Interviewing with an Uneducated Interviewer

The Uneducated Interviewer

Uneducated InterviewerYou have likely encountered the uneducated interviewer! It is my claim that most hiring managers have never been trained to interview candidates.

I just finished reading Who by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. This book is the bible on how to interview for A players.

They chronicle ten different interview styles of the uneducated interviewer:

  1. The Art Critic -These are the managers who think they can spot talent when they see it.
  2. The Sponge - They think if they spend enough time with you they will soak up enough to make a hiring decision.
  3. The Prosecutor – The have watched too many episodes of Law and Order. They will aggressively question candidates attempting to trick the candidate.
  4. The Suitor - They want to sell the candidate rather than interview them.
  5. The Trickster - These are the interviewers who use gimmicks to test for certain behaviors. The authors state “they might throw a wad of paper on the floor to see if a candidate is willing to clean it up.”
  6. The Animal Lover - Have you been asked in an interview “What type of animal would you be”?
  7. The Chatterbox - Have you spent more time in an interview talking about the local sports team or the weather?
  8. The Psychological and Personality Tester - Have you been required to take an assessment before being able to interview?
  9. The Aptitude Tester - This is a variation of The Psychological and Personality Tester.
  10. The Fortune Teller - The interviewer asked the candidate to predict the future. The authors give an example “If you are going to resolve a conflict with a co-worker, how would you do it?”.

Do you recognize any of these?

Have you used one of these interviewing techniques? I have!

I will admit it. I have not been a very good interviewer!

Let’s address the three most common in my experience:

The Suitor

The suitor is the easiest of the uneducated interviewer to deal with. Be prepared to tell stories. You should have a story prepared for each responsibility listed in the job description.

When there is a break in the conversation, pivot it back to the job description and immediately launch into a story. “Let me tell you about the time I demonstrated…”

The Chatterbox

The chatterbox is definitely an uneducated interviewer. Most do not have a clue of how to interview, but be prepared to be hyper-vigilant when interviewing with other interviewers. If the hiring manager is a chatterbox, the decision on whether to hire you will most likely come from others.

The Prosecutor

As soon as you realize your interviewer is playing the role of district attorney, you have to play the role of a good witness. You need to listen carefully to the interviewer and answer the questions. Be prepared to thoughtfully delay answering the question. You can rephrase the question, “Let me make sure I understand the question. You said…” This will give you time to think and make sure you really understand what he or she is asking.

When I taught high school math, I used questions like, “Do they have 4th of July in England?” The answer is YES! They do not celebrate it, but they do have 4th of July.

Lastly, be prepared to probe for pain points. Ask the interviewer about what was behind the question they just asked. You might say, “From the last question, can I infer that you are having a problem with…? If true, let me tell you about the time…” It is important not to pause between the question and the second sentence. Remember, you are dealing with a district attorney and you want to take control of the flow of conversation.

The key in dealing with an uneducated interviewer is to be conversational and respectful. You definitely want to control the flow of the conversation. Be prepared to tell stories on how you demonstrated your expertise.

Can you spot a uneducated interviewer?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

References from Beyond Your Reference List

References

referencesReferences are a key component in getting a job. Who can verify that you know your stuff?

Traditionally, references are supplied when an employer is getting ready to make an offer. Recently, I have had two clients who had very different experiences as it relates to references.

Asking for References after a Phone Interview

I have a client who is a very experienced technology professional. He had a phone interview with a technology hiring manager with a regional retail firm. The interview went very well! Afterwards, the recruiter asked for a list of references.

My client became a bit incensed that he was being asked for references so early in the process. He did not want his references to be bothered until he knew he wanted the job.

The recruiter told him that they would instead contact the people who recommended him on LinkedIn. What!

My client was still incensed, but relented and supplied a list of references.

He asked me if they could do that? My response was YES!

Do you have LinkedIn recommendations from people you would prefer prospective hiring managers to not contact? You do not have to display all of your recommendations. You can hide recommendations!

Behind the Scene References

Behind the scene references have occurred for a long time.

This starts with an employee referral. When someone passes your resume to the hiring manager, he or she becomes a reference.

I recently had a client who got a job because of a behind the scene reference. I wrote about “Susan” in my post, Moment of Clarity – Fending off a Layoff.

Susan’s marketing position was eliminated, so she was facing a layoff. She interviewed for a position in the Learning and Development function. Susan has extensive experience in Learning and Development, but she had been in the marketing function for an extended period of time. After the interview, the hiring manager talked to few people who Susan had worked with in the past. These people were Susan’s behind the scene references.

The hiring manager did not ask for a list of references. The hiring manager therefore, did not need to ask for permission.

Susan later found out one of those references was absolutely key in landing the position. If she had not done some detective work, she may have never known who had helped her land the position.

Usually, behind the scene references come from employees at your target company.

However, recently, I had a client get a positive reference from the neighbor of the hiring manager. The hiring manager’s neighbor was a colleague of my client at a company five years ago. How did the hiring know this? He did his homework on LinkedIn.

This is why it is critical that, when you leave a job, you never burn bridges. Make sure you leave on a positive note.

Have you receive references from beyond your reference list?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Baby Boomers and the Ever Shrinking Workforce

Shrinking Workforce

shrinking workforce

click to enlarge

I have recently read a book and multiple articles on the shrinking workforce in America. Each of these left me a bit disturbed about the future.

The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) has been steadily declining ever since the beginning of the great recession.

Why is it shrinking? Is it necessarily bad? I think so.

Why are people leaving the workforce?

In the recent article on CBS MoneyWatch – Why are people leaving the workforce? they quote Bob Funk, chief executive of global staffing company Express Employment Professionals.

There’s no clear reason why people are leaving the workforce, and the issue has ignited a fierce debate among economists. One trend that they seem to agree on? About half of the decline is due to baby boomers entering their retirement years.

The other half of the decline gets a little fuzzy. Funk notes that some portion of the unemployed either don’t want to work or don’t think they can find a job. His company commissioned a poll of the unemployed in May, he said, and found that 47 percent have completely given up looking for work. “That’s a real problem,” he said.

Approximately, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 years of age every single day.

Are they retiring and leaving the workforce? Some are and some are not.

My question for you is—If baby boomers retire at 65, is it because they want to or have to?

It is my belief more are retiring and leaving the workforce because they have to, due to health or because they just can’t find a job.

What do you think?

Unretirement

I recently read Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life. The author states that unretirement, which is staying in the workforce past the standard retirement age of 65 and delaying retirement, will save the retirement for baby boomers, save the economy, and save social security.

The bigger question is whether baby boomers can stay employed past 65? For most, this will mean creating a business or developing a portfolio career and not a traditional job.

The author projects that by 2020, the demand for workers will be high enough that employers will need to hire older workers. However, the author also questions whether current hiring practices can and will change to allow the hiring of older workers.

I agreed in theory with just about everything the author said, but he based a lot of his projections on the workforce expanding and not shrinking!

Left Behind: The Long-term Unemployed Struggle in an Improving Economy

A recent report from Rutgers University called Left Behind: The Long-term Unemployed Struggle in an Improving Economy states the the great recession continues to have a lasting effect on our economy. The report is a product of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, which conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,153 Americans between July 24 and August 3, 2014.

In the great recession, over half of the long term unemployed were baby boomers. Baby boomers were less likely to become unemployed, but if they did, they would likely enter the ranks of the long term unemployed (over six months).

Here are several quotes from the report

Two-thirds of all adults in the survey, including those who were laid off and those who never lost a job, say the recession had an impact on their own standard of living, a staggering number in American society

Even though the stock market has soared in recent years, just one in seven employed workers say its performance affects them a lot; another half say the market has a little impact on them.

The report clearly shows the impact of the great recession has long lasting effects. The booming stock market has helped those at the top, but not the common man.

The report paints a picture that is far different from the rosy economic numbers that are coming out of Washington.

What does all of this mean?

The average baby boomer will have to work long past 65 years of age, if allowed. Will they be allowed to continue to work?

My hypothesis is that the shrinking workforce is due to:

  • Baby Boomers who are retiring by choice
  • Baby Boomers who are retiring due to health issues
  • Baby Boomers who cannot find work and have given up looking. There only choice is to apply for Social Security and retire.

The last two groups will likely retire into poverty.

I do not like this picture!

What do you think?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Volunteering to Get a Job – Guest Post

Volunteering to Get a Job

VolunteeringThe advice to “volunteer to get a job” when you’re looking for employment shows up everywhere. It’s one of those pieces of advice that sounds easy when it’s on paper, but job seekers who have actually tried to follow the advice discover that it’s anything but. Often, the non-profits you’d like to volunteer for, don’t have volunteer positions. Even if they do, they’re often for low level jobs like envelope stuffing that wouldn’t help you even if you did put it on your resume.

In this post, I’d like to show you what those other books and articles simply don’t talk about: The nitty-gritty of how to actually get resume relevant work through volunteering, using a process I call the skill-bridge technique.

Step 1: Decide What Skills You’d like to Develop

The first step to getting resume relevant work is to figure out what skills you’d like on your resume. Make a list of all the skills needed for your desired job title, and find the weak points on your resume. What skills are critical for the job but for which you don’t have much (if any) experience?

Step 2: Figure out what the organization needs

The next step is to do a bit of networking. This can be through volunteering at the organization in the low level jobs mentioned earlier, or through going to events that people from the non-profit will be at in high attendance. The goal is to have conversations with people who work there, and figure out two or three issues that are on everybody’s mind. What are the top problems, challenges, and opportunities that the organization is facing?

Step 3: Show the organization how your skills can solve their problems.

The final step takes a little bit of creativity. The goal is to figure out how you can use your desired skills to tangibly effect the problems, challenges, and opportunities that you identified. Then, ask one of your contacts at the company for the email address of a decision maker. Send them a short email saying that your contact gave you their information, and create a crisp, clear proposal showing how you can help solve their problem using your skill (for free).

Conclusion

If all goes well, you’ll take on a relevant project that will not only fill in the gaps on your resume, but also give you passionate advocates and connections who know you can solve problems, and will assist you in your job search.

Interested in seeing how a real life job-seeker used this strategy to go from administrative assistant to business analyst? Listen to the original interview here!

About The Author:

Matt Goldenberg is the creator of the Skill Bridge Technique and the founder of Self-Made Renegade, a website for liberal arts grads and career changers who’d like to get their dream jobs.

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Are You Defined by Your Job?

Defined by Your Job?

definedFor many of us, our own self image is defined by our jobs. When someone loses their job, they may feel they no longer have value or purpose.

This topic was brought about by Dustin McKissen, who wrote a post called If You Lose Your Job, Remember This. Dustin wrote about his father after losing his job:

My dad is also good at more than just building things—he is a good guy, with a good heart, and people love him. I love him. He is a great Grandpa.

But when he lost his job, he lost part of himself.

When you feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself, the search to find that missing piece can take you to some very dark places. It did for my dad, and much of the last 15 years have been hard on him, and the people that care about him.

My Own Father

My father was an economist for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In 1978, my father was handed a retirement package and was asked to leave. He was in his late 50s and was not ready to retire. Financially, my father and mother were fine. The retirement package kept my mother living well into her 80s.

However, the retirement package killed my father. It took another 15 years, but it killed him.  His entire self image was defined by his job. Dad had twice pursued a PhD in economics, but each time a child came along, he put it aside. When he pursued University teaching positions, he was always turned down. He did not have the paper credentials.

He eventually landed a teaching position at York College, but by that time, he was pretty beat up. His mental health declined and that is what eventually killed him. He was defined by his job.

IBM Meltdown

During the holiday season of 1992, I ruptured the L4/L5 disc in my back. I decided to take three months of disability and let my back heal rather than be operated on. I do not like doctors with sharp implements.

While I was gone, IBM nearly went bankrupt. IBM discontinued the famous full employment pledge. Thousands of employees were given generous retirement packages to leave. Just like my father, who would pass away a few months later, this was a death sentence for many. They viewed themselves as IBMers. It was who they were.

When I returned to work in early April of 1993, I was clear. I had had a moment of clarity while I was out on disability. I saw what was important to me and it was not my job. I was not defined by my job.

My definition of myself was further reenforced by what I saw when I returned to IBM.

How We Forget!

Fast forward a few years later. I left IBM on my terms in January of 2000. I went to work for a successful high-tech startup, Agere, which was acquired by Lucent. Then, in July of 2002 I had another moment of clarity: I had a near fatal bicycle accident.  I had a head on collision with a Toyota Corolla, where our combined speeds exceeded 50 miles per hour. By the way, I lived!

The following year, I pursued getting my Texas High School Math teaching certificate. I taught high school math at an inner city school for almost two years. I was very successful. It tore me up emotionally and physically.

When I left teaching, I was lost. I wrote a post on this called Dealing with that Directionless Feeling, which is found daily on Google search.

Ten years earlier, I became determined not to be defined by my job, but I was struggling…just like my father! The difference now was I wanted to be defined by my life purpose and not my job.

Job Club

I have served on the board of directors of Launch Pad Job Club since 2006. I have seen many who have been laid off who struggle with the lose of self image. Whether the job loss was involuntary like my father and fellow IBMers or voluntary like my departure from teaching. It still stinks!

I have to go back to the time when I returned to IBM and remind myself it is my choice on how I define myself.

I am not defined by my job! I desire to be defined by my life’s purpose!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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Probing for Pain Points in an Interview

Probing for Pain Points?

Probing for Pain PointsProbing for pain points should be one of your first steps in an interview. Every business has problems. Your first job is to ask probing questions to uncover those pain points.

Initial Phone Screen

Most of the time in the interview process, there will be an initial phone screen with either a recruiter or HR professional. Your first questions should include:

  • Is this a newly created position?
  • What are the responsibilities of the position?
  • Are these responsibilities new to the department, organization, or company?
  • What are the new business requirements that are causing you to fill this position?

What you are looking for is insight into whether this is a newly created position and whether these are new responsibilities. If it is new, then they are likely working on solving an existing problem. If it an existing position, why is the position currently vacant?

You want to be a detective. Ask probing questions to look for problems. You are looking for problems that you know how to solve!

Post Phone Screen

Now you need to do your research. Check on LinkedIn to see who currently or in the near past had the title for this job. Did this person leave the company or move to a different department? Connect with this person on LinkedIn and ask for 15 minutes on the phone to ask for AIR,  advice, insights and recommendations.

If they left the company, ask them why. You may find that you do not want to work there!

If they moved to a new department, ask them whether it was a lateral move or a promotion. If it was a promotion, make sure to congratulate them. If it was a lateral move, ask about the business reasons for the move.

Carefully read anything and everything about the company, looking for pain points. It may be that the company is growing fast or moving into new markets, or that sales have stalled. What are the potential problems?

Interview Questions

Bring a minimum of five pain point questions with you to the interview. They should be open-ended questions to uncover problems that you have already thought about—know how you would solve them!

  • Are you satisfied with current growth of the business?
  • Are you meeting service level agreement targets with all of you important clients?
  • What are the areas where you are having problems meeting deadlines?

Notice that all of these are open-ended questions. Your goal is to get the interviewer to give you insight into the pain points that you know how to solve.

Pain Points Uncovered

Once the pain points have been uncovered, you can explain how you have solved these problems in the past.

The best way to do this is to tell stories how you previously solved the same or similar problems for your employer.

Let me tell you about the time when I encountered …..

This demonstrates that you have the skills to do the job.

So plan on being a detective. By asking good probing questions looking for pain points shows that you have done your homework about their business. The more you uncover the better you can demonstrate that you are the best candidate for the job!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

What is Your Current Salary?

What is your current salary?

salaryI’m sure you have been asked early in the interview process, “What is your current salary?”

If it was up to me, I would have everyone respond indignantly—None of your %^%#(& business!

However, that does not work in our current work environment.

So, how should you answer the question, “What is your current salary?”

I have a client who, just the other day, was asked this by a recruiter. It was the beginning of a series of interviews or, as I call it, she was going to run the gauntlet.

My client very politely said it was early in the process and that she would discuss salary later. It was all about total compensation, benefits, yada, yada, yada. Pretty standard response.

The recruiter persisted in wanting to know. She finally said, we need to know whether we can afford you. What is your current salary?

My client broke down and told her, but added twenty thousand. It turns out that this was in her range.

I told my client I would have turned it around.

Oh, you want to know whether you can afford me. What have you budgeted for this position and I can tell you whether you are within my range?

Make them give you a number!

What are you worth?

Recently, I wrote in a post called Managing Your Career is Like Selling a Vintage Fiat that a car is worth what someone else is willing to pay. Plus, you only need one buyer!

You are worth what a company is willing to pay you. That amount has nothing to do with your currently salary. This is particularly true if you have worked for the same company for 5 or more years.

Relocating

Salaries can vary a lot based on location. Living in Austin, Texas I have had many discussions with Californians moving to Austin. They needed to understand that, if you move from San Jose to Austin, the salaries and cost of living will both be a lot lower.

Check out sites like Glassdoor.com and Salary.com for salaries in the area where you plan to relocate.

Ask Around

In today’s work environment, it is perfectly acceptable to ask what someone makes. This is a big departure from when I started working in the 1970s where it was both taboo and could be a fire-able offense to disclose your salary. In fact, a few companies are making all of their salaries public.

Determine a fair salary range that you would be willing to accept.

Salary is not everything!

What else do you want? You will need to determine how much Paid Time Off (PTO) you want. How much are you paying for health insurance and is your spouse currently covered on your plan? He/she may not be when you change jobs. Many businesses are dumping insurance coverage for your spouse.
Read my recent post called Evaluating the Job Offer – What is Missing?

So what is your current salary?

If they insist on knowing your current salary, you can say,

“I am looking for $xxxx in salary, but I will be evaluating the entire compensation package, which includes, salary, bonus, and benefits.

Do not tell them your current salary, but what you want to be paid!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

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When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Battling Age Discrimination – Young and Old

Battling Age Discrimination

Age discriminationAge discrimination is a reality in the current job market. It affects two vastly different groups:

Notice both groups battle age discrimination due to issues in employers’ perceptions of their skills and experience.

What is interesting is that both groups can use the same strategies to combat age discrimination.

It is all about demonstrating and not telling what you can do to solve your future employer’s problems.

Who you know and who knows you is critical!

The days of waiting for a position to be posted and then applying for it are over. More than any time in history, personal relationships are paramount to your employment.

The issue is these two groups have different definitions of what constitutes a relationship.

If you are under 30, you likely define relationships in online terms. If you follow someone on Twitter, friend someone on Facebook, or are connected to someone on LinkedIn, you will likely say you have a relationship.

If you are over 50, you likely define relations in offline terms. If you have met someone in person (or at least talked to someone on the phone), you will likely say you have a relationship.

The problem is that today’s world requires both!

I serve an Austin based non-profit, Launch Pad Job Club, where I was asked recently by an over 50 job seeker if they need to be on Twitter. My answer was YES! They asked why. My response was that, if I hope to get a response from a recruiter, I will tweet to them. I will adapt to the communication medium that they are most comfortable with.

I was recently giving a workshop on the Multi-Generational Workplace and was asked by a millennial participant about the problems she gets into with her mother. She always texts her mother. I had explained that different generations need to adapt to each other. If she wants to develop relationships with someone over 50, she will likely need to talk to them.

Each group needs to adapt. You need to build relationships both online and offline.

Create a Platform

Creating a social media platform is key to demonstrating that you know your stuff and, therefore, battles age discrimination. You can now:

  • Attach work product to your LinkedIn profile. This could be presentations on SlideShare, PowerPoint slide decks, videos, sample documents of your work, links to code you have written, and just about anything that can be found on the Internet.
  • LinkedIn Publisher is now a platform that will be available for you to publish to anyone. This is an excellent way to demonstrate that you know your stuff.

Once you have established a platform , showing that you know your stuff, you need to promote, promote, and promote some more. You do this by connecting effectively on social media.

Each group has issues.

The younger you are, the less likely you will have work samples to demonstrate what you know. In that case, create them!

The older you are, the less likely you will want to promote and connect. It is not how we were raised. Get over it.

Overcoming Age Discrimination

If you want to overcome age discrimination, it is about targeting key employers and developing key relationships using both online and offline methods. Once the relationship is established, you need to be able to show them that you know your stuff.

Whether you are experiencing age discrimination at the beginning or at the end of your career, it is all about relationships!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

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When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

 

The Purple Cow Job Description – Should I Apply?

Purple Cow Job Description?

Purple CowI guarantee you have read a purple cow job description. It’s one of those that, when you finished reading it, you said to yourself:

I am not qualified for this job but…is anyone?

They are looking for the purple cow. The ideal candidate does not exist!

I am going out on a limb to say that most job descriptions are badly written.

In my last corporate job, I had an open position to fill. I had to write a job description.

Did I know how to write a job description? NO!

I went onto Indeed.com and searched for openings with the same job title. When I found one I liked, I copied it!

I was expanding my team for a training and certification program. I wanted a technical trainer who was familiar with the program and was already certified. We had certified less than a thousand people worldwide.

The candidate needed to have five years of technical training experience.

I wanted someone who was already located in Austin, Texas.

The odds of finding someone who was certified in the topic, had five years experience as a technical trainer, AND lived in Austin was close to ZERO!

I was looking for the Purple Cow!

Did I write the job description saying I wanted everything? YES!

Dissecting the Job Description

We will want to look at:

  • High level job description
  • Responsibilities
  • Requirements/Qualifications
  • Education

(More: Is the Resume Still Relevant? )

High Level Job Description

Can you honestly see yourself with this title? One of the problems with high level job descriptions is they have become so vague. Do not write yourself off even if it does not look like a fit just yet.

Responsibilities/Description

Read through this section carefully. Have you actually performed more than half of the responsibilities described?

Requirements/Qualifications

Check out each item in the requirements/qualifications section of the job description:

  • How many of the requirements/qualifications do you have? Make sure you meet at least half of the requirements/qualifications.
  • Do you have equivalent requirements/qualifications? Do you have existing skills that you can map to what is in the job description? How long would it take, given your current experience, to attain what is needed?

Education

  • Do you have all of the required educational credentials?
  • Do you have the preferred educational credentials?
  • Do you have experience that can be substituted for any of the credentials?

One way to get around having all of the educational credentials is to put in your resume a statement like the following:

20 years of experience in xxxxxx…in lieu of an MBA.

This will often get you past the applicant tracking systems and at least get you a phone interview for your to prove your worth.

(More: What Does Your Resume Say About Your Age? )

Do Not Be Afraid of the Purple Cow

Lastly, if you are following a targeted job search strategy, you will have an internal contact within the company. Ask your contact to find out what the hiring manager is really looking for!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Understanding the Hiring Manager Prior to the Interview

Who is the hiring manager? Who are they really?

hiring managerYou are scheduled for an interview with the hiring manager. Who is this person? What do you have in common?

The more you know about the hiring manager before the interview, the more you can do to work on building a relationship during the interview.

Remember — People hire people they like!

It is time to do some investigative work!

LinkedIn

Check the hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile for the following:

  • Education – What schools did they attend and where? Did you attend a same school or a school from the same conference or even the same area? Do you have the same or similar degrees?
  • Work History – Did you work for the same company at any point in the past?
  • Check the LinkedIn groups that the hiring manager belongs to. If you have none in common, join some of the groups and check out their participation. What have they shared? Have they commented on posts?
  • Volunteering – What non-profit organizations are listed and how did the hiring manager participate?
  • Recommendations – Who has the hiring manager recommended and who has recommended the hiring manager? Have they written recommendations for current or former employees who worked for them?

Copy the entire LinkedIn profile, including the recommendations, and paste it into a Word Cloud tool like Wordle.net or TagCrowd.

You can then harvest the profile for keywords. You can read and view a video on how to do this on my Career Pivot blog post called Finding Keywords to Manage Your Career.

Look for keyword phrases that the hiring manager used. Create a list of these phrases and bring that list with you to the interview.

Facebook

Check out their Facebook page. Look for the following:

  • Marital status
  • Children
  • Hobbies
  • Vacation photos

Look for anything that you might have in common.

The more you know about the hiring manager before the interview, the more you can do to work on building a relationship during the interview.

Remember — People hire people they like!

Twitter

Take a look at their Twitter profile. What do they tweet? What do they retweet?

Have they tweeted out any pictures?

Who do they follow and who follows them?

Check out the Twitter lists that they subscribe to. Check out the Twitter lists that they belong to.

Look for patterns.

What do you have in common?

Create a list of items that you have in common, both personally and professionally. From that list, create questions that you can ask to start the conversation.

Remember — People hire people they like!

When you show an interest in the hiring manager and who they are, you are more likely to be perceived as likeable.

Remember — People hire people they like!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist