Connect with us

Business News

Career tip: Who you must chat with while waiting to interview

(Business) When you’ve made it to a job interview, there’s someone who holds the keys to the magical kingdom that is your future job – here’s how to tap into this goldmine.

Published

on

receptionist

receptionist

Why the receptionist is key

One of the most nerve-wrecking events in your “job life” is the interview process. Whether you are interviewing for a job or are interviewing for a potential client, you are selling yourself or your brand to an important person.

So you’ve done all of your research, you’ve crafted the perfect resume or pitch, and you’re at the office on time for your meeting. It seems as though you’ve done all you can for a successful meeting, right? – Not so fast.

bar
While waiting for your meeting, you could easily sit in the reception area and go over your ideas, check your phone, or do anything else to kill time. However, one thing that most people don’t think to do is utilize a very valuable resource – the receptionist.

Talk to the real company insider

Authors Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne write about the importance of conversing with the receptionist in their book “Never Be Closing”. The receptionist is the eyes and ears of an organization, meaning that a conversation with them could be very beneficial to your interview.

After checking in for your interview, it is a good idea to first sit down and seek awareness of your surrounding. Any organizational communication class will tell you that a lot can be understood about the culture of a company through their artifacts, or what they have around the office. Taking into account plaques on the wall, mission statements on their business cards, or photos around the office can bridge the gap towards a connection with a potential employer or client; and asking the receptionist to give you details on these artifacts will prepare you to bring them up in the interview.

When approaching the receptionist, make sure that he or she is not too busy and is available for conversation. Picking their brains about the organization is brilliant because it is done so rarely. Along with inquiring about the company artifacts, Hurson and Dunne recommend asking questions such as:

  • “What’s the biggest department or division in this location?”
  • “Is everyone always this (relaxed, friendly, energized, busy) around here, or is something special going on today?”
  • “What do you like best about working here?”
  • “Are the principals usually around, or mostly on the road? Do you get to see or talk to them much?”

Asking these questions will not only get you a notch above the others as far as knowledge and preparedness goes, but simply talking to the receptionist will set you apart from the competition. Sometimes the interviewer will ask the receptionist what they thought of the interviewee, and showing your personality and interest will only make that answer more positive.

The BEST thing you can do…

As a former receptionist, I can attest to the importance of conversation. Those coming in for an interview would have to speak with me beforehand, and it was apart of my job to take note of their personality and demeanor. Those who showed excitement and positivity about applying would receive a vote of praise; while those who acted like they were there to scrape the bottom of the barrel of jobs did not receive as nice of a Post It note on their application.

Hurson and Dunne say that during the interview process, the best thing you can be is curious. So make sure the next time that you are in this situation, you utilize all of your resources by talking to the receptionist and learning all you can about the culture of the organization.

Taylor is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and has a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Illinois State University. She is currently pursuing freelance writing and hopes to one day write for film and television.

Business News

One state could make it illegal to ask a job applicant’s age, graduation dates

(CAREER) A recent court ruling makes ageism against job applicants legal, but at least one state is taking action.

Published

on

ageism job applicants

In late 2018, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled 8-4 that Congress intended the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to only cover current employees, not job applicants during late 2018 with the case Kleber v. CareFusion Inc.

The verdict seemed to confirm what many older applicants have experienced: while they may have the necessary qualifications for a position they are often overlooked for younger candidates. The confirmed legality of such dishonorable bias is disheartening.

One state is stepping up to rectify this practice: Connecticut. Democratic Reps. Derek Slap of West Hartford and Robyn Porter of New Haven have proposed legislation that would fight ageism in hiring processes by making it illegal for employer to ask applicants for their dates of birth or school graduation dates.

According to the Hartford Courant, when asked about the legislation’s intention, Rep. Slap replied that such questions, “allow employers to vet our seniors before they even go in to their job interview.”

Candidates who may be older and entering the job market should keep their wits about them. While they are creating and reviewing their resumes and cover letters, they should reach out to other people in their field and make sure that they aren’t using dated conventions.

If they are pressed to provide information that indicate their ages during in-person interviews. Even if the questions are technically legal, applicants can try to assuage fears of being out-of-touch wit current market trends or technology by coming prepared to the discussion ready to highlight recent projects or experiences that illustrate on-the-pulse market fluency.  (For more tips on how to deal with these kind of awkward situations, check out this article.)

The initiative that Connecticut has taken in addressing this problem is likely to inspire more lawmakers across the country to follow suit.

But we don’t have to wait for it to be illegal for people to understand that this practice is unfair. If you are not an older candidate but an existing employee (and therefore covered by laws that say age discrimination is illegal), keep an eye out for how you, your colleagues, and your company speak about more experienced workers.  Sometimes the quickest way to change harmful practices is by having a direct conversation about an uncomfortable topic. 

Continue Reading

Business News

Awkward job interview or human trafficking?

(CAREER NEWS) One woman’s tale of how she handled an off-putting interview might have saved her life.

Published

on

human sex trafficking

Human trafficking can happen to anyone going on a job interview. Not a normal job interview, but that one you went to that gave you the creeps, was in a rough strip mall, and offered you a meeting without knowing anything about you.

It doesn’t mean you’re stupid – you shouldn’t have to look at a website’s WHOIS data and run a background check before agreeing to meet a potential employer. But it happens.

After ample research, we published a list of 7 ways to tell if a job posting is actually a human sex trafficker, and while there’s no way it covers every single possibility, it offers the most common red flags to watch out for.

We strongly believe that any human is vulnerable to human sex trafficking, no matter their gender or background.

Today, YouTuber, Ready To Glare (who is well known for their insightful social commentary) told a story of a shady job interview, asking if the situation was potentially trafficking, or just bad luck?


She trusted her gut, worked with Indeed to spot a potential threat, and is safe to tell the tale. Some may suggest that this was an overreaction, but we commend her for trusting her instincts and getting out of what could have turned into a dangerous situation.

This should make you think twice about whether or not YOU are vulnerable. This happened to someone (above) who is extremely well educated, not some naive, doe-eyed teen hoping to earn cash for a car, unable to spot red flags. Some assume this just happens to women looking for drug money, but that’s wildly uninformed. These traffickers take advantage of a vulnerable population – job seekers – in hopes that their desperation for a job overrides their instincts.

We urge you to review the red flags so that if you ever end up in a creepy room with someone preying on your hopes to land a job, you can spot the signs that trigger you to secure your own safety.

We deeply thank Ready to Glare for sharing her story – it will help others to trust their guts and stay safe!

human sex trafficking

Continue Reading

Business News

You absolutely don’t need to be a 100% match for a job to apply

(CAREER) Most people believe they should only apply for their dream job if they’re a perfect match, but studies say that’s the wrong approach.

Published

on

apply for a job even if not 100% a match

You don’t need to be a 100 percent match for a job to apply. You just don’t.

We’ve all seen the crazy job postings:

-Must be fluent in Mandarin
-Must be be full-stack coder
-Must also have real estate license
-Must be a rockstar ninja (uuugh)

After seeing endless open positions with specific requirements, it’s no wonder that so many job seekers become discouraged. How can anyone fit 100 percent of the requirements on the job listing? And actually, most people don’t. According to a recent study, you only need to meet ~70 percent of the job requirements to be a good fit for a job.

So you’re telling me a requirement isn’t actually a requirement?!

The study analyzed job postings and resumes for over 6,000 positions across 118 industries, and they found that applicants are just as likely to get an interview whether you meet 50 percent or 90 percent of the requirements.

Crazy, I know. That law of diminishing returns will eff you up.

But what about women? I wondered the same thing. Surprisingly, the interview data was in favor of women that meet less of the requirements. In fact, the study shows that as a female, the likelihood of getting an interview increases if you simply meet 30 percent of the requirements. Also, female applicants are just as likely to get an interview if they meet 40 percent versus 90 percent of the job requirements.

Before you start complaining that women have it better in the job search process, correlation doesn’t equal causation.

Interestingly enough, 64 percent of the female users rejected at least one job where they matched 50 – 60 percent of the requirements, while only 37 percent of male users did. This leads us to believe there more implicit factors to take into consideration, like imposter syndrome throughout the interview process.

If you’re a recruiter or employer, this may seem like more work. But in an increasingly competitive job market for both employers and applicants, this presents an opportunity to get to know people for who they actually are, not just on paper. And resumes often do a poor job of reflecting that — especially the ever-important soft skills.

Key takeaways:

As we’ve gone through this study, here are a few practical action items for job seekers:

1. Apply for a lot of jobs to increase your number of interviews.

The study shows that increased interviews are a direct result of increased applications, not just picking and choosing what you think you’re a good fit for. Which brings us to our next point:

2. Go for those “stretch” roles — you never know what may come of it!

Send in a lot of applications, but don’t let that stop you from approaching the process thoughtfully. Recruiters can tell if you’ve skimped on the cover letter or your resume, and a thoughtful approach to the application process will be noticed and appreciated by recruiters, especially for those reach roles.

3. Don’t second-guess yourself.

We’re always our own worst critics, and according to this, we don’t need to be — especially throughout the job application process. Job hunting is stressful enough, so put on your most upbeat playlist (or Beyonce), say your affirmations, and go on with your bad self and start applying!

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories