Entries with tag employment .

5 Tips for Shy People on Acing that Next Job Interview

While most people don't look forward to job interviews, they can be especially concerning for introverts and shy people.  However, there are strategies to help you put your best foot forward when selling yourself in an interview.  Read on to learn how you can impress your next interviewer:

  1. Prepare.  Preparation is one of the best ways to feel more confident about your upcoming interview.  Think of the questions that you're likely to be asked and then, rehearse your responses in advance.  Doing so will help you feel more at ease when the interview occurs.

  2. Bring Props.  Visuals that show your accomplishments are always a great idea, and they can be particularly helpful for people who are less comfortable selling themselves.  If you have charts, graphs, or letters of praise, bring them along.  It's also a good idea to write down your 10 greatest professional accomplishments and carry them in a notebook for reference during the interview.

  3. Visualize Yourself Succeeding.  Research shows that visualization can be just as effective as actual practice.  With that in mind, we advise you to imagine a successful interview—that you're prepared, answer questions confidently, and have a great rapport with the interviewer.

  4. Fake It.  Just about everyone feels some degree of nervousness prior to a job interview, even people who are extroverts.  However, people who excel in interviews know that in spite of anxiety, they can “act as if” they are confident and use this mindset to genuinely perform well during the interview.

  5. Pay Attention to Body Language.  Sit up straight, maintain direct eye contact, avoid fussing with your hair or clothing, and remember to smile.  If you really want to wow your interviewer, mirror them.  That doesn't mean mimicking them exactly but waiting a brief period of time (30-50 seconds) before behaving similarly—for example, leaning forward if your interviewer does so.  Mirroring helps to form a connection.  That being said, practice this strategy in a low-pressure situation prior to incorporating it at your next interview.  You want to make sure you can do it naturally and still easily follow the flow of conversation.  

What to Do If You've Been Put on a Performance Improvement Plan

Nobody enjoys being put on a performance improvement plan (PIP).  However, if you are put on one, it's a great idea to know how you should proceed at work going forward.  Read on to learn how best to navigate a PIP:

  1. Own It.  Avoid making excuses or denying responsibility.  Instead, be open to criticism and accept that you're going to have to haul up your sleeves to change your manager's perception of you.  Unfortunately, people tend to get defensive when they're given a PIP, and their negative attitude does nothing to help their cause.

  2. Establish Clear Metrics.  A PIP is going to detail areas for improvement.  Rather than signing a PIP that is murky in this area, ask for specifics.  For instance, let's say you're a salesperson and your manager is displeased with your recent sales.  Rather than signing a PIP that says you need to obtain higher sales, ask your manager to put his expectations in writing.  Does he want you to increase your sales by 10%? 20%?  You're going to want to know what the benchmark is so you can focus on exactly what you need to achieve.

  3. Ask for Time.  It never hurts to ask for additional time to achieve your performance goals.  If your manager has set 3 months as the deadline, consider requesting 6.  Change isn't accomplished overnight and the more time you have to meet your goals, the more confident you will be of your ability to do so.

  4. Have Positive Expectations.  If you've been thinking about changing jobs, this is probably a great time to be proactive about it.  However, if you like your job and want to remain there, have positive expectations.  All too often, people believe that once they receive a PIP, they're doomed.  However, this can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.  Instead, believe in yourself and your ability to meet the objectives established in your PIP, and you can overcome this. 

3 Ways to Recover from a Bad Job Interview

So, you've had a bad interview.  Don't worry, it happens.  Rather than let it get to you, we have some tips to help you recover.  Read on to learn the best ways to handle a less than successful interview:

  1. Think Positively.  Oftentimes, we'll catastrophize very minor things and conclude that an interview went horribly.  However, we tend to be our own harshest critic.  Rather than believing that your failure to answer a question as completely as you would have liked has doomed you from a great job, we'd instead encourage you to focus on all of the things that went well.  Dwelling on your perceived interview failure only makes it that much harder for you to have confidence the next time you interview.  Furthermore, we've probably all heard stories from people who worried about how they performed in an interview only to later discover that they got the job.  You could be one of those people!

  2. Send a Thank You.  You should do this after every interview, but it's particularly important if you were uncomfortable with your interview performance.  Consider the thank you as a way of doing damage control.  While you don't want to harp on your mistakes, you might say something like, “I've had time to reflect about that question you asked me earlier, and I'd like to elaborate on my answer by sharing an experience where I successfully handled a challenging problem at work.”  This gives you the opportunity to present additional information that will make you a more attractive candidate.

  3. Avoid Rehashing on Social Media.  More and more employers are checking job applicants' social media profiles.  Rather than firing up Facebook to post about your “horrific” job interview, keep mum and practice discretion.  Remember that even if the employer you interviewed with never checks social media, another prospective employer could. 

4 Ways People Bomb Job Interviews

Interviews can be stressful.  However, they're made much more so when you start to sense that you're bombing.  Rather than do that, learn the most common ways that people bomb interviews so you don't make any of these rookie mistakes the next time you interview for your dream job:

  1. Getting Defensive.  Some interviewers will ask you challenging questions or even come off as being slightly aggressive to see how you react under pressure.  Rather than getting defensive or flustered, take a deep breath and pause for a moment.  This gives you a chance to relax before answering, rather than spouting off the first thing that comes to mind.

  2. Being Unprepared.  At a minimum, you should prepare for an interview by refamiliarizing yourself with the specifics of your resume, researching the company you're interviewing with, preparing some questions to ask the interviewer, and practicing answers to some of the most commonly asked interview questions.  Few things make a worse impression than arriving to an interview completely unprepared.

  3. Arriving Late.  Speaking of arriving to the interview, it's extremely important that you arrive on time.  If you're unfamiliar with the area or don't know how long it will take you to get there, it's a good idea to give yourself twice the amount of time you think you'll need.  This has the added benefit of allowing you to sit for a few minutes to collect yourself in advance of the interview so you don't feel rushed or stressed.

  4. Little Enthusiasm.  Now is not the time to hone your resting b*tch face skills!  Instead, be positive and enthusiastic about the position and the company.  People who go on interviews and lack enthusiasm can appear bored, unfriendly, or as if they're merely looking to collect a paycheck.  While we realize that collecting said paycheck is important, you also want to appear interested in the job itself and your daily work responsibilities.    

4 Tips for Wowing Your Coworkers at Your New Job

Congratulations on your new job!  Having stunned them with your interviewing prowess, now it's time to show them what a rock star you are at the workplace.  To help you out, we have some tips that are going to make it easy for you to make a great first impression:

  1. Have a Positive Attitude.  Have you ever gone out of your way to avoid a Debbie Downer?  If so, you know that complainers don't make for enjoyable company.  Rather than pointing out all of the ways that your last job “did things better,” maintain a positive outlook.  An enthusiastic attitude is a great way to approach any task, but in particular, it's useful in the workplace where getting along with your colleagues is key.

  2. Dress for Success.  A general rule of thumb here is to dress for the position that is one level above you.  If that style of clothing is within your budget, make that your aim.  However, if you can't afford expensive new outfits, then strive instead to dress professionally in clothing that is well-fitting, clean, and pressed.

  3. Clarify Expectations.  One of the first things you're going to want to find out at your new job is what your boss' expectations are.  While this is something that you probably discussed at your interview, ask questions and drill down deeper.  For instance, how often does your boss expect status updates from you?  What are the main priorities that your manager would like you to focus the majority of your time on?  By asking these questions at the onset of your new position, you are much more likely to wow your new boss and coworkers.

  4. Befriend a Veteran.  It's valuable to have a good understanding of how things work at your new company.  For this reason, seek out a well-respected colleague who can give you a heads-up on what's acceptable and what's not.  Your new friend can help you to navigate office politics and advise you about potential professional pitfalls.  

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