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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!).

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!

turned down

Why Do I Keep Getting Turned Down?

turned down

In a perfect world, you come across an opportunity that you love, you apply, and you get hired! But more often than not, the job search is not this simple. Often, our search consists of applying to dozens of jobs online with the hopes of securing an interview. If your search results in being turned down, it can be quite a blow to your self-esteem and motivation.

If you find yourself passed on for the job opportunity you really wanted, don’t get down on yourself. Instead, control the things you can control; try to make small improvements in these areas to create a lasting impression and transition from candidate to employee.

Your Resume

You could be the perfect fit for a position; however, if your resume doesn’t communicate this, you probably won’t get the chance to demonstrate this. If you aren’t specifically tailoring your resume to fit each position you apply for, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Different companies and roles will stress different requirements and skills. Large companies sometimes utilize an ATS to filter through online resumes before they’re even viewed by a hiring manager. If you failed to include the information the software has been set to identify, you could be robbing yourself of an interview. Instead, analyze a job description and highlight the key skills or experiences desired in your resume. Make sure you don’t sell yourself short by leaving off key information!

The Interview

Even if you make it past the resume stage, you probably still have a few steps to go before officially being hired. The next step is an interview, often with the hiring manager or a panel of individuals who collectively make hiring decisions. Failing to answer a certain question or demonstrate that you’re a fit for their culture can result in being turned down. While companies won’t try to trick you, they want to create a setting that forces you to demonstrate the abilities you claim to have. Interviews can make even the most qualified of candidates feel nervous. Combat this with practice and research well ahead of your interview. Prepare answers to commonly asked questions like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “Why do you want to work here?”

Partner With A Recruiter

Make all the difference in your career by partnering with a recruiter to find your next position. Not only do we have a pulse on the market, but we also have direct connections to hiring managers. This allows us to skip any ATS systems or job application black holes and fast track your resume straight to the people making hiring decisions. Additionally, we hustle to receive constructive feedback at every stage of the hiring process. Ready to take the next step in your career? Contact us today!

ghosting a recruiter

How Ghosting a Recruiter Can Come Back to Haunt You

ghosting a recruiter

I get it, some recruiters have a reputation of ghosting candidates, and you probably think that what goes around comes around. However, ghosting a recruiter can come back to haunt you. And I was taught as a child that two wrongs don’t make a right.

I work mostly with Software Engineers and it seems more rampant with the tight labor market in the Tech Sector, especially in the Bay Area where I fill most of my jobs. But markets shift and recruiters like me who are in the height of their careers have long memories, and even more importantly, applicant tracking systems that share all data on our interactions with candidates. So, even if one recruiter leaves or moves on to a new role within the company, the ghosting becomes part of your records.

Going dark

I was recently working with a prospective candidate where I was actively engaging with them. We were emailing, texting, as well as playing major phone tag. They had a great first conversation with the client and the client asked to bring them in for an in-person team meeting. Then the candidate went dark. It took days to get a reply back and then when they did surface, they only provided one day of availability. I shared this with the client, and of course, the client was at a training that day and unable to meet. I immediately shared this update with the candidate, via email and voice message. No response, nothing… It was like the middle of the night quiet but not peaceful because we now had to share the unfortunate news with our client that this individual ghosted us.

It’ll come back and haunt you

Fast forward a few months later we have more openings with this client. I posted the job on our website and traditional boards plus did my due diligence in searching to fill these roles. The same candidate who ghosted me applied four times on two different job boards. It appears that this candidate hasn’t worked since I last spoke with them. Even though they are a fit for the role and could add value to my client, I can’t take the risk on them again and I don’t want to risk my client’s projects on someone who is clearly not a team player.

I can’t take responsibility for what other recruiters do, but I can do my best to make your experience with me and JSG a great one and ask for the same in return.

By staying in touch, that candidate could have made an advocate of me for their career. And even if this role didn’t work out, I would have kept them in mind for another better opportunity in the future.

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.”

why do you want to work here

How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?” In An Interview

why do you want to work here

If you find yourself in a job interview in the near future, there is a high chance your interviewer asks something along the lines of, “Why do you want to work here?” We live in an age where technology connects us in more ways than ever. However, interviewers still like to ask this question to gain an understanding of the motivations behind your job search. The good news is, you can use the web to your advantage and arm yourself with a great answer to this question.

Answers To Avoid In An Interview

First and foremost, you want to avoid giving a completely one-sided answer. It’s important to stay away from anything that focuses only on how the job will serve you. Your prospective interviewer is well aware of the perks and benefits offered at their company. Next, do no say you just want this job to pay the bills. Highlighting these things only comes across as self-serving in a setting where you are trying to show the value you will provide to them, not the value you will receive as a result.

Finally, don’t use this as an opportunity to bash your former employer. You may be unhappy with your current role, but it isn’t appropriate to focus on negatives while trying to improve your situation with a new company.

What to Focus on Instead

Instead, focus on how you identify with the company. Are you a lifelong user of their service or product? Do they have a mission or cause that resonates with you? Do you have a lot in common with their employees? Use the information you’ve gathered online to form a solid opinion about the company. We also recommend that you reference comments made by the interviewer throughout your meeting. Did they mention that the team is extremely collaborative? Or that you’ll have the independence to run your own desk? This serves a dual purpose in both answering the question and showing that you’re listening. And most importantly, don’t forget to mention how well you envision yourself fitting within their company culture.

Tell Me a Little About Yourself

How to Answer, “Tell Me a Little About Yourself” In An Interview

Tell Me a Little About Yourself

If you find yourself in a job interview in the near future, one of the first questions you will likely be asked is, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” The purpose of this interview question is to learn more about a candidate, and this question specifically serves as an easy way to begin the conversation. You may be thinking that no one knows you as well as you do, so why do you need advice on how to answer this question correctly? However, consider that there are nuances to answering this question that could make all the difference during an interview.

Balance professional with personal

You want to shoot for a balance. You don’t want to include overly personal or irrelevant details, but you also don’t want to come off as stoic or quiet. It’s okay to talk about a hobby or interest if it shines more light on your personality or the type of person you are. But ultimately, you want to focus on communicating what it would be like to work with you.

If you have landed an interview, chances are high you have the hard skills the company is looking for. They want to know if you would be a good fit for their team and company culture, and while other questions could be asked to assess soft skills, having you talk about yourself puts the ball in your own court. A hiring manager can learn a lot about your work style by understanding a bit more about who you are as a person.

Past, present, and future

If you are still struggling to come up with an answer, you can use the past-present-future format. Your explanation should include where you are currently, with this typically being the job you currently hold or last held. Then explain how you came to be there, and the variables that influenced that. These could include education, hobbies, family, or values. Lastly, close on where you hope to be and cite career goals or objectives. Common examples could include career titles, locations, or a general state of being.

Again, your answer is yours and yours alone. When possible, connect any of your past-present-future examples with the role you are interviewing for. There is no cookie-cutter template that answers this question perfectly as the answer varies from person to person. But whatever your answer, be prepared to deliver it in a concise and relevant manner. Overthinking a question like this is easy. The last thing you want is to ramble through one of the first questions asked. Practice your answer ahead of time and be confident in your ability to communicate who you are.

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!

biggest weakness

How To Answer “What Is Your Biggest Weakness?” In An Interview

biggest weakness

If you find yourself in a job interview, there is a strong chance the hiring manager will ask you this question. Or, at least a similarly phrased question. This inquiry can flood you with all sorts of anxiety and can derail even the best interviews if you’re not prepared. The hiring manager knows that nobody is perfect. So, follow our tips for formulating an answer that will actually benefit you in the long run!

What They Want To Know

While the bulk of the interview will be composed of discussions centered around skills and experiences, understanding someone’s weaknesses offers a different perspective. The hiring manager’s ultimate goal is to understand whether you possess the soft skills needed to join their team. While hard skills like computer programming will be evident from examples of your work, soft skills reveal themselves through interaction. This question should highlight your honesty, self-awareness, and willingness to learn and grow (or lack thereof). These three characteristics will give a good indication of what it will be like to work with this person; information that is critical to the success of a team or business.

How To Answer

In this situation, how you answer is often more important than what you answer. By asking the question, the hiring manager is looking for an honest answer that shows you’re aware of your shortcomings but actively looking to learn from them and improve. Just ensure that the weakness you give is not a critical component of the job you are applying for. You can ensure this by quickly checking the qualifications on a job description. Sticking with the programming example, a prospective programmer shouldn’t answer attention to detail, as this is a pertinent skill.

Instead, referencing your nervousness around public speaking and the actions you’re taking to improve is what the hiring interview is looking for. Awareness and action are still key. Hiring managers are looking for red flags that indicate a lack of these. Any example that follows the steps outlined above should accomplish this.

What Not To Say

All too often, candidates answer by trying to disguise a strength as a weakness. When asked what’s your biggest weakness, NEVER answer with something along the lines of, “I am a perfectionist.” An answer like this can come off as disingenuous or lacking self-awareness.

Nobody is perfect and the hiring manager understands this. They just want to ensure that you approach your shortcomings in a realistic, constructive manner.

want to get hired

Want to Get Hired? Make Sure You Demonstrate These 4 Traits

want to get hired

The labor market is hot, there’s no doubt about it. If you’re thinking about exploring your options this Spring, you have plenty to pick from! But just because there are more jobs available than people to fill them, doesn’t mean your interview is going to be a slam dunk. No matter how great the job market is, you still have to bring your A-game to every interview.

And regardless of what industry you work in, there are still certain traits we often see in candidates who get hired. Here are four of the most common traits of those candidates who get hired.

Great communication

One of the best ways to make a great first impression is clear communication. When a recruiter or HR professional reaches out to you, respond promptly. We know that you’re really busy, but so are they. I am not saying you must drop everything and respond to them at once. However, the sooner you respond, the better the impression you create.

We, unfortunately, see so many candidates fail to get hired not because of their skills or experience, but because of a lack of communication. Communication is key throughout the entire hiring process, so be sure to respond timely so you don’t hurt your chances of receiving an offer.

Do your homework

It’s essential that you do your due diligence before an interview. Go online and hop on the employer’s website. Spend a few minutes reading some articles, blogs, press releases, or watch some videos. This will help you create some great talking points in your interview and allow you to ask great questions.

No matter how much experience or skills you have, don’t walk into an interview and try to “wing it.” I promise you it probably won’t go well. If you take some time to learn a little about the company, their culture, and their programs or incentives, you will walk into your interview ready to wow the hiring manager.

Come armed with questions

Like I said before, learning a little more about your prospective employer will help you really impress the interviewers. If you can ask detailed questions throughout your interview, you will be in good shape to receive that job offer. If at the end of the interview you are asked, “So, what questions do you have for us?” and you just sit there with a blank stare, you can kiss that offer letter goodbye.

Come to the interview with a few questions in mind. This will show two things:

  • You did your research on the company
  • It will illustrate you are serious about this potion and company

Be humble

I cannot stress this enough. No matter how great you are, you have to show humility throughout the hiring process. If you don’t, I promise it won’t go well for you. Even if you’re the best at what you do, if you come across as arrogant, you probably won’t be receiving an offer. If the interviewers cannot develop a connection or conversation with you, no matter how great you are, chances are the employer will move on.

If you are serious about the position, make sure you demonstrate these four traits throughout the interview process.