Posts Tagged: Hiring

How to Transition to a New Role without Burning Bridges

At Career Contacts, we are constantly supporting candidates as they transition from one company to the next. It is so important to support them in landing their dream jobs, without leaving a storm behind. 

We believe strongly in the power of relationships and today, our newest team member, Reena, is going to share her experience transitioning from her previous company. 

I have been humbled by my transition into a new role, as it has been done by creating meaningful connections rather than burning bridges.  As I leave for a new role, my outgoing employer is happy for me and has also encouraged me to visit and stay in touch.

My last day was very bittersweet, as I had a lot of conversations with those who I brought onto the team thanking me for giving them a chance to join the team.  I took chances on people and looked for a true fit on both ends and sometimes that meant taking a chance on those who did not have as much experience as we were looking for.

This whole process has reminded me why I love doing what I do and has me excited for the next chapter.  When you are truly passionate about what you do and treat the place you work as your own, moving to a new role without burning bridges is very seamless.

Here are some tips on how to make that possible:

  • Before anything be positive and remember why you started with the company and reflect on your contributions and the support you have received
  • Once an offer for a new role becomes official, communicate with your manager or whomever is your direct report-to via email and set up a time to discuss the departure
  • Be honest to your manager, or whomever your direct report-to is on why you are leaving and be appreciative of the opportunity to have worked alongside them
  • Ensure you give 2 weeks’ notice, so you can effectively offboard your role and tie up any loose ends
  • Create a Functions document for your role with bullet points and links to any resources that will be helpful
  • Communicate personally with your team and those you work with directly, either in 
    person or through chat about your departure and encourage them to stay in touch by offering your contact information.
  • Be professional through your last day as you are still an ambassador of the company and its values

 

When you are transitioning to a new role, it is important to be positive about your outgoing employer as you transition out of your role.  If you do have any frustrations, try to communicate those to your manager or whomever is your direct report-to.  Discussing how much you enjoyed working there and some fond memories is a great way to ease any tensions of your departure.  Transitioning to a new role can be done with a positive attitude and will result in having stronger connections with those you worked with rather than burning bridges.

 

Looking for more support as you give your notice, negotiate that new offer, or start your new position? Pick up a copy of The HR Insider; how to land your dream job and keep it! Written by our Vice President, Natasha Jeshani. 

What to wear to a remote job interview

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.

Good luck at your job interview!

The Power of the Phone Interview – Part 1

This is day 11 of total social isolation for our team due to COVID-19.

That means in some of our cases, the kids or pets are home, are significant others are around, and as Recruiters, that means interviewing from home.

At Career Contacts, we have a really robust screening process, and an important piece of that is the phone interview.

Some of the perks of a strong phone interview are:

  1. Reducing unconscious bias
  2. Saving time (and therefore, money)
  3. Improved candidate experience (when done correctly)
  4. 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!

DO:

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!

DO NOT:

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.

Be Late

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

How to Answer the “What is Your Weakness” Question Effectively?

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:

EXAMPLE ONE

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.

EXAMPLE TWO

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.

EXAMPLE THREE

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.

Informational Interviews – Here is What They Are and What They Can Do For You

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:

  1. Tell me about your daily activities?
  2. Tell me about your career journey and how it has led to your current position?
  3. What are a couple of tips that you would offer someone starting their career?
  4. What education or classes are most valuable in your job?
  5. What opportunities are there for advancement?
  6. What are the most important skills for a successful employee to have?
  7. What are the typical salaries and benefits in this industry?
  8. How often does your firm hire?
  9. 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.

Now that you have this, we wish you success!

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