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Be Yourself During Interviews… Coronavirus Changes Digital Etiquette… Isolation Can Be Good for Problem Solving

Be Yourself During Interviews

Many job seekers enter an interview planning to deliver what they assume the interviewer wants to hear. However, research shows this strategy often backfires and that instead, interviewees should simply be themselves.

Research has found that attempting to cater to an interviewer’s expectations is a flawed tactic primarily because no one can be certain about another’s preferences. In addition, trying to hide one’s own opinions and ideas is draining and leads to a diminished performance during the interview.

The researchers of a recent survey examined 379 working adults and asked them to prepare a video interview talking about themselves and a proposed job. Participants were divided into three groups: catering, authenticity, and control. Those showing authenticity—voicing their own opinions and preferences despite the potential unpopularity of those ideas—were more likely to land the job than job seekers in the other groups.

Shakespeare may have been onto something when he wrote “To thine own self be true.”

 From The Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus Changes Digital Etiquette

The pandemic has made reliance on digital communication the norm, and consequently, the rules of good online etiquette have become more critical than ever.

These tips will make communicating online more effective in meetings or conversations that take place over platforms from Zoom to Google Hangouts.

  • Avoid multi-tasking while in a work meeting.
  • Make eye contact as much as possible during video calls.
  • Appoint a call leader to keep the meeting on task.
  • Keep the microphone muted until you want to speak. Then raise your hand and wait to be recognized. Remember to turn on the microphone when you do
  • Create less formal get-togethers with colleagues outside of meetings. Doing so helps attendees to focus on the meeting agenda instead of catching up with one another, thus improving productivity.
  • Realize co-workers have other demands in their lives that affect their ability to respond to text messages or e-mails quickly.

The bottom line is that kindness is key, the article notes.

From The New York Times

Isolation Can Be Good for Problem Solving

The benefits of collaboration are many, from brainstorming to gaining insights from multiple perspectives. But working alone is also important, especially for problem solving.

New research suggests that constant communication among team members can reduce “collective intelligence,” or a team’s ability to solve problems together. Instead, short bursts of collaboration and longer intervals of solo thinking time seem to garner the best work from both high-and low-performers.

The researchers found that teams practicing continuous interaction did not allow top-performing individuals to maximize their creativity. In teams whose members worked in complete isolation, lower performers did not receive the benefit of others’ input and solutions, thereby pulling down the team’s effectiveness. The sweet spot that netted the best team output practiced intermittent communication—a combination of touching base while still allowing individuals time for solo contemplation.

This working style of implementing short but intense group sessions leaves members enthusiastic, able to hear one another’s ideas, and coordinate activity moving forward, all attributes of successful teamwork, the research found.

From BBC Worklife