So…Tell Me About Yourself

While it’s awkward, vague, potentially creepy depending on the style with which it’s delivered, there is no reason to shrink from the standard, “Tell me about yourself,” interview question. In most cases, it’s simply a lazy interview intro wielded by inexperienced HR professionals or managers who simply don’t hire frequently enough to have a proper plan. In these situations there is no […]

Bow Out Gracefully: How to Cancel a Speech

If you’re successful in your chosen profession at some point you may be asked to give a presentation. Given the common assumption that public speaking is one of the top five fears countless books and articles have been written to help you muster the courage and develop the skills to shine on stage. But what if an unfortunate circumstance is what prevents you […]

Saying Goodbye: Are Exit Interviews Worth the Time?

Despite promises of advocates and vendors, I’ve rarely found exit interviews to be effective. Time consuming and awkward? Sure. But capable of producing meaningful insights? Not really. In cases were people leave on positive terms you often get throwaway answers such as: compensation and commute time or gentle rationales like, “the company is great and I wasn’t actively looking, but this opportunity came out […]

Resume Tips for Top Grads

So you just graduated from a top-tier school. Congratulations. Now the real work begins. Even when you’re among the best of the best you still have to stand out from the crowd. To do so it’s important to showcase: Transferable Skills: Take stock of the lessons learned and skills developed during your college years that would readily apply to the job […]

How to Pitch the Boss Your Bright Idea

A reader recently asked: Once a person has come up with a good idea, what steps are involved in taking the idea from the realm of possibility to the realm of reality? It’s an interesting question and one that has plagued countless creative-types. Having a good idea, be it for a new product or service, a process improvement, or even an organization-wide […]

How to Save Your Job When Layoffs Loom

Mark Twain said, “When you need a friend, it’s too late to make one.” The quote is often applicable to business networking and the adverse effect of allowing your contacts to run cold. By the time rumors of layoffs start circulating it could be too late to preserve your position. This is especially true if you’re an […]

MBA vs. Entrepreneurship: What’s the Winning Move?

Formal education and firsthand experience are both valuable. The question is: what’s most valuable to you and those you want to do business with down the road? People will answer this differently based on their vocation and career goals. For me, as an MBA and entrepreneur, the latter was much more helpful in sparking success. Sure, an employer program can help with education […]

Does College Still Matter?

Unless you plan to write the rules by starting your own company than yes, college still matters. Two reasons: Perception: Hiring managers went and find value in the undertaking. If you want a traditional career, especially in a white-collar, knowledge-based profession, you need the fancy piece of paper. Reality: High schools simply can’t arm you with enough skills to compete in today’s […]

4 Habits of Great Managers

Anyone can track employee time and pass along HR announcements. Great managers are savvy people leaders who transform strategic intent into tangible action through sheer influence. Their ability to produce value through others sets them apart from even the most knowledgeable independent contributor. Up your managerial game by adopting these four actions: Coach Your Employees: If you start working for someone […]

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Many job seekers believe their questions should come at the end of the interview. While that’s better than having no inquires at all, asking the interviewer well-placed, thoughtful questions throughout the conversation makes it more of a balanced discussion and increases the level of rapport. It also demonstrates your interest in the role, understanding of the company, and offers insight into how […]