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Career-Life Times, Issue #26-- Mimic the Interviewer
March 23, 2006
Issue 26, March 23, 2006

Greetings! And wecome to this issue of CAREER-LIFE TIMES! I hope you find it to be informative, useful, entertaining, and--most of all--worth reading! It's designed to help you GET HIRED, GET NOTICED, and GET AHEAD! If you don't like it for some reason, let me know how I can make it better (or unsubscribe using the link below). Now, on with the show...

In This Issue:

  • Mimic the Interviewer
  • Playing the Waiting Game
  • Your Five Acres
  • Resources
  • Worth Quoting
  • Just for Laughs
  • Random Rants & Ramblings

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    Mimic the Interviewer

    OK, I know that sounds a little weird, but stay with me on this. There is a secret technique used by people who are very successful at getting what they want. Anthony Robbins, probably the most successful motivational speaker on the planet, uses and teaches this technique.

    It is the art of mimicking or mirroring the unconscious speech and physical mannerisms of the person with whom you are talking.

    Why is this a good idea? Because it is a proven fact that we all like people who are like us. Anyone who is like me must be a good person, right? If you do this right, the other person will not be aware of it, but will unconsciously notice that you are acting just like him/her.

    It establishes instant rapport.

    Here’s how to do it. First, try to match the person’s rate of speaking. How fast or slow is he/she talking? Then mimic the level of his/her voice. Is he/she speaking softly or loudly? You don’t have to match exactly, but if the interviewer is speaking slowly, calmly and quietly, don’t talk quickly, excitedly and loudly.

    Next, mimic the interviewer’s physical characteristics. This includes facial expressions, posture and hand gestures. Smile when he/she smiles. If he/she leans towards you when asking a question, lean towards him/her when answering.

    Don’t overdo it; make it look natural.

    If you put into practice this one technique, you will dramatically increase your chances of success -- and not just in interviewing. You can use this technique in virtually all areas of human communication!

    Note: This is an excerpt from my "Job Interview Success System."

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    Playing the Waiting Game

    Everyone hates waiting. We hate waiting for our spouse to get ready, waiting in line at the grocery store or theater, waiting for our food in a restaurant, waiting for our tax refund, and -- perhaps above all -- we hate waiting to find out if we got the job! It’s so frustrating! Why don’t they call?!?

    Some companies seem to take forever to fill a position – their decision process can take anywhere from a few days to a few months!

    Here's something you need to understand: finding out if you got the job may be YOUR top priority, but it's not theirs.

    Keeping applicants informed of the hiring process is, to be blunt, a low priority for most companies. Don't take it personally, but they have more important things to worry about.

    One of the questions you should always ask towards the end of an interview is, "What are the next steps?" and/or "When do you expect to make a decision?"

    They may tell you that they'll make a decision within two or three days. Don't count on it! Even if they desperately want to make the decision as quickly as possible, unforeseen delays -- or higher priorities -- often come up.

    So don’t assume that you were not selected if you haven’t heard from them by the time they indicated. (You know that rule about assuming, don’t you?)

    Don't assume no news is bad news, but don’t continue to wait, either -- take action!

    Of course, if you've visited my website or read previous issues of this newsletter, you know the first thing you should do after an interview is send a thank-you letter. Do that within 24 hours of the interview.

    Next -- if the time they gave you for making their decision has passed and you haven't heard anything, follow up with a phone call (not an email). Call the company and ask about the status of the job opening. Don’t worry about “bothering” people or being perceived as “pushy.” Following up shows that you are sincerely interested in the position and very eager to work for them. They’d probably be surprised (and possibly disappointed) if you didn’t follow up!

    But don’t push this to extremes. If they tell you they’ll know by next Wednesday, for example, don’t call at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Call on Thursday. If you call and they say, “I’ll check on that and call you back,” give them time to do so. The most common answer (other than the dreaded "We've selected someone else") will be "We haven't made our decision yet."

    Yes, it’s agonizing to wait. But today’s businesses are, well, busy! Try to be patient, listen to what they tell you, and act professionally.

    After you've followed up, try to relax. The process is now out of your hands, so worrying about it won't do you any good. “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst” is always good advice. Here's how to do that.

    If you've got a job, keep doing your best at it. Don't do or say anything that might let others know you're looking for another position. Until you have a formal offer, in writing, never assume you've got the new job and don't burn any bridges! Keep up your job search efforts.

    Apply for other positions, continue going on interviews. You may come across an opportunity that's even better than the one you're waiting to hear a decision on! Keep yourself occupied.

    If you're not working or actively going on other interviews, stay busy. Do research about the company you're hoping to work for. Read a good book. Clean the house. Organize the garage.

    Anything is better than just sitting there waiting for the phone to ring!

    When you finally hear the company's decision, celebrate if it's good news. But don't be too frustrated if it's bad news. Don't think of it as a failure. Think of it as "their loss" -- and you're opportunity to learn from the experience (every interview is a learning process and a chance to practice your interviewing skills), and do better next time. Don't get hung up on why you weren't selected... just move on and you'll get ahead!

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Your Five Acres

    This excellent article is provided by Nan S. Russell.

    It was the third time in as many weeks he'd asked to see me. Once again sitting across the desk, Jeff was expressing distress at something. This time he was upset that Lydia was making more money than he was. Last week he was unhappy with the hours Joe wasn't putting in, leaving at five when he was often stuck past six. The week before, he registered a complaint about the way work assignments were handed out by his supervisor. As my mother would say, "Same song, thirtieth verse."

    Jeff's focus was on everything but his own work. He fixated on the latest rumors, viewed work policies as unfair, kept track of what was happening down the hall and fretted over what others might be getting that he wasn't. Worrying what was happening in someone else's work-acres, his own were filled with uncultivated opportunities and backlogged projects. In the process, he was sabotaging any chance of his own winning at working.

    In 20 years of management I've met too many Jeffs. People focused on everyone except themselves. They fritter time away trying to straighten out others, rather than deliver results. They complain, blame others and point fingers. They believe the world owes them a living, others are out to get them and nothing goes their way. You can recognize them by their victim mind-set and frequent anthem, "It's not fair."

    They're right. Work-life isn't fair, but then, what is? Does fair mean equal pay increases and work assignments? What people offer to the workplace isn't equal, so how would it be "fair" if rewards were?

    Unbiased? Well, we all have biases and life happens to be subjective. Just? If just means one gets what's merited, then for people like Jeff, the workplace is pretty just. They get back what they give, which is not much. That doesn't mean the issues they raise are not valid, at times. But like Chicken Little, frequent complainers are tuned out.

    If Jeff focused attention on his own five acres, putting his energy into personal performance, he'd significantly impact his results and his rewards. He'd also impact his credibility and ability to be heard. In the words of novelist Aldous Huxley, "There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self."

    People who are winning at working are too busy producing results to track what others may or may not be doing. They're focused on their five work-acres, fertilizing them with new ideas, skills and challenges. They plant positive thought-seeds that yield high harvests and personal motivation. And when they consistently produce results in their corner of the universe, they help others do the same. Want to be winning at working? Make your five acres exceptional.

    Then don't be surprised when you get more or better acres to tend.

    © 2006 Nan S. Russell. All Rights Reserved.

    Sign up to receive Nan's free biweekly eColumn at Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a columnist, writer and speaker. Visit or contact Nan at

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


    VERY LIMITED-TIME, F-R-E-E OFFER Re: Earning on eBay: Have you heard about the eBay Misspelling Trick?

    Items listed as "camara", “dimond,”, “bycicle,” and “perl neckless” sell for practically a song, because people searching for "camera", “diamond,”, “bicycle,” or “pearl neckless” never see them! Here's how to make money with this -- you find products on eBay that have very few bids because the seller accidentally misspelled a key word in the title. You get the item -- cheap -- and re-list it with the correct spelling for a quick profit!

    A friend of mine, James Jones, has just published an exposé that explains in step-by-step detail how to use technique. He also shows you several other sneaky (but perfectly legal) ways to find what he calls, "poorly listed" items and resell them for a quick profit. It's called, "The Misspelling Bee (and other eBay Arbitrage Opportunities)."

    Now get this: James just told me he's going to make this report available to my subscribers -- at no cost -- for the next couple of days only. Then he's going to pull it down and slap a big price tag on it. So, what are you waiting for? Go download this now. There's no catch; you don't even need to provide an email address to get this; just click here: The Misspelling Bee

    MORE ARTICLES. Here's a list of articles I've recently added to my website. Just click on the title of any you'd like to read:

    Keeping Your Executive Resume Current

    The Hidden Job Market - Looking for Work in All the Wrong Places?

    Get Hired Faster By Changing Your Job Search Strategy

    Your Money or Your Life - How to Break Free from a Crappy Job

    How Many Secretaries Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

    Organizing Your Work Life In 3 Simple Steps

    Jump Start Your Earning Power

    Revenge of the Baby Boomers: Changing the Face of Retirement

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    Worth Quoting

    "It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared."
    (Whitney Young, JR.)

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    Just for Laughs

    The Spanish Computer

    A Spanish teacher was explaining to her adult education class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

    "House, for instance, is feminine: la casa. Pencil, however, is masculine: el lapiz."

    A student asked, "What gender is computer?"

    Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

    The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computadora"), because:

    1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;

    2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;

    3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and

    4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

    The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine ("el computador"), because:

    1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;

    2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;

    3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and

    4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

    The women won.

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    Random Rants & Ramblings

    March Madness. I'm not a basketball fan. It drives me crazy when there's some sort of penalty that stops the action practically every 45 seconds or so. I hate to see positive action and forward momentum suddenly halted before the desired goal is achieved.

    This happens a lot on the job. Management will announce an upcoming event, promotion or other activity and -- being the modern, enlightened kind of bosses they are -- will tell their employees, "We value your opinions and encourage your input on this important effort!" They may conduct surveys or focus groups, form task forces or ad hoc committees, or just informally invite comments from everyone.

    Employees appreciate being asked what they think. They get excited about the effort; they start submitting ideas and suggestions -- they take the ball and run with it!

    Just as this action starts to gain momentum, management blows the whistle. "Whoa! Time out! These suggestions are unreasonable! We can't do this or that. Here's what we ARE going to do..." and they proceed with THEIR plan, ignoring the employee input they'd asked for.

    Not only does this stop the action and forward momentum, it makes it extremely difficult to get employees interested in any future "games" of this nature.

    I'm not saying that management should let employees make all the decisions, or even solicit their ideas. This is not always a good or practical idea. Management is in charge for a reason.

    What I AM saying is this: don't ask for input if you have no intention of using it. This applies to everyone, not just management. It's OK to ask for opinions and suggestions, evaluate them, and then make a decision that may or may not include any of the input you received. But don't make people feel their contributions are worthless.

    If you're going to give them the ball, let them run with it and take the shot!

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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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