Skype Interviews

There’s a first for everything and I recently got to experience my first Skype interview.  I assumed that it would be the same as an in person interview but decided to do some sleuthing on google for tips.  I’ll let you do that on your own but here are my own tips for you when it comes to these new age types of interviews.

Dress the part.  I wore a suit because you never know if you might need to get up while on camera.

Pick a good spot. I did the call in our home office with a book shelf in the background.  Try to keep things plain so people don’t get distracted looking at photos or traffic behind you.  I also made sure to close the door because our cat has a tendency to jump up on the table, and that would lead to a disaster.

Get a decent Skype name.  If I would have known I’d one day be using Skype for interviews I may have just used my name, but at least I didn’t choose something inappropriate.

Sit up. Enough said.  Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should slouch or recline.

Smile, you’re on camera. Just like any other face to face interview, keep in mind that the other person can see what you’re doing.  Don’t look down at your phone or god forbid pick your nose.  The person on the other side of your laptop or ipad can see everything you’re doing.

Good luck! Be yourself!

P.S. I couldn’t just leave you hanging, so here are some additional tips I found:

Bloomberg Business – When Virtual Job Interviews Go Horribly Wrong
Skype – Skype Interview Tips
Forbes – 7 Tips to Nail a Skype Interview

What Have I Been Up To?

During my last month or so of interviewing both on the phone and in person I’ve been asked many questions.  There are some that have stumped me and I’ve had to quickly recover or just start talking and hope that it leads somewhere, and there were other that I thought I’d file away in my head as very interesting questions to share with others.  One such question came recently.

I explained to the interviewer about my earlier gap in employment…the one that got me to start this blog…and talked about finishing my MBA during that time and getting other certifications throughout my unemployed state and while I was at my next job.  He very candidly asked me a follow up, what have I been doing while I’ve been unemployed now?  Very good question, sir!

I have not found a course to get certified in but I have been bringing this here blog, as well as my LinkedIn blog, back to life!  I’ve been so glad to have the time to read, not only fun summer reads but also, marketing related articles.  I believe that marketing yourself is very important when it comes to a job search.  I’m working on getting my name out there and I’m working on my personal brand, and improving my SEO rankings :)

So as I used to say at the end of every post…what did you do today? Have you focused on your personal brand as part of your job search?

HBD to Me

Anita Baumane's photo.

The picture above is one of my grandparents home in Ogre, Latvia.  Our good friend and neighbor sent it to me today for my birthday.  Though my grandmother passed over ten years ago, and my grandfather just recently, I will never forget that home.  We had many great memories and many firsts…like learning to ride a bike & listening to Beatles tapes with my dad and cousins as we tried to learn English.

So today, as I turn a random 32 and post my 500 & 1st blog posting I want to thank you all for reading my blog.  Here is to another awesome and exciting year, for everyone.

How to Land a Job

I wrote down these tips while watching the Today show during their segment on job searches.  They had someone from Google come in and talk about what he’s seen.  As a side note…Google receives over 2M resumes per year!

Resumes & formatting:

1. Keep it simple – 10 point font & black & white, no colors: unless you’re an artist and the industry calls for flair

2. Be specific about your accomplishments – put some math & numbers in your resume: managed x$’s during x amount of time & ROI of…

Interviews:

1. Practice your answers – you can typically anticipate 90% of answers.

2. Know your flaws – be honest & talk about what you’ve done to improve on them.

Instant turnoffs:

1. Sharing confidential information.

2. Lying

Have you done the above?

“I’m helping them market.”

There are times when for one reason or another I feel compelled to tweet out or post a thanks or a photo with a caption to a specific brand or company. My husband does not share in this kind of desire and instead asks, “why? Can you just tell me why you have to do that now?” My simplest answer, and one that seems to have held the most water with him is, “I’m helping them market.”

It’s true. When I feel like someone should receive a kudos or a shout out, or just a simple “Hey thanks for being there.” I feel like that brand should hear that kind of sentiment from me, or any customer. After all, I know very well that brands work hard for that kind of word of mouth marketing. Large brands, and especially consumer facing brands, have it easier than others when it comes to people thinking of them and taking part in word of mouth marketing. But, none the less, I am a marketer. Regardless of whether I work for you or  not, I will help you market, if I believe in your cause.

 

Re-Branding

Re-branding a brand can be difficult.  Besides worrying about a new logo, message, or product offering you also have to worry about how the customers will receive these changes.  Will they talk in a positive or negative light? Will they think you’ve simply rebranded to freshen things up but in reality are hiding the fact that your offering is dated? Will you fall off the map entirely because your new refresh gets you overlooked among your competition? Will your rebranding make it clearer to the consumer what your brand is about? (Such as in the example above)

Here is a very good tip from an article written about the J.Crew turnaround: “Offer quality products while always looking for new ways to meet customer demands.”

So what does this mean? To me it means that you need to look at your products and ensure that they still offer the customer the safe/quality/hip/etc product they have come to expect from you (unless you’re heading in an entirely different direction and are trying to show customers that your products are not cheap, in which case that’s a whole other mountain to climb…talk to your PR department about how to spin the messaging on that).  Then look at how to expand that product offering by including new products.  Don’t just jump in and waste time, resources, and money on new products that may not be market ready yet.

As you transition to the new look and feel of your brand, keep a pulse on the demand and what the customers are looking for and need.  Keep your eye on competition, talk to customers, learn about what it is that will make the biggest splash.  But with the biggest splash in mind, don’t just splash and flop, make sure that the new product(s) you’re going to launch meet the needs of your key customers.

Good luck!

My Bucket List

My husband once asked me what was on my bucket list and all I could come up with was going to Greece.  However, after seeing this Google Doodle I give you my revised bucket list.

1. Visit Greece
2. Visit Russia again
3. Learn to surf – hope to accomplish this this summer
4. Open a photo gallery in a beach town such as Rockport
5. Go to the Olympics
6. Ski in the Swiss Alps
7. Own a designer gown

Have you ever created a seasonal or yearly bucket list?  What about a career specific bucket list?

Spring/Summer Office Fashion

We are in a weird transitional time here in the Northeast.  We just came off a moderate drought, I hate using that word knowing what the west coast is going through, and 70-80 degree humid weather.  But lo and behold, we just got in to June and the temps have plummeted to the 50’s and the rain hasn’t let up.  So what do you wear?

Well, I happened to stop in to my local Loft store to redeem my birthday savings, thank you Loft!, and here is what I found on the sale rack.  Everything ranged from $24.99 to $54.99 and was on an additional sale.  Being a cheapskate I only walked away with the stripey pants but I’m going to keep my eye on the blue trousers!

Happy spring!

P.S. The black skinnies, white blouse, necklace, and shoes are my own.

Checkers and black skinnies #workingmom #loftBlack and grey is ok #workingmomPerfectly business like and casual #workingmom #loftWeekend and work appropriate #workingmomCasual Friday style #workingmom #loft

Shadow Day

The concept of shadowing someone within a department before accepting a job.  Have you ever seen anyone do that?  I did at my last job.  A candidate who was offered a job asked to shadow someone in the department he would be working in before accepting the job. I have never seen that done, nor considered it, but I think it’s a genius thing to do. This way you get a really good feel for not only your job, but also the company and the lay of the land.

Would you ever consider doing something like this before accepting a job?

Attribution Models

In the last two jobs that I have held we have used both single source attribution and fractional attribution models…without really knowing that what we were doing had a name to it.

What I mean is, we looked at both the final place that a lead converted from, i.e. the lead’s final click, as well as some of their history with the company.  Sometimes, an eblast would trigger a former customer to place an order because of their favorable experience with the products. But at the end of the day, we put emphasis on the fact that the eblast or social interaction triggered that conversion or sale.

For those in the same boat, a recent article talks about how to look at how to calculate inbound marketing ROI through attribution modeling…because really, it’s time we started using the appropriate wording for what we’re already doing!

Thank you New Breed for the blog post on the topic.