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An interview is much like a blind date. You have sweaty palms, heart palpitations, shaky nerves and a preconceived notion of what could happen. The perfect scenario unfolds in your mind, where you are calm, cool and collected, dressed smartly, totally in control, enthusiastically meeting the other person's gaze and brimming with confidence. However, that idea has begun to unravel, because as of right now, you are LATE, because you got lost, forgot your resume, wore a shirt that is making you sweat and have pulled a muscle breaking in new shoes. As you are being led to the boardroom, you're informed that your possible Superiors will be sitting in. Panic sets in with the realization that this blind date is over before it even begun.
What is needed therefore, is a realistic and proactive approach. If you're a mere mortal like the rest of us, then you do get nervous about a job interview. If we could accurately predict the outcome of this situation, life would definitely be easier to plan. While we can't accurately control the results, we can bank our odds if we keep the pointers below in mind.
Do your homework. Find out what the corporate culture is. Check out the company's website on the net. Go to the media area and find out what type of functions they attend or sponsor. Is the work environment business casual or corporate? Wear what is considered acceptable attire and meet that standard. Make sure your wardrobe is clean, odor free and neatly pressed.
While this may not be the only job you've applied for, read information on the company involved. Understand what the position entails in detail. Keep a copy of the posting for yourself. Know your own resume inside out and be able to explain examples of your work and how it fits into their job description. Take down the name of the person you'll be seeing, how to spell and pronounce their name and note (or ask) if it's a Mr., Mrs. Ms. (Yes, this is important). Although you can't rehearse the exact answers when you don't know the questions you'll face, it's possible to find out what the latest interview trends are on Career sites or in your local bookstore.
Greet your potential employers with a firm handshake and smile. Look the interviewer(s) in the eyes, but don't make them uncomfortable by staring. Try to relax by taking a deep breath. Tapping your foot and fingers or chewing gum is considered a faux pas. It's best to match the body language of the interviewer(s), but not in a mechanical fashion.
The Actual Interview
Think positively and keep it all in perspective. Based on your abilities, education and work history, THEY called you. This is your unique moment to market YOU. You need to believe that you are by far, the best candidate for them. Make sure you look neat and orderly and pop in a breath mint for good measure. Slang or acronyms are not appropriate in your speech. Remember not to confuse confidence with arrogance and don't interrupt or hijack the interview. When asked a question, pause and reflect on the answer and try to listen to be clear and concise. When they ask, "Do you have any questions?", ask the ones you have prepared mentally based on your research and relevance to this interview and position. If this job still interests you, let them know and thank them for their time.
Remember, an interview is really just the beginning of the process, but first impressions not unlike a blind date can either make for a great story or fodder for the fire. Make this your opportunity to distinguish yourself from the pack and get that second "date".
About The Author
Tamara Jong is the Marketing Professional for www.canjobs.com, a leading Canadian owned and operated on-line recruitment site.
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The dot com boom of 1990s brought with it a laissez-faire attitude to dress code. Business casual was not a word that was part of our daily vocabulary.
Hot Business Trends for 2006? And Beyond: Maybe One Will Turn Into a Creative Business Idea for You
I always look forward to the December issue of Entrepreneur magazine. That's the issue that features the publisher's annual pick of hot businesses, markets, and trends for smart entrepreneurs ? or those who aspire to be. Some of the high tech businesses cited like mobile gaming or online learning tend to require six and seven figure start up costs. This can seem daunting (although not impossible) for the person just venturing into self-employment. So I've decided to focus on the markets, trends, and businesses that speak to someone operating on a somewhat more limited budget. Let's start with hot markets: HOT MARKET: Middle-Aged Women Since I've recently entered my last year in my 40s, I thought it only appropriate to start with this group (although like most boomers, I still have a hard time thinking of myself as anything close to "middle aged"). Not surprisingly, products and services for women in their 40s and 50s that center around anti-aging and menopause are hot. The magazine cites such promising areas as counseling, exercise spas, yoga, smoking cessation programs? any product or service that helps women stay healthy and feel good about themselves ? both inside and out. The reference to smoking cessation got me thinking? Residential treatment facilities for other forms of substance abuse are common- place, but I've personally never seen a retreat, spa, or other residential-type place specifically aimed at people who need help quitting smoking, and who would benefit from doing so outside their home environment. I'm picturing morning walks, meditation, massage, support groups, good food, and of course, lots and lots of punching bags! HOT MARKET: Toddlers/Tweens/Teens According to market research firm Packaged Facts, last year 5 to 14 year olds spent $10 billion on food and beverages. Other favorite product areas for kids are sports, fashion, music, and technology. And apparently home décor and remodeling isn't just for adults anymore (who knew?). Stores like IKEA and Pottery Barn are starting to selling home furnishing products aimed at teens. With baby boomers having more discretionary income with which to spoil their grandchildren, babies and toddlers have also become hot markets. Online start-up ELittle Luxuries offers designer baby furniture and more than 600 other upscale baby items. (http://www.eLittleLuxuries.com) HOT MARKET: Overweight People After reading how much kids spend on food and beverages, it's no surprise that 15% of children and teens are overweight. But we adults have them beat. A whopping 64% of Americans are considered obese or overweight. Businesses that offer products and services to help people slim down and develop more healthy habits are the most obvious. But entrepreneurs willing to think outside the "solve the problem" box by looking for ways to make overweight people's lives easier verses trying to fix them, will also do well. HOT MARKET: Metrosexuals With the enormous appeal of stylish soccer super star David Beckham and shows like Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy where gay men help straight men with fashion, grooming, home décor, and social skills, a growing number of heterosexual men are allowing themselves to tap into their fashionable side. One enterprising guy who jumped into the metrosexual market early has seen phenomenal growth. With $20,000 and a dream, Tom Granese launched Regiments, an online store that sells high-end grooming products for men. Less than two years later, Tom opened his first storefront in Dallas with a projected $210,000 in first year in-store sales. HOT MARKET: Hispanics The Hispanic market is certainly nothing new ? in fact it's made Entrepreneur's list for many years now. The magazine cites opportunities in anything from food and entertainment, to financial services and Web services. Now let's look at two of Entrepreneur's picks for hot trends in 2004? HOT TREND: Outdoor Living Spaces Into gardening or design? According to Joanne Kostecky of the American Nursery & Landscape Association, and president of her own garden design company, the concept of outdoor living rooms that is so popular in the south and some urban areas is beginning to reach the rest of the country. The fact that more consumers are investing in courtyards and elaborate gardens means the gardening and outdoor design businesses are bound to grow! HOT TREND: Fast-Casual Food Health and taste conscious consumers on the go are turning to fast- casual restaurants and chains. In my own small town of Northampton, two of the more popular joints are benefiting from the fast-casual boom. One serves upscale burritos (my favorite is the Thai burritos) and the other is a hip soup, salad, and sandwich joint that opened in a greatly remodeled former Taco Bell restaurant. Idea: Back in my old softball days I always wished someone would cater to all those hungry players and fans by starting a high quality food wagon. Other Hot Trends? Boating and water sports, the hunger for low- carb foods (a trend being taken seriously by restaurants, grocery stores, and food manufacturers), oils and sauces, and multiculturalism which includes the gay and lesbian markets. Hot markets and hot trends lead to hot businesses. Here are some of Entrepreneur's picks? HOT BUSINESS: Children's Enrichment Programs With so many parents in the workforce, more kids than ever before are engaged in extracurricular and after school activities. If you like the idea of working with kids, you can opt to open a physical location like a gym, dance or art studio, or camp, take your program into the schools, or provide private lessons. If you think opening your own place is financially out of reach, think again. While $12,000 is no small sum of money, it's a lot less than a lot of people might expect they'd need to shell out to start their own dance studio. But that's how much former dance student turned instructor Archer Alstaettter dug up in cash and credit cards to found Dance Emotion in Irvine, California. That was five years ago. Today Archer's studio has 500 clients and expects 600-plus to be enrolled by spring. You go Archer! HOT BUSINESS: Home Improvement Remodeling, refurbishing, and redecorating are all the rage. There are some 30 cable shows on home improvement alone. And home improvement isn't all about décor. Worth noting are businesses that help home owners maximize the space they have as well as those making homes more accessible to an aging population. (To read about a unique, highly successful, and legitimate home business opportunity that matches home owners with reputable home repair contractors go to http://www.ChangingCourse.com/hrnsuccess.htm) HOT BUSINESS: Yoga & Pilates According to Entrepreneur, companies are bending over backwards to cater to the growing market of people practicing yoga. Clothes, mats, DVDs, music, and classes aimed at seniors, pregnant women and children as young as three are just a few products and services aimed at this growing market. And with a reported 47 million Americans taking Pilates, a work out that builds abdominal muscles, opportunities abound for gym owners and instructors alike. If you like the idea of teaching Pilates, studio owner Maria Leone recommends starting out by keeping overhead low. She suggests renting space for one-on-one sessions from a small gym or chiropractic office. Fees for a typical Pilates session range from $50 to $70 an hour. Meditate on that! HOT BUSINESS: Upscale Pet Services According to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association, Americans spent an estimated $31 billion on pets in 2003. A few of the luxury services cited include pet hotels complete with heated floors, limousine rides, day cruises, and personal shoppers. And apparently the spa trend has extended to the pet world with exfoliating treatments, aromatherapy, liposuction (I kid you not), and chiropractic services. HOT BUSINESS: Outsourcing Outsourcing is one of those good new-bad news things. If your job is being eliminated because it's cheaper for your company to outsource functions like HR, accounting, and network security, then outsourcing is a bad thing. Outsourcing is particularly hot in IT ? and when it comes to outsourcing jobs overseas, it's also controversial. The good news for freelancers is the federal government plans to open 850,000 jobs to outsourcing, with $85 billion in federal IT contracts to be awarded over the next three years Other Hot Businesses: Spas, organic foods, online matchmaking, senior care, wireless, tech security, and voiceover IP (VoIP). If you believe as I do that it's better to be the boss, than to have one, why not make 2004 the year you start putting your entrepreneurial plans into action? You don't have to quit your job or mortgage your home to get the ball rolling. You might resolve to do some research, start putting together a business plan, take a course on marketing, glass blowing, woodworking, web design, or whatever sparks your fancy, get certified to teach yoga, buy a book on how to launch a successful on-line business, start a Barbara Sher style Success Team? or just order a subscription to Entrepreneur. If you don't already subscribe to Entrepreneur you can do so at http://www.Entrepreneur.com. The site also features a ton of free resources for anyone who already is ? or dreams of ? working for themselves. For other free resources for people who want to start their own businesses visit http://www.ChangingCourse.com/newbiz.htm Okay, but what if you don't see a trend, market, or business here that speaks to you? Then find the one that does! I had a client who is crazy for horses and photography. It took me all of 30 seconds on Google.com to find a group called the Equine Photographers Network. In addition to their conference this February in Florida, the group offers a free public online discussion group with over 700 members who range from top-of-their-field working pros to amateur photographers to magazine editors and writers to horse owners, all interested in improving their equine photography skill and knowledge. Learn all about the Equine Photographers Network at http://www.EquinePhotographers.net. The way to find the "hottest" business idea for you is to get in touch with the passion that burns the brightest in your heart. Then make 2004 the year resolve to you take those first bold steps on behalf of your dream!
Wonder Woman makes it looks so easy. She gets up every morning, fights the good fight, calls it a day, and starts the whole process all over again. This is the way most of us begin our workday. We work hard, accomplish lots, and get up in the morning for an encore presentation.
How I Joined the Outsourcing Revolution
Mention "outsourcing" to a programmer and you may as well be uttering profanity. The word suggests all the evils that have befallen the Information Technology sector since the Internet bubble burst a few years ago. We've been endlessly regaled with tragic tales of American companies who have closed up shop for many of their I.T. positions, only to "offshore" those same jobs to programmers overseas working for less pay than their American counterparts. A brain drain is taking place in the once highly secure computer programming profession.
How To Stay Calm in Tryng Times
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Taking a Survival Type Job Is Good For You.
Ugh! Arg! How can a survivor type job be good for me? I'm barely hanging on to what I found and at minimum wage. (I have been promised a ten cent an hour increase in one month).
Research indicates that we retain only 10% of what we hear; 20% of what we see; 65% of what we hear and see; but 90% of what we hear, see, and do.
Get A New Job - Career Choices
Career change is tough but rewarding
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Get a Raise: How To Ask Your Boss For More Money
How many people do you know who think they deserve a pay rise, but are too scared to ask? You might even be one of those people! Why is it we are afraid to ask for what we believe we are worth? It's time to stop worrying and start asking, but before you charge into your boss's office give yourself the best chance of success with these helpful tips?then book that meeting with the boss.
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4 Niche Job-Search Tips
Looking for a job on the Internet can be daunting. Where do you start? What Web sites are best for your industry?
Seeking A New Job While Currently Employed : Tiptoeing Through the Minefield
So, you currently have a job but you are looking for something a little better. You are getting tired, uptight, and maybe just a little stressed out. This is a dangerous time ? the time when job seekers can turn into wing nuts and make key mistakes. So, how do you avoid tripping over those pesky landmines, you know - your current boss, workmates, and customers - and still carry out an effective job search?
Blogging for Candidates 101: Nuts and Bolts
A "blog" is simply an internet (web) log. Blogs are created for personal or professional use. They may promote a product or service, or merely serve as a personal online journal. There are currently just over four million blogs today, with a new blog born every seven seconds.
Dont Stop! Your Transition is Still Moving!
Q. I'm looking for a new job and plan to work with a career consultant next month. Meanwhile, I'm working on the garden and some friends are coming to stay for a week.
Unemployment Survival: Taking Back Control
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Aptitude Tests Reveal the Difference Between Your Aptitude & Ability
Aptitude tests measure your skills, abilities, values, interests and personality in order to help you determine which careers you might be best suited for and eliminate those that you are not.
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There are several ways to work from home. Some of the more popular ways are affiliate programs, direct marketing and starting your own business. However it is also possible to find employers who hire people to work at home in various postions such as telemarketing, sales, teaching, freelance writing, etc. I have spent countless hours online searching for work at home jobs and even started a community to list the job leads I have found. (http://www.real-home-employment.com)
Where Will Your IT Staff Come From NOW?
The labor recession is over. During the course of the recession, almost 500,000 IT positions were lost according to publicly collected data and anecdotal information suggests even more. According top a recent poll, American business will add over 200000 new IT jobs in 2005. Your staff will probably be scanning job boards to see their value and blocking access is useless; they'll only do it at home.
Why It Is Impossible To Raise Your Standard Of Living Working A Job
Everything in nature has been endowed with what it needs to survive. There is no living thing that isn't inherently equipped with the skills and abilities it needs to secure its continued existence. Whether through instinct, size, camouflage or speed, no gazelle, lion or giraffe has to go to trade school to learn how to survive. That's the beauty of the divine plan. We, as humans, are part of this plan and each one of us is given something that sets us apart from everyone else; something that we can use to ensure our own survival.
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