Category Archives: Interviews

Collecting Salary Information for Your Job Interviews

Some reliable websites for getting salary range information for your job interviews are and

Glassdoor allows you to get salary range information based on geographical area and job title.  You can enter a job title or company name and select a city to get a report of salary ranges for those jobs on the homepage of their website. works similarly to Glassdoor.  Users of their website can enter job title or keyword and location to determine salary ranges.

It is important for job seekers to determine a salary range before an interview, so that you know how much you are worth if and when a job offer is made to you.  When the offer is made to you and you believe the employer’s salary figure is low, you can counteroffer and say, ‘Based on my research, I found the salary range for this job is in the $35,000-$45,000 range.’  You do not have to tell the employer where you did your research.  You want to know the actual range for the job title based on the research you have done, and then go about $5000 above the low end of the range to start salary negotiations.  For example, if the actual salary range for a job is $35,000-$45,000, you can start the salary negotiation at $40,000-$45,000.

There are possible scenarios that can happen when you negotiate a salary.  First, if you name a salary figure that’s below the employer’s range, they will happily give you that salary because it saves them money.  Second, if you give a range that is too high, the employer may counteroffer by saying, ‘That salary range is too high.  We were thinking about $30,000-$35,000.’  At that point, you need to consider if you are willing to take a lower salary, and if you are, you can try to negotiate for more benefits.  However, don’t sell yourself short.  If you have at least one year of relevant work experience for the job for which you’re interviewing, you can negotiate for a higher salary.  You can walk away from a job offer if you have other job offers from companies who are willing to pay you more money.

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Interview Tips to Land a Job

1. Practice

Review common interview questions and prepare your response

2. Research

Find out as much as you can about the company

3. Dress professionally

4. Arrive early and prepared

Bring resumes and reference sheet [it is helpful to have 3 to 5 names of references typed of people who have said to you they will be your reference]

5. Be confident, respectful and concise

6. Be prepared to ask good questions

Ask sound questions about the job and benefits

7. Show what you know

Tell them all of the reasons you are qualified for the job

8. Put your cell phone away until after the interview

Never text or look at your phone

9. Be focused – Make good eye contact

10. Thank the interviewers and send a follow-up thank you note


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Elevator Speech Tips

The elevator speech is a 30-second time span where you meet an employee, manager, or executive of a company and you convey your personality and skills to that person.  The idea of the elevator speech is to wow the recipient with your upbeat attitude and strong skills.

While you should bring up two or three skills to the recipient that tells this person what you can do for him or her in the workplace, it is also important to establish a common bond with this person by first, as the Memphis Business Journal suggests, using an ice breaker and then engaging the recipient.

An ice breaker at a “networking event” (Cook, 2017) can be, “Hi, I’m Ken.  These types of events are uncomfortable for me.  How about you?” (Cook, 2017).  Next you could ask what the other person is hoping to get out of the networking event.  “This question engages the other person in terms of their goals and aspirations,” (Cook, 2017), which will allow you to talk about how your goals and aspirations match to this person’s and the company’s goals.  Essentially, you’ve set up a positive interaction that has allowed you to ease into the conversation and tell the person about your goals and aspirations that relate to the company for which you’re interested in working.

As the author of the article in the Memphis Business Journal states, “… if you want your elevator speech to be engaging, totally wrap yourself into what you are saying.  Show the passion behind the person and the business [or your skills].  If the other party finds you interesting, then they will be motivated to continue talking.  If the other person cannot connect with you, then what you are offering is devalued to a commodity” (Cook, 2017).


Source:  Cook, K. (2017, March 21). How to re-think a great elevator speech. Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved from



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Mark Your Calendars for March 16 for Resume & Interview Workshop

Poplar-White Station Branch Library will be hosting a resume workshop named Resumayhem on Thursday, March 16 from 3:30pm-4:30pm.  Tips will be given on resumes, interviewing skills and dressing professionally for the interview.

To register, text 901.860.5094 or call 901.415.2777.  Snacks will be provided.

Location:  5094 Poplar Avenue

This event is free.

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Doing Well on Normal and Unexpected Interview Questions

The Memphis Business Journal provides tips to job seekers from a staffing company on how to answer interview questions well.

After answering the traditional question of ““Tell me about yourself””, you can expect normal questions and one to two trickier questions.  The way to prepare for these questions is:

  1. “Do your homework” on the company by finding out as much as you can about it.
  2. “Prepare to play up your strong points”.  This question is designed for you to respond with how well you do the skills you will bring to the job for which you’re interviewing.  So be sure to confidently state your technical and soft skills.
  3. “Keep workplace culture in mind”.  For this step, find out about what it’s like working for this company.  You can ask the interviewer, ““How do you deal with workplace stress? and Describe your ideal work day.”
  4. There are times when you may receive a question you don’t expect, which can be tricky to answer.  Employers ask these questions to determine “how you think on your feet.”  To answer this tricky question, staffing company president says to “[t]ake your time” in answering this question, but not too long.  He also says to, “Show your sense of humor.”  This will help you ease into answering the question and it will help “build rapport” with the interviewer.  Do not answer this tricky question by saying you don’t know or that the question is stupid.  “Be a good sport and play along.”  While you’re delivering your answer, remember that you’re still in a “professional environment”.  Therefore, be calm when you answer, “speak clearly, maintain positive eye contact, and dare to laugh at yourself.”

For the full article and the source, see:  Manciagli, D. (2017, March 7). How to ace common (and curveball) interview questions. Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved from

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Goodwill Job Center Job Fair February 22

Job Fair
Austin Peay Job Center, 3830 Austin Peay Hwy, Memphis TN 38128
Wednesday, February 22
9am – 1pm

**More than 10 companies**

Staff Line
Trojan Labor
Dollor General
Pro Touch Services
Department of Corrections
Allied Universal Services
Makowsky, Ringel, Greenburg

Prepare now!  If you need help with your resume or other job interview skills, visit or call the Goodwill Job Center at (901) 384-6745

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Ways to Pick a Job That Won’t Overtake Your Life

The Memphis Business Journal reports four ways job seekers can keep a job from taking over their lives.

According to “Mercedes De Luca, chief operating officer of software company Basecamp,” there are four tips job seekers can use to build careers without lengthy days at work:

  1. Combine what you do with what you love. … Before you start your job hunt, think about which roles will combine the things you care about with the things you’re good at.  For example, if your background is accounting and you love to travel, a position at a hospitality company could be perfect.
  2. Sign on for the people.  In an interview, you need to show what you can do for the company, but you also want to learn how working at the company will further your career.  People are key here, and respect for employee time starts at the top.  Is the hiring manager likely to be a great coach or mentor?  Does he or she seem to work relentlessly?”
  3. Ask the right questions about culture. … [T]here are questions you can ask during the hiring process to reveal how work gets done – and that can tell you a lot about whether it can get done in a reasonable workweek.  Ask questions like: … What is a great project your team recently finished?  How many people worked on it, and how long did it take?  Which outcomes will I be accountable for, and how will my success be measured?  That final question is critical.  Keeping your work hours in check demands that you focus on the work that truly matters. …
  4. Set the right tone after you take the job. … Set your boundaries for sane work hours, and let your team know they shouldn’t call you on nights or weekends unless something is legitimately urgent.  Likewise, you’ll honor their time.  Then, use your work time wisely.  Identify the most important tasks for each day, schedule blocks on your calendar to prioritize that work, and resist distractions – that includes answering non-urgent emails or scheduling meetings where no work actually gets done.


When you make your hours on the job more meaningful, you’ll find that your work life can support both reasonable hours and success.”



Source and to read the full article:  Manciagli, D. (2017, February 9). 4 ways to choose a job that won’t take over your life. Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved from


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The Bureau of Labor Statistics Tips for a New Career

Career changers can consider data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and information from experts when they want to change their careers.

The BLS recommends five tips, which are:

  1. “Figure out your “why”
  2. Look at the data
  3. Connect with others
  4. Match your skills
  5. Get more information”

Answering “why” will answer what is pushing you to make a career change, whether it be job happiness, money, or skills.  Making a “list of the tasks you enjoy most” in your current job will provide you with information that you can take to a related job or a new career field.  The list can also help you “identify occupations you may want to enter, or it might help you decide to stick with your current occupation and instead work in a different setting or job.”

Looking at the data means finding “occupations that offer opportunity,” which the BLS can help you identify.  The BLS publishes a wide variety of graphs, tables, and charts with this information.  Additionally, the BLS will provide information to you on the education or training you may need to enter a career.  And of course, you’ll be interested in salary information, which the BLS also provides.

Connecting with others is especially necessary when looking for a new career, because lots of times when you change to a new career field “you may not look great on paper” simply because you don’t have the required experience.  In order find out what’s required to enter a new career field, it’s essential to talk to people in those fields or people who know people in those fields.  You can start talking with people you already know to get their knowledge on companies or ask if they know someone who works in that company.  Networking through social media is also helpful, but keep it professional.  Once you have identified careers of interest to you, do some informational interviewing.  Informational interviewing allows you to identify people “in an occupation that interests you.”  After identifying those people, go talk to them and have a list of questions you want to ask them about their work.  Be sure not to ask these people for a job.  You are seeking to understand the nature of their work, but if you ask them for a job, they will be blindsided and perhaps put off.  You can ask them for advice on “how to make your resume stand out when you’re ready to start applying for jobs.”  Also, you should send a thank-you letter or email to them after speaking with them for the first time.  If they’re comfortable with it, follow up with them from time to time to keep them informed of your progress.  If you know a person who works in a company where you want to work, talk to that person.  Sometimes he or she can help you become a “”referred candidate””, meaning  that person referred you for an interview if you apply to that job.  Secondly, these internal contact people sometimes “know about job openings as soon as, or sometimes before, vacancies are advertised.”

Matching your skills requires that you “highlight the skills you have that match” the job requirements.  “Focus on skills you have that are directly relevant to the job tasks, say experts, not the fact that you’re transitioning.”  If you’re not qualified to work it the career you want to, “start working toward it.  Do you need more work experience?  Additional skills?  Professional certification?  There are many opportunities for people to get up to date in a new field, often in a relatively short amount of time,” which does not “always mean earning a degree.”

In order to get more information on the “type of work you want to do and what skills you need to do it[,]” you can use the “Occupational Outlook Handbook …[that] provides information about nearly 600 occupations in 329 profiles that describe job tasks, wages, outlook, and more.”  To see the Occupational Outlook Handbook, click this link:

Other helpful websites are:


Source and for more information:  Torpey, E. (2017, January). New year, new career: 5 tips for changing occupations. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from

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Referrals Help Land Jobs. Industries That Are Competitive & Less Competitive

Getting a referral for a job in a company helps job seekers land jobs.  Therefore, if you know somebody who works in a company for which you would like to work, contact that person.  If you know person A who knows person B who works in a company you want to work in, contact person A to try to get a referral to person B.

The Memphis Business Journal reports, “The best way to stand out is to get a referral.  Jobvite [a California-based recruiting firm] data found that referred applicants are 5 times more likely than average to be hired and 15 times more likely to be hired than applicants from a job board.”

The Memphis Business Journal also reports applicants should be enthusiastic, since enthusiasm helps in getting hired.  “About 78 percent of recruiters cite a positive attitude as a major factor in a hiring decision, followed by a good command of the job requirements (76 percent) and conversation skills (73 percent).”

If you want to try to find a job in the executive levels of a company, be prepared to wait about one month and have an average of 5 interviews, the Memphis Business Journal states.

Some industries are hotter than others.  “Since 2014, the number of jobs created with “data science” in the title has risen 64 percent.  In that same period, jobs created with phrases like “artificial intelligence,” “machine learning” or “deep learning” have grown 140 percent.”

Industries that are competitive, meaning it is hard to get an interview are, “[m]edia and consumer internet…” and “education”.

Easier industries to enter are “real estate and insurance….” In those industries, about 1 in 3 applicants land a job.

Booming industries are “energy and real estate….”  Energy jobs have tripled, while real estate jobs have doubled “between 2014 and 2016….”

Lastly, the fields of engineering and finance grew “more than 40 percent” from 2014 to 2016.


Source and to see the full article:  Hall, G. (2017, January 25). The industries that recruiters say are most competitive (and how you can stand out). Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved from

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Zaxby’s-Union Ave. – Open Interviews 10/12-10/14


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by | October 12, 2016 · 10:49 AM

New Workforce Development Program – C.L.I.M.B.

The River Community Services Agency Inc. presents a new workforce development program C.L.I.M.B. (Creating Lifetime Independence Moving Barriers) Initiative. The mission of C.L.I.M.B. is to alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities by promoting career and economic growth.


As part of the River’s new commitment to assist local residents in obtaining employment, the River is pleased to announce a series of in-person workshops beginning Tuesday February 23, 2016 at 10A.M in the O.D. Family Life Center at 3560 S. Third Street, Memphis, TN 38109.


Our workshops will focus on preparing job seekers for the current workforce. Participants will receive detailed materials about the topics presented and hands-on practice sessions with members of the community.

Topics include:

  • Résumé and Cover Letter Development
  • Interview Skills
  • Job Search Strategies
  • Dressing for Success on an Interview

We also sponsor and provide:

  • One-on-One Career Counseling
  • Resume Assistance
  • Spiritual Counseling
  • Job fairs, including Industry-Specific Fairs


For more information about the program email

Also, to register for the program, please complete attached registration form or contact us at 901-789-4570.

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Delta Bluff Job Fair – Walls, MS – 9/17/15

Delta Bluff Job Fair 9-17-15

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Career Readiness Presentation – ACTS Career Center, Brown Baptist – 3/29/15

CAREER READINESS Brown Baptist 3-29-15

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9 Costly Interview Mistakes That Can Lose You That Job Offer

So you think you’re prepared for the interview by prepping for all the common interview questions. However, there are still some subtle nuances you may forget or not know about during the interview that can really cost you the job. Here are some red flags interviewers tend to watch out for.

1. You focus the interview around you.

Interviewers can pick up on a “me, me, me” mentality, so make sure that whenever you answer the question, you’re not talking about what you want and instead talking about how you want to help the company grow. If you do want to talk about your needs, make sure it aligns with the company’s success.

2. You don’t take the time to think about your answer.

OK, so you got taken off guard. Many people jump to the first thing they think of because they feel like they need to respond ASAP. And oftentimes blurting what’s on your mind isn’t always the smartest or rational answer. Take the time to gather your thoughts, even if it means having a bit of silence. Don’t worry about the pause in conversation turning off your interviewer, she will most likely appreciate you taking the time to think about your answer. And if you don’t know the answer to the question, don’t panic. Here’s what to do you if you don’t know how to answer a question.

3. You beat around the bush.

Get to the point! Sometimes taking winding roads to get to the finish line (or what you really want to say) can really lose the interviewer. Think in bullet points. When you first answer the question, respond in bullet points, then you can take more time to explain each one. Be succinct and your answers will be more memorable.

4. You don’t understand the company and product

If you don’t understand the company or the product, it means you’re not even doing the basic research you need for the interview. Why should they even consider you if you’re not putting forward the effort? It’ll seem like you don’t have any passion for or interest in the company, which is a huge red flag. Your interviewer is taking the time out of her day to interview you and you didn’t bother taking the time to do a bit of research? This alone can cause an immediate rejection.

5. You are kind of boring

OK, you’ve checked off all your boxes and you’re coming across a little too perfect and polished. Show some of your personality in the interview and let the interviewer catch a glimpse of the real you. Don’t be afraid to do so — I’m sure they’ll appreciate your authenticity. Don’t just tell them what you think they want to hear, because that can sound a little too practiced.

6. You’re begging

You really need this job because your electricity is about to be shut off if you don’t pay off your bill soon. That’s important to you but not important to the company. They are hiring you based on their needs and not yours, so don’t ever try to use your dire situation as a reason for them to hire you. Instead, show them why they actually need you and would be lucky to have you. Be confident, and it’ll shine through.

7. You talk about salary and benefits before the interviewer brings it up

Look, I know it’s important to you, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Don’t bring this up before your interviewer does or it’ll do nothing to help your case and instead really annoy her. Your interviewer wants to see what you can do for the company, not what’s in it for you. Plus, by asking about it, you’re acting as if you already got the job, which can irk the hiring manager as well.

8. You say negative things about your former employer

Yes, you may have had the boss from hell, but badmouthing her will just be bad form. It does not look professional, and it will cast a negative tinge on you as a candidate. You only have one chance to make an impression and first impressions are what stay in our minds during interviews.

9. You don’t ask questions

THIS. Hiring managers have told me that questions candidates ask can make or break the interview, so make sure you’re asking all the right questions. The questions can show how serious you are about the job, how you care about the company, and how your mind works. The right and thoughtful questions can really impress the interviewer.

by Emily Co


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Job Search Tips from the Pros –

Job Search Tips from the Pros – Source:

By Guest Blogger Paula Reuben Vieillet, President and Founder of Employment Options Inc.

When it comes to job hunting, it is often best to consult the professionals. Job and career counselors are certified specialists in their field and know from experience, with their own clientele, what works best and what does not. They also know the nuances of different stages of the job hunt and different industries.

Not everyone can afford a career counselor or has access to free job placement services. Therefore, I asked my job counselors, who helped more than 400 people on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) return to work last year, about their best suggestions for getting a job.

Every one of them began with “Preparation is the key to success!” So take these tips to bring out the best qualities you have to offer an employer!

Click Here for Full Article

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