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Interview Question: What Motivates You?

Interview Question: What Motivates You?

What They Want To Know

It doesn’t get much more straightforward than this interview question. When a hiring manager asks, “what motivates you?” they genuinely want to know what gets you up in the morning and excited for the day. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should blurt out the first thing that comes to mind!

You do not need to delve into all of the personal and existential reasons you are motivated each day. Instead, focus on what excites you about your job. What will you look forward to most in this position you’re interviewing for? When the chips are down, and things are tough, how will you be motivated to pull out of it and succeed?

Example Answer For “What Motivates You?”

“As a Project Manager, I love to see everything come together in a successful project. I am so passionate about finalizing all the details of a project, checking off every “to-do” on the list. In fact, my family frequently refers to me as the “Project Manager of our Home” because I carry the same principles into my personal life! No task can be left undelegated; no part of the plan is left undone. For me, there is nothing that compares to the satisfaction of spearheading a successful project. So, when times are challenging, I just remember to keep that end goal in sight.”

Final Comments

This answer is perfect because it goes beyond the surface. The candidate not only explained what motivates them but also painted a complete picture for the interviewer. Finally, it cements their status as a great candidate for the interview because it shows that the candidate’s goals will be aligned with the company’s goals.

Need Help Answering More Common Interview Questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

Interview Question: How Do You Like To Be Managed?

Interview Question: How Do You Like To Be Managed?

What They Want To Know

This question tends to put candidates on the defense thinking about how they like to be managed. A hiring manager asks this to understand if you will mesh with their team and leadership style. Many managers deploy multiple management tactics depending on the makeup of their team. Thus, it’s helpful to anticipate how you would fit in.

This is a question that pays to prepare for ahead of time. Think back to times in your career when you were satisfied with your leaders. What did you like most about how you were managed? Additionally, see if you can glean any information about the management culture of the company you are interviewing with. Often, the company’s website or social media will offer insights into the company culture. And in the end, tie it back to your anticipation for this role in particular.

Example Answer For “How Do You Like To Be Managed?”

“Throughout my career, I’ve found that I work best with a Manager that values clear and open communication. I am most successful when I truly understand my role on the team and what is expected from me. On the other hand, I love being able to go to my manager with new ideas and questions. I am able to work independently when the communication channel is there.

This is why, when I was looking at the “About” page on your website, I was excited to see that communication is one of your core values. Reading that reinforced the notion that this company would be an excellent fit for me.”

Final Comments

In general, you want to keep the focus on the positives. Avoid bringing up management styles you don’t like or mentioning previous managers you didn’t jive with. We like the above answer to “how do you like to be managed?” because it brings it back to your qualifications!

Need help answering more common interview questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

Interview Question: Do You Have Any Questions For Us?

Interview Question: Do You Have Any Questions For Us?

What They Want To Know

Congratulations – you made it through the entire interview. Then suddenly, the hiring manager hits you with this question. Your mind is racing, trying to think of the right question that will sound intelligent and insightful. Don’t fret – your interviewer really isn’t trying to trick you by looking for some obscure, off-the-wall question. They simply want to ensure that you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

No matter how comprehensive the interview is, you must have a question at the ready. Avoid interview faux-pas’ such as asking about salary or time off. Instead, focus on questions that will enrich your understanding of the position or company. We typically advise asking something related to your success in the role or the interviewer’s experience at the company.

Example Answers For “Do You Have Any Questions For Us?”

“Yes. I know you’ve been working for Radius Consulting for five years, and I would love to hear about what you like most about working here.”

Or

“Should I be hired for this position, what could I accomplish in the first 30 days to ensure a successful and sustainable future with the company?”

Final Comments

Both of these answers show that you did your research and that you are invested in being successful in this role. Keep your questions short and simple, and most importantly, listen to the answers! As a bonus, your interviewer’s answers will most likely provide great content to circle back to in your thank you note!

(If you’d like to have even more interview questions in your pocket, check out this extensive list from The Muse!)

Need help answering more common interview questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

What Is An On-Demand Interivew

What Is An On-Demand Video Interview And How Can You Nail It?

There’s no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic has changed many things about how we do business forever. One process that has been completely turned upside down is that of hiring. As companies open themselves up to hiring, not only will they be flooded with resumes from those who were laid off or furloughed, they are also facing the challenge of how to interview safely. And with many departments juggling more obstacles than ever, time is precious. Enter on-demand interviewing.

What is an on-demand interview?

According to Interview Stream, a popular video interviewing software, “in an on-demand video interview, the candidate is usually asked to respond to preset questions that are recorded by the recruiter or hiring manager, and the answers are reviewed later.” So that means it will just be you on camera; no one there to respond to your answers, ask you follow up questions, or give hints to how well you’re doing.

What kinds of questions will you be answering?

Because this is a truncated interview, hiring managers will want to get as much information as possible. This means they’ll focus on behavioral questions. Your answers should be detailed accounts of situations you’ve experienced at work or in school. Below are some examples of popular behavioral interview questions:

  • Discuss a time when you faced a conflict while working on a team.
  • Tell us about a time when you faced a lot of pressure at work. What happened, and how did you handle it?
  • Describe a time when you managed a project. Walk us through your project management strategy from start to finish.
  • Tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment.

How should you answer on-demand interview questions?

Because there’s no interaction with an interviewer, it can be particularly challenging to get your personality through during an on-demand interview. Your answers must be enthusiastic, professional, and thorough. It’s essential that your answers give a glimpse into who you are as an employee. Hiring managers will be looking for a positive attitude, self-motivation, and flexibility.

While recording answers, it will feel awkward. But the lack of response doesn’t mean you need to fill dead space with rambling! While your answers should be thorough, keep them concise. Describe your past experiences in detail but come to a clean and confident end. Try your best to avoid filler words and endings such as, “so… yeah!” or “and stuff.”

How can you prepare ahead of time?

Your appearance will be more critical than ever during an on-demand interview. Make sure you have a plain, uncluttered backdrop with no noise in the background. Pick out a simple but professional outfit. Make sure your hair is combed and tidy, and your face bright and refreshed!

If you’re lucky enough to have access to the interview questions prior to your on-demand interview, this is an incredible opportunity! Write your answers down multiple times and practice reading them aloud to friends or family. As you’re recording your answers, you don’t want to come off stiff, so avoid reading right off a page. Repeated practice will build up your “muscle memory” and help the answers roll right off your tongue! You can even practice recording on your laptop and watching your answers back. While uncomfortable, it can be a great way to expose your body language and any answers that may be slightly off.

For more video or general interview tips, be sure to explore our candidate resources.

Video Interview Tips

Video Interview Tips to Know Amidst the Coronavirus Outbreak

Have you suddenly found yourself transitioning from an in-person interview to a video interview? If so, you’re not alone. Hundreds of companies are canceling face-to-face job interviews due to the growing concerns of the Coronavirus. As a result, more employers, such as Google and Microsoft, are moving their interviews to a virtual format. If you find yourself in this situation, it can be overwhelming; especially if it happened suddenly. However, here are a few video interview tips to ensure you pass it with flying colors.

Test your video equipment

The first thing you want to do is test your equipment and software. Be sure that your laptop or tablet is up to date to assure you don’t have any issues. Test out the video software that you will be using. Whether it’s Skype or Zoom, it’s essential to be familiar with the software to limit potential “operator errors.” Also, test your internet connection and ensure that it’s strong enough to video chat. You definitely don’t want your internet connection to time out and lose your connection mid-interview. Last but not least, make sure everything is charged up and ready to go!

Eliminate all distractions

When you’re sitting down to do your video interview, you want to ensure you eliminate any distractions around you. Get the kids out of the house, let the dog out in the backyard, and turn off anything that can and will make noise. Have a tidy desk and a clean space around you. Pick a nice area in your home to conduct your video interview with nothing incriminating or distracting in the background. The fewer distractions around you, the better you will be able to focus on the conversation and make a strong impression!

Treat it like any other interview

At the end of the day, the principles for a video interview are similar to any other interview. Do your due diligence on the company before your conversation, dress for success, have good posture and eye contact, and don’t forget that thank you note! Our friends over at Indeed produced a short video that does an excellent job summarizing how to prepare for a video interview:

Take advantage of the booming labor market

There are a lot of concerns about the Coronavirus’s impact on hiring as we approach the end of the first quarter. However, this media-crazed virus has yet to impact the job market. Thus, don’t let COVID-19 derail your job search. You may be doing more video interviews as a precaution, but at the end of the day, your job search will carry on as usual. Hopefully, these video interview tips will calm some of those job search jitters. Good luck!

How To Determine If A Company Will Be A Good Culture Fit

How To Determine If A Company Will Be A Good Culture Fit

In a candidate-driven job market, it can seem like the world is your oyster when it comes to making a career move. But that doesn’t mean you want to take just any job! You want to find one that is a fit for your skills and experience; you want a job that will allow for continued growth. Something else you want to be on the lookout for? A company and team that will be a good culture fit. Use these three tactics to discover your next step!

Do Your Research

Before you interview, or even before you apply, research the company. Of course, you’ll want to check out their website, but also be sure to browse their various social media accounts. This may give you a peek into what the office is like if they frequently do events outside of work, and a more in-depth demonstration of their mission and values. Last, but certainly not least, LinkedIn is your best friend. Find the company on LinkedIn, click on “see all employees on LinkedIn.” Peruse employee profiles to get an idea of the company culture. A few specific things to look for: how long employees have been at the company, how they describe their job, and if they have recommendations and endorsements from coworkers.

Ask Great Questions

Once you get to the end of your interview and the Hiring Manager asks, “do you have any questions for us?” This is your chance! Use this opportunity to ask a couple of great questions that will give you further insight into the company culture. Here are a few of our favorites:

“What is your favorite thing about working for ABC Company?”

“How will this position interact with other team members and departments?”

“How does ABC Company tie their values into their day-to-day operations?”

Pay Attention To The Little Things

The smallest details can give you a hint as to the culture fit of a company! When you go in for an in-person interview, be aware of your surroundings. What is the general attitude or vibe of the office? Do the current employees seem friendly and welcoming? If you have the opportunity to meet with other team members, be sure to ask the same questions you would ask leadership and more! Don’t be afraid to ask questions about working with the leadership team. This can give you a better understanding of how to be successful if you are to be hired.

strengths & weakness

How To Discuss Your Strengths & Weaknesses In An Interview

“What is your greatest strength? What is your biggest weakness?” These just may be the most dreaded questions throughout interview history. Are you supposed to disguise a strength as a weakness? Should you be brutally honest? Even the most experienced candidates have toiled over these questions! Not to worry, we’re breaking them down, so you don’t have to stress about discussing your strengths & weaknesses.

Be Honest

Honestly is definitely the best policy when it comes to interviewing in general, but especially for these two questions. You do not want to be one of those candidates who over-promises and under-delivers on your strengths. Do not exaggerate in any form or fashion. Likewise, when addressing your weaknesses, never try to disguise a strength as a weakness! Hiring managers see right through this tactic and do not find it impressive in any way.

Keep It Concise

A common mistake when it comes to these questions is rambling. Because they are vulnerable topics, you may feel the need to fill empty space rather than leave your answer lingering. Don’t give in to the temptation! Be confident in your answer, and keep it short. More than likely, your interviewer is taking notes, and a bit of silence is perfectly acceptable.

Focus On The Future

No matter what your strengths and weaknesses are, gear your answer towards the future. Let’s say, for example, that your weakness is getting overwhelmed when juggling a bunch of tasks. Take a brief moment to explain that while this is a struggle for you, you’ve learned that by creating lists and prioritizing ahead of time, you’re able to manage that weakness better.

As for your strengths, be sure to explain how your strength will be particularly helpful to the company you’re interviewing with. If your strength is performance under pressure, try to apply it to something you already know about the company. For example, “throughout my work history, I’ve found that I perform well under pressure. For the Project Management role with ABC Company, that will be particularly helpful when coordinating a team to complete last-minute project deadlines.”

In the end, don’t let this question stress you out too much. It is not intended to trip you up, rather to understand what type of employee you would be and how you would fit in with the rest of the team. Keep your focus on answering thoughtfully, and you’ll be sure to leave a lasting impression on your interviewer.

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!