Talent Circles

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Manager's Narcissistic Job Seeker & Candidate Interview Guide

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Maybe you’re a new manager or recruiter who is interviewing a job seeker for the first time.  Maybe you are looking for new interview questions to spice up your hiring and candidate selection process.  Whatever the case, here are five job seeker interview questions that are time tested and recruiter approved. 

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Keep in mind that the best candidate for the job is going to have a stellar interview.  In fact, most won’t which is one of the fatal flaws of the hiring manager and interview hiring process.  A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that job seekers who displayed narcissistic qualities promoted themselves better and received higher marks during their interview. 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (or NPD) is a medical diagnosis where an individual believes they are superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings.  Experts estimate that 8% of males and 5% of females in the US have this disorder.  The study involved two parts with the first being a fake job interview and the second asked participants to rate the actual interviews.  Job interviewers who challenged hiring managers and were more self-promotional received higher interview marks and were seen as more qualified for the hiring manager’s open position.  In short, our hiring and recruitment system is designed and benefits the NPD job seeker type. 

For hiring manager’s it is a challenge to get past to find the balance between self-promotion and self-deprecation that often comes with a face-to-face or video interview

Questions to Ask a Job Seeker

  • ·      Tell me about yourself.  Simple easy and breaks the ice with the job seeker putting their narcissism to the test.  Let them get comfortable with you and your interview style so that you can learn as much as possible about the candidate you are meeting with.  Be wary of the absolutely charming job seeker.  If you think they’re too good to be true, they probably are.
  • ·      Tell me about a time when you didn’t meet a deadline as a result of a scheduling conflict or project complication.  For hiring manager’s the key here is to ask a number of follow up questions to give those shy and un-narcissist job seekers a shot at clearly articulating their skills and experiences.  Narcissistic types tend to oversell their skills and experiences quickly so ask for specific numbers, results, and events that led to their failure or success.
  • ·      Tell me about the last time you expressed empathy to a co-worker, customer, or manager at work. Narcissists lack empathy and this question will be a true test to demonstrate how your job seeker relates and engages with his teammates and peers at past organizations.  Get specific and look for small verbal and non-verbal cues.  Follow your gut. 
  • ·      We’re a team organization here.  Tell me about a work team project you’re most proud of.  What was your role in the project?  A baited question for the narcissist but this question provides you an opportunity to evaluate your potential employee’s ability to work with a team and work co-workers in a role not as the leader but a more supportive role. 
  • ·       Tell me about a time when you put your team’s needs before your own.  Designed to snuff out the narcissist manager candidate, unless that is the type of organizational leader you are looking for.  These types of leaders quickly rise within the organization seeking admiration, change, and enjoy taking risks.  Sometimes those risks pay off for narcissistbosses and CEO’s like Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Eric Schmidt, and John Chambers to name a few. 

Uncovering Narcissism at Work

Working with a narcissist presents challenges at work except that hiring managers are often evaluating and rewarding candidates for the wrong skills, personalities, and characterizes that hurt not help the organization and your team.  It’s important that your interview hiring and selection process be thorough, specific, and consistent to help uncover candidate red flags and other undesirable qualities letting your best job seekers truly shine through. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media.  She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Monday, October 29, 2012

The DirectEmployers Annual Meeting: Informative and Inspirational

By Marylene Delbourg-Delphis

Bill Warren, Executive Director of the DirectEmployers Association

Last week, I attended the Direct Employers Annual Meeting in Scottsdale. I was impressed by everything I saw:
— The value of the Association
— The quality of the event

The value of Direct Employers
Direct Employers is a nonprofit HR consortium of employers started in 2001 under the leadership of Bill Warren, an HR veteran, who was the founder of the first online recruiting company in 1992. After a great career, Bill's goal was to help corporations organize and build a top‐level .jobs domain similar to others like .edu or .gov. Today, the success of Direct Employers is obvious: It provides low cost solutions to online recruiting, unambiguously improves labor market efficiencies, and has reached the milestone of one million jobs from over 100,000 employers in syndication who benefit from the basic service for free. For 93% of users, the online experience begins with a search engine, something that recruiting via Internet must take into account. Hence the critical importance of .Jobs, as well as the outstanding SEO offered by DirectEmployers. I'll let you browse through the scope of services provided by the organization as well as the amazing range of its partnerships and job syndication alliances, but one thing is clear: Its current 600+ members who leverage all the services of Direct Employers, have clearly proven the power of sharing best practices, advancing industry standards, providing research, as well as understanding big data analysis and what reducing recruiting costs is about. Any .org relies on the efficiency and dedication of its leadership and employees as well as the evangelistic power of any person who happens to be exposed to such organization. So here is my advice: if your organization is not yet a member, it should become one — for, in this case, pursuing the common good of offering jobs to people also serves the pursuit of each company's self-interest.

The quality of the event
This Annual Conference is the most informative conference I have seen so far in the HR industry. First of all, it's not a "show." It's a place where employers share their experiences and initiatives to inform peers of what is working for them — whether best practices in strategic interviewing to building an online recruiting brand, creating veteran outreach, understanding the potential and challenges of social media exposure, optimizing recruiting efforts with a clear SEO strategy, focusing on meaningful performance metrics, or designing a mobile career fair engagement. Presenters know first-hand what they are talking about as practitioners, strongly involved decision makers, or as employees of the Association.

It's hard to isolate any single reason why a conference elicits such unanimous and sincere kudos. Clearly the organizing team's acumen is critical — as is a participative audience of educated professionals. I would also venture something else... The HR industry talks a lot about diversity while, in practice, showing very little of it, as, quite strikingly, in the main industry events, the majority of the speakers are men. What definitely sets apart Direct Employers is the presence of women. Its board members include a majority of women. The committee directing this year's programming, promotional opportunities and sponsorships was comprised mostly of women, in addition to the (women-run) marketing organization of Direct Employers. Last but not least, the number of women presenters exceeded the number of men...

Two phenomenal keynote speakers enthused the attendees for their grit and their unstoppable determination, Aron Ralston, the inspired adventurer of 127 Hours and Sage Steele, the epitome of the working mother who made her way into a male-dominated world of sport (ESPN SportsCenter Co-Host), who recounted her "lessons learned" with wit, fire and truthfulness.

Conclusion... Become a member of DirectEmployers, don't miss their annual meeting — and check their smaller events too!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Meet the New Elevator Pitch. Managers Love the Speed Interview

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Time Management for Managers

If you are a seasonal industry or someone who is mass hiring in large volume, you have a deadline, a boss, and not a moment to waste.  Managers are juggling, multi-tasking, and losing ground.  Good managers are hard to find.  In fact, they are invaluable members of your team.  A 2012 Stanford Study shows that having a boss who ranks in the top 10% is like having an additional member on your team.  They motivate others.  They manage time effectively, and they are always looking for more. 
Good managers are looking for ways to improve productivity and cram more hours for themselves into the day.  They rely on their gut or intuition as time is increasingly short or pressed at work.  This is especially true during the busy holiday shopping and staffing season, and one solution to manager proactivity could very well be the speed interview. 

When it comes to hiring faster, better, and more quickly, the solution just might be the speed interview.  Traditional face-to-face interviews range between thirty minutes to an hour and a half for one interview.  For a manager who is looking to hire a temporary workforce of 50 or more they just might interview more than 125-150 candidates. There are not enough hours in the day. 

How to Find the Best Candidate for the Job with Speed Interview

Speed interviews provide a quick, personal, and private alternative for a hiring manager who is looking to qualify candidates quickly, easily, and most important quickly.  Lasting just sixty seconds these are fast paced conversations where the manager assesses whether the candidate moves on to the next interview round.  Hiring managers use resume and job applications in this fashion spending an average of 6 seconds scanning a candidate’s resume.  Yes, you read correctly 6 seconds. 

Speed interviews can happen in a variety of different ways:

  • ·      Video Introduction.  This is recorded video introduction or pitch that the job seeker provides a hiring manager.  It is difficult from a video interview in that the job seeker quickly articulates their job qualifications and special skills while working hard to make a professional and personal impression without a series of interview questions. 
  • ·      A Formal Event.  Candidates and employers meet in a speed dating style format.  The employer organizes quick sixty-second meetings with a hiring manager and job seeker either in a formally.  This works best at an event like a career fair, open house, or networking events. 
  • ·      Telephone Interview.  A common practice among recruiters is to quickly qualify job seekers over the phone.  These interactions are not planned  like a traditional formal interview that is scheduled and lasts 5-15 minutes so job seekers must be prepared.  Recruiters can quickly ask a candidate about their availability or for an explanation as to any red flag that may have surfaced on their application.

Speed Interviewing Improves the Hiring Process

Speed interviews can be used a number of different ways.  For recruiters and hiring manager’s it is very important to be familiar with the job requisition qualifications before you meet with the candidate.  Plan your interactions and what qualities you are looking for saving you more time and effort throughout the hiring process.  

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media.  She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

5 Tips for Conducting a Video Interview

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

I remember the first time I used my web cam for a meeting via video in 2008.  I was nervous, unsure, and not confident with the technology.  I dressed up from head to toe.  Complete with a pedicure even if my interviewer couldn’t see.  It was hard to stay focused as I spent the entire 30 minutes distracted by my face.  I was uncomfortable looking at the thumbnail of myself on the screen, and I just couldn’t look away.  The interview finished promptly, and honestly, I was relieved.  I didn't get the job, and looking back that was a good thing.  

For companies that are embracing telework or virtual work programs, video has become an efficient way to connect more personally with your audience whether it’s customers, co-workers, or your employees.  Video technology provides companies an opportunity to offer that face-to-face engagement virtually with a substantial travel cost reduction.

Types of Video Interviews: Asynchronous vs. Two Way

For hiring managers and job seekers alike video interviewing is a new frontier.  It’s also a new and sometimes uncomfortable one.  There are two types of interviews: 1) an asynchronous interview and 2) two way interview.  An asynchronous interview is a one-way interview where the job seeker is provided a series of prepared questions.  The answers are video recorded with no two-way engagement with the hiring manager.  The two-way interview involves engagement and conversation between job seeker and the hiring manager.  It is just like a traditional face-to-face interview except it’s happening via video. 

Tips for Hiring Managers When Video Interviewing

For hiring managers who are using two-way video interviewing technology as a candidate selection relationship management tool, it’s important to do the following:

  • ·      Make the Job Seeker Comfortable.  As I mentioned, I was nervous in my interview.  Set their mind at ease by explaining to them the format and interviewing process.  Remind them to smile and act natural, as this may be their first time being interviewed by video. 
  • ·      Shut Off the Technology (except the interview).  Power down your cell phone and silence your email notifications.  Log out of any instant messaging or internal communication tools you may use.  Stay focused on the interviewee free from electronic and in person distractions.  Doing so sends a powerful and polite message to the candidate you are interviewing. 
  • ·      Talk Slowly.  Technology doesn’t always operate at 100%.  If the Internet connection is bad or there is a technical problem, the job seeker might be too polite to tell you.  Speak slowly and smile.  Offer to repeat the video interview question. 
  • ·      Ask Follow up Questions.  It’s important for the interviewer to remain natural during the interview.  Ask follow up and prodding questions just as you would during your in person interview.  Take notes and record your impressions. 
  • ·      Describe the Process and Next Steps.  Sometimes technology can be a barrier to more personal communication.  Over communicate to the job seeker regardless if they are your top candidates or not.  Provide insights and a timeline into the hiring process and next steps.  Doing so reinforces your earlier message and demonstrates to your job seeker that your organization is prepared, polished, and the right choice for them as their next employer.

Video Interviews Are About Engagement Not Solely Employment Metrics

Video interviewing technology is not solely about lowering employment metrics like cost per hire.  It’s about respecting the valuable time of both the recruiter and job seeker who have taken time and effort to be present and prepare for the interview.  Like any technology used in the hiring process, it’s important to walk a mile in everyone’s shoes making the hiring and candidate selection process easier, more efficient, and virtually effortless especially when you factor in virtual video interviewing technology into the equation.    

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media.  She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs