Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Emergency Exit

It’s no secret that companies usually contact former employees for an Exit Interview. Let’s face it…they can be uneasy and uncomfortable. However, they are an important practice used by most companies to better themselves as an organization.

Below are some tips for a successful (and hopefully less awkward) exit interview:
• Be calm and professional…control your emotions.
• Be honest. Feel free to share the true reason(s) you are     leaving the organization, maybe it’s something that can easily be fixed.
• Give advice. Companies love to hear raw feedback on how they can better the organization.
• Back to basics…remember the compliment sandwich? Provide something positive that you did enjoy about the company, then something constructive followed by another positive.
• Don’t burn any bridges; you may want to rejoin the company at a later time.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Are you married to your job?

After recently getting engaged and planning a wedding I naturally have been thinking a lot about the concept of marriage and what it entails. I have been thinking about the significance of the ring, the vows, the wedding ceremony and why people choose to get married? With the divorce rate of 1st year marriages being at 50%, what is it that half of the married couples do that make the marriage work and what are some doing, or not doing to make the marriage fail?

You might ask “what does all this marriage talk have to do with my job?” Am I just being a “brideszilla” and letting this significant event control my every thought, or do these same questions apply to your career? Why is it that some people have a healthy and happy relationship with their co-workers, can find success with their career. While others dread going to work and cringe at the thought of hanging out with their co-workers for more than the required amount of time? And why is the unemployment rate, much like the divorce rate is at record highs?

Now I know your job isn’t what you’re technically “married” to, but should employees look at an offer letter more like a wedding ring- a symbol of trust between the company and the employee. A vow that you are going to commit to the company and the company is going to commit to you? Should companies and employees be thinking of the on-boarding process as the “wedding day/ honeymoon period” where both parties are excited about the future, wanting to look their best for each other, and celebrate the joining of two people… or company and new employee?

A marriage takes two people to make it work. The same applies in your professional career. Before accepting a job, or hiring a new employee, make sure you are certain this is something you can commit to. I don’t expect everyone to take one job and be there for the rest of their professional career, but only work somewhere you will be happy, only hire people you would want to work with everyday! After all you are with your co-workers more than your family. Work with people you can trust, would you marry someone you didn’t trust?

So as I might be stressing about the minimal details of planning a wedding (flowers, cake, linens) and you might be stressing about the minimal details of the job search (title, office building, name of company, what paper to print your resume on), remember to cherish and look for the things that will not fade and really matter. I know that I am marrying a man of character that I trust and love to be around. So when looking at your career look for the values of the company, the people you will be working with, and ultimately your overall happiness. Best wishes to you and your “marriage”!

Looking for wedding tips? amanda.williams@mattressfirm.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Applying the Right Way

Recently, I was asked, “Should I apply online or in person?” Without hesitation, I replied that you should apply however the job posting requested you to apply. Hiring managers tend to get a little irritated by people who don’t follow directions; it can be an indication of your work ethic.

These days, technology is everything. Most employers want you to fill out an extensive assessment. If you can’t figure out how to apply online, employers will get nervous about your technical abilities. Once they evaluate your assessment and resume, they will contact you to let you know the next step in the interview process. I am a part of that type of organization. It saves the recruiter time and allows us to interview and track more candidates who are potentially a better fit. So, if this was a question directed towards my company, my first answer would be to apply online.

However, I once had a candidate that wanted to apply in person. I’m not sure if she wanted to explain the gaps in her resume or if she just wanted to make a good first impression before I reviewed her resume. Whatever her reason might have been, this was probably one of the most impressive approaches I have seen in my career as a recruiter. I was called to the front desk because a visitor needed to see me. I wasn’t quite sure what this visitor needed, but I didn’t want to make them wait. Upon my arrival, I saw a young lady waiting with documents in hand. I knew at this point, she was applying for a position; I couldn’t turn back now. Had I known, I would have told the receptionist to have her leave her resume at the front, and I would review at my earliest convenience. I sat down with her, and she began to explain the gaps in her employment and how she was top in sales (a million dollar writer with her previous company in fact). She made great eye contact and much confidence; she totally won me over. Had she not made this approach, I may or may not have gone further in the interview process with her. But the salesman in her made her want to go over and beyond and make a great first impression.

I’m not suggesting that everyone take this unconventional approach. Nevertheless, I think that sometimes, if you find yourself applying for jobs and not hearing back from the employers, it’s crucial to find a way to stand out. Whether it’s in an email or a simple call, find a way to let that employer know why you will be a great asset.

Apply now with Daja! daja.pope@mattressfirm.com

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Can you provide me an example of a time …

Whether you are sitting on your couch having a phone interview or sitting across a desk from your potential new boss you need to make sure you are able to answer the questions they are fielding you effectively to make a good impression to continue in the interview process.

The STAR technique is a must to know when you are preparing for an interview!

S – Situations: Detail the background of your answer; provide a context – where and when.

T – Task: Describe the challenge and expectations, what needed to be done and why.

A – Action: Elaborate your specific action, what did you do and how, maybe what tools you used to accomplish the goal

R – Results: Explain the results and accomplishments, recognition given – quantify, give them a number they can relate to.

Time and time have I heard candidate provide very surfaced answers that basically do not answer the question, so my advice to you job seekers is to find specific examples that you can use during an interview and apply the STAR technique. Once you do, I’m sure you will find your STAR job!

Looking for more STAR Tips? brandee.baker@mattressfirm.com