Candidate Resources

When Interviewing, It’s Best To Avoid Asking. . .

When interviewing as a candidate it’s best to avoid asking. . .

When people are doing their first or second or even third round interviews, they don’t want to make a mistake that’s going to have them stand out in a bad way.

Often they’re thinking, “okay, well, what are the taboos? What are the questions that I can’t ask? What are the topics that I should not talk about?”

Really this is more more focused on that first interview than later in the rounds, because whenever you’re getting closer to the offer stage, really everything should be crystal clear. You should be able to ask anything that you want. However, early on you don’t want to make a bad impression.

Questions You Shouldn’t Ask in an Interview:

“So How Many Vacation Days Do I Get?”

The biggest one is usually if you ask how many vacation days you get on the very first interview. That’s just thinking a little bit too far ahead when there are more pressing things to get addressed. This is like asking someone you just met what color flowers they will prefer when the two of you have your wedding.

Not to mention, interviewers don’t really want to think about you taking time off when they have decided to hire you yet. So a way around, this aside from waiting till later rounds, is to just ask for the benefits package. As for the information, a lot of larger companies have a standard PDF packet that they can send you and that will include the information that you’re asking for.

“So When Can I Start?”

Sometimes people will feel very confident in their interview and at the end of the interview, they’ll say, “so when can I start?” That is not the best way to approach your interview process, interviewers need to take the time to decompress from the interview.

They need to talk with other stakeholders. Even if you were mentioning this as a joke, you don’t want to mention it as a joke.

“So. . . You Got Any Kids?”

Lastly, you don’t want to ask anything too personal about the interviewer always let them kind of lead whenever it comes to personal information. You can certainly make a comment on something that they have on their wall or on their shelf or if you noticed that they went to a certain college, but you shouldn’t necessarily be asking them about religion or orientation or their children, or any extra curricular topics that don’t really apply to the job that you’re interviewing for.

NOT Taboo: Compensation

One question that many say you should not bring up that I believe you should bring up on the first interview is, you want to make sure that their compensation range is aligning with what your expectations are.

It doesn’t help anybody on either side of the equation to get late in an interview process and there ends up being an issue when it comes to compensation. Get that knocked out of the way early on in the process, so that as you’re investing this time and they’re investing their time, there is a high percentage chance this deal end up working out.

If the money’s off, if this is something where you would end up taking a big step down in compensation, you need to know that early on and be transparent with what your expectations on compensation would be.

Take it Easy, and Be Socially Aware

Asking the wrong questions as a candidate in interviews is more about being socially aware and not asking things that are going to make your interviewer feel uncomfortable whether it be personal or professional.

Don’t make assumptions on where you are in the process or where you might be, its a slow moving train. Hiring managers don’t want to make a mistake on hiring and when they feel uncomfortable, they can’t feel confident. You’re interviewing to make them feel confident that you’re the right person.

Candidate Resources

How To Answer “What is Your Biggest Weakness”

How to answer the question; “What is your biggest weakness?”

Everybody kind of worries about this question. It’s the most stereotypical question that they have on the list of HR and interview questions. What you really need to think about is. How do I turn a weakness into a strength? How do I recognize my weakness or how do I turn a strength into a weakness?

Why do interviewers ask this?

When someone is asking you this question, it’s not about why they shouldn’t hire you. It’s about getting you to recognize your weak points in order for them to better coach you or to help you with that weakness. A stereotypical weakness from salespeople is that they have a harder time logging all their information or being detail oriented. So what you can do is say;

“You know, I understand that sometimes I am not the most meticulous note taker. In order to alleviate that I had been focusing on taking all the notes in the CRM and making sure that everyone else in my projects understands the project fully.”

As another example, let’s say one of your weaknesses is patience when working with a team. Reason being, you want everything to work out well, you want everything to run smoothly. Then sometimes when someone makes a mistake, it kinda feels like a prick in your side. And so what you can say there is:

“Sometimes I’m impatient with working with a team, but it’s because I want to make sure that the project is seen all the way through seamlessly. I want to make sure that the customer is happy and that nothing gets dropped along the way. So when I see repetitive mistakes, it starts to get under my skin a little bit. However, I’ve learned that I need to take the time to really focus on why something happened and. Work to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

What you should achieve in your answer:

The main focus here is whenever you’re answering “what is your greatest weakness” you want to choose a weakness that’s not going to end up making you look like you can’t succeed in the role. You want to be honest and choose a real weakness. Something that is actually true about your background, because again, they’re asking you in order to really help you in your career and help you be successful in the role.

Make sure to provide an example for how you have worked to improve the area of weakness or learned a new skill to combat the issue. Demonstrate self-awareness and the ability to see your actions from a third party’s view. Don’t look arrogant, don’t say I have no weakness. However, you also don’t want to say that you’ve got a million weaknesses.

Don’t overthink this question. It’s really just about getting a better look at. A realistic work environment with you in it. and learning how to coach and mentor you as an associate of their team.

Candidate Resources Human Resources Uncategorized

Are Hiring Events Worth It?

Are Hiring Events Worth It?

The Illustrious Job Fair

When it comes down to whether or not a hiring event is worth it, we can look at it from two different directions. We can look at it as a hiring company, or we can look at it from the candidate/associate perspective.

Job fairs and hiring events are great concepts, as the organizers pull together a lot of like-minded people in order to provide their attendees with a strong candidate flow. Typically these events are free for the attendees.

Its not necessarily about whether or not they “work” as much as which job fairs work best for you. . .

Job Fairs as an Employer

If you’re looking to make multiple hires in a short amount of time, a job fair might be the best option for you. The main issue to look at is the type of talent you are searching for, as well as your ability to properly screen and retain the talent.

Many job fairs focus on volume. There are many widely publicized job fairs that attract folks in manufacturing, retail, and general operations.

If you are looking for a high-level hire at a job fair, you need to make sure you’re picking the right one and matching up with the proper audience.

Local job fairs are great tools for meeting a lot of talent at once, but the more specialized skillset you’re looking form, the more you need to worry about audience versus volume.

Job Fairs as a Candidate

If you’re a candidate looking to get hired at a job fair, you’re going to have a lot of success when ti comes to networking all around.

Take the time to meet the folks at each company and booth, do not pick and choose what you like or do not like. You do not know enough about their offering to screen out yet. If you talk to the table and it doesn’t make sense or doesn’t vibe, you can move on. But, if you’ve decided to invest the time, its best to create as many connections as possible.

Make sure to bring plenty of resumes for distribution, but most importantly, make sure you are going to the proper job fair. If you are an accountant and you’re going to a job fair for machinists, you will likely not have much success. Although – – the networking aspect here is absolutely key. If you are going to an unspecialized job fair, still take the time to meet the most applicable point of contact possible, and learn who the best person to contact within that firm would be for the role you are searching for.

Make sure you look professional, and put on your networking shoes. Do not leave without having established new relationships. If you are just going to walk around and look at what everyone’s doing, there’s plenty of other places to people-watch!