When going to a job interview, first impressions really count. Now that a lot of interviews are going remote, many are forgetting that you are still about to make a first impression, and your appearance counts.
Dress with confidence and style; be polished and professional.
Here are some tips for you:
Find out what the dress code is
Ask what the dress code is when setting up the job interview. This will give you a hint on what they are expecting, and also give you a glimpse of their culture too!
Be conservative with what you choose
If the job interview is at a formal office, dress the way you would on your first day, unless told otherwise. If it is a casual office, and jeans and t-shirts are worn, you should still do a more business variation of this to look put together and like you put in effort for the interview.
Wear clothes that fit
Don’t wear clothes that are too tight or too loose to the job interview. Both are inappropriate and will make you look less put together.
Wear clean clothes
Even over zoom, we can tell when your clothes are dirty, and it gives off the wrong first impression.
Be well groomed
The COVID restrictions have made it challenging for everyone to feel comfortable getting hair cuts, and heading to salons for regular appointments. This is not an excuse to show up to interviews a mess. Simply putting some effort into keeping your hair out of our face, and clean, will go a long way. Remember that your hands are often seen in the camera, so while you may not be getting your nails done, they could still be clean.
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have
You’ve likely heard this saying before. It’s important that you let go of your preconceived notions of the work that you are doing now, and focus on where you are looking to be in the future. Dress for the job you are applying for.
Feel comfortable adding your own personal style
Add a splash of colour or personality like a tie, scarf, or piece of jewelry. It’s OK to have personality. You want to be memorable and stand out from the other candidates and adding a little statement can help with that. At the end of the day, you want them to hire you; the real you. So feel comfortable sharing a bit about who you are; we just recommend you don’t go overboard.
At the end of the day, remote interviews feel very similar to in person interviews, when you get going. The main thing is to feel confident, prepared and ready to what them with how well you align with the position they are hiring for.
Want to know more about about how to succeed in job interviews, check out these additional tips.
Increased quality of the hire by adding a step in the process
Now that our hiring managers are also conducting phone interviews, we’ve received a lot of questions on the do’s and don’t’s of phone interviews and thought we’d share our list!
Talk about salary
When possible, we encourage companies to be transparent with this process. If you are paying fairly, there should never be a worry of “leaving money on the table”. I also personally am a big fan giving candidates a range, and encourage them to share theirs.
Talk about culture fit / add
Instead of expecting them to know what you’re all about, take the time to share a bit about your values and what your company stands for. Tell them about your social events, your training programs, anything that highlights your company as a employer of choice.
PRO TIP: This might not be the right candidate for the role, but they might be for the next role, or be able to introduce you to your next dream candidate – it’s worth giving them a good feeling about the company.
Invite them to ask their questions
Candidates want to feel comfortable asking about what matters to them. It’s a great way to gauge what they value, and also allows them to screen themselves out early in the process if needed be. The more transparent you can be, the better!
Ask what they make now
It’s really none of your business. They are applying for a new position, likely with new roles and responsibilities, and potentially with greater expectations. Ask them what they are expecting to make in the role they are applying for instead.
Be afraid to dig deeper
If they don’t ask, it’s ok to find out what they value from companies – vacation, work from home, benefits. The offer package has a lot of room and if you know what they value, you have more to offer them when it comes time.
This also applies to things like their computer skills, communication skills or previous experience with a specific tool or program. Take the time to ask them the non negotiables up front. If you need someone with SAGE software experience, get that out there in the first round and reduce your work on the back end.
Disorganization in the hiring process reflects heavily on the company as a whole. Respect that the candidates time is equally as valuable as your own, and remember that they are interviewing you, as much as you are interviewing them.
If you are going to be late, you’re going to know an hour before hand, maybe even half an hour before – make sure you give them a heads up.
If you are cancelling all together, ensure that you are sincerely apologetic, and work with their availability to reschedule. Don’t normally work past 5 but that’s all they have available? Make it work!
The most important thing during a phone screen is to listen to your candidate, have a genuine interest in what they have to share, and be mindful of their time. Interviews are not easy for most, so walk into any interview with compassion and you’ll be pleasantly surprised what you get back in return!
Want some more tips?
Stay tuned for our next blog: Behind the Scenes of a Great Phone Interview
Interviews are stressful – you want to be organized and appear to be fully qualified for each job you apply to. When getting ready and prepared for a job interview, it is important to think of the questions you may be asked and be ready with great responses.
One of the most common questions that still gets asked is some variation of “tell me about your weaknesses”.
Let’s get ready for this one together!
First, let’s consider why interviewers ask questions about your weaknesses.
They ask about weaknesses to see how and if candidates will fit into their organization when it comes to taking ownership. They also want to see if a candidate has the ability to recognize their imperfections and then be able to implement strategies to learn and grow to overcome them. Employers care about the process of coming back from errors, more so than the mistake itself.
Do not reply with “I am a perfectionist” or “I work too hard”.
It can be tricky to identify weaknesses.
One way to communicate positively about a weakness is to identify a skill or a trait that you are learning or have learned to overcome and that has now become a strength.
When asked “what is your weakness”, this is a great time to tell a story about yourself of how you have learned to improve yourself. This can be done by identifying a hard or soft skill you wanted to improve and then telling you interviewer the steps you took to actually do it.
Show that you are ready for self-improvement and growth.
Here are a few examples of good responses:
I am still learning to set boundaries. I have a tendency to people please and in the past, took on too much I don’t like giving up projects and can get caught up in the details. To help with this, I have learned to give myself deadlines to stay on deadline. I also ensure I prioritize and delegate when needed.
A weakness of mine is that I don’t speak a second language. In my last job at ABC Company, most of our clients were from Mexico or Southern USA and spoke Spanish. I took it upon myself to buy a Rosetta Stone (Audio Book) to learn conversational Spanish in my car to show my clients that I acknowledged my weakness and that I was committed to making a change.
We also found a great response from Hubspot, about delegating. “I’m incredibly self-motivated, and I sometimes find it difficult to delegate responsibility when I feel I can finish the task well myself. However, when I became manager in my last role, it became critical I learn to delegate tasks. To maintain a sense of control when delegating tasks, I implemented a project management system to oversee the progress of a project. This system enabled me to improve my ability to delegate efficiently.”
Remember that the common “what is your weakness” question can take many forms.
Interview questions can be straight forward or geared towards behavioral questions such as:
How has this weakness negatively affected you?
What would you like to improve in the next year?
What would your pas manager say you need to improve on?
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
This is a great time for self-reflection. It’s not only helping you rock your next job interview; it will also be a really good opportunity to check yourself and see what improvements you can make to eliminate an answer from the roster.
Please feel free to contact our office with any questions.
As a person looking for a job or doing research to find out more about a new career, informational interviews are great places to start learning.
According to Wikipedia, an informational interview is a meeting in which potential job seekers seek advice on their career, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future work place. An informational interview is not a job interview; it is a meeting where a job seeker is given the opportunity to learn about a specific job from a person who is working in that field.
It is an excellent source of information about an occupation and career opportunities.
The benefits of an informational interview include job seekers:
gain information about an industry or a specialized field
find out about jobs and career paths
are given tips about a job, how and when to apply and even the name of best person to speak with
learn about the culture and information of a specific company
can ask questions for feedback about skills and education that are beneficial
A great benefit of an informational interview is that they are not job interviews, so they are less stressful. An employee can casually discuss the daily activities of a job and learn more about an industry.
Arranging an informational interview may be tricky if you are new to the industry. A couple of great sources to professionals in an industry are LinkedIn, as well as Google. Asking for a referral from friends, family, alumni or a past instructor are also great ways to expand your network.
People are busy so don’t be upset if a person doesn’t have time to speak to you. It is a numbers game so arrange for several informational interviews to get the face time you are seeking.
As the person looking for the inside edge on a company or job, be organized and prepared for the meeting.
Here are a few tips to conduct a professional Informational Interview:
Be prompt and keep the conversation brief – 15 – 30 minutes
Dress as you would in a job interview
Research the person as well as company you are meeting with
Arrive with questions and a pen and paper to make notes
Always be polite and thank the person you are meeting with
At an informational interview, job seekers learn about qualifications and skills required to know if they are heading down the right career path.
Here are a few sample questions to ask:
Tell me about your daily activities?
Tell me about your career journey and how it has led to your current position?
What are a couple of tips that you would offer someone starting their career?
What education or classes are most valuable in your job?
What opportunities are there for advancement?
What are the most important skills for a successful employee to have?
What are the typical salaries and benefits in this industry?
How often does your firm hire?
Is there anyone else you think would be a good person to meet?
Informational interviews are a great source of information so that you can up your game.
They are the generation born after 1995 and they are entering the workforce now.
By the end of 2020, Stats Canada estimates that Gen Z will account for 20% of the workforce.
Wikipedia defines Generation Z as the demographic cohort succeeding the Millennials (GenY). Demographers use the mid-1990s as birth years to current 1996 to 2015.
They are the children of Gen X, and Millennials. This up and coming generation are sometimes call the Digital Natives as they were born with technology and are extremely tech savvy.
Generation Z employees are hardworking and loyal.
If you want to attract and hire this generation of employees here are a few things to consider:
They like technology and video. They know and appreciate online presence. They spend their time on YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram; they effectively engage with social media. They know cloud computing.
They care about culture, honesty, and diversity. For example, they are inclusive with all groups. It is all they know as normal. They are comfortable with diversity – it’s what they experience daily. A few key examples are gender neutral bathrooms, LGBTQ+, and equal pay.
They want work life balance. This includes stability, job safety, long term employment, and flexibility to work hard and advance in their careers.
Here are few things to think about when you are recruiting and hiring this Gen Z group:
Optimize employment postings for mobile applications. Social media is where it is at.
Use videos, skype, and online recruitment strategies. Videos and Instagram stories are great and this group loves them.
Keep the application process simple for employees to send their resumes. Also, keepprospective employees informed throughout the steps of the hiring process.
Financial stability is important for this generation. They will want to know pay and benefits before even applying. Benefits can be very diverse to include things such as transit accessibility or parking, medical, dental, and extended health coverage, RRSP contribution plans and food perks.
Showcase your company’s culture as well as health and wellness spending. Corporate team involvement can include corporate healthy lunches, yoga, fitness challenges as well as company supported volunteer efforts.
Identify corporate growth and advancement opportunities. In job postings, show opportunities for personal and professional advancement for career development. This can include education courses and programs (re-invest in your employees), as well as advancement opportunities to other departments. Lastly tell stories about employees who have progressed as well as your development in your career. Highlight employee’s success.
Allow Gen Z the ability to work independently. They are not afraid to use Google or YouTube to learn. They will want the opportunity to work from home.
Given the right opportunities, Gen Z will remain loyal to your company while having a stable work-life balance.
And when you give them free reign, they’re not just capable of thinking outside the box, but also reinventing it, making them a huge asset to your business.
Make sure you have the right strategies in place and sure enough, you’ll make Gen Z love working for you and with you.