How to Ace the New Job Interview

Planning your next big career move? 141001_FT_JobInterviewGet ­
going. Job openings climbed to 4.7 million in June, the highest level since 2001, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And in a recent survey by Challenger Gray ­& Christmas, 77% of hiring managers reported trouble filling slots because of a talent shortage.

To succeed in this sunnier market, though, you need a firm grasp on today’s hiring process, one that may be far different from what you faced the last time you hit the circuit. For starters, businesses are going slow, spending an average of 23 days to fill a slot in 2013, vs. 12 days in 2010, according to employer review website Glassdoor. And many are replacing antiquated hiring methods with more offbeat ways to vet job seekers.

“Companies are finding traditional job interviews aren’t identifying the high-quality candidates they need,” says Parker McKenna of the Society for Human Resource Management. Numerous academic studies have unearthed flaws in the process. A 2013 one co-written by psychologist Jason Dana at the Yale School of Management found that many hiring managers are mistakenly overconfident in their ability to assess how well a candidate will perform through a one-on-one interview. To get an edge on your competition, you should prepare for four types of tests.

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4 Ways to Find an Unlisted Job

Your next job probably won’t be advertised. 140610_FF_UnpubJobs_1When it comes to filling positions at the director level and up, hiring managers prefer to target their ideal candidates rather than sift through applicant résumés. But don’t just count on a call from a recruiter to pluck you from the ranks. “The job seeker who waits to be tapped on the shoulder might be waiting awhile,” says Tonushree Mondal of HR consulting firm Mercer.

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Ace your annual review

No two words inspire more dread Performance review illustrationin managers and employees alike than these: performance reviews. Rather than letting your annual checkup get you down, though, consider the upside. This is one of the few times of the year you get to chat with your boss about your career. And with a bit of strategizing, you can set the stage for a big raise or promotion in the year to come.

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How to Get a Great Job… After You Retire!

Today’s retirees face a unique setOlder-Workers_0212 of financial challenges, including how to achieve financial stability in a low-yield environment, in an age in which greater life expectancy slowly drains one’s finances. Retirees are also more likely to be less dependent than their parents on fixed pensions, and more reliant on less secure 401(k)s, which are vulnerable to the whims of the stock market.

Such conditions are sending many retirees back to the workplace. A recent study by Merrill Lynch found that from 2006 to 2011, the number of workers age 55 and older increased by more than 4 million, while every other age group lost jobs. By 2018, 24 percent of the American workforce will be older than age 55, up from 18 percent in 2008 – making them the largest cohort of workers in the labor pool.

The employment outlook for today’s retirees is bright: Roughly 48 percent of employers surveyed by CareerBuilder.com in February said they plan to hire workers age 50-plus this year.

To find grade-A employment after retirement, however, you’ll need a bulletproof resume, savvy interview skills, and a way to demonstrate that your age doesn’t limit your worth. Click here for tips on how to find a successful encore career.

7 Ways Boomers and Millennials Differ at Work

Despite the stubbornly high unemployment millennials vs boomersrate among millennials, millions in this cohort are working office jobs side-by-side with boomers who haven’t yet retired.

Given the age gap, the opportunity for conflict between generations is ripe, and it’s about more than just who forgot to clear leftovers from the office fridge. Millennials will make up 34 percent of the work force next year, but they’ll comprise 46 percent of workers by 2020, according to a report by the University of North Carolina.

Boomers and millennials have different views of work and life, which can clash in an office environment. Almost 25 percent of HR professionals reported some generational conflict in the workplace, according to a poll by the Society for Human Resource Management, in 2011, the most recent time the association examined the issue.

Click here to read about seven areas in which boomers and millennials just don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to work.

How to Convince a Prospective Employer to Overlook Poor Credit

Job seekers have plenty to worry628x471 about these days. Stiff competition and fewer available jobs are holding many Americans back from joining the labor force. Unfortunately, job seekers with poor credit have yet another thing working against them.

Nearly half of U.S. employers conduct credit background checks on job candidates, according to a 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. Red flags differ among employers but could include late payments, maxed credit cards, or other financial black marks that indicate a lack of responsibility in a hiring manager’s eyes.

The good news: Even if job seekers have a lousy credit history, they can still make a strong case for why an employer should hire them. In fact, among organizations that perform credit history checks, 80 percent say they have hired someone despite a poor credit report, according the SHRM survey.

A key factor is how well the applicants present themselves. Click here for tips on how to play up one’s strengths and use a poor track record with credit to their advantage.

Laid Off? Here’s How to Get Your Finances in Order

A layoff can leave you frustrated, 46527388-laidoff-manconfused, distraught. You might panic at the thought of having to find a new job in this tough market. But a job loss doesn’t have to mean your expenses spiral out of control—so long as you take the right steps to reposition your finances.

If you’ve recently been let go, you’re not alone. Although the unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent in September, major layoffs have taken place this year, including 8,700 employees from Pepsi, 9,000 from IBM, and 14,200 from American Airlines. In the month of September alone, U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut 33,816 jobs, according to outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas.

For an article for U.S. News & World Report, I examined what steps the recently unemployed should take so that they don’t jeopardize their financial stability.