Interviewing in a tough economy: performing at your best

Let’s face it.  If you are getting face to face interviews, but never seem to get hired, it may not be the economy alone that is the problem. Maybe it is time to take a critical look at your interviewing and presentation skills so you can finally land that job you want.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you improve your chances of success the next time you make it into the hiring manager’s office.

Dress for Success: Unless you are going for an artsy-funky role, business professional is the way to go.  A dark blue or black suit with a solid shirt to complement your skin tone will do the trick.  Do not, I repeat do not, wear clothing you feel physically uncomfortable in.  Men, choose a tie that matches without distracting. Ladies, beware of dangly jewelry. Be sure to avoid the use of cologne, perfume, or heavily scented deodorants. 

Answer the Question: There are few things more challenging to a hiring manager than a candidate that is a card carrying member of On-and-On-and-On Anon. If you tend to talk a lot when you are nervous or you typically offer more information, thinking you are doing something good, think again.  Be direct, be succinct, and answer questions honestly and thoughtfully without adding any unnecessary dialogue. 

Rephrase the Negatives:  OK, so your boss was a jerk and your company was completely disorganized.  While it may be true, telling this to a potential employer can backfire unless you reframe things in a more positive light.  So instead of stating the bitter truth, you might say something more like, “The company had some managerial challenges and was experiencing growing pains.” This will transform you from disgruntled to diplomatic.

The interview is your opportunity to close the deal … so CLOSE THE DEAL!


You are encouraged to comment on blog posts and/or submit questions to Debra. You can reach her on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.



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Interviewing in a tough economy: performing at your best

Let’s face it.  If you are getting face to face interviews, but never seem to get hired, it may not be the economy alone that is the problem. Maybe it is time to take a critical look at your interviewing and presentation skills so you can finally land that job you want.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you improve your chances of success the next time you make it into the hiring manager’s office.

Dress for Success: Unless you are going for an artsy-funky role, business professional is the way to go.  A dark blue or black suit with a solid shirt to complement your skin tone will do the trick.  Do not, I repeat do not, wear clothing you feel physically uncomfortable in.  Men, choose a tie that matches without distracting. Ladies, beware of dangly jewelry. Be sure to avoid the use of cologne, perfume, or heavily scented deodorants. 

Answer the Question: There are few things more challenging to a hiring manager than a candidate that is a card carrying member of On-and-On-and-On Anon. If you tend to talk a lot when you are nervous or you typically offer more information, thinking you are doing something good, think again.  Be direct, be succinct, and answer questions honestly and thoughtfully without adding any unnecessary dialogue. 

Rephrase the Negatives:  OK, so your boss was a jerk and your company was completely disorganized.  While it may be true, telling this to a potential employer can backfire unless you reframe things in a more positive light.  So instead of stating the bitter truth, you might say something more like, “The company had some managerial challenges and was experiencing growing pains.” This will transform you from disgruntled to diplomatic.

The interview is your opportunity to close the deal … so CLOSE THE DEAL!


You are encouraged to comment on blog posts and/or submit questions to Debra. You can reach her on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.



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