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Foremost Consulting

There are some things you should never do during an interview, yet I see people willingly doing or saying the dumbest things during an interview process. While I can think of a long list of suggestions of what you should do, let me suggest some of the most basic and potentially damaging things you should never do during an interview. Never go to an interview without having done some research or without having at least a basic understanding of the company or organization. With the internet as a resource, there’s no excuse for not being prepared and, in almost every interview situation, you will be asked either what you know about the company or what it is about the company that interests you. Never assume that you are the only person or candidate being considered for a particular position. You are among

In the current jobs market I meet many people who face a dilemma and they are conflicted. Should they wait for the right job or should they take a job, until the right one comes along? The next consideration that may be influencing their decision is how the job change may be perceived on the resume. Traditionally, hiring managers at first glance look upon frequent job changes negatively, especially when a pattern emerges. On the other hand, gaps in employment are also detrimental and attract scrutiny, although times have changed during the last 10+ years. If I had to pick and choose, in my own personal as well as professional opinion, I’d prefer to see job changes that can be explained, rather than to see wide gaps of more than a few months in an employment history (incidentally, employment lasting less

When you interview, I highly suggest you always follow up with a Thank You note / email. There are some people who think this is unnecessary. They think it is akin to being a “brown nose” or sucking up to gain favor. They would ridicule this practice but, ignore them, they are either lazy or they’re idiots, you can tell them I said so (sorry if it sounds harsh, but I don’t suffer fools gladly). Interview follow-up, in the form of a short Thank You note is time-tested and was, in the past, a normal protocol and professional gesture. It isn’t about being nice as much as it is a demonstration of your commitment and proactivity during the interview process. And yeah, it can make the difference between who gets hired and who doesn’t, especially in a close contest. I can

As a follow-up from last week’s post, in order to present yourself in the best possible manner without distractions that add little or no value, here is the second-half of the list of Items to either adjust, or to leave off your resume: Listing employment dates, years without listing months The first reaction of most recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers is that listing years without months in your chronological employment history is an attempt to hide gaps in your employment. Always list the month and the year of both when you started and when you finished your employment at each job. Unexplained gaps in employment history If you have them, explain them briefly. Hiding them or pretending they don’t exist is not helpful and you’re going to have to address them anyway. Many people have employment gaps. Granted, you might not want to

Even if you have good information to share in your resume, information that is not useful, is counter-productive, or just plain unnecessary can be a distraction and shouldn’t be listed in the document meant to represent you in the best and most effective possible manner. Let’s go through some examples: Incorrectly naming your digital resume file The name of your document should be your last name followed by first name and, if you have a different version, i.e., long or short, or different language versions, abbreviate it after your name. For example: Mayher_Michael_resume_ENG I have received resumes from people whose document was named Resume with no name, and the only way I know it’s theirs is because it was attached to their email. File it like that and it will be lost and no one will be able to consider you, much less

Many people display a different persona, depending on the environment we are in or with whom we are associating at that moment in time, whether privately or publicly /professionally. That separation is normal and more important in the modern era in which we live; as a result of social media and potential over-exposure of our private lives. In our youth we don’t pay much attention to these things and young people are currently oblivious about what they do now, which can adversely impact their lives and careers later. I was no different many years ago and even if I wasn’t intentionally seeking attention, I just plain didn’t care if anyone saw, approved or disapproved. After all, back then I, like most of us, thought we were bullet-proof and invisible and nothing could touch us and, if it did, nothing would stick;

There is clearly a crisis of leadership in most company and organizational structures; a lack of that which represents true leadership in business. Current hiring practices, as they are trending in the last decade, screen out all but the generic, cardboard cut-out conformists. Likewise, the utilization of psychometric testing has the same objective: to identify a cross-sampling of the “right kind of people” which, whether it was intended or not conveys to innovators, outside-the-box thinkers and stand-apart leadership types that they need not apply. Universities don’t develop leaders, it isn’t their function and campus activism isn’t analogous with leadership, in case you needed clarification. Institutions of learning might provide courses in leadership that may identify what leadership is, but this doesn’t produce or develop leaders. Same for most MBA programs in which the operative words, when it comes to Master of

I feel compelled again this week to address yet another ridiculous question interviewees are subjected to and feel obligated to answer. Clearly, the most basic premise of a job interview is for the hiring manager to challenge those with whom they will meet by asking “can you do the job and why should we hire you?” How is it such a basic task can be turned into such a circus; nevertheless, leave it to people without any business sense or bureaucrats to turn even the most straight-forward and clear processes into something unrecognizable and, quite nearly, pointless. Have you ever been asked this one, “…what animal would you choose to be?” or any variation referring to a kind of car, a food, even a candy bar you would choose to be? Along with the inevitable follow-up question, “…and why…?” My own

“What is your biggest weakness?” is one of the dumbest, brain-dead questions to ask a person being evaluated for a potential job opportunity. The people who ask this question actually think they are clever. This question is demonstrative of a true amateur pretending to be otherwise. And if I’ve offended anyone with my direct, but honest, statement please just go crawl away to your safe space and suck your thumb. Sometimes the truth simply needs to be delivered right between the eyes. Sadly many people are not good at conducting an interview, so they compensate with condescension and/or arrogance as a shield to deflect attention to their own shortcomings. We’re always told about the flaws in job candidates but, sometimes, it is the unfortunate applicant who must suffer through a meeting that has more in common with a pointless and

Let’s talk about just a couple of basic questions you’re likely to encounter during an interview. In this case, one is to evaluate problem solving, stress and integrity issues and how you would react. What would you do if you see a colleague do something wrong? It is quite vague isn’t it, and you cannot nor should you answer that question as it is presented. So let this be an example of your own obligation as an interview participant. Anytime you are asked a performance related question that is so general and non-specific, your responsibility is to ask them to be more specific. There can never be an effective answer to vague questions, which can be wildly interpreted and therefore taken out of context. Whenever you are asked something so general, reply by asking them, “can you give me an example…?” You