rewarded for the things I do. In academics, I can put in a lot of hours of quality work and still never be recognized or paid any more than someone else who doesn’t put in the effort that I do. In a business role, I feel that the harder I work and the more that I do, the more I will be rewarded by the company I work for, both financially and professionally. I expect that I would be given the opportunity to grow and take on more responsibility, which will eventually reward me even more.”

Interview Question: "When you say 'reward,' what will you be talking about?"

You will want to talk about what’s important to you: money (salary or bonuses), recognition, appreciation, or increasing authority and responsibility. Your answer will depend on your situation and your motivation. This answer gives a reasonable explanation that makes sense to employers. It’s natural to want to see a benefit from all your hard work.

An alternative answer could speak to your desire to work in a practical way as opposed to a theoretical one, so you can feel that you make more of a difference, or experience the end result of your work.

Whatever answer you give, keep this big picture in mind: You need to show them why you are running TO this job, rather than AWAY from your old one. Talking about all the reasons why you want out of academia or the lab is a negative way to approach this explanation, and it won’t do you any favors in the interview because it will make you seem negative, whether you actually are or not.

Focus your explanation on why you want to move forward into business and how excited you are about that. It’s positive, and it keeps the conversation and the interviewer focused on your great qualities and your fit for the job.

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 1 week 6 days ago

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7 Unexpected Sources For Job Leads

If you’ve been job hunting for a long time, you’ve probably hit the online listings and maybe asked around your network. However, there are a few places you may not be thinking of that could be the source of the perfect job for you.

Previous Bosses When you’re in a job search, the smart move is to call every boss you’ve ever had. They probably won’t have a job for you, but they may have some great job leads. They know you, they know your work, and their network probably has a few names in it at a higher level than what you have access to. Their recommendation to some of those names might carry some helpful weight for you. If you haven’t kept a good relationship with your past bosses, now is a good time to mend those fences. If you’re not sure, chances are they would be fine hearing from you and happy to help. Previous Co-Workers

Hopefully, the people you’ve worked with in the past are on your current networking list. If not, add them now. Don’t just include people you directly worked with. Also think about who may have been in adjacent departments, support departments, other divisions, and so on. People in your career space will naturally hear about relevant job leads and can pass them on to you. If you’ve lost touch, try looking for them on LinkedIn.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Companies You’ve Interviewed With Before

If you interviewed with a company in the past, there was something about you they liked—even if they didn’t choose to hire you for that one position. If you contact them now, they may have a job that’s a better fit, or they may be ready to hire you. If they don’t have a spot, they might know someone who does. If you interviewed with them, you’ll still have the contact information for the hiring manager there and maybe others. Use it to reach out now.


You probably won’t find a job lead on YouTube, but you could generate one. Create and post a video resume, or create a video showcasing your skills or knowledge as a subject matter expert. Make sure your video is good quality because it will reflect on you. Everything you put online contributes to your personal brand and makes it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to find you.


Fewer companies these days post jobs in the classifieds, and fewer people read them. But some do post jobs, and you may have less competition for those jobs because readership has declined. What’s more important for you is the actual news. Keep your eyes peeled for headlines relating to companies in your space. Look for who’s expanding with new projects or acquisitions—that’s a clue that they’re probably also hiring.

Business newspaper article Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Alumni Organizations

If you haven’t been active in your college alumni organization, now is the time to start. Many colleges have alumni groups in cities all over the country, and the people in them are loyal and ready to promote fellow alumni. Go to functions and talk to people. You never know who will be there, and where that relationship may lead.

Career Coaching

A career coach (not a life coach) can be a great path to a new job. Someone with knowledge of your field who can look at your resume, evaluate your interview performance, and show you how to best sell yourself in the job search can be a huge help to you.

Find out more about career coaching and what it can do for you.

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 1 week 6 days ago

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How To Answer The "Tell Me About A Time When" Interview Questions

There are hundreds of questions interviewers can ask potential employees, but there's one interview question you could be answering in a way that is costing you the job—and you don't even know it!

So, what's this one question? It's different for every person—and every position. But one thing about this question is the same. It starts out like this: "Do you have experience doing... (insert whatever responsibility, duty, etc. the employer is looking to find in someone)?"

Employers want to know you have the experience and the ability to perform the essential functions of the job. And you can usually tell where their biggest “hurts" are by the questions they ask during the interview. If they need someone with special expertise or experience in a given area, they're going to make sure they ask you about that experience.

So, how do you answer this all-important interview question in the best way possible?

"Tell Me About A Time When..."

The first way you can respond to the "experience question" is to use an example from your past experience about a time when you did XYZ—and, of course, the successful turnout that resulted.

"Tell me about a time when..." is a behavioral interview question. These types of questions require more than a "yes" or "no" answer. That's why you need to go into detail and tell a "story" in your explanation. At Work It DAILY, we coach everyone to use the "Experience + Learn = Grow" model when answering behavioral interview questions since it's the most effective way to come up with answers that give the employer exactly what they want to hear.

Having the experience and using the "Experience + Learn = Grow" model to talk about it is the best-case scenario when answering the "experience question." (Makes sense, right?)

But what do you do if you don't have the experience they're asking about? Then how do you answer?

Tell Them You're Confident

Just because you've never done something doesn't mean you can't do it. And it surely doesn't mean you can't excel at it.

If you're asked a question about prior experience regarding something you've never done, the best way to answer isn't to say “No, I've never done that," or “No, I don't have experience in that area." The best way to handle the question is to say something along these lines:

"While I have not had any direct experience in XYZ, I am a fast learner, and I am confident that I could (do, manage, direct, handle, etc.) XYZ successfully and exceed your expectations."

An effective way to enhance your previous confident response would be to share with the hiring manager about a time when you did do something very similar—or something that could in some way relate to the experience they are asking you about—using the "Experience + Learn = Grow" model to structure your answer.

However, no matter how you approach the question, be sure to emphasize that you're confident you can do whatever it is they're asking you about, and provide examples as to why you feel that way. It makes a potential employer feel better to know that you're confident in your abilities and talents—and it's also a far better alternative than just telling them, “No, I don't know how to do that," and possibly excluding yourself from consideration.

As we mentioned earlier, just because you haven't done something previously doesn't mean you can't do it, or never will be able to. And who knows? With time, you may even do it very well!

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 2 weeks ago

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Interview Cheat Sheet: 8 Tips For A Flawless Interview

Got an interview coming up soon? We know you have a busy life, and sometimes there’s just not enough time in the day to scan through articles to get the information you need. That’s why we created the Interview Cheat Sheet! We pulled the best tips, tricks, and advice from our archives and put them all in one place just for you.

Here are eight solid interview tips from our experts.

Interview Preparation

When you're preparing for your interview, you need to make sure you cover all of your bases. Here are some tips on what to say to a potential employer:

1. Stay away from superlatives.

Keep it singular. Superlatives such as “weakest," “worst,” or “biggest” indicate the greatest degree of whatever is it describing. “Biggest weakness” is the weakness of the highest degree implying there are other weaknesses of varying degrees but weaknesses nonetheless. That begs the question: “What are some others?” Likewise, “need most to improve” implies there are other areas for improvement. In any case, try this as an alternative, “If I had to come up with one…” (No negatives, no multiples.)

(Original article: 4 Tips To Answer Tough Interview Questions Correctly)

2. Be prepared with questions for the employer.

Each interview takes on a different format, but somewhere along the way, an employer will likely ask if you have any questions. Even if the interview was packed with information, always have questions prepared to ask the employer that have not been touched on or that you can benefit from by having more information.

Asking questions expresses to an employer that you are serious and sincerely interested in the company and position. Asking the “right” questions can also help solidify a positive impression. For instance, if you have done the proper research on the company before the interview, you may have knowledge of developments happening at the company or within the industry that may have an impact on the job you applied for. Asking questions that express you are thinking ahead about the job and how certain developments may impact the business demonstrates to an employer that you are a “smart” candidate. You are already thinking like you belong in the position and looking ahead at how to address possible challenges. These types of questions can also help the employer see how you fit right in.

(Original article: Information You Must Have Before Your Interview)

3. Show them you did your homework.

One great way to build your interviewing confidence is by conducting plenty of research on the company you’re applying to and the position it’s offering. A common question interviewers ask is, “Do you know anything about our company?” Most times, candidates are forced to answer, “No.” If you’re able to share the company’s background information and showcase knowledge of its future goals for the position in question, you’ll undoubtedly catch the interviewer off guard—in a great way!

(Original article: 3 Ways To Build Confidence For A Job Interview)

Interview Questions

Being prepared to answer any question that comes out of the interviewer's mouth is a big advantage in interviews. Here are some questions to go over before your next interview:

1. "How do you handle stress?"

Interviewers are generally looking for an answer that indicates you can handle multiple priorities and projects at the same time. An answer stating that stress is a natural part of life and that you feel equipped to handle the challenges of the job and balance them with the rest of your life may just be the answer that earns you the job.

(Original article: How To Handle Tough Interview Questions)

2. “Tell me about yourself.”

What the hiring manager is really asking: “How do your education, work history, and professional aspirations relate to the open job?”

How to respond: Select key work and education information that shows the hiring manager why you are a perfect fit for the job and the company. For example, a recent grad might say something like, “I went to X University where I majored in Y and completed an internship at Z Company. During my internship, I did this and that (name achievements that match the job description), which really solidified my passion for this line of work.”

(Original article: How To Answer 7 Of The Most Common Interview Questions)

3. "Tell me about a time when you did ______."

Just because you've never done something doesn't mean you can't do it. And it surely doesn't mean you can't excel at it. If you're asked a question about prior experience regarding something you've never done, the best way to answer isn't to say “No, I've never done that," or “No, I don't have experience in that area." The best way to handle the question is to say something along these lines: "While I have not had any direct experience in XYZ, I am a fast learner, and I am confident that I could (do, manage, direct, handle, etc.) XYZ successfully and exceed your expectations."

An effective way to enhance your previous confident response would be to share with the hiring manager about a time when you did do something very similar—or something that could in some way relate to the experience they are asking you about—using the "Experience + Learn = Grow" model to structure your answer. However, no matter how you approach the question, be sure to emphasize that you're confident you can do whatever it is they're asking you about, and provide examples as to why you feel that way.

(Original article: How To Answer The "Tell Me About A Time When" Interview Questions)

Post-Interview Protocol

Even after the interview is over, you need to go the extra mile to impress the employer. Here are some post-interview tips:

1. Follow up with a thank-you note.

Send thank-you notes to all the individuals with whom you had a conversation. Do not send one note to just the hiring manager. You will miss out on all the other contacts that you made. Even a note to the receptionist/office manager is appropriate and helpful but only if you had more of a conversation, not just a “hello.” Make the notes unique to each individual based on the conversation you had with them. Remind them of the conversation you had. Also, in each thank-you note, remind the contact why you bring value to the company/team/position and show your enthusiasm.

As the hiring process progresses or slows, stay in touch with your contacts as appropriate. If the process has slowed, begin to follow up about every two business weeks. Too soon and it will be considered overkill. Much later than two weeks and you’ll be forgotten.

(Original article: How To Correctly Follow Up After An Interview)

2. Use the three-paragraph rule.

Your follow-up email should be short, sweet, and personalized. Generally, a good rule of thumb for the length is three paragraphs, with no more than two or three sentences in each paragraph.

First paragraph: Briefly thank them for their time and reiterate your interest in the position.

Second paragraph: Discuss a couple of your strengths and how the company would benefit if you were hired. Consider using bullet points to break up your text.

Third paragraph: Include any points of clarification you might have. Include answers to questions that you weren’t able to answer during the interview, or add new info about yourself that was left out of the interview.

But remember, keep it brief. Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions, suggests indicating your next point of contact by saying something along the lines of, “Look forward to hearing from you within the next two weeks.” If no date was set at the interview, either ask for one or specify you will loop back to them for a decision in two weeks.

(Original article: 5 Tips For Following Up After A Job Interview)

We know how difficult it can be to ace a job interview. We hope our Interview Cheat Sheet helps you prepare for your next one so you can stand out to the hiring manager and land the job.

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