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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted June 20, 2016 by

How to get a dream job even without experience

Dream, job, way photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

It’s intensely frustrating. You spend years getting further education, you work your butt off, you rack up extra debt, and afterwards no doors will open because ‘you lack experience’ or because university ‘didn’t teach you the skills you need.’ But how can you get experience if nobody will give you a job?

Well fear not; there are actually ways to get that dream job after all, and that’s without first working 10 years at some entry-level position trying to make your mark. It just means working hard right now and showing everybody that you’ve got the mojo to pull it off.
So are you ready to get noticed? Here’s what you’ve got to do.

Do the time

Despite what many young people think, the world doesn’t owe them anything. That means your dream job is not going to get thrown into your lap. If you want it, you’ve got to look for it, hunt for it, and when you found it, battle to get it. So make sure you don’t sit back and wait for something to happen.

Instead, pursue every channel to get the job you want, be it social media, friends of the family, career counseling at university or the classifieds in the local newspaper (some people actually still use those). And apply to everything that sounds close to what you want. Even if you don’t end up wanting it, the experience from going to the interview can be just what you need to wow your future employers when you do land the right interview.

Develop your soft skills

One of the biggest problems employers have with fresh graduates is that they don’t have the soft skills necessary to actually get anywhere in the workplace. By soft skills I mean teamwork, communication, writing and problem-solving skills. An even bigger problem? Graduates think they’re actually very good at those things and therefore don’t take the time to become better at them. Don’t be like everybody else; accept that you’ve still got a lot to learn, then go out of your way to learn soft skills!

Be confident but not arrogant

There is another good reason besides soft skills that many people don’t like hiring recent graduates – and that’s because recent graduates often have a much higher estimation of what they’re capable of than what they’re actually capable of. They come swaggering into the workplace believing that they’ll show these business people a thing or two about how it’s done.

The thing is, often they don’t know how it’s done. They’ve got too little work experience and often too much idealism. They’ve got a lot to learn but think too highly of themselves to realize this is so.

Don’t be that person. Be respectful, accept that you’re still at the beginning of your life and that experience is valuable, but make it clear to your future employer that you’re smart enough to know what you know and driven enough to learn what you don’t. That will impress them.

Prepare for the interview

There are some tricky questions interviewers can’t ask you, and if you haven’t prepared then they may stump you. So take time to prepare. Not only that, but make sure you know the names of the people you’re going to interview with, as well as whatever basic facts you can find online. People will be impressed if you are well-informed. It shows that you care, that you’re a good researcher, that you’re proactive and that you’re willing to invest effort to get what you want.

Show off your expertise

If you want the dream job, you’ve got to show that your skill set is much greater than your limited CV gives you credit for. So you’ve got to show off your expertise. This can be done in multiple ways–by getting an endorsement from somebody who matters in the industry or one of your professors, for instance, but probably the best way is to actually start working in the field. So either start freelancing while you’re still in college, or otherwise start blogging and build up a reputation as somebody who knows what they’re talking about.

Be passionate

Read books and articles in your field, understand theory as best you can, know who the players are, and when you get around to writing your cover letter, show them how much you care. Now don’t be a gushing ninny. You’ve got to be professional, but you still have to demonstrate to them that even though you don’t have as much experience as everybody else in the field, you’ve got more than enough passion to make up for it.

Be a protagonist

You’ve got to take responsibility for your actions or your lack thereof. It won’t be easy to jump the cue. It will, in fact, take a lot of hard work, so you’ve got to prepare for that. That said, it is possible so long as you take the time to be do what you’ve got to do and show that you’re a cut above the rest.

And if it goes wrong, own it, learn what you can from it and get back up again. Then push on. That’s the only way it’s going to work. You’ve got to be the hero of your own story, because otherwise you’re the victim. And who hires the victim?

Jonathan Emmen, guest writer

Jonathan Emmen, guest writer

Jonathan Emmen is a student and an inspired blogger from Copenhagen. His passion is writing, and he finds inspiration in traveling, books, and movies. You can follow him on @JonnyEmmen or you can also follow him on Kinja.

Posted April 20, 2016 by

Training to interview entry-level job candidates

Young woman being interviewed for a job courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock.com

Some hiring managers may believe they don’t need much preparation to interview candidates for entry-level jobs. However, getting the most value out of these interviews requires interviewers to understand what they are looking for in potential employees. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany, discusses the benefits of training hiring managers to interview candidates for entry-level jobs and offers advice for the hiring process.

“Entry-level jobs don’t get enough attention sometimes. They can provide value for any organization. A new hire who excels at an entry-level job wants to continue succeeding and, ideally, grow within your organization. By training hiring managers to interview entry-level candidates, employers can save their companies time and money, build their internal talent pipelines, and encourage internal talent mobility.

Hiring managers need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to effectively find quality talent. When they evaluate entry-level job seekers, discerning their job skills can be difficult to do. Train hiring managers to ask the right questions to identify the crucial skills candidates possess and to accurately assess candidates’ soft skills and motivation.

The best method for training, evaluating, and improving your hiring process is by looking at analytics. Quality of Hire is the perfect tool for seeing how well your hiring managers are recruiting. It considers performance and goal achievement, as well as retention rates.

This metric informs the overall quality fit for people joining the team and provides leadership with the tools necessary to see how well managers are hiring for company culture and performance. We access this metric through our own talent management platform to consistently evaluate and improve our processes to ensure we are building the best team possible.”

For more information on interviewing job candidates, go to the College Recruiter blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Posted April 18, 2016 by

3 tips for a successful situational interview

Business cartoon showing psychologist asking interviewee dog a question courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Cartoonresource/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever had a situational interview? In situational interviews, interviewers ask candidates questions on how they might handle specific situations in the workplace; these interviews differ from behavioral interviews. When recruiters ask you behavioral questions, they ask you how you have handled situations in the past. When recruiters ask you situational questions, they want to know how you would hypothetically handle situations should they occur in the future. For students and recent grads who may lack work experience, situational questions give you a chance to shine and showcase your problem solving and critical thinking skills. These interviews also tell potential employers whether or not you’re the right cultural fit for their companies based on what you will do in the future, not what you’ve done in the past. Whether you’re a college student, recent graduate, or other job seeker, here are three tips to prepare you for a successful situational interview.

1. See yourself in the job.

When answering questions, answer them to explain the way you might behave in real settings in the workplace. Describe the action you would take as an employee and explain why you would take that action.

2. Research potential employers.

You don’t want to go into any interview without researching a potential employer. Understanding a company’s policies and company culture will give you a better idea of what it expects of employees. This can help you answer situational interview questions because you can, at least partly, base your responses on research.

3. Avoid profanity and stay positive.

Be careful not to use profanity during your situational interview. You may not only offend the interviewer, but you also leave a negative impression of how you might talk to co-workers. Stay positive, and keep focused on how you will help a potential employer. Never bash former employers or focus on what has gone wrong in the past. Situational interviews give you the chance to discuss what you might do differently if given the chance, so focus on being positive, hopeful, and optimistic.

Situational interviews foreshadow what job seekers could be like in the workplace. Prepare to answer questions relevant to the job and company you’re interested in, so employers will see you as the best fit for them.

Do you need more information on interviewing for your job search? Click on over to the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted April 12, 2016 by

6 non-verbal interview tips

Do actions really speak louder than words? Many psychologists believe that 80 to 90% of communication is non-verbal or body language. Studies have shown that 55% of communication is body language or non-verbal communication, 38% is tone of voice, and 7% is the spoken word or verbal communication.

If this research proves true—and when it comes to interviews, these numbers don’t lie—it’s probably a good idea to spend time not only reviewing common interview questions but also brushing up on your non-verbal interview skills. The following brief video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, will prepare you well for your next interview.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

1. Care what you wear.

You only have about seven seconds to make a first impression when you meet someone; think strategically about how you present yourself from head to toe. How will you fix your hair? Have you bathed (and smell clean) but aren’t wearing strong scents (perfume and cologne)? Are you wearing obnoxiously bright colors or flashy jewelry? Did you choose a neutral-colored suit? If you’re a female, avoid open-toed shoes. If you’re a male, be sure to shine/polish your shoes and match your socks to either your shoes or slacks.

Consider every element of your attire and appearance. This lets recruiters know that you value details.

2. Control your facial expressions.

Facial expressions play a big role in how others perceive our non-verbal skills or body language. Smile—avoid a deadpan facial expression during your interviews. It’s also critical to respond rather than react emotionally to interview questions. This doesn’t mean you want to keep a strict poker face when prodded to respond to questions about the worst boss you’ve ever had, but at the same time, you don’t want to snarl and roll your eyes, either. In general, keep your emotions in check at all times during interviews. A great way to do this is by maintaining a positive, pleasant facial expression and by pausing briefly before responding to difficult questions.

3. Maintain good posture.

Be mindful of your posture during your interview. Sit up straight unless you are physically unable to do so. This presents you as looking alert, interested, and full of energy; these are all desirable qualities in an employee. Avoid slumping or leaning on armrests of chairs. Adjust your seated position if you must. Try not to sit on the edge of your seat the entire time, though. Leaning back against the chair makes you appear more comfortable and relaxed, even if you’re totally nervous. Never let them see you sweat, right?

4. Shake hands firmly.

That old adage about having a firm handshake is absolutely still valid. This one applies to everyone. Don’t go overboard, though. Shaking hands isn’t a “feats of strength” contest. You also want to avoid shaking hands and holding on to your interviewer’s hand for a long time. That’s just plain creepy. A simple, brief, firm handshake is pretty easy to master and is a key non-verbal skill. You might need to practice, though, long before your first interview.

5. Avoid distracting mannerisms.

Mannerisms include nodding your head (avoid bobblehead syndrome), excessive hand movements, rapid eye movements or blinking, touching your face unnecessarily, playing with your hair, picking at your nails or cuticles, and other tiny habits you may have acquired over the years but don’t pay much attention to until you’re in the spotlight. In the interview setting, every distracting mannerism is noticed. You don’t need to sit completely still, but you do need to avoid fidgeting.

This is one reason you should think carefully about your choice of hairstyle, accessories, and outfit. You want to be completely confident and comfortable. If you’re not, you’re going to be fidgeting with your clothing, hair, and jewelry; what’s better is to be focusing on the words you’re saying and the words your future employer is saying. You want your future employer to remember your savvy questions about the job opening, not the way you twirled your hair incessantly.

6. Make consistent eye contact.

Be sure to make consistent eye contact with your interviewer(s). You don’t want to stare down your future employer, but you do want to have a natural conversation during the interview. When you have a conversation, you make a moderate amount of eye contact. This is important in all interviews, even in group or team interviews. If one person asks a question, you must make eye contact with all team or group members when you respond, not just with the person who asked the question.

Ultimately, attempt to strike a balance when it comes to non-verbal skills and body language during interviews. You really can’t go wrong with this approach.

Need more interview tips to prepare you for your job search?

Read articles on our blog, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. When you feel ready to apply, register and begin your job search with us.

 

Posted April 11, 2016 by

10 job interview questions you shouldn’t ask

Bad job interview - concept courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Eviled/Shutterstock.com

Congratulations! You’ve landed an entry-level job interview. Now, it is time to prepare for the big day, which includes creating some interview questions to ask if you get the chance. Keep in mind, though, there are questions college students and recent graduates should not ask their potential employers during interviews.

1. How much does the job pay?

Asking about salary in an interview tells the interviewer you’re more concerned with money than the actual job. I’m not saying money isn’t important, but save this discussion for after you have received a job offer.

2. How many days of vacation do I get?

It’s not wise for job seekers to ask about vacation time before landing entry-level jobs. Focusing on time off without a job offer leaves an impression that you lack commitment to work.

3. Can I take time off during exams?

This question might indicate to employers that college students have trouble handling multiple responsibilities, or that school is more important than work. Even though school work is a priority for students, employers are considering what is important to them.

4. Can I use social media at work?

It’s probably obvious to most (if not all) of you why job seekers shouldn’t ask this question. Interviewers would feel you’re more concerned with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers than succeeding at the position you’ve applied for.

Businessman working from home on laptop courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

5. Can I work from home?

Asking this question can leave an interviewer wondering if you have an issue with coming to work regularly. Wait until proving yourself for a while on a new job before requesting to work from home.

6. What kind of job is this?

Please don’t ask this question. If you do, you might as well walk out of the interview. The interviewer expects you to know what kind of job you’ve applied for. You can find this information in the job posting and on the company website.

7. When will I get promoted?

Asking this question makes the assumption that a job seeker has won the position, which won’t impress the interviewer. Remember, you need to get the job first so concentrate on that. With a good attitude and hard work, you may eventually earn a promotion.

8. Do you want my references?

The interviewer is concerned about you, not anyone else. It’s great you have references but save them for later, and focus on nailing the interview.

9. Are there any background checks?

Asking potential employers about background checks raises a red flag in their minds that you have something to hide. If you’re sure of yourself as a job candidate, a background check or drug screen won’t bother you.

10. Did I get the job?

While I’m sure you can’t wait to find out if you got the job, avoid asking if you did in the interview. Unless you’re told otherwise, follow up to learn the employer’s decision. Don’t follow up too soon. It’s okay to ask the employer at the end of the interview about the timeline for filling the position—this lets you know how long to wait before calling to check on your status as an applicant.

In a nutshell, job seekers should wait until after they receive employment offers before asking questions related to issues primarily benefiting themselves.

Are you looking for more information to help you in your job search? Come over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted February 25, 2016 by

10 interview guidelines

Photo of Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith, guest writer

The interview is the most crucial period to secure a career that will better your life. For job seekers going on their very first interviews, the thoughts would sound limitless to end-up a big “YES” from the hiring manager. Impressing the interviewer should be their target within the short amount of time. There are certain things which can turn out pretty well for candidates in professional interactions apart from their resume templates: The way candidates present themselves, the way they align the entire narration, and the way they speak confidently with the hiring manager right from the beginning til the end.

Before starting interview preparation, candidates need to list a few things that will increase the chances of their selection.

1. Body language: Have better control over your body. Don’t keep pursed lips and give eyebrow gestures.

2. Greet the interviewer: Utilize the opportunity to express friendly greetings to the interviewer after entering into his/her office.

3. Excel in self introduction: Plan how to introduce yourself to the interviewer with no space for fog horns. Ensure interconnectivity for every preceding sentence.

4. Be thorough with the job role: Be aware of the job roles and responsibilities before the interview. Depending upon an employer’s requirement, prepare the desired skills and highlight the same in an interview.

5. Short & sweet conversation: Make your answers brief rather than detailing every minor thing.

6. Limit personal information: If needed, outline your personal information, but don’t prolong this as a main part of the conversation.

7. Be frank: Never try to answer the question in an untruthful way. If you know the answer, say it.

Group of color speech balloons with questions isolated on white background courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Oleksiy Mark/Shutterstock.com

8. Have an answer for every query: Be prepared to ace the 5 W’s and 1 H (who, what, when, where, why, and how) questions in an interview because every organization needs consistent candidates to serve with them in the long run.

9. Speak fluently: Avoid grammatical mistakes. Never let the nervousness get recognized in your voice. Job candidates’ voices can decide how confident they are with their skills.

10. After completion of the interview: Few interviewers may ask candidates’ expectations from their end. At this moment, be very polite to convey your views in a professional manner. “Career growth” could be among the best answers to date.
Finally, job candidates should be themselves to answer every question without sensing a nudge.

Need more interview tips and help with your job search? Visit College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Lisa Smith is a designer by profession but has a love for creativity and also enjoys writing articles for almost all topics. Career, web, social media and self-improvement are her favorite topics. Apart from this, she is also a great animal lover and loves to volunteer for a few rescue centers.

Posted February 12, 2016 by

Interview questions recruiters can ask job candidates

Every company has its own interview process designed to learn more about job candidates. How college students and recent graduates answer questions from an interviewer can make or break their chances of landing entry-level jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers can ask candidates a variety of interview questions during the hiring process. Dennis Theodorou, Executive Search Expert and Vice President of Operations at JMJ Phillip Executive Search, discusses his company’s interview process and offers questions recruiters may ask candidates in general.

Job applicant answering interview questions courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

“December and May are peak hiring times for the majority of employers, and that allows us to hire directly out of several of the top-ranked colleges. In a strong hiring year, well over 100 recent graduates are interviewed, and we’ll hire as many as 10. Some of the top qualities we’re searching for when hiring for any one of our workforce and recruiting companies are listed below.

We consider our first interview a fairly easy process; the first round interview focuses more on general knowledge, passions, goals in life, etc., and that allows the job candidate to be less anxious and communicate freely. The second interview, which some have dubbed “the beat down session,” is where we dive into behavioral economics and reasons why people do the things they do. What we’re seeking from college graduates at this point in the interview process is whether or not they will fit into our culture naturally.

Employers want to know if the job candidate can operate autonomously. As a college graduate, can you honestly work well within a team when needed? Are you motivated? Are you a hustler in your work ethics? Are you naturally curious and willing to learn something new every day? How well do you deal with adversity? Do you have the ability to develop customer service skills in order to deal with client? These are questions employers should ask to really understand who they’re hiring. For some of our positions, we look for signs and ask if they possess the business acumen and creativity to develop and contribute to profitable ideas. We may be hiring a college student, but one who has the skills and qualities of a professional ready to take on the workforce!”

Interested in learning more about interview questions, go to College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Mr. Dennis Theodorou has more than 15 years of operational excellence and executive experience across multiple industries including: executive search, supply chain, manufacturing, retail and hospitality. Mr. Theodorou graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management from the leading supply chain management college in the world: Michigan State University. He has continued his education through graduate-level course work at Harvard University. As a development agent for Subway, he managed and led an entire region of store locations including the management of self-owned stores, franchise development, real estate and area management. As a national expert in hiring, he has hired more than 700 employees over his entire career span and works hand-in-hand with companies to help on board top talent. Currently as Vice President of JMJ Phillip, he manages a portfolio of executive recruiting and employment service brands, spanning multiple locations and across nearly all verticals.

Posted February 05, 2016 by

Addressing low grades during interviews

Photo of Joe Flanagan

Joe Flanagan, guest writer

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, there’s a crisis in the USA with only 46% of students finishing college. Whether you have dropped out or graduated with low grades you are not alone. Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, particularly your very first one, but if you are leaving college with low grades, the prospect of interviews can seem even more daunting. It is important to remember that despite low grades, you have still been invited for an interview, so the employer is interested in you. If you are worried about explaining your low grades, these tips can help you deal with this without it becoming a major issue. (more…)

Posted January 12, 2016 by

3 steps to a flawless telephone interview [video]

 

With travel costs skyrocketing and recruitment budgets shrinking, telephone interviews and online interviews are becoming more common. If you’re a recent college graduate, and this news scares the pants off you, keep calm and read on.

Relying solely on your words to carry you through an interview can feel a bit intimidating. Even traditional face-to-face interviews feel intimidating when you’re a newbie. With a little practice and lots of preparation, you’ll become a pro.

Watch our 5-minute overview of a simple 3-step process to a flawless telephone interview:

If the video is not playing or displaying properly, click here to watch on YouTube.

1. Schedule the interview and set reminders

It’s helpful to schedule telephone interviews because you won’t be sawing logs in your sleep when the phone rings and catches you off guard. You’ll be alert, prepared, and much more likely to perform well during phone interviews if you schedule them.

Another important part of scheduling telephone interviews is knowing who’s calling whom. If you’re calling your interviewer, set a reminder in your phone, and keep your phone charged and with you so you’ll hear the reminder/alarm. And don’t forget one other important thing—contact information for your interviewer. It’s best to have two ways to contact your interviewer in case one phone number doesn’t work that day or technology fails you. Obtain both your interviewer’s phone number and email address if possible.

Related: Phone interview questions and answers

2. Prepare

Tursk Aleksandra/Shutterstock.com

There are several ways to prepare well for telephone interviews. Let’s hit the high points.

Above all, prepare for a phone interview the same way you’d prepare for any other interview—reviewing basic interview questions, researching the company, getting a good night’s sleep the night before, etc.

Telephone interviews are a different animal, though, than face-to-face interviews, so let’s focus on how to prepare specifically for phone interviews versus face-to-face interviews.

Related: How to respond to the 5 most basic interview questions

Ensure you have all documentation and sources you might want to refer to during the phone interview on hand and available. This should include a copy of your resume, cover letter, digital portfolio, and company website. Be sure to send copies of said documents in advance as well (resume, cover letter, and portfolio link).

Related: Latest rules for resume writing from expert career counselor

Prepare a distraction-free zone. Schedule your call at a time and in a location free from as many sounds as possible, including children, friends, romantic partners, other students, coworkers, cars, etc. Even if you are great at zoning out and focusing on conversations, your interviewer might not be, and there’s no faster way to turn off a potential future employer than to schedule your phone interview and force your interviewer to try to compete for your attention or discern your voice from five others in the background. It’s also best to eliminate visual distractions from your sight. Give yourself the gift of focus during your telephone interview.

Keep a bottle or glass of water handy, but don’t consume too much. You can’t pause the interview for a restroom break, and you don’t want to cause yourself any discomfort which would distract you either. And by all means, don’t crunch and munch on snacks during your interview, chew gum, or eat candy. Noises like this are amplified over the phone, and you don’t want to come across like a chipmunk on the other end.


TIP: Make sure to supplement your online job search with networking. Once you get guidance from your network, target your online search to the right job titles and companies. After you apply, follow up with someone who works there. College Recruiter lists thousands of entry-level job opportunities. Would it make sense to start searching?


3. Communicate as if face-to-face, but remember you’re not

When you smile, stand up, nod your head, and sit up straight, you sound more positive, energetic, and focused. This is probably the way you would carry yourself physically if you were interviewing face-to-face, so sit/stand this way while interviewing by phone, too. If you’re physically able, standing up while conducting a phone interview, at least periodically, is usually a good idea. It helps you maintain a higher energy level, and believe it or not, it’s conveyed in your voice tone.

Related: How recent grads can ace the second interview

Conduct yourself as if you’re face-to-face, smiling and doing all these little things (honing your non-verbal skills) while on the telephone interview, but remember you’re not face-to-face—your interview can only hear your words and the tone of your voice. Be sure to enunciate clearly and use words you’re familiar with to avoid mispronounced words.

If you follow these 3 simple steps—scheduling and setting reminders, preparing, and communicating as if face-to-face—your telephone interview is bound to succeed.

Posted December 22, 2015 by

10 toxic phrases to avoid in job interviews

human resources team during job interview with woman

Human resources team during job interview with woman. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Now that you have graduated, or are on the way to graduating, your behavior in job interviews is more important than ever. Saying or doing the wrong thing is a risk in losing out on great opportunities. That’s no way to begin a career. One thing job seekers can do to help themselves is avoid saying things that are unprofessional or inadvertently offensive when they are being interviewed. Take a few minutes to read this list of 10 toxic phrases to avoid; make it a goal to avoid using them. (more…)