5 Interview Questions you must Master

Whether you haven’t interviewed for a job in a decade or if you interviewed just last week, you may not know the “whys” of interview questions and the selection process most organizations use to hire the best talent.

In a previous post, I shared a little known fact  (I don’t believe in keeping secrets) based on my 25 years in Talent Management for top Fortune 200 companies.  There are truly only three questions to a typical interview though they may take the form of many and be asked in different ways.the 5 questions you must master to ace the interview

Now I turn your attention to 5 common questions that are asked and are critical to you being seen as a viable contender for the position to which you applied. At this point, your resume has been screened by computer  “eyes” as well as a human recruiter.  You may have been through a telephone interview, simulation test, behavioral assessment and panel interview.  Now you sit across from the person who you hope will be your next manager and you have this one (and only) opportunity to answer these Continue reading

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Brand your way to a Career Change

How to showcase your Brand when changing careers

Sandra had been in banking operations for a decade, was very successful and was given professional development opportunities through rotational assignments.  One of them was in the corporate recruiting department and, as she explained it, “Even though I liked working with bank customers on resolving issues and providing solutions, this was different.  I couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday morning when I worked as a Recruiter.  I discovered my passion and now I want to change professions.”

Reinvent your resume – Brand it!

Plan for your Career Change

Plan for your Career Change

  • We revamped her resume by de-emphasizing the financial operations verbiage and adding words and phrases based on her HR and recruiting experience.
  • We also focused on the transferable skills gained while in banking operations. Sandra hired new bank tellers, trained them and authored a new on boarding program for all new hires.  She was also part of a select team who were selected to interview job candidates  once HR had screened them.  We highlighted those examples, resulting in a resume which was clearly “branded” as HR vs. Banker.  Those changes in keywords proved to be critical when she applied for an HR Recruiter position a month later.

What if you are not Changing Careers – How to Brand

Your resume’s job is to create a story of what you have done, how you want to be seen and the value you bring to a potential organization.  A branded resume ensures that

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Job Seeker – You cost the same as a BMW

You or the BMW?

You or the BMW?

The Employer’s Dilemma:  The Ultimate Driving Machine or You?

One of the better career websites,TheLadders.com, recently asked me to offer some  job search advice to young professionals and I am delighted to do so; however, I hope the information is relevant to all job seekers, regardless of their level or industry.  I have interviewed many job candidates, during my career, and I offer you these suggestions based on that experience. While the selection process seems like a huge mystery, it is quite simple.  You, as a job seeker, need to understand the “why’s” behind the interview process and I am also offering you some “how’s” which will give you a competitive advantage.  So back to that BMW………………….

Consider the average cost of selecting a new employee:

BMW3

  • entry level professional = slightly used BMW 128
  • mid level manager = new BMW 320i
  • senior executive = brand new BMW 500 – 700 series

You may be surprised at the high cost of hiring and selection.  Studies show that the cost of interviewing, selection and training replacement employees costs between 30% and 80% of the employee’s annual salary.

In my last post, Why only three interview questions count, I explained why the hiring manager’s interview questions are simply designed to answer the following:

  1. Can you do the job?
  2. Will you do the job?
  3. Will we like to work with you?

The first two, designed to identify if job seekers have the education and experience, as well as  Continue reading

When the recruiter asks “Tell me about yourself”

Learn from my mistake……..

I recall, early in my career, when I responded to that interview question with a not so brief biography, starting with where I was born, where I went to school, my family members and do I need to go on?

Tell me about Yourself

Tell me about Yourself

The recruiter stifled a few yawns but didn’t interrupt me.  I was well into my 10 minute life story when I suddenly saw the look on his face and knew I was doomed; it was no surprise that I was not hired.  I couldn’t even chalk this faux pas to a case of the nerves; I was just not aware how to interview.  Interesting that I later found a career in human resources management and was responsible for selecting candidates.

No one teaches you how to interview. 

Guidance counselors and career services offer overviews and there is information on the internet but you probably haven’t had someone guide you Continue reading

Want to get Hired? Take a lesson from Santa

 

Would you hire Santa?

Would you hire Santa?

Would you Hire Santa?  Believe it or not, you might learn a thing or two from ol’ Saint Nick about conducting a strategic job search. Think about this:  in good and bad times, Santa has been in demand for over a hundred years.  Though we are seeing a glut in talent and there are more job seekers for every job posted, people seek Santa out every December for the busiest and happiest time of the year.   In fact, he is finding employment earlier each year – sometimes before the ghosts and goblins disappear and the kiddies finish eating their treats.

What’s Santa’s Secret? Here are 3 tips:

Did Santa have a great career coach to support his job search?  Maybe; his action plan and strategies are successful time and time again.  Follow these tips to your own career success and don’t let anyone tell you that “no one is hiring during the holidays – that just isn’t the truth!”

What does Santa’s Resume look like?  

He knows the needs of his customers:

Santa identifies the perfect toys and gifts for all the children around the globe.  Almost everyone in the United States celebrates Christmas, regardless of their faith, so he is in big demand. People not only need his services but they want more and more of it as we spend more on Christmas each year. Brilliant job of identifying a unique niche, Santa!

Santa does his research and he “delivers” on his promise:

Santa’s product lines have changed over the centuries but he keeps current with modern trends and tastes. He delivers what he promises because he prepares far in advance of Christmas.  He monitors the behavior of children all year long and his elves analyze the data with positive precision.

How can you relate to this step?  Make sure you do your own research of positions, industries and professions in order to target 5 – 10 for your own job search.  Being laser focused can make the difference between applying to hundreds of posted jobs and being selected based on your concentrated efforts. Your research pays off when you can customize your resume and cover letter.

Santa is the networking ninja!

Everyone who is anyone knows Santa or is connected to him through someone else.  His linked in profile connections exceed  billions and he has more endorsements than any of the other 332 million on the most successful social media site for professionals.

The key to Santa’s networking success?  He is a giver and not a taker.  You can be too; when making a connection, always remember to ask how you can help before indicating you would like assistance.

Zappos might have the market on corporations delivering happiness but Santa delivers happiness to the whole world.

Santa has branded himself as the global delivery support of happiness. What’s your “career brand”?  Knowing the answer to that question is key to your job search success.

I’ve helped hundreds of professionals identify their own key strengths and design smart and focused  job search strategies that are results oriented.  Contact me at Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com

Photo credit: from  SD Schindler’s book How Santa got his Job

 

 

Is Your Cover Letter working for or against you?

COVER LETTERS – those innocent but dreaded  letters or emails introducing your resume (a.k.a. your career history masterpiece  which you have painstakingly written and re-written until it is a piece of art). 

STILL NEEDED?

Ask someone if cover letters are still necessary and you will get two definitive answers:  “yes!” or “no!”

Is your cover letter killing your job search?

Is your cover letter killing your job search?

 

I get that question, too, in my role as career coach/job search strategist and reply:  “Of course and I will help you develop a cover letter the recruiter will love you for because it makes their jobs easier.”  But, then again, that was the intent of the following example  found recently on the internet and guaranteed to be the perfect cover letter for anyone:

Continue reading

Can Emotional Intelligence get you hired? The Harvard Business Review thinks so.

Can Emotional Intelligence Boost my Job Search?My Career?

Though the Harvard Business Review has published many articles, over the past decade, on the role Emotional Intelligence pays in successful careers, I was delighted to see this publication on the magazine rack recently.  It is a special printing of a collection of articles from all the leading experts who claim Emotional Intelligence is critical to career success.

What may be surprising, and even disappointing, to job-seekers is that there are skills and characteristics that are even more important to potential employers than those directly job-

Harvard Business Review endorses Emotional Intelligence with a special edition publication June 2014

Harvard Business Review endorses Emotional Intelligence with a special edition publication June 2014

related. Your education and work experience, skills and abilities are crucial; however, other skills that speak to the candidate’s “emotional intelligence” could carry more weight than those acquired through specialized training or hands on experience.

  • Great sales people are those who develop a trusting relationship with customers
  • Brilliant IT pros can relate to the end user’s needs and provide solutions by listening and problem solving
  • Outstanding customer service employees know how to turn angry customers into loyal “fans”
  • Gifted miracle-workers (healthcare professionals) offer empathy and hope in an ever changing, fast paced and stressful high tech work environment
  • The best managers are those who care about, develop and unite their teams

Time after time, career success is found to be strongly influenced by personal qualities such as:

  • Self awareness
  • Impulse control
  • Perseverance
  • Influencing others

Emotional intelligence is an awareness of your actions and feelings and how they affect those around you. It also means that you value others, listen to their wants and needs, and are able to empathize or identify with them on many different levels, including influence, handling conflict and building teamwork.

EI & Your Job Search

As part of your job search strategy, you can demonstrate emotional intelligence in your resume, social media strategy and job interviews.

Self-Awareness– People with high emotional intelligence are usually very self-aware. They understand their emotions, and because of this, they don’t let their feelings rule them. They’re confident because they trust their intuition and don’t let their emotions get out of control. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they work on these areas so they can perform better. Many people believe that this self-awareness is the most important part of emotional intelligence.

 

Self- Control – This is the ability to control emotions and impulses, not allowing themselves to become too angry or make rash statements. They think before they act. Characteristics of self-control are thoughtfulness, integrity and resilience.

 

Motivation– People who are self motivated are able to defer immediate results for long-term success. They set goals to keep themselves on track, are highly productive, and challenge themselves.

 

Empathy – Empathetic people are insightful to others’ wants, needs, and viewpoints. As a result, empathetic people are usually excellent at managing relationships, listening, and relating to others.

 

Relationships with Others– It’s usually easy to talk to and like people with good social skills, another sign of high emotional intelligence. They are excellent communicators, resolve conflicts and are masters at building and maintaining lasting relationships.

 

How Can You Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

As a certified facilitator and trainer in Emotional Intelligence, I can offer you a personalized assessment to determine your level of EI.  The most effective way to improve EI is to follow the following  “3 step” plan:

  1. Assessment
  2. Action Plan
  3. Accountability Partner

I’ve written other posts on this topic.  Search under the categories to the right.

For more information on Emotional Intelligence boosting your job search strategy, contact me at Patricia @ CareerWisdomCoach.com or call 813/843-6934.

 

Work from Home Success

Working from Home?  Now What?

Work from Home Success

Work from Home Success

Almost 70% of college students and young professionals question working in a brick and mortar office (based on a recent Cisco survey).  It’s a good thing that many corporations are expanding their remote employee workforce to coincide to the shift.  Another study shows that over 80% of US employees work remotely at least once a week.  Yes; answering emails on your smartphone is counted.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

One challenge facing employers is how to keep remote employees engaged when they do not have as many contacts with their manager or fellow employees.  Another issue that crops up:  as good as a remote worker, sometimes they are concerned that they may be perceived as not as engaged – perhaps even a slacker.  “Out of sight, out of mind” ring a bell with anyone?

Dead end for my career? Not so!

So some wonder if it could hurt their promotional pursuits and career. Worries that their boss doesn’t remember that they are part of the team and doesn’t run into them in the hall.  This, all put together, can create challenges to most but there are ways to ensure that communication is effective.  Remote workers have a challenge in establishing and maintaining an “emotional” connection to the workforce in the office due to the the reality of no face time or minimal at best.

Keep in touch:

  • Your manager may not see your face every day but ensure that s/he sees your name.  Increased efforts to communicate are needed.
  • Explore tech available to have “face” time such as skype and videoconferencing.
  • Ask if it would be beneficial for you to come in to the office once a week (if that is possible). Ask if there are meetings or trainings which you should attend in person.
  • If your manager calls you at home, be positive and prepared to offer a summary of what you are working on, results, and accomplishments.  You need to showcase your results a bit more.
  • IM, text or tweet and phone to keep in contact.  Be cognizant of generational and/or organizational preferences to determine which mode of communication is best.  If not sure, ask.
  • Network as much as possible, inside the company and outside.  Build and maintain strong relationships so people know what you do, how you do it and how well you do it.

Success starts with you

Lastly, remember that the ultimate reason that people, remote or in the office, get promoted are the same: efficiency, effectiveness and results.  Unfortunately, the reverse can be said.  The reason people get fired are the same as in the office.  Take the precautions to not let your personal surroundings interfere with work.

Your Job Search and Career are my priority.  It’s my passion!  I have been responsible for hiring and developing high potentials like you for over 25 years in Fortune 500 companies.  I’ve made selection and promotion decisions as well as coached professionals to their career success.  I’d love to discuss your career success.

Contact me at 813/843-6934 or patriciaedwards2@verizon.net

Got EQ? Get Promoted Faster!

How Emotional Intelligence gets you promoted

What separates mediocre professionals from really great and successful professionals?  Technical and hard skills may qualify you for a position and get you the interview but your soft skills and emotional intelligence will get you the job.  They make you stand out from the hundreds of others interviewed.  They are what makes you sought after as a go-to problem solver.   Career Builder.com’s surveys always point out that employers value emotional intelligence over IQ!

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

And  not just a little but significantly.  Over 60% of hiring managers responded to the survey that they would not hire or promote  Continue reading

New Year, New Career?

Christmas is past, a year is behind us and many of us tend to look optimistically into the new year.  Aside from the typical “I will exercise more; I will lose ten pounds; I will finish my degree”, you may want a new job, a new career in 2014.

I’d ask you “Do you have a Career Plan?”  The most common response I hear is “Well, no but that’s a good idea.  Where do I start?”

New Year, New Job?

New Year, New Job?

Don’t fall victim to “Ghosts of Jobs Past” (sorry; I couldn’t help myself from recalling the ghosts of Christmases past as described in the famous Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Even though you may have not reached your career goals or have even had some negative career experiences, you can wipe the slate clean, just like Scrooge, and pursue a new life and, in this case, a new career.  “Start with the End in Mind”

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