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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!

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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

1.54K subscribers
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!

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

How To Get An Awesome Internship — Job Interview Training

How To Get An Awesome Internship Frances BridgesContributori ForbesWoman OLD DO NOT USE There are a jazillion websites, blog posts, articles, books, seminars and YouTube videos on how to land an internship. Chances are, you’ve read or heard 98 percent of this advice before: edit and proofread your resumes and cover letters, clean up your social media […]

via How To Get An Awesome Internship — Job Interview Training

 

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