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labor market

2nd Quarter Roundup: It Remains A Tight Job Market

Can you believe that we are already halfway through the year? It’s officially summer and just like the weather, employers are feeling the blaze of today’s job market. While not as strong as the First Quarter, the job market in Q2 experienced steady growth. The unemployment rate has been hovering at 3.6 percent, a near 50-year low. Moreover, June was officially the 105th consecutive month of job gains.

The gap between job openings and available workers seeking new employment opportunities is still a headache for most employers. In April 2019, there were 1.63 million more job openings than available workers. In fact, this was the largest gap ever recorded! As you can see, the labor market is tight and doesn’t look like it’s cooling down as we enter Q3.

Check out our Second Quarter roundup of today’s candidate-driven market and learn a few ways you can navigate it, regardless if you’re an employer or a candidate.

Why Summertime is a Great Time to Hire

summertime

Summer is finally here! The days are getting longer, and the weather is getting warmer. It’s a common misconception that summertime is a notorious slow season for hiring. But in today’s job market, this simply isn’t true. Don’t believe us? Check out the Johnson Search Group job board. We have dozens of exciting opportunities across the country.

It’s time to officially get this myth out of your head! Here are a few reasons why summer is a great time for hiring, for both candidates looking for opportunities and employers searching for new talent.

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How to Attract Millennial Talent to Your Organization

How To Attract Millennial Talent To Your Organization

Many well-established companies find themselves with a new problem these days: how to attract fresh talent with new skill sets and new ideas. By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. Organizations are now having to change their approach to attract and retain these young candidates. So what can your team do to secure this majority workforce? Here are a few dos and don’ts for hiring Millennials.

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How to Negotiate in a Candidate-Driven Market

How To Negotiate In A Candidate-Driven Market

You may have heard that the current job market is “candidate-driven,” but what exactly does that mean? First and foremost, it means that there are lots of great jobs available to a limited number of qualified candidates. For people looking to advance their careers, this results in better-negotiating power when it comes to wages, incentives, location, and work-life balance. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when negotiating a new position.

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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, we 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.

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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

While I am sure there are a handful of people who love job interviews, the list of people who hate them is much longer. After all, who likes having their career, and often their character, put under a microscope for judgment? Regardless, a job interview is a necessary step in your path to a new career, and 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 that, when given, are often deal-breakers. Even if the interview has been great up to this point, saying anything relating to hating your boss or the compensation being too low raises too many questions. Without knowing you or your situation outside of this interview, the hiring manager will assume the worst about you. There are often two sides to every story and a situation where you are perfect, but your boss was the worst, is hard to swallow.

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 to create a more positive experience in your life and in the lives of those around you.

You also shouldn’t just list self-serving reasons. Employers want team players who will mesh and build their existing company culture. If someone only identifies with examples that benefit them, this is again a red flag that could have you walking out of this interview, and right back to your job search or old role.

So 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.

Jill Pittmann: What makes you passionate about mining?

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

Lukas Winslow: What position have you carried with you?

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?

Tracey Smith: Why should I submit you?

A Foolproof Post-Interview Thank-You Note Template

A Foolproof Post-Interview Thank-You Note Template

A Foolproof Post-Interview Thank-You Note Template

Did you know that sending a timely and well-written thank-note after your interview is just as important as interviewing well in the first place? In fact, 80% of HR Managers say thank-you notes are helpful when reviewing candidates, but only 24% actually receive them!

It’s also best to send it as soon as possible after your interview. You want to add to your stellar first impression while you’re still on the Hiring Manager’s mind, which is why it’s ideal to have a template locked and loaded. That way, you can simply update it with relevant details from your interview before pressing “send” and sealing the deal.

Hi (Interviewer Name,)

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I am extremely interested in the (Job Title) role, and I loved getting to hear more about (Company) and your team. I’m excited about the opportunity to (How you would add value in this role – be sure to list specific things you talked about during your interview!)

Please let me know if there’s any additional information I can provide. Thank you again for the opportunity, I look forward to hearing from you about next steps!

Pro Tip:

Add something of value that you specifically discussed during your interview. Ex: “I thought a bit more about the JSG blog and I think your audience would really respond well to a series about the best way to answer various interview questions.” This demonstrates that you are already envisioning yourself in the position and considering how you can add value.

The key is to keep it simple and express enthusiasm! It shows thoughtfulness when you reference specific points that were covered during your interview. If you were interviewed by multiple people, send them individually customized thank-you notes. In each one, reference their specific role or something you had in common. A great thank-you note will leave a lasting impression!

what's your greatest strength?

Interview Question: What’s Your Greatest Strength?

what's your greatest strength?

What is your greatest strength? This is probably one of the simplest questions you’ll be asked in an interview. However, many people struggle to answer this question effectively. It can be difficult to talk about ourselves and the interviewer is trying to take you out of your comfort zone.

Here’s what you need to know to effectively answer this question and nail your next interview!

Tie your strength into the job description

Generate a list of all the things you are good at. Even if you don’t think it’s a “real” strength, write it down. Only write down professional strengths. After all, this is an interview and no employer wants to hear that you’re great with animals or you are really good at playing tennis.

Now, review the job description and find where your strengths align with what the employer is looking for. This is the absolute best way to answer this question. Tailoring your answer to the job you are applying for will help illustrate to the interviewer that you are qualified for the position and that you’ve done your homework.

Be able to back your strengths up

The strength you choose to answer in your interview is not nearly as important as your reasoning for selecting that strength. You cannot expect your future employer to believe your answer without concrete evidence!

Begin with directly answering the question, and then shift your answer into a brief story that illustrates your skill. This is your chance to show that you are a great fit for the role and that you align with company’s values.

For example, “I would say my greatest strengths are my communication and writing skills. Having worked as a marketing specialist for over three years, I have tons of experience with writing in different voices to captivate various target audiences. As a marketing manager, I will have the ability to effectively write blogs and generate press releases to effectively communicate with different audiences.”

An answer that followers with a story will help highlight your passion while also showcasing that your experience aligns with the job description.

Be honest

This is the most important part of answering this question. I promise it will not go well if you exaggerate your answer, or worse, even blatantly lie about your strength. If you are not honest about the strength that you provide, it may make or break your interview. They will likely ask you to elaborate on your answer, sparking up a conversation that you’re not equipped to have.

Exaggerating on this answer is never a good thing. Most interviewers will see you spinning in circles as you try to play it off in your interview. It’s best to be your authentic self and provide an honest strength that is tailored to the job. The interviewer is looking past canned answers for who you really are. So, don’t be afraid to answer questions truthfully.

Now that you’ve tackled this question, click here to learn how to answer the dreaded: “What’s your biggest weakness?