Thursday, February 27, 2014

Interview tips from etiquette expert Virginia Edwards

If you’ve attended our Etiquette Dinners in the last few years, Virginia Edwards’ name will be familiar to you since she has been our speaker.  I always enjoy reading her monthly newsletter, and, when I read her February newsletter, I immediately wrote to her and told her that she had just unknowingly written my next blog post.  With her permission, I’ve copied the first half of her article about interviewing below and will use the second half about follow-up after the interview at a later date.  From Virginia…..

“Your resume grabbed the attention of the HR manager.  You aced the telephone interview by having the company information at your fingertips and by remembering to keep background noise to a minimum.  You are at the next step.  The in-person interview.

HR managers tell me time and again how a candidate who has made it to the in-person interview can lose all credibility in an instant.  How does this happen?  Candidates need to remember they are being observed from the moment they arrive on company property until the moment they depart.  This includes driving your car onto the parking lot.  If it looks like you live in your car, clean it up or borrow or rent one for the day.

Do not underestimate the value of a receptionist!  Some receptionists are the first to interview a candidate.  This is not the time to be overly familiar with someone you just met or worse yet rude.  I have been hired on numerous occasions to play the role of receptionist in order to obtain a third party observation of how potential candidates interact with all levels of staff.

Most HR managers are driven to distraction when a candidate arrives with nothing in their hands.  Now I don’t mean you are to come bearing gifts.  You should arrive with a portfolio holding several copies of your resume, a list of your references, and pen and paper to take notes.  Your portfolio should be sturdy enough to lean on for note-taking since it is rude to lean on someone’s desk.  Even technology companies tell me they prefer the candidate to use pen and paper opposed to a smartphone or tablet for note-taking.  If you are unsure, ask in advance of your interview.  If told no technology, leave your phone in the car.  Even in your pocket or briefcase on vibrate; it is a distraction to you and those around you.  You are at the interview for human interaction, not to read your emails and texts, or to take calls.

Prepare a list of questions you would like answered about the company.  One HR manager told me how a sought-after candidate lost his credibility when the interviewer asked if he had any questions regarding the company or the position.  The candidate replied, “No.  I know everything.”  Even if you believe you know all there is to know about the company and the position, prepare some well thought out questions.”

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Recruiting Trends: Attracting and Retaining Gen Y (This is YOU current UT students)

Finding the jobs, internships and careers that fit you best can be challenging to say the least.   One of the best methods to bring about success is through researching yourself as well as the company and industries you are seeking to enter.   This past January, The University of Tampa and University of South Florida hosted its annual Recruiting Trends program bringing together reps from many of the top companies in the Tampa Bay and state of Florida. 

Our program kicked off with returning keynote speaker Dr. Phil Gardner from Michigan State and CERI discussing the latest trends and anticipated hiring practices by companies in 2014. 

In closing, the program focused on local reps and recent graduates discussing what they are doing to attract the "best and brightest" from UT and other schools to help drive success in their businesses and hiring strategies.   As a result, a great blog was created to share some additional insight on the topic.  As a current student, whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, take a few minutes to read the article linked below to better position yourself for the world of work you are entering.   Enjoy the GREAT read and let us know if you agree as a member of Generation Y.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Career Services Resource Spotlight: American City Business Journals (online): 2014 Book Lists

The University of Tampa offers students online access to The Tampa Bay Business Journal, including the popular “Book of Lists” resource that is published each year. To access The Tampa Bay Business Journalor any of the 39 other American City Business Journals titles – simply log on to the UT library databases and select “American City Business Journals” from the database list. Business journals contain a wealth of information related to a particular metropolitan area and provide comprehensive coverage of the latest business news. With numerous metropolitan areas (e.g., Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Phoenix, Sacramento, South Florida, Washington, etc.) to choose from, this online resource is an ideal choice for job-seekers who are targeting their job search in certain locations.

Once you have selected a business journal, you have the option to view or download the current issue or previous issues.

Business journals are a great way for job-seekers to:
  • Increase knowledge of certain industries and trends in a particular city;
  • Conduct company research;
  • Find networking opportunities;
  • Identify growing companies that are hiring;
  • Find job openings that may not be advertised on mainstream websites; and Prepare for interviews.

One of the most popular resources is the “Book of Lists” which is published each year. In this special edition, Business Journals highlight their weekly industry and employer lists.

 I hope you find this online resource helpful in your job search process!

Monday, February 10, 2014

How well-prepared are you to introduce yourself to a potential employer or customer?  Can you introduce yourself and/or your product in a 30 to 60 second speech?  If so, we have a chance for you to show off your networking skills and maybe even win a prize!  And, if not, we have the chance for you to learn how to introduce yourself and maybe win that prize! 

On February 28th we will have the first round of our fourth annual Elevator Speech Competition, co-sponsored by Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity.  Enterprise Holdings will provide judges for both rounds and the prize for the winner.  It’s a perfect way to practice your introduction to employers for career fairs, job interviews, or just a casual meeting on an airplane or at a networking event. 

Called an elevator speech because it should be given in the time it takes for an elevator to go from the top floor to the bottom—by the time you reach the bottom, the person to whom you were speaking should want to know a little more about you. Generally speaking, your pitch should last between 30 and 60 seconds and highlight the skills, experience and education you bring to the job at hand. Short, simple, to the point:  who you are, what you’re majoring in, what you’ve accomplished in terms of education and experience, and what sort of position you are now looking for. 

Join us for a workshop on Wednesday, February 12th from 5-5:45 p.m. in Riverside 102 and for the first round of the competition on February 28th.  If you survive that round, it’s on to the finals – and a prize!  Sign up on HIRE-UT to reserve your spot:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don't Miss Out- Spring 2014 Internship Fair- Thursday Feb 6

Attention all UT students!!

Don't miss the chance to meet representatives from nearly 60 companies representing a wide variety of industries and majors at the UT Spring Internship Fair.  From Business to Non-Profit, to Science to Criminology this event promises to have it all.   Please be sure to check out a list of companies attending by logging into your HIRE UT account now.  Bring resumes and your professional attire to Fletcher Lounge from 1 to 3:30 pm on Thursday, February 6th.   See you there!!

Mark Colvenbach