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Career-Life Times, Issue #16 -- Succeeding With Panel Interviews
May 22, 2005

Issue No. 16, May 22, 2005

"Get Hired - Get Noticed - Get Ahead"

Welcome to the latest issue of CAREER-LIFE TIMES! Thank you for subscribing! I hope you find this little publication to be informative, useful and entertaining.

If you don't like it, there's an unsubscribe link at the end. And if you have any ideas on how I can improve it, please let me know--I greatly value your suggestions! My email address is also at the end.

In This Issue:

* Succeeding With Panel Interviews
* Plan Your Appearance to Make a Great First Impression
* How to Use Temp Agencies to Get the Job You Want
* Resources
* Worth Quoting
* Just for Laughs
* Random Rants & Ramblings

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Succeeding With Panel Interviews

These days, job interviews often consist of a panel of three-to-six interviewers.

A "team approach" to finding the best candidate can be beneficial for the employer. Each member brings a different set of skills, experience and judgment to the team, and can point out pros (and cons) about a candidate that the other interviewers might miss.

Panel interviews can also be beneficial for the job seekers. In a one-on-one interview you only have one shot at making the best impression. With a team doing the interviewing, your odds are increased. Say for example that Interviewer No. 1 had a bad experience with your past employer and unconsciously (or consciously) holds that against you, even though you had nothing to do with what happened. Interviewers No. 2, 3, and 4 have no such prejudices and so could sway the vote in your favor.

While panel interviews often seem more intimidating than one-on-one interviews, here are some steps you can take to ease your stress and ensure a better outcome.

1. Relax. Remember that being faced by a panel of strangers (versus one) is better for you.

2. Smile. Everyone in the room will smile back and you'll all get off to a great start.

3. Greet each interviewer individually. Shake hands with each person. Repeat their names as you are introduced (everyone likes to hear their own name, and it will help you to remember them).

4. Include everyone when answering questions. Face and make eye contact with the person who asks the question, but then extend your eye contact to everyone in the room. You're speaking to all of them, not just the person who asked the question.

5. Get their cards. Before leaving, get a business card from each person in the room. These will come in handy when it's time to send your thank-you notes. (If they don't have cards, ask for their names again if you don't remember them; jot them down. You can contact the HR person or receptionist later to get their email or mailing address.)

6. Send individual thank-you notes. Immediately send a thank-you not to each member of the interview panel, but don't make the notes identical. Make it more personal by pointing out something that person said or asked. For example, "When you asked me about my marketing experience, I forgot to mention that in addition to my three years as a marketing representative at ABC company, I also participated on several marketing focus groups while working at XYZ company."

Remember, a panel interview is an opportunity to shine in front of not just one person, but a whole team!

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Plan Your Appearance to Make a Great First Impression

Your personal appearance is a critical component of that all-important first impression when you walk into the room for your interview.

So plan ahead!

Some people don't think about what they're going to wear until the morning of the interview. Then they scramble to find something that's appropriate, clean, and doesn’t look like it’s been slept in.

Imagine putting on that rarely used suit an hour before your interview and discovering that it no longer fits!

Plan your outfit in advance, try it on to make sure it fits well, and get it cleaned and pressed if necessary.

When deciding what to wear, think "conservative business attire." Even if you are interviewing for a field job in which you'll wear jeans and steel-toed boots, those clothes are not appropriate for the interview. It's always better to dress "up" than to dress "down."

The key is to look professional.

Here are some preparation tips:

• Think about your hair in advance and make sure it's as ready for the interview as your clothes. Do you need a haircut or touch-up on the color? This goes for mustaches and beards, too.

• How are your teeth? If they’re not pearly white, consider using one of the many teeth-whitening products on the market today. Dingy teeth really can make a negative impression, so don’t ignore this.

• Freshen your breath, especially if it's been a while (or if you've eaten or smoked) since brushing your teeth. Don't go into the interview chewing gum.

• Do not plan to wear perfume or cologne. Having no noticeable scent is better than turning your interviewer off by wearing too much perfume/cologne (or wearing a scent that unpleasantly reminds an interviewer of an ex-spouse). And many people are allergic to ingredients in perfumes and colognes. It's safest to wear no scent at all.

• Women, if you decide on a dress or skirt, make sure it's not too short. Be conservative. By the way, pantsuits are perfectly acceptable these days if they meet all the other criteria.

• Don’t forget to consider your shoes. Chose a pair that is stylish, but conservative and comfortable. (Spike heels are not a good idea.) Make sure they're clean and/or shined.

Remember, your goal is to look professional and conservative. This applies to makeup, nail polish, jewelry, body piercings, tattoos, etc. If there’s any chance that the interviewer might not like it, no matter how “cool” it is, don’t let it show!

Dress to impress!

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How to Use Temp Agencies to Get the Job You Want

(This is a guest article by my friend Kevin Donlin.)

Ever considered temporary work? For many job seekers, it's the pathway to a full-time position with a dream employer.

And it may be easier than you think.

To give you the inside scoop, I tracked down a veteran job seeker and an employment expert for their views.

According to Chad Deckard, CEO of, an Internet marketing consulting firm, you can use temp agencies to uncover good jobs with top companies. He should know.

He first arrived in Atlanta, Ga., with no local contacts or job prospects, and went on to get hired for full-time positions at CNN, the advertising firm BBDO, and Time-Warner. All by using local temp agencies, with a twist that can work in any city, in any economy.

Here's what he did.

"After I arrived in town, I pulled out the Yellow Pages and started calling temporary employment agencies. I asked them: 'Who are your biggest clients?' With that knowledge, I was able to pick the right agencies to get me into the companies I wanted to work for," says Deckard.

Of course, he didn't strike gold right away. He first had to take on three short-term assignments with companies he didn't care for. But because he completed every task with enthusiasm, he built up a record as a conscientious, hard-working employee. This led to his big break.

And how did he turn a temp assignment at CNN into a permanent position? He did something unusual. He asked!

"I did the obvious things, like showing up on time every day and doing everything that was asked of me. On top of that, I studied the company, its products/services, market, competitors -- everything -- thoroughly, until I knew more than most permanent employees. Then I just asked my supervisor for a full-time position. She hired me," says Deckard.

He also turned a temp job into permanent work as an Advertising Rep at Time-Warner. "After building a solid track record, I called the same temp agency and asked them to place me directly at Time-Warner," says Deckard.

By doing good work and having the right attitude, he was able to turn that temp assignment into another full-time job, again, by asking his supervisor.

Chad's experience dovetails nicely with advice given by Bob Picha, founder of San-Diego-based Ideas At Work, a company dedicated to the release of human potential in individuals and organizations.

"Many savvy employers use temporary agencies as a screening device. It's a chance to put temp workers through a trial period. And, if the employee is talented enough, a job can be created just for him or her," says Picha.

Temporary agencies are all around you, too.

In addition to your Yellow Pages, you can visit, search for "temporary employment," and you'll find a huge number of temp agency listings. You can refine your search by adding terms to locate agencies by city/state, industry, etc.

So, with a little hard work and the right attitude, you can turn a temp agency into your own personal job search agent, at no cost.

[NOTE: Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1995, he and his team have provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients in all 50 states and 23 countries. For more information, click here: ]

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F r e e -- Unique Book on Goals

My friend Michel Fortin has just "re-released" a book he wrote many years ago, and I thought some of you might be interested.

It's about how to get more done by stopping the process of setting goals and starting the work on what's more important in your life instead.

A fair warning! It may seem a little too "out there" for some of you, because it slightly deals with the metaphysical, spiritual and motivational. But it's quite interesting and offers a different perspective about goals than other books.

Please enjoy it with my compliments... download your f r e e copy from this link: Drop Your Goals and Manage Your Life

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MEMORIAL DAY SALE for "The Job Interview Success System." If you want to master the secrets to acing any interview and winning a new job whenever you want, then check out my System. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to answer tough questions, avoid disastrous mistakes, and win the job at your next interview--even f you aren't the most qualified candidate. Discover the strategies that will give you an "unfair advantage" over others competing for your dream job. Of course, it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

And if you order before June 1st, you can get 50% OFF during my Memorial Day Sale and pay only $14.97.

Here's the link for more information: Job-Interview-Success-System.

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Get a Railroad Job! Have you ever thought about riding the rails? Well, here's some good news: the railroad industry is in desperate need of people like you to fill thousands of railroad jobs! Why? Because in the next five years there is going to be a mass exodus of retiring railroad workers! That means thousands of railroad jobs are going to be vacated and will need to be filled.

Railroad employment opportunities are at an all-time high for virtually every position with virtually every railroad company!

But, as with any great job featuring excellent pay and outrageous benefits, the competition is fierce! You need an edge, and my friend Sean Martin, a railroad conductor, has it for you.

Sean has created a great new booklet that shows you how to beat out all of your competitors and get hired by the railroad company of your choice.

I've reviewed and highly recommend it. It's much more than an excellent "how-to" guide. It includes descriptions of the types of jobs available (not everyone is cut out for this industry -- Sean helps you decide if it's right for you); priceless, industry-specific interview tips; salary information (how's $75,000 a year sound?); tons of resources and railroad-related links -- even wonderful train photos that made me long to experience the romance of riding the rails and hearing the whistle blow!

Here's where you can find more information:

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SuccessNet. Your success is their business! This site offers practical motivation, helpful resources and inspiring ideas to help you operate at your personal and professional best. Their no-cost newsletter is informative and motivating -- I've been a subscriber for quite a while and look forward to each issue. Here's where you can find more information:

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Become an eBay Power Seller. Millions of people buy and sell items on eBay every day. If you'd like to take advantage of this huge market to make a few extra (or a LOT of) bucks, you'll have greater (and faster) success if you find out and mimic what the big power sellers are doing. Chuck Mullaney is one of the best in the biz, and he will show you exactly how he's been raking in six-digits a year by selling on eBay while wearing pajamas at home. Here's where to find more information:

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Worth Quoting

""The best job goes to the person who can get it done
without passing the buck or coming back with excuses."
(Napoleon Hill)

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Just For Laughs

Just in Case You Ever Got the Two Mixed Up...

IN PRISON... you spend the majority of your time in an 8X10 cell.
AT WORK… you spend the majority of your time in a 6X8 cubical.

IN PRISON… you get three meals a day.
AT WORK… you only get a break for one meal and you pay for it.

IN PRISON… you get time off for good behavior.
AT WORK… you get more work for good behavior.

IN PRISON…the guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
AT WORK… you must carry around a security card and open all the doors for yourself.

IN PRISON… you can watch TV and play games.
AT WORK… you get fired for watching TV and playing games.

IN PRISON… you get your own toilet.
AT WORK… you have to share with some idiot who pees on the seat.

IN PRISON… they allow your family and friends to visit.
AT WORK… you can’t even speak to your family.

IN PRISON… the taxpayers pay all expenses with no work required.
AT WORK… you get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

IN PRISON… you spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out.
AT WORK… you spend most of your time wanted to get out and go inside bars.

IN PRISON… you must deal with sadistic wardens.
AT WORK…they are called managers.

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Random Rants & Ramblings

Bad, Bad LeRoy Brown. That song by Jim Croce was stuck in my head a couple of weeks ago for about eight days! Don't you just hate it when you can't get a song out of your head? It could've been worse. The stuck song could've been "My Kind of Town." I was visiting Chicago. (Yes, that's where LeRoy lived -- on the south side -- in case you don't recall the lyrics.)

While there, I was able to scratch off one of the things on my "to-do" list: "Watch the Cubs Play in Wrigley Field with My Dad." I should've written "Watch the Cubs WIN in Wrigley Field..." But even though they lost to the dreaded Mets, being in that stadium for the first time, with my dad who has been a true die-hard Cubs fan for longer than I've been alive, was an incredible experience. Other loved ones were there with us, and that made it even more spectacular. And hopefully it was a nice, early Father's Day gift for my Dad.

Don't forget your dad on June 19th.

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So, what did you think of this issue? Any suggestions? Topic ideas? Questions? I really appreciate your feedback. Please send me a note at

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