Thursday, February 27, 2020

12 Things to Never Do During A Phone Interview

These days, phone interviews are an unavoidable part of the job interview process, and for good reason: They save everyone involved time and effort. But that doesn’t mean that phoners require zero energy on the part of the candidate. Yes, you should spend more time preparing for an in-person interview, but many companies treat phone screens as the official first round of the hiring process. That means candidates are expected to go into them prepared with as much information about the company, position, and their own skills and strengths as possible. 
We asked HR pros about their top phone interview pet peeves, they had no shortage of advice to offer. Apparently, it’s quite easy to mess up your phone interview. But here’s the thing; it’s also not hard to come across well if you keep some key things in mind.

1. Never Take The Interview Somewhere Noisy

It might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised what interviewers say they can hear in the background of their phone interviews—everything from barking dogs to screaming children. “Prepare for the interview by securing a quiet space in advance, even if it means escaping to your car parked in the garage,” advises Chere Taylor, founder of Fulcrum HR Consulting. “If you can lock your home office door, by all means do it. We’ve all been there and sometimes things just happen, but the more time spent anticipating what could go wrong, the better prepared and organized you will appear to the interviewer and the greater likelihood of success.” That doesn’t mean that if your washing machine beeps once in the background all hope is lost, but the more effort you put into being in a quiet place, the more focused you’ll be.

3. Resist The Urge to Multitask

It might be tempting to cross something off your to-do list while on a phone interview, but recruiters and hiring managers can easily tell if your attention is elsewhere. “My number one pet peeve is people who decide to multitask while on the phone interview,” says Dan Krupansky, Talent Acquisition Manager at PrimePay. “I have heard candidates washing dishes, making lunch in the microwave, going for walks, letting their dog out, and grocery shopping during the interview. I even had one person use the bathroom and flush the toilet while speaking with me.” Needless to say, this doesn’t reflect well on your level of interest in the position you’re interviewing for.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

4 Mistakes To Avoid In A Job Interview

Ashira Prossack

No matter how qualified or talented you are, there are a few mistakes you can make in a job interview that will reduce your chances of getting a job offer. 

1) Making a less than stellar first impression. 

Your job interview starts the second you walk through the building doors. Be polite to everyone you meet, from the doorman to the people you ride the elevator with. Remove your headphones and put your phone away when you check in with the receptionist. This shows respect and also ensures that you won’t be distracted by a notification when someone is speaking to you. 

Companies are starting to enlist the help of their teams to help choose candidates. This means that your interaction with the receptionist is actually part of the job interview, and you’ll be judged by how you treated her or him. Same goes for the doorman – did you say thank you when they opened the door or did you just walk by? The way you treat people when you aren’t being watched speaks volumes, so treat everyone you meet with respect. This extends far beyond just job interviews – we should treat people with respect at all times.

4) Not being prepared. 

It’s not just talent and credentials alone that get you hired. It’s how you show up to the interview. The hiring manager wants to see that you’ve researched the company and the role. Know the job requirements and how you can add value specifically related to points mentioned in the job description. Practice answering mock interview questions to get over any nerves you might have. 

You also want to have well thought out questions to ask at the end of the interview. This of course helps you get to know more about the job and the company, and it also shows the hiring manager that you’re truly interested in pursuing the opportunity. 

When hiring managers find multiple qualified candidates, it’s the mistakes that are made that set people apart – but not in a good way. Avoid these mistakes and end your interview on a high note by giving a sincere thank you to the hiring manager. Thank them for their time, the opportunity, and reiterate your interest in the job. 

See mistakes 2,3, and the complete Forbes article

Thursday, February 13, 2020

3 Tips To Find A Job You’ll Love

Kourtney Whitehead

Finding a job that you love is the goal of many, but few people are taught how to actually achieve it. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American workers average eleven jobs over the course of a lifetime, with this number projected to rise throughout the careers of Millennials and Gen-Zs. That’s at least eleven (if not more) chances to land your dream job if you know how to prepare.

Shifting toward work you love is a multi-step process. For most people, it takes a fair amount of trial and error to learn what kind of culture they want to work in and discover the daily activities that inspire them.

Some of your worst jobs are meant to serve as learning experiences that send you in the opposite direction. That too is part of the process.

But even once you have a clear idea about the kind of work you want to do, landing a job you love is easier said than done.

If you’re in that position today, where you know what you want and are ready to get started, here are three tips to help you attract better opportunities and push for that perfect fit.

3. Negotiate your job description

If you’ve followed the first two tips, you will enter discussions about new jobs from a position of power. You aren’t desperate to take anything that comes your way and the company likely sought you out because of your unique expertise.

Use this opportunity to negotiate the terms of your job throughout the process, and not just at the end.

Companies always have a business need to fill, but there is often flexibility on how exactly the need gets met. Sometimes they’ll reshape the role or add additional responsibilities for the right candidate.

During your initial discussions with a recruiter or a hiring manger, stay in listening mode to understand the business problem they are trying to address and any cultural norms you need to keep in mind.

As you move deeper in the process, don’t be afraid to share what parts of the job interest you most and ask for additional career or work-life enhancements (e.g. a higher title or the ability to partially work from home) that would turn their open position into the job you’d love.

Remember, any new opportunity has to be superior to the job you already have or it isn’t worth taking. Resist the urge to take a new job just because you’re flattered by the company’s interest or worry about when the next offer might come your way.

Finding a job you love is not for the faint of heart. You have to stand firm to your priorities and that often means letting a good job pass you by because it isn’t right for you.

Believing in yourself and being patient are perhaps the hardest but most important career skills to learn. One of the main reasons that most people don’t achieve the goal of finding work they love is an inability to trust that with sustained effort, a great job will materialize. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Tips 1,2, and the complete Forbes article

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The 5 top tech skills companies want in new hires right now

By Anne Fisher

It's worth noting that the top two, software engineer and senior software engineer, are the biggest categories by far, accounting for almost 11% of total job openings (including non-IT jobs) posted on Indeed. 

Software engineers now need to be expert in "at least one, or preferably several, programming languages," says Flowers, adding that "the most useful language to know depends greatly on the specific job in question." The six languages most mentioned in recent software-engineer job postings : Java, C++, Python, JavaScript, C#, C, and NET.
Even if you have all the right skills at the moment, what employers need can change fast, Flowers says, so "people who want these jobs must be quick and agile" about spotting trends and picking up new skills as they go along.

Tim Tully agrees. Chief technology officer at data giant Splunk—whose clients number 92 of the Fortune 100—Tully says that the most important trait IT job candidates need now is "a strong desire to learn." It might be too broad of a requirement, but consider Tully's own list of the five most essential tech skills now:

3. App development

"You need a mobile version of every website now."

4. A.I. and machine learning

They both "power everything, or soon will."

5. A composite of the first four skills

That is, "it's important to be at least fairly conversant with all of them." 

If that sounds like a tall order, it is. "You need to be like a Swiss Army knife," he explains. To shine in tech, "you used to be able to pigeonhole yourself as an expert in one area of IT, or maybe two. Not anymore."

See Skills 1,2, and the complete Fortune article

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

3 Things You Need To Know About A February Job Search

Kourtney Whitehead

There’s no bad time to look for a job, but there are seasonal trends that can work in your favor or slow your progress. 

Despite robust hiring and low unemployment numbers in the U.S., job seekers still need to prepare for the unique challenges and opportunities each month presents. 

If you’re planning to launch or continue a job search in February, here’s what you need to know to maximize your efforts.

3. You absolutely need a follow-up schedule
Without a system to track your follow-ups, you run the risk of letting some leads fall through the cracks while you follow up too frequently with others.

Unfortunately, few things are harder to navigate during a job search than knowing when to send follow-up emails. 

Timing depends on your previous relationship with the contacts, their temperament and the level of engagement they’ve already shown. While there are no hard and fast rules, here are some guidelines to help you plan and automate your follow-up schedule. 

Close contacts, that is, the people invested in you and eager to help, should be followed up with once a month with a quick update on your job search. This is especially true when things are going well and when you finally land that new job. Don’t wait to reach out only when you need something; make sure you continue to nurture your relationships throughout the search.

Loose connections, new introductions and recruiters you don’t have any open interviews with should be pinged twice, spaced about four to six weeks apart, with a short “thanks for keeping me on the radar” email and a hope that you connect again soon. 

If someone promises to make an introduction on your behalf but hasn’t yet, follow up with them after ten to fourteen days.

If you’ve had phone or in-person interviews but the recruiting team gave you no idea as to when to expect a hiring decision, you should inquire on the status of your candidacy approximately seven to ten days after your interviews. If you were told you would receive your next update within a specific time frame that has passed, follow up with the recruiter after three to five days.  

Finally, if you were contacted about a potential job but that lead hasn’t moved forward to interviews, reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager after five to seven days the first time you inquire on the status of the role, and then wait another two weeks before following up again, if needed. 

In general, you shouldn’t have to follow up more than twice to get a job lead moving to the next step. If you feel the need to ping someone more than that, this particular job lead is probably a dead end. By letting it go and not becoming an annoyance, you are more likely to leave the door open for the person to contact you later when they get serious about hiring.

All in all, February is a great month to gain traction in your job search if you stay focused. Take advantage while you can.

See things 1,2, and the complete Forbes article

Kourtney Whitehead is a career expert and author of Working Whole. You can learn more about her work at Simply Service.