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!

The Perfect Time To Change Your Strategy!

 

Fall is a time for change, and maybe the change that you’re ready to make is a career change! Changing your career can be rewarding and an opportunity for you to grow both personally and professionally. If you’re entering into the job search, The Wilson Group has plenty to offer that can benefit you and help you land the job of your dreams.

Resume Refresher: Resume styles and writing techniques are constantly evolving – that’s where we come in! We take your existing resume and “refresh” it. We update it utilizing the latest formats and key phrases/words that will impress employers. More importantly, we have unlocked the secret to successfully applying online. We will train you on applying online and getting your resume into the hiring authorities hands. If your current resume isn’t working for you, let us make it a winner!

One-on-One Interview Coaching: Interviewing is an art – make sure you’re fully prepared! Let the experts help you perfect your interviewing skills. Each session is 1 hour in length and covers common questions and job-winning answers that will help you be your best. Also, the session include the top 10 reasons people fail in interviews and how to avoid the pitfalls!

Career Coaching: Meeting with a career coach can help you develop a plan of action before you change careers. We can help identify your strengths and outline a career path for you. We want you to have confidence in the road ahead – let us guide you!

Between our resume refresher, interview coaching, and career coaching, we set you up to succeed. It’s our goal to help you land an amazing job where you can flourish. Check out our website or call us at (361) 883-3535 to begin your road to success!

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!

Interviewing: A Three Step Process

You finally landed an interview for your dream job, now what? The proper interviewing technique can be broken up into a three step process: preparation, presentation, and pursue. Each step is a key ingredient in the recipe for success.

Step One: Preparation:
One of the biggest mistakes you could make is going into an interview unprepared. Know as much as you can about the company, your interviewer, and the position you are applying for. During the interview you will be tested on your knowledge of these subjects, so expect questions such as, “What do you know about our company?” “Tell me why you would be a good fit for this position specifically,” and “How do you see yourself fitting into the company?” If you don’t prepare for your interview, these questions will be almost impossible to answer, and not only does it show you did not prepare, it also seems as though you don’t really care, or you don’t really want the job. During this step, you should research as much as you can about the company, practice interview questions, have two or three intelligent questions to ask your interviewer, and have a professional outfit selected.

Step Two: Presentation:
The time has come, and it’s time for you to present your best self. The key to succeeding in this step is to stay relaxed and be confident! All of that built up anxiety and anticipation will only hold you back if you allow it to. The first component of being successful in this step is the handshake. Make sure it’s a firm handshake, you make eye contact, and don’t forget to smile! When the interviewer is asking questions make sure to sit up straight, maintain eye contact, and speak clearly. If you get stuck on a question, don’t be afraid to pause for a second and collect your thoughts. It is much more impressive to an interviewer that you carefully choose your words, than ramble off the first thing that pops into your head. Finally, don’t forget to ask questions at the end of the interview when you are prompted to. You can even write down a few beforehand, so you don’t forget in the heat of the moment.

Step Three: Pursue
This final step is often taken for granted, or even forgotten. You have made a great impression on the interviewer, but forgetting to follow up, could be your largest mistake. Taking the time to thank your interviewer, or multiple interviewers, shows that you truly care about their time and that you really want the job. Sending a simple thank you email will suffice, however, if you really want to stand out, send a handwritten thank you note on nice stationary to go the extra mile. These responses should be sent out within 24 hours of when you interview, especially if it has to go through snail mail. In your note, or email, make sure you include how much you appreciated them taking the time to speak with you, why you like the company, and reiterate why you would be the right fit for this position.

For more interview tips 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.

Updating Your Resume

In an age of online dating, social media profiles, and text messages, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. In modern times, people spend a lot of time worrying about how they are perceived on a screen – to their friends, family, and peers. But what about your appearance to an employer? No matter how many endorsements you have on LinkedIn, a well-done resume can make or break an employer’s opinion of you. Here are a few ways to ensure that your resume will stand out in a professional way.

Keep it to a page. Employers don’t generally have the time or patience to read more than a single one-sided page. Make your margins smaller and shorten the spacing between lines if you’re running out of room.

Use that one page wisely. Make sure that every item on your resume has a place and a purpose. If you have relevant skills you would love to add, go ahead! If you are particularly proud of your responsibilities at a given job, list them. But don’t feel a need to expand on every single aspect of the resume. The page will fill up quickly.

Don’t make anything up. Should your impressive resume land you an interview, anything and everything on it is fair game. Be prepared to answer detailed questions about any listed skills or job experience, no matter how trivial it may seem.

Don’t be afraid of creativity! When employers are going through a tall stack of resumes, a splash of color or interesting formatting can be like a breath of fresh air. Add small graphic or chart containing your information. The most important thing to remember, though, is to keep it readable. Don’t allow the visual appeals to detract from the information on the page
Spell check and grammar check. Nothing can ruin an employer’s opinion quicker than an accidental error. Good grammar and spelling shows a potential employer that you are detail-oriented and responsible.

Should the the resume-process still freak you out, fear not! Check out TWG’s Pinterest account, The Wilson Group Corpus Christi, for more professional tips and tricks! And as always, check out our website for more up-to-date information on job searches!

Nailing Your Skype Interview

Job interviews in the past look much different than they do in our society today. With the rise in technology, Skype interviews have become more of the norm. Nailing an in-person interview is often what people practice and prepare when applying for a job. However, how do you prepare and ace a Skype interview? It may seem awkward at first, however, Skype interviews have their perks along with their downfalls. The key is taking these kinds of interviews as seriously as in-person interviews.

Tips for Nailing Skype Interviews:

Smile for the Camera
Throughout the duration of your Skype interview you may be tempted to look at your screen, or watch yourself as you talk. However, to the person on the other end of the call, this may seem like you are not making eye contact with them. Looking at the camera gives the illusion that you are maintaining eye contact with the interviewer, which is key in any interview setting. It is also important to smile! Since you are not in the physical presence of another person, it is easy to forget to show off those pearly whites. Smiling not only makes the interviewer think you are a positive person interested in the position, but it also psychologically relaxes you as well.

Set a Backdrop
Although you are the major focal point of the interview, an employer can still see what is behind you. Having a messy bedroom as the background of your interview does not look professional and may affect how the interviewer perceives you. Setting up the interview in front of a blank neutral colored wall works perfectly. Along with having a proper background, it is also important to have the interview in a quiet room with no distractions. These distractions may make you feel nervous or anxious and calls the interviewer’s attention away from you.

Handle Technological Glitches Appropriately
The most dreaded part of a Skype interview is surely the fear of disconnection, or technological glitches. If you experience a glitch during the interview make sure you handle it appropriately. Stay calm and explain the situation to the interviewer. Interviewers have had their fair share of technological glitches, therefore, they are bound to understand. If there are too many issues with the connection ask to restart the call in order to give them a quality interview. The glitches will not ruin your chances, but how you handle them could have a larger effect on how the interviewer judges you against other candidates.

Relax, smile, and be the best professional self you can be! For more tips visit our website!

Did You Know?

Did you know that TWG not only helps with personnel solutions, but also offers a variety of services to help you land your dream job? That’s right, with our Resume Refreshers, One-on-One Interview Coaching, and Career Coaching, we can put you one step closer to achieving those career goals.

Resume Refresher

As the times are changing, it is important that your resume stays relevant when applying for jobs. The Wilson Group is here to help keep your resume up-to-date and ready for that next job opportunity. We will update and refresh your resume with words and phrases that will blow your employers away! Not only that, but we will also help you navigate applying online, making sure that your resume ends up in the hands of the hiring authority. Let TWG make your resume top of the line!

One -on -One Interview Coaching

Do you find yourself ready to prep for an interview but not knowing where to start? TWG offers one-on-one coaching that will take you through every step of the interview process. Within the 1 hour session, you will be prepped in both common interview questions and job winning answers. Not only this, but we will take you through the 10 most common mistakes in interviews and teach you how to avoid them.

Career Coaching

Before changing careers, TWG can help you create a plan of action through Career Coaching. We will help you develop a career path through strength identification, giving you the confidence to achieve what is on the road ahead!

For more information check out our website.

Make the Most Out of Your Summer

The summer months are right around the corner bringing sunshine, vacations, and warmer weather with them. While many people may spend these few precious months traveling or vacationing, it’s often helpful to get a foot in the door when it comes to careers. Temporary summer jobs are an excellent way to begin a career that could, one day, turn into a permanent position. Acquiring a summer job can be difficult, however. We have put together some tips for helping you land that perfect summer job.

Make Sure Your Resume is Rock Solid– An organized and easy to read resume is a staple in applying for summer jobs. Since resumes are the first impression an employer has of you, it is important that your resume contains all pertinent information related to your past employment and skills. Also remember to keep your resume straightforward and orderly; previous jobs should be listed in chronological order from most recent to least and skills and awards should also be included.

Make Your Interview Count– According to USA Today, employers decide whether or not to hire a candidate within the first minute of an interview. Arrive early, bring your resume (and portfolio, if applicable), calm your nerves, and enter your interview with your head held high. Dress well, make sure you got a good night’s sleep the night before, and make sure to make eye contact with your interviewer.

Branch Out– Due to the short time frame allotted by summer jobs, why not try applying for jobs outside of your comfort zone? Try looking for positions in fields different from your norm, but that you still have experience in. For example, if you normally work in public relations for creative firms, try reaching into corporate jobs and trying public relations there.

In addition to these tips, acquiring references from past employers and creating a LinkedIn page can also be beneficial to your summer job search. Likewise, we would love to help you find the perfect summer job match! For more information on the services we provide or if you wish to set up an appointment, please visit our website!

TIME TO STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION

We are eager to get you matched perfectly with the right talent or the right employer. Our years of experience translate to great starts.

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