Leadership coach Lolly Daskal and Psychologist Art Markman help a reader figure out if it’s worth sticking it out in hopes of a promotion or if it’s time to start looking for a new gig in this week’s column. Read more>
For one month, I became the “micro-entrepreneur” touted by companies like TaskRabbit, Postmates, and Airbnb. Instead of the labor revolution I had been promised, all I found was hard work, low pay, and a system that puts workers at a disadvantage. Read more>
"For one month, I became the “micro-entrepreneur” touted by companies like TaskRabbit, Postmates, and Airbnb. Instead of the labor revolution I had been promised, all I found was hard work, low pay, and a system that puts workers at a disadvantage." - Fast Company’s Sarah Kessler
Recruiters are looking for every reason to put your resume in the no pile. Surprisingly, where you live is one of them.
"I went to work for a startup where the job I took was never posted," John Gannon writes at the Daily Muse. "I interviewed with the CEO of one of the most successful open source software startups—for a job that didn’t technically exist yet."
How does such surreptitious serendipity happen?
“If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?”
Bed Bath & Beyond, Sales Associate interview.
- "Why don’t you tell me about yourself?"
This question, often the interview opener, has a crucial objective: to see how you handle yourself in unstructured situations. The recruiter wants to see how articulate you are, how conﬁdent you are, and generally what type of impression you would make on the people with whom you come into contact on the job. The recruiter also wants to learn about the trajectory of your career and to get a sense of what you think is important and what has caused you to perform well.
There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?” You need to develop a good answer to this question, practice it, and be able to deliver it with poise and conﬁdence.
The right response is twofold: focus on what interests the interviewer, and highlight your most important accomplishments.
More than any other aspect of your job, your direct supervisor has the power to make or break you. Research has shown most people that leave their jobs, don’t leave the organization, they leave the person that they directly reported to. If this person is the biggest indicator of how successful you will be in your new work, shouldn’t you know as much as you can about him or her?
- Talk to people within the company.
- Ask detailed questions during the interview. (What type of person do you like to work with? Describe a time when you had to discipline one of your staff. If I talked to your staff, what would they tell me about you?)
- Do research online before showing up.
“The traditional interview questions do not allow a candidate to demonstrate their uniqueness, personality, or dynamic skillsets,” explains Shara Senderoff of Intern Sushi, “I love to catch candidates off guard with the following:
- What color is your personality?
This gives me a look into how a candidate views themselves without having to ask them for a list of adjectives. When you ask in this manner, you can identify traits about the candidate based on social interpretations of colors that may not have been apparent in that first interview, even when you can’t get a candidate to go into depth with his or her answer. I’ve also found this to be a great lead in question because it relaxes the candidate and allow them to think outside-of-the-box.
- Tell me three things you could do with a brick.
This always lends itself to very original thinking and believe it or not, demonstrates experience and maturity or lack thereof. At this point I could create a list of over 100 unique responses and with each response I can understand how an individual thinks and what they’ve been through.”
Callout! If you’re obsessed with visual design, photography, Instagram, Pinterest, or all of the above, we want to talk to you. We’re looking for one or two interns to take our Pinterest and Instagram accounts to the next level.
“In this way we get “brain hubs,” places that contribute an outsized portion of the GDP and generate an unreasonable number of patents. This capital-ization has pretty far-reaching effects: the more high-tech, high-powered folks you have in a place, the more similarly gifted people will be attracted to moving there—and all these jobs actually generate more jobs. Moretti says that a high-tech job actually creates something like 10 service sector gigs.”
“I figured Fast Company received many standard resumes that they routinely read through. Then, they probably threw them out. I wanted to make something different, something exciting and colorful, something that showed them how much I admired them and who I really was. I put an infographic on the website mapping out why I was the perfect candidate—showing that I had something to add.
Two and half hours later, I received an email. I had a phone interview a week later. The rest is history. It turns out you can tweet your way to your dream job (or internship).”
“Focus on the cover letter. It is not uncommon for me to get 100 applications for one spot, so I’m constantly looking for reasons not to advance a candidate to the interview round. Writing a good cover letter is your best shot at getting noticed. If I hate a cover letter, I won’t even look at the résumé.”
Happy Sunday! We know Mondays are hard, but here are a few reads to help you be more productive this week:
- How to use eye contact to your advantage
- The secret to forming super productive habits
- The argument for completely unplugging your morning routine
Have a wonderful start to your week, everyone.
“We don’t have meetings. We don’t have set work hours or workdays. We don’t keep track of vacation or sick days. We don’t have managers or an org chart. We don’t have a dress code.”