How To Find The Right Career For You

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Everyone says it’s important to find a job you’re good at, but no-one tells you how to do so.The standard advice is to think about it for weeks and weeks until you “discover your talent”. To help, career advisers give you quizzes about your interests and preferences. Others recommend you go on a gap yah, reflect deeply, imagine different options, and try to figure out what truly motivates you…then chunder everywhere.

But as we saw in an earlier article, becoming really good at most things takes decades of practice. So to a large degree your abilities are built rather than “discovered”. Darwin, Lincoln, JK Rowling and Oprah all failed early in their career, then went on to completely dominate their fields. Albert Einstein’s 1895 schoolmaster’s report reads, “He will never amount to anything.”

Asking “what am I good at?” needlessly narrows your options. It’s better to ask: “what could I become good at?”

That aside, the bigger problem is that these methods don’t work. Plenty of research shows that it’s really hard to predict what you’ll be good at ahead of time, especially just by “going with your gut”, and it turns out career tests don’t work either.

Instead, the best way to find the right career for you is to go investigate – learn about and try out your options, looking outwards rather than inwards. Here we’ll explain why and how.

More Reference: https://www.careerenjoyment.com/career-test-free-aptitude-test-and-quiz

Reading time: 20 minutes.

The bottom line

  • Your degree of personal fit in a job depends on your chances of excelling in the job, if you work at it. Personal fit is even more important than most people think, because it increases your impact, job satisfaction and career capital.
  • Research shows that it’s really hard to work out what you’re going to be good at ahead of time, especially through self-reflection.
  • Instead, go investigate. After an initial cut-down of your options, learn more and then try them out.
  • Minimise the costs of trying out your options by doing cheap tests first (usually start by speaking to people), then trying your options in the best order (e.g. business jobs before non-profit jobs).
  • Keep adapting your plan over time. Think like a scientist investigating a hypothesis.

Being good at your job is more important than you think

Everyone agrees that it’s important to find a job you’re good at. But we think it’s even more important than most people think, especially if you care about social impact.

First, the most successful people in a field account for a disproportionately large fraction of the impact. A landmark study of expert performers found that:1

A small percentage of the workers in any given domain is responsible for the bulk of the work. Generally, the top 10% of the most prolific elite can be credited with around 50% of all contributions, whereas the bottom 50% of the least productive workers can claim only 15% of the total work, and the most productive contributor is usually about 100 times more prolific than the least.

So, if you were to plot degree of success on a graph, it would look like this:

Log-normal distribution of success of workers in a field

It’s the same spiked shape as the graphs we’ve seen several times before in this guide.

In the article on high impact jobs, we saw this in action with areas like research and advocacy. In research, for instance, the top 0.1% of papers receive 1,000 times more citations than the median.

These are areas where the outcomes are particularly skewed, but a major study still found that the best people in almost any field have significantly more output than the typical person. The more complex the domain, the more significant the effect, so it’s especially noticeable in professional jobs like management, sales, and medicine.

Now, some of these differences are just due to luck: even if everyone were an equally good fit, there could still be big differences in outcomes just because some people happen to get lucky while others don’t. However, some component is almost certainly due to skill, and this means that you’ll have much more impact if you choose an area where you enjoy the work and have good personal fit.

Second, even if you don’t want to contribute directly, being successful in your field gives you more career capital, which can open up high-impact options later. It also gives you influence and money, which can be used to promote good causes. Think of the example of Bono switching into advocacy for global poverty.

Third, being good at your job and gaining a sense of mastery is a vital component of being satisfied in your work. We covered this in the first article.

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Fourth, as we saw earlier, the jobs that are least likely to be automated are those that involve high-level skills, and technology is increasing the rewards for being a top performer.

All this is why personal fit is one of the key factors to look for in a job. We think of “personal fit” as your chances of excelling at a job, if you work at it.

If we put together everything we’ve covered so far in the guide, this would be our formula for a perfect job:

The personal fit multiplier

If you’re comparing two career options, you can use these factors to make a side-by-side comparison (read more).

Personal fit is like a multiplier of everything else, and this means it’s probably more important than the other three factors. So, we’d never recommend taking a “high impact” job that you’d be bad at. But how can you figure out where you’ll have the best personal fit?

Hopefully you have some ideas for long-term options (from earlier in the guide). Now we’ll explain how to narrow them down, and find the right career for you.

(Advanced aside: if you’re working as part of a community, then your comparative advantage compared to other people in the community is also important. Read more.)

Why self-reflection, going with your gut and career tests don’t work

Note that after we wrote this article, an updated version of the meta-analysis we cite below was released. The results (in table 2) were similar except that work sample tests seem less promising (though ‘job tryout procedures’, ‘peer ratings’ and ‘job knowledge tests’ remain fairly good and are similar to work samples); and interviews seem more promising. This could suggest a somewhat greater focus on predicting your performance ahead of time by speaking to managers in the relevant path. We hope to do a more thorough review of this research in the future.

Performance is hard to predict ahead of time

When thinking about which career to take, our first instinct is often to turn inwards rather than outwards: “go with your gut” or “follow your heart”.

These approaches assume you can work out what you’re going to be good at ahead of time. But in fact, you can’t.

Here’s the best study we’ve been able to find so far on how to predict performance in different jobs. It’s a meta-analysis of selection tests used by employers, drawing on hundreds of studies performed over 85 years.2 Here are some of the results:

Type of selection test Correlation with job performance (r)
Work sample tests 0.54
IQ tests 0.51
Interviews (structured) 0.51
Peer ratings 0.49
Job knowledge tests 0.48
Job tryout procedure 0.44
Integrity tests 0.41
Interviews (unstructured) 0.38
Job experience 0.18
Years of education 0.1
Holland-type match 0.1
Graphology 0.02
Age -0.01

None of the tests are very good. A correlation of 0.5 is pretty weak, so even if you try to predict using the best available techniques, you’re going to be “wrong” much of the time: candidates that look bad will often turn out good, and vice versa. Anyone who’s hired people before will tell you that’s exactly what happens, and there is some systematic evidence for this 3.

Because hiring is so expensive, employers really want to pick the best candidates and they know exactly what the job requires. If even they, using the best available tests, can’t figure out who’s going to perform best in advance, you probably don’t have much chance.

Oprah at first failed in TV
Oprah worked as a TV news anchor early in her career, eventually getting fired and being told she was “unfit for TV”. Now she’s one of the most successful TV presenter of all time.

Don’t go with your gut

If you were to try to predict performance in advance, “going with your gut” isn’t the best way to do it. Research in the science of decision-making collected over several decades shows that intuitive decision-making only works in certain circumstances.

For instance, your gut instinct can tell you very rapidly if someone is angry with you. This is because our brain is biologically wired to rapidly warn us when in danger.

Your gut can also be amazingly accurate when trained. Chess masters have an astonishingly good intuition for the best moves, and this is because they’ve trained their intuition by playing lots of similar games, and built up a sense of what works and what doesn’t.

However, gut decision-making is poor when it comes to working out things like how fast a business will grow, who will win a football match, and what grades a student will receive. Earlier, we also saw that our intuition is poor at working out what will make us happy. This is all because our untrained gut instinct makes lots of mistakes, and in these situations it’s hard to train it to do better.

Career decision-making is more like these examples than being a chess grandmaster. It’s hard to train our gut instinct when:

  1. The results of our decisions take a long time to arrive.
  2. We have few opportunities to practice.
  3. The situation keeps changing.

This is exactly the situation with career choices: we only make a couple of major career decisions in our life, it takes years to see the results, and the job market keeps changing.

This all means your gut can give you clues about the best career. It can tell you things like “I don’t trust this person” or “I’m not excited by this project”. But you can’t simply “go with your gut”.

Moneyball
In field after field, gut judgement is being replaced by approaches to predicting success that actually work. Moneyball tells the story of how data hungry analysts overturned traditional baseball talent scouting, which was based on gut feeling and untested metrics.

(See our evidence review for more detail. We also recommend the fantastic book, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.)

Why career tests also don’t work

Many career tests are built on “Holland types” or something similar. These tests classify you as one of six “Holland-types”, like “artistic” or “enterprising”. Then they recommend careers that match that type. However, we can see from the table that “Holland-type match” is very weakly correlated with performance. It’s also barely correlated with job satisfaction. So that’s why we don’t recommend traditional career tests.

What does work when finding out where you’ll excel? Trying things out.

In the table above, the tests that best predict performance are those that are closest to actually doing the work (with the interesting exception of IQ). This is probably what we should have expected.

A work sample test is simply doing some of the work, and having the results evaluated by someone experienced. Peer ratings measure what your peers think of your performance (and so can only be used for internal promotions). Job tryout procedures and job knowledge tests are what they sound like.

So if you’re choosing between several options, it’s helpful to do your research ahead of time. But eventually you need to actually try things. The closer you can get to actually doing the work, the better. For example, if you’re considering doing economics research, actually try some research and see how well you do, rather than just think about how much you enjoy studying it – studying a subject is very different from actually doing research.

This is true whether you’re at the start of your career or near the end, and whether you’re planning what to do long-term, comparing two offers, or considering quitting your job.

So, if there’s a job you’re interested in, see if there’s a way to try it out ahead of time. If you’re considering three long-term options and aren’t sure which to take, see if you can try out each of them over the coming years.

If you’re choosing which restaurant to eat at, the stakes aren’t high enough to warrant much research. But a career decision will influence decades of your life, so could easily be worth weeks or months of work.

In your early career, exploration is even more important

Early on you know relatively little about your strengths and options. Once you’ve spent a few years learning more, you’ll be able to make better decisions over the coming decades. It’s better to do this exploration early, if possible, so you can use the lessons later.

Also consider trying one or two wildcards to further broaden your experience. These are unusual options off the normal path, like living in a new country, pursuing an unusual side project or trying a sector you would have not normally have worked in (e.g. government, non-profits, social enterprise).

Many successful people did exactly that. Tony Blair worked as a rock music promoter before going into politics. As we saw, Condoleezza Rice was a classical musician before she entered politics, while Steve Jobs even spent a year in India on acid, and considered moving to Japan to become a zen monk. That’s some serious “exploration”.

Today, it’s widely accepted that many people will work in several sectors and roles across their lifetime. The typical 25 to 34-year-old changes jobs every three years,4 and changes are not uncommon later too.

Trying out lots of options can also help you avoid one of the biggest career mistakes: considering too few options. We’ve met lots of people who stumbled into paths like PhDs, medicine or law because they felt like the default at the time, but who, if they had considered more options, could easily have found something that fit them better. Pushing yourself to try out several areas will help you to avoid this mistake. Try to settle on a single goal too early, however, and you could miss a great option.

All this said, exploring can still be costly. Trying out a job can take several years, and changing job too often makes you look flaky. How can you explore, while keeping the costs low?

Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice was an accomplished classical musician before she transferred into politics. And even she can’t beat Steve Jobs for exploration – he seriously considered becoming a zen monk before going into technology.

How to narrow down your options

You can’t try everything, so before you explore, we need to cut your long-term options down to a shortlist. How best to narrow down? Since gut decision making is unreliable, it helps to be a little systematic.

Many people turn to pro and con lists, but these have some weaknesses. First, there’s no guarantee that the pros and cons that come to mind will be the most important aspects of the decision. Second, pro and con lists don’t force you to look for disconfirming evidence or generate more options, and these are some of the most powerful ways to make better decisions. It’s easy to use lists of pros and cons to rationalise what you already believe.

Here’s the process we recommend for narrowing down. It’s based on a literature review of decision making science and what has worked well in one-on-one advising. You can also use it when you need to compare options to shortlist, or compare your current job against alternatives.

1. Make a big list of options.

Write out your initial list, including both what problem you want to focus on and what role you want e.g. economics researcher focusing on global health; marketing for a meat substitutes company, earning to give as a software engineer.

Then force yourself to come up with more. You can find ideas in our previous articles. But here are some questions to help you think of more:

  1. If you couldn’t take any of the options on your first list, what would you do?
  2. If money were no object, what would you do?
  3. What do your friends advise?
  4. (If already with experience) how could you use your most valuable career capital?
  5. Can you combine your options to make the best of both worlds?
  6. Can you find any more opportunities through your connections?

2. Rank your options.

Start by making an initial guess of how they rank.

If you have more time, then score your options from one to five, based on:

  1. Impact
  2. Personal fit
  3. Supportive conditions for job satisfaction
  4. Any other factors that are important to you.
  5. Career capital, if you’re considering options for the next few years (rather than your long-term aims).

Here are some questions you can use to do the assessment, and a worksheet. Doing this ensures that you’re focusing on the most important factors.

Then, try to cut down to a shortlist. Eliminate the options that are worse on all factors than another (“dominated options”), and those that are very poor on one factor. You can add up all your scores to get a very rough ranking of options. If one of your results seems odd, try to understand why. For each option, ask “why might I be wrong?” and adjust your ranking. This is a very useful way to reduce bias.

3. Write out your key uncertainties

What information could most easily change your ranking? If you could get the answer to one question, which question would be most useful? Write these out. For instance, “Can I get a place on Teach for America?”, “Would I enjoy programming?” or “How pressing is global poverty compared to open science?”.

If you’re stuck, imagine you had to decide your career in just one weekend – what would you do in that time to make the right choice?

4. Do some initial research.

Can you quickly work out any of these key uncertainties? For instance, if you’re unsure whether you’d enjoy being a data scientist, can you go and talk to someone about what it’s like? Or is there something you could read, like one of our career reviews?

At this point, you might have a clear winner, in which case you can skip the next part. Most people, however, end up with a couple of alternatives that look pretty good. At that point, it’s time to explore. But how best to do that?

If you want a more detailed version of the process just above, try our decision tool:

There’s a lot more to say about how to make good decisions, some of which we cover in an upcoming article.

How to explore: cheap tests first

We often find people who want to try out economics, so they go and apply for a Master’s course. But that’s a huge investment. Instead, think about how you can learn more with the least possible effort: “cheap tests”.

The aim is to get as close as possible to actually doing the work, but with the smallest possible investment of time.

You can think of making a “ladder” of tests. For instance, if you’re interested in policy advising, here are the steps you might take:

  • Read our relevant career reviews and do some Google searches to learn the basics (1-2h).
  • Then the next most useful thing you can usually do is to speak to someone in the area. The right person can give you far more up-to-date and personalised information than what you’ll be able to find written down (2h).
  • Speak to three more people who work in the area and read one or two books (20h). You could also consider speaking to a careers adviser who specialises in this area. During this, also find out the most effective way for you to enter the area, given your background. Bear in mind that when you’re talking to these people, they are also informally interviewing you – see our advice on preparing for interviews in a later article.
  • Now look for a project that might take 1-4 weeks of work, like volunteering on a political campaign, or starting a blog on the policy area you want to focus on. If you’ve done the previous step, you’ll know what’s best.
  • Only now consider taking on a 2-24 month commitment, like a short work placement, internship or graduate study. At this point, being offered a trial position with an organisation for a couple of months can actually be an advantage, because it means both parties will make an effort to quickly assess your fit.

At each point, you’d re-evaluate whether policy advising was one of your most promising options, and only continue to the next step if it was.

How to explore: order your options well

You can gain more opportunities to explore if you put your options in the right order.

1. Explore before graduate study rather than after

In the couple of years right after you graduate, people give you license to try out something more unusual – for example starting a business, living abroad or working at a non-profit. You’re not expected to have your career figured out right away.

If it doesn’t go well, you can use the “graduate school reset”: do a Masters, MBA, law degree, or PhD, then return to the traditional path.

We see lots of people rushing into graduate school or other conventional options right after they graduate, missing one of their best opportunities to explore.

In particular, it’s worth exploring before a PhD rather than after. At the end of a PhD it’s hard to leave academia. This is because going from a PhD to a post-doc, and then into a permanent academic position is very competitive, and it’s very unlikely you’ll succeed if you don’t focus 100% on research. So, if you’re unsure about academia, try out alternatives before your PhD if possible.

2. Put “reversible” options first

For instance, it’s easier to go from a position in business to a non-profit job than vice versa, so if you’re unsure between the two, take the business position first.

3. Choose options that let you experiment

An alternative approach is to take a job that lets you try out several areas by:

  • Letting you work in a variety of industries. Freelance and consulting positions are especially good.
  • Letting you practice many different skills. Jobs in small companies are often especially good on this front.
  • Giving you the free time and energy to explore other things outside of work.

4. Try on the side

If you’re already in a job, think of ways to try out a new option on the side. Could you do a short but relevant project in your spare time, or in your existing job? At the very least, speak to lots of people in the job.

If you’re a student, try to do as many internships and summer projects as possible. Your university holidays are one of the best opportunities in your life to explore.

5. Keep building flexible career capital

If you’re unsure, keep building flexible career capital. That way, no matter how things turn out, you’ll still be in a better position in the future.

Jess – a case study in exploring

“80,000 Hours has nothing short of revolutionised the way I think about my career.”
Jess portrait photo

When Jess graduated from maths and philosophy a couple of years ago, she was interested in academia and leaned towards studying philosophy of mind, but was concerned that it would have little impact.

So the year after she graduated, she spent several months working in finance. She didn’t think she’d enjoy it, and she turned out to be right, so she felt confident eliminating that option. She also spent several months working in non-profits, and reading about different research areas.

Most importantly, she spoke to loads of people, especially in the areas of academia she was most interested in. This eventually led to her being offered to study a PhD in psychology, focused on how to improve decision-making by policy makers.

During her PhD, she did an internship at a leading evidence-based policy think tank, and started writing about psychology for an online newspaper. This meant that she was exploring the ‘public intellectual’ side of being an academic, and the option of going into policy.

At the end of her PhD, she can either continue in academia, or switch into policy or writing. She could also probably go back to finance or the non-profit sector. Most importantly, she’ll have a far better idea of which options are best.

Apply this to your own career: how to explore

  1. Use the narrowing down process above to cut your options down to a shortlist of three to five.
  2. For each option in your shortlist, write out one or two cheap tests that you could do over the next three months.
  3. Then, if you wanted to try out your remaining top options, what would the best order be? Consider just spending several years trying out different areas.
  4. When you need to make your final decision, you can use the narrowing down process again.
  5. If you’d like to find out more about how to make good decisions and predictions, we recommend Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath, and Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock.

Conclusion

We like to imagine we can work out what we’re good at through reflection, in a flash of insight. But that’s not how it works.

By

financecurrent

Career Strategies: The 5 Deadly Phrases To Avoid In The Job Interview Process

When it comes to the job interview process, whoever tells the best story wins. But certain phrases and ideas can short-circuit your career plans. Are you really able to have the kind of leadership conversation your job search deserves? When it comes to creating the career conversation that leads to consideration, avoid these five show-stoppers in the interview.

If you argue for your limitations, they are yours.

Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  1. When Is Honesty NOT the Best Policy? – do you ever find yourself saying a version of this phrase: “If I’m being honest…”? TBH, that phrase is honestly hurting your chances in the interview process. Here’s why: if I need to call out the fact that I’m being honest right now, doesn’t it make you wonder if I’ve been honest with you up until this point? Why did I wait until now to get real and spill the T? Actually, in the interview, honesty is the only policy that works. Highlighting the fact that you are getting to the truth, but only just right now, can arouse suspicion and make people wonder why you aren’t full-on honest all the time. If you are a person of integrity, honesty is your default setting. Don’t create unnecessary suspicion. “To be honest…” is a filler phrase – like “umm” “Uh…” and “like”. None of those fillers are very satisfying in the job interview. So be really honest with yourself, and leave out the words that don’t serve you.
  2. The Fault Line – don’t cross it. “It was her fault” is the kind of blamestorming that can take you out of the running. Why? Because companies hire people who can overcome limiting circumstances. People are imperfect, nobody has a team of 100% superstars and circumstances often create difficulties in the office (that’s why it’s called work). How did you get past the obstacles and limitations – even if one of those obstacles was Jessica in Accounting? Phrases that blame people and situations point out your own limitations – what you couldn’t tolerate, tackle or transform. Focus on the story of how you overcame challenges, how you helped others to be better, or how you picked up the ball when somebody else dropped it. Remember, other people don’t need to be bad in order for you to be good. Concentrate on how you solve real problems – including personnel problems – by taking responsibility instead of laying blame.
  3. What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You – do you know how to answer an interview question where the answer is, “I don’t know” or “No, I don’t have that skill”? The fact is, no one can know everything. And not everything can be googled. Saying “I don’t know” isn’t a phrase that can NEVER hurt you – because it’s an honest and real response! The phrase that’s really dangerous? Trying to fake it until you make it! Don’t create a fiction around your skill set, ever. Any phrase that feels like fiction is one you’ve got to avoid.
  4. Disconnection is Deadly – Considering questions about skills or experiences you don’t have: are you able to connect your interviewer to a relatable topic – something that you do know, that might be supportive or helpful? For example, if the CIO says, “Do you have Salesforce Administrator Certification?” and you don’t, what do you do? Do you just say, “Nope!” blink twice and wait for your next mistake? Find a phrase that pays by connecting to what you do have: skills, talents and desire for the role! Point out the other experience or to action you can take to get what’s needed. “I don’t have the Admin certification but I went to Dreamforce [the company’s major annual conference] the last two years in a row. I’m very familiar with the software – let me share with you the experience I have and my training so far. If that certification is important, I can put together a plan to gain that credential in short order. Do you think that plan would be a requirement if I were to get this role?” Always connect your answers back to your interviewer, the company’s goals and your ability to work hard in the job – those things are always part of your story.
  5. Ultimatums – an ultimatum is a statement of what you won’t tolerate, usually phrased as a demand. Ultimatums reflect terms that you will or won’t accept, period. By definition, ultimatums point to your lack of flexibility and adaptability (two characteristics that might be useful for a new hire, wouldn’t you agree? Why would you demonstrate that you lack these two key qualities?) Now some ultimatums are important: “I won’t tolerate racism on my team”, for example, points to your beliefs and values. But “I won’t work on weekends” or “I need every Thursday afternoon off, or I can’t work here” is really pointing out your limitations. Look for phrases like “I can’t accept _______”, “I won’t allow that” or “That just won’t work for me.” Because if it won’t work for you, maybe you won’t work for this company. Every job interview is a negotiation. Once you get to “yes” you can decide if you want to take the job or not. You’re in the interview to explore your options – why start cutting yourself off from possibilities? Does it help your career to present demands and requirements, or are there other ways of looking at the situation? Is your ultimatum a personal preference that you’re clinging to, like a security blanket, or a statement of your integrity, values and work ethic? It’s better to keep your options open if you really want the job. Know the difference between uncompromising values and limiting statements that knock you out of the running. Keep your options open. Find out what’s really on offer and make a business decision to see if it fits for you. Ultimately, what you will and won’t accept is your decision, but arriving at that place without ultimatums is a smart way to frame the conversation.

The best interview is the most authentic, where you speak from your heart about the solution you can provide. By creating a dialogue with your interviewer, you build the conversation that matters most in your career. Don’t short-circuit your skills with ultimatums, filler phrases or fear of the unknown. The interview process is a journey of discovery. Your story – and the way you tell it – will guide you towards your next destination.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I write about the changing nature of the leadership conversation, and how communication creates the connections that matter. Recognized as the U.S. National Elevator Pit…

Source: Career Strategies: The 5 Deadly Phrases To Avoid In The Job Interview Process

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“Tell me about a difficult situation or challenge you faced in a workplace” By asking this question, employers are trying to see how you (A) take charge in handling a challenging situation, or (B) collaborate with your coworkers as a team to solve a conflict. They want to know if you have critical thinking and problem solving skill, how you approach the problem and the level of responsibility you take in challenging situations. It is very important to make sure that you use an example that demonstrates your ability to handle difficult situation. So do not mention about when you elevated the responsibility. Rather, talk about times when you stepped up and took a leadership position by collaborating with your coworkers. In order to construct effective story, use PAR model and follow the 3 steps. 1 Problem: Identify the problem. What was the issue? 2 Action: How did you and your coworkers analyzed the problem and took actions to solve the issue? 3 Result: What was the positive outcome in result of the action? By following PAR model, you can frame your story well. Watch the video to see example answer and start constructing your answer. Jobspeaker is a FREE service to help job seekers find better jobs. Login today!

Inside the Shady New World of Fake Resumes, Professional Interviewees, and Other Job-Seeker Scams

A few years ago, Daniel Zubairi caught a job applicant in a flagrant lie. The woman’s résumé said she worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That didn’t sound right. Zubairi’s Bethesda, Maryland-based cybersecurity company, SydanTech, worked closely with NOAA–and Zubairi had never heard of her.

As it happened, Zubairi was at the agency’s offices during the woman’s phone interview. He asked to meet her in person. “Sir,” she said, “I’d like to end the interview now.” Click. Zubairi ran a background check. She was a home nursing assistant.

Job seekers have been fudging their accomplishments forever. But founders across the country say they’ve lately seen a surge of incidents that take job-applicant fakery to new–and shadier–levels. Totally false résumés featuring fictional employers. Professional interviewees. Covert coaching of candidates with no experience.

The stories have spread virally among business leaders. A CEO has a suspicious experience. She talks to another CEO, who says he’s heard similar stories. At a meetup of 50 CEOs this past summer, Zubairi shared his story. “Everyone agreed that they’ve seen something to that effect,” says Ahmed R. Ali, founder of the Rockville, Maryland-based Tista Science and Technology Corporation, who was in the room.

Hirer Beware
Tips for weeding out fraudulent job applicants
1. Request references from every applicant.
2. Contact hiring managers at previous employers.
3. Do background checks–expensive but worth it.
4. Ask granular questions about skills and former jobs.
5. Give everyone a skills test.

Zubairi and his peers have identified a growing problem, one that’s been largely unreported. It starts with low unemployment–now at its lowest since 1969. A tight labor market can be especially tricky for fast-growing startups. (SydanTech, No. 78 on this year’s Inc. 5000, certainly qualifies.) An imbalance of available talent and a company’s needs can send a dangerous message: These guys are desperate to fill seats.

Zubairi says he’s now caught multiple applicants in similar lies, and even identified a SydanTech employee who successfully faked his interview and worked at the company for nine months–before being caught and fired. Cybersecurity firms are especially vulnerable: The industry’s unemployment rate has been near zero since 2016. And many of Zubairi’s available jobs pay a minimum of $120,000 per year.

Cybersecurity is far from the only field affected. About the same time as Zubairi’s first encounter, Biju Kurian was in Oklahoma City, running Objectstream, an aviation IT company. (“We make flying safe,” he says.) Objectstream is also growing quickly–No. 2,992 on this year’s Inc. 5000–in a lucrative field with a talent gap. Kurian’s problem:

A woman who’d impressed over the phone had a different voice when she arrived for her first day, and seemed unfamiliar with the conversation they’d had. Eventually, he confronted her. She broke down, confessed, apologized, and quit on the spot.

On the surface, these appear to be candidates taking desperate measures. But the candidates themselves may not be the only ones at fault. As recruitment has migrated online and become automated, says Ben Zhao, a University of Chicago professor who studies online market­places, opportunities for scammers have arisen.

Profes­sional recruiters, who get placement fees when they land candidates in jobs, have a clear incentive to game the system, Zhao says. They are “middlemen who can make significant profit by misrepresenting clients.”

They might hire professional interviewees to do phone interviews, or feed answers to inexperienced candidates in real time. Or they might fake client résumés to make them look better to hiring algorithms–sometimes without telling those clients.

Michael Mathews, founder of Toledo, Ohio-based automotive recruiting firm Moxee, estimates that as many as 20 percent of recruiters are at least dabbling in such tactics. “It doesn’t surprise me anymore,” he says.

Zubairi thinks he’s found a way to screen some fakes. After his CEO meetup, he downloaded résumés submitted to SydanTech through the job site Indeed–and found dozens of near-identical documents. They bore the same formatting, titles, and job descriptions, down to the word. The only differences: the names of the applicants and the companies they claimed to have worked for. (Indeed declined to comment, but Inc. reviewed a selection of these documents.)

One common name on many of the dubious résumés: the Nigbel Group, whose bare-bones website describes it as an IT company in Houston. Zubairi says he’s called its phone number and nobody has ever picked up. Nigbel did not respond to multiple Inc. requests for comment, nor is it listed in the Texas Secretary of State’s database of taxable entities. To Mathews, the company sounds strikingly similar to fictional businesses he’s seen created by other recruiters to help punch up fake résumés.

In an age of digitally driven misinformation, perhaps it’s not surprising that fake job applicants would surge. As with other online-marketplace scams–say, counterfeit goods on Amazon–startups are more vulnerable than larger companies, simply because they have less money for prevention. “Smaller companies that don’t have resources will continue to be defrauded by these attackers,” predicts Zhao. And tech platforms will continue to play catchup with their hijackers.

By: Cameron Albert-Deitch Reporter, Inc. @c_albertdeitch

Source: Inside the Shady New World of Fake Resumes, Professional Interviewees, and Other Job-Seeker Scams

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An unfortunate reality is that of scam artists or con artists, and they can appear when we least expect them. We see con artists depicted in Hollywood movies and TV. We hear of various scams on the news. One type of scam that is becoming more common is the Job Scam. So, how can you identify if a job is legitimate or a scam? Here are my top 8 tips: 1. Immediate Offer – if you are given an offer without as much as an interview. 2. Interview via IM – employers typically conduct interviews, but legitimate employers do not use Instant Messenger to interview. 3. Poor Spelling & Grammar in Job Ad – this refers to obvious spelling and grammar mistakes. 4. E-mail Address – the email address should be professional and include the company name (not Gmail, yahoo, live, etc.). 5. Asks You to Pay – legitimate employers will never ask you to transfer money to them for any reason. 6. Personal Info – this is a tricky one. Although you will need to send your personal details eventually to an employer as per their background check process, be wary of any websites to which you need to upload your personal information. It should be an https address (the “s” stands for secure). 7. Bank Details – again, legitimate employers will need your banking details in order to pay you. Be wary if a prospective employer asks for additional banking information, such as the answers to your security questions or for your PIN number. 8. Intuition – trust your intuition. If you believe a job might be a scam, be sure to proceed with extra caution and do your research! What to do if you Suspect a Job is a Scam? For every role, it is highly recommended that you conduct thorough research on the organization and on the people with whom you will be meeting. That said, some of the savvier scam artists have “borrowed” LinkedIn profiles of legitimate people. Be sure to take note of the LinkedIn profile to see how many connections a person has (i.e. do they have any connections? Is the profile complete?). If you do suspect that you have been contacted by a job scammer, be sure to report it to the local police, or in Canada to the RCMP’s fraud unit. Finally, be sure to share your experience with others and share this video. The more we are aware of these types of scams and are able to help others identify them, all ships will float higher. If you would like personalized advice, you can find me on http://www.jobhuntsolutions.com or if you have any questions, you can leave a comment below, or contact me here: Email: nicole@jobhuntsolutions.com Website: http://www.jobhuntsolutions.com Twitter: @ recruitmentcoach LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/job-… Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jobhuntsolut… Until next time, happy hunting!

A Good Resume Is Not Enough– Five More Things Job Seekers Need To Land A Job Interview

After hiring for thousands of jobs over 20+ years of recruiting, I have seen many different styles of hiring. Sometimes, a company looks at resumes (submitted in response to a job posting or via a recruiting agency), picks a few candidates to interview and hires one person from that process. This is the traditional job search to which too many job seekers tailor all their job search efforts. However, that traditional hiring process is less and less common.

Companies are strapped for time and hiring power, and looking at stacks of resumes takes a lot of resources. I received over 1,000 resumes for a recent HR Director search. Companies know that some of the best talent is gainfully employed and not responding to job postings or even recruiters, so companies need to change their hiring to attract this desired candidate pool. For the most competitive jobs, I am actively building a candidate pipeline even before an opening is finalized.

The net result is that more companies are not selecting candidates from a stack of resumes, but rather identifying them by other means. Relying only on job postings or recruiting relationships to find job openings will not account for all available jobs. Companies are also vetting candidates earlier in the process, well before the first interview. Assuming you only have to drop a resume to get seriously considered will take you out of the running prematurely.

Having a good resume is not enough for today’s job search. Here are five things job seekers also need to land a job interview:

1 – Back door references

Most companies conduct a reference check before they hire someone. Even if you get a job offer, your offer letter might state that is conditional upon receipt of satisfactory professional references. Many job seekers are familiar with this reference check process and prepared to share a list of past supervisors and other professional references (though job seekers are not as prepared with their references as they could be!).

Back door references are different from this reference check process, in that these references are checked before an offer is decided (sometimes even before a first interview is decided). These references are also not supplied by the candidate, but rather dug up by the employer. For example, you list Company X as a former employer on your resume, and I contact a recruiting friend over at Company X to say, “John Smith was referred to me as someone who’s great at branding, and apparently he worked at your place.

Did he do well there?” This is clearly not an in-depth reference, but it’s a pulse check on whether to go any further. I have been involved with searches where my hiring clients would not move forward with any candidate where we couldn’t get at least one positive back door reference.

How would you fare in a back door reference check? Will former colleagues say positive things about you? Will former colleagues even remember you?

2 – Online profile

Even when I worked with Fortune 500, brand-name employers who had a large candidate database in-house, I still relied on LinkedIn research to identify candidates. Remember that employers love passive candidates who are not necessarily looking. These candidates surface because someone recommends them, they are well-known in their industry or they are found online.

Your online profile is not just your LinkedIn profile. It also is your activity, and everything the comes up when you do an Internet search on your name – media mentions, publications, social media activity. I once saw an executive search almost derailed because an internet search brought up a controversial comment by the candidate on a common online community (think Quora or Reddit). Some employers dig deep into your online activity. In addition, if your job or industry entails online activity – e.g., marketing, technology, media – your own online profile and activity is a reflection of your work.

Have you run an Internet search on yourself? Do you have a Google alert on your name? Is your online profile optimized?

3 – Work sample

Your online profile may already include work samples, such as a website you worked on, a report you wrote or a presentation you delivered. If you don’t want to broadcast these so publicly, you should at least have them readily available upon request. More and more employers are asking for a sample of work related to the job opening at hand.

This is partly to shave off time in the hiring process – by looking at samples in advance, employers can make even more cuts before the interview process. Asking for work samples also differentiates candidates who are willing and able to go the extra step to land the job. Candidates unwilling to provide a work sample might not be that interested in the job. Candidates unable to provide a work sample might not have the experience they claim. Better to find out now before investing any more hiring resources into that candidate.

Do you have tangible samples of your work? If you don’t yet have a portfolio of projects you have worked on, start curating now.

4 – Skills test

For a digital marketing job, candidates were sent two sample emails from a direct response campaign and asked to evaluate which was stronger and why. This gave a window into how they might design a direct response email. For a fundraising role, candidates were asked to write an introduction letter to a large donor asking for a meeting. For an executive role to lead a regional office, candidates were asked for a letter of intent to outline their particular interest in the organization.

Unlike the work sample which is something you have already done, the skills test is something completed during the hiring process and directly related to the job opening. Over the years, I have found more and more companies including a test of some kind. Many companies give a test after an initial phone screen, but some companies start with the test before any interviews. Most of these tests don’t take a lot of time, but similar to the work sample, they are effective in weeding out candidates unwilling or unable to go the extra mile.

How would you fare in a skills test for a job or company you want? Do you have the skills to do the job right now? Career changers, you cannot present like you need to learn on the job (a common mistake that career changers make!). Do you know enough about the company to write a letter of intent or outreach to its key customers?

5 – Recorded interview

Even if a company doesn’t ask for any of the above and jumps right to the interview, it still might not be the person-to-person interview you are expecting, but a recorded interview using an online service, such as Big Interview or InterviewStream. With these online services, companies pre-record screening questions and candidates conduct the interview remotely. While this simulates a first-round interview, it still requires extra work on behalf of the candidate.

Video interviews are not the same as live or phone interviews and require different preparation. You will have to learn how to use the specific technology for whatever interview recording platform the employer decides to use. Like a skills test or work sample, you have an extra step to complete before any chance of meeting someone at the company.

Are you prepared for a recorded video interview? For which jobs and companies are you willing to go the extra step?


Companies are asking for more upfront, and you decline at your peril

I once interviewed a marketing candidate who refused to take an Excel-based marketing test that would have taken less than 15 minutes. She said she was insulted to have to take it given her years of marketing experience, but since she initially asked me to send her the test, I wonder if she didn’t think she would do well. Regardless, she didn’t move forward in the process because my client only wanted to look at candidate resumes, along with their marketing test score.

I once recommended a friend to a consulting job, and the hiring company was using a video interview platform and also asked for a letter of interest and work sample. That’s three extra steps, but none of these were particularly hard or time-consuming. Video interviews typically have fewer than 10 questions, if not five.

A letter of interest is a cover letter but focused on interest for that job and company – you should have a template that can be tweaked in short order. Job seekers should always have work samples. Yet my friend refused to comply, stating that if the company were serious about her they would be willing to consider her on her resume alone.

That’s a dare that could cost her an interview. Yes, extra steps take time, but not that much time if you really know the job and want the company – which is precisely why these extra steps are becoming more common. If you are unwilling to go the extra mile, you may not move forward to the interview process.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

As a longtime recruiter and now career coach, I share career tips from the employer’s perspective. My specialty is career change — how to make a great living doing work that you love. My latest career adventures include running SixFigureStart, Costa Rica FIRE and FBC Films. I am the author of Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career and have coached professionals from Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, Tesla, and other leading firms. I teach at Columbia University and created the online courses, “Behind The Scenes In The Hiring Process” and “Making FIRE Possible“. I have appeared as a guest career expert on CNN, CNBC, CBS, FOX Business and other media outlets. In addition to Forbes, I formerly wrote for Money, CNBC and Portfolio.

Source: A Good Resume Is Not Enough– Five More Things Job Seekers Need To Land A Job Interview

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Discover how to answer any question with our proven step-by-step system. ADD TO CART – http://bit.ly/GetStartedISF #jobinterview #interviewquestions #interviewanswers

I’ve Interviewed 300+ Successful Women. Here’s What I’ve Learned About Creating a Career You Love

Over the past few years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of successful women. They have every type of journey you could dream of: There are women who have reached the C-suite in Fortune 500 companies and well-funded startups, women who have started and run their own ventures, and women who have made dramatic career turnarounds.

They’re all extraordinarily unique, of course, but there’s one thing they have in common: They’ve charted the path to work that they love.

That doesn’t just mean big jobs with important tiles and sizable paychecks (though in some cases, that’s true). Instead, these women have thoughtfully built careers around their innate strengths, their personal passions, and the type of work that brings them meaning and purpose.

Yes, creating a career like this may seem like a lofty goal. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from these interviews over the years, it’s this: Every single one of us has the power to find work we love. It’s just a matter of confidently taking steps to get there. As Katie Fogarty, founder of The Reboot Group, shared on my Facebook Watch show, Work It: “Do not wait for people to give you permission. Seize your permission. Seize control of your career.”

Ready to get started? Straight from some of the most successful women in the world, here are five crucial lessons about taking the reins and crafting the professional life of your dreams.

Today In: Leadership

1. Expand Your Idea Of A Dream Job

Often, we have a pretty narrow view of our ultimate goals. We envision achieving a specific job title or working for a particular company. But what happens when we achieve that singular goal, and it doesn’t live up to expectations? That’s all too common—and so the most successful women I’ve interviewed have made it clear that it’s key to widen your perspective.

For example, Kristin Lemkau, Chief Marketing Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., emphasizes that it’s critical to be flexible when thinking about your dream job. If you’re only focused on getting your current boss’ job, for example, you may miss other options—inside or outside of your company. “By staying flexible and open,” she explains, “you might encounter an opportunity that you had never before considered.”

Lindsey Knowles, VP of Marketing at Winc Wines, echoes this sentiment. “Be open. And try different things. There’s so much you can’t know until you do it,” she shares. “Until you’ve been in a few different types of workplaces, you can’t know what your preferred working style is or the types of problems you like to solve.”

2. Pursue What Matters To You—Not To Anyone Else

Similarly, we’re conditioned to believe that the traditional markers of success, like money or a C-level title, will make us happy, too. But for most people, that’s not the full story. Instead, it’s key to dig deep and understand the very personal factors that drive meaning for you—whether that’s constantly learning new skills or being involved in radical social change—and pursue jobs that incorporate those elements.

According to Aditi Javeri Gokhale, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Northwestern Mutual, a good place to start is thinking about the people you want to work with and the issues you’re passionate about. “I have always identified with jobs where I have a good connection with my leaders, with the mission of the company, and with the team that surrounds me.” When you have that connection, it’s easier to excel at—and enjoy—a job, no matter what your title is.

3. Be Intentional About What You Say Yes To

Cathleen Trigg-Jones, journalist and founder of CatScape Productions, once explained to me her strategy for evaluating opportunities. She would yes to the things that would move her closer to her dreams, and she would say no to the things that didn’t serve her. (Even if they looked like good opportunities on paper!)

This simple rule can move you toward a career you love in two important ways. First, it pretty much guarantees that you get to do more of the work you’re excited about. Second, you get to incrementally step further away from the tasks you don’t enjoy and that don’t help you get where you want to go—even if there are certain aspects of them that may be tempting. Keep following this formula, and you will organically move in the right direction.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Take Risks

If you want a meaningful professional life, you have to be willing to take risks. Why? “If you don’t do things because you’re scared to fail, you’re not really getting the best out of yourself,” Sabrina Macias, Senior Director of Global Communications at DraftKings, once told me. “Risk is healthy; it makes you more creative.”

A risky move, of course, doesn’t necessarily spending your life savings to start a company—maybe it’s accepting a position you’re not sure you’re qualified for, asking for more responsibility, or volunteering to head a bigger project than anything you’ve ever tackled.

Maybe it’s simply giving yourself permission to try something wildly different. Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn, explains the concept this way: “Stop and ask yourself what would make you happy, and design that.” That might be advocating for a new offering at your company or working on that creative side project you’ve been thinking about. “Just start doing it,” she said. “You’ll be amazed at how many people will be drawn to somebody who is doing things differently—and enabling other people to do things differently.” But that’s the key: You have to first be willing to do things differently.

5. Know That Change Is Inevitable

Finally, know this about career paths: What you want and what works for you is likely going to change over time. As Carol Lovell, founder and CEO of STOW put it: “The meaning of success for me has altered throughout my life. What you think it means at 25 is very different to what you know it means at 50.” The lesson? Don’t be afraid to adjust course when you realize that you’ve changed.

On a smaller scale, even if you have a specific goal you’re working toward, you’ll undoubtedly encounter new information, opportunities, and roadblocks that make you rethink your course. And that’s OK. “It’s not a matter of creating this rigid plan of like, do this step, do this step, no matter what,” explains former CEO and board director Shellye Archambeau. “And things will happen! There will be roadblocks, things will happen that’ll cause you to change and that’s okay. You have to be open to that.”

The road to a career you love isn’t easy. It requires saying no, taking risks, and sticking to your guns. But as a result, you’ll be doing the work you’re passionate about and building a life that works for you. Take it from hundreds of women: It’s worth it.

Carrie Kerpen is CEO and co-founder of Likeable Media, an award-winning digital agency that achieved Crain’s 6th “Best Place To Work in NYC.” She is the author of WORK IT: Secrets For Success From The Boldest Women In Business and the host of the popular podcast All the Social Ladies. Follow her on Twitter @carriekerpen or visit her at carriekerpen.com.

Source: I’ve Interviewed 300+ Successful Women. Here’s What I’ve Learned About Creating a Career You Love.

34.3K subscribers
After running through what to wear for a job interview with a friend, I thought it might be fun to run through some options depending on the kind of workplace you’re interviewing for. If you’ve got your own tips on what to wear to a job interview or if you have a go-to piece, I’d love to see it or know what it is! Hope you’re wonderful! X Jodie

These 9 Creative Interview Questions Evoke Crucial Insights About Any Job Applicant. (Ask Them Before You Make an Offer You’ll Regret)

Recently, I wrote about some of the best interview questions that Inc.com has featured over the years. And, I asked readers who had other suggestions to let me know about them.

Wow, did you ever deliver. Today, we’ll begin sharing some of the replies, starting with nine of the more unusual interview questions — creative ideas that elicit insights, while being offbeat enough that applicants probably won’t show up for job interviews with stock answers.

Feel free to use these questions as they are. But, perhaps even better, use them as jumping off point to come up with your own creative questions.

1.    “If you could kick one state out of the United States, which one would you pick and why?”

For pure curiosity’s sake, you might be interested to know if an applicant really thinks we’d be better off without North Dakota or Alabama. But the point of course is to how the applicant thinks, and sometimes even what he or she believes.

“I’ve heard applicants respond with fiscal perspectives, instinctual perspectives, experiential perspectives, and sometimes even downright nasty perspectives,” said Taylor Kerby, founder of Something Great Marketing, who suggested this question. “In the end it can let you know if the candidate would be a good fit for the role, and sometimes more importantly, a good fit for your company’s culture.”

2.    “A screwdriver and a screw together cost $2.20. The screwdriver costs $2 more than the screw. How much does the screw cost?”

Oddball question, sure. It seems like it should be easy. But most people will come to a quick and incorrect answer: 20 cents.

The correct answer is actually 10 cents, and Mark Anderson, CEO of Complete Express Foods, LLC said he’ll explain the math behind it. (If you’re having trouble with that math, here’s an explanation.)

“This question has … everything to do with listening, reading, and whether the new hire will challenge basic facts and directions,” Anderson explained. “Those that still argue [after it’s been explained], you immediately end the interview and wish them success at another company.”

3.    “What do you do if the Internet goes out at the office?”

I’m betting the preferred answer here is not something like, “Just call it quits for the day.”

Of course, you’re trying to figure out if the applicant can solve problems, go past a job description, and even bring lessons learned elsewhere to the office.

And, says Corri Smith, owner of a consulting and events firm in Charlotte, N.C. called Black Wednesday, the question “has truly tripped people up. One time a girl sat for a whole minute and then said, ‘I don’t know. I just don’t know. I don’t have an answer.’ It really shows the capacity to … create a solution and can also demonstrate how interested they are in getting their work done.”

4.    “If you were a box of cereal, what cereal would you be and why?” (Alternative: “What’s your favorite board game?”)

These are two bizarre questions, and you’re probably not all that interested in the ultimate answers. What you care about instead is the thought process and attitude.

“While this is an extremely weird question to ask, it’s a great way to get a more personal view of the potential candidate,” said Lewis Thomas, owner of Host Sorter, who suggested the cereal box question. “It also doubles as an icebreaker.”

“It’s a rather whimsical and unexpected question, and shows me how quickly they can think on their feet,” said Michael Pearce, a recruiter at Addison Group, who suggested the board game idea.

5.    “Do you like to win or hate to lose?”

Okay, I guess I’m about to ruin this question, at least if you’re interviewing at HR tech company Paycor, because Todd Rimer, senior manager in talent acquisition there, tells me there actually is a right answer in his mind.

“Those that like to win, you can’t fault them. Who doesn’t like to win? When you win, you are on top,” Rimer suggested. “But, when you hate to lose, you are more inclined to learn from mistakes, learn from past experiences and use these experiences in the future, whether it’s your next project or your next sale.”

6.    “What do you suck at?”

This question isn’t all that different from the time-worn, “What’s your greatest weakness?” However, I think it’s more direct — and less expected.

“It allows me to understand where they see their shortcomings, but also gives me insights into where they want to avoid [spending] their time,” said Peter Sullivan, founder and CEO of Jackpocket. “If that’s in conflict with where we need attention, I learn a lot.”

7.     “What was the best day at work you’ve had in the past three months?”

I think this is the opposite of the question above: It’s a way to get an unguarded insight into a classic question.

“Instead of hitting your candidates with the same old, ‘What are your strengths?’ question,” says Darren Bounds, CEO of Breezy HR, “this is a more organic way to uncover their strengths.”

8.    “Tell me about a a project you worked on that failed? What did you learn?”

Failure is probably the last thing that most job applicants want to dwell on seriously, and with good reason.

But pushing in this direction, with a broad, open-ended question like this, tells you a lot more than the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses, says Matt Erickson, managing director at National Positions.

You’re trying to find out things like, “Is this candidate driven? How do they communicate with teams?” Erickson explained. “Do they take responsibility? Can they learn and adapt, etc.?”

9.    Tell us about a time when you’ve had to deal with rejection.

I’m including this question here because it’s similar, but not quite the same, as the question about failure. It’s especially interesting when you’re interviewing people for a sales related role.

“Recruitment is a predominantly sales-based environment,” said Ian Clark, head of Americas at recruiting firm Mason Frank International, “so being able to handle rejection is essential to a candidate’s success in the role. … What I’m looking for is a candidate to demonstrate their resilience in this situation, and provide evidence of their drive and tenacity to bounce back.”

By: Bill Murphy Jr.

 

Source: These 9 Creative Interview Questions Evoke Crucial Insights About Any Job Applicant. (Ask Them Before You Make an Offer You’ll Regret)

 

What Not To Do After A Job Interview

The waiting period after a job interview can be one of the most stressful times. You’ve done everything in your power, now it’s out of your control. All you can do is wait, try to be patient, and do things to keep yourself on track for success. Just like preparing for and going on a job interview, there are things you should and shouldn’t do. Here are five of those things you shouldn’t do after an interview.

Don’t replay the interview over and over.

It’s easy to focus on what you didn’t do well in an interview and rehash those scenarios over and over in your head. This is actually a terrible thing to do. Not only does it put you in a negative frame of mind, it’s also a completely inaccurate view of how the interview went. Your interview could have gone spectacularly overall, but focusing on one or two things you could have done better will cause you to feel like the whole thing was a failure.

Analyze the interview once or twice, highlighting both the good points and the negatives. Make notes of what you’d do again in a future interview and give yourself a couple of pointers on what you’d change. After you’ve done those two things, leave it at that. Going over it more will only cause additional and unnecessary stress.

Don’t harass the hiring manager.

Send your thank you message within 24-48 hours of the interview, then don’t reach out again until the date the hiring manager told you they’d be in touch. Unless you have a very urgent question or something major comes up, there’s no reason for you to contact the hiring manager.

Emailing or calling them and asking for a status update or to let them know you’re still very interested will only harm your chances of getting the job. Hiring managers are inundated with messages already, and they told you when you’d be hearing from them, so respect them by honoring that date. Once it’s a few days past that date you can reach out again.

Don’t stop your job search process or quit your job.

Until you have a signed contract, nothing is official. While you may have given the best interview of your life and the hiring manager was gushing over you, there’s still no guarantee the job is yours. You don’t know if another candidate could come in and be an even better fit for the role, the job could go to someone internally, or a whole myriad of factors could be at play. Until you have that contract in your hands, keep working at your current job and continue your job search efforts.

Don’t post anything about the interview on social media.

It can be tempting to brag about a great interview or to post about how you’re excited for the opportunity and then tag the company or the hiring manager. You don’t know what the company’s social media policy is, so by posting you might actually be violating their standards unknowingly. Play it safe and keep your thoughts private, and brag to your friends and family offline.

Don’t ghost the hiring manager.

If you’ve decided to accept another job offer or if you’ve decided you don’t actually want this job for any reason, send an email to the hiring manager to let them know. Thank them for their time and the opportunity then explain that you’ve chosen to pursue another opportunity. They will be incredibly appreciative of this and they’ll certainly remember your actions. The business world is smaller than you think, so it’s very possible that you’ll cross paths again at some point, so don’t risk burning bridges.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Ashira is a Millennial and Gen Z Engagement expert helping organizations manage, engage, attract, and retain the next generation of talent and bridge the gap between generations. Learn more at http://www.ashiraprossack.com

Source: What Not To Do After A Job Interview

Jobs Growth Recovers In March After A Disappointing February

iStock

That sound you’re hearing might be a sigh of relief from investors reacting to this morning’s monthly payrolls report.

After a weak showing in February that raised fears of an economic slowdown, job creation bounced back in a big way with 196,000 jobs added by the U.S. economy in March. That was about 20,000 above expectations, and way above revised growth of 33,000 in February. What we’re seeing here is a revergence to the mean in terms of average employment numbers, and that’s reassuring.

With the March number in hand and job growth back on a more healthy pace, the February number might now be chalked up to the after-effects of the government shutdown and bad winter weather. The government said job growth over the last three months has averaged 180,000, and that’s thanks to strong growth in January and again in March.

Average hourly wages grew 3.2% year-over-year last month, another sign of possible economic strength, while the overall unemployment rate stayed at 3.8%, near 50-year lows. Inflation has been a non-starter lately, so the better than 3% wage growth isn’t likely to get many people worried about potential rising prices that sometimes go along with higher wages.

With the jobs data in hand, stocks added to earlier gains in pre-market trading. If we’d gotten another report like February’s, it conceivably might have weighed on the market. Still, one thing to potentially worry about today is a possible “Friday fade,” where investors see a good number, decide jobs growth isn’t something to worry about, and then go back to worrying about other things.

If you want to find imperfections in today’s data, it might be in the type of jobs created. While business and professional services and health care led the gains—which we’ve seen most of the year and looks great—manufacturing and construction again showed little change, the government said, though 16,000 construction jobs did get added. Those are areas many analysts look for when they seek signs of economic strength, but they’ve been a bit quiet the last two months.

Restaurants and bars, along with construction, all had weak growth in February likely due in part to weather, but only restaurants and bars bounced back as temperatures warmed in March. That could be something to keep our eye on, though it’s not worth worrying about too much.

Going into the report, a lot of focus had been on the February number and what it might mean for the economy. When you combine weak jobs growth with some of the low inflation and sluggish retail sales data seen recently, it appeared to send signals about possible underlying consumer weakness. The stock market struggled in early March as investors wrestled with the February jobs data.

Since then, economic data have improved, but that ominous February jobs reading wasn’t far from many investors’ minds. Today’s report could mean one less worry.

China, Strong Data Also in Focus

The market has seemed a bit like an eager dog straining on a leash this week. Excitement about the potential completion of a trade deal between the United States and China has helped provide forward momentum to continue the enthusiasm from Monday’s strong manufacturing data.

But there does seem to be a leash keeping the market from really going gangbusters. One part of that could be some less-than-stellar economic data this week on U.S. durable goods orders, domestic private-sector payrolls, and German industrial orders.

But it’s also possible that investors and traders have kept their optimism in check given the uncertainty ahead of today’s jobs report. And the fact of the S&P 500 nearing an all-time high could be acting as a weight of its own, as the market doesn’t have a huge catalyst to move dramatically higher.

Of the two main causes for worry about global economic growth—the U.S.-China trade war and Britain’s exit from the European Union—it’s a trade deal that seems to be the closest to becoming a catalyst for a rise in stocks. However, it’s also arguable that much of the optimism for a deal has already been priced into the market, as expectations of a resolution have been one of the key drivers for this year’s solid comeback after the market tanked late last year.

Onward and Upward

On Thursday, investors continued to look for developments on the trade front, as President Trump was scheduled to meet with China’s top trade negotiator after the market closed. With sentiment leaning bullish, the S&P 500 continued advancing toward its record Thursday, posting its best close so far this year. The trade meeting ended without too many new details, but stocks moved mostly higher overnight in Europe and Asia.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also gained yesterday, led by a nearly 2.9% rise in shares of Boeing despite Ethiopia’s transport minister saying the crew in the deadly crash last month of a 737 Max jet made by Boeing had repeatedly performed procedures provided by the company but still couldn’t control the plane. The company’s shares appeared to get some lift after Barron’s highlighted a tweet by Boeing’s CEO about a software update performing safely in a demo flight. Bloomberg reported that the company’s shares gained ground as optimism about a trade deal helped shares shrug off the latest developments on the crash.

In other corporate news, Tesla’s shares fell more than 8% Thursday after the automaker disappointed investors by reporting a bigger-than-expected drop in auto sales. The roughly 63,000 deliveries fell short of what analysts had been expecting.

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Figure 1: Eye on the Greenback: The U.S. dollar (candlestick) has been climbing vs. other currencies, though it leveled off this week. It’s not far from its 2019 highs thanks in part to some strong U.S. data and concerns about Brexit. Meanwhile, gold (purple line) has been descending, which often happens when the dollar gains ground. Data Sources: ICE, CME Group. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Data Sources: ICE, CME Group. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade.

Consumers Keeping Their Jobs: In U.S. economic news, initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level since 1969, according to the latest Labor Department numbers. In the seven days ended March 30, initial claims for state unemployment benefits, a rough gauge of layoffs, fell by 10,000 to about 202,000, the third consecutive decline. “The key takeaway from the report is that it suggests employers are reluctant to let go of employees,” Briefing.com said. “That is a positive consideration in terms of the economic outlook since feelings of job security help fuel increased consumer spending activity.”

Sentiment Data on Tap: Speaking of the U.S. consumer, which drives a huge portion of the domestic and global economies, investors are scheduled to get a reading on consumer sentiment for April from the University of Michigan next week. The last reading, for March, increased from February’s number. “Rising incomes were accompanied by lower expected year-ahead inflation rates, resulting in more favorable real income expectations,” the university said then. “Moreover, all income groups voiced more favorable growth prospects for the overall economy.” It could be interesting to see if consumer sentiment for April continues to improve.

Cain on Rise? On Thursday, President Trump said he had recommended former Republican presidential candidate and pizza chain chief executive Herman Cain for a Fed board seat. The news comes after Trump has expressed displeasure with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell after a series of interest rate hikes. But as CNBC points out, Cain may not end up being as dovish as the president might wish, noting a 2014 tweet where Cain said the central bank “can’t keep the economy running on the fumes of artificially low interest rates forever.” For now, though, the Fed seems committed to a dovish policy as inflation remains muted.

TD Ameritrade® commentary for educational purposes only. Member SIPC.

I am Chief Market Strategist for TD Ameritrade and began my career as a Chicago Board Options Exchange market maker, trading primarily in the S&P 100 and S&P 500…

Source: Jobs Growth Recovers In March After A Disappointing February

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