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How to reduce the fear and anxiety of a Job Interview

The easiest way to make it through the nerve-wracking days before a big interview is to have a plan to Be Yourself. In practical terms, here is a checklist that will help.

  1. Is your resume 100% accurate and truthful?
    If it is all true, then you don’t have to worry. Talking about your achievements and experience will come more naturally (practice helps too). Creating success stories is the easiest way to practice talking about yourself in the context of work.
  2. Are you a fit to the job? Do you feel you could do whatever is asked of you?
    If you somehow got a job interview and you aren’t totally qualified, but you want the opportunity. Disclose your weakness at the start of the interview in a positive way before you are asked about any weaknesses or concerns.  Say something like “I can do 90% of this job and the other 10% I may need some guidance” You may be surprised that this honesty gets you the job!
  3. Are your references on board and aware you are on a job search?
    References like an ex-boss usually want to help you succeed. Talking to them on a regular basis will make you feel more confident about yourself and that they will say good things about you. As a bonus, your reference may have some job opportunities to tell you about.

There are lots of other suggestions such as meditation or relaxation techniques. My opinion is that if you aren’t regularly doing these things, just before an interview is not the best time to start until everything else is already prepared; from your 3 second resume (bring 2 clean copies)  to interview tips and success stories.

Sleeping and eating well. Dressing up. All good.

Here are some more tips on how to reduce the fear and anxiety of a job interview from Undercover Recruiter @undercoverRec and Casey Fleischmann @caseyjfleisch


Updated mobile app for local & hidden Toronto GTA jobs

Part of our mission is to help job seekers find full-time, salaried work in Toronto GTA. You don’t have to take our word for it.

How have we taken action? We have updated our mobile app (with more updates to come) It’s the first of its kind anywhere where tags and mapped results make it easy to find hundreds of local & hidden jobs. More? Check out the zenPeak website for help with resumes, interviews, success stories and more.

Stay away from people like you (until you get a job)

A Job Seeker needs support and encouragement but a job group is the wrong place to get it – anyone at a job club who gets a job will disappear so fast they won’t even leave a vapour trail. Why? because they are happy to brush off the stink and misery of not having a job. That’s the truth.

What is your job search mindset?

There are different Candidate “mindsets” around getting a Hiring Manager to offer you an interview. One mindset is “I could be really good in the job, and if they just gave me a chance, they would see” This mindset is usually accompanied by a resume that is generic, and not customized to the opportunity…Another mindset is built around improving your statistical chances of getting the interview. It involves more working and less hoping.

Mistakes that Unsuccessful Job Seekers Make

Here is a short list of lackadaisical job seeker behaviors:

1. Returning calls days later rather than hours or minutes later.
2. Losing self control in conversations and either talking too much or not answering questions.
3. Spending the majority of time at home applying for jobs online.
4. Sending out mass emails asking for help.
5. Finding escapes from working at it, such as television or shopping or golf.
6. Attending group networking events, job fairs, etc.
7. Wasting time and precious energy blaming a boss (or the economy or a spouse or others) for the current situation.

Book offers a brash new take on working moms

Reva Seth, whose new book The MomShift explores the stories of real-life women and how they navigate parenthood and career success. Paradoxically, Ms. Seth focuses on women who often became more successful after they had children. For the most part, the experiences of these women aren’t glamorous like Sheryl Sandberg’s. Yet the stories she reveals are ones we can relate to and are, frankly, remarkable.

Are you ready to tell your story?

If you can find a balance between demonstrating competency & experience, while at the same time, creating genuine interest in “your story” then you’ll get noticed, and get someone excited. A few success stories can make the difference! …………. Then the reader is nodding their head as they read your resume, learning about you, getting excited about you, and thinking… this is exactly the kind of person we need

Advice from a New Entrepreneur

I am connected to the writer, Stephanie St. Claire through facebook, and when I saw the title of her post, I checked it out right away.

“11 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business”

One of the options for a mid-career job seeker is to go into business for themselves; taking their passion or skill, from cooking to construction and creating their own opportunity if no one else is offering them one. Stephanie gives very solid advice based on her own personal experiences. I think she has identified a lot of traps new entrepreneurs fall into — my hand is up 🙂  btw and waving around — Have a look and judge for yourself if doing your own thing sounds scary and exciting at the same time, or just very very scary!

Questions to ask at the end of your Job Interview

Your job interview is over, and it went on for a long time, and you think its a match!  Sometimes this is true, but more often than not, a long interview doesn’t mean you have the job. Many Candidates have told us the interview went on for a long time and was great, and when we talk to the Client, there isn’t any serious interest in them.

Getting a face to face interview is hard, and if you manage to get one, whether its short or long, consider being prepared for the moment when you are asked… Any Questions?

The first five minutes of an interview are critical; of course there are the first impressions about you, and usually the interviewer will share the key requirements of the job and their goals for the person they hire. Listen carefully! and make notes if you can. This will help you later when you are invited to ask questions.

Probably towards the end of the interview you may be  asked… Any Questions?  The best way to ask the questions is to first start off with a thank you for the interviewer’s time, then get outside your “internal script” and the thinking of everything I have done and switch over to what they want… “What I Can Do For You!” Your questions should capture the key requirements they have already told you, and drill into:

  1. “Are there any concerns about me from my experience or today’s interview that would prevent you from hiring me?” – Its direct, but you get an opportunity to clarify or fix issues that you won’t get a second chance to do.
  2. “What are the company’s long-term goals?’ (if not discussed) – here is your chance to get onside with “What I Can Do For You!”… beyond salary, job, hours
  3. “How will you measure my success if you hire me?” – You get a chance to close the distance between you, the company, the hiring manager and the opportunity. Its great for understanding expectations, and prepares you  for a follow up and the rest of the interview process.

Remember, finish strong and don’t worry about risking chances with a few questions
(source: Forbes)

and, here are a few questions you shouldn’t ask (also from source: Forbes)





How the company got its name … zenPeak (the very short version)

The difference between our company, and most other Recruiters is that we try and keep our Candidates and our Clients “in balance”. Work, and having a job, is very important for a person’s self-worth. It is not easy being out of a job, or to be looking for a job. We respect those challenges for a Candidate, and treat their needs as importantly as the Client who needs to hire an employee.

We call the process of getting to know our Candidates… “internalizing”. When we speak with a Client, having “internalized” a Candidate, we are often excited about the match between the job, Client and Candidate. This is a holistic and meaningful way to connect a person with work. The added benefit of this up-front work is that we can identify peak performers and recruit them for our Clients; that is our motto… We Recruit Peak Performers for our Clients. (and that’s how the company got its name).

Why Use a Recruiter? Part 2 of 2

Quin Blake
Quin Blake
(647) 693-3078

Last month I wrote about the benefits of using a good recruiter from the Client’s point of view

 Now it’s time to share why, as a Candidate, you should find a proficient recruiter to assist you in your search for your next career opportunity.

Make sure you use a reputable recruiter. If you’re not familiar with any, ask around. A referral is always helpful when starting a relationship with someone where trust is essential. If you choose to search out a recruiter on your own, make sure that your best interests are their main concern and stay away from any recruiter who wants to charge you fees.

The Candidate

Whether you’re unemployed and actively seeking your next job or you’re happily (or not so) employed, but are interested in seeing what else is out there, a recruiter can be your greatest ally. Working with a trustworthy recruiter gives you a personal relationship with someone who can help you put your best foot forward.

First and foremost, you can be guaranteed discretion and confidentiality. This is crucial to the passive or currently employed Candidate as you wouldn’t want your boss to discover you’re shopping around and it also allows the active Candidate the freedom to trust that a dependable recruiter is acting in their best interest and isn’t just throwing their name out in every job search.

Thorough recruiters take the time to offer tips on interview skills & resume writing, coaching to get through the interview and properly promote yourself, they will even suggest how to dress or what not to wear if necessary.

When you use a recruiter you open yourself up to a variety of potential or “hidden” opportunities with only one resume. Recruiters know of positions that you probably don’t and they work directly with the decision-makers, getting your resume where it needs to be to get noticed.

At zenPeak, our driven recruiters will work just as hard to get you your next job as they will to help a client fill a position. Our Candidates are our currency in the human talent bank and we take the time to get to know each and every one to ensure that our investment in them has a high return.

So make your job search much easier and efficient – work with a recruiter!

Quin Blake
Recruitment Associate

(647) 693-3078

Staying Positive During a Long Job Search was setup by Robert & Jeanne Segal after their daughter Morgan committed suicide in 1999. The story is here.

It is an amazing resource for healthy living with a strong emphasis on mental health. They offer information and  links to help people cope.

For example,…

Staying positive during a long job search

A long job search can wear on your attitude and outlook, especially if you’re unemployed. If it’s taking you longer than anticipated to find work, the following tips can help you stay focused and upbeat.

  • Keep a regular daily routine. When you no longer have a job to report to every day, you can easily lose motivation. Treat your job search like a regular job, with a daily “start” and “end” time. Following a set schedule will help you be more efficient and productive while you’re unemployed.
  • Create a job search plan. Avoid getting overwhelmed by breaking big goals into small, manageable steps. Instead of trying to do everything at once, set priorities. If you’re not having luck in your job search, take some time to rethink your goals.
  • List your positives. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, including skills, personality traits, accomplishments, and successes. Write down projects you’re proud of, situations where you excelled, and things you’re good at. Revisit this list often to remind yourself of your strengths.
  • Volunteer. Unemployment and job loss can wear on your self-esteem and make you feel useless. Volunteering helps you maintain a sense of value and purpose. And helping others is an instantaneous mood booster. Volunteering can also provide career experience, social support, and networking opportunities.
  • Focus on the things you can control. You can’t control how quickly a potential employer calls you back or whether or not they decide to hire you. Rather than wasting your precious energy on things that are out of your hands, turn your attention to things you can control during your unemployment,, such as writing a great cover letter and resume tailored to the company you want to work for and setting up meetings with your networking contacts.

Get Working NOW

This is my biggest passion in business, so I am thrilled to finally put a long-term program into place to help older, mid-career people get work.

In the next few weeks I will launch a comprehensive Online Course and Live Event that is designed to help these folks Get Working NOW. I know the course materials will upset the HR and career industry because it exposes the futility of conventional job searches for most people.  A lot of people make money on job clubs, networking events, resume design, coaching… that doesn’t work .

Stay tuned…

The #1 Interview Question AND How to Answer It!

Are you ready to answer the #1 Interview Question?

To start with lets mention the resume style and content that is most likely to get you the interview.

One of the most frustrating parts of a job search is dealing with all the advice you get about resumes. The best approach is a resume that gets you the interview, and helps you get the job! If we have one piece of advice it would be… Don’t make the person reading your resume, work hard to figure you out.

If you have a (numeric) results-oriented, functional style resume you are showcasing… WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU and not just everything that you have done.

Don’t make the person reviewing your resume work hard to figure you out.

So now you have a great resume and you got the interview! Are you ready for the #1 question you are likely to be asked?

OK here it is…

Tell Me About Yourself

The #1 question is not easy to answer UNLESS you are prepared so PRACTICE in front of the mirror over and over until your answer lasts about 20 – 30 seconds at the most,  you sound natural and confident. PRACTICE.

Tell Me About Yourself

you passion opportunity

YOU >>>> You need to give up some personal information. Something about YOU. If you don’t, the interviewer will think you can’t fit into the company, or that you are cold, secretive or not someone they want to have around. We suggest you share innocuous info. that is already on your resume such as (1) where you live now and (2) where you are from originally which is easy to figure out by looking at your high school location and finally (3) something personal related to family (spouse, children, parents, siblings. If you resist this question and say something dumb like “You’re not supposed to ask me that question”, the interview is most likely over. But the trick is to move on very quickly, without a beat. Don’t allow the Interviewer time to ask a follow-up personal question. Move on to…

YOUR PASSION >>>> Are you passionate about what you do AT WORK Yes? Great.    No… Whatever, fake it if you have to. Get excited about your career, the things you have done that are connected to WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU. Let the Interviewer start to see that you’re passionate about what you do AT WORK and it is right on target to what they need. Don’t talk about hobbies, trips, your favourite music etc. ONLY AT WORK PASSION. That’s why you are there.

Now just as quick move on to the OPPORTUNITY >>>>

“and,  I am very excited about the opportunity to  _ _ _  here”

This final part should be EXACTLY AS QUOTED ABOVE. It brings back the answer to why you are sitting there. The most likely follow up question in the interview will be about the opportunity, the job and hopefully your passion for it!

You have showed that YOU are going to fit in, and that you are a good trustworthy person by sharing a bit about yourself. You talked with PASSION about your work and then you expressed interest and excitement in the OPPORTUNITY. Don’t worry if you think it will sound prepared – it won’t. It will sound professional and poised;  much better than stumbling for words, or going on and on about things the interviewer isn’t interested in.

Please comment if you found this post helpful or interesting!

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Career & Life Choices: job vs. self-employed vs. business owner – 3 of 3

  1. Ever thought about going into business for yourself, and wondered if you are the right type?
  2. What are the differences between being self-employed and business ownership?
  3. How do you reduce the risks of being self-employed, on commission, or starting a business?

How do you reduce the risks of being self-employed, on commission, or starting a business?

In part 1 we linked to the XL Wealth approach to help identify your success profile.

In part 2, we touched on the difference between self-employment, running a business, and the relative security of being a successful salesperson (and being a revenue & profit generator) vs. having a job and being a cost center.

In this 3rd part we share zenPeak’s risk reduction for self-employment, running a business, and working in a commissioned job.

For self-employed persons needing peak performing assistants or staff, and for businesses needing peak performers in every role, our NO RISK recruitment process and pricing is guaranteed to deliver. We even have special pricing for recruiting commissioned salespersons that are NO RISK to you.

What if starting or owning a business is impractical, and/or your skills are not suited to being self-employed?

Consider the security, and high income enjoyed by successful commissioned salespeople. This week alone we have 3 sales roles, in our client companies, where the top performers (all women by the way) earned $175,000 – online ad listings, $ 160,000 – telecom sales, and $180,000 – mortgage sales, respectively;  each of them can walk into any competitor and get a sales position instantly. That’s security!

zenPeak  has a number of these sales position opportunities that we call “certified”. What does this mean? The bottom line is that we carefully select the positions and companies we recruit for to make sure they offer the potential for high income earnings.

  1. The Hiring Company is strong and has been in business for at least 10 years.
  2. The Hiring Company has marketing programs in place to support sales and the sales force to grow the business.
  3. The Hiring Company has training and support programs in place to assist new hires.
  4. The Hiring Company is local and operates out of permanent professional facilities

Career & Life Choices: job vs. self-employed vs. business owner – 2 of 3

  1. Ever thought about going into business for yourself, and wondered if you are the right type?
  2. What are the differences between being self-employed and business ownership?
  3. How do you reduce the risks of being self-employed, on commission, or starting a business?

What are the differences between being self-employed and business ownership?

According to Robert Kiyosaki, being self-employed and earning income based on an hourly rate or owning your job, is different from being a business owner. A business owner can earn income regardless of being at the office and/or working day to day. A doctor or dentist or real estate agent for example, are self-employed but still depend on their own day to day involvement and input to earn the bulk of their income. Being self-employed removes you from the insecurity of having a job and the possibility of being fired.

If you are a high-producing commissioned salesperson, you may not be technically self-employed, but the risks of being fired and not being able to replace your job, are low; since you clearly contribute to revenues and profits vs. being an expense or drain on a business.

If you are not comfortable having your own business, and are more inclined to being self-employed or secure in a commissioned sales role, then give some thought to how to increase your chance for success. It’s not just what you sell, but where and for whom that counts!

Career & Life Choices: job vs. self-employed vs. business owner – 1 of 3

  1. Ever thought about going into business for yourself, and wondered if you are the “right type”?
  2. What are the differences between being self-employed and business ownership?
  3. How do you reduce the risks of being self-employed, on commission, or starting a business?

1. Are you the right type to be in business for yourself?

Whether you are fresh out of high school with “fire in the belly”  to build an empire, or mid career, out of a job and looking for an alternative to a job search that isn’t going anywhere,  being in business for yourself will be easier with self-awareness of what you are “good” at, and best suited for.

One of the most interesting approaches to developing self awareness and understanding how you fit is offered by Roger Hamilton’s  XL Wealth Dynamics.

Each of us has a path of least resistance that is based on our natural habits and talents – the ones we were born with. If we are not on our path, life can be a struggle. When we follow our path – and begin to play the game that we most naturally play, we begin to excel. We also find we are doing what we love. These are the eight wealth profiles.

The message is not about whether you should be in business, but discovering what role, or wealth profile  you are best suited for in order to be successful.

  • Mechanic
  • Creator
  • Star
  • Supporter
  • Deal Maker
  • Trader
  • Accumulator
  • Lord

Why do some people not like the idea of a sales job?

Fear, misunderstanding, laziness,ego/status perceptions.

  • fear: not being a good salesperson
  • misunderstanding: thinking every sales role is the same
  • laziness: really don’t want to work hard
  • ego/status perceptions: salespeople have a bad reputation

How about you… Have you ever thought about a SALES job?

Common Answers… “I’m not a salesperson” or… “I don’t like sales”

Are you currently looking for a job?  Frustrated?  Not getting good interviews? Did you know that hundreds and thousands of people compete against each other and apply every single day for every single salaried job,  they never get an interview and they are still unemployed. Did you know many people are under-employed, making less $ than they should based on their efforts, talent, education or experience?

zenPeak has a number of jobs currently available.

We can help you. Even if our Clients don’t offer you a position, you will learn and benefit from our recruitment process. Our process includes interviews, testing, assessments, interview coaching, resume repair and it costs you nothing.

Who is zenPeak?

Our company recruits peak performers for our Clients. We have a system that makes sure a person is right for the position, and that they will perform at a high level.

zenPeak has a number of jobs currently available.

Technology companies
Software companies
Mortgage companies
Financial Planning and Investment companies
Administrative Services companies

Are you ready to TAKE ACTION and get on track to making GOOD MONEY and having REAL SECURITY?  Did you know that the most secure job is always in sales? Top performing salespeople never have to worry about finding a job. We have a number of SALES positions in the GTA and Ontario available NOW for the right person.

Are you ready to work hard and change your life and get real job security!?

Our Clients don’t just hire anyone. Many of these opportunities include base salaries and a guaranteed flow of business. You need to go through our zenPeak recruitment system which is built to recruit peak performers for our Clients.

The good news is that our assessment looks past your resume, and looks at What You Can Do For The Company and for Yourself.

Why do some people not like the idea of sales?

  1. They are lazy and they don’t want to work any harder than they have to once they get a job – please please look elsewhere
  2. They want a steady salary – no problem! many of our opportunities include a base salary
  3. They think they won’t find customers – no problem! many of our opportunities hand you fresh quality business leads from multi-million $ advertising programs
  4. They think they are not good salespeople – there are different types of sales. Our system can determine which you will succeed at
  5. They think it is not a good career – the truth is… the wealthiest and most successful people have always been salespeople selling products and services

Our company recruits peak performers for our Clients. We have a system that makes sure a person is right for the position, and you will perform at a high level.

Are you ready to TAKE ACTION and get on track to making GOOD MONEY and having REAL SECURITY?

call me now

Frank Abrams
CEO and Founder
416 733-3001

Inside Mortgage Salesperson

I’m just so excited about this new opportunity we are working on. Why? …. qualified potential business leads.

Its a role for an Inside Mortgage Salesperson; a licensed position at a great company that has a steady flow of quality leads and potential business. Yes, you have to work hard and generate your own business too but almost everyone need a mortgage!  and imagine being given the support, training AND qualified potential business leads ready to be serviced. Another great aspect of this opportunity is the office environment; professional and low-pressure. Not licensed? The company will help you quickly get trained and government licensed.

details if you are interested: Inside Mortgage Salesperson – full-time.

This position is ideal for a person looking to earn between $50,000 and $80,000 in their first year, at one of Ontario’s largest financial companies. Location is near Steeles and Woodbine.This opportunity is unique. It is suited to a person who is driven to succeed, and wants to work in an office environment at a great company and get a steady flow of potential business, along with support and training to be a licensed mortgage salesperson.

Next step is to send us your resume, and request to arrange a short telephone interview to determine your potential fit to the opportunity. These telephone interviews are conducted 7 days a week every morning. zenPeak employee recruitment has a system to recruit peak performers for our Clients. Save all your questions for the telephone interview. We will discuss this position and any other jobs that we have to fill that make sense for you. Even if you are unsure of this particular opportunity, we have other positions.

Interested? Know someone who may be?  call me 416 733-3001 Frank Abrams

The Mancession: Men are struggling to find jobs

“Create Your Own Opportunity”

unemployment by gender
unemployment by gender

Suze Orman shared some great insights on CNN last night about how men differ from women in looking for work. Male unemployment is significantly higher, and she attributes a few reasons.

(1) men look for a new job at their old salary level – women will take lower paying jobs to earn money

(2) women are paid less and thus employers save money by hiring women, and

(3) men turn job hunting into a full-time effort, or take time off, rather than settle for a lower paying job like women

The conventional modern wisdom was that you would have many jobs in your career vs. having a job for life. It looks like that is changing for men and women.The new reality is men may go from job to contract to partnership to contract to business to job to job. Today, don’t bet on one job after another.

Imagine going to an interview with loads of experience (most of which is quickly outdated) competing with someone younger and cheaper.

You will likely strike out.

Why? The interviewer knows that you will be chronically unhappy at a fraction of your previous pay. The person interviewing you  is likely to be closer in age to the younger and cheaper candidates. Union and Government jobs may be an exception.

So what is the answer?

The solution is to change your approach and by that I don’t mean buy a franchise or start a business. The new approach is to…

  • shed your pattern of job hunting and stop applying online for dozens of jobs. Spend your time each day on the 1 or 2 jobs in your “sweet spot”. Stop applying to those online jobs that aren’t 100% on target for you. And when you find a job that is a perfect fit, pick up the telephone and start calling the company to get an interview asap
  • stop going to job networking events, filled with other jobseekers – go to events every night and on weekends like special interest meetups etc. – anywhere that career or jobs IS NOT THE FOCUS. Never say “I’m looking for a job”  If the subject comes up, and you think you can help someone, or someone they know,  talk for a few seconds about… “What I Can Do For You” and then shutup.  Be in demand and be busy. and of course get enough contact info. for follow up.
  • build a unique “What I Can Do For You” resume for each opportunity follow up. see here
  • Learn how to “Create Your Own Opportunity”

“Mancession.” The term may spur a few smiles and snickers, but for thousands of men, it is no laughing matter. For the first time in economic history, the male unemployment rate has surpassed the female unemployment rate. The December 2008 unemployment rate for men was 7.9 percent, versus 6.4 percent for women. The U.S. economy lost 2.956 million jobs in the last year, and a full 82 percent of pink slips have been handed to male workers. This translates to more than two million unemployed men in America compared to about 460,000 jobless women. The worse news for men is that the gap in jobless rates between men and women has been increasing for the last eight months and may continue to do so. – Bright Horizons