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!
- 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:
- How long have they been around?
- What is their mission?
- How many employees do they have?
- Who are their competitors?
- What do they do?
- Have they been in the news recently?
- The interviewers:
- What is their job title?
- 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.
- Google them to see if they are in the news.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Contemplating a new job can leave you anxious and disheartened. It’s not something I think any of us are excited to do. It’s time consuming and a little intimidating; however, it is sometimes a must. If you’re wondering whether you’re in that boat or not, here are some key signs you need to start updating that resume:
- You’re getting passed over for promotions by less qualified peers. Now if you’re that millennial thinking you need to be promoted to manager after only being there for 6 months, slow your roll. I’m talking about promotions that you are qualified for and deserving of. If you’ve asked to be considered for promotions that you know are a logical progression of your skills and abilities but they keep passing over you, it might be time to start looking elsewhere. Especially if they never give you a true reason as to why they won’t consider you. A healthy and blossoming work environment will see your value, your hard work, and find joy in promoting you to a well-deserved role.
- You haven’t been given a raise or merit increase in over 18 months. This kind of falls into the same philosophy as above. Many companies give at least a 3% raise annually to match inflation and honor your loyalty. Managers can see the hard work you’re making for the company. If you’re not receiving at least a cost of living increase, you need to start questioning whether you are part of a company that will allow you to grow professionally and financially. A healthy work environment and management team will recognize your hard work and want to reward you for it.
- Your company is hanging by a thread. One of the reasons you might not be receiving those annual increases could be because the company can’t afford it! If you’re being called by your vendors continuously for unpaid invoices, that’s a bad sign.
- Turnover is high. Do you have a new co-worker every 6 months? Is your manager doing anything to stop the bleeding? Unfortunately, high turnover is a reflection on company’s management and it’s not a pretty one. If this is the case where you work, it’s time to start looking.
- You notice the company is downsizing. Downsizing can happen for numerous reasons in a company: poor economic conditions, cost reduction, consolidation, outsourcing, etc. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to be included in layoffs, but it’s definitely a good idea to start updating your resume just in case.
- You’re being asked to do unethical tasks. This one is an obvious sign. You never want to be asked to do things that go against your moral values or put you in risk of breaking the law.
- You’re thinking about your lunch break before you even go into work. Do you dread Sunday nights and look forward to Friday at 5 every single week? As a millennial myself, I feel like I must call out my peers and mention it does take a while to find what you’re passionate about and what you truly enjoy in life. Your first job out of college is not going to be your dream job. And you might not enjoy every second of every day you’re at work. That’s just a part of life. That being said, if you’ve been at your company for at least a year and you dread work every single day, it’s time to turn on those alerts on the job boards.
Looking for a new job can be frightening, but sometimes necessary for the well-being of you and your career. If you have any other signs I didn’t mention, share them below!
Written by: Shawn Kinard
Shawn is the Recruiting and Branding Specialist at Godshall. She has been at Godshall for over 5 years now. She graduated from Anderson University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management. She enjoys biking on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, hot yoga, and trying new recipes when she’s not in the office.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Often I hear the words “just” and “receptionist” in the same phrase. Every time I hear this, it truly hurts. I’ve heard it from employers and I’ve even heard it from receptionists. Why is this crucial position for any company valued so lowly? Probably because people think it’s an easy job. Years ago on Administrative Professional’s Day, our staff filled in at the front desk in shifts so that our admins could have a nice lunch out of the office. I think it’s fair to say that it opened our staff’s eyes to just how hard a receptionist works. Imagine the phone ringing off the hook, a lobby full of people staring at you, your Outlook inbox overflowing with emails, and you’re supposed to keep a smile on your face and in your voice for eight hours straight, five days a week. Sounds impossible, right?
Your receptionist is often the first person your customers interact with. How much is a first impression worth to you as a business owner? In Greenville, receptionists make $10-$15 an hour and are often the least compensated in the company they work for. We’ve all had a bad experience talking with someone on the phone or walking into a business for the first time. Competition in any industry is so high, if the receptionist is rude, unhelpful, or just sounds bored, what is there to stop the customer from picking up the phone and calling the next company in your industry to try to place an order? Communication skills matter. In fact, as someone who talks on the phone and speaks with people in person all day, I can tell you that they matter a lot. First impressions count and you get what you pay for–these are generalizations for a reason. Are you as a business owner making the connection that this role is more than crucial to your company’s success?
So as an employer what do you need to be looking for when hiring a new front desk person? A top-notch receptionist needs to love interacting with people—both over the phone and in person. They must have a natural affinity for helping people and they must understand that their role is crucial for any company’s success. If you as an employer don’t take the position seriously, with your voice and with your actions, then how can you expect that of the person you’ve hired? The best receptionists know that they have to be “on” at all times. In the world of social media reviews galore, the #1 interactor with customers, your receptionist, needs to make it look easy—no one should have the slightest idea that their inbox is blowing up or that they’ve already answered 50 phone calls and it’s only 9 a.m. When I’m coaching my employees in support roles, I often make the point that if you show you know what you’re doing and you are polite and helpful, the customer will be at ease. Find a calm person with the proper administration skills who truly enjoys interacting with people, treat her/him as if they light up your office, and you can’t lose.
Besides managing the best support team in the Upstate, Karen enjoys the daily adventures of her dog Maddie and her cat Guillermo J. Gosling. She is a 13 year veteran with Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing where she has served in a variety of roles including recruiting, medical credentialing, and management.