ALLENTOWN, Pa. (WLVT) — A top level executive is sharing tips about how to nail a job interview in her new book.
Capital BlueCross Lehigh Valley executive and vice president Anne Corley Baum — who has interviewed dozens of job candidates over the years — is sharing over 25 years of experience to help job seekers in "Small Mistakes, Big Consequences for Interviews."
"I want to share my experience with others so that they can avoid mistakes that I’ve learned about along the way," Baum told PBS39. "I love to mentor and empower people. That gives me energy and inspires me. The book is sharing knowledge and teaching people how they can be successful."
ROAD TO SUCCESS
Baum says family and community leaders are some of the people who helped to propel her career forward.
"My parents always said: You can do whatever you want to do, as long as you work hard and do your best. That’s a great message, especially for women in business," said Baum. "It never dawned on me that my gender would get in the way of my success. I try not to let gender — or any barrier — get in my way. Another mentor of mine was Elmer Gates, a community pillar here in the Lehigh Valley. He was a phenomenal mentor to me. Elmer told me to not just go out and be your best, but to go out and lead."
Before you apply to a job, she says, it’s important to do some research about the role and the company.
"I’m always impressed with someone who is well prepared for an interview. People who research the role, the company and even the leadership team," Baum explained. "I appreciate when people ask questions at the end when we say: Do you have any questions for us? It’s not the time to ask: What’s the pay scale? Instead, ask things like: What does success look like in this role? What are the results you’re trying to achieve? Solid questions that tell me that this person wants to understand our company and where we’re going. I like to see that they’re interviewing us as much as we’re interviewing them."
EVERY SECOND COUNTS
Baum says making a good first impression is vital to performing well in a job interview. According to Davitt Corporate Psychology, a first impression is formed in the first seven to 17 seconds in which you meet a person.
"The instant that you step into the room or log onto the video conference, you have to present the best version of yourself," Baum stressed. "Whether we like it or not, that first impression is so important. It starts with body language and is followed up with facial expressions and tone of voice."
KNOW YOUR MISSION
While it’s important to be confident — Baum warns against coming off as boastful or arrogant.
"The over confident, overachiever is one of the characters that I highlight in my book. They come to the interview and tell you how they’re going to turn the company around, and they tell you what’s wrong with your company. When you approach an interview that way, you come off over-confident and like a bragger. It turns people off right away. You need to show that you fit the role that you’re applying for and discuss the skills you have that make you the right person for the job," she explained.
When you apply to a job, she says, you should be able to express why you’re passionate about the role or company mission.
"When I was a young girl, if you had asked me if I wanted to be in the role that I’m in today, I wouldn’t have known to imagine this role. I’ve always pursued roles where I believe that I can make a difference and at places where I’m passionate about the work being done," said Baum.
FIND YOUR BALANCE
She shared this advice for work-life balance: "To me, finding a balance varies day-to-day. You have to constantly assess your priorities each day. There’s no magic formula. Sometimes, your priorities are banging up against each other — like a huge work meeting and a sick child. What do you do? You need a 'support tribe.' These are the people who help you make it through. Family, friends and neighbors. In some cases, your colleagues may be able to step in and handle a meeting so that you can go to the doctor’s office. The support tribe is another key to success."
You can find more of Baum’s tips in her book, "Small Mistakes, Big Consequences for Interviews." It's now available for purchase at most online book retailers.
Author Meet-And-Greet: Baum will be speaking and signing books at AM Luxe, 74 West Broad Street, Suite 280, Bethlehem, Pa. 18018 on Sept. 25 from 4-8 p.m.
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