Try an Informational Interview for Future Job Leads

July 27th, 2012

If your job search has slowed and no interviews are on the horizon, think about setting up an informational interview to broaden your network and expand the possibilities for future career opportunities.

An informational interview is the opportunity to talk to someone in your chosen field, with valuable knowledge about the businesses you’re interested in and about the right people to meet later down the road. You can ask others in your existing network for referrals to people who are willing to participate in this type of interview or you can try contacting them on your own. Either way, go into this knowing such a meeting can be very valuable if handled correctly. Tips include:

Get consent. When you reach out to an individual, make sure they’re open to the idea of an informational interview. Some people are only too glad to help out, while others may turn you down or simply not respond. Don’t pester such people; it will only eliminate them as future contacts.

Have an agenda. What are you looking for in an informational interview? Do you want to learn about current industry trends? Are you seeking referrals to hiring managers? Whatever your goal, know what you want going in and stick to this agenda.

Be yourself. Remember, this is not a job interview. You’re looking for information. Don’t make the person who agreed to meet you uncomfortable by persistently asking for leads on specific job openings.

Be polite and aware of time. This informational interview is taking place only because your contact is willing to share her time and knowledge with you. So don’t be late showing up or behave in any unprofessional manner. Also, be conscious of the amount of time the interview takes. Respect the other person and end the discussion at the agreed-upon time.

Ask for references. It’s OK to politely ask for the names of other people you can meet with. Even if the referral provided isn’t a hiring manager with a specific job opening, additional names only expand your network and increase the likelihood of valuable contacts down the line.

Return the favor. Beyond expressing your gratitude (which you should do under any circumstances), ask the other person if there’s anything you can help them with. This makes the interview more of a two-way street and will also deepen your relationship.

Learn more about how Meador Staffing Services can help you in your job search.

Warning Signs of a Bad Hire

July 20th, 2012

Warning Signs of a Bad Hire

It happens to all employers at one time or another. A candidate with an outstanding resume aces the interview for an open position and gets offered the job. Everyone is thrilled to have the new employee on board and the future’s never looked better.

Slowly – or right away – the sobering realization kicks in: We’ve made a bad hire.

Wouldn’t it be great to know some warning signs before the above scenario plays itself out? Think about these cases:

Hates new ways of doing things. On the surface, this individual seems to have the right combination of skills and experience for the new job. As it turns out, he comes with his own way of doing things and doesn’t want to change, no matter what.

Can’t think big. This person has a great track record working in a limited capacity. Given the opportunity to take on bigger responsibilities, she freezes. The scope of the new job is just too much for her.

Too much drama. Some people don’t show this side during the new-hire process. But once they’re on the job, you find that there’s always some drama going on – dispute with a co-worker, arguments with the boss, just an all-around, attention-grabbing pain-in-the-neck.

I’ll do anything! This individual promised early on that no job is beneath him, no matter how trivial. He claims to have huge enthusiasm for being “part of the team.” Then it turns out they really don’t want to do the paperwork connected with a new initiative or jump in and do a bit of “grunt work” needed to move a project forward.

Chances are, you’ve seen these people before. So what can you do to improve the hiring process?

First off – slow down. The quicker you bring a new person on board, the higher the likelihood is you’ve made a bad choice. Study the wording of their resume. Take time to research their work history. Ask their references a couple of tough questions. If alarm signals start going off, don’t hesitate to move on to the next candidate.

During the interview, look closely at how the individual comes off, not just what they say. Are there any little quirks displayed that might spell trouble down the road? Does she appear, despite her sterling credentials, someone who might not play well with others? It’s a gut-call on your part, but one worth heeding.

Finally, do your best to match the candidate’s past performance with what’s required in your open position. If it seems there’s a huge gap to overcome, and a lot time will be needed to get this person up to speed, it may be the moment to think about someone else. Use assessment tools to determine whether the potential new hire has the ability to hit the ground running.

Meador Staffing Services delivers flexible and customized staffing solutions for employers across Texas and beyond. Contact us for details on how we can help you.