Tag Archives: job interview

Optimalism: Learning from Failure

24 Oct

Picking yourself back up after a failure and learning from your mistakes  is going to make you a successful human being.

People who bang their heads against the wall time after time are just going to end up with some pretty terrible perpetual bruises. When a company does something wrong, they immediately have the chance to correct their mistake, or potentially lose a client for life. At a well-run restaurant when a burger is made wrong or the soup is cold, your food will be fixed and apologized for profusely. This can be applied to interviewing and your job search. We definitely understand failure at Search Solution Group, but we wouldn’t be caught dead not learning from that failure and never making the same mistake twice.

Say you are interviewing for a position and you have not properly researched the company. A hiring manager wants to hire a candidate who is enthusiastic and excited about working for that company and not just the potential of having a new job.  You are going to lose out on a job when you haven’t researched the company.  So what do you do in your next job interview? You learn everything about the company you are interviewing with, you talk about their successes, and you share specific reasons why you feel their company is the one and only for you. This is how successful people operate.

Learning from Failure| Search Solution Group

We can’t all be perfectionists, but in order to benefit in the future from the inevitable mistakes we make now, we need to become optimalists.  Optimalists are those who strive for success while accepting failure as a reality. An optimalist sees failure and uses that as a tool for growth, takes risks, and steps outside of their comfort zone. People who have an optimalist outlook on life are some of the most successful people in history. 1) Oprah 2)Steve Jobs 3) Einstein 4) Walt Disney, etc… So many hugely successful people failed miserably at some point in their lifetime and used that failure to grow.

Steps Towards Optimalism:

  • Make goals and have competitions with yourself in order to achieve those goals
  • Take risks by stepping outside of your comfort zone. This could be taking a class you are afraid to fail or an activity you have no clue how to do.
  • Take not of your experience and analyze your progress. What have you been able to accomplish since you started taking risks?
  • Talk about your failures and how you are learning from them.
  • Be open to the world and learn from the mistakes of others.

6 Interview Killing Mistakes

25 Sep

Business Cat |Search Solution Group

Lets face it, at some point in your life you were just a little bit imperfect. We at Search Solution Group have never experienced an ounce of imperfection, but we hear it’s a common occurrence for other folk. One of those awkward or imperfect moments was most likely career search or interview related. While there are some people who seem to be natural-born interviewers who can land a job like nothing, it actually is a combination of Practice, Conscious Effort, and Experience that give these people immense power to land any job.

From the mouths of top Recruiters at Search Solution Group, here are 6 ways to kill any chance of acing an interview:

  • A Terrible Personality: It should go without saying that you want to be perceived as a team player, a people enthusiast, and someone who won’t drag down the environment of the office. Being outgoing and personable during your interview goes a long way towards success. No matter how skillful or intelligent you are, a recruiter has a really hard time approving of a candidate who is lacking in the personality department.
  • Focusing on Your Needs: When you go in for an initial interview, your main goal should be to make a good impression, find out more about the position, and decide whether or not you think you’d be a good fit with the company. While you may be thinking about the salary and benefits, DON’T ask about it. When a candidate is initially interviewing, the recruiter wants to see interest in the position and not perks of the job. Wait until further interviews when the recruiter or interviewer brings up compensation.
  • Um, Like, You Know! : These words are fillers and they make you sound dumb in an interview. If you need time to think of a response to an answer, do just that! Don’t open your mouth to answer until you have a complete answer. This will avoid those filler words and your interviewers won’t mind the pause. In fact, showing that you carefully formulate answers will be a good sign of intelligence
  • Dressing Like a Slob: It doesn’t matter if you are interviewing to be a Barrista or the Creative Director at Starbucks, always dress nicer than you think is necessary. It is better to look professional than run the risk of being judged on your low appearance. If your shirt wrinkles easily just from wearing it, it probably isn’t the best thing to wear to an interview. Gentlemen, wear a nice tie and a suit jacket, shave your face, and shine your shoes. Ladies, wear a nice and simple suit either of the pant or skirt variety, wear minimal makeup/perfume, and wear shoes with a reasonable heel.
  • Disorganization: When asked about specifics on your resumé, and you can’t answer the question, that is a HUGE red flag to recruiters. Why would we take you seriously as a candidate if you can’t explain your past experiences. Additionally, when dates and positions with past companies don’t match up, you are either labeled as sketchy or sloppy.
  • Unprofessionalism: First and foremost, not being early to an interview is being late. Additionally, when you have terrible eye-contact or a weak handshake, you didn’t  bring multiple copies of your resumé, all label you as a lame candidate and can potentially devastatingly kill your chances at landing that job. However, luckily for you, all it takes is some practice and conscious effort to not make these mistakes.

Lame Handshakes Ruin Interviews|SSG

As a candidate, our recruiters at Search Solution Group work to make your interview process as smooth as possible. We act like a coach with our candidates and are looking for a huge win for you!

Interview Questions to Dodge

12 Sep

Before every job interview, it is necessary to prepare for the questions you may be asked. It is also important to be aware of the types of questions to not answer during an interview. Most often an interviewer is not asking such questions maliciously, but in a friendly manner. Keeping a friendly demeanor yourself and not responding defensively will allow you to transition the conversation to find the real reason behind the questionable question.

Five d's| Search Solution Group

Be ready to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge around these following questions:

1) How Old Are You? : Your first instinct may be to say, “Not as old as your mom!”, but we all know that wouldn’t turn out well. Some companies have established retirement age and may ask if you are below that age or on the opposite spectrum ask if you are above the legal minimum for a job. These questions are acceptable for them to ask and pertinent for you to answer. However, if an interviewer directly asks “How old are you?” or “What is your date of birth?”, be prepared to redirect that question with the answer ” I do not feel my age is an issue with my performance in this job”. This will give the interviewer the opportunity to explain if age might be an issue, or take your answer and move on to the next question.

2) Are You Religious? : During an interview, you may be asked if you are available for normal hours of the work week. However, if you are asked what about your religious affiliation, that is straight up illegal. Be prepared to answer any questions regarding religion with the succinct answer: “my faith will not interfere with my ability to do the job”.

3) Are You Married? Do You have Children? Are You Planning on Having Children?: The interviewer could be trying to establish if you would be able to travel for the position, or it could just be friendly small talk. But it is actually illegal for an interviewer to ask about your marital status, if you have children, if you are planning on it, and your spouse’s occupation and salary.  To answer, you could turn the beat around say “It sounds like family is important here, are you married?” or let them know that you are able to perform all the duties of the position.

4) What is Your Nationality?  While you may want to immediately say ” Uh, no. My forefathers are not the ones interviewing here”, the question may have been asked to determine whether or not you are bilingual or if you are legally able to work in the country. Before jumping to conclusions,  you can either say  “These questions do not pertain to my abilities” or you could say “Yes! I am actually fluent in German, Swiss, Chinese, and Portuguese”.  Just make sure you actually are that multilingual.

Illegal Interview Q's | Search Solution Group

What did you just ask me?

5) What is Your Credit Score? Questions about your financial situation or your credit score are not ones you should answer unless you are interviewing for a finance or banking position. Additionally, employers can check your credit history only with your permission. It is up to you whether or not to divulge that information. Any question that you may be uncomfortable with is not a question that you have to answer.

Before going in to an interview, think of any other questions that may pertain to you and find appropriate ways to answer these questions without putting yourself in perilous position. Our recruiters at Search Solution Group are experts at navigating such situations. If you have any questions, we are here to help!


Golden Post-Interview Steps To Take

30 Aug
After an interview, as soon as you can get back to your computer, send a quick and thoughtful email thanking the interviewers for their time.
The age-old suggestion to send a thank you note after an interview is still the best step to take. It doesn’t take long to write a simple note and it’s a good way to reiterate your interest in the position. Plus, any extra time that the interviewer is thinking of you positively is a huge plus.
A good tip to remember when writing your thank you email and note is to KISS ( Keep ISimple Stupid ) !
Sample Layout of a successful thank you note:
Paragraph one: A few quick sentences on your appreciation for the interview and their time. Remind them why you are writing.. to thank them! 
Paragraph two: This is the part where you remind the interviewer of how you are a great fit for the position and how you will be an asset to their company. If you felt you need to improve or add to any question that occurred in the interview, now is your time.
Paragraph three: Emphasize your enthusiasm and appreciation again, thank them, and if you had discussed the follow up process, mention how you are looking forward to following up with them soon. 
After you have squared away the important pleasantries, get down to business taking notes on your impression of the company, how you think you did in the interview, and ways to improve your next interview with the company.
Unless the company asked you to get back in touch with them if you have heard from them in a designated time-frame, only reach out to your recruiter if a week has passed and you haven’t heard any response.
Search Solution Group Recruiters are always willing to help with any step of your interview process!

Ace Every Phone Interview

26 Aug

Phone interviews can be daunting, but completing a successful phone interview is an integral part of most interview processes. If played right, phone interviews can be fun and instrumental in placing yourself higher on the pile of applicants.


Be Prepared

Prepare for a phone interview just as you would for an in-person interview. By this we mean, research, research, research! You should know everything and anything about the company, the job position, and the person who is interviewing you before you get on the phone.

Make a list of intelligent questions to ask as well as your answers to any typical interview question. It happens too often that candidates start phone interviews blind and unprepared because they don’t take them seriously. ALWAYS feel free to reach out to your Search Solution Group  Recruiter, too, to help you with any information you may need prior to your call.

The beauty of phone interviews is that you can have a ridiculous amount of material at your disposal without the interviewer knowing.

  • Have a copy of your resume printed out as well as a copy of the job description
  • With access to the Internet during a phone interview, you can have a browser open to the company’s web page and the ability to search topics discussed during the interview.
  • Give yourself enough time to talk for as long as the interviewer wants. It takes 15 seconds for the interviewer to decide whether you are a worthy candidate and the longer you have them interested, the better you’re doing. Running out of time and cutting off the interviewer because your lunch hour is up is the last thing you want to happen.


Having a smile on your face while on the phone gives your voice excitement and a lively energy. Your voice can seem monotonous or even irritated without a smile. Since the interviewer can’t see you, being overly animated and smiley won’t make you seem like cheerleader, but rather an engaging and enthusiastic professional.

Be Compelling

Your main job during a phone interview is to be so compelling and interesting that the interviewer is convinced that meeting you in person won’t be waste of time. Reiterate your experience, your enthusiasm for the position, and desire to continue the conversation in person.


Some small things to consider:

  • Don’t interrupt the interviewer; Speak slowly and enunciate.
  • Do have water handy to wet your whistle.
  • Dress professionally and sit as you would in person.
  • Remember to say “Thank you” and send a follow-up thank you note or email to restate your interest in the opportunity.

First Impressions In The Blink Of An Eye

19 Aug

It takes only a quick blink of the eye for an employer to initially evaluate you. Within those first three to seven seconds of an interview, you could either be making a great professional impression, or failing miserably. Your appearance, behavior, body language, and how you are dressed are all taken in to account and judged accordingly. To make a great impression, follow these cardinal interview rules.

Be On Time

An employer you are meeting for the first time is not interested if the train was long or if traffic was slow. Taking those possible delays into accordance is imperative when traveling to an interview. It is better to sit in the parking lot for 10 extra minutes then walk in one minute late.  Plan to show up five to 10 minutes early to hit the sweet spot.


Look Your Best

While you may not want to sit in the bushes to stalk the company’s dress code, it never hurts to ask the hiring manager. Having freshly cleaned and pressed clothing is a no-brainer, but the little things like shining your shoes or lint rolling off the dog hair are conditions that employers notice. Covering up tattoos, removing excessive piercings, and having a clean-shaven face and controlled hair could be impressive or could doom you to failure in your career search if left unchecked.

Let Your Body Talk 

Mirroring body posture and communication style of your interviewer instantly gives you an edge. Humans unconsciously associate strongly with people they see following their body posture and expressions.  By mirroring, you are effectively saying to an interviewer that you are trustworthy, receptive to his or her opinions, and will be a confident and familiar employee.


“Look Eye! Always Look Eye!”

In the words of Mr.Miyagi, making eye contact shows confidence and confidence is key. In relation to good eye contact is a firm handshake. Limp-fish style handshakes are related to timidity and no one wants a timid employee.

Be Prepared

Like a good Scout, being prepared with pen, paper, extra resumes, and any sample work will do wonders to make a good impression. Taking notes during your interview will give you material to make a decision on your part while showing an employer that you are interested in what he is saying.

Look the part, be the part, get the part. And don’t forget to smile!

The Greatest Baseball Franchise that was‏

17 Feb
Gary Carter

Gary Carter (Photo credit: AxsDeny)

I have written a few blog posts about the lessons I learned on the baseball field in the past. I am not sure if this is a lesson or more of a memory. Gary Carter passed away the other day from a long fight with brain cancer. Gary Carter was one of the great Montreal Expos from the 1980’s. He was a catcher and the foundation of a team from 1974-1984  that had great players on it like Charlie Lea, Pete Rose, Dave Palmer, Jeff Reardon, Andre Dawson and TIM “Rock” RAINES!! I don’t think it gets any better for me at that time. I was in my little league glory, sporting my red, white and blue Expos hat and pretending to be an Expo. My parents were driving me back and forth to baseball practices for multiple leagues during our short Buffalo, NY summers. I was listening to my folks tell me stories all the while listening to the oldies on the AM stations day dreaming about being an Expo.

 Playing little league meant playing catch with mom and dad until the street lights came on, or going to the park with my friends and playing home run derby. It meant making friends with people I did not know that would eventually lead to lifelong friends and family. It taught me how to be competitive, how to work hard to get better at something. It taught  me the value of practice and what it meant to be consistently good at what I was trying to do. Little league taught me the how to lose with dignity and win with grace, thank God we won a lot more than we ever lost. It taught me to dream and have goals and allowed my parents and I to have another bond that lasts today.

 Gary Carter is my first baseball great to pass away and I will always have those childhood memories. Thank You.