Are You Aware of the Message Your Body Language Sends in a Job Interview?

January 22nd, 2016

Davis_January2015_BodyLanguage

Unless we have a mirror in front of us, it’s impossible to see ourselves in a job interview. Thus, we don’t know how we are behaving or what kind of body language we have. Some people are conscious enough and can completely control their body language. This is a natural trait, but not a universal one. For you to land the job you want or to be liked by the interviewer, you must be aware of the various signals that your body language would be sending out.  You must know the differences between positive and negative body language so you can use the former to increase your chances of getting the job.

Let’s talk about some negative body languages that can cost you the interview and the job.

Make Consistent Eye Contact

If you don’t make eye contact, then the interviewer would immediately think that you are nervous or lacking confidence, you are insecure or you are outright lying. Dishonest people don’t make eye contact. Also, if you are indifferent towards the job, the interview or the interviewer, you would avoid eye contact. Establish eye contact and be natural.

Avoid Nervous Movements

Don’t bite your lip, don’t scratch your head and don’t flare your nostrils. Biting your lip is again a sign of nervousness or anxiety. While everyone knows that a jobseeker or interviewee will be nervous, biting lips or scratching your head can be the red flags. They show that a person is confused, bewildered, afraid and perhaps one doesn’t really have what it takes to attend the interview or get the job. Those who have the skills and the preparation would rarely be so nervous. They would be confident that they can get the job done and that would show in their body language.

Don’t Sit with Folded Arms

It makes you look disapproving and defensive. A signal of crossing your arms means you aren’t interested in what’s across from you and on the other side of the table. Don’t narrow your eyes. They make you angry or look offended. Don’t raise your eyebrows as that makes you look surprised, in disbelief or unprepared.

Maintain Good Body Posture

Slouching or consistently fidgeting while sitting will make you look bored or apprehensive, uncomfortable or restless. Tapping your feet will make you appear very nervous. Wringing hands will make you look scared.

Be Confident

Sit upright, be still, look the interviewer in the eyes and talk slowly but clearly to answer the questions. When you are explaining something, it is acceptable to move your hands but don’t make animated movements and certainly avoid exaggerated physical gestures. Be calm, patient and just sail through the process. You don’t need to be robotic or too rigid. Just being upright and upfront will be enough.

With more than 50 years of experience, Davis Staffing will listen to your needs, evaluate your skills and interests, then match you with the perfect temporary, temp-to-hire or direct hire opportunity. Contact a leading Chicago staffing agency today to get started on working with one of our great recruiters!

Effective Phone Interview Tips for Employers

December 31st, 2015

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The use of phone interviews to screen job candidates has become the norm for most hiring managers. With so many more people working remotely, companies find it too expensive to pay for travel for onsite interviews, and the increasing use of mobile apps and web-enabled communication systems – phone interviews make perfect sense. The only problem is that far many recruiters don’t know how to conduct effective phone interviews, instead rushing through them and not getting a good impression of the candidates. This is somewhat new territory for some, and it can be tempting to conduct them too quickly in order to maximize time.

Instead of defeating the purpose of the phone interview, here are some quick phone interview tips for getting it right.

1. Dedicate uninterrupted time for phone interviews

Never try to multi-task while conducting your phone interviews with candidates. Activities like checking email, filling office paperwork, answering incoming calls or eating at your desk are not only rude to the candidate, but they can distract and take away from your ability to actually listen to what the candidate is saying. Schedule a dedicated 30 minutes for each candidate and stop trying to do other stuff at the same time.

2. Give the candidate an agenda for the interview

It may sound odd, but in order to get the most from the interview, a little preparation goes a long way. Provide the candidate with a brief outline of what you will be covering in the interview, and state the purpose of the interview. For example, you could let the candidate know you will be going over the job description and requirements to see if they may be a good fit for the job. Provide a copy of the job description and requirements, along with call-in information, conveniently in an email sent before the interview.

3. Consider the candidate experience

The phone interview may be the first impression that the candidate has of your company, outside of the corporate career website. Be sure to make this time a pleasant one, by introducing yourself and the company first, then asking the candidate to share a little about themselves. Talk about the positives of the job, the work environment and the benefits.

Here’s another phone interview tip: Respect the candidate’s time and work around their schedule (as they may have to take time out from another job or family).

4. Ask probing interview questions, but not too many

The phone interview is an initial screening of each candidate, and the expectation here is to ask a few probing questions to identify if the candidate is someone who deserves a face-to-face interview. Limit the questions to those concerning the candidate’s career goals, what skills and experience they have, and their interest in the company.

5. Listen for verbal queues and rapport

The challenge of a phone interview is that you cannot see the candidate to measure facial expressions and other body language. But, a skilled interviewer can listen for verbal queues like sighs, pauses, groaning and other things that people use to express themselves. Listen to see if you can tell if the candidate is smiling, laughing or trying to build rapport with you.

6. Follow up with each candidate

Even if you choose not to go forward with a candidate, be courteous and send a follow up email or letter to the candidate within 48 hours. If the candidate is someone you want to pursue, act swiftly and get the candidate committed to a personal interview immediately. Be sure to follow up with every candidate and treat this as a priority.

Use the above tips for better phone interviews, and do your best to perfect your skills as a recruitment professional.

Davis Staffing can help provide the best job candidates for your openings and with whatever challenges your company is experiencing. Contact our team of recruiters to work with one of the top temp agencies in Chicago today!

Hit a Home Run in Your Next Phone Interview

December 18th, 2015

DAVIS_12-2015_HomeRunPhoneInterview

When you are trying to secure a job, you will likely have to interview in a variety of different ways. This means that not all of your interviews will be face-to-face. You will most likely have to endure at least one phone interview, if not multiple phone interviews, before you obtain the job of your dreams. This means that you need to know the secrets to success with a phone interview. Find out how you can make the best impression on the managers that you are interviewing with over the phone.

It is important that you do well in the phone interview, so that you make it one step closer to obtaining the job. Here are some quick tips for hitting a home run with your next telephone interview.

Be Prepared

It is important that you approach a phone interview with the seriousness and preparation that you would any other type of in-person interview. This means that you need to really prepare for your phone interview. It’s a good idea to go over the job description and job duties before your interview. Jot down some questions to ask and some brief information about your past employment. This method will help to refresh your mind and will make sure that you are ready to answer any questions presented to you. It is essential that you are prepared for the expected questions, but also for the questions that might not seem so straightforward. You need to be able to answer effectively in order to “wow” the recruiter on the phone.

STAR

It is always a good idea to prepare a STAR document once you have secured a phone interview. This type of document allows you to show off your problem-solving skills during your phone interview by preparing Situations, Tasks, Actions and Results. It gives you access to a bit of a cheat sheet that you can consult when you are being asked a number of different questions over the phone. By preparing this type of document, you will be ready for just about any question or scenario that comes your way. This document is something that you need to prepare each time that you are getting ready for a phone interview with a different company. While you definitely think about using documents during a phone interview, make sure to take the same documents to an in-person interview. There’s no rule that says you can’t have some type of support during an in-person interview.

You need to make sure that you take your phone interview seriously and put the preparation in that it takes to make the best impression possible. Follow the above tips and you will do well!

For more than 50 years, Davis Staffing has been helping clerical, light industrial, technical and marketing professionals achieve their career objectives. Contact us today to work with one of the top staffing agencies in Chicago.

Grab the Recruiter’s Attention with These Job Seeker Tips

November 20th, 2015

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As a job seeker, you literally only have about 10 seconds to grab the attention of a recruiter. This is because for every job opening, there are thousands of applicants coming in to the company. Recruiters have limited time to review resumes and profiles of candidates. They have to focus on a few quick factors before they can even narrow down the list of candidates to call for an interview.

What can you do as a job seeker to grab the recruiter’s attention? Forget about all the tedious improvements to your resume. Here some better ideas to get the attention of the right recruiters and hopefully a job.

Use Strategic Keywords and Headers

Modern day recruiters use applicant tracking systems that automatically screen resumes based on keywords. Your resume should contain job specific keywords and your professional profiles should follow this too. Read through the job description to locate these powerful keywords. Be sure your profiles and social accounts are coordinated in this effort with strong keyword-driven headers.

Highlight Previous Companies

Even if you’re still developing your professional brand, it’s easy to stand out to recruiters by jumping on the brand of the established company that you work for. For example, if you have worked at a company like Google, Facebook or Macy’s, these are recognizable brands that will impress recruiters. Why is it important to take advantage of the brands of the companies you’ve worked for? If the recruiter wants to look good, they will leverage these brands when pitching you to their clients. Very often companies also want to go after their competitors’ former employees. Make sure you highlight the company that you work for in the past particularly those with well-recognized brands.

Just Be Honest

Recruiters are looking for people with outstanding personalities. This is particularly true with companies with unique corporate culture. With that said, you’ll want to be honest with recruiters and show your uniqueness to them. Share any special hobbies that you have, any skills that grab attention, anything fun that you’ve done, and of course your portfolio of published work if you have one. The goal is to get the recruiter to spend a little extra time perusing your resume and professional profile. If you stand out, you can expect that you will be called in for an interview or you may be referred to other companies for positions that suit your uniqueness.

At Davis Staffing, we’ll listen to your needs, evaluate your skills and interests, then match you with the perfect temporary, temp-to-hire or direct hire opportunity. Contact a top Chicago staffing agency today to get started!

Focus on Feedback and Expectations in a Candidate Market

October 30th, 2015

Focus on Feedback and Expectations in a Candidate Market
As a recruiter, it’s easy to get caught up with sourcing and processing candidates as quickly as possible, without giving much thought to their actual experience. But, in a candidate-driven job market, the way in which you treat candidates has much to do with how effectively you can place them into jobs. A poor experience will send a good candidate bolting to a competitor. This is why your focus should always be on creating reasonable expectations and gathering feedback from candidates as often as possible. Here are some ways to accomplish these goals.

Create an easy application process

The number one reason why good candidates avoid applying for a job is because of a lengthy or complicated application process. To improve the chances of getting great candidates to apply for work, make the application smooth and simple. You don’t need to know every piece of information, just the vital parts. Use social tools to allow people to apply using their LinkedIn profiles, for example.

Get on those follow-ups, fast!

Being responsive to candidates matters when it comes to high-level candidates. This is an expectation with most job seekers today. Millennials are eager to hear from hiring managers and they understand the technology of email autoresponders – they are looking for something more personal. Take the time to check the application updates daily and follow up with suitable candidates. The response doesn’t have to be in two minutes, but a timely response will meet their expectations.

Conduct phone screenings effectively

Taking the time to acknowledge applicants is a start, but the next step in honoring the candidate experience is to conduct live phone screenings. Call each applicant and invite them to schedule a brief introductory phone call to learn more about the company and see if there is a career opportunity they may be interested in. During phone screens, be personal and ask relevant questions while using the candidate’s name often. Invite candidates for an in-face interview once they pass the phone screen.

Ask for Feedback After all Interviews

Send out a brief survey to gather feedback from candidates on the quality of your interviewing and application process. There are free survey programs to accomplish these goals. Use this data as the basis for improving your application methods and interviewing process. Ask candidates to be specific about what they expect, what they liked, and what they didn’t like about learning more about career opportunities with your company.

Use a Staffing Agency to Get Feedback

Another way to streamline the application process and get good feedback on your hiring practices is to work with a staffing agency to handle these initial details. Let the staffing agency work with candidates, only sending those who meet your criteria. This sets up clearer expectations, and you can ask the staffing agents what you can do to improve the way candidates are handled on your end of the hiring process.

Davis Staffing strives to provide excellence in service with personalized attention and gainful employment opportunities to our employees. Contact our great team of recruiters today to work with the top staffing agency in Chicago.

Evaluate Bilingual Job Candidates with Testing

October 16th, 2015

Evaluate Bilingual Job Candidates with Testing

In a global economy, candidates who are bilingual are considered to be valuable for their ability to communicate with a wider range of people. Many workplaces are seeking bilingual job candidates, therefore job seekers often mark this on their applications in order to get noticed ahead of others. But, what if a candidate is somewhat bilingual and cannot perform well in the job, or worse yet, not bilingual at all? This is where a little testing can help out.

Test Bilingual Candidates during the Application Phase

It’s possible to build a little testing into the application process for any new candidates. At the conclusion of the application, add a set of screener questions in the alternative language that the candidate has indicated they can speak. If they can answer the questions, the candidate at least has the basic skills to move to the next step.

Utilize a Bilingual Interviewer

A member of your staff who is bilingual can help with interviewing candidates. Ideally, this should be someone on your HR team, but can also be someone you use on a contractual basis for recruitment purposes or borrow from another department to handle interviews. Ask some of the questions in the alternative language type, and then find out if the bilingual candidate has the skills to move forward.

Hire from a Staffing Agency

A staffing agency in the area that works with bilingual candidates can screen people ahead of time who are suitable for positions in your company requiring this skill. They conduct screening in a variety of ways, from candidate assessments and testing to verifying work skills with past employers. A staffing agency generally has a pipeline of great candidates who are bilingual and ready to go to work immediately too.

Evaluate Candidates in the First 2 Weeks

Once you have hired a candidate who is bilingual, be sure to observe their progress in the first few weeks on the job. Look for any issues that are related to language and communication. Someone who is bilingual may be a little “rusty” in some areas of alternative language use, but this should improve over time. Consider if a temporary assignment is a good way to get started until the candidate proves himself.

Guided by a commitment to maintain the highest standards of integrity and professionalism, Davis Staffing  strives to provide excellence in service with personalized attention and gainful employment opportunities to our employees.  Contact our great team of recruiters today to work with one of the top temporary agencies in Chicago.

Show Off Your Skills in the Cover Letter

September 24th, 2015

Show Off Your Skills in the Cover Letter
The cover letter is just as important as your resume, if not more important, because it is the first document a potential employer will read from you. Every resume should be accompanied with a cover letter, even if the job description or advertisement does not request one. It is a way for you to go above and beyond to impress potential employers. We will discuss ways you can show off your skills in the cover letter.

Pull Skills from Job Description in Letter

The first way to show off your skills in the cover letter is to pick  two or three skills from the job description that you possess and discuss them in the letter. Figure out a story or two that explains how you are experienced in those skills and how you use them on a regular basis in your current job. The stories you choose must highlight your strength with the skills or else risk losing the interest of the reader.

Highlight Transferable Skills

Make it a point to highlight all of your transferable skills the next time you write a cover letter for an open job. If you have not experienced a linear career path, you need to move the conversation away from your experience relevant to the job to whether or not you can do the job for which you are applying. After your opening paragraph, move into discussing three transferable skills by separating each skill into its own paragraph. Make sure to use a strong adjective to describe each individual skill in the letter.

Highlight Culture Adaptability

Just because you fit into the culture at your current employer, it does not mean you will fit into the culture at a new company. Cultures vary from workplace to workplace, but employers want to hire talent that knows how to adapt to their culture. Use your cover letter to highlight your culture adaptability as a skill so companies know that there is no culture out there you wouldn’t be able to adapt to if hired.

Davis Staffing is ready to help you meet your career goals for Chicago careers and more. Contact our great team of recruiters today to get started on working toward the next step in your career.

Find Great Job Candidates at the Next Job Fair

September 15th, 2015

Find Great Job Candidates at the Next Job Fair

An excellent way to find new employees is by setting up a table at the next job fair in your area. Or, if you really want to expand your employee search, consider attending career fairs outside of your region. The trick here is that you must do a little extra work when attending job fairs because the great candidates will not just present themselves to you asking about your company and the openings you have. That is why we have compiled this strategy for your company to use at the next job fair it attends.

Refrain from Using Your Phone

Even if you attend the event by yourself and are bored, do your best to stay off your phone during the career fair. Job candidates will see you on your phone and not want to stop by your table because they think they will bother you. This is a big-time no-no. Playing around on your phone also shows others that you might be bored. What kind of message does this send possible employees? Not a good one.

Dress Appropriately

It is understandable that companies want to see job candidates dressed appropriately when they attend job fairs. Well, the same can be said for representatives of companies or recruiters. Just because you are doing the hiring does not mean that the candidates will excuse your appearance. If you don’t want to wear a suit or a tie, consider wearing dress pants with a polo that has your company logo on it.

Be Punctual and Ready

One of the worst things you can do when representing your company at a job fair is to walk in after the event has started to set up your table. Make every effort to arrive to the event on time and have your table ready when the doors open to the job seekers. Unpacking containers as job seekers walk around will prevent you from finding a great candidate because they will not waste their time waiting for you to unpack.

Refrain from Eating at the Table

Do your best to eat breakfast or lunch prior to the doors opening. You do not want to eat at your table while job candidates are walking around trying to speak with you. This shows poor manners and the notion that you do not care about those in attendance.

Contact Candidates Within 24 Hours

If you met some candidates who piqued your interest at the job fair, be sure to contact them within 24 hours after the event so they do not forget about your company. For all you know, they could be receiving three or more phone calls from other companies that were in attendance as well. The competition just got stiffer.

If you follow this strategy the next time you attend a job fair as a representative for your company, you should have no trouble attracting top candidates.

Davis Staffing strives to provide excellence in service with personalized attention and gainful employment opportunities to our employees. Contact our great team of recruiters today to learn about Chicago careers and how we can help meet all of your job search needs.

What’s The Timeline For A Post-Interview Follow-up?

August 7th, 2015

What's the Timeline for a Post-Interview Followup

You’ve been eagerly anticipating the job interview for weeks and now it’s over. You think things went well, but the waiting game begins. For many job seekers, this is the most painful part of the process. And it’s fairly awkward too, especially if you don’t know how and when to follow up with the recruiter on the status.

It’s natural to wonder what the next steps should be for a post-interview follow up. Here is a timeline to help for checking back in with tactfulness, but being proactive at the same time.

The Next Day

Take the time to write a thank-you note to the person (or people) you interviewed with. You can purchase a professional-looking thank-you card and jot your note inside. Keep it brief, personal, and to the point. Be sure to thank them for taking the time to meet with you to discuss the job opportunity and invite them to contact you if they have further questions or need more information. Leave your name and phone number inside. Address it to the person you met with, and drop it in the mail promptly.

One Week After the Interview

Allowing enough time for the hiring manager to check your professional references, verify your work and educational history, and evaluate you against other candidates is important. Generally, a week is enough. This is a good time to send a quick email to check on the status of the hiring process. Make it a point to offer any additional information the hiring manager needs or to track down your references if anyone is taking too long to respond.

Two Weeks After the Interview

By now, the hiring manager should have gathered all the necessary information at this stage. Now is a good time to pick up the phone and check in with the hiring manager to find out the next steps. Be polite and remind the hiring manager who you are based on something unique at the interview. You want them to have a positive impression of you. Respect their time and if they seemed rushed, let them know you will follow up in a few days.

Three Weeks After the Interview

Checking in now requires a phone call. If you don’t connect, send an email right afterwards to invite the hiring manager to get in touch with you at their convenience. You may be asked to come in for a second interview, or you may be advised that the company has not made a decision or may have cancelled the job need at this time. Be patient and remember that all good things come to those candidates who are professional.

Following up after an interview is a bit tedious, but worth the effort because it sets you apart from other candidates who don’t demonstrate interest. While you are following up, be sure to keep applying for jobs and interviewing elsewhere. Take a temporary assignment while you are seeking an answer from a company you want to work for. You may end up getting a great temp assignment that turns into a full-time, rewarding career.

Davis Staffing possesses those great Chicago jobs, whether they are full time or temporary. We have more than 40 years of experience who will provide service beyond your expectations. Contact our great team today!

Avoid These Words in a Job Interview

May 7th, 2015

Avoid These Words In A Job Interview

Job interviews are stressful situations, which almost goes without saying. But, you cannot let the stress get to you so much that you say something inappropriate that has the interviewer thinking twice about bringing you in for the interview in the first place. You must control what you say in a job interview, even if the words are ready to fly out of your mouth!

One way to ace an interview is to avoid using certain words during the interview. We will provide you with a whole host of different words that should never be used in a job interview if you want to land an offer.

Never, Ever Curse in an Interview

One of the number one things on our list is cursing. You should never, ever curse in a job interview, no matter how comfortable you are with the interviewer or how long you have known the person. Swear words might come through when interviewing internally for a job available at the company where you currently work. The reason for this is that you already know the interviewer and might even have a friendship with him or her. Avoid curse words at all costs during job interviews, or it can sink your search quickly.

Don’t Get Obsessed

‘Obsessed’ is a word that many people use to describe their passions in life, many of which are normal. Some might think that this word is not bad to say in a job interview because it explains how passionate you are about the job or the work you have performed in the past. Instead, many interviewers will raise red flags when they hear this word because they get worried  the employee might become a little too obsessed with the job or the company and begin having issues in the future. Knowing when to back off and show some balance will help you in the interview process.

No and All of Its Variations

Do your best to avoid saying the word ‘no’ in a job interview. Also, try to avoid all the variations or forms of the word no in a job interview. When you say no, or any of its variations, you are coming across as closed off to the interviewer. You will appear as if you are not open to new things or to change, should it happen after you are hired. Even if you are saying the word no in a sentence that is inherently positive, the interviewer might hear the word no and lose focus on your statement.

Whatnot and You Know

‘Whatno’t and ‘you know’ are simply filler words and phrases that are too common in the English language. However, these words do not belong in job interview conversations. They are filler words that add absolutely nothing to the conversation with the interviewer, who will see right through these words and become bored or angered at the fact that you are using these words. Interviewers, recruiters and hiring managers want to know how articulate you are in a positive way, not just how many words you can throw into a conversation.

Oh, I Just Hate

Even if you legitimately hated a task at a previous job and think that you are being lighthearted by saying so, this word will hurt your chances at landing the job. Interviewers never want to hear the word ‘hate’, and if they do, they will begin to think twice about you. Those who use the word hate in a job interview could wind up being labeled as a high risk candidate with a negative attitude.

Do your best to avoid saying any of the words and phrases mentioned above if you want to ace your next job interview. Practice your interview responses and watch out for any negative, offensive, or annoying words you may say.

The experts at Davis Staffing can help place you with some of the best companies in Chicago. Contact our team of experts today, and we will help you with any of your job needs.

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