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.

When You Can’t Find the Needle in the Haystack

Does your current job opening have you throwing your hands up in frustration and asking, “Where are all the good people?” Despite the overwhelming number of unemployed applicants, finding the best candidate is still difficult for many companies.

And no wonder: almost half of the managers surveyed by the 2009 Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations report revealed that a shortage in top talent is their biggest hiring challenge.

Here are a few reasons why we may be seeing this phenomenon even in this incredibly over-saturated marketplace of applicants:

1.    Talented people are working hard at their current roles, and although they may want to take a look at other opportunities, loyalty to current company, timing, confidentiality, and other factors get in the way.  Not to mention that the employed have a scarcity mentality based on current market conditions and many feel thankful just to have a job.  So how could they dare think about betraying their loyal company for another whose stability may not be as secure? Or who’s to say that their current employer won’t find out and let them go before they secure a new position?

2.    Some of the unemployed apply to everything, leaving hiring managers with an overwhelming number of unqualified applicants and resumes vying for the position.

3.    Most top candidates do not use the traditional job seeking methods, such as the big search engines and job boards.  Instead they get the help of professional recruiters, their network, or use “back door” entrees into a company.

4.    Additionally, the big job search engine sites get thousands (if not many more) of visits a day; these websites are generalized and attract a much broader audience. When searching for top talent, you won’t typically find them in the place of the masses; however, these are the most frequent places employers begin their search.

Still, the greatest challenge hiring managers face may not necessarily be a lack of talent. That needle is in there, somewhere – but who has the time to sift through the haystack?

In a survey recently conducted by FORTIS Resource Partners, leaders of functional departments cited that their biggest challenge to hiring was time.  They tell us that with the many competing responsibilities of their role and with hiring for their department being more infrequent, building in the time to review resumes, interview talent and hire effectively “just doesn’t happen.”  The hiring manager asks, “How do I fill my open role, or do succession planning when my plate is full with many competing day to day responsibilities? What resources will help me to achieve my goals and allow me to stay focused on my current tasks?”

Truly, it is difficult for a hiring manager to manage her day to day responsibilities and still find the time to identify qualified candidates in the stacks of twenty, fifty or even a hundred applications. Employers tell us that having a partner in the hiring process and a spokesperson for the market is extremely helpful. Someone who has access to top talent, presents the best for the current job opening, and facilitates hiring process to help the company achieve their critical hiring initiatives.

For many, working with a professional recruiter is the solution to the time crunch. A good recruiter can save you time and effort, identify only quality candidates who fit the company culture, and offer valuable market knowledge. When utilizing a recruiter, you need only ensure that they fully understand the company and position they are recruiting for.  Then your recruiter will be able to identify the factors that lead to the success of your future placement. And that’s one less haystack you need to burrow through.