Getting and Keeping a Job Résumé Writing Career Networking Interviewing Pre-Employment Testing How to Act: In the Interview & On the Job
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Go You! • The "Cheerleader," can be a good thing in corporate America. • This kind of rigor is going to be needed in a global economy. • Cheerleaders urge their teammates on. When the going gets tough, cheerleaders get others going.
Office EtiquetteHigh Heels To The TopKathleen Archambeau • There are 63 million working women in America, but fewer than 2% of the nation's largest companies have female chief executives. • Though women make up 50% of the workforce, women with families still perform 90% of the household chores and child-care duties. • Among corporate women over 40, more than 40% have never married or had children. What's wrong with this picture?
Be a Diva • The "Diva" proclaims, as Madonna does, "I always thought I should be treated like a star." • The majority of people, women especially, miss the point when it comes to negotiating salaries. • In one study at Carnegie Mellon, graduates with master's degrees were polled about their first jobs. They found that:-Men were 8 times more likely than women to have negotiated their salaries. -By not negotiating her 1st salary, a woman stands to lose more than $500,000 by age 60. Negotiate! • Women who consistently negotiate make $1 million more than their more timid counterparts over a career lifetime.
Glass Ceilings • More than 50% of female Stanford M.B.A. graduates leave corporate America within five years of earning their degrees. • Not everyone's cut out for corporate America, with its glass ceilings and old boys' networks. • When you hit a glass ceiling, move to another room!
Women in Business • Today, women-owned businesses are increasing at a rate of 17% per year (1997-2004). • They generate $2.5 trillion in sales, employ 19.1 million workers and spend an estimated $103 billion per year.
Getting the JobCan you pass the test? In an effort to improve the chances of making a good match, many employers require prospective hires to take a battery of tests to assess job-related skills and suitability for the task.
Test Tips • The questions on the assessments are non-threatening. • It's always best to answer the way you honestly feel, because there are methods to check that you're giving direct answers. • Relax, the tests won't peer into the darkest corners of your soul, and there's no way to prepare for the them other than to get a good night's sleep.
Sample Questions Remember each question’s answer depends on what kind of job you are trying to get (ex. sales vs. counseling) Are you ready? Here goes…
Test Time • Typically, the pre-employment tests can be completed in less than an hour, but some require 90 minutes or more. • Most are Internet-based, but a few still use paper and pencil.
More Test Tips • The assessments aren't like the military's aptitude tests, which are designed to quickly sort out large numbers of people for an appropriate assignment. • A skill test to assess attention to detail or ability to check for errors may be given to clerical candidates, but most tests given to high-level candidates are designed to assess personality traits, not job-related knowledge.
What Employers Want • A candidate taking a test is presumed to have the smarts to handle the job, but the employer often uses the tests in an effort to find the right "fit." • Employers looking for a top executive need to know the candidate's leadership ability, confidence level and interpersonal skills. • For example, a sales representative must be good at meeting people and building relationships.
Don’t worry, Be Happy • Don't be spooked by the tests. • Ancient Greeks said there were 4 basic personality types: -sanguine (cheerful and optimistic), -choleric (hot tempered and aggressive), -phlegmatic (lazy and dull) and -melancholy (sad and pessimistic). There's little reason to think that today's shrinks and test writers have nailed the core of personality any more accurately than the ancient Greeks. • Be YOURSELF! • In any case, the tests required by a prospective employer are unlikely to make or break your job prospects.
Hitting a Job Interview Homerun • Blowing a job interview is as easy as showing up late for the appointment, dressing inappropriately or telling a stupid joke. • You are being sized up in every way from the minute you step into the office, so be quick-witted and don't let your guard down. • Many people don't realize that when the interviewer says, 'I just want you to meet my boss,' it is, in fact, an interview.
What Employers Want • "Employers want integrity, because after the latest corporate scandals, companies have a vested interest in the company they keep." • Employers value expertise, but place a premium on job candidates who are energetic, ambitious, hard-working, respectful, positive, efficient and trustworthy. In short, competence in your field isn't enough to get the job.
Research • Do your homework. Read as much as you can about the company before the interview. Start with the company's Web site. Read your prospective employer's mission statement and about its products or services. If it's a public company, take the time to read deep into the annual and quarterly reports. • Basic research will show the interviewers that you're serious about working for the company, and it will also answer a basic question for you: Do you want to build a career with these guys?
? ? Ask Questions ? ? • The kinds of questions you ask show how well prepared you are for the interview. • Asking questions about their product range--or specific services you couldn't find out simply by reading the cover letter you received from the company or from the employment ad—means you did some independent research about the company on the Internet or at the library. This shows the prospective employer that you're serious about the job!
When Asking Questions • Your questions should show an understanding of the company and its mission and underscore your interest in the job. • Keep questions short and to the point. • Don't take over the interview by turning a few pointed questions into an inquisition. A good interview is a 50-50 exchange of information: The employer is evaluating you, and you're sizing up the company, but that doesn't mean an even split of the questions.
Tougher Questions • Stock questions such as "Describe your strengths and weaknesses“ have been replaced with tougher questions intended to reveal more about your character and how you think. • Prepare for questions such as "Describe your most challenging work environment and how you dealt with it," or "Describe a project that failed" or "What's your biggest regret?"
It’s all about Your Answers • Interviewers want to gain insight into how you think and react to unexpected and perhaps uncomfortable situations. • A good job interviewer will deliberately try to break your stride by tossing out an odd question to see how you handle the unexpected. • You're judged on both words and demeanor. • Never let your guard down, because everything you say and do counts.
What to Ask A job interview is like a first date in that both sides seek to answer the same question: Can this develop into something good? Some Ideas of What to Ask
Work Flow It's a given that there's too much work and not enough people to turn the wheels. How does your prospective boss assign work, reward performance and grant time off?
Management Style Ask your prospective boss to describe his management style. If the answer is nothing but buzzwords and blather, you can bet what he calls management is chaotic and invites inefficiency and inequality.
Values & Goals Ask about values and goals to determine if your prospective boss is a rising star or someone sinking deeper into frustration and bitterness. A boss on the downswing will drag you down, make your life miserable and may limit your advancement
Toss a few Curves • Ask a few open-ended questions such as "What makes a good employee?" or "What did you learn from your biggest mistake?" • If your prospective boss offers a by-the-numbers response, bet on a rote, top-down manager--and keep your job search alive. • Never discuss money in the initial interview.
Turnover Ask your prospective boss about employee turnover. • Why did people leave? • Was their departure voluntary or forced? • Where did they take new jobs? If turnover is high, what does it says about the company, not to mention the boss?
Speak to Others • Ask to speak to other employees in the office, especially those at your job level. • Keep it informal and watch how they respond as much as you listen to what they say. • This will give you an insight into office morale.
Follow-Up Questions • If the initial response to a query is glib, follow up with a pointed question. • If you need more information, or if something isn't clear, ask for clarification. • Nail things down to avoid unpleasant surprises about your duties in the future. Back to ‘What to Ask’