Month: April 2015

What to research before a job interview

BIG PART OF PREPARING FOR A JOB INTERVIEW IS RESEARCHING THE COMPANY. HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU STEP INTO THE INTERVIEW.

It can be easy to forget that a job interview should be a two-way street – not only is the employer trying to determine whether you fit their needs, but you should also be evaluating whether they fit yours.

Many job seekers don’t view the interview this way, and as a result, put themselves at a disadvantage. After all, most companies research candidates online before hiring them – and even if they don’t, you sent them an overview of relevant information about yourself – your resume.

Not only does researching an employer help even the playing field in the interview, but it also shows that you’re committed to getting hired. Here are some key things you should know about a company before sitting down for an interview.

What do they do?

First and foremost, you should understand what the company does. It may sound obvious, but not being able to supply a clear answer to this question in an interview will severely hurt your chances of being hired.

The best way to find this information is often a combination of the company’s website – where you can learn how they view what they do – and Wikipedia – where you can usually get a much more clearly worded, bare-bones definition.

What will you do?

Again, this may sound obvious, but not knowing what the job they’re interviewing for entails is one of the biggest mistakes a candidate can make. Your goal in the interview is to demonstrate and explain what makes you the best candidate to carry out the duties of the position – how can you expect to successfully do that if you don’t know what those duties entail?

What are their values?

Most interviewees will be able to explain what the company does, but you can really impress your interviewer by demonstrating an understanding of why they do it. This can usually be gleaned from the company’s mission and values – both of which can typically be found on their website. This type of information is also usually found on their social media accounts and in interviews with company leadership.

Not only is this a great way to show your commitment to getting this job, but assessing a business’s mission and values and how they align with your own personal values can be a great indicator of whether this company is a good fit for you.

What’s new and noteworthy?

A company’s function and mission are typically somewhat broad in scope and relatively unchanging. But what have they been up to recently to better achieve their goals? Are they offering any new products or services? Opening offices in new markets? Have they recently taken up a new cause or started any new initiatives?

This is all great information with which to arm yourself before entering an interview. It shows that you did more than a quick look at their homepage, and that you’re genuinely interested in what they do as a company. Start by looking at the company’s press room, where you can find information they’ve prepared for reporters and the media. A Google news search for the company or the names of company leaders can also provide useful information.

Who are the leaders?

As mentioned above, knowing a bit about the company’s leadership team can be helpful in researching and preparing for an interview. Many corporate websites include brief bios on a number of their key leaders, and in some cases you can even find them on social media.

Depending on the size of the company and the position you’re applying for, it’s not unheard of for managers or executives to get involved in the hiring process.

Who is your interviewer?

As we mentioned, going into the interview, they already know a lot about you, so it can’t hurt to find out what you can about them. Often, your interviewer will be the person to contact you to schedule the interview. However, if this isn’t the case, ask your contact for the name of the person you should ask for when you arrive for the interview.

While knowing the interviewer’s title and work history can potentially help you prepare for what kind of questions to expect, it’s often more useful to simply get a feel for their personality. After all, employers often use interviews to gauge how well you’d fit with the team culture. Look for shared interests and other potential conversation topics that you can use to build a rapport.

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The Passive Candidate Spectrum — Getting Inside their Psyche for More Successful Recruiting

by 

We’ve all met superstar recruiters at some point in our careers. The ones who work with essentially the same tools and resources as everyone else but still manage to consistently outperform their peers. Those elite few who regularly source “unreachable” candidates and close top-tier talent at impressive rates.

One of the hallmarks of the superstar recruiters is that they possess a more sophisticated understanding of passive candidates. The average recruiter thinks of candidates as either active or passive. The active candidates are those who are cruising job boards, lining up around the building trying to get jobs, and filling recruiters’ inboxes with resumes. They are generally dismissed and perceived as undesirable. Passive candidates are successful professionals who are succeeding at their jobs and not looking for new opportunities. They are highly sought-after and are considered the best quality candidates.

But, the more sophisticated recruiters understand that the market is far more nuanced than that. They recognize that pigeonholing candidates into these two distinct categories is not only simplistic and inaccurate but unproductive.

The Passive Candidate Map

Based on years of candidate research and analysis of candidate behavior, the Passive Candidate Map (above) identifies the eight distinct segments within the spectrum of candidate motivation and aligns them based on their receptivity to new opportunities.

Understanding these segments and being able to identify where a candidate falls is key to tailoring a recruiting message and identifying hot buttons that will resonate with desirable individuals and result in consistent success.

Locked

Although there are many factors that affect why candidates become Locked, many fall into this category due to family obligations and restrictions or perhaps because of the allure of hefty retention bonuses. Regardless of their reasons, Locked candidates are highly unlikely to be open to discussions.

Arrived

Recruiters also will want to avoid most Arrived candidates, as they are likely to feel they have achieved a level of career fulfillment that cannot be found anywhere else. While they may occasionally demonstrate curiosity about job opportunities, the Arrived are almost untouchable.

Ambitious

These candidates are performing well in their current roles but they may be looking for a bigger and better job with more responsibilities or more staff to manage. Although they are often appreciated within their company, they may want to be promoted more quickly than their company can promise.

Accomplished

Accomplished candidates are solid performers who are comfortable in their role and have no real incentive to move on, but they may be tempted to pick up their heads and look around from time to time. The trick for recruiters is to determine which Accomplished candidates have somehow found themselves in a backlog at their company and which are just average, ho-hum performers.

Frustrated

Whether it is due to a conflict with their boss or changing priorities from new owners, these candidates are incredibly frustrated with their current situation, but are often still loyal and working hard in their role. Although they may be unhappy where they are, they are still not actively looking for new opportunities. 

Fated

These candidates can see the writing on the wall — they are anticipating a layoff, loss of an account, or the sale of the company. Yet, they appear fully employed and many are still passive candidates. The Fated with dated skills and low performance ratings are to be avoided.

Unemployed

Superstar recruiters recognize that even the Unemployed are not a homogenous group. There may be any number of reasons why candidates drop out of the workforce — for instance, to care for an ailing parent, or because of an outsourcing of their division’s functions. Although the most motivated to be hired, they also may be low performers with skills in low demand.

Unstable

At the opposite end of the spectrum from locked candidates are the Unstable — the individuals who have jumped from job to job once a year (or even more often). With this many red flags, most of the Unstable should be avoided, though there may always be a needle in the haystack.

Achieving Results by Refining the Passive Candidate Definition

Working professionals comprise a spectrum of active and passive dispositions. Each candidate has specific reasons why they are not currently applying for a new position.

Recognizing where candidates fall on the spectrum of talent — and why — can give recruiters greater insight into the candidate’s behavior as well as their likelihood of being interested in new opportunities. Recruiters who have a deeper understanding of who these passive candidates are and what may prompt them to investigate a position further can fine-tune their approach and improve their overall hiring success rate.

Read the original posting on ERE HERE

4 Ways To Reconnect With Your Career

by Jenny Yerrick Martin

Remember all those years ago when you first started down your career path, making steady progress or landing a job you were sure you would want forever? Or maybe you just accepted a job that seemed promising, or that you felt was the best you could do, and one thing led to another – leaving you stuck without even a honeymoon period to look back fondly on?

It happens a lot. We wake up and don’t want the job that we’ve got. It pays decently, or more-than-decently, and/or provides some other Holy Grail-type perks, such as flex time or, the Grail of all Grails, good group health insurance. And yet, we keep humming the old Peggy Lee song, “Is That All There Is?” as we toil away at our desks. Honestly, it feels like someone else’s job sometimes, even while we’re doing it.

But there are ways to reconnect with your career, to find the right path and course-correct, no matter what phase of your career you are in. Here are four exercises that will help you clarify what’s missing, so you know whether what you need is a little tweak or a complete reboot.

  1. Take Inventory

Really break down what is and isn’t working for you in your current position. You feel comfortable in the environment, for instance, but the actual work you are doing is a dull grind. Get specific and create two lists: “Like” and “Don’t Like.”

  1. Retrace Your Steps

Go to previous jobs and break down what worked and didn’t work for you in each one. Was there a job you had in the past that you loved? What was it that loved? Were you working in a field you were passionate about? Being challenged by big projects on tight deadlines? Again, get specific and break it down into “Liked” and “Didn’t Like.” Yes, even in a job you loved, there was something about it that you didn’t love. Don’t gloss over that. The pay was low, the hours were crazy, or the boss was a tyrant? Include it in your breakdown.

  1. Go Back To Class

Don’t despair if you’ve never had a job you loved, if you feel you got off on the wrong foot right out of school. Think back to your student days. What classes did you love? Was the Advanced Marketing class your favorite? Why? Was it the group projects, the psychology behind getting people to buy, the amazing mentorship by the professor? These are clues to help you discover what you are currently missing, and what could be the key to career satisfaction.

  1. Indulge In Envy

You know when you get together with your friends and one friend is always talking about her job? It sounds like she is complaining, but you know she is really bragging because it’s an AWESOME job that you would KILL for. You wish you had a job like hers.

Again, start making a list. What is it about your friend’s job that you envy? What would you not want from her job? You love the idea of giving presentations to rooms full of people, but not of flying to Timbuktu to do it. Once you’ve broken down that friend’s job, think about other people whose jobs you envy? Get specific. There is gold in that envy.

Once you have done these four exercises, you should have a better idea of what you are not getting from your current job and maybe more importantly, what you are getting. There may be a way to somehow change your current job to make it more of a fit (make a lateral move into a more dynamic department or with a boss who has less micromanagement tendencies, for instance).

Or, it may be that, as you suspected, the job is just the wrong fit in so many basic ways that you have to get out. Use the results of these exercises as a guide so when you make your plan, you have a more complete picture of where your career happiness lies.

Read the original posting on Careerealism HERE