Preparing for the Interview: Top 8 Interview Tips

You’ve got an interview coming up and are starting to feel a few nerves, some excitement, a little anxiety, or maybe a combination of all the feels! This may not be your first interview, and even if you’ve interviewed dozens of times, a bit of prep never hurt anyone!

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Photo by Julia M Cameron on

Here are our top Interview Tips:

The list can go on, but in my years helping companies of all sizes with their, I’ve noticed that these tips, while basic, provide candidates with helpful guidance (and hopefully confidence) in an interview!

Tip 1 – Do your homework. In addition to familiarizing yourself with the company’s overarching mission, spend a little time looking for recent company initiatives. Doing this not only signals that you prepared, but it also sends the message that you’re curious and interested in the organization.  

Tip 2 – Ask thoughtful questions. Part of this includes doing your homework, so you walk in with questions prepared. However, you should also pay attention to new information that surfaces during the interview- then you can incorporate it into your questions! Doing this helps let them know you’re listening.

Tip 3 – Know your strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to project confidence and sincerity by coming to the table with a well-developed and carefully articulated sense of your strengths. Be open about your shortcomings (nothing sounds more disingenuous than “I’m 100% awesome”), but it’s ok to frame them in a positive way. 

Tip 4 – Gauge what the culture is like. Pay attention to your interviewers’ demeanor and think about what kind of work culture that demeanor belongs to. Using “vibes” to assess potential fit is essential.

Tip 5 – Don’t discuss salary & benefits. Focus on your accomplishments and the value you can bring to the company. Save the salary discussion for after they offer you the job unless they bring it up.

Tip 6 – Get sleep the night before. Treat your interviews with the same seriousness you would bring to an important presentation. Take care of your body: rest up, drink water, and put your energy toward putting your best foot forward.

Tip 7 – Think about your body language. Practice looking poised but comfortable, don’t touch your face excessively and make eye contact even virtually. If it’s a virtual interview, raise your camera so it’s level with your eyes and make sure you are looking at the camera and not another screen. If you have notes that you want to reference, put them on a post-it around the camera lens. Consider lighting, background noise, distractions, and what can be seen in your background when on camera.

Tip 8 – Tell a story. If your interviewer wanted a flat list of your accomplishments, they would just reread your resume. The interview itself is for fitting those details into a story about who you are, how you got here, and where you’re going. They want to hear about your accomplishments, what you are most proud of, and who you are to garner fit. Share with them!

The Hire Ventures Blog has a wealth of information (of course!🤗), but if you’re looking for some more interview tips, here are a few articles that I’ve found to be particularly insightful:

Forbes: 12 Surprising Interview Tips.  This article cleverly breaks up its tips into before, during, and after the interview. The specific suggestions and concrete communication frameworks add some detail to the general advice on the previous page.

The Muse: 8 Ways to Make a Great First Impression at a Job Interview. While I think the idea of “nailing” an interview in the first five minutes is kind of gimmicky, this article usefully breaks down the importance of first impressions.

US News and World Report: Top Five Interviewing Tips For Experienced Professionals. As I said, this isn’t your first rodeo. This article offers some specific insight that people with extensive backgrounds bring to the table.

Glassdoor: The 8 Questions Asked in Nearly Every Job Interview. As you know, it’s important to come to the interview with some prepared answers to specific questions. I thought this list covered the basics well.

Good luck!

It’s Job Fair Season…Help!​

Let the ‘butterflies in the stomach’ feeling commence! It’s job fair season!

For many seniors, the job search is now in full swing. Thousands of campuses across the country will be hosting job or career fairs for their graduating students during the upcoming months.

With so little time, how would I be noticed?

How am I supposed to get noticed by a potential employer?

Let’s compare this to something you know…

For those of you going to your first career fair or applying for your first post-grad job, consider this experience like dating. You might have a conversation about your likes and dislikes during your first conversation, maybe about who you are and what you are looking for. After making a connection, you may even check out their online presence with a bit of internet sleuthing. After a few dates, you find out enough to know if it’s worth a commitment.

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It’s the same for finding that perfect candidate or job, so let’s call this “The Job Dating Process.” The connections go like this:

  • Love at first job fair: When first meeting someone you might eventually date, you will naturally remember a few facts about them. At a job fair, companies remember who you are through the conversation and also your resume! Many employers at the job fair will take notes on your actual resume after your conversation. These companies then identify those true matches and those who don’t hit the mark. So make sure to bring your resume, printed and ready to share! Be sure to include all previous work experience, especially those that pertain to the job.

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  • Social media (LinkedIn) stalking: Potential employers often check your online presence, so make sure your profiles are professional! One of the most important professional platforms is LinkedIn, a site dedicated to business connections and heavily used when recruiting professionals. Make sure you create a LinkedIn profile that mirrors your resume and your in-person presence. Inconsistencies in your in-person and online presence will sabotage your job hunt. Check out our prior post on this topic here.
  • “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” (based on my qualifications and background): In a world where hundreds of people apply for the same job position, what makes you different among this crowd? If you don’t know your own strengths and weaknesses, your potential employers will also not recognize those qualities. Take some time before submitting applications to think about your strengths, then make sure you show them to your potential employer. Also, don’t be afraid to mention those qualities that you are improving on. A weakness is just a strength that requires some extra TLC.

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Top 3 mistakes millennials make to sabotage landing their dream job.

Hey, millennials! In my last blog posts, I spoke about hiring millennials and keeping them in the workplace. This blog post is all about you all!

While working here at Hire Ventures, I have been focused on the marketing the recruiting side of the business. Its involved scheduling posts on Facebook, creating new content for the website and looking at So. Many. Resumes! In Robin and I’s experience reviewing resumes, we have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.


It’s honestly strange how even strong candidates can make mistakes that can hurt chances at landing their dream job.

Millennials, as we all know, have specific characteristics that are unique to their generation. I’ve put together the top 3 mistakes I’ve seen millennials do when applying for a new position (but trust me, non-millennials make these mistakes too!)

Not reading the job descriptionTwo *beloved* characteristics of the millennial generation are that they are both attention-seeking and multitaskers. Some might think that their little experience should constitute a senior-level position. Trust me, it doesn’t! My advice, READ the job requirements and make sure your resume reflects that you can succeed in that job.

Crazy and unprofessional social media: Let’s think back to your freshman year of college. Odds are, you posted an unflattering picture on Facebook. It’s not shocking, so don’t feel bad. We’ve all have our bad days. Now let’s think about who we would want to see that terrible picture. When posting pictures today, you may want to consider pressing delete because the odds are your future boss will see that picture and may judge you. Don’t wait a week to take them down. If you post something that you wouldn’t want a future boss from seeing, make it private, or just don’t post it! Lastly, please, make sure your public posts don’t contain curse words, boss-bashing statements, or things that could be considered questionable in a professional workplace. 

You may be thinking, “what if I’m already past that point and I have a bunch of bad, embarrassing posts?” In this case, I would recommend doing some spring cleaning on your social media accounts – paying attention to what is viewable from the public. Your future self will thank you!


Bad resumesMost colleges today require students to take a course on how to craft their resumes. Believe it or not, the way your resume looks and the way it’s written does truly matter! For the appearance, make sure you are considering the job or field you are in. A corporate accounting resume is going to look very different from a creative graphic designer’s. Your resume is often the first introduction of yourself, so make sure you spend the time and effort making sure your resume is on point. As for the experience section, a hiring manager will be discouraged if they see a candidate who has had many jobs within a short time period (unless they are jobs while in school). I’ve learned this is called being a “job-hopper” and doesn’t look good. If you’ve had lots of jobs, clarify your reason for leaving or if the job was seasonal or an internship during school. Make it easy for the hiring manager or recruiter to understand your job changes and assure them you’ll be a solid employee that they can count on!

Looking for jobs in this day and age can be difficult. Trust me, I know from first-hand experience. These basic mistakes are factors that make getting a job more difficult but are easy to fix! Clean up your social presence, update your resume & be serious about your job applications, and you’ll land your dream job in no time!

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How to Keep a Millennial

You have hired the perfect millennial… now what?

In the past 2 blog posts, I have talked about the characteristics of millennials, the know-hows in hiring a millennial, and the don’ts when it comes to hiring someone from my generation. So now that you have taken the advice I have given, and you have hired the millennial, now what?

Companies with great recruiting practices often find it very easy to hire millennials. These companies will appeal to the millennial mindset and attract the best candidates. But many struggle when it comes to keeping a millennial. In a recent study completed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 20-34 year old will stay with their current employer for about 2.05 years. With these kinds of numbers, this gives those employers a higher turnover rate and also labels that worker as an unsteady employee or job-hopper.

So, what can be done to fix this ever-growing problem?

A few tips on keeping a millennial include:

  • Let them know what is expected: When hiring a millennial, make sure that they know what is expected of them. Yes, they will ask a lot of questions but that is only because they want to get the job right the first time! The need for reassurance and clarity is real, y’all, and I have personally experienced it first-hand. By giving them clear expectations, the millennial will know from the beginning if the job works for their situation or not. Would you rather spend a little extra time right the perfect employee (maybe through using our partner, JazzHR) or would you rather hire the first applicant and take the risk of them not meeting expectations?
  • Engage the millennial in many activities at work: Millennials are known for being great multi-taskers. But if a Gen-Y person is not given many things to work on, they, in turn, will become bored with the mundane work. By engaging the millennial in many work projects, the young person becomes more involved in the workplace and gives them an opportunity to connect with co-workers. A happy millennial is a happy workplace!


  • Show them that your company cares: While a connection is very important, by far, the most important tip I could give you is to appreciate all of your employees, especially your millennials! One example of a way to show you appreciate the work done is by giving out “awards” given out at the end of each quarter. These rewards do not need to include much, an award sheet and gift card will suffice. Simply showing your employees that you care will boost morale and keep them around longer!

In many cases, hiring a millennial is the easy part, keeping them is where companies struggle. Keeping a millennial is not a hard task to do, if you know the correct way of appealing to them. Let’s produce an environment where employees love their job so much, they will never want to job-hop to anywhere else.

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How TO Hire a Millennial

Did you know that high growth companies, like those in the high-tech industry, have a significantly higher proportion of millennials in leadership positions than organizations with little to no growth? There is a reason for this. If you are growing and hiring, then this blog is for you!

Do me a favor and type this blog title into Google. Results will pull up dozens of articles where an analyst tells you the do’s and don’ts when it comes to millennials. It seems like every non-millennial wants to give their two cents about a generation they aren’t a part of or without considering the millennial point of view. So, here’s a millennial’s perspective and personal tips on hiring someone from this dominating generation.

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Millennials “the big generation!”

Millennials most recently became the largest generation in the world! Meaning they will be the largest generation ever to enter the workforce. Many companies are intimidated by that figure, but the best companies aren’t running away from reality. They are embracing the challenge.

In our last blog post, I shared characteristics of millennials and some ways that many employers are struggling with hiring a millennial. Many of these employers refuse to change and expect the young person to change how an entire generation does business. For a company to be successful today, it must be able to compromise with the workforce and adapt to new ways of thinking.

Big Mistakes Companies Make:

  1. Working with an outdated hiring process, such as having paper applications and long lead times between applying and hiring.
  2. Providing no feedback until the annual performance review.
  3. Providing vague job offers that create a “bait-and-switch’ scenario.
  4. Using a vigorous and overly drawn-out hiring process.
  5. Failing to provide post-interview feedback.

While these mistakes are made every day in hiring, these methods will need to change to attract the best job candidates. When the hiring process does not provide a good experience for millennials, odds are they won’t stay in that job for very long.

Here are some tips when it comes to hiring a millennial:

Streamline the hiring process

Most millennials have not known a world without the Internet. As a company, you can (and should) use that to your advantage. Instead of having an outdated applicant system, use a mobile-enabled​ applicant tracking system, like our partner JazzHR. The days of paper applications and job offers on bulletin boards are so last gen. These applicant tracking systems have everything in one place. This makes the hiring process easier for both the employer and the applicant experience, assuming you are using them correctly and have a defined, candidate-focused process (we can help with that!).


Teamwork makes the dream work

Millennials have spent most of their lives working in groups, whether it be in a class project, a sports team, or any clubs or organizations in or outside of school. You should act on that skill set and try incorporating teams in the workplace. If you recall from our last blog, millennials have a strong need for attention. This teamwork satisfies this need for attention, as well as playing into the strength of working together.


Encourage a healthy work life and home life

One constant criticism of the millennial generation is that they are job hoppers. If a millennial is not happy in their workplace, they won’t hesitate to find another job. Who can blame them!? To keep those great millennial employees, ensure they are engaged and that your company culture supports work/life balance. Millennials are known for having many extracurricular activities, and they are always on the move. So offer them flexibility and a rewarding work experience. A millennial who has made friends and enjoys their workplace will not leave anytime soon. Plan for employee outings and bonding time to keep your best millennials.

The millennial generation is the largest generation to date, with over 80 million people. While some companies struggle in finding and keeping a young person, many excel and are known for being a millennial acceptor. Now, it’s your turn to become successful in hiring millennials!

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Love is in the air…and #MeToo. What’s an employer to do?

heart on keyboardLove is in the air…which could spell doom for some employers in light of the #MeToo movement. This movement went viral at the end of last year and has brought so much critical awareness to sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. There have been millions of posts since the #metoo movement began, with countless stories of workplace sexual harassment. I, too, have my own experiences, and while I didn’t share them on social media, hearing these stories by so many other women has vividly brought it all back.

What the heck is an employer to do to ensure everyone has a safe and harassment-free work environment?

How could these claims, allegations, and shared stories be so rampant when almost every US organization has a sexual harassment policy? And where was HR, you may ask? HR’s job is not only to hire talent but to manage performance, be an employee advocate, and help foster a great place to work.


Clearly, this is indicative of a much bigger issue. Employers often have “CYA” policies that they don’t follow, don’t practice, and above all, they don’t value.

The problem isn’t with the policy; it is with the culture.

Having a healthy culture is more than a policy or statement in your employee handbook. The best company cultures are felt and reinforced in every area, from how you recruit, reward, recognize and value employees and how you terminate. Embracing and supporting culture is not just senior management or HR’s position but also the responsibility of every employee.

So, in light of the thousands of #metoo stories shared, how can you protect your organization from becoming the latest headline?

You can do many things, starting with coming together to review the current policies and practices. Do you have a dating policy in place? What about your anti-harassment policy? Is it tight? Do you follow it? Do you have a practice that includes “Love Contracts” (sometimes called consensual relationship agreements)?


Given that people are human and things may happen make sure that you have a culture and practice that ensures that complaints get consistently and adequately handled. Such will include quickly responding to the complaint and possibly hiring a third-party investigator or external HR Consultant to work through the investigation in an impartial manner.

Having the combination of policy, practice, and a strong supportive culture can and will help ensure that your organization is free of harassment and be a great place to work for everyone!


How Not to Hire a Millennial

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Hello everyone! My name is Tracy Stevens, the new Marketing Intern at #HireVentures, and I am a Millennial! When some people hear that, it makes them cringe. But why?

The Millennial generation, or Generation Y, are those born between the early 1980s and 2000s. We make up about 32% of the U.S. population, which has surpassed the Baby Boomers by 11 million. A good percentage of us have also not yet earned a college degree. While many employers don’t give much thought to my generation, NPR credits that “(millennials) are the most racially diverse generation in U.S. history — and embody the changing face of America.” So, if we are so diverse, does this mean that hiring managers must change their practices to better understand how our brains work? Or should the young person move away from the norms of their generation to maintain a career?


The answer to both of these questions is no. Neither party has to change. We simply need to understand how our differences can become our strengths. Here are a few characteristics my generation has to offer and how they can benefit your business:

  1. Being tech-savvyThe millennial generation has grown up around technology, and many have not known a life without these amenities. Millennials are also seen as the most connected generation, with their whole lives on display through social networks. Such transparency and tempting opportunity to be distracted might seem like a con in the workplace, but you can turn these distractions into strengths by including them in everyday work. Also, when looking to recruit a millennial, take the job search online. There are excellent applicant tracking systems on the market (like our partner JazzHR) that will give you all the features needed to enable your online recruiting and develop your employer brand through social sites. By extending the job search online, your company would receive many more applications from this tech-savvy generation.
  2. Need for Attention: Gen Y has a rep of being the generation that demands everything. While we want to multitask, most of the time, we also want to be recognized for the hard work put in. Time even calls millennials the “Me, Me, Me generation” and how “the average middle-class American family today walks (around their house) amid 85 pictures of themselves and their pets.” In the workplace, try having an experienced employee become a mentor to the young person. A millennial craves constant reassurance because we want to know if we are doing the job right. This mentor could help guide the millennial through the challenging work, provide advice when the standards don’t get met, and show appreciation when a job is well done. Having an effective onboarding program can make or break your new employees.
  3. Job-hoppersThe millennial generation is supposedly the generation with multiple jobs in the same field for short periods of time. According to Pew Research, millennials are actually just as likely to stay with their companies as their older counterparts, Generation X. The key difference being that millennials are likely to job-hop until they find that perfect fit, and rightfully so. When hiring a millennial, make sure that objectives get very clearly stated. We are more likely to accept a job offer and stick with the career if we know the standards. So, maybe establish frequent performance reviews or feedback sessions. The old annual performance review program just isn’t enough anymore.

Consider this scenario.

You are a millennial and have just started looking for a summer internship. After applying for some positions, you receive an interview. A couple of days later, you go to the interview and get wowed by the company, but they barely look at your resume. Once you show up for the second interview, they take you out to a neighborhood to “see if you’re a good fit” by going door-to-door selling TV subscriptions. After doing some research, you find that this company has been doing this same “bait and switch” act with many others. What went wrong?

The scenario above is not just a “what if” scenario. This exact situation has happened to many young people and will continue to occur unless companies change their ways.


So, that brings us to the crux of this article, #hownottohireamillennial. These are the mistakes that we see our clients make regularly:

  1. Having an outdated recruiting process, such as paper applications and long lead times between receiving the application to interviewing applicants.
  2. No collaboration or feedback.  Waiting for an annual performance review to be completed is so last generation!
  3. Writing vague job offers that not even the seasoned employee can understand. This goes along with the “bait and switch” in the above scenario.
  4. Using an excessively vigorous hiring process. No one wants an inch-thick stack of hiring papers.
  5. Failing to provide post-interview feedback. It might seem like a lot of work but we would like to know why we did not receive a follow-up interview.

Companies in 2018 are now seeing that practices from 30 years ago will not work today. Updating policies and procedures could easily correct the mistakes listed above. Millennials, as stated before, are not like anything this business world has seen. We have different ideas and work in entirely different ways.

  • Does that make us difficult to work with? Maybe!
  • But does that mean companies should change their cultures to suit us? No!

Millennials are definitely a tough bunch to figure out. We may be different from other generations and have drastically different needs, but we are essential to any company’s growth. We can bring new ideas and innovation to the table. All we take is a little time and effort!

Every day, millions of millennials are entering the job market, searching for their perfect career. To make sure your company hires the best, avoid these mistakes, and you’ll be sure to make a fantastic hire!



Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s already the middle of January in a new year. I am so excited for the start of this new year and all that it can bring. From a business perspective, it’s a perfect time to review the prior year’s accomplishments or misses, set goals, and plan for the future.

I am especially loving the trend of choosing a single word for the year, just one word instead of a series of resolutions that will quickly get forgotten.

I want to share my word with you- The word I have chosen not only for myself but also for my business, our team, and our clients. That word is BUILD. This year, my 17th year in business (gulp), I’m focusing on building Hire Ventures, building our team, building our service and product offerings, building our client portfolio, building our social media presence, processes, and so much more.

In the spirit of our #oneword2018 and with the anticipation of this new year ahead, I want to share what we have recently built – our new brand colors and our logo!

Hire Ventures, Inc.

I’m very excited to finally have a logo that I love, with colors that speak to me. It’s been a long process, but this is one I can say I’m proud of, and I can’t wait to see it printed on our new business cards, tote bags, pens, and other fun goodies.

What is your word?  What speaks to you?  What are you most excited about moving into 2018?

JazzHR Partnership

We are super excited to announce a new partnership with Hire Ventures!

Our clients know how much we love technology, how we love to leverage it to make us work smarter, faster, and better! Over the years, we have implemented countless applicant tracking and human resource solutions that enable our clients to hire and manage their talent resources more effectively. We like many systems, and depending on our client’s needs, we make recommendations on the system that will be the best fit.

More often than not, that system for recruiting is JazzHR (formerly known as The Resumator). This system is incredible and has tiered offerings for companies of all sizes. Even smaller companies will find this beneficial, especially if they are looking for a system that can give them a sleek mobile-enabled careers page and get their positions posted to source suitable candidates and screen them to hire the best. This system lets you manage every step of your recruiting process, from sourcing through onboarding!

Because of the exceptional track record with Jazz, we have entered into a partnership with them. We are super excited to offer our clients this system, with the best pricing and implementation service available.

If you know you’ll be hiring soon and are ready to elevate your recruiting, let’s do it together! Visit our partner page for more info:


And, if you want a sneak peek, here is a quick three-minute video on the software:  

Contact us today to see if Jazz is the right fit for you and let us help elevate your recruiting!