STAR Interview Questions Tips And Examples

Become Adept at Fielding STAR Interview Questions

STAR interview questions for the candidates

Preparing for an interview requires a lot of time and effort. Don’t delay preparation if you have an interview coming up. When you know common STAR interview questions, it can really help. So, use this post to recognize when and how to use the STAR model in getting ready for the interview.


A good approach is to practice STAR interview questions. (See typical question list below).  Study our tips and examples until they are second nature to you.

Familiar with the STAR interview method?

This post offers examples of STAR interview questions and answers. Read it to become acquainted with the technique. Then you should be prepared for any interview questions that are used in your interview.

Keep in mind that this type of interviewing style is a way for the interviewer to decide if you are right for the available job.  So you should learn persuasive answers to common STAR interview questions to impress your interviewer.

So, let’s peel the onion…

STAR Interview Method

STAR questions to ACE an interview

Interviewers use the STAR model to ask behavioral questions. In short, your answers to these questions focus on how you behave in real life situations that involve some sort of work problem or issue and how you overcame it.

STAR interview questions about real life situations

STAR Details

STAR is an acronym organized around the following:

S – Situation: Describe the situation you were dealing with or the issue

T – Task:  Discuss what your task involved in that particular situation

A – Action: Detail what actions you took to resolve this issue

R – Results: Talk about the outcome of the situation and your contribution.

This framework is simple to understand after spending time looking at some STAR method examples. The STAR method of interviewing is a great way to keep your responses structured and focused. In an interview you could go off on a tangent or get ‘long-winded’ when answering questions.  But in a STAR interview this is a lot less likely to happen if you follow the framework.

Let’s get into more detail about STAR…

STAR Method Interview

The STAR method, as we mentioned, follows a step-by-step process for answering behavioral interview questions. For instance, here is a common interview question: “Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult issue at work, and what you did to resolve it?

Let’s discuss it step-by-step.


The first step in answering STAR method interview questions is to describe a situation you have been in. In the case of our example question, we will be describing a time in which we faced a difficult issue at work.

In order to do this, you may need to recall a couple of situations where you faced a problem. Do this during your interview preparation so you aren’t stumped during the interview.

Let’s say you worked as a customer service representative. The difficult issue you faced was engaging with an irate customer whose order is a month overdue.

To answer this interview question, you may say something like this,

“When I worked at Company X as a Customer Service Representative, I dealt with hundreds of customers. One day I received a phone call from a customer who was clearly annoyed they had not received their order which was almost a whole month overdue.”


Once you have described the situation you then discuss the task. You tell the interviewer what your responsibility was in this particular situation.

You might follow on with:

“Since my position entailed resolving customer complaints I listened carefully to the customer and addressed their complaint,”

As you can see, your answer doesn’t need much detail in the “Task” section.


Now you can tell the interviewer what actions and steps you took to address the situation for the annoyed customer. Your answer may go like this.

“Before I took down the customer’s details, I expressed my apology for this issue occurring. To solve this problem I entered their details into the company’s system. I confirmed the order details with the customer, like the delivery address, order date, the products that were ordered etc. Apparently, the order had been delivered to the wrong address. I informed the customer, and assured him that we would send out his order again on that very same day.  Also we would add store credit into his account.  This satisfied the customer and regained some good will.”

It is advisable when preparing for a STAR format interview that you use situations that show your skills and experience in a positive light. It is wise to describe an example that is easy to follow and talk about.


Finally, when it comes to STAR interview questions, the last phase of your answer is the “result”. This is your chance to really show the interviewer how you were able to turn a negative situation into a positive one.

You may end the answer by saying:

“The customer was very understanding about the mix up, and really appreciated the store credit. He thanked me for my help, and I expressed gratitude to the customer for being so patient. The customer received the product shortly thereafter, and he even wrote about the helpfulness of the staff at Company X.”

You have now succinctly and successfully answered an interview question by using the STAR format to detail each step! Star interview interviews all follow the same approach.

The main thing you need to do to prepare is take some time to think of real life examples. .  This can be used as your quick prep sheet.  Use a STAR Matrix to write down your answers.  On the other hand, you may be asked a question you haven’t specifically prepared for in-depth. However, if you have thought about the situations you have faced at work, you will be able to think of something a lot faster than if you didn’t.

Write down your interview questions and answers using a STAR matrix

STAR Interview Question Examples

As we mentioned, the STAR method interviewing takes some time to understand and practice. One of the best ways you can prepare for your STAR interview question and answers is to practice lots of different questions.

Here is a list of some of the most common STAR interview questions asked by recruiters in an interview.

  • Describe a time you provided great service to a customer or client.
  • Can you tell me about a time you faced conflict while working as part of a team?
  • With this in mind, how did you resolve this conflict?
  • Conversely, tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with that failure?
  • Describe your most successful project.
  • Tell me about a time you faced a lot of pressure to meet a deadline.
  • Detail a time when you made a mistake and how you dealt with it.
  • Give an example of a goal you met.
  • Can you think of a time you have a disagreement with a manager or supervisor?
  • Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision.
Additional Typical Recruiter Questions
  • Discuss a situation where you had to adapt to your surroundings quickly?
  • Can you give an example of how you typically deal with conflict?
  • Tell me about a time you used logic and good judgement to solve an issue at work?
  • Describe a time when you showed initiative and took the lead on a project.
  • Tell me of a time when you had to deal with an angry or upset co-worker.
  • Give me an example of a time when you successfully delegated work to a colleague.
  • Tell me about a time where you could have handled a situation better?
  • Can you think of a time when you motivated a team towards meeting a goal?
  • Describe a time you had to use coping skills to deal with a difficult or stressful situation.
Next Steps

You can use the above list to practice for common interview questions. These will focus you to get a good start on interview prep and help nail your next interview.

Hopefully by now the STAR interviewing technique is less challenging to you, and you feel better prepared for your interview.

For success in your next interview just review this article and call up your interview preparation, be yourself and remain calm.

Flexicrew Support

If you’re still struggling with getting interviews or call-backs, Flexicrew can help. Use our long experience in creating resumes to help you build a first-rate resume in minutes. Similarly, ask for our help with polishing a cover letter to match your resume.

Get Ready for 2021 with Leadership Principles

Article originally appeared in SmartBrief December 8, 2020 by Denise Lee Yohn

Leadership will be critical in the year to come, as you navigate uncertainty, fierce competition and resource constraints. One way to get your organization ready for these challenges is to establish leadership principles for your organization.

leadership inspires

Leadership principles are like core values specifically for the leaders in your company, and they should be memorable, meaningful, coherent with other expectations and unique.

Now is the time to lay the foundation for a successful year. One way to do that is to establish leadership principles for your organization.

Leadership principles are like core values specifically for the leaders in your company. And they’re more important now than ever before, since leadership ability is critical when operating in times of uncertainty, fierce competition or resource constraints — or all of the above, as the case is for most of us today.

Some companies operate under the premise that everyone is a leader, so they use one set of values for the entire company and provide training or target messaging about them to their leaders. But I recommend developing principles specifically for the leaders in your organization, since their roles and responsibilities require distinct attitudes and behaviors. Plus, explicit leadership principles will facilitate greater alignment among your leaders.

In setting leadership principles, Camille Inge, a consultant at the Neuroleadership Institute, recommends three criteria:

  1. They should be sticky. Meaning, leaders can remember them.
  2. They should be meaningful. Leaders should care about them, presumably because they enable them to do their jobs better.
  3. They should be coherent. Leaders should see that the principles fit with what they’re asked to do. They can’t be disconnected from the goals they’re expected to achieve or the priorities they’ve been given.

I would add one more requirement: Your leadership principles should be unique. If you use generic platitudes, they will be meaningless. Your leadership principles should define the unique ways your leaders should think and act to achieve the unique goals of your organization.

For example, one of Amazon’s leadership principles is “Frugality.” The company explains frugality by saying “Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention.” You can see how this distinctive principle is in part why Amazon is able to offer such low prices.

Or consider how the Marine Corps uses the leadership principle “Employ your command within its capabilities.” They elaborate on this with the instructions, “Have a thorough knowledge of the tactical and technical capabilities. Seek out challenging tasks for your unit, but be sure that your unit is prepared.” It’s a unique principle for a unique organization.

I also like the Marine Corps example because it shows how your leadership principles need to be fleshed out with definitions and examples. At the Neuroleadership Institute’s 2020 summit, a representative from a public utility company explained how her organization made their leadership principles explicit.

For the principle “Create clarity,” they provided a definition – “Ensure shared understanding of what needs to be achieved.” And they included a sample behavior: “Before I talk about the ‘what’ of a change or task, I will create clarity by starting with the ‘why.’”

Once you’ve articulated your leadership principles, you should provide training on them just as you would for leadership skills. And make them part of your performance review and planning process for leaders, so they have real impact.

Now is the perfect time to get ready for 2021 with leadership principles.


Federal Coronavirus Relief Packages and Stimulus

As of January 11, 2021, another round of Coronavirus relief and economic stimulus has been launched and is now ready for applications.


Read more about what’s here.

Last week there were several new changes added that could affect you. Here’s what’s different this time around:

Download the application here.

Timeline of when you can apply:
  • Community financial institutions will be able to offer PPP Loans to first-time borrowers today, January 11, 2021.
  • Then, on Wednesday (January 13th), lenders can offer PPP loans to second-time borrowers.
  • The PPP program will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter.

Loans probably won’t be approved same-day this time around, as lenders are taking more caution to approve lending and avoid fraud. This means that same-day approvals will be very unlikely this time around.

This additional support was built for small businesses. Who is eligible for what, exactly? Those businesses who:

  • Have less than 300 employees per physical location.
  • Business that have suffered revenue declines of more than 25 percent in any given quarter this year compared to last year
  • Qualified businesses can receive loans are up to $2 million
Minority-owned businesses and business located in a Low to Moderate Income Areas (LMI) are eligible for more support.
  • A low-income person is someone whose total annual income is 50% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) or average income for the community where they live.
  • LMI geographies can be defined in many ways – city borders, county lines and zip codes. The most precise way to look at a geography is by using census tracts.
  • A low-income census tract is an area where more than half of the people living in that census tract meet the definition of low-income.
  • If you’re unsure about your area, here’s the government’s dataset and map service to figure it out.

Additionally, there is more support set aside for certain types of businesses. You’re eligible for these exclusive funds if you:

  • Have 10 or fewer employees
  • Are a minority that owns a business
  • Are located in a LMI area
  • Run a small community bank, credit union, or small agricultural credit institution
  • Run a mission based-community lender like community development financial institutions (CDFIs), certified development companies (CDCs), minority depository institutions (MDIs), and SBA Microloan intermediaries.

If you received money from the first round of PPP funding, you must have used or will use the full amount of your first PPP, and you need to demonstrate at least a 25 percent reduction in gross receipts in the first, second, or third quarter of 2020 relative to the same 2019 quarter.

If you have an existing PPP loan, you can request an increase. If these new interim rules changed your loan calculations, you’re permitted to work with lenders to increase the loan amount, regardless of whether you’ve received it all or not. Reach out to your SBA banker about increasing your PPP loans.

Forgivable Expenses

“Forgivable” expenses have been expanded beyond payroll-related expenses, utilities and rent. They now include:

  • Operating costs, such as payment for any software, cloud computing, and other human resources and accounting needs.
  • Property damage costs, related to property damage due to public disturbances that occurred during 2020 that are not covered by your insurance.
  • Any supplier costs, such as a contract, purchase order, or order for goods expenditure before taking the loan that was essential to your day-to-day operation. Perishable goods, however, can be forgiven before or doing the life of a loan.
  • Worker protection costs, such as personal protective equipment and adaptive investments to help you comply with federal health and safety guidelines

Depending on your industry, you can save up to $54,000 in principal and interest payments on a new loan or $72,000 on an existing loan. Hard hit industries such as food service, arts, entertainment and recreation, educational, laundry, and personal care services are eligible for 8 months of forgiveness principal and interest payments and are capped at $9,000 a month. For those loans approved before September 20 2021, your first 6 months of principal and interest up to $9,000 a month is also forgiven.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

The Employee Retention Tax Credit   has been expanded and extended into July 1, 2021.

  • The credit rate was increased from 50% to 70% of qualified wages.
  • Eligibility for the credit was extended by reducing the required year-over-year gross receipts decline from 50% to 20% and provides a safe harbor that allows employers to use prior quarter gross receipts to determine eligibility.
  • The limit on per-employee creditable wages was increased from $10,000 for the year to $10,000 for each quarter.
  • For more information on the Employee Retention Credit system, read here.

In addition, you can take advantage of the Employee Retention Tax Credit through 2026 if you hire those on welfare or veterans.

Social Security Taxes Deferred

Deferral of social security taxes has been extended through March 2021 and you can pay them as late as the end of 2022. While extending these payments doesn’t relieve you of your obligations, it does provide an ‘interest-free loan’ from the government.

The government will give a tax benefit for supporting restaurants. You can now deduct 100% of business meals that take place at a restaurant in 2021 and 2022.

Nonprofits can get more donations. Make sure you include this in your marketing!! The “above-the-line” charitable contribution has been extended through 2021 at $600 for those married filing jointly and $300 for others. This means taxpayers will be able to take the standard deduction and deduct up to $600 in charitable giving when calculating their taxable income. For the 2020 tax year, taxpayers could deduct up to $300 above-the-line for charitable contributions.

For sole proprietors – you can apply for this loan as well! However, how you calculate your loan and its forgiveness differ from a small business with employees.

You can calculate your loan by dividing last year’s profit by 12 to get a monthly average net profit. Multiply that figure by 2.5 to determine the amount of your PPP loan.

Since sole proprietors don’t have payroll, 2.5 months’ worth of new profit is automatically forgiven, without having to actually spend it on anything. This is called “Owner Compensation Replacement” – read the official text here.

Here is the PPP Forgiveness Application for sole proprietors.

Disclaimer: This publication is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal or tax advice. Financial, bookkeeping, tax filing and legal advice should always be obtained from qualified professionals for any business conditions or loans or grants associated with them. Every possible effort has been made in preparing and researching this material. We make no warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability of its contents or any omissions.

How Coronavirus Could Alter Work Practices Permanently

What’s the Pandemic Work Situation?

This post looks at what we see the current workplace situation and the distinct trend towards remote work.

The WHO officially declared the Coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak to be a global pandemic, and the U.S. acknowledged the pandemic as a national emergency . We’re all in the midst of this profoundly distressing setting, and we sense that everyone is in a state of apprehension waiting to see what will occur next.

Major companies have been allowing or directing employees to work-from-home. Bloomberg stated: “We’re about to embark on the world’s largest work from home experiment.” Giant corporations have sent out memos to their millions of employees across thousands of offices to notify them to work outside the workplace, while other large firms have mandated operating remote.

remote worker

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant distress, and we at Flexicrew want to assert that we are not trying to make any declarations that are out of our depth in this article. What we are trying to accomplish is to discuss the possible long-term effect that these circumstances can have on workplaces, teams, leadership, employees and temporary workers – something that we’re genuinely obsessive about.  Our objective is to point out a new workplace direction that employers should consider in future plans

COVID-19 Drives Trend toward Work-At-Home

Authorities are forecasting Coronavirus pandemic may ignite a wide-ranging change from today’s economy and workforce. Stocks for businesses like Zoom that hav a prtial counter to ‘shelter-in-place’ have been up by 50% in 2020.  Professionals like Elspeth Cheung, global valuation director at consultancy Kantar Millward Brown, said: “this is going to have a long term impact on how we work on a virtual basis.…once we develop this habit of living our lives online that will change our long term consumption habits.”

Experts See The Long-Term Transition To Remote Work

In truth, the pandemic may inspire an enduring change in the way and location where labor is accomplished in companies. Another expert, Erin Kelly (a professor of work and organization studies at MIT), suggests that despite being a frightful public health danger, the COVID-19 pandemic could possibly “give us a chance to rethink how work is organized,” and that it could be the “nudge that companies need to let go of outdated policies and practices.” This dreadful outbreak may make working remote the new normal in business.

With the present epidemic, though, having employees work out of the office has at this point become appealing, and for many companies, compulsory.

We conclude that the key matter is – could working from home become a new routine for employees?

The progress of remote work has escalated in recent years, even before the pressure of COVID-19. With this fact as background, some estimates or forecasts indicate that 73% of all teams in the workforce will have remote workers by 2028.

It appears that working from home gives eligible workers more autonomy yet doesn’t impact business performance.  It also leads to reduced anxiety, more satisfaction, and improved retention of workers. When employees have the opportunity to work from home, burnout is down, and job satisfaction is up.

All positives… 

Remote work therefore, for convincingly tangible rationale, is swiftly becoming a broadly – acknowledged standard in present organizations, and it gives us the impression that Coronavirus pandemic could possibly further hasten the speed with which this occurs.

Flexicrew acknowledges this possibility and concludes it’s essential for our clients and other employers to challenge themselves to make recovery and post-recovery planning and strategies that include remote work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Flexicrew, we are preparing ourselves to efficiently find, recruit, and onboard qualified remote workers in preparation for a future sea-change and to best be able to support and advise our clients.  Call us for advice or recruiting quality remote workers.

Treasury Issues New FAQs on PPP Loan Forgiveness: What You Need to Know

On August 4, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, issued new guidance through Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) aimed at helping Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers navigate maximum loan forgiveness.

Practically every lobbying group in Washington is urging Congress to allow borrowers of loans under $150,000 to simply self-certify, or “check the box,” they have used the loan money as intended, and allow borrowers to receive a second PPP loan if they can show year-over-year losses in revenue somewhere between 20% and 50%.

Most PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply to have their loans forgiven and, in essence, converted into grants. Borrowers need to apply through their lenders using SBA forms or a lender provided application. The lender will have 60 days to review and approve the application before submitting it to the SBA, which will have 90 days to review it. The SBA may ask the lender or the borrower for additional information before making a determination to forgive all or a portion of the loan.

As a service to Flexicrew clients we are reprinting this news provided by Neil Hare originally released by AllBusiness.comPPP-loan-forgiveness sign

The following are the key questions and answers boiled down from the 10 pages of Treasury FAQs:

1.How do I submit my PPP loan forgiveness application?

In an effort to facilitate the process for sole proprietors, independent contractors, or self-employed individuals with no employees, the guidance explains you can use SBA Form 3508EZ or the lender equivalent. While Form 3508EZ is not quite a “check the box” scenario, it is far easier to understand than SBA Form 3508, which would likely require the assistance of a lawyer or CPA. The assumption here is that no employees, other than the owner, were used to calculate the amount of the loan on the front-end application.

The PPP FAQs also clarifies that all PPP lenders may accept scanned copies of signed loan forgiveness applications and documents containing the information and certifications required by SBA forms 3508, 3508EZ, or a lender equivalent. This avoids the need for any in-person meetings between borrowers and lenders.

2. Will I be responsible for payments of principal and interest while I wait for the PPP loan forgiveness decision?

The FAQs address a common question as to whether borrowers need to make payments while they await a forgiveness decision and will they be responsible for interest accrued during this period. The guidance makes clear the answer is no. As long as you submit a loan forgiveness application within ten months of the covered period and the loan is fully forgiven, you will not be responsible for any payments.

If, however, all or part of the loan is not forgiven, you will be responsible for repayment of that portion over the term of loan, now up to five years. And, yes, the interest accrued from the time of the disbursement of the loan on the amount not forgiven will also need to be repaid in this scenario. Your lender will notify you if a portion of your loan and interest needs repayment and when the first payment is due.

3. How do I determine which payroll cycles are included in PPP loan forgiveness?

Many borrowers remain confused about when payroll costs need to occur to count towards loan forgiveness. The short answer is if payroll is incurred during the covered period, but your usual payroll run occurs after the end of the covered period, it will still count towards forgiveness.

The FAQs provide the following example:

A borrower received its loan before June 5, 2020, and elects to use a 24-week Covered Period. The borrower’s Covered Period runs from Monday, April 20 through Sunday, October 4. The borrower has a biweekly payroll cycle, with a pay period ending on Sunday, October 4. However, the borrower will not make the corresponding payroll payment until the next regular payroll date of Friday, October 9. Under these circumstances, the borrower incurred payroll costs during the Covered Period and may seek loan forgiveness for the payroll costs paid on October 9 because the cost was incurred during the Covered Period and payment was made on the first regular payroll date after the Covered Period.

Likewise, on the front end of the loan, if payroll expenses were incurred prior to the covered period, yet paid during the covered period, they are forgivable.

You should note that under no circumstances can the covered period extend beyond December 31, 2020.

4. How do I calculate employee compensation for PPP loan forgiveness?

The next big question is what employee compensation is included in the forgiveness equation.

First, the guidance clarifies that when calculating cash compensation, borrowers should use the gross amount before deductions for taxes, employee benefits payments, and similar payments.

Second, payroll compensation includes tips, commissions, bonuses, and hazard pay, but the maximum forgivable compensation is $100,000. The key takeaway here is the issue of hazard pay, which allows employers to additionally compensate employees during the COVID shutdown and have that compensation forgiven.

Third, expenses for group health care benefits paid by the employer, and not the employees, are considered payroll costs that are eligible for loan forgiveness. Again, payments for these benefits must occur during the covered period for forgiveness.

Fourth, employer contributions for employee retirement benefits that are paid or incurred by the borrower during the covered period are considered compensation and eligible for forgiveness. Retirement plan payments deducted from payroll or paid directly by employees are not forgivable.

5. How do I calculate the loan forgivable amount for compensation if I’m a sole proprietor, an independent contractor, or self-employed?

Despite the extension of the covered period from eight to up to 24 weeks, there remain questions on how to calculate the forgivable amount for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals without employees.

Originally, forgivable compensation for this category was capped at $15,385. However, if the loan amount was calculated on $100,000 compensation, the borrower would have received $20,833. (This number is derived from a monthly compensation of $8,333.33 multiplied by 2.5, as proscribed for determining the loan amount.) The difference between $20,833 and $15,385 left a gap of roughly $5,000, and for many solopreneurs with little overhead, a rather sizeable loan amount to repay.

Recent regulations have fixed this issue by making the cap $20,833. So, for most borrowers, if the covered period is extended beyond eight weeks, they would easily meet this threshold without needing to include non-payroll expenses in the equation and have their entire loan forgiven.

The new guidance does stipulate that for borrowers who received loans prior to June 5, and who use an eight-week covered period, the cap will remain $15,835. Borrowers are also eligible for loan forgiveness for payments for employer state and local taxes paid by the borrowers and assessed on compensation, for employer contributions for employee health insurance, and for employer retirement contributions to employee retirement plans.

6. How do I calculate non-payroll costs for PPP forgiveness?

The PPP FAQs further explain how to calculate non-payroll costs for forgiveness. Like payroll, covered expenses for rent, mortgages, utilities, and interest on loans incurred prior to the covered period, yet paid during it, are forgivable. Likewise, if these expenses are incurred during the covered period, but the next payment cycle occurs after the covered period, those too will be forgivable.

Many borrowers have wondered if interest on unsecured credit was eligible for loan forgiveness. The guidance states that while payments of interest on business mortgages on real or personal property, such as an auto loan, are eligible for loan forgiveness, interest on unsecured credit is not eligible for loan forgiveness because the loan is not secured by real or personal property.

While interest on unsecured credit incurred before February 15, 2020, is a permissible use of PPP loan proceeds, this expense is not eligible for forgiveness.

7. How do I calculate PPP forgiveness if I had a reduction in workforce or wages?

The guidance attempts to address the complicated issue of having forgiveness reduced due to reduction in head count or the inability to rehire or hire new employees. As the PPP program was intended to keep workers on the payroll, originally you would be responsible for a reduction in payroll in excess of 25% of the loan amount. Recent regulations have changed this and the FAQs reiterate the following:

In calculating its loan forgiveness amount, a borrower may exclude any reduction in FTE employees if the borrower is able to document in good faith the following: (1) an inability to rehire individuals who were employees of the borrower on February 15, 2020; and (2) an inability to hire similarly qualified individuals for unfilled positions on or before December 31, 2020.

Further, you are required to inform your state unemployment insurance office if an employee rejects a rehire offer within 30 days of the rejection. All offers to rehire should be in writing and, if possible, written rejections of offers should also be in writing. Attempts to hire new employees should be in writing as well.

Finally, if you reduce the compensation of existing employees in excess of 25% of their salary, the amount over 25% will not be forgiven. This includes both salaried employees and hourly workers. For purposes of calculating the loan forgiveness reduction required for salary/hourly wage reductions in excess of 25%, you should only include the decrease in wages, and not include other forms of compensation, such as health care or retirement contributions.


While the new guidance sheds some light on the PPP forgiveness process, it does remain more complicated than is necessary. For the sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed with no employees, the process and documentation should be straightforward, while the level of detail required will increase with the number of employees a business maintains.

Most payroll providers will issue reports in line with banks’ requirements, which should also streamline the process. The banks and the government want to forgive the maximum amount of loans possible, which will bring the greatest benefit to the economy; they are just requiring some bureaucratic hurdles to make that possible.


Be sure to speak with your legal and tax professionals regarding the specifics on any CARES question and any potential legal tax issues facing your business.  Flexicrew provides this information as a public service, but it should not be construed as either legal or tax advice.

Flexicrew can assist you with workforce planning and recruiting the quality talent that you need in this pandemic business uncertainty.  Contact one of our workforce professionals Today!

The Most Important Interview Question of All Time

A good interview sets the stage for a first-rate recruiting outcome. Creating a consistent format and set of interview questions or an interview checklist improves your interview skills, creates a structure for consistency for each interview, and makes certain that candidates feel positively about the interview.  And most important of all, essentially ensures you elicit enough relevant information to hire the right candidate.

Conduct an effective job interview with the following key recommendations.

Published by Lou Adler on LinkedIn

Over the past 30+ years as a recruiter, I can confirm that at least two-thirds of my hiring manager clients weren’t very good at interviewing. Yet, over 90% thought they were. To overcome this situation, it was critical that I became a better interviewer than them, to prove with evidence that the candidate was competent and motivated to do the work required. This led me on a quest for the single best interview question that would allow me to overcome any incorrect assessment with actual evidence.

interviewing questions

It took about 10 years of trial and error. Then I finally hit upon one question that did it all.

Here’s it is:

What single project or task would you consider the most significant accomplishment in your career so far?

To see why this simple question is so powerful, imagine you’re the candidate and I’ve just asked you this question. What accomplishment would you select? Then imagine over the course of the next 15-20 minutes I dug deeper and asked you about the following. How would you respond?

Peeling the Onion – Detailed Interview Questions
  • Can you give me a detailed overview of the accomplishment?
  • Tell me about the company, your title, your position, your role, and the team involved.
  • What were the actual results achieved?
  • When did it take place and how long did the project take.
  • Why you were chosen?
  • What were the 3-4 biggest challenges you faced and how did you deal with them?
  • Where did you go the extra mile or take the initiative?
  • Walk me through the plan, how you managed to it, and if it was successful.
  • Describe the environment and resources.
  • Describe your manager’s style and whether you liked it or not.
  • Describe the technical skills needed to accomplish the objective and how they were used.
  • Some of the biggest mistakes you made.
  • Aspects of the project you truly enjoyed.
  • Aspects you didn’t especially care about and how you handled them.
  • How you managed and influenced others, with lots of examples.
  • How you were managed, coached, and influenced by others, with lots of examples.
  • How you changed and grew as a person.
  • What you would do differently if you could do it again.
  • What type of formal recognition did you receive?
Comparing Candidate Accomplishment  to Job Requirements

If the accomplishment was comparable to a real job requirement, and if the answer was detailed enough to take 15-20 minutes to complete, consider how much an interviewer would know about your ability to handle the job. The insight gained from this type of question would be remarkable. But the real issue is not the question, this is just a setup. The details underlying the accomplishment are what’s most important. This is what real interviewing is about – getting into the details and comparing what the candidate has accomplished in comparison to what needs to be accomplished. Don’t waste time asking a lot of clever questions during the interview, or box checking their skills and experiences: spend time learning to get the answer to just this one question.

Outcome -More Thorough and Focused Interview

As you’ll discover you’ll then have all of the information to prove to other interviewers that their assessments were biased, superficial, emotional, too technical, intuitive or based on whether they liked the candidate or not. Getting the answer to this one question is all it takes.

Get in touch with Flexicrew to find an accomplished candidate that matches your next job opening requirements.

Desperately Looking For Employment Read This Job Advice

Introduction Looking for Employment

Many people find the job search process to be frustrating. There are lots of things you can do to help you find the job you need and get hired more quickly. The tips in this article can really help you reduce your anxiety and find that job.

Read on…

Man looking for a job

Preparing Your Job Search

Spread the word among all your friends and family that you are looking for a job – many companies value employee referrals highly, so ask your acquaintances if they know of any potential job openings that you might be a candidate for. Many people will be glad to help if they can!

Always make sure that the job that you are applying for is feasible from a location perspective. Often, you may want to just take the first job that is available to you, but you do not want to drive 100 miles to get to and from your job each day.

Showcase your writing skills and creative abilities with a comprehensive, interesting portfolio. Even if you are not pursuing a career in writing or marketing, communication skills are critical in any profession. Your portfolio should include a variety of written documents, such as press releases, business reports, research findings and executive summaries. These demonstrate that you can communicate with others in a professional environment and formal context.

Make a name for yourself! In a job market bleeding qualified candidates, self-branding goes a long way in helping you to stand out from the crowd. Self-promotion and developing your personal brand is not a matter of ego. Instead, it is an opportunity to showcase your best ideas, initiative and creativity. Never exaggerate or falsify your best attributes, but do not be afraid to set your modesty aside.

Looking for Employment – The Job Interview

Do your best to maintain eye contact during your job interview with the interviewer. Do not try to stare them down, but keep eye contact as much as possible. This shows the interviewer that you are paying attention and that you show interest in what they have to say. Practice with a friend before your interview and keep eye contact in mind.

When answering questions on an interview, stay as direct and concise as possible. The interviewer will know if you do not understand something so try not to beat around the bush. Clear answers will show that you know what you are talking about and not making up answers on the spot.

Remember that when you are at a job interview that you need to keep everything you say positive. Never speak badly of previous employers. This never reflects badly on your previous employer, it only reflects badly on you. If you do not have something good to say, then try to switch the subject.


Now that you’ve read this article, you should have much more of a handle on how to find a job. Practice the tips you just read until you feel confident about them. You are sure to wow interviewers and land the job of your dreams if you follow our advice.

For additional job advice, check out Flexicrew website today!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

Warm Wishes

We want to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.


We recognize we have so many things to be thankful for this year.  We’re thankful for our clients and field employees and staff.  We are thankful to our partners and vendors who provide us with good advice and business options helping our company prosper.  I certainly am grateful to my family who provide me support and encouragement.


This has been a great year for Flexicrew.  We have continued to grow and add to our team.  We’ve added 3 new branches focused on placing skilled and unskilled talent.  We were named for the sixth year to the “Best of Staffing”—a national award voted on by our clients.  Our Flexicrew Technical Services company was ranked the fastest growing company in the state of Louisiana by INC.

Values and Mission

Most importantly, we have continued to live by our guiding principles.  Our mission is straightforward and our values are clear. We provide: “Fast and flexible quality recruitment and employee placement.  We believe in managing our business to create net positive impact on our employees, clients and communities.”

It is both a pleasure and an honor to watch our Flexicrew companies succeed as we help others achieve their goals.


Everyone has a personal definition of family–some families we are born into, some family we choose.  We’re glad that you’ve chosen to be part of the Flexicrew family.  As a family business, we feel a connection and responsibility to each of you and every member of our extended family.

We look forward to continuing to work with you in 2020 and beyond.

Best wishes to you and your family!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Part 2 – More Manager Behaviors that Illustrate Effective Leadership

In Part 2 of this article we review a second set of 5 manager behaviors to determine if a manager reflects effective technical leadership.

We see that manager behavior includes all the tasks accomplished by a single individual (in smaller firms) or several persons (in larger organizations). The objectives of managing are to plan and control their subordinates activities. That leads to the achievement of objectives not possible if those subordinates acted independently.

Effective Technical Leadership in Manager Behaviors

In general, there are five overall manager behaviors that come into play in managing:

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Staffing
  • Leading
  • Controlling

So, managers will engage in most or all the above functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling to one extent or another. How much of each element depends on the organization. The specific needs, methods and practices of the organization, and the level at which the manager sits will determine the extent of each. I.e., lower level managers, might not have too much input on staffing, if this is done further up the chain of command. But, a consistent theme through all levels of management is that managers are required to attain results or outcomes through subordinates.

Let’s review managerial behaviors 6 – 10 to see if your team has effective technical leadership:

6. Workers Look to You for Advice  

Are you familiar to your teammates as a subject-matter expert (SME)? Do they frequently chat with you for advice or a solution? If so, you are a strong candidate for leadership. People come to you for your thinking since you give them answers that are well-thought out, timely and honest. This shows that you grasp how your company works and what you need and your team needs to do.  With a sufficient amount of experience and knowledge you become a terrific resource. People often come to you for solutions to the challenges they can’t figure out.   You need to develop a following among your teammates. Since you are a ‘go-to’ person, your willingness to aid co-workers will attract them to you naturally. 

7. Workers Outside Your Team Recognize You as a Good Manager  

Other groups of people – even your customers perceive you as a great manager. You’re knowledgeable and you exhibit a good grasp of the company’s business. You do that not only in your core responsibility but also beyond. This will give you a broad perspective on the way things work. And also a feel for how they should be working.  When you’re in a leadership position, you need to have a close grasp of what is happening in the market and the potential challenges that are going to confront your company. With a good amount of knowledge of on-the-ground realities, you can ride your company through during challenging times to the top. 

8. Newer and Better Ways of Running the Business  

Your recommendations can be successful for the company by devising work flows that lead to improvements in the use of resources and time. Now that is a great quality that gets you a promotion to the ‘leader of the pack.’ New ideas and processes are vital to improved efficiency for the company. People in leadership have responsibility to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of company resources. Making the workforce and processes more productive will reduce the time to produce a given volume of output. It will also reduce the time it takes you to make the jump up the ladder.

9. Concentrates When Listening 

If you attentively listen to your coworkers and teammates and help them resolve roadblocks, it adds to your ‘cred” and to your odds of enter ping manager ranks.   Fellow workers approach you to discuss anything they are dissatisfied with. You don’t feel it boring or ‘none of my business’ while you were listening to them. You know you don’t come across as not having time to speak to your employees or coworkers when they come to you with their problem that needs solving. 

You need to be a good listener to exhibit effective leadership. Being a good listener convinces other managers that you care for your team and that you are empathetic.   Besides, it will keep you engaged.

When your employees understand that you care for them they will be ready to work harder and deliver beyond expectations.   Employees are generally used to returning the favor by a leader who cares for them. In this regard, they consider who the leader is, what they bring, how they are going to benefit from them and how they are going to benefit the company as a whole.   Employees look for leaders who take care of them and who are reliable at both the workplace and outside.  

Empathetic leaders listen with patience. This manager behavior brings them respect. When you listen frequently you tend to become a compassionate leader.   Leaders in an elevated position will be extremely mindful of what is going on around them. How? They listen! They use both verbal and non-verbal cues.   When leaders listen, they are not sensing what is being said, they engage in dialogue to get the real story. 

10. Comfortable When Others Attain the Next Level 

If you see everyone’s potential, you encourage them to take steps to be promoted to the next level.   Significantly, when you are in a leadership position, you need to take care of everyone in the team. It is not just the most talented employee that you need to consider.   Make everyone perform at the highest efficiency level so that it will make each person themselves a better performer and it will also help the company doing the job at a higher efficiency.     

About Flexicrew

Flexicrew , founded in 2008, focusing on fast and flexible staffing solutions. Flexicrew uses technology and industry best-practices to deliver the most talented and qualified workers–skilled and entry level to employers within most major industries. Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN with current plans to continue expanding in the TN, GA, NC, and north AL markets.

Ask the Flexpert…What’s 1 Quick Way to Boost Employee Productivity?

Boost employee productivity with SMART goals.

To boost individual job performance or to achieve ongoing project milestones, create targets which are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely).  SMART goals are vital  to boost employee productivity and achieve  quality, timely and successful outcomes.

SMART goals are intended to structure and guide an assignment or an entire project.  You can pinpoint just what you want to achieve with this technique. This method is really helpful in guiding workers when they set personal targets that support the overall business mission.

Here’s an overview of the 5 elements of the SMART tool.  They will help improve your chances of accomplishing a goal and boost employee productivity.

Boost Employee Productivity with SMART Goals

1. Specific (S)

When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to accomplish. This is the summary statement for your goal. It is not an in-depth index of how you’re going to meet a goal, but it should answer these questions:

  • Who – who needs to be involved to achieve the goal
  • What – your end game – what you are trying to accomplish
  • Where – identify if there’s a relevant location
  • When – at least set a time frame for interim results and final completion
  • Why – the reason for the goal
  • Which – any related obstacles or requirements

2. Measurable (M)

Define metrics you will use to determine progress and eventual success

3. Achievable (A)

Concentrate on the goal and why you want to reach it.  Realize its importance to you or your business.  Recognize the resources needed to achieve the goal and how to get them.

4. Relevant (R)

Focus on assignments or outcomes aligned with broader business objectives.

5. Timely (T)

Providing time constraints should create a sense of urgency.  Set dates when goals must get done.  Be realistic, with a little stretch.

A target date or timeframe for deliverables is necessary.  Lacking a deadline goal leads to uncertainty and hesitation.  And it causes workers to put off completing important tasks.

Need help setting the SMART goals for your workforce?

Flexicrew can help provide the clarity and focus required to boost employee productivity and get the most out of your workforce efforts.