3 Links to Look for in an Applicant

Posted in Video Interviewing Software on September 26th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

Today’s guest post is written by Emily Manke, researcher, consultant and blogger for Online Human Resources.

While everyone has different wants and needs out of candidates, there are some sure signs of a great find when sorting through potential hires. Nowadays, candidates need to have their whole career stand-out at a glance, and their portfolio a click away. Otherwise their resume will get lost in the inbox, like so many others. There are some sure signs of a professional you should see right away. Obviously past positions, accomplishments, and recommendations all play the most important roles in getting people hired. There are a few additional things you should look for as a recruiter, that can help you sift through the inbox overload of resumes more confidently, and find the gems.

1. Linked Resume

In my experience, having a link to a resume, as opposed to an attached file, makes my life a lot easier. We use Google Drive at my company so if someone sends me their resume as a link to a Google Doc, I already know they’re proficient in our office suite. If your company is very active on Linked:In, a link to a LinkedIn profile, in addition to an attached file, is also a great sign. If an applicant is privy enough to  provide a link to their resume, they should stand out enough for a second look.

2. A Personal Domain

A candidate who has taken the time to buy the domain for their name, or some variation of it, obviously has a certain level of self-motivation. For an inexpensive price, they have the chance to showcase their talents and accomplishments. If a prospective candidate contacts you and shares a domain in their name, that signals a go-getter. They have taken the opportunity to showcase their portfolio online and increase their own SEO. Obviously if the domain isn’t representative of a competent professional, then the domain becomes unimpressive, and in fact works against them. Normally however, if someone chooses to link to their personal domain, it’s sharp, informative, and gives the employer a chance to see just what the potential employee has done, and is capable of.

3. A Blog.

Having a blog that showcases someone’s professional expertise, can indicate a level of passion that is sure to be a great addition to any company. A professional blog provides a forum in which one can learn from, and educate people in their given field. As with the personal domain, an inaccurate or outdated blog can actually show a lack of knowledge or follow-through, but if they link to it for a prospective employer to see, generally that’s not the case. Someone that chooses to put their time and energy into writing about their career, is more likely to be an engaged employee, and that should hint to you they are worth an interview.

Having easy to access examples of an applicant’s work history and accomplishments is a must. If they can prove to you that they know this by including some of those links, that’s a good sign that they will be ahead of the game when they come to work. With the high number of applicants for positions these days, it helps to know easy ways to spot talent in the initial stage of sorting through resumes. If you look for above links, it can help you find the competent, specialized, professionals you seek.

Top 5 Hiring Mistakes That Will Sink Your Organization

Posted in Video Interviewing Software on September 24th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

You’ve got an open position, and the budget to fill it. As a hiring manager, or someone tasked with growing the team, it’s a great situation to be in, and you’re immediate impulse is to dive in head first into the interview process and race towards making an offer as quickly as possible.

Here’s our advice…. slow down. Making a mistake on any given hire is one of the most costly errors possible. Perversely, a bad employee can do far more damage than no employee. No matter how experienced a company is, they still tend to make hiring mistakes that slowly erode the effectiveness of their organization. These mistakes are so common that it’s easy to think that they are actually the right thing to do. What are these mistakes? Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Focusing on paper credentials over experience and soft skills.

While MBAs or PhDs from prestigious institutions are impressive, they won’t mean anything if the candidate is difficult to work with or unable to follow your organization’s processes. Don’t rely on these criteria alone – do you best to judge a candidate’s soft skills as well.

2. Hiring based mostly on “intuition” than concrete criteria.

“I like him/her,” is a poor way to make a hiring decision. It’s best to have a concrete scorecard with your expected interview answers and how a candidate successfully responds with them.

3. Lack of a critical factor for decision-making.

Many companies make the mistake of having too many criteria for choosing a candidate. This makes their priorities skewed, missing the most important criteria that’s critical to being a top performer at the position they’re applying for.

4. Not considering a candidate’s writing skills.

It’s amazing how most of our day-to-day business communication happens through email. Therefore, it’s such a surprise that written communication skills are rarely included in interview criteria. You may have hired a genius engineer or designer, but if they can’t effectively communicate their ideas or reports through writing, you’ll have a difficult time working with them in the long run.

5. Forgetting to take advantage of job ads as qualifiers.

Most organizations fail to use their job ads to filter out bad candidates. The job ads rarely include critical factors, and simply list broad characteristics (age range, possible educational and work background, etc.) Be sure to use the ad to encourage good applicants and discourage unqualified ones by being specific about the skills needed to do the job well (“daily reporting required” or “must be a self-starter who isn’t afraid to make big decisions”).

Best Customer Service Interview Questions

Posted in Video Interviewing Software on September 19th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

Customer service jobs are among the most common employment opportunities on the job market today. This can make finding the perfect candidate for your company’s position extremely difficult. Not only do you need to sort through the many employment applications, but you must ensure that you select the candidate that will be a perfect match for your company. The job interview is one of the best tools available to help you find right candidate. When interviewing candidates you are looking to ensure that both their personality and their service skills are right for your company. Generally the interview questions are broken down into three separate categories, including questions about the candidate, questions about customer service in general, and questions about their past customer service experience.

Questions about the Candidate

  • Why did you apply for this position with our company?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Do you have the ability to multi-task?
  • What type of computer skills do you have?
  • Why should we hire you?

Questions about Customer Service

  • Describe what customer service means to you?
  • Do you believe the customer is always right?
  • How would you approach new customers?
  • What it the most important customer service skill?
  • How would you deal with a rude/irate/pleasant customer?
  • What would you do if a customer tried to leave without paying for their goods?

Questions about the Candidate’s Past Experience

  • What type of industries have you worked for in the past?
  • Describe a time when you received a negative comment from a customer, and used that information to improve your customer service skills.
  • Describe a bad situation you had with a customer and explain how you resolved the issue.
  • How have you handled a disruptive customer in the past?
  • Describe a time that you went the extra mile to help a customer.

A major obstacle facing many employers today is finding enough time to schedule all of the necessary interviews. Many managers are looking for alternative interviewing methods to help them manage their time more efficiently, such as video interviewing. Video interviews ensures that each candidate answers the same questions, while still showing their personality. Video interviewing software can help by completing interviews efficiently and effectively anywhere and anytime, and allowing the employer to view those interviews at a time that is convenient to them.

Time Saving Interviewing Tips

Posted in Video Interviewing Software on September 14th, 2012 by Active Interview – Be the first to comment

If your company just released a notice that you’re hiring, you’d probably be swamped with job applications in no time. Within a week, you could have dozens of applications sitting on your desks – maybe even hundreds. How do you find viable candidates without wasting too many hours and resources? Here are some things you can try:

1. Have a concrete list of ranked requirements.

First, you need to have a specific list of requirements. What job experiences do they need to be good at the role you’re hiring them for? How many years of experience are needed? What educational background are you looking for? Also, apart from listing these requirements, arrange them according to priority. This makes it easy for you to decide on the current applications on hand.

2. Conduct an online test for both aptitude and soft skills.

Once you have a list of applicants that meet your requirements, send them to an online test. This could be an aptitude test, or a soft skills test. By seeing who has the scores you need, you can know which applicants would be worth interviewing and which ones to put in your waiting list.

3. Interview applicants with a panel.

When you’re ready to hold interviews, make sure that more than one key person from your organization is present. Include the applicant’s intended supervisor or colleague, so that they can ask specific questions based on their own requirements.

4. Use remote video interviewing.

Rather than wasting hours on inefficient scheduling and walk-in applications, schedule video interviews. This can be more efficient, since you can schedule several interviews in a row without making applicants wait for hours in your lobby. For a preliminary interview, this is more resource-efficient than in-person interviews.

5. Make sure you have a specific purpose for each interview question.

Don’t just ask random questions – make sure that you also have a list of answers you would like to hear. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting time asking questions that don’t really add to your knowledge of the applicants skills and capabilities.

By following these 5 steps, your company can have a more efficient application process that’s less time consuming and more cost effective for all parties involved.

References:

  • http://www.adlerconcepts.com/resources/column/newsletter/using_the_panel_interview_to_s.php
  • http://biznik.com/articles/how-to-save-time-and-money-in-your-hiring-process
  • http://www.comparebusinessproducts.com/briefs/how-save-time-and-money-your-hiring-process
  • http://www.entrepreneurship.org/en/resource-center/saving-time-by-outsourcing-the-interview-process.aspx

How to conduct a telephone screening interview effectively

Posted in Video Interviewing Software on September 14th, 2012 by Active Interview – Be the first to comment

Phone interviews are a great way to filter job applications, especially if your company is receiving hundreds of these a month. You don’t want to waste time and resources on in-person interviews for unqualified candidates.

With that said, how do you use phone interviews to your advantage? Here are 5 suggestions:

1. Define your must-haves on paper.

You’re conducting phone interviews so that you can save time and reserve face-to-face interviews with highly qualified candidates only. Because of this, have a list of concrete qualities a good candidate must have, as well a deal-breakers for unqualified candidates. These qualities can be skills, availability, experience, and educational background.

2. Have your evaluation forms ready.

Each phone interview should have an associated form that includes the interviewee’s basic data, as well as summaries of their answers. This makes it easy to recall and record applicants that stand out.

3. Clarify the salary range.

Though most people reserve salary negotiations for the in-person interview, sometimes knowing the candidate’s expected salary in advance – even a range – can give you insight on their familiarity with the position and industry.

4. Verify the timeframe.

Why waste interviews and screenings on someone who won’t be available for work on the starting date you need? Use the phone interview as your opportunity to ask the applicant their employment plans as well as their availability on the starting date, if ever they get the job.

5. Ask for their back-up plan.

Knowing a candidate’s back-up plan if you don’t hire them can reveal a lot about their character, intentions, and work process. This is why you need to ask this question as early as possible. It can tell you if they’re juggling dozens of job applications, and how interested they are in working for you specifically.

Try to keep these 5 points in mind when conducting your next phone interview. You’ll find that doing these 5 things easily helps good candidates stand out, while unqualified candidates get easily filtered out.

References:

http://www.inc.com/articles/2001/06/22751.html

http://www.career.vt.edu/interviewing/TelephoneInterviews.html

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10things/10-interview-questions-that-will-help-reveal-a-candidates-true-qualities/924

Should you work with a recruiter to find your next job?

Posted in Video Interviewing Software on September 14th, 2012 by Active Interview – Be the first to comment

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Work With a Recruiter on Your Next Job Hunt

Have you ever went on a job application spree, submitting your resume to dozens of companies, only to get no callbacks in return? If you’ve ever reached this point, odds are you’d need some extra help. This is where a recruiter comes in handy. An effective recruiter can help you increase your chances of getting hired. Here are some advantages of working with a recruiter:

1. Choosing a specialized recruiter helps you break into a specific industry.

Some recruiters specialize in hiring for a particular industry. To ensure maximum value, choose a recruiter that best suits the jobs and companies you’re looking for.

2. A recruiter can give you helpful, objective feedback about your application.

You can’t rely on family and friends to give you objective and constructive feedback when it comes to your job application. Their role is to support and encourage you all the way. A recruiter, on the other hand, has to present you in the best light possible. This includes giving you helpful feedback about your resume, cover letter, and they way you present yourself during the interview.

3. Find unadvertised jobs using a recruiter.

Why compete with hundreds of other applicants for a job advertised online or in a newspaper? Minimize competition by finding a recruiter who can help you get the unadvertised jobs.

4. Working with a recruiter makes it easier to follow up.

Ever wonder why a company hasn’t called back weeks after you submitted your application? A recruiter can help you deal with that kind of uncertainty. They can follow up on your behalf or reassure you if a long wait is common for that company.

5. Recruiters aren’t just for getting jobs – they are for building your network.

Most people think that recruiters are only for getting jobs. What they forget is that these recruiters have several connections across dozens of companies. You can leverage those connections by asking for introductions, to broaden your general network.

Have you ever worked with a recruiter? How has he or she helped you with your job search?

Are you hiring bozos or A-players? 5 tips for your business.

Posted in Video Interviewing Software on September 14th, 2012 by Active Interview – Be the first to comment

It is natural for every business owner to want to hire only A-players to work for their company. Unfortunately, hiring is rushed and business owners and managers simply hire the candidate that looks “good enough”. But this may quickly fill a business with a team of bozos instead of A-players. The problem with hiring bozos is that they can decrease company morale, and they are more likely to hire fellow bozos to work under them. They are less efficient and can directly affect the success of the business. Below are 5 tips that can help ensure that you and your managers are hiring only A-players instead of bozos.

1. In-depth interviews

To avoid hiring bozos, it is important that multiple people be involved in the hiring process. Several managers and even peers should be included in the interviews and decision making, to ensure that the selected candidate is a good match for the company. This also allows for various opinions to be heard about each job applicant to help make a more well-rounded decision.

2. Do Not Solely Look at Resumes

While resumes are important, it cannot be the only thing you look at when choosing an applicant. There are plenty of people who look good on paper and say all the right things, but then never live up to the promises they claim. You must look carefully at how they answer the questions and if they have any personality traits of a bozo, such as being cynical, arrogance, or having that know-it-all attitude.

3. Video Interviewing

Many companies realize that video interviewing can be a great tool used for hiring the best candidate. There are several great benefits of video interviewing, including it saves time, allows multiple people involved in the hiring process to view the interviews at their convenience, and it provides the opportunity to review the video interview several times if necessary. This can help filter out the potential bozos before holding more in-depth interviews.

4. Teach Managers Hiring Tips

You cannot expect your manager to hire A-players, if you are not teaching them what it means to be an A-player. Teaching your team efficient hiring techniques can go a long way in ensuring the right people are hired each time. One problem that many companies see is that their managers want to hire employees with less skill and experience than they have. It is up to top management to encourage their staff to hire the best candidate, even if they are better qualified than them.

5. Hire a Diversified Staff

Diversification is a key to growing a successful team. Having a diversified team can bring multiple viewpoints to the table and help create a successful atmosphere for the company. It is very likely that you have a diversified clientele and your employees should match that variation.

Top 10 Behavioral Interview Questions

Posted in Video Interviewing Tips on September 14th, 2012 by Active Interview – Be the first to comment

A job interview is often about finding a good fit between your company and the employee, rather than a straight match of skill set to tasks. Since most of the skill related items are enumerated in the applicant’s resume or cover letter, taking an interview in a behaviroial assessment direction give you a chance to evaluate the applicant’s attitude and behavior. And hopefully get a clearer picture of what it would be like to have him or her as part of your team.

With that said, here are 10 great “behavorial” questions you can ask a job applicant:

1. How do you set professional goals?

2. What concrete things did you do to improve your performance in your previous job?

3. Describe a typical workday in your previous job. Which tasks made you feel most focused? On which tasks did you feel the least focus?

4. If you need to learn a new skill for your job, how would you go about trying to learn it?

5. Have you ever been competitive at work? If so, can you give examples of how you dealt with competition. If not, why do you think you’re not competitive?

6. Tell me about how you resolved a conflict with a colleague in the past.

7. Let’s say that your direct supervisor makes a decision that may have a negative impact on the company. How would you handle this situation?

8. Describe an incident where you anticipated or predicted something going wrong in the company you’re working for. What did you do to prevent it?

9. Tell me what you would do if you had an important idea that could help the company tremendously. How would you go about spreading or executing it? What would you do if you encountered resistance to your idea?

10. What was the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in your career? What did you do about it?

Given these 10 simple questions, you can easily determine how well a candidate handles goal-setting, ambition, conflict, and learning. While the responses you get will merely be verbal answers rather than demonstrations, what an applicant tells you in response and how he or she responds can give you a solid starting point.

Why you should hire for cultural fit

Posted in Video Interviewing Tips on September 13th, 2012 by Active Interview – 1 Comment

Top 5 Reasons to Hire for Cultural Fit

There are many factors which hiring managers use when picking applicants to interview, test, or hire. Among these factors are skills, educational background, and experience. It’s usually easy to quantify an applicant’s level in any of these 3 factors, since these are often indicated in their resume.

But if you’re hiring employees, there’s another factor you should look at – cultural fit.

Basically, a cultural fit is about the values, ethics, and mindset of the applicant, and whether these things align with your company’s own values, ethics, and mindset. While it’s harder to quantify, a cultural fit is essential for a potential employee’s success in your company. Here’s why:

1. A good cultural fit makes it easier for the new hire and existing employees to work well together.

New hires need to quickly and effectively become part of a company’s existing team. This is much easier to do if your employees share common values, ethics, and mindsets when it comes to work. New hires won’t feel much like outsiders, and they’ll easily see what they can contribute to the rest of the team.

2. A good cultural fit encourages employee loyalty.

Though new employees are often very excited about their new jobs, the romance doesn’t last that long. Very quickly, they’ll start to see differences and problems that prevent them from fitting in or working effectively. You can avoid that simply by hiring a candidate who is a good fit for your company’s existing culture and processes.

3. It’s easier to match expectations with a good cultural fit.

Your employees’ expectations regarding flexible working schedules, pay, raises, and work-life balance should match your company’s. Otherwise, employees may feel resentment if they expect better work-life balance even if your company’s employees are known for diligence and hard work.

4. Hiring based on cultural fit helps your company become more competitive on the points that make you unique.

If your company is known for its innovation, then you’re going to focus on finding competent innovators when you’re hiring. Or, if your company’s unique selling point is your great customer service, you’re going to try and find candidates that show great customer service skills. By hiring based on qualities that your company culture values, you’re ensuring your company’s competitiveness based on those qualities.

5. It’s harder to train for cultural fit.

It’s easy to send an employee to conferences, workshops, and any additional training where they can acquire new skills or improve their existing ones. But, you can’t exactly train an employee to follow your company culture.

As you can see, hiring for cultural fit has great benefits for your company. While you still have to look for competence and communication skills, cultural fit should also be an important factor in your hiring decisions.

5 Questions to ask when hiring a Web Designer

Posted in Video Interviewing Tips on September 12th, 2012 by Active Interview – Be the first to comment

Do a quick web search for “web designer” and thousands upon thousands of results will show up. There’s certainly no shortage of people out there who know how to design for the web. The hard part is choosing the one who will make a great fit for your web design projects.

But how do you make sure that you hire a skilled, reliable designer? Here are 5 interview questions you should ask:

1. How do you work? Please walk us through your process.
Good designers involve their clients in the process, especially at the beginning. They need to interview you thoroughly and understand the goals you are trying to achieve. If client consultation is missing or lacking in their process, then the designer is mostly designing for themselves – not you.

2. Do you follow any industry blogs? If so, which ones?
Good designers need to be aware of the changing trends, standards, and technologies involved in web design. This ensures that your site will be up to date.

3. In your opinion, what’s the most important aspect of a website’s design for you to consider it successful?
If your web designer answers anything about aesthetics, such as “beauty” or “it must be pleasant to look at”, then he or she is more of an artist than a real designer. Designers are supposed to solve problems and help companies reach their goals, so their answer should match what your company wants to achieve with the design.

4. Can you share any concrete results or feedback that you have gotten regarding your previous designs?
This helps you find out if your designer has a history of creating websites that increase sales, build customer trust, and grow a brand’s equity.

5. If I make some suggestions on changing the design, and you disagree with these suggestions, what would you do?
Even if you know that you have little or no design experience, you might not be able to help making suggestions to the designer. Bad designers will just do whatever you ask. But, if a skilled designer believes that your suggestions will hurt your brand or prevent you from achieving your goals, he or she can explain this in a tactful, informative manner.

It can be tough hiring a designer, especially with the massive pool of talent to choose from. The good news is that with these 5 questions, you have a starting point for finding designers that are suitable for your business.