Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips
Job-hunting tips from the February 14, 2005 issue of QuintZine.
In an interview, clear communication outweighs even tardiness. Fifty-seven percent of hiring managers said they are turned off by poor communication skills — which includes providing inarticulate answers or vague information about past experience — according to Development Dimensions International’s (DDI) The Selection Forecast: Recruiting and Hiring Talent. This figure represents more than three times the number of respondents who were turned off by candidates who were late to the interview or who lacked knowledge about the company.
“Hiring managers don’t want to train people to communicate,” said Scott Erker, senior vice president of selection solutions for DDI. “If candidates are vague communicators in the interview, chances are they will be vague communicators in their jobs, as well. It also indicates that they may be trying to hide something about past performance.”
Other findings of the survey of human-resources professionals and hiring managers in 13 countries include:
- Non-management employees need about three months and managers four months to be fully productive.
- One in five new hiring decisions is a bad one.
- 89 percent of organizations conduct exit interviews to learn why employees leave.
- 68 percent of hiring managers expect new employees to stay at least five years.
- Besides pay and benefits, employees’ biggest priorities are advancement, job stability and work/life balance, according to hiring managers.
- 75 percent of hiring managers interview four or more candidates for a job.
- Hiring managers believe that only 23 percent of candidates provided by human resources are high-quality.
- 53 percent of management positions are filled internally. In 1999, 44 percent were.
- 83 percent of organizations use a pre-employment test.
A principal driving force is the upward trend in the economy. There are two important factors here. First is that the economy is improving in many ways and in many places. Most of the places that have not felt the influence of the economic growth will experience positive change soon. The second factor is people’s perceptions that conditions are getting better. Corporate leaders are responding with more positive strategies, energizing the growth.”
— From The Herman Trend Alert, by Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurists. The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc.
The survey, developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm, includes responses from 150 executives — including those from human-resources, finance, marketing, information technology and operations departments — with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.
Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam, offered these tips for a successful interview:
- Put yourself in the hiring manager’s chair. He or she is looking for a strong work ethic, motivation and a positive attitude. Be sure to emphasize these qualities during the discussion.
- Know how to handle tough interview questions. No matter how prepared you are, you may get a curveball or two. Take your time and keep your responses to these questions concise.
- Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. It benefits both you and the hiring manager to present an accurate picture of your skills and work style so you can ensure the right match.
- Focus on your value to the company. What makes you a good fit for the job? By discussing experiences and accomplishments that relate directly to the open position, you demonstrate your ability to become an immediate contributor.
- Identify your unique selling proposition. What distinguishes you from the five or so others who are vying for the job? Know your strengths and emphasize those aspects of your skills and experience that make you a standout.
Review all our Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips.