Seven Steps Toward Making a Good Impression In An Interview

By Carole Martin

When you get off on the right foot the interview will flow easily. This is one impression you cannot leave to chance.

1. Appearance counts. When you look good, you feel good. Make sure you look groomed and neat. If you were a book, would someone be attracted to your “cover” and want to pursue you further?

2. Your clothes and accessories should be conservative and neutral, rather than wild and loud. Your clothes are your packaging and should not take attention away from the product.

3. Non-Verbal Communication sometimes conveys a stronger message than verbal communication. When you slouch, whether you’re sitting or standing, you are saying volumes about you and your confidence level. Sit up straight (like your mother always told you to). When you stand make yourself as tall as possible ¬ shoulders back and head held high.

4. Eye contact and smiles can indicate a confident and upbeat attitude. You will notice that many job postings ask for “enthusiasm and energy.” This is a good opportunity to demonstrate your social and interpersonal skills, as well as your excitement about the opportunity you are interviewing for.

5. The handshake sends a strong tactile message. If you have particularly sweaty hands try using a deodorant gel (anti-perspirant) as a lotion. Your hands will feel soft and smell good. Try this before the interview to see if it works for you.

6. Your voice and the volume of your speech convey a strong impression. Whether it is a phone interview or a face-to-face interview, it is important that you speak with enthusiasm and energy. Use a firm voice to demonstrate your confidence. If you speak in low tones the impact will be weak and ineffective.

7. Your vocabulary reveals your communication skills and ability to interface with people especially people you’ve not met before. The words you choose will indicate your education and training, as well as your knowledge of the industry you are applying for. It is important to use “their” words and talk “their” talk.

Practice the impression you are making with someone you trust to give you objective feedback. You are at the interview to make a sale an important sale and the product you are selling is YOU.

The Bachelor – The Job Interview

By Carole Martin


You didn’t get chosen – move on – this wasn’t the place for you

Carole Martin –
If you’ve watched “The Bachelor” show on TV you know it’s a sleazy reality show that draws a huge crowd of viewers.

It is also the “ultimate” when it comes to the candidates making themselves stand out from the others. The show starts with thirty or so men or women, and week-by-week one or more are eliminated by the “Bachelor or Bachelorette.”

It is a tough competition and unless they have made themselves “rememberable” they will not make the cut. When all is said and done, only one candidate will be chosen.
What happens to all the other candidates? Even though they are heart-broken when they are rejected, they move on and find other people.

So what does this have to do with the job interview? Basically it’s the same scenario – a pool of candidates is chosen and these candidates all strive to make themselves stand out from the other contenders and one-by-one they are eliminated until one person is chosen and a job offer is made. What happens to the other candidates? They move on and continue to interview to find other jobs.

Not every date will end in a commitment or even a second date. Not every interview will end in a job offer. Sometimes it just doesn’t work – for whatever reason. Let go and move forward. There will be other dates and other interviews – life will go on.

“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lamma (2008)

Do you have a narcissist who is a coworker?

By Carole Martin


There is a lot of talk around about narcissists in politics.

What is a Narcissist?

Simply put, it’s the tendency to think very highly of yourself and to have little or no regard for others. A narcissist is selfish, vain, and a glutton for attention. But there’s a range. Just because you have some of the traits doesn’t mean you’re mentally unhealthy.

Narcissists as Co-Workers
They make good first impressions and excel in job interviews. But they can be lousy hires. Narcissists overestimate their own skills and put yours down. They’ll do whatever it takes to impress. They’ll barge into private conversations, give unwanted advice, and shamelessly steal ideas. They’re also rated worse by the employees they manage, except by those who are narcissists themselves.

It’s Not All Bad
A dose of narcissism can be a good thing. It can build your self-esteem and give you joy. You’re less likely to be depressed, lonely, or discouraged. ”Normal narcissists” often are excellent speakers and visionaries. That may be why they also tend to earn bigger salaries in the corporate world.

How to Handle a Narcissist

Set boundaries. Decide where your limit is. Stick to it even as they try to punish, charm, or bully you.

Criticize gently. They may get angry if you threaten their self-image. Focus on how their behavior makes you feel rather than on their intentions.

Walk away if they become angry. Try again when they’re calm.

Don’t argue. They probably won’t hear you and may attack your motives.


Behavioral Interviewing —SHOW don’t TELL

By Carole Martin

A sure fire method to answering these questions.

The secret to doing well in a “behavioral interview” is showing the interviewer what you have done — not just telling him or her.

It’s the difference between your stories being flat and uninteresting and sometimes even boring and your stories being fun and interesting to listen to.

As an example, you could say, “I was very angry.” That would be telling. Or, I could show with the words,
“I stormed into the room and slammed the door and threw the books on the table.” I am no longer telling – I am showing my actions. The difference is that when those are used most people would get the idea that there was some emotion going on.

Action is very important in answering behavioral interviewing. The number one mistake made in behavioral interviewing is not showing the Action. Most people want to focus on the problem or event and not the action.


By Carole Martin

It didn’t take more than one or two falls before I learned one of life’s important lessons. That lesson applies today just as it did when I was 7 years old. “While swinging from bar-to bar on the gym set – don’t let go of one bar before you have a firm grip on the bar in front of you.” The same principal applies to JOB SEARCH – “While searching for a new job – don’t let go of the old job, if you can help it, before you are sure you have a firm offer from the next job.” As with the “monkey bars,” when you let go of the bar before you have a firm grasp on the next bar or ring, you will fall to the ground – and be unemployed. When you are searching for a new job, for whatever reason, you should think about applying the same principle.

You’re stressed, bored, burned out in your current job. It happens! So, you become disenchanted and de-motivated, for whatever reason. You make a decision that is time to leave.  OK, but what’s your plan? Two things usually happen at this stage, you start coming in late, making mistakes, and your performance and attitude go downhill. It is difficult to job search while holding down a job – that’s a given. But, when you venture to let go of your current job without having another job to go to, you could become unemployed – and that is not good. A recruiter once told me, they called an unemployed person – “distressed merchandise.” You know those tables at the stores that are marked down because they didn’t sell well? Well, that’s “distressed merchandise.”

If you make the decision that you are going to leave your job – for whatever reason, be sure to have a plan and a goal in mind. First of all, have a good “heart-to-heart” talk with yourself, and convince yourself that you are going to get a grip, and you are going to change your negative attitude. When you know that something is “temporary” it is easier to get through the stress that is dragging you down. This won’t be easy, but is possible to pull off. Next, start networking, searching online, applying for the job “you really want.” A good exercise at this point is to do a values exercise. What do you want? Is it attainable, or will you have to get more education or training? Just remember, have the ring in sight and, if possible, a firm grip on your current ring before you let go of what you are holding on to. Do a quick check up on your values -Free Values Exercise –

You are solely responsible for your success or failure

By Carole Martin

images At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure. ― Erin Cummings