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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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
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
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)
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!
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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:
·Utilize your local Career Services to proofread
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
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
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!!
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
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?”
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?"
you direct someone else on how to cook an omelet?"
·LivingSocial: “What’s your favorite song? Perform it for us
·Gallup: “What do you think about when you are alone in
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
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
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!
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
3)Not wanting to forget about what you are
4)Not being aware that one is, in fact,
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
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
·Lack of eye contact
·Hiding your hands
By avoiding these body language mistakes your future coach
will know you’re a professional and committed to the team.
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!
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
·Allows you to contribute in a leadership role,
·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