Top 3 Interview Sins

InterviewSins_Second_August2013_webLanding an interview can thrill and chill you at the same time. It’s your gateway to landing the job and moving forward with your employment goals. But there is no doubt that the high pressure of the situation can cause stress and bring out some unsightly behavior.

Express Employment Professionals employs more than 365,000 people annually, and interviews people regularly. In a recent survey, Express investigated the biggest faux pas about interviewing and uncovered the top interview misgivings. Here are the three biggest interview sins:

  1. Lying about your experience.
    Naturally, you want to present yourself as the best and most qualified candidate for the job. But are you really? Lying about your experience is dangerous for many reasons. Employers are looking for ethical and trustworthy employees. Once your lie is discovered, your character will be damaged, not only for that job opportunity, but word can spread among reference networks for future job opportunities. More than that, your safety, or those of your co-workers, could be at risk. If for some reason you are able to land a job and you don’t actually have the knowledge you proclaimed to have, your mistakes could result in injuries or create serious shortcomings within the business.Be honest about your qualifications and experience. If you’re asked to detail the experiences, tell the truth. You can also ask for examples from the interviewer on what the expectations are for the position. By asking questions and gaining a better understanding of the job description, you’ll be able to determine if your qualifications are a match.
  2. Arriving late.
    If a company is interviewing, they’ve got a talent shortage and business is busy. Interviewing is one more thing on a packed to-do list and being late can be unforgivable. Obviously, there can be circumstances beyond your control that can make you late, but try to think of everything and prepare to be on time. You may even want to make a trip to your interview destination the day before to estimate exactly how long it will take to get there. This allows you to determine what bus or train to take, or even where you’ll need to park. You’ll be stressed enough the day of your interview, so eliminate worrying about these matters by easily addressing them in advance.Just like being late is a frustration, being early can be seen as annoying. The interviewer probably can’t see you until your appointment time and there may not be a good place for you to wait. With full schedules, and possibly back-to-back interviews, the best advice is to get there 10 to 15 minutes early. If you find yourself earlier than that just hang back and don’t check in until closer to your set time.
  3. Answering a phone call.
    Your interview is important, and it’s crucial that you treat that time with respect. This means not answering your phone during your interview, which was number three on our list. Beyond answering the phone, the sixth interview faux pas on our list was checking your phone. If there is someone who may need to reach you, let them know about your interview. Give them the name of the person you are meeting with, the company name, and the phone number, as well as the date and time of the interview. If there is a true emergency, they can contact the company you are interviewing with, this way you won’t feel the need to answer or check your phone.And even if you don’t plan to answer it, make sure you’ve turned it on silent and off vibrate, you don’t need the noise distracting you. You can even leave your phone in your car or keep it out of reach during the interview so you aren’t tempted to pick it up.

Check out our post on the 7 Must Do’s Before Interviews to help prepare you to do your very best. Be honest, be on time, and keep that phone turned off, and you’ll be well on your way to impressing your interviewer.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in an interview? Share your story in the comments section below.

Lack of Job Offers is Biggest Frustration to Job Seekers

JobSeeker-PollResults_250X300_ExpressAug2013This summer, Express Employment Professionals asked job seekers what the biggest frustration is in the job search via a poll on our Movin’ On Up blog, which received over 1,000 responses.

While not receiving job offers is notably the largest frustration, lack of feedback during the application process and struggling with online applications systems were the largest majority of responses within the “Other” category. 15% of respondents found the pay inadequate or unexpected and another 10% cited that the positions available weren’t jobs they wanted.

This survey corresponds with a deeper look at the employment situation by Express in a series of reports titled, America Employed.

The ABC’s of Learning to Like Your Boss

ABC_LikeYourBoss_July2013_WebWhen you’re with someone at least 40 hours a week at work, it can make life a lot easier if you like being around that person. And that’s especially true if that someone is your manager. Depending on how well your interests and personalities match up, though, liking your boss may not be easy or come naturally. But, it’s not impossible. Just try to follow the ABC’s.

Accept who your boss is.
Bond over a similar interest.
Communicate regularly so you understand your boss’ communication style.
Decide to have a positive attitude about your boss.
Empathize with your boss.
Focus on your boss’ strengths.
Guard against gossiping about your boss.
Hear what your boss is truly trying to say.
Identify areas of the relationship you can improve on.
Join with your boss for a common cause.
Keep trying – don’t give up.
Laugh together.
Meet on a regular basis to discuss projects and goals.
Notice when your boss does something right.
Offer to help your boss with a big project.
Prevent miscommunications or hurt feelings from getting out of hand.
Quit making your boss the bad guy.
Recognize when your boss is trying to improve.
Steer clear of things you know you disagree on.
Talk with your boss about their professional and personal goals.
Understand what drives your boss.
Visit with your boss if there is an open-door policy.
Walk a mile in your boss’ shoes.
eXtend your boss grace when there’s a mistake.
Yield your need to always be right.
Zap your negative attitude.

What bit of advice do you have for building a positive relationship with your boss? Let us know in the comments section below.

Poll: What Do You Think Employers Want Most When Hiring?

Job Seeking and Career Advice PollImpressing an employer while applying for a job is a multi-step process. It’s a combination of having a stand-out resume and application, getting the opportunity to interview, interviewing well, and following up appropriately. All this activity is taking place on the job seeker’s side and conversely a flurry of work is happening with the prospective employer as well.

Matching job seeker’s skills and desires with employer’s requirements and workplace culture is no easy task. To assist job seekers, we’ve featured many posts exploring the ways to ace the job search process, including the benefits of hobbies, the value of networking, and the best preparation for an interview. Currently, Express is taking a look at the challenges faced by employers and the state of employment. This research has uncovered the personality traits desired in employees and which jobs are hardest to fill right now.

Now we want to hear from you! Share your experience with us in this poll.

How You Can Stay Motivated at Work During the Summer

MotivationSummer_July2013_webThe summer months can be some of the hardest to stay focused and motivated at work. When status updates from friends are filled with images of lounging poolside, hitting the golf course, or enjoying a vacation, it can be really hard to head into work. However, July brings more than barbecues and time at the beach.

Know Where You Are Going
It can be hard to stay focused when you don’t have a clear end in sight. Having a clearly define goal and timeline can motivate you to take action now. The mid-year point can also be a great time to evaluate your progress on your annual goals. This review is a necessary step in making sure you can achieve your goals. If you find yourself waiting until your annual performance review to check in on your progress it can be too late to bring about the necessary changes required to achieve your goals.

Equip Yourself for Getting There
Once you know where you stand regarding your goals, it’s time to get motivated. Make sure you use your time wisely at work. Find a project management system that works for you and review your task list. Perhaps you work best with series of tasks on sticky notes and tossing them in the trash as you get them done. Or maybe you prefer a spreadsheet filled with tasks and deadlines. Having a clear direction and project list can make it easier to focus and make getting the job done that much more efficient.

Take Time To Relax
With team members and managers taking vacations or spending time out of the office it can be tempting to slack off at work, but resist the urge of tarnishing your dependable reputation just for a little summer fun. Instead, make sure you schedule some time for a vacation and recharge yourself. Knowing your time for fun lies ahead can make putting in a full day’s work easier. Not only will you have something to look forward to, but by staying mindful of your goals and tasks, you’ll be able to plan your work around taking some time away.

How do you stay motivated at work? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

5 Facts You May Not Know About Staffing Companies

5FactsaboutStaffingComanpanies_July2013_webWhat comes to mind when you think of staffing companies? Do you think of part-time manufacturing workers and as-needed administrative help? Or perhaps it conjures up visions of high-level headhunters who only hire for executive positions? Your opinion of staffing companies is most likely based on what you’ve heard about them or from your previous experience with them, whether good or bad.

A poor experience, or even having no experience at all, can give you a negative impression of all staffing companies. But, there are a few things about staffing providers that you might not know.

  1. No Charge to Job Seekers
    If you’re working with a reputable staffing company, it will not cost you a penny to be screened, added to their database, or placed in a position. The only one who’s charged a fee is the client company since the staffing provider is doing them the service of providing candidates to fill the open positions. That means you’re getting a team of professionals to find you a job, for free! 
  2. Full-Time Hours Are the Norm
    The majority of temporary employees actually work full-time hours, not the sporadic part-time hours many people seem to think. Research from the American Staffing Association (ASA) found that almost 80% of staffing employees work full-time. Plus, temporary employees often get directly hired for full-time jobs at client companies. At Express Employment Professionals, 60% of our employees go to work full-time for client companies we hire for. 
  3. You’re in Control
    Staffing companies let you tailor your work schedule to your life. You tell them when and how much you want to work. So, whether you’re trying to work a lot of hours to save up money or just trying to fit in a few work hours around other activities in your life, you can do exactly what you need. 
  4. Benefits Are Available
    Many staffing companies offer their temporary employees benefits. Express Employment Professionals offers our associates a wide variety of benefits, from medical and dental insurance to vacation days and retirement programs. You just need to get the details on any requirements associated with being eligible, such as weekly hours worked or length of time on the job.
  5. Chance to Learn Something New
    Employees with a wide-range of skills and experiences are great assets to their employers, and staffing companies provide the perfect opportunity for you to learn a new thing or two. The ASA reported that 65% of staffing employees say they either improved their skills or developed new ones as a result of their temporary assignments. You may also have the chance to participate in specific training programs provided by the staffing company.

Searching for a job can be a stressful, time-consuming task, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are many reasons, beyond just these five, to look for a job through a staffing company. What are some other benefits you’ve found to using a staffing a company? Have you personally experienced any of the advantages listed above? We’d love to hear your thoughts – so please share in the comments section below.


Top Cities Express Jobs are Looking for People

JobsLookingforPeople_webJob seekers often ask about how Express Employment Professionals finds jobs. Express is a network of locally owned staffing franchises that helps job seekers find jobs with good, local companies.

When you work for Express as an employee, you’ll be placed on assignment at one of our client companies, but you’re employed by Express. So, our jobs are a reflection of the talent demand in the local market.

In 2012, Express Employment Professionals put more than 330,000 people to work across North America. It’s our mission to help people find good jobs at great local companies, and right now, Express has more than 16,500 jobs looking for people.

The top 10 cities in which jobs are looking for people:
1. Nashville, TN – 559 jobs
2. Napa Valley, CA – 235 jobs
3. Dallas, TX – 222 jobs
4. Eau Claire, WI  – 220 jobs
5. Oklahoma City, OK – 197 jobs
6. Portland, OR – 175 jobs
7. Austin, TX  – 168 jobs
8. Indianapolis, IN – 162 jobs
9. Tacoma, WA – 153 jobs
10. Terre Haute, IN – 143 jobs

If you’ve applied for work at Express through our online application process, you should know your application was only submitted to the locations you requested. It’s important to take a look in the job search function on to see which location is hiring for the position you’re interested in and make sure to apply to that location. Express franchises work with clients in their local market, so if you’re looking to work in a certain part of town, apply at the location in that area.

If you’ve already applied at Express, make sure to check in with your staffing consultant to see if there are open positions right now that match with your skills.