The year is finally coming to a close and what a year it has been. For many job seekers, the end of 2009 brings relief and hope for a better 2010. It would be an understatement to say that this year has been a tough one for many, but the good news is things are beginning to look a little brighter. Many economists are predicting that we may not see tremendous growth in the first quarter of next year, however, the number of jobs being lost is steadily declining. Even though there are still cut-backs happening, these cut-backs are much less severe than what we have experienced in the last 8 months. The good news is that even though certain industries have been hit hard, such as real estate, new positions are beginning to surface in other areas that job seekers can transition into.
Social Media is a wonderful tool that can be used by business owners and job seekers alike. Below are the top reasons why you should be using Social Media to help grow your business:
* Gain visibility and exposure
* Learn about your competition and find out what they are doing to get business
* Gauge customer feedback and manage your customer service
* Manage your brand and build a reputation
* Gain valuable alliances and build referral networks to help you grow your business
The NUMBER 1 reason you should be incorporating Social Media into your marketing and/or business plan is IT’S FREE! There is no better way to increase your ROI when all you are investing is time. Time is valuable, sometimes even more so than money, but if you use the time you spend on Social Media for your business wisely, the returns you will see will be greater than you could have imagined.
There is not much you can do to prepare for a behavioral interview. One tip I can give you that can enhance your chances of success in a behavioral interview is to come up with a list of at least 10 situations, including times where you overcame an obstacle or challenge, and how those situations were resolved. Below you will find a list of some of the more common behavioral interview questions:
Tell me about how you workedeffectively under pressure?
Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion tosuccessfully convince someone to see things your way.
Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situationthat demonstrated your coping skills.
Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able tomeet or achieve it.
Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to apolicy with which you did not agree.
Please discuss an important written document you were required tocomplete.
Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the callof duty in order to get a job done.
Describe a situation when you or a group that you were a part ofwere in danger of missing a deadline. What did you do?
Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split seconddecision.
Give me an example of a bad decision that you made and what youlearned from that mistake?
Tell me about a time when something you tried to accomplish andfailed. What did you learn from that failure?
Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and youwere required to prioritize your tasks.
What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me anexample.
Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal withanother person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (orvice versa).
Give me an example of when you showed initiativ
e and took thelead.
Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with avery upset customer or co-worker.
Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-findingskills to solve a problem.
Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to aproblem.
Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems anddeveloped preventive measures.
Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopulardecision.
Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How?
What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it.
Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.
Have you gone above and beyond the call of duty? If so, how?
Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it.
Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
Give an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem.
There are several interview questions that are meant to trick you, and these questions require a little creative thinking. One such example is: “What sort of management style do you prefer: someone who micro-manages you or someone who gives you complete autonomy?”
“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.” Moliere
Are you someone that others can count on to show up? Are you someone who is accountable for your actions? Are there areas in your life that you are responsible for, but others that you let slide by?
Why is it that we always place blame, rather than take responsibility?
If you have done any of the following 5 things in the last 60 days, I would encourage you to ask yourself: How responsible am I?
1) Been late for an appointment or meeting
2) Not shown up for an event or commitment without calling to let anyone know
3) Cancelled plans with less then 24 hours notice
4) Missed a deadline for a project
5) Paid a bill late
If you have missed a deadline or appointment, it does not make you a bad person. Everyone has to cancel an appointment or push back a deadline from time to time. All that is there is to become aware of is how your actions directly relate to other people’s perception of you. If you are someone who is consistently late, or does not show up, chances are you might be viewed as someone who is unreliable or flaky. Being an individual who others can rely on is of the utmost importance. In order to have success both in life and in one’s career, others must be able to trust you and to know that they can count on you to keep your word. Every time you break a promise, others lose a little more faith in you, until one day, they no longer feel they can rely on you at all.
Below are the top 3 steps that you can take to transform your relationship to responsibility:
1) Do a personal assessment of where you are breaking your word and get in communication with those you have broken your word with
2) Get present to the fact that every action you take has an effect on those around you
3) Practice saying “No.” Only committ to things that you can accomplish so that you will set realistic expectations for yourself and for others
Taking responsibility for yourself and your actions is the first step towards personal and professional success.
1) Volunteer.Volunteering is a great way to gain valuable experience to make yourself more marketable, while at the same time, contributing to your community. If you do not know what type of place you would like to volunteer at, or where to find volunteer opportunities please check out www.volunteermatch.org/
2) Join Toastmasters. Joining Toastmasters is a great way to increase your confidence and your ability to communicate clearly. This is extremely important tool to have in interviews and in networking situations. To find your local Toastmasters go to: www.toastmasters.org
3) Join Meetup and/or Networking Groups. Often times, people become depressed from sitting at home and not having the social element that they are used to from having a job. A great way to combat this feeling of loneliness is to joining a networking group such as www.meetup.com or a job hunting networking group like www.pinkslipmixers.com
4) Take classes. Have you ever wanted to learn photography, writing or graphic design? There is no time like the present. You can take classes at UCLA, Santa Monica College, Westwood College, University of Phoenix or find a local college in your area that offers classes on a subject that interests you by going to: www.college.com
5) Start up an MLM Business. Some people may scoff at Multi-Level-Marketing Businesses, but the reason there are so many out there is because they work! With such a wide variety of products and business types, you have a plethora of choices of what type of business to go into and how much you want to invest. Some MLMs may require a significant investment, but others you can start for as little as $30 a year like Melaleuca. To find the right one for you go to: www.mlmrankings.com
6) Mystery Shop. Not a lot of people are familiar with Mystery Shopping or at least they do not talk about it for obvious reasons. Mystery Shopping can be a fast, easy and fun way to earn some extra money. In some cases you can even get reimbursed for food and lodging. Mystery Shopping is not for everyone, as you do have to be very observant and detail oriented, but for some, it is a great way to help supplement your income. Be careful of SCAMS! Some good websites to check out are: www.mysteryshop.org, www.sassieshop.com and www.bestmark.com
7) Take freelance/contract work on. Contract work is a great way to gain experience and knowledge in a field you might not be as strong in, check out a company’s atmosphere, as well as, offer you a chance to have a flexible schedule and make money at the same time. A few great ways to find contract work are through utilizing recruiters, checking out websites like www.jobsdirectusa.com or going to www.elance.com
8) Start a Blog. Blogging is not for everyone, although I highly recommend it! If you want to appear to be the expert in your field. There is no easier, cheaper way to become an expert then by blogging. It is important to pick a subject that inspires you and that you will want to write about every month. I personally recommend blogging at least once a week if not more. To start a blog on a website that offers free hosting, check out this great Mashable article about the top 40 free blogging sites: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=mpiotbdab.0.0.eknbpzcab.0&ts=S0424&p=http%3A%2F%2Fmashable.com%2F2007%2F08%2F06%2Ffree-blog-hosts%2F&id=preview To learn how to blog effectively you can check out this website: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=mpiotbdab.0.0.eknbpzcab.0&ts=S0424&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.problogger.net%2F31dbbb-workbook%2F&id=preview
9) Start your own Social Network. Have you ever wanted to start your own Social Network? If the answer is yes, it has never been easier or more fun. There is a website called: www.ning.com which allows you to build your own Social Network. It can be a business endeavour or it can be just for fun. Either way, it is a great way to further showcase your interests and talents.
10) Start a Business. Starting your own business may seem daunting at first, but it can be a wonderful way to help you make money while you are looking for a full time job. You never know, you might even wind up doing your new business full time. Chances are, you already are an expert in one area or another. You can easily take that expertise and launch a consulting business. Social Media tools like www.twellow.com, www.facebook.com and www.twitter.com make it simple to advertise for free and get your name out there. To learn more about how to start your own small business go to: www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/index.html
Typical Interview Questions to prepare for:
Tell me about yourself…
Why should we want to hire you?
Why would you like to work for us?
Why did you leave your last job/Why are you looking to leave your job?
What is your biggest weakness/strength?
What is your bottom line salary requirement or what are your salary expectations?
What makes you qualified for this job?
What do you know about this company?
What can you contribute to this company?
Are you overqualified for this position?
What has been your biggest disappointment in life?
What was the biggest challenge/failure or success you have ever faced?
How do you handle pressure/stress?
Tell me about a time when you didn’t get along with your boss and how you handled it?
What type of work environment do you prefer?
Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team?
Describe a time where you encountered a problem on a project and how you overcame it?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What are you looking for in your next position?
How do you plan to achieve those goals?
Panel interviews are typically twice as hard and half as much fun as regular interviews. Instead of trying to capture the attention of one cranky human resources professional, you are now responsible to entertain 2, 3 or sometimes even 5 interviewers at once. The question then becomes, how do you keep their attention in positive manner?