Posts Tagged Interviewing

The Party’s Not Over Yet! Here’s How to Stand Out AFTER the Job Fair.

Posted on October 21, 2014 with No Comments

Staff of City Year Corps Members

Vilma Rodrigues-Silva is the Recruitment Manager of the Northeast Region for City Year New Hampshire. She goes to lots of job fairs, so we asked her about the best ways for candidates to stand out after the event.

Is there an appropriate way to follow up with an employer after a Job Fair, even if I didn’t get a chance to meet you there?

YES! Following up with an email is fine if you missed us at a fair or could not make it. You do not need to be shy about letting a recruiter know that you are interested in a program (that is what we are here for!), and there is no need to explain in detail about why you didn’t make it to the fair. Following up with an email shows us that you are taking the initiative to learn more about our program, and that is a good thing.

What do you think about thank you notes after a Job Fair?

Personalized, hand-written notes are amazing! However, if I received these from even half of all of the students I met at job fairs, I would have hundreds of them coming in and I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I believe handwritten notes should be left to more personal interactions or after an interview. All other instances of meeting at fairs or presentations could be followed up with an email note, thanking the recruiter for their time and for coming to campus. What makes a good note is simply saying thank you and mentioning something specific that you learned or that the recruiter said that stuck with you.

Is it possible to follow up too much?

Yes, there is a “too much policy.”  It’s important to show recruiters that you are interested in their program, but keep in mind that there is an abundance of information on the websites and brochures. You don’t want to ask a recruiter something that could simply be found on the homepage of a website. However, if you need clarification on something you’ve read, want more information on something you found, or want a personal account of the recruiter’s experience, then feel free to call and email.

What else should candidates know?

I – and many recruiters – love talking to students at fairs! If you already know a little about a program and plan on visiting the fair, you should come prepared to ask questions to gain more knowledge. If you randomly end up at a table because it caught your attention, politely introduce yourself and ask to learn more! Don’t be afraid to inquire for more information, and to tell the recruiter a little about yourself. Show confidence!

Job Fair Insights from the Other Side of the Table

Posted on October 16, 2014 with No Comments

Build Your IT Career at Fast

Here’s the inside scoop from a recruiter who attends A LOT of job fairs!

What can students do to stand out (in a good way) at a Job Fair?

One of the first questions we ask a candidate at a career fair is, “have you heard of Fast Enterprises?” Students should find the companies and opportunities that they are interested in ahead of time and check out their website & social media. Doing research shows that you are interested in and excited about the opportunity to work at a company.

What do recruiters like best about attending a Job Fair?

We love to meet candidates face to face! This is a candidate’s chance to explain their qualifications to us, rather than us simply viewing their resume on a computer. Tell us about you, what you are looking for and what you can bring to our team. Make a great first impression.

What do recruiters like least about attending a Job Fair?

Because FAST is a smaller company, not many students have heard of us and don’t stop by our booth to learn about us. Instead, they stand in line at the large companies that they are familiar with. We recommend considering the smaller or unfamiliar companies. Just because you haven’t heard of the company before does not mean that they do not have great opportunities available! Be flexible at a career fair and open to all job prospects.

Why should first-years and sophomores attend a Job Fair?

Career fairs can seem intimidating, but attending during your freshman and sophomore years is advantageous. It will help you practice your networking skills and it shows employers that you are motivated, and a go-getter. We love sharing the FAST stories with all candidates and we even give tips to younger students about how they can become a better candidate for FAST in the upcoming years.

~Gina Somsen
Recruiter, Fast Enterprises, LLC

Talk with Fast Representatives Sarah Berry and Chris Schmidt (& 125 other employers!) at the Fall Job Fair on October 22, 2014. 2-6pm. Davis Center

Using the STAR Method in an Interview

Posted on April 24, 2014 with No Comments

Computers shaking handsOver the last few years, we’ve written various posts about the interview process and how to best prepare for such a daunting step within the job search. However, the one thing we haven’t discussed is the importance of learning and practicing the STAR method, so you’re probably asking yourself; what do we mean by the STAR method? Well, it’s a tool you can use when you’re asked either a situational or behavioral question during an interview. STAR is an acronym for:

Situation, Task, Action, Result/Resolution

So, if an interviewer asks you:
“Tell me about a time when you led a team and it went well?”

    • By using the STAR method, you’d describe an example when you led a team and it was a success- the Situation.
  • For example, “Last year, I coordinated and led a team of volunteers on an Alternative Spring Break in New Jersey where I was responsible for 6 students for a week.”

    • Next, you’ll want to describe the work or Tasks you performed.
  • For example, “I drove all of us to New Jersey to help a small community center with the restoration of their town center near the waterfront where Hurricane Sandy occurred.”

    • At this point you’d want to describe your role as the leader- your Actions.
  • For example, “As part of my role, I collaborated with the Community Center Director each day to determine the top priorities, whether it was clean up or restoration of the building, then I’d delegate a job for each of our student volunteers.”

    • Finally, you’d want to describe the result of your leadership- Result.
  • For example, “By giving each volunteer a job, we created a more efficient work environment and ended up finishing the restoration sooner than we had expected.”

    So, what are the benefits of using the STAR method?

    • You’re guaranteed to answer questions with clear examples.
    • It should keep you within the suggested 2 minute time frame for your answers.
    • And it will showcase the skills you’ll bring to the position you’re applying for.

    Practice using it, and then try it in your next big interview. It’s guaranteed to help you succeed.

    ~Danielle

    Don’t Forget to Say Thanks!

    Posted on April 9, 2014 with No Comments

    Hand writing thank you with a penSo you passed the interview stage.  Now what??

    Send a thank you message within a few days of the interview.

    In addition to being courteous, a thank you demonstrates enthusiasm, reiterates interest in a position, and provides another shot at selling yourself for the job.  Plus it demonstrates strong communication skills!

    It’s always beneficial to add more than just “thank you.”  But what should be included?

    • Start with the pleasantries. Thank the employer for taking time to meet with you.  Tell them you enjoyed your conversation.  Discuss interest or excitement about this position and the company.
    • Get specific. Talk about a key moment or expand on an answer.  Discuss personal skills and experiences and how they would be assets for the company.  If there was an important detail left out of the interview, highlight it—briefly.  If part of the interview didn’t go as well as planned, address that here (but don’t make excuses).  Make a connection to information the employer gave during the interview.  Say something like, “When you told me about x, I thought about y.”
    • Sign off. Let the employer know how you’ll follow up, and thank them again.

    Whether to email or mail the thank you depends on the preference of the employer or on the type of interview (phone vs. in person).  The time frame for notification could also dictate how it should be sent. (You don’t want the employer to receive your the note—by mail—the day after they’ve made their decision, right?)

    Here are a few more tips:

    • If the interview was with more than one person, send each one a customized note.
    • Keep the thank you concise.  It doesn’t need to be as long as a cover letter.
    • As always, remember to proofread… Don’t send a note that reads “thanks you.”

    After the thank you has been sent, wait.  If you haven’t heard from the employer by the time they specified, follow up by phone or email and express your continued interest.

    You’ll find a lot of different advice on how to say thank you.  The most important thing is that you do it – one way or another.

    ~Abbey, Career Peer Mentor

    Now What?

    Posted on March 20, 2014 with No Comments

    Stones aligned to form tiny footprintsThe UVM Job Fairs are over for this academic year. Whether you attended the fair or not, here are your next steps on the journey to gain career experience:

    If you attended the fair:

    • Send a simple email thank you to employers you met.
    • Assess what you learned about your interests and skills and what employers are looking for to set a direction for your next steps. Identify your priorities and a list of organizations you want to pursue.
    • Complete the Job Fair survey on Catamount Job Link to assist the Career Center’s plans for next year’s events.

    If you missed the fair:

    • Opportunities to gain career experience are on-going!  Use job search information to assess where you are and the resources available.
    • Search Catamount Job Link and other job/internship databases to identify options.
    • Connect, connect, connect!  Use your networks and explore professional associations to learn more.  The Vermont Alumni Networking Event is April 9th and the DC Alumni Networking is June 5th.

    Keep the conversations going!  Delve into your field of interest. Be bold and take tangible steps toward your goals.

    ~Holly

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