Why Should I Hire You?

Interview skills at higheradvantage.org

Photo credit: Alamy and careers.theguardian.com

Everyone dreads hearing an employer ask “Why should I hire you?” in a job interview.  It’s a very common question that our clients need help to anticipate,  understand and answer.

Here are highlights of good advice from a recent article in theguardian.com, which includes additional tips and explanations.

  • Refer to the Job Description.  Emphasize the same points.  Consider using the exact words when it sounds natural.
  • Focus on what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you.
  • Never directly compare yourself to another person.  It can make you seem competitive rather than a strong team player.
  • Evidence your answer.  Give examples from your past experience.  If you can cite numbers or acknowledgement from your employer, even better.

Higher’s new elearning training, How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions will help clients answer this important question, as well.  Read more here and think about trying this great new training with your highly skilled clients.





Now Available: U.S. Job Cycle at Higher’s Online Learning Institute

U.S. Job Cycle at Higher's Online Learning Institute

It only takes 20 minutes from start to finish!

Check out our newest online training – The U.S. Job Cycle – a field tested (by me for 3 years) stand alone job readiness session.

It can also be the framework for your entire approach to job readiness no matter how you do that in your agency.

Download and print graphics, classroom games and techniques to reinforce key concepts in one-on-one client meetings in the resource section.


3 Simple Steps to Learn Something New Right Now

1.  Click here to go to Higher’s Online Learning Institute login screen.

2.  Login or sign up.

3.  Click on the Catalogue box in the dashboard view and learn.

NEW at Higher’s Online Learning Institute

How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions at Higher's Online Learning Institute

Learn to use this simple technique featured in Higher’s new traning course.

How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions eLearning Training Now Available!

“Tell me about a time when you did not meet an important deadline.  What happened and what was the result for your company’s bottom line?”

Oof.  This is a hard question for any job seeker to answer.

Now there’s new help from Higher!  Check out our latest eLearning course to  help clients craft stories from their own past experience to answer this increasingly common type of interview question.

Click here to go to Higher’s Online Learning Institute login screen and discover how it can help you up your job placement rates today.


Cultural Stereotypes: An Incomplete Story

chimamanda on cultureTo understand more about how cultural stereotypes can affect our clients and what you can do about it, check out a clip from our Employability Assessment eLearning module at Higher’s Online Learning Institute.

Don’t yet have your free, lifetime username and password?  Click here to learn more and sign up.

Forgot the URL?  Click here or look on our homepage at http://www.higheradvantage.org.

Job Development 101: Selling Takes Multiple Contacts

Sales StatsCommunicating with employers – especially initial pitches – can be intimidating.

You worry about getting a negative reaction.  These sales statistics should help you not take this type of rejection personally.

Human nature requires several “touches” or points of contact before a decision can be made.

Here are some points to consider:

1.  Identify “warm” targets – potential employers with some existing connection to our work.  Previous awareness counts for at least one “touch”.

2.  Consider creative ways to make contact.  Gently build their comfort level with making the decision to hire a client.

3.  Don’t give up too soon, but be ready to cut your losses when it becomes clear that an employer just isn’t interested at this time.

4.  Take Higher’s Communicating with Employers:  Initial Contact eLearning training to strengthen your employer communication skills.  Get a free username/password here.

LGBTQ Employment Perspectives

rainbowLGBTQ clients face additional barriers to employment.  Sometimes, those barriers can include misconceptions and stereotypes on the part of employers, colleagues and, even employment professionals.

We are mindful of how cultural differences might affect our clients success and the ways we can best help them.  Working with LGBTQ clients should be handled with the same attention and respect.

Heartland Alliance, an ORR technical assistance contractor, offers two great resources to help you develop successful strategies for providing effective services.  Each include a special section on employment.  Download them both here. 

To learn more about how to identify and address cultural sterotypes, watch a clip from Higher’s Workplace Culture training.

Two points from the Heartland Alliance resources were especially relevant to my own experience working with LGBT clients.  It would be great if others could share their experience or questions.

Documentation and Legal Names

New hire paperwork must be completed with the client’s legal name as it appears on their eligibility documentation (i.e. I-9 or EAD).  No matter the client’s gender identity, a mismatch during an employment eligibility verification causes problems for clients and employers.

Although documentation issues can usually be resolved, for LGBTQ clients, this situation can also have the unintended consequence of disclosing identity issues better explained in a different way.

How to Communicate with Employers?

After heated debate, my team decided not to disclose a client’s gender identity as we were helping her apply for a job with one of our most trusted employment partner.  The recommendation included in Heartland Alliance’s publication is to consider having a conversation with trusted employers to ensure they are sensitive to the participant’s transgender identity.

When the employer realized the situation (after the client got the job offer and began to work), it put a bit of stress on our relationship, but we were able to work together to modify corporate processes to make everyone comfortable in the workplace.



Higher’s On-line Learning Institute: Cross Cultural Competence

Higher’s Employability Assessment training has a great section about self-awareness and stereotypes that might affect clients in the workplace.

It was developed with significant input from MG and Higher ORR Program Officer Tom Giossi.  (Thanks, Tom).

Check out the two minute clip below and request a free user name and password for Higher’s eLearning portal today at http://www.higheradvantage.org/connect-to-highers-online-learning-institute/.

Two Job Readiness Models Using Higher On-line Training

Learn how two Employment Professionals are using two courses from Higher’s On-line Learning Institute in their job readiness classes.

Read highlights from their live presentations at a recent Higher webinar to learn about different approaches to job readiness class and several creative ways you can use our on-line training tools to make your work with clients more effective:

Higher:  Can you describe the context and approach you take to using Higher’s on-line trainings?

david roth

David Roth (DR) with Lutheran Services Carolinas started his work as Job Developer in January of this year and is just developing an approach to teaching clients job readiness skills.

Brittani Mcleod (BMc):  We use How to Complete a Job Application in our upper level job readiness class, which includes six classes offered over a two week period.  We conduct an ESL assessment for each client and all three members of my team and I conduct job readiness classes.  We have talking points and are able to pause the training when appropriate to expand or offer practice.

For example, the Job Application training talks about offering a professional voice message so employers can respond to a successful job application.  We pause the training here and help each attendee set up or revise their voicemail messages accordingly.

David Roth (DR):  I have used How to Complete a Job Application and Workplace Culture in a 5-7 person classroom setting with very mixed audiences in terms of ethnicity, level of English and time in the US.  They have both been well-received and useful.  Each session took about two hours with interpreters involved in going through the entire training in a classroom setting.

Higher:  Have you had any trouble with the technology?

Brittani Mcleod

Brittani Mcleod, Senior Job Development Specialist, Catholic Community Services of Utah in Salt Lake City, has worked in refugee employment for five years. Her four person team conducts a well-established job readiness class curriculum on a regular basis.

BMc:  There have been no tech issues.  It’s been great.  We’re well trained on how to use it, so no.

DR:  We offer job readiness classes in multiple locations.  Some of them have limited or no internet access.  I would be able to use it more if it were available off-line.

Note:  Higher is working on the best way to make the training available off-line to make it even more convenient for David and others.  Stay tuned. 

Higher:  How have the trainings been helpful?

BMc:  How to complete a job application is one of the most difficult skills to teach.  They involve lots of vocabulary and take a great deal of time to explain.  Higher’s module is well researched to identify the real struggles and barriers refugees face and breaks those down well.  It’s great.

DR:  I have used both How to Complete a Job Application and Workplace Culture.  For both, I like the positive explanations that build transferable skills and teach concepts, as well as practical details.

The Job Applications module emphasized the importance of communication.  Completing an application that is neat, complete and follows instructions demonstrates those important qualities to an employer.  This concept definitely comes through in the training.

The Workplace Culture module explains the importance of unspoken assumptions and expectations in the workplace.  The training explains that US work culture often values efficiency over patience and creates a positive framework that will help clients navigate situations they will face in the workplace.



Quick Tours of Higher’s On-line Learning Institute

Higher-Sidebar-CONNECT-301x135We’ve set up a quick webinar tour that will repeat at various times over the next six weeks.

Many of you are already using our new eLearning training to learn yourselves, in your job readiness classes or directly with clients.

For program managers and other decision makers, a quick familiarization tour will improve your ability to put Higher’s new resources to best use in your programs and networks.

Spread the word and register for a session now by clicking on a date below:

Mon, Jun 16, 2014 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm EDT

Tue, Jun 24, 2014 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm EDT

Thu, July 16, 2014 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm EDT

Thu, July 24, 2014 11:30 am – 12:00 pm EDT

Job Readiness Models Webinar (05/22)

You're InvitedLearn how others are conducting job readiness classes and find resources and strategies you can use in your own work.  Includes examples of how others are using Higher‘s new eLearning training in their approach to client job readiness.

WHEN:  Thursday, May 22 from  3:00-4:00 PM EDT

WHAT:  Higher Job Readiness Class Models and Resources

WHO:  Anyone whose time is designated all or part time to job readiness or working with clients. 

HOW:  Register here and we’ll follow-up by email. (Attendance includes a free lifetime username and password to Higher’s On-line Learning Institute)