SoloMoms! Talk
April 22, 2022

How To Confidently Master Your Next Job Interview w/Carrie-Lynn Hotson

How To Confidently Master Your Next Job Interview w/Carrie-Lynn Hotson

Attending job interviews can be a nerve racking experience.

Women especially, tend to lack the confidence necessary for a succesful job interview. Also, we tend to downplay solid skills we developed as moms due to lack of confidence in our own abilities.

Unfortunately, we sometimes don't know how to own our genius.

Carrie-Lynn is a former HR professional and Job Interview Coach. She shares her tips and strategies on how women can build confidence for a job interview. To do so they need to invest time to adequately prepare themselves for job interviews.


02:57 How to organize yourself for an interview. Free download to help you here.

04:10 Don't underestimate the skills you develop as a solo mother. Learn ways to apply them to the job description.

07:38 How to overcome interview fears

10:46 Missed opportunities during the interview process

Bio: Carrie-Lynn holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Carleton University in Criminology and has a postgraduate certificate in Human Resources Management. She has worked for 25 years as a coach, leader , facilitator, and HR Senior Manager. Six years ago she started a business entitled Job Interview Coach based entirely on her desire to help people better understand the Interview process and develop the confidence to Rock Their Next Interview.

Carrie-Lynn is also an aspiring author. Her non-fiction business guide illustrates the importance for organizations to uncover the underlying needs, interests and issues facing their employees. The book provides leaders with strategic tools, assessments, and practices they can utilize in “Knowing Who You Lead” will be available to readers this summer.

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[00:00:00] J. Rosemarie: SoloMoms! Talk was designed to curate the stories of solo moms globally. As a facilitator of this platform, I aim to create a peaceful environment where you can share your heart and be loved and get the advice you need. So if this sounds like you, why not RSVP for next virtual meetup? The link is below it's where you can retreat from the chaos of your life. [00:00:25] So you can recharge, connect with other moms and get answers to your burning questions. Remember, you're not alone and you don't have the parents in silence. [00:00:36] My guest today is, interview expert. Carrie-Lynn Hotson. Carrie-Lynn, thank you for coming and talking with me today, [00:00:44] Carrie-Lynn Hotson: Hi there, how are you?. [00:00:45] J. Rosemarie: I'm good. Thanks. So before we start, I want you to tell us who is Carrie-Lynn? [00:00:51] Okay. Carrie Lynn started her career about 25 years ago. I worked in the field of human resources. [00:00:59] I'm [00:01:00] also a mom of four. I have a wonderful blended family, so I've got older boys. And then my youngest is 17 and I'm the Nana of three. So. I love family love being around them and have definitely had to gauge a career around taking all those things into consideration. [00:01:18] All right. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate it. [00:01:22] So, from what I understand, you help women manage the interview process. but we also talk that a lot of it has to do with mindset. And maybe the self-confidence that women have going into interviews. So tell us one how women can prepare for interviews just generally. [00:01:45] Carrie-Lynn Hotson: Okay. Well, I think the first thing they have to do is believe in themselves so that when they're looking at those job postings, they don't automatically start to go to, oh, well, I can't do this, or I don't have a hundred percent of [00:02:00] these qualifications, so I won't even bother applying for that one. [00:02:03] And unfortunately, women traditionally have done this. I actually attended an international women's conference back in 2014. And I remember them telling us that, that we cut ourselves short, that we won't apply for the positions because we fill our heads with too many questions and thinking about the other candidates and what are they going to say? [00:02:23] And can I compete? And, you know, it's rather unfortunate. [00:02:26] J. Rosemarie: Right. [00:02:27] Yes. I, yeah, I understand that. I see that. And so we, like defeat ourselves before we even get all over the gate. But tell, tell us also when no, so we decide, okay, I'm just going to go for it. We get a burst of confidence and we say, all right, I'm going to apply for that job. But the chips fall where they may, how can we better prepare ourselves for an interview like that? [00:02:52] And I know this is kind of broad, but I I'm, I'm thinking that you can handle it. [00:02:57] Carrie-Lynn Hotson: That's okay. For sure. So the very [00:03:00] first step I tell people to do is take out that job description, that job posting that you've pulled up and now cross-reference it with your resume because that's the very first thing we have to do. [00:03:12] We have to figure what are they asking for qualifications? What are they looking for? So those are those assets. What skills and experience am I going to have to prove? And how I'm going to do it. One of the most difficult things for people to do at the beginning is getting themselves organized. Cause it seems overwhelming. [00:03:29] It's, it's a whole bunch of information on a piece of paper, and then you've got all these experiences that in your head, you can't figure out how you're going to match up. So if your listeners go to my website, jobinterviewcoach.ca. I actually have a free document. They can download because I felt like a lot of people didn't prepare for their interviews simply because they didn't know how to start to get organized. [00:03:51] So if they download the PDF, they can start to write the things along one column and then start making their correlations in their examples. One [00:04:00] of the really important things I think for some of your listeners to realize is that. You do not have to have done that job to be able to apply for it. [00:04:10] J. Rosemarie: Right. [00:04:10] Carrie-Lynn Hotson: We all come from such a vast background of experiences and opportunities and different things that we've experienced in life. That if that job description is asking for problem solving, for example, I can absolutely guarantee every single one of your listeners has some pretty fantastic problem solving skills. [00:04:32] As single moms think about, you know, the TV breaks down or something goes wrong with the car. How many times have you been out there with your phone? Googling it, watching a YouTube video. Underneath that thing, putting it back together, right. We're pretty innovative, pretty creative. We're good problem solvers. [00:04:52] And that is equally evident as it would be. If you were thinking you had to have been in a boardroom to make those [00:05:00] decisions or do that problem solving. So that's one of the things that I love doing with clients is helping them really build their confidence by. I'm not making up the examples. [00:05:08] They're your examples. I'm just pulling out the details from you and making you kind of proud of all the things that you've done. [00:05:15] J. Rosemarie: Yeah. Yeah, that's important. And we know how to herd cats. We'll be very, very effective in the work place. Right. Yeah. So it's just basically you're saying is that those soft skills that we have that we own as mothers of solo mothers, we can. Find ways to apply them. And that's probably something you do to help us find ways to apply them to that job description so that we could understand, we can answer the questions that we're being asked that, does that [00:05:49] sound [00:05:50] Carrie-Lynn Hotson: exactly now the key is and where a lot of people won't go far enough is they see problem solving, they think, okay, I have a really good problem solving example.[00:06:00] [00:06:00] And so they give it. But what you're trying to do for that interview panelist is prove that you know how to take those skills developed over here and apply them to the job that you're competing for. So what I need you to do is stretch it. The questions about problem solving. The example you give is the fact that yes, I can not only multitask and problem solve at the same time, I can be extremely innovative and realize that I can watch a YouTube video and figure out how to fix this thing and then do whatever.

[00:06:35] But beyond that, I recognize that in this job you are going to require me to be able to. Offer innovative solutions to ideas, participate in committees. And I believe the experience that I have generated in my life will enable me to do that because I do it blank. So you need to draw it back to the job. [00:06:56] And that's where a lot of people, I always say they leave marks on the [00:07:00] table. They don't make the connection. [00:07:02] J. Rosemarie: Right. Right. And I guess that goes back to the confidence, right? Because you're thinking, well, You know, this person was interviewing me, you know, they're college educated, they're the boss and all this stuff. [00:07:16] And I'm coming with, you know, I know how to say when I shop or something like that, but we don't, we don't realize how we can apply those skills to the job. repeating what you're saying. So how can we overcome, if you could give some more, some points on how we can overcome those interview fears? [00:07:38] Carrie-Lynn Hotson: Yeah. And that's very, very important because you're absolutely right. I also say that the interview is not the time to practice. The interview is not the time to try to suddenly build this confidence. You need to have done interview preparation. I can't stress it more to people. Interview preparation is not just grabbing the job description and writing out a few [00:08:00] examples and then going into the interview. [00:08:01] Because sadly, the reason I started this job in the first place created this business was because I was an HR professional. And I was the one sitting on the opposite side of the table. And sadly watching people crash and burn in the middle of an interview because they got so nervous and they didn't have the confidence they needed. [00:08:20] And I knew that on paper, they could do the job. But they still have to orally prove it to me in an interview. They have to make those connections for me. And so if there was anything I could tell people, it's please invest in the energy and the understanding of how to prepare for an interview properly, because I promise, I promise your confidence will come up as you do this. [00:08:43] I tried to create a bunch of different ways that people could learn this because everybody learns differently. Everybody has different amounts of time. I have a YouTube channel. It's Carolyn Hotson Job Interview Coach, where literally in eight minutes or nine minutes, I'm teaching you about how to prepare for [00:09:00] the video interview or how to answer the questions or how to start to think about your examples. [00:09:06] So listen to some of that. Get the document, start to organize your thoughts and really understand the job you're applying for because the more you understand it and the more you understand the organization you're applying for, the more you can kind of confidently feel like, yeah, I could become a part of this organization. [00:09:23] They want me, that's what you have to tell me, tell me why I want you. Why are you my best candidate? [00:09:30] J. Rosemarie: Yes. Thank you. Yeah. I guess confidence is the key preparation and confidence and the preparation will give you the confidence, right? [00:09:39] Carrie-Lynn Hotson: Yeah, that's right.

[00:09:40] J. Rosemarie: Okay. All right. What is Carrie-Lynn grateful for today? [00:09:43] I think it's the fact that I've now reached a time in my life where as all the mums know out there, eventually we get to a place where our kids don't need us quite as much. And so you can put yourself a little bit more at the Front, and set some of your own [00:10:00] priorities and chase your own dreams. [00:10:02] And so that's kind of where I am now, that, you know, this timing has allowed me to do that, but I want to pay it forward. I want to help people chase their own dreams and build that experience and build that confidence. And another way I do it is one-on-one coaching because there is nothing better than having somebody sit with you. [00:10:22] That knows what they're doing and can teach you while we're doing it rather than in the middle of the interview. So it's a lot of fun. I have a ton of fun with my clients and it's, it's awesome to watch how their confidence builds and their answers get more detailed when they realize things they've done in their own life. [00:10:39] All right. Thank you. Top interview, question women, miss opportunities on give me one. [00:10:46] Carrie-Lynn Hotson: Oh, for sure. Okay. The question, tell me about a weakness that you've identified and what you have done to improve it. So the first thing we do is think about all the negative things, [00:11:00] all the things other people have pointed out. [00:11:02] And this is one you want to practice, because if you haven't really thought about what you're going to say, you may say something that is really not going to get you any points in that interview. Don't tell them that you're always running late and you can never get anywhere on time. You know, unless you've got a plan, unless you've identified that and now realize that, you know, so instead I now get up half an hour early. [00:11:25] I prep the kids meals. I have set up support with neighbors so that I can leave earlier and somebody else can be putting them on the bus. Like things like that. If you can show me what you've done. Fantastic. That's a great. But if you're so focused on the things that you're doing wrong or that people think are negative things like, well, I don't tend to speak up enough. [00:11:47] I tend to be rather quiet. Well, if I'm hiring you to be a team player and a problem solver, I'm gonna want you to speak up. So I find sometimes people that self-defeating prophecy comes out in that [00:12:00] question. So it's when you want to think [00:12:02] about yeah. Yeah. That's what I struggle with too. That was a good one. [00:12:05] All right. Thank you. And how can we get in touch with you? Tell us about your offers again, you did mention one, but tell us that and the name of your YouTube, China, and your, your social and handle. [00:12:19] Yeah. So I I'm actually at hashtag Carrie Lynn Hotson all one word. Okay. I've tried to make it easy for people to easily find my stuff.[00:12:26] My website is www job interview, coach.ca. And on that, I have links to my YouTube channel, my free documents. I have a special on an ebook right now. Cause I know there's a lot of people graduating, you know, people have gone back to school. This is the time to go into that workplace. So that ebook is only $2.99 cents right now until the end of April. [00:12:48] And I have literally given you 140 different questions they can ask, but I'm explaining why, why are we asking this? What do we want you to say? How are you going to get some [00:13:00] marks? That's the important stuff that you need to understand? And yeah, there's YouTube channels. I love when people give me ideas of things that they would also like to learn.[00:13:09] I'm more than happy to make those for them, because I want people to be able to build the confidence, rock those interviews. [00:13:16] J. Rosemarie: Yeah. [00:13:17] Yeah. Oh, thank you. And I'll put those links in the show notes so people could have access to them. Thank you very much. Carrie-Lynn for coming and talking to me today. [00:13:26] One more question, before I let you go, as it relates to a solo mom, can you can you like condense one piece of advice? You give them if they're looking for a job, for instance, [00:13:42] Carrie-Lynn Hotson: I think. Believe in yourself and be honest with the employer. If there's certain flexibility that you may be requiring, I mean, some people ask me when should I tell them, should I wait till I get hired and then ambush them with, by the way, I can't work Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays, I can't work.[00:14:00] [00:14:00] Right. I think it's fair to have that honest discussion. And you can even call and ask HR those questions before you actually have the interview. Would they be willing or are they, do they have a flex schedule? Do they have the ability to accommodate? You're not selling yourself short. You're just being honest. [00:14:16] And I think employers who are truly inclusive and equitable are excited to have those conversations because we know the Incredible experience, you have to bring to our organizations. And so we want to work with you and make that POS. [00:14:30] J. Rosemarie: Yeah. Yeah. That's good advice because it takes the stress off you then, right. [00:14:34] You don't have to fret about oh, will happen. Okay. Thank you. Thank you very much, Carrie-Lynn, for coming and talking to me today, I really appreciate you. Anything else? [00:14:43] Carrie-Lynn Hotson: No, I think this is a great podcast. I was excited to see that you've created something for solo moms. That's fantastic. And if anybody has any questions or they just want a little bit of advice, please reach out to me. [00:14:54] Cause I would be more than happy to answer those questions. [00:14:56] J. Rosemarie: Thank you. Appreciate you.[00:14:58] I'm excited to share [00:15:00] that SoloMoms! Talk is now on YouTube. Check out these interviews on our new channel Solomon Talk TV. There, you will actually see the interaction between myself and my guest. You will also find bite-sized clips of daily inspiration to help you manage the struggles of everyday life.[00:15:18] So click SoloMoms! Talk TV below to watch now.

Carrie-Lynn HotsonProfile Photo

Carrie-Lynn Hotson

Job Interview Coach

Carrie-Lynn Hotson

Carrie-Lynn holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Carleton University in Criminology and has a postgraduate certificate in Human Resources Management. She has worked for 25 years as a coach, leader , facilitator, and HR Senior Manager. Six years ago she started a business entitled Job Interview Coach based entirely on her desire to help people better understand the Interview process and develop the confidence to Rock Their Next Interview.

Carrie-Lynn is also an aspiring author. Her non-fiction business guide illustrates the importance for organizations to uncover the underlying needs, interests and issues facing their employees. The book provides leaders with strategic tools, assessments, and practices they can utilize in “Knowing Who You Lead” will be available to readers this summer.