“Tricks and Treats” of the Interview Process

In honor of Halloween, I thought that it would be nice to do a little “trick or treating”. Instead of candy, I decided to reach out to a few of the employers who actively recruit at UW-Whitewater and solicit their single best piece of advice to pass along to students as they prepare and proceed through the job search and interview process. Let’s check our trick-or-treat bag to see what we came up with.

As you begin the process of researching and exploring different employers and job opportunities, Adrianna Choquette, Agency Recruiting Coordinator with State Farm, says to remember to “always keep yourself open to possibilities. Ask employers about their company and then sell your value, whether it be in a story or a past experience, make yourself stand out. It’s the students who sell their value and make a connection with employers that stand out – and if you stand out, you’re well on your way to finding success.”

Once you have moved into an interview opportunity with an employer, Meredith Karklus, Staffing Specialist with American Family Insurance, says to “research the company you are interviewing with. You don’t need to know everything about them, but be prepared to answer this question – why are you interested in working for our company.”  Know your value and know what you can offer to the employer.

A final piece of advice for your interview comes from Mark Henderson, Central/Northern Plains Area HR Manager with Sherwin Williams. His recommends that students “bring a personality and zest to the interview…the initial 10 seconds are crucial in making a strong statement. You never get a second shot to make that first impression.”

The bottom line from all of our employers is that the most important thing you can do is to get started looking for jobs now! If you have not started your job search process yet, be sure to take some time this week to review the current job opportunities posted in Hawk Jobs. Putting in the effort to research employers, developing your personal branding statement, and preparing for interviews can help lead to the ultimate “treat”…landing an internship or job opportunity,

Career Fair Follow-up

The curtain has closed on the 2011 Hawk Career Fair. If you were one of the hundreds of students who attended you are probably sorting through the piles of business cards, company brochures, and employer giveaways that you collected at the event. The big question is, now what?

The last few weeks we have provided advice on this blog about preparing for the career fair; working on your personal branding statement, researching employers, and dressing for success. Now that the career fair is over, it is time to move on to the next step in your job search process – following up with the employers you met at the fair.

Some employers may have asked you to submit a copy of your resume to them through Hawk Jobs while others may have requested that you complete an online application through their company website. These are certainly essential steps in moving forward with the application and interview process, but don’t forget to also send a thank-you note to each of the employers you met during the Hawk Career Fair.

You can compose a quick e-mail that thanks the employers for taking the time to speak with you at the fair and reiterate your interest and fit for the job you discussed. Taking the time to follow-up with the employers will help to convey your professionalism and can even make the difference in helping you to stand out and land the job interviews you are seeking. It is a quick and easy way to make a good last impression!

Photo by: thesnail

Coming Out at Work

The biggest hurdle in coming out at work is determining if you are ready to come out. Nobody can really know this but you, and it is a big decision.

Gay pride 302 - Marche des fiertés Toulouse 2011.jpg

When looking for information on coming out at work, I came across a great article:  Coming Out at Work by Russell Kaltschmidt, Editor of gay.com. Coming out is always risky, but you may be able to minimize the risks by following a well thought-out plan.

Kaltschmidt’s advice is to:

  1. Assess your readiness
  2. Perform at your best
  3. Gather supporters
  4. Choose a strategy
  5. Conduct a trial run
  6. Consider the timing

Here are some other links that may be helpful:

Photo by Guillaume Paumier.

Resource: Vault Career Insider

Career & Leadership Development has subscribed to  a very good career resource called Vault Career Insider. This product contains information useful to most job seekers, as well as valuable information to those exploring various career paths. Vault may be found from your Hawk Jobs main page – select Career Resources on the top bar, then select Vault. First time users will need to create their account, which is very simple to do. You’ll receive an immediate reply from Vault, then you’re ready to access the information!

For those of you exploring career paths, check out the Career Guides. The are 12 Career Topic Guides, providing useful information about what it’s like to work in various fields. The guides also provide a wealth of information about various industries, employers, international career opportunities, and tactical information about resumes and interviewing.

Vault also provides resources helpful to learn about your job search – from information and samples of resumes, to career videos and blogs, and discussion groups. As you’re working to develop your job search plan, Vault will provide you with wonderful resources that will help you land that job you most desire.

And for those of you seeking information about various employing organizations, Vault provides more than 10,000 company profiles. These profiles allow the thoughtful job seeker to learn more about which organizations are the best fit for them. The company profile resource also provides 2011 edition of the “Best Companies to Work for…” list.

So when we suggest that you research the employer before your interview, start with Vault!