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Q&A: Interviews but no offers? Improve your chances

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Job Seeker Q&A

Q. I get lots of interviews, but no offers. What can I do to improve my chances?

A.    My response:

To improve the outcome of your interviews, take along an impressive leave-behind portfolio customized for each company. Such a portfolio could consist of a thin three-ring binder with a plastic cover that allows you to insert an 8 ½ x 11” cover sheet. Put the hiring company logo and name on the front along with your name, contact information and the interview date.

Include the following pages within your portfolio:

  • Company information (to show you’ve done your homework). Include company leader names and titles, interviewer information, company size and revenue, brand and product names, competitor information, stock price, etc. Find such information on the company web site, search engines and on sites like Glassdoor.com.
  • The job description
  • A list of your relevant qualifications plus accomplishments that reinforce those qualifications  
  • Questions that you want to ask
  • Your resume
  • Your reference list
  • Work samples
  • Reference letters and/or list of LinkedIn recommendations
  • A notepad (including the notepad gives you an excuse to open and refer to the binder. Simply ask if it would be OK to take notes during the interview. Refer to various pages to jog your memory about accomplishments or questions you want to ask. Present the binder to the interviewer at the conclusion of the interview.

Preparing such a portfolio will take work, but it will help you stand out from your competition!

What other items should go into your interview portfolio or what job search questions do you have? Share your ideas and questions here. -- Kathy


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  1. That's a lot of work for a job. Anybody can just print off stuff, but not know what it's all about.

  2. It's not just printing out the information but actually developing a sheet about the important facts that you discover. The whole process of gathering and then distilling the information to a page really helps you learn the information which can make you look much more prepared. Plus, by leaving it behind with the interviewer, you are leaving a strong reminder of how exceptionally prepared you were for the job.

    But all that being said, if you just print out a bunch of stuff, you are right, it's just a data dump until you internalize it. Thanks.

  3. Hi Kathy
    Should I be interviewing a candidate and come across this document, I would certainly be impressed that the candidate took the time to find out all the facts about my company.

  4. I agree, Oriel ... bringing a portfolio customized for the hiring company can really help you stand out from the competition.

  5. It can help. but i'm sure it wouldn't be a selling point. But any little bit helps.


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