Five Things NOT To Do During a Job Interview
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Open Eyes, Open Mind, New Job

The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:

From: Kevin Donlin

Despite the rotten employment news -- Have you heard? We're in a recession -- there are jobs to be had.

In fact, your next job might walk right into the room today or come disguised as a position you don't really want.

How can this be?

Read on to learn how two people found work recently by doing simple, unusual things that you can do, too …

1) Open Your Eyes

Kathryn Valentine delivers talks to secondary students on such life skills as budgeting, resume writing, and job interviewing, as a High School Presenter for Heald College in Concord, Calif.

How did she get this job? It walked into the room. Literally.

"I was working at a nearby high school and looking for something different. Because I worked in a career center, I was the one who scheduled presenters to come to our campus. The Heald College rep came in and said to me, ‘This is my last day.'"

After discussing the specifics of the job, Valentine let a few days go by, then called to express interest in applying. "She told me to send her a resume, which I did, and said she would pass it on to her boss," says Valentine.

She didn't stop there, however. Valentine turned one personal connection into several at her potential employer, which give her an edge over other candidates.

"I found out who my potential bosses would be and emailed them about the position. I got this information by researching the school and talking to the former employee, who gave me names of people I should talk to," says Valentine.

It worked. Valentine was hired in September 2008 for the position she now holds, replacing the woman who walked into her classroom.

Here are two takeaway lessons from Valentine's success:

  • Keep your eyes open for job leads, because they're everywhere.
As soon as you walk out the door each day, you're entering the job market. Keep this in mind as you select your clothes, groom yourself, and load your wallet with business cards tomorrow. If you fail to prepare to meet job leads every day, you are preparing to fail in your job search.
  • Turn one contact at employers into many.

The more people at an employer who know you want to work there, the better your chances are.

To that end, ask this question of every potential co-worker you meet: "If you were me, who else would you talk to?" Then, take names and start making phone calls.

2) Open Your Mind

Jennifer Perkins, a jewelry designer from Clawson, Mich., was hired for a position that didn't exist -- it was created for her after she interviewed for … a different job.

She found a job posted online by a small business, and applied even though she felt overqualified, because the employer looked interesting.

"The job posting was for a Jewelry Knotter. I didn't know how to do it, even though I have a degree in a related field," says Perkins.

But she applied anyway for the position at Marlaina Stone, in Royal Oak, Mich., knowing that, once she got her foot in the door, the employer would see that she had valuable skills in other areas.

What happened next?

"I got a phone call and went in talk with them about my experience. I had owned a jewelry company and I had basically done everything connected with the business. Fortunately, they were open-minded enough to realize that, even though I couldn't do the job that was posted, I had skills they could utilize, so they made a position for me," says Perkins.

What's more impressive is that Perkins was hired in February 2009 (amid the worst job market in more than 20 years), in Michigan (with the highest unemployment rate in America).

While I don't recommend you apply for jobs you're not qualified for -- it can backfire -- Perkins was right to assume her experience would interest the employer. She took a calculated risk, and it paid off.

Here are two takeaway lessons from Perkins' success:

  • Focus most of your efforts on small businesses, with fewer than 500 employees.

Why? They create up to 80% of new jobs in the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (and all the anecdotal evidence I've seen since 1996).

Also, small employers typically make hiring decisions faster than Fortune 500 firms, which may force you to run the gauntlet through an HR department bent on screening out hundreds of applicants for every one or two they let through to the interview.

  • When you interview at a small business, know that you're probably talking to the owner.
So be ready to get hired on the spot for an existing job or, as in Perkins' case, discuss creating a job. Because smart employers recognize talent and are willing to create roles for the right person. Here's hoping that person is you.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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