Tag Archives: Emotional Intelligence

7 signs you’re on the way out at the interview…

We have all experienced it…just walked out of a job interview with an empty feeling…what on Earth has happened here?

You are not alone…interviews are a dynamic process…like a growing organism that changes indefinitely…not really knowing what it will metamorphosis into. However, nature has given us a tool called the gut feeling and we all have it within us to feel our way through an interview. Some are naturally gifted at recognising the cues at an interview and some take a little longer to grasp it….but if you can tune into it…then it’s a great barometer of interview success.

Here are some cues I think you will find useful in determining your gut feel during a job interview that are most common with recruiters…even the better ones give it away!

  1. The recruiters eyes start to wander off into the never-never and there is alack of interest…preferring to look at an ugly print on the wall instead.
  2. The recruiter appears to be distracted by text messages on his phone…what on Earth must be so important they can’t put the phone away?
  3. One of the recruiters sends a signal to the other recruiter to wind it up…a kick under the table or a secret comment or code appears to have been ingeniously executed..they must think we are stupid and have not noticed!
  4. You are not asked about your salary expectations or notice period…and that is because they don’t like you and it’s not important anymore.
  5. There is no subtle banter or laughter around the table…its strictly business…and lets get this process out-of-the-way and move onto the next candidate.
  6. The interview has been cut short to a point where it is not possible to make an assessment any longer…in which case it was not really an interview in the first place but a tick the box to show the successful candidate was selected from a short-list.
  7. The recruiter has wound up the interview by informing you…we have more candidates to interview next week and will determine fit after that and come back to you with the outcome…oh really…you may as well tell the candidate they are out of the process and not inflate their optimism!

So next time you’re at a job interview and you’re feeling you’re on the way out…you are probably right! Move on and use it as an experience…there is sure to be another interview around the corner.


10 killer job interview questions that will knock you out!

It’s unfair to provide you with an encyclopedia of interview questions and expect you to become proficient in their use without overloading you with information. This is not productive, particularly when our objective is to get you to adapt to interviewers and a range of interview questions.

It’s unlikely that memorising answers to 100 interview questions will get you through the interview process. At interviews, you must be able to think clearly and adapt and modify your responses quickly rather than respond verbatim.

The following sample questions will assist you in answering a range of generic interview questions that are not necessarily behaviour based. This list is not meant to be exhaustive and it is likely you will encounter questions not mentioned in this book. The point is that authors of books that detail every question conceivable are doing you a disservice. I am more concerned about your ability to think on your feet, to expect the unexpected, and then to be able to answer that question to the best of your ability.

I know this is easier said than done because it requires composure, confidence, a rational thought process and experience of interviews. However, this can be managed with practice and interview experience. Seek to attend as many interviews as possible to practice your responses and to learn from them each time. You will find that you will grow in confidence with each occasion and become more adaptable at interviews. Practice with friends and family if possible.

Here are 10 killer questions to get you started;

1. What have you been criticised for in the past four years?
Reply: Provide an answer that is not so serious or trivial that it will disqualify you.
‘I offered some ideas I thought were constructive but was told not to rock the boat.’

2. Did you agree or disagree with the criticism and why?
Reply: ‘Agreeing with some of the criticism is a better response than agreeing with none of it at all.’

3. Where would you like to be in five years?
Reply: ‘I’d like to be in your job.’

4. How do you expect to get there?
Reply: Be clear and specific as to how you will meet the requirements and responsibilities to your career plan. Avoid common answers like ‘hard work’ and ‘attending courses’.

5. What would you like to change in this job to make it ideal?
Reply: ‘I don’t think it should be changed, I do think it has to be mastered and that is a challenging and exciting opportunity.’

6. How would you describe the most or least ideal boss you worked for?
Reply: ‘I can adapt to any style, particularly to someone who can give me enough directions, so I have a specific idea of what’s expected from me and then enough restraint not to hover over me every step of the way.’

7. What activities in your position do you enjoy most?
Reply: This question is designed to reveal your dislikes. The interviewer will make reference to the opposite of your answer when describing the activities you enjoy most. The best way to answer this question is think about how the activities you enjoy most can reveal your dislikes. You can do this by simply applying the opposite to your answer. For example, the opposite of ‘being part of a team’ is ‘bad morale’.

8. How would you describe yourself in three adjectives?
Reply: Combine your answer to convey strengths in both ability and personality such as: determined, likable, and successful.

9. How would your subordinates and peers describe you with three adjectives?
Reply: Answer with the same as for question 8 and smile.

10. What would you do if you detected a peer falsifying expense records?
Reply: ‘Report it’.

In my next article I will unleash the next 10 killer questions that will knock you out for six during the interview…

How to avoid being swindled at the job interview?


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!


14 point sanity check for detecting Psycho Babble at work

Psycho (Imelda May song)

If it wasn’t so funny it would be serious, very serious. The bearers of bad behavior are alive and well strutting their stuff day in, day out…in a mixture of disguises. They know when to turn it on and off, almost to perfection, as they trance around the workplace manipulating in subversive behavior  Their goal…control, authority and power at your expense. So how can this be and why do they get away with it?

 “The number one aim of a corporate psycho is to protect themselves.”

To understand the answer to this question there must be an acceptance that such people really exist and survive in organisations through a web of complex partnerships and cultures that have developed over time. That’s right, they don’t play alone! There is a support network that may not encourage their bad behaviour, but are aware of it, and how it impacts on the morale of employees. In just about every company I have worked in as a human resources professional, I have encountered this kind of subversion culture in some form or another. In some workplaces psycho babble can be described as;

  1. Protected species
  2. Anointed ones
  3. Untouchables
  4. Dragons
  5. Clicks
  6. Political animals

It’s not easy determining if one of your colleagues is engaged in psycho babble. The 14 point checklist below may assist in early detection. However, this is just a snapshot and more detailed assessment is required.

  • Superficial charm
  • Grandiose sense of self-worth
  • Need for stimulation and prone to boredom
  • Pathological lying
  • Conning and manipulative behaviour
  • Lack of remorse or guilt
  • Shallow emotional effect
  • Callous lack of empathy for others
  • Parasitic lifestyle and taking credit for other people’s work
  • Poor behavioural control
  • Promiscuous sexual behaviour
  • Lack of realistic, long-term goals
  • Inability to take responsibility
  • General irresponsibility

The 5 Emotional cancerous behaviours of fragmented people are:

  1. Criticizing
  2. Complaining
  3. Comparing
  4. Competing
  5. Contending 

It not easy trying to deal with a corporate psycho because they may have the favour of their boss and their wrong doings are filtered. My only advice is that eventually they will unravel themselves and expose their rear guard. So sit back and watch them implode into a frenzy of all sorts.

Perhaps you want to take the quiz…this is a screening measure to help you determine whether you might have been a victim of workplace psycho babble. Answer the following questions based upon the your boss’s behavior during the past 6 months and good luck!


How to Apply Emotional Intelligence (EI) at Interviews

I recently attended a workshop in Melbourne during Human Resources Week on Emotional Intelligence (EI). What was interesting about this event, besides the topic on hand, was the

number of human resources professionals present.  It was the most attended workshop throughout the whole week and I was astonished to see the amount of interest that Emotional Intelligence conjured among our professionals.

Perhaps human resources practitioners can relate to this concept better than other professions due to the humanistic element that Emotional Intelligence proposes.  Another factor that is influencing human resources practitioners in taking up the concepts of Emotional Intelligence, is that it can be applied at the recruitment stage, as a predictor of success and as a measure of intelligence.

A growing body of research suggests that Emotional Intelligence is a better predictor of success than more traditional measures. It may be the single most important factor that leverages the success of people and characterizes those individuals with the right stuff. Research also indicates that whilst your level of IQ contributes 20% of your success, another 36% can be attributed to your Emotional Intelligence (EI). At least 90% of the difference between outstanding and average leaders is related to Emotional Intelligence (EI) and explains why some people excel while others of the same caliber lag behind.

Well here it is, in the disguise of Emotional Intelligence. Recruiters will commence changing selection criteria for vacant positions to include Emotional Intelligence (EI) competencies and new behavioral questions will be developed to extract your level of (EI) at the interview.

There are also assessments already developed to test your level of Emotional Intelligence during the selection process developed by Genos Pty Ltd. To find out more about these testing products, got to www.genos.com.au

You may find sitting a pre-employment test to measure your Emotional Intelligence (EI) among a suite of other tests usually conducted to measure your abilities.

What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)
It is the street smart or intuition in you. Reflecting your ability to deal successfully with other people, your feelings, and your everyday work and social environment.

Ever since the publication of Daniel Goldman first book on the topic in 1995, Emotional Intelligence has become one of the most talked and written about influencers of personal and business success.

Applying (EI) at Interviews
When you are preparing for your interview, consider the following elements of Emotional Intelligence (EI) that you should demonstrate or incorporate into your answers to interview questions.

There are 5 competencies that recruiters will apply in measuring your Emotional Intelligence (EI) as follows:

  1. Emotional Recognition and Expression (in oneself)
  2. Understanding Others Emotions
  3. Emotions Influence Learning, Thinking and Decision Making
  4. Emotional Management
  5. Emotional Self Control