Monthly Archives: March 2014

Job Seeker Interview Questions DOs and DON’Ts

interview25During your interview process at some point the interview person or panel will ask you if you have any questions.  This is an opportunity to not only show that you are interested in the position, but to gain insight into a typical day in the company and position.  Many individuals use this as an opportunity to shine by having several well prepared questions.  Here are a few examples of questions that will benefit you to ask:

Can you give me more detail about the position’s responsibilities?
This question will give insight into what expectations from the employer are for the position and if you have the tools necessary to perform the job functions. 

Where do you see this position going in the next few years?
This will shed light on promotional, training and educational possibilities at the company.

How can I most quickly become a strong contributor within the organization?
This will show that you are determined and ready to work, while also letting you know some of the traits the employer values most.

What are the most challenging aspects of the job for which I am being considered?
By asking this you will be able to determine if you have strengths in the areas most difficult, or if you will have a difficult time performing those functions.

What can I tell you about my qualifications?
This shows the employer that you are ready to discuss any areas they are concerned with and gives you the opportunity to highlight your strengths and work history.

How will my performance be evaluated, and at what frequency?
Knowing how you will be evaluated is important.  This will also give you good insight into the frequency at which raises are given.

Where are you in the hiring process? What’s our next step?
This will give you answers without seeming too demanding on when you can expect to hear back on if you did or did not receive the job.

Would you like a list of references?
This proves to the company and hiring manager that you are prepared and ready to highlight your skills and can back it up with references.

If I don’t hear from you within (time period) would it be okay to call you?
This question again lets the hiring person know you are interested in the position and that you are eager to hear back from them, as long as they are okay with the timeframe. 

Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
By asking this, you allow the interviewer to follow-up on any concerns or interests previously raised.

While it is encouraged to be inquisitive during an interview, there are definitely questions that should be avoided, and asked either after a job offer is extended, researched on your own, or simply avoided all together.

Can I do this job from home?
If this is a telecommuting job, the job description would have said so. Asking to work from home implies that you dislike working with others, you do not work well under direct supervision, or you have a difficult schedule to work around. Occasionally, employees who have held a position for a long period are allowed to telecommute, but this is not a concession you should ask for on a first interview.

What does your company do?
By the time you arrive at an interview, you should have already done your research on the company and have a good grasp on what services or products the company has.

When can I take time off for vacation?
Do not discuss previous commitments before being offered a position. This question should not be discussed until after a job offer has been extended.

Did I get the job?
This question puts employers on the spot and makes you appear impatient.  Most employers will give an idea of when they will have a decision before the end of the interview.

What is the salary for this position?
Do not ask this question on a first interview.  It is best not to discuss compensation until you are offered a position.

How many hours will I be expected to work each work? Will I need to work on weekends?
A better question would be, “What is a typical workday like?” The answer will likely give you insight into expected work hours.

How long would I have to wait to get promoted?
This question implies that you are not interested in the position for which you are applying, and that you are merely waiting to move on to something better. Instead, you could ask the employer, “What are some of the opportunities for growth at this company?”

What type of health insurance does this company offer?
Wait until you are offered the position before you begin asking questions about benefits. However, if there is a benefit that you require from a job (such as a particular type of health insurance, a daycare program, etc.), bring it up with human resources rather than the interviewer.

Hiring in Rural Areas

ruralFinding the right hire in rural America can be challenging to say the least.  More often than not there are very few, if any, people with the exact skill set your company needs.  Most likely there will be no “Mr./Ms. Right,” so a more creative approach to hiring will need to be taken.

First, make sure to post all of your positions on CareerBum.com so that your positions are easy to find and apply for.  Second, start looking for standout employees and places you frequent who appear to have the potential you seek for your organization. That means shopping with a purpose other than grabbing a gallon of milk; chatting with the nurses in your doctor’s office to find out more about their lives; and finding the person in your church who is running all the committees single-handedly. Schools have scores of employees, too, and are worth scouring.

When you find that no one has the skill set you are looking for, take another approach.  Seek out an employee who would be a great cultural fit for your company.  Personality goes a long way, and, for many positions, so will persistence, flexibility and a willingness to dig in and do what is needed to get the job done. You need to find a way to uncover what makes that candidate tick during the interview(s), and will likely devote more time than you initially think necessary to really get to know them.

Once you find someone you think might be a right fit, test his/her skills in various departments. The merits you admired at the check-out counter might suit your customer-service department, or that candidate might be a better fit in an operations position.

There can be enormous benefits to creative hiring. Gems are everywhere, and in rural Nebraska, they’re just waiting to be uncovered. But every hiring manager knows that hires don’t always work out. In a small town, firing is particularly painful because job opportunities are so slim. Make sure you do your homework upfront and give the hiring process the time it needs for you to find the right fit.

Promoting Your Company With Video

With changing times and an ever evolving online world, it is imperative that business owners and managers stay up to date with multimedia.  Utilizing video to get your company message out is beneficial on a multitude of fronts; it helps your placement with search engines, it is engaging to your clientele, and it is persuasive.  The cost of video production is decreasing, and there are also some great, user-friendly software options that can help you produce video in house.

There are so many different avenues to explore when using video as a promotional tool.  Video can be used to add testimonials to a website, to do product presentations and demonstrations; create visual stories, or you could add a video signature at the end of an email.

However you choose to utilize video, the important thing is that you are.  Video is a tremendous promotional tool that can be explored and used for a host of reasons.  Just start rolling!