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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.

3 Easy Ways to Make a Great Impression in a Interview

3 Easy Ways to Make a Great Impression in a Interview

When you are trying to get a new job, making strong first impressions during a job interview is vital to your success. The first introduction you have with a hiring manager is going to impact every interaction you have after. You want to make sure that it goes well.

The challenge is trying to figure out how to make great first impressions. Most often, job seekers fall back on trial and error, adjusting their approach after each interview. But, there are three easy things you can do that will help you make a better first impression during a job interview. Here is what you need to do.

1. Assess Your Previous Interactions With Others-

If you want to improve how a hiring manager perceives you during the first critical moments of an interview, you need to reflect on how you have come off in past interviews.

The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself a series of questions – be sure to answer them honestly. For example, do you actively listen when a hiring manager speaks or do you just wait for your turn to talk? Are you respectful of the hiring manager’s personal space or do you tend to intrude? Did your introduction come off as confident or arrogant?

Yes, asking these questions can be difficult, but it’s necessary to improve. By doing this, you start to identify any potential shortcomings, allowing you a chance to fix them.

2. Know Your Strengths-

By knowing what you do well, you can adjust your interviewing style to play the areas where you are strong. Knowing your strengths can give you a nice confidence boost.

Actively knowing what your strengths allow you to recognize skills that don’t require improvement, which lessens the amount of work you have to put forth to make a better first impression.

3. Work on Your Weaknesses-

Almost everyone struggles in some manner when introducing themselves to a hiring manager. The key is to understand what your’s are so you can improve on them. For example, if you tend to stumble over the interview question, “Tell me about yourself,” you can focus on preparing a robust and straightforward response that touches on all the right points – doing this until it becomes second nature. Let’s say that you don’t have a firm handshake; you can ask for the help of a trusted friend to help you get more comfortable.

When you practice self-awareness, you begin to spot potential problems quickly and take steps to fix any issues that can harm your chances of getting a new job. As you continually work through your weakness, the quality of your first impressions will drastically improve, ultimately helping you manage interviews easier.

If you are interested in finding out how to make better first impressions or are searching for a new job opportunity, the hiring team at Award Staffing can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our team members to see how we can help you take the next level in your career.

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.

5 Tips to Prove to Minnesota Employers They Should Hire You

5 Tips to Prove to Minnesota Employers They Should Hire You

When you start your job search in the Minneapolis – St Paul metro area, your primary goal is to show a prospective employer that you are the right person for their job. When you get that first interview more often than not, you will be asked with one of the hardest questions to answer: “Why should we hire you?”

Most job seekers hate this question, but there exists an excellent opportunity to show why you’re the best fit for the job and why they should hire you. Here are 5 of our industry secrets that will help you accurately answer this question:

Focus on the Benefits-

One common way of standing out when answer this question is to focus on how your skills and experience will benefit the company. This should be done by clearly establishing your enthusiasm for the type of work you would be doing in this job. Also, take some time to speak to this job would accomplish for your career while talking about how your skills are a benefit for the business. Be sure to talk about the advantages of hiring for both the company and you to ensure that you have the most significant impact.

Standout-

We often see that many Minnesota job seekers answer this question continually stating their skills and experiences over and over again. By doing this, you aren’t showing and telling the hiring manager anything new. Instead, use your knowledge of the company to show how you would be a great addition to their company. To do this effectively, it requires an extensive amount of research – it shows that you’re excited about the job and that you took extra time to learn more about the prospective company.

Be a Problem Solver-

Traditionally, Minnesota companies want to hire a new person because they have an issue that requires a solution. If you can show how you can provide a solution to some of their current problems, you give the hiring manager a preview of what the future of hiring you would look like.

Give Extra Details-

Sometimes an interview happens quickly, leaving you without a chance to discuss everything you have to offer. Maybe all the questions that a hiring manager asks are specifically targeted to specific skills; they are looking for a basic, concise response. Regardless, this question gives you an opportunity to go over details that you might not typically have the chance to go over, which will help you prove that you have everything it takes to be successful.

Be Passionate-

There are very few things impact on hiring managers decision to hire a candidate is if they are genuinely passionate about their work. If you are driven and sincerely enjoy the work the work that you, embrace those feelings. Be sure to communicate what about the job appeals to you and why that leaves you driven to succeed. This may be as simple as particular skills or responsibilities as well as a connection to the company’s culture.

By following the above industry secrets, you will be able to prove that you are the right person to hire for the job. If you are searching for a new job opportunity, the hiring team at Award Staffing can connect you with leading companies in the area. Contact us to see how our services can help you get ahead and get employers to hire you.