Trillium Insights

Thoughts and Insights from Trillium's Practice Leaders

Are You Getting Interviews, But Not the Job?

Are You Getting Interviews, But Not the Job?

You have interviewed with companies and have put your best foot forward, but none of those has resulted in a job offer.  Since you are making it past the initial screenings, chances are that you are qualified to do the job.  Here are a few tips to ensure that you make it to the final stage of the job offer next time.

Mock Interviews:  Practice makes perfect.  Conducting mock interviews with a person who has experience hiring or somebody who can be extremely candid with you can really help you see yourself through your interviewer’s eyes.  Using a mirror or a recording device can help you notice little things about yourself that you would normally not have visibility to.  Are you smiling enough, do you appear nervous, do you have good posture and eye contact?  Mock interviews can be very valuable in polishing up your interviewing skills and ensuring that you are presenting the most professional package.

Get the Interviewer Talking:   People do business with people they like.  Interviews are easier both for you and the interviewer when they are a two-way conversation.    Get the interviewer talking by asking them about their goals, issues and concerns.  This will allow you the opportunity to establish your worth by providing relevant examples of your past successes and ways that you can help the company overcome any obstacles they are facing.  Make sure you’re your interviewer sees the value in your experience.  Remember, your questions and answers show a lot about how you think. 

Make Sure You Are Qualified:  If you overstate your qualifications and lack the necessary skills or experience, it will come out during the interview.  Make sure that you have a firm understanding of the culture and demands of the role in which you are applying to.  If you don’t have the relevant industry experience, you often can make it to the final stage of the interview process, but it is much more likely that the company will hire a person with relevant industry experience over someone who does not have it.  A helpful tip is to go back and look at the positions that you’ve interviewed for but didn’t get.  See who ended up getting the job, and see how well their experience and background align to yours.  You can do this by exploring the company’s website or LinkedIn.  This will help you determine if you are applying for jobs that are clearly outside your level of expertise.

Ask for Feedback:  If you are not selected for a role, it is completely appropriate to ask for feedback.  You may not always receive it, but when you do, it can be very valuable.  Take the feedback you receive with you to your next opportunity, and tailor accordingly.  These insights can make all the difference in the world.

Hopefully these tips will help you move one step closer to the type of work you would like to do.   Good luck!

4 Qualities All Great Managers Possess

4 Qualities All Great Managers Possess

Successful businesses have great management. They put out fires, keep the team motivated, and they are there to support their team.  Finding great managers is no easy task, and hiring the wrong person can be catastrophic to an organization.  What qualities separate a good manager from a great one?

Cultural Fit: Culture directs everything that we do.  A great manager is fully invested in their company's culture.  They believe in the purpose of the organization and make sure that their actions and their words consistently demonstrate what the company stands for.  They also know how to spread the message and they know how to coach people whose actions are not consistent with the organizations culture.  Their capacity to execute this concept plays a critical role in their ability to get the best results out of their team.

Effective Decision Making:  Business today is fast-paced and at times volatile.  The most effective leaders engage their problem-solving skills to make difficult decisions quickly.  They understand when a decision requires consensus of a group, and when it does not.  A great manager always strives to improve the quality of their decisions and, therefore, achieve consistently good results. 

Accountability:  Accountability is critical and matters more than simply completing a task.  A manager with strong accountability qualities take action and responsibility for their goals and objectives. They recognize why something did not go according to plan, and take steps towards solutions.  This quality is contagious.   Others will hold themselves accountable when they see this quality in their manager.  

Honesty:  Honesty is key in building and maintaining a successful organization.  A great leader makes honesty and ethical behavior a key value, and hold their team to that standard.  If you cannot trust your management, then nothing else really matters.  Managers that can’t be trusted are toxic to an organization and it is painful and costly to remove them.

Investing in a manager that owns these 4 qualities will significantly improve both your team and business operations.  Your management is a reflection of you, and must possess more than just the talent needed to manage others.

5 Common Interview Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

5 Common Interview Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

You are not alone if you have ever left a job interview thinking “I could have answered that question differently,” or, “I wish I hadn’t said that.”  Even candidates with years of experience and strong skill sets do not always effectively sell themselves to hiring managers.  Here are five very common mistakes people make while interviewing and ways to avoid them.

Failure to research: Being knowledgeable about the position and the company in which you are applying shows that you are serious about getting the job.  At a minimum, hiring managers will assume that you have browsed their company’s website.  Do the proper research to get a good grasp of the company’s culture, business priorities and competitors.  This will help you provide examples of how your skills and experience can make a difference at the company.

Not being prepared:  If you walk into a job interview underprepared your interviewer will take notice almost immediately.  Choose professional attire the night before your interview, and get a good night’s rest.  Rehearse in front of a mirror or with a friend.  The morning of your interview go over your resume, the company’s website and your notes if you’ve prepared any.  Repetition will keep all of the essential information fresh in your mind.  Also, make sure you bring something to write with and write on.

Talking too much/too little:  Try to achieve balance while answering your interviewer’s questions.  You do not want to be too short in your responses and dismiss vital information, but you also do not need to go into too much detail either.  Both extremes can have a negative impact.  You should plan on answering the questions that they ask with 2 to 3 sentence replies.  At that time, you can ask them if they would like additional detail.  Anticipate questions you think you may be asked prior to the interview, and practice your responses.  Keep in mind that your interviewer will be listening to your answers and thinking what it would be like to work with you.

Failure to ask questions:  Just about every interview ends with the interviewer asking, “what questions do you have for me?”  While you may come up with questions to ask during the interview, it is best to have at least 2 – 3 questions prepared ahead of time.  Try to avoid asking questions that can easily be answered by looking at the company’s website.  Attempt to come up with intelligent and thought provoking questions that will cause the interviewer to sit back and think for a moment before responding.  This will show your genuine interest in the role and the company.

Speaking negatively:  Even if you’ve left your previous job on bad terms or have a complaint about your ex-boss or colleagues, your interview is not the appropriate place to vent.  Always try to put a positive spin on as to why you are seeking new employment.  Speaking negatively may cause your interviewer to think that you might speak that way about their company if you leave on terms that are not ideal.  When interviewing, you want your employer to know that you can work well with others and handle conflicts in a mature and effective way.

Job interviews are what you make them.  If you properly prepare, practice and research, you will position yourself for success.  Best of luck!

4 Strategies Job Seekers Should Prioritize in 2016

4 Strategies Job Seekers Should Prioritize in 2016

 The job market is ever changing, with new advances and trends developing frequently.  What worked a few years ago will certainly work differently today.  It is important to understand which job seeking tips to prioritize in order to identify a good career fit in 2016.  Here are just a few.

Understand Your Competition:  You are entering into a very competitive job market, so it is important to find ways to set yourself apart.  A good way to do this is to come up with a creative marketing strategy to help you “sell yourself.”  Stand out from your competition, and people will take notice.

If you want it, ask for it:  Workplace flexibility is a popular trend in 2016.  The technology industry is the leader in offering employees broader options in how they structure their workday and where they actually get their work done.  Employees are much more mobile than they have ever been, and more companies are offering remote work options to stay competitive.  If you are looking for that type of flexibility, ask for it.

Social Media Presence:  Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are still going strong in 2016 and show no signs of fading.  It is critical to remember that hiring managers and recruiters often check candidates’ social profiles to assist in their decision making.  Make sure your social media presence is consistent with the work you are pursuing.  Also, avoid any negative or inappropriate subject matter.  Always stay polished and professional, on and offline. 

Wearable Technology:  Another new trend in 2016 is wearable technology such as the Apple Watch and the Fitbit.  These devices can help you take advantage of 24/7 access to information that could help you in your job search.  In fact, the wearables market is projected to grow 35 percent through 2019.  Timing is everything, and wearable technology is becoming hugely popular to job seekers.

These are just a few trending strategies to help you stay competitive in the job search in 2016.  If you effectively apply these tips, as well as keeping up to speed on job market changes and advancements, you will find yourself well on your way to landing a great opportunity.  Good luck!