Thursday, June 30, 2011

Know Your Story and Practice Telling It!
It’s no secret that today’s job market is an extremely competitive one. A four year degree is now the norm so what else can you offer to a potential employer? One of the biggest downfalls that I observe every day from job seekers is they don’t know their own story. You can no longer rely on your college degree to get you through the first step of a company’s interview process. You must stand out and one way to effectively do this is to know your story and be able to convey that story to someone that doesn’t know you. Think of “your story” as being your own personalized elevator speech. If you were to get on an elevator with the CEO of your dream company to work for what would you say to sell yourself?

The first step in preparing to tell your story to a hiring manager is to research and analyze some commonly asked interview questions. If you have already had the opportunity to participate in a few interviews you should begin to recognize a common trend in interview questions. Of course companies, recruiters, and hiring managers will have different personalities and different styles so naturally interview questions will be worded differently but if you peel back the layers and get down to the core of each question you should be able to find that common theme in the question.

As an example, to help get the wheels turning, you might recognize questions like “Tell me about yourself?”, “What makes you unique?”, “What are your three biggest weaknesses”, or “Tell me about your biggest failure?”

Ultimately, if you come to an interview and are not prepared to answer commonly asked interview questions and are not able to tell your story, you will inevitably bomb the interview. Below are some simple tips to help you get prepared for an interview and hopefully help you land your dream job!

1. Research and write down the top 50 most frequently asked questions.

2. Spend time answering each question in the same manner in which you would deliver it in an interview.

3. When answering questions think about how your response will or could be perceived from a potential hiring manager. Simply put, put yourself in their shoes. If you were going to interview and potentially hire “you” what would be an appropriate response.

4. Use real time examples from your personal life or past work experience. Avoid hypotheticals.

5. Practice telling your story and answering interview questions out loud and in front of a mirror and repeat until you feel comfortable.

6. Last but not least, this may sound a little strange but have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview with you. Assuming you have completed step #5 you should be able to fluently, without stuttering, looking at notes, or using that pesky “uh” filler word be able to give a great interview that genuinely describes who you are and what you can offer to a potential employer.

Share your story with Bryce at

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Definition of a Sale: The Transfer of Enthusiasm

As someone transferring from a position in sales into to the recruiting world, I have found something that seems to remain consistent in both fields. While I was in sales training, we referred to the definition of a sale as the transfer of enthusiasm. If one expresses a lot of passion and excitement for a product or service to another, it is almost certain that the other person will begin to show interest or grow excitement for the same. So why not use this method in an interview? Energy and positivity can be easily displayed whether your interview is on the phone or face-to-face. Here are some helpful tips on how to transfer your enthusiasm!

• Smile! A smile can be heard over the phone, be welcoming and set a good mood for the environment when face-to-face.

• Show your interest! Do a little research about the product or service and let the interviewer know that you would be excited to be a part of their overall purpose and help reach their company’s goals.

• Be prepared! Don’t wake up two minutes before answering the phone or speed down the highway on your way to the meeting place. Make sure you give yourself enough time to wake up, build some energy and refrain from being boring or monotone.

• Ask questions! The more questions you ask, the more interested you appear.

• Be yourself! There is never a time and place where you should be ashamed of your strengths. This is your time to shine! Let them know why you are great for the position. Sell yourself!

• Build rapport! It never hurts to make a friend! Consumers feel more comfortable buying from a friend than a stranger, so I’m sure the same would work in an interview. If the meeting is in their office, look around and ask about their kids or common theme, who knows you make have something in common! This will help the interviewer remember you and associate you with that topic of conversation outside typical interview questions.

Looking for more enthusisatic tips?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Advice for College Graduates

Finding a job right out of college can be a long and stressful process if you are not prepared. With the unemployment rate just over 9%, recent college graduates find themselves in a unique position because they have an immense amount of competition compared to college graduates from previous years. In addition, candidates with more experience are currently willing to take jobs that offer lower salaries which is very appealing to hiring managers.

But don’t worry! If you are prepared and enthusiastic you can score yourself a great job. Below I have listed some tips that will help you land your first job out of college.

1) Get a mentor! This person does not have to be someone with experience in recruiting or in Human Resources. This is a person that is going to help you identify traits, characteristics and strengths that may not be so obvious to you. Even if have had jobs that may not seem to have given you that much experience, a mentor can help you breakdown past jobs and reveal abilities that can be relevant in the job that you are applying for.

2) Use the internet to your advantage: Many people use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook but only a small percentage of job seekers use networks like LinkedIn that actually give them resources, job postings and tips to finding new jobs. and are great websites, but think about it, everyone is using those websites in their job hunt. Get creative when looking for a job and use networks that are not so obvious.

3) Use experience from Collegiate Clubs and Organizations, Fraternities or Sororities: These organizations can provide you with much more than just great memories during college. Don’t forget to list on your resume any responsibilities, charities, negotiations, and positions that you may have been a part of in these organizations.

4) Don’t limit your network: Friends, parents, grandparents and friends are great resources to use during your job search. Referrals are great ways for employers to notice you.

5) Use Career Services at your university: In most cases, career services has good relationships with employers that are very involved with that university. They can tell you of who is hiring and what positions they are looking to fill.

6) Don’t forget the obvious: When you are interviewing make sure that you know your resume like the back of your hand! This will ensure that you tell the interviewer everything they need to know about you and it shows them that you are taking their time seriously. Also, make sure that you are well dressed and polished. Typically, a nice suit will do the trick! Lastly, stay positive! Every interview is a new opportunity so go in with high energy and not with the feel of defeat.

Walking across the stage soon?