Posts Tagged ‘interviews’

4 Interview Mistakes That Could Cost You the Job – and How to Avoid Them

Posted on: August 17th, 2017 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Interviews

Interview skills trainingSo you’ve gotten over the first significant hurdle of making it to interview stage with your professionally written career documentation. Now it’s time to consider that next major hurdle which is being interviewed. It’s a scary prospect for most of us. But if you’re prepared, the job jitters are far less likely to disrupt your interview stamina. You’re also giving yourself a much better chance of winning that desired role – of standing out from your competitors.

“So many people out there have no idea what they want to do for a living, but they think that by going on job interviews they’ll magically figure it out. If you’re not sure, that message comes out loud and clear in the interview.” (Todd Bermont, World-Leading Careers Coach)

As part of your groundwork, here are five areas I’d suggest you consider to better ensure a positive interview experience:

1) Lack of research could convey lack of confidence/capability

Even if you already conducted research prior to applying, once you’ve gotten the call-up, spend more time investigating the company, the role, as well as your most relevant offerings. Not only will this communicate your willingness to show initiative and go above and beyond, but you’re also more likely to feel empowered and self-assured during the interview.

  • Company research may also influence what you wear to the interview – what’s most appropriate.

“Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless applying for the job of umpire.” (Dan Zevin, Award-Winning Author)

2) Misguided transport and inappropriate talk could convey unprofessionalism

Well-before your scheduled interview, spend time working out the most efficient route and car parking options (if relevant), and try to arrive 10-15 minutes early. It’s not going to do you any job-winning favours if you turn up late and/or flustered. Another professional no-no is talking negatively about former employers, even if you did have a really bad time. Instead, think about how you could turn this into a positive experience if asked about it, such as how you tried to resolve the situation.

  • Also consider body language during the interview – sit up straight, look straight ahead, and smile.

3) Focusing on your career expectations could convey self-centredness

As you may have already learnt from your professionally written career documentation, it’s far more about showing the employer what you can do for them – not what they can do for you. Keep this perspective alive while preparing for and attending the interview.

  • Convince the employer that you’re the best candidate to meet their specific job needs.

4) A lack of questions and answers could convey a lack of discipline

As part of your research, deliberate on what sort of questions you may be asked, as well as what you may want to ask. For example, if you’re asked about your professional weaknesses – a common interview question – think of one that you overcame and how that would benefit your new employer.

  • Also draft up some potential questions to ask them, based on your company research.

It’s such a competitive employment market, so why wouldn’t you want to continually stamp your stand-out skillset and capabilities – from when you first apply through to when the role officially becomes yours. Well-prepared, interview-savvy applicants are far more likely to register with the recruiters as ideal candidates.


Sarah Cronin Consulting helps job seekers to improve their skills in interviewing and presenting themselves as the ideal candidate for the position, assisting candidates to manage interview stress, negotiate salary packages, and ensure they are prepared for their job interview. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your needs further.

6 Reasons Why Thank You Messages are ‘Career Gold’

Posted on: February 24th, 2015 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Interviews

Executive Resume Writing ServicesSo you made it to interview stage for your dream job. You’ve had the meeting and you’re now anticipating how you went. Waiting on the recruiter’s telling email or phone call can feel a bit like competing in a marathon.

But it really doesn’t have to be the drawn-out silent scenario where you sit back and wait. Instead, how about further selling yourself and your employment eagerness by being first to make contact. A thank you note to your recruiter or prospective employer goes a long way in a competitive job market, as the next six reasons confirm.


  1. Another opportunity to stand out: You’re professionally tailored resume and cover letter no doubt helped you to be chosen for an interview. Well now it’s time to individualise yourself even further by using your initiative and sending a follow-up message.
  2. Shows you can ‘walk the talk’: Strong communication abilities are essential in most job roles. Writing a personal thank you note further validates your confident, interpersonal communication skills, and that you know when to follow through on previous interactions.
  3. It may open other doors: In addition to increasing your likelihood of getting through to the next interview or meeting stage (if there is one), a thank you note may also create further job opportunities. Positive, proactive communications can sometimes lead to ‘surprise’ openings.
  4. A chance to back yourself: If there had been any objections during your interview that weren’t fully resolved (e.g. lack of experience in a particular area), this also provides an opportunity to address them. It’s often worth stepping away and assessing what was discussed before providing a clear answer.
  5. You can accurately pinpoint your assets/value: After the interview, you’ll likely have a clearer perspective on what the employer is seeking. Thus your most relevant achievements and/or qualifications can be further drilled down into and reconfirmed in the thank you note.
  6. Shows the company that you care: Employers are seeking personnel who want to assimilate into the business and play an active role. By sending a thank you message that also reiterates what you like about the company, you’re on your way to fulfilling this prerequisite.

Winning a job is rarely a one- to two-step process, so embrace all recruitment stages with enthusiasm and self-belief. Throwing a personalised, well-written thank you message into the recruitment mix can only be of benefit.


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Kickstart Strategies to Overcome Interview Nerves

Posted on: October 1st, 2014 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Interviews

Interview Skills

How internally satisfying is it when your resume and/or LinkedIn profile is one of the ‘chosen ones’? It feels great when you get the call up from the recruiter or target employer who’d like to find out more.

However, the next stage of landing that dream job is often a daunting one. The job interview is a hurdle many of us struggle to leap over. Unfortunately, interview nerves and anxieties can be very real for people at all stages of their career – from up-and-coming professionals to senior leaders and executives with extensive interview experience.

“You may never get rid of the butterflies, but you can teach them how to fly in formation.” –
(Author Unknown)

As this author confirms, it’s essential to acknowledge your interview ‘wobblies’ and to work with them. Some of the tips listed below will help to highlight your confidence and strengths, and overshadow your doubts.

Know your job description – preparation is essential, so learn the job description’s contents, thoroughly consider the employer’s requirements and how you can meet them.

Arrive early – sounds obvious doesn’t it? ‘Fashionably late’ doesn’t apply to job interviews. Consider arriving 5-10 minutes early to ensure you don’t arrive in a fluster; this will help your nerves and give you a chance to have a breather and feel a little more comfortable before you’re called in.

Be question-ready – there’ll likely be a mix of standard and specific interview questions, so practise your answers… and then practice them again. Questions may include:

  • “Tell us a little more about yourself.”
  • “What made you apply for this role?”
  • “What would you say your strengths are?”
  • “Why do you think you deserve this job?”
  • “Tell us about your contributions to your previous employers/teams.”
  • “Have you ever had to manage a difficult staff member?”
  • “Can you recall a time when you resolved a difficult problem/satisfied a challenging client?”
  • And the biggie – “What are your weaknesses, and what are you doing to overcome them?”

Take your time in responding but don’t waffle; get to the point.

Keep it real – professionalism is important, but also let your true personality shine. Most employers want someone they can relate to on a personal level, and they’ll want to know that you can fit in with the team.

Seek answers – the interview process runs parallel. Also ask questions to confirm it’s the right role for you and to showcase your research skills. Again, practise your questions before the interview.

Keep on smiling – it’s hard to feel stressed or nervous if you’re smiling, and it can spread interview positivity. Believe in yourself and visualise success – don’t get swamped by the insecurities we all encounter.

Applying these strategies can be of great benefit during the job interview stage. It’s all about believing in yourself and being fully prepared.

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