Your All-Time Guide to Prepping for an Interview

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Have you ever finished an exam and known immediately you got an A? It’s one of the best feelings. While we can’t promise you an A on your next interview, we can promise you will go in feeling more prepared than ever before! Godshall has been in business for 50 years this year so we are your trusted experts in the field of hiring. We have come up with some of our best tips to prepare for your next interview. After reading these tips, you’ll be an expert too!

  1. Researching, i.e., Stalking. Let’s be honest, we’ve all surprised ourselves at how good we are at stalking. Thanks to social media, you now can uncover a person’s entire life story without even knowing their last name. So why not put those stalking skills to good use? Your goal is to go in feeling like you already work there! Make sure to research the following:
    • The company:
      1. How long have they been around?
      2. How many employees do they have?
      3. Who are their competitors?
      4. What do they do?
      5. Have they been in the news recently?
    • The interviewers:
      1. What is their job title?
      2. Check them out on LinkedIn and other social media outlets to see what they’re like, how long they’ve been in that role, and any other interesting info.
      3. Google them to see if they are in the news.
  2. Study the Job Description. Sometimes companies do not provide the most detailed job description. When they do, make sure you truly understand the job and what you will be doing. Nothing says a lack of detail and understanding quite like telling an interviewer you’re not much of a desk person when you’re interviewing for an accounting position. #notwinning  Also, compare your previous experience with this new role so when they ask why they should hire you, you’ve got the hard facts.
  3. Dress the part. The company and market will determine what you should wear. For about 90% of interviews, traditional business attire is acceptable. When you’re interviewing for marketing agencies or young start up companies, you might be able to branch out a little and show your creativity. Your recruiter should be able to guide you. Once you have your outfit picked out, put it on a few days before. Have someone else critique it to make sure it all looks good. Make sure everything is spotless and perfectly ironed.  Also, it’s a good idea to plan a back-up outfit in case your coffee decides to go crazy. Your goal is to leave your home feeling confident and on point from head to toe. 💯
  4. Know where you’re going ahead of time. Thanks to Google Maps, you can now see an overhead and street view of the company. Once you have an idea of what the building looks like, find directions from your home to the company. You might even want to print or screenshot those directions just in case. Finally, drive that exact route to make sure there aren’t any road closings, heavy traffic areas, or anything else that might delay your commute the day before. Showing up late for an interview is not professional.
  5. Remember, they’re not JUST a receptionist. That receptionist may very well be your ticket into or out of the company. Treat everyone with the same respect whether they are the administrative assistant or the CEO. How you treat people when no one else is looking says a lot about your character and how you will truly act if you get the job.

Now go ace that interview!

Written by: Godshall Team

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Accountability: It’s a Partnership

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I recently met with one of my team members to discuss a few improvements I thought she could make. It led us to a conversation about accountability—why it’s important in a manager/employee relationship and necessary in the work place.

Why hold employees accountable?

The short answer is that it’s my job as a manager. The somewhat longer answer is that I believe good employees truly want to know when they are doing something wrong or can improve. The employee sees that I care about my role as manager, gets a goal to work towards, and understands that I appreciate them. If I didn’t care about the work of my direct reports or their potential for higher achievement, I wouldn’t bother to point out areas of improvement. My job as a manager is to help someone move from competency to proficiency. Giving consistent and timely feedback and gently identifying areas that need improvement can create a bond between manager and employee. Although pointing out someone’s shortcomings or handling a difficult situation may hurt them (and me) in the moment of communication, I have to counterbalance that with knowing it is necessary (for me and them). It’s my job to help my team be better employees. Do I think about how they will accept the message I’m trying to deliver and then deliver it in a way that I think they can understand and accept? Yes. Does it sting for the employee at first? I’m sure it does, but when I circle back with them a week later at our next scheduled coaching session, often they have had a chance to gain perspective and see my point.

Why is accountability so important for staff morale?

One of the quickest ways to lower morale in an office is by letting things slide and not holding employees accountable. It creates a breeding ground for resentment and negativity. If an organization has standard rules and practices, and some don’t bother to adhere to those rules, everyone notices. That means the person that doesn’t follow the rules and especially those that do. Your team loses respect for you. It creates an atmosphere where rules become jokes. Rules, goals, and processes are in place for a reason. Accountability doesn’t mean a screaming match or being mean. A short uncomfortable conversation with a team member in the long run is necessary and shows a leader’s commitment to the employee’s performance and respect for the goals of the company.

How does accountability affect engagement and retention?

Finally, accountability helps everyone to know where they stand—owner, manager, and employee. Consistent and thoughtful feedback on employees is necessary to keep your talent engaged, hold retention, and set boundaries. Employees want clear expectations. I have never heard an employee say, “I like not knowing where I stand.” What you allow is what will continue. Listen, observe, evaluate, and coach your staff, and hold them to the standards of your organization.

 

Written by: Karen Truesdale

Karen Truesdale is celebrating her 14th year with Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing and is proud to say that Godshall turns 50 this year! #golden50forGodshall

When Dress Isn’t Your Strongest Suit

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Let me start by admitting that I’m not particularly stylish. In fact, my mom still picks out a lot of my clothes – a fact I realize is moderately embarrassing. But with or without a natural eye for fashion, your wardrobe is much more than just fabric and zippers. It’s an essential component of your personal brand. The tailored suits and dresses Alicia Florrick (Juliana Marguiles) and Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) don for The Good Wife and Suits are my personal muses. They miraculously exude both power and poise. But, cultivating that kind of closet can be a herculean task without the assistance of stylists and mega-budgets.

Don’t fret, there’s hope for us yet.

The first step in curating a killer wardrobe is deciding who you are and how you want to be perceived. There are no right or wrong answers. Your wardrobe gives people a hint about who you are before you even say a word. As Kanye West posits in Estelle’s American Boy, “Before he speak his suit bespoke.” Ah, the poetry. An easy way to clarify your image is to think of a celebrity you admire and observe their fashion choices. They have a professional doing it for them behind the scenes, so mooch off that a bit. Me? The Chanel and St. John suits from my TV fashion idols don’t really make sense for me or my budget, but the crisp clean lines with architectural details do.

No matter what image you’re portraying, it always looks better when it fits properly. As a six-foot-tall woman, I’m hypersensitive to fit because I can effortlessly channel Oliver Twist in most standard clothing. There are a few things to always check before you buy/wear something. For pants, make sure the length is appropriate for the type of pant and the shoe you’re wearing. (Check out this guide for easy answers and pictures here.) For both skirts and blouses, bend over and see what happens. If anything is compromised, it’s too short or too low-cut. Clothing needs to be moderately functional because even if you love something, you’ll never feel comfortable or confident if you’re exposed. Lastly, turn around. Sometimes it’s what we don’t see that really bites us in the butt…

The final step in dressing like a boss is to actually dress like your boss. More formal clothing changes the way your brain works according to a study in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science. Researchers found that not only did dressing snazzy improve cognitive thinking, it made people feel better. If “formal” doesn’t align with your brand, pair your graphic tee with some clean sneaks and dark jeans. Same difference.

I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but your clothes tell a story. Make sure it’s the tale you want to be told.

Written by: Hannah Barfield Spellmeyer

Hannah Barfield Spellmeyer  spends her days matching exceptional candidates to their dream jobs at Godshall Professional Recruiting. A writer and speaker, Hannah provides witty and insightful perspectives on talent acquisition, sales, and personal development. She’s always on LinkedIn, so reach out anytime.

You can read more of Hannah’s blogs at https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/hannahbarfield.

Godshall’s Favorite Holiday Traditions

Traditions are important.  They give us something to look forward to, create bonds among family and friends, and provide a constant during stressful and difficult times.  Christmas sparks some of our favorite traditions!  Whether it’s a certain meal, family ornaments, Christmas Eve game night, or attending church with family, here are a few of our favorite traditions at the holidays:

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My favorite holiday tradition growing up was my mother’s annual Christmas Cookie Swap. Each person would bring a dozen cookies and leave with a dozen they chose from other’s selections. Inevitably, there was a lot of food leftover and so my friends would come over afterwards to “clean up.” – Hannah Spellmeyer

snowinmountains-630x423.pngMany of my Christmas memories are from our times in Montana with my dad’s family.  One of my favorite Christmas visits was the last year of my dad’s life.  It was an extra snowy and extra cold year.  My southern mom did her usual vow of “I am never leaving the house”– and she left the house only once on what we thought would be our week Christmas vacation.  My cruise director style aunt had every second planned, including a sunset horsedrawn sleigh ride.  We didn’t know that our sleigh was a huge flatbed that was usually used for feeding buffalo.  Quite shocking to realize a herd of buffalo was charging straight for you!  The week also included lighting fireworks in several feet of snow.  I loved watching my southern brother light the fireworks and then try to run away from them in over a foot of snow.  Then one foggy Christmas Eve – the fog wouldn’t leave….we were stuck in Montana for another week.  My dad got to spend an extra week with his family in his home state…..divine intervention – Christmas miracle! – Katherine Ericson

2014-12-11-5_PortlandPeacockLaneLights.jpgI am the oldest of three girls and traditions are very important to all of us.  I would have to say my most favorite family tradition is how we spend Christmas Eve. Every year, our family attends our church’s candlelight service then we proceed to drive the “long way” home, which means spiraling through several neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. Once home, we have hors d’oeuvres for dinner, open one present each, and wrap up the night by watching the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” – Rebecca Faulk

sm_st_marks_candlelightNothing sets the stage like attending the Christmas Eve family service at First Presbyterian Church.  Christmas carols, nativity scene, and ends with Silent Night in the dark.  We’ve never missed a year, and even our 16 and 17 year-old boys still look forward to it every year.  A peaceful start to a busy evening! From church, we head over to Julie’s parent’s home.  Mrs. Godshall cooks a good ole’ country breakfast for dinner.  Apple cider is always brewing and we work hard to coax our son Alex to play Carol of the Bells on the living room piano.  Once dinner is complete, we look forward to opening a few early presents given from each other. When the kids were younger, we had to rush home to spread reindeer food on the lawn so that Santa did not miss us.- Drew and Julie Brown

Capture.PNGOne of my favorite holiday traditions is every year Santa leaves a letter in the tree which is the first clue for a Scavenger Hunt!  My kids have a great time running all over the house looking for the clues which will lead them to the first present they open. – Carol Tribby

board-gamesEvery year that we are in Bennettsville on Christmas night, we go over to my childhood best friend’s house and play games—board games, card games, etc.  Some of these games he and I have been playing since our teens–the boxes are in tatters.  Even my husband now looks forward to it.  There is always good competition, lots of laughs, and fun memories made.- Karen Truesdale

polar-express-3Since the birth of our son, Corey, each Christmas we have chosen a special ornament for our Christmas tree.  The ornament is engraved with his name and the year.  Each one is unique and represents something he has accomplished during that year (ex. his first Christmas, Tae-kwon-do black belt, silver bell for Polar Express adventure, etc.)  Corey is now twenty years old,  but he still looks forward to his shiny new ornament and is proud to show off his older gems to his friends when visiting.  It makes our tree even more special and brings back so many memories. – Machelle Simmons

cookie-santa-photo-1.jpgGrowing up, our tradition was to spend Christmas Eve with grandparents and cousins. We would have a full Christmas dinner and it always included chicken and dressing and butter beans. After dinner, we would open gifts, which always made it feel like we had two Christmas celebrations! The last thing we would do was put out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and try listening for the reindeer on the roof, while being forced to go to bed by our parents. – John Riddle

We hope you have a fantastic holiday season filled with your favorite family traditions and here’s to making more in 2017!