Getting downsized, laid off or outsourced can be a traumatic experience. At least it was for me the two times I went through it. It hurts your ego and self-esteem, adds a tremendous amount of stress to your life and just makes you feel miserable. To many, it has the same emotional effect as losing a loved one. The first time I went through it, it lasted nine months. I know people now that have been out of work much longer than that. So I thought it would help to share of the best advice I was given.
I always recommend that you take notes during a job interview, but with today’s technology is it time to bring 21st century technology to an interview? After all, if you’re in a technology-related or field or interviewing at a technology savvy company, shouldn’t you show that you’re up with the times? Conversely, would it offend someone who’s old fashioned if they were to see you taking notes on some newfangled device?
The answer depends on your intent for use. If you have an iPad, Xoom or other tablet device, it never hurts to slip it in your briefcase or portfolio as you can use it for a number of things such as:
These days many companies don’t require formal dress. Some go as far as allowing casual dress – I once worked for a company where I’d go in with sneakers, khaki shorts and a nice t-shirt and feel over-dressed. But does casual dress mean that people coming in for a job interview can dress down?
Dressing for an interview is a challenge in itself: under-dressing makes you look unprofessional and overdressing may make you look stuffy. I once had a discussion about this with a former boss after we had interviewed a prospective candidate that wasn’t wearing a suit. I felt that he didn’t take his job search seriously where my boss found it to be more comfortable to interview someone dressed more relaxed. Ironically, at the time I was 23 and my boss was 33 but he was more used to working in technology where I just finished my master’s degree at a business school – so there are a variety of factors that contributed to our opinions on the situation. Ultimately, the candidate wasn’t hired as his attitude wasn’t a good fit for the group – and I felt the way he dressed for the interview was an example of that.
Whether you’re looking for work or looking for new clients, people want to make sure that you are who you say you are and you’ll do what you say you’ll do. One way to assure those considering you or your services is to provide a list of references – satisfied customers or employers that can vouch for your character and skills. But even though this seems like a no-brainer, many people lose out because they choose the wrong people for references.
The wrong reference can make you look unprofessional, unethical and unprepared – and all of this can be done unintentionally from someone who is trying to help you. Yes, this has happened and I’ve seen it. Remember that these days most employers are doing their homework and checking references – ditto on the consumer side when working with a small business. So there’s a good chance the people you list will get called so you’ll want to make sure that these people will represent you well. So let’s start with how to choose the right people as references. Here are some tips:
A few weeks back, I listed out 25 Questions that are illegal to ask during a job interview. This generated a lot of buzz and I had several readers contact me regarding legal ways to get the information they’re seeking. While I don’t condone discrimination during an interview, I do believe that a company has the right to know if someone they’re about to hire will be able to perform the necessary job duties. So here are 20 questions that you can ask to find out if the candidate is a good fit for the job.
Note: these questions are legal assuming they are related to the job.
So you’re sitting there in your interview and things are going well. But then you’re asked a common question, one that you know the answer to – why are you leaving your current job (or why did you leave your last job). But how do you answer it? Truthfully? What they want to hear?
For some people, why they left their last job is pretty straightforward while for others, it’s a more sensitive issue. In either case, you want to be careful as to how you answer it. Saying you hated your job raises issues about how good an employee you are. Complaining about the commute and lack of family time may make your potential employer wonder if you’ll be able to put in the extra time when needed.