12 Surprising Interview Tips

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Interview Tips

You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare?

To find the answer, I looked back on my interviews, sifted through research, and most importantly, asked employees from today’s most coveted companies. I tried to find deep insights beyond the typical “sit up straight!” and “dress to impress!” tips we hear too much.

Below you’ll find the 12 best tips to help before, during and after your interview.

BEFORE

 1.    Research Earnings Calls, Quarterly Reports & Blog Posts

In today’s world, content is king. Goldman Sachs publishes quarterly reports, Microsoft records its earning calls, and every startup has a blog.

With so much out there, I’m baffled that few of us look past the company’s homepage. It’s like we’re writing an essay on The Odyssey without quoting a single passage from the book.

Example: If you’re interviewing with Google, here’s two ways to answer: “What’s Google’s biggest opportunity in the next 5 years?”

  • Weak: “I think wearable technology will be big because Google Glass and Apple Watch represent a new trend that shows…”
  • Strong: “Call me geeky, but I was listening to Google’s quarterly earnings call and was blown away by the fact that display advertising hit over $5 billion in the past few years. Therefore, I think that…”

Neither answer is wrong, but the latter says much more. It shows you’ve done your homework and give answers rooted in data.

2.   Use Google Alerts

Keeping up with company news is hard, especially if you’re interviewing with multiple places at once. That’s why Google Alerts is a savior; it’s a tool that emails you anytime a new story appears for a specific term. That way, you learn about current events without searching for them.

 Example: If you’re applying to Creative Artists Agency, follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.google.com/alerts
  2. Type in “Creative Artists Agency”
  3. Put in your email address if you’re not already logged in to Gmail

Soon enough, you’ll get updates on CAA and have more ammo for your interview.

3. Use Social Sweepster To Clean Your Facebook & Twitter

Nowadays, 91% of employers search your social media for any red flags. While most people tell you to watch every single thing you upload, there’s a much easier solution. Use Social Sweepster, an app that detects pictures of red solo cups, beer bottles, and other “suspicious” objects. It even detects profanity from your past posts! Now, that’s f%$king awesome!

“Too many recruiters reject candidate because of something they found on their social platforms” Social Sweepster CEO Tom McGrath says. “We help you create the first impression on your own terms.”

4. Schedule For Tuesday at 10:30 AM

According to Glassdoor, the best time to interview is 10:30 AM on Tuesday. Remember, your interviewer has a world of responsibilities beyond hiring. They’re responding to emails, balancing projects, and meeting tons of other candidates so it’s crucial to consider when they’ll be in the best mental state to meet you.

10:30 AM Tuesday is the sweet spot because you:

  • Avoid the bookends. On Mondays and Fridays, employees gear up for the week or wind down. By the same token, avoid the first or last slots of any workday.
  • Avoid lunchtime. Immediately before noon, your interviewer may be too hungry to concentrate; immediately after, they may be in a food coma.

But there’s a caveat. Research shows it’s best to take the earliest interview slot “in circumstances under which decisions must be made quickly or without much deliberation because preferences are unconsciously and immediately guided to those options presented first.”

Bottom line: if the firm is hiring for a job starting in a few months, try to interview late morning between Tuesday through Thursday. If the firm is hiring immediately, grab the earliest slot.

5. Craft Your “Story Statement”

 Though most interviews start with the same prompt (“tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”), we blow it off with boring answers like:

I studied [major X] because I really care about making a difference in [industry Y] as you can see through my last job at [company Z]…

This answer is like tearing out the first 200 pages of your autobiography. You leave out everything that gives meaning to why you want this job in the first place. What was your moment of epiphany? How did your childhood influence you? Why does this job move you? Most people don’t answer these questions. They start and end with their professional experience, leaving little to inspire the interviewer.

Next time, use what I call a “Story Statement,” which is a Cliff Notes of your autobiography.

Example: Here’s an amazing Story Statement that Teach For America fellow Kareli Lizarraga used for her interviews.

“I grew up in California and Arizona after immigrating to the United States when I was four years old. Since neither of my parents went to college, I relied on my high school teachers to help me apply to top universities. With their support, I was able to attend the University of Pennsylvania. Then I spent a summer at a Washington DC law firm, which represented low-income students and helped me realize that my passion lay within creating educational opportunities for all.

I decided to become a teacher because I see myself so deeply reflected in the stories of so many students in your schools – and that’s why I’m so excited about the opportunity to interview with you today. Like my teachers did for me, I want to impact the next generation of students by supporting them and understanding the experiences they’re facing.”

A Story Statement shows that you’re a person, not just a professional.  It also makes it easy for your interviewer to predict the next chapter of your story. For Kareli, Teach For America is a logical next step. Of course, if she interviewed for Apple, she may change her Story Statement to include an early experience with her first computer and talk about how her passion for tech grew from there. For a Bain interview, she could mention how she started problem solving at a young age and now wants to do it on a big scale.

Chances are, we’ve all had experiences we can connect to where we’re trying to go. It’s just a matter of selecting the right ones to tell our story. That said, if you struggle to craft your Story Statement for a particular interview, you might be applying for the wrong job.

6. Wear a Subtle Fashion Statement

We already know dressing well makes a difference. But what if we took our attention to detail a step further? That’s exactly what Morgan Stanley analyst Julio German Arias Castillo did for his interviews.

“Wear something that represents your culture or background,” he says. “In my case, I always wear a pin of the Panamanian flag on my suit lapel. Most of my interviewers ask about it so it becomes a chance to discuss my upbringing and love of my homeland.”

Julio created a conversation starter with his clothing. Depending on the company, you can be more playful: wear a bracelet from your recent travels to India, a tie with a quirky pattern, or — if you can pull it off — a small mockingjay pin if you’re a Hunger Games fan. As long as it’s subtle and tasteful, your fashion statement can build rapport through fun conversations about your hometown or mutual love for Katniss Everdeen.

Continue on to Forbes.com to read tips 7-12 and more great career/business articles

María Celeste Arrarás Joins Las Vegas Walk Of Stars

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Maria Celeste

MIAMI – April 19, 2018 – The host of Telemundo’s “Al Rojo Vivo” news magazine, María Celeste Arrarás, will soon add her name to the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. She is the first person born in Puerto Rico to receive this honor, held by a select group of superstars such as Juan Gabriel, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Luis Miguel, Vicente Fernández and Jenni Rivera.

María Celeste’s star will be unveiled in a special ceremony on Tuesday, April 24, and installed in its permanent sidewalk home for public viewing the following day, Wednesday, April 25.

“I owe this star to each and every one of the individuals who have stood alongside me during my career, and especially to the viewers who accompany me from home every day,” María Celeste acknowledged.

Emmy-award winning journalist and investigative reporter María Celeste Arrarás is one of the best-known figures in Spanish-speaking television.  The lead anchor of “Al Rojo Vivo con María Celeste,” one of the most acclaimed news magazines on Hispanic television, she has also served as guest anchor of “Noticias Telemundo” and NBC’s “Today Show,” and as a contributor to “Dateline” and “NBC Nightly News.”  She has appeared on the cover of People en Español more than 14 times and graced the front of Newsweek’s special issue on “Women and Leadership: The Next Generation.”  She has been profiled in numerous prestigious publications, among them The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post and The Miami Herald.

María Celeste began her television career as a local reporter for Puerto Rico’s Canal 24 in 1986.  She was hired by Telemundo’s New York affiliate and in 1994 went on to work for “Primer Impacto” on Univision, rejoining Telemundo as anchor of “Al Rojo Vivo” in 2002.

Her career is distinguished by a number of prestigious awards, including three Emmys™ and the Rubén Salazar Award for Excellence in Journalism.

About NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises:

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises is a world-class media company leading the industry in the production and distribution of high-quality Spanish-language content to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world. This fast-growing multiplatform portfolio is comprised of the Telemundo Network and Station Group, Telemundo Deportes, Telemundo Global Studios, Universo, and a Digital Enterprises & Emerging Business unit. Telemundo Network features original Spanish-language entertainment, news and sports content reaching 94% of U.S. Hispanic TV households in 210 markets through 27 local stations, 51 affiliates and its national feed. Telemundo also owns WKAQ, a television station that serves viewers in Puerto Rico.

Telemundo Deportes is the designated Spanish-language home of two of the world’s most popular sporting events: FIFA World Cup™ through 2026 and the Summer Olympic Games through 2032. Telemundo Global Studios is the company’s domestic and international scripted production unit including Telemundo Studios, Telemundo International Studios, Telemundo International, as well as all of the company’s co-production partnerships.  As the #1 media company reaching Hispanics and millennials online, the Digital Enterprises & Emerging Business unit distributes original content across multiple platforms, maximizing its exclusive partnerships with properties such as BuzzFeed, Vox, and Snapchat. Through Telemundo Internacional, the largest U.S.-based distributor of Spanish-language content in the world; and Universo, the fastest growing Hispanic entertainment cable network, the company reflects the diverse lifestyle, cultural experience and language of its expanding audience. NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises is a division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Sell Yourself and Your Brand

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Creating a personal brand helps employers see your uniqueness

Why take the time to develop a personal brand? See how you can stand out to employers.

  • In a tough job market, you need to stand out. Besides helping you identify your personal strengths, having a brand can pull your resume to the top of the pile, make you shine in interviews, and leave your LinkedIn readers positively wowed.
  • Corporations take great care to develop a brand that defines their product. Brands help inspire trust and commitment in consumers; if you apply similar thinking to your personal brand, you can distinguish your value in a way that inspires an employer’s interest in you.
  • With so many marketing options, you need to be consistent. Use your brand in all your job search communications, including your cover letter, in interviews, and in thank-you notes. Your LinkedIn and other social media should clearly reflect you and your professional brand.
  • Most work is project based. Your brand is a shorthand description of what you bring to a team or to the table for projects.

So, are you ready to start thinking—or rethinking—your personal branding strategy?

Consider several of your best work experiences and how you contributed to them. What skill or characteristic is reflected in your best work stories? How did you use it? With what result? Ask yourself: “Why do people like to work with me or employ me?” What earns you compliments or accolades? What do people depend on you for?

Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Are you friendly and always the one to organize social events at work? Your brand could include “an inveterate team builder and initiator.”
  • Do you take unusual care to ensure details are thoroughly thought through and accurate? Your brand could be “willing to take on the precision that scares others away.”
  • You might be an outstanding supervisor who makes operations flow and brand yourself “a problem-solver who excels at developing talent.”

You can identify your signature characteristics yourself or work with a career coach or counselor to help you identify them. It’s a good idea to ask for some feedback on your ideas from a few trusted friends or colleagues before you go public with your brand to avoid a mismatch of how you see yourself and how you may come across to others.

Source: careeronestop.org

Three traits you need to get hired at Google, Amazon and other top companies

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Group of Tech Employees

Every year, LinkedIn measures the activity of its more than 500 million users to get insight on the companies in the U.S. people most want to work for.

This year, employers in tech, media and finance dominate the list, with Amazon taking the top spot. But to land a job at companies like Netflix, Google, or Amazon — which received 5,000,000 resumes for roughly 12,000 open jobs last year alone — bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch warns that it will take more than skills and experience.

“Earning a spot at one of these companies,” Welch tells CNBC Make It, “is like winning the lottery.”

To stand out from the competition, Welch says you’ll need a sterling resume — and these three traits:

1. Passion for the company’s mission
Welch says that in order to score a job at one of LinkedIn’s top companies, you must show in your interview that you understand and believe in the company’s mission and values.

“Your interview has to prove you have deep familiarity with the company’s heart and soul, its past and future,” she says. “And you need to make it clear that you are mission-driven.”

Show hiring managers that you don’t “work to live,” but, instead, that you “live to work, in particular, for a company with a purpose.”

2. Intensity
If you’re a laid back person, Welch says working for one of today’s leading companies may not be for you. Recruiters, she says, are looking for people “with intensity to spare.”

“Tesla is a company where, ‘excellence is a passing grade,'” she says. “Facebook wants its people to ‘be bold and move fast.'”

Welch says top employers want confident candidates full of ideas and energy.

“Bring your A-game to your interview,” she says, “as in, Type-A.”

3. Humanity
Yes, most top employers are looking for candidates with industry experience, but to really stand out, Welch says you’ll also need to demonstrate love for your customers, colleagues and employees.

“Top companies use their interviews to look for empathy, kindness, collegiality and authenticity,” she says. “They want to see your humanity, with a capital ‘H.'”

Getting a job at one of the most sought-after companies in America is no easy feat, but Welch says that if you show the right balance of skills and personality, you’ll have a pretty good chance of scoring a position “not only at the Amazons and Googles of the world, but just about anywhere you’d care to work.”

Read the complete article and more from Yahoo here.

Latinas on the Rise

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Ana Bermudez

The number of Latinas in powerful positions is rising every day. This fast-growing segment of the population is showing how tech savvy they’ve become, how they can handle any job, and how hard they are working to increase opportunities for others. The women here hold positions that have not historically been held by Latinas, yet they are rising to the top of their fields.

Ana Bermudez, TAGit™ CEO

Ana Bermudez, pictured left, is the CEO of TAGit™, the mobile app that TV viewers use to buy items from their favorite TV shows. TAGit is a tech platform where TV, entertainment, retail, and commerce converge to monetize media, ads, and product placement.

Founded in 2013, TAGit is leading the way in monetizing media with the patent-pending tech solution it created. Through its platform, TAGit offers access to a robust portfolio of retailers, including Target. TAGit has won numerous awards from various tech and diversity organizations and was selected to participate in the first group of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, and the first group of the NMSDC Emerging Young Entrepreneurs Program.

Ana is a proud Fighting Irish, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. She is passionate about serving her community, promoting STEM and higher education in under-served and under-represented communities.

Ana recently served as Chairman of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leadership Program Alumni Council, and as an Advisor of the University of Notre Dame Council–Institute for Latino Studies.

Source: TAGit

Ilia Calderón, co-anchor on Noticiero Univision

Ilia Calderon-Latina on the Rise
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Univision News, the award-winning news division of Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), the leading media company serving Hispanic America, has designated Ilia Calderón as the new co-anchor of Univision Network’s flagship evening newscast, Noticiero Univision. She also serves as co-host of Univision’s primetime newsmagazine, Here and Now.

Calderón is the first Afro-Latina to anchor an evening newscast for a major broadcast network in the United States. She had formerly achieved a similar milestone in her native Colombia, where she was the first black woman to ever host a national news program in that country, CMI News.

With a distinguished 20+-year career in broadcast journalism, Calderón has received many prestigious recognitions, including an Emmy award. She is known across Latin America and the U.S. for her direct journalistic style, thorough coverage of major news events, and incisive interviews with global celebrities and political leaders.

Born to a bi-racial and culturally diverse family in the Chocó region of Colombia, Calderón launched her journalism career in 1994 as the anchor of a local newscast in the country’s second largest city, Medellín. She is now based in Miami.

Source: corporate.univision.com

Claudia Romo Edelman-Latina on the RiseClaudia Romo Edelman, Rainbow PUSH Coalition award recipient

Claudia Romo Edelman, Special Adviser for UNICEF and Hispanicize 2018 co-chair, was the recipient of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition 2017 Rising Hispanic Leadership Award.

“Claudia is a firm believer in the power of uniting the Latino community and is somebody whose track record and skills are needed to lead Latinos forward,” said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. “She has the passion to be that unifying leader the Hispanic community needs.”

Romo Edelman is the Special Adviser to UNICEF, having served as the Global Chief of Public Advocacy at UNICEF since 2014. Romo Edelman is also co-chair of Hispanicize 2018, the national event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers that will launch a study of Latino diversity in Silicon Valley in 2017.

Romo Edelman, a former Mexican-Swiss diplomat, previously managed communications and advocacy for the Special Adviser for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change in the Executive Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations. Romo Edelman has led PR, brand and marketing for some of the world’s biggest global organizations including the World Economic Forum, the UN Refugee Agency and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Source: hispanicizewire.com

45 Pieces of Career Advice That Will Get You to the Top

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When it comes to your career, sometimes it feels like you could use all the advice you can get. From picking the “right” career to actually excelling in it, there’s certainly a lot to learn.

And that’s why we’ve gathered our all-time best career advice. From starting out at the bottom of the totem pole to advancing to a more senior position to—who knows?—maybe even branching out to open your own business, we’ve collected 45 of the best tips for whatever stage you’re at in your career.

Working a Not-Quite-Dream-Job

  1. The best career or job is the one in which you’re using the skills you enjoy. But, not every job needs to address all of your passions. Use every job as an opportunity to learn something new and keep an open mind; you may find that you really enjoy something you never imagined would appeal to you.—Miriam Salpeter, Founder of Keppie Careers
  2. Don’t take yourself (or your career) too seriously. Plenty of brilliant people started out in jobs they hated, or took paths that weren’t right at the beginning of their careers. Professional development is no longer linear, and trust that with hard work and a dedication to figuring out what you want to do with your life, you, too, will be OK!—Kathryn Minshew, CEO of The Muse
  3. Every person you meet is a potential door to a new opportunity—personally or professionally. Build good bridges even in that just-for-now job, because you never know how they’ll weave into the larger picture of your life.—Kristina LeonardiCareer Coach
  4. My friend Andre said to me, “You know, Marissa, you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to pick the right choice, and I’ve gotta be honest: That’s not what I see here. I see a bunch of good choices, and there’s the one that you pick and make great.” I think that’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten.”—Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!
  5. No matter how low on the totem poll you are or how jaded you’ve become by your to-do list, it’s still important to show up early, wear something sharp, and avoid Facebook like the plague. I discovered that when I acted like a professional, I suddenly felt like my work was a lot more valuable. “Looking the part” boosted my confidence, helped me begin to see myself as a highly capable contributor to the team—and ultimately led the rest of my team to see me in the same light.—Lisa Habersack, Writer
  6. Remember that a job, even a great job or a fantastic career, doesn’t give your life meaning, at least not by itself. Life is about what you learn, who you are or can become, who you love and are loved by.—Fran Dorf, Author and Psychotherapist
  7. If the career you have chosen has some unexpected inconvenience, console yourself by reflecting that no career is without them.—Jane Fonda

Continue onto The Muse to read the complete article.

Applications for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement’s 10th Annual Women’s Leadership Program Now Open

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business woman

Mujeres de HACE offers 14-week training on the crucial skills needed for professional growth.

The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), a national nonprofit committed to the advancement of Latino professionals, announced today the program dates and cities for its 10th annual Mujeres de HACE program. The 14-week interactive program offers individualized content to fuel professional development and establishes influential relationships with peers and mentors that continue beyond the program’s completion. Sessions will be held across the country in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Houston, Dallas, Miami and the Washington D.C. metro area.

“Mujeres de HACE is a women’s leadership program aimed at empowering high-potential Latina professionals at the manager level or above to succeed professionally and thrive personally,” said Patricia Mota, HACE president and CEO. “For HACE members, achieving an entry-level position is the starting point, not the goal.”

This year, Mujeres de HACE is visiting San Francisco for the first time to address the lack of Latina leadership in technology. According to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, Silicon Valley’s tech workforce is a mere 4.7 percent Hispanic. For this initiative, HACE will be partnering with Groupon who will host the program’s San Francisco cohort and sponsor the graduation ceremony.

“HACE is doing important work to cultivate Latina talent into leadership positions, and we are pleased to partner with them on this year’s women’s leadership program,” said Alison Allgor, Groupon senior vice president of Human Resources. “The events in San Francisco will be a natural extension of the work we’ve done to develop diverse talent across Groupon and bring more of these valuable perspectives to our organization and the tech industry at large.”

Over the past 10 years, Mujeres de HACE has led more than 800 women to grow professionally and break down barriers. Program graduates have gone on to achieve leadership positions across top companies, including NASA, Toyota and LinkedIn. In fact:

  • Two in five program participants report a promotion within six months of completing the program;
  • Two in five report a salary increase within six months of completing program; and
  • Four in five report serving on a non-profit board or volunteering after the program.

“In a short amount of time, the program has positively impacted my career and helped me explore my strengths and talents to unleash my leadership abilities,” said Angela Solis Sullivan, fall 2017 cohort. “It presented me with the opportunity to be a part of a sisterhood of women who can all relate to the challenges of being a Latina in the American workforce.”

In addition to a comprehensive training curriculum covering everything from leadership style to developing a personal brand, Mujeres de HACE will feature executive leaders from renowned companies. These speakers will share their keys to career progression and discuss the challenges Latinas face in the current political climate.

Joining Groupon as 2018 corporate sponsors are NBC Universal, Northern Trust, Marathon Oil and AT&T. AT&T will be hosting Mujeres de HACE’s first-ever program in Atlanta.

The Mujeres de HACE program costs $2,500 and accepts tuition assistance. The fee covers training sessions, coaching and materials. To learn more about Mujeres de HACE and to apply for the program, visit HACEonline.org/mujeres-de-hace. The deadline for the spring cohort application is March 30, 2018. The fall cohort application deadline is Aug. 5, 2018.

About HACE

The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement is a national nonprofit dedicated to the employment, development and advancement of current and aspiring Latino professionals. Since 1982, HACE has served as a resource for Latinos in the workplace and a source of expertise and insight for corporations seeking to access them. Through professional development, resources and networks, and by facilitating access to meaningful career opportunities, HACE helps Latinos succeed in every phase of their careers. With a network of over 52,000 members across the country, HACE works with employers to remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic economy by helping them attract, develop and retain Latino and diverse professionals.

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Want to Get a Job at Amazon’s HQ2 – or Anywhere Else?

LinkedIn

A critical factor that employers are looking for – from Amazon to Apple – is ‘agility.’ If you live in one of the 20 cities that were named as finalists for the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes, you might be dusting off your resume right now. Amazon plans to create as many as 50,000 new jobs in the city where it decides to locate.

Even if you don’t live in one of those “lucky 20,” or if you do but just don’t think Amazon is the place for you, the reality is that there is a lot of hiring happening in America right now. The big question is: How can you take advantage of it?

This doesn’t mean being able to touch your toes, run the 400-meter hurdles or ski the giant slalom (in honor of the Winter Olympics). It means being adaptable and able to adjust to new and dynamic circumstances. Employers from Amazon to the little company down the street value agility because it’s getting more and more difficult to know exactly what a job will entail six months or a year from today. Attributes like being able to work with constantly changing teams and interact effectively with people who have different skill sets are essential in this type of environment.

Another reason why agility at work matters so much? The growth of artificial intelligence in the workplace. A report from Deloitte finds that AI isn’t necessarily taking away jobs from people, but creating “more human jobs” that require traits like empathy, communication and problem-solving across different disciplines. In short: agility.

Show it. Don’t use your resume to simply outline the tasks you’ve done or the jobs you held. Make sure it tells a story – the story of how you are an adaptable thinker and doer. Instead of talking about how you completed a major project, reframe the conversation into one about how you worked across different teams or completely re-thought how to do something that mattered for your organization.

Prove it. Who can tell the “Agile You” story better than you? Well, if that story rings true – your references definitely can.

More than anyone else, your job references will be the people who have seen your adaptable, team-oriented approach firsthand at work – and they’ll be able to speak to it. But you have to make sure your references know that agility is a key area you’re pitching about yourself. Tell them they should be ready to emphasize it when contacted.

In addition, think about providing a diverse set of references. While managers used to be the default setting for references until quite recently, today employers are increasingly looking to speak to both managers as well as co-workers. Why?

Because managers and co-workers can provide different types of information about you, and both kinds are valuable. Managers tend to focus on job skills and accomplishments, which makes sense – that’s what they need from you and what they’re measuring you against. Co-workers tend to share a lot more about your temperament, attitude, approach to teamwork and communication skills – many of the elements that speak to agility. In fact, SkillSurvey has done research on this very topic that was published last year in Harvard Business Review, driving home the importance of employers requesting both types of job references.

Repeat it. Don’t be afraid to stay on message during your interview and in every other interaction you have with a prospective employer!

You may be getting bored with yourself when you’re making the same points about your workplace flexibility to various interviewers and in your resume, thank-you notes and even your LinkedIn profile – but don’t worry. The employer won’t be bored. Remember, this is the first time they are hearing from you. Most likely, everything they are learning about you is completely new to them. Driving home your key messages – agility being one of them – is a big part of achieving your goal.

So, whether you’re aiming for a great job at Amazon’s HQ2 or a new role at a place you’d like to be your own career HQ for the next several years, focus on pointing out your workplace agility and you’ll be going a long way toward increasing your odds of success.

Continue on to money.usnews to read the complete article.

Ten Questions Never, Ever To Ask At A Job Interview

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Work Attire Tips

You must bring questions with you to every job interview.

Here are three good questions to ask your interviewer:

1. How does this position contribute to the department’s — and the company’s — success?

2. What will a successful first year in this job look like? What will your new hire accomplish?

3. Who are the internal and external customers of the person in this job, and what do those customers want?

You will come up with more questions to ask as you research the company you’re going to be interviewing with. You’ll develop questions about the position, the company’s goals, the manager’s communications style and much more.  New questions will pop into your mind during the interview. Don’t be afraid to ask questions — it’s the best thing a candidate can do!

At the same time, there are certain questions never, ever to ask at a job interview. Ten of them are listed below.

1. What does your company do?

You can say, “I know Acme Explosives manufactures stick dynamite for the coyote market — but I’d love to hear your perspective on the organization and its mission.”

You can’t show up at a job interview not knowing what the company does. That’s what the internet is for!

2. Do you have any other positions available, apart from this one?

Right now, you’re sitting in an interview talking about a specific job. Don’t ask about other positions unless the interviewer says, “I don’t think you’re a good fit for this job.”

If you feel that the job you’re discussing is not a good fit for you, you can say so — but until you’ve reached that point, keep the conversation on topic and remember that no one can force you to take a job if you don’t want to.

If they make you an offer and it doesn’t excite you, you can inquire about other available positions then. Cross that bridge later!

3. Which bus comes to your building from the east side of the city?

It’s up to you to figure out public transportation. Every public transit authority has online maps and schedules. It’s not the interviewer’s job to know every bus and train route, and this type of low-altitude question doesn’t brand you as a professional.

4. Do you use ABC Software here?

If they care about your proficiency with a particular software program, they will ask you. If you ask whether they use ABC Software and they don’t, you’ll be hanging in the breeze. The interviewer will say, “No, we use XYZ Software — are you proficient in that?” and you’ll have to say, “Nope.”

There’s no advantage to asking, “What kind of software do you use here?” in the early stages of your interview process.

5. Do you drug test applicants?

This is the biggest red-flag question you can ask. Even if you’re just asking out of curiosity or because you eat a poppy-seed bagel every day and you’re worried about the poppy seeds messing up your drug test results, don’t ask  the question!

If they drug-test applicants, they will tell you that when it’s time for you to take the drug test.

Cut back on the poppy seed bagels, just in case.

6. Are you interviewing other people for the job?

You can safely assume they’re interviewing other people. Also, what difference does it make? If it’s the right job for you at this moment in time, they’ll make you an offer, and you’ll accept.

Don’t worry about other candidates they may be considering. Focus on yourself!

7. If I don’t get the offer this time, how long do I have to wait to re-apply?

I include this question on our list of “Don’t Ask” interview questions because I have heard it from applicants’ lips so many times.

Everyone can understand how nerve-wracking the job search process can be.  Don’t make it worse by asking your interviewer what to do if you don’t get the job!

8. Are you going to talk to my former employer?

Any employer who’s considering hiring you is going to conduct some type of employment verification process. That process works through your former employer’s HR department.

Unless you listed your former manager as one of your references, prospective employers are very unlikely to talk to your old boss (or even to learn your former boss’s name).

Don’t put questions about your relationship with your ex-boss in their minds by asking, “Are you going to talk to my former employer?”

9. Does your company offer tuition reimbursement? How much is the deductible on your dental plan? How many vacation days will I accrue in the first three months? Does your health plan cover contact lenses?

It is a bad use of your precious face-to-face interview time to ask questions about the specifics of the company’s benefit plans. Ask for a copy of the health care program documents and read them when you get home.

You have a real person who works for the company in front of you — pick their brain about the work, the mission, the challenges, the opportunity and the culture.

Don’t turn your poor interviewer into a walking, talking employee benefits encyclopedia!

10. How long is your new employee probation  period?

This is another unnecessary and potentially alarming question for a job applicant to ask at an interview.

You can ask, “What is the waiting period for health benefits?” or, “What is your 401(k) eligibility schedule?” but don’t ask about the probationary period specifically.

If you do, it sounds like you’re anxious about making it through your probationary period. In reality, the probationary period for newcomers isn’t all that significant unless you work in a unionized environment that gives workers more protection after they’ve finished probation.

For everybody else, a major slip-up on Day 100 of your employment will outweigh the fact that you’ve completed your 90-day probation. Don’t give your possible next boss reason to wonder,”Why does this person care so much about the probationary period?”

Ask for a copy of the company’s handbook instead of asking this question — and read it cover to cover!

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com

You Got the Job—Now What?

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Job Interview

Great—you got the job! A lot of people in this situation might think, “Now I can relax, cruise a while, and rest on my laurels.” Actually, your work is just beginning.

Ford R. Myers, career coach, speaker, and author states, “Having worked with thousands of executives who have successfully secured new positions, in my opinion, there are six priorities that you should focus on during the first 90 days of any new job.” These include:

  1. Establish positive relationships with your new colleagues. Be honest, open, friendly, reliable, and clear. Be outgoing and introduce yourself to coworkers (don’t wait for them to approach you).
  2. Develop a reputation for producing tangible results. Immediately, start a “success file” and track your accomplishments and contributions. Make note of the positive feedback you get from others in conversation and in writing—from clients, managers, clients, colleagues, vendors, etc.
  3. Communicate plans and progress to your superiors and to your team. Become known for setting challenging goals and completing projects on time and on budget—with measurable results.
  4. Begin building your own in-house contact network. Cultivate good relationships with everyone, including the employees above and below your level. Get to know people’s names. Reach out to the mail guy, the security guard, the IT guru, your manager’s executive assistant—everyone. You want business friends and supporters in a 360-degree arc around you.
  5. Review and fine-tune your job description with your manager. Sit down during those first 90 days and create an “individual development plan” for yourself and your role, which includes your short-, mid-, and long-term goals. This is critical to ensure that the job you landed becomes the job you love.
  6. Maintain a healthy balance between your work life and your private life. Don’t “go overboard” with enthusiasm for your new job. Family time, hobbies, and “recharging your batteries” are all part of your long-term professional effectiveness and success.

“You must focus on garnering respect, visibility, and credibility during your first 90 days on the job. The precedents you establish during this period will tend to last for your entire tenure at that organization. So, this ‘thumbprint period’ is critically important to your long-term success,” Myers adds.

Source: Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally known career coach and author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.

UCLA Faculty Who Were First in Their Families to Go to College Help Others Like Them Overcome Fear, Self-Doubt

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UCLA Student and Grad

Gerardo Ramirez remembers his first day of college as one filled with conflicting emotions. He was eager and excited to be starting his freshman year at California State University, Northridge, but at the same time, he was apprehensive and anxious, and feeling a lot of pressure.

“The entire week before, I had nightmares that I couldn’t find any of my classrooms,” recalls Ramirez, who was not only navigating the physical campus but also entering the strange, new world of higher education as the first in his family to go to high school and college.

“I felt worried that I wouldn’t be able to do something as basic as find a class,” he says, “and that uncertainty in my abilities was a common concern for me throughout my undergrad years.”

Ramirez is now an assistant professor in UCLA’s Department of Psychology and one of approximately 100 UCLA faculty members, all former first-generation college students, who are participating in a new effort to offer support and encouragement to prospective and current first-generation UCLA students. More than 30 percent of UCLA undergraduates fall into that category.

Helping first-generation students feel connected

The UCLA First Generation Faculty Campaign is part of a broader effort to raise the visibility of first-generation faculty members across the University of California. At UCLA, the campaign is operating in collaboration with the First to Go program, which focuses on the retention and success of UCLA students.

“This campaign is intended to demystify the faculty rank for students and lets them know that behind the podium are many people whose roots are very similar to their own, and that a similar prestigious end is possible for them in whatever career path they are pursuing,” says Patricia Turner, senior dean of the UCLA College who was a first-generation college student who grew up in Sag Harbor, New York, where her mother cleaned houses and her father ran a farm in nearby Bridgehampton.

Originally from Virginia, neither of her parents completed high school.

First-generation students commonly face unique challenges when coming to college, says Turner, including pressure to improve their family’s economic situation, a narrow understanding of academic and professional opportunities, and lack of mentors.

Turner, who attended State University of New York, Oneonta, and UC Berkeley, says that highly competitive schools like UCLA can be especially intimidating for first-gen students who sometimes believe that professors at UCLA, one of the world’s leading universities, couldn’t possibly relate to them on a personal level.

“Academic success is linked to students believing that they belong to the institution,” says Turner, noting that more than 90 percent of first-generation students at UCLA graduate. “Students need to feel connected, and the response we have received to this program reinforces my belief that our faculty members are deeply committed to the undergraduate experience at UCLA.”

It’s especially important for first-generation students to complete their studies and inspire other prospective first-generation students because of what a college degree can mean economically to their future, their families, communities and society. According to a study by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce published in 2014, those who have bachelor’s degrees earn on average $1 million more than high school graduates over the course of a lifetime. In addition, Ph.D. holders earn $1 million more than bachelor’s degree holders.

Inspiring others to succeed

Being in college won Ramirez respect among his siblings and other family members, many of whom looked to him as an example of what is possible with hard work and dedication to academics. He also was able to offer them one-on-one counseling — something many lower-income high school students often don’t receive — and guide them on college admission requirements and financial aid and application deadlines, among other details.

As a college student, Ramirez avoided mentioning his first-generation status, but as a UCLA professor, he proudly shares his personal story with his students at the beginning of each quarter.

It’s this kind of support and perspective that inspired fourth-year cognitive science major and first-generation college student Denise Peralta to apply for graduate school after she completes her bachelor’s degree in June. “He (Ramirez) was the only professor to encourage me to go straight into a Ph.D. program. I wasn’t confident that I was ready, but, after hearing his story, I understood why he was pushing me, and I thought I could do it.”

Ramirez also opened her eyes to the importance of being involved in undergraduate research and helped her explore opportunities both at UCLA and other institutions. Peralta currently works in Ramirez’s research lab and hopes to one day teach math at a middle school similar to the one she attended in East Los Angeles. Her career aspirations are driven by a desire to foster a love of math and learning, and to serve as a positive role model.

“I want my students to see someone who looks like them, who came from the same neighborhood or one like theirs — and show them that success and a bright future are within their reach,” Peralta says. “I want them to say, ‘If she can do it, I can do it.’ And first-gen college students also need this kind of encouragement. This campaign gives us that.”

Advice from those who walked a similar path

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Paul Kroskrity became a first-generation college student after growing up in Long Island, New York, and later in Connecticut. He joined UCLA’s Department of Anthropology as a professor 40 years ago and served as chair of the American Indian Studies Program for 26 years. He believes that UCLA and the UC campuses in general are the perfect place for these efforts to flourish.

“The reason why this [First to Go] program is so good is that we have a really high quality institution, but we also admit students that are more diverse than those at the average university,” says Kroskrity, adding that UC campuses are an engine for social mobility. At other universities, he says, it’s not unusual for students who are the third or fourth generation in their families to attend college.

Kroskrity, who graduated from Columbia University and Indiana University, encourages first-generation students to get engaged, stay involved and not allow themselves to be constrained by self-imposed barriers or self-doubt.

“If you start limiting yourself by your own sense of what you are not capable of, or what you don’t know about, or how awkward you feel because it’s something new, you just don’t get the full experience,” says Kroskrity, whose mother didn’t complete high school and whose father was limited in his career because he lacked a college education.

“Take academic risks, talk to people that you might not have considered speaking to before, including your professors,” the UCLA anthropologist advises. “Reach out to people and get the full value of this experience. UCLA exists for them. You are not going to get these four years back, so use them in the best ways possible.”

Source: newsroom.ucla.edu