Open Door Blog » Category: "Interview"
  • October 21, 2015

folder_free imageA recent study examined how today’s hiring managers evaluate candidates. As predicted, relevant work experience and skills are the most important aspects of a resume for hiring managers. 74 percent said the most important factor in hiring is the interview. Surprisingly, only 18 percent of hiring managers ranked cover letters as important, being outweighed by the interview, resume, references and soft skills.

As millennials take over management roles, they are relying on a broader set of methods for getting to know potential employees – candidate’s level of education, schools attended and GPA (27%, 13%, and 16%, respectively). With this set of hiring managers, the cover letter paragraphs about passions and key skills seems to be fading out.

So will a cover letter hurt you? Bloomberg points out that 55 percent of hiring managers said typos were the biggest turnoff, so why risk a typo when a cover letter is unlikely to help you land the job?

On the other hand, if you have a stellar cover letter, you may stand out as one of the few people still sending them.

Where do you stand on the cover letter debate? As a job seeker, do you still send them? As a hiring manager, how much weight do you place on these in the interview process? Leave your opinions in the comment box below.

Posted in Career Coaching, Interview, Resume, Rodas Coaching

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.

  • August 26, 2015

light blub_free imageOur emotional intelligence – the way we manage emotions, both our own and those of others – can play a critical role in determining our happiness and success, especially in the workplace.

Employers are placing high value on emotional intelligence when finding the right employees. In fact, according to Mariah DeLeon, VP of People at Glassdoor, a person’s emotional intelligence is a quality that should be non-negotiable.

One of the ways companies are vetting the emotional intelligence of candidates is by asking revealing interview questions. The answers can be a key factor in determining a person’s emotional intelligence.

Below are four interview questions that employers use to draw revealing answers from job candidates – so they can find employees with great emotional intelligence.

  1. Who inspires you and why?
    This answer typically gives the interviewer a peek into who the interviewee models him or herself after. The response can also highlight the behavioral patterns the interviewee respects.
  2. If you were starting a company tomorrow, what would be its top three values?
    This answer will give insight into a person’ priorities, as well as their integrity.
  3. What skills or expertise do you feel like you’re still missing?
    Curiosity and the desire to learn are vital signs that an interviewee wants to get better at something.
  4. What are the top three factors you would attribute to your success?
    This answer can determine whether or not a person is selfless. Does someone talk about “me, me, me” or do they talk about “the team” or “us”?

Your emotional intelligence could be the step you need to your next career goal and working with a career coach can help sharpen that. Contact me today for a free consultation.

You can see the full list of interview questions from Time here.

Posted in Career Coaching, Interview, Rodas Coaching

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.

  • July 21, 2015

Being fired is never easy to talk about, especially with a potential new employer. Whether or not it was your fault, the new employer is going to want an explanation and you can’t lie. It’s important to be honest about your exit, but with savvy (if necessary.)

Before you go into an interview, have your answer prepared. You don’t want to be caught without an answer and failure to disclose can put you out of consideration for a position. Be sure to have all the information readily available to address any questions the potential employer might have.

It is difficult – but not impossible – to explain your side of the issue without being negative about your previous employer. Be factual, but remember to steer the conversation back to a more positive area “I was not a great fit for that position when my duties changed. My strengths are much more in the area of…”

Career Advice Report suggests going one step further by saying something positive about your last employer. No matter how miserable your situation was, be the bigger person and find something honestly good to say. Your new employer will consider how you speak about your previous employer as the same way you will speak about them when you’re part of the company.

Getting fired can be disheartening but it’s not the end of the world. Turn it around and make something good out of it. Perhaps your career had stalled and you failed to recognize it. This could be the kick in the pants you needed to get you moving again. If you’re not sure where to turn, speak with a career coach that can help guide you.

Posted in Career Coaching, Interview, Rodas Coaching

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.

  • October 30, 2014

InterviewFinding the right recruiter for you can be difficult. Job seekers often complain about recruiters being hard to reach or unhelpful, but professional recruiters do exist. If you’ve had trouble connecting with the right recruiter, use this advice on how you should go about choosing what recruiters to work with.

Identify Strong Client Relationships
Ask a recruiter how long they have been working with a particular client and how many placements they’ve made within the firm. Being represented by someone with no real client relationships can be worse than sending your resume in yourself.

Identify Signs of Honesty
Look for hints of brutal honesty early in the process. The best recruiters are the ones that tell you what you don’t want to hear – that you aren’t fit for the job, that your resume needs work, etc. Be leery of someone who promises the world and then disappears.

Find Someone Who Will Sit Down With You
Look for a recruiter who will want to meet you in-person to understand what you’re looking for and what you would like to avoid. Great recruiters don’t just represent good resumes, but also good people.

You can see even more ways to differentiate good recruiters here.

Posted in Career Coaching, Interview, Rodas Coaching

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.

  • October 24, 2013

create a brag sheetIt’s important to know your strengths when trying to find a job. What are you great at? Which skill sets are most useful? What type of work environments do you thrive in? One way to keep track of your strengths and interests is a brag sheet.

What is a brag sheet? The Ladders defines a brag sheet as a place to record all your professional accomplishments and contributions.  Here are five tips to help you build your own powerful brag sheet that can help advance your career:

  1. Be results oriented
    When chronicling your accomplishments, think in terms of results.  What was the outcome of your actions? Did you reduce costs or grow sales? Even if you can’t think of numbers, try to think in terms of better, faster and cheaper.
  2. Capture the little details
    Include relevant details like dates, locations, and the names of people and organizations that were involved in your work. Add in client reviews, customer testimonials, and other kudos you’ve received from colleagues and managers.
  3. Don’t become stagnant
    Your brag sheet is a living document and should be updated on a regular basis. Carve out at least an hour each quarter to add new events and review your brag sheet.
  4. Brag with your bullet points
    When updating your resume, identify the accomplishments and contributions that are most relevant to your career goals and use those to craft the bullets under each of your previous roles.
  5. Prepare for negotiations with data
    It’s much easier to negotiate with confidence when you’re armed with data. You don’t need to bring your brag sheet to your interview, but you should be able to cite some recent accomplishments that demonstrate the value you bring to the organization.

Take some time to create your own brag sheet using these tips.

Posted in career, Career Coaching, Interview, Job Search, Rodas Coaching

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.

  • August 14, 2013

skype interview tipsIn today’s digital age, it’s not unusual to be invited for a Skype interview, especially if the job you’re interviewing for is geographically far away.  Although Skype interviews typically take place in the comfort of your own home, it should still be taken seriously and treated as a face-to-face interview.  First impressions are vital, even if they take place through a webcam, so be sure to follow these Skype interview tips from Careerealism:

Dress for the Occasion
Although you aren’t meeting the company in person, dress smartly and in-line with the industry.  Not only will it boost your confidence, but the interviewer will see that you are serious about the position.  Avoid striped or checked clothing, as these can sometimes be distorted when using a webcam.  Also, be sure that what you’re wearing doesn’t blend in with the backdrop; a floating head is sure to distract the interviewer.  Think about your surroundings as well as your appearance.  There’s no point in looking the part if you are sitting in a messy and unclean room.  Sit in the position you would for the interview and check behind you to make sure it looks presentable.

Equipment
Ensure that your equipment is up to the task in regards to microphone, webcam, and Internet connection.  Having a low quality microphone or webcam can make a Skype interview really tricky if you have to keep repeating yourself or if the picture is pixelated.  Likewise, if your internet connection isn’t up to par, there can be awkward delays and a communication struggle.  Be sure to test everything in advance so you can have plenty of time to fix any technical problems or buy new hardware.

Practice
Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to video calls.  Remember to look at the camera and not the person on the screen, and be sure to speak at a comfortable volume as opposed to shouting.  You could record yourself answering made up questions, then play it back to yourself to see how you sound and pinpoint areas you can improve on.

Smile
Smiling comes naturally in a face-to-face interview, but it’s something that’s easy to forget when you’re sitting in front of a computer screen.  Just before the interview, try and get into an upbeat mood, and make a mental note to smile just as you would in person.  Smiling is a proven way to help reduce nerve and stress levels, and a powerful way to convey enthusiasm.  Combining this with good posture helps you appear confident and alert.

Have Notes
Another one of our favorite Skype interview tips is to have notes in front of you without the interviewer knowing.  This can help you out of sticky situations, but be sure to glance at them instead of reading off the page.  Consider creating sticky notes to place around the screen, which contain important and concise information.  It may be useful to have your resume on hand, as well as any information about the company you are applying to. And of course, don’t forget to write down any questions you wish to ask.

Remember the first few video calls won’t be perfect, but don’t let that put you off.  Keep these Skype interview tips handy and you’ll ace your digital interview.

Posted in Interview, Job Search, Rodas Coaching

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.