Why should we hire you?

In one of my first posts I gave you some tips on how to answer interview questions. When I talk to some of my friends and practice before their interview, I noticed that the question “Why should we hire you and not another candidate” is pretty problematic for most of them. That is why I wanted to give this question a few thoughts.

I will start with things you should not say. I hear many answers. I appreciate the honesty but saying simply “I am very unhappy in my company, you need to hire me” or “I need more salary” are answers to avoid.

Participating in an interview puts all of us in an uncomfortable situation. We have to talk about our achievements and boast about it without being arrogant. Sometimes we have to explain our weakness but we must be careful that it doesn’t turn against us. We have to show motivation about this particular company without exaggerating. Before going to any interview, prepare why you should be chosen among many other candidates. Some of my tips would include:

  1. Doing a research about the company you are applying for. Which values you share? Is it an industry you would be particularly interested in? In my example, when applying to some of my jobs, I chose teaching as I love helping people or medical devices as it inspires me that my candidates could participate in improving people’s lives.
  2. Think what is exceptional about you that maybe other candidates don’t have. I was always told I have amazing networking skills and that everybody remembers me easily. It is something that I mention during interviews that allows me to show that I create great relationship with my managers or students.
  3. Be yourself. Don’t give an artificial answer that sounds great but is not true. If you say it was always your dream of working in the company or that you are a born manager but nothing from this is true, even if you are hired, you will be very unhappy in the role.
  4. Employers love problem solvers. When answering,  you can use your problem solving skills. You can mention an example from the interview and say how you would solve it e.g. “I understand in the company you would like to improve quality process. I find myself very qualified in continuous improved, I introduced… (here examples that prove you are qualified)”
  5. Always use examples of your skills. If you answer that you are perfect for the role and don’t give any proof of it, it will be hard to believe that you a good fit.
  6. Make a list of the achievements you are proud of. It is important to show your motivation by showing your passion about what you do.
  7. Prepare your pitch and practice. You can write it down the first time you have an interview, read it and practice. Remember to sound truthful.

Good luck! You know you have it. Just believe in yourself and show the interviewers that you are really a great person to work with 🙂

achiev11

 

 

 

 

Are all hamburgers unhealthy – or how to use hamburger method at work.

I will start with a funny anecdote from one of my training sessions when I was explaining what hamburger method is. I wanted to draw a hamburger, and as among many of my talents you would not find drawing or painting, here is how it went:

hamburger.jpg

The participants started asking if it’s a Pacman, ghost or maybe an egg… Drawing was a failure but it started our discussion on… how to give me a feedback that I am bad in drawing and thus I could introduce this method.

I heard about the hamburger (sometimes called sandwich) method during my first job in the agency from my friend. I didn’t know how to tell the candidate that was really strong that he failed in an interview. He told me I should do it this way: start with something really good about the candidate, then give him a constructive feedback on what was wrong and then and end on a positive note with again something good.

I really liked it and started using it from this moment, not only with the candidates, but also with my bosses, colleagues and especially with my family too!

What is important is to always be truthful. When saying the compliments, we shouldn’t be fake and say things that are not true. E.g. if the candidate/husband was not good with his organizational skills or didn’t show them so we cannot say how he/she is, we shouldn’t compliment on that. As for the middle part of the hamburger, the bad stuff, is should be a constructive criticism. Saying “Because you were bad” or “How you answered was stupid” would not bring any added value for us.

A good example on how to give criticism without being considered as a bad policeman is in the article below:

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-give-criticism-without-sounding-like-a-jerk-5915687

As you know, as many people, as many opinions. And I always listen to the other side. I love hamburger method but there might be people who don’t appreciate it. Some say that if you “embellish” the criticism with the compliments, your colleague would not focus on the negative feedback you wanted to tell him, it will be lost in nice words that he heard in the beginning. I don’t agree with it if you do it properly. If you give a good explanation and even introduction that e.g. you will be discussing his/her performance and there are good and bad stuff in it and that you will walk them through, the person already knows they need to work on someting and progress. For those who want to know why hamburger method can be wrong, please read the article:

https://lifehacker.com/stop-using-the-sandwich-method-to-give-feedback-1776592001

Whichever method you will choose, it is important to treat everybody with respect. This being said, stop nagging your husband, wife or colleague and… be nice to each other 🙂

 

Should you be emotionally compromised at work?

Every now and then I witness a situation when one of the candidates shows their emotions to me or other recruiters in a very strong way. They show disappointment, that they were not chosen in the recruitment process, they disagree if you give them a constructive feedback, they give very personal answers during the interviews…

As we are all Humans and not Vulcans, it is not possible not to show emotions in business at all. And I don’t even think it is nice to work among robots. But another extreme of showing strong emotions at work might be very destructive: to your teammates, it can destroy a long-term relationship that you built with your supervisors, colleagues or HR people. That is why I always repeat – before writing a disappointed email to your recruiter or dialing number to your manager whilst being angry, count to 10…

Spock is a good example of a Human/Vulcan heritage that we might want to follow. Excuse my nerd comparisons, but a golden mean is always the best option. I have some friends that e.g. participated in a recruitment process and are 120% sure they will be chosen to the role. First of all, we should never be sure. Everything can happen from budget cuts, worse day or just a bad feeling of one of the interviewers… Second of all, even if you feel that you were misjudged, don’t show anger to your interviewers. the best method is to show some arguments why you disagree but to do it as always in a hamburger method (good – bad – good message) and underlying your appreciation of their time during the interviews…

This being said, emotions are not always bad at the work place. If you are passionate about your work and you show your enthusiasm, engagement and optimism, it might thrive many projects and make you work in an efficient way. That is why we should use all our resources including emotions in a positive way.

There is a good article on the Forbes that shows some impact of emotions on your team’s members when they work on some projects, it is also worth reading it:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/eriklarson/2017/03/21/how-common-emotions-affect-team-decision-making-and-what-to-do-about-it/#79e637bf2896

Emotions can be both negative and positive and we should be aware of both impacts and use them wisely. We should remember the recruitment world is very tiny. May you live long and prosper at your workplace and beyond it 🙂

spock

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small-world network

As my husband is a scientist, I also need to show my nerd nature from time to time and discuss the recruitment world via some geeky comparisons.

A small-world network is a mathematical graph that shows that even if we have nodes that are not neighbour nodes, somehow they are connected via different nodes. To day it in a simply way, we are all connected. I even read a survey that showed that our way to Beyonce is through three of our connections. If you like maths or geek world, more information about small-world network can be found under this link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small-world_network

The reason why I am talking about this subject is that we should never forget, in whichever place of our career we are – job seekers, successful freelancers or stable corporate colleagues, we should never burn anybody’s bridges. Leaving your company for a new role is stressful for both the person leaving the company (a new challenge, feeling insecure, leaving nice colleagues) and their employer (losing a good employee). And when there is stress, there can be issues.

I witnessed many stressful goodbyes however hard I tried to avoid them. In the whole stress we should remember that at one point of our life we can be sure we will bump into our ex-colleagues or ex-bosses. That is why before starting any fight let’s count to 100 and think: “Is it really worth it?”. One of examples I would give you is one of my colleagues in Poland where I worked as a teacher. Nobody appreciated his attitude and didn’t want to cooperate with him. I was pretty neutral and even helped him with organizing some courses. After a few years… we met in Geneva and he was very helpful in giving me tips when I was looking for a new role.

I don’t want to say we live in the world full of milk and honey and it will always be friendly. But even if we had some clashes with our boss, colleague, manager… Let’s try to be positive and leave a good impression. Let’s not erase our LinkedIn connections, say bad things about our ex-employer (it looks bad also when you talk to your new employer). You never know when you meet them during your next… lunch, workplace, tennis tournament or dancing course.

networking funny super