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Ethical Interviewing

When a company is looking to hire someone, finding the right candidate takes time. There are often multiple phone screens, multiple video interviews, and in person panel interviews. In some cases, there are homework assignments, IQ tests, personality tests, and drug tests. Typically, there are reference checks. Sometimes job seekers provide writing samples or portfolios of their work.

Thinking about this makes me tired. Don’t you agree? The point is, going through a job search is a ton of work – on both sides. As you can imagine, it’s very important that the job seeker is honest and up front with the company. If they misrepresent their work in any way, the company won’t be able to make the best hiring decision.

On the flip side of this coin, it’s very important that the company is honest and up front with the candidate. What could I possibly mean by that? Well, did you know that sometimes companies will interview candidates when there isn’t really a job available?

That sounds pretty weird, doesn’t it? How could that possibly happen? First, it does happen. I recently witnessed someone go through fifteen rounds of interviews with one company. At the end, the person was notified that they were the top choice candidate, but that the team wasn’t authorized to hire anyone.

I don’t think the company meant any harm by this decision. I think they truly hoped they would get approval for the position, but just never did.

But, let’s think of this from the candidate’s perspective. The candidate turned down other interviews to attend these fifteen interviews. The candidate missed their own work meetings to go to these interviews. The candidate made a lot of sacrifices of their time over months in order to make this work. They made these choices because they were investing in an opportunity that the candidate wanted.

When the company shared with the candidate that they wouldn’t be able to hire them, the company never apologized. It seems clear that the company didn’t realize how much they personally impacted that job seeker. The company never thought about the other opportunities the person walked away from to focus on them.

This is where ethics come in. Interviewing candidates for a job isn’t the same as test driving cars at the dealership. They’re real people. If you don’t select someone because they weren’t the best candidate, no problem. And, if the job was canceled midway through the process, well, life happens sometimes. But, if you are interviewing candidates when you know there is not approval for a job, and you aren’t disclosing that information to the candidate in the first conversation, you are being an unethical hiring manager. The candidate should be able to decide if this role is important enough to prioritize it, considering the potential risk involved.

Let’s agree to be honest and up front. Ethics are important. Transparency is important.

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

 

Emotional Rollercoaster

Job searching is tough. But, what is really tough is job searching when you’re unemployed. Through my work with job seekers, I’ve noticed a trend. Those who are unemployed are much more distressed by the process of job searching then those who aren’t.

When thinking through this issue, I looked up the term “emotional rollercoaster.” I was surprised to find multiple websites that claim the term was coined by Dr. N. Amundson in relation to dealing with unemployment. He published an article called, “The dynamics of unemployment: Job loss and job search.”

I’d never heard of this article, but I was able to verify on Google Scholar that it does exist. In the description, it says, “We have developed an integrated model comparing job loss to the grieving process (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) and job search to “burnout” (enthusiasm, stagnation, frustration, apathy).”

If you have a family member who is unemployed, you have probably wondered what is going on. Why don’t they just get over it? Be positive and have a better attitude, right?

Well, sadly, it’s not that simple. When you experience other types of loss, like a death in the family, it can feel absolutely awful. At the time, there’s really nothing worse. But, if other areas in your life stay stable, eventually, you start to feel somewhat normal again after a certain period of grief.

But, unfortunately, with unemployment, these feelings of grief don’t resolve. The unemployed person must alter every piece of their life in order to cope with a sudden loss of income. They may stop going to the doctor. They may buy cheaper food. They may become isolated from friends because they don’t feel comfortable with the cost of going to a restaurant for dinner.

With unemployment, until it’s over, the person continues to be in the middle of an emergency. The end point is unknown, and the worries multiply by the day. To make matters worse, loved ones often assume the unemployed person is doing something wrong. After all, if they were doing everything right, they would have a job by now.

But, that’s not the reality of the situation. Normally, when we look for a job, we have a job. We look passively. It can take a few years to find something that’s the right fit. But, nobody notices because we still have a job. And, when you have a job, you job search in secret. When you’re unemployed, everyone knows you’re looking.

If you have an unemployed friend, cut them a little slack. Realize that it’s not just something they should have a better attitude about. Just because they haven’t landed a job doesn’t mean they aren’t good at what they do. It doesn’t mean they should switch careers. And, it doesn’t mean they need unsolicited advice.

What it means is that they need your friendship and support to get them through this emotional rollercoaster.

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

 

Don’t Text and Hire

I recently learned about a new, shocking phenomenon. Maybe I’m getting old. In my world, there’s a right way and a wrong way to use text messages. The right way is to text people you actually know.

Almost everything else falls into the wrong way category. Occasionally, companies I shop at will try to text me and I opt out. The only time it feels good to interact with a business via text is when they’re confirming an appointment. For example, it can be helpful when a hair stylist confirms their appointment with you by text. It reminds you and allows you to easily interact with the business on your own time.

But, what I’ve seen lately doesn’t fall into these categories. It takes text messaging to an entirely new level. Employers are using text messaging in their hiring process. You heard me right. Employers are texting job seekers.

I have to think that text messaging was some fancy feature added on to a recruiting package. I can imagine a sales rep explaining that, “This is a great way to text with candidates! It will make your life so easy and will let the candidates know that you’re ahead of the game!”

But, I don’t see it this way at all. Job seeking is delicate. First of all, it’s very private. Very few people should be aware you’re job searching. The last thing you need is text messages popping up on your phone out of the blue from an employer. On top of any privacy concerns, job seeking is an extremely emotional process. It can be like a roller coaster. Often, job seekers will put aside certain time during the day to work on their job search. This is a great way to manage the stress that job seekers typically feel.

You may wonder how companies could be using text messaging to communicate with applications. There are two main buckets that these text messages fall into. The first are messages that are sent by people, and the second are automated messages that are sent by a computer.

When a company manually sends text messages, the person is generally reaching out to schedule or reschedule interviews. Recruiters also use text messages to ask candidates how an interview went with a hiring manager. These messages aren’t ideal, but they aren’t the worst.

The worst are text messages sent by computer. Companies are using them to reject candidates. Let that sink in. Remember how painful automated rejection emails are (the ones you check at your home, in the time you’ve devoted to your job search)? Now, imagine you’re going about your day and a rejection pops up on your phone, from a job you were truly interested in. Ouch!

Companies, remember: you don’t have to use every shiny piece of technology on your new applicant tracking system. Treat job seekers the way you would want to be treated.

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

 

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