Category: Career Advice


What You Need to Know About Job Interviews of The Modern Era


Years ago when I used to work in college career services, the interview process for college administrator positions was apparently ahead of its time. A recent article entitled “How You’ll Look For A Job in 2018” says that exercise-based job interviews are becoming more common.

Lindsay Grenawalt, head of People for Cockroach Labs, says,

“Rather than guess if a candidate can do the job based on their answers to behavioral questions exercise-based interviews ask for candidates to show [what they can do].”

This includes interviews with case studies, individual exercises, and presentations.


My Toughest Job Interviews

When previously interviewing for college career services positions, I had to do much of the same.

I’ve had interviews where I had to do presentations and teach mock classes. Once I even had to create an idea for a program in 45 minutes and then pitch it to a search committee.

I’ve also had marathon interviews. They started with a dinner interview the evening before. Then they picked back up again the next day at 8am and lasted until 4pm.

These interviews involved meeting with just about everyone on campus, including the President of the college and a panel of students. (By the way, the students asked the toughest questions of anyone.)

I’ve had to do pretty much everything but a literal song and dance!


The Advantage of Exercise-Based Interviews

Now, nearly 20 years later, these types of situations are being incorporated into today’s job interviews in a variety of industries.

While these types of job interviews may sound intimidating, there’s good news. They give candidates an idea of what it will actually be like to work in that role on a daily basis.

Grenawalt says,

“Fear not. Because these interviews require a high degree of engagement, they are more collaborative and a better experience overall than traditional interviews in which candidates have to sweat through a series of stress-inducing questions.”


How to Prepare for Exercise-Based Interviews

So how do you prepare for such interviews?

Research

In some ways, you’d prepare similarly to how you would prepare for any ordinary interview by researching as much as you can about the company and the position.

Your research should especially include all the information companies make available on their hiring and interview process. This can also be found on sites such as Glassdoor.com.

If you can’t find this type of information, you can (and should) ask questions about the interview process as soon as you’ve received an invitation for an interview.


Know the problem BEFORE you go into the interview and have a solution prepared.

You also want to ask what the main priority or goal should be of the next person in that position, BEFORE the interview. Never wait until the interview to ask this question!

Find out what challenge or problem this person will be expected to help solve. Once you have this information, use it to prepare for the interview in ways I’ve outlined in my post Modern Interview Advice to Make You Stand Out From the Competition (this ain’t your grandma’s — or even your mom’s — interview advice!).

The approach described in that post will help you in preparing for case studies, presentations, or problem solving scenarios.


Ask the right questions

The other way to prepare for such interviews is to make it a two-way street. You do this by preparing the right kind of questions of your own.

Like I said above, asking what will be the top priority of the new person in the role is NOT a question you want to ask during the interview. (By then it will be too late to ask that.) But there are more appropriate questions you should ask during the interview.

In fact, certain questions you ask can actually help you win the interview! That’s how I landed my very first job offer. I was told I was hired based on the type of questions I asked them!

To find out exactly which questions you should ask in the interview, read my post The One Tip That Guarantees a Good Interview.


Knowledge is the Beginning of Preparation

No matter what type of interview you’re faced with, you can’t go in and just “wing it.”

You have to be prepared.

Knowledge is the beginning of that preparation. Become knowledgeable of the above items, and you’ll shine!

Click here for more interview prep tips.

job interviews

Faced With a Last Minute Job Interview? Help is On the Way!

You submitted your resume for the job your friend told you about, thinking you’ll probably have a week or two before you get a call for an interview. If you even get a call.

And if you do, you’re thinking they’ll probably schedule you for your interview the following week, giving you plenty of time to prepare.

While that’s often the typical timeline of a hiring and interview process, hiring processes these days are anything but predictable.

Sometimes you apply for a job and don’t hear anything back for weeks or even months. Other times, you may get the following call:

“Hi. We just received your resume for the director’s position and we want to know if you can come in tomorrow for an interview.”

Would you be ready for a last minute job interview?

If you got this call, would you be ready?

How would you react? Excited?

Probably, since it’s always nice when someone shows interest in your skills and abilities.

But then what happens? It’s likely your feelings of excitement will turn into panic.

You start thinking:

  • What am I going to wear?
  • Do I have time to research the company?
  • What questions should I prepare for?!
  • What questions should I have ready to ask them?!

Help is on the way!

While you probably can’t get an appointment on such short notice with a career coach to help you prepare for the big day, there is help.

paNASH has several last minute tips for you when situations like this arise (and believe me, they do, more often than you think). These tips are provided through a few different resources.

Good

Free advice is always good, and this blog provides a lot of that.

Just click on “Interview Prep” under the Categories section on the right hand side of your screen. Here you’ll find all my previous posts about interviewing containing free advice and tips.

Better

Another item available to help you in a pinch is the on-demand video series Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety. In less than 55 minutes you’ll receive a crash course on interview prep. And since it’s available on-demand, you can access it at anytime, day or night.

It’s only $87 which includes 3 videos and a downloadable handout covering the following topics:

  • Strategies to give you the confidence to overcome the fear and stress of interviewing.
  • What you’ve been doing wrong and how to correct it.
  • The best and most productive way to prepare for your next interview.
  • How to answer “Tell me about a time when…” questions and other commonly asked questions.
  • Questions YOU should ask in the interview.
  • And more!

As a result, you’ll have:

  • Improved interview performance.
  • Less stress and anxiety.
  • Better and more job offers to choose from.
  • More confidence to negotiate a higher salary and better benefits.

Here’s what others have said about the program on Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety:

  • “One of the job interview tactics Lori recommended really improved both my confidence and the company’s interest in me. It was such a great suggestion that came with great results!” Alphonso W.
  • “My confidence level in my interview skills jumped from a 4 to an 8!” Jamie H.
  • “I now have the tools to spot the red flags so as not get into the same work situation I was in previously. It’s so empowering to be able to recognize a job that’s not right for me and to have the confidence to say ‘no’ to it and ‘yes’ to something better.” J.S.
  • “I got the job! Thanks to Lori’s interview tips I’m now doing social media (my passion) for a toy company!” Robin G.

Best

Of course, the best option is to plan ahead and start preparing or even working one-on-one with a career coach such as myself on a regular basis so you’ll be ready no matter what comes your way in the unpredictable world of a job search.

But when that’s not possible, you have the above options available to you right here on the paNASH web site.

If you are interested in more in depth one-on-one preparation, click here to complete the paNASH intake form and I’ll respond right away.

Related Posts

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13 Life and Career Lessons Uncovered in an Unexpected Way


The weather is finally getting warmer! For me, this means it’s the beginning of stand up paddle boarding season.

career lessons

paNASH owner Lori Bumgarner with QuickBlade owner Jim Terrell

Just last week I had the opportunity to train with former canoeing Olympian and pro paddle boarder, Jim Terrell, also owner of Quickblade Paddles.

He taught me advanced level paddle techniques so I can increase my speed and perfect my paddle stroke.

If it’s not already obvious, stand up paddling (SUP) is one of my passions.

In fact, I love it so much, I’ve found a way to incorporate it into my passion and career coaching business.


How, you might ask?

Well, every paddle season, I take my clients out for a beginner SUP lesson. This is easy to do since I have two paddle boards and have previous experience teaching beginners.

The purpose of taking clients out paddle boarding is to get them out of their regular environment which gives them a different perspective on their current situation.

It also melts away their current stresses and rejuvenates their thought process.


The session starts with about 20 minutes of basic SUP instruction for them to start feeling comfortable on a board.

At first they’re worried about falling off the board into the water. It’s all they can think about as they attempt to stand up on the board for the first time.

paNASH client

Once they start to get the hang of it, we begin our typical career coaching discussion to go over the client’s current needs as we paddle down the river.


When we head back toward the harbor, I usually ask the client,

“When was the last time you thought about falling in the water?”

They suddenly realize they haven’t thought about it all. It’s kind of like a light bulb moment where they realize they accomplished something they weren’t sure they’d be able to do.

At that moment I can see a huge boost in their confidence.

They begin noticing all the nature surrounding them and realize how much the water has calmed them from their worries and stresses about their career troubles.

That’s when they usually say to me,

“This was wonderful. It was just what I needed. And it was fun!”


I love to hear that from my clients.

What they don’t expect though are all the parallels between the beginner SUP lesson and the life and career lessons from our coaching sessions.

At the end of the paddle session, I give my clients a copy of those lessons for them to keep and to remember.

career lessons

© paNASH | not available for republication


13 LIFE AND CAREER LESSONS FROM SUP

SUP: Always be safe – use proper equipment, stay out of boat traffic, know when to return to lower your center of gravity.

Life and Career: Prepare and plan for potential life and career bumps and crises.


SUP: Select correct fit for board size and paddle length.

Life and Career: Understand the importance of fit for career choice.


SUP: Hold the paddle correctly.

Life and Career: Use the tools you’ve been given to succeed correctly.


SUP: Place your hands on the paddle at 90 degree angles, keeping elbows/arms straight, allowing you to dig the paddle deeper into the water. (Biggest mistake for beginners: Not putting their paddle in the water deep enough.)

Life and Career: Reach further and dig deeper. You will learn more about yourself.


SUP: Keep your paddle close to the board’s rails so you can paddle straight.

Life and Career: Keep close to your core values to stay on the straight and narrow path.


SUP: A wider stance on the board makes the board more stable.

Life and Career: A wider network and a wider set of skills equals a more stable career.


SUP: Keep your head up and yours eyes straight ahead when standing up. (Don’t look down, look straight ahead.)

Life and Career: Keep your eye on the horizon. Don’t look down and don’t look back.


SUP: Once up, you will stabilize as soon as you put your paddle into the water.

Life and Career: You have to stand up and risk feeling insecure before you can feel secure again. A little fear, discomfort and unstableness can be a good thing.


SUP: If you fall, you should fall away from the board. Get back on the board in the middle from the side, never from the back of the board.

Life and Career: If you fall, get back up. There’s no need to start all over. Just pick up in the middle where you left off.


SUP: Stay on the sides of the river (10–20 yards from river bank), do not cross in front of boats or barges, and do not paddle in middle of river when there’s boat traffic.

Life and Career: Stay out of the middle of unnecessary drama.


SUP: Pay attention to the river’s current – when it’s stronger, go upstream first so you won’t be too fatigued coming back.

Life and Career: When feeling overwhelmed, it’s best to deal with the bigger/tougher issues first so you won’t have to exert too much energy when you’re already tired at the end of a task.


SUP: Handle wake by paddling straight into the waves or return to your knees to lower your center of gravity.

Life and Career: Face challenges head on, and know how to pick your battles.


SUP: Pay attention to headwinds and tailwinds. Tailwinds are easier; headwinds are good training to make you a stronger paddler when done safely.

Life and Career: Struggle doesn’t always equal failure, and ease doesn’t always equal success.


One of the reasons why I love sports and recreational activities like SUP so much is because of all the life lessons they provide us.

What are your passions? What life lessons have you gained from them? Please respond and share!

Related Posts

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You’ve Found a New Job You Love. Now What Do You Do?

After what seemed like a long and arduous job search, you finally found a new job you’re excited about. One you think you can actually love.

Your job search efforts are over. But your career development isn’t. Now it’s time to position yourself to achieve your future career goals.

What are those goals?

They could include any of the following.

Short-term goals:

  • Learning a new skill or software you’ve never had to use before.
  • Expanding your network to include your new co-workers and higher-ups.
  • Building your resume.
  • Preparing yourself for promotion a year from now.

Long-term goals:

  • Gaining extensive experience in a certain industry.
  • Mastering a certain skill and becoming an expert in it.
  • Continual movement up the ladder.
  • Earning enough money to eventually strike out on your own.

How you spend your time and energy in the first 90 days of your new job will determine the likelihood of you achieving your short-term and long-term goals.


Case Study

In fact, after my clients have successfully completed the job search component of my career coaching program, I then coach them on what they are to do on the new job.

Not just in the first 90 days, but in each quarter of that first year.

For example, Jamie is a client who first came to me having not been able to find a job in two and a half years. This rejection put her confidence at an all-time low.

She knew she must’ve been doing something wrong and needed to figure out how to correct her approach.

As soon as Jamie started the coaching program, she realized just how little she knew about doing a job search. The coaching revealed those blind spots to her.

Once Jamie applied what I taught her about the job search, her confidence went through the roof!

After only four coaching sessions, Jamie received a job offer. In fact, when the hiring manager called to offer her the job he said,

“By the way, you gave a really good interview. Do you think you could help my mom…she has an interview coming up next week?”

Once Jamie accepted the offer, I told her we could now use her remaining sessions to focus on helping her get promoted within the year.

She said the company’s rule was that an employee can’t be promoted until they’ve been with the company a full year.

I told her that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning now.

And within nine months of starting her new job, the company was already looking at promoting Jamie.


The Most Important Thing to Do in the First 90 Days on a New Job

To be successful in any new job, one of the most important things a new employee should do in the first 90 days is get to know as many people as possible.

This actually includes getting to know those in higher positions. Even C-suite level executives.


When I first suggest making an appointment to meet with a VP or CEO, I get a funny look from my clients.

Their immediate response is,

“I can’t go in and ask for a meeting with the CEO! I’m just the new guy!”

My response is,

“Exactly!”

If there’s ever a time it makes sense to schedule an appointment with a higher-up, it’s when you’re new.

Why?

Because your newness is the reason you want to learn as much about the company as you can and meet as many people as you can.

And, because you’re new, it won’t look weird that you’re scheduling such an appointment.

If you wait until you’ve been there six months or more to try to schedule an appointment, then it will really look weird!


Throughout the first year and beyond, you should also remember to think of your employer as your client, as I discuss in my post How to Think Like an Entrepreneur (Even When You’re Not One).


Are You In a New Job?

Career coaching isn’t just about helping you with the short-term goal of finding your next job.

It’s also about helping you achieve your long-term goals over the course of your entire career. (Check out What You Need to Know to Ensure A Successful Career.)


Have you recently started a new job or are you about to start one?

My Career Growth service program will help you know what else you need to do in the first 90 days, and in the other three quarters of your first year on the job.

To get started on your short-term and long-term career goals, subscribe to my newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. This plan doesn’t just teach goal-setting. It leads to goal-achievement!


Never Say Never: How to Know When You Should Let a Bridge Burn

“Never burn a bridge.”

We’ve all been told by mentors, career experts and well-meaning friends and co-workers to “never burn a bridge.”

It’s the number one rule of networking. Or is it?

There’s always an exception to the rule. And this rule is no different.

Never Say Never

Whenever I hear someone say, “never burn a bridge,” I always respond with,

“But don’t continue standing on a bridge someone else has lit a match to.”

I said that recently to someone who’s dealing with the loss of a job. She’s doing all the right things, she’s being professional about the situation, and she’s trying her best to not burn any bridges despite how she’s been treated in her job loss.

I think she was a little relieved to hear my response. It’s like it gave her permission to just move on from the negative aspects of the situation.

And just last week one of my clients told me she’s taken my advice and decided not to renew one of her client’s contracts because of how badly she’s been treated by her client. She realized since she’d never allow someone to treat her that way in her own personal life she doesn’t have to allow anyone to treat her that way in her business.

She said it’s the most freeing feeling she’s had in a long time.

Think about it. You don’t hear “never burn a bridge” advice given in any 12-step recovery program.

In fact, it’s the opposite. Twelve-step members are told to cut out the relationships that are contributing to or enabling their unhealthy addictions.

If someone is doing something to ruin your working relationship or make it toxic and unhealthy for you, that’s on them.

They’re the one burning the bridge. Not you.

Your job is to do what it takes to escape getting burned before it’s too late.

This is also true if someone is doing something that by association would give you a bad name among all your other good contacts.

Common Traits of Bridge Burners

It’s important though to first recognize the common traits of bridge burners.

Speaking generally, they typically are people who:

  • Only take and never give.
  • Behave unprofessionally on a regular basis.
  • Often operate in an unethical (and even sometimes illegal) manner.
  • Always expect something for nothing.
  • Are so power hungry they’ll step on anyone to get to the top.
  • You can tell are being fake in their interest in you or their praise of you.
  • Care way too much about their job title (I’ve worked with several people like this and they’ve all exhibited the above signs of bridge burners).
  • Don’t have your back when they say they do.
  • Continually give your gut a bad vibe.

Please understand the above is based on consistent behavior.

No one is perfect and we’re all guilty of doing some of the above on occasion.

But if you find yourself being abused on a regular basis by people exhibiting these behaviors, it’s time to smell the smoke and run for safety!

How to Stay Safe When a Bridge is Burning

So how do you stay safe, especially if you have to continue working with a bridge burner until the embers die down?

First, stay calm. Try your best not to react to the bad behavior, especially when you’re emotional. You may not be able to control the other person’s behavior, but you can control your own.

Keep your distance. Don’t ignore the person when you know you shouldn’t, but keep any necessary interactions with the person as short and limited as possible.

When having discussions with the other person, always state facts and facts only. Avoid expressing your emotions to someone who can’t be trusted with your emotions.

Remain professional in your limited interactions even when the other person doesn’t.

Establish boundaries. If the person keeps trying to cross those boundaries, keep repeating your boundaries over and over. If the behavior continues despite your repeated requests for it to stop, report it.

Keep Networking!

Networking is the most crucial element of the job search! Maintaining and nurturing good professional relationships is key to your success.

So is protecting yourself from toxic relationships that can only hinder you in your efforts.

Seek wisdom and discernment to recognize the difference between the good and the bad contacts.

And get off the bridge when you smell smoke!

Related Resources:

never burn a bridge