No — I Won’t Supply My References Before The First Interview
I agree. I think this practice runs the risk of companies contacting references without the candidate preparing them for what to emphasize (always within their ability to ethically do so!), or even giving notice. References are job search treasure, and must be cherished and protected. It also has the potential to be a sneaky way for companies to gather other names of people to solicit for employment. And depending on how long you’ve been employed, you may want to customize the reference list you give depending on the interview and the directions taken while you were there.
And I’m only semi-cynical in predicting this, but at some point I can see health testing, even DNA testing… all as a condition of being considered for employment. DNA testing brings to mind this cartoon:
Job Search Humor Cartoon
And yes, I have this gene. (Some would doubtless opine a deplorable excess thereof…)
4 Behavioral Interview Questions That Reveal What a Job Candidate Is Really Like
Insights from the interviewer’s playbook. Good stuff. Related:
5 Non-traditional Interview Questions That Can Help You Select the Best Candidate
With respect to the fourth question specifically: while the question itself is quite legitimate and can lead to great insights, I believe the implicit assumption that if the candidate can’t think of anything then the candidate is assumed to be the one with the problem, is not legitimate. I call BS. There are, sadly, some very bad people in management out there (recall the “conventional wisdom” that people leave managers, not companies) – to de facto assume that problems always reside with the employee, and never with the person’s manager (or the company in general), is naïve. And another question, which I think is actually a very good one, so prepare:
How You Answer This Interview Question Reveals Your True Character
Anyone can “song and dance” their way through an interview and shine. This is a “penetrating” question and gets to a person’s character. I like it; one can train for skill, one can inspire and motivate for attitude… but one cannot implant ethics, integrity, or basic character (at best one can get someone to stick to the “letter of the law” out of fear of punishment, but GOOD behavior and GOOD character – that’s inherent in a person). And it’s actually a good question to ask of a hiring manager too!!
How A Story Database Will Make You More Persuasive
Written for sales, but also vital for job seekers. Stories ENGAGE not just factually, but EMOTIONALLY. The trick is to get in front of someone – a human! – who is willing to have a conversation and listen to your stories… and also have the perception to jump to what your background and stories could do for them.
The tech that hiring managers are using to screen all of your social media posts
I wonder… this could be a good software for someone to purchase, and then have people pay to screen their SM presence. And I have to wonder – I don’t have a FB account. Does that affect me positively, or negatively? I do find this to be a “catch-22”: too much SM presence, and that’s bad, too much of the “wrong” content, that’s bad, not enough or even if you’re not on SM altogether, that’s bad too. In my first essay on this, I came up with a quote which I think very much applies to vetting people through their SM presence:
“Hiring managers and human resources people search the internet for indications about a candidate’s personality, character, opinions, and human failings – and then are shocked and horrified to discover candidates have personalities, characters, opinions, and human failings.”
Consulting Firms: Strike back & stir the pot
Always good stuff from Nick Corcodilos!
Networking Tips for Awkward People
Good overview thoughts. Especially if, like many technically-oriented people, you tend to not be comfortable in social settings.
7 Toxic Traits Of A Bad Employer
I’ve said this before: if you have time, search on LinkedIn for people who used to work at the company, and see if they’ll answer some questions. Also, if you are a member of related professional societies, ask around. Companies develop reputations. And if you know some good recruiters in the space, they also can be a good place to get off-the-record scuttlebutt. (One recruiter I know told me about a company they’d FIRED as a client because of all the negative feedback about the company they’d received from potential candidates – one of whom actually said “I’d rather be homeless than work for that place.”)
9 Scary Reasons Overqualified Job Seekers are Rejected
Which only highlights the value of networking in and having conversations with decision-makers. Get to someone who can see beyond the scariness of someone “overqualified” to what you could do for them. And at the risk of shameless self-promotion, consider changing the rules of the game entirely with these thoughts:
The “O” Word 2
Don’t Overshare: What Not to Say During a Job Interview
It used to be, with people building careers at one company over decades, that friendships formed with so much time spent with the same people for so long. (Aside: growing up, my parents would often hold dinner parties; guests were, very regularly, co-workers from either – sometimes both – of my parents’ places of work… even in my next-generation case, some of my still-close friends come from former employers). In interviews “back then”, personal details would come out in anticipation of that long-term relationship. That’s done and in-the-past these days. Today, always ask yourself if the details you are about to share really are their business (and, potentially, could be things held against you for employment purposes, or as potential “leverage” against you should you join).
The most important trait for a successful job search
An absolutely key ingredient.
I am a senior-level Mechanical Engineer with, primarily, a background in plastics where I started my career. I am seeking a full-time engineering role, ideally in medical devices or defense, from Burlington MA to Concord NH, as a:
- Plastics Design Engineer / Project Engineer
- New Product Introduction / Design-Manufacturing handoff
- Cost Reduction “Tiger Team” Engineer
- Manufacturing / Process Engineer
For those interested, you can see some target companies on my blog:
And please do look at my portfolio of things I’ve done, and topical (i.e., engineering / manufacturing) essays I’ve written:
And lastly, I do urge you to “Pay it forward” yourself. I don’t NEED to post articles, job leads, etc. I WANT to do it because it’s a way to help people. Character matters. As I said in my essay:
The Hairs-Breadth Challenge
“Life is about helping people; if you aren’t elevating others, you’re diminishing yourself.”