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Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Interviews: How to Tell What The Values Of The Company Are

This gleaned from an HR publication: “The interviewing process is rife with opportunities for problems. For example, it’s important to avoid certain subjects, such as conversations about the applicant’s spouse or children. Some brief “small talk” at the beginning of an interview about the applicant’s child playing in the local soccer league may seem harmless, but it can quickly turn into evidence that you didn’t hire the applicant because you were worried she would need to leave work early because of her child’s extracurricular activities. “

(BTW, for the same reason using Facebook to research a candidate is legally dangerous.)

“Another danger spot is interview notes. Remember that any notes you take during the interview could become evidence at trial if the applicant files a lawsuit over your decision not to hire. Therefore, you must be cautious about the types of notes you take and how they relate to the applicant. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take notes. It simply means you should make notes with the understanding that they could appear in letters six inches high in front of a jury.” http://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/archive/2011//15/HR_Policies_Procedures_Discrimination_Smoking_Gun.aspx?source=HAD&effort=114

Note that the emphasis hear is fear and defensiveness. If you are looking for a job that matches your values you may wish to avoid this company… unfortunately this is the received wisdom” in HR—which is where I got this information! As I mentioned previously, if your interviewer seems preoccupied with their agenda… beware!  Sorry to be so alarmist but this IS the gestalt of Human Resources.

Look for a company that is NOT afraid. A company that is afraid of who will sue them next is NOT lookg for the real values of their “human capital. They are looking  for tier hid oarts– and probably because they have somethig to look out for.

You can do better.

Best Places to Work are Employee Owned—or VALUE YOU!

In the 1990s an Orange County California company (alas, I have blanked on  the name) made a huge profit–which it shared with employees. The company was written up: bosses worked along side the regular workers on  the floor. No one spent their “bonuses” on stupid things–toys. (One employee borrowed a Porsche and drove it to work just to watch everyone’s face—then told them it was a joke.) They paid down their mortgages and debts. This is great place to work.

Elsewhere, a “study shows that the overwhelming success of companies like UK-based John Lewis is due to innovative mechanisms to encourage employee participation and cultivate a culture of ownership. Andrew Bibby explores how this company model of a fully or majority employee-owned business is not only self-sustaining and successful, but is in fact widely applicable.” http://www.ilo.org/wow/Articles/lang–en/WCMS_081375/index.htm

In the 90s employees were given “ownership” via ESOPS—a form of stock—but that did not work out all that well, as the airline industry shows. Many have suffered financially despite a degree of “ownership” by employees. Southwest may be an exception: here’s what their blog said in 2009: “Another thing that’s unique about Southwest is its sense of humor,” says Colleen. “We use words that corporate America doesn’t. Our stock exchange symbol is LUV. We give employees a lot of freedom. We don’t want them to be cookie-cutter copies of each other. When most people go to work, they take off their personal demeanor.”

Sounds like a great place to work to me.

Another company rated well by employees: “Treating their workers well was one of the reasons DPR Construction, a national company of 1,200 employees (130 in Orange County), ranked high in the meaning survey. Workers are free to pursue their passions and are cherished by management, said Jim Washburn, the company’s regional leader. The company also landed on Forbes “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2010.http://www.ocregister.com/articles/company-279352-school-work.html

Bottom line.. don’t just work—work for joy and appreciation!

Hey-you out there with a gift… yes you!

So what shall I talk about today, in my one-sided conversation in cyberspace? I have covered the easy stuff: make sure your resume has NO errors. Make sure you research the company and write a unique cover letter. Make sure the job really is a fit and you believe you are the best candidate. Be prepared to interview—about which much more could be said it not by way of a blog. (I can coach people on this if they wish.)

You may have noticed the tagline of this blog says it’s not for everyone. Why do you think I said this? Well, much research has shown that people get attached to their ideas and tend not to be wiling to change them or consider their flaws. So I can’t do anything to help those people—they are sure they already know whatever there is to know. (See http://danariely.com/2011/07/20/upside-of-irrationality-chapter-4/)

But most of us are pretty darned human and need a mirror– and we need to learn more then we already know. THOSE are the folks I am interested in talking to.  Are you brave enough to say “Hmmm. Maybe I don’t know…” Are you someone who knows you have to make the world a better place and just need to know someone else sees that your gift is, indeed, important enough to share?

Good! Contact me!