Work With Me | 901-878-9758

190 | Software Engineering Interviews | Sam Gavis-Hughson, Byte by Byte

Episode 190 is live! This week, we talk with Sam Gavis-Hughson in New York City.

Sam is an interview coach at his company, Byte by Byte, that specializes in helping software engineers excel at technical interviews.

On today’s episode, Sam shares:

  • What is the hardest part about interviewing for a computer programming job
  • How to prepare for a coding interview
  • How important it is to be up to date on technology lingo

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

To learn more about Sam’s work, check out his company website at byte-by-byte.com or his book Dynamic Programming for Interviews

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!

189 | Get That Job! | Thea Kelley, Interview Coach and Author

Episode 189 is live!

This week, we talk with Thea Kelley in San Francisco, California.

Thea is an Interview Coach, and author of the book Get That Job! The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview.

On today’s episode, Thea shares:

  • What makes up a good elevator pitch when we are asked about ourselves
  • How to handle inappropriate or illegal questions
  • What to know regarding body language and attire

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

To learn more about Thea’s work, you can find her book on Amazon: Get That Job! The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview.

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 will you be relocating when you move?

When it comes to job interviews, there are certain questions that are off limits. Not only are they a faux pas, they are against the law.

One illegal question is around a person’s family status. Employers are not allowed to ask a candidate if they are married. They are also not allowed to ask whether or not the person has children.

The reasons behind these rules are simple. There’s room for unequal treatment between those with children and spouses and those without. Honestly, the judgement can go both ways. One employer may prefer someone with no children who is (in theory) able to work long hours. Another employer may prefer someone with children because it (in theory) indicates that the person is stable and unlikely to switch jobs quickly. Someone with a house and kids has to put food on the table, even when they’re unhappy.

Most people know these questions aren’t allowed. But, many employers ask anyway. So, how can an employer manage to ask such an obviously illegal question? Well, it’s easier than you might think.

Very often, they work it into a question about relocation. The question should be, “Are you willing to relocate to our city for this opportunity?” The answer should be, “Yes, I am willing to relocate to your city.” The creative version of this question is, “When it comes to relocation, what do you need to relocate? Will you be relocating with a spouse and children?”

Sneaky, right?

Phrased in this way, the question almost sounds necessary. But, why? Why does it matter if someone has to relocate their children? It doesn’t. Perhaps this may impact when the person is available to relocate. But, if this is a concern, the new question might be, “Are you available to relocate by July 15th?” This answers the employer’s question without stepping over the line.

Sometimes, an employer will justify this question by saying they’re trying to get to know the candidate better. Maybe they are. But, there’s also a possibility that the answer to the question (whatever it is) may create some level of bias against the candidate.

This is why this question is not allowed – to prevent bias and to keep the playing field level. Whether or not a person has children or a spouse, the most important thing is that they show up on time and that they do a great job. People can succeed or fail at this, regardless of their family status.

If you’re a hiring manager, take note. Your candidates do notice when you ask illegal questions. Just because they answer them doesn’t mean they aren’t paying attention.

If you’re a job seeker, you’re not alone. These questions are asked more than anyone would like to admit. There isn’t a perfect answer to uncomfortable questions. But, pay attention to the way you felt when you were asked. It may be an indication of what’s ahead.

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

 

No Side Work Allowed

Lately, I’ve seen something new. Or, maybe it’s just resurfacing. Hiring managers are asking job seekers about their hobbies. But, they’re not asking in the normal friendly way. They’re not simply trying to get to know the job seeker better.

No. Now, they’re asking about hobbies because they want to let the job seeker know what they can and cannot do in their personal time while they’re working for the company. Have you heard of this? It’s quickly becoming a pet peeve of mine.

We all have a certain amount of free time. Most of us have a few hours here and there at night or on the weekend. We may choose to have a big family that we spend time with. We may do volunteer work. We may garden. We may run an eBay store. Or, we may have some other side hobby that generates a few dollars here and there. You get the idea.

The problem is, the hiring manager is trying to put limits around what the employee can do with their personal time.

It would be inappropriate for an employer to ask an employee not to have children because children are a distraction. Don’t you agree? In the same way, it is inappropriate for an employer to ask an employee not to pursue certain hobbies.

Instead, ask the employee how they will excel at their job. Ask them what they plan to do to be the best in their field. Find out what the employee will be doing during work hours to help contribute to the success of the company. Find out about their past track record.

The one time where it makes sense to worry about an employee’s hobbies is this. The hobby should not be pursued during work hours. It should not be done on a work computer, or at a work location. It should not compete with the company’s business. It should not require the use of confidential company information. And, the hobby should follow local laws. These all make sense. Your hobby shouldn’t directly hurt the business or use the business’ resources.

Aside from these things, hobbies are just that – hobbies. Whether yours is to have a big family or to run an eBay store, what’s done off the clock is nobody’s business but yours.

If an employee is underperforming, the deficit should be addressed, not the hobby. It’s the employee’s responsibility to manage their personal time in the way that they choose. The employee should not be forced to choose their job over the rest of their life. Both work time and personal time are important pieces of our individual lives. Having hobbies outside of work most likely makes us happier and even more productive during work hours.

If you’re hiring, only ask questions about hobbies if you truly want to learn about the job seeker. But, beware –personal information can create bias in your 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

178 | Gutsy Job Seeking | Kate White, Author & Former Cosmopolitan Editor-In-Chief, New York, NY

Episode 178 is live! This week, we talk with Kate White in New York, NY.

Kate is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve murder mysteries AND multiple career books, including I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve, and The Gutsy Girl Handbook: Your Manifesto for Success.

On today’s episode, Kate shares:

  • What she learned from her career as Editor-In-Chief at Cosmopolitan magazine
  • Her advice for media and journalism job seekers
  • Brave job search strategies for job seekers
  • Tips on your appearance during an interview
  • What she learned about asking for a higher salary that will help you in your job search

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

To learn more about Kate’s work, visit her website at http://www.katewhitespeaks.com/.  You can also follow her on Twitter at @katemwhite. You can find her books on Amazon.

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 it!

Indeed Unveils New Products for 2018

I recently had the opportunity to attend Indeed Interactive, in Austin, Texas. Indeed.com is the world’s largest job website. It’s like the Google of job searches. Indeed Interactive is the annual conference where thousands of human resources professionals come together to learn about the latest updates to the website and to job seeking this year.

Indeed’s biggest announcement for 2018 was Indeed Assessments. In short, it will allow employers to add testing to their hiring process. So, in addition your application, resume, and job interviews, you may also be asked to take a quiz at some point along the way.

This testing technology was born out of a 2017 acquisition of a company called Interviewed. The technology can be used to screen candidates for a number of different jobs and departments, from technology to sales and customer service.

The purpose of the assessments is to try to make the hiring process more fair. Raj Mukherjee, SVP of Product at Indeed said, “Assessments helps to democratize hiring by giving job seekers an equal opportunity to showcase their qualifications when applying for jobs, so they are able to find the right opportunities faster and easier.”

This logic makes sense. When it comes to jobs, that’s one of the top goals of the internet: to level the playing field of hiring a bit. Never before have we had so much information at our finger tips. Job seekers can find out just how much companies are paying. They can look at employer reviews before they ever step in the door. And, they can connect with company employees through various networking websites.

In fact, Indeed also expanded their company pages this year. Job seekers will now be able to learn more about their prospective employers before applying. Paul Wolfe, SVP of Human Resources at Indeed shared that, “online company reviews are second only to salary information when considering a job offer.” It’s also important to note that Indeed does not allow companies to edit their reviews – even the negative ones. This helps you to ensure that you’re getting the honest scoop on the company before you decide whether or not you want to work there.

Hiring is a complex process. The decision to hire you is typically based on a number of factors, including the content of your resume, how well you interview, and now, how well you’re able to showcase your skills on an exam.

But, as you’re searching, you should remember this. Job searching is a two way street. It’s great for a company to want to hire you for a particular role. But, the job should be right for you too. While the company is evaluating you through job interviews and assessments, evaluate them right back through online company reviews and pay data. The very best fit is one that works well for both sides. Lining up the interests of both sides is part of searching for greatness.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.