Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lost in Translation

As a recruiter there is one thing that always gets under my skin, when applicants down play their past skills! I realize that you may have left your last job because you didn't like the ethics, or the pay, or the movie Horrible Bosses hit a little too close to home. I get it. But that doesn't mean that your last job was a total loss to your development! I think that all too often people get caught up in the search for a new job that they overlook the research that goes into being successful in THAT job that they are applying for! 
When you get that call from that company that you applied to last week trying to set up an interview, take a minute to do just two simple things to put you in the right place to win.
Research them MORE: I know you did your research but do MORE! Your research topic has changed. You have shifted from Is this right for me? to How can I stand out? Look for things that match your skills, making you a unique candidate. What do you do well? What can you do that no one else can?
Think outside the BOX: You are a unique person with a skill set that no one has! Analyze every position you have held, match it with their skills and highlight that in the interview. Think outside the box. Altering the lens at which you see your past job is paramount to thinking critically about switch careers.
There wasn't a class you have taken, a club you joined or task you have completed that you haven't learned something from and made you who you are today! For that interview make sure your skills aren’t lost in translation.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Your Turn to Interview

If you think interviewing for a job is a one way street, think again! This is a common misperception when in reality; you should ask follow up questions. Asking questions not only shows a higher level of interest, it also allows you to decide if the company fits your needs. When asking questions, the type of question is really important. Be sure to ask thoughtful, good questions. The biggest turn off for a recruiter is having no questions or only asking about compensation.  Need some help?  Check out a few suggested questions below by Monster Staff Writer, Thad Peterson:

1.       Can you tell me about the culture here?
·         Company culture can be a bit difficult to get a handle on until you walk through the door and experience it yourself. The interview is a great time to ask questions that reveal the company’s personality.

2.       Would you mind telling me about how your career got to this point?
·         This question is good on two levels: It gives you a chance to learn a bit about potential coworkers or potential bosses, and it's also a nice ego rub for the interviewer. “People love to talk about themselves, so if you can get the interviewer talking about himself, you're one step up,” explains Cooke.

3.       Can you tell me about your management style?
·         If you're interviewing with the person who may be your boss, it's important to understand how he'll manage you and the people around you.
The interviewer's answer to this question should reveal a few things. It will give you a sense of some of the challenges you'll face if you end up joining the team, as well as tell you how your potential coworkers handle sticky questions. It may also provide some insight about how forthright they are.

4.       What’s your biggest source of job satisfaction?
·         This question can help you understand both what makes your potential workmates tick and what they think the company's strengths are.

No matter how much research you do on a company, few can give you greater insight into the company than the recruiter.  So, don’t forget to interview the interviewer!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

R.E.S.P.E.C.T- Find out what that means to me (the Hiring Manager)

Aretha Franklin sang it best in her 1967 hit, Respect. As her song continues to fill the minds and lips of the world (especially mine all day today), Aretha made us realize that we should demand our respect. But as important as it may be that we are given respect, it’s important that we give it as well.

For Example, Hiring Managers spend hours of their time preparing to find their next future employee. Hiring managers show their respect by taking time out of their day to meet you, dressing up for the interview, and listening carefully to what you have to say during the interview process. They even will do their best to provide timely decisions to you so you know where they stand in the hiring decision. Let’s return that respect to the Hiring manager. Below, you will find a few ways how you can show your respect to the hiring manager.
R- Remember your job experiences. Most questions you will be asked will be situational or behavioral based questions. It’s important to know and be able to communicate what you have been doing in the last few years.
E- Educate yourself on the company and its mission. Provide the skill sets you can bring to the table to benefit the company
S- Suits are preferable, so invest in a nice suit. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
P- Prepare before the interview. Set your clothes out the night before and do a mock interview with a friend or mentor.
E- Early to bed, early to rise! Make sure that you are well rested and ready to make an impact in your interview
C- Come prepared with good questions. You’re interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you.
T- Timeliness is key. Arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview.
Now you are ready to “Sock it” to the hiring mangers by showing your respect. (Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me…… A little respect. Hopefully, you now have this song stuck in your head just like me) Good Luck!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tips for a Successful Career Fair Experience

We have come to a close on our Fall Semester with Collegiate Recruiting! As a new recruiter, this fall was an eye opening experience for me! I had the opportunity to attend several career fairs nationwide and I couldn’t believe some of the interesting things I came across at these fairs. If you are looking to land a career there are a few things you need to do to make sure you make a lasting impression on the recruiter!
1)      Do your research – Find out what employers will be at the Career Fair, do some research on all the companies in your field and go to those first. If you really want to impress, have some facts ready about the company you are visiting as a conversation starter for the recruiters. This is a great way to show your interest and an AWESOME start to making a memorable first impression.

2)      Dress to impress – There is an old saying that says “dress for the job you want and not for the job you have.” You want to look GOOD. Business professional is best.  Wear a nice suit, get a fresh haircut, avoid gaudy jewelry, and look polished. Your first impression depends on it.

3)      Have resume on hand – Have a revised and updated version printed on resume paper. A nice touch is to have business cards made with your information. There are many websites available to guide you in this process.  

4)      Firm hand shake – A firm hand shake with an upbeat smile on your face exudes confidence. Studies show there is a sizeable relationship between the features that characterize a firm handshake with a favorable first impression. Whether male or female have a firm and full handshake with great eye contact will leave an impression to remember.

Use these tips to make a great first impression at your next career fair! Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wear Brown Shoes Day

Want a fun Wednesday fact?
It's National Wear Brown Shoes Day.
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from your Heroes of Hiring

Friday, November 22, 2013

Give Thanks

Ah, November. Not only is this the month of pumpkin spice lattes and eating yourself into a turkey coma, it’s the month of being thankful for all you have. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I’m thankful for and thankfully, I have a career I love. Can you honestly say you love your career?
Don’t get me wrong, I have tough days at work just like everyone else, but I have a team who supports me and I know my hard work does not go without being recognized. I decided to make a list of all I’m thankful for in my career and hopefully these are some things that you will look for on your career search!
·         Purpose-I know my career and company serve a purpose. We help improve people lives through the product we sell and I help people find a career they can love too!
·         Give Back-Does your company give back to the community? I’m proud to say my company has a national philanthropy and we give back locally.
·         The people-Do you have a best friend at work? I love the people I work with everyday and they are more than co-workers to me. They give me reason to show up every day.
·         Rewards-Rewards are different for everyone. They can be financial or non-financial. Personally, I love to be recognized for a job well done and rewarded for my hard work through praise and celebration.
What are you thankful for this month?
Share your thankful list with erin.lindquist@mattressfirm.com


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Don’t get lost, get found

It takes two to tango. While companies are striving to be the most attractive at career fairs, it’s mutually imperative for you to stand out in the crowd. While attending a career fair, don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle. The key is to be found!
Here is how to stand out and give a lasting impression:
1.       Be prepared
·         Utilize your local Career Services to proofread your resume.
·         How would you sell yourself in 30 seconds or less? Create and practice your elevator speech. (To learn what and how to perfect an elevator speech, please click on the following link. http://www.heroesofhiring.blogspot.com/2013/03/what-if-you-bumped-into-your-ideal.html)
2.       Don’t waste your time
·         Familiarize yourself with the companies that might be a potential fit.
·         Really want to stand out? Recruiters may ask if you have any questions about the company or position. Prepare thoughtful follow-up questions, which will show your interest in their company.
3.       Dress to Impress
·         Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have. If your goal is to be a professional, dress business professional.
·         When it comes to hair, there are two rules of thumb. If it’s on your face, shave it. If it’s on your head, make it neat.
4.       First impressions are last impressions
·         It’s no secret that people enjoy being around happy people. Approach with a genuine smile and make an effort to remember people’s names.
·         Start things off on the right foot by having your resume handy and your elevator speech ready. Now is the time to shine!
5.       The three day rule isn’t just for dating
·         Follow-up is important, although timing is key. By calling the next day, you could be perceived as desperate. However, if you wait too long to follow-up, you might seem uninterested.
·         Follow-up with your recruiter in a few days. Two to three business days is ideal.
By following these basic guidelines, you will be found and never lost again!
You can find Trevor at trevor.friel@mattressfirm.com

Monday, November 11, 2013

Preparation for Phone Interviews

Are you on the career search and want to find ways to WOW the interviewer and raise your chances of sealing the deal on moving to the next step in the interview process?
Here are some helpful tips to help you during your next phone interview:
1)   Have a copy of your resume printed out in front of you – this can help you stay on track when telling the interviewer your past experiences. Make bullet points of specific points you would like to share with the interviewer. 
2)   Dress the Part – assume the role, go ahead and dress professionally just like you would for a formal face to face interview. Getting focused will help you be successful and confident in the interview!
3)    Find a Quiet Place – find a quiet room to interview in. Make sure it is quiet so you can hear the interviewer clearly and they can hear you. Pets should be put in another room or outside if it is a safe environment for them.
4)    Smile – a smile can be transferred through the phone, so make sure to take a deep breath and smile. Show enthusiasm for the position you are interviewing for!
5)   Research the company - Do research on the company before the phone interview. Write questions down and have them in front of you to ask the interviewer. This will WOW the interviewer showing that you are serious about your career search and have taken the time to research the company.
6)   Give Yourself Time for the interview - When you receive a first call from the interviewer they may ask if you are available right then to do the phone screen. If you are driving or have not done research on the company make sure to politely ask to schedule the interview for a different time. This will ensure you can get to your destination safely and that you will focus on the interview and provide better answers when not being focused on driving.  Another great tip to give you time for the interview is to do not try to squeeze an interview into your lunch break. Block off a minimum of 30 minutes for the phone interview.  The interviewer could call a few minutes late or the interview may run over. The good sign is when the interview goes longer it means you are doing great and you would not want to have to be cut off or cut the interviewer off!!
Conclusion: Follow these six steps!!!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from your Heroes of Hiring!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

10 Outrageous Interview Questions

I was recently given the task to incorporate a new question into my interviews to see what type of new information it would provide to our process and candidate pool. While I was thinking of creative ways to ask the question, I did some research and found some funny interview questions. Enjoy J

·        Dell: "What song best describes your work ethic?"
·        Clark Construction Group: "A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?"
·        Marriott: “How would you rate your memory?”
·        Mastercard: "Can you say: 'Peter Pepper Picked a Pickled Pepper' and cross-sell a washing machine at the same time?"
·        Trader Joe’s: “If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?”
·        Urban Outfitters: “Pick two celebrities to be your parents.”
·        Kimberly-Clark: "If you had turned your cell phone to silent mode, and it rang really loudly despite it being on silent, what would you tell me?"
·        Petco: "How would you direct someone else on how to cook an omelet?"
·        LivingSocial: “What’s your favorite song? Perform it for us now.”
·        Gallup: “What do you think about when you are alone in your car?”
How would you answer some of these questions?
You can perform your favorite song to ashley.gonzales@mattressfirm.com

Monday, September 23, 2013

Super Recruiters Have Feelings Too

Hi, my name is Erin and I’m a super recruiter. Everyone say it back now…”Hi, Erin.”
Even though I have super recruiting powers, I’m still human and rejection hurts. Let’s discuss how to let a company down easy.
I recently received a not-so-great email from a dear candidate that had accepted a job with my company and then changed her mind. This candidate had been on my radar for about a year. I met her at a university career fair and we instantly made a connection. She was a perfect fit and could have made a huge impact with Mattress Firm. We maintained a relationship for quite some time, hung out socially and I was even there for her during difficult times between her transition from college to the real world.
One gloomy morning, one week before she was scheduled to start with us, she emailed me with one sentence saying she had taken a job elsewhere. That’s it, one sentence! How could she do that to me after everything we’ve been through? I’m not going to lie...it stung.
Here are a few tips to avoid another travesty and not hurt a company’s super powers:
· Pick up the phone-call the employer to let them know you are declining the offer and why-we always value feedback!
· Don’t burn any bridges - leave the door open for the possibility of future employment with the company.
· Suggest any referrals you may know who would be a fit!
I may not be a masked vigilante fighting crime but I am trying to use my super recruiting powers to help those find a career right for them. So remember, even though a company may not be a fit for you, we still have feelings…let us down easy!

Do you have any super powers? Share them with erin.lindquist@mattressfirm.com

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Yo Interviewer, I’m really Happy for you….I’ll let you finish But….

You may remember at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Taylor Swift received the prestigious award for Best Female Video. In case you live under a rock, I’ll give you the synopsis. Four seconds into Taylor’s speech, Kanye West rudely interrupted by explaining that he was happy for Taylor, and would let her finish, but Beyonce Knowles deserved this award……What!?!
Now, you may question why I’m referencing something so outdated and frankly overly mentioned. Well, Kanye received much deserved negative scrutiny. In our culture, interruption is perceived as disrespectful and inconsiderate for the other party. As an interviewer, I’m interrupted more than you may imagine.
If we know that interrupting is so rude, why do we do it? Especially during something as important as an interview? Although I’m no psychologist, I’ve determined why someone would interrupt through my careful analysis:
1)      Wanting to relate to the interviewer’s topic
2)      Being passionate about the subject being discussed
3)      Not wanting to forget about what you are thinking
4)      Not being aware that one is, in fact, interrupting
5)      Wanting to get a point across
Earlier when I stated that Kanye rudely interrupted Taylor, that was a bit redundant. Interruptions are rude. We have to be more aware of this especially in an interview. An interviewer wants to know that you are passionate and have skill sets that are applicable. We want you to get your point across. You can execute all of these things without interrupting.  Challenge yourself to stay quiet and bring a notebook to mark down what you are thinking so you can express when the time is appropriate.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Be prepared for the preseason!

The most wonderful time of the year is amongst us – football season (even if it is just the preseason). The preseason offers players the opportunity to really shine and potentially earn a full time position in the regular season. Take for example the current battle for the backup quarterback for the Houston Texans – T.J. Yates vs. Case Keenum. Both have really brought their A -  game to the preseason and are letting the fans know that they’re putting up a fight for that coveted spot (although as a fellow University of Houston alum, my vote goes to Case Keenum! – I hope Bob McNair is reading this).
The interview process should be viewed in the same way, as the preseason – this is no time for fumbles or interceptions. This is your shot to be on the roster for your dream employer. One big mistake in the interviewing game is not utilizing proper body language.
Below I have included a list of body language mistakes that could cost you the job.
·         Invading personal space
·         Crossing your arms
·         Playing with your hair
·         Bad posture
·         Lack of eye contact
·         Looking disinterested
·         Not Smiling
·         Fidgeting
·         Hiding your hands
By avoiding these body language mistakes your future coach will know you’re a professional and committed to the team.
Good luck!
For advice on landing your dream job or for fantasy football advice contact Edith @ edith.botello@mattressfirm.com.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to Class!

In the coming days, college students across America will be heading back to campus, with sun-kissed faces, stories of summer road trips and a revived vigor for a new semester!
Just like each class you pass gets you one step closer to that degree, you should also be purposefully utilizing resources on campus that will get you one step closer to life after the degree… your career! Whether it’s your first semester or your last, I’ve provided three tips on what you can do now to ensure you receive an A+ in your job search!
Get involved!
I know that, for many, being a college student is a full-time job. Between studying, classes, study groups and a social life, finding time to do much of anything else is hard to do! However, getting involved in activities outside of the four walls of the classroom can do much for you in terms of a job search.
Getting involved in activities or volunteer opportunities has endless benefits, including:
·         The opportunity to work in a team environment,
·         The chance to utilize and/or develop certain skill sets,
·         Allows you to contribute in a leadership role, and
·         Expands your social network.
Plus, if you have limited work experience, being able to discuss similar situations that you encountered during your time in an activity is an excellent (and equally relatable) alternative in an interview!
Reach out to Career Services!
Imagine how nice it would be to have a staff of three working on your job search while you are sitting in class, listening to another riveting lecture on quantum physics and its historical impact on society given by a professor whose name you can hardly remember (if this is you, make sure to read my next tip!).
NEWS FLASH! At most schools, this staff exists! Check out your school’s Career Services office. Set up a meeting to chat with someone about your career goals, prospective employers, and the current courses you’re taking. Or look for workshops or career fairs that are hosted throughout the year to spice up your resume or expand your professional network. Utilize your Career Services team as much as possible – that’s their job!
Utilize faculty and advisors!
While the two of you may not be Facebook friends, the professor leading your Tuesday/Thursday Introduction to Management course may very well be one of your best friends come graduation time! Faculty members and club advisors are oftentimes a wonderful resource when seeking internship, part-time and full-time job opportunities!
Alumni of the institution and employers who have close relations with the school reach out to familiar faces when it comes to open opportunities. Make sure that you’ve met and shared with teachers and advisors your career goals… they usually have more than homework to give out to those who ask!