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Preparing for an Interview? Avoid These “No-No’s”

June 26th, 2014

By: Karen Colligan

You would think that a person would strive to be sensible when they are in job interview mode. Sorry to say that’s not always the case. I have heard some hilarious stories from hiring managers and recruiters.  Although I have complete faith in mankind, I feel compelled to remind people of some No-No’s as they are out interviewing. Yes, they seem like common sense. And yet I’ve heard real-life examples of each of these. Don’t let that be you! Here are my Top 10.

    1. Women – stop with the cleavage already. I don’t care what your age, I don’t care what type of job you are interviewing for, do not show cleavage. It is as simple as that.  Cover up!

    2. Gentlemen – is it really necessary to unbutton that third button? Really? No, the interviewer does not need to see your hairy chest.

    3. Be careful of your aroma. Go easy on the deodorant, cologne, perfume, hair spray, make-up.

    4. Don’t eat before your interview. You don’t want bad breath or something stuck between your teeth. Now THAT would be a distraction.

    5. Do NOT wear blue jeans to the interview. It does not matter how casual the environment. Dress smart. You can show you have style and will fit into the environment wearing something other than blue jeans. Wait until you have the job, then knock your socks off. (And oh by the way, even if you do have the nicest loafers in town and are into the preppy look, DO wear socks!)

    6. Do not check your phone while waiting in the lobby. What could possibly be as important as making a good first impression? What you need to do is pay attention to the employees walking through the lobby and try to get a feel for the culture of the organization.The last thing you need is to have someone walk up to you while you are engrossed in texting. And don’t forget to turn your phone off! Can you imagine having to dig through your purse or pocket to find it, and then shut it off with all the associated apologies and distractions?

    7. Do not slouch, slump back in the chair, or lean on the interviewer’s desk. No one hires a wet noodle. Sit up straight, smile, and make good eye contact.

    8. Do not show up with scuffed shoes. As cool and hip as you might think it is to have scuffed shoes – polish them before your interview. It is a small detail that an interviewer might notice. If you don’t notice that your shoes need polishing, what other detail might you overlook?

    9. Do not ask questions that are answered by the company’s website. Yes, be prepared with questions and be certain they are smart questions.

    10. Do not under any circumstances badmouth your previous boss, your horrible last company, your nightmare teammate. Rise above it. Find something nice to say, or, as my Dad used to say “if you don’t have something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

    Yes, these are actually hysterical. Yes, they happen. Startling, I know.

    While on your interview, be yourself, stay positive, smile, say good things, be smart and think before you speak.

    Till next time,


    Career, Interviewing, Job search

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Dare to Dream – About YOUR Possibilities!

June 17th, 2014

By: Karen Colligan

When was the last time you allowed yourself to just sit still, let your mind run wild, and dream about the possibilities – for YOU? Dreaming is one of the most underrated pastimes there is. “Sure,” you say, “but who has time?” Let’s Get Real. If you want to carve out the future YOU want, it’s in your best interest to MAKE time! Let’s look at a path to dreaming and focusing on what you want for your future. Here are 5 Tips for Daring to Dream…

Take inventory. Ask yourself: Who am I today? What do I stand for, and how do I show up in the world? Think about your values and really pay attention to where you are with them today. Are your career and your life aligned with your values? Take stock of your natural talents. Those are the innate skills that evoke such comments as “you make that look so easy,” or “you’re a natural.” Once you combine your values with your natural talents and recognize who you are right now, you can begin dreaming about the possibilities for what’s next. It’s no longer about what you “should” do, it’s about what you “want” to do. It’s about having a clear sense of self. Dare to create a life without asking for anyone’s approval.

Create YOU. You are a different person today than you were 5, 10, 20 years ago. Bask in your journey so far, and continue to think about the road ahead. When describing yourself and dreaming about the future, rework how you portray yourself. Start speaking in the future tone of “I want…” Keep the possibilities ahead of you. Don’t allow “no” to creep into your vocabulary. Keep the naysayers away!

Design Your Future.
Write down all the possibilities. Keep a Dream Journal and continue to add to it. What are the things you want to do and accomplish? Rank them. Take the Number 1 dream and begin to imagine it coming true. Make a list of ways to attain it. Keep adding to it. Keep imagining it. It’s essential to have clarity and focus, and to stay on target. Don’t lose sight of your dream.

Tell Everyone. Don’t be shy. Share your dream with people who will support you in your quest to attain it. Imagine it…picture it…draw it…feel it. The more you talk about and visualize your dream, the more likely it will become a reality. Start a Dream Club. Meet once a month to share and encourage each other to strive and move toward your respective dreams. There is power and momentum in having a support structure.

Don’t Stop Now. Think about how fantastic it is to be creating the life that is right for who you are today – not yesterday, today. You need to believe that your dream can truly become a reality. Continue to add to your Dream Journal. Be bold, and you will discover your own genius.

Remember…if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will. Dream about YOUR possibilities and then take action to make them a reality.

Till next time,


Career, Life

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