Preparing for a Phone Interview

By: Phoua Xiong, Job Center Representative

Are you having a phone interview with your dream job but don’t know what to do? We are here to help. Preparing for a phone interview can be hard because you will have to learn how to express your emotion and excitement through your voice.

Step 1: 

Do your homework and still research about the job just as you would for face-to-face interview. Doing your homework will make you sound smarter and more interested about the job.

Step 2:

Make sure you find a quiet spot for the interview. Background noise can be a distracting and can make it hard for both you and the interviewer.

Step 3:

Create yourself a cheat sheet including important notes and have your resume so you can refer too.

Step 4:

Finally, get some good night sleep so you can feel more refresh and alert during the interview.

Phone interview usually don’t take more than 30 minutes.  By knowing how to prepare yourself, you’re able to show the best side of you.

Preparing For An Interview

You’ve been offered an interview for a job! Now what? This is an opportunity to build an edge over other applicants for the job you want. Here are a few steps you can use to greatly improve the impression you give future interviewers and your chance to get the job! 

When you apply for a job, it is wise to keep the posted ad for the job, that way you can go back to the post for the jobs you have interviews for and review exactly what they asked for. This is important because the interviewer will have this in mind when they are interviewing you and it will help you more advantageously shape your replies into job winning answers.

In addition to crafting your answered to tell your employer why they want you, this also gives you the chance to answer the interviewers almost inevitable questions as to why you want the job. To get the edge over others being interviewed you want to make your answers sound like you want this job and having the job post allows you to do that.

Another valuable way to get an advantage over your competitors is to research the company.  This doesn’t have to be a major ordeal or even time consuming – just look up the company’s website and read who they are as a company and what they are about. Seeming familiar with a company will further help you shape your answers to show how you will be a boon for them and good fit for their company.

Lastly, look up and rehearse the most common interview questions.  Building a great answerer to a predictable question is one of the easiest and most advantageous steps you can take in prepping for an interview, and it can and probably will blow the competition out of the running for your next job.

Cleaning Up Social Media

By: Job Center Representatives

One of the first things employers see when they search for your account is your profile picture. You want to make sure your profile picture is appropriate. Always make sure your current being online, matches who you are today. Deleting any inappropriate posts or comments that is not relevant to you anymore will get you a better chance at getting hired. Make sure what you are posting on any type of social media is positive and something that you won’t regret in the future.
·         Get rid of old content
·         Think before you post
·         Avoid excessive language
·         Deactivate any unused accounts
·         Upload appropriate pictures
·         Use most recent pictures of yourself


By: McKenzie Warne and Nigel Sorenson, Job Center Representatives

Are you looking to perfect your resume? Resumes are a great way to get your potential employer’s attention. They are a way to communicate your qualifications, experiences, and what makes you different. Your resume should stand out among all the other applicants. Hiring managers and recruiters look at resumes for an average of six to seven seconds, so you want to make a strong resume. Here are some ways you can stand out against the other candidates.

  • Keep your resume short and direct.
  • Make sure your resume has an original, but readable, template.
  • Highlight your skills and experiences.
  • Make a career snapshot.
  • Use emphasizing words.
  • Think deeper than just your basic job duties/title.
  • Use correct grammar and punctuation.
  • List your professional social media profiles.
  • Double check for errors.

Once you have your resume written and edited, tailor it to the employer you are sending it to. Modify your objective to fit with the position you are applying for. Own your resume. Your resume is your selling point. It is a place to show the hiring manager your worth and what you are capable of, so be confident with yourself. Your resume is the employer’s initial impression of you. Make a statement and make it stick.

How to Ask for a Raise

By: James Greene, Job Center Representative

First, set a specific goal for what you want your raise to be. Even if you don’t think you will get that amount, your plan will help you do better.  Use the internet to find the average pay that people with your experience make in your line of work, as you can use that to find out how much you should ask for.  You should plan to open negotiations for a 10% to 20% increase in wages with a settling point of a far more common 3% to excellent 5% increase in your wages.  You should look for things that influence when the best time to ask for a raise, asking for a raise a month or two before your employer usually hands out raises in one good place to start. With the intent of negotiating your raise at that time you should look for a specific time to ask for the pay raise: when you’ve been noted doing something great is good, when you employer is going through a tough time with something is not.

While you wait you need to prepare to sell yourself as being worth the raise. Make a list of reasons you deserve a raise. If you find most people with your experience are making more than you in your current job add that to your list. Add the times when you left others with good impressions as well as the improvements and awards you’ve gained at work. Very importantly, add how your job responsibilities have changed and grown since you were hired. Its common for job responsibilities to both grow and change over time and this is a good reason why pay should grow with it.

Once you have a sufficient argument for your raise prepare it into a statement and rehearse it. You don’t need to remember it word for word though you should be COMFORTABLE relating the idea and facts of your pitch for your raise. Check your pitch for distracting language and remove language that unnecessarily expresses uncertainty of your point like “I think..” instead be both direct and certain “I am..”.  You need to sound certain of your idea without being rude. Rehearse your pitch to a friend, family member or co-worker to get an outside viewpoint of your pitch.

As with many things in career advancement it helps to rehearse the questions or counter points you may receive and think up good answers to those questions. By being prepared for such likely questions you will enhance your chances of success.

Place your pitch on paper and give it to your employer at the end of the meeting.  This will remind him why he should be receptive to your argument and enable him to better carry your point to others who might be needed to consider you receiving your raise. 

If you don’t get the raise, you want then you’re no worse off than if you never tried!  Find out why: Perhaps there are changes you can negotiate or alternatives to getting a wage like improved health benefits or an addition to your office that your employer can provide in place of a raise.  Whatever your result finding out the reasons can give you things to capitalize or work on to further improve your chances in the future.