Tuesday, June 11, 2024

This popular resume advice is ‘a waste of time’, says former head of talent acquisition at Nike

Gili Malinsky

When you’re applying for a job, many career experts will tell you to tailor your resume to the job description. They recommend sifting through its requirements to see what’s most relevant for the role and tweaking your resume accordingly.

Longtime HR executive James Hudson, who’s led talent acquisition at companies like Nike and Levi Strauss & Co., disagrees with this approach. “It’s bad advice to customize your resume” for every role, he says. In fact, as far as a jobseeker is concerned, it’s “a waste of time.”

Here’s why he thinks so.

Descriptions are often ‘managed by the compensation team’

There can be a slight disconnect between what a job description asks for and what a hiring manager might be looking for in any given role. That gap stems from how an organization creates its job descriptions.

Internally and especially in large companies, “job descriptions are typically owned and managed by the compensation team because they’re directly linked to pay bands within the organization,” says Hudson. A pay band is an internal salary range for each role. That means the person writing the job description will not necessarily be the person doing the hiring, and therefore may not know exactly what a hiring manager or recruiter is looking for on the ground.

“The basic qualifications are always going to be exactly right,” says Hudson, such as degree and experience requirements, “but there’s so much more in a job description than the basic qualifications.”

You’ll have a chance to better suss those out during the interview process and if you speak to someone at the company before you apply. But the job description itself might not give a 100% sense of where the emphasis will be on day-to-day job duties.

Read the 2nd reason and the complete CNBC article


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The No. 1 reason people ‘fail’ job interviews, says ex-Amazon recruiter: ‘It causes a lack of trust’

Morgan Smith@thewordsmithm

Some job interview faux pas are obvious. Showing up late or badmouthing your former employer are almost guaranteed to ruin a first impression. 

But there’s one sneaky interview mistake that can cost you the job: Forgetting to provide specific examples in your answers. 

Holly Lee, a former recruiting leader at Amazon, Meta and Google, says it’s “hands down, the number one reason” people tank a job interview. 

“People are either overconfident and think that their resumes speak for themselves, that they only need to provide a vague, short answer, or don’t take the proper time to reflect on how, exactly, their work is benefitting a company’s bottom line — the who, what, when, where and why of it all,” says Lee, who is now a leadership career coach based in Phoenix.

For example: An interviewer might ask you, “What is the biggest impact you’ve made in your career at this point?” 

“If you answer with a brief line like, ‘I saved my company $1 million on a project’ or ‘I made our onboarding process more efficient’ without providing specific context or details, it’s not clear how, exactly, you did that and who you helped,” Lee explains.

Neglecting to provide specific examples of your strengths, contributions and impact in previous roles can hurt your chance of getting an offer because it signals to a potential employer that you’re not thoughtful or trustworthy, says Lee. 

“There’s no such thing as a perfect candidate, but you have to demonstrate what you’ve done in order to build trust and positively influence the person who’s interviewing you,” she examples. “Giving vague, clipped answers causes a lack of trust, it shows me that someone is unprepared and doesn’t have a deliberate approach to their work.”

Tips for acing your next interview .... Read the full MSNBC article



Thursday, January 11, 2024

The No. 1 job interview phrase that will set you apart from everyone else, says career expert: It’s the ‘most powerful’

Erin McGoff, Contributor

A well-tailored resume with relevant experience will often get you in the door for a job interview. But if you want to land your dream job, you need to convincingly articulate why you are the best person for the role.

As a career coach, I’ve found that there are a number of compelling and powerful phases that hiring professionals love to hear. One of the most powerful ones you can use in a job interview is: “One thing that excites me about this role is ... .” 

Here are 3 reasons why this phrase will set you apart from other candidates:

1. It makes you sound confident

Job interviews are designed with a built-in power imbalance. You want the position, and you have to impress the hiring manager. But when you use this phrase, you subtly convey to the interviewer that you aren’t just in desperate need of a job.

It shows that you are a passionate, curious and capable candidate who is genuinely interested in what the work entails. By flipping the script, you are no longer asking the interviewer to be interested in you. You are telling the interviewer what’s interesting to you about the role.

This subtle power dynamic shift can only help you gain leverage.

Read reasons 2 & 3 plus the full CNBC article


Monday, December 11, 2023

Taking this one extra step after a job interview can pay off—‘hardly anyone’ does it, says career coach

Gili Malinsky

In-person job interviews typically last between 45 and 90 minutes, according to job search site Indeed. In that time, you’ll probably be asked about your work history and be told about the role you’re interviewing for.

When the interview’s over, it’s customary to send a thank you email to everyone who interviewed you within 24 to 48 hours — but if you want to go that extra mile, send a physical thank you note as well.

“Hardly anyone does that ever,” says Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster. But it can pay off — here’s why.

It shows you ‘really put in the effort’

Interviewers likely speak with many candidates, many of whom will remember to sent over a thank you email after they meet. But most probably won’t send anything by snail mail.

“A handwritten thank you note can help you stand out in the job interview process,” says Angelina Darrisaw, a former manager at Viacom and CEO of C-Suite Coach. “It can signal that you are willing to go the extra mile, which can be very attractive to potential employers.”

When you see someone’s handwriting, it feels like you “really put in the effort,” says Salemi.

Not only will they remember that you were willing to go a little further to show your gratitude about the interview and excitement about the role, but they’ll have a physical reminder of it sitting right in front of them.

Salemi remembers the effect these notes had when she was a recruiter herself. “As we were determining who was going to get the job offer, I had that thank you note on my desk for at least a week,” she says. “And I always thought of that person.”

‘It’s a nice touch’ - Read the full CNBC article to learn more



Thursday, October 26, 2023

A scientist explains the surprising influence of body language in job interviews

By Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Despite rapid advancements in the science of assessments and a booming market for recruitment technologies, it is still virtually impossible for anyone to get a job without first going through a traditional interview. 

This is bad news, since typical job interviews tend to be poor predictors of future performance, and unreliable markers of someone’s true talent. The reason is that all humans are biased, to the point that it’s impossible to resist the impact of first impressions, even when we are determined to do so.

As a result, intuitive inferences of people’s potential are generally flawed and contaminated by a range of irrelevant signals. Those are the things that interviewers cannot ignore but should because they are poorly correlated with future job performance.

A common example is body language or nonverbal communication, which is known to impact others’ evaluations of candidates’ job potential far more than it predicts candidates’ future job performance.

In fact, it takes just 30 seconds for people to make consequential judgments about us based on their initial gut feeling, so there is really no second chance for a first good impression.

To put things into perspective: Imagine that wearing a red sweater increases your chances of being hired, but without boosting your probability of actually being good at that job. In other words, our nonverbal communication, which includes face, voice, body, touch, and interpersonal space, plays a significant role influencing others’ views of our employability without actually being a relevant indicator of it.

To make matters worse, the commonly held belief is that body language matters a great deal more than it does, with popular estimates absurdly claiming that 80% of communication is nonverbal; if this were true, we would not need subtitles when we watch a movie in a foreign language, or interpreters when we travel to a remote country. 

But while we cannot stop people from making conscious and unconscious evaluations of our nonverbal behavior, we can pay attention to the signals we send, curating our professional self-presentation, and using our knowledge of what people look for to our own advantage.

In fact, a fundamental component of social and political skills involves displaying the right kind of verbal and nonverbal communicational signals to improve how we come across to others. 


The more deliberately you seem to engage with the interviewers (e.g., nodding, smiling, making eye contact), the lower the status you will project. Conversely, if you want to project a powerful and high-status image, you may want to seem disengaged, disinterested, and basically play hard to get. 

Read the full Fast Company article to find out about more about Body Language and Interviewing


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

7 Unspoken Job Interview Rules That Everyone Needs To Know

Rule #1: Interviewers want a highlight reel, not an exhaustive list of everything you have done. 

Job candidates are guaranteed to be asked some version of  “Tell us about yourself” and “Why are you interested in our company/role?” said Anyelis Cordero, founder of Propel on Purpose Coaching, a career coaching service designed for first-generation professionals.

You may think you can just repeat what your resume says. But that would be a mistake.

“Interviewers are going to expect [you] to be able to concisely walk them through your career. This is an area many experienced professionals struggle with, especially first-gen professionals, because the unspoken rule here is that the interview wants the highlight reel,” Cordero said.

“Since most interviews are 30 minutes, if you don’t practice, you’ll make the mistake of spending too much time on this answer and not leave enough time to answer other questions.”

Other job interview questions come with silent subtext and expectations, too.

The job search is all about demonstrating your competence, commitment, and compatibility, said Gorick Ng, a career adviser at Harvard University and the author of “The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right.”

“The interview question ‘Tell us about a time when…?’ is really a competence question of ‘Have you done a similar job before?’ and ‘Do you have a good head on your shoulders?’ The interview question ‘Do you have any questions for me?’ is really a commitment question of ‘Do you care enough about us to do enough research to ask a question that you couldn’t have found the answer to on Google?’ And the interview question ‘Tell us about yourself’ is really a competence, commitment, and compatibility question,” Ng said.

Rule #2: To be a stronger candidate, you need to understand the role of each person you interview with. 

Tailoring your questions and answers based on the roles that individual interviewers hold is one of the best unwritten rules to a successful interview, saidDaniel Space, a senior human resources business partner for large tech companies.

“The way I answer what a peer is going to ask me in an interview is going to be a little different than what I tell a manager,” he said. “I know what the peer wants is: ‘Can Daniel do his job? Can he hold up the team? Is he good for collaboration?’ What the manager wants to know is ‘Can Daniel do his job without a lot of interference from me? Can I trust him to make tough decisions? What level of support do I need to provide him?’”

It’s important to go into a job search process knowing how to tell the story of your career. But if you want to be an even stronger candidate, you need more than one story to tell interviewers, because often, they debrief each other.

Sharai Johnson, a sourcer for Latinx and Black engineering talent for a large tech company, said she wants job candidates to understand the differences between a sourcer, a recruiter and a hiring manager. Johnson said a sourcer’s job is to gain the interest of passive talent; sourcers may schedule the first interview, then pass off duties to a recruiter, who will be in contact with candidates through the end of the hiring process but doesn’t make final hiring decisions. 

“A recruiter and a sourcer can advocate on behalf of a candidate, but at the end of the day, the hiring manager is the one that actually can get the budget approval and send the ‘yes’ or the ‘no,’” Johnson said. “It’s just important to understand those moving parts and those people, so you know who to reach out to and who to direct questions to.”

Rule #4: You need to be prepared with more than one career story to tell. 

It’s important to go into a job search process knowing how to tell the story of your career. But if you want to be an even stronger candidate, you need more than one story to tell interviewers, because often, they debrief each other.

Space said that ideally, you should have three or four success stories that you can rotate between interviewers because he has seen hiring panels in which it counted against candidates if they told the same story to every person they talked with.

“If they have that one amazing story of how they sold that really difficult client, if all five people were told that story, sometimes it helps them because it helps reinforce it,” he said. “But in other cases, it actually helps to have different stories.”

Read the complete Yahoo Finance article for all 7 rules

**  I half disagree with #5 and #6 so take them for what they are worth **

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

I’ve done over 30,000 interviews, says hiring expert: Here are 3 ways to ‘instantly impress’


The first five minutes of a job interview can make or break your odds of landing an offer. 

Those fleeting moments set the tone for the rest of the conversation: If you show up late, unprepared or glued to your phone, it’s hard to convince the interviewer that you want the job, even if you are qualified. 

To capture a hiring manager’s attention, you need to project a friendly, confident and professional demeanor from the onset, says William Vanderbloemen, the CEO of executive search firm Vanderbloemen Search Group.

Vanderbloemen has interviewed over 30,000 job candidates throughout his career — and the ones who stand out, he says, always do these 3 things to instantly impress a hiring manager during the job interview:

Dress for success

You might have gotten comfortable dressing down for online meetings during the pandemic, but a more casual ensemble isn’t going to cut it for a job interview — even if it’s on Zoom. 

While it’s likely that the interviewer will only see your upper half online, they could catch a glimpse of your sweatpants, depending on the camera angle, Vanderbloemen warns. Some interviewers might even ask you to stand up during a video call, to check that you’re wearing professional attire. 

“I know that sounds like old curmudgeon stuff but if you want to impress a recruiter, you really need to dress for the job,” he says. “It’s an important sign that shows you’re taking this opportunity seriously.”

Regardless of the interview setting, Vanderbloemen recommends checking out a company’s website and social media to figure out what people are wearing to the office or, if the company is remote, to corporate retreats and in-person events. Then, match your outfit accordingly. 

Read ways 2&3 + the complete CNBC article