I recently visited with a large services company, and learned a few things talking to their supply chain recruiters that provided some great insights for students to think about.
First, the managers I spoke with talked about things every student who is serious about finding a job should do before an interview:
- Be prepared – know what our business is! If it is a financial institution, don’t ask about how the bank teller business is. If it is a manufacturer, don’t tell them you hate the idea of an assembly line job. A good idea is to pick up a paper, and see if the company is in the news today. Come in prepared to talk about a current issue that is relevant to the company. Read about their business on their website, and learn how they are structured and their lines of business.
- Be able to articulate strengths or weaknesses on your resume. Emphasize accomplishments you proud of , but also areas where are there notable gaps. If you’ve worked on an analytics project, or have done a team project, talk about the experience and what you learned from it. Or call it out as an area of opportunity where you would like to get more experience.
- Be open to constructive criticism. Recruiters love to see people who welcome 360 evaluations. If they seek the knowledge to understand how they can improve – it is a good thing.
- Think about how the courses and projects you’ve done will translate well into the employer’s environment. Put yourself in their shoes – why would they want to consider you in the first place?
- Walk in, look the recruiter straight in the eye, and shake his/her hand. A simple thing, that means a lot.
– Connect the dots between what you did in the past – and what you intend to be able to do at this company.
- Write a thank you note – handwritten. The note should thank the recruiter for the opportunity to speak to them. This simple act lets them know that you know how to create a relationship, nurture it, and develop it. That is a critical skill that is necessary for survival in today’s global supply chain environment. People will remember it, and it is such a simple act that will pay dividends. And if you get the offer, you will find this person will extend themselves on your behalf.
On the other hand, if you really DON”T WANT A JOB and wish to REMAIN UNEMPLOYED, follow these simple steps for your interview. These are all true stories (believe it or not) that recruiters shared with me.
- Show up for the interview 10 minutes late. The first thing out of your mouth should be “I’m not even a supply chain major. But I signed up for this interview anyhow!”
- Avoid looking the recruiter in the eye, slouch in your chair, and put on your best “cool, indifferent” attitude…
- Start texting during the interview.
- Even better, lean back in your chair, put your hands behind your head, and stare at the ceiling. A sure way to get nixed right off the bat.
- Name drop. “My neighbor is a big shot in this company, and he told me I should interview and I’d get the job.” Your name just went to the bottom of the list. (It is okay to say that you had heard about a friend who worked there and really liked the environment, however.)
- If you go to a company-sponsored event, take advantage of the open bar and get plowed. While you’re at it, take the opportunity to hit on a member of the opposite sex in full view of the recruiter. Guaranteed to put you on the black list.
- Forget to write a thank you note. Don’t even acknowledge it happened. Help them forget you as quickly as possible.
- If you do somehow manage to get a job offer – tell them they will have to hold on because you’re waiting on another offer for a job that you really want. Don’t even pretend like you are remotely interested in the job. Guaranteed that they won’t get back to you.