Four Tips When Prepping for a Behavioral Interview

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Preparing for an upcoming interview? One common means of preparation is by practicing your answers to standard interview questions. Employers, recruiters and hiring managers will ask a variety of questions, and many of these falls into two categories: standard and behavioral. When you understand what an employer is looking for, it will help you prepare the perfect answer.  

What are standard vs. behavioral interview questions? 

Standard interview questions are the types you’ll commonly be asked, such as “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Or “Why do you want to work here?” An interviewer is looking for a straightforward answer that helps them understand your qualifications for the job.  

Behavioral interview questions are those designed to determine how you would behave in a professional situation based on how you’ve handled them in the past. This helps an interviewer understand if you have the right skills to do the job. Behavioral interview questions include: 

  • Describe a difficult coworker and how you approach them.  
  • Tell me about a time when you reached a goal and how you did it.  
  • How do you handle stressful situations at work? 
  • What strategies do you use for working efficiently under pressure? 

Your answers to these questions will showcase your professional qualities and soft skills, which are important to the hiring process. They help an employer understand how you will be in the role and fit within the company culture.  

Four ways to prepare for behavioral interview questions 

Preparation is the key to success! Prepare for behavioral interview questions in the same way you’d prepare for standard interview questions:  

1. Google “common behavioral interview questions.”

Build a list of 10-15. You’ll find that many ask similar types of questions, so by preparing 10-15, you’ll have an idea of how to answer any that are asked that you weren’t prepared for.  

2. Practice your answers.

Write them down. Recite them in front of a mirror. Practice them with a friend or family member.  

3. Answer the right way.

When you can, answer the questions with work situations, not personal situations. Show how you faced a problem, worked through a solution, and grew stronger at a result.  

4. Tell a good story.

Everyone loves a story, and it makes you more memorable to the interviewer. Give details to paint a picture of the situation in your answer to the question.  

Need support?  

Getting ready for an interview can be stressful if you’re not sure how to get started. So, if you’re working with a recruiter, reach out to them for support and guidance. And if you’re in search of a recruiter, contact Inter-Connect. You can also check out our open jobs by visiting our job site.

Get Your Resume Seen by Using ATS Keywords

When you’re looking for a new job, understanding the process employers follow can help make your resume stand out. Many employers are faced with stacks of resumes to review but need to quickly fill a position with a highly qualified candidate. To help them sort through resumes, many rely on what’s called applicant tracking system (ATS) software. This software scans resumes in search of keywords that flag a resume as appropriate to the available job position. And as you can imagine, if your resume includes specific ATS keywords, it will land at the top of the stack.   

How to find ATS keywords 

So how can you find ATS keywords to be sure you include them in your resume? First, read through the job description carefully. Look for specific words and phrases that are used to describe the job. These include duties, education, certifications, licenses and responsibilities related to the job. Also be sure to include the company’s name and exact position title in your resume, specifically in your objective statement (for example, “I am seeking a [title] position with [name of company].”) 

Don’t forget to include both hard and soft skills. You can easily find these in the qualifications list—include them as they apply to your work history and background.  

Another great source of ATS keywords is terms and phrases related to your industry. If they’re not apparent in the job description, you can easily find some by Googling “[industry] keywords.” 

Where to place ATS keywords in your resume 

 The next step is knowing where to include the keywords. Remember that you want to make your resume readable for the recruiter or hiring manager, and also the ATS software. It’s a delicate balance! Insert them in a readable way into the summary statement, work history, skills and education sections. If you find yourself getting stuck, it can help to write these sections up as you normally would, and then replace words with ATS keywords as they make sense. There’s no way to know exactly how many keywords the right amount is, so adding them as they make sense is your best bet.  

Prepare your resume for the ATS software 

Submit it as a .pdf file, as this is the standard file most ATS software can read. If you can’t save as .pdf, choose .doc or .docx. Stay away from adding images or graphics to your resume, as these won’t be recognized by the ATS software and may cause your resume to be rejected.  

Need more guidance?  

It always helps to work with a recruiter for help finding your next job. And Inter-Connect can help. To learn more about us and our available jobs, visit our job search page today!

Calm Your Nerves Before Your Interview With These Four Tips

Nervous for your upcoming interview? You’re not alone! The fear of the unknown is very common, especially among job applicants. You may feel worried about what your interview will be like, what you’ll be asked, and how you’ll do—especially if you really want the job!

Have no fear… you’re going to do just fine. All it takes is some preparation and a few easy tips to calm your nerves.

Try the following to prepare for your next interview:


1. Be prepared.

The more you’re ready to go, the easier it will be to stay confident and avoid interview jitters. This includes knowing where you’re doing (if your interview will be in person) or checking and testing your equipment if it will be by phone or video—for example, make sure your camera works, your phone or laptop are charged, you know how to access the WebEx, etc. Then, choose your interview outfit ahead of time and have it clean, pressed and ready to go. Practice common interview questions and answers so you’ll be ready, and prepare 3-5 questions to ask during the interview.  

2. Plan your day.

What will your day be like when you have your interview? It’s a pretty important event in your life. The best time to schedule an interview is first thing in the morning, when your mind is fresh—so try for that time slot, if you can. Be sure to take the time you’ll need (request off from your current job if you need to) and get a good night’s sleep the night before.  

3. Eat breakfast.

This helps to fuel your brain and prepare you to do your very best. Choose a meal with lean protein and whole grains, such as eggs and whole wheat toast. These types of meals help you stay fuller longer so you won’t be distracted by a rumbling stomach during your interview. If you normally drink coffee to get going, don’t skip it—but keep it to a minimum so you don’t end up jittery.  

4. Exercise.

Working out first thing in the morning can help you clear your head and calm down. Plus, you’ll already feel like you’ve accomplished something for the day. Exercising helps get your blood flowing so you’re ready to do your very best.  

Ready For Your Interview? 

Once you’ve prepared, you can rest easy because you know you’ve set yourself up for success. You can feel good that you’re ready to impress your interviewer! 

But if it doesn’t quite go as planned, that’s OK. There are other jobs out there, and you just need to find the right one. And HireCall can help! If you’re in search of a new job, check out HireCall. We’ll work with you to find a placement in light industrial or office/clerical work. Visit our job page today to learn more!

Four Ways to Use Social Media in Your Next Job Search

In search of your next job? You might be interested to know that most recruiters and hiring managers hang out on LinkedIn. It’s the perfect place to showcase your resume in real time, with the ability to continuously make instant updates. So now that you’re aware, how can you take advantage of LinkedIn (and the rest of social media) to find a new job? 

Here are four ways to find a job using social media. 

Take advantage of the power at your fingertips and use these techniques to get one step closer to your next job: 

1. Update your LinkedIn profile

Add your summary and update your job history. Use keywords that are relevant to your industry. If you’re not sure, check out job posts you’re interested in. Ask for references from your connections. Add a professional profile picture or ask a friend to take one with your phone (you can always apply filters to spruce it up).  

2. Link to the right sites

Depending on your career, you can take advantage of social media channels to share your work and experience. For example, if you’re a videographer or graphic designer, it makes sense to share your work on Instagram. Then, you can add this link to your LinkedIn profile. You might also find followers on Instagram interested in your work.  

3. Network

On LinkedIn, you can connect with anyone—and it can help to choose people in your industry, or people at companies you’d like to work for. You can also ask to connect directly with recruiters and follow company profiles to get updates (like job postings!).  

4. Follow groups

LinkedIn also features groups for just about any topic. Search and find a few related to your job, and then participate in discussions. You might be able to learn about job openings, pick up new ideas or skills, or share valuable information and professional advice with others.  

Need more guidance? 

In your quest to find a new job, it always helps to have an experienced resource in your corner. And that’s just what a recruiter can do to help you! When you work with a recruiter, they’ll learn more about your experience, knowledge and career goals—then help you find a job that matches.  

Check out HireCall 

We specialize in the placement of qualified candidates with light industrial or office/clerical roles. To learn more, contact us today!

How to Negotiate Your Salary the RIGHT Way

Part of the job search process is discussing pay. After all, you’re not working for free! However, it’s an awkward conversation for many, to the point that about half of workers never ask their employer for higher pay. On the flipside, companies make salary offers with the full knowledge that candidates will come back with a counteroffer! So, if it’s already expected, you have nothing to lose when trying to negotiate your salary. It’s the way you approach the conversation that counts.  

You can develop your salary negotiation skills with the following techniques: 

1. Do some research.

The first thing you can arm yourself is what salary to reasonably expect for your job title. Visit websites such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics or Indeed.com to see what the typical salary ranges are for jobs in your field. This will give you a baseline for what you can hope to receive, and what is within reason to ask for. Mention this research when it’s time to talk salary.  

2. Establish a baseline.

Your interviewer will typically ask what amount you are looking for, but it helps to establish a baseline first. Ask what salary range they had budgeted for the role. It may fit within your desired salary, or it may not.  

3. Outline working conditions first.

These can muddy a conversation about salary. Iron out details such as start date, remote work options and other specifics prior to discussing salary.  

4. What information to avoid.

Certain information doesn’t hold any weight when negotiating a future salary, and might hurt your chances. First, you don’t need to discuss your past salary history. Also, don’t disclose your salary requirement as part of the application process—this makes it more difficult to have any wiggle room for negotiation.  

5. Pause.

After you’ve stated the pay level you’d like to receive, simply allow for silence. You may feel the need to fill any silence with conversation, but resist the urge.  

6. Ask about perks.

Sometimes, other features of a job are just as valuable as your pay. If an employer isn’t willing to meet you at your salary request, ask about a sign-on bonus or relocation reimbursement as a way to increase your take-home cash.  

Walk away if you need to 

Ultimately, you need to feel you’re being fairly compensated for the skills you bring to the company. If you feel undervalued and underpaid, it will affect your performance and your longevity with the company. So if an employer is truly unwilling to pay you what you’re worth, it’s best to walk away and find another opportunity.  

Back to the drawing board? That’s OK—check out HireCall. We specialize in placement of light industrial and office/clerical positions. To learn more, check out our job search page. 

Best Job Search Tips for 2022

2022 job searchIf you’re like many people, you probably made a few resolutions for the New Year. A common one is to find a new job! If this is a resolution you chose, you’ll be happy to know that many employers are currently facing a “war on talent” trying to find the right people to fill open positions. For you, this could mean plenty of opportunity in 2022 to find something new. But where should you get started? 

Best job search tips for 2022 

It always helps when you have a few tricks up your sleeve! Check out these top tips for finding a new job this year: 

Tack on key skills.

One smart way to qualify for more jobs, and higher-level jobs is to increase your skills. This isn’t necessarily as difficult or time-consuming as it sounds. First, check out job descriptions in your field for ideas of where to get started. Are any skills listed that you don’t currently have? Plenty of online courses are available, or depending on the skill, you could work on it by doing research on your own. If it’s a soft skill, like communication, read up on good communication techniques and start practicing them at your current job. Technology skills are huge right now, so take time to learn a program, such as Microsoft Office, become familiar with social media, or just become familiar with using a computer. It all depends on your industry and line of work.  

Check out another industry.

Switching to a different industry could open up different types of jobs for you. Maybe you feel bored in your current industry and need a change of pace. Talk to a recruiter who specializes in an industry you’re interested in to learn how your current skills could be applied and the types of positions that might be open to you.  

Spruce up your LinkedIn profile.

This is the number-one-way recruiters find potential candidates for open job opportunities. Fill in as many sections as you can, and include a professional headshot (if not, it’s amazing how good cell phone cameras and filters are these days!). Reach out to your network for recommendations to add to your page, as well.  

Build your network.

Contact people on LinkedIn, talk to people in different departments where you work, or send your resume to the Human Resources department of companies you’re interested in (even if they don’t currently have anything open). Attend networking events, or business conferences in your niche. Meeting new people and having meaningful conversations is a great way to expand your network and open up opportunities.  

Work with a recruiter 

This is a valuable partnership that can lead to your dream job—you just never know! Find a recruiter in your industry or reach out to HireCall! We specialize in light industrial or office/clerical jobs. You can also visit our job search page to get started today!

Administrative Assistant Resume Tips

administrative assistant resumeIf you’re in search of an administrative assistant job, you’re in luck! Many employers are currently hiring, which has opened up many job opportunities. Still, you’ll want your resume to be ready to go. If you’re just getting started writing it, or need to clean your current resume up, follow these administrative assistant resume tips.

How to write an administrative assistant resume

First, you’ll need to decide the format of your resume based on how new you are to the field. If you’re just getting started, you’ll write what’s called a functional resume. This means you focus on your marketable skills since you haven’t yet built up your work experience. If you’ve been in the field for a little bit, you can write what called a chronological resume, which focuses on your past work experience. One thing to consider is to include a skills section in your resume even if you have work experience to list.  

Open with an introduction

Start with your title. This could be simply “administrative assistant,” or might include any descriptive details, such as “health insurance administrative assistant” or anything else that will catch a recruiter’s eye.

The first section of your resume should be an overview of what you’re all about. Talk about your key skills, and include anything that aligns with a job you’re applying to. Look for keywords and industry terms, and include those as they apply to your experience. Your intro paragraph shouldn’t be any longer than a few sentences.

Include your functional skills

Familiar with Microsoft Office? Skilled at answering phones and handling customers with a smile? Organized? Great with filing? Make a list of important skills that apply to the job (hint: specifically to the job you’re applying to) and include these in a “functional skills” list. If you’re writing a chronological resume, you might decide to skip this, or keep it. It’s really up to you!

List your past work experience

Start with your most recent job, and work backwards. Only include the jobs that pertain to administrative assistant work, unless you gained important skills. For example, if you worked at an ice cream parlor in college, this probably wouldn’t apply, unless, for example, you developed key customer service skills working at the counter or answering phones. Under each title, write a bulleted list of how you helped the company rather than simply what your responsibilities were. Include numbers when you can to illustrate how hard you worked. This could include number of daily calls you answered, how many accounts you handled, etc.

Finish with education and credentials

This includes your highest level of education and where you earned it from and dates. List any professional certifications you’ve earned, the organization that presented them to you, and dates.

Are you ready?

When your resume is ready to go, what happens if you’re having a hard time finding the right job for you? No problem—just check out HireCall! We’ll work with you to find a job you love.

Here’s What Candidates Want to See in Your Job Descriptions

job descriptions

When it’s time to hire for an open position, you’re likely to have a stack of resumes to review. It can be frustrating to scan resume after resume, only to realize that most applicants don’t have the right qualifications.

You can make the most of your efforts by writing a better job description. This way, you’ll help candidates to self-narrow themselves for the position. Of course, you’ll always get a candidate here or there who is under-qualified. But for the most part, writing a more specific job description will make it much easier to find just the candidates you’re in search of.

What to include in a top-notch job description

Not sure what to write? We’ve all been there. Follow these tips to get your job descriptions spot-on, and watch the right resumes come flying in:

Use your selling points.

What are the best parts about working for your company? You want your job descriptions to be attractive, first and foremost. Do you offer special perks or benefits? What makes your company unique? What do you employees say is the best part about working for you? Lead with this information.

Don’t get jargony.

When describing the position, role and responsibilities, use commonly accepted industry terms. Don’t use internal lingo, which is sure to scare off some applicants while confusing others. Be straightforward and explain what the work entails.

Be just specific enough.

List the top qualifications an applicant will need to perform the job, such as education, skills and knowledge. Then, list nice-to-haves that will help an applicant beat out the competition, but are also skills the person would be able to learn if they didn’t already have them.

Include SEO.

Also known as Search Engine Optimization, SEO helps search engines direct your jobs posts to people who are searching for specific topics. Include important keywords about 4-5 times within the body of your job description (such as the job title) to help it land in the right hands.

Describe your diversity and inclusion policy.

Employees want to know what your corporate culture is like, and that they’ll be welcome into it. Details about your diversity and inclusion practices are keys to opening the application up to everyone and not unconsciously turning away highly qualified candidates.

Need assistance?

If you’re in search of well-matched new employees, HireCall can help! We specialize in the placement of light industrial and office/clerical workers, plus much more! To learn how we can help you staff up in your company, contact us today!

How to Set Practical Financial Goals for the New Year

financial goalsWhat are your resolutions for the New Year? Many people choose a goal that will lead to some sort of improvement, such as weight loss, more exercise, or eating healthier. Another consideration for your overall well-being is your financial health. And setting a financial goal for the New Year can help you get 2022 off to a great (and profitable) start!

How to get started setting a financial goal

So, where do you start? New Year’s resolutions are easy to set, and just as easy to break if you choose a difficult goal. Instead, choose just one or two things to work on, and break them down into small steps that don’t feel overwhelming. Consider the following steps to managing your finances, and pick one that would work best for you this year:

  • Track your spending. It sounds easy enough, but you may not realize how much you spend on little things that quickly add up. For example, stopping for a coffee every morning is only a few dollars a day. But multiply that by 30 days a month, and you’re spending some serious cash. Writing down everything you spend can be an eye-opener for ways to easily cut back.
  • Start saving a little each paycheck. If you’d like to build up your savings account, set short-term goals to reach. For example, let’s say you’d like to save $100 each month. Then, divide that by the number of paychecks you receive in a month, and plan to deposit that amount into your saving account. Start small, because if you cut too far into your living expenses, you’ll end up needing the saved money back.
  • Set up automatic transfers. If your bank offers it, set up automatic transfers to be pulled from each paycheck into your savings account. You won’t notice the money is missing, and meanwhile, your savings are growing like magic each time you get paid.
  • Invest in your future. If your company offers a 401(k), take advantage of it. And if you’re already paying into your 401(k), increase your payment by a percentage point or two. You may not notice this small amount, but it will make a big difference in your retirement savings.
  • Pay down high-interest debt. The key to paying off debt like credit cards and student loans is to start with the debt that has the highest interest and make more than the minimum payment. Then, once this debt is paid off, take the money you were paying towards it and apply it to your next source of debt. Have trouble paying your debts? Check out a debt consolidation company for help getting back on track.

Don’t give up!

Remember, everything is achievable when you work on it little by little. The key is not to give up, but to stick with it. When you choose small, achievable resolutions, they’ll be much easier to keep until you find yourself successful in reaching your goal!

Looking for a new job?

Maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions is to find a new job in 2022. Well, you’ve come to the right place! HireCall is your number one source for light industrial and office/clerical jobs, among many others. To learn more, check out our job search page today!

Highlight These Skills on Your Clerical Resume

Looking for a clerical job? It helps to have a professional resume that highlights your skills and work experience. And it’s especially helpful when you include the qualifications most employers are looking for. You’ll set yourself apart from others applying to the same job and give yourself an automatic edge.

Top clerical skills

As you write your resume, you want to present yourself in the best, and most professional way possible. This will help you catch the attention of a hiring manager or potential employer, to help you win the job. To this end, include the following top clerical skills on your resume as they apply to your knowledge and experience:

  • As the front line in an office setting, you’ll be the person people talk to when they’re trying to get information or reach someone in your office. Good written and verbal communication skills are critical to your ability to do a good job in this role. Specific communication skills to include are customer service, email communication, spoken communication, answering phones, front desk support and listening.
  • Computer skills. Gone are the days of taking notes with a pen and paper—today you’ll most likely be using a computer to communicate. You’ll need to be a fast and accurate typist and may also need to do some data entry. And of course, it helps to be familiar with Microsoft Office programs such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
  • Math skills. Depending on your role, you may be called upon to do some math. This is true if your clerical role will include bookkeeping, budgeting, estimation or even organizing information. Arithmetic and calculation skills could be important details on your clerical resume.
  • Attention to detail. Your daily work in the office could have you multitasking, scheduling appointments, answering questions, directing inquiries and returning emails, among many other things. Your keen attention to detail will help you get your work done on time and with accuracy.
  • To help the office run smoothly, it helps if it’s organized. And clerical workers are the number one way to accomplish that. Your organizational skills, such as filing, office management, planning, prioritizing, sorting and time management, to name a few, are massively important to a potential employer.
  • Soft skills. Of course, to give yourself an extra advantage, it helps if you also have important soft skills. These are skills you didn’t learn in school or through a training program but instead picked up through work and life experience. They include leadership, teamwork, flexibility and adaptability. Always highlight your soft skills on your resume.

In search of a new clerical job?

Now that your resume is all set, you’re ready to apply to your next clerical job. And if you need guidance to find the best options, check out HireCall. We specialize in office/clerical positions! To learn more, visit our job search page to check out our current openings.