interviews http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13587/all en-US How to Hire Your First Employee http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-hire-your-first-employee <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-hire-your-first-employee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tell_me_more_about_yourself.jpg" alt="Tell me more about yourself" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hiring your first employee is exciting! And also pretty intimidating. You don't need a complicated system in place to make your first hire, but you <em>do</em> need to take a few essential steps along the way. Here are some ways to simplify the process of hiring your first employee.</p> <h2>Decide what your employee will do</h2> <p>First things first: You know you're busy and you have more on your plate than you can accomplish alone. However, do you know exactly what your employee will take off your hands? Before you write an ad or think about a salary, make a list of the tasks and responsibilities you'd like to hand off to an employee. This list will help you hire the right person, and will also help you know exactly how to get them to full productivity quickly.</p> <h2>Write that employee handbook</h2> <p>Writing an employee handbook sounds like an overly complicated, formal process. It doesn't have to be! An employee handbook can be direct, casual, whimsical, full of pictures, and even interactive. It can also be a simple document of a few pages that covers the important values and rules you need to have in place for all employees, present and future. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a thorough guide to <a href="https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/hire-retain-employees/employee-handbooks" target="_blank">writing a handbook</a>, or you can find free templates online.</p> <h2>Set up a payroll service</h2> <p>In hiring an employee, what's most important to you is getting work done. What's most important to your first employee is getting a paycheck. Take some friendly advice: Hire a payroll service to handle the paycheck part of the equation. You will save yourself countless dollars in time and headaches. A good payroll service will provide necessary tax withholdings according to federal and state rules, keep accurate documentation, allow customizable withholdings to be set as needed, and ensure that your employee gets paid on time. All you have to do is go through the initial setup process and put a salary in place.</p> <p>And for the record: It's a really, really good idea to pay yourself through a payroll service, too. Missing tax documentation will always come back to haunt you.</p> <h2>Advertise for a great employee</h2> <p>Now you're ready to start seeking your first employee. Start by writing a great job listing ad. How, you ask? The keys to a great employment ad are specificity and authenticity.</p> <p>Specificity means that you'll list the exact tasks and responsibilities that your employee will take on. Don't use a vague term like &quot;Office Manager&quot; or &quot;Production Assistant&quot; without stating exactly what that means in your business. By making your ad specific, you will automatically filter out the applicants who aren't qualified or interested in completing the work you actually need done.</p> <p>Authenticity means that your employment ad should be like you, and like your business. If you're a casual, mom-and-pop kind of place, don't write an ad with formal language and overblown requirements for employment. Use first-person language, for example: &quot;We're looking for someone to work at the front counter.&quot;</p> <p>On the other hand, if your business is a more formal establishment with a dress code and high-end clientele, reflect that accurately in your advertisement. Use a more formal tone: &quot;Bobkin, Bobkin, and Butters, LLP, seek a qualified office assistant.&quot; The language and tone you use in your initial ad help you attract the type of applicant that will fit well and work well in your business.</p> <h2>Provide initial training</h2> <p>While you're waiting for the pre-filtered applications to roll in, thanks to your stellar employment ad, get your training materials in place. Do this by going back to that list of tasks and responsibilities that you want your first employee to handle. For each major task, write down the step-by-step process to complete it, well, completely. For each responsibility, list the tasks to be completed and, as appropriate, the timelines, resources, contacts, and other pertinent information.</p> <p>When you make that first hire, you'll have the information to start their training. As a general rule, it's a good idea to do two things: First, provide a copy of the complete training material to your employee, so they can go over it and get a big picture of the role they're taking. Second, prioritize the tasks and responsibilities and work with your new employee on each one in order of importance.</p> <h2>Set up a system for performance reviews</h2> <p>Ah, the dreaded performance review! Employees don't tend to love them, and frankly, neither do employers. However, when done well and frequently, reviews can create a working relationship that's much more beneficial for everyone involved.</p> <p>Start by letting your employee know that you will provide weekly feedback in their first month, or quarter. This is important as new employees often have no way to gauge if they're doing the job right and meeting your standards, or not. Not knowing leads to anxiety and tension, which leads to more mistakes, and can create an ugly cycle of stress and mess-ups. Provide clear, regular, weekly (at a minimum) feedback for your new employee for at least their first month.</p> <p>Thereafter, feedback sessions on a quarterly, monthly, or even a continued weekly basis are the most effective. Annual reviews are too few and far-between to be effective; they have the fun effect of making employees feel blindsided and betrayed. Don't do that! Instead, provide ongoing, informal feedback to your employee, either in face-to-face meetings or via phone, email, or messaging.</p> <p>You can provide feedback on a scheduled basis (weekly or monthly, for example) or after the completion of a task or project. In both cases, shorter, more frequent meetings tend to be more helpful. For best results, focus less on &quot;what you did wrong&quot; criticism and more on &quot;specific steps to improve&quot; instruction.</p> <p>A last note: It's a great idea to get feedback from your employee, as well as giving feedback to your employee. It's your first hire, but it probably won't be your last. Ask your new employee how you can make the process easier and be a better boss; you'll be even better prepared when it's time for your second hire.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-hire-your-first-employee&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Hire%2520Your%2520First%2520Employee.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Hire%20Your%20First%20Employee"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Hire%20Your%20First%20Employee.jpg" alt="How to Hire Your First Employee" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-hire-your-first-employee">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10 Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search">10 Resume Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship business owner employees employment first hire hiring interviews reviews small business training Fri, 28 Jul 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Annie Mueller 1990725 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Let These 6 Common Job Traps Derail Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-6-common-job-traps-derail-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-let-these-6-common-job-traps-derail-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/i_need_a_break.jpg" alt="I need a break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you run out of novel reasons to call in late to work? Do you keep close tabs on the number of vacation and sick days you have left? Have you fantasized about pulling a Thelma and Louise-style getaway on your Monday morning commute? If so, you may feel trapped by that job you used to love.</p> <p>It's no fun. Feeling trapped in a job you hate can sap your motivation, keep you poor, and lead to all kinds of other stress. Get yourself unstuck by learning why so many people get stuck in the first place. Here a six of the most common career traps.</p> <h2>1. Convincing yourself you're too invested to leave</h2> <p>Being invested in your job is admirable, but at a certain point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in. Ask yourself, &quot;Is my investment paying off? Is the payoff purely financial? Are there hidden costs to my health and relationships that I'm not factoring into the equation?&quot; Consider how moving on might revitalize your career and offer greater rewards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-its-never-too-late-for-a-career-change?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Reasons It's Never Too Late for a Career Change</a>)</p> <h2>2. Believing that big promotion is just around the corner</h2> <p>I get it; we're all taught that quitting is bad and that patience is rewarded. But if you're continually passed over for promotions despite working harder and working smarter, something's gotta give. Have a chat with your supervisor to clarify your career path and outline exactly what's needed to progress professionally. If things don't change in a reasonable amount of time, move on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-finally-get-that-promotion-this-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Ways to Finally Get That Promotion This Year</a>)</p> <h2>3. Confusing your employer with your family</h2> <p>We've all heard the familiar refrain, &quot;We're just one big happy family here!&quot; While the metaphor is lovely, it usually doesn't survive an economic downturn. Without taking anything away from companies that work hard to foster a close and collaborative atmosphere, the employer/employee relationship is an economic one. Your coworkers aren't your siblings and your boss isn't your parent. Pursue your career goals free of these false family obligations.</p> <h2>4. Not realizing you can interview casually</h2> <p>An interview is like a first date; even if things go well, you don't have to get married. There's a big difference between exploring your professional options and turning in a letter of resignation. Chill out. It's perfectly OK to interview casually, learn more about companies that are hiring, and take your time considering new roles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-job-hunt-without-getting-caught?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways to Job Hunt Without Getting Caught</a>)</p> <h2>5. Waiting to cash in when the company goes public</h2> <p>Sure, sometimes companies go public and faithful employees get a big payday by exercising company stock options. But just as often, companies spend years preparing for an IPO that either never happens or falls flat. Unless you're fully prepared to play the long game &mdash; potentially sacrificing career advancement and happiness in the process &mdash; don't stick around for an iffy IPO.</p> <h2>6. Believing your employer is special</h2> <p>I once had a friend who spent more than 25 years working for the same company. The first five or 10 years were terrific. The firm was small and privately held, provided employees with free lunch every day, and offered a host of convenient services on-site. But when the company went public and had to answer to shareholders, the culture changed dramatically and most of those little perks were cut.</p> <p>Still, my friend endured. She had a difficult time admitting the place was no longer special &mdash; that other employers might actually offer her more valuable benefits and far more progressive work environments. For the next decade, she toiled as new staff came and went, her workload grew, and her stress level skyrocketed. Though she dreamed of moving on, she's likely still there &mdash; holed up in a dark corner remembering the good ol' days.</p> <p>That doesn't have to be you. Let go of what used to be special and move on to something that is.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdont-let-these-6-common-job-traps-derail-your-career&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDon%2527t%2520Let%2520These%25206%2520Common%2520Job%2520Traps%2520Derail%2520Your%2520Career.jpg&amp;description=Don't%20Let%20These%206%20Common%20Job%20Traps%20Derail%20Your%20Career"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Don%27t%20Let%20These%206%20Common%20Job%20Traps%20Derail%20Your%20Career.jpg" alt="Don't Let These 6 Common Job Traps Derail Your Career" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-6-common-job-traps-derail-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-keys-to-quitting-a-job-like-a-professional">8 Keys to Quitting a Job Like a Professional</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-great-reasons-to-quit-your-job">13 Great Reasons to Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/escape-your-dying-industry-with-one-of-these-8-careers-instead">Escape Your Dying Industry With One of These 8 Careers, Instead</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building career traps dead end job employers interviews job hunting quitting stuck Mon, 26 Jun 2017 09:00:12 +0000 Kentin Waits 1966171 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Scary Thoughts Everyone Has During a Job Interview http://www.wisebread.com/5-scary-thoughts-everyone-has-during-a-job-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-scary-thoughts-everyone-has-during-a-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/interview-78749385.jpg" alt="nervous interviewee" title="nervous interviewee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What do you think about when you hear the word &quot;interview?&quot;</p> <p>Does it invoke feelings of dread, terrifying memories, and lucid nightmares? Or perhaps your experience with the interview process has been decidedly more positive.</p> <p>Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, there are a number of thoughts almost everyone has during an interview. We're going to take a gander at what those thoughts are and how we can best respond to them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-interview-technique-will-get-you-hired?ref=seealso">This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired</a>)</p> <h2>1. &quot;Is it my fault that handshake was so awkward?&quot;</h2> <p>Awkward handshakes are a part of life. It's quite shocking how many ways there are to mess up the same classic greeting we've been doing for centuries. Nothing kills your confidence at the outset of an interview quite like an awkwardly misfired handshake. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews?ref=seealso">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a>)</p> <p>If you experience this in an interview, don't waste your time wondering whose fault it was or what the interviewer is thinking. If you act awkward about it, you'll kill the mood for the entire interview. If you jump straight into engaging with the interviewer and confidently advance the conversation, the opening jumble will be forgotten.</p> <h2>2. &quot;They're not saying anything. Am I supposed to say something?&quot;</h2> <p>Long pauses can be difficult to navigate. Your interviewer finishes a statement and then simply stares at you for a few moments, as if you're supposed to say something. Or you finish your answer to a question, but the interviewer continues looking at you as if he/she expects more. What now?</p> <p>Treat the conversational element of your interview like you would any other conversation. You can't control the other person. You can't dictate what they will or will not do within your discourse. Just focus on yourself. If they fail to ask a question, say something such as, &quot;I feel like there's a question in there somewhere,&quot; just as you would if a friend behaved similarly in a casual conversation.</p> <h2>3. &quot;Why are they trying to sell me on the company?&quot;</h2> <p>Good companies are run by good employees. I know this, yet somehow, it always surprises me when the interviewer starts selling me on the company. If you're at the interview stage, it means either your resume stands out or your networking was fantastic. Either way, you're the type of talent who has options, or at least, that's a possibility your interviewer is aware of.</p> <p>Come with specific questions prepared. When you catch that first whiff of salesmanship, it's time to take over the interview and begin asking meaningful questions about why this company is the right fit for you.</p> <h2>4. &quot;How invested in getting this position should I appear to be?&quot;</h2> <p>Do you act like this is your dream job? You don't want to appear desperate. Do you pretend you have much better offers on the table? They aren't going to offer the position to someone who isn't interested.</p> <p>Finding the right balance of purported interest can be tricky. Ultimately, you want to put yourself in the same bracket as they see you. To them, you are one possible choice on a shortlist of options, any of which will work, and none of which are irreplaceable. You should approach the interviewing company in a similar manner. It is one of several strong options you're considering. You could absolutely see yourself working there, but you will be 100% fine if it doesn't work out.</p> <h2>5. &quot;Dang it, I have no clue how to answer this question.&quot;</h2> <p>It seems that no matter how much we prepare, there's always at least one question which completely throws off our interview groove. It might be that one question you didn't want them to ask about your resume. It could be an ambiguous question about your weaknesses or a query concerning topics with which you are unfamiliar.</p> <p>First, stop and breathe. Don't rush into an incoherent answer because you're afraid of a brief silence. The most important thing to understand is that questions are always a positive opportunity. You are being given full license to frame any issue or topic in whatever way suits you best. You have a few moments to construct the interviewer's perspective of you and dismantle any assumptions that would otherwise arise.</p> <p>Interview questions, like the interviews themselves, are simply your opportunity to shine.</p> <p><em>What scary thoughts have you had during a job interview? How did you get through them?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jacob-mcmillen">Jacob McMillen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-scary-thoughts-everyone-has-during-a-job-interview">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-questions-you-should-always-ask-at-the-end-of-a-job-interview">15 Questions You Should Always Ask at the End of a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-leave-a-positive-impression-on-everyone-you-meet">How to Leave a Positive Impression on Everyone You Meet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-warning-signs-youre-going-to-bomb-your-job-interview">8 Warning Signs You&#039;re Going to Bomb Your Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting first impressions interviews Mon, 19 May 2014 08:00:30 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1139540 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Hiring Mistakes and How to Prevent Them http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/4-hiring-mistakes-and-how-to-prevent-them <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/4-hiring-mistakes-and-how-to-prevent-them" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/4-hiring-mistakes-and-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/4-hiring-mistakes-and-how-to-prevent-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009409026Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Two out of three new hires will disappoint you, partly because 95 out of 100 of them exaggerated to get the job, and one in three companies will be involved a labor-related lawsuit this year. These Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers are sobering, but they reflect hiring mistakes that could have been avoided. Here are my top four mistakes and some advice on how to avoid them.</p> <h3>Mistake #1: Relying Solely on Interviews to Pick Candidates</h3> <p>Did you know that interviews are about as useful as flipping a coin to select candidates? Let&rsquo;s say you decide to hire someone if the coin comes up heads &mdash; 50 percent of the time it will. A <a target="_blank" href="http://www.uam.es/personal_pdi/psicologia/pei/diferencias/Hunter1984JobPerformance.pdf">University of Michigan study</a> showed that using typical, &ldquo;So tell me about yourself,&rdquo; job interviews you&rsquo;ll pick the right candidate only two percent better than the coin will, a whopping 52 percent of time.</p> <p>Why are interviews so bad at helping you pick the right person? Because they&rsquo;re typically only used as a process to evaluate the &ldquo;chemistry&rdquo; between the interviewer and the candidate. That&rsquo;s worth knowing &mdash; you generally don&rsquo;t want a jerk around even if they&rsquo;re good at what they do. But to really predict how an employee will perform (and act) once they&rsquo;re hired, you need to use a structured interview with questions that have been validated as good predictors of performance.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bdt.net/what.asp?pg=History&amp;brw=Other">Behavioral descriptive interviews</a> (BDI) are available as old-fashioned paper and pencil forms, web-based questionnaires, and fully automated online interviews tailored to your company&rsquo;s needs. They&rsquo;re easy and economical to integrate into your hiring process &mdash; especially when you consider the difficulty and cost of employee turnover &mdash; and they can help you avoid the mistake of relying on subjective interviews to make hiring decisions.</p> <h3>Mistake #2: Assuming Superstars Are Good Models</h3> <p>If you have a top-performing employee, it stands to reason you&rsquo;d want to try to hire people just like her or him. Only one problem: what makes people successful is practically impossible to determine by looking at their characteristics. In one study, for example, the three main characteristics of the best and the worst sales people were identical, right down to the fact that they both could be reliably identified by their black wingtip shoes.</p> <p>But the difference between high performers and poor performers does tell you something. You can avoid the mistake of trying to clone your superstars by finding someone who has done the work to validate the critical skills for success. For example, if you&rsquo;re looking to hire someone to manage a remote workforce, there&rsquo;s a terrific <a target="_blank" href="http://www.conference-board.org/publications/publicationdetail.cfm?publicationid=1565">Conference Board study</a>, that teases out the key competencies for remote managers and employees by looking at the differences between successful ones and less successful ones. I did a webinar on the topic recently; you'll find a summary of the study and a recording of the webinar on our website at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.teleworkresearchnetwork.com/telework-webinar-questions-and-answers/6009">TeleworkResearchNetwork.com</a>.</p> <h3>Mistake #3: Assuming You Know What Skills Are Required</h3> <p>The trouble with common sense is it&rsquo;s often wrong. Or as Robert Heinlein put it, &ldquo;The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa.&rdquo;</p> <p>All of which is to say that common sense suggests certain personalities are required for someone to be a successful manager, salesperson, etc. That seems credible, but it&rsquo;s not true. Even producers of personality tests, such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment, will admit their tests are only useful for training or self-awareness, but not for hiring. The only way you can predict success for certain tasks is through skills-based or job-knowledge tests that have been validated with solid research. Find them and use them, and you&rsquo;ll avoid this costly mistake.</p> <h3>Mistake #4: Failing to Do a Careful Background Check</h3> <p>Pre-screening for, say, salary expectations, can save you a lot of wasted time. But failing to carefully check candidate&rsquo;s claims of employment, education, and experience can cost a lot more than just wasted time. As many as one in three resumes leave out important information and some estimates suggest as much as 40 percent of all information on resumes is false or misleading.</p> <p>Besides trying to determine if someone is a good fit for the organization in terms of personality and skills, you also have to assess the risk they represent to your organization. In fact, some jobs including those involving children, the elderly, the disabled, and the government require background checks. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/poor-due-diligence-can-cost-moneyand-more-tom-harnish">Failing to exercise due diligence can cost you plenty</a> in a negligent hiring lawsuit if an employee harms someone else.</p> <p>When you consider that the cost of hiring a new employee is estimated at 75 to 200 percent of salary, careful hiring decisions represent money you can take to the bank.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tom-harnish">Tom Harnish</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/4-hiring-mistakes-and-how-to-prevent-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-hire-your-first-employee">How to Hire Your First Employee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-questions-you-should-always-ask-at-the-end-of-a-job-interview">15 Questions You Should Always Ask at the End of a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center behavioral descriptive interview hiring interviews Myers Briggs Type Indicator small business Fri, 13 May 2011 19:45:40 +0000 Tom Harnish 536564 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000050916338.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's face it; no one likes the interview process. Well, certainly not the people being interviewed anyway. You have to be on your best behavior, you only get one chance to get it right, and it's like taking your driving test all over again. Over the years I've been to countless interviews. To get my first job out of college I attended some 15-20 interviews a week. Whether it was in Britain or over here in the States, the questions never really seemed to change from job to job. Not only that, but the answers to them are usually the same, with your own personal interpretation of course. Here I present 23 questions you're likely to be asked, and how I have learned to answer them. Why 23? Because I had more than 20 and less than 25. Remember, being interviewed is a skill, and if you do the preparation you should ace it every time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com12 Unique Ways to Score a Job Interview">12 Unique Ways to Score a Job Interview</a>)</p> <h2>1. So, tell me a little about yourself.</h2> <p>I'd be very surprised if you haven't been asked this one at every interview. It's probably the most asked question because it sets the stage for the interview and it gets you talking. Be careful not to give the interviewer your life story here. You don't need to explain everything from birth to present day. Relevant facts about education, your career and your current life situation are fine.</p> <h2>2. Why are you looking (or why did you leave you last job)?</h2> <p>This should be a straightforward question to answer, but it can trip you up. Presumably you are looking for a new job (or any job) because you want to <a title="3 Ways a Master's Degree Can Boost Your Career" href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-a-masters-degree-can-boost-your-career">advance your career</a> and get a position that allows you to grow as a person and an employee. It's not a good idea to mention money here, it can make you sound mercenary. And if you are in the unfortunate situation of having been downsized, stay positive and be as brief as possible about it. If you were fired, you'll need a good explanation. But once again, stay positive.</p> <h2>3. Tell me what you know about this company.</h2> <p>Do your homework before you go to any interview. Whether it's being the VP of marketing or the mailroom clerk, you should know about the company or business you're going to work for. Has this company been in the news lately? Who are the people in the company you should know about? Do the background work, it will make you stand out as someone who comes prepared, and is genuinely interested in the company and the job.</p> <h2>4. Why do you want to work at X Company?</h2> <p>This should be directly related to the last question. Any research you've done on the company should have led you to the conclusion that you'd want to work there. After all, you're at the interview, right? Put some thought into this answer before you have your interview, mention your career goals and highlight forward-thinking goals and career plans.</p> <h2>5. What relevant experience do you have?</h2> <p>Hopefully if you're applying for this position you have bags of related experience, and if that's the case you should mention it all. But if you're switching careers or trying something a little different, your experience may initially not look like it's matching up. That's when you need a little honest creativity to match the experiences required with the ones you have. People skills are people skills after all, you just need to show how customer service skills can apply to internal management positions, and so on.</p> <h2>6. If your previous co-workers were here, what would they say about you?</h2> <p>Ok, this is not the time for full disclosure. If some people from your past are going to say you're a boring A-hole, you don't need to bring that up. Stay positive, always, and maybe have a few specific quotes in mind. &quot;They'd say I was a hard worker&quot; or even better &quot;John Doe has always said I was the most reliable, creative problem-solver he'd ever met.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Have you done anything to further your experience?</h2> <p>This could include anything from night classes to hobbies and sports. If it's related, it's worth mentioning. Obviously anything to do with further education is great, but maybe you're spending time on a home improvement project to work on skills such as self-sufficiency, time management and motivation.</p> <h2>8. Where else have you applied?</h2> <p>This is a good way to hint that you're in demand, without sounding like you're whoring yourself all over town. So, be honest and mention a few other companies but don't go into detail. The fact that you're seriously looking and keeping your options open is what the interviewer is driving at.</p> <h2>9. How are you when you're working under pressure?</h2> <p>Once again, there are a few ways to answer this but they should all be positive. You may work well under pressure, you may thrive under pressure, and you may actually <strong>prefer</strong> working under pressure. If you say you crumble like aged blue cheese, this is not going to help you get your foot in the door.</p> <h2>10. What motivates you to do a good job?</h2> <p>The answer to this one is not money, even if it is. You should be motivated by life's noble pursuits. You want recognition for a job well done. You want to become better at your job. You want to help others or be a leader in your field.</p> <h2>11. What's your greatest strength?</h2> <p>This is your chance to shine. You're being asked to explain why you are a great employee, so don't hold back and stay do stay positive. You could be someone who thrives under pressure, a great motivator, an amazing problem solver or someone with extraordinary attention to detail. If your greatest strength, however, is to drink anyone under the table or get a top score on Mario Kart, keep it to yourself. The interviewer is looking for work-related strengths.</p> <h2>12. What's your biggest weakness?</h2> <p>If you're completely honest, you may be kicking yourself in the butt. If you say you don't have one, you're obviously lying. This is a horrible question and one that politicians have become masters at answering. They say things like &quot;I'm perhaps too committed to my work and don't spend enough time with my family.&quot; Oh, there's a fireable offense. I've even heard &quot;I think I'm too good at my job, it can often make people jealous.&quot; Please, let's keep our feet on the ground. If you're asked this question, give a small, work-related flaw that you're working hard to improve. Example: &quot;I've been told I occasionally focus on details and miss the bigger picture, so I've been spending time laying out the complete project every day to see my overall progress.&quot;</p> <h2>13. Let's talk about salary. What are you looking for?</h2> <p>Run for cover! This is one tricky game to play in an interview. Even if you know the salary range for the job, if you answer first you're already showing all your cards. You want as much as possible, the employer wants you for as little as you're willing to take. Before you apply, take a look at salary.com for a good idea of what someone with your specific experience should be paid. You may want to say, &quot;well, that's something I've thought long and hard about and I think someone with my experience should get between X &amp; Y.&quot; Or, you could be sly and say, &quot;right now, I'm more interested in talking more about what the position can offer my career.&quot; That could at least buy you a little time to scope out the situation. But if you do have a specific figure in mind and you are confident that you can get it, I'd say go for it. I have on many occasions, and every time I got very close to that figure (both below and sometimes above).</p> <h2>14. Are you good at working in a team?</h2> <p>Unless you have the I.Q. of a houseplant, you'll always answer YES to this one. It's the only answer. How can anyone function inside an organization if they are a loner? You may want to mention what part you like to play in a team though; it's a great chance to explain that you're a natural leader.</p> <h2>15. Tell me a suggestion you have made that was implemented.</h2> <p>It's important here to focus on the word &quot;implemented.&quot; There's nothing wrong with having a thousand great ideas, but if the only place they live is on your notepad what's the point? Better still, you need a good ending. If your previous company took your advice and ended up going bankrupt, that's not such a great example either. Be prepared with a story about an idea of yours that was taken from idea to implementation, and considered successful.</p> <h2>16. Has anything ever irritated you about people you've worked with?</h2> <p>Of course, you have a list as long as your arm. But you can't say that, it shows you as being negative and difficult to work with. The best way to answer this one is to think for a while and then say something like &quot;I've always got on just fine with my co-workers actually.&quot;</p> <h2>17. Is there anyone you just could not work with?</h2> <p>No. Well, unless you're talking about murderers, racists, rapists, thieves or other dastardly characters, you can work with anyone. Otherwise you could be flagged as someone who's picky and difficult if you say, &quot;I can't work with anyone who's a Bronco's fan. Sorry.&quot;</p> <h2>18. Tell me about any issues you've had with a previous boss.</h2> <p>Arrgh! If you fall for this one you shouldn't be hired anyway. The interviewer is testing you to see if you'll speak badly about your previous supervisor. Simply answer this question with extreme tact, diplomacy and if necessary, a big fat loss of memory. In short, you've never had any issues.</p> <h2>19. Would you rather work for money or job satisfaction?</h2> <p>It's not a very fair question is it? We'd all love to get paid a Trump-like salary doing a job we love but that's rare indeed. It's fine to say money is important, but remember that NOTHING is more important to you than the job. Otherwise, you're just someone looking for a bigger paycheck.</p> <h2>20. Would you rather be liked or feared?</h2> <p>I have been asked this a lot, in various incarnations. The first time I just drew a blank and said, &quot;I don't know.&quot; That went over badly, but it was right at the start of my career when I had little to no experience. Since then I've realized that my genuine answer is &quot;Neither, I'd rather be respected.&quot; You don't want to be feared because fear is no way to motivate a team. You may got the job done but at what cost? Similarly, if you're everyone's best friend you'll find it difficult to make tough decisions or hit deadlines. But when you're respected, you don't have to be a complete bastard or a lame duck to get the job done.</p> <h2>21. Are you willing to put the interests of X Company ahead of your own?</h2> <p>Again, another nasty question. If you say yes, you're a corporate whore who doesn't care about family. If you say no, you're disloyal to the company. I'm afraid that you'll probably have to say yes to this one though, because you're trying to be the perfect employee at this point, and perfect employees don't cut out early for Jimmy's baseball game.</p> <h2>22. So, explain why I should hire you.</h2> <p>As I'm sure you know, &quot;because I'm great&quot; or &quot;I really need a job&quot; are not good answers here. This is a time to give the employer a laundry list of your greatest talents that just so happen to match the job description. It's also good to avoid taking potshots at other potential candidates here. Focus on yourself and your talents, not other people's flaws.</p> <h2>23. Finally, do you have any questions to ask me?</h2> <p>I'll finish the way I started, with one of the most common questions asked in interviews. This directly relates to the research you've done on the company and also gives you a chance to show how eager and prepared you are. You'll probably want to ask about benefits if they haven't been covered already. A good generic one is &quot;how soon could I start, if I were offered the job of course.&quot; You may also ask what you'd be working on. Specifically, in the role you're applying for and how that affects the rest of the company. Always have questions ready, greeting this one with a blank stare is a rotten way to finish your interview. Good luck and happy job hunting.</p> <p>Want more interview tips? Read up here:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-not-to-answer-10-of-the-most-common-interview-questions?ref=interview" target="_blank">How NOT to Answer 10 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview?ref=interview" target="_blank">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-words-to-never-use-in-a-job-interview?ref=interview" target="_blank">10 Words to Never Use in a Job Interview</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-you-should-ask-at-every-job-interview?ref=interview" target="_blank">5 Questions You Should Ask at Every Job Interview</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews?ref=interview" target="_blank">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-a-good-first-impression-at-your-next-job-interview?ref=interview" target="_blank">13 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at Your Next Job Interview</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-did-wrong-at-your-last-job-interview?ref=interview" target="_blank">10 Things You Did Wrong at Your Last Job Interview</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-interview-technique-will-get-you-hired?ref=interview" target="_blank">This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them?ref=interview" target="_blank">How to Answer Weird Interview Questions</a></li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Answer%2023%20of%20the%20Most%20Common%20Interview%20Questions.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Answer%2023%20of%20the%20Most%20Common%20Interview%20Questions" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Answer%2023%20of%20the%20Most%20Common%20Interview%20Questions.jpg" alt="How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-65-best-career-tips-weve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 65 Best Career Tips We&#039;ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career">6 Ways to Use Technology to Upgrade Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-cool-jobs-for-fashion-lovers">18 Cool Jobs for Fashion Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-unlisted-jobs-and-win-every-salary-negotiation">How to Find Unlisted Jobs and Win Every Salary Negotiation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Job Hunting answers career interviews jobs questions Fri, 05 Oct 2007 03:10:18 +0000 Paul Michael 1253 at http://www.wisebread.com