I Got the Interview. Now What?

I got the interview. Now what?

– Submitted by Ben Pitts, Career Coach for Goodwill of North Georgia

Out of a stack of who knows how many résumés, yours was chosen as a potential fit for the job. You received the call. You remained calm while scheduling the date and time, and then did a little happy dance after you hung up. You know you are a good fit for the job. All you have to do is tell them why. Simple, right? But what will they ask? How should you respond? How should you dress? Job interviews involve a number of different choices, each sending a different message to the employer. Luckily, Career Connector – an online job search resource – is here with tips and information to help you enter the interview room prepared to impress.

When I was a Career Coach at the East Athens Career Center, interviews was the topic that seemed to stress job seekers the most. They had past interviews where they did not know how to prepare. So they entered the interview room unsure and unconfident. But a simple trick showed them how to prepare for the interview, which boosted their confidence and enthusiasm for the interview, which increased their chances for success. Several job seekers came back to tell me about their experience. So what is the trick?

The trick is that you already know what the interviewer is going to ask. No, I don’t have a cheat sheet for you. The company already gave you one. It’s right there in the job description. All of the qualities and experience the company needs is right there. All you need to do is go through the job description:

  1. Turn the desired skills/qualifications and responsibilities statements into questions.
  2. Practice how you will answer those questions.

For example, “Plan the production schedule for the build cycle” becomes “Are you familiar with or do you have experience in production scheduling?” Or, “Proficient Computer Skills” becomes “What computer systems and software are you familiar with?”

How you answer the questions will set you apart from other candidates. Simply answering that you have production scheduling experience is good, but telling a story about a time you overcame an obstacle while scheduling or how you improved scheduling procedures at your previous company is even better. For each question, try to recall an event where your actions demonstrate the answer.

Don’t worry if you are unable to do this for all of the questions or even answer all of the questions. Just like with other tests, you do not need to score 100% to make the grade or get the job.

For additional tips on interviews, check out Career Connector’s “Interviews” topic and “Interview Questions” article at www.careerconnector.org

Click the link below for a printable version of the latest blog post from Career Connector, powered by Goodwill®.



Kidz2leaders and Leadership Johns Creek on The Good Works Show

Mother Theresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

This week, The Good Works Show features two organizations creating those ripples. First, Atlanta’s kidz2leaders works with children of imprisoned parents, teaching them leadership and life skills, and hoping to break the cycle of incarceration. Then, Leadership Johns Creek offers development opportunities for Atlanta’s emerging leaders. Creating a pipeline of effective professionals, the program also provides avenues to give back to the community.


In the show’s first segment, Executive Director Nancy Staub talks about the 17-year-old kidz2leaders program.

“Kidz2leaders exists to change the direction of the lives of children of inmates,” she says.

The 501c3 was founded by Diane Parrish, who encountered three generations of women from the same family, all in prison.

Leadership Johns Creek board member Todd Burkhalter joins the show in its last segment to talk about the program, and the impact it has on its participants and the community at large.

“We are a series of structured learning environments,” he says. “It’s a pretty unique thing that we design ourselves to create leadership talent and mature our current talent in our community.”

The program selects 25 individuals to go through a nine-month leadership training. They are broken up into groups to also work on a project to help the community in some way.

To learn more about these “ripple effect” organizations, catch the show Saturday at noon on News Radio 106.7 FM or listen at your leisure to the podcast.

Check Out the AJC’s How-To Guide on Thrifting

Goodwill of North Georgia got a shout out from the AJC’s Access Atlanta section in “5 hacks for thrifting Atlanta’s consignment racks” by Sarah Buehrle. There are some great tips in the article, and we are honored to have made the cut!

An additional thrifting tip for our stores includes shopping the discount days. Every Tuesday is Senior Discount Day and we have Thank You Thursdays for service workers, including military personnel, firefighters, police officers and emergency medical services employees. Of course our Color of the Week rotation starts over every Sunday and is available to all shoppers.

Do you have any thrifting tips of your own? Share them in the comments section below! As always, happy hunting to all…


Three Storage Tips That Will Help You Declutter

As the leaves start to fall and the holiday season rapidly approaches, it’s time for some fall cleaning and organization. Finding spaces for all of the excess stuff lying around the house may be easier than you think! Not only is your stuff truly someone else’s treasure, but there are various storage hacks that will revamp and organize your spaces.

Baskets make storage simple and attractive.
Baskets make storage simple and attractive.

Use baskets for organization and storage. The options for using baskets as storage containers are limitless. Baskets can be used to store items from utensils to toys. Baskets can also be placed anywhere in the house from tops of counters to under cabinets. Find your next basket at a Goodwill store near you.

After a year, donate the clothes hanging on hangers still facing the wrong way.
After a year, donate the clothes hanging on hangers still facing the wrong way.

One simple trick to decluttering your home is the reverse clothes-hanger method. To help identify pieces of clothing that haven’t been touched in months, hang all of your clothes in the reverse direction. Once you wear an item, return it to the closet facing the correct direction. After 6 months, you’ll clearly be able to visualize which clothes need to be donated. Decluttering your closet will provide more hidden storage space for all of the other miscellaneous items in your house.

Photo credit: @thriftdecor
Photo credit: @thriftdecor

Thrift a piece of furniture. Storage spaces don’t need to be dull or outrageously expensive. Up-cycle a piece of Goodwill furniture to add flare to your living space, while providing large amounts of hidden storage.


Leadership Tip from Usher’s New Look Alumna Kamera Cobb

Usher’s New Look alumna Kamera Cobb learned a thing or two from going through the four-year program. One of the many leadership tips she picked up while participating with the nonprofit? Networking, and how you present yourself, is key.


She emphasizes this with the current students of the program, with whom she advises. “It’s all about eye contact, a firm handshake, and speaking clearly,” she tells them.

These tips are also critical when interviewing for a job. First impressions are key, and even the littlest component of the initial meeting can contribute to the overall success of the interview. Beyond eye contact and confidence Cobb suggests, here are a few more ways to make your mark.

  1. Don’t be late. But don’t be too early. The potential employer might have a very busy schedule, so don’t show up too ahead of your interview, making them scramble to be available.
  2. Dress appropriately. This will likely be the first time you have met the employer face-to-face. Make sure you wear something that fits well, is ironed and clean, and is professional.
  3. Practice your elevator speech. All interviews are different, but it’s usually a given that you’ll be asked to tell the interviewer a little bit about yourself, and why you are a good fit for the job. Be prepared with this answer.
  4. Treat everyone with respect. You aren’t just trying to impress the interviewer. Make sure to be kind and appreciative to everyone from the secretary to the CEO.
  5. Send a handwritten thank-you note. Emails and quick communications are the norm. Stand out by taking the time to write, and mail, an appreciation for the time of your interviewers.

For more job and leadership tips tune in to The Good Works Show on Saturdays at noon on News Radio 106.7 FM or catch the podcasts at https://soundcloud.com/thegoodworksshow.

Back-to-School Style

Get your school gear with us - from lunchbox to file organizer.
Shoes in many sizes, colors and styles.
Shoes in many sizes, colors and styles.
Get your school gear with us - from lunchbox to file organizer.
Get your school gear with us – from lunchbox to file organizer.
If preppy is more your style, we've got you!
If preppy is more your style, we’ve got you!
Find statement pieces and classic staples for your back-to-school look.
Find statement pieces and classic staples for your back-to-school look.
Let it go... into the backpack :)
Let it go… into the backpack :)
No matter your team of choice, get the look for less at your local Goodwill.
No matter your team of choice, get the look for less at your local Goodwill.
Gear up for the school year for less.
Gear up for the school year for less.
Cover your bases for back-to-school season and football season at one place... your local Goodwill.
Cover your bases for back-to-school season and football season at one place… your local Goodwill.

Decorate Your Dorm… For Less

Maximize your closet space with new (gently used) hangers!

Back-to-school season is in full swing! Whether you’re decorating your desk, dorm or college apartment, do it for less with thrifty finds from your local Goodwill. These items were spotted at the Goodwill stores in West End and Decatur. Household items like cups and plates are always in stock. Storage shelves, stereo equipment, books, binders and desk organizers also regularly make it to our sales floor. Start your treasure hunt today! You never know what you will find…

Stock your apartment or dorm with plates from Goodwill.
Stock your apartment or dorm with plates from Goodwill.
Liven up your desk or dorm room with thrifted finds.
Liven up your desk or dorm room with thrifted finds.
Let there be light for all those all-nighters and final exam cram sessions.
Let there be light for all those all-nighters and final exam cram sessions.
For study session background music or weekend parties.
For study session background music or weekend parties.
Maximize your closet space with new (gently used) hangers!
Maximize your closet space with new (gently used) hangers!

Leadership Tip from Elisa Buckner, Summerhill Community Ministries

never give upLeading an organization (or department, or project at work) can be hard, tiring work. But, according to Elisa Buckner, Board Member of Atlanta’s Summerhill Community Ministries, it’s important to stay strong and focused, and get through the task at hand, no matter what.

“Never give up,” she said. “There are definitely times when the funding might not be there, or challenges might come up and you feel overwhelmed, but don’t give up. When you are working with people and you are working with real, live beings, you want to keep encouraging, keep teaching, and keep giving positive alternatives to what may be a very dark situation that they are in.”

As a leader, how can you inspire others (and yourself) to keep going with the work gets tough?

  1. Break it down. Sometimes work can be overwhelming. Take the project or work one step at a time, setting smaller, achievable goals and benchmarks. Focus on the smaller pieces that will eventually make up the whole puzzle.
  2. Stop to smell the roses. Or, to take a walk. Or, to have dinner with a friend. Encourage staff to take time for themselves. If the work is hard and stressful, they will need some moments to recharge and refresh, and come back ready to try again.
  3. Celebrate small wins. Motivate the team by recognizing accomplishments along the way.
  4. Show them the bigger picture. The project at hand may cause some long hours and sleepless nights, but it’s all part of the larger mission. Accomplishing the task will set the organization up for success.

Leadership Tip from The Good Works Show

Howard Lubert, Managing Director of the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund, joined The Good Works Show to talk about Rowan’s investment initiatives, but also left listeners with a leadership tip.


“Smart investors invest in jockeys, not horses,” he said. “We are looking for leaders who generate the kind of strength and charisma and trust that make us want to write checks. It’s not about the cure for cancer, and it’s not about the key fob that finds your keys. It’s about the guy who can gather the troops and make things happen and generate that loyalty and trust.”

But how does an effective leader build loyalty and trust? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Encourage open communication. Allow your staff and team to speak freely about their work and their ideas. Let them know their opinions are valid and valued.

Collaboration is key. Each part of the team plays a key role in the work. Remind them that working together is critical to success. This will help form bonds and connections within the organization.

Invest in your employees. Let your team know their professional development is a top priority. The organization is only as strong as each individual member, so ensuring each employee both maintains their skills and grows in their position.

Don’t micromanage. Trust that you have put together a strong team. By giving them some freedom to do their work, you’ll show your staff you have faith in their abilities and competencies.

Promote a positive work culture. Recognize the efforts of your team, and applaud jobs well done. Show your staff you appreciate the time they put into their work, and that the organization couldn’t succeed without them.

Hear more from Howard Lupert on the Healthcare Angels podcast of The Good Works Show at http://goodwillng.org/goodworks.