How to Prep for an Interview

To all job seekers, passive or active: RESEARCH. That is the key and the first thing you should do to prepare yourself for an interview. It’s even best to research the company before sending in your resume. You may be wasting the your time and the company’s by blasting off your CV to all open jobs, then finding out it’s not even close to what you’re looking for. Titles on job boards can be misleading. Here at Freeman+Leonard, we try to really nail down what every person is looking for, not just send them every open job available. Doing that creates lack of personal interaction. Sending email blasts to 100-200 people per open order creates not only slow responsiveness to all interested talent, some would question if we even listened to the types of jobs they were specifically interested in. As recruiters, it’s our job to get to know each individual for who they are, so when prepping for an interview, through us or on your own, we can give you the best possible advice based on questions you can ask in relation to what YOU are seeking.

The dress will be dependent on the company. It’s always best to overdress rather than under-dress. As far as jewelry goes, keep it simple, but still keep it you. For example, if you wear a nose ring and that is something you don’t want to change, be yourself and don’t take it out. Prepare not to be upset if you’re not chosen maybe because of that reason. Don’t change your inner self, but also know what you are seeking in a job, and what lengths you’ll go to to secure the right opportunity.

Listen. Look at how the hiring manager is interacting with you and how even their body language is. It’s best to mimic or somewhat mirror the way they are communicating. What do you see? More relaxed? Rigid? Formal? More conversational?

Take note of things around the office. If you see a picture of kids, mention your family at the end of the interview if it feels appropriate. Lover of sports? Comment on their autographed baseball on their desk. There are plenty of ways to show a little of your interests or hobbies outside of a formal environment.

Come prepared with a list of questions about the company. Also throw out information during the interview showing you’ve done your research. Facts, statistics about the company, articles you’ve read online, recent accomplishments…these all impress hiring managers and show you’ve gone above and beyond and are really interested in learning what this place is about.

Always follow up with a hand written note. If time is of the essence and you know a decision will be made soon, send a thank you email followed up by a hand written note.

By: Rachel Parker – Recruiting Manager at Freeman+Leonard

Rachel Parker is a top-notch recruiter skilled in finding top-tier talent.  She has a record of finding individuals uniquely qualified for some of the most difficult positions clients have asked her to fill.  Her high energy and deep understanding of the talent and the roles they play in a marketing communications organization make her the most requested recruiting partner in the company.  Rachel has a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University. To contact Rachel, email rparker@freemanleonard.com.

NETWORKING – 10 TIPS FOR INTROVERTS

By: Valerie Freeman, CEO

1. Go to professional meetings where you are likely to know someone or where you are likely to find people in your same industry or share your same interests, i.e. college alumni meetings.

2. Go to events or meetings where the program is interesting to you – meeting people and enjoying the program is preferable.

3. Ask a friend to go with you to a meeting so you don’t have to carry the conversation.

4. As you converse with individuals, think of ways you can help them – givers get.

5. Follow up on people you meet with an invitation to LinkedIn or to coffee, lunch or a business/social event.

6. Start your own networking group by first asking friends and then adding to with their contacts.

7. Experiment with several events/meetings to see which ones might benefit you the most.

8. Be patient as it takes about 6 months for people to start recognizing you.

9. Realize that many of the people you meet are as uncomfortable as you – it’s a good conversation topic

10. Adjust your attitude – it’s not so much about being an introvert as it is about accepting the concept and practice, practice, practice.

The Dangers of Social Media

Using Social Media Responsibly

By: Sam Crume, Summer Intern at Freeman+Leonard. Sam is a Sophomore Business Major at Fordham University in New York and is from Dallas, TX.

Imagine if someone could read minds. Think about the consequences of your peers hearing your inner monologue. What if our deepest thoughts were public information? Maybe you’re someone who has to bite your tongue every time you see a particular co-worker or your boss. Maybe you are a college student looking for a job and a certain professor makes you squirm.  Maybe you had a rough night that you don’t want anyone to know about. Do you really want this information getting back to people you know? We live in a world of instant access to an infinite amount of information; however, your personal information doesn’t have to be among the masses of the internet. You don’t have to post inappropriate pictures or write offensive things, there is a choice to be responsible.

It seems today that everyone is using social media. According to Tom Webster of Edison Research, “51% of adults in the United States, ages 12 and up are using Facebook,” and Twitter has between 36 and 56 million active users. That’s a lot of people. Consider this; about one out of every two people have access to whatever someone posts on Facebook and about one out of every seven people have access to whatever is tweeted. Future employers, grandparents, parents, friends, and co-workers have access to whatever you do and say.

Think of social media as another way to build the brand that is you. What do you want a potential employer or recruiter to think you stand for? As a college student and intern, I know that every student is worried about finding a job after graduation. As a student, you want to have every edge you can possibly get. That being said, college is a time of change, uncertainty, independence, and yes, often stupidity. Just assume that everyone whom you know and will ever know will read what you post. Your future boss doesn’t want to find out that you made a racial slur over twitter, and Grandma doesn’t need to see the pictures of you and you’re buddies drunk at a party. You never want to forget that you added a colleague or superior and then made a rude remark about them. Think about the consequences of what information you are making public. In regards to finding a job, think of social media as another way to build the brand that is you. What do you want a potential employer or recruiter to think you stand for?

It is important to understand that you’re digital footprint can only grow. Once something is out there, it stays out there.  Imagine whatever you do on the internet as a permanent tattoo. The tattoo might be under your shirt, but with a little effort, it can be seen. You may have posted something years ago, and that picture, tweet, or status update is somewhere out there. Whether you’re applying for an internship over the summer, or running for political office, your words literally will echo for eternity.  Employers are now able to run background checks on individuals through social media sites. There is an entire industry arising to do background checks on social media sites. According to Jennifer Preston of the New York Times, “There is a year-old start-up, known as Social Intelligence, which scrapes the Internet for everything prospective employees may have said or done online in the past seven years.” According to Preston, Social Intelligence assembles a profile of everything you’ve done that meets the criteria of “racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.” You can’t clean it up. We must simply be responsible.

Social media sites can be an extremely useful tool when it comes to job searching. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will get your name out there, and help build networks.

Here are some guidelines that I like to live by when using the internet.

  1. Don’t post a picture or reference any illegal activity.
  2. Don’t post offensive commentary regarding any racial, cultural, or religious community.
  3. Don’t insult people in a position of authority. An insult to your boss over the internet is still an insult, and cause to be reprimanded or even fired.
  4. Don’t share personal information that you don’t want everyone to know about.
  5. Most importantly, don’t write anything that you wouldn’t be willing to say to anyone. Imagine that your grandparents will read everything you ever post and see every picture.

If you’d like to read more, check out these great sources:

How to Lose a Job via Facebook in 140 Characters or Less

To Blog or Not to Blog – How Blogging and Social Networking Can Impact Your Job Search

Facebook Achieves Majority