Tips to Master a Skype or Telephone Interview

Telephone and Skype interviews are often the second step in the interview process after being short listed. Here are a few tips to help you get prepared and strengthen yourself for a telephone interview. Let’s formulate a plan and get you selected to move to the next stage – the in-person interview.

1. Research the Company Ahead of Time:
• Review the corporate website and review the job description
• Look at the interviewer’s profile on Linkedin
• Prepare a list of questions that you may ask the interviewer

2. Be Ready for the Call:
• Have your mobile charged or the phone line clear and your internet connection strong
• Be seated in a quiet room with all distractions removed – tv, children, pets
• Let your family or roommate know so that they do not interrupt you
• If you are on a Skype interview be professionally dressed
• Have a copy of your resume present
• Have a pen and paper ready to make any notes

3. Be Prepared for Interview Questions:
• Know your strengths and weaknesses
• Know how to answer questions that they may ask you. Practice ahead of time! Here are a few examples of common interview questions:
 Why do you want this job?
 What do you know about this company?
 Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
 How do you handle pressure and stress? (be prepared to give examples)
 Tell me about yourself? (achievements at school, work, education, hobbies)
 See here for more ideas of interview questions

4. Speaking :
• Take a deep breath and speak slowly & clearly
• Sound enthusiastic; be positive
• Do not chew gum or eat
• Listen first; allow the interviewer to finish each question before answering, be careful not to interrupt

5. Finishing the Call:
• Thank the interview by name for taking the time to call and interview with you
• Ask what the next step is in the interview process
• Lastly send a thank you note or email to the interviewer letting them know that you are  interested in being considered for the position and that you are ready to meet in person.

Please feel free to call or email our recruiters at Career Contacts with any questions about interviewing. We are happy to assist you.

Reasons Why Team Building Should be One of Your Priorities as an Employer

Team Building… a concept dreaded by both employees and the employer. Employees dread this term because usually it entails gathering collectively as a company and sitting through boring speeches or presentations and ending with some sort of ice breaker or corky challenge. The only benefits of team building in the eyes of an employee is that it is done on company time and they get to socialize with their work friends. But as a business owner or management level employee, it is your responsibility to create a strong team environment and if your employees and you are dreading the team building sessions, you’re doing something wrong!

Team Building is becoming a must in organizations. It is moving away from the dreaded activity and moving towards a creative and workplace culture building activity! If you have not made the switch here are five reasons why you need to:

  1. Teamwork Boosts Performance

It has been proven time and time again that team work boosts performance. We have all experienced situations in our lives where the whole team is not on board and it really puts a halt on the whole project. Two brains are better than one. The more brains, the more results.

 

  1. Decreases Stereotypes and Misconceptions in the Workplace

Team building activities allow employees to network and bond in the workplace. This will allow for them to break down stereo-types of one another and decrease perceptual biases we as humans naturally acquire towards one another. With team building comes meaningful interaction, and that will result in a better understanding of each person as an individual. Understanding the individual will assist the team to flow better.

 

  1. Increase Communication and Collaboration

This point sort of ties in to stereotypes and misconceptions. Exposing employees to one another in a not so work setting will allow them to get to know each other more personally and understand each other and themselves better. You will see groups naturally form and learn who collaborates well with who. This can later be brought back into work assignments and ideally boosts performance.

 

  1. Millennials

Of course, we bring up millennials. But in reality, by 2025 they will make up majority of our work force and Millennials love teams! Creating a strong team building program will contribute to your corporate culture and get you recognized in a completive work field. Team building is a prominent factor in companies like Microsoft and Hootsuite that have been innovative in their corporate cultures to attract the generations entering the work force.

 

  1. Encourages Innovation and Creativity

Fun and innovative team building activities will encourage the creative and innovative juices to flow through the minds of your employees. With many of them together at once, interacting, sharing ideas and flaunting different personalities – creativity and innovation will follow.

With all this being said, please do not take all this in and still be that company conducting speeches and corky ice breakers. Be innovative and creative when deciding how to engage and blend your employees! Here is a great resources from Huffington Post about how to get your employees engaged in team building activities!

I am interested in what your company does to engage employees in team building activities! Send me an email at danielle@careercontacts.ca and share with me your innovative and creative ideas.

Eight Tips To Be Successful For Your Next Job Interview

Here are a few interview tips from the recruiters at Career Contacts to keep in mind for the next interview that you are going to:

  1. Practice Being Interviewed. The majority of interview questions you will be asked you know ahead of time.
    • Practice, practice and then practice again for those interview questions that they may ask in this interview; do this with a friend or record yourself with your phone to get comfortable.
  2. Review the company’s website, blog and social media sites. Read up on the industry and know current events. Know where you are going.  Here is a link to sample to interview questions.
  3. Be Punctual. Don’t be late, arrive early enough to avoid traffic, find parking, or a bus route and then grab a coffee or water and relax.
    • Plan your route or bus schedule the day before.
    • Don’t arrive earlier than 5 minutes. Wait in the lobby until your time arrives.  
  4. Be Ready the Day Before The Interview. Get your clothes ready, resume printed and references prepared. Carry these in a folder with a pen and paper to make notes.
    • Keep your appearance fresh and business like.
    • Wear only light colognes or perfumes. Some offices are scent free.
    • Make a professional first impression.
  5. Be Ready to Meet the Interviewer. Remember body language and maintain eye contact.  Smile, relax and take a breath between questions.  Don’t be afraid to say “just a moment, let me think of an example”.
    • Mirror the person you are meeting. Put them at ease by replicating their posture.
    • Be positive and confident.
    • Do not be negative or make negative comments about past employers.
  6. Let them know that you know them.
  7. Ask questions. According to Glassdoor, if you don’t ask questions in an interview you can easily “run the risk of unintentionally appearing disengaged or uninterested.”
  8. Send a Thank You Follow Up Note after the Interview. Sending a thank you note will let the interviewer know that you are interested in being considered for the job and will possibly get you a final interview.
    • Keep it simple and straight to the point.

If you have any questions, email Andrea at Andrea@careercontacts.ca

Five Moments to Appreciate to achieve Success & Happiness

Success and happiness aren’t easy to achieve. It takes a lot of time, hard work, and luck to get there.

That’s why, along the way, you’ve got to take advantage of moments—those brief periods of time when all can be right in your world.

Here are nine moments worth experiencing every day if you’re looking for a happier and more successful life.

  1. A Moment of Laughter

There’s physiological and scientific evidence that shows that smiling and laughing put you in a better mood.

Take time every day to laugh, and you’ll find it’s both contagious and uplifting. Surround yourself with funny people, find opportunities to laugh at yourself, and laugh your way to the top.

  1. A Moment of Celebration

We don’t take the time to celebrate small successes enough—or even big successes.

 

  1. A Moment of Reflection

We all lead such busy lives. It’s important to be able to take at least one moment each day where we do nothing but think.

Put your phone away, get somewhere by yourself, and simply reflect (it doesn’t have to be long!) on the day that was and the day that will be, about decisions to come, and about what you’ve learned from the past.

  1. A Moment of Stillness

There’s reflection and then there’s true stillness—the ability to shut off everything, including your mind, and get into a meditative state.

The busier your life is, the more valuable it is to practice moments of stillness. Yoga and meditation are the most popular ways to get into this state, if only for a few minutes (science says you can reap the benefits in 15 minutes).

  1. A Moment of Pride

A lot of people associate the word “pride” with something negative.

But you have so much to be proud of. You can afford to take a least one moment each day where you sit back and appreciate all that you’ve done and the good person that you are. Take pride in the little things you’ve accomplished along the way.

Again, these are just moments—meaning they shouldn’t take up too much time, and chances are you already do them on a regular basis. But by being aware of how powerful these can be, you put yourself on the path to true bliss.

Tips to Help You Regain Your Focus After the Holidays

With the holiday season coming to an end, reality is setting back in. It is no longer acceptable to eat and drink whatever you want, our bank accounts are lower than usual and everyone is heading back to work. Getting back into the work and life routine is not easy. It can be hard to get focused and switch your mindset from holiday mode to work mode.

I have created a list of tricks to help you get focused the first day back at work. These tips can be used whenever you need to redirect your attention to work or personal life, and not necessarily just after the holidays! Here is what I do when I cannot focus, or feel overwhelmed at work.

 

  1. Lists! Lists! Lists!

I am at times, a LIST QUEEN. Lists are great for any day of the week, but especially helpful on a Monday returning from the holidays. You may find that when you arrive at work you have a million things to do. Here’s my tip to you; Take a deep breath and write it all down. Write a list of everything you have to accomplish that day. As a recruiter I am constantly writing lists of what I have to do, who is available to work, what my clients need and more! Lists will help you visualize what it is you really need to do, rather than having a bunch of thoughts floating around in your mind. One thing I do too, is when I’m feeling overwhelmed I take the easiest tasks on my list and complete them. It really makes you feel like you have accomplished something, and it feels good to stroke them off the list!

  1. Prioritize

After you have created your “To Do List”, prioritize it!! Here in the office we typically like to colour coordinate. Green highlight means it must be finished immediately! Yellow highlight means it is important but not urgent. And Red means it has to be done but could wait to be done last. This really puts into perspective your work load and allows for you to manage your time better.

  1. Declutter

I find if my work space is clean my mind feels clearer. If you have the opportunity to tidy before you go on holidays, it is good to be proactive. It will make coming back to your workspace that much easier. Tidying your workspace can make a world of a difference. If your feeling overwhelmed, cleaning allows for you to take a break from work and still be productive, allowing you to clear your mind and your workspace.

  1. Eat Healthy

A lot of us are guilty of indulging a little TOO much over the holidays. When it is time to come back to work on Monday and you still have turkey brain, staying focused and staying awake can be challenging. As much as it is ok to indulge, ensure when you are back in the workplace you are consuming healthy foods. Fruits, vegetables and good proteins will you to get your body back in balance after weeks of alcohol, carbs and sweets! (Three of my favourite things). It is also important to stay hydrated! Water is very important and will help you stay focused at work, and overall make your body feel better. Dare I say it but to add to healthy eating, working out will also help you get back in the rhythm of your personal or work life.

We all get distracted at time, you are not alone! If you have had a few weeks off of work due to the holidays it can be even more challenging to be motivated and focused your first day back. Hopefully these tips can help you. If you have any questions of the above content or would like to share your own tips that help you regain focus, send me an email at danielle@careercontacts.ca, thanks for reading!