Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cell Phone Don’ts At Work

According to a recent report from the United Nations, “six billion of the world’s seven billion people have mobile phones,” even though “only 4.5 billion have a toilet.” And to narrow it down, Pew Research found that as of May 2013, 91% of American adults have a cell phone and 56% have a smartphone. Those are some incredible statistics that prove how much mobile technology has impacted every aspect of life – and the workplace is not immune.

Cell phones can have many positive benefits, but they have a dark side too. Unfortunately, that dark side can quite often be seen at work, and it could affect your job more than you realize. Take a look at these cell phone don’ts to make sure you’re maintaining proper workplace etiquette and not hurting your career.

Don’t Leave the Ringer On
While you may have a good reason to keep your cell phone on you at work, there is no reason not to turn it on silent. No one wants to hear your duck-quack ringtone or a shortened version of “Call Me Maybe” multiple times a day, day-in and day-out. Plus, chances are it will go off at the most inopportune time, like when the company president is walking by.

Don’t Conference Call
If you have a conference call on your calendar, then plan to be at work, on a land line. And this is especially true if you’re the one hosting the call. It can be very distracting to all the other people on the call if they can hear loud road noise or lunch orders being yelled out in the background.

Don’t bring It to Meetings
Just because almost everyone else takes their phone with them into meetings doesn’t mean you need to. Unless you’re expecting an important call that really can’t wait, leave it at your desk. But, if you think you might need it to check your calendar for future meeting dates or to verify information online, keep it out of sight.

Don’t Text (or Call) and Drive
Most companies probably have a policy by now for rules on cell phone usage for business while you’re driving, and most likely it will err on the side of safety. It’s always a good idea, though, to not use your phone at all while driving, whether you’re in your own car or a company car. Should an accident happen due to you being distracted, your employer and even your job could be negatively impacted.

When In Doubt, Don’t Use It At All
Common sense is always a good thing to use, and it applies to your cell phone usage at work too. Remember why you’re there and focus on getting the job done. And if you find yourself in a situation where you feel even slightly uncomfortable about being on your phone, it’s always a good call to just put it away.

What are some other good guidelines for cell phone usage at work? Let us know how you handle your cell phone while at work by sharing in the comments section.

Top 3 Interview Sins

InterviewSins_Second_August2013_webLanding an interview can thrill and chill you at the same time. It’s your gateway to landing the job and moving forward with your employment goals. But there is no doubt that the high pressure of the situation can cause stress and bring out some unsightly behavior.

Express Employment Professionals employs more than 365,000 people annually, and interviews people regularly. In a recent survey, Express investigated the biggest faux pas about interviewing and uncovered the top interview misgivings. Here are the three biggest interview sins:

  1. Lying about your experience.
    Naturally, you want to present yourself as the best and most qualified candidate for the job. But are you really? Lying about your experience is dangerous for many reasons. Employers are looking for ethical and trustworthy employees. Once your lie is discovered, your character will be damaged, not only for that job opportunity, but word can spread among reference networks for future job opportunities. More than that, your safety, or those of your co-workers, could be at risk. If for some reason you are able to land a job and you don’t actually have the knowledge you proclaimed to have, your mistakes could result in injuries or create serious shortcomings within the business.Be honest about your qualifications and experience. If you’re asked to detail the experiences, tell the truth. You can also ask for examples from the interviewer on what the expectations are for the position. By asking questions and gaining a better understanding of the job description, you’ll be able to determine if your qualifications are a match.
  2. Arriving late.
    If a company is interviewing, they’ve got a talent shortage and business is busy. Interviewing is one more thing on a packed to-do list and being late can be unforgivable. Obviously, there can be circumstances beyond your control that can make you late, but try to think of everything and prepare to be on time. You may even want to make a trip to your interview destination the day before to estimate exactly how long it will take to get there. This allows you to determine what bus or train to take, or even where you’ll need to park. You’ll be stressed enough the day of your interview, so eliminate worrying about these matters by easily addressing them in advance.Just like being late is a frustration, being early can be seen as annoying. The interviewer probably can’t see you until your appointment time and there may not be a good place for you to wait. With full schedules, and possibly back-to-back interviews, the best advice is to get there 10 to 15 minutes early. If you find yourself earlier than that just hang back and don’t check in until closer to your set time.
  3. Answering a phone call.
    Your interview is important, and it’s crucial that you treat that time with respect. This means not answering your phone during your interview, which was number three on our list. Beyond answering the phone, the sixth interview faux pas on our list was checking your phone. If there is someone who may need to reach you, let them know about your interview. Give them the name of the person you are meeting with, the company name, and the phone number, as well as the date and time of the interview. If there is a true emergency, they can contact the company you are interviewing with, this way you won’t feel the need to answer or check your phone.And even if you don’t plan to answer it, make sure you’ve turned it on silent and off vibrate, you don’t need the noise distracting you. You can even leave your phone in your car or keep it out of reach during the interview so you aren’t tempted to pick it up.

Check out our post on the 7 Must Do’s Before Interviews to help prepare you to do your very best. Be honest, be on time, and keep that phone turned off, and you’ll be well on your way to impressing your interviewer.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in an interview? Share your story in the comments section below.

Lack of Job Offers is Biggest Frustration to Job Seekers

JobSeeker-PollResults_250X300_ExpressAug2013This summer, Express Employment Professionals asked job seekers what the biggest frustration is in the job search via a poll on our Movin’ On Up blog, which received over 1,000 responses.

While not receiving job offers is notably the largest frustration, lack of feedback during the application process and struggling with online applications systems were the largest majority of responses within the “Other” category. 15% of respondents found the pay inadequate or unexpected and another 10% cited that the positions available weren’t jobs they wanted.

This survey corresponds with a deeper look at the employment situation by Express in a series of reports titled, America Employed.

The ABC’s of Learning to Like Your Boss

ABC_LikeYourBoss_July2013_WebWhen you’re with someone at least 40 hours a week at work, it can make life a lot easier if you like being around that person. And that’s especially true if that someone is your manager. Depending on how well your interests and personalities match up, though, liking your boss may not be easy or come naturally. But, it’s not impossible. Just try to follow the ABC’s.

Accept who your boss is.
Bond over a similar interest.
Communicate regularly so you understand your boss’ communication style.
Decide to have a positive attitude about your boss.
Empathize with your boss.
Focus on your boss’ strengths.
Guard against gossiping about your boss.
Hear what your boss is truly trying to say.
Identify areas of the relationship you can improve on.
Join with your boss for a common cause.
Keep trying – don’t give up.
Laugh together.
Meet on a regular basis to discuss projects and goals.
Notice when your boss does something right.
Offer to help your boss with a big project.
Prevent miscommunications or hurt feelings from getting out of hand.
Quit making your boss the bad guy.
Recognize when your boss is trying to improve.
Steer clear of things you know you disagree on.
Talk with your boss about their professional and personal goals.
Understand what drives your boss.
Visit with your boss if there is an open-door policy.
Walk a mile in your boss’ shoes.
eXtend your boss grace when there’s a mistake.
Yield your need to always be right.
Zap your negative attitude.

What bit of advice do you have for building a positive relationship with your boss? Let us know in the comments section below.