Monday, October 8, 2018

Worlco's Guide to Phone Interviews

Phone interviews can be very stressful. Without the benefit of seeing your interviewer in person, it can be hard to pick up on body language or social cues. Even worse, some people neglect to take phone interviews seriously and pick up the phone completely unprepared. Below is Worlco’s list of phone interview tips!

  • Pay attention to enunciation and tone- Say each word separately, paying attention to your tone of voice. Assume off the bat that the phone service will not be perfect, leaving you to work extra hard to have each word heard.
  • Speak slowly- Have you ever been on the phone with a friend as they rushed through a story, merging words together and mumbling to the point that you had no clue what they just told you? Don’t make that mistake!
  • Refer to your resume and the job description- One positive of phone interviews is that you can keep your interview and the company’s website/ job description in front of you the entire time. Check your notes often to make sure every answer is perfect.
  • Prepare the same way you would for an in-person interview- Just because the interview is on the phone doesn’t mean it’s any less serious! Practice in advance and study up on the company. The day of your call wake up early and dress in your go-to interview outfit, so you can feel as ready as possible.
  • Say thank you and follow up- Just like you should prepare for a phone interview the same way as an in-person meeting, you should follow typical interview protocol after. Thank your interviewer for their time at the end of your call and be sure to send a thank you note.

  •  Take long breaks between words or sentences- Long pauses will have your interviewer checking their reception or wondering if you’re confused by their question. Pauses over the phone don’t feel as natural as they might in person!  
  • Take the call in public or a noisy area- The last thing you need during your phone interview is a distraction! Take the call at home in a private room where your family or roommates know not to disturb you.
  •  Put the phone on speaker- While it might be nice to have your hands free during your call, having your phone on speaker may produce a loud feedback or echo. Use headphones with a speaker if you’ll feel more comfortable not holding your phone.
  •  Cut your interviewer off- Without body language or other cues it can be hard to tell when your interviewer is finished speaking. While you don’t want to wait too long to answer a question, you should allow at least one full second after your interviewer has finished a question to make sure they’re done speaking.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Are Bad Hires Draining Your Company?

According to an article posted by Inc., only one out of five new employees are successful. Bad new hires can lead to lasting problems for companies, more than just a waste of money and drain in morale. If your company is having a problem with bad hires, be sure to reach out to Worlco Computer Resources so we can help you get your team back on track! 

 Here are Inc.’s tips to help your company stay motivated after a bad employee joins the team:

1. Have a continuous hiring strategy in place.

The costs of a bad hire add up quickly--including training and salary costs, as well as costs associated with other employees picking up a bad employee's slack. According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, the costs of a bad hire can add up to 30 percent of the hire's annual salary.
In some cases, you might keep a bad hire on board to stay fully staffed--only to finally hire someone when it's gotten out of hand. Doing so can have a negative impact on your team's productivity and profitability.
To avoid keeping bad hires on your team for long, have a strategy in place to continuously hire--especially for roles you know will open up throughout the year. It'll help you quickly replace bad hires and build a network of talent to staff up as your team grows.
Keep jobs posted on your career site--even if you don't have an immediate opening. If a strong candidate comes along, you can offer an informational interview. If the interview goes well, you might even decide to hire the candidate before you have an immediate need. If not, you'll have a pool of talent to tap into when you need to make an urgent hire--like when you let go of a bad hire or suddenly experience business growth.

2. Rethink your hiring process.

If you notice your team has made several bad hires in recent memory, it's likely time to rethink your hiring process. Many businesses make the mistake of hiring employees too quickly to fill open roles. Hiring the right employee is much more important than simply filling a seat.
Rather than simply manually reviewing applicants and completing one or two interviews, your hiring process should include several verification steps to determine whether or not each candidate is truly a fit for your team. For example, you can use prescreen surveys to gauge whether or not candidates meet the requirements for the role before you even move forward with an interview.
Other verification steps, such as reference and background checks, can help your team feel even more confident in the candidate before extending an offer. That'll ultimately decrease your risk of making another bad hire.

3. Check in with your team.

Check in with your employees following a bad hire. Individual team members often end up getting overworked due to a bad hire who isn't performing, or even mistreated by a bad hire who isn't a culture fit for your team.
Ask your managers to reach out to employees about any challenges they've faced with the bad hire. Collect feedback about what the company can do to ensure the rest of the team continues to be excited to do great work. Doing so will make everyone feel valued and motivated.
Bad hires pose a risk for throwing any team off track. With the right strategy in place, you can ensure your team remains productive.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Increasing Productivity- Jeff Bezos Style

It’s no secret that Amazon is a giant success… But how did Jeff Bezos manage to grow the company to where it is today? As the world’s richest person and CEO of Amazon, he has had his share of success. Bezos gave some insight into his business tactics recently when he disclosed his three key productivity tips. While we may not all reach Bezos’ level of success, we can all apply these tips to further advancement in our own careers.  

 1. He gets plenty of sleep. Studies have shown for years that good sleep "helps us to think clearly, remember information, and make decisions," according to The National Sleep Foundation. "When we don't get enough quality sleep, it impairs our 'executive function'--a set of abilities we need to do well in school, at work, and in all realms of daily life."
Bezos is a believer. He goes to bed early and makes sure he gets eight hours of sleep. "I think better, I have more energy, my mood's better," he said.
2. He doesn't schedule meetings before 10 a.m. Unlike high-powered executives who start at dawn, Bezos says he likes to "putter" in the morning--reading the newspaper, drinking a cup of coffee and eating breakfast with his children.
That may seem like wasting time, but Bezos is actually gearing up for the day. As Laura Vanderkam writes in Fast Company, too many morning meetings can be viewed as an opportunity cost--yes, you've checked that meeting off your list, but you could be using your time for more productive work. "Researchers with Johnson & Johnson that measured people's energy levels throughout the day found we hit our peak right at 8 a.m.," explains Vanderkam. "That is game time. We are ready to execute. But an 8 a.m. meeting supplants a time you would have been motivated to start something big."
For Bezos, the strategy is to schedule "high IQ" meetings starting at 10 a.m. and ending at lunch.
3. He makes just a few decisions a day. As a senior executive, Bezos says that his primary job is to make a small number of high-quality decisions. "If I have three good decisions a day, that's enough," he said. "They should just be as high quality as I can make them."
That doesn't mean that Bezos makes decisions slowly. In fact, as he wrote in his 2017 letter to shareholders, Bezos believes that for a company to maintain the energy and dynamism of a start-up, "you have to somehow make high-quality, high-velocity decisions. Easy for start-ups and very challenging for large organizations. The senior team at Amazon is determined to keep our decision-making velocity high. Speed matters in business--plus a high-velocity decision making environment is more fun, too."
So Bezos works to make a few crucial decisions that will keep Amazon--and his other ventures--moving ahead. "Even though Amazon is a large company, I want it to have the heart and spirit of a small one," he said.

Monday, September 10, 2018

"Per my last email..." And Other Phrases to Never Use

Have you ever received a reply to an email asking you to clarify a detail you explained in your original email? Or maybe you've been stuck waiting for a reply to a time sensitive email? While it may be all too easy to reply to these emails with passive aggressive comments such as “per my last email” or "did you receive my email?", it’s important to take a step back- after all, you’ve probably been guilty of the same behavior in the past. Check out Inc’s guide to improving your emotional intelligence- and patience- below:

1. Your cold email was totally impersonal and irrelevant.
You may be in a position in which you have to cold email people for work. That's fine. But make sure the emails you send are really compelling and captivating. Otherwise, you can expect to get a lot of radio silence -- which is a loud and clear message the recipients aren't interested.
Remember, from important work emails to spam-y marketing emails, the email bombardment never stops. Your recipients can't reply to every single one. So make sure to personalize your email. Sending the same blanket email to 100 people is a sure-fire way to get ignored.
Oh, and a super-duper important tip: Triple check the recipient's name before hitting Send. Yes, I definitely saw your last email. But you didn't just spell my name wrong. You used someone else's name entirely because you're copying and pasting the same message to 100 people. If you didn't take the time to get my name right, why should I take the time to reply? Ignore.

2. You're being passive aggressive.
"Not sure if you saw my last email" is the digital version of the passive-aggressive note posted above the break room sink about washing your dirty dishes.
Yes, they probably saw it. Reminding them of it is not going to make the situation any better. Take a page out of Mark Cuban's book and just get to the point. Keep the email brief and tell them what you need and why. For example, if you're waiting on them for a decision and you have a deadline, let the person know. Don't expect them to be a mind reader.

3. You're potentially being disrespectful of your recipient's time.
How long has your email been sitting in this person's inbox? A day? Maybe two? Remember, not every email demands an instant reply. So following up 24 hours later to ask if they got your last email might not be necessary. Give them a chance to reply first!
And on that note of respecting people's time, was the request in your last email clear? If you're prone to writing emails several paragraphs long, that could be part of the problem. People might be ignoring your emails because they don't have the energy or time to wade through the epic novels you send.
And while you may be writing your emails on your computer, it's likely that people are checking them on their phone. The Adobe survey found that more employees are checking emails on their smartphones compared with last year.
Your long-winded emails feel even longer on a tiny screen. Reread your emails before sending and see if you can slim them down.

4. Email might not be the right medium.
If this is someone you work closely with but can never seem to get a reply, consider a different medium. Maybe this isn't the ideal way to get in front of this person. Consider that they might be overwhelmed by their inbox. It's entirely possible they didn't see your last email because there are hundreds of others demanding their attention.
Perhaps scheduling a regular one-on-one meeting with this person every week could be more productive. Even if it's just for 30 minutes, you can quickly run through all your requests when you have their undivided attention.
Don't beat yourself up too much if you've recently used this phrase. "Not sure if you saw my last email" is simply a symptom that we all send -- and receive -- too much email! But you still want to stay on people's good sides. So it's wise to try to phase it out and improve how you craft your emails.

Monday, August 27, 2018

How to Initiate A Career Change

According to an article posted by Inc., only 14% of workers think they have the "perfect job". If you find yourself in the 86% who is unsatisfied with your career, it might be time for a change. Follow the below steps to start your transition into an employment opportunity that will finally allow you to enjoy going to work.

1. Assess your funds.

If you don't know what career lane you are moving to next, do know that the journey to figuring this out will take some time. Consider what your finances will look like if you ever find yourself with unstable employment options. Some experts say that you should have at least six months' salary socked away for a rainy day.

2. Get back into learning.
Maybe your current position doesn't challenge you. If this is true, it has probably been some time since the last time you learned new things and expanded your skill set. Practice learning again by taking a class or getting started on a new hobby. Your new career will likely require that you learn a lot on the job.

3. Do your research.

Study up on the positions that look attractive to you, don't just daydream about them. Figure out what you want and what you don't want. The more information you can acquire, the better decisions you can make about where you want to go professionally.

4. Don't stop networking.

Make new connections in different industries, join professional organizations, and realize that even a simple coffee meeting can bring you more than just insight into someone else's professional life -- it could even bring you a job.

5. Open your mind.

Seek out new experiences, spend time with different types of people, and consider new resources, like hiring a life coach. You want forward movement, not inertia, and new people and experiences will get you to where you need to be.

6. Look for "better."

Finding the "perfect" job after switching out of an old one will be near impossible. In fact, eliminate the idea of perfection completely -- it will be more productive to simply identify what characteristics of a new job will be better than what you do currently.

7. Have the right mindset.

Although your current position may need a change, don't let past negative experiences affect how you approach future opportunities.

8. Remember to take your time.

Don't rush into the first position you find. After all, you wouldn't want to fall into another job that you really don't like. And remember: rejection, although demoralizing, is just part of your journey. Enjoy the ride to your new career.

Monday, August 13, 2018

An Expert's Guide to Interview Questions

One of the most stressful parts of an interview can be the question segment. No, not when your potential employer is grilling you on your past, but when you must ask the questions. One bad question can ruin an otherwise perfect interview, while asking the right questions can help you stand out long after the interview ends. Here’s a list from Business Insider of the best and worst questions to ask during an interview:

·        “How would you describe the company’s culture?”
·        “Who do you consider your major competitors? How are your better?”
·         “Can you tell me what steps need to be completed before your company can generate an offer?”
·        “How would you describe the company’s values around work-life balance?”
·        “If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day?”
·        “How has this position evolved?”
·        “Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?”
·        “If hired, what are the three most important things you’d like me to accomplish in the first six to twelve months at the company?”
·        “What type of employee tends to succeed here? What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm?”
·        “How do you evaluate success here?”
·        “What have past employees done to succeed in this position?”
·        “Who would I be reporting to?”
·        “Can you give me an example of how I would collaborate with my manager?”
·        “When your staff comes to you with conflicts, how do you respond?”
·        “What was your career plan before you got into this role, and how has that changed since you’ve been here?”
·        “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
·        “What’s one of the most interesting projects or opportunities that you’ve worked on?”
·        “Is there anything else I can provide to help you make your decision?”
·        “Beyond the hard skills required to successfully perform this job, what soft skills would serve the company and position best?”
·        “How would you score the company on living up to its core values? What’s the one thing you’re working to improve on?”
·        “I read this story about your company. Can you tell me more about this?”
·        “What is your staff turnover rate and what are you doing to reduce it?”
·        “Can you tell me where the company is going?”
·        “What makes people stay at this company?”
·        “Is there anyone else you would like me to meet with?”
·        “Will I have an opportunity to meet those who would be part of my staff/ my manager during the interview process?”
·        “Have I answered all your questions?”
·        “What’s your timeline for making a decision, and when can I expect to hear back from you?”

·        “What does your company do?”
·        “What will me salary be?”
·        “What are the hours?” or “Will I have to work long hours?”
·        “Will I have my own office?”
·        “Can I make personal calls during the day?”
·        “Do you monitor emails or internet usage?”
·        “How soon can I take a vacation?”
·        “Will I have an expense account?”
·        “When will I be eligible for a raise?”
·        “Can I arrive early or leave late as long as I get my work done?”
·        “What are grounds for termination?”
·        “How quickly could I be considered for a promotion?”
·        “Who should I avoid in the office?”
·        “What happens if I don’t get along with my boss or coworkers?”
·        “Are you married?” or “Do you have kids?”
·        “Do you check social media accounts?” or “Do you do background checks?”
·        “I heard this wild rumor about the CEO. Is it true?”
·        “How did I do?” or “Did I get the job?”
·        “How long are you going to take to get back to me?”

Monday, August 6, 2018

How To Recover From Interview Mistakes

                Unfortunately, interview mistakes are bound to happen to anyone. All the preparation and confidence in the world cannot protect you from an occasional blunder. Recovering from these mistakes is what will set you apart from other candidates and ultimately help get you your dream job.

Mistake #1: Missing the phone screening or interview
“A huge pain point for recruiters is putting all this work into finding a stellar candidate and scheduling a phone screening to feel them out for the role, only for the candidate to miss it,” says Shukran. “Missing the phone screen and not following up to reschedule shows a lack of professionalism, time management, and follow up, and these are key skills a recruiter looks for when assessing someone for any role.”

How to recover:
If you’ve already made this mistake, it’s not a complete loss: follow up with your contact as quickly as possible, take full responsibility for the slip, and explain the mitigating circumstances. Anything less – like dismissing it as no big deal or assuming they’ll reschedule quickly – won’t win you any favors (or second chances).

Mistake #2: Sending a generic follow-up or not following up enough
Shukran notes that another common interview mistake is sending a bland follow-up note or not following up at all. This causes you to miss out on an enormous opportunity to stand out among other prospective hires and – more importantly – to continue the conversation and build a relationship with your interviewer.

How to recover:
If you made this common interview mistake and haven’t followed up to an interview yet, do so! Just make sure it’s unique to the person with whom you interviewed and shows you’re paying attention to the conversation: “Whenever possible, think back to something an interviewer said about the company and comment on it, or follow up for more information or to share an interesting article tied to the role. A follow-up that showcases whether or not you’re a fit shows more interest post-interview than a generic one,” remarks Shukran.
I know of a candidate that was interviewing with a company, and while they were waiting in the wings to hear back from the recruiter, the company received some good reviews in the press,” remarks Shukran. “The next morning, the candidate reached out just to say congratulations on the big win. That thoughtful gesture showcased that person’s passion for the company and helped that candidate stay top of mind.”

Mistake #3: Following up too much
“When a candidate follows up too frequently, I start to wonder about what’s going on,” says Shukran. “Did they get turned down by another company, so they’re latching onto this job? Did they not hear when we said we’re going through first round of interviews and will get back to them next week? Either they’re not listening or they’re too aggressive, and either way that’s a turnoff.”  

How to recover:
Aside from chilling out and stepping back, you can’t recover from too much follow up. Your best bet is to learn your lesson and apply a more moderate approach to following your next interview (or better yet, ask your interviewer what the follow-up schedule looks like and act accordingly).  
If you think that’s harsh, consider this: interviewers know that how you follow up to interview is how you’ll follow up with customers and co-workers on the job: “An aggressive level of follow up concerns me because it’s a preview of what that person will be like as part of a team,” explains Shukran. “I’m thinking, ‘If this person is working with another stakeholder on a project or deadline, they might not be cognizant or respectful of what the other person’s time line is.’”  

Mistake #4: Not asking any questions
If it seems like asking questions at the end of an interview is optional, Shukran wants to be clear that it’s not: “An interview is more of a conversation than anything else,” she says. “When you’re really listening in an interview and having an insightful conversation, you have an opportunity to dig deeper. If you’re not asking questions, it shows a lack of interest and passion.”

How to recover:
If you find yourself in the middle of an interview and you really can’t think of any questions, it’s OK to ask to circle back with questions later.
“Not everyone can think on their feet,” Shukran says. “When you’re still in the moment and you can’t think of any questions, it’s OK to say, ‘This is a lot of info to digest, I’d like to think through the questions and follow up by email.’ That would show me a strong sense of self-awareness that you know you’re not the person to think on your feet but you know what you need to do to get the job done.”
If you didn’t ask questions in the interview, all is not lost. The next time you’re in touch with your interviewer – whether that’s a scheduled follow-up call or a check-in a week or two after your interview – ask if it’s possible to take them up on their offer to ask questions and include a few thoughtful ones in your email.

Mistake #5: Not showing industry know-how
The best way to impress a recruiter or hiring manager is to do your research in advance of the interview – that means doing your due diligence and reading the company’s website, performing a web search for articles mentioning the company or recent press releases, and reviewing all interview-related email correspondence.
“I work in ad tech, so what’s always very impressive to me is when candidates come in from outside our industry with a strong understanding of the business,” says Shukran. “There may be gaps or mistakes in how they’re addressing what we do, but whether they have the details right or not, it shows me that they have a strong passion for the potential opportunity and a strategic, business-oriented way of thinking.”

How to recover:
This is yet another common interview mistake where the best approach is a preventative one. Research the company and the position as thoroughly as possible in advance of your interview so you’re prepared to have an intelligent discussion about the position and the role it plays in the company’s big picture.
If you made the mistake of taking the interview cold, make sure you show that you’ve done your research when you follow up. Mention a recent press release or acquisition, or ask a question that shows that you’ve put some thought into how the position will play into the company’s long-term goals. As Shukran explains, “When you can connect your day to day to the bigger picture on an ongoing basis, it’s much more valuable compared to someone who is focused on the tasks associated with the job.”