Be Prepared with Interview Questions

October 12th, 2018 No comments

Asking Interview Questions

A common question you’ll hear when interviewing is – “Do you have any questions for me?”  You should ALWAYS have a list of interview questions prepared.  If you have ever been in that situation and feel ‘stumped’ you need to change that right away!  Start thinking about what is important to you and what you want to know before the interview concludes.

Also, by asking questions, you are showing your interest in the company, the role and the person who is taking time out of their day to interview you.  Take this opportunity to show that you care and are curious about working at the organization.  You will learn a lot and they’ll get a better understanding of what’s important to you.

Whether you are interviewing with an executive, your potential new manager, or a possible co-worker/team member – you must be prepared with appropriate interview questions.

Below is a list of great questions to memorize or bring with you when interviewing.  No company is perfect so by asking the candid questions, you’ll get a better understanding of the challenges that you might face if you do join the organization.

Review these questions and ask them in your own way.  You want to come across as genuine – so ask questions in your own words.  Always be truthful and remember job searching basics.

 

Big Picture Interview Questions (Ask the Executive/VP level):

  • What is your company’s long term vision for its products/services?
  • What divisions are getting the most investment right now (dollars, people, expansion, etc)?
  • What is the focus – to grow fast or become profitable?
  • What is company’s plan for attracting and retaining a diverse team?

 

Interview Questions Specific to the Position (Ask the Hiring Manager):

  • What are the 2-3 traits that the ideal candidate must have?
  • Are there any concerns about my background that I can help alleviate?
  • What are the 1-2 challenges that you think this role needs to be prepared for?
  • What is the team structure and how does this role fit in?

 

Individual Focused Interview Questions (Ask the Team Member):

  • Why do you love working here?  What do you think could be improved?
  • What surprised you most when you started working here?
  • What is your biggest accomplishment here?
  • How would you describe the company culture?
  • When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

 

There are also questions that you should not ask.  The main rule is don’t ask questions that you can find answers to on the Internet.  Take a look at this guide on questions to avoid asking.

 

Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo / photography33

 

Grandma’s Wisdom for Job Searching

October 3rd, 2018 No comments

Recruitment Technology in Job Search

The StartWire Team recently attended some of the largest HR and recruitment technology events in our industry.  We were in Las Vegas for the HR Tech Show and in New Orleans for the TATech Fall Congress. 

A lot of the talk in our industry is around Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and how it will transform recruitment.  If you are interested in these topics, I would suggest reading the following articles.

We are at the beginning of a new phase in recruitment technology.  This phase will have profound impact on the industry, but . . .

The basics are still the basics.

People want to work with great people.  One often spends more time in a week with their co-workers than their family or friends.

Recruitment technology can help in many areas, but if you stick to “Grandma’s Wisdom,” you will be successful in finding your next career opportunity.

What is Grandma’s Wisdom for Job Searching?

  • Be on Time — If you have an interview, don’t be late. Actually, you should arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Look People in the Eye – Eye contact matters.  Trust and understanding are learned through eye contact.
  • Say Please and Thank You — Ask how you can help an organization and thank them for their time.  Write a thank you note, even if it is an e-mail.
  • Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s – Take your time to thoroughly proofread your applications and communications.  Mispelings matter. Poor gramar look bad!
  • Trust Your Instincts – If an organization doesn’t feel like the right fit, it probably isn’t.  Ask about the company culture and try to meet as many people at the organization as you can.

Read more about Job Search in the Digital Age: Keeping Up with the Changes

Unemployed? 6 Tips to Help

May 11th, 2016 No comments

SONY DSC

 

I’m tired of the job search. Nothing is working. This job search is taking too long.

Are these your thoughts? Unwilling unemployment is stressful, tiring, and discouraging. For those struggling with long-term unemployment, here are some tips that can help you change your job search tactic and outlook.

1. Choose a functional resume over a chronological one.

This type of resume takes the focus out of the years you’ve worked and instead puts the focus on relevant skill sets. For example, if the position is looking for someone with strong writing experience, a functional resume will list “Writing/Editing Content” at the top of the resume. Then all work experience related to writing will follow. This type of resume takes the focus away from years worked and instead addresses how your skills match the prospective position. To view a sample of both functional and chronological resumes, here’s a guide on resume construction.

2. Fill in those unemployment gaps with activity.

It’s important to show that you’ve been actively pursuing other ventures and strengthening your skills during your time of unemployment. Find yourself a project to get involved in, whether it be a charity you’re interested in or a non-profit company that’s looking for volunteers.

Do something that shows you are self-employed and assertive. This can help fill in those resume gaps and show employers that you’ve been productive with your time, giving them the assurance that you can smoothly transition from your current project to the ones within the new role.

3. Don’t over explain.

If employers ask about your unemployment, keep it short and simple. Over-explaining tends to give away more information than necessary. You want to address the employer’s question on your unemployment, but the key is to take the conversation away from the past and bring it to the future. To do this, talk about projects you’ve been involved in, then link that to how skills acquired from the project can transition to fit your new role.

4. Strive for efficiency. Quality over quantity.

Don’t apply to any available job listing, thinking that casting a wide net will cause one of them to eventually bite. This is wasting precious time and resources. Instead, use your resources to apply for targeted job listings. The general rule of thumb is, if you meet 70% of the job description, apply.

5. Pitch yourself to old employers.

Your old employers are the ones who may know your background and work style better than new ones. If you left the company on a good note, it’s okay and can be strategic to just go back to that company and ask for a contract or freelance position. Frame it in a way that shows your expert knowledge of the company and use your previous experience working there as leverage to market yourself as a safe hire. Most companies see newer candidates as risky investments because they lack familiarity in the candidate and their overall work ethic. However, previous candidates that have been successful, but let go due to budget constraints, may be good investments for contract or freelance openings.

6. Change your outlook

Don’t blame yourself and don’t be discouraged. Being long-term unemployed can be stressful, but this stress fuels a vicious cycle where you enter an interview feeling stressed and anxious to get the job. Employers pick up on this anxiety and therefore, become less likely to hire you. Clear your mind, stay positive, and learn how to manage job search frustration. Look within your community and join a job group with people in your similar situation. You might be surprised to find that this can be a great space of mutual support and advice sharing.

Jobs – Using the Gig Economy to Your Advantage

February 11th, 2016 No comments

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Antonio_DiazThe gig economy is defining jobs today.

The gig economy–if you’ve had your ear to the ground s at any point in the past few years, you may have heard the term bandied about. Those in consulting or creative fields may be nodding your heads, but the concept is still new to many.

“Now,” say the non-musicians among you, “why would I be interested in gigs?”

In many cases, the gig economy is mediated by mobile technology, especially smartphone apps and intelligent websites that match you to gigs based on your preferences. Freelancing is the name of the game–for example, an Uber driver is an independent contractor using the app.

What Does it Mean for You?

Freelancers are nothing new, but the gig economy makes it easier than ever to be one yourself. The gig economy allows you to be flexible. Whether you want to supplement your income or tide yourself over while continuing your search for more stable employment, there’s something for everyone. A key feature of a gig job is the ability to define your own hours. An Uber driver picks up fares until they’re satisfied, which allows them to slot it in to any busy schedule.

Some people take so well to the gig economy that it ends up becoming their primary source of income. For self-starters and independent spirits, it’s a godsend. These people have diverse streams of income and have wide skill sets. Some apps, like the Bay Area-based Josephine, are for those with a passion about the gig. Josephine is for your inner chef, allowing you to share your passion with others.

For those who are between traditional employment, the gig economy presents a safety cushion that has not been available in the past. With the overall higher quality of the gigs, and the flexibility described above, it can make the time between jobs a little less stressful.

Still others add to their existing income with gigs, keeping their streams of income flowing from many different rivers. Even if you’re employed already, the opt-in nature of gigs can add to income from traditional sources. There’s no wrong way to take advantage of the gig economy!

Some noteworthy examples of the gig economy:

AirBnb

Caviar

Fiverr

Luxe

Lyft

Swifto

Uber

Upwork

Job Search Intelligence for 2016

December 11th, 2015 No comments

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What do a nurse, developer and truck driver have in common?

No, it’s not the setup to a corny punchline–they have the most in demand jobs of 2016.

According to a recent report by Fast Company, these three very different fields will be looking to hire in 2016. Healthcare workers, software developers, and truck drivers will be areas where industry trends could contribute to a hunger for more candidates.

Looking to make a career change in 2016? This new trend bodes well for those looking to change careers–a work history different than the requirements will make less of a difference.

This also is a positive development for job seekers new to the economy, who may find that the stringent requirements of job listings in recent memory will relax in their favor.

Read the full report for details, as well as the top 10 growing occupations for 2016.

Ready to organize your job search in 20016? Then we recommend checking out StartWire.

Happy Thanksgiving from StartWire!

November 25th, 2015 No comments

Turkey - ThanksgivingWith Thanksgiving approaching and heralding the holiday season, many job seekers grow discouraged and put their search on hold until the New Year. It makes sense at first–with people getting ready for the holidays, job seekers conclude that it’s nigh impossible to get in front of a hiring manager.

What if instead of putting your search on hold, you changed your tactics a bit?

The holidays are a fabulous time to network. With food and cheer aplenty, take advantage of the good feeling and tap into your personal and extended networks. Relatives, friends, and friends of friends can all be good sources of leads in this time. Who knows, a casual chat at Thanksgiving could blossom into a referral.

The relaxing of businesses’ schedules can also be used to your advantage. Now is a great time to set up an informal meeting or tour around a workplace. A recruiter’s slower inbox can mean your follow-up email is more likely to stick–and get a response. Even reaching out with a season’s greeting is a great move!

Above all, have a great Thanksgiving–eat some good food, spend some time with the family, and don’t go too crazy on Black Friday.

A Salute From StartWire!

November 11th, 2015 No comments

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StartWire thanks our veterans for their service!

Whether you’ve recently been discharged or last served years ago, looking for employment as a veteran is different than as a civilian. Companies are taking notice of the unique skills and battle-tested talent of veterans, and many seek to recruit our nation’s protectors after their service is done.

On April 13th, 2015, the Military Times released their ranking of the best employers for veterans. Major companies like Verizon, BAE, and Lockheed Martin all have sterling policies when it comes to recruiting and hiring veterans.

The whole list comprises a variety of fields and industries, including telecommunications, defense, energy, and even banking

No matter with what branch you served or your plans for civilian life, the perfect job is out there waiting for you!

 

Categories: Job Search Advice Tags:

Application Black Hole – How to Start Hearing Back

September 7th, 2015 No comments

8214124711_a9f6738627_nThe Application Black Hole

If you’re like most job seekers, as soon as you hit the apply button on a job, your brain is flooded with questions. “Did they get my resume?” “Where do I stand?” “Am I still in the running?”

This is the Application Black Hole – the bane of online job search.

Happily, StartWire can help.

We connect with the recruiting systems used by more than 12,000 companies we can let you know if they got your resume, if you are still in the running, or even if they want to chat about an interview.. We are adding more ‘supported’ companies every day.

Here’s how it works

Tell us where you have applied. If you’ve applied to company that is in our ‘blackhole’ network, we will let you know.  Just follow the online instructions and we’ll provide you with updates via email or text message.

All your information is safely organized at your StartWire account where you can also track applications on your own, and quickly print out your Job Search History Report with just a few clicks.

If you need help, reach out to us by clicking on Feedback and Support.

It’s time for you to conquer the Application Black Hole so get tracking!

If you don’t already have an account, head over to StartWire for your free account.

Why you should upload your resume?

August 3rd, 2015 No comments

jobs 1

Get your resume out there

We know resumes. In fact, the team at StartWire has been in then recruiting and job search space for decades….literally decades. And there is nothing we love more than giving folks who join our Job Search community some insider knowledge to help you find a job faster.

Here’s one of those secrets: Recruiters search resume databases looking for candidates…everyday. Sometimes they don’t even post jobs…they just check the databases of large job sites looking for a candidate they can call immediately.

If you are not in these databases, you are missing out on opportunities! The problem is, there are just too many databases and each one can take forever to setup.

StartWire has the solution.

Once you upload your resume to StartWire, we will suggest verified sites. Choose the ones you want and we will take care of the rest.

It saves you time and gets your resume in front of recruiters faster. It is the quickest and simplest way to get hired. And it’s totally free.

If you need help, reach out to us by clicking on Feedback and Support.

So upload your resume today and increase your chances of being found!

To learn more about StartWire register today at www.startwire.com

Categories: Job Search Advice, Resume Tips Tags:

StartWire Launches Job Search Video Series

July 25th, 2015 No comments

e-learning

Wondering where we have been?

At StartWire we have been hard at work bringing you the tools you need for a successful job search and to get hired fast. While we have the blog, we wanted to offer our job seekers something more. We wanted to give everyone the knowledge of what is happening behind the scenes during the recruiting and hiring process.

So we came up with a set of Videos that are now live on the StartWire site – www.startwire.com/videos. Unlike other sites that charge you for this information, we thought the best way to help someone during one of the most stressful time in their lives would be to let them know we are truly here to help.

In the upcoming blogs, I’m going to discuss some of the topics found in the videos around your resume, networking, search tips and interviewing.

We tried to pack as much information in the videos as possible but we know that there is so much more. So we’ll use the blog to expand on some of these topics.

Look for videos on interviewing and networking to go live later this summer.

Do you have any questions or thoughts on these strategies? What’s worked for you? Let us know!

Job Search Advice