Tag Archives: Business and Economy

How to avoid being swindled at the job interview?

Swindled

Job Interview Swindler

It can happen to the best of professionals. The company representative or recruiter will create an illusion of grandeur unsurpassed with promises they can’t keep. They feed on your hunger to be wanted, loved, and appreciated for every little bit you stand for. And you say to yourself, “my boss does not treat me like this…these guys must be great to work for.” It’s a facade that is well presented and immaculately served to you on a platter in a way that you can not see the rotting truth underneath.

Yes my dear friends, it has happened to me also. Sucked in by the charisma of the moment and the adrenalin rush that overwhelms you straight after. We are taken off to a place, la la land, where we think we’re in such demand that we are now invincible. At this point, we are blindly about to be swindled! The only catch is  your career is at stake and your future prosperity is about to take a nose dive. Oh yes, lets not underestimate the costly mistake you have made by choosing the wrong job,  Your boss turns out to be totally opposite to his projection and profile and is a psycho in waiting with massive mood swings. The organisational culture is sick and suffering from the ravages of primal behavior and fear. You have gotten yourself into a fine mess and your strategy now turns to exiting the business before you are jettisoned yourself.

It did not have to be like this and precautionary action could have been taken prior to accepting the job. There are a number of things you could have done before accepting the job offer as part of your job search routine. It’s about stealth researching and getting underneath the nose of the bullshit you have been told at the interview to find out the truth. Research is more than just reading the annual report or articles in the press. Anyway, most companies pay to be written up well as part of their marketing strategy. You need to go deeper and talk to people in the industry who know the machinations of the company.

Speak to people who understand the industry you are about to enter and their views about the company you are about to join as an employee. You will find out the stuff  between the lines and what is underneath the cracks. What is the leadership team really like and how are their values and behaviors? What about the culture of the workplace and are the employees happy? Has employee turnover been high and why? Do they have a good safety record, and if not, why are people being hurt? Always remember that good companies are judged by the way they behave when things are not going well with an employee, and not just when they are performing magnificently. I say this because we all have our difficult moments in work life and rough patches at times. We are not made perfect and organisations that can help you when the chips are down, and get you back on your feet performing at the right level, are better to work for than those that will spit you out.

Then it gets really tough and you want to find out more about your boss and your bosses boss. We are considering not just their projection and profile but how they manage people in the workplace. What is their management style really like and how do they generally behave in difficult circumstances? What would their direct reports say about them and describe their attributes altogether? Finding this out will be worth its weight in gold as it may prevent you from making a costly career decision later on. Remember, you are making a fundamental decision at an interview. To choose the company you want to work for for many years to come, progress you career and grow your capability during this time.

There is a website you can research company reviews by past and current employees that remain anonymous, at glassdoor.com.au with over 4 million review so far. I wish I had knowledge about his web site previously before accepting job offers. It would have rounded off my research nicely and assisted me before getting swindled at the job interview!

 

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The untold truth about the Australian job market…

Do you ever get a feeling, that what is happening around you is very different to what our Government is telling you?

I have friends that are very well qualified and credentialed professionals with an abundance of experience unable to secure work within a reasonable time frame. Yes, they are getting squeezed out of the selection process and left wondering what is really going on with the job market in this country. So I did some research, and found that all is not what it seems to be. The engine room of marketing spin is working overtime in Government circles to tell us a sod story that everything will get better soon.

Collin Twiggs is an Australian market analyst and in his blog, Trading Diaries, he makes an astonishing find, and it all starts in the US.  Recently, US employment has been very topical after two months of poor jobs figures. Employers added 113,000 new jobs, against an expected 185,000, last month compared to a low 75,000 in December 2013. Rather than focus on monthly data, let’s take a long-term view.

Collin Twiggs states that the number of full-time employed as a percentage of total population [red line below] fell dramatically during the GFC, with about 1 in 10 employees losing their jobs. Since then, roughly 1 out of 4 full-time jobs lost has been restored, while the other 3 are still missing (population growth fell from 1.0% to around 0.7% post-GFC, limiting the distortion).

emp-fulltime (1)

Participation rate of employment in the US

Part-time employment — the difference between total employment [green] and full-time employed [red] below — has leveled off since 2000 at roughly 6% of the total population. So loss of full-time positions has not been compensated by a rise in casual work. Both have been affected.

emp-fulltime-total

 

A closer look at the Australian context can be made by reviewing the labour force participation rate. This is a good measure to use for employment strength in the economy because it’s less subject to manipulation by Government. It’s a  measure of the active portion of an economy’s labor force. During the GFC in 2008 the labour force participation rate for all person aged 15+ came to a sudden stop at 65.6%. The participation rate has declined steadily since to 64.7% in July 2014 and this represents almost a 1% decline.

So what has happened to jobs growth and why are we in a period of decline? During the GFC companies got smarter and became conditioned to survival strategies. After all, they had just been through the worst global economic threat since the great depression of the 1930’s. Every time there is blip in the global economy or the US market sneezes we see the ripple effect down under.

During the GFC crisis companies learned to do more with fewer employees. So if you feel stressed out doing the job of 1.5 or 2 people with little or no extra reward, then you’re not alone. It has become common place and it may be the price you have to pay to stay employed. It’s my opinion that ongoing efficiency, rationalization and economies of scales has meant there is limited job creation penciled in for our future economy. The 1% decline in the participation rate may be a signal for worse to come as the trend line points downwards. Alternatively, are we experiencing similar structural job decline to the US, and those percentage of jobs lost since 2008, have simply vanished…never to be seen again?

‘Jobs go to those that are good at getting jobs’ – Job Myth of Fact?

Interview Outfit 1

Interview Outfit 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what are the secrets to job success? Do jobs really go to those that are good at getting jobs?

Lets bust this job myth open and uncover some key ingredients that elite job hunters use in their skill set to propel them to the top of the pile.

How critical it is today for employers to ensure they can achieve a quality match during the recruitment process when screening possible candidates. Your projection and profile may be the only thing left standing when applicants of equal ability are key contenders for a job. Your ability to align with corporate values and mission statements is essential. Companies will want you to be an extension of their corporate profile and you will be measured on your ability to fit the mold.

If you can obtain information on the corporate values of the company you are attending an interview for and can translate that into your profile, then you have a definite edge.

Research the founder of the company and what type of person they are. See if you can obtain articles on the company and write-ups on the CEO. Is the company older, traditional and more conservative or is it a new, vibrant and an entrepreneurial business? Do your homework and get that edge on other candidates.

You will be asked questions at interviews that seek to project your personal, business and professional profiles. Employers are always interested in your profiles as part of trying to establish a key match. For example does your professional profile match the organizational profile and corporate culture? Here are questions you may encounter that focus on your profiles:

  1. How would you describe yourself?
  2. How would people you work with describe you?
  3. How would your superiors describe you?

During the interview process, try wherever practicable to reflect on your personal and professional profiles in your responses to interview questions.

Personal Profile

Professional Profile

 

Reliability

Drive

Honesty

Motivation

Pride

Communication skills

Dedication

Team-player

Analytical skills

Energy

Listening

Confidence

Integrity

Determination

During the interview, it is good practice to add to your personal and professional profile by reflecting on your business profile. Your business profile is an indication of your work ethics. Companies are always interested in the prospective candidate’s work ethics and will consider various behaviours such as getting to work on time and working late if required.

Interviewers will test your ability to get tasks done more efficiently and economically by thinking of improved ways of doing things. Companies also have rules and standards called procedures and they expect employees to follow these rules all the time whilst performing their daily activities. The bottom line is about money and companies are profit-making organisations, so your ability to contribute to business profit growth will be considered positively by employers.

Build your business profile into your answer to interview questions wherever possible. The following is a list of the key business profiles you should consider:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Economy
  3. Procedures
  4. Profit

So there you have it…what elite job hunters practice as their key ingredient for success…they have a self awareness of their projection and profile and how it translates into a compelling business profile. Its about seeking a quality fit with the organisation and its culture. This is how jobs go to those that are good at getting jobs.

What if you left a job in difficult circumstances?

This area is one of the most difficult aspects of job search advice. This is because most job search literature does not make any real attempt to cover the topic in any detail. I am certain this is due to the lack of experience of authors and so-called experts in the career development profession. It is one of those topics that unless you have been through it yourself or have seen the unfortunate consequences of it, it is unlikely you are in a position to provide any proper advice.

I want to spend some time on this topic because I feel it is where I can provide the greatest assistance. I also know that people who have left their jobs in difficult circumstances are in a vulnerable position as far as their job search is concerned. This is because employers secretly do not like candidates who are unemployed unless there is a really good reason for it. This adds a lot of pressure to unemployed candidates because not only do they need to win that job and compete with others who are employed but they also need to carefully justify their current state of unemployment.

If there is any solid advice I can give you, it is to look for a job whilst you are still employed. The contradiction here is that people do lose their jobs for many reasons. There are many reasons why people leave their jobs. In some cases it may be in difficult circumstances such as:

  • Redundancy or retrenchment
  • Fall-out with your boss
  • Restructuring of duties
  • Serious misconduct
  • Poor performance
  • Taking a break (sabbatical)
  • Personal issues
  • Health
  • Not an organisational fit.

Whatever the circumstances are, you must not lose faith in your abilities or lose self-confidence. This is easy to do when you leave a job in difficult circumstances because we can be very hard on ourselves. You will go through a process of self-doubt and rejection – questioning constantly your role in having lost your job and what you could have done to redeem the situation or prevent it from happening. Just remember this, once you leave an organisation in difficult circumstances it is over!

No matter what you do now you cannot change what has happened rightly or wrongly. You must leave it be and move on.

The best you can do is learn from your experience. If you have been made redundant for example, then the decision was out of your control and there was probably nothing you could do about it. Don’t blame yourself for decisions you had no influence on. Companies are restructuring all the time today and it is a normal part of business. You will have to come to terms with this and accept it as a part of the working landscape. If your boss has told you that things are not working out because you are not a fit then don’t take it personally.

You may have been good at what you do, however, organisational cultures can be complex and sometimes we can be different for a variety of good reasons.

My friend Daniel was unhappy in his job and decided to make a brave decision and leave his position to look for something else. He resigned his job with nothing to go to. People thought he was mad for doing this but I advised him he was brave for leaving a situation that was not working for him. Daniel had confidence in himself and his abilities and he never gave up on his desire to get another job. With some job search advice and fine-tuning of his resume I was able to assist him in getting another job and guess what? It was a better-paid job in a larger organisation.

His move had paid off for him. I acknowledge his success to be based on self-confidence and letting go of the past. Daniel had also accepted the reality of his current situation and was able to develop a script for interviews that ensured he was able to sell his reasons for leaving to potential employers and employment consultants. Daniel had left in difficult circumstances, however he was able to make it work with a proper job search strategy.

3 sure ways to ensure your resume packs a punch…

goal

It’s Sunday morning and your having coffee, just relaxing in the courtyard of your home The suns rays filtering through trees perfectly to create a feeling of warmth. It’s a great day to read the newspaper and catch up on some interesting articles. Your flickering through the pages and a headline captures your attention. A journalist you have never heard of seen before has written a punch line that captures your interest. He goes onto express a point of view by providing support information to demonstrate how they came to that conclusion. You read on…your inquisitive…and want to know more. Where is this story heading?

Does your resume have that striking punchline that engages the recruiter? Does it tell a story about you that engages the recruiter to find out more. Has it been able to profile you in a manner that projects you as a top candidate with a point of differentiation?

Here are 3 key points that will distinguish your resume from the rest and encourage the recruiter to explore further;

  1. Is your document solutions orientated and does it project you as someone who can find solutions to business problems?
  2. Is your document objectives orientated and can it demonstrate your achievements by referring to SMART objectives as evidence?
  3. Does it demonstrated the how in your ability to achieve success through the engagement of others.

Does your resume contain specific examples (what) where you have found solutions to business problems. Companies today want more that just your ability to perform a task but to participate in methodologies that drive root cause analysis and eliminate poor work practices. Removing non value added activity saves companies money and your resume should clearly state where you have done this.

Does your resume clearly show objectives you have set and achieved. They should be SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound).

The killer blow comes when you project the (how) you achieved your objectives. Teamwork, working in teams, cross functional teams, engagement, coaching and mentoring others to success. Because achievements are rarely achieved on your own accord but through a team work based culture. So your resume should demonstrate your ability to be part of a team and drive improvements by motivating and utilising the skills of others.

Have it look at your resume and ask yourself…does it pack a punch? Does it have point of difference about your ability to perform the role? Would you hire that person and does it get you motivated to pick up that phone and arrange an interview.

When you consider your resume is an entry point to the interview stage and must perform at an optimum level to get to the top of the pile…is it cutting the mustard? We all think we can draft our own resumes and some are better than others. However, a professionally written document will  focus on your projection and profile and pack a punch in the right areas. Its money well spent if your serious about you next move.

“Jobs go to those that are good at getting jobs” – Job Myth of Fact?

Interview Outfit 1

Interview Outfit 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what are the secrets to job success? Do jobs really go to those that are good at getting jobs?

Lets bust this job myth open and uncover some key ingredients that elite job hunters use in their skill set to propel them to the top of the pile.

How critical it is today for employers to ensure they can achieve a quality match during the recruitment process when screening possible candidates. Your projection and profile may be the only thing left standing when applicants of equal ability are key contenders for a job. Your ability to align with corporate values and mission statements is essential. Companies will want you to be an extension of their corporate profile and you will be measured on your ability to fit that mold.

If you can obtain information on the corporate values of the company you are attending an interview for and can translate that into your profile, then you have a definite edge.

Research the founder of the company and what type of person they are. See if you can obtain articles on the company and write-ups on the CEO. Is the company older, traditional and more conservative or is it a new, vibrant and an entrepreneurial business? Do your homework and get that edge on other candidates.

You will be asked questions at interviews that seek to project your personal, business and professional profiles. Employers are always interested in your profiles as part of trying to establish a key match. For example does your professional profile match the organizational profile and corporate culture? Here are questions you may encounter that focus on your profiles:

  1. How would you describe yourself?
  2. How would people you work with describe you?
  3. How would your superiors describe you?

During the interview process, try wherever practicable to reflect on your personal and professional profiles in your responses to interview questions.

Personal Profile

Professional Profile

 

Reliability

Drive

Honesty

Motivation

Pride

Communication skills

Dedication

Team-player

Analytical skills

Energy

Listening

Confidence

Integrity

Determination

During the interview, it is good practice to add to your personal and professional profile by reflecting on your business profile. Your business profile is an indication of your work ethics. Companies are always interested in the prospective candidate’s work ethics and will consider various behaviours such as getting to work on time and working late if required.

Interviewers will test your ability to get tasks done more efficiently and economically by thinking of improved ways of doing things. Companies also have rules and standards called procedures and they expect employees to follow these rules all the time whilst performing their daily activities. The bottom line is about money and companies are profit-making organisations, so your ability to contribute to business profit growth will be considered positively by employers.

Build your business profile into your answer to interview questions wherever possible. The following is a list of the key business profiles you should consider:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Economy
  3. Procedures
  4. Profit

So there you have it…what elite job hunters practice as their key ingredient for success…they have a self awareness of their projection and profile and how it translates into a compelling business profile. Its about seeking a quality fit with the organisation and its culture. This is how jobs go to those that are good at getting jobs.