You Can't Prepare Everything For Your Job Interview

Look, it's more than important for you to be well prepared before any job interview happens. You'll need to, at the very least, have a cursory glance at the potential employers business and know the very specific details about the job opportunity you're interviewing for. You cannot enter an interview without knowing of this. Oh, and make sure you prepare questions in advance to ask - that way you're positioning yourself to learn more about this particular role.

Everything else, however, is far more difficult to prepare. In fact, I would say it is nearly impossible to prepare.

The fact remains that employers make decisions based on your fit culturally with the team already in place. It's a hard reality for many to swallow, but there is tremendous truth in this statement. The employer is studying your mannerisms, your tone, the way you keep yourself, and other variables before making a hiring decision. They do this not to discriminate; rather, they do this for the sake of stability within their current team.

You, too, owe it to yourself to study this organization - including the little nuances that may make it less than palatable for your career to endure. You need to be highly critical of this next employer, much in the same way they are critical of you and your candidacy. It's a matter of practicality. You have your own unique personality, and the employer must be able to see that personality be a reasonable fit within their organization. You, too, must judge whether or not the employer is a reasonable fit for your career.

Thus, the most important variable (arguably) in a job interview is not whether or not you are technically well suited for the role (although you ought not to submit an application for roles you are not well suited for), but rather it is your ability to 'mesh' with their team. Equal opportunity employers are not exempt from this, either; they want the best suitable candidate, and will never discriminate on the basis of any racial, religious, or other differences in each of us, but will be selective on the basis of your character and overall cultural fit with the environment they are looking to establish.

Thus, in a long winded way, I implore upon you interviewee's to prepare yourselves in a little more unconventional manner: prepare yourselves to be yourselves, albeit someone who is respectful of the workplace. You shouldn't act like someone else in an interview; you need to be yourself.

Allowing yourself to be authentic in an interview is crucial. That authenticity you display can make a tremendous difference in the interview; it gives employers a much better sense of what it is you bring to the table. And truth be told, most authentic personalities mesh very well with other personalities. You're doing yourself a favour, therefore, in being authentic.

Gaining Leverage in A Job Interview & Offer Negotiation 101

Welcome to class - please be seated.

Today, we'll be discussing some of the secrets that are often concealed in job offer negotiations - and giving you tips to land your dream job in expeditious fashion!

Many of you know I'm not a real professor....and if you know me, you'll know I am not really teaching a class. But it's just great imagery, isn't it?

Anyways, onto the serious topic. Let's paint a mental picture of how this process typically occurs: you're inches away from landing your dream job with all the perks, yet you now have to handle the negotiations process in such a way as to not manage to lose the opportunity at hand. There are ways one can gently nudge the prospective employer in the right direction without losing the offer at hand.

Prepare Questions - Both Obvious and Particular - to Put Employer on Notice

One of the things preparing questions does, for the employer, is it demonstrates interest on your part to learn more about role and the company you're interviewing for. However, it does one thing in particular for you as an interviewee: you're building up confidence and are able to cling onto particular points stated by the employer in how they answered your questions. You can relay back those particular points and elaborate on why your candidacy is best suited to the company based on those points.

Wow, Most Interviewer's Aren't Always Experts - And Aren't Always Prepared!

I'm not sure if many of you realize how true this is. It's not a slight at the people whom are interviewing you, it's just a simple reality. If you're in this situation where you're looking for new work and are granted an interview, take advantage of the situations where you are the expert in the subject matter and direct the conversation. This gives you tremendous credibility and can be a significant value-add to your candidacy.

Learn How To Negotiate

Negotiation becomes very important, especially when those negotiations affect your pocket book. Learn to be aware of your body language - don't slouch, don't talk too much, don't squirm or wring your hands during a negotiation, etc. - in order to not place yourself in a position of weakness. Learn to speak with confidence and conviction - control the flow of the negotiation. You've already done your part to get this far - close the deal!


Top Five Habits of Highly Successful People

Regardless what capacity an individual may have within their organization - whether they are salespeople, or software developers, or executive assistants, or any other function you can conceive of - there are certain facets of their work ethic that distinguish those whom are successful from those whom are unsuccessful. Successful people straddle many lines, all the while remaining in full control of their destiny.

Indeed, it becomes hard to point out our own deficiencies that prevent us from reaching the peak of our personal performance. Much of the time, those individuals who find themselves on the losing end of a sales deal or even just a more basic interaction with their colleagues have one or more of these particular deficiencies in their work ethic:

  • Successful people are open-minded: Ideally, this would be self-explanatory. But let me explain further in order to ensure we are all on the same page. People whom have a propensity to being successful don't discount ideas simply because they do not fall into their preconceived ideas or because those ideas did not originate from them; rather, highly successful people relish the opportunity to work in conjunction with their team and are open-minded with the ideas brought forth by their colleagues. This idea applies in our personal lives, too; if you're successful in your life, you never did it on your own; rather, you loved working with others to not only expedite the completion of the work but also to learn new skills that can be transferred to future tasks.
  • Successful people take ownership of all ideas - good and bad: Have you ever met someone who took tremendous pride in all the good things that they did, but retreated when the going got tough and opted for someone else to take the fall? Those are highly unsuccessful people in the long run. Failure is a big part of what forms a successful individual both personally and professionally. If you're unwilling to own the bad times with as much fervor as you own the good times, then you're selective in your presentation of yourself. You're not doing yourself any favour by omitting the bad times because you're not giving yourself a chance to reflect on what went wrong and on how to mitigate that for the next time.
  • Successful people function as leaders whether they're called to it or not: You may not have 'manager' or 'executive' in your job title; however, you still have an affinity for all things that put you reasonably close to the driver's seat if you're driven by success. Whether your team leader is asking for ideas on how to sharpen a sales strategy, or your spouse wants you to confirm dinner plans for the evening, it's important for you to lead the charge in a non-aggressive manner. In other words, don't force the issues at hand; be assertive and give ideas that have substance and weight to them, let those ideas be what compels your boss, or your spouse, to make a decision one way or another. This applies, too, for people in a leadership capacity and lends itself handsomely to the point of being open-minded in all things we do.
  • Successful people are well-rounded and reasonably educated: Let me clarify this point. I do not mean to suggest that only individuals educated in post-secondary institutions have the means to be successful. Instead, what I am offering is that successful people are more inclined to make educated decisions by way of gather examples of proof, researching, finding references and perhaps even relying on the testimonials of others. This lends itself to the idea of being well-rounded since people whom are well-rounded are willing to look at the bigger picture and make decisions based on the larger scheme of things. It's not that they are experts at what they do, but they are focused on having a reasonably good understanding of what it is that they are speaking about. Being well-rounded also means to make time for things that improve your love of life outside of work - just don't let that consume you and set you off-track of your career ambitions. Let it complement your career ambitions!
  • Successful people are focused on delivering results, rather than the minutia around them: This is the easiest to explain, and yet the most challenging to implement, of all elements that make up successful people. Often times, those people whom are successful are laser-focused on the task at hand. They dislike distractions in their lives and especially dislike distractions while they are completing a task. Their primary objective is to get from point A to point B without losing focus of the goal-post, so to speak. If you can find the means to be focused to this level, you are guaranteed success. If you're having difficulty completing a delegated task, then ask for support - but always have the final objective be to complete your tasks with the highest level of proficiency.

In your pursuit for success, always monitor how closely you align yourself with the above stated points. This is what will separate you from your colleagues and allow you to reach the points of success you know you deserve.

It's Not Glassdoor's Fault - It's Yours. Fix It!

There are very websites that have the ability to drastically hurt the fortunes of a company in quite the way that Glassdoor does. As prospective candidates for hire do their due diligence on your company, they often make a point to visit Glassdoor and solidify their decision based on the reviews made on Glassdoor. 

For those of you who don't know what Glassdoor is, it's essentially a website that gives the public a good view of what a company culture is like and the general range of salaries for various positions held within the company and how those salaries compete with the industry averages. The most pressing thing that Glassdoor offers which can have a 'damaging' effect for a company is the ability for former and current employees to 'discuss' the company and its frailties online. It is a public forum and this potentially negative review can be challenging for companies to overcome.

Companies tend to be bothered quite a bit by these negative reviews (and their lack of an ability to respond to those negative reviews without being a paid business on Glassdoor.) They often cite that the reviews are complete lies that do not even approach the reality of what the business strives to do.  Sometimes, disgruntled employees - those who were unsuccessful for whatever the reason may be - are the ones posting these reviews as a form of retribution against their former or current employers. Whatever the case, these reviews can negatively impact your company.

Rather than complain, however, about these reviews, companies should utilize it as a teaching moment. They should also create a culture of pride and encourage that people positively react to their employer online.

Here are steps you can take to deal with negative reviews on your glassdoor account:

  1. Politely respond to these reviews - own the situation where it needs to be owned, and show a mature outlook on the future of the business following this review.
  2. Encourage your team, assuming you have a positive environment already instilled internally, to brag about your company online - particularly on glassdoor.
  3. If you have a negative culture, learn from this review and turn your company around! Make it a more pleasant working environment!
  4. Add a non-disparagement clause to your employer agreements. That isn't to say you should allow your organization to remain dangerously poisonous to your employees; rather, it's your legal right to protect yourself to the extent that you can control, to the best of your ability, your online public profiles.

This is not an exhaustive best-practice list for you on how to manage your online public profile; rather, it is a cursory look that verifies your ability to control the image your company has on Glassdoor.

Don't simply complain - go out and fix the problem!