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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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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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?

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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

Evaluating the Job Offer – What is Missing?

job offerEvaluating the Job Offer

When you get a job offer what the first thing you look at?

The Money!

If all you are looking at is the money in the job offer, you may end up very disappointed a few months down the road.

I wrote about determining what you want in non-financial terms in a previous postI wrote about the need to determine what you really care about before evaluating the job offer.

What is Missing or Hidden in the Job Offer?

There are two areas of compensation that are changing in the workplace—Paid Time Off (PTO) and health insurance.

When I went to work for IBM in 1978, I was given two weeks vacation that was allotted to me at the beginning of the year, and I had virtually an unlimited amount of sick leave. Pretty generous! At five years, I was allotted three weeks of vacation, and we could carry any unused vacation forward.

Most companies have moved to a Paid Time Off (PTO) model where you earn a certain number of hours of PTO with each paycheck. This way, companies do not have to track whether it is sick or vacation time.

What you should be looking for in the job offer as it relates to PTO:

  • Holidays – Some businesses have cut the number of paid holidays back to a minimum and expect the employee to use PTO for the rest.
  • Beginning PTO balance – Is the PTO balance zero when you start? If you have a planned vacation within the next six months, you will probably not have enough PTO time. You can negotiate for PTO time to be added at your hire date.
  • When does the accrual rate of PTO time increase? Do you have to wait one or three or five years to start accumulating PTO at a higher rate? You may be able to negotiate to start at a higher accrual rate.
  • Can you carry the PTO balance over from year to year?
  • Will the business pay out any remaining PTO balance when you leave? This was a huge issue for me when I left my last corporate gig. I had accrued over 5 weeks of PTO and I had to make sure I would get paid before I left.

Time off from work is valuable. You need to look at this carefully.

What you should be looking for in the job offer as it relates to health insurance:

  • Is you spouse covered? Are you planning to put your spouse on the health insurance plan? Check to see if that is allowed. Many businesses are dumping insurance coverage for your spouse.
  • Does the business contribute to coverage for your spouse and children? When I went to teach high school math for a couple of years, the school district allowed me to add my wife and child to the policy, but I had to foot the entire bill for the additional coverage. My out of pocket expense was double my COBRA payment from my last high-tech position. I stayed on COBRA until we could find alternative insurance for my wife and child.
  • If your spouse is covered, but the out of pocket expense is very high, consider going to the Healthcare Market Place. Due to the fact that your spouse is eligible for group healthcare coverage from the job offer, you will NOT be eligible for any tax credits. This can be a balancing act with thousands of dollars dependent on your decision.

Usually, the health insurance issue is not negotiable. What you do want is to be able to evaluate the offer with your eyes wide open.

PTO and health insurance benefits can be a large portion of your compensation. Look at these items in the job offer seriously!

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

You can also download my personal branding white paper –  Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

You Did Not Get the Job! Now What?

You did not get the job! What do you do now?

get the jobYou just got the rejection notice that said you did not get the job you really wanted.

What could have happened:

  • There was a more qualified candidate than you for this position.
  • You did not demonstrate one or more attributes that they were looking for in a candidate. You may have those qualities, but you did not convey them in the hiring process.
  • There was an internal candidate that was deemed a safer hirer.
  • They just made a mistake and hired the wrong person.

You did not get the job. That is true—but let’s create a process where you can learn and grow from the experience.

What are you going to do now?

Post Interview

Immediately after the interview, consider doing the following:

  • Write a personalized, hand-written thank you note to everyone you interviewed with. If possible, hand carry them to the office where you interviewed.
  • Write a personalized e-mail to everyone you interviewed with.
  • Send a LinkedIn request to everyone you interviewed with.

Post-Rejection Notice

After you have been informed that you did not get the job, consider doing the following:

  • E-mail the hiring manager, thanking him or her for the opportunity to interview for the position. Mention that you would like to be considered for other opportunities in the future.
  • E-mail others that you interviewed with, and thank them for their time. Ask them for any feedback that they may be able to provide.
  • If you followed the Targeted Job Search strategy and Targeted the Company , you should have had an employee referral. If so, then ask your referral to do some detective work.

1-2 Months Later

Monitor LinkedIn for changes in the department that you interviewed:

  • Check to see who was hired for the position.
  • If it was an external candidate, check to see how their credentials compare to yours. Were they better qualified?
  • Send a connection request to the individual who was hired.

3-6 Months Later

Reach out to person hired and ask to meet for coffee or lunch. Ask for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations!

What could happen:

  • The person who was hired might not work out. I have seen this happen!
  • They might open up other positions for which you will be a better fit.
  • You could learn that the person they hired was better qualified and a better fit.

I recently had a client that was hired a year after the person they hired did not work out, and they changed the job description to better fit my client’s qualifications.

When you do not get the job of your dreams, be persistent and do not let inertia set in!

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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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 White Paper 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 personal branding white paper –  Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Promoting Your Brand Using LinkedIn Publisher

LinkedIn Publisher is coming!

LinkedIn PublisherLinkedIn Publisher was finally made available to me last week. LinkedIn Publisher is being rolled out to the entire LinkedIn community in phases.

What is LinkedIn Publisher?

LinkedIn Publisher is the blogging platform that LinkedIn Influencers have been using for the last year or so. LinkedIn Influencers are thought leaders who LinkedIn asked to publish their writings on LinkedIn Pulse.

LinkedIn Publisher will soon be made available to everyone.

Why should you care?

In this global economy, how do potential employers or clients know that you know your stuff? In today’s economy, you need to promote what you know!

What better idea is there than to write about what you know on LinkedIn, where prospective employers and clients can find you?

How do I get started with LinkedIn Publisher?

Step #1 is to get access. To speed up the process, you can apply here.

Once you have access, you will receive an e-mail with instructions and you will see a little pencil in the field where you post your updates.

What should I publish?

What do you know? What skill or knowledge do you have that you would like to promote?
Pick a topic and start writing. I discussed this last year when I wrote about Establishing Your Personal Brand and Credibility Through Blogging. This is the same concept, except you no longer need a blogging platform.
I tell my clients to pick a topic, write multiple posts in a series, and see what people think. What you want is for your LinkedIn connections and others to read, share, and comment on your posts. Based on the response, you will have an idea what you should write about, or whether to switch to a different topic.

How often should I publish?

Be consistent! Pick a frequency that you can maintain. Once a week, every other week, once a month…start by writing 3-5 posts before you publish the first post. You will be able judge pretty quickly whether the frequency you picked is sustainable.

I will be publishing one post a week. I will also be republishing popular posts that I wrote for the Career Pivot blog from the last couple of years.

When should I publish?

In my opinion, early in the week and early in the day works best. This depends on where your readers might live or work. When I first started writing on the Career Pivot blog in 2011, I had readers in Iraq and Afghanistan (US Military). You might consider shifting the publishing time based on the time zone where most of your readers live.

How will readers find my posts?

If you subscribe to LinkedIn pulse, you get an e-mail every morning with articles that might interest you. LinkedIn will send to everyone who is subscribed to LinkedIn pulse and is a first degree connection a link to your article.

You should also promote your post on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Google+.  LinkedIn Publisher will inform you of how many people viewed your post and shared it on the various social networks. You will also be able to read and respond to comments.

You now have a simple to use, free blogging platform that makes it easy for your LinkedIn connections to find your posts. Now you can demonstrate that you know your stuff!

When are you going to get started?

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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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 White Paper 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 paper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Inertia and Persistence as it Relates to Your Career

Inertia and Persistence

InertiaInertia inhibits us from moving forward in our career—persistence is what we need to keep us moving forward in our career.

Inertia

I am a baby boomer!

I was raised to be an employee to go to work for an employer who would take care of me.

We were also raised to be loyal to our employer no matter what. Therefore, we created a lot of inertia in our careers. Once we started something, we stayed and stayed and stayed…well until we got laid off or something happened to wake us up. For me, that was in 2002 with a near fatal bicycle accident. That accident set in motion a series of actions that has led me to where I am today. Until then, inertia had me stuck.

In today’s workplace, inertia is a dangerous thing. The world is changing fast, and you need to keep moving forward with your career.

Persistence

I have been interviewing entrepreneurs, and one key words keeps coming up—persistence.

The definition I like the best is:

“persisting, especially in spite of opposition, obstacles, discouragement, etc.; persevering”

The opposite of inertia.

I have helped multiple clients write their brand stories over the last year. In listening to them tell me their stories, I found a common theme—they have been laid off multiple times over the last dozen years. All have gotten back on their feet and moved forward in their careers. They showed persistence in spades.

Before that first layoff, inertia kept them from preparing for the next career pivot. However, once they were shoved forward and, often, off a figurative career “cliff,” they did not stop until they landed. Unfortunately, inertia would set in again until that next shove.

See the pattern:

  • We get comfortable, and inertia sets in
  • We get shoved into action
  • Our persistence kicks into gear
  • We land, and inertia returns

I have seen this over and over again. I have done this in my life. I bet you have, too!

How can we stay persistent and not let inertia settle in?

  • Take breaks. Yes, take a vacation. Take a day off before you become exhausted.
  • Celebrate success. Stop, sit, and digest the good feelings when you have a success.
  • Analyze failures, but return to the feelings of success. When failures occur—which they will—you have the option to go back to that time of success. Recapture those feelings.
  • Always look forward.
  • Be ever vigilant.

Persistence will keep your career moving forward.

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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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 White Paper Library

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

 

You can also download my latest white paper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

What Does Your Resume Say About Your Age

Your Resume and Your Age

The format and contents of your resume says a lot about your age. Age discrimination is a fact of life in today’s job market. This goes both ways for the young and the old. I want to discuss the signs that you are over 50 years of age and, hopefully, get you past the initial gatekeepers who might think you are too old.

Home Address

For many years, we sent our resume and cover letter through the mail. We put our home address right on the top. Fact is, there is no longer a need to put your home address on the resume anymore.

There are other reasons not to include your home address:

  • Economic profiling
  • Length of commute
  • Personal safety

If the employer needs your home mailing address, they can ask for it.

(More: Is the resume still relevant)

E-Mail Address

One sure sign that you are over 50 is to have a aol.com e-mail address, or even an e-mail address from your cable provider like rr.com on your resume.

Either sign up for a gmail address or get an e-mail forwarding service from:

  • A professional society – I have had e-mail addresses from IEEE and ACM both technology associations
  • Your Alumni Association – I have an e-mail address from my Northwestern Alumni Association
  • Get your own domain – I have one client who acquired his full name as a domain name like MarcMiller.com

All of these options say something about your professional brand.

I always recommend using a separate e-mail address for your job search.

(More: Social Media Strategy – My Resume)

Home Phone Number

Who under 45 years of age still has a home phone? We ditched our home phone five years ago, and I am quite a bit older than 45. If you still have a home phone and do not want to give out your cell phone number, get a Google Voice number. Put the Google Voice number on your resume as your cell number. You can set it up so that it will ring on multiple phones (both home and cell). It can be configured to transcribe the message, and then e-mail and text you the transcription. Some of the transcriptions can be really funny. I had one recruiter leave me a message and her name was transcribed as stressed out waters.

Double Space After Period

I am going to go out a limb and declare that putting two spaces after a period is obsolete. It is how most of us were taught to type on a typewriter. Therefore, most of us who do this (I have taught myself to stop putting two spaces after a period and it was hard) are over 50 years of age.

Over the years, I have heard that this has been used as a method of screening out older candidates.

Skills

Limit the skills you list on your resume to current and relevant skills. I have seen many technical resumes that list every system, software program, and technology that the applicant has ever worked on.

I could list that I wrote MS-DOS control programs, wrote machine level code developing word processors, managed IBM mainframe computers, and lots of other obsolete technologies. Unless I was applying for a position that required these skills, all it tells the reader is I am over 50 years of age and maybe older.

Look at your resume—what does it say about your age? Show it to others and ask them what it says about you.

Age discrimination is a fact of life in the job market today. You do not want to be filtered out by the staff who are screening initial resumes and lose the opportunity to demonstrate your talents and skills.

By the way, I chose to use resume rather than résumé in this article for the purists.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Check out the new Career Pivot Review offering.

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

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page  for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

 

4 Steps in Creating Your Video Interview Environment

Video Interview

video interviewHave you had a video interview? If you have not been in a video interview yet, just wait.  This could be done via Skype, Google Hangouts, or a variety of other platforms. The key to a successful video interview is to look and, more importantly, sound your best.

Room Selection

The room environment where you will be interviewed is key. You want good, consistent lighting and excellent acoustics. Pick a room that is devoid of hard surfaces (like tile or wood floors), glass table tops, or lots of windows. Select a room with carpet and possibly drapes on the walls. When I record my webinars, I am in my master bedroom closet where the hanging clothes creates a studio-like audio environment. You probably cannot hold a video interview in your closet, but you get the point. You will want to position yourself in the room where you are less than six feet from a wall. If you webcam has an auto focus feature you will want the camera to focus on you and not something behind. A little trick is to buy a simple room divider with smooth surfaces and place it behind you. If you select the right room for your video interview everything else becomes so much easier.

Lighting

You want even, full spectrum lighting on the front of your face. If this is your home or office, most lighting is from above or the side. Purchase three inexpensive desk lamps and install full spectrum light bulbs. These will act as key lights and give you even lighting. Place these pointing up at your face on the front, left and right. Finally, close all of the window shades. Do not spend more than $50 on the lighting. You may already have the lamps in your house or office.

Audio

In the world of high definition video, your audio is more important than your video. Our tolerance for poor audio is much lower than for video. You will want to sound great. If you have picked the room properly with sound deadening materials this is fairly easy. Use a set of headphones. These could be the ear buds from your cell phone. You can run the wire underneath the back of your shirt so they do not show. This will eliminate any chance of an echo. If you use headphones you can use the microphone built into your computer. However, I prefer to use a USB condenser microphone. I use a Samson condenser microphone that I purchased with a pop filter several years ago for under $100.

Clothing and Body Positioning

Pick clothes that have color and look good on you. For most of us guys, we will need to ask for help. Avoid patterns on shirts, jackets and ties. The cameras have gotten a lot better at dealing with patterns, but it is still best to avoid them. I prefer my clients to be standing up when being interviewed. You will be able to use your hands naturally. Since you will only be on video from the waist up, wear shoes that will not generate any noise when you move around. Flip flops work great. The most important feature is to be in an environment where you feel comfortable. You are on stage and you want to give your best performance. Much has been written on how to perform during a video interview. However,  a great performance can come across poorly without the right environment.

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

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Employee Referrals – Your Ticket to Your Next Job

Employee Referrals

Employee ReferralsDid you know that employee referrals have become the most valued tool in hiring?

I just returned from speaking at the Career Thought Leaders Conference in Baltimore. The theme of the conference was “Framing the Future”.  A common theme throughout many of the presentations was that employee referrals are golden.

I wrote extensively about the value of employee referrals in my Targeted Job Search series on this blog. I wrote about continuously building your referral network so that you stay employed at companies where you want to work.

Employee Referrals – The numbers don’t lie!

Gerry Crispin co-founded a non-profit, TalentBoard, to better define and measure the Candidate Experience. In his presentation, he presented some startling numbers on hiring, and the effect of employee referrals that came from the Candidate Experience Award.

The Candidate Experience Award process is a competition, but it is also designed to provide every organization that chooses to participate some confidential and specific feedback on how they can improve their candidate experience.

Gerry gave the following typical example:

  • 100 applications for every open position
  • 4 employee referrals will be submitted

Approximately, half of all candidates are screened out or deemed unqualified for the position which leaves:

  • 50 applications
  • 2 employee referrals

5 candidates will be interviewed including the 2 employee referrals.

The numbers do not lie. If you apply and an employee referred you for the position, 50% chance of getting an interview and you have a 20% chance of getting hired.

If you do not have an employee referral, you have a 3% chance of getting an interview and only 1.2% chance of getting hired.

What this should tell you is that employee referrals are invaluable!

The Employee Referrals Bonus

Employee referrals are so valued by many corporations that the employee referrals bonuses are commonly offered. The bonus is paid if the employee refers the candidate before the candidate applies and the candidate is hired. Therefore, before you apply for a job online seek out a referral!

In 2009, in the depth of the recession, I was working for a sexy tech startup…and we were hiring. I had more candidates from the Launch Pad Job Club, where I serve on the board of directors, asking me to submit their resume. My first question was always:

Have you applied online?

The answer almost every time was:

Yes

My response every time was:

Next time, please send me your resume first and only apply when I tell you.

Due to the fact that they already applied, I was not eligible for the bonus and their application would not be seen as a employee referral. Not every employee referral program works this way, but most do.

I was more than willing to work for these candidates because of my position with the job club. I was motivated by reasons other than money. I received close to 100 resumes that year, and only one sent it to me first. I received my $2500 bonus for that position. I do not know of another hire from the other 99.

If you want to boost your chance to get hired, work diligently on building your referral network.

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