“Proper preparation prevents poor performance.”
There’s a variation of that saying, and even if you haven’t heard it before, you can probably guess what it is. However, we’re not going to focus on that in this particular blog post. Instead, we’re going to focus on what you can do to fully prepare for your next face-to-face interview.
Yes, you need writing utensils and breath mints, but what else should you absolutely take with you? The following six things:
#1—Multiple copies of your resume
Take two copies at minimum, but three would be preferable. You can take more than three, but chances are good that you won’t need more than that. However, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution (and preparation).
#2—Your complete reference list and letters of recommendation
These are things that people often forget to bring with them, but your reference list and letters of recommendation are nearly as important as your resume.
#3—Copies of your last performance review
Copies of your last TWO performance reviews would be even better, although one will suffice. It goes without saying, of course, that these should be positive reviews, possibly even stellar reviews. If they’re not, it might be necessary to rethink your strategy.
#4—Information about the company
Bring any information that you researched about the company with you. You could have the opportunity to review it while you wait for the interview to begin. (You should be showing up 10 to 15 minutes early for the interview, after all.)
#5—The names of the people who are interviewing you and their contact information, if possible. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, knowing the names of the people interviewing you is important, especially your lead contact at the company. Their contact information is also important, in case something happens and you’re late or can’t make the interview.
#6—A list of the questions you plan to ask
You DO plan to ask questions, right? The last thing you want to do is try to commit your questions to memory in an attempt to impress the hiring authority.
Take the steps necessary, plus the items listed above to your next face-to-face interview, and you’ll increase the chances that you’ll enjoy a successful interview and also receive an offer of employment.
Companies often spend tremendous amounts of time, energy, and money attempting to retain their best employees. Despite this investment, their efforts to do so meet with mixed results at best if they don’t focus on discovering one crucial piece of information—what motivates those employees.
Sure, money is one factor to consider, and for some employees, that’s the top consideration. However, it’s not the only consideration, and companies that focus solely on monetary compensation run the risk of neglecting other factors that could be equally as motivating.
Giving raises that are larger than average for excellent performance is one place to start, but that’s just the beginning. Today’s employees (and candidates) are motivated by other things, too, and below are four additional sources of motivation for your employees.
#1—A flexible working schedule
In today’s competitive marketplace, flexibility is an asset, and it’s one that many employees value. As a result, offering even a little flexibility in their working schedule can go a long way toward making deposits in their “loyalty bank.”
#2—Opportunity for more paid time off
Workers in America take less time off than in any other country in the world (with the possible exception of Asia, according to a recent news report), but that’s probably not an intentional occurrence. Rewarding your top employees with more paid time off is a relatively inexpensive yet valuable investment in those employees.
#3—The chance to earn bonuses
Rather than giving across-the-board raises, more companies these days are opting for variable compensation structures that reward the best employees with bonuses. These aren’t paid out at the end of the year, though. They’re given when the employee reaches certain production levels and goals. Once again, that differentiates you from other companies and cultivates loyalty with your top employees.
If an employee is excelling and could be given more responsibilities in a supervisory role, it makes perfect sense to promote them. This is not in lieu of a raise or other earned compensation benefits, but in addition to them. Of course, such a move should only be made if it makes sense for the company (i.e., will allow the employee to continue to grow and be more productive).
Consider each of the key people on your team or in your company and see if you can provide a way that they can develop professionally and/or provide a career path. Once you’ve determined a course of action, share this with each person.
This shows that you’re looking out for their career and will provide incentive for them to grow to their potential . . . producing yet another form of motivation.
Candidates typically prepare a great deal for their face-to-face job interview, and with good reason: that interview is perhaps the single-biggest reason why they’ll either receive an offer of employment . . . or not.
Do candidates always focus on the things they should during their preparation for such an important event? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
That’s not to say that the things for which they do prepare are not important. Looking professional, knowing about the company, bringing a stellar resume . . . all of these things are crucial to interview success.
However, what are the names of the people with whom you’ll be interviewing?
e you thinking that you don’t have to know those names? While it’s true that you don’t have to, you should know them, if your goal is to have the best interview possible.
Below are three reasons why it’s important to know the names of as many of the people interviewing you beforehand as possible:
You’ll subconsciously relax more before and during the interview. Knowing a person’s name has a way of making a potentially stressful situation not as stressful.
The interviewers will be impressed to some degree that you took the time to find out their names beforehand.
The more quickly you talk with somebody using their name, the more quickly the conversation flows better and becomes more natural, all of which works in your favor.
Now that we’ve addressed the reasons why names are important, what action steps can you take to put this information to work for you? Below are four such steps:
The face-to-face interview is where you want to stand out from the rest of the applicants, and one of the ways to do that is to understand the importance of people’s names during this process.
Knowing (and using) the names of the people who are interviewing you is a great way to differentiate yourself, and it might just give you the edge you need to get the job offer you’re seeking.
Back in September, we published a blog post titled, “5 Ways to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out.” This week, we’re addressing five ways to make your cover letter stand out . . . for the wrong reasons!
While you might be tempted to disregard the importance of the cover letter and instead focus on your resume, you need a solid cover letter to ensure that the hiring authority actually reads your resume. If you make one of the following five BIG mistakes with your cover letter, you just might be ensuring that your resume finds the bottom of the trash can instead.
#1—Not proofreading it carefully enough.
Remember, it’s considered good practice to customize every cover letter that you send. However, with that practice comes the danger of not changing the name of the company when you craft your next letter. This mistake speaks to the importance of proofreading your cover letter (and more than once, too). You should also have somebody else proofread it to err on the side of safety.
#2—Explaining how and why you left your last job (if you’re not currently employed).
The person reading your cover letter isn’t interested in these details. Not only does it sound like you’re trying to explain yourself, but the hiring authority is also much more interested about your future than your past. Specifically, they want to know how you’re going to help them in the future, so talking in those terms is certainly more preferable.
#3—Sharing personal information.
A cover letter is, after all, a professional document. That means it requires a thoroughly professional approach. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your individual situation, just like you shouldn’t explain how and why you left your last job, you should also not share facts about your life that will potentially turn off the hiring authority.
#4—Selling yourself short.
The cover letter is your chance to present yourself in a confident fashion, and confidence is one of the things that companies look for in potential employees. What they don’t look for are candidates who use self-defeating language such as “While you might already be looking at more qualified individuals . . .”
#5—Selling yourself long.
This is the flip side of #4. First, you shouldn’t focus too much on yourself. You should instead focus on the needs of the company. Second, don’t cross the line from being confident to being cocky by telling the hiring authority why the company should hire you. They’ll make that assessment, thank you very much. Make an even-handed presentation of your skills, abilities, and experience.
Simply put, the cover letter is as important as your resume, and if you don’t pay it enough attention, you’ll sabotage your job search.
While there are many ways to construct a cover letter in the proper fashion, strive to avoid the five mistakes listed above. Doing so can significantly increase your chances of landing a face-to-face interview.
Time Staffing Inc.