From January, 2016

Phone Screening: Can You See Your Candidates Cheating?!

Here is a list of commonly asked phone screen questions designed to reveal your job candidates’ goals, strengths and potential fit for your organization. road-sign-464641_640

  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What are you currently earning?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your career goals?

Nothing too surprising there.  These questions while sufficient to whittle down your pool of candidates won’t trip up too many.  Seasoned job candidates will have canned responses all ready to answer those questions.  “Why should we hire you?” another commonly asked question, won’t tell you if your engineering candidate has any experience with metrology equipment or if your software programmer possesses knowledge of mobile web development. Naturally, specific job-related questions must be asked but if you can’t see the candidate, how can you tell they aren’t cheating?  How do you know the candidate is not looking up the answers?

According to a 2014 study by Careerbuilder, 58% of managers have caught a lie on a candidate’s resume with the candidate’s skill set being the most often embellished fib.  Candidates willing to lie on their resume might also be willing to pull a Pinocchio during the phone screen by searching online for the appropriate response, especially if you have asked a technical question.

Recently our company had the opportunity to screen a PHP software developer candidate who was referred to us and highly recommended.  Since the candidate lived three hours behind our time zone, we chose to set the candidate up with an automated video interview rather than phone screen the candidate at an inconvenient time after hours. We uploaded a number of PHP developer questions for the candidate to answer which would give us a feel for the extent of their knowledge.  Additionally the video would provide the hiring manager with a greater sense of the candidate’s energy level and personality.

The candidate completed the video interview overnight and in the morning we eagerly logged into the system to review this “highly recommended” candidate’s interview.  Unfortunately the candidate was stumped by the first programming question asked.  With furrowed brows we stared at the screen waiting for the candidate to say something. Several awkward seconds passed and we knew the candidate had nothing.  I momentarily felt for the candidate and then they went for their smart phone and our jaws dropped. The highly recommended candidate whose resume reflected a skill set that would surely enable them to answer our first question, tried to search for the answer online!

The candidate ended the first question without a response but the nightmare was just beginning.  Aware they were on camera and robbed of their opportunity to research the answers, the candidate proved unable to respond to several of the remaining interview questions.  A follow-up phone interview confirmed what the video already exposed.  The candidate confessed that they often Googled the necessary answer when stumped during a phone interview.

We avoided a potentially bad hire by using video.  Today’s culture in many ways encourages embellishment and in some ways, cheating.  How will you protect your organization?

Employed or Unemployed, Here is What You Need to Succeed in 2016

A new year brings with it hope for new opportunities so if you are looking for a job, thinking about quitting or want to remain where you are at and reach the top, you will benefit from the following articles.

Five lies recruiters tell job seekers.

Finding a job is more difficult if you get a lousy recruiter.  Be on the lookout for these lies they often tell.  From “I don’t have the job spec” to “I need to know your salary information”, be careful not to fall for thesematterhorn-918442_640 five fibs which might derail your job search.

11 tips for turning down a job offer so the hiring manager doesn’t hate you.

The first week of January is the most popular time to apply for a job according to Monster but if you get an offer that’s not a great fit, how do you turn it down without burning bridges with the hiring manager? This article explains how best to handle the situation professionally and ensure those bridges with the hiring manager and company remain unscathed.

A Wharton professor says this is the one question you should ask before accepting a new job.

I won’t make you click through. The question suggested by Wharton professor and author Adam Grant is, “How is this organization different from all other organizations?” Grant explains the answer should be told as a story and you should pay special attention to the following three possible values illustrated in their response: Justice and Fairness, Safety and Security, and Control.

Ask yourself these 16 questions to decide if it is time to quit.

Switching jobs is a major life change. Robin Camarote, author of “Flock: Getting Leaders to Follow” provides sixteen questions to ask yourself and answer before taking the big step. If you still can’t decide, read the following article.

Six reasons to stay in a job you hate.

Not everyone hates their job but certainly not everyone is in love with it either. A 2013 study by Gallup showed that only 30% of the American workforce honestly enjoyed their jobs.  So while throwing in the towel might be the obvious solution, here are six reasons sticking it out will benefit your future.

Ten Ways a terrible boss can teach you how to lead.

How can a bad boss be good for you? Watching your bad boss’ behavior may help you lead more effectively. Do they lack vision, decisiveness, humility? This article provides ten valuable “what not to do” lessons on leadership.

Here’s the most common mistake workers make when it comes to getting a raise.

According to Careerbuilder, 56% of workers have never asked for a raise but two-thirds of the workers, both male and female who ask for one, get it. So the most common mistake is never asking for one.

If you want a promotion, ditch these 5 annoying office habits.

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones,” says Benjamin Franklin.  This article lists several office habits you can eliminate to increase your net worth.

Five times it is OK to say “No” at work.

No one wants to be uncooperative nor does anyone want to be a doormat. Here are five occasions where saying no at work is not only okay but possibly encouraged especially if you are not the best one for the job.

As your new year revs up, focus on increasing your net worth, learning from others’ mistakes and standing up for yourself.