Questions to Ask During Interviews (pt 3 of 3)

By Randy Wooden

Today I wrap up my three-part blog series on questions you may want to ask an employer during your interview. We have already covered questions dealing with areas like your job duties, why they are hiring, and your training.

This time, we will look at a few other areas, starting with advancement. After all, the position for which you are interviewing might not be your final job. You might want to move up in pay and responsibility at this company or some other employer.

When speaking about advancement, demonstrate your interest in the job at hand while exploring what the future holds. Sometimes the employer will start that dialogue by asking about your goals. If they do not bring it up, it is fine for you to ask.

“I’m excited about this position because (you should be prepared to talk about two to three reasons). And as I learn and achieve, I’d like to continue to be challenged. For someone who does a great job, what are possible future opportunities within the organization?”

While my wording may not suit your style, these ideas can help you get started. Play around with the phrasing so it matches your style. You want them to know you are committed to the present job and will perform it well.

As your interview wraps up, make sure you understand their timeline for the next step in the hiring process. Will it be an offer or perhaps another interview?  If the employer does not volunteer that information, restate your interest in the job and ask them about what happens next. When they give you an approximate timeline, ask whether it is ok to call them if you have not heard from them by then. This helps remove the guesswork about when to follow up.

While the next questions are not critical to knowing whether you can do or want the job, they may have value.

If you have done your homework on the company and see something noteworthy about them in a news story, tell them what you found and ask a question about it.

If you feel comfortable doing so, try asking the interviewer what attracted him or her to the company or what they think gives their company a competitive edge. You could ask about the company’s or the department’s goals. Save the compensation discussion for later.

Be prepared to ask questions; avoid questions that can easily answered with a quick web search.

Asking questions allows you to know more about the position while demonstrating you have researched the company and given thought to the position.  It allows you to catch your breath from answering questions.

Good luck!

Celebrate Independence Day with Goodwill®

By Julia Marchand

When I think of the 4th of July, I envision our glorious flag (and what it represents), booming fireworks and a laid back happy vibe. No matter where you are celebrating or how many people are involved, those are the top three things, I think, on everyone’s Independence Day celebration checklist. The problem with party planning for an event like this, though, is that when you’re the host sometimes the details can overtake your ability to actually enjoy the free-spirited mood of the day. We don’t want you to miss out on the fun, so here are a few tips to help you capture the atmosphere of the holiday without missing out on the good parts.

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Let’s start off with one décor tip that will go a long way: Making your food pull double duty! Every event needs food. Whether you’re hosting a huge gathering or just preparing enough for your family, it’s easy to color code your foods to fit the theme. Arrange a red, white, and blue dessert in a clear glass bowl (browse a wide variety of shapes and sizes at Goodwill for a great price!) and use it as a centerpiece. This great idea comes from the Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia (Richmond) blog. It’s a roundup post so check it out for even more décor ideas!

Marion Goodwill Industries (OH) has some easy 4th of July ideas, too, on their patriotic Pinboard. I especially love this idea to organize silverware into mason jars with red, white, and blue bandanas! Every piece of this easy-to-assemble display can be thrifted and the best part is that you’ll be able to use them all after the event, too! There’s a secret satisfaction I get when I can assimilate seasonal décor into off-season functionality. It’s just so convenient! I’ll definitely be trying this one.

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Since your very festive table is now set, and we’ve decided that our décor this year must be functional, let’s talk about attire! Having the clothing you wear contribute to the color scheme is a simple yet effective way to create a cohesive look without having to put a lot of time into party prep. Start by looking through your closet to see what you already have. I’m big on whites and blues, so finding something to wear with those two colors wouldn’t be a problem for me. Red, however, is a hue I very rarely buy. That’s why I’ll browse Goodwill first.

Sure, it’s lovely to find some really fun an on-trend pieces at the mall or online, but the thrift store secret is that the item you’re considering buying brand new might actually be waiting for you at Goodwill for only a fraction of the price. Plus, when you buy second-hand items you’re helping the earth! A lot of the pieces in the display above were collected by Sophie of the blog The Endless Diary of a Sorority Girl at her local Goodwill and they’re all super stylish! What’s hiding out and waiting for you at yours?

While I really enjoy celebrating our nation’s independence on July 4th, I also want to mention my year-round independence inspiration: Goodwill. You may be a fan of thrift shopping because it’s less expensive and better for the environment, but did you also know that when you shop at and donate to Goodwill you are helping to fund Goodwill’s employment programs? These programs promote independence and dignity for people within your own community who need support to provide for themselves and their families and that’s only possible with your help. I can’t think of a better way to honor our nation’s birthday than to assist my neighbors in their efforts toward achieving the American Dream.