Score the Perfect Job Interview in 5 Steps

perfect interview in 5 stepsCongratulations – you’ve made it to the job interview! Now what?

Here’s a little-known secret to job interviews: 

By controlling the job interview process, you’ll have a much higher chance of securing the job – and career – you want .

First, remind yourself that the company invited you for a reason, otherwise they wouldn’t bother wasting their time. So walk in with the confidence of knowing they already like your experience. Because it’s not your skills but your attitude that determines the success of your interview.

Yes, you qualify. But do they?

Next, don’t wait until they start asking you questions! Instead, learn how to take control of the interview. How do you do that? It starts the moment you introduce yourself and say, “Hello”.

Step 1: Take control of the interview process by asking questions first

The first 15 minutes of your interview will decide whether you succeed or fail. So it’s important to learn as much about the company and what your future employer wants, right from the start.

The moment you shake hands you should start by asking them:

  • How long have you been here?
  • What do you like about the company?
  • What’s the culture like here?
  • Why is this position open?
  • What are you looking for?
  • What are the best qualities you’re looking for in a candidate?

If those questions sound like the kind of questions the interviewer might ask you, that’s because they are.

Step 2: Feed the answers back to them

By now, you will have learned what they want BEFORE they had the chance to ask you the usual questions like “so, tell me about yourself“.

But if they still do that, answer with something like “what aspect of me would you like to know more of?” Keep your answers no longer than 30 seconds. No need to bore the interviewer or shoot yourself in the foot with unnecessary or potentially damaging information.

Then, when the interviewer does start to formally interview you, this is your opportunity to use the same sound bites they used in describing their perfect candidate to you (hint: because they already told you).

Step 3: Create deeper rapport

Beyond the position, it’s your job to develop a deeper rapport and make sure there’s a good fit for you as well as for them.

Example-

Interviewer: “it’s important to me that the candidate is resourceful, proactive and independent so that I don’t have to hold his hand all the time.”

You: “I totally see what you mean. It’s really important to be proactive and explore different solutions independently so a person can progress on their own.”

And just like that, you’ve created rapport. But you should take it further to explore why it’s important to them and how you agree or disagree with their thought process.

The bottom line is that the interview process is 80% about liking the candidate and having good rapport. So if you can get this step right, you’re well on your way to securing that job.

Step 4: “Trick” them into imagining they hired you already

Since you now have rapport with the interviewer, it’s time to get them to imagine having hired you already. You do that by asking them questions about the future.

Memorize this job rule: The more you talk about the future, the more likely you will succeed in securing the position. The more you talk about the past, the more likely you are to fail.

This sounds counter-intuitive but remember, your history and experience is already qualified for the job. So why waste this time? Focus on the future. 

Here’s some examples:

“Who would I be working with?”

“What would the first 6 months look like?”

And here’s the most important question you can ask: “I’m curious – what do you see me doing day to day from the first time I walk through that door over there?”

Because when they answer that question they have to imagine you in the position to do it. And they’ll mentally walk themselves through a scenario where you’re doing the day to day tasks – which is exactly what you want!

Step 5: Challenge them a little to get more

Now that you’re in a great position to get that job you need to go even further. This is where you get to push back a bit and see how they might respond. But start small.

Here’s an example:

“I’ve worked with several companies. And recently I’ve been interviewing with a number of companies. And I’ve learned enough along the way to know what I’m looking for. I believe from personal experience that no matter how great the position, title or company, it’s more important for me to work with people that I’m really comfortable with. Not just on a professional level, but on a personal level as well. That’s why even though we’re having a great interview right now, I need to make sure I feel comfortable with the entire group and everyone I’ll be working with. So before I come on board I’d like to know if I can meet the entire group. Because that’s very important to me. Is that okay with you?”

In this example, all you’re doing is asking them a question about the people you’ll be working with. But hidden in this question is a subtle qualifier for them to meet and live up to.

They’re usually pleasantly surprised and react as most people would, “Of course we have a very nice team here and we understand if you want to meet the other people in our department”. And by this point, most will be willing to showing you around and meet your potential co-workers right away or at the end of the interview.

This does a few things. Not only is this a test to see if they like you, but it’s also a good test for you to see if you’ll like them too. And bonus: it’ll probably get the whole office talking about you after you leave. :-)

And that’s it. The perfect job interview in 5 steps!

7 Dating Lessons for Women In the New Year

dating for modern womenDo you remember that viral graduation speech given by a student to his class where he gave the best advice he’s ever learned in just a few simple steps?

It played everywhere and it was even turned into a song. Many versions were born from it. 

But ultimately the idea was that it was just some good, simple advice: reminders about living according to the things that are important to us, as we often forget what they really are along the way.

So when it comes to dating in the new year, I’ve thought of how many of us will be embarking on this new journey of love, dating and relationships and all the joy, heartbreak, frustration and just “meh…” that comes in between.

I’m proud to say I’ve graduated from MANY of these painful cycles. But I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… at the end of the day, I still think of myself as a student first, a teacher second. And really, it’s more fun being a student, if for nothing else than the crazy drama and the volatile 90210 moments that abound!

Before digging in, I think it’s fair to say we’re all graduates.

We’ve all graduated from a tough economic year in our lives. We’ve all graduated from a life filled with heartbreak and disappointment, inspiration and indomitable faith, working harder than ever, only to find that success is still not enough. And of course, we’ve all graduated from having it all and losing it all – and now, here we stand, with another year behind us.

Another year wiser, another year of experiences and perspectives, ready to face the new, the unknown. The New Year.

So I want to take this moment to share a few of my own words of wisdom as we kick off the new year and pause to reflect on what we hope to gain from what’s to come.

This is where you’re supposed to imagine some graduation music, playing triumphantly in the background…. (and here’s a link to help with that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HDM3eYp4KQ  )

 

STEP 1: Just like a new year’s resolution puts you in a reflective mood, always take time to know who you’re dating.

When you don’t get to know him – or he doesn’t have the privilege of getting to know you – then you leave behind a golden opportunity to find the love of your life or better still, to learn a new lesson about yourself…because very often, we learn the most about ourselves thru others. And if you don’t know yourself then chances are, he doesn’t either.

But hey, at least you’ll have found a good friend… maybe?

 

STEP 2: Try to charm the poor bloke, at least a little bit?

Too many women (AHEM… city girls…) are so used to being hit on and getting wined and dined while the investment banker of the month is blabbing on about how awesome he is because of this deal and that – but wait a tick.

There’s a girl on the other side of this table that’s just as awesome as he is, inside and out. Unfortunately, in this crazy dating world she’s forgotten how to talk about herself beyond the superficial “I went to the gym, I got some coffee, and I hate Lady Gaga right now.”

It means opening your mouth more, and making it talk about the many things you have going in your life and the conversationally elusive WHY it’s important to you.

Pretty soon, he’ll shut up. And if he doesn’t like it, find the guy right behind him that does want to know more about you… and he’ll be taken in by you before he even notices your spectacular C-cups.

No, it’s not love, but it’s a START.

 

STEP 3: Take it one day at a time.

If it’s going to happen, he’ll make it happen. If it’s not going to happen, he’ll do nothing about it. If you’re having fun, keep going. And if you’re not having fun, try laughing at him a little.

You’re only as limited as your imagination…especially if you’re imagining junk punching him. But you probably want that part to stay in your head so another girl has a chance to laugh at him and maybe someday, to laugh with him.

 

STEP 4: There are the assholes and then there are the nice guys.

If that’s all you date, you’re insecure. Yea, they are too, but real human beings have strengths and weaknesses and normal people that are really honest with themselves will recognize it’s healthy in other people too. And most importantly, it’s desirable.

Because if you can’t be real at times… if you can’t drop the need to seem perfect around him, or he’s a meathead jock right out of the Jersey Shore who sees your tears as a sign of weakness, or he’s so nice that you’re afraid to laugh when he farts loudly, then don’t just walk away… run!

And start back at Step 1.

 

STEP 5: You know it’s coming (that’s what she said)… but, love yourself.

Love yourself enough to keep dating new people, even though you told yourself on the last date that it’s all a waste of time. Love yourself enough to stop dating if you feel like you’re breaking his heart only because your heart was broken before.

And love yourself enough that you can actually believe it when he says that your eyes sparkle bright, like two Pikachus battling it out with a mighty Volt Tackle. (Oh, it’s true girlfriend!)

And if you keep your eyes open, you might learn something about yourself… something new that you can love yourself about. It’ll go into your next date.

And love yourself enough to stop dating if you feel chicks are starting to look mighty good to you about now… unless you have enough love to go around, of course.

The lesson is you have to give back to yourself before you have yourself to give.

 

STEP 6: Be your sexiest self.

When a girl goes out of her way to look good, or look sexy, it goes without saying he’ll probably be more attracted. But if you’ve done the first 5 steps right, then chances are he already knows how awesome you are on the inside.

And because you made sure he knows what makes you so special, being hot eye-candy won’t work against you. But just remember to take it, as always, one day a time.

 

STEP 7: Get out there more!

Don’t geek things up by obsessing with endless dating listicles (and by endless, I mean more than 7). Because you can’t meet someone from your couch…unless you’re on those dating sites, I guess. Which in that case, get a profile up and start swiping a few guys!

And who knows, maybe one day you’ll be one of those few lucky women out there with a guy you can “tolerate” this Valentine’s Day.

So Happy New Year to all you lovely ladies!

And remember that as long as you can learn something new, no moment is ever lost in the world of dating and relationships. :-)

14 Safe, Creative & Fun Tips for Men to Get a HOT Date Valentine’s Day!

14 Valentine's Day Tips for Men

1 – With your drink, push your glass up to about a foot away from her and say, “Cheers!”. She’s most likely to clink your glass with yours out of habit.

2 – Read those silly Cosmo quizzes and save five questions on your phone, along with their silly point system. Use them!

3 – Use 5 bad pickup lines in a row on her – any 5 will do.

4 – Tightly roll three-fourths of a cocktail napkin, leaving the top open like the bud of a flower. Tell her to hold it for you and go to the bathroom. If you come back and she’s still holding it, you’re in! If not, ignore it and continue getting to know her. She’s still with you!

5 – Point out an attractive woman to your love interest and ask her what you should say to pick her up, then do whatever she says – if it doesn’t work, you now have a fun story to share with the other woman. The more ridiculous the better.

6 – Approach her directly, but with a catch – “I knew I had to come talk to you and find out if you were more than meets the eye.”

7 – Ask what’s her favorite passion and more importantly, the rewarding feelings she gets from it. Women enjoy talking about themselves, you’ll get to know her better and she’s likely to remember you more. Win-win.

8 – Play a guessing game and look around the room trying to figure out the “story” of other couples as you people watch together. Again, the more ridiculous the better!

9 – Give her a fun nickname. When you ask for her number, tell her to program your phone with her new nickname in it. A-wink! Wink!

10 – Text her fun, random facts from the bottom of Snapple caps, like “a female kangaroo is called a flyer.” If she doesn’t respond, you didn’t risk anything meaningful so you can still call her.

11 – Take her window shopping and have her pick out fun outfits for you to wear. You don’t have to buy anything to have a good time.

12 – Exchange stories from your most embarrassing moments. You’ll automatically know things only her best friends know and if you’re a gentleman about it, she’s likely to trust you with more later.

13 – Ask her how she would hit on the most attractive man in the room and then have her practice on you first. But don’t fall for it…yet!

14 – Introduce yourself with a handshake and when she shakes your hand, immediately switch into a game of thumb wars. Let her win (but only if she deserves it)!

 
For more check out: Dating Mastery from the Inside Out

 

Turbo Charge Your Time Management in 5 Steps

manage-time-3-1574209Keeping busy is easy. Achieving something meaningful is much harder.

When you’re focused on a to-do list, it’s easy to keep creating more to-do items to fill up the day. 

But when you are focused on creating results, then the game becomes doing as little as possible in order to achieve it effectively.

This is where the art of time management comes into play.

So from now on, you’re paid for results! Whether it’s true in your career or not, it’s true in your life. And to do that, you must have a written time management system in place.

Get yourself a good planner – whether it’s paper or digital – and start using a system that works for you. It must be able to capture all your action items in written form and any additional items during the day, on the fly and in real-time.

1. Create Life Categories

If you’re like most people, you’re busy with many tasks but also being pulled in many life directions that you consider important, such as your health, finances, relationships, and career. Rather than creating an endless daily list of tasks, break them up into life categories, or areas of focus.

Each category will have its own list of related tasks that will be more digestible and allow you to devote time to only those tasks that are relevant. Having a block of time to focus only on your health, finances or relationships means making major progress in your life area, rather than just being busy and accomplishing several unrelated tasks.

Having a block of time to focus only on your health, finances or relationships means making major progress in your life area, rather than just being busy and accomplishing several unrelated tasks.

Category Examples

Health-

  • Run 5k
  • Buy Vegetables for the next 5 days
  • Watch a YouTube video on how to perform progressive weight lifting

Finances-

  • Signup for mint.com to watch weekly spending
  • Join a credit union to refinance auto loan

Relationships-

  • Buy anniversary card for my wife
  • Brainstorm romantic gift ideas that she won’t expect

Career-

  • Reach out to my network and ask for referrals
  • Research online classes related to my MBA
2. Binary Prioritization

Going further, prioritize each task using a binary system. Either it has a star next to it or it doesn’t. If it has a star, that means it absolutely must get done by the end of the day in order for you to be successful in that life category. If it doesn’t have a star, then it’s optional.

Let’s take the 3 task items under your health category above that’s due for tomorrow:

  • Run 5k*
  • Buy Vegetables for the next 5 days*
  • Watch a YouTube video on how to perform progressive weight lifting

While watching a video on improving your exercise routine is helpful, you decide it’s more important to do the exercise and buy vegetables for the week.

So those two tasks have a star next to it, because it means working out and buying greens is what will make tomorrow a success. While the YouTube video is optional and can be moved to the next day if it doesn’t get done, you still made maximum progress in your health.

It doesn’t matter what time you do the task or how long it takes to finish it, which gives you flexibility in how you get there. And it’s simple, so it means you don’t spend hours trying to decide “is this a 2 in priority or a 1… and if it’s a 2 does that mean it absolutely has to be done today?”

It either has a star next to it or it doesn’t. A star means it must happen that day to be a success in that life area.

On days when everything has a star next to it that include multiple meetings and careful planning so it all gets done, it’s appropriate to schedule exact times for every action item due that day. If you have a full schedule, you’d ideally factor in overtime for anything that may likely take longer than anticipated (i.e., every meeting ever) and prepare as much as you can on the prior day.

That means everyday you’re asking yourself “what’s the most important thing I can do today that will make this area of my life a success?” 

Often you’ll find that there’s another step you’re missing before you can complete the action item. Or you might be missing an important distinction and it requires another step that you don’t know about yet. In that case, you’ll have to add that in after the fact to be done later or the next day.

This way, you’re constantly improving and adjusting how you get to a goal and the most important key to the whole system is the fact that you’re writing down the added adjustments and improvements along the way. 

3. Choose The Right System

There are many really great systems that are paper based or use online websites or apps. Some of the most popular systems today are David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Franklin Covey’s Planner, or Tony Robbins’ Rapid Planning Method. Not all will necessarily translate very well to an app or an online website account.

There are some excellent websites and apps that you can find, but the one that most easily adapts to the system discussed here is Toodledo.com. It runs online and offline and makes capturing tasks quick and easy. This is important because capturing tasks is the first step and if you find it too cumbersome to perform the first step, your system will fail.

Warning!

Don’t make the mistake of having a dozen different life-categories to manage. If you have too many, it becomes counter productive because not enough focus and effort will go into any one category. Unless you can delegate tasks, keep it simple.

When it comes to long-term focus, it’s more sustainable to do more with less.

4. Plant seeds every day

If you can consistently take action towards your goals, no matter how small or incidental, the momentum you create will eventually build into a tsunami of success – even if that moment of success is fleeting.

In the book Fight Club, Tyler Durden spends a long time positioning driftwood on the beach. During what seems like an hour of positioning the various pieces, Tyler periodically asks his alter ego “do you know what time it is?” Finally, after the sun drops and the sun is positioned in the sky just so, the logs in the sand casts a giant shadow and the image of a perfectly proportioned hand is revealed. Tyler Durden then sits himself cross-legged in the very center of that shadow for a few minutes, in a palm of perfection he created for himself.

Within a few minutes, the fingers and palm of his shadow become completely distorted as the sun continues to move through the sky. In confusion, his alter ego wonders what’s all this effort for? “One minute was enough, Tyler said, a person had to work hard for it, but a minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection.”

No matter how much it takes or how long it may take, that’s what we all strive for … all for that one perfect moment. In fact, our lives are defined by these kinds of moments. Remember that when you’re planting your seeds of action.

5. Regroup, Remix & Reconnect

Every Sunday, sit down and plan your week. Include what wasn’t completed the prior week and add your tasks for the coming week that will help you achieve your goals in each life category. Every night thereafter, plan out the following day with adjustments from what you didn’t do during the current day. Setup is always the hardest part but once it’s done, execution is a breeze. Measure twice, cut once.

Some people prefer using paper to write down goals and tasks every day or every week, because it reconnects them with the actions they plan to take and find it mentally connects them more intimately with their purpose.

There will be many times when you’ll lose motivation and the harder you work, the less motivated you’ll feel. Instead of fighting this uphill battle, stop.

Mark Twain would sometimes work on 5 different books simultaneously. He said doing this allowed him to circumvent writers block because if he ever found he couldn’t think of what to write next, he’d simply turn to another book and write there.

When he hit a roadblock on that one, again he’d turn to another book and keep writing. Eventually, ideas would come to him and he’d turn back to the other books and never experience any downtime. He was very prolific this way.

Like Obi Wan fighting the Dark Sith at the end of Star Wars Episode II, anytime a force field would come between them during battle, Obi Wan would simply sit, meditate and wait until his window of opportunity returned… then he’d spring back into action with renewed strength and focus.

Sometimes stopping action and simply meditating on your goals is exactly what’s called for.

It could be reading a spiritual or inspirational book, talking with a good friend about what you hope to accomplish, drawing out your goals on paper, or coming up with a new, clever idea that jolts you into furious planning.

Giving yourself this freedom to stop and regroup is just as important as the actions which help you achieve it. Create your own rituals that help keep your goals fresh and alive.

Achieving the most impressive goals means nothing if it lacks inspiration while you are achieving it. It means you spent 95% of your time being miserable on the uphill climb and enjoyed only that 5% upon reaching the peak.

***

In his book The Hero of a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell describes a story that runs through every culture, every myth and every time period known to mankind since the beginning of recorded time.  It’s universal.

It’s the story of everyman who follows his own heart, encounters great personal strife and overcomes. And at the end of his journey the hero learns it was the experience he was after and that the path he took and the obstacles he overcame were simply a vehicle to mastery. The message behind this universal story that appears over and over again is that you’re meant to live with this transforming sense of experience and the path you choose to get there is incidental.

Similarly in the East, there are several stories about how monks have reached enlightenment. But my favorite is a Taoist anecdote by Osho, where the monk goes to meditate where Buddha once did and sits under a Bodhi tree for 6 years to reach enlightenment.

For 6 years he tries every form of meditation, every mental trick, talked to every guru, every master and every average joe and nothing worked. Finally, he became very frustrated and decided it was all futile.

Then one day, he swam into the river and remembered a teacher who once said that one should be like the river, because it follows the path of least resistance and yet it always finds its way back home without any effort. Back to the ocean from which it came.

So the monk let go and floated…

And in that moment, he laughed. Because he was now enlightened and although he spent the last 6 years working hard to achieve this point, he had only to do nothing and all along it was always there for him. Of course, he could’ve just let go 6 years ago and attained enlightened consciousness, right?

But what’s more important to note is that he would never have reached his higher consciousness if it weren’t for those 6 years of hard work and preparation for this single moment. Like Tyler Durden and Joseph Campbell’s hero, the monk’s patience, discipline and focus is what finally led him to his moment of perfection.

Be the monk.

The Moving Parade

 

marching-soldiers-1565449

Have you ever tried finding parking in a crowded city during rush hour? It can be pretty intimidating.

There you are surrounded by bumper to bumper traffic. You could be driving around for 15, 20, 30, 40 minutes… even up to an hour before you land a spot.

Cars, trucks and SUV’s flood the streets all at once, and everyone’s rushing to get home at frenetic speeds, like a movie in fast forward. It can get so cut-throat at times that you’ll find yourself reacting in self-defense just to avoid getting into an accident.

There are just too many cars for not enough parking spaces. What can you do?

A week ago in New York City, I was being driven around by my friend Joe during rush hour, going to meet friends for dinner. As we drove around looking for parking, you can easily believe it’s an impossible task. There was a parade-like formation of cars in front of us, scouring for any parking spaces left open and we were at least 5 cars behind!

I wanted to give up and find the easy way out: paid parking. But thankfully, my friend Joe was smarter than I.

He knew that the parked cars were there for a limited time. Eventually, some would have to move on and others would take their place – and he just had to be ready for the space he wanted. For when that window of opportunity opened up. You may imagine what he did.

He double parked in the area of the street where he wanted his spot and for 5 minutes we waited for a car to leave. For 10 minutes we waited. Finally, after 15 minutes (we were about to run late), a man approached his car.

And with that Joe pulled up, and positioned his car to take his place and gracefully pulled into it. If it weren’t for Joe, I have no shame admitting I would have thrown my hands up and given into frustration.

And that got me thinking. Isn’t this a perfect metaphor for the job market? Wasn’t this my experience when I got downsized during the credit crunch in 2002? And isn’t this how it must be for you if you’re looking for open positions in an over-crowded market right now?

Thankfully, when it comes to job hunting, I was smart like Joe. And I realized the same thing Joe did: the job market may be over-crowded, but it’s always a moving parade.

And that means no matter how bad it looks to you right now… no matter how much more competitive other people are compared to you, there’s always a window of opportunity that’s about to open up.

You just gotta be there when it happens: The Reverse Interview Method