Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Closer is Always Closer!

Whether you are new to the job market or are a 30 year veteran, having some anxiety and a feeling of uncertainty are common emotions that most people go through after an interview. Naturally, someone who is more seasoned in the work force has had this experience and gone through the series of mixed emotions more times than someone who is, say, straight out of college.

However, more tenured employees don’t necessarily experience a lesser degree of anxiety or a lesser feeling of uncertainty. In fact, it might actually be the opposite. As you get older you may feel more and more lost in today’s fast-paced, high tech world that we live in. After all, today’s environment is ever changing and it can happen in the blink of an eye.

What if I told you there is a formula to increasing your chances of landing your next job, whether it is your first job out of college or the dream job you have been chasing for 30 years? I’m guessing that I’ve caught your attention right about now! The following formula I’m about to discuss will only increase your chances, so please don’t assume you can show up to the interview with your step-brother in matching tuxedos and believe you will for certain receive a job offer.

You have probably read a number of articles with tips and strategies on how to win in an interview. What many people don’t realize is that closing an interview is just as important as the interview itself. In sales, success is often measured by your ability to close the sale. An interview is no different; you are selling yourself, your own personal brand, and qualifications as to how they relate to the position. Now let’s get into the formula and discuss how to make that last great impression before you leave, because after all, the closer is always closer. The first step in the formula following the interview is to *show that you’re still interested. You want to leave no doubt in the interviewer’s mind about where you stand and you want to make sure to have a clear idea of what will happen next in the hiring process. A great phrase to use to ensure that you convey the above message is, “It has been a pleasure meeting with you and I’ve enjoyed our conversation. I would like for you to know that I am very interested in contributing to this company and hope you select me. I understand you have other applicants to consider, when are you anticipating on making a hiring decision and how soon will you notify candidates of your decision?”

Next, you will want to *set the stage for further contact. Ask the recruiter or hiring manager about their preferred method of contact to follow-up. Once you determine their preferred method of contact, be sure to ask for their business card. You will want to *promptly send a thank-you note. It is recommended to send a thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview and then follow up with a hand written note that will arrive a few days later.

You can use the thank-you note to *introduce achievements that didn’t get discussed in the interview. If you were able to uncover any needs that the company is currently focused on you could also include *how you may be able to address and help solve some of those needs.

Now that you have done your due diligence in follow up and thank-you notes you’ve done all you can, right? Well you are not done just yet! It is recommended to *continue to research and keep thinking about the company. This ensures that you will be prepared for a second interview or series of ongoing interviews in the future.

Now you are officially done and hopefully you made a wonderful impression on the employer and you are selected as the top candidate! The last thing to remember is that if you are not selected for the position, don’t be a sore loser, *accept rejection gracefully. The future is always uncertain and you never know when the company might be hiring again. It may not be easy to accept defeat but swallow your pride and instead of leaving a sour taste in the company’s mouth, leave a sweet one. Follow up one last time with a thank-you note.


Show Bryce your interview skills at

Monday, September 26, 2011

Interview Etiquette is Not Dead

I was on a date with my significant other. Although we did combine dinner and a movie at the Studio Movie Grill, we had the traditional romantic date. Upon the arrival to the car, I patiently waited next to my door, anticipating my chivalrous partner would graciously open my door. To my surprise, he laughed at my gesture and joked that “chivalry was dead.” Of course we had a nice laugh, and he eventually came to open my door. However, this is something common with this generation. So many people don’t demonstrate proper etiquette. Maybe it is no longer needed, but I think there are some things in life that should be remain traditional.

The one place that we need to maintain proper etiquette is in interviewing. It’s important that you always shake your interviewer’s hand and make eye contact. Wait until the interviewer sits down before you sit. At the end of the interview, always ask questions. Your last question should always be something to the effect of wanting to know the next step. And last but not least, always follow up with a thank you note.

Hopefully I have saved the existence of interview etiquette. Chivalry maybe dead, but interviewing etiquette isn’t.

Show your chivalry with

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Suit Up!

Just as the pros in sports do, suiting up is an essential part of the game!

As a recruiter, it’s my job to get the best potential candidates scheduled for formal face-to-face interviews. I do inform candidates that it will be business professional and I can’t tell you how many candidates we have show up business casual or no “business” at all. Remember the saying, dress for the job you want, not the job you have?

*According to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55% of another person's perception of you is based on how you look.
*Below are some tips to help you win the interviewing game:

• Solid color, conservative suit
• Coordinated blouse
• Moderate shoes
• Limited jewelry
• Neat, professional hairstyle
• Sparse make-up & perfume
• Portfolio or briefcase
• Conservative tie
• Dark socks, professional shoes
• Go easy on the aftershave

Wearing a suit is essential to scoring that homerun of first impressions!

For more "Homerun" tips -

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Think before you click

As a recent college graduate, I know how difficult it is to find a job during a down economy. It’s common to get flustered and just take any job for no reason other than to just make some money. Something I have noticed as a recruiter is how easy it is for job seekers to quickly jump onto a job-posting website and get “clicker-happy”. You may be confused by the term “clicker- happy”, well what I mean by this self-made term, is how people simply click on any or all of the jobs they may qualify for and apply to it before they know anything about it. Yes, you may have a lot of recruiters contacting you for interviews, but who can remember them all? Another flaw in this quick “clicker-happy” process is the fact that you may be applying to a company that you have no idea of its status, what the position actually entails and how to differentiate yourself from the majority of the workforce also looking for “anything.” Then, once you have been working for a few weeks, you find the job does not suit you and leave for one of the million other positions you applied for.

From a recruiting stand point, we can tell during the initial interview if you are truly interested or simply just “clicking” the apply button. How? Research. During the first interview, one of the initial questions will most likely be something along the lines of, “Why did you apply to our company?” or “What made you apply for this position?” This is the question that can make or break you. The candidates that pass to the next round of the interview process all have one thing in common: Research! If you want to make yourself stick out from the rest, do NOT answer the question by simply reinstating the job title or “I am applying to anything and everything.” Once I hear one of those statements, I immediately assume the person took the “clicker-happy” approach in their job search and they fall into the shadows of the ones who really want the position.

My advice to those who want to click “apply” on every job posting is to stop and take your time. Once you click the apply button, look up the company website, ask a few people who are currently employed with the company a few questions on how they are enjoying their job or where the company is headed and find how your skills and strengths will contribute to the company or the position. Just those simple few steps will set you apart from all who have come down with the “clicker-happy” flu and put you in front of the majority of job seekers.