Here are three interview questions that applicants are afraid to ask, and hiring managers loathed to answer?
Question #1: Why is the position open? Or better phrased: Is this a growth position, or are you replacing someone? The answer to this question will tell you a great deal about the manager and the state of the project or department.
Question #2: How do you prefer to be communicated with, by email, impromptu meetings, a quick drop by your office, or a weekly meeting with an agreed-upon agenda?
How a manager communicates with their staff can significantly affect project outcomes and day to day workflow. Are you one of those people who dislikes people popping into your office for a quick unscheduled chat, what if that is the a hiring manager’s prefers that choice of communication?
Question: #3: Will I be reporting directly you? Be careful if managers dance around this one. Sometimes a candidate is being hired into a pool and their direct manger can change as projects arise. Or worse if everyone you meet with responds, that you will not be working for the? You may want to ask at what point in the interview process you will be meeting with your direct hiring manager.
Have you asked any of these questions at interview and how has the interviewer responded?
At some point during your job search, the potential employer will request references.
Typically, it will be when the company is seriously interested in you as a potential hire. You should be prepared to provide a list of employment references who are knowledgeable regarding your expertise in the skills and qualifications that you have for the job you are seeking.
Plan ahead, get your references in order, before you need them. It will save time scrambling to put together a list at the last minute. Keep in mind that good recommendations can help you clinch a job offer, so be sure to have a substantial list of references who are willing to attest to your capabilities. Do not use someone for a reference unless you have their permission.
How to Ask for Reference You you need to be sure that you are asking the right person to write a letter of reference or to give you a verbal reference. You also need to know what the reference giver is going to say about you. Ask the reference writer if you can use them as a reference. Update the potential reference regarding the type of positions you are applying for, so they can tailor their recommendation to fit your circumstances.
Who to Ask for a Reference Former bosses, co-workers, customers, vendors, colleagues, and college professors are good references. If you area recent grad just entering the workforce or if you have not worked in a while, you can use personal reference from someone who knows your skills and attributes.
Company Reference Policy Be aware that some employers will not provide references. Due to concerns about litigation, they will only provide job title, dates of employment, and salary history. If that is the case, be creative and try to find alternative reference writers who are willing to speak to your qualifications.
Make a List Create a document listing your references. Do not add the list of references to your resume. Create a separate reference list, add an email in addition to the telephone number. Have it ready to give to employers if requested by phone, or at the end of the interview. Include three or four references, along with their job title, employer, and contact information. If the employer asks you to email your references, paste the list into the body of any email letter, rather than sending an attachment.
Paper vs. Personal It is a good idea to have a couple of written reference letters, especially if you are graduating from college, relocating, or the company you work for is going out of business. Most companies prefer to speak to a reference so they can ask specific questions about your background to find out what type of employee you were and why you might be qualified for the job.
Request a Reference Letter Every time you change employment, make a point of asking for a reference letter from your supervisor or a co-worker. That way, you can create a file of recommendations from people you may not necessarily be able to track down years later.
Keep Your References Up-to-Date Let your references know where your job search stands. Tell them who might be calling for a reference. When you get a new job, remember to send a thank-you note or email to those who provided you with a recommendation.
Requesting Permission A prospective employer should ask your permission before contacting your references. This is especially important if you are employed – you do not want to surprise your current employer with a phone call checking your references. Finally, it is perfectly acceptable to say that you are not comfortable with your current employer being contacted. However, do have a list of alternative references available.
Whether you are actively seeking a new position or not, you will likely get an unexpected call from a Recruiter. Always use the opportunity to show that the Recruiter, that they have made a great choice in choosing to call you.
Thank the Recruiter for the call: No matter how inopportune, always let the Recruiter know you appreciate their interest in you, and apprise them of your job search status.
To continue or not to continue the call: If you are unable to speak at the moment, set a time for the Recruiter to call you back. Having a recruiter ally is always a good thing.
On the call back: Reiterate your current job search status, and ask for details about the Recruiter’s company or search firm. Ask where they found your information, or did someone refer you, and who was it. If a recruiter will not tell you the name of the person who referred you, recommend that they ask the friend who gave your name to call you to discuss the position. Let the Recruiter know that you will need to speak to the referrer before continuing the call.
Gather information about the job: Ask for a brief description of the role and its requirements. Ask if the job has been posted to external job posting websites. Take the opportunity to see if there is a match between what the Recruiter presents and the posted job description.
Your demeanor and approach: Be positive, interested, and articulate; the Recruiter is likely calling you because your experience and skills are a match for the position. But, what the call is really about is to ascertain whether you have the communication skills, listening, and possible leadership skills needed to excel on the job.
Be clear about your skills and attributes, but do not exaggerate: Recruiters check references thoroughly, so your embellishments regarding might your accomplishments, responsibilities, or earnings may hurt you and disqualify you from consideration.
Closing the call: If you are interested in the role, ask for more information so you can evaluate the opportunity, the company, and the Recruiter. Ask for a further conversation, and ask if your next communication can occur in person. Schedule a time to speak further.
Should the Recruiter ask for a referral: Remember, not everyone is pleased to be referred to a Recruiter for a position without being asked, so be careful about giving out the contact details of persons without asking first.
In response to your inquiries, regarding creating a resume appropriate to your skills, capabilities and potential, here is some useful information, about using the Frank Paterson Resume Questionnaire as the first step, towards creating a powerful keyword rich resume.
The Resume Questionnaire will have significant input into the data; you need to collect in drafting your new resume, identifying your skills, and accomplishments. It will help you to highlight your employment achievements; including relevant skills and achievements.
We recommend that you complete it in your own time, then put it away for a day or two, re-read, make corrections or additions then sent it back. Use the Resume Questionnaire later for interview prep
1.) Review and fill out the Questionnaire in your own way using your own words; do not worry about tone, style, grammar etc. Take as much time as you need, leave out areas that do not apply.
2.) The filled out questionnaire will give a feel for how you would answer questions in an interview or business proposal meeting. The final resume has to reflect a bit of your style so it looks like YOU wrote it. It is also an excellent tool for prepping for an interview or meeting with a client!
3.) Once the questionnaire is completed, please return the complete document for review, update, and recommendations from your career Counsellor at Franklin Paterson Resumes.
4.) Set aside time to go over the Questionnaire via the phone to tease out skills, accomplishments etc., please set aside at least 30 minutes or more for this review.
5.) Your writer will craft your the questionnaire, and notes from the review review. Generally your writer will start writing the resume immediately, (within a day) of the review while all info is immediate and fresh.
6.) You will receive a draft of the resume for your review and comment. Once you send it back, your writer will make corrections and updates, and send your completed resume.
7.) Once invited to meet with someone to discuss a particular job or project, please let your writer know, and your writer will tweak the completed resume here and there to highlight areas of skill in your resume related the job or project.
We recommend that you complete it in your own time, then put it away for a day or two, re-read, make corrections or additions then sent it back. Use the Resume Questionnaire later for interview prepping.
You have just completed an interview that you believe went very well. The company ended the meeting with a “we will be calling you”. And indeed they did!! But you missed the call!!
What do you do next? Did the person leave their name? If so, call through the company switchboard, employees tend to take calls that are transferred internally
Things to remember: There may be a company operator. If that person asks the nature of your call, say you are returning an urgent call from X regarding your employment status.
Once you get the person who called you on the phone and have said Hello, please add something like this: Sorry I missed your call , I am very interested in the job, so I am very pleased I am able to reach you.
On your next call please leave your phone and email address, say the letters and numbers slowly and clearly. Give the person another option to reach you, by suggesting that they can text you.
Lastly, go to the company’s Contact Us page on their website, send the person an email, state in the email, that the email is for X manager. Tech support will forward it and most employees will read an email from tech support.
A good rule of thumb is call around 4:30 – 6:00PM many managers are likely at their desk tiding up for end of day.
All the best and continued success in your job search…