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Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Interview

There’s one big job interview error that almost everyone makes. Do you know what it is?

It’s not talking too much or too little. The mistake has nothing to do with what you wear. No, one of the most pervasive misconceptions about job interviews is that the interviewer asks all the questions. On the contrary, an interview is a two-way street. Asking questions is the easiest way to demonstrate an interest in the role you applied for. They also help you assess whether the role and employer are right for you.

What questions get the best responses from interviews? Make sure you ask these questions at your next interview.

Questions About the Role

There are two types of questions you need to ask during your interview. The first relates to the role and the day-to-day responsibilities that come with it. These include:

  • Who do I report to?
  • What soft skills do successful people bring to the role?
  • What are the challenges of the role?
  • What did the past role occupant do to succeed?
  • How long did the last person to occupy the role stay in the position? Why did they leave?
  • What happens during a typical day?

The answers to these questions give you a good idea of what’s expected of you and what you can expect from the job itself. Not only will they help you distinguish the job from other roles, but they’ll give you something to think about if asked back for a second interview.

Questions About the Employer

Understanding your daily responsibilities is only have of the puzzle. As you know, the structure of the organization can help or hinder you in your job and down the road as you progress in your career.

What questions draw out the answers you need? Make sure you ask:

  • How would you describe the office/company culture?
  • What do you (the interview) like about working here?
  • How does the company promote employee and team development?
  • How does the role fit in with the company’s goals and vision?
  • How does the company evaluate success?

These questions help you identify the goals and values of the company and identify whether it’s a culture that suits your working style. You’ll quickly figure out whether the employer promotes from within, fosters talent, and prioritizes engagement without ever having to ask directly.

Interviews Go Both Ways

It’s a common misconception to think that a job interview places you and only you in the hot seat. For an interview to work, it’s important for you to interview your employer, too. You will learn far more about what they expect from you and the role, which gives you a better idea of whether you’re a good fit.

Are you looking for your next IT role?

At RightStone, we place candidates with clients that are right for you. Get in touch to learn how your next consulting job could be the start of a long-term relationship.


Career Spotlight: Software Developers

Have you seen a lot of software developer roles open up lately? We’re not surprised. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the economy to add 284,100 software developer jobs between 2018 and 2028, making it one of the fastest-growing jobs available.

This month, we’d like to put a spotlight on software developers the backbones of software architecture. 

What does a software developer do, and could it be the right career path for you? Keep reading to learn more.

What Does a Software Developer Do?

Software developers imagine and then create applications that make businesses run. Some developers work on specific task applications but others focus on the core systems that underpin entire networks or devices. Either way, they produce the creative vision that directs the software from inception to completion (with maintenance in between).

On any given day, a software developer might:

  • Identify and analyze end-user needs
  • Design, test, develop, and maintain software
  • Create models to direct programmers in creating code
  • Document and record the application for future reference
  • Collaborate with programmers, engineers, and other specialists

How to Become a Software Developer

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most software developers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. While you don’t need a degree to be creative or to be a great developer, hiring managers do prioritize the skills taught in computer science programs. Developers with degrees find it easier to get hired and enjoy a higher earning potential.

In addition to understanding theory, you also need to know how to code. Even though coding isn’t a heavy part of your day-to-day activities, you know how to direct the programmers who do it on your behalf. Although there’s no ‘best’ language for developers, you will be more successful if you know multiple because you will use multiple languages in large-scale projects.

Your success as a developer goes beyond your technical skills. You also need soft skills like:

  • Analytical skills
  • Project management
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership

What about certifications? Are they required or simply in-demand? You might consider certifications like:

  • SAP Certified Development Associate – SAP HANA 2.0
  • Oracle Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) Data Engineer
  • Certified OpenStack Administrator

Are You Ready to Take Your Career to the Next Level?

Software developers are incredibly in demand in cities around the U.S. So, if you like to think big and find creative solutions to meet end-user needs, why not consider a career as a developer?  Create a RightStone account and submit your resume to receive customized job alerts.


You Can’t Find the Right Candidate, Now What?

You’ve been on the hunt for the right person to fill a desperately needed role for months or even a year. Is the right person out there? If they are, why haven’t you found them yet? 

When you can’t find your next hire, you may wonder what to do next. Should you settle for someone competent but not quite right? Review all the candidates you passed on already? 

As HR experts, we know how difficult finding the perfect candidate can be. So, we’re here with some expert hiring advice. 

Take a Second Look at Your Job Posting 

You have been through all your applicants twice and still no luck. There’s a chance that the right candidate is out there, but they aren’t applying because your job description doesn’t speak to them. Or maybe, your list of requirements scares them off. 

If you can’t find anyone after a few months, it’s time to reevaluate your job posting. Do you have a certification that’s hard to find and nice to have but not required to do the job? Is there something in there you could provide to the right candidate once they come on board? 

What about the job description itself? Is it long, difficult to read, and full of unnecessary details? Again, you could be scaring them away. 

Talk to your leadership, HR, and your recruiters to figure out what can change to help you attract the right candidate. 

Evaluate the Competition 

The IT skills shortage is now almost a way of life, but there are some companies that seem to win the right candidates every time. If you’re not one of them, it’s time to ask why because the answer isn’t always about money. 

If you have an in-demand position, figure out what your competition offers. You don’t always need to match it or beat it, but it will show you how to make your post stand out to the candidate’s recruiters are fighting over. 

Tip: Millennial and Gen Z candidates are more concerned about culture than salary. Many employers make their companies look like great places to work in their job listings. Does your post make your company an attractive place to work?  

Consider Upskilling Your Current Staff 

Why go through the hiring process every time you need a new skill when you could develop value within your existing team? If you need hard skills but can’t seem to find a cultural fit, then this is a great time to pick out and develop a qualified internal candidate. 

Finding the right candidate is never easy, but the IT skills shortage and the deep pockets of the competition can make it that much harder. That’s why it’s important to have great allies. Get in touch to learn how RightStone can help you find your next best employee. 


Upskill Your Workforce and Bridge the Skills Gap

Finding new candidates who have highly sought after skills is challenging. Competing for them is even tougher. But you don’t need to join the pile and wrestle your competition for every single new candidate. Instead, you can bridge the skills gap by upskilling your employees. 

 Upskilling allows you to train your current team in these in-demand skills while keeping them in the same role. 

You Can’t Hire Your Way Out of the Skills Gap 

One reason upskilling (and reskilling) is so important is because it’s physically impossible to hire your way out of the skills shortage. The problem is too vast, and in-demand skills change too rapidly to ever keep up. One statistic says only 20% of today’s workforce has the skills needed for 60% of the jobs that will arrive over the next five to ten years. 

What’s more, hiring for technical skills won’t necessarily work. You can teach or pay for upskilling in cybersecurity or engineering.  But finding those candidates doesn’t mean that they’ll also offer essential soft skills, like communication and creative thinking. And those things can be much harder to teach. 

Upskilling Contributes to Professional Development 

Surveys suggest that employees are already upskilling, but they’re doing it on their own time and without support from their employer. You might think that’s good news, but it’s not. 

Employers who don’t offer the kind of professional development that keeps teams learning, growing, and preparing for the future find themselves with unengaged employees.  

Employee engagement is critical for your business’ success, but as many as 70% of employees aren’t engaged at work. Disengaged employees are less likely to be invested in their work, and when they do upskill, they’re more likely to take all their handy new skills to your competitor. 

By actively pursuing upskilling programs, you’re making your current employees more valuable to your company and you’re making them feel more valuable. You’ll see that value quickly: companies with engaged employees have revenues that are 2.5x those companies with low engagement levels. 

The Best Time to Upskill is Now 

Upskilling your employees will help you bridge the technology skill shortage and make you more competitive. Not only does the practice address the root of the problem, but it’s also a valuable investment in your company’s biggest assets: your workers. 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start thinking about your plan for upskilling to complement your hiring practices. 

Are you looking for the right expertise for your team? Ready to add new skills? Want to know how we find and place skilled candidates with the clients who need them? Get in touch to learn how our RightStone 360 program can help you do all of the above. 

 


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