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Ace Your Next Telephone Interview

With more companies opening up satellite offices and/or allowing employees to work from home, it is becoming more and more common to conduct phone interviews.

Now you may think that answering interview questions while you’re still in your pj’s sounds amazing, but it actually may be more difficult. Without being face to face, it can be challenging to decipher how the interview is going.

One complaint about phone interviews, is that the potential employee can sometimes sound bored or tired. Here are some tips found on Mashable to help you become a phone interview expert:

Strike a Pose

Sure you may have Madonna’s “Vogue” stuck in your head now, but it’s actually been proven that if you prepare with a “power pose”, you will sound more confident. Simply stand with your legs shoulder-length apart, put your hands on your hips and stick your chest out. Do this for two minutes and then go ahead and show that interview who’s boss.

Don’t Slouch

Your grandmother has been telling you this for years and guess what? She’s right. Any public speaking class will advise that you stand or sit straight up to sound more effective and on point.

Smile!

Sure your resume got you the interview, but it’s your sparkling personality that will get you the job. Be sure to smile because your voice will be upbeat and enthusiastic. Ultimately, this is what will make the hiring manager want to meet you for a second face-to-face interview.

For more interview – in-person or via telephone – tips and to find your next job, contact one of our team members at Maxsys Solutions.

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Choose Your References Wisely

There are four words that are at the bottom of every resume that you may need to pay more attention to – “References Available Upon Request”.

According to CareerBuilder.com, when it comes to references, sixty-two percent did not give the job candidate a positive review.  In addition:

“Sixty-nine percent of employers said they have changed their minds about a candidate after speaking with a reference, with 47 percent reporting they had a less favorable opinion and 23 percent reporting they had a more favorable opinion. Thirty-one percent said references haven’t swayed their decisions on a candidate one way or the other.”

With such a large percentage, we wanted to share some tips on how to choose your references.

Get Permission

Be sure to speak with the person you are putting down as a reference. Ask them honestly if they would feel comfortable giving you a positive review for a perspective job.

Confirm Contact Info

It’s important to have the person’s updated contact information, so don’t forget to ask them for it. The last thing you want is a recruiter calling a reference and it’s the wrong phone number.

Include Details

During your discussion with your reference, be sure to include details on the job or jobs you will be interviewing for. Let them know who may be calling them, so they can prepare.

Rotate Your References

To start, prepare a list of 10 or more references. Then when you provide a list to a potential employer, only include three or four and rotate them for each job. This way your references aren’t constantly getting phone calls.

Say “Thank You”

Regardless of whether you get the job or not, you should still thank any references that received a phone call. They gave their time for you and the least you can do is thank them.

Searching for a new job is a job within itself. If you live in North Texas and need some assistance, contact Maxsys Solutions today.

Tech Companies Continue to Provide High Salaries

Apple Headquarters

For many, their college and subsequent career choices stem from their desire to become wealthy. At the very least, we all want to be financially comfortable and not worry about the next mortgage payment.

So when an article featured on the Huffington Post is titled, If You Want to Get Rich, Work for These Companies, it is sure to grab people’s attention. Well, it grabbed ours.

And we are happy to announce that the tech world is still among the top industries with high paying jobs. The other is management consulting firms.

It should be no surprise that tech jobs are in high demand and that tech companies are willing to pay well in order to keep and obtain the best employees.

Among the jobs that are in the most demand are software developers and engineers. “According to a study by Glassdoor published last year, the six companies that paid engineers the most included Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Google, Twitter and Apple — all of which were among the top 15 highest-paying companies overall.”

Unfortunately for many – especially those of us who live in Texas – most of the top paying tech companies are located in the San Jose area (where Google, Apple, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, and Juniper Networks are all located).

For more information on the top 15 Highest-Paying Companies in America, check out 24/7 Wall St.’s article.

For Texans who are still in search for your dream IT job, contact Maxsys Solutions today to speak with someone on our team.

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Tips for an Interview in a Public Place

There could be many reasons that someone would conduct an interview in a public place – they are hiring for a field position and the company doesn’t have a local office or they don’t want their other employees to know they’re hiring yet. It could also be as simple as they don’t have a conference room or a big enough office to hold an interview.

If you are asked to meet at a Starbucks for a job interview, the logistics of it can be sort of fuzzy. Here are some tips for your interview in a public place:

1. Confirm exactly which coffee shop you are meeting at. Do you have any idea how many Starbucks there are on 7th Avenue in Manhattan? Heck, there are 10 in Frisco, Texas.

2. Ask about the dress code. Sure it may be a casual environment, but if the interviewer shows up in a suit and tie, it doesn’t look good if you’re wearing jeans. When in doubt, business casual is a safe bet.

3. Stay focused. Many coffee shops can be crowded and noisy, so be sure to ignore that child throwing a fit and concentrate on the person sitting across from you.

4. Be prepared. It is still a job interview, it may feel more relaxed because of the music piping through the speakers, but you still need to be professional. Since it is more of a conversational setting, it’s a good idea to have plenty of questions.

5. If they offer to buy you a coffee, great! But keep your order simple – if there are too many words to recite – grande decaf skinny soy vanilla latte – don’t order it.

It’s important to know that not every interview will be the same, just like not every job is the same. For more interview advice or for help finding your next job, contact Maxsys Solutions today.

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Questions You Need to Ask Before An Interview

There are times when it is a fine line between asking too many questions and asking too little. During your search for the perfect job is not one of these times. It is important to have as much information as you possibly can.

A great time to ask questions – not necessarily pertaining to the actual position you’re interviewing for – is before the interview. Asking certain questions before your interview is a great way for you to ease some of your worry.

The Daily Muse recently featured 6 questions they advise you to ask and we wanted to share them with you (and add our two cents):

1. “Who Will I be Meeting With?” The last thing you want to do is walk up to the receptionist and not know who you’re supposed to interview with. Some companies will have an HR department or a recruiter, but some won’t. Make sure you have a name – first and last!

2. “Is There Anything I Should Know about the Format of the Interview?” Will it be a one-on-one interview? Or will there be a panel of people you will speak with? Knowing this will help you better prepare for the interview.

3. “About How Long Can I Expect it to Last?” Asking this will give you an idea of how many people you will be speaking with. Some companies may have you meet with several people in one (long!) day.

4. “Is There Anything I Should Bring?” Of course you should bring extra resume copies, but double check to see if they’d like you to bring any examples or your work.

5. “Is There Anything I Should Know About Getting There or Parking?” If there is a parking garage, you want to be prepared to have some cash on hand. Also ask which floor their office is on. I once went to an office located at Suite 131, which was on the 13th floor not 1st. Confusing.

6. “What’s the Office Dress Code?” Well, this one is tricky – even if their office is casual, many will advise that you still wear a suit. But perhaps you can forego the tie.

For more job search advice, contact our team at Maxsys Solutions today.

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Change this Important LinkedIn Setting

You know that your LinkedIn account is crucial to your career search. You also know that constant maintenance of your LinkedIn account is necessary to land that perfect job.

But did you know that there is a setting on LinkedIn that you should probably change?

If you have ever edited or tweaked the job title on your account – in order to be more appealing to a certain position you desire – LinkedIn thinks you got a new job.  And when this happens, LinkedIn will ask your network to congratulate you on your new job. This can be a problem if you’re still in the middle of your career search and you’ve provided your LinkedIn information to perspective employers.

There is a fix for this – put your curser over your profile photo, then go to Privacy & Settings and under the Profile tab, look for Turn on/off your activity broadcasts under Privacy Controls. Then simply uncheck “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies” and save changes.

For more career search advice – especially if you’re looking for a career in Information Technology – contact one of our team members at Maxsys Solutions.

How to Follow Up After a Job Interview

In order to get the job of your dreams, there are many steps – for better or worse – that you have to take. From that first emailed resume you send, to negotiating your salary and vacation days, there are many facets of the hiring process.

One facet, that’s just as important as the others, is the follow up. After you ace your interview, there are several things you’ll need to do to follow up with the company you interviewed with.

Follow Up Email

Following up with an email is absolutely essential. You want a quick, polite way to say “thank you”. Don’t include any questions in your email, you don’t want the hiring manager to think they have to email you back – unless it’s with an offer.

Be Professional

If the person you interviewed with states that they do not want you to follow up, or asks you to call back, then it is definitely a good idea to follow their wishes. Email is a safe bet if no other instructions were given.

If You Haven’t Heard Anything

One question you should ask in your interview should be “when do you expect to make a decision?” Pay attention to the answer and if you have not heard back anything in that time frame, you should follow up. A short simple email or phone call is acceptable.

Learn When to Fold ‘Em

Send a thank you email, follow up once and if you don’t hear anything, move on. If they want to hire you, they will contact you. So as much as it stinks, if you don’t hear back, it’s time to accept it and continue your job search.

Before you continue your search, consider contacting a recruiting and staffing agency. If you’re located in North Texas, call Maxsys Solutions today.

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Don’t Get Stumped at Your Next Job Interview

Believe it or not, there are some hiring managers who actually enjoy making their interviewees squirm in their seat.

Don’t give them the satisfaction. Follow these tips and be sure not to get stumped during your next job interview:

Take a Deep Breath

If you find yourself facing a question you don’t quite know the answer to, just take a deep breath and calm down. If you start to panic, you will increase your heart rate and then you won’t be able to completely concentrate on an answer. In order to come up with a good answer, you’ll need to calm yourself down.

Think Before Your Speak

If your first reaction is to say “I don’t know” to a question, go with your second reaction. It is never a good idea to admit you don’t know something. However, it is a good idea to take a moment and think of a better response.

OR, if you cannot come up with anything within a few seconds, explain how you would go about finding an answer to the question. This will show them your awesome problem solving skills.

It’s OK to Ask Questions

If there is something the interviewer is saying that is not perfectly clear, it is more than acceptable to ask questions. Better to ask now than to ask after you get the job (and it’s worse, if you don’t get the job).

Send a Follow-Up Email

If there was a question that you stumbled on and did not recover from, send the person a follow-up email explaining that you had time to think about it and share your new answer. Be sure to keep it short and simply apologize for that mistake.

Not every interview will be perfect, but if you need more interview – or any other job search help – contact Maxsys Solutions today.

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Organize your Employment History

Keeping a detailed list of all of the jobs you have had, is always a good idea – whether you’re looking for a new job or not.

A great way to do this is to always have your resume updated, but there are instances when that is not possible. For example, if you’re tailoring your resume for a certain career, you may want to omit any job history that is not necessary for that particular field.

Here are some easy ways to keep and organize your employment history:

Collect Information

It is generally a good idea to always have the full company name, address, phone number, website and supervisor name of any place you have worked. Additionally you’ll want to have any job titles you held at that company, dates you worked there, and your salary. You should also add any training classes you took for this job and certificates you obtained.

Details, Details, Details

For every job you’ve had, you should keep a list of all of your job details. And also of whether you liked or disliked your position and duties. This comes in handy for future job interviews.

Organization

Create a simple Word document for each job you have had. And name said documents with the dates of employment and the company names, so they’ll be easy to find. Include all of the above information, plus anything else you’d like to remember.

Remember that for all of your career search needs, Maxsys Solutions is here to help. Give us a call today.

Don’t Include This Info on Your Resume

When it comes to a resume, most people tend to include as much information as can fit on the page. Last week we highlighted some items that many recommend you eliminate from your resume, but it seems we forgot one item.

Lifehacker recently shared that including your address to your resume may be a mistake.

Unfortunately, if you’re applying for a position that is a substantial commute from your home, a potential employer may look at that as a reason not to hire you.

“You might not have thought about it, but in-house recruiters know that people with long commutes have more stress and often eventually quit “because of the commute.” If you quit, they don’t look good AND they have to replace you. That’s more work, with no more money, for them.

When you put your address on your resume, believe me, they do the math. If your commute would be longer than what’s tolerable long-term, your resume often finds its way into the “maybe” or “no” pile.”

Studies show that those with long commutes are not as happy with their job and are also most likely to get a divorce. Hiring managers know this and take this into consideration when sorting through those stacks of resumes.

So if you’re applying for a job out of town, consider leaving your home address off your resume. And if you want more job search help, consider calling Maxsys Solutions.

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