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How not to get hired!


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Presentation slides for Session 3 of a 4 part series for career seekers. This session covers common pitfalls and mistakes candidates often make in the interview process.

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How not to get hired!

  1. 1. Welcome to Life Skills Tuesdays, a ministry outreach of New Beginnings United Methodist Church How To Get Hired not!
  2. 2. <ul><li>Nanci Lamborn, SPHR </li></ul><ul><li>Senior Professional in Human Resources </li></ul><ul><li>20 years Insurance Industry Personnel Management </li></ul><ul><li>Global Financial Software Company Generalist </li></ul><ul><li>Published Freelance Writer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Careerbuilder’s Workbuzz </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> jobs column </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Underwriter Magazine </li></ul></ul>
  3. 4. agenda <ul><li>Quick recap of prior sessions. </li></ul><ul><li>What to say / what not to say. </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive practice (take notes!). </li></ul><ul><li>Discover your best pursuits. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions & Answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Resume critiques. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Growing in a role or an industry <ul><li>Investigate what the business niche does. </li></ul><ul><li>Seek out industry publications sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Search for certifiable designations. </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate soft-skills required to advance. </li></ul><ul><li>Dig into what is readily available to you. </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines, journals, newsletters, online. </li></ul><ul><li>Valuable industry education options. </li></ul><ul><li>Time mgmt; coaching; active listening. </li></ul>Week One
  5. 6. Homework Assignments <ul><li>If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, take several hours and create one. If you do have one, take time to update it and clean it up. </li></ul><ul><li>Make at least two professional contributions to content (not only in job-hunting sections) </li></ul><ul><li>Invite your list of professional or industry contacts whom you know (do NOT invite people who don’t know you) to connect. </li></ul><ul><li>Thoroughly investigate and identify several companies who are active on LinkedIn for whom you might like to work. </li></ul>Week Two
  6. 7. YOU ME
  7. 8. Are you guilty of making these statements in your job search or in an interview?
  8. 9. <ul><li>I can do anything. </li></ul><ul><li>I just need to work. </li></ul><ul><li>I really need benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>They fired me. </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve been looking for months. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>I can do anything. </li></ul><ul><li>I just need to work. </li></ul><ul><li>I really need benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>They fired me. </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve been looking for months. </li></ul>
  10. 11. “ I can do anything.” Sure about that?
  11. 12. <ul><li>FINANCIAL ADVISOR </li></ul><ul><li>Active Series 7 license. </li></ul><ul><li>Minimum 2 years experience advising high wealth clients. </li></ul><ul><li>PROPERTY INSURANCE ADJUSTER </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of property claims investigation, settlement procedures, and applicable state laws. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of salvage and subrogation procedures. </li></ul><ul><li>Three or more years of large loss claims adjusting. </li></ul><ul><li>MARKETING ANALYST </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarity with conducting shipping market analyses and data modeling to quantify new investments. </li></ul><ul><li>Must be expertly proficient in Microsoft Access. </li></ul><ul><li>Experience using SPSS or SAS analytical software. </li></ul>
  12. 13. “ I can do anything.” translation to the hiring manager : “I’m not sure what my best skills are or how to use them, and I don’t know or care what skills your job truly requires.”
  13. 14. <ul><li>I’m wide open for a great opportunity, and I’m confident I would pick up on the duties very quickly. I’d love to have a chance to demonstrate what I’m capable of. </li></ul>
  14. 15. “ I just need to work.” translation to the hiring manager : “I don’t care what job I get, so your job is no better or worse than another. I’m strapped and preoccupied with my financial state.”
  15. 16. <ul><li>I really miss being able to contribute and make a difference, and I’m anxious to get into an environment where I can learn from my coworkers and keep my skills sharp. </li></ul>
  16. 17. “ I really need benefits.” translation to the hiring manager : “I’m going to use up a lot of sick time, I am medically needy and won’t be dependable due to problems.”
  17. 18. <ul><li>(there is no acceptable reason to discuss benefits, medical or health topics of any kind until after – and only after – an offer has been extended!) </li></ul><ul><li>NO EXCEPTIONS </li></ul>
  18. 19. “ They fired me.” translation to the hiring manager : “I’m still holding a grudge and will become defensive if corrected. Nothing is ever my fault, I am always the victim.”
  19. 20. <ul><li>The position didn’t end up being the best fit for me. I had some philosophical differences of opinion about some areas that were critical to me, so we agreed to disagree. </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>I think we may have had a misunderstanding of priorities, but I wasn’t really given a chance to learn what those were. There may have been some underlying factors but honestly I didn’t receive much feedback about the separation. I wish I could tell you more. </li></ul>
  21. 22. <ul><li>My position was one of several that were eliminated when they restructured. The company downsized and unfortunately I was caught up in that change. </li></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>NEVER, EVER lie about the reason you were fired! </li></ul><ul><li>If you broke a rule, admit that you had some lessons to learn and that you have learned them. </li></ul>
  23. 24. “ I’ve been looking for a job for months.” translation to the hiring manager : “No one wants to hire me so I must not be hirable, or I refuse to work unless I get exactly what I want.”
  24. 25. <ul><li>(If your resume clearly shows no activity for a time period, do something to change it immediately!) </li></ul>
  25. 26. Volunteer Part-time Retail Fast-food Contract Schooling do something - anything!
  26. 27. What questions should you be most prepared to answer in your job search?
  27. 28. Tell me about yourself.
  28. 29. Tell me about yourself. Pair up and discuss.
  29. 30. Tell me about yourself. <ul><li>Quick professional summary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Educational path </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant work experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Never give personal information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not discuss family, children, church, hobbies, favorites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never mention age, disability, medical concerns </li></ul></ul>
  30. 31. Questions you MUST be able to answer without hesitation: <ul><li>Tell me about yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>Tell me what you’re looking for. </li></ul><ul><li>What are your strengths? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your weaknesses? </li></ul>
  31. 32. Deal with your objections now. <ul><li>If you hate the question, get over it. Prepare and expect it. </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t know, find out now before you’re in the interview. </li></ul><ul><li>Be honest but be positive. </li></ul>
  32. 33. Example <ul><li>BAD: “I’m divorced, I’ve got three kids in grade school, and they keep me pretty busy since little Suzy gets strep throat all the time. We’re hoping I can get on somewhere to get her some good insurance. We’re also really involved at our prayer group and Bible study and Sunday school. After the kids go to bed I really love playing those Xbox live video games and surfing the internet.” </li></ul>
  33. 34. Example <ul><li>GOOD: I’ve got my Associates degree in marketing and I’m planning to go back and get my Bachelor’s. I have administrative experience working in a fast-paced office that also required a lot of customer telephone interaction which I really enjoyed, and working there also gave me a lot of exposure to Word and Excel so I’d consider myself really comfortable working in those programs or learning new systems. </li></ul>
  34. 35. What are you looking for? <ul><li>Your specific career objective. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Field/Industry of preference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What skills you bring to the table </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should match your resume </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Never minimize this question. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not make silly or cute remarks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never include salary or benefits in your response </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not add advancement goals or career objectives at this time. </li></ul></ul>
  35. 36. What are your strengths? <ul><li>Your very best qualities. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No more than 2 – 4 strengths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be ready to give real examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be factual but humble </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do not overstate your skills. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not make silly or cute remarks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When possible, include situations in which your skills helped others or contributed to a common goal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soft-skills are fine if applicable. </li></ul></ul>
  36. 37. What are your weaknesses? <ul><li>Areas you want to develop/grow. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One or two should suffice. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mention steps you’re taking to fix </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I would like to be stronger in…” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is not your sin confessional. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No one is perfect. Be honest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep responses career-related, not personal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not reply with “I work too many hours;” be real and relevant. </li></ul></ul>
  37. 38. What if you really don’t know what you’re looking for?
  38. 39. QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF: <ul><li>What do you love to do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why do you love it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you do it now, or do you need training? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What do you hate to do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why do you hate it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would you hate it if you had more ability in it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are you already good at? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How did you become good at this? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In what jobs can this talent be used? </li></ul></ul>
  39. 40. RED FLAG STATEMENTS: <ul><li>I wouldn’t mind doing …. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t settle in your long term career passions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May be necessary for the immediate term. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I could learn how to … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you could learn it, start learning it now. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you’re not passionate about it, don’t. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I used to… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If comparing prior jobs, were you good at it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you hated what you used to do, don’t! </li></ul></ul>
  40. 41. <ul><li>If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. -Lewis Carroll </li></ul>DIRECTION
  41. 42.
  42. 43. Homework Assignment #1 <ul><li>Take a career assessment test or similar skills inventory to determine your passions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>College career services center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From these results, search for job postings with your preferred qualities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customize your resume to best fit the role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investigate what skills you’re missing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take one active step towards acquiring that skill </li></ul></ul>
  43. 44. Homework Assignment #2 <ul><li>Write down your answers to the four top questions and ask friends to give an honest critique. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Tell me about yourself. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Tell me what you’re looking for. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. What are your strengths? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. What are your weaknesses? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Once fine-tuned, start practicing your verbal response to the same questions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice with different people. Role-play. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take turns and help others practice. </li></ul></ul>
  44. 45. Homework Assignment #3 <ul><li>If you skipped the homework or missed sessions #1 and #2, revisit those. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get access to an industry publication resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify a skill to improve and take a step towards it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a list of professional colleagues you know </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activate a LinkedIn profile page for yourself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participate in industry discussions online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Next week is our final week. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interview tips and advice for the big day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proper (and improper) follow-up techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role-play practice and Q&A </li></ul></ul>