31 August 2016
When was the last time you planned to do something far in advance, only to change your mind at the last minute because something or someone got you thinking differently? Chances are you aren’t the only one who’s changed their mind at the last minute, and as a job seeker, you may find yourself in similar scenarios. For example, you might have to decide between multiple job offers or consider a counter offer from your current employer. While they are both great positions to be in, accepting a counter offer can be a mistake, especially when you’re caught off guard. The counter offer is becoming a more common practice amongst employers that don’t want to risk losing their top talent. Instead of letting an employee go, they will present resigning employees with an incentive (or two) to entice them to stay. It can be tempting to take a counter offer from the company you are already employed with especially if it’s in the form of higher compensation or other perks. However, it’s important to remember why you started looking for a new job in the first place. While a counter offer may address some of your professional concerns now, in most cases, there may be unexpected consequences for this decision, including: Damaged relationships with your manager and coworkers While accepting a counter offer might seem like a good decision at the time, the moment your manager knows that you are considering changing employers, the level of trust they once had for you will be tarnished. Moreover, not only do they know where your motives lie and that you’re interested in moving on, but once word gets around the office that you were offered (and accepted) a counter offer, your coworkers may begin to treat you differently. To put this into perspective, we surveyed approximately 400 job seekers and working professionals and found that nearly 30% of employees who accepted a counter offer ended up leaving within 12 months. On top of this, 64% of those who left within 12 months felt that accepting the offer negatively affected their work relationships. In the end, these damaged relationships have the potential to decrease your level of productivity, affect your collaborative efforts, and eventually force you to consider leaving…again. Other unresolved factors outside of money may continue Since more money is typically what is offered when an employer counters, job seekers make the mistake of thinking this will solve all of their problems. However, before you accept a counter offer, ask yourself if accepting more money will make you happier despite the other reasons why you considered leaving in the first place. Don’t be blinded by a salary increase or any other perks you’re offered if it does not address your main reason(s) for wanting to leave. For example, job seekers may typically look for a new job in hopes of growth opportunities, new challenges, or a company culture. In those cases, an increase in salary would only serve as a short-term fix for a long-term problem. Realizing your employer doesn’t truly value your worth If you tell your current employer that you are leaving and they immediately start to praise your performance and are willing to meet your demands for you to stay, this should raise some red flags. Have you all of a sudden become a more valuable employee and your manager sees your true worth? Probably not, so ask yourself why it took your resignation for them to present their best offer to you. Typically, if an employer offers you a counter, they will probably say just about anything to avoid going through the process of finding a replacement. Therefore, if you know your true worth, but your employer has failed to compensate you for your skills and experience accordingly, stick with your initial decision and move on.
31 August 2016
This is part of a series of testimonials from candidates who have successfully been placed by The Execu|Search Group. This testimonial comes from Kieran Sullivan; you can find our past testimonials here. When Kieran Sullivan, an accounting professional, partnered with The Execu|Search Group, he had very specific needs to be met. Kieran had definitive goals entering New York’s financial services industry, and he also needed help from those who had experience hiring non-U.S. citizens before. After meeting with Ryan Mastro, an Associate within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division, Kieran was able to land a Reporting and Controls position at a leading investment bank within a matter of days. He had a very positive experience with Ryan, and was happy to speak with us about it… On his background… After graduating from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia with a Bachelor in Business, I spent three years as an external auditor at EY Melbourne in their financial services office. Following a promotion to Senior Accountant, I moved to Houston, TX for a nine-month contract in a similar role. I had just recently moved to New York City when I approached Execu|Search to assist with my job search after being referred by a contact. On what he was looking for… Due to my specific needs as an Australian holding a non-immigrant work visa, I was looking for a firm that had a vast network of clients that have experience with hiring other non-U.S. citizens. I also wanted to partner with an organization that had specialists in the accounting and finance fields so that I could explain exactly what I wanted from my next role and future employer. On how TESG worked to meet his needs… I met with Ryan and explained my background and what I was hoping to get out of a new opportunity, including what I wanted and did not want in that role. I felt that Ryan listened to me and fully understood what I was looking for, leaving me confident that we were on the same page. Shortly after our meeting, Ryan sent me a few job descriptions, and they clearly demonstrated that he understood my needs. On preparing for the interview… Ryan was enthusiastic about the roles available to me, and he ensured that I knew all the details about the company, the role itself, and the people responsible for the interview process. He sent me background information and let me know where I could conduct further research in the event that I needed it. He also drew upon past experiences of other candidates who had interviewed for the same role, giving me a bio of the interviewer’s credentials as well as an overview of their interview style and questions that are typically asked. Having all this information available to me in preparation for the interview boosted my confidence greatly. On his overall experience… In the week I met Ryan, I not only interviewed, but was offered a role that was the perfect fit for me. I had come to New York City seeking a role exactly like the position I accepted, and Ryan’s ability to listen to my needs and understand my background helped make this opportunity possible. “Kieran posed a few interesting challenges with his visa status, but he was incredibly articulate in communicating exactly what he needed from me,” says Ryan. “As a result, I was able to line up interviews for him right away. Kieran was so polished and prepared that I hardly had to coach him, and he came highly rated from his previous employers. With such a highly qualified candidate, I simply needed to listen in order to find him the right fit. We met on a Tuesday, and he received a job offer that Friday.”
30 August 2016
This past August, the results of the CFA exam were published, and surprisingly, only 54% of test takers passed. If you happened to be part of the percentage of people who weren’t successful this time around, use this as an opportunity to fine tune your study habits and remind yourself of what you’re working towards. While it’s no secret that the CFA is considered to be one of the most challenging certification processes in the industry, this designation can be essential for long-term success in financial services. Mitchell Peskin, Partner and Executive Vice President of The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division, has witnessed firsthand the increased demand from employers in search of professionals who possess the CFA designation. “Securing the CFA designation is one of the best decisions you can make for your long-term career goals as a finance professional,” says Mitch. “These three letters have the potential to enhance your professional marketability and shows that you hold yourself to the highest industry standards.” Whether you’re considering pursuing an advanced certification or looking for a way to stand out in a competitive market, here are 3 reasons why you should stay on the CFA track: The CFA is consistently growing in popularity Did you know that more people registered to take the three levels of the CFA exam this past June than ever before? Moreover, there was an 8.5% increase in registrations this year compared to June 2015. With strong recent gains in job creation in the financial services sector and a positive employment outlook for business and financial occupations, advanced certifications will be a key differentiator amongst finance professionals. This growth in registrations is representative of an increase in demand from employers that want finance professionals who possess a strong investment education rooted in ethics. “If you thrive in the analytical and quantitative aspects of financial management and you’re interested in pursuing a career in investment management, I encourage job seekers to make it a personal goal to pass all three levels of the CFA exam,” advises Mitch. The earlier you’re able to start the process of acquiring this designation, the sooner you will be able to position yourself as an expert in your chosen field, which could lead to greater flexibility in your job prospects. Acquiring a CFA is a more cost-effective alternative As a finance professional looking to take the next step in your career, you have an important decision to make: should you go back to school to get your Master’s degree/MBA, or should you pursue a particular advanced certification? While completing an MBA is an excellent accomplishment that adds breadth to your resume and typically leads to higher-paying jobs, the CFA certification can be acquired at a substantially lower cost in the long-run. “Since it’s impossible to claim that one is better for your career than the other, you ultimately want to make sure you are spending your time, money, and energy in the most efficient way possible,” says Mitch. For example, the cost attending a top-tier MBA program for at least 2 years can reach sizable amounts, while the CFA can cost far less. In the end, if you are trying to take the next step in your career and want to be cost conscious, the CFA provides a great return on investment. You’ll hone key soft skills you can emphasize during interviews Since the CFA exam can typically extend over a 3-year period, committing yourself to all three levels of the exam will speak to a number of transferable soft skills you possess. “Studying for the CFA is almost the equivalent to committing to a full-time job,” says Mitch. “By exercising enough self-discipline to study for at least 300 hours and enduring all three exams, you can highlight key skills such as time management and follow through.” Not only will your accomplishment demonstrate these sought-after skills, attaining your CFA will undoubtedly speak to your level of dedication to your career since you may likely had to make some sacrifices to reach your goal.
30 August 2016
During your career, life may throw you a curve ball or two that may necessitate you taking an extended leave of absence from your job. Regardless of the reason for your temporary departure, the time away from work can be some of the most important and impactful of your life. The one potential downside though? Coming back from an extended break can be challenging. And while you may be the kind of person who is itching to get back into the workforce, it’s also understandable that you may struggle to get back into a work mindset when you haven’t been in that kind of environment for what could be a month to an entire year. While getting back into the swing of things at work can be challenging, you can avoid that challenge by preparing for your return in advance. Here are four ways to get ready for your return to work: Ensure that colleagues can contact you This is your designated time off, however, emergencies can arise during that time. Should a crisis of some sort come up during your absence, you’ll want your colleagues and supervisor to be able to reach you if they need to. Before you go, send an email to all of the members on your team giving them the best way to contact you if needed. Be clear that they should only contact you in case of emergencies, but ensure that you’ll be able to talk them through any issue should the need arise. Plan your return time before you leave Regardless of the circumstances, taking a break from work can ultimately be the best thing for you on a personal level. However, getting back into that mindset can prove to be challenging. Before your leave of absence starts, you will want to have a time in mind for you to start thinking about work again. As you look at your scheduled time off, designate a week where you will start to think about your job and responsibilities. By giving yourself a set date to begin thinking about work again, you’ll be able to dedicate all of your focus and energy into what you need to do during your time off. Maintain contact with your supervisor Depending on how long your leave of absence is, you’ll want to check in with your supervisor periodically. A lot can change within the span of a long-term absence, and the last thing you want to do when you come back is have no idea what’s going on. While you’re gone from the office, be sure to send your supervisor an email to ask how they and the team are doing in your absence. While there’s no need to offer help during your designated time off, it is a good idea to catch up with them to see what is happening while you’re away. Anticipate change with your role If you’re gone for three months or more, there is a very real possibility that the responsibilities you had before your leave may change or shift to another team member. Before your leave, make peace with the notion that you may be coming back to new duties and expectations. As you maintain contact with your supervisor and colleagues, ask them how the responsibilities you normally handle are being taken care of. This could be an opportunity for them to ask you how you would approach something they are unsure of how to handle. It’s also a great opportunity for you to stay current with what’s going on while you’re away.
29 August 2016
This is part one of a two part series exploring how employers can better attract and retain talent through company culture. Stay tuned for part two to learn about how you can better promote your company culture to attract job seekers, and build a positive industry reputation. In today’s booming job market, it’s become clear that job seekers have the upper hand. With a low unemployment rate, employers are struggling to find qualified talent, and top candidates are highly coveted. When prospective employees have several options, they are less likely to compromise when accepting a job offer, and this includes everything from pay to advancement opportunities to company culture. If a job seeker spots an unfriendly environment or simply doesn’t get a sense that they fit into the culture, they may no longer consider that organization and turn to another employer where they had a better experience. According to our 2016 Hiring Outlook, 69% of professionals consider company culture to be critical or very important when considering a new job. This is particularly true regarding millennial employees, who rank company culture among their top qualifications for accepting or rejecting a position. Keep in mind that developing a positive culture not only retains your best employees, but also cultivates a good reputation that will attract new talent. This is especially true as millennials move into leadership roles; businesses need to implement succession planning, and they will not be successful if company culture is not taken seriously. From hiring practices to workplace communication, it is crucial to analyze and improve your organization’s environment. In order to remain a competitive option for the brightest employees, take the following steps toward a better experience for your team: Set goals In order to improve your company culture, you must first decide what you’re aiming to accomplish, as well as the steps in order to achieve that. This means that you first need to evaluate the current state of your workplace procedures, communication policies, and cross-departmental relationships. Then, consider your company mission and values; ask yourself how this informs the future of the organization. For example, if your mission involves collaboration, you may envision a bustling office where colleagues are encouraged to accomplish their goals together. Now that you’ve established your destination, you can set goals in order to reach it. If the current environment includes everyone using personal headphones, for example, start by creating a shared radio station to encourage teamwork in choosing music for the office. Listen Keep in mind that a key component of company culture is ensuring that everyone feels included—this means that decisions should be made by listening to all ideas and keeping an open mind. This concept extends beyond the subject of culture and into every facet of your work. If you’re not open to ideas regarding other business decisions, employees may not feel like they can make an impact on the organization. When an employee’s opinions are heard, they will feel more valued, even if their suggestion is not implemented. Additionally, when they contribute to the success of the overall organization, they’ll feel like an integral part of the team. While this certainly requires an open mind, your employees may surprise you with their solutions. Lead By Example Throughout the process of implementing different policies or suggestions for employees, be sure that any member of your leadership team also adheres to them. For example, if you want your staff to communicate more in person rather than via email or chat, avoid announcing this change in procedure by mass email. Most employees will not take any policy seriously if it is not earnestly implemented by those above them. As a result, be sure that you’re aware of your own actions, and keep in mind that culture starts from the top. Reward Hard Work As you’re considering the changes you’ll make to improve your culture, reflect on whether you think your employees know how much they are appreciated—perhaps even ask them yourself. If an employee doesn’t feel as if you acknowledge their contributions toward the company goals, they will be quick to find a company that does. A couple of smart ways to recognize hard work are to organize celebratory events as well as being sure to simply say, “thank you,” or compliment good work on a regular basis. Start Traditions Be sure that you give employees the opportunity to revel in their success. A holiday celebration or a happy hour can boost morale, and it encourages employees to build stronger relationships with one another. By establishing traditions that occur regularly, your employees can look forward to the chance to relax and have fun with their coworkers. The Execu|Search Group is a leading recruitment, temporary staffing, and workforce management solutions firm. Since opening our doors in 1985, we have helped over 26,000 companies find talent. Learn how we can work together to find your next great hire, here.
26 August 2016
As a financial services professional, you know that the market can be volatile at times. When there is more uncertainty, it is important that the industry answers with caution. In response to the current market, a new hiring trend has emerged: a number of institutions have begun gravitating toward hiring more temporary staff. “Amid some shake ups, organizations are doing their best to stay afloat, which has meant some layoffs and hiring freezes throughout the global markets,” says Alex Wright, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “There is always another downturn in this industry, so in the face of ambiguity, financial institutions have become more careful. In order to continue working effectively, they have turned to freelancers and consultants, which allow them to save on overhead costs and be more strategic when hiring.” While there are many factors that have contributed to this new trend, Alex suggests the main causes for the current spike in temporary hires are: Compliance: Since the 2008 economic crisis, financial institutions are subject to higher scrutiny from government entities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “In particular, the effects of Dodd-Frank and the Ani-Money Laundering (AML) regulations have put more strain on financial organizations,” notes Alex. These restrictions have required those who are affected to hire compliance specialists to be certain that they are following guidelines. “In the event that a compliance specialist is needed, they tend to be hired for short-term assignments,” says Alex. “These are either to advise on how to best satisfy regulations, or to investigate a potential violation—both temporary in nature.” ‘Brexit’: The aftermath of the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union has sent shockwaves throughout global financial markets. Next to New York City, London is the second largest financial hub in the world. Because this decision will affect future trade agreements as well as the value of the euro and the British pound, there are incredible amounts of uncertainty in the wake of the vote. Once the process officially starts, the UK has two years to complete their exit from the European Union. As a result, the ambiguity currently taking hold will last throughout that time frame as the effects of the ‘Brexit’ still remain unknown. “The immediate aftermath has included some layoffs or hiring freezes throughout the financial industry, and organizations are looking for ways to continue operating adequately,” says Alex. “For example, many support or back office roles are becoming temporary positions for the time being.” The Presidential election: Election years are historically rocky for stock markets—once again, their unpredictability can create an unstable environment. This is particularly true when an incumbent is not seeking reelection. During those election years, the S&P 500, a widely watched benchmark of U.S. large-cap companies, has dropped an average of 2.8%. On the contrary, when a sitting president is up for reelection, the S&P 500 is up an average of 12.6%. In a polarizing election such as the one we are currently experiencing, the stakes are even higher for the market. “This is another reason why support and back office roles are being increasingly filled by consultants,” asserts Alex. “Additionally, Wall Street compliance has played a major role in this election. Financial institutions, as a result, are facing increased pressure to hire compliance specialists in order to stay in line.” For all of these ambiguities and regulations, financial services professionals are in an excellent position to gain valuable experience through temporary work. “Freelancers and consultants are terms you don’t typically hear in financial services, but that’s quickly changing,” says Alex. “One of the main benefits of taking on this type of project-based work is that employers are looking for people who can hit the ground running, giving you the opportunity to gain much more experience in a shorter period of time.” As the industry is adjusting to this hiring model, this has led to the growth of temporary roles in two areas: Entry Level: While many institutions begin to see the benefits of a temporary staffing strategy, professionals looking to get their foot in the door can take advantage. In such a fast-paced industry, these opportunities will move extremely quickly, giving you the chance to learn more in less time. “Not only can you develop your skill set and gain expertise, but you can gain credibility and cultivate a robust resume,” observes Alex. “The benefit of working for several distinguished financial institutions is invaluable.” In addition to that, working as a consultant gives you more flexibility in an industry where this is often lacking, and when you do work overtime, you can receive time and a half. Specialists: For highly specialized professionals, working as a consultant is often more beneficial. “If you have an in-demand and specialized skillset, you can earn a premium rate for your services,” notes Alex. “This is especially true for compliance and AML professionals, who are desperately needed at a moment’s notice.” These specialists are typically brought in as a reactionary measure, which means that employers only have one question: have you done this successfully before? Because of the tight turnaround involved and the high pressure of complying with federal regulations, these consultants are in an exceptional position.
25 August 2016
This is an article from our guest blogger, John Iacovelli. As a Managing Director, John oversees Office & Professional Services at The Execu|Search Group’s Fort Lauderdale location. John has spent over 10 years connecting businesses with talent in Florida. South Florida’s job market is now the healthiest it’s been since before the recession, with unemployment hovering around or below 5% for much of the region. In particular, the tech industry in South Florida is on the rise. Currently, there is a huge demand for tech talent in the information technology, aerospace & defense, and biotechnology fields, and there has been a surge in tech startups and co-working spaces to house new companies in these areas. A recent report by commercial real estate firm CBRE found that office leasing by tech companies in South Florida has doubled in the past two years. Business leaders and policy makers are taking steps to support this burgeoning tech industry. This tech transformation is similar to the one experienced by the city of San Diego as it developed into a national hub for the life sciences and information technology sectors. There is no doubt that South Florida has the potential to follow in San Diego’s footsteps; however, firms in the area are struggling to attract and retain top tech talent, which is proving to be a major obstacle to further growth. Many people looking to work in tech are drawn to companies in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Boston, which are offering higher salaries and better benefits than companies in South Florida. These disparities are making South Florida a tough sell for tech talent despite the many benefits of living in the Sunshine State. If businesses in this region really want to compete for and retain the best tech talent in the country, they need to make several changes in what they offer potential employees. In my 10+ years of working with employers and job seekers in Florida, I have found that salaries in South Florida tend to be on average 15-20% lower than salaries for corresponding positions in traditional tech job markets. The recently released Cyberstates 2016 report from CompTIA similarly found that the average tech salary in Florida is only $82,600, while equivalent positions in cities like Boston, New York, and San Francisco can command over $100,000. Hiring managers in Florida cite the “sunshine discount,” or the willingness to accept a lower salary in exchange for good weather and a nice lifestyle, as a reason for lower pay. However, if employers in South Florida want to lure the best talent from these national tech markets, they must improve their salary offers to competitive levels. Employers in South Florida are also offering candidates significantly lighter benefits packages than their counterparts that are located in other well-known tech hubs. Specifically, organizations are coming up short by not including robust 401k match programs, stock options, and medical/dental plans in their benefits packages. Companies often underestimate the role benefits play in a candidate’s decision whether or not to accept an offer. A good package can have a significant impact on an employee, adding $5,000 to $10,000 to their bottom line. In addition to offering a salary commensurate to what someone would receive in other cities, companies in South Florida must prove that they are also interested in the health and personal well-being of their employees by offering stronger benefits. Another tactic increasingly being used by tech companies in traditional job markets is to offer candidates both sign-on and performance-based bonuses. Historically, bonuses have been used as a tool to attract and retain employees in the financial industry. However, as a result of the current shortage of qualified tech professionals and the improving job market nationally, tech companies have begun to understand their value as well. South Florida is on the cusp of truly becoming a major tech center. The infrastructure is in place; now we just need companies who are willing to step up to the plate and increase the total value of their job offers.
24 August 2016
As we near the end of the summer and busy season becomes a distant memory (at least temporarily), now could be a great time to assess your career strategy. This is especially true if you have ever considered making the move to private industry. “While you may be tempted to stay with your current employer through the end of the year, the longer you wait to make the move, the less opportunities will be available to you,” notes Michael Cooke, Partner and Executive Vice President at The Execu|Search Group who oversees the Accounting/Finance division. “After Labor Day, there is a final hiring push among our clients in the private sector. Since they need to fill these positions before year-end, this fall is really the time to get serious about your job search.” Although it may be difficult to step out of your comfort zone and leave a field that offers prestige and a very stable growth path, transitioning to private industry can be a great way to increase your marketability, enjoy better hours, and broaden your horizons. In fact, should you eventually decide to return to public accounting, your private industry experience can help differentiate you from other candidates, and even set you up for a partner-level position! If you are ready to make this move, you may not have job searched since college and therefore, may be a little rusty on best practices. To ensure you find success at the end of the process, we’ve provided you with a little refresher: Clean up your social media profiles: While you may think that hiring managers and recruiters are mainly focused on your professional background and the value you can add to the organization, it’s typical for companies to search social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) to get a glimpse of your level of professionalism. “We’ve seen that the more conservative industries such as financial services, private equities, banking, etc., are more inclined to make a judgment based on social media pages,” warns Michael. “They want to ensure all their employees—especially those charged with overseeing compliance—hold themselves to the highest ethical standards.” Therefore, make the effort to clean up your social media profiles before you start job searching. Be targeted: Since job searching can feel like a job in and of itself, it’s important to be as targeted you can. “This is especially important when transitioning to industry,” advises Michael. “Your search can quickly become overwhelming if you do not have some sort of strategy in place.” To develop one, Michael recommends thinking about the clients and industries you have served while working as a public accountant. Then, filter this list by the sectors you enjoyed working with the most. Once you prioritize the industries that would be the best fit for you, you can start applying to jobs from there. Review your resume: Since your resume will be the first introduction that a company has to you, you have to show prospective employers that you have the ability to apply your existing skillset to industry. The good news is that many hiring managers in the private sector focus on transferable skills, rather than the day-to-day hands on experience when hiring for accounting roles (i.e. Internal Audit, Corporate Tax, Partnership Tax, and Internal Controls). They also look out for various experiences that indicate you have certain attributes that would allow you to successfully make this type of move and bring value to the organization. This isn’t limited to your technical skills, so ensure your resume easily conveys soft skills such as: your ability to adapt to change, initiative to learn, communication skills, problem solving ability, and leadership. Tell a story: Once you land an interview, you want to use your time during the meeting wisely. It isn’t enough to simply rehash the bullet points and skills listed on your resume. You have to be able to clearly articulate what about your background specifically makes you the best candidate—something that can be especially difficult when transitioning from public accounting to private industry. “Public accounting gave you the foundation of skills and proper training needed to make this move,” explains Michael. “You understand how the organization’s internal processes are supposed to work because you have reviewed and audited these procedures in the past. But now, you have to prove that you are capable of doing the original work.” To do this, take advantage of openings for storytelling. Some may be obvious, such as questions beginning with “Tell me about a time when…”, but not every interviewer might use those tactics. Either way, be receptive to what’s really being asked of you and leverage your past experiences and public accounting expertise to help you deliver an answer in story form, offering the hiring manager specific examples to back up your claims.
23 August 2016
If you’ve gone on a job interview, you know just how important that part of the hiring process is. You also likely know just how nerve racking it can possibly be. However, the key to easing your nerves and being able to sell yourself as the best candidate in the running is preparing. This is why you want to ensure you can answer any and all types of questions that may arise, particularly a few challenging inquiries that are designed to catch you off guard. The good news is that these questions can ultimately demonstrate how much of an asset you would be to the company you’re applying to. If you’re wondering what tough questions to be on the lookout for, here are four that are likely to come up – and what you should address when answering each: Why should I hire you? Here’s a question that is all but guaranteed to come up in an interview, and it’s important to remember that, for a hiring manager, they’re asking more than why they should hire you. While they do want to know what would make you a unique asset to their company, they also want to see how highly you rate yourself against your competition for the role. What to address: Your self-confidence In the event that this question comes up, you’ll want to be able to maintain the balance between self-confidence and narcissism. With that being said, don’t be so nervous about crossing that line that you don’t go near it altogether! Remember that you are trying to sell yourself and make the case for yourself as the hiring manager’s best option for the role, but you also want to prove that you can be a team player. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? This question will also most likely be asked, regardless of where you interview. The hiring manager will ask you this question because they want to see how ambitious you are, and whether or not their company factors into your future plans. That can make this question the most intimidating of the bunch, because it can be what costs you the job if you aren’t careful. But if you play your cards right, this question could be what lands you the job. What to address: Your game plan The answer to this question can demonstrate your level of ambition to a hiring manager, so you definitely want to be prepared with some type of answer. When you respond, make sure you specifically focus on how you plan to help the company in the future instead of giving a broader answer that may make an interviewer question your long-term commitment to the organization. Have you ever been involved in a work place conflict? If so, how was it resolved? It’s never easy to discuss a time where you ran into an unpleasant situation with a coworker, but it’s important to remember that work place conflicts aren’t uncommon. If you’re worried a hiring manager will judge you for it, don’t be. What to address: Your ability to resolve issues Your best bet, should this question come up, is to be as honest about the situation you had as possible. A hiring manager who asks this question is likely asking it because they want to know how you would specifically handle a potential workplace issue that may arise. Being honest about what happened in the workplace and, more importantly, how you handled it will potentially bode better for you once it comes time for a hiring manager to make their decision. What do you do for fun? Since this question doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your qualifications for the role, it has the potential to throw you off your game. It’s an easy question to overthink, because there’s always the lingering feeling that an interviewer will judge you if your interests seem out of the ordinary. However, that’s rarely what the hiring manager has in mind. Usually? They are genuinely curious to know what your interests outside of work are in order to get a feel for your personality. What to address: Your personality While most of the interview will be spent talking about skills and experiences, it’s critical you convey your personality and personal interests throughout the interview. If this question comes up, don’t overthink it! Just remember that this is a way for a hiring manager to get to know you a little more and maybe even ease some pressure.