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before your interview

What to do the Night Before Your Interview

Congratulations, you’ve landed an interview! If you’re anything like the rest of us, you’ll probably have some pre-interview jitters the night before. However, there are a few things you can do to prepare ahead of time and help calm those nerves. Here are a few of our favorite “night before” routines!

Prepare Your Outfit

The last thing you want to do the morning of a big interview is run around trying to assemble your best outfit and make sure they are ready to go. Pick out what you’re going to wear, get everything ironed or steamed, and even select your accessories. Are you taking a purse or briefcase? Ensure that everything you need is packed. We recommend a pen and notebook, extra copies of your resume, and maybe a water bottle. That way, when you wake up, you can walk out the door with ease and confidence!

Research The Company

You may already know a lot about the company you’re interviewing with, but it’s still essential to brush up on recent news. On top of reviewing their website and the job description, do a quick Google Search. Have they been featured in the news recently? Check out their different social media pages for recent updates that you can mention during the interview. It may even inspire a great interview question!

Review Interview Questions

While there’s no way to tell precisely what the interviewer will ask, it can’t hurt to review common interview questions. There are a few questions like “why do you think you’d be a good fit for this job?” or “what’s your biggest weakness?” that come up frequently. Mull over these questions and strategize about how you would answer. Then, if they do come up, you won’t be completely caught off guard!

Take A Final Look At The Interview Details

On top of researching the company, review the final details of the interview. Make sure you know who you are meeting with, where you are going, and where you should park. If there’s anything you’re unsure about, make a note to call the receptionist in the morning! As a final step, type the address into your preferred Maps app and get an approximate travel time so you can plan ahead. We recommend getting there at least 15 minutes early to give yourself some wiggle room for the unknowns!

Last but not least, get a good night’s rest! You want to make sure you’re on, you’re A-game for every interview, and that starts with a restful night of sleep.

The Best Way to Take Time Off For Interviews

The Best Way To Take Time Off For Interviews

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know that now is a wonderful time to put yourself on the job market. There are tons of great opportunities out there, and companies are looking to hire quickly! The market is so great, in fact, that you may find yourself juggling multiple interviews at a time for a few different positions. This can be a bit of a burden to your schedule if you are currently employed. Even though you are on the hunt for your next step, you don’t necessarily want to destroy your relationship with your current employer. There are a couple of different ways you can respectfully take time to interview while maintaining a reliable reputation.

Schedule your interview for off-hours

This method is undoubtedly preferred as you don’t have to make excuses for taking time off. However, it is not always possible to coordinate with a potential employer’s schedule. If you have a flexible working schedule, try to incorporate a time that will work for both of you. This may be before or after your typical working hours, or even during a lunch hour. Some less traditional employers (healthcare facilities, for example) can even accommodate weekend or evening interviews depending on when the hiring manager is in the office.

Use your paid time off (PTO)

This is the most common way to schedule time for interviews. We can all agree that it never feels good to flat out lie to your current employers about where you’re going. That’s why it is our recommendation to be as vague as possible. If you can request time off for “an appointment,” you give a valid excuse without being deceitful.

If you go this route, we do recommend trying to schedule your interview at the end of your workday, or better yet, take the whole day off. The more time you have to prepare ahead of your interview, the better. It’s also preferred not to have to go back to your current job after interviewing. That way, you can take the time to write a thoughtful thank you note, and you can typically dodge any questions about where you were.

Partner with a recruiter

One of the significant advantages of partnering with a recruiting firm to find your next position? Having someone on your side to help with scheduling! Recruiting firms are often working directly with the hiring manager and have the ability to schedule interviews based on what works best for both candidates and the companies they work with. Ready to start your search for the next big step? Contact us today!

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. 

interview prep

How to Prepare for Your Next Interview

interview prep

Do you have an upcoming job interview? If so, proper interview prep is one of the most critical contributions to successfully landing a new job opportunity. Today, I want to share what I believe is the most valuable part of the interview process: the prep. Prepping for your job interview helps you as a candidate land your dream job. Getting an interview is sometimes the hardest part. Although this may be true, it’s not uncommon for qualified candidates not to be selected for the job. This is all due to them not being prepared for their big day.

No matter what industry or stage of the interviewing process, it’s always wise to prep for your upcoming interview. Here are three tips to help you nail your next interview.

Know your audience

Doing your due diligence on the prospective employer and interviewers is one of the most important things you can do in preparing for your interview. Researching the employer is easy. Do some research through their company website, look at the company history, their mission statement, and any recent news or events. Employers like to see that you know about their company; they also want to know that you’ve taken the time to educate yourself on their operation.

The personnel part can be tricky. You can use sources like LinkedIn or Glassdoor to get a better insight into who you are interviewing with and how the interview will go. Look at their background,  previous companies, and education to see if you can draw any connections or commonalities. Knowing about your interviewers will help relieve some of the pressure and help you interview more confidently.

Questions

Although many of your questions will likely be covered in the interview, it’s important to still ask the interviewers questions regarding the position. This is where knowing your audience comes into play. After you ask all your job-specific and technical questions that are important to you, I recommended asking questions about company culture, obstacles new hires often face, among others. If you need some ideas on what questions you should ask, check out some of these.

We do also recommend not bringing up compensation or benefits during the interview. These questions can often be answered by HR at another time, or if you are working with a recruiter, like one from Johnson Search Group, they can provide that information.

Closing (the fun part!)

Assuming the interview goes well, and you’ve made the determination that you want to work for the employer, it’s time to seal the deal. Now, this can be done in many ways and can be difficult for the interviewee (you) at times. We recommend being very direct, readdressing your interest in the position, and letting them know that you’re ready to move forward.

Illustrate your interest in the position and the company. Let them know you’re excited about the opportunity and ready to jump onboard. Make sure you follow up each interview with a thank you note. Whether it’s a video interview or a face-to-face, be sure to express your gratitude and interest in the position.

I hope some of these interview prep tips will help improve your chances of securing your dream job! Good luck!

why are you leaving your current job

“Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?” Interview Question

why are you leaving your current job

A job interview is a necessary step in your path to a new career. With some insight and study, it’s the perfect place to demonstrate why you’re the right candidate for a job. The questions asked may differ interview to interview and industry to industry, but there are a number of mainstays that are worth brushing up on.

Chances are good that the job you will be interviewing for is not your first job. It’s even more likely that you are currently employed elsewhere, and this interview itself is another step closer to your exit from your current employer. So, don’t be surprised when they ask, “Why are you leaving your current job?” or, “Why did you leave your last role?”

Employers ask this question for several reasons. The entire purpose of the interview is to gauge your skills, but it’s also to get to know you better and gauge your fit at the company. Why you decide to leave can paint a clearer picture of things like what drives you and how you deal with confrontation. They also hope to detect and avoid serial job hoppers, who are becoming increasingly common in this economy and the hot job market.

How Should I Answer?

There are a few answers that are red-flags to a hiring manager. Even if the interview has been great up to this point, a poorly worded answer to this question could be a deal-breaker. The main thing you want to avoid is bad-mouthing your current or past employers. Without knowing you or your situation outside of this interview, it could very well leave a bad taste in the hiring manager’s mouth.

Instead, focus on positives. Does this new position offer better professional growth or opportunities otherwise not available to you in your current role? Does this new company’s mission align more closely with your core beliefs and values? Maybe it’s closer to home? Whatever your answer, make it clear that you’re looking for more in your future, whether that’s growth, challenges, or a supportive team.

For bonus points on this question, think beyond yourself. Employers want team players who will mesh and build their existing company culture. Thinking ahead to how you could make an impact on the team and the company as a whole shows forethought. It will also have the hiring manager picturing you as an employee, which is always a good thing!

Hopefully, you’re a little more prepared to answer why are you leaving your current job in your upcoming interview. And if you need more help prepping for your interview, check out some of our job interview pointers.

phone interview

Phone Interview Tips You Can’t Ignore

phone interview

So, you finally decided to test the waters of today’s competitive job market. You’ve read the reports, there are more jobs than available people to fill them. You apply for a few jobs that piqued your interest and you finally get a phone interview scheduled. If it’s been a while since your last phone interview, here are a few tips to ensure you ace it and move onto the next round in the hiring process.

Remove all distractions

This may be obvious but remove all distractions from the room. Don’t just go in the other room. Try to go somewhere quiet where there will be no sudden barking from your furry friend or kids screaming in the background. Get your surroundings as quiet as possible. Turn of the tv, clear off any messes and eliminate anything else that could possibly distract you from your conversation.

And if you can, us a landline to ensure you have the best connection possible. If you don’t get great reception on your cell phone at home, go somewhere that does. The last thing you want is your call to drop in the middle of the interview.

Have a pen and paper handy

Make sure you have a pen and paper ready to take notes during your conversation. Jot down some thoughts during your call so you have talking points later in the hiring process. These notes may also come in handy when writing your thank you note after your phone call. And your next interview may not be for a couple of weeks, so don’t rely on your memory to remember everything you learned during your phone call.

Have a copy of your resume in front of you

It’s always a good idea to have a copy of your resume in front of you. Why? Because the hiring manager or HR professional will probably be asking you questions based on your resume. Even if you think you have it memorized, it’s best to have a copy of it at your disposal so you can refer it during your phone interview.

And if you’re in need of some tips for crafting a killer resume, here are a few to keep in mind.

Be humble

Always be polite, courteous, and humble throughout the phone interview. Employers aren’t just looking at your technical or hard skills; they’re looking for candidates that will be a good culture fit. If you’re rude or arrogant during your conversation, you’ll probably get passed on. Always be kind and be sure to thank whoever you are speaking to for the opportunity at the end of your conversation.

Follow up with a thank you note

Be sure to follow up your interview with a thank you note! Send a quick email to your interviewer shortly after your conversation. Thank them for their time and highlight something you enjoyed speaking with them about. Trust me, a thank you note will go a long way, even in this tight market.

interview

You Got That Interview You Wanted – Now What?

interview

You’ve been applying, and in today’s market, there is no shortage of jobs that could grab your attention. In fact, the latest JOLTS Report announced that 7.6 million job openings were created in January 2019. The company or the recruiter that brought you there has set up an interview with you. What should you do to prepare for the big day?

Here’s how to prep for your interview

I like to look at things in a goals/desired outcome scenario.

What is the goal of applying for a job? To receive an offer, right? To do this, it’s often best to break things down into steps. In most cases, the first interview will be one step and very rarely will you receive an offer after the first interview.

With that said, look at the goal of the first interview as having the purpose of getting to the next one. Do your research on the company, the people you’re meeting with, and be prepared to speak intelligently to the things you know that could make you a fit for the company in the interview.

Make the most of your time

A first interview is often only thirty minutes or an hour at most. Maximize that time by learning what your prospective employer is struggling with, or why they’re looking to fill the role and highlight what you have done in your career that relates to that. With introductions and pleasantries, a portion of your time will be used up.

Make the most of what you have by asking solid questions about what they’re looking for to see if you truly relate. It will make you a stronger candidate in the long-run. Or, may even help you realize that this isn’t the role for you after all.

Good luck! And if you need some help with that first interview, check out some of our guides to a successful interview.

Value during an Interview

Value – How to Demonstrate Your Value During an Interview

Value during an Interview

The interview is your chance to shine. And to make sure you hit it out of the park, there are a few things you need to focus on. You need confidence, experience, and you must bring value during an interview. However, you can demonstrate your value in different ways. And it can be the one thing you do that leaves the interviewers with a good lasting impression on why they should hire you.

Share Your Experience

Why will you be valuable? If you answer this question without having to be asked, you hit a point that is pertinent to why you’re there in the first place. They are not just looking for someone to fill an empty role. They’re looking for someone to bring value to their team and help them accomplish the things they need to accomplish. If you can show how your experience will get that done for them, your value will shine.

Ask questions

Ask questions about what they’re wanting you to accomplish if you receive this role. Make it about them and their needs and explain how you can accomplish that. Remembering that an interview is a two-way street to see if the job is also a fit for you and your abilities is important. In this job market, you have plenty of opportunities, so make sure you get down to what they are looking for and if you really can accomplish that for them, is important.

The best part about asking questions is you take the interview from a nervous/serious time to a more comfortable, friendly environment. And everyone will enjoy that.

Culture Fit

You can show a tremendous amount of value if you prove that you would fit great with their culture. Nowadays, there are a lot of different working environments. Some that are great and some that are terrible. But depending on your working style you can be just fine in either. It just matters to you if you mesh well. And this is also a very valuable thing to companies. No matter their reputation, they are always trying to bring in good people that will help improve the culture. And if you can show that you’re that person, it will only help you.

Independent

Being an independent worker is something that a lot of companies are looking for. They want to know that you don’t need to be micromanaged to get your work done. They want to know that you have enough self-discipline to meet deadlines without needing constant help or oversight. Explain how you like to work and point out your independent tendencies.

If you can demonstrate your value during a job interview, you will definitely make a lasting impression on the interviewers. If you need more help preparing for your upcoming interview, we have tons of resources to help you nail that interview and land the job. Good luck!

JSG Spills Our Favorite Interview Questions

Our team talks to thousands of candidates day in and day out. It’s our job to have conversations with and evaluate hundreds of people for each position to get to the one or two candidates that will make an immediate impact into an organization. From this process, each one of our Account Executives has narrowed down a favorite interview question that really helps them get to know who they’re talking to. We’ve asked them to spill the beans and share those favorite interview questions (and some even gave the answers they look for!)

Mining

Jeremy Johnson: Can you do the job? Would you do the job? Will you relocate?

Ken Heller: Tell me about your background.

Alex Price: Why did you join the mining industry?

Dana Belstler: Where do you see yourself going?

Jeremy Johnson: Explain your job in layman’s terms.

Banking

Krista Portolesi: Why are you looking for a new opportunity?

Mike Muglia: What does your next opportunity look like?

Tracy Isakson: Doesn’t really have a specific question – asks a series of questions to really understand each candidate on a deeper level.

Healthcare

Michelle Smith: What do you like to do for hobbies?

Dallas Williams: What does relocation look like for you?