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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!

In-Demand Skills

These Are The Most In-Demand Skills In 2020

LinkedIn has released its list of the most in-demand skills for 2020, and technology remains king. They develop this comprehensive list by “identifying the skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting hired at the highest rates.” While the skills featured on this list are tech-heavy, they may prove valuable in a variety of positions. Keep reading to learn more about this year’s list and why you need to consider honing them in 2020!

1. Blockchain

Blockchain is the record-keeping technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. With the rise in popularity of online payments, blockchain experience has become incredibly valuable to employers.

2. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.” Almost every single company today is utilizing cloud computing in one way or another; therefore, experience in this area is an asset no matter what field you’re in!

3. Analytical Reasoning

Analytical reasoning refers to the ability to look at information, be it qualitative or quantitative in nature, and discern patterns within the information.” Analytical Reasoning is particularly helpful in STEM jobs, but this essential skill can be used in problem-solving across all industries and roles.

4. Artificial Intelligence

As companies seek to automate processes and become more efficient throughout every department, artificial intelligence plays an integral role in advancement. Artificial Intelligence is when computers adapt human characteristics in order to achieve tasks. If you have experience in developing AI, Hiring Managers will find value in your ability to take their business to the next level.

5. UX Design

The term “UX” stands for user experience. “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” Today’s customers are all about easy to use products, so UX design is absolutely integral to a company’s foundation and how they do business. However, even if you aren’t involved with actually designing the product or service, being able to speak to user experience at any level is extremely valuable!

6. Business Analysis

Business Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.” So, in other words, business analysis helps companies do business better. Someone who is successful in business analysis is able to take a 360-degree view of a business and see opportunities for growth and improvement.

7. Affiliate Marketing

When you see your favorite influencers or celebrities promoting products, that’s affiliate marketing. By definition, it’s “an advertising model in which a company compensates third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services.” This has become a huge part of many businesses’ strategies. In fact, companies are expected to spend $6.8 billion on their affiliate marketing efforts in 2020.

8. Sales

It may sound old-school, but sales are skill king. This profit-making skill will not be going anywhere and is beneficial no matter what area of business you’re in! Additionally, it’s fairly easy to pick up sales to add to your resume. For example, take a free online class or read a highly-rated book!

9. Scientific Computing

Scientific Computing is an extremely specialized field. “It is mainly the idea of the development of mathematical models, the use of quantitative analysis techniques, and the use of computers for solving scientific problems.” While not an easy skill to pick up on the side, hiring managers will be looking for scientific computing for any of their open STEM roles.

10. Video Production

According to Statista, 85% of internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly in 2018, and it is safe to assume that number is even higher today. Video production is absolutely essential to any company’s marketing strategy in 2020. Additionally, there are tons of online tutorials about video production that can help boost your resume!

So, which one of these valuable skills will you be adding to your arsenal in 2020? It’s not too late for a resolution to improve your career! And if you’re looking to hone your soft skills, check out our blog of 2020’s most in-demand soft skills here!

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.

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.

Be thankful

The Glass is Always Half Full – Be Thankful

It is easy to focus on the negative and to let unfortunate circumstances overtake us. We have all been there. Strength, perseverance, and intestinal fortitude won’t show up as a requirement in a job description or as a skill set on a resume; however, we observe these traits daily (and quietly) by those who choose to see their glass half full. 

Life is a journey, and the paths we take are part of the adventure. As a recruiter, I have seen the challenges job seekers face. If you are having a bad day, just remember it won’t last forever.

Here are some bad days that had happy endings:

  • A candidate printed off their interview itinerary at work, and their manager saw it.
  • Someone confided in a coworker that they were interviewing.
  • Someone got a call from a recruiter and hung up. The next day, they were “downsized.”
  • Someone accepted a position, gave up their apartment, and hit the road to relocate, only to get a frantic call that the company rescinded the offer.

These individuals were having a bad day, but what set them apart is that they saw the glass as half full and showed strengthperseveranceintestinal fortitude, and humility.

Thank you to our clients and candidates

Johnson Search Group is thankful to every one of our clients and candidates with whom we have the privilege to work with. Yes, we all have challenges; but always remember that when the sun sets and darkness ensues, it will rise again and will embrace us in its light and warmth.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year, but one thing we can all appreciate is the booming labor market. The market is strong, and all signs indicate that it will only get tighter in 2020. If you interested in exploring a new opportunity, why not partner with a recruiter form Johnson Search Group?

For over 35 years, we have committed ourselves to our specialized staffing services. Our team will help you navigate the entire process, from start to finish. We’ll do everything in our power to ensure that you don’t have one of the bad days highlighted above.

The glass is always half full. It’s up to you how you want to perceive it. What are you thankful for?

interview

4 Things You Must Look at Before Every Interview

You’ve heard the news and seen all of the stats. The job market is holding firm as we prepare to round out the 4th Quarter of 2019. Many of you might be trying to take advantage of the 3.6 percent unemployment rate and start the new year with a fresh job opportunity. However, if it’s been a while since you were last a job seeker, it can be overwhelming when you do your due diligence before an interview. If you’re thinking of making a change, here are four things you must do before every interview.

Check out their website

Before an interview, the first thing you want to do is take a look at the company’s website. Check out their “about” page; see if they have a mission or vision statement. Many companies do a fantastic job providing insight into their passion and what it’s like to work for them. Check out their blog or news resources to see if they have anything on there that can give you some insight into what they do and why they do it.

During an interview, one of the first questions they’ll likely ask you is, “What do you know about our company?” A quick search on their site will help you start the interview off on the right foot!

Social Media

Another place you need to head to before an interview is the company’s social media. You should be able to easily find links to all their social media platforms on their website. Take a quick look at each of them as the content may differ from site to site. A prospective company’s social media is a great way to get insight into their company culture to see if the opportunity is the right fit for you. It’s also an easy way to find any recent updates, events, or product launches, all of which might be good talking points in your interview!

Reviews

If you want to get an unbiased opinion of a prospective employer, check out their reviews online. You can find reviews on Facebook, Google, and best of all, Glassdoor. These sites provide insight into both the interviewing process and what it’s like to work there. Current and former employees write these reviews, so they will give you a decent understanding of what you can expect before you even step foot into the building.

Prepare accordingly

Last but not least, you must review all the necessary material to prepare yourself! This includes the job description, your resume, and any instructions given to you by HR or the hiring manager. You don’t want to have any surprises during your interview by forgetting what the job is or what you told them on your resume. Believe it or not, it can be easy to forget every single detail on the job description or your resume. The best thing to do is review them before the night before, so they’re fresh on your mind.

If you want to take a look at more of our helpful interviewing advice and tips, check out our blog!

interview tips

Interview Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

As a mining and heavy industrial recruiter, I get a unique perspective of companies’ interviewing processes and procedures. While working with dozens of clients, I have seen a wide array of interview types. The most common interview process my candidates go through is the initial phone interview. After every interview, I get the opportunity to get feedback from both the candidate and the hiring manager. Even in today’s tight market, there are some things many candidates, unfortunately, do that can hurt their chances of securing a new job opportunity.

Even the most experienced job seekers are prone to interview mistakes. Here are several interview tips to be cognizant of during the initial screening.

Make a strong first impression

Making a good impression over the phone can be difficult. An excellent way to combat this is to prepare yourself for the phone interview properly. First of all, know your audience! Take some time to learn about whom you’ll be interviewing with and do your due diligence on the company. If you are working with one of my fellow recruiters at Johnson Search Group, we will prep you for your phone interview. We tell you who you’ll be speaking with and give you some guidelines to have a successful conversation.

We always recommend getting yourself in a quiet space if possible, with good reception and a fully charged phone. Have the job description and your resume in front of you. Also, when you answer the phone, be upbeat and start with a simple, “Hello, this is <state your name>.” This may seem like common knowledge, but it sure beats an awkward exchange at the beginning of the phone call.

Always be prepared

After you exchange some pleasantries, the actual interview will begin. You can generally expect this common question out the gate: “Why are you on the job market?” It can be helpful to have an answer already formulated, explaining why you are interested in the position. And if your working with one of our recruiters, we will help you devise an appropriate response. TIP: Never bad-mouth your employer!

After a few more follow up questions, the interviewer will ask about your experience and likely walk through your resume. This is why having your resume in front of you is helpful, as you discuss different jobs, qualifications, or accomplishments listed on there.

As the interview wraps up, they will ask if you have any questions. Here’s another tip: ALWAYS have questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Whether it’s a technical skill question, leadership question, or a question about the hiring process, try to have questions ready for your interviewer.

Questions to avoid

Avoid asking questions regarding time off, the benefits package, and the compensation. While these are essential questions, asking these questions during your initial phone interview is not the right time, unless they bring it up. If you are working with us, we will help you navigate these difficult conversations. If you have questions about compensation or the process, we can ask the hiring manager or human resources, so you don’t have to tiptoe around them.

At the end of the interview, be sure to tell them that you’re interested in the position, as well as ask for the next steps. This will let the interviewer know that you’re serious about the position and excited about the opportunity.

Partner with a recruiter

If you’re thinking about looking for a new opportunity, have you thought about partnering with a recruiter? My team and I will help you through the entire interviewing process, from start to finish. We will help prep you for each interview and ensure you’re ready for every single step of the way. Reach out to one of my talented colleagues or me if you’re ready to make your next career move.

things your should bring to your interview

5 Things You Should Bring To Your Interview

When you have a job interview, you want to show up prepared. However, you don’t need to bring so much stuff that you’re overwhelmed! Here are the five essential things you should bring to your next interview.

A Great Attitude

We know it’s cheesy, but if you bring only one thing to an interview – let it be a great attitude! Go into it with an open mind, and it can make all the difference. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you, because it can majorly affect how you perform during the interview. Take this opportunity to present your best self!

Copies Of Your Resume

No matter how many people you are meeting with, it’s always a good idea to bring extra copies of your resume. You never know if someone else might spontaneously join you, or if you’ll end up meeting other members of the team. If you submitted a cover letter or portfolio, bring those as well. The more information you can leave your interviewers with, the better!

Pen & Notebook

Whether or not you want to take notes throughout the interview, it’s still a great idea to have a pen and notebook with you. The interviewer may provide you with essential details you want to jot down, like their email address, a timeline for the next steps, or additional information they would like you to send. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard and have to ask to borrow a pen and paper, or even worse, try to remember off the top of your head later!

A List Of Questions

You should come to the interview armed with a few great questions you can ask. (These are some of our favorites!) Be sure to come up with a couple questions that are specific to the company, team, or position. We also encourage you to come up with some during the interview that reference conversations you’ve had throughout. Take the opportunity to show off your excellent listening skills while simultaneously learning more about the position!

References

No, you shouldn’t have your references listed on your resume. You should, however, have them ready and available at your interview. That way, if the hiring manager asks for them on the spot, you’ll have all of their information on hand. (And of course, you will have already informed them that they may be receiving a call, right?)

Looking for more interview prep tips? Check out our interviewing blog section, or partner with one of our recruiters to find your next position!