Posts tagged interview
You’ve Graduated, Now What?

Earning your MBA is a great accomplishment, indeed an achievement worth celebrating, but often times the question running through the minds of most new graduates is…now what? 

Of course you want to land the perfect job, but how do you do it? While being an educable and ambitious alumnus helps, it’s only one part of the equation. Here are some tips on how you can go from an unemployed graduate to the job you so desire.

*  Social Media—Face it, we live in a technologically-driven society heavily influenced by social media, and when used correctly, can serve as an assisting platform for jobseekers. You’ll be surprised at the number of companies using sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to scout potential employees. So, be cautious in how you use social media. Your conversations should be relevant to the industry. Demonstrate that you’re someone who brings value to the company. Be a thought leader.

*  Be visible—No one climbs the corporate ladder by themselves. Someone has to see you and pull you up, but in order to do so; you need to make your presence known. You want to make sure that people know who you are and that they recognize your value and what you can bring to the company. You should also network. Get out, attend events and participate in as many workshops and panels as you can.

*  Always be prepared—You may be thinking to yourself, well this is common knowledge, but the truth of the matter is, most people are not. When you stay prepared, you set yourself apartfrom the rest. A certain level of confidence also ascends when you’re self-assured in the work you have accomplished.

*  Interview planning—Be sure to research the company thoroughly beforehand and know who you are talking to. Visit websites, read articles; and if given the opportunity, get your hands on a copy of the Hand Report and read the Chairman’s comments. This will shed light on issues that are most important to the organization. Moreover, preparing questions demonstrates your willingness to learn and your interest in the company.

*  Stay Current—Things are constantly changing and evolving all the time, so if your aim is to remain relevant, which it should be, then you must stay on top of all that is going on within your industry. Learning doesn’t stop once you’re hired. It’s important that you continuously educate yourself and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.

The Interview Secret YOU Need to Know!

As someone who interviews candidates on a regular basis, I can tell you that nothing is more stressful than making that final selection. After weeks and sometimes months invested in finding the right candidate, you hope that you made the right choice. Because there are people who interview well, and others who are talented, but interview poorly, hiring managers have become astute at trying to determine who’s for show and who’s for real!

Most candidates get stumped on the questions that begin, “tell me about a time you had a major challenge at work, and what you did to solve it?” Most of us are good at talking about the highlights of our resumes. However, the problem with most resumes is that they focus on: Titles, Tasks and Timeframes. As such, many candidates struggle to answer the more pointed questions to “what did you actually accomplish?”

An executive search friend of mine introduced me to a pre-interview process that has helped me and many of those I mentor, increase our attractiveness during interviews. The process involves taking the three most recent roles you’ve had and identifying the following for each role:

1. What major challenges did you inherit when you assumed the role?

2. What actions did you take to address these challenges?

3. What improvements were realized as a result of your actions?

What you will end up with is something I call a “Career Accomplishments Document.” Ideally, you will have positive results to the challenges you identified, but even if you do not, you’ll be better prepared to answer the question, “Tell me about a time you tried something and failed.”  At a minimum, you will be able to speak of your work history in terms of what you’ve accomplished, not just the title you held. Furthermore, you will quickly learn that you have more transferable skills than you imagined.

Creating a Career Accomplishments Document will help you better articulate your value during the interview process, and increase your odds of landing the job! It’s more work, but I can promise you, you’ll be glad you took the time to go through the process!