So you just landed a leadership role at a new company. Congratulations! Going in, you know there’ll be a learning curve when it comes to handling your new responsibilities. But there’s also the people factor to consider.
Being the boss of a completely new team also means influencing a group of employees you don’t know very well to work together (and with you) toward a common goal. Nerve-racking, yes. But not impossible!
Even seasoned leaders make mistakes when managing a new team. Here are four common ones to avoid if you want to make your transition as smooth as possible for both you and your direct reports.
Mistake #1: Acting Before Understanding
If you think the first thing you need to do when joining a new team is to start making changes—slow down. Yes, part of your role is to help things run better, and you were most likely hired to bring in some new perspectives and fix some outdated or dysfunctional strategies. But ignoring input from experienced team members—particularly those who have been at the company for a while—won’t win you any fans.
Instead, you’ll signal to your team that you’re only interested in running a one-person show. And it will leave you vulnerable to making bad decisions that could’ve been avoided had you gotten some context.
This isn’t to say that you need to form a whole committee to make decisions on every little thing. You’re the boss, after all, and sometimes it’s your duty to make the final call. But strive to implement changes (especially big ones) in baby steps and over time. Be receptive to (and ask for!) feedback from your team before moving forward, and communicate your intentions clearly and proactively when you do.
Mistake #2: Constantly Talking About the “Old Job”
Do you find yourself saying all too frequently, “At my old job, we…”? Maybe you’re trying to prove yourself by bringing up your old wins. Or you may just feel comfortable referring back to a time when everything didn’t feel so foreign. (Being the new kid on the block isn’t easy.)
Here’s the thing: Your current team will quickly tune you out if you’re constantly talking about how things were done at your previous company. They want to see that you’re able (and willing!) to adapt to a new environment, and that you can competently lead and work with their unique skill sets.
Yes, you achieved great things in your last role. But don’t get caught living in the past—it’s time to focus on creating new wins with what your new team has to offer.
Mistake #3: Hiding in Your Office
Closing your office door or hiding behind your monitor can give off the appearance that you’re not interested in being there for your employees.
You may think, “I’ve told my team they can come to me any time with questions.” But as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and it can be intimidating for employees to knock on a new boss’ door. There’ll be times when you’ll need (or want) to close the door, and that’s OK—but make sure this doesn’t create a barrier between you and your team.
Make a conscious effort to show your employees that they’re welcome to come seek guidance or share concerns. Literally keeping your door open helps, so does providing “office hours” or popping your head out every few hours or so to see how everyone’s doing.
If you work in an open office, try to avoid wearing headphones all day, and when you can, sit near your team. You can also schedule weekly touch-base meetings with your direct reports so you have dedicated face time with them on a regular basis—and so that they know they will always have the opportunity to discuss something with you.
Mistake #4: Believing You Don’t Need to Know the Details of Your Employees’ Work
Some people think that the role of a leader is to just tell others what to do and set expectations. But there’s more to it than that. You can’t hold employees, especially new direct reports, accountable if you don’t fully grasp what their roles entail and how they approach their work.
While you don’t need to know all of the nitty gritty details of their responsibilities, you want to do more than just care that tasks are getting done. Understanding the “how” of operations and the “whys” behind how your employees tackle them will make both you and your team function better. You’ll be able to better manage them knowing their strengths, weaknesses, and preferred forms of communication, and they’ll feel more comfortable around you and motivated to do great work with the knowledge that you’re invested in their success.
Take the time when you’re just starting out to talk to each employee individually to learn about what they do, what their current challenges are, and how their tasks fit into team or company goals. You can even ask the following questions in your next one-on-one:
What challenges are you facing that are making you less productive?
What’s missing from the team that will help make everyone’s life easier?
How do you like to receive constructive feedback?
What are you hoping to learn from me that will support you in your role?
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
Or you can have them fill out this user manual so you have all the information you need about their working style.
Mistakes are going to happen when you’re starting a new job, whether you’re a manager or not, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get things “right” the first time. Even just reading this article means you care deeply about being a good boss to your new team—and that’s a great place to be in!
Most importantly, make sure you enjoy this new beginning—because it’s one more phase in your career that will help you grow and become the kind of leader you want to be.
The Palaszczuk Government’s successful $365 million Building our Region’s (BoR) program has entered its next phase, with details of the $70 million Round 5 revealed.
Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Cameron Dick said regional Queensland councils will have until Friday 30 August to submit expressions of interest for shovel-ready projects.
“Regional infrastructure development means more Queensland jobs, and more jobs means a stronger Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“That’s why our government committed another $70 million towards BoR in the 2019-20 state budget, because we want to create more employment opportunities for Queenslanders in our rural and remote towns.
“Through BoR, the Palaszczuk Government has invested $295 million towards 223 infrastructure projects across regional Queensland.
“This has supported more than 2400 jobs, while attracting additional investment of $487 million from councils and other organisations.
“Building our Regions demonstrates our commitment to working in partnership with regional councils, to deliver the vital infrastructure these communities need to grow and thrive.”
Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the beginning of BoR Round 5.
“The LGAQ has seen firsthand the economic injection and jobs for regions this program provides,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“By working with councils to identify projects that will deliver local growth, support local businesses and create more liveable communities, the Palaszczuk Government is supporting investment and opportunities across Queensland’s regions, which is welcomed by councils.”
Councils have four weeks, from Monday 5 August, to submit their expressions of interest via the Building our Regions portal.
The new BoR guidelines are now available, and representatives from the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning will soon begin conducting information sessions around the state.
Projects shortlisted to progress to the business case stage under Round 5 are expected to be announced in late September 2019.
Councils with shortlisted projects will then be invited to prepare and submit a business case with detailed supporting information for each project.
Peregian Beach Community Association Inc (PBCAI) has supported Council’s aim of restoring a genuinely local surf club in Peregian Beach, but says a transparent and effective process cannot begin without the release of the Surf Life Saving Sunshine Coast Branch (SLSSC) submission to reactivate the top floor.
Noosa Councillors on Monday, in the General Committee, decided to provide a new Trustee Permit to SLSSC for the Peregian Beach Surf Club building. This will enable SLSSC to enact a new strategic plan to establish a new local surf club entity.
“This new local surf club entity is the outcome we and Council has been seeking for a number of years,” Barry Cotterell, President of PBCAI said today.
The recommended Trustee Permit also seeks to facilitate other community groups’ use of the upper level, where it does not compromise surf life saving activities.
“PBCAI welcomes SLSSC being required to provide reporting of key performance indicators and progress toward establishment of a new Peregian Beach Surf Club entity and to facilitate community access and use of the Level 1 building space”, Barry Cotterell said.
“However, for the Peregian Beach community to fully understand the Council decision and what SLSSC proposes to deliver, it is necessary for Council to release the strategic plan document, Peregian Beach SLSC – A Pathway to the Future of Local Lifesaving, which “articulates a roadmap to establish a new local surf club entity”, Mr Cotterell said.
“The SLSSC strategic plan and its goals, milestones and key performance indicators not only need to be incorporated as conditions of the Permit but also made public for the sake of transparency”, Mr Cotterell said.
“To enable Council to achieve its objectives it will depend on the Conditions of the Permit and these will need to allow it to regularly monitor the progress of the implementation of these objectives” Mr Cotterell said.
“SLSSC could immediately show its good faith by requiring the Noosa Club to stop using the ground floor training rooms for the storage of non-lifesaving purposes. The building should be efficiently used and not be used as a storage facility”, Mr Cotterell said.
“The community use by the Ocean Life Saving Association (OLSA) of the top floor should not be restricted by the use of the ground floor for non-lifesaving purposes especially where those uses are not related to the Peregian Beach community” he said.
“PBCAI congratulates Council on explicitly prohibiting the installation and operation of gambling machines or gambling facility in this Permit and any future long-term Trustee Lease” Mr Cotterell said.
When you’re starting a job search, your goal is to make your credentials strong enough to get you selected for a job interview. Once you get to a job interview, you can sell yourself to the interviewer by confidently making the case that you’re an exceptional candidate. Before that though, what’s on your resume and cover letter is going to be the pitch that gets you picked for an interview.
One of the best ways to achieve that goal is to brand (or rebrand) yourself if necessary, so you’re a close match for the jobs you’re targeting. What does this mean? And how do you do it?
What’s in a Brand?
Branding (if you haven’t worked on creating a brand yet) or rebranding (if you’re considering a job or career shift), means deciding what professional path you’re on and tailoring your credentials, expertise, and what’s visible to network connections and prospective employees, to match that brand.
How to Get Started
The first step in creating or reinventing your brand is to determine what you want that brand to represent. What type of job would you love to have? Would you like a new job in a similar role or the same job in a different industry? If so, that’s a relatively easy brand update. If you’re looking for a career change, you’ll need to invest more time and energy into rebranding yourself.
Check yourself out. Google yourself and check the results before you start making any changes. You will want to see how the current information available about you reflects your professional persona, and ensure that it clearly reflects where you are in your career and where you want to go next. Look at it from the viewpoint of a hiring manager to see what narrative you are sharing about your achievements and aspirations.
Make a plan. It’s important to figure out how you’re going to get to where you want to be. Does your career need a makeover? Do you need new skills or certifications? Or can you tweak your brand and update it so it’s a fit for where you want to go next? Make a list of what you need to do before you get started. There are things you can do at your current job to position yourself for success in the next one. If your career needs a major overhaul, it will require more planning and a bigger investment of time.
Upgrade your credentials. Are you short on the skills you need to make a successful brand switch? If you can carve out some time, it can be easy to gain the skills you need to bolster your qualifications. There are many free and low-cost classes you can take to get the career skills you need. Once you’ve upgraded your skill set, take on some freelance projects to create a portfolio of skills related to your rebranding objective. You can add those skills to your resume and LinkedIn, and refer to them in your cover letters.
Be careful. As with a job search when you’re currently employed, be careful about the changes you make that are visible to your current employer. For example, if you’re working in sales, you don’t want your Twitter feed to be all about product development. Gradually mix in the new topics if you’re using social media for business purposes. Make sure “Share with network” is turned off while you’re updating your LinkedIn profile if you’re connected to current colleagues. If you make changes slowly and carefully, it’s easier to stay under the radar.
Create a Branding Statement
A branding statement is a short and catchy statement that encompasses what makes you a strong candidate for a job. Writing a branding statement can help you to capture the essence of what you want to accomplish in the next phase of your career. Taking time to write your own statement will help you to focus on what you want to accomplish with your branding or rebranding.
Add a Branding Statement to Your Resume
Adding a branding statement to your resume is a way to show employers how you can add value to the organization if you were to be hired. Don’t use the same branding statement every time you use your resume to apply for a job. If your branding statement isn’t a perfect match for the job, take the time to tweak it so it reflects the attributes the employer is seeking. As with all job search materials, it’s important to show the employer how you’re among the best-qualified candidates for the job.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Also, update your LinkedIn profile. It doesn’t have to match your resume exactly, but it should be close enough to pass scrutiny because employers will check it. Take time to write a summary that’s informative, reflects your career interests, and will grab hiring managers’ attention.
Check Your Other Social Accounts Too
Is the message you’re sending to recruiters and networking connections consistent? When they look at each of your various public social media accounts will they get the same impression? Consistency is important when you’re using social media for career development. Using the same professional photo across platforms will help to build your brand.
Rebrand Yourself (Carefully)
When you’re thinking about a major job shift or a career change, rebranding might be in order. Rebranding is something you should do slowly and carefully if you’re currently employed. You don’t want to advertise to your current manager, other employees of the company, or clients that you’re rebranding your credentials and seeking new opportunities. That way you won’t jeopardize the job you have, and you can move on when you’re ready.
GRADUALLY CHANGE YOUR LINKEDIN PAGE
Making small changes over time will be less noticeable. For example, you could gradually change your LinkedIn profile by reworking some of your job descriptions to fit better the brand you’re aiming for. They should still reflect what you did at each job, but the focus can shift.
UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN HEADLINE
The headline section of LinkedIn is designed for short, descriptive text. Use that to highlight the skills you have that match your goals. Again, don’t get too far off-base from your current role if you’re employed. If you’re not currently working, you’ve got some more flexibility in how you write your headline.
REWORK YOUR RESUME
Another option is to keep your LinkedIn job descriptions brief and vague. Instead of changing LinkedIn, you can tweak your resume to match better with each position you’re applying for. There won’t be a noticeable difference to current or prospective employers. There are small and simple, but very powerful changes that you can make that can have a big positive impact.
Use Your Cover Letter to Explain
What’s in your cover letter is between you and the hiring manager reading it. Employ your cover letter to tell the story of your career pivot. Write a targeted cover letter that highlights your strongest accomplishments and assets that qualify you for the job, helping to convince the hiring manager that you’re well worth interviewing.
Start All Over Again
Rebranding your career isn’t a one-time deal. Technology changes, the economy goes up – or down, in-demand skills change over time, and most people’s career aspirations change along the way. The average person changes jobs 10 -15 times over their career. Your career will most likely shift over time too.
As you gain additional work experience, take a course, or otherwise learn new skills, add them to your resume and LinkedIn profile. Tweak your job descriptions as you move forward so they reflect where you are going, as well as where you’ve been.
By making some slow and steady changes your rebranding will be a work in progress, and you’ll be able to use your brand successfully to boost your career.
Air New Zealand’s direct seasonal service between Sunshine Coast and Auckland commences today, opening-up fresh opportunities for local residents and tourism businesses.
The direct service runs from today 5 July to 27 October, operating Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Auckland at 9.15am and arriving at Sunshine Coast Airport at 11.10am. The return flight departs Sunshine Coast Airport at 12.40pm, arriving in Auckland at 5.40pm.*
Seasonal international services from Auckland began in 2012 with 5,734 passengers for the season and has grown to 19,078 passengers in 2018.
Instead of traveling to Brisbane, Sunshine Coast residents will able to fly out of their local airport to Auckland Airport and then connect with cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Shanghai and – in New Zealand, Queenstown and Dunedin.
For local tourism operators, the new direct service enables equally seamless travel to Sunshine Coast Airport from major markets including USA, Canada, China and New Zealand.
Sunshine Coast Airport with its partners Visit Sunshine Coast and Tourism Noosa have been promoting the new service through a comprehensive ‘Sunshine by Lunchtime’ marketing campaign highlighting that Kiwis can depart Auckland in the morning and be dipping their toes in the famed Sunshine Coast waters by lunchtime.
The promotion showcases the diverse range of activities available on the Sunshine Coast, including festivals and events such as The Curated Plate food festival in August, Queensland Garden Expo, Noosa Alive, Gympie Muster, Caloundra Music Festival, the Horizon Arts Festival and the Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival.
Sunshine Coast Airport Acting Chief Executive Officer Frank Mondello, said that direct flights from Auckland had been a great success for the Sunshine Coast over the past six years, with capacity levels only constrained by the existing runway.
“Flights have been operating at close to 80% capacity in recent years, and that’s about the maximum we can achieve because the existing runway restricts the passenger and freight loads the aircraft can carry,” said Mr Mondello.
“We are looking forward to increasing capacity following the launch of the new runway in 2020 because undoubtedly there is strong demand for the Sunshine Coast from across the Tasman. The latest International Visitor Survey showed growth of 5.9% from New Zealand travelers and with our enviable climate, our natural and adventure attractions, and extensive range of festivals, we are confident of building the inbound market strongly in years to come.
“For local residents the new service will not only open up easy connections to prime destinations in New Zealand such as Queenstown, it enables them to book seamless on-travel to cities in the Americas without the inconvenience and cost of having to brave the Bruce Highway to Brisbane.”
There’s a whole lot of talking about yourself that goes on in an interview. One of the most stressful parts might be when a recruiter or prospective boss asks you to tell them about your strengths and weaknesses.
You’re bound to hear, “What would you say is one of your weaknesses?” or “What’s your greatest strength?” or both in virtually every hiring process you’ll ever go through. While that might be frustrating—really, every time?!—it also means that you can anticipate the questions and craft thoughtful answers that will impress the interviewer.
In other words, with just a little bit of preparation, you can master the art of selling your strengths without sounding conceited and talking about your weaknesses without undermining your candidacy.
Why Do Interviewers Ask These Questions?
Before you get started planning your responses, it’s helpful to understand why interviewers are asking these questions in the first place and what they hope to get out of them.
“All interviews are about getting to know somebody,” says Muse career coach Angela Smith, founder of Loft Consulting. “I know some people feel like the interview is trying to trip them up or put them in an awkward position, but at the end of the day it’s really about getting to know the person so that you can make the best decision that you can,” she adds. “When I ask those questions, that’s where I’m coming from.”
In this case, the actual strengths and weaknesses you bring up probably matter less than how you talk about them. “I’ve done a ton of interviews over the years and when pressed for it, I can’t really remember the answers,” Smith says. That doesn’t mean the questions aren’t important at all, it’s just that what an interviewer is evaluating likely goes deeper than which specific strength or weakness you cite. They’re trying to understand what kind of employee you’d be and how you’d carry yourself in the role.
“For me it’s: Are they honest? Do they have self-awareness? Can they own their stuff in a professional and mature way? Is this someone that we can have growth and development conversations with? Are they going to hit a wall [when] it comes to giving them feedback?” Smith says. “How they answer that question really tells me the answer to all of those other things—and those are the things that matter.”
5 Tips for Talking About Strengths and Weaknesses in an Interview
Okay, that’s all great in theory, but what do you actually need to do to discuss your strengths and weaknesses successfully?
1. Be Honest
One of the most important things to get right when talking about your strengths and weaknesses in an interview setting is honesty. It might sound trite, but it’s also true. An answer that sounds genuine and authentic will impress, while one that sounds generic, calculated, exaggerated, or humblebraggy will do the opposite.
A boss doesn’t want to hire someone who can’t recognize and own what they bring to the table as well as what they need to work on. You’ll be a better employee if you can understand and leverage your strengths and acknowledge and learn from your weaknesses. So you want to show in the interview that you’re capable of that kind of self-reflection.
2. Tell a Story
Here’s another cliche you shouldn’t discount: “Show, don’t tell.” Anyone who’s ever taken a writing class—whether in seventh grade or graduate school—has heard it. You should keep it in mind when answering just about any interview question, and it’s certainly helpful here.
“Anytime you can have a real-life example or a concrete example, it’s a good idea. It just helps to contextualize the response a little bit,” Smith says. “We just understand concepts and situations better with a story. So if you can tell a story that supports your thesis, then it’s always helpful.”
Talk about a time your strength helped you achieve something in a professional setting or when your weakness impeded you. For example, if you’re talking about how you’re calm under pressure in a fast-paced environment, you might tell the interviewer about that time you delivered a revamped client proposal after a last-minute change of plans. If you’re admitting that your weakness is presenting in front of high-level executives, you might start by briefly describing the time you got so nervous presenting your plan for a new marketing strategy that you weren’t able to effectively convey your (thorough and pretty brilliant) approach and your boss had to step in and help get the plan approved.
Not only will sharing a real example make your answer stand out, but it’ll also make it sound thoughtful and honest and highlight all those other characteristics interviewers are actually looking for.
3. Remember to Get to the Insight
An answer that’s genuine and includes an illustrative anecdote is a great start, but it’s not complete until you add some insight. This goes for both strengths and weaknesses but looks a little different in each case.
When you’re talking about a strength, the last beat of your answer should tie whatever skill or trait you’ve been discussing to the role and company you’re applying for. Tell the interviewer how that strength would be useful in this particular position at this particular company.
So going back to the revamped client proposal example, you might add, “Since things move quickly at [Company], this would allow me to come in and earn a new team’s confidence and foster a trusting team culture while also ensuring we’re all hitting our goals and delivering high-quality work.”
In the case of a weakness, “tell me how they’ve grown from it or what they’ve done to accommodate that or what they’ve learned from it,” Smith says. “Really showcase your growth trajectory, your learning curve, what you’ve done as a result of the awareness of that weakness,” she adds. “It gives you an idea like if I hire this person and they’re here, this is the kind of problem solving or growth that I can expect to see from them.”
So if you were the candidate with the presentation snafu, you might talk about how you sat down with your boss to make a plan to improve your public speaking skills, and how the next time you had to present to the execs you knocked it out of the park.
4. Keep It Short
You don’t have to devote half the interview to these answers. You can keep your response relatively brief and focused on one or two strengths or weaknesses, depending on how the question was phrased. To add to our list of overused-but-handy phrases: Think quality, not quantity. Don’t dive in and rattle off a litany of things you think you’re good or bad at without explaining anything. Instead, narrow it down and go into detail.
5. Don’t Sweat It So Much
While you definitely want to prepare and do your best to nail your answers, try not to stress too much. “Don’t panic,” Smith says. “I have never known an employment decision to come down to how someone answers those questions,” she adds. “It’s just one data point connected with a whole bunch of other ones. So don’t give it too much weight.”
How to Answer “What Are Your Strengths?” in an Interview
The key to talking about your strengths in an interview is to use the opportunity to demonstrate that you’re the best fit for the role, the team, and the company.
Smith recommends reading carefully through the job description and learning as much as you can about what the company is up to and what the culture is like. Read various pages on the organization’s website, take a look at its social media accounts, and catch up on some recent announcements and news coverage if applicable. Use what you’ve learned to identify which of your strengths is most relevant and how it will allow you to contribute. Then make the connection inescapable. “Every answer should position you to help them see how you can solve a problem” and help the company achieve its goals, Smith says.
At the same time, you don’t want to go overboard. “It’s such a fine line. I always tell people not to worry about bragging, but you also don’t want to come across as cocky or too full of yourself,” Smith says. Give a confident and honest assessment that does your skills justice, but don’t let yourself veer into hyperbole.
What It Might Sound Like
If you’re applying for an operations role at a startup, you might say:
“I’d say one of my greatest strengths is bringing organization to hectic environments and implementing processes to make everyone’s lives easier. In my current role as an executive assistant to a CEO, I created new processes for pretty much everything, from scheduling meetings to planning monthly all hands agendas to selecting and preparing for event appearances. Everyone in the company knew how things worked and how long they would take, and the structures helped alleviate stress and set expectations on all sides. I’d be excited to bring that same approach to an operations manager role at a startup, where everything is new and constantly growing and could use just the right amount of structure to keep things running smoothly.”
How to Answer “What Is Your Greatest Weakness?” in an Interview
While you’ll definitely want to tie your strengths to the role and company you’re applying for, you should avoid that approach when talking about your weaknesses. “You don’t necessarily want them associating a weakness with their company or with what they’re looking for,” Smith says. For example, if the job description for a sales role lists excellent verbal communication skills, you shouldn’t say one of your weaknesses is thinking on your feet during phone calls, even if you’ve worked hard to improve and feel more than competent now.
It’s the same advice she’d give someone writing a cover letter when applying for a job for which they have most, but not all, of the qualifications. Focus on the requirements you do bring to the table, not on the ones you don’t.
Instead, prepare a couple of standard options to choose from and in each interview, talk about a weakness that doesn’t obviously impair your ability to perform the core functions of the role. Make sure you admit the weakness, pivot to the insight, and end on a strong note. “If someone can be honest and have the self-awareness to answer that question, I think that says a lot about their emotional intelligence and their professional maturity,” Smith says.
Her last piece of advice? Don’t pick a “weakness” like “I’m such a hard worker” or “I’m too much of a perfectionist.” Going down that route will backfire, because it comes off as disingenuous, oblivious, or immature—and none of those are qualities that’ll get you the job.
What It Might Sound Like
If you’re applying for an engineering job, you might say:
“My greatest weakness would probably be waiting too long to ask questions to clarify the goals of a project and to make sure I’m on the right path. I noticed in one of my first coding jobs out of college that I would get an assignment and, because I assumed I should be able to work independently, I’d waste time going down a particular road that didn’t 100% align with the ultimate goal and then would have to spend additional time making changes. After it happened once or twice, I started asking my manager more questions about why we were adding a particular feature, who it was intended for, what about the previous functionality had made for a poor experience, etc. And especially for bigger projects, I would reach out when I needed a gut check to ask follow-up questions as well as to share the work I’d done so far and what I was planning to do next. In the long run, it meant I could finish projects faster and do better work.”
When you’re getting ready for a job interview, it’s always good to try to predict which questions an interviewer might ask. If you’re like most people, you’re fully prepped to field queries about what you know and the experience you have, like “Tell us about your responsibilities in your current job” or “Explain the strategy you used for [project on your resume].”
But don’t stop there! Recruiters and hiring managers also often ask behavioral questions, which can help them get a better idea of your personality and your soft skills. This could include questions like, “What type of work really excites you?” or “Tell us about a time you were frustrated by your colleagues.”
An even more sophisticated example that may not initially seem like a behavioral question is “What do you like least about your job?” Because it can be a bit of a “gotcha” question, you’ll want to craft your response with care. We talked to a few career experts and got their insights to help you avoid the pitfalls and answer it the right way.
Resist the Temptation to Vent
Even for those of us who genuinely love our careers, “What do you like least about your job?” is a question that we could easily wax poetic about over a few rounds of drinks with friends. But an interview is not the time to dish about, for example, how your boss is not nearly as smart as you.
That’s because this question isn’t really about discovering what you dislike, points out Conrad Woody, a partner at Odgers Berndston, an executive search and recruitment firm. More likely, it’s a test of how you would respond to an invitation to vent. “The interviewer wants to know if you’re the type of person who will go negative when given the opportunity,” says Woody.
Your answer should not leave the interviewer believing they could be your next gossip victim if things don’t go well. Speaking negatively of your current employer ends up reflecting poorly on you, not the company. If you must vent, save that for your friends—ideally not ones you work with.
Focus on New Opportunities
A great way to answer this question is to talk about a responsibility or duty you’d get to have at your new job that your current role doesn’t offer. For example, if the job you’re interviewing for requires that you deliver presentations to large groups, you could share that you wish your current job gave you the opportunity to flex the public speaking skills you’ve honed at your local Toastmasters club.
Alternatively, you can speak about a responsibility at your current job that simply isn’t challenging you any longer because you’ve mastered it. Just make sure that whatever it is, it isn’t a duty that’s integral to the job you’re interviewing for!
Frame the Answer in a Positive Way
No matter what you talk about, always take the opportunity to turn the negative into a potential positive with your new employer. “You don’t want to focus too much time on something you hate or don’t like,” says Tamara Rasberry, an HR Manager in Washington, DC. “Even when you briefly mention something you don’t like, highlight that you are well-versed in it but that it simply doesn’t challenge you anymore or utilize all of your strengths.”
By quickly pivoting to how your current role was a necessary and informative building block for your next career move, you show your ability to find the silver lining and do what needs to get done.
What This Looks Like
Need some inspiration? Consider these sample answers:
The “It Was Fun While It Lasted” Answer
By concentrating on the positives of the new employer, you can avoid mentioning anything explicitly negative about your current job:
“While I enjoyed working for a large law firm because I was able to gain experience across several subject matters, I’d prefer to bring all those learnings to your firm because I believe that your singular focus on the entertainment industry would allow me to have deeper impact.”
The “I’d Rather Be Doing Something Else” Answer
This answer briefly mentions a current responsibility, but focuses on the opportunity the new job would provide:
“In my current role, I’m responsible for drafting media lists to pitch. While I’ve developed a knack for this and can do it when it is necessary, I’m looking forward to a job that allows me to have a more hands-on role in working with media partners. That is one of the things that most excited me about your Account Supervisor position.”
The “You Asked, So Here Goes” Answer
There is of course, always the bold option, which is to speak more bluntly and directly about something not-so-great about your current role or company. But again, you’ll want to end on a positive note that spotlights your enthusiasm for the new job:
“My current company acquires new business through traditional methods like cold calling and direct mail. I’m impressed with the digital, email, and social acquisition campaigns you have implemented and how they reflect a more modern, innovative approach. While I am flexible enough to succeed in a diversity of work environments, I’m eager to work for a company that embraces change.”
The Women to Women Business Expo at The J will feature a diversity of innovative local female-led businesses in the arts, services and food industries. W2W was created to support local communities and businesses by providing the opportunity to connect, collaborate, learn and create opportunities for success. The expo will be held on Wednesday, 3 July from 4pm to 9pm at The J, Noosa.
The event will showcase a variety of Sunshine Coast local female-led businesses identified for being innovative in the arts, service and food industries by offering vendor space, exhibitions and workshops. W2W Business Expo aims to bring businesses and consumers together under one roof.
This year’s event will include free workshops on the topics of business management, marketing and finance. There will be a wine tasting workshop (for a small fee) and food and beverages from onsite vendors will be available.
The keynote speaker will be Sandra Arico, President of Innovate Noosa. Participants can learn from the best and the brightest in the industry, as they network with like-minded professionals and learn strategies to advance their business.
The Women to Women Business Expo is proudly presented by The University of the Sunshine Coast, Centre for International Development, Social Entrepreneurship and Leadership (CIDSEL), The J Noosa and Noosa Council.
When your job search seems to be stuck and you’re not getting the contacts from employers you were expecting, it’s even more important than usual to make sure that you stand out from the job searching crowd.
You will need to show the hiring manager—at a glance—that you are a candidate who definitely should be selected for an interview.
What can you do to get noticed? It’s not as hard as you might think. Your application materials have to be perfect, of course, and you will need to use your connections to help get an “in” at the company. You’ll also need to actively market your candidacy and yourself, rather than waiting for a new job to find you.
Write a Targeted Resume
Taking the time to edit or rewrite your resume so it matches the qualifications for the job you’re applying for will show the hiring manager that you have the credentials for the job and should be considered for an interview.
Write a Targeted Cover Letter
Write a cover letter that shows, at a glance, why you are a strong match for the job. Don’t repeat your resume, rather link (list or use bullets) your relevant skills to the skills the employer is seeking. Highlight your professional qualifications that match the hiring requirements. You only have seconds to catch the hiring manager’s attention, so use them wisely.
Build Your Professional Brand
Sometimes, recruiters Google candidates even before they schedule an interview so be sure to build your professional brand. You will want to make sure that everything they find when they search and everything related to you on the professional and networking sites (like LinkedIn and Facebook) is information that is presentable to the public. Also, be sure to edit your profile on LinkedIn so your connections know you are available for career and/or job opportunities.
Use Your Connections
Do you have connections at the company you just sent your resume to? If so, use them. They may be able to give your resume a boost and help you get an interview. You can also use your connections to find out more about the company. I know one job seeker, for example, who was able to connect with an employee at the company he was interviewing and get the inside scoop on the job and the company — before he set foot in the door.
Remember that old saying “He who hesitates is lost” — it’s true. Employers don’t wait forever for applicants to submit their resume (I know more than a few people who have waited too long to apply and lost out on what could have been a good job), so when you find a job listing that’s a good match, apply immediately. Set up job search agents on the job search engines and/or job banks so you get new positions via email as soon as they are posted online. Again, don’t wait to apply.
Unstick Your Job Search
If your job search seems to be stuck, try some new initiatives to get it started, so you can get back on track to find a new job, sooner rather than later.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice before you go for an interview. Review typical interview questions and research the company so you are well-prepared to interview. Have interview clothes ready (dry cleaned, shoes polished, etc.) so you’re ready to interview professionally at a moment’s notice. That way, your first impression will be positive and that’s the impression you want to make on everyone you meet when you’re job searching.
Send a Thank You Note
Don’t forget to follow up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the job. Most candidates don’t bother, but those that do are more likely to get hired.
Kenilworth Dairies will conquer new markets and create up to 24 direct and indirect jobs thanks to grant funding from the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Kenilworth Dairies was one of 15 businesses in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant to help fund the expansion of their business.
“Kenilworth Dairies is a well-known local dairy producer in the Sunshine Coast area with a strong reputation for producing high-quality dairy products and the funding will go towards establishing their own bottling plant,” Mr Furner said.
“The project is expected to create five jobs through the construction phase with another 24 direct and indirect jobs upon completion to carry out business operations.”
Kenilworth Dairies owner John Cochrane said the RED grant would help cover set up costs and the purchase of equipment for the bottling plant.
“We will use the money to purchase equipment used to pasteurise the milk and set up a laboratory to monitor the milk for quality and safety purposes,” he said.
The bottling plant will help Kenilworth Dairies complete their product line, which includes yoghurt, cheese, mousse and ice cream.
“We want to become a completely independent local dairy provider and the new equipment will help us achieve this by adding bottled milk to our product range,” Mr Cochrane said.
“The plant will process approximately 12,000 litres of milk per day, sourced from our current dairy production and will be distributed to local consumers in the Sunshine Coast area.”
The Rural Economic Development Grant program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.
A total of 15 businesses have received $3.3 million under the first-round of funding for the RED Grant program. Overall these 15 projects are expected to create more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
Funding for Round 2 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administers the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.