Common Types of Interviews

Common Types of Interviews

Screening Interviews

Employers often screen candidates over the phone before conducting in-person interviews. This gives recruiters a chance to preview an applicant to determine if he or she fits the job’s full profile. Body language does not count here, so note that the first impression rests entirely on one’s ability to communicate verbally.

In-Person Interviews

When brought into the office, candidates should expect one of three situations: the one-on-one interview, the panel interview or the group interview. Most know of the first situation, but the latter two can be stressful new experiences. Essentially, several decision-makers host panel interviews to collect interpretations and eliminate biases concerning one applicant. Group interviews, on the other hand, gather a handful of candidates for simultaneous questioning to reveal leadership and/or teamwork potential.

Second Interviews

Depending on the format of the first interview, the company may ask to see the candidate again before making the final decision. At this point, interviews can last the better part of a day and may involve multiple individuals, including HR representations, managers, supervisors and other office heads. Like the in-person interviews above, these may come in different forms.

  • Behavioural-Based Interview: Assuming a person’s past performances can predict his or her future actions, interviewers examine a candidate’s work history, asking for specific examples that demonstrate competency. They look for answers within a context – situation, task, action and result.
  • Task-Oriented Interview: Candidates must finish a task to prove their creative and analytical abilities. This may be a hypothetical or physical challenge.
  • Stress Interview: The interviewer puts the candidate in the hot seat to test how he or she reacts under pressure. Stress tactics include awkward silences, unwarranted interruptions and argumentative or antagonistic questions.

About: FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions. [Job Seeker’s Handbook 1].

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The Bilingual Job Seeker in Canada

The Bilingual Job Seeker in Canada

IT professionals need to know many programming languages, but how about human languages? The fact that Canada boasts two official languages should indicate the fact job seekers with knowledge of French and English possess an advantage. But did you know they also make more money?

According to a study by the Department of Economics at the University of Cyprus, bilingual men earn 21% and bilingual women earn 15% more than unilingual Francophones in Quebec. Interestingly enough, in the rest of Canada bilingual men earn 5.4% and women 9.3% more than unilingual Anglophones. The Ontario Trillium Foundation also reports that Francophones in Toronto pull in $5000 more per year than the average Torontonian.

To employers, bilingualism is a desirable skill– and workers feel the same. In the last Canadian census, 2.8-million Canadians admitted to using more than one language in the workplace, particularly those in “customer-facing jobs.” Yet this extends beyond just French and English. Bloomberg Rankings lists Mandarin Chinese as the most useful language to know for business. Alongside French, the company suggests learning Arabic or sign language.

Note: Never exaggerate your abilities on a resume. Know your strengths and limitations and convey your skills as such. With that said, if you can speak another language fluently, list it with your other soft skills. In other words, move it out from hobbies and interests into your discussion or summary.

About: FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions. [Job Seeker’s Handbook 1].

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Best Day of the Week to Job Hunt

Best Day of the Week to Job Hunt

The title of this post is at best subjective. If posed as a question, it is nearly unanswerable to the degree that different companies employ different hiring procedures, thus making the “ideal” day for job hunters difficult to determine. For a long time, job seekers generally thought of Wednesday as the best day because of the mid-week slum: Offices are less hectic and therefore have more time to spend searching. New research, however, suggests beginning and ending the week with an application or two.

Monday: According to Bright.com, Monday applicants have a “30 percent chance of advancing to the next round.” In this context, “next round” refers to the interview process. The reasoning: Resumes pile up as the week continues. Look at the survey’s full results below:

Best Day of the Week to Job Hunt

Friday: Based on a survey by eFinancialCareers, nearly 40% of all CV searches happen on Wednesdays and Thursdays; 34.5% of all applications come in over these two days as well. This means that the competition is greatest in the middle of the week. Fridays, however, resume searching peaks as recruiters and employers rush to fill the remaining vacancies!

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How to Assess a Job Offer

How to Assess a Job Offer

An interview reveals a lot about a candidate; it also shows candidates a little bit about the employer. Though we often focus on the job hunt – seeking, applying and seizing positions – the moments before signing with a company are all about reflection and evaluation. To confirm that a new job is suitable, assess the job offer by critically examining the following areas of a contract.

  • Title. This is not a trivial detail. Titles bear roles and responsibilities, so yours should represent the position accurately: Ensure that you receive credit for the work expected of you.
  • Schedule. What hours will you work and from where (i.e. commuting or telecommuting)?
  • Salary. Understand your base rate as well as the payment schedule. Can you maintain or improve your current lifestyle with the offering? Some suggest moving jobs only if the salary sits 10-15% higher.
  • Bonuses. Does the contract include any other factors that add value? This may include perks for out-of-office enjoyment (gym memberships, parking/travel reimbursement, day care, education and so on).
  • Benefits. Consider both medical (health and dental) and financial (pension plans, retirement plans, insurance, severance packages and so on) in your job assessment. Do employees receive stock options? If so, what is the vesting schedule?
  • Review. Businesses should conduct both performance and salary reviews for the sake of career advancement.
  • Vacation. How many days do you get off a year? Inquire about sick days, personal days, maternity/paternity leave and other less common circumstances.
  • Start. Do you have enough distance from the start date to transition smoothly into the new position?
  • Culture. Not everything is about money and perks – you need to enjoy yourself too. For this reason, evaluate the company’s culture to ensure that you fit in and agree to its ideals.

About Us: FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions.

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Can IT Training Land You a Higher Salary?

IT Training

Our recent post “Where to Next? The Workforce or Classroom” discusses the value of experience over education. As much as it’s hard to gauge the preference of one employer, staying up-to-date in your field can only improve your candidacy for a job. In fact, when browsing the market, a list full of credentials can help you land a senior role along with a higher salary.

For those already employed, acquiring IT certifications shows initiative in the workplace, which can lead to more opportunities for career advancement and compensation. Employers recognize those who excel at their jobs and who boost an operation’s productivity. In fact, some businesses even encourage their employees to learn more by offering classes and workshops in-office. Others simply reimburse employees for relevant schooling taken after hours.

Job seekers too can readily find on-demand IT certificates online. That said, use good judgement: Government-run classes, for example, strengthen a resume, unlike suspect or unheard of services. Sometimes, the best place to start is a corporation’s website that you frequently encounter in the workplace (i.e. Microsoft). Depending on the course, however, IT professionals may need to pay heftily for texts, exam fees and other related tuition expenses. Consider this an investment towards your career, so pick courses directly relevant to your experience.

If you would like to explore IT certificates available, visit Tom’s IT Pro and click on one of the following areas: Backup and Data Recovery, Big Data, Cloud IT, Mobility, Virtualization, Wireless Networking, Telecommunications, Computer Hardware, Project Management, Database, Linux, Enterprise Architect, System Administrator, Information Security and various others.

Candidates who seek employment in any of the above fields, we invite you to get in-touch. FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions.

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The Most Popular Programming Languages of 2014

Programming Languages

IT professionals need to seize every advantage when career hunting. Despite the importance of soft skills and experience, workers can surpass their competition by adding a few new programming languages to their resume. But which language to start with?

Below you will find a list that illustrates the most popular programming languages of 2014. Identify with one or two, and then look to branch out to others that are familiar. In most cases, programming skills are transferrable.

  • Python (Average Salary $83,000)
  • Java (Average Salary $95,000)
  • Javascript (Average Salary $88,000)
  • C++ (Average Salary $94,000)
  • C# (Average Salary $91,000)
  • Objective C (Average Salary $93,000)
  • Ruby (Average Salary $94,000)
  • PHP (Average Salary $81,000)
  • Perl (Average Salary $93,000)
  • Scala (Average Salary $100,000)
  • HTML5/CSS (Average Salary $81,000)
  • XML (Average Salary $92,000)
  • SQL (Average Salary $90,000)

*Average salaries based on Computer World statistics
**List compiled using CodeEvel, eWEEK (A website that in turn references Dice, Stack Overflow’s Careers, Indeed, FlexJobs the TIOBE index), Lynda, and Jobs Tractor databases

Programming Languages

Note: CodeEval, a frequent host of app building competitions, ranks Python as the single most popular programming language on the market. eWeek, however, believes that C-based languages are among the most important. Programmers should further research jobs pertaining to all items listed above in order to find those most pertinent to their search.

If any of the popular programming languages interest you, contact us to find related jobs currently available. Alternatively, view our Twitter Feed on the right-hand side, where we advertise many leads and open positions.

FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions.

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Job-Hopping in the Tech Industry: Good or Bad?

Job-Hopping Tech

Only one decade ago, employers viewed job-hopping negatively. Those carrying a short, hefty employment history looked indecisive, incompatible and undependable. In other words, such candidates were unfit for hiring. Today, however, companies not only forgive job-hopping, but many also appreciate it. Consider the fact the majority of Canadians stay in a position for a maximum of two years. What does this say about the market?

Job-hopping is the product of a confident, aggressive generation. It has become a way for young IT professionals to acquire technical knowledge in various corporate climates, staying up-to-date by going where the best technology is. In this sense, job-hopping serves as a means to upgrade and transfer one’s skills, all the while developing larger professional networks. A jumpy history now indicates the ability to learn quickly and bend to the will of any environment.

Despite the aforesaid advantages, IT professionals should understand the dangers of job-hopping. In some cases, it eliminates security: The newest employees may be targeted first in the case of layoffs. Similarly, companies may put less of an investment in one’s career because of a flighty resume. Some even argue that job-hopping leads to professional dissatisfaction; though, others claim the complete opposite. At any rate, it depends entirely on what the employer wants, so before replacing your current job, do some research and/or speak with a career advisor/recruiter.

About: FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions.

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