Tips for Job Interviews that you wish you knew beforehand!

Image

what-you-wish-youd-known-before-your-job-interview_50290d661b363Good Evening Everybody! It’s Job Seeker Monday

and we found this very helpful infographic on the

top things possibly overlooked during job interview

preparation.  Give this a quick look and let us know,

what have you been forgetting?

Mediocre is not acceptable

What is happening in our industry? It seems everywhere I go I find another frustrating example of some Technology vendor cutting a corner, taking a short cut, or choosing the easy way. Just the other day I wasted half a day’s productivity because an internal IT group wasn’t properly staffed and no escalation process was in place to help. Last week, I was stuck in an airport because the carrier couldn’t fill the plane so they cancelled the 4 pm flight home (just to save a little on the bottom line). So what if I’m inconvenienced at the airport, or even at the customer site. No one seems to care. What happened to customer service? What happened to technology professionals being the best in the business? What happened to doing what you said you would do? What happened to doing the right thing? What happened to common sense?

I’m not out to slam competitors in the technology consulting industry. I understand certain factors exist outside anyone’s control. My fear is that I see a disturbing trend and overall attitude in our culture that produces “acceptable mediocrity.” Customers and employees have reached a low point in expectations. When someone does the minimum, we cheer as if they have broken some World Record.

Seriously?

At Theoris we are changing the game for our employees and our customers
We are not just proposing excellence. We are proposing that mediocre should no longer be acceptable.

At Theoris we expect excellence and you should to.

Why stop there… we could all kick it up a notch in life to.

Be an excellent spouse.
Be an excellent parent.
Be an excellent employee.
Be an excellent guest.
Be an excellent friend.
Be an excellent example.

I know I’m a little old-fashioned, but this just make sense, right?

If you’re passionate about technology and passionate about customer service then we need to talk.

An Apple A Day… I Think Not!

apple-shattered-glassApple is starting to get a little worried now that they have some healthy competition from Samsung.   I am happy to see a rise in Samsung purchases!  I recently bought the Note II over the iPhone, and I am in love with it.  Then again, I have never been big on the Apple bandwagon, and I graduated in graphic design.    I will admit that I do own a 16GB iPod Touch for my music. However, my Note II plays the songs just as well, and came with 16GB storage.  To one up my iPod I can upgrade my phone storage.

We aren’t talking about iPods, but music is one of the features Apple pushes during their sales pitch.  I have several friends who own iPhones and the only other feature they rave about is Siri.  You can go to the Google store and purchase programs like Skyvi that do the same thing.  The bottom line is we all have different needs and wants in our smart phones.  It’s about time that we have some choices.

My Note II allows me to split my screen so I can read an email from a coworker, and change an excel document at the same time.  I can use my stylus and mock up marketing materials while I’m out with friends.  Better yet I can take a photo of my friends and draw mustaches on their faces.  I can shoot a quality video or choose to limit it for MMS.  I can sketch an item in my digital idea pad and then I can NFC it over to another device.  Idea note_20130119_174659_01

There are so many more features I don’t get to use on my Note II, but I know they are there if I need them.  It did take me a hot minute to figure out where my task manager was located.  They encourage you to download an app, but you can just hold down on the home button for a second.  The size was a limitation in the beginning, but after a few weeks I didn’t even notice it.  This phone can take a beating and keep on working like nothing ever happened.  If you know me, you know that is a good thing.

Apple can come back on the defense with any marketing material they want, but I will not be drinking the Apple Kool-Aid any time soon.

–        Keyna Shubert

Fuel Innovation By Providing Good Service…

Group of young people in training courseWe all consider ourselves technical experts.  Some of us even are!  Some people graduate at the top of their class academically and never make it big in the world, while others are B or even C students yet they outperform the rest of the workforce.  What’s the secret?

The secret is that technical expertise is a small (often very small) part of the success equation.  Services are experienced.  They are not merely purchased like a product.  The client remembers how you got them to the answer versus just the answer itself.  Good service is subjectively determined by the individual client manager you are working for.  If you are not meeting his or her intangible and tangible expectations, you are failing. The key is to ensure you understand these expectations and communicate in a style and frequency that meets them in addition to getting the technical work done.

Nobody likes the doctor with a bad bedside manner, or the rude waiter even though they may have cured your illness or gotten your order correct.  Conversely, you don’t mind giving the waiter who makes a mistake a break if they apologize and work hard to fix it.  Problems will happen.  It’s how you handle them that sets you apart or gets you fired.  (I realize that analogy does work so well for the surgeon who operates on the wrong leg, but you get my drift.)

Pay attention to the intangibles.  Go out of your way to be courteous, respectful, communicative, and anticipate the client’s needs.  Be easy to work with.  You will be amazed at how fast you rise to the top of the class!

-George Huntley

PROJECTS ARE YOUR INTERVIEW: THE CASE FOR CONTRACT TO HIRE

Image

Some strong viewpoints to consider: Resumes are nearly dead. Interviews are skeptical at best. LinkedIn is decent. Portfolios are helpful. Sounds contradicting from someone that works primarily in IT staffing- but hear us out!

Projects are the real future of hiring, especially IT and SDLC hiring. No matter how wonderful your references are or how impressive your education is, it’s not enough. What can you do to make yourself indispensable in a volatile climate? Deliver incredible results through your projects.

Top talent will engage in projects, testing their abilities to deliver real value on their own and with others. Forgo the experience, certifications, and other interrogatory genre; the real question will be how well can consultants rise to the challenge, and help redesign a corporate website, document a tricky bit of software, or even architect a data warehouse?

Most firms have learned the hard way that no amount of interviewing, reference checking and/or psychological testing is a substitute for actually working with a candidate on a real project. What can you do? What have you done? What will you accomplish? I call it on-the-job interviewing.
Image
Many organizations now incorporate a three to six month ‘contract’ as part of their on-boarding process. Hiring becomes more holistic rather than best guess approaches. Remember, you’re interviewing the prospective employer as well. All while maintaining a solid living.

Ultimately, the reason why I am confident that ‘projects are the new job interviews’ is not simply because I’m in the middle of the client and the candidate, it’s because this is an important vehicle for all parties involved. The most successful adopters will quickly be replicated. Why? The most talented people typically like having real opportunities to shine and succeed.

Will your next long-term project or career come from only your resume and relationships, or from proving your worth by knocking a new project out of the park?

Batter up!

Image

 

 

 

 

Success Starts With a Plan

Aside

That headline is fairly basic. The need to plan has been driven into us since childhood by our parents, our teachers and other role models. Planning is needed in virtually every life activity we take on. Planning requires attention to detail. Being prepared.

When we start a new job or assignment we have to figure out the best route to work and the best place to park. We have to have gas in our car and clean clothes (am I getting too personal?) as well as our work tools like a computer, briefcase, etc. If we forget any of these things, the result is embarrassing at best and disastrous at worst.

I like to run in distance races my favorite being the half marathon. (I am getting too old and too slow for full marathons anymore.) These too require planning. You need to know how to get there and where to park, as well as what gear to wear based on weather conditions, etc. Pre-planning requires the right training plan. Is the course flat or hilly? Where will the water stops be located? What should I eat the night before (pasta!) and the morning of (something small)?

If you park too far away, you wind up walking an extra mile on top of running (or crawling) 13.1 during the race. If you don’t get there early enough the lines at the port-a-pots (you didn’t expect that visual in a article) can be too long. It is not good (trust me on this) to run a race when you should have made a pit stop. It is similarly not good to forget things at home like gels or a hat or sunscreen or perhaps your shoes. I have done many of these things (except forgetting my shoes – so far).

Some stories:

  • While running a race in Dublin, Ireland (I know tough duty) they gave out carbonated water at the rest stops. If you don’t know that’s coming, it’s a shock!
  • I had contact problems at the Indy Mini in May and had to run with one eye in and one eye out! It was a unique experience caused by a lack of backup plan.
  • At the Air Force Half Marathon in September, the pace team took a wrong turn and led thousands of people off course! Some ran an extra 1.5 miles on top of their 13.1 race. Knowing the route is a good planning tip!

Having a race plan such as conserving your energy for the hills to come is a really good idea too. It’s easy to take the need to plan for granted, or be over confident in our ability to plan.  Experience is the ability to recognize a mistake when we make it again. We should all plan to avoid the mistakes we know and strive for new ones. New mistakes are inevitable since we’re all human and much more interesting!

In the famous words of George Peppard from the A-Team series “I love it when a plan comes together!”

– George Huntley

Ruby Slippers?

Typically when you hear the word “Ruby” you think of Dorothy’s magical slippers, but that is no longer the case. Today all the rage is about “Ruby on Rails”, a hot new programming language amongst developers. It is true that Java developers in San Francisco area still make around $17,000 more a year, but it’s only a matter of time before Ruby on Rails catches up. Technology is constantly evolving and we are always Fueling Innovation.

While Ruby on Rails is the “New” hot thing it was actually created almost nine years ago. Like most languages it promises to simplify and make programming less complicated. It’s probably safe to say that Ruby on Rails will not replace Java, but rather just become the more dominant language. At the end of the day it will depend on the amount of developers that jump ship in its defense.

You can use Google to search “Ruby vs. Java” to find a multitude of comparisons. If you have some time I would suggest doing this as there are some rather comical videos out there. The common theme in Ruby’s defense is that she is elegant, meaningful and changeable. Simply put she is short and sweet. While it has been around longer and has more developers, Java is full of extra steps. At the end of the day they are both in demand.

West Coast Java developers may be making more than Ruby developers, but the national average based on PayScale’s median findings are as follows:

Ruby   on Rails

Java

Less than a year $69,209 Less than a year $56,206
Five years $86,630 Five years $79,757
Ten years $102,198 Ten years $99,795

We have a large audience of developers and would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.