While job hunting in the summer is not top-of-mind for most people, know that there are many more networking opportunities with all of the social events going on during the summer months. Also, while many employees have summer hours and are vacation bound, that leaves the managers in the office “running the show” and allows them to be less distracted as their office is quiet. This may allow you to get face time with them that you may not otherwise due to hectic schedules.
Today, interviews are far more than a cursory review of the skills you have or accomplishments in your prior positions. Employers and recruiters now go much further to assess a candidate’s soft skills; attempting to discern one’s adaptability, ability to collaborate and be a team player, and whether or not one takes initiative to solve problems pro-actively.
Questions to be prepared to answer…
1. Tell me about a time when your supervisor was not around to guide you to a solution to a problem. How did you handle the problem? Were you successful? Whom did you consult?
2. Tell me about a time when you were tasked with doing something you had no previous experience doing. How did you approach the challenge? What did you learn?
3. Tell me about a time you had difficulty collaborating with a co-worker. How did you resolve or set aside your differences to accomplish the project? Did you need to involve someone else to intervene? Did the situation impede the success of the project?
Technical skills are often put to the test as well. Too often a candidate has claimed knowledge of a software program and later the employer finds out, after hiring, that only an introductory knowledge of said program exists. This forces the employer to decide whether to invest in technical training for the new hire before attempting to train him/her on the actual job or cut their losses and resume the search. Neither option is good for the employer or the employee. I recommend that you do not overstate your capabilities on the resume or during the interview process.
So maybe instead of your typical beach read as you sit in the sun, you may want to expand your skill set by doing some career research instead. Explore opportunities, be social and reach out to others in industries you find interesting. I am happy to listen and help you pursue your career dreams.
Enjoy the sunshine!