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Archive for What Interviewers Want

In preparing for a job interview, there are numerous factors to consider. In addition to some of the more obvious things like showing up early, pay attention to your appearance. It’ll help you get prepared for those all-important job interviews.

Some of you may be thinking, “Appearance? Really? In preparing for a job interview, does it matter that much?” Well, yes, it does. In conducting in-depth conversations with hundreds of managers, supervisors, and executives, I was even startled at what they shared with me.

  • Appearance, image, and grooming before the job interview. Like it or not, done poorly, this is a deal breaker. Do you exhibit positive personal hygiene? Do you dress and look the part? Numerous supervisors said to me, “This will sound ridiculous, but honestly, I have to question, did the applicants wash and comb their hair? Did they brush their teeth?” Some of them actually bring an air freshener into the room to tolerate those applicants who don’t seem to bathe. (I’m just the messenger here, folks.) One manager told me he has the front desk assistant alert him when an applicant drops by to pick up an application or drop off a resume. Why? Managers want to meet you and interview you for a couple of minutes precisely because they know you aren’t expecting it! They want to see how you behave “off the cuff.”

In preparing for a job interview, like it or not, appearance does matter. Even if you are interviewing to be a waiter or bartender, it is wise to wear a nice suit. Yes, you want to look the part, but managers overwhelmingly told me they also expect the applicant to look professional. They said it shows that you take the job seriously.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen is the author of the book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs available at www.BounceBackHigher.com

As a motivational speaker and leadership expert, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and six countries. She has served as a keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Based in Portland, Oregon, Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (971)212-0479.

 

What Employers Look for on Interviews

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Later today, I’m going to be a guest on a radio show being interviewed by Doug McDuff on AM 1380 in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. The topic? What employers look for on interviews.

In these tough economic times, it’s especially important to learn what  interviewers look for that will make them hire you. For example, they want to see if you’ve conducted any research. Have you checked out their companies’ websites even if they’re well known? When I was conducting research for my book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, a number of managers reported how impressed they were that some applicants brought printouts from the company website and asked questions based on what they’d read. This is notable because employers want a sense that you specifically want to work for their organization–not just any job will do.

After Doug’s radio show, I’ll post more information about what employers look for on interviews. Stay tuned!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen is the author of the book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs available at www.BounceBackHigher.com

As a motivational speaker and leadership expert, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and six countries. She has served as a keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Based in Portland, Oregon, Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (971)212-0479.

 

 

What do bosses want from employees? Team players! In conducting in-depth conversations with hundreds of managers, supervisors and CEOs, this is part 2 in a series.

Part 1 talked about how managers repeatedly asked for “someone who is a proactive problem solver, not reactive–an employee who thinks ahead.” In part 2, we’ll explore the importance of getting along with others in the workplace. Let’s get started!

Be a team player willing to help your co-workers and customers. Admittedly, while conducting these in-depth conversations,  it was a surprise to me that “team player” was specifically mentioned over and over and ranked as the second top trait or behavior bosses want. Obviously, productivity is an important reason for this, but the effect that being a team player has on the morale of others scored even higher than productivity.

Bosses overwhelmingly mentioned “willing to help others, anyone” in terms of sharing job knowledge, skills, and ideas as well as “willingness to help customers.”

Simply put–and this is repeated throughout many of my articles, books, and blog posts–managers don’t want to be bothered with emotional conflicts among their employees. They frequently report, “I feel like a referee and a babysitter and I don’t want that role. I want my employees getting along and resolving conflict themselves.”

Bosses consider good employees to be those who attempt to resolve issues on their own first without always running to the person in charge. When I’m speaking, I often ask managers and CEOs in my audience, “Do any of you feel like you’re running an adult day care?” They laugh and say, “Yes! You must know some of my employees!”

Many managers and supervisors get promoted to management or leadership positions based on their hard skills or technical skills. They (and maybe you) received a promotion because they did a great job. But in these areas, the skills that got them promoted aren’t always the ones they need to manage people. That’s why they don’t want to deal with issues such as conflicts between employees. Not only that, these managers and CEOs are overloaded with work themselves and don’t have time to deal with emotional problems between co-workers.

So, what do bosses want from employees? Team players, proactive problem solvers and more. Stay tuned!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen Kettenhofen is the author of the book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs.

As a Portland, Oregon-based motivational speaker, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and five countries. She has served as keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars. For more information, please visit http://www.BounceBackHigher.com

 

What Bosses Want from Employees

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

In the coming days and weeks, I’m going to be sharing the top traits, qualities and characteristics that bosses want from employees and vice versa. This is based on hundreds of interviews that I conducted with managers, supervisors and CEOs for my book Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You.

Some of the things bosses want from employees will seem like common sense. Then again, as you know, common sense isn’t always commonly applied!

What Bosses Want from Employees

What’s big on their list? Be proactive and solutions-oriented; go above and beyond. When managers, supervisors and CEOs were asked to describe the traits and behaviors necessary for a subordinate to be considered a good employee, overwhelmingly I heard, “Someone who goes above and beyond.” That’s worth repeating: In today’s economy, for you to be considered a “good” employee, bosses expect you to go “above and beyond.” So, if necessary, work longer hours and put in extra effort. If you don’t, someone else will.

Also managers repeatedly asked for “someone proactive, not reactive–an employee who thinks ahead. If that employee experiences problems, he or she looks for solutions.” So to be an exemplary employee, condition yourself to be solution-focused rather than problem-focused.

What bosses want from employees may seem like a lot. In my leadership seminars and keynotes, I always tell managers and supervisors it starts at the top. Be an effective role model. Be the change you want to see.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen Kettenhofen is the author of the book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs.

As a Portland, Oregon-based motivational speaker, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and five countries. She has served as keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars. For more information, please visit www.BounceBackHigher.com

 

Interviewing Tips: What Happens After the Interview

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

“Clarity is power.”

~ Buckminster Fuller

In my book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, my first chapter is titled, “How to Get a Great Job and Keep It.” It goes into detail on what employers look for in interviews and what they never want to see. As you can imagine, communication skills, soft skills and how you present yourself are vitally important to bosses in the hiring process.

In conducting research for the book, I frequently asked hiring managers and HR folks what applicants should expect following an interview. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say.

If there’s an interest in hiring you after the initial interview, be prepared for panel interviews. For instance, you might have an HR person, your potential boss, and two employees in the room all interviewing you at once. Employers report that this kind of interview helps tremendously when selecting qualified individuals and judging if an applicant’s personality is a good fit for the team. They want employees who have good eye contact and show responsiveness with the whole group. They want to see if you have chemistry with the team. Some employers even have you stay for a day or half day to “shadow” another employee and perform tasks you’d be doing on the job.

Often, applicants are taken on office tours or plant tours. Why? Employers want you to see your potential future environment to assess if you can handle it. One of my clients has a warehouse that is cold and dark. Employees have to wear thermal long underwear and mittens inside much of the year! No wonder they want potential hires to see and feel this work environment ahead of time. They don’t want to hire people who quit right away due to conditions they didn’t know about.

Incidentally, if you’re in a leadership position and would like excellent tips on how to conduct an effective interview, please download the article “How to Interview and Hire the Best Employees” at www.TipsOnInterviewing.com or visit the articles section of my website. The hiring article was written by my father who spent years in management for one of the Big Four accounting firms. He also participated in hundreds of interviews as a captain in the U.S. Navy. Even if you’re not in a leadership position, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the questions he asked his applicants. There’s a good chance some of these will be asked of you.

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.

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What Interviewers Want from You

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Ever wonder what goes on in the minds of employers and what interviewers want when they interview you? As a conference speaker and corporate trainer for over 15 years, I’ve asked managers, “What do interviewers want?”  And I’ve been asking this question more frequently as many people are out of work and need tips on how to get a great job.

Simply put, interviewers want to know what you are going to do for them. In other words, how will you make their job easier? And, how will you make them look good? In their minds they’re thinking, “How am I going to benefit by hiring this person?”

Interviewers Want to Know What You Are Going to Do for Them

Interviewers want ideas and future employees who take action on those ideas. They want to see enthusiasm and passion.  Employers have said, “I want to see that they’re passionate and enthusiastic about the position they’re interviewing for. If they’re not energized in the interview, they certainly won’t be once they’re on the job.”

Bosses have enough problems of their own. So they look to hire (and promote) people who are proactive. You have to create something. Don’t use the economy as an excuse for what you can’t do. What can you do? This is how you can make a difference. And how you can stand out whether you’re looking for a job, or interviewing for a promotion. This is common-sense but not always practically applied.

Based on over 15 years of speaking to managers and others in high-level leadership positions, there are certain traits interviewers are looking for in job seekers. In continuing from the last post, here’s another quality employers expect to see from you…

Employers like it when you’ve come up the hard way. They reason that if you’ve had menial jobs, by comparison you’ll love this one. Also, it indicates a sense of humility, not a sense of entitlement, and shows you’re willing to pay your dues. Of course, it also indicates you have work experience.

Most certainly, interviewers look for gaps in work history on your resume. They want to see that you’ve been in the same position at least a year, depending on the job. Most tell me they won’t even look at an applicant who’s had five jobs in two years. What if you’re thinking, “But each job change meant more money?” Well, here’s the managers’ thinking: “If they left each job after a short period for more money, they’ll do the same to me.”  What are your thoughts?

Ever wonder what employers look for on job interviews? In these tough economic times, it’s especially important to learn what interviewers want that will make them hire you. For example, they want to see if you’ve conducted any research. Have you checked out their companies’ websites even if they’re well known? Several managers reported how impressed they were that some applicants brought printouts from the company website and asked questions based on what they’d read. This is notable because employers want a sense that you specifically want to work for their organization — not just any job will do.

In the next several weeks, I’ll be posting more in terms of what interviewers look for and the traits employers want from you. In my upcoming book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, I’ve dedicated an entire chapter to what interviewers are looking for and how you can benefit. What traits do you think are most important for applicants to possess? The following quote by Mark Twain is certainly a good place to start!

“Always tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember what you said.”