Seeking interview feedback

A few years ago, I began wondering why, with so much data available to us for nearly every interaction we have, are we still unable to get any feedback from recruiters on how we interviewed.

It’s often difficult enough to get a recruiter to respond to you – even if you’ve gone through an entire 8-12 person interview loop with the company. But what if you could get real feedback on what you did well and what you could have done better (and what, if you didn’t get the job, the winning candidate did better than you).

As a marketer, we’re always using data to improve the experience and optimize, if not retool, a product or communication. Getting interview feedback so we could constantly be improving ourselves would be enormously helpful.

Lo and behold, I recently interviewed with a prospective employer who sent me an interview feedback survey after I concluded the round of interviews.

My first reaction was to be shocked they wanted my feedback when it’s often nearly impossible for me to get any. Then I was inspired.

I hoped on SurveyMonkey, wrote my own feedback survey which would gather feedback on how I interviewed, and sent it to everyone in my interview loop.

I sent a personal note to the hiring manager letting him know I was inspired to also gather feedback and told him I would complete their survey if they completed mine.

To his credit, he did. And he gave me extremely valuable feedback on how I could have improved my presentation. I should have started doing a follow-up survey years ago. With his feedback, I could quickly see areas I could have cleaned it up. (Huge thank you to him for doing that.)

If companies are going to start asking us for feedback on their recruiting process, they must be prepared to answer our surveys on how we did on our interviews.

Fair’s fair, right?

 

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What I look for in a job

All I want from my job is a workplace where no one says they are “crushin’ it,” or “killin’ it.”

 

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Career path

I’ve hired more than 60 people and managed many more.

What I’ve noticed in the past two or three years is the demand of my newer and younger employees to want a detailed career road map laid out for them.

Regardless of their position, they want me to serve them up a detailed career path that gives them a line from their current position to the next one and the next one with the inevitable end.

I find this phenomenon quite fascinating, as it runs quite counter to how I’ve approached my career.

My approach to every job I’ve ever had was to learn it, do the best job I can with it, take it in directions no one who thought up the job description ever intended, overachieve as much as possible, do what’s best for the company’s products or services, explore all opportunities, help those around me, take notes on what things in my professional life I like doing and what things I don’t, and prove to everyone around me that I’m not only capable of that, but much more.

I figured if I did those things, the rest would take care of itself. It helps that I’ve been very open-minded about my career path, which allows me to see where proving myself and working hard will take me.

There are so many external factors beyond a career path at a particular company, that I never sought to control anything beyond my own work. Those factors include:

  • Does your current company actively promote people and gives commensurate salary increases?
  • Can you impress your current boss (who is much more likely to behave as an unpredictable human with their own personality traits and quirks than they are to follow a job description matrix that tells him or her when it’s time to promote you)?
  • Do you want to stay in that company?
  • Are you willing to explore every (or any) opportunities that present themselves?
  • Would you recognize an outside opportunity if it presented itself?
  • Are you locked into your discipline, or are you paying attention to the various places your skills can take you?

Like many, I would guess, I could never have predicted my career would go the way it has and that I would have ended up where I have. (I shouldn’t say “ended up,” because there’s still so much ahead.) I realize that there are people who always wanted to be a surgeon, and now they’re a surgeon. Mission accomplished.

But it research shows most people are not quite that focused on a specific career endpoint.

When my employees ask me to help them with their career path, I advise them to follow a form of approach I outlined above. I also try to provide as many interesting and diverse opportunities to my employees as possible. But I can’t make them take them. Exploring new opportunities is up to the interest and ambition of each individual.

I’ve tried to make the most of the opportunities presented, and even when it didn’t end well, it did because I learned about myself and more about the professional climate.

I’m very happy with where I am in my career, and I wouldn’t trade even the worst parts of it. I realize not everyone is me, and for those who need a path, I work to give them one – but not before offering the advice above:

Focus on doing your current job and going above and beyond that whenever possible, and the rest will take care of itself.

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Am I the only one seeing this?

Last week was kind of a blur, so I’ve been trying to get through a bunch of personal email.

I received a LinkedIn invitation, or at least an official-looking LinkedIn Invitation, from Jelord Rey Jobs.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 8.42.44 AM

It looks and reads like a normal LinkedIn invitation. Like with all LinkedIn invitations, I didn’t accept off the email. I went to the “View profile” button first. It took me to this page:

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 8.46.47 AM

Again, it looks legitimate. And when I tested the search function, it took me right to my confirmed pages on LinkedIn.

What’s confounding me is that when I search for “Jelord Rey Jobs” or “Bulb Corporation,” I can’t find anything in the entirety of Google that matches.

How can that be? I figured anything on the Internet must be findable somewhere. Especially something on a site like LinkedIn.

Has anyone seen or heard of this? How could I be the only person who received this? And why did I receive this?

Or am I just seeing things?

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Three funerals and a wedding

Last week was unlike any I have ever had in my life.

After never experiencing the death of a friend or immediate family member my entire life, that all changed in a heartbeat when my friend Eric was unexpectedly and instantly killed on March 13.

His memorial, last Thursday, was an amazing tribute and a fantastic retelling of his life through his family and close friends.

The following day, my father-in-law’s best friend, and a close family friend to my wife’s family passed away. It was expected, as he had been battling cancer for awhile. But it was no less sad to see a good man go. I have gotten to know many of my wife’s family friends over our 19 years of marriage, and he was one of the best.

On Saturday, one of my favorite friends married her man in what was one of the best weddings I’ve ever attended. If my wife and I were to renew our vows, I think there wedding is the template we’d follow on how to put it together.

It was difficult, after the events of the week, to get happy again and now allow the darkness of one area of my life not cast a shadow on the lightness of another friend’s celebration. At first, it was difficult to watch two of my friends begin their life together so soon after two of my other friends had just had theirs abruptly end forever.

Fortunately, I was able to separate the two enough to see the joy in where I was and what we were celebrating.

The following day started as a bit of a recuperation day. My family was just hanging around the house and talking about the week when my daughter noticed that her hamster, Janie, had died.

Janie was getting old, and it was not unexpected, but this was my daughter’s pet and her first loss. In writing, comparing the loss of the two people I mentioned with that of a hamster seems silly. But the loss was still all very real and painful for my daughter.

One thing that came out of Janie’s loss was that my wife and I witnessed just how amazing our daughter can be. While we had been dealing with the tragedy of the week, my daughter  had quietly, without us knowing, created a coffin for her hamster that had a fleece bed in it and “I love you so much, Janie” written on the outside of it.

It was perfectly and lovingly built, and it was a private act of love between my daughter and her pet.

Later that afternoon, in the rain, we said a prayer and buried Janie in the backyard, and the emotions of the week just exploded for all of us. To an outside observer, it was just a silly grave for a hamster, but the symbolism of the burial was all too final for all three of us, who each had an important friend pass away.

Grief has never been a part of my life, until now. I’m still learning a lot about it, but I do know one thing: Eric, Larry and Janie gave us a great deal of joy, and they’ll be missed by our family.

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