Here is advice for Job Seekers on “What Not to Say In An Interview”

by Sarah Connors, Senior Staffing Manager, HR Contract Staffing, WinterWyman www.winterwyman.com

  1. Sure” - If the interviewer asks if you have done a certain job duty and your answer is "Sure" then my next question is, "and...?"  You need to give examples and elaborate during the interview.  Most questions asked in an interview should not be yes or no.  Even a "can you start tomorrow" should elicit an "Absolutely, I would love to be a part of this team and I could start right now!" It shows more interest and confidence.
  1. Kinda” - Not only is this not a word, it is already putting the interviewer in a skeptical place.  If you have done something, say yes and use examples.  Or if you haven't, detail how you have not yet had the opportunity to do that specific task but would love to learn and have had similar experience that will be an asset to that company.
  1. Any curse word - I know this is a given, but you would be surprised to know that once in a while, someone swears in an interview.  Even in the context of a story it risks you coming off as crass, unprofessional or just not realizing that you are in a professional interview for a position you really want.
  1. Umm” - I know it is hard to avoid the filler words, but practice, practice, practice....and then be quiet.  Practice interviews with your friends, mentors, family, etc. and then if you are in the interview and need a moment to think - just say so or be quiet and then respond.  Saying “umm” too much could make someone picture you twirling your hair, chomping bubblegum and asking, "wait, what is this interview for again?"  You want every question to be an opportunity to highlight why you are confident that you are the best candidate for the job even if on paper you might look too inexperienced.
  1. Hate” - Maybe you did not like a certain job or boss, but you should not hate them.  Moreover, you should not be airing your dirty laundry during an interview.  If you are bitter or speaking negatively about them, what are you going to say about us? You might be mature, professional and positive otherwise but if an interviewer hears the word "hate" then they might not hear the rest.
  1. Age - Or marital status or any of the protected categories.  It does not hurt anything to offer it up but it does put the interviewer in a precarious position where they cannot really comment on what you have said and need to redirect back to questions regarding this specific role and requirements.

The moral of the story?  Think about what the interviewer will hear when you say certain words.  It is not about what you intend, it is about what they hear and all you want them to hear is, "you just found the best person for this opportunity."

And, as usual…

Do what others fail to do!

Marvin Walberg

Getting Hired, the weekly job search advice newspaper column, was written by Marvin Walberg and was published nationally in newspapers and websites by The Scripps Howard News Service from 1991 -- 2013. Marvin Walberg has a lifetime of sales experience and has concentrated on the job search process for over 20 years.

 

With a greater supply of applicants available than jobs, how well a candidate fits the culture of an employer is more often being used as a deciding factor in who to hire, especially when their qualifications are roughly equivalent, according to ClearRock Inc., a leadership development/executive coaching and outplacement firm headquartered in Boston. 


Job-seekers need to be sure they are familiar with the culture of a potential employer - its core values, mission and vision - and determine whether they are a true match and could have a career with them, rather than only a job, according to ClearRock.

"Lack of cultural fit is one of the biggest contributors to the failure of newly hired employees. Many of those who do not fit in didn't currently match the culture of the employer when they were hired. Cultural fit usually cannot be developed in employees the same way as job skills they may be lacking," said Laura Poisson, senior vice president with ClearRock.

Employers are trying to get the "fit" right the first time due to the stagnant economy and the high cost of employees who do not work out. It can cost two or more times a worker's annual compensation for a failed hire when including costs of recruitment, training, lost business, lost productivity due to other workers filling in, severance and other costs, according to ClearRock.

"To assist them in making the right choices, employers are more often asking behavioral-type questions to uncover whether a candidate's personality and work style fits their culture. The questions are designed to uncover qualities about a candidate that can't be determined from a resume," said Susan Klaubert, vice president with ClearRock.

These questions include:

* What type of work environment are you most productive in?
* Who is the best boss you have ever had and why?
* What do you like most about your current job? What do you like least?
* What is the single most important factor necessary in a job in order for you to be successful?

 

"Job-seekers should know - even before an interview - whether they feel they are a match for the company's culture. If they aren't absolutely certain by the time they are interviewed, they should be asking questions of their own to discern this," added Poisson.

ClearRock recommends that job-seekers take these steps to gauge the cultural fit between themselves and prospective employers.  

 

1. Conduct a self-audit of your personal values. "Familiarity with what is important to you in a job, and what kind of environment you work best in will contribute toward your working out well if hired," said Klaubert.

 

2. Research the culture of companies to which you are applying. "Check out their websites, look at their LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, read their profiles on Glassdoor and articles that have been published about them. See if you can talk with someone who works there, used to work there, or can provide an introduction to a current or former employee," said Poisson.

 

3. Develop questions you will ask during an interview. "If what you have discovered about the employer seems to indicate that you would fit in, prepare questions to ask to ensure there is a fit. Questions can include which qualities they value most in employees, what they consider to be a 'successful employee' and how they develop their workers," added Klaubert.

 

4. Don't try to force a fit. "Having a successful career with an employer means being able to work with people to accomplish the most important objectives for which you were hired. If there is a clash between the company's culture and your values, workplace behavior and/or management style, this may lead to an early involuntary or even voluntary exit," added Poisson.

 

5. Follow up on your fit after being hired. "You must fit the culture of your supervisor, direct reports, and colleagues once on board. Ascertain how and how often your supervisor wants to receive updates, how to best build teamwork with co-workers and discover how you can be a resource to colleagues in other departments," added Klaubert.

 

  

About ClearRock, Inc.

  

ClearRock, Inc. is a Boston-based leadership development, executive coaching, and outplacement firm that is recognized for bringing best-in-class offerings to the coaching process.

 

And, as always….

Do what others fail to do!

Edit your social media posts.

 

   A survey of more than 7000 recruitment companies, HR managers and recruiters in the US has found 64% have rejected a job application after looking at a candidate’s social media profile


   The survey, undertaken by Oilandgaspeople.com, the world’s leading Oil and Gas jobs board, also found that 82% of employers have looked up potential candidates on social media sites, while 71% of them have successfully hired an employee or contractor using social media

The survey found that 88% of recruiters used LinkedIn for candidate recruitment, 25% used Facebook, 8%, twitter, and 33% used industry-based job boards.


   77% said the reason for recruiting via social media is that it gives them better access to more candidates, 33% said it is the most cost effective way to find candidates, while 41% said it gave them better insight into whether candidates were suitable. The survey highlighted Job boards and LinkedIn as the two most important tools to recruiters, with Facebook also playing a role.


   The survey found that 63% of recruiters said that they considered social media as more effective than traditional print ads when advertising jobs.

  “Social media is now a powerful recruitment tool for getting the right person in position faster and cheaper than traditional forms of advertising,” said Kevin Forbes, CEO of Oilandgaspeople.com.


   “As a leading Job Portal we have always integrated with social media. Our LinkedIn groups are among the largest on LinkedIn and between LinkedIn and Facebook we are able to market jobs posted on Oil and Gas People to over 1.5 million candidates in the oil and gas industry over double the reach of our competitors that don’t utilize Social Media.


   Kevin went on to say: “The Oil and Gas Industry is currently enjoying a small boom and it is becoming increasingly hard to source the right candidates. Being such an innovative industry it comes as no surprise that recruiters are turning to social media to find top talent.”


   For years now I have cautioned people to edit your social media posts. What you post in fun when you are in high school or college will live on to possibly haunt you when you are out of school and looking for a serious job or career. Edit your posts now. It’s not as much fun when you are young, but it could save your day (and your career) later on. Mistakes posted today live on and on in cyber land. Be careful and edit!


Do what others fail to do!


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