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?

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How to explain your reason for changing jobs – during the interview

Today we are talking about how to explain your reason for leaving a company, during the interview.

So you have said hello, introduced yourself, gone over your career and then the HR or manager hits you with “Why do you want to leave your current job?” It’s one of the most common interview questions, yet so many people often struggle to answer this well.

It’s one of the most common interview questions, yet so many people often struggle to answer this well. While it is easy to talk negatively about your current or old employers, one wrong step and you could ruin your interview chances. So, What does the interviewer want to find out?

They are looking for 2 things: Red flags, for example “does this person complain a lot” or “will this person quit quickly if we hire him/her”. They are also looking for your motivations. To phrase it differently, they could be asking: “Why are you looking for a new role?” In this context, it is much more focused on your motivation in regards to the positives afforded by a new job, rather than any negativity you may feel about your current company.

Why it’s important to avoid negativity Just because your interviewer is friendly and wants to get to know you, that doesn’t mean they’re actually your friend. Remember you’re trying to impress them, not complain, also they will be on the lookout for any red flags. Spending their precious time explaining how you dislike your company will only show you as someone who likes to complain… and worse, that you might be a flight risk or someone who can’t handle pressure.
Focus on positive reasons for leaving a job Fortunately this is easy to overcome, just be positive! There are plenty of reasons for leaving a job that can be explained in a positive way that shows how you are trying to grow and expand. 
For example, 
“I feel like I’m ready to take on more responsibility but even if I perform well there is no chance in my current company” 
“I want to develop a new skill that isn’t required in my current job” 
“I don’t feel like my current role is challenging me anymore”
“Our market is mature, I’m motivated by new technology”
And try to connect this to what the company you are interviewing at does and the position that you are applying for.
To put this together:
“I want to develop a new skill that isn’t required in my current job, however in this role with your company, I’m excited by the challenge of learning XX”
“Our market is mature, I’m motivated by new technology, I’ve researched your technology, and feel that this has great potential in the market”
Try to make your reason about how you are moving toward a future instead of away from the past. Get specific in describing why this new opportunity is in alignment with your goals.
If you can’t avoid referring to something negative about your previous role, then show how you tried to improve the situation first, to show that you aren’t quitting at the first difficulty.
Of course structuring this answer in the most effective way can be difficult, so if you are considering changing roles or maybe already have an interview coming up that you want support with, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
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How to Answer the 2 Most Common Interview Questions

Tune into our previous Live Video as Andrew Statter answers the most common question in first interviews and the most difficult question at the end of an interview process posted by our followers on LinkedIn 

  1. What are your strengths & weaknesses?
  2. What are your salary expectations?

Watch the video below for his suggestions!

Contact us for more information and support on how to take the next step in your career

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How to highlight your soft skills during an interview

Often people get caught up in focusing on appealing to their experience, technical skills, and success stories in order to make a good impression and secure their career steps.

While checking off all the boxes on those is extremely important – how do employers choose between multiple equally skilled candidates? Naturally, they will take into account a variety of factors including compensation, culture fit as well as their “sixth sense” or a “gut feeling”.

However, often what they call a “gut feeling” is their way of expressing how they interpreted your soft skills.

So let’s first take a step back and go over what exactly “soft skills” are:

Perseverance & Dedication
Problem Solving
Adaptability, Creativity & Problem Solving
Time Management
Communication and Persuasion
Enthusiasm & Passion
Now, what you need to remember is most hiring managers are not going directly to ask you “tell me about your perseverance”… Rather, it is going to be up to you to show them your soft skills in the way you answer their questions.

So, the method to do this is simple yet quite difficult to do.

What – What – How – Result method.

Clearly introduce the problem/challenge that you faced (What)
Share what you did in that situation (What)
Add more information on the steps you took to deliver (How)
Round this answer off with the result of your actions (Result)
As an example:

Question: Tell me about a situation where you had to deal with a difficult client?

Answer: We had a long standing client who wanted to renegotiate our prices lower (What). I met with the client with the intent to keep favourable terms and improve our relationship (What). In this case, I took a consultative approach to ask why they wanted to lower prices, and to understand if they were not satisfied with our service. Through this, could identify that our client would actually be better served by one of our new service lines which addressed his concerns (How). As a result, he signed a new contract with us, for an upgraded premium service (Result).

What soft skills can we see in this answer?

– Perseverance, Problem Solving, Adaptability, Communication and Persuasion

Bottom line: When you are explaining your role, results, situations you figured out, you must talk about “how” you did it, not only the results. The age old idiom “results are everything” is not enough when you have tough competition.

When you have 2 candidates both with the same results, then the deciding factor comes down to the “how”.

It is in this “how” that you show your dedication, your problem solving skills, your adaptability and teamwork, your tenacity.

Over years of recruitment, we have even seen employers choose candidates with lesser results because their soft skills – their reasoning and actions, were much higher. It just hadn’t connected to the results.

So, the takeaway?

Don’t rely on your CV and hard skills to land you the job, and even if you may be lacking in some of the hard skills, don’t give up on applying, as you may be more qualified than you even realize.

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Hire Better & Faster With These 5 Tips

The ideal interview process – speed and engagement

Titan GreenTech’s Andrew Statter has worked with over 100 clients in various industries in Japan. He’s compiled a few of the best practices he’s seen to ensure quality candidate screening, high level of engagement and maximum offer to close ratio.

Hiring manager interviews first

Who’s business is most affected by this hire? Who will be the biggest influencer in the candidate’s decision? Not HR, not the global counterpart, but the person they will see and interact with most once they join the company; the hiring manager. Putting the prospective candidate and the hiring manager together at the very first step increases engagement, and accelerates the hiring process – resulting in higher closing rates. Yes, the hiring manager’s time is valuable – this is why you should be very selective about your agency partners and work exclusively with an agent you can trust to screen and only provide high quality candidates.

Two-way conversation

Overwhelmingly, the temperature of the post interview feedback I receive when the interview was held as a two-way business discussion between professionals is positive. The question, question, question, pressure cooker interview is so old school and needs to be buried along with fax machines and hankos. A savvy interviewer will build a structured conversation, with key topics and questions built in that will answer the key points without the candidate feeling they are in an airport customs interrogation room. 

First interview: Tell me about your experience at XX.Co

Second interview: Tell me about your experience at XX.Co

Third interview: Tell me about your experience at XX.Co

Candidate = bored. Your insight = limited.

Clear roles of each interviewer

DESIGN your interview process. Hiring manager takes point and goes through background in detail, HR nails down the cultural fit and growth path, VP/MD looks big picture at leadership potential, technical stakeholder comes in to dig deep on the hard skill requirements. The angle and line of questioning each time should be different. This will increase candidate engagement, but more importantly, it allows your team to have a wider, deeper view of the candidate’s potential to do the job, and to grow within the organization over a longer term.


2021 is the worst supply vs demand economics I have ever seen for hiring companies. This is very much a candidate driven market (it always is, but now more than ever). From our data, +40% of drop-outs from interview process are not due to culture mismatch, bad interviews – but simply because the process is too slow! Quick tips for speeding up the process: Hiring manager first, HR+senior interview together, pencil in interviews before prior interview feedback, address any critical admin (references, tests) early.

Show the love in the FIRST offer!

The biggest mistake I see: Lowball offers. Somebody decides that they can probably get the candidate for a little less money and thinks ‘this gives us room to negotiate later’. The truth is: the FIRST offer you give the candidate says ‘this is how much we value you’. Even if you increase later, the damage is done – and to regain the feeling of being valued from the candidate, you often have to pay well above what you SHOULD have offered first. 

We train candidates to say to you ‘I’ll consider your best offer’.

You need to come to the table with your best offer – or that candidate will be at your competitor, working against you, when you could have had them working for you.

Titan’s service goes beyond simply introducing candidates. We love to partner with purpose driven companies and help them attract the best talent in the market. To do this, we help design your interview process, build your employer brand and candidate outreach strategy. For the next level in recruitment partnership, get in touch with us at Titan.