Who’s Interviewing Whom: Valuable Tips for Job Interviews

When you walk into a job interview, just what do you think is happening?   Well, the word interview actually comes from old Anglo-French entreveue, meaning “to meet” and “to see”.  Its essential purpose is to facilitate the exchange of Interview greetinginformation between two parties, presumably to their mutual benefit.  In other words, it is not a one-sided interrogation.

Here, we will discuss some ideas to ensure a smooth, and hopefully, successful interview.

Be Prepared

When you enter the meeting, it is essential that you are armed with insightful, evocative questions.  It is this keen sense of awareness that will impress your interviewer. However, in order to gain this esteem from your listeners, you must plan ahead.  Review the questions you will ask ahead of time.  This mental preparation will result in confidence.  When we are confident, we are less likely to fold under pressure, and more likely to make a positive and lasting impression.

Collecting Information

Essentially, this is the easiest part.  Search the company website and download the last annual report or the latest quarterly report; read the “Message to Stockholders” if it is a publicly- traded company.  It is usually within the first two pages, and it describes the company’s accomplishments; or, it may allude to how the company did not meet its expectations.  It often lays out the plans for the next term.  Note whether the company’s goals align with your goals.

Next, go to the company’s LinkedIn site.  Is it up to date?  Is there a lot going on?  Are C-suite executives and upper management participating?  Read the more recent material that is available.  This should give you insights into company working-on-laptop - researchculture and whether you two would make a good match for each other.

While you are reading, it will almost certainly occur to you to think “I wonder if…”  Write that thought down because it’s probably one of the questions you will want to ask at the interview.  More importantly, your interviewer(s) will probably be online here. (If they’re not, are you sure you want to work here?)  So you can learn a bit about them, what they’ve accomplished, and possibly make reference to it to show that you’ve done your research.

Heart of the Matter

Depending on the job you are interviewing for, you need to ask some specific questions; not only because they eagerly anticipate them, but because people who don’t have any questions can exude an air of indifference.  It’s best to be prepared with several questions —you simply can’t ask too many—provided they are relevant, but steer clear of topics which can be easily ascertained by looking at their website.

Your interviewer(s) is a veritable fount of information about the company.  They know the people; they know the company’s triumphs as well as transgressions; they have insights, and if you’re not taking advantage of that you are ignoring a fabulous resource.

ask-questions-reminderInside of simply creating “five great questions”, have an assortment because some of them may be answered over the course of the interview.  If you ask something that’s already been answered earlier, you’re risking appearing inattentive.  If you need to ask a question about something that was covered earlier, use the qualifier “Just to clarify, earlier we discussed…” and then ask your question.

Some Question Suggestions

  • Why do you like working here?  What makes this “the place to be”?
  • Can you walk me through a day here?  What typically happens from when I walk in the door until I leave?
  • Is this a newly created position?  Is this an established position, and if so, why did the last person leave?
  • Is this a “memo” based organization or a “meeting” based organization?  Are people rewarded for independent thought and creativity?
  • Is this company in a position to jump out in front of the pack and lead?  Which company might be our biggest competition, or threat to that success?
  • What is your take on the company culture?  Would you consider it a top-down model or more of a collaborative venture?
  • Do you have any insights on my manager or direct supervisor?  What is their management style?
  • How is this department perceived by the rest of the company?
  •  How will I be able to measure when I’m “successful”?  What sort of milestones should I be aiming for in 30 days, 90 days, six months, or a year?
  • Are there sideways-promotions available so I can gather more experience on my level before being promoted upwards?
  • Does the company offer any internal/external ongoing training (or courses) to keep employees up to date in their field?
  • What are the team-members like with whom I will be working?
  • Do you see any particular difficulties with my skills or competencies for fulfilling this role?  Is there anything I can clarify for you, or do you have any suggestions for actions I could take to improve my candidacy?
  • What is the next step in the interview process?  Is there a timetable when I would be likely to hear from you?

The Takeaway

Once you are in the actual interview, you’ll have a sense for how many — or which — questions are appropriate for the interview.  The more insightful your questions are, the better your chances of making a great impression.

Remember, this is your opportunity to learn whether you are a good fit for the company, and whether it is a good fit for you; so don’t waste it!

By Fred Coon, CEO

Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

6 Helpful Apps for Your Job Search

Have you decided to begin a new job search?  Here are some top choice apps to keep available during your search.  Since individual needs may dictate which are more subjectively suitable than others, we have not listed them in any Job Buttonparticular order.  They should, however, be available for both iOS and Android operating systems.  Finding an app that works for you can enhance your level of connectivity, while also keeping you organized and up-to-date.


  1. BREWSTER’s Full Contact DROID iOS

This is an organizational bit of software which collects all of your contacts from all disparate sources (such as WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Facebook, or any social media site), and securely consolidates it into one cloud-based location.  Scan business cards with your Smartphone camera, and the data is instantly included with all of the other contact information.

Furthermore, you don’t have to wonder which account has the contact information you’re looking for.  It updates itself automatically whenever new information is available, so all you have to do is search for your contact, and you’ll know that you have the latest available data.


  1. Remember the Milk DROID iOS BlackBerry (phone versions)

This little app integrates with your PC, tablet, laptop, and Smartphone to ensure that you never forget another task.  It has a specific version for your tablets, too.  There are also upcoming versions for Apple Watch and Android Wear to look for soon.

Whether it’s a grocery list, where you literally have to “remember the milk”, or whether it’s going to an interview, responding to a message, or remembering to turn in your resignation before you start your new job, this hyper-aware program can keep you on track.  You’ll finally be able to get rid of all those post-it notes (and evidence) and clean up your working environment.

The free version offers great functionality but many users swear by the Pro (paid) version as well, so it is certainly worth looking into.


  1. Switch DROID iOS (phone versions)

This one is particularly clever.  Those who have ever tried a program called Tinder, where people try to match up for dating purposes, will find Switch to be rather familiar.  For example, in Tinder, you swipe left or right to indicate whether or not you like someone; if you both happen to like each other, then there is a method to be introduced.

Switch works in much the same way with job applicants specifying their skills and what job they are seeking, while hiring managers enter their specifications and which roles they need to fill.  You can just swipe left or swipe right to indicate whether you feel the particular job is a “match” or not.  Matches can then communicate over the in-app chat interface.


  1. Dropbox DROID iOS (phone versions)

At this point, most people have either used, or are at least familiar with Dropbox, which is basically cloud storage for photos and video.  It’s free, fast, easy, and convenient.  There are matching versions for your PCs, tablets, and other devices.  They provide a reasonable amount of storage at no cost, and you can add more if you need it; there is even Dropbox for Business.

Did you not bring enough résumés?  Find yourself a network printer, download a copy from your Dropbox account, and print as many as you need.  You should also check out Google Drive which offers some free storage, and OneDrive from Microsoft (even though they’ve just decreased their free storage from 15 GB to 5 GB), since free storage space is still free space.


  1. TeamViewer

How many times have we found ourselves out in the world, when we realize we suddenly need something that we left on our home computer?  Well now, there is no need to lament over our forgetfulness.  With TeamViewer, simply log onto your home computer via any remote location.

Furthermore, it is also collaborative tool so that you can team up with someone on a project in the next office, or even halfway around the world, where the only concern is the actual completion of work, not how you get to work.  However, on all accounts, it is also a remote access tool which allows you to operate your home computer from your laptop or Smartphone.

Virtually anything that can be done in person can also be done remotely.  Some people use it as a remote Support Tool, while others use it as an online meeting tool.  You can also utilize its ability to transfer a desired document to wherever you are, which includes your forgotten CV or résumé.

The fact that it is free for personal use is a definite bonus.  For the IT types, if a friend calls with a computer problem, you can (with their permission) remotely operate their computer from your own laptop or PC, and quickly fix the issue, rather than attempting explain things step-by-step.


  1. LinkedIn Job Search DROID iOS (phone versions)

Another name familiar to nearly all of us, LinkedIn is well-known as the “Facebook of the business world”.  It is nothing less than your digital résumé, and many of the more progressive companies will allow you to apply for their jobs with this simple click of a button.

LinkedIn actually offers two separate apps: 1) one for the networking experience, and 2) one strictly for the job search aspect.  The latter allow you to perform confidential location-based job searches.  You can select parameters to suit your job search needs including which industry, a particular company, your level of experience, physical location, or simply how far away they are.

Suddenly there are all the matches right in front of you.  The app even identifies which ones you can apply to directly with your LinkedIn profile.


Man Swiping Screen - Start HereThe Takeaway

There are numerous handy mobile apps which can speed up and expand your job search.  At the very least, they can streamline the process so that conducting a proactive job search doesn’t interfere with your current job.

Seeking employment online can draw you down a proverbial rabbit-hole of distraction, where hours can seem to magically disappear with little accomplished.  Hopefully these tools will keep you on the right track, and lead you to the job of your dreams.

5 Simple Statements That Will Initiate Trust

flower-in-handTrust is a gift that is built and maintained over time.  It begins with words, and if actions are not taken to support those words, that trust will begin to crumble.  We often take for granted the power that our words possess, and how they reflect the very essence of our character.  It is this sentiment that we hope to carry through our daily personal lives.

However, if we stop and think for a moment, we realize that the same authenticity we seek to uphold with our friends and family is also a fitting representation for the decency and graciousness we should carry into our place of employment.  Spoken honestly, simple statements such as these listed below, are a great way to begin building promising foundations for both personal and professional relationships.


“Thank you.”

These two simple words demonstrate you value the other person.  They show that you were paying attention, recognized their efforts, and appreciate them.  This appreciation plants the seed for a trusting partnership or business relationship.


“I understand.”

Active listening and genuine empathy are of utmost importance when establishing trust in a relationship.  “I understand” not only shows that you have taken the time to focus on really hearing the other person, but also that you have processed what was said with compassion and acceptance.


“What do you think?”

Asking another’s opinion is showing that you initially trust them, or that you are willing to.  Trust is a two-way street and stepping up and relying on another, shows that you believe you are part of the same team.  You are conveying that you value their input and are freely giving them the opportunity to earn and build upon the trust you just handed them.


“What this will mean to you is…”

These words establish trust by demonstrating that you have the other’s best interest in mind.  You care how they are affected; or that how a situation impacts or benefits them is important to you.



Whenever it is possible or appropriate, give a positive response to those who ask for your assistance. This not only inspires good will, it reveals to another that you can be relied on.  Responses like “maybe” or “I’ll try” suggest a potential for failure to follow through, or even the possibility of avoidance on your part, which will quickly diminish another’s faith in you.


Man-Woman Walking/Talking

While these five statements might seem simple enough, they create and strengthen the bonds of trust in every relationship.  Words like these can initiate trust, and of course, actions will seal the bond.


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200