Workplace Minute – Attitude

MINUTEAttitude is everything at the workplace. Employees with positive attitudes tend to be more productive than their counterparts. There are several benefits to having a positive work attitude, and just as many ways to cultivate a positive work attitude.

Here are some quick tips on how to keep your attitude in the workplace on check.

  • Take control of your attitude
  • Be solution-oriented, not problem-focused
  • Avoid whiners and complainers
  • Be constructive, productive, and pleasant; never criticize
  • Stay away from gossip

Most importantly, keep in mind the people your surround yourself with at the workplace play a significant role on your daily outlook!

General Interview Questions and Tips

Job InterviewSmart job seekers know the importance of preparing for job interviews. Doing your homework beforehand will help put you in a position to convince the hiring manager that you have the talent they need to fill the seat.

This segment will cover the most general interview questions that hiring managers often use along with tips to assist you with coming up with great answers.

If you are actively looking for employment, a good resource will be to go through each question and create a cheat sheet. Come up with answers to each question and study the answers before every scheduled interview.

Let’s get into the most common general interview questions and tips.

1) Can you tell me a little about yourself? 
I firmly believe this is the most dreaded interview question. This question, when asked, makes most interviewers cringe, their eyes cross and smoke come out of their ears. This is why it is imperative to prepare for interviews. When you are faced with this question, a great way to answer it is using your elevator pitch. What is an elevator pitch you ask?

ELEVATOR PITCH

Elevator

Now let’s say you don’t have an elevator pitch, start off with specific accomplishments or experiences that you want the interviewer to know about. Gear the answer to this question with the position you are interviewing for. You want to end this question with a pitch that is concise, compelling and one that shows why you are the right fit for the position you are interviewing for.

2) What do you know about the company?
Take a moment before the interview to read through the organizations website. Mid-to-large sized organizations usually have their mission and vision statements in the “About Me” section of the website. Familiarize yourself with a couple of keywords and phrases from the website however make all your statements personal, show that you care about their mission.

3) How did you hear about the position?
Simple question right? Straight to the point, no need to dress up? WRONG. This question gives you an opportunity to stand out and express your passion for and connection to the company. If you were referred to by a colleague or friend, share why you were so excited to have the opportunity to interview with their organization.

4) Why do you want this job?
You want to have a great answer for this question. So, what makes a good answer? First, identify key factors that make the role a great fit for you, then share why you want to be a part of their organization. You can relate this to the industry or the type of services/products they represent.

5) What are you looking for in a new position?
Put the Job Descriptions to use. If you found the position using a job search website or applying online from the organizations website, read through and familiarize yourself with the position description. Those are the items you want to mention, the same things that this position has to offer. Be sure to be specific.

6) What type of work environment do you prefer?
Use the same tactic as you did for the “What are you looking for a new position?” question. Review the Job Description and say one that’s similar to the environment of the company you are applying to.

7) Why we should hire you?
Time to sell yourself and your skills! Your answer should cover three items:

  • That you can do the work and deliver great results;
  • that you will really fit in with the organizational culture and team;
  • that you would be a better hire than any of the other candidates.

8) Why are you leaving your current job?
I emphasize… KEEP THINGS POSITIVE. You have nothing to gain by bashing or being negative about past employers. Instead, focus the conversation in a way that indicates you are eager to take on a new role and new responsibilities. If you are interviewing in a different industry, you can say you are looking for an industry change, one that aligns you with your future career goals. If you were let go from your previous employer, keep it simple. Saying “Unfortunately, I was released,” is an acceptable answer.

9) What other companies are you interviewing with?
This is a popular question with recruiters. I typically keep the answer to this question short and sweet. If you are actively looking, it’s okay to mention that you are exploring a number of other similar options within the company’s industry. Also a great angle is to state there is a common characteristic of all the jobs you are applying to such as abilities and skills you possess.

10) What are your salary requirements?
Research… research… RESEARCH! Use sites like Payscale and Glassdoor to do research on the industry salary trends. This is a great source to help you come up with a range based on the industry, your experience, education and skills. You want to make sure the hiring manager knows that you are flexible. You want to communicate that you know your skills are valuable, you value your knowledge, skills and abilities BUT that you want the job and are more than willing to negotiate.

11) Do you have any questions for us?
What do you want to know about the position that you haven’t already covered? How about the company, department, the team? This is your opportunity to catch up on anything that may have been missed throughout the interview. You can also ask questions that target the interviewer, the company’s benefit packages or the growth of the company.

Be sure to take a moment and review tips on how best to prepare for an interview: You’ve got an interview… NOW WHAT?

Lastly, click on the link to access a handout for you to print and use as a reference to come up with your answers. Be sure to study your answers and be a smart job seeker, BE PREPARED: GENERAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS & TIPS HANDOUT

Workplace Minute – Workplace Stress

MINUTEHow to BANISH workplace stress:

  • Practice daily meditation
  • Release physical tension
  • Use constructive language in every interaction
  • Set positive intentions and stick with them
  • Evaluate your coping mechanisms
  • Be compassionate with yourself and others

Workplace Minute – Written Communication

MINUTEEffective written communication is important whether your job involves extensive writing or simple email correspondence:

• Organize the message.
• Emphasize important points.
• Write what you mean.
• Use simple language.
• Keep a professional tone.
• Edit and revise.
• Use easy-to-read formats.
• Ask co-workers to proofread.

The Best Mobile Job Search Apps

jobsearchLooking for work isn’t easy, especially if you have to find the time to be tied down in front of a computer.

Here are a list of some great mobile apps that will get you started and help you stop searching and start working!

Workplace Minute – Communication

MINUTEYou will be more effective if you are able to communicate clearly with others.

Here are some quick tips on how to communicate effectively:

• Pronounce words clearly.
• Use a pleasant voice.
• Speak at a steady pace.
• Engage the listener.
• Adjust your volume.
• Show appropriate enthusiasm with tone and pitch.
• Use proper grammar.
• Be brief.
• Match body language to comments and discussions.

Communication Styles: Self-Assessment

The way you communicate has a significant impact on how you get on with people and get the things you want. Good communication skills can help avoid conflict and solve problems. They’re also important for making friends and having healthy relationships, which is why it is extremely important to acknowledge that everyone you speak to communicates differently.

I recently conducted a training and spent some time discussing communication styles and was intrigued by how engaged the participants were when we were discussing the topic. Often times we assume, in business and personal, that it doesn’t matter how you convey a message it should be understood in the way you deliver it. This is not always the case.

I provided a self-assessment exercise to the participants to determine their personal communication style. This is a great tool for everyone to use to build the foundation for improving their communication, an essential competency for professional and personal development, as communication is a transferable skill.

This assessment it is broken down into four (4) communication styles:

The Four Communication Styles:

Style 1: WHAT Style 2: HOW
ACTION (A)

Results
Objectives
Achieving
Doing

PROCESS (PR)

Strategies
Organization
Facts

Style 4: WHY Style 3: WHO
IDEA (I)

Concepts
Theories
Innovation

PEOPLE (PE)

Communication
Relationships
Teamwork

 

The purpose of this self-assessment is to help you to identify your communication style. Being aware of your own communication style can help you understand how your communication is perceived by others. By knowing your communication style and understanding the types of communication styles of people with whom you are working with, you can adjust the way you communicate to maximize the communication process.

To determine your communication style, take the Communication Styles: A Self-Assessment Exercise.

The instructions for the assessment is to select from each pair of attributes the one which is most typical of your personality. No pair is an either-or proposal. Make your choice as spontaneously as possible. It is important to know there is NO wrong answer. You shouldn’t have to think about the answer, rather, the selection should come to you automatically.

After you complete the assessment you can move on to the Scoring Sheet for the Communication Styles Assessment. To score the assessment you are to circle the items you have selected (the question number) and add up the totals for each style (one point per answer). Your total for the four styles should be forty (40). The style you score the highest will be your communication style. There have been cases where there has been a tie between two styles, that is okay. Read through the styles to determine which is a bit more like you, though, you are likely to have attributes from both styles.

After you score the assessment and pin-point your particular communication style, you can move on to the chart to review The Main Characteristics of Communication Styles. The main characteristics are broken down by

1) Style
2) Content – people with this style talk about… and
3) Process – people with this style are…

This will provide more detail to your determined communication style.

And finally, the most important resource in the assessment is the Adjusting to Other Communication Styles guide. This guide will provide you the tools to communicate with other types of communication styles.

My communication style is ACTION, therefore, what I would do is consider the characteristics of an individual that I am trying to communicate with. I would determine under which style those characteristics fall, then I would use the tips under that characteristic type to communicate with the individual. The tips on “Adjusting to Other Communication Styles” clearly reflects the differences on how to communicate depending on the style.

You can find the assessment by clicking the below link:

Communication Styles: A Self-Assessment Exercise

If you have any questions regarding the assessment (instructions, scoring, etc.), you can select the “CONNECT” link above to send a direct email with your question and I will assist you.