Do’s and Don’ts of Conducting Job Interviews

When it comes to finding – and hiring – that perfect job candidate, the competition can be fierce. Since a significant part of the hiring decision comes from the face-to-face interview, doing a bit of homework and preparation beforehand is sure to help you, and your company, make your best first impression.

What is the Interviewer’s Role?

As one of the first people an interviewee will come into contact with when applying for a job with your company, you will most likely be representing and making the first impression for your company to your job candidate. This is a wonderful opportunity to create goodwill with your applicant, whether he or she is hired or not.

Make your interviewee as comfortable as possible, depending on your company’s culture. If your organization is formal and wears business attire, then pass that information along. If, on the other hand, your atmosphere is very relaxed and even you, as the interviewer, will be wearing jeans or other casual clothing, let your interviewee know so that he or she will fit in with your company culture and feel comfortable from the start. No matter the attire, always present yourself in a polished manner, including wearing a professional name tag. Your candidate will likely be nervous enough. Being able to glance at your name tag, or even a desk plate, and address you by name will take the pressure off trying to remember it throughout the interview and create a more relaxed, friendly environment.

Create a Relaxed and Welcoming Interview Setting

Conducting the interview at your place of business is a wise choice. When an interviewee comes to (and takes part in a tour of) your office, this provides the best opportunity to see how he or she reacts to your daily work environment. While it may seem like a more relaxing idea to have the interview at the local coffee shop or somewhere over lunch, these places tend to be full of noise and distractions that will hinder both you and your applicant from having the most productive conversation and from learning about one another.

Begin your interview with somewhat casual, yet specific questions. Opening the conversation with an open-ended statement like “Tell me about yourself” probably will not put your interviewee at ease. Rather, ask “Given what you know about our company, what personal qualities of yours would make you a good fit?”

What are Illegal Interview Questions?

As an interviewer, it is unlawful to ask any of the following questions –

  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • What is your religion? Where and/or when do you worship? Do you celebrate religious holidays?
  • Are you a citizen of the US? It seems that you have an accent, where are you from?
  • When were you born? What year did you graduate from high school or college? How old are you?
  • Do you have a disability that has the ability to affect your job performance? (This includes specific questions pertaining to former number of sick days, workers’ compensation claims, mental health diagnoses, or other pre-existing health conditions, including that of family history)
  • Do you use drugs, alcohol, or smoke?
  • Do you belong to a union or do you have an interest in joining one?
  • Are you willing to take a polygraph test? (You cannot be denied employment, disciplined, or fired for refusing to take a polygraph test)
  • Are you pregnant or do you plan to become pregnant, foster, or adopt a child?
  • What does your husband or wife do? Or do you have a spouse or significant other?

Note – When considering an applicant for a position, if your organization’s primary purpose is religious-based, you are legally permitted to favor hiring individuals who practice that same religion.

What are Legal Interview Questions?

  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony or crime other than a traffic violation?
  • Do your religious practices prohibit you from working on weekends (ask only if weekend work is required of the position)
  • Are you legally authorized to work in the US?
  • Do you speak any other languages (ask only if relevant to the position)
  • Are you able to put in the long hours and significant amount of travel this job requires?
  • Are you willing and able to relocate, if the opportunity arises?

What is a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification as Related to a Job or a Career?

A Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) is a specific qualification that will allow a potential employer to make an employment decision based on protected classes of citizens ONLY if it is determined to be necessary to operate a specific business successfully. For example, commercial airline pilots MUST retire at age 65 since studies have shown that older pilots’ production declines and, therefore, becomes a greater public risk.

Key Points to Keep in Mind During the Interview and Beyond

Keep in mind the position you are interviewing to fill. While skills and education certainly are important, many job specifics can be learned through on the job training, apprenticeships, and job shadowing. Things that are more difficult to teach are fitting in with the culture, departmental employees, and generally with the company as a whole.

Refrain from asking hypothetical questions. Most often for an interviewee who may not have an immediate answer, this is cause for a moment of panic and he or she may make up an answer. Rather, ask specific questions that relate to real situations that he or she has most likely encountered in the workplace, for example, “Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict between two employees and how that worked out.”

For more information about federal laws regarding prohibited or illegal employment policies and practices, please visit the US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.

Effective Onboarding Techniques and Strategies for Your Workplace

Why Onboarding Matters

Attracting the best and brightest job applicants and turning them into longstanding employees is a lofty goal that virtually every successful organization aims to achieve. From that first initial contact with applicants through the onboarding process and beyond, you are beginning to build professional relationships designed to last for years to come. As the first official steps toward becoming valued members of your company, the onboarding experiences that you provide are likely to be some of new employees’ most memorable company impressions.

Ensuring Onboarding Success

Effective employee onboarding can mean the difference between a successful start and a challenging transition to a new job. From orientation and training to becoming socially acclimated to your company’s culture, your new hire onboarding process matters.

Begin Onboarding Before You Hire

Bringing your new employees successfully on board begins with the first time you contact your applicants. Whether via phone call, email, or social media, exposure to your organization starts with the recruitment process.  Be sure that all avenues of communication accurately represent your company and its culture and values. When recruiting methods don’t line up with your organization’s culture, new hires can experience culture shock, leading to a disappointing first impression and perhaps even an unexpected resignation.

Create a Welcoming Work Area

Once the paperwork is complete and your new hires are ready to get to work, show them you’re happy they’re here by creating a welcoming work space that includes all of the necessities they’ll need to get off to a terrific start. From pens, paperclips and notepads to custom welcome boxes, new hire name tags and desk plates that are personalized and practical, your newest team members will be ready to go!

Build an Onboarding Network

During the onboarding process, human resources is there to guide employees through the new hire process. Once they’re ready to begin work, assigning each new employee a peer mentor who has the experience and enthusiasm to provide support during the first few weeks or months of employment will go a long way in creating strong professional and working relationships. Scheduling some time for meet-and-greets and lunches with other employees and company leaders can also be a terrific way for new hires to get to know a variety of people throughout the company in a more relaxed social setting.

Make Short Term Goals

Setting short term goals for your new employees that are well defined, measurable, achievable, and relevant to their specific responsibilities will help them to develop confidence in their new positions, become familiar with your organization’s workflow processes, and learn the appropriate people to go to when questions or challenges arise.  Consider setting short term goals for 30, 60, and 90 day time frames.

Develop Long Term Goals

As short term goals are met, begin to create longer term goals that will encourage learning and professional growth over time. These goals will give new employees something specific to strive for, keeping them interested, engaged, and productive.

Investing in your newest employees from the start of the onboarding process is one of the best ways to ensure that they are off to a wonderful start and a successful transition to becoming contributing members of your team. Whether your onboarding program is three weeks, three months, or longer, when employees are offered the tools, training, and information tailored to their specific jobs, they’re sure to be off to their best start!

Building Professional Relationships with Name Tags and Badges

Your name is more than the grouping of letters that have adorned your birth certificate since the day you were born. Your name is a part of your identity that becomes an element of who you are like nothing else will. Names are shared everywhere, especially via name tags in the workplace. As commonplace as they seem, are name badges really worth all the fuss? Absolutely!

Think of everyone that represents your company, small business, or any other defined group as ambassadors of your brand. Hired for their knowledge and abilities to help your organization succeed, well-designed name tags will help these employees, volunteers, and others make their best first impression and inspire meaningful conversation between staff and guests.

Name Tags Build Brand Identity

Creating a memorable company identity is at the core of every successful business. Branding and company recognition often begins with that first face-to-face introduction where names become a key component of this introductory conversation. Name tags and badges that include your company’s logo that include your company’s logo will immediately link your employee’s name and face with your business, reinforcing your brand and identity. Be sure your team’s name tags are free of scratches, faded text, or other imperfections so their professional best is proudly on display!

Name Tags Encourage Personal Interaction

Once you’re introduced to someone by name, you’re both more likely to feel an immediate level of comfort and approachability. And whether your business has a few employees, hundreds, or even thousands, personal interaction goes a long way toward making everyone feel that ‘We’re all on the same team!’ and are working together toward a common goal. For volunteers and other guests, visitor name badges are a wonderful way to make them feel welcome and a part of the interaction.

Name Tags Inspire Personal Expression and Confidence

If your business is one that allows a bit of freedom with personal name tags, they can be a terrific way to learn a fun fact or two about the person wearing the badge while increasing a bit of self-confidence along the way. Perhaps a name tag could display a museum guide’s favorite exhibit. An airline employee’s badge may include the location of that once-in-a-lifetime trip. Or a name tag could include a restaurant employee’s favorite food. The creative possibilities are endless!

Name Tags Display Status, Promotions, and Growth

Name tags offer a terrific way for new employees to quickly recognize others and their respective roles within the workplace. In addition to learning who fulfills which job, specialized name badges are wonderful ways to highlight those well-deserved promotions and other avenues of growth within an organization.

Name Tags Provide an Added Level of Security

When everyone is required to wear name badges, including employees, volunteers, and guests, it is easy to identify others at a glance to be sure they have permission to be where they are – and especially easy to spot someone not wearing a badge who should not be in a specified area.

Whether yours is a corner bakery, the neighborhood’s favorite pizza parlor, or a multinational company, name tags are ideal for associating your respected employees with your valued guests and potential customers.

10 Meaningful Ideas for Honoring Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week and All Year Long

As Teacher Appreciation Week gets underway, this marks the perfect opportunity to show our beloved teachers just how much they’re valued throughout the school year. Teachers have that special way of caring for our children every day, so we’ve compiled a list of our favorite thoughtful ways to show how much they’re appreciated all year long!

Create a Year of Celebration

What better way to show teachers how much they’re loved than by honoring them each month with an unexpected surprise? These are our favorites for a year-long appreciation celebration.

August – Host a ‘Welcome Back’ Breakfast

Welcome teachers back to the classroom by hosting a ‘Back to School’ breakfast. If you’ve got a gourmet doughnut and coffee shop nearby, an array of sweet treats and lattes are sure to be a delightful morning surprise. If you have access to a nearby kitchen, prepare a hot breakfast of Belgian waffles, bacon and eggs, and fresh fruit and juice to begin their busy day.

September – Let’s Get Acquainted

Click Here to Order Your Teacher's Name BadgeAs the new school year gets underway, what better way to help students and teachers to get acquainted than by giving your teachers personalized name tags or desk plates designed especially for them? Whether you’re looking for design your own name tags that reflect your teacher’s personal style or predesigned name tag templates, your teachers are sure to wear their badges proudly all year long.

October – Host a Pot Luck Dinner before Parent/Teacher Conferences

Between parent/teacher conferences or PTA meetings that are usually scheduled during weeknight evenings, provide a pot luck dinner for teachers at school, where they can relax together, share a hot meal, and be ready to continue their workday as the evening meetings get underway. They’re sure to appreciate a warm, homemade meal prepared especially for them.

November – Thanks and Giving

As Thanksgiving draws near, November is the perfect time to provide your teachers with a pilgrim’s picnic for lunch. Whether you’re planning a traditional turkey feast with all the trimmings or creating a feast of your teachers’ mealtime favorites, this banquet is one they’re sure to be thankful for!

December – Home Cooked Meals for the Holidays

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, make your teachers’ lives just a bit easier by ordering a week of free dinner deliveries. Whether a group of parents takes turns bringing a home cooked casserole or meal that teachers can take home and pop in the oven on a busy weeknight, or the class contributes funds to order a week of dinner deliveries from a local meal delivery service, a nutritious and delicious meal will be ready to heat, eat, and enjoy!

January – Let it Snow!

If your school is in an area that transforms into a blizzardy winter wonderland this time of year, grab your safety patrol team, warm winter coats, and a few snow brushes and head outside shortly before the afternoon bell to brush your teachers’ cars off. This thoughtful gesture is sure to ‘warm’ their hearts!

If there’s no snow in your local forecast, be ready on a rainy day with a bucket of large umbrellas placed conveniently by the door so teachers can easily grab one on their way out the door on a  showery afternoon.

February – Lights! Camera! Action!

Create a movie night bucket for a fun filled at home film fest. When the weather outside is frightful, a bucket of movie night essentials is ‘just the ticket’! Fill a popcorn bowl with microwave popcorn (or a sampling of gourmet popcorn from a local popcorn shop), popular movie munchies, and perhaps a soda or two. Everything your teachers need to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

March – Celebrate Spring

Welcome spring to your teachers’ classrooms with a bouquet of freshly picked flowers or a bushel of locally grown fruits and vegetables. A small bunch of wildflowers straight from your garden or a basket filled with freshly picked produce is a wonderful way to bring a bit of nature’s bounty to your child’s teachers.

April – Create Handwritten Note Cards

As the school year begins to wind down, give your teachers a meaningful gift that highlights the impression they’ve made on every student they’ve taught throughout the year. Have the students each fill out a card that says ‘I love my teacher because…’ in their own handwriting (and spelling!), something they’re sure to treasure for years to come.

May – Create a Classroom Memory Book

Just before summer vacation begins, give your teachers a gift that will remind them of the fun-filled happenings of the past year. Creating a class scrapbook is a perfect way to highlight special things that took place throughout the year, share favorite photos, or add handmade notes or artwork from each student. Handmade gifts are a meaningful, creative way to thank teachers for the unwavering enthusiasm and dedication they’ve given students all year long.

Connect With Others by Celebrating National Name Tag Day

What’s in a Name?

From the day we’re born, our name becomes a core part of our identity. Names can have religious roots, family ties, cultural influences, or reveal trends of the moment (think Apple, Blue Ivy, North or Saint, even Pilot Inspektor). Our names are how we’re recognized by others and what we respond to. On our planet of more than 7.5 billion people, each one of us, and our name, is one of a kind!

What Is National Name Tag Day?

Name lovers everywhere will celebrate National Name Tag Day on March 7, 2019. National Name Tag Day, a part of Celebrate Your Name Week (CYNW),  is observed each year during the first full week of March. The premise is simple: everyone wears a name tag. Started by American onomatology enthusiast Jerry Hill as a way for people to celebrate and appreciate their names, CYNW includes Name Tag Day, Namesake Day, Name Fun Facts Day, Unique Names Day, Learn What Your Name Means Day, Middle Names Pride Day, and Genealogy Day. Hill believed that names should get the attention and recognition they deserve.

Many countries around the world celebrate names each year. Name days, as they’re commonly known, are predominantly European traditions that assign names to particular days of the year. Often, these days correspond to Christian celebrations of the feast days of saints. Small gifts are given and, in some countries, name days hold more significance than birthdays!

Why Wear Name Tags?

Imagine if everyone that crossed your path each day wore a name tag. Who would you meet? What kinds of stories or conversations would unfold? More days than not, we are more focused on the virtual people living inside our little blue screens rather than on the actual humans around us. We miss valuable opportunities to connect with others, share a few smiles, and perhaps meet someone who will change the trajectory of our lives in wonderful ways!

So, this year, take the time to add a dash of inspired human interaction to your day by proudly wearing a personalized name tag and celebrating the name that is uniquely yours!

Affordable Name Tag Options

At Name Tag Wizard, we’re passionate about names and offer a variety of the highest quality name tags, ID badges, and more. Whether you’re looking for full color name tags with your company’s logo, uniquely shaped name badges, engraved name tags or even name tags adorned with rhinestones, Name Tag Wizard is your one stop shop for quality, affordability, and fast, efficient service. Most orders ship next business day!

In celebration of National Name Tag Day, Name Tag Wizard is pleased to offer 50% off all name tags and photo ID badges for one day only, March 7, 2019. Simply use coupon code NATIONAL50 at checkout.

For more ways that name tags can bring us together, please see our related blog:

What’s in a Name? Turn Your Name Tags Into Conversation Starters