10 Ways to Brand Yourself for More Success
These days, phone interviews are an unavoidable part of the job interview process, and for good reason: They save everyone involved time and effort. But that doesn’t mean that phones require zero energy on the part of the candidate. Yes, you should spend more time preparing for an in-person interview, but many companies treat phone screens as the official first round of the hiring process. That means candidates are expected to go into them prepared with as much information about the company, position, and their own skills and strengths as possible.
Things To Never Say in a Job Interview
We asked HR pros about their top phone interview pet peeves, they had no shortage of advice to offer. Apparently, it’s quite easy to mess up your phone interview. But here’s the thing; it’s also not hard to come across well if you keep some key things in mind.
1. Never Take The Interview Somewhere Noisy
It might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised what interviewers say they can hear in the background of their phone interviews—everything from barking dogs to screaming children. “Prepare for the interview by securing a quiet space in advance, even if it means escaping to your car parked in the garage,” advises Chere Taylor, founder of Fulcrum HR Consulting. “If you can lock your home office door, by all means do it. We’ve all been there and sometimes things just happen, but the more time spent anticipating what could go wrong, the better prepared and organized you will appear to the interviewer and the greater likelihood of success.” That doesn’t mean that if your washing machine beeps once in the background all hope is lost, but the more effort you put into being in a quiet place, the more focused you’ll be.
2. Don’t Talk About Your Personal Life
…Unless you’re directly asked a question about what you like to do in your off-hours. “The point of a phone interview is to focus on getting to know a candidate’s professional experience and goals,” says Mckenzie Roark, campus talent specialist at Lithko Contracting. “A recruiter is trying to qualify them to see if they are the best fit for a role, and learning about their personal life doesn’t help. For example, when asked where you see yourself in five years, we don’t want to know that you hope to be married or that you want to buy a new house. That is nice but that isn’t relative to anything professional.”
3. Resist The Urge to Multitask
It might be tempting to cross something off your to-do list while on a phone interview, but recruiters and hiring managers can easily tell if your attention is elsewhere. “My number one pet peeve is people who decide to multitask while on the phone interview,” says Dan Krupansky, Talent Acquisition Manager at PrimePay. “I have heard candidates washing dishes, making lunch in the microwave, going for walks, letting their dog out, and grocery shopping during the interview. I even had one person use the bathroom and flush the toilet while speaking with me.” Needless to say, this doesn’t reflect well on your level of interest in the position you’re interviewing for.
4. Skip The Money Conversation
To put it bluntly, it’s simply too early in the process for you to be the one who brings up salary expectations. “Chances are if a candidate is participating in a phone interview, this is the first time they have talked with the company, and the first call isn’t the appropriate time to talk about ‘what’s in it for you,’” says Justina Strnad, the Talent Acquisition Manager for Shiftgig. “Trust me, if you are a great candidate and make it to the next steps, the hiring team is going to be very transparent about what’s in it for you later on!”
5. Never Put Your Interviewer On Hold
Phone interviews don’t take that long, and they’re probably isn’t anything else going on that is really truly so urgent that you need to pause your interview. “Do not put me on hold to take an important call that just beeped in,” advises Jeremy Payne, head of people operations at Remote Year. “I am your important call. If you are expecting extremely urgent news (like information about a family illness), be sure to preface that in the early minutes of the interview, so the recruiter is aware of the situation and so you can work with them to reschedule if that interruption does occur,” he says.
How to Become the Candidate Recruiters Can’t Resist
6. Never Skip The Q&A
“After wrapping up a phone interview, it is typical that the interviewer will ask the candidate if they have any questions. I can’t stress this enough: ALWAYS ask questions,” says Roark. “If we have had a great phone interview and then we wrap up and they don’t have any questions for me, it pretty much ruins the whole interview. It tells me that the candidate is uninterested in the role, which in reality, might not be the case at all,” she notes. But surely, if you’re interested in a job, you can think of something to ask your interviewer.
7. Don’t Be Late
It seems basic, but surprisingly, a lot of people are late to phone interviews. “About a quarter of the people with whom I schedule phone interviews aren’t on time,” says Sophie Cikovsky, who handles U.S. recruiting for Infinite Global. “While this bothers me personally, it’s also indicative of someone who isn’t very detail-oriented,” she explains. “In order to identify this early in the hiring process, I started asking all candidates a few years ago to call me as opposed to calling them at an agreed upon time. That way if I hear from them at 1:13 pm or 12:49 pm instead of our planned 1:00 pm interview time, I have an early indicator that they might not be a great fit.”
8. Don’t Assume Reception Is Good
“Make sure you test your headset and connection before dialing in,” recommends Payne. “There is nothing more frustrating for a recruiter who has a structured interview guide in place having to repeatedly ask the same question over and over because they could not understand your answer due to static or dropped signals.” Test call a friend beforehand or even call yourself from a landline if necessary; it will take less than a minute.
9. Never Talk Over The Interviewer
You might be eager to get your point across or talk about your experience, but interrupting the interviewer is awkward and rude when you’re speaking on the phone, even more so than in face-to-face interviews. “Interviewing can be stressful and sometimes that stress manifests itself in speaking too fast, speaking too loud, talking over the interviewer, or attempting to answer the interviewer’s question before they have actually finished asking the question,” says Taylor. “Don’t do this.” There’s a big difference between being assertive and being aggressive, and interviewers can always recognize it.
10. Skip Filler Words
It’s tough not to say things like “um,” “uh,” and “like” in everyday speech, but these verbal habits become much more pronounced when speaking on the phone, says Chris Dardis, a recruiting expert and HR professional with Versique Executive Search. “In face-to-face interviews, they’re not as noticeable because there are other things like your hair, suit, or body language to distract people,” he explains. But in a phone interview, the only thing you have to go on is what you say and how you say it. “That’s why it’s so important to eliminate these words from your speech when doing a phone interview.”
11. Don’t Go In Blind
Not knowing anything about the company or job you’re interviewing for is way more obvious than you’d think. “Many people think that a phone interview means they’re getting away with something, that they don’t have to put as much effort into researching the role or company,” says Steve Pritchard, HR Consultant for giffgaff. And if you have your laptop in front of you during the interview to do a few quick searches, they won’t know the difference, right? Not exactly. “Seasoned interviewers will know whether an interviewee is researching while on the phone; they will take too long to answer the question and punctuate their answers with a lot of ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ as they type. The interviewer can often even hear the typing as they ask the question,” he adds.
12. Nix Long-Winded Answers
“The key to success during a phone interview is clear and concise answers. People’s attention spans tend to be shorter over the phone. You don’t want your future employer to lose interest in the conversation. We recommend practicing answers to questions you know will be asked ahead of time in order to be clear on what you’re going to say. That way, you can prevent rambling before it starts.
Mommy Jobs Online is a place where you can find the support, job security, and resources for your Home Business, Work At Home Career, Home Job, or if you are still searching for that right opportunity.
Do you dream of working at home? Thinking about making the change but need a little more nudging to make the move?
It’s becoming more and more common as people explore options like telecommuting and starting their own home-based businesses.
Let’s explore some reasons and benefits of working from home and you just might find your “deciding factor” here.
10 Reasons To Work At Home
1—With the ever-rising costs of fuel, your commute can be a huge expense – in dollars and in time. Working from home decreases your gasoline costs as well as wear & tear on your vehicle. Assuming a minimum commute of 30 minutes per day, that saves you eleven hours per month or 132 hours per year. Plus, there are no traffic jams on the way to work, and you don’t have to listen to early morning radio jocks unless you choose to.
2—With a computer, the internet, and a phone, you can be almost as connected from your house as you can from any office. There is significant growth in both small business owners and in telework (or telecommuting), or working from home for someone else. It cuts down on office costs for employers and helps foster a better life-work balance for employees. Many companies currently have telework options, and many more are exploring the possibility.
3—Decreased clothing costs. You really can get away with one good outfit of your choice and a few separates since you’ll only be “dressing up” for meetings. The typical work from the home outfit: sweats (shorts in summer) and a t-shirt. The beauty of this uniform – it’s easy to care for (wash, dry & wear) and works equally well for gardening, walking, boxing up your online auction orders, and writing the great American novel. A week’s worth of work-from-home outfits at any good discount store: $60 USD. Some people profess to get professionally dressed just as if they were going to the office, but that just seems silly to me.
4—Increased productivity. There are no co-workers dropping by to lament their dating, dieting or drinking dilemmas. Of course, you must refrain from e-socializing, but it’s easier to ignore an email or limit your Twitter time than it is to dodge a whiny office mate on day 2 of Atkins or the office party dude who wants to rehash his weekend. Plus, there are fewer dumb meetings where everybody’s late or unprepared and nothing gets accomplished. With online meetings, email, and the phone, you may find you don’t need meetings at all.
5—Childcare issues are easier. Depending on the age of your children and the nature of your work, you may still need a babysitter, but probably not full-time.
6—Leftovers make great, easy lunches. No need for brown bags, just heat & eat. You save money and even if you’re not a great cook, it’s usually better than fast food or snack machine offerings. If you usually go out for lunch at work and spend just $10, that’s $50 a week saved.
7—You can set the heat/air temperature to your liking. Ditto music. Ditto office décor.
8—You can be productive during work breaks—throwing in a load of laundry, unloading the dishwasher, and watering the garden. Of course, you have to avoid the impulse to clean and cook and wander around the house aimlessly, but usually, after week one, you learn to separate work duties from home duties pretty easily.
9—Sodas don’t cost $1.25 each. Your refrigerator never takes your money or gives you Mountain Dew when you wanted Diet Coke. Coffee does not require making a choice between $4 a cup, or “free-but-tastes-like-mud”.
10—Freedom, in most cases, to set your own hours and work when you want to work. You can work when you are most energetic, whether that’s 10 am or 10 pm. You can take off to run errands or go see your kid’s school play. It becomes about your productivity, not about your “face-time” in the office.
So, are there any cons to working from home? Of course. Some people are not self-motivating and just cannot do it. Some require much more socialization than working from home allows. Some people don’t have the space or equipment to create a work area in their homes. It all depends on the individual circumstances. But, if you long to work from home, explore your options. Small business ownership is great but not the only way to work from home anymore. You may even be able to create a work-from-home opportunity with your current job. Do your research and present a great plan to the powers that be and see what happens.
One thing I have learned since I have been in internet marketing is that you have to “brand yourself” in order to become successful. Branding yourself means making yourself stand out from the rest. Be the one people remember and go to when they need your products and/or services. Build your reputation as the go-to person in your field.
10 Ways to Brand Yourself for More Success
Branding yourself will take work, time, and commitment but it is essential for your business’s success. Below are some things you can start doing to start the branding process.
1. Have a Motto – Choose a motto to live by personally and professionally. This will stick in people’s minds and help you focus as well. My motto is to treat others as I would want them to treat me. I try to live every day by the Golden Rule!
2. Connect with People – Don’t just get through meetings, calls, appointments, etc. Take the time to really connect with the people you are talking to. Be open and listen intently to what others say. Make the time with you memorable and satisfactory so people will be sure to return.
3. Personalize – Anytime you send emails, postcards, letters, or anything, make it personal. Use the person’s name to show them they are not just another number or sale to you. Send birthday and/or holiday greetings. People need to feel like people and not just a dollar sign!
4. Professional Networking – Join some good networking sites, groups, and clubs. Make yourself available for advice, help, and guidance. Be sure to participate often.
5. Always Be Honest and Upfront – Be honest with people. Don’t use deceptive lines and tricks to get people to buy from you. Let people know, honestly, what you can do for them. If you cannot meet their needs, point them to someone who can. They will remember your willingness to help and come back to you when you can meet their needs.
6. Body Language – Using body language effectively can have a real impact on how people perceive you. Always make direct eye contact. Let your eyes show friendliness and interest. Use your eyebrows to show openness and understanding. Don’t scrunch them disapprovingly. Keep your brow relaxed. Smile and don’t purse your lips or tighten your mouth. Keep your arms unfolded and sit in a relaxed manner with good posture. Don’t slouch or fidget. The art of using proper body language is quite real so do some research and learn all you can.
7. Go the Extra Mile – Help people whenever you can even if you don’t see a sale happening. By offering extra help and support you are sending a message about what type of person you are and what kind of business you run.
8. Believe in Yourself – If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to. Always be positive in mind, spirit, and attitude. Be professional, and always create a positive image as well. This will be a big factor in what people think of you.
9. Email and Phone Etiquette – Write your emails with proper spelling and grammar. Be courteous, friendly and helpful. Do not use offensive words or phrases. This goes for talking on the phone as well. Using vulgar, offensive or unprofessional language will definitely be something people will not forget!
10. Be Yourself – Don’t try to put on a front. Relax and let the person know how unique and authentic you are.
Job Interview Tips
10 things that you should never say during a job interview – ever! Branding yourself will help build your business success but it will help you in other ways as well. You will form lasting and beneficial relationships with others – both personally and professionally. You will learn more from the experiences of others and you will also learn more about yourself and how special and unique you really are. And that, my friend, could be the biggest reward of all!
Job interviews can be tough. You spend hours getting ready, make sure to look your best, and feel like you’re ready to take on any question.
Unfortunately, with one little slip of the tongue, all your hard work can be undone.
If you say any of these 10 things in a job interview, you’re guaranteed to NOT get the job – so don’t even let them cross your mind.
In a job interview, never say…
1. “Your wife/husband/daughter/dog is smokin’ hot!”
It doesn’t matter if the person has a photo on their desk of the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen. Comments about appearance during a job interview are a no-no. Just imagine if someone said that about your significant other – or worse still, your mom. Avoid this at all costs.
2. “Dude” or “bro.”
The person interviewing you is not your friend, no matter how friendly they seem. Using slang during an interview not only shows that you’re not taking the interview seriously but can also give the impression that you’re not intelligent enough to use real words. The only exception might be if you interview with MTV for a VJ job. Other than that, lose the slang and address people by their names.
3. “I was fired because management was intimidated by how good I am.
They’re really stupid there.”
This is a huge red flag to interviewers. Who would want to hire someone who’s only going to badmouth the company and management later? It’s a defensive statement, even if it is true. Never, ever talk poorly about someone you worked for. Instead, just say “It didn’t work out at that company, but I learned some valuable lessons that will help me in my next job.”
4. “Excuse me; I have to take this phone call.”
No, you don’t. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t even have your cell phone with you in an interview – you’re here to get a job, not hang out and talk on the phone. Leave it in the car or at home. If you really feel like you might die without it, at least silence, hide and ignore it.
5. “I didn’t know you sold clothes.”
Then why did you apply? If you have no idea what a company does, then you shouldn’t be working there. Do your research before the job interview – find out a bit about the history of the company, what its mission is, and who its competitors are. A simple Google search should bring all of this up for you fairly quickly.
6. “Did you hear the one about the rabbi, the priest, and the exotic dancer?”
Yowza. Not only is it strange to tell jokes in an interview, but it’s also even worse to tell inappropriate jokes in an interview. Stay away from topics like religion and sex, and try not to tell jokes that aren’t relevant to the interview. This is not to say you can’t be funny – your personality should shine through. Just remember you’re here to get a job, not practice your stand-up routine.
7. “Whatever. It’s not like you’re going to hire me.”
If you wouldn’t hire yourself, why would anyone else? Even if you don’t think you have a shot at this job, give the interview all you’ve got. A little personality can go a long way and you might just surprise yourself. More than one job has been won because of a person’s upbeat attitude.
8. “4.20 is a holiday here, right?”
You know why this is wrong, right? Don’t discuss illegal activities during a job interview – even if you are just joking. This can land you in a ton of trouble.
9. “I’m living with my mom right now because I’m going through a messy divorce.”
Personal information is just that – personal. If you need to explain gaps in employment history or any other touchy topic that could affect your employment, keep it simple. “I was out of work for a while because I had some personal issues I was dealing with.” An interviewer doesn’t need to know your life story.
10. “Sorry I’m late. I just hate getting up before noon.”
Don’t be late. Short of an accident, there is no excuse for being late to a job interview – especially oversleeping. Interviewers will notice, will be annoyed, and will assume that since you can’t even make it to an interview on time, you definitely won’t be making it to work on time.