Archive for October, 2015

How to React to “Off-The-Wall” Interview Questions

https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=940&q=interview+questions&oq=interview+questions&gs_l=img.3..0l10.62834.65536.0.65846.19.11.0.8.8.0.127.994.8j2.10.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..2.17.948.jjooPUdch_w#imgrc=nelSAY3WvXP-TM%3AAre you preparing yourself for your next interview? Have you gone through your checklist of what to wear, where to go and researched who you’re meeting with? If so, here is one last tip before the big interview… prepare yourself for “off-the-wall” questions.

At every interview, employers go through the basics. They will ask you about your resume, accomplishments and for a list of references. It’s easy to prepare yourself for those kind of questions. You have a game plan of where you want to be in 5 years, you know why you want to work for the company, and hopefully have researched a little something about the person interviewing you. But what if they ask you about something you don’t know though? How do you think you would react?

Interviewers ask questions that may seem completely insane to throw you off balance. They want to put you in a high pressure situation and see if you can think on your feet. One of the most notorious questions that does just that is “How many snow skis in the US were rented last year?” Who could know the answer to that? You! Some of the other candidates may say, “I don’t know, but I can find out.” This isn’t a bad answer, but it also won’t make you stand out. The person sitting in front of you knows that you don’t know how many snow skis are rented in a year, they want to see how you handle a stressful situation. Take a step back and logically process the question. If you can analyze this situation creatively, you are proving you can handle tough situations that are bound to come up in your future job.

So what’s a good answer for this question? Start off by thinking about how many Americans live in the US, so say around 317 million. Now, how many of those people actually ski? Maybe 10%. So around 31,700,000 people ski every year. Then take in consideration that probably half of those people own ski’s – so only 15,850,000 people rent them. You can keep going with this and add in the number of tourists who ski in the US, factor in the weather, tourism – whatever you want! The point isn’t that all of this information is exactly accurate, it’s that you can break down the question and critically think in a practical environment. You aren’t just pulling numbers out of your head or saying “I don’t know”, your actively trying answer the question.

If you thought you were done with your interview prep work, think again. Being able to answer questions like this takes practice, poise and dedication. Employers know this, and being able to answer a question logically (like above) could get you the job over someone else. You can start practicing by brushing up on tough interview questions that you aren’t comfortable with. Get out of your comfort zone and practice handling yourself in an analytical or creative way.

Another great resource to use is a staffing company. TRC Professional Solutions has recruiters who specialize in helping professional candidates find jobs with great clients. They offer resume tips, interview techniques, and will help you prepare for interviews by keeping you on the edge of your seat. Ready to get the interview process rolling? Take a look at TRC Professional Solutions job board and apply today.

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Technical Resume Writing

https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=940&q=Technical+&oq=Technical+&gs_l=img.3..0l10.3353.5720.0.7334.10.9.0.1.1.0.117.861.7j2.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.10.863.TIb_Axl__z0#safe=active&tbm=isch&q=science+technology+engineering+and+mathematics&imgrc=ZJtkPP04cc-NUM%3ACalling resume writing simple is just a fallacy. Each resume written incorporates everything from grammar and logic – to smaller details on the layout. Technical resume writing requires even more! You have to incorporate key terms that represent your skill set, without becoming “too technical”. Is it possible for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) industries to become “too technical”? The answer is yes, and here’s why…

Throughout the interview process, you will speak with several people all proficient in different disciplines. If you are too detailed with the terms on your resume, it could become unreadable to those who don’t have specific knowledge of certain data, engineering techniques, etc. This is why you have to strategically communicate key words and your skill set in a way that everyone can understand, especially a nontechnical recruiter. Let’s take a look at an example.

Instead of writing “Deployed software” say “Deployed software to assess performance of network logging. This consolidated and simplified network monitoring.”

Now the sentence describes what skills were used and how it saved the company time and money. Another way to make this sentence even better is to add some software specific details so that recruiters are able to pull your resume when looking for software experience by name.

“Deployed Splunk and Cacti software to assess performance of network logging. This consolidated and simplified network monitoring.”

This sentence now has key words, technical information and is still understandable to someone who isn’t an IT specialist.

How does TRC Professional Solutions fit into this? Our technical recruiters can help you with technical resume writing and find you the best opportunities that match your skill set. Our recruiters know what types of candidates our clients are seeking and will provide you with opportunities to apply for exceptional positions. No wasted interviews or time. Interested in seeing what jobs are currently available? If so, click here!

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Feeling Burnt Out? Here’s How To Feel Better

http://thrivenwa.com/2014/04/15/the-endless-performance/Burnout manifests itself differently for everyone, but if you’re a tech worker who works long hours and faces demanding deadlines, you’ve probably experienced some symptoms of burnout – even if you haven’t recognized it as such.

From exhaustion to depression or just cynicism, there are ways to minimize these symptoms and have a healthier work-life balance – even in the demanding tech industry. Some solutions may seem obvious, but they’re obvious for a reason – they’re crucial to your well-being.

Sleep.  If something has to give, let it be that little bit of TV you watch at night before bed, rather than your sleep. If your schedule is intense and doesn’t allow for any free time, it should be temporary. During this time period, make sufficient sleep a priority on your off time.  If your schedule is always so intense that you don’t have time to get enough sleep, then you need to think of other opportunities. Your healthy is important.

Rewards.  Maybe it’s easier said than done if your schedule is insane. But ever heard the expression “it’s the little things in life?” It’s true. Maybe it’s as simple as taking breaks to play a game on the Internet, or spending a little while at the end of the day doing a hobby you enjoy that truly relaxes you. All work and no play spells burnout.

Exercise.  Don’t underestimate the wonders even a few hours of getting your heart rate up each week can do for your morale. Find a way to work it into your routine, so it’s a streamline part of your day. You’ll feel better, be healthier, and find your spirits lifted.

Reach out.  Even if you aren’t a self-described people-person, you still need support. Confide in someone you trust about feeling burnt out. Even just a little commiserating will help you feel not so alone – and feeling you aren’t alone is often half the battle to feeling better.

When times get crazy, we often let our healthy habits slip. It’s understandable. But if things don’t let up, you can choose to make it work by taking steps to take care of your sanity while juggling your job – or you probably need to find something that allows you to have a work-life balance.

If you’re looking for a new engineering, accounting, finance, information technology or other tech job, TRC Professional Solutions is an excellent place to start. We match tech professionals with full-time and project-based opportunities based on your skills, experience, and desired criteria. Check out the TRC Professional Solutions job boards for positions of all types across the country.

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It’s not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.

This statement can be the difference between landing the perfect job or having your resume swept under the rug. Your ability to nonverbally and verbally communicate effectively during the interview process will make you stand out from the other candidates.

When you first walk into an interview, the person sitting across the table is looking at everything from your resume to the way you are swirling back and forth in your chair. All of these aspects of the interview process are types of nonverbal communication and they represent you. Yes, you are a part of the STEM group and your skills are unique but even if you’re the purple squirrel in the room, you have to stay on top of your game during in-person interviews.

Psychologist Albert Mehrabian completed and documented studies in his book Nonverbal Communication, which show that only 7% of communication comes from actually speaking. The rest of communication comes from your tone – 38% and your body language – 55%. When nerves are high and the pressure is on, you could go from being known as Joe the educated Engineer to Joe the nervous yawner.

This is where our recruiters at TRC Professional Solutions can help you! From resume tips to where to put your hands during interviews, they are dedicated to helping you succeed. If you need help finding a position that fits your skills, take a look at our job board.

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The Federal Government Helps STEM Students Find A College

For people considering a degree and career in computer science, engineering, finance, accounting, information technology, or other technical discipline – there’s a site they may want to check out. It’s called College Scorecard. 

The federal government’s recently redesigned website provides data from over 7,000 colleges and universities. That data includes tuition, graduation rates, SAT scores, average salaries post-graduation, and other information people can use to decide if the school is right for them. The site includes the option to sort by size, programs, location and other filters.

 It’s just one small part of a larger effort on behalf of the government to encourage and bolster the pursuit of STEM careers – a much-needed and sought-after skill set at companies these days.

 As for those who are searching for an IT, computer science, engineering, finance or accounting position – professional recruiters are ready and willing to help. TRC Professional Solutions is a professional staffing agency that specializes in technical opportunities for job candidates with those skill sets. Whether project-based or full-time, we have opportunities in every discipline waiting for the perfect candidate. Search the TRC Professional Solutions job boards for opportunities all over the country.

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