December 15, 2014

How to Build Rapport in Your Job Interview

Establishing Fit and Getting the Job Offer

Shaking hands

Eye on the Prize

 

The best outcome of an interview is a job offer at a great company, with good colleagues, in a challenging role, with satisfying remuneration. How do you get there? If you’ve been invited to the interview, most likely you are qualified, or at least pre-qualified for the position.

 

But getting to the offer and getting the offer you’d like means you’ve got to demonstrate your value as well as your ability to fit in with the team and jump right into the work. This can only be achieved if you can build rapport with your interviewers.

 

Two-Way Communication

 

An interview is an interactive dialogue not just a Q&A session that rephrases and reiterates the contents of your resume. And the interviewing goes both ways: Does the hiring manager and team think you are a good fit? Do you think the company, team and opportunity fit your objectives?

 

Convey Your Passion

 

This time to meet is all about communicating your passion and potential for the opportunity at hand. Show your true enthusiasm and appreciation for the position for which you are interviewing, the company’s new technology or market strategy, the leadership’s past record, the latest news the company has publicized. Make it abundantly clear that you can’t wait to get started, share ideas that you have and goals that you’d like to meet.

 

Your Interviewer is a Person too

 

Be prepared for the personal side of things not just the sales numbers or the coding test. Ask your recruiter or others who have interviewed with the company or work there about the interviewer’s style, personality, objectives and anything else you can learn in advance.

 

Pay attention to conversational cues and follow the interviewer’s lead. Listen attentively so that you understand not only the literal information that you are being but also can pick up on the emotional cues and gain insights into the interviewer’s points of pride, or particular challenges, his greatest need in this hire.

 

Research the People

 

Research the people you will be meeting with so you know and understand their backgrounds, and any connections you may share. Ask questions about how their own path led to where they are, what they learned along the way, and what their goals are. Complement the interviewer on his or her accomplishments, and find a natural way to mention your own accomplishments and career goals.

 

Be Passionate and Informed

 

Research the company before the interview and note recent initiatives, products or campaigns the company has rolled out or its future objectives it has announced. Complement the interviewer on the company’s accomplishments and targets. Ask about what the interviewer would like you to accomplish in the first 3-6-12 months on the job, and about upcoming projects or challenges you’d get to be involved in.

 

Connecting

 

Throughout, find points of connection. This may be past or present colleagues, alumni from past schools or clubs, shared travel and hobbies, mutual places you’ve lived. Use humor to create a light and relaxed atmosphere. Show your genuine warmth and personality, be respectful and appreciative.

 

In short, if you can be likeable, communicate your skills and accomplishments, and show you really want this job, while making a personal connection, you will build the rapport with the interviewer that distinguishes you from other candidates. This rapport will give the interviewer confidence that you are an easy person to communicate with, who will fit in with the team, and who is passionate about the opportunity.

 

About the Author:

Anna Mathieu, Marketing Communications Manager, brings together in-the-trenches recruiting experience as well as years of marketing and sales success in a variety of industries from software to real estate development. She thrives on evangelizing the Redfish brand and communicating Redfish’s expert recruiting services, to drive bottom line results.

Redfish Technology

Building Growth-Mode Tech Companies with Hand-Picked Talent

Founded in Silicon Valley in 1996, Redfish Technology is a leading provider of high tech professional and executive talent. Partnering with growth mode companies, small and large, Redfish staffs executive functions and builds out the teams below. Redfish experts provide advice and perspective on hiring, career building, and job search – check us out on the web: www.redfishtech.com

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December 8, 2014

Recruiting, Staffing & Employment News – December 2014

Filed under: Recruiting, Staffing & Employment News — Tags: , , , , — Redfish Technology @ 6:30 AM

Tech Hiring Setting a Record, Overall Job Creation Big Too

Recruiting, Staffing & Employment NewsHiring is Increasing

 

Tech hiring remains very strong, with the bulk of November placements in the Network Security, Software Development, Disruptive Software, Digital Media / AdTech Platform, Cloud Hosting, Collaborative Software Development, and Social Music Connection Platform sectors. The most commonly hired positions included: Director of Sales, Product Managers, Test Automation Engineer, Senior DevOps Engineer, Linux Technical Support, Software Engineers, and Lead Front End Engineers.

 

Tech hiring may hit a record level according to the semi-annual national survey from Dice Holdings, Inc. 60% of hiring managers report the expectation of adding more professionals in the first half of 2015, which is four points higher than the mid-year survey and five more than November a year ago. Michael Durney, President and CEO of Dice stated in a press release: “Competition for talent is heating up, and as highly skilled professionals become more coveted, companies will need to create an action plan for when the perfect candidate chooses another job or ups the stakes and requests a higher salary before accepting the position.”

 

ADP’s report showing 208,000 private sector jobs created was a vast understatement of the BLS’s total nonfarm payroll employment increase of 321,000 jobs in November. Job gains were led by growth in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing.

 

The overall job market is positive too. US CEOs expect increased hiring, according to a quarterly survey from the Business Roundtable, but declines in capital spending and sales. These CEOs anticipate 2.4% economic growth in 2015, the same as they forecast for 2014. “The economy ended the year essentially where it started – performing below its potential,” stated BRT Chairman Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of AT&T in a release on the website.

 

 

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December 1, 2014

Do I Have to Disclose My Salary?

Filed under: Interview,Redfish Speaks,Salary — Tags: , , — Jon Piggins @ 6:30 AM
Jon Piggins, IT Recruiter

Jon Piggins – IT Recruiter, Sales & Marketing

By Jon Piggins, Executive Recruiter, IT Sales & Marketing

 

Salary Disclosure Questions Pre-Interview Process

There are a lot of opinions on salary negotiations and salary disclosure: Should you tell your current salary or just your desired salary? Should you give this up front if asked, or save it until you are at an offer stage? In our experience, most all companies are going to want to know both your current salary and your desired before investing in the interview process, some will even want your full salary history.

 

Reasons for the Salary Question

From the point of view of a recruiter working with primarily growth-mode tech companies, there are compelling reasons for the salary question. (more…)

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November 24, 2014

Are You at One of the 90% of Companies that Does What Everyone Hates?

Yep, talking about the annual performance review.

Performance Review Time

It’s Coming Up. How Do You Feel About It?

 

Studies show that not only do employees generally dislike this exercise but so do managers and even the HR department. Time for some disruption – ya think?

The Perils and Perturbations of the Performance Review

 

There’s some great reading on the perils and perturbations of the performance review. As a recap, they tend to pit people against each other, and they are predominantly backward looking – two things no company ought to be focusing on at the detriment of building collaboration and communication, making forward-looking plans, and retaining top talent. These are some recommended reports/articles:

 

Behold The Entrenched — And Reviled — Annual Review

By Yuki Noguchi

“Performance review season is nearing, and if that makes you break out into a cold sweat, you’re not alone. Studies show between 60 percent and 90 percent of employees, including managers, dislike the performance evaluation. Some companies are starting to look at alternatives, but the performance review is pretty entrenched.”

 

Get Rid of the Performance Review!  

By Samuel A. Culbert

“You can call me “dense,” you can call me “iconoclastic,” but I see nothing constructive about an annual pay and performance review. It’s a mainstream practice that has baffled me for years. To my way of thinking, a one-side-accountable, boss-administered review is little more than a dysfunctional pretense.”

 

An Alternate Strategy: Cultivating and rewarding passion and engagement

 

So since performance management is important, but performance reviews aren’t creating the passionate and engaged people you want in your company, what is the answer?

Companies are trying different approaches. Here are some that might be of interest to you:

 

Juniper Networks is turning words on the wall into behaviors in action.

Juniper Networks replaced the performance review with a “conversation day” that has achieved a record 93% participation, and 66% of participants found it “helpful” or “extremely helpful”. The semi-annual conversation day has employees and managers sit down to discuss areas for improvement and opportunities for new growth, set goals aligned with employees’ career aspirations. And importantly, there are no rankings and ratings associated with performance measurement. One of the positive results is that Juniper retains more top performers now.

 

Why Adobe Abolished The Annual Performance Review And You Should, Too

By Drake Baer

“When Donna Morris joined Adobe in 2002 as a senior director of global talent management, she noticed that the annual performance review, such a central part of the human resources job she had been hired to do, wasn’t much of a resource to the humans it served.”

 

A Systems Thinking Alternative to Performance Reviews          

By Steve Rogalsky

“A refreshing discussion of what can be influenced and how much can’t by individual performance, and how to elicit it. An experiment with a conversation aimed at pulling out the performance goals of employees by having a conversation and asking: What are you proud of? What do you want to learn or improve this year? What part of our team’s system is preventing you from doing your job better? What should we improve or change? How is the company enabling or inhibiting you from achieving your best? What do you need from me? How can I help?”

 

Suggesting an Alternative to Performance Reviews

By Josh Patrick

“Instead of one annual review, I suggest setting up regular, one-on-one coaching sessions with your direct reports. The sessions should run from 15 to 45 minutes and should be held every three to four weeks. The goal is to have a continuing conversation aimed at helping employees become great at what they do.”

 

What do you think?

 

What kind of performance review does your company use?

Do you like it?

What would you choose to use if you had the choice?

If you think there’s a better way, share this!

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November 17, 2014

Recruiting Trends for Job Seekers

Recruiting Trends

Career Text On A Gold Key With Black Background As Symbol Of New Job

The Top 10 Best Recruitment Practices coming out of one the ERE Conference Think Tank Sessions include recommendations to hiring managers and recruiters on finding and engaging candidates. Carl Kutsmode’s article is a good read, especially for those recruiting talent.

 

Recruiting Trends for Job Seekers

What about advice for passive and active job seekers? How can job seekers understand these recruiting trends and leverage them in their own career management?

 

The Top “Get Recruited” Practices for Job Seekers (in no particular order)

 

Be findable online

As a job seeker, passive or active, you should be managing your LinkedIn profile, GitHub account, and other relevant specialized professional (social) media sites to provide an up-to-date professional portrait of yourself. Use keywords and active descriptions of your accomplishments so that searches are accurately identifying you.

 

Be attractive

I don’t mean you should go get a make-over, but ditch the selfie you took with your smartphone in a cubicle with those fluorescent lights that shows both chins. Make your online profiles attractive by keeping active on these sites, posting new projects, articles, updates, you increase the chances of being seen and promote a picture of yourself as a dynamic professional in your field.

 

Reach out

Search out the companies you like the most and connect with them via LinkedIn, and other media. Don’t just hit ‘connect’: Make a comment on their latest PR or post. Tell them you want to connect because you are passionate about their sector. Name the other professionals you have a relationship with at the company to strengthen the connection. Try to reach out in a meaningful way, it will give more momentum to further discussion and make you stand out. Connect with various players at the company from managers to HR.

 

Return calls/emails

When recruiting is done seriously, it is a sales function – the point is to get results. If you are contacted by an external recruiter or an internal HR person, respond even if you aren’t looking for a change now. A few minutes of prompt courtesy now will earn you respect and preference in the future; a lack of response or rudeness could get you blacklisted. No one wants to waste your time, and they certainly don’t want to waste their own time and effort.

 

Hackathon/Hangout

For those companies that really thrill you, try participating in a company event such as a hackathon or hangout. Participate actively so that you can show your stuff and facilitate making meaningful connections with the people working there. It may or may not get you a job offer today, but it will multiply your connections and differentiate you.

 

Post your resume

LinkedIn is definitely the best place to be for professionals, but there are many places to be online. Your own website is a great way to present what you want how you want. GitHub is a great place for developers to strut their stuff. Job boards are a great way to be found. Posting your resume is a good indication you are interested in dialogue and opportunities and not just counting down the days to retire or cash in your equity and move to the tropics!

 

Network!

Ok, all the above qualifies as networking. But there’s also meetup.com, industry associations, trade shows, alumni groups, special interest associations, and many, many opportunities. It may take a little time trying out various opportunities to find the right feel and return on your time, so take a look and start trying out those you haven’t yet.

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