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What Does Success Look Like in This Position

Post-Interview Question: What Does Success Look Like in This Position?

Why you should ask it

If you’re looking to impress your interviewers and generate insight on how your success will be measured, ask the following question in your next interview: “What does success look like in this position?” This question will let you learn what is expected of you before you even receive an offer. This could either excite you or draw some red flags. Either way, it will give you valuable information on how your success will be measured if you accept it.

When to ask it

This is a question you should typically save for the end of the interview. However, if the interviewer is beginning to discuss expectations or how your performance will be evaluated, you can then bring it up. Some interviewers, especially if they are the hiring manager, may bring up expectations at some point during the interview. If they do, that’s great! But don’t be afraid to ask for more details if it was only touched on slightly.

For example, you can ask, “You briefly touched on expectations for this position a few minutes ago. Can you please go into a little more detail on what success looks like in this position, and explain how it will be measured?” This follow-up question allows you to receive further clarification and also shows off your listening skills.

Possible outcomes

Are the expectations of you in this position clear? Are they realistic and achievable? Or, are they too easy, and you may not be challenged enough? These are all things you can answer when you ask what does success look like in this position. You want to ensure the expectations and measures of success bode well with you. You may find that the expectations are challenging, yet doable and clear enough that you can personally track your success. However, you may also find that this position isn’t the right fit for you because it won’t push you to give your best effort.

Looking for more interview questions you can ask?

If you are looking for more interview questions that you can ask at the end of your interview, we have a group of them ready to share with you. Good luck!

Video Interviews May Be The New Norm – Here’s How To Nail Them

Video Interviews May Be The New Norm – Here’s How To Nail Them

The recent global pandemic has changed how we interview and hire, not only during these uncertain times but perhaps forever! As COVID-19 sweeps the globe, employers are finding themselves scrambling to hire essential employees in order to keep their business running smoothly. But with social distancing, stay at home orders, and travel bans, that’s not as easy as it once was. Enter video interviews.

As a result of the increase in remote communication, telecommunication apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have seen increases of up to 500%. All this to say, there’s a good chance that you may have a video interview in your future. And while many of the same principles apply as in-person interviews, there are a few virtual-specific things to note to ensure that you nail your video interview.

Have a backup plan

We all know technology doesn’t always go the way we plan. There’s a chance that your internet could go down, or your microphone randomly stops working, or your computer might start an update that takes 3 hours to complete. As a precaution, make sure your interviewer knows your cell phone number and that you have your phone next to you just in case!

Set the stage

Before your interview, pick where you’ll sit for the duration of the meeting. Choose somewhere with lots of natural light and a neutral, clean background. Sit in front of your computer and turn your camera on. If you’re using a laptop, tilt your screen so that there is about a hand’s distance between your head and the top of the screen. Check out how everything looks and make adjustments as needed to lighting, what shows on the screen, and positioning. (Pro tip: run a clean microfiber cloth over your camera to get rid of any smudges – you’d be surprised at how dirty those things can get!)

Run a test

The biggest culprit of virtual meeting malfunctions is unchanged settings. It may seem obvious, but make sure your volume is turned up, and your microphone is on. If you can use good quality, discreet headphones, that often produces the best noise-canceling sound. If possible, have a friend run a test run with you! Be sure to use the same software that your interviewer has set up. After all, practice makes perfect!

Dress for success

Just because it’s a video interview doesn’t mean you get to wear pajama bottoms (sorry!). Dress for success from top to bottom. Make sure that none of your outfit elements make too much noise like bracelets or a swishy jacket. Try to limit distracting clothes or accessories, and keep your hair and face neat and clean. Not only will this ensure you look great on camera, but you’ll also feel more confident.

In the end, treat your video interview like you would any other. Be yourself, answer questions thoroughly, and always show your interest in the position and company. Interested in more interview tips? Explore more career resources here!

Interview

3 Signs Your Interview Is Going Well

You hear all sorts of interview horror stories. Interview fail stories often go viral and can leave you feeling embarrassed and isolated. More often than not, however, your interview probably went great! But how can you tell? Check out these three signs your interview is going well, and try to keep an eye out for them during your next opportunity!

The interviewer seems to go off-script

Every interviewer goes into a meeting with a set list of questions, many of which you’ve heard before. If your interviewer asks you a lot of follow up questions or seems to go a little rogue from the typical questions, that’s a good thing! Don’t be afraid to go a bit more in-depth on your answers when this happens. The hiring manager just wants to understand your skills and experiences and how they relate to the position you’re interviewing for.

Your interview goes longer than the allotted time

This is not to say that if your meeting does not extend past the original schedule that it did not go well! Many interviewers can determine you’re a great fit in a short amount of time. However, if it goes long, trust that they are interested in what you have to say! They would not waste their time on someone who hadn’t made a good impression.

They coordinate next steps

This one may seem obvious, but there’s an important distinction to note. If your interviewer tells you what the next steps are, that’s great. However, you undoubtedly made a great impression if they coordinate the next step while you’re still there! Setting up another interview, organizing a meeting with other team members, or even discussing an offer, let’s you know you nailed it.

So, how do you prepare to nail an interview? Check out our blog for more resume and interview tips.

job interview fails

3 Job Interview Fails You Can’t Recover From

A job interview is your opportunity to impress your prospective employer. And often, this is your first interaction with your potential manager. Thus, you must bring your A-game! However, once the nerves kick in, sometimes mistakes are made, and the meeting doesn’t go according to plan. Here are three job interview fails you can’t recover from and how to avoid them altogether.

Canceling or rescheduling with a lame excuse

At Johnson Search Group, we have facilitated millions of interviews with our candidates. And like most companies in this candidate-driven market, we have heard some pretty lame excuses for canceling an interview, most of which being “medical emergencies.” We get it, life happens, and sometimes you have to cancel or reschedule plans.

However, just be honest with the interviewers. If you have to cancel or are no longer interested, tell them. No company will be mad if you are honest with them. You will be saving them the headache of shifting their plans around at the last minute. And if you cancel your interview and an employer thinks you’re lying, you probably will never get a second chance with that company.

You can’t explain why you’re on the job market

If you can’t explain why you’re on the hunt for a new job, you won’t make a good impression on the hiring manager. This question will likely surface in every interview, and it says a lot about you as a candidate. So, whether you’re unemployed, recently fired, or just looking for another job, you need to be able to explain why you’re looking for new opportunities (and why you’re a great fit!). And whatever you do, never badmouth a current or previous employer. It will leave a bad taste in the employer’s mouth.

Create distractions during your interview

A big-time job interview fail is creating distractions during your interview. Eliminate them at all costs by thinking about anything that could distract the interviewers. Turn your phone off to ensure a text message doesn’t interrupt your conversation. Have good posture, make direct eye contact, and try not to fidget in your chair or nervously tap your feet. Failing to sit still is distracting to everyone in the room, so even if you do so subconsciously, try to sit calmly.

Most importantly, dress appropriately for your interview. If you are in a professional setting, wear a suit and tie or a skirt. If you at an on-onsite walkthrough of a manufacturing floor or industrial environment, wear proper shoes and protective gear as necessary. Essentially, wear the proper outfit for the environment you are interviewing in to ensure your dress code doesn’t create any hiccups.

JSG has tons of job interview advice

Most job seekers have mucked up an interview at one point or another. After all, we are all human. But if you can avoid these three job interview fails, you will make a great first impression and set yourself up for a successful meeting. Good luck, and if you need more interview advice, check out our blog section discussing the best interview tips and tricks.

Do You Have The Most In-Demand Soft Skills of 2020?

Do You Have The Most In-Demand Soft Skills of 2020?

LinkedIn has released its list of the most in-demand skills for 2020. This is a comprehensive list created by “identifying the skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting hired at the highest rates.” So if you want to secure a new role in 2020, you’re going to want to highlight your soft skills just as much as your other qualifications. However, you’ll want to do more than simply list these essentials on your resume. Here are the top 5 soft skills you’ll need to tout this year, and how to best demonstrate them to a hiring manager.

1. Creativity

Creativity is best explained through examples. It’s one thing to say you’re creative, but it makes much more of an impact to show it. Throughout the hiring process, take the opportunity to tell a story about a time when you used creativity to solve a problem at work. Or, if appropriate with your field of work, include a portfolio with your application that showcases your creative works.

2. Persuasion

The best way to show off your persuasion skills during your job search is by selling yourself! From the moment you apply to when you have that offer letter in hand, you need to be persuading the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job. One of our favorite ways to do this is through your post-interview thank-you note. Use this opportunity to recap your interview and reiterate why you’re a great candidate.

3. Collaboration

Collaboration is so important to employers because they want to ensure you are capable of working on a team. List collaborative team projects on your resume to highlight your teamwork skills. Even better, include people you have collaborated with on your references list so they can speak directly to your abilities!

4. Adaptability

Adaptability can be tricky to demonstrate during the application process. Many employers are using behavioral interview questions to determine if candidates have the soft skills they’re looking for. Wait for a question like “tell us about a time when things didn’t go as planned and how you handled it.” This is your chance to show your adaptability!

5. Emotional Intelligence

This is the only new soft skill to appear on the list this year. Emotional intelligence is a rather complicated skill, comprised of a mix of “self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation.” There will be multiple times throughout a hiring process for you to highlight this subtle art. Take every chance you can to show your emotional intelligence. Most importantly, actively listen and don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. Employers value honesty!

Now that you’ve mastered the top soft-skills of 2020, check out our post on the top hard-skills of the year!

Interviewers

The Top 10 Things Interviewers Are Looking For

There’s no arguing that interviews can be stressful. However, they are the perfect opportunity for a company to evaluate whether or not you will be a good fit for their needs. Sometimes it can be challenging to understand what exactly interviewers are looking for when they ask specific questions or conduct an interview a certain way. In an attempt to demystify it a bit, here are ten things that interviewers are looking for throughout your meeting. 

Do you want this job? 

Okay, this first one may seem obvious. However, it’s not always as simple as it looks! When an interviewer asks you what you know about the company, or what interests you most about the position, they are trying to determine how serious you are. Make sure you do your due diligence on the company and the job before the interview! 

Can you think on your feet? 

You know those crazy situational interview questions like “how many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building?” These questions don’t necessarily require a “right” answer. Instead, interviewers are looking to see how well you think on your feet. Feel free to walk through your thought process out loud! 

Do you listen well? 

Interviewers will pick up on thoughtful answers and follow up questions that link back to previously mentioned topics. Try to take mental notes throughout the interview of anything that you can refer to later on! 

Do you have the necessary experience? 

Of course, this is the baseline of any interview, right? When interviewers are asking questions regarding your experience, go beyond the basics. The more examples and numbers you can use, the better! 

Are you trainable? 

You may be an expert in your field, but employers still want team members that are coachable! Use the interview as an opportunity to demonstrate that you are willing to jump into an unknown situation and learn as you go. 

Are you in it for the long haul? 

Companies are on the hunt for committed employees. Unless it’s a contract position, they are not interested in hiring someone “for now.” Convince your interviewers that you’re in it for the long haul by referring back to your knowledge about the organization and position and speaking to future related goals. 

Is your working style compatible? 

Are you a team player, or would you prefer to work independently? Do you desire lots of direction, or would you rather experiment and figure things out on your own? No matter what the answer is, your interviewer wants to know how you’ll work within their team dynamic. Try to determine what the team structure is like and formulate your response to fit accordingly. 

Will you be a culture fit? 

This is a big one! Hiring managers are all about culture these days. Often, employers would rather hire someone who is a culture fit but needs a little training over someone who won’t fit but checks every skill box. Again, the more you know about the company, the better! 

How do you measure and celebrate accomplishments? 

It’s common for interviewers to ask about your favorite project or something that makes you feel especially proud. For this answer, consider every aspect, including giving team members credit, precisely what made it a success, and how you wish to replicate such wins in the future!

How do you handle stressful situations? 

As we mentioned in the beginning, interviews are stressful! How you react throughout the meeting will say a lot about you as a candidate. Keep in mind that your body language, interactions with support staff, and the ability to be flexible will all contribute to this impression.

Video: The top things interviewers are looking for

Interview, Interview Tips, Interview Advice

3 Things To Avoid During An Interview

Interview, Interview Tips, Interview Advice

When you go into an interview, it’s important to put your best foot forward. That being said, there are a few things you should try to avoid during this prime opportunity to make a first impression. And no, we don’t mean the more obvious stuff like no cursing or dressing unprofessionally. These mistakes are more subtle, but will still leave a strong impact on Hiring Managers.

Filler Words

We are all familiar with the typical “filler words” you are advised to avoid: um, uh, like, hm, etc. However, there are a few more phrases that candidates habitually use that are a turn-off for Hiring Managers. One filler phrase that we have noticed popping up more frequently is “you know what I mean?”

It’s often hard to self-evaluate and determine whether you use a filler word or phrase. The best way to discover whether you do or not is to record a mock interview and listen to your answers! Once you’re aware of what your go-to words are, it will be much easier to avoid them in a formal setting.

Negative Tone

You want to make a positive first impression, right? Well, using a negative tone throughout your interview will have the exact opposite effect. Avoid speaking about your former employers or jobs unfavorably, even if that’s the reason you’re hunting for a new position. Instead, focus on the positive aspects that you are looking for in your next role!

Casual Language

No matter what stage of the interview process you are in, you should never let your guard down. If you are in the office for an “informal meet-and-greet,” out to lunch with the team, or even negotiating the final details of your offer, it’s essential to remain professional. This extends from how you dress to your language choices, and even to topics of conversation. It’s best to avoid casual language such as “awesome,” “totally,” and “you guys.”

If you have an upcoming interview and need a little refresher, check out some of our top job interview prep advice. We have dozens of tips and tricks to set you up for success!

These Interview Questions Will Reveal The Most About Candidates

When interviewing candidates, not every question is created equal. If you’re referencing an outdated list of interview questions that you found on the internet, you’re doing yourself (and your candidates) a disservice. A focused list of purposeful questions can reveal a lot about a candidate and how they’ll fit into your open position.

Behavioral questions

These questions typically begin with, “tell me about a time…” Your aim is to have the candidate explain past situations and how they handled them. Try to customize the question to accurately represent situations they would encounter if they were to join your team. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
  • Tell us about a time when you did not meet a customer’s expectations. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
  • When you’re working with a large number of customers, it can be difficult to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your customers’ needs?
  • Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?
  • Explain a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities.
  • Tell us about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it was a hit.
  • Describe your proudest professional accomplishment.

Personalized questions

Questions that directly relate to a candidate’s resume and experience will always reveal a lot about them and how they’ll function at your company. Try asking them to expand on statistics listed on their resume. Additionally, choose projects they’ve worked on that are especially pertinent to the role they’re interviewing for and ask them to elaborate.

We encourage you to continue asking personalized interview questions throughout your entire meeting. If something a candidate says sparks your interest, don’t be afraid to follow up and ask for more information.

Application questions

Every company and every team has unique situations that your employees run into. Be sure to ask your candidates real-world application questions that could be a part of their everyday life if they secure this job. Maybe there’s a project that your team is currently brainstorming. Ask the candidate about their ideas or how they would approach that particular situation.

Video Interview? Here Are 5 Ways You Need To Prepare

Video Interview? Here Are 5 Ways You Need To Prepare

Video Interview? Here Are 5 Ways You Need To Prepare

In this day and age, video interviews are becoming more and more standard practice. As the competition for hiring increases, managers are looking to streamline the hiring process however they can. If you get scheduled for a video interview, don’t fret! Follow these 5 preparation tips and you’ll be well on your way to landing that next step in your career.  

Practice, practice, practice 

One of the most difficult things about a video interview is the propensity for technological issues. From slow internet to software slipups, there are so many tech obstacles that can arise. The best way to head these off is by practicing ahead of time. Make sure you download any necessary software and try to run through a trial connection. Hardwire your computer, if possible. The stronger your connection, the better! 

Prepare like it’s an in-person interview 

A video interview is between a phone interview and an in-person interview. Thus, you should be prepared for anything. Your interviewer may ask some more in-depth questions. One advantage of a video interview is that you can have some quick notes up on your screen.  Just be sure to keep them concise, so you’re not spending the entire interview reading! 

Dress for success 

Just because you’re able to do a video interview from the comfort of your own home, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You still need to dress in full professional attire, from head to toe. Stick with neutral colors and plain patterns. Not only will this help you look sharp on screen, but it will also give your confidence a boost! 

Clear the background 

It’s absolutely essential that you have a minimalist background for your video interview. Make sure there’s no clutter and that you are in a professional setting. Interviewers don’t want to see bed pillows behind you! If you can, try to set up in an office or at a kitchen table with tasteful décor. 

Send a thank you note immediately 

This one stands true for all interviews, but is definitely worth repeating! After your video interview, you’ll already be settled at your computer. Take the opportunity to type of a quick thank you note to your interviewer. Don’t forget to include details from your interview that will help set you apart and leave a memorable impression. 

soft skills

In Today’s Job Market, Soft Skills Are Just as Valuable as Hard Skills

soft skills

Before you apply to a new job, you’re most likely thinking about the hard skills you have that make you qualified. In other words, the exact experience you’ve had that pertains to this certain position. But do you also think about your soft skills that make you even more valuable?

A job isn’t just about the schooling, experience, and the things you know how to do. It encompasses a lot more than that. Having good personal skills are what makes you a great employee. So, instead of just focusing on your hard skills while looking for a job, here’s how to also quantify your soft skills as being just as valuable.

Stress your soft skills

When it comes to interviews it’s important to remember both your hard skills and soft ones. They make you the employee you are, and companies want to know about them. If you only focus on one or the other, you’ll lose a tremendous opportunity to show your full value and what you can offer to their team.

Stressing your soft skills in today’s job market will help you get the job. Great talent is hard to find. If you have a solid foundation of the hard skills they need, and great soft skills that they want, they’ll want to grab you in a hurry before someone else does. It all comes down to selling yourself and your skills. All of your skills.

You may not have the experience, but you have the foundation

You may have applied for a position where you don’t have all the experience or the background in every part of the job description they’re looking for. But that doesn’t mean you’re not qualified!

Your soft skills can get you over that hurdle, to where the team you’re interviewing with doesn’t focus on your lack of hard skills but realizes your valuable soft skills. Anyone can learn a new skill, especially if they have skills in that field already. Teaching someone soft skills is almost impossible, and if you leverage that, you never know what might happen in your career!

Today’s job Market allows your soft skills to stand out

Companies are struggling to find great candidates to fill their critical roles because there is a talent shortage. The best candidates are the ones with jobs nowadays. Which means companies are having to reach out to those who already have good jobs to see if they’re willing to transition.

So, when they find a candidate who may not have all the experience they’re wanting but has great soft skills, they will jump! No one is wanting to miss out on a great candidate who will help their company grow for something that can be taught. And if you are an employer that does miss out on great candidates, you could suffer by leaving your critical roles vacant.

In the end, use your soft skills to your advantage. Focus on them and try to improve them just like you do with your hard skills. You’ll be surprised to see the impact not only on your current position but your future roles as well.

And remember, if you’re looking to partner with great recruiters, reach out to Johnson Search Group today!