Learn How to Connect with Your Interviewer

Making a meaningful connection with someone that you’ve just met is challenging. When it’s a face-to-face interview, you also have the pressure of somehow connecting respectfully with the interviewer in a way that lands you a new job. No pressure, right? Here’s how to connect more thoroughly on the spot with an interviewer to improve your chances of getting the job you want.

Step 1 – Prepare

Prepping for an interview is extremely important. Make sure you take the time to understand the company and the person you are interviewing with. You can find out more about the interviewer or panel of interviewers and the company on social media platforms like LinkedIn. Taking the time to understand the background of the individuals you’ll meet is just as important as understanding the kind of company you’ll be working for. Try thinking about how you will relate one-on-one to the person you are interviewing with.

The added benefit of preparing for the interview by researching background material is it will help you feel more confident and in control during the process.

Step 2 – Establish rapport

Many times it is the soft skills that will get you the job. Interviewers will measure your friendliness and communication skills. If you come across well during the interview you’ll likely interact more effectively with co-workers, clients, or managers. If you don’t establish a connection during the interview process the hiring manager or recruiter may assume you are not a good communicator or generally pleasant to deal with, so making a good first impression is highly important. Here are some suggestions for how to create rapport with your interview team:

  • Greet the interviewers warmly as if you’re happy to see them. Stand up, shake their hand, and share that you appreciate the opportunity.
  • Smile and be genuine in your interactions. Try to express positive emotions, even when the interview questions are difficult. Always be optimistic and enthusiastic about chatting with your interviewer as you share your story.
  • Make small talk by asking the interviewer or recruiter questions such as, “How is your day going so far?” Ask the interviewers how long they’ve worked at the company or whether they’ve had other roles at the company. This will help relax the interviewer and warm up the conversation.
  • Sit up straight and lean into the interview questions to show that you are engaged. Always make eye contact to show you’re listening to what they’re saying. Acknowledge that you’re listening by nodding and affirming the conversation with, “I see,” or, “I understand.”
  • Many times you’ll interview with a team of people, so try to pay attention to everyone in the room as much as you can. This is hard to do sometimes, especially if it’s one primary person doing the interview. However, it’s important to try to build rapport with everyone in the room.
  • At the end of the interview, thank everyone for their time. Follow up immediately with an email to your contact and reiterate your interest in the position.

Top Stack can put you in touch with major employers who are standing by to interview you. Practice these interview skills by reaching out to our team to see what’s available in your community. Contact us today.

What You Need to Know About Working with a Recruiter

What if you had a free human resource professional to help you find your next job? What if that resource could help you improve your resume and connect you to your next job? Recruiters can do all that, and more. If you haven’t worked with a recruiter, this article will help you understand how you can benefit from establishing this relationship.

Understanding the Role of a Recruiter in Your Job Search

Applying to jobs from a job board is like tossing your resume into a black hole. Many times you never even hear back from the company you’re applying to. If you’ve been longing for a more human-centered presence in your job hunt, it’s probably time to reach out to a recruiter and build a relationship.

Some companies have internal recruiters and you may have worked with one in the past to interview for a job at their company. But some external recruiters work for third-party staffing agencies. These firms provide additional help to companies seeking new employees. They usually have a close tie to a hiring manager and can help fill you in on the company’s long-term goals, culture, and process for employment.

Third-party staffing firms often work with several employers and the benefit is that they may hear about jobs even before they’re posted. They often have a unique insight into a company’s hiring practices. If the recruiter is a good one, they are heavily networked with the local community, which makes them a terrific resource for job seekers.

Did we mention that this is a free service? That’s because the employer pays the recruiting overhead as part of their fee when they hire a candidate. Look for a recruiter that works in your field. There are recruiting firms that work in healthcare, manufacturing, technology, and all kinds of other professions. Start by selecting a firm that specializes in the types of jobs you’re looking for. Check their website and connect with some of their recruiters on LinkedIn. Then pick your target for building a relationship that will help you find your next job.

Benefits of Working with a Recruiter

You and your recruiting partner both have the same goal in mind; finding your next great job. Here are some of the benefits of working with a recruiter:

  • They will keep your search confidential and are careful to submit your resume and pitch your candidacy to firms that are the best fit for your skills.
  • They will help you revamp your resume so you stand a better chance of finding a job.
  • Give you feedback on how you interviewed and what you need to work on or improve.
  • Share background and insider information on the company you’re considering.
  • Discuss whether your salary expectations are in line with the market.
  • Get your resume out to a huge network of employers.

If you’re looking for a job, contact Top Stack. We will find you the best recruiter who can advocate for your candidacy with employers and find you a better job.

This is How A Temporary Job Can Benefit Your Career

Employees today have more choices than ever before. With the unemployment rate at historically low levels and the flexible work economy thriving, you have options for building your career that you may not have realized. One of those options is a temporary job. While temp jobs may have had negative connotations in the past, they’ve gained new status as flexible ways to improve your skills and build a stronger resume in a shorter amount of time.

The New Work Reality

The American Staffing Association (ASA) says there are more than three million temporary and contract workers engaged at staffing agencies each week. American companies hire almost 17 million of these workers each year. Some of their statistics illustrate how temporary jobs have new validity in today’s economy:

  • 76% of temp employees work full-time.
  • Almost half say it’s a good way to get a permanent job.
  • Nine of 10 say temporary jobs make them more employable.

These workers cite the flexibility of the temp job as something both highly attractive and the primary reason for choosing these positions. The research from the ASA also says the average wage is $17 per hour for temp workers but some make more than $100 per hour depending on their skillset.

The benefits of temporary jobs are myriad. They include:

  • As the ASA data shows, flexibility is the key driver for workers snagging lucrative temporary jobs. A temp job can flex with your life; if you need a special schedule or only want to commit to a specific timeframe for working, a temporary job gives you options that you may not have with permanent employment.
  • For workers that may not have the experience to land a full-time permanent position, a temporary job is a good way to add skills to your resume quickly. Ultimately, these temporary positions may lead to an entirely new career.
  • Temp jobs can expose you to an entirely new network, adding new business connections and exposure to new people. It can also add new references to your resume or LinkedIn profile that you didn’t have before.
  • A temporary job could also get your foot into a company where you haven’t been able to make headway. Many of these jobs can go permanent, but again, you have the power to pick and choose your next steps.
  • Temping in a position allows you to try it before you buy it, exposing you to the workplace culture while you get to know a company before making a long-term career commitment.
  • A temporary job can also close or eliminate gaps in your resume when you cannot work full-time.

Today, temping is the new normal. Millions of workers now take advantage of the benefits of contract employment for the flexibility and high pay these roles offer. It’s a positive step toward shoring up your career and will allow you to learn and modernize your skills. If you haven’t considered contract work, maybe now is the time.

The Top Stack team will work closely with you to determine your career goals and see if temporary work can get you on the right track. We specialize in partnerships to help you succeed in the job market. Contact us to learn how we help you today.

4 Tips for How to Set and Achieve Goals at Work

Goal setting at work should be part of a long-term strategy to keep you engaged in the job at hand. It’s important both for ensuring you’re meeting the company mission but there is also the satisfaction of achieving your personal career goals. This article will give you some pointers on how to make goal-setting an ongoing part of your daily routine.

Set the Baseline

Setting goals at work requires you to understand the basic interconnections that make up your immediate team. Consider how your goals affect the overarching framework as well as your personal tasks. How will your efforts contribute to the department you’re in? How will achieving your goals meet the mission of the organization? When setting annual, quarterly, monthly, or even daily goals, considering how your efforts will affect everyone around you will help keep you motivated and engaged. Write all this down and move to step two.

Engage Your Boss in Goal Setting

Next, speak with your direct supervisor about your goal-setting process. Have a candid conversation about your career goals and contributions. Share your current accomplishments and how these new goals will lead you on the career path you’ve been aiming for. Your boss should be thrilled you’re working so hard to hit your personal goals and should recognize that your efforts will only make them look better in the long run.

Methodically Control Your Fate

Mapping your long- and short-term goals require that you consider the reality of the work world. The simple truth is that some things are out of your control. Try to plan enough to counteract any factors that are out of your reach, while continuing to forge ahead by knocking down the tasks you can control. For example, do you have goals that are affected by other departments or employees? How will those factors potentially inhibit your efforts to achieve your goals? Try to set up a workaround and plan for how to still get to the end of the finish line even if external factors exist that could derail your efforts to succeed.

Where Do You Want to Go in the Future?

The ultimate exercise in goal setting is to determine not where you are now but where you want to go in the future. Today, most people switch jobs several times in their career path. Start to think about what your goal is beyond the current job you’re in, whether it’s a promotion within your existing company, a new credential, or a job somewhere else. All of these long-term goals can be achieved when you map out your immediate tasks and think about the big picture. Creating goals at work will help you find clarity on what happens beyond the day-to-day work. It will help you begin to envision your long-term career path while setting a series of tasks you’ll need to knock down as part of the steps to getting there.

If you find that part of your long-term strategy is finding a new career path, contact Top Stack. Our goal is your goal – finding the best job to move you toward your long-term career success.