Work With Me | 901-878-9758

Holiday Party Time

It’s party time! Chances are, you may have a holiday party coming up for work or with friends that you just can’t avoid. Whatever the occasion, these parties can be draining. This is especially true for those of us who are introverts, or who have other commitments. It can feel like there’s just no room for another to do on the list.

But, if you’re planning to be on the job market next year, holiday parties can truly be the perfect place to kick off your search. Where else will you find such a large group of warm, friendly people in one room together? They’re typically friends you haven’t seen in a while, who genuinely want to know how you’re doing and what you’re up to. And, they’re often looking to reconnect again outside of the event.

Holiday parties are also often very cost effective as they are typically free and at the most, may only require a small host gift or a bottle of wine.

The best part is, you don’t have to wear a suit. And you don’t usually need to deliver your elevator pitch from scratch. You’ll know most people, or a friend will likely introduce you. Conversations will be easier, more interesting, and less forced than a typical networking event.

To truly make the most of your holiday parties this year, plan ahead. Try to get enough rest in advance and be ready to share the latest news in your life. Share personal updates, including changes in your family, your home, or your work. But, do your best to keep your news positive. Holiday parties are meant to be a festive occasion and should focus on the good things going on in your life.

If forced conversations feel difficult, think of a list of questions in advance. Ask how their family is doing. Ask if the friend has any plans to travel or take a vacation soon. Ask about common hobbies and interests.

Remember to bring business cards – and to exchange them with other guests when (and if) it seems appropriate. This will help you to stay in touch with new friends and update your contact information for old ones. If you’re not currently working, a simple card will do. Include your name, phone number, and email address.

After the event, make a point to follow up with the folks you want to stay in touch with. Invite them to your next party. Ask them to have lunch or coffee. And, be sure to connect on LinkedIn.

These small interactions build your friendships and grow your network. When the New Year comes, you’ll be more prepared to put your best foot forward. And, if you do ask a friend for help with a job application, it won’t be the first time they’ve seen you in a while. Build your network of friends when you’re not asking for help with a job.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

More Work Means a Fair Process

Have you ever had to do extra work in a job interview? One of my most intense interviews ever was at Target. I interviewed there after graduate school for a project management role. The process was unlike one I had ever seen up to then.

Target flew me into Minneapolis one evening, with a day of interviews to follow. The day itself is a blur now. So much happened in a relatively tiny amount of time.

I had multiple individual interviews. They happened back to back in a small room. One person would come in and interview me. They’d leave and then another person would come in. This happened around four times in a row. It was back to back with no real breaks.

Then, the human resources manager took me to lunch. It was right next door. And, it wasn’t any kind of lunch. It was a lunch interview. I had to be on my game.

After lunch, I was taken to another business nearby. There, I took an IQ test that was very much like the SAT you might have taken to get into college. There was a math portion and a verbal portion. It was a lot do to after five interviews.

But, the fun didn’t end there. Next, I was met by a psychologist. The psychologist administered a psychological exam.

After it was over, I remember stretching out in the back seat of a cab on my way back to the airport. I was exhausted. I’d never had such an intense interview.

This sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. But, do you know what else it is? It’s an attempt at a fairer interview process.

No interview is unbiased. Some people perform better in an in person interview. Others do better on a test. Allowing the candidate to be tested in multiple ways is a good way to reduce the likelihood of an unfair process.

In fact, my favorite interviews are the ones with the most work. I like it when you write a proposal for the manager, to show them what you will bring to the table. I feel like it gives you a chance to sell yourself. It gives the manager a chance to truly measure your abilities. And, it reduces your risk of a mismatch.

The next time you’re put through a long and difficult interview process, remember this. The process is likely more fair than if the hiring manager met you and quickly decided. If you get the job, it’s more likely to be a better fit for you.

You may also be wondering whatever happened at Target. I got the job offer and the company was so nice that they sent me flowers to congratulate me. Target was a truly amazing company. I didn’t end up taking the job, but I took away the importance of a thorough interview process.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

183 | LinkedIn & Job Searching | Dan Shapero, Dan is the Vice President of Talent Solutions, Careers & Learning at LinkedIn

Episode 183 is live! This week, we talk with Dan Shapero in Anaheim, California.

Dan is the Vice President of Talent Solutions, Careers & Learning at LinkedIn.

On today’s episode, Dan shares:

  • Exciting news about LinkedIn’s acquisition of employee engagement platform Glint and what it could mean for your workplace
  • Tips on using LinkedIn when you’re a job seeker
  • An answer to the important question: Should you accept connection requests from people you don’t know on LinkedIn

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about LinkedIn and Dan’s work, check out the LinkedIn website: https://www.linkedin.com.

Thank YOU for listening! If you’ve enjoyed the show today, don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts! When you subscribe, it helps to make the show easier for other job seekers to find the show!

The Interview Feedback Loop

I’ve been talking to a number of job seekers lately about illegal interview questions. They keep coming up, and I keep asking myself why that is. When you’re a job seeker, you may not realize how common illegal questions are because you’re interviewing for only one or two jobs at a time. But, surprisingly, they’re popping up in job interviews quite a bit.

Common illegal questions include: What is your marital status? How many children do you have? Are you planning to have more children? How old are you?

Honestly, it’s hard to understand why these questions are coming up. I have wondered how hiring managers don’t seem to know what not to ask. And, I’ve wondered why they’re even asking at all.

In some cases, the hiring manager may be simply trying to make small talk. They may be trying to get to know you. But, it’s really hard to say. In some cases, the hiring manager is clearly asking the question for unethical reasons. But, in other cases, someone may have been trying to make casual conversation and may have unknowingly stumbled into murky waters.

So, why does it keep happening? My best guess is this. Hiring managers are rarely trained on what not to ask. Human resources often assumes that in today’s day in age, we all know what not to ask. Then, when the hiring manager does ask these questions, the candidate doesn’t react negatively. The reason is this. If you want the job, you don’t get upset by a potentially off-putting question. That’s a fast way to eliminate yourself from the candidate pool. So, the hiring manager gets no feedback in the moment. After the hiring process, if you’re not selected, you have little to no interaction with the company. You are at times lucky to get an automated rejection email for your time.

What’s a company to do? I propose that companies should install a system to solicit feedback from candidates. This would close the loop on hiring. The company could ask the candidate for anonymous feedback about their interview. It could then be routed to human resources who could be alerted to potential issues in questions. This would protect the company’s interests, educate the hiring manager, and improve the experience for the job seeker. It’s a win-win-win.

One company that is implementing something similar to this process is Amazon. After a candidate interviews with Amazon, they receive an anonymous survey titled “rate our phone interviews.” The survey asks whether or not the interview experience was frustration free. It also asks for what they could do to improve, and it gives the job seeker a free form text box to provide feedback.

Implementing this sort of feedback treats the job seeker like a valued player in the process – similar to a customer. And, this is a great foundation of mutual respect on which to build a future working relationship.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Interviewing Is Not Hazing

When I was in college, I never joined a sorority. But, like you, I’ve heard some of the horror stories about what it can sometimes be like to become part of Greek life. For some (but not all) student led organizations, hazing rituals are just a part of life. Looking back, it seems like they’re a silly college-aged tradition that have been left in the past. Somehow, these rituals are following us into adulthood. They’re showing up in the most unexpected place: the job interview.

Some employers put candidates through stress interviews. They ask inappropriate or irrelevant questions in an effort to get a reaction from the job seeker. They’re interested to see how you might react under stress. The answer often matters less than the reaction. I recently heard from a job seeker who was cursed at during a job interview in a confrontational way – in front of a group. The hiring manager was trying to get a reaction out of him.

Other employers are asking candidates to do homework, lots of homework. It may come in the form of creating plans that the company may use. It may involve taking tests. Many of these tools are meant to help identify the most capable candidates. But, it often discounts the work experience a candidate has in favor of how well they perform under pressure on a particular day.

In other situations, employers may put the candidate through physical stress. Perhaps they’re booked with back to back travel and interviews with no time for bathroom breaks or rest.

The most surprising interview trend I’ve seen lately that falls into this category is company-wide voting. Did you know that if you interview at a company, there’s a chance that the company’s employees will vote on whether or not they liked you, just after you leave the building? It might be one thing to ask folks if they have concerns with a candidate and if they do, what those concerns are. But, in some organizations, employees are given a simple yes or no choice. If anyone votes against a candidate, there’s a decent chance they will be kicked out of the process.

With all of this comes a note. I’ve heard of these practices more within the tech world than anywhere else. So, if you have an important corporate interview coming up, don’t fear. There’s a decent chance that you will not be exposed to most of these tactics.

On the flip side, I do understand that when you’re the job seeker, you should be willing to go along with most of the things a company asks of you – especially if you want the job. But, if a company treats you badly in the interview process, don’t forget it. That may be how the plan to treat you as an employee. If the job interview process seems immature, it’s possible the staff may be too.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach