Job Search Tips for the “Seasoned Professional”

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untitled (6)According to the September Jobs Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 94 million Americans are now missing from America’s Workforce, and while the percentage of employed Americans is said to be at 62.6 percent, those disappeared workers are now over 37 percent.

According to the BLS, there were 635,000 discouraged workers in September, virtually unchanged from 2014. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.

Among those “discouraged workers” are “Seasoned Professionals”, who are having a difficult time finding their way back into America’s Workforce.

The following Job Search Tips  for Older Americans, or, “Seasoned Professionals” are I like to call them (since I am one) were suggested by Phillip Moeller in an article posted on money.usnews.com.

The tips themselves are his. The analysis (and any smart aleck remarks that may pop up) are mine.

1. Get credit for what you know. 

As a seasoned professional, you have amassed a ton of knowledge and experience throughout your professional life. However, potential  employers have no way of ascertaining what you know. Enrolling in a certification program or seeking college credit for your work experience can develop the third-party credentials that would lead to a job.

It ain’t braggin’, if it’s documented.

2. You are a brand.

As a Seasoned Professional, you are a valuable commodity. You need to get out there and sell yourself! Now, you don’t have to hire a Cessna Pilot to fly your resume on a banner behind his plane. There is a much cheaper way to get yourself out there:

Use the Social Media. It’s FREE!

In fact, don’t tell anyone…but, I’m marketing my skills right now. Shhh!

3. Career navigators.

As you are no doubt finding out, today’s job market is a maze of twists and turns.

Sometimes, it helps to have a trusted advisor who has worked with you and who knows your skills and abilities, guide you toward the positions which you need to be going after.

Nothing is more demoralizing than looking back and thinking “Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda”.

4. Offer your services.

While unpaid internships won’t pay the bills, if you can afford it, they can be a great way to get your foot in the door of an industry or employer you like. It’s a way to gain needed experience, an addition to your résumé, and knowledge of how to improve your skills.

And, who knows? They may hire you after you show them what you can do.

5. Reverse job fairs.

This works just the opposite of regular job fairs that you may have attended. Job Seekers are in booths and are prescreened by employers, who then come up to speak to them. Employers control the situation and decide how to best use their time.. This helps the Job Seeker’s confidence because they know that the Employer coming to their booth is already interested in speaking with them.

6. Computer and technology training.

Let’s face it: Employers often assume that older Job Seekers are not computer-literate or comfortable with the New Technology. If you can show them that you actually know your way around a keyboard, this may help overcome any “Old Age Bias” that the potential Employer may be carrying into the interview.

It will help if you know that Skype is not a kind of bird.

7. Flextime and part-time jobs.

If you are technologically-savvy, and can afford it, you may want to work part-time or have flexible schedules, since working from home, or “telecommuting” may be an option for all or part of these types of jobs.

Just don’t Skype with your boss in your jammies.

8. Age bias.

It is a reality, as many out-of-work Seasoned Professionals have found out.

It can be overcome by, as I mentioned earlier, upgrading your “Skill Set”. It can also be overcome by answering the potential Employer’s concerns during the Interview, in a way which assures them that you can handle the duties of the job.

9. Workplace readiness.

There are programs available out there that will literally prepare you for the job that you are seeking. Some are available through technical and community colleges. Some are sponsored by the companies, themselves. There may even be financial aid available for the training that you are seeking.

Yes, we are older.

However, we still have skills and abilities, acquired through years of professional experience, which can be of immeasurable worth to a prospective Employer.

We must first, convince ourselves, and then, convince the prospective Employer, of that indisputable fact.

The great American Inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, said,

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

It is up to us to identify that door, open it wide, and step through it.

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen

The Job Interview: Interviewers’ Tricks/What They Want To Hear

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Unemployment20One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. –Arthur Ashe

Sitting here, waiting to hear the results from my latest in 5 months worth of job interviews, the thought struck me that Corporate Interviewers, just like any other professional, must have some “tricks of the trade”, which they rely upon in order to find the right job candidate for any position for which they are interviewing applicants.

The professional life of an Interviewer eventually finds them in front of every single type of individual, whether they be introvert, extrovert, detail-oriented, or free spirit.

While Interviewers all have their own particular interviewing style, there are certain common methods that they use in order to get the job candidate to “open up”.

Here is a list of 10 “tricks of the trade” which Interviewers use to get a job candidate to let their guard down during a Job Interview, initially posted on money.usnews.com in March of 2012. (The list of methods is the author’s. The analysis and any smart alack remarks which may pop up are mine.)

1. Silence.

There are some interviewers who will remain silent after you finish answering their question, hoping that you will continue to talk and reveal something about yourself that you did not intend to.

Answer their question succinctly. If their silence continues, ask them if there was something else about the topic of the question that they wanted to know.

2. Extreme friendliness.

By putting you at ease, Interviewers hope to break down your defenses and gain insight into the “real you”.

The Interviewer, while friendly, isn’t your BFF. Stay professional.

3. Asking “What do you know about us so far?”

When Interviewers ask you this, they want to know if you desire the job enough to learn about the company, i.e , “do your homework”.

In this case, what you don’t know CAN hurt you.

4. Asking why you’re thinking about leaving your current job (or why you left your last job).

This is another “Gotcha” Question.

The Interviewer is attempting to get you to reveal if you left on bad terms or if you’re willing to badmouth your former employer.

Remain positive. Keep your private thoughts about your former employer private.

5. Asking how soon you can start.

Interviewers want to know if you posses the strength of character to give your current employer at least two-weeks notice. If you are employed, and you tell the interviewer that you can start immediately, they will assume you’ll do that to them someday, too.

6. Asking you to follow up about something.

The Interviewer is testing you to see how well you remember and follow up on commitments, even small or informal ones.

7. Leaving you with the receptionist.

If you are a “People Person”, like I am, you might slip up and say things to the receptionist that you would never say to an Interviewer.

Just remember that the receptionist is the gatekeeper. Just as is the case with salespeople trying to get in front of a decision-maker, she will follow up with her boss after you leave.

If they chat with you, talk about the weather or compliment the “cute” picture of their grandchild.

8. If you were laid off, asking if others were laid off with you.

The question “How many in your department were laid off as well?” Is an attempt by the Interviewer to find out if a past employer laid you off in order to avoid having to fire you for performance issues.

9. Asking you to describe your dream job.

If you answer with any other job than the one you are applying for…you’ve shot yourself in the foot.

If you are interviewing for a job as a zoo keeper, don’t say that you want to be a Big Game Hunter.

10. Asking what questions you have.

A good Interviewer can tell a lot about you by what questions you ask. Interviewers want to hear insightful questions about the position itself, the company culture, and the organizational structure.

There are also some general statements about yourself that every Job Interviewer wants to hear.

In November of 2012, Forbes.com posted an article titled,  “5 Things Every Employer Wants To Hear”.

Here is a list of those statements.

1. You will never have to tell me what to do twice.

This shows that you don’t let any moss grow under your feet, i.e., that you are pro-active and engaged.

2. I will complete the job/assignment you give me with excellence.

This tells the Interviewer that you take your assignments seriously and excise due diligence in the performance of your job duties.

3. I am open to learning, adapting, adjusting and to receiving feedback on how I can improve.

This shows that you are not a know-it-all and that you will recognize your manager’s authority.

4. I am easy to correct and instruct.

With this statement, you are telling the Interviewer that you have a good, professional attitude, with a strong dose of humility thrown in for good measure.

5. I am a loyal employee.

This statement lets them know that, if they hire you, you will be a steadfast, productive employee for as long as they will have you.

Remember, every Job Interview is different, as is the style of every Interviewer.

So, get out there, land an interview, and give it your best shot. As Legendary Professional Hockey Player, Wayne Gretzky, once quipped,

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

My sincere hope is that the insights and suggestions provided in today’s blog will help you land your “dream job”.

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen

The Job Interview: How to Handle the Interview as a “Seasoned Professional”

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unemployment7The Jobs Report for the month of August was published last Friday, and America’s Employment Rolls aren’t exactly burgeoning, to say the least.

According to CNSnews.com,

A record 92,269,000 Americans 16 and older did not participate in the labor force in August, as the labor force participation rate matched a 36-year low of 62.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force participation rate has been as low as 62.8 percent in six of the last twelve months, but prior to last October had not fallen that low since 1978.

BLS employment statistics are based on the civilian noninstitutional population, which consists of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home.

As one of the over 92 million Americans mentioned in the BLS report, well into my fifth month of “fun-cation” as First Lady Michelle Obama once described unemployment, I am reminded of the University Graduation Speech given by Thonton Melon (the late, great Rodney Dangerfield) in the movie “Back to School”,

Thank you, Dean Martin, President Sinclair…and members of the graduating class. I have only one thing to say to you today…it’s a jungle out there.You gotta look out for number one. But don’t step in number two. And so, to all you graduates…as you go out into the world my advice to you is…don’t go! It’s rough out there.Move back with your parents. Let them worry about it.

Unfortunately, as a 55 year old “Seasoned Professional”, my parents are no longer here for me to move back in with. Besides that, my wife wouldn’t let me.

With the national unemployment rate as high as it is, it is becoming harder and harder for “Seasoned Professionals”, such as myself, to find gainful employment  While extensive work experience can certainly work to the advantage of a job seeker,  it definitely seems that, in this technology-driven job market, fresh and trainable young candidates are considered to be more valuable by corporations.

If you are a job seeker with over 15 years of job experience, you must  prove to an interviewer that you have relevant experience, as well as the adaptability and passion that they value in younger candidates.  Recruitips.com has posted a few interview tips for older job seekers.(The tips are theirs. The analysis and any smart alack remarks that may pop up are mine.)

1.    Show that you are current.

Interviewers are looking for a candidate with particular relevant work experience.  Make sure that you are familiar with current trends in your profession, so that you can “wow” the Interviewer as to how knowledgeable you are.

Yes, the knowledge you’ve gained through your extensive work experience is important, but, if you drone on about it to the Interviewer, they will likely get that same “eyes glazed-over” expression that your kid used to, when you told him/her that you had to walk to and from school 5 miles each way, uphill both ways, in blinding snow.

2.    Demonstrate adaptability.

Unfortunately, there are recruiters out there who perceive us “Seasoned Professionals” as “set in our ways”…untrainable and unadaptable. Be prepared to give your Interviewer a few examples of times when you were required to adapt to a new professional environment, and you found success afterward.

3.    Show off your network.

You’ve no doubt heard it said that “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” Having an impressive network of business acquaintances can be a powerful arrow to have in your quiver to pull out during your interview.

Just don’t pull a Jon Lovitz, “Yeah…my wife…Morgan Fairchild. That’s the ticket!”

4.    Prove that you have an understanding of technology.

A knowledge of Social Media and Web-Based business tools can put you in the “catbird seat”. It will show the Interviewer that, just because you are a “Seasoned Professional, does not mean that you are “computer-illiterate”,

5.    Be honest about your health.

According to the law, your health problems are none of the Interviewer’s concern. However, do not let your alligator mouth overload your hummingbird hindquarters.Simply put, don’t say that you can do something, if you know that your health will not allow you to do it.  You won’t be helping yourself or your potential employer.

Personally, I used to have a 56 inch chest and 18 inch biceps…but, that’s all behind me, now.

Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States. A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state. His response to the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action.

He was known as “Silent Cal”, because he was a man who chose his words carefully. However, when he spoke, his words resounded with clarity and conciseness. When he was asked what the secret of success was, he responded:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.

I hope the tips I have shared will help you gain meaningful employment,

Never quit. Never surrender.

-Allen

The Job Interview: America’s Workforce, Jerry Lewis, and Me

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jerry-lewisI was thinking last evening about how, as 81-year-old Joan Rivers lays in a coma in a hospital, the generation of entertainment that we Baby Boomers watched and listened to at the movies and on television, from youth to adulthood, is slipping away.

These thoughts were spurred on, as I realized that, here we are, September 1st, Labor Day, 2014…and there is a huge gap in today’s television programming.

For 45 years, American families would, while spending time together, watch the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon. The telethon would begin on Sunday Evening and continue for 21 1/2 hours, ending on Monday evening at 5:00 p.m. Central. Co-hosted in later years by Ed McMahon and Norm Crosby, stars of stage, screen, and television would appear, alongside corporate executives, all there to raise money for “Jerry’s Kids”.

In 2012, the MDA Program was renamed the “MDA Show of Strength”. It was scaled down to a 3 hour program, featuring mostly pre-taped segments.

The last two years’ programs, while being referred to as a “telethon”, were only 2 hour programs, aired on the Sunday night before Labor Day, featuring hip young “stars” like Ryan Seacrest introducing pre-taped segments.

After MDA gave Lewis the Fickle Finger of Fate, they continued to insist

We honor Jerry Lewis, we admire the work he’s done for us, and we respect his decision to retire.

That particular quote came from Valerie Cwik, the MDA’s interim president, at the time. She replaced Gerald Weinberg, who was reportedly behind Lewis’s ouster and who stepped down as president, after 54 years with the organization.

She made the lame argument that the changes in the telethon were part of a necessary evolution in fundraising strategy, to put less emphasis on the once-a-year event.

It has to change because the American audience has changed. A 21.5-hour show doesn’t fit in a 140-character world.

Okay. I know that Lewis had a reputation as an ego-maniacal pain-in-the-rear to work with, but, these were people’s lives that the MDA was messing with. It could have, and should have, been handled differently.

It showed no respect whatsoever. But, I digress…

What happened to Jerry Lewis, seems to be happening to American Society in general.

The fact is, older worker unemployment has increased dramatically since the recession. The unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older increased from 3.1 percent in December 2007 to a high of 7.6 percent in February 2010, before dropping to 6 percent in December 2011.

While older employees are less likely to be laid off than their younger counterparts, it generally takes older job seekers longer to find new employment. The median duration of unemployment for older workers was 35 weeks in 2011, compared with 26 weeks for younger employees. And 55 percent of unemployed older workers spent more than 27 weeks actively seeking a new job in 2011, up from less than a quarter in 2007.

According to a Government Accountability Office Report, issued in 2012, and featured on money.usnews.com, the following list examines the barriers to employment for people who were laid off at age 55 (like myself) or later. Here’s and are the reasons why unemployed older workers, like myself, are having difficulty finding new jobs. (The reason’s are theirs. Any smart alack comments that may pop-up are mine.)

High salary expectations.

According to some employers interviewed by the GAO, older workers should “learn how to present their skills and experiences to potential employers in a way that does not draw attention to their age, extensive years of experience, and past high-level positions.” I personally have no problem with that. I know that am a very capable professional, Mr. Employer. I just want to work.

Younger bosses.

Some Hiring Managers probably believe that older employees would be unhappy working for a younger or less experienced supervisor. When you interview, try pointing out why you would be a good fit at the company, that you are willing to work for less pay than you received in the past, and that you are comfortable reporting to a younger manager and working collaboratively with people of all ages. Competency has no age limit. Neither does incompetency. However, that’s a whole different blog.

Out of date skills.

You have to be able to submit applications and resumes online, in order to apply for a job. “Seasoned Professionals” who lack computer and other technology skills have a great disadvantage in finding work.

You have to keep pace with technology in order to get yourself a job nowadays. There are plenty of courses available through which you can learn the new technology. In fact, I worked at a Government Internship a couple of years ago, in order to update my technological skills. If you can play video games with your grandchildren, you can learn this stuff. Don’t be afraid of technology.

Expensive health benefits.

GAO found that some employers don’t  want to hire older job seekers because of possible future health issues. The fallacy there is the fact that everyone gets sick, not just “Seasoned Professionals”. You may want to assure the interviewer, if this is brought up, that you have no plans to keel over anytime soon.

Retirement expectations.

Some Employers don’t want to hire and then train older workers, because they believe that older employees will retire soon, and will not give them a good Return on Investment (ROI). When interviewing, tell your potential Employers that you do not see yourself retiring in the near future…you would not be out seeking employment, if you were.

Visible frustration.

Some Employers say that long-term unemployment makes some older workers discouraged and depressed. Well, duuuh.

The trick is not to allow your job-search frustration to show during interviews or take it out on the hiring manager. It’s not their fault. Put on your best professional demeanor and show them why they should hire you.

As an “Seasoned Professional”, I believe that I have a lot to offer a potential employer. Years of experience have given me insight into the business world that younger employees do not have. I also posses a work ethic and a will to succeed, which ha have not diminished as I have gotten older.

Like my fellow “Seasoned Professionals”, all I ask is for the opportunity to prove my worth.

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen

The Job Interview: “Dear Job Seeker…Your Resume Is Impressive, But…”

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Unemployment#18Unless you lived under a rock as a teenager, or, you stayed in your folks’ house playing video games in the basement, depending on your age, we’ve all faced rejection at some time or another.

As a working adult, opening your e-mail inbox to find a rejection letter, is every job seeker’s worst nightmare. It can be just as painful as finding out your main squeeze has been dating the entire high school football team (Don’t ask.).

Receiving the kiss-off from a company or a recruiter can be especially frustrating, after feeling like you nailed the job interview.

Some companies don’t even show job seekers the courtesy of a rejection e-mail. These companies just forget about you, leaving you wondering about the status of your application.

Of all the frustrating moments that a job seeker experiences in their quest for meaningful employment, receiving a rejection e-mail has to be the most ego-deflating.

Learning to handle rejection is just as important as learning how to conduct yourself during the job interview, itself.

The following list of things NOT TO DO, after receiving a rejection e-mail, was posted on foxbusiness.com last year. The suggestions are theirs. The analysis (including any smart alack comments that may pop up) is mine.

1. Forget Perspective.

As you sit there, beating yourself up over no getting hired, remember that  as my Daddy (Southern colloquialism for male parental unit) used to tell me, “There’s more than one fish in the sea.” Everyone gets rejected, at one time or another.Look back at what you have accomplished. While navigating Life’s Highway, this is just one small bump in the road.

2. Let Your Emotions Take Over.

It is very easy for others to tell you that not being hired for a job you want is “nothing personal”, especially after you believed that you did very well in the interview. If you are like me, you take a lot of pride in your professionalism and the knowledge you have gained during your job experience. To have someone devalue all that you have learned, through an impersonal e-mail, can really hurt. The hard part is to focus that emotion you are feeling and to turn it around in a positive direction.  Difficult, but not impossible.

3. Forget To Ask For Feedback.

Learn from the rejection. Why were you not hired? What was wrong with the way you presented yourself. If you are in the position to do so, ask the interviewer why you were rejected. While the company’s representative might not always be able to give you details, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Just make sure that your request is respectful and optimistic. If you are seeking employment through a recruiting service, they will tell you how you blew the interview, because their client, the company, will tell them why they do not want to hire you.  (Been there. Done that. Use the t-shirt to wash the car.)

4. Refuse To Improve.

In other words, take what you have learned from your rejection and try to “fix” what caused you not to be hired. Just remember, performing a frank assessment of why you did not get a job is different from beating yourself up, for days upon end, over being rejected for the position.

5. Don’t Stay Connected.

If possible, maintain a professional relationship with the company’s hiring manager. Even though they may not have chosen you for the position, you should still keep in touch with them. LinkedIn is a great tool to use for this purpose. If you are not a LinkedIn Connection with the hiring manager, make it so. That way, you may have the inside track on another position with their company when one becomes open.

6. Avoid Sharing Your Experience.

Everyone has a support system…family and friends who don’t mind listening to you vent. This is the time to utilize them. No man (or woman) is an island. “Whining” about not getting the job you wanted might embarrassed you at first, but venting is cathartic. It helps you blow off steam. (Why do you think I write this blog?) Most people have been where you are, and they all will have some sort of advice and guidance to share with you.

7. Give Up

Everyone, including myself, has wanted to throw in the towel, and say, “No mas!”, a la Roberto Duran. Please don’t.

NBA Legend Michael Jordan once said,

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

There is an old adage which states

It’s not how many times you fall down that matters. It’s how many times you get back up.

There is an old song from the movie, “Swing Time” (1936), which sums up the point I’m trying to make….

Nothing’s impossible I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off,
Start All over again.

Don’t lose your confidence if you slip,
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off,
Start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired,
Till the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you’ll be a man, my son!

Will you remember the famous men,
Who had to fall to rise again?
So take a deep breath,
Pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off,
Start all over again.

Never give up. Never surrender.

– Allen

The Job Interview: The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

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unemployment17You did it! You walked right into that Interviewer’s office, sat down, and absolutely aced that Job Interview.

So…now you’re waiting to hear something…anything!

What’s taking so dadburn long?

What in the world could be the holdup?

Well…in some cases, the Human Resources Department advised that person you interviewed with NOT to contact you after the interview because the Legal Department wants to avoid any miscommunication and any nastiness that would result from it.

Or, HR could simply want to be in control. Go figure.

An individual, who is a major part of the hiring process could be sick or out of town. If the employer has to wait on them to return, that means that you, the candidate, has to wait, also.

Someone important to the hiring process may be tied up, trying to meet a deadline on an important project.

Someone important to the hiring process may have been fired or they have resigned, and they have to be replaced before the company can move forward.

It may be something more complicated, like the whole department may be in the process of being reorganized and the functions of the job, or, the very need for the job itself, is being rethought.

Or, the potential employer could decide that they need to find an additional candidate for the position, in order to divide the job you have interviewed for into two separate positions.

In most companies, the hiring process requires several people’s input to complete..

There’s a lot of time-consuming corporate machinations going on.

Meanwhile, your assignment is to wait…and wait…and wait.

So, what can you do to keep yourself busy while you wait…and possibly help your chance of landing the job you’re after?

Alison Green, who writes for usnews.com, published these suggestions in an article posted on September 12, 2012. The suggestions themselves are hers, the analysis (and any smart alack comments which may pop up) is mine.

1. Send a follow-up note.

This can be by email or snail mail. Don’t just thank the interviewer for the opportunity, but also state once again how interested you are in the position. Just don’t forget the name of the Interviewer. That’s kind of important.

2. But don’t follow up excessively.

Don’t be a stalker. Inquiring once a week is probably okay. Bug them everyday, and the potential employer will probably hit the delete key on your computerized file and throw your resume in the circular file.

3. Review the questions you were asked in the interview and how you did.

What questions made you stop a pause and little before answering? Don’t obsess and beat yourself up over the interview. Just review the interview to make sure that you presented yourself the way that you wanted to and keep moving forward.

4. Think about whether you want the job.

While you are waiting, you may want to consider whether the job will be the right fit FOR YOU. Are you going to be happy working there? Are you going to be comfortable with the staff, the business environment, and goals of the potential employer? As Eric Burdon and the Animals sang, “It’s MY life and I can do what I want.”. Don’t accept a job somewhere that you’re going to be miserable working at.

This point reminds me of the joke that happened one Sunday morning at a church out in the country. The Pastor was at the pulpit, delivering his sermon, when the sanctuary doors burst open, and in walks the Devil. Needless to say, the congregants all headed for the hills, except for one old farmer, sitting toward the front. The Devil walked up to him and said, “Foolish mortal, why did you not flee from me, like everyone else?” The  old farmer said, “Why should I be scared of you, Bubba? I’ve been married to your sister for 25 years!”

In other words, don’t make a mistake that you will live to regret.

5. Realize that hiring often takes longer than anyone involved thinks it will.

As I wrote earlier, the hiring process takes time. There is more to it than just a Candidate and an Interviewer. Think more along the lines of Gru and his minions from Despicable Me.

6. Keep applying for other jobs.

Even if you think you have the job, you may not. After all we have all been wrong before, even if we were only mistaken (old joke). Besides, applying for more jobs is a good way to burn off nervous energy while you’re waiting for your potential employer to call.

7. Move on mentally, if necessary.

Don’t just sit  there, do something! Move on. Don’t just sit there, beating yourself up mentally. Live your life. Move forward.

Now, all these suggestions are simply that: suggestions. How you handle the long, tedious wait to hear back from a job interview is up to you. However, don’t just while away the hours sitting in a bean bag, eating Cheetos, while watching reruns of Walker, Texas Ranger”. Your spouse will fuss at you.

Trust me. I know.

Never Give Up. Never Surrender.

-Allen

The Job Interview: To Be Silent and Thought a Fool Or To Speak And…

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unemployment16If you are an average American, chances are very good that you will have to go through multiple job interviews during your lifetime.

After you have survived these interrogations, you will probably second guess yourself:  Did I talk too much? Did I speak enough? Did I say something stupid?

Trust me. I speak from experience.

In August of 2013, foxbusiness.com ran a list of “10 Things Not to Say During a Job Interview”. The questions are the author’s. The analysis is mine (along with any smart alack remarks that may pop up).

1. “My boss at ABC Company was awful.”

It does not matter. You’re out of there. Plus, you are presenting yourself to the Interviewer as a complainer, i.e., a “bad attitude” employee.

2. “How much do I get paid? What about vacation time?”

Patience, grasshopper. All will be revealed in due time. “Ask not what the company can do for you, tell them what you can do for the company” (with apologies to Master Po and JFK).

3. “Did you know I ran cross country in high school?”

Great. What the heck does that have to do with the position that you are applying for?  Unless you’re going to be running around the building several times a day…

4. “I’m sorry, but I’m really nervous!”

Well, duuuh. The interviewer probably was also, when they applied for their job. It happens to all of us. Be cool. Be confident. Engage that winning personality of yours. Let them know that you are worth hiring.

5. “Man, I really need this job to pay off my credit card debt.”

Don’t we all. Any company worth their salt is going to run a background check on you. Your debt is not the interviewer’s concern. They have been charged with finding the best candidate for the position you are interviewing for. Concentrate on properly presenting your professional triumphs, not your personal challenges.

6. “I just need this job so I can fulfill my dream of being a CEO.”

Ambition can be a wonderful thing. However, the interviewer wants to know what you can do for their company today, and how good a fit you will be, right now, for this position.

7. “I need a flexible schedule to accommodate my in-home business.”

What’s your priority? Being a productive employee for the company you are interviewing for, or trying to get your own business started? A man cannot serve two masters. The interviewer will not be impressed by someone with split loyalties.

8. “What does your company do again?”

At this point, the Interviewer will probably look at you with that “Wow. Really?” look. This question definitely shows a lack of preparedness.

9. “I’m sorry, I don’t remember what I did during that internship.”

If you sleep-walked through your internship, what sort of worker are you going to be in their paid position? Interviewers are looking for potential employees who will be active and engaged.

10. “Wait, what position did I apply for?”

Are you kidding me? Again, a question like this one tells the interviewer that you just aren’t that motivated to work for their company. Why should they be interested in you, if you are not interested enough in them enough to remember what position you are applying for?

So, what should you say during a Job interview? Investopedia.com listed some suggestions in their article, published in April of 2010, 7 Things You Should Say In An Interview: (again, their questions…my analysis)

1. I am very familiar with what your company does.

I have found that the more research you do, the more Interviewers are impressed by how engaged you are.

2. I am flexible.

This is a great response, especially when they ask you which days and shifts that you are available to work. It demonstrates your work ethic and level of commitment.

3. I am energetic and have a positive attitude.

Go get ’em, Champ! This sort of positive statement and the attitude it displays,  is exactly what an Interviewer is wanting to hear from an applicant.

4. I have a great deal of experience.

This Statement lets the Interviewer know that this is “not your first rodeo” and that you will be ready to “hit the ground running”. In other words, you would a great fit in this position and you would easily assimilate into the corporate structure.

5. I am a team player.

Translation: I will do whatever is required of me to make this company a leader in the industry and to help foster a great work environment.

6. I am seeking to become an expert in my field.

This tells the interviewer that, if they hire you, you will continually seek to improve your skills and abilities while performing your job functions.

7. I am highly motivated.

In any job interview, motivation in the key. How motivated are you to get this job? How committed are you? The Interviewer wants to know. It is up to you to tell them.

So, the bottom line to all of this advice is…

Every  job interview is an opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective employer. By using the right phrases and presenting yourself in a professional manner, you maximize your chance of landing a great job and winding up in that cushy corner office on the ninth floor.

Do your research. Be on time for your interview. Stay calm…and “sell the product”…YOU..

Never Give up. Never Surrender.

-Allen