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Show Up Prepared – What Questions You Should Ask at Your Interview

“Do you have any questions for us?”

It’s the one question you know will come your way at the end of every interview, but it’s one many candidates struggle to answer.

There’s a strategy for nailing down the questions you should ask at your interview, and you can break it down into two parts. Keep reading to look like a well-prepared professional at your next interview.

Three Tips for Asking Better Questions at Your Job Interview

Ask Questions About the Company

You want to know what you’re walking into on your first day in a new office. So, questions about the organizational strategy and culture a great place to start.

Ask questions about your first 30, 90, and 365 days in the new role. A few basic questions to ask include:

  • What support is available to new hires?
  • How do performance review processes work? How often do they happen?
  • What three words would you see to describe the company culture?
  • Where do you see the company in five years?
  • What does the typical career path look like?

Do some research before the interview to make your questions as specific as possible. Use the company website, LinkedIn, and any press available to generate more targeted questions.

Ask Questions about the Role

Once you choose the most relevant questions about the company, start thinking more about the role itself. In many ways, these are the most important questions because they give you and the hiring manager an indication of the scenario the new hire will enter.

A few questions to ask about the role include:

  • Is the role new?
  • If it’s not new, who occupied it before now?
  • What is the top priority for the role?
  • What is the team like?
  • What kind of personalities exists on the team?
  • What times of the year are the busiest?

 

Why ask these questions? They will help you identify why the role exists, how it supports the organizational strategy, and whether it is the kind of space you want to enter. The answers to these questions will also help you negotiate a salary that you believe aligns with the position’s true responsibilities.

Write Down 3 Questions Before Your Interview

Asking questions at your interview doesn’t just make you look prepared. It also empowers you to negotiate the rest of the hiring process with a deft hand.

If you find it difficult to remember a list of questions, narrow your choices down to only three of the most important things you want to know about the job or company. Then, compare the answers between interviews to make a more strategic decision.

Need Help Finding a Job? We Can Help!

Are you looking for your next role in 2021? RightStone can help match you with the perfect employer — no questions asked. Get in touch to learn more about the RightStone 360 process.


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.

 


Ace Your Next Virtual Interview

A few years ago, virtual interviews were the ‘future of recruitment.’ Today, they’re a necessity for employers who want to hire new team members. And if you’re looking for your next role, they are an asset.

Virtual interviews are those that take place using video conferencing technology. They’re not just a glorified phone interview: they allow both parties to parse the nonverbal cues you’d miss over the phone.

Are you staring into the face of yet another virtual interview? Here’s how you can ace it and win your next role.

Prepare Like It’s an In-Person Interview

Virtual interviews are in-person interviews, even if you’re not in the office. So rather than preparing for a preliminary chat like you might with a phone interview, treat it like a normal interview.

What does that mean? Think about potential questions, come up with helpful anecdotes, and write down your questions. You also need to dress the part, so make sure to come in your best business casual (at a minimum).

Test Your Technology Half an Hour Early

You wouldn’t be late for an interview on-site, and you definitely can’t be late for a virtual interview. There’s little leeway for tardiness if you don’t have to leave your house, so make sure you rule out everything that could get in your way beforehand.

The most common reason virtual interviews start late is because of a technology fail. To prevent that from happening, test out your speakers and microphone early. If you’re not familiar with the web conferencing tool, read a quick how-to before the interview starts. 

And if it’s an app, download it earlier in the day. Don’t be caught waiting for it to install when your appointment rolls around!

If you’re having any technical problems or you think there’s an issue on their end, acknowledge it. Don’t be afraid to say you can’t hear or see your interviewer well. It’s better to let them know than to try to fly blind.

Practice Your Pace and Tone

Given the role of the camera, many people focus solely on the video aspect of the interview. While your background, lighting, and appearance are very important, you shouldn’t forget to focus on the audio.

Lag, noise, accents, and other issues make virtual interviews trickier than asking a candidate into the office. To help them out, you should focus on speaking clearly and at a reasonable, natural pace. Use your pauses wisely and use your nonverbal communication to make it clear when you’re finished speaking.

Be Yourself to Ace Your Next Virtual Interview

Virtual interviews are a great way to speed up the recruiting process and save everyone time. They’re not a replacement for a final, in-person interview, but they’re a great substitute, particularly right now as companies try to hire while social distancing.

The best trick for virtual interviews is to treat them like a normal interview and prepare accordingly. Be early, know where you’re going, and above all, be yourself.

Ready to move forward?

Are you on the hunt for your next job? We can help you get there. Get in touch to learn what roles are available.


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.


8 Traits that Successful Professionals Show

Every job varies in terms of the skills, abilities, and talents that are required for success. A technical skill that’s absolutely crucial to one role might be completely superfluous to a professional working at a separate job. That said, there are some traits that every highly successful professional possesses, irrespective of their particular role or of the industry that they work in.

By understanding the qualities that are conducive to success in any role, we’ll be much more likely to cultivate those traits within ourselves and thereby make it more likely that we’ll enjoy success in our own careers.

With that in mind, here are eight common traits of highly successful professionals:

1. Discipline.

Before success becomes possible, an individual must learn how to forego impulsive pleasure, concentrate for long periods of time, and never veer from their own standards of excellence. All of this must start with self-discipline.

2. Passion.

Professionals who care deeply about their work and who believe that their goals are worthwhile are much more likely to be successful than those whose commitment to the task is merely lukewarm.

3. Eagerness to learn.

Success requires an ability to consistently update one’s store of knowledge and to adopt alternative points of view.

4. Ability to take risks.

If you’re not willing to take risks, you will remain in the same place.

5. Organization.

As success accumulates, so too does responsibility. Staying on top of a growing number of daily tasks requires an ability to keep things in order over long periods of time.

6. They seek opportunities to learn from the success of others.

No one climbs the ladder of success on their own. There are countless relationships that have to be cultivated and maintained along the way. For every successful professional out there, there are mentors, teachers, and inspirational figures behind the scenes who each played some sort of role in that person’s achievements. The ability to engage with and learn from successful individuals who came before you is crucial to our own thriving.

7. Communication.

If you’re able to communicate in a forthright, confident, and articulate manner, you’re much more likely to clearly express – to yourself and to others – what success actually looks like for you, and what you need to achieve it.

8. They prioritize their health.

Physical and mental health is the foundation for any success story. When we fail to nourish our bodies and our minds, we’re setting ourselves up to encounter serious impediments to success. In order to be successful in our careers, we first have to ensure that we’re getting the diet, rest, exercise, and self-care that we need to be able to perform at our best.

Improvement is an ongoing process, and the actions that we take today determine the degree of success that we’ll enjoy tomorrow. At RightStone, we specialize in providing professionals with the resources that they need to advance in their careers. Contact us today to get started!


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