Job Seeker Resources

Information and advice from your job search agency.

Preparation Is the Key To Landing a Great Job

You may have the skills to get the job done, but if you can’t properly communicate your qualifications, you may be eliminated as a candidate. By doing your homework before stepping into an employer’s office and having the confidence to present yourself in the best possible light, you will increase your chances of landing the position you want.

We provide resources and support to help you find your next job or advance your career. 

Follow the tips below from STS Staffing, a temporary job agency that will help you prepare for interviews and browse the following job search resources for additional help applying for jobs in your area.

Interviewing to Land the Job

After applying for jobs, the next thing you need is help preparing for interviews. When you have an interview on the calendar with an employer, there are measures you can take to increase your chances of being hired. Read on to see our top interview tips.

Interviewing 101

1. Know yourself

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to interview preparation. Ask yourself where you see your career headed, what kinds of things you want to get out of your next job, and what your strengths and weaknesses are.

2. Package Your Positives

When you can recite your strengths in a clear and concise manner, you make it easier for employers to see what you bring to the table. Analyze your specific accomplishments at your previous position and be ready to provide statistics to back them up. Bring work examples to the interview if they’re applicable to the position you’re applying for.

3. Package Your Negatives

It may seem difficult to identify and explain shortcomings at a previous job, but doing so may leave a positive impression on your next employer. When someone asks about your weaknesses, remember to explain how you learned from your mistakes and took measures to improve your work. This shows an employer that you are willing to admit failures and strive to improve in your career.

4. Learn About the Opportunity

Before an interview, there are some things you should know about the position and company before speaking to the hiring manager. Research the size, location(s) and sales volume of the company, as these are topics that may come up during the interview process. Learn whether the business is a division of a larger company or a standalone company. Understand the responsibilities of the position and find out whom you will be reporting to if hired.

5. Bring Questions

Questions are an important part of the interview process — not only for the employer but also for the interviewee. Prepare a list of questions to ask during the latter part of an interview to show that you are curious about the position. These questions should be open -ended in order to stimulate a two-way conversation with the employer. You may decide to ask about training opportunities, teamwork on the job, performance evaluation methods, travel considerations or simply what a typical work week looks like.

6. Arrive Prepared

When it’s time to meet a potential employer, it’s important to have all the things you may need for the interview. Limit yourself to one handheld item, such as a briefcase, purse or portfolio. Use this item to store pens, a notebook, copies of your résumé and a page of references. Don’t forget to proofread your documents, as it only takes one spelling error to leave a negative impression.

Phone Interviewing Tips

A phone interview is often a job candidate’s first interaction with an employer, so it’s important to make a great first impression. Use the opportunity to “sell yourself” and get the employer excited about meeting you. If you are interviewing for a contract position, the phone interview may be the only interview you will have.

Handling Interview Questions

There are a variety of interview settings, including group and individual interviews, so it’s important to be prepared for every possible scenario. Whatever the format, remember to listen closely to the questions being asked. It is acceptable to ask for clarification when you don’t understand a question, or even take a short pause to formulate your answer. One way to fill the silence when you’re thinking of an answer is to repeat the question back to the interviewer, as it is a sign of excellent listening skills.

Your responses should be specific and concise. When possible, use hard numbers for things like cost savings and revenue generated. It’s best to avoid nebulous phrases or hyperbole when describing your accomplishments. Specific examples of achievements will go a long way, but be truthful with your answers — interviewers can usually identify when someone is being dishonest. That being said, no employee is a master of everything. When you don’t have the skills required, tell the employer that you are willing to put in the effort to learn them.

Fielding questions about salary requirements can be tricky, since it is unlikely that you can guess the exact amount the employer has in mind. When you utilize our services, the employer will already have your salary history on file, so you can base your answer on your career trajectory (usually no more than a 15% increase) if necessary. It’s often best to avoid conversations about salary altogether unless the employer broaches the subject. You will want to use as much time as possible during the interview discussing your value to the company so they see you as an investment rather than an expenditure.

Interview Etiquette

It is better to overdress than underdress for an interview. Imagine that the company’s most important customer is visiting, and dress how you would on a day like that. This means wearing professional attire, even if it’s not something you’re used to. Break out that suit and tie if you want to make a positive first impression.

Besides nice attire, it’s essential to groom yourself properly before an interview. Take a shower, clean your fingernails and style your hair as you would for any important meeting or event. Go easy on perfumes or colognes (or better yet—skip them entirely), as the smell can be distracting or even cause an allergic reaction. Convey a positive attitude, be mindful of your body language, and last but not least, be polite to everyone you meet at the company. You never know who will speak to the hiring manager about their interaction with you.

Interview Close and Follow-Up

An interview can end in several ways: You may be offered a job, you may be invited to a second interview, or you may receive no further instructions at all. If you are interviewing for a contract position through STS, the employer will wait to extend a job offer until they have spoken with our staffing experts. We will work with the employer to determine the billing rate and payment terms if they want to hire you. We will use our expertise to get you the best contract possible.

On your way out of the interview, remember to tell the person you spoke with that you enjoyed meeting them. Lastly, ask what forms of communication you can expect to receive in the coming days.

Starting Your New Career

Making the transition from one job to another can be tricky. For some, the thought of giving notice to their employer is intimidating. Giving notice properly is important for a smooth career transition.
When To Give Notice

When you intend to leave a company, you should create a letter of resignation to provide to your employer. You should present this letter to your employer during a short meeting when you make your intentions clear. The content should be direct, clear and concise. Two paragraphs are typically an acceptable length.

Your Letter of Resignation
When you intend to leave a company, you should create a letter of resignation to provide to your employer. You should present this letter to your employer during a short meeting when you make your intentions clear. The content should be direct, clear and concise. Two paragraphs is typically an acceptable length.
Face-To-Face Meeting With Supervisor
It takes more than a letter to tell your employer that you are leaving, so set up a meeting with your supervisor at a time that is convenient for both of you. In the meeting, begin by saying you have made the decision to transition to a new company and would like to discuss how to make the process as smooth as possible for the company. That way, the focus of the meeting is on the transition and your desire to help, which will leave a positive impression. It’s important not to burn any bridges, so don’t lose your temper, make negative comments about your manager or the company, or leave without giving notice.

STS Staffing Makes Finding a Job Simple

For help finding and applying for jobs, STS Staffing has open positions in Fridley and Minnetonka, Minnesota; Las Vegas and the Reno/Sparks area in Nevada; Phoenix, Arizona; and Nashville, Tennessee. Search for available job openings today!