5 Interview Answers that Irritate Hiring Managers

5 Interview Answers that Irritate Hiring Managers

Looking back at my time as a hiring manager recruiting employees to all levels of the organisation gives me food for thought. Some interactions were memorable while others lingered with me for all the wrong reasons. Reflecting on these memories I know which answers irritated me. I have since checked out the experiences of other hiring managers to see if we have some shared experiences. I have incorporated their views with mine to come up with a list of irritating answers. Avoid these answers and you will engage the hiring manager in a productive conversation. What are the 5 Interview Answers that irritate a Hiring Manager? 1. Vague Answers “We reduced the operating costs of the department. This was received very well by our manager.” Making vague statements like this will not help win credibility. From this statement, the hiring manager does not know what this person actually did, or how big the cost reduction was. It would be better to say, “I analysed the costs for the department and identified that we could renegotiate the photocopy machines onto long leases to reduce the costs by $20K per annum. I outlined this proposal to my manager and got approval. I then worked with another colleague to successfully renegotiate the lease with the supplier”. By giving good examples of what you did and what you achieved you build credibility as a valuable employee. 2. Long Winded Answers Your answers should be crisp and to the point. Going into great detail or not answering the question and talking about something else is not helpful. If you do not understand the question ask...
5 Step Guide to Making a Great Impression in Your New Job

5 Step Guide to Making a Great Impression in Your New Job

Do these sound familiar…? “The new lady is great! She did this great presentation about how to improve our processes. She listened to our issues, knew how things got done around here and came up with some great ideas” “I wish the new fellow will stop referring back to how he did things at his past work. I have no interest in that. He really is quite annoying” How many times have you heard such comments? Most individuals start new jobs thinking they will make a great impression. Some are successful, while others either get by or irritate the people around them. Starting a new job is a great opportunity for you to rise and shine. Get these things right to make the most of your new opportunity: How do you make a great impression? 1. Master your job The only reason you are part of an organisation is because of the job. Mastering it is the best way of getting ahead. The first step in mastering your job is to listen and absorb what is involved in the job. Ask clarifying questions to understand the background of the job. Make sure you know how your job fits in with other functions in the organisation. A common trap is that you change things, and that may affect other areas which you did not foresee. You will need to continue to innovate and find ways to do your job effectively. I know all of this sounds a lot of hard work. But the more effort you put into working efficiently and effectively, the better you will be poised to have...
6 Tips for Employers to Attract Top Graduate Talent

6 Tips for Employers to Attract Top Graduate Talent

There are many articles on the internet about the changing demographic of the work force. What are young people after as far as their careers are concerned? “Those pesky kids have got it all. We never had this kind of attitude and we worked hard to get ahead. What is the world coming to?” These are some of the comments that one sees all the time from some members of the work force. “I can’t see the point of what I am doing. I am making no impact at all at work. I want to quit!” On the other side, these are some of the sentiments from the younger members of the work force. History repeats itself in each generation. The previous generation complains and the young generation is frustrated. What is different now is that young people these days have a voice and can use it quite strongly on social media. Employers have to embrace this new world order and harness this talent pool.  These youngsters bring in new technology and an innovative mindset. To stay relevant, employers have to create the environment that is attractive to young people. What matters to Young People? 1.Higher purpose In a world where tragic events happen on a regular basis, youngsters want to make a difference. Many  prefer to be attached to organisations which have a positive impact on the world.   Give this some thought. Some of you may find that you can articulate this higher purpose easily. In other instances you have to think hard to link your vision to a higher purpose. 2.Knowing why you do what you...
5 Tips to help you Navigate your Career

5 Tips to help you Navigate your Career

Every career is a story that is unique. You are the author of your story.  Many events will occur that will influence how this story plays out.  The trick is not to let these events hijack your story. You will need to develop skills that will help you navigate these events and work towards career success. How do you build your instinct for Career Success? 1. Know your True North What is your “true north”? This is your core values that that keep you grounded through your journey of life.  This is unique to every individual and it takes time to identify them. Thinking about what values guided you through crises is a good way to identify these core values.   Knowing your “true north” will help you make the right choices as you progress in your career.  2. Build on your Strengths It is fun doing things that you are naturally good at, because you know you will always get the best results. It is the same for your career: when choosing your  job or a project to work on, make sure it allows you to make use of your strong points. You have to be smart about the strengths that you pick to build on. Make sure that these strengths stay relevant and can add value to your employer. Check in with your stakeholders and perfect your strengths. E.g. you are good at building complex models to evaluate decisions. But the outputs you give your stakeholders are not easy to understand. You will  need to work on how you present your finding. 3. Minimise your Career Limiting Weaknesses...
Top 5 Skills for Success at Work

Top 5 Skills for Success at Work

I read an article on LinkedIn recently talking about the “perfect employee”. The article was trying to find a definition for the “perfect employee”. The definition varies depending on the perspective you take (employers’ vs employees’). “Success” is also hard to define. Its definition varies from individual to individual. While some individuals look for rapid advances on the corporate ladder, there are others who look for safer moves or enjoy doing the job that they love for several years. There are some skills that are fundamental to any career and then there are other advanced skills you need in order to progress, like: Emotional Intelligence, Financial Acumen and Strategic planning. By perfecting these fundamental skills and being consistent in your performance you will be ready for any opportunity that will come your way. The focus of this article is finding ways to perform in your career in order to be noticed by your leaders and respected by your peers. Let’s take a look at these fundamental skills. What are the fundamental skills for being successful at work? 1. Mastering your job Being great at your job is the easiest way to add value to your organization. It also helps you earn the respect and support of your manager and peers. Mastering your job also means understanding how your job fits into the bigger picture of the company. The better you are at this skill the more time you will have to take on projects or study in to grow in your career. 2. Communication skills Communication skills are a requirement for nearly every job you apply for. There are...