Seasoned HR and recruiting consultants Liz and Kat help you navigate your career and get through your work day. Go beyond the employee manual for some real job talk!
Seasoned HR and recruiting consultants Liz and Kat help you navigate your career and get through your work day. Go beyond the employee manual for some real job talk!
Episode 42: How to prepare for a job interview
This episode, we caught ourselves; we talk a lot about interviewing, but we forgot to talk about how to prepare for an interview. Get out your notebook and listen closely …. this episode will teach you how to be prepared for your interviews.
Behavioral Interviewing became popular about 25 years ago, and is based on the assumption that past performance will predict future performance. It’s usually based on competencies that come out of the responsibilties of the job, and the interviewers will each cover a different part of those competencies with you.
The key to behavioral interviewing, as our old boss J. Mike Smith used to teach us, is to tell a story. Be ready with examples of:
Leadership: taking a leadership role, taking the lead when you weren’t the manager
Turn-arounds and pivots
Working cross-functionally: how do you navigate diversity of mindset? of skillset?
It’s beautiful to learn, adapt and change, and take risks. When talking about mistakes, talk about the learning.
Don’t be afraid of failure; talk about what went wrong, what you did to try to save it (or what you wish you had thought to do in the moment). The key here is to avoid the blame game and to take responsibility when appropriate, but also acknowledge when you were not the decision maker.
How do you get your examples together? Set aside a few hours and go down memory lane -- but not too far back -- to remember projects and teams to get you ready to tell your story. Write down your examples, read them over and practice them.
Make sure that your examples are recent; someone who gives examples from 10 years ago, but no current examples, makes the interviewer wonder if you’re past your heyday. Unless it’s something really “once in a career,” try to keep your examples in the last 5 years.
Use examples that share a story that help you show that you could be successful in that job. Look at the job description and build your examples around it that show that you are going to be strong in that role.
Some companies give examples of questions they may ask. It’s more important to be prepared for those answers, since they aren’t a surprise. If you’re not confident, ask for help from a coach or colleague or your Board of Advisors. Or use your recruiter to ask what they will ask you.
If you can use the product the company makes, do it! Have an opinion and talk about your experience.
Have your numbers; be able to show your impact in a factual way. If you saved your company money, tell that story with facts.
Have your “whys” ready to go. Why did you switch careers? Why did you leave your last company? Be able to share logically why you made the decisions you made.
If you've been part of a layoff, you want to show as much as possible that it wasn’t aboiut you and your performance. “It was a down economy and they laid off my whole division.” Be able to tell your story and what you learned, even if it involves unfortunate situations.
If there is a gap, don’t over explain. Say what you did in that time, and answer with a direct question. If they want to know more, they’ll ask. Let the interviewer be in charge of the interview.
Be strategic and don’t be afraid to take a moment to compose your answer. It’s better than being a motormouth or saying, “That’s a great question.”
A lot of companies ask situational questions, which you can't really prepare for. Take a minute, think it through for a minute, and then talk and ask qualifying questions. If you go down a certain path but you to back away from, come back to ask a clarifying questions but then pivot. Many situational questions are asked to see how you inquire and learn more. There’s nothing wrong with following up after the question, and realizing that this new information leads you to a different answer
Episode 41: Ask for what you need at work
We recorded this episode to help people ask for what they need at work, without also feeling like they are asking for too much, impairing their career, or being high maintenance.
We start with the request, which we hear coming up quite a bit, to continue to work from home because of health or childcare concerns with the virus when your company wants you to come back to the office. Many companies are built around having junior employees learning from more senior ones, and the expecation in many companies have been that employees will return as soon as they think conditions are safe enough. Of course, there are some jobs that can’t be done from home (service and healthcare, as well as anybody that has to work with people (food service, healthcare) or making or moving physical things.
Here are some tips:
Be clear on what you are asking for.
Go directly to your boss and state the honest facts, being as flexible as possible.
Show you’re bending to accommodate as much as possible
Tell them your plan: for example, how you are going to get your work done, showing any anticipated problems and your solutions to them.
Don’t rely on your boss to come up with solutions.
Bosses: if you are managing a team that is coming back to the office, you can anticipate who will have issues and talk to them 1:1 to talk about their situations.
If the accommodation is around health issues, you may need to share your personal situation with them, like a compromised immune system, to explain why you need to stay home. If you are doing great work in quarantine, your need to stay home will like not be an issue. Sharing this may feel private. It may take vulnerability.
If you are interviewing and need to ask for anythijng, even when we're not ijn a pandemic, what should you do?
Bring your strengths and flexibility into the beginning part of the process, and have the conversation about accommodations you want or need. Once a company has expressed interest, you should talk with the recruiter and tell them what you need (whether it’s a vacation, a standing desk, or anything else). Then keep talking about moving forward and express your interest.
You have to read the room, though. You don't want the hiring manager and recruiter to feel like you've held back an important fact. For instance, if you have a vacation trip planned in a few months, and it turns out that's a time when they're going to need you at work and not on vacatio, you may need to call it out earlier in the process. on and if they are going to need you at the time you’re gone, you may need to call it out earlier.
Here's how you ask for something you need at work . We call it "the golden rule of requests":
This the problem.
This is what I need.
And this is how I’m going to hande any issues that come up.
Episode 40: Deep Listening with Oscar Trimboli
Deep listening affects every area of your life, including creating stronger relationships at work and at home. Our guest, Oscar Trimboli, is a former technology exec who has dedicated his life to helping over 10M people become deep listeners.
Growing up an immigrant, Oscar had to learn how to listen to different languages by paying attention to body language and other ways to understand what people were saying. In his corporate gigs, Oscar became known for asking “Have we asked a customer?” Had the company actually listened?
Oscar is trying to get 100M deep listeners around the world, helping people to learn to listen to what’s not said out loud. Deep listeners can even help a speaker make sense, because they listen to the meaning in how the speaker is speaking.
What’s the nirvana of deep listening? Reducing the chaos of confusion. Hearing what people and customers are saying. Wasting less time from not paying attention or not knowing what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s about impact beyond words and fixing relationships
We need to listen to those who don’t speak up-- sometimes they arre the ones who can best cultivate ideas. In bringing ideas to the table, it often helps to have people from different backgrounds and expertise bring their ideas to the table.
Leaders need a mindset for listening to what is said and unsaid in conversations. If you are hosting a meeting, you needsto make sure everyone has a voice, so that good ideas are not lost. Why have someone at a meeting if they aren’t going to be able to contribute? Ask people what they are noticing or what they are thinking vs asking for a direct answer.
Talking about recruiting... Oscar always hired quickly because he had his job requirerments sorted out, he had an understanding of customers, and he attracted people to the team. He would ask people who were interested in working for him to talk with customers and tell him something he didn’t know. He was interested in the ones who did, and who showed thoughtful customer conversations and thoughtful follow-through after. He looked for productivity and ability to give feedback when there is an opportunity to tell truth to power.
Oscar says that we’re in an imagination economy where we need to learn, unlearn and relearn -- all of which require listening and abandoning old assumptions.
In Oscar’s book, he talks about 4 villains of listening. They are the dramatic listener (loves your story becomes it becomes a theater where they can be an actor), the interrupting listener (they jump in from a place of purposeful problem solving, but don’t listen completely), the lost listener (they drift in and out of the conversation and are distracted), and the shrewd listener (hearing you and trying to be the smartest person in the room). Be aware of what yourpersonal listening villain is. And to be a good listener, switch your phone off (no buzzes or beeps) and make sure distractions are minimized.
You can’t task switch at the front of the brain where processing is done. The minute you task switch at the front of your memory, there is a cost to productivity.
85% of people think they’re above average listeners….
Physical tips: Drinking water helps us be more productive- a hydrated brain is better at listening. The deeper the breath, the deeper the listening.
Productivity paradox: Oscar talks about pragmatic presence, which means talking about the chaos around that’s off screen. Once again, this is about making the implicit explicit.
If you listen to absolutes, you miss the real meaning.
You are amazing. Let your clients see more of you. Your biggest goal is to be more of you.
We also talked about silence, a pause allows the speaker’s thoughts to catch up. That silence helps us synchronize and realize what needs to come next.
Oscar's best advice to people who want to b
Episode 39: Managing Up
We’re excited to talk in this episode about reverse management, or managing up. We’re going to get into it, and talk about how to work with a manager, how to talk with your manager, and how to excel even when your manager isn’t very good at managing...
We discuss how sometimes people don’t manage up well because they don’t want to be a burden, but rule #1 is to communicate and sometimes over-communicate. A CC on an email is an FYI, and it helps your boss have the information they may need.
When a manager doesn’t know what is going on, they ask questions and ask for data to prove work. When they don’t see proof of work, it gets uncomfortable.
The point of information is clarity. If you manage up well, the executive team will hear more about you and your projects, and it will benefit your career.
If you don’t show your boss your good work, they can’t share it with their boss and therefore you won’t get recognition. Same with if you aren’t doing good work and you need help. Your manager can can help you learn and can cover for you to others...
If you look at your week and your goals based on what you think is expected, you can share that with your boss to make sure you are doing what they need you to do. A quick touch-base at the beginning and end of the week ensure alignment.
Regular updates help your manager know you, how you work, what you do and what’s on your plate. By setting expectations, you open up lines of communication for hard discussions around expectations.
It’s important to mention long-term projects periodically to make sure your manager knows that it’s on your radar.
We don’t all remember everything going on, so a reminder is a good paper trail to keep them posted. Sending the email is a CYA -- whether or not your manager opens the email is up to them.
We think it’s so important to have 1:1 meetings between employees and managers to build trust and communication. As an employee, you want to be prepared and your weekly update can be the basis for that meeting.
Managers need to have a “manageable” number of direct reports so that they can meet regularly. When managers get regular status reports, they can have fewer 1:1s and use them as career mentorship, expectation setting, and other high-level uses of that time vs communicating status updates.
What should you do when your manager is a 1:1 canceller?
If you’re a manager who is unsure of yourself as a manager, read some books like Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. Educate yourself with podcasts, books and articles so that you feel more confident.
To report what you've been doing to your manager, you can reflect at the end of the week, or add to your report during the week so that the end of the week email is really easy.
When working remotely, you don’t have face time with your manager and they don't see you working hard in the office. Be available, communicate when you are and aren’t available, and make sure your manager has what they need when they need it.
Never forget the power of the cc!! It's great for visibility, especially when working from home. Use it as an FYI to show your boss what you’re doing and to keep them informed of your work. You can ask your boss how they want you to use the cc. You can adapt your cc to your company culture.
What about using the cc when you are complimented? You can always cc on your “thank you” or your can forward them. The easier you make it for your boss, the better.
And, if you want to make sure you’re traceable, cc your boss so that when the absent hiring manager says you haven’t found any candidates, your boss has seen that you sent an “I’m here when you’re ready to respond” email, and can have your back.
Sometimes the hardest time of managing up is when you are coming back from a negative performance perception. People who are
Episode 38: Write a Resume that Gets Past the Screeners with Katrina Kibben
We welcome Katrina Kibben in this episode of Real Job Talk to talk with us. We're always glad to find another Kat! Katrina is a writer and recruiting professional who has built Three Ears Media around her interests in communication and marketing to teach companies how to excel around employment branding, writing for recruiting, and representing themselves with authenticity.
Katrina came into recruiting by accident after an executive met her while she was tutoring his daughter. She took her writing background and wrote copy around recruiting. Now she spends the majority of her time teaching recruiters to write in a way that will resonate with candidates.
Katrina’s realness drives her consultancy in helping her clients also be real in how they describe themselves to potential employees. When we’re real with our current and potential employees, we keep them and attract the people who will thrive within our companies.
Katrina respects recruiters, but admits that most recruiters don’t know the role past the job posting. So here are some of her tips for resume-writing.
Recruiters are busy; they spend 4 seconds on your resume to see if it matches. If you're a job seeker trying to get to that busy recruiter and have them notice your resume, make the words in your resume match as closely as close to possible to their job posting. Resumes are marketing tools; they need to look like the job description for the role you are looking for.
When writing a job description or resume, use Google Trends to make sure your titles match what ever title has the most search volume.
People often go WAY too far back on their resume. Those college jobs aren’t necessary, and length is important. A concise resume shows that you know how to tell a story. A long resume makes you look like a job hopper. Also, no need to point out that you know MS Word or other skills that are obvious in the job you’ve done.
If you have a 10 page resume, it reads like you have a hard time editing, and when being able to be precise is a necessary skill, a rambling resume hints that you won’t be able to be concise in your job.
Big tip: use a wordcloud to identify top keywords in a job description and make sure all of those top words stand out in your resume. Get someone to give you an extra 15 seconds by having the words stand out. Recruiters tend to look at the beginning of the resume, at your job titles, and then also the weird stuff you list at the bottom….
We talk about Katrina’s own job searches. In her last search, she thought of different roles around her core areas -- writing, branding, marketing, and recruiting. She started with creating a basic marketing resume, pulling words and concepts from other job descriptions and postings out there to create her base resume. Then from the marketing resume, she took the base and tweaked it for content marketing, and then again tweaking it for all the related roles she was interested in.
Don’t feel like a good writer? Steal from job descriptions. Do voice to text talking about the work you’ve done, and think about what you’re most proud of. You want your resume to reflect you and your voice and to represent you authentically. Get the words out even if you don't think you're a good writer.
Starting a new job search? BLS.gov shows you what sectors are hiring and can help you figure out where to look in a tough job market. You can go to a job board or Facebook group and search for “now hiring” and see who is hiring. We talked about new grads doing customer service and how it’s a great new job.
Work your network. Call people who have worked with you and who you would consider working with again and check in. Ask them what they remember about you and who is out there who they would want to work with again. It will lead to your next role.
You can’t make those calls in panic m
Episode 37: Building teams, connections, trust, and card games with Jason Treu
Jason Treu talks with Liz & Kat about building teams, trust, social wealth, and his game, Cards Against Mundanity.
This week Liz and Kat welcome Jason Treu, author of the book Social Wealth, whose goal is to help teams get to know each other. He gives us his advixe to building a career with real connections, including telling us about his game that's designed to help you start making those connections, Cards Against Mundanity, .
Jason started his career in Silicon Valley, working with companies like Apple and eBay. He saw great leaders doing all types of things, and now does executive coaching, leadership training, teamwork and communications, building trust. He also works on the HR side on collaboration and teamwork.
He was working as a VP of Marketing when he started coaching and proving out his model for building great teams, and eventually he scaled the business and set out on his own.
We asked what Jason believes makes a great team. His answer: building connections build trust and great teams. Unfortunately, many leaders who have built great teams don’t know how they did it, and don’t know how to do it again. People all need to build better relationships. Great performances come from teams that have worked to build trust.
We ask about socialization at work, and Jason feels that people today look to connect with people from work, make friends there, and have a purpose. It's not the perks at work that attract people.
We discuss soft skills and practicing them. Great leaders need strong soft skills, but people don’t spend time developing them. Leaders need to be held accountable for their own soft skills as well as developing in them in other and upholding the team culture.
Jason has introduced his game, Cards Against Mundanity, to over 30,000 people to create bonds and trust with people which can be done at any level.
People crave connection. and they make those connections with other people who they have gotten to know and trust. That's when they can take their armor off. You can use the cards with anyone who you want to get to know better. If you show you care, people will assume you have their back. They will want to work with you if they know they can count on you.
Introverts love Jason’s game because it cuts the small talk and gets to the meat of the conversation where they want to be and where they can create those meaningful connections.
“Your job as a manager/leader is for someone to take your job because then you’ll have somewhere to go.”
Jason’s book Social Wealth is a blueprint to making connections, inspired by Keith Ferrazzi’s book How to Never Eat Alone. Jason wanted a quick and dirty guide to helping people get results learning how to meet people, go to conferences, andget to know people from front to back. You have to meet a lot of people to find your own tribe.
Jason Treu on Twitter: @jasontreu
Cards Against Mundanity
Social Wealth: How to Build Extraordinary Relationships By Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Lead and Network