Tag Archives: interviews

Warning Signs an Employer May Not be For You

Warning SignsJob competition in the market is still high. The economy is slowly recovering, but there still aren’t as many jobs available as there were a decade ago. But just because the competition is tough, it doesn’t mean you should take the first job offer you receive. It’s okay to pass on a potential employee if you don’t think it’s the right company.

There are several companies out there willing to take advantage of the increased amount of people looking for work. That’s why it’s important to research a potential employer, not only to prepare your résumé and interview readiness, but also to make sure the organization is a good fit. Here are some warning signs to steer clear of a job offer.

Hiring Process is a “Rough Road”

If you are having an interview and you get the impression that you might not enjoy the environment or culture of the workplace, you should pay attention. Notice how well you communicate and interact with your interviewer, especially if the interviewer will be your supervisor. If you have trouble seeing eye to eye or getting your point across with your interviewer, it could improve over time, but it may be something to consider before accepting a job offer.

You “Stop” Asking Questions

When it comes to interviewing, it’s always good to ask specific questions to get a better understanding of your employer, while helping you look prepared and engaged. But if you feel like your potential employer is being reluctant to answer your questions, it should be a warning sign. Some employers may feel like a position isn’t attractive to job candidates and could try to sidestep or obscure certain specifics.

Your Paperwork is “Under Construction”

If you are offered a job, but the employer doesn’t provide you with any written information or a contract to sign, you should be cautious. If you receive a legitimate offer, it should be in writing. Some companies are struggling and may offer verbal contracts in hopes of renegotiating it later. If you have your job description on paper, it could help keep your job from being altered to the organization’s desire. The more that is in writing, the more there can be to protect you.

It’s a “Speed Zone”

If you feel an employer is too quick to offer, you may want to consider passing. Being too eager to hire new employees could be a sign that the company has lots of turnover, which could mean the company isn’t being handled well or the work environment isn’t friendly.

Your Pay and Benefits Take a Huge “Dip”

You may feel like the salary you desire is out the question because of the recovering economy,  but if a potential employer is asking you to work for a very low-ball salary, it should be a big warning sign. If you’re not making the money you feel you deserve, you will probably be miserable at work.

If you have some experience, be careful of accepting a position that’s too far below your most recent position. It will be very difficult to get back to the higher positions, and when looking for a new job, employers will look at your résumé and wonder why you accepted such a low-level position. It will look better if you take less pay, but keep your title in the same range.

Just because the job competition is stiff, that doesn’t mean you should jump at every job offered to you. If you keep these warning signs in mind, you’ll be able to avoid the bad apples and find an employer that’s right for you.

Three Stories to Share During Your Next Interview

Interview It’s safe to say that interviews can be stressful. In an attempt to make a great first impression, you spend time preparing your résumé, picking out your interview outfit, and practicing answers for potential questions you might be asked by a hiring manager. As you prepare, don’t forget to think about some positive work-related experiences you can share with your interviewer.
 
It’s important not to let your nerves get the best of you. When the spotlight’s on you, use your 15-minutes of fame to tell the hiring manager why you’re the best choice. Take the initiative to tell them about you. Here are three areas about relevant work experience you can share in a few minutes to help you get closer to landing the job.

1. I function well on a team.
Employers want to know you can function well as a part of their team. Describe a time in a previous job where you worked on a team to successfully complete a project. Be sure to share your role and how you contributed to the process. Each individual on a team has different skills and abilities they bring to a group, so it’s a good idea to highlight how you helped achieve the final product.

2. In my previous job, I saved my company time or money.
Talking about how you impacted a company’s bottom line helps show you are not only innovative, but also a great investment. You think outside the box rather than just do what’s always been done. Anytime you can show an employer you can help them cut costs or save time – valuable resources in today’s workforce – it’s a great way to earn extra points in an interview.

3. I am good at problem solving.
If you can recall a time where you implemented a resolution for an obstacle, briefly share about it. What was your strategy and the steps you took to solve the problem? This helps demonstrate your reasoning skills and follow through – traits which are reflective of your leadership abilities and drive to succeed.

Even though it’s an interview, you don’t have to depend on them to do all the talking. Take a few deep breaths to settle your nerves and get ready to talk about you. By sharing short stories of how you excelled in past work experiences, you can show potential employers your true value as an employee.

From a Hiring Manager’s Perspective: What Are They Thinking After Your Interview?

Interview After you interview for a job, the ever-fun waiting game begins. Will you get a second interview or a call saying, “Thanks for interviewing, but…?”  Whether or not you advance in the interview process is now in the hands of the hiring manager. It’s time for the interviewer to process what they’ve learned about you.

So, what could make or break the deal? In deciding whether or not you get a call back for a second interview, here’s an inside look at two questions an interviewer is sure to ask themselves about you.

Do I like the candidate’s personality?

Can this interviewer see you getting along with the team? Would you fit in well with the company culture? On your résumé, you might be a great fit, but there’s a lot that a hiring manager can learn about you during – and after – you interview. Not only will a potential employer evaluate the answers you gave during an interview, but they will take into consideration your nonverbal communication skills, investigate your online personal brand (a.k.a. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and check your references. All of these items are taken into consideration when a potential employer is debating hiring you to their team.

Is this person driven?

Are you self motivated and eager to learn and take on new projects? Right now, with the continued uncertainty about the economy and tight budgets, companies are still playing it safe when it comes to hiring. With fewer workers and heavier workloads, employers are looking for hard-working, motivated individuals who can stand the test of time.

To determine if you’re the employee for them, hiring managers will be taking all things about you into consideration when making a decision – your work history, your interview responses, and your references’ feedback. To put your best foot forward during the interview, make sure your résumé is up-to-date, research the company, brush up on some potential interview questions, and dress to impress. Also, contact your references so they can be prepared to give you a recommendation. The day of your interview, it’s your day to shine. Your goal is to make a lasting, positive impression that makes the hiring manager want to hire YOU!

How to Excel on a Phone Interview

Have you ever had a phone interview? Every interview can be a little nerve wracking, but a phone interview can be particularly terrifying. Like calling a crush for the first time, it can put your stomach in knots. If you’re nervous about this type of interview, don’t panic. The following tips will give you a head start on how to be a success.

Be prepared. The first thing to remember is you have to treat phone interviews like you would face-to-face interviews. Be sure to research the company ahead of time and practice answering interview questions beforehand. A great advantage is that when you are interviewing over the phone, you can have a cheat sheet of important facts right in front of you. In addition to a cheat sheet, keep your resume or an outline with different points you will like to cover close by during the interview. Having the right information in front of you can be a great reference to help you answer potential employers’ questions.

Dress the part. Just because you’re not going to be seen during an interview doesn’t mean you should stay in bed during the call. Take a shower, get dressed, and present yourself as though you were expecting a guest. Your appearance will determine the way you communicate during an interview. If you interview looking like you just rolled out of bed, chances are, you will sound like that over the phone.

Conduct a sound check. Just like you should dress the part for an interview, you also need to sound the part. Also, warm up your voice with a phone call to a friend if your interview is early in the morning so you sound awake and alert. Remember, you can’t communicate non verbal cues over the phone, so having an enthusiastic and professional tone in your voice will go a long way to make a great impression. Be sure to enunciate, speak audibly, and exaggerate voice inflection when necessary. Since you’re probably having a conversation with this interviewer for the first time, don’t speak too fast. Take your time to get your message across, and ask for clarification when you don’t understand something. And, don’t forget to smile. A smile will enhance your mood and can be carried through the phone to sound warm and friendly.

Choose a good location. Location is key to any interview. Your location for your interview should be free of distraction and noise. Find a quiet place where you can concentrate. To be sure you have a good location, call a friend ahead of time from this quiet location to ensure they can hear you clearly and audibly. If they can’t, make adjustments. If you’re conducting your interview over a cell phone, make sure your phone service has good coverage in your chosen location to prevent the call from dropping.

Be respectful. Except in absolute emergency situations, never put an interviewer on hold. Value the time they are taking to interview you and make the best of it. Also be sure charge your phone in advance. You don’t want your phone to die mid-conversation! You want to show the employer that you are very interested in the position and that you are a responsible individual. In addition, follow the lead of the interviewer. Don’t rudely cut him or her mid-sentence, and take time to pay close attention to what he or she is saying. Also, let the interviewer hang up before you do, because you don’t want to accidentally hang up before they’re ready.

Ask questions. It’s important to ask questions during this time, because you may need to clarify certain things. By asking questions, you show you’re really interested in the position you’re interviewing for. You also want to make sure the position is the right fit for you, not just practice your conversation skills.

Follow up. Since you will not receive business cards after your phone interview, be sure to ask for contact information and how the interviewer prefers to be contacted. Just like with face-to-face interviews, send a thank-you note. Ask if they need you to take any other actions or send any necessary documents. Lastly, find out when you should expect to hear back from them about the decision and show your gratitude for the interview by thanking the interviewer for their time and willingness to speak to you. Also, be sure to send them a thank you note via e-mail or in the mail immediately following the interview. This will help you stand out from other candidates for the job.

Phone interviews don’t have to make you nervous if you follow these helpful steps. On the upside, these interviews are actually more convenient and time efficient than face-to-face interviews. Your personality is something that sets you apart so, just relax and let yourself shine!

What Are Your Burning Workplace Questions?

questionsHave you ever had a question you’re dying to ask about your job but you aren’t sure who – or how – to ask?

We’re starting a new feature here at the Express Job Blog where you can post questions for our experts to answer.

Your questions can be anonymous, or you can provide your name. To ask a question, just leave it in a comment on this post, or add them to our new “Your Questions” page, and our team will select a few questions each month – and interview experts to get the answers you’re looking for.

We’ll share answers to your questions as we receive them.

So, start asking away! Oh, and here are a few guidelines to keep in mind. We’re looking forward to hearing from you