Posts Tagged Interview

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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4 Key Tech Trends to Watch for in 2015

trendsAs the technology industry continues to generate more career opportunities, employers are seeking specific skills to fulfill their open positions.

As job seekers continue to broaden their careers, take a look at the following trends to watch for in 2015:

  1. Shift from Temporary to Full-Time Employment: Business News Daily reveals, “Employers planning to hire temporary or contract workers in 2015, fifty-six percent plan to transition some of those workers into full-time permanent roles.” Studies have also shown organizations are planning on hiring more employees in 2015.
  2. Big Data: If you are in the tech industry, then you have probably heard this term. Big Data is one of the hottest topics within the job market right now. Organizations are determining how to use Big Data to help them operate it effectively and efficiently. The need for candidates who know how to, mine for, manage and use this data for businesses will continue to grow.
  3. Mobile Focus: Did you know that 86% of job seekers who have a smart phone would use it to search for a job, but 50% of career sites aren’t optimized for mobile? Moving forward, more companies are spending additional funds to ensure their technologies are mobile friendly, which will provide more opportunities for candidates with related skill sets who can fulfill these needs.
  4. Help Desk Roles: In 2015, there will be a higher need for staffing agencies to place candidates in positions catering to technical support and help desk associates. As technology continues to change, the number of devices and variety of hardware and software that organizations support will sky rocket. As a result, it becomes more difficult for organizations to support these platforms and hiring needs will increase.

The real question at the end of the day is, how can you, as a job seeker prepare for these trends? Stay on top of the latest updates within your industry, learn new skills to make yourself marketable, and over-prepare for the interview. If you have any other key technology trends to look out for in 2015, we would love to hear from you!

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Preparing for Notoriously Tricky Tech Interview Questions

Best-Interview-questions

We recently discussed questions STEM professionals should ask during their interviews to ensure they’re making a fully informed decision when accepting a job offer, and increase the odds they’re going to be happy with that company.

Now, let’s talk about the questions a hiring manager could ask you – if you’re a technical professional. Tech company interviews are notoriously difficult, so being prepared for both common and trickier questions is essential. Luckily, it’s easy to find sample questions on the web to help you prepare. Or at least give you an idea of the nature of questions. As you’ll see, some questions are just impossible to predict. So prepare for the unexpected!

The following questions are a sampling gathered from Glassdoor, Mashable, and Business Insider.

Basic Questions:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your technical certifications and how do you maintain them?
  • How did your education and past experience help prepare you for this job?
  • Give an example of how you applied your technical knowledge in a practical way.
  • Tell me about a recent project you worked on and your responsibilities.
  • How do you ensure consistency across unit, quality, and production environments?
  • Describe a time you were able to improve upon an originally suggested design.
  • What makes a successful team and why?

Unique Questions:

  • If you were a Microsoft Office program, which would you be? (Consolidated Electrical Ecommerce Position Interview)
  • You’re in a row-boat, which is in a large tank filled with water. You have an anchor on board, which you throw overboard (the chain is long enough so the anchor rests completely on the bottom of the tank). Does the water level in the tank rise or fall? (Tesla Motors Mechanical Engineer Position Interview)
  • If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it? (Hewlett-Packard Product Marketing Manager Position Interview)
  • How would you design a recommendation system? (Adobe Data Mining Engineer Position Interview)
  • How would you cure world hunger? (Amazon.com Software Developer Position Interview)
  • Write a Fibonacci series. (Apple Software Engineer Interview)
  • A website with two app servers and one database server is slow. Explain how you would investigate it and solve the performance problem. (Amazon.com Software Engineer Interview)
  • What are the seven layers of the OSI model? (Cisco Systems Associate Systems Engineer Interview)
  • You have five bottles with pills. One bottle has 9 gram pills; the others have 10 gram pills. You have a scale that can only be used once. How can you find out which bottle contains the 9 gram pills? (eBay QA Software Engineer Interview)
  • Explain quantum electrodynamics in two minutes. (Intel Senior Process Engineer Interview)
  • Would you rather have strictly defined tasks or a more open space to define your work? (Yahoo Software Engineer Interview)
  • Please spell “diverticulitis.” (EMSI Engineering)

Obviously these questions are examples. You will probably hear some of the basic questions, but you may never hear these specific unique ones. However, you can be sure that you will hear other unique questions. The point is to take each question in stride, take the interviewer through your thought process out loud, and ensure your answers demonstrate why the company should hire you.

Seem a little intimidating? Don’t let it be. Be open and honest with your answers and have fun. Showing your true self makes you more likeable, which is another great reason to hire you.

 

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Must-Ask Interview Questions (for the STEM Job Candidate)

interview questionsWe all remember those awkward first interviews we experienced as we searched for our first jobs out of college. The hiring manager asked formulaic questions that we answered, and at the end of the interview it was our turn to ask questions. If you forced yourself to ask a handful of carefully prepared questions because you’d been told this was an important part of the interview, you’re not alone.

However, with experience, and resulting increased confidence (and let’s not forget, as an in-demand STEM professional who might have several job offers to choose from and must narrow the selection) you likely now go to job interviews with just as many, if not more, organic questions for the hiring manager, as he or she has for you.

And yet, maybe you’re preparing for your first interview in a while and aren’t quite sure which questions to ask. The market may have changed, ways of doing business change, and companies change.  So, here’s a little cheat sheet just to get your brain going. Use these questions as a guide, and build upon them or personalize them as needed.

The Position

  • How did this position become available?
  • What skills are you looking for?
  • What types of projects would I be working on?
  • Who do I report to?
  • Who reports to me?
  • What sort of decisions will I be making?
  • What resources are available to me?
  • Describe a typical workday.
  • What measures of success would you like to see from the candidate you choose in the next six months to a year?

The Department

  • How would you describe this department? What makes it unique?
  • What are its strengths and weaknesses?

The Company

  • How would you describe the culture?
  • What’s your favorite thing about working here?
  • Who are the organization’s competitors (this will help you understand if the company is a market leader or not).

The Compensation

Do not discuss compensation until you have been offered a job.

  • What type of benefits does the compensation package include.
  • Does the compensation plan include performance-related portions?
  • If an employment contract exists, what are its terms?
  • (In the case of a relocation) what moving expenses are covered (these may include lump sums or expense accounts for broker fees, move-in costs, meals and transportation, corporate apartments, or trips to your new city to search for housing).

The Next Steps

  • Close by asking the interviewer if they have any remaining questions about you (give yourself an opportunity to fill in any gaps remaining in his or her mind about your fit for the position, if applicable).
  • If you’re interested in the position, ask about next steps and a time frame for when you’ll hear back.
  • Make sure you let the hiring manager know you are excited and would love the position.

You need not pepper the hiring manager with a list of questions at the end of the interview. If you have these questions in your mind, they will most likely organically come up in the conversation throughout the interview. At the end, take a look at your notes and circle back to any you might have missed! You’re in demand – so you should be asking questions!

 

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