Tuesday, December 6, 2011

10 Clues to watch for in an interview

After an interview, most of us replay the scenario back in our minds to figure how well we did and if we think we got the job. Here are 10 clues to figuring out how well your interview went.

1.) Did the interview talk about next steps and a timeline with you? (Your future with company)

2.) Did the interviewer ask you about your own timeline? (Any Other Job Offers)

3.) Did the interviewer try to “sell” the position or the company to you?

4.) Did the interviewer mention that the company has a lot of good candidates they’re talking with or that they have a lot of decisions to make internally before they move forward?

5.) Did the interviewer interrupt you or look bored?

6.) Did the interviewer spend a lot of time answering your questions?

7.) Did the interview run over allotted time?

8.) Did the interviewer show you around the office, introduce you to others, or suggest a future meeting with someone else on their staff?

9.) Did the interviewer give you any direct feedback?

10.) Have you heard from your referees that the employer has called them to validate references?
    *Keep in mind that these clues are not solid guarantees of receiving the job position, but while you are waiting to hear the results seeing the pattern in the signs listed can give you some insight on how things might have gone.

    Article Source: "10 Clues to watch for in an interview" by Alison Green

    The Science of Apologies: What Is the Best Way to Say Sorry? (By Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D)

    I chose this article because it ties into the strategy of “Mortification” in the image restoration theory. Mortification involves an individual/ organization giving an (public) apology to their offender and is considered the best thing to do. It is the best because apologies can resolve conflict, repair hurt feelings, improve all types of relationships and promotes forgiveness. It shows responsibility, courage and integrity and increases loyalty and trust.
    Unfortunately in some cases, apologies don’t always work. This may be due to the wrongful act being unforgivable or the victim is not looking to forgive the accuser. However can be also be due to the fact that the person may be apologizing the wrong way.
    A new set of studies has shown that different types of apologies appeal to different types of people and that the key to giving the most effective (right) apology can be found in thinking carefully about who your audience is.

    Researchers identify three distinct forms of apology:

      1.) Offers of Compensation- attempt to restore balance through redeeming action. Compensation is sometimes tangible and/or can be emotional or socially supportive. (Ex. I’ll pay for the damages,) 2.) Expressions of Empathy- Involves recognizing and expressing concern offer the suffering you caused. This type of apology helps victim feel understood and valued in the relationship. 3.)Acknowledgment of violated rules/ norms- Admitting that you broke the code of behavior of the organization, social group or society you identify with.
    These three types have been shown to be most effective when delivered to people who view themselves in particular ways

    Independent Self-Concept: People who focus mainly on their own rights and needs. This type of people respond more favorably to apologies offering compensation.

    Rational Self-Concept: People who see themselves as primarily defined by their relationship with others (friends, spouse, colleague). More common among women, this is most effective when it includes expressions of empathy rather than giving compensation.

    Collective Self-Concept: People who see themselves as members of important groups, organizations and cultures that they identify themselves with first. Wrongdoings are experienced as betrayal of the relationship or code of behavior of group. Group rules govern the way you are to behave.

    When creating an apology, ask yourself: “Who am I talking?”, “What are they looking for in the apology?”,

    Knowing something about your audience will give you the clues you need to identify what is bothering them and how to give the most effective apology that will bring forgiveness.

    Article Source: "The Science of Apologies: What Is the Best Way to Say Sorry? "  By Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Interview Meal Etiquette: Everything You Need To Know

    Here is everything a person should now about interview meal etiquette. The four general questions all hiring managers/ recruiters are seeking answers to during the interview are; Can you do the job?, Will you do the job?, Do you Want to do the job?, Are you a Cultural fit?. All of these four questions should be addressed and answered based on your etiquette.

    Listed below are a few of the most important and common opportunities for a successful interview meal:

    The purpose of the meal . . . to eat or seal the deal? All eyes are on you. Regardless of the manners of everyone else, you alone are being judged. The meal is about your ability to engage, relate and converse—not eat. You are being judged on how well you will brand the company’s image vis-à-vis your etiquette. You can eat until you are full at a later time.

    Linen secrets. Wait for the host or hostess to put his/her napkin in his/her lap first. If everyone is just putting them in their laps, do likewise but never be the first. (And regardless of what everyone else does, yours still goes in your lap.)

    The most practical way to place the napkin in your lap is to fold a third of it over (instead of in half). That gives you plenty of coverage for your clothes in case there is that run-a-way piece of food. And with a third of the napkin folded over, when you get something on your fingers, it is much easier to clean them off because you have a “pocket” you can slip your fingers into for wiping.

    If you need to get up from the table, place the napkin in your chair—not on the table.

    Pasta, steak, burger or chicken? Pasta – Do not order anything that is messy. Yes, people have ordered spaghetti and walked away with red spots on their white shirt. Not cool. Steak – Unless that is what the host/hostess is ordering the answer is no. You want to show that you think about the company’s money. Thus, never order anything that is out of line in terms of pricing. Burger – Don’t order anything that you have to eat with your fingers. Chicken – Yes. Chicken, fish . . . ordering anything that can be cut into small bites is the right answer.

    I really want a beer! Before evening? Too bad! Evening? One beer, or one glass of wine. No more. No hard liquor. If the position you are interviewing for involves the benefit of a company
    car, no alcohol, period!

    There are too many utensils here! The forks are to the left of the plate, with the salad fork being to the far left. (If salad is the main course for you, it is permissible to use the dinner fork.) When finished with the salad, leave the fork on the salad plate/bowl. The fork closest to the plate is your dinner fork.

    Salt and pepper . . . ? They are passed together, never separately. But NEVER use salt or pepper without tasting the food first. That can demonstrate that you make hasty decisions without having all of the information available to you.

    Lastly, any other issues that might be while at dinner (ex: you find hair in your food, etc.), be as discreet as possible. Kindly inform the waiter/ waitress without making a scene. Your ability to handle an issue such as this will show interviewer your ability to handle other issues when they arise.

    Article: http://www.businessinsider.com/seal-or-lose-the-deal-over-the-interview-meal-2011-10

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    3 Things Job Seekers Should Know About References

    Since the topic of discussion in class this week was based on how to write a good resume and cover letter, I found in article that informs job seekers on what they should know about references. At any given time a person will have to give a reference whether it be for an apartment, vehicle, or an organization. Therefore, references are very valuable. The article shares 3 important pieces of information about references:

    There’s A Vocabulary: If you have ever had someone “vouch” for you, more than likely you have called them your reference. Although employer’s say it as well, it is not correct. The person who vouches for you is the referee and you are the referent. The reference is the actual information given to the employer about you.
    They Don’t Like Surprises: Prevent any surprise-induced mishaps by following a two-step process:                                                                                                                                               1.) Ask the person before you submit their information as referee.
    2.) Hold onto their information until an employer asks for it, then give your referee a head’s up that a call might be coming.
    Help Them Help You: Instead of leaving it up to your referees to search for good information to share about you, give them a cheat sheet. Giving them your resume would be great, your referee will be able to study up on your career goals, experience and skills without having to dig up information on you from your LinkedIn page.

    Article: http://www.businessinsider.com/vouch-me-3-things-job-seekers-should-know-about-references-2011-11

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    How to untangle any conflict

    This article relates to the topic of conflict management in the workplace. In our textbook (p.101), conflict is defined as when two or more people clash over an issue about which they have different beliefs or values. Overall, conflict correlates with misunderstandings or confusion between people. Although there are many causes of conflict, many of which can be found in the textbook, there are many strategies that might help us to deal with these conflicts effectively, positively and successfully.

    1.      Determine what you really want: Nobody enjoys arguing so in the heat of the moment when you are you should; stop, acknowledge that you would like to work things out and suggest an alternate time to discuss a negotiation. Importantly, think about your ideal outcome of the discussion. Writing down your feelings can help bring clarity to your thoughts. Do not let your emotions get the best of you.
    2.       Gather information: After working on your thoughts, find out about the other person’s. Never assume to know what the other person is feeling. Never tune out the other party. Understanding the other person’s position as best as you can is key if you want to reach an agreement. An example of applying this is suppose you didn’t get a promotion that you believed you deserved. Instead of confronting your boss (which is a bad!), you should ask them why they felt you weren’t a good fit for the position.
    3.      Determine your negotiation process: Begin this process by deciding whom you want to be present for the discussion when and where it will take place. Having a neutral setting will make both parties comfortable. Set ground rules for how you will talk to each other. You should vow to keep name-calling and accusations out of your discussion. Also deciding ahead of time who will speak first will help.
    4.      Send the right message: You should go into the discussion with several ideas on how to resolve the matter/conflict. Making it clear that you are there to work things out will help establish common grounds with the other person. Avoid movements that show irritation or frustration (folding arms, rolling eyes, deep sighing, pointing fingers).
    5.      Negotiate: Take turns stating grievances, speaking only in your turn. When you feel like your “losing your cool”, take a couple of deep breaths and wait a few seconds before responding. That way you can avoid saying negative things out of anger again! Also, slow down the communication so you can fully process the situation before speaking. A good phrase is; “Let me understand what it is you’re saying”.

    If all else fails conflicts will not resolve themselves by simply avoiding or ignoring them. Bringing in a mediator helps to play the neutral party and gather information collectively from both sides in order to find the best solution for both people. Taking initiative, responsibility and positive steps to overcome conflict and find a solution will help increase your chances of a positive outcome about the situation, relationship and feelings toward yourself.

    Article: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/10/living/conflict-rs/index.html?iref=allsearch, CNN

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    “Motivation = Empowerment”, Motivation in the workplace isn't about what you do for your employees; it's about the work you empower your employees to do for you.

    This article discusses how extrinsic rewards can be non-effective towards employees motivation. By providing extrinsic rewards, such as time off or annual bonuses, it is creating “short” term productivity and is being expected by employees constantly. When these rewards become the basis factor and begins to decrease, so will the motivation of employees. It will also cause them to become dissatisfied with their job as well.

    As discussed in our textbook, the article references Herzbergs Two-Factor theory (Motivation) as the reasons why employees value the work they do and are motivated to continue their achievement for greater success. However, as stated in the article one primary reason why employees are dissatisfied with their organizations and thus forces them to leave is due to their supervisors. The article goes on to discuss what it is managers can do to help motivate their employees to achieve and accomplish greater success within themselves that is greater than outward benefits.

    One thing a manager should know is what the difference between motivation and reward are. As stated in the article: “real motivation comes from the work itself”, by giving materialistic incentives to employees managers are giving their employees the opportunity to ask for more as well as continuously expecting these rewards. When managers have the intentions of bringing upon change in order to motivate they should ask themselves if employees will benefit, grow and ultimately be able to handle more responsibility when need be.

    Some ways a manager can effectively motivate and empower their employees is by recognizing that people are naturally problem solvers. Everyone has their own opinions and personal views on things. By giving employees the opportunity to express their opinions, thoughts or ideas managers are giving them a sense of “ownership” to their work. When employees are appreciated for their input they are more willing to take responsibility for problems that may occur and be more enthralled in finding the solution to the matter. Another way is by building trust among employees by getting to know them. This can help managers gain more insight on what motivates employees. Different people are motivated by different things, this can also help managers to vary their degree levels of structure in regards to working with different employees. An effective manager should also be able to become a coach to employees. By coaching, managers are giving employees the opportunity to find answers themselves. This helps to give employees more confidence within themselves instead of providing them with answer. Another way is by focusing on what is working within the organization as opposed to what isn’t. This creates an environment in which employees are more open for discussion, less apprehensive, and can learn new solutions. Lastly, recognizing employees through responsibility and advancement in which appropriate recognition is given by the manager and the awarding of advancement within the organization will help employees maintain the mind frame and the sense of achievement.


    Title: “Motivation = Empowerment”, Motivation in the workplace isn't about what you do for your employees; it's about the work you empower your employees to do for you.

    Author: Chris Musselwhite

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    How To Navigate The Unstable Job Market

    Seeing as how most of us in this class are seniors and with graduation approaching fairly soon, we need to plan ahead on how we are going to succeed in our nation's currently unstable job market. Although new jobs are being added, our nation still falls short 250,000 jobs economists say need to be added monthly in order to make real progress in decreasing the unemployment rates. Due to the unstable job market competition will continue to be high for people looking for jobs. For those who are already employed will have many expectations they will have to uphold to. This is our economic reality, we are going to have to continue to adapt until a stable job market becomes more promising.


    1.) Don't apply to every job you see: It is a waste of time, it is better to spend your time on fewer applications that you have the most qualifications for.
    2.) Quantify accomplishments on your resume: Doing this adds weight to resume and gives clarity.
    Write down what you've been doing on the job and be specific as possible. For each item, ask yourself "so what" & "why" they are so important to have. These questions will help you come up with the answer and your reasoning.
    3.) Prepare for your interviews: Research the organization and their key people. You should know some things such as products, services, locations, recent mergers, etc, before hand. It also helps to be prepared for commonly asked questions during interviews such as "Why should I hire you"


    1.) Communicate with your supervisor: Keeping an open line of communication with your boss will be very helpful. Asking for more responsibilities can lead to more autonomy and then more empowerment. It will also remind your boss how valuable you are.
    2.) Find a mentor: Having a mentor can be very beneficial in many ways. In case of company layoffs, if you have a mentor within the company you work for, then you will have an advocate in your corner. If your mentor is outside your company then you have a networking contact should you endure tough times.
    3.) Learn the business: Understanding your company's business objectives can help you identify opportunities to improve on your capabilities and do your job better.

    The more prepared we make ourselves now, the more we will be ready to make it in this tumultuous job market after graduation!

    full article: http://www.theworkbuzz.com/career-advice/unstable-job-market/