Hiring Managers Requiring Your Facebook Password?

We’ve recently been following stories of hiring managers and employers who require job candidates to share the passwords to their Facebook and other social media profiles.  The idea here is that the employer or hiring manager can then log into the candidate’s social media profiles and “poke around” to make sure there’s nothing untoward or otherwise disqualifying about the job seeker.   Does your personal life outside of work have any bearing on your qualifications for a job?  Do employers have a right to peer into your life outside of the workplace as a prerequisite to offering you a position?  Yahoo! has a short video report about the trend here.  View the video and then share in the comments about whether or not you feel this is acceptable recruitment practice or a grievous overreach on the part of employers.

Shyness and the Dreaded Job Interview

Are you painfully shy?  Do you detest having to make small talk with people, or just feel uncomfortable meeting new people in general?  Not interested in sharing personal information about yourself with a near perfect stranger?  Then you probably hate going out on job interviews.  Yet, this is something that none of us can reasonably expect to avoid.  With competition for positions remaining high, it can be a significant disadvantage to be uncomfortable talking effortlessly with strangers and tooting your own horn.  While there is likely no advice we at Allen School Online could give to help you overcome your shyness, there is a good deal that can be done in preparation for a job interview to minimize your discomfort.  The good folks over at Monster.com have an article up today laying out the game plan for interviewing if you’re bashful.  Have a read and prepare yourself well to land a job in medical billing and coding or medical office assistant whether or not you’re shy.

Don’t Say That!

Foot in MouthOne of the most popular posts ever on the Allen School Online blog was entitled 10 Common Reasons People Get Fired!  You can read it here. No other post has generated anywhere close to the number of reader comments.  Probably because everyone knows a co-worker who does some of these “termination worthy” things (like failing to take a shower before work).Well, I think this post will be similarly popular.  It is based on an article published on Monster.com entitled, “Nine Things Never to Say In a Job Interview” and it contains almost as much cringe-worthy examples of ways people undermine their career prospects as the 10 Reasons People Get Fired piece.  Have a read and remember these things next time you’re interviewing for a job in medical billing and coding or medical office assistant.

Non-Verbal Cues that Can Torpedo Your Job Interview

You only get one chance to make a first impression.  This is especially true in the interviewing for a job position.  With so many applicants for each available job, you need to put your very best foot forward.  Just try not to be tapping your best foot all through the interview.   Allen School Online students get a highly respected certification when they finish their studies of medical billing and coding.  However, no matter how good your grades are, and no matter how respected your education is, and no matter how articulate you may be in the interview, you can still blow it and not even know it.   The Wisebread.com blog site has a great piece up right now that chronicles some of the non-verbal or “body-language” cues that can distract an interviewer during your meeting.  Things like excessive staring (while trying to maintain good eye contact), bouncing one’s leg up and down (due to nervousness) or nodding too much (trying to indicate high levels of interest) can all be negatively interpreted by the hiring manager.  Click here to read the whole article and its list of “don’ts” for body language during the interview process.

Can You Describe an Instance Where You Screwed Up at School or Work?

Healthcare Field Job InterviewThis is the very type of loaded question interviewers are increasingly asking of candidates for job positions.  Ah, how quaint seem the days when they used to ask you about your 3 top strengths and weaknesses.  Listen, the job market is more competitive now than it has ever been.  Hiring managers are forced to sort though thousands of candidates before making the best choice and they are getting more pointed in the questions they’re asking.  They just don’t have the time to beat around the bush and with so many in line for the available jobs, they feel emboldened to ask more penetrating questions.  Questions like: “What bugs you about your co-workers or your current boss?”  or “If you’re currently employed, how do you have time to make this interview?”  They’re fishing for answers that shed light on how you’d be as an employee.  Forbes magazine put out a list of ten new and interesting interview questions used by hiring managers, what they’re really asking and how to best answer them.  Click here to read it before you head out to your next job interview.  You’ll be glad you did!

Tips on Interviewing Via Skype

This blog has frequently shared tips for succeeding in job interviews with Allen School Online students once they’ve completed their course of study in medical billing and coding or medical office assistant.  As online students, you’re well aware of the many ways that technology has changed the nature of studying and working.  Skype is one such exciting technology.  The internet-based communication tool lets users make phone calls, instant message, hold video conferences and even share desktops.  It has revolutionized many fields including the medical field.  A good example comes from Education First’s Ming Chen who says, “Skype has transformed a lot more than just the telephone industry. Its ease of use and ubiquity is opening up new opportunities in health, education and business. Telehealth, largely fueled by Skype, has allowed doctors to communicate with rural and remote patients.”In the same article at the Huffington Post, Chen shares the “Seven Deadly Sins of Skype Interviewing“.   Yes, Skype is being used by increasing numbers of employers as a tool for holding job interviews without the need to meet with candidates in person.  This saves time, money and headaches for both interviewers and job candidates.  Yet, as you might expect, there are plenty of ways to torpedo your Skype interview.  Just like an in-person interview, there are some rules and best practices to follow if you want to put your best foot forward.  Moreover, there are new rules, specific to online interviewing, which should be followed by any candidate wishing to make a good first impression, even if it is over a broadband connection.

Don’t Believe the Hype – 10 Job Hunt Myths

We’ve all heard them.  Seemingly solid tips on how to land the gig of your dreams.  “Don’t send your resume out during the holiday season because HR is slackened off at the holidays.  Wait ’til January and start your hunt again in earnest.” Or my favorite, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!”Well, it would seem this advice is nothing more than well-worn hogwash.  According to an article published in US News and World Report, the holiday season is among the best times of the year to get hired and it most definitely does matter what you know.  Should your resume be no longer than one page?  Should you price yourself lower than the position typically pays in order to beat out competition?  Does a cover letter really matter?  All these answers and more in this “10 Myths About Job Searching” article.There!  Now, don’t say I never gave you anything for Christmas!

5 Fresh Tactics for the Job Hunt

So this isn’t going to be the tired old “Dress for Success, Write a Thank You Letter, Make Eye Contact” kind of post about how to land the job.  The net is jam packed full of old, tired advice on what it takes to turn the job interview into a salary.  As many may have already found, what was useful even 10 years ago is no longer relevant given the radically different (read: exceedingly tough) job market.  Monster.com recently published a piece with what seems to be some very astute recommendations regarding what is needed to help a candidate succeed in the interview.  And it has nothing to do with clothing or how to turn “your top three weaknesses into strengths”.  The 5 fresh tactics are:Pain Spotting Story Telling Using a Human Voice Showing Relevance Knowing Your ValueClick here to read the article at Monster for the details on what these suggestions involve.  Then go out and get ’em!

Thanks is Not Enough – The Purposeful Interview Follow-up

Everyone knows that the proper protocol is to send a thank you letter to the interviewer after having been interviewed.  It’s as well-known a part of the job hunt process as “dressing for success” and writing a custom CV for each application.  But with the job market as tight as it is, you need every edge you can come by to stand apart from the other applicants.  The Allen School Online certification is a good start.  But consider this wisdom regarding how you can leverage the obligatory “thank you” letter into a memorable vehicle to reinforce your interview.Www.interview-secrets.net has a great article on this topic.  According to the piece, most people either skip the thank you letter thinking it is a pointless formality.  Others simply send in a letter that expresses thanks, but does nothing more to help you stand out and seal the deal.  Read the article here for some secrets on how you can create a potent, meaningful and strategic follow up letter to your job interviewer.

Good Resource for Job Hunting

The much ballyhooed takeover of AOL by the Huffington Post has yielded a very comprehensive resource for people seeking new employment.  If you’ve recently earned your Medical Billing and Coding certificate from Allen School Online, or if you’re soon to earn yours, you may be apprehensive about the looming job search.  It is true that finding gainful employment these days is more challenging than it has been in quite some time.  You’ll need any advantage you can come by if you’re to succeed.  Luckily, an Allen School certificate is one such advantage.  But it won’t land you the position you want if your resume, interviewing skills and salary negotiation chops are weak.  So take a look at the new Huffington Post/AOL Jobs and Career section for the latest and greatest tips and strategies for landing the dream gig.  Check back frequently because the content there is update rapidly and there’s always something new and useful to be found.