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Would you hire you?

When it comes to being interviewed, there are a few rules that must not be broken. You must show up on time, every time. You must be prepared. You must look nice. You should have studied the job description. You should have learned about the company – inside and out. You should have extra copies of your resume. You need business cards. After the interview, you must send thank you notes.

As a job seeker, if you break any of these rules, you’re out. Showing up ten minutes late for an interview is a likely death sentence in the world of interviewing. It’s game over. You just cannot break these rules.

However, on the flip side, we don’t ask for the same level of preparation or commitment from the interviewer. It may be because the interviewer is essentially the buyer. The job seeker is simply what’s up for purchase. Job seekers are like a sweater, and almost disposable. As a hiring manager, we want to try a few sweaters on and see which one seems to fit. We don’t have to think about how the sweater’s feelings.

I have seen countless interviews where the interviewer is fifteen, twenty, thirty, and over sixty minutes late. There is an expectation that if the job seeker wants the job, they will be waiting patiently when the interviewer arrives. The interviewer holds the cards. The question becomes, “Do you want the job or not?”

Not only does the interviewer often arrive late – they are also often unprepared. They come without a copy of the job seeker’s resume. In fact, they haven’t read it. They may not even be sure which job the candidate is interviewing for.

So, let me ask you – if the tables were reversed, would you hire someone who was late and unprepared? Would you hire someone who didn’t know what they were interviewing for? Me either.

One of the biggest topics in the hiring world this year is ghosting. Candidates are skipping interviews. They aren’t showing up on their first day. They’re disappearing without a word.

I’m sure there are many reasons ghosting is happening. But, I have to wonder if the unequal relationship presented during the hiring process has anything to do with it.

It goes back to treating others the way you want to be treated. When you’re interviewing a candidate, take the time to think – if the candidate treated me the way I’m treating them, would I hire them?

This rule also applies to questions asked during the interview. So often, I have observed the interviewer ask the candidate rude and demeaning questions. They sometimes take on an adversarial tone. How would you feel if the candidate spoke to you in this way? Would they be your first choice?

Although it is sometimes less clear, a candidate is (and should be) evaluating the company just as much as the company is evaluating 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

 

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!