Word for word: Phone interviews are extremely important in today’s job market

By Carole Martin


Marco Buscaglia, Tribune Content AgencyCareerBuilder
Rarely used even a decade ago, the phone job interview is now a critical tool for today’s recruiters. A strong phone interview can help narrow down applicants to a select handful that will be brought in later for a face-to-face interview. While the phone interview may seem like a casual first step, it’s not. In fact, it’s an important part of the process. More importantly, the phone interview is an entirely different beast from a face-to-face encounter; without the benefit of eye contact, body language and other visual cues, what you say and how you say it become even more important.
If you have a phone interview in your future, here are a few things to remember:
–Pay attention: Turn off the music in the background, put Snapchat on hold and focus on the call at hand. If you’re interviewing from home and have a dog, put him in the yard so your interview isn’t interrupted by a barrage of barking each time someone walks in front of your house. You shouldn’t have any distractions. “Pay complete, total and full attention to the person on the other end of the line, as if you were staring them in the eye,” says Karen Friedman, a communications coach in Blue Bell, Pa. “People can read and feel your body language across the miles, so act as if they are in the room with you so they can feel your energy, presence and attention.”
–Stay alert: Don’t lounge on the coach or take the call in bed. In fact, don’t sit, if possible. Get on your feet and show some signs of life. April Callis, author of “Springboard to Success” (Springboard, $19.95), asserts that standing up will help you stay focused. “It will give you more energy in your voice if you stand,” says Callis. “Also, smile while you talk so that you sound friendly and enthused.”
-Be clear: When you talk on the phone, is the person on the other end of the line constantly saying “What?” or “Huh?” If so, we’re talking to you — the low talker who thinks it’s OK to use his or her NPR voice, even when a new job is on the line. When you’re on the phone, you’ll need to speak even more precisely than you might in person. “Pronounce your words clearly and don’t trail off at the end of a sentence,” says Friedman. “You want to make sure you are heard and understood. Additionally, pause to give the person on the other end of the line a chance to digest what you are saying and to participate in the conversation.”
Job market growth – see the strong markets and the slower markets.


Great book

By Carole Martin


You are the best, Carole. I got another book, “Boost Your Interview IQ”. This is an excellent book – You have provided sample answers and then explained which one is strongest and weakest! Impressed. Thanks a ton from the core of my heart.
Is PDF version of the book available in the market? If yes, I’ll buy immediately to enable me to download in my Ipad and add comments, annotate and highlight relevant information.

The Power of Informational Interviewing – People Helping People

By Carole Martin


The informational interview is a source of power that you can use to your advantage. With preparation, listening, and follow through, you will find magic – the power of people helping people.

There are some basic misconceptions about informational interviews, and the reason you should use them as part of your job search strategy.

This type of interview is not a job interview! It is an information gathering session between you and a person who can provide you with information.

It really is quite easy and can be very effective.

You call the person who you know works in the industry/job that you would like and ask them about what they do. Maybe you found the person on Linkedin or Facebook or some other social media source.
You can begin the process online and hopefully move to the phone or even an in-person meet-up.

The objective of the informational interview is not to interview for a job, but to get information to get a job.

You are seeking leads and information regarding an industry, a career path, or an employer, by asking people who you know, or who have been referred to you.

But, before you run out and begin informational interviewing, there is some basic work that needs to be done.

1. Identify the position/company/industry you want information about. This decision will depend on what you want to do with your life and your career. You should have a sense of what is important to you and what you want.

2. Make a list of people you know who can help you with sources within a company or an industry. Since this is part of networking, you will want to include anyone and everyone you know – from your barber to your sister-in-law. The goal is to get the names of people in the field or company of your choice.

3. Make an appointment for 15 minutes to half an hour to interview the person identified, regarding his or her specialty. Most people will be more than happy to help you. Don’t get discouraged, if you find some people are just too busy to give you an appointment. Part of succeeding is being persistent.

4. Have an agenda planned for the session. This is your meeting. Don’t assume the person will give you the information you need unless you ask the right questions. Select questions that will give you the most information. Be efficient and do not overstay your welcome. Keep to the time promised.

5. Conduct yourself as a professional. Dress and act the role of the position you are seeking. Know as much as possible about the company/industry before the interview so that you can ask informed questions.

6. Show an interest in the person, the company, and the industry. A little flattery goes along way. “Mary gave me your name and told me you were considered to be an expert in your field. I was wondering how you got started?”

7. Be prepared to answer questions about what you are looking for. Have a short personal statement prepared, which you can present, if asked “Tell me about yourself and what you are looking for.” Bring a resume, but don’t bring it out unless requested. Remember the purpose of this interview is to obtain information.

8. Get names, if possible. Ask for other contacts in the field. If no names are suggested, be grateful for information or suggestions obtained.

9. Send thank you, follow up, letters. Thank the person at the conclusion of the interview, but also send a note or letter stating your gratitude for the time given. Stay in touch with your contacts by writing notes or emails, informing the person how helpful his or her suggestions have been to you.

10. Take advantage of any referrals given to you. In this process you will have to take risks, and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Each step will take you closer to that job offer.

The power of people helping people!

For those who have purchased a packet from you – how long does it stand for?

By Carole Martin


I purchased the higher tier some months ago and having issues formulating a question I’m hoping you can help me with.
Answer –
You bought me for life — no expiration date – I am here for you!
Send your question and I’ll do my best to give you an answer.
Best wishes

VOCABULARY 101 – Interview vocabulary is important

By Carole Martin


Using the word “pretty” before a word to describe your ability is a NO-NO.

It’s like being a “little” pregnant.

You either ARE or you’re NOT.

I’m pretty adept at solving problems.

I’m pretty good with people.

I’m pretty laid-back.


Take the word PRETTY out of your vocabulary when describing what you can or cannot do.


TIPS from The Interview Coach

By Carole Martin


There may be times when you encounter a “stress interview.” Be ready for anything and everything in this type of interview. This would include question like, “If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you want to be?” Or, they might ask you to perform some weird kind of task, like leading a cheer. You have to assume either they want to see how you behave under pressure, or they are on some kind of power trip. Whatever the reason, you are there as a professional and can refuse to “perform” if you think the request is inappropriate. Stay cool and calm, if possible.

Most candidates are so nervous about answering the questions correctly that they forget to listen. Listening is one of the most underutilized skills used by candidates in the interview.
• Listen through your eye contact – stay with the person.
• Listen with your nonverbal expressions – nodding and appearing interested.
• Listen until the speaker is finished – do not interrupt.
By focusing on what is being said you can gather valuable information which will help you formulate better, more intelligent, answers and questions of your own.

It is extremely important for you to ask questions during the interview. When you are asked if you have any questions have your list ready. Asking questions gives you an opportunity to show your interest in “them”, as well as giving you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. The best questions come from listening to what is asked or said during the interview, and asking for clarification or more information.

From the interviewer’s perspective—

There are basically three questions interviewers should be using to decide who to hire as the ideal candidate. This is particularly true if you are lucky enough to have more than one really qualified candidate to choose from.
1. “Can this candidate do the job?”
2. “Will this candidate “fit” into the department? The company culture?
3. “Can we afford the candidate?”

How you cut through the pile of candidates by using these three questions as your measuring stick will inevitably open up more questions.

• Does the candidate really require all those skills and qualities listed on the job description? How important is it that this candidate be 100% qualified? Could he/she be trained on some of the responsibilities of the job?
• Let’s face it, whether or not you intend to be partial to one candidate over another is often “somewhat” subjective.

It really boils down to being “comfortable” with the candidate. We tend to be most comfortable with people who are open and real. We can usually spot someone who is trying too hard, – or who is not answering the questions asked, but instead is telling you what they think you want to hear. Trying to please a bit too much, or playing the politician can be spotted if you’re watching.