pnPhone interviews have become increasingly common as more recruiters and hiring managers work from virtual offices and competitive candidates span the globe. Although you don’t have to worry about pressing your suit or remembering all of your key points (yes, you can put notes in front of you) you need to be aware that it is much more difficult to establish rapport and get a feel for the situation when the exchange is via telephone.
Here are few things to remember in order to have a successful interview:
1. Timing is everything. Pick a time when you know you won't be interrupted or distracted. Find a quiet location and grab yourself a glass of water. If you have a land line, use it for the interview. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to conduct an interview with a poor cell phone connection.
2. Your ultimate goal is to generate enough interest so you're offered a job. The individual on the other end of the phone cannot see you, so you must be able to make a strong impression by knowing your strengths and applying them effectively against the position criteria. Keep this in mind throughout the process.
3. Avoid "um." Companies are examining your ability to communicate and present yourself effectively so be mindful of your speech patterns. Are you someone they could trust to give a presentation to prospective clients?
4. Be energetic and enthusiastic. The interviewer will pick up on it.
5. Always ask questions of the person interviewing you. Research the company thoroughly and ask about their organizational goals, business strategies and value proposition. You want to show them that you've done your homework and possess a genuine interest in the company.
6. Have a closing statement. Many candidates avoid this part of the interview process but it is a must. Restate why you're qualified for the position and be persuasive. Ask about the timeline and next steps.
Good luck!

Posted by Jackie Neva

Executive Job Protection – Part 3 – Time Management & Job Protection

During the interview process candidates are often assessed on the basis of questions they ask.

That's right – you have to come to the interview with questions directed to the person you are interviewing with. It is not enough to come to an interview and expect to be the one answering the questions. In fact, statistics show that candidates who get their interviewer talking – generally about themselves, their role in the company, their perceptions of the company - rank higher than candidates who don't ask thoughtful questions.

So, what type of questions should you ask? That depends on where you are in the interview cycle and who you are interviewing with.

Clearly when interviewing with C level individuals – CEO, CSO, SVP of Sales, you want to focus on questions that demonstrate you have done your homework. Direct questions to this audience that are strategic in nature – ask about the company's vision, plan for growing revenues, financials, do they have an exit strategy, will they grow organically or through acquisition.

When interviewing with the hiring manager – the person you will report to focus on questions around their organization, their team's goals and objectives, what challenges do they face and what suggestions do they have for a person coming in to the organization. Focus on expectations – what does this person need to accomplish and take note as you will want to address these points when expressing your value to the organization. You are being assessed based on your ability to satisfy the manager's goals and objective – you are there to make them look good. Don't be shy about asking the hiring manager – what is most important for you to achieve your goals in the next 12 months? Looking back 12 months from now what would you want to be able to say about the person you hire for this position?

When interviewing with representatives from Human Resources you will want to ask questions around company positioning in the marketplace, how does the company position relative to their completion, what do they see as strengths over their competition. Later on when an offer is being developed you will want to get more tactical in your line of questioning around compensation, benefits, company policies around expense reimbursement, work from home set up, policies and procedures.

It is key to have a set of questions written out in advance – do not wing it. Take notes and in your follow up with the individual you interviewed with reference a point that they made, the impact they had on you, summarize your value proposition and express your desire to join their team.

Often candidates fail to ask the interviewer the all important question – "Will you support my candidacy moving forward". How will you know if they support your objective of obtaining an offer if you don't ask? Remember to close – on the next steps and ask for the job.

Posted by Jackie Neva

Executive Job Protection – Part 3 – Time Management & Job Protection

The 2-job Problem
Being assigned two jobs after reorganization might appear to be a testament to your capabilities as an employee, but it's important to look at it for exactly what it is: Twice the workload. Here's how to get by if you find yourself in this position.

  1. Don't panic.
    Assess the situation and figure out how to proceed. Panicking will only hinder your already burdensome workload.
  2. Delegate tasks.
    Come to terms with the fact that you're not a superhero and can therefore not do two jobs effectively. List out all of the duties of both jobs and determine which tasks could be reallocated to subordinates. Realize that this means you may have to part with jobs you'd prefer to do as well as some mundane tasks.
  3. Don't procrastinate.
    It's easy to get caught up in details, especially when completing smaller tasks can make it seem like you're getting things accomplished. Instead you should delegate easier tasks and use your time more wisely to accomplish tougher projects that have more career-boosting potential.
  4. Be accessible.
    Even if your job gets hectic, don't appear unapproachable to your coworkers. Management entails getting things done through people so make sure to step away from your desk and be visible. Instead of locking yourself in your office, go out and talk to fellow employees about their work and yours.

When it's Okay to Procrastinate
We're all prone to procrastination, but when your job is in jeopardy, it could end up costing you. Before we examine ways to avoid procrastination, let's look at situations in which delaying is the right thing to do.

  • The delay is legitimate. Sometimes we do postpone tasks for good reason. Goal changes, vague deadlines, over commitment and the arrival of more urgent or immediate tasks are all good reasons to put things off. When you're assigned a new task prioritize it so that it works with the other tasks on your plate.
  • Your goals change. It's important to consistently reassess your goals as well as your organization's goals during tough economic times. You may be accustomed to doing this on a monthly or quarterly basis but shoot for reassessing goals weekly. Something that had value yesterday may have none tomorrow.
  • You don't have any deadlines. If you have a project without specific deadlines you can usually postpone it in favor of something urgent. If your boss assigns a project with a vague deadline and you anticipate a conflict with another project, ask for clarification and make sure your boss knows that you've got a lot to work on.
  • You lack information. If a job requires more time than you bargained for due to a lack of essential data, it may not need to be completed immediately. If you move ahead without the data, it could hurt your reputation and your company's.
  • You've overcommitted. When you're fearful that your job is in jeopardy, you're more likely to over commit. How do you tell your boss you don't have time to handle a request while he/she is deciding whether or not to keep you on staff? It's a tough situation, but smart managers go to their bosses, explain their predicaments and present their priorities with a timeline and ask for feedback. Don't court disaster by accepting a task without considering whether you'll be able to complete it in a timely manner.

Posted by Jackie Neva

Executive Job Protection – Part 2

Cultivate relationships with everyone in your organization, but don’t become “one of the gang.” Your first instinct may be to form relationships with everyone at your organization, especially your superiors. While it is a good idea to seek a mentor or sponsor amongst your superiors and connect with individuals at all levels, make sure you’re never identified as “one of the gang.” During a merger or acquisition you may have to leave troops behind and you will be appreciated for your willingness to do so.

  1. Maintain your reputation.
    This is all about leveraging your unique assets. Start with your beliefs and interests. Where do they coincide with your colleagues and higher-ups? Try to find a subject of common interest when meeting higher executives. Another way to build your reputation is to connect with individuals from the greater community. Start by meeting with fellow alumni inside and outside of your organization via networking events. In addition to alumni gatherings, seek out professional committees through your chamber of commerce. Lastly, you’ve probably heard this over and over, but always make sure that you’re appropriately dressed. A good rule of thumb is to dress for the job you want, not the one you have.
  2. Make sure you’re recognized for your accomplishments.
    There are plenty of ways to get overlooked in an organization. No matter how well you do your job, you can’t count on the credit being automatically attributed to you. Here are a few pointers to make sure that you’re not taken advantage of:
    • Supply the pieces, but let others fit them together
      Set the model for sharing credit. At departmental meetings say something to the effect of “I’d like to extend my thanks to John for his assistance on this project…”that way, you’ll be setting the standard of giving credit where credit is due.
    • Avoid accusations
      If you still have a colleague take credit for work you did, your first reaction may be to publicize it. Before you make the hasty decision to do so, consider the repercussions. When you publicly confront someone—even if it’s justified—people will wonder who was right. Do you really want to be remembered as the person who made accusations? Your energy is likely better spent in preventing a recurrence.
    • If you must confront, confront discreetly
      Your colleague might not be aware of your feelings regarding their actions. If this appears to be the case, a quiet confrontation may help ameliorate the situation (and it could result in a public clarification). If it turns out they deliberately took credit, at least you’ve issued a warning.
    • Take preventative measures
      There’s nothing to be done about the past, except to take measures to ensure that it’s not repeated. It’s better to let others know about your efforts while you’re doing the work as opposed to after the fact. You can do this without exaggerating or being aggressive—just simply note the effort you’ve been contributing. If you have an idea, propose it publicly with (at minimum) one other individual present. If you’re still wary, put the idea in writing and save any email correspondence you’ve shared regarding the topic.
    • Think about who you’re dealing with
      If it’s your boss that’s not sharing credit, you need to be particularly tactful when dealing with these matters. Clearly, your approach will be partially dependent upon your relationship and the circumstances, but it is a good idea to proceed with the idea that this was simply an oversight and that no intentional harm was committed.
    • Give a valid reason for seeking recognition
      You’re not going to possess any credibility if you seem to be constantly seeking recognition for personal gain. Be careful about how you frame the situation so that you avoid overtones of blame or appear too confrontational. Try saying something along the lines of “I think it would strengthen my relationship with the client if they were aware of how active I’ve been on their account” or “Since I spent a lot of time on this, would it be alright if I included my name below yours?”
  3. Information is power.
    The more you know, the safer your job. Smart managers have a knack for regularly reviewing procedures and making sure that they’re in control of whatever crosses their desks. Don’t just examine the things you’re told you need to know—consider other things that would be helpful to you at this stage of your career and in the future without wasting time on low-priority information.
  4. Earn credibility.
    Subordinates need to believe that their boss will always act in their favor. In order to earn this trust, you should be honest, candid and personal when the situation calls for it. Being “personal when the situation calls for it” means that you should remember that just because you’re a boss, it doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself as well. If a subordinate is obviously upset about something, address it, don’t ask how far along they are on a report. It’s all about confidence, trust and fairness.

Posted by Peter Neva

What are your strengths?
  1. Not having a professional e-mail address.
    Sure, you may have had the nickname “Smart Guy” for a long time, but that doesn’t mean it should be the email address a recruiter would use to reach you. There are so many free e-mail account options available that there is no excuse to not set up an email address using your first and last name.
  2. Starting the job search without a game plan.
    You shouldn’t start your job search without a plan or an idea of where you’d like to be otherwise you’ll find yourself aimlessly applying for every job you’re semi-qualified for without actually ending up in a position that will suit your interests and goals. Also, save yourself some trouble ahead of time and make sure you can answer these questions: Why are you in the job market? Tell me about yourself. What are you looking to do next?
  3. Not giving yourself the “once over” before heading into an interview.
    It sounds simple, but imagine how awkward it would be if you had food stuck in your teeth through the duration of an interview.
  4. Limiting your search to the internet.
    The internet can be a useful tool but be careful not to become too dependent on it. Use it for research and to seek out connections, but remember that you’re least likely to get a job that way.
  5. Being forgetful.
    I can’t stress this enough: Scrutinize your cover letter prior to sending. You may have spent a couple of solid hours writing an impressive cover letter but if you forget to change the company name or the receiver’s address, you just lost your chance for an interview. Your cover letter should always be customized to the company and position you’re applying for.
  6. Attending networking events without actually networking.
    Authentic networking is built upon the formation of mutually beneficial relationships. It is extremely difficult to network effectively in a group setting so make sure you’re having at least 3-5 one-on-one meetings per week.
  7. Casting your net too widely.
    Your search will be a lot more effective if you focus on the kind of work you want to be doing and where you’d like to work.
  8. Neglecting to prepare for basic interview questions.
    Can you answer these questions: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Tell me about yourself. Why should we hire you? Etc. These questions are a given so be prepared—don’t just assume you’ll have an answer when the time comes.
  9. Not joining your Chamber of Commerce or other industry networking groups.
    Almost every Chamber of Commerce gathers monthly for “Business After Hours” (or a similarly-titled group) and many have additional professional associations. If you don’t seek out these groups in your industry, you’re missing a key opportunity to build your network.
  10. Grammatical and/or spelling errors.
    I can’t stress this enough: Check each resume, cover letter and piece of correspondence prior to sending for grammatical and spelling errors. The smallest error could create a negative impression. If you need another set of eyes, pass it along to a friend or relative first, but do not blindly submit anything.
  11. Forgetting about your social media presence.
    Before you start your job search, Google yourself and make sure there isn’t anything inappropriate associated with your name. There have been instances where employers have secretly attempted to “friend” candidates on Facebook or “follow” them on Twitter just to get access to their feed and photos. Always be mindful of the content that’s associated with your name.
  12. Skipping the “follow up” after an interview.
    Always send a thank you note to the interviewer. It’s perfectly acceptable to send your note via e-mail but make sure it’s personalized and that they receive it within 24 hours.
  13. Neglecting to ask questions at the interview.
    If you don’t ask your prospective employer questions during the interview, you’re sending the message that you’re not interested in the company or position. Remember that the interview should go both ways: They want to find out as much information as they can about you and vice-versa. Otherwise, you’re sending the message that you don’t really care.
  14. Using only one job-hunt strategy.
    You can’t rely solely on the use of online job boards to find opportunities. You’ll uncover more opportunities if you use a combination of job boards, in-person meetings and networking events.

Posted by Jackie Neva

Think Like a Recruiter

Introducing a new series in which we will explore key issues facing modern executives and highlight some effective actionable steps that will assist you should you find yourself in similar circumstances. Consider this a toolkit or frame of reference that will be available whenever you need it. Let’s begin.

Situation: Your organization has just been acquired by another firm. Instead of calling the shots, you suddenly find yourself wondering whether or not there will be a place for you after the takeover. Many managers aren’t allowed the luxury of a voluntary exit and the career you’ve spent years of your life cultivating might never fully recover its momentum. However, if you do find yourself in this position, all is not lost. The following considerations will help you proactively handle the situation. Pay attention.

Face the Realities
  1. The corporate culture is going to be different.
    Regardless of what upper management tells you, your organization is going to undergo significant changes. Perhaps one of the most significant changes you’ll be forced to face is the change in corporate culture. Try to stay open-minded throughout this process and wait until you know more information before you do anything drastic. Remember that you may soon find yourself negotiating for your position and that your behavior during this time will undoubtedly be a factor in their final decision.
  2. Be honest with yourself.
    Are you compatible with the new regime? If it turns out that your work style and values are truly incompatible with the new structure you should start exploring other opportunities. However, it is important to remember that an early exit could cost you your severance package. Weigh the pros and cons before you make a decision.
  3. Stay calm.
    This is especially important during the conversations you’ll have with outside consultants regarding the restructuring of your department. If you get defensive or start to panic, you are jeopardizing your position within the new organization. Instead, constructively critique your department and explain the efficiencies you’d like to instill. The smartest thing you can do during this conversation is to show your support for the merger and demonstrate that you’ve been thinking about ways to make this adjustment go smoothly. Show them you’re a capable leader who can effectively handle periods of change.
  4. Don’t try a cover-up.
    If you really do know that your department is redundant and therefore a solid candidate for elimination, don’t try to hide it. Instead, be frank and suggest other roles you could assume in the new corporate scheme. Be persuasive and sell yourself. Make your superiors want to retain you as much as you want to retain your job.
  5. Don’t expect a quick readjustment.
    The transition period after a merger is going to take awhile. In fact, the normal time frame for most companies is two years. Top managers frequently believe they are helping employees by moving slowly and systematically when in reality, they’re prolonging employees’ sense of instability. To minimize your anxiety during this time, find out as much as you can about the acquiring company. Review their acquisition history and look for patterns. Have there been large-scale dismissals or resignations? This will be a good indication of what’s next for your organization. Also examine their policies regarding promotions and compensation. If the info you’ve collected is dismal, plan a graceful exit. Working a 12-hour day will not convince your new employers your job is worth saving.

    On the other hand, it is important to make sure you don’t bail too early. Although takeovers can be distressing, they can also present new opportunities. Surprisingly enough, many executives actually end up with promotions after the company has reorganized. Envision yourself in the same way you’d like your new management to envision you: as a cooperative, vital employee. If your company was previously mismanaged by higher executives, it is even more likely that you’ll survive.
  6. Take stock.
    Do your best to determine which managers are likely to be cut and begin to rebuild your power network immediately. If you want t to be a part of the restructuring process, determine the acquiring company’s next move by looking at their past. Does that company have a history of centralizing? If so, you can expect redundant or overlapping positions to be eliminated.

    Note: If you’re ever part of the company that is doing the acquiring, volunteer yourself for the team of managers that enters the acquired firm to smooth things out for the changeover. To get a place on this team, recommend undertaking an employee attitude survey in the acquired firm. Suggest that it will be a good means for determining employee morale in addition to assessing the company’s strengths, weaknesses and executive staff. Another option is to offer to partake in some of the groundwork. Can you help integrate IT systems? Volunteer.

Posted by Jackie Neva

Think Like a Recruiter

Want to land a job in 2011? Here are some resolutions to help you get there.

  1. Throw out your old resume. Look back on your experiences and try to think about them with a fresh perspective. If it’s difficult to examine your credentials in different light, enlist the help of a former coworker or resume writing professional. By doing so, you may realize that your resume doesn’t do you justice. Remember to think about your experiences as they relate to the positions you’re applying for. It will make all the difference.
  2. Keep an open mind. Don’t limit yourself to one possible role or company. Your skills and experience might transfer to other roles where your work will be just as rewarding and your salary just as comparable. If you have your sights set on a specific role or company, look for positions or work that you could leverage to get yourself there in the future.
  3. Stop the blind search for jobs. You have a better shot at landing a position by tailoring your resume to a specific position rather than sending out 100 copies of your resume daily. Remember, the point is to make yourself stand out amongst the job seekers and one version of your resume does not work for every position.
  4. Go to your interview prepared. Whether you are interviewing face-to-face, over the phone or via Skype, it is essential that you practice. Practice with a mirror, a friend or a career coach and make sure you’re also prepared to ask relevant questions regarding the position and the company.
  5. Do your research. It is highly likely that you’re going to be asked what you know about the company you’re interviewing with. It is also likely that you’re not going to be invited back for a second round interview if you don’t know how to respond. If you don’t care enough about the company to research it before applying, it tells the recruiter that you don’t really want to be there.

Posted by Peter Neva

What are your strengths?

We’ve all heard this question before, and it’s a no-brainer that you need to have an answer ready to go when your interview rolls around, but what is the proper way to respond without coming off as overconfident or indistinguishable? Here are some ideas:

1. Know Yourself.

It’s impossible to give a good answer to this question if you can’t even identify your strengths. Reflect on some of the tasks you’ve completed in the past and analyze the skills that helped you accomplish the projects. If you’re stuck, try taking some assessment tests like StrengthsFinder2.0, check out the career books at your nearest bookstore or create a survey using tools like Survey Monkey to poll coworkers, family and friends.

2. Use Testimonials.

Let’s face it, most of us are quite uncomfortable flaunting our achievements, but if there is ever a time to do it, this is it. One way to sound less boastful, however, is to quote someone else’s remarks about you. Leave an open-ended section on the survey you create so you can collect this commentary or reflect on comments you’ve received during performance reviews. It’s much stronger to say “I spoke with my former bosses and coworkers regarding their thoughts about my strengths and they mentioned that…” rather than expressing your personal opinion. This highlights the extra steps you took to prepare and effectively comes across as a third-party testimonial which carries more weight.

3. Use Examples.

If you’re going to mention your “strong leadership skills” you should follow it with “for the past 2 years I’ve led a team of Sales professionals in the launch of a new SaaS offering – the team overachieved quota and ranked in the Top 10% companywide." Examples that highlight your strengths in a specific situation are much more powerful than simply referencing a vague opinion. Use them!

4. Tailor Your Strengths.

All jobs are not equal. Before you go to an interview, review the position description. What are the most important requirements? Tailor your responses to address these specifics to have more impact. If you have a skill that can be directly applied to the position you’re being interviewed for it will make it clear to the recruiter or hiring manager that you’re a qualified candidate. For example… if you are interviewing for a PreSales position where the company is planning on launch a new software SaaS product…You might have said: “I have strong communication skills.” However, a more effective answer might be: “Previous co-workers have told me I’m very effective at making complex concepts simple to understand, which is useful when communicating with prospects across their organization – business users, C level executives, and IT department."

The first statement is based on subjectivity while the second uses a testimonial that is directly tailored for the position.

5. Be Prepared.

Be Prepared! In order to do all this well… you will not be able to simply come up with answers ‘off the cuff’! It takes preparation and practice. As I coach job seekers regularly… write out answers in advance, practice them, hone them, practice them again and again. The more you practice saying them out loud, the easier, and more naturally they will come out in the interview. Preparation is key to presenting yourself as professionally and as effectively as you can.


Posted by Jackie Neva

Think Like a Recruiter

With a surplus of candidates in the job market, understanding how to get a recruiter’s attention is absolutely crucial for securing a position. Consider these points before you submit your resume.

Most recruiters have little time and lots to do.
Whether reviewing hundreds of applicants or a few, the hiring decision is a daunting task. Recruiters are expected to not only find the right applicant for the position, but to also do so within a specified period of time. It’s no surprise then that your resume needs to be exceptional in order for you command a recruiter’s attention…the people who review it sometimes have only a minute or two to examine it.

Know your target audiences.
Given the minimal time senior-level recruiters possess, companies often have less experienced HR professionals screen resumes first to narrow down the selection process by identifying around a dozen qualified individuals. Knowing this, it’s important to make sure your resume is written in terms that someone without your background will be able to understand. While you work on key points, pretend you are conversing with a stranger. Would they understand the points you’re trying to convey? Use appropriate keywords, numbers and accomplishment-based statements to capture the attention of anyone reviewing your resume. The more specific you can be in outlining your background and how it aligns with the position description or recruiter’s criteria the better.

Relevant experience is vital.
Pretend for a minute that you’re looking for an ERP software sales position. Generally, a recruiter would want to know about your experience selling Enterprise software, 1. What enterprise applications have you sold. 2. Which vertical markets you have sold, 3. Which market segment you sold. 4. Whether you sold “new “ business or existing accounts. 5. What key accounts did you close. They will be looking for your results, percentage of attainment against goal, did you attend Presidents Club, what was your ranking among your company peers, how have you distinguished yourself – set yourself apart. They are looking for experienced sales professionals who have a track record of success. The stronger the results the stronger the likelihood of receiving a call to discuss the position.

Posted by Peter Neva

STAR Interviewing Response Technique for Success in Behavioral Job Interviews

Behavioral interviews are becoming increasingly more common in the recruiting world, yet many candidates lack sufficient responses for behavioral questions. A technique that many career centers are using to train job seekers to respond effectively is known as the STAR technique. This technique serves as a framework that will help you stay on track and answer succinctly during an interview. Take a look at some of the most commonly asked behavioral questions and follow the STAR Technique outline to be prepared for any behavioral question the recruiters might raise.

Frequently-asked Behavioral Questions:
  • Give an example of a goal you set and how you went about achieving it.
  • Give an example of an existing procedure you had to modify. What problems did you encounter and how did you solve them?
  • Give an example of a situation when you had to make an important decision in a short period of time.
  • Give an example of a time you motivated your coworkers/team members.
STAR Technique
Situation Describe the situation and the task that you needed to accomplish. Give as much detail as necessary for the recruiter to understand. The situation you reference can be from a previous job, a volunteer experience or any applicable event.
Action(s) you took Describe the action(s) you took and make sure the focus is on your effort. Don’t discuss hypothetical actions; make sure it’s something you actually did.
Result(s) you achieved What was the result? What did you accomplish? How did you learn from this event? What would you do differently?

Posted by Jackie Neva

Top 10 Job Search Strategies by Jackie Neva of Alliance Network

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Mary Elizabeth is an active member of the highly-esteemed Career Directors International and has served on several CDI committees throughout the years. She obtained her certification as an Advanced Resume Writer and Master Career Director through CDI and is one of only a few recipients worldwide to be awarded with CDI’s Master Career Professional Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mary Elizabeth is the author of two guidebooks: "Secrets of the Unadvertised Job Market . . . Revealed!” and “Phone Networking Secrets Revealed.” She is the publisher of a popular bimonthly ezine with over 5,000 subscribers, The Career Insider. Her guidebooks have been lauded by both clients and colleagues as “powerful,” “comprehensive,” and “highly effective.”

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Posted by Peter Neva

How to Get through a Round Two Interview
  1. Have a story.
    Not adequately preparing for the interview. Gone are the days of “informational interviews” in today’s competitive environment the first contact is very important to setting the tone for future exchanges. Candidates must be fully prepared and have thoroughly researched the opportunity and company.
  2. Be enthusiastic.
    It sounds simple, doesn’t it? In reality, most candidates are so focused on highlighting their credentials that they often forget to display genuine enthusiasm for the position. (Note: If you actually lack real interest in the position, it’s probably not a good fit for you or the company.)
  3. Do your research.
    With all of the resources available today, there is no excuse to come to an interview without being prepared. Research the company, the position and the individual(s) who will be interviewing you (if feasible). Not only will this reduce your pre-interview stress level, but it will also show that you’ve done your homework and care about the company.
  4. Demonstrate that you can think on your feet.
    It’s okay if you don’t know the answer to every interview question, but you need to be able to think quickly. Pause, process the question and respond the best that you can. If you’re clueless, don’t make up answer. Instead, try to draw a comparison or mention something you did differently.
  5. Show that you can persevere.
    This is critical in the ever-changing competitive environment of the business world. Plans are not always effective, thus it is important to maintain your tenacity and continue to raise the status quo. Continue to learn by asking questions and examining situations that could have gone better.

Posted by Jackie Neva

Top 10 Job Search Strategies by Jackie Neva of Alliance Network

Securing a position today is very different than in years past. You will encounter much more competition, fewer numbers of jobs, and higher expectations on the part of employers. Putting your best foot forward requires a solid strategy for securing a position. Gone are the days of developing a resume and cover letter. Today, one needs to have a clear career strategy and be able to communicate to prospective employers how your career strategy fits in to what they are looking for. One needs to develop a strategy and plan of action when looking for a new position. Here is a list of suggestions for your Job Search.

  1. Develop and communicate your career strategy and plan. What are you looking to achieve?
  2. Develop a portfolio which contains your resume, past work samples, case studies and other items which showcase how you work, think and execute.
  3. Develop a resume with specific examples of key wins, metrics and results. Expect to customize for each opportunity.
  4. Develop and communicate your personal value proposition – what are the key tenants that define you and set you apart from other candidates. Know this before you interview.
  5. Think strategically - have ideas and plans and communicate those - expressing what you would do given the opportunity.
  6. Be Honest – don’t misrepresent the truth – in the day of social networking and background checks we suggest to candidates -expect to be researched. Full disclosure is the rule.
  7. Research the company - know what they do, how they are positioned in the industry, latest news, executive team, business plans and financials.
  8. Research who you are interviewing with. Engage the interviewer with questions about themselves. Build rapport and test the chemistry.
  9. Be professional – never say anything negative about a former manager or employer. Instead, turn a negative in to a positive.
  10. Actively listen, be engaging, persistent, show energy and enthusiasm. Get them excited about you!

Posted by Jackie Neva

Top 10 Job Search Strategies by Jackie Neva of Alliance Network

Candidates often leave an interview and don’t know why they were not selected. Hiring companies are reluctant to share honest feedback for fear of repercussions. They may tell us what a candidate does poorly and at times even the simplest of things impact the outcome.

  1. Not adequately preparing for the interview. Gone are the days of “informational interviews” in today’s competitive environment the first contact is very important to setting the tone for future exchanges. Candidates must be fully prepared and have thoroughly researched the opportunity and company.
  2. Not practicing before the interview. Practice makes perfect – remember it is not the candidate with the best resume that is offered, rather the person who interviews the best will be offered.
  3. Not selling your value – what do you bring to the job that sets you apart from the next candidate?
  4. Sharing too much information too soon. Honesty is the best policy – but hold up sharing too much information – especially personal information too soon.
  5. Not getting the hiring manager excited about you. If you can’t get them excited about you – how effective will you be getting prospects interested in what you are selling?
  6. Not building rapport with the interviewer.
  7. Not dressing the part – conservative dress always. No cologne, facial hair or loud make up.
  8. Not asking strategic, thought provoking questions during the interview or didn’t take notes.
  9. Typo and grammatical errors in your email communications and thank you notes tell the hiring manager you lack an attention to detail.
  10. Unable to answer the “Why should I hire you over other candidates?”
  11. Misrepresentations on the resume or application.

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