Job Interviewing 101: How to Succeed in Different Situations [INFOGRAPHIC]

26 03 2013

By Heather R. Huhman, Founder & President, ComeRecommended

Did you know the average employer may receive upwards of 100 applications per job opening? In addition, even if an applicant does land an interview, it can be difficult to navigate through the process since every interviewer is different. So, how can job seekers ensure they are reading each situation correctly?

This infographic, compiled by Interview Success Formula, a program that helps job seekers to deliver powerful interview answers, illustrates how job seekers can read the most common types of interviewers and how to succeed in the process. Some takeaways to note include:

  • The average duration of an interview is 40 minutes
  • 60% of managers conduct video interviews
  • 34% of U.S. workers say they have a younger boss
  • 17% didn’t believe the employer was knowledgeable

Check out the full infographic below and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

What do you think?  What are some other ways job seekers can succeed in job interviews?

About the authorHeather R. Huhman is the founder and president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. You can connect with Heather and Come Recommended on Twitter and Facebook.


The Madness of March

19 03 2013


Photo credit:

The seeding for the NCAA Basketball Tournament was released earlier this week.  As soon as it happened, the news immediately began covering the phenomenon.  Coverage ranging from who the top picks are to how you should fill out a bracket, a LOT of time is already being spent on this event.  I guess since collegiate sports do bring in so much money, the coverage is appropriate.  In the midst of all of the bracket-ology, talks of “bracket-busters” and the usual trash-talk associated with sports, I thought it would be appropriate to look a little deeper into the subject of March Madness, more specifically, the effects it could and should have at work.

What COULD happen at work:

  • Loss of productivity – Games will be televised simultaneously throughout the work day.  It’s tempting to watch the scores, even the internet broadcast, of each of your picks (and those that aren’t your picks.)  Don’t fall into this trap!  Find a time to check in, like a coffee break or lunch, make your notes, and update your brackets later.  You’re at work to work, not watch basketball.  Unless you’re in the sports industry…then that’s another matter…
  • Gambling – Brackets are finished, office pools get started.  Be careful joining in on the pool.  Make sure you know your company’s policy on the subject.  If you don’t know, ASK!  People have been fired for less.  Don’t let something as silly as March Madness derail your career.
  • Department rifts – Healthy competition among teams and departments can be all in good fun, but be mindful of rifts that your little bracket contest could cause.  Don’t pressure people into participating in your activity.  Also, remember why you’re at work.  Chances are good that it’s not to talk about basketball all day.  Give everyone a break and be respectful of others.

What SHOULD happen:

  • Teamwork – March Madness is about basketball.  The team doesn’t work unless they play as a team.  Pay special attention to the teamwork exhibited by the players and find your place on your own team, whether it’s guard, forward, center, coach or water boy.  Each part matters!
  • Productivity skyrockets– WHAT??  Yes, you heard me.  The competitive spirit of March Madness should extend beyond the bracket.  It’s okay to keep an eye on your team picks, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you have a job to do.  People depend on you to do that job to the best of your ability.  March isn’t a month for auto-pilot.
  • Rejuvenation – Think about how you feel after a short workout during the week.  Energized, right?  Taking a short break from the task at hand isn’t a bad thing.  Give your brain a minute to decompress.  When I get home from a long day at work, the first thing I do is watch about 15 minutes of cartoons.  Why do I do this?  Bright colors, light-hearted music, and simple plots to follow – that’s why.  It’s my time.  After about 15 minutes, I’m good as new, ready to take on the next challenge!

What do YOU think?  Do things like March Madness bring people and teams together or do they tear them apart?  I don’t think there’s a wrong answer here, so let me know!  Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.  As always, thanks for reading.

Here’s a little bonus for you, courtesy of my friends at Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Elite 8 Office Etiquette Tips for NCAA March Madness:

Golden Responses to “You Don’t Have Much Experience”

12 03 2013


We’ve all felt this way (and it’s true for the most part) regarding the graphic above. You can’t get a job without experience, but you can’t get experience without a job.  Guest blogger Kelly Gregorio spins this in a new direction this week, providing some excellent advice on ways to combat the old adage.  Check out her post below!

Guest post by Kelly Gregorio

You may feel like your youthfulness gives you an edge.  Unfortunately, for a lot of recruiters, your baby face often translates into lack of experience.  This cycle formulates the age-old problem: how can you gain the necessary experience for a job, if you can’t land a job to gain that experience?

Despite the catch-22, how you handle the interview is what matters most.  So when prompted with the “you don’t seem to have much experience” line, take the bait and WOW them.


When you are asked to address your lack of experience, use the conversational tactic of aligning with concerns and agreeing with your interviewer first.  “I agree with you, as of now my resume is a bit lacking.  However…” 

Such a response extinguishes attitudes and gets recruiters to listen with an open mind.  At all points in your response avoid filler verbiage such as “like” and “um” – it makes you sound unprofessional and even worse, unprepared.


Do some digging online to find out the roots of the CEO.   When your weak background is mentioned you can agree, and then respond with, “However, I am inspired by Mr. X.  He didn’t have much experience when he started at Y, and yet look at what a success he was at building this company into Z.”

There is not much recruiters can argue with a statement like this, it’s informed and positive.  By referencing the company’s accomplishments, you are pushing the spotlight off of your lack of experience, and instead, onto the business.


Lacking experience does not mean you cannot be current with news and trends.  Show off your investment via your interests.

Mention related podcasts you listen to or blogs you follow, and use your technological currency to your advantage. (Hint: If you haven’t already invested in these types of educational tools, get on it!  You may not be responsible for your freshness in the field, but you certainly are accountable when it comes to maximizing your learning potential.)

Turn the Tables

When an interviewer comments on your resume’s ripeness, turn the tables.  A simple statement like, “That’s one of the things that really attracted me to this position and the company in general, I really admire how much value you put into a diversified workplace.”

Of course you’ll have to do some research on the company’s culture first to validate such a response.  However, “diversified” is a positive connotation in almost every business’s vocabulary.  It will be hard for your interviewer to disagree because doing so would point out disconnect between the company’s culture and its practices.

Being young on the job market can only hold you back if you let it.  If you can calm interviewers’ fears and impress them with professional rebuttals, then you have a chance.  Remember not to worry too much; like most things in life, time will eventually solve this problem for you.

What other responses WOW recruiters?


About the author: Kelly Gregorio writes about employment trends and small business news while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a small business loan provider. You can read her daily business blog at

4 Steps to Success from Campus to Career

5 03 2013

StepsToSuccess-300x250Guest post by Sumeet Dhillon

You have recently graduated from university and have landed your dream job in a large organization. You are excited and motivated, but the learning curve is steep. Easy electives, long break between classes, and submitting assignments just before the deadline are things of the past. Now it’s all about stakeholder management, slide packs, risks & issues, and critical path.

You never had to run a conference call in school or think about whether a deliverable’s status is currently “amber” or “red”, or even create a pivot table. You might be thinking on how much school has really prepared you for professional life.

You are not alone. I was in the same situation not too long ago but, thanks to the guidance of my nurturing managers and dynamic mentors, I was able to make a smoother transition in the real world. To pay their favors forward, I am sharing four easy tips in this post with the hope that it helps recent graduates succeed professionally.

1. Understand your organization:

It is useful for new hires to not just understand their individual role within the team, but also the role of the team within the group, and the role of the group within the whole firm. It is important to see how the different teams fit together in a large organization. Try to find the answer to the question – what is the impact to the firm if our department ceases to exist for a few days? Knowing how your team fits in with rest of the company will help you appreciate your role and understand your assignments better.

2. Identify resources available to you and use them:

Companies invest a lot in people development and provide many training resources that can be easily accessed by all employees. Most companies will have a “university” section on the intranet with online courses relevant to your role and industry. Identify these resources and take a couple of hours every week to learn something new and relevant. If workload does not permit doing this during office hours, get to the office an hour early once a week for this learning.

3. Ask questions:

You are guaranteed to be bombarded with acronyms and office jargon at work. At first, it might be intimidating for some recent graduates to ask questions to their management, as they don’t want to appear difficult. There is nothing to fear. If there is a concept that you don’t understand, just ask. In most cases your team will be happy to help as you are all working together on a common deliverable.

4. Find a mentor:

Soon after you join a team, you will start noticing and admiring the work ethics and styles of certain individuals. If you do find somebody who seems like an appropriate role-model, make them your mentor and arrange a few lunches with them. You can learn about their experiences and goals and they can even guide you on how you can achieve yours. It is great to have somebody to have open and honest discussions with. It is at one of these informal mentor conversations that I learnt that I often said “anyways” instead of “anyway” and almost all of my sentences started with the word “basically”. Making these minor adjustments in my speech was easy, but I would have never known about it had I not taken the initiative to find a mentor.

To conclude, the transition from student life to working life can be challenging but doing some simple things like the ones mentioned in this post can really make a difference. Keep learning, be proactive, work hard and you will make the transition from a “rookie” to a “subject matter expert” in no time. Good luck!

About the author: Sumeet Dhillon is a Change Management consultant who has conducted several entry-level interviews in previous roles. He has worked in the financial services industry across United Kingdom, Switzerland and United States. He also has a keen interest in technology, sports, watches, travelling, blogging and building iPhone applications. You can reach him at @SumeetSDhillon