Toronto +1 647.799.0580
Vancouver  +1 778.200.4990 
recruit@forgerecruitment.com
recruit@forgerecruitment.com

A lot of us have been forced to learn the ins and outs of video calling over the past couple of weeks!  Whether it be video interviews, video meetings or online video sessions, there are a few things you need to be aware of. 

As some of you may know, we here at Forge Recruitment operate remotely.  So, we do a lot of team meetings, interviews and workshops via video.  Here are some of the important things we think you should keep in mind before your video call.   

First, make sure that you test your equipment in advance.  There is nothing worse than having a video interview scheduled and having your laptop’s camera or sound not working.  Be sure to test all of your equipment in advance.  Make a practice call to a friend if you need to. 

While you're making sure that your video equipment works prepare a back-up plan just in case.  For example, if your computer fails you, can you make your video call on your phone?  Download the video app you are using to your phone and sign in to your account just in case. 

Second, make sure you find the right place for your call.  A quiet, well-lit spot will be the best.  You also want to ensure that you are in a room or place where you will not be distracted.  Further, you want to ensure that you don’t have anything distracting or even controversial behind you.  Be aware of your surroundings when preparing for a video call. 

Third, you will want to dress appropriately.  If you are doing a video interview, dress just as you would for an in-person interview.  Take it seriously and dress professionally. 

Fourth, during the video call, make sure your face is in the center of the camera.  You will want to look the person in the eyes, but depending on your camera lay-out, this may mean looking at your computer’s camera – so be aware.  Be sure to speak clearly, don’t shout, and don’t interrupt the other person.

A few additional points:

These are some of our video interview and meeting tips.  I hope you found this helpful.  Thanks for reading! If you have any questions around this or any other job searching or interview topics, be sure to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Have you ever been in an interview and asked by the interviewer, “How do you handle stress?”.  If you have, how did you answer it?  Did you stumble? Were you happy with your answer?  If not, not to worry!  Today we’ll be talking about the best way to answer the “How do you handle stress?” interview question!

First, understand why you are being asked the question.  When asking this question, the interviewer wants to know a few things.  One, they want to see what you consider to be stressful. Two, they want to see how you react in stressful situations.  Three, if the role you are interviewing for has a higher than normal level of stress, they want to know if you will be able to succeed in the role. 

So, let’s look at the best way to answer the question.  When answering the question, you will want to provide an example that shows you handling and succeeding in a stressful situation. Keep this example work related. Focus on how you managed the stressful situation.   Don’t focus on the emotions you were feeling in the situation.  Rather, address what the situation was and what steps you took to overcome it.  Be sure to highlight the successful result.   For example, you can talk about juggling competing priorities within a specific deadline.  How did you decide what you did first, second, third?  What was the result?

A few additional tips.  When talking about how you handle stressful situations, be sure not to provide an example where you were the one that created the stressful situation.  For example, if you forgot to mail something out or follow up with a client on an important matter. Don’t say you never experience stress – it sounds fake. And, don’t emphasize the level of stress you felt – acknowledge that you felt stressed and then focus on how you addressed it.

So, these are our tips on how to best answer the stress question during an interview.  Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions around this or any other interview or job searching topics, be sure to contact us. 

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Have you ever started a new job and right off the bat felt overwhelmed with how much there was to learn and do? 

Given the competitive landscape of the business world, it is very common for people to start off in a new job and feel that they are in a sink or swim environment.  The work can come fast and furious.  On top of learning your new firm’s software, their procedures, your colleague’s names and how they like to work. 

When you do encounter these sink or swim environments and you most likely will, the question is how do you succeed and thrive in them. 

When you start in a new job that is like this, it is easy to second guess your decision about accepting the job.  But, it’s important to remember that growing pains are common in a new role, and given how competitive the job market is, instead of doubting yourself, it’s best to do everything you can do to not only succeed in this new environment but thrive!

So, here are some things you can do to ensure you thrive during this time:

Dive in

You need to take the initiative and jump right in.  Be a sponge and soak up as much as you can.  Also, putting in a little extra time and effort, in the beginning, will help shorten the learning curve. Further, don’t question how the firm does everything.  First, learn their processes.  Down the road when you are settled and more embedded in the firm, you can offer up suggestions.  But for now, jump in, take initiative and do what you can. 

Ask Questions

Ask for help if you are having a hard time understanding something or struggling to find something or unsure how something is done.  Just make sure you are not asking the same question over and over.  Ask a question, make note of the answer and then put it into practice. Build on it from there.  Remember, the people who hired you, want you to succeed.  So they will want you to have the knowledge you need to do so.  So ask!

Make Friends

Make connections with as many of your teammates as you can.  Introduce yourself, have lunch with them or invite them to have lunch with you in the beginning.  You want to have as many connections in the new firm as possible so that you can turn to different people when you have questions.  You will limit the risk of peppering one person with all of your questions. 

Things are going to be tough in any new job!  But it’s important that your patient, dive in and learn as much as you can in those first few months so that you can build a strong foundation. 

Thanks for reading!  If you have recently started a new job and have questions about how you can better thrive in the sink or swim environment, feel free to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Talking about your strengths during a job interview seems like an easy thing to do.  Of course, you know all of the things you are good at! Obviously. 

But, are you answering the question properly? 

With this, today we will go over our tips on the best way to approach the Strength question in an interview. 

Often, we hear things like “I’m a hard-worker” or “I’m dedicated”.  These are buzz words that are often overused and only saying that about yourself will be too vague.   

Rather, when you are in an interview and asked to talk about your greatest strength or to talk about one thing you do really well, you need to be addressing a strength of yours that matches up with what is required for in the job you are interviewing for.  For example, if you are interviewing for a busy, high-volume, fast-paced litigation legal assistant role, answering this question with, “I get along with everybody” is not the best answer.  Rather, you would want to focus on multi-tasking skills, working with a sense of urgency and being highly efficient. 

Once you have a strength that aligns with the job, you need to get specific.  You will want to focus your strength and anchor it to a specific example.  If you have not yet seen our video on using examples, you can watch it to get a better understanding of how to best frame your example.  But essentially, your example is unique to you and will help illustrate your strength in action.  The example will provide as evidence to your claim.

Now, do you think of these strengths on the spot?  You can, but I suggest you prepare before your interview.  The best way to approach this is to sit down before your interview and write a list of your skills that match the job description or are needed in the job.  Then narrow down the list to your top 3-5 skills.  For each skill, write a brief example of you putting that skill into action. 

Thanks for reading!  If you would like to discuss further how to best answer the strengths question in an interview, feel free to contact us!

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Question: Do you send a thank-you email after you have attended an interview?

Sending a thank-you email after an interview can have quite a few benefits – especially if you are very interested in the position you just interviewed for!

When we conduct interviews for our own internal staff, we enjoy receiving thank-you emails.  Not because we like to be thanked, but rather because: a) it re-affirms to us the person's interest in our role and b) it gives us some insight into the person’s writing style. 

So, if you are interviewing for a role you really want to get, sending a thank-you note should be something you consider doing.  HOWEVER, if not done properly, a poorly written or misguided thank-you note can sabotage your chances of getting the job. 

Therefore, if you are going to send a thank-you email after your next interview, keep these tips in mind.

  1. Use a professional subject line.  For example, you can list your name and the title of the position you are applying for.
  2. Include all your interviewers in the email or send separate emails to each person who you interviewed with.  If you do decide to send separate emails, be sure to vary each email. 
  3. Keep it brief. You don’t need to write a novel.  Rather a few short (2-3 line paragraphs) will work.
  4. With regards to the content of the email, you want to reiterate your interest in the role as well as the skills and qualifications you have that make you a strong match for the position.  You will also want to address anything that you think is important about yourself or your experience that may have not been covered during the interview.  You can also clarify any of your responses that you feel like you may have messed up. 
  5. Make sure you proofread your email.  I cannot stress this enough.  When we work with our candidates, I am always a little tentative of them sending a thank-you note without me first reviewing it.  I find a 2nd pair of eyes can really help.  You need to make sure you have no spelling or grammatical errors in your letter.  We have seen a poorly written thank-you note be the reason why someone was once removed from the hiring process with a company.

By sending a “thank-you” email either immediately after your interview or within 24 hours of your interview, you will do a few things – Again, not only will you confirm your interest in the position, but you will also affirm the positive impressions you made during your interview, keep your candidacy fresh and top-of-mind for the interviewer, and demonstrate your professionalism and drive.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you found this helpful.  As always, if you have any questions around this or any other interview or job searching questions, contact us!

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Time-management interview questions may seem simple to answer. However, it’s important when giving your answer, you give the interviewer enough of a response that hits on the things they want to hear! With this, today let’s look at the best way to approach this question.

First, why are you being asked the question?

Some of the reasons an interviewer would ask you a time-management question would be because they want to see how well you can meet deadlines, manage your workload and adapt to stressful situations with multiple demanding tasks.
If they are asking the question, it would indicate that the skill will be required for the role you are interviewing for.

Second, how will the question be asked?

When asked this question, you may simply be asked to “tell me about your time-management skills” or “how do you handle competing priorities and tasks?”. Or the question may be disguised like this: “Have you ever missed a deadline? If so, what happened? If not, how do you make sure you’re not falling behind?” or “Have you ever felt overwhelmed at work? What did you do?” In the end, all of these questions want to gauge your time management skills.

Finally, how do we best answer the question?

Your answer will need to be specific and detailed when discussing how you manage your workload. Talk about your normal process for completing tasks and moving from one priority to the next. You will then want to address what you do when an unexpected change occurs – i.e. something urgent and last minute was dropped on your desk – what do you do? How do you adapt?

You will also want to discuss what process you have for working ahead. Or how you break down larger tasks into smaller tasks and how you impose personal deadlines for these smaller tasks.

It will also be important to address work-life balance. Focus your answer on how you give your full effort at work and are completely present while you are on the clock, and that your efficiency allows you to disconnect when you are at home.

Finally, you will also want to use an example that highlights you doing this in practice.

Overall, points you will want to touch upon will include making a to-do list, taking action or separating the important from the urgent and estimating the time and resources needed to complete each task. You will want to avoid anything which suggests that you procrastinate, inability to complete the tasks by their deadline, suggesting you had a meltdown or a poor attitude while completing the tasks.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions around this or any other interview questions, be sure to contact us.

Happy job hunting and good luck!

This week I wanted to address an interview question that most people struggle to answer – talking about your weakness.   

There is a common misconception that the best way to answer this question is by stating one of your strengths as a weakness.  For example, I cannot tell you how many times we hear “being a perfectionist” or “working too hard” as being the best answer to this question.  Let me tell you – it’s not. 

First off, let’s examine why the interviewer may be asking you this question.  Typically, when asked this question, the interviewer is looking to see how you handle and respond to questions that require you to self-critique.  Further, the interviewer will also ask this question to look for indicators that show that you have been able to learn and handle new challenges.

Therefore, instead of dreading this question, you should see this question as an opportunity to show that you have what it takes to succeed in the job.  How do you do this?  Here is how we suggest you answer the question.

You answer the question by talking about a skill or trait you have improved. You will want to talk about something that you have identified in yourself as a weakness and then proceed to outline the steps you have taken to improve on it. 

For example, I struggled with group presentations and public speaking when I first started in my career.  However, I registered for a public speaking workshop and was able to improve my communication and leadership skills.

You can address a skill that is relevant to the job you are interviewing for, or you can discuss a weakness that is not important to the job you are interviewing for.  Either way, the important part to remember is that you outline the steps you have taken or are taking to improve and upgrade the skill.  In doing this, you are showing that you are self-aware, you take initiative and you are committed to self-improvement.   Finally, you need to remember that when answering this question, it is important to frame your answer as a positive.  In doing so, you will turn your weakness into an accomplishment and ultimately a success. 

Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions around this or any other interview questions, contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

It is very common to go into an interview and have the first question you are asked to be, “Tell me about yourself.”  On the surface this appears to be an easy question to answer.  A nice icebreaker to begin the interview.  The reality is that often, this question leads you down a winding path, often resulting in you rambling for several minutes without you ever really being able to highlight any of your skills or suitability for the job. 

You need to know that often, interviewers ask this question in part, to determine if you're a good fit for the job and firm culture.

Often, in response to this question, candidates will divulge their entire life story.  Where they grew up, what clubs and extra-curriculars they partake in, sometimes even their views on controversial topics.  While having a social life outside of work is important and firms do like hearing full-bodied responses, the best way to answer this question is by giving a response which centers around your career – this does make sense, given that you are interviewing for a job. 

Your answer should address several points.  First, you want to speak about your present job situation – this will be a brief overview of where you are now in your career.  Then, you want to highlight a few points about your past – how you got to this point in your career.  Finally, you want to address your future goals for your career.  Ideally, you will want to tie these future goals into the opportunity that the firm you are interviewing with can offer. 

After you have addressed your professional path, you can intertwine some personal aspects about yourself – i.e. any volunteer work, athletic associations, hobbies, etc. 

Be sure not to overwhelm the interviewer and keep your response as clean and concise as possible.  Finally, avoid oversharing, especially when it comes to personal information.  

Ultimately, your answer to this question should be tied to the job and allow you to demonstrate your skills, qualities and overall expertise that will be valuable in the role.

Thanks for reading!  If you have an interview coming up and would like some additional tips, be sure to call or email us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

When it comes to interviewing, having to meet with more than one person, can be extremely nerve-wracking. 

So many questions - Who do you look at?  What happens if they start firing multiple questions at you?  What if you forget their names?

Today, we will dive in and discuss some of the best ways to handle a panel interview. 

Before we begin, let’s look at why we are meeting with multiple people at one time?  There are a few reasons for this.  First, each person’s opinion of who you will be meeting with will be important in the decision to hire you or not.  Therefore, the impression you make to each person matters.  Second, if you get the job, you may be working with some, if not all of these people and it will be good to see how your personalities match up. Third, the firm may want to see how you handle stressful situations.   

The tips!

When it comes to panel interviews, preparation is key. First, you need to find out who will be present in the interview. You will need to do your best to find out what you can on each person and their professional background.  See if you can review their profile on the firm’s website or, take a look at their profiles on LinkedIn.  You want to become familiar with their role, responsibilities and type of work at the firm. 

Try to remember each of their names so that you can address them by name in the interview.  If they give you their business card, you should keep it on the table in front of you so that you can refer to it from time to time, should you forget their name.  You can place their card at the edge of your resume or folder. 

Regarding resumes, be sure to bring enough resumes for each of the interviewers as well as one for yourself.

When it comes to answering questions, you want to direct your answer initially to the person who asked the question. If your reply is longer than 20 seconds, you’ll need to engage the other interviewers as well. In a controlled, calm manner, you will want to shift your gaze and scan the other members.  When you do this, try not to jerk your eyes, face or body, as this will be distracting.

Another tip that will help you succeed during a panel interview is to control the pace of the conversation. It is important not to rush your answers. When asked a question, pause for a second to really consider what you want to say before responding. But make sure you answer briefly and concisely.  Don’t ramble. 

Also, prepare for follow up questions. It is best to prepare several examples to explain your background and experience, just in case you are asked a follow up question by one of the other interviewers. The more examples, the better, to help strengthen the claims you make about yourself. 

Hope this helped!  Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions around this or have an interview coming up and would like to discuss further, be sure to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck.

Are you using examples to highlight your strengths and achievements?  

Whether you are a junior LAA or a seasoned Paralegal, the best way to highlight your skills and accomplishments in an interview is by supporting what you say about yourself with an example. 

In interviews, most people just say things about themselves – “I’m a hard worker” or “I go above and beyond for our clients”.  While it may be true, these phrases are so over used, they have now become empty statements, fluff words.  In order to have what you claim about yourself really sink in to the person you are speaking with, you need to use examples.  The example makes your claim concrete and also provides evidence on how you will act in that situation. Also, your example will be unique to you! Therefore, while the claim “hard-worker” may be overused, your example is yours!

When framing examples, we go with the commonly used Star Technique.  Frame your example in the following way.  What is the situation you were in?  What tasks were you given?  What actions did you take?  Finally, what was the result? Always highlight the result and when using these examples, talk about what you did specifically – don’t be afraid to use the word “I”.  This is your time to really shine the spotlight on yourself.

Next time you are going in to an interview, prepare 3 or 4 examples that really show-off your skills and expertise.  Use them to anchor any claim you make about yourself. 

Thanks for reading! If you have questions about this or would like to bounce your examples off us, feel free to give us a call or send us an email.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

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Toronto +1 647.799.0580
Vancouver  +1 778.200.4990 
recruit@forgerecruitment.com
recruit@forgerecruitment.com
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