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Category Archives: Interview Preparation

3 Strategies for Answering the ‘Greatest Weakness’ Interview Question


answering greatest weakness interview questionRandom people on LinkedIn reach out to me via email to ask how to handle the ‘What is your greatest weakness?’ interview question.

Without knowing someone, this is virtually impossible to answer in an email.

Depending on what your actual weaknesses and target roles are, this answer can vary widely between people when it is an authentic answer.

However, here are some angles to take when formulating your answer:Continue Reading…

The Perils of The Perfect Interview


perils perfect interviewThe paradox of the flawless record.

This was the title of Seth Godin’s Sunday (9/4/2016) blog post.

I am not even going to attempt to concisely summarize it’s precise meaning, so here you go:

The paradox of the flawless record

If your work has never been criticized, it’s unlikely you have any work.

Creating work is the point, though, which means that in order to do something that matters, you’re going to be criticized.

If your goal is to be universally liked and respected and understood, then, it must mean your goal is to not do something that matters.

Which requires hiding.

Hiding, of course, isn’t the point.

Hence the paradox. You don’t want to be criticized and you do want to matter.

The solution: Create work that gets criticized. AND, have the discernment to tell the difference between useful criticism (rare and precious) and the stuff worth ignoring (everything else).

Why is this important for you to read?Continue Reading…

Executive Interview Mistake: Leading with the Achievement Chin


executive interview mistake leading achievement chinAfter I graduated Cornell in 1992, I interviewed with The Four Seasons Clift Hotel in San Francisco for an Assistant Restaurant Manager role.

I had made it through the interviews with the HR, F&B manager and Assistant General Manager.

I was to interview with the General Manager for the final interview.

I felt good going into the interview. I graduated from a great school with a hotel degree. I had strong internship experience at a Caribbean resort and work experience at other stateside hotels.

Specifically, I was proud of the work I did at the Caribbean resort where I had worked for over 2 summers. I created job descriptions, set up a performance appraisal system and also trained the management on how to apply the system.Continue Reading…

8 Essential Steps to Take for Effective Interview Follow Up


effective interview follow upImagine you finally get your resume into the right hands. Then, you finally get a chance to interview with key decision makers with the company of your dreams. Are you ready? Are you ready to make the right moves before the interview, during the interview, and after the interview to position yourself as the best candidate to be considered?

Savvy executives know that effective interview follow up continues well after the actual interview, whether you’re applying to a corporation or with a search firm. There are certain interview follow-up steps you must take to uphold the good first impression you made in the interview. Remember: The interview follow-up steps outlined below begin while you are still on the interview — not after it has ended!

I’m a big believer that how you conduct your search communicates to the employer how you will conduct yourself on the job, so you need to continue your follow-up appropriately and professionally to seal the deal. Keep these things in mind when following up after an interview:

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How Most People Interview All Wrong


people interview all wrong

Most people, when they prepare for the interview, dutifully research the company.

These are typically the two areas they cover in depth:

Company knowledge: Products, service lines, management, competition,growth trajectories, etc…

Self Knowledge: Resume details, CAR stories, work communication styles, and standard, behavioral and situational interview question preparation, etc….




Check.Continue Reading…

6 Executive Interview Points You Must Cover to Land an Offer


executive interview pointsWhether or not you are in a revenue producing role as an executive, to land an offer in today’s economy, you have to demonstrate how your function contributes to the top/bottom line either directly or indirectly.

Addressing these 6 points in your interview better than other fellow job seekers will significantly increase your ability to land the offer and beat your competition.

Be sure you have examples from your prior employers where you demonstrate how you:
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7 Lame Reasons HR May Not Call Back After You Rocked the Interview


reasons HR may not call backI receive emails almost daily from frustrated job seekers asking me what they should do when they don’t receive any follow up from potential employers after a job interview. Frustrated, mad, disappointed, offended, tired… can you relate to any of those feelings? Those sentiments often fill my inbox, along with the question, “What is happening when HR doesn’t call me back?”

When you send a resume through an impersonal job posting, you are generally more reasonable in that you do not expect a “no thanks” response. However, after going through several rounds of interviews (especially when you think you’ve nailed it!) only to receive an eerie silence with no subsequent follow-up, I imagine it leaves you feeling outraged and frustrated. I can’t say I blame you and it always makes me sad. As a former 3rd party recruiter, I did experience it, also. I had candidates go through the process and then the corporate recruiter would go silent.

Pulling from my 13 years of recruiting experience, I wanted to shed some light on what is actually happening behind the scenes when a recruiter drops the ball throughout the recruitment and interview process. While it has become a daunting task for employers to manage the communication process, that isn’t an excuse to fail to keep a candidate in progress informed.

Please know that I do not believe any of these explanations justify the behavior. But if you can have an inkling as to what goes on inside these processes, you can realize it is not personal and recruiters are not intentionally being sneaky. In most cases, it is just human nature, incompetence, being overwhelmed or lack of information that is the cause of the lack of response. I find knowing it is not personal can ease the frustration.

Through my recruiting experience, this is what I came to realize:Continue Reading…

2 Things Most People Forget When Interviewing


forget while interviewingYou have an interview coming up.

Have the location noted… Check.

Researched the company… Check.

Researched the contacts and department where I will be working… Did that.

Suit ready to go.

Printed resumes to bring.

Studied interview questions and practiced my answers… Check.

Made sure I have stories for my resume bullets and know my resume inside and out…Check and check…

At this point, most people feel fully ready for the interview by covering these basic tenets of interviewing.Continue Reading…

EXECUTIVE SKYPE INTERVIEWS: What You Need To Know To Connect With Your Interviewer


executive skype interviewsEmployers are using Skype for interviewing more than ever to save time and money. No need to fly candidates in or schedule all day interviews to capitalize on a candidate physically being in town. Also, with an increasing global workforce where teams work remotely, Skype interviewing helps to see how a candidate interfaces virtually as a precursor to how they will communicate virtually with a team.

Companies typically use Skype for the initial screening interview. However, I have seen entire hiring processes done virtually to make a hire. How Skype is used during the interview process depends on the structure of the company and what the company is trying to assess.Continue Reading…

2016 Executive Job Interview Trends


2016 executive job interview trendsWant to come across as a savvy executive interviewer on your next interview? As you are preparing your answers to interview questions, do not underestimate preparation for interview logistics. Many interview assessments are now done via video and Skype. Additionally, do not rely on your traditional negotiation tactics in answering questions. Boldly doing it differently will set you apart from the competition. Here are six tactics, stemming from trends we are seeing, you will want to use in your next interview:

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Make Your Skeleton Dance to Nail Your Next Interview


make your skeleton dance nail your next interviewDo you fear being asked about the rocky performance you had in your last or current job on the next interview?

Did you have a less-than-favorable relationship with your CEO recently and you are dreading the interviewer asking the “tell me about how well you worked with your boss” question?

Unsure how to handle the skeletons in your closet?

I say take it out of the closet and make it dance….

Continue Reading…

Executive Phone Interview? 10 Important Techniques to Land the Offer


executive-phone-interviewExecutive phone interviews are very different from an in-person or video interview and pose special challenges. When the job position you want is on the line, you need to know how to make the right impression.

Employment interviews take place in person, via webcam, and on the telephone. The big difference for a telephone interview is the lack of your ability to see, or telegraph, important nonverbal cues.

To some, a telephone interview is a comfortable alternative to the exposure of a video interview, or the intensity of an in-person interview. Interestingly, a survey by Software Advice found applicants who had experienced a video interview preferred video to a phone interview. A big reason for the preference is the ability to share nonverbal messaging.

When you have a phone interview for an executive position, how can you use that format to your advantage?

Continue Reading…

Dealing with Monkey-Mind during a Job Interview or Work Day


Dealing with Monkey-Mind during a Job Interview or Work DayStressful meetings, negotiations and complex projects fracture the perspective of many job candidates and executives. If nerves are draining your confidence, there are strategies you can use to succeed.

The impact of acute or chronic stress on the human body is well-documented. While rapid release of cortisol and adrenaline may save your life in an emergency, the continued release of these stress hormones may damage your health—and career opportunities.Continue Reading…

7 Clues the Interview Didn’t Go as Planned


interview didn't go as plannedThe most difficult part of the job search for many is the dreaded interview. Interviews are designed to test applicants to see if they will be a good fit for the company. After an interview, it is normal to spend time waiting for a phone call as you hope to land that next job. However, if you pay attention to a few details, you can probably already tell if you have shot at the job or not. Knowing when an interview didn’t go as planned is just as important as feeling good when you know it went great. This allows you to stop the waiting game and keep going with your search so you can land a job that will be a great fit for you much more quickly.Continue Reading…

Exploratory Interviews: How to Land Them and Make Them Work for You


exploratory interviewsQuestion: When is a job interview not a job interview?
Answer: When it is an exploratory (or informational) interview.

Exploratory interviews are a high-value way to network, obtain information and leave a good impression in a workplace that might interest you. Whether you seek a position, or desire a transition, an IEJI can bridge the distance between where you are in your career and where you want to be.

Even without a current job opening, company management often welcomes these conversations with high-caliber talent as a proactive way to procure talent for the next open position. You can access their expertise and investigate your options by arranging an exploratory or informational executive job interview (IEJI).Continue Reading…

Many Interviews, Zero Offers – 5 Ways to Audit Your Interview Performance


audit your interview performanceYou might have had a few interviews. But, no offers. That could mean the competition was significantly more qualified than you were. Or that you could improve how you interview.

Doing an Executive Interview Audit

However, if you’ve had many interviews and zero offers, then it makes common sense to do an audit of what has transpired during past interviews to see what can be modified to improve performance. Just as in accounting, an audit on your interviews is conducted to uncover possible problems. Regular audits make good financial sense in business and they could make a difference in the outcomes of your interviews.

Essentially there are 5 major areas to check over.Continue Reading…

3 Ways to Master the “Why Should We Hire You?” Interview Question


master why should we hire you interview questionInterviewing can be stressful – especially if it’s been awhile since you last did it. You prepare ahead of time by researching the company, the position, the contacts with whom you will interview and the challenges the company may be experiencing. You rehearse answers to expected interview questions outlining your accomplishments and the stories behind them. You are ready to knock them dead for your upcoming executive interview!

Even with research, preparation and rehearsal, some questions can take you off guard. My favorite recent example being, “If you were a part of a cheeseburger, which part would you be?” Best answer, in my opinion, “Umm, yeah – the cheese, of course!”

Silly questions aside, the question “Why should we hire you?” or “Why do you want this job?” will surface often and can put even the most prepared job seeker on edge. Expect it to come and prepare for it. It’s best not to have a generic answer.

But what makes a good answer? Here are three tips to keep in mind as you formulate your own response.Continue Reading…

How Introverts Can Show Passion During a Job Interview


introverts can show passion during a job interviewThe challenges of introverts in the work force have been well documented in research studies, articles and surveys. After all, it would seem that in order to succeed in your career you would need to be an extravert.

One such challenge many introverts face is that of showing passion during a job interview. In particular, it can be difficult for an introvert to talk about themselves or think on their feet because by nature they take their time to really listen and are more deliberate about responses.

So how can an introvert overcome this challenge to show passion and enthusiasm?Continue Reading…

2015 Job Interview Trends


2015 job interview trendsIf you’ve been following the Chameleon Resumes blog lately then you know we’ve been covering the latest trends in job hunting, LinkedIn and resumes for the new year. Of course, an overview of trends for an upcoming year wouldn’t be complete without mentioning interviews!

We’ve curated a list of what to expect in the coming year – from new trends to old methods that are making a comeback.Continue Reading…

Why Recruiters Ask For Desired Salary Early On (And What to Do About It)


desired salaryYou may have noticed on your job hunt that recruiters get down to business fast. In fact, you may be surprised that they are asking a candidate about their desired salary right off the bat. It may have even rubbed you the wrong way.

The truth is that this practice isn’t going anywhere. Below you’ll find out why and how to handle the question when it comes up.Continue Reading…

4 Tips for Nailing the “Tell Me About Yourself” Question


tell me about yourselfIt doesn’t matter how far you’ve climbed up the ladder. Everyone hates to be asked the interview question, “So, tell me about yourself.” How a candidate reacts and answers this simple interview question can be extremely telling of a candidate’s viability for an executive role, so it’s important to bring your A game to this challenge.

While this popular interviewing question does pose a lot of potential land mines, you can avoid them by following some tips.Continue Reading…

Ace a Panel Interview for an Executive Position


ace a panel interviewPanel interviews are becoming increasingly popular because it streamlines the hiring process for the company. Instead of the candidate interviewing with one person at a time they meet everyone involved in the hiring decision at the same time.

As a result panel interviews can also be extra nerve wrecking for the candidate. Use our tips to make sure you ace a panel interview.Continue Reading…

How to Make Competition Irrelevant

make competition irrelevantJob candidates at every level worry a lot about what other candidates are saying during interviews. Oftentimes they are also worried about credentials, status and experience. In other words, they’re worried about the competition.

While it’s completely normal to be a little concerned about your competition, the reality is this can actually make you fumble during job interviews. If you’re stressed about what other people are doing it will undoubtedly affect your own performance.

That being said, there are ways to become more confident in your own abilities while making the competition irrelevant. Below you’ll find just a few examples.Continue Reading…

Be Bold with Interview: How to Act Like You Have the Job to Land the Job

Act Like You Have the Job to Land the JobBeing interview ready, means more than showing up with your resume materials in-hands. It’s about showing the hiring manager how prepared you are for their role, and how easily you will be able to step into their open position. At the end of the day, the hiring manager wants to know how easy or difficult it will be to transition you onto their team.

When you interview, you need to be bold and act like you have the job to land the job you are after. And to do that, you need to make an impact during your in-person interviews. Creating a 30, 60, and 90 day plan of action using the steps below shows not only initiative, but that you are ready to be a candidate of action.Continue Reading…

How to Definitively Demonstrate Leadership Skills in an Executive Job Interview

executive job interview When looking for an executive level position, you have to specifically show the employer with concrete examples that you can lead others—you can’t just say you have led teams and assume the executive recruiter will understand how.  Unfortunately, this seems to be an area where many executive job seekers tend to fumble.  Do you feel this describes you? As an accomplished, powerful executive, you have to outline to the potential employer that you are just as good in person as you are on paper. This often times requires you to explicitly state why you’re such a good leader which can feel somewhat uncomfortable. Below you’ll find some tips for overcoming any blocks you may have about showing your leadership qualities.Continue Reading…

4 Interviewing Truths Learned from the NJ (not NY) Super Bowl 2014

125 - superbowlLiving 2.5 miles from Metlife stadium located in East Rutherford, NJ, I found it odd watching the Super Bowl to see all of the New York location wannabe references to an actual New Jersey-based event. It seems the NFL put a lot of effort into making the Super Bowl seem like it was in NY and not in NJ, where it was actually help.

It got me thinking. Things just do not go smoothly when we are pretending to be something we are not, no matter what the context. In the same weekend, I had two events happen:Continue Reading…

7 Actions For Effective Interview Follow Up

interview follow upFor effective interview follow up, savvy interviewers know the interview process continues well after the actual interview, whether you’re applying to a corporation or with a search firm. There are certain interview follow up steps you must take to uphold the good first impression you made in the interview. These interview follow up steps actually do not start at the end of the interview, but they start while you are still on the interview.

I’m a big believer that how you conduct your search communicates to the employer how you will conduct yourself on the job, so you need to continue your follow-up appropriately and professionally to seal the deal. Keep these things in mind when following up after an interview:Continue Reading…

Dealing With Employers Who Don’t Follow Up After an Interview

Dealing With An Employer Who Doesn't Follow Up After A Job InterviewOne of the most frustrating things for job seekers (and a question I hear often) is how to deal with interviewers who don’t follow up and don’t respond to contact attempts.

When you’re trying your hardest to prepare for and nail an interview, it can be agonizing to hear nothing but crickets from the interviewer for weeks afterward, particularly if you’ve been unemployed for a while. I’m sorry for anyone having this experience, but it is an unfortunate part of the job search landscape nowadays. Here we will discuss dealing with employers who don’t follow up after an interview in an effective and productive manner.Continue Reading…

What Happens When HR Does Not Call You Back After An Interview

Waiting for Recruiters to CallYou, as a job seeker, are continually appalled at the lack of follow-through on the part of potential employers throughout your job search after you have interviewed a number of times. You cannot help but wonder what happens when HR does not call you back after what you thought was a great interview.

You are reasonable in that you do not expect a “no thanks” response when sending a resume through an impersonal job posting. However, after going through several rounds of interviews only to receive an eerie silence with no subsequent follow-up, I imagine it leaves you feeling outraged and frustrated. I can’t say I blame you.

I am a former search firm recruiter and I can tell you that it always makes me sad to hear this. As a former 3rd party recruiter, I did experience it, also. I would have candidates going through the process and then the corporate recruiter would go silent.Continue Reading…

10 Crucial Interview Points to Leave a Lasting Impression

Interview Preparation
How do you leave a lasting impression on your next interview? You land an interview for an incredible executive-level position you discovered online or through your network. What a relief to receive the interview call for this opportunity! The door is officially open and your foot is officially in the door. Now it’s time to walk across the threshold and make a great impression. How do you deliver a strong, solid interview? Incorporate these ten crucial points, when preparing for your next interview, to make a lasting impression to land that great job:Continue Reading…

6 Ways to Rock the Overqualified Job Interview Question

overqualified job interview questionAre you often perplexed by the situation where you are being asked back for a job interview, sometimes the second or third interview, and manager asks, “Aren’t you overqualified for this job?”  (Side note: I mean, can’t they tell you are overqualified from looking at your resume? Do they need to bring you in once or multiple times to verify that?) But even if you are going in for the first interview, and they ask you what seems like the possibly obvious “Overqualified Job Interview Question,” here is what it tells me: it tells me the company has interest in you. Think about it. They probably already know that you are overqualified. In most cases, they can tell from your resume. So if you are told that at some point in the process, I believe you are not getting rejected for being overqualified—it is something you said. As an overqualified candidate, you need to convince the hiring manager how your situation will benefit them, if they hired you—and don’t focus so much on why it is good for you to take this job. How you handle the question determines if you are advanced through the process. Here are the most unique ways you can answer this question:

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Successful Video Interviewing Tips for Job Seekers

Video interviewing is becoming more prevalent for corporate recruiting departments, as human resource departments seek out cost-effective ways of interviewing the higher volume of available candidates to locate the right hire for their open roles. Being able to communicate your value to an employer through video or Skype is paramount. Here are nine successful  video interviewing tips that can help you impress your prospective employer and allow your strengths to resonate with the hiring manager:

  • Practice by making a video of yourself answering sample interview questions—then watch yourself answering the questions on camera. That is what you will most likely look like on the screen to the interviewer. Make note of adjustments, mannerisms, eye contact and background settings when applying these successful video interviewing tips.Continue Reading…

The 4 Job Search Tools You Need (But Did Not Know About) On

One of the best online sites for jobseekers is Indeed is the #1 job site worldwide, with over 60 million unique visitors and 1 billion job searches across more than 50 countries each month. I recommend it to my clients and use it in my job search coaching process. Indeed lists jobs from a huge assortment of job boards and company listings, so rather than visit all the popular job boards and employers’ websites one by one, you can “one stop shop” at Indeed. It can save precious time that you can use to contact people directly—a key activity of a successful job search. You can set up Job Alerts from Indeed with pre-determined, filtered job searches of jobs you want to be emailed to you. And best of all, it’s all free. But many jobseekers don’t take advantage of all the capabilities that Indeed has to offer. Here are a few that can help you take your job search to the next level:

1. Indeed Resume – Indeed has over 60 million visitors each month. Millions of job seekers have created a Indeed Resume. Creating an Indeed Resume is an extremely easy way to help you get noticed, as simple as uploading your existing resume to your profile. “Because Indeed Resume is open to all companies and free to search, your resume can be found by many more employers than would be possible with a traditional job board’s resume database,” says Sophie Beaurpere, Director of Communications for the company. And another bonus, she adds, is that “you can also use your resume to apply to jobs directly through Indeed.”Continue Reading…

Guest Blog Post: 7 Things HR is Thinking When They Are Interviewing You

Contact: Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

Often when you have a job interview, you have to meet with HR first. As a former staffing manager for a Fortune 500 company, and a career and job coach, I have seven insights to share about what HR is thinking as they interview you. Knowing these will help make your interview with HR count.

1. How prepared are you? We hope you did not only check our website.
The last thing that Human Resources wants to hear is you asking us how many employees we have or what states we are in, since you can easily find that information online. Before you go to an interview, learn something about us – our products, our history and our challenges, and apply that knowledge to formulate thoughtful questions or ideas. Asking for information that can be easily found on our website will ensure you will sink to the bottom of our list and may not even make it to the next step.Continue Reading…

Embrace Your Interview Mistakes & Learn How to Deal With Them Gracefully

Ideally, let’s not make mistakes on an interview. However, job seekers are human. Humans make mistakes. So mistakes will happen. I think an interview mistake can be an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

When I recruited for my team and for the clients for whom I found talent as a search firm recruiter, I would actually welcome the mistakes made by candidates. I did not automatically weed out those candidates that made errors and I did not immediately move on those that interviewed without a misstep. How candidates handled the mistake, the type of mistake they made and the level of perfection achieved on the interview by candidates factored into my decision to advance a candidate to the next round of interviews. What should you do if it happens to you?Continue Reading…

4 Ways to Be Ready for the Difficult Interview Questions

The cardinal rule of interviewing seems to be “never say anything negative on an interview.” But that does not mean the hiring manager will not ask you about the blemish, challenge or failure in your past that you would prefer not to talk about, if given the choice. Despite your best efforts, the interviewer will find a way to ask you about your unreasonable boss, the company that went bankrupt, your layoff, the sales plan you missed, the budget you exceeded, the gap in your resume or your nutty co-workers. Or maybe you were fired—<gasp>. How do you diplomatically and confidently discuss these issues with a prospective employer, when what you really want to do is hide in the nearest corner when they arise?Continue Reading…

4 Ways to Be Ready for the Difficult Interview Questions

The cardinal rule of interviewing seems to be “never say anything negative on an interview.” But that does not mean the hiring manager will not ask you about the blemish, challenge or failure in your past that you would prefer not to talk about, if given the choice. Despite your best efforts, the interviewer will find a way to ask you about your unreasonable boss, the company that went bankrupt, your layoff, the sales plan you missed, the budget you exceeded, the gap in your resume or your nutty co-workers. Or maybe you were fired—<gasp>. How do you diplomatically and confidently discuss these issues with a prospective employer, when what you really want to do is hide in the nearest corner when they arise?Continue Reading…

41 Mistakes that Job Seekers Make which Kill Their Career Prospects and Sabotage Their Job Search

Struggling with your job search? Not seeing results that you want, but not sure why? Review this list and if you 10 or more of these reasons resonate with you, then we need to chat about what you can fix to get results (you can sign up for a call on the right):

(1) Go into a new field without major research
(2) Send the same thank you note to all interviewers
(3) Think they have to have 100% clarity as to what they want before they start to look
(4) Only submit to job postings and never reach out to people at companies directly
(5) Assume the tactics that worked for their job search three years ago will work for them nowContinue Reading…

How I Landed An Interview…Without Even Trying…

How I Landed An Interview... Without

Yes, I landed what I would call an interview a couple of weeks ago without looking for a job or to work for an outside company. How did it happen? I was reading a blog post from a fellow career services professional who runs a group at a large career management firm. This person made a great point in how successful job seekers at all levels (in their particular case they cater to the executive job seeker) are repackaging their skill sets to reinvent themselves within their existing profession or an entirely new profession. Continue Reading…