If there was just ONE word that best describes you, what would that one word be? This used to be one of my favorite questions, as it really gets people to think, fast, and try to be creative. I will let you in on a little secret. If you choose “nice” as your word you just eliminated yourself. The English language is comprised of thousands of words. Pick one that makes you stand out. There really isn’t any “wrong” words you can pick, but remember if you are being asked these questions, then so is everyone else. Does the manager want to hire a nice team member or a … dynamic, sensational, altruistic, … you see the difference? At the end of the day when all the applications are being reviewed again, along with the telephone notes, there are certainly going to be candidates that shine. Usually what happens is after you give that magical word, the interviewer is going to ask “why?”. So start selling “nice” against your competition.
Also a word of advice, do not swear in an interview. I know you think you and your new HR BFF get along SO well, but … you’re wrong. He/she is not your BFF and once you drop that F bomb, you just eliminated yourself. Yes, candidates have done this, still do this, and will continue to do this. Don’t do it. I’m pretty sure in every single HR book I have ever read, they never tell you to not swear. I swear too, just never in an interview. Not everyone was trained/educated the same. Okay, I am sure that there are some small businesses with 3 employees that talk however they want, but you are not applying for those jobs. So now that you have your word, your goal is to go to 10 people who know you and ask them to give you 10 words. You will be really surprised what they say. Your spouse/SO will have some choice words. Put all the words on one sheet and see which ones come up a lot. Why? Which ones are not so great words? Those are your weaknesses. You will be asked that question too. You also now have 100 words that you can use to incorporate into your action statements. What words describe you? Your personality? Your work ethic? The whole “word” thing was an actual assignment I made my students complete and then write an essay about it. The whole point was that your perception of who you are as a worker, is not always the same as those around you.
So just for fun, since I am writing about jobs and giving advice, I decided to activate a couple of job profiles on some websites. I used LinkedIn.com and Indeed.com, just to see what is out there, what kind of jobs need filled and with LinkedIn you can also see how many people have applied, which tells you a lot about the job. Again, not really looking for a job, and I already have had 4 employers contact me and someone in my personal network who thought of me for a job. So if you didn’t know, LinkedIn is the new Monster.com. In the 90’s and 2000’s everyone used monster. I used it. It was great. I can think of lots of interviews and job offers I received all using monster. But things have changed and now you can put so much more in your profile, including your picture and even testimonials saying how great you are. Your memberships and group affiliations also tell a lot about a candidate, which is something you typically don’t have on a resume. With LinkedIn all you have to do is click a setting that you are open/looking for a new job and all of the sudden you are showing up in employers search results. Your keywords in your profiles/past jobs are going to be instrumental in your success. Depending on how quickly you want to get hired, you might be interested in their pay version, called premium. I think there is a trial version, so you should definitely do it for free while you can.
Unlike my students who I could strike the fear of failure if they didn’t do the exercises, your only motivation is limited to your own personal reality, and hopes of improving it. Believe it or not, but people actually do these things, talk to people and find new jobs/opportunities every single day. Regardless the company, or the situation, employers are always looking for really good people to join them as team members. Have you ever been at a company and someone from the “outside” got hired for a new position and is paid some stupid ridiculous highly paid salary? What about when your company then recruits all his/her buddies from past companies? And then pays them employee referrals? Yeah, it just keeps getting worse,… for you. So why can’t YOU be that person that gets recruited? Oh, you didn’t tell your network you were looking. Okay. Fair enough. Go do it. Today. No one is forcing you to stay in a bad situation, … except you. Got that one word yet?