23 May 2016
You’ve agonized over your cover letter, gone on several interviews and now, after all of the hard work, you got the job! Take a second and congratulate yourself; you put a lot of time and energy into finding a new opportunity and you deserve this moment of celebration. But don’t get too caught up in your excitement. Now that you have the job, it’s easy to look at the role and the entire interviewing experience through rose-tinted glasses. However, it’s critical to take some time and reflect on the entire hiring process before you commit to the role. While it may be the job you have been dreaming of, it’s important to evaluate whether or not it is the right opportunity for your career. Before you tell the hiring manager that you’re in, consider asking yourself the following questions: Do you have a full understanding of what your job responsibilities will be? By the time you have been offered a position, you have likely gone over the role in detail with your potential supervisor. And while you do have a clear idea of what you’ll be doing, you will want to ask yourself one more time whether or not you can transition easily into the role. Think back to your interviews and make a check list of whether or not your skills and experiences match up with what your supervisor will expect from you. As you look over this list, make sure it’s a job you can handle and transition into with ease. It’s perfectly normal to expect and welcome new challenges when you change jobs, but it’s also important to be realistic about what you are able to manage. Do the company’s values align with yours? Finding the “right fit” is an important responsibility for both the hiring manager and job seeker. Throughout the interview process, you’ve probably spent time reading up on the company and discussed what the environment and employees are like with the interviewer. Before you accept the job, go back to those conversations and give a final evaluation as to whether or not the company is best for you and your long-term goals. What do employees have to say about the company? If you haven’t done this already before you applied for the job, you may want to check the company’s ratings and reviews on Glassdoor. The interviewer probably gave you an idea of what working for the company is like, but it’s important to get perspective from someone who isn’t trying to sell you on the company. However, keep in mind that the people most likely to leave bad reviews are people who left the company on a sour note. Read up, but take what you see with a grain of salt. Do the benefits that accompany this role suit your needs? The term benefits can be misleading, because the benefits package a company offers can prove to be an absolute necessity for specific employees. For example, parents may need to have a flexible schedule or the ability to work from home when necessary. Before you commit to a job, remember that it’s just as important to ask yourself whether or not the benefits work for you. Depending on your individual situation, you’ll want to know that your potential employer can support your needs. How drastically will your commute/daily schedule change with this role? Even if you aren’t relocating for a job, you still want to consider how a new commute will affect your schedule. If you struggle to get out of the house in the morning, having a longer commute than you are used to could prove to be challenging in the long run. Commuting is a part of most jobs throughout your career, but it’s important to be sure the one you have won’t lead you to unhappiness and stress.
23 May 2016
As a tech professional, there are plenty of tried and true ways to prepare for an interview. However, hiring managers still have quite a few tricks up their sleeves to ensure they’re getting a well-rounded view of each candidate they meet with. Most commonly, these tactics take shape as more out-of-the-box questions. “Long gone are the days where it was considered good practice to ask standard, run-of-the-mill questions and expect candidates to respond in an overly-rehearsed manner,” explains Lisa Samson, a Technical Recruiter within The Execu|Search Group’s Information Technology division. “With a focus on finding candidates who are the right cultural fit for the organization, hiring managers are asking an entirely different set of questions that assess more than just your technical skills.” To ensure this doesn’t catch you off guard, continue reading for 4 tricky questions that you’ll want to prepare for: Can you tell me about a recent project you oversaw? What was the end-result? Employers not only ask this question to see how you could be an asset to the team, but to also assess your ability to understand the wider impact of your work. “Since technology, from basic infrastructure to cloud security, can affect a business in so many ways, hiring managers need to ensure that you can think big picture,” notes Lisa. “You should be able to confidently discuss your efforts and how they benefited the company in the long run.” When choosing an experience to talk about, Lisa advises her candidates to stick with an example that is relevant to the role they are interviewing for. To give employers a better idea of the value you could bring to the organization, you’ll want to highlight accomplishments that are similar to what will be expected of you should they offer you the position. What is your ideal role? When answering this question, you want to make sure your response is tailored to the role you’re interviewing for. “Although it may be tempting to discuss your dream job, your response could raise some major red flags if it has nothing to do with the actual role in question,” warns Lisa. “Instead, focus on the aspects of the opportunity that will allow you to accomplish any relevant and realistic career goals.” For example, if you are an aspiring manager, explain the reasons why you feel this role will help you to get there. Discussing your goals can also help highlight some additional personality traits, such as drive and leadership skills, that employers look out for in tech candidates. How do you keep your tech skills up-to-date? With technology evolving faster than ever, employers need tech professionals who can ensure the company can move forward with these advances as well as quickly adapt to changing business needs. To evaluate whether they can entrust candidates with this responsibility, many hiring managers want to know how they make the effort to keep their own skills up-to-date. Whether you do this by participating in online tutorials, obtaining additional certifications, or pursuing freelance or consulting work, employers are looking for examples that highlight your willingness to learn and ability to take initiative. We are experiencing an issue with [insert relevant software or system]. How would you fix it? While this may not be the exact question that is asked, many employers pose a problem that they could experience and have prospective hires propose a solution. “The main difference between this question and a technical aptitude test is that the interviewer will primarily focus on your ability to think on your feet and explain the reasoning behind your decision,” says Lisa. “Although your technical skills are certainly important, there might be circumstances where you could be communicating with executives or colleagues in a non-technical role. That being said, how you articulate yourself is key.”