Welcome to Between the Trapezes! Often
our lives feel precarious as we are suspended
between two certainties. But the frightening
passes as we bravely go on to the next step
we always do.
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|Interviewing With the President
The president of a company, that is...
You've had a few interviews at Super Startup,
Inc., and now they want you to meet with the
company president, John Jones. Why? For
like you and may be involving
him/her because they don't want to be the
final arbiter in making the decision. Two,
they like you and it could just be their
policy to involve him. Three, they
like you as a prospective co-worker and want
his corroboration because they trust
See the thread: they like you as a
who can do the job and who will be nice to
have around. So you have the team endorsement
as you head in to see John Jones.
So should you treat this interview any
differently? Not really: the "presidential"
interview is no different in that you have to
tell your problem-action-result stories to
illustrate why they need YOU. Your strengths,
include solving problems and making people
happy and you have the stories to prove it.
But where it IS different is that company
presidents look at the company as a whole.
And they value their teams. So
mention what impresses you about the company
people and their mission. Those are the things
he/she will want to know over and above your
strengths and successes.
So relish the fact you have an interview with
the top person in the company. If the #1
person there says "That's the person for the
job", you're in!
|Tell Me About Yourself
"Tell me about yourself" is often the first
thing an interviewer says to you. Whether
face-to-face or on the phone, this is a
question that candidates usually hate to
Because it's such a broad question. Where do
you start answering it and what do you say?
The person saying "Tell us about yourself"
doesn't want to know where you were born or
how many kids you have. They want to hear you
talk and see how you formulate your thoughts.
want to hear how you
present yourself, especially in relation to
the open job.
Your answer? It's not in a book. It should be
customized to the job AND to you. And you can
prepare for it beforehand so that it feels
and sounds as real as you are. First, what are
the 5-8 things that are MOST important to
them in this job? Then, What are three
"success factors" you have that relate to
those? Success factors are those aspects of
make you successful.
That means you won't launch into "I have 18
years of high tech experience and I'm seeking
a company that will let me grow". That kind
of answer says nothing real about you.
Instead, try: "When I look at what you have
defined as important for this position, I see
several points of connection. Three of them
are: my technical expertise, my skills in
project management, and my people skills.
Which of those would you like me to start with?"
This kind of response engages the questioner.
And it narrows the question in the way YOU want.
Give this approach a try and you'll quickly
begin welcoming the question "Tell me
about yourself", and you'll be making it work
|Is A Background Check Getting in Your Way?
For 18 years, Jan Maxwell was a professional
pre-employment screener who did over 100,000
background checks. She saw too many
legitimate job applicants get rejected
because something in their background could
not be verified. So she wrote a book about
how to successfully deal with background
checks, called A Job Hunter's Secret
Weapon: How to Survive A Background Check and
Get the Job You Really Want. Here are a
few of her points.
Did you know that 80% of companies now use
background checks in the hiring process? The
higher up the organization you are, the more
likely you'll get checked. What is checked:
The answers on your job application, which
sooner or later, everyone must complete when
they are hired. The items covered in most
background checks include your education,
employment history, credit history, drug
testing, criminal record, and driver's
It turns out that when a piece of information
cannot be verified -- such as a company
validating your employment dates -- the
checker lists this as a "discrepancy". A few
of those on your report is enough for a
prospective employer to choose the other
candidate whose information is complete and
Or perhaps a reference is forbidden by her
company's policies to talk to a checker. If
that's the case, you'll need to replace that
reference's name and contact information with
someone who can talk about you, so
that your file will be complete.
These and many other points will be covered in an
hour-long talk by Joanne Meehl at the
Face2Face job search networking group on July
18th, in Boxborough, Mass. Directions and
detailed program info is at www.face2.net.
Attend and you will learn how you can do a
test run so that your background check
doesn't become a factor in your search.
You'll be glad you did.
|Thought of the Day
Never give up, for that is just the place and
time that the tide will turn.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
We are proud members of:
- Association of Career Professionals
- Northeast Human Resources Association
- Career Masters Institute
- Career Counselors Consortium/Boston
- National Resume Writers Association
- BNI Golden Givers, Holden, Mass.
Called "The Resume Queen" years ago by a
colleague, Joanne Meehl decided to have fun
nickname (which we've officially
she also takes it seriously by
her career management skills on the leading
through research and ongoing dialog with hiring
You're now seeing us use "The Job Search
Queen", which better reflects the breadth of
our services. The trademark is pending. We'll
be using both "queen" nicknames in our
Next few meetings of Face2Face, the Job Search
July 18th (No meeting on Wednesday,
July 4th): Are Background Checks Getting
In Your Way?
August 1st, and August 15th -
topics to be announced
All meetings are 9am - noon, in
Boxboro, Mass. near the intersection of
Routes 495 and 2.
the programs, and directions, click here.
Also on that
page, you'll be able to see notes about previous
talks at Face2Face.
meetings, we make it easier for
you to network, no matter how shy you are. Come
new people who might be the link
to your next job!
Joanne's Blog: The Heart of the Matter