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Interview Questions, Interview Tips. Interview Advice

5 Great Questions To Ask At The End Of Your Interview

Interview Questions, Interview Tips. Interview Advice

Typically, candidates see an interview as a way for the company to assess if they are a fit for an open position. However, have you ever considered that it’s also an opportunity for you, as a candidate, to determine if the company and position are a good fit for your skillset and goals? At the end of your interview, you’ll want to be prepared to ask some great questions. Here are 5 of our favorite questions to ask!

What are the most critical things I can accomplish in this role within the first 30 days?

This question is a great one to start with. Not only does it show your eagerness to jump right in, but it also allows the interviewer to picture you on the team. It’s essential to take note of the answer because it will give you a guideline of what you should focus on if you are offered the job!

What are some of the goals that the company is currently focused on? How can I assist in accomplishing those?

Asking this question during your interview grants you insights into the overall view of the company. You’ll learn what the future looks like, along with the impact that your role makes on the team and the organization as a whole.

What are some of the more challenging aspects of this position?

Interviewers will share the most wonderful things about the company and role. However, what about the not-so-glamorous aspects? Understanding the obstacles you may encounter gives you the opportunity to have a realistic peek into the day-to-day.

What’s your favorite thing about working here?

This is our absolute favorite question! Asking your interviewer their favorite thing about the company is the best thing you can do during your interview. Their answer can provide valuable insights into important facets of the role like company culture and job satisfaction.

What are the next steps in the interview process?

The last question you need to ask during your interview is perhaps the most helpful for you. Once you know the next steps, you can anticipate additional information and create a plan for following up. Be sure to reference the interviewer’s answer in your thank you note! (Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I look forward to hearing from you regarding an onsite interview next week!).

interview feedback

Is it Professional to Offer Advice to Your Interviewer?

interview feedback

Throughout your career, it’s not uncommon to experience dozens of different interviewing processes. After all, the average Baby Boomer holds roughly 12 different jobs throughout their career. And for Millennials, the average worker holds six different positions by the age of 26. As a result, most candidates have experienced a handful of turndowns throughout their job search.

When faced with a turndown, it’s wise to ask for advice from the interviewer or hiring manager on how you can improve in the future. However, what if the shoe is on the other foot? Is it professional to offer advice to an employer you interviewed with when you do not accept the job offer?

Is it professional or appropriate?

As a candidate, you have every right to provide interview feedback to a prospective employer. However, it can be challenging to provide honest feedback after a job interview. It is difficult to offer constructive criticism without worrying about offending someone or possibly even burning a bridge. But how does an employer know there is an issue or speedbump in their interview process if nobody tells them? They may be utterly unaware that part of their process is turning away great candidates, like yourself.

Whether the interviewing process is slow, or they have poor communication, an employer may not know there is an issue if they don’t receive feedback. In today’s tight labor market, employers must streamline their interviewing process and ensure everything goes smoothly. If you offer professional, honest feedback, many employers will be thankful for your input in today’s environment.

How to do it correctly

So, now that you know it is appropriate to provide feedback after an interview, how do you do it professionally? Here are a few tips for delivering your feedback the right way:

Provide feedback in a timely manner

If you want to share your thoughts on how the employer could improve their hiring process, do so promptly. Whether you get the job or not, you must wait for a decision to be made. However, don’t wait for weeks or even a month to give them feedback. Do so shortly after they made a decision. Hiring managers are busy, and to be honest, if you wait too long, they may not remember you or how your interview went. So, if you decide to share your experience, do so shortly after the conclusion of the entire process.

Be precise and clear

With your feedback, be direct and concise. You do not need to sugar coat your thoughts, yet you want to keep your input professional and positive. For example, if you declined a job offer because the employer took too long to decide and you accepted another opportunity, let them know. As long as your feedback is honest, beneficial to the employer, and delivered professionally, you should feel confident in sharing your experience. Never single anyone out or berate the company. Remember, the goal here is to provide advice, not to leave a bad taste in the mouth of a hiring manager.

Overall, delivering feedback to an interviewer is just as tricky as it is for a hiring manager to give to a prospective candidate that failed to receive an offer. But if you genuinely believe that you can share your experience to help an employer improve their process in the future, go for it. If you want to provide feedback but are still uncomfortable with doing so directly to your interviewers, there are sites like Glassdoor that allow you to anonymously share your interview feedback. Just be sure to follow these guidelines, to ensure you deliver your message in an appropriate, professional way!

How To Navigate Tricky Interview Questions

How To Navigate Tricky Interview Questions

How To Navigate Tricky Interview Questions

Sometimes interview questions aim to reveal more than a simple answer. Interviewers might be analyzing your thought process, your confidence in your answer, or even further discussions your answer may spark. Feel free to take time to think before you answer. Hiring managers appreciate a well-thought-out answer with a pause over something rushed. Also, never be afraid to ask for further clarification! The better you understand what is being asked, the better you can answer. Here are a few common interview questions and a few tips on how to answer them.

Tell me about a time…

These behavioral questions are designed to see how you’ve handled situations in the past. Typically, the best way to format your answer is as follows: the issue at hand, how you solved it, and what you learned from the experience.

What’s your biggest weakness?

We beg you, please don’t answer with a strength disguised as a weakness, Michael Scott style: “I work too hard, I care too much, and sometimes I can be too invested in my job.” Instead, give a thoughtful example of something you struggle with and how you’re working to improve it. For example, “It can be hard for me to prioritize multiple projects at once, but I have started keeping a planner and utilizing my calendar to stay on track which helps a lot.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This interview question can stump even the most seasoned candidates. How do you find a balance between showing ambition but not being overeager? Generally, it’s best to speak in broad terms. Reference the type of work you’d like to be doing (ideally aligned with the job you’re currently interviewing for), and the team you most desire to be a part of.

Why are you leaving your current position?

Don’t fall for this trap question! It is NOT an opportunity to bash your current/past employers or boss. The best way to answer this one is by focusing on future growth. Explain that you’re looking for a position that is more challenging or better aligns with your values.

Do you have any questions for us?

Your answer to this question should always be yes. Come in with a couple prepared (you can read our favorites here.) And try to come up with a few during the interview related to your conversation. This is where it comes in handy to take notes during your interview!

where do you see yourself

How To Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in ‘X’ Years?” In An Interview

where do you see yourself

Congratulations, you made it to a job interview! But, you still have to stand out amongst the other interviewees. You must prove you have the skills and experience in order to successfully land the job.

One question you may be asked is, “Where do you see yourself in “X” number of years?” It could be three, five, or even ten years. The reason they ask this question is usually to gauge how ambitious a candidate is; they want to know if you have realistic expectations for the job and their future.

Answers To Avoid During Your Interview

It’s essential to avoid aggressive answers such as “running the place,” or “in your job.” You may feel an answer like this shows you are ambitious and growth-driven, but instead it typically leaves a bad taste in the interviewer’s mouth. The line between confidence and arrogance is a fine one. You don’t want to give an answer that leaves the hiring manager trying to figure out which one you are.

You also want to avoid talking about goals totally unrelated to work. While it may be one of your main ambitions to travel to Greece within the next 5 years, your future employer doesn’t need to hear about it!

The Right Way To Answer

You should instead formulate an answer that conveys your goals and ambitions. When practicing your answer, communicate realistic expectations for growth and how it will benefit both you and the company.

For example, “In 5 years, I hope to have become an expert in my field. Along with a deeper understanding of my industry and specialty, I hope to earn more responsibility and have the opportunity to develop my leadership skills. With the vision of this company, paired with the support of the leadership team, I look forward to seeing myself grow within this position and department.”

leaving your current job

How To Answer, “Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?” In An Interview

leaving your current job

With so many jobs available today, people all over the country are leaving their current jobs in search of the next step in their career. If this is you, chances are high you will have a job interview in your future. As with anything, practice makes perfect, and job interviews are no different. You will be asked any variety of questions, but, “Why are you leaving your current job?” will be one of the most common. While the question posed is simple, your answer will give great insight into the type of person you are; information the hiring manager craves.

Whatever your reason, it paints a picture of what is important to you, and how you handle tough situations.

Plan Ahead

While there is no guarantee you will be asked this, it’s common enough that you should have an answer prepared. You can answer in several ways, but it should be specific to you. Evaluate your values, career goals, ideal compensation, or company culture. What is most important to you and does your current job accommodate it? If not, you have your answer as to why you would like a new start. Your example should be professional, short, and to the point. And most importantly, you must ensure your answer focuses on the positives rather than the negatives.

For example, if you are ready to move on from your old job because you dislike your boss or manager, outright saying so would be viewed negatively and will raise questions about how well you work with others. Instead, talk about the skills and experience you have acquired and emphasize that you are looking for a new opportunity that will challenge you. This shows that you have a positive outlook versus a pessimistic one and that you’re focusing on your professional growth.

From here, the interviewer may ask you a follow-up question. They could ask why you didn’t pursue this role with your current employer or any other question that is sparked by your answer. Consider this and any other responses you think you may receive as you prepare for your interview. Just be sure you are specific and clear in your reasoning and be prepared to continually guide the conversation towards you being a great fit for the role.

If you’re wanting to find your next position don’t forget to reach out to Johnson Service Group. We are here to help you and our clients find the perfect match when it comes to jobs!

stand out from the competition

How to Stand Out From the Competition in An Interview

stand out from the competition

When it comes to job interviews, chances are you have experienced your fair share. Whether you are applying for an entry-level position or are poised to finally make that jump to Director or Vice President, a job interview is one of the last things that stands between you and the job you hope to hold. While every job, company, and interview are different, there are several things you can do to stand out from the competition, regardless of where you are applying.

Research, Research, Research

When applying to work anywhere, it is imperative you are educated on what your potential employer does. Spend time familiarizing yourself with both the broad goals and if possible, the day-to-day operations of the company. Search sites liked LinkedIn and Glassdoor to find what current or former employees have to say about working there. Familiarize yourself with basics like expectations, experience with bosses or the CEO, and salaries. Set Google Alerts that will help keep you up to date with any company related news or current events. Referencing these in interviews will help you stick out from the competition and make you more memorable.

Once you’ve finished your due diligence, ensure you can connect what you have learned back to the rest of the company. In-depth knowledge is great, but its relevance to the questions you will be asked in the interview is what forms a lasting impression. If you have a chance to ask questions, make sure they connect to what you have learned, as good, relevant questions are drastically better than the typical, “Do people like working here?” and showcase your critical thinking.

Remove these Buzzwords from your Vocabulary

Last month, Glassdoor released a list of words to never use on your resume. This list was a follow up to a September article titled, 13 Must-Have Words to include in Your Resume. Sticking with this train of thought, there are various words or phrases to avoid when face-to-face with your potential employer. Stay away from words like “responsible” or “responsibility.” Everyone interviewing will list the various tasks they were responsible for.

Instead, be specific, and use words like “create,” “lead” or “managed,” as these convey your ability to strategically set goals and follow through. Always use words that convey large amounts of detail, as being vague may raise red flags or result in a dull, forgettable interview. If you established a new policy or completed a significant project, use words that highlight your achievements. Try words like “Redesigned,” “Launched” or “Modernized,” as opposed to just listing items as if you were reading off a list.

Preparation on the Day of

On the day of, there are a few things you can do leading up to the interview itself to improve your chances of landing the job. Eating and hydrating adequately before will help calm your nerves and lessen your body’s natural responses to stress, like sweating or bad breath. Leave at a time that allows you to arrive at least ten to fifteen minutes early. This will gives you a chance to collect your thoughts. It also prevents you from stressing about showing up late because of traffic lights, construction, or an accident; tardiness to the interview will often result in viewing you as un-hirable.

Once you have arrived, use the rest of the time before the interview to your advantage. Be aware that the interview started the second you walked in the door. Stay off your phone, speak respectfully, and try to get a feel for the company culture in its natural environment. This can be the most honest view of a company you receive before being hired. It can give you a better idea of how a company operates and those you’d be working with, that you may not receive in the actual interview.

If you follow these three tips, you’ll be able to stand out from the competition and nail that interview. Good luck!

thank you

How to Write the Perfect Post-Interview Thank You Note

thank you note

Congratulations! You’ve navigated your way through the job interview and you’re excited about the opportunity. The company is everything that you are looking for and you feel like you nailed the interview. But wait! Now is not the time to sit back and wait to hear back from HR. You must send a thank you note to seal the deal.

Here’s how to write the perfect thank you note that’ll leave a lasting impression on the interviewers.

Highlight why you are the best candidate

Now, I’m not saying you should actually state that you are the best candidate in your thank you note. However, this is your opportunity to remind them why you are a perfect fit for the position. Remember, your goal is to express your gratitude, not make another pitch. Subtly remind them why you are a good fit for not only the position but also for the organization!

Send a thank you to each interviewer

This is crucial. You must send a thank you note to each person you interviewed with. And you can’t just send the same thank you note to each interviewer. You must make each email unique. The easiest way to do this is to bring a notebook with you for an interview.

To be polite, you can ask the interviewers if it’s okay to jot down some notes during the interview. Write down everyone’s name on a notebook so you remember their names. When crafting your notes, reflect on something each interviewer said and mention that in your interview. For example, if an interviewer brings up a new product launch, you can say something like “I enjoyed discussing ABC company’s recent product launch and how it…” By mentioning a certain talking point in your thank you, it proves that you mean business about the job.

Send it promptly

This is key. Sending a thank you note is important. But sending it promptly can make or break your chances of progressing through the interviewing process. If you wait until the end of the day to send it, chances are, the employer has interviewed another candidate. Think about it: If they have interviewed another candidate and they promptly send their well-crafted thank you, you instantly become an afterthought.

If you want to leave a lasting impression, it’s best to send a thank you note within the hour. What happens after a job interview? Everyone that sat in on the interviewer starts talking about you and how well you did. The best possible scenario that could happen is them sitting around the office talking about how much they liked you and boom! They get a notification on their phone from the thank you note you just sent. Pretty impactful, right?

Let your personality shine through

Yes, hiring managers are concerned with your hard skills and qualifications. But they are also interested in learning your soft skills. Employers can train you to learn hard skills, such as using Excel spreadsheets, understanding a new CRM, or blogging. However, they can’t teach you soft skills like critical thinking or certain personality traits.

With this tight market, employers want to know the real you and ensure that you’re a good fit for the organization as well as the role. Showing your personality is a great way to prove that you’ll be a successful addition to the team.

If you follow these steps, you’ll surely get a call back from the hiring manager. Good luck!

recruiters

5 Reasons Working with a Recruiter Will Help Your Career

Negotiate a raiseWhen you think of a recruiter you may think they are just trying to fill roles so they can get paid. And even though they have a job and goals just like everyone else, they do this tough job to help their clients and candidates find the perfect fit. Recruiters rely on relationships with clients and candidates that build bridges, not burn them. And here are some of the ways they do that.

Help Find Your Dream Job

When a recruiter reaches out to you it’s because they know you have amazing skills that A. would be a great fit for a company they are working with or B. you’re a candidate they want to help find a great new position. Your skills, knowledge, and the way you’ve presented yourself catch their eye because you’re an amazing candidate that companies, especially in today’s candidate-driven market, want and need.

With that, recruiters know they can help you find your dream job and they really want to do that. So, when a recruiter reaches out to you, make sure you give them the opportunity to talk with you. They could end up placing you in the best opportunity you’ve had yet.

Exclusive Access to Positions not yet on the Job Market

If you’re looking for a new position it can be overwhelming to do it all on your own. Especially, when you still have your current job to keep up with and you may be on the search for a very specific position. This is what recruiters are here for!

They live for helping candidates, like you, find the position they’ve been searching for. And when it comes to exclusive positions you wouldn’t even be able to apply to, they are the ones who can help you tremendously when it comes to finding those positions.

Working with a recruiter only helps you on your journey and takes nothing away from your job search.

They Help you Hone Your Interview Skills

This is a huge advantage when it comes to the interviewing process. Recruiters help you on an individual level excel at the most important part of landing a job. Since they are working exclusively with the client, they can prep you and help you nail the interview better than anyone else can. They will tell you what to research about the client, how to answer hard questions, and overall make you feel more prepared for an interview.

Interviewing is what makes or breaks your chances of landing the job, and with a recruiter helping you nail it, you’re sure to have more chances of it being a success.

They do the “Heavy Lifting”

You don’t have to worry about all the applications, the waiting, the sending your resumes to companies that never see it. Because recruiters are working directly with hiring managers, getting your name and expertise out there, so all you must do is send in your resume and help them fill out questions when needed!

They are the ones pushing you out to their clients and helping you set up interviews. You get to enjoy the process instead of stressing about whether your resume and application is reaching the right people to get a chance at an interview in the first place.

Life Long Connection

Recruiters become much more than just the person that helped you land that job. They become a relationship that helps you find a new job, place to live, better opportunity for your family, and so much more. So the connection you build with them becomes more like a friendship.

They also are amazing lifelong connections that will be willing to help you whenever you need them.

So, give the recruiters who are calling you a chance to help you. You may just be surprised how helpful they can be to finding that dream job you’ve been looking for.

Interview

5 Phrases to Never Say in an Interview

Interview

Interviews can make or break your chance of getting a job offer. And when you’re interviewing for a company, it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t do in certain scenarios. So here are five things you should never say during a job interview.

“So what does your company do exactly?”

First off, this is one of the worst things to ask or say in an interview because it shows you didn’t do your homework. Before every interview, you need to be researching the company and know as many facts as possible. If you walk into an interview not knowing what the company does, how are you supposed to demonstrate that you’re a good fit?

If you don’t show initiative and you expect those interviewing you to be “pitching” their company to you, you’re going to be cut from the running of the position. They’re the ones interviewing you. And if you think that not doing your research before coming into an interview will help land you the job, you’re sadly mistaken.

“I hated working for my last company.”

Even if this is 100 percent true, you shouldn’t say this in an interview. It will just give the hiring manager a bad taste in their mouth. Everyone knows there are obvious reasons you’re looking for a new job. But bashing your old company makes you look pessimistic and that you think you’re too good for people. This is obviously not the impression you want to be giving off in an interview.

So, instead of focusing on the negative that has happened in your past work history, focus on all the skills you learned that have prepared you for this new position. Maybe explain how the difficult working conditions helped you advance your leadership skills. This way the interviewees know that even in adversity, you take the high road and do the best you can.

“I need to be paid X amount”

When it comes to discussing salary and benefits, it’s a huge part of negotiating a new job. But if you are in the first rounds of interviews, it can show that you’re a little too eager and expecting to be hired. Which can be seen in a very negative light.

Don’t bring up salary expectations until it is prompted by the interviewee. This way you don’t make the mistake of hiring yourself before the company does.

“I’ll do anything”

The last thing you want to do in an interview is set yourself up for failure. When saying this phrase, it makes you look desperate and that you might be easily taken advantage of. Every company wants employees that will go over and beyond. But they want each person to know they can’t do everything. And it’s impossible to expect someone to do that.

When you say this in an interview, it looks like you just get walked on in a working environment. The last thing you want a new company to think about is that you’ll get burned out quickly and leave.

“I don’t have any bad qualities.”

First, we all have bad qualities. But not being able to spot them is an even bigger red flag for a future company. Of course, no one wants to talk about these weaknesses, but there is a way to make them sound positive instead of negative. With this answer, you’re coming across as someone who doesn’t want to work on themselves. And someone who might not be much of a team player. In an interview, this isn’t the way you want to come across.

So, instead of saying you don’t have bad qualities, just be honest. Make sure you tell them how working on these characteristics has helped you become a better employee. And more willing to work on yourself to get better so that you can help the company become more successful.

Overall, avoiding these statements in an interview will help you tremendously. Interviews can be hard and stressful, but if you’re prepared on what not to do, you’ll be more successful and could even get that job offer you’ve been waiting for.

Job Application Mishaps That Could Get You Fired Before You’re Even Hired

Maybe you haven’t had to apply for a new job in a while, so you’re going over everything. Resume, Cover letter, what you will write in your application. But you also need to make sure you do NOT make one of these mistakes that’ll end up getting you fired before you’re even hired!

Grammar/Spelling Mistakes

Some people think this isn’t a big deal and that hiring managers will just look over it. Because come on, it’s just some grammar and spelling mistakes, right? Well, actually, wrong! If you’re not even willing to double check your application materials, a hiring manager will think you don’t care enough about the position. This will most likely end with your application being put in the, “do not contact list” and you never hearing back.

Double checking everything you write when you are filling out an application will ensure that you get seen and hopefully offered an interview. The last thing you want to happen is to be skipped over when you have great skills to be successful in the position.

Lying on your Resume

This is obviously a no-go… And there is a difference between making yourself look good over flagrantly lying. When editing your resume and cover letter, it’s important to incorporate keywords and activities you’ve accomplished relating to the position. But do not add things you haven’t done. Do not add experience you don’t have. They will figure it out. And whether that is during an interview or after you’re hired, you will get fired.

So, don’t lie. Even if you feel your experience isn’t where they want it. If they like who YOU are, they can help you get to where they want you to be. Never risk losing a job because you’re afraid you won’t get it in the first place. You just end up shooting yourself in the foot and leaving a terrible taste in that hiring manager’s mouth.

Bad References

When you write down references make sure they are aware and willing to help give you one in the first place. Having a hiring manager calling someone who hasn’t worked with you in years isn’t the way to go. Especially, if you haven’t told them that you put them down.

Companies do call your references and it could tank or make you landing the job… So find people who have good experiences working with you. Update them on the fact that you’re looking for a new position and would love to put them down as someone to contact. Update your list as necessary! This way when hiring managers contact them, you know they will help you land the job, not lose it.

Bad Mouthing an Old Employer

When you’re lucky enough to be called in for an interview, you will be asked about why you want to leave your current company. A lot of people find this question stressful. But really, it’s simple. If you stay positive and talk about what you learned and how leaving is what’s going to help you grow, it makes you look confident and optimistic. Which in turn, makes every company want to work with you.

If you decide to bad mouth your current company it starts to look like you’re the problem. The hiring managers will not want to hire you. Even if these problems at your current employer are real and terrible. Every position you hold will have people you don’t like. But people want to see that you can work with these hard characters and still be productive.

Bad mouthing your previous/current company is a sure way to be fired before you ever get the chance to be hired. And when you’re looking for jobs and applying for positions you really want, this is not something anyone wants to do. So, make sure you keep these tips in mind so the next interview you get will help you be a sure-hire for the position!