Ellevate Your Career // Interview Tips From a Corporate Recruiter

As a part-time blogger, I rarely give you guys insights into my day job.  While I don’t necessarily actively try to hide it, you can find me on LinkedIn here, I have in the past attempted to try and separate my blogging life from my everyday life. As you can imagine, it became quite exhausting to separate two things I’m passionate about.

So in the effort to become more real and more myself, I decided to start a series on my blog that aligns with my career in Human Resources & Recruitment. I’ll be focusing on providing advice on job searching, interviewing, salary negotiations and many more career related topics geared mainly toward women, in this new series called: Ellevate Your Career.

So in the first post on the Ellevate series, I’m sharing interview tips & tricks straight from a corporate recruiter – me! When it comes to interviewing, here are a few things that can help you stand out from the crowd.

 

// Knowledge is Power //


It’s standard practice to spend time researching the company and interviewer(s) at the organization before the interview, however to ensure that you stand out from the other candidates, take things a step further and dive into the details.

Example: Do you know the name of the CEO of the company? If not, make sure you do! As a recruiter, I’ve had candidates come in for an interview that have failed to answer this question more times than not. Mind blowing given that in most cases, this is the first thing to pop up when running a simple Google search on a company.

When it comes to researching your interviewers, go beyond just the basics of their LinkedIn profile. Take a peek at their hobby section, check out the articles they like and share on the platform. This more personalized knowledge you have to bring up in the interview, the easier it will be to connect with your interviewer. If nothing else, the interviewers will appreciate the time you took to get to know them and the company.

 

// Timing is Everything //


If you do a simple Google search for “Top 5 Interview Tips”, you’ll come across the following tip in every single one of those articles: never show up late or on-time to your interview; in both scenarios you are late.

It’s a piece of advice I wholeheartedly agree with; if you want the job you need to showcase that you are serious enough to take the interviewer’s time into consideration. On the flip-side of that, I’ve noticed a rather odd trend in the past few months. Candidates showing up too early for interviews. (I recently had a candidate show up 45 minutes early to his interview….)

This is where things get tricky – showing up too early for your interview is just as big of a no-no as it is to show up late for an interview. When you show up early, there is a huge amount of stress that’s put on the recruiter, admin team and the interviewers, who inevitably feel like they have to rush through their current project/meeting/appointment to get your interview started.

It’s just bad form and should be avoided.

What do you do if you arrived early and have time to spare? Head to a nearby coffee shop to hang out before your interview. Take a few minutes to meditate before you head into your interview so you are properly relaxed and ready to show them what you got!

 

// Know Your Brand //


Personal branding has been a big topic in the last few years, especially since social media platforms have become a new revenue stream for many. Outside of the social media space, personal branding is a huge benefit to those looking to get ahead in their careers as well.

Are you able to pitch yourself to others?

One of the biggest missteps with candidates is their inability to articulate their knowledge, experience and career background to others. If your interviewers are asking questions like, “so what do you do exactly in your current role?”, you aren’t doing a good enough job in the personal branding space.

Take the time to practice your pitch with your friends, family, even strangers. Get their feedback and make sure that you are able to articulate your skill-set to others outside of your profession. It’s a critical skill that can help you in many situations in life.

 

// Stay In The Positive Lane //


If there is one thing that turns off prospective employers more than anything else, it’s negative smack talk about your current employer.

No matter how dissatisfied you are with your current job, you should never be rude or disrespectful when talking about your current employer. This world is a tiny place and you never know when your former boss, co-workers, or executive team could come back up in your life.

Keep your answers in a positive light and if asked about why you are looking to leave, flip it around and talk about how the position you are interviewing for is a new opportunity to further your career.

The one question I like to ask all candidates is, “Tell me on thing you love about your current company and job?” Take a few minutes to think about how you would answer that question yourself.

 

 

// Practice Gratitude //


Technology comes with a ton of new avenues to communicate with one another, some great and others not so great. With so many to connect with people, there is no excuse to not write a thank you note post interview.

I’ve been amazed at how few candidates that come through the door actually write a thank you note. If you think that it doesn’t go unnoticed by a potential new employer – you are dead wrong.

Therefore I highly recommend that you send out a thank you note (email is preferred in most cases) within 24 hours of your interview. Highlight parts of your conversation and reiterate your interest in the position. It can mean the difference between a job offer and a job rejection.

 

I would love to know from all of you – what’s the best interview advice you’ve ever received? Do you agree with the tips above or disagree. Share your opinion below!

 

ICYMI: The Best Financial Decision I Made In My 20’sPlease Stop Asking Me How I Afford To Travel, & 5 Career Blogs For The Go Getter Girls

Corporate Recruiter sitting at her desk writing out interview tips Interview tips from a corporate recruiter


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13 Comments

  1. February 7, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    What are your thoughts on a hand written thank you note? I still do it, because in my mind if that is the ONE thing that sets me apart it’s worth it. But is it annoying?

    • Monica
      Author
      February 8, 2018 / 10:55 am

      Hey Katie! So that’s an interesting question because I know there are a lot of variety of opinions on it even within the recruitment industry. Here is my viewpoint from my experience. I’m against hand written notes because 1) getting a thank you note to a interviewer within 24 hours is tough to do with a hand written note, unless you hand deliver it the next day or pre-write them. 2) if you pre-write them, you miss the opportunity to add a personal touch to your note based on your interview conversation.

      Since i’ve worked mainly in at technology companies, things move so quickly that a email is preferred. Also, I can tell you that candidates don’t write thank you emails/notes as often as they should, so you would already stand out by sending one in the first place.

  2. February 7, 2018 / 6:51 pm

    Wow, I wish I had read this a week ago! I had a job interview that I THINK went well, but it could have gone better. I love the tip about branding yourself—never thought of it that way.

    • Monica
      Author
      February 8, 2018 / 10:52 am

      I’m sure you totally knocked your interview out of the park! I always recommend that people work on their personal branding pitch at all times since you never know when it can come in handy!

  3. February 8, 2018 / 4:58 am

    Thank you so much for the post! I think to always be calm and confident really does help. I’m still at Uni so I don’t have to worry about this too much, not yet at least haha

    with love, Bash   |   HEY BASH

    • Monica
      Author
      February 8, 2018 / 10:47 am

      Thanks Bash! I will say, it’s never too early to practice selling yourself to others. You never know when an opportunity may present itself.

  4. February 8, 2018 / 6:58 am

    This is so helpful! Definitely bookmarking this and I love how all these advices are from a recruiter! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

    • Monica
      Author
      February 8, 2018 / 10:46 am

      Thanks Rach! If you every have any other questions, let me know. I’m always happy to share my knowledge!

  5. February 8, 2018 / 10:18 am

    Loving all these tips, especially if you show up on time you’re late and doing research beforehand. I always spend the evenings leading up to an interview diving through their site and taking notes and coming up with questions to ask <3
    Green Fashionista

    • Monica
      Author
      February 8, 2018 / 10:37 am

      Thanks Kate! I love that you take the time, surprisingly most candidates don’t and I think it’s a great habit to have.

    • Monica
      Author
      February 8, 2018 / 2:19 pm

      Thanks Heather! I’m glad you found these tips helpful.

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