Psychology of the Job Search: Emotions at Play  

Our emotions play a significant role in our job transitions, yet I’ve not seen many people paying close attention to this topic as they enter into a job search. Most of the time, they’re focused on resume verbiage, interview preparation, networking, and filling out applications. All good items to work on, but without proper focus on the emotional side of the …

Listening in an Interview – – Say What?!? 

“How many of you think you could stand to become a better listener?” said the workshop facilitator, as he raised his own hand. Every participant’s hand went up in response to join his.  That was the opening question in our culture workshops to set up a brief teaching into listening skills. For every workshop I attended or facilitated, whenever that …

Salary Negotiation – Use What’s Available 

Figuring out how and when to talk about compensation in the recruitment process has been the nemesis of job seekers for decades. Ranging from advice snippets like, “Whoever talks about money first loses” to detailed outlines of how to broach the compensation topic with a recruiter or hiring manager, compensation has been a bit of a mysterious topic for people to …

Persistent or Pest: Follow-up

You’ve had the final interview…it seemed to go really well. You asked if they were considering any internal candidates, and the answer was no (single hardest obstacle to overcome). You seemed to make a connection and the Hiring Manager was impressed with the research you had done on the company and on him/her. There was a great back and forth …

How to Answer: “If You Were a Tree…” 

While probably close to 20 interview questions show up in 80% of the interviews that take place, occasionally you’ll get an unusual, ‘odd duck’ interview question. I’m not personally a fan of such questions, but some interviewers have them in their quiver and may ask you one or more of them. Here are a few examples:  The Purpose of ‘Odd-Duck’ Questions …

How to Answer: “What are Your Greatest Strengths?” 

Let’s dive right into Scripture for an example! 1 Samuel 17 records the account of David and Goliath. Here are verses 33-37 where Saul skeptically states that he doesn’t think David is able to defeat Goliath.    “Saul replied, ‘You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he …

How to Answer: “What Are Your Salary Expectations?” 

How many of you have played the game, Monopoly? If you have, you’ll certainly recall the ongoing cycle around the playing board filled with different properties you can buy or rent. You probably also recall that if you complete one full cycle around the board, you pass “Go” and receive instructions to gain $200 from the bank. You may also remember the dreaded …

How to Answer: “Why Are You the Best Person for This Job?” 

Some people freeze when asked this question because they can’t imagine themselves actually being the “best” at something. And that’s a reasonable reaction, in some respects. After all, “best” is a fairly high target or bar to attain. Can any of us actually say that we are “the best” at a given position, process, or function?  Now, if we recharacterize the question …

How to Answer: “Why Are You Leaving (or Have Left) Your Current Position?” 

This is a question I’ve seen people wrestle with quite a bit. It’s a question you can pretty much count on being asked somewhere in the interview process. There’s a clear answer – – after all, it’s either unfolding as part of the interview process, or the event has occurred, and the person answering the question (you, the candidate) was present …

How to Answer: “What Are Your Career Goals?” 

This is a fun topic to explore! Let’s start with WHY in the world would an interviewer even ask that question. What do you think the answer is? Multiple choice possible answers offered below:  “Because the interviewer is…”  Hopefully you answered “3”. But unfortunately, and not altogether unsurprisingly, some of the people I’ve counseled over the years actually thought the other …