Posts Tagged ‘consulting’

Fixing the Five Worst Job-Search Mistakes

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

When you’re frustrated on a job search it’s tempting to punch the sofa cushions and get mad at recruiters and employers. You will find plenty of job-seekers doing those things, because the traditional corporate and institutional recruiting process is as broken as it can be.

Still, you have to get a job, so after you get finished beating up on the sofa cushions and using your most colorful curses to describe recruiters and hiring managers, it’s time to spring into action! Yes, the recruiting process is broken, but even if it were perfectly designed and executed, the Five Worst Job-Search Mistakes listed here could still get in your way.

Most job-seekers find that their job search suffers from at least one of these issues. Does yours?

The Five Worst Job Search Mistakes

No Direction

Your job search won’t go the way you want it to until you know your career direction very clearly. You have to know what you want in order to get it! Many people hedge their career-direction bets. They say “I do Marketing, PR and Sales.” Very seldom if ever does a hiring manager need someone to do those three very different things.

Your job is to figure out what you want to do in your life and career first, then apply that “Aha!” to answering the question “What kind of Business Pain do I solve better than most people?”

When you can do work you enjoy and are good at and also solve someone else’s pain, you can earn what you’re worth and grow your flame in your job. That’s why the first step in your job search is to figure out what kind of job you want next, and then to brand yourself for those positions — not every single position you could conceivably fill.

No Brand

Most job-seekers don’t brand themselves in their resume or their profile. They merely list the jobs they’ve held already. You have a story that no one else has. Why not tell your story? Your story is your brand. Tell us where you came from and how you grew as a person and a professional over time. The more clearly you know where you’ve come from and where you’re headed, the more powerful your job search will be.

No Stories

Once you have a bead on the specific kinds of Business Pain you specialize in solving, begin collecting Dragon-Slaying Stories. What’s a Dragon-Slaying Story? It’s a story about a time you saved the day or made a positive difference at work. Your stories give punch and power to your resume and your LinkedIn profile, and when you share your best stories on a job interview it’s often your stories that get you the job.

Bad Process

Like I said, the traditional corporate and institutional recruiting process is horrible. It’s designed to weed people out of the pipeline, not to keep them in it! job-seekers don’t pitch resumes and applications into Black Hole recruiting portals any more, because that doesn’t work. They figure out who their direct hiring manager is in each of their target organizations, and they reach out to that person directly. Try it!

Stuck in the Full-time Employment Box

Full-time jobs are fewer and fewer, while contract and consulting opportunities are everywhere. You can’t stay stuck in the full-time employment box if you want to keep working! You’ve got to get a consulting business card and start giving it out to people you know and new people you meet. Nothing is permanent, anyway, so why not explore your consulting persona and see where it can take you?

Original from Forbes

“Good Behavior” in a Job Interview

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

How to prepare your responses to behavioral questions during an interview.

Most people know how important it is to be on their best behavior during job interviews. But a behavioral interview isn’t just about a polished appearance and firm handshake. Often conducted as a follow-up to a traditional interview, a behavioral interview allows recruiters to assess your past performances and general demeanor as an indicator of your potential for success.

In most behavioral interviews, you’ll be expected to answer questions about specific events, projects, and experiences throughout your career. By digging deeper into how you’ve handled challenging situations, interviewers can better determine whether or not you have similar values and approach problems in a similar way.

Having your past performances put under a microscope can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the job search process, but it’s more important than ever to display a calm and confident attitude at this point in time. After all, your behavior represents your ability to perform under pressure. Here are some tips for successfully sailing through a behavioral interview.

1. Do your background research

Review the company’s website and blog and do some digging to get a feel for the company’s culture. One of the major goals of a behavioral interview is to determine if you’ll fit in with the company, so it’s helpful to be prepared with examples that demonstrate that you’re ready to become part of its team.

2. Honesty is the best policy

You may think you’re helping your cause by telling the interviewer what they seem to want to hear. But if you’re stretching the truth, you’re rarely doing yourself any favors. Interviewers will either sense your dishonesty, or you’ll find yourself haunted by your lie down the road when you’re asked to back it up. Rather than fabricate your way into the wrong position, answer each question candidly while still maintaining an air of professionalism.

3. Be specific

The interviewer is likely to ask you to describe an occasion when you faced a challenge, overcame an obstacle or accomplished a major goal. A one-sentence answer isn’t going to cut it here. Instead, be prepared with a range of detailed anecdotes that you feel represent your biggest professional highlights thus far. It might even help to jog your memory by writing down specific details of those experiences before heading in to the interview. Don’t use them to read verbatim during the interview, but by doing this exercise, you could end up remembering some key details you had forgotten. Remember to wrap up each story by sharing what you learned from the experience.

4. Don’t limit yourself to work experiences

Even if you’re just starting out in the professional world, you can use other experiences from your life — whether from school, part-time jobs, or even everyday living — to illustrate your strengths. Consider lessons you’ve learned in classes or obstacles you’ve overcome in your home life that have made you a stronger person.

5. Be prepared for curveballs

You could spend hours crafting answers to the most commonly asked behavioral interview questions, but there’s a good chance that your interviewer will throw you at least one curveball question. For me, it was when an interviewer asked me about the craziest thing I’d ever done. Dumbfounded, I sputtered out a horrible answer and struggled to recover. Learn a lesson from my mistake — just relax and open yourself up to off-the-wall questions.

Let us know in the comment section what challenging or unusual questions you have been asked during job interviews.