Via Above The Law : Interviewing Advice For People Who Hate To Interview
Delivered through a charmingly overextended dating analogy.
In terms of the most dreaded activities in the legal profession, interviewing is right up there with networking and attending CLEs. To me, interviewing is the same as going on a series of first dates where you desperately want to be in a relationship and the other person plays it cool. You get all dressed up, make polite small talk, and laugh nervously. All the while, you are really just thinking “are we going to do this thing or not?” Beforehand, you wait in anticipation, hands sweating, as you play out all possible scenarios of how horribly wrong things could go, and afterwards you sit around anxiously waiting for the phone to ring.
My heart palpitates just thinking about it. Luckily for you, I’ve been on both a lot of first dates (as accurately predicted by my parents) and through many job interviews (as both the interviewer and the interviewee) and gathered my best survival tips below.
It is 2017, does anyone go on a date anymore without googling the person before? I think not. The same should be true for interviews. While you have probably already researched the company in order to prepare your application, it is time to take things to the next level. Hopefully, you know the names of the people you will be meeting with and can now put those years of internet stalking to good use. You don’t want to dive so deep that you freak your interviewer (or date) out, but if there is a piece of information readily available about him or her in a Google search, you should know it.
While you are doing your research, don’t forget to look yourself up. Do a quick search of your own name. The prospective employer is probably searching you as well and you want to know exactly what they will see. This is also a good time to review any interview materials you submitted. You will surely be asked some difficult questions during your interview but “where did you go to college?” shouldn’t be one of them.
You would probably put some serious thought into what to wear on a first date, so don’t forget to do the same for your interview. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable in what you are wearing, because if you feel uncomfortable, you will look uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean show up in yoga pants and a tank top that says “rosé all day on it.” Rather, find something that fits, makes you feel confident, and isn’t going to, in any way, distract your interviewer. The last thing you want is to nail the interview, but leave the interviewer asking, “do you think she will dress like that every day?”
Dates and interviews are all about first impressions. In order for either to be successful, both parties have to like each other (albeit in very different ways). This concept first came to my attention when I was interviewing for 1L summer internships. An interviewer told me that after a candidate has established that he or she has the minimum qualifications necessary for a job, the next consideration is whether he actually likes the candidate personally, and if he or she is someone he would want to work with on a daily basis. This is why it is so important to be yourself. If you pretend to be someone you are not and get the job, everyone, including you, will be unhappy when you get there.
Have you ever been on a date where it seems like the other person isn’t really listening to you and that he or she is just waiting for his or her turn to talk? Kind of sucks, doesn’t it? That is why it is crucial during a job interview to listen to understand, not just respond. Don’t just be interesting be interested. Ask questions, not just because you have to, but also because you genuinely want to know more.
This can be a really difficult thing to do. Particularly when you are nervous and want to make sure that you say the “right” thing. However, if you are constantly focused on how you will respond to something, you are never truly present, and that will be obvious to the interviewer. Don’t be afraid to listen fully and then take a moment to gather your thoughts and respond. Pausing to give a well thought out answer will usually be more effective than rushing to fill the silence.
If you went on a really good date, you would most likely want to see that person again right? But, maybe you wouldn’t reach out to him or her because you don’t want to seem desperate or you want him or her to text you first. Like I always say, “don’t play games in love or interviewing.” Just kidding. I’ve never said that before. But, it is still good advice.
Make sure you send a follow up thank you after your interview. It is not only the nice thing to do, but it also lets the interview know you are seriously interested in the position. If you are looking for a way to stand out, consider sending a handwritten note, because you know everyone else will send an email. Word of caution: make sure your thank you notes are short, sweet, and thoroughly proofread.
An interview, like a date, is in every way a pitch. You are putting yourself out there, proposing an idea, and have the chance to get hurt or let down in the process. The very best advice my business mentor has given me on pitching is to quickly put it behind you and move on to the next thing. Once you drop that thank you card in the mail, find something else to focus on. You can’t telepathically will them to hire you (but if you figure out how, please let me know) and continuing to think about it will only lead to anxiety. Instead, turn back to the job search, preparing for classes, or another project you have going on.
If you hate interviewing, this probably didn’t make you love it or feel super excited to do it. But, maybe it did make you want to go on a date? Either way, I hope the interview process seems a little less daunting now.
Via Forbes : 14 Bad Hiring Practices And What You Can Do To Improve
The hiring process is long, involved and expensive. There are a lot of different hoops to jump through, including creating an ad that draws in the right candidates, sorting through a horde of resumes — not all of which will be worth your time — and then running through the interview process, with its myriad of quirks and pitfalls.
Given all the different people and aspects involved in the process, it’s remarkably easy for things to go off the rails, or for bad practices to slip into the system. A good interviewer knows that having a clean application system, one that won’t drive away candidates, is crucial. Job postings not only need to include a pay range, but should clearly specify what tasks and duties you’re looking for someone to perform.
That clarity has to continue after the interviews are complete, as well: Candidates who know what steps are coming next, and what information they’re likely to get — and when — are more likely to sign on when an offer arrives. After all, interviewees are reviewing a company as much as the company is reviewing them, and the most skilled and talented candidates are perfectly aware they have other options if things don’t look right.
So where can your hiring process improve, and how can you get the most out of your interviews? Members from Forbes Coaches Council have the following advice:
1. Upgrade Your Applicant Tracking System
The first impression a job candidate has of a company is how difficult it might be to apply for a job. Good companies with antiquated applicant-tracking system computers can frustrate the job candidate to no end. Instead, companies should go through their application process to see if it is easy or difficult, in order to evaluate if an upgrade might be needed. – Rebecca Bosl, Dream Life Team
2. Don’t Be Corpo-Robotic
Companies must stop viewing the interview process as a necessary evil. It’s a great chance to be human, relatable and caring to every candidate, instead of being perceived like every other robotic corporation with people who don’t prepare, ask the same useless questions and end up hiring based on the same biases as usual, leading to disastrous hires and turnover rates. – Yuri Kruman, Master The Talk Consulting
3. Include Pay Range On Your Job Posting
Set fair and equitable compensation structures for your company, and then make these standards clear on the application or in the initial phone screens. This will save time for you and the candidate if the range is no longer a good fit. It will also improve overall culture by reducing salary resentment between coworkers. – Lindsey Day, Magnetic Career Consulting
4. Be Clear On Key Aspects Of The Role
When managers use interview intuition and resume roulette to make hiring decisions they make big mistakes. Hire people who will be motivated and inspired by the accountabilities of the role. Ensure from the questions asked during the interview that this is the right person to do the work. Not being clear on the key accountabilities for the role is a bad practice, one that can easily be solved. – Shawn Kent Hayashi, The Professional Development Group LLC
5. Don’t Use A Recruiter Who Isn’t Familiar With The Position
Repeatedly, I’ve seen and heard of companies using a recruiter (even internally) to screen potential employees without knowing much about the position or role. This is a mistake. The potential candidate is interested in knowing the details to see if it’s a good fit, but also to offer value to the position. This can’t be done with little or incorrect knowledge of what the position entails. – Kelly Meerbott, You: Loud & Clear
6. Be Prepared For The Interview
The interviewer must be just as prepared for the interview as the potential job candidate. An interviewer who is distracted, underprepared or indifferent to the interview process sends a clear signal that the candidate has little value to the organization. It is unlikely that the most qualified candidates will accept a job offer! – Erin Urban, UPPSolutions, LLC
7. Don’t Create Too Many Hoops
Avoid having candidates go through a never ending gauntlet of interviews. Meeting with 10, 15 or 20 people will not ensure that you are hiring the best person for the job. As a matter of fact, it may sabotage the process because you can never get that many people to agree. Determine what your criteria are, who can help make the decision about the candidate and who adds value to the process. – Edith Onderick-Harvey, NextBridge Consulting, LLC
8. Don’t Make People Wait During Scheduled Appointments
I have found making people wait when they have a scheduled appointment with you, interviews included, leaves a person feeling devalued and disrespected. Keep this in mind and honor your appointment times. This will demonstrate respect those who are there to meet with you. Their time is as valuable as yours. – Michelle Braden, MSBCoach, LLC
9. Don’t Dominate The Conversation
Avoid dominating the interview by speaking the whole time. It’s often said in journalism that the person who gets the other person to talk more wins the interview. Ask thoughtful behavioral questions to assess “fit.” See what the candidate knows about the group. Have they done their research or conducted informational interviews or looked at the web site? Resist babbling about the company. – Joanne Markow, GreenMason
10. Don’t Seek Free Consultancy Work From Interviewees
It’s important that employers understand how a candidate approaches challenges through their thought process. However, many employers cross the line by asking for free work, lists of potential clients or consultant type solutions with no real intention to onboard. If the interviewing process is extended, do not rob candidates of their intellect in an effort to impress. – LaKisha Greenwade, Lucki Fit LLC
11. Resist The Temptation To Dig for Dirt
News flash for employers: Candidates are human, too. It’s likely they’ve taken at least one job in the past that wasn’t a good fit or struggled early in their careers (perhaps you’ve done the same?). Instead of interrogating interviewees about negative items, encourage open communication about what interests them and what they could do for you. You might find your ideal candidate a little faster. – Laura Smith-Proulx, An Expert Resume
12. Your ‘Gut’ Is Not A Recruiter
“I know it when I see it.” “I kinda go with my gut.” This approach is the biggest issue that companies have when it comes to recruiting and interviewing. While your “gut” may react to a candidate, it is not your best gauge of the candidate’s abilities. Instead, interview against a set of competencies that support the job description, with behavioral-based questions addressing each competency. – Kathleen Taylor-Gadsby, KTG Leadership Solutions
13. Don’t Ask About Previous Pay
When salary history questions are asked in the beginning of an interview, like, “What is your previous salary or what is your current salary?” there is an expectation that a candidate will disclose their personal information. Often salary questions are asked before qualifications have been discussed. This practice leaves candidates wary of the corporate brand, culture, pay equity and the hiring process. – Elva Bankins Baxter, Bankins Consulting, Inc.
14. Don’t Neglect To Share Next Steps
Often, job candidates leave the interview with no clue about what happens next. I believe the candidate should be aware of expected communication, whether or not the candidate receives a job offer. The interviewee is also interested in other details, such as how long the resume will be on-file and active, time frame for the hire decision and whether more interviews may be required. – Deborah Hightower, Deborah Hightower, Inc.
Via Forbes : Best Interview Tip: Stop Trying To Impress The Interviewer
I’m a big fan of your work. I’ve been in HR nearly as long as you have (since 1987).
I interview twenty to twenty-five applicants per week on average. I’ve noticed three things:
1. The more prepared an applicant is, the more confident and relaxed they are at the interview. When I can get an applicant out of “oral exam” mode, then we can have a real conversation about the role and their goals and background.
2. Applicants who are confident are much more likely to get a job offer than applicants who virtually beg for the job.
3. Applicants who use their energy trying to impress me don’t often succeed. People who come to the interview with their own ideas, stories, opinions and perspectives are much more likely to get the offer.
I hate to see talented people undermine their own candidacy by sending the message “Please choose me!”
Keep up the good work Liz —
There are parallels between job-hunting and dating. When you’re dating and when you’re job-hunting, you need to have standards.
You have to know that you are worthy. If you go on a first date with someone who puts you on a pedestal and tells you “I don’t know if I’m good enough for you, but my fondest wish is to see you again!” you are not likely to be excited about the second date.
People who lack confidence in themselves don’t inspire confidence in other people. Most of us want to date someone with healthy self-esteem.
When you’re trying a fill a position, you want to hire someone who knows what they bring — even if they haven’t held this exact job before. You want to hire someone who can solve some of your company’s problems.
You don’t want to hire the person who begs for the job most convincingly. Any company that is looking for people like that to hire is an unhealthy organization.
I wish every job-seeker could see the videotapes that play in my head when I write or speak about this topic. I sat in countless staffing meetings where my fellow managers and I talked about the candidates we had met during the week.
Which candidates made our hearts beat faster? The candidates who knew their own worth, of course! We brainstormed about how to put together comp packages that would win those candidates to our cause. We never worried about snagging candidates who didn’t know their own value.
On many occasions I pulled a candidate aside and coached them on their interviewing posture. “You will be more successful in the second round of interviews if you remember that you are here for a very good reason,” I told them. “You did not get lucky when we invited you to interview. You could argue that we got lucky when you showed up. Remember who you are!”
Fear is a powerful motivator. When someone is worried about money, naturally they might begin to fear the prospect of losing out on a job opportunity. If they only knew how that fear radiates from them and sours their chance at the job, they might shift their approach!
To stay cool and calm during an interview, preparation is the key.
Read everything you can find about the organization and about your hiring manager. Put yourself mentally in the job and ask “What are the issues this manager is most likely to be dealing with?”
Spend a few hours mentally preparing for the interview. It’s worth the time investment, to make sure you are sharp and confident on interview day!
You have no one to impress. Anyone who can’t see your talents doesn’t deserve you. Stay in your body during the interview. Trust that when the right job for you shows up, you’ll know it and your interviewer will know it, too.
Thanks for the reminder, Melissa!
Via Forbes : If You Want To Fail A Job Interview, Just Say The Words ‘You’ And ‘They’
Did you know that in job interviews, high performers actually speak differently than low performers? In a research study called “Words That Cost You The Job Interview” we discovered that interview answers rated poorly by hiring managers contain very different words than interview answers rated highly. For example, bad interview answers use the word “you” almost 400% more than good interview answers, and “they” 90% more.
Textual analysis is still considered “rocket science” in much of the corporate world, but as early adopters of this fascinating science, we’ve analyzed the language and grammar of hundreds of thousands of real-life candidates responding to interview questions to assess the differences in language usage between high and low performers.
As a result, we know things like whether high performers primarily use the past or future tense in their answers, what kinds of pronouns and adverbs low performers choose, and so much more. The following are just a few of our ‘Holy Cow!’ findings regarding two of the big textual categories: Pronouns and Tense.
• First Person Pronouns: High performer answers contain roughly 60% more first-person pronouns (e.g. I, me, we) than answers given by the low performer answers (the ones in the Warning Signs category).
• Second Person Pronouns: Low performer answers contain about 400% more second person pronouns (e.g. you, your) than high performer answers.
• Third Person Pronouns: Low performer answers use about 90% more third person pronouns (e.g. he, she, they) than high performer answers.
• Neuter Pronouns: Low performer answers use 70% more neuter pronouns (e.g. it, itself) than high performer answers.
The data here clearly shows that high performers talk about themselves using first-person pronouns a lot more than low performers do. High performers might say something like: “I called the customer on Tuesday and I asked them to share their concerns…” Whereas a low performer might say: “Customers need to be contacted so they can express themselves…” or: “You should always call the customer and ask them to share…”
The reason high performers talk about themselves is that they’ve got lots of great experiences to draw from. But low performers don’t have those great experiences, and thus are more likely to give abstract or hypothetical answers that merely describe what “you” should do. Research has also found that when people lie, they often use more second and third person pronouns because they’re subconsciously disassociating themselves from the lie.
The lesson here is to listen very carefully to whether candidates are talking about “I” and “me” — which is good — or if they’re talking about “you,” “he” and “it” — which is not so good.
• Past Tense: Answers from high performers use 40% more past tense than answers from low performers.
• Present Tense: Answers from low performers use 120% more present tense than answers from high performers.
• Future Tense: Answers from low performers use 70% more future tense than answers from high performers.
Our research shows that when you ask high performers to tell you about a past experience, they will actually tell you about that past experience. And, quite logically, they will use the past tense to do it. By contrast, low performers will answer your request to describe a past experience with lots of wonderfully spun tales about what they are (present tense) doing, or what they will (future tense) do. Unlike high performers, they can’t tell you about all those wonderful past experiences because they simply don’t have them.
So, for instance, when asked to describe a difficult customer situation, high performers will respond with an example stated in the past tense. Something like: “I had a customer who was having issues with her server and was about to miss her deadline.” By contrast, low performers are more likely to express their response in the present or future tense. Something like: “When a customer is upset the number one rule is to never admit you don’t know the answer” or “I would calm an irrational person by making it clear I know more than they do.”
It’s also interesting to note that much of the time, present and future tenses are accompanied by second and third person pronouns (“you, he, she, they, did…”), whereas the past tense is linked to the first person pronoun (“I, me, we, did…”).
As we know from our Hiring For Attitude research, 89% of hiring failures come from attitude rather than from technical skills. And where does attitude manifest itself in a job interview? In the language that candidates use.
Textual analysis is truly a revolutionary idea that allows us to listen to candidates’ language and assess whether they’re headed towards the high or low performer camps.
Via Forbes : Can’t Get Job Interviews? Here’s What You’re Doing Wrong
I didn’t expect to be job-hunting in 2017 because I only started my current job in late 2015.
However, my company is selling off business units left and right.
I don’t want to sit around and wait for the day my job gets eliminated, so I’m job-hunting at night and on the weekends.
I can’t get an interview to save my life and it’s weird because I’ve always gotten interviews pretty easily before.
I’m not sure why my job search efforts aren’t working yet, but it’s frustrating.
I must have filled out 40 online job applications so far, but I haven’t had one interview.
What am I doing wrong?
Thanks Liz –
You are employed. That makes you a favored job candidate for a lot of employers, so it is strange that you aren’t getting interviews.
One of these two things isn’t working properly:
1. Your branding (resume and LinkedIn profile) might be holding you back, and/or
2. Your approach to employers may be less than optimal.
There are only two elements in your initial approach to employers.
The first element is your brand.
Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are positioning you correctly for the jobs you want. Get a friend to read both documents and help you tell your story more powerfully.
The second element is the channel you employ — that is, the way you introduce yourself to the organization you want to work for — and the other element is your message.
Your message is your brand. When you apply for a job, your goal is to send the message “I can perform this job with no problem. In fact, my perspective and my experience make me a top candidate for the job!”
If you are applying for jobs online but doing nothing else to reach employers, you are relying on the weakest possible job search channel.
Filling out online job applications is the worst way to get a new job, because so many other applicants are in the same pipeline with you and because employers use keyword-searching technology to find people to interview.
Keyword-searching algorithms are a horrible way to hire people, but also the most common process used by medium-sized and large employers.
You can’t afford to pin your job-search hopes on Black Hole recruiting portals where resumes go to die.
You can write directly to your own hiring manager — your possible future boss — using a Pain Letter.
Here are four other job search channels to consider:
3. Alumni groups
If you have always snagged new jobs easily before, you may have a recruiter-friendly resume of the type that search consultants would like to have.
You can find local recruiters in your area of expertise by searching LinkedIn, asking your contacts and attending local business networking events where you will either meet recruiters or meet people who can recommend a search partner for you.
Networking is an excellent, long-term job search channel because networking doesn’t work instantly. Since you have a job, you have time to re-establish old relationships and cultivate new ones, but you have to invest time and energy into the networking channel for it to bear fruit.
Your college alumni association may be a great job search channel too, whether you live in the area of your alma mater or many time zones away.
Finally, you can get business cards and begin networking as a consultant, rather than a job-seeker.
This is especially important because you currently employed. You can take on small consulting projects on your off-work hours, and use that channel to enlarge your network — and perhaps consult your way into your next job!
All the best —