4 Mistakes You’re Making in Job Interviews!

4 Mistakes You’re Making in Job Interviews!

If you haven’t already, read our blog post about how to get ready to succeed in an interview and possibly, get hired!  

In the same spirit, we’re sharing with you some of the mistakes we have seen job seekers make in our interviews, which often limit their chances of proceeding to clients’ interviews 🙁 in a bid to ensure you don’t repeat the same mistakes. 
 
1. Lack of preparation – in several cases, we have had candidates who came to our interviews lacking information necessitated to have a productive conversation. We know because; in certain instances, we have had to explain what our clients (organization candidate applied to) do.
 
Additional signs that show us that a candidate did not prepare effectively is not answering questions as asked, lacking structure in responses, an inability to tie their past experiences and achievements to the role they applied for, over-explaining something instead of being concise, and asking the wrong questions at the wrong time. Find our interview preps checklist here to see how you can prepare for your next interview.
 
2. Showing a lack of interest in participating in the interview/conversation – sometimes, a candidate will display a lack of enthusiasm in their communication style. If a recruiter has to constantly probe you to get more context in the responses you provide, chances are; you’re not too excited about the position you applied for. 

Most, if not all employers are looking  to hire people who are excited about their work and buy into their vision, this is especially the case if you’re applying to join one of the organizations we support; that are at the growth stage and are looking for team members to take their organizations to the next level.  In relation to point one, researching the organization and figuring out how your own interests and career aspirations connect with the organization goes a long way in boosting your scores on motivation!
 
 
3. Body language mistakes – examples include; not maintaining eye contact, aggressive facial expressions, crossing your arms or legs, pointing and so forth. All these are potential signs of defensiveness. Now, we are all human and sometimes these are just triggered as a result of you not knowing how to answer a question or feeling like you’re being attacked. Always remember that by the fact you were invited for an interview, you stand a high chance of getting this job! Read more about how to avoid getting defensive in an interview in this article to get more context. 

If you’re not sure or don’t have an answer to a question, ask for a chance to think more about it as the interview continues, or just say that you don’t have an appropriate response to provide.
 
4. Not asking any questions – Even if you did your research, and were well prepared for the interview, not asking questions in the interview may demonstrate that you’re not 100% committed to the role. The quality of the questions you ask is also important. Put more focus on the role and the organization, examples include: asking about the work culture, professional development opportunities that are available, what would be expected of you in the first three months, and so forth. Here is an article with questions to ask at the end of an interview that you can use as guidance.
 
Wondering why you may not have heard back from a recruiter and you’re not getting invited for interviews? Check out our blog post on the 5 mistakes you should avoid when making applications.

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5 Signs That Show You’re Stuck In A Career Rut

5 Signs That Show You’re Stuck In A Career Rut

Feeling stuck in our careers is something that most of us have felt at one point in our careers. It’s one thing to be aware of it and take steps to get out of it, but it’s another thing when you’re not aware of why things just feel “different”. So what should you be looking out for to increase this awareness? Read on!
 
1. You dread Mondays – You used to enjoy going to work on Monday. Thank God it’s Monday, you’d think. And now, the thought on Sunday evening feels dreadful. What could have shifted? Are the responsibilities you hold no longer interesting to you? Has something shifted in your relationships with your colleagues? Did your role recently change and you’re not enjoying the new tasks? When was the last time you went on leave? Has your workload increased?
 
2. You’re apathetic in work conversations – which is also interpreted by colleagues as you being “different” – People/your supervisor notice that you’ve lost the spark at work. You’re detached from lunch conversations, are not laughing at work jokes as much as you used to and the aura is just “different”.
You’re less engaged in work conversations and are no longer expressing your thoughts and your enthusiasm has dipped. Take note of how you participate in work conversations; are people pointing out that you suddenly seem withdrawn? Do you feel drained partaking in these discussions? This could be a sign that you’re craving a new environment, and are itching for a change. 
 
3. You’re doing the bare minimum – Finding yourself focusing on minimal tasks that are not adding utmost value and procrastinating on completing high priority tasks? Does work that used to energize you now feel draining? Could it be that your work has become monotonous and routine and you are resisting accomplishing these tasks as a way of letting out your frustrations?
 
4. You’re getting distructed a lot – Suddenly, you’re scrolling through your social media apps more than usual. You get excited when you get a notification because it destructs you from your work, and you almost look forward to these destructions happening because they take you away from something you now no longer enjoy. Does this sound familiar? 
 
Feeling stuck and looking for a way to ignite your passion? This short video shows you where to start.
If you feel stuck, check out this article on  3 ways to get unstuck in a career rut.

Our Career Acceleration Program has supported dozens of professionals to gain the clarity, confidence, and skills to take bold steps. If you are looking for a rapid transformational (and hard-core learning) program, talk to us today! happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke 

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Are corporate jobs the only way to ride up in your career?

Are corporate jobs the only way to ride up in your career?

We’ve all been there. Growing up, most of us imagined that working in big corporate organizations was the ONLY way you could be deemed to be successful in life. With the big fat salaries and perks? Who would not want to work there?

Today, 80% of job opportunities in Kenya are in the small and growing business space. And while most of them don’t guarantee a fat cheque at the end of every month, you’re most certainly guaranteed of rapid growth, hands-on learning opportunities, diverse exposure and your successes are recognized thus making you more innovative and resilient. Don’t get me wrong, the same can be the case in a corporate setting, but the truth is, your contribution in a smaller organization is felt more directly and faster and your ideas don’t need several staircases to be approved. Moreover, the opportunities to grow horizontally are endless thus the options to mold your career can be limitless.

Growing a career in small growing businesses is however not for everyone! If you love order, structure and stability, you may find this working environment quite difficult to adapt and thrive.

Many of us occasionally complain about the workload in the workplace. And while the above advice can seem like it’s well-intentioned and probably realistic, this is not always the case.

Recognizing the need to push yourself out of your comfort zone is critical to you evolving in your career. It’s one thing for your supervisor to ask you to clean the dishes when your role is that of an Assistant Project Officer; then by all means; say NO to that. But it’s another thing when your supervisor asks you to draft a proposal to a donor, a role currently not in your JD. Before rejecting the offer, take a step back and reflect; what skills could you learn?

Obviously, be intentional about how much workload you accept in addition to your day to day, else you risk burn out. There are high chances that your supervisor sees the potential in you but is not communicating this clearly. Take the role and seek feedback, what about this role made you feel I was best fit to take it up?

Money pays the bills, and as some would argue, that money is everything towards having a happy career. But is it? Really? Living a happy and meaningful career calls for us to be intentional and conscious in making career decisions that align with our values. When faced with this type of dilemma, it is thus crucial to take a step back and reflect;

  • What values in this organization align with mine?
  • Am I really excited about the type of work they do?
  • Will I love and fit into the culture?
  • Will I grow? Is this a stepping stone to my long-term career aspirations?

At edge we are a great example of the life of a small fast-growing organization. If you are curious to learn more check out our blog with learnings from our team: What does career growth at edge look like

Recruiters are human!

Recruiters are human!

Want to know the difference between a job seeker and recruiter scroll down.

Continue scrolling, the answer might surprise you!

There is none recruiters are human, just like you.

They are working to ensure they connect great talent to great opportunities. So when reaching out to one ensure you put your best foot forward and express yourself well. They have limited time to play guesswork around what you mean. It’s better to ask if you don’t understand than to leave anything to chance, remember the only way they can help you is if you present yourself well. Treat them with the same respect and professionalism you would expect them to treat you.

 

Wondering How To Get A Job After A Career Break?

Wondering How To Get A Job After A Career Break?

Did you just get back from a long or short sabbatical break (to take care of family, study, go on a discovery journey, etc) and the question of how to get your foot back in the job market is bugging you? We got you covered!

Today, we are sharing with you a Sabbatical Come Back Checklist and Tips. Check out the checklist here

As you tick your list, there are a few things that need a bit of thinking through and planning. Read on to find what and why.

  • Update your CV to show your career break; it’s important that a recruiter/hiring manager assessing your resume understands why there is a gap in your CV. You want to give a clear visibility of your career ladder and decisions and leave no room for second-guessing. Remember there are many other professionals seeking the same opportunity as you!
  • Utilize your network. Your network is your net worth. This is a strategy that should go long back, from when you decide to go on a break. The power of weak ties comes in handy. Who should you keep in touch with? And when you come back, what new connections do you need to create? With social recruiting taking over the hiring world, you want to keep your connections warm and keep building new ones. For more on building and sustaining weak ties, check this article out.
  • Reassess your needs and values. Okay; let’s say you went on a break because you were just not feeling that job. Or you were just done with certain types of work environments. What have you learned about what matters to you? How is this aligned to the type of workplaces you need to be and the type of work that inspires you to rise every morning? What needs and values MUST be met in your next job? This way, you’re able to redefine what fulfillment means for you and apply to the right roles, and organizations. 
  • Research, research, and research – Most likely, things have changed since you took a break. This means that you need to take the time to re familiarize yourself with the industry you want to be in, new trends, roles and even networks. Interviews will then feel like you have been around all along.
  • And if the job is taking some time to come along, how about you consider the not so fun things such as volunteering or going to back to school (if these were not your sabbatical options), it will go a long way in bringing you up to speed with the current realities in your career space.
  • Lastly, but not least; consider working with a career coach to accelerate your come back. A coach will provide you with the tools and guidance you need to navigate the hurdles that come with job hunting after a break, and will also help you articulate yourself better when packaging yourself. 

Or maybe you want to come back to a whole new industry? Check out this video, which contains tips on how to transition into a new industry space as well.

For those of you, who have successfully transitioned into new jobs/careers after a break, what worked? What did you learn?
Share with us on our social media platforms, where you can also find more content like this: FacebookInstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.  

If you’re in this chapter in your career life, and are looking for a partner to guide you, reach out to us today! Send an email to happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke and start your journey to a happy career!

Getting Ready To Succeed In an Interview!

Getting Ready To Succeed In an Interview!

So your job hunting hustles have paid off, and you’ve been invited for an interview with the recruiter, or the hiring manager. How do you ensure you’re prepared to succeed in the interview and potentially get shortlisted, or better yet, get the job?

We’re happy to share some tips with you today.

But first, why not begin by checking out this interview checklist we created. 

And now the tips:

  • Show up on time for the interview (always communicate in advance, communication is a key skill in any job and lack of doing so could lead to you being potentially disqualified)
  • We can’t stress this enough: Do your research; about the organization, projects, financial state, culture, etc.  Not only will this show the interviewer that you’re prepared, but it also shows that you did your due diligence and emphasizes your interest to join the organization. 
  • Reflect on and prepare your answers in advance. How? Go through the job description, as many times as you can, identify relevant roles you have undertaken, list your successes, include challenges you faced and how you navigated them. If it’s a managerial role; think about the sizes of teams managed, your coaching approach, attained results by said team, project goals versus achieved results, etc. Google is your friend here guys. Look up anticipated questions for what you’re applying for and the expected answers.
  • Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) method to answer questions. Here is a great article to kick you off; there are plenty more on the World Wide Web where this came from. This approach is also key to keep in mind when making written job applications.
  • Ask questions after the interview! We know it can be nerve-wrecking for some of us to know what to ask a recruiter or employer at this stage. However, we highly recommend that you still ask. If you don’t know what to ask, here is an article that can guide you. Pick what is relevant and connects with you. Asking questions shows the recruiter/hiring manager that you’ve reflected on the role you applied for and you get extra points if your questions are brilliant! 

What are some of the other tips you know of that have helped you ace your interviews? 
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As always, if you’re looking for a thought partner to help you navigate this topic and more of your career queries, we’re happy to help. Send an email to happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke and start your journey to a happy career!