Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve received a boatload of requests for a post with all the 28 Days links in one place. Ask and ye shall receive, friends. Here they are! Read More →
- 28 Days to a New Job
- Career management
- community news
- Community Profiles
- Finding Success
- future of work
- human resources
- job hunting
- Number Crunching
- personal branding
- Product Management
- Reader Poll
- Salary Negotiation
- What We're Reading
- work politics
- work/life balance
- workplace mental health
But do you love your new boss?
Before you accept that job, you need to really ask yourself this question (and — for once –listen to your spider sense). If the answer is no, then you need to press on and find a boss you can jibe with.
Not picking your boss is a J.V. move that can negatively impact your career for years to come. Today, tenures may be short, but memories and reputations are long and back-channeling is just one click away. These days, it’s essential to show meaningful impact in your first 90 days. To achieve that, you need to have a boss under whom you can thrive, not just survive. Read More →
Today is the final day of Week Three, and the final day of our Interviewing section. Naturally, we’ve saved the final step in the interviewing process for last. Writing a post-interview thank you email is an absolute must after every interview, and it may make all the difference when it comes to progressing to the second round. It will also be the simplest task in your entire job search. Here’s how to do it well.
Read More →
On Day 19, we covered why good story telling is essential to boosting your candidacy when it comes to interviewing. This, my friends, is easier said than done. That’s why it’s time to introduce the C.A.R. technique: a fantastic way to supercharge your interviewing chops and leave the competition in the dust.
So what does the acronym C.A.R. stand for? C = Challenge, A = Action, and R = Result. Together, they form a framework for your work experience that is logical and useful to the recipient. It’s easy to master, and it can be your best tool for making an impact during an interview. Read More →
Believe it or not, hiring managers want every interview to go quickly and smoothly. And yet, they rarely do. The process usually drags on because of a nasty combination of unrealistic expectations — made up of wanting skill sets that are too broad and target salaries that are too low — and an initial unwillingness to make trade-offs, even though they always do after fatigue and reality set in.
Combine all of that with an interviewer who’s inexperienced and/or ill-prepared, and it’s a wonder anyone gets hired. Yet people still do. Every day.
The best candidates — and by that I mean the best prepared — are skilled at sizing up each and every hiring manager that they meet. They know what’s going on by asking questions early and by paying attention to clues dropped by the interviewer throughout the process.
Here’s what they know that you don’t. Read More →
Last week, I wrote about what the first presidential debate can teach public speakers. This time around, I decided to switch gears a bit and consider the vice presidential debate with an eye toward those in Guns-land who are currently (or hoping to be) interviewing for gigs. Because I found myself traveling home via NJ Transit during the debate itself, I was forced to follow the whole thing on Twitter using a CNN hash tag. But being left to my devices gave me a great perspective on what TV audiences found most affecting, effective, distracting, and annoying – much of it focusing on Joe Biden and Paul Ryan’s presentational styles. When it was all said and done, I came away with four themes interviewees can learn from. Read More →
Last Friday, we sounded the call for your worst presentation horror stories. While we certainly don’t take any pleasure in your pain (okay, maybe one of us does), we do want you to keep submitting them! The winner of our #presentastrophe contest gets to be the Guest of Honor (and Guests of Honor attend for free) at Joel Schwartzberg’s Nail That Presentation! class this Wednesday, October 3. Submit your #presentastrophe by midnight tonight for a chance to win! You can leave it in the comments below or tweet @TheHiredGuns if you can fit your tale into a tweet-sized nugget of presentation horror.
Tomorrow, we’ll ask Joel to pick the winner and we’ll post it, along with the best of the rest, here on the blog.
Of course you know that dream. We all do.
That’s where Joel Schwartzberg comes in. Joel, our resident Hall of Fame public speaker, is hosting a class on that very subject this Wednesday, October 3 at The Hired Guns Hive. He’ll rework your sentences, polish your posture, and give you some invaluable tips to warm up, calm down, and get focused before a speaking engagement. Better still, you can go for free. Tell us about your worst #presentastrophe. The Gun who shares the most dire presentation moment will be given a free seat at Joel’s upcoming seminar.
Tweet your story to @TheHiredGuns using #presentastrophe or leave your tale of public speaking woe in the comments below. We’ll round them up, have Joel pick his favorite, and announce our winner on the blog next week. We’ll also share the best of the rest with the Guns’ very sympathetic audience.
Joel Scwhartzberg is the Michael Jordan of public speaking. Sure, that’s a cliche that gets thrown around a lot these days (“My uncle is pretty much the Michael Jordan of dishwasher repair”), but in this case the comparison is apt. He won the U.S. National Championship in after-dinner speaking. He won the Massachusetts State Championship in persuasive speaking. He was ranked among the top ten public speakers overall in the US. The man is in the National Forensic Association’s Hall of Fame for his public speaking.
Let that sink in for a moment.
We asked Joel to share his thoughts on the upcoming presidential debates (the first of which occurs the night of his Guns Academy class) and what the Guns’ audience can learn from them. Below is the first of several posts on the debates and career management.
The upcoming presidential debates aren’t real debates at all, of course, but a series of well-rehearsed, carefully-worded, tiny speeches written by committee. (So much for candid truths). But while not much new can be learned at this point about Obama and Romney’s policy positions, a lot can be learned from their public speaking styles. Read More →
You know the one we’re talking about: “What’s your greatest weakness?” If you’re at a job interview and you’re not ready to say what your greatest weakness is, then your greatest weakness is being unprepared.
In a recent “Dear Lucy” column, Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times looked at the right way to go about concocting an answer that will pass muster with the interviewer.
She says it’s dumb to name something that’s obviously a strength, e.g., “I’m too demanding,” “I’m too hardworking.” At best, you’re not fooling anyone, and at worst, your interviewer might think you’re “insufferably smug, deceitful, or [have] no self-knowledge.” (And it might even prompt the interviewer to ask the same thing all over again, in a slightly different way.) Read More →
Alison Green of Ask a Manager heads to U.S.News to cover the questions that applicants should be asking at their job interviews (but often don’t). They’re questions that move the conversation forward, and their answers can actually help you know what the job’s going to be like, rather than just serving to butter up the interviewer. Things like “How would you describe the culture here?” and “What would a successful first year in the position look like?”
Maybe the most important thing to remember is to ask SOMETHING during the interview: “… if you don’t have any questions, you’re signaling that you’re not very interested in the job or you just haven’t thought much about it.”
- Best Questions To Ask In Your Job Interview [Forbes]
- Ask This Question At the Beginning of Your Next Job Interview [Lifehacker]
[Photo: Milos Milosevic/Flickr]
- According to a study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, narcissists have a big advantage during job interviews. “When feeling challenged, they tend to double down,” says one co-author of the work. “It’s as if they say ‘Oh, you’re going to challenge me? Then I’m not just great, I’m fantastic.’ And in this setting, it tended to work.” [Science Daily]
- “9 Common Interview Questions That Are Actually Illegal.“ [Business Insider]
- Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to spam all 900 applicants for a job at a startup with 42 bullet points of advice: “Here’s How to Condescend to 900 Job Applicants With a 3,000-Word Rejection Letter.” Cue the hate mail. [Gawker; Salon]
- On the other hand, a lot of that advice made sense, especially if you weren’t the direct recipient: “Want to get hired? Toughen up.” [Forbes]
You’ve got the great references, you’ve got your best suit on, and you’ve even done due diligence on the company you’d like to work for. But are you really ready for the interview?
John A. Challenger, the head of an outplacement firm, has some interview myths to keep in mind as you go about trying to impress HR, the hiring manager, and everyone else you meet. Read More →
- We already covered what speakers can learn from Gov. Rick Perry’s recent flub. Brazen Careerist has more on what political debates in general can teach about successful job interviews.
- Don’t be the first interview of the day and other tips on selling yourself effectively to potential employers. [USA Today]
- It has to be said: a hat reading “Take this job and shove it” should never be part of your job-interview wardrobe (yes, that really happened). [Thomas.net]
- Daniel Bukszpan of CNBC takes on a touchy issue: telling white lies during interviews.
- Dealing with so-called “stress interviews,” during which candidates face a panel of interviewers. [Post and Courier]
This is the second post in a series from the speaker, teacher, and consultant Joel Schwartzberg, who is covering methods to improve presentation skills at all stages of your career. A slightly different version of this post appeared earlier in the Huffington Post.
A job interview isn’t all that different from a public speech, except that in interviews you get to sit down, listen more than speak, and be the world’s expert on the topic (hint: it’s you). But one thing is true for both interviewing and speech-making: How you say something is just as important as what you say.
The “what” can be coached only so much, but the “how” is completely coachable. Here are some unique, real-world tips I’ve picked up over nearly two decades as a media industry executive, a national champion public speaker, a public speaking instructor, a collegiate speech and debate coach… and a failed Wheel of Fortune contestant. But don’t hold the Wheel thing against me — I just didn’t buy enough vowels. Read More →
- How does Google Ventures decide which startups get part of its $200 million? [Mashable]
- Comparing “workaholics” in various countries. [Jezebel]
- Liz Ryan looks at 4 of the worst hiring managers she ever met. [Businessweek]
- This week in viral promotions and digital marketing: Take This Lollipop, a creepy, Facebook-soaked video to make you even more worried about online privacy than you were already. Or maybe it’ll just remind you to find a better head shot and update your status once in a while. [More on it from The Next Web and Slate....]
- There’s a downside to excessive detail orientation: how to manage a perfectionist. [HBR]
- 10 questions developers should ask in an interview. “How much will you pay me?” didn’t even make the list. [Lifehack]
- 6 reasons you haven’t heard back after that job interview. [U.S. News]
- 67 questions that usability testing can answer. [econsultancy]
- A 7-point checklist to decide when it’s OK to take a pay cut. [Penelope Trunk]
- 1 excellent way to get your house’s exterior scary enough for Halloween. [Craftzine]
- The Top 10 horror movies put out by Criterion. [Scene-Stealers]
- It’s not your imagination: New Yorkers really do love their Twitter. The very chatty city has more users of the microblogging service than any other city. [The Next Web]
- Semi-related, perhaps: Twitter still has a ways to go to convince advertisers that it’s a good place for their message. [Business Insider]
- Some bad news on the compensation front . . . . “The incomes of U.S. workers, adjusted for inflation, fell even more rapidly since the rebound began in the summer of 2009 than during the recession itself, according to a new study.” [Reuters]
- And here’s a groundbreaking approach to the job interview — but be warned, results may vary:
- Our own Jeff Gothelf on why keeping design a “mystery” can actually hold its practitioners back. [A List Apart]
- The pain of job interviews: An employee’s perspective [Smart Company]
- Computer programs are getting better and better at writing for the web. But as Farhad Manjoo points out in a new series at Slate, very few jobs are safe from the robots these days.
- The IRS continues to clamp down on deciding which workers can be declared independent contractors as opposed to employees.
- An infographic from Careerbuilder on how to work from home without wasting time. The survey claims that “30% of telecommuters tend to work in pajamas” — get dressed, people!
- Hallmark targets a new audience for its cards: those who recently lost their job.
Bullet Points: The Freelancer Surge; Uninsured Workers and the Law; Former Wall Streeters, Starting Over
- Writing for the Atlantic, Sara Horowitz of the Freelancers Union says that the ongoing shift from full-time workers to freelancers with bunches of gigs is a change with effects as major as those that occurred during the Industrial Revolution.
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are lots of uninsured workers who don’t know much about the federal government’s healthcare provisions—or at least the ones that won’t even start until 2013–14. NPR has the story about a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- If you get fired, it’s important to get used to answering the questions it will raise in future job interviews: “You’ve got to be comfortable with that question. Ask yourself that question in a mirror 15 different ways and be comfortable with the response and turn it into a learning experience and a positive response for the person who wants to hire you,” says the recruiter Debbie Millhouse in the Charlotte Observer.
- Just like everyone else, management needs to keep up with the current downtown and not act as if it’s the same as the one we faced in 2008: “Don’t fight the last recession’s war. You’ll lose.” [Fortune]
- Some Wall Streeters looking to get back to work are getting the sort of retraining and reinvention more commonly given to blue-collar workers. [CNBC]
- Burning Man, everyone’s favorite playa-based arts event, is experiencing some growing pains as it transitions into a nonprofit. [NYT]
- The chances of being satisfied at your job look as if they are partially inherited, according to some studies of twins, which found a “significant” but “small” genetic link. [BNET]
- It’s a real pain to get a mortgage if you’re a freelancer—and the hurdles have gotten even worse. [NYT]
- Is test messaging dying? [The Next Web]
- A soon-to-open library in British Columbia will have a selection of “living books,” “local residents who have volunteered to share their knowledge of any topic.” Patrons can make an appointment to interview the volunteers for 30 to 45 minutes. [Good.is]
- Job interviews are a two-way street. Don’t be so obsessed with making a good impression that you forget to ask questions and assess whether or not this is really is the place for you. [Baltimore Business Journal]
For lots of job candidates, the interview is a make-or-break event. You should always be ready to answer standard questions like “What is your greatest accomplishment?” and the dreaded “What is your greatest weakness?” But there’s also the possibility that the interviewer will hit you with a random question from out of left field, like asking why manhole covers are round, a question supposedly used at Google and Microsoft.
Another example is a question asked by AT&T: “If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?” And Google has been known to ask, “How many basketballs can you fit in this room?” Goldman Sachs, perhaps revealing a bit about its corporate culture, asks, “If you were shrunk to the size of pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?”
But questions like these can be useful, at least from an employer’s perspective. The way candidates answer them can reveal aspects of their personality, how they handle stress, and how sharp their critical thinking is. Questions like the superhero one may be designed to gauge your personality. And the basketball and the pencil-in-the-blender scenarios test critical thinking. Read More →
Bullet Points: Newsies Get Schooled on Social Media; MySpace Lessons; Job Interviews Go Casual in Japan
- The newspaper publisher E.W. Scripps issues a social media policy that brings up the possibility of termination if an employee’s “personal account contains material that could reflect badly on Scripps.” Have a look and see if you think the new rules of engagement are scary or actually fairly reasonable. [via Sree tips, which is a must-read]
- Five lessons we can learn from the end of MySpace. [SmartCompany.co.au]
- Are you a control freak? [BNET]
- 10 Surefire Ways to Fail an Interview. [The Grindstone]
- “How far would you go?” A non-gimmicky campaign to convince teens to start donating blood, from Branding Served.
- The Japanese government’s Super Cool Biz campaign (Hawaiian shirts and even shorts) has brought changes to the otherwise “stuffy clothes” worn for job interviews as well as to everyday office wear. [Japan Times]
- How Much Notice Should I Give My Employer That I’m Quitting My Job? [Lifehacker]
- Landed an interview? Leave the bird at home.
- For the journalist Jon Ronson, you may not have to be a psychopath to be a great CEO, but it definitely doesn’t hurt. [Forbes]
- Stories about the huge cost of college have been around since at least the 70s. But as the costs have risen, so have expectations of what it should be able to do for students. [NPR]
- Is this already a dying art form? Netflix envelope art from Doodlers Anonymous. See also: “The evolution of the NetFlix envelope.” [CNN]
- “Choose a topic you’ll never get tired of” and other advice from bloggers who have turned their passions into going concerns. [NYT]
- A reporter at a major daily newspaper is looking for companies that use video interviewing to assess job candidates, as well as candidates who have been interviewed this way. If you’ve used Skype or HireVue or similar services to get a job or to fill a job, email us. The reporter is interested in finding out why companies opt for this method of interviewing and any anecdotes about how these interviews tend to go. And for job candidates, how was it for you?
- In case you missed it last weekend: the Times goes really deep on Groupon’s methods, something Hired Guns blogger Daryl Lang also examined recently.
- Do you have what it takes to build that website on your own? Going by Vitamin Talent’s intricate flowchart, you may need a much, much bigger monitor before you can decide.
- Never accept a counteroffer. [Ere.net]
- At Slate, there’s no longer any money set aside for taking the interns out for drinks or lunch once in a while. Instead, it’s the interns doling out favors like cupcakes and other small gifts, and the site also takes “advantage of their access to expensive journals through their college library credentials.” Related: the new book Intern Nation.
- Email maintenance is a subject close to our hearts. Here’s a suggestion on how to use the BCC for good, not evil. The time you save may be your own.