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What Were You Paid?

June 23rd, 2017

“When I’m trying to hire new employees, I always ask what they most recently earned.  If they won’t tell me, should I end the interview?”

 

California and a few other states are considering bills that will prevent employers from asking about previous salary history.  Why? Because there are two situations where salary history has caused enough concern for states to consider making it illegal to ask.

www.HRJungle.com

 

Really great Questions to ask in every job interview!

November 15th, 2016

Repost from  http://www.businessinsider.com/questions-to-ask-in-every-job-interview-2016-10

It’s important to remember that every interview is a two-way street.

You should be assessing the employer just as much as they’re assessing you because you both need to walk away convinced that the job would be a great fit.

So when the tables are turned and the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” take advantage of this opportunity. It’s the best way to determine if you’d be happy working for this employer, and whether your goals are aligned with theirs.

“The very process of asking questions completely changes the dynamic of the interview and the hiring manager’s perception of you,” says Teri Hockett, a former CEO and career strategist. “Asking questions also gives you the opportunity to discover details that you might not have otherwise unveiled.”

Amy Hoover, president of TalentZoo, says there’s another reason you should always prepare questions. “It’s expected — and if you don’t ask at least two questions, you will appear disinterested, or worse, less intelligent and engaged than a prospective employer would like.” You should have at least four questions prepared, though, in case your original two are answered through the course of the interview.

But, Hoover says, don’t just ask questions for the sake of it. To actually benefit from them, you’ll need to think carefully about what you want to ask.

“Your questions can, in fact, make or break an interview,” she explains. “If they’re not thoughtful, or if you ask something that has already been addressed, this can hurt you way more than it can help. Asking smart, engaging questions is imperative.”

Luckily, there are plenty of smart ones to pick from.

Here are 29 questions you should always ask in a job interview — if they weren’t already answered — to help you get a better sense of the role and the company, and to leave the interview with a positive, lasting impression:

1. Have I answered all of your questions?

Before you begin asking your questions, find out if there’s anything they’d like you to elaborate on. You can do this by saying something like, “Yes, I do have a few questions for you — but before I get into those, I am wondering if I’ve sufficiently answered all of your questions. Would you like me to explain anything further or give any examples?”

Not only will they appreciate the offer, but it may be a good chance for you to gauge how well you’re doing, says Bill York, an executive recruiter with over 30 years experience and founder of executive search firm Tudor Lewis.

If they say, “No, actually you answered all of my questions very well!” then this may tell you you’re in good shape. If they respond with, “Actually, could you tell me more about X?” or “Would you be able to clarify what you meant when you said Y?” then this is your chance for a re-do.

2. Who do you think would be the ideal candidate for this position, and how do I compare?

Hoover recommends this question because it’s a quick way to figure out whether your skills align with what the company is currently looking for. If they don’t match up, then you know to walk away instead of wasting time pursuing the wrong position for yourself, she says.

3. Who would I be reporting to? Are those three people on the same team or on different teams? What’s the pecking order?

It’s important to ask about the pecking order of a company in case you have several bosses, Vicky Oliver writes in her book, “301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions.”

If you’re going to be working for several people, you need to know “the lay of the internal land,” she says, or if you’re going to be over several people, then you probably want to get to know them before accepting the position.

4. How has this position evolved?

Basically, this question just lets you know whether this job is a dead end or a stepping-stone.

5. How would you describe the company’s culture?

Hoover says this question gives you a broad view on the corporate philosophy of a company and on whether it prioritizes employee happiness.

6. Who do you consider your major competitors? How are you better?

This question is not for the faint of heart, but it shows that you are already thinking about how you can help the company rise to meet some of its bigger goals, says Peter Harrison, CEO ofSnagajob.

7. Beyond the hard skills required to successfully perform this job, what soft skills would serve the company and position best?

Knowing what skills the company thinks are important will give you more insight into its culture and its management values, Hoover says, so you can evaluate whether you would fit in.

8. Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?

While this question puts you in a vulnerable position, it shows that you are confident enough to openly bring up and discuss your weaknesses with your potential employer.

9. What do you like most about working for this company?

Hoover says this question is important because it lets you “create a sense of camaraderie” with the interviewer because “interviewers — like anyone — usually like to talk about themselves and especially things they know well.” Plus, this question gives you a chance to get an insider’s view on the best parts about working for this particular company, she says.

10. Can you give me example of how I would collaborate with my manager?

Knowing how managers use their employees is important so you can decide whether they are the type of boss that will let you use your strengths to help the company succeed.

11. Can you tell me what steps need to be completed before your company can generate an offer?

“Any opportunity to learn the timeline for a hire is crucial information for you,” Hoover advises.

Asking about an “offer” rather than a “decision” will give you a better sense of the timeline because “decision” is a broad term, while an “offer” refers to the point when they’re ready to hand over the contract.

12. How would you score the company on living up to its core values? What’s the one thing you’re working to improve on?

Harrison says this is a respectful way to ask about shortcomings within the company — which you should definitely be aware of before joining a company. As a bonus, he says it shows that you are being proactive in wanting to understand more about the internal workings of the company before joining it.

13. What are the challenges of this position?

If the interviewer says, “There aren’t any,” you should proceed with caution.

14. What have past employees done to succeed in this position?

The main point of this question is to get your interviewer to reveal how the company measures success.

15. If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day?

Obviously this shows your eagerness about the position, Harrison says, but it also gives you a better idea about what the job will be like on a daily basis so you can decide whether you really want to pursue it. “A frank conversation about position expectations and responsibilities will ensure not only that this is a job you want, but also one that you have the skills to be successful in,” he advises.

16. What type of employee tends to succeed here? What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm?

This question shows the interviewer that you care about your future at the company, and it will also help you decide if you’re a good fit for the position, Oliver writes. “Once the interviewer tells you what she’s looking for in a candidate, picture that person in your mind’s eye,” she says. “She or he should look a lot like you.”

17. Is there anyone else I need to meet with?/Is there anyone else you would like me to meet with?

Hoover says knowing if they want you to meet with potential coworkers or not will give you insight into how much the company values building team synergy. In addition, if the interviewer says you have four more interviews to go, then you’ve gained a better sense of the hiring timeline as well, she says.

18. How do you help your team grow professionally?

Harrison says this question shows that you’re willing to work hard to ensure that you grow along with your company. This is particularly important for hourly workers, he says, because they typically have a higher turnover rate, and are thus always looking for people who are thinking long-term.

19. When your staff comes to you with conflicts, how do you respond?

Knowing how a company deals with conflicts gives you a clearer picture about the company’s culture, Harrison says. But more importantly, asking about conflict resolution shows that you know dealing with disagreements in a professional manner is essential to the company’s growth and success.

20. Will I have an opportunity to meet those who would be part of my staff/my manager during the interview process?

Getting the chance to meet with potential teammates or managers is essential to any professional interview process, Hoover says. If they don’t give that chance, “proceed with caution,” she advises.

21. How do you evaluate success here?

Knowing how a company measures its employees’ success is important. It will help you understand what it would take to advance in your career there — and can help you decide if the employer’s values align with your own.

22. What are some of the problems your company faces right now? And what is your department doing to solve them?

Asking about problems within a company gets the “conversation ball” rolling, and your interviewer will surely have an opinion, Oliver writes. Further, she says their answers will give you insights into their personality and ambitions and will likely lead to other questions.

23. What’s your timeline for making a decision, and when can I expect to hear back from you?

This one tells them you’re interested in the role and eager to hear their decision.

“Knowing a company’s timeline should be your ultimate goal during an interview process after determining your fit for the position and whether you like the company’s culture,” Hoover says. It will help you determine how and when to follow up, and how long to wait before “moving on.”

24. Is this a new position? If not, why did the person before me leave this role?

This might be uncomfortable to ask, but Harrison says it’s not uncommon to ask and that it shows you are being smart and analytical by wanting to know why someone may have been unhappy in this role previously.

If you found out they left the role because they were promoted, that’s also useful information.

25. Where do you see the company in three years and how would the person in this role contribute to this vision?

Asking this question will show your interviewer that you can think big picture, that you’re wanting to stay with the company long-term, and that you want to make a lasting impression in whatever company you end up in, says Harrison.

26. I read X about your CEO in Y magazine. Can you tell me more about this?

Oliver says questions like this simply show you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in the company and its leaders.

27. What’s your staff turnover rate and what are you doing to reduce it?

While this question may seem forward, Harrison says it’s a smart question to ask because it shows that you understand the importance of landing a secure position. “It is a black and white way to get to the heart of what kind of company this is and if people like to work here,” he says.

28. Is there anything else I can provide to help you make your decision?

This simple question is polite to ask and it can give you peace of mind to know that you’ve covered all your bases, Hoover says. “It shows enthusiasm and eagerness but with polish.”

29. Is there anything we haven’t covered that you think is important to know about working here?

Hoover says this is a good wrap-up question that gives you a break from doing all the talking. In addition, she says you may get “answers to questions you didn’t even know to ask but are important.”

Author: Jacquelyn Smith

Jacquelyn joined Business Insider as the careers editor in 2014. She previously worked as a leadership reporter for Forbes. She is the coauthor of “Find and Keep Your Dream Job: The Definitive Careers Guide From Forbes.

Jacquelyn holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Arizona and a master’s degree from Hofstra University. She lives in New York City and can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

 

 

 

Vivian Giang and Natalie Walters contributed to previous versions of this article.

Harassment is a BIG deal and can land you in very hot water!

September 30th, 2016

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Protected: “Every career move—even the ones that don’t work out—will teach you something about who you are and what you want.”

September 21st, 2016

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Doing the Right Thing in an Irrational Economy

July 16th, 2016

How do we reflect and encourage a commitment to “do the right thing” despite daily pressures make regaining or sustaining profitability our top priority?

A leader can start by admitting mistakes and encouraging other to do the same. Hiding findings or blaming others very often comes from a very natural need to protect ourselves from harm. The best companies understand this and work hard to foster open communication and avoid the tendency to make issues more complex than they are. Very often all it takes is a “gut check.” Put more simply: doing good, feels good.

Sometimes a commitment to values comes at a high short-term cost (admitting mistakes and fixing them is almost never without cost to the client or stakeholders.) But living by a set of values that focus on doing good by employees and customers creates a stronger company over the long haul.

Developing–and living with–a set of principles that guide decision making throughout an organization is no simple task. It involves the kind of soul-searching that not all people are prepared to engage in, especially in difficult economic times.

The value of doing good
I feel fortunate to be in a business where we can do well by doing good. As a staffing firm, the work we do impacts the lives of the people we touch in a powerful way. We must be ever vigilant and mindful of this impact. What impact do you have on the lives of others? I suspect it’s more than you realize. If you are a manager, do your employees understand your values and commitment to doing the right thing? As an employee, do you feel empowered to do what’s right, and admit mistakes along the way? Or is your first thought about how to mitigate the cost before understanding the impact on the lives of others?

Balancing work and life

“Quality of life” issues, such as balancing one’s work and personal lives, are still thorny issues at many firms. Thirty years ago, if you’d talked about these issues, management would question your commitment, or even your sanity. But most people are trying to balance their business lives with their personal lives, their professional needs with their health, social, and spiritual needs.

In these difficult times, there is a lot of pressure to work harder and longer, for the very real fear of losing ones job. Good business leaders know, however, that squeezing as much out of workers as possible, may increase productivity for the short-term, but is not sustainable for the long-term. Long-term profitability is sustained when employees are motivated and committed out of a sense of loyalty.

Managing for the short term as well as the long
As much as leaders understand that we must manage for the long term and keep employees happy, we must be realists and manage for the short term, as well–and that’s tough in the current economic environment. Just as people must manage their personal and work responsibilities, so, too, must companies balance their priorities –all companies must manage for the short term to some degree. We all need to understand the tradeoffs.

Of course, we would all love to work for a company that only manages for the long term, but that is not a reality today. Cash reserves have dwindled, and funding sources have tightened or disappeared altogether. Many of us are simply trying to keep the wolves at bay, and must ask more of ourselves, our colleagues and our employees. But we must not let our fears cause us to lose sight of our values and our commitments to do the right thing!

Shannon Erdell is the President of TLC Staffing and author of “Temporary Sanity: Managing Today’s Flexible Workforce”, SOCAA Publishing 1995. Headquartered in San Diego, with offices in Southern California and North Carolina, TLC Staffing is a 24 year old, multi-disciplined temporary and permanent placement firm. Their specialty divisions include: Business Services, Accounting and Finance, Legal, Human Resources, Engineering and IT. www.tlcstaffing.com 858-569-6260

5 Tips for Keeping Stress at Work in Check

September 24th, 2013

Stress in the workplace, whether triggered by significant workloads or pressing deadlines, can sidetrack employees and prevent them from doing their best. The following simple steps for managers and employees can help reduce the pressure and increase team performance and productivity:

• Avoid Setting Unrealistic Goals. Setting achievable goals with reasonable timelines helps your sense of accomplishment grow while your stress level declines.

• Step-Out Complicated Projects. Dividing a complex project into phases provides specific direction, helps maintain a calm environment, and motivates the team. Daily or weekly to-do lists can also help prioritize tasks.

• Make Time for Meetings and Completing Tasks. Blocking out the time necessary to complete a task on your calendar is just as important as scheduling time for meetings.

• Communicate Regularly. Recognizing employee achievements can increase confidence, as well as reduce stress related to workloads. Employees may also be able to help identify new ways that they can contribute.

• Schedule Time for Exercise. A regular exercise routine can help lower stress and recharge your batteries for the challenges ahead.

Remember that laughter can be one of the best stress relievers of all–when things start to get too intense, it could be time for a little humor to lighten the load.

Critical thinking . . .

June 11th, 2012

Speaking with colleagues and clients, it seems that many of us are still fire-fighting and have lost our edge as it regards to strategic and critical thinking. Although a bit simplistic, I found this artical interesting and a good starting point for getting back to leading versus reaction.  Some of the reader comments are very thought-provoking as well.

What kind of “what if” thinking have you practiced lately?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2012/03/27/how-to-develop-5-critical-thinking-types/

Why you should NOT take a counter offer!

April 10th, 2012

Alison Green does a great job explaining why taking a counter offer is not a good play.

In over 25 years of placements, I can only remember one or two instances where this worked out for a candidate for the long term  – and these were A players.  If you are generally happy with your job and it’s only about the pay,  ask for the raise first before you go job-shopping and give compelling reasons why you deserve it.

Go to the link for the full story  http://news.yahoo.com/why-shouldnt-counteroffer-133221049.html

“Rewrite” your interview script

March 15th, 2012

During your interview you are telling a story about yourself. Michael Kinsman offers some valid thoughts as to show and tell why you would be the right person for the job.

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2012/mar/15/jobs-rewrite-your-interview-script/

Tech Salaries On The Rise

February 17th, 2012

Technology professionals enjoyed their largest annual salary growth since 2008, according to the latest Dice Tech Salary Survey. After two straight years of wages remaining nearly flat, tech professionals on average garnered salary increases of more than 2%, boosting their average annual wage to $81,327 from $79,384 in 2010.

A more considerable jump was noted in both size of average bonuses, up 8% to $8,769, and the number of technology professionals receiving bonuses: 32% in 2011, compared with 29% in 2010 and 24% in 2009. The industries most likely to pay out bonuses: Telecom, Hardware, Banking, Utilities/Energy and Software.

For the full report:

  • http://resources.dice.com/report/dice-tech-salary-survey-results-2012/

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