5 Things to Remember After Your Interview

There’s a common theme in the recruiting process that gives job seekers cold sweats and anxiety. It’s not sending out resumes or even preparing for the interview. It’s what happens afterward.

The waiting is the hardest part…

You probably know the feeling. You’ve just had a great interview, and you’re elated. You were well prepared, and it showed. They seemed to like you and even asked key questions like “when could you start?” Everything feels like it’s going your way as you high-step back to your car and head home.  You remembered to get the hiring manager’s card when you interviewed and you sent a professional thank you note the day after the interview.  At this point, you’re certain you’re going to hear from the company very soon.

But then you don’t. Instead, uninterrupted radio silence ensues for days or weeks (sometimes longer), and you start to doubt yourself. You begin to wonder what to do next.

Don’t stress. This article is for you. Here are the four things to keep in mind next time you find yourself in interview limbo.

Five Key Things to Remember After the Interview:

  1. Whatever you do; don’t panic
  2. Be polite, enthusiastic, and positive
  3. Recognize that hiring managers are busy
  4. Keep up your job search
  5. You might be a good match, but not a perfect fit

Don’t Panic

Hiring managers can sense self-doubt and fear. Desperation is not a good negotiation tactic, and when you sound stressed or frazzled, it won’t make a good impression. Instead of panicking, remind yourself of how well the interview went and then keep your mind occupied with whatever distracts and relaxes you.  Put your energies into reinforcing that positive image you projected during the interview instead.

There is a really good chance that the delay has nothing to do with you exactly and instead is being driven by business factors and management decisions inside the company.

Stay Positive and Friendly

Remember how you felt when you had just left the interview? Channel that upbeat and positive feeling into polite, professional follow-ups. It’s ok to leave a voicemail or send an email once a week. But that’s about it. Don’t overdo it, no matter how polite or enthusiastic you are.

Use language like:

“I’m just calling to check on the status…”

“I’m still very excited about the opportunity…”

“I know you’re busy and appreciate your time…”

Don’t say things like:

“I have left several messages already…”

“I expected a decision by now…”

Recognize that Hiring is Not the Manager’s Only Job

It can feel like the only important aspect of a hiring manager’s job is to hire people (and by that, we mean immediately call and recruit top candidates), but it’s not. Hiring managers have a great many duties, and even when it comes to recruiting there are usually multiple steps.

Try to remember that your interviewer may be busy doing any number of important things like reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and probably covering for some of the responsibilities that you are hoping to cover.  The company is probably hiring because they are short staffed in some way, so that might put a strain on everyone in the department including the manager.

Keep up with your job search and interviewing

Not only should you never put all your eggs in one basket, but there are positive psychological and functional reasons for pursuing other opportunities, even if this was your ‘dream job’.  You might find an even better job in the process, but in any case, the interviewing practice will benefit you in the long run.

If you do get another offer in the meantime, but you still prefer this first job, you might be able to TACTFULLY use it to move the process along.  Don’t ever do this if you don’t have another offer.  You can call or email the hiring manager to let them know that you are still very interested in their position, but that want to give them a heads up that you have another offer that you are considering right now.  Don’t overtly try to ‘put the squeeze on them’, but if they are interested and have the ability to move forward, this should at least restart the conversation.

You Might Not be a Perfect Fit (but You May Be Able to Overcome It)

This last one is a little tricky. It might be a case of the truth hurts, but it doesn’t have to mean the door is closed. Companies frequently hire people who are a good fit, but not quite a great fit. And why do they decide to pull the trigger? Usually, it’s because that person shows them that they are capable of filling the position and adding value to the team, even if they aren’t an ideal match.

If you find yourself in this predicament and facing objections from an employer that you really want to work for, put in a little effort.

For example, if it’s a sales job, put together a sales presentation and pitch them. Or send a technical article based on something you discussed during the interview and try to weave a friendly conversation around it (to show that you’re always learning and advancing). Or, select key points from your resume that are a perfect fit for the position and expand on them in a brief email and sell why those skills do, in fact, make you a great fit (even if they can’t see it yet). Just remember to be polite and upbeat and not argumentative.

Ready to get in front of your dream employer? Contact CopperTree Staffing to learn about open positions at exceptional companies or visit our blog to learn more about interviewing, onboarding, and job market trends.

5 Things You Should Do Before Every Interview

There are literally thousands of articles across the internet sharing tips and tricks for acing your next interview. So many, in fact, that just a simple search on Google is enough to give most people a headache. It’s difficult to know what to focus on and put into practice, after all, chances are you’re not going to recall every pearl of wisdom when there’s so much good input to consider.

Ace your interviews!

Instead of wondering what you should be sure to implement and what isn’t *quite* as critical, we’ve created a short list of the top five things you can do before every interview to help get your head in the game and leave a great first impression.

And, what’s even better – these tips are helpful regardless of how exceptionally qualified you are or what position you’ve applied for!

Our Top 5 Tips for
Acing Your Job Interview

Research the Company

It goes without saying that you should research the business you’d like to work for before your interview, but it is surprising how many people skip this critical step. Take the time to read their “About Us” and learn more about the company history, their published mission, and how they talk about their products or services.

Regardless of what kind of position you may be interviewing for, the more you know about them and speak like you’re already one of the team, the better. The company website and team member LinkedIn pages are a great place to start your research.

Review Typical Interview Questions for the Position

If you’ve been job hunting in the same field for a while, it’s possible you’ve already spent a significant amount of time cruising job forums and reviewing some of the most commonly asked interview questions for your prospective position.

Even still, now that you have a specific title in your sights, you should once again take to the keyboard and spend some time investigating what questions you may be asked and begin formulating your answers ahead of time.  If you are working with a recruiter, you can gain additional insight.  Will it be heavy on technical questions, or more geared toward cultural fit?  Will you get probing questions with no real right answer, like “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?”

Prepare Your Responses to Common Questions

You don’t need to rehearse your answers to every question, but you should have a good idea of what examples and references you want to share that are the most applicable to the job you’re interviewing for and make you sound like a rock star employee. Think of bullet points you want to be sure to mention rather than entire canned responses.  It is a great idea to have specific examples of past projects or successes in mind that you can work into the conversation.

Practice Power Postures

One secret to quickly boosting your confidence just before an interview is practicing power postures (sometimes called power poses). By purposefully putting yourself into positions psychologically associated with power, dominance, and confidence, you can make yourself feel those things even if you wouldn’t otherwise. It’s a lot like smiling to improve your mood. Confidence, attitude and mostly enthusiasm are much more important in hiring decisions than most people realize.

It might sound a little over the top, but you don’t need to do these poses in front of anyone to feel the effect. You just need to commit to the full pose and hold the posture of your choice for at least two minutes (and you can do it in a restroom or stairwell if you have to).

Figure Out Your Hook

Last but not least, know your hook. What is the #1 reason you’re a perfect fit for this position? What pivotal moment in your life set you on the path to becoming exactly the right person they’re looking for? Or think of it this way – each candidate for a position has a brand identity that the interviewer should conjure up when they think of you.  What is your branding – Super technical talent? Great teammate?  Industry guru?  Consistent achiever?

If you can tell a brief story about how your experiences or background have created a passion for all things (fill in the blank, as related to the field you’re interviewing for), then you will have a hook. Using a “hook” not only makes you more memorable but also makes it sound like the position is more than a job to you, it’s a perfect fit.

Searching for that perfect position? Contact CopperTree Staffing to learn more about open positions with our partners, some of whom work exclusively with us.

Why You Should Always Take a Recruiter’s Call (Even if You Love Your Job)

The best recruiters take the time to get to know all of their contacts and connect the dots between leading companies and top talent. They’re always keeping an eye on the market and helping the two sides of the employment spectrum come together at the most opportune times.

Networking is key to success

In a sense, knowing a great recruiter is like cornering an information and marketing goldmine. They can help you in a myriad of ways, and represent a sea of opportunity – which is exactly why you should always take a recruiter’s call, even if you’re happy in your current job. But that’s not the only reason to pick up the phone.

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Answer When a Recruiter Calls:

  1. Networking is the secret to advancing your career
  2. You’ll have a chance to gain insight into your professional market value
  3. You can find out more about the current job market
  4. You might know someone who’s a perfect fit for the job, even if you aren’t
  5. They might be calling because your dream position just opened up

Talking with Recruiters is Networking 101

If you have any desire to advance in your career, then you need to embrace networking. And there’s not a more connected person to have in your contacts list than a top notch recruiter. Even if you aren’t currently looking for a new job, you may be one day. Already having a solid relationship with an experienced recruiter will take some of the stress and guesswork out of re-entering the employment market when you are ready to consider new opportunities.

Knowing Your Professional Value Gives You Power

You can’t make the best decisions if you don’t have all the information. Talking with a recruiter can help you understand how desirable your skills are in the job market and assess your current position and goals from a new perspective. If you’ve been in the same position for years and not checked out the market for someone with your background, it’s definitely worth finding out how your current job stacks up to potential opportunities.

You Can Get an Expert’s Take on the Job Market

How long has it been since you’ve had a conversation with someone knowledgeable about the current job market? So much has changed in the past eight years, but some people continue to cling to less than satisfying work because they still think the job market is operating like we’re in a recession. More opportunities are coming available every day. Remaining blind to them is only doing yourself a disservice.

You Might be able to Make a Referral

If a recruiter is calling about a particular job and it’s not something you’re interested in, it’s perfectly acceptable to decline an interview. But even if it’s not the right job for you, you might know someone who would be interested and may be a good fit. It could be your chance to help someone in your network by putting them in touch with a recruiter who might just be the catalyst for a professional change they’ve been longing to make.

They May Offer You Something Even Better than What You’re Doing Now

You might be genuinely happy with your current company and position. But if it’s not (quite literally) your dream job, then it’s always beneficial to take a recruiter’s call. They could be calling about an opportunity that is vastly superior to what you’re doing now. And that’s not information you’re going to want to miss out on.

Is it time you connected with a knowledgeable recruiter? Contact the team at CopperTree Staffing. For more information on the employment market, industry trends, and how to position yourself to advance your career, visit our blog.

How to Solve 3 of the Most Common Onboarding Problems


Onboarding is one of those subjects that’s been covered a hundred times before, but it still never gets old. Why? Because companies continue to make mistakes that can add up to tens of thousands of dollars (or more) down the road in the form of high turnover, costly mistakes, or a disenfranchised workforce. All of which are preventable – and the solution begins with the onboarding process.

Improve your onboarding process by avoiding these three big mistakes:

  1. Not setting clear expectations and job roles
  2. Not investing enough time or effort in training
  3. Failing to help new employees to integrate with company culture

    Successful onboarding
    Successful onboarding

Muddled Messages
From the moment you post an advertisement for your open position you’re shaping potential candidates impression of your business. Pay careful attention to the job description you give. Is it updated and accurate? Or has it been the same for a decade even though the position has evolved?

Make sure the educational and experience requirements you set aren’t just for bare minimum qualifications, but rather, reflect the necessary thresholds for success and thriving within the position – which may or may not be the status quo for the industry.  And throughout the interview process make sure you refer to the expectations and requirements laid out in your job listing. Getting sidetracked will make it harder to assess a candidate’s true aptitude and fit for the position.

Putting Short-Term Needs before Long-Term Success
It’s not uncommon for companies to start the hiring process when they’re already in desperate need to have the position filled and time is of the essence. Regardless of whether or not there’s a true sense of urgency, still take your time to train every new employee adequately.

Even if the person has been working in the same field for a decade or in the same position at another organization, train them on the nuances of the position within YOUR company. Doing so will help new hires understand what aspects of their job description are most important to you and set clear expectations.

Sink or Swim Environment
Every company culture is different. Dissatisfied employees who give low marks to their office culture think about looking for a new job almost 15% more often than those who have a more positive view of their company culture.

As a recruiter, there is one critically important side to this equation that we control. First, we must evaluate whether or not a candidate has the personality, experience, and other attributes to fit your existing culture.  Once hired though, you should have a plan for how you’ll integrate new employees into the culture.

Some approaches to onboarding and submersion in a company culture that work well are adequate training (as mentioned in #2). Also, using a buddy system, so the new employee has a direct line of communication with a senior employee familiar with their position, and making new hires feel welcomed by getting to know that individual and acknowledging their strengths early on.

Looking for the perfect candidate to join your firm? Contact CopperTree Staffing to learn more about our carefully selected, top-tier job seekers – some of whom are not even on the open market and work exclusively with us! Or visit our blog to learn more about employment trends, interviewing, onboarding, and employee retention.  

 

7 Tips to Help You Land the Job of Your Dreams

Entering the job market can be intimidating at any stage of your career. Thanks to technological advancements in communication it’s now easier than ever to find the jobs you’re interested in and apply, without ever leaving the house.

How to stand out and get the job of your dreams
How to stand out and get the job of your dreams

But technology hasn’t just revolutionized the job market for the workforce; it’s also impacted companies and the hiring process as a whole. Employers have higher expectations now than ever for incoming candidates.

Whether you are working with a recruiter, or hunting on your own, follow these seven job search tips to prepare for your entry into the job market and ace your next interview:

1.) Refresh your resume
2.) Get clear on your deal breakers
3.) Know your worth
4.) Automate your job search
5.) Brush up on your interview skills
6.) Use keywords in your application
7.) Always research the company

Shake the Dust Off Your Resume
Whatever you do, don’t forget to update your resume with your latest skills, awards, and proficiencies. It’s also a good idea to check all the dates listed and revisit your formatting and font choice if you haven’t used your resume in a few years.

Ideally, once you’re done updating it your resume will look clean and organized, and dates will appear in chronological order. Make sure your contact information is current and easy to find. Bonus points for using a sans serif font that’s easy on the eyes.

The top half of the first page of your resume be enough to stand on it’s own – objective, contact info, certifications, accomplishment highlights.  When hiring managers are under the gun, sometimes that is all they can look at before deciding to put the resume aside, or read in depth.

Know Your Deal Breakers
Everyone has their own set of deal breakers when it comes to job opportunities. Some of the most common are salary, benefits, schedule, commuting distance and title. What’s important is that you know not only what you’re looking for but also what you aren’t looking for. That way you can more quickly decide which opportunities are worth pursuing and which you should probably avoid.

Research Your Value to Employers
Knowing what your skills are worth to employers is invaluable in assessing job postings (and later down the line, job offers). Identify titles you’re interested in and qualified for and then do a little research to determine average compensation and how your experience level and education stack up.

A recruiter in your field can go a long way in letting you know what the current market is for your skills, and typical recent offers.

Set Up Automatic Alerts for New Jobs
While it’s best to remain active in your job search, no matter how long it takes, it’s also handy to use the tools available. If you’re using platforms like Indeed or Monster, you can save your searches and set alerts, so you’ll be notified when a new job that matches your criteria is posted.

Practice Your Interview Skills
Of course, research most common interview questions for candidates in your field and practice your responses to both generic and technical questions. But don’t forget to also brush up on reading body language (and how mirroring it can benefit you).

Become an Application Jedi
Every resume and cover letter you send should be tweaked to fit the position you’re applying for as well as the particular company. By learning to pay attention to keywords in job postings, you can add an extra layer of customization and stand out to potential employers.  Job titles in IT can vary quite a bit for the same function, so it is important to relate your past experience to the current opportunity as closely as possible.

Prep for the Interview Every Time
Being contacted for an interview can be exciting, but don’t get so caught up in the moment that you under prepare. Even if you’re more than qualified, remember the interview is like a sales call. You’re selling this company on why they should hire you and not someone else. And like a great sales person, you have to understand what they need before you can convince them you are the solution, so ask good questions.

Make sure that you research the position, the company, and if possible, the interviewer before you meet them. LinkedIn is great for finding out about both the company and the interviewer.

That way you can clearly articulate how you meet not only the job qualifications but also fit with their company culture and already understand their brand and values.

For the most streamlined job search, work with the professionals like the team at CopperTree Staffing. Get more job search tips, info on employment trends, and find out what employers are looking for on our blog.

The Best Way to Interview an Engineer


The internet is rife with jokes about how engineers are different from regular people in the way they think, act, and communicate. You might brush some of these memes and parodies of advice off as lighthearted fun, but as is the case with most contemporary humor, there’s a little truth in jest.

Engineer interviewing
Make the most of your time when interviewing engineers

When it comes to how they behave and think, engineers are unique. They’re puzzle solvers and solution finders. They don’t ask “can I fix this problem,” they ask “how will I fix this problem.” And that’s exactly why they’re so valuable in the professional realm. We need intelligent minds that see opportunities where others see obstacles.

But there’s another side to the uber-practical-coin that is the engineer’s mind; they also don’t usually interview like an officer worker, executive, or other people-focused employees. So the question becomes, what’s the best way to interview an engineer?

WHEN YOU INTERVIEW AN ENGINEER:

  1. Don’t Skim over the Technical Details of the Job
  2. Leave Marketing Lingo Out of It
  3. Don’t Waste Time on Nuance and Fluff

Don’t Skim over the Technical Details of the Job
The number one rule for engaging an engineer and making sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to what your company is looking for and whether or not the engineer being interviewed is the right person for the job is don’t skim over the technical details of the position.

Candidates in other areas may thrive on touchy, feely language and artful descriptions that could double as an advertisement, but engineers are practical people. They need detailed technical information and specs to evaluate the job at hand and whether or not they’re qualified to meet your demands for the position.

Leave Marketing Lingo Out of It
Second, don’t fill the interview with marketing lingo. Industry jargon as it relates to the job is fine, but those fancy words that the marketing team has created to sell the end service to users or communicate with the public at large have no place in an engineer’s interview. Stick with industry terminology and layman’s terms that everyone will recognize. That will help keep communication clear and avoid potential confusion.

Don’t Waste Time on Nuance and Fluff
Lastly, every candidate deserves a warm welcome. With engineers, it’s best to be brief (but still sincere) and then spend the bulk of your time together describing the job, discussing technical specifications, and your expectations for the work. Of course, engineers are people, not machines, but you only have so much time allocated for interviews. Spending too much time on social nuance and fluff to the detriment of detailed, job-specific requirements is an inefficient use of your initial meeting.

Contact CopperTree Staffing to explore career opportunities in your field or visit our blog to learn more about IT employment trends, interviewing, on boarding, and more.