Green Key Blog

News for the way you work

Use Your Interview Thank You Note To Shine

August 2nd, 2014

thank you noteAfter the interview, the best follow-up is to send a thank you note. But is that really enough?

With fewer than half the job seekers thanking their interviewer, simply emailing — the preferred method for 87% of hiring managers – will make you stand out.  Going the extra mile by referencing a relevant article or blog post, including a work sample, award, or something similar, or rounding out an interview response not only demonstrates your thoroughness, but gives you an extra shot at making a positive impression. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview Tips From Google’s Top People Person

May 14th, 2014

“Prospective bosses today care less about what you know or where you learned it than what value you can create with what you know,” says Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of people operations. In an interview with The New York Times, Bock offered his take on college degrees, and what employers look for in the college students they want working for them after graduation. “Grit” is one attribute he and other hiring managers look for. “General cognitive ability – the ability to learn things and solve problems,” is another. Those who make it to an interview, says Bock, should tell a story that demonstrating the attribute and show how it can add value. “Most people in an interview,” he says, “Don’t make explicit their thought process behind how or why they did something.” The New York Times

When Asked About Your Inner Animal, Say ‘Shark’

May 12th, 2014

How to Answer Stupid QuestionsIf you’ve never been asked that tired old interview question, “With all the great people out there, why should we hire you?” you will. And when you are,  you’ll answer it in the same tired old way that countless candidates have, by declaring your excitement for that particular company, detailing your excellent work ethic and your first rate skills, and by demonstrating how hiring you will make the company a bundle of money. But oh, says writer Liz Ryan, the truthful answer is more like, “How the heck should I know, Jackson? You’ve met the other candidates, and I haven’t!” In “How to Answer Stupid Job Interview Questions,” Ryan offers more judicious, if uncompromising advice. Forbes

So a Programming Candidate Walks Into an Interview

February 12th, 2014

computer typingToday, a bit of tech humor.

Some years ago, a Quora member posted the following question to the engineering recruiting section of the well-trafficked Q&A site:

What are the funniest answers you have gotten to serious questions in programming interviews? Read the rest of this entry »

Tips For the First Time Hiring Manager

November 18th, 2013

At some point after ascending into management, y0u’ll find yourself with a job to fill. Hiring is one of the most critical tasks for a manager. A good hire, and by that we mean someone who can do the job and works well with you and the others on your team, may not make you a star, but a had hire can surely your star from rising. Read the rest of this entry »

You Have to Sell the Job If You Want to Hire the Best

September 3rd, 2013

Job interviewBy the time you shake hands at the end of an interview, your candidate has already begun forming an opinion of you and the company. Will it be favorable?

Hiring managers and, sadly, even some recruiters often overlook the basic truth that an interview is a two-way street. Just as you seek to learn about the candidate’s abilities, their experience, and especially how well they will fit the culture and the contribution they’ll make, the person across the desk is doing the same.

If all you want to do is fill a seat, that’s easy enough. There are plenty of active job seekers out there willing to take a job for the paycheck or to get out from a bad situation. Read the rest of this entry »

What One Interview Question Would You Ask?

July 1st, 2013

Popular intervierws Q surveyIf you could ask a job candidate only one interview question what would it be?

Hiring managers were asked to choose from six possible answers, including “Other”  in a fun survey more  posted a few weeks ago on Refresh Leadership.  How many participated in the poll isn’t known, but 27% of those who did, chose to ask the old standard, “Why do you want this job.”

The next popular was another common interview question, “Can you describe a difficult work situation and how you handled it?” (Answering “Yes” or “No” to this question during an interview, while grammatically correct, will not endear you to the questioner.) Also popular, with almost 15% of the respondents, was another traditional question, “What is your greatest strength and weakness?”

Granted that Refresh Leadership didn’t offer much in the way of responses to choose from, but these three are just exactly the kind of questions to avoid. The reason is simple. So common is it to be asked these questions that thousands of career sites provide sample answers for each. About the only value they offer to a hiring manager is if the candidate stumbles or says “I don’t know.” Read the rest of this entry »

Even When An Interview Goes Wrong, You Can Still Win

May 20th, 2013

Job interviewHope you never have a job interview like Rachel Dotson’s. A  graduating senior hoping to land a job with Teach For America, she had made it to the final screening round when disaster struck.

Enroute, she got lost, pulled over by a (fortunately  sympathetic) cop, had no change for the meter, turned up 15 minutes late, and, after getting a flat tire at lunch, had to walk back through slushy Michigan streets, getting drenched when a car plowed through a puddle.

Her first question during the interview after lunch was: “Tell me about a time when you had trouble achieving a goal.” Read the rest of this entry »

10 Mistakes Hiring Managers Make

April 5th, 2013

It’s easy to laugh at the interview mistakes candidates make. But what about the faux pas made by hiring managers? A hiring manager isn’t likely to be dressed inappropriately, since how they dress is how the company as a whole does. And taking a call during an interview, though rude, isn’t in the same league as when a candidate answers their cell phone. But there are plenty of less obvious mistakes hiring managers make that can lose them a great prospect. Here are 10 of the most common ones.

Interviewers Asking ‘If You Were a Tree’ Questions to Judge Fit

January 8th, 2013

In the December issue of the American Sociological Review, Northwestern professor Lauren Rivera concludes that companies are making hiring decisions “in a manner more closely resembling the choice of friends or romantic partners.” Rivera found that apparently off-topic questions have become central to the hiring process. “Whether someone rock climbs, plays the cello, or enjoys film noir may seem trivial,” she wrote, “but these leisure pursuits were crucial for assessing someone as a cultural fit.” As a result, Rivera argues, “employers don’t necessarily hire the most skilled candidates.” Bloomberg Businessweek