Provisional Blog

Declining a Job Offer? Here’s How to Do It Without Burning Bridges

February 19th, 2019

Getting a job offer can be thrilling. Yet, once you realize it’s not the right one for you, it’s also deflating. You want to turn it down, but what if another opportunity comes along at the same company, one that is a fit for you? First, don’t panic. There are easy steps you can take to decline an offer and still position yourself in a positive light. Here are four of them:

Reply as soon as you’ve made your decision.
However you respond and whatever you say, be prompt in terms of letting the hiring manager know your decision. Not only is it the professional thing to do, but they also have second and third pick candidates they’re entertaining. If you wait too long to reply, they could lose out on those.

Be heartfelt and appreciative.
Hiring managers spend a lot of time reviewing resumes, screening and interviewing candidates, and making final decisions. When you reject their offer, it can therefore be disheartening. You can soften the blow by simply being appreciative of their time and giving them a short, simple reason behind your decision.

Consider responding by phone.
If you’ve spent a lot of time with the hiring manager, then pick up the phone to tell them of your decision. It sounds awkward and a little bit scary. But in reality, it doesn’t have to be a long conversation and it will make a far more lasting and positive impression.

If not, you can send an email that states something like:

Thank you for the offer and taking the time to answer all my questions and consider me for this role. This position seems like a great opportunity. As flattered as I am, after some time thinking about it, I’ve decided to accept an offer elsewhere with another company where I can pursue my interests in XYZ. Again, thank you so much for your time and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Stay connected.
Even in Spokane, Washington, it’s a small world and you never know when you might cross paths again. So aim for a good ending to the experience. Reach out to the hiring manager on LinkedIn and try to connect. Or let them know that you’d be interested in future, better-fit opportunities with the company if one came along. You never know where your career is headed in the future and you want to ensure you don’t burn any bridges.

Looking for your next job offer in Spokane, Washington?
Let the team at Provisional help. It’s our passion and our mission to connect talented candidates with top jobs in Spokane, Washington. So if you’re tired of struggling on your own with your search, contact us today or search our Spokane jobs now.

6 Ultimate Tips for Preparing for Your Next Job Interview

February 5th, 2019

Gone are the days of answering a job posting, going to an interview and getting the offer within days. Instead, today interviewing can feel like a contact sport. There’s so much preparation to do ahead of time with the interview itself stressful and nerve-wracking. With so much at stake, how can you best prepare and increase your odds of landing your next Spokane job? Here are 6 tips to consider:

1. Spend some time researching the company and the hiring manager.

Look to several different sources, like their website, industry sites, news websites and social media, for a well-rounded picture of the company. Likewise, if you know the name of your interviewer, then do some background research on him or her too. This will help you to identify any areas of mutual interest that you can use as an icebreaker. It will also help you better prepare questions to ask them based on their background with the company.

2. Research common interview questions and prepare answers.

Chances are, you’ll be asked about your weaknesses or why a company should hire you. You’ll feel more confident walking into an interview when you’ve thought about the answers you’ll be giving. Wherever you can, quantify your responses with facts, figures, numbers and percentages. Your responses will be more persuasive and impressive to hiring managers.

3. Think about stories that best reflect your relevant skills and strengths.

You’re going to be talking a lot about yourself and your background during the interview. One way to bring your experience to life is by sharing specific stories about the skills and strengths you have that are most relevant to the job. For instance, don’t simply say you “go the extra mile.” Give a specific example of a time that you went above and beyond and the positive outcome that came about because of it.

4. Have a friend or family member perform a mock interview with you.

If you’re especially nervous before an interview, ask a friend or family member to conduct a mock one with you. That way, you can practice answering questions and get feedback, all of which can help you to improve your performance and your odds of landing the offer.

5. Plan ahead for what you’ll wear and bring to the interview.

You don’t want to be rushing out the door the morning of your interview only to realize you forgot to make copies of your resume. That’s why planning ahead is so important. Some specific areas to focus on include your interview outfit and making sure it’s dry cleaned and pressed. Also, bring with you several copies of your resume, a pen and paper, a list of your questions, and directions to the interview site.

6. Take good care of yourself the day before.

Make sure you eat right and get a good night’s sleep. Also, try not to stress too much about the interview, especially if you’ve spent plenty of time preparing. Instead, focus on doing something fun that will take your mind off the next day. When you’re well-rested and relaxed, you’ll perform better in the interview.

Need more help with your job search or getting ready for your next interview?

At Provisional, our goal is to help you land the Spokane job you want. To get there, we can assist with your resume, interview preparation, salary negotiations and more. Simply contact us today to get started.

What Hiring Managers Really Want to Know About You

January 15th, 2019

Headed for the hot seat in an interview? You’re probably wondering what kinds of questions you’ll be asked. As one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s top employment firms, Provisional knows it’s certainly up to the discretion of the hiring manager. However, there are a few key things most will want to know about you. Here’s a look at four of them, so you can better prepare and boost your chances of getting the offer:

#1: You know about the company.

By learning about the company ahead of time, it shows the hiring manager that you’re motivated, interested and have the drive to succeed. It also enables you to ask more intelligent questions, as well as offer better interview answers, improving your odds of impressing the hiring manager.

#2: You want the job.

When they’re interviewing you, hiring managers are looking for more than a warm body to fill a seat. They want to know you’re enthusiastic about the opportunity. Don’t make them second guess your interest. For instance, one way to do that is through the questions you ask about the company, the position and what to expect going forward. When they’re insightful and well-researched, they’ll stand out in a sea of generic questions other candidates ask.

#3: You can be successful in the role.

All the enthusiasm in the world won’t get you the job if you don’t have the right mix of skills. So make sure you’re prepared to talk about your relevant strengths, backed by specific examples, during the interview. Likewise, be ready to discuss weaknesses, too. Hiring managers want to know that you’re self-aware and can realistically assess areas where you might need improvement.

#4: You’re a good cultural fit.

Beyond your technical skills, hiring managers want to ensure your background and personality are going to mesh well with their team. That’s why they’ll ask you questions about the environment you operate best in, or whether you like to go solo on projects or work collaboratively more. It’s important for companies to hire people who will fit with a particular department, boss and culture.

So what don’t hiring managers want? Long, rambling answers. Personal information. Bad-mouthing a past boss…and the list goes on. Instead, when you’re headed to your next interview, stick to the showcasing the above and you should be well on your way to job search success.

Want professional help launching your next search?

Turn to the team at Provisional. As one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s top employment firms since 1994, we’ve placed thousands of talented individuals like you in great Northwest companies. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

6 Tips for a More Successful Year at Work

January 2nd, 2019

Whether you want to perform better in your current role or win that big promotion, there are steps to take to position yourself for more success in 2019. In fact, just by making a few small tweaks consistently over time, you can improve your productivity, add more value and achieve your career goals in the year ahead.

To do that, here are 6 tips from Provisional – one of Spokane’s top employment agencies – to incorporate into your schedule in the New Year:

1. Set small goals.

In what areas do you want to develop, improve upon or change in 2019? You likely have some in mind. However, when you’re thinking through and setting goals, start small. That way, it’s easier to stay motivated, monitor progress and celebrate the victories.

2. Get organized and prioritized.

Want to get more done in your day? Then place an emphasis on getting your daily schedule organized. Outline your projects, break down the tasks, then create a priority order and timeline for achieving them. When you’re doing this, make sure you’re realistic too in terms of deadlines and also prepared to set boundaries and say “no” when you need to.

3. Arrive at work 15 minutes early.

You might be notorious for hitting the snooze button. However, an earlier start – even just a small one – can have a big impact. You’ll get to the office before the bustle really begins, offering a quiet, calm environment in which to begin your day. This gives you a few private moments to plan out your schedule, so you feel more in control and less frazzled.

4. Stop multi-tasking.

You might think you’re getting more done. But study after study shows that multi-tasking actually hinders performance and productivity. In fact, your brain can only effectively focus on one thing at a time, which means multi-tasking cuts down on your efficiency and performance.

5. Reflect at the end of each day.

When your workday is done, rather than running to punch out, spend a few minutes reflecting on it. What went right and what areas do you which you’d handled differently? Is there something you accomplished that you’re especially proud of? What didn’t you get done that requires immediate attention tomorrow? When you take the time for reflection, you’ll walk away feeling less stressed and more accomplished, helping you end your day on a more positive note.

6. Give yourself downtime.

If you’re constantly connected, even during the evenings and on weekends, it’s going to lead to burnout in the year ahead. Instead, aim for a better work life balance. Not only will you improve your mental and physical health, but you’ll actually be more productive at work in the long run.

Looking for a new job in the New Year?

Let the team at Provisional help you find it. As one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, we know who’s hiring in 2019 and can connect you with leading opportunities at local companies. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Beyond the Daily Duties: Evaluating a Job Offer

December 18th, 2018

When you get a job offer, you want to shout it from the roof tops. However, before you get too excited, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate it first. One of the areas to look at is obviously the duties and responsibilities that come with it. For instance, are you comfortable with the role and confident you can perform well in it? If you got the offer, the answer is likely “yes.”

However, as one of Spokane, Washington’s top employment firms, Provisional knows that beyond your daily tasks, there are several other aspects that are vital to evaluate before you sign on the dotted line. To ensure you make the best decision for both you and your career, here’s a look at five of them:

#1: Scheduling flexibility.

If it’s critical for you to maintain a flexible schedule, is the company able to meet that need? If they’re not, don’t sell yourself short by accepting a position that forces you into a schedule that doesn’t work for you.

#2: Culture.

This is simply the personality of the company. Does it feel like a fit for you? When you were interviewing and touring the organization, did you get a warm, fuzzy feeling or a sinking one in your gut? These are key questions to ask considering that you’ll be spending most of your waking hours in the office.

#3: Commute.

If your commute is less than you current role, then of course, your decision is a no-brainer. However, if it tacks on more than 10 minutes, how is that going to impact your lifestyle? In the excitement of getting the offer, don’t overlook this issue. It can have a significant affect on your quality of life and satisfaction on the job.

#4: Salary and compensation.

When you’re looking at your full compensation package, make sure you spend some time crunching the numbers. For instance, your salary might be higher in this new position, however, are your health insurance premiums higher, as well? You need to take into account the full financial picture of what you’re being offered to ensure it’s competitive and makes sense for you.

#5: The perks.

What other perks are being offered? Beyond salary and compensation, will you get a company phone or car? Can you join the local gym at a discounted rate? Will you get substantially more time off than at your last job? Is there a daycare on-site for your children to attend? These are all important features to take into consideration, so you make the best choice for you and your career.

Need more help finding job leads and getting offers in the New Year?

Connect with Provisional. As one of Spokane, Washington’s top employment firms, we’re here for you, with access to leading opportunities at top employers, all so you can achieve your career goals in the coming year. Contact us today to learn more or search our Spokane jobs now.




Should You Send an Interview Thank You Letter?

December 4th, 2018

You just wrapped up an interview and it couldn’t have gone better. All you have to do is sit and wait for your phone to ring with an offer, right? Actually, there is one final step you should take before you kick back and relax: write a thank you note. While you don’t have to send it right after your interview, you should submit it within a day or two at most.

When you do, you’ll reap the benefits by:

  • Standing out among other job candidates who don’t send one.
  • Re-iterating your interest and enthusiasm in the position.
  • Bringing up any key points you might have forgotten about regarding your background.
  • Showing the hiring manager your respect and appreciation.

So, now that you know why interview thank you notes are so important, how should you go about preparing yours? What should it say and how long should it be? Here are a few easy tips to help you:

Tip #1: Thank the hiring manager for their time.

Let them know that you appreciate the opportunity to interview and are looking forward to a decision.

Tip #2: Reinforce aspects of your background that showcase why you’re the best fit for the position.

Pick a couple of key strengths and expand on them more.

Tip #3: Talk about what you liked most about the company and the position.

This will help to underscore the point that you’re a good fit not just for the job, but for the entire organization, as well.

Tip #4: Personalize your message with any details you learned about the hiring manager.

Remember, you don’t want to sound like a robot, but an authentic candidate with real rapport with the hiring manager.

Tip #5: Proofread it before you send it to ensure it’s error-free.

Otherwise, you could sabotage all your time and hard work with a simple mistake.

Tip #6: When it comes to length, just keep it to a few paragraphs.

This should be a quick note, not a total regurgitation of your background and resume. Also, while a hand-written note is a nice touch, an email is faster. This can be important if the hiring manager plans to make a quick decision.

Need more help navigating the interview or job search process?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, we can learn about your skills, background and career goals, all to help you find a rewarding new job, faster. Simply contact our team today to learn more or search our Spokane jobs now.

5 Tips to Help You Impress Your New Boss on Your First Day

November 20th, 2018

The first day on any job is a nerve-wracking experience. Even if you’re highly qualified and eager learn, it can still feel intimidating. The good news is that every new hire feels that way. And there are steps you can take to make the most of that initial day and impress your new boss in the process. When you do, you’ll be well on your way to setting yourself up for more success in your new role and at your new company.

Here are some tips from Provisional – one of Spokane, Washington’s leading employment firms – to get you started:

Tip #1: Arrive on time, prepared.

Don’t let a late start sabotage your day. Not only will it make your new boss wonder, but you’ll also feel more stressed and anxious throughout the day. It’s not a good way to start on any new job. In addition, don’t clock out the second it’s 5 pm. Stay as long as needed, so you can get up to speed as quickly as possible.

Tip #2: Interact with others.

Even if you’re an introvert, it’s important to put yourself out there and get to know your co-workers. When you do, you can start building the bonds for relationships that can have a big impact on your career success. Not only that, but your boss will be pleased to see you making an effort to integrate with the team.

Tip #3: Ask questions.

Don’t be afraid to jump right in and ask questions, especially in those first few days and weeks on the job. Your boss expects it and doing so will ensure there’s less of a risk of mistakes. It will also help you learn the ropes faster, so you can become productive sooner.

In addition, ask your boss if there’s any research or reading you can do at home to help you make a smooth transition. He or she will be impressed with your proactive nature and the fact that you want to make a contribution from the start.

Tip #4: Get organized and prioritize.

If you want to hit the ground running, you need to know what tasks and responsibilities are most important. Work with your boss to create a list and prioritize your work. That way, you’ll be clear on goals and expectations, as well as the importance of each task. This also makes starting a new job less overwhelming because you’ll know which work to tackle first.

Tip #5: Be enthusiastic.

Beginning a new job can be exhausting. But don’t let it show. Instead, keep your energy level up and remain curious and engaged throughout the day. Remember those first few days on the job are going to set the tone for your employment with the company.

Need more help finding a new boss and a new job to impress in?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of Spokane, Washington’s leading employment firms, we can connect you with rewarding jobs at some of the city’s top employers, all so you can impress and advance your career. Contact us today to learn more or get started,

How to Succeed on Your Job Hunt in the New Year

November 6th, 2018

Thinking about launching a new job in the New Year? You’ve certainly got your work cut out for you. But the good news is that there are some steps to take now so that you can hit the ground running come January 2019. Provisional, one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, has the answers you need. Here’s a look at 4 ways to get started:

Identify the kinds of jobs you want.
Before you begin your hunt, think through the kinds of opportunities you’re most interested in. Do you want to work in a similar position, or take a step up? Is a large corporation or a small to mid-size company a better fit for you? Also, figure out the areas in which you’re willing to compromise (i.e. hours and benefits) and those where you aren’t (such as salary, commute length and working from home). When you’re honest about the kinds of jobs that are right for you, your search will be easier since you can focus on those.

Polish your resume.
Once you know what you’re looking for, then dust off your resume and get to work updating it. Make sure your positions and current and past employers are fully updated. Also, focus on highlighting your accomplishments in addition to the tasks and responsibilities you’ve tackled. Wherever you can, include facts, figures, statistics, dollars and percentages, so you can bring your background to life for a hiring manager.

Update your LinkedIn profile.
Invest some time on your LinkedIn profile, as well. Make sure it aligns with what you communicate on your resume. Also, now’s the time to reach out and ask for recommendations, so that once you do start your job search, this section will be completed. Some other areas to focus on include ensuring you have professional headshot and that your summary and qualifications highlight your background and skills, painting them in the best possible light.

Map out a plan.
Any job search takes a lot of time. If you’re currently employed, it’s not going to be realistic to spend eight or 10 hours each day on it. Instead, get organized ahead of time and map out a plan. Perhaps you can get up an hour or two earlier in the morning and work on your search. Or maybe you’ll focus on it in the evenings. Just make sure you have a plan in place, so the process goes smoothly and you have enough time for key tasks, including applying, following up and networking.

Want professional help with your job search?
Call Provisional, one of Spokane’s top employment agencies. Not only can we make the process easier for you, but more effective, too, so you can find your next great opportunity faster. Learn more today by contacting our team.

Why You Need a Custom Cover Letter for Job Openings

October 2nd, 2018

The Internet makes it incredibly easy for all kinds of candidates to apply for job openings. As a result, employers often post positions and can receive hundreds of applications in a single day. In a sea of other applicants, how can you stand out?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that one way is through a custom cover letter. When you craft a clear and persuasive one, you’re going to set yourself apart from other candidates for a few reasons.

First of all, a well-written cover letter will to get the attention of the hiring manager and compel them to not only read through your cover letter, but also your resume. In addition, it will help give you an edge over candidates who send in a boilerplate cover letter, as well as those who don’t send one in at all.

But when it comes to crafting a letter that gets the kinds of results you want, where do you begin? Here are some tips to help you get started:

Read through the posting.

Review the job posting again and make a list of the company’s hiring needs. Then think about how your background fits in. What qualifications do you have that are a good match? What’s one accomplishment that’s especially relevant to this employer? Or what special skills do you have that could make a difference for their bottom line? Write down a few examples and then weave them into your cover letter.

Keep it unique.

When it comes to your cover letter, it shouldn’t be a regurgitation of your resume. Make sure it offers different information about you and your background. Use it as an opportunity to tell a story, explain what attracts you most to the company, or talk about what you can bring to the table and the difference you can make if hired.

Use the hiring manager’s name.

If the name of the manager isn’t in the job posting, try to find it out. Call the company or do some online research so you can pinpoint their name and address the letter directly to them. Avoid using generic salutations, like “Dear hiring manager.”

Follow a standard format.

Typically, for cover letters, you’re going to want to introduce yourself and explain why you’re interested in the position in the first paragraph. Then in the second and third ones, talk about your knowledge of the company and the industry, why you’re a fit, and give examples of your relevant skills and experience. Finally, in the closing paragraph, thank the hiring manager for their time and let them know that you’d welcome an opportunity to talk more about the job.

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

Provisional is here for you. 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 connect you with some of the top employers in and around the area. Search our Coeur d’Alene jobs now or contact us today.

Want to Work from Home? Here’s What You Need to Know First

September 18th, 2018

Most employees dream about working from home. It sounds like the ideal scenario: you don’t have to get dressed up, you can take a break whenever you want and you can avoid the lengthy commute. But as a leading employment firm serving Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows there are also cons that come with all those pros. So if you want to work from home, or going to be asking your boss about it, make sure you consider the following first:

You might have a hard time staying focused.

That annoying co-worker won’t be distracting you any longer. However, you could be pulled away from work by other diversions, from laundry and cleaning to TV and nap-time. As a result, it’s important to make sure you’re the kind of person who can stay focused and on track just as you do in the office.

It could hurt your chances of advancing.

The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” definitely holds true when it comes to working from home. While it offers you more flexibility and balance in your life, your career advancement could take a hit. A co-worker who’s in the office more than you and regularly interacts with your boss could be the one who wins the promotion simply because they’re at the forefront of your boss’ mind.

You’ll have to work a lot harder to stay connected.

When you’re in the office, you’re always in the loop just because you’re physically present and a part of more office communications, as a result. However, when you telecommute, you’re going to have to work a lot harder at communicating with your boss and co-workers. If you don’t, deadlines and tasks can easily fall through the cracks. You’ll also get left out on important company news and information if you don’t proactively strive to stay connected.

Keep in mind, working from home is not for everybody. Just because you want to do it doesn’t mean you should. You need to truly evaluate your personality and the kind of work you do to assess whether telecommuting is in your best interest overall.

Interested in finding a better place to work, whether in the office or from home?

Call the experts at Provisional. As a leading employment firm serving Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, our recruiters have placed over 18,000 professionals with growing Northwest companies since 1994. Contact us today and experience the difference for yourself.