To get hired, first do your homework. Specifically, read and study Paul C. Green’s book, Get Hired. Credited with inventing the term “behavioral interviewing,” Dr. Green’s experience qualifies him to be a virtual personal job coach, and a valuable resource for anyone in transition.
Nor surprisingly, the fear faced by job-seekers today is wondering if they will actually get hired. Those still in school know that a college degree adds significantly to lifetime earnings. University degree notwithstanding, I’ve noticed talented students struggle to master the skills of business networking, interviewing for a job, and doing what it takes to get hired.
Again, to get hired – no matter what your age, education or experience level – you must do your homework, and be prepared!
To Get Hired, Being Smart Isn’t Enough
Being smart isn’t enough. Several years ago, I mentored RV in the MILE student leaders mentoring program at Fogelman College of Business & Economics, University of Memphis. She was really smart (3.96 GPA), talented (violin soloist), a leader (rotating concert master of the university orchestra) and a team player (always helping others). It didn’t mean she felt competent about interviewing for internships. After all, she was not from the U.S., and unsure whether she could compete effectively to land a prized internship. She was also smart enough to know that her friends were just as anxious to get hired as she was. Hmmm, that made them competitors, didn’t it?
RV is a rare blend of whole-brain intellect, with an incredible amount of self-discipline. I introduced her to another mentor in the MILE leadership program at the University of Memphis, who agreed to set up an interview with the CFO of his company. Turns out the CFO had been a MILE mentor two years before, and she knew these students were the “cream of the crop.”
Thinking I was just the chauffeur, I was surprised when invited to sit in on the interview. RV was trying to get hired for an internship, as she explained, “to help me be prepared as a fully contributing employee for your company.” No coaching from me; she knew how to position value!
By leveraging Google as her primary research tool, RV learned about the company in advance. She was aware of shared core values, the company’s profitable track record, and the location of offices all over the world.
Who You Know Can Help You Get Hired
The interviewing CFO volunteered that she had studied piano for years (while majoring in accounting) and understood how much effort it takes to carry a dual load of practice and study. Who knew? Neither of the mentors in the mix! I saw this as a God wink, not a random coincidence.
The CFO also offered her philosophy of earning a graduate degree vs. passing the CPA exam as soon as possible, and other thoughtful tidbits that were both relevant and insightful. We ended the interview knowing one another better, and mutually enriched.
RV was not offered an internship at the first interview. But the CFO did invite her to an upcoming professional meeting, where she personally introduced RV to the internship recruiter of the company’s accounting firm, as well as to other women CFOs. That was a huge, encouraging win!
RV sent a ‘thank you’ email that very day, to which the CFO responded immediately. She also sent a thank-you note to both company representatives she had met.
Want to know the amazing results of advance preparation? Leave me a comment and I will update the story. RV’s determination, commitment to learning, and relationship savvy continue to advance her career with a well-respected, international company.
This week I met with a career transition group, filled with seasoned talent. I’m sure that some felt that they are back in school, too. In an upcoming article I’ll share the process I taught them to ace the interview and get hired in my talk, “Interview with Integrity.”