Webinar Recap – Finding a Perfect Match: A Look at Both Sides of the Interviewing Process

Please find below a transcription of the audio portion of Lynette Reed’s session, Finding a Perfect Match: A Look at Both Sides of the Interviewing Process, being provided by MPUG for the convenience of our members. You may wish to use this transcript for the purposes of self-paced learning, searching for specific information, and/or performing a quick review of webinar content. There may be exclusions, such as those steps included in product demonstrations. You may watch the live recording of this webinar at your convenience.

Kyle: Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s MPUG webinar, Finding a Perfect Match: A Look at Both Sides of the Interviewing Process. My name is Kyle, and I’ll be the moderator today. And today’s session is eligible for three quarters of the PMI PDU in the strategic category. And the activity ID to claim that with PMI is on the screen now.

Kyle: Like all MPUG webinars, a recording of this session will be posted to mpug.com shortly after the live presentation ends. And all MPUG members can watch the recordings at any time and still be eligible to earn the PDU credit. All of the sessions you watch on demand can be submitted to your webinar history and the live sessions you attend are automatically submitted.

Kyle: And within your history, you can print or download your transcript and certificate of completion, including the one for today. And if you have any questions during today’s presentation, please be sure to chat those over to us at any time using the chat box there on the GoToWebinar control panel. We do plan to answer those for you at the end of the session today.

Kyle: All right. We’ll go ahead and get started. We’re very happy to welcome back Dr. Lynette Reed today. Lynette is a writer, researcher, and advisor on human potential for personal and organizational development. She has mentored people from business, not for profits, schools, allied health agencies, chambers of commerce, government, and churches.

Kyle: She has taught courses on team building, leadership, ethics, world religion, and world cultures. She is also a co-founder and board member of the Institute for Soul-Centered Leadership at Seton Cove. Lynette holds a doctor of ministry and spirituality, sustainability and inner religious dialogue, and a master of science and communication sciences and disorders. So with that said, I’d like to welcome you back Lynette, and I’ll hand it over to you at this time to get started with today’s session.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Hi. Good morning, everyone. I hope everybody’s having a good day and staying safe with our current situations. Hang on just a minute. I’ve got something popping up on my screen I’ve got to get rid of. Hold on just a second. Technical difficulty here. Hold on. There we go. Okay. Now we’re back up and running. Hey, sorry about that. Okay. And go. Finding a perfect match.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And what I’m going to try to do in this discussion is flip a little bit back and forth between interviewers and interviewees, just kind of looking at it from both sides. Because there are some things that I find that are very similar in the discussion between a interviewers and interviewees. And then there are some things that are more related to one or the other.

Dr. Lynette Reed: So let’s get started and begin with this career builders information. Three out of four employer stated that they had hired the wrong person for a position, and that on average costs companies about $14,000, almost $15,000 every time they have a mismatched hire. The reason I put this slide on here was because basically what I’m saying is interviews really do matter.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And it’s important I think in interviews that if you’re talking that kind of money, that you really, as an interviewer, are thinking in terms of how can I be authentic and show this person I’m getting ready to hire the true nature and the true business that they will be doing. So that means that there’s certain aspects of that, that you have to kind of look at and say, do I want to be authentic and tell them exactly what’s going on here?

Dr. Lynette Reed: Do I want to kind of share the basics? Kind of really thinking in terms of what am I presenting to this person and how do I want to show them what they’re actually getting into? And I think that’s a little bit, too, also with the candidate or the potential employee, is that what you’re really looking for is how do I be authentic and show this person who I really am and what I’m really doing?

Dr. Lynette Reed: Because whenever I do that, I’m going to get a better match. If you’re just looking to get a job, then that’s going to be a much different discussion than if you’re talking about trying to truly find an authentic way to present yourself. And so that kind of feeds into what is your motivation? So whenever you’re starting that interview process, you really don’t think a lot about it.

Dr. Lynette Reed: It’s okay. There’s all these applications and you’re filling them out or you’re looking at them and you’re trying to decide who am I going to hire? And for some companies, it may be that they just are going to plow through and find the right one that’s technical and that’s the person they’re going to hire. It may be that they’re saying, okay, I really, really, really want a strong match. And so I’m going to look for this person that’s the strongest match technically.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Or it might be that you really want to find somebody who is strong in culture and somebody who’s also strong in the technical. So your motivation upfront, where you want to be whenever you start that interview process I think is really what’s going to set the stage for how the interview process goes, who you hire. Same thing with the interviewee. If you’re looking at jobs and you’re saying, okay, I know I need a job. I know I money. That’s my obvious motivation.

Dr. Lynette Reed: But what do I want this to look like? Do I want a job where I’m just technically matched? I don’t care about culture. I just want to go in and get my job done, be done, finish. Or is my motivation I’m looking for something that fulfills me and is going to make me feel like I’ve made a good match and not wasted my time and get into this job and then really not like it?

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so to me, before you even start a process, you really have to define your motivation. A lot of times people just go into motivation without really thinking about what it’s going to be. And then you kind of get what you’ve inherently put into the system. So when you’re a little more intentional about your motivation, it’s going to give you a different end result.

Dr. Lynette Reed: I’m assuming since you’re here at this webinar that you’re looking for ways to maybe do things a little more efficiently, maybe be more intentional about it or maybe you’re just here for the use. So you have to decide your motivation for those two. And so think about that whenever you’re doing your interviewing. And the thing that’s nice about this is there’s really no, in my opinion, wrong or right way to do it.

Dr. Lynette Reed: It’s just you’re thinking of it in terms of input outcome. What I put into this is what’s going to come out of it. And so if you’re doing the same thing over and over again and you’re getting the same output, what they say about insanity, well, you’re going to probably drive yourself a little crazy. You have to kind of think in terms of how do I want to shift that? Okay?

Dr. Lynette Reed: So all successful jobs start with proper motivation. And now I’m going to cheat a little bit. Normally, in my webinars, I just pop straight into the YouTube. But I’m going with a different system right now. And so I’m going to pop out of that. And I’d like to just do a quick example. I love to use the office as an example because they have perfect ways to show you how to…

Speaker 3:           109 wider than the earth and 333000 times heavier than the earth.

Speaker 4:           Shut up about the sun. Shut up about the sun.

Speaker 5:           What do you think your greatest strength is as a manager?

Speaker 6:           Why don’t I tell you what my greatest weaknesses are? I work too hard, I care too much, and sometimes I can be too invested in my job.

Speaker 5:           Okay. And your strengths?

Speaker 6:           Well, my weaknesses are actually strengths.

Speaker 5:           Oh, yes. Very good.

Speaker 7:           What quality would make you a good sales associate people person? It says here on your resume that you spent the last 15 years as a sales rep for Dow Chemical.

Speaker 8:           That’s right.

Speaker 7:           You know we live together, right?

Speaker 8:           Yeah.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Okay. So to me, there’s the example of just a regular interview. Interviews can be really kind of whatever you want to make them to be. If you’re trying to change the way you’re doing things, think in terms of what do you want the company team to look like? If you’re just going to go in and sit with people and do the question and answer thing, then you’re going to have to kind of think in terms of what am I really looking for here?

Dr. Lynette Reed: And to me that’s kind of that whole thing about doing a motivation. So interviewing is a two-way street. A lot of times as you saw in those interviews, they were having the employee or talk to the employee kind of like, “Hey, since there’s so many of you out there, I’m just going to hire the one I like the best. And it really doesn’t matter because I’ve got hundreds of others to choose from.”

Dr. Lynette Reed: But when you take that approach as an interviewer, what do you think the output of that will be? You’re going to get people who are probably a little defensive, probably people who are either overly aggressive or are having different ways of attacking a situation where it’s almost like a hostile environment. And for some places that actually works. That’s what you’re looking for. That’s what you need.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so there’s really nothing wrong with that. But it does change the dynamic of how the interview process goes. And then you fall back into the old statistic of three out of four are going to be a poor match. Because when you’re in an environment like that, sometimes you’re not going to be able to be as authentic as you would be if somebody is approaching you from a perspective of it being more of a two-way street.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so that’s kind of the starting point for me on this discussion. Because as I’m beginning into the technical and the soft skills aspects of it, be thinking to yourselves, what do I want my interview process to look like? What is my motivation? What is my end goal? How do I want to bring people into this interview? And if you’re an interviewee, how do I want to express who I am authentically so that I’m not getting fired from a job or I’m not a good match? Because you are on the other side of that three out of four that could potentially not be a good match.

Dr. Lynette Reed: So how do we do that? So that’s kind of what we’re going to talk about today is different ways that you can look at that interview process and try to bring the best side of it for what you’re looking for. Okay? So, like I said, no wrong or rights here. Mostly it’s just about you taking some time out of your day to really think about the interview process, whether you’re looking for a job or whether you’re looking to hire people.

Dr. Lynette Reed: This gives you just a little bit of time to think about your own process and your own motivations and how you want to integrate that into your system. Okay? So our first thing is technical skills. This is the most obvious one. When you’re going for a job, you’re looking for somebody who has the technical ability to do the job. If you’re a program manager, you’re probably wanting to make sure they know the software you’re using or they know the processes your using.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so I’ve got just kind of a little thing here. Going back to 250 online applications, five or six get called for an interview. Make sure that when you’re doing this that you do look at the technical skills and you make sure that you hire people that are able to do the job. I think one of the things I find is that people get hired for jobs because they like the person or because they’re related or because they’re a friend of a friend, and a lot of times those people are not technically skilled to do it.

Dr. Lynette Reed: I’ve had a number of situations where people have told me that somebody was hired who had absolutely none of the technical skills that they needed. And so it fell on the rest of the team to do the job of the person who was brought in. I’m sure most of you have had that situation. And so really think about as far as when you’re hiring people, make sure you get people that do have that technical skill because if you don’t, what ends up happening is the rest of the team or the rest of the people who are already hired and in place will end up struggling with that.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And those will cause little micro-fractures in your team. And so you really are trying to find somebody who is a good technical fit for them. Okay? So here’s a couple of things that you can ask. All right. So let’s just kind of go through them a little bit. This will give you some time to think about, what do you ask at an interview? And kind of add this in, or if this is something you already do, then see how valuable it’s been for you.

Dr. Lynette Reed: What skillset is needed for the job? So that’s an obvious one. Normally you’re going to know what that person needs. Sometimes not though. Sometimes it’s a new job. Sometimes it’s one where you’re integrating it into other jobs. And I think to me the big important thing is if you’re working in a team environment, making sure that the skillsets that you get or need for this person blend in well with the people you already have.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And we’ll cover that a little bit more in the culture aspect or the soft skills aspect. But when you’re talking about technical skills, it’s not just what the one technical person brings in. It’s what they’re introducing and adding into the team or the other people who are doing the jobs around them. So don’t think of it in terms of just one skillset. Think of it in terms of strengths, weaknesses. How are you going to integrate people into that process?

Dr. Lynette Reed: How proficient does the employee need to be at specific skills? The reason I put this one in is because sometimes people have a lot of skills that are really good that may not be exactly what they need. But it might also be that training could be an option. And so you need to think in terms of for this job, do you need somebody who can jump right in or somebody who’s got other skills available?

Dr. Lynette Reed: If you’re somebody looking to become an employee, think of it in terms of if you’re going to be one of those few people to get the job, when you’re looking at that job application, really think in terms of, okay, well, how do my skills fit into this? And what I really encourage people to do is go look at the website. Go Google the company and see how your skills match the skills of the people that are working there already.

Dr. Lynette Reed: You can even get on LinkedIn and see who some of their employees are right now and see how your skills match up to them. And if you don’t have particular skills that they need, you can always say, “Hey, I’m willing to be trained in X, X, and X.” And that way they’ll know that you’re trying to fit in. And that’s going to up your chances of getting that one job, especially if you’re up against a number of people for it.

Dr. Lynette Reed: So making sure that you’re doing this as a collaborative thing, as opposed to I’m in charge or I’m trying to figure out how I want to fit in here. Go into that interview process thinking, okay, I’m not looking at this other person as a person that I’m just interviewing, but I’m looking at them as a person that I want to bring in and change the culture and the technical abilities of everybody that’s in this team.

Dr. Lynette Reed: So if you bring in somebody who has basically the same skills as everybody else and they’re not really bringing anything new, how is that going to work for you? Okay? And then what training is available? Some companies you need training, some you don’t. And I think that’s an important one because a lot of times whenever you’re looking at somebody, there may be somebody who’s very, very talented and has some skills that we’ll talk about later, like critical thinking skills and all.

Dr. Lynette Reed: They don’t have all of the training, but you know there’s a person there who can train them to do things. And so as a person who’s looking for a potential employee, kind of have a broader picture of that. Because if you’re just saying, okay, check mark, check Mark, check Mark. I’ve got 250 of these to do. So I’ve just got to get through them. Then you’re, once again, changing that dynamic of am I going to pick the right person?

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so it’s kind of a cost value if your mind always goes back to, okay, if I don’t take the time to do this, I’m going to potentially have three out of four of these people end up not being good fits. Or if you’re a person looking to be employed, you’re thinking, okay, I’ve got to get a little bit more understanding of what the skills are. Otherwise, I’m not going to have as good of a chance as that person who’s prepared. Okay?

Dr. Lynette Reed: And how others on the team are able to support the job with their technical skills. And that goes back to that team effort. Because when you’re hiring somebody, you’re not just hiring them to do a job. You’re hiring them to integrate skills that are either going to support other people and the company or not. And if you think about that just for a moment, let’s say you bring somebody in or you’re an employee who doesn’t really have the skills and you go into a team and you’re bringing some broken, fractured skills into this system, it’s like any system.

Dr. Lynette Reed: It’s going to slow down. It’s going to get less efficient. And then you have to replace a part. And so to me you’ve got to think of it in terms of how am I going to bring what I’m bringing to the table into that technical aspect of the organization/ And that’s how you keep everything strong technically, too. And I’m sure the employees that are already in place will thank you greatly for that.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Can employee and team explain the technical aspects of the job? Okay. Yeah. So if you’re an employer and you’re wanting to find out, you can always ask some technical questions, which I’m sure many of you already do, where you just say, okay, here’s a situation and it can even be one that’s already going on and say technically, how would you handle this? And see if they can explain.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And if you’re a potential employee who’s a candidate, then there’s nothing that says you can’t ask too, okay, I’d like to have a team member, if you’re walking around, meeting some of the team members, some of the technical aspects of the job. And go in almost as I’m already assuming I’ve got this job so I want to see how I’m going to fit in if I jump in on my first day and know the technical aspects of it.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Am I going to be able to jump in that first day go, okay, I know everything, I’m ready to go, let’s move? Or are you going to be, okay, I don’t know this, I maybe need to learn this, this person’s good at this? And start getting a feel for the ability of that employee or that person to fit into the bigger dynamic. Okay? And then how are team’s set up for technical success?

Dr. Lynette Reed: I always think it’s a really good question for potential employees or candidates to ask, because you can learn a lot about how a company functions as a team. And if you’re in project management, my guess is that that’s a big part of the job is you’re going to be doing a lot of team type of activities where you’re managing or a part of something that’s going to make it where things are either running very efficiently on time, technically savvy, or they’re going to be broken and slow moving and disruptive.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And the other thing you can add to that is the chain of command. What’s the chain of command? Because technically speaking, I just recently had this happen with somebody, is that they’re a product manager, but they work directly for the C-suite. And there are two bosses that this person answers to. And so it’s very challenging because when you’ve got that triangle, then it’s going to be very difficult for that person to know who to follow.

Dr. Lynette Reed: I mean, if the two C-suite people are not on sync with each other, how does that work? And so if you ask what’s the organizational chart? Where are people going? And you see a lot of splits, that’s going to give you an indication that there may be some challenges down the road as far as who’s going to be responsible for you? And if you’re an employer looking for somebody, it may be that you say, “Hey, look, I’ve got a job where you’re going to have two bosses and it may drive you crazy, but that’s just the way we have to be set up right now because we’re a startup.”

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so you have to be able to say, “Okay. I can be all right with that.” And most people I think are very adaptive to whatever, as long as they know what the setup is, what the expectation is. And to me, that goes back a little bit to that authenticity I was talking about at the beginning is if you look at somebody and say, “Look, I’m looking for somebody where it’s a straight line. I don’t want to have to worry about whether I have two bosses or not. I want to be in one straight line and I want it to be very technical.”

Dr. Lynette Reed: That’s a person that you need to make sure you put in a job where that’s their trajectory. Otherwise, you’re going to have somebody who technically is maybe very savvy, but they can’t handle the technical structure of what’s going on. And so those are some things just to kind of think about as you’re going through that process and asking people what they’re going to do.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And then of course the obvious one is what it is you’re using to track and manage projects. Believe it or not, I have actually had a number of people tell me that they are still using paper and pencil. And that’s fine if everybody’s expectation is the same. Make sure that if you’re hiring somebody who is comfortable with paper and pencil, that that’s where they’re going. Otherwise, if somebody is not familiar with how you’re managing something, it can really throw a wrench in it.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And that goes back a little bit to motivation. Because you have to ask yourself motivation-wise, are you looking for somebody who’s efficient or are you looking for somebody who can just get the work done? Because if you’re talking with some systems management people who are efficiency experts or efficiency people and you put them in a situation where they don’t have something to track or something to practice, it may make it very difficult for them to fit in to that job because they don’t have the ability to just say, “Okay. I’m just going to let this go.”

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so you want to make sure you’re matching up those kind of technical personalities with the jobs so that everybody is kind of on the same page on day one. Because I think a lot of times why you have those problems with the numbers that career builder brought in is because people have different expectations that weren’t managed during that period of the interview. Okay? All right. So soft skills. This is a tough one because we really have not talked about it.

Dr. Lynette Reed: It’s kind of a newer… I mean, it’s old, but it’s coming back in a little bit more than it used to. And I think what a lot of companies are finding is that this thing that’s out there that’s kind of hard to define is really important for jobs especially in today’s society. We’ve got all the millennials coming in who think a little bit differently, which all generations do.

Dr. Lynette Reed: But they’ve been around computers pretty much all their lives and they have different ways of seeing the world because they weren’t raised like people like I who still remember the beginning of the computer and typewriters. I’ve dated myself a little bit there. But I think to me technology is moving so fast and you basically… I always laugh because I’ve been doing remote work since the 90s. My desktop is my phone many times.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so I think with the younger population, they are able to multitask a little bit more and do some things a little bit differently because they are so used to technology. And especially as we get into artificial intelligence and machine learning, things are going to shift a little bit more. So that’s a whole other discussion. So for me, the soft skills thing is so, so, so critical because it really shares with people how we interact and connect as people.

Dr. Lynette Reed: So when I’m talking soft skills, what I’m talking about is the way that you connect with yourself, the way you connect with other people and the way that you connect with the world or the organization. So anytime you’re talking about behaviors that we use or ways that we try to integrate ourselves with other people, that is soft skills. And I think that there’s a number of articles out there.

Dr. Lynette Reed: If you Google people as DNA of a company, you’ll find all kinds of stuff written on it. But your company takes on a certain DNA as you add people and take them out. And so as you’re going to hire somebody or as you’re going to look into getting into a job, think of yourself as one of those little bands in the DNA, and you’re going to shift forever what that company looks like, how it reacts to things and what it does.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And even if you’re one small person in a huge company, it really can make a difference. And the example I’ll give that I think most people can relate to is customer service. How many of you have ever had a situation where you’ve made a phone call because you’ve had problems with the company and you got somebody who was the most helpful person in the world, and then switch over to that same phone call, where you got the person that was the most difficult to work with?

Dr. Lynette Reed: Well, that one person not only changed your perception of that company, but it also changed every single other person that you talked to about that company. Because we as a society, especially with Instagram being instantaneous, if something bad happens, you can hear about it in seconds. And so to me, it’s even more critical that people realize how important they are to this company.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And I think as a candidate coming in, you’ve really got to think of that, too, because what you’re bringing into that company is going to be the thing that either makes you enjoy your job more or makes it more difficult. Because if you have a bunch of expectations about what the company is going to be and you haven’t asked all the questions that you need to ask in order to fit into that company, then you could become very frustrated when you get there and find out that it’s something that you’re not looking for.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so that’s why I say that this soft skills part is very, very important, and we don’t see it. The biggest example I use is a tree. I have two. I’ll do the tree one this time. When you think about a tree, there’s the roots that hold the tree in place, and then there’s the prong and the branches and the leaves. Well, in a company, in my picture, the roots are the culture.

Dr. Lynette Reed: They’re what holds foundationally the company together. Okay? You don’t see them. They don’t really have any purpose that you can see visually, but they are there underground holding everything together. And you’ve either got good, strong roots that are holding things really, really well or you got weak roots, or you’ve got some roots that are weak and some aren’t. And that’s going to impact the tree.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And you may not see it initially because the tree looks fine. The leaves are still growing. The branches are still on. Occasionally a branch falls off. But over time, if the roots aren’t strong, slowly but surely it’s going to fracture that company. And so you’re going to find more and more problems with the company, with the culture. People are going to leave more.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And if any millennials are out there listening, I believe that that is a pretty important thing in this day and age. Mostly I’ve read for millennials. But like I said, that’s kind of more statistically speaking. I think that that’s something that there is value. And especially with COVID, I think that’s shifted not just for the millennials, but for everybody.

Dr. Lynette Reed: We are seeing what happens whenever we don’t have ways to connect with each other and ways to do things. And we adapt. I mean, that’s why Zoom has become so important and things like that is we adapt and companies can do that also. So how has COVID affected you? Can you now be remote? Can you now just work through Zoom, save money on buildings. So you’re creating a culture within the culture you already have with COVID.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so these are all kind of the things to be thinking about as you do these interviews either way, interview or candidate. Okay? So I’m not going to read all of these to you, but I just wanted to put them in because I thought they would be really, really important for you to see in order to just kind of get a feel for how businesses are perceiving culture. Okay?

Dr. Lynette Reed: Distinct workplace culture is important to success. Deloitte. Best places to work. 75% stock jump. So you can see financially it makes a lot of sense, too. In fact, a lot of people say that the culture is the one big upmanship you have on other companies that do similar things to you. Because if you have a company like an insurance company, I’m just using that as an example, that they’ve got great customer service, the people love working there, it’s dynamic.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And you’ve got an insurance company where they basically do the same thing technically, but they’re not as fun to work with, or they’re not as nice to work with, which one are you going to pick? And so to me, you are as the person hiring or the person going into the job going to be kind of as part of this jump in stock or a loss of stock. And whether you enjoy, your company also tells you about leadership.

Dr. Lynette Reed: 86% of employees say strong culture feels that their senior leadership listens to employees compared to 70% of non-winning. I mean, you’ve got a little bump there. So you’ve got to kind of say to yourself, how do I make that work? And for you out there that are going to look for jobs, that’s the other thing you can be looking at whenever you talk to the HR person, or if they send you out to go meet the team, which I think is an important thing to do, because then you do see if you’ve got that fit.

Dr. Lynette Reed: In fact, there are some companies right now… Somebody just told me about this yesterday so I don’t have the information on it, but I can get it if anybody’s interested, where they’re actually doing a trial run with you, where you actually put in a certain number of hours before they actually technically hire you to see if you’re a good fit. So that’s another thing that’s kind of happening with that.

Dr. Lynette Reed: So be thinking in terms of how that’s going to impact the company as a whole, especially if you’re a startup. A lot of the startups this could be the make or break thing for you. If you’ve got people with strong technical skills, with a good chain of command, and then you add a great culture, I mean, imagine as a company that is trying to build something new what that would look like.

Dr. Lynette Reed: It’s a little harder, I will admit, if you’re in a bigger company. Some of the larger corporations already have kind of a system in place, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t little pockets of things where you can find that mix. And if you’re a person who really, really enjoys being in a company that’s bigger, then you might want to look at a bigger company. So there’s that culture thing again.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Kind of sit and think to yourself, what kind of culture do I want to be in if you’re a candidate looking to get into a job? And make sure you have a really good, defined way of looking at that. Okay? All right. So here are just some quick questions for you to consider as you’re doing culture. And like I said, 50%, so at least a good portion of the interview, I would say, should be on looking at the culture.

Dr. Lynette Reed: A lot of times we spend a lot of time saying how do you see yourself fitting in? And trying to figure out about the person. But we forget to ask some of the more specific questions. So these are some that I would also encourage you to do. And before I forget, because I was going to say this at the end, but I know I’ll probably forget it because I don’t have a slide for it.

Dr. Lynette Reed: One of the best ones I’ve ever heard for an interview is just allow the person to talk. Say, “Okay. Give me one-on-one on yourself.” That’s if you’re an employer looking for somebody. If you’re an employee, say, “Okay. Give me a one-on-one on the company. Explain the company to me.” Because what a lot of people find is if you just let people talk, it will reveal a lot of information about them that they’re not just specifically answering.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so it will give you a better picture of that person. And so it takes a little longer to do it that way, but that goes back to that question of what’s your motivation? Is your motivation just to get through the hundreds or 250 applications or is your motivation to do that? And for candidates looking, is your motivation to just get a job, you don’t care what it is? Or do you really want to fit in to that job and be happy in it? And so that’s the question you have to ask yourself.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Okay. So what do you do to create a strong culture? That’s a good question to ask yourself or your company. The challenge with that question is there is no wrong or right answer, and there’s not one way to do it. You have to figure that out. And culture can be not only for the company, but for the team. If you’re in a big company and there’s five of you in the team and you’re going to hire somebody for that team, then how are you going to integrate that person in?

Dr. Lynette Reed: If you’re an employee looking for something, ask the question, what’s your culture? What does it look like? What do you consider a strong culture? What is the best way you’ve found to keep yourself or your employees engaged? These are just some questions you can kind of ask at the interview process to kind of help you figure out if the culture fits.

Dr. Lynette Reed: What I really encourage is whenever you’re looking at culture, take some time before you go into the interview if you’re a candidate. Or if you’re with HR or if you’re going to be doing the hiring, if culture is important to you, to take time to make sure you can define culture in an authentic way. One of the biggest things I hear is that people will go into an interview on either side and say, “I’m looking for a company that’s like yours. It’s strong.”

Dr. Lynette Reed: And they list all these things that have nothing to do with the culture or what they really want. And then they get the job and they’re so excited they have the job or they got the employee that they really, really want. And then everybody comes in and goes, “Oh, well, wait a minute. I don’t like working like that. I don’t want to have people talk harshfully to me.” And so you’ve got to think in terms of if they’ve got a boss that’s going to be there, who’s their boss? Does their personality match this?

Dr. Lynette Reed: Down at the bottom it says, what personality profiles have you taken? Some people do that. Some people don’t. To me, there’s really no wrong or right way with that. I think there’s CORE a lot of people use, which is a helpful indicator of how people work together and integrate together. So you can do those kinds of things. And so just kind of look over these questions and use them as your measure.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Obviously these slides are available to you after this event if you’re wanting to kind of sit down with them and use them while you’re thinking. Okay? All right. I saw on LinkedIn the other day this guy, Matt Cipher, and I really liked these two things he talked about. He says if you put all the successful people at the company into a room, what would they have in common?

Dr. Lynette Reed: This was a question that he had people ask when he was giving advice on looking for an interview, looking for a job. And I just thought that was a really good question. I had never thought about that one before. Because then you’re going to really get a feel for what kind of a person is going to succeed in that company. Okay? And the what does the company value? Well, that’s going to tell you a lot about what’s important to them.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And I liked the understanding the who and the how of the company. The who is who they are and the how is how they do things. Think about that in terms of what kind of a company do you want to work for? There’s the who they are, but then also the how they do things. And that goes back to both technical and cultural. How do they do things technically? Do they have good structure?

Dr. Lynette Reed: Do they have a good organizational chart? Do people seem to work well together? And then the cultural part. And so then you can start blending the two together and get your whole picture as opposed to just the technical side or the cultural side. Okay? The last thing I want to just bring up very quickly is critical thinking skills to me is how broad you can look.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And so all the things I’ve been talking about here today really are having to do with expanding the critical thinking skills and how they translate into your workplace. The broader you look at things and the more outside of the box you look at things, the bigger picture you’re going to get. The more narrow your view, the less choices you’re going to have.

Dr. Lynette Reed: So as you’re talking with people at an interview, whether you’re on either side, be thinking of that broad picture of what’s the bigger thing? What’s the bigger picture? And let that kind of be your guide. Alright. And I think I’ve left a few moments here at the end if anybody has any questions.

Kyle: Thanks for that. Just a reminder. Anyone that has a question, feel free to chat that over and we’ll take that out right now. So we do have a question here. I’m curious if you could provide any suggestions or tips with the way things are now with COVID and being virtual, interviews and things like that. If you have any tips for the interviewee in those situations.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Yeah. It’s a little bit different. I would say make sure you have good lighting if you’re going to do like a Zoom interview. I don’t know how many people are doing Zoom interviews, but I’m assuming that’s what you’re talking about. I think one of the biggest things now with so many people doing Zoom and learning about it is you’ve got to have the good lighting and make sure that you’re still dressed professionally.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Pretend like you’re going in… At least from the top up. Some people joke now that you can pretty much wear shorts or whatever on your Zoom. But from the top up, make sure you have on what you would wear to an interview. And I would say go ahead and have your whole suit on just because it kind of gives you a different feel for getting ready for that.

Dr. Lynette Reed: And then still ask a lot of the same questions and research your company more because you’re not going to be able to go in until that time and actually physically see it. So get a feel for them online on their website.

Kyle: Thanks. Yeah. That’s a great tip. And Lynette has posted her contact info on the screen. If you click the screenshot icon at the top of the viewer window, if you’re watching live, it’ll take a screenshot of that information so you can save it right to your computer. And yeah, that looks like that is it for questions. Lynette, thank you for sharing the tips and we really appreciate it. Anything else before we close out today?

Dr. Lynette Reed: No. That’s it. If anybody has any questions that they think of, feel free to contact me at my email address, which is listed there on the page. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

Kyle: Great. Thanks. We just had another question come in. Do you have any favorite sites or resources for interview tips, questions, prep, things like that that you would recommend?

Dr. Lynette Reed: Yeah. I’ll tell you, the best way that I have found to do that is, I hate to say this is, go to Google or whatever your browser is. I Google and say, hey, what interview questions? And then you can go and pick from a variety of different people. LinkedIn also has a lot of good resources for that, too. But I kind of like just kind of Googling it because then you can see what different people are doing and you might even find some from companies where you’re trying to interview with.

Kyle: Yeah. I think even Glassdoor.

Dr. Lynette Reed: Exactly. Yeah. They’re a great one, too.

Kyle: They can actually share questions.

Dr. Lynette Reed: CareerBuilders. Yeah. There’s a whole bunch of them out there.

Kyle: Cool. Well, thank you so much, Lynette. And for those of you claiming the PDU code, I’ll get that information back on the screen for you in just a second here. All right. So I will share my screen once again. Hopefully you can that now. Today’s session is eligible for three quarters of a strategic PMI PDU, and the code to claim that with PMI is on the screen.

Kyle: If you missed any of today’s session and would like to go back and review anything that Lynette shared with us, a recording will be posted to mpug.com in just a couple of hours. And you’ll receive an email with a link to that. MPUG members have full access to our PDU eligible library of on-demand webinar recordings on mpug.com. We do have some great sessions coming up on the calendar, and I’m going to chat the link over to get to those, the full listing.

Kyle: But the next couple of weeks here, we have Praveen joining us next week for the 10 best Microsoft project tips for beginners. So that’ll be a great session. If anyone’s new to project or wants to build their skills that they currently have. The following week Satya will join us again for a session on how to be a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner. So anyone going back to the PMI ACP, that’s going to be a great session to get an overview and prepare for studying and taking that exam to get your certification.

Kyle: And that does it for today. So once again, Lynette, I’d like to thank you for your time and for sharing with the community. We really appreciate that. Thank you to everyone that joined us live or is watching this on-demand. And we hope you have a great rest of your day. We’ll see you back next week for our next live session. Thanks.


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