How to get hired on your first interview

Or... Never say never.

As promised this article is about how to get hired on your first interview.  Before I get into that, let me share with you the email from my client who was HIRED last month AFTER HER FIRST INTERVIEW:

Mary,
     I want to THANK  YOU SO MUCH for all your help, support, ego boosting,empathy and confidence. You have been so helpful to me about opening my eyes to my '"new life" beyond my injury. I don't know if I could have landed this job without you behind me. You are so much fun and easy to talk to.I look forward to keeping in touch with you in the future and to give you updates on my career wherever it takes me. Thanks again. Eileen P

What a great way to start my work day!  I began to think about a conversation I had with her when preparing her to for an interview. She had worked at the same employer for over 20 years and had never really interviewed with anyone else.  She was very nervous.

To allay her concerns, as I often do, I told her, "Eileen, don't worry you NEVER  get hired on your first interview. It usually ends up being more practice than anything.  Do your best, but try not to put a lot of pressure on yourself."  We continued to discuss and practice for her interview later that day.

Later in the day I got a phone call - she was asked to come back for a second interview in a few days.  We discussed second interviews and worked on preparing her for that.  A few days later I received another call... SHE GOT THE JOB!

We were both ecstatic, of course. It was a brand new career for her as she was recovering from  a serious back injury and surgery. I gave some thought to what she did differently from the other clients I am currently working with who I thought would be hired by now.

Why didn't they get job offers and she did? After some thought I realized the difference:  She did EVERYTHING I asked her to do.  When we met, I could tell she was really listening to me.  When I gave her assignments, she did them.  She was ENGAGED in her own job search and not just going through the motions.

Yes, there are certain things job seekers need to know and do.  I use a workbook to make sure all the basics are covered.  I review everything in the workbook with them verbally as well. If they are not getting the interviews and/or job offers, I review each step with them:
  1. Job searching - are you varying your sources and approaches? 
  2. Follow up - are you doing your research and following up on your applications? 
  3. Interviewing - are you practicing?  Preparing questions to ask?  Sending thank you notes?
  4. Cold calling - are you tapping into the hidden job market
  5. Activity - are you active everyday?  Scheduling your job search tasks to make sure you cover all the bases? 
  6. Feedback - are you asking for feedback from friends, family, counselor, or even employers to whom you are applying? 
If you are a job seeker ask yourself the questions above.  Then think about it - are you really?  If you aren't getting interviews or a job offer you are not.  Period.

You can get hired on your first interview if you do each of these tasks fully, completely and with gusto! 

If you would like an interactive four part toolkit to help you get hired on your first interview, email

Questions or comments welcome - enter below!

Use LinkedIn to Network for a New Job

Clients often ask "How do I use LinkedIn to find a job?"  Typically they have spent time on their profile, but can barely remember their log in (if at all) and/or password.  In shorts, they "Set it and forget it." The next question they ask why they are  not getting any "hits."

I ask these quick questions to get them started in the right direction:

1. What are you trying to accomplish on LinkedIn? Enhancing your professional knowledge and/or creds? Networking to see what might be out there/meet new people?  Finding a job? Selling a service (whether you are employed or self employed).  Other?  Only you  can decide!

2. Closely related to number one: Identify your target audience - who are you trying to connect with? Employers? Colleagues? Customers?

Once you have answered thee questions, follow a few simple tips:

1. Develop a plan for connecting with those you have identified as being beneficial to your overall goal.  You will want to take advantage of:

  •      Status Updates
  •      Mentions
  •      Groups
  •      Polls
  •      Questions and answers

2. Stay active on LinkedIn!  Share something interesting to you everyday, even if it doesn't relate directly to your industry.  Read what others are sharing and posting. Follower an "Influencer" or a few.

Weekly, comment on a group or contribute yourself; write a status update that is positive and work related; review your profile; review your connections.

3. Set up and save a job search - have an email sent to you daily.
I think this is a good idea for anyone, even if you are not seriously looking for work.  Keep up with what is out there being offered by other employers to other employees.

4. Set aside time each day to explore and share - LinkedIn can be a powerful tool, but only if you use it!

5.  Connect!  Let LinkedIn access your email account and get you started - it is easy and safe!  Then pay attention when you get notifications about people you may know.

Comment below or email me with your LinkedIn questions   lifeworks@mail.com 

Take care!
Here are a few other articles you might find helpful:

Mar 26, 2013
Before you begin job searching on LinkedIn, be sure your PROFILE is as complete as possible and that it clearly communicates your skills, brand and credentials. Do as much as you can on your own, then ask colleagues or ...
Mar 22, 2013
My LinkedIn tip for the day: be able to articulate your strategy for sending/accepting invitations to connect. My LinkedIn tip for the day: are the skills on your profile still the ones you want highlighted? http://goo.gl/HWB9y.
Mar 08, 2013
My LinkedIn tip for the day: when inviting someone to connect, customize your invitation. Please. http://goo.gl/DSQO8. My LinkedIn tip for the day: this is the 2nd best tool for networking. The first is you. http://goo.gl/ZiFSJ.
Jan 11, 2013
Why Your LinkedIn Company Page is STILL More Important than Your Website http://ow.ly/gIPUZ by @lisamarijones. HOW TO TURN ... My LinkedIn tip for the day: the connection isn't the objective, it's just the starting point.
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