7 interview questions you DO NOT need to answer

During interviews, you are put under the spotlight. You have to answer so many questions and sometimes it can get a little overwhelming. What you might not know is that some common interview questions are actually illegal and you do not need to answer them. Woufff... What a relief.

 

Your age

Although this information will probably be known, you employer is not allowed to directly or indirectly ask you about your age. If you feel comfortable answering the question you are entitled to do so, but if not you can query whether or not your age is relevant to your application before answering. Just make sure you respect any specific requirement stated in the job description so that no unexpected conflict arises in the future.

 

Your matrimonial status

Answering a question like this can disclose a lot more information than you realize, and that information can easily be used to discriminate. If you are asked this question, it is ok to tell your employer you do not feel comfortable discussing these topics in a professional environment.

 

If you have been arrested before

Employers can conduct independent research into your background online, so you may find it beneficial to be honest and open about your past if you have been arrested prolifically in your youth. However, They are not entitled to enquire about your arrest record.

 

Questions about physical appearances

Questions related to your general health can be tricky. While employers cannot ask you questions about sicknesses or disabilities, they can ask questions that are directly related to the job you will have to perform inside the company. They might ask if you are physically able to carry certain weights or work past a certain time. Just make sure the questions are strictly professional.  You do not need to answer if they ask you about the scar on your face for example.

Questions about your drinking habits

There are laws to protect recovering alcoholics under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Under the terms of these laws, recovering alcoholics are not compelled to reveal any information that may hint at their status and the same principle applies to anyone who has suffered with substance abuse in their lives. You cannot, however, refuse to comply to the routine drug tests that the company may ask you to do.

 

Questions about your religious background

Unless you are applying for a job at a company that is very transparent about their religious views and practices, an employer cannot ask you questions about your own religious background. These types of questions have the power to discriminate as employers might try to figure out if your practices and obligations will interfere with he work. There are, however, ways to go about this. Employers can simply ask if you are available to work on sundays or saturdays without getting in details.

Your origins

Employers can’t legally inquire about your nationality, but they can ask if you’re authorized to work in a certain country. Oftentimes, it might just be a casual question if you have an accent but remember that you are under obligation to answer.

ALSO READ > 7 of the Strangest Interview Questions Ever Asked
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10 mistakes to absolutely avoid during job interviews

 

Job search can be tough. Sometimes, it is not about not hearing back from employers after applying but about not hearing back after an interview! If you have been called for job interviews but have failed to hear back from the company, you might be doing one of these 10 things wrong:

 

1. Not doing your research

It is not enough to know how to do your job. You also need to know how the company operates. Take the time to do a little research before the interview. The company’s website should be able to provide all the information you will need so that you have a clear idea of who they are, what they do and their history. Showing up at your interview with no knowledge of the company’s way of operating has the potential to lessen your chances of making a strong impression.

2. Turning up late

Showing up late for an interview is a big no no. Unless you have a very good excuse and ring ahead to rearrange, turning up late for an appointment will be a red flag for any recruiter

3. Dressing inappropriately

Take the time to learn more about what type of attire is expected at the company. Business casual? Stricly formal? First impression is very important and will play a big role in how your recruiter percieves you even before the interview process starts.

4. Poor body language

The way you carry yourself speaks louder than you could imagine. Make sure your hands are not sweaty. Do not avoid eye contact, take the time to smile, avoid scratching, coughing or anything that will portray low self esteem or anxiety.

5. Speaking negatively about your current employer or colleagues

Badmouthing won’t reflect well on you. Employers are looking for a sense of loyalty in their future employees. They need to be able to trust that, no matter what, you will not badmouth their company as soon as something does not go as you had planned or wished.

6. Being too quiet

Ask questions! Enployers need to feel some kind of interaction during the interview. Show some interests by asking questions and making comments.

7. Lying on your CV

Anything written on your CV could be discussed at an interview and a fabrication about your work or education record could damage your reputation in the long run.

8. Getting personal or too familiar

No matter how relaxed your interviewer seems to be, never get too familiar. Remember your good manners and remember this is a job interview, not a lunch out with an old friend. Avoid cursing at all times and do not share inappropriate tales about your crazy life.

9. Sitting down before invited

It’s common courtesy to wait until you’re shown a seat to sit down. Also, avoid slouching or putting your feet anywhere but firmly on the ground.

10. Not following up

You might not think you’ve performed well in an interview or that they have forgotten about you but truth is, a simple call or email could be what it takes. Many employers are too busy and manage their time very poorly. Take some time to followup without harassing.
Searching for temporary jobs? Shortstints is the right place for you! Sign up today and get connected with a network of employers. Your dream job might be just one click away.
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Tips to nail your elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your organization does. You can also use them to create interest in a project, idea, or product – or in yourself. They should be interesting, memorable, and succinct. They also need to explain what makes you, or your organization, product, or idea unique. The goal is not to talk for a long period of time but rather, to present your cleared and detailed idea in a short period of time. The main idea behind this is that many entrepreneurs, investors and sponsors do not have a lot of time in hand. It is important to be able to make the most out of the time they give you and convince them that your business idea is worth listening to.

Here are a few tricks you can use to nail your elevator pitch.

Use an attention-getter

Add an interesting fact or stat to use at the beginning of your speech. Your goal is to immediately engage someone so that he or she is intrigued and wants to learn more. Make it short an simple so that you can go straight to the point of your presentation.

Use the WHY method

If you watch TED TALKS I suggest you watch Simon Sinek’s video on why we should always start our pitch with our WHY. As Sinek explained, many entrepreneur can tell you what they do, how they do it but very few will say WHY they do it. The goal of presenting your idea is to convince people of the sole purpose and deeper goal lying behind WHAT you do. Truth is, no matter how cool what you do seems, people are mostly interested in the reason behind it all. How did it all start? What was the motivation to make the first step? What problem is your idea resolving? When you have a WHY, then what you do has a reason to exist.

Engage with questions

The point of this is not to actually conduct a questionnaire but rather, to make your audience think. You might be presenting s solution to a problem they have never even thought of before. It is important to insert short and strategic questions that will help them align their thoughts and idea in the direction you want to take them.

Set up a draft

Put your ideas on paper. This will give you a clearer idea of the order you want to use to present, identify examples and illustrations you could use to back up your ideas. The draft will help you get a clear map so that you can ordain your ideas.

Practice

Take the time to monitor yourself. If you realize that your pitch is too long, make sure you review your main ideas and eliminate things that are not really necessary. Videotape yourself, observe your gestures, your posture and your pronunciation. This will help you identify repetitions, things that are not relevant yo your pitch and things that you should absolutely add.

Take the time to craft your elevator pitch. There are Online tools available for you that will provide clear and practical examples on how to go about writing your pitch.

Also learn more about how to cope with your fear of speaking in public here!

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How to find and keep a temporary job

Landing a temporary job is something many millennials are tying to do. Because they are trying to carve their own path and build a career of their own, they are constantly looking for jobs that will contribute to their sources of income, help them acquire experience while giving them enough time and flexibility to build their own empire. While working at a temp job, the weekly pay check may not be as fat as at your previous job, but there are definitely many advantages in landing a temporary job:

  • Flexibility
  • Diverse experience
  • Independence

Whatever your reason, if you’re thinking of entering the temporary work force, here are 4 tips for finding and keeping the best temporary job:

Target the right agencies

Many job seekers are simply not looking in the right places. There are many agencies looking for temporary employees but you need to look for them and make sure they are hiring in your field of expertise. Take the time to do your research and find the right agency for you.

Adjust your resume

Most recruiters for temporary jobs are looking for employees who will be able to come on board and reach specific goals. Because they are very goal-oriented, they will not always be interested in learning about all your career path. Make sure your resume is straight to the point and shows your recruiter that you are the right fit for the task you will need to accomplish.

Be ready to step out of your comfort zone

Temp jobs are not always a one way street. Make sure you remain flexible and ready to touch to many things at once. Do not forget that temp jobs are the perfect step towards full-time employment so do not hesitate to show your different talents and abilities. Be ready to try new things and focus on the learning opportunities.

Be honest about the salary expectation

Even though temp jobs are…well..temporary, do not accept a salary that is lower than what you actually need to survive and then try to match your efforts to your pay check. Chances are, if you are looking for temp jobs, you are most likely a freelancer or starting a business and juggling gigs on the side. This means that you have bills to pay and you probably  have to deal with late payments from contractors. The reality is, we all need to make sure what we are getting paid is enough for us to keep on going with our daily activities. Do not accept a low salary and then deliver horrible work. This will not be good for your reputation and might even hurt your chances of landing a full-time job.

 

Looking for temp jobs in your field of expertise? ShortStints is the right platform for you. Sign up today and get connected to a large network of employers ready to recruit for temporary jobs all over America.

 

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3 simple tricks to help you deal with difficult bosses

Dealing with difficult bosses can affect your productivity and overall wellbeing. Tension in the workplace is not the best thing to deal with. However it is important to attack small problems as they rise and avoid finding ourselves with an elephant in the room.
Here are 3 simple tricks to help you deal with difficult bosses

1. Be honest about how you feel

Be honest about how you feel and do not hesitate to tell your boss when something they said or did was not appreciated. Truth is, a problem that seems so complex can be fixed with 10 minutes of communication.

2. Try to understand them

Empathy is the solution to many issues. Take the time to understand the other. Has your boss been dealing with difficult situations lately? If you noticed that they have been stuck on the phone looking stressed and drained, take some time to ask if everytging is Ok. Your concerns are important but sometimes it might be the wrong timing.

3. Approach a third party for counsel

HR employees can be a great help in dealing with delicate situations. Do not hesitate to approach someone who will be able to help you and give you practical advice. Sometimes all we need is to bring in someone with a different perspective.

It is important to remember we are all human. This simple reminder can generate more empathy ando kindness in the workplace.

 

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The benefits of having women in the workplace

 

Having women in the workplace is very common today. However it was not won without a fight. Women had to learn to earn their rights to be treated as equally as men in terms of: salary, titles, respect ando more. Even though we might not be where we want to be, thank God we are not where we used to be!

Here are a few benefits among many others of having women in the workplace.

Diversity

Mixing male and female employees will help bring diversity to the workplace. This is really important as it can contribute to a better environment. It will bring in new ideas and ways of seeing and doing things.

Better communication

We have all heard: ” Men are attracted by what they see while women are attracted by what they hear”. Because of most women natural tendency to communicate more, it makes them great counselors in the workplace. A great leader knows how to take the time to listen. This makes women better HR managers in some cases, better supervisors or even better bosses. Keep in mind that, this, by no means is a general statement. I understand that there are numerous factors involved when talking about ones unique strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. However, it is important to consider these general factors in order to make better decisions in the workplace.

More challenges

In the Zinger Folk man Survey, women were rated highest in the category of taking initiatives. Could this be partly explained by the fact that, in some cases, woman feel the need to work harder than man in order to benefit from the same advantages? Taking initiatives is an important trait in the business world as we need go-getters in order to make things happen.

Betrer financial performance

A 2007 report from non-profit research organization, the catalyst, found out that Fortune 500 companies with more female board directors attained significantly higher financial performance than those with the lowest female representation. Taking 3 important factors into consideration: Return on equity, return on sales and return on invested capital, this deserves our attention.

Development and empowerment of others

Also in the Zinger Folk man Survey, woman were rated more highly in the “developing others” category. In order for a company to succeed, it is important to think about team building. We need people of have a sense of leadership and team building. This attribute not only benefits the company but also the employees.

 

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Time is money : How to turn your money into a loyal employee

Time is money and cash is king. Often, we find ourselves juggling between the need for money and our desire to make everything happen in our 24 hours while still: getting 8 hours of sleep, spending time with loved ones, traveling, eating clean and getting the perfect tan. While this might be possible in our imagination, we need to remember that we are real people, operating on real time, with real weaknesses and frustrations.

This is why it is so important to make sure our money works for us!

 

Here are 4 simple ways that will help you make your money work for you:

 

Develop streams of passive income

Passive income is one of the best ways to make sure your money works for you. It can come in the form of an ebook, a book, or an online course. Passive income has the sole purpose of making sure something you worked on, is now bringing you money without you having to lift a finger anymore. Find ways to make money in your sleep HERE

Become a silent partner in a business

If you can identify a business with potential, become a silent partner. Find out what you can do to become a useful card and collect comissions- whether it is bringing clients, helping the business gain visibility or else. Learn how and why you should consider this route HERE

Pay off your debts

If you really want your money to work for you and not be a slave to money, find a way to Pay off your debts this year. Debts, if not dealt with on time and properly, can become a big elephant in the room. In the this Post we share 4 ways to be debt-free in 2017. The sooner you take care of your debts, the easier the road to financial freedom. While it might be very difficult to stay disciplined until everything is paid off, it will be worth it in the end.

Choose credit cards with rewards you will benefit from

Many credit cards nowadays offer points and rewards on purchases made. While this is great, it can also be tricky if you do not know how to manage properly. No need to accumulate more debts while trying to get a reward. My advice to you: When you have the cash available for a purchase, pay it with your credit card then pay it back right away. This will allow you to accumulate points while staying debt free. Then you can change these points into cash to payoff other debts! It is a win-win situation. You can also make sure you use rewards that can benefit your business!

 

 

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Becoming a silent partner in a new business: How

A silent partner in a business is an individual who invests capital in a business in exchange for a share in the profits (or loss) of that business.

 

Becoming a silent partner in a business allows you to set it without having to worry about it. – You might have identified ways to help a business strive by bringing them the right clients, the right technical assistance or just something that will make a huge difference in the business without you having to be stuck there but still receiving money from their profits!

You might not have a direct say in the way the company operates but it sure gives you advantages:

  • Passive income : You earn profit on your small investment when the business makes profit. The % you get will depend on the kind of arrangement you made with your partner.

 

  • Less responsibility : Startups usually require a lot of work. While active partners will often work long hours under a lot of stress, a silent partner suffer from way less pressure as he is not involved in the day to day activities of the company.

 

  • Less risky investments : A silent partner risks way less when investing in a business. While active partners have more pressures to understand exactly how the business is functioning, a silent partner is way less concerned with the day to day tasks and projections. Of course, he understands that his paycheck depends on the success of the company so he will make sure he does his part. However, a silent partner is probably juggling multiple sources of income and will be more relaxed in times of trouble.( which can become an issue depending on the relationship the active and silent partners have developed)

 

Becoming a silent partner can turn out to be an excellent investment if the concerned individuals take some time to do their research and think things through. Understand that not every silent partnership turns out as expected. Ending a partnership might even cost money and clients to the company. Just keep this in mind as you make your way through this path.

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Crowdfunding: Pros and Cons

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount.

Although crowdfunding has its challenges, it is a great way for small businesses struggling to stay afloat, to showcase their business and projects to the entire world.

Advantages

  1. It is free marketing as it allows you to pitch your project or current business through the platform.
  2. Sharing your idea to experts is a great way to receive valuable feedback, ideas and even find a mentor.
  3. It gives you a chance to find funds with no upfront fees.
  4. It allows you to test their reaction towards your product or service
  5. It is a great way to get customers! People might not directly fund your project because they realize that all you need is a little boost. They will gladly become, or send you customers! And sometimes, it can be just what you needed.
  6. It is a great alternative for those who have been unsuccesful with traditional funding.

Disadvantages

  1. More risk for your business reputation. When an investor decides to finance your business through crowdfunding, it is because he/she sees a potential in you and your idea. Not being able to fulfill your targeted objectives has to potential to have negative effects on your business because it will change the way people who believed in you now perceive your project.
  2. It might require more work than traditional funding. There is a lot of work to be done so you can make your project appealing to potential funders
  3. More pressure to protect yourself. Crowdfunding exposes your idea to so many people dying to find a good projects and make their way on the entrepreneurship path. If you are not well protected (copyright etc…) you might have to deal with copycats.

 

Keep in mind that there are still ways to Start your business with very little money . Crowdfunding might not be the best option for all entrepreneurs and that is more than ok. Take the time to analyze and see what you can personally do to start right.

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7 tips for effective brainstorming sessions

Brainstorming is the act of holding a group discussion to produce ideas. Even though brainstorming can be very productive, it can turn into complete chaos if not planned properly.

Here are tips for the effective brainstorming session

Choose a moderator

Assigning someone to guide the brainstorming session into a productive direction is an absolute must. Make sure it is someone who knows and understands your overall objectives. This will avoid the free flow of ideas to get off track and out of control. This person should not dominate conversation or even present many ideas but instead drive the conversation away from unproductive or hostile conversation and towards original thought and successful teamwork.

Set goals

The purpose of brainstorming is to come out with fresh and useful ideas. Make sure you identify your goals before you start so that your discussions stay directed towards these objectives.

Your goals need to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Take notes

Have someone responsible of taking notes and sending them afterwards to the members. Ideas that are not written down will easily be forgotten.

Do not be afraid of the ridicule

The importance of brainstorming is to share ideas. Whether good or completely crazy, it is important to share everything. No matter how ridiculous it sounds, it is important to share with the group. Every idea is a seed that will have the potential to be transformed into something powerful.

Work together

Each person has a piece of the puzzle that will become the big picture. Work together in order to end up with something great. Hang all the suggestions up around the room where everyone can stand back and have a look at them as a set. Then discuss ways to combine entire ideas or to selectively mix elements of two or more weaker ideas to form a stronger whole. If you come across an idea that most people like but are split as to what to partner it with, put it to a simple vote. Remember it is not about winning but working together to find a solution.

Bring an outsider

An outsider will be able to listen and think from another perspective. Chances are, most people brainstorming together have started from previous ideas discussed together. While this is a good thing, it also has the power to influence certain decisions. An outsider will be able to advice from a different point of view. Grab someone who knows absolutely nothing about what you are talking about ! As crazy as this sounds, it will be a great way to get an insight of how other people will receive your idea.

Set a time limit

Set up an agenda for your session. You’ll have to end the brainstorming at some point and you will need to ensure everyone knows that the agreed upon goals must be met by a certain time.  Try setting and announcing a firm time limit at the beginning of the session. This will help keep you focus during the session.

 

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