Don’t Remove Yourself From The Interview Process

Getting that email or call that a prospective employer wants to talk to you is invigorating.  Let’s face it, it feels good. We’ve been selected, chosen, seen as special among a sea of candidates. Rightfully deserved fist pump here.

It’s great and yes, you are awesome! Now, let’s not forget that.

Somehow, after that initial call, our brain checks out and we forget  we are part of the process.

Interviews are a two-way conversation. They aren’t just interviewing you to see if you’ll fit in with their organization; you should be interviewing them, too.

As much as I cringe at this example, it really is the best one I can think of: interviewing is like dating.

You’re starting to get to know each other, but are still on your best behavior. Meaning, both of you are going to fudge and cover up tiny little areas that perhaps aren’t the most attractive until you get to know you.

You know pretty early on if  your date has ventured into crazy chick or bad boy. There are signs. You may be ignoring the signs because you’re enjoying the ‘attention’ by one of these two, but there are signs. Always listen to your gut and pay attention when dating – and interviewing.

One of the best measures you can use to judge a person and a company are their manners.

  • Do they treat you with respect before and after the date/interview?
  • Do they return phone calls?
  • Are you given appropriate information to be prepared?
  • Do they seem interested in you (not just filling their need)?
  • Do they treat the wait staff nicely? (watch how the interviewer treats fellow employees)
  • Do they keep you strung along until “someone better” comes into play?
  • Are they dodgy about what they are looking for in this relationship?
  • Is it everyone else’s fault (past ex’s or employees – do they badmouth people)?
  • Do they have future goals (showing growth, maturity)?
  • Are they humble (can they admit to their mistakes or shortcomings)?

One last thing to ask yourself: why are you there? Are you talking to them because this is a healthy relationship to build your future? Or are you running away from a streak of bad decisions or don’t want to be alone? 

Make sure you’re going into this with eyes wide open about them and yourself and it could be the beginning of a beautiful partnership.


I help amazing people get career happy and companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Business, Brand, Yoga

Click here – – to find out more.

All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own, unless attributed. They’re normally pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).

The Super-Secret Answer You’re Looking For To Do That Thing You’ve Been Unable To Do

Do you know that you can talk yourself into anything? You are the biggest influencer of any of your decisions. Groundbreaking, I know.

From the mundane, like for me: why did I think a horizontal stripe top and cropped pants were a good look on me? I have a freakish combo of short torso and super long legs – it is definitely not a good look.

To the deep of thinking: why don’t I write that blog, why won’t I change jobs, or why can’t I be happy?

Good or bad, inconsequential or life-changing, you’re going to have that conversation. Self-talk is important. And it is influential. But it isn’t the secret to doing.

In all that self-talk or thinking it over (seeing other people look cute in stripes and cropped pants) you’re not looking for reasons to support your decision. You can make those up all day long.

Nope, what you’re looking for – and here’s the super-secret – is permission. If we could get permission before beating ourselves up, yeah, that would be great.

Like seeing a pair of to-die-for shoes and trying to justify the price by number of wears….

Here’s a career / job search example. I spoke to a woman who has an amazing career. Stellar in her field. Very unhappy with where she is now. Nearly 45 minutes on her cool stuff, her not so great employer, an employer she wants to target and work for.

Then she mentions that someone in her network works for ideal employer and has been trying to recruit her for a long time.

She has had the answer the whole time, but she got stuck in justification mode. That was the self-talk.

Once I heard that, it was guilt-game over. I told her “you got this”. Her contact has offered to help, so call them up, tell them you’re ready and ask what’s next.

She needed permission. She wasn’t giving it to herself, so she was needing it from someone else – not connected personally to her or the situation.

I don’t know about you, but I spent way,  way too many years of my life seeking validation and trapping myself in the self-talk guilt-game. I still have to remind myself that I give myself permission without having to justify it.   Let’s stop it now. This is for you:

I give you permission!

Now go do it, go try it, go have that conversation, test it out, look stupid, feel awesome, fall down, get up, do it again. Who cares! Do you! If you fail – who cares! Try again. You learned, you tried, you’re well beyond where you were yesterday. Go!

Here’s the thing, I know I’m not an influence on your life. I don’t matter. That’s ok – you’re looking for permission (unwilling to give it to yourself first) and I’m filling that need!

You have permission!

Think that super-secret of giving permission without justification doesn’t work? Yeah, say that to my sexy pointed toe, teal croc pumps or black leather three-inch dress booties now residing with me (as the striped top and cropped pants have found a new home).  


I help amazing people get career happy and client-centric companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Business, Brand, Yoga

Click here – – to find out more.

All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own, unless attributed. They’re normally pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).

Pay Attention to a Company’s Courting Style

I’ve always found there to be great symmetry between job searching and dating. Actually, I think dating would be a lot easier – or quicker decision making – if you just handed the person your life resume and cut to the chase.

The two processes really are similar, so is the anxiety. When you are going through the interview process and wondering about every little thing, like you’re completely exposed and vulnerable. Like that terrible dream where you’re naked in front of you high school or college class.

Oh, and the rejection – let’s not forget about that. The  friend zone. We really like you, just not for this job. Even better, the ghosting and catfishing! It just gets better and better!

A lot of those decisions and actions taken by a potential employer you have no control over – and most don’t even have anything to do with you.  But this doesn’t mean that you are powerless here.

Your best weapons are your power of observation and intuition.

One point that I want you to especially pay attention to is the courting phase, i.e. interviewing.  Like a client of mine who was just given the phone screen questions (literally labeled this) to complete and email back to the internal recruiter.


Here’s the thing, if a company isn’t very nice or respectful to you during the interview phase, what do you think they are going to be like if you take the job?

Think about it – the interview phase is when everyone is trying their best to get the other party to like them. You and them. So if a company is treating you poorly, how much worse will it be when you join?

If they are going to require you to complete a 10-page document with detailed questions  – but not read it and make you repeat everything you wrote during a 15 minute follow up call, well, that’s just rude. They are being disrespectful, dishonoring your time and those actions scream out that their time is way more valuable than yours. Is that the kind of environment you want to be in every working day?

What about the company that gives veiled threats to pressure you to hurry up and answer or return information only to ghost you for weeks with a response or what’s next?

Some companies treat you as though you should be thanking them for talking to you. Really?

If you are going through the process and you’re getting the ick feeling in your stomach, listen to it. If something feels off, it very well could be. At this point, remind yourself that this is a two-way process. You want to make sure this is a good fit for you.

And, I know there are some people out there that are just not great at interviewing or following up. If you are interacting with a few people and all are great except that one – then you need to take a step back. Look at the situation – is that one person just a bit of a ding-a-ling? Are you going to report to them? Do they really reflect the organization or team as a whole?

But if it is a vibe or treatment from everyone you interact with or really strong from one person you’re dealing with,  nope.

If their courting (interviewing process) is disrespectful, the marriage (working for them) is probably going to be miserable.

Run, baby, run. There are more fish in the sea and you deserve better than Charlie Tuna.


I help amazing people get career happy and client-centric companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Business, Brand

Click here – – to find out more.

All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own, unless attributed. They’re normally pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).

Stop Decapitating Family or Making People Look Up Your Nose (Profile Pictures)

I don’t know about you, but I hate getting my picture taken. It is sheer agony trying to decide which one I detest the least for my profile picture. I don’t like any picture of myself. Yeah, I’m that person that can find something wrong with every single one. Seriously. It’s a nightmare.

What I find is I normally sorta-kinda like a picture of me that has someone else in it. Especially a pup. But I can’t exactly use Mr. B in my profile picture. I think a lot of people are with me on this. They find a picture they are okay with, they just happened to be snuggled up next to another person. That’s why I see a lot, lot, of profile pictures that are super zoomed in (we could count nose hair) and yet, we can still see the scalp of that other person.

There’s a better way.

If you have Paint 3D in Word, there’s a much better way. You erase them. If you don’t have Paint 3D – I’m all ears to hear of another solution. I’m checking into it myself.

Here’s a visual step by step to help you with this so you can have that great picture you want without having to have a profile picture that is your floating head with a partial scalp of a friend.

If you think I’m going to use my own photo so it appears multiple times in this article, you’re nuts!  Let’s use my old gang. This was my last pack. Meet Luke, Lexi, Brutus, and Mr. B:

That lawnmower in the back just takes away from the ambiance, let’s take it out. First, copy and paste that picture in Paint 3D.

Great, now click on the three dots on the upper right corner (view more options):

Click on “Canvas Options”

And turn “Transparent canvas” ON:

Now on the top left menu, click on “Brushes” then the eraser:

And erase!  I start with a larger thickness to get the bigger pieces:

Then zoom in and a finer thickness for the small, close spaces – like around Brutus’ ears:

When you’ve erased all you want, save that sucker! If you copy and paste, it will look like this:

Cool, right? But I think that’s pretty bland for my pups, so I think I’ll add another picture behind them to create a new vibe, look, underwater dogs!

Oh wait, that bench just isn’t cutting it. Let’s erase a bit more, maybe a different background, bring Luke in a bit more with the bunch….

Oh yeah, that’s it.

Again, if you have found a way outside of Paint 3D or any easier way – do share!


I help amazing people get career happy and client-centric companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Business, Life

Click here – – to find out more.

All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own, unless attributed. They’re normally pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).

The Response That Could Silence Macy’s

I was taken to school at Macy’s last weekend. My teacher was a petite, mature woman with a slow gait, quick smile and soft, gentle voice.

Our classroom was the Men’s Shoe Department. Ms. Sondra alone tended to each person in the very long line.

Someone asked her about being busy, noting the number of customers. She said she was even busier yesterday.

That set up the lesson.

She was given the opportunity to complain. They tossed her the softball: “I bet it was a madhouse, people are just crazy around this time.” 

She didn’t even step up to the plate. She didn’t even bat an eye. Not the slightest hesitation when she responded:

“It’s wonderful, I met so many beautiful people yesterday and today.”

That is perspective. That is joy. That is goodwill toward men. That was beautiful.

If the rest of Macy’s could have heard that, I imagine the entire store would have fallen silent.

Most would see crowds, rude or impolite people and complain.

Ms. Sondra saw beauty, and expressed gratitude.

Thank you, Ms. Sondra, for that lesson and sharing your beautiful soul with me. With us.


Help Your Team Grow By Not Listening To What They Say

As a leader or team lead, have you ever been in the position to facilitate a change? An improved process, a new system, a change in procedure. Did you get resistance from your team or a person about this change?

Have you heard, “I don’t want to”? Or “I’m not going to”?

You just might be able to turn that around if you don’t listen to what they say.

The words they use more often than not don’t represent the real issue. The words sound like they are being obstinate, willfully defying your request out of malice, stubbornness, or something stuck in their crawl.

But what if that wasn’t the case?

What if the true statement were: “I don’t want to …. because I don’t think I can.” What if they don’t know this is the reason behind their resistance?

Stay with me for a minute:

  • We have millions of bits of information assaulting us all day, every day
  • To filter all that data down into understandable pieces, we delete, distort, or generalize. We take a boulder and make a recognized pebble.
  • Think of a boulder as a bit of external data. Internally, we go at it with several chisels. These are thoughts, beliefs, values, identity, behaviors, skills, experiences, reactions, attitudes, memories, language, and more. We whack the heck out of that boulder using all these chisels to break it down to a pebble we recognize.
  • We’re made up of a big ol’ pile of pebbles – our foundation for how we act and see ourselves/the world.
  • Our chisels are not the same size.

Your person may have a massive “I’m not smart enough” belief chisel. It overshadows all the other chisels. This means that every boulder you throw at them will be shaped primarily by that chisel.

Any change is going to be met with resistance. Because behind the defiance is fear. Fear of looking stupid, fear of failure, fear of the unknown. But the first and strongest reaction is simply no.

They may not know their own real driver because that pebble is buried at the very bottom of their pebble pile.

So how do you help them help you?

With a beautiful dance of communication. The steps are: go general, go detailed, and back and forth we go.

Don’t challenge, it will raise their defenses and shut down communication. Start by asking their thoughts. Start with the problem this new process is going to fix. What do they think of that problem?

  • Go detailed. How has it been detrimental to their work, performance, customers, team, etc.? How has it affected them personally?
  • Go general. Can they remember another time when there was another hindrance in the process? How did it impact the work?
  • Go detailed. With that other issue, how was it resolved? What was put in place? What kind of changes were made? How did they integrate those changes into what they did?
  • Go general. How did it make their job easier? How did it improve performance, service, quality, etc.?
  • Stay general. If we could make that same type of transition, wouldn’t that be helpful? Do you see any connection between this process and the last successful one?

The issue could be they don’t think the solution will work because of their expertise. Listen. You might get valuable insight to improve the process.

When you can guide them to see another time when they did, it will help get that pebble out of their shoe and step forward.

This is a free-flowing conversation. Be engaged. Be interested. listen and watch for verbal/nonverbal. Follow your intuition to pick up the revealed threads. You’re not going to get it right every time. You’re not going to make a 180 change every time.

You may have to respectfully say, this is how we’re going to do it.

Even so, with these conversations, you’ll prove you’re listening, they’re important, they’re heard, and they matter. You will also learn something.

That’s the real win-win.


I help amazing people get career happy and client-centric companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Business, Life

Click here – – to find out more.

All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own unless attributed. They’re pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).

The Why Doesn’t Matter Except To Get You To A Better What

Do you ever feel like you’re in the movie Groundhog Day? But only with certain situations? Like there is a lesson you need to learn and it’s not sinking in so a certain type of events keeps reoccurring?

I can’t be the only one.

My repeated events center around patience. So many opportunities to learn patience. My biggest problem is my incessant need to know why.

Why did this happen? Why didn’t that happen? Why? Why? Why?

But here’s the thing I’m finally getting through my thick skull – the why doesn’t matter much. It doesn’t change the what. Focus on the why and you miss the opportunity.

If you start asking why, let it be your trigger to think, “Uh oh, I’m going down the dead-end of why – let me change that to what.” One big what:

What are my opportunities to:

– Learn

– Grow

– Prosper

– Pivot

– Share

– Inspire

– Appreciate

This is how you take a bad break up with a job and turn it into something life-giving. It’s going to help you in those interviews, too. Even in a fired situation. Being able to turn around a negative to get them to see the positive is huge

Let’s be honest, sometimes getting fired is a blessing in disguise. It doesn’t mean you are a failure. It means it was time for you to move on – there is something better for you out there! I learned this both professionally and personally.

Years ago, I launched my business and got engaged to my childhood sweetheart. Life was all hopes, dreams, rainbows, and lollipops. I was a business owner and a fiancé; he was a cheating bastard. So that ended that.

By finally getting over the why and looking at my what, I let go of all that baggage and be grateful for the experience. Without it, I would not have started this business and be living my passion and purpose. Without it, I would not have met Chief, my better half.

The quicker you can thank the bad situation, the sooner you move on to better opportunities.


As an award-winning, published, Resume Writer & Career Coach I help you get career happy.

Click here – – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They’re usually spot-on and a little funny. Because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not a biscuit dispensing machine.

Throwaway Resumes Don’t Give a Reason to Care

I have the blessing and curse of being the blunt one in the family.

Thus, my lifelong lessons in communication balancing blunt with tact, effective with clear, empathy with accountability.

It is a driving factor in being a Career Coach and Resume Writer. I love positively challenging people to think differently and remove their blocks through words, storytelling, and the unexpected.

Bluntness is a great tool to craft a powerful brand and career story. Because it gives you the reader’s bottom line question: “Why do I care?”

The reader is the hiring manager, recruiter, etc.

This question can sound short or even rude. But there is something worse.

All too often, the reader throws away your resume without even asking this question. They cut through all the minutia, ending the review with an “I don’t care.”  

That’s worse.

Your resume is about them. Their challenges, problems, and goals – and how you are a solution to their critical needs. This is your focus.

Put another way: it’s not what you want to tell them, it’s telling them what they need to know.  Stick to the parts of the story that are relevant for them.

Do you know a bad storyteller? Someone who insists on peppering a 30 second story with unimportant, mindless details that drags it to a 5 minute story? All the while you’re screaming in your head: “cut to the chase!” – yeah, that’s how they feel reading a resume with every detail of each job from day one. They just don’t care.

Here’s how you change that attitude: write to what is important to them. Be clear, be direct, be demonstrative, be the solution.

The reader cares only when what is in your resume directly relates to them.

Be kind to your reader – and get an interview – by being rude to your resume. Splice it down to the critical “this is why you should care because it makes your life easier.”

Or, send that fully loaded resume and risk the reader saying “I don’t care” and missing out on a call.


As an award winning, published, Resume Writer & Career Coach I help amazing people get career happy.

Click here – – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They are also normally spot and have a touch of humor because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not just his meal ticket.

Avoid Being An Interview Hostage-Taking Talker

I’m at the gym six days a week. I don’t consider myself a gym rat, I do what I’ve got to do to overcome the “…for/at your age….” thing.  If you are over a certain number, you know what I’m talking about:

“You look good…for your age”

“You should expect not to ______ at your age”

Screw that, I want to look good for me, not some expectation. And having a birthday this month, I don’t give a darn what the stupid number is, I’m stronger, healthier, more tone and defined than I was 20 numbers ago. So take that “for/at your age”.

This wasn’t the point of this article, just a side rant. 

Back on track: while I’m at the gym, I don’t talk. I’m not a mean person, I’m not a rude person. I like to do my thing and really, I don’t want people coming that close. I mean, c’mon, I’m there sweating – gyms are not full of pleasant aromas.

Anyway, I’m at the gym this morning on the treadmill, Boo doing his weights and I noticed as soon as he stepped up to a machine, he got the attention of a talker.

If you’re a gym person, do you have one of these at your gym – the person who starts talking and won’t let you go? They are the hostage-taker talker.

This one was a pro. I mean he never stopped!  Boo would go to another machine, kept talking. Walk across the gym, kept talking.  For a good 45 minutes – kept talking.

By the way, if you don’t know if your gym has one of these, you might want to see if it is you.

I know some people like to converse between reps. Cool. But seriously, I think the gentleman burned more calories talking than he did working out.

And just because my mind works this way, it got me thinking about interviewing.

Hang with me here.

All too often interviewees become talker hostage-takers. They get sidetracked from a question, go down a rabbit hole, and then end up taking the interviewer hostage on a rampage for a long, long time which leads to nowhere.

I’ve done it. I think it is a nervous thing. But more importantly – how do you stop it?

  1. Recognize that you’re going down that path.
  2. STOP.  Stop talking. Right now. Stop the momentum.
  3. Collect yourself. Breathe.
  4. Look the interviewer in the eye and smile.
  5. Tell them “I’m sorry, I have no idea how I got so far off course, let me go back and answer only what you asked”
  6. Give a short, concise answer.
  7. Let it go.

Here’s the thing – unlike at the gym where you might be avoided like the plague – if you move on, this incident will, in all likelihood, be forgotten by the interviewer.

We have all said something stupid or gone down a rabbit hole, so don’t beat yourself up about it. The trick is to stop the train and regroup quickly without batting an eye.

It’s even better if you can add a bit of humor or self-depreciation – just a bit. I’ve started my back-on-track with “Wow, not sure how I got here!” or “The blonde went a little too deep this time….”

A bit of humor (if appropriate) gives the appearance of confidence and humility that you can laugh at yourself but get right back on track.

On your next interview, be the hero, not the talker hostage-taker.


As an award winning, published, Resume Writer & Career Coach I help amazing people get career happy.

Click here – – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They are also normally spot and have a touch of humor because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not just his meal ticket.

Stalled career move? It may be due to one little question.

I’m going to give you a glimpse into my world. Chief is going to be retiring soon, which he deserves for decades of dedicated service. We have discovered through the COVID-19 experience, that he will be embarking on something new.

Truth be told, it’s more of me telling him “you’re going to have to find something to do that is not in this house full time.”   I’m cool if he decides to be a professional bass tournament guy.  Can’t fish in the house….

To get back on track, my point is he’s trying to figure out what to do next (besides the fishing thing).

I’m sharing this, not to find commiserating pals of the pains of shared work space all…the…time….   I’m sharing because I have a feeling many people get stuck where he is – figuring out what’s next.

We get stuck before we get started. The culprit is the question he, and most people, ask first:

what am I qualified for?

I’m not a fan of starting with this question. It has an undercurrent of negativity and can go downhill. Fast. Here’s an inside your head conversation – you know, with that little voice…

What am I qualified for?
Lots of things, I can pretty much do anything!
Great, like what?
I donno, how about talking to people – I’m really good at that!
Yeah, and what job has the title “Talking to People”? None!
Okay, but I can use that skill…
Uh huh, that’s not a real thing, prove that you’re good at it, you can’t measure it, you don’t fit any of these jobs’ criteria….


And so on. That little voice can get pretty nasty, judgy, and snarky. We don’t like that mean little voice.

Why did it get so mean? Because in your head “what am I qualified for” gets turned around into “what am I good at?”

And that friends, is why I am in business.

Because we are all terrible at talking nice about ourselves. We don’t want to sound like we’re bragging. It’s uncomfortable. We don’t know how to explain what we do without feeling like we’re saying we are all that and the bag of chips.

We allow our little voice in our head to sabotage any positive thoughts.

Let’s shut that little voice up, shall we?


It begins with taking a new perspective, one that the little voice can’t turn around into a negative. Here’s the question I want you to start with:

What do I like to do?


There is no judgement here! The voice can’t say you’re not good at it because we’re not asking that. We’re asking what you like. Not a prove you’re good at it. You like to do something or you don’t to varying degrees.

Alrighty then – what do you like? Make a list. Tasks, projects, responsibilities, learning, tools, systems, teams – think of anything and everything.

Next question: why? Why do you like these things? Why do you like working on those kinds of projects, doing those tasks, working with those tools?

Again, no judgement, just why you like it.

Next question: when you do those things, does it make someone’s life easier? If you’re a whiz at reports, does that make your Manager’s life easier being able to find exactly numbers at a moment’s notice?

Again, this isn’t about you – it’s about everything outside of you that what you do touches. Maybe it improves a process, cuts time, increases revenues, clarifies instructions, avoids a risk…

If you go back and look at your answers, you are going to find a pattern. You can then summarize your thoughts into key words. Project management, reporting, process improvement, change management, operations, finance, budgeting….

What’s emerging is a list to compare against the market. A list that highlights what you’re good at, where your value lies. This is your starting point. Find positions that line up under your criteria instead of trying to figure out how you fit under theirs.

The extra bonus of this approach is it takes the stress off of not wanting to do something you are good at doing. Let’s say you are amazing at something – let’s use forecasting as a random example. Absolutely spot-on with your forecasts. No one does it better, faster than you. You’re a forecasting beast. The only problem is – you hate it.

If you started with “what am I qualified for?” the voice jumps to forecasting. Then you get discouraged because you don’t want to do forecasting. The voice in your head will then tell you to stick with what you’re good at because you don’t qualify for anything else.

We really hate that little voice, don’t we?

Don’t give it the power by asking it to monitor you. Start with a simple question – what do you like to do – and see where it leads you. You might be pleasantly surprised at all the avenues available to you.



P.S. I love putting that little voice in your head in its place – if you need some help, get in touch!



As an award winning, published, triple certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach & Digital Brand Analyst I do what I love – help amazing professionals get career happy.
Click here – – to find out more.


#careerchange #personalbranding #careeradvice #resume