Do you know how to answer this Question?

Why are you looking (or why did you leave you last job)?

This should be a straightforward question to answer, but it can trip you up. Presumably you are looking for a new job (or any job) because you want to advance your career and get a position that allows you to grow as a person and an employee. It’s not a good idea to mention money here, it can make you sound mercenary. And if you are in the unfortunate situation of having been downsized, stay positive and be as brief as possible about it. If you were fired, you’ll need a good explanation. But once again, stay positive.

Seattle Recruiter’s Effective Interview Tips

Practice good nonverbal communication

It’s about demonstrating confidence: standing straight, making eye contact and connecting with a firm handshake. That first nonverbal impression can be a great beginning — or quick ending — to your interview.

Dress for the job or company

Today’s casual dress codes do not give you permission to dress as “they” do when you interview. It is important to know what to wear to an interview and to be well-groomed. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. If possible, call to find out about the company dress code before the interview.

Listen

From the very beginning of the interview, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not hearing it, you are missing a major opportunity. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what was said. Observe your interviewer, and match that style and pace.

Don’t talk too much 

Telling the interviewer more than he needs to know could be a fatal mistake. When you have not prepared ahead of time, you may ramble when answering interview questions, sometimes talking yourself right out of the job. Prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting, matching your skills with the position’s requirements and relating only that information.

Don’t be too familiar

The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer’s demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions, but do not overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job.

Use appropriate language

It’s a given that you should use professional language during the interview. Be aware of any inappropriate slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics or sexual orientation — these topics could send you out the door very quickly.

Don’t be cocky

Attitude plays a key role in your interview success. There is a fine balance between confidence, professionalism and modesty. Even if you’re putting on a performance to demonstrate your ability, overconfidence is as bad, if not worse, as being too reserved.

Take care to answer the questions

When interviewers ask for an example of a time when you did something, they are asking behavioral interview questions, which are designed to elicit a sample of your past behavior. If you fail to relate a specific example, you not only don’t answer the question, but you also miss an opportunity to prove your ability and talk about your skills.

Ask questions

When asked if they have any questions, most candidates answer, “No.” Wrong answer. Part of knowing how to interview is being ready to ask questions that demonstrate an interest in what goes on in the company. Asking questions also gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. The best questions come from listening to what you’re asked during the interview and asking for additional information.

Don’t appear desperate

When you interview with the “please, please hire me” approach, you appear desperate and less confident. Reflect the three Cs during the interview: cool, calm and confidence. You know you can do the job; make sure the interviewer believes you can, too.

Don’t complain about Mondays.

It’s like wearing a huge sign that says: “I hate my job and do not want to be here.” It’s fine to be looking forward to down time, but work time shouldn’t feel that bad. If you hate your career that much, you don’t have the right career.

Image Courtesy NBC

Seattle Job Search Tip #2

Excel in the job interview. Research the employer and interviewers, know your route for getting to the interview, dress appropriately, arrive about 10 minutes early (to compose yourself, observe your settings, complete any paperwork), greet everyone warmly (from receptionist to hiring manager), use positive body language (firm handshake, strong eye contact, attentive posture, and friendly smile), confidently respond to interview questions, show enthusiasm, ask questions of the interviewer(s), and close the interview with appreciation and a request for information about next steps in the process.

Seattle Job Search Tip #1

Create your online career brand. The job market is slowly evolving from a paradigm of job-seekers and employers using job boards to find each other to one in which employers find job-seekers online — whether through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or the job-seeker’s personal Website. Building your brand simply means showcasing your expertise and passion online where employers searching the Web could find it — and removing any unsavory — digital dirt — you can find. Learn more by reading one or more of these Personal Branding & Career Self-Marketing Tools for Job-Seekers and Career Activists.

Bellevue Career Tips

“Diversify your skill set.”

It’s good to master your usual set of skills, but don’t get stagnant. Continue to develop your love of learning. If your job has tuition reimbursement perks, take advantage of it! Set out to learn a new skill. If you’re worried about time, it’s not about becoming a full-time student all over again. Take a couple courses at a time, earn some new certifications — become a wearer of many hats. It will set yourself apart professionally and who knows? It may help place you on the fast-track to your next promotion.

General Career Tips for Seattle

1. A first impression is made in less than 30 seconds.

2. Want to boost your charisma? Focus on energy and optimism.

3. “You’re always an employee, you’re always representing your company, and you’re always representing yourself.”

4. Rule #1 for dealing with bad bosses: It’s okay to question authority.

5. No matter where your stress is coming from, it’s not doing you any good—until you learn how to address it.

6. Some of the world’s most successful leaders regularly express all manner of emotions, including anger.

7. Work isn’t always about the larger picture; sometimes, it’s about the brown M&Ms.

8. Want to get ahead at work? The first step is gaining a loyal following.

9. If you look really closely, most overnight successes took a long time.

10. A job, even a great job or a fantastic career, doesn’t give your life meaning, at least not by itself.

Create Your Position

Don’t just sit around waiting for your “dream job” to open. Study the industry or field that you’re looking to move into, and determine a company or two that you’d like to work for, Hockett says. “Then figure out their challenges through relationships or public information. With this, you can craft a solution for them that you can share directly or publically through a blog, for instance. The concept here is to get noticed through offering a solution to help them with no expectation of anything in return.”

Use Job Search Engines

Search the job search engines. Use the job search engine sites to search the major job boards, company sites, associations, and other sites with job postings for you – fast.

You will be able to search all the jobs posted online in one step. Use Advance Search options to find jobs that are the closest match.

Get Efficient

Create Your Own Templates. Have copies of your resume and cover letter ready to edit. That way you can change the content to match the requirements of the job you’re applying for, but, the contact information and your opening and closing paragraphs won’t need to be changed.

Microsoft Word users can download free templates for resumes, cover letters and email messages which can be personalized for your own correspondence.