Know Whom You Need to Speak With

It’s been a while hasn’t it? I apologize to my readers as it has been too long since posting anything. I’ll blame my job as I’ve been working countless hours these last few months.
With these countless hours have come many things. We have been hiring like crazy in my human resource office and I’ve seen a lot of people come in for various things. Often, we have people come into our office for interviews. Sometimes HR sets up interviews, other times managers of departments will set them up unbeknownst to us.  We love to interview people so it is great to get all of this talent through our doors.

I have one piece of advice for you to take with you on interviews or meeting anyone in person really. Know who they are. Remember their name. Memorize their name.

I cannot tell you how many times I have spoken with someone in the last few weeks that has no idea whom they are to interview with. I promise that not knowing who you need to speak with does not make a very good first impression.

By not knowing who you need to speak with in a company, it makes the secretary or HR in my case hunt down your interviewer.  It shows us a lack of responsibility.  Now I am expected to know who you need to speak to. With our massive hiring it is hard for us to keep track of so many interviews all the time. If you know who you need to speak with right away it shows your interested and that you can listen.  It is awesome hearing that in our office.

To be clear, if you mispronounce a person’s name you’ll probably do just fine. There is always that one person with a difficult or different name that you cannot say correctly. Don’t worry about that, at least provide as many details as possible about the person if you know think you’ll pronounce the name wrong.  bvt5uwnigaajhrl

Believe me, I am bad with names so if you are anything like me you’ll need a trick to get around this.  If I know that someone could be calling me to set up an interview, I always have paper and pen ready. If you are job seeking, make sure you always had that pen and paper ready, you never know when someone will call.

When you get a phone call make sure you write down the names of those you’ll interview with. Ask the person on the phone, it’s okay to do such.  Write their name down and memorize it. Let’s take this a step further…..

Once you get to the interview you will of course recite the name of your interviewer to whoever sits at the main desk. Once you do such keep repeating the name(s) in your head.  When your interviewer meets you he/she will always look to introduce themselves to you with a handshake. When the interviewer says their name, repeat it back to them.

Interviewer: ” Hi Kendra, I’m Jeff, nice to meet you”

Me: “Hi Jeff, it is very nice to meet you too”.

I’ve taken the time to not only memorize the person I’d be interviewing with but now I’ve put a name to a face and repeated it out loud to myself (even though it sounds like a pleasant exchange).  Now that I’ve verbalized that connection I have made it easier for me to remember their name going forward. Believe me, when you interview with more than one person, this can really come in handy.

 

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“Do you have any questions for us?”

In light of my upcoming interview I thought I would discuss the question that comes up at the end of every interview ever.  This question is essential to be ready for.  Your interviewer(s) will ALWAYS (and if they don’t, comment and let me know!) ask you this question and there is a right and wrong answer.  First the wrong answer:

Q: Do you have any questions for us?

A: No

OR

A: No I think I understand everything

Why it is the wrong answer:  No matter how you say it, even if you are very nice, polite and say that you fully understand everything about the position it is still not a good way to end an interview.  You might think you are doing everything right by letting your interviewer know that you have a grasp on the position and that you would be the ideal candidate, but the interviewer wants to hear you ask something to show more interest in the position/company.  By saying “no” you are not showing that you want to go the extra mile for this position.  Think about it.  If you fit the criteria for a job and the company feels that you would be a good fit for the position then you might get the job.  What if John Smith who was also just as qualified in every other way decided at the end of his interview to ask his interviewer, “what is your expected growth for ASDF Company over the next several years”?  If you were an interviewer who would you be more interested in, the guy that said “I’m your ideal candidate” or the guy that said “I’m the ideal candidate, but while we are talking about your company let me ask you more about it”.  If you still are not quite convinced that John Smith would be picked over you keep reading.

Right Answer:

Q: Do you have any questions for us?

A: As a matter of fact I do….

OR

A: Yes.  You mentioned QWER and I was wondering…..

Why this is the right answer: Saying “yes” followed by asking your question is clearly the right answer from what I discussed before.  If you do ask a question it means you are invested.  However, I like to take a psychological approach behind this as well to understand why having questions are so important.  In most interviews, the interviewers have a piece of paper in front of them with a list of questions.  They go round robin, ask you their questions, you answer them, they interview the next candidate.  One key piece to an interview, is to get them to remember you in a positive way.  So what if instead of following the known procedure you mixed it up a little and get them thinking of something else?  Believe me, I’ve been the interviewer before too, they want to hear/think about something other than doing this interview.  If you ask them something about the company, it takes their mind away from the interview and gives them a chance to talk to you more about what they know and their interests.  When you give the interviewer a chance to talk about themselves, you can leave them thinking that you are the ideal candidate.  People love the opportunity to talk about themselves and have someone listen to what they have to say.  It makes us happy.  If you give them that window of opportunity to speak about themselves/company, you make yourself a better candidate.

My go to question of choice:  “What is your favorite part about your job?” I like asking this question because it gets them to think about their daily job duties and is making them think of the positives.  If they are thinking positively about their job, their last impression of me is that I could have a positive impact on the company.  It’s totally psychological and maybe it is just my theory, but I think it works pretty well.  Furthermore, I like to ask because I am genuinely interested.  Yes, it is kind of a manipulation tool, but I do want to know what people like about their jobs.  I know that I want to have passion in my career options, so if I see that passion in someone else I can get a better sense if I will get what I want out of the company.  It depends on what drives you but for me this is really good feedback to have at an interview.  At my latest place of employment, the answer that I got to that question in my interview was “I wake up everyday and look forward to everything about my job, the good the bad and the ugly.”  That answer was a selling point for me that I wanted this job just as much as he wanted me there.  It bounces off the idea that you are interviewing them as well.

There are so many other questions you can ask as well.  This is just one of my questions I like to ask.  There are more depending on the job.  Don’t use just this example and make it fit into your interview always.  We are all different and my experiences are not going to mirror yours.  Let me know what you think are good or bad interview questions.

An Interview!

It is always good news when you get a call for an interview.  It brings me to a place I like to call “Cloud Kendra”.  Basically, and all of my friends can testify, I have a huge adrenaline rush making it seem as though I’ve just chugged a RedBull.  I tend to be bouncing off the walls because I am so pumped that someone saw what I had on paper and thought to themselves “who is this girl?  I want to talk to her”.  On the difficult road of submitting application after application it is really awesome to get a call about an interview.  Most of the time, I let an application fly and expect to hear nothing back from the company.  It’s the nature of the beast.

But alas on this day, I got a call for an interview next week with a new company.  It is not with a college campus.  I have applied to numerous college campuses over the last year and a half and I have yet to get work with a college campus.  So I have to branch out.  This summer has proved to be a difficult process in terms of branching out.  I’ve been on quite the narrow road about sticking to only applying to college campuses.  But those jobs are not the most common to come across with my level of education as colleges prefer a candidate with a Master’s degree.

Today, branching out has proven to be a great thing and I am so glad that I decided to apply.  It is a brand new company, and being able to say that I helped launch a new business would be a great accomplishment.   So it is not so much to be bummed out right now that I haven’t gotten an interview for a job on a college campus or my big dream of working in career services.  It more about the fact that these opportunities can come to us without us seeking them out.  Some people might call this “settling”, I don’t.  It’s far from settling in my opinion, it is another chance to prove that I can be great at doing something brand new.  To learn a new trade, to launch a new business and to maybe someday help me become a career counselor….. or maybe not.  The world is at my fingertips and it is at yours too!