XLRI School of Business Management and Human Resources Title: Advice given to middle level managers on landing a job of their choice A Research Report Submitted To: Covering Letter RE: Group Project on Advice given to middle level managers on landing a job of their choice Dear Father, As part of our academic submission we, a group of 6, have been investigating and researching on the topic, “Advice given to middle level managers on landing a job of their choice”.
We have tried to gather relevant information on the topic and found that the candidates for middle-level managerial positions lack some of the very basic skills, which are essential for getting a job of their choice.
We have tried to analyse the scenario and have provided the necessary corrective measures in the report. Yours sincerely, Kumar Vikram Abstract i. Research Topic: We have conducted research on “Advice given to middle level managers on landing a job of their choice. ii. Objectives of the report: .
To identify the qualities companies look for in middle-level managers. b. Where do middle level managers lack in these traits? c. How to develop these qualities and land a job of choice. iii. Report results in brief: a. Lack of awareness about the target companies. b. Very little or no research done on the companies. c. Mostly candidates have the traits but they fail to sell themselves. Summary While investigating on the research topic that how can middle-level managers land a job of their choice, we followed a certain pattern.
We tried to analyse what are the roles for middle-level managers, we then visited the websites of some of the renowned MNCs and tried to find what these companies look for in such managers. Amazingly, we found that most of these companies look for some very similar, basic qualities. These qualities can be developed over time and needs intensive practice. We have suggested some of the personality development traits which help to build these basic qualities. We talked to some of the successful middle-level managers and tried to find out what have they done differently.
Their answer was that they knew about their goal, researched well on the target company and did very well in the interviews. As part of the project we also read some of the feedbacks of recruiters and interviewers. The unanimous feedback was that most of the rejected candidates were not clear of their goal, had little knowledge about the company and lacked focus. We have therefore, structured this report in such a way that we can identify the problem areas and provide solutions to them so that future aspirants and middle-level managers can land up with a job of their choice. Report Text Table of Contents 1.
Overview 2. Problem Statement and Scope 3. Research Analysis 4. Conclusions and Recommendations I. Overview: The Turabian/Chicago style of research report presentation has been followed while analyzing and preparing the report on the topic “Advice given to middle level managers on landing a job of their choice” II. Problem Statement and Scope: Getting a job in today’s competitive world is a big challenge. Here we are not talking of any job, but specifically jobs that we desire to get. The competition at middle-level positions is particularly tough and requires serious introspection and methodical preparation.
It is a long drawn process which comes with practice. In this project we will discuss about some of the ways in which middle level managers can land up with jobs of their choice. But before we get there it is essential to understand what are the roles and responsibilities of a middle-level manager and what are the qualities which some of the global companies require. This will make the assessment more relevant. We start with looking at what are the opportunities which a middle level manager has in India. III. Research Analysis: What are the opportunities for a middle level manager in India?
Middle management is a layer of management in an organization whose primary job responsibility is to monitor activities of subordinates while reporting to upper management. In pre-computer times, middle management would collect information from junior management and reassemble it for senior management. Some typical middle-level manager positions in India: * Consultant * Assistant Consultant * Senior Business Analyst * Product Manager * Assistant Manager * Business Development Manager * Pre-Sales Consultant * Assistant Vice President * Global Leadership Cadre There are four vital aspects of the middle management:
Focus: * Concentrate effort where it’s needed. * Focus the work of the organization on what’s relevant and productive. * Motivate employees to do focus work. * Prevent work on things which aren’t relevant or aren’t productive. Align: * Coordinate efforts of the organization with peer groups or with other organizations. Support: * Support the employees of the organization by eliminating barriers to success. * Provide a good working environment. * Resolve any personal disagreements among the employees in order to maintain a positive working experience for everyone. * Represent the mployees upward in the organization, so that outstanding employees can be recognized for their talents and potential. * Help a few employees to realize that they are better off working. Build: * Build the organization and its capabilities by hiring as needed and by training the employees who are there * Improve the individuals within the organization by increasing their talents and capabilities * Advance the careers of the individuals who work for you Some of the significant traits which global companies look for in their middle-level managers (Please refer Appendix for details): i.
Clarity of goal and understanding of the role offered ii. Confident and a pleasing personality, interest in the job offered iii. Strength of character and strong analytical abilities iv. Motivators and potential leaders who can inspire others v. Focus and commitment vi. Team work and project management skills vii. Sound understanding about the business of the company Hence looking at the above trend it is very clear that each company has a set of basic requirements which is mostly common across companies. However, there are certain traits which are specific to a particular company and must be looked at in respect to that Company.
There are certain traits which we can’t develop overnight. We need to take pro-active measures to develop such qualities, gradually and over time. Practice is the key word here and that too, focused practice. The important question now arises: “So how do I land that dream job of mine? ” Frankly, there is no set rule or recipe for success here. However, we will be developing some guidelines and general rules which will help you in landing a job of your choice. We will divide the project under different heads: i. Personality Development ii. Application for the job iii. Pre-Interview Preparation iv. Interview Process v.
Post-Interview stage A. Personality Development: Looking at the websites of many renowned companies and their career section we found that most of these companies look for certain basic traits in their middle-level managers. Some of these key traits which run common to these companies are: * Leadership Qualities * Analytical and Reasoning Skills * Excellent Presentation and Communication skills * People who are good motivators * People who have strength of Character This aspect of our preparation program deals with some of the very basic traits which any organization worth their name will expect from an applicant.
The bad news is that most of the applicants take these to be given, when they highly lack in one or more of the above qualities. The good news is that we can, somewhat, try and build upon these qualities. But as we said this is a long drawn process which requires lots of commitment and hard-work from the participants. Let’s be very honest here. Reasoning and analytical skills are something which are innate, we can’t develop them, what we can do is practice and improve upon what we already have. The areas which we can improve upon are presentation and communication skills and our overall personality.
The way we carry ourselves, the way we dress etc. It is said that “Success begins with the way we dress”. Hence, any individual who wishes to land a decent job has to work on this aspect. We need to closely observe some of the successful people in our organization and carefully look at the way they dress. Mostly, people who are successful at their job have an impeccable dressing sense and a pleasing personality. Here it must be mentioned that no two of us have the same body structure/shape. Some of us are tall, some short and so on.
The way we dress can help us in covering some of our physical shortcomings and enhance some other features of our personality. Our choice of dress and accessories should speak about our personality and tastes. Secondly, we need to develop a very positive personal style. This is to be reflected in our body-language, in the way we dress and the way we communicate. Every minute detail must exhibit finesse and thoughtfulness. B. Applying for the job: The points we mentioned above are very generic and are required of any individual hoping to qualify for a decent job. The real work starts now.
Job application process is perhaps the first and the most important step towards our goal of making it to our dream job. It is extremely imperative that we have a clear understanding of the role we are going to perform. Arbitrarily applying to any job and then not appearing for the interview is a wastage of precious time and resources. So, the first rule is “Be very Clear about what you want of a job”. Once you have defined your job search criteria, look at some relevant information available on the kind of job profile and role you want to perform. Do enough research before you take the plunge. Then comes the stage of application.
Once, you have zeroed in on the role and the profile, prepare a very impressive resume. Ideally, the resume should not exceed a page and should contain only the relevant information. Remember no one has the patience to go through 5-6 pages. The recruiters go through thousands of applications every day and their attention span is very short. You have to catch their attention within a span of seconds and this is where you need to make your resume stand out from the crowd. Sell yourself in such a way that you at least end up in the ‘Consideration Set’ of the employer, else all the effort will go in vein.
It is seen that many a times, the candidate is very qualified, however, he fails to get even an interview call. This clearly means that his resume was not at all impressive. What a waste of talent. C. Pre-Interview preparation: Once you get the interview call, remember this is just an indication that the employer has seen some spark in your profile. The real work starts now. It’s all a matter of seconds when you can lose everything if you don’t plan in advance. The mantra is “ Be Prepared”. In the days to the interview, devote your time brushing up the fundamentals, that is the very basic expected of you.
Once you are confident about those, start researching about the company you have applied for. Go to the company’s website, look at what jobs and services they offer. Look at their vision and mission statements. Look at the career section and try to find out what they look for in applicants. Make a note about any significant developments regarding the company. Be very clear about the minutest of details about the role you have applied for. If you mess up there, all will be in vain. Learn as much as you can about the company and its relative position with respect to the competitors. Research should always be your first step.
Gathering background information on employers is a crucial element in successful interview preparation. You will need to be prepared to answer the questions “What do you know about our company”? and “Why do you want to work here? ” Knowing as much as possible about the company’s past performance and future plans can make your interview more interactive and could be just the leg up you need in a competitive job market. Before the interview review the company’s web site and don’t be afraid to contact your prospective employer to request details on the position you are interviewing for or to ask for company literature.
Google the company to see what other information is available online. Practice makes perfect (or at least leads to improvement). Practice with a friend and record or videotape your responses so you can replay the interview and see how well you did. Prepare answers to commonly asked interview questions. Doing so will help you analyze your background and qualifications for the position. D. Interview Stage: Then comes the most crucial stage in any job application process- The Interview. In a few minutes you have to sell yourself to the prospective employer. Remember this is the day you have been waiting for.
Here are some of the pointers that will be required during the Interview stage: i. Be On Time: The very basic rule is that you should trun-up for the interview well in advance. Being late for the interview can mar your chances even before you appear for it. Being late will reflect poorly on your candidature and will prove that you are casual about the job and that you don’t need it. It’s always a good idea to visit the interview location a day in advance just to get an idea about the route you are taking. Know the interviewer’s name and use it during the interview. If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview.
Remember to bring an extra copy of your resume and a list of references. ii. Dress Your Best When Interviewing: Does it really make a difference how you dress for an interview? In many cases, it does. In the conservative business climate, appearances do matter. In other environments it isn’t as important. However, it does make sense to dress your best for the interview, regardless of the dress code at the organization. If you’re in doubt about how to dress for an interview, it is best to err on the side of conservatism. It is much better to be overdressed than underdressed (or undressed).
If you’re not sure, check with the person who scheduled the interview and ask. Some recommendations for the dress code are as follows: Women’s Interview Attire * Solid color, conservative suit * Coordinated blouse * Moderate shoes * Limited jewelry * Neat, professional hairstyle * Tan or light hosiery * Sparse make-up & perfume * Manicured nails * Portfolio or briefcase Men’s Interview Attire * Solid color, conservative suit * White long sleeve shirt * Conservative tie * Dark socks, professional shoes * Very limited jewelry * Neat, professional hairstyle * Go easy on the aftershave * Neatly trimmed nails * Portfolio or briefcase iii.
Open Pleasantly and Stay Calm : Exchange pleasantries and allow yourself to be put at ease by the interviewer. During the interview try to remain as calm as possible. Ask for clarification if you’re not sure what’s been asked and remember that it is perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to frame your responses so you can be sure to fully answer the question. iv . Handle the questions wisely: Many interviewers use standard interview texts to develop a list of questions. They include things like, where do you see yourself in five years and what did you want to be when you were a child or what makes you the best candidate for this job.
Be prepared for questions like these. The other common approach is to ask you to tell the interviewer about yourself. You need to memorize a brief sales pitch encompassing your education and experience. Never limit yourself to ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ responses. Always try to cite personal examples about where you got the information etc. This will send a positive image to the interviewers. v. Sell yourself: At a particular point in the interview process you will need to ‘sell’ yourself. Consider the interviewer as a buyer, who has very limited time to purchase something.
Within that short span of time you have to make a point for yourself. Make them want you in the company. Play on your strengths and project yourself as a valuable addition to the staff. Back your claims with facts and figures. Show your genuine interest in the job. Give it your best. Remember this is the time which can make or mar your dream of getting into the company of your choice. vi. Close confidently: Knowing how to successfully close an interview can make the difference between getting the job and being one of the unfortunate individuals who receives a rejection letter in the mail.
While much attention is given to the matters of how to write a resume and cover letter as well as what to expect in regards to interview questions, far too many job seekers are unprepared when comes to knowing how to successfully close an interview. Keep in mind that this is perhaps your last opportunity to demonstrate why you are perfect for the job. Successfully closing an interview walks a fine line between being too aggressive and not being aggressive enough.
It’s always a good idea to bring along some questions that you can ask the interviewer at the end of the interview. This shows that you have more than just a passing interest in the position and truly want the job. If you have taken the time to do your research on the company, this also demonstrates initiative and increases your chances of being hired. Once all questions have been asked and answered, it is quite appropriate to ask the interviewer when they anticipate making a hiring decision as well as what the next step in the interviewing or hiring process will be.
Make a point to ask the employer for a business card so that you can have readily available contact information for following up with the employer in the days to come. This will also make it much easier for you to mail the all important interview thank-you letter as soon as you return home. Also don’t forget to shake hands with the employer and summarize how your skills and experience, as well as ambition and desire, make you the perfect candidate for the position. If you’re really confident and don’t mind taking risks, you might ask “So, is there anything stopping you from offering me the job right now? This ploy should only be used if you feel the interview has gone well, however. Otherwise you might be setting yourself, as well as the interviewer, up for an embarrassing response. A much milder version of this tactic would be, “Is there anything else I can answer for you to make a hiring decision? ” If you really aren’t sure how well the interview went and don’t want to waste your time waiting for a call that may never come, you could simply ask, “Have I done well enough to advance to the next level of the hiring process? ” E.
Post Interview Stage: Sending a “thank you” letter to each of the people you meet with is by far the best way to reinforce a good interview or elevate you above those with similar backgrounds who did not send a note. This is not an email. This needs to be an actual letter mailed to the person and the sooner after the interview the better. Though it is upsetting when you apply for and do not get selected for a particular position, make the effort to find out specifically why another candidate was chosen instead and listen carefully to the feedback they give you.
If you can learn from this experience, it would still be worth the effort. Very soon, you will be hearing, congratulations on your new job! IV. Conclusion and Recommendations: We talked to a number of aspirants and some recruitment agencies in course of the research project. Most of the candidates we interviewed were found lacking in more than one of the basic qualities required by them to get successful middle level position as managers. While some of them were not very sure of the roles and responsibilities, others were not very sure about the companies they wanted to join.
Even when some of the candidates expressed their desire to join a specific company, they were not very clear about the details of the company which can be easily found on their websites. On a conservative estimate, a poll done by us reflected that nearly 60% of the candidates had no idea where they wanted to go, post their MBA. This we think is a major challenge with the job-seekers. As for the review and feedback from some of the recruitment agencies, we found that most of the rejected candidates lacked on clarity of role and a lack of focus.
Most of the times they had not presented their thoughts carefully, or they could not justify why they were best suited for the job. Our recommendation is to have a clarity of goal. Be very sure about the role you want and the company you want to get in. Do loads of homework on the company and research well. Be very clear about the businesses of the company, its values and principles. Mould yourself according to the role desired. Once you are called for the interview, give it your best shot. Sell yourself to the interview panel and make them feel that you really deserve this position.
Appendix Research Data: * People who demonstrate strength of character Leaders who act with confidence and integrity, professionally and personally; who navigate through complexity and lead by example. * People who embody our values Ambassadors who demonstrate our values and promote our strategy through their words, actions and commitment to doing the right thing. * People who bring out the potential in others Outstanding coaches and mentors who create high-performing teams, drawing on the strengths of people from different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences. People who are commercially astute Strategic thinkers with business acumen, who bring a global vision to their role, as well as a reputation for leading-edge technical experience. * People who know how to build robust, enduring relationships Collaborative professionals who build lifelong relationships based on mutual trust and respect. * People committed to quality Leaders who possess sound judgment, manage risks effectively and demonstrate an unwavering commitment to delivering work of the highest quality. Professionals with exceptional ability and a track record of accomplishment. * Outstanding innate qualities—problem-solving, personal impact, achieving, and leadership—that make a lasting difference. * People with real enthusiasm, evident team working and communication skills and a genuinely global outlook. * Teamwork and project management skills are critical given that any project typically involves not only various groups within J. P. Morgan but also the company’s management team, Lawyers, Auditors, other syndicate members and consultants. The self-confidence required to assess and understand our clients’ needs and the creativity that sees that the right solution is identified and delivered. * M. B. A. s who have extensive business experience and who have displayed sustained professional excellence in their careers. * Good understanding of business, strategy, and competitive dynamics. * Standard skill set of problem solving skills, communication, and team work. * Leadership and mentoring roles are required and thus experience that indicates these capabilities is appreciated. References:
The Wall Street Journal: http://blogs. wsj. com/indiarealtime/2010/08/20/career-journal-acing-that-job-interview/ Mckinsey & Company: http://www. mckinsey. com/ BCG India: http://www. bcgindia. com/ JP Morgan Chase: http://www. jpmorganchase. com/corporate/Home/home. htm Ernst & Young: http://www. ey. com/ Bibliography: A Modern Approach to Interview Preparation: Gary W. Capone, Mark Henderson Winning at Interview: Allan Jones The Interview: Skills and Applications,William C. Donaghy Managerial Communication (Oral)-Selected Readings- Prepared By FR A. C. JESURAJAN, S. J.
Cite this Essay- Getting a Job
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