How to Ace Common Interview Questions

Everyone knows that the key to a successful interview is being prepared, so why not prepare yourself for some of the interview questions that may be coming your way? This can help put your mind at ease, and avoid struggling to come up with an answer during an interview. Here we have compiled a handful of common questions that cover your history, your skills, and your future.

How to Ace Common Interview Questions

“Tell me about yourself.”

This is probably one of the most common questions you may be asked in an interview, as it typically is a good icebreaker and introduction/summary of your skills and what you are looking for. It’s important to keep it professional and talk about your work history and explain how and why you are currently looking for employment.

Tips:

  • Keep it limited to your professional life. Summarize your work history from the beginning.
  • If you have lengthy work history, keep it relevant to the job at hand that you are interviewing for.
  • If you have limited work history, try using other experiences to showcase your skills.

“Why do you want this job?”

Interviewers are wanting someone that is passionate about their work, so you should prepare a good response for this question. Research the company and fully read the job descriptions, then pick a few key points that really attracted you to this job or company.

Tips:

  • Pick a couple points in the job description that you relate to the most and give examples on how you can excel at them.
  • If you know the company you are applying for, do your research on them as well and list a couple key points as to why you would be a good fit.

“What are your greatest strengths?”

Interviewers are looking for honesty and self-awareness with this questions. Focus on something relevant and accurate, not just something you think they want to hear. Don’t feel awkward answering this question, this is an opportunity to toot your own horn.

Tips:

  • Avoid a cheesy answers, such as, “I’m too dedicated to my work.”
  • Focus on a skill crucial to the job at hand. For example, for a customer service related job, try using “relationship builder” instead of “people skills.”

“What do you consider to be your weaknesses?”

Typically when being asked this question, it’s not to identify any red flags, but a gauge self-awareness and identify self-improvements.

Tips:

  • Avoid using a strength as a weakness. Such as, “I am too hard of a worker.”
  • Use non-essential skills for this position, such as, “My public speaking needs improvement.”
  • Keep it brief and try not to dwell on the questions too long.

“Why did you leave your last job?”

This question is intended to gauge your relationship with your current or past job. Avoid talking negatively about your former employer, this can leave many interviewers feeling hesitant of hiring you, especially if you blame failures on others.

Tips:

  • Reference your past jobs as opportunities to gain new experience and learn new skills.
  • Try to focus on what new opportunities you’re looking for in your future role.

“Why are you the best person for this position?”

If you’ve reached this question, this is a good thing as it means they are usually interested in moving forward with you. While it may seem a little forward, you should be ready and excited for this question. This is the time for you to cover three basic items: you can successfully do the work, you can deliver results, and you are a good fit for this company. If you have time, feel free to highlight a couple of your skills or accomplishments that make you the better candidate.

“Describe your dream job.”

An interviewer is asking this question not to get the response of, “This job,” but to find out what you’re passionate about and see what your career goals are. They want to find out if you truly would be happy in a certain position.

Tips:

  • Give a general job description instead of a job title.
  • Tailor your response to a certain job you are interviewing for.
  • Use this question to go into more detail about what you’re looking for. So instead of saying that you’re looking for customer service work, you could explain how helping people and being able to change their day makes you happy.

There are many other common interview questions out there, so do some research and start preparing your answers incase those questions may come up in your next interview. This can eliminate so much additional and unneeded stress from the interview process.

If you have not applied with us already, please feel free to use our online application at www.allstarlabor.com then call to schedule your interview. If you have previously interviewed with us but feel you now need a refresh, that’s great! Give us a call and we’ll get that scheduled.

All Star offices:

Portland 503-619.0811

Salem 971-209-7130

Albany 541-791-7928

Eugene 541-228-9751

Bend 541-389-1718

Tips for Getting Back Into the Workforce after Long-Term Unemployment

With Oregon’s unemployment rate at a historical low rate, many people are able to find work that were not able to before. If you are one of these individuals, you may be having some mixed feeling about getting back into the workforce, and that’s completely normal. A common feeling right now may be anxiety, but there is no need to worry yourself, now is a better time than ever to get back in the saddle. To help guide you through this transitioning phase, we have put together a list of tips to ease you back in.

Tips for Getting Back Into the Workforce after Long-Term Unemployment

Apply with All Star Labor & Staffing

Going through all the online job boards and filling out endless applications can be very tiring, but if you apply with All Star, you won’t just be applying for one job, you’ll be applying for ALL of our jobs! We understand gaps in work history and we are always willing to work around that and find you employment that you want.

Dust off your resume

Yes, your employment gaps will show up on your applications and resume, but you just need to be prepared to explain your situation. You can adjust your resume to avoid those gaps being the first thing someone sees by doing a career summary resume to highlight your top qualifications. This will draw attention to your selling points and downplay your work history.  We also always suggest having a cover letter to be included with your resume. This is a great tool to utilize a couple sentences to explain your unemployment until you get an opportunity to interview.

Get back into a work schedule routine

While you’re away from a regimented work schedule, you tend to go more with the flow in regards to your daily schedule, but that will all change when you start working again. Prior to starting your new job, it is a good idea to get into the habit of getting on a schedule again so you can find how everything will fit into your day. Once you are offered a position, find out the hours and start working your day around it, such as, wake up times, meals, workouts, knowing when to drop off kids, etc.

Limit your outside obligations

If you’ve been unemployed for a long period of time you may be amazed at how exhausting being in the workforce again may be. This goes for both physically and mentally as your head may be spinning with trying to learn so much and remember everything. This will get much easier and your body will get adjusted, but for the first couple weeks, it may be best to pare down on workweek activities before or after work. Allow yourself to get adjusted.

Be humble 

Once you start your new job, it’s best to not over stress yourself right from the get go. It’s okay to be the rookie in your new role. Set realistic goals for yourself and don’t feel pressured to learn it all in your first week. Get comfortable in your role, observe your colleagues and adapt to the flow of your environment.

Get to know your coworkers

Having someone to talk to will make this transition so much easier on you, and you may even make a new friend in the process. Be friendly and introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Having a friendly coworker can alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with starting a new job and they are great for answering all the many questions that come along with a new work environment.

No matter the duration of your unemployment, if you are physically and mentally ready to return to work, you can do this! Apply today with us and let us help get your back into the workforce. www.AllStarLabor.com

What’s a Cover Letter and Why’s it Important?

You know you’ve seen it before. You’re reading a job posting and at the end you see the words, “Submit your resume and cover letter.” Many applicants are deterred from this little phrase and they shouldn’t be. This is an opportunity to let yourself stand out from other candidates and tell why you are the better choice in a way that your resume cannot. So next time you see that phrase in your job search, don’t pass on applying, take advantage of it and put together a great cover letter. Here we will explain what a cover letter is, what makes it different from a resume, why it is important, and some great tips to successfully write one.

What’s a Cover Letter and Why’s it Important?

By definition, the term cover letter means, “A letter sent with, and explaining the contents of, another document or a parcel of goods.” A cover letter is a letter of introduction which allows you to tell a little more about yourself in a way that your resume may not be able to. Resumes are designed to simply list your qualification, skills, education and accomplishments. When writing a cover letter you will want to explain why you are the top candidate and why your set of skill, and qualifications included in your resume make you ideal for this position and the company. Here are some simple tips to follow:

  • Tailor each cover letter specific to the job you are applying for.
  • Research the company or organization and explain why you are a good fit.
  • Read the company’s mission statement and explain why you relate to it.
  • Fully read the job description and describe why you are the ideal candidate.
  • Describe what about the job attracted you to apply.
  • Avoid summarizing your resume.
  • Keep it one page.
  • Proofread and proofread again.

Cover letters are also a great opportunity to explain circumstances that a resume does not allow you to. For example, if you have gaps in your employment, reentering the workplace, or changing careers. A cover letter is a great way to explain these in a positive way.

As you can see, cover letters are a very important tool in your job search as they can give you many opportunities in a way that resumes cannot. Many hiring managers or recruiters will read your cover letter first and sometimes may pass on your resume if they are dissatisfied with the quality of your cover letter. So it is important to sit down and take a moment to put together a good quality template for your cover letter that will be sure to catch someone’s eye.

If you or someone you know if looking for employment, please visit our website at www.allstarlabor.com for available jobs and our online application. Which will allow you to upload both your resume and cover letter.