Written by Miriam Spinner
I had a job interview at an organization several years ago that had an amazing culture. In the midst of the interview, I realized that I had no interest in the role. When the interviewee said ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ I said, “starting my own business”. The interview ended real quick.
My business did not start 5 years later, and my response damaged the opportunity to be considered for other positions in that organization. I should have completed the interview,
with a friendly face, and let them know immediately afterwards that the position was not a good fit for me.
Interviewing is never easy, and the process typically is long with multiple steps. It may feel frustrating, but with patience and understanding the pain will be eased.
Congratulations if you scored the first step!
“Courage to Communicate: Interview with Confidence”
Jody McPhearson knows how to communicate and build relationships. He is a professional development and leadership speaker. He is the founder and CEO of “Jody Speaks”, and the non-profit organization “Three C’s Youth Project”. He is an expert in connecting companies with emerging generations, and providing solutions on how to attract, recruit, onboard, retain and develop them.
What is a job interview?
An interview is no different than selling a hamburger at McDonalds, or dating your first partner. Think about it – a successful dater or sales person has a short time to engage their listener, and to communicate a strong image. The job candidate needs to do the same. It has a dual purpose: 1) To get to know you, and 2) You to get to know them. We need to determine if the role is a good fit for us. If the inside structure in the organization looks shiny and new, and they are playing air hockey, it may or may not be a good fit for you.
Jody’s Tips for a Successful Interview
Don’t know where to start? Start with confidence. DJ Khaled is no less than 350 lbs. He walks around with no shirt. He exhumes confidence. You have the experience – be confident in who and where you are. Interviewers can smell desperation.
Practice, practice, and practice more. Schedule time with a friend, family, colleague, or coach to conduct a mock interview. If the interview will be on a video call, then set it up, and ensure there are no technical issues. Make sure you are well equipped, and the confidence will follow.
Know the company
Do your research. Talk about them, know where they are located and travel to the site. They have the same personalities as people.
What happens in the interview?
Every interview leads up to the same question – “Why should I hire you?”
Why are you qualified? Build rapport with the interviewee. Tell your story in 3 sentences. Connect with the interviewee, and help them see how you fit in the group. Learn how to sell yourself, and how to bring value to the company.
If you are asked an illegal question, stick to the job qualifications, and if you are asked for salary requirements, you can state that you would prefer to talk about it after a decision has been made.
Jody’s network has over 3,000 connections. Network with business associates, clients, and colleagues. Your second and third degree connections can help you network for a potential job. Companies could reach out to you for other positions.
Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result) approach in responding to interview questions. The interviewer is seeking your skills in organization, planning, leadership, decision-making, problem solving and critical thinking. Interpersonal skills are critical since it can disrupt the harmony in the culture. Remember to take a moment to think about your response.
Jimmy Fallon writes handwritten letters. Write handwritten notes to set yourself apart, as well as email within 24 hours after the interview. In a panel interview, send a separate note to each interviewer. Follow-ups keep you on their radar. Ask how long it will take to decide on a final candidate.
- Jody summed up by sharing with us a few thoughts:
- If you don’t have the courage to ask, you will not get.
- Find the pain, and fix it.
- Sell yourself, but not too cocky.
- Be humble, don’t assume and respect all people.
Danielle Eugene, Recruiter
Clayton Myers, Recruiter
Republic Services is a preferred waste recycling and waste services company. Candidates that have done due diligence are appreciated the most by the recruiters. Sell us who you are, and why you need to work for us. Often candidates are not the person they presented during the interview. Don’t put the responsibility on the interviewee – we can see the truth. Build rapport with us – it is huge. Do your research ahead of time. The interview starts the minute you leave your driveway. Your interviewee might be in the same coffee line or bathroom prior to the interview. The CEO of Republic Services started as a driver. They respect all positions – from driver to CEO. They seek reliable and resourceful candidates.
Republic Services is seeking people who are passionate about customer service. Their branches are in several valley locations including Buckeye and Mesa. Their corporate office is in Scottsdale. They value promotions within the organization. Open positions include Payroll Administrator, Application Programmer Analyst, Business Analyst Technical-Business Intelligence, Customer Service Rep, Director Engineering Operations, Division Accountant, Manager Risk Management, Staff Engineer and Environmental Manger. Complete your application online.
Robin Stanton, Corporate Recruiter
Cognosante translates to “Mind” and “Health” in Latin. Cognosante is a leader in health information technology solutions and services for federal and state public health agencies. Their headquarters is in Virginia. The culture is centered around their employees and their contribution. They look for innovation and take pride in their work. They celebrate different cultures, and this month is dedicated to Spanish heritage. They volunteer as a group, and take ski trips together. Cognosante even has a softball team!
Benefits are effective on the first day, which include pet insurance, company match, and PTO. They have a leadership development program that includes topics such as empathy, accountability and team development. They also offer access to courses and LinkedIn learning. There are remote opportunities for various roles. Open positions include IT Support Analyst, Production Support Analyst, Consumer Outreach Specialist and Case Analyst. Apply at www.cognosante.com/careers.
Jill Romanowski, Field Sales Associate
Tori Castlegrante, Agency Process Specialist
Allstate offers opportunities in their corporate office, as an agency owner, as a financial representative or as part of an agency staff. There are 250 Allstate agencies in the SW region (Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, Utah). The regional offices are in Tempe. Opportunities in the Tempe office are in claims, product management and Information Technology.
Opportunities are in owning any agency. You will receive support to secure a license. There is a 1 week training class. There is a veterans program that provides support for licensing.
Allstate is offering a $10,000 referral to become an agency owner! Apply at www.allstate.com/careers.aspx
Freedom Financial Network
Alesia Martin, Director of Human Resources
Freedom Financial Network provides financial solutions, services and education to consumers to resolve their debt. There are 1800 employees, with offices in Tempe and headquarters in San Mateo. The recently added 800 positions. Their offices will be relocated to new buildings next to Tempe Marketplace. They were #1 Best Place to Work in Phoenix for 2016!
The culture is not flashy. The founders match employee contributions to build a financial fund for employees in need. They take care of their own. There is also monthly lunch. Also monthly is a unique performance incentive. The bonus is real!
Alesia’s last message was the following:
We have the lowest unemployment rates, and as an HR professional, make sure you show up with lots of energy for the position.
Open positions include Negotiations Supervisor, Project Manager, Risk and Controls Specialist, QA Engineer, Business Intelligence Specialist, Business Process Analyst, Manager Talent Acquisition, Compliance Analyst, Marketing Specialist. Apply at www.FreedomFinancialNetwork.com.