From Hello to Hired: Top Interviewing Tips from Recruiters

By Kelly Goss & Mariya Ginzburg

Your resume and cover letter have caught the eye of a recruiter and you’ve landed an interview. What are the most effective ways to prepare and how can you shine to win the job? On November 13th, a panel of recruiters spoke to FindSpark community members to discuss these questions and share their experiences at From Hello to Hired: An Interactive Interview Workshop.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Banares

Panelists included:

Janel Abrahami, Campus 2 Career Assistant at NBCUniversal
Alexandra Scheiman, Global Talent Acquisition Manager at Spotify
Jonathan Robbins, Director of Talent Acquisition, North America at Interbrand
Kara Freedman, Talent Acquisition Partner at Interbrand
Emily Miethner, Founder + CEO of FindSpark

Below are the top interviewing tips from the experts that will help you land the job:

How to Prepare for an Interview

Do your research.

Before your interview, make sure that you are aware of the company’s online presence, have knowledge of the organization’s structure, and are able to speak intelligently about the current state of the company as well as the industry.

That being said, recruiters don’t expect you to have all the answers so prepare some thoughtful questions that can’t be answered with a little help from Google. Questions help to make an interview more like a conversation but are not essential – it’s worse to make up a question than to have none.

Determining Culture Fit

Why hire you?

Culture fit is multifaceted and its definition varies greatly from company to company or even department to department. Janel of NBCUniversal recommends talking about extracurriculars and side projects outside of school and work that you are passionate about in the interview to present more of your personality and interests. For Alex from Spotify, passion, drive and motivation are key to culture. At Interbrand, Jonathan says it depends on whether you have the right skills, the desire, and can work well with the team.

Many of the experts agreed that culture is continuously evolving and changing within a company. Often they will look for candidates who do not necessarily ‘fit’ but bring something new to the table and challenge the company. Therefore, use interviews as an opportunity to demonstrate how you think and are knowledgeable about issues in the industry that may need attention.

Following Up

Keep it short, to the point, and relevant.

The expectations for a follow-up depend on the recruiting process of each company. For instance, NBCUniversal tends to spend several weeks evaluating internship candidates whereas other companies may fill a position in under two weeks. Either way, a short update email after a week or more of no correspondence is acceptable. Don’t be discouraged if you never hear back from a recruiter as our experts noted this is usually due to the sheer volume of candidates.

A follow-up is never bad as long as you do not stalk your recruiter and contact them multiple times through social media or email. Do not ever call or mail a gift to your recruiter.

Social Media Dos & Don’ts

Know your audience and be aware of your online presence.

As you create an online brand, be sure to separate personal social media profiles from your professional ones and follow companies you are interested in to stay up to date on news in your industry.

What about LinkedIn? Is it acceptable to request to connect with a recruiter after an interview? This question was at the center of a debate amongst the panel, with some in favor of connecting in case you are a good fit later on and others disagreeing because they believe a LinkedIn connection should be someone whose abilities you can endorse with some certainty. Most of the experts agreed that connecting with a recruiter after an interview, even if you were not offered a position, is a great way to network and keep the door open for future opportunities that may arise.

FindSpark Interview

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Banares

How to Stay Connected

It’s never too late to follow-up.

To stay in touch, connect with a recruiter on LinkedIn or email them with updates on new experiences and skills you have acquired. Remember that what you post on your LinkedIn will be visible on your connections’ feeds and can be another way to keep your network up to date on your work experience and knowledge of your industry.

Which of these tips will you use in your next interview? Share with us in the comments!

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