It is a mistake to praise yourself during an interview without proving your accomplishments


When asked, “Why should we hire you?”  It is a mistake to answer, “Because I am the best candidate!”  At this point, you are not in a position to say whether you are the best candidate or not.  You have not even met the other candidates.

You need to say something more substantial.  You need to cover your accomplishments and you need to state your accomplishments in a “prove it” statement kind of way.  By that I mean, state your accomplishments with statements that prove that you have the skill and ability it takes to get the job done.

In order to do that, you need to have done your research ahead of time. If the job posting is not very descriptive, ask for a job description.  Research the company by taking a look at the company website.  Do some deep thinking about how you can state your skills and abilities with examples and use the words of a third party.  For example:  “My current supervisor, Mark Browne, has stated that I am the best employer he has ever had in the position that I currently hold.”  Or, “A co-worker of mine tells me that its been a long time since she has seen anyone relate to the customers as positively has I have.”  Or, “My supervisor complimented me just the other day for my problem solving abilities.”

On top of that suggestion, have stories ready to tell that prove your capabilities in three key areas:  1) Your ambition on the job, 2) Your ability to get along with others on the job, and 3) Your ability to problem solve on the job.

If you have stories ready that prove you have those capabilities, you’ve come a long way towards preparing for the job interview.


Interviewing Tips from Hannah Morgan


Those of you that are following my blog already know that I follow Hannah Morgan – she calls her blog “Career Sherpa.”  She has posted another article that I find absolutely fantastic!  Thanks Hannah Morgan!

See link below for some really good tips that will help you prepare for your next job interview.  Taking the time to seriously answer these questions can help you be honest, poised, and prepared during your interview!  Read on!

Ditch your elevator pitch for something even shorter!


As most of you know I have been subscribed to Career Sherpa (author Hannah Morgan) for quite some time. Today she has posted a new article that makes perfect sense to me! So I am sharing it with you. See link below.

If you will recall, I have mentioned several times that I am an expert in job seeking.  I can claim this since I have been working in the field for close to 30 years. That does not mean that I can’t be open minded when new trends come along, and this new trend that Hannah is mentioning seems logical.

Besides that, guess who helped me see this?  One of our students at Western, that’s who!  I was doing a mock interview recently with one of our Bio Med students and his answer to “Tell me about yourself?” was not the text book answer that I would normally coach someone to give. But his answer was far more interesting to me than anything I could coach him to say! And when I read the below article from Career Sherpa this morning, it reminded me of the awesome answer our student gave to the “Tell me about yourself?” question.  So my new advice?  Keep your answer short and interesting!  There will be chances to share your skills and abilities throughout the interview.


More on Interviewing


You have graduated. You likely polished off the third and final draft of your resume as part of an assignment here at Western Technical College. Congratulations! Now to worry about interviewing. If you are lucky, one of your instructors had someone from Career Services come in to talk about the art of interviewing. We would have shared an awesome tool that can be found on our website at:

Some tell us that “Perfect Interview” isn’t a real interview, so how can practicing in that program help? I can guarantee you that if you take the program seriously and sincerely practice with it, it WILL help you feel more confident in an interview.

How can I confidently say that? Because I know through experience that feeling confident in an interview is all about practice. Practice talking about yourself and your skills. To feel confident, you must talk out loud about your skills and abilities and say them again and again. No memorizing mind you. That is not what I mean. If you memorize, that will be obvious to the interviewer. Just practice answering interview questions out loud at home. You can use “Perfect Interview” on our website, or you can get a good book on interviewing (recommendation: Knock Em Dead Job Interview: How to turn Job Interviews into Job Offers, by Martin Yate)and practice answering questions. Please remember that you do not want to use “canned” answers. By that I mean make your answers YOUR answers to the questions. That is what I like about Martin Yate’s book. Rather than give you canned answers, he talks to you about what the employer is looking for and why he/she asked the question so that you can give your best answer from your perspective. Plus he provides help for every question you can think of. Once you spend some time practicing, your confidence sours! It is all about practice.

Below, another awesome article from CareerSherpa – by Hannah Morgan

Interview Assistance!


Some really good interviewing tips fell into my in box today. Want to share them with you students who are soon to be graduating! Follow the link:

Remembering what it was like to interview as a young person



I have been teaching people how to do an effective job search for over 20 years now. Some would say that makes me an expert. Today I admit that it definitely took me a long time to get to this point, and it wasn’t without some bumps in the road. We learn from our mistakes, right?  

Let’s look at my first real job interview. I was lucky enough to land an interview with Trane Company, which as most of you know, is a highly respected company locally. The gentleman who interviewed me and gave me a tour of the facilities was kind and respectful. I was scared to death! I was doing my very best to show respect by not saying much, and by hiding my enthusiasm.  Did you catch that?  I was “quiet” and “hid my enthusiasm.” Two things that one definitely does NOT do during a job interview! What was I thinking! 

The answer is that I was not thinking. I was not putting myself into the shoes of the interviewer. I did not prepare enough for the job interview.  I did not think to myself. Hmm, I wonder what they are looking for when they hire for this position? I had not read up on how to do an effective job search and I had not looked into whether there was someone that could help me out in my college’s career services department. Plainly, I DID NOT prepare for the interview.  

My third interview was not much better. By this time in my job search I was using self talk that is no doubt familiar to some of you. “I am not good enough or I would gave been hired by now.” or “I will never find a job!” And other negative statements (I am sure you can imagine).  

Little did I know that job seeking is all about the odds. You can look at job seeking almost as you would look at gambling. It is all in the odds. 

Eventually through my employment experience I learned to:  “Apply, apply, apply, It takes 10 applications to land one interview and 5 interviews to land the job. (Numbers vary depending on where you are doing the job search and what the economy is like at the time!). And never give up! Refuse to be one of those discouraged job seekers! Realize that you must apply for jobs where your skills match what they are looking for. Realize that you may have to start out in an entry level position at a company just to get your foot in the door.  

What an education does for you is give you the credentials to move up the ladder more quickly. Those without an education beyond high school (even one term can make a difference), struggle to advance in the work place. 

So are you wondering what happened? Whether I landed that job? As I mentioned, my interview performance wasn’t all that better. I was so discouraged already however that I went in thinking that I would not get the job, so I might as well relax and look at it as a practice. Well, for me that worked! I was so sincere and so honest while I answered questions that the hiring manager later shared with me that he hired me due to my integrity. He valued complete honesty and somehow during the interview discovered that I was a farm girl. We are known for being hard workers. Landing that job, with that particular employer was just the beginning for the many training opportunities that were to come. I worked hard, learned the importance of lifelong learning, grew within that position and transitioned into many other positions after that, learning and growing and adding to my education as I went. 

One final point before I end this post. Above I mention being “so discouraged already.” It was the third job I had applied for, my second interview and I was discouraged already?!? That is crazy! But like I said, I was not knowledgeable about what it took to do an effective job search. If I had understood the odds, I would not have set my expectations so very high. I now know that the best thing you can do for your brain, is program it to believe that a “no” is nothing personal…..that many no’s lead to an eventual “yes!” and that one must simply continue to plug along and apply for as many positions as what you are qualified for. The job offer WILL come. It is just a matter of time.


Two Questions YOU can ask during an interview


Another good article about interviewing.  One that will help you wrap your mind around the fact that they aren’t just checking you out….you are checking them out too!