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You Were Fired – Now What?

You Were Fired – Now What?

Being fired is an experience no one wants to have, but during our careers, it does sometimes happen. Disbelief, anger, depression, and resolve are usually the feelings that occur during this unfortunate event. But there is another feeling that can surface, which you cannot share with friends, family, or work acquaintances: humiliation.  

Your confidence level is down

When you start your job search, the typical reaction is to hide the reason you left your last position. As a recruiter, I run into many individuals who struggle with how to answer this question. 

An unprepared candidate will inevitably stammer and struggle with an answer. This is a severe RED FLAG to recruiters and companies.

Don’t avoid the elephant in the room

If you are working with a recruiter, be honest about your situation. 

Being fired will not necessarily disqualify you for the opportunity. Sharing this information with your recruiter will allow them to access the facts and help you formulate a cohesive answer that should satisfy the interviewer, and thus, will enable you to advance through the hiring process. If you are not working with a recruiter, take the time to write out a brief explanation that makes sense. The key is to make the answer concise and coherent, which comes across as a valid explanation.  

Never lie on your resume or to the interviewer

If you lie, you might as well kiss your opportunity goodbye. Lies ultimately surface and are exposed, and whether it is before or after you are hired, it will tarnish your reputation. Humbleness goes a long way. If the situation was so severe that a generalized statement can’t overcome the concern, you might have no choice but to explain what happened. Never come across angry or as the victim when sharing your story – this will be a deal-breaker. 

Take ownership, acknowledge it is a learning experience, and move on.

 JSG is here to help

Johnson Search Group is a valued partner to many companies in the Mining, Banking, and Healthcare sectors. Whether you are a hiring manager in need of qualified candidates, or a job searcher looking for your next opportunity, we are here to help – give us a call.

Unique Interview Questions and Why Interviewers Ask Them

Unique Interview Questions and Why Interviewers Ask Them

Your interview is going great; you came prepared and have the questions you want to ask them in your mind. The interviewer has discussed the position, the company, benefits, and everything else in between. You could walk away right now, fully aware of the company’s goals and mission and how you can contribute to that. In short, you are confident and feel good. Then the interviewer throws you a curveball: One of the weirdest or most unique questions you’ve ever been asked… “If you could be any dog breed, what breed would you be and why?” So, why are hiring managers asking these unique interview questions?

What is the point of asking unique interview questions?

More and more companies are shifting their hiring strategies, and with that can come some curveballs for candidates. Asking strange or off-the-wall interview questions alongside more serious questions can reveal different things about a candidate; they allow hiring managers to see how candidates respond to unexpected situations, showcasing their creativity and flexibility. They are an excellent way to break the ice and help an employee relax at the beginning of an interview or ask them at the end to conclude the conversation on a positive note.

How to respond

When it comes to funny interview questions, the answer is usually not important. Hiring managers are not looking for the correct answer; they are looking at how you arrived there. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare your response:

  • Take your time. Don’t feel pressured to come up with an answer right away. You want to show the interviewer that you are thinking about it thoroughly and not just saying the first thing that came to mind.
  • Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Opening the conversation allows you to better understand what is being asked.
  • Walk them through it. It is all about the process, after all! They want to hear how you solve it, not necessarily just your answer.
  • Engage with the interviewer. These out of the box questions are meant to be interactive, so it doesn’t have to be one-sided.

What now?

Wrapping up an interview successfully after you have made it past all the questions is pivotal. It is essential not to forget to:

Working with a team of recruiters that value your career as much as they value their own, like those from Johnson Search Group, is an excellent way to prepare for your next interview. Reach out to me at icarogarcia@nulljsirecruit.com if you are ready to take your career to the next level.

interview

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.

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!

what are the next steps

Post-Interview Question: What Are the Next Steps?

Why you should ask it

“What are the next steps in the interview process?” This question is great to ask as your job interview wraps up. Some interviewers will voluntarily share this information with you at the end of your meeting. However, if your interview is more conversational, this answer can sometimes slip away. As a candidate, you must know the next steps of the interview process, so you know what to expect moving forward.

When to ask it

The only appropriate time to ask this question is at the very end of your interview. Like we mentioned above, your interviewers may address this at some point in the interview. But if you are wrapping things up and it wasn’t discussed, now is the time to fire away.

Possible outcomes

Are they looking to fill this position immediately? Or are they taking their time to find the right candidate? These are answers you will likely get after you ask this question. You need to know when you can expect the next step in the process  – especially if you have multiple interviews lined up.

Your interviewers might even give you a detailed response that can help you prepare for the next step. For example, they may share that the next step in the interview process is a panel interview. This allows you to ask who will be a member of that panel. Then, you can do a little homework and get to know them before your next interview. This will help you get a better feel for your audience, possibly make you more comfortable the day of, and help you find things that you can relate to them.

Note: you can also ask about the next steps of the interview process in a follow-up email if you are still waiting to hear back from the hiring manager.

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!

job interview killers

3 Common Job Interview Killers

With over 44 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits over the last 12 weeks, there will soon be literally millions of workers hitting the job boards. That means, if you’re on the job market, the competition will be heating up for the top positions in your industry. As a result, you cannot afford to make any interview mistakes while on the post-pandemic job market. Here are three common job interview killers that you must avoid at all costs to secure a job in today’s challenging economic climate.

Arriving late or not at all

This is one of the worst job interview killers. If you arrive late or completely ghost your interview completely, it will put a bad taste in the hiring manager or HR professional’s mouth. With so much competition right now, they might simply pass on you for your lack of prudence. We get it; things happen unexpectedly. However, to mitigate this, plan on arriving 15 minutes early. That way, if you run into some unexpected traffic or construction, you will have enough wiggle room to make it on time. And if you’re early, use that spare time to go over the job description, the company’s social media, or their website.

Because of the pandemic, there’s a good chance your interview will be in a virtual format. Ensure your equipment is ready to go, you have a strong internet connection, and that you are in a clean, quiet space. Startup the application early as your interviewers will likely be waiting for you a few minutes early.

If you, unfortunately, have to cancel your interview, call your contact who set up the interview immediately. The sooner you tell your interviewers, the better the outcome will be. Do your best to peg down a new date and do it as quickly as possible.

Failing to answer common interview questions

If you were laid off because of the Coronavirus, you might not have had a job interview in a while. Don’t fret – you just need to shake the rust off! Go over common interview questions and prepare an answer for them. Write your answers out as it will help you remember what you’d like to say (muscle memory!). Read your answers out loud, and it will help you answer these questions in person with confidence.

Here’s a collection of some of the most common interview questions with tips on answering them successfully!

Not armed with a few questions

At the end of almost every job interview, you will be asked, “So, what questions do you have for us?” If you really want to make a good impression, you must come with some questions to ask. Hopefully, as your interview goes on, you will be able to come up with some questions to ask later. However, if your meeting is more conversational, you may have already asked them. That’s why it’s imperative to have questions prepared beforehand.

These can be questions about the role, the company culture or team dynamic, the organization’s volunteering opportunities, or mentorship – the list goes on and on. The important thing is to ask thoughtful, relevant questions to show your interest in the role and the company.

Ready to put your skills to the test?

These are just a few common job interview killers; however, if you take the time to prepare for your interview and arrive punctually, you will be in good shape! If you’re ready to put your skills to the test, check out our job board! We have dozens of exciting job opportunities available across the country.

Job Market Guide for the COVID-19 Crises

Your Job Market Guide for the COVID-19 Crises

Whether you are a job seeker or an employer, now is a trying time for us all. The workplace is looking different for many Americans across the country as they work from home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Others, are not so lucky, and are, unfortunately, out of work as some states remain in lockdown to keep their citizens safe from the pandemic. This has forced over 30 million hardworking Americans to file for unemployment claims over the last six weeks. This is uncharted waters for the majority of us, and as a result, there are people struggling to make the best of this situation. To help aid both job seekers and hiring managers, we have compiled some helpful resources to help you navigate today’s market. Here’s your job market guide for the COVID-19 crises.

What to do if you’ve been laid off

What to Do If You’ve Been Laid Off

The BLS reported today that another 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the week that ended April 11. So, since mid-March, over 22 million Americans have filed for initial unemployment benefits, shattering the previous record from 2009. If you’re unfortunately one of these millions of hardworking professionals out of work due to COVID-19, it can be discouraging. However, we have a few easy suggestions for you to make the best of a rough situation. Here’s what to do if you’ve been laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

How employers are hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic

hiring during the COVID-19

Over the last three weeks, I have had hundreds of conversations with some of my clients and hiring managers. We have discussed their strategy for hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are weathering this unprecedented storm. Although the impact varies for each company based on their industry and location, they’re falling into one of two camps: it’s either business as usual or they’re pumping the brakes.

How to nail your video interview

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.

The job description that will get you a great candidateThe Job Description That Will Get You A Great Candidate Post COVID-19

Today’s age will make a significant change in how companies recruit and hire employees. In fact, it will probably be easy to look back and see a clear definition of pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 hiring practices. But just because the hiring landscape is changing, doesn’t mean you have to be left behind. Get a head start on the competition by revamping your job descriptions TODAY. Incorporate these three things into your job description to secure top talent in this uncharted hiring territory.

How COVID-19 will shape the future workplace

COVID-19 Will Shape the Future Workplace

There is no disputing that the coronavirus has shaken up the workforce. The viral pandemic has made working from home the new norm for millions of workers. Thousands of employers have been encouraging or mandating employers to work remotely the last two months or so, and with the virus still hitting the labor market hard, working from home may last a few more. As a result, this shift in working environments is going to have a permanent impact even after the virus is no more. Here are three ways COVID-19 will shape the future workplace.

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.

job search tips

4 Job Search Tips You Must Know in 2020

Are you looking to reach new career heights this year? If so, you’re not alone. During the first of the year, there are more job openings than any other time of the year. According to a recent report from ZipRecruiter, job postings in January and February typically increase by nearly 15%. In other words, now is a great time to kick off your job search. If you want to get a leg up on the competition, here are four job search tips you must know in 2020.

Networking

Many job seekers underestimate the power of networking. The internet has made it so much easier to network with professionals worldwide and from all industries imaginable. Did you know that at least 60% of all jobs are found through networking? That’s right! More and more job seekers are finding opportunities via networking than by scouring traditional job boards. Therefore, if you’re not networking in 2020, you may be missing out on a great job opportunity!

Create a resume that beats the Application Tracking Systems

Another thing you can do to bolster your job search is to shake the dust off your resume. If it’s been a while since you last updated it, you will want to take a good look and add any new skills or achievements. There are some key things you want to do to your resume:

Tailor your resume

Unfortunately, you cannot submit the same resume with every job application. You must tailor your resume for each position at hand. Now, each variation of your resume will look similar, but you can easily find ways to tweak it to make it beat those pesky Application Tracking Systems (ATS). Add achievements that highlight you’re an excellent fit for the position. Make sure you quantify those achievements so hiring managers can quickly see how great you are!

And last but not least, ensure you are using keywords that are relevant to the job. Take a close look at the job description and pull out key phrases and add them to your resume.

Soft skills are key

Soft skills, especially in today’s tight market, are becoming more valuable to hiring managers. You can teach someone how to use a new program or learn a new process, but you can’t teach things like creativity or emotional intelligence. However, you’ll want to do more than simply list these essentials on your resume. You want to demonstrate that your posses these soft skills through concise, concrete examples.

Interview like a pro

Once your networking and resume are up to par, you can’t forget about the interview prep. Sure, your resume and a connection may get you in the door, but it’s up to you to secure the job by nailing the interview.

Do your due diligence beforehand

Whether it’s a phone interview or a final onsite, you must do your due diligence before your interview. Do some research on the company’s website and social media pages to help develop some talking points. Check to see if the company has any new product launches, press releases, or other important updates. Knowing these will help you shine through the competition by illustrating your interest in the position and your prospective employer.

Have questions prepared

Bring a list of questions to ask your interviewers. Remember, you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. If it’s easier for you, write them down on a notebook and bring them in with you. Just don’t sit down and stare at them the whole time. Here are some of our favorite questions you can ask to make a lasting impression.

Write a killer thank you note

After the interview is all said and done, you must write a thank you note to your interviewers. Thank them for their time, remind them what you enjoyed discussing, and don’t be afraid to ask for the next steps! This will set a lasting impression and remind them how interested you are in the position. Here’s our fool-proof thank you note guidelines.

Partner with a recruiter

Hopefully, these job search tips help you along your career path. If you really want to jumpstart your job hunt in 2020, team up with a recruiter. At Johnson Search Group, we have a team of recruiters ready to partner with you to help find you your next career. Reach out to our team of experts today, and let’s find you your next job opportunity.

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!