Posts Tagged interview tips

How to answer the question “What’s your biggest weakness?”

biggest-weaknessIt’s been a standard interview question for so long, it’s become a bit of a cliche. Still, the question “what’s your biggest weakness” is likely to show up, in some form or another, in your interviews.

For example, a hiring manager might ask you about an area for improvement on your last performance review.

So how should you answer?  Many people are tempted to share a weakness that’s really just a strength in disguise. Our advice? Be more authentic than that. Hiring managers can see through the “I’m a perfectionist” answer, and it’ll come across as a brag – even if it’s true. 

At the same time, you don’t have to air your dirty laundry – after all, you are trying to sell yourself, not bash yourself.

Instead, give an honest, specific example of something you’re actively working on improving (be sure to include what you’ve done to successfully address the weakness). People find a little vulnerability charming; it shows you’re putting yourself out there for the job.

Whatever your “biggest weakness,” take our advice, and you’ll be a breath of fresh air to the person interviewing you. After all, hiring managers aren’t as interested in what your biggest weakness is. They’re interested in how you answer the question.

Ready to start interviewing? Visit TRC Staffing Services, Inc to browse temp, temp-to-perm, and full-time opportunities with some of the best companies in the country.

 

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Three times you should always follow up

FollowUPThree times you should always follow up

Picture it. You’ve been searching for a job for weeks now, and you’ve even had some interest in the form of recruiters reaching out for interviews. But you haven’t found that perfect job you know must be out there somewhere. Suddenly, you see it. The job description matches exactly what you’ve been looking for. You submit your application. A few days go by. And you start to wonder…when, and how, should you follow up?

If you seem too eager, will you scare them off? Too persistent, and you might annoy them? But if you don’t reach out and show you really want the job, will someone else beat you to the punch?

Whereas before, you didn’t bother overthinking the follow-up process because the stakes weren’t that high, now you really want this job – and you don’t want to ruin your chances by making the wrong move.

The truth is, everything will be just fine and if you’re meant to have that job, you’ll get it. But to eliminate some doubt, here are three specific circumstances where you should absolutely follow up.

 1.  When you didn’t get an automated response.  After submitting your application, wait 24 hours. If you haven’t received an email assuring you your application was received, contact the hiring manager (if possible) with a polite email to let them know you’ve applied and are excited to hear more about the opportunity (don’t forget to attach your resume).

 2.   After the interview.  Always, always send a thank-you note. These days, an email is often appropriate, but a hand-written note will show you went the extra mile.  Don’t let too much time pass between the interview and the follow up. Later that day, or the next day is best.

 3.  When you didn’t get the job.  Just because you didn’t land the job this time, doesn’t mean you won’t be considered at a later date. A well-crafted follow up, thanking them for their time, and expressing interest in future consideration, will make you seem like a class act who genuinely wants to work there. You’ll keep the doors open, and you never know what may come of it down the road.

Ready for a great new opportunity. Check out the TRC Staffing job boards today.

 

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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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Hard skills got you the interview; these soft skills will get you the job.

job interview

Technical Workers, use these soft skills in your interviews as well as on the job. You’ll win over your interviewer, co-workers, boss, and customers.

Empathy.  Empathy is a skill that can be honed. If you understand how to incorporate empathy into your interview, you can form better connections with your interviewer. Not only that, but he or she will envision you as a team player, as well as capable of having insight about customers – both highly desirable traits. To be empathetic, simply take the time to tune in to your interviewer and the people around you. The added benefit is that when you take the focus off of yourself a little, you diminish any nerves about the interview.

Curiosity.  Curious people innovate, learn quickly, grow, and work well with others. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in the interview, as you aren’t expected to know everything. Go into the interview hungry to learn about the person and organization you’re interviewing with.

Listening.  Before you give your spiel about why you’re the best candidate for the job, listen carefully to what the interview is asking of you. Pay attention to what the organization needs. Repeat to the interviewer what you heard, to make sure you’re on the same page. Then provide a truly thoughtful answer that comes across as honest and custom, rather than a prepared speech. Interviewers know that good listening skills translate well into the work environment.

Use these skills in your interviews to land the job; then use them on the job to succeed at it.

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How (and Why) to Determine Cultural Fit

company culture

According to recent polls, only around 30% of workers are actually engaged on the job. The rest are either not engaged or (yikes!) actively disengaged.  (Check out this employee engagement infographic.)  Why is this? Your technical skills certainly make you marketable, but if you don’t enjoy the culture of a company, you too may find yourself looking elsewhere.

For this reason, employers are looking harder at candidates to gain not only an understanding of their skills, but also of their personalities and goals.

You should be thinking of these things, too.  Do your research before the interview, and you’ll be much happier on the job. Trust us; it really makes a difference.

For example.

  • What are the current employees like?   Search on LinkedIn for a company, and browse its employees to get an idea of their career backgrounds.  Use social networks like StackOverFlow, GitHub, and other platforms to connect with employees and listen to them talk about their jobs.  Not only are these are the people you’ll be working with – they also speak volumes about the company you’ll be working for.
  • Can you grow?  How and where do you want to grow? Do you want to pick up certain new skills on the job? Which ones? Does this company have the budget and training in place to help you achieve these goals on the job?
  • Do your business values align?  Take a look at the company’s business model and recent earnings reports to see how its values align with yours – and what tomorrow might look like.

Take a little time to find out the answers to these questions before your interview. You’ll be more knowledgeable during the interview, more likely to impress, and more prepared to dig deeper with the questions you’ll ask the hiring manager.

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