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How Long Should I Wait to Follow Up After an Interview?

You walked out of the interview feeling optimistic but naturally hesitant. What happens next? 

The anxiety of waiting by the phone (or constantly thinking you feel it vibrate in your pocket) is part of the interview process. However, you don’t need to sit and wait for the phone to ring for weeks on end. A follow-up call is in order, and it can help you prepare for what comes next.

So how long should you wait to follow up after the interview? Use this guide to help you plan your post-interview timeline.

Follow the Timeline Given by Your Interviewer

In today’s world, good practice dictates that HR will let you know a timeline at the end of the interview. It lets everyone know what to expect and puts everyone on even footing.

Whether you’re successful or not, you’ll know by the date given.

If HR or the hiring manager gives you a date, stick to that date before you think about a follow-up. If you don’t hear back by the date given, give them an extra two business days to get back to you, particularly in today’s climate where businesses have to manage changes at a rapid pace.

Tip: if you had a great interview and want a few extra bonus points, send a quick email simply thanking the team for their time and the opportunity.

What If You Have Other Interviews Lined Up?

Hiring managers will assume you’re actively job hunting, so there’s no pressing need to let them know about other interviews and deadlines at the interview or when you follow up.

The only time you might let the team know you’re being actively considered for another role is if you have another offer in hand and you want to use it to negotiate a better deal.

Otherwise, Wait One Week to Follow Up

If they don’t give you a timeline, and you haven’t heard anything after 4-5 business days, then you are free to follow up. If your interview is on Monday, wait until the following Monday before you call.

Usually, a rejection or confirmation comes quickly after you follow up.

Remember that HR doesn’t always have answers. They can only push the decision-makers so much. So, if things are slow at the top, then it will trickle down.

Use the Follow Up as a Chance to Reaffirm Your Interest

The waiting game is part of job hunting, but you don’t need to wait around forever. If you don’t hear anything for a week (or within the timeline), give HR a call and ask them when you might expect to have a decision. Calling will reaffirm your interest, and it will help you plan your next steps.

Are you looking for your next role? RighStone is placing IT professionals with quality jobs now. Get in touch to learn more about what roles are available.

 


5 Soft Skills Essential for a Successful IT Career

The IT industry wants technical skills and in-demand certifications. What candidates often forget, however, is the bonus presented by soft skills. 

Soft skills previously took a back seat to your professional expertise, especially if you offered a particularly hard-to-find qualification. Today, they’re not the core skills that get you hired. 

What are the most useful soft skills for a successful IT career? Here’s what RightStone’s top clients look for in a new hire. 

Communication 

We still think of IT roles as being highly technical. Part of your ability to do the job depends on your ability to communicate. From emails to proposals to leadership, your ability to communicate project parameters is at the heart of your success. 

Collaboration 

Twenty years ago, the right lone wolf developer could have the pick of any job. Today, employers look for developers who have both technical and collaboration skills. 

Being able to work with others is a core skill, particularly when you work remotely. Remote working requires you to work cohesively and allow room for creative thinking from all team members. 

If you can collaborate, you can get your product to market faster — and that’s what employers look for. 

Creativity 

Although learning in IT can be rote, you have the freedom to run once you get beyond the basics. Here, creativity can flourish, and employers look for creative problem-solving skills. After all, it’s not just your ability to create solutions that matter. You need to solve problems in a way that makes the most sense for your unique end users. 

Negotiation 

Your negotiation skills is a soft skill that not only helps you move up the career ladder but have practical day-to-day uses. You can negotiate with clients to coax them into solutions that make the most sense for their business. You can also negotiate with team members to help them make a deadline. 

And of course, you can negotiate your salary, project budget, and duties to help you win the job you want. Employers see your negotiation skills from the beginning, so don’t be afraid to show them off. 

Empathy 

Empathy is a skill that you need in any position if you want to work for, with, or in service of other people. Empathy not only allows you to work more closely with a team, but it can be your superpower by enabling you to take responsibility for yourself and your work. 

If you have empathy, more people want to work with you. 

Do You Have the Soft Skills Employers Want? 

Employers want to know about your experience, portfolio, and certifications. However, an impressive resume isn’t the only thing you need in a competitive job market. You also need the soft skills that employers want. 

After all, technical skills get a project started, but skills collaboration, communication, and empathy get the job done. 

Do you have what employers are looking for? Let us know. Click here to view RightStone’s jobs board


Promoted Over Your Peers? How to Lead a Team of Co-workers

You got the promotion. It comes with new responsibilities and new benefits. However, it also comes with a unique challenge. As the victor, you now need to navigate a new landscape of leading your coworkers, including a few who wanted the job you got. 

The transition from peer to leader all depends on your first few weeks. Here are our best tips to manage your teammates. 

Get Reacquainted as  Leader 

You didn’t get tapped to lead the team because of a fluke. It was your skills combined with the vision that helped you get started. However, your coworkers may not have seen what your boss did. 

Rather than force a transition, ease into it by meeting with your team members and getting reacquainted. Let them know what you see for the seem and ask them for their input. 

Don’t forget to get and reaffirm your co-worker’s pain points. Now that you have the power to make changes, hearing their concerns and suggestions again may give you a new perspective. 

Earn Your Influence 

You were one of the team on Friday, and now it’s Monday, and you’re the team leader. Your team won’t follow your influence just because you had a title change. 

You won the role because your boss believed you would be a good leader. Now is the time to start showing everyone what you can do. Work hard, listen more than you talk, and start working on earning your influence. It will make the smoothest transition into management. 

Set Clear Expectations 

As a team member, you could go to Happy Hours, laugh at the water cooler, and commiserate with your colleagues. While there’s no ‘us’ and ‘them’ when you become a leader, you need to set clear expectations if you want to lead. 

You now need to figure out how to be approachable and friendly without compromising your impartiality. One of the best ways to do this is to be as clear about your work. Be honest about what you’re looking for, and give useful feedback. 

Being open and transparent will transform your colleagues into a team that emulates your influence. 

Be the Leader Your Boss Knew You Could Be 

Managing your coworkers can be awkward, but there was a reason you got the promotion. Your superiors believe in your ability to lead. And that’s just what you need to do. 

While some things do need to change, you just need to keep being you and be as willing to work for your coworkers’ respect as you were willing to work for the promotion. 

Are you looking for your next leadership role?

RightStone is placing highly-skilled candidates into IT leadership roles right now. Get in touch to learn how you could find your next position. 


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.


Best Practices When Working Remotely

Remote work was once considered a perk, but it’s now becoming more than ‘desirable.’ For many businesses around the world, it’s essential. In 2019, 3.4% of U.S. workers skipped the office and worked from an off-site location. It goes without saying that the figure is much higher in 2020. Facebook and Google just extended their work-from-home policies until the end of 2020.

Working remotely is a big change, and while there are many benefits, adjustments must be made to succeed. Because so many jobs in IT and tech cater well to remote working, employers are looking for candidates who bring remote work skills to the table.

To help you out, we put together some of the best practices candidates and employees can use when making the transition to remote work.

Choose Your Working Hours Carefully

Finding the right hours requires some careful experimentation. Because whether you’re easily distracted or tend towards workaholic tendencies, working from home (or a coffee shop) requires you to know what you want to accomplish and when.

If your company doesn’t require you to track your time and has flexible hours, start by playing around with your most productive working hours. For some people, prime time starts at 7 AM. For others, nothing gets done before lunch.

Don’t try to force yourself into the typical 9-5 at home unless it’s required by your employer. By giving yourself space to find your most productive periods, you can then create a structure that allows you to be productive and consistent and say “pencils down” at the end of the day.

Find a Work Station 

The first big wave of remote workers started in March, and about two weeks in, they all realized that working on your computer from your sofa or kitchen table is fairly untenable. 

It’s important to find a space in your home where you can work that’s not only private but also not in a space where you otherwise spend your time.

One of the biggest problems remote workers have isn’t being productive but switching off at the end of the day. Working from your sofa makes that much harder.

Make finding a place to work each day a priority, and if that means getting out of the house when things reopen, don’t be afraid of that either!

Play with Task Management Methodologies

Because you’re not physically at work, it can be difficult to prioritize or manage tasks. Ideally, you’re working with a project management app or channel, but even then, it’s easy to look at the long list and not get anything done.

Consider adding other methodologies like the Pomodoro technique to help you complete tasks and refocus when you need to. Other apps and techniques you can try include:

  • Flowtime
  • Cowrkr
  • Swiff

Are You Ready for Remote Work?

Remote work was already a force to be reckoned with, but the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed it from an experiment in employee perks to a way of life. It’s very likely that even when businesses can return to work as normal, many will still seek to keep certain staff working off-site.

Learn more

Are you on the hunt for your next role? Get in touch to learn more about how we place consultants like you with projects that match your skills and work-style.


3 Ways to Demonstrate Confidence in an Interview

Interviews often feel like you have been transported back to high school. You need to go meet new people, your clothes and appearance matter, and no matter how much you study, you still feel nervous before a test.

Just as in high school, confidence is key during an interview. Confidence makes you sound authoritative and can even make you more personable. 

Don’t worry: you don’t need to be confident. You just need to act like it (and ideally know your stuff, too). To help you conquer your first-day-of-school fears, follow these three interview tips.

#1 Make Regular Eye Contact

Eye contact can be one of the hardest things to achieve when you’re nervous, but it is important. If you look at your lap or out the window, you appear as though you’re too anxious or even distracted.

When you prepare for the interview, make sure you practice making eye contact, either with yourself in the mirror or with someone sitting opposite you.

#2 Prepare Questions Ahead of Time

“Do you have any questions for us?” It’s one question you can guarantee will come up, but will you have an answer?

This is perhaps the best opportunity to demonstrate your confidence in an interview because you get to interview them.

You may find it helpful to come up with these questions while researching the company. Make a note of them, and read over the questions in the car before you head into the building to keep them at the forefront of your mind.

Asking the right questions shows them you’re engaged both with the role and with the interview process. It also demonstrates both critical thinking and confidence.

#3 Get Rid of Negative Self Talk

What about your experience makes you least confident? Is it your skills, experience, or even when (or if) if you went to school?

Instead of relating these things in a negative manner, write them down and then re-write them in a positive sentence.

By getting rid of that negative self-talk, you’re less likely to believe it and far less likely to repeat it in an interview.  If you don’t talk negatively about yourself, then you won’t give your interview a reason to think that way about you.

Confidence Wins You New Opportunities

Being confident at a job interview isn’t something that comes naturally. It’s a skill you work on overtime.

Fortunately, a job interview isn’t high school. Your interviewer is judging you based on what you present to them, and you’re in control of that.

Are you looking for your next big opportunity? RightStone can help you ace the interview. Get in touch to learn more about what we do.


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