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Interviewers Behaving Badly

Four Tips to a Killer Handshake

It’s often overlooked but oh-so-important. That’s right,we’re talking about the handshake!

If you’ve ever shaken the hand of someone who’s a bit clammy, your immediate thought may not resonate with a sense of confidence and assertiveness, right? After all, we tend to evaluate someone on their paws. Thanks to this post on Psychology Today, there are a few things to remember about a killer handshake.

1. Eye contact. This one’s not so much about the shake itself but the eyes. Avoid distractions and remain focused on the other person’s eyes as well. Read more

Glassdoor Ranks Top 10 Oddball Interview Questions

Right on the heels of Google’s top executive saying interview brain teasers are a “complete waste of time,” we couldn’t resist sharing this list compiled by Glassdoor ranking the top interview questions for the year.

And away we go…

1. “If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which one would it be and why?” Asked at Forrester.

2. “How many cows are in Canada?” Asked at Google.

3. “How many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building?” Asked at JetBlue. Read more

How to Approach an Interview When the Interviewer’s Your Friend

The following interview situation isn’t out of the norm. After all, if you got your foot in the door because you know someone at the potential employer, you may actually know more than one person. And that person may happen to be your interviewer.

A post on The Daily Muse outlines tips for interviewing when you’re actually friends with the interviewer. No matter what, keep it professional and stay on point. Read more

Research Study Reveals Weight Discrimination in Hiring

When we read about this study published in Germany, we cringed. After all, it’s a grim reminder of packaging and how that may trump relevant skills and experience.

Case in point: German researchers showed 100+ HR professionals photos of people without identifying their occupations. The HR folks ended up underestimating the prestige of the occupations for obese individuals. Wait, it gets better — they overestimated it for people who appeared to be average in weight. So, their perceptions were distorted across the board. Read more

Seeking Feedback as to Why You Didn’t Land the Job? Good Luck!

Ah, the coveted job interview. You leave the interview room thinking you aced it and alas, you hear crickets.

Cue the radio silence.

If you’re one of the job seekers to reach out for feedback for self-improvement, well you probably won’t hear back with an honest reason as to why you didn’t get the job.

According to a piece in The Wall Street Journal, about 10 percent of job seekers ask for feedback and rarely any of them actually receive it. Part of the reason could be due to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Last year the commission identified discrimination in hiring practices as its main priority.  Read more

How to Handle Illegal Interview Questions

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, CareerOneStop is essentially a new Web site. It’s a virtual business center aimed at “hiring, training and retaining a strong workforce.”

The site looks like it’s geared toward hiring managers but we discovered their list of illegal interview questions and figured it’s worth noting.

While hiring managers need to be schooled on what’s appropriate, job seekers (especially those new to the game such as college grads) also need to know what they simply don’t need to answer. And sometimes it may be a bit unclear. For instance, employers are not allowed to ask if you are a U.S. citizen but they may inquire if you are authorized to work in the U.S. Read more

How to Handle an Unprofessional Interviewer

Let’s face it — when it comes to interviewing you likely have your game face on. Suit is pressed, porfolio in hand and hard copies of your revamped resume, you’re ready to rock.

But what happens when you’re on the interview itself and realize the interviewer is — how shall we say this — less than professional? According to a piece in today’s New York Post, one job seeker heard an interviewer drop the F bomb! The candidate was appalled and no longer interested in the job or company for that matter.

As for how to handle the situation in that very moment when you may be taken off guard, Gregory Giangrande, reminds job seekers to take it in stride. Yes, it’s normal to be surprised by it but don’t necessarily abandon the opportunity due to one crass-mouthed interviewer. He writes,

“Listen, the question of if, when and how to add colorful language at work depends on so many flippin’ variables, including company culture, your relationship to those within earshot and context. (As you can see, I’m particularly good at this). But salty language should never be used during a job interview (by either party!). So I think you’re right to be surprised, but I wouldn’t abandon an opportunity just because of it.”

Some Employers are Discriminating Against the Unemployed

Ken Hawkins

It becomes a catch-22. You’re looking for a job because you’re out of work, but you’re not being hired because you’re out of work and have been for a long time.

NPR recently looked at a growing trend of employers who discriminate against the long-term unemployed, despite the fact that the recession has spurred a number of people who have been out of work for longer than usual. Some companies are mentioning in hiring ads that the unemployed need not apply.

One HR professional said that his employer doesn’t consider candidates who have been out of work for more than six months.

To help combat this, several states — California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Tennessee — are considering legislation that would prevent companies from discrimination against the unemployed. Fines would most likely be assessed.

But this is easier said than done. This type of discrimination could be hard to prove, save for the blatant kind found in hiring ads.

And as we know, there are many factors that go into a hiring decision.  As NPR points out, some employers want to see that applicants performed some sort of work during stretches of unemployment, even volunteering.

What’s the unemployed to do in all of this? HR professionals encourage the unemployed to remain active.

How (Not) To Reject Job Applicants

photologue_np

What’s the proper way to reject job applicants? Canned email? Personal response?

How about a long list of 42 application do’s and dont’s?

That’s what one employer did. According to Gawker, the head of a technology news site decided to send a rather lengthy rejection letter to more than 900 applicants, bcc’d thankfully.

In addition to a thorough explanation of which candidates were and weren’t selected, and why, the letter than provides 42 bulleted application tips, such as “Do be a badass” and “Don’t send Squidoo links.”

One of the rejected job applicants forwarded the email to Gawker and commented, ”I don’t find it helpful. I just find it arrogant.”

Here’s an excerpt from the email:

• Do keep it short and sweet.
Tell me a little bit about yourself— where you’ve written before and a few sentences on why you are awesome. Short and sweet.

• Don’t describe yourself as zany, crazy, or wild.
Zany is not high on the lists of attributes we’re looking for. I don’t imagine it’s high on the list of many companies, this side of birthday clown agencies.

Read more

Want this Job? Provide your Facebook Login Information

Imagine this. You’re on an interview. It’s going well. Then the interviewer turns to her computer to search for your Facebook profile. When she finds that it’s private, she asks you to provide your Facebook login information.

Sound invasive?

That’s what Justin Bassett, a New York-based statistician thought, reports The Boston Globe. While Bassett withdrew his application because he didn’t care to be employed with a company that inquired about such personal information, the article points out that not everyone has the luxury to do so. Many need employment and may have to provide their Facebook login information to obtain it.

Are you thinking the same thing, is this legal? According to The Boston Globe, there is legislation on the table in Illinois and Maryland that would deem it illegal for public agencies to ask for social network access. Apparently, this practice is much more common among law enforcement positions. As an alternative, some agencies ask for potential employees to login into social networks during the interview.

Either way, it’s sticky territory for companies and employees.

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