Ten Tips For A Great Interview

1. Preparation
Do your research! On both the company and the role you are applying for before you enter the interview. If you are coming into our office for an interview but have not yet been assigned to a client, then simply put together a resume that lists your qualifications, skills and past work experience that might be relevant.
2. Dress for Success
If you are the best person for the job, then do your best to look your best. If you don’t feel like you have the right clothes, there are organizations that would love to help. You can go to your local Dress for Success chapter https://oregon.dressforsuccess.org/ or MercyCorps NW https://www.mercycorpsnw.org/ for free interview clothing.
3. Be on-time (meaning early)
If you show up on time – great. If you show up early, that shows the interviewer that you are responsible and really want the job.
4. Turn your cell off
You want to make sure that your interviewer knows that you can give them your full attention. Turn off your phone before you enter the interview. If you receive a call or text during the interview it will look extremely unprofessional.
5. Smile
A warm smile and eye contact can make the situation feel instantly comfortable and will help you relax for the interview.
6. Firm handshake
A firm handshake can show confidence. Just don’t overdo it! Injuring your interviewer usually does not go over well.
7. Body Language
Body language is essential during an interview. Sit up straight, nod while they’re talking and always keep eye contact. As soon as the interviewer recognizes you aren’t interested it is difficult to win them back over.
8. Take Notes
Write notes during the interview that you think might be useful. It also demonstrates you are fully focused on what they are saying.
9. Polished Resume
Making sure your resume is up to date is a must but don’t forget that you want to always bring extra copies. You may have emailed the resume in advance but that doesn’t mean that they will have brought copies to the room for others that may be included. You will also want to be able to refer to what you have written when asked a question. Take care to keep it clean and presentable as it shows that you take pride in your work.
10. Ask Questions
Don’t forget that you are interviewing them for this position too. You want to make sure it is a good fit for yourself as well by asking on average 3, no more than 5 well thought out questions. You can ask about benefits, hours, where the company is headed in the next year to five years, retention rate or anything else that might impact you as their employee.

Good Luck!

Life Is a Marathon

Yesterday I had a rare mom moment where a piece of advice came out of my mouth and it actually sounded wise and true. I even looked at my eldest son after I said these pearls of wisdom and said, “oh, that was good, right?” I am not totally sure if he meant this but he seemed to whole heartedly agree. So maybe wisdom does come with age and experience and maybe sometimes parenting isn’t just shooting in the dark hoping to hit the right path to turn your children into fantastic, caring, successful members of society.

So, this was my advice, and It applies to everyone, including me. “Life is a marathon, it is a solid pace of steady work running towards your goals. You can’t sprint every time you get behind or you will never win the race.” Ok – it’s not genius but it really worked. In my son’s case, he was stressing over finals and I was taking him in early so he could start his chemistry test. If he would have been more prepared and took that steady working pace throughout the semester, he wouldn’t have had to sprint this entire week to prepare. In the end, he did NOT do well on the test and it was a major lesson for him. It will be his first C in high school and he feels like he not only let us down but more importantly, he let himself down.

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about tips for Time Management in The New Year and the conclusion of that post was simply: time management IS life management. As Ramona Mathany always says, “Just keep on doing the next right thing. Making bad choices in life only makes your life harder – so why be the cause of your own stress?”

I completely agree! We have all made the wrong choices in life, especially by not putting in the work every day, at a steady pace. Why do we continue to get in our own way? Hopefully my pearls of wisdom can help you, I know I need to take my own advice. Let’s just keep on doing the next right thing!

– Erin, Marketing Manager, All Star Labor & Staffing

Top 5 Tips For Professional Success

Even if you’re not in the customer service business, there are 5 easy ways to please your customers, your fellow co-workers and your boss: act like serving them is your first priority. Below we have compiled tips and pointers for pleasing your most valuable customers. Why did we do this? Because serving others really is serving yourself. If you can serve in the best interest of your job without putting your own personal issues before the task at hand, you can only succeed.

1. Be accessible
It doesn’t matter whether you are dealing with your smallest or biggest client. If you always make the time to give them your full attention, no matter what – they will always bring you their business. With excellent customer service comes loyalty and referrals. When companies build relationships with their clients and suppliers, it’s a huge competitive edge. This rule also applies to your co-workers. Be a helping hand, everyone needs someone or something and when it is your turn you will want to be treated with the same attention and care.

2. Take care to really listen
People aren’t impressed by what you know or what you can offer until they see that you care. And you can’t possibly care in any meaningful way unless you have some insight into what people are feeling and why. While you’re paying attention to your customers and co-workers, make sure you take note of their mood as well. Sometimes serving others means taking into account what might be happening outside the work world.

3. Be experts in your field
Aside from being flexible to changing needs, the most important thing a small business can do to differentiate itself is having deep expertise and knowledge about a particular customer segment or industry. If you can quickly help a customer because you simply know the answer to their problem, then they know you are the company they can look to for direction.

4. Everyone is in customer service
Your customer-service team is your WHOLE team. Everyone who works in your company is on the frontline because they reflect the kind of business you want your customers to see. Your workers need to make sure customers are not just satisfied – but are genuinely happy to work with you. The most critical person to hire to serve with everyone’s best interests at heart is your manager, since employee turnover is directly driven by manager turnover. You want someone who’ll stick around and truly believe in your company’s mission, because otherwise, it will be almost impossible to keep up with the hiring challenge.

5. Serve better than the competition
A huge downfall is not knowing our competition. You need to know what your competition does well and what they don’t do well. You need to be able to differentiate yourself by compensating for what similar companies are not doing and what you do well. Become an expert in all areas of service including those that are gaps in the industry you serve. After you know the competition, you simply have to do better for your customer than the competition would.