Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Get that Job! - 3 Interview Tips (for everyone)

Confidence, preparation and presentation are all keys to winning the big prize. Here are a few insider tips about what employers really want from an interview.

Tip #1 - Context - Be a Story Teller
Most people asking the questions are very knowledgeable of their company and the job but they are not always experienced with conducting professional interviews. You may be asked questions that only prompt a YES or NO response. Be prepared to help the interviewer by telling stories that support your short answers. It's the context of your stories that will stick in the interviewers mind and give you the advantage over other candidates. Every story should have three parts 1) Context – Tell a story that is relevant to the interviewer’s question and the job that you are applying for; 2) Action – Describe what actions you took; 3) Result – Describe the impact or result of your actions.

Tip #2 - Ask the Right Questions
Employers can tell a lot about you from the questions you ask. For example, if you only ask questions about the company benefit plan then the employer may assume that it's the benefits rather than the job that really interests you. Ask questions about what the employer wants to accomplish or improve. Ask about the boss's priorities, goals and objectives. By asking questions about results then the interviewer will assume you are a results oriented person. Results - That's what they really want!

Tip #3 - Dress (better than) the Part
You will only have one chance to create a first impression. The first minute will subconsciously influence whether the interviewer will ask questions that funnel you into the job or filter you out. Arrive at your interview dressed to immediately influence the interviewer to believe that you are the one. Whatever the dress code is for the job, go to the interview dressed a little better than that.

The Close - An interview is a sales call where you are selling yourself. All great sales people know that you must ask for the order to close the deal. Don't leave without asking your closing questions. "Will you offer this job to me?"; "Is there a date that you would like me to start?"; "What can I do that will help make this decision easy for you?"; "Can we schedule the appointment for the next stage in the process?" If you don't ask - you don't get.

Steve Jones (CPC) has 29 years of staffing industry experience and delivers CPC courses for the staffing industry Ethics and Business Practices certification module and Staffing Industry Legal Practices certification module.

Connect with Steve Jones on Linkedin:
Follow Steve Jones on twitter: 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Will Facebook Jobs Hurt Linkedin?

A recent Forbes article suggests that a new facebook job posting feature is expected in the autumn of 2102 that could "kill Linkedin's momentum.".  The new facebook feature will act as a job snatcher or aggregator which scours the web for job postings and then bundles them all into one searchable and convenient location.    Hundreds (or thousands) of  job posting aggregator websites already exist, but none have the power and ability of facebook to match job specs against 900 million monthly user profiles.

900 Million Monthly Users
In the beginning, job boards such as ,, and will have little to worry about.  Facebook will simply steal their content and re-post jobs within the facebook feature so that the job applicants are redirected back to the respective original "revenue generating" career site. This will increase the original job board's traffic and will help keep them relevant.

Expect the new facebook jobs feature to also snatch postings from facebook company pages within its own platform.   Companies that use custom job posting apps on their facebook pages can expect their traffic to increase as job seekers are directed from a convenient one-stop-job-shop without them having to find and visit each employer's individual company page to do redundant searches. 

App providers such as jobmagic, jobvite, or jobs4labs should also get a little boost in business as more employers turn to facebook to post their job openings. You might have to pay to build your facebook App but  there is currently no limit to the number of postings allowed on a company page and there is no cost on a per posting basis. 

150 Million Users
But will this have any impact on Linkedin?  Doubt it!  Postings jobs in a job board format is the antithesis of Linkedin.   Linkedin users seem bound and determined to network with everyone in the globe.  NOT applying for jobs through job boards is why they are on Linkedin.  The real question is whether the traditional job boards will be hurt in the long run?  The traditional career sites will have a new powerhouse competitor forcing traditional job boards to continue adding features, building social media partnerships, reinventing their service offerings, differentiating themselves and staying relevant.   The big boards are already having a difficult time justifying their cost per posting model.  The new facebook feature is sure to make their sales pitch a little more difficult.

Steve Jones
Been there - Done that ....on job boards and social media space.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Myth Buster: Temps & Contractors are Second Rate

The following story about temps and contractors was posted in the UK. It quotes statistics for the US and is perfectly relevant for Canada.  Posted by "scarter" in Careers, Morgan McKinley,
Financial Recruitment Insight from the Professionals on temps and contractors

There is absolutely no truth to the theory that ‘temps & contractors are people who can’t get permanent jobs’.

Here’s the stats…

US Staffing Association research found that:

• 88% of all candidates felt that contract work made them ‘more employable’

• 23 % of candidates had NO interest in traditional permanent employment

• 65% of contractors said they improved their skills through the variety of assignments

• 40% deliberately chose temp/contract as a way to obtain

In fact the vast majority of temps & contractors do it by choice. In addition to having more flexibility around working patterns and earning more, here are the top ten reasons to opt for temping or contracting:

• To refresh their enthusiasm

• To challenge & stretch themselves

• To work with leading edge technology

• To work with and learn from respected professionals

• To develop new skills and consolidate existing ones

• To utilise specialist knowledge in an environment where it is valued

• To avoid ‘office politics’

• To extend their professional network

• To showcase themselves to potential permanent employers

• To ‘try before they buy’ and so benchmark potential future permanent employers

There are over 1.2 million* contractors and temporary workers on assignment in the UK everyday not by force but by choice!


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Profiling of a Perfect Sales Professional

A perfect stereotypical profile of a sales professional does not exist.  Hiring by a stereo-type will lead to low productivity and expensive high turn-over. A perfect profile exists only when the predominant or predictable themes in a person's personality match (or fit) the profile of the job, product, clients and culture.

In this Harvard Business Review article, Philip Delves Broughton author of The Art of the Sale, reveals how a variety of different profiles can lead to a successful sales career depending upon the "dynamics between personality, self-perception, and role".  Broughton acknowledges that there are "underlying traits in every good salesperson — notably optimism and tenacity — which lead to resilience in the face of the adversity".  But beyond that, what enables a salesperson to succeed is that they've found a match between who they are and what they are being required to do.  Sales success comes "when sales feels normal and natural."

Philip Delves Broughton also authored the New York Times Best Seller, Ahead of the CurveIn this June 27th, 2012 HBR article, he describes a variety different personalities and why they can be successful in sales.  He writes;

"Some people are wooers, compelled to win over everyone they meet in an instant. They do well in jobs where they must close a lot of transactions every day and where long-term trust is not important. Others prefer to build networks of deep relationships over time. They might prefer selling products or services with long sales cycles and repeated interactions with the same customer. Some salespeople will be coin-operated, motivated entirely by commission and competition with their peers. Others put a higher value on the friendships they develop in sales and the opportunity to work in a field they enjoy, selling products and services they believe in. Some love selling for the pure thrill of it. Others sell as the means to getting what they really want, whether it is popularity, financial security or creative freedom."
Hiring by intuition or resume history can be a disaster waiting to happen.  Behavioural or personality profiles are valuable tools in the hiring process.   But Broughton (and I) believe that personality profiling is only valuable when there is a job and company profile to match.

There are dozens of popular tools used by Canadian employers.  Some popular personality, behaviour and psychometric instruments include:  DISC, McQuaig Systems, Thomas International, Pro.file Performance Systems, EIQ, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), Firo B, IPAT (the Institute for Personality and Ability Testing, Inc.) 16PF, Thomas Kilman Conflict Mode, Innovation Potential Indicator, Benchmarks and Skillscope (just to name a few).

Which tools do you use in hiring sales professionals?  Why?  Tells us about your experience?

Steve Jones
Sales, Leadership, Management & Business Consultant