Preparing for your interview at Peak Performers

Welcome to Peak Performers! We are Austin’s preferred staffing and recruiting firm for contract positions with State of Texas government agencies. As a nonprofit, we’re also driven by the mission to create a new standard of employment for qualified applicants with a disability.

We’ve compiled some information to help you know what to expect at your interview appointment. If you haven’t submitted your resume to be reviewed by our recruitment department, you can do so by clicking here.

Getting to Our Office (4616 Triangle Ave, Suite 405)

We are conveniently located in a commercial and residential development known as The Triangle, just off of North Lamar Boulevard. If you come at lunchtime, we’re auspiciously situated next door to Hopdoddy (although we recommend eating your burger after the interview). Our office is directly across the street from a five-story parking garage. There is free, accessible parking on the street and in the garage. We’re also conveniently located near stops for several major bus routes, including the 1, 801 and 803.

The Interview

The entire interview and registration process typically takes 1.5 to 2 hours. Prior to your arrival, you’ll receive an email with a link to our application paperwork. To save you some time, we recommend filling it out ahead of time. If you don’t have access to a computer, you’re also welcome to arrive early and fill it out at our office. Please keep in mind that the online paperwork takes most people 15-20 minutes to complete.

When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll check in with one of our friendly front office coordinators. While it’s not completely necessary to bring a copy of your resume to the appointment, it might be helpful if you have an updated or specialized version. If you’ve been invited for an interview, we most likely have a copy in our system already.

Once you finish the initial paperwork, you’ll interview with one of our staffing consultants so they can determine the best fit for your individual goals, skill set, and level of experience.

We recommend dressing to impress and being prepared for a professional interview. We are committed to using a fair and standard set of interview questions for each candidate. While we cannot guarantee job placement, our staffing consultants work hard to create the best match for you and the agency clients we serve.

During our registration process, you’ll be asked if you have a disability or chronic medical condition. We understand that this can be sensitive information and many people are reluctant to discuss their disability or medical condition (especially in an employment situation). Keep in mind that the answer you provide is completely confidential. At our company, we recognize that disabilities have little to no bearing on an individual’s skills and capabilities. In fact, we give a job placement priority to qualified candidates with a chronic medical condition.

Skills Assessments

Following the interview, be prepared to complete a standard set of computer-based assessments. These evaluations are important to help us find the right match for each position. If you’re not satisfied with your test results, we also offer free tutorials that can be completed at home. When you feel more confident, you can schedule an appointment to re-test and we’d be happy to use your best set of scores.

Becoming a Peak Performer

Once the registration process is complete, your information is then entered into our system. At that point, you are encouraged to text in your availability (512-453-8833) once per week. As we receive new job openings, our staffing consultants search our database for qualified and available candidates. If you are matched with a job, a staffing consultant will reach out to you to discuss the position in further detail.

Congratulations, you’re on your way to becoming a Peak Performer!

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7 questions to ask in your next job interview

Most job seekers understand the importance of asking good questions during the interview. Not only is it essential to come prepared with answers, but it’s also critical to ask the right questions. Your inquiries communicate a lot about who you are and what your expectations are for the position. By asking genuine and engaging questions, you’re showing the interviewer that you actually care about the position, the company, and how you might be able to contribute.

Think of the questions you ask as being statements that can help set you apart from competing candidates. Asking too soon about salary, for instance, could communicate to the interviewer that you’re primarily concerned with money. Your finances might be an honest concern, but leading with this question could also make you seem greedy or parsimonious. A question about teamwork, however, communicates that you are collaborative and ready to work well with others.

Think of the questions you ask as being statements that can help set you apart from competing candidates.

This past calendar year, our staff interviewed over a thousand candidates. Based on our staffing and recruiting experience in Austin, we’ve compiled some of our best-recommended questions to ask in your next interview:

How long have you worked here? What have you enjoyed most?

Poet and activist Maya Angelou is often attributed with saying, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The same is true for job interviews. Asking personable questions can give you insights into the office culture and it can also make a lasting impression on the hiring manager.

What is the ideal candidate for this position?

This is a great open-ended question to help clarify any misunderstandings about the role. If the hiring manager says something you have not explicitly mentioned yet, this presents an excellent opportunity to fill in the gaps. This is your chance to tell them that you’re the person they’ve been looking for.

How would you describe the company’s culture?

Cultural fit is becoming more and more of a determining factor in the hiring process. Remember that the interview is also a way for you to determine whether or not you want to pursue the role. This question also provides an indirect way to find out more about overall employee wellness and benefits programs.

How does this company define and measure success?

Not only does this question help you understand the company’s expectations, it also implies that you are focused and determined to be successful.

I read ABC in XYZ about your company. Can you tell me more about that?

Most people know it’s important to research the company prior to your job interview. This question gives you an opportunity to show that you’ve done your homework without coming across as a know-it-all.

Do you have any specific concerns that I can address in further detail?

It might seem counterintuitive to highlight your own flaws in an interview. However, this question conveys a sense of confidence and could provide insight into what the hiring manager(s) might be thinking. It also gives you one last chance to clarify any apprehension regarding your candidacy.

What is the next step in the hiring process?

Consider this question as an opportunity to affirm your desire and enthusiasm for the position. It also might provide some insight into how many other candidates are being interviewed or when you should plan to send your follow-up message.

Keep in mind that these are only examples, and you should customize these questions based on the specifics of the position you’re considering. In general, focus on asking open-ended questions, and practice asking them out loud until you feel confident. Practice. Practice. Practice.

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What to wear to your Austin interview

According to the Austin Business Journal, there are an estimated 157.2 people moving to our area every single day (we’re not sure how to calculate one-fifth of a person, but we’ll take their word for it). Central Texas has been one of the fastest growing regions of the US for many years. More and more people are drawn to Austin’s growing economy, laid-back atmosphere and mild winter weather. We’re also proud to be ranked 2017’s best place to live by the ubiquitous assessors at US News & World Report. If you’re new to our beautiful city, we feel confident you’ll assimilate quickly.

With so many fresh job seekers from other parts of the country, we thought we’d offer our best recommendations on what to wear to your next job interview in our city. With over 22 years being Austin’s preferred staffing and recruiting firm, we’ve interviewed countless candidates and helped put thousands of people to work at State of Texas government agencies. We’ve seen it all, to say the least.

For starters, here are a couple general guidelines to follow for any job interview:

  • Try not to stick out. We recommend dressing to look like you could start working the moment you walk in the door. If you’re interviewing for a construction job, for instance, bring your jeans and work boots. If you’re hoping to work in a courtroom, however, full suited attire might be more appropriate. If you’re still not sure what to wear, you might consider doing some subtle research into what other employees typically wear to work.
  • Wear what makes you feel good. When people look their best, they tend to have more confidence and self-assurance. While your personal image shouldn’t be a significant factor in an interview, it could communicate your attention to detail and give the hiring manager an idea of how you might represent the company to future clients or customers.

Keep in mind that there are only two seasons in Austin – hot and less hot. If you’re flying in for an interview, remember to check the weather report because precipitation and temperature can shift drastically in Central Texas. Another caveat is that most Austinites love air conditioning, especially when it’s 100 degrees outside. While you might find yourself sweating during the walk from your car, you might also be shivering while sitting in the company lobby.

Austin is also a city where it’s highly plausible to see people wearing flip-flops and shorts to a place of worship. Nowhere is this theme more salient than in the tech industry. It’s generally not a good idea to wear very formal attire for software development or information technology related positions.

That being said, most office or professional environments in Austin will go by the general rules of business casual.

(Mike Nudelman/Business Insider)

 

For women, this usually means casual skirts, dresses, pants and blouses. Similarly, for men, this typically means a shirt with a collar tucked into dress pants with casual dress shoes. It is also common to see people in sweaters, vests and a combination of other seasonal accessories. Outside of certain formal industries, you’ll rarely find anyone wearing a suit in ATX.

Despite the stereotypes, leave your cowboy boots at home. And if you’re still stressing about what to wear, it’s usually okay to just ask.

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