Category: Uncategorized

shine during an interview

The biggest mistakes that you can make in an interview are lying and not being yourself. Yes, your qualifications matter. But they don’t matter near as much as your authenticity. If you want to shine during an interview, you need to know and do these things.

Research:

We’ve said it before, and we will say it until the end of time. Do your research before you go into an interview. Research the company, its history, purpose, management, etc. Look up recent news articles about them and any press releases. Knowing your facts and being able to showcase that in the interview will give you so much confidence and help you put your best foot forward.

Practice

There are several common interview questions that you need to be prepared to answer. Those include things like “Tell me about yourself,” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “Why do you want to work here?”

Practice your answers to these questions so that you aren’t spending the entire interview trying to think of answers. Just be careful not to over practice so that you sound like you’re reading from a script.

Be honest

While an interview is meant for you and the recruiter to get to know each other better, the recruiter did their research on you just like you did on the company. They performed reference checks and reviewed your resume. If they haven’t done that before your interview, you can bet they will after, so don’t lie. Don’t embellish your work experience or qualifications. They will find out and it will not be good for you.

Be yourself

You were called to the interview because the recruiter wants to get to know YOU. Not the person you think they want to see. The most important thing you can do to shine during an interview is to be yourself.

Do you have any more tips on how to shine during an interview? Drop them in the comments!

productivity

When you’re working from home, you don’t have the focused environment that the office provides. Understandably, you could be killing your productivity by making these easy mistakes. Don’t worry though. If you identify these mistakes in your daily routine, we’re going to tell you just how to fix them.

Social Media

One of the biggest killers of productivity is social media. When you’re working from a computer, and especially your phone, social media can be a deadly temptress. What starts as a 5-minute break can easily turn into an hour of meaningless scrolling, a.k.a. wasted time.

The great thing is there is an easy solution to this problem (unless you have to be on social media for you job) – log out.

If you struggle to stay off of Facebook or Snapchat while you’re working, logout of those accounts when you’re on the clock. It’s easy to open an app or pull up a browser that you’re already logged into. By logging out, you’re adding another step and hopefully a deterrent to your distraction.

Children

While you can’t just get rid of your children when you have to work from home, there are ways to limit the distractions that come with having to parent while you work.

  1. Distractions: Supply your children with ample things to keep them distracted while you’re working. Whether it be toys, movies or crafts, find things they can manage with little supervision that will keep them distracted for pockets of time.
  2. Meal prep: Kids have to eat, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend excessive amounts of time cooking their meals and feeding it to them. In the evenings, prepare easy to cook or ready to serve meals that they can feed to themselves. Obviously this won’t be of much help if you have a young child that still needs supervision while eating or is bottle/breastfed, but it is a great way to save time with the older ones.
  3. Separate: An easy way to eliminate the distractions that come from working at home with children is to have a designated workspace and play area. It may seem logical to work in the same room as the children so you can keep better supervision of them, but if you use solutions 1 and 2, number 3 will be much easier. Have an area toy-free that you can focus on work, and help your kids learn to play in another area. Get more advice on setting up an office at home here.

Netflix

Now this doesn’t specifically target Netflix as a productivity killer, but rather your TV and anything you put on it. Some people swear by having a movie or TV show playing in the background while they work, but this can actually limit your ability to focus on work, even if you don’t realize it.

Just like with social media, there is an easy fix to this. Don’t have a TV where you work. Avoid the temptation of turning on your favorite show by eliminating the medium. No TV – No temptation.

Instead of turning the TV on, consider listening to one of these playlists to help you focus.

Have you found other ways of staying productive while working from home? Share them in the comments!

calm interview nerves

I wish there was a superfood or magical drink I could recommend that would calm your nerves during an interview. Unfortunately, scientists haven’t invented it yet. However, there is one sure fire way to walk into an interview with confidence and walk out of it feeling even better – PREPARE.

I can GUARANTEE that if you adequately prepare more than just the day before the interview, you will exude confidence and leave those pre-interview nerves in the trash. But telling you to prepare is kind of vague, so let me break it down for you.

Research

PLEASE. I beg you. Do NOT go into an interview without researching the company and its employees. Here are some ways you can research any company.

  • Website – Read the company’s website. I don’t mean look at it or check out the home page. I mean READ the website. Go to every page and read the content from top to bottom. Look at their most recent blog posts and think of ways you can mention them in the interview.
  • Search – Do a Google or Bing search of the company and look for articles written about them recently. Identify achievements or groundbreaking work they are doing. These are great things to bring up in the interview and will show your genuine interest in the company, not just the job.
  • Social Media – Find the company on social media and look at what they post about. You can go one step further and engage with some of the posts. You never know, the social media manager may be present during the interview and recognize your name from the notifications.
  • LinkedIn I separate this from social media because LinkedIn allows you to see who the employees are for a company and connect with them. If you really want to show interest in joining the company, send connection requests with the employees listed on LinkedIn. If they accept your connection, scroll through the content they’ve shared. These could be great icebreakers.

Practice

Doing your research isn’t enough. Just like with anything you want to excel at, you need to practice. But practice what? Here are some things to frequently practice at least a week before you interview.

  • Answers – All interviews are intended to gather information, so most of the questions are similar no matter the position. Practice your answers to some of the most common interview questions (Tell me about yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why did you leave a previous position? How will you be an asset for our company? What makes you different than other applicants?) There is nothing more nerve-wracking than being asked a question and sitting there in silence for minutes while you try and pull together an answer.
  • Questions – You may think that an interview is a chance for the recruiter to interrogate you, but it is a chance for them to get to know you and you to get to know the company better. Prepare some questions about the company and the position you are interviewing for.
    • How would you describe the office environment here?
    • Why is this position available (Is this a new position or did someone leave it? Why did they leave?)
    • How will you measure success in this position?
    • What opportunities are there for growth within the company?
  • Basics – This may seem childish, but practice introducing yourself and your handshake. From the moment the recruiter calls you back to the conference room for the interview, you can show confidence. Your handshake is a sure-fire way to start the interview with confidence. Practice standing up and shaking someone’s hand. Get your friends and family to help you. Don’t wait for them to extend their hand to you. Reach your hand out first and show that you mean business.

If you want to add an extra WOW factor during your interview, put together a leave behind. Learn more about that by clicking here to read last week’s blog post!

interview leave-behind

You probably go into an interview with very little in your hands. Your phone is in the car, keys in your pocket, and your resume is tucked inside a notebook you will use to take notes during the interview. What if I told you that you’ve forgotten something? Not sure what it is? Let me help you. You need a leave-behind.

What is a leave-behind? I can hear your panicked voice already. You’ve been preparing for this interview, and you want it to be as successful as possible. That’s why you want to put together a folder with content that you plan to leave with the interviewer at the end of the interview.

You more than likely submitted samples of your work when you applied, but the interviewers may not have seen them or might not remember what was your work. For that reason, you want to pick some of your best samples. Showcase your writing skills or graphic design experience. If you’ve managed social media, bring some analytics that highlights your talent to reach an audience. All of these should be found in your online portfolio, but it is much more convenient for the interviewer if you have physical copies to show them and discuss during the interview.

Here are some key things you should include in your leave-behind.

  1. Folder – Don’t ever leave a stack of loose papers. Head over to Walmart and get yourself a cheap folder with prongs and a pack of plastic paper cover dividers. You won’t impress them by buying the most expensive folder and professionally laminating each paper. Something cheap will do.
  2. Resume – ALWAYS have a copy of your resume. ALWAYS. When you go into the interview, they will likely have a copy of your resume already. Bring several copies anyways. Some interviews are conducted with panels, and nothing is more inconveniencing than having several people lean over one sheet of paper. Print several copies, and put them in the front pouch of the folder.
  3. References – As you know, your references should not be on your resume, so print out your references and put them as the first page in your leave-behind.
  4. Writing samples – If you have a lot of experience writing, or the position you’re applying for requires a skilled writer, you NEED to provide proof of your writing skills. Pick 2-3 of your best writing samples, and include them in your leave-behind.
  5. Graphic Design – Graphic design is a sought after skill these days. Many positions require applicants to have some knowledge of graphic design programs like Photoshop and InDesign. Show the interviewer that you have the skills they’re looking for by including 3-4 samples of graphic design work that you have done.
  6. Analytics – Creating compelling social media posts is impressive, but to impress, even more, provide analytics of social media accounts you’ve managed. Include the following and engagement when you started compared to when you left.

What NOT to include in your leave-behind

  1. Your selfie – You may think that having your picture in your leave-behind will help the recruiters remember you, but it can cause more harm than good. Including your image can open up the door for the interviewers to make a decision based on bias. You want them to call you back because of your qualifications, not your face, so focus on your skills and experience instead of your appearance.
  2. Your address – No interviewer on the earth needs to know your full home address. While it’s fine to provide the area that you live in to assure the interviewer that you can make the commute to the office, they don’t need to know exactly where you rest your head at night.
  3. Bad samples – Your goal is to impress the interviewer. Providing samples with grammatical errors or poor design will only guarantee that you don’t get a callback.
  4. Plagiarized work – While it may impress them in the interview, the truth will come out, and let me just tell you – recruiters talk with other recruiters.
  5. Group work without attribution – This falls under plagiarism, technically, but it needs to be stated separately. If you were not the sole author or creator of a piece of work, you need to attribute it to all contributors to the project. It is okay to provide group work in your leave-behind, but make sure you highlight the portions that you worked on the most.

Do you include something in your leave-behind that didn’t make our list? Put it in the comments below!

unemployment

President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law on March 27, 2020. Under the CARES Act, individuals who qualify for unemployment receive an extra $600 a week in benefits. These extra benefits, known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), are crucial for some Americans to making ends meet.

Despite many states still facing rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, the CARES Act only allows for PUA until July 31, 2020. Beginning August 1, 2020, individuals on unemployment will receive only their state benefits.

In Georgia, the minimum weekly payment is $55 and the maximum is $365.

If your unemployment benefits are about to end and you are looking for work, apply with Horizon Staffing here.

HEROES Act

The United States House of Representatives passed a bill in May 2020 titled Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. The HEROES Act would extend PUA and provide Americans with a second stimulus package. The proposed stimulus would provide $1,200 per person, including dependents, regardless of age. The HEROES Act is currently under consideration in the Senate.

To read more information about the HEROES Act click here.

President Trump on second stimulus

President Trump assured the American people on Monday that the second stimulus packed was coming “very soon” and would be “very generous.”

The only proposed stimulus package currently is the HEROES Act that is waiting to be voted on in the Senate.

According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), the HEROES Act would be the last round of stimulus checks if passed.

Georgia Coronavirus Update

Georgia has seen a rising number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations throughout June and has reached the highest level since the start of the pandemic. According to the Associated Press, Georgia has averaged 1,073 infections reported daily over the last seven days.

Over 66,000 Georgians have been infected, and 2,652 people have died statewide, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Stop the Spread

Continue to practice social distancing and proper handwashing to stop the spread of COVID-19. Sanitize areas and items that you use frequently and avoid using other people’s items. If you have returned to work where you are in close proximity with other individuals, wear a mask.

Please refer to the CDC for more advice on how to stop the spread of COVID-19.