Top 10 Interviewing Questions

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1. What are your weaknesses?
“What are your weaknesses” is one of the most popular questions interviewers ask. It is also the most dreaded question of all. Handle it by minimizing your weakness and emphasizing your strengths. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits: “I am always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter. I recently joined Toastmasters, which I find very helpful.”

2. Why should we hire you?
Answer “Why should we hire you” by summarizing your experiences: “With five years’ experience working in the financial industry and my proven record of saving the company money, I could make a big difference in your company. I’m confident I would be a great addition to your team.”

3. Why do you want to work here?
By asking you, “Why do you want to work here?” the interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you’ve given this some thought and are not sending out resumes just because there is an opening. For example, “I’ve selected key companies whose mission statements are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about what the company does, and this company is very high on my list of desirable choices.”

4. What are your goals?
When you’re asked, “What are your goals?” sometimes it’s best to talk about short-term and intermediate goals rather than locking yourself into the distant future. For example, “My immediate goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of responsibility.”

5. Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your job?
If an interviewer asks, “Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your job?” and you’re unemployed, state your reason for leaving in a positive context: “I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20% reduction in the workforce, which included me.”

If you are employed, focus on what you want in your next job: “After two years, I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused, where I can add my experience.”

6. When were you most satisfied in your job?
The interviewer who asks, “When were you most satisfied in your job?” wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences. “I was very satisfied in my last job, because I worked directly with the customers and their problems; that is an important part of the job for me.”

7. What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
Emphasize what makes you unique when you’re asked, “What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?”. This will take an assessment of your experiences, skills and traits. Summarize concisely: “I have a unique combination of strong technical skills, and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge and break down information to be more user-friendly.”

8. What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?
It’s time to pull out your old performance appraisals and boss’s quotes to answer the question, “What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?”. This is a great way to brag about yourself through someone else’s words: “My boss has told me that I am the best designer he has ever had. He knows he can rely on me, and he likes my sense of humor.”

9. What salary are you seeking?
When you’re asked, “What salary are you seeking?” it is to your advantage if the employer tells you the range first. Prepare by knowing the going rate in your area, and your bottom line or walk-away point. One possible answer would be: “I am sure when the time comes, we can agree on a reasonable amount. In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?”

10. If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
Don’t be alarmed if you’re asked, “If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?”. Interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. If you answer “a bunny,” you will make a soft, passive impression. If you answer “a lion,” you will be seen as aggressive. What type of personality would it take to get the job done? What impression do you want to make?

Five common mistakes when looking for a tax position

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Everyone makes mistakes, but it often feels like there’s no room for error at any point in the job search process. Any typo, error, or mistake on a resume can spell doom for even the most qualified candidates. But there’s more to it than avoiding resume and cover letter errors. Here are five things to avoid doing when you’re looking for work as a tax professional. Remember a search firm can always read your resume and help you get an edge against the competition.

Always ask the recruiter where your resume is going

Whether you’re just getting started or have worked for decades as a tax professional, it’s important to stay in control of your candidate profile throughout the process. When working with a recruiter or search firm, it’s essential to always ask where your resume is going and who you are being presented to as a potential candidate. Any recruiter not informing you where they distribute your resume is likely sending it to as many employers as possible because you unwittingly gave the recruiter permission to send it out. A good way to stay in control is to ensure you’re informed as resumes are distributed, and to always work with a reliable search firm with many years of experience.

Ensure your resume is ready

How often do you look over your resume when you’re ready to start the search? Have you had it reviewed by someone other than yourself? For example, it’s not uncommon for search firms to ensure a resume is taking advantage of a format and style that allows you to present as much information about yourself in as few pages as possible. A second or third opinion, especially from a recruiter or search firm, also gives essential feedback on how to improve your resume for any particular potential employers. The resume is a very important first impression, and it requires careful thinking to prepare for career success. For example, many candidates waste essential real estate on their resumes by having unnecessarily wide margins.

Prepare properly before your interviews

Interviewing is always a challenge. As it is, it can be intimidating to meet with a firm or business’s key executives, as well as your hiring manager, not to mention your future coworkers. But what’s even more intimidating is the inability to know just what they’ll ask, just the need to prepare for as many questions as possible. In reality, you’ll never know what you’re going to be asked until you walk up to the door, but search firms can lend a hand especially with the interview process. A search firm can help you articulate your work experience, work experience, and help you research the employer so you can let your charisma and knowledge shine through any interview.

Tell yourself what you learned from each meeting

As you interview with an employer, always take the time to reflect on that experience. The worst thing you can ever tell yourself is that you’ve done well, but not know how and why you did well. A great way to simplify this is to grab a business card at each interview and to write down what you learned from that conversation. Even the most basic information, from specific compliments, to questions asked, or even hobbies expressed can be valuable later in the interview process. It shows your interest in not just trying to find a career, but to find a team you’ll grow with and ultimately foster success within. Working with a search firm helps you stay ahead of these post-interview steps, and gives you a chance at being as success as these recent candidates too.

Always communicate your value

A final piece of advice for potential candidates in tax is to always communicate your value. Just as real estate agents are always closing, you should be always communicating your value to your hiring manager, future coworkers, company or firm executives, and anyone else who wants to know why you want that career. The way to differentiate one’s self is to focus on your positive value as a byproduct of your work experience, interests, and abilities.
All of this is a lot to decipher and understand, and just a taste of what a good search firm can offer any candidate in the search process. For tax professionals in need of some expert help, then consider the Tax Recruiting Specialists (TRS) at the Jay Heino Company, LLC to help you discover new opportunities. TRS has worked for more than 35 years to help candidates of all experience levels achieve success in the search process. Call us today at (516) 791-1958 or email us at info@taxrecruitingspecialists.com to get started, or take a look at our current openings.

What does a successful search look like? Everything from submitting your resume to a signed offer

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What is it like to work with a search firm? What are the benefits of such a relationship, and how can it benefit your search for a new career? For those new to working with recruiters and other search professionals, you might be wondering just what the process entails. Here’s a step-by-step look at how a search firm or recruiter works with a candidate from discovering potential employers to receiving an employment offer.

Getting started

It should first be said that every search firm will operate differently depending on the industry it recruits in, how many candidates it serves, and how many recruiters operate out of the firm. For a boutique firm such as the Tax Recruiting Specialists, the process begins with matching a potential candidate with a potential employer. A search firm meets with the candidate to understand their current employment expectations, as well as to ask preliminary questions about their interests, travel preferences, and other information necessary to prepare their profile.

Next, the search firm reaches out to potential employers that match the candidate’s expectations or already has a list of current potential openings. This matching process alone is a huge advantage compared to searching alone for career opportunities. It ensures a much more fruitful relationship with employers than simply submitting a resume and cover letter independently. Recruiters and search firms seek success, and present candidates who fit employer expectations, while ensuring that employers match a candidate’s own expectations. Some recruiters may even have long-standing relationship with firms and businesses and can present candidates even if there isn’t a specific opening, which can lead to a potential hire. At a boutique firm this is all a very personal process, and recruiters may spend hours on the phone working with a candidate to identify potential employers for a best possible fit.

Next, a recruiter will send a candidate’s resume and relevant information to the employer. Another advantage here is that a recruiter will follow up with the employer and try to ensure the hiring manager gets the chance to see your resume so that it isn’t held back by someone other than the hiring team. This can be especially helpful at large businesses or firms with extensive HR teams who may otherwise hinder your chances of receiving an interview.

Preparing for your first interview

If you’re fortunate enough to be offered an interview, the search firm or recruiter you work with will then help you prepare for a series of interviews you’ll have with the hiring manager and their team. Often interviews are there to not only prove your knowledge and expertise to the employer, but also to give your future coworkers a chance to understand your personality, determine whether you’re a good fit, and apply other factors into the consideration process.

Normally, you’d go through this process alone. But a search firm can give candidates access to a number of tools and resources for a greater chance at success in the interview process. For some, this may be nothing more than a few tips or information about the employer. For others who need more help, a search firm can help by referring candidates to coaches and other professionals who can help candidates find confidence when interviewing with employers. Every little bit of advice can help a candidate, and a search firm helps by identifying the specific help a candidate needs to improve their interviewing skills.

Due to the number of interviews, a good search firm will also regularly keep in touch with a candidate, ask how they’re doing, and just be a source of support during the process. This call also should involve a debrief where the recruiter learns what a candidate did or didn’t like about the firm or business as feedback in the process. After all, they’re there to be an advocate for a candidate’s success more than anything else, and need this information when they go back to speak with the firm or business about your interview and how things are progressing.

Wrapping up and giving thanks

As you go through the interview process, the search firm is there along the way to keep you focused on success. Did you send a follow-up email and a thank-you message? Did you write down what you learned and how you’re going to use it to your advantage at the next interview? The search firm isn’t just cheerleading from the sidelines, but thinking of ways to help you wrap up and improve your chances at receiving an offer. No matter what, a recruiter or search firm should be in the loop with you, even if there’s nothing new to share. If you haven’t heard from anyone in a few days, get in touch with your recruiter to ask about what’s new and remind them of your ongoing interest.

Speaking of offers, you also might be wondering: What happens if you get an offer? What does a recruiter or search firm do then?

Even during the final step, the offer process, a good recruiter or search firm is there to help candidates strategize for success, providing critical advice to the candidate to help them through this last mile in the career search process. In the end, a recruiter is only happy if their candidate has found satisfaction in the search process and ultimately takes an offer.

This is just a short look at how in-depth a process it is to successfully search for a career, not to mention the help a search firm or recruiter can offer as a core partner in a candidate’s success. If you’re a tax professional wondering about a firm that can enable such step-by-step help toward success, then consider the expertise of the Tax Recruiting Specialists (TRS) at the Jay Heino Company, LLC can help you discover new opportunities. Call us today at (516) 791-1958 or email us at info@taxrecruitingspecialists.com to get started, or read our testimonials to learn about the success of our recent clients and candidates.

Five tips for your next job interview

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If you’re beginning the job search for the first time in several years, you might be a little rusty on getting through the interview process. Often highly qualified positions require multiple interviews with managers, coworkers, and even executives in order to assess how well you’d fit at the company or firm. If you’re wondering what’s the best way to interview, here are five things to consider during the interview process to give you the best chance at success. We’ve developed these ideals from our decades of work at helping candidates find successful matches.

  1. Express confidence

When you walk in the door, everything about you, from your clothes to your smile, must express how happy you are to have the opportunity to meet with a potential employer. This is all an extension of how confident you should be during the interview process. Whether it’s a screening with human resources, a lunch with a manager, or any other interaction, it should show the confidence you have in being a successful partner in the success of the company.

Being confident will also make you more comfortable during the interview. This is something employers care a lot about when determining how well you’ll fit at the company or firm. Keep this in mind throughout your interviews.

  1. Be honest and straightforward

When you’re applying for a highly qualified position, the interview process isn’t designed to trick or deceive you. The interviewers are trying to understand more about you as a candidate, why you want to work at their company, and how well you’ll fit with the rest of the company. It’s important to be straightforward in answering the questions they ask you. There will always be questions about your weaknesses, times you’ve failed, or about things you do not know. It’s important to frame honestly what you do know, to explain what matters to you, and to express interest in learning more about what you don’t already know.

  1. Be genuine

Sometimes candidates forget that an interview is about more than how well a job you’ll do in the office. When you’re spending 40 hours or more a week in an office, coworkers and managers alike want someone they’ll look forward to seeing in their meetings. Everyone has hobbies, and another way to stay relaxed and confident in interviews is to stay genuine. While interviews are important, professional meetings to learn about your skills, opportunities may arise to share a hobby, sport, or activity that your future coworkers or managers may relate to. They want to know you’re a hard worker, but that you enjoy your personal life as well and will bring a positive atmosphere to the workplace.

  1. Ask questions and express interest

When being interviewed, always be ready to ask follow-up questions, even for things you already know about at the company. When being interviewed by a manager, they want to see you’re interested in working at the employer, as well as knowing more about the company or firm’s mission, goals, and values. Asking questions shows your interest in engaging with these ideas, and is a helpful way to set yourself apart from other candidates. It’s also a way to show your genuine interest in the career and an interest in having a conversation with an employer, rather than a one-way dialogue. A great search firm helps candidates with staying engaged and will often prove this through their satisfied clients and candidates.

  1. Always be thankful and forward thinking

Whenever you finish an interview, it should always end with a “Thank You,” a smile, and a kind handshake. You should also express interest in following up, and it’s not uncommon to send along a thank-you letter to whomever you’ve spoken with, whether they’re a co worker, a manager, or an executive. Even if you never see a reply, it means a lot to show a company or firm how much you care to be thankful and thoughtful for their time, and could be all the difference in the opportunity to receive an offer. Always be thankful and forward thinking, so don’t forget to ask everyone for a business card.

Get started today with a search firm

This is just a taste of what you can learn in the job search process with the help of a highly qualified search firm. If you’re a tax professional looking for the next step in their career, then we invite you to learn how the Tax Recruiting Specialists (TRS) at the Jay Heino Company, LLC can help you discover new opportunities. Call us today at (516) 791-1958, view our current openings, or email us at info@taxrecruitingspecialists.com to get started.

Why a search firm matters when finding your next job

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Are you ready to make the next move for your career? Exploring for new employment opportunities can be both exciting and scary. There’s no joy like finding that ideal job, and no fear like the endless hours you may spend submitting resumes, researching employers, and preparing for that interview. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. There is a way to get through this entire process more easily with the help of a search firm that specializes in your career niche.

How search firms help you get hired

There is no secret formula to find the job of your dreams. Everyone however wants any edge they can get at finding an ideal career, and that’s where a search firm and its expert recruiters can come in to increase your odds of success. A search firm is a matchmaking service that specializes in helping you discover potential career opportunities, such as current openings, while helping employers identify exceptional talent for their companies and firms. A niche search firm specializes in helping candidates and employers within a specific field, such as tax recruitment. If you’ve never worked with a search firm before when searching for work, you might be wondering what the fuss is all about. Here are some important advantages many candidates gain from working with a search firm during the job search.

  1. You gain a better sense of the market

Search firms are experts at matching highly qualified talent with employers who desire their skills. An ideal search firm to work with offers decades of experience in specific recruitment niches, understanding more than any job description can offer on how well you’d match as a candidate. When you work with a search firm, you can often gain access to niche expertise you need when testing the waters for a new career. Recruiters know the average salaries, years of experience, and other details that can match you with a job you may not even realize you qualify for. They also know what skills are in demand, and what’s worth sharing on your resume to get an edge in the interview process.

  1. You cast yourself a wider net

No matter how many resumes you submit online, a search firm has a unique advantage in the search process. Because a recruiter works with both candidates and employers, they already have direct access to a company or firm and the positions they wish to fill. They also know exactly what the employer wants in more ways than a job posting can describe, and have a proverbial foot in the door. When you work with a search firm, you have the opportunity to be presented to potential employers as opposed to hoping your resumes and job application make it past the HR department. A good recruiter cares about your success and will work to find you opportunities, giving you a wider range of potential jobs to consider.

  1. You get access to coaching and other resources

No one makes a full time job out of being a candidate trying to get hired, but a recruiter is an expert who works full time at helping candidates get hired. A good search firm is one that’s looking out for your personal success and is there to help you at every step of the search process, from discovery, to interviews, and even negotiation. If you’re starting the job search after several years of working, it’s likely been some time since you’ve freshened up your resume, interviewed for a position, or practiced negotiating. Search firms can help you by coaching you through these tasks and giving you essential tips to success during your job search. You also gain access to documents, practice interview questions, and other helpful resources. Boutique firms are especially great since they offer one-on-one consultations and in-depth relationships through the search process. If you’re working with a search firm and they don’t offer these resources or access to coaching, then you may want to consider a different firm.

Get started today with a search firm

It’s essential to have all the tools possible for success in your job search process. We invite you to learn how the Tax Recruiting Specialists (TRS) at the Jay Heino Company, LLC can help you and other tax professionals discover new careers. Call us today at (516) 791-1958 or email us at info@taxrecruitingspecialists.com to get started.

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