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Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jun 17, 2016 in Interviewing Skills
Flexibility. Flexible Schedule. Flex-Time. What does that mean? Why does it matter?
Well, if you are a monkey swinging from tree to tree in the jungle, flexibility is key. You need to be flexible in order to grab the next branch to continue on your way and you need the branch to be flexible enough to hold your weight or it will snap.
In the workplace, or during an interview, flexibility is a far different thing. 14 years ago, when I first started in recruiting, I had never heard the term “flexibility” or “flexible hours” or “flexible work schedule” come up in conversation. I did hear candidates ask about the ability to leave work early if there was an emergency such as when a child was sick or the ability to work from home during a snow day.
Today, people think that they are entitled to work when they want, where they want, and how they want. They disguise this entitlement by using the term “flexible schedule” which sounds innocent enough, but is a loaded term. If the employer is not able to meet their demands, then that employer is “inflexible” and the company is potentially labeled as a bad place to work.
This week, I had a candidate who asked the client during the interview if she could work a “flexible schedule”. This question was asked during the first 5 minutes of her interview. The client was quite surprised by her question and asked for clarification. With a straight face, the candidate said, “I need to leave by 3pm each day.” The client was shocked. The client later related to me that she would not have minded a discussion on work hours later in the interview process to address any special needs that the candidate may have, but the timing and the severity of the restriction on time from their core business hours instantly put the candidate in an unfavorable light in her eyes.
Work is just that, work. You are not doing the company a favor by working there. You are applying to a position to gain employment to earn a living. You are offering your expertise to solve a business issue or need for the company. They do not owe you anything. It’s work for pay.
The appropriate time to discuss any special needs that you may have is not in the first 5 minutes of your first interview. The best time to approach the topic of “flexibility” is during the salary negotiation phase of the hiring process. Even then, you need to have realistic expectations and stay flexible yourself. If a company has core hours, see if there are alternative solutions you can explore before asking your employer or potential employer to change their policy to accommodate your needs. See if you can carpool to use HOV lanes or if a neighbor can watch your children for an hour after school so that you do not need to leave early. When all else fails, then approach your employer. Remember that you also earn trust over time with an employer. Often, flexibility is given to trusted employees after they have proven themselves in their current role. You should not expect to be given the same consideration right away when starting a new job as employees who have been with the company for a long time.
Flexibility is a 2-way street. Consider your request for “flexibility” before you ask for it, or you just might find yourself falling from that branch that you were so sure could hold you.
This guest post was contributed by Jake Hanson of the Merito Group.
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on May 16, 2016 in Job Search
, Lessons Learned
Employers who advertise a drug free work place will likely have drug testing in place as a condition of hire. With the legalization of marijuana in several states, this has caused some confusion for job seekers.
There are many kinds of drug tests that are administered for pre-employment checks. The drug test form will ask for all the medications you are taking so have a full list with the proper dosage information handy. If you have a prescription, you need to list it on the form. This should be done for ANY medication you take regularly or frequently. If it is prescribed, and it turns up in your test, your employer will consult their personnel policies when determining whether or not they will hire you based upon their established guidelines.
Some states border others, like in MD, VA and DC, so be mindful of what is legal in each jurisdiction when applying for work. Even if your state has a legalized marijuana policy, the federal government still lists marijuana as a controlled (illegal) substance. Federal laws take precedence over state laws especially if the company that you are applying to is a national or multi-state corporation or if that employer receives any kind of federal funding. This means that a company could still deny you employment for testing positive for marijuana even if marijuana is legal in your state and even if it is being used medicinally with a prescription.
Where we have advised job seekers to be forthright about criminal convictions in the application process, it is not a good idea to overshare about drug use. If you have questions about the company’s policy, ask them anonymously BEFORE you apply. Asking during the process may be detrimental to your application depending on the company, who you speak with, and them not fully understanding your personal situation. Try to get a person on the phone to discuss it vs webchat which may track your email and contact information.
If you pass the initial drug test to be employed, workplaces with a drug-free policy may do intermittent, random, and/or “reasonable suspicion” testing so if you are a prescription holder for marijuana, testing positive for the drug while you are currently employed- even if used off of company property and on your own time- can be cause for dismissal in a drug free workplace.
As more states legalize marijuana, more employers have to take a closer look at their hiring practices and policies. As you navigate the jungle, stay away from the weeds if you can avoid it.
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 22, 2016 in Building Confidence
, Job Search
, Thinking Positive
The job search jungle has often been characterized by the diversity of its inhabitants. Be it the kind of environments one has to cope with, or the competition you’re up against while making a run for the best of career options suiting your needs, it has never been an easy fight while surviving here. However, there’s one thing that you can learn from the animals around and especially the ones living underwater.
Be it the whistling, grunts, squeaks or the loving nature they display with those near, the dolphin has been adored by all owing to its social prowess. Known as the most ‘socially active’ animal after humans, Dolphins live together in pods (groups), with each group including species of variable sizes. This sure does press over the fact that your stature in the job market doesn’t matter. All that counts is the group, or simply put, the network you represent. Communicating actively to tackle problems together, Dolphins have immense social skills that you can learn from and implement in your job search strategy.
Consulting Your Network Every Now and Then
Obviously, the most significant step in this instance would be building a network full of professionals and connections you can learn from, one that keeps you together even during the most negative of situations.
Building on similar lines, being an active communicator to your network and expressing your concerns, such as resume formatting or difficulties, while following up with employers is also necessary. Observe Dolphins and you will surely find their entire pod coming up against the Shark every time they get attacked. All it takes is a message from a single Dolphin and the network stands as one from there on. This can happen with you as well, just stay active in expressing your concerns.
Beating the Stress through Efficient Means
Dolphins have quite a large brain and a great capacity to memorize complex tasks. Such is the case with you, except for the fact that you face the downs that come with stress and anxiety while chasing employers or waiting to hear from one. The moment Dolphins find themselves stuck in any such situation, you’ll observe them frolicking around with those around them (out of the water even). This calls for you to behave similarly and use your ‘social quotient’ to stay in touch with your network, friends, seniors, and mentors. Find ways to keep your mind off the stress and keep performing at your own pace. That is what the modern job search is all about.
Keep Finding More and Don’t Just Settle
Watch a Dolphin doing tricks and jumping out of the water, scoring a fish or squid snack every time and it still isn’t satisfied until a larger meal. Well, that certainly is a quality you can adopt for your job search campaign as well. Think about it every time you’re about to compromise on your choices and settle for an alternative just because the competition is fierce. Being socially active, there will be numerous chances for you to stay on an active lookout for opportunities while being updated regarding the competition around also.
Dolphins always keep an eye on their mates while staying on a fish hunt, but keep searching for better options, nevertheless. It is this knack that will get you in to the corporation of your dreams, soon enough!
This Guest Post was contributed by Anshuman. Anshunan Kukreti is a professional writer and a keen follower of the emirates job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the globe. Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 15, 2016 in Career Path
, Interviewing Skills
, Job Search
The hope of many college seniors is to quickly land a post-grad entry level position with their first choice company, doing what they majored in, with a competitive salary, and opportunities for professional development. The reality is quite different for many hopefuls.
A polar bear mother spends a few months of the year in a den with her newborn cubs. When the cubs are larger and stronger, they are able to leave the den and walk around. The cubs are glued to their mother’s side for the next few months playfully imitating her hunting habits in preparation for later life. For life after college, many graduation seniors are woefully unprepared as they leave the protective den of their alma mater.
Carolyn Thompson of Merito Group, and author of Resumazing – Ten Easy Steps to a Perfect Resume, touched on some of the more significant challenges that the 2016 class of graduating college students face when they begin to look for job opportunities in her interview with David Rawles, host of Career Solutions Radio.
You can listen to the interview here.
One of the most underused resources on a college campus, Carolyn points out, is the career center. Many students don’t even know where it is and once you graduate, its resources will no longer be available to you. The career center can help you figure out your value proposition and connect you with employers hiring for the skills you have. They also have information on employers that recruit on campus most frequently. While you are still near the den, utilize the resources available for you.
The worst thing that many students realize at graduation is that they did not get any work experience at all and have nothing on their resume. “Any job is better than no job.” Carolyn says. You are developing a history of reliability and dependability by having a regular responsibility outside of school. You can also volunteer or take an unpaid internship to get experience and references. For instance, if you are working in a bar as an accounting major, the bar is still a business that has to do bookkeeping and taxes. Volunteer doing small tasks for them if you are having trouble finding a job in your major or field. Take a lesson from the polar bear cubs and get the experience you need before graduation without the stress of needing the skills to survive.
For all of you graduating seniors in the Metro DC area, APPLY HERE.
To help prepare in the next couple of months before graduation while you are still warm in the den (besides a visit to your career center), spruce up your resume with these tips from Carolyn:
- Make sure your contact information on your resume is accurate. Typos in your email and cell phone number are very common mistakes.
- Include at least your zip code in your contact information. Locality can play an important role in certain positions and your resume might not come up in searches.
- Add a description of the companies you worked for (i.e. public or private, number of employees, revenue – whatever is relevant to the industry).
- Bullet point your accomplishments outside of your job description so they stand out and set you apart – what you made, saved, or achieved in the role. All polar bears are white to blend in with the snow, but here you need to standout!
- Write your skills together on your resume so they are easily found and can be reviewed quickly. (Technical skills, licenses, etc.)
- Make sure the skills you include are relevant to the job you are applying for. Saying you have your real estate license takes up space if you don’t need it for the job.
(Editor’s tip – if you worked through a temp agency, remember to note that on your resume so your employer can check your background more efficiently)
For those young entrepreneurs out there: Carolyn tells a story of a young person who ran his own lawn care business in college. LISTEN HERE to find out how she rewrote his resume to help him land a position as a financial analyst after graduation.
One thing to note for your job search, Carolyn mentions, is that small to mid-size companies have more flexibility in a single position to allow you to learn and do more. A lot of grads are attracted by marque name companies, but they might not get to do much in the role in such a large organization.
In the interview, David Rawles asks Carolyn about what she thinks is the biggest myth that many students may be thinking as they enter the workforce. Carolyn replies that some people think their first job dictates their future, but this is not the case. If you don’t land your dream job right away, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen later. Many people don’t get the job they thought they wanted and even those who do get their first choice may realize that it’s not for them and change. There is more than one ice floe in the arctic!
For more information about Career Solutions Radio with David Rawles click here.
-Lindsay Sellner, editor
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Feb 19, 2016 in Self Improvement
Cassowaries are flightless birds native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and Australia. It is the second heaviest living bird and the species subsists mainly on fruit. Cassowaries are identified by a prominent boney casque protruding from their wedge-shaped heads. Several purposes for the casque have been suggested including use as a weapon for dominance, protection against fruit falling from trees, or even as a sort of knife; aiding their ability to cut a speedy path through the forest vegetation.
As professionals, we continuously work to hone our networking skills. Those in business development are always working to uncover a new business prospect. Job seekers are continuously building their networks to obtain job opportunity referrals that might not be advertised using the “friend of a friend” network.
But how did those people originally become friends? I can promise you, it wasn’t from reaching out only when they needed something. They checked in from time to time and had recurring mutually beneficial exchanges that exemplified that they could trust and rely on one another. They created a relationship.
Relationships are built over time and go far beyond networking. If you are working to expand your network for personal or professional reasons, try changing your paradigm to cut through the jungle of networking and focus on expanding your relationships. How can you help someone else in their pursuits and, at the same time, reach your own goals?
Networking can be a painful part of job searching if you haven’t been building relationships along the way that are mutually beneficial. Job seekers who work tirelessly to get referrals while they are looking for work often neglect to continue the efforts that got them there after they get the job. I have heard countless stories about people who never received even a thank you note when they referred someone for a job. The job seeker was so focused on getting the job that they didn’t consider (or possibly remember) the person that made the intro for them.
Referrals are often made out of kindness without expecting anything in return, but when they are overlooked, it really sticks out in the referring person’s mind. I can almost promise you if you lose sight of building the relationship with the person that referred you, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get a second referral down the road. And the cycle will have to start from scratch again.
When you receive a referral, thank the person. Send a gift card, or a note in the mail, invite them to lunch or happy hour, but don’t just send another email. Referrals are a gift, not a right, and your own personal reputation is on the line when you refer someone to another person. Ask others how you can help them meet their goals this year as they were kind enough to assist you in meeting yours. That’s how you build a relationship.
People do business with people they know, trust and like. Rarely does a vendor get selected when they rub someone the wrong way.
Like the cassowary, use the tools you have to cut through the forest to reach your goal. Take time to keep good notes, thank people who help you along the way, and help them as well. Building relationships is far more important in building your network than just showing up and attending an event. Get involved at a higher level with your networking groups. Remember, It’s a two way street.
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jan 5, 2016 in Interviewing Skills
Getting an interview call is one thing and being successful is another thing. Everyone who has appeared for an interview knows this. It is a dream come true for anyone who successfully cracks an interview in one of the giants in the industry and start a career in Microsoft, Google, etc. We can always compare the competition involved in getting a job to that of the ways of the jungle. You need to be a powerful or a cunning one according to the situation and pounce on the prey (read job opportunity) at the right time.
Here this article will provide a view on how an interviewee can behave like a beast of the jungle to prey on a job opportunity with success. Are you going to be an opportunist or force your way to the job? Let us look at some of the ways how you can achieve it:
Be a juggernaut like a rhino
When it comes to interviews you will need to just focus on a certain goal and move rapidly towards it. In other words you need to be a juggernaut and sweep away all other candidates with your expertise. You cannot be viewed as a weak one when interviewing for one of the biggest companies in the world. They are going to grill you with some of the toughest answers that you will come across. So you need to move forward fast and without backing down.
Roar like a lion
Interviewers are going to intimidate you with some of the toughest problems and you need to let them know that you are the best suited candidate for the job. Just as the roar of a lion is distinguishable from the rest, which makes it king of the jungle, you will need to voice your skills loud enough (metaphorically) to let the interviewer know that you can do the job perfectly. Let them know that you are going to be majestic in your field.
Be cunning like a fox
Sometimes force simply does not work; you need to be careful, cunning and dodgy like the fox. If you are asked questions that seem complex, think before answering and be clever (innovative), which will give you an edge over the other candidates. Remember sometimes you will even need to dodge an answer if you are not too sure and this requires skills which you can acquire by preparing well for the interviews. Check out the type of questions that have been asked in the past and prepare accordingly.
Swoop on an opportunity like an eagle
Sometimes you will be given a hint or a glimpse that the job is yours for the taking but the interviewer is expecting more from you. In such cases you should know when to make the swoop and let him know why you are the best person for the job with clear reasons and how you are going to be successful. Good candidates know when to make the kill for the job. In simple they know when to give the right answer and how it will count.
Move fast like a cheetah
In a modern workplace, the candidates need to be fast-paced and easily adapt to the situations around them. You will also have to be a fast-learner as the competition is rising and professionals have to keep abreast of the latest technologies. These are things that the interviewer also look for in a candidate while offering them the job.
Overall you will need to be a powerful beast of a candidate to force your way into the job, when you are interviewing for a position in one of the best companies in the industry
This Guest Post was contributed by Hasib. Hasib is a professional writer working with one of the top job sites in India. He often writes articles related to interview preparations and also helps professionals in making their career decisions. He is an avid reader and passionate about the beautiful game of football. Reach him @ twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Dec 29, 2015 in Job Search
, Thinking Positive
A trip to the Zoo or any natural habitat would definitely allow you to observe one of the most static yet mystical creatures the jungle has to offer – a Crocodile. A large tropical reptile that preys on animals and sustains itself, the crocodile surely is one of the slyest creatures any living being can learn from.
A crocodile stays silent and calm until the right moment arrives and then lunges with its full force to capture prey. This draws us towards an analogy fit for the job search jungle as well. Be it any field you aim for, job offers start falling into your lap only when you are truly an opportunist and move ahead with the right approach. The discussion below talks in the same regard.
Growing should be the Only Thought in Mind
An opportunistic attitude is often viewed as a negative trait, one which makes you the ‘undesirable’ amongst others. Think about the Croc for a moment. It might be considered one of the most dangerous and harmful creatures in its vicinity, but isn’t that the way it sustains itself?
As far as a learning attitude is maintained, grabbing chances by the bud and making the tide turn in your favor is nothing to be worried or embarrassed about. Whether it is applying for new jobs, generating employer leads, networking or working on your personal branding efforts, there are numerous ways you are growing. Just don’t take it as another job, rather, it’s a new opportunity to grab!
It is the Only Way to Take Control of Your Career
There are people who keep waiting for the right opportunity throughout their lives and end up with nothing to show for it. There are also people who don’t wait, but create chances from whatever comes their way. Well, that is one attitude which ensures survival in today’s competitive work arena.
Chances to work and earn crucial skills come in all shapes and sizes. It’s up to you and your plans to make the right pick. In short, you take control of your career and propel it to greater lengths.
Being Opportunistic Makes you Time Efficient
With the world crunching down to the dire needs of the moment and everything coming with a sell-by-date, time efficiency is one of the major constraints one has to deal with. It might be nothing less than a piece of news, during one’s job hunt campaign, opportunities get out of hand as fast as they come.
Having realized the same, you definitely have a good reason to abstain from any detour on your path to the desired career goal. You realize how precious every small chance/option is, hence availing them the moment they arrive. There’s a reason the opportunist drank the glass of water while the optimist and pessimist were busy fighting over whether it was half full or half empty.
Critics Shouldn’t Matter
An old saying iterates that if you’re doing something different, criticism is obvious to follow and the same applies to the job search jungle as well. For many might despise the Crocodile, think of ways to prey on it and save themselves, but none succeed in stopping it from having a nice and healthy meal. Likewise, no matter what your peers talk about, reasons are plentiful for you to make full use of the opportunity. Give it a shot and see what follows next in your career!
This Guest Post was contributed by Anshuman, Anshuman Kukreti is a professional writer and a keen follower of the global job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the globe. Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!
All frogs hop, but no frog hops like the red-eyed tree frog. The red-eyed tree frog stealthily roams the jungles of Central and South America in a way different from the rest of his rainforest pals. The red-eyed tree frog is not only able to leap great distances quickly, but his feet have distinct sticky pads that allow him to hop from place to place with poise, precision, and grace. It is a given in today’s economy that career transition is the norm. As you navigate the job search jungle, you will want to act with the red-eyed tree frog’s finesse and poise as you leave one employer and interview with the next.
There is never a time when landing with grace is as important as when you are interviewing. Twice in the past couple of weeks, people have been passed over for great job offers because they spent too much time in the interview focusing on why they left something that was broken rather than moving towards something that was better for them. As you leapfrog through the job search jungle, positivity is the key to successfully landing gracefully.
For instance, when the interviewer asks you why you are leaving your present job, this is not an open invitation to bad-mouth your current or past companies. This would not be transitioning with poise. Even if your experiences have been negative, or if the company has more problems than profits, delving into the miry pit of your poor employment situation will only hurt you. Any negativity you project in the interview will set the tone regarding your personal outlook and most likely reflect poorly on you. The more you detail the negative aspects of your job, the more the interviewer will wonder, “If we hire her, what would he/she be telling other people about us?”
Positivity, on the other hand, pays off. So, how do you frame your story when it’s not all sunshine and roses? It should not be about what you are leaving; the point is you don’t look for reasons why something wasn’t a good fit for you in the same way you may not have been a good fit with the job. There is always something wrong with every organization. You will want to answer why the position you left or are moving towards is or was a positive step. How is it an opportunity for personal learning or professional growth?
Unfortunately, no one is going to pay you more money because you bought a bigger house or because the job you accepted isn’t perfect. However, an employer will pay you more if your expertise is in demand. Try to make the connection between your skills and enthusiasm and why this new job is an even better and exciting opportunity. If you can articulate this, your interview will come across as positive, and you, will be seen as a positive person. You will be transitioning gracefully.
Why is positivity so important? Based on your resume, the interviewer is aware of many of your skills, many of your accomplishments, your employment history, and your education. When they contact you for the interview they are giving you the nod that you could be making the right leap. By the time you are sitting face to face, the interviewer is just trying to figure out how you might fit in with the team, what it would be like working with you day to day, and how you respond to stressful situations in the office. When you demonstrate positivity, you assure them that you will effectively make the daily challenges easier to bare, and you will not bring in an attitude that demoralizes the team.
As you consider your next job, think about that nimble little red-eyed tree frog. Hopping from place to place can be awkward when you are not expressing the positivity necessary for a sticky landing. Your job transition is not about leaving a negative situation, it is always about moving positively towards opportunity.
This post was contributed by Jenny of Merito Group. Visit www.Meritogroup.com for more information and current job openings.
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Mar 10, 2015 in Job Search
The job-search jungle has long been ruled by members of the cat family. Power and ability to dominate being the foremost reasons, of course. However, there have been sufficient anomalies to prove that securing the most desirable job is not only the prerogative of those having power or resources. It is quite as much within the reach of other members too.
Your job-hunt might have been moving forward on the ‘ideal’ lines, but you aren’t finding returns favorable enough, right?
Well, that does force you into a deep introspection about things that might have gone wrong. Yes, speculating is a human tendency and so is getting hopeless.
An Ivory-billed Woodpecker stands as a great example in such a case. Boring nests in the tree trunk with a short and narrow beak, clearly indicating that with due persistence in one’s kitty, everything is achievable. The Woodpecker might find the tree trunk hard enough to penetrate with a timid beak, but driven by sheer will-power, the incessant taps never go in vain. That’s pretty much what you need to imbibe at the moment. Giving up on a job application and resting your case won’t land you in the workstation you desire. However, the spirit of not giving up definitely would!
Yes, you need to give calls repeatedly, drop messages on LinkedIn, follow the same process with a multitude of recruiters, find referrals and meet people, in short- you’ll have to be an opportunist from the get-go!
Here are some subtleties you can work on and be pleasantly persistent to land in your dream country job.
- Have a Concrete Reason for Contacting
The Woodpecker doesn’t tap the wood without a reason. It cares to bore a nest and is putting all its energy towards it. Likewise, you need to have a specific reason to contact a person during this process. ‘I’m just calling to follow up’ often sounds like a phrase stemming out of formality.
During your first contact, an introduction from a mutual acquaintance or because you read an article the person wrote, come across as legitimate reasons. Once you form a connection, an update on some prior discussion could be the reason to drop a call or schedule a meeting.
- Try and Schedule the Next Few Steps
A key-mistake most of the job-seekers commit after getting a recruiter’s attention is leaving the follow-up, up in the air. Always try to schedule the next chat or meet-up. The least you can try is to get permission to reach out again, within a certain timeframe.
In case you’re given a specific advice to follow at the first instance, reconnecting to give an update on what you did is also a worthwhile idea.
- Be in Touch with Multiple Professionals Rather than One
A Red-cockaded Woodpecker often prefers staying in a group of up to nine during the breeding season. Obviously, the power of a network holds due significance in nature’s every element.
Similarly, you can be in simultaneous touch with more than one personnel in an organization. If you targeted professional isn’t responding, try connecting with someone else.
Always avert being cynical about a person who isn’t being responsive and make sure you don’t spam an entire company.
- Being Explicit Would Work
Chipping off wood, flake by flake is how it goes about building a nest. Yes, perfection does lie in the details and that’s exactly what you need to keep in mind during your job-hunt.
Sometimes, it might just happen that the above strategies don’t work despite your best efforts. Such a situation demands for you to give the person a good enough reason to talk to you and give you a share of his valuable time.
This has worked on multiple occasions and has led the person to apologize for being unreachable. Going into the details and being explicit in your approach makes it hard for someone to believe that you’re annoying. Usually a last-ditch effort, but using this tactic more than once might not be a lucrative avenue.
It’s simply not enough to appear in an interview and waiting to hear back. Employers look forward to people with drive, passion and will-power to secure a job. So, arm yourself efficiently to go the extra mile. Results will surely be in your favor.
This Guest Post was contributed by Anshuman Kukreti. Anshuman is a professional writer and a keen follower of the emirates job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the globe. Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!
Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Sep 11, 2014 in Interviewing Skills
, Lessons Learned
Weird Tales from Behind the Recruiting Desk:
The jungle can be a tough place to find shelter, or in this jungle, a job, so let’s take a key piece of advice from our friend the chameleon – it can be in your best interest to blend in order to get ahead in the market. This thought came to light recently, as my last few months recruiting at the Merito Group has allowed me to uncover some of the more unique inhabitants of the jungle. Sticking out can be a great asset in an interview, but in these cases not so much.
In this blog series I will be examining a few candidates that were special cases – some facts may be exaggerated, skewed and twisted! These are meant to be lessons learned, not exposes of my stellar candidates, so please enjoy:
Be aware of your surroundings. The chameleon has an advantage above the rest of the jungle. They can slide under the radar of those trying to hunt them, but they still must be on guard! (It is, after all, a jungle out there.) Many companies in this day and age offer the flexibility of webcam interviews for those candidates who are still currently employed, but looking to make a move. Here at Merito Group we try to make the process as easy as possible for our candidates as well as our clients. I have had a few occurrences, though, that have made me wonder at the lack of professionalism exposed with this media.
Candidates who use their computer screen, phone, and other varying technologies as a security blanket: beware! Employers and recruiters will want to see you and meet you “in-person” so you must still present yourself professionally, even if it is from the comfort of your own home in a webcam or phone interview. Your interviewer will understand that your home is your place of comfort and exudes personality, but your cats, dogs, children, spouses, and cuckoo clocks are not a welcome distraction in an interview no matter where you are. Use a room where you have solitude from such distractions.
Technology is changing every day and to keep up with the times, we sometimes must use interfaces we are not used to. Please test your webcam, the platform, and your phone reception before calling in/showing up to an interview that is not “in person.” The most annoying thing our clients have to put up with on phone or webcam interviews is that the candidate doesn’t have great call quality or internet speed. Use a land line or go to a library, if necessary! Sometimes a webcam can freeze due to bandwidth limits, weather, or even user error. Please be aware that both sides may not always freeze at the same time: do not assume your interviewer cannot see you! Maintain your professional persona until after your interview is complete. Many technological issues can be avoided with the proper preparation.
Remember: You can’t re-do a first impression! More on that in my next post…
This guest post was contributed by Emily Craig of Merito Group. If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!