Andyisms

Gravity makes things tricky.

Upon arriving back at our apartment

Me: Hi, home!

Andy as Home: (weird voice) Hi Aerin!

Me: I missed you!

Andy as Home:  I had fun while you were gone.

Me: Oh? What’d you do?

Andy as Home: Played bocce ball.

Me: Where?

Andy as Home: In space.

Articles & Opinions

Changing the Hunt

We’ve all heard the news – the U.S. is creating more jobs. Lots more. Even so, there are plenty of Americans on the job hunt. Having recently been on the hunt myself, the process has been on my mind. Fact is, the current hiring process is outdated, unhelpful, and a pain in the ass to pretty much everyone involved. I know a lot of folks on the interwebs are still feeling the sting of the recent economic decline, and are offering advice (occasionally good) to job seekers. Dress for success – come prepared – don’t speak ill of your previous employers. These are nuggets most job seekers know by heart. I’d like to take a different route – I would like to offer some advice to the interviewers and the companies doing the hiring.  Here are 10 things that need to change:

1.       Don’t wing it. If you haven’t read the resume of the person you’re about to interview at least twice, take a minute to do so before you enter the room, or reschedule. You should know who you’re talking to, have a sense of why they were called in for an interview, and give yourself a chance to ask thoughtful, information-getting questions.

2.       Take notes. Chances are you’ve received hundreds of applications and resumes for the position you posted – you’ll need a way to tell your interviews apart once you’ve had a few days to sit on them. Write down questions that are pertinent to the position, the company or the person you’re looking for, and make note of each interviewee’s answers. Ideally this will help with your weeding process later.

3.       Don’t require extra, unnecessary leg work. Requiring your interviewees to fill out a paper application upon arrival at an interview in 2013 is just silly. Technologies exist where we can upload a resume and have it auto-fill pieces of the fill-in-the-blank resume every company seems to require now. Filling out a paper application for a job that you’ve already sent your resume in to and gotten an interview for is pretty frustrating. Better yet – didn’t get all the information you were looking for from their resume? Ask them for the missing pieces in the interview.

4.        If it’s broke, fix it. Anyone who has been to a job interview in the last twenty years can probably recite the same ten questions interviewers always ask. Change it up, people! Stop asking where I see myself in five years. Where do I see myself? Why, I’ll be working for you making buckets and buckets of money! What are my strengths and weaknesses? Something that makes me sound hardworking and awesome whether I actually am or not, followed by something that’s not actually a weakness but I phrase it so it sounds like I totally answered your question.

5.       Ask new questions, part deux. I say scrap all the typical interview questions. What do they tell you? They tell you how well your interviewee can use Google to find the ‘best answers to interview questions’ and regurgitate them. You’re hiring the person for their skills as well as their personality and work ethic. Find out what those are. Give them a scenario or test that will show you how competent they are. Ask them about a specific situation you handled that went sour and see how they’d fix it. Ask them about the types of things they like to do outside of working. Let them talk to you like a human being, and they’ll probably be a little less nervous to boot.

6.       Look for personalities and habits that will fit well with your team. Just because you think you’ve hit the jackpot on paper does not mean the person will fit in your office environment. People with great tech skills or those that graduated at the top of their class can still have social interaction issues that could cause problems for your employees or your company down the line. Richard Branson does it, and he’s one successful dude.

7.       Treat applicants and interviewees like your clients, because they could become or already are your clients. They are people who will potentially purchase products or services from you whether they get this job. If you treat them well, they may even recommend you to friends. So be good – respond to their e-mails in a timely fashion. Don’t beat around the bush. In their eyes, little things like that can reflect as poorly on your company or your brand as it does on you.

8.       Give them a date. If you’re bad about getting back to people, give your interviewees a date they’ll hear from you by so they know not to keep hoping three weeks later that you’re just too busy to call but they definitely got that job. And along that same line…

9.     Put people out of their misery. If the candidate isn’t qualified or a good fit for your company? Let them know as soon as humanly possible. I know jobs posted get a ton of applications these days, but honestly, how hard is a “thanks for applying but we’re going in a different direction” mail-merge? Or even “we know it’s been a week since you interviewed, and we wanted to let you know that we haven’t forgotten about you and we hope to let you know no later than [date].”

10.   Embrace Skype. Utilize the awesomeness that is video chat, especially for those who are still working full-time while job hunting. This prevents you from having to reserve meeting room space, and it saves them gas and potential lies to their current employer about the “doctor’s appointment” they forgot about. In the end it will save time for you both.

I hope, for the sake of people on the hunt everywhere, things change in the job seeker space. If you liked this post, you should also read this great article on the 10 Qualities of Exceptional Interviewers.

 

Updates

Froyo Madness

A lot has happened since we last spoke, dear reader. I apologize. I can assure you I was busying myself with very important things – television watching, book reading and putz-ing around with Andy. But enough about that – here are some things that happened since September. Onward!

Drove up to Maine with my cousin and her fiance for her bridal shower. We weren’t there for much more than 24 hours, but it was wonderful to see family and a few friends. It doesn’t hurt that I got to eat Mom’s cooking! That lady knows what she’s doing, let me tell you what. And, a few weeks ago, Krista got married. It was a beautiful fall day and an even more beautiful wedding. I was so happy I got to be a part of it. Check out Mary‘s photos from the day – they capture it well.

Finished up my last few weeks of work at CTC by putting on one of the large awards events they do every year. It was a long day, but it was a good way to finish up my time there. I worked with some good people and learned a whole heck of a lot, and they were all very supportive when I made the decision to move on to bigger and better things.

And, of course, I started my new job! Somehow, this will be the third position I’ve taken in which I am the first person to hold the job title. It puts me in an interesting spot, that’s for sure. I’m learning a lot about the food franchising business, and I’ve gotten to implement a lot of my cockamamie marketing ideas to help stores get better known in their communities. I’m hoping I can build the marketing department to be strong and supportive – and also fun and full of froyo. I’m so full of froyo.

Lastly, Andy and I have begun to explore the next logical step – home purchasing. We’ve initiated the early stages of the loan process and are saving for the down payment. It’s like we’re adults or something! Weird, right? Wasn’t it yesterday I was in my parents basement with my best gal pals playing dress-up and pretending I was dating Leonardo DiCaprio?

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Andyisms, Updates

New Feature: Andyisms

Back in college, I discovered a blog. I couldn’t wait for this blog to post updates. It was so simple, so genius. And then the posts stopped coming. I was a very sad panda. I’ve since found other favorites, but Things My Boyfriend Says will always hold a special place in my nerdy, nerdy heart.

Those of you that know me, know that I’m engaged to a kooky guy named Andy. We met six years ago this fall, and there hasn’t been a dull moment since. And, pretty often, Andy says funny, dumb, wacky things. Despite evidence to the contrary, English is his first language.

And so I present to you, Andyisms. An homage to a great blog, and a log of the crazy stuff my fiance says.

Andyisms

On The Smiths

 This Night Has Opened My Eyes is like being punched repeatedly in the emotions.

Andyisms

On Noise

I’m laughing at something on the television. 

SHHHH! This is a library.

Updates

Politically, Goats Lean Left

Hello blog-readers! Bleaders? Readogs? I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

The past few weeks have begun to be more relaxing as the frenzy of gatherings and graduations and weddings has died down a little. We went to the wedding of my awesome college friend Kate and her awesome husband Rob at the New England Carousel museum. She looked gorgeous, the food was great, the venue was cool, and the company was superb.

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Little known fact, the museum also houses the Museum of Fire History and the Museum of Greek Art and History. I know what you’re thinking. Carousels, Greeks and fire shouldn’t mix. Oh but they do, they gloriously do. Don’t believe me? Believe him:

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Last weekend we went to The Old Cider Mill. According to the town of Glastonbury website, it’s the oldest continuously operating Cider Mill in the United States. That’s pretty cool. But more importantly, they have a petting zoo. WITH PIGGIES.

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I’m really looking forward to going back in a few weeks when they have cider and apples and all of the other fall-y things I love so dearly. This is truly my favorite time of year.

Until next time, here’s Andrew discussing his idea for a flat tax with a goat. It didn’t take.

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Andyisms

On Call Screening

Sitting on the porch, aptly dubbed ‘Porch-ugal’ (thanks, Maliga), Andrew removes my flip flop and puts it up to his ear. 

“Ring. Ring.”

“I’m not going to answer your shoe call.”

“Uh, hey Aerin, you’re screening my calls again. I just wanted to let you know, I have your shoe. So, call me back. The number is… your shoe.”

I laugh. Andrew stares at me.

“You didn’t call me back.”