How to Prepare for Your Next Phone Interview

Over 60 percent of the tech managers we work with use phone interviews as a ‘get-to-know-you’ pre-qualifier before setting up an in-person meeting. This allows employers to maximize their time in the first round of interviews and reduce your travel time and expenses. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare!

It’s an important step that can set the tone for the rest of the interview process. And because you can’t convey the same energy over the phone as you can in a face-to-face meeting, you’ll want to find ways to compensate. Here’s how to put your best foot forward in a phone interview:

Three Laundry Tips for New Singles

When people are in a domesticated setting, they almost take for granted how easy it is to do laundry. Maybe they’ve been living with a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or husband and it’s part of their weekly routines. They’ve been sharing an apartment or a house with a significant other and happen to have a washing machine and dryer in the other room. But then they find themselves single again and that routine becomes disrupted. These very basic things become much more complicated.

Here are three pieces of advice for any new single on things to do that can make life easier when it comes to having an adequate supply of clean clothes.

Show Your Confidence with Body Language

Showing that you’re confident and comfortable with yourself is one of the best skills in life, whether you’re looking for a job, date, or success of any kind. Confidence really does start on the inside, so start by being self-aware and unafraid to simply be the man that you are. However, body language can help you demonstrate this confidence to others, and it can also help reinforce and build confidence within you. Here are some great ways to use body language to show you are confident:

The #1 Reason Why Your Laundry Still Looks Dirty

If your laundry still looks dirty after you’ve put it through the washer and dryer, it probably is! The reason for this is most likely because you overloaded the washer. Overloading your machine won’t allow it to wash your load completely, which will cause you to have to wash the clothes again – or walk around with dirty clothes on. Here’s why overloading doesn’t help save you time or money on your laundry:

Best Places to Wine, Dine and Get Caffeinated in Scotland

A perfect day starts with a good cup of coffee and ends with a smooth glass of wine…or something like that right? Traveling to a country like Scotland, with its endless mountain views and endless tourist destinations, can leave you quite disoriented. Make sure you’re starting the day right with the best cups of coffee, and ending the day on a light note with some of the best drinks around. Need dinner ideas along the way? That’s here too!

If you’re not sure where your travels will take you yet, there is a suggestion for each unique spot in both southern and northern Scotland.

The Interview Technique Hiring Managers Want to See

Here at ProFocus, hiring managers tell us that interviews get tough for candidates when they start to ask behavioral based questions. We’ve heard that the candidates especially struggle when given the “tell me about a time…” type of question. Hiring managers ask these questions to let your past work performance prove what you’re capable of doing in the future.

The best technique for responding to these types of questions is the STAR technique. It works so well because it gives such a simple but powerful structure to demonstrate examples of how you handled applicable situations in the past. And the acronym STAR really helps you remember how to respond when you’re in the middle of a stressful interview! STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

The Rebirth of New Orleans

As a Louisiana native, I watched in shock and disbelief as New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. That tragedy hit close to home, as I was born 50 miles from there.

I hadn’t been back to the Big Easy since then and was eager to see how far the city has come along in its efforts to rebuild. So I took a trip in mid-May and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.

How to Save 2 Hours a Week on Campus by Doing Laundry

The average Joe might figure out how to be efficient doing their laundry, but you can take it up a notch and actually add 2 or more hours to your week if you do it right. They key is to multitask your homework at the same time. Many experts will tell you that multitasking is bad, but they’re wrong. As long as you do it right. Especially when you’re a college student managing a mundane chore like laundry along with a huge pile of homework to do. So let’s get to it, this is how to make your multitasking work:

5 Reasons Why You Want to Be a Craftsman

If you’ve been working in an office and dreaming of getting your hands dirty, you’re not alone! Even though white collar work has been pushed hard in schools over the last 20 years, more workers are realizing that blue collar jobs are just as rewarding. If you’ve been wondering about starting or changing to a career to the trades, here are some good reasons to pursue it and find out more:

New Trends for Smart Homes and Buildings

Recent innovations and use of data has done a lot to make construction more efficient. New technologies like modular building, augmented reality, robots, drones, and artificial intelligence have helped to inspire new construction methods, many of which have resulted in energy savings as well! Here are some of the newest smart home solutions trending, that you might be able to incorporate into your next energy efficient building project:

How to Read the Laundry Symbols on Clothing Tags

So, it’s your first day in the dorms and you spill some coffee on your favorite shirt. Your stomach drops (and swear words fly out of your mouth) because you realize you have at least two more weeks before you’re scheduled to go home (where mom’s gonna help you with your laundry).

Which means… <duhn, duhn, duhn> …you now have to do a load of laundry on your own! You make the trek down to the laundry room with your basket of clothes, soap and quarters in hand, and pull out your shirt, and you actually look at that tag on the collar for the first time in your life. You don’t want to screw this up, it’s your favorite one!

The Best Bathroom in Canada is Made in Portland, Oregon

You may know that The Portland Loo isn’t just in Portland; there are several cities around the globe that host the unique standalone public restroom. In fact, the Portland Loo has been so popular in Canada, it was voted Best Bathroom in Canada several years ago! The win of the restroom that is sometimes referred to as “Langley Street Loo” in Victoria BC, was a victory over other celebrated washrooms all over the country.

Why Women Should Consider the Trades

Nationwide, only about 7% of the trades are made up of women, and in Portland, OR, it’s only slightly higher at 9%. Many women haven’t traditionally considered a job in the trades, largely because there’s not a lot of examples in popular culture that depict female construction workers, truck drivers, and other blue collar jobs. However, more and more women are discovering the advantages and rewards of getting their hands dirty. If you’re a woman interested in a career to the trades, here are some great reasons why we’d like to encourage you to consider it:

A Guide to Last Chance Agreements

Managing personnel brings with it any number of potential problems. Being a supervisor or risk manager means being responsible for the performance of the employees within your organization.

Sometimes, employees have issues that affect their ability to effectively carry out their duties. If those issues are bad enough, they can warrant termination. But there are tools available for managing employees who are otherwise an asset to the organization and who need to take corrective actions to address those issues.

7 Items to Keep Out of the Laundry Room

It might seem that you can wash just about anything, but many items will actually prevent your other clothing items from getting clean, or worse will damage the machine – or your clothing – beyond repair. Here’s some of the things you should keep out of laundry room:

Shoes

Most people think they can throw their shoes – especially their running shoes – in the wash. Don’t do it! Most running shoes will shrink, and they could even damage the interior of the machine. Plus the laces often get caught or wrapped around other clothing that prevents other items from truly getting clean. If you have some white canvas tennis shoes, those are pretty safe, just make sure to take the laces out first.

Four Cheap Ways to Keep the Inside of Your Car Clean

Aside from the practical considerations of how well your car runs, the level of comfort it affords you behind the wheel is also important.

Since we tend to spend large amounts of time in our vehicles commuting to work, running errands and getting around, the overall cleanliness of a car’s interior matters quite a bit.

Here are a few simple, inexpensive steps you can take to keep the inside of your used car as clean as possible.

Why 24-Hr Bathrooms Help Keep the City Healthy

Access to safe public restrooms are vital to a city’s cleanliness and health. The bottom line is that any city is full of people, and people need bathrooms! And if there isn’t access to bathrooms, then people will be forced to find other places to go. Whether that’s the Starbucks on the corner, or literally on the street corner. Here are just more reasons why restrooms that are available 24-hours a day, like The Portland Loo, are so important to a city’s health:

Vaccines: The Most Powerful Weapon is Fear

Currently moving through the Oregon legislature is HB 3063, which aims to increase the already high vaccination rates in Oregon schools by removing religious and philosophical exemptions, leaving only the very narrow medical exemption (your child would need to have a severe reaction to a vaccine before an exemption is granted for that single vaccine). As written, this bill would require all children attending ANY school (public, private, charter, etc) to be fully vaccinated by Aug 2020, or they will be excluded from receiving an education. Homeschool or online school would be the only options.

Things You Might See on the Sidewalks of Portland

We’re proud that we were able to work with Portland City staff and officials to develop The Portland Loo, which is the name of the freestanding restrooms you can see on some of Portland’s busiest sidewalks. Of course our sustainably-minded city loves the off-grid solar-powered components! These and other features helped the city get their first patent for the design, which was devised to discourage crime with graffiti-proof wall panels and open grating. They look pretty sleek and modern too, even though the first one was installed over 10 years ago! Since then, Portland has become pretty famous for many more things you’ll likely find on its sidewalks:

Top 5 Sacred Spaces of South America

When it comes to South America the question is never “Where do I go?” but rather “How much time do I have?” From ancient ruins to modern day sacred temples, South America’s history and culture is embedded onto its landscape. Unless you’re planning to move to this region for some time then you probably won’t hit all the sites in one trip. Make the best of your travels to South America and make sure to visit these must see sacred spaces while you’re there.

The Portland Loo’s 5 Favorite Potty Training Songs

You may have heard about Portland’s famous stand-alone bathroom, The Portland Loo, which was designed in cooperation with city staff and volunteers. No other city’s bathroom is as celebrated as The Portland Loo, for it’s sleek modern look and unique blend of function and security. And one of the most famous celebrations was almost exactly seven years ago in 2012, in collaboration with Emerson School for the city’s fifth Loo installation at Northwest 8th & Couch Street in the Pearl District.

New Effects of Tighter Labor Force

The labor gap in the trades continues to have more and more impact in the market! With fewer and fewer young people going into the industry, it’s created a high demand that’s pushing the average pay up. In fact a 2017 study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce said that 3,477,000 people have “good-paying construction jobs” in the U.S. and earn a median salary of $59,000.

Best Hiring Practice for New Managers

The recruitment and retention of quality personnel is one of the most important tasks faced by business owners and managers. It can also present many challenges to people who are just taking on risk management responsibilities for their organizations. However, there are a few common-sense steps that can be taken to make the hiring process run as smoothly as possible. Here’s a look at some of them.

Best New Power Tools You Gotta Check Out

There are some really powerful and innovative power tools that have been recently released. Here are some to check out, that we were impressed with:

Rockwell Compact Circular Saw

This circular hand saw is “ the smallest big saw you’ll ever use.” It’s compact and perfect for tight corners – can be used almost anywhere! It also weighs half as much as a typical circular saw, but still so powerful it can cut through nails. It even has a vac port for mess-free projects.

How to Create Better Employee Training

Good employee training is becoming more and more crucial at a time when the labor market is tightening, and many skills taught might not even be applicable or needed in the near future. The skills gap is quickly changing due to the rise of digital automation and innovation!

This is likely one of the reasons why, in the 2018 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees said that they “would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.”

Are Job Sites Getting Safer?

According to recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s been a decline in the amount of employer-reported workplace injuries and illnesses in 2017, and fatal injuries have also declined almost a whole percentage point from the year prior. So the question is, are work sites really getting safer, and why? Here’s some things that may be contributing to a safer work environment in the trades: