Thursday, September 24, 2015

For the Win: Questions Every Candidate Should Ask


One of the most stressful things about interviewing is never quite knowing what to expect. Sure, there are some standard questions that you can usually count on, but every interviewer has their own style, and you never quite know how one might trip you up. Which makes preparation a little more difficult than it otherwise might be.
But one thing you can always count on is how an interview will end: with the interviewer asking if you have any questions. When that happens, smart interviewees have the opportunity to shine: assuming they know what questions to ask.
  • Can I Have a Tour? Sitting in a stuffy office or conference room, it can sometimes be difficult to convey your personality and ability to get along with others – but asking for a quick tour gives you the opportunity to stroll and talk a little more casually with the interviewer, outside the context of an actual interview. Plus, it shows that you are invested enough in this position to want to see where you would be working if you were to get the offer. In situations where the role would involve working closely with other team members, asking to meet the co-workers you would be spending most of your time with can also show how seriously you are taking this opportunity.
  • What are the most important contributions I could make in my first 90 days? Hiring managers like candidates who are committed to success, and there is no better way to show that commitment in an interview than to ask this question. It shows that you want to jump right into the position and hit the ground running, and that you aren’t looking at those first 90 days as a training opportunity – you’re focused on starting out strong! And you’re open to suggestions on just how to best accomplish that. 
  • Do you have any concerns about how I might fit into this role? While it may seem counterintuitive to highlight your own shortcomings, taking this opportunity to ask the interviewer if they have any concerns will allow you to address those concerns in the moment – rather than finding out about them only when you inquire as to why you didn’t get the job. How you react to the answer given when you ask this question can also show your ability to take constructive criticism. 
Remember, everything said during an interview is an opportunity to impress the hiring manager – so take that opportunity, even with the questions you are asking.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Focus Through the Curve: How Smart Candidates Win the Race


There’s this saying in car racing, “Don’t Look at the Wall.” It originated with Mario Andretti, one of the greatest racers of all time, and it refers to the fact that if racers focus on the wall instead of the road ahead of them, they will wind up drifting right into that wall.
Instead, smart racers keep their eyes on the road, even through the curves, always maintaining a focus on where they want to go. Because otherwise, you drift.
Believe it or not, the same concept could apply to so many other facets of life. You don’t have to be on a racetrack to fully understand the concept of focusing on the road ahead. Success is about keeping your eye on the prize.
This is perhaps never truer than when it comes to looking for a new job, or trying to climb the corporate ladder. The candidates who make it where they want to be are the ones who have a clear vision of what that is. They are the candidates willing to make a plan for how to get there, including attaining additional education or training if necessary. And they are the ones who remain focused on the journey to where they hope to land. They don’t look at the wall – they focus through the curve.
But what counts as walls in this scenario? Well, it could be anything that pulls you off course and causes you to drift. Personal matters outside of work that shift your focus. Conflicts with co-workers that have you struggling to do your job. Or a lack of confidence in yourself and what you believe you can accomplish.
Anything that pulls your focus from where you want to be, whether that is a recent opening or the culmination of your 10-year plan, is a potential wall. And smart candidates avoid looking at those walls when they should be focusing on the road ahead.
Does that mean you won’t ever get distracted? Of course not – life happens, and sometimes looking at the wall is inevitable. But if you have a goal in mind for that finish line, the sooner you can get your eyes back on the road, the better your chances are of getting there.
So don’t let yourself drift – not even through the curves that present themselves. Keep your eye on where you want to go, and avoid looking at the wall.
It’s the best way to make it to the finish line unscathed.

Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

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