Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Your Body Language is Telling Your Interviewer

 We have more and more clients that are starting the interview process with phone interviews these days.  I understand how this can seem like an efficient use of time for both the client and the candidate.  And, in many cases, it is.  But, I wonder sometimes if it actually just prolongs the process.  Because, in all honesty, don’t people get hired as much by their personality as they do by their skill set?  If so, why not just jump right into an interview that will hopefully show you both things?  And, if you are candidate about to walk in the door of an interview, maybe some of the tips in the article below will help you in knowing what your body is saying while your mouth is talking.

5 body language moves that will ruin an interview

Your handshake makes a critical first impression. Your dad probably taught you how to shake hands and his lesson was more important than you know. Make it firm -- not body-builder-aggressive and certainly not feeble like a dead fish. Also, be sure your hand is dry, so if you're perspiring, wipe it off before you meet your interviewer.
Don't touch your face. People touch their faces instinctively and without conscious thought. But if you want to make a good first impression, you'll need to be very conscious of where your hands are for the duration of the interview. Keep them well away from your nose and mouth, which can be a turn-off to germophobes. And for everyone else, touching your face is sometimes interpreted as a sign of dishonesty.
Don't cross your arms. Even if you only know one or two ways to read body language, you probably know this one -- crossing your arms is a sign of defensiveness and passive aggressiveness. That's not the impression you want to convey, so put your hands on the table where they can't cause you any trouble.
Don't stare. You probably know that making eye contact is a good thing, right? Well, there's a difference between positive eye contact and just plain staring. This is one of those things that should be natural, but if you think too hard about it, it is challenging to do in a natural way. The bottom line is that you want to maintain eye contact in moderation, without letting it devolve into uncomfortable staring. At the same time, don't let your eyes wander around the room as if you're bored.
Avoid nodding too much. You might think it's a good idea to nod a lot, either to appear to agree with your interviewer or to imply you're paying close attention, but the reality is that this can make you come across as sycophantic or spineless. Like eye contact, nod in moderation, and only when it's clearly appropriate. (Read More...)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm worried your unemployment will make it difficult to afford my Christmas gifts

Providing today's blog-spiration is Kristi Gregory, Staffing Consultant for CRG. While no doubt perusing the LinkedIn recruiting articles, she happened upon this gem and sent it over for publication on our epic CRG Connection. So for all you out there in the blogosphere needing a bit of encouragement in your job hunt here are some tips from the pros!

Getting a great job - Top tips from a veteran recruiter

James Nathan
1. Get a good guide. Good recruitment consultants are worth their weight in gold, and there a lot of them about. What is important is that you choose someone who you trust and can work with. This is no different to hiring a professional of any other kind. The difference here is that it is personal.
A good consultant will not work with you unless they have met you. They will want to understand you, your motivations and your ambitions. They will want you to tell them what you want and what businesses you would like to target. And they will want to understand your career expectations so that they can help you plan your moves correctly.
2. Network like crazy. It’s not what you know, and it never has been. You need to build a strong and sensible network. You know a lot of people, but who do they know, and who can introduce you to whom?
I am a big fan of the online social networks, but here I really mean the old fashioned shaking hands thing. Sure use Linked In etc, in fact use them like crazy, but if you want to really meet people, pick up the phone and organize to meet them for a coffee.
3. Be realistic. The real reason CVs get rejected by recruiters, is that the CV doesn’t fit the role applied for. They, and only they know all the details of their clients job description. Adverts can only say so much, and don’t forget that they are written to maximize response rates.
Calling a consultant who has rejected your application is fine if you are ringing to understand what you need to do next time, or what experience you should get to increase your marketability. Phoning to complain, or in an attempt to convince them that they are wrong is not, and it does nothing to improve your chances of success next time.
If you apply for everything that is remotely interesting to you, the truth is that you are wasting your time. Apply for roles that you have the skills, experience and desire to do. But please make sure the first two things fit first. You need to be very honest with yourself.
There are lot of people who apply to dozens of jobs a day, and often to everything that a is posted by a consultant. What this does is clog up that consultants inbox. Do they read every application you make? No, of course they don’t. Have you heard the story of the boy who cried wolf? The principle here is the same.
4. Write a great CV. You need to bring your A game to everything you do in the job market. Writing a great CV is the first part of this. A CV is a marketing/sales document, plain and simple. The better is it written, the better it sells your experience specific to each role you apply for.
A CV’s only job is to get you the first interview.
So spend more time on your CV now, and get a 3rd party and your consultant to critic it for you. And once its written, read it and get to know it. I have interviewed far too many people in the past who have to refer to a CV during an interview to remind themselves of what they have done. Amazing but true.
5. Make it happen. No one is going to do it all for you. Consultants will do a lot of it for you, and a good one will do more than most. But, they don’t have access to the whole market, even if they say they do.
Network, apply to adverts and online posts, work at finding that great job. Finding a job is a job in itself. It is not a spectator sport, and if you are applying to the odd thing online, then you are missing out a huge chunk of the job market.

So there you have it job-seekers! Now go forth and make it happen!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Quick Tips: Interviews 101

Good afternoon! Today we present a quick and dirty little post about the most basic of interview behaviors/expectations. There are various opinions about do’s and don’ts when interviewing.  Even I, the recruiter, who is supposed to be “in the know” on the subject, have wavered on what I think.  However, at the end of the day, your interviewer will have an opinion that may differ from the experts.  I think most will agree on Kim’s top three: 
  •  Don’t be late. If you are taking planes, trains and automobiles, make it ON TIME! We often go as far as to suggest going to the interview site the day before so you know the lay of the land: parking, location, traffic, etc. Also, for goodness sake if you arrive to the interview location more than 20 minutes early, just chill in the car or at the Starbucks across the street. While we as interviewer's (should) know we are NOT the most important people, we do respect someone who respects us. We often have rather tight schedules and it can put undue pressure on us to fit you in when you arrive especially early. I know personally, I hate having a candidate wait longer than 5 minutes.
  • Be prepared.  Do your homework on the company and have questions ready. Be prepared to tell your interviewer why you are interested in THIS job and why you would be a great fit. Even beyond researching the company, make sure YOU are prepped. By that I mean get some good sleep, eat a full breakfast, get some exercise in to de-stress. The whole idea of an interview is that you want to present them with your best (and most accurate) self. If you are tired, hungry or simply just off your game you could end up losing out on a chance at an excellent opportunity.
  • Be yourself! The company will know what they are getting when they hire you.  Most likely you were brought in because they already know you are qualified. Take a deep breathe! Remind yourself that everyone is just another person. While they may be the decision makers, they are no better or worse than you are. This can be especially difficult for young, recent graduates however if executed well it can allow for you and the hiring company to determine goodness-of-fit. Culture fit is key for both sides! 
*Note: for more information on phone interviews, interview attire, and other tid-bits - please see our various other CRG Connection posts. We know there is something in there that everyone can learn from!