4 Questions to Ask an Employer to Make Sure They are a Good Fit for You

March 20th, 2014

Interview Advice from an Illinois Staffing Agency

Going on a job interview can be exciting, nerve-wracking, stressful and thrilling all at once. Every job seeker knows that they should be prepared for the interview by doing some research about the company prior to meeting with the interviewer. This preparation often includes having multiple copies of your resume and cover letter with you for the interview. You never know if you will be meeting with more than one person during your interview. However, did you also know that you need to have a few questions handy to ask too?

There are four vital questions you should ask the interviewer that will help you determine if the company is a good fit for you. Asking these questions can improve your career experience for the long term.

Question #1 – If I start tomorrow, what should my top priority for success be?

For starters, this questions proves to the interviewer how interested you are in the position. Secondly, the answer from the interviewer could provide you with a glimpse into how the position is being handled right now and where it is headed. If the interviewer does not have much to say, it could be that he or she is trying to hide something. This could be a warning sign right off the bat.

Question #2 – What changes will the new hire have to make to the job?

The answer to this question will shed some light onto why the previous person left the position or was let go from the position. If the interviewer lays out a long list of items that seem like too much for the salary being offered, then you might not be a good fit for the company. Also, if you can figure out why the previous person is no longer in the position just from the interviewer’s answer, you should be able to determine if the company is a fit for you.

Question #4 – What stands out about me that says I may not be the perfect fit for the job?

This can be a very scary question to ask during an interview, but it can be very beneficial to the candidate. By asking this question you can alleviate any reservations the interviewer might have about you and it will show the interviewer that you are open to constructive criticism. It also shows the interviewer that you want to improve upon what you are told. If the interviewer goes on-and-on with a long list, then this company might not be a fit for you.

Question #4 – What are the two traits most necessary to perform this job well?

When you ask the interviewer this question you will be able to figure out exactly what the company is looking for in the candidate. If an interviewer says that you need to be ‘creative’ and ‘intuitive,’ then it could mean that you will be working on your own. If the interviewer says that you need to be ‘collaborative’ and ‘patient,’ then you will probably be working as part of a team and will be given directions often. Depending on the answer you receive, and if you like that answer or not, you will be able to determine if the company is a fit for you.

Want to learn more? Explore important recruitment and employment topics by reading a few more popular blog posts from a leading Staffing Agency in Illinois, Davis Staffing!

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How to Identify a Company’s Culture Before the Interview

March 5th, 2014

Tips from an Illinois Staffing Agency:

Finding a job in today’s recovering economy can still be a difficult task, but it does not have to be downright impossible. When you come across a job opening that interests you, be sure to perform a little research about the company before you even apply. Then, do even more research prior to the interview in an effort to identify the overall culture at the company.

Why is all this research so important? It can save you a lot of time and energy if the culture does not fit your personality or work style.

Snoop Around the Company’s Website

One of the best methods of determining a company’s culture is to visit the website prior to the interview. Many companies share information what it would be like to work for them, how the values of the company shine each day, and more on the corporate website. This information is typically found near the ‘About Us’ page or near the ‘Careers’ page on the website. Some companies even offer a life description with each job posting. It explains what life would be like to work that specific job at the company.

Find the Company on Facebook and LinkedIn

Another way to determine the company’s culture is to find it on LinkedIn and Facebook. This will help you connect with current and former employees, see what projects the company is currently working on, who has been promoted and much more. You might also come across some employees you know and can connect with them privately to talk about the company culture. Check out any company social accounts and get a feel for the corporate culture and values to see if you would fit in.

Do a Search on Industry Forums and Review Sites

Even though you should take what is posted online about companies with a grain of salt, you still might be able to come across some valuable information this way. If you log onto forums that discuss companies and begin to find common threads across reviews from current and former employees, then this is something to take into account before applying at the company or scheduling an interview. See what employees have to say about work conditions, culture, and career growth.

Find Company Blogs

Oftentimes, a company will task one or more employees with running the company blogs. This can help you determine what the company culture is like, simply by reading various blog posts from the company. Some companies have their CEOs operate blogs as well, posting content about the company and even its culture in some instances.

Check with the Staffing Agency

If you are going through a temporary staffing agency to find work, this can be a valuable source of information about the corporate culture. Ask your staffing representative to share some insight about the corporate environment, work values, and unique nature of any company you may be working for in the near future. Find out about any new assignments and how your skills and personality may be a good match there.

Try to Answer Questions about the Company

When researching the company prior to an interview using any of the above methods, you should have a list of questions that need to be answered with what you find. Those questions should include any of the following:

-Have there been recent layoffs?

-When was the company founded?

-Who are the company’s customers?

-Who are the company’s competitors?

-How many employees are at the company?

-Are there any key events in the company’s history?

Want to learn more? Explore important recruitment and employment topics by reading a few more popular blog posts from Davis Staffing, a leading IL Staffing Agency! Please feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to learn more about us at LinkedIn for company and industry news, job leads and featured updates.

3 Ways to Build Confidence for Your Interview

January 27th, 2014

You’ve got just a few moments to make a positive first impression as you walk into a job interview. According to the experts on human behavior, the way you look and act speak louder than words when meeting others for the first time. One of the ways to do this well is to walk in there, filled to the brim with self-confidence in your ability to ace the interview.

How can you get all this confidence without looking arrogant or that you are trying too hard to impress the hiring manager? Use these 3 quick methods to boost your confidence before the big interview.

#1 – See Yourself in the Job and the Company

A powerful way to add more confidence in any situation is to do some visualization ahead of time. Greek Philosopher, Plutarch once said, “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality”. So too, you can change your perception of the job opportunity and increase your chance of getting hired. Get yourself into a comfortable position, with eyes closed. “See” yourself in the actual job, performing the tasks and being good at this new role. When you meet with the interviewer, you will be more about to confidently speak about your suitability for the job and the company culture.

#2 – Talk to the Person in the Mirror

When you look into the mirror, what do you see immediately? What impression do you make to yourself? If you are not pleased with what you see, it could be that you need to adjust your non-verbal expression a little in order to appear more confident. This could include smiling, making eye contact, speaking clearly and directly, and even your general appearance. Get a new haircut, make yourself up in a nice business attire, and walk confidently with head-held-high. Practice your introduction, and the ways in which you will answer the interviewing questions.

#3 – Get a Boost from Your Support Network

No one should be looking for a job today without the support and encouragement of a network of friends and family members. Take a moment to think about people in your network who make you feel good about yourself. Share with them your excitement over the interview coming up. Ask them to help you by telling you what they believe to be your best qualities. Use this as an opportunity to gather feedback on your resume, your presentation and how you carry yourself. Ask others to pray or meditate for you, or just send good thoughts your way as you go into the interview. This helps you to know you are not alone.

By using the above tips, you’ll be able to walk into the interview and do incredibly well. Just be yourself, think carefully, and communicate your unique gifts to the best of your ability. Don’t forget to review Davis Staffing’s Job Interview Survival Pack too!

Nervous? Here is a Job Seeker Interview Survival Pack

If you are looking for temp employment opportunities in Chicago, contact us today.

How to Write an Interview Follow Up Email | Job Search Chicago IL

January 17th, 2014

Getting asked for an interview for a great new job in Illinois can be very exciting. However, once the interview is over and you’re back at home waiting for a decision to be made, it’s common to be concerned with any potential follow ups you should be making. After sending out a personal handwritten thank you note within 48 hours of the interview, you can turn to other forms of communication to follow up.

5 Pointers for Writing an Interview Follow Up Email

The use of email in the job search process has increased, which makes it simple to use as part of your follow up strategy. Before you send off a message to the person who interviewed you in Chicago IL, here are some things you should know.

Your email follow up should correspond with other follow ups.

When you get ready to write any email follow up to an interview, keep in mind that you will also be sending a thank you note, and making phone calls to the company. Do not rely solely on email follow ups. Instead, make your email follow ups a part of the overall strategy for staying fresh in the mind of the interviewer.

Keep your email message appreciative, focused, and polite.

Open every email follow up with an expression of thanks, what a pleasure it was meeting with the interviewer, and a polite inquiry as to the status of the hiring process. Keep in mind that there may be several steps that the interviewer has to take, such as checking your references, verifying your credentials, and talking with the ultimate decision makers. Be patient and polite in every communication.

Write an original email message to follow up on interviews.

Never use a pre-written email follow up when writing a message to check back after an interview in Chicago. You may find that more than one person will get your email and if you write the same thing each time, this will look unprofessional and lazy. Instead, take the time to write a professional and original message each time. Use this as an opportunity to let the hiring manager know you are available if they have any questions or need more info to help them make their decision.

Direct your email message(s) to the person who interviewed you.

Take the time to obtain the interviewing person’s business card when you are physically in their presence. Then direct all emails to this person, not to the HR main email box. If you failed to obtain this, simply look them up on the company directory (often found on the company website), or call the main office line and ask for it. Limit your email follow ups to no more than 1 to 2 times per week to avoid being annoying.

Provide quick contact information in every email follow up.

Make it easy for the interviewer to contact you by adding your professional signature at the end of every email follow up. You will include your full name, your home and mobile number, and a link to your professional website, online resume, or portfolio. End your email follow up with a call to action mentioning that you are available during certain times of the week and you look forward to hearing from them at their convenience.

Want to learn more? Explore important recruitment and employment topics by reading a few more popular blog posts from Davis Staffing in Chicago IL! Please feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to learn more about us at LinkedIn for company and industry news, job leads and featured updates. If you are looking for job agencies in Chicago Illinois, contact us today.

How to Follow up After the Interview – 3 Rules in the Hiring Game

December 18th, 2013

Have you ever experienced an amazing interview only to wait and wait for weeks for the hiring manager to get back in touch with you? Sure, this happens all the time because companies are overwhelmed with their recruitment programs and often don’t have the manpower to respond promptly.

The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to sit around by the phone waiting for some kind of decision from the hiring company. Instead, you can be proactive about your job search and follow up with them.

The benefits of following up after the interview include:

  • Getting an update on the status of the job opening and if you are still in the running or not.
  • Understanding more about the company processes to gauge if you actually want to work there.
  • Not disappearing into oblivion or being forgotten as an eligible candidate by the hiring manager.

So, now that you know that it’s perfectly okay to follow up after the interview, the question is how? Luckily, we have the answers! Here’s some tips for reaching out after the interview with tactfulness.

Send a written thank you note immediately after the interview.

Before you even leave the parking lot of the building where you’ve had the interview, take the time to jot a personal thank you note in a professional looking card for the recruiter you met with. Keep it simple, with something about how much it was a pleasure meeting with them, you thank them for their time, and that you look forward to hearing back from them soon with a decision. Drop it in the nearest mailbox so they get it within 24 hours. This nice touch is impressive and appreciated by most recruiters, plus it makes you stick out in their minds.

Wait at least 3 days before contacting the recruiter by phone/email.

Before you start a pattern of annoying the recruiter with your follow-ups, remember that they are extremely busy people who deal with a ton of people every week. They also may have to check your references and perform other administrative tasks before they can call you back. Wait 3-4 days and then make a quick call to their office, or send them an email. Again, keep it short and indicate you are patiently awaiting their hiring decision, offering to provide them with any additional information they may need from you.

Schedule a regular update call to the recruiter at 7 day intervals.

Now comes the fun part. If the recruiter indicates they intend to contact you on a certain date, then you will heed well to wait until then to follow up. If not, then demonstrate your patience and professional courtesy by waiting to call them at one-week intervals from your last contact. Try to connect with them on less busy days, like Tuesday-Thursday for a better response. Let them know you are still interested and interviewing for employment opportunities so they know you are a candidate in demand.

Take heed, it can take up to 6 to 8 weeks for a recruiter to make an offer of employment. While you are waiting, why not take on some temporary assignments to keep a paycheck rolling in and your skills fresh? Who knows, you may even end up getting offered a perm job this way too.

If you are looking for employment agencies near you, contact us today.

What are the Hardest Interview Questions? Job Seeker Tips

December 5th, 2013

As a job seeker, you may be wondering how to deal with the most difficult interview questions. But what are the hardest interview questions and if you encounter one in your next interview, what’s the best way to answer them? Relax – we’ve got you covered!

In this article, we will look at some of the roughest and toughest interview questions out there and give you expert pointers on how to answer them.

The Hardest Interview Questions in the World

First of all, do not panic or run out of the room if you ever get asked one of these tough interview questions. Take a deep breath and think like the professional that you are.

#1 – The What Ifs

Many of the hardest interview questions come from certain situational aspects of the industry or career you may be working in. Look for these to be a standard go-to interview question for any company you may be applying for. Such difficult situational job interview questions may be “If you were dealing with an angry customer, what would you do to help them?” or “What if you were in a company vehicle and a stranger asked you for a ride – what would you do?” The best way to answer is to think back to previous job experience, share the story (briefly) and relate it to the question in a comprehensive way.

#2 – The Culture Club

Oh how recruiters love to check out the personalities of candidates to see if they are good fit for the work culture! Therefore, you can expect that at least a portion of your hardest interview questions will involve your personality and suitability for the cultural environment. Listen for questions like, “Do you prefer a work environment that is collaborative or where you work in a private office?” and “What do you think about casual dress codes at work?” Then look around you, see what the norm is there and answer accordingly.

#3 – The Ethical Test

Employers today are worried about candidates’ ability to demonstrate positive work ethics and values. There are still concerns over employee loyalty and turnover, much as there always has been. You may be asked a hard ethical interview question like, “If you observed an employee stealing from the company, what would you do?” and “Have you ever experienced harassment from a customer and how did you deal with it?” are increasing in interviews. Just answer as truthfully and ethically as possible and you’ll do well.

#4 – The Money Madness  

Oftentimes, candidates find asking about salary and compensation to be very difficult indeed. Yet, they begged to be asked so you must know how. Obviously, if the job advertisement doesn’t list the starting wage, then you will want to speak up in your face-to-face interview. Wait for the person interviewing you to say something like, “What kind of salary range are you seeking?” or “Are you comfortable starting at [dollar amount] for this job?” Answer tactfully by first knowing what the industry salary range is for the type of job.

#5 – The Are You Kidding Me?

Once in a while, you may encounter an interview question that is so “out there” that you have no idea how to answer it. You may also get asked something that is actually illegal, based on current discrimination laws. These can be anything relating to your marital or sexual orientation status, if you have or plan to have kids, if you belong to a certain religious group, and your national origin or race. Before you answer any interview question, take a few seconds to collect yourself and if it’s something you are not comfortable answering, try to dodge it by bringing up a recent news article you read about the company or asking a couple of job related questions yourself.

We hope you enjoyed this post and will share it with your networks! Also, we look forward to your comments and feedback! Want to learn more? Explore important recruitment and employment topics by reading a few more popular blog posts from Davis Staffing! IF you are looking for temp jobs in Oak Lawn IL, contact us today.

Please feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to learn more about us at LinkedIn for company and industry news, job leads and featured updates.

Nervous? Here is a Job Seeker Interview Survival Pack

March 28th, 2013

It’s one thing to spend hours, weeks, even months applying for jobs in manufacturing, but then when the call comes for an interview it gets nerve-wracking in short order. Take heart that many job seekers get a temporary case of the “jitters” when it comes to interviewing. Despite being qualified and ready for the job, getting too nervous can cause you to forget all about being confident and instead make you forget everything you ever learned about job interviewing. You don’t want this to happen while you are in front of a hiring manager.

So, in case you are facing a big interview right now, here is a “job interview survival pack” that can help you prepare and rock your next interview.

What’s in the job interview survival pack?

  1. Personal contact cards/business cards – When you are looking for a job and have an interview, this is the perfect time to bring along your professionalism by giving everyone you meet a business or personal contact card. Get some free ones printed out and clip them to your resume as well. This will help you to stand out and it’s a nice way to break the ice.
  2. Fresh copies of your resume – Recruiters and hiring managers are busy people. Save them the trouble of looking for a copy of your resume from amid the stacks they have on their desk. Bring a few freshly printed out copies with you.
  3. Copy of the job advertisement or description – Walk into the interview prepared with a copy of the job advertisement or the full description. This will help you have talking points as you meet with the recruiter.
  4. Personal data sheet with previous employment – Expect that you may have to fill out additional career information when you go to the interview. This happens often with recruitment firms and corporate interviews. Bring a detailed information sheet about your past employment, including the addresses and phone numbers of previous employers, supervisor names, and dates of employment.
  5. Letters of recommendation – As a smart job seeker you are going to get a few reference letters from former employers and clients (if you have any). Bring copies of these with you (on company letterhead) and attach them to your resume. Encourage the person interviewing you to read them.
  6. List of questions for interviewer – A recruiter will want to see that you’ve done your homework concerning the job and the company. Bring a list of at least 5 questions to ask about the job, the duties, the corporate culture, and the company objectives.
  7. Thank you card with stamped envelope – Immediately following the interview, stop to jot down a thank you note to the person who interviewed you and drop this in the nearest post office or mailbox on your way out the door. This way you will not forget this crucial step.
  8. An extra pen and note pad – You will want to have an extra pen with you because it never fails that your pen will dry out in the middle of the application form. Bring along a note pad to jot down important points and the name of the person you meet with.
  9. Map to the interview location – Don’t make the mistake of being late for your interview because you got lost. Prevent this by either using a printed map from an Internet map or a GPS unit to help you find the way efficiently.
  10. Emergency cash – If you have an interview during the week, you may have to skip a lunch break to meet with a recruiter (if you are currently working) so you may need to stop at a drive through for a quick snack. Or you may need to make a call from a payphone if you have car trouble. Bring along a few dollars just in case.
  11. Hairbrush and hand wipes – You want to look your very best, so bring these items along to tidy up before you walk into a job interview. Looking good can help boost your self-confidence.

Remember, a job interview is your chance to shine. Take a deep breath and know that you have your interview survival kit to support your career objective. If you are in the Chicago Southland and Northwest Indiana areas looking for a great new career, consider how Davis Staffing can support your career dreams. Be sure to follow us on Facebook too!

Keys to Getting that Interview…Followed by a Job

October 16th, 2012

You’ve been on the prowl for a new assignment with a list of preferred organizations, sending out hundreds of resumes and trying to network your way to a job. Yet, you are still not getting invited for an interview. This is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the job search process itself that has many job seekers wondering what the secret to getting an interview is?

Getting the Interview – Keys to an Open Door

The truth is, there is no one way that recruiters are compelled to ask candidates in for job interviews. Sometimes, it’s just left up to chance, the demands of the business to hire someone, and the compatible skills that candidates have. However, there are some keys to getting a step closer to an interview and a decent job offer.

Key #1 – Professional Presentation

Recruiters and hiring managers immediately get an impression from candidate from the way they present themselves initially. This means, you must take the time to create a professional cover letter and resume, and if at all possible apply in person looking your very best. If you ever hope to make a good impression that will stand out in the mind of the recruiter, then making this extra effort can and will pay off.

Key #2 – Tactful Follow-up

Once you have taken the time to respond to job advertisements, or submitted online job applications, you are free to follow up within a reasonable amount of time. In fact, just taking the time to follow up in a professional manner can put you in front of other applicants. But have respect for the hiring person’s time and limit your follow up to one email, one handwritten thank you card, and one email per week. Anything more than that and you are likely to be viewed as desperate.

Key #3 – Networking for Referrals

Your personal and professional networks can be great sources for finding jobs, but they can also be opportunities to ask for referrals which can help you get an interview sooner. Chances are,  because of the industry you work in, you know several people who either know someone working in the kinds of companies you want to work for. Ask for referrals and give a reason why you would be a good match for their corporate culture.

Ready to take your job search to the next level? Davis Staffing can put you in touch with a wide array of job opportunities, including the ability to interview with top hiring companies.

Questions to Ask After the Job Offer

September 24th, 2012

The actual job offer is the one thing that’s on the mind of every job seeker in today’s competitive workplace. Before the big moment arrives, you have all manner of hopes, expectations, and even fears about what the offer will be and whether or not that will be enough to meet your needs.

Before you dive right in and accept the job offer, first ask a few serious questions of the business that’s offering you the position. Here are some questions to ask after the job offer is on the table.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your supervisor(s)?

Some people need to be micromanaged while others feel stifled with that type of management system. But there are other thing about a potential supervisor you should know such as whether or not the supervisor is supportive to staff, if the supervisor offers constructive feedback to staff members, and how approachable the supervisor is.

You might even want to go further up the chain of command than your specific supervisor to see how the corporate structure, and it strengths and weaknesses, is likely to impact you in the position you would be taking on. Different people work best with different management styles.

These are all important indicators of how comfortable you’ll be in your role within the company and how well you’ll interact with your new supervisor.

What kind of turnover has this position had and why?

It’s not enough to simply find out how many people who have worked this position in the last few years. You also have a vested interest in finding out what happened to the people who left. Did they leave for greener pastures? Were they promoted from within? It’s also a wise idea to find out, if at all possible, what the average duration of employment was for the position by the previous employees too.

If there has been a high amount of employee turnover with few people lasting more than a few weeks or months, there’s a sign that something is terribly amiss in the company and that working there might not be in your best interest. However, if you see signs that there is a great deal of promotion from within with employees staying with the company, even if they’re moving to different positions within the organization, then this is a sure sign that something is being done right by the company too.

Job offers are great. They make your search feel vindicated. However, the wrong job offer can lead to a very frustrating and costly experience in your professional adventure. Asking the right questions can help you avoid some of the more serious mistakes.

Before you accept any job offer, you may want to consider working with a staffing agency like Davis Staffing to see if it’s the best one for your skill set and value. Or you can explore other excellent career opportunities by visiting our career page.

Tell Me About You- How to Deal with the Hardest Question in an Interview

August 27th, 2012

One of the most commonly asked questions at a job interview is the dreaded, “tell me about yourself” question. It seems harmless enough until you start to read into it. What does the interviewer really want you to say to answer it? The fact is, interviewers will use virtually every part of what you say to make a decision about you. Know the answer long before you arrive for the interview.

Focus Your Answer

The first thing you can do to ensure you answer this question properly is to focus your answer. Develop a list of five strengths you have that relate to the job you are interviewing for to use as a starter. What skills, traits, and experiences do you have that contributes to your desirability to be hired for this position?

Have a Script

Since this question is asked so often, have a script of what you are going to say. It should include any information you wish to convey in a short, relaxed way. Talk about experiences and your proven successes first. Then, talk about the strengths and abilities you have. Close off this short statement with information about your current situation, such as what you are looking for in your next position.

Practice It

Do not walk into an interview like this without some skills and focus. You want to be confident without being arrogant. You want to be realistic. Practice what you will say without actually memorizing it down to the letter. You do not want to come off as being coached in the interview but rather genuine and authentic.

When an interviewer asks you this question, you need to know what the answer is. That means you need to have thought about it prior to arriving at the interview itself. By doing this, you will reduce the risk that you could answer in a way that could provide the wrong impression to the hiring manager. After all, they are looking at what you are really saying when you answer these questions. Make sure whatever you do say, shows your abilities and willingness to commit to the position.

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