The Best Questions to Ask At the End of the Interview

A few great questions to ask at the end of an interview include “Beyond the hard skills required to successfully perform the job, what soft skills would serve the company and position best?” “what have past employees done to succeed in this position?” and more.

Interviews are hard. You meet with strangers for an hour and somehow have to thrill them to the point where they offer you a job. If you’re shy or lack self-confidence, it can make the interview process awkward and uncomfortable. Even if you are the most qualified person for the role, the interview could be a slippery slope that you have a hard time with.

One of the most awkward moments of an interview can come at the end. Is there a way to neatly wrap up the discussion in a polite, professional manner that leaves the hiring managers wanting more? This article will give you some great ideas for wrapping up the conversation.

Best Ways to End an Interview

Finding the right questions to ask your interviewer shows that you have done your research and have skin in the game. This includes the end of the interview process, where the hiring team may tell you that they’ll get back to you. Instead of leaving the ball in their court, why not try one of these questions that will show the interviewers you are very interested in the position—and ready to go to work.

When the interviewers ask you, “Do you have any questions for us?” try one of these questions to leave on a positive note.

  1. Who is the ideal candidate for this position, and how do I compare?
    This is a good way to determine if your skills are even close to what the hiring team is looking for. If you don’t seem like a match, you’ll know it on the spot, so you can move on with your search instead of waiting for the company to get back to you with a “No.”
  2. What soft skills are you looking for in a successful candidate?
    Soft skills are the ones you need to get along with the team and fit into the company culture.
  3. What have past employees done to succeed in this position?
    If it’s a new role, this question doesn’t fit. But if it isn’t, this is a great question to determine what metrics you’ll be held to and what the company believes is important. It could also lead you to ask what kind of advancement is available to the person in the position.
  4. How has this position evolved?
    Again, this is another question that may not apply. It’s important to know if the person in the role before you was fired or let go. This is an excellent question to get a sense of company stability and how the firm has evolved.
  5. What would a typical day look like in this position?
    Don’t you want to know what the job really entails? This is a good question to understand workflows, who you report to, and the daily grind.

Ending your interview with these intelligent, respectful, but probing questions, is an important way to leave hiring teams with a positive impression. For more tips and tricks, why not send your resume to the team at Top Stack. We have great jobs and information to share. Contact us today.

These Tips Will Help You Stop Procrastinating at Work

One in five people admits to being chronic procrastinators. Procrastination is so common; we think these numbers are low. Procrastinators can let work pile up until the pressure is too much or the deadline too close—and something has to give. While procrastinators may say that all that added pressure makes them more creative, is the quality of their work generally better or worse if they’re rushing to get it done? While you’ll have to be the judge, we do have some tips to help you stop procrastinating at work to (finally) accomplish your goals.

Start with the To Do

Let’s go old school for a second and make a list. Limit your list to one to three things that you want to get done that day. Do it every morning before you start work. These tasks are the big accomplishments for the day; the rest is just cake icing. Make it your goal to get the tasks on the list accomplished and do whatever is necessary to make it happen. This includes blocking time on your calendar where you turn off Slack and email, close your office door, and force yourself to concentrate on just those couple of things. If you can do this, every day, you will break your procrastination habit.

Work Backwards from the Deadline

Developers are familiar with this concept. In Agile environments, large complex projects, like a software build, start at the deliverable and map their way back through each task to get to the goal. You can use this same technique no matter what you’re trying to avoid. Say you have a task due on Friday with multiple milestones along the way. Benchmark those milestones throughout the week, and then add them to the day’s task list. By the time Friday hits, you won’t have to pull an all-nighter to get the job done.

Procrastination versus Percolation—What’s the Difference?

Noodling over a project to solve a problem isn’t procrastination. It’s an important part of the creative process that lets you solve a problem. A complex problem may require a walk around the block. You may need to take a break to go to lunch. You may even need to sleep on it. While these things are going on, your subconscious may be working to solve the issue. What you can do is set limits on how much time you’ll spend percolating. That way, you’ll know when you cross the border into procrastination.

Create a Fake Deadline

You’ve heard about fake news? To stay ahead of deadlines, try to forget the real deadline and create a fake one that’s earlier. If the deadline is weeks or months out, setting benchmarks is the first step. But set each of those milestones just slightly ahead of the real deadline. Your efficiency will wow your boss!

Do It Now

Finding a new job isn’t something you should procrastinate over, but so many people hate the drama of job searching, they put it off. The time is now to look for better opportunities. Contact us today. We can help you get started.

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.