Interview

You Can't Tell Them Your Boss Is A Jerk – Explaining Why You're Looking For A New Job

iStockphoto.com |  AntonioGuillem

iStockphoto.com | AntonioGuillem

A common reason people look for new jobs is because they hate what they’re currently doing. It could be that the work is a grind, the boss is a jerk, and the pay is insufficient for the level of responsibility – or some combination of these factors.

If you’re in this situation, it’s understandable that you’re on the job market.

But here’s the problem. They don’t want to hear you say that your current work is a grind, the boss is a jerk, and the pay is insufficient.

When you’re in an interview with a potential employer, he or she is looking for a candidate who is upbeat, positive, and would add to the overall morale of the office. Negative talk about your current employer could knock you out of contention.

It’s not that your reasons for seeking new employment opportunities aren’t true – they are all probably quite valid. But appearing to “trash talk” can raise concerns to a recruiter or hiring manager, such as, “What is this candidate going to say about us when he discovers something he doesn’t like?”

The interview process is a dance, and answering the question “Why are you seeking new opportunities” is a step in this dance. And. like any dance, it’s best to approach it with finesse so that you don’t step on any toes in the process. Here’s how to prepare to answer this difficult question.

  1. Understand Your True Motivation For Changing Jobs. Every job comes with its own annoyances and frustrations; we tend to tolerate the negative aspects of the position because they’re often outweighed by the positives. Dig deep and ask yourself, “What is it about the position that’s truly making this job more trouble than it’s worth?” The rest is just noise.

  2. Identify The Aspects Of Your Current Job That You Have Enjoyed. Maybe you truly love your day-to-day core duties, or perhaps the company has given you great training opportunities, or they’ve exposed you to new career growth avenues.

  3. When Presenting Your Reason To A Potential Employer, Sandwich The Negative With The Positives. By starting and ending your explanation the the things you like about your current job, you provide valuable context and soften the negativity.

Here’s an example:(Positive) In my current role as a project manager, I absolutely love the scope of responsibility I have – I’m able to work on a variety of programs with some truly wonderful customers. (Negative) As the years have progressed, the company has gone through several reorganizations which have made the role more difficult. (Positive) I’m very grateful for the opportunity the company gave me – I’ve been promoted multiple times and I work with wonderful people, but when this role with your company was posted it seemed like a good fit for the next stage of my career.”


Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercareerstrategies.com.

Why Do Recruiters Have So Little Knowledge About The Jobs They're Recruiting For?

iStockphoto.com |  timnewman

iStockphoto.com | timnewman

 

Candidates can get frustrated by a lack of in-depth knowledge on a recruiter's part regarding the job they've called about. You may want to cut the recruiter a little bit of slack. Start by looking at the typical recruiter role.

Recruiters typically work in one of two settings – either within internal human resources departments (filling internal jobs), or at staffing firms (filling jobs on behalf of their clients’ human resources departments). In either situation, it’s important to note the following factors:

  1. Recruiters are (typically) not technical experts on the subject matter the individual they’re looking to hire is expected to have. Their job is to fill jobs. All. Day. Long. Their focus is on sourcing and identifying talent to fill the open job. They need to know the right search terms, how to identify a potential candidate, the right things to look for in the resume, and a few key questions to ask the candidate to determine if it’s worth scheduling a conversation with the hiring manager. It’s not their job to know every nitty gritty technical detail of the position they’re filling. That’s usually the hiring manager’s job.
     
  2. It is the recruiters’ job to determine whether it’s worth introducing the candidate to the hiring manager. Recruiters should know enough to conduct an initial screen of the candidate’s credentials, general subject knowledge, and skills. They also check to qualify that the candidate’s salary requirements, commute, and personality fit the role and the company. Then it’s time to hand them off to the hiring manager.
     
  3. Recruiters are busy as hell. It’s not unusual for a recruiter to be expected to manage a load of 40 (yes, 40) open positions. Each one has a hiring manager screaming for candidates to fill their open jobs. Assuming the recruiter touches every open position once a week, that gives them one hour per open position, per week to source resumes, screen candidates, communicate with hiring managers, and address whatever other matters come down the pipeline. That’s not even close to enough time to do a truly deep dive on the specifics of the job. And sometimes the person recruiting is also working as a human resources generalist managing employee relations issues and other matters, and recruitment is just a component of their job.
     
  4. Hiring managers are busy as hell. “So what?” you may ask. Well, when a recruiter receives a new open position, they typically reach out to the hiring manager to gather information and develop a search strategy. I recruited for 19 years. I experienced countless situations in which I reached out to the hiring manager for more information and they couldn’t be bothered to return my call in a reasonable time (if at all). I was in the no-win position of being forced to decide between waiting for the manager to get back to me before recruiting, or plowing ahead on the search with insufficient data and hoping I was approaching it correctly.

That said, there are always exceptions.

Some staffing agencies or internal recruiting departments focus on recruiting specific disciplines, such as accountants. The intention is to mold these individuals into recruiters focused on that particular discipline, with the understanding that they can build a practice around their specific base of knowledge. It’s a lot easier for a CPA to establish credibility and build rapport with both accounting hiring managers and candidates, and well as to intuit the specifics about the positions they work on.

Also, some companies believe in giving their recruiters smaller workloads, supported by the idea that the recruiters can devote more time to finding the right person for each open position. It’s rare.

Make no mistake, there’s no excuse for a recruiter to be sloppy in their job. It is their duty to effectively source and evaluate talent, and to know enough about their open positions in order to add value to the hiring manager and ensure that the candidate has a positive experience with the employer. With time, practice, exposure to the subject, and after experiencing a few notable mistakes along the way, recruiters do get better at this.

This article originally appeared on Quora.


Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.

5 Ways to Combat Hiring Manager Indecision in the Interview Process

iStockphoto.com (  SIphotography )

iStockphoto.com ( SIphotography )

 

Have you ever noticed that companies are bit slow to make hiring decisions?

It's not unusual for the interview process to take days, weeks, sometimes even months. Or for the process to involve meeting with upwards of 10 interviewers. And to involve reference checks or personality tests or other exams before making a decision.

You're not imagining things, and it's no accident, either. The interview process is taking longer because employers are more afraid of risk.

But first some context. Let's rewind about 8 or 9 years ago, to the height of the recession. There were a glut of job seekers, and fewer jobs to go around. At the time, companies had more of options of candidates from which to choose, so they took advantage of this buyer's market. They became more selective.

It's a great economy right now. If you have talent, it's a seller's market, but you wouldn't know it by the interview process. Here are some reasons why:

  • Companies became used to being able to cherry pick employees in the bad market. They haven't adjusted their mindset to the reality of the moment, which is that there's more jobs than qualified people to fill them. So they're more inclined to wait for that "perfect fit," even if they don't exist.
     
  • Managers are terrified to make a bad hiring decision. They fear that if they hire somebody who doesn't work out, for whatever reason, it's a bad reflection on them. And maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But hiring decisions aren't forever (we're ALL replaceable).
     
  • Blame is to be shared. If you're afraid to make a hiring decision, what's the best way to cover yourself? Why not make sure that the whole team has a part in the decision making process? Many managers are delegating their hiring authority to their teams, their peers, their internal and external customers, and other stakeholders so that if the person doesn't work out, everybody can throw up their hands and say, "Well, that candidate fooled all 34 of us who interviewed him!" No single person then takes the blame for making a bad decision. And how freaking hard is it to impress EVERYBODY that you interview with - without consensus, you likely won't get the nod.

So, what can you do to shake things loose when you seem to be stuck in the wheels of the interview process? There is no guaranteed remedy, but here are some ways to kick loose from hiring manager indecision!

  1. Try your best to take control of the process. Be proactive in asking the recruiter and hiring manager what next steps will be, and when you should expect to hear from them again. Ask if they need anything else from you to make their decision.
     
  2. Demonstrate your interest in the role, right now. Convey excitement. Verbalize this, telling anybody who will listen, "I'm very excited by this opportunity, and would love to joint the team!" You'd be surprised how many job seekers never clearly express interest in the job. People notice.
     
  3. Send thank you notes. To everyone you've met. It's that little bit of extra effort that shows you care and that you listened to what the interviewers said. I've seen well-placed thank you notes put a job candidate over the top.
     
  4. Keep the employer apprised. Check in from time to time. If you are expecting an offer from another company and time is of the essence, pick up the phone and call the recruiter, and let them know that their company is your first choice but you anticipate having to make a decision soon.
     
  5. Be proactive providing references, backup data, and anything else that may help your case. If you show that you are open and have nothing to hide, you may be able to use these little extras to move the process forward.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.