I had to deal with job hunting for quite some time and even prepared for getting help from my virtual assistants. Here are the main lessons I learned when preparing for a job interview.
The mundane: prepare your clothes
Learn how to tie a tie!
This is a key skill. It’s fine if your mom knows how to do it better than you – at the beginning.
(To be honest, my mom still makes better tie knots than me. But I know I can tie a decent tie if it comes to it!)
Think about it: what if your tie comes undone right before the interview?
You would be screwed if you didn’t at least know the basics of it!
If you want to learn how to tie a tie step by step, then you’ll love this video series!
Have your suit cleaned and ironed in time!
There is nothing more useless and unnerving than trying to figure out what to wear a few hours before your big interview!
Make this decision the day before and stick with your choice. This will relax you a bit.
I won’t have to say that taking a shower and shaving are definitive to-do’s before an interview, right?
Prepare for hard job interview questions
Do your research!
- You can use tools like Glassdoor to research possible interview questions.
- Here is a great collection of 100 potential interview questions
- Do mock interviews with a friend or a spouse – or even record yourself talking as if you would discuss with someone from HR. Chances are, you could speak more slowly and clearly.
How can a Virtual Assistant help here?
You would have to be very creative if you wanted to find a way how your VA could help you preparing for a job interview. In principle, you are on your own as soon as you sit in that chair in front of the commission.
Still, just as it is possible to get coaching/reminders in Chemistry, as I did, you can simply hire someone to do mock interviews as often as possible with a few random interview questions until you are calm, prepared and ready for whatever they will throw at you.
The best things you can do, next to real job interviews, are
- training job interviews and
- imagining doing job interviews
Sure, this is not very usual. But if you consider outsourcing as a lifestyle, then you are not very usual either.
Not that there is something bad about being creatively unique 🙂
Did you lose a year in your CV because of some love drama? Then tell them straight, that you needed to “sort out personal issues” in order to work effectively.
Whatever you did in the past, turn it around to express you learned something and that this made you better suited for this position than the “past you”.
What lying on job applications actually can cost you
Think about the scary amount of personal information that is already out there on the internet. Did you ever google your name?
Try it. I’ll be waiting.
What about the information you share on Facebook. Do you honestly think that if one looked carefully enough, they would not be able to dig up some dirt about you?
Now, what will happen if you blatantly lie about something crucial on your job application?
You will get fired. That is what will happen.
What if you have something in your past to hide?
We are all human. Even the HR employee is a human with weaknesses and flaws.
So, what to do if you have something serious to hide.
- Don’t bring it up until you are asked directly about it.
- Try to brush it off as it being something private and personal.
- Convince the HR employee that you have overcome this past burden and that it won’t interfere with your ability to work.
Turning the negative into an opportunity
It takes a certain skill of presenting yourself in the best light possible – in your application letters as well as in the actual job interview.
- Being optimistic, positive and seing the silver lining in every challenge is a skill and a virtue.
- Lying on job applications or pretending something that is not true is a bad idea.
Think hard about each flaw in your CV and past – before you get into the job interview.
Better idea: do what works!
I have shared my top tips about how to get a job. Make use of every resource you have. Then, you won’t be needing lies to find the job you dream of.
Found a job opportunity? No matter if you found it yourself or if you outsourced the job search, be sure to double check your future employer on the Glassdoor website!
- Check Employee's feedback
- Get an unbiased inside look
- Check if you are in for a horror trip or a dream job
What you need to do to get unlimited access
When you start using the site, you’ll soon find out that you need to make a free account to get all the information. Go ahead and do this, it’s worth the five seconds.
Sign up with…
- your email
- or Facebook
Then, you will have access to all the insider info about the companies for 30 days. To extend that to unlimited access, you need to provide your own review.
(Exception: if you are a student, you can sign up with your student email and get 12 month access to everything!)
Personally, I chose to share the experience I made in one of my job interviews. This took me less than 5 minutes.
Use Glassdoor for your Job Search
You can use this service for research of job openings – or let your virtual assistant take care of that. This is actually a great example of time consuming, tedious daily research that could be well outsourced.
Wouldn’t getting a pre-screened, cleaned up daily report including background research from the companies offering relevant job openings be useful…?
Ways this service can help you with your job hunt:
Regular notifications about job openings
Chances for Networking and referrals through friends if you use this site via Facebook. (Similar to LinkedIn and Xing!) Use the power of your “inside connections” to get you in touch with the people that actually have the power to provide you with your dream job!
Exchange honest and anonymous insider info
Since the info you submit is anonymous, you don’t have to be afraid about your employer finding out about bad feedback and firing you, for example.
In the same way, the provided reviews reflect the honest opinions of the users.
Of course, you need to interpret the reviews carefully. If you find mainly great reviews about a global company, but a few bad ones in between, this does not mean that the company is “evil” as a whole.
Also, people from different career levels and even different countries are posting. This is especially important for big, global enterprises.
That’s why you should use these reviews as a way to orient yourself.
Take them with a grain of salt.
Compare salary levels between the companies
Salary is important.
Nevertheless, many people don’t like to talk honestly about their salary.
The good news:
Glassdoor also allows you to research salary levels from the different companies.
Be sure to compare thoroughly before you start negotiating your salary.
It’s always wise to know what you can ask for.
Feel free to do a test search for your last salary in the widget on the right!
In China, this is different, or so I heard on a seminar about intercultural communication.
Apparently, it’s very common there to ask about family, income and other personal details very early in the conversation.
Learn about challenges in the job interview process
Are you preparing yourself for a job interview?
Great! Use the information about the interview process of the company you are invited to to prepare yourself as good as possible.
Useful Information so far? Then click the “Like” Button! 🙂
What part can you outsource to your Virtual Assistant?
This site is about smartly outsourcing tedious work to a Virtual Assistant, so that you can focus on what is important to you. Here’s what you can safely outsource without risking anything or getting into trouble:
- Setting up an account and getting you unlimited access (your VA can share his work experience if he has had a “real job” before)
- The job research and hunt for open positions (don’t outsource writing applications!)
- Researching salary levels
- Pre-Screening job offers by quality levels of the enterprise – or informing you ahead of time and warning you from “bad bosses” ahead of time
Ready to learn how to get a VA?