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How to have a stress free interview and land the job

Posted on October 25, 2016 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (39407)

You have always heard that practice makes perfect.  An athelet practices before the big game; an actor has a dress rehearsal before the grand opening.  Your big event is that interview.  "Land" the perfect score and you get the job. So don't just wing it......practice!

Before the Interview:

Make sure to know your resume (the recruiter only knows you because of your resume….questions will most likely stem from your resume.)

Prepare some "go to" responses.  Have a mental rollerdeck of some key behavioral questions.  Most interviews will either be all or partially behavior al based.  Having some good examples of your past experiences will make the interview go more smoothly.  We have all mind blanked from stress where we can hardly remember our names!  Having these mental answers will help at least lessen the possibility that you wont' just sit there with a blank expression when the interviewer asks the first question!

Have examples where you excelled or show strength in:

 

  • Leadership
  • Team work/ Collaboration
  • Managerial skills
  • Budget/Finances
  • Communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Influencing/Consultative skills
The Day Before:

 

  • Confirm your interview with the recruiter (time, date, location and with whom you should be meeting).
  • How familiar are you with the interview location? Doing a trial run (drive/transportation, parking, etc. can take up more time than you think, doing a drive by will take out the guess work and some stress.)
  • Practice your interview answers in a mirror or record yourself. Watching yourself you correct not just what you say but your body language speaks volumes. Taking some time to practices and correct bad posture or behaviours can make the difference in getting the job or not.
  • Lay out your clothes! Do you have everything clean and pressed? Are your shoes polished?

 

 

 

 


What to Bring:

 

  • Bring extra copies of your resume
  • References
  • If you submitted other documents (cover letter, writing sample, etc…make sure to have copies of these as well)
  • A portfolio (with a pad of paper and a pen)
  • Money (parking?)
  • Directions
  • Handkerchief/a wet nap/purell
  • A completed application (not necessarily for this company…) Most applications have a similar format. Bringing one with you will save time and the headache of trying to look up addresses and phone numbers of previous employers and all those dates!
  • A smile

 

 

The Day of
  • No matter whose birthday it is or that friend that so needs you to be his/her wingman...get a good nights rest and keep the celebrating until after you get the job!
  • Have a good breakfast and if you can go for a walk or run. Your brain needs the energy and the exercise will help you process your thoughts.
  • Leave early…..you should arrive about 15 min. before the appointment. Most times, you will be asked to fill out an application. If you arrive at the set time, you may end up using the valuable time to interview completing the form….bring your old application to help save time!
  • If you arrive more than 15 mins before go walk around the block, go get a cup of coffee…if you are extremely early, its okay to inform the receptionist that you have arrived early and ask if the person would be available sooner…IF NOT, don’t just hang out…thank them and tell them you will return closer to the time that was scheduled (and ask if there is anything like an application, etc., that you could fill out in the mean time.)
  • Do NOT just walk into the office….go directly to the bathroom first.
  • Check yourself out…all the way around.,.,.did you sit in anything,.,,is your skirt stuck in your pantyhose,,,,even your shoes….try explaining that odor to the recruiter when both of you are trapped in a tiny little room and you stepped in doggie doo!
Immediately after your interview:

  • Do not even turn the car on! Fill out thank you cards! To each person that you met including the receptionist (they have more power and input than you think). If possible have the envelopes pre addressed and stamped…that will save time.
  • Review your notes: what follow up or action items were you given.
  • Mark your calendar for 2 days after the recruiter said they would get back to you. That will be your date to call and discuss next steps.

These steps will not only make you a better candidate (you are prepared, you follow through and follow up appropriately) it will show the recruiter that you are taking this seriously and that you really want the job....

May the best man or woman win!

 


Rediscover you

Posted on September 22, 2016 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (33385)

After my first week of career advising students at CU Boulder's new South Denver Campus, i noticed how many of the students (mostly non traditional, working professionals) still use the results of self exploration and discovery from their days as an undergrad.  For some that was 5- 10 years prior but for many we are talking 15, 20+.  As we gain experience (work and personal) we adapt, we modify, we change. For these students it was important that we took a step back and reexamine ourselves: our passions, our attributes, our goals and create a new starting point. 
As i work with these students over the next few weeks we will be able to keep these new attributes and goals in mind as we lay out a new path and rework their resume and CV's to reflect these changes. 

To put this to test, i decided to do the attribute inventory worksheet along with the students.  I found that i need to make some changes to my resume so it will reflect the current (and hopefully guide the future) me.  When was the last time you examined yourself?

The importance of experiential learning

Posted on August 23, 2016 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (28899)

To many students an internship is a way to make some extra cash and possibly credit for a course.  But what they get is so much more.  Thinking back the 100 years ago that i was an intern, i found that I learned things that I could never learn in the classroom:  Office protocal, office politics, lingo, attire.  I learned their place, their importance and how to maneuver through without, well, looking like an intern.  Your internship is the place where you can make those mistakes and be forgiven.  Those mistakes during your "career" can label you for years to come.  Take advantage of the opportunity and the experience and most importantly enjoy the opportunity, treat it serious and professionally and they will treat you the same.

So....you want to be a consultant...

Posted on August 2, 2016 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (27817)

So You Want to be a Consultant?

Five things every consulting candidate should know

From all outward appearances, business consulting is glamorous. You work with top people at respected firms. You travel constantly. You delve into the deepest recesses of prominent organizations to help solve their problems. Essentially, you play hard and work harder. For all that you earn some serious money. If that’s your definition of glamour, consulting could be for you.

But the process of getting into management consulting is far from glamorous, and competition is fierce. The ability to reach into a complex body of knowledge and then think quickly, objectively, laterally, and quantitatively while expressing yourself succinctly and persuasively doesn’t come easily to everyone—even to otherwise well-prepared business school graduates. Moreover, consulting is a career in which the learning requirements never stop. A consultant will spend the rest of his or her working days constantly soaking up, correlating, processing, and assimilating knowledge.

Do you think you have what it takes? You already know the basic education and knowledge requirements, but here are five key skills you will also need to be successful in business consulting:

1. Influencing Skills. The traditional influencing skills that are rooted in education and knowledge are just the start. To be successful, you'll need to be an active listener, which means leaving your preconceived notions at the client's door. Influencing skills also include knowing how to ignore internal politics when assessing issues, thinking several steps ahead of your clients at all times, and knowing how to fill a personal knowledge gap in very short order winning your clients over to your point of view—often while under pressure.

 

2. Vertical Skills. A successful consultant must have deep knowledge of his or her chosen verticals. Whether it's banking, wireless technology, healthcare, or government, a top consultant will know the vertical’s history, be on top of the latest news and trends, and have informed opinions about the financial impact of legislation and regulations. The deeper your knowledge, the more likely people will demand your expertise.

 

3. Practice Skills. Most of a consultant's activity is focused on client work—but success also requires dedicating a portion of time to the activities of your practice group, even when those activities aren't billable. A consultant should drive thought leadership, seek opportunities to speak at forums, write papers, and constantly increase knowledge through certifications and training.

 

4. Process Skills. The ability to see business operations as a series of process steps is essential. That includes being able to see how knowledge steps—for example, assessing a bank's risk in making a loan—are based on output steps, such as validating the loan applicant's personal information and processing the data. This process skill includes seeing the financial impact of your work on the client’s bottom line. If you are able to relate your consulting project/activity and show how it will positively affect their ROI then why are you even there? A consultant also needs to be able to articulate how a client's processes compare to industry best practices.

 

5. Technology Skills. We live in a fast-moving global economy that's rooted in rapidly evolving technology. Do you know what ‘cloud’ is? ‘Big Data’? How will ‘enterprise mobility applications’ change the competitive landscape of various industries? A consultant needs to be able to offer meaningful insights about game-changing technologies in order to help clients understand the opportunities and pitfalls.

When all is said and done, a consultant is first and foremost a change agent—and the most successful practitioners have a passion for change that they can translate into practical business plans that make clients feel comfortable, confident, and just as passionate about change.

Is this glamorous work? Maybe. Is it hard work and occasionally highly stressful? There's no doubt. But the rewards—not just the financial gains, but also seeing how your guidance benefits an organization and its people—make it all worthwhile. Consulting firms are looking for talented advisors who can help their clients become leaner and more competitive business machines. Are you that person?

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