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Telephone vs. In-Person Interviews: Advantages and Disadvantages

Hiring managers are often able to tell from the very first moments of an interview whether a candidate is the best person for the position. They know whether the work environment and team dynamics will suit the personality and working style of the job seeker who sits before them.

As a job seeker, it’s your duty to prove to the hiring manager that you will be a good fit. However, that is easier said than done. Interviews can be intimidating, and it is not uncommon to experience anxiety before and during a job interview. Some individuals get so overwhelmed they become barely capable of answering the questions they are asked.

In the course of any job search, you will likely come across two kinds of interviews: in-person and on the phone. Each format has its own pros and cons, and candidates should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages in order to maximize their chances of success.

Telephone Interviews

Telephone interviews are generally conducted by hiring managers in an effort to save time and quickly eliminate candidates who do not meet the organization’s requirements. The aim of a phone interview is not necessarily to identify the strongest candidates, but to eliminate the weakest ones. Given that a single open job can attract hundreds of resumes, it is understandable why employers want to screen candidates as efficiently as possible over the phone.

According to the experts at, telephone interviews are an integral part of business practices today. Some companies require only one telephone interview, while others might request two or three, depending on the situation.


  1. Calms interview anxiety: On the phone, you can often speak with confidence and portray your true self. You are not face to face with the interviewer, which removes a major source of anxiety. You can also hold the phone interview in a familiar environment, such as your own home, which increases your comfort level.
  2. Eliminates geographical distance: Are you applying for a job in a remote location? If so, a phone interview can be a huge benefit. You do not have to spend hours on end on the road just to complete the hiring process. The hiring manager can vet your skills without meeting you in person.


  1. Trouble building rapport: While it is not out of the bounds of possibility, it can be difficult to build genuine rapport with an interviewer over the phone. You need to be very skilled and purposeful in your behavior to establish connections with hiring managers over the phone. Focus all your attention on the call, avoid multitasking, and project a positive attitude.
  2. Less time to sell yourself: Phone interviews are generally much shorter than in-person interviews. You do not have all the time in the world, but you can still make a sound impression. Learn to sell yourself in 30 seconds and leave the employer wanting more.

In-Person Interviews

Face-to-face interviews are formal meetings that happen in person between the hiring manager and the candidate. They are often more in depth than telephone interviews. In-person interviews enable hiring managers to better evaluate a candidate’s attitude and preferences, as well as assess vital non-verbal cues.


  1. Clarifying answers: You want to give the best answers you can to interview questions, but sometimes your first attempt isn’t as good as you’d like it to be. The good news is that in-person interviews often allow more room for you to clarify your answers. Because these conversations go deeper than phone interviews, you usually have the chance to build on your answers and even ask your own clarifying questions, if necessary.
  2. Make a great impression: With phone conversations, there is the risk of being misunderstood or coming across as underwhelming, since you cannot use body language or facial cues. During an in-person interview, you can use nonverbal communication to send a powerful message, demonstrate confidence, and really leave a lasting impression.


  1. Scheduling the interview: If you are currently employed, scheduling an in-person interview can be complicated. You might be required to take time off from work to attend a face-to-face interview, but you have to keep things confidential. After all, you don’t want your current employer to know you are looking for a new job.
  2. Handling the pressure: Only one person will get the job, which means the pressure is on during an in-person interview. You have to do your best to convince the employer to hire you over other qualified candidates while remaining calm, cool, and effective. React to the situation and not the stress. Take your time and present the best version of yourself.

Interviews — whether over the phone or in person — are key to job search success. Preparing in advance can mean the difference between landing your dream job and continuing the employment search. Know what to expect from all kinds of interviews in order to maximize your shot at success.

Stephen Marshall is a director of Be Basic CEO. regularly features reviews, articles, and press releases from leading businesses. This featured article may include paid promotion or affiliate links. Please make every effort to perform due diligence when selecting products and services for your business or investment needs and compare information from a variety of sources. Use this article for general and informational purposes only.

How to Start a Side Hustle Without Making Your Boss Angry

Whether you’re interested in earning more money, gaining valuable job experience, or pursuing a passion, starting a side hustle can be a great way to achieve your goals. You can conduct your side hustle on your own time, and it offers a low-commitment opportunity to try something new.

Starting a side hustle can even be good for your day job. Your boss may be impressed by your proactive, go-getter attitude.

However, you can’t just assume that your supervisor will be on board with your side hustle. Talking to your boss now, before your launch that hustle, can help you address any concerns and ensure there are no negative repercussions for your full-time gig.

Are You Ready to Manage a Side Hustle Alongside a Full-Time Job?

Before picking up a side gig, it’s important to set clear goals and guidelines. Why do you want to start a side hustle? For extra cash? To improve upon existing skills to advance in your career? Having a clear vision will help you stay focused when life gets busy and you don’t feel like putting in any more hours.

Keep in mind that your side gig will take you away from other things, like spending time with friends, family, and even your beloved Netflix series. Take stock of your priorities. You need to be willing to make tough choices to schedule enough time for your side gig to flourish.

One very important note: Your side gig should not take over your day job or be in direct conflict with it. You definitely don’t want a side gig working for one your full-time employer’s competitors. As soon as you find yourself giving less brain power to your full-time job, you risk getting on the wrong side of your boss.

How to Approach Your Boss

If you’ve decided a side hustle is right for you, it’s time to share your intentions with your boss. It’s best to be open and honest about your activities. Better to err on the side of caution and proactively bring it up, even if your employee handbook doesn’t require disclosure.

Consider scheduling a meeting with your boss rather than popping in for a quick informal conversation. That way, you’ll be able to discuss your side hustle thoroughly and address any of your boss’s concerns without being rushed. You also want to make it clear that you’re interested in maintaining a trusting relationship with your employer and keeping your day job. Assure your boss that you’re committed to your current position.

Once you’ve convinced your boss of your loyalty, fully disclose your side hustle and ask for advice on how to proceed. Perhaps your boss needs to tell their boss, or maybe they’ll want to have regular check-ins to discuss whether your side gig is affecting your performance. Whatever happens, make sure you fully understand what is expected of you before leaving the meeting.

How to Handle Concerns or Hesitations

Your boss may be concerned that you’ll eventually leave your job for the side gig or that the time spent on the side hustle will negatively impact your full-time responsibilities. If so, reassure them that your side gig will actually enhance your job performance. Here are some talking points you can use:

  1. You enjoy your job, but you also want to indulge in other pursuits. Explain to your boss that your side gig offers you the ability to pursue your passion so that you can be more fulfilled and, therefore, a happier and more productive employee.
  2. You took the time to review your employment agreements, so you know that you’re not violating any rules. You will continue to deliver excellent performance, and you will not recruit other employees to your side hustle.
  3. A side gig can help you strengthen your skills and become a better employee at your day job. For example, your side hustle will help you learn how to prioritize projects and exercise discipline to meet deadlines.
  4. Because a successful side hustle requires you to do lots of outreach and expand your network, it will help you develop better communication skills, which will also translate into improved performance at your day job.

Getting Started With Your Side Hustle

Once you have the go-ahead from your boss, the fun part begins: starting your side hustle.

Consider the skills you already have or the ones you want to learn that will benefit your full-time job. In order to start a successful side gig, you need to know what skills someone would be willing to pay you for.

For example, think about your hobbies. Maybe you’re a really great guitar player. If so, you could offer to tutor kids in your area or team up with a band to play at weddings. If you want to improve your communication skills, you could sign up to teach English online. If your side gig is purely a matter of earning extra cash, there are plenty of easy side hustles you could start right now.

As for logistics, consider whether you’ll want to set up an LLC (limited liability company) or operate as a sole proprietor. Rules and regulations differ by state, so you may want to reach out to an experienced tax professional to help you understand the relevant laws in your area. You also want to put systems in place for tracking important things like income and expenses, business credit cards, and necessary insurance. You should take steps to separate your personal and business finances. It can all feel a little overwhelming, but your future self will thank you.

Starting a side gig can boost your happiness and your bottom line. There is a lot of money to be made, and you stand to become an even better employee at your full-time job, provided you balance things properly. As long as you’re up front with your boss about your moonlighting, you should have no problem.

Sarah Li Cain is an experienced content marketing writer specializing in FinTech, credit, loans, personal finance, alternative investments, real estate, banking, international business, and travel.

How to Keep Your Job If You Have to You Go to Rehab: Understanding the FMLA

Contrary to the common stereotype of the strung-out addict living under a highway overpass, drug and alcohol addiction more often than not afflict full-time members of America’s workforce. In fact, most adults with substance use disorders in this country are employed full-time, according to a 2014 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The more accurate profile of addiction in this country, then, is that of someone who is gainfully employed and working to pay their bills: the barista who serves your daily latte, the mechanic who fixes your car, the postal worker who delivers your mail, or the financial advisor who helps you plan for retirement.

An Untreated Drug or Alcohol Problem Can Cost You Your Job

This reality should not obscure the fact that a drug or alcohol problem can make it very difficult to hold down a job. In fact, the same 2014 SAMHSA report found that unemployed Americans were more likely to report a substance abuse problem in the previous year, one implication being that an untreated addiction led to their unemployment.

Depending on the job, an employee’s drug or alcohol problem may jeopardize other lives aside from their own. Consider employees in the transportation industries, for example. The pilot who binge drinks between transatlantic flights or the school bus driver who abuses prescription drugs puts many lives at risk.

Such dangers should be plenty of incentive for anyone with an addiction to go to rehab, yet only 10 percent of people with addiction actually get treatment. One reason why — and it seems ironic, considering what we just learned — is the fear of losing a job. What follows is some information that can allay that fear and help you protect your job if you have to go to rehab.

Advice for Employees With FMLA Benefits

Whenever we speak about this issue, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a federal law that can protect one’s job in certain circumstances where a leave of absence is required, invariably comes up. What I’ve found is that employees often misunderstand their rights under the FMLA.

One common misunderstanding, for example, revolves around the intermittent use of FMLA to address chronic illnesses and the medical appointments that accompany them. In such cases, a physician’s note is required, and your employer must approve the circumstance. A flat tire in the morning does not qualify as appropriate use, and like other forms of FMLA misuse, it may be disciplined.

The FMLA allows certain US employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for a number of specified reasons, one of which is medical leave because of a serious health condition such as a substance use disorder. When I educate employees about the FMLA, I tend to rely on what I call “the rule of 12s”: An employee has to have worked for a public or private employer for at least 12 months to qualify for FMLA benefits. Upon approval from their employer, they are allowed to take 12 unpaid weeks in a 12-month period, or will have worked at least 1,250 hours in that 12 months.

Here are some other important things to know about job protection under the FMLA:

  1. Qualified military families are protected for up to 26 weeks when an injury occurs during the course of service.
  2. Changes made to the FMLA in 2015 now allow same-sex partners to enjoy the same established benefit.
  3. An employee’s use of FMLA leave cannot be counted against them under a “no-fault” attendance policy.
  4. Employers must continue to provide group health insurance coverage for an employee on FMLA leave under the same terms and conditions as those before the leave.
  5. Upon your return, you are guaranteed the same pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment, but you may or may not be able to move back into the exact same job position.

Advice for Employees Without FMLA Benefits

Employees without FMLA benefits must take alternative measures to protect their jobs when they go to rehab.

Begin with an attitude of confidence that you, your health, and your life are more important than your job. While it will require courage, a frank conversation with your employer about your condition may be in order.

One reason I encourage employees without benefits to go this route is that many employers that do not meet the requirements of the FMLA still practice — whether formally or informally — compassion for employees seeking care. By being appropriately open and vulnerable about your condition and couching your decision to seek treatment in terms of how rehab will help you become a better employee, you can invite your employer to view your request with empathy.

Excellent communication from the treatment facility where you go for rehab is also key. The facility may be able to send along paperwork that, in compliance with HIPAA privacy laws, can help an employer understand that substance use disorders are treatable conditions and should be treated as such. Such measures can go a long way in helping you keep your job when you go to rehab.

Janet Gerhard is director of public affairs for FHE Health.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

The Negative Impact That Growing Up Digital Has Had on Communication

Millennials have a stronger connection with technology than any previous generation. It makes sense that they would: They grew up alongside the internet and smartphones. Experts in all things digital, millennials have certain advantages when it comes to adopting and deploying the latest workplace technologies to drive results.

However, the millennial affinity for technology may also be the source of what many deem to be this generation’s greatest weakness: poor communication skills. Many older professionals who work with millennials note that the members of this generation seem to be lacking when it comes to face-to-face interaction, making eye contact, and communicating with tact.

While the effects of technology on communication skills may be most evident in millennials who grew up with tech, other generations are not immune. Even those who did not grow up digital have started to see their communication skills slip as technology becomes more pervasive in every aspect of our lives.

Here’s what you need to know about the negative impact the digital world can have on your communication:

1. Your Ability to Make Eye Contact Suffers

A little more than half of millennials report experiencing some form of anxiety if they don’t have their phones on them, and people across generations check their phones 80 times a day on average. Part of the reason why we’re so anchored to our phones is that receiving emails and social media notifications actually releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good, in our brains.

Given this sort of phone addiction, it’s not surprising that many millennials (and others!) struggle to make and sustain eye contact. The discomfort one experiences when separated from their device is real.

Being able to make eye contact helps establish connections and trust with other people. If you struggle with eye contact, it could have a devastating impact on your professional life. Try going to dinner with a friend and keeping your phone off the table. Challenge yourself to make it through the meal without checking your phone once.

2. You’re Shying Away From Face-to-Face Conversations

A recent study found that requests delivered in person are 34 times more likely to result in positive outcomes than requests sent via email.

To make meetings as successful as possible, keep your digital device off the table. It may be hard to imagine going into a meeting without having your device handy, but unless you are expecting important information that will impact the outcome of your meeting, there’s no need to check your phone or tablet until the meeting is over. Checking your device not only takes your focus away from the topic at hand, but it also sends a message to other people in the room that they are not worthy of your full attention. Basically, checking your digital device during a meeting can negate all the positive effects of having a face-to-face meeting in the first place.

3. You’re Less Comfortable With Nondigital Conversations

When most of your communications are virtual, two things happen: You get used to being in a constant state of control, and you lose your ability to be vulnerable.

With texting and email, you can edit and tweak your message until you’re ready to hit send. This pattern of communication makes it hard to let your guard down during a conversation. Vulnerability starts to feel foreign and even scary. You might not think vulnerability matters in the workplace, but it can actually help you become a much better leader.

4. You’re Shielding Yourself From Both Conflict and Conflict Resolution

Millennials avoid phone calls. Why? Because they’re less likely to run into conflict if they use texting and email instead. This aversion to conflict, while understandable, may also be harming conflict resolution skills in younger generations. When conflicts inevitably do arise — and they will — younger workers may not be able to handle them effectively. That could be disastrous in a professional environment.

There is no doubt that technology is driving change in our personal and professional lives, and much of the change is actually positive. However, as outlined above, there are some pitfalls to growing up digital. By making yourself aware of the drawbacks, you put yourself in the best position to overcome them.

Feeling consumed by the digital world? It may be time to take a much needed break. Try a digital detox and reap the benefits.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Atrium Staffing blog.

Michele Mavi is Atrium Staffing‘s resident career expert.

5 Ways to Supercharge Your Personal and Professional Success

Article by Lisa Stephenson

We are all in this thing called life together, and what a ride we are on! In the middle of all the madness and mayhem, the peaks and valleys, the lessons and laughter, and the triumphs and tragedies is the beautiful and complex you. You are the writer of your story and the CEO of your life.

Life is extraordinary, sometimes boring, and occasionally heartbreaking. You start new projects, change direction, and end things you thought would last forever. Then, you rebuild and do it all over again. You are designed and destined to feel, love, win, lose, and sometimes mess up. That’s your “humanness,” your strength and your weakness.

To set yourself up for a successful, resilient, and happy life, you need integrated strategies that support both your personal and professional success. People often focus on one area of their life too much, which can leave critical relationships and decisions in other areas neglected. A holistic approach that considers everything from your career to your health will serve you best. Here are five ways to adopt such an approach:

1. Play and Plan Big

This is your one shot to live an amazing adventure, so be ambitious in your dreams. Consider what you want to be able to say about this life when you are 80 years old and sitting on the porch, reflecting on the experiences you had. Successful people aren’t necessarily the smartest or best educated; rather, they are simply brave enough to own what they want. Make a plan for the next six months, two years, or 10 years. Get specific about your goals and how you will make them happen. What are you really capable of?

2. Make Yourself Your Most Important Project

Investing in yourself is the most important investment you will ever make. Successful people think strategically about how they are living and where they are heading. They set deadlines and consult experts who will support their success. They create a vision, identify obstacles, and review their progress. Consider ways you can learn, adapt, and grow with the resources you have access to. Dedicate time every single week to your own self-development. How can you make yourself, and your future, a priority?

3. Do What Others Aren’t Prepared to Do

The world is full of people who start stuff but never follow through. Successful people do what is required. That means they keep going even when it’s hard and they don’t want to. Don’t wait; don’t give in. Commit to your plan. When your motivation has passed, it will be your commitment that keeps you going. Be clear about what compromises you are prepared to make, and know your non-negotiables with respect to how you practice self-care. Are you prepared to do what is required?

4. Find Your Tribe

Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed, who will challenge you to be more, and who understand your true potential. Your tribe extends beyond friends and family to encompass all people who will challenge you and celebrate you. Identify those in your world whom you trust to tell you the truth. No energy vampires allowed! Successful people rarely create success on their own. Find someone who inspires you, and you will quickly see they surround themselves with people who make them better, too. Who do you know?

5. Get Uncomfortable

The greatest learning happens in discomfort. To know what you are really capable of, you have to test the limits of your resilience and abilities. You don’t know what you don’t know about yourself yet.

Holistic success across all areas of your life will come when you have the opportunities to stretch and find solutions. Knowing you can trust yourself is key to personal growth. You are an ever-evolving, complex human with so many things to learn. Intentionally look for new experiences. When was the last time you really felt uncomfortable?

Personal and professional success are yours for the taking when you consciously plan your life. By implementing these strategies, you will be prepared for the curveballs and ready for the opportunities life is sure to bring your way. The reality is that no one else in the world can create success for you. A supercharged plan and approach will absolutely make all the difference.

A version of this article originally appeared on

Lisa Stephenson is the author of Read Me First (Major Street Publishing) and the founder of the global consulting firm Who Am I Projects. Over the years, she has worked with some of the biggest global names, CEOs, elite athletes, and entrepreneurs. For more information, go to

The Quantum Reality Approach to Job Searching: Using ’the Field’ to Land the Right Offer

A recruiting manager has narrowed the selection process to two individuals with equal expertise: One is a pleasant person who is professional but whose authentic energy and enthusiasm are low, and the second individual has high energy and is clearly enthused about the prospect of working for the growing company and contributing to the success of the manager.

Which person do you think the manager will hire? The answer is, of course, the second individual.

But what if you have become disheartened from the job search process? What if several good opportunities have slipped through your fingers, leading to persistent self-doubt? In such a state, how do you become an enthused and high-energy candidate, as exemplified above? The answer is to proactively engage “the Field.”

The Field’s Structure

The Field — which is also referred to as “quantum reality” — is a matrix of electromagnetic waves that permeate everything.

“So what?” you may ask.

Consider the following reality, proven via scientific experiments and measurable observations:

  1. At the base of all physical matter are tiny electromagnetic energy waves.
  2. As two electromagnetic waves intersect, they exchange data.
  3. Communication in the Field is instantaneous.

This reality means that all living and innate matter in our world is connected every single instant. Now, how does this apply to a job seeker?

Using the Field

Okay, so how does one use this massive web of connection to land not just any job, but the right job?

Think about the basic formula that underpins all success in the workplace. To achieve a high performance rating, you need to understand how your boss thinks, what their expectations are, and what their goals are. Once you understand these things, you can design an effective performance plan that reflects them.

It is the same with the Field: Understand what is important to the Field, and then you can proactively engage the Field to aid in successfully landing a job.

Priority No. 1 for the Field? Expansion. Everything in the universe has a drive to expand — humans, animals, plants, bacteria, even the universe itself. At the individual level, the human feeling of “excitement” is most closely aligned with expansion. Why? The Field is connected to all things, so it is aware of your strengths and how those strengths can best help it expand. Thus, when you are focused on an activity that you enjoy — an activity to which you look forward, an activity that excites you — the Field gives you a clue you are on the right track via that very feeling of excitement.

Shift Your Starting Point

Rather than slogging through rote job-search activities and applying to many positions, shift your focus to job-search activities that you enjoy and a smaller number of positions, specifically roles at companies that you find exciting.

For example, perhaps your daily goal has been to reach out to 10 new people and complete three applications, but you’ve been falling well short of those goals. Instead, you have been getting distracted by exploring the sustainability initiatives of leading-edge green companies. In that case, you should shift gears and make exploring companies with new or innovative sustainability missions your primary focus. Take a few days to do your research, and then reach out to 3-5 contacts at two of those companies (thoroughly completing the relevant job applications, of course). Time will fly by, you’ll be happier at the end of the day, and your friends and family will comment on your change in attitude.

Others Will Notice

Know who else will notice the change in your energy? Recruiters, potential employers, and, yes, the Field. The Field will know that you’re focusing on activities you’re excited about, and this means you’re working on an area in which you’ll be especially productive. This will not only lead to your ultimate success, but it will also lead to the expansion of the Field. This is the Field’s primary goal, which is why it will help you succeed.

Do you see the beauty of this self-feeding loop? The more you focus on the activities that excite you, the louder your signal in the Field and the more opportunities the Field sets before you, spurring new growth, greater expansion, and the melting away of self-doubts. Eventually, it all results in the enthused candidate who wins the right job offer. So take the first step, and make today an expansive one.

John Jay McKey is an accomplished data analytics expert and successful business leader. His new book is Leverage the Field for Success – Using Quantum Reality to Succeed in the Corporate World.

Welcome to the Job Market, New Grad! Here’s What You Need to Look for in Your First Job:

As you don your cap and gown, you may feel anxious about launching your post-graduation career. Do not despair. You’re not alone. In fact, 67 percent of college students graduate without a full-time job lined up. Some encouraging news is that employers plan to hire nearly 11 percent more graduates from the class of 2019 than they did from the class of 2018. Today’s strong labor market places post-grad recruits on a solid path for employment, as a college degree offers some protection from the uncertainty of the economy and the future of work.

Beyond identifying the right vocation, it’s equally important for new grads to consider which positions will be the best fits for themselves. Many will hastily accept high-paying jobs only to find themselves stuck in work environments they don’t really enjoy. This poor fit results in frustration that may spiral into a resignation or termination.

Use the following advice and practical tips below to guide your post-graduation job search toward a role that’s really right for you:

What Should I Look for in My First Full-Time Position Out of College?

1. Opportunities for Growth

Recent grads often must pay their dues at the bottom of the corporate ladder to learn the professional skills they’ll need to sustain long, successful careers. Choosing a first position with a clear path for advancement sets you up to be promoted within the organization, offering you plenty of room to grow with the company.

Student debt and other financial obligations may drive you to seek out higher-paying positions, but building a career from the bottom up will likely reward you financially in the long run. A lateral move can also broaden your skill set, exposing you to new areas of your chosen field.

2. A Positive Workplace Culture

A workplace culture that prioritizes people development and resonates with your values is the kind of environment you ought to join. Keep in mind that a study from ThriveMap found 48 percent of workers have left a job because it did not meet their expectations. That number is even higher among younger workers, with 73 percent of Gen. Z-ers saying they’ve left a job for that reason. Finding a positive workplace culture, then, means finding a job for the long term.

With this in mind, think about what kind of organization will suit you best. When assessing potential employers, ask important questions about their practices. Does the company consider the employee experience? Is its management transparent and communicative? What about work/life balance? Does company policy require that you clock in, or is there greater trust and flexibility? Does the company give back to the community in any way? Do your homework so that you accept an offer at a company with a culture aligned with your own.

Important Questions to Ask During the Interview Process

An important part of doing your homework in the job hunt is asking the right questions during interviews. Here are a few topics you should be sure to cover during discussions with prospective employers:

1. Employee Turnover Rates

A high turnover rate may be indicative of a negative workplace environment with limited growth for employees, or of a disconnect between management and lower-level subordinates. Impress your interviewer by taking an interest in this data. Doing so will imply that you are looking for more than just a job.

2. Training, Mentoring, and Coaching

You’ll quickly realize that your degree didn’t equip you with all the skills the job market seeks. Many employers fill this gap by providing on-the-job training. A company that invests in its employees’ personal development will help new hires improve their professional skills and knowledge. Inquiring about training will help you determine whether the company is committed to employee growth.

3. Benefits and Additional Perks

Your salary will be part of a greater compensation package, which you should consider in its entirety when weighing a job offer. While it’s important to gain a clear picture of the benefits and perks available to employees, measure your words carefully when asking. You don’t want to sound entitled.

How to Tell If a Business Has a Good Company Culture

Assessing an organization’s culture is one of the trickiest parts of the job search. It can be hard to understand exactly what the office environment is like unless you’re fully embedded in it.

That said, there are a few steps you can take to gather some valuable information about a company’s culture before accepting an offer:

1. Research the Company’s Online Presence

A company’s website and social media pages can be very telling of workplace culture. Many companies give careful thought to their online presentations, and you can gain a sense of their culture through their web content. For example, a company that uses Facebook or Instagram to highlight milestones such as new hires, promotions, accolades, and workplace events like happy hours and work retreats is likely to be a company that genuinely cares about and invests in its employees.

2. Network!

You don’t need to wait for your interview to meet with an employee at a company you’d like to work for. Take the initiative and reach out to an existing staff member. Ask if they could hop on a quick call or schedule a coffee date to tell you more about their company and their experience as an employee. Someone who isn’t interviewing you is less concerned with selling you on the position, making them a great resource for learning about the company’s real, unvarnished culture.

3. Interview at Similar Companies and Compare

Research your target industry and interview with multiple companies. Not only will this give you a better shot at landing a job with one of them, but it will also allow you to see how different companies do things. You can then compare and contrast your experiences with each company to see what makes each employer unique.

Plus, your multiple interviews will give you some competitive intelligence about the industry, which will impress your interviewers!

Graduating into a job market where talent is in high demand, today’s young job seekers hold the upper hand as companies adapt themselves to meet Gen. Z’s priorities. Focus on finding a company culture that empowers you and inspires your growth, and you will position yourself to launch your career on the right foot.

Ronni Zehavi is cofounder and CEO of Hibob.

Everyone Faces Setbacks — Adopt a Resilience Regimen Today

Setbacks are an unavoidable part of life, especially in your career. If you don’t learn to deal with them properly, you may end up with a lot of regret — and you may even make the setback harder to overcome.

When it comes to setbacks, the sooner we learn to deal with them, the better. Whether a setback is personal or professional, one thing is certain: Building resilience is critical to overcoming whatever comes your way.

The ‘Resilience Regimen’

Setbacks bring up a lot of emotions. They can make you feel deflated and even helpless. They can rob you of your sense of control over your own life and career. Once you start feeling that way, the setback may start to look positively insurmountable.

When faced with a setback, the key is to quickly shift to a solutions-based mindset. This is where the “resilience regimen” comes in.

Formulated by Harvard Business School Professor Joshua D. Margolis and PEAK Learning CEO Dr. Paul G. Stoltz in a 2010 Harvard Business Review article, a resilience regimen is “a deliberative rather than reflexive approach to dealing with hardship” centered on asking questions to “reframe negative events in productive ways.”

When we look at setbacks, we have the option to see them through various lenses. For instance, we might examine the event in terms of the control we have (or no longer have) and how long the impact of the setback will last. While some of us have a natural tendency to blame ourselves and get stuck in the sea of negativity, others quickly focus on how to turn things around. They triage the situation, conduct some kind of postmortem evaluation, and are able to learn from their mistakes. These people use the setback as an occasion to find ways to move forward and to prevent the situation from happening again.

For those of us who need more help when trying to shift from a blame-focused to a solutions-focused mindset, all hope is not lost. We, too, can practice resilience. We just need to ask the right questions. That way, we can clarify for ourselves how to push through the setback and get back on track.

It is important to realize that you are not powerless in the face of adversity. You may not be able to control everything, but you can control some things. These should be your starting point. Toward that end, Margolis and Stoltz recommend you ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What aspects of the situation can I directly influence to change the course of this adverse event?
  2. How can I make the most immediate positive impact on this situation?
  3. What can I do to reduce the potential downside of this event by even 10 percent? What can I do to maximize the potential upside? (If you look hard enough, there may be an upside to focus on. For example, getting laid off is certainly a setback, but it could also be the catalyst that causes you to find a job that ultimately makes you happier.)
  4. What do I want life to look like on the other side of this event, and what steps can I take to get even a little closer to that end?

Adopting any habit takes practice, and a resilience regimen is no different. Practice this type of evaluation as often as you can. It’s just like working out a muscle: The more you try resilience, the stronger your resilience will grow.

Another thing that helps is to write your answers down. When you write down the answers to these questions, you force yourself to be more specific than you would be if you had just thought about the answers in your head. Writing your answers down also allows you to revisit them at a later time. According to Margolis and Stoltz, studies show that writing your answers down can better support your emotional and physical well-being and offer you a stronger sense of control over the situation.

It’s also critical to seek support, especially if you tend to isolate yourself when dealing with a setback. That said, don’t confuse support with finding other blame-focused people with whom you can commiserate. If you’re building resilience, that’s the last thing you need. Instead, look to people you trust who aren’t too emotionally invested and can really be objective. Someone like a mentor or trusted advisor would be best.

Finally, remember that you’re not alone. Everyone, even those who are wildly successful, experiences setbacks. Research your heroes and learn from the stories of how they overcame various challenges. You’ll find the most successful people in the world are those who have mastered the art of reframing failures. They know failure leads to growth. Instead of simply pushing past failure, they embrace the experience as a learning opportunity, and they look forward to putting what they learned from their mistakes into practice.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Atrium Staffing blog.

Michele Mavi is Atrium Staffing‘s resident career expert.

9 Brilliantly Inspiring Quotes From Commencement Speeches

Graduation season stirs up a lot of feelings. For graduates, it’s an exciting and scary time, while those of us who’ve already walked across the stage may feel nostalgic and wistful.

Whether you’re the one graduating or already deep into the “real world,” the life advice that comes out of commencement ceremonies this time of year can be a valuable, inspiring, and bold reminder that you can do this — that you can take on anything life throws at you. Maybe you’ll even change the world.

Don’t believe us? These brilliant quotes from commencement speeches by speakers you know and love will move you to action:

1. “If you have found that thing, that purpose in life that gives you access to maximum enthusiasm, trust that! I’m not talking about a job, nor a career, for that matter. I’m talking about a calling, that thing that forces the metaphorical lampshade from your soul and mandates that everyone wear sunglasses in your presence because you just that damn bright! This is not a selfish act! Because now, those who fall within your sphere of influence know that what is possible for you … is possible for them, as well.” – Sterling K. Brown, Stanford University

2. “There will be blind alleys and one-night wonders and soul-crushing jobs and wake-up calls and crises of confidence and moments of transcendence when you are walking down the street and someone will thank you for telling your story because it resonated with their own.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, University of Pennsylvania

3. “When you are free from self-doubt, you fail better, because you don’t have your defenses up. You can accept the criticism. You don’t become so preoccupied with that failure that you forget how to learn from it, you forget how to grow. When you believe in yourself, you succeed better. Hours spent questioning, doubting, fearing can be given over to working, exploring, living.” — Jennifer Lee, University of New Hampshire

4. “We have, if we’re lucky, about 30,000 days to play the game of life. And trust me, that’s not morbid. In fact, it’s wisdom that will put all the inevitable failures and rejections and disappointments and heartbreaks into perspective.” — Arianna Huffington, Vassar College

5. “One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself — right here, right now, in this single, solitary, monumental moment in your life — is to decide, without apology, to commit to the journey and not to the outcome.” — Joyce DiDonato, Juilliard School

6. “I don’t know what your future is, but if you’re willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes … then you will not regret it.” — Chadwick Boseman, Howard University

7. “Dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen, it’s hard work that creates change. … Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer. … My dreams did not come true, but I worked really hard and I ended up building an empire out of my imagination. So my dreams? Can suck it.” — Shonda Rhimes, Dartmouth

8. “Fearlessness means taking the first step even if you don’t know where it will take you. It means being driven by a higher purpose rather than by applause. It means knowing that you reveal your character when you stand apart more than when you stand with a crowd. Be fearless. Be the last people to accept things as they are and the first people to stand up and change them for the better.” — Tim Cook, Duke University

9. “And finally, this: This will save you. Stop comparing yourself to other people. You’re only on this planet to be you, not someone else’s imitation of you. … Your life journey is about learning to become more of who you are and fulfilling the highest, truest expression of yourself as a human being. That’s why you’re here. You will do that through your work and your art, through your relationships and love.” — Oprah Winfrey, University of Southern California

A version of this article originally appeared on

Why Mentoring Is the Key to Achieving Your Career Goals

Earlier in my career, I asked myself, “What am I doing that is getting in the way of me reaching my goal as a leader?” I posed that question to a colleague I respected, who responded, “Have you ever asked anyone for help?” That simple question made a huge impact on me.

Even if you’ve never been involved in a formal mentoring program, you’ve had mentors along the way. A teacher, a colleague, a boss, a friend with a particular experience or skill set: All of these people can act as mentors, guiding you along your journey to reach your goal.

When you set out to achieve career success, finding a mentor is critical to your personal development. However, it can seem like a daunting task. Where do you start? What do you ask? Who qualifies for such a role?

Here’s the secret: The whole process of mentoring is actually much easier than you think.

The Importance of Mentoring — on Both Sides

Mentoring impacted me, and not only from a career standpoint. Mentoring has led to different behavior in my personal life. The more you are mentored, the more you realize there is equal value in serving as a mentor yourself.

Mentoring — both for the mentor and for the one who is mentored — engages us on a human level. It addresses two separate but often intertwined human urges: the drive to get better and the desire to help others.

As we look up to others for guidance, we should also be looking below and sideways to provide guidance ourselves. It is not only good for the soul to do this, but there is also a practical side: The people you mentor will eventually advance and become good industry contacts.

8 Ways to Make the Most of Mentoring

Here are some things I have learned about mentoring — some I learned while being mentored, and some I learned as a mentor:

1. Mentoring Can Be Both Formal and Informal

There are many fine, formal mentoring programs organized by companies and professional societies, but there are also informal opportunities that can be of equal and perhaps even greater value.

Maybe there is someone who has a skill or capability you admire. Consider asking them if they have time for a meeting over coffee. Then, ask them about their career path — what worked for them, what didn’t, and whether they have recommendations they would make to someone who is developing in their own career.

I’m not sure if my informal mentors knew they were mentors to me, but I appreciated their time and wisdom, and I learned a lot by connecting informally, listening to their stories, and soliciting their advice.

2. Be Clear on Your Mentoring Goals

Know what you’d like to learn from a mentor, whether it’s how to influence others, how to present new ideas or concepts, or something else entirely. Share your goals with your mentor so they know how to help you reach them. In most formal mentoring relationships, the goals you want to achieve should be clear so progress can be measured along the way.

3. Learn From Negative Examples

You can learn from anyone — even people you didn’t really like working for or alongside. In fact, these negative examples can teach you a lot about the professional and personal pitfalls to avoid in life. Seeing and experiencing things I didn’t like made me think about the behaviors I didn’t want to exhibit as a leader.

4. Look for Opportunities to Be a Mentor Yourself

Mentoring doesn’t always come by looking up in an organization. Don’t look up all the time! Look down and sideways, too.

Opportunities to mentor others can come from being a resource to new employees joining the organization. We have all been in that situation, and most of us would have appreciated having a buddy to help us navigate a new company or role. Your helpfulness will be returned many times over.

5. Confidentially Is Key

Confidentiality is an essential component of mentoring, and that may mean that you will need to seek a mentor outside of your immediate chain of command. The mentor/mentee relationship should be a safe space, a circle of trust.

There is another benefit to having a mentor outside your reporting chain, too: They may be able to share what they know about you with other people in the organization. It’s great to have advocates across the organization who can speak highly of you and your accomplishments.

6. Trust Your Advocates

As indicated above, a mentor can talk on your behalf. As one mentor put it to me, it’s a matter of “building your fan club.” Bosses appreciate hearing positive feedback about you from others.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor

Even if it’s someone at a senior level. Senior-level people are easier to reach for help than you might think. You may not find them available at your company, but they can be found informally in your social circles and community life.

Every senior-level person with whom I have spoken has told me getting to where they are was never easy. Most have had their setbacks along the way, and they can share with you how they bounced back in the face of adversity.

8. Be Open to Listening

Again, mentors can be found anywhere. Once you have found one, you have to listen to what they have to say.

I could go on and on, but let me stop myself and end on this final note: A mentor can provide a fresh perspective; they can point out new things you hadn’t considered before. Being a mentor or a mentee puts you in a position to teach and communicate, which makes you a better professional.

So go ahead. Get mentored, and become one yourself. It will be a game-changer in your life.

Cheryl Middleton Jones is chief people officer for CO-OP Financial Services.