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Foremost Consulting

(Cont’d) Of course, it is possible the silly question I addressed was intended to provoke conversation in much the same manner I described, but I doubt it. Regardless, if you don’t understand the question ask for clarification. It doesn’t reflect badly on you, instead it demonstrates you are paying attention to what’s going on, which is more than I can say about some interviewers. We’ve all heard, “There are no stupid questions” though I am of the opinion the issue is not so much the question as it is the ability of the questioner to formulate a coherent query. So yes, a poorly-formulated question, with no real understanding as to what it means or what the answer should be is a stupid question. As the applicant, you also have a responsibility to exploit the interview to take note of their competency

When you interview, it is a two way-dialogue, or at least it is supposed to be. Participating in the hiring process is not just about them evaluating you, although most interviewers might like for you to have this impression, because it makes their job easier. Sure, you’re among others, sometimes many others in pursuit of the same position and it’s incumbent upon you to demonstrate why you are the best choice. Yet many people feel as if they are on the defensive, although it is their own mindset having placed them in that position. Of course the pressure is on as you seek to rate highly enough on their scale for a call back and subsequent interview step. But it’s not and never is only about evaluating you, you are also evaluating them. Along with the job specs and responsibilities,

(Cont’d) So how does any of this relate to you and your efforts? For starters spare yourself a lot of frustration and don’t limit your focus on the usual behemoth corporations, those known not by their names but by acronym. I talk to them, but they are not on my A list, nor should they be on yours – in my humble opinion. I’ll work with them if they call or are recommended to me but I think their bureaucratic structure is self-defeating. It is not a stretch to say the bigger the company the more dysfunctional the human resource function. Furthermore big corporate structures always stifle creativity and innovation, individuality is discouraged, generally speaking. With the exception of very specialized roles they are not filling jobs, just vacancies and you’re just a number to them, not a person but an

(Cont’d) Even in my own profession the landscape has changed, most in the recruitment / employment / personnel market niche have also (d)evolved with the times, relying on Internet-sourced piles of resumes, spending productive time sifting through a hundred or so digital resumes they might receive each day hoping for that golden nugget of a resume to match a very generic and non-descript, HR job description. Not all, but many then compete with each other like a bucket full of minnows fighting for bread crumbs to get their pile of resumes into a company with whom they are working. It is curious that some of those folks still call themselves recruiters; more like scavengers (ouch, that’s not gonna get me much love). Like many job seekers, many recruiters have become more reliant on keystrokes and, as a result, lose the interpersonal people

Ever have the craaazy idea of actually walking into a company to hand carry your resume and apply for a job in person? Go ahead; just try to walk into a medium or large-sized company like this in the hope of making contact with an actual human being past the reception desk. What decade do you think this is, anyway? It’s likely they won’t even bother sending out a junior HR person to at least patronize you I mean, come on, after all it’s 2013 - nobody wants to actually talk to you. Most of the time you’ll be stopped in your tracks and instructed to check the website and “submit” (I hate that word) your resume online. I don’t work that way, so why should you? Have you noticed that Human Resources has become anything but human? In the

Do you know the most common complaint job seekers have of recruiters, employment agencies and other third party consultants, who are in the business of connecting job applicants and companies seeking to hire? It is that after the initial conversation when they were so enthusiastic about helping you, and so much so that you sent them your resume, you can’t reach them or worse yet, they won’t call you back. It’s frustrating and, frankly, too many over promise and under deliver. They should have better managed your expectations, and  maybe they did, but you didn’t hear that part. Of course they should not mislead or make any promises before they learn more about you. However, you bear some of the blame if you so quickly and willingly fall under the trance of anyone you don’t know in exchange for a

The concept of change scares the hell out of some people. Many of us like our routines, and we don’t like unplanned or unanticipated surprises, or anything that upsets the status quo. But change does and will happen. Actually, I have observed that the people who attempt to exert the most effort to control all aspects of their lives, and the lives of everyone around them, are much more easily freaked out, than if they just stepped back and took on their problems as they occur, like the rest of us. These are sometimes the same people who automatically assume that change always portends something negative, and rarely do they consider change may actually portend something better. As a result, we get the very outcomes we expect whether we mean to or not, good or bad, our perceptions will make it

If you are not yet a manager and aspire to be, think about it before assuming this career track is going to be, in reality, what you imagined. Do you know what you are getting yourself into and are you ready to step up to the responsibilities required of a good manager? I admire young professionals who aspire to be promoted to a management position. For most people it is a logical career track. If you have performed well and regularly develop your professional skills, it is likely you will not be satisfied unless you are also advancing your career, so promotion into management is generally expected. Toward that goal, most professionals seek advanced and management training whenever they can get it. Some companies offer and provide management training, and some do not. With cost cutting measures that confront company budgets,

Here’s a tip if you want an edge against the others, who may be competing for the same job, and all are doing the same old stuff. Do you think sending a Thank You letter is only a polite gesture after your interview? Ha, guess again! Some people think sending a Thank You letter following an interview is simply a courtesy or polite gesture. It can be more than that and another powerful tool during the interview process to help demonstrate why you are the best person for the job. It doesn’t have to be more than a few lines and certainly shouldn’t be more than a page in length. Of course, the first and last sentences say ‘thank you’, but the content between is especially useful and can act as an additional opportunity to communicate information to the hiring official

How does one exude self-confidence without appearing arrogant or conceited? It’s simple really, but first let’s put it into context. When you attend a first real interview, I’m not talking about a telephone screening or a cattle-call and assembly-line assessment center. Instead, the first real interview when the purpose for the meeting is to consider you for whatever role you’ve applied. During the interview you will be asked, “…tell me about yourself.” We’re not going to talk about how to present yourself, that’s a whole other subject unto itself. I want to focus instead on what to share when presenting yourself, your experience and qualifications. In the U.S., most Americans have no problem talking about themselves or their accomplishments. We Americans belong to an inherently competitive culture where striving to improve oneself or attain goals is common. However, since 2001 I