Interviewing

How Often Should You Call the Recruiter

recruiterHave you had a phone interview with the recruiter or you’ve gone on site and interviewed and now you’re waiting to hear what’s next?  Should you call the recruiter?

Recruiters are extremely busy.  Normally they have anywhere from 20 – 30 and sometimes even more positions they’re working. On any given day they could be conducting phone interviews, on site interviews, reviewing resumes, advertising positions, and making offers.  Sometimes it can be difficult getting in touch with them.

Here’s my advice regarding contacting the recruiters.

If you were given guidance from the recruiter after the interview follow that advice.Hopefully you remembered to ask where the recruiter is in the process of hiring at the end of the interview.  If the company has just started the search it’s going to take some time for the other interviews to be completed.  It could be weeks before you hear anything. But if the time has passed when the recruiter said they would follow-up and you haven’t heard, it’s acceptable to contact the recruiter. In the conversation, it’s acceptable to ask the recruiter how often you could follow-up.

If you find yourself in the situation where you’ve received an offer from another company, contact the recruiter.  Recruiters appreciate you alerting them to another offer.  They’ll talk to the hiring manager and if you’re the candidate that the company wants, they just might extend you an offer, too. I’ve seen companies act very fast in these cases.

If it’s been a week since you interviewed and the recruiter never told you when you might hear something it’s acceptable to follow-up with the recruiter.

One thing, try not to contact the recruiter on a Monday or a Friday.  From experience, Mondays are extremely busy days.  Many times recruiters will schedule a lot of phone interviews or on site interviews on Mondays.  On Friday, hiring managers are trying to wrap their week up and they will provide feedback on candidates, interviews, as well as relaying information for any new positions that need to be opened up before the weekend.

Bottom line, recruiters don’t like to leave you hanging. Most of the time if you haven’t heard anything, the recruiter doesn’t know anything. Often times recruiters are just as frustrated not hearing anything from the hiring manager.

The best advice is to remain patient and continue your job search. Just because you thought the interview went well, never stop looking.  Even if the company said they are going to give you an offer, keep looking.  I’ve seen where hiring managers have let a candidate know they were the one and the position ended up getting canceled.

 

 

Can’t Find A Job?

cant-find-a-job

Have you been looking for a job for six, eight months even a year and still haven’t found anything?

Have you sent out hundreds of resumes and no one is calling?

Have you been on countless interviews only to be told that someone else got the job?

 

If any of these apply to you, it’s time to examine what might be the issue.

So where do you start?

Resume

Take a second look at your resume. You might think it’s great; however, the recruiter and hiring manager might think differently. If you have the opportunity, ask a recruiter their opinion of your resume. Most recruiters will give you pointers because recruiters really are jazzed about getting you the job. If you can’t ask a recruiter ask a former supervisor to take a look at it. You don’t want to ask a friend because friends don’t always tell us the truth fearing they might hurt our feelings. Another option is talk to a staffing/employment agency. They’ll give you honest feedback as well. You want someone to review your resume who has had a lot of experience looking at plenty of resumes.

Finally, make sure to tailor your resume to each job. No longer does one size fit all in the world of resumes.

Interview

It’s time to practice your answers to interview questions. If you can remember some of the interview questions you’ve been asked, write them down and then write down your responses. There is plenty of help on the internet related to interview questions and responses. I’ve also included a list of some of the more common interview questions with responses HERE. Remember to keep your answers brief and to the point. As you practice, time your responses. If you take ten minutes to answer a question, try again. You want to keep your answers less than ten minutes. Also, keep your responses related to the job the company needs to have done. Review the job description and write down examples of how your experience meets the requirements of the job. Don’t bring up examples of experiences that have nothing to do with the job. Find someone to practice with, perhaps a previous co-worker.

Salary Expectations

Sometimes salary requirements can prevent you from obtaining employment. If you’re standing firm on a particular amount and you know it’s too high or you’ve been continuously told your requirements are outside of the range, perhaps it’s time to lower your expectations. Doing so depends on how long you want to be employed. Sometimes companies will hire you at a lower rate and then once you’re employed and they see how much you can do they will adjust your salary. This has happened to me on occasion. Be sure to conduct your research to make sure that your expectations are market rate for your skills. Just because you were making the amount at one company doesn’t mean another company has to pay you the same.

Applying to Jobs that You’re Qualified to Do

Over the years I’ve seen applicants set themselves up for failure and frustration applying to jobs they weren’t qualified to do. If you truly are qualified, make sure that your resume reflects your qualifications. But if you know that you aren’t qualified don’t apply. Spend your time wisely applying to those jobs that you’re qualified to do. If you want to make a career change, consider accepting a position that you can do while you train to make the change. If you’ve been training, then make sure you explain in the cover letter why you are applying and what you’ve done to qualify for the position.

Unexplained Gaps in Employment

Does your resume show gaps in employment without any explanation? If so, you need to correct this immediately or you’re only setting yourself up to not be contacted. Explain either on the resume or cover letter why there is a gap. The majority of the time gaps are explainable and no big deal. But if you don’t explain them recruiters aren’t likely to take the time to call especially if they have plenty of other qualified applicants.

Are You Only Looking on Indeed?

If you’re only using one source to look for open positions you might be unemployed for a very long time. Companies don’t use one source to post their jobs. Many companies don’t post their jobs at all. You’ll need to conduct a search of companies in the area and start looking at their websites. The local Chamber of Commerce is a good source to determine companies in the area. Other sources to use to look for jobs include professional associations, networking groups, and social media especially LinkedIn.

Relocation

If you have already followed all the guidance above and you’re still having trouble, it might be time to consider relocation. Sometimes the market for certain jobs changes. In this case you’ll need to consider changing professions or relocating to where the jobs for your skill sets are.

My point here is that if you’re having trouble finding a job there are things you can do to help yourself find employment again.

And don’t forget – stay positive and persistent!

Using the STAR Interviewing Technique

interview-response-techniques

The next time you’re in an interview consider using the S.T.A.R. interview technique when responding to the questions.

 

 

 

This stands for:

S – Situation

T – Task

A – Action

R – Response

This technique helps you to frame your responses in a way that will make it easy for the interviewing team to understand exactly what you did to improve the situation. Here’s an example of how it works.

Interview question: Give me an example of a team you’ve participated on.

Response:

Situation: I participated on a team with accounting.

Task:  Improve the billing cycle.

Action: I flowcharted the existing billing processes and then together as a team we identified numerous process flow improvement opportunities. Our team worked to improve the processes.

Result: In the end, we reduced the billing cycle from 30 to 7 days.

For other examples of S.T.A.R. questions and responses CLICK HERE

Another technique that is equally useful is the S.H.A.R.E. model. This stands for:

S – Situation

H – Hindrance (challenges you had to overcome)

A – Action

R – Result

E – Evaluation (what did you learn)

Using the same example as above the response might be:

Situation: I participated on a team with accounting to improve the billing cycle that currently was at 30 days.

Hindrance: I had one week to come up with a plan and brief my manager on what we were going to do.

Action: I flowcharted the existing processes and pulled together a team to analyze them. As a team we identified numerous processes that weren’t working and established new processes.

Result: I was able to make the deadline to brief my manager and in the end working as a team we reduced the billing cycle from 30 to 7 days.

Evaluate: Flowcharting the process really helped us see where we had issues. Working as a team we came up with some great ideas to improve the processes that were out-of-the box thinking. It was a great experience.

Finally, whatever you do, if the interview team asks you a question where you have the ability to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, be sure to elaborate on your response.  Don’t just say yes/no.

Using any one of these 3 Interview Question Response Techniques will aid you in relaying that you are the best qualified for the job.

Core Competencies and Interview Questions #careertips #careeropportunities

competencies

 

Many companies in addition to asking technical questions during the interview to gain an understanding of your technical knowledge will also ask questions related to specific competencies, or behaviors that they’ve identified as being critical to that particular position.

Human resource professionals work with hiring managers to identify at least five competencies that a person will need to exhibit in order to be successful in that particular position.

Once the competencies have been identified, recruiters will work with the hiring manager and develop interview questions related to the particular competencies. There are even software programs and manuals that companies can purchase that will suggest questions for particular competencies. Two of the biggest companies who specialize in this area are Korn Ferry and Lominger.

When preparing for the interview, check the job description for specific competencies. Below is an example of a job description where I’ve circled the keywords and added the corresponding competency.

 

core-competencies

Next, use the Core Competencies Interview Questions and Answers that I’ve developed to practice your responses. You can also type in ‘core competency interview questions’ in your favorite search engine and you’ll get plenty of help.

Finally, use the S.T.A.R technique when drafting your responses. This stands for:

S – Situation
T – Task
A – Action
R – Response

This is an easy format to organize your thoughts and communicate your responses clearly to the interviewers.

Don’t forget that it’s acceptable to write down your responses and refer to your notes during the interview. Sometimes it can be challenging to try and remember everything you want to convey.

Good – Luck!

100 Ways To Get Screened Out of Getting the Job

100 Ways

I’ve recently launched my on-line course 100 Ways To Get Screened Out Of The Hiring Process And The Ways To Avoid Them.
Has this ever happened to you. You sent your resume into a company and you never heard back? Or you had an interview and you didn’t get the job and no one told you why?

That’s why I created this course. I want to help you understand what might have happened so it doesn’t happen the next time.

In the course, I go over the…

Resume
Cover Letter
On-Line Application
Interview – to include the phone, video, lunch, and on-site interviews
Background Check
References
Offer
Start Date
Counter Offer

…and for each one of those topics I explain how you can get screened out.

But I don’t just tell you how you get screened out. I share with you what you can do to avoid getting screened out and then gain the attention of the recruiter and hiring manager so that you can better your chances of getting the job.

For example, take the resume. There are  23 ways your RESUME can get you screened out. What I’ve done is broken the resume down into four sections: personal information, education, work experience, and computer skills. For each section I go over how you can get screened out and then share what you need to include. I also provide you a checklist to use when you’re creating your own resume.

I’ll do the same for each paragraph of the COVER LETTER. Did you know there are 16 ways your cover letter can get you screened out? I’ll explain the purpose behind each paragraph and provide you a checklist when you’re creating your own cover letter.

There are 29 ways you can get screened out during INTERVIEWS. I’ll cover the phone, video, lunch, and on-site interview and explain what not to do.  Then I’ll provide you guidelines how to get the most out of all the interviews to help the recruiter and hiring manager know you’re the best qualified for the position.

How did I come up with 100 Ways To Get Screened Out Of The Hiring Process? Over the 20 years I’ve been recruiting I’ve seen ALL of them and the applicants that experienced them didn’t get the job. 

That’s why I’m so excited to bring this information to you now. If you take the course and learn the ways you can get screened out, you can avoid them.  This knowledge will give you an advantage over your competition who didn’t take the course.

To see a preview of the course CLICK HERE.

For a limited time only, I’m offering the course at half price.  CLICK HERE to get your coupon.

After taking the course, stop back by to provide your feedback. Please feel free to share the COUPON LINK with your network, too.

My one desire in sharing this information is to help you get the job!

What Is Your Body Language Saying During an Interview?

Body LanguageYou’re finally going to get to meet someone face-to-face so you can prove to them how wonderful you are and that you’re the best qualified professional for the job. You even prepared the night before by practicing answers to your interview questions. But did you stop to practice your body language?

No?

Perhaps you should have. Poor body language can get you screened out even if you are the best qualified for the job.

Here are some examples of body language faux paus I’ve seen from candidates during an interview. Sad to say, all the candidates were passed over for the job.

1. Talking on a cell phone
2. Blowing bubbles with their gum
3. Dominating the conversation
4. No eye contact
5. Wimpy handshake

What you want to do instead in an interview is have your body language reflect your level of interest in the job. Following are some positive body language traits to help get the point across that you want the job.

Lean forward

Have you ever leaned forward while talking to a group of friends? Probably so because you were either engaged in the conversation or really liked the people you were with. Leaning forward lets your conversation partners know that you are focused on them and what they have to say at that very moment in time. So the next time you’re in an interview lean forward at the table to engage with the other interviewers.

Smile

Research shows that putting a smile on your face relaxes your entire body. If you have any interview jitters, slap a smile on your face and forget them. Not only that but wait and see how many smiles you get in return. You’ll most likely feel the tension in the room ease once everyone is smiling.

Make eye contact

Research has shown that the eyes can give away a lot about how a person is feeling. For instance did you know that when you engage someone in a conversation they like, their pupils will grow larger? Or if a person looks up and to the left they’re trying to recall a memory, but if they look up and to the right they’re being creative about their recall. Eye contact also shows that you’re attentive to the conversation. Think about a time you caught a glimpse of something that didn’t interest you; you probably didn’t spend a lot of time if any, looking at it. Do you want your interviewers to think you’re not interested in them because you’re not making eye contact?

Answer questions thoroughly; however, don’t ramble.

Be conscious of time when you respond to any question. If you need to, think first before responding to formulate your answer. When you do respond, only bring up the specific points needed to answer the question sufficiently. Don’t dominate the conversation by rambling.

Firm handshake

A firm handshake can mean that you have a high level of confidence regarding yourself and your skills. But it doesn’t mean use the vice grip hand shake, either. Practice with a friend.

The next time you have that on-site interview remember your body language is equal to the answers you’re giving. Make a list of positive body language traits and pull them out to review when you arrive at the interview.

Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Take The Phone Interview With The Recruiter Serious

The goal of any job search is to get the job, right? But in order to get the job you’re going to spend a good bit of time interviewing. You’ve told yourself if you could just get in front of someone and they can see you, you know they’ll love you and will want to hire you. Only before you can get in front of someone you have to first pass the phone interview.

Normally your first contact with any company will be the phone interview with the recruiter. It should be your goal to help the recruiter understand why you’re the best qualified for the position. Because the goal of the phone interview for the recruiter is to narrow the pool of resumes they pass along to the hiring manager.

Take the phone interview serious or you’ll never get the opportunity to meet anyone face-to-face.

Here’s how to prepare:

Review the Job Description

Make sure you have a good understanding of the duties of the job. Then write down examples from you own experience that reflect what you’ve done that matches what the company is looking for a person to do.

Know Something About the Company

Even if you’re just reading from the company website, know what the company does. I can’t tell you how many times during a phone interview candidates would ask me to tell them about the company. Here’s a little secret, companies want to hire individuals who want to work for them. How you convey your enthusiasm for working at the company is by doing your homework and being able to answer the question, ‘what do you know about our company’ when asked.

Schedule the Call When You Can Focus

Don’t schedule a phone interview right before a meeting or right after a meeting. You’ll be distracted and you won’t be able to focus on the recruiter’s questions. Likewise, don’t schedule the call when you’re at home watching your child. Schedule the call when you can focus your attention on the questions you’re being asked so that you can provide well thought out responses.

Video Interviews

If the recruiter wants to conduct a video interview make sure your system is working before the call. Recruiters normally have anywhere from 3 – 6 phone interviews scheduled during the day with a mixture of on-site interviews thrown in. The recruiter may not have the time to wait while you try to get the camera and/or audio working. The more time you take trying to get the system set up, the less time you’re going to have to communicate why you’re the best qualified.

If you succeed in passing the phone interview with the recruiter, you’ll most likely be scheduled for a phone interview with the hiring manager next. Again, take the time to prepare because the hiring manager will be deciding if you have the technical skills to fill the position and if they want to invite you on-site. You know for that face-to-face interview you’ve been wanting.

Take the time to prepare for any interview because with each interview you pass, you’re one step closer to getting the job!