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The Human Side of Interviewing

Years ago, job interviewing was an event. During my first job post-college search, I flew to companies all around the U.S.

There were phone interviews in the beginning. But, once you got to the in person interview, the company rolled out the red carpet. And keep in mind, my experience was as a soon to be college graduate, with almost no real work experience.

Typically, the company would fly me in the night before and put me up in a nice hotel.  Then, they would take me to dinner. This gave me a chance to meet the team and learn more about the city. One time, a company even had flowers, a cheese plate, and a book about the city waiting for me in the hotel room! The day of the interview was a tough one. I’d have a number of interviews in a row. But, in the middle of the day, someone would take me to lunch. And, they’d give me a tour of the campus. Between interviews, there would be breaks. At the end of the day, a car would pick me up at the company and drop me at the airport for my journey home.

From what I’ve observed, this kind of red carpet interview is very rare today. Many companies don’t want to go to the trouble to fly a candidate in. They say it’s a cost savings, but many flights are just a few hundred dollars. The problem is, this gives a very one sided experience. The company is given an opportunity to get to know the job seeker, but the job seeker doesn’t have a chance to get a full picture of the company.

The companies that do fly candidates out forget a number of things. They don’t arrange ground transportation anymore. The night before, they no longer take candidates to dinner and the day of, they provide no food. There are no bathroom breaks built into most interview schedules. Can you imagine? Many companies will schedule six hours of interviews back to back, with no food and no breaks. At the end of the day, there’s no transportation. You are expected to find your way from a company office (in a city that you probably don’t know) back to the airport.

From the job seeker perspective, there’s little that you can do about this, other than to nicely ask if the company would be willing to bring you in person. Or, you can politely ask the if they’re able to build a break or two into your day.

Employers, wake up! If you’re losing your best candidates and you can’t figure out why, it’s time to re-evaluate your candidate experience. Are you treating candidates the way you’d want to be treated? This is a few hundred dollar investment along with a little time to ensure that the next great candidate will say yes to your job offer.

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

 

Interview Breakup Aftermath

Have you ever had a great job interview go south? If you were the job seeker, perhaps you weren’t picked right at the very end – after a lengthy interview process. Or, if you were the hiring manager, a candidate that you gave a great offer to turned you down.

These things can happen to the best of us. As a job seeker, it’s possible that the company had two excellent candidates. Ultimately, the selection of one over the other may be somewhat random. As a hiring manager, the candidate may have gotten another offer – or perhaps there was something else misaligned for them. Or, maybe their existing employer finally followed through on their promises.

Whatever happened and whether you were the candidate or the hiring manager, it can often be a stressful situation. It’s a rejection. You know that you may have to start your process over and it may take months. It can hurt your feelings. It can feel like a rejection. It may even feel like a breakup.

Very often, we want to write the person off completely. We might want to defriend them on LinkedIn, and never return another email. But, this is where we’re getting it wrong.

The world is a small place. Your industry may be small too. And, with the rate at which we’re all switching jobs these days, you may cross paths with this person again in the future. In fact, they might end up working for you. Or, you might end up working for them. Or, you may even need them to be a referral for a future opportunity.

The point is, we need each other. And, very often, hiring decisions aren’t as personal as they feel. When you’re rejected, do your best to put your hurt feelings aside. Be professional. Stay in touch. You never know what may come in the future.

I can attest to this from personal experience. One of my all-time favorite jobs, I was rejected for the first time I interviewed at the company. I’m not sure why, but I decided not to take it personally. I stayed in touch with the hiring manager via email every few months for close to two years. I kept him up to date on what I was working on. One day, he asked me to meet up for a coffee. And, it was in that coffee meeting that he asked me to come work for him.

I was so excited, and it turned out to be one of the most important jobs I’ve ever held. But, I wouldn’t have gotten there if I hadn’t been able to be professional and stay connected. And, the company also had to be willing to be professional and stay open.

The next time you’re rejected, put the hurt aside (after you’ve had a little time). Stay connected with the company. Remember, there may be future opportunities that are a fit.

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

 

Labor Day Decisions

Labor Day is a holiday that honors the American labor movement. It celebrates the development, productivity, and prosperity of the United States. And, it marks the unofficial end of summer. If you’re like most Americans, Labor Day is spent with loved ones and tasty food.

But, the end of summer means one thing in the world of job searching. It’s the time when job postings and hiring begin to slow. Between now and December 31st, the job search world is predicted to slow down. And, it will slow down. This is a trend that happens every year.

If you’re looking for more development, more productivity, and more prosperity at work, this is the time to get started. Honestly, an overall economic slowdown is being predicted by many economists. And, the last year has been the hottest job market in years. The upward growth we’ve seen cannot last forever.

If you’ve been thinking about switching jobs, it’s time to stop thinking and start acting.

I hope your Labor Day is great! But, when you get back from that awesome time of barbecues and swimming and loved ones, set a target for yourself. It’s not too late to start looking – if you start now. But, you have to be committed. Start off by updating two things: your resume and your LinkedIn profile. These are both critical pieces to your job search. You will need them. They aren’t optional.

Then, begin looking through new job postings. Check the postings every day and apply right away. The sooner you apply, the more likely you are to get an interview and land a job. But, don’t rely on the internet alone. Think about the people you know who work at the companies you’re applying to. Ask for their help. You’d be surprised to know how many people get a bonus at work if they refer a friend who was hired. This is an extra incentive for your friend to help get you in front of the right person.

And, use LinkedIn as more than online resume. Use it to find people who work at the company. If you can, use LinkedIn to look up the hiring managers (the bosses) for the jobs you’re applying to. If you find the hiring manager, use the opportunity to network with them and to let them know you’re interested in their job posting.

Whatever you do, don’t fall into a common trap. Many job seekers only apply for a handful of jobs and assume one will come through. If you are sure you want to make a change, you need to apply for more jobs. My goal for you is to apply to ten jobs per week. If you do this consistently, you will eventually find a new job. And, that new job just might provide you with a little more of the development, productivity, and prosperity that Labor Day is all about!

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

 

199 | The Law Career Playbook | Rachel Gezerseh, USC

Episode 199 is live! This week, we talk with Rachel Gezerseh in Los Angeles, California.

Rachel is a lawyer, law professor, and author of The Law Career Playbook.

On today’s episode, Rachel shares:

  • What is the biggest surprise about being a lawyer for young lawyers?
  • What are a few of the factors that make it hard to get a full time job as a lawyer after school?
  • Is there anything special we should keep in mind about our resume when it comes to getting a job in law?

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

To learn more about Rachel’s work, check out her website at breakintobiglaw.com, where you can access her book and blog.

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!

Who do you plan to relocate?

Job interviews are full of bias. Very often, it’s unconscious. Companies want to be fair. They don’t often realize where they may be biased. That’s where rules around interviewing come in. There are certain laws in place to help minimize bias in the job search process. These laws are to protect the job seeker.

For example, a company is not allowed to ask your age. We can all agree that this is a good thing. When we’re interviewing, it feels like we’re always too old or too young for a job. But, keeping our age a secret helps us to be considered – based on our skills and work experience.

Two other questions employers are not allowed to ask are: Are you married? Do you have children?

This may seem strange. Perhaps the interviewer just wants to get to know more about a person. The problem is, there is quite a bit of bias that can be introduced through these questions. And, it has nothing to do with your skills or work experience.

You may wonder what bias could be created. Sometimes, a hiring manager loves it if you are single with no children. They might think that you can work long hours. Other times, a hiring manager may worry that with so few commitments, a single person can pick up and leave more easily. There are also times when, if you have no children, the hiring manager may wonder if you will start having children soon and may be out on parental leave.

These guesses are assumptions. And, they may have no connection to reality. A single person can be just as distracted as a person with children. Or, a person with children can work just as hard as someone who is single. This is why these questions are both inappropriate and illegal in the job interview.

Unfortunately, a shocking number of companies are finding a way to ask these questions. They’re packaging it up with relocation. In the very first phone screen, many companies will ask out of town candidates about relocation. But, they don’t ask, “Will you relocate?” Instead, they say, “So, when it comes to relocation, what exactly will you be relocating? I mean, will you be relocating alone, or will some other family members be relocating with you?”

These questions are all getting at two issues: Are you married? Do you have children?

This question is unnecessary. It flies in the face of laws in place to make the job search process fairer. And, it happens often. When asked this question, the job seeker is left with few choices. You can answer and stay in the running for the job. Or, you can refuse to answer and be perceived as difficult.

If you are asked questions like this, you may want to consider sharing your experience on the public forum Glassdoor.com. Glassdoor allows you to share feedback about your interview experience.

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

 

198 | Gear Head to Group Head | Paresh Shah, Gearhead to Grouphead Leadership Academy

Episode 198 is live! This week, we talk with Paresh Shah in Los Angeles, California.

Paresh is a mechanical engineer, Harvard MBA, entrepreneur, professor, and yogi. He is also the founder of Gearhead to Grouphead Leadership Academy where he trains engineers and IT professionals to future-proof their career and transition from a technologist to a leader.

On today’s episode, Paresh shares:

  • As a technologist, what is the #1 thing that will determine the success of our career long term?
  • What can we do to future proof our careers?
  • What is the biggest obstacle that technology folks have to becoming people leaders?

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

To learn more about Paresh’s work, check out his website at iamalifter.com/copelandcoaching, which includes a link to the diagnostic tool that he discusses in the podcast.

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!

What have you done in the last five years?

There’s a new question emerging in the world of job seeking. It’s something I never expected. It doesn’t happen in every interview, but it happens enough that it’s worth mentioning. As you grow in your career, companies expect more. More senior roles require more experience. Job descriptions will ask for ten or fifteen years of experience in a particular field. If you have the ten or fifteen years of experience, this can seem like a great thing. You’ve finally arrived!

Throughout your career, you go through different phases. Perhaps there was a time when you were doing detailed, fundamental work (maybe right out of college). There was another time when you learned to manage people. Or, another phase where you learned to managed vendors and cross departmental relationships. You career has been an evolution.

You go into a job interview, ready to share the ten or fifteen years of accumulated experience that you bring to the table. You finally meet all of the requirements on the job description (or at least most of them). The question you aren’t expecting comes out of nowhere. The recruiter says, “Tell me about yourself.” That part is doable. You’re ready! Then, the recruiter says, “…but keep it to the last five years. We only want to know about the last five years. Recent experience is all that counts here.”

This question has been a bit baffling. The company wants ten or fifteen years of experience. And, it’s all those years that truly makes you qualified. But, if you’ve got to limit your answer to the last five years, you may miss out on half or two thirds of your experience. It’s one thing to be brief in an answer. It makes sense to be concise. But, it’s a completely different thing to omit large chunks of your professional background.

It feels like companies are asking for fifteen years of experience, packed into a five year time frame. This expectation seems to be an unusually high burden on the job seeker. I have to wonder how this strategy is impacting the companies that are using it. Are they able to find people with fifteen years of experience, who have done some of everything in the last five years?

This criteria doesn’t seem to favor young workers or older workers. Young workers don’t have enough experience to meet the minimum requirements. And, older workers very likely haven’t covered every inch of everything within the last five.

Whatever happened to being able to do the job? When I hire someone, I want someone who can do that job. The details of when or where they got the experience leading up to that point are much less important. A job interview should not be a computer game or a puzzle. It’s an opportunity for a company to find a motivated, experienced person who is dedicated and willing to do the work at hand.

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

 

197 | Find Your Passion Career | Amanda Nachman, College Magazine

Episode 197 is live! This week, we talk with Amanda Nachman in San Diego, California. Amanda is the host of Find Your Passion Career podcast and CEO of College Magazine, a publication with over 900K monthly readers.

On today’s episode, Amanda shares:

  • How do you identify a career that makes you happy?
  • How long does it take to make the transition to a new career?
  • What kind of support system should we build up?

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

To learn more about Amanda’s work, check out her website at findyourpassioncareer.com, where you can access her podcast, blog, and her career quiz.

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 Job Seeking Mistakes We Make

Job searching is hard work. That saying “getting a job is a job” couldn’t be truer than it is right now. I hear from job seekers every day who are struggling, and rightfully so. But, it may not be for the reasons they think.

When I ask a job seeker what it is that’s causing problems with their job search, they typically know the answer right away. First, they’re over qualified. They are too old. They studied the wrong thing in school. They wonder if they need to get a new haircut, go back to school, and change careers completely. A new haircut never hurt anyone. But, let’s take a deeper look.

The next questions I typically ask the job seeker are these: How are you applying for jobs? How many jobs have you applied to lately?

Very often, I learn that the job seeker is applying online. It’s the only way they’re looking for a job, and it’s the only way they’re applying. So, although ageism is real, it’s possible the company doesn’t know their age because they’ve never even seen the person’s application.

I know that companies tell job seekers, “Apply online. If you’re a good fit we’ll call you.” It’s just not true. Sure, sometimes miracles happen. But, it’s not the norm.

Think of it this way. If you were hiring someone, how would you go about finding that person? Would you want to sort through 200 resumes that were submitted on the internet by strangers? I bet that you would ask around. You’d ask the people that you know if they are interested, or if they know anyone who is interested.

In order for applying online to work as designed, a number of things need to go smoothly. First, the online system would need to be smart enough to find the best applicants. Then, the HR recruiter would have to be knowledgeable enough about the role to select the best candidates to screen. Then, the hiring manager (the future boss) would have to trust the judgement of the HR recruiter. And, the hiring manager would have to rely on the online process to screen for candidates. This is a lot that has to go right!

Instead of relying on the online process, become someone the company knows. Network with people who work at the company. Ask for coffee meetings. Talk to friends who have connections at the company. Locate the hiring manager and send them a message on LinkedIn.

And, whatever you do – apply to many jobs. The likelihood that you’ll get hired after you apply for a job is less than five percent. Applying to only five or ten jobs is not likely to result in a job offer.

Before you decide why you aren’t being selected, be sure that you aren’t completely relying on the online process, and that you’re applying to many jobs at the same time.

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

 

196 | Back to Human | Dan Schawbel, Future Workplace

Episode 196 is live! This week, we talk with Dan Schawbel in New York.

Dan is the author of Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation and is the Research Director at Future Workplace. He is also the host of the 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel Podcast.

On today’s episode, Dan shares:

  • How widespread do you believe the feeling of isolation has become in the workforce?
  • Are we expecting more out of our workplace today than we did in the past?
  • If we’re feeling isolated in our current work environment, what can we do to improve the situation?

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

To learn more about Dan’s work, check out his website at danschawbel.com, where you can access his books, blog, and podcast.

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!

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