6 tips for zoom interviews

6 Tips to Succeed During Your Zoom Interview

Since COVID began in 2020, the interview process has changed drastically.

While you may still have an in person interview at the final stages, it is much more likely that your first interview with a new company will be conducted via video conferencing.

It is CRITICAL that you consider a few factors unique to this format in order to give a good first impression.

Tip 1.
Test the join link and your camera BEFORE the interview – over the past 2 years, I can’t even count how many times we have had someone assume everything would work smoothly only to end up failing the interview as they couldn’t join on time / get their camera on/ or participate at all.

Tip 2.
Make sure to look into the camera when speaking – not the video of yourself. When you watch yourself it makes your line of eye contact slightly downcast.

Tip 3.
Use the mute button – One of the biggest problems of zoom interviews is know when to start speaking. This goes for both parties. Use the mute button to signal that you are done as well as to make sure no odd sounds go through while the other person is talking.

Tip 4.
Wait 1 second after the other person stops talking before you start. Sometimes with slow internets or software issues, there can be a delay in the others voice coming through. If you end up speaking at the same time no-one can hear each other and the conversation get de-railed. Instead, wait a second, confirm they are done, then answer their question.

Tip 5.
Dress professionally – dress exactly as you would if this was an in-person interview. Where a shirt & tie, pants, a jacket. Don’t try to cheat by looking professional just on top, because you never know what might happen causing you to stand up and ruin your perfect image.

Tip 6.
Use a nice simple professional background if you can. While your house and it’s cleanliness may be your personal business, it doesn’t exactly shout “organized & pay attention to detail”. Set up in front of a blank wall or book case, and if you can’t, download a picture of an office and upload it as your virtual background.

What to say at the end of an interview

What To Say At The End Of An Interview

Maybe you have flown through the interview answering all of the questions perfectly.

Have made a strong connection with the manager and have good rapport.

Now to close it up professionally.


Just like a movie or play, people tend to remember the beginning and ending the most.

Even if you have performed well, if you end on bad note, that is what the interviewer will walk away with.

So use these simple statements to close on a strong note whether you are doing it through video conference or in person.

1. The Simple Close
It was a pleasure meeting you and thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing feedback and please feel to contact me if you have any follow up questions.

2. The I Am A Good Hire close
Thanks for taking time to meet with me. The role sounds really exciting and a great fit based on my experience in ABC. I look forward to hearing about next steps, and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have an follow questions.

3. The Confident Pro – When you know this is the right job for you
I am really excited about the role and your company. I am confident this is the job that I want. What are the next steps?

As always when it comes to interviews – you should always read the room and have a strong feeling of your performance before using these.

While they are solid closes to an interview you always want to be yourself. If they don’t feel like something you would say, then I would recommend you craft your own, or reach out to us to craft your personalized interview strategy plan.

3 keys to a smooth resignation

3 Keys To Remember When You Resign

While staying in a single company for your entire career is no longer the norm, there are still certain manners and traditions that you must navigate to keep your reputation when leaving a company.

1 Month Notice – Many companies include a 1-2 month notice for resignation. Also, managers may pressure you to stay 2-3 months in order to find your replacement and hand off work. However, legally you are only required to give 14 days notice. It is always important to remember this if a company tries to pressure you to stay longer. 

That being said, if you are remaining within the industry it is well worth negotiating with your manager to a timeline that leaves everyone satisfied.

When to give your resignation notice – You should always wait until you have received back a signed contract from your next company BEFORE giving notice of resignation for 2 reasons. The first is leaving your role before you have found your next step, assuming that an opportunity will come up. It can take up to 2-4 months o average to find a new role and receive an offer. Not to mention, there is nothing worse than having to take a WORSE job that your previous one because it was the only option you had as you ran out of time or funds. 

The second case happens when you have been told you would receive the job but haven’t actually signed a contract yet. We have seen people leave their company assuming everything was fine, only for the Overseas HQ to suddenly close the headcount and cancel the offer. Until you have signed the contract and received it back, it is not set in stone.

Sharing information about why you are leaving or specifics about your next step – Simply put, nothing good can come from this. Ultimately your manager will be evaluated on the fact that they lost a staff and they may also truly want you to stay. So it is not unusual for them to try to persuade you by trying to convince you that things will change, poke holes in your logic, or in the worst cases, contact your next company to spread bad rumors.

At the end of the day you have already made your decision – if you are resolute and confident it is the correct one, neither you nor your manager gain anything from arguing about it.

The best course is to politely (and hopefully honestly) tell your manager how important your time with them has been, that you appreciate all they have done to help you grow, but that you have decided it is time to move on to your next step. 

If your manager strongly wants to know where you will be going you can reply that you had to agree to confidentiality with your new company until you join, but that after you join, you would love to catch up and update them about your new role.

There is a lot more that goes into leaving a role that you have built a career in, but hopefully you will have a slightly easier time by keeping these 3 keys in mind!

How to find top talent

Finding Top Talent & New Hires In Unexpected Places

So maybe you’re considering opening a branch in Japan and you are not sure where to find your first employee on the ground…

Or maybe you are the TA or HR based in APAC trying to figure out why it is so difficult to hire in Japan…

Whatever your position is, we hope these tips will help you connect with and find the best people, as well as provide insight into how WE do.

Some of the key tools that recruiters rely on can be used by you as well.
Tools like: Industry events, job sights such as #LinkedIn, and referrals.

Referrals – ie. your own network & team’s connections, are an incredibly underused resource. As business owners or leaders of HR we sometimes assume that information is being disseminated throughout the company. However, in reality, sometimes it takes a much more direct approach of asking people “Hey we are looking for X role, but do you have any ideas?”

We also want to share 3 of other surprising places for finding great hires.

1. Online communities – if your in the market for software engineers for example, GitHub is a great place to find pros with examples of the work as well.
2. Online events – host your own, join others, or even come and join ours!
3. Your clients/customers – this is always a little sensitive and we don’t encourage poaching, but sometimes there are mutual beneficial talent changes that leave both companies in a deeper partnership AND fulfilling their talent needs/changes – we have even seen this successfully happen recently where both CEO’s came to an understanding and the candidate came out with a step up into an area they were more passionate about.

Now, just knowing where people are, doesn’t make it any easier to create a strong hiring brand, put together attractive job descriptions, or create a corporate story focused on specifically appealing to top talent.

There is a huge time investment and degree of trial an error when “dialing in” to the Japanese talent market.

That is where we come in.

Want to save, time, money, and headache?

Reach out to us and let’s have a talk.

3 Trends that will shape the 2022 talent market

3 Trends That Will Shape 2022 Talent Market

2021 and COVID taught us a lot of things about being flexible and learning to give autonomy and trust to employees.

It forced us, as managers, HR leaders, and Company leaders, to be more empathic and caring about wellbeing at work – as well as digital transformation.

Here are 3 trends that will largely impact hiring in 2022

1. Hybrid Work : This is now a generally accepted business practice with companies around the globe redefining “where” & “how” people work. With COVID policies still evolving and changing, and many famous IT companies leading the way declaring remote work permanently, not offering a flexible working style is a clear demerit to candidates in the market. 2022 will continue to introduce virtual tools for onboarding, training, meetings, and working together.

2. Employee Engagement : With hiring top talent becoming more and more competitive candidates have begun to look at secondary and tertiary benefits to a joining a company. How well does management listen and fix employees problems. Are teams multifunctional and designed to handle problems flexibly. Are roles autonomous, free of micro management, fulfilling, and play a meaningful role in the growth of the company.

3. SDGs : This applies perhaps even more so to renewable and green tech companies. When your product is meant to promote sustainability – be prepared for candidates to also assess your internal corporate environment of sustainability (not just in the tradition sense, but in relation to your staff as well)

These are not things that are easily changed, but high salaries are less and less convincing if we don’t begin to improve our attractiveness as an employer as well.

How to assess problem solving ability

Assessing problem solving skills

How to assess problem solving ability

A candidate’s problem-solving abilities can be assessed in simply in three ways:

1. by asking for examples of times when they previously solved a problem.

2. by presenting them with a situations and asking how they would respond to it.

3. by seeing how they apply their problem-solving skills in a case study or exercise.

What you want to be looking for is:
-How they approach complex issues
-How they find the root problem and analyze data
-How they handle unforeseen stressful scenarios
-How they react when their ideas are challenged

A few examples of this could be to ask:

1. Tell me about a time you had to solve a problem without support. How did you do it and what was the result?

2. Share an example of a time you identified and fixed a problem before it became a significant issue.

3. Tell me about a time you predicted a problem and how did you prevent it from escalating?