Interviewing Tips from the Experts
Interviewer: Are you questioning your questions?
When on a career search it is commonplace for a career seeker to look at the process with the overarching theme of “I’ll get this job if they really want me”, but there is an interesting reality in this relationship that few interviewers diligently embrace: you may get this job if you show that you really want them.
Obviously, good employers hire proactively based on skill set and the experience necessary for a role but when it comes down to multiple candidates who possess those elements the intangibles will be the deciding factor. Amongst those intangibles are a desire and passion to work at the chosen organization. The communication of this element could lead you or your competition to landing that dream job so let’s look at best practices to gain you an upper hand.
The portrayal of passion to work for an organization you are interviewing starts early on in the interview process. You must have done diligent research on the organization and gone beyond just looking at their website. Utilize the many resources available including social media, publicized employer reviews and your personal network to gain greater knowledge base to draw conclusions on employer culture, strategic decisions, leadership and market positioning.
Once you have these assumptions bring them up wisely in the first set of interviews by the questions you ask. The questions a candidate asks in the interview says as much about them then how they answer questions. The beauty of this is that you will have the ability to develop the questions prior to the interviews.
Most candidates anticipate interview questions and prepare answers, which is great, but the candidate that preps the right question will have a hand up on their competition for that dream job. Don’t hesitate to write these down and take them with you into the interview. Doing so portrays professionalism and preparedness – two desired traits for any job you will be interviewing for.
The questions you ask and the answers you receive about the organization will be the foundation to selling them on the fact you really want to work there. You can cater your selling points as the ideal candidate in further correspondence based on the info gathered from the high end questions you have prepared.
Employee turnover has been of interest for good organizations over the past few decades. Today, good organizations have more data and therefore are more in-tune with employee retention then any point in history. This fact coupled with the increased cost of employee turnover associated with a tighter labor market, increased health care costs and technological advances leading to more competitive markets make hiring with retention in mind a strategic objective of all hiring professionals. Good hiring authorities want candidates that really want to work for them because it increases the probability of retention.
Understanding this reality can help you better cater your approach to excelling in the communication that you really want to work at the organization you are interviewing with. Just remember that the questions you ask may be as important as how you answer the questions you are asked. Catapult yourself into the organization and career fit of your dreams by interviewing better than your competition. For more tips or to ask any clarifying questions to empower you on your career search contact us today for free one on one help. We would love to be a tool in your toolbox to make your career dreams come true!
In all the relational circles I spend time in it seems there is a growing grumbling and concern for the trends in communication. With the realities of busyness and reliance on email, texting and social media correspondence less people genuinely connect in communication these days. This is why I am coining a new term for where we need to focus on in all levels of our relationships: Connectication
Connectication is a hybrid of communication and connecting. Psychological research shows that human connection is a major variable to happiness in one’s life and I am concerned that true connection is on the decline because of some of our world’s communication trends; therefore, I am going to make 2016 a year where I focus on connecticating.
To connecticate one must value the person that is being communicated with. Genuine value for another can only better relationship. It seems with the quantity of people I communicate with each day it is harder to realize the genuine value of each person, but that is no excuse. I am seeking to have high quality relationships in my life not high quantity. I have found when life gets tough and I need to lean on others those who step up are the genuine relationships so I seek to deepen quality relationships this year, not expand my rolodex with quantity of shallow relationships.
One of my core focal points to better connecticate this year is to look for opportunity to be empathetic to create genuine value in relationships. I believe the difference between sympathy and empathy is the ability to truly relate to another’s circumstance. For example if my friend gets in an accident and breaks his collarbone I can have sympathy, while if in the past or present I have also broken my collarbone and I truly understand the nature of the hardship, inconveniences and pain then I can have empathy. To take more of an empathetic posture in my relationships I am having a keen ear to listen to other’s life circumstance that I have or am also experiencing. Doing so will help me listen and relate genuinely with the ability to help, speak into and pray for that persons hardships.
I am excited about building deeper relationship through intentionality and connectication. Please help me and others learn how you are connecticating and maybe we can change the growing grumbles and concerns for the trends in communication towards depth, empathy and richness.
The Conscious Candidate: Understanding the Trilogy of Time
One of the greatest ways a candidate can convey self-awareness in an interview is to be able to understand and clearly communicate all the aspects of their past, what has made them who they are and their vision, for where they want to go.
This relationship of the past, the present and the future is what I call the trilogy of time.
PAST: The conscious candidate can speak clearly about their past failures and their past successes in their work. In regards to mistakes made, the conscious candidate will be able to pinpoint the details of what they would do differently. They will not pass the buck and they will show willingness to learn from the experience. They will, essentially, be able to make lemonade out of lemons. The conscious candidate will also be able to talk about their success. They will able to articulate the importance of those who have mentored them and made them a better leader. They will be able to pinpoint the types of environments that they are most successful in and the essence of a job that they find most rewarding. Ultimately, the conscious candidate will be able to communicate exactly what of their past career highs and lows have taught them about who they are in the present moment.
PRESENT: The conscious candidate is highly aware of who they are in the current season of life. They must be able to speak to their specific motives of career change. They must have consciousness and intentionality about why they are seeking a specific company they are interviewing for. They must be aware of the aspects of the organization they are trying to join and connect the dots as to how that organization and themselves are a great fit. To do so, the conscious candidate must have done their homework on the organization they are interviewing with and have taken the time to retreat and reflect on who they have become through the journey of their career.
FUTURE: The conscious candidate must have vision for the future and be equipped to clearly communicate where they want to be in their career in the future. There is a fine line between realistic ambition and over ambition. Just the right level of ambition can be a great selling point to a prospective employer, while over ambition will concern the hiring manager that the candidate might be a flight risk and will minimize offers. Patience and desire to absorb as much as possible are traits that are highly desired. The conscious candidate will have thought out how they want to convey the vision of growth for themselves and their future. They should do so in light of the research they have done on the organization so that their growth plan is feasible for the organization.
The conscious candidate is prepared, intentional, and aware. Understanding your past work experiences, your skill set that has been derived from these experiences, who you are today because of these experiences and detailing a vision that is consistent with the structure of an organization will help you ACE that interview and increase great opportunity.
Connect with AGI Hospitality so we can help you gain better awareness around who you are and how you can better your opportunities today!
Facts Tell, Stories Sell! Most have heard this common phrase when it comes to marketing.
Well guess what, career seeker? When you embark on a career seeking process, you embark on a marketing process. Understanding the principles of marketing and the sales process can differentiate a good career seeker to one that will get a lot of, “no thank you’s” from perspective employers. So, as you build your resume and start to prepare for the interviews with the company of your dreams, remember to have a number of good stories that will convey your brightest skills, experience, and professional victories.
One of the most common attributes that we hear career seekers use to describe themselves is that they are a team player. Okay… that sounds great, humble and certainly a sign of a great leader, but I always follow that up with, “Awesome, tell me about where your leadership decision led a team to brighter pastures.” That’s when the truth comes out.
Almost 50% of the time, a career seeker has a hard time verbalizing an example that shows me they are truly a team player. I love it when I do get a story about a decision, a time, or a modeling behavior that led a team to greater heights. Those candidates that provide me with a good story are the ones that walk the walk and in this case, are really team players. Those that gave me awkward silence and sputtering of more promised traits are the ones that need to get back in the field and take note of team work.
I know this is not earth shattering advice for the career seeker, but take it seriously and be very intentional to quantify results of the attributes you are selling about yourself on your resume – this is the fact! But don’t make it general; get specific with numbers, ratios percentages, and improvements. In the interview, take that fact and ring it out with a great story. By doing so, you will build better rapport with the interviewer, show them you can walk the walk, and land that dream job!
As we say goodbye to the year 2015, we consider (and hope) for what 2016 will bring. Resolutions are made, whether that means losing extra weight brought on from holiday goodies, starting school, spending more quality time with family or saving more money for that dream vacation… we’ve all got something we want to accomplish next year!
A recent survey asked 2,300 people if they were happy with their job. A surprising 43% were unhappy and wanted to change something; more money, more time at home, advancement, growth, development.
If you are one of those individuals unhappy with your current situation, consider adding a new career to your 2016 resolutions. A new year is a new beginning for our GREAT employers with budgets, territories and unfilled needs.
We’ve got the opportunities and are happy to walk along side of you in your career path to find you a career that offers more money, better advancement, growth prospects and added time with your family.
We wish you the happiest of holidays and happy beginnings to your 2016!