Smart Ways to Research and Prepare For a Job Interview

Congratulations! You have made it past the screening stage of the interview process and now you are going for an interview.  Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for success at your first job interview.

1. Review the Job Description and be knowledgeable about the job duties.

  • Be prepared to answer questions and provide examples of skills and qualifications that are asked for in the job description. If the job requires attention to detail you may be asked “Give me an example of a time you used your attention to detail?”.
  • If the job description calls for a team player you may be asked “Please tell me a time you have had to resolve a team conflict?” If the job description calls for strong written and verbal communication skills, you may be asked “Tell me about a time you have had to use your communication skills to send an email?”
  • Be prepared to tell stories and provide examples of your past.
  • Speak of results and be able to show that you have provided solutions with results. If you are able to quantify your achievements let the interviewer know.  For example “I achieved 125 of my sales targets or I reduced turnover by 17%”

2. Use LinkedIn to research your Interviewer.

  • On LinkedIn search under people for the people and company that you are interviewing with.  Read about the interviewer’s bio – where they have worked, promotions, accomplishments and education.
  • Review the company page as well.

3. Use the internet to research the company.

  • Visit the corporate website and LinkedIn to learn about the organization. Other sources of information are glassdoor.com and google.

4. Research to find out what Associations the company belongs to.

  • Learn which groups or associations you will be connected with for networking, learning and social purposes.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice.

  • Rehearse your interview questions.  Review the interview questions until you are no longer jittery.  Practice with a friend, in front of a mirror or use your phone to video yourself and listen to your answers.

Feel free to call our office at 604-606-1831 or email andrea@careercontacts.ca for assistance around this topic!

Tips to Staying Organized During Your Job Search

This week in the office I have noticed a common theme among Job Seekers, chaos occurring during their Job Search. I don’t know if it is due to the gloomy February weather, level of experience in applicants, or freak coincidence but a lot of the applicants I have interviewed this week have been confused and unorganized when setting up interviews. What I mean by this is the applicants have so many interviews going on right now that they cannot keep track! I truly understand how hectic a Job Search can be so I have developed a list of tips to help stay organized and sane during your hunt for a new job!

Tip # 1- LISTS

Start your job search off right! Make a list of companies you are interested in or want to apply to. Then as you begin applying for jobs cross the employers of the list. This will give you a sense of satisfaction and achievement while also keeping things organized. Making a list of who you want to work for will keep you goal orientated. Do not be afraid to apply for other companies as well, but add them to the list!!

Tip# 2 – LOG YOUR PROGRESS

Once you have applied to companies and positions of interest create a Job Search Log. This will help you again keep track of where you applied to but also the status of your application. Microsoft Excel has a premade log that I recommend, you can download. This log helps you keep track of everything on one page and is very easy to read! A log prepares you for a very professional interview, you will know who your meeting with and when. This organization will allow you to prepare before the interview; researching the company and interviewee and documenting important notes.

Tip # 3 – DO NOT APPLY TO MASS AMOUNTS OF JOBS AT ONE TIME

I know it is tempting, when your scrolling through websites such as Indeed, hitting apply now, apply now, apply now. Your job search will be much more effective if you take your time and apply to a few jobs at once vs. thirty in one evening. I understand sometimes there are time constraints on your Job Search but remember slow and steady wins the race. If you apply to thirty jobs at once you will have trouble keeping track of what companies and positions you applied for. Chances are things will get messy and confusing! Keep the applications to 5- 10 each sitting.

Tip # 4 – PUT IT IN YOU CALENDAR

I cannot stress enough how important it is to use a planner or calendar during your job search. The craziest part of your job search is probably when you start getting calls and making appointments. Many people try to keep track of all of their interviews in their mind but it is easy to them mixed up. It is best that you write down your interviews in a planner and then put them in your phone. This will prevent you from double booking, missing appointments or showing up late.

TIP # 5 – BELIEVE YOU ARE ORGANIZED

Our brains are powerful tools. During your job search, even if things are looking rocky and unorganized, believe that you are organized and that have everything under control! If you believe you have control over your job search and you believe you are organized during the process you will come off more confident and professional during your phone conversations and in appointments with employers. Not to mention your sub-conscious mind will encourage you to become more organized! Remember if you can dream it you can achieve it.

Job Searching can be stressful and scary but it does not have to be disorganized. Do yourself a favour and follow even a few of the tips above, they will make a world of difference during your next job search.

If you have questions regarding any of the above tips or need assistance in your Job Search give us a call at 604-606-1831 or send me an email at danielle@careercontacts.ca. I am eager to hear methods you use to stay organized during your job search too, feel free to share!! Thanks for reading.

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

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