How To Be Assertive During Your Interview

Interviews are stressful events. Unless you’re in the enviable position of job shopping, you’ve got a lot riding on the outcome of any interview at a company you want to work. The pitfall of all that stress is that it can make you question things you usually take for granted, like your competence and likability. This, in turn, can undermine your confidence and assertiveness during the interview itself. If you’ve been down this road before, keep reading for tips on how to remain assertive during your interview.  

Body Language 

It’s very hard to oversell the role of body language in selling yourself to a hiring manager. The problem is that body language generally happens without a lot of input from your conscious mind. That means you need to pay attention to what your body is doing during the interview. Make sure you maintain good posture with your back straight. Stand up and initiate the handshake with your interviewer. Keep your posture open when sitting. No matter how nervous you feel, don’t fidget. Of course, maintain solid eye contact.  

Ask Questions 

Don’t let the interview end without asking several meaningful questions; a willingness to quiz the interviewer signals that you believe in yourself. Make sure that the questions are relevant to you and your position. For example, you can ask what goals the company is looking to achieve by hiring you. You can also ask more generally what goals the company has for the department or unit you’d be joining. Consider culture-based questions, such as what management style the company prefers or what makes someone a good personality fit. If all else fails, you can ask what you could expect to work on during a normal day.  

Ask for the Position 

It might seem counter-intuitive since you’re there interviewing for the job, but you should still ask for the position. A lot of people walk out of an interview knowing they don’t want the job and won’t take it if offered. Asking for the position at the end of the interview does two things for you. It tells the interviewer that you’re very likely to take the job if it’s offered. It reaffirms your confidence in yourself and your ability to do the job.  

Assertiveness Is a Learned Trait 

Assertiveness comes naturally to some people, but most people must learn to do it. It might feel like you’re faking it during the interview, but think of it as practice for the workplace and the future. The good news is that, like most learned behaviors, assertiveness becomes more comfortable with practice.  

What Not To Do When Working With A Recruiter

Working with a recruiter has upsides. They can connect you with positions that may not be public knowledge yet or smooth over concerns that might otherwise cost you an interview. With that said, here are some things to avoid doing when working with a recruiter.

Don’t Act Unprofessionally

The recruiter is the person who will present you and your skills to potential employers. You need to present them with the exact persona you’d present to an employer. That means dressing professionally, responding promptly to calls or emails, and showing up on time.

Don’t Provide Financial Information

It’s easy to think of the recruiter as your friend since they’re trying to help you find a job. In the end, though, they work for someone else. More importantly, they’ve got a profit motive for getting you placed quickly. Don’t share that you’ll work for less than your target salary. If they know that, they may present you to companies offering lower salaries if it will get you hired faster.

Don’t Divulge Future Plans

You may know that you’re maximum shelf-life at a new job is two years because you’ll be opening a small business then. Your recruiter doesn’t need to know those plans. Employers don’t like hiring people they know will leave in the near future. Recruiters know it. Some recruiters will steer you away from better employers to preserve their relationship with that company.

Don’t Be Too Flexible

If you’re months into a job search with no results, you may think that you need to expand your horizons. Don’t tell your recruiter that you’re open to any job, anywhere. That doesn’t make the process easier or faster. A focused search in a specific city or area will go much faster and smoother.

Don’t Ignore Their Feedback

If you’ve been on a few job interviews and didn’t get offers, there is a good chance those employers touched base with your recruiter. Your recruiter’s feedback will come out of those conversations. Ignoring that advice only hurts your chances of getting future offers from potential employers.

Don’t Complain

Have you ever dealt with a coworker who complains all the time? It’s tedious and makes you want to avoid that person whenever possible. If all you do is complain to your recruiter, they’ll feel the same way about you.

Treat Recruiters Like Potential Employers

The safest bet when working with a recruiter is to treat that person like you would a potential employer. Focus on behaving professionally but keep sensitive information private. You’d never tell a potential employer you’d work for less or plan on quitting in two years, so don’t tell your recruiter. By approaching your recruiter this way, you arm them to present you to employers in the right light.

Are you tired of tackling the job search process by yourself? Let Gallman Consulting guide you into the right interview with the right company.

Interviewing During the Coronavirus Outbreak

As a recruiter for the past 20 years I have experienced some interesting challenges – COVID 19, being the latest.  We are being bombarded with news (some fake news) and some very serious concerns are being raised.  For Gallman Consulting – The safety and well-being of our Staff is paramount to us.  Therefore, we have advised them how to take care of themselves, protect others, and monitor the latest developments per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But….    WE ARE WORKING!!!    We are staying in touch with clients and continuing to provide our expert services.  

For clients who are especially concerned about face to face / onsite interviews, we recommend the following:

  • Do a more in-depth phone interview before bringing potential candidates into your facility / offices
  • Consider a Skype / Zoom or any number of virtual interview systems that are available.   

If a face to face interview becomes necessary, we will check with the candidates to find out if the following applies to them:

  • Traveled outside of the US in the last month.
  • Had contact with someone else who has traveled outside of the US in the last month.
  • Had contact with someone who has the coronavirus.

You can ask these same questions when a candidate arrives for an interview, and even have them sign a form to verify the above.  Of course – it is a good idea to have hand sanitizer available on the premises. We can also ask the candidate if they are willing to wear a face mask if you prefer.

Gallman Consulting is ready to assist you in navigating this public health challenge and furthering the well-being of all employees.  We remain available to service your needs.  Our contingency plans ensure our internal processes will continue without interruption and you will have the candidates you need to fill your open positions.

We are in this together!

Best Regards,

Georgette
TE BU0901

Georgette Sandifer
Senior Director of Placement
Phone: 803-744-3304
gsandifer@gpsjobs.net
www.gallman-consulting.com

Common Resume Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Your resume is the first and often the last thing a hiring manager sees about you. That means you must do everything in your power to avoid getting screened out at the resume review stage of the process. To that end, here are five of the most common resume mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

1. Typos and Grammar Errors

Typos and grammar errors are one of the easiest mistakes to fix. That’s the reason why leaving any on your resume is one of the fastest ways to get cut from consideration. Take advantage of spellcheck and grammar checking features in word processing programs to catch obvious errors. Next, print out a copy and read it out loud to yourself. Seeing it on paper and hearing it can help you spot any lingering mistakes. After that, get someone you trust to read it over and look for errors.

2. Not Customizing Your Resume

Many companies and staffing services use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to identify good candidates for a job. One of the things an ATS does is look for matching keywords. That means it looks on your resume for phrases that appear in the job listing. Let’s say a job listing mentions:

  • Prepare bill of lading
  • Operate lift truck and pallet jacks
  • Oversee shipping activity

Those three phrases should appear on your resume. It kicks your resume to the top of the candidate pile.

3. Oversharing

A good resume is 1-2 pages. If your resume goes beyond two pages, it means you’re sharing too much information about each job. Remember, you’re sharing highlights about the position and your accomplishments. Maybe you picked up an award or certification at a job. Maybe one of your ideas saved the company a lot of money. Share that kind of information, rather than mundane details.

4. Get Specific

Get specific about what you did, rather than make general statements. Let’s say your last job was in fast food. A bad description looks like this:

“I handled customer service and worked in the grill.”

That description doesn’t tell the hiring manager anything. A good description looks more like this:

“Served as a shift manager, handling customer concerns about their orders, supervising 3-6 workers every shift, as well as operating the cash register and preparing food as needed.”

That description gives specific information about your responsibilities and skills.

5. Contact Information

A shocking number of job applicants get so focused on the jobs and structure of their resume that they neglect their contact information. Some people leave old contact information, and others forget to add it altogether. Make sure your contact information is at the top of the resume and correct.

Mind the Details

Crafting a good resume means that you mind the details. Is all the information correct? Is it free of typos and grammar errors? Does it include key phrases from the job description? Is it specific and concise? By focusing on these issues first, you avoid common resume mistakes and improve your odds of landing an interview.

How To Plan For A Successful Group Interview

Many companies select group interviews over individual interviews. Some companies want to gauge how you respond under added stress that can mimic actual job conditions. Other companies use them as a time and cost-saving approach. Whatever the reason behind the group interview, you need a plan to navigate a group interview successfully.

If you’ve never faced a group interview before, read on for some key tips for making the right impression.

Study the Company

Few things impress an interviewer less than candidates who don’t know anything about the company. This is as true for waiters and sales staff as it is for management trainee candidates. Minimally, you should know something about the following:

  • Company history
  • Company products/services
  • Where your potential job fits into the company

If you can answer questions on these topics, you’ll match or outshine your competitors in the room.

Create and Memorize an Introduction

It’s common for the interviewer to ask everyone in the room to introduce themselves. This is a golden opportunity to shine. Highlight your experience, but also mention any soft skills or hard skills that might make you more capable in the role. Angling for a supervisory position down the road? Briefly mention some prior leadership experience.

Practice

Unless you’ve done a lot of group interviews, you should set up at least one or two practice interviews with friends. This lets you work out some of your nervousness about the process. It also gives you a chance to refine your answers to difficult questions. Quiz your friends afterward for honest answers about where you did well and what left them cold.

Listening

The last thing interviewers want to see is you tuning out whenever someone else speaks. It’s a bad sign that you don’t value the opinions or thoughts of others. The practice interview gives you an excellent chance to practice your listening skills, but it’s not the only opportunity. Leading up to the interview, make it a point to listen whenever you find yourself in a conversation. It will make it easier to remain attentive when the interview rolls around.

Body Language and Tone

Body language and tone can derail you in either an individual or group interview. You should look and sound confident. Looking confident means that you sit calmly, without fidgeting, and don’t slouch. Make sure you make good eye contact with both the interviewer and other candidates. Avoid waffling terms like “maybe” and “could be.” Use good projection so everyone in the room can hear you.

It’s About Awareness

Succeeding in group interviews is mostly about knowledge and awareness. You must know about the company and position. You should know your introduction by heart. You must remain aware of your body language and tone. You must also stay mindful of how well you listen.

Think you’re ready to tackle a group interview for a new job. Let Gallman Consulting help you get in the room.

Should You Follow Up After a Job Interview?

It’s one of the most common questions among job seekers: Should I follow up after a job interview? Most of the time, the simple answer is yes. You should follow up. Very few potential employers will look negatively on you for showing some initiative. The less simple answer is still yes, usually, but you need to apply some finesse.

Let’s jump in and look at some of those finer details.

When Should You Follow Up?

A good rule of thumb is that you should wait at least a week before you follow up. A week is enough time for most companies to wrap up most of their interviews and start weeding people out. Even if they aren’t done picking people for second interviews or the position, they probably can tell you how long it will be.

How Should You Follow Up?

Take your cue from the interviewer. If you only spoke to the interviewer on the interview day and all other communication was by email, send them an email to follow up. It’s how they prefer to communicate. If you talked with your interview on the phone repeatedly in the ramp-up to the interview, give them a call.

When Shouldn’t You Follow Up?

One question you should always ask at the end of the interview is when you’ll likely hear from them. Some companies have very specific procedures and timelines for filling positions. If you interview with one of these companies, the hiring manager will probably give you a firm timeline, such as 10 days or 2 weeks. They’ll often follow that with something like:

“If you don’t hear from in two weeks, feel free to follow up about the position.”

That’s a not so subtle way of telling you that following up before then will not win you any brownie points or friends.

Following Up Helps

Following up about a position is generally a good way of telling a company you do want to work there. Still, you should act reasonably. Give it a week or so before you follow up. Communicate with the interviewer in the way they communicated with you most often. Don’t follow up if the interviewer strongly hints that it won’t be welcome before a certain point.

How to write a stellar resume

Many people fear writing a resume. Some people fear to make mistakes, and others fear the possibility of rejection. All too often, though, people fear the writing itself. If fear has made you put off writing your resume, let’s try to put that fear to bed. You can write a stellar resume by following a few basic guidelines that we’ll cover right now.

Hit the Essentials

Every resume must cover certain ground. You must include any relevant education, licenses, or credentials. You need a work history, although you can generally keep it to the last ten years. Don’t forget to add your contact information.

Takeaway: Not hitting the essentials makes you look unprofessional, but now you know what you need.

Get to the Point Quickly

Whether your resume goes through an HR department or to a hiring manager, it’s landing in front of busy people. Don’t make them work to understand your meaning.

For example, don’t write: “Provided supervisory oversight for a project team that ultimately delivered a boost in revenue of $500,000.”

Instead, write something like: “Managed project team that created $500,000 in new revenue.”

Highlight Recent Accomplishments

If you’ve been in your industry for 15 years, you’ve got a lot of experience behind you. Don’t try to fit everything you’ve ever done onto the resume. Highlight recent accomplishments. Did you step into a supervisory position and finish a job during a crisis at your last job? Mention that.

Takeaway: Highlighting recent accomplishments sends the message that you aren’t just phoning it in every day.

Reuse Keywords from the Job Description

Many people stumble on this one. Keywords are just important phrases, usually related to a skill or industry jargon. For example, a warehouse might mention a specific software program they use for inventory management. If you know that program, mention it by name on your resume. Including these keywords makes your resume more likely to get to the interview phase of the process.

Look at Other Resumes before You Start

New to the job search process? Never written a resume before? If this is you, the process can prove difficult because you don’t know where to start. The easiest way to get a handle on writing a resume is to look at other resumes. The good news is that there are tons of free example resumes all over the Internet that can help guide you while you write your own.

Takeaway: It always helps to see how someone else has done something successfully.

Don’t let writing anxiety or other fears stop you from pursuing a better job. You can write a stellar resume. Hit the essentials and be concise. Highlight any recent accomplishments. Work in some keywords. If you struggle to get started, look for some examples online. Before you know it, you’ll have a stellar resume.

Once you prepare your stellar resume, it’s time to look for jobs. Check out Gallman Consulting career opportunities and we’ll help you place that resume with the right employers.

3 Benefits to Trying Something New In 2020

Much has been said about the power and benefits of habit and routines, including lower stress and more productivity. Yet, habit and routine can also have a dark side. They encourage us to become stagnate in jobs or situations that we don’t love or that don’t empower us. Trying something new means abandoning our routines for a while or developing new ones.

Let’s look at three larger benefits.

Boosts Your Creativity

As great as routine and familiarity are at making sure we pick up the kids and make lunch for work, they can also start wearing down our creativity. It turns out that creativity depends a lot on fresh experiences. Trying something new gives your brain fresh material to play with and can lead to new bursts of creativity.

Reduce Fear

The prospect of trying something new often brings with it the vague but persistent fear of some failure. Fear has a way of growing and infecting your view of other things, even the familiar. When you try something new, you decide you won’t be afraid of that potential failure. You start teaching yourself to be less afraid of everything else. You can even pick something where failure means nothing, like taking up abstract painting. Also, if you get it “wrong,” no one will know.

You Improve Product You

In a sense, you are the product you sell to an employer. You bring skills, experience, and knowledge to the table. When you try new things, you expand your skills and broaden your experience. You improve the product that is you, which can make it easier to secure a raise or a better job. Of course, that means you must pick new things that have some relevance to your job or desired career path.

Trying new things has other benefits, such as making you a better-rounded person or simply improving your self-knowledge. Still, it’s a solid first step in boosting your creativity. It can help you master your fear. Learning new things can also make you a better catch for potential employers.

Here’s Why December Is The Best Time Of Year To Apply To Jobs

Here’s Why December Is The Best Time Of Year To Apply To Jobs

The end of the year is a time of family obligations, shopping, and traveling. Your kids may need new clothes, or you need to find your spouse that vintage thing they love. It’s easy to assume that everyone involved in the hiring for businesses is doing the same things. Yet, it turns out that December may be the best time of year to apply.

Let’s look at a few of the reasons why.

Fewer Competitors

In 2018, around a third of all Americans traveled for the Christmas holiday. Thanksgiving often sees mass travel, as well. Traveling, even if only in your own state, takes planning and time. While people do that planning and then visit their families, they often aren’t actively pursuing new jobs. Yet, many companies still need to fill empty positions, especially in retail, shipping, and always in tech.

Seasonal Work Spikes

Seasonal work may not be exactly what you’re looking for, but it sure beats unemployment around the holidays. Gifts for all your friends and family won’t pay for themselves. Plus, seasonal positions spike around the holidays. Target and UPS alone are looking to hire on around 225,000 seasonal workers this year. Plus, as with all temp positions, there’s always a possibility you’ll be asked to stay on if you impress your boss.

Extra Money in the Budget

Many companies employ a use-it-or-lose-it budget approach. That means that anyone in the business that still has money in their budget must find something to spend it on or risk a small budget the following year. For any department that’s been running understaffed, the manager will want to fill empty positions if it’s even remotely possible. It also means that applicants with fewer qualifications have a better chance of getting into the room with the hiring manager.

While traditional folklore might hold that no one hires during December, that’s not true anymore. Many big companies increase their hiring during the holidays. Plus, managers often have extra money in their budget they must spend or risk losing the next year. You also face less intense competition from others, as people back off their job hunt in favor of planning and attending family events. In other words, December is a great time to apply for a job.

5 Products To Help People Nervous For Interviews

Even the calmest and more experienced person can get a case of the nerves before an interview. It’s often worse for people early in their careers or who want to change careers. It feels like the person or people on the other side of those desks hold your future in their hands. This nervousness can undercut your interview performance. So, we’re going to take a look at 5 products that can help you overcome your nervousness ahead of time.

Portfolio

In this day and age, you can get a stylish portfolio or padfolio at a very reasonable price. Of course, the real advantage of the padfolio is that it helps you get organized by getting all of your papers into one spot. Takeaway: Knowing you’ve got copies of your resume, licenses, or other paperwork can relieve stress going into an interview.

Meditation Apps

There are numerous meditation apps out there designed solely to help you calm your mind. You can load one onto your phone and take it with you to the interview. Take five minutes before you go in for the interview and use the app to help reduce your nervousness.

Noise Machine

Many people struggle to sleep the night before a big interview. That lack of sleep can make you irritable or anxious. A noise machine can help you tune out distractions in your home or environment and get better sleep. Takeaway: Better sleep isn’t just good for keeping nerves under control before an interview; it’s crucial for your overall health.

Fidget Toy

Keep a small fidget toy in your car or pocket. It gives you something to focus on other than being nervous right before your interview. Just make sure you put it away before you get called in for the interview.

Navigational System Device or Map System

 If you’ve never used your phone’s map system before or a navigational device, now is the time to start. Most phones use navigation, and many even offer alternative routes based on real-time traffic data. It helps ensure you get there on time.
Takeaway: You should test the map function the day before to make sure it works right and gets you where you need to go.

Feeling nervous before an interview is normal and happens to almost everyone. The key is to find products or routines that help you keep that nervousness at a reasonable level. A little nervousness can make you look high energy. Too much nervousness makes you look anxious. Aim for the former.