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6 Must-Do Steps Before Every Job Interview

August 8th, 2017

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that interviewing for a new job is a stressful experience. After all, you have a lot on the line. What steps can you take to make the most of the opportunity – and hopefully land the offer? Start with these 6 steps:

Step #1: Research the company.

Before you walk into an interview, you need to prep yourself by researching the company. Read through their website and blog posts. Look for news articles about them online. And check out their social media profiles and most recent updates. That way, you can better tie in your background and experience with their needs.

Step #2: Research the hiring manager.

If you know the name of the hiring manager, look for them on LinkedIn. Search out any background commonalities, whether it’s a former employer or where you went to high school. You can use this information to break the ice during the interview and also make a connection with the hiring manager.

Step #3: Make a list of questions.

Asking the right questions is a vital part of the job interview process. Not only will it help you gain the insight and information you need to make the right decision should you get an offer, but it also sends the message to the hiring manager that you’re well prepared. So create a list of questions to ask about the position, the company and the culture.

Step #4: Review your job description.

The day before the interview, take another look at the job posting so it’s fresh in your mind. Look for any qualities or requirements that didn’t stand out to you before that you need to address. Also, make sure you’re prepared to talk about why you’re a good fit for the position and the contributions you can make in it.

Step #5: Think through your answers.

While you don’t want to practice your answers so much that you sound rehearsed, you do want to make sure you think through how you would answer common interview questions. Look up some questions online and list out any important points about your background or experience you’d like to highlight for each one.

Step #6: Know where you’re going and what you’re wearing.

Before the day of the interview, do a dry run and drive to the location at a similar time as your interview, if you can. That way, you can get a sense of the level of traffic and any construction that might slow you down. In addition, make sure you select your interview attire well beforehand and ensure it’s dry cleaned and ready for your big day.

Need more professional help landing and preparing for interviews?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, from resumes and interviews to connecting you with top opportunities. In fact, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

What’s a Contingent Job Offer?

July 25th, 2017

Congratulations! You just got offered a new job. If it’s contingent, though, it’s not final yet. What exactly does that mean – and what steps need to happen to complete the process? Here’s a look.

A contingent job offer is a conditional offer, whether verbal or in writing, that an employer presents and that depends on you passing certain checks, such as a background or reference check. If you do pass, then you’ve got the job. If you don’t, however, the employer can rescind the offer.

So what are the contingencies at stake here? As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows the most common ones are:

Background checks.

Not all companies perform background checks before hiring. They tend to be more typical in certain industries, such as education, elder care and finance. When an employer conducts a background check, they want to ensure you don’t have a criminal history that could impact your performance on the job. For instance, if you’re being hired as a bookkeeper, an arrest for writing bad checks is going to impact the offer.

Another reason employers conduct background checks is because they can be held liable if an employee injures someone on the job. So, essentially, they want to verify your background before they assume that liability.

Reference checks.

Another contingency involves the reference checking process. If a reference cautions the employer about hiring you, then the offer likely will be rescinded. However, if you have solid references in place with past managers, then you don’t have anything to worry about. Just remember to give your references some notification before your new employer contacts them so they can prepare ahead of time.

Drug screens.

Alcohol and drug abuse can create serious safety hazards on the job, especially when there’s manual work involved. That’s why many employers today conduct drug screens.

False statements.

Most job offers are contingent upon you being honest with the employer. So if you’ve made false statements about your background, experience and credentials – and your employer finds out even after you’re hired – they can and will terminate you. For instance, lying about graduating from college and earning a certain degree is cause for termination. Even if it’s years after you’ve been hired, many companies have zero tolerance policies toward this and there’s no statute of limitations on it.

If you pass through all of the above steps, and you’re comfortable with the terms and conditions of the job, then ask for a final written job offer. Just don’t quit your existing job until you have one in hand from your new employer. Until that happens, anything is possible .

Need professional help finding your next job?

Call Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search. In fact, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994 – and we can help you, too. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

What You Need to Know Before Launching Your First Job Search

July 11th, 2017

You’re about to start your first job search. It can be both a stressful and exciting experience. What do you need to know to put your best foot forward? Here are 6 tips to help you:

Tip #1: Mistakes are a big deal.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that while a typo in a college paper might not have raised eyebrows, it’s different when you’re submitting your resume to an employer. If you hand in sloppy work, you’re not going to get a call back for an interview, no matter how talented you are. So take the time to check your resume and cover letter carefully before you send them in to potential employers.

Tip #2: Attitude matters.

You might do great work and have a lot to offer. But if your attitude stinks, don’t plan on getting a job anytime soon. This includes being unprofessional or unprepared at interviews, as well as being negative or coming off as entitled or arrogant. Employers want new hires with good attitudes and who will make a positive impact on the team.

Tip #3: You need more than just intelligence.

If you’re smart and talented, and performed at the top of your class in school, you might think getting a job will be a breeze. But employers look at more than just book smarts. They want to know how well you work on a team, whether you can handle pressure, how you adapt to change, and the strength of your interpersonal skills. Being smart won’t give you an advantage if you aren’t able to offer employers the full package.

Tip #4: Deadlines are different.

In college, if an assignment was due July 15th, you probably handed it in the day of or the day before. Job searches are different. Hiring managers don’t wait until the deadline to start reviewing resumes. They typically screen applications as they come in. And if they find enough qualified candidates to interview before the deadline hits, you could miss out on the opportunity if you wait too long to apply.

Tip #5: Research is still vital.

Just as in college, research is a vital component to your job search. In fact, when you thoroughly research a company before you apply, you’ll be better able to customize a cover letter and resume that are a fit for their needs. Likewise, during an interview, you’ll be able to talk more intelligently about what you can offer and why they should consider hiring you.

Tip #6: You don’t always hear back.

In some cases, if you’re not a good fit for the job, then you won’t even hear back from the employer. In other cases, you might get a form letter or email from them stating that. Don’t get discouraged, though. All you need is one good opportunity and you’ll be well on your way in your career.

Need more help finding your first job?

Call the team at Provisional. As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we’ll work with you to get to know your skills, background, and personality. We’ll then match you with rewarding jobs that are a great fit for you. Search our Coeur d’Alene jobs now or contact us today.

5 Steps to Take BEFORE You Start a New Job Search

June 27th, 2017

You’ve made the decision to launch a new job search. Now you’re ready to move full speed ahead. Wait just a minute! As one of the top employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Provisional knows before you start sending out resumes and following up with hiring managers, there are a few steps you need to take that will improve your odds of finding a job. Here’s a look at 5 of them:

#1: Know what you’re looking for.

If you don’t like your current position, it’s tempting to look for an easy out in the form of any job opportunity. However, you don’t want to make the same mistake twice and land in another position you’re not happy in.

That’s why, before starting any job search, it’s important to take stock and think about what you really want in your next job. In other words, what type of role are you looking for and what type of environment do you want to work in?

#2: Take the time to polish your resume.

Most candidates dread working on their resumes. And it’s certainly not the most exciting part of a job search. However, if you take the time to update and polish it, then you’ll benefit in the long run with more interview offers.

So don’t wait until you find a position that interests you to pull out your resume and start working on it. If you do, you’ll feel pressured to complete it quickly. Instead, before you launch your search, get your resume into great shape and then customize it for each position you’re applying to.

#3: Review your online presence.

While you’re updating your resume, it’s also a good time to review your online presence, specifically your LinkedIn profile. You want to ensure that your profile and resume both complement each other and that’s there no contradictory information on them. It’s also important to Google yourself and make sure that what comes up in the results doesn’t negatively impact your job search.

#4: Start networking.

In 2017, the best way to find a new job is still through your professional network. That’s why, if you’re gearing up for a job search, then it’s also a good time to start ramping up your networking efforts. Research and plan to attend industry conferences or networking events. Also, if there are a few companies you’re interested in working for, start following and interacting with them on social media. You could make a valuable connection or find out about a great new job opening.

#5: Strengthen your skills.

If there’s a certain skill that’s important in your field – and you could use some help sharpening it – then now’s the time to sign up for a class or certification course. Even if you have to postpone your search for a few weeks or months while you gain the skills you need, it will feel good moving forward toward your goal. Plus, you’ll be a stronger, more marketable job candidate as a result.

Would you like professional help with your job search – so you can find a better job, faster?

Call in the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, we can offer you access to a variety of rewarding job opportunities in accounting, healthcare, legal, technical, and office fields. Contact Provisional today to learn more.

5 Tips for Job Interview Etiquette

June 13th, 2017

You can have all the experience in the world. But, as one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows if you don’t follow proper job search etiquette, then you’re not going to land the job you want. So what are some basics to keep in mind as you start interviewing? Here’s a look at 5 of them:

#1: Dress the part.

Don’t show up to a formal interview in business casual attire, or worse. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to dress the part. And that still means a suit. Keep in mind too, it’s better to overdress than to underdress. So choose a dark, solid color suit, a pressed shirt, polished shoes, and simple, manicured hair and nails.

#2: Show up on time.

Nothing ruins your chances of an offer quite like showing up 10 minutes late to an interview. It shows a lack of care and preparation. The interviewer will wonder whether you really want to the job and if you make being late a habit. It’s not a good foot to get started on. That’s why you should leave early enough to get to the interview location a few minutes ahead of schedule.

#3: Be polite.

From the secretary to the CEO, be polite to everyone you meet during an interview. Many companies will ask everyone who came into contact with candidates about first impressions. So if you’re rude to the receptionist, but go out of your way to make small talk with an executive, it won’t reflect well on you. Keep in mind, during an interview, everyone’s watching.

Also, when you’re interviewing, be sure to address everyone by name, make eye contact, smile, and offer a firm handshake at the beginning and end of the interview.

#4: Follow up with a thank you note.

Send either a handwritten or emailed thank you note to those you interviewed with to solidify the positive impression you made. Keep it short and simple, offering your thanks for their time and reiterating why you’re a good fit for the job.

#5: Don’t be pushy.

That said, don’t be pushy and start following up every day with phone calls and emails. If the interviewer said you’d hear from them by Monday and it’s now Wednesday, it’s ok to follow up. But other than that, don’t get aggressive with your follow up unless you want to annoy the interviewer and get passed over for the job.

Need more help finding out about job leads or nailing your next interview?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, we can work directly with you to craft a great resume, prepare you for job interviews, and match you with opportunities that are a great fit for your background, skills, personality and career goals.

Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.

6 Advantages of Temporary Work

May 16th, 2017

Struggling to find a new job? Don’t want to tie yourself down to one industry yet? Temporary work may be the answer. Here are 6 advantages you can gain from it:

#1: You can try out jobs before committing.

Temporary work gives you a great opportunity to try out different positions, fields, and types of companies on a temporary basis. As a result, you can get a better sense of which jobs and employers really resonate with you – and pursue full-time opportunities with those. Also, if you’re working in an assignment you love and a full-time job opens up, you’ll already know you’re a good fit for it.

#2: You can build up your experience.

Is your resume a little light? Are you returning back to the workforce after years away? Temporary jobs in Spokane provide an ideal way to beef up your resume. Not only can you enhance your existing skills, but you can also gain new ones in the process. As a result, when you do go to apply to full-time jobs, you’ll have a far more impressive background to promote.

#3: It fills gaps in your resume.

Having gaps on your resume looks bad to potential employers. Even if you were laid off from a position due to downsizing, an extended gap can still set off warning bells. Fill your resume, instead, with temporary work.

#4: It expands your network.

With each new assignment, you’ll be meeting many different people that can help you in your career aspirations. So always be respectful, professional and friendly wherever you go. Also, stay in contact with those you met at previous temporary assignments. You never know when the next great opportunity will come your way.

#5: You can access assignments with competitive pay.

It’s a myth that temporary work doesn’t pay well. Reputable employers will offer fair market value for your skills. So you can keep your schedule flexible, all while earning a steady income with temporary work.

#6: You can get career tips from experts.

Most temporary assignments are filled through an employment agency. When you sign on with one, they’ll match you with an experienced recruiter who can help you in the short-term in finding assignments that are a good fit for you, but also in the long-term with professional development.

If you’d like help finding temporary jobs in Spokane, please contact Provisional. As a temporary employment firm with more than 16 years of experience, we can place you on temporary assignments that are a great fit for your skills, goals, and lifestyle needs. Contact us today or search our temporary jobs in Spokane now.

Upcoming Phone Interview? Here’s How to Nail It

May 2nd, 2017

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows getting a phone interview is great news. It means your resume and cover letter made the cut. So congratulate yourself – and then get down to work preparing for your phone screen. Here are 6 easy tips you can put to good news to nail your call:

Dig into the company’s background.

Some candidates make the mistake of treating a phone screen too casually. But it’s really just an interview, albeit a shorter one. So you need to prepare if you want to perform well. That means researching the company, reading through their website, digging up any news articles about them, and learning about industry trends.

Practice your answers.

Before your screen, come up with a list of commonly asked interview questions and practice your answers. Some of these include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why do you think you’d be good in this position?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What can you do for our company?

The great thing about phone screens is you can also keep notes by your side during it. Just make sure you don’t sound like you’re reading off of a script.

Set the stage.

It’s not a good idea to schedule a phone interview when the kids are home from school, or during a time when you’re going to be distracted with other tasks. Make sure you set it up for a time when you can totally focus. Also, find a quiet space that’s free from distractions. And be sure to have your resume, a notebook and pen, and a glass of water handy.

Keep it short.

Phone interviews can be stressful because you can’t see the person you’re interviewing with or read their body language. That’s why, when pauses happen in the conversation, it’s easy to ramble. But don’t do it. Keep your answers clear, simple and concise.

Speak slowly.

When you’re nervous or excited, it’s easy to speak too fast. So make a conscious effort to slow down and take your time when answering questions. Also, take time to gather your thoughts so you can properly answer each question. Remember, this isn’t a race.

Be enthusiastic.

It’s important to convey your enthusiasm about the job during your phone screen. Though it sounds corny, smiling during your answers is a great way to infuse your voice with enthusiasm. Also, let the interviewer know you’re interested in learning about next steps in the process.

Need more help with your job search?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search. In fact, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

6 Cover Letter Secrets Every Candidate Needs to Know

April 18th, 2017

If you’re like most job candidates, you dread writing cover letters. What are you supposed to say that’s not already discussed in your resume?

While writing a cover letter can feel like a pointless exercise, it’s not. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that hiring managers do read them and they’re actually an opportunity to promote yourself – and why you should get the job. To help you put together one that gets results, consider these tips:

#1: Don’t rehash your resume.

The cover letter shouldn’t be a duplication of your resume. Instead, it should be used to explain something new about yourself that your resume doesn’t showcase. For instance, if you’ve used the company’s products and services – and are a fan – then you can explain why you’ve always wanted to work there. In fact, telling a story is a powerful approach for cover letter writing.

#2: Focus on facts, not fluff.

Don’t make statements, such as “I’m a top-notch candidate best suited for this position.” You don’t know that; other candidates could be stronger or better suited. Instead, stick to facts about your background and the value you can bring to the potential employer.

#3: Be real.

Don’t be overly formal or use corporate jargon in your cover letter. When you do, you wind up sounding more like a robot than a real person. Also, don’t copy and paste a boilerplate cover letter and simply swap out the company and hiring manager’s name. They’ll know in an instant. Instead be professional, but also warm and engaging with your tone and language.

#4: Talk about what you can do for the employer.

Your cover letter shouldn’t be all about you. It should be about how you can help the company succeed, whether it’s through increased sales, more efficient processes, or shaping better policies. You may need to re-read the job posting to get a better sense of how your background and skills can contribute to the company’s bottom line.

#5: Use numbers and statistics.

Hiring managers want to see real results – in the form of dollars, percentages and statistics. So brainstorm an accomplishment that you can quantify and talk about it in your cover letter, including how you approached the problem and the results you were able to achieve.

#6: Expect to re-write it a few times.

No one gets their cover letter right the first time. Expect to write a few drafts and then revise it many times before it hits the mark. Also, make sure to proofread it plenty of times before sending it out to potential employers. That way you can rest easy it’s well-written and error-free.

Need more help with your cover letter, resume or job search?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we’ve placed more than 8,000 professionals with leading local employers since 1994. From writing your resume to getting interviews and offers, we can help you with every aspect of your job search, start to finish. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

Guidelines for Applying for a Job at a Past Employer

April 4th, 2017

You’re in the middle of a job search and just came across what sounds like an ideal opportunity – except it’s with past employer. Should you apply or simply cross it off your list? Here are some guidelines to follow:

Consider the terms you left on.

If you quit without two weeks notice, or were fired, then it’s not the best idea to apply for the position. You burned some bridges and people will remember. Even if you did get the job, it could be awkward and uncomfortable due to the terms you left on.

On the other hand, if you left on good terms and simply found a better opportunity, then it’s certainly a job worth considering. After all, you already know the company and its culture. And if it was a good fit in the past, it’s a probably still a good fit for your now.

Just a word of caution: If you left because there wasn’t opportunity for advancement, or you butted heads with company leadership, then carefully weigh the pros and cons of working there again. Chances are, the same issues are still happening and you might wind up having to deal with them again if you get hired.

Reconnect with old friends.

You’ve considered the past and decided you’d like to apply for the job. Then start reaching out to any connections you have at the company. Whether it’s an old boss or former co-workers, let them know you’re interested in the position and ask whether they could refer you to HR or to the hiring manager.

Don’t assume you’re a shoo-in.

One mistake candidates in this position can make is assuming they’re a shoo-in for the job. But that’s not the case. While you might be in the running, there could be several equally strong candidates you’re competing against.

That’s why, if you do get an interview, it’s important to prepare just as you would for any other company. Do you research, show up on time and be professional, ask meaningful questions, and know how to communicate why you’re the best fit.

Be prepared to talk about retention.

One issue hiring managers have with boomerang candidates involves retention. If you left once, what’s to say you won’t leave again? That’s why it’s important to explain the passion you have for the work and the company and how you’re ready to re-commit and make a valuable contribution.

If you left a former company with a good impression and without burned bridges, it’s certainly worth it to consider a future job there. Just follow the guidelines above to increase your odds of getting hired.

If you need additional help with your job search, call Provisional.

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

Are You Hurting Your Reputation at Your New Job with These Mistakes?

March 21st, 2017

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that starting a new job can be a nerve-wracking experience. But did you know that how you perform in those first few weeks can impact your reputation for years after? That’s why it’s so important to put your best foot forward and to avoid these 5 common mistakes:

1. Running late.

It’s your worst nightmare come true: you hit a traffic jam on the second day on the job. Not to worry. Things like this happen to the best of us. However, if running late is starting to become a habit, then it’s a problem. You’re basically showing a lack of concern for company rules when you’re late to work or meetings. It happens once in a while to everyone – and when it happens to you, apologize. However, never let it become a habit.

2. Being a know-it-all.

You have a lot of knowledge and experience – and you want to share it. That’s great. However, don’t go about it in a way that makes it seem like you’re a know-it-all. Sometimes, it’s best to sit back and listen, so you can understand an issue in depth more or a gain a better sense of the big picture – before offering your opinion. However, don’t ever hesitate to ask questions to learn more and get up to speed faster.

3. Sucking up to your boss.

You want to make the best impression on your boss. But don’t kiss up. Your boss will likely see through it and even if they don’t, your new co-workers will – and it can impact your relationship with them. So always be respectful, but avoid going overboard.

4. Getting involved in gossip.

It might seem like gossiping helps you get to know your new co-workers. But really, it’s setting a bad standard. Not only does it make you look immature, but it can also lead to a reputation as a gossip at work. Your boss and co-workers might therefore hesitate in sharing important company news with you in the future.

5. Disparaging your new employer on social media.

Nothing on the Internet is really private. And you’re taking a big risk by posting negative information about your new boss or co-workers. If you’re having an issue, talk privately about it with family or friends. If it’s serious, then bring it up with your manager. However, don’t go to social media to air your frustrations.

Making a great impression in your first days and weeks on the job requires a few key elements: hard work, drive, and not making the mistakes above. Good luck!

Do you need help finding a rewarding new job in Spokane?

Connect with Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

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