Work With Us | 901-878-9758

Your Secret Job Search

Benjamin Franklin said, “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” It’s hard to overstate the importance of keeping your job search private from your work colleagues.

Getting an interview can be exciting, especially if it goes well. If you’re dying to leave your company, the hope of a new job can leave you feeling both relieved and energized. And, the more interviews you have with one company, the better the chances are that you’ll get the job. Right?

Some of the reasons I’ve heard for sharing this job search secret include, “I know this person is my friend, so it’s okay.” “My boss and I are close; they won’t mind.” “My company needs to know I’m interviewing, so they’ll be prepared if I do leave. It’s the right thing to do.” “I want to see if my company will give me more money to stay.”

First, none of these reasons provide the personal benefit they appear to. They simply give away your power. And worse, they put your current job at risk.

When it comes to interviewing, nothing is a sure bet. Even if a company has talked to you ten times and is in love with you, the position may be put on hold for budgetary reasons. The hiring manager may leave, and the process may halt. The company could reorganize and the job may no longer be needed.

Until your offer is officially in writing and in your hands, there’s no offer. It could take you as long as a year or more to find a job. In the meantime, you still have bills to pay and a family to feed. Why would you put that in jeopardy?

Often, a boss you perceived to be your friend feels an obligation to let the company know you have disclosed this information to them. Even if they like you, your search may be perceived as being disloyal to the company. In the worst-case scenario, you may be fired and asked to leave immediately.

When it comes to asking for more money, keep this in mind. If you don’t have a written job offer, what incentive does your company have to give you a raise? They don’t. There’s no good reason they should offer you any more money just because you’ve been interviewing.

If you begin to tell colleagues about your search, don’t be surprised if the word gets around. People love to find something to talk about. If you share information about your search, you’re setting yourself up to become next. The last thing you want is for word to get back to your boss before you’ve found a job.

As exciting as it is to share about your job search, it’s 100 percent unwise to do so. You’ll set yourself up for failure that can be difficult to repair. When it comes to job searching, there’s no better alternative than to keep yours secret.

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 for Successful Outcomes

With unemployment still relatively low, employers are continuing to struggle to find and retain great talent. The huge jumps in inflation, and the changing landscape of work, are incentivizing employees to consider switching jobs. Employees are prioritizing themselves and their quality of life more than in the past. With this backdrop, it continues to be surprising that many employers have not updated their hiring practices.

Did you know that for certain jobs, employers expect candidates to go through up to ten rounds of interviews? Many companies use testing as part of their interview process. Some ask candidates to do unpaid work as part of the interview process. And, many employers are taking months to make a hiring decision.

These same employers are blown away when a candidate turns down their job offer, or walks away midway through the process. But, what do they expect? Job seekers are being discerning, and they expect to receive the same level of respect that they’re giving.

For example, it’s not uncommon for an employer to ask a candidate to reschedule an interview at the last moment due to a conflict. But, if the candidate asks to reschedule an interview, they will most likely never hear back again. This is unfortunate, considering the candidate secretly interviewing while they’re working at their current job.

Many interviewers will grill candidates to try to squeeze them during the interview. In many cases, this is to see how the candidate responds under pressure. But, rather than simply getting a read on the candidate, the candidate is also getting a read on the company. They will walk away remembering what a negative experience it was to interview at the company.

Employers are also continuing to leave candidates in the dark for weeks or months during the hiring process. It is expected that the candidate will patiently wait until the company is ready. In reality, the candidate is moving on. They will keep interviewing at other companies until they find one that truly values their time.

When you’re the hiring manager, you want to have the control to pick the very best candidate you can find. But, when you treat a candidate in a less than desirable way, you’re giving up that control. The only candidate who will be interested in your job is the desperate one.

So, what should a hiring manager do if they want their pick? Be quick. Take weeks to make a hiring decision, not months. Be clear with your communication. Meet when you commit to meeting. Do not put the candidate through never ending rounds of interviews. And, don’t grill candidates as if they’re lucky to be talking to you.

Interviewing has become a two way street. If you want to hire the best candidates, you have to give them the best hiring experience. Otherwise, they’ll find someone who will. Candidates have choices, and they aren’t making decisions solely based on factors like money.

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

 

Scary interviews aren’t just for dreams

Happy Halloween! In celebration, I want to share one of my frightening job interview stories.

Years ago, I interviewed for a job in Pittsburgh. I flew in late at night, with the interview scheduled first thing the next morning. As I unpacked, I realized I had forgotten the pants to my suit. My mind was racing as I went through the options of what to do.

Could I wear the pants I’d flown there in? No, they were sweatpants. Could I call a cab to take me to a mall? No, it was late and everything was closed. Could I have a pair of pants shipped to me from home? No, all the shippers were closed for the day.

This brainstorming went on for an hour. I wracked my brain as I tried to think of a creative solution to this big problem.

It turned out, packages could be dropped off directly at the airport until around midnight for FedEx, and could be delivered by six the next morning. The only catch was getting the pants to the airport.

My apartment manager was the only one with a key to my apartment, but I didn’t have her phone number. So, I called a neighbor who was friends with another neighbor who had a dog that the building manager walked every day. I knew he would have the building manager’s phone, and I knew my other neighbor had the dog owner’s phone number.

After a few calls, I found the building manager’s phone number. I called and asked her to give my key to a friend who was willing to drive the pants to the airport. My friend entered my apartment and called to locate the correct pair of pants. Then, he drove them to FedEx, and mailed them.

Afterward, I alerted the hotel desk to contact me the moment the pants arrived—which they did. The interview went smoothly and nobody noticed anything unusual.

One of the questions they asked was, “Tell us about a time you encountered a problem and were able to find a creative way to solve it.” It was the perfect opportunity to share my story. The interviewers were both surprised and impressed. What started as a nightmare turned out to be a big win!

I don’t remember if I got that job, but I do remember that the interview went well.

The lesson: When it comes to job interviews, don’t expect everything to go perfectly. There’s often something that will go wrong. If you can plan on that thing, it’s much easier to roll with the punches and have a positive experience.

Interviewing is not about answering every question correctly. The hiring manager is more likely to remember how they felt about you than how you answered each question. It’s like going to a live comedy show. You don’t remember each joke, but you remember whether you had a good 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

 

Interview Two Way Street

As a job applicant, there are many social rules that are necessary to follow. These help to increase your chances of being taken seriously as a candidate. On the flip side, there are also rules the company should follow when they interview candidates. These give the company the best chances of attracting the best candidates.

Let’s start with the rules job seekers must follow. The list is long because so much riding on first impressions.

Your communication must be quick, concise and clear. You should dress appropriately. You should be on time to the job interview. If you don’t keep your commitment to the time of the interview, chances are high that you will be immediately dropped from the consideration set. If you’ve been given homework during the interview process, you should return it promptly. And, after the interview, you should follow up with thank you notes or emails quickly.

Any misstep in these social rules and the company will drop you in favor of another candidate.

The problem is, companies often forget that this is a dance. It involves two parties. But, in a job market like the one today, job seekers have more choices. They can also walk away when the company doesn’t follow social rules.

For companies, the social rules are fewer, but they are equally important. The company should follow up with candidates promptly to schedule interviews and to provide feedback during the process.

The hiring manager should be on time to interviews. They should arrive prepared, having read the candidate’s resume. They should be attentive and respectful. The company should avoid making the interview process too long or too time consuming. They should work not to ask questions that are too personal (and illegal). The company should be honest.

But most of all, they should be respectful of a candidate’s time. When a candidate chooses to interview with a company, they’re putting a lot on the line. It takes time to prepare for an interview. The candidate must take off work, or find a quiet time to take an interview during work hours.

The thing that seems quite shocking is just what a one-way street the interview process often is. Companies treat candidates as if their own behavior doesn’t influence the candidate. The interviewer will often show up late. They’ll ask to reschedule at the last moment. When the interview does happen, they’re often unprepared. They will ask questions that are illegal, forcing the candidate to play along in order to be considered. They keep the candidate in the dark for months about the status of the job interview. And, in the end, if they extend an offer, they expect the candidate to be excited to work for them.

In a bad job market, this may work because people are desperate. In today’s market, companies need to spend as much time being respectful to candidates as candidates spend being respectful to them.

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

 

This job interview is downright chilling!

Happy Halloween! In celebration, I want to share one of my own frightening job interview stories.

Years ago, I interviewed for a job in Pittsburgh. I flew in late at night, with the interview scheduled first thing the next morning. As I unpacked, I realized I had forgotten the pants to my suit. My mind was racing as I went through the options of what to do.

Could I wear the pants I’d flown there in? No, they were sweatpants. Could I call a cab to take me to a mall? No, it was late and everything was closed. Could I have a pair of pants shipped to me from home? No, all the shippers were closed for the day.

This brainstorming went on for an hour. I wracked my brain as I tried to think of a creative solution to this big problem.

It turned out, packages could be dropped off directly at the airport until around midnight for FedEx, and could be delivered by six the next morning. The only catch was getting the pants to the airport.

My apartment manager was the only one with a key to my apartment, but I didn’t have her phone number. So, I called a neighbor who was friends with another neighbor who had a dog that the building manager walked every day. I knew he would have the building manager’s phone, and I knew my other neighbor had the dog owner’s phone number.

After a few calls, I found the building manager’s phone number. I called and asked her to give my key to a friend who was willing to drive the pants to the airport. My friend entered my apartment and called to locate the correct pair of pants. Then, he drove them to FedEx, and mailed them.

Afterward, I alerted the hotel desk to contact me the moment the pants arrived—which they did. The interview went smoothly and nobody noticed anything unusual.

One of the questions they asked was, “Tell us about a time you encountered a problem and were able to find a creative way to solve it.” It was the perfect opportunity to share my story. The interviewers were both surprised and impressed. What started as a nightmare turned out to be a big win!

I don’t remember if I got that job, but I do remember that the interview went well.

The lesson: When it comes to job interviews, don’t expect everything to go perfectly. There’s often something that will go wrong. If you can plan on that thing, it’s much easier to roll with the punches and have a positive experience.

Interviewing is not about answering every question correctly. The hiring manager is more likely to remember how they felt about you than how you answered each question. It’s like going to a live comedy show. You don’t remember each joke, but you remember whether you had a good 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

 

Panel Interview Fears

Have you ever had a panel interview? It’s one of those job interviews where you show up and instead of one person interviewing you, three do. Or, if you’re really lucky, five or six will. I’m not talking about a situation where you have one interview after another. I’m talking about a single interview where you’re facing off with multiple people at a time around a single table.

If you interview people, you should know that panel interviews are scary for the candidate. I’ve seen this at all levels, from right out of college to senior executives. Very rarely are people comfortable with this kind of interview format. If your goal is to be welcoming, avoid this interview setup if you can. Or, provide as much information to the candidate ahead of time so they can prepare.

If you’re the candidate, you should know that the company doesn’t intend to scare you. They have probably scheduled you for a panel interview because it takes less time. They can interview you all at once. Also, a panel interview is not a place where you’ll find yourself attacked by the panelists.

In your mind, you may picture an adversarial meeting at work. It’s you versus a team of people when something goes wrong. But, that should not be the case in a panel interview. You don’t yet work at the company and should be welcoming and kind.

In a panel interview, it’s very likely that each person will have one or two predetermined questions they will ask you. And, it’s also possible that not everyone in the room is excited to be there. They may also be nervous. Or, they may be doing the hiring manager a favor by participating in the panel.

Before you have a panel interview, ask the human resources recruiter for an agenda of the people you’ll be talking to. Use that agenda to research each person, so you’ll be prepared in advance. During the interview, stay calm and be friendly. Treat each person equally and with respect. Be sure to shake the hand of everyone you meet.

Afterward, send each person a thank you email. Don’t send one mass email. Send a separate email for each individual person. If you can, customize each email to reflect something that aligns to the person’s background or something they honed in on during your interview. But, keep it positive. Don’t use the emails to apologize. Thank the person for their time and keep going. If you’re feeling especially interested in a role, take the time to also send a hand written thank you note to every person. If you do this, you’ll very likely be the only candidate who did – and it will make you stand out in a good way.

Remember: every interview is practice for the next one. And, you don’t have to answer every question perfectly to get a 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