By Sheena Williams
When going on an interview, we feel excitement and anxiety about the possibility of securing this great job we’ve discovered. We go there filled with confidence! We know everything about everything, and there is nothing new that is going to be shown to us! We start talking to the employer and continue talking and talking and talking. We answer all of the questions with fully detailed explanations, and in some cases, more explanation than was needed. We’re feeling great! Yes, we are!
We know everything about that job, even the job of the person doing the hiring. In fact, we know it so well that we tell the person doing their job that we know how to do their job, and perhaps, better. We’ve hired and fired people and not only have we managed whole battalions of people, we run a sewing circle on Friday! We leave the interview satisfied that the employer knows how much they need us and what an asset we are to their team. It would be stupid for them not to call us… until they don’t call. Think about it! Would the employer dare to not hire you? Did you think the employer did not like you? Did you feel he/she was not interested enough in you? Could it be that they are just not smart enough to hire you? Or, maybe, could it be you? Hmmm….
There are times in an interview when we are in such a rush to let them know how fantastic we are, that we become overbearing. No one is asking you to dumb yourself down or to not tell them what you know. But when you start off telling the employer how to run their business, (that was running perfectly well before you got there, or else they would not have a place to hire you) it can rub employers the wrong way. When you come in telling the hiring manager that you are looking to move up in a company, and the only place to move up to is their position, that might seem a little bit threatening. If you have an anecdote about everything under the sun within a ten-minute interview, you may come off as annoying.
So to help you, we have come up with a check list of things that you may need to work on before you go to your interview.
- Can you go 5 sentences without using an “I” statement?
- Do you correct the employer about their business policy?
- Do you not read instructions on your job application because you already know what to do?
- Do you talk about the incompetence of your last employer and/or staff?
- Do you show up unannounced to see the hiring manager?
- Do you respect boundaries?
- Do you go into interviews unprepared, because you know everything about this company that you’ve never been to, and never worked for, and never researched?
- Do you monopolize the time of a recruiter knowing they have other people to talk to?
- Do you call to get specifics on things that you could research yourself?
- Do you go through private information?
- Can you take polite hints?
- Do you not allow another person to finish their thought before jumping in?
- Do you have demands even though you don’t have the job yet?
- Are you only focused on the salary of the job that you’re interviewing for?
- Do you leave multiple messages when you follow up (like a bill collector)?
- Do you feel that you have paid your dues… at a company you have never worked for, never been to, and knew nothing about until the job became available?
- Are you rude to random people coming in and going out of the office?
If you find yourself doing any of these things, scale back a little bit. There is nothing wrong with being smart or enthusiastic, but no one likes a know-it-all.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of the work that you have done, but you need to give the employer time to get to know you. Don’t project an aura of “they need me,” and not the other way around. You may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if you annoy the employer and you haven’t even gotten out of the interview, they are just going to leave you on the shelf for the next unfortunate employer to do the same thing.
Most of the above problems come from insecurity. When you are not confident in yourself, you over compensate by doing projecting habits that could be misconstrued as annoying. If you find yourself doing any of the above things, it helps to take a step back and listen, instead of talking. Sometimes your actions speak 8 times more loudly than your words ever could.
Here are some ways to combat being annoying:
- Dress appropriately for the interview
- Bring your resume and be prepared to answer direct questions
- Do some research on the company where you are applying
- Do not go in there with any expectations other than having a great interview
- Do not correct the employer during the interview
- Be polite to everyone
- Smile (again)
- Do not use the word “uh, um, like” every time you answer questions
- Respect boundaries of those around you and the office that you are in
- Watch for body language; someone may be trying to tell you something
- Understand a new job means new challenges
- If the employer is busy, don’t monopolize their time with inane questions
- Be classy when talking about your last employer, even if you left on not-so-great terms
- Take a deep breath; you are going to do fine
Good luck on your next interview! △
By Rachel Rudd
Professionalism, Knowledge, Character… This IS Abel Rivera.
Possessing an electric personality, Abel is surrounded by positive energy when he walks into a room. He has a natural ability to engage others in conversation and can easily impress with his extensive knowledge in Finance and Business Management.
Looking into Abel’s history, we find an impressive education. Abel pursued and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree through the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University in 2009. He double-majored in Finance and Business Management with an overall GPA of 3.06/4.0. Prior to his graduation, Abel had the amazing opportunity to attend Britain’s Imperial College in London, England. There, he was able to extensively study Strategic Management and gain knowledge of unique cultures.
With this education and knowledge, Abel obtained experience as a Financial Analyst, an Account Manager and a Finance Property Manager. He began his financial experience, even before graduating, as a Finance and Property Manager for ER Ranch in Mart, Texas. He was able to increase the company’s net profit over a 2-year period. He did so, without increasing assets or inventory.
Abel extended his experience by becoming a HP Enterprise Software Account Manager for Hewlett-Packard upon graduating. Within one year, his achievements gained him a promotion into a senior position. Amongst these achievements was his design for strategic organization that generated $2 Million in pipeline revenue. He did this by creating a cross-functional collaboration to identify new opportunities for the company.
In 2012, he transferred to Dallas, Texas and began working as a Financial Analyst for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services. He was responsible for managing all financial and operational expenses for an IT client implementation team of 56 people. One of his many accomplishments was creating a financial model to display aggregate savings paths of $50,000 for the conversion of contractors to maintain the implementation team at budget
Among these amazing qualities, Abel possesses the ability to fluently communicate in English and Spanish. He is proficient in a wide variety of computer programs and financial software. In college, Abel was appointed for Presidency in Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity’s 2007 Pledge Class. These leadership skills make him a valued part of any team. This ability to work as a team has assisted him throughout his experience in Finance and Management. For instance, he has collaborated with over 50 HP Partners in the Commercial West (14 states) to drive BTO and IM Software. He has constructed financial projections and pro forma statements for team in Baylor’s New Venture Challenge.
His desire is to secure a challenging position with a stable and innovative company. Abel’s credentials, knowledge and personable characteristics make him a very favorable addition to any firm or business. To contact Abel, e-mail him at email@example.com. △
By Kenya C’Mone
In this day of design and graphic appeal, there comes an individual who has an extensive background in this field, from planning to invention. With over 25 years of experience in Mechanical Design, this individual earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Transportation Design/Product Design and has a vast array of experience to offer a well-deserving employer. His name is Victor.
Victor R. Reiter is an energetic and innovative applicant, attempting to pursue a job in the Designing Industry. His experience in Industrial and Mechanical Design makes him a most viable and prospective employee. Not to mention, Victor has also gained experience as a Design Director, Planner/Illustrator and has accumulated 5 years experience as a Kitchen/Bath Design Specialist.
Victor started on his journey to find a career at El Camino Junior College, where he studied for one year and then transferred to the Art Center College of Design located in Pasadena, California. There Victor obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Transportation Design/Product Design.
In the years prior to 1990, Victor spent a few years as an Employee/Consultant. He managed, styled and handled mechanical design of minicomputers systems, as well as worked with Marketing, Purchasing and Manufacturing to produce and evaluate testing, advertising and trade show prototyes. He also designed and illustrated for a variety of clients with regard to Product Design and Research and Development Groups.
During the 90’s, Victor took his talents to Samsung as a Design Director for 8 years. He supervised teams of in-house 2-D Drafters and 3-D Cad Modelers. He frequently visited various worldwide vendors and manufacturers to resolve numerous issues and insure quality execution of the products. Victor also produced the most patentable inventions than anyone else at the company and for this, he received several design awards.
In the late 90’s, Victor positioned himself as a Consultant in Southern California working projects for Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, and Coca-Cola, to name a few. Victor provided a wide variety of services from ideation sketches and completed product designs and strategic concept development. The industries that he represented were Computer, Consumer Electronics, Entertainment, Transportation/Automotive and Fitness.
In 2007, Victor accepted a position as a Kitchen/Bath Design Specialist for Home Depot in San Antonio, Texas. For Home Depot, he provided initial and comprehensive ideas, solutions, suggestions and estimates to match clients’ needs with regard to kitchen fixtures, appliances and accessories. Because he is a people person, Victor pro-actively tracked projects and communicated with customers, vendors, service providers, store expediters as well as Home Depot Management. He ensured that customers and stakeholders alike had a positive experience by minimizing and resolving issues.
Along with his 25 years of experience, Victor has a lot of skills that will be beneficial in the Designing Industry. He is extremely familiar with computers and their software applications. He also inhibits traditional skills such as problem-solving, sketching and verbal communication. He has been recognized for various Mechanical Design Awards and was issued several Design and Utility Patents.
So, it is clear to see that Victor is very qualified for many, many positions and his track record proves it. To contact Victor, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. △
By Sheena Williams
A Smile is a facial expression formed by flexing the muscles near both ends of the mouth and by flexing muscles throughout the mouth. In other words, it denotes that the one who does it is not only having a pleasant time, but is also a pleasant person. What if you are having a bad day, or someone does something to make you frown? Take a deep breath, count your blessings and Smile. Everyone has bad days, weeks, months, and even years. But the thing that separates happy positive people from negative people is that they roll with the punches and remember the good things.
From an employer’s standpoint, they are going to hire people who look pleasant. If you don’t look happy, then, they won’t want you interacting with their customers. Since their customers should be your target, then you bring an un-positive energy and this is not something they are going to be able to work with. It won’t matter if you can do the job, it won’t matter what your degree is, and it won’t matter that you are the best in your field. If you can’t be put in front of those who need to be served, then, no one is going to see it. There is a reason it’s called service with a Smile.
If that doesn’t get you to Smile, then, let’s count down the biggest reason to smile.
It Makes You Attractive
Who doesn’t love a beautiful Smile? If there is one thing that will transform someone’s face, it’s a Smile. A Smile will make a mediocre person beautiful, and an unattractive person stunning. The lack of one, however, will make a good looking person less attractive. Smiles will bring people to you, frowns will keep them away. It also makes you look years younger! And who doesn’t want that?
It Alters Your Mood
If you’re having a rough day, Smile. Smiling through the pain helps to lighten your mood. If you even fake a Smile for a few minutes, you’ll eventually Smile for real.
Everyone Will Want To Smile With You
If you’re smiling, you give other people permission to Smile. They won’t be able to help themselves. They will want to be a part of everything and anything that is making someone else happy. Be that anything. If you’re in a good mood, others will start to be in a good mood too!
A Smile Is Stress-Relieving
When you’re letting the world get to you, it shows on your face. Smiling helps to relax your facial muscles. It takes 42 muscles to frown, but only 17 to Smile. The sheer act of smiling will instantly release tension!
A Smile Can Reap Large Amounts of Health Benefits
Smiling helps the immune system, reduces your blood pressure, and releases endorphins. It’s like a natural pain killer! Smiling allows your body to relax and in turn, acts as a drug when our body starts to remember what it’s like to feel happy! So, show off those pearly whites!
It’s A Success Skill!
As stated earlier, smiling makes you more approachable. It also makes it easier for others to want to do things for you. If you go next door to ask for a cup of sugar looking mad, then, they may tell you that they are out of sugar. If you do it with a Smile, then, they will want the transfer of that good feeling. Think of it this way; it’s like an express way of doling out the golden rule of treating others the way you wish to be treated!
So, remember smiling is always in fashion. It will never go out of style. It makes everyone awesome, and more importantly it will never fail to make you feel better or make you approachable. So if you are having a rough day, Smile, Smile, Smile! △
By Sharon Rector
“Don’t ever feel that you are the only one to ever have done something silly or said something crazy. We all do it! Yours truly… especially!
I had not ever had any kind of experience in an office environment, when I accepted my first secretarial position. It was very new to me, and I was just a kid fresh out of business college trying to make it in the “real world.” During my first week on the job, I made many, many mistakes. I would fill my trash can every day with mistakes! One of the bosses noticed my trash can one day and told me that at the end of every day, they had someone go through everyone’s trash and make notes of all the mistakes they found there. He said they would deduct pay from your paycheck according to the number of mistakes that were found.
Naive as I was, I believed him! I carried my trash home for a week before I found out he was just ‘pulling my leg.’ Yoli”
Over the course of this year, we are going to concentrate on the varying aspects of the term “professional presence.” Get familiar with the essence of the term so that you are knowledgeable of what it is, how you attain it, and how you maintain it throughout your chosen career path.
What does the term “professional presence” mean? According to the dictionary, professional presence refers to a dynamic blend of poise, self-confidence, self-control, and style that enables a person to command respect in any situation—especially on your new job.
Professional presence includes how you appear physically, how you dress for work, the tone of your voice, facial expressions, and even your handshake. It entails how you communicate with others and how you behave in the midst of problems and issues.
In the article “Developing a Professional Presence,” it is reiterated that once a professional presence is acquired, it will permit one to project a confidence that others can quickly perceive the first time you meet. And to project confidence, you must feel confidence.
The article also highlights that though one may present excellent credentials, a boss is more likely to choose (out of possible candidates) the one who has style as well as substance.
Let’s imagine that you have just been through a grueling panel interview conducted by individuals who really have no perception of YOU — the real you; what you know and what you don’t know! How do you survive the interview? Once hired, how do you maintain your confidence and poise on the job? Let’s take a look at some strategies that may help you during this period.
Strategy Number 1: (This is my personal favorite). Say that you have been hired. Hooray! Great job! Now how do you proceed? My advice is to tread lightly. Never get too personal too quickly with those who will be your fellow workers. Your inner-most aspects of your life, at this moment, are just that— personal! Your primary function on your new job is not to make friends, but to showcase to your employer the skills, knowledge, and talents you highlighted during your interview.
Your employer is operating a business, not a social club! According to Author Helen Wilkie in “How Do You Develop Professional Presence?” she clearly states that you do want to develop and cultivate a respectful relationship with your peers, those above you on the organizational level, those below you, or the clients. Show that you can get along with others by exuding the best of you! But never forget that people do spread gossip and untruths and unpleasant rumors about their colleagues. In your professional life, it is probably better to maintain your credibility by showing that you are trustworthy and your ability to rise above the fray.
Strategy Number 2: Realize and accept the fact that if you don’t know, you just don’t know! Always be upfront with your employer about mistakes or your need to take time and research problems you have to tackle. By doing so, this will show your employer that you have initiative and pride in your work.
Never proceed on a project attempting to muddle your way through your work. Although it is your responsibility to acknowledge your skills and talent, there is no shame in declaring you have hit a road block temporarily! Admit your mistake and maintain your confidence and composure establishing with your employer that you have worth and value to the organization and that you intend to prove it!
Strategy Number 3: Finally, whatever you do, stay disciplined! Maintain your confidence and competence as you are now in the process of “image building!” You are establishing for yourself and those who work around you your brand.
Image is a term that could be defined as establishing your qualities, competence, and attitude; everything that is inherent to you, but it is also the picture that people around you will remember.
Helen Wilkie in “How Do You Develop a Professional Prescience” believes that you need to cultivate a reputation for doing things well, getting your work done correctly and completely on time, and getting along well with others. It is that professional presence that will be the strongest force in helping you climb the ladder of success.
In closing, let me quote two statements on professional presence. The first is by David McNally and Karl Speaks.
“Developing a strong personal brand involves all the little ways in which you express your feelings about yourself and present to others.”
~ David McNally & Karl Speak
This last quote is taken from Susan Bixler and Nancy Nix-Rice, authors of “The New Professional Image.”
“Books are judged by their covers, houses are appraised by their curb appeal, and people are initially evaluated on how they choose to dress and behave. In a perfect world, this is not fair, moral, or just. What’s inside should count a great deal more. And eventually it usually does, but not right away…..”
1) Wilkie, Helen, “How Do You Develop a Professional Presence?” How Do You Develop a Professional Presence. 28 Apr 2007. Ezinearticles. com 19 Feb. 2013
2) Resource.mcc.neb.edu/hmrl/files/hmrl/Metro NHMRL Text/p52-99 pdf
- Total Person Insight. Susan Bixler and Nancy Nix-Rice, “The New Professional Image.” Taken from article “Developing a Professional Presence, resource.mcc.neb.edu/hmrl/files/hmrl/Metro NHMRL. pp 53 & 56.
Upcoming Article for Month of April: Professional Presence: “Dressing Smart and Dressing the Part” △