interviewing

If They Do Not Fit, They’ll Likely Quit: Decoding The DNA Fit For Your Company

By Jeff Boucher on Jul 1, 2015

Do you remember where you were when you first heard of DNA? For me, it was watching the highly televised OJ Simpson trial. What am amazing scientific breakthrough, the ability to unequivocally determine a match based on the very essence of who you are.

Your company has DNA too. Sometimes referred to as “personality” or “culture”, company DNA is the life blood of your organization. It is more than “Wacky Tie Friday” or a ping-pong table in the break room. A candidate’s potential cultural match is inborn, it cannot be a learned trait – they either have it or they don’t: it’s in their DNA.

But why is finding a match important? You’ve taken the time to sit down and meticulously define your core values along with the vision and mission of your company. Now as you grow, you need to make sure you’re hiring people who share those beliefs. Candidates who are technical fits CAN do the job but candidates who are cultural fits as well will enjoy the job they do – and that means they’ll stick around because they believe in what they’re doing.

But how do you screen for a DNA fit?

Read the full blog HERE

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Explaining unemployment in the job interview

THIS IS A MORE COMMON CONVERSATION THAN YOU THINK.

In April 2015, the unemployment rate hovered around 5.4 percent — or 8.5 million people who want to work and who can, but aren’t. Taking care of family, changing career paths, going back to school, getting laid off — these are only a handful of reasons why some people are currently unemployed.

You’re not the first person to explain why you’re currently unemployed when you get to the job interview. But how you explain your unemployment will have a big impact on your chances of getting the job. Here’s what you need to know.

Assess the length of explanation needed
Some reasons you’re currently unemployed — like taking care of a loved one or recently being afull-time student — are perfectly sufficient reasons on their own. In the interview, focus your answer on how you’ve been preparing yourself for this job opportunity. Have you recently been certified in an industry skill or working temporarily for a family friend? Keep the conversation on the responsibilities you’ve had during your unemployment. Hiring managers are primarily interested in being assured that you’re ready to work and that there aren’t any red flags, such as bad employer reviews.

If your unemployment status is more complicated than a personal leave from the workforce, though, the length and tone of your answer will need to accommodate that. You can still assure the hiring manager you’re a reliable employee, even if there have been some past bumps in the road. As Jessica Steinberg, talent community manager for ADP says, “Any gap is acceptable. It’s all in how you position it. Take one to two sentences to concisely explain why you were out, and any achievements you had while you were out of the workforce during the gap on the resume.”

Stay positive
Never bash your previous employer, even if there was cause to be angry. When the question “Why did you leave your past job?” comes up, whether you were fired or laid off, you can be frank about it and explain yourself — with tact. In “Explaining previous employment issues during your job interview” (watch the video here!), a key point to explaining more complicated situations is underlining the lesson you learned and how you benefitted from the experience. If you were fired for repeatedly being late, speak to how you mastered time management. For personnel issues, explain that your values and work ethic are important to you, and that they align with the company’s.

Highlighting your passion for this type of work and the enthusiasm you have for this opportunity will also help to reassure the hiring manager. From their perspective, they have a vacant role and need to fill it with someone dependable. Appearing bored or disinterested won’t help your case, but asking plenty of questions, showing your positive personality and creating a relationship with the hiring manager will help hiring managers see you as a potential fit.

Emphasize readiness
Before the interview, conduct lots of research. Know what the company does, what your role there would be (and make sure the employer’s answer matches your understanding of the role), and investigate the organization’s values and recent news and achievements. That way, you’ll be able to connect the dots when you’re talking about your own growth in your career, and the growth of the company you’re interviewing for. “The best thing you can do is to talk about what you learned from the experience, how you’ve grown as a professional and how you’d apply any of those learnings to a new position,” says Shawn Tubman, vice president of employment for Liberty Mutual.

Addressing your unemployment in a job interview is not as uncomfortable as it might seem to you. In reality, hiring managers are familiar with every aspect of hiring and firing, and your story probably isn’t the strangest they’ve ever heard. And the important fact is that you’re here now. “Talk about the future,” says Becky Havlicek, senior human resource manager at Merrill Corp. “Sometimes we do have bad experiences, but I would focus on why that next role is important to you, why that next company interests you and stay positive.”

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.

How To Handle Cancelling An Interview

In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a growing complaint among my friends who are small business owners. They’ve experienced an increase in candidates not showing for interviews or cancelling an interview at the last minute with wacky excuses. If you have been invited for an interview, but can’t attend for some reason, take the following steps to ensure that you don’t burn bridges to future employment.

Contact Them ASAP

As soon as you know you won’t be able to interview, contact your recruiter or the person who set-up the meeting. Most recruiters and hiring managers are understanding enough to realize that life happens and it sometimes gets in the way of even the best intentions. If possible, try to reach the person in multiple ways, via phone and e-mail, to ensure that your message is received. Politely request that the person call or e-mail you back with confirmation that your message was received.

Be Honest

There’s probably a legitimate reason why you can’t attend the interview at the established time. Be honest and convey that message. If your reason is legitimate, there’s probably a good chance that the interview can be rescheduled at a more convenient time. There’s really not a need to make up excuses or tell lies. Your honesty does not need to include specific details about an illness or family emergency. In fact, most interviewers won’t want to know the specific reason, especially if it’s something personal or medical-related.

Apologize And Move Forward

Recognize that you are causing an inconvenience, apologize, and determine next steps. If you still want an opportunity to be considered for the job, end your conversation by asking about setting up an alternate interview time.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to obtain a new position with another employer before the interview, it’s still best to call and share that information with the recruiter or hiring manager. No shows are very frustrating because the interviewers have blocked time on their calendars to meet with you. If you aren’t interested in being considered for the position any longer, you can help the employer by allowing them to resume the recruiting and interviewing process.

Furthermore, there may be a time in the future that you will again want to be considered for a position with that employer. If that’s the case, it’s best to handle interview cancellations professionally and with tact. Many companies maintain candidate files and would be able to refer back if you re-submit a resume or application for consideration. If you’ve blown off an interview once, it could hurt your chances of being asked to interview again in the future.

Read more interviewing tips at http://www.careerealism.com/cancelling-interview-how-to/#hEoe7eCbYOWZ7Wc8.99

Do You Manage Your Career Like A First Date?

First date.. Career… You heard me correctly!

Do you manage your career like a first date?

I remember what it was like to be single. That was over thirty years ago but I remember the awkward feelings of trying to find someone who would just go out with me on a date.

When I graduated from high school I was 6 feet 4 inches tall and a mere 145 pounds. I had a big head of red hair. I was no chick magnet!

I was an awkward nerd.

I tried to make myself attractive to the opposite sex. I picked clothes so that girls would notice me.

Now you wordsmith your LinkedIn Profile so that recruiters will notice you. You are establishing your brand just like I was trying to be stylish.

When I asked a girl out, I was just hoping not to be rejected. You submit your applications and pray that the recruiter calls you.

When I got a date, I was just trying to make a good impression. Was she the right girl for me? I was not worried about that I just wanted her to like me. When you go for an interview you are just praying that they call you back for a second interview. You just want them to like you.

Does this sound familiar? It should because this is how many of you manage your career.

  • You scour job boards looking for a date…. oh I mean a job
  • When you find a girl….  a job that meets your requirements you send in your resume and pray you will hear a response
  • When she calls…. I mean the recruiter calls you put your best foot forward hoping not to get rejected
  • When you get the first phone interview you try to sound like a nice guy… I mean like a experienced professional but still hoping not to get rejected
  • When you get the first interview you put you really try to show your stuff off… I mean you try to demonstrate your outstanding skills and talents
  • When you get the second interview, you are thinking will I get to second base with her… no I mean get an offer.

Are you concerned that this might not be the job for you? Heck no! You just want to get the next step!

You should be concerned on whether there is the right chemistry between the boss and you. Are you going to be happy in this next position?

Your job search is just like dating! You have to date to get married. Not every date turns into marriage. In the job search you have to interview to get the job. Not every interview turns into a job. Half of all marriages end in divorce.

Your career is very much like a marriage. It is about finding common ground, compromises, happiness, successes,….

Have you gone on a date that you just wanted to walk out? I hear there are strategies for that now.

Have you gone into an interview prepared to ask all of the right questions? Is this the right job for you?

Do you even know what the right job for you is?

What kind of boss do you want?

What kind of team do you function best on?

How do you want to be rewarded? Most of us want a combination of the following:

  • The bonus check
  • Public recognition
  • Pat on the back from the boss
  • Pat on the back from your team
  • Pat on the back from your client

How much variety do you want in your day?

Do you know what you need in a work environment and then how to determine whether you are going to get what you need?

Have you taken a job and suddenly said — what have I gotten into!

Finding your next job is serious business just like finding a spouse. There must be the right chemistry to make the relationship work… oh I mean the workplace fun and rewarding.

Go find that perfect match. Go find the perfect job for you. One that meets all of your requirements and reject those that do not.

By Mark Miller: Original Posting via Purzue

5 useful ways to fill in time when hoping for a job interview

I find too many job seekers who are ill prepared during their job search. The first two things that you should do when seeking a new employer is 1. Make sure that your social sites are private – if they are your source of socializing and 2. make certain that your voicemail message is professional – this includes “ringback” tones. You don’t want to make a bad impression before landing the interview.