Sunday, March 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Grads: Time to ‘unlearn’ some interview techniques

By Teresa F. Lindeman
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tis the season of advice, at least for college graduates.

President Barack Obama recently advised the Class of 2013 at Ohio State University to enjoy while they can the days of being able to sleep in and have breakfast at 11:30 a.m. — on a Tuesday.

But if they don’t get jobs — and the news on that front has been dire — that lifestyle might last longer than they actually want it to.

To avoid that fate, new graduates might need to unlearn some of the things they’ve been taught about interviewing for positions. Things like emphasizing their leadership skills, boasting about themselves and going after the perfect job.

“The company is more important than the job,” said Chris Forman, CEO of StartWire, a job search organizer based in Lebanon, N.H. But Forman’s involvement in the recruiting industry pre-dates the company’s launch in 2011.

His advice may sound a little retro to college students and new grads accustomed to being asked what kind of job they want. Yet even at a time in history when few people expect to work for the same business their entire careers, Forman believes there’s value in getting into a good company and working your way up. “Good companies recognize talent and create opportunities for talent,” he said.

Businesses that are growing, in particular, are likely to have opportunities for career movement. The managers at those businesses may be inclined to promote people who have already proven they’re smart, hard-working and good contributors.

So the goal, in Forman’s view, is getting a position in one of those companies. It may not be the dream job or the perfect schedule or the most fulfilling work. That’s OK.

This might be the moment for another retro concept — tapping into the network that your parents or your friends’ parents have. If someone will put in a good word for you, that might be welcome by the hiring manager buried in resumes.

At this point, any applicant who gets a phone call or even an interview should be thrilled — someone probably already sorted through stacks of letters and tossed out lots of great candidates to get to that point — but the job offer isn’t secure yet.

The key thing to remember, Forman said, is: “It’s not about you.”

Sure the interviewer will ask about your experiences and your qualifications and your hopes, but don’t get sidetracked. “Everyone has scores of war stories about interviewing really smart young people who come into the interview and think it’s about them,” he said.

It is, he argues, about solving a business problem. Those doing the hiring are trying to fill a need while not making a mistake.

The smart candidate will ask what issues the manager is dealing with and what he is trying to accomplish with this position. “They have a problem that is not being met,” Forman said.

The smart candidate does not ask about the hours, the vacation policy and the benefits until a job offer is made. “Once the offer is extended, then it’s OK to be a little bit about you,” he said, cautioning that a candidate fresh to the working world and to a particular field can’t be too demanding — with the possible exception of certain specialties such as computer science.

Oh, and tone down the self-promotion. Those leadership positions in college? They are on your resume already. Talk about the group of great people that you were lucky enough to work with. That helps show you’re a team player and reassure the hiring manager.

A little modesty is a good thing. As Forman noted, “There are a whole lot of summa cum laude graduates right now that are unemployed.”

Comments

comments

Scripps Howard News Service

.

News

Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Child abduction case in jury’s hands

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

 
Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
City offers wetlands tour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

MU Games closing in late March

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Still no parole in toddler case

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Young patients bond with special stuffies

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Radio talk show moves to Mondays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Assault awareness campaign kicks off

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Forum

Milt Priggee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
Rowing: PE as well as life skills

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Police complaint procedures drafted

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Clarifying energy update letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Weekly claw pickup necessary

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

City may get charged up over energy choices

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

 
Design innovation centers for the 21st century

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

A new perspective on life

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

 
Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

 
Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8