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5 Ways To Not Get An Offer

Friday, November 3, 2017  by Bailey

 

Williams James once said that, “whenever two people meet, there are six people present.” There is each person as they see themselves, each person as the other person sees them, and each person as they really are. The same goes for interviewing. Because this style of evaluation is so heavily based on perception, the best candidate for the job does not get the offer over 80% of the time.

As a result, interviewing has become both an art and a game. The art is in your style, soft skills, and characteristics that you display. The game is getting an offer, and winning comes with practice, planning, and strategy. Try to avoid these common ways to “lose” the game and not receive an offer:

Bad Appearance

Make sure you are not underdressed, this is viewed as disrespectful. Clothes should be conservative, neat, pressed, and appropriate for business formal even if the setting is business casual. Shoes should be shined and make-up should be minimal. Avoid perfume and cologne, as well as jewelry and accessories. Your hair should be combed and not distracting!

Lack of Enthusiasm

If you’re not interested in the opportunity and the company, why are you going to the interview? If you are interested, show it. Research the company and ask meaningful questions about the position, business model, culture, or management style. When you answer questions, avoid short or vague answers in favor of responses that showcase your knowledge, personality traits, and acquired skills.

Me, Not We

Remember the part of the William James quote regarding each person as they see themselves? That aspect can sometimes be a problem during an interview. If the interviewee is all about the interviewee, putting too much focus on ego-satisfying stimuli like money or title, it can be extremely detrimental to their chances at landing an offer. As Ben Franklin once said, “he that falls in love with himself, has no rivals.”

Unconsciously Self-Destructive

There are many careless ways to hurt your chances of getting an offer. Among them are arriving late (indicative of poor planning), not fully completing the application (lack of compliance), a limp/fishy handshake (lack of professionalism), failing to look at interviewer when conversing (lack of confidence or respect), poor posture (lack of poise or confidence), condemning past employers (lack of respect), making too many excuses (not accepting of criticism), providing evasive and/or conflicting information (perception of fabrication), poor manners (lack of courtesy), not showing appreciation of interviewers’ time (lack of tact and professionalism).

Beyond the Call

An interview is an exchange of information. It shouldn’t be treated as a confessional or a lecture, and you shouldn’t be too forthcoming, aggressive, or verbose. Treat it as an opportunity to exhibit your personality and communicate knowledge and experience that is appropriate to the needs and requirements of the opportunity. 

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Candidates: Can We Find You?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017  by Bailey

Whether you are actively searching for a new opportunity or not, it is very important that you refresh your online profile periodically. The key to a successful presentation is to maintain a professional look, populate the page with applicable keywords and to clearly show demonstrated successes within your career. Remember your audience and speak to them. A potential employer wants to see where you have added value in your career history so you must include case studies where you have positively impacted the company. That being said, this is an online profile not a resume. The following are a few hit or misses on your online presentation to think about:

Keep Your Photos Professional:

One of the biggest mistakes for your professional profile is to use a "selfie". Keep the informal pictures for the other social media platforms and invest in a professional portrait for your profile. At the very least, dress in professional attire and have a friend take a photo with a neutral background. The photo is the first thing a potential employer or recruiter sees and you want to be taken seriously. Don't be overlooked because your photo depicts you on leisure time. 

Keep Your Content Personal:

While your photo needs to be dressed up, your content can be slightly dressed down from your resume. You don't need to fill your content with impressive resume speak. Rather, your online profile should illustrate success stories while keeping it personal. For example, "I was tasked to improve the following process and was able to successfully complete the task weeks ahead of schedule." or "I identified some redundancies in company spending and successfully streamlined our payables by x% by establishing new vendor relationships." Keep the message targeted to the audience: I can add value and here is how I have demonstrated added value in my career. Great attention should also be paid to your headline which is the things that makes one want to click through to read more or pass you over. Use keywords that describe your top skill and a phrase that captures how best you propose to add value. 

Refresh Your Skills and Keywords:

As you continue with your career you are mastering new skills and as you move up the ladder, you are gaining new responsibilities. It is important to continuously update with your most recent and best established skill set. Too many skills can muddy the water so be careful to edit the list so that you are presenting your highest quality work and skills that you want to focus on in your next endeavor. Many employers and recruiters search via keywords rather than titles so it is important to focus this list on what you want to be known for or better yet, how you want to be found.

 

 

 

 

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Blast From The Past

Wednesday, September 13, 2017  by Bailey

As Bohan & Bradstreet celebrates it's 30 year anniversary, we find ourselves reflecting on the long journey we began in 1987. Ed Bradstreet launched the company to create his own game board in the great strategy pursuit that is recruiting. We came across this old BusinessDigest article published in 1989, that summarized his thought process in what he likes to call, "the game".

Click on the pdf links to read the full article:

BusinessDigest Side A.pdf

BusinessDigest Side B.pdf

Interesting to note is the photo which shows our amazing Office Manager, Julia Briggs, seated next to Ed. She has been an integral part of the Bohan & Bradstreet team for the last 28 years!!

 

 

 

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Candidate Coaching - Personality Tests

Tuesday, August 22, 2017  by Bailey

According to research by Kenexa, in the last decade personality tests have increased in popularity as predictors of performance.

In fact, many of our own clients subscribe to tools like the PI (Predictive Index) and PRO (Performance Requirement Options) in order to identify and pursue candidates possessing the specific behaviors and tendencies needed to excel at a job.

 

How honestly are applicants answering them? 

Despite this increased use of personality assessments as part of the evaluation process, there have been concerns about how “fakeable” these personal inventories are. Research shows that applicants are motivated to present the image most likely to be viewed positively by decision makers. As a result, many applicants, often unconsciously, present themselves with exaggerated levels of conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion. 

 

What should you do?

You shouldn’t be modest when taking such an assessment, but it is critical that you are honest and reflective. In addition to being unethical, “faking” your personality can result in becoming unhappy in a job that does not suit who you are. As executive recruiters, we at B&B know that you will be infinitely more successful in a job where you can be yourself!

 

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Ineffective Leadership

Tuesday, August 15, 2017  by Bailey

 

            About 1/3 of our searches each year consist of confidential replacements for ineffective leaders. This poor leadership, at the supervisor to Board of Directors level, is a reality that every business must face at some point. Not everyone is prepared for the responsibilities that leadership entails, and this can help create a toxic culture, stymy employee and process development, and encourage monetary losses to the company. Thus, being able to identify and address the signs of bad leadership is essential to running a successful business. In our experience, all problematic leaders struggle in one or more of the following categories:

  • Communication
    • Transparency as a business partner or team leader
    • Open-mindedness and acceptance of the ideas of others
    • Ability to convey strategy and goals
  • Character
    • Willingness to distribute credit in successes and accept blame in failures
    • Appreciation for work/life balance and the value of taking breaks
    • Willingness to accept change or evolution
  • Competency
    • Time and resource management
    • Ability to develop talent
    • Consistency of decision making

 

How does one solve the problem of ineffective leadership once it is identified?

 

Depending on the person and situation, the solution is either "tough love" or a confidential upgrade. Some leaders will find it easier to change their behavior than others:  re-establishing goals, providing insightful feedback and coaching, and changing level of responsibility can all work if they are willing and able to cooperate. In today’s world, however, it is much harder to accomplish this due to the evolution of business processes, global competition, changes in technology, and alternative employment opportunities. Accountability to both internal and external stakeholders in the modern business landscape means that ineffective leaders must adapt more quickly than was required of them only a decade ago.

 

As a result, confidential replacement through a consultant like Bohan and Bradstreet has become an increasingly viable option.

 

We assess each potential replacement in depth in order to ensure that our clients know everything they need to make the right decision. As one recent client explained, B&B “provided exceptional service to us in our search for a CFO…we had three very qualified candidates, and we would have been well served by any one of them. Their diligent work in seeking out the requirements we needed so as to pace qualified candidates was impressive…I would highly recommend Bohan & Bradstreet.”

In addition to thoroughly evaluating how each potential replacement can improve on the current leadership, B&B can successfully complete a confidential replacement in less time than it would take for the “tough love” approach.

 

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