7 Tips to Conquer pre-Interview Anxiety

You finally landed an interview for your ideal job. Now you find yourself in the candidate holding tank five minutes before it all goes down. Your insides are churning, heart-pounding, palms sweaty -- and your brain seems incapable of reading its own resume. You tell yourself to breathe, but nothing seems to help. Your name is called. The interview is over before it began.

Anxiety is an interview killer...and a common problem. Job seekers have every right to be anxious about an impending interview. After all, the competition is often killer and your livelihood could be at stake. But the last thing a hiring manager wants is for you to be a bundle of nerves.

Avoid letting your anxiety get the best of you with these seven pre-interview tactics.

1. Have a game plan

A day or two before your interview, scope out the company building. If you're driving, find parking and learn exactly where you'll need to be the day of the interview. On the day of, give yourself a generous amount of time to arrive at the interview location and get settled. Note: This doesn't mean showing up to the actual interview an hour early. Use this time to take a walk to soothe your nerves or review your answers to potential questions. Realizing there are factors prior to the big interview that are completely within your control can help you gain your composure.

2. Engage in conversation

The day of your interview, surround yourself with friends or family who make you feel good about yourself. By engaging with people in positive conversation throughout the day you'll be warmed up by the time you reach your interview. A positive mood is infectious, and warming up your voice beforehand will also help you articulate effectively when it's time to answer questions.

3. Boost your mood

Create a playlist of songs that pump you up or give you confidence. If listening to "Eye of The Tiger" on repeat makes you feel like you can accomplish anything, then go for it. Or try listening to some stand-up comedy on your way to the interview. A good belly laugh can ease anxiety and fear along with relieving stress.

4. Fuel up

The cliché is true: Eating a healthy breakfast kick-starts your brain and elevates concentration and productivity throughout the morning. Include a "brain food" like oatmeal or fruit in your morning meal and you'll have even more of a mental edge when you're preparing for your big moment.

5. Get moving

Exercising a few hours before the interview will release endorphins that relieve stress. Plus, it will give you some time to visualize yourself in complete control of every single interview question while you conquer the elliptical machine.

6. Visualize

Visualizing achievement can have a positive impact on the outcome of your performance. Humans stimulate the same portion of the brain when they visualize an action as when they are actually performing an action. So, through use of positive imagery it's possible to prime your brain for a successful interview.

7. Demystify the process

It sounds cheesy, but the interviewer may be just as nervous as you are. He or she may be understaffed and under pressure to fill a position quickly. Remember, however, you were chosen for an interview after proving yourself to be a viable candidate. Don't view the hiring manager as the enemy – or as omnipotent. Instead, see him or her as an equal. Demystifying the process can aid in soothing your interview anxiety.

Interviewing for any position can be a burdensome task. But don't fret, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed before your interview, it is possible to re-gain control over your nerves. Set aside ample time to prepare beforehand to build confidence.

Source: http://advice.careerbuilder.com/

Staffing News and Trends Updates 10/24

New guidance on economically targeted investments
in retirement plans from US Labor Department

The U.S. Labor Department has issued new guidance regarding economically targeted investments (ETIs) made by retirement plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. ETIs are investments that are selected for the benefits they create in addition to the investment return to the employee benefit plan investor.

"Investing in the best interests of a retirement plan and in the growth of a community can go hand in hand," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "We have heard from stakeholders that a 2008 department interpretation has unduly discouraged plan fiduciaries from considering economically targeted investments. Changes in the financial markets since that time, particularly improved metrics and tools allowing for better analyses of investments, make this the right time to clarify our position."

The Labor Department previously addressed issues relating to ETIs in Interpretive Bulletin 94-1 (IB 94-1) and Interpretive Bulletin 2008-1 (IB 2008-1). IB 94-1 corrected a misperception that investments in ETIs are incompatible with ERISA's fiduciary obligations. On Oct. 17, 2008, the department replaced IB 94-1 with IB 2008-01. However, the department has now concluded that in the seven years since its publication, IB 2008-01 has unduly discouraged fiduciaries from considering ETIs and environmental, social and governance ("ESG") factors under appropriate circumstances.

The financial health of retirement plans and participants remains paramount under federal law. The new guidance, Interpretive Bulletin 2015-01, confirms the department's longstanding view from IB 94-1 that fiduciaries may not accept lower expected returns or take on greater risks in order to secure collateral benefits, but may take such benefits into account as "tiebreakers" when investments are otherwise equal with respect to their economic and financial characteristics. The guidance also acknowledges that environmental, social, and governance factors may have a direct relationship to the economic and financial value of an investment. When they do, these factors are more than just tiebreakers, but rather are proper components of the fiduciary's analysis of the economic and financial merits of competing investment choices.

Additional information is available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/.

US leading index suggests moderate growth despite slip

The Conference Board’s US leading economic index edged down in September but still suggests moderate growth will continue. The index fell 0.2% in September to a reading of 123.3 (2010 = 100), following no change in August and July.

“Despite September’s decline, the US [leading economic index] still suggests economic expansion will continue, although at a moderate pace,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. “The recent weakness in stock markets, the manufacturing sector and housing permits was offset by gains in financial indicators, and to a lesser extent improvements in consumer expectations and initial claims for unemployment insurance. The US economy is on track for moderate growth of about 2.5% in the coming quarters, despite the mixed global economic landscape.”

Source: http://www.staffingindustry.com

Employers to hire 11% more new grads

Employers plan to hire 11% more new college grads from the class of 2016 for their US operations than they did from the class of 2015, according to a survey of 201 employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

But although employers plan to hire more grads this year, the number of employers who will do that hiring went down. Slightly more than 40% of companies said they plan to increase hiring this year compared to 46.4% who planned to increase hiring in last year’s survey.

Employers surveyed were members of NACE.

Source: http://www.staffingindustry.com

Staffing News and Trends Update 9/29


September 23 2014

Social media plays a crucial role in the process of sourcing and recruiting, according to Adecco Group’s new report, “#SocialRecruiting – Job Search, Digital Reputation and HR Practices in the Social Media Age.”

The study found that in 2013, 53 percent all recruitment activity involved the Internet, with a particular focus on social media. The percentage for 2014 is expected to rise to 61 percent. Additionally, seven out of 10 recruiters said they use social media for their human resource activities, and five out of ten job seekers say they use social media to search for job opportunities. Additionally, almost 30 percent of job seekers have been contacted through social media by a recruiter at least once, with 9 percent receiving a job offer.

In the US, 51 percent of job seekers utilized social media for job search purposes, with LinkedIn largely the most used social networking site for professional job search activities at 40.4 percent.

“The predominant relevance of social media recruiting is a reality today and undoubtedly also in the future,” said Silvia Zanella, Adecco Global social media and online marketing director.

Adecco conducted the study in collaboration with the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. The survey was conducted between March 18 and June 2, 2014. It included responses from 17,272 candidates and 1,501 recruiters from 24 countries.


September 23 2014

Undergraduate students in business and engineering listed their most-desirable employers in a new survey released by Universum, a global employer brand research firm. Top firms included Google and Microsoft.

When asked about their employment preferences, “a creative and dynamic work environment” ranked as the most sought-after attribute for engineering students globally, and fourth for business students. “A friendly work environment” was also important, ranking sixth for engineers and fifth for business students.

“It's an indication that this generation, no matter where they are in the world, take a different approach to work,” said Petter Nylander, CEO of Universum. “Students know what a large role work will play in their lives and want to work in an environment that resonates - employers need to invest in cultivating this.”

The top ten companies by college major were:

Engineering students:



BMW Group








Business students:


EY (Ernst & Young)

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)




Procter & Gamble

Goldman Sach


J.P. Morgan

The lists are based Universum’s national surveys of more than 200,000 business and engineering students in the world’s 12 largest economies.


September 25 2014

Most employers, 62 percent, think the minimum wage in their state should be increased, according to a new CareerBuilder survey released today. This includes 58 percent of company senior leaders.

While most employers would like to see a hike in their state, 48 percent said a fair minimum wage should be set between $10 and $14 per hour. Only 7 percent said a minimum wage of $15 per hour or more would be fair; 9 percent don’t think there should be a set minimum wage.

The survey found 27 percent of employers are hiring minimum wage workers in 2014, including 51 percent of retailers and 58 percent of leisure and hospitality firms. And employers currently hiring minimum wage workers are more likely to support a minimum wage increase than those who are not by an 11-point margin: 70 percent compared to 59 percent.

Responses to the question, “What is a fair minimum wage?” include:

$7.25 per hour (current federal minimum): 8 percent

$8.00 or $9.00 per hour: 29 percent

$10.00 per hour: 29 percent

$11.00-$14.00 per hour: 19 percent

$15.00 or more per hour: 7 percent

No set minimum wage: 9 percent

Employers who do not support a minimum wage increase in their state cite several reasons related to negative effects it may have on their business:

It can cause employers to hire less people: 66 percent

It can cause issues for small businesses struggling to get by: 65 percent

It can cause hikes in prices to offset labor costs: 62 percent

It can mean potential layoffs: 50 percent

It can lead to increased use of automation as a replacement for workers: 32 percent

Wages for higher-level workers may suffer and create retention issues: 29 percent

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 13 to June 6, 2014. It included a representative sample of 2,188 hiring and human resource managers.

Staffing News and Trends Update 10/6


October 02 2014

More employers plan to add full-time permanent workers in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year, according to CareerBuilder's fourth-quarter 2014 US job forecast released today. The survey found 29 percent of employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount in the fourth quarter, up from the 25 percent who planned to hire in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The survey also found hiring rose when looking back at the third quarter. Thirty-four percent of employers added full-time, permanent headcount in the third quarter; that’s up from 28 percent from the third quarter of last year. Only 10 percent decreased headcount in the quarter, an improvement from 11 percent in the third quarter of last year.

In addition, the survey found 26 percent of employers planned to hire seasonal employees in the fourth quarter with 42 percent planning to transition some seasonal staff into full-time, permanent employees.

Among retailers, 43 percent plan to hire seasonal employees in the fourth quarter.

“After experiencing incremental improvements over the past few years," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “The jobs outlook for Q4 is now more in line with pre-recession forecasts as employers cast a greater vote of confidence in both permanent and seasonal hiring. What’s also encouraging is that recruitment plans for small businesses with more than 50 employees are keeping pace with larger organizations. We’ll continue to see a spotlight on jobs and wages in the upcoming elections and beyond as we strive for an even stronger employment environment in 2015.”

Popular seasonal positions companies will be recruiting for in the fourth quarter include:

  • Customer service: 40 percent
  • Administrative/clerical: 15 percent
  • Shipping/delivery: 13 percent
  • Accounting/finance: 12 percent
  • Inventory management: 12 percent

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,203 hiring managers and human resource professionals. The survey was conducted between Aug. 11 and Sept. 5, 2014.


October 03 2014

The U.S. added 19,700 temporary help services jobs in September even as the number of temporary help services jobs in August was revised upward by 17,600, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The temporary penetration rate reached yet another new high of 2.10 percent in September.

Looking at total employment across industries in September, the U.S. added 248,000 jobs — above the 180,000 added in August based on revised data and topping the MarketWatch-compiled economist forecast of 220,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in September from 6.1 percent in August. The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, fell to 2.9 percent in September from 3.2 percent in August.

“The economy generated a gain of 248,000 jobs in September, faster than the average monthly gain over the past year, and revisions to July and August were very positive,” according to commentary by The Conference Board. “The slower gain initially reported for August now appears to have been simply an aberration. The continued rapid drop in the unemployment rate increases the odds that reaching the natural rate of unemployment and the first Fed rate hike will occur in the first half of 2015. The one negative piece of information from this report is the ongoing weakness in wage growth.”


October 02 2014

Starting salaries for professional occupations in the US are projected to increase by an average of 3.8 percent next year, according to the 2015 Salary Guides from Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI) released today.

“Hiring demand is placing pressure on the supply of skilled workers in many specialties, particularly in the technology and financial fields,” said Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director. “It’s crucial for businesses to benchmark salaries to remain competitive, especially in a market where skilled candidates know they are in demand.”

Robert Half’s findings by industry include:

  • Accounting and finance: Average starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals in the United States are forecast to rise 3.5 percent next year. Staff accountants, senior financial analysts and business systems analysts are in strong demand, and these professionals can expect to see higher than average salary increases. The regulatory environment is driving hiring for risk, compliance and internal audit professionals.
  • Technology: Overall, base compensation for IT professionals in the United States is expected to increase 5.7 percent in the coming year. Mobile, security and big data will be three drivers for technology hiring in 2015. Mobile applications developers can expect the highest salary increases among all technology roles.
  • Creative and marketing: Professionals in creative fields in the United States can expect average starting salary gains of 3.5 percent in 2015. Growth in the digital space, particularly mobile, is driving the demand for professionals such as digital marketing strategists and user-experience specialists. Businesses also seek content strategists, web designers and front-end web developers.
  • Legal: In the legal field, US starting salaries are anticipated to rise 3.0 percent, on average, in the coming year. Law firms are seeking mid- and senior-level lawyers in high-growth practice areas, such as litigation, general business and commercial law, and intellectual property. Paralegals also are in high demand by companies and law firms, and those with specialized skill sets can expect higher starting compensation.
  • Administrative and office support: Overall starting salaries for administrative professionals in the United States are expected to rise 3.4 percent in 2015. Demand for skilled executive and administrative assistants remains strong. There continues to be a need for support staff in healthcare, human resources and customer service.

Staffing News and Trends Update 9/22


September 15 2014

Employment for technology professionals continues to thrive, yet this rising tide of job opportunities for tech pros has not lifted the prospects for all skillsets equally, according to job board operator Dice Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DHX). Skills in Puppet, an open source IT automation tool, and cybersecurity were mentioned the most in job postings over the past year.

The 10 biggest movers year-over-year, skills-wise, based on mentions in job postings:

Puppet: 91 percent

Cybersecurity: 77 percent

Big data: 56 percent

NoSQL: 49 percent

Salesforce: 43 percent

Hadoop: 38 percent

JIRA: 35 percent

Cloud: 34 percent

Information security: 30 percent

Python: 21 percent

Dice reported 79,366 tech jobs available as of Sept. 2. This includes:

Full-time positions: 46,561

Part-time positions: 1,894

Contract positions: 35,473

Tele-commuting: 619


September 17 2014

The U.S. temporary staffing industry will grow 5 percent in 2014 and 6 percent in 2015 to reach a market size of $115.0 billion in 2015, according to the “U.S. Staffing Industry Forecast: September 2014 Update” released by Staffing Industry Analysts.

The U.S. place and search industry will expand 7 percent in 2014 and 10 percent in 2015, as the economy improves.

Combining temporary staffing and place and search, the forecast calls for the total U.S. staffing industry to grow 6 percent in both 2014 and 2015, reaching $132.1 billion.

“Unless there is a negative shock to the economy in 2015, we are projecting a year of solid growth across all segments of the U.S. staffing industry,” said Senior Research Analyst Timothy Landhuis, who wrote the report. “Our 2015 forecast anticipates slightly faster revenue growth rates in most segments as the U.S. economy shifts into a higher gear.”

The report found industrial, locum tenens (physician), engineering, clinical/scientific, marketing/creative, and education staffing segments are near or at record levels, after adjusting for inflation, indicating high volume of demand in these markets.

In contrast, the following segments in 2014 will be significantly below their historic peak levels: Office/clerical, travel nurse, per diem nurse, finance/accounting, legal, direct hire and retained search.

“While volume of demand is lower than in the past, the silver lining for these segments is there may be growth potential in these segments if previous demand conditions return,” the report said.


September 18 2014

IT and engineering employment posted the smallest monthly gain of the year in August, the TechServe Alliance reported. The number of U.S. information technology jobs rose by 0.2 percent month over month in August to a total of more than 4.69 million, the TechServe Alliance reported. The number was up 3.5 percent on a year-over-year basis.

In addition, the number of engineering jobs in the U.S. rose 0.1 percent month over month in August to more than 2.52 million. The number was up 2.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.

“While we continue to see a month-over-month rise in IT and engineering employment, the rate of job growth slowed in August,” said TechServe Alliance CEO Mark Roberts. “Engineering job growth slowed most notably. After posting the fastest rate of growth in July, August represented the slowest rate of job growth for the year.”

Still, IT and engineering employment remains robust despite the slowdown in the job-growth pace, according to Roberts.

“The ebb and flow of the monthly jobs numbers is a natural part of a dynamic labor market,” he said.

The TechServe Alliance is a trade association of the IT and engineering staffing and solutions industry.