Be prepared for 3 toughest interview questions

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(From Susan Ricker at “CareerBuilder. Read her entire article in the Courier-Post — Aug. 30, 2015)

1. Why are you leaving your current job, or why are you currently unemployed?

2. What is your greatest weakness?

3. Where do you see yourself in five years? (Be careful with this one, especially. You may not want to say “at a large New York City agency if you are applying for a job in Philadelphia.)

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Are you ready for your interview?

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(Portions taken from John Rossheim’s Philadelphia Inquirer “Monster” article.

1. Explore prospective employer’s websites

2. Use search engines to read the latest news about the organization.

3. Visit trade journals.

4. Use networking sources to contact current employees to help determine if prospective employer would be a good fit.

5. Since you have already Googled the prospective employer, be certain to Google yourself. Your prospective is Googling you so you had better know what’s online about YOU.

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How to stay on track this semester by EMU PRSSA

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This comes from Eastern Michigan University’s Public Relations Student Society of America — Sept. 9, 2015

By: Katie Gerweck

It’s the beginning of a new school year, and for me it will be my last. I’m heading into my senior year, which means my schedule is full of tough classes, PRSSA duties, and work. Although I know it will be overwhelming at times, I’m going to try to stay ahead of the game this year and not fall behind. Although it can be tricky to juggle your different responsibilities, there are some steps you can take now that will help the rest of your semester go more smoothly. It’s not too late to form good habits and be prepared!

  1. Make note of important dates and request them off work now.

Whether it’s an event for the club you’re in, an important family event, or a meeting for your second job, there are probably a couple days this semester that you’ll need off from work. Put them in the calendar in your phone or your planner so you won’t forget and request those days off from work as soon as possible to make sure you can attend.

  1. Get a planner and use it!

A lot of students start out diligently noting homework assignments in their planner, only to abandon the practice two weeks in. But keeping a planner is a great way to help you keep track of assignments and remind you of upcoming deadlines. Check out Rachel’s post on how to organize your to-do list for some helpful hints.

  1. Ask other students about the classes you’re taking.

If it’s early in the semester, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to expect from certain classes. How difficult is the class going to be? How does the professor run the course? Do you really need the textbook, or can you save $100 and just use your notes? If you’re not sure, find a student who has already taken the class and ask them for advice. You’ll feel more prepared.

4.Log off from social media.

Social media and websites like YouTube and Netflix can be distracting when you’re trying to get work done, and it’s hard to find the willpower to pull yourself away. If you know social media is going to be a problem for you, it might be time to take drastic measures. Before working on a big project, have your roommate change the passwords on your most distracting sites and keep them hidden from you until you get your work done.

Katie Gerweck is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism. She is the editor-in-chief for EMU PRSSA, and also works as a copy editor for the Eastern Echo. She was the copy chief for the Echo during the summer of 2015.

EMU PRSSA | September 9, 2015

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7 Powerful Tips To Improve Your Customer Service Department

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These tips come from Anita Zinsmeister at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. These are outstanding and I am happy to promote Dale Carnegie and share them with you.

  • Word count for this issue: 599
  • Approximate time to read: About 2.4 minutes @ 250 words per minute 
Great customer service is an integral component of every business. No matter what kind of product or service you provide, you need to excel at it.
Why Should You Care About Keeping Your Customers Happy?
  • Acquiring a new customer can cost 6 to 8 times more than
    keeping an existing customer.
  • Existing customers have a 12% higher profit margin.
  • Businesses that retain existing customers see a 9% higher
    growth rate.
Simply put, you need to keep your customers satisfied.  To that end, we have prepared a number of tips that are guaranteed to improve any customer service experience.
Tips To Improve Your Customer Service Department:
  1. Treat Customers With Respect – All too often, if a customer has a bad experience it is because of a disgruntled employee.  Perhaps an altercation put the employee in a sour mood, or a manager reprimanded them.  They could feel burnt out by their job.  Whatever the case, going the distance to treat employees well increases the likelihood that they will treat customers well. 
  1. Encourage Your Team To Become A Client Advocate – Perception can be a powerful force.  When an employee feels more independent, not tethered to their supervisor, it empowers them.  Encourage employees to think of themselves as a client advocate.  This will help give them a greater sense of independence and compel them to engage with customers more pleasantly. 
  1. Take The Right Action – Your customer service experience should never be “all talk”.  If you claim to have excellent customer service, prospects are going to expect it.  If their experience does not sync up with what you promised they become dissatisfied, meaning you will lose a customer.  Worse yet, if they express their dissatisfaction online or to colleagues it will not only hurt your sales, but also damage your reputation. 
  1. Be Proactive On Getting Everyone’s Feedback – Go beyond conducting customer surveys.  Designate one or more customer service employees as morale monitors who comb the Internet looking for feedback on your company — good and bad.  Never wait to receive bad news. The longer you let an issue persist the more difficult it may be to remedy. 
  1. Make Sure Your Customer Knows They Are Important – The more one-of-a-kind a customer feels the longer they will stay engaged with your business.  To accomplish this, offer them price cuts or coupons, and make every interaction feel less like a transaction and more like a conversation, a brief social moment that is uniquely theirs. 
  1. Resolve Your Customers’ Complaints Quickly – Answer all e-mail and phone calls within the shortest time possible.  Whether it’s less than 15 minutes or the next day, it is important for a customer to know when your company will be calling them back by setting the right expectations.
  1. The Owner Needs To Get Involved There are times when a customer is so upset that a call from the president or owner is necessary.  If your executive team takes a more proactive approach, it can lead to more high-value clients staying on board too!  
Executive Summary:  The first step to improving customer service is making sure you aren’t just talk.  That said, we recommend mystery shopping your own business to verify how well your customer service aligns with your philosophies.  Second, you can improve your customer service by improving the morale of the people on the front line.  Third, empower your customer service staff so they are able to engage in meaningful, problem-solving dialogues with your customers. 
Why Are So Many Employees Disengaged? (Forbes)  
The answer most often lies in managerial relationships. A recent national study by Dale Carnegie Training placed the number of “fully engaged” employees at 29%, and “disengaged” employees at 26% — meaning nearly three-quarters of employees are not fully engaged (aka productive). The number one factor the study cited influencing engagement and disengagement was “relationship with immediate supervisor.” Read More 
Abraham Lincoln’s Brilliant Method for Handling Setbacks (   
What was the secret of Abraham Lincoln’s success in dealing with people?  Incredibly, this is not just a question that a business journalist would ask.  Dale Carnegie himself–the legendary author of How to Win Friends and Influence People — asked the exact same question on page 8 of that famous book. Read More 
How to Be a Better Communicator in the Workplace (U.S. News Report)
Whether you are an aspiring leader or in a support role, developing your communication skills can impact your success.  First, let’s take a look at the complexities of communication.  It’s more than the words you use.  It’s how and when you choose to share information.  It’s your body language and the tone and quality of your voice.  Read More 
Today’s Inspirational Quote: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.” Steve Jobs

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