How To Negotiate During and After an Interview

December 5th, 2014

The job interview process can be stressful and daunting, but if you know how to go about it, you should have no trouble landing a new job. One of the more difficult aspects of the process is negotiating both during and after the job interview. Negotiating things like starting date, salary, benefits, and work responsibilities often takes place during this stage.

If you have never had to negotiate during an interview, this article will help you prepare for your first negotiations. If you have negotiated in the past, this article will help you hone your negotiating skills.

How to Negotiate During the Job Interview

When negotiating during the job interview, you need to use a couple of tricks in order to be successful. When asked about your current salary, do not lie, but also do not provide the exact number. Instead, provide the interviewer with a salary range you are looking for. Another good tip is to make them name a definitive number first.

You must absolutely use generalizations when negotiating during the interview. Say things like “My total compensation,” which will allow you to include 401(k), benefits, bonuses, raises, flexible spending accounts and other compensation. As mentioned earlier, provide the interviewer with a range that includes all of these items so you are not limiting yourself to just salary.

If the interviewer keeps pushing you for your current salary, finally give them an answer, but make sure you ask what their compensation and benefits package looks like so you can get a feel for the compensation being offered.

How to Negotiate After an Interview

Once the interview process is complete, it is time to wait for the call that includes a job offer. The wait can last anywhere from a couple of days to two weeks and you should use that time to put together your negotiating strategy.

When the call comes and a job is offered, thank the interviewer, but stop short of saying ‘yes’ to the offer. Ask them if you could take 48 hours to think things over and discuss it with your spouse. Ask the person on the other end of the phone how the position is funded so you can figure out what type of package will be offered.

You should always ask for the job offer in writing so you have all of the responsibilities, expectations and compensation information in one place for you to reference when negotiating.

During this part of the negotiation process you need to convey to the company what type of value you bring. Never mention to them how much you need to cover living expenses, bills and loan payments. Weigh the pros of the job against the cons, and make sure that the cons do not outweigh the pros. If this happens, then the job might not be for you.

Negotiating during and after a job interview is a very important skill to have. Make sure you know what you are looking for in the job so you can negotiate properly.

How To Ask For A Reference Or Letter Of Recommendation

November 21st, 2014

Asking for a reference or a letter of recommendation can be a stressful situation for a job seeker, especially if he or she has never done so in the past. You might not know the etiquette involved in such a request, which is why we will tackle the issue in this post. Make sure you follow the tips outlined in this article if you want to receive a glowing reference or letter of recommendation for a job application.

Put the Request in Writing

Many people who have written hundreds of letters like to receive the request in writing. The reason for this is that they are more likely to remember they were asked and have a reference guide for the letter’s information. The written request can be submitted via email or as a letter itself. In the request, make sure you include all the pertinent information about the company and the job for which you are applying so they can tie your experience and skills altogether.

Ask Early and Personally

When you know that you will be applying for a job, ask for the letter of recommendation early and personally. By early, we mean before the company even requests one. This is a good idea because you will be able to hand it in as soon as the company requests the recommendation. You should also ask personally. When you ask someone who knows you well, it makes the writing process much easier. Also try to ask them personally, which includes using a phone call or the next time you see them in person.

Ask Nicely and Professionally

One of the most important things you need to do when asking for a reference is that you must ask the person nicely. Do not talk about them owing you a favor for something you did for them years ago and never back them into a corner.

When you ask, you need to provide the person with a graceful way to bow out of the request if they so chose to do so. If they do decide to bow out of the request, never become offended or ask the person why they came to this decision.

Make it Easy

When asking someone to be a reference on your resume, you need to make it as easy as possible for them. Tell them what type of job you are looking for, and if you apply, give them a heads up so they are not surprised when they receive a phone call from a hiring manager asking about you.

Also, to make it easier on your reference, you should email them a copy of your resume. They can familiarize themselves with your resume and be able to look at it when on the phone with a hiring manager.

What To Look For In A Candidate Fresh Out Of School?

October 14th, 2014

As an employer, you need to do everything possible to find the right candidate for the open jobs at your company. This means that you will need to know what to look for in the candidates who interview for the open jobs. The student’s GPA and major are not the only thing you need to take into consideration when hiring recent college graduates.

We have compiled a list of the most important things to look for in a candidate fresh out of school here.

A Team Player

The candidate must be a team player. You will want an employee who not only can work well in a team setting, but also who wants to work as part of a team, not just go through the motions. A telling sign is how well the candidate can work with others who are very different from them. This will help you get a glimpse of how the candidate will work with your current employees.

Strong Writing and Communication Skills

You also should look for recent college graduates who can write well and have strong communication skills. No matter what type of job is open, the need to write and speak publicly will arise at some point. This means that your candidate must be able to put together a strong presentation that includes written material and requires them to speak in front of others.

Ability to Analyze and Solve Problems

A very important aspect of business today is the ability for employees to analyze and solve problems when they arise. Recent college graduates need to have this ability if they want to obtain employment. You need to make sure that any recent college graduates you interview can perform such a task. You can determine this by having the candidate provide an example of how they performed this task while working an internship.

Creative Out of the Box Thinker

Creativity is very important in the business world today because it separates the most successful companies from the least successful companies. As you interview recent college graduates for open positions, you need to determine if they can be creative and innovative when on the job. This will increase the success of your company because the candidate will bring their new ideas to the table each day they are on the job.

Strong Work Ethics

No matter which industry your company operates in, you will want to hire someone with strong ethics. When you bring in people who live by their ethical decisions, you will notice a difference in the office and your corporate culture.

Understanding of Numbers and Statistics

You also need to find candidates fresh out of college who understand statistics and numbers. This ability is necessary in today’s business world because it helps the company move forward with deals, projects and contracts.

How To Explain That You Were Fired

October 7th, 2014

It is very unlikely that you will go through your entire career without being fired at least once or twice. When this happens, you will run into the problem of answering questions about your termination when going on job interviews. But, don’t sweat it! Read on for some expert advice on how to explain you were fired, in a tactful way.

Provide a Brief Answer

One of the first things you need to do is stay brief in your answer. Some people see this negative question as a reason to provide the interviewer with a monologue that lasts five minutes. You need to prepare your answer ahead of time and practice it so you stay as brief as possible during the interview. Get right to the point with the answer so you do not begin talking negatively about your previous employer.

Be Honest in Your Answer

When you are asked about being fired, you need to be honest with the interviewer. You should not try to spin termination as being laid-off or that it was a mutual split. This will only make matters worse for you during the interview. Even though you should be honest with the interviewer, you do not need to provide him or her with every single detail of why you were fired either. This could only turn into an ugly situation for you as a candidate.

Refrain from Speaking Negatively About Your Former Employer

Another important tip here when explaining you were fired is to refrain from speaking negatively about your former employer. Interviewers will ask about being fired in order to find out why the termination occurred and how you react to your former employer. An interviewer will want to see how you handle the situation when talking about them. It will make the difference between being offered a position with the company and not receiving a second interview.

Remove Bitterness

When answering the question about being fired, you need to refrain from sounding bitter. Employers do not want to hire bitter employees, which is why you need to refrain from using language that makes you sound like a sore loser.

Do Not Blame Anyone

You were fired for a reason. This means that you cannot blame anyone else for losing your job but yourself. Since you should not talk poorly about your former employer, you also need to refrain from bad mouthing any former supervisors or co-workers at the same time.

Explain What You Have Learned

The next thing you can do when answering a question about being fired is to explain what you have learned from the situation. Part of your answer, which should still be brief, is to explain what you learned from being fired and how you can apply it to your next job.

What Are Hiring Managers Looking For But Don’t Ask About?

September 8th, 2014

Ever wonder what is it exactly that the hiring manager is looking for, but isn’t asking during an interview? If only you had a crystal ball that could give you the rights actions and words that would inspire them to hire you on the spot, this would be a dream come true!   The truth is, each side of the interviewing table is looking for specific things from the other party. The candidate wants a great career opportunity that compensates well for the job tasks. The hiring manager is looking for the right person who has the skills, personality, and experience to get the job done. Somewhere in the middle, these areas have to fit together.   However, no hiring manager is going to say these things right out loud. It’s their job to evaluate every candidate, using legal interviewing methods and questions, to get to the bottom of what the candidate is all about. But, to get you headed in a better direction, here are some things that the hiring manager wishes he or she could say to make this go smoother:

#1 – Please arrive for your interview on time, but not too early.

A hiring manager generally never mentions this, but it is a BIG pet peeve for many when someone shows up late for an interview. Or when they show up for an interview way too early (more then 15 min) and expect immediate attention. Remember, hiring managers often have a lot of things going on, people to talk to, and they don’t have time to disrupt their schedules when you show up at the wrong time.

#2 – Thank you for taking the time and effort to dress appropriately.

If you are going to go to an interview with any hope of impressing the hiring manager, please dress for the job and the corporate culture. This means wearing business attire that is flattering to your appearance. Avoid too-tight clothes, flip flops and “stripper” shoes, jeans or cut off shorts, t-shirts with rock bands on them, and over-the-top hairstyles, makeup and perfume that walks into a room before you do.

#3 – We appreciate a well-written cover letter/resume that’s not too wordy.

Hiring managers read through thousands of cover letters and resumes every week. While they wont say it, they do prefer to talk to candidates who have concisely written documents that are to the point and use plenty of white space and bulleted lists. And spell-checked (as hiring managers are sticklers for proper grammar and spelling).

#4 – Avoid using your cell phone, texting, or checking your watch while here.

Remember, always turn your mobile device off before you walk into an interview. It’s rude to take a call or text someone while interviewing. It’s also annoying to keep glancing at your watch as if you are trying to say you have something better to do.

#5 – How does your career background relate to what this company needs?

This actually belongs at the top of the list, but once you have the interview etiquette down you can then focus on what a hiring manager wants to know. This is – how do your skills and experience translate to profitability for our business. Be sure you have some examples of how you bring a lot to the table.

#6 – Don’t give us canned interview question responses – we’ve heard them all.

Stop it with the over-practiced interview questions! Instead, try to focus on being genuine and honest in your answers. Relax some,  then try to think of ways you can illustrate your work experience and how it can benefit the company.

#7 – Are there any personal matters that may prevent you from being a good employee here?

Oh…how the average hiring manager would like to ask this question, but unfortunately it’s illegal to do so. Make it a point to talk about how you are good at managing your personal life so that it never interferes with your professional life. Hiring managers are looking for people with no drama who can handle their personal business.

#8 –  If we hire you, do you plan to stick around for the long term?

This is the question burning on every hiring manager’s mind, but they will never ask you this. Before making a decision, they will weight all the qualities of the candidates to decide who has the best chance of staying loyal to the company. Make sure you are able to see yourself in this job for at least a couple of years before going through the effort of interviewing.

Can You Trust Your Candidates? Nonverbal Cues to Watch Out For

June 27th, 2014

Companies that are in the middle of filling open jobs want to complete the process fairly quickly so everyone already on the payroll can continue to perform their required duties. Sometimes, a company will cut corners to fill an open position and miss nonverbal cues of job candidates during a job interview. Not all candidates can be trusted, which is why we will discuss the nonverbal cues to pay attention to during interviews here.

Tone of Voice

One of the first things you need to watch for is the candidate’s tone of voice. This can be a little tricky because you don’t know if the their tone is changing during an interview because they are genuinely nervous or because they are trying to hide something about their past. A candidate’s tone of voice can be a trigger for other nonverbal cues such as their posture, their facial expressions and their gestures.

The Walk Around Test

An excellent way to measure a candidate’s body language or nonverbal cues is to engage him or her in the walk around test through the office. Give the candidate a tour of the facility and watch for some different cues. Take note of how quickly they smiled when meeting someone new, if they asked questions of the people they met, if they made eye contact and much more. You can even gauge the idea of them getting along with their co-workers should they be hired for the open job when doing the walk around test.

Appearance is Important Too

We are all told that appearance should not be important in life, but when it comes to acquiring a job, it is very important. If a candidate shows up to a job interview at your company in ripped pants, a stained shirt and an unshaven face, you likely will not hire that person. You would not want that person representing your company to clients and customers because it sends a bad message. Check the appearance of your candidate. Did he or she wear business attire? Did the candidate shave for the interview? Everyone makes snap judgments based on other people’s appearance. It can be a major factor in a job interview.

Lies, Lies, Lies

It is incredibly easy to spot someone who is telling a lie or a fabricated story when you are talking with them in-person. It is more difficult to accomplish this during a phone interview. Nonverbal cues such as twitching, hands shaking, sweating and fidgeting can tip an interviewer to the fact that the candidate might be telling a fib or hiding something from their past.

Take a long look at nonverbal cues presented by your job candidates during an interview to figure out if he or she is being truthful and trustworthy.

 

How to Dress for Manufacturing Interviews

June 20th, 2014

Whether you believe it or not, the attire you choose for a manufacturing interview could increase your chances at landing the job. When you ask someone what the proper attire is for an interview you will receive the same answer nine times out of ten; dress slacks, button-up shirt, a tie and possibly a suit or sport jacket. But, that tenth time could be much different if you are interviewing for a manufacturing position. We will discuss the attire for such an interview in this post.

Manufacturing Interview Dress Tips

We are going to sound a little harsh here, but we want to get our point across so you dress the proper way for a manufacturing interview. A manufacturing employer does not care if you own a suit because you will not be wearing one to work each day. Instead, it is a good idea to leave the suit in your closet and dress differently for this interview. Manufacturing employers want to envision you working for their company in different roles and none of them will entail you sitting behind a desk or in an office.

Without going too far, you still want to make an impression with your outfit. Make sure you wear long pants, with a nice shirt that is clean. Your clothes should be free of stains and rips even though the job you are interviewing for could send you home dirty each night. An employer still wants to see that you care about your appearance, so also be sure to shave that scruffy beard and trim your long hair back just a little bit.

Another important tip here is that men really should not wear a tie when interviewing for a manufacturing job. Why? Because a tie is way too formal for this type of interview and you should not have any loose clothing on when around machinery. So, if you are offered a tour of the facility, you want to be able to go on the tour without any worries. No one wants to have to remove a piece of clothing prior to taking a tour. It will look like you are unprepared.

When you dress down for a manufacturing interview you are showing the employer that you are dressing for the job that you want. Hiring managers want to meet someone who wants to work and work hard. You can show this by your outfit of choice for the manufacturing interview.

Remember this; how you present yourself and dress for an interview goes a long way in which candidate the company chooses for its open position. If you dress for the job, you will have a higher probability of bringing home the job offer. Be sure to read through the many helpful career articles for job seekers here at Davis Staffing, a leading Chicago IL Temp Agency.

Top 10 Answers to Common Job Interview Questions

April 24th, 2014

As a job seeker, do you ever wish you could walk into an interview room knowing exactly how to answer every interview question thrown at you? Well, in this article, we are going to arm you with the confidence you need to succeed! Here are ten of the best answers to common interview questions you may encounter from the other side of the hiring desk.

#1 – Yes, I am open to all opportunities here.

Many recruiters will ask a candidate early on in the interview if he or she would prefer full-time or part-time work. Likewise, sometimes a candidate may be considered for more than one particular job. When answering interview questions of this nature, emphasize how you are flexible and willing to take on any opportunity here.

#2 – I use my strengths to overcome weaknesses.

A good number of interview questions focus on asking candidates to review their career strengths and weaknesses. When asked about this, make sure you acknowledge your weaknesses but pose them as actual strengths. For example, if you are someone who works hard, you can mention that you tend to take on a great deal of responsibility at work but have found ways to manage your time well.

#3 – Let me explain how I solved a problem…

Behavioral interview questions are very common. Use this as a standard answer by sharing a specific example of how you have keenly solved a problem at work with out-of-the-box thinking.

#4 – Being a team player is what I am all about.

A potential new employer is often worried about how well you may fit in with the existing staff, because this is an important aspect of running a smooth ship. Talk about yourself in terms that indicate you are a team player and you have the best interests of the team in mind.

#5 – My former employer would say that I am [insert positive words here]

Interview questions can really put you on the spot at times. Asking you to share insight about what a former employer may say about you in reference can seem awkward. However, use this as a chance to share a positive thing that you know that your former boss or colleagues may say about you.

#6 – The customer is always right.

In today’s fast-paced world, good old-fashioned customer service skills are highly prized by many employers. You may be asked to talk about ways in which you have dealt with an angry customer experience. Remember to point out that you believe in honoring customers and showing them that they are always priority.

#7 – I enjoy learning new things that support career excellence.

Being a lifelong learner is a topic that often comes up in interview questions. Take the time to share with the interviewer how you value continued learning and how you leverage this knowledge to be a better worker.

#8 – I tend to handle difficult people and situations with ease.

Going back to difficult customers, you can be sure that an interviewer is going to ask you about this in a behavioral question. Be prepared by having a story to share about how you have handled this in the past. Go a step further and let the interviewer know you are adept at solving problems too.

#9 – Technology is something I embrace at work.

The way work is heading, technology is here to stay and new developments are always just around the corner. Therefore, you may be asked what technology you are familiar with and how you use this to be more efficient and effective at work. Keep it positive.

#10 – When would you like me to start working for you?

Albeit a little corny sounding, a recruiter will appreciate a candidate who is ready and willing to start work as soon as possible. Near the end of the interview, you can expect to be asked if you need to give notice at your current workplace or if you can start immediately. Find out when the company needs you and then adjust your answer accordingly.

Hopefully, by using the above answers you will be much better prepared to face any interview coming your way. Want to learn more? Explore important recruitment and employment topics by reading a few more popular blog posts from a leading staffing agency in Indiana, Davis Staffing!

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.

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