Interview Do’s and Don’ts

Interviewing can be the most stressful aspect of the job search process, but it doesn’t have to be! Here’s a quick checklist of the most important Do’s and Don’ts to be aware of before going in for your next interview.

Do:

Research the company
Come to the interview with a prepared list of questions tailored specifically to the company and position. This will communicate your interest and make you stand apart from applicants asking more general questions.

Re-read job description
Adapt the verbs and strengths used in the job description to fit answers that may apply to your previous experience and qualifications.

Use the STAR method
The easiest way to remember how to respond to situational interview questions is to use the STAR method, which stands for: Situation, Task, Action, and Result. You can begin to use this method for your answers by first explaining the context of the overall Situation. Then you’d move on to describe the issues of the Task at hand, and what specific Actions you took to solve it. And lastly, detail what you learned from the end Result.

Don’t:

Be negative
It’s okay to explain the certain challenges of a past position and what you’ve learned from those experiences, but speaking poorly about a company or an old boss will only reflect badly on yourself. Keep all your answers in a positive light.

Fumble on responses
Rather than using filler words such as “um” or “uh” before responding to a question, it’s perfectly acceptable to say “let me think about that,” and collect your thoughts before beginning to speak. This will convey your confidence and ability think strategically in the moment.

Forget about body language
First impressions matter. So it’s paramount that you remember to make eye-contact and smile when first shaking hands with your interviewer. Furthermore, avoid crossing your arms, slouching, or nervously touching your hands or face throughout the interview as these movements can show lack of seriousness or relay nervousness.

For more tips and tricks feel free to check out our blog and to search for job opportunities, visit our website!

2016 Work Goals

New year, new goals! It’s not too late to make the most of 2016 by making and following up on your career ambitions. Check out these tips to assist you in your accomplishments!

 

Stay organized
We get it – you’re busy. With so many things going on at once, it’s hard to stay organized. However, staying organized is one of the best ways to remain productive and energetic. This year, make it a goal to keep your office space clean. Do so by organizing that “junk” drawer by adding containers for all of those odds-and-ends. This can be anything from small cups and boxes to even an ice cube tray. And keep it organized all year long by cleaning it out every three months.

Contribute to a good work environment
Happy co-workers, happy life! Studies show that a good work environment is one of the most crucial factors for employee satisfaction. Contribute to a happy workplace by consciously building positive relationships with your co-workers. Remember to help them with small tasks, show your appreciation, and focus on teamwork. Remaining positive and enthusiastic will make everyone’s work environment a little brighter.

Get that promotion
If one of your 2016 ambitions is to get the promotion of your dreams, do so by volunteering for additional tasks, taking initiative, and maintaining a positive attitude. And don’t forget to put intentional effort into your job. Employers say that working hard and holding up your end of a task makes you more eligible to get that promotion.

Time management
Good time management is tough, but necessary for productivity. Make 2016 as efficient as possible by focusing on managing your time and efforts well. First of all, take time to plan your day. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes every morning, make a list of tasks you want to accomplish and make a conscious effort to follow up on it throughout the day. Secondly, block out social media and other distractions. Doing so will allow you to be more productive and also give you something to look forward to on your breaks. Lastly, don’t be afraid to say “no”. Prioritize the things that you have time for and that are important to you.

Career change
If one of your 2016 goals is to change your career, let The Wilson Group help! Not only can we assist you with finding the job of your dreams, but we can help you get it too.

We take pride in making the perfect match in a variety of industries including accounting, banking, engineering, healthcare, chemical, green energy, oil and gas, legal, manufacturing, and technical. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts by calling (361) 883-3535 or visiting our website.

Fall is a Time For Change

 

Changing your career path can be a scary and overwhelming decision. However, if you are unhappy at your current job or uninterested in your current career path, a career change may be the proper fix. Changing your career is a natural life progression – it is common and expected, so don’t be alarmed when the thought of changing your career crosses your mind. Rather than feeling intimidated or worried about your career transition, understand that there are several steps you can take to ensure that you start a career that you will love.

The first step you should take when exploring new career options is to get a full and complete understanding of yourself. You should know what you like and don’t like, what motivates you, and what type of work environment you enjoy. Know what you are passionate about and what excites you. If you have a better understanding of yourself, you can explore careers that specifically fit you. You may find it useful to research a variety of careers that center around your likes, dislikes, passions, etc. In the future, finding the perfect career fit will make you more productive and happier.

Once you have researched and found some career paths that you believe would lead you down the road to success, it’s time to analyze your current skills. Make a list of what skills you possess – whether it’s leadership, creativity, or analytical skills. You can then tailor these skills to apply to your new career path. Furthermore, knowing what skills you do possess will show you what skills you may need to improve. Understanding what skills need to be improved will allow you to start taking the necessary steps to actually improve those skills.

Now that your skills are perfected, it’s time to start applying. Brush up on your interview skills and make sure your resume is ready to go. It’s important to understand that finding a new career won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take hard work, dedication, and perseverance for you to land your dream job and start down your new career path. Make sure you have people who will support you – whether it be family, friends, or a mentor.

Changing your career is exciting and intimidating all at once. For your next career move, let TWG help you! Check out our website or call us at (361) 883-3535 to see how we can cater to your needs and help you change your career path!

What Does a Good Work Environment Look Like?

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When considering the aspects of a job, it’s important to think about the work environment and the effect it can have on your day-to-day life. Having a great work environment can add important benefits to your life that will help you be successful at the office.

 

Anyone who has had a boss or supervisor has probably uttered the words “I just don’t know what he/she wants me to do.” Lack of communication is a common problem that we face each and every day. Great communication amongst co-workers is a sign of a great work environment and provides a major benefit – less confusion and clear direction when tackling projects. Regardless of where you land on the hierarchy chart at the office, great communication skills are essential to being efficient at work. If you’re communicating your thoughts clearly you will be more productive and successful at work.

 

A work environment that breeds’ team spirit can create a sense of unity that benefits the people working in that environment. After all, we are all human and when work gets tough, it’s a great feeling to know you have your co-workers to support you. Clear communication can lay out what a company’s goals are and from there you and your co-workers can get behind that goal to accomplish it together. Having a team-oriented office is an important benefit of a successful work environment because it can keep people from feeling isolated and overwhelmed with their jobs.

 

Showing recognition for hard work can be critical to creating a successful work environment. Merit based recognition is the key to this being a positive benefit in the workplace. Often times praise is not given to the correct people when a major accomplishment is achieved. Being sure to give appreciation and praise to the right people can create a work environment that is enthusiastic towards producing superior work. As an employee, this will help you feel appreciated and it will motivate you to continue to excel at the office.

 

A positive work environment can entail many things. The ideas previously listed are important principal ideas that provide benefits such as an enjoyable, efficient, and successful workplace. Remember to attain a great work environment and to yield these benefits your office needs to be full of clear communicators, form a team focused atmosphere, and always recognize superior work by showing appropriate praise and appreciation. If you’re looking to find a great work environment, come check out our website, where we can find a perfect match for you!

 

You Might Be Doing Your Resume All Wrong

It’s time to start applying for that job you’re interested in. A well-rounded resume is always a great start, but before you do, make sure to keep these don’ts in mind while creating it.

Poor format and grammar

Avoiding grammar and punctuation mistakes is a given. You often have to remember that even though spell check is there, it isn’t always dependable. You have to make sure you’re using the right “your” and “you’re” or “their” and “they’re”, because if an employer happens to catch your mistake, it shows that you don’t put effort into your resume, making you look like you don’t pay attention to your work.

Overdoing it

Yes, keywords are pretty important. The job you’re applying to wants to see that you have the certain skills they’re looking for. Now you really don’t need to be over the top in using fancy adjectives in front of every skill you have. For example, “Hardworking, responsible, detail-oriented, perspicacious, knowledgeable leader”. Limit yourself to one if any and just get to the point. Say what you’re good at and limit the puffery.

Being informal and unprofessional

Hopefully you already know not to use profanity or slang on your resume. It’s best to be formal and polite in your wording to emphasize your professional skills to an employer. There are times to try to show your creativity or witty side (such as your cover letter), but as for a resume, my advice would be to keep it simple. Also, when trying to be sociable and clever with your wording, it could be distracting to the employer when they’re trying to read through your resume. They really just want to know what skills and experience you possess.

Being dishonest

There might be times where you write up a resume and think “I wish I had more skills to put on my resume”. Don’t lie on your resume. It might seem like a good idea, but friends and co-workers will find out about the slander and will probably look down on you for lying. Also if you put down a skill you actually don’t obtain, your future job may rely on you to use that skill. Better to be safe than sorry, so be honest on your resume!

Sending the same resume to every job type

If you’re scouting for multiple jobs at the same time, try to avoid sending the same resume to each job you apply for. It can be a pain to create different resumes but it’s worth it. All jobs are different and it’s smart to use certain skills and experience that is best suited for each position while limiting your resume to one page. If you do this there’s a much higher chance that they’ll read it and you’ll hear back.

We are here to help with your resume and helping you find the perfect match! If you have any questions about your resume or need any help, check out our website or call us at 361-883-3535 today!

Clean Up Your Social Media

Need some tips on how to fix your social media during a job search? We have the answers! Check out the infographic below!

 

For more help on your job search, check out our website or call us at 361-883-3535.

 

Staying Strong During the Job Search

 

Finding a job can be a difficult process and often involve a lot of time revising your resume, updating social media platforms, reaching out to people and waiting to hear back from employers. It may not be easy but the hard work will be worth it when you find a job! In the meantime, take a look at these tips to stay strong during the job search.

Stay Positive
Positivity is one of the most important things to have during your job search. Although you will probably have some good and bad days, do your best to stay confident in yourself and your abilities. Write notes on your mirror, reflect on successful experiences in the past and look for various opportunities for the future. Creating a schedule can also help you stay focused and positive about your job search efforts. Don’t lose sight of all you have achieved and the hard work you have put in to get you where you are today, you can do this!

Use your Connections
While it is always good to constantly build connections it is also important to use them. Connect with your previous employers and professionals in your industry and see if there are any positions available at their company or another company they know. LinkedIn is also a good way to look at your connections, research companies and job opportunities.

Refresh and Refuel
Don’t forget to take breaks too, it is important to refuel and give your mind and body a chance to be refreshed. So, go for a walk, join a yoga class, and eat healthy, all of these things can help stimulate your mind and make you feel your best. Also, make plans with friends because even if they have jobs it will be a good opportunity for you to feel connected and maybe they know about a job opportunity!

Stay Plugged In
Industries are constantly evolving and it is beneficial to stay updated on new advancements. Follow industry profiles and influential users on social media platforms and research news in your industry. Also, try to incorporate your knowledge into your next interview to show employers your passion for the industry and dedication for the future.

Take these tips and put them to them into practice to help better your job search. You can do this and TWG is also here to assist you. Contact us at (361) 883-3535 and look at our website for more information on job opportunities and how TWG can help you find a job!

The Top 10 Worst Interview Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You’re Making

Let’s cut to the chase: Interviews are hard. Trying to explain all of your life’s achievements in an hour while still trying to make yourself seem like an enjoyable person is difficult.There are probably many tips you have been given about interviews. How to prepare, how to dress, what to say and how to answer the “describe yourself” question are probably obvious at this point. But what about the less obvious flaws in your interview? What about the mistakes you don’t even know you’re making? Well we’re here to help. Here are the top 10 mistakes that you don’t even realize you might be making.

1. Checking your phone
Now this might seem obvious. Nobody wants to hire someone that cannot be bothered to stop texting during an interview. But most graduates of today use their smartphones for more than just texting or calling. You might be sitting in an interview and wonder what time it is. Many go straight for their phones, look at the time on the screen and put their phones back before they’ve even realized they’ve done it. The employer could find this unprofessional or uncaring.
2. Being too “professional”
If you are trying to be on your very best behavior, there’s a chance you could come off too cold and clinical. You need to make sure that you are being positive and acting like your normal self. Acting mostly professional might help you look good in an interview but your potential employer is also looking for someone that would work well with their company culture. They are looking for someone that coworkers would get along with and someone who fits in with their environment.
3. Vocal disfluencies
Vocal disfluencies include using like, um, huh, urm, uh and well, regularly in their speech. These disfluencies might make you look unprepared or nervous. Also watch your speech patterns if you often make every sentence end as if it were a question, speaking too fast or are speaking in other unprofessional manners, you could lose your chance at the position.
4. Too generic
After going to too many interviews, the positions might start sounding the same. You start going in expecting the same questions about the same topics and feel fully prepared to go into each similar interview. This is a problem because businesses expect you to know about their company. If you aren’t able to ask specific questions to their company or pick up on their company culture, they might see it as disinterest. Nobody wants to hire someone who just wants a job. They want to hire someone that likes their industry, their company and gets excited about this opportunity.
5. Negativity
Nobody wants to hear about other people’s drama. If you had a problem with a previous coworker, boss, or professor, keep it to yourself. Talking badly about others make you look unprofessional. Try to speak as positively as you can and move forward in the conversation. Plus an employer would think if you speak badly about a previous boss, there’s nothing to keep you from speaking poorly about them.
6. Using scholastic achievement in place of experience
Now this is what nobody in your high school or college wanted you to know. Businesses take your scholastic achievement seriously. If you did well in school, it shows you have many great skills to put forward. The issue is when you try to make school or extracurricular activities look like experience. It might be great if you were part of an organization that taught you leadership skills, volunteering for a cause and teamwork, but those are skills and do not necessarily take the place of time spent in any corporate environment. If you have never spent time in the industry, it is usually better to be straightforward about your lack of experience. Trying to place your skills that you learned in another environment makes you look even less prepared for the job at hand.
7. Saying you have other offers
The company that hires you wants to be your first choice. Telling them you have other offers might create a feeling of unease. If they interview someone after you who really wants to work with them, they might assume that the next interviewer cares more or has a more likelihood of taking their offer. You should also keep salary concerns to yourself in the first interview. If the company asks you about what you want for your salary, you can politely say that you’d rather not answer the question. Your salary is your business.
8. Not asking questions
If you are asked at the end of your interview if you have any other questions, you should. It makes you look unprepared or uninterested if you don’t have any questions to ask the interviewer. Ask about what a normal day looks like in the position or what some major goals are for the position at hand. You could even say that you can’t think of questions right now, but might have some later and ask whom you should contact.
9. The dreaded question
As the interview is ending and your interviewer asks if you have any other questions. The worst answer you can give is: “Is there any reason you wouldn’t hire me?” This is problematic because it puts the interviewer on the spot asking if you have the position, where it might not be their place to tell you. It makes them uncomfortable and will likely not get you a critical answer.
10. Not saying thank you.
If you don’t make a conscious effort to thank your interviewer after the interviewer, you might miss your chance. Make sure that you shake your interviewer’s hand after the interview and say “Thank you for your consideration” or “Thank you for your time”. You should also write a follow up thank you note. Depending on the company’s culture, this could either be a handwritten note put into the mail or a personalized email that you send shortly after the interview.

For other interview questions and tips, visit our blog!

A Guide For The Recent Grad

You’ve taken your last set of finals, received your diploma, and are excited about starting a new chapter in your life…now what? Finding your first job post-graduation might be the toughest and most frustrating time in your life thus far. Never fear, the Wilson Group is here! We have outlined three tips to help you through this stressful time.

Find a Mentor:
The best way to know where to start your career is to learn from the past life of someone you look up to. Find a mentor that is in the same field you are hoping to go into and talk to them about how they got started. Not only will they give you advice on how to kick off your career, but they also might be a useful contact for networking purposes. It is always easier to follow a recipe than make up your own, so follow their recipe for success and try to follow it. However, like any good recipe, you can always stray a bit from the path and make it your own. This person has been exactly where you stand today, so they know how to help you through the ups and downs of starting your professional life.

Don’t Be Too Picky:
After four years of countless all nighters and what seems like an eternity of research papers and complicated classes, it is hard not to feel as though you deserve more than an entry level position. However, your first few years in the workforce may not be, and will not be your end all be all. Your first job does not define you, so look it as more of a stepping stone to reaching your dream career. After all, we all have to start somewhere and gain experience. When applying for jobs you should apply for your dream positions, but you should also think about not being as picky and take an entry level position. You never know where that job can take you, for all you know, you could be running that company one day!

Don’t Lose Hope:
Your mailbox is full of rejection emails and you are on the breaking point of giving up, but don’t lose hope! There are thousands of other recent grads out there feeling exactly the way you are. It seems as though every day you see someone else posting on social media about getting their dream job at company X, or getting into a prestigious graduate school abroad, but stop comparing yourself to those people, and focus on your own life. Social comparison is the thief of joy, especially during this time in your life, and Facebook only heightens the feelings of inadequacy. Don’t let other’s success get in the way of your own. Instead look at them as a resource, talk to them about how they got their job, and who knows, they may even be able to help you get a job. Success is not a race, you have the rest of your life to be in the workforce, so don’t stress so much if something doesn’t fall into your lap immediately, you will come out more resilient in the long run.

For more tips on starting your career off on the right foot, visit our website.

On Company Culture

One of the most overlooked elements in regards to finding success and happiness within a workplace is understanding the company’s culture. The company’s culture can range anywhere from strictly formal and professional to creative and casual. A company’s culture is much more than the image reflected to the public. The culture is also about how the members of the company interact with one another, how they dress, how the office space is presented, and how the company relates with their customers and clients. Some companies may have a very strong culture with deeply ingrained roots and values, and others may not have such an obvious one. Understanding a company’s culture is key to knowing if you will fit in with the company and if the company is a good fit for you.

Do Your Homework:
Before applying for a job, make sure you understand a company’s culture. This is not only key to acing a job interview, but also ensuring this job will be a positive fit. A company’s website is a great way to start understanding their culture. Videos, blogs, and pictures give great insight into what a company believes in and how they interact with one another. Second, checking other online reviews is another way to capture what the company’s clients and employees think and feel about that company. However, one caveat to online reviews is they are often on either ends of the spectrum, being either extremely negative or extremely positive. Most people with average or normal feelings about a company will not take the time to write a review for the world to see. Finally, a great way to capture a company’s culture is to look into the company’s social media sites. These will give the most genuine representation of a company’s culture through posts, events, and photos.

Understand Their Mission Statement:
The mission statement is inherently their culture in a few sentences. Most companies have a mission statement that allows one to understand their core values as a company. Be critical with their mission statement to fully understand if it aligns with your own mission and values. If it does not, than the company may not be the best fit for you, and it much better knowing this from the get go.

Observe Their Environment:
The interview is not only the best way for the company to get to know you, but also the best way for you to get to know who they are and what they stand for. Don’t let nerves get the best of you, and solely focus on what you are going to say to the interviewer. Instead, look around, and take some time to observe their culture. What does their office look like? What do people wear when they come to work? Are co-workers mingling or getting along? One of the most important parts of an interview is that you ask questions yourself. Be sure to include at least one question geared toward the company culture to the interviewer, it not only helps you understand their culture, but also shows the interviewer that you care about their mission and values.

For more tips and tricks on your job search, visit our website.

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