Category: Posts

While meetings may be important opportunities for managers and staff to communicate, it seems that companies often don’t fully utilize them. A recent study found that around 40% of work time is spent in meetings, and around 25-50% of time is wasted, which means that, at worst, employees could be spending up to a day in ineffective meetings each week.

What they also found was a correlation between time spent in meetings and feelings of exhaustion and increased workload, which could be demotivational.  It’s not that we should throw out meetings, as the study found that 92 percent of employees value meetings as an opportunity for communication. Rather, it’s that meetings tend to be missed opportunities.

1. Make Them Shorter
Attendee attention levels begin to severely drop off after about 30 minutes, meaning people are getting bored. In the first 15 minutes employees are 91 percent attentive, and this drops to 64 percent attentiveness after 45 minutes. A simple way to reinvigorate your meetings is to keep them to 30 minutes maximum.

2. Chaired Agenda
Preparing and sticking to an agenda can seem quite constrictive for many a meeting leader, who may feel it cramps their style. However, studies found that most people find it frustrating when there is no chaired agenda. Make properly chaired agendas with action points/takeaways sacrosanct, and this will help boost meeting engagement levels.

3. Stand-Up Meetings
There are obvious health benefits to holding stand-up meetings instead of slumping in a chair for an hour, but standing up can also reinvigorate your meetings. Stand-up meetings are typically shorter — generally clocking in at about 15 minutes — so they operate within the prime 91 percent attention level. This keeps the meeting focused, and it can help to eradicate distractions.

4. Change the Location
Have you heard of the phenomenon known as Sick Building Syndrome, where people have sick symptoms related to a workplace, but no identifiable cause? These symptoms include aches and pains, fatigue, and poor concentration, none of which will be conducive to your meetings. Once the SBS sufferers leave the building or room, the symptoms disapear. Why not change your meeting location from time to time. Perhaps hold a meeting outside if it’s a sunny day, or at the canteen, a local coffee shop, or any place that’s a little different from the norm to beat SBS and reinvigorate a stale meeting environment.

5. Add Some Humor to Your Meetings
One of the best ways to liven up a dull meeting is to inject some genuine fun, levity, and humor. Try and set a fun, lighthearted tone at the beginning of the meeting, and encourage funny employees. Their jokes can help to reduce tension and add some levity to dire proceedings, making the whole meeting more fun. Those kind of employees can lift environments and meetings with a joke, and they are a gift to your meeting.

Adapted and taken from:  The Daily Muse Editor.  You can follow them on:  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

You put so much thought into what should go on your resume—from your best, most impressive accomplishments down to the perfect, classy-but-modern font.  But to make sure all that effort is put to good use, it’s just as important to pay attention to what shouldn’t be on there. From overused buzzwords that make you look just like everyone else to “creative” touches that do more harm than good, there are plenty of resume elements that annoy—and even turn off—recruiters. And because we want your resume at the top of the pile, we’ve pulled them all together in one complete guide.

For the best chances of landing that interview, grab your resume and make sure it’s free and clear of these 45 things.

1. A Career Objective: That boring boilerplate “I am a hard working professional who wants to work in [blank] industry” is a bit obvious—why else would you be submitting your resume?—and takes up valuable space. Instead? Make it crystal clear why you’re so interested in each specific position you’re applying to in your cover letter.

2. A Skills-Based Format: Current recruiter wisdom says to stick with the good old reverse chronological (where your most recent experience is listed first) in almost every occasion. If your most recent experience isn’t what you want to highlight or you’re re-entering the workforce after a long hiatus, top your resume with an “Executive Summary” section that outlines your best skills and accomplishments, or create two experience sections: One specific one, such as “Business Development Experience” or “Editorial Experience,” followed by a more general one.

3. Photos or Other Visuals: A recent study showed that “such visual elements reduced recruiters’ analytical capability and hampered decision-making” and kept them from “locating the most relevant information, like skills and experience.”

4. Mega Blocks of Text: Studies show that recruiters look at resumes pretty quickly—a minute at best, the blink of an eye at worst—so your goal is to make yours as easy to skim as possible. That means keeping your text short and sweet, and in bullet points, not block text.

5. A Second Page: If you have less than 10 years of experience, having more than one page can be a deal-breaker for some recruiters. So why risk it? And with a little formatting prowess, we promise you can get it down to one page.

6. All Those Fonts: Stick with one—maybe two, if you have some design skills. Any more than that and you risk the hiring manager getting distracted.

7. Orphan Words: (They’re those single words left on a line by themselves.) Instead, see how you can edit the previous line so they can fit—making your resume look cleaner and opening up extra lines for you to fill with other things.

8. “References Available Upon Request:” At worst, it makes you look presumptuous, and even at best, you can use the extra space to add a detail about your abilities or accomplishments.

Personal Details
9. Your Address: If you’re not local, recruiters might not look any further. And if you are? Recruiters may take your commute time into account and turn you down if they think it would be too long, explains AvidCareerist.

10. Your Work Email Address: (And, yes, we see it happen all the time.) Do you really want your future employer to know that you’re job searching on your employer boss’ time and email server?

11. Your “Creative” Email Address: (And yes, we see this happen, too.) “I can’t actually share any here without giving away someone’s personal contact info,” says Ryan Galloway of The Hired Guns. “I will say, however, that if you’re a grown person applying for a Director of Marketing gig, the word “Belieber” has no place in your email address.”

12. Your “Creative” Hobbies: As recruiter Jenny Foss of JobJenny puts it, “Unless you are applying for jobs that will specifically value these interests (or they’re flat-out amazing conversation starters), leave them off. Decision makers will judge the heck out of you if they spot hobbies that fly in the face of their own personal beliefs or seem odd.”

13. Your Birthdate, Marital Status, or Religion: Since it’s illegal for employers to consider this when looking at your application (at least in the U.S.), they can’t request it (and offering it makes you look a little clueless).

Work Experience and Education
14. A Regurgitation of Your Job Description: In most cases, recruiters care less about what you did day to day (like answer phones and email) and more about what you accomplished over time (like increased customer satisfaction 20%). Here are a few tips for turning your duties into accomplishments.

15. Bullet #8: As a rule, stick to just 6-7 bullets for each section—even if each accomplishment is seriously killer, the recruiter’s probably not going to get through them all.

16. Positions Irrelevant to Your Current Job Goals: Unless you need it to fill a gap on your resume or showcase your skills, there’s no law that says you have to include your six months at Burger Shack on your resume.

17. “Unpaid:” Who needs to know whether your internship was paid or not? If you got great experience, let that stand on its own.

18. Your Parenting Experience: If you took time out of the workforce to raise kids, don’t list your parenting experience on your resume, à la “adeptly managed the growing pile of laundry” (we’ve seen it). “While parenting is as demanding and intense a job as any out there, most corporate decision makers aren’t going to take this section of your resume seriously,” says Foss.

19. Your GPA: Unless you’re applying to a management consulting job, or you’re coming straight out of college (and it’s amazing). Even then, it might be better to simply include any academic accolades (like graduating summa cum laude) than the actual number.

20. Your Graduation Year: Recruiters only really want to know that you got a degree, and you don’t want them to inadvertently discriminate based on your age.

21. Anything High School-Related: Unless you’re a year out of college, really need to bulk up your resume, and did something highly relevant (and awesome) during your high school years, no need to include it on your resume.

22. Skills That Everyone Has (or Should): Think Microsoft Word and “the internet.”

Specific Words
23. Unnecessarily Big Words: Why “utilize” when you can “use?” especially when the former takes up more precious space on your resume. “Run the ‘would I ever say this in real life?’ test on every phrase and sentence in your resume,” says Foss. “If you find words or statements that don’t read like something you’d say? Change ’em up.”

24. Industry Jargon or Buzzwords: You might know what GIA requests are, but the executive, assistant, or even recruiter first reading your resume might not. Make sure everything you include is understandable to the average person.

25. Words With a Negative Connotation: Even if you mean them in a positive way, like “met aggressive sales goals,” research has shown that words like problem, mistake, and fault can have a negative impact on a recruiter’s perception of you.

26. Vague Terms: (Think professional, experienced, and people person.) They’re chronically overused, and we bet there’s a better way to describe how awesome you are. (Need help? Here are a few great cliché-free ways to show off your soft skills.)

27. Any of the Words in CareerBuilder’s Survey of Resume Words Recruiters Hate: Seriously, why annoy them right out of the gate? The list is topped with “Best of breed,” and followed by:

28. Go-getter

29. Think Outside of the Box

30. Synergy

31. Go-to Person

32. Thought Leadership

33. Value Add

34. Results Driven

35. Team Player

36. Bottom Line

37. Hard Worker

38. Strategic Thinker

39. Dynamic

40. Self Motivated

41. Detail-oriented

42. Proactively

43. Track Record

And OK, Because We Had To
44. Typos: But don’t rely on spell check and grammar check alone—ask family or friends to take a look at it for you (or get some tips on how to edit your own work).

45. Anything That’s Not True: Just, don’t. If you’re not sure you have the experience to qualify for your dream gig, don’t manufacture it—go look for ways to get it.

Succession Planning

Why do we need succession planning?Successplanning
In most cases we need succession planning to ensure that the business can continue to function optimally with the right people, with the right skills and at the right time.
Succession Planning can be a bit of an art – if it is carried out effectively. Ideally, it should be a business focused, fair, open and transparent process. If not, it will most likely cause distrust and suspicion amongst your employees.

Succession Planning vs Contingency Plan
The practice of identifying an employee to replace someone who is leaving or is ready for retirement, is not succession planning. This is a contingency plan. The difference between contingency plans and succession planning is that succession planning is about helping people develop and be in the right place at the right time for existing roles, or developing roles. Good succession planning should be about bringing in a range of talent, either in or outside of the organisation, and it should be fair and open.

The start of a Succession Plan
Before you begin succession planning, you need to have an ethos. Now that ethos will differ depending upon the business you are in. If you are in a corporation or a public sector organisation, you might want to have a policy of growing your talent within. If you are a business on the move, you might want to look at bringing in new talent with new and evolving skills. Or you might have a combination of these approaches.

Top Tips to successfully implement a Succession Plan:
1. Be clear about why you want to introduce succession planning.
• Is it to recruit new and evolving talent?
• Is it to develop new leaders/managers/specialists for the future?

2. Be open about why you want to introduce succession planning with your current workforce.

3. Be clear with your current employees about your rationale and let them see the possibilities for them. If there aren’t possibilities for them, then be clear about that, but let them know why.

4. Be clear about the difference between contingency planning and succession planning.

5. If you have a list in a drawer with names, and the people who are named don’t know they are on there, then you might want to think about how helpful or not this is.

6. If you have a list of names, and it is to replace specialist jobs and no-one but the named persons know they are on the list, then again you might want to think about your strategy.

7. Be clear about the criteria you are going to apply to any succession planning exercise and communicate it widely.

8. Be structured. Make sure that you and everyone knows how it is going to work and what they can expect. Align other employee lifecycle events with the succession plan where needed.

9. Be open to attracting talent from everywhere. There may be someone in your current workforce, who might not be displaying the characteristics for future job filling now, but with an open invitation, they might just go for it.

10. If you decide the future is through a graduate scheme, try to make it accessible for existing workers, or have a route through for existing workers. There is nothing more annoying than being great and going the extra mile, doing the duties of higher level jobs and being told that you can’t compete because you have to have a degree.

11. If you want to source talent from within, then tie your succession planning to your appraisal/feedback scheme. It is the easiest way to have those conversations and help people work in a way that helps them aim for different roles.

12. If employees think they can progress in their own company, then they can be more likely to stay. Chart out career pathways for your staff so that they can plan for the future.

13. If your succession plan includes attracting talent from outside the organisation, make sure you have tapped the potential within first.

The following article was written by John Murphy.  He is the founder of John Murphy International, a specialist online coaching business. John specializes in advising and mentoring entrepreneurs and senior executives on how to build their business and be effective as a leader and manager.


“You have a red hot performer, she is excelling at all the key performance indicators, loved by your clients – WOW!
So, what is the problem?

The problem, as often articulated to me is, that you are afraid of losing her. You cannot pay anymore, you are afraid your competitors are buttering her up. So, what do you do?

The reality is we have all been there. We have hired well, the candidate has proven to be successful and has delivered in bucket loads. She is at the maximum earning power and we get terrified that she will start looking elsewhere.
You are desperate to hold on to her. She is everything you want – bright, successful, dynamic and clients love her!
The mistake I have seen many make is to leave her to her own devices – “she is doing great, she doesn’t need any coaching, she is a free spirit (etc)”. That attitude normally has one outcome – she leaves!

So, how do you motivate your star performers to stay with you?

Firstly, you don’t avoid the obvious and not address it with her. Spend time with her, let her know how important she is to you. Tell her why you want her to stay and how important she is to the business. And, above all, acknowledge to her that other opportunities with your competitors will arise for her. Don’t be silly and pretend it is not the case – you know it and so does she!

Spend time coaching her to develop new skills, learn new techniques, expand her knowledge, and share the experiences you have had.

However, do not make promises you cannot fulfill. Don’t fall into the trap of promising more money at some time in the future because:
1. you are making it all come down to money, which is dangerous, but, even worse:
2. you have made yourself a hostage to fortune and if you cannot deliver, you have left the door wide open as now you are someone who does not keep their promises.

Keep in mind – people don’t leave organizations, they leave managers. That, fellow employers, is not one of those cute one-liners – it is an absolute fact and there is a load of research to back it up.

The managers who do not accept this, I am convinced, do so because to believe otherwise would demand of them to completely fulfill all aspects of their role as managers.

Support the development of their career:
Another area to really commit to is supporting her in the development of her own career. You should make it clear that you are not expecting her to sign up to the organization for the rest of her life – after all, have you? Demonstrate that part of your commitment to her is to help her achieve her goals – irrespective of whether those goals include staying where she is or not.

Show her that you care and are interested in her. Demonstrate how valuable you are as a mentor in her career. Work with her to map out the next couple of years – what she needs to do, to learn, to study, to experience, everything she needs to do to achieve her overall career goals.
I have seen managers stand off doing this on the basis of “I’m helping her to leave”. That is nonsense. You are demonstrating real care, fulfilling your duty as a manager and being the mentor that you promised when you took her on. The managers that stand out in all our memories are the ones that you learned most from, and if you fulfill that role, you will be a true mentor.

Coach your star performers:

The other area I mentioned earlier is coaching. Far too often I have seen managers spend an inordinate amount of time on poor performers to the detriment of the top performers – and then rationalize it on the basis that “they are doing fine” – big mistake! So often the high achievers will never, ever say they want coaching, but in reality, they do! They get irritated that the “boss gives all his time to those producing nothing, and ignores me who is producing so much” (maybe not in those words, but the sense of it will be). Don’t get caught out – continuously coach your high performers!

So, the challenge is to all us managers – be outstanding! Be a brilliant and committed manager and spend time dedicated to improving the skills and the growth of your best people. They need you too!
Look for opportunities where she can shine. Coach her to support and help her to map out some long-term career goals and then do everything you can to create the environment that will help her achieve them.
Remember, this is one smart lady and she will recognize she is growing and developing, and she will also recognize that you are committed to her growth.
Will this guarantee that she stays with you forever? No, but you have certainly increased the odds in your favor. I know that I was once in that situation, and because of the manager I had, and how he coached me, I stayed a lot longer than I would have without him!
So, what are you going to do today for your star performer?

Article written by:  Matt Straz who is the founder and CEO of Namely, the HR and payroll platform for the world’s most exciting companies.

When you have an open position to fill, do you look to your current employees and promote from within, or do you hire a candidate from outside of the company?
Considering the facts that external hires are paid 18 to 20 percent more than an internal employee for the same position, and receive lower performance evaluations for their first two years on the job than their internal counterparts, it may be a good idea to consider current employees before advertising job opportunities externally.
Before you decide to bring in new blood, here are four (4) reasons why you should first consider existing employees when new positions become available:

1. You’ll save time and money on hiring
The most obvious advantage of promoting from within is that you save time and money associated with recruiting new hires. Not only does it save money on compensation, but it eliminates the need to advertise the job opening, sift through an estimated 250 resumes, and interview a myriad of candidates.

Also, keep in mind that having an open position for too long can result in lost productivity — and dollars. Creating an internal talent pool can make hiring more fluid by having qualified, experienced options readily available when a new job opens up.

2. You’ll save time spent on assimilating new hires
While external candidates might bring a lot to the table, it takes time for new hires to adapt to the job and achieve the level of performance to which they’re accustomed.

This is another instance where internal candidates have a leg up. They understand the company culture, know how to navigate relationships with employees, vendors, and partners, and have applied the company’s mission and values to their working style.

Some training is necessary regardless of whether you promote internally or hire externally for a position, but current employees don’t have to go through the typical onboarding process associated with starting a new job at a new company.

3. You’ll see employee performance pick up
One of the top reasons employees quit is because they have no clear career path.
Opportunities for advancement act as a huge incentive for employees to stay with a company and perform at their very best. Employees that can map out their career path with a company and understand what it takes to get to the next level will likely work harder to do so.

Additionally, internal promotions improve employee morale by recognizing outstanding achievement, thus encouraging others within the company. To reap benefits like increased employee morale and better quality of performance, openly discuss career growth, opportunities, and promotions with employees.

4. You’ll avoid bad hires
Promoting from within is the one sure-fire way to avoid the costly mistake of making a bad hire. Not only can a bad hire set you back financially — upwards of $50,000 for some employers, according to a 2013 CareerBuilder survey — but it can also negatively impact productivity and morale.

Your existing employees already understand the ins and outs of the company. They’ve already proved themselves to be productive employees, whereas hiring externally requires taking some risk. To make promoting within your organization work for you, consistently groom your future leaders.

Take McKinsey & Company, for example. This “Best Place to Work” has made employee development a part of its company culture by dedicating significant time, resources, and leadership focus to building a company that develops talent through formal training programs, coaching, mentorship, and collaboration.  It doesn’t hurt that they also invest $100 million a year in formal training.

Invest in your employees and their future with the organization, and they’ll invest in you. Create a thoughtful, strategic succession plan for your employees to ensure they are qualified for high-level positions when they become available.

Become a Coach-Leader

Counteract negative results of believing people are incapable by becoming a coach-leader / manager.

Business Managers have of late realised that compliant employees may get the job done, but committed ones do it better. They make greater contributions to the organization and are more productive, more creative, and, in general, more fun to work with. The difference between the leader who gains commitment and the one who only gains compliance lies in something as simple as: coaching. The most effective leaders we know see themselves not as managers or supervisors, but as coaches.
To try and implement change within your employee can only be done through transformative conversations allowing the employee to make the changes themselves. Coaches need to change the way they think about their employees. Stop focusing on the lack – rather focus on the capability. You achieve engagement when you focus on what you have rather than on what you don’t have.

10 negative results of thinking people are incapable:
1. Low expectations.
2. Praise for marginal effort.
3. Avoid conversations. “I don’t want to be bothered with them.”
4. Provide less information. Incapable people don’t need information.
5. Act with impatience.
6. Interrupt while “incapable people” are talking.
7. Supply less help. Why bother?
8. Criticize more frequently.
9. Give less feedback.
10. Less smiling. More frowning.

10 questions coaching-leaders ask capable people:
1. What would you suggest?
2. What are you trying to accomplish?
3. What have you already done to address this issue?
4. How have your efforts worked so far?
5. What would you like to try?
6. What would you like to do next?
7. Who might need to be involved?
8. What can you do while you’re waiting?
9. When can you take the next step?
10. When will you be done?

Coaching-leader tips:
• Try approaching employees as capable. If they aren’t capable you hired the wrong people.
• Stressing and pressuring are unnecessary and counter-productive.
• Become a coaching-leader by relaxing with people while holding high expectations.

by Tony Restell
Preparing for the job interview questions you might face has to be one of the more stressful aspects of changing jobs. Here we share insights you can put to work in your interview preparation right away.
What does your job interviewer want to uncover about you?

The starting point for success in responding to job interview questions is to understand why those questions are being asked. So what reassurances is your interviewer looking for during your interview?

– Can you do the job?
– Are you someone who’d fit in and be a good addition to the team?
– What risks are being taken by employing you?
– Will you take the job?
– What would be your motivations for taking the job?

Can you do the job?

Sounds obvious right? Yet unless you are moving between two competitors to perform the exact same role, your ability to do the job needs to be established. Your challenge in preparing to face job interview questions on this topic is to understand the job as thoroughly as you can.

Firstly this means revisiting the job advert and picking through the key requirements specified. Try to play detective and figure out why those criteria are important. What can you infer by reading between the lines? What contacts do you have who may be able to shed additional light on the role and the company? Have you researched the LinkedIn profiles of people in similar positions at the company, their descriptions of what they do – and their recommendations – may prove very telling. Who can you find who has recently left the company and who you could reach out to for insights?

What you’re most interested in identifying are i) the factors that are of greater or less importance than at your existing company (so that you know which strengths to play to in the interview) and ii) the differences that exist between you performing strongly in your current role and in this potential new role.
Examples would be there being greater political infighting to deal with; poor morale to contend with; different systems than you’re used to working with; different sales challenges to overcome; organisational challenges or deficiencies in capabilities that you’ll need to learn to work through.

In all respects that the role is similar to the one you already hold, your answers should pretty much take care of themselves. It’s the aspects that differ from what you’ve shown you can do that need to be bridged.

Are you someone who’d fit in and be a good addition to the team?

One key function of job interview questions – and the hiring process more generally – is to establish that there would be a good personality fit between you and the company. This takes two forms. Firstly companies have characters and an ethos that your earlier research may well have uncovered. It may be a very goal-focused business; innovative; focused on work-life balance… Whatever it is, you being a fit rather than a clash with that culture is a key hiring consideration.

Secondly – and no less important – you will be slotting into a team somewhere within the company. That team will have its own personality and traits that are a function of the existing team members. How you are likely to blend with them is another key consideration.

The topics so far are best addressed by doing your research before the job interview; and by asking as many questions as you can during the interview to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. As far as possible, you want to know the answer the interviewer would like to hear before you answer any question or show your hand.

What risks are being taken by employing you?

Everyone involved in the hiring decision is taking a risk with their careers by rubber-stamping you as the best person to hire. The candidate who looks best for the role may not always be the least risky hire. The most talented candidate may be likely to become dissatisfied in the role (and leave for greener pastures). They are more likely to be in the running for other openings and drop out of the recruiter’s interview process altogether. This explains why those willing to take a demotion and paycut to get back into work are often left frustrated. They’re considered overqualified precisely because they could become dissatisfied or receive a better offer once hired.
Similarly, those with inconsistencies in their application or unexplained developments in their careers can generate anxiety that undoes an otherwise strong performance. That’s why you need to think carefully about your shortcomings and how best to handle any anxieties these may cause. It’s better that you address these concerns directly than leave your interviewers to stew on them behind closed doors. And related to this point you also need to address…

Will you take the job?
Come the final stages of the hiring process, your interviewers probably have a number of candidates they’d be happy to hire. What they’ll be loathe to do is offer the role to someone they think may well not accept it. In doing so, they risk losing all the other candidates in the running. This doesn’t reflect well on the interviewers and could be a serious setback for the company if they find themselves without a key hire for an extended period as a result.

In answering job interview questions, I’ve seen good candidates come unstuck if they’ve left the interviewer with the impression that they might not accept an offer. It’s fine to challenge an interviewer on why you should think their role is more compelling than your other career options. But unless you’re the only candidate in the running, you probably don’t want the interview to come to a close without having made your interest in the position clear.
What would be your motivations for taking the job?

Your reasons for being interested in the role can also be very telling – and make you a better or worse fit for the position. During your research you may have uncovered what makes employees in this organisation tick; or when asking your own questions you may have gained some insights. Be wary of revealing motivations that are not consistent with what you have learnt about the organisation. They could be your undoing.

So now you have a better understanding of what your interviewer may be trying to uncover with their job interview questions. You know how to tailor your answers for a better chance of achieving a successful outcome.

Dressing for Success

When you are preparing for a job interview, everyone knows that you don’t just need to prepare yourself mentally; you also have to prepare yourself physically. You want to make a good impression, right from the first moment your interviewer lays his or her eyes on you. Naturally, you will want to look sophisticated, smart and well-groomed.

Dressing to suit the Company Culture:

Ensure your Clothing Style Reflects what is Appropriate for the Job and the Organisation.  If you’re not sure what to wear to your interview (and you’re not comfortable calling the organisation to check), it’s best to dress too formally than too casually.  If you’re being interviewed for a corporate or professional role; or in a conservative business environment, it’s best for men to wear a suit and for women to wear a jacket and skirt or dress trousers.  Make sure that your grooming is immaculate even if you’re applying for a role that doesn’t require customer or client contact.  If you’re a smoker, don’t smoke within half an hour of the interview. If you walk into an interview with the smell of cigarettes on your breath or your clothing, it could leave a bad impression. To be sure, it’s a good idea to take a couple of breath mints just before going into the interview.  Wear an outfit that you’re comfortable in so you’re not distracted by your clothing during the interview.

The 5 WORST Things to Wear in a Job Interview

If you would like to make a good impression during your job interview, then here are the 5 things that you should avoid wearing at all costs.
1. Cleavage-Bearing Top:
In general, do not show skin. You are going to an interview, not a date! So if you would like to be taken seriously, skip the push-up bra and the plunging neckline. It will turn off your interviewer, and it will minimize your chances of getting the job, without you even saying one word. If you are male, then button up that shirt! Your interviewer would never want to see your chest hair or lack thereof. If possible cover tattoos.

2. Wrinkled Clothes:
Nothing says “unprepared” more than a set of obviously wrinkled clothes. You don’t need to wear designer clothes to your interview, but at least make sure that they are clean and neatly pressed. In general, avoid unkempt clothes. Hem those slacks; don’t let it drag along the floor while you are walking. Make sure your jacket fits you well. Avoid looking lousy, as if you had no thought or effort at all in going to this interview.

3. Red Lipstick:
Put the seductress act away. You do not want to intimidate your interviewer; you want to show him or her that you are capable. If you want to wear make-up, tone down the lipstick. Again, this is not a date.

4. Sneakers:
Unless you are applying for a creative position, ditch the sneakers. Don’t attempt a GQ model style and wear sneakers with that suit. While it may look stylish and quirky, it does not do much for your interview prospects. It just seems immature and trying too hard when you come to a job interview in sneakers. It also looks lazy, as if you could not be bothered with putting on a nice pair of shoes for this interview. In the same vein, women should try to avoid wearing flat and open-toed sandals. It looks unkempt, and too casual for a job interview.

5. Unnecessary Accessories:
Keep it simple – even if this is your form of expressing yourself, it can be distracting for your interviewer, and might deviate them from focusing on your capabilities for the company. Skip the bangles as well. While these may be fashionable, it will be extremely distracting and annoying, as it clatters and jangles while you are speaking with your interviewer.

Some Basic Interview Advice

When it comes to hiring staff, there are a number of signs that are incredibly important to pay attention to but are often missed. Here are some interview tips to help you as a hiring manager learn more about the person you are interviewing than meets the “CV”.

Make them comfortable.
It’s a person’s job to sell themselves to you when interviewing for a position. It’s your job to understand though who they really are and to cut through the sales pitch as quickly as possible. One of the best ways to do that is to make them as comfortable as possible by creating a very casual environment and acting like the interview is no big deal.
You might be interested in a candidate based solely on their previous experience, but that doesn’t mean they are a fit for your team. Keep the questions coming, they should be able to talk at length about nearly anything and keep you engaged. If getting them to freely answer questions is like pulling teeth, the interview is over. Don’t waste your time or theirs. You can learn a lot about motivation and work ethic from their backgrounds and past experience.

Find out if they need to work and be successful to live? You don’t want to hire a person who doesn’t have to work, as their ‘need’ is non-existent. You do want to hire people who have the drive and passion for success, particularly when their failure means that they can’t pay rent.

Don’t go through their CV in front of them.
Sit back in your chair and casually chat for at least ten minutes about their non-working background. Ask simple follow-up questions to their responses and you will be amazed what people will openly divulge when they get comfortable. One can go through work related past experience after you have gotten them comfortable.

Now make them Uncomfortable.
Ask them direct and pointed questions about the wealth of information you just gathered from their rambling. Do not be abusive, but don’t hesitate to be abrupt and even interrupt them to throw them off track.

There are two reasons for this: The first is to put them on the spot and get honest answers about their past and abilities, the second is to see how they operate when they’re under pressure and flustered.

Do you have employees who, in your opinion, think they are more proficient than they are or think they should advance faster than you believe is realistic?

How you handle the situation will make a huge difference in whether your employee:

1. Listens to and respects your feedback now and in the future.
2. Stays within your employment.
3. Remains engaged if they stay.

Suggestion – don’t use the phrases:  “It takes time” and “be patient”, as this will only douse the flame of enthusiasm and ambition, and leave you with a disheartened, disengaged employee. You will end up with an employee who believes:
1. You don’t understand their ability.
2. You don’t value their enthusiasm and ambition.
3. Your organization doesn’t provide opportunities for advancement.
4. Growing professionally will require looking for a new job.

You need to first shift your employee from Unconscious Incompetence to Conscious Incompetence.

Unconscious Incompetence is when an employee doesn’t know what she doesn’t know.  She doesn’t realize what knowledge is lacking and still needs to be learned.  She isn’t aware of what necessary skills she doesn’t possess. In other words, as a Manager you need to help your employee develop Conscious Incompetence. Helping your employee develop Conscious Incompetence also stimulates motivation. They now see a gap between where they thought their current ability could take them and their new understanding that it won’t take them to where they want to go.  With this understanding, they’re more open to hearing what they need to do next. This sense of “I don’t know X and I need to know X to get to where I want to go” provides the fuel to power self-directed learning. Therefore, as a manager and coach, you need to make a list of the specific skills and knowledge that your employee doesn’t yet know, but needs to, for them to progress.

  • Give Specific, Crystal-clear Examples
  • Don’t be vague when describing the areas you believe they need to develop.  By being crystal-clear with your feedback, you help the listener feel a sense of control: “Ah … I know what he wants, what he doesn’t want, and what I can do to fix it.”
  • State Explicitly How Much You Value the Employee’s Enthusiasm and Ambition

This approach doesn’t just increase your ability to get commitment to change from your employee, it also helps to build a stronger, more productive relationship. This stronger, more productive relationship will make future conversations easier and more effective. Because they can see you care about them and want to understand their perspective, they will care more about you and your perspective.  Also, because they feel respected, valued, and heard, they will most likely care more about pleasing you in the future.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,113 other followers

%d bloggers like this: