What To Wear To An Interview

With the new year just around the corner, your job search should be on its way to success! The best way to proceed is to get prepared for your new year interviews. You can do this by researching the company and getting answers ready for some questions about you. For other advice on preparation, look at our first impressions blog. The next best thing is to find an interview outfit. Here are some things to consider when deciding on your look:

Do some research
Look online to see if there are any pictures from an office function to get a look at some possibilities. You can also get a cup of coffee close to the office and check out the attire from there. If you are still lost, you can ask the local professional organization and ask what they would suggest. The best way to ensure you are a good fit at the company is to look like you belong. Dressing similarly to others in the office is a safe and calculated decision.

Choose a solid color
Patterns can be distracting. A better choice is a clean, solid color. This usually looks more flattering on the professional and does not distract. Using a solid color shirt and neutral pants is a very classic look that adds a little personality. Never go too bright with the color choice, but something other than black is preferable.

Try the sit down test
Before going to your interview, try your outfit on the night before. Sit down and make sure everything is tailored appropriately. Make sure the outfit looks modest when sitting or standing. Also, be sure that your accessories add to the outfit. Pick one statement piece and make sure the other jewelry is understated, as not to look too gaudy and distract the interviewer.

We hope these tips help you find your perfect outfit. For more help in finding a position or more tips on job searching and interviewing take a look at our Pinterest boards.

How to Answer the Dreaded Question: “Tell Me About Yourself”

Any person interviewing for a job will tell you that the first question is usually the hardest:

“Tell me about yourself.”

Now, before you panic and spout off information about your love for snow skiing or old movies, make sure you are prepared so you can definitely wow your potential employer.

For our first tip, keep it professional. The person interviewing you is trying to get a broad overview of who you are, professionally speaking. Feel free to give an overview of your professional background, or any information that you consider relevant to the job. Typically avoid mentioning your spouse, children, family or hometown, unless relevant. For example, if the job involves relocation to an area where you previously resided, then it is perfectly acceptable to mention that you had lived in that area before. Including that information shows that you would not be fickle in regard to relocation.

Secondly, be sure to practice your answer out loud and repeat it frequently to make sure you know it well and you will be prepared for your interview. Start with a strong, simple statement related to the job and then follow up with a description of your work history that shows how perfect you are for that job opening!

Don’t stress about the job interview. Make sure you are prepared, and you’ll be feeling confident and ready! Want more help preparing for your interview?  We have coaches that can provide you with the help you need to feel comfortable and confident in your interviews. Be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and read more blog posts for great job tips and suggestions.

Success Story!

“I just moved to the area and I called several places, sent out tons of resumes. Nothing happened. I then sent my resume to The Wilson Group. I got a call within 20 minutes. SO nice to know that someone cares – and so nice to work with professionals. I start my new job next week!” -Virginia H.

It Takes More Than a Profile to Get Noticed on LinkedIn

You’re on LinkedIn, you’ve filled in all the blanks on your profile, and you’ve made some connections. Congratulations – you’re off to a great start! But there’s more work to be done.

If all you’re doing on LinkedIn is accepting the occasional connection request and scanning your newsfeed, you’re missing out on several features that can help boost your visibility and establish your industry expertise. It’s not enough merely to have a presence on LinkedIn; if you want to catch the eye of a potential employer, you need to step up and stand out.

Here are three LinkedIn features that can make the difference between getting noticed or getting passed over.

1. Updates
LinkedIn allows you to post updates that will appear in the newsfeeds of your connections. It is a great way to maintain visibility among your connections and also to show that you’re engaged in your industry.

Remember that LinkedIn is a professional social site, so it’s not the place for the same type of personal updates you might post on Facebook or Twitter. Ideal topics include timely, industry-related articles from trade publications; the “LinkedIn Today” section at the top of your newsfeed; or reputable, or high-profile sites such as Mashable or Forbes. Engaging, open-ended questions about trends in your industry are also great topics for updates.

2. Groups
LinkedIn groups provide a great way to network with other people in your industry. It is also a way connect with recruiters, who often participate in industry-specific groups for the express purpose of connecting with new talent. Groups are also a good place to learn about job opportunities that may not be posted elsewhere.

There are two ways to participate in a group. You can start a discussion by asking a question or sharing a link to an article, or you can comment on discussions other group members have started. Sharing your opinions and participating in conversations will help boost your visibility and establish your expertise in your field.

Another benefit of groups is the chance to increase your connections. People are often more open to accepting connection requests from group members than they are to accepting unsolicited requests.

3. Follow Companies
LinkedIn allows you to follow companies in much the same you would follow someone on Twitter. When you follow a company, all of their updates, which often include job listings, will appear in your newsfeed. Paying attention to the kind of content they share may also help you get a better picture of trends, concerns and culture at your target companies, so when you do get that interview, you’ll be ahead on your research.

If you’re looking for a good place to start increasing your LinkedIn presence, we invite you to join the discussion on our own LinkedIn group and follow The Wilson Group company profile page.

What’s Up With That Interview Question?

There are some common job interview questions that always seem to stump candidates, no matter how well they’ve prepared beforehand.

The questions are not complicated. But candidates often fumble around or give inappropriate answers because they don’t understand the reasoning behind the questions – what the interviewer is REALLY getting at.

Here are a few common interview questions, with explanations of what the interviewer is actually trying to determine about you.

“Tell me about yourself.”
For the record, the correct answer is not, “Everything you need to know is on my resume.” Besides possibly coming off as a bit of a jerk, you’re not really telling the interviewer what he or she wants to know. They want to know that you can intelligently and succinctly sum up your professional accomplishments and goals without giving your whole life story, throwing in irrelevant information or going off on a tangent.

You should have a one-minute maximum answer – also known as your “elevator speech” – rehearsed and ready. If you don’t have an elevator speech prepared, here is an excellent article from Forbes to get you started.

“What are your weaknesses?”
This may be the most universally dreaded interview question, and the most challenging to answer. However, it’s a very common question, and you should be prepared.

Many people have been advised to try to spin a weakness into a strength. For example: “I’m a serious perfectionist,” or “I’m a workaholic – I’m just too dedicated to my job and I’m always in the office until 8 p.m.” Contrary to popular belief, this is not the right approach. First of all, interviewers can see right through your well rehearsed martyrdom. Everyone has weaknesses, and they want to know if you’re honest enough to own your shortcomings. It’s difficult to coach and develop employees who are afraid to admit they’re not perfect.

How do you answer the question? First, you should only discuss your weaknesses as they relate to a work environment. Your personal shortcomings relating to family and friends are irrelevant in this case. Second, be honest. Every human being has weaknesses – even the one interviewing you. Finally, be prepared to discuss the steps you are taking to overcome your weakness or make it work to your advantage. For example, people who are described as “too shy” are often great listeners.

Please check out this excellent resource if you’d like more help formulating your answer to the “greatest weakness” question.

“Why do you want to work here?”
One simple rule – this is NEVER the time to tell the interviewer what you hope to gain from the company. Answers like “I’ve heard you pay well,” or “I need benefits,” won’t go over well. This question is designed to determine two things: 1. How do you think your skills and background will benefit the company? and 2. Are you excited/enthusiastic about the company and the position?

This is a good chance to show the interviewer you’ve done some research on the company and tell them why you think you would be a good fit. For example, “After studying your website, I can see you do a lot of work with the Widget industry. I love Widgets and I have a lot of experience with them, so I saw this as a perfect chance to put that knowledge and passion to work for a progressive, stable company.”

If you are consistently having difficulty with these or other tough questions, The Wilson Group offers one-on-one interview coaching designed to improve your interviewing skills so you can land the job you want. Contact us today for more information.

Corpus Christi’s Snail Mail to be Processed in San Antonio – Will It Affect You?

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Last week we learned that the Corpus Christi mail processing facility is going to be consolidated into San Antonio’s, part of a major endeavor on behave of the U.S. Postal Service to cut costs quick. In fact, the CC sorting facility is one of 223 slated for closure throughout the U.S.— of a total 461. Yes, very nearly half of our mail sorting facilities are closing.

It’s unclear what this will mean for Corpus Christi’s businesses. Part of the reason for the post office’s situation is that the sheer volume of mail being sent out, both by individuals and by businesses, has declined steadily as people have adopted email and cloud computing. The change may not affect you or your business at all…but on the other hand, it might, so now would be a good time to start preparing.

First and foremost, if you’re not already using your email for general correspondence, start! We’re not saying to stop penning hand-written notes to your pen-pal, but if you or someone you know is sending event invitations or resumes out by snail mail, now would be a good time to go electronic.

The second step is to start minimizing the number of documents you have to send or receive in the mail. Paperless billing is a great tool offered by many service providers, like your cell phone or cable company, and it saves paper and trees, too. If you find yourself sending a lot of documents or large files by mail, be aware that there are a wide variety of options for sharing these files online now. Consider using a service like DropBox to share large files (such as video or high-resolution images) with clients, coworkers, or family members. For smaller documents, like a resume or a contract, most email services will let you send attachments as large as 10 or 20 megabytes. If yours doesn’t, consider setting up an account with Yahoo!, Gmail, or another service, at least for sending these kinds of files.

The digital world is changing an awful lot of things about the analog world, and in a hurry. It’s no surprise that the U.S. postal service is having to downsize. Expected or not, though, it’s a shame to see people losing their jobs. If you or someone you know is among those, feel free to send them here to upload their resume!

Photo © Jon Parise

Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs’ FBI File

Steve Jobs' FBI File Teaches Job Seekers a Lesson
The FBI’s file about Steve Jobs, compiled in 1991 when he was being considered for George H.W. Bush’s Export Council, offers a great lesson on being prepared for your employer’s scrutiny. In the file, Jobs’ use of recreational drugs during his youth was revealed, and although people who worked with him spoke highly of his intelligence and abilities, he was also called manipulative and stubborn, especially when he didn’t get his way. In this case, the “employer”— the government —hired Jobs anyway, but in many situations that kind of information would leave your resume in the trash can.

Of course most of the people you send applications to won’t be able to conduct such thorough background checks and interviews…but they also don’t need to. They may already have direct access to you and your history, thanks to your participation in social media.

Whether you’re just starting a job search or are in the middle of one, you should take some time as soon as possible to look over all of your social media profiles. Look at every tweet, every status update, every photo, and ask yourself: “Would I have said this in front of or shown this to my toughest boss?” If the answer is no, get rid of it, either by deleting it or marking it private.

This is especially important on Facebook as the company gets ready to roll out Timeline, forcing every user to adopt the new standard. Here are a few tips:

First, check and see what your profile looks like to the general public (people who have no relation to you), how it looks to a friend, and how it looks to a “friend of a friend.” You can do this easily by going to your profile and clicking the “View As…” button in the upper-right corner, below the menu bar. Make sure you know what a potential employer can see— and what they can see if they ask you to friend them. (They might!)

A second helpful tip: if you go into your privacy settings, you can set what your posts default to in terms of privacy. You will probably want them to go “Friends Only” by default, but if you have divided your friends into Lists on the site, you can specify the individuals who you would like to have see every post.

Also on the privacy settings page is an option called “Limit the Audience for Past Posts.” To the right of this option you’ll see a link that says “Manage Past Post Visibility.” By clicking this link, you can automatically set all of your past posts to be viewable only to friends.

In today’s job market, you need to remove every possible disadvantage…and certain kinds of social media posts can be just that.

Above image © Ben Stanfield

Online Interview Tips for Success

Successful Interviewing online is a snap!

Online Job Interview Preparation Tips
Excerpt from the “experts” in interviewing: www.everydayinterviewtips.com

As the internet plays such a critical role in our lives, it also comes into play for our job hunt. Not just for researching target companies or recruiting for open positions, more hiring is done via virtual interviewing than ever before. It saves on travel time and money and it produces accurate results. So, what should you know about online interviewing to be successful? We went to the source, Everyday Interview Tips, to get the scoop. Here is your success plan for interviewing online:

•Prepare Your Workplace
Most likely you are going to be sitting in your home while you are being interviewed. It is very important to prepare the surrounding area where the interview will take place. Remove any posters, artwork or clutter that may reflect poorly on you. Get a paper and pencil ready so that employers do not have to watch you leave your screen at any time. Also make sure that any pets or people you live with are out of sight, and that noise is kept to a minimum.

•Make Sure Your Webcam is Hooked Up Properly
Fumbling with your camera makes you seem unprepared. It is a good idea to practice web chatting with a friend or family member to make sure your webcam is working properly.

•Dress for the Interview
Even though the interview is taking place in your home, it is still a good idea to dress for the interview as though you were coming in to the office. Employers are going to be judging how you are dressed (even if they do not realize it), and you want to make sure you leave the best impression. You should be completely dressed up – including nice pants and shoes – because you never know when the camera may fall or you need to stand up. Plus, you don’t want to be distracted with thoughts that you are actually half dressed.

Online Interview Tips

•Speak Clearly
Webcams do not have the greatest sound systems. Make sure you speak loudly and clearly without any mumbling. Mumbling will not be picked up by the webcam and the employer is going to miss many of the important things you will say.

•Keep All Other Programs Turned Off
The last thing you want is for someone to send you an instant message during your interview. Just as you wouldn’t want your cell phone to ring, you don’t want chat services interrupting your meeting, or other software programs causing your computer to slow down, freeze or crash.

•Facial Expressions and Appearance
Without the interviewer in the room, you might forget that you are being watched, and your facial expressions play a role in your interview success. Make sure you smile and sit up straight just as though you were interviewing in person.

•Feel Free and Ask for Clarification
Your interviewer is going to be in a busy office, and there may be times that you cannot make out what they are saying. Don’t try to answer a question you could not hear or could not understand. Ask for clarification. The interviewer recognizes that webcams can be hard to hear, and it is better for you to admit that you could not hear their question than to answer a question incorrectly.

Success in an Online Interview

Basic interview tips still apply to online interviews. Make sure you research the company, provide positive answers, etc. Online interviews also require some extra preparation with the setting and the equipment. Make sure that you are well prepared for you online interview and you will perform as well as an in-person interview.

Read more: http://www.everydayinterviewtips.com/interview-tips/skills/online#ixzz1km1zic3n


Are you looking for a job? An employee for your company?

Are you BeKnown?

“BeKnown has the potential to turn Facebook into an extremely powerful recruitment platform and could seriously rival LinkedIn in this department.”

A new Facebook app, BeKnown, is kicking Social Media up a notch. What is it? Well, it is a “layer” of Social presence for Facebook. It is Monster-based and fully integrated; it allows users to network on Facebook, professionally, without mixing their personal page in with their professional image. It very well may be the greatest job-seeker tool to date.

In a recent article written by Sue Weekes for www.Recruiter.co.uk, BeKnown is touted as “what is likely to be one of the biggest online recruitment developments this year.” The article goes on to report:
Research conducted by KRC Research for Monster revealed that two out of five people have had or know someone that has had problems as a result of a colleague seeing what is on their social media page. BeKnown allows users to choose a different picture, create a different profile detailing their career history and skills (users can import their Monster profile if they wish) and choose only those people from their network who they want to be linked with professionally.

Employers will soon be able to host and manage their own presence on BeKnown. Henry believes this addresses the recruiter’s problem of marketing typically owning a company Facebook presence. “If the marketeers are busy talking about the products or services the company offers or there are multiple company profiles, it can be confusing for the consumer.”

BeKnown has built in a social referral program, which allows users to let their network know about specific jobs. In addition to this, Henry said that a number of companies are taking part in a beta test of a referral program, which would allow employers to post a job on BeKnown along with a reward for those who refer a successful candidate. “We won’t play any part in the transaction, that will be between the company and the users,” explained Henry, who says the service is likely to go live in 30 to 60 days and can be used by agencies as well as direct recruiters.

As you’d expect from Monster, there are also job search features on BeKnown. Users can click on a link through to its Sixth Sense semantic search facility to look for jobs on friends’ networks or featured jobs. So if a featured job is from Monster, they are taken direct to the job board in a new window. If a job is on a friend’s network and they wish to apply, a message pops up saying they will be sent a company link to their to the BeKnown profile. If they are happy to click ’submit’, their BeKnown profile becomes their application and the company will contact them through this to discuss the role.
To read the full article, click here.

How to Help a New Coworker Succeed

Being a new employee can be scary and intimidating. For starters, there are all those unanswered questions: What’s expected of me? Can I do the job? Will my coworkers and my boss like me, and will I like them? Is this a place where I can succeed?

“To help someone who is starting out in your company, remember how you felt on your first day. Was it a pleasant experience? If so, what made it that way? If not, were you treated in a way that increased your stress?” says Julie Alexander, C.S.P., founder and CEO of Great Days in Garland, Texas. “Very often, people feel welcome when they are included in little and big ways.”

Here are some things you can do to make a new employee feel welcome.

Facilitate friendships

Help a new staff member make friends because work friendships are an important factor in whether new employees stay with a company.

To help the person make connections with others, find out something interesting about him to say when making introductions to coworkers. He may have a hobby or interest that you or others also enjoy, or he could be from a far-off city or country.

Make sure your new coworker has someone to eat with at lunch time. Sitting alone in the employee cafeteria or going to a restaurant alone can be disheartening and lonely. Lunch is a great time to get acquainted with someone new.

“The new employee doesn’t have to be your new best friend, but should be treated with courtesy,” says Ms. Alexander. “Just keep in mind how you felt at the beginning.”

Help the person succeed

“Help a new employee get a handle on her job as quickly as possible because the faster you can help her get up to speed, the easier your job becomes,” advises Ms. Alexander.

Every company has its unique culture. So, if there are company traditions, buzzwords or procedures that a newbie might not know, explain them.

Be positive

“Don’t color the new person’s attitude with a negative paintbrush,” warns Ms. Alexander.

For example, you may be tempted to talk about a difficult colleague with the new employee. But Ms. Alexander advises you to bite your tongue and stop any temptation to gossip.

“Don’t bad-mouth a fellow coworker or your boss,” she says. “A new employee doesn’t need more things to worry about, and, your negative words about others may come back to haunt you.”


Because it’s easy to get overwhelmed with information, be patient. Reassure your coworker that she doesn’t have to learn everything the first day, and that things will be fine just as long as she keeps making progress.

“New employees need lots of encouragement because they’re in the midst of change,” Ms. Alexander reminds. “Praise the person often for progress and a good attitude.”

In addition, let the person know you’re available to answer any questions but don’t hover over him checking that he does every single detail correctly.


“It’s not easy to work with a new coworker and it may take several weeks until everyone feels comfortable and trusts the person will do the job correctly,” Ms. Alexander says. “However, when everyone offers friendship, patience and encouragement, the process goes much faster and everybody benefits.”

– Adapted from the University of Rochester


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