Getting these 5 questions wrong can ruin your chances in a job interview

Interviewing | Job search | Employment |Career Advice |Mentoring

03.19.19 | Fast Company

Making a good impression at a job interview involves a lot more than just dressing appropriately, being on time, and researching the company. Here are five key questions to answer for yourself if you want to make it to the next round.

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[Photo: jacoblund/iStock]

1. How will I strike a balance between selling myself and praising the company?

Everyone knows that pitching yourself is key, but overdo it and you’ll turn the interviewer off. You need to strike the right balance between talking about the company you’re interviewing with and talking about yourself. Suppose you start off with, “Here’s why I’d be great for this job. Here are my accomplishments.” You’ve just dug a hole for yourself, because you’re making the interview all about you.

Instead, start with explaining how you admire the company, its accomplishments, and leadership. If you can, show you know something about the person interviewing you. Express your excitement about that particular position. In short, talk about the opportunity–and then show why your qualifications make you such a good fit. Your interviewers will be impressed. You’ve made the connection between the job and your abilities, and so will they. Read more…

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What Trader Joe’s Figured Out About Work Culture That My Other Past Employers Haven’t

Workplace | Employment | Leadership

By Hayley Benham-Archdeacon—Lattice | 09.13.17

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[Photo: ablokhin/iStock]

When I was hired by Trader Joe’s at 16, I wasn’t even legally able to run a register. I was told I was hired based on my personality, even if I was almost useless. By the time I left seven years later, I’d worked across six different stores. And I don’t know how they do it, but they have the best managers possible, consistently.

Trader Joe’s hierarchy is organized unlike anywhere else I’ve worked. Each store runs with one captain, and a team of eight to 12 mates. Everyone else is crew. And yes, they are thorough with the sailor-ship deck theme.

I thought that having so many middle managers would cause problems, but in fact it turns out to be good for everyone. Oversight of opening and closing shifts are distributed evenly, and tasks and assignments are rotated throughout the week, which means no one is stuck taking in the frozen truck at 4 a.m. every single morning, or closing out our computers every night until midnight. Maybe that’s why managers are able to stay so nice to us. And if you don’t feel comfortable going to one manager about a problem or personal event? No problem, you have 10 others to speak to.

At my last store, my coworker was having a rough time in his personal life and the frustration was beginning to show at work. We watched a manager take him out back, presumably for a stern talking to. In fact, the manager handed him a box of broken eggs from the spoils cart, taped a plastic pallet wrap up to the wall of our loading dock, and told him to throw eggs at the wall until he felt better. It worked.

Read more…

The Next Generation of Librarians

Internships | Mentoring | Public librarians | Library School

June 22, 2017

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A librarian mentor talks with interns in a speed-mentoring round at the Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative kickoff in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tracey Salazar

“How do you find a library and a position that fit your skill set and put you in a place where you will be happy?”

“How do you overcome the difficulties and hardships that come along the way?”

“Why are conversations about race so difficult?”

These were only some of the insightful questions asked by the 50 teenagers participating in the inaugural cohort of the Inclusive Internship Initiative (III). Made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Public Library Association (PLA), the goal of III is to introduce high school juniors and seniors from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds to careers in librarianship.

Equal parts academic seminar and career coaching, III’s kick-off event June 16 at the Library of Congress put library leaders on call to answer big questions. PLA President Felton Thomas opened by noting, “The traditional stereotype has been evolving for a number of years, but now more than ever, public libraries are providing services—summer lunches, passports, social services—that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. Future librarians must understand that we are going through a generational transition of what it means to be a public librarian.”

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Ten Things That Are Worse For Your Career Than Getting Fired

Career advice | Employment | Job termination

by Liz Ryan | March 7, 2017

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Dear Liz,

I am in a sticky situation at work. I was transferred into this position against my will a year ago.

My supervisor “Vince” is the least popular supervisor in the company. Nobody transfers into his department voluntarily…..

Dear Cam,

If Vince terminates you, you will find out that getting fired is not a big deal, especially when you know it’s a personality conflict and nothing more……

Getting fired is not damaging to your career unless you believe it is.

Here are 10 things that are worse for your career than getting fired: [italics mine]

1. Staying in a job you hate only because you’re afraid of making a change.

2. Letting your co-workers down so many times that they stop trusting you, and building a bad reputation for yourself in the process.

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Ten Things I Couldn’t Care Less About When I’m Hiring

Hiring people is such an organic and human activity, it kills me to see how many companies do it badly. They try to make recruiting a linear, data-driven and analytical process, but that’s impossible, because recruiting is all about the energy that flows between and among people.

It has nothing to do with data. It has nothing to do with particles — like all human activities, it is all about waves!

Recruiting has nothing to do with keyword-searching algorithms. How sad it is to see how my HR profession has devolved!   Read more…

 

5 Hidden Costs Of Not Interning Before You Graduate

Guest post written by

Kaytie Zimmerman

I write about money and career for millennials at optimisticmillennial.com.

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Summer break for college students has finally arrived. They have plans to spend time at the beach, lake, or music festivals. Relaxation is important, but they may not realize that there are hidden costs if they don’t use this time to complete an internship before they graduate.

The costs are in the form of career potential, earnings, and time. All of these are important, but which are most significant to a new graduate?

Inability to Compete with Other Graduates

As students don their black robes and graduation caps this spring, they’ll enter a competitive pool of job seekers. Do you know how you stack up against your peers?

In 2014, 75% of graduates left school with at least one internship completed. Further, employers are now looking for work experience above other factors in selecting entry-level candidates.

It comes back to the all-too-painful chicken and egg reality most millennials have faced. They are told they need experience to get a job, but they need a job to get experience.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education and the American Public Media’s Marketplace survey, internship experience is the single most important credential for recent graduates to have on their resume in their job search.

Adding an internship to your resume before you hit the real world will at least keep you on pace with your peers, if not give you an edge.

Lose Out on ‘Foot in the Door’ Opportunities

Most job seekers are familiar with online job submissions being referred to as the “black hole” where their resume disappears, never to be found again.

One of the ways to get a foot in the door to your first job is to find an internship at a company that regularly hires their interns as full-time employees.  Read more…

What hiring managers are really trying to figure out when they ask, ‘What are your hobbies?’

Jacquelyn Smith May 9, 2016

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Jeff Hitchcock/flickr

Don’t just say, “I love photography.” Explain why.

When you’re in the hot seat interviewing for a job, you’re answering questions such as “What’s your greatest weakness?” and “Why should we hire you?” — so a query like “What are your hobbies?” will probably seem like a piece of cake.

But before you start babbling about your lifelong obsession with horses or your newfound passion for baking, consider this: The hiring manager wants to get a better sense of who you are, so it’s important to think about which hobbies best showcase your strengths, passions, and skills — and then discuss only those in the interview.

“The employer is trying to determine whether you’d be a good fit, and getting insight into your interests, hobbies, and personality all help in evaluating that,” says Amy Hoover, president of the job board Talent Zoo.

Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” agrees: “By learning more about your outside interests, they can glean more about your personality, and even draw some conclusions about how you may thrive in the organization.”

 

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