The interview stage is definitely not the part of the hiring process that you want to “flub up.” (Of course, you don’t want to “flub up” any part, but the interview is especially important.
It’s amazingly easy to say the wrong thing during your interview if you’re not careful, and that’s one of the reasons we published a blog post last summer titled, “6 Things NOT to Say During Your Job Interview.”
Well, we’re back with more things not to say, courtesy of TheMuse.com and its article “30 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview.” We’re not going to mention all 30, but we’ve selected the things that you should really not say.
Below are six MORE things not to say during your job interview:
#1—“How soon do you promote employees?”
This is just as bad as asking about how much vacation time you’ll get if you’re hired. Don’t focus on what you want. Instead, focus on the value that you can provide to the people who are trying to decide whether to hire you.
#2—“Do you know when we’ll be finished here?”
If you truly want to work for the company, then you should probably at least give the impression that you want to stick around for the interview. If the interview goes longer than anticipated? That could be a positive sign. Roll with it.
#3—“I’m going through a tough time right now.”
Yes, people are generally sympathetic to others, but a job interview is not the time to be currying sympathy. Remember that the interviewers are also looking for traits such as resiliency and a positive attitude. Refrain from referencing too much about your personal life.
#4—“I think outside the box.”
Interviewers don’t want to hear tired clichés like this one. They don’t even want to hear brand-new clichés. What they DO want to hear is you tell them about problems you’ve solved, challenges you’ve overcome, and specifically how you’ll apply your skills and abilities to this position.
#5—“I built a synergistic network of strategic alliances . . .”
What? Just stop right there. Don’t talk yourself in circles by trying to sound smarter than you are or smarter than anybody else in the room. Use words that people will actually remember.
#6—“Nope, I don’t have any questions.”
Speaking of being remembered, the interviewers will definitely remember if you don’t have any questions to ask. From their point of view, questions indicate that you have a true interest and desire for the job.
Whether you realize it or not, your resume can always be improved upon. In actuality, your resume is basically a “living, breathing document” that should continue to evolve as your career grows.
Of course, sometimes you’re just too busy to give your resume the attention it deserves. In fact, there are some changes that might not even come to mind. We’ve enlisted the help of the article, “45 Quick Changes That Help Your Resume Get Noticed” on TheMuse.com to bring those changes to mind.
We’re not going to list all 45, just the 10 changes to your resume you may not have thought about:
#1—Remove your address.
First of all, space is on your resume is at a premium. Second, don’t allow anybody to use your physical address as a disqualifier before they even see what you have to offer. (This does happen.)
#2—Add a link to your LinkedIn profile (and other appropriate social media sites).
Never, ever include Facebook. It doesn’t matter how “good” you are on that platform. However, Twitter, Instagram, and others might be okay if they somehow relate to the position for which you’re applying.
#3—Use a custom LinkedIn profile URL.
A custom URL is shorter, neater, and cleaner. Fortunately, LinkedIn provides instructions for creating one, and you can assess them by clicking here.
#4—Remove “Career Objective” and replace it with a qualifications section.
This switches the focus from what you want to what you can provide. And let’s face it . . . employers care first and foremost about what you can provide in the way of qualifications, skills, and experience.
#5—Cut down your bullet points per position.
How many is too many? No more than six or seven, but five or less would be even better. Try to wow them with quality and not woo them with quantity.
#6—Make sure all numbers are in numerical form.
Forget the grammar rules for a moment. (Can anybody keep those straight, anyway?) Change all numbers from written form to numerical. You’ll save space, and numbers are more noticeable.
#7—Abandon the orphan words.
Get rid of all single words left on a line by themselves. Use your rewording skills—or somebody else’s—to eliminate those words, thus saving even more space and making the resume look cleaner.
#8—Use a cloud generator to identify additional changes.
How does this work? You put your resume in the generator, and it tells you which keywords you’re emphasizing. Click here for more information about how you can use cloud generators.
#9—Make changes “above the fold.”
This means the top third of your resume, the part that hiring managers will see first. It HAS to grab their attention, so make sure that it will compel them to read more about you.
#10—Save your resume as a PDF.
Regardless of the format in which you created it, ultimately save it as a PDF. The last thing you want is for the hiring manager to open your resume and have it “blow open” because of formatting issues. That’s not a good first impression.
We’ve addressed the subject of employee engagement before in this blog, specifically in a post tited, “Want Engaged Employees? Then You Must Hire Them!”
The point of that post is that hiring people who are more or less “self-engaging” greatly increases the chances that you’ll have more engaged employees. And of course, the more your employees are engaged, the less likely they will be to seek work elsewhere and the higher your retention rate will be.
However, what if, despite your best hiring efforts, you still want to increase employee engagement (and corresponding retention)?
The good news is that there’s a LOT you can do, because no matter how engaged your employees currently are, they can always be more engaged.
With that in mind, below are seven steps for achieving greater employee engagement:
#1—Create the proper culture.
This is a logical starting point. Engagement is not a “sometimes thing,” it’s an “all the time thing,” and the only way to reach this level is to infuse the philosophy throughout the entire organization and across all departments.
In order for a culture of engagement to exist, those at the top must set the precedent and make a commitment to ensure that it happens. Without this commitment, failure is more than likely to occur.
#3—Provide challenging work.
What employees do on a day-to-day basis ultimately forms the foundation of their engagement. Companies should make sure that the work they’re given is not only productive, but also satisfying.
#4—Clearly communicate expectations.
Confusion is NOT conducive to engagement. Employees want to know exactly what’s expected of them regarding their duties and responsibilities, and they want to be given the tools necessary to meet those expectations.
#5—Provide feedback on a consistent basis.
It makes sense that once employees have expectations for performance (and a corresponding set of goals concerning them), they’ll also want feedback about their progress.
#6—Recognize good performance.
All employees want to feel as though they’re appreciated for their efforts, and recognizing their performance is the best way to do so. In fact, all it can take is a kind word or a pat on the back, although more elaborate methods of recognition will engage employees even more.
#7—Continually strive to build trust.
The ultimate in employee engagement is trust. If employees trust the company for which they work, then they’re fully engaged. How can management achieve this? By always following up and following through and by always doing exactly what they say they’re going to do.
We’ve addressed the issue of career growth before in this blog, most notably in the post “3 Simple Steps for Achieving Greater Career Satisfaction.”
Now, there’s no doubt that everybody is busy, so much so that it’s often difficult to devote as much time to their career as they would like. Unfortunately, that can lead to career stagnation and a “good enough” mentality from which it’s difficult to break.
So . . . what steps can you take that will help you make the progress you want to make (AND won’t take up huge amounts of time)?
Below are five quick ways that you can “turbo-charge” your career:
#1—Conduct an audit of your skills and work experience.
That sounds scary, but it just means reviewing what you know and what you’ve done during your career to this point and making sure that your resume reflects ALL of those things. Ideally, you should be doing this “as you go,” but if you’re behind in this area, make sure to catch up as quickly as you can. You never know when a prime employment opportunity will make itself available.
#2—Seek out a mentor.
There are two main reasons you need a mentor. First, for the technical aspects of the job, and second, for guidance with your career questions and concerns. If your company does not have a formal mentoring program, it will fall to you to seek out a mentor. Perhaps you have somebody in mind already. If not, consult your boss or supervisor about possible candidates.
#3—Invest in yourself with training.
Like our #1 item listed above, ideally this is something you should be doing on an ongoing basis. If not, there’s no time like the present to start. This could be as simple as reading a book, watching videos, attending a seminar, or taking advantage of online webinars and/or podcasts. Technology makes the opportunities almost endless.
#4—Assess your company’s plans for the future.
The first step, of course, is to know what those plans are. Maybe you already know what they are. If not, sit down with your boss or supervisor and discuss them. Do the plans make sense to you? Are the plans communicated and discussed with employees on a consistent basis?
#5—See where you fit into your company’s plans for the future.
Obviously, #4 and #5 go together. Once you have a grasp of your company’s plans, where do you fit into them? Can you grow with this company? If so, in what areas? In what ways? You can’t “turbo-charge” your career unless you’re always thinking about the future, creating a plan for that future, and then executing your plan.
How many of these items have you already started? How many can you start right now? All it takes is a little time and effort to implement these changes and make the very best of your future!
Time Staffing Inc.