by J.T. O’Donnell
CREDIT: Getty Images
Several times a day, the phone rings at our company with people calling to discuss their career problems. We get ten times as many emails each day from people writing in about their career problems. By phone or by email, they always start with, “I need to explain my story, it’s pretty complex…” And yet, here’s what they have in common:
- All of them are experiencing a crisis of confidence.
- They’re all frustrated and unhappy.
- Each has a detailed account of what has led them to their current situation.
- AND, every single one is also making the same (false) assumption about their situation.
It’s Not Rocket Science, You Shouldn’t Treat It That Way
Over 15 years ago, I started studying and working with people who felt unsatisfied in their careers. I’m a logic girl. I like process. I went to school for engineering. I decided to set out to build a system for finding greater career satisfaction. To do that, I realized I needed to be able to diagnose each person’s situation so a plan could be put in place. To the untrained ear, it might sound like each person has a highly complex career problem on their hands. But, after listening to a large quantity of career stories, I noticed they all fell into four categories. No matter what the complexity of the circumstances surrounding their particular career problem, it still boiled down to one of these four major challenges. Read more…
July 26, 2016
Jérôme Cukier, Quora contributor
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
How do I explain being fired to a potential employer? originally appeared on Quora: the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
Answer by Jérôme Cukier, software engineer, on Quora:
Your answer should:
- Be true.
- Help you advance in the interview process (or at least not stop you).
It’s very important to keep both of these things in mind. You should answer in a truthful way because it’s the right thing to do, but also because if your potential employer catches you lying before you even work for them it’s very unlikely you’d get the job. Yet, the goal of your answer is not to put you down, it’s the opposite. You want to leave a positive impression.
Another thing to keep in mind, even if less important than the two above, is to be concise. You really don’t want to spend your interview time talking about this. There is still a lot of latitude and what you should say depends on the circumstances and the employer. Perhaps nobody will ask you why you left your previous employer (just kidding, everyone will ask!). Read more…
You finally got the call you’ve been waiting for: an invitation to interview for a job you’re really excited about. What do you need to do now to ensure you ace the interview?
Here are four steps that will position you as strongly as possible to wow your interviewer:
1. Research the company. It’s important to get familiar with the company you’ll be interviewing with. Understanding the context your interviewers are working in will help you have a more intelligent conversation.
This doesn’t mean simply memorizing facts about the company; there’s not a lot of utility in that. Rather, you’re looking for the answers to questions like these:
- How does the company see itself? What would its employees say makes it different from its competition?
- What is the company most known for?
- Has it been in the news lately? If so, for what?
- What are the company’s biggest current initiatives, projects, products or clients?
- What info can you find about the company’s culture and values?
- Roughly what size is the company?
- Who are the company’s key players? What kind of backgrounds do they bring to their roles?
If you come across as someone with a baseline understanding of these basics about the company, your interviewers will much more easily picture you in the job. Conversely, if you don’t seem to know any of this information, they’re likely to wonder how interested you really are and whether you even really understand what they do. Research the company before interviewing. Try to find out how the company sees itself, what it’s most known for and who its key players are.