Sweaty palms, nervous breaths, and a shaky voice – is this what you usually go through in the interview room? Well, not anymore! It’s time to change that narrative!

Interviews can be challenging, even for people who are very confident otherwise. It’s the anxiety of being judged by a stranger in a position of authority and the stress of not being good enough for a position that makes an interview a dreaded and challenging task for most of us.

So, what’s the best way to overcome the fear and anxiety of giving interviews? Preparation! People who prepare for job interviews have higher chances of getting selected than people who go unprepared.

However, before prepping for an interview, you will need to understand what employers look for in a candidate. So, let’s get started.

What Do Interviewers Look for in a Candidate?

  • Interviewers nowadays observe everything, from behavior and body language to tone and dressing.
  • They want candidates to talk about their skills not in isolation but with examples and anecdotes of how they have used those skills in their work life.
  • They look for people filled with confidence and passion for the job.
  • They want to know what candidates can bring to the table for their organization.

Keeping these significant points in mind, you should always prepare for job interviews to perform well.

Don’t worry; it’s not as difficult as it sounds. We have compiled some tips for job interviews you can follow to land your dream job.

Tips for Job Interviews

Do you have a job interview scheduled? No need to panic or stress over what’s going to happen. Just take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this. Then, use the following tips to prepare for job interviews and eliminate interview stress.

1. Start with Research

The more you know, the more confident you feel. Hence, you should conduct full-fledged research to learn everything you are expected to know, like the job description of the position you have applied for, details about the company and the employers, and industry norms.

Proper knowledge and research help you know what to expect during the interview and show that you are passionate and qualified enough to get the role. Knowledge of the company is one of the best ways to get an edge over the competition and create a positive impression on potential employers.

Some information you should specifically look out for is the company’s culture, competitors, and financials.

2. Prepare Your Answers to Common Interview Questions

The Internet is filled with examples of basic interview questions employers ask, no matter what industry their firm belongs to. You will automatically feel more confident by planning how to answer them. List down those questions and prepare appropriate answers to ace your interview.

Think about what to say when the interviewer asks you to describe yourself. The employer might also hold an evaluation test during the interview process, so ask for examples of such tests from people in the same position.

Other questions you should prepare are why you want to work here, why you are interested in this role, and your strengths.

The questions employers usually ask are related to the following aspects.

  • Yourself
  • Work experience
  • Qualifications
  • Previous job
  • Salary Expectations
  • Future goals
  • Their Company
  • Job Performance

3. Keep Practicing

Remember that your words are not the only thing evaluated by an interviewer. Your actions, gestures, and body language are equally vital in your selection. Although these elements might come naturally to you, you can still improvise if needed.

Practice your speaking patterns, posture, and body language to leave a positive and lasting impression during the interview. You can do this alone in front of a mirror or perform mock interviews with family and friends.

Make sure you focus on minor aspects, like smile, stride, and handshake. The more you practice, the more confident you will be at the time of the actual interview.

4. Think of Intelligent Questions to Ask

Job interviews do not mean you only have to keep on answering questions. It doesn’t hurt to ask the employer about your concerns regarding the job and the organization.

Asking intelligent questions demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in working with them. It shows that you have researched the company and want to know more.

Check out their website and make a short list of questions about things that are unclear to you. You can ask about their policies, working environment, growth opportunities, and next steps in the hiring process.

5. Decide What You Will Wear

Your appearance can make or break your chances of getting hired.

How you dress is a critical part of preparing for job interviews because it reflects competence and attention to detail.

Choose a formal attire that makes you feel confident and looks professional. Make sure your clothing fits well and keep it cleaned and pressed the night before. Leaving such tasks to the last minute can cause delays. You should also pick out appropriate shoes and accessories to complete your look.

6. Consider the Directions to the Venue and Make Travel Arrangements

We all know how much punctuality matters in corporate and professional settings. Not being on time without a valid reason shows you are not serious about the job. It significantly decreases your chances of getting hired; the employer might even decide not to conduct the interview.

Print out the directions and estimate how much time you need to reach the venue. Plan to leave early just in case you get lost on the way or get stuck in traffic, but also ensure you don’t reach earlier than the interview time.

If you will be late due to a valid reason, inform the interviewer.

Interviews are scary, and the stress often leads to mistakes that can hamper your chances of being hired. However, with these tips, you can prepare yourself better, thus ensuring you boost your chances of landing your dream job.

Change for anyone can be difficult, but there are ways you can control the uncertainly of the experience and the outcome. Searching for a new job can cause people to feel uncomfortable. Interviews with new companies are places where you would feel out of your comfort zone. Once you understand that this feeling is due to the unknown, you will become confident in your ability and this feeling will dissipate.

Every decision you make regarding your employment takes time and careful thought. You need to be organized as you get out of your comfort zone. You must be focused and confident. The best way to do this is by preparation, especially when there are so many variables that you might need to confront.

The fact that you have been selected for an interview or new position signifies that you have already displayed something unique and applicable to the position that caught the manager’s attention. You must remember that although employers seek a technical fit, they also seek a cultural fit.

There are some simple steps that always help. Make sure you set yourself up for what is ahead. Whether it is an interview or your start date always make sure that you are dressed appropriately and have all the tools you will need. This is a crucial step that allows you to feel good and focus on this important opportunity. Always know what is on your resume and the job description. Use the internet to your advantage and research the company. You want to make sure the company is a place you are interested in and will be able to speak about. Being prepared for a conversation is an easy way to stay comfortable and prove that you are interested in the company.

The main reason DTG puts so much time into preparing our candidates is because we want to make sure our consultants feel as comfortable as possible. Our close working relationship with all of our candidates allows us to work together as a team. At DTG we address all uncertainties to make the next step you reach is your best step yet!

As a recruiter I am very mindful of my responsibility to my clients, my candidates and my consultants who have already been placed on assignment. Here at DTG it is in our DNA to fulfill these obligations for ethical and professional reasons. I have heard all the criticisms about poor recruiters, making my job much more difficult to gain and maintain the trust of the candidates with whom I want to work. Fortunately, bad recruiters are not difficult to spot, and you can usually tell in a 5-minute phone call whether they have your best interests at heart.

However, the candidate- recruiter relationship is a two-way street. What sort of responsibilities do you, as a candidate, have to your recruiter?

In my 10+ years working in this industry as an IT recruiter, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the finest candidates who I’ve placed in progressively better career situations through the years. I’ve also worked with my share of poor candidates.

A poor candidate has nothing to do with skillset. It has to do with not fulfilling your obligations on your end of the relationship. So let’s focus on that relationship, the two-way street between a recruiter and a candidate.

What are our responsibilities as your Recruiter?

1. Job Details

When a recruiter calls to tell you about a job opportunity they should have a full understanding of the job requirements, salary range or hourly rate, location, and duration. In addition, they should be able to provide you with a written job spec. In some cases, a hiring manager does not supply a full description but just provides a series of notes to the recruiter. A good recruiter will be able to transcribe those notes into a job spec for your review.

2. Interview Scheduling and Preparation

Your recruiter should take care of scheduling your interviews on a date/time that works for both you and the client. In addition, your recruiter should make sure that you are as prepared as possible to succeed. Do you need to bring certain materials with you like a portfolio, a writing sample, or a laptop? Will you be required to take a written test? What is the appropriate attire for the interview? Who will you be meeting with and what are their titles? Are there any “quirky” aspects of this client’s interviews that you should be prepared for? A good recruiter should provide answers to all of these questions before you interview.

3. Communication/Feedback

Open lines of communication are key to any recruiter/candidate relationship. When you call or email your recruiter, you should expect a reply as soon as possible. When your recruiter gets feedback on your interview, good or bad, it should be communicated to you immediately. Unfortunately, many hiring managers do not provide feedback promptly. While a good recruiter will make every effort to get feedback, sometimes it just doesn’t happen as quickly as most job seekers would like. Your recruiter should still keep in touch and let you know about the delay and keep you up on any changes with the position.  Communication between a recruiter and candidate is a two-way street, so if you have committed to be submitted for a position, you need to return calls and emails from your recruiter. We are working as an advocate on your behalf and need to be able to reach you. Also, feedback from candidates is crucial to our understanding of the inner workings of the client’s interview. Feedback from the person that interviewed before you is what helps us to prepare you better for your interview.

4. Respect and Honesty

You are not going to be a fit for every position you apply to. It can sometimes be difficult for a recruiter to get that point across to someone who desperately wants or needs that job. Still, it is your recruiter’s responsibility to be honest with you. Just because you may not be right for one position does not mean you won’t be right for the next position that comes across the recruiter’s desk. Your recruiter should show you enough respect to deal with you in a professional manner when delivering the good or bad news. You are asking your recruiter to help you get a job. It’s not a responsibility that should be taken lightly. The very least you should expect from your recruiter is respect and honesty in every step of the process.

What are your responsibilities as a Candidate?

1. Honesty
Many people will tell you that you are expected to “embellish” on your resume. Certainly, you want to put yourself in the most positive light and draw attention to your skills. However, there is a difference between accentuate your positive traits and flat out lying. Do not put anything on your resume that you are not prepared to defend in an interview. If you think that you can lie your way into an interview and then “wow them” with your personality once you get there, you are kidding yourself. Nobody wants to hire someone that can’t be trusted. Honesty goes beyond just the resume. Your recruiter is going to do everything he or she can to get you an interview and hopefully a job, but that can’t happen if we are operating with false or incomplete information. Your recruiter is advocating on your behalf. If you are not open and honest with us, how can we be expected to succeed in helping you reach your professional goals?

2. Accessibility

This is perhaps the most frustrating thing that a recruiter has to deal with when it comes to candidates. We are working hard to get to you in front of our client. When you receive an email or voicemail from your recruiter, it is important that you return it as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean immediately. Many candidates are already employed and can’t speak comfortably from their desks whenever we want them to. That is understood. However, taking a day or week (believe me, it happens!) to return a call is too long. Recruiting is not a 9 to 5 job. If you absolutely cannot talk or email at all during work, reach out after work. But do not leave us wondering what happened to you. Not only does it show a lack of respect for our work, but remember that if we are calling you, it is very likely at the request of the client. While we wait, they wait, and that does not reflect well on you.

3. Activity

We don’t expect you to only work with us. If you are serious about trying to find a new job, you want to cast as wide a net as possible, and that includes working with other recruiters. If you are interviewing with other companies, let us know. If you are an expecting an offer from another company soon, let us know. If our client has a long interview process, it might not make sense for you to get involved with them. You also need to let us know if you have already been submitted to our client through another source. If you think being submitted to a client by multiple sources will help your odds you are wrong. It won’t help and could ultimately harm your candidacy.

Our industry is based on relationships. Mutual respect and working together towards a common goal will help make our professional relationship one that will pay dividends for both of us today and into the future.

Some employers are now looking at your social media profiles before reaching out to extend you an offer. The last thing you’d want is to lose the job because of something you yourself posted online.

Be mindful of how you’d like to be represented.

Your profile photo should represent your best self. Therefore, a photo from a night out with friends may not be the best option. As a rule of thumb, it should be a photo that you’re fine with your boss seeing. You should tailor your photo to be appropriate for the platform you are using. So for sites such a LinkedIn, unless your profession is on the more creative side, we would recommend business casual attire at the minimum. For sites such as Facebook, a more casual look is acceptable as long as it can’t be perceived in a negative manner.

Keep in mind what platform you’re using.

Some platforms are professional, while others are more personal, meaning that there is a great deal of content that should not be shared on both. LinkedIn was created as a social media platform for professional business use, so anything you post there should be related to your experiences, professional accomplishments, and professional interests. More personal items, such as photos from your vacation or talking about your hobbies, should be left to sites such as Facebook or Instagram.

Follow etiquette when engaging in conversations.

Try to be articulate when you post – avoid using too much slang, and certainly refrain from using slurs or obscenities. Engaging in conversations is encouraged and a great way for you to connect with and expand your network. However, try to avoid talking about topics such as religion or politics, and don’t engage in arguments. Posts that may come off as strongly opinionated may be a red flag to potential future employers.

Take advantage of their privacy settings.

All social media platforms have different settings to hide some information from those you’re not connected to. If you don’t want a potential employer seeing personal information, this is the perfect way to do it. Say someone tagged you in a photo, you can remove it. If you don’t want them to view your vacation photos you decided to share online, hide the album.

Certain platforms, such as Facebook, allow you to sort people you’re connected to into groups. You can then show and hide content that you post from specific groups, making this an easy way to control who can see your activity.

Keep in mind that these aren’t foolproof, and the best way to prevent people from seeing potentially embarrassing pictures or posts is to simply not upload them in the first place, so you should always think twice before posting something.

Congratulations! You were just offered your dream job. Challenging work, great salary and benefits, easy commute…everything you could ever ask for. You give your two weeks’ notice and wait to start your new job. The day before you are scheduled to start you get a call from Human Resources, You did not pass your background check and they are rescinding the offer. You go from having the perfect job, to having no job. I have seen it happen more than once, yet I have rarely seen a situation where it was unavoidable.

Here are some tips to keep in mind and avoid such pitfalls.


Our parents have been warning us against the perils of lying since we were children, yet I am amazed how many people still feel like lying is the best option available to them. Make no mistake, you will get caught. That is the whole point of a background check.

There is an entire industry built around catching lies. Do not think you can beat the system. When you fill out a background check form, fill it out with 100% true information. If you did not complete your degree, don’t claim you did. If you worked at a company for two months, do not claim it was two years. If you committed a felony, even if it was years ago, let them know. They will find out soon enough anyway and you would be surprised how much weight your openness can carry.

True Story – We had a Network Engineer consultant start work at a bank while his background check was still pending. He had already been working for a week when it came back that he had committed a non-violent felony 8 years earlier. The decision on whether to keep him was left to his manager. The manager decided to let him go, but not because of the felony. Rather he let him go because he lied about it on his application. He was willing to overlook the indiscretion in his past, but he was not willing to work someone who would lie to him.


It is not unusual for a candidate to forget exactly which month he/she started or finished at a particular job. This becomes more common as you go farther down your resume to jobs that happened many years ago. Unfortunately that does not make it right to fudge the month or year. Most companies will allow you to be off by a month or two, but that is all.

It would be a good idea to keep your resume updated throughout your career. When you start at a new job, add it to your resume. You can add on specific accomplishments as they occur, but make sure you document the start date while it’s fresh in your mind. In most cases all you will need is the month and year, not the exact day. If you don’t have that information, consult your tax records. Your W2s should be able to tell you when you started a new job. Another place to check would be your banking statements. Your bank should be able to provide you with bank statements from your past transactions. Simply look up when you started depositing paychecks from that job. You can also just call your previous employer’s HR department and ask them. After all, that’s exactly what the background check company is going to do.


Remember that you applied to this job with a resume that already had your educational and employment history on it. If you fill out a background check and the information is not the same as the resume, it will get flagged and the offer will be rescinded. Most companies do compare the two documents. Put the proper amount of care into the accuracy of your resume as you do the accuracy of your background check and you won’t have anything to worry about.

The application and interview process required for a new job can sometimes seem like a marathon. Don’t trip yourself with the finish line in sight. Take the proper steps to make sure you are doing things the right way and that dream job will be yours!

Much has been written about all the reasons why you should not accept a counter offer from your current employer when you receive a new job offer from another organization. Most advice on this subject comes directly from recruiters and recruiting firms who have a vested interest in you accepting a new offer, which is, of course, their fee.
While I agree there are definite reasons why you shouldn’t accept a counter offer, there are some valid reasons when you should accept a counter offer.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself and why:

1. Why did you decide to look for a new opportunity?

If you were acting out of emotion because something didn’t go the way you planned or you were passed over for a promotion or raise, more than likely you are acting out of emotion, and not thinking the right way. In most cases, decisions based purely on emotion never end well. However, if you are unhappy with your work challenge, the way the company is run, or you have a personality conflict with your direct supervisor, these are issues that won’t be remedied by a counter offer. On the other hand, if you are unhappy with your compensation, work hours, need some flexibility, want to be moved to a location closer to home or moved to a new department, these are issues that can be fixed with a counter offer- provided you handle the process correctly.
Remember that with a new offer of employment from another organization, the stakes have now changed and you are in more of a position of power, but don’t let it go to your head. You must be smart and think strategically.

2. Has anyone else that you’ve known given notice only to accept the counter offer? Are they still there? If so, speak to them about their experiences.

Your co-worker may or may not have negotiated the best deal, so my advice is to ask for a one-year contract along with the counter offer. Your employer may say this is something the company does not do, or give you another excuse but let’s look at the facts. To them, you are not an unknown! You have been working there and they already know that you are capable, perform your work well, and they also know what your attendance and attitude are like. A one-year contract from them is a simple assurance that they truly do want you there and it takes some of the risk of your accepting the counter offer. This is where and how to use your position of strength. Caution – This is not the time to make unreasonable demands.

Remember why you started your job search in the first place Don’t get caught up in the “they don’t want me to leave” or other employees telling you how much “they are going to miss you”. Keep your emotions in check and make the best decision for you.

When is enough enough? How hard do we have to push through the uncomfortable to possibly reach our dreams? Should we bother to reach for the stars to achieve the unreachable?

The definition of achievement is doing something that is accomplished, especially by superior ability, special effort, great courage. How much effort are you willing to invest in yourself to accomplish your dreams? These are all questions you must ask yourself to determine if you are blocking your own door to happiness and success. Are you truly happy with where your life is or are you accepting the path of least resistance? Perhaps remaining in the comfort zone that you created is easier than the unknown.

Getting out of your daily routine of everyday life can be a challenge when you are unsure of what is on the other side of the door. Don’t be afraid to take those first steps. You might discover a new – and better you.

Your comfort zone consists of behavior that is a pattern or routine which many of us choose to keep so that stress and risk levels are minimum. It is important to push boundaries in all aspects of your life; your job, relationship, family, friends. Push your limits by taking baby steps. You will start to realize that your fears and worries were more about complacency and the fear of the unknown. You may surprise yourself with what you can achieve.

We all have the capability of achievement and success in anything we choose to put our minds to if we don’t question or worry about failure. Everyone’s comfort zones and reasons to stay there are different. Determine what is holding you back and take those first steps by putting one foot forward at a time.

The best athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs, etc. constantly practice, fail, learn what they did wrong, practice again until they are successful.

Achieving your goals requires commitment, consistency and stamina. Do you have what it takes?

Benjamin Franklin said “Money makes Money. And the money that money makes, makes money.” Benjamin Franklin knew the importance of saving money, and that there is no greater surety of wealth than the compounding of interest on one’s money. However, today 53% of Americans do not have access to or fail to contribute to a company sponsored 401K plan. In the United States, 17% of the workforce have not even given thought towards contributing to a retirement plan. Half of all Americans over the age of 55 do not have a savings plan set aside for their retirement. In the United States, 45% of workers who have failed to start contributing towards a retirement account by age 55 plan on working many more years to generate an income source, instead of retiring (Carosa, 2016).

A reason many people give for failing to contribute to a retirement account is competing financial responsibilities and priorities. In a company sponsored 401K plan, each dollar that an employee contributes towards a retirement plan is tax-free. Each dollar that an individual spends on a competing financial priority is subject to federal income tax. For example, if an individual earns between $37,651 and $91,150 then each dollar spent on a competing financial priority and not in a 401K plan has been diminished by 25%, or the applicable tax rate for a single filing taxpayer. Thus, the money that could have been saved and could begin to compound interest has already been diminished by 25% on the competing financial responsibility. In 2016, an individual with access to a company sponsored 401K plan can contribute up to $18,000 tax-free. An individual over the age of 50 can contribute an additional $6,000 tax-free.

Please keep in mind, and pass along these five tips for saving.

  1. Start saving for retirement as early as possible.
  2. Any contribution to a savings account is better than no contribution at all.
  3. Don’t waste money on frivolous items, when you can save the money.
  4. Invest for the long haul. Contribute towards retirement with the idea that you cannot have access to the money until you retire.
  5. Over time, the compounding of interest on small amounts of savings can build to a large sum of money.

“Those who understand compound interest are destined to collect it. Those who don’t are doomed to pay it.” – Albert Einstein

Carosa, C. (2016). Why retirement savers love 401(k)s. Benefits Selling, 14(2), 38-38. Retrieved from http://ezp.waldenulibrary.org


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