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What’s One Thing You Think We Can Improve

Interview Question: What’s One Thing You Think We Can Improve?

What they want to know

“What’s one thing you think we can improve?” is a tricky interview question to navigate. You want to provide a thoughtful answer without insulting the company (or even one of the interviewers in the room with you). Sometimes, your interviewer will ask you to offer constructive feedback about a particular product or service. Others will make the question more vague, which gives you a bit of flexibility with your answer.

Regardless of your answer, you don’t want to head right into your criticism. Instead, start with something positive; it helps set the stage and make your judgment seem not so harsh. Then, introduce your constructive feedback and provide a background for your thoughts. In other words, you can’t just criticize something and call it good. You must offer an area of improvement, explain why you think it needs improvement, and provide a solution to overcome this situation. Try to offer some stats, facts, or pull something from your professional experience to add credibility to your answer.

This situation is where doing your homework on the company will come in handy. If you don’t do your due diligence on the company, you will struggle to come up with an excellent answer to this interview question.

Example answering what’s one thing you think we can improve?

“I really enjoy the content you share on your company’s Instagram account. The graphics are eye-catching, and your captions are engaging. However, have you thought about sharing more content about your team? You post tons of great information about your services, but sharing stories about your staff and other internal messaging is very on-trend right now. We periodically post internal stories or employee spotlights on my current employer’s social media, and they get great engagement. I think if you added that content to your social media tool belt, you would increase your engagement and gain new followers”

Final comments

This response works for this question because it starts positive and then offers a suggestion for improvement. It’s not overly critical, and the interviewer uses their personal, professional experience to justify their recommendation. Plus, they ask a question in their response about if they considered this suggestion before, which could open the door for a nice dialogue. Overall, this is an excellent response to the question, “what’s one thing you think we can improve or do better?”

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!

Why Should We Hire You

Interview Question: Why Should We Hire You?

What they want to know

A lot of interviewers trip themselves up over the question, “Why should we hire you?” Your interviewers are essentially asking you, “Why should we hire you over the other candidates? What makes you the best candidate?” Interviewers typically ask this question at the end of a job interview. This question is your final sales pitch. It’s your time to shine and summarize for your audience why you would be a great fit for this position and the company. Use this as an opportunity to address your experience, background, and skills and why they make you an excellent fit.

Bonus points: if you can quantify your answer in any way, that is the icing on the cake. Using numbers to illustrate your success or accomplishments is an excellent way to show your value and stand out above the competition. Also, be sure to tie your answer back into the job description to ensure your interviewers that you are a great fit for this role.

Example answering why should we hire you

“I have a passion for helping others and pride myself on using my customer service and recruiting background to match talented candidates with excellent employers. My interview-to-offer ratio of 86% over the last three years illustrates my consistency and track record for success. Additionally, last year I earned our annual ‘Recruiter of the Year’ award, which demonstrates my expertise in the recruiting world. I think my personal career goals align with your company’s mission of simply putting people to work, and I believe I am a great fit for this Recruiting Manager position.”

Final comments

Answering the question, “Why should we hire you” can be challenging. However. this example works well because it touches on the candidate’s background, their skills, and quantifies their accomplishments. The answer addressed the company’s mission statement and expressed their passion for helping others, which can help show why they are a culture fit. Overall, this example answers the questions well (and with confidence!).

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!

How Do You Deal with Stress?

Interview Question: How Do You Deal with Stress?

What they want to know

Every job creates stressful situations. Interviewers often ask, “How do you deal with stress?” to understand if you can keep your cool when things get a little intense. Everybody gets stressed out – it’s a natural feeling that we all feel from time to time, and there are different levels of stress. However, interviewers want to know how you navigate these challenging or intense situations in the workplace.

So, to answer this interview question, briefly describe how you handle stress at work. Everyone handles stress differently, but the key here is to show your interviewers that you have a professional and appropriate way to blow off some steam. If you can provide a brief example in your answer, that’s even better.

Pro tip: do not answer with something like “I don’t really get stressed” or “stress doesn’t bother me.” That’s not true. Every job can be stressful, including the one you are interviewing to get.

Example answering how do you deal with stress

“When I get stressed out at work, I like to get up from my desk and take a brief five- or ten-minute walk. Walking helps me burn off a little steam and allows me to separate myself from the situation for a few minutes. I usually come back from my walk feeling refreshed and ready to continue working! For example, I was building a report to present to our leadership team. I had a tight turnaround time and had a few other projects I had to complete that week. I felt overwhelmed, so I decided to take a brief walk around the building and get some fresh air. After my walk, I came back to my desk recharged, and able to complete the report for my boss.”

Final comments

This answer is an excellent example of expressing how to deal with stress. It’s short and sweet but does an excellent job of illustrating what the interviewee does to overcome stressful situations. This is just one of many different ways you can demonstrate how you handle stressful situations in the workplace. As long as you can show a healthy way to cope with stress and provide an example, you’ll pass the question with flying colors.

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.

What is Your Ideal Work Environment?

Interview Question: What is Your Ideal Work Environment?

What they want to know

Hiring managers ask questions like “What is your ideal work environment?” to identify three essential things:

  • Are you a fit for the company’s culture?
  • How long will you stay with the company?
  • Receive a glimpse of your personality

According to Jennifer Sukola, a Muse career coach, hiring managers are looking for, “How long are [you are] going to stick around? That’s the question.” “Employees who mesh well with the company’s environment will be happier and, in turn, stay in the job longer and contribute more.” Ideally, your preferred working environment matches the company you are applying to. However, don’t force a fake answer to give the interviewers what they want to hear. You must be honest in your response because if you think you want the job, it isn’t fair to you or the employer by lying just to secure the job. Remember, you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you.

Nevertheless, that does not mean that you can’t touch on things that match their culture and working environment. Also, most job descriptions do a decent job painting the picture of the working environment you will be in. Make sure you take a quick look at their website and social media channels to gain insight into the company’s working environment. If that environment fits you well, express that in your answer, and explain why it works for you.

Example answering what is your ideal work environment

“My ideal working environment is where I have the opportunity to work collaboratively with a team. I am a people-person and enjoy working with others. I have fun being able to bounce ideas off colleagues and come up with great ideas and new experiments. Additionally, I find it rewarding to come to a solution with my team and create something beneficial for the company. I find that I work best in an environment that is positive, encouraging, and centered around teamwork.”

Final comments

If you are an extrovert and enjoy working as a team, this is a fantastic answer. It clearly answers the question and offers a brief peek of the interviewee’s personality. Just remember to be truthful and answer honestly. If you are lying, you are doing yourself an injustice as you will likely not be happy in this new role if it doesn’t fit with your ideal working environment.

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!

A Conflict You Faced at Work

Interview Question: Tell Me About A Conflict You Faced at Work

What they want to know

Everyone has faced a challenging situation or conflict in the workplace. However, that doesn’t make it any easier to discuss in a job interview. It can be challenging to pick a conflict to discuss without feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. The key here is to make your answer more of a story and less analytical. Your interviewers want to see your human side and get a sense that you are capable of professionally handling conflict in the workplace.

In your answer, focus more on the resolution and less on the conflict. Many interviewees make the mistake of spending too much time talking about the conflict and getting caught up with the story’s negative side. Instead, briefly explain the problematic situation and focus your time on what you did to overcome it. But most importantly, be honest with your answer and don’t pretend to be the “perfect” candidate.

If you can, pick a relevant example relevant to the job or the company’s industry. In other words, choose a conflict or situation related to the job. You can use the STAR method to outline your answer to this question to keep you on track and paint a clear picture of your conflict resolution skills.

Example answering tell me about a conflict you faced at work

“My coworker was on vacation for the week, and our Chief Operating Officer called me and asked if her presentation for a new product idea was completed. She was very stressed as she needed it by the following morning. I was not working on the presentation and didn’t have the most recent copy. I called up my coworker on their cell phone and had her email the PowerPoint to me.

Our COO and I had a brief call and went over the presentation with her to see what was missing. I was able to figure out what was left to add and completed the presentation before the end of the day. Our COO was very pleased with the presentation and called me after her meeting and send it went very well! Now, my coworker and I share all of our working documents on the cloud so we can easily access each other’s files if something like that ever happens again.”

Final comments

This is an excellent example of explaining a conflict you faced in the workplace and how you resolved it. The answer highlights the conflict itself but focuses on the steps the interviewee took to overcome it and come to a resolution. Additionally, it clearly uses the STAR method to lay out the problem, making it easy for the hiring manager to follow. It also demonstrates that the interviewee can thrive under pressure and work alongside senior leadership.

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's your greatest achievement

Interview Question: What’s Your Greatest Achievement?

What they want to know

This interview question is another tricky one to answer. If you are relatively young in your career, you may struggle to identify your greatest achievement. And if you’re an established professional, you may have a slew of accomplishments to choose from. However, the best thing you can do is share an achievement that you’re proud of that also demonstrates the value you bring to the table.

If you share an achievement that ties back to the job you are applying for, you’ll get some bonus points. Your interviewers want to see a glimpse of your work ethic and your professional values.

Pro tip:

Use the STAR (Situation, Tasks, Actions, Results) method to formulate your answer to this interview question. The STAR method essentially helps you build a story of a problem, your role in addressing that problem, the actions you took to fix the problem, and the results of your hard work. This is a helpful method to keep your answer on track and present your achievement clearly to your interviewers.

Example answering what’s your greatest achievement

“In my current role, our engineering team was responsible for building a new prototype for a medical device we were designing. One of the engineers tasked at 3D printing the device accepted another job offer, and nobody else on the team had 3D printing experience. I have some experience with 3D printing and offered to prepare the device to be printed. I worked with our team to troubleshoot a few issues that came up during the initial process; however, I was able to finish the device’s printing process two weeks ahead of schedule. The device is now on the market, and our company has sold thousands of units that help medical professionals save lives.”

Final comments

This is an excellent example of answering what’s your greatest achievement. It followed the STAR method to paint a concise picture of the problem, the interviewee’s role, and the resolution. If this answer were for an engineering position that required 3D printing experience, this would be a perfect choice.

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!

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Interview Question: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

What they want to know

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” is another painful interview question to answer. It is difficult to explain where you see your career in the next half-a-decade to a stranger. Hiring managers ask this question to develop a better understanding of whether you fit into their long-term plan. If you say you want to be doing something completely different from the role you are applying for within five years; you probably won’t make the cut. The best way to answer this question is to provide a general idea of what you want to accomplish, the types of roles you see yourself in, and the skills you hope to lockdown.

You don’t have to have the perfect picture painted when answering this question; your interviewers just want to know if you are thinking of your future and if it aligns with the company’s goals. In other words, they want to know if you can see yourself with the company in that time frame. Employers like longevity!

Example answering where do you see yourself in five years

“In the next five years, I want to become an industry expert in digital marketing. I want to develop into a resource for my team and help educate newer marketing professionals on innovative concepts and tools. Also, I would like to improve my video editing skills to help produce engaging marketing videos for social media platforms. In the next few years, I would like to work up to earning a leadership role to help a company, like [insert company name], achieve their marketing and brand awareness goals.”

Final comments

This example checks all the boxes for successfully answering this question. It shows the candidate’s ambition, the drive to learn more about their industry, states a skillset they want to improve, and demonstrates their career drive. A hiring manager would be happy with this answer because it shows that the candidate is passionate about their industry and eager to learn more. It also expresses their desire to grow within the company. Where do you see yourself in five years is a tricky question to answer. However, if your answer shows your ambition to learn, grow, and longevity, you will be in good shape!

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's your greatest weakness

Interview Question: What’s Your Greatest Weakness?

What they want to know

This is probably one of the most challenging interview questions to answer. It is difficult to pinpoint weaknesses and talk about them with complete strangers. And that’s exactly why interviewers ask this question. Hiring managers and HR professionals want to know if you are self-aware of your flaws and see what steps you are taking to better yourself. Start with a fault and then discuss the steps you are taking to overcome it. The best thing you can do is remain positive and honest with your answer.

Pro tip: do not try and disguise a strength as a weakness. Using a weakness such as “I am a perfectionist” is not going to cut it. Everyone has weaknesses, and you should not be afraid to hide them. Your prospective employer wants to see your humility and the steps you take to improve yourself as a professional.

Example answering what’s your greatest weakness

“One skill set that I am currently working hard to improve is my efficiency with HTML and CSS. I took a class in college and developed a basic understanding of coding. However, in my current position, it is helpful to be able to make basic coding updates to our company website, and I have been challenging myself to become more knowledgeable in this area. I am enrolled in an online course, and I am already learning new ways to apply this information in my current role.”

Final comments

Discussing your greatest weakness can be overwhelming. This is an excellent example because a weakness was identified, and the interviewee laid out the steps they are taking to improve in that area. They discussed that they are already working on overcoming this weakness and seeing the results of their hard work. Plus, their answer was positive, which is precisely how any interviewee should frame a response to this question!

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!

college grad toolkit

The College Grad Toolkit

Graduating college is a monumental step that’s full of exciting and daunting unknowns. If you’ve chosen to enter the professional workforce after school, there are some things that you absolutely need to have in your toolkit if you want to secure a job after college, or simply, give off a more professional vibe. Here are six things you must have in your college grad toolkit to successfully kickoff your career.

Easy Means of Contact

Have your phone and email visible and available! Make sure you have an easy way for recruiters, hiring managers, and potential references to communicate with you. Your contact information must be front and center on your resume as well as in the signature of every email. Also, make sure you have a professional email. Now that you’re graduating college, it’s time to stop using that cute email address you made in middle school.

A Fantastic Resume

Crafting a perfect resume has such an important role in landing the job you want. Your resume should include all the resume essentials, like your contact information, hard and soft skills, work experience, education, and certifications! Once you’ve edited and reviewed your post-college resume, show it to someone you trust to gather even more feedback! Getting extra eyes on a resume will always get you a step closer to an outstanding perfect resume.

An Excellent LinkedIn

Update your LinkedIn to show that you are now a college grad! Then start making connections with students you went to school with, professors you learned a lot from, and others that have connections with your university. But don’t stop there! Start connecting and making conversations with professionals in your field or someone that has your dream job.

However, before you start making those connections, check off some other post-grad LinkedIn essentials like:

  • Uploading a great profile picture
  • Receive endorsements from your peers
  • Adding valid and applicable skills
  • A great summary of who you are

At-The-Ready References

Contrary to popular belief, references do matter. In research done by TLNT, they found that 21% of hiring managers remove candidates from the running after they speak with their professional references. This means that your references must be legit and always on deck. So, speak to your professors, bosses, or coaches about leaving you a good reference, if needed.

Cleaned-Up Social Media

Start cleaning up your social media accounts! More than half of hiring managers check out your social media as an act of screening you for a job. Additionally, if they find a red flag, you could be immediately dismissed for a job. Double-check that there’s nothing from college on your social media that may hinder your chances of landing a job. This might include a provocative photo, profanity, or speaking poorly of others online. If this content exists on any of your social media accounts either delete it or adjust your privacy settings.

Professional Outfit

You need at least one professional outfit that you can wear to interviews. Dress to impress your potential employers, no matter what industry you’re entering. For more tips on what to wear to an interview, check out our  ‘How to Dress for Your Next Interview’ blog.

Graduating from college is an exciting time and may look different than expected due to the coronavirus. However, this college grad toolkit will hopefully help guide you through these next stages of your career. And if you’re looking for more assistance, JSG has compiled a group of resources to help you successfully kickoff your career. Check it out!