How to Handle an Interview if You Have Multiple Job Offers

Two_Job_OffersAuthor: Madeline Mann
Source: The Ladders

What do I do if I have job offers but still have other interviews? Receiving a job offer while you are still in the interview process elsewhere can put you at a huge advantage if you play your cards right. Here is exactly what you should say to each company involved to maintain great relationships and set you up to potentially get multiple offers.

To simplify the explanation, I will call the company that gave you an offer “Company A,” and the company that you are still in the interview process with, “Company B.”

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5 Painful But Important Things To Do When You Lose Your Job

lostjobAuthor: Elizabeth Alterman
Source: The Muse

When I lost my job in 2014, I naturally slipped into a self-pity funk for a bit.

What did I do first? I promptly made an enormous bowl of tiramisu and attempted to soothe my bruised ego with dessert. But—as good as it feels to take a well-deserved time-out—the quicker you curtail the wallowing and get back to the grind, the better for your career.

After realizing I wasn’t going to find a new job at the bottom of my trifle bowl, I put my spoon in the sink and got right down to business. I found a new job six months later, but was again laid off in 2017 amid a restructuring. This time, I was much better prepared to re-enter the job market.

The following is a painful but crucial to-do list anyone who’s been laid off should follow, based on my experience:

1. Acknowledge Your Emotions, Then Move On

Immediately after you’ve been let go, you may find yourself experiencing a range of emotions: panic upon saying goodbye to a regular paycheck, exhilaration as you embrace life without a set routine, rage when you reflect on all the long hours you devoted to your former position—the list goes on.

Rather than get caught up in each of these, recognize that they’re all normal.

But then—and this is the tough love talk everyone needs in this situation—move on and focus on the future.

In the case of both my layoffs, multiple colleagues were let go at the same time. Proving the old adage “misery loves company,” we served as our own little support group, commiserating together, motivating each other, and sharing leads.

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If you find yourself alone and struggling, joining a group or talking to a professional can provide comfort and encouragement and help you reign in those negative emotions.

Related: How to Bounce Back After You Lose Your Job (and Feel Like the World’s Ending)

2. Tell Everyone (Yes, Even Strangers)

Chances are, your self-esteem has taken a hit, and saying “I’m unemployed” aloud makes it that much more real and devastating.

Though you may be tempted to keep your status a secret, friends and family can’t begin to help if they’re not aware. Letting people know you’re available for new opportunities is the first step in getting your job search off the ground. (This email template will make it easier).

Right after losing my job in 2014, I attended a friend’s party and upon meeting her pals, I was asked the dreaded, “So, what do you do?” I reluctantly told people about my layoff and waited to be flooded with boatloads of pity.

But what I got instead was actually solid support. From headhunter contact information to offers to share my resume with their HR departments, people I’d just met were more than willing to help. I left the party glad I’d spilled the beans, no matter how awkward I’d initially felt.

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Pro tip: When talking about it, focus on what you want to do next—rather than what happened. For example, “I recently lost my job at [Company] and what I’ve missed most is working with customers. So, in my next job, I’m looking for a customer-facing role at a mid-sized company” sounds a lot better than, “I was laid-off because my CEO doesn’t know how to budget and goodness knows how I’ll pay rent this month. Honestly, at this point, I’d take anything that doesn’t suck.”

Related: 4 Questions to Ask Your Network Besides, “Can You Get Me a Job?”

3. Get Your Finances in Check and Create a Budget

Talking money is awkward, but knowledge is power. Figure out exactly what you’ve got to work with so you’re not accumulating debt at a time when you can least afford it.

The difference between the paycheck you lost and what you receive from severance or unemployment will determine if you need to make some adjustments to your spending—and just how sizable those should be. And this budget worksheet can help you get organized.

When I was forced to stop and really look at my finances, I realized I had to make some changes. I started with a bunch of small cuts: dinners in, books borrowed from the library, yoga at home instead of at a nearby studio. Doing this not only made me feel like I was preventing a bad situation from getting worse, it also motivated me to find a new job—fast.

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How To Use Tech To Make Your Job Hunt Easier

job-huntSource: Career Geek

Hitting the pavement and looking for work is no easy task. There is a lot of ground to cover, and no one is helping you find this job. Keep in mind that finding a few possibilities is just part of the battle because you still have to wow your potential employers with your interview should you be lucky enough to get to that step. Well, tech is here to make the job hunt a bit simpler.

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Your Resume Only Has 5 Seconds To Make an Impression. Here’s What you Should Do.

resumeAuthor: Jack Kelly
Source: Forbes

I’d like to offer you some counterintuitive advice: don’t spend too much time worrying or stressing out over your résumé. Yes, I know everyone else tells you to spend an inordinate amount of time writing, rewriting, correcting, asking people to proofread it and offer their comments and advice to absolutely seek out a professional résumé writer. They’re all wrong and misleading you. I’ll make this part of your job search really easy.

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Interview Question: Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

new-jobAuthor: Alexis Perrotta
Source: Idealist Careers

No matter why you left your last job (or why you’re planning to leave your current job), the most important thing to remember when answering this question in an interview is, stay positive.

Below, you’ll find a few general categories that your response to this particular question may fall into, and based on that, further advice on how to answer in an honest, productive, and positive way.

You left your last job because of work-related issues

There are plenty of reasons why you may have left your last job. Perhaps you’re escaping a toxic workplace, you no longer feel connected to the mission of the organization, or you feel that you’ve plateaued professionally.

To answer this question in a positive way while also staying true to yourself, take the opportunity to highlight your professional needs (and how they went unmet at your previous job) without getting caught up in the specifics. Here is an example of what you could say:

“Communication is incredibly important to me and while I really enjoyed my last job, after [X YEARS], the quality of communication with my former supervisor was never quite what I wanted it to be.”

Once you have broached the subject, be prepared for a follow-up question; a good interviewer will go after some details. If you left your last job only after trying to address the issue that led to your ultimate resignation, highlight that in your follow-up. This is a great chance to show your interviewer that while you may have been dissatisfied, you didn’t throw in the towel too soon, nor were you complacent.

For example:

“The biggest pain point was communication between me and my supervisor. While I did try to address the issue by scheduling a formal meeting and suggesting a new weekly check-in format for us as well as inviting his feedback on how I can improve my own communication style, it didn’t improve. Ideally, I would like to have a mentor and a champion in my supervisor. I decided that for me, the issue was a dealbreaker.”

Pro Tip: Not only should you strive for honesty and authenticity in your interview because it’s the right thing to do, it’s also in your best interest. You should take every reasonable opportunity to truthfully represent what you’re looking for in a job, a team, and an organization.

You left your last job because of personal issues

If something came up in your personal life that made your last job untenable—schedule change, relocation, illness, or an ill relative—be honest. You don’t want to hide the truth until the 11th hour only to learn that whatever obstacle caused you to leave your last job—no remote work, inflexible hours, etc.—is also an issue at this new job.

In addition to honesty, it’s important that you make a connection to the organization. After all, if an interviewer asks, “Why do you want to work here?” you wouldn’t say, “To pay my bills.” Similarly, when an interviewer asks, “Why are you looking for a new job?” you don’t want to answer, “Because I hate my commute.” Instead, remember to speak to the specific job or organization. Here’s an example of what you could say:

“Later this year, I’ll be moving further from the city. While I really love the work and the mission, after [X YEARS] at my last job, I decided that I needed to find something that I love just as much, but that doesn’t require such a grueling commute. While it was bittersweet to leave, I’m also looking at my move as a great opportunity to connect with a new mission and reenergize my interest in, and commitment to the sector.”

In other words, you don’t want to say that you’re looking for a new job strictly for the sake of convenience. Don’t forget to let the interviewer know that you’re interested in this specific job.

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Your Complete Guide to the Interview Process

interviewSource: The Muse

Between the 20 or so of us, The Muse team has probably been on several hundred interviews in our day.

(We know. We cringe thinking about it, too.)

In other words, we’ve been through all of those OMG-what-should-I-wear panic attacks and bathroom-mirror rehearsals of the perfect answer to “What’s your biggest weakness?” that you’re probably dealing with as you prepare for your big day.

But all those pantsuits and practiced answers weren’t for naught. In the interest of sharing our hard-won job search expertise, we’ve put together a list of the biggest job interview questions we had going in—and answers that will help you go into yours totally prepared.

Consider it everything you ever wanted to know about interviewing—answered.

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3 Benefits to Using a Staffing Firm in Your Job Search

staffingfirmAuthor: Debra Auerbach
Source: CareerBuilder.com

Three key advantages of using a staffing firm are experience, insights and confidential opportunities.

Sometimes a job search can feel isolating. You’re spending hours upon hours searching for opportunities, working on your resume and applying to job openings, often without having any outside feedback about what you’re doing right or wrong. That isolation can add a lot of emotional stress to an already nerve-wracking experience.

What you may not realize is that you don’t have to go it alone. “Psychologists tell us that next to death of a spouse, death of a child and death of a parent, the fourth most emotional experience we have, coupled with divorce, is searching for a job. It is emotionally stressful,” says Tony Beshara, owner and president of Babich & Associates, the oldest placement and recruitment service in Texas. “A professional staffing firm can help eliminate that emotional stress. Staffing firms are in the trenches on a daily basis with candidates and employers.”

Beshara says the three key advantages of using a staffing firm are experience, insights and confidential opportunities. Read on to learn more about these benefits and how staffing firms can play a crucial role in helping you find your next career:

1. Experience
According to Beshara, the average U.S. professional changes jobs every two and a half to three years. So that means a worker may go a long stretch of time before needing to engage in a job search. Staffing firm recruiters, on the other hand, live and breathe the job-search process daily.

Beshara points out that within the period of time between job searches, the job market can change – sometimes drastically. “The staffing professional is current on exactly what is going on in the immediate market. They have a unique perspective that the job seeker will not have. The market for a particular skill or experience is never the same as it was three years ago. It isn’t likely any job candidate is going to be aware of that change. So, the ‘new’ candidate may think that finding a job is going to be like ‘last time,’ but it’s not.”

A knowledgeable staffing professional can help navigate a job seeker through the market changes, so the job seeker is less likely to encounter any surprises or challenges along the way. “The experienced staffing pro doesn’t give theoretical or abstract advice, but practical ‘this is the way it is … this is what you should expect … this is what we should do’ advice,” Beshara says.

2. Insights
One of the often frustrating parts about job searching is not getting any feedback from employers as to why you aren’t the right fit for a role. When working with a staffing firm, you get access to that kind of information, which can help improve your search now and down the line.

“Staffing professionals have insights that candidates can’t get anywhere else,” Beshara says. “Since the majority of us work the same clients and the same hiring mangers over many years, we know what they like and how they like it, what they will hire and what they won’t. Since we get to know them personally, we not only understand the job they are trying to fill but we know their personalities and personal likes and dislikes. We give those insights to our candidates to be sure both parties have the best chance of success not in just getting a job, but [in having] a long, solid employment relationship.”

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