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Old 08-10-2017, 11:39 AM   #1
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Default Stuff You Should Know

I saw this CAREERS, WORK, BUSINESS section a while back and didn't see myself every posting here and then my employer started to expand last month and we started to do some interviews.

Preface... I've been in Management for nearly 30 years in a wide variety of industries. There are some basic dos/don'ts and while you may not agree with them but they're true nonetheless.

Coat tailing off a podcast I like called "Stuff You Should Know" ... here's some stuff you... or someone you know... should know...

The Resume

If they have a lot of applicants, the first thing HR or Management is going to do it look for those resumes they have no intentions of reviewing... e.g. they're' too long. If they have 100 +/- applicants... they will toss over two pages. They might even toss those that are two pages depending on how many resumes they get.

Unless you're looking for a very specific type of job that requires very specific types of skills sets... one resume does not fit all. The resume you submit should fit the job description. This means you may have to make more than one resume. In fact, you would do well to notice the similarities in the job descriptions and then tailor your resume to fit the job. This does NOT mean lying, this means to simply use the same words they're using to define the job.

The Interview / Hiring Process

Do not announce your presence to a prospective employer more than five minutes early. A specific time was set for a reason. The time selected worked for you and worked for them. Showing up extra early does not impress. Chances are, you're throwing off your potential employer's schedule and/or demonstrating an inability to follow direction.

When asked a question do not rush to answer it. Actively listen to each question and ask for clarification if necessary. Keep your response on target/on point to answering the question. Once you've answered the question, stop! Of course your nervous... when we're nervous we sometimes start to "ramble," ... it's a natural thing to do ... guard against it.

Don't tell your interviewers that you're nervous. They know you're nervous! Even so... they're looking for the person who appears to be perfectly comfortable and who makes them feel comfortable.

You've only ever had wonderful jobs and wonderful bosses. Naturally, that's may not be 100% but do not dis your previous employer, coworkers and/or bosses. No one wants to hear it

Yes, employers (the HR Department) will Google your name and browse you on every social media platform they can find. Even if you think you're weekend party life is none of anyone's business and you're an excellent employee ... your possible employer doesn't know you and is not likely to take the chance.

You Got The Job

Freedom of speech does not exist within workplace. General topics to void: religion, sex and politics.

Do not FACEBOOK your coworkers. Why mix your professional and personal lives. If things go sour in your personal life, now they can go sour in your professional life too ... and vice versa.

Complete your grooming regime at home. Don't clip, file, whatever your nails at work. Do not finish putting your makeup on at your desk or even in the ladies room. The exception ... if the company has an onsite gym.


That's all I've got for now... questions?
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:12 PM   #2
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Thank you for all this. I was aware of most of it.

My question for you though is how do you say no to your coworkers who want to friend you on FB? I do say no but it seems to hurt their feelings, especially ones I spend any personal time with.

Hoping you have a good answer that works for everyone.

Thanks
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:25 PM   #3
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Good question! Thanks for asking!

I don't think there's a single answer that would work for everyone. Each person must judge for themselves the best way to handle FB and coworkers.

First suggestion... don't mention FB at all... not that you have it... not that you've ever seen anything on it... not in agreement that you've seen what another person has seen... etc... etc.. you get the idea. Beyond that... I've heard the request deflected in a few different ways.

* You don't FB at all. Or... you're taking a break from FB.

* You've just one FB account and you've an understanding with family that your FB is just for family... ya know family personal stuff. And... dang it... you've been meaning to start a account for family and family... gosh you need to get on that!

* Of course... you don't FB coworkers... or ... you don't FB coworkers when you start a new job.

* The best route is to state your position before anyone even asks. A casual comment ... as casually as you can ... "Oh yeah... I don't FB people at work."




Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea View Post
Thank you for all this. I was aware of most of it.

My question for you though is how do you say no to your coworkers who want to friend you on FB? I do say no but it seems to hurt their feelings, especially ones I spend any personal time with.

Hoping you have a good answer that works for everyone.

Thanks
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:24 PM   #4
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INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Many of the larger companies use what's call the STAR method. I've worked for a few employers who do and we had to write down what the person said under each ... under the S, the T, the A and the R. <-- going that far is a big pain in the ass but it's very good way to catch if the applicant has just answered your question. As the interviewee ... it's a very good way for you to know if you just answered their question.

STAR is...

Situation
Task
Action
Result

STAR = "Tell me about a time when..." type questions.

Regardless of whether or not the interviewer is using the STAR method, you should be, and this is why I say don't rush to answer! Take a few seconds to find a SITUATION that fits the question... what was the TASK involved... what ACTION did you take... what were the RESULTS of your action.

The interview essentially public speaking ... acting... a performance... and for this reason it's the area that is most often blown in the hiring process. After the interview, think over how you felt while sitting there and how you felt about your answers. Write down their questions... write down your answers... write down better answers if you think there was a better answer. <-- Most companies ask the same question just in different ways. The interview is theater... performance... the better you know their lines as well as your own lines... the better you'll perform.


Questions?
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyte View Post
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Many of the larger companies use what's call the STAR method. I've worked for a few employers who do and we had to write down what the person said under each ... under the S, the T, the A and the R. <-- going that far is a big pain in the ass but it's very good way to catch if the applicant has just answered your question. As the interviewee ... it's a very good way for you to know if you just answered their question.

STAR is...

Situation
Task
Action
Result

STAR = "Tell me about a time when..." type questions.

Regardless of whether or not the interviewer is using the STAR method, you should be, and this is why I say don't rush to answer! Take a few seconds to find a SITUATION that fits the question... what was the TASK involved... what ACTION did you take... what were the RESULTS of your action.

The interview essentially public speaking ... acting... a performance... and for this reason it's the area that is most often blown in the hiring process. After the interview, think over how you felt while sitting there and how you felt about your answers. Write down their questions... write down your answers... write down better answers if you think there was a better answer. <-- Most companies ask the same question just in different ways. The interview is theater... performance... the better you know their lines as well as your own lines... the better you'll perform.


Questions?
I give my candidates the interview questions in advance.

Especially now that we have to use the "tell me about a time when..." type of questions. In the moment it can be hard to think of a good example and having them grope and panic for an answer was excruciating for me and disheartening for them.

I feel like the advantage in NOT giving the questions in advance is that it cuts down on opportunities to make something up, but the disadvantage is that the interview is about more than instant recall and quick thinking and stressful situation make people weak in those areas even when they are normally strong.

What do you think of this practice?
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:41 AM   #6
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If the practice you're using results in locating candidates with the right skill sets then it's the perfect practice for you and your company!

You're right... I can see pluses and minuses with giving the questions out in advance. Again, whether they're pluses or minuses depends on what skills you're after. For example, we couldn't use that technique for one of the positions that I interview for because the position requires some skill in sales. They don't have to have previous sales experience BUT... they do have to be outgoing, a bit chatty, and be able to think quickly. So, we have to ask the questions in person and we even have one question... statement actually... where we ask them to "sell us" something in the room we're sitting. lol They've plenty of stuff to choose room... there's a big screen TV, stereo, computer, big oak desk, plants, etc. Yup, they have to think fairly quickly, on the fly, be creative, and some do well and some not so well.

Funny thing... I interviewed a gal yesterday who said in her last interview the person asked her to give five alternate uses for the pen in his hand. I which I could recall what the position was that she was interviewing for... but it wasn't sales. We all laughed because it reminded us of the "Sell me this pen" lines from the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street." SMH

You're right too... people do have to "grope" for answers during an interview and that can be painful for everyone! When I'm faced with someone who's clearly nervous ... not very responsive... I'll put the pen down and try and just have a conversation with them. Also what sometimes appears to be nerves is a preoccupation with what's being written down. When possible, it's great to have two people in the room... one asking the questions... engaging the person in a "conversation" while a different person is taking notes.

Now, I have questions! I've not tried your interview practice... giving the questions out in advance. What sort of position are you looking to fill or what skills are you looking for? Have you used that technique long enough to see how it's working out? How's is working out? I'm definitely intrigued!



Quote:
Originally Posted by dark_crystal View Post
I give my candidates the interview questions in advance.

Especially now that we have to use the "tell me about a time when..." type of questions. In the moment it can be hard to think of a good example and having them grope and panic for an answer was excruciating for me and disheartening for them.

I feel like the advantage in NOT giving the questions in advance is that it cuts down on opportunities to make something up, but the disadvantage is that the interview is about more than instant recall and quick thinking and stressful situation make people weak in those areas even when they are normally strong.

What do you think of this practice?
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:01 AM   #7
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyte View Post
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Many of the larger companies use what's call the STAR method. I've worked for a few employers who do and we had to write down what the person said under each ... under the S, the T, the A and the R. <-- going that far is a big pain in the ass but it's very good way to catch if the applicant has just answered your question. As the interviewee ... it's a very good way for you to know if you just answered their question.

STAR is...

Situation
Task
Action
Result

STAR = "Tell me about a time when..." type questions.

Regardless of whether or not the interviewer is using the STAR method, you should be, and this is why I say don't rush to answer! Take a few seconds to find a SITUATION that fits the question... what was the TASK involved... what ACTION did you take... what were the RESULTS of your action.

The interview essentially public speaking ... acting... a performance... and for this reason it's the area that is most often blown in the hiring process. After the interview, think over how you felt while sitting there and how you felt about your answers. Write down their questions... write down your answers... write down better answers if you think there was a better answer. <-- Most companies ask the same question just in different ways. The interview is theater... performance... the better you know their lines as well as your own lines... the better you'll perform.


Questions?
Thank you for this. I work for the State of California and have been hunting for the perfect position to transfer to. There have been some great interviews and one bomber. I don't get nervous so not sure what happened there.

Anyway, many of the state interview questions are the type you describe so it is good to have something to remember to cover each item.

Like d_c, the state gives the interviewee the questions for about 20 minutes prior to the interview. Then the questions are asked by a panel of three.

Crossing my fingers the position I applied for yesterday is the perfect fit.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:19 AM   #8
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You're very welcome!

Honestly... lol ... even as one who does the hiring... very often... there's no telling why people hire who they hire!

During my last job search (2014)... I had... I kid you not... an "interview" that lasted nearly three hours. And it was not for a position that was worthy of a long ass interview. The Ops Mgr. and I just hit it off... then she wanted to introduce me to one of the VPs... hit if off with him too... and it was one of those situation where one, I wanted the job, two I wanted the job cuz they worked 4/10s (three day weekends!) and I didn't have anything else to do that day... so I didn't have a good reason to say... "Look... people... I gotta go!" I even got called back by their HR Dept., I think it was three times in two months to see if I was still available and interested. And yet, after all that... I never heard back with a job offer! lol SMH Point being... you have the best interviews ever ... and still it's a crapshoot as to who gets hired!

I've done (as interviewee) quite a few panel interviews... those are always a joy! Ugh! lol

Why do you think one of the interviews was a bomb? I'm not meaning to pry or asking for specifics... more like ... what gives you the impression that it was a bomb?

Good luck with your job hunt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea View Post
Thank you for this. I work for the State of
California and have been hunting for the perfect position to transfer to. There have been some great interviews and one bomber. I don't get nervous so not sure what happened there.

Anyway, many of the state interview questions are the type you describe so it is good to have something to remember to cover each item.

Like d_c, the state gives the interviewee the questions for about 20 minutes prior to the interview. Then the questions are asked by a panel of three.

Crossing my fingers the position I applied for yesterday is the perfect fit.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:05 AM   #9
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GENERATIONS DIFFERENCE and TRAINING / COACHING

Anyone else get training re: the differences in the various generations? You know, these guys...

Generation X
Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millennials
Generation Z

I'm not sure if it's brilliant or ... something other than brilliant... that there are companies that will come to your company to educate management staff re: the differences and how to best train/coach each generation.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:35 PM   #10
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A couple of weeks ago the contract with my electricity provider expired. My AC/HEAT equipment is like 17 years old so I decided to stay with StarTex (now StarTex/Constellation) because they have a new offer that includes "repair service." Meaning, should something happen with the AC/HEAT in the house they'll come out and do ... something! At that time, I didn't really know what or how much they'd do. Shrug! Well... wouldn't ya know... the heat actually crapped out a week after I signed up. Texas... middle o' winter... friggin' brrr!!!

So... what you should know is that with this new StarTex/Constellation contract (w/repair service) ... I got like $400 worth of repairs done for free!! The repair guy says that Constellation (w/repair service) is available in other states so you might wanna check them out!
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:18 PM   #11
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Here is a tidbit of info.

After you have the job and if you find somewhere along the way you have placed trust in a corrupt, dishonest supervisor, get away fast. They will not change and continuing on with this person will bring problems and more problems on you. It can affect your salary, your future, your retirement.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyte View Post
GENERATIONS DIFFERENCE and TRAINING / COACHING

Anyone else get training re: the differences in the various generations? You know, these guys...

Generation X
Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millennials
Generation Z

I'm not sure if it's brilliant or ... something other than brilliant... that there are companies that will come to your company to educate management staff re: the differences and how to best train/coach each generation.
How' about us Boomers 1956-1964 (little late, but near).
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:59 PM   #13
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I think they're listed there in the Y category.

They're missing those in betweeners.... the latch key kids. Se moi!

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How' about us Boomers 1956-1964 (little late, but near).
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:03 PM   #14
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I kinda get the jist of this thread but here is a list of companies not to work for!

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/care...ymQLz#image=19
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:39 PM   #15
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I'm gonna take shit for this but this is something that (some) millennials need to know. If you didn't catch the some… then … yes, I fully aware that not all millennials need this info and if you're one of those... you rock!!

What I'm going to share with you are the two most important expectations that your current or future employer will have of you...

1. That you follow the policies and procedures of your company... of your department … of your Supervisor... etc... etc.. Yes, I mean follow the rules!

2. That you exercise… demonstrate … show some initiative. Meaning …
a. the ability to assess and initiate things independently.
b. the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do.
c. an act or strategy intended to resolve a difficulty or improve a situation; a fresh approach to something.
Don't demonstrate how well … or how often... or how much... you just want to chill.

No matter what career path you choose, if you master those two behaviors … I promise you... your career path will be so much smoother and you'll be way ahead of everyone else. I will even go so far as to say that your direct Supervisor will love you!!
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RockOn View Post
Here is a tidbit of info.

After you have the job and if you find somewhere along the way you have placed trust in a corrupt, dishonest supervisor, get away fast. They will not change and continuing on with this person will bring problems and more problems on you. It can affect your salary, your future, your retirement.


I bet a lot of former White House employees wished they'd seen this advice...........
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:53 PM   #17
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So very true! If a member of management is treating others poorly and you think, for whatever reason that you're safe, you're not.

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Originally Posted by RockOn View Post
Here is a tidbit of info.

After you have the job and if you find somewhere along the way you have placed trust in a corrupt, dishonest supervisor, get away fast. They will not change and continuing on with this person will bring problems and more problems on you. It can affect your salary, your future, your retirement.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:46 PM   #18
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Thank you! This is a fascinating thread for me. I've never worked for a company as a permanent employee, so I've never even interviewed for a full time job. I've always been a freelancer, so the ways of corporations and other types of full time employers are something of a mystery to me. I occasionally find myself wondering what it would be like, and how would I even navigate the hiring process? I'm successful in my career, so this is a purely hypothetical excersize, but I'm certainly enjoying learning something about how it's done.

When I'm hired for a project too large for me to execute by myself I sometimes am in a position to directly hire helpers. At other times I may be working for a boss who is open to letting me request specific artists. The closest thing I ever get to a formal hiring process is looking over other artist's portfolios. I haven't ever thought of asking a set of questions structured like the above, (STAR), but I may start doing it now. What I look for while I'm checking out other artists' technical prowess is any hint that they, (particularly the men), will be resistant to following directions. I'm also trying to assess whether they'll be lazy or indifferent. It's all so intuitive compared to the above!
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:55 PM   #19
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Ohh... freelance sounds GREAT to me! I like the idea of having greater control over who I'm working for or with.

I friggin' hated the STAR method at my last job! They had us asking over a dozen questions so most interviews were a friggin' grind!! We were not allowed move things along if the interviewee was a bit of a dud. However, I have to admit that the STAR method is a very good way of ensuring you get answers to your questions. Some people are very good at interviews and very good at seeming to answer your question without actually answering it. They provide you with tons of information, do so confidently, do so amiably, and yet the question went unanswered. The STAR method reminds you (the interviewer) that you want ... that you need ... specifics.

Anyone with a fair amount of social skill and bit of interviewing experience can BS their way through a 20 - 30 - 60 minute interview. Meaning, they can answer the questions just right and display the proper demeanor that you'll think they're perfect for the job and fit right into your team. The STAR method can help you ID these posers ... but not always.

Feel free to hit me up should you have any questions. I've done a fair bit of interviewing in my life and for a wide variety of jobs and skill sets. Sometimes the answer to your question is not actually in the words they chose but in their body language, eye contact, hesitation in answering, rush to answer... etc... etc... these things you have to keep an eye on too. You might pose certain questions more to gauge their reaction than their answer.


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Thank you! This is a fascinating thread for me. I've never worked for a company as a permanent employee, so I've never even interviewed for a full time job. I've always been a freelancer, so the ways of corporations and other types of full time employers are something of a mystery to me. I occasionally find myself wondering what it would be like, and how would I even navigate the hiring process? I'm successful in my career, so this is a purely hypothetical excersize, but I'm certainly enjoying learning something about how it's done.

When I'm hired for a project too large for me to execute by myself I sometimes am in a position to directly hire helpers. At other times I may be working for a boss who is open to letting me request specific artists. The closest thing I ever get to a formal hiring process is looking over other artist's portfolios. I haven't ever thought of asking a set of questions structured like the above, (STAR), but I may start doing it now. What I look for while I'm checking out other artists' technical prowess is any hint that they, (particularly the men), will be resistant to following directions. I'm also trying to assess whether they'll be lazy or indifferent. It's all so intuitive compared to the above!
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:06 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by CherylNYC View Post
Thank you! This is a fascinating thread for me. I've never worked for a company as a permanent employee, so I've never even interviewed for a full time job. I've always been a freelancer, so the ways of corporations and other types of full time employers are something of a mystery to me. I occasionally find myself wondering what it would be like, and how would I even navigate the hiring process? I'm successful in my career, so this is a purely hypothetical excersize, but I'm certainly enjoying learning something about how it's done.

When I'm hired for a project too large for me to execute by myself I sometimes am in a position to directly hire helpers. At other times I may be working for a boss who is open to letting me request specific artists. The closest thing I ever get to a formal hiring process is looking over other artist's portfolios. I haven't ever thought of asking a set of questions structured like the above, (STAR), but I may start doing it now. What I look for while I'm checking out other artists' technical prowess is any hint that they, (particularly the men), will be resistant to following directions. I'm also trying to assess whether they'll be lazy or indifferent. It's all so intuitive compared to the above!
Cheryl, I resonate with your post and your life's career. For years, I worked as an independent contractor, set my own rates for service and usually only worked three or four days a week, which left me time to spend with my son's and the ability to have quality time away from work. When I tried to re-enter the tradition work force, it was not without difficulty.

If and when I do enter the work force again, it won't be in an traditional work role. I'm probably going to return to my independent status as an contractor and although I prefer this type of work situation, I usually have my own set of criteria I use, to vet potential scenarios that could become deal breakers for me. I think it's an very intuitive process, vetting out potential issues, but regardless of whether it's male or female, one thing that is important to me are areas concerning cooperation, collaboration and sensitivity to problem solving scenarios.

Thanks for your post, Cheryl, I appreciated reading your take on what is important to you in an hiring process. Negotiation skills are key.

~K.
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