5 Things Never to Ask in a Job Interview

Your resume didn’t fall into a black hole. You’ve been called for an interview. You picked out a nice suit to wear and you’re ready to dazzle them with your smarts. And you know it’s important to have questions for the interviewer because it shows you’re engaged and genuinely interested in the position.

The wrong questions, however, can tank even the best interview. You know better than to bring up salary, benefits or vacation early on in a discussion — those are still commonly viewed as taboo in a first interview. But there are other, less-known pitfalls to avoid as well.

Here are five questions you should never ask in a job interview.

What does this company do?

You’re here to interview with Consolidated Widget Makers, and you didn’t bother to look up what they do? That’s inexcusable.

This is an unfortunate, but common, mistake now that people can easily apply to multiple positions with the help of job boards, says Kenneth Johnson, president of East Coast Executives, a Philadelphia based executive search firm. “A Google search will uncover the answer and save you the embarrassment.”

Even if you’ve applied to dozens of positions and been on many interviews, treat each new one as the potential game-changer that it is. When you’re called, in addition to the time and address of the interview, be sure to take down the name of the company and interviewer so you can do some research and show up well prepared.

What is your drug testing policy?

Johnson says this is the worst question he’s asked in interviews. “Even if the company has a very liberal testing policy, this question definitely raises some doubts about your candidacy.” Asking is unprofessional and a huge red flag to employers.

How long until I can have your job?

I’ve heard this one often, says Karin Hurt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders. “Some candidates seem to think this demonstrates career focus and gumption. On the other side of the table it feels obnoxious. Demonstrate strong passion and commitment for the job you’re interviewing for.”

If you’re asked about your five- or 10-year plan, that would be the time to inquire or express your desire for advancement, but “until then, articulate your commitment and qualifications for the job at hand,” explains Hurt.

What about overtime?

Questions about overtime can get you in trouble a couple ways. First, employers who are worried about budgets and hiring hourly staff may be very sensitive to paying out for extra time. Asking if you’ll get frequent overtime may mean you’ll risk turning them off in favor of a candidate who will work efficiently within their regular hours only.

A question such as “Will I have to work overtime?” is also bad form. “Asking this question during the interview gives the interviewer the impression that you don’t want to put in any more work than is required. This does not give the interviewer a positive impression of you,” says Cheryl Palmer, owner of executive coaching firm Call to Career.

It’s probably best to ask what the normal hours for your position will be and leave it at that.

Any question about what you’ve already been told.

The person who wrote that job listing worked hard to make sure it conveyed the right information to the right group of people. It obviously worked if you’ve applied and gotten as far as the interview stage. Don’t make all their hard work seem trivial by not fully reading every communication they send.

“If someone asks me questions during the job interview that have already been covered in the job posting or emails, it makes me question their attention to detail,” explains Carol Cochran, HR director for FlexJobs, a job search service for telecommuting and flexible positions.

 

Staffing firm to break ground on new headquarters.

Downtown staffing firm BarryStaff Inc. has finished demolishing the blighted building on the east side of downtown where it is building a new headquarters.

Click here for full article-> BarryStaff Inc.

 

Avoiding Leadership Dependance

Last week I watched a common example of one individual serving as the intellect and conscience for another. It happened at Publix, our local grocery store, where my 17-year-old son Benjamin decided to apply for a job. Standing at the application kiosk was a couple, painfully going through the questions, discussing and debating each response. The woman, who was the one applying for a job, was insecure answering the questions on her own, instead, running each one by “her man” as she referred to him several times. Makes me wonder, if she gets the job, if he’ll be tagging along then, as well.

Leaders create an unhealthy, codependent relationship when they do something similar with employees. This practice is often caused by the open-door policy of many managers, who too often position themselves as being the go-to authority. As a result, the practiced dynamic is one in which the employees don’t have to come up with their answers, always relying on the boss for ideas and input. What often makes this worse is employees’ fear of being wrong or making a mistake.

Leadership Dependence, an all too common reality in companies, has caused leaders to be even more overwhelmed than ever and employees to be less self-sufficient. The alternative, Corporate Interdependence, promotes personal responsibility for doing the next right thing and engaging in collaboration where it’s actually needed.

To shift into Corporate Interdependence, managers simply need to ask more questions versus giving out answers. Saying “What would you do,” or “What’s the first step you could take,” begins to empower people to be more engaged, more responsible, and even more satisfied as they gain confidence in their own abilities. And often, leaders learn a few things themselves when employees come up with even better ideas.

 

Urban Pioneer Spurs Downtown Growth

Urban Pioneer Spurs Downtown Growth

Doug Barry is showing his commitment to Dayton by taking BarryStaff, Inc., downtown.
By Jamie Kenny

Doug Barry has gotten a lot of attention lately. His commitment to downtown Dayton and his love for the city have been contagious as he begins construction on a new building for BarryStaff, Inc., near the Dayton Dragons’ stadium at the corner of Monument and Webster Streets.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE->  Urban Pioneer Spurs Downtown Growth

 

6 Reasons Companies Outsource their Recruiting

6 Reasons Companies Outsource Recruiting

1. They’re Having Trouble Finding Great Candidates
Yes, even in this economy organizations are having trouble finding the right people to fill their open positions. No, they don’t always have this problem because they are being too picky or because they want to pay a lower-than-standard salary. If the organization is serious about finding great candidates and getting those positions filled, then they may outsource their recruiting to source candidates in more places, to improve their employment branding, and/or work on the job descriptions for these positions.

2. It’s Taking Time & Resources Away from the Core Business
Not everyone is in the hiring and recruiting business, and even though most companies have some sort of recruiting function, sometimes it could take away from a business’ core. This is especially true for smaller companies, who might not necessarily have someone on staff to just work on recruiting. Here, outsourced recruiting helps them by allowing a consultant or a provider to do what they do best without taking away from what the rest of the company does best.

3. They Need to Reduce Their Turnover Rates
The turnover rate is the percentage of new hires that leave within a designated period, say the first month or two of the position. A high turnover rate can hurt a company’s bottom line, and is often a sign that there are bigger problems with the company’s recruiting functions, problems that aren’t necessarily fixed by increasing the salary or by doing a better job interviewing (although, both might help). In this case, an organization may outsource its recruiting to a recruitment process outsourcing firm to reduce the turnover rate as well as fix those bigger problems.

4. It Levels the Playing Field
Start-ups and smaller companies will outsource their recruiting because they don’t have the resources in-house to keep up with larger competitors. By outsourcing, they can level the playing field and not have to worry about losing good talent because the competitor did a better job of selling the position or offering better benefits.

5. They’re Current Recruiting Functions are Out of Control
Companies who are on the fast track, or face seasonal cycles, often have recruiting functions that are tough to handle. Fast-growing companies are having a hard time keeping up with their hiring and recruiting, while those that are seasonal may need to hire many people very quickly, only for the rest of the year to be slower. Outsourced recruiting helps these companies handle the fluctuations, or could serve as a temporary solution to a temporary problem.

6. They Need to Cut Costs
Companies outsource recruiting to reduce their costs, whether that’s labor costs, capital costs, or perhaps costs from the previous reasons. Perhaps, unfortunately, they can’t justify the staff anymore. Or, the company has already spent too much money on headhunters and recruiting fees that they’re looking for another way. Maybe the organization didn’t do a good job of creating a standardized approach to hiring, so outsourcing will provide the organization needed.

Keep in mind that outsourcing your recruiting is different from outsourcing your human resources, as the latter may include benefits, compensation, employee and labor relations, and legal issues as well as the recruiting. Although outsourcing your recruiting to a recruitment process outsourcing firm includes a cursory look and a revision of those aspects, outsourced recruiting typically looks at the hiring process from sourcing great candidates to the new employee on boarding process.

 

The Real Harm in Multitasking

You’ve likely heard that multitasking is problematic, but new studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain. Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.

A Special Skill?

But what if some people have a special gift for multitasking? The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multitaskers—those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance—were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another. Ouch.

Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

Multitasking Lowers IQ

Research also shows that, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ. A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.

So the next time you’re writing your boss an email during a meeting, remember that your cognitive capacity is being diminished to the point that you might as well let an 8-year-old write it for you.

Brain Damage From Multitasking

It was long believed that cognitive impairment from multitasking was temporary, but new research suggests otherwise. Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains. They found that high multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.

While more research is needed to determine if multitasking is physically damaging the brain (versus existing brain damage that predisposes people to multitask), it’s clear that multitasking has negative effects. Neuroscientist Kep Kee Loh, the study’s lead author, explained the implications: “I feel that it is important to create an awareness that the way we are interacting with the devices might be changing the way we think and these changes might be occurring at the level of brain structure.”

Learning From Multitasking

If you’re prone to multitasking, this is not a habit you’ll want to indulge—it clearly slows you down and decreases the quality of your work. Even if it doesn’t cause brain damage, allowing yourself to multitask will fuel any existing difficulties you have with concentration, organization, and attention to detail.

Multitasking in meetings and other social settings indicates low Self- and Social Awareness, two emotional intelligence (EQ) skills that are critical to success at work. TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that 90% of top performers have high EQs. If multitasking does indeed damage the anterior cingulate cortex (a key brain region for EQ) as current research suggests, it will lower your EQ in the process.

So every time you multitask you aren’t just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that’s critical to your future success at work.

 

3 Dangerous Lies People Tell On Resumes

By Kathryn Tuggle for MainStreet

Lying on your resume is always a risk, but some lies are harder to uncover than others.
Applicants embellish their resumes to gain an edge over the competition, but liars beware, says Becky Parker, director of services and support for employment screening for human resources and business solutions provider Insperity.

“More and more managers are becoming wise to these schemes, with many companies implementing thorough background checks by a third party to ensure candidates are telling the whole truth,” she says.

According to a recent survey by Harris Poll for CareerBuilder, 58% of hiring managers have caught a lie on a resume. Here’s a look at the three most common “little white lies” risk-taking applicants may put on their resumes.

 1. Job title and advancement
When an applicant has been out of school for only a few years but their title reflects a management role, it’s either a sign they are very good at their job or that they’re lying, says Tracy Cashman, senior vice president and partner of information technology at recruitment firm WinterWyman.

“If someone is three years out of college but they’ve got ‘senior manager’ on their resume, you start to get the sense that there might be something else at play,” she says. “You’re only going to learn the truth by making a phone call to the employer.”

Stretching job titles usually leads to lies about the candidate’s actual skill set, says Becky Parker, director of services and support for employment at Insperity. For example, an applicant might say, “I managed a team of 20” when they only had two direct reports.
“Was your applicant really an experienced national sales manager like he or she claims on their resume? Or were they a floor manager for one location?” Parker asks.

If you’ve been with a company for several years, make your progression of job titles clear on your resume, says Janet Elkin, CEO of staffing company Supplemental Healthcare.

“It looks better to show your progression within a company. Put your total tenure on the top and then add a line that says ‘promoted within the organization,’” she says. “Otherwise it will look like you’re claiming to have been a manager for five years when you really worked your way up from an assistant.”

2. Salary
Most human resources managers will verify your dates of employment and sometimes your title, Cashman says, but not your salary.

“Most HR professionals aren’t going to verify salary, but it’s not out of the question that your prospective employer could find out,” she says.

The HR world is smaller than you might think, and people talk. Even if HR won’t disclose your salary, your manager might. Also, you could always be asked for a W2 or pay stubs to prove how much money you earned.

“Is that a risk that you want to take?” Cashman asks. “There are plenty of people who would probably say yes, but I feel like it’s definitely an ethics issue. If you’d lie about this, what else would you lie about?”

If someone’s salary is not commensurate with experience, that’s a sign they’re lying, Elkin says.

“HR professionals know the market for your position. If you have a salary that’s way off from the norm, they’re not going to think you’re that exceptional, they’re going to think you’re lying,” she says.

If you feel like you’re underpaid, the solution is not to fib about your salary, Cashman stresses. Instead, detail the reasons you’re worth more.

“Do your research. If you’re being paid below market value for your experience level or if you’ve gone five years without a raise, then bring those things up. Just don’t lie.”

3. Degree or GPA
“This one is interesting to me because you either have a degree or you don’t,” Cashman says. “Some people say, ‘Well, I put in four years,’ but if you didn’t graduate, you don’t have a degree, and that’s easy to check.”

Occasionally job candidates will maintain that they had a bill that went unpaid or that they were a few credits short, but they still list the degree. That’s a lie, she says. If you have 102 credits out of 108 completed, that’s a conversation you can address in the interview.
“Yes, it’s possible to forget a bill at the bursar’s office, but everyone knows whether or not they got a bachelor’s degree,” Elkin says.

Sometimes, people who don’t have a degree will be vague about having graduated. For example, they might just list the university name but they won’t list dates.

“At first glance, it might look like they have a degree, but they don’t. A lot of companies screen for degree. They’re going to call the college,” Cashman says.
If you didn’t graduate but did attend some classes, be specific.

“It can help in some cases to list that you have some college, but under no circumstances should your resume include ‘bachelors’ if you don’t have one.”

When it comes to GPA, there is no such thing as “rounding up” without looking unethical, says Jason Hanold, managing partner at executive search firm Hanold Associates.

“If you had a 3.8 but you say you had a 4.0, that’s a lie,” he says. “That is something your prospective employer might not discover until after you have a job offer in hand and they’re confirming your degree. You don’t want to lose that job because you fibbed about a few tenths of a point.”

 

Ten Worst College Majors in Today’s Market

The value of a college education continues to be reexamined in the real world. In addition to being saddled with student loans, graduates and even experienced workers face a lackluster labor market. While a degree is still considered an advantage, the right major can make all the difference between happily employed and woefully underemployed.

Some majors are clearly failing in today’s job market. As many as 22 million Americans are underemployed, according to a new report from PayScale. The information firm polled 68,000 workers and found that 43 percent of total respondents across all age groups believe they are underemployed. The meaning of underemployment can vary by person, but generally includes holding a job that leaves you overeducated, underpaid, or not able to make ends meet.

Being underpaid was the primary reason respondents considered themselves underemployed. In the survey, 48 percent of women said they are underemployed, compared to 39 percent of men. The difference is not surprising, given that nine of the 10 most underemployed college majors are dominated by women. Overall, millennials are most likely to say they are underemployed.

“Our economy is still recovering from The Great Recession, and while some industries are booming, demand for work still outpaces supply for many job types and industries,” explains the report. “People who can’t find full time work in the field they went to school for often end up taking part time work, or working in jobs unrelated to their field of study. Yet at the same time, many employers report that they can’t find people to fill the jobs they do have available.”

Let’s take a look at the 10 worst college majors for today’s job market, based on underemployed findings from PayScale.

Ranking     Degree                   Median Annual Pay              Underemployment Level

10                  Psychology                           $38,200                                               50%

9                    Education                             $40,500                                               50%

8                    Liberal Arts                          $34,200                                                50%

7                     Graphic Design                   $37,300                                                 52%

6                     English & Literature          $39,700                                                 52%

5                     Sociology                              $38,900                                                 53%

4                     General Studies                   $32,100                                                 56%

3                    Health Care Admin              $32,100                                                58%

2                     Business Mgmt & Admin    $44,300                                                60%

1                      Criminal Justice                    $34,500                                                62%

 

 

The Top Paying Jobs For High School Graduates

Instead of volunteering in Africa or studying art history in Italy to build a résumé in the hope of nabbing a spot at an elite university, some high school graduates are taking full-time jobs. That way they can get real-world work experience and learn how they might contribute in a meaningful way to society.

That was one of the suggestions The New Republic made last month in an article about how college-obsessed kids may be making big mistakes by packing their résumés to the hilt with life experiences that have been funded and orchestrated by rich parents.
“Colleges should put an end to résumé-stuffing by imposing a limit on the number of extracurriculars that kids can list on their applications,” the article said. “They [the colleges] ought to place more value on the kind of service jobs that lower-income students often take in high school and that high achievers almost never do.”

Maybe that’s not a bad idea.   But if you think your children or grandchildren should take a job for a year or two before applying for college – then they might as well aim for the best paying jobs out there.  To help find the right fit, CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International have found the best paying jobs for workers with high school diplomas, released in a new study.

As of this year, there are 115 occupations that require a high school diploma and pay $20 per hour or more on average, CareerBuilder noted. Of those, 30 percent typically require either short-term training or no on-the-job training.

Here are the 10 highest-paying jobs for high school graduates requiring short-term or no training:
• Transportation, storage and distribution manager
• First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
• Gaming managers
• Real estate brokers
• First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
• First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers
• Legal support workers (not including paralegals, court reporters, title examiners or legal assistants)
• Postal service mail carriers
• Transit and railroad police
• Property, real estate and community association managers

The median hourly earnings for these 10 jobs range from $26 to $39.27, which is far better than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. None of these 10 jobs requires training, except for legal support workers, postal service mail carriers and transit and railroad police.

These jobs may not be career destinations, but they’re certainly a decent starting place.

 

Avoid These Tricks That Make You Look Bad in Meetings

Ah, meetings. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

Being happy at work is important, of course. Being with other people generally boosts mood, and ideally, meetings should be a source of energy, ideas, and collegiality.

But it doesn’t always work out that way. Meetings are also a place where people jockey for position, work out disagreements (nicely or not-so-nicely), and hurt each other’s feelings.

In one of my previous job incarnations, I worked in a meeting-intensive environment. After a while, I noticed that one person, when in a meeting, consistently made me feel angry and defensive—but I couldn’t figure out why. He never attacked me, in fact, he was nice to me. Or so I thought. Then I took a closer look at the kinds of things he said.

If you’re feeling annoyed or undermined at a meeting, consider whether any of these strategies are being aimed at you. And if you don’t want to annoy or undermine other people, avoid talking this way:

1. “I don’t need all the details. Let’s just get to the bottom line.” The speaker implies that others are quibblers and small-minded technicians, while deflecting the possible need to master complicated details himself.

2. “Well, these are the facts.” The speaker emphasizes that she attends to hard facts, while implying that others are distracted by prejudice, sentiment, or assumption.

3. “You might be right.” The speaker seem open-minded while simultaneously undermining someone else’s authority and credibility.

4. “I’m wondering about ____. Pat, please get back to us on this.” The speaker demonstrates his habit of reasoned decision-making, while making Pat (who may not actually report to him) do the necessary work and report back.

5. “You did a great job on that, Pat!” The speaker shows a positive attitude, while showing that she’s in the position to judge and condescend to Pat. (I must admit, I remember one incident where I did this very consciously. I was furious at someone, and at the next big meeting that we both attended, I gushingly complimented him in a way that drove him nuts.)

6. “I think what Pat is trying to say is…” The speaker shows that he’s a good listener and give credit to others, while demonstrating that he can take Pat’s simple thought further than Pat could.

7. “I can see why you might think that.” Variant: “I used to think that, too.” The speaker sounds sympathetic, while indicating that she’s moved far ahead in understanding.

Of course, a person could say all these things without being undermining. It depends on context and motivation. Still, it’s useful to think about how seemingly innocuous comments might carry an edge.