Prepping is a Must!

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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 I can’t promise you an A on your next interview, I can promise you will go in feeling more prepared than ever before! I’ve been at Godshall for over 6 years now and work with some of the most 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. What is their mission?
      3. How many employees do they have?
      4. Who are their competitors?
      5. What do they do?
      6. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Practice makes perfect. If you have not interviewed in a while, it would be in your best interest to practice answering some of the traditional interview questions (Tell me about yourself, strengths vs. weaknesses, why you are looking, etc.) You want to present yourself as a calm and poised professional. Practicing will help relieve some of those pre-interview jitters and will help you come across more confident as well.
  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 startup companies, you might be able to branch out a little and show your creativity. 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 (Waze is a great app to show current wrecks, heavy traffic areas, road closings, etc.). 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.
  6. Bring several copies of your resume and references. Having extra copies helps you looked prepared and organized. In some cases, the hiring manager might’ve lost yours and needs a new one. In other cases, other employees might be pulled into the interview and would like to see a copy as well.

Now go ace that interview!

Written by: Shawn Kinard

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4 Practical Tips To Help Master Your Next Phone Interview!

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In a world of job portals and hiring black holes, just getting an interview can feel like an impossible task. I’ve been there. Now that I’ve seen the other side of the curtain, I can disclose in our defense that HR departments and recruiters are parsing through hundreds of resumes on a regular basis. Those are intimidating odds where every interaction counts.

Phone interviews can be used to speak with candidates who are geographically unavailable, but more often than not they are merely the first hurdle in a hiring process. Phone screens allow employers to get a brief look into the personality and skill set a candidate brings to the table without blocking key decision-makers’ schedules, reserving conference rooms, and struggling through an hour-long interview that’s clearly not a fit. Phone interviews also allow employers to evaluate a larger number of candidates before narrowing down the talent pool.

If all goes well, you’ll get an interview with the hiring manager and team. If the phone call is botched, you’ll go back to canvasing LinkedIn and Indeed. Follow the tips below to dial-up success.

  1. Set the scene. A corner booth at a busy Starbucks is no place to have a phone interview. It’s loud. It’s distracting. And your interviewer won’t think you respect their time. Find a quiet place that allows you to hear and be heard.

Eliminate any and all distractions including cell phone notifications, televisions, pets, children, and computers. Some experts recommend keeping a laptop open in case you need to quickly research something. This is a terrible idea. Interviewers can hear you typing and there is no feasible way you can continue a conversation while Googling the answer to the last question.

  1. Talk the talk. During a phone interview, you and the other caller obviously aren’t able to read non-verbal cues. One of the most common mistakes candidates make during phone interviews is demonstrating very poor listening skills. Elaborate on all of your great experience, but make sure you’re leaving enough time for the interviewer to provide insight or follow-up questions.

Don’t forget that we’re relying solely on verbal communication. You must also use proper grammar and pronunciation.

  1. Don’t forget your body language. We can’t see you, but your non-verbal cues do influence how you sound. First, sit up straight. You should not conduct a phone interview on an overstuffed couch or comfy bed. Sitting at a table or desk will prevent you from sounding groggy.

Dress professionally. If you’re wearing your jammies, you’re definitely not going to feel confident and prepared.

Most importantly, smile. It changes the inflection in your voice and interviewers can hear the difference.

  1. Use a cheat sheet. Your interviewer can hear you typing on a laptop, but we surely cannot discern your pencil jotting notes. Have your resume and a blank sheet of paper available in order to take notes and write down questions along the way.

 

A phone interview is not the time to be nonchalant about your preparation. It can be even more difficult to impress someone without shaking their hand and looking them in the eye. Take a little effort with the suggestions above and you’ll have no problem standing out from the crowd – in a good way.

 

Written by: Hannah Spellmeyer

 

 

Showing Appreciation: A Win for Managers, Employees, and Companies

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Years ago when Facebook caught on with middle-aged people like myself, it became clear to me that people deeply wanted to express their stories, feel seen, and be heard. I think that is true for employees in the workplace as well. Do I want to be paid a fair salary? Yes. Do I want to feel like my manager really sees what I provide to the company, appreciates it, and trusts me just as much? Yes.

I manage a small team. Or as a friend once said, “I look after them.” I always liked that phrasing because that is exactly true. I do look after them. Below are the top 10 ways I try to make my team feel appreciated:

  • Make yourself available: If a team member asks to speak with me outside of our regularly scheduled catch up, I drop what I’m doing to make time for them. To me, nothing is more important than letting each member know that they are important to me and the company.
  • Coach them on the areas they can improve upon: I let my team know that theirsuccess is my success and a success for the company. I am there to help each team member achieve their goals and get better. Be specific, keep it to the facts, and be fair.
  • Have their backs: A former co-worker once told me that she always boosted up her team to the president in meetings and then later went back and communicated to her team what needed to be corrected. I have never forgotten that. I take responsibility for any shortcomings and begin coaching my team up.
  • Take a personal interest in their lives: I have tried to get to know each person that reports to me as a person. I once listened in on webinar where the speaker said that if employees like their managers, there is nothing that they won’t do for them, and I believe that. They know that I’m not asking anything of them that I wouldn’t do myself. We are all in this together.
  • Treats! As a former teacher, I love celebrating holidays and special occasions. My team gets flowers, candy, extra time away from the office, homemade sweets, a personal note, etc. It costs me very little time or money and I think it makes them feel special, and in turn, that makes me proud.
  • Be flexible with time: I try to accommodate their requests for time off. We are a small team but if they need to leave early, take lunch at an unusual time, or go to a dentist appointment that they remembered at the last minute, I try to make it happen. No one likes to ask their manager if they can do something outside of the norm. If you always do your best to accommodate, on the off times when you can’t, they will know that you’ve done what you can.
  • Listen: Sometimes employees just need to vent, blow of some steam, cry, or have a meltdown to get their emotions out. Sometimes you just have to listen.
  • Ask them what they need from you and ask for their ideas: What do they need from me to be successful? Do I need to run interference on something, move a task to someone else’s plate temporarily, or be a sounding board? Not everyone feels comfortable giving their opinions freely, so I make a point to see if someone from my team has a fresh set of eyes on something or a new perspective.
  • Let them manage a project that they enjoy: Our social media campaigns are important, but they were never something that I enjoyed doing on a daily basis. It was more of an after-thought for me after getting everything else on my plate finished. My millennial team member really enjoys creating content and making our postings look nice so I moved that over to her. Win, win.
  • Trust them: Assign a project, check in with them on their core responsibilities, be a sounding board, but in the end, let your direct reports know that you trust them to get the job done.

There’s a saying that employees don’t leave companies–they leave managers. It is 100% easier keeping a good employee happy than searching to refill a position, identifying the new employee, and training them to get them up to speed. It just is. I firmly believe that if you pay employees a fair salary, see, hear, and trust them, that you will have the beginnings of a satisfied and engaged team of professionals.

Writte by: Karen Truesdale

Karen is celebrating her 13th anniversary with Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing this week.  Away from the office, she enjoys spending time with her pets and her husband Matthew who is her LinkedIn editor.

Managing Millennials & Moving On

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We’re inundated on a daily basis with content on millennials – a pervasive, complex, and reviled group of workers. So, I’ve been brainstorming about a key takeaway and what I could possibly say at this point that’s novel. I landed on a simple call to action: move on.

Here’s the deal: with the oldest millennials being about 36 years old, we finally have some definitive research on their workplace behaviors and can compare them to previous generations. Here’s the summary: there is little to no difference in levels of narcissism, job tenure, or work ethic amongst millennials and previous generations in their twenties. It turns out, all youth is narcissistic, indecisive, and distracted.

Okay, okay. You need evidence. After all, I’m a millennial – why trust me?

Most of the studies you see compare millennials to the current feelings and behaviors of Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers. A study cited in Business Insider just this week provides a perfect example. “Daymon Worldwide notes that millennials are more obsessed with being unique and standing out than their parents and grandparents are.” (http://www.businessinsider.com/differences-between-boomers-gen-x-and-millennials-2016-6) I hope they didn’t spend a lot of money on that research because if I compare any 25 year old and their 75 year old Nana, I would certainly hope their level of maturity and narcissism differed.

In regards to the job-hopping, Baby Boomer’s actually changed jobs in their twenties at the same rate that millennials do now (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/nlsoy.pdf)! Let me demystify this: young people usually take whatever job they can get starting off. They don’t know what they want to do long-term and millennials came of age during a recession where if you didn’t take whatever job you could get, you were perpetually unemployed. (Unemployed = no brunch. Millennials love brunch).

Lastly, millennials work differently but they are not aggregately lazy. Lazy is a really loaded word and I don’t have the space to enumerate the dangers of characterizing an entire group as something derogatory, so use your own intuition here. Every time you’re tempted to say “lazy”, replace it with “different.” Because the truth is millennials are very different from previous generations in their beliefs about work. We don’t always subscribe to traditional hours. We value work-life balance and sometimes prioritize it over a demanding career. We want to understand the why’s behind what we’re doing because we need purpose. Are these good qualities? Bad? Admirable? I don’t know exactly, but aren’t all those statements what people tell us to prioritize after it’s too late for them to change? Spend more time with your family. Do something you love. Work hard, but set boundaries.

On the upside, you’ll also find that we answer late-night emails. Because we grew up with technology, we constantly look for ways to be more efficient. When we find our passion, we’ll work however many hours it takes. The key for employers is to harness that passion and not let vintage expectations drive away a talented workforce.

So, that’s it. There’s your answer. Young people are needy and kind of difficult to work with and they always will be. Maybe in a few years I’ll be blogging on the pains of Gen Zer’s. Que sera, tale as old as time. Let’s stop dwelling it on it now.

Written by: Hannah Barfield Spellmeyer