As if job interviews weren’t stressful enough, some employers are asking people that come in for job interviews to log in their email accounts or their Facebook (or other social media) accounts. Plenty has been written about why not to do this. My personal favorite is the knee-jerk reaction that typically comes from people that either run small companies or blog for a living: do you really want to work for a company that would make you do that?
I’m putting the finishing touches on an ebook version of my “Ace That interview” program that I expect to begin offering at the end of the month. It’s based on the workshop (and audio program) of the same name and covers everything from interview preparation to answering questions to what to do after the interview is over. It’s definitely a great tool for those that are having a tough time with their job search.
Over the past fifteen or so years, I’ve interviewed probably hundreds of job applicants. Some have been in person while others have been phone screens to weed out potential duds. I’ve even volunteered to help friends by mocking interviewing them. If there’s one thing that truly astounded me in each of these job interview situations, it was how many of these people barely did any preparation (and some did none at all).
I figured this would be a great topic to kick off Super Bowl week. I once heard about a company that had multiple openings for similar positions and brought all of their candidates in for a day of interviewing at the same time. They had games and activities that the candidates worked on together – one such activity was creating a new cheer for the company. What was interesting is that some of the candidates figured that coming up with the best cheer, or at a least a cheer better than everyone else’s, would land them the job. Turns out it didn’t.
Interviews where all of the candidates are brought in together can be tricky – more so than even the dreaded “team interview”. On one hand, you at least know who you’re up against for the opening. But on the other, the way you present yourself and act around the other candidates says more about you than you realize. I once went on one such interview and found it to be weird. First, seven of us were all brought in to take a standardized test. It felt like I was taking the SATs all over again. A week later, we were all invited back to have lunch with the IT management team –all together.
Job interviewing can be challenging for all involved. Candidates and interviewers alike often lack formal training on the process and each company has their own process. From the candidate perspective, interviews can be completely different from one to the next. Each interviewer has their own style and looks for different things – in some cases, you might get a strong “yes” and a strong “no” from people who were part of the same team interview with you.
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 couldn’t sleep one night last week so to be productive, I decided to follow up on some emails. Many of these emails were things that I had put off because I wanted to word them the right way. For example, I had to nudge a few people who I was awaiting a response from. But that night, I didn’t seem to care; no more beating around the bush – I was direct and to the point.
After that, I logged into the various social media sites to see what my friends were up to and saw some posts from friends from high school. I immediately thought about how life would have been different at that stage of my life had I had social media. No more waiting until school the next day for communicating – I could just send an email whenever. And that got me thinking about how today’s technology could have certainly made things interesting back then.