Some consider them a fool’s game, others, a talisman. And still yet, others consider them a formality akin to providing your driver’s license number on an application – a part of the process, but not affecting your candidacy.I am talking, of course, about job references.

Despite their occasional stigma, professional references can have a decisive effect on one’s candidacy. They have resuscitated unpromising candidates, highlighted humility and strong relationships, and even unveiled fallow candidates which were otherwise the paper-perfect-fit but doomed to disappointment.

Reputations absolutely do make a difference to how skilled hiring authorities piece together their final picture of you. But with such stakes at hand, how do you choose wisely, and what exactly should they say?

FIVE WAYS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR ATTRACTIVENESS WITH HONEST AND CRITICAL REFERENCES

The most job-winning references we conduct have intense optimistic constructive criticism for the candidate. And likewise, some of the most useless references read like a medal of honor decoration. Wouldn’t everyone want glowing references? What, then, is a good reference?If you are just now cultivating good references in your job search, it may be too late. Developing strong relationships, alliances really, that can provide game-changing references takes dedication to the success of those around you. If that’s something you can grow in, get busy growing. You don’t want to be asking that person who ‘owes you one’ for their professional input to your career, or worse, not realize they won’t reflect well on you.

1. LEVERAGE REFERENCES WHO ARE INTIMATELY FAMILIAR WITH YOUR PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE

Good references can come from a variety of persons: supervisors, subordinates, peers, and clients. But what really sets them apart primarily is that they’ve worked with you. Whether it be any of the above mentioned, they should be able to recall specific examples of how you have demonstrated certain skill sets that are relevant to the opportunity in question. Bob, the ice cream man, may have great 35-second conversations with you every Friday evening, but he won’t lend credible insight to your character and expertise. Choose someone who worked with you enough to know both your strengths and opportunities for growth in detail.

2. CAPITALIZE ON THEIR HARD WORK BUILDING A STRONG INDUSTRY REPUTATION

References from the owner or responsible manager are often superior in quality to a reference from a peer or subordinate. Their insight is heavily weighted because their responsibility and perspective often see contributions and struggles in the broader situational context. In addition, people with responsibility have a built-in incentive to be clear and honest about their recommendations because their reputation as a manager or owner is connected to their analysis. They graciously impart their good industry standing to you via their thoughtful reference. A peer or subordinate can more easily be persuaded to provide a glowing, dataless reference.

3. DON’T ASK YOUR REFERENCES TO SUGARCOAT ANYTHING – GET BRUTALLY HONEST

It is essential to trust that your prospective employer and your references want what’s best for you.

If you can’t, run. Otherwise, trust them.

Please allow me to explain: We all have weaknesses and opportunities for growth and improvement. The only way to thrive at your next job is to collaborate with your next boss on your opportunities for growth.

This is the only way to grow personally and organizationally.

People working closely with you can be of tremendous value in pointing these things out, as we all have blind spots. Choose honest references who have worked closely enough with you to see your excellent qualities, and closely enough also to advise where your next company might support your opportunities for improvement.

It’s important to recognize that criticism of a reference does not necessarily mean that candidate is poorly suited. It often means that the candidate has the character and relationships to provide critical references with similarly strong character and an interest in seeing them succeed, not coddled.

Prepare your references to provide real insight. Encourage them to be honest. Some incorrectly believe that only glowing praise may be shared in a reference. The fact is, blindingly optimistic references are untrustworthy.

They only provide a data point that the candidate is capable of providing shills to hock their qualities and disrespect the vetting process intended for their success and the company’s.

A good reference-taker wants to have a meaningful conversation with a reference provider about the true nature of your character, contribution, skills, and growth opportunities.

References who, when asked about opportunities for growth, shrug and suggest that you descended angelically from heaven to bless anyone lucky enough to hire you, ironically, are detracting from your credibility.

4. LAY DOWN WITH DOGS, WAKE UP WITH TICKS.

Birds of a feather flock together. If the reference you’ve provided can’t construct a sentence without cursing, how should that be perceived?

If your reference is sexist, racist, or loose-tongued about their negative experiences in life, how should that be perceived?

A consistent lack of professionalism in references is a serious indicator that you haven’t spent much time with the market superstars that are serious about their professionalism, ethics, and communication.

5. YOU MUST BE IMPORTANT TO THEM. IF THEY WANT YOU TO SUCCEED, THEY WILL MAKE THE EFFORT.

Great references provide their perspectives in a timely manner. It is a data point about the strength of your relationship. Express your gratitude for their sacrifice of time and perspective so that you can achieve your goals.

If you have worked with great leaders, and are a leader yourself, you should not have a hard time providing allies who can contribute to a great career transition for you in a timely manner.

In conclusion, put effort into strategizing which references will best represent you and communicate with them beforehand so that they are prepared to help you put your best foot forward.

Be selective about who you choose. Choose only people that have observed you as an employee, colleague, and leader.

Don’t avoid the ones that might have some constructive and optimistic feedback among the positive, as those are the ones that may be of greatest use to your target organization and, ultimately, your success.

Click to magnify.

Sometimes pictures are worth far more than a thousand words. This one might be worth 100,000 words. There are so many lessons and points jam packed here. Contemplate it.

If you follow the road to success, you see there are many pitfalls along the way. You need to keep your eyes open. Many people rush over the threshold of Opportunity but fall into the dark holes of Illiteracy or ConceitHotel Know It All has many rooms. So does the Mutual Admiration Society, from which the balloon Hot Air floats. And the Always Right Club has plenty of members. Vices lead immediately to the river of Failure; the same is true for The FakerBad Habits lead quickly to Oblivion – as does a Bad ReputationJealousy and the desire to Do It Tomorrow are portrayed as spiders with webs that trap many.  Weak morals appear to be an elevator to the top of the mountain but actually send you down a chute right back to the beginning. Have a look at this view of “The Road to Success.” Over one hundred years after it first appeared, it is still fresh.

We have a couple bookshelves stuffed with excellent wisdom for employees (and me) to read. Most of what I’ve learned over the years comes from books. If you consider the life altering and improving value books have, it is incredible you can buy them so cheap. Inexpensive books are one of the wonders of modern capitalism. A few thousand dollars in books, and the requisite time to read them, can be worth millions or billions and make life much easier by learning from the mistakes of others.

 Our actual bookshelf.

Business

Hiring

Team leadership

Negotiation & Sales

Recruiting

Communication

Employee satisfaction in their work relies on three factors, per the excellent book ‘3 Signs of a Miserable Job’ by Patrick Lencioni.

  1. Relevance. How do employee’s help improve other’s lives? These people may be customers, coworkers, or their boss. People feel fulfilled when their work has an appreciable positive impact on other people’s lives. The more you can connect their efforts to positive impact, the better. Having a culture of gratitude for their work is an important first step in relevance.
  2. Measurability. Can employees’s work be measured and useful feedback be provided on better ways to do the work. Key performance indicators should always be employed so that the employee can have confidence their work is satisfactory or so they know they need help. Make it clear to employees how they know they are doing a great job.
  3. Feeling known and understood. Most of us spend an incredible portion of our lives at work. The people and team dynamic in the workplace is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. Team members must care about one another. The key to caring about one another is first to know about one another. This kicks off early in one’s introduction to the company by ensuring they are properly introduced and welcomed to the team. They should not have to earn the respect of the team, they should have it because they were hired. They should feel that their team and manager care personally about their success and the influential factors in their life.

Consider the flip side of these three points.

How are people to be motivated to sacrifice, in any way, if they feel their work is unnecessary or trivial? This goes for senior executives to burger flippers (thank you!)

How can great performance be expected if it is not defined? After all, don’t we need to inspect what we expect?

What kind of company culture will shallow relationships produce? Will people stay late to help one another solve problems? will people readily admit mistakes if they don’t feel valued? How quickly will the motivated be thinking about how they can start a business to do this on their own?

Know your people. Communicate their relevance to everyone in the company and customers and create systems to affirm great contribution. Create objective standards and track performance while providing regular feedback and mentorship.

Let me tell you a story about your perfect interview. It’s a short and simple story. You make it look easy.

That is how you nail the interview.

Negotiations are nerve-wracking. When it comes time to negotiate a raise with your boss, anxiety may kick into hyperdrive. Time of year and current economic climate doesn’t hold much weight in the matter either. Your raise is strictly about your work performance and what you feel you deserve in compensation for that performance.

FIVE TIPS

Every great raise negotiation follows the same general guidelines. Speaking one-on-one with your boss might not happen too often, so it’s important to have everything planned before the discussion begins. It’s always good to prepare for a few counterpoints as well. 

Here are five easy tips to help prepare you for a proper negotiation:

Learning to negotiate with your boss can help you excel in negotiations elsewhere. Specifically, you could be in a management position one day and have to negotiate a raise for one of your employees. 

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN NEGOTIATING A RAISE

There are also concrete mistakes that people tend to make during their negotiations that you will want to avoid. 

Some of these mistakes include: 

Raise negotiations are a relational art form. You can only plan so much. The flow of the negotiation will take over at some point. Above all, remember to stay present during the negotiation and to listen to what your boss is saying, not what you will say next.

Interviews are not all about getting the job.

It is about building relationships to see if you want to work with this person/team for the long run.

You do not want to ‘win’ every single interview because your values may not be aligned. Working for a company with different values than you is not fun. You want great mutual understanding and trust, even if that means they screen you out or you screen them out.

It’s not personal. These are huge decisions for you and prospective employers. Be honest, vulnerable, concise, thoughtful, and get to know your interviewers well. These meetings should arm you to make a decisive decision should they make you an offer.

1. Get great sleep the night before your interview. Being well-rested will give you excellent mental agility and emotional bandwidth. You will be highly capable of careful active listening and relate closely to your interviewers. You will be observant to notice details that resonate with your values or warn you of a poor fit.

2. Arrive early enough to be calm and focused. Consider travel methods that are not prone to delays. Showing up slightly before your interview is step one of succeeding in the interview. Canceling or being late is a common warning sign that the relationship will not work out. 

3. Review the website of the company to understand as much as you can.

4. Bring several copies of your resume. This is rarely necessary but always an impressive display of preparation and commitment.

5. Dress sharply one level above the normal business attire for the prospective business. For example, in a business casual office, you might wear slacks and a blazer where a suit may be overdoing it and tone-deaf to the office culture. Ties are uncommon on the west coast and common on the east coast.

6. Develop a list of questions about the ethos of the company and hiring authority to understand their perspective on management and vision for the company. A helpful tool for remembering your questions without referring to a large notepad of questions and interrupting the momentum of the conversation is to write concise prompts on a small piece of paper. 

7. Ask questions with genuine curiosity to understand their needs. “What problem will I be focused on solving?” Listen to understand and not to respond. Take your time thoughtfully responding to questions.

9. Greet with a firm handshake, a friendly smile, and an enthusiastic hello. Be excited, but not too excited. Pay attention to the energy in the room.

10. Avoid engaging in early compensation negotiation. The appropriate time for the negotiation is after the opportunity and your candidacy have been fully explored and the value is exciting to both parties. Negotiating too early causes uneducated value statements to be made about the relationship which is probably not true or healthy. Share your compensation information freely with the company and disarmingly tell them that “Right now I am really focused on understanding your company’s needs, the opportunity, and how I might benefit the team here. I am sure any offer you make will be competitive.” 

11. Consider how you will answer the question “Tell me about yourself”. This is a common opening question and its intent is to understand what you think is important. Share some details about your past and smoothly transition into storytelling your career in broad strokes, being mindful to highlight accomplishments. Conclude your career story by explaining what you found intriguing in their opportunity. A great follow-up question for you to ask after concluding your answer is “What else would you like to know?” 

12. Consider how you will answer the question “Why are you looking to make a change?”. This question seeks to understand your motivations and how those motivations will affect your future performance. Be positive. Explain all that you have learned in your role and where you want your career to go from here, hence your exploration of this opportunity. Help the interviewer see how your current role has prepared you to grow and how they can benefit from your skills and desire to grow more.

13. Ask what their ideal candidate needs to do to earn an excellent review. This will inform you of their expectations and signal to your interviewer that you care about your performance. Work to understand their expectations for success in this role.

14. If you enjoyed the meeting, tell the interviewers so and let them know you are looking forward to learning more in the next step. Ask them what they would like to do for the next step. Being proactive at this point greatly increases your chances of another interview because companies like to see people enthusiastic about their opportunities.

15. Note the names and emails of the interviewers so you can send a post-interview thank you letter or email. This is a classy step that shows simple gratitude and care.

Happiness in this context also means achieving goals, established relationships, a renowned reputation, pride in your work, meaningful personal influence, and well-laid-out family priorities.

We do not believe in career success only; success in your carrier must be accompanied by success in your personal life because that is how you be truly happy. Your life responsibilities must align, not be at odds. 

We define career as a field of work you have chosen and decided to be excellent in. A career can be broader than this, but we narrowed it down because we will provide tips to go deeper in the field you choose. 

When you stay long enough in a field, you gain a deeper understanding and expertise that gives you the upper hand. You will have special insight. 

TABLE OF CONTENT 

  1. Creating Career Goals
  2. Resume Crafting
  3. Preparing to Interview Expertly
  4. Performance interview
  5. Negotiate with integrity and power
  6. Honorable resignation
  7. Swift onboarding
  8. Career Building Habits
  9. https://www.softwaresolved.com/telc

CREATING CAREER GOALS

You would beg to differ and say you are already happy in your job right now. But we want to help you go from happy to happier.

Creating and understanding goals makes decision-making easier. Those without goals or who do not understand their goals think shallowly and make decisions to benefit them short-term at the expense of their ultimate goals. When pursuing a greater goal, you might have to sacrifice some opportunities and delay gratification but enable advancement down the road through mentorship and leadership development.

Who Do You Want to Be?

What do you want for your personal life?

What do you want from your professional life?

Do you truly want to change your job? Think about this BEFORE you start the interviewing process. There is a common analogy I would like us to use “the grass is greener on the other side.”  

Often when you admire the greener grass on the other side, it is because it has been watered and fertilized.

Do not underestimate what watering and fertilizing the grass on your side could do.

So, instead of thinking about hoping over the fence for the greener grass, put in the work. People who put in the work are the most valuable.

And often, the proverbial grass is actually greener, so you can go. But ensure you know what you term greener grass by your priorities.

We do not often appreciate what we have until it is gone; other times, we do not recognize how companies have sprayed this so-called green grass and even go further by dedicating time to improving ourselves in the challenge.

Do not retreat the first time you sense trouble, and do not avoid opportunities by avoiding problems because that is how you improve your leadership and problem-solving skills. With tenacity, problems become opportunities. 

That is how you become the owner of the greener grass, entitling you to top-level compensation.

RESUME CRAFTING

RESUME DESIGN AND TEMPLATE

Here are some places to get good resume templates

You should choose a design that reflects you.  It could be modern, simple, colorful, or pragmatic; anything that fits your personality.

Just like you would in an interview, you should put your best foot forward when preparing. There is no reason to have a shoddy resume if you value making a strong first impression.

TELLING YOUR STORY

Hiring managers and recruiters go through many resumes, so they are usually attracted to one that stands out. Supposedly, people spend about ten seconds with a resume before drawing up a conclusion. Think of what they could come up with in ten seconds.

Hiring authorities read your resume to know if you can solve their problems. They want the right attitude, quality work, loyalty, and a record of sustaining good relationships.

That is why your resume has to showcase an honest and attractive image of your abilities on paper. 

Focus less on having all the right skills and more on being teachable, humble, capable, and honest. 

A perceptive leader will recognize that your attitude matters more than experience. 

THE INTRODUCTION – YOUR WHY

The introduction is highly important because it gives them a glimpse of what to expect. Start with the most important details about you. Your name, where you live, contact information, and chosen profession. 

Then you go on to share your mission statement talking about your why and what. 

For example, I find fulfillment in creating marketable designs because I enjoy complexity, collaboration, and a beautiful, completed product.

This statement clearly states what motivates you.

SKILLS 

Be concise and strict. Most people are too lax and vague about their skills. Consequently, they do not highlight the major skills. 

A specific list of problems you can solve is better than stating abstract skills like communication. 

WORK CHRONOLOGY

This is where you talk about your work experience. It is important that you streamline this because you do not know what they can perceive from your background.

BE HONEST! Changing minute details like dates and omitting stints is dishonesty and is the same as a company not writing the entire truth in their job description. Focus on your experience and lessons. 

EDUCATION

Even though many companies care more about what you have achieved than your formal education, however, it is still good you share.

TIPS 

COVER LETTERS

You will write cover letters for each role stating why you are interested in the role. This is a way to connect your skills to their hiring needs. 

ATTACHMENTS

There are other supporting documents to add to your application pack to back up your candidacy.

PREPARING TO INTERVIEW MASTERFULLY

MINDSET

Who gets the job is not the best person for the job, but the person who interviews best. 

Your communication skill is essential; if you have not brushed it up, there is little this document can do for you. Some aspects of communication skills are learned from practice and failure. It is common for unprepared candidates to interview poorly and still have no idea why they failed to get the job. The sad part is that they keep doing this with no self-examination. 

If you are on a learning curve, this information will be valuable. You might already know some of the information here, but the emphasis is good.

To represent the Ambassador Search Group,  you should take interviews seriously and prepare beforehand.  

KNOW YOUR VALUE

While you might have some shortcomings, you should go through the interview process with knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses. 

Here are some introspective questions to help you define your unique selling point to the hiring opportunity.  

RESEARCH CHECKLIST 

It will be easier to impress your employer if you are well-prepared. 

Your goal should be to learn what you can and learn what you do not know, so you can ask about it.

No matter the amount of research you do, you can not know everything about the company and its role. You can only get about  40% information, which is a good start. You will know the rest during the interview process.

What the research does is help you know enough to ask the right questions, show preparation, giving you the interviewer’s respect. Here are the things to check out

IN-PERSON INTERVIEW CHECKLIST

  1. Sleep well. The importance of sleeping can not be overemphasized. Interviewing is a dynamic relational process, and you should be at your brightest and happiest state to give you a good reflection.
  2. Plan your drive with extra time for traffic
  3. If it seems you might not be able to make the interview in time, speak with them and explain beforehand.
  4. Know where you are going, your route, and the likely traffic time. Estimate the time and add extra time. Get to the interview location at least five minutes early.
  5. Ensure your hygiene is in order. Do not wear strong perfume or cologne.
  6. Just because you have sent your resume does not mean you should leave it at home. Something unpredictable things can happen, so it is best to hold extra copies. 
  7. Being nervous happens sometimes. In such circumstances, take a deep breath and humbly tell the interviewers that you are nervous. This can reduce the tension in the air and make everyone relax  and comfortable
  8. Turn off alerts from your devices
  9. Dress smartly to reflect professionalism, regional culture, and company standards. For instance, considering regional culture, business attire on the West Coast is not as formal as that of the East Coast. 
  10. Greet everyone with a warm smile, and note their names.  

VIRTUAL INTERVIEW CHECKLIST

  1. Sleep well.  The importance of sleeping can not be overemphasized. Interviewing is a dynamic relational process, and you should be at your brightest and happiest state to give you a good reflection.
  2. Ensure your technology works.  Check the video and sound, and have strong internet.  
  3. Show up five minutes early
  4. Avoid ambient noise (talking, dogs barking, car honking, etc.). It is best to use quality headphones
  5. Use a setting with a nice background or use a virtual background
  6. Turn off notifications from your devices
  7. Turn off your self-view video to avoid distraction and focus on the interview. You don’t have to make eye contact with your camera, but you should focus your attention on the person speaking
  8. Dress sharp. Just because it is a virtual interview doesn’t mean your appearance will not be evaluated.
  9. A slight audio or video lag can cause interruptions regularly, defer to the other person speaking 

PREPARE YOUR QUESTIONS

Asking intelligent questions is an excellent way of showing preparation and competence. When you do not as intelligent questions, it shows that you have invested little in researching the position and may not care much for your career trajectory. 

TEN EASY SUGGESTIONS 

  1. Can I know more about the working culture of the company?
  2. What is the company’s measure of success in this role?
  3. What are the unacceptable in the job?
  4. What challenges is the organization facing at the moment
  5. What is considered the productive conflict
  6. What are the common challenges I can face in the position
  7. What is the biggest challenge faced by the company
  8. How did the position become available? What happened with the previous employee
  9. What do you regard s failure? Why do people tend to fail?
  10. How do you respond to underperformance?

THE PERFORMANCE INTERVIEW

The first interview is about getting a full view of the interview. Reading the people. Asking the big picture questions. Discovering what investment is required of both parties. Establishing mutual interest. 

The second interview defines the relationship more. You talk in-depth about the role, expectations, and corresponding skills. It is a vetting test.

The third interview goes deeper than the second as it brings out more information and questions needing answers. This is where you can share sample work products and assess challenging situations to know if you fit the role. 

The standard number of interviews is three, but a company can choose to add more if they are not satisfied with the previous one.  

THE INTERVIEW PROCESS EVOLUTION

It is not possible to know how exactly your interview process will be because each interview is relatively different. Different factor play a role in the interview and including communication, skills, and chemistry. 

However, there  is a common trend.

4. FOUR INTERVIEW GOALS

The interview process replicates how any other type of relationship forms. 

You can form a relationship by looking for common ground, appreciating and understanding the other person, and talking more about yourself.

The person who gets the job is someone the interviewer or company likes. If you are not likable, your chances of getting the job are lower.

An interview is like a sales process. Not the typical used-car-salesman method but the true problem-meets-solution method. 

Many think of sales as a dirty word. But you should think of sales as a way of helping someone solve their problem. The company would want to hire someone with the talent to solve their problems.  The interview process helps them know the right person to solve the problem. 

COMMON MISTAKES 

  1. Interviewing to be the right person instead of interviewing to understand who the right person is.  The pressure of going through the interview can mar your active listening abilities. Eliminate all interview veneer that makes you try to look good. Instead, focus on understanding the company, role, and people, on making the right decision.
  2. Assuming the meanings of words. Assumptions birth bad surprises. Convert ambiguity to clarity. If you are not sure about something, ask follow-up questions instead of making assumptions.
  3. Showing a lack of investment by poor interview preparation, listening, and presentation
  4. Answering questions quickly  without giving an in-depth answer expected to the question
  5. Overconfidence that you are the right person for the job. It is good to show confidence but only at the same pace as theirs, and vice-versa. Else, you will not sync.
  6. Taking rejections personally. If you get personally offended by signs of rejection, it can ruin your chances of getting other opportunities from the firm or other firms affiliated with the management.
  7. If your intention for interviewing is to get an offer so that you can have leverage at your current firm and get a counteroffer, you will give a bad-faith animosity impression with your current and prospective employer. It is dangerous, avoid it at all costs.

NAIL THE 10 FUNDAMENTALS 

  1. Show up on time, looking happy and bright, with extra copies of your resume
  2. Dress smart with good hygiene
  3. Greet with warm smiles
  4. Remember people’s names
  5. Listen actively (be ready to rephrase or clarify questions)
  6. Show professional etiquette at all times
  7. Let the interviewer lead
  8. Prepare yourself with good questions to clarify words so you do not have to assume anything
  9. Tell them what you like about the role and connect how you are qualified for it
  10. Ask for the next step

HOW TO TAKE NOTES AT INTERVIEWS

If you are familiar with taking notes, that’s awesome, but remember that you might need to  make more eye contact during the interview

Taking notes is very helpful in keeping track of new information.

You can create a note column for the categories to easily track these factors during the conversation

But ensure taking notes does not impair the relationship

DISCUSSING YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER GRACEFULLY

Some of the reasons you are interviewing for a new job might not reflect well on your current employer, but it is improper to fully divulge such information during the interview.

This might include office drama details, mismanagement issues, unethical work culture, and bad worker relationships. 

Do not rant, complain, or go into gory details.

Talk about the positive sides you experience and the opposite things you look forward to. 

For instance, if you have a troubling relationship with your coworkers, you can state your goals to be having a good team relationship.

If you are uncertain about the long-term stability of your current job, talk about your enthusiasm to work for a well-managed company that will handle challenges well. 

INTERVIEWING THE INTERVIEWERS

The questions the interviewers ask you are what open the portals for follow-up questions. Their questions are critical requirements to assess you, so you can assess your skills and role with the follow-up questions based on their questions. 

For example: 

Interview: Please tell us about a time you handled a challenging client.

Answer the question

Then ask: Please tell me some examples of challenging clients you have encountered and your standards for serving them.

CLOSING THE INTERVIEW

Does your excitement increase the more you know about the position and the company?

If so, tell them precisely why?

For instance;

“I am grateful for this opportunity to know more about your team and the role you are offering. It is exciting because I have always been interested in XYZ and this seems to correlate with the FGH needs of the role. Does that sound right to you?”

Ask for the next step.

The next step in the interview might have some strict process before committing, but you should endeavor to ask.

Why?

Companies want to hire people who are qualified and enthusiastic to work with them. 

WARNING SIGNS

To keep the wisdom of interviewing the interviewers, reflect on these questions.

  1. Have the interviewers fully defined the position and can they answer all your questions satisfactorily? 
  2. Have you met and liked the team determinants of your success?
  3. Are the interviewers relaxed and easy to talk with? Are they welcoming and friendly?
  4. Does the company think ideological process conflict is good? What does it seem like? What happens to the yes-people?
  5. Did the interviewers show respect, or they had to look at the hierarchical authority to do that?
  6. Do you understand why there is a vacant position and what that represents? (for instance, people keep leaving the role due to an incompetent manager.)
  7. What does their culture say about their beliefs?  Will they want success at no cost? Do their values align with yours? 

POST-INTERVIEW FEEDBACK

Critical interview feedback is rare. Society is litigious, and many interviewees do not take critical feedback well, especially in a subjective relational topic like interviewing.

If you truly want to receive interview feedback, first review yourself and think of what you could do better. When you share it,  it will show humility and ownership and elicit perspective from the other side,  but do not feel entitled to it. 

NEGOTIATING WITH POWER & INTEGRITY

We believe in quality long-term relationships, so we are not interested in sleazy compensation negotiation tactics. Deceiving, manipulating, and looking out for yourself only might get you more compensation, but those tactics sacrifice trust, integrity, and relationships and sabotage your long-term prospects. 

There are different negotiation strategies for different situations. There is haggling for beanie bags at a garage sale and negotiating with people, you will need to trust for decades. 

Compensation negotiation is more relatively sensitive and nuanced because it is a long-term deal. 

PRINCIPALS (WE’LL EXPLAIN BETTER)

  1. Justify everything
  2. Set clear goals
  3. Understand alternative solutions
  4. Build trust
  5. Deal in good faith (avoid emotional manipulation)
  6. Be direct about concerns
  7. Protect the other party’s right to veto

What do these mean?

JUSTIFY EVERYTHING

Negotiation is just like haggling and less effective at making people willingly want to compromise if your reasons are not justified.

If your only leverage is the company’s need to hire, and you use that to negotiate with them, do not be surprised if they treat you the same way with their need to employ disappearing. 

Using open-source salary data can be suspect because it never accounts for communication abilities, skillsets, differences in experience levels, leadership, etc

SET CLEAR GOALS

You will be able to agree on compensation more easily and enjoyably if you already have clear goals. Thinking you are going in to get as much as possible makes you greedy and use unethical negotiation tactics, leading to adversarial relationships. Remember, this is a long-term partnership and the value of the negotiation should favor both parties, and this happens by setting clear goals.

UNDERSTAND ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

It is unreasonable to be so fixated on the salary when the company stock option program will be of more advantage.  Identify compensation priorities. Do you prefer less salary and more bonus potential, or the other way round? Negotiate all these. 

BUILD TRUST

Trust is the foundation of a good relationship. You build trust by preparing, investing, taking ownership, sharing risk, listening, and taking nothing for granted.

DEAL IN GOOD FAITH (NO EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION)

It is tempting to play manipulative games to have the upper hand in negotiating. 

Emotional manipulation while negotiating shows that you did not use the first tip (justify everything). It is like trying to get something for nothing. 

To negotiate in good faith is to communicate honestly with the other party’s interest in your mind as well so that both parties can get the most benefits.  

You can ask for anything you can justify. 

BE DIRECT ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS

Many people share their concerns with us, the recruiter, and we advise them to share them with the clients also so that they can work through them together.  

Each party should be interested in the other’s success (if you are both financially aligned). Problems are excellent opportunities to see how the other works out said problem. 

PROTECT THE OTHER PARTY’S RIGHT TO VETO

You will build trust better if you acknowledge the other party’s right to leave the relationship if they do not find you suitable for their need. You also have this right.  Acknowledging and protecting each other’s right to walk away makes communicating your interest in the other person’s interest easier, building trust. 

Manipulative negotiating skills back the other person into a corner where the logical decision is to agree to what the other wants. This has adverse effects and creates a distrustful relationship.

NEGOTIATING MISTAKES

This is the only way some know how to negotiate. However, no one wants it to be done to them. Live by the sword, die by the sword. If you think of this as the only way to secure an offer, you or the other party are not negotiating in good faith and you need to come up with justifications.

To gain more perspective, we recommend this helpful video by Professor Deepak Malhotra, discussing his recommendations for compensation negotiation.

HONORABLE RESIGNATION

EXPECTATIONS

Resigning from your current work is a trying task, even if you are leaving for good or emotional ones. Successfully resigning with professional drama and minimal drama is the perfect way to keep the bridge intact. 

Are you really ready to resign, or do you want a deal to convince you of it?

Resignation policies vary widely. Some firms will slam the door in your face, while some will throw you a farewell party. Prepare your expectations accordingly. 

It is not fun to disappoint people, especially those you have a good relationship with. 

WRITING YOUR RESIGNATION LETTER

We recommend that you tender your resignation with a written letter. It shows regard and is also professional, allowing you to prepare your resignation explanation beforehand. 

Be positive and grateful. No matter the circumstance, there have been good acts from some co-workers at one time. Showing gratitude for the opportunity makes it easier for the graceful receipt of the letter. 

You do not need to itemize the reasons for your resignation. Use your discretion to highlight helpful information. 

Here are some sample resignation letters.

THE CONVERSATION

We recommend resigning in person because it makes more impact. 

Hopefully, your boss is a good one and can urge you on, and wish you the best in your career growth. 

However, panic-driven conversations are more common when they realize the problem is there to stay. Some leaders will immediately find a solution to the problem provided you have previously stated. 

You should ignore this. Desperate people do desperate things, including telling you what they think you want to hear just so you can stay back. 

Do not fall for it; remember why you looked for a new job.

COMMON TACTICS

  1. Stalling for time
  2. Offer for promotion or raise with flattery
  3. Coworkers trying to deter you from going
  4. More attentiveness to your concerns

Again, remember why you wanted t leave in the first place. It is not time to be emotional; rather, think of your principles, no matter what. 

COUNTER-OFFERS

We can not completely say it is inappropriate to take a counter-offer, but we can confidently say it is not a great recipe for a relationship 

Getting what you want from others by threatening to leave is not a good way to grow in your career. Loyalty goes both ways. 

How do you want to be treated? Do you want to be treated cruelly if the company finds a way to further its interest at your expense? Do you want to invest your career in such a company?

Your prospective employer invested good faith, time, money, and energy into interviewing you and chose you over other agents. If you accept the counteroffer, you will disrespect their investment, staining your industry reputation. 

LEAVING WITH RESPECT AND HONOR

How you finish the remaining time spent will reflect your work ethic and integrity

 BRISK ONBOARDING

Now that you have gotten the offer, the first hurdle is gone; the second hurdle is getting on board in the next 100 days. This is when you make first impressions, establish partnerships, and set your career trajectory.

Even though first impressions can be changed, it will take extra effort. More so, companies want employees to be a part of and exhibit their culture within ninety days, sooner if possible. The first 100 days need special attention; it is different from business as usual.

Transitioning is usually learned the hard way. However, there has been enough research to know the trends in successful work transitions

We are always available to talk and listen confidentially.  You will have unlimited access to career coaching. Sometimes external processing can be helpful in working through challenges. 

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.”

– Harry Truman

CAREER BUILDING HABITS

PERFORMANCE FIRST

You must excel at solving your employer’s customer’s or client’s problems. Excelling in all other areas without solving the main problem is pointless.

SEE  OBSTACLES AS OPPORTUNITIES

Obstacles are perfect ways to sharpen your skillset, innovate, learn a new perspective, and build trust with key stakeholders when you build a path with the obstacle

CULTIVATE RELATIONSHIPS

Industry relationships might not give you an immediate advantage but they are valuable. Relationships give you leverage. Who do you think has a better advantage? Someone with a small or large network.

KNOWLEDGE

Knowledge births wisdom. Do things to advance in knowledge; read books, innovate, take courses from professionals, and see things from a different perspective on solving the industry problems. 

DIPLOMACY

You can not do without diplomacy in a company setting. Learn problem-solving skills, learn how to pass across bad news, and many other skills.

Video interviews are a unique type of interview because of the interpersonal nature of video but the unrelational distance involved. So, it can be really challenging to find an easy flow. These best practice points apply to interviewers just as much to interviewees.

  1. Budget your time. There is limited time in the interview so try to spend it carefully. Don’t spend a lot of time agreeing when a simple nod or “understood” will suffice. Move the conversation forward.
  2. When specific questions are answered, answer with specific details. The temptation is to talk generalities.
  3. When you setup, try to have more light on your face than on everything else. Avoid a bright background and a dark you.
  4. Dress sharp. Not overdressed. Contextually relevant. The west coast is more relaxed. The east coast still hasn’t abandoned the tie.
  5. Control your sound. Some mics are great. Some are terrible. Using headphones with a mic tends to equalize the audio quality for everyone. Minimize background noise distraction. A quiet room at the library is a good option.
  6. Expect audio lag and wait just a few seconds to let the conversation settle before you speak. It’s normal for people to step on one another in a video conference but waiting a bit will mitigate it. You shouldn’t be in a hurry to talk anyways.
  7. Don’t bundle your questions. The temptation can be to ask three questions at once. Typically you get poor answers. Once concise question at a time.
  8. Active listening is key. Don’t think about your next question. Interviewing is about building trust; careful listening and understanding is key to building that trust.
  9. Show up five minutes early.

Few things in life are harder to resist than a large pile of money. The temptation is even greater when the only thing you have to do to get it is… Nothing! This exact situation is experienced by hundreds, perhaps thousands of people every day in the form of a counteroffer designed to keep them from leaving for a different company. Accepting such an offer is unwise and leads to all sorts of problems.

  1. The original problem, the one which motivated you to search for another job, isn’t solved. You are dissatisfied with your current employer; your boss is a jerk and the commute is horrendous, or you are stuck in an undesirable role doing something you don’t enjoy. Money won’t solve these problems, it may make them fade into the background for a while, but as soon as the novelty of your new paycheck wears off, and it will, all the old frustrations will resurface. The difference is that this time, you are beholden for the big chunk of money just handed to you. How long do you have to stick around before you have “earned it,” in their eyes, and yours? It isn’t hard to imagine how leaving anyways six months after accepting the counteroffer would be considered shady by most people, and probably destroy any relationship you could have had with your old boss. Nobody wants that. More money just makes unhappy people wealthier.
  2. Stalled career growth. Management will always remember your canceled exit attempt and their perception of your loyalty to the company will be tainted by this history. If you are up for promotion alongside someone who doesn’t share this background, the odds are good that the candidate that seems like the better long term investment will be chosen over the one that looks like a flight risk.
  3. That’s not fair! There is the potential for jealousy among colleagues. This is particularly applicable to counteroffers because often the person continues to do the same job in the same way as before. The only apparent reason they are now making more money is that they threatened to leave. This can lead to resentment and tension in the office and an uncomfortable work environment.
  4. The placeholder counteroffer. Hiring and training new people is expensive, even more so when the situation is desperate; “a good employee has just left for another firm and we need a replacement now!” Sometimes the boss will write up a nice offer designed to retain the wavering worker just long enough to secure some breathing room and allow the company sufficient time to locate a replacement. Once a suitable stand-in is found and hired, management will either lay off the recipient of the counteroffer, (“you’re too expensive”) or make work so miserable that they quit. Companies want you to leave on their terms, not yours. Be the captain of your own career, don’t let others determine when you switch companies, that is your sole prerogative.
  5. Negative impression on potential employers. Nobody likes being used. Companies will feel taken advantage of. It is a small world and it doesn’t take many repetitions of this behavior before a person develops a reputation, the result of which is greatly reduced prospects for future employment diversity and mobility in the marketplace. Options are always good to have by any standard and you don’t want to limit your possibilities for the future. Some may say they took a counter-offer and it worked out fine, it happens. People also drive the wrong way on one-way streets without a catastrophic accident, but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Don’t fall into the trap of using the exception to justify the general rule of wisdom.