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Phone Interview? See What the Tech Industry Is Asking

The first step to getting a job? Successfully nailing the phone interview. Your resume is the calling card for your career; the highlights of your skills and experience that can help you get noticed. After that comes the first conversation. A phone interview is a chance for a recruiter to get a feel for your personality, gauge a little bit about if there’s a skill match for the position, get a better understanding of a possible corporate culture fit, and ultimately decide if it makes sense to introduce you as a candidate to the hiring manager. Here are some of the most common tech-industry phone interview questions – and how you should handle them.

  1. “How familiar are you with [specific programming language]?” – This question will only come up for some tech positions, but don’t let its straightforwardness fool you. Companies want to know that you’re adaptable and willing to learn. Even if you don’t work in that specific language, make sure you’re clear about which ones you do have experience with and if you’re looking to add more to your portfolio of experience. Also, avoid simple yes or no answers by giving brief examples or context.
  2. “Why do you want to come work for us?” – Before you talk to a recruiter, make sure you take a look at the company’s website, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor page so you can get a sense of what kind of business they are. What about their goals or mission statement resonates with you? Do they have a lot of positive reviews where people are excited to be contributing their skills to a worthwhile company? Are they developing a solution or product you believe in? Make sure to highlight your interest in the work the company is doing and why you want to be part of that specifically.
  3. “What are your weaknesses?” – This question isn’t a trick. You don’t need to answer with, “Nothing, I’m great at everything I do” and you also don’t need to go into detail about how you’re bad at budgeting. Stay within the lines of the job description. It’s ok to be honest, as long as you can make it seem like it’s not a strong suit without making it seem like a hindrance. For instance, saying, “I’ve never been a strong extrovert, which is why I decided to build my experience in developing instead of help desk or administration work” can make it seem like you’ve identified a way to make your weakness work for you.

Later interviews will often ask for more examples of your work on projects and possibly ask you to do a work sample for evaluation. A phone interview is the first step to bigger conversations that can help you land your next job.

If you’ve been thinking about a new job, get in touch with RightStone today. We can work with you to find your next tech role and get you interview ready.

 

 


How to Stand Out in a Competitive Tech Market

While there are more and more tech jobs opening up in businesses across the country every day, it’s still a competitive market. If you want to make sure you’re considered top talent, you need to take certain steps to ensure you’re being considered for every position. Skills, experience, and education are important, but  How can you make sure your application stands apart?

  1. Improve Your Resume: Chances are that you and the candidates you’re competing against for a position have similar skill sets and educational backgrounds. Finding ways to get the edge on your competition is important and it doesn’t need to be dramatic to make an impact. Have you taken any continuing education classes? Are you currently working towards gaining a certification? Make sure that even in-process achievements are listed on your resume. Also, make sure your resume is clean and buttoned up – have a friend or peer review it for errors, typos, or other issues. Having the right skills for a tech job is important, and being a clear, a careful communicator can go a long way towards helping make the right impression.
  2. Do More Than the Minimum: Your resume and cover letter are important parts of your application, but they don’t tell the whole story and they certainly don’t have to be the limit of your application materials. If you can show a strong work sample – even if it’s not outright requested – you may be able to set yourself apart from your peers. Keeping an up to date digital portfolio of work projects and samples can help you effectively show employers why you’re the best candidate for the job.
  3. Be Mindful of Social Media: Recruiters aren’t going to single-handedly depend on your Twitter profile to make a hiring decision but making sure your social media presence is professional – or at least not offensive – is an important part of looking for work. Having personality is important, but if it comes down to you and another candidate, you want to make sure you’re the one that the company will be proud to be associated with.

These small adjustments can go a long way towards helping you stand out for a competitive position. Looking for your next role? Get in touch today. RightStone can help you find the right job for your experience, skill set, and career goals.


Are You a Preferred Working Destination for Generation Z

As of 2019, Generation Z makes up about 25 percent of the US population. Defined as the group born between 1997 and the early 2010s, there are some features of this generational group that make it distinct from the generations that came before them. Here are some things to consider about this group that has already begun entering the professional workforce.

  • More Pragmatic and More Budget-Oriented: Most members of Generation Z grew up during a recession. That means they’re more practical than most members of the millennial generation and also more focused on saving money. This means salary will play more of a role in their acceptance of job offers.
  • Mobile Natives: Generation Z was born into an age of the internet. They are quick learners and are used to engaging digitally. If you want to recruit Gen Z talent, you’ll need to make sure you’re providing a good online application process; you might also consider offering Gen Z applicants their choice of Mac or PC or other digital perks like remote work.
  • Prefer Face-to-Face Communication: As digitally savvy as Gen Z is, they are used to things, including communication, moving quickly. In the workplace, email can be a slower form of communication that slows down their process, so many prefer to communicate face to face for a faster resolution. Creating a space that enables more collaboration and easier communication will be important to this generation.
  • Growth-Oriented: Generation Z works hard and wants to be rewarded for their impact. One of their biggest goals is to advance in a company and meet their full career potential. Gen Z will need acknowledgement to remain loyal to a company.

As the baby boomer generation continues to retire and more millennials step into company leadership roles, it’s important to make sure that the upcoming generation, Gen Z, is considered in the building and improvement of company culture as they will begin to make up a larger portion of companies in the coming years. Attracting and retaining the best talent is important for any brand. You might not be able to make everyone happy all the time, but it’s important to consider the needs of your employees as you shape employment policies. Even your physical workspace can help create the best possible balance for generation Z.

If you’re looking for your next hire, RightStone can help match you with the best talent. Give us a call today.

 


Are You Doing Enough to Retain Your Top IT Talent?

Retaining the best talent is one of the most important parts of the recruiting and hiring process. It’s important to be able to attract qualified talent; however, you want to make sure they’ll stay and support your business. This is particularly true for quality IT employees – advancing technology often means there are more job openings than there are qualified applicants. Here are the most important things to consider when working on your retainment strategy.

  1. Salary: What you pay matters. It’s important to make sure that your salary ranges are competitive within the industry and they are regularly reviewed to adjust for cost of living and performance raises.
  2. Employee Engagement: Employees want to stay with businesses who they think are invested in them and care about them as people. Engaged employees are productive, committed employees. What works for engaging employees will vary, but some company initiatives might include a company-wide monthly lunch that updates everyone on the business, paid time off for team volunteering or after-work happy hours. Anything that shows your company is committed to communication and employee well-being in and out of the workplace.
  3. Culture and Environment: It’s important to cultivate the kind of culture and physical environment you know employees want to work in. This doesn’t necessarily mean having a ping-pong room and a zen cave, but getting creative with ways to make work a more engaging place to be can be a good retention strategy. Not every company can afford a slick facility with a gym and spa, but what about a stipend for group exercise classes or monthly on-site yoga? What about offering standing desks for employees to stretch their legs and break up the day in a cubicle? Small changes and perks can make a big difference.

Your talent makes up the foundation of your business and is critical to your success. It pays off to have a retention strategy that will keep your people with you as your business grows and changes.

If you need help attracting and recruiting the best talent – and want some time back to focus on your retention strategy – give us a call today.


5 Tips to Overhauling Your Resume

Your resume is still the best tool to get noticed by recruiters. It’s a streamlined way to showcase your career and education highlights in an easy format to quickly send off to employers. It’s a good idea to keep your resume updated at all times – even if you’re happy in your current position or only passively looking for a new role. This way if a can’t-be-missed or once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ever comes up, you’ll be ready with resume in hand.

Here’s how to overhaul or improve your resume.

  1. Pay Attention to Format: Whether you’re handing out print copies of your resume or sending them through email and job portal uploads, the top of the page matters most. This is what recruiters and hiring managers see first. Make sure the most relevant information is at the top of your resume.
  2. Get a Second Opinion: Have a resume writer or other qualified person take a look at your resume and ask for input. Whether it’s giving you information on what a 30-second review tells them or offering advice on how to format your experience for maximum impact, you can get a lot out of third-party outlook.
  3. Make it Match: Even if it’s not a highly designed resume, make sure it looks clean, professional and consistent. Ensure your fonts in the header section match the body of your resume and take time to match your cover letter to your resume.
  4. Edit Your Experience: If you feel like your experience section is lacking, incorporate more kinds of experience to fill it out. Everything from volunteer work to part-time jobs to freelance and contracting positions can help make your resume more robust and showcase a broader skill set.
  5. Use More Data and Facts: Describing your experience with qualifying information is key – how many projects did you work on and what were the results? If you oversaw a software installation that improved productivity of a department or entire business unit, note the percentage increase on your resume. Showcasing accomplishments that can be linked to hard data is one of the best ways to stand out and solidify your experience.

Improving your resume can ensure that you are taken seriously as a candidate and can qualify you for the best possible positions. Performing an overhaul or making significant changes to your current resume can make sure it’s ready for wherever your career path takes you.

If you’re looking for your next job opportunity, get in touch today. Our expert staffing professionals can help connect you with the next step in your career.


Top Cities for the IT Professional Looking to Relocate

The tech industry shows no signs of slowing down. All across the country, most technology-related jobs continue to see growth, and new positions continue to pop up on job boards. So, where’s the best place for an IT professional to settle down and grow a career? Are there cities worth uprooting and moving to in search of a dream job?

Student Loan Hero notes that certain IT jobs are more common and abundant in certain areas of the country. According to their study, computer programmers have the best chance of finding work in the southern region of the US, while web developers and systems analysts have more success in the Midwest.

Overall, the south is home to 47 of the top 100 cities that are best for those seeking tech jobs to find work. Not only is work readily available in these growing areas, but the cost of living to salary ratio is also higher than in other areas. If you’re looking to relocate for your tech career, you might consider making your home in one of the following U.S. cities:

  • Hinesville, GA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Hattiesburg, MI
  • New Bern, NC
  • California, MD

Another 2018 survey found that tech workers are also finding work in other major cities, all experiencing population growth and new business development, including:

  • Dallas
  • Seattle
  • San Francisco
  • Houston
  • Miami

Whatever your dream IT job is – cybersecurity, business intelligence, programming, web and mobile development or another focus – you don’t have to settle for what’s available within your zip code. Many companies are short on good talent, particularly in certain areas, so it might actually be easier to find your dream job outside of your closest major metropolitan area. Don’t limit your job search to your immediate vicinity. Finding an innovative company in an up and coming city can help accelerate your career, so it’s worth considering spots outside of your current neighborhood.

If you’re looking for your next IT job, we can help. Our expert recruiters are connected to a large network of businesses looking for IT talent and experienced candidates just like you. If you’re working towards your dream job and need some help with your search, get in touch today.


What to Do When A Qualified Candidate Interviews Poorly

Just like incredibly intelligent people can test poorly, sometimes a great candidate gives a bad interview. When a qualified candidate you’re excited to interview doesn’t give a stellar interview performance, it can feel like a major red flag. Here’s how to know whether it should worry you or if you should continue the process.

  1. Consider the Position: Certain people gravitate to certain careers, and some of these personality types can interview better than others. Customer service, marketing or sales professionals, for instance, are often gregarious and outgoing, which serves them in their career path. IT professionals, programmers, and developers – who often spend hours working solo on detailed projects – can be more reserved. This might be a factor in an interview and less of an issue in a day-to-day job.
  2. Check References: If the candidate struggles with conversation under pressure, reach out to former bosses and co-workers. Hearing the perspective of someone else who’s worked with the candidate can help you understand if they’d be a good fit. It’s also a way to help verify an applicant’s resume and experience.
  3. Try Again: If you’re not sure, you can bring the candidate back in for another interview – but this time, change the format or consider having another person conduct the interview. Maybe a video conference is a less-stressful way for a candidate to share their experience or maybe another interviewer with different questions can help you get a better response.

Everyone has bad days, and a bad interview shouldn’t spoil a qualified applicant’s chances of contributing their strengths to your organization – or ruin your chances of connecting with a potentially great employee who can make an impact in your business. Considering other ways to learn about or interact with a candidate can help you make sure you’re not shortchanging yourself.

We can put you in touch with top talent in your field. Get in touch today to start your candidate search.


Benefits to Working With an IT Recruiter

Looking for a job can be a full-time effort. Uploading resumes, writing cover letters, endless searches on job boards. A recruiter can be an amazing resource in your job search. Here’s why an IT recruiter might be the secret weapon to advancing your career.

  1. Better Connections: Applying for a job online is hit or miss. The chances of hearing back from a company about a position you feel you’re qualified for really depend on too many factors to feel confident about moving along in the process. Using a recruiter means they’re going to pass on your information to someone who wants to hire and trusts the recruiter to only suggest qualified candidates. This increases your chances of getting that initial interview.
  2. Interview Prep: A recruiter will often interview candidates to get to know them, but also to work through questions and concerns that a candidate has about interviewing with a company. The recruiter likely knows the company well and certainly is familiar with the position, so they can help you understand what to focus on and how to frame your experience in a conversation with a hiring company.
  3. Better Feedback: Recruiters are going to follow up with the hiring manager or interviewer after you meet with them to get their feedback. Whether it’s positive or negative, a recruiter can report back to you what worked and what didn’t, so you can learn from your experience.
  4. Access to More Openings: Some companies work with recruiters before they ever post a job online. These jobs, therefore, are only available when working through a recruiter, giving you access to hiring managers when they’re still excited about the search and not worn out after dozens of rounds of interviews.

Working with a recruiter can save you time and energy and reduce your job-search stress. Our expert staffing team can help you find the right fit for your skills and experience. Contact Us today so we can help you start your search.


How to Properly Prepare for the Departure of a Key IT Staff Member

Without proper preparation, an employee leaving your team can leave your business in a lurch. Planning for the departure of an employee can keep your business running smoothly. Without the right IT staff members in place, it can be particularly challenging for a business to transition without disruption. Here’s how to plan for an exiting employee and how to prepare for their replacements.

  1. Crosstrain: You can’t plan for every employee departure. Some get fired, some leave without notice, some need to take long leaves to care for personal or family matters. One of the best ways you can preplan is to make sure your teams are trained well. Tasking managers with ensuring that their teams are cross-trained on tasks or having your HR team develop training is a great first step in preparing for employee loss and preventing it from affecting your whole business.
  2. Create manuals: Having documented processes in place keeps the engine of your business running even if someone is missing. You shouldn’t find yourself in a position where only one person is trained for a specific task, and having an updated processes manual that covers the important details means that someone can step in during the event of an emergency or unplanned absence.
  3. Ask for notice: If you value your employees, most of them will respect your business enough to give proper notice when leaving. Have a conversation with them to ask if there’s any flexibility in their plans that would allow them to stay on until their replacement is hired and trained.
  4. Ask for input: If your team member was effective, productive and had a positive impact on the business, asking how they feel may help you find another equally qualified and talented candidate.

Find Top Talent

If you’re looking to fill IT roles, RightStone can help. Our industry knowledge and years of experience let us help businesses connect with the best tech talent and build a team that can help them grow and succeed.


Offering Remote Work Opportunities Could Allow You to Hire Better Talent

 

Employees often have several deciding factors when weighing their decision about accepting a new position – salary, benefits and commute all rank pretty high on most candidate’s list of priorities. Another factor that’s rising in the ranks of important perks is flexibility. Employees are now more than ever attached to their phones and laptops outside of the office, meaning the boundaries between work and personal lives are often blurred. Having a work-life balance that supports the ability to take time off when needed or work outside the office can be seen as big benefits to potential employees.

Remote work has grown exponentially over the last decade, and more employees are expecting some work-from-home opportunities or flextime in their positions. Offering the option to work remotely either part or all the time is an attractive benefit that could draw in more candidates. This kind of flexibility is also linked to higher productivity and greater employee loyalty. Employers often think they need to have employees in the office to get the most work done or they risk employees slacking off; however, many people thrive when given autonomy, and the tools of today’s workforce mean collaboration is still possible even when teams are geographically dispersed.

Allowing remote workers also means that you grow your talent pool by removing geographic boundaries – if you allow people to work from anywhere, you won’t be limited to only the best talent in your area, but you’ll be open to the best talent from anywhere.

The beauty of the tech industry is the infrastructure and programs exist to help support a remote workforce. Help desk employees can work off-site and use technology that allows them to access a server or desktop remotely, programmers can code at home and cloud-based technology allows many employees – IT or otherwise – to manage their files and workload from places other than at a desk full time.

Hire The Top Talent Today!

If you’re looking to hire the best talent for your company – in-office or remote – contact us today.


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