5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Interviews

Going through the interview process can become tedious if you have to sift through too many candidates, so why not try some fresh interview techniques to liven up the process and find out who is really underneath that resume.

  1. Talk about their passions. You can discover a lot about someone when you hear what they are passionate about. You’ll find out if they love to volunteer, read and learn about new things, or just enjoy soaking up the sun.
  2. Where do they like to vacation? Beach, mountains, or do they never even take vacations? Do you have an adventurous person in front of you or someone who values family time?
  3. Let the staff who will be working with the new person do the interviewing first. Avoid having to interview everyone and find who will best fit in with the team by allowing the team to do the interviewing.
  4. Take them out to lunch. Instead of staying in the office all day and plowing through interviews, meet them out to breakfast, lunch, or coffee. People tend to relax a bit more when out of the office.
  5. Never underestimate the power of humor. While it should be used only in appropriate settings, humor can help people to relax and show a bit more of their “humanness” during the interview process. It’s often unexpected during an interview, but can take away some of the routine feelings of the questions.

There are plenty of ways that you can add a personal touch to your interview style, most importantly the interviewer should be relaxed and welcoming and allow for the interviewee to open up and be themselves as well.

Can you share your own experience with being yourself in your interview?

Beating Procrastination in Your Job Search

Procrastination is sure to seep in when your job search begins to take months longer than expected. It’s important to recognize when you are avoiding searching for jobs and getting down on any potential opportunities.

If you feel procrastination coming on and notice “avoidance” setting in, there are a few things you can do to overcome this feeling and move into better territory so when that new employer does call, you are ready, confident, and eager to answer the phone.

  1. Take a break. When you are avoiding looking for new jobs you have the sense that you “should” be doing something else and guilt can set in. Give yourself permission to take a break, that way you can avoid some guilt-free downtime. If you allow yourself to take a day off to get outside, have some fun, visit with family or just “veg” out, you won’t feel guilty about scouring the internet for the latest job postings and in turn you’ll feel more refreshed when you come back to it.
  2. Do something for someone else. You can always find people less fortunate than yourself, and during a time when you are feeling down the best thing that you can do to life your spirits is to help someone else in need. Find a place to volunteer and create a habit of showing up to serve others. The simple act of giving can get you back into a positive mood and right back into the swing of things.
  3. Change your routine. While it may be hard to muddle up the energy to get out of the house on some-days, it’s essential to your well being. A simple change of pace like looking for jobs at the local coffee shop or visiting the library to brush up on your interview skills can do a lot of good. Don’t get stuck in a routine that weighs you down, change things up a bit and keep them fresh and fun.

What to Look For When Choosing Your Next Company

Usually when you start out looking for your next position we tend to worry more about the annual salary, benefits, vacation days, traveling or the drive to and from work; however, while all of these things are important there are a few more components of a company that could make or break your new position regardless of the glamorous (or not so glamorous) salary, benefits, and perks.

Here are few things to look out for beyond the stereotypical items listed above.

First, what does the new company offer? Meaning what is it they are selling, how do they generate revenue and bring in the money to actually pay your salary.  If you are currently unemployed a job in general could be a great thing regardless of what they sell, but a job can be very temporary if you take the wrong one and you will quickly find yourself back out on the search engines looking for the next best thing. Take some time to look into what the company is offering, what products and services they are selling and see how aligned you are with the offer. Are you passionate about it, skilled at it, do you know a lot about it or at least have a desire to?  While this may sound basic, believing in and loving what your company does will help you move up the ranks faster. Start off on the right foot and assess whether your new potential company and you truly are the right fit.

What’s their mission?  Most companies have a mission statement and while they vary in their use and implementation of it, it will still give you a good idea of what the company values.  If you know your values you can easily see how you and the new company may or may not agree on how situations are handled. Understanding the company’s mission statement helps to understand the foundation upon in which the company was built, and  hopefully you can add to their mission and help share their message as well.

How’s the company culture? The culture of a company varies greatly from one to another. Some offices are fun and creative while others are more serious and independent. While culture is hard to ascertain without being enmeshed in it, ask as many questions as you can about the office environment and the energy of the employees. You might find that some company cultures do not fit with your style and personality, leaving for a very unhappy employee.

How’s the turnover rate? If you want a position and a company in which you can grow and advance, take a look at the turnover rate of the company. Unfortunately, some companies have a “burn and turn” mentality – where they hire and fire fast just to fill the positions without thinking about the long term. To these companies it is more important that the have someone (or anyone rather) to do a job than having the right person at all.  They simply burn through new hires leaving a constant rotating door in the human resources office. If a company’s turnover rate is extremely high, it’s okay to question what’s going on within the company culture to create this and which leads us to the last thing to consider.  

How does the company feel about their employees?  While not all companies honor creativity and independent thinking like Pixar where employees ride around on skateboards, have a movie theater, café’s and other spaces that encourage creativity, it does show you how Pixar feels about their employees. Not all companies can afford the luxury of providing high class services and perks to their employees, but they can value them enough to think about their employees as a part of their “customers.” When employees are happier they perform better and treat customers better which in turn leads to higher revenue and greater profits for the business. Take a look at what, if anything, your new potential company does for its employees.

Overall, be sure to check out “all” of the company before deciding to take a new position. You want to know that you fit in and they fit with you and your desires as well.  You may not get all the perks and benefits that you want, but taking a smaller salary to have a great company culture, and an employer who really cares about you could mean all the difference in the world when it comes to waking up every day and loving your job!