The Most Annoying Question You’re Asking in an Interview

I’m not sure when it started or who thought it would be a good closing statement, but it’s time you stopped asking the most annoying question during an interview:

“What do you think of my candidacy? Will you be passing me along to the next round?”

It sounds benign. I mean, of course you want to know if the interviewer feels that you are qualified for the job, if you have a chance to continue on to the next round. But what are you expecting the interviewer to actually say to you?

You are making the most annoying mistake – putting the interviewer on the spot. Most people aren’t going to tell you that you’re an awful candidate and if they say they are sending you along, they don’t want to give you false hope.

The process is simple – the interviewer, let’s just say the recruiter, is either going to think you are qualified to be considered as a candidate or not. But that’s about all the say they have in the process. They either pass your resume along to the hiring manager… or not. Who the hiring manager decides to interview or feels is a good fit for what he/she is seeking, is what propels you to the next round.

Even if you were the recruiter’s favorite candidate, the hiring manager may take one look at your resume and think you are lacking a huge skillset or necessary qualification. So regardless if the recruiter passes your resume along or not, you may not ever get the next interview.

What you really want to know is… is there still hope for me in this role?

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Book Review: 101 Secrets for Your Twenties by Paul Angone

Paul Angone’s first book, 101 Secrets for Your Twenties was released on July 1st. Now I must warn you – Paul is my partner in crime over at Life After College, so I was a bit unsure if I could write an unbiased review of his book… until I read the book! While my 20’s are sadly in my rear-view mirror, I found the book funny, engaging, still relevant, and a super-quick read.

Based on Paul’s viral post – 21 Secrets for Your 20’s, the book expands on advice that everyone in their 20’s should know before venturing out “into the real world.” It is chock-full of advice that brings the isolation and sometimes desolation of your 20’s into perspective with the realization that you are NOT alone.

Each chapter I thought… “ooh, that’s my favorite one” and “oh, how true!” There was one chapter that spoke to me – not as a 20 something, but as a good reminder of life. Chapter 33:

“Just because you grow up doesn’t mean you grow out of your insecurities. Sometimes, if you’re not careful, you grow into them. Insecurities are like Swamp Things. Just when you think you’ve escaped, they rise up for a surprise attack.”

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I Don’t Have a College Degree

Now, more than ever, “professional” job descriptions include a specific level of education required (four-year college degree), with additional education preferred (master’s degree). Going to college has become the traditional route for most high school graduates – it’s just what comes next.

I won’t debate the merits of a college degree as a requirement (although I do have a ton to say about this), but this trendy requirement has left many qualified working professionals without a degree, in a lurch.

What are you supposed to do if you don’t have a college degree? How do you get a new job?

First, let’s talk about what a college degree is supposed to show to a recruiter – knowledge, skills, determination, and a thirst for learning. Without a degree, you have to show these same skills and knowledge, in another way!

If you have been working for more than 10 years, there is no doubt that you possess all of these attributes… and they are probably more applicable than what was learned during your college years.

Show me baby!

Knowledge: Think about areas in which you are a subject matter expert. What do you know like the back of your hand? What class could you teach in school? Take this expertise and incorporate it into your resume and cover letter. You want it to shout, “I know so much about this!”

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How to Interview with Recruiters

You finally get the call (or email), for a position that you are super excited about, requesting your availability to chat with the recruiter and your foot is officially in the door. You are so excited to make a lasting impression now that you finally have the chance… everything is ready to go.

But following the phone interview, you aren’t asked back – and you have no idea why.

The Biggest Mistakes You Are Making During Phone Interviews

Your Approach.

Your excitement about landing an interview tends to lead to overshare during your first interview. The most important thing to remember when you are speaking to a recruiter is this: they are not the subject matter experts for the position you are applying for, the hiring manager is.

Stop getting in the weeds with details, acronyms, and your awesomeness when speaking to a recruiter. They typically are going to glaze over – they don’t have to know those types of details, and they aren’t usually looking for that type of information either.

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Stop Making these LinkedIn Errors

There is no question that being on LinkedIn is the best social media outlet when you are searching for a job. While having an active and up-to-date profile is a must, if you are making the mistakes below, you may be doing more harm than good. (To recap the basics you need, go here).

Stop Making these Errors on Your Profile

Error 1: Calling yourself a consultant when you’re really just unemployed.

It’s obvious when you have a consulting company name and then… no link to a website or other type of landing-page to talk about what you are actually doing as a consultant. Not to mention that this use of “consultant” harms the people out there who are making a living consulting.

If you are unemployed, your profile should gently reflect that – not show a made-up/fake “company” to bridge your time while you are seeking a new position. You can claim being a consultant, if you are making income from your business, on a consistent basis. At the very least, you need to have a place for recruiters to go when they look up your business – so make it official, or leave it off altogether.

Error 2: Listing awards that have no meaning outside of the company.

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