Candidate Resources

This is your one-stop-shop for resources to help you prevail through your job search. Whether you’re looking for interview advice, job search tips, or an outlook on the labor market, Johnson Search Group has you covered. We have tons of resources to help guide you to a successful job search. We work hard, we work together, and we work for you.

How To Answer "What Do You Like Least About Your Job?" In An Interview

How To Answer “What Do You Like Least About Your Job?” In An Interview

What They Want To Know

When a hiring manager asks this tricky question, they want to know two things. First, can you identify that there are undesirable aspects of your job? And how do you tackle those less-than-exciting tasks? They ultimately want to understand how you handle negativity. Additionally, they’re curious to find out if you will give in to an opportunity to endlessly complain.

Answering the question “what do you like least about your job?” can be tough to navigate. This is not an opportunity to unload and commiserate about everything you dislike about your job. Instead, use it as an opportunity to express your excitement about the role you are interviewing for. Discuss an opportunity that the job you’re interviewing for would afford that your current or past positions didn’t.

Example Answer For “What do you like least about your job?”

“The thing I like least about my current position is that I don’t have the opportunity to interact directly with our accounts. While I love contributing to the overall end product we deliver to our customers, I am looking for the opportunity to interact with our partners. That’s what originally attracted me to this position, actually. I am ready to step into the position of Account Manager and make an immediate impact on customer satisfaction.”

Final Comments

If you’re more comfortable just picking something you like least about your job, keep it short and sweet. Briefly mention what it is, and explain that it doesn’t utilize your strengths or challenge you anymore. Every single job will have an undesirable aspect to it. So, naturally, it’s fine to recognize this. Just be sure to resist the temptation to vent.

If you’re partnering with a recruiting firm such as Johnson Search Group, we help prepare you for tricky interview questions like this. Ready to take the next step in your career? Contact us today to get started!


This Is Not Your Parents’ Interview

2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least. “Change” has been a constant and given fact. On a personal level, many people have a hard time with change. We are creatures of habit and like our routines – like our daily Starbucks coffee and breakfast muffin. However, our personal lives are not the only things experiencing change. With travel restrictions, and mandated state-level quarantining and social distancing, on-site interviews have become a challenge for many companies, particularly in the mining industry. Suddenly, this is not your parents’ interview.

As a recruiter in the industry, I immediately noticed a change in interviewing trends: they pretty much stopped. It was a hard push on the breaks, and then, silence. Interviews were canceled or put on hold and hiring temporarily halted. It seemed that companies were not sure how to proceed in the new landscape. 

The Interview Evolution

But then – slowly – phone interviews were scheduled; then video interviews started. While for some companies, video interviewing has been a mainstay in their interviewing portfolio, the mining industry was not one that has embraced it – until now. 

What I am seeing is excitement and total adaptation of video interviewing. I am now hosting video interviews for my clients. I even hired an incredible candidate without the candidate and client ever meeting in person! The scalability of the product and clients’ adaptability to embrace the technology has gotten interviews flowing again.

The change in 2020 has been challenging, but good things have come from those challenges. Life goes on. Clients, candidates, and yes – even recruiters – have risen to the occasion.

I think interviews of old are fading, and a new interview landscape is emerging. Change is good.

Johnson Search Group stays on top of current changing trends in the industry and job market. If you are looking for a new opportunity or need help finding that ideal candidate, reach out and let us help you.

4 Next-Level Tips To Help You Rock Your Video Interview

4 Next-Level Tips To Help You Rock Your Video Interview

With so many professionals working remotely in 2020, hiring processes have changed significantly—one of the most prevalent changes being the migration towards video interviewing. If you are looking to take the next step in your career sometime in the near future, you will likely encounter a video interview. You probably know that you should dress professionally and sit in a quiet, uncluttered room. However, these four tips will help you launch your video interview to the next level.

Prep Some Small Talk

Video interviews are awkward enough without scrambling to throw together small talk on-screen. Oftentimes, a hiring manager will kick off a meeting with “So, how’s it going?” Don’t get caught off guard! It will give you a boost of confidence to have a couple of classic small-talk conversations ready. Even if it’s as simple as a podcast you enjoyed recently, a funny anecdote, or something you’re looking forward to. Pro tip: Do your research on the company ahead of time. Scour their website and social media for any stand-out talking points.

Get Comfortable With Downtime

There will be downtime throughout a video interview, whether it’s due to technical difficulties, interviewer transitions, or while they’re jotting down notes. You mustn’t let these awkward silences throw you off. Embrace a slow period and use that time to prepare for your next question, write down notes yourself, or simply to recenter.

Prepare Situational Examples

Chances are, your interviewer will ask some behavioral interview questions. Your answer should include a recount of past experiences. One of the benefits of video interviewing is that you can prep ahead of time and keep notes right next to you to reference. So, you would be remiss not to brainstorm some of the biggest moments over your career and have them on hand. Think of things like your most significant accomplishment, a time you faced conflict at work, a time you had to work together as a team, etc. For more common behavioral interview questions, check out our post here.

Keep It Candid

With millions of people suddenly thrown into working remotely, we are all in uncharted territory here. And with kids participating in remote learning, animals running rampant, and Amazon delivering limitless packages, there are bound to be some interruptions. Simply be candid about this at the beginning of your interview! Full disclosure is best, and it actually provides an opportunity to show your human side. You do miss out on the face-to-face interaction with a video interview. So, a touch of humanity during a video call allows your interviewer the opportunity to relate to you. Additionally, it helps to break down the professional barrier just a bit.

For more video interviewing tips, head over here and explore the rest of our candidate resources.

The One Job Search Strategy That Is Bound To Fail

The One Job Search Strategy That Is Bound To Fail

There is a lot of job search advice out there, mostly full of conflicting opinions. This will guarantee you will land a job! That is the perfect job search strategy! How in the world are you supposed to discern what actually works? Unfortunately, there is not a “one size fits all” ticket to secure a job. On the other hand, however, there is one job search strategy that is destined to fail (and it’s a big one!) Keep reading to learn more about this inadequate approach and what you can do instead.

Why Mass Applying Is A Terrible Job Search Strategy

There are millions of people throughout the world who are unemployed right now. As a result, you may find yourself thinking, “The more, the better! I’ll take anything I can get!” While we certainly understand this sentiment, it will most likely not result in a successful job search. Here’s why:

It Takes Time Away From Applying Mindfully To The Right Jobs

No matter what, applying to jobs takes time! You must customize your attachment documents, fill out never-ending applications, and contact your references with each new submittal. If you’re spending all of your time applying to hundreds of jobs, the quality of each application will go down. As a result, you won’t speak to the hiring manager, compelling them to hire you! Additionally, it’s essential that you apply to the right jobs that are in your targeted career path. 

You’re More Likely To Make Mistakes

On that same note, applying to hundreds of jobs is a ripe opportunity for mistakes. Spelling errors, incorrect information, and even mixing up application materials are bound to happen. It’s nearly impossible to keep track of all of these different opportunities with perfect precision. As a result, you will come off as unprofessional and someone who doesn’t pay attention to detail. 

Many Of The Jobs You’re Applying For Probably Don’t Fit Your Skillset

And now for the hard truth. Most of those jobs you’re mass applying for are not a fit. As a result, you will probably not get hired. Which really means it’s all a big waste of your time! You could be overqualified, underqualified, or even just totally off base. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to be perfectly qualified for every job you apply to, but it does mean you have to be prepared to pitch your qualifications!

Final Comments

In conclusion, be wise about how you invest time in your job search. Apply only to jobs that match your experience and skillsets, and that fit the desired trajectory of your career. It will save you a lot of headaches and heartaches in the end. Elena Sabry, a Career Coach, explained it perfectly: “I would recommend assessing your experience, skills, job market, and if there is a good fit, apply mindfully. Mindful application is knowing a company, industry, and writing to a certain hiring manager or recruiter.”

So, if you’re ready to start your mindful job search, Johnson Search Group is the partner for you. Explore our open jobs, contact a recruiter, and read more job search tips

Sell your achievements on your resume

How to Sell Your Achievements on Your Resume

Are you sick of sending your resumes to hiring managers or submitting them on job boards and never hearing back? One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a candidate is failing to sell your achievements on your resume. Hiring managers and HR professionals have a lot on their plates right now. If you want to stand out, you need to quantify your wins to your prospective employer. Here are a few tips for selling yourself on your resume to secure a job before the end of the year.

Quantify your results

Hiring managers are swamped juggling their day-to-day responsibilities and sifting through dozens of resumes. There is a ton of competition out there for job seekers, with over 12 million unemployed Americans. As a result, you need to stand out by quantifying your results. Adding metrics will help you demonstrate the scale and context of your contributions to your past and former employers.

Utilize metrics like click-through rates, average sales figures, cost reductions, time savings, and other measurements. To really give context to these achievements, use percentage changes over a certain period to paint a clear picture of your accomplishments. Here is an example that puts all of these pieces together:

  • Created new employee engagement programs that helped improve the company’s employee retention rate by 9 percent over the last five months.

This is an excellent example because it shares an achievement that is scalable and provides a specific time range to create a greater context for this accomplishment.

Use your daily tasks to sell your achievements

It is easier to quantify your achievements when your role directly affects the company’s bottom line. However, if you are struggling to quantify your results, Rework Work CEO Stacey Gordon recommends that you pay attention to your less conventional work outcomes. For example, did you help save your department money? Or did you create a device that saved your team time or reduced waste?

Choose a particular outcome from your daily workday and quantify it. For example, say you write three articles a week for your company’s website. You can quickly multiply that number by an appropriate timeframe, say a month or a quarter, to make an ordinary task sound more like an achievement.

Need more resume resources?

Those are two easy ways you can better sell your achievements on your resume by quantifying them. If you are searching for more resume advice, take a look at our candidate resources. We have dozens of helpful resume resources to help you succeed in your job search!

Should You Negotiate A Job Offer On The Spot?

Should You Negotiate A Job Offer on The Spot?

So, you’ve made it through the entire job process. You get to the final interview, and the hiring manager offers you the position! Congratulations! But the panic starts to creep in. You’ve read that you should never leave anything on the table and always negotiate. Should you accept on the spot, take time to think about it, or negotiate a job offer at the moment? The good news is, you have options. And the more you know and prepare ahead of time, the more confident you’ll be when presented with a job offer!

No Matter What, Do Your Research

You cannot negotiate at any point in the job offer process without first doing your research! The best thing you can do for yourself is to thoroughly understand your worth. Head to sites like, and Glassdoor. Be sure to be specific and realistic about your job title, duties, experience, and location. Come up with a range that you feel comfortable with. What is the absolute lowest you would accept? What is your preferred salary? Additionally, be sure to consider other benefits, such as paid time off, 401k, and health coverage.

When You Shouldn’t Negotiate On The Spot

Don’t feel like you have to negotiate “just because.” If the hiring manager presents an offer within your range and you’re happy with it, accept it! Some employers are making significant strides in salary transparency and presenting their best offer upfront. If this is the case, they have recognized your value and sought to reflect that right off the bat.

If you’re partnering with a recruiter, they do the negotiating for you. A professional recruiter will discuss your desired salary range prior to receiving the offer. Further, they will choose a baseline salary at which they can accept on your behalf. You will hear our team at Johnson Search Group say, “If the offer comes in at $xx,xxx, can I accept on your behalf?”

Keep in mind; it’s always acceptable to take an offer home and think about it. This allows you to review all of the details, take a breath, discuss it with family members, and make an informed decision. If you choose to do this, however, give a specific timeline and stick to it. Typically, we recommend taking no longer than 24 hours. This shows the hiring manager that it is a priority for you, and you respect their time!

When You Should Negotiate A Job Offer On The Spot

If you feel confident in what you want, go for it. There is no reason to delay a negotiation or acceptance of a position. And, if you’ve done your research ahead of time, you should have all the tools at your disposal. Just remember to keep it professional and realistic. The last thing you want to do is offend the hiring manager by having some totally outrageous ask.

In today’s job market, it can definitely feel like a blessing to secure a job offer. However, it’s still within your rights to negotiate a fair salary! If you’re looking for more tools to add to your job search toolbelt, we’ve got you covered. Explore our candidate resources today and start the journey to the next step in your career.

Take Your Career to The Next Level

How to Take Your Career to The Next Level This Fall

It’s finally autumn; the air is a little cooler, and things are starting to calm down a little bit. With summer coming to an end, many people have a little extra time to reflect on their careers. Are you satisfied with where you are in your career? Is there anything you wish to accomplish before the years-end? Here are three ways you can successfully take your career to the next level this fall.

Set year-end goals

If you are serious about taking your career to the next level this fall, you must establish some year-end goals. There are less than three months left of 2020 (thank goodness), and that’s not a lot of time to propel your career. Take some time and seriously think about what you want to accomplish. Are you looking for a much-deserved promotion but do not know how to get to that next level? Or are you more interested in a change of scenery to better align job with your career goals? Whatever you wish to accomplish, set goals for yourself, and stick to them. These milestones will guide you through your career transformation this fall and keep you on track to achieve all your aspirations!

Hone new skills

Another excellent way to propel your career is to hone some new skills. If you want to make yourself a more valuable employee, especially during this economic turmoil, learning some new skills is a great idea. There are tons of free programs and courses online that can teach you anything from computer programming, Six Sigma, or leadership skills. Whatever skills or certifications you choose to earn, now is a great time to achieve them to set you up for success by the end of the year.

Plus, if you have year-end goals established, they will help you understand what skills you may need to obtain to get to where you want to be this quarter. Here is a list of the tops skills in 2020, if you are looking for some inspiration!

Ask for feedback

Asking for feedback is something that we often fail to do as humans. Sure, accepting constructive feedback is great, but do you ever go out of your way to ask for it? Have a conversation with your manager or one of your colleagues. Ask them if there is anything that you can do to be better in the workplace. It may surprise you how helpful and outsiders’ perspective can be! They might be able to help you identify a thing or two that will help you take your career to new heights.

Job Market Trends

Q4 Job Market Trends Amidst the Pandemic

January, February, Quarantine, October. This year has felt like a blur for many as we adjust to a new way of life. Surprisingly, we are already at the tail-end of the year, leaving many of us concerned about the rest of 2020. Although this has been a tough year, both economically and emotionally, the labor market is finally starting to rebound. Employers are slowly starting to lift their hiring freezes and bring back workers that have been on the sidelines for months. Other companies have been on a hiring frenzy to keep up with new demands and consumer lifestyles. Here are some Q4 job market trends to keep an eye on amidst the pandemic.

The competition will be tight

Even though the U.S. economy and the labor market are still in recovery mode, jobless claims rose 4,000 to 870,000 in the week ending September 17th. That puts the total number of claims to over 12.5 million. This is the lowest level of continued claims since mid-April but is still much higher than pre-pandemic levels.

As a result, millions of Americans are still out of work and will be competing for the same jobs as they slowly open back up. As competition rises, job seekers in every industry will have to be on their A-game. That means tailoring your resume, doing research, reaching out to your professional network, and putting yourself out there if you want to secure a new position by the end of the year. Employers are now in the driver’s seat for the foreseeable future, and job seekers will have to be resilient in their job search.

WFH migration

The work from home migration has been a heavy topic of discussion this year. Many employers embraced remote work, while others were resistant. Regardless of your stance, working from home is here to stay. Job postings for remote positions are skyrocketing as the pandemic lingers on, and it is encouraging a work from home migration away from big metro areas. Workers in markets such as Seattle, New York, and Silicon Valley are relocating to markets with a lower cost of living. After all, why work from an expensive, densely populated big city when you are working remotely?

This migration has a significant impact on companies’ hiring strategies and will likely impact salaries going forward. The five cities with the biggest gains in net arrivals are:

  1. Jacksonville, FL (+10.7%)
  2. Salt Lake City, UT (+9.6%)
  3. Sacramento, CA (+7.6%)
  4. Milwaukee, WI (+4.5%)
  5. Kansas City, MO (+3.9%)

The mid-west is also a hot spot for migration as workers look for a better quality of life and cheaper cost of living. However, are employers willing to pay their staff the same salaries if they move from the Bay Area to Sacramento? Job seekers will want to be conscious of this job market trend when relocating or searching for new remote positions.

Industries with the most robust outlook

Some industries were hit harder than others throughout the pandemic, while others are thriving with a new customer base and a change in consumer habits. The pandemic hit retail trade, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality the hardest. However, these are now the industries with the fastest growth and recovery rates.

Education and health services also are on the rise as many Americans are more reliant on these services. Additionally, transportation and warehousing have gone through tremendous growth as Americans shift their buying habits from brick and mortar stores to online purchases.

If you are looking for some of the hottest jobs right now, check out this article highlighting the jobs with the most demand.

Take your career to the next level

The country is still recovering, and there are still a lot of unknowns for the rest of 2020. However, these are a few job market trends that will happen in the last quarter of 2020. We asked Perry Paden, Senior Vice President of Johnson Search Group, his thoughts on hiring in Q4 and he said, “Budgets for 2021 are currently in full swing. Many companies are finding out that they have a considerable amount of their 2020 hiring budget remaining this quarter. Even though the hiring process has changed, hiring top talent has not. Many of our clients and prospective clients are struggling to find the best candidates on the market, and Johnson Search Group is here to help.”

If you are a job seeker looking to secure a new opportunity before the end of the year, look at our job board. We have hundreds of jobs available across the country, with clients looking for excellent candidates like you! Or if your department is in need of great candidates this quarter, we can help find the talent you need to end 2020 on a strong note. Partner with JSG today, and let’s take your career to the next level.

How To Answer "What Are Your Salary Requirements" In An Interview

How To Answer “What Are Your Salary Requirements?” In An Interview

This interview question continually tops the list of the most dreaded questions. No one likes talking salary – hiring managers included. However, it’s a necessary step to a successful partnership. In this case, there really are no ulterior motives. A hiring manager needs to understand your salary requirements in order to make you a competitive offer.

How To Craft Your Answer

First, it’s essential to understand your rights when it comes to answering this question. In many states, it is illegal for a company to ask you about your current salary. However, you should have a salary range at the ready when asked. This requires doing your research and understanding your value before you go into an interview. Utilize a website such as, or Glassdoor to find the standard range for your position and experience level in your area. Then, calculate an educated estimated salary based on your experience and the salary range of the posted job.

Example Answer For “What Are Your Salary Requirements?”

“With my experience and skills in this industry, I would expect to receive a salary in the range of $60,000 to $70,000 a year.”

When it comes time to present your answer – keep it simple! There will be room for negotiations down the road. Know your worth and own it!


If you’re partnering with a recruiting firm such as Johnson Search Group, we help significantly with addressing your salary requirements. From the beginning of our relationship, we’ll help you establish an appropriate range for your experience and career goals. Additionally, we discuss your range upfront with the hiring manager, leaving no room for awkward conversations. If it is brought up during the interview, you can always just request that they refer back to your recruiter.

Ready to take the next step in your career? Contact Johnson Search Group today to get started!

beef up your resume

3 Ways to Beef Up Your Resume

Are you actively updating your resume or thinking about updating it soon? If so, you’re not alone with 13.6 million people currently unemployed, as of August 2020. If you are out of work and need a new job or just browsing for a better opportunity, now is the time to get that resume in tip-top shape. There is a ton of competition in today’s labor market, and you must ensure your CV is sublime. Here are three different ways to beef up your resume.

Add your achievements and certifications

Many displaced workers have been honing new skills and earning certifications over the last several months. Have you taken any new courses or achieved a certification? If so, add those to your resume! Don’t be afraid to list out all of our skills and achievements in a nice bulleted list on your resume. Most job descriptions tell you what software you need to know or what skill sets they require. So, if you possess those attributes, spell that out right on your resume. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to tailor it to each position.

Quantify your accomplishments

Sure, you probably have a bunch of accomplishments displayed on your resume. However, are you quantifying them? You should try to quantify almost every aspect possible on your resume to really hit home your achievements and experiences. Which one of these examples sounds better to you?

  • Responsible for organizing an annual charity event
  • Led a group of eight committee members to promote, plan, and execute our company’s annual charity event that generated $157,000

Clearly, the second statement is much more impactful. Sift through your resume and find points that need to be quantified or ones that could be improved. This process is an excellent way to beef up your resume and make it stand out to hiring managers.

Add your volunteer experience

Another underappreciated addition to your resume is including volunteer experience. Millions of Americans volunteer their time for various causes every year. But during the pandemic, volunteering is up as people have more time on their hands and recognize that non-profits and other organizations are struggling as well. According to LinkedIn, U.S. members have been adding over 110,000 volunteering experiences and activities per month to their profiles over the last year.

However you choose to volunteer your time, be sure to add these experiences to your resume. It speaks truth to your character and illustrates that you decided to give back during a challenging time. Plus, you never know what kind of a bond or conversation you can have with a hiring manager over a similar volunteering experience. This is especially true if you identify that a company you apply to is big on volunteering. This can help demonstrate that you are a culture fit and kick your interview off on the right foot.