How to answer

October 29, 2018

By  via  Article

How to Answer the 6 Most Common Job-Interview Questions

“Here are six interview questions that are so common you’d be foolish not to prepare for them.

1. ‘Tell me a bit about yourself.’ … It means ‘give me a broad overview of who you are, professionally speaking, before we go deeper into specifics.’ Your interviewer is looking for an answer that’s about one minute long and summarizes where you are in your career and what you’re especially strong at ….

2. ‘What interests you about this job?’ … Interviewers want someone who’s enthusiastic about doing whatever the person will be spending most of their time on.

3. ‘Why are you thinking about leaving your current job?’ … Your interviewer isn’t looking for a detailed accounting of your problems with your boss or a log of everything you don’t like about your office’s culture. They’re looking for a short explanation that makes sense and doesn’t raise red flags about your professionalism or ability to get along with others. It’s fine to give a fairly mundane answer like, ‘I’ve been here five years and am ready to take on something new,’ or, ‘We’re having layoffs and I’m looking for something with stability.’ ….

4. ‘Tell me about a time when …’ Good interviewers will ask multiple versions of the question, filling in the blank with situations and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example: ‘Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client’ … ‘Tell me about a time when you had conflicting deadlines’ … In preparing your examples, structure them by first talking about the challenge you faced, then what you did to respond, and then what outcome you achieved. …

5. ‘Tell me about your biggest strengths and weaknesses.’ … Talk about what would make you really excel at the job. … don’t just make subjective pronouncements that the interviewer would need to take on faith (like, ‘I’m great with people,’ or, ‘I’m very organized’). Instead, give an example or two that shows that’s really the case. … What have you genuinely struggled with at work? … talk about what you’ve done to ameliorate the effect of that weakness on your work. But make sure you resist the urge to answer with something that you secretly hope will sound good to the interviewer like, ‘I work too hard,’ or, ‘I’m a perfectionist.’ ….

6. ‘What salary are you looking for?’ … The only way to nail this question is to do some research beforehand: Check salary websites, talk to recruiters or professional organizations in your industry, and bounce figures off of people in your field. … This question is too important to wing in the moment; do your research beforehand so that you’re confident about your answer and don’t leave money on the table.”

Remarkable at few, lousy at many

October 29, 2018

By Dan Rockwell via  Article

Why You Need To Know You Ain’t All That

“The sooner you realize you’re remarkable at very few things and lousy at many, the better off you and your team will be. If you usually come out on top when you compare yourself to others, you’re arrogant. (I ain’t pointing fingers.)

Poor performance:

Feeling superior produces inferior performance. I spent too much time trying to succeed at things I did poorly because I thought I did most things well. Leaders who believe they do all things well frustrate the people around them. Accept that you are remarkable at very few things, perhaps one or two, but no more than three.

When you know you ain’t “all that” you:

#1. Shut up and listen actively.

I don’t mean you simply hear words. You learn to profoundly respect the perspective of others when you know you have many weaknesses and few remarkable strengths.

#2. Value team members more highly.

You probably have a tendency to focus on the weaknesses of others. But when you see your own weaknesses, you learn to value others. When leaders overestimate themselves they underestimate others.

#3. Practice humility with greater alacrity.

The tendency to get puffed up is in most of us. Today a friend called to ask for some suggestions for his presentation. He wondered about the questions I might ask and how I might set up interactions. It’s easy for me to give a few ideas. In the past I might have thought I was ‘all that’ because I was in the helping role. Today I know that I have a narrow band of ‘all that.’ I also know he has some pretty great ‘all that’ too.”

Stand with people when they screw up

October 29, 2018

By Dan Rockwell via  Article

4 Ways To Stand With People When They Screw Up

“Self-serving leaders throw people under the bus. Skillful leaders know that standing with people when they screw up …

  1. Strengthens relationships.
  2. Improves morale.
  3. Inspires trust.
  4. Instills courage.
  5. Deepens commitment.

How to stand with people:

… Take the heat.

  1. Own failure, even if you didn’t do it.
  2. Don’t lie and say you did it.
  3. Tell the truth. You are responsible. The only finger-pointing to do is at you.

… Honor responsible failure.

… People never become their best when you punish responsible failure. Evaluating failure and adopting next-time-practices isn’t punishment. It’s growth and development.

Responsible failure requires:

  1. Maximum effort to succeed. Low effort isn’t an option.
  2. Clear objectives, goals, and results. You can’t succeed until you know what success looks like.
  3. Plans. If the plan was to improvise, at least you had a plan.
  4. Plans that distill into behaviors. What did you actually do?
  5. Fulfillment of day-to-day responsibilities. Procrastination is irresponsible failure.

… Expect capable people to remedy their screw ups.

When the person who screwed up can’t remedy their own mistakes, train them, replace them, reassign them, or redesign their job. The first question is, ‘What are you going to do to correct this failure?’ (Assuming correction is an option.) If correction isn’t an option, the question is, ‘What are you going to do differently next time?’ Clarify what doing differently means. You can expect the same results until you do something differently.”

Excluded at work

October 29, 2018

By Brenda F. Wensil and Kathryn Heath via  Article

4 Ways Women Can Build Relationships When They Feel Excluded At Work

“A male friend of ours recently had a realization. He was walking through the bar at a private golf club, looking for a colleague he was meeting for dinner. The dark-paneled bar was filled with men and they all seemed to know each other. Will wasn’t a member of the club, and he felt a little out of place. When he found his friend and they sat down at a table, he felt more comfortable. Then he looked around and realized that only about five of the 35 people in the large room were women. Even if they were members, these women stood out in this mostly male setting. He could blend in so easily. These women didn’t have that luxury.

Welcome to our world. As female executives, it’s sometimes difficult for us to fit in, but we need to be in that room nonetheless.

There are typically two ways to get things done professionally. One way is explicit, established, and formalized: the job-specific mode we use to get our work accomplished every day. Job descriptions, agenda items, expertise, and hierarchy dictate how this work is done and how formal decisions are made. The other way is informal, highly nuanced, and relationship-based. It involves leveraging human connections, corporate maneuvering, physical proximity to decision makers, and personal and professional influence inside the office and outside at informal gatherings. While both ways are important, we have seen in our work coaching women executives that they overwhelmingly struggle more than men to take advantage of informal networking situations. Part of the problem is systemic: When men go out together after work, women often are not invited. Eighty-one percent of women say they feel this type of social exclusion in work situations. Based on published reports, this problem has further intensified as the #MeToo movement has grown, with men saying that they feel more hesitant to socialize with female colleagues for fear that their motives might be called into question. Many men we know or work with have told us that this is a genuine concern for them today.

The other issue is that women themselves often can’t or don’t want to socialize after work or during work hours. They keep their heads down at the office to maximize their efforts, and then they feel the pressure to head home to spend time with their families (and often to start their ‘night shift’ of cooking, laundry, homework help, and bedtime routines). Many of our women coaching clients have told us things like: I don’t have time to go out with the group. Nothing gets done at these things anyway. It’s all politics.

Regardless of the rationale, the effect is the same: Doing less relationship building limits women’s access to sponsorship and diminishes their chances for career advancement. Developing informal relationships is one of the most important things women can do to advance their careers. With our livelihoods on the line, we need to turn this dynamic around.

By committing to a manageable combination of informal relationship building inside and outside the office, we can amplify our efforts and develop genuine influence with senior colleagues and decision makers. Here’s how: ….”


Master class in emotional intelligence

October 22, 2018

By Justin Bariso via  Article

This Email From a Chief Executive Is a Master Class in Emotional Intelligence

All companies say they value transparency and honesty. Most are lying. A truly transparent company–one that encourages open and honest communication from all employees–is hard to find. … Employees … are often hesitant to share critical opinions, for fear that they will be blackballed, demoted, or even dismissed.  That’s why I was taken aback by an email I received recently. 

Not long ago I attended a large conference, and I was one of dozens of speakers. Everything ran smoothly for the three days I was there. … the day after the conference ended, I received the following email (adjusted slightly for anonymity):

Subject line: Thank you. Can we improve?

Thank you so much for your help in making our recent conference a success. We’d like to express our sincere gratitude for your fine cooperation with our administration office: you checked in, you stayed on time, and you gave a wonderful talk.

We would really appreciate it if you could help us do better. Tell us, do you see any place where we in the administration office could improve? Please be open and frank, otherwise we won’t improve.

Wow. Short. Sweet. Majorly effective. … What made this email so remarkable? Here’s what stuck out most:

It begins with sincere and specific commendation.

We all crave to be shown appreciation when we work hard on something–and this email satisfies that craving. (Read the opening paragraph again. You can’t fake sincerity.) But the commendation goes further–by outlining specific ways the conference speakers made the administration staff’s job easier. By telling us speakers what we’re doing right (‘checking in,’ ‘staying on time’) we’re motivated to keep doing those things in the future. 

It inspires genuine feedback.

… my favorite line:

‘Please be open and frank, otherwise we won’t improve.’ So often when delivering critical feedback, the key message gets lost. This is either because the feedback giver’s counsel is too ambiguous, or the feedback recipient is too sensitive and allows their emotions to get in the way of growth.  This single sentence helps combat both problems.”

The stock market is shrinking

October 22, 2018

By Jeff Sommer via  Article

The Stock Market Is Shrinking. That’s a Problem for Everyone.

The American stock market has been shrinking. It’s been happening in slow motion — so slow you may not even have noticed. But by now the change is unmistakable: The market is half the size of its mid-1990s peak, and 25 percent smaller than it was in 1976.

‘This is troubling for the economy, for innovation and for transparence,’ said René Stulz, an Ohio State finance professor who has written a new report on these issues for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

When I say ‘shrinking,’ I’m using a specific definition: the reduction in the number of publicly traded companies on exchanges in the United States. In the mid-1990s, there were more than 8,000 of them. By 2016, there were only 3,627, according to data from the Center for Research in Security Prices at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. …

‘The headline is that the number of public firms is shrinking, but it’s not just that,’ he said. Profits in the overall market are now divided among fewer winners. And as capital-intensive companies have been supplanted by those whose value is largely found in their intellectual property, the marketplace is less transparent — with troubling consequences. Consider these big shifts:

■ The companies on the market today are, on average, much larger than the public corporations of decades ago. Fast-rising upstarts are harder to find. In 1975, 61.5 percent of publicly traded firms had assets worth less than $100 million, using inflation-adjusted 2015 dollars. But by 2015, that proportion had dropped to only 22.6 percent. Because of this, Professor Stulz said, ‘It’s not possible for the general public to invest in a diversified portfolio of really small, publicly traded companies in the way they could a few decades ago.’

■ Profits are increasingly concentrated in the cluster of giants — with Apple at the forefront — that dominate the market. For a far larger assortment of smaller companies, though, profit is often out of reach. In 2015, for example, the top 200 companies by earnings accounted for all of the profits in the stock market, according to calculations by Kathleen Kahle, a professor of finance at the University of Arizona, and Professor Stulz. In aggregate, the remaining 3,281 publicly listed companies lost money. …

In theory, as a shareholder, you are entitled to a piece of a company’s future earnings. That’s one of the main arguments for buying stock in the first place. But the reality is that you often are buying a piece of a money-losing proposition. Aside from the top 200 companies, the rest of the market, as a whole, is burning, not earning, money.”

Work-life balance is ‘a debilitating phrase’

October 22, 2018

By Jane Burnett via  Article

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on why work-life balance is ‘a debilitating phrase’

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently shared why he doesn’t like the term ‘work-life balance’ …. ‘This work-life harmony thing is what I try to teach young employees and actually senior executives at Amazon too. But especially the people coming in. I get asked about work-life balance all the time. And my view is, that’s a debilitating phrase because it implies there’s a strict trade-off. And the reality is, if I am happy at home, I come into the office with tremendous energy. And if I am happy at work, I come home with tremendous energy.’

‘It actually is a circle; it’s not a balance. And I think that is worth everybody paying attention to it. You never want to be that guy — and we all have a coworker who’s that person — who as soon as they come into a meeting they drain all the energy out of the room. You can just feel the energy go whoosh! You don’t want to be that guy. You want to come into the office and give everyone a kick in their step.'”