Interview techniques and questions to discover critical thinkers

Millennial indecisive about his job. He, like many other Gen Yers may be a job hopper.Traditional job interviews only provide a finite look into a job candidate’s background and experience. Asking the right questions is a critical part of understanding a candidate and discovering if they truly meet the expectations and requirements for the position. Hiring experts say that rushing to judgment during the interview process is a top reason employers make bad hires, but preparing the right interview questions is a smart first step toward avoiding this common mistake.

One of the more difficult skill sets to interview for is critical thinking. Finding critical thinkers to join your team is a worthwhile investment to make, but many employers struggle to confirm if a potential job candidate is truly a critical thinker, or if their past experience simply meets the job demands on the surface. Interviewing for critical thinking competency is one of the best ways to determine if a candidate will not only fulfill the role, but bring new perspectives and ideas to the team as a whole. The following questions and techniques are geared to help employers efficiently understand if the candidate they are interviewing is a critical thinker.

Describe a problem to the candidate that has missing information, then ask, “What further information would you seek out first before making a decision?”

The candidate will need to assess the given information and quickly seek out holes where more information is necessary. If executed properly, this question should reveal if the candidate can analyze problems and apply an investigatory mentality when they lack required information. In many business situations, employees are not given the precise information or resources that they need to make decisions with ease. This type of question prepares employees to think about how they can acquire the needed resources to make an informed decision.
Read more »


Stay relevant in today’s job market

OJP0024151For those who have held the same position for a longer period of time or are seeking employment in the middle of their career, here are a few important things to do to keep up with competition while diversifying your skill sets for a rewarding career path.

Brush up on the most widely used applications

Sometimes, staying up to date in the job market is simply a matter of keeping pace with technology. Thomas Kamber, founding executive director of Older Adults Technology Services, says: “The most important skills and technologies for older adults in the workplace are actually the least esoteric. Applications like Microsoft Word, Excel and Gmail are essential for functioning in the modern workplace, and many older adults need to brush up on or develop new skills in these mainstream tools.”
Read more »


3 ways to reward and engage your best talent

157006973Talented employees are the leaders behind successful companies. To tap into your best employees and optimize their skill sets, employers need to strive for employee engagement consistently. When your top talent loses engagement or feels that their work is undervalued, they begin to seek out other opportunities. Here are three things you can do to engage your best talent and keep them happy as they move the company forward.
Read more »


Five rockstars of the job market

151329130test2014 has shown signs of particular growth – all of which results of key factors, including shifts in the economy and significant current events.

The job market continues to hold strong in a few key industries: healthcare, finance, computer systems and information, and employment services. Although this list isn’t exhaustive, these industries will continue to play a big role in the 2014 job market and the future of the job market altogether. Many positions in these industries require new support roles or other professions that are attainable through a certification process; job seekers should approach large industries with an open mind and consider breaking into new industries through a surplus of emerging support roles.
Read more »


The one thing you must do at every job interview

Top 5 things your human resources department wants you to knowThere are countless rules and tips about what to do and what not to do during a job interview. If there’s one critical thing that every job seeker must do to stand out and to be taken seriously, it is simply ask questions. When you don’t come prepared with thoughtful questions, it says a few things, including: 1) you are underprepared, 2) you aren’t excited about the job or the company, and 3) you’re not visualizing your day-to-day role within the company.

Here’s how to craft questions that will impress your future employer.

Long-term goals

Learn more about the long-term goals for the role you’re interviewing for. Questions like, “what are 2-3 major accomplishments that you’d like to see come out of this role in the next six months?” show that you are aiming to make an impact and hold yourself to a high standard.

Company Culture

Ask your interviewer to describe the company culture and values. By expressing an interest in the heart of the company and going deeper than day-to-day tasks and items that only impact your role, show that you can think big picture – and prove that you care about the company itself. Asking an interviewer about company values demonstrates an important level of maturity and consideration. Moreover, if you are truly seeking a perfect job match, you can learn a lot by asking this question.
Read more »


The benefits of a liberal arts degree

463246905reTOne misconception about liberal arts degrees is that they don’t translate into jobs after college. On one hand, it’s true that a liberal arts degree means you won’t know the exact profession you’ll look for or accept after graduation. On the other hand, having a more broad skill set is a huge advantage in many cases. In today’s job market especially, a liberal arts background can translate into many opportunities that one may have overlooked otherwise.

Without a specialized occupational degree like accounting or engineering, graduates are able to look into top hiring industries rather than wait for a position in the industry that pertains to their degree. Job seekers who are willing to be open-minded and have patience while navigating the job market without a set plan will likely be rewarded with a variety of opportunities and the ability to craft a long-term career in any number of fields.

The annual Emory Career Center survey of liberal arts majors found that “85 percent [of the graduating class] had definite plans in place before graduation.” The same study reports that employers appreciate liberal arts backgrounds for a variety of reasons; “They can think critically…They have a well-rounded background…They’re analytical, well-spoken,” says Justin Leemis of Triage Consulting group.

Employability of a liberal arts grad

A liberal arts degree may not guarantee every liberal arts job seeker employment right out of college, but it will continue to bolster your career trajectory in the long-run, often making you a more desirable candidate for promotions or other opportunities, thanks to certain traits that are cultivated within a liberal arts education, including strong communication skills, reading comprehension, cultural understanding, and analytical abilities. These traits are undeniably valuable for any career path. The ability to process and synthesize complex information – one of the key skill sets of most liberal arts majors – is something that can be difficult to come by in today’s market.
Read more »