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

We have been in quarantine for a while now, and I am very much missing my hairdresser right now. My roots and highlight appointment are needed right now. Obviously, this is all for a good cause. I’m hoping that we can all continue to stay disciplined while working from home and that we can work together to flatten this curve.

At the same time, I am also missing my family, friends and my coworkers, and I’m sure a lot of you are in the same boat. So, today I wanted to talk a bit about some tips that can help us in our emotional state of social isolation while working from home.

I don’t know about you, but lately, my days are filled with feelings of frustration, headaches, anxiety, and tired eyes more than ever, from starring at the computer screen all day. I’m finding that there are few things though, that are helping me get through this time, and are helping me to stay sane during these weeks.

  1. Picking up the phone. Instead of sending lengthy, wordy emails to communicate and get your point across, pick up the phone and call who you need to call. Call your co-worker or call your client, and have a friendly chat. You’d be surprised how much better hearing someone else’s voice makes you feel, rather than reading their words over a computer screen. Especially during this time of isolation. Ask them how their day is, how their family is, make a few jokes and take the time to laugh. Not to mention, by making a phone call, you will save a ton of time, and useless emails back and forth, just to get a few simple points across.
  2. Get some fresh air. It’s as simple as opening up a window while you work. The more fresh air you get, the more oxygen you will breathe, which increases the amount of serotonin we inhale (our happy hormone). Taking a break every few hours to go for a short walk outside, is even better. 
  3. The third tip I have for you is to sing! As silly as this sounds, singing releases endorphins, the feel-good chemical in the brain. Because singing requires deep breathing, it draws more oxygen into the blood and causes better circulation. So, this is a natural stress-reducer! So turn up some tunes and belt out your favourite song.
  4. Video calls- I’m sure the majority of our offices are already on the video call trend right now, whether it’s via Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. I’ve actually already seen a few amazing offices hold virtual bingo or trivia nights, and we ourselves have had a virtual happy hour, where we enjoyed drinks, snacks and played virtual Pictionary! These types of fun activities brighten everyone’s day, as we feel purposeful when getting ready in the morning, brushing our hair, or pulling out our favourite wine glass for the video call!

I hope that these tips help you to stay sane and smile during this difficult time. Remember that all things are temporary, and this too shall pass.

Stay safe Forge Followers!

There are a lot of people looking for work right now.  And unfortunately, while almost every company is not hiring at the moment, there are things you should definitely be doing should you be in the job search phase.

 Network Socially

Keep in Touch

Take advantage of the slow time to learn as much as you can or learn something new

Gain market information

These are just a few of our tips to help you stay focused if you are job searching during this pandemic.  Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions about 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!

While we do not see Exit Interviews very often, it is good to know what to expect if you do have one!

To start with, what exactly is an exit interview?  An exit interview is a meeting conducted between you and your employer (usually a Human Resources personnel) and this is done after you have already submitted your resignation.  The exit interview provides your firm with the opportunity to receive honest feedback from you before you leave.  Basically, the firm wants to know why you quit and what they can do to improve moving forward.

With this, let’s look at some of the important things to consider before you head into your exit interview. 

Preparation – plan what you will discuss.  You will want to provide the firm with constructive criticism while outlining to them what you liked about the role and organization, as well as giving them any suggestions on the best type of person to hire for your vacancy. 

Stay Positive and Be Helpful – This is important as you will want to set your emotions aside.  You want this to be a very fact-based conversation.  The firm is conducting the exit interview to learn how they can better retain and engage their staff.  Therefore, you will want to frame your opinions to demonstrate that you’re thinking about what's best for the company.  You do not want to be too candid as you may come across bitter.  I suggest being specific about the things you liked and then a bit more general when discussing some of the things you did not prefer. 

Expect the conversation to focus on some of the following questions:

When answering these questions, keep in mind the points we made earlier, about staying positive and being helpful.  And make sure to prepare your responses around them. 

Remember, the reason you are having your exit interview is because you already quit!  What’s the worst that could happen during it?  You need to think of it as more of an opportunity to provide valuable information to the firm you spent your time with so that they can get better and improve their staff retention. 

Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions about the best way to approach your exit interview, 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!

It’s that time of year again – company holiday party season!  I know it’s not everyone’s favourite thing but attending company events has a lot of benefits.  Not only will they give you a great opportunity to network and socialize with people you may not normally converse with, but they are also a great way to relax and have a little bit of fun.

So, given that many of us will be heading out to our company holiday parties over the next few weeks, there are a few things I wanted to go over to ensure that you are making your best impression. 

  1. Do your best to attend the event.  Unless you have something else already planned, you really don’t want to skip a company event.  It’s a great way to show your support and commitment to the firm and as mentioned already, it will give you the opportunity to network and build stronger relationships with others in the business who you may not speak with regularly.  If you are a newer member to the firm, this is a great way to meet with a ton of people in the company and all in a more relaxed setting. 
  2. Dress appropriately – unless otherwise stated, dress as you would for a regular business event. Definitely don’t underdress.
  3. Be social – engage with as many people as you can, even if you never met them before.  Also, going into the event, have some conversation topics and icebreakers in mind. I find that anything related to current events or travel is a good place to start.  I would avoid controversial topics.  With this, don’t just talk about work.  Don’t be anti-social or look bored.  And definitely, don’t be on your phone all night.
  4. Don’t overdrink.  You don’t have to drink if you don’t want to.  But if you do, don’t overdo it. Setting a limit for yourself ahead of time may be a good idea. 
  5. Be professional and keep your guard up.  Remember, it is still a work event.  While you want to have fun, it is important to remember that your coworkers and bosses are watching. You don’t want to do something to embarrass yourself or cause their opinion of you to change. 

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have any questions around this or any other job searching or career topic, be sure to contact us. If there is a specific topic you would like us to cover or if you would like more details on something we have already touched upon, let us know!

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Have you ever gone to an interview, answered all of the interviewer’s questions, felt good about how things went, were offered the position, but had no idea what the job was about? 

Yes, you may have read the job description and yes, the interviewer may have told you more about the firm and culture, but you didn’t learn about all the specific details you had hoped to during the interview.   

While you hope that the interviewer will tell you as much as they can about the job, it's important to remember that the onus is on you to get as much information as you can about the position.  You need to ask questions. 

In this market, job offers can come fast.  Interviews tend to be brief.  Often, you are being assessed on your work experience and technical skills.  Many firms may only conduct one interview and if they feel like you can do the job, they will make their hiring decision. 

The last thing you want to do is be in a position of making a career-altering decision, without knowing the details of what you will be doing.  Why does this happen?

Some of the candidates who find themselves in these positions tell us that they felt embarrassed asking the interviewer about the specifics of a role.  They did not want to seem as if they didn’t do their homework.  You need to remember that most job descriptions are quite generic.  You should not feel embarrassed about asking for more information about the role.

Others tell us that they got caught up in the moment, were overcome with excitement and simply forgot to ask.  You need to be self-aware during your interview.  You need to ask yourself, what information do I have about the position and what information do I still need to obtain.  The onus is on you to learn as much as you can about the role in that interview. 

Next time you are in an interview and unsure about the specifics of the position you are interviewing for, ask the interviewer to tell you more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the job. 

When you work with us, not only will we tell you as much as we know about the role, we will also prep you to ask as many questions as you can about the position.  We can also gather more information after your interview and follow up on any questions you may have forgotten to ask. 

Thanks for reading!  I hope this helps.  If you have any questions about this or any other job searching tips, 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!

Our aim, when speaking with prospective candidates is to get a better understanding of what makes them tick.  Their motivations for job searching, motivations for exploring new opportunities and ultimately what it is that will truly attract them to a new job.  For us, understanding this is what will help us best match them to one of the job opportunities we are working on.

However, it is very common for us to hear vague answers, which usually leads me to believe that the person is more motivated by finding something different to their current place of employment, as opposed to something specific which will address the next step in their career and ultimately help lead them to achieve a specific career goal.

Not having a strong understanding of where you want to take your career and lacking career goals, can be a dangerous position to be in. When we don't have a bigger picture of where our career is headed, we often become complacent and directionless. 

Being in such a position can lead us to fall into a career rut.  You may think your job is good, but not great.  You may end up feeling bored, less engaged and you may find that your work begins to suffer. This is something I personally experienced in the past and can tell you that it is not fun.  You feel as if you are simply going through the motions.  When this happened, I knew I needed to make a change and while it was difficult to break out of something that felt so comfortable, I knew it needed to be done. 

If you don’t have a career plan in place, you need to take a step back, gain a broader view of your skills, talents and what is meaningful to you so that you can develop a clear career strategy.

You need to think of your career as a roadmap.  What does your final career destination look like and how are you going to get there? What does the next opportunity, the one that will get you closer to your goal look like, what responsibilities will it give you and what new skills will you acquire in that role? Setting specific timelines for accomplishing these things will help you achieve this.   

Aside from achieving career satisfaction, navigating down a path that will allow you to take on new responsibilities and acquire new skills, will in turn increase the value you bring to your firm, increasing your salary and financial compensation. 

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

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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