The Media is the Message

Listening to the recent trials and mistakes being made by one of the world’s larger companies, BP it struck me that Job Search is very like dealing with the media or press. Thinking back to earlier parts of my career where it was deemed necessary that I undertook training in how to deal with the enemy (the media) it all came into focus. I dusted off my notes and using them as a guide here are my suggestions translated into Job Search terms. Continue reading

Job-Search Tips: Preparing for Phone Interviews

You and the employer have two very different goals when you begin the telephone interview and our focus is to make this work for you.

The employer is often going to use this interview as a weeding process to get the many hundreds of applicants down to a manageable list that will be then invited to a face to face meeting. At a time when we have a larger than normal group of unemployed there is also a cost motive in reducing the face to face interview activity. When the employer first calls you to arrange the telephone screen make sure that you arrange a time that works for you and you have enough time to get organized. Continue reading

Job-Search Tips: Preparing for Phone Interviews

You and the employer have two very different goals when you begin the telephone interview and our focus is to make this work for you.

The employer is often going to use this interview as a weeding process to get the many hundreds of applicants down to a manageable list that will be then invited to a face to face meeting. At a time when we have a larger than normal group of unemployed there is also a cost motive in reducing the face to face interview activity. When the employer first calls you to arrange the telephone screen make sure that you arrange a time that works for you and you have enough time to get organized. Continue reading

Making hiring mistakes – A different perspective

Talking with a hiring manager the other day we got onto the subject of deciding between two great looking candidates. Here is the situation; he is trying to make a decision on hiring a regional sales manager. After 6 weeks of interviews and soul searching, this is after all a key position in a multi million dollar business they have come down to 2 candidates, both are smart, successful with great track records of motivating their teams and building awesome revenue numbers. Other considerations like relocation don’t apply so this comes down to just picking the right one. Continue reading

4 First Impression Screw Ups

In the job search process we have 4 chances to screw up that most important “First Impression”. It has been said that the first 3 to 5 seconds are the most important moments in any meeting and in job search those moments are not limited to face to face interviews. Continue reading

Questions to ask at first interview

As we have mentioned before, the goal in any interview is to develop a balance between interviewer and interviewee. You, the interviewee are not there as a supplicant rather as an applicant who has services for hire. You would not be there if your skills did not reach the minimum requirements.

Part of building the rapport between you is the ability of the applicant to ask asking-questionsgreat questions. Over the next few days we will be looking at some of the questions you should be asking and at which interview.

It is appropriate to have a list of questions with you, this shows some of your organization and research capabilities. It is also useful as a prop if you need a second to get your thoughts together, you can look at your list and make a note.

A great opening question is:

Why is this position vacant?  Followed by: What led to the vacancy?
The value of this question is that there are many paths that you can follow from here to gain some insight as to the corporate culture. If you have managed to achieve this interview through networking then you may have a contact that can give you some insight as to the current situation.

Further questions are then selected based on who the interviewer may be and your potential relationship to them. Below I have sorted a few of these questions into two “buckets”, the first are questions that relate to either the people or duties and the second is focused on the organization.

Section 1 – People or Duties

  • What are the major duties and responsibilities of this position?
  • What would a typical day on the job be like?
  • Is there someone in this, or a similar position I may talk with?
  • Based on past experience what would you suggest be done differently by the next incumbent?
  • Management style is important; can you tell me something about the current manager to whom I’d report? How would you characterize their style?
  • What would my exact duties be?
  • What are you the primary characteristics you will be looking for in the person who fills this position?

Section 2 – Organization

  • Is there an organizational chart available?
  • This position seems to have contact with other departments within the company. Can you tell me the access that the department has?
  • Are there any plans to downsize or increase current staff levels across the organization?

We will be posting another blog soon with questions more closely related to second interviews.

Good hunting

Barry

4 Keys to interview success – A different perspective

Let us, for one moment think about the interview process from the employer’s perspective and see if we can learn a little bit of how best we can help them make a decision in our favor.

What is the goal of every employer who is looking to hire someone? From the bottom position to the top, the objective is the same, find someone who can walk in the door on Monday morning, spend a few minutes with HR to discuss benefits, policies, etc. and then hit the floor running. Continue reading