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3 Soft Skills to Mention During Your Next Interview

Most job openings list certain criteria the employer is looking for in an applicant, such as years of experience, level of education and board certification. But many applications also include other features they’re looking for in a candidate like strong work ethic, good communication skills, and excellent teamwork. You know how to prove the first set of criteria, but how do you demonstrate good work ethic on a resume?

Soft skills are the personality traits, habits and attitudes that make for a great employee. Just as you need to be able to talk about how your prior job experience directly relates to the job you’re applying for (your hard skills), you also need to be able to talk about your soft skills and why they would make you good at your job.

During your next interview, help the employer understand why you’re a great candidate by preparing examples demonstrating these three soft skills.

1. Communication

No matter your job, you’ll need good communication skills to do it effectively. If you’re a highly-skilled carpenter but aren’t very good at communicating updates to a client or your manager, your skill may cause more problems for an employer than you’re worth. Whether you need to communicate with your boss, your coworkers or customers, communication is critical.

How to demonstrate: Communication comes in a variety of forms, mainly written, verbal and by phone. Think about previous job experience and when communication played a key role. Maybe you worked in a restaurant and had to accurately communicate with diners and chefs about meals, or perhaps you did some public speaking about your job at local events. Think about experiences you can point to and how your success demonstrates your communication skills.

2. Work ethic

Every employer wants to hire someone with a strong work ethic, even if it isn’t directly mentioned in the job posting. Having a strong work ethic means you come to work on time, focus on your tasks, stay organized and complete your work. This seems like the bare minimum for doing a job well, but employers will want to know they can trust you to do your job.

How to demonstrate: Come prepared with examples of your commitment to your past jobs. Maybe you had a client who needed something done fast and you were able to stay organized and get the project done. Perhaps you’ve earned an award like “Employee of the Month” demonstrating how you go above and beyond in your job. Think of times when your boss was able to depend on you and you delivered.

3. Teamwork

As with communication, even jobs where you’re working solo will likely require some level of teamwork. Managers want to know that you’ll get along well with other employees and that you can work together to achieve a common goal. They don’t want to hire someone who will prevent work from getting done because of personality conflicts.

How to demonstrate: Employers may ask you directly in an interview for examples related to teamwork with prompts like, “Tell me about a time when you and a coworker didn’t see eye to eye but got the job done.” Virtually everyone has a story about not getting along with a coworker, so it shouldn’t be hard to come up with an example and, most importantly, to list what you did to finish the job and what you learned from the experience.

At Award Staffing, we’re here to help you find your future by connecting you with awesome employers. Visit our website today to learn more about how we can help.

Your Job Interview Checklist for St. Paul Job Seekers

Your Job Interview Checklist for St. Paul Job Seekers

After you apply for a new job and you are invited in for an interview, proper planning is the key to your success. But figuring out how you should prepare isn’t always easy, especially going beyond merely practicing your answer to traditional interview questions.

Being a great interviewee takes time and practice, but it doesn’t have to be challenging. If you are looking to impress a hiring manager during your next interview, here are ten tips that will help you.

1. Research your Interviewer-

You should take time to discover and learn the names of those who will be interviewing you. See if they have a profile on the company website or their LinkedIn page to find out what sorts of answers or questions will grab their attention.

2. Learn About the Company-

It is critical to have a solid understanding of what the business has to offer you as a possible employee will play to your advantage. You can add relevant pieces of information based on the company’s priorities and goals. This ensures that your responses speak to their needs while making you stand out.

3. Learn How They Interview-

There is a wide variety of interview types, and many St Paul companies use various approaches depending on their goals. Take time in advance to find out if you will be participating in a traditional, technical or behavioral interview. This gives you an opportunity to prepare your responses based on that information.

4. Be Conscious of Your Movements-

When in an interview it isn’t just your responses that matter your mannerisms also tell a story, so make sure your body language is appropriate and inviting to the interviewer.

Helpful Hint: Practice your answers in front of a mirror so you can witness your own actions – allowing you to make proper adjustments to ensure you present yourself accurately.

5. Put Numbers to Your Answers-

If you are practicing your interview responses, it is always a wise idea to put data on the information you are sharing about yourself. Numbers and hard metrics are a powerful tool to help you get a new job, make sure to use them whenever you can.

6. Choose Your Clothes Wisely-

On the morning of your interview, the last thing you want to do is scramble to pick your outfit. Try not to leave this to the last minute, plan your attire out in advance by laying out your clothes, shoes, and accessories the evening before. This ensures that you are fully prepared, giving you peace of mind, focusing solely on the interview.

7. Assembler Your Interviewing Materials-

It is always a good idea to bring copies of your resume and references with you for an interview. Like step six, planning your outfit, doing this the evening before your interview ensures everything is ready and nothing is forgotten.

8. Prepare Questions-

Almost every interview ends with an opportunity for you to ask questions, and it is wise to have a few ready. You can most likely adjust your questions to what you have learned during the interview, but questions like, “Is there anything that would keep me from being hired for this job?” can be used in nearly any interview.

9. Reflect on Your Past Experiences-

While preparing for your interview, it is a good idea to reflect on your past job experiences. Take some time to consider how you’ve grown in each job that you have held in your career. This helps you visualize your career path, making it easier to keep things straight during your interview.

10. Get a Good Night’s Sleep-

Make sure go to bed early, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep so you can arrive at your interview refreshed and alert – increasing your odds of being at your best.

By following the tips above, you put yourself in position to stand out. If you are interested in finding a new job opportunity, the hiring team at Award Staffing can help. Contact our team today to see how our services can help you find a new job.

How Minnesota Job Seekers Reduce Pre-Interview Jitters

How Minnesota Job Seekers Reduce Pre-Interview Jitters

Nervous before your job interview? Don’t worry; it’s normal. Reducing the appearance of your pre-interview jitters, however, will increase the possibility that the company will hire you. Try these tips.

Don’t Drink Coffee Before the Interview-

Most people are coffee drinkers, who tend to have one to two cups of coffee in the morning to jumpstart their day. We’re telling you: don’t do it. Caffeine exacerbates anxiety, and it’s one of the worst things you can consume if you’re trying to get yourself to calm down and not be nervous. If you do need something to wake you up on the morning of the interview, try going for a jog or sipping on an herbal beverage (like tea) that is low in caffeine. It might take a little getting used to, but you will find that your nerves will provide you with more than enough energy. Skip the caffeine!

Listen to Calming Music-

Studies reveal that music plays a significant role in our mood and emotions. In fact, upbeat music will get your heart beating a lot faster than your resting heart rate, which will be harder to deal with when you’re trying to calm down. If you want to walk into your interview with a calm demeanor, try listening to acoustic or classical music fifteen or twenty minutes before your interview. You will feel your heart rate slow down, which your chances of walking into the interview calm, collected, and ready to go.

Review Your Resume-

Interviews can be stressful because of the pressure associated with sitting across from another person who is grilling you about your accomplishments and skills. Even though you know what you’ve done and what skills you possess, you may find yourself tripping over your words if you’re nervous. One way to combat this is to review your resume right before going in the interview. If nothing else, it will give you a series of talking points to hit while answering questions so you can steer the conversation more toward where you want it to go.

Searching for a way to experience real-life interviews? Contact Award Staffing. We will not only help you secure job interviews but also help you adequately prepare for each one – no need for nerves! We will be able to help you find a job that is the perfect fit for you and your unique skill sets. Our team of hiring professional located in Bloomington, Chaska, Crystal, Delano, Maplewood, and Ramsey Minnesota are here to help you find you your next new job opportunity!

5 Reasons Why You Don't Hear Back After an Interview

5 Reasons Why You Don’t Hear Back After an Interview

It’s a typical scenario in the job searching process; once the interview is over, it feels like complete silence on the part of the hiring manager, and silence is the last thing you ever want to hear. Sometimes a lack of feedback doesn’t necessarily mean that you didn’t get the job. Here are five typical reasons you don’t hear back after an interview:

1. Other Candidates are Being Interviewed –

Depending on the scheduling, the interviewing process might not be done in a single day, or even in a week. If that job you are interviewing for requires multiple interviews, it can take even longer. In most scenarios, individuals aren’t informed of the results of an interview until all of the interviews are complete, no matter of how well it went.

2. Multiple People Are Involved In Make The Decision-

If you have ever interviewed with a group or had numerous one-on-one interviews, then the hiring decision is most likely made by a group of people, not a single hiring manager. That means that every person interviewing has to provide feedback on each candidate to come to a group consensus. Depending on the number of interviews, and the schedules of every interviewer, this process might take weeks before a final candidate is selected.

3. Work Delays Their Decision –

Most hiring managers also have regular job responsibilities and duties that they must complete in their day-to-day roles. If something urgent happens after your interview is complete, they most likely will turn their attention to that issue – delaying the hiring process.

4. More than One Qualified Candidate –

Sometimes a hiring manager’s decision comes down to more than one qualified candidate, and selecting between more than one great candidate isn’t always easy. If either person could perform the job, fit into the company culture, and provide long-term value – this makes the decision much more challenging.

The hiring and onboarding process is costly to businesses; this puts hiring managers under pressure to make the right decision. When two job candidates seem to be an ideal fit, getting to a point where a confident hiring decision can be made can take longer than most people realize.

5. You Are Not a Final Candidate –

Not every company notifies job candidates that were not selected for a job. While this is often frustrating, it is common practice. Don’t let this keep you down, take some time to reflect on what went well with your interview and then continue your job search.

If you are looking for a new job opportunity in Minnesota, and want the Twin Cities top staffing professionals to help you with your job search, Award Staffing is here to help. Contact us today and see what current job openings we have open today!

Don’t Think Details Mattering in an Interview Think Again

Don’t Think Details Matter in an Interview? Think Again

If you’re interviewing for jobs, you likely have been told the “correct” answers you should give so as not to mess anything up for yourself. However, you might want to rethink some of that advice if you want to stand out in your interviewer’s mind. Here’s how to avoid giving vague interview answers:

Disguising a Strength as a Weakness-

Everyone knows that they’re “supposed to” disguise a strength as a weakness. However, everyone does this, so this answer is no longer relevant! To stand out, try giving a weakness you used to have; you can combat the negative stigma by telling them how you overcame it. This will show that you are honest, self-aware, and willing to try hard to fix your mistakes.

Not Being Specific about the Company-

If you aren’t specific enough about why you want to work at that company, you are hurting yourself in your interview. It’s easy enough to go into an interview and tell the interviewer that you want to work at that job because you want to make the world a better place. It’s harder (but much more impressive) to tell the interviewer that you want to work at that job because you admire the C.E.O. for the work she did while in Africa two years ago. Being specific about the job shows that you care.

Selling Yourself Short-

Don’t be vague about your skills, interests, or work history. Doing so means that you are selling yourself short, which is never good in an interview. You want to be specific with examples about what you are good at, because you may find that your interviewer is interested in using you for multiple skills.

If you are looking for a new job opportunity, whether short-term or long-term, contact Award Staffing. Our team of hiring professional located in Bloomington, Chaska, Crystal, Delano, Maplewood, and Ramsey Minnesota are here to help you find you your next new job!

5 Easiest Job Interview Tips + Tricks

5 Easiest Job Interview Tips + Tricks

A great job interview is just like any other accomplishment; it won’t happen without some real planning and hard work. At Award Staffing we have highlighted 5 of the easiest job interview prep skills that can make the next interview the best.

1. Review the Job Posting:

This cannot be overstated: the company knows exactly what they are looking for, and they state it clearly on the job posting. Review the job post. List point-by-point every experience and skill they are seeking. Go over your own experiences and how they make you a great fit, so all of this is fresh in your mind when you walk in the door.

As Dana Leavey puts it, “Try to remember what’s most relevant regarding specific clients you’ve worked with, types of projects you’ve worked on, similar companies you’ve worked for, and anything else that’s pertinent to the role.”

2. Research the Company:

Google is your friend, and so are social media sites like LinkedIn. Do your research before your interview. See what this company has done to get in the news. Find out what you can about the people who work there, what kind of background and skills they bring to the table and what they care about. Look for points of similarity and points of difference and be ready to discuss them in the interview.

3. Take The Next Step Beyond Your Resume:

When they ask about information on your resume the last thing you want to do is just quote the resume. Share specific examples that illustrate the information on your resume. Be prepared to talk and give the interviewer the extra layer of knowledge they are seeking.

4. Listen to The Interviewer:

Don’t be so focused on what you have to say that you don’t hear what you’re asked. A job interview is like a first date. You need to pay attention, listen closely and ask follow up questions. This makes the interviewer see you as someone who is interested and gives you a chance to find out more about the position.

5. Don’t Ask for A Job – Offer to Help:

The company didn’t put up a job post because they were hoping to give someone a salary or a cool place to hang out from 9 to 5. They put up a job post because they need to hire the right person for the job opening. Find out what they need and discuss the ways you can produce the work they require. This attitude can get you out of the interview on just the right note. As Lam Nguyen says, “It’s then up to you to make your final selling pitch by summarizing what the position is and what you bring to the table. Don’t forget to find out the next steps for the interviewing process. The follow-up item you want to leave in your interviewer’s mind is, “This is the right candidate. I’m ready to make an offer.”

If you’re looking to make your next job interview your best one ever, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to help you find a new position that lets you take advantage of your abilities and prepare you to turn the job interview into your dream job offer.