Category

Training

How Remote Work Is Improving Diversity

By | Executive Assistant, Leadership, Training | No Comments

The events of the year have shone a light on the importance of remote work. As we move forward, remote work has the potential to increase diversity in the C-suite. What companies need now more than ever are talented teams that have the ability to swiftly adapt to changes. Below we’ll explore how remote work is improving diversity.

Significance of Remote Work

In the aftermath of COVID-19, remote work is likely to gain in prominence. More companies now have the technology, resources, and policies necessary to support remote work as part of their culture. Companies have also had the opportunity to experience firsthand some of the advantages of remote work, such as improved flexibility, work-life balance, and access to a larger talent pool.

Remote Work and Diversity

One of the best aspects of remote jobs is they can be performed anywhere. As a company, having the infrastructure to support remote work gives you the opportunity to hire better talent because you are no longer limited by geographic restrictions. You have access to a more diverse candidate pool in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, and ability. There are also talented individuals out there who struggle in an office setting but excel in a remote environment.

At the end of the day, your company needs the best talent possible on its team. Having a compatible, high-performing team allows your company to grow. In the realm of the C-suite, this is even more important. When you have the ability to hire employees from anywhere in the world, it is easier to recruit a team that has the right balance of skills and personalities.

Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace come with proven benefits. When your team members have a wide variety of experiences, they can approach problems from many different angles. Diversity on a team improves creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. Diversity also allows for increased flexibility. Teams can adapt to changes and challenges more readily when they have a wider range of skills and backgrounds. Diversity also helps contribute to a company culture that encourages people to feel accepted for their differences.

The pandemic has forced many companies to switch to working remotely. While this has caused some confusion, it also presents an opportunity for businesses to double down on their inclusivity initiatives and to continue to build teams that have diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Read More

The Illusive Work-Life Balance

By | Executive Assistant, Leadership, Training | No Comments

As we approach the mid-year point, hours of daylight increase, outdoor activities and vacations are abundant, yet the demands at the office do not wane. The subject of providing an environment for work-life balance often resurfaces during the summer, but the topic is one that should be addressed on an ongoing basis within an organization.

Numerous management consulting companies have performed exhaustive research in this area and have found that over 40% of employees claim they do not have suitable work/life balance, and more than one in four dissatisfied employees plans to leave their employer within the next two years.

The Definition of Balance

There are many articles and books written about finding work-life balance in life, but while many discuss the need to find balance, most do not define exactly what this means or how each of us can find the right combination. In order to figure out our perfect balance, we must start with the definition of what areas make up the various facets of life. Possible domains include:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Spirituality
  • Self-Development
  • Self-Indulgence
  • Physical
  • Work
  • Charity

Having a balanced life means ensuring that life itself is multi-faceted and those facets are defined. We need to apportion the correct amount of attention to each area. Prioritization is then determined by attention allocation rather than intention of attention allocation. In each area there are activities with varying degrees of urgency and importance; if urgency always rules decisions, one will easily feel out of balance. Important activities, while not immediately urgent, are frequently better uses of time than urgent ones. These eight areas compete for the one commodity we can offer, which is time.

Analyzing the Allocation of Time

There are 168 hours in a week. Removing the amount of time an average person sleeps leaves roughly 120 hours per week to allocate attention and focus. Think about your last week and ask yourself, “Where did the time go?” Did it go there because you planned it that way, or was it simply the result of going through the motions? If we can learn to plan the allocation of our most precious resource (our time), then we may value it more. Therefore, we must learn to become focused and productive while in one dimension, and still allow for enough time in other dimensions.

The following is an eight-step formula for implementing this process:

  1. Determine if and why you care about each of the eight domains. What does it mean to you and how important is it? What are the consequences of the lack of quality time and what are the benefits of proper attention allocation?
  2. Determine and quantify the gap between desire and achievement.
  3. Create a specific action plan to close the gap.
  4. Determine the amount of time needed in each area to achieve your desired balance.
  5. Create an “attention plan” that details this time.
  6. Identify potential hijackers and distractions of the plan and create solutions to minimize them.
  7. Track and review periodically (once per week, perhaps).
  8. Periodically re-assess, re-prioritize, and repeat.

Time and attention allocation are not the sole determinants, though, of work-life balance. Focus in that time is equally important. Multi-tasking is the curse of focus. We are most productive and fulfilled when we give our undivided attention to the domain we are in.

With 120 hours each week, plenty of time exists for quality in each domain. Life may go through periods where a short-term imbalance serves a long-term balance, but this is sacrifice. Some individuals consciously choose to dedicate all their life to one or two domains, while others do not want to be the world’s best sprinter or hurdler but want to be a decathlete. Start first with what you want, which is based on your “why.” When you know your “why,” you can begin building the bridges to close the gaps between desire and achievement.

Read More

Continuous Advancement and Perpetual Growth

By | Executive Assistant, Leadership, Training | No Comments

One of the strongest propositions of value a leader can give to an employee is the ability for that individual to grow perpetually in all dimensions. Obvious dimensions include professionally as well as personally, but do not overlook the importance of financial, mental, and spiritual growth as well. In nature, plants either grow or decompose. They do not stay the same. In an organization, nourishment is supplied by what is referred to as training, but a more accurate term for it is learning. What is being done within your organization to foster learning, growth, and new perspectives each week?

It is important to note that even with access and exposure to new tools and resources, not every employee is going to be open to learning. Unfortunately, organizations will always have “prisoners” in their camp or perhaps self-absorbed individuals who already think they know everything. This is a fact of life!

Therefore our focus in this article will be on the core of your office or team that is open to learning and being mentored if properly challenged. The key is to defy the old adage, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” If you limit yourself to that belief, you are limited by your current capabilities. Where you, your team, your organization is at this present moment is as far as you will go. Think of all the innovations that came about because someone was creative and resourceful enough to take something that worked well and make it just that much better. Keyless entry for vehicles, wireless mouses for computers, and the iPhone are just a few examples of modernizations that would have not been created had their inventors been okay with the status quo. Have the same outlook on your own business. Constantly evaluate what’s not working, and even with what is working, be open to how to make it just a little more effective, innovative, or differentiated.

Where to Begin

A good step is to create a one-year learning plan for yourself and everyone at your organization. It should cover all dimensions of one’s life and have elements that can be measured quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily. To summarize this continual learning process, conceptualize two things: where you are today, which is your achievement, and where you could be, which is your potential.

Even if it’s only 30 minutes per week dedicated to learning and development, that 30 minutes begins to build a bridge to get you from your current achievement all the way over to your future potential. To use an example, one of the most renowned pieces of sculpture in the world is Michelangelo’s statue of David. When Michelangelo was asked how he created the magnificent statue David from a block of stone, he replied that he did not create David from the stone, but rather he saw David in the stone and merely chipped away at the unneeded pieces until David emerged. We are the same way. Underneath all the things we currently know and do, lies an undiscovered statue in each of us. Like Michelangelo chipping away at the stone, devoting time each week to ongoing development or fostering a learning environment with your team will begin to uncover the statue underneath. Like the unveiling of David, this does not happen overnight. It takes patience, dedication, and commitment to build a bridge from current achievement to underlying potential.

Resources to Support Growth

There are numerous resources available to augment a continual learning process. Initially, poll your staff to solicit feedback in which area or areas they feel the greatest needs exist. You may find group energy surrounds subjects such as personal development, public speaking, leadership skills, technological training, or financial planning. Remember that once the desired issues have been raised, the internal team does not necessarily need to be the only solution to deliver content. The old saying “you cannot be a prophet in your own land” comes to mind. Consider seeking outside experts to speak on the subjects in which they are proficient. Creating a comprehensive year-long learning plan for an entire organization can be just as influential as empowering each employee to construct a personal learning plan.

Read More

How to Create a Perpetual Prime of Life

By | Hiring Strategies, Leadership, Training | No Comments

As recruiters, we ask candidates a powerful question which typically elicits immediate pause, reflection, and authenticity in the answer. It is a question that catches most off guard, creates a feeling of nostalgia, and sometimes even prompts a smile. “At what point in your career did you feel most fulfilled? When did you feel you were truly in your prime, or at your best?” Unfortunately, more common than not, the answer is a story of the past. This creates a dual-sided dilemma; how do we expect others to be inspired by our vision and actions if we ourselves are not inspired by them? How do we create a perpetual prime of life for ourselves and for those we lead?

Perpetual Prime: Yourself

A commonly cited quote (original author contested) reminds us that “it’s never too late to be what you might have been.” It might help to know that celebrity chef Julia Child worked in advertising for the majority of her life and did not release her first cookbook until age 50. Legendary comic creator Stan Lee did not create his first comic until he was 39. Colonel Sanders of KFC fame did not start franchising his company until the age of 62. The individual responsible for inventing instant ramen noodles did not do so until he was nearly 50. However, this is not an article about the possibilities of succeeding later in life. It is about how to take the environment of previous success and push yourself to stay in it, year in and year out.

The best place to start is by learning from the past. What is your answer to the question above? When have you felt truly in your prime, and what circumstances were in play at that time?

  • Commonly, the following four statements are generally the answers we hear most often as recruiters:
  • I had a team around me and we were all rowing together, hard, to achieve a goal we all believed in.
  • I was busy, maybe even overwhelmed, but overwhelmed doing meaningful work.
  • I was tasked with a challenge and given autonomy but support to solve that problem.
  •  I was surrounded by a team or a leader who pushed me to be more, learn more, take on more and grow more.

Sound familiar? You might identify with some or all of those experiences, whether they are in the past or in the present. The remaining question is “what changed?”

As leaders, we are in a position of power – a position to recreate the very circumstances that once made us feel we were the zone or at our best. We have the ability to take control of the variables that put us in those situations and control of the variables that detract.

Consider instead:

  • What is our collective vision, and what can be done to make it a more purposeful goal?
  • What mundane tasks should be outsourced, freeing up time for the most fulfilling and highest gain daily activities as a leader?
  • What can you do to create an ongoing learning environment with new challenges to overcome?
  • Are you surrounded by the best, both peer-level and those on your team? If not, what changes need to be made?

It is normal to find yourself entrenched in the day to day routine of work, family, and life. Many people go through the day on autopilot of knowing what is expected and performing to that expectation. It is not necessarily easy or comfortable to take the time to answer the questions posted in this article and start to understand true aspirations, motivations, and desires. It is certainly not comfortable to initiate change and uproot unproductive teams or face the reality of uninspiring objectives, but it is necessary in order to create an environment in which everyone feels at their best.

Perpetual Prime: Your Team

Being a leader can often times feel like being a parent, where every word is heard and every action is emulated. That leads us to another question: who was the best boss you ever had? Most answers include things such as “he/she had a vision and could articulate where we were going and how we would get there” or “their impact was felt daily as they worked tirelessly towards our goal” or “he/she put me in a position to succeed and I felt there was a strong belief in my abilities and potential.” Sound familiar? Although we are all different, we are also often alike. Creating a professional environment in which your team feels they are all in their prime takes work, but it is not a unique challenge.

In fact, someone once felt it with you; think about it! The best boss you ever had took responsibility for inspiring you, for making you feel heard, and for believing in you at times more than you believed in yourself. As leaders, we owe it to those who have put their careers in our hands, and the formula exists for what to do. It has been done for you already in the past. In fact, Google has even made leadership a replicable quality! Google’s people analytics team started by researching the qualities that make managers great at Google and then built a training program that teaches those exact qualities. Once the program has been completed, Google measures the behaviors of the leaders to ensure that they’re making improvements and morphing into managers that Googlers want to work for.

We don’t need to make it as complex as Google has. Start with becoming the boss you most admired and recreating the circumstances that used to make you feel you were in your zone. So goes the leader, so goes the team; once you feel you are in a perpetual prime of life, you will be surprised by how many others follow.

Read More

Loss Aversion in the Workplace

By | Hiring Strategies, Leadership, Training | No Comments

Imagine this scenario: a colleague offers to flip a coin and give you $20 if it lands on heads. If it lands on tails, you give him $20. Would you accept that bet? For most of us, the answer is no. Behavioral science experts Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman performed an experiment which resulted in a clear example of human bias towards losses. The experiment involved asking people if they would accept a bet based on the flip of a coin. If the coin came up tails the person would lose $100, and if it came up heads they would win $200. The results of the experiment showed that on average people needed to gain about twice as much as they were willing to lose in order to proceed forward with the bet. This tendency reflects loss aversion, or the idea that losses generally have a much larger psychological impact than gains of the same size.

You likely experience this phenomenon daily. Have you ever purchased something knowing you’d likely return it, but the longer you keep it the more attached you get? Sending the item back now feels like a loss. The longer we wait to be seated at a restaurant, the harder it becomes to leave, because it feels as if the time we’ve invested would then be lost. The more we try to fit a new couch through a too-narrow entryway, the less inclined we are to give up and accept that we need a smaller couch, and the more steadfast we become in making it fit. It seems that sometimes we will persist with a belief or course-of-action long after it is rational to do so. We feel trapped by what we have already committed.

Although a fascinating piece of knowledge about human behavior, what does the concept of loss aversion have to do with the workplace?

As leaders, knowing that losses have a tremendous psychological impact can cloud judgement when it comes to truly evaluating employee performance. We have a tendency to double down with those we’ve invested time with yet who continue to underperform.

“B” and “C” Players

A less enjoyable component of management is the act of working with and coaching the perpetual under-performers. Every department has them, every leader has struggled with them, and some may even have a few who come to mind immediately. They are the few who we try to encourage, who we try to train, and for whom we hold out hope that change will come, but it can seem like an endless cycle of performance management and frustration.

We all recognize “A” Players. Within most organizations, there is even room for the competent, steady “B” performers who balance their work and personal lives while still performing a significant amount of tasks that need to be done. They stay in their lane, don’t require a great deal of attention, and they get the job done.

On the other end of the spectrum, “C” Players sometimes make up the smallest segment of the team yet require the most time and attention. They are the employees with a constant litany of excuses – a vehicle is broken, someone is sick, excessive days are missed, and the workload either gets passed to someone else or delayed altogether. They walk the fine line between “good enough to get by” and “fireable offense worthy of termination.” They are granted continual employment primarily because the act of hiring, training and managing someone you don’t know is sometimes more intimidating than continuing to deal with the perpetual issues of the presently employed “C” performer.

Stop Doubling Down

It’s time to step away from the fear of losing $100 and focus instead on the opportunity cost of not winning $200. The obvious unintended consequence of having a seat filled with an under-performer is having it not filled by a significant contributor. What rarely is considered is the impact on those who are current significant contributors; there is little more frustrating than having your own success consistently hampered by another person’s incompetence. If the majority of your team is working hard, producing great results with tremendous collaboration, what message are you sending by supporting the 10 percent who are doing the opposite? How long do “varsity players” want to be surrounded by sub-par athletes?

Beyond performance issues, it is likely time to top-grade when:

  • The individual is the central cause or perpetual perpetrator of office drama
  • Co-workers (or possibly worse, clients) have taken note of the incompetence
  • The employee has an apathetic attitude
  • He or she ignores actionable feedback
  • The individual handles emotions poorly, mistaking the work environment as a therapist’s office
  • You spend more than ten minutes a week, week after week, dealing with issues created by the employee

Toxic Workers, a Harvard Business School study of more than 60,000 employees, found that “a superstar performer–one that models desired values and delivers consistent performance” brings in more than $5,300 in cost savings to a company. Avoiding a toxic hire, or letting one go quickly, delivers $12,500 in cost savings.

Sometimes, it truly is best to return the item, leave the overcrowded restaurant, or succumb to a smaller couch. Instead of experiencing a loss, you might actually gain the improved morale of the entire workforce. Instead of experiencing a feeling of loss over time invested, you might actually gain more time to invest in those worth investing in. Instead of feeling the loss of an employee, you might actually gain a key contributor you would not have otherwise hired.

Read More

An Era of Authenticity

By | Leadership, Training | No Comments

Is the very act of reading an article about how to be authentic in and of itself inauthentic? The topic of authenticity is likely discussed in counseling sessions but rarely discussed related to the workplace. However, we live in an era where social media has perpetuated the need to showcase an idyllic life, in a time where a news story breaks every few minutes that erodes the reputation of highly powerful individuals we once trusted, and in which old friends want to reconnect ultimately to try to get you in their downline of their newest multi-level marketing.

It is fair to say that most people have a heightened sense of skepticism. It is also fair to say that in the face of that skepticism, most people crave an era of authenticity more than ever before. This is not limited to life outside of the workplace; many articles have been written about the importance of the boss-employee relationship and how the lack thereof is one of the largest contributors to turnover within an organization.

Many of these suggestions may simply serve as a reminder of best practices you already know, though common sense is not always common practice. Knowing and doing are not necessarily the same; you may know much of what is listed, but it’s the doing that makes the difference.

Intent

To learn how to be authentic, or to react authentically, treat authenticity as something we have instead of something we are. As complicated as that sounds, it is actually quite simple. In the perceived nature of human interaction, there is an element of intent that cannot be dismissed. As a leader, having an employee’s best interest at heart is not something that should be overlooked. If you think about it, the phrase “constructive criticism” is an oxymoron. Coaching is an opportunity to contribute to another person’s development; it is a two-way partnership where both parties share knowledge and experiences in order to maximize the person’s potential and help them achieve their goals. Instead of considering criticism as something negative, consider this context: “As your leader, I am fully committed to your performance and to your success. My intent behind sharing with you this feedback is to provide information about your performance that I believe will have a profoundly positive impact on your ability to succeed.”

Thus, constructive criticism is instead constructive feedback. Feedback about a performance deficiency does not have to be any less positive than reinforcing proficient capabilities. To a certain extent, Zig Zigler’s famous quote that “you will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want,” is incorrect. If the reason you want something from others is because it will benefit you, that is inauthentic behavior that few will trust. If your intent is to genuinely serve those around you, you have begun to create an era of authenticity.

“Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.”
Stephen Covey

The Law of Attraction

Part of the importance of authenticity in the workplace is to serve the relationships of the existing team. How genuine interactions can influence the interviewing process is also important to consider. Reflect upon some of the most authentic personal connections or experiences that stand out in your life. It may be that you can only think of a handful but those likely stand out as being extraordinary. You feel moved by authentic people and are attracted to them. Similarly, you feel attractive when you are being authentic, and when you connect with someone who is authentically engaging. When you really connect during an interview with a candidate, what you usually are saying is that you encountered a rare moment of mutual authenticity.

In an interview, genuine connections can be tough. As recruiters, we certainly understand three of the core functions of an interview are to assess if a candidate has the core capabilities to perform in the role, if you will enjoy working with them, and if they are genuinely excited about the opportunity. However, if everyone has their game faces on and are trying to deliver the answers the other party wants to hear, how do you balance selling with a true connection? Remember, whether obvious or not, people sniff out inauthentic behavior. Use the interview to screen one another. But if we go back to the importance of intent, help a candidate understand how as their leader, you have the ability to help them uncover who they have yet to become. Even having an open discussion about mistakes and failures can be uncomfortably refreshing. Mistakes do not define an individual, nor do they define who that individual has the potential to become.

Start Simple

So if authenticity is something we all want, but it’s something you are and not something you get, then authenticity must be impossible to teach, right? This is likely true and quite a paradox. Therefore, let’s start simple. Decide to stop being inauthentic. Catch yourself when you make a false compliment and try to offer up a genuine one instead. Recognize when you offer up a canned, knee-jerk response to a question and try to express an answer more firmly rooted in reality. Remove the hollow statements, the feigned interest, and the formulaic answers.

There are two most common scenarios in which colleagues pick up on inauthentic conversations. The first is the small talk; those situations in which you are grasping for something to say in order to avoid awkward silence. This does not mean that you need to ask deeply meaningful questions while collectively waiting for the elevator, but it is worth evaluating the types of discussions you engage in during those encounters. The second are in more formal settings such as important meetings or professional reviews. Corporate jargon is often used to either avoid conflict or as assert a sense of being in control. Instead, work on asking purposeful questions, perfecting your active listening skills, and delivering a professional recommendation that better represents who you are and what you believe. If you truly believe in what you say and the intent behind why you are saying it, others will as well.

Read More

Why Should Companies Engage with a Recruiting Firm?

By | Leadership, Training | No Comments

In such a fast-moving industry, companies that engage with a recruiting firm can maintain a competitive edge by ensuring they have the best talent working for them. A recruitment firm will provide access to better candidates and improve the effectiveness of the hiring process among other things. Here are some reasons companies should engage with a recruiting firm.

Access to People Who Are Normally Inaccessible

Recruiters have access to both companies and candidates who would otherwise be inaccessible. Recruiters can open doors for companies who want to find better talent because recruiters have extensive connections. A tenured recruiting firm will have a talented and well-vetted network. In a competitive employment market, this means everything. The best recruiters will have strong relationships with all the players in the industry, and this is an invaluable resource to an organization.

Help with the Hiring Process

The best recruiting firms have high acceptance rates. Our firm’s acceptance rate is over 98 percent. Such a high rate indicates that a firm takes recruiting very seriously and attends to the process every step of the way, resolving any issues before they arise. A skilled recruiter will make the process run smoothly for both the company and the candidate. For example, recruiters will help pre-close the deal, make sure the candidate has all the necessary information, and negotiate compensation. Most importantly, recruiters help facilitate communication between the company and the candidate to minimize the chance of problems arising.

Influence with the Passive Candidate Market

The best candidates are often the candidates who are currently working and aren’t actively searching for opportunities. These so-called “passive” candidates are hard to attract and nearly impossible to access without a recruiter. Working with a recruiter will give you more influence with the passive candidate market. By building trust with candidates, a recruiter can persuade passive candidates to come into an interview and give you advice on how to woo the candidate and make an attractive offer.

Coach on the Interview Process

A recruiting firm provides coaching to both sides of the interview process. A trained recruiter will coach you on what questions to ask during the interview and what questions to avoid. The recruiter knows what kind of questions can scare off prospective employees. The best recruiters will help both the client and the candidate understand the whole process from beginning to post-placement.

When it comes to C-level support, organizations need the best talent in the industry. Engaging with a recruiting firm can help you ensure that you have highly skilled professionals supporting your executives. A seasoned recruiter will give you access to better candidates, improve your influence with the passive candidate market, and coach you through the interview and hiring processes.

Read More

How to Track Individual Employee Performance on a Regular Basis

By | Leadership, Training | No Comments

To be an effective leader, it’s essential to have one-on-one meetings to track individual employee performance on a regular basis. Monitoring performance is important because it allows you to spot problems and fix them right away and ensures that everyone is doing their part to further the success of the company.

Make the Time for Regular One-on-Ones

One of the biggest obstacles to observing productivity is finding the time. Many leaders feel like they don’t have enough time to track individual employee performance on a regular basis. How much time does it take? A good rule of thumb is to devote an hour each day to managing your team. Most meetings will take about 15 minutes. More time might be needed for newer employees. An hour a day might seem like a lot, but if you prioritize your schedule, it is possible for most managers to make room for one-on-one meetings. Think about your daily tasks. What activities do you spend too much time on? What tasks are unnecessary? What tasks can be delegated to your team members? These questions will help you organize your schedule and find time to conduct regular one-on-one meetings. Once meetings are scheduled, don’t be tempted to cancel or delay them. What makes them truly effective is their regularity and consistency.

What Should You Accomplish in Your One-on-Ones?

Meetings will have different objectives, depending on the team member and their role. Yet, there are some common goals for all one-on-one meetings. First, identify any problems that need to be solved. Ask the employee if they are having any problems. This may be a good opportunity to probe deeper because there are often problems hiding beneath the surface. Next, see if there is anything you can do to help improve their performance. Do they need a specific resource or tool they don’t currently have access to? Are there goals or aspects of their role they need clarification on? Finally, ask for a general update. What has changed since the last time you had a one-on-one with them? Other goals and topics for the meeting will depend on the individual employee, and questions should be customized.

Details and Clear Steps

During the meeting, don’t concentrate on the general feelings you have about their performance. Focus instead on specific instances that highlight the highs and lows of their performance and describe these incidents in detail. This will help the employee understanding where they excel and where they need improvement. Once you and the employee are on the same page, you can now work closely with them to come up with an action plan. You want to give them clear steps they can take to improve their performance.

Taking the lead to track individual performance regularly will help your executive assistant help you more effectively. The first step is to make the time for consistent one-on-one meetings. Then, focus on identifying problems and coming up with solutions that work for both you and your employee.

Read More

How to Thrive In a Phone Interview

By | Interviews, Training | No Comments

Phone interviews are frequently used by companies to save time by pre-qualifying your interest and expertise. The following are some recommendations to ensure your next phone interview is successful for you.

Isolate Yourself

Phone interviews place you at a disadvantage because you only have one tool of communication, your voice. The interviewer’s impression of you is shaped by all the sounds coming through the phone. Insulate yourself from distractions and background noises. Do not have your phone interview when you are surrounded by a lot of noise like an outdoor café at a busy intersection. If the call is on your cell phone make sure the caller can hear you clearly.

 

Stand Up

During the call stand up, walk around and smile. All these things make a big difference in the projection and quality of your voice.

 

What’s Next

At the conclusion, ask the interviewer about next steps and timing of their hiring process.

 

Prepare Your Responses

Phone interviews follow a similar pattern of questioning with the purpose of screening you out of consideration. Below is a list of questions most phone interviewers ask. Write down and practice your responses.

– Tell Me About Yourself.

– What do you know about our company?

– How did you learn about this position?

– What is our current salary?

– What are your compensation requirements?

– Why are you looking for a new position?

– What are your strengths?

– What are your weaknesses?

– Do you have any questions?

 

Questions You Ask

Questions are your primary tool of influence with an interviewer. Questions help you direct the conversation and assess if the company is right for you. Here are some questions to ask during a phone interview.

– What business imperatives are driving the need for this position?

– Describe the three top challenges that I’ll face in this job?

– What are the characteristics of people who are most successful in your company?

– What are the key deliverables and outcomes that this position must achieve?

 

Closing Questions:

Questions you ask at the end of the phone interview.

– What additional information would you like me to provide?

– What concerns do you have at this point?

– What are the key things you’d like to learn about my background?

– When is the best time to follow up with you?

EA Interview Questions

By | Interviews, Training | No Comments

Intellectual:

  1. Tell me about the last time you had to learn a new task. How did you go about learning? What, if any tools, did you employ?
  2. How do you stay on top of developments/trends in your field?
  3. Tell me how you keep your executive organized.
  4. What was the last book you’ve read for fun?
  5. What questions do you have for me?
  6. Who’s your mentor? Who is your role model, and why?
  7. What questions haven’t I asked you?
  8. What’s something that you can teach me?

Character:

  1. Was there a time when you had to agree to a decision even if it was against your will? Why did you agree?
  2. What bothers you most about other people?
  3. Tell me about the time a manager rejected one of your ideas. How did you react to his/her feedback?
  4. Tell me about the time you were asked to do something that violated your personal code of ethics.
  5. If I assign work that isn’t part of your job description, what will you do?
  6. Tell me a story about how you solved a conflict or disagreement between you and a former colleague.
  7. What are your hobbies?
  8. What is your favorite website?
  9. What are your favorite apps?
  10. Give an example of a time that you had to respond to an unhappy manager/customer/colleague.
  11. Tell me about a time that you disagreed with a rule or approach.
  12. Tell me about a time you made a mistake, and how you dealt with it.

Relationship:

  1. Share a rewarding team experience.
  2. Tell me about a time when you worked with a difficult team member.
  3. If I called your previous boss, what would they say your strengths are? What would your friends say?
  4. How could your colleagues describe you?
  5. If I called your boss right now and asked them about an area that you could improve on, what would they say?
  6. Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some change. How did that impact you, and how did you adapt?

Motivational:

  1. What motivates you?
  2. What are your career goals?
  3. Describe a time when you saw some problem and took the initiative to correct it rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
  4. Tell me about a time you were dissatisfied in your work. What could have been done to make it better?
  5. What kind of rewards are most satisfying for you?
  6. Tell me about a time when you were bored on-the-job. What did you do to make your job moreinteresting?
  7. Tell me about a recent project or problem that you made better, faster, smarter, more efficient,or less expensive.
  8. Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
  9. Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with this situation?

Work Function

  1. Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
  2. Why would you be an asset to the firm?
  3. What are your areas for development?
  4. What is the most difficult aspect of your current position? How do you deal with it?
  5. Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
  6. How do you handle pressure?
  7. Why are you interested in working for us?
  8. What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days / 60 days / 90 days on the job?