Archive for July, 2014

What have you been doing this summer?

July 29, 2014

The question is not just for kids.

It’s not only a written exercise for the first day of school.

It’s for you – for your upcoming job interview.

Reading, volunteering on stream clean-up in your neighborhood, making sandwiches for the shelter.  Canning peaches.  Brushing up on your Spanish.

Looking for a job.

How do you phrase it?

Not –  I’ve been on a number of job interviews.

Rather – I’ve been speaking with some fascinating people about work possibilities, and I’ve learned a lot along the way.  

Then, of course, you’ll have to be ready to share what you have learned.

Now let’s try it – What have you been doing this summer?

The job search must go on …

July 24, 2014

Job hunters – how on earth do you do it?

Planes are being shot down or just plain disappearing.  War, terrorist threats, and nasty politics are all around.  Fresh summer fruits are being recalled and discarded because of a threat of listeria.

And you are asked to get dressed professionally, go forth, and sell yourself, while tv news, the morning paper, and your favorite news websites, are screaming unending disaster.

I wonder if any job seeker is being asked questions about coping in the summer of 2014. Such questions might sound like this:

  • Thank you for coming in this morning.  Did you hear the latest news?
  • Did you hear about the food recall in our major supermarkets?
  • You didn’t have any overseas travel plans this summer, did you?

If this happens to you, how will you respond?   I know what I hope I would say.

It is hard not to be overwhelmed with the troubles of today.  But I try to focus on what I can do, and that includes sharing my skills and experience.

I am indebted to (experienced writer and new blogger) Paul Roberts Abernathy for an excellent take on the need to summon forth optimism in these troubled times.  If you would like a shot of perspective that is expressed far better than I can say, I suggest you follow the link.  Thanks, Paul, and welcome to wordpress blogdom.

New Interview Question – Be Ready!

July 1, 2014

Someone I know had a job interview recently, and he felt confident and prepared.  He prepared for all kinds of questions, focusing on his skills and experience.

When I asked if there had been any unexpected questions – well, yes, there had been.

Have you ever been treated badly as a customer?

He responded with a story about slow service in a retail establishment.   He connected his brief story with a message about how hard he works to address customer needs.  Sounds good to me.

It seems to me that the only way you could blow this question is if you went blank and said it had never happened (no one would believe you!).  Or if you got involved in a rambling narrative, blaming everyone in sight.

As with most interview questions, answer it briefly and thoughtfully, and bring it back to the job requirements.