Watch Them Apply For Work


Many of the people I support who are looking to find employment initially come to me as a referral from co-workers. These co-workers are Caseworkers and/or Employment Counsellors like myself.

When I meet these people for the first time, I know that while I’m getting to know them and sizing them up, they too are assessing me and the degree to which I’ll be able to help them. I applaud them for this because we all want to feel our time is being used wisely and we don’t want to waste our time being shown things we already know.

It is always interesting to me (and rewarding) when a person expresses their gratitude and tells me how suspicious they initially were of my ability to help them. Most were job searching long before spending time together with me, so what, they often tell me they questioned, could I possibly show them that they weren’t already doing? They then go on to say how glad they were that they made the decision to open themselves up to what I was sharing. One woman who spent two weeks with me in a workshop recently told me that at the end of her first day, she knew she’d made a good decision and could learn so much. In addition to finding new and better ways of doing things, she also found she had more motivation and excitement at the increasing probabilities of work.

My experience is not I suppose, unique to me. There are many Workshop Facilitators, Employment Coaches and Counsellors, Resume Writers and Caseworkers who work with job seekers. I hope that all these people working with the people they do have many positive outcomes and feel rewarded just as I do when those they work with move forward.

If you’re interested in accelerating the learning process, one thing to consider is asking if you can observe someone look for and apply for a job. You can learn so much about what a person knows and doesn’t, what they can and cannot do, and most importantly, what they will and will not do, just by watching. This takes longer than simply having someone tell you how they go about looking for work, but it’s so much more revealing.

For example, you may hear someone say, “Oh for sure. I always make my résumé fit the job I’m applying to”. “Great!” you say in return, and figure their job search issues are in some other area. Ah, but now it’s you who are making a critical error if you presume that your understanding of crafting a résumé targeted to a specific job is a shared understanding with the person you are working with. If you were to congratulate the person for having that knowledge, and then follow-up with a request to watch them in action, you’d unquestionably learn a lot, making this observation exercise extremely valuable.

When I’m sitting with someone, I ask them before we start, to say out loud what they are thinking as they go about a typical search and application. It slows them down a little, but that’s okay. If your goal is to change and improve the actions they take while job searching, you have to come to know the thought processes that guide those same actions. Why do they do what they do?

Although you might be tempted to correct a behaviour immediately or give them feedback (for they will likely ask for this), hold off on doing so. Let them show you how they’d go about looking for a job and applying for it if you weren’t right beside them watching. Now of course, what you hear and see will likely be them at their best because they know you’re watching. So imagine how they typically go about it when no one is watching.

You’ll soon understand if they have the skills they claim, and the extent to which their skills and abilities are similar to or quite different from your own. You also learn in some cases what you don’t need to teach them because they already have a good understanding of those things. This is where you do save time and make their experience a better one.

So for example a lot of people will tell you they already know to pick out the key words in a posting and make sure they are in their résumé. This is good! However, if you watch them, you may find they simply copy and paste these into the résumé, or they fail to actually find the right things to include; adding things they feel would be better.

It can be challenging to watch someone make mistakes as your natural inclination is to step in and instruct them on what you know to be better. Bite your tongue, bid your time and watch in silence. This might take 20 minutes. You’ll learn more in that 20 minutes I assure you than you will simply by having them verbally walk you through what they typically do.

Up to you of course as to whether you want to try this approach. If you’ve had success using other methods that’s great. But if you find someone just isn’t having the success you’d both like and you’re both wondering why, it might be something worth trying. You could learn a lot about what they claim they know and what they can actually do.

 

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Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs And The Hotdog Guy


“I don’t know why the City doesn’t do something about them. They just lie there all month until their welfare cheques come. Just get a job!”

The above words were spoken to me only yesterday around noon as I chatted with a hotdog vendor while out on a walk. He was referring to the 4 or 5 people who have taken to occupying a patch of grass on the fringes of a public trail adjoining a downtown mall and parking lot. I’ve noticed them too; one or two sound asleep while a few others sit and chat watching over them and out for them.

The hotdog vendor operates about 5 feet away from them, and while we were there one of the guys came over and gave him the $3.50 for a hotdog. Interesting to hear how the topic changed immediately as he took the change and threw a hotdog on the grill.

I suppose many people see panhandlers and people living rough and feel the same feelings as the hotdog guy. “Just get a job!” But it’s far from that simple. To test that out, I actually asked him when the guy buying the hotdog had walked away, “Would you hire one of them yourself?” and he said, “No way! Nada! Never! Shiftless layabouts.”

That’s probably the case with a lot of others too; they want these people working and contributing and not taking from the tax base, but at the same time they don’t want to be the employer taking them on. Why? Presumably they come with a lot of headaches; reliability, trustworthiness, mental health problems and low motivation.

To an entrepreneur like my hotdog vendor, they are the epitome of everything he’s not. He’s self-reliant, having no one else to rely on to make his income. He can’t just walk away from the job on his lunch, and if he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid – no sick days or paid vacations.

Way back in my College days I recall Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  Does that ring a bell? You know, the pyramid with basic physiological needs at the bottom and way up at the top you’d find self-actualization; things like creativity, problem-solving and these just above self-esteem. Here’s your living proof of that pyramid. The hotdog guy expects people to just get up off the grass and function at the top of that pyramid and is angry and frustrated that the system doesn’t punish them for anything less by withholding their money. I suppose he sees that money as his money via his tax contributions.

Before a person can go out and find work they’ll be able to keep, certain things have to be in place. Those basic needs of Maslow’s like food, water and sleep. When you don’t know where you’re next meal is coming from, when it’s coming, where you can sleep in safety for example, a job is hardly your first priority. I know of course that the hotdog guy would argue that the income from a job would provide food and water plus a secure place to live. This is the chicken or the egg problem though, and we’d come down on opposite sides of what needs to happen first.

Without a secure place to live, there’s no income for luxuries like a razor for a shave, and where on earth would a person secure any personal possessions when they have no safe storage place? Moving from area to area around town to avoid charges of loitering and worse, where are they to keep their personal ID? ID that’s needed for so many things we take for granted in society.

If you look up an image of Maslow’s Hierarchy, you’ll find employment and the safety it brings to a person is just above the basic physiological needs. It doesn’t seem like much is need to make it to level 2. Get your food and water, air to breathe and you’re on to stage 2. So if it’s that simple, why are people stuck forever in some cases at stage 1? That answer would take more time than I’ve got here to share.

Recall a time when you were stressed about something and couldn’t turn off your thoughts; that sleepless night worrying over something. If you’ve had a time like this that went on for a few days, your performance at work might have slipped a bit, you may have reduced your social calendar until you felt better, and while you were out of sorts, you probably did your best to work things out. Eventually, you did get out of that bad place, your mood improved and you carried on.

Now magnify that if you will. Imagine multiple problems; anxiety, low self-worth, family dysfunction, vulnerable relationships, poor resolution skills, unable to multi-task, hygiene issues, homelessness, judgement from others, financial dependence, chronic sleeplessness, no family doctor, poor social supports (being others in the same predicament), poor nutrition, lack of shelter, clean clothes, good footwear. Can you picture one person with these issues? What if that person were you? Got that image? Okay, now go get a job.

This piece is going to end without a nice solution. Societies have been struggling to resolve this very problem for thousands of years and have different models of trying to do so. Until they do, some compassion and understanding at the least would be nice if we’re unable to truly empathize at best.

The High Cost Of Indecision


So you have a big decision to make. You’ve been wrestling with it for some time, weighing out pros and cons of the choices before you. Somehow though, you just can’t bring yourself to make that choice. Two questions for you: why the delay and what’s it costing you to delay?

As to why you are stalling on deciding, you probably don’t want to make the wrong choice. Could be that in the past you made other big decisions with what you thought was sound reasoning and good judgement and those decisions didn’t turn out so well. The last thing you want to do is repeat making a poor choice and coming to regret it.

This is often the case when the choice before you is similar to one you regret from the past. Like deciding if you should commit the next two or three years to going to College/University and going into debt in the process. Years ago you borrowed money and started school but never finished the program because it didn’t turn out to be what you’d hoped it would. All you got was the debt and an incomplete education; one year of a 3 year program. The fear now is you’ll make another bad choice and add to your debt.

You might also be wrestling with taking a job – any job – versus waiting to find the right job. You figure that if you’re working in a job you don’t like just to make some money, you won’t have the time to properly look for that dream job, and you won’t be able to go to an interview if you’re working now will you? So you’re stuck.

This indecision isn’t confined to work or school either. Perhaps you’re indecisive about asking someone out, wondering if you should or shouldn’t pop the big question to the love of your life, or indecisive about whether you should tell everyone your big secret.

Whatever you are indecisive about, there’s a cost you’re paying now, and a cost you’re going to pay the longer you put off making a choice. The choice to choose is entirely yours to make or not of course (and that’s the real issue) but don’t pretend you’re not paying for your indecision.

What’s the cost? Anxiety, low self-esteem, self-doubt, dangerous thoughts about what’s wrong and the pressure, pressure, pressure! Deadline dates for enrolling in school might get missed, the love of your life might get tired of waiting on you to pop the question, that guy or girl you’re mad about might end up going out with somebody else; not because they like them any better, but because they actually got around to asking. As for employment, the job you dream about might appear and you never get an interview because of the present gap on your resume…and it’s only getting wider and becoming more of a problem.

Help!

Okay, here’s help. Suppose you have two options you’re trying to choose between. Let’s start with something with relatively less pressure; ice cream. Is it going to be Butterscotch Ripple or Raspberry Thunder? The problem is you like them both, and no you can’t get a scoop of each. Choose. Maybe for you this isn’t a big deal and you don’t see the relevance to your problem. Go with me on this. Choose. So you went with the Raspberry Thunder figuring you like it just as much as Butterscotch Ripple and after all, you figure you can always choose it the next time you want a cone. Decision made and you’re enjoying the ice cream instead of standing there in the heat salivating but being unable to decide.

The choice between two post secondary programs, or two universities is exactly the same just on a bigger scale. Don’t fret it. Choose. You would enjoy both programs and more importantly you’d be happy in the career possibilities a degree in either opens up. Great. You’ve got a choice between a winner and another winner, just like the ice cream.  Make the choice and the anxiety over having to decide is eliminated. Second guessing is not helpful. Commit to your choice. Oh and by the way, after you’ve graduated, you might decide to find work in the field or perhaps add to your education with the other choice – but let your future self wrestle with that one – you don’t have the information at present to know how you’ll feel in 3 years.

Now when you have to make a choice but don’t know what the choices are, (like trying to decide what to do with your life; what to be), it can seem harder. Really though, you just lack the information upon which to make a decision. You need to learn what kind of work is out there, what education and experience is needed, where the jobs are located, the hours, pros and cons etc. In short, you need to research to get the information you lack now to make a good choice.

Then again, when faced with a decision flip a coin. When it’s in the air, see if you don’t suddenly in that 2 seconds find yourself hoping it lands one way or the other. You’d be surprised how often the way you hope the coin lands is more important than how it actually turns out; you know instinctively what you want; just don’t look to see if it is heads or tails – you’ll only be confused.

 

The Expectation of Hope


Think about the services and or goods you offer your customers or clients. Every one of the people who choose to receive what you offer do so in the expectation that what they get fulfills a need or want. In short, they hope that you can deliver on a promise and their expectation will either be fulfilled or left wanting. Never forget this.

The greater the hopes of the person with whom you interact, the greater the responsibility to deliver on your service to meet and/or exceed their expectations. So think for a moment about the demographics of the people you serve. How needy or desperate are they? Have they cause to feel skeptical or perhaps even cynical about what they might receive? For many people, their trust has been taken advantage of numerous times leading up to their encounter with you. All those past negative experiences, most of which you know little or nothing about whatsoever, go a long way to explaining their obvious lack of trust in what you can deliver.

If we lose sight of this when we first encounter someone – and it’s not inconceivable that the very best of us do so from time-to-time, we might misinterpret their lack of enthusiasm for our help as being indifferent, unmotivated, disconnected or only mildly motivated at best. The actual truth may be that they are indeed seeking out help with great earnest, but when it comes to having faith and getting their hopes raised only to be dashed yet again, their cautious. No one but the person knows how many times that hope was given and abused or neglected with the care it deserved.

This is a position of trust we’ve got you and me. As a Service Provider, our client or customer is the very reason we’re in business. Treat our customers well and deliver on what we promise and we get a following. Mistreat our customers, play on their blind trust and abuse them in the process and our reputations suffer as a result. Not only our reputations by the way, but the reputation of our employer by association and this extends further out into the public domain. Hence people generalize and say things like, “All retailers are so and so, all government workers are this and that,” and eventually, “you can’t trust anyone.”

So it’s not hard to imagine that look of exasperation on their face, that smirk of disbelief, and you know you’re only getting lip service in reply to your offer of genuine help. It’s easy to misinterpret such behaviour and body language as communicating a lack of commitment or even laziness. You might wonder, “What have I done to deserve this? I’m trying my best and getting nowhere.”

Move away from your own perspective, from one you need to get out of the meeting. What’s important here is to focus on the person before you and empathize with their situation, questioning and listening with compassion to understand their perspective; all of which comes out of the sum of their past experiences. The most vulnerable of people are often the ones who trust blindly and without reservation. They innocently believe people will always work in their best interests, deliver on what they promise and do what they say they will. When that trust is betrayed and the person left wanting again and again, eventually that innocence and trust is replaced with mistrust and self-preservation.

Our responsibility then when we first meet people is to ensure that whatever we promise we can indeed deliver on. We don’t want to be yet another person that let them down, that promised something and didn’t come through on. For who knows, we may not just be “yet another person who let me down”; we just might be, “the last person who’s going to let me down – the final straw.”

People come to us with hope. They hope that we can be helpful, that we can move them forward toward whatever the goal they wish to reach is. Whether it’s a purchase made online, help determining career direction, employment advice, or help repairing a fragile relationship, they come with hope.

Don’t always expect that hope and trust are given. In some ways, the bond you forge with someone who initially presents as suspicious of your motives and holds back from fully investing their hopes in you and what you might do can be richer and far more rewarding when their trust is gained. Those initial first seeds of hope that you sow in someone’s mind can be cultivated over time to produce a lasting change; possibly even renewing their confidence and faith in believing in others.

Hope is why people even show up to meet with you and I. Oh sure they might have to come to meet some legislative requirement or ‘play the system’ to get a desired outcome. I get that. But to think they have zero hope at the same time is a mistake. Hope is a wonderful thing to possess and an even better thing to know you’ve reciprocated and delivered on. To act in such a way that supports what you’ve promised and have someone express gratitude for what you’ve done for them is a wonderful thing.

Today, think about the hope YOU represent for the people you meet with. See if this awareness in the moment changes the dialogue.

 

Are You Trustworthy?


You know yourself better than anyone else of course. So I ask you my reader, are you trustworthy? Would your co-workers and supervisor back up your belief that you are? So how would you prove it?

Being trustworthy is a very good quality to have. An employer can show their trust in you by giving you the keys to the store and asking you to open it up in the morning and/or close it up at night. Or perhaps you’re trusted to make the night deposits of cash and balance the till without dipping your hand in and helping yourself.

In a broader context, no matter your role in an organization, you’re undoubtedly trusted to represent the employer well when you’re on your personal time. With so much competition in the marketplace for customers money and ongoing loyalty, employer’s have to be more careful than ever that their reputations stay positive. The last thing they can tolerate is poor behaviour on the part of their employees in public that would soil that reputation and have their customers take their business elsewhere.

The job interview I suppose is really a conversation where the employer sizes up how well they can trust you to perform on the job the way you say you will. They do their very best to ask questions and check on past behaviour to assure themselves that if they place their trust in you by offering you a job, you’ll reward that same trust by performing as expected.

So is saying you can be trusted enough? Absolutely not. Both those who are indeed trustworthy and those who aren’t will make the same claims. “Don’t worry, you can trust me.” You can read that sentence with cynicism or complete faith in the claim. The thing is, trust is something you are given or something to be earned, where over time, you’re given increased responsibilities based on the employer’s trust in your ability to perform. Reward their trust with small things and you’ll find greater trust is placed in you.

Trust can be shown in many ways; you’re trusted to be genuinely sick if you phone in claiming to be ill. When the employer expects you to work independently, you’re trusted to actually put in the work you’re being paid to do. And should you join an existing team, you’ll most likely be trusted to pull your weight, contribute to the team’s performance, and not sabotage projects and put deadlines at risk.

Now the thing about losing the trust of others is that it can take a long time to regain the initial trust they placed in you. If you are often calling in sick you might lose the confidence of your co-workers who come to view you as untrustworthy. If you’ve got a police record, you may find it extremely difficult to convince an employer to place their trust in you – even when that offence is 10, 15 or more years in the past. They worry that hiring you with that record could hurt them tremendously should you abuse their trust and re-offend. Just ask an out-of-work person with a criminal record how it feels not to be trusted in the present for something they’ve done decades ago.

Now on a daily basis, you can demonstrate trust in the small things you undertake. Make a promise to call someone back by the end of the day and they will hold you to your word. If you phone, they appreciate it greatly. Fail to phone however, and their trust in your word drops and the next time you make such a promise they have less faith that you actually will. If you agree to relieve someone for their break coverage, they’ll trust you to appear at the appointed time, and telling them why you were held up may or may not suffice to support their trust in you.

Now on your résumé, you might want to start a bullet or two with the words, “Trusted to …”, or “Entrusted with …”. The implication here is that in earlier jobs you were trusted to do things by employer’s so the employer you’re hoping to work for now can trust you too. While this is good, you’d better be ready in the job interview itself to have examples ready to share of HOW they trusted you that prove your trustworthiness. Claims alone won’t cut it. Nobody is going to say they can’t be trusted, so the opposite is true; even those that can’t be trusted will claim to be. Your examples will if done properly, convince interviewers of trust previously placed in you and your performance in rewarding that trust.

Now suppose you’ve lost the trust of others you work with. What can be done to regain it? You might consider the honest but gutsy approach. Admit you’ve been less that trustworthy and you want to work hard to re-earn their faith in you. While words are good – and they are – you’ll be best served by then behaving in the way they’d expect. If you’re covering their phones when they are away training, let them return to find the calls answered and actioned. If you’re attendance has been sketchy and your teamwork less than stellar, pull your weight.

Be reliable, doing what you say you will, being counted on and coming through; in short, being trustworthy. It’s pretty cool. I trust you agree with me?

Problem Solving


In order to claim you’re good at solving problems, you must have not only had problems arise in the past, you must have successfully resolved them. If you claim you’re an expert at resolving major problems, it logically follows that you’ve not only had major problems in your life, but again, you’ve eliminated them.

What however, defines ‘major problems’? When an interviewer asks you to share examples of having resolved some major problems in your past, you have to hope that your definition of a major problem and theirs is a shared understanding. If you share something they perceive as a relatively easy problem to have faced, and you view it as a major challenge, you might not be up to the demands of the job being discussed.

You have to also be mindful of what you perceive as an acceptable compromise in resolving challenges and problems compared to the person you’re speaking with. When they don’t tip their hand or react in any way to how you describe the steps you took to resolve the problem you’re relating, it can be difficult to know if you’re on the right track with your answer. There may be no way to amend your answer, provide additional commentary or even move to a better example altogether.

One of the poorest things you can do is claim to have none whatsoever in your past that come to mind. This response either comes across as a flat-out lie or if you somehow come across as believable, it only serves to prove you’re inexperienced when it comes to resolving problems. Neither of the two responses to your claim will help you if they want a problem-solver.

Having had problems is a given in your personal or professional life. I’ve yet to meet the person who has sailed along without having had any problem come up. Owning up to having problems in your past is not a weakness. What is of significant interest is your reaction to the problem(s) you’ve elected to share. So faced with a problem, did you a) ignore it, b) face it, c) tell someone else to fix it, d) make it worse, e) make sure the circumstances that led up to the problem were changed so it didn’t recur or f) give up or give in and let it overwhelm you.

One key to dealing with big problems is learning how to tackle small ones; and I mean small ones. Finding yourself ready to go to work but being unable to find where you left the car keys for example. Hardly a life or death problem, but nonetheless at that moment, a problem that must be resolved. Retracing your steps, asking for help from other family members, checking the usual places, the pockets of whatever you wore the night before, all good. Finding them still in the outside door where you mistakenly left them overnight, maybe the lesson learned is hanging up the keys in the same spot from then on as your usual practice so the problem does not arise again.

Building on the idea of adjusting your behaviour and hanging up keys each time in the same place, you can apply this lesson to other situations. You learned to act in a way that anticipates a potential problem and head it off before it occurs. If nothing changes in your behaviour, you’ll repeat misplacing your keys. While that might be frustrating, the leap in reasoning is that you’ll repeat behaviours that bring on self-inflicted problems in other areas too, and that could be costly for an organization when your problems become theirs.

All problems have two things in common; a goal and one or more barriers. There’s something to be achieved and there’s one or more things which need to be addressed and resolved to remove the problem and reach the desired goal.

Successful people are often viewed as people who face their problems head-on, tackling problems before them and reaching their goals. When they do so, they not only reach the goals they desired, they reinforce their belief that they can solve problems. Their confidence rises, other people come to regard them as capable and recognize their problem-solving skills.

People who struggle often hope problems will go away if they ignore them, or they fail to resolve the problem even when they try because they lack the resources or skills to do so. Their past experiences with problems did not prepare them sufficiently to handle the current problem, so they make what others see as poor decisions which either allow the problem to continue or even become bigger.

If your confidence is low when it comes to solving problems, asking for help is a smart thing to do. There’s no shame in knowing your limitations and seeking help but do make an effort to learn from the person helping you. When someone does something for you, that may resolve the problem this time, but it may not prepare you for when the same problem or one of a similar nature comes up again. Having someone guide and support you while you solve the problem will improve your confidence in not only resolving the immediate problem, but similar ones as they arise.

You’ll likely experience failures and setbacks when facing problems; this is normal and okay. Problems will always come along in life. They really present opportunities to grow.

3 Key Components To All Interview Answers


Many of the job seeking people I’ve met are totally confused and frustrated with the lack of success they’ve had in trying to land employment. While some aren’t getting interviews in the first place, there are a large number who get their share of interviews but always seem to finish 2nd or worse when it actually comes to getting a job offer. “What am I doing wrong?” they ask.

The short answer is they’ve failed to market themselves to the needs of the employer. In fact, if you’re an Employment Counsellor or Job Coach and you’re having a hard time figuring out why the people you’re working with aren’t getting job offers, I suggest you interview them as an employer would. Of course, you have to know both what you’re listening for and how it’s delivered to knowledgeably give the job seeker useful and relevant interview feedback.

Let me highlight what I’m speaking of with a concrete example. Suppose the job posting indicates that teamwork is one of the key requirements for the job. A lot of interviewees will pick up on this and be sure to mention in the interview that teamwork is one of their strengths. They might bring this up right at the beginning when asked to tell the interview a little about themselves or possibly later when asked about their strengths. While this sounds good, is it enough? No.

Granted it’s a start, but simply naming an attribute falls short. Perhaps you’re thinking that where I’m headed and what I’m about to say is you need to offer an example to prove your teamwork claim. Well, only in part. Yes of course you must have a real example that proves you’ve worked successfully in a team setting in the past to make your claim believable. So is this good enough? Again, No.

You’re only two-thirds of the way to the best answer. So, you’ve made a claim of teamwork and you’ve provided an example from your past that demonstrates your teamwork. Fine. Now, if you really want to stand apart from the competition, you simply have to answer the implied question, “So how does that help me?” In this case, the, ‘me’ being the company, employer or specifically the supervisor considering you for the job.

So in the teamwork example, you could close your answer by noting how working cooperatively with your colleagues creates a seamless experience for customers; supporting one another on the work or sales floor improves morale, picking up the slack when a co-worker isn’t at their best or is off ill results in clients still being served well, resulting in an improved client experience. As a result, their impression of your organization improves, they spread that reputation, and your business profitability grows as a result. Bingo! You’ve now made a clear connection between your past teamwork accomplished elsewhere and how what you’ve done there will translate into the employment opportunity being discussed here.

Unfortunately, too often when I first meet people and do a mock interview, they’ll say something like this:

“I’d be happy to tell you about myself. I’m organized, detail-oriented, work hard and enjoy working in a team.”

Even if all 4 things above are pulled right from a job posting, this alone isn’t good enough. Many people will be smart enough to name what they should tell the employer. Many of the same people will even be coached well enough to give examples from their past demonstrating one or more of the skills. Few however as I say – and this is THE key to successful interviewing – answer the implied but ever-present question, “So how does that help me?”

I’ve essentially repeated my point now twice. Why? Simple. IT”S IMPORTANT! I know the tendency of readers to read quickly and skim. When done, many might feel it was a good read and yet 3 minutes later revert right back to doing what they’ve always done; that’s human nature.

But you – yes you…

You might be one of the few who does more than just pass the time reading this with your favourite beverage in hand. You might actually re-read the above and do more than say, “Well that was interesting.” You could be one of the few who will actually approach your interview preparation differently. Whether you’re a job seeker or someone who assists and supports those looking for work, you might opt to assure all three steps are in the interview answers you provide in the future. The three steps again are:

  1. State the desired skill the employer has identified as a need.
  2. Provide an example demonstrating your use of that skill in the past.
  3. Relate how that skill benefits the potential employer here in the present.

When you do the 3rd and last step as part of your interview answers on a regular basis, you accomplish one major thing successful interviewees do; you show clearly that you get it. You understand WHY the skill is integral to the job. Employees who cognitively get it, don’t let that skill ebb and flow on the job, or just do teamwork because the boss says so. They do it because they’ve bought in to the critical importance of the skill on the job and they share a high premium on the value of the skill.

Please pass this on; it’s important! Your kindness in sharing is appreciated at my end but more importantly may greatly help another.