Standout Tactics to Help You Talk About Your Strengths in a Job Interview

August 24th, 2017

Some of the most common interview questions are also some of the most terrifying. You’re likely to be asked about your weaknesses and, of course, your strengths. And while it might seem obvious how to discuss your strengths, there are some things you can do to really sell yourself in an interview. What are some of the tactics that can help you stand out from the crowd.

Brainstorm about your strengths.

Before you go to your next interview, spend some time on this exercise. Get out a blank sheet of paper and start writing down all the things you feel are your biggest strengths. Don’t leave anything out. The goal of this is to have a huge list to choose from. Write down everything you can think of such as how you manage your time, how reliable you are, what you love to do most. Don’t leave any stone unturned.

Narrow your focus.

Now, narrow your focus. Look through your list and see how many of your strengths are just a variety of ways to say the same thing. For example, if you list time management skills, ability to hit deadlines and reliability, they all point to the same personality trait. Choose just one or two of these overarching strengths and work from those.

Prepare your examples.

Next, you need to have concrete examples to help sell your skills to an employer. Let’s stick with the example of time management. How have your time management skills positively affected your career in the past. Be specific. For instance, if you had a very time sensitive project for a demanding client who had bad experiences in the past, did you work out your plan of attack to give yourself plenty of time to complete the project with days to spare? How did this impress the customer?

Be accurate.

Of course, when describing your strengths to a potential employer you also need to accurate about the details of your account, especially when it comes to something verifiable through a reference check. But you also want to be authentic and accurate to give yourself the best shot at the job. For example, if you say your biggest strength is time management but you’re not actually that great with it, it won’t take long for the new employer to realize they’ve made a mistake in hiring you.

Don’t be too humble.

When you do settle on a specific strength to focus on as your answer to this inevitable question, don’t be too shy about sharing it. We are programmed to avoid bragging, but that is exactly what you need to do to sell your strengths in an interview. You need to find that fine line between confidence and arrogance and step right up to it without falling over. Confidence will win you points in an interview every time, so don’t be afraid to tell them about your accomplishments.

Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Pasadena TX

Are you prepared to answer questions about your strengths in your next interview? Contact Meador Staffing, now hiring for jobs in Pasadena TX, today to learn more.

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Don’t Despair! How to Rock a Panel Job Interview

August 10th, 2017

You’re never quite expecting a panel interview, much in the way no one expects the Spanish Inquisition. Even with advanced notice, you may find yourself wondering how exactly you can pull off a conversation with three, four, five, or more people at a time. But you don’t have to panic. You can rock the panel job interview even if you’re nervous and anxious. Here are our tips for acing this interview and standing out among the crowd.

Acknowledge everyone on the panel.

When a one-on-one interview, you probably make sure you pay some attention to your eye contact. It’s equally as important that you do so with a panel of people. Be sure to acknowledge everyone on the panel throughout your conversation. Make it natural, though, not systematic. If you look at each person for a few seconds before starting the rotation over again, it will start to become noticeable.

Be prepared to repeat yourself.

Everyone you’re speaking with will have a different attention level, and that means some may listen attentively to every word you say while others will be thinking about their next question. For this reason, you may be asked similar questions more than once. Don’t act frustrated because you’ve already answered. Be gracious and give them the information they’re looking for.

Figure out who needs more convincing.

You will quickly start to notice the people on the panel who are on your side and those who are not. You don’t need to convince your biggest fan, your real job is to convince the people who are on the fence. Spend time addressing their concerns, react to their body language positively, and showcase why you’re a good fit.

Prepare for an off-the-wall question.

Especially in a panel interview, there is always someone who wants to see how you react when you’re flustered. Prepare for a question that might seem off the wall. Answer it to the best of your ability. Just don’t react in a way that will give them the satisfaction that they “gotcha” with the question. If the question is inappropriate, let them know that but give them relevant related information.

Thank everyone on the panel.

Of course, after you leave the interview your job isn’t over. Make sure you get cards for everyone you met with. Then, send an individual thank you note to each one. It doesn’t matter if you decide to do emails or send a handwritten note through the mail, just make sure you are thanking each person individually.

Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Austin TX

Are you ready for a panel interview? Contact the team at Meador Staffing, a top staffing agency in Austin, to learn how we can help!

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6 Warning Signs That You Shouldn’t Take a Job

July 27th, 2017

Sometimes when you’re in the thick of a job search, it can feel like any job offer will be necessary to maintain your sanity. But the truth is, accepting the wrong job will only lead to bigger problems down the road. But what should you be looking for to help you determine whether or not you should accept a job offer? If you notice any of these six red flags in the job search, it may be time to graciously walk away. Here’s what to look for.

1. Poor Communication

If at any time throughout the process, the hiring manager engages in inconsistent communication or insulting behavior, it may be time to cut bait. For some, that could be a microaggression that makes it clear you’re not the type of person they would rather be working with. Or it might be an inability to connect with you in a timely manner.

2. Bad Office Attitude

When you interview, pay attention to the office attitude as a whole. Are people happy to be at work? Is the overall mood positive? If not, can you determine why? You don’t want to work in an environment where no one seems excited to be there. If you can visit on more than one occasion, that will help you determine if it was just a bad day.

3. Bad Reputation

Do your homework. Before accepting a job offer, check out any news related articles about the company. Read former employee reviews on sites like Glass Door. Look for financial information to make sure the company is healthy. Taking into account sour grapes, use this to make an informed decision about your offer.

4. Personality Conflict

Do you genuinely like the person you would be working with? If you think that your personalities won’t match up, then it might not be a good idea to take the job. Once heads start to butt, it can be far too late to make repairs. If you feel tension with anyone you meet with, just politely walk away.

5. Unclear Job Duties

Throughout the process, the company should be able to effectively communicate the expectations of the job. If they seem unclear on what the job will entail, how can you expect to have clear instructions and proper training? If things seem inconsistent, it might be time to turn them down.

6. Inconsistent Policies

Speaking of inconsistencies, you should also pay attention to corporate policies. If their environment and their policies seem to be on very different pages, it might be a red flag. If their policies seem reactionary, you may not be fully protected if something happens they’re not prepared for. Make an informed decision before accepting any offer.

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How to Write Smarter Job Search Emails

July 13th, 2017

It is simply a reality of the 21st-century job search – you will have to write professional emails throughout the process. There are plenty of times when emailing is going to be preferred both by you and the person you’re connecting with. Let’s look at some of the times when you will be emailing throughout your job search and we can provide some easy to use templates to get you started.

Initial Inquiry

In today’s marketplace, you’re probably sending a lot of resumes via email through online job postings. You may already know that you shouldn’t just attach a document without some accompanying email. If you do that, the recruiter probably won’t open it. But your initial inquiry should act as your cover letter.

This cover letter needs to include important information that might not be on your resume, your contact information, and your interest level. Also be sure to address it directly to the hiring manager or recruiter. If you can’t do that, never use “To Whom It May Concern.” Simply begin with “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon.”

Here is a template to get you started:

Good Morning [Mr. or Ms. and their Name, if known],

I saw your listing online and I’m interested in learning more about the [job title] position.

I have [# of years] experience with [this work] and believe I would be a good fit.

[Insert a specific example of how this experience has helped you in the past in a similar position.]

I am available to talk at your convenience. Call me at [phone number] or email me at [email address] so we can set up a time to meet.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

[Your Name]

Thank You Note

After any interview, you probably know that you should be sending a Thank You note. Some people prefer the handwritten note over the email, but there are limitations to that option as well. They take longer to arrive and may not include all the details you want to convey.

A Thank You note is a great way to share information you may have forgotten in the interview. For example:

Good Afternoon [name],

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me. I enjoyed meeting your staff, loved your office, and am excited about the opportunity.

[In this section, start with something like “I forgot to mention in the interview, your job posting specifically stated that you were looking for someone with (experience.) I have worked with that in the past and (share details about your experience).]

I look forward to hearing back from you.

[Your Name]

Interview Follow Up

After an interview, you should also follow up with a potential employer. During your meeting, you should have asked when they expected to make a decision. Then, after you’ve sent your initial thank you note, you can mark the calendar with the time frame. For instance, if they said “about a week” connect with them 5 days later and remind them you’re still interested. For instance:

Good Morning [name],

I really enjoyed our meeting on [date] and wanted to find out if you had made a decision regarding the open position in [department or office.]

I am available and interested in talking with you more. If you have any more questions for me, you can reach me at [phone number] or [email address].

I look forward to hearing from you.

[Your name]

Online Networking

Emails are also a staple of online networking, such as the generated emails from LinkedIn when you connect with a new person. But these general emails don’t share any information and don’t give any reason the person should accept your invitation. You should always customize it for your specific needs.

For example, you may have a mutual professional acquaintance. You can reference that. Or they may work in an industry you are interested in or have worked in before. They may be in your city and you’re looking for more local connections. Add a paragraph about why you’re reaching out and they’re more likely to connect.

As always, you should customize all of the templates we’ve provided here and use them only as a jumping off point.

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Do you want to know more ways to effectively communicate during your job search? Contact the recruiters at Meador Staffing today and work with leaders in staffing services in Houston TX!

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Bilingual? You’re in Hot Demand

June 29th, 2017

If you’re bilingual, there may be some great news for you on the business horizon. In the last 5 years, the demand for talented bilingual employees has grown significantly. If you’re a professional at any level and you can speak more than one language, you should be able to leverage these skills to advance your career. So what can you do to ensure that you’re included in this hiring boom and approach the right employers for your next job?

Jobs at all skill levels.

Bilingual employees are in high demand across the board. From general labor to administrative support and all the way up to upper management, technology, and financial positions. Regardless of the type of job you want or your long term goals, if you’re proficient in another language you have an advantage in the workplace.

Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic.

Companies hiring bilingual employees are looking at multiple languages, but the top three appear to be Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic. And that makes sense considering the global aspects of the modern workplace. If you’re fluent in any of these languages, be sure to make that prominent on your resume.

Texas at the top of the list.

Unsurprisingly, when looking at states that are focusing on bilingual hiring, Texas is at the top of the list. For a variety of reasons, Spanish speakers are in high demand throughout the Lone Star state, but other languages are being sought as well. If you’re a bilingual professional in Texas, seek out the right opportunities.

Proving fluency.

Of course, it isn’t always as easy as simply saying you’re fluent in any of these languages. Companies need to have some assurance that you can do what you say. They may provide testing in the other language to determine if you’re proficient in both writing and speaking as well as understanding someone else and potentially understanding dialects. Be willing to take these assessments.

Writing your resume.

You also need to be able to market your skills in another language in your resume so you will get calls back from top companies in Texas. Be sure to list it prominently. And, if possible, provide data that will support how your language skills have benefited you and a previous employer in the past. This can also be demonstrated in a cover letter, which you should write in the primary language but perhaps include a short paragraph demonstrating how you write in another language.

Work With a Top Employment Agency in Houston

Are you looking for a job to utilize your bilingual skills? Contact Meador Staffing, now hiring for jobs in Houston TX.

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Don’t Overthink It! 5 Strategies to Smarter Interviews

June 16th, 2017

Interviewing is stressful, there’s no doubt about that. But are you actually making it more difficult on yourself by over thinking the process? It can be easy for us to get in our own way by self-sabotaging the experience. Before your next interview, consider these tips to avoid overthinking the interview and prepare for specific questions.

Take a break from practicing.

You’ve been told over and over again that you should practice your interviewing skills. But there comes a time when the practice just becomes a broken record. Directly before your interview, take a break from your practicing. You’ve prepped, you’re ready. Now is the time to let the chips fall where they may.

Prepare a thank you note.

Many people lament that they forgot important stuff in the interview. There is good news, your thank you note can give you another chance to say what you meant to say. Before the interview, create a template for what you think will be important to include. After the interview, review it and complete it with what you learned.

Don’t get caught up in details.

Sure, details are important when you’re telling someone how much money you saved your company. But when you get caught up in too many details, you begin to lose site of the bigger picture. Consider the two or three details that are important. Then use your interview time to tell stories about your accomplishments and experience.

Learn from past mistakes.

You’ve probably had a few interviews in your life. Consider the things from past interviews that you wish you had improved. Focus on those things rather than trying to completely reinvent the wheel. This can help you feel more relaxed in your interview rather than trying to remember too many things.

Don’t stop looking.

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes that job seekers make is trying to put all their eggs in one basket. Just because you’ve had an interview that you think went great, don’t pin all your hopes on an offer from that company. Keep looking. Then, whatever happens, you’ll be prepared.

Work with a top employment agency in Austin

Are you looking for more interviewing advice? Contact the team at Meador Staffing, now hiring for jobs in Austin TX.

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One Skill that Helps Your Job Search Each Time

May 25th, 2017

Your job search can feel frustrating if you’ve been at it for a while. But regardless of how long you’ve spent looking for your next job, there is one skill that will help you each and every time. If you focus on this one thing, you’ll find the process of finding your next job easier. What is this magic skill? It isn’t magic at all. The one skill you need to help your job search move forward is communication. How do you improve your communication skills and use them to advance your search? Here’s how.

Write a perfect cover letter.

While most people think the resume is the most important thing you can create to enhance your job search, the cover letter may be even more important. Use your written communication skills to convey your desire for their specific position. Share why you’re interested, and why they should be interested in you. And the details matter. Make sure you address the letter directly to the hiring manager if you can get that information. Never address it “to whom it may concern.”

Create an efficient resume.

Your resume does have to be well crafted, but your communications skills come into play by determining how to get the most important information in front of a hiring manager as effectively as possible. A resume doesn’t have to be an all-encompassing document that describes every detail of your professional experience. A good resume can communicate your most important information using fewer words.

Be clear in your emails.

Throughout the process, you’ll need to send emails to foster communication, and this is the tough spot that many people get into. Email is difficult for conveying emotion or other subtleties of human communication, so you need to be sure you’re clear at all times. Restate questions, provide details to demonstrate you understand the information, and ask questions if you’re not certain about the information.

Ace your next interview.

Of course, face to face communication is also critical. If you’ve managed to communicate effectively in writing, you’ll be asked for an interview. And if your interpersonal skills aren’t as impressive as your writing, you may hit the barrier for the job. Pay attention to your body language as well as your words since your posture and handshake can communicate as much as your answers. Incorporating storytelling into your answers is a great way to engage the listener and make them want more.

Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Austin

Have you honed your communication skills to help you in your job search? Contact Meador Staffing to work with our awesome team of recruiters and a top staffing agency in Austin TX.

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The Right Way to Put Temporary Assignments on Your Resume

May 11th, 2017

When you’ve been working short term, temporary assignments, you may be wondering how to include these on your resume. There is a right way to emphasize this experience and to sell it as a positive to a future employer. So, before you say something that might trigger a negative response, consider these ways to include temp jobs on your resume.

Demonstrate consistency.

Many times, individuals will work temporary jobs to help close the gap between full-time jobs. There is nothing wrong with expressing this on a resume. However, most experts will agree that rather than listing each individual assignment, lump it together under the headline of the staffing agency you’ve worked for. This can also show that you’re consistent in your work with one company and promote your loyalty and skills.

Show skills gained.

You should also use your short-term jobs as a way to showcase the skills you’ve learned or things you’ve accomplished. This is especially effective in a functional resume. Rather than listing each job you’ve had in chronological order, create a section at the top for your accomplishments. Use what you’ve learned in multiple jobs to help sell your skills.

Focus on determination.

Continuing to work temporary positions shows that you’re determined. Companies like to see people without gaps in their resume. So what better way to do that than to stay working even when you know it won’t be a long-term opportunity? Use this to your advantage. Show that you are dedicated to continued learning and continued employment even in the face of adversity.

Provide references.

You can also talk to your staffing agency or particularly successful clients to provide references for you when you apply for future positions. If you are a particularly loyal, skilled, or pleasant employee, they may be happy to talk to potential employers on your behalf. It shows that they had a good experience working with you and will give you more credibility to be hired.

Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Clear Lake

Are you looking for a new position to showcase your skills and gain new experience? Contact Meador, now hiring for jobs in Clear Lake TX, to learn more today.

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What Is the Goal of Your Job Search?

April 27th, 2017

Every person looking for a new job has a goal. You may not think about it in detail, but it’s there. And it’s an important part of your search. By knowing what your ultimate goal is, you can find the right job for you moving forward. So, while you’re looking, think about some of these common job search goals and determine which applies to you. If you stick to your mission and don’t allow yourself to get frustrated, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

You just want a job.

If you’re unemployed, the primary goal of your job search is probably to find a job. So how do you approach the job search when this is what you want to get out of your experience? In this case, look at all the possible options. Find a way that your experience can fit in with the needs of employers in your area.

You want a better job.

Maybe you are unhappy in your current position and you want a better job. The important thing to determine here is what constitutes “better?” What is it that you don’t like about your job? Is it your supervisor or coworkers? Is it the work that you’re doing? Is it the environment? Focus on these aspects when searching for a new job.

You want a new industry.

You could be interested in making an even broader change. Maybe you’ve been working in office administration but you want to transition to accounting because of continued education or simply an interest level. Focus on your transferable skills to find a job outside of your current role.

You want better hours or commute.

Your work/life balance may also be affected by your current job. Maybe you want more flexibility to have time at home with your family. Or maybe your commute is too extensive and creates more stress at the end of the day when you should really be able to relax with friends. Look for jobs that offer the hours you need, are closer to home, or have work from home options.

You want more money.

Of course, there is always the question of money. Do you think you’re being underpaid? Or have your expenses changed due to life circumstances? If your current company is unable, or unwilling, to provide a raise you may want to begin the process of looking for a new opportunity. Be realistic and do your homework by looking up the expected salary for your job and location on Salary.com.

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Want Monday to Feel Like Friday? Tips to Do Just That

April 13th, 2017

The common phrase is “Thank goodness it’s Friday,” but very few people say the same about Mondays. In fact, Mondays have become something of an office joke. “Someone has a case of the Mondays!” But you don’t have to live your life dreading the first day of the workweek. In fact, with just a few lifestyle changes you can make every workday feel full of hope and energy, just like Friday does. Here are some tips to help you start your week off on a positive note.

Get a good night’s sleep

One of the greatest enemies to productivity is poor sleep. While you may feel like the weekend is a good time to get out of your regular routine, but inconsistency can also have a negative effect on your workweek. On Sunday night, treat bedtime like you would on any weeknight. Go to bed at a normal time so you can wake up refreshed. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoid technology after you get in bed. Keep the temperature cooler than you would during the day.

Stay hydrated

Another challenge many people have is staying hydrated. Far too many people operate in a state of constant dehydration because we aren’t as aware of our body’s need for water. Once you feel thirsty, you are already experiencing dehydration. Stay on top of your need for liquids. Focus on water rather than sugary or caffeinated beverages, which might give you a quick boost of energy but the experience will be temporary.

Plan ahead on Fridays

Many people feel like they’re scrambling on Monday to catch up on things they’ve missed over the weekend. But what if you could have a little peace of mind on Monday morning without having to work all weekend long? For the last hour of work on Friday afternoon, take some time to organize your work and make a plan so you can hit the ground running on Monday morning.

Have a positive attitude

Finally, sometimes the difference between a bad day and a good day is all in how you approach it. Maintaining a positive attitude can help you stay focused, not get down about things you can’t control, and approach your work with interest rather than frustration. In some ways, this is similar to the mindset of “fake it until you make it.” You can use your power of positivity to approach even the most boring or difficult of tasks with a fresh mind.

Work with a top staffing agency in The Woodlands

If you are ready for a new job that makes every day feel like Friday, Meador Staffing can help. Contact our team of recruiters today to work with a top staffing agency in The Woodlands.

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