Questions to ask at the interview

There are many questions you can ask at your interview, these are pertinent to your performance.

Understanding how your potential new manager will measure your success is key in both understanding the company priorities, as well as their managerial style.

  1. What are the most important things you’d like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job
  2. What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
  3. What is the performance review process like here? How often would I be formally reviewed?
  4. What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?

Going to a networking event?

You are going to need a few conversation starters…

“What do you think about [insert relevant topic germane to the event or person here]?”

“Wow, I just can’t believe all the crazy news headlines today. What a week!”

“Any chance you read the news today? I missed it, and I’m dying to know what’s happening with [insert news topic here].”

“So, was it a pain for you to get here?” The mode of transportation and location in the city are always on peoples’ minds.

“Did you catch the game last night?” It’s a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason.

Numbers, numbers and more numbers…

Putting together a resume? Give ’Em the Numbers

Use as many facts, figures, and numbers as you can in your bullet points. How many people were impacted by your work? By what percentage did you exceed your goals? By quantifying your accomplishments, you really allow the hiring manager to picture the level of work or responsibility you needed to achieve them.

Kicking it in reverse…

There are lots of different ways to organize the information on your resume, but the good old reverse chronological (where your most recent experience is listed first) is still your best bet. Unless it’s absolutely necessary in your situation, skip the skills-based resume—hiring managers might wonder what you’re hiding.

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.

Know Your Employment History

Be sure that you provide accurate information on your job applications and resume. Don’t guess as to where you worked and when. If you don’t remember the details, recreate your work history before you apply.

The most important thing is that you be truthful about all information you give to prospective employers. If you’re worried about what prior employers will say about you, proactively cultivate and supply positive recommendations to counter any potential negative feedback about your performance, or attitude.

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

Excel at Phone Interviews in Seattle

Master the phone interview.

Your first interview will be a phone interview. It was the top method listed for conducting first interviews. But sadly, job seekers don’t feel as comfortable with phone interviews as they do with in-person interviews.

An HR screener will likely want you to walk him or her through your résumé. Be sure to have a copy of the same résumé; nearby during the interview. This part of the interview is usually a check-off item unless you give signals that there is more than meets the eye. “I was recruited,” “I left for greater responsibilities” or “I was part of a larger company reorganization” are all you need to say in most instances.

Any bullet point on your résumé might pique the curiosity of your interviewer. Be prepared to give more detail, but don’t take too much time on any one answer. After a few sentences, ask: “Is this what you were after, or would you like me to go in a different direction or provide greater detail?”

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.

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.”