Warning! Don’t forget WHEN interviews start!!!
When does your interview start? Hint: It’s not when you’re sitting across from the interviewer. Your interview starts the minute you reach out to a company. (Do you sound professional and mature? Do you sound enthusiastic? Are you speaking clearly?) You’re being interviewed when you fill out your application (Can you follow directions? How’s your handwriting/grammar/spelling?). If an employer has to leave a message on your voicemail, what message are they going to hear? (“What’s Up? You know what to do… (BEEP!)” is just not professional.)
Once you’ve survived the application process, plan your interview day properly. Plan your route and your outfit, bring copies of your resume, a pen/paper, change for the parking meter, and give yourself a few minutes to find the building/HR office, etc. And once you arrive, of course, be nice to everyone (the receptionist is a KEY part of the interview process!!) and turn your phone on MUTE.
Remember to smile and give a firm handshake while looking your interviewer in the eyes.
If you’re a regular Jobcaser and have seen our Interview Tips, you have practiced interview questions & you’re prepared for the face-to-face conversation. Now that you’re here… You’ve got this.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Interviewing for Employers
Even as a recruiter with many years of experience I sometimes forget to adequately prepare for an interview. In fact, one of my biggest faults is forgetting a business card. How can I expect candidates to send me a “thank you” if I don’t share my info with them? So just make it easy on them and bring your business card! This is just one of the many things needed to prepare for interviews, no matter the role or the company. You want to ensure that you are providing every candidate with a positive candidate experience so that they walk away from the interview feeling excited for the role and hoping to receive an offer (whether they’re fit or not). Candidate experience continues to be of increased importance, and in today’s digital age a bad review of the company or interview process can show up when you least expect it. I put together a few things to DO to prepare for the interview, as well as a few DON’Ts when interviewing:
What questions will the interviewer ask?
We read/hear this all the time! And we're also often are asked how to best prep for an interview. So I thought I would address these both together (from a “what questions to prep for” perspective) and share something with you that I recently came across when researching what the most common interview questions are. Here's what I found.. https://www.uchastings.edu/career-office/docs/26.InterviewQuestions.pdf Now keep in mind that a number of these are directed towards a specific role, but the majority of them are universal. I hope this helps in your ongoing quest of how to prep in order to be able to clearly answer the questions in your interviews this week!
Good luck out there!
Talking yourself out of a job – or not
“WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?!” immediately went through my head. My second thought was, “Oh, no. My STAR candidate just TALKED HIMSELF OUT OF A JOB!” I had just asked my candidate to outline a strategy to achieve the primary goal of the position for which he was interviewing… and he said, “Oh, that would be hard. Those people (the clients) are awful to work with.” My candidate has 13 years of experience. He has built whole departments from the ground up, including in a startup environment. Is the job hard? Yes, no doubt. But he was INTERVIEWING TO GET HIRED. This is an example of someone who has talked himself out of the job.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not impossible to recover from saying the wrong thing. If he admitted that ‘that came out wrong.’ Or said, ‘The clients are tough, but I’ve had success doing (an example or 2 )…’ Or ‘I think clients would respond well to your company because I’ve seen (example) work well,’ we would have moved along and had a really engaging conversation. As it was, however, there was nowhere to go. I asked follow up questions to give him an opportunity to recover, to no avail.
Unfortunately, I could not move forward because he had just told me that he’s not interested in moving forward – because moving forward would mean working with (paying) clients who are ‘awful’. And he stuck to it. Sorry, but there are so many great candidates out there, I want someone who is excited by the challenge. Also, HE deserves to find a role that HE’S excited about.
And that’s the moral of the story: there are lots of jobs & lots of candidates out there in the world. Your experience is valuable – you are valuable – so take the time to understand what the new company needs, make sure your experience translates well, and use your experience to sell the heck out of yourself!
Ageism Part 2: Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this miniseries addressing Millennials, Wikipedia defines Ageism as “Stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age”. Let’s take a look at the perception of ageism around Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers.Through my reading and research around this topic I found a number of things and it has really opened up my eyes to ageism on all sides.
Right now Baby Boomers feel like they’re entering the last years of their working lives and feel that they’re viewed as road blocks by the younger generations. Baby Boomers have a perception of a strong prejudice against them. And in part they might be right as unemployment rates for workers over the age of 55 are significantly higher than younger generations. Baby Boomers also just want to continue to work but feel they’re the most likely to be eliminated in tough economic times, as companies can hire younger employees who do not require the same comp levels and are willing to work longer hours for less.
This doesn’t stop with the Baby Boomer generation, Gen X’ers feel that they’re being squeezed by the Baby Boomers not retiring, holding onto higher level roles that reduce the opportunities to advance. They feel that the Millennials coming in are scooping up more jobs while working for less, making the Gen X’ers feel at risk. And let’s be honest that Gen X’ers and Millennials tend to generalize the Baby Boomers as not being tech savvy. But let’s not forget that the Millennials have the advantage of coming in having grown up with social media, the internet, and having tech at their fingertips while the Gen X’ers had it from an early age too (Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Oregon Trail? I rest my case).
But let’s take a look at some of the positives to Millennials joining the workforce. While we may judge this generation for having everything handed to them and the whole “everyone gets a medal” mentality, they’re coming into the workplace with a louder voice. The women of this generation are far more comfortable calling out unprofessional and inappropriate behavior in the workplace than the Baby Boomers or Gen X’ers who have remained tight lipped for years for fear of either being told to sit down and keep quiet, or face retaliation. At the end of the day, I think the labels need to go and we all need to look at each other, regardless of age, and realize that no matter what age we are we all bring something different to the table and should learn from each other.
I’d like to open this up for discussion and I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or opinions on the topic. I just ask that we keep it positive and take it as a learning experience for all of us!
Importance of controlling your Attitude
“Attitude” is such an important topic and I just wanted to see what other people think about this. In my opinion, having a good attitude in the workplace is SO IMPORTANT! Even if you are having a really bad day, staying positive and calm can go such a long way in how your office/co-workers view you.
You always hear that “attitude” is something you can control but what do you think?
Resumes for Older Workers
Job searching is tough for anyone, but when you're over 40, it can be really confusing to fit all of your experience into a cohesive "story." Here are some resume-writing tips when you have a lot to write about: ~ Focus your resume. Don't overwhelm a manager with details - focus on one or two positions you're pursuing. Use a one-page resume, if possible; no more than two pages! ~ Use the right "key words". Read the job description very carefully and hone in on words you know will attract the recruiter's attention. Use specific examples to 'prove' you've got the right experience pertaining to those terms. ~ Leave graduation dates off resume. Be honest (always!), but don't highlight your grad date. Also, it's ok to omit anything prior to 15 years' work experience. (Especially since it's probably not relevant.) ~ Quantify your accomplishments. Write down all the key skills and traits you have that qualify for the job you want, and then write out specific incidences and examples that prove you have these skills and traits. Use percentages, dollar amounts, and quantities wherever possible, as they're tangible and persuasive. Emphasize current skills and the results you've obtained using them. ~ Stay current. Research your desired industry, company, and/or position so you know what's happening in the market TODAY. Use this information in your conversation with interviewers. ~ Be persistent and positive. The job market is tough for everyone ~ if you're not selected, you may never know why. Remind yourself of how awesome you are and bounce back quickly if you get rejected. The more lines in the water, the more fish you'll catch!
Good luck, Jobcasers!! Marijoy
Best profile pictures
I want all Jobcasers to get fantastic jobs! To help you achieve your dreams, follow 3 rules: friendly smile, dress for the job you want, and only show yourself in the picture. Hiring managers, owners, and HR folks are on this site every day, so you want to demonstrate how you'd present yourself to potential customers/colleagues/etc. No pets, no masks, wear a clean shirt, and smile - it makes you look approachable and professional. They aren't playing around and neither should you (not on a jobs site anyway).
No need to get a professional photo taken, just choose one that makes you look like someone YOU'D like to hire! And if you're not sure if your pic is OK, ask someone you trust about the picture you're going to publish to the world - this is your chance to show yourself in the best light possible... go for it, Jobcasers! You're awesome, so let's see it!!
Why does it take a WEEK to get an answer?
When a recruiter says, “I’ll get back to you in a week,” most candidates think, “WHY ON EARTH does it take a WEEK?!?” Here’s why: most recruiters are not the final decision makers. If they’re lucky (as I am here at Jobcase), they work with managers who feel personally responsible for getting the best possible team hired. They are responsive, decisive, and care about a candidate’s experience (whether or not they decide to hire the candidate). Unfortunately, even amazing managers like those at Jobcase have lots of things to do that don’t involve recruiting; as much as they want to control the speed of the hiring process, life/job/business gets in the way.
Also, remember that good recruiters LOVE hiring great people – it’s our job. You’re joining our team, so we WANT to do a good job for you and the company. We often have multiple candidates in the interview process at the same time. We need feedback from interviewers and often need to wrangle several very busy managers into a room to discuss the pros/cons of each candidate once they have a critical mass of candidates to discuss. Even if a recruiter is as efficient as they can possibly be, the timing of things can take a while. All of this is hidden, of course, from the candidate.
Are there ‘bad apples’ in the recruiting world? You bet. If you’re not selected & never hear back, that’s impolite & unprofessional behavior on the recruiter’s part (but it's typically not personal). Try to give the him/her the benefit of the doubt, if possible. Consider that you may not have insight into everything that’s happening within a company.
What a candidate can do: keep in touch, be patient, keep interviewing while a company is working through its process, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS be professional. It’s a small world & what goes around comes around.
Happy hunting! Marijoy