Tag Archives: interviewing

After The Interview – 3 Steps To Success

OfficeOnce you’ve had an interview, it’s common to breathe a sigh of relief. “Glad that’s done,” you may be saying to yourself. While a well deserved high five is in order, your work is not done. Post interview actions can make the difference between getting called in for interview number two or the employer taking a pass and moving on to another candidate. So, instead of stressing – take action!

1) Do a post interview ‘audit’
While the interview is still fresh in your mind, go over what went well and what could have gone better. Was there a question you wish you had answered differently?  Was there a question you wanted to ask but didn’t? Type or jot down some notes. This isn’t a time to beat yourself up – try to be as objective as you can. At the same time, don’t go overboard and think there isn’t any room for improvement.

2) Create your thank you note or email
Now that you have your notes, go over them to see how you can clarify any missteps that occurred during the interview. For instance, say the job is for an office manager in a large, hectic office and they questioned how you would do since you worked previously for a smaller office. If for some reason you fumbled over the answer, your thank you note can clarify and provide a better response.

“While I worked with a smaller team at XYZ Corp, I was the lead for numerous branch meetings that involved coordinating large groups from multiple locations. Part of the reason your position appeals to me is because it also gives me the opportunity to work with and coordinate similar large scale events.”

3) Keep searching
While this may be the job you really want, it’s better to not put all your eggs in one basket, even if the interview went well. Continue applying!  The job search is a numbers game. Even if the interview went flawlessly, there are many circumstances you can’t control – such as whether they have a strong internal candidate or whether someone else is a bitter fit. It’s better to keep pursuing other opportunities. The job search is an emotional journey. Don’t get too attached to one position and ignore other jobs that may be just as promising/fulfilling.

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post:
Short on time? 3 Quick LinkedIn Fixes

P.S. If this post helped you or you think it can help others, please share.

Thank you for reading!

A version of this post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Child – Unsplash

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow us for jobs and career advice:
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How this curious elf can help your career

elf1‘Tis that time of year when thousands of families are placing and posing a watchful, mischievous elf on their shelves. In the spirit of the holidays, let’s look at how this relatively new tradition can inspire you in your quest to find a new job.

1. Embrace the excitement
Although this elf makes more work for mom and dad, kids are thrilled to search for it each morning. When was the last time you had that kind of enthusiasm? If you aren’t excited about pursuing a new role and all the possibilities it holds, who will be? Employers can sense when job seekers are just going through the motions. Tap into that elf-inspired energy for your search!

2. Would your resume be on the naughty or nice list?
Naughty resumes are boring, too long and include ho hum descriptions of what you did at your last job. Do you think the elf wants to tell Santa stories about bad girls and boys? Of course not! And, you shouldn’t be telling bad or boring stories either! Spice up your resume with accomplishments. This is your time to shine. Showcase (with percentages, statistics and other results-oriented bullets) what you did at your last job that made your company better.

3. See things from a different angle
The elf is mobile, always moving around to different places night after night. Follow his lead and don’t keep doing things the same way. You should be following more than one path in your search. Don’t just sit at the computer and apply to jobs. Get out there and attend events. Holiday time is the perfect time to meet, mix and mingle! This is also a good time to brush up on your elevator speech, practice your interview skills, volunteer for a good cause, etc.

4. You don’t have to be perfect
Do you think children are little angels the entire time the elf makes its appearance? If you’re a parent, you know the answer to that one. Yet, the elf gives kids the chance to do better and be better. You won’t be perfect in your job search. Every application is not going to hit the mark 100%. Yet, you need to keep trying, putting in your best effort and not giving up when the going gets tough. Your job search may be longer than the duration of the shelf on the elf’s appearance, but not to worry – you got this!

5. Remember what really matters
At the end of the day, “the scout elf returns to its family.” Don’t get so caught up in job search drama (and all the up and down emotions it entails) that you forget about friends and family.

Let us know how your job search is going – we’ll be watching 😉

Thank you for reading – HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

A version of this post, by our social media specialist, also appears on LinkedIn.

Photo credit: Julie G.

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow us for jobs and career advice:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
YouTube
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Pinterest

Also, don’t forget to join our Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

 

 

 

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5 Things you can start doing TODAY to get a job tomorrow

ToDoList

Try these tips to move your search forward faster.

1) Write down the job you want and your target start date

“I want to be in a new role as a sales representative by Labor Day.”

Why is this important? A goal without a plan is just a pipe dream. Having it in writing is the first step towards action, and shows your commitment. Now, you may not get a job by that exact date, but you would be surprised at the power of a self fulfilling prophecy. Creating a realistic deadline, combined with a plan, is a great way to start.

2) Create a simple list with target dates
Here’s an example:

  1. Update LinkedIn profile and resume by the end of the month
  2. Start researching target companies by next month
  3. Reach out and line up 3 potential references by January
  4. Start drafting a generic cover letter by end of the week
  5. Spend half hour each night looking for positions online

The theory here is the same. Looking for a job can be overwhelming. Break it down into manageable steps with corresponding dates.

3) Tell a trusted friend and your immediate family
A support system is crucial. If you’re currently employed, you do have to be careful about not making your search public. ONLY tell the people you know you can trust. You don’t want word to get out. Colleagues talk. You need to continue to give 100% at your current job, and only job search on your off time, away from the office. If you’re unemployed, you have more leeway, and should broadcast your job search to a wider net (on social media, to your circle of acquaintances, on LinkedIn, etc.)

4) Don’t underestimate the importance of the interview
How are your interview skills? Don’t be afraid to get another opinion – whether that be a friend, family member or someone who works in career development (at your state’s career office, your college career center, local library, etc.). Too many people think they can go in and wing it. Wrong. You need to be prepared. This means finding information on what the company is about, what is going on in your particular industry and being able to articulate what you bring to the table. Anticipate questions you may be asked, and be ready with a good response.

Erin Bardwell, a Staffing Manager for Oldcastle, stresses the importance of having accomplishments as part of your interviewing arsenal. “Discuss your success stories and how you made yourself invaluable to the companies you worked for prior.”

5) Reevaluate your plan monthly and adjust accordingly
If you’re not having any luck, it may be time to look at what your action steps are. If you aren’t getting calls for interviews, it could be your resume.

“Tailor your resume for the skills and technologies used at those companies, says Corey Listar, Staffing Operations Manager for the Oldcastle Recruiting Office in Rochester, NY. He also advises to “start researching companies you want to work for and try networking with people in those companies.” Use LinkedIn to see if you (or your connections) know anyone at places you are interested in. Then, reach out to those people.

Embarking on a job search requires a plan, concerted effort and support system. Let us know how it goes – we’ll be rooting for you!

P.S. Speaking of jobs, we have over 1200 openings nationwide. Check them out on our Careers Site.

A version of this post, by our social media specialist, also appears on LinkedIn.

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow us for jobs and career advice:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook
Pinterest

Also, don’t forget to join our Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Savvy Car Shoppers Make Good Job Seekers

Weinermobile
Do you like car shopping? Some people love it –  looking at the cars, walking around the lot, test driving cars, etc.
1) What can job seekers learn from the pros who thrive at the car buying process?
2) Why are they so good at it?

A) They’re decisive
What is important to you? Do you want a 2 door or 4 door vehicle? Truck, car or mini van? 4 cylinder or 6? Stick or automatic? The decisions can seem endless and overwhelming. The same thing hold true for the job search. Figure out what’s important to you in a new job before you send out a single resume. Making a list helps. Some things to include – preferred schedule, pay, working environment, dress code, commute, etc. A job can have the best pay in the world, but if you’re going to resent wearing a suit (or dress) every day, working 50+ hours a week or waiting five years to get 2 weeks vacation, then clearly that is not the job to pursue.

B) They know that preparation takes precedence

Like most endeavors, being prepared is going to pay off. If you walk on the lot not knowing the car’s real retail price of the make and model you want, then you’re in trouble. The same thing holds true for the job search. Just like the Kelley Blue Book for cars, there are websites where you can research jobs and pay before you embark on that first interview.

C) They’re prepared to get the best bang for their buck

Buy or lease? Take an internship, contract job or temp to perm? This is where it gets interesting. Just like there are pros and cons to the ways you can finance a vehicle, there are also benefits and drawbacks in the type of position you take. If you have a big family, a mini van might be the right choice for you. Along the same lines, if you’re an extrovert, working at a position that allows for a lot of team and group interaction might be the best choice for you.

D) They know who they’re dealing with

Car salesmen do this every day. They know all the tricks of the trade. In the job search process, you will encounter experienced interviewers, recruiters and hiring managers. Expect that they are good at what they do and up your own game. If you lack confidence in the interview process, you need to practice. The more interviews you go on, the better you will get at them. Look up typical interview questions and rehearse the answers. Ask a friend to help or practice in front of a mirror. Don’t go in cold or unrehearsed.

E) Negotiation is a welcome challenge for them
Negotiation is not for the weak. This can be the trickiest part of both the car buying and job search process. It’s critical to know your numbers. Typical negotiating rules apply here – let them throw out the first figure. When buying a car, don’t tell them what you’re willing to spend or what you want the payments to be. They will manipulate the numbers to fit that figure. For salary negotiations, give a range if you are pressed to reveal a number. Make sure you know what the going rate for the job is. Being able to negotiate well is a critical skill that goes beyond buying a car or getting a job. This article has even more tips if this is an area you want to improve upon.

F) They Think Long Term
When you’re buying a car, it’s important to take into account your driving habits, typical mileage and how long you want to keep the vehicle to get the best trade in value down the line. For job seekers, ask yourself – where do you want to be in five years? Is this job just a stepping stone and a way to gain experience or is it part of the exact career path you’ve mapped out for yourself? There are many different reasons for taking a job. Know why you are choosing the job – not just for today or next year, but how it fits in your future life plans.

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn.

P.S. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: 7 Simple Salary Negotiation Tips.

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

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Spring Job Searching – 4 Factors In Your Favor

tulips1) The weather is better for networking
It was a frigid, record-breaking Winter in many parts of the country. Getting motivated to go out in the dark and drive in poor conditions was a challenge. In contrast, there’s no excuse to not attend a networking event now. Check to see if the professional association in your industry is holding a meeting. And, don’t forget – networking is not just limited to official events. You can network wherever you go. It’s a mindset, not necessarily a meeting.

2) Interviewing is easier
Interviewing is stressful enough without the added worry about traveling in bad conditions, wearing a bulky coat and boots or having to fix hat hair!

“It may seem like these are small things, but it’s the little details that can make a big difference in your confidence level,” says Corey Listar, Staffing Operations Manager for the Recruiting Office for Oldcastle. “Not having to deal with  outerwear is just one less thing you have to think about. It gives you more time and energy to focus on the interview at hand. And, generally speaking, when it’s warmer and sunny out, you’re in good mood and hopefully your interviewer is too.”

3) Less Competition (for some)
In this case, experienced job seekers have an edge. Take advantage of it.  Soon-to-be high school or college grad? You should be starting your search now – especially for Summer opportunities. The Spring job fair season is in full swing. As Summer hits, the beach may beckon, but do your best to ignore the temptation. Passive job seekers (currently employed people open to the right opportunity) are always sought after, no matter the season.

4) More conducive hiring cycles
For many government agencies and not for profits, the fiscal year starts July 1st. Spring and early Summer is the ideal time to look for a job. For those organizations, the budgets are in place and they are actively seeking candidates. Don’t ignore companies that have a different budget cycle either.  No matter what the hiring cycle is, you want to get your resume out there. Do your best to be among the first batch of people to be considered when hiring starts back up again. In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that people retire, switch jobs or are let go for poor performance in every season. You want to be ready to take advantage of these opportunities as well.

Enjoy this Spring and embrace the sunny days, but don’t let your job search languish. The most successful job seekers are committed to their job search no matter what the calendar says.

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: Stressed? 4 Hints To Handle Workplace Woes.

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

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April Fool’s-Proof Advice To Ace That Interview

april fools dayNo fooling here! We want to help you be prepared for your interview.  Whether it’s been one or one thousand days since you’ve been on an interview, these tips can help.

1) Practice, practice, practice. Brushing up on the basics will only add to your confidence level. Do a mock interview with a friend or family member. They will be honest in terms of how you come across. No one around? Sit in front of a mirror and see how you look answering questions. Here’s a List of Sample Questions to use. Pay particular attention to vocal habits that could be distracting (saying um, like, etc.)

2) Be prepared in case standard interview questions are rephrased. Interviewers may not ask typical questions (i.e. “What is your weakness?”) directly, but in a more roundabout way. Don’t get flustered.  Whatever question is asked, your answer should portray you as confident and capable.

3) Don’t rattle off what you did at a job, but HOW you saved your employer time, effort and money. According to Staffing Manager Corey Listar, “Recruiters and hiring managers are always impressed with people who know how to sell themselves and use numbers, percentages or examples to back that up.  The more you can verbalize how you made a positive difference as an employee, the more interested the employer will be in you as a potential hire.”

4) Embrace your nerves. Being a little apprehensive is normal. Let that nervous energy work for you. Remember, you already made it this far. Take a deep breath, use a mantra or phrase if you need to (“I can do this, I got this”) and calmly, yet confidently, showcase your strengths.

5) Don’t just talk, but listen. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being so overeager to share your enthusiasm that you end up talking too fast and too much. Slow down a bit. Listen to what the interviewer is really saying. Their response can often give you a clue as to what kind of answer they are looking for.

Interviewing is no joke, on April Fool’s day or on any other day of the year. Use these tips to come across as the confident, dedicated, desirable employee you are!

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE

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How March Madness Can Boost Your Job Search

basketball2

1) Make It A Group Effort
Half the fun of participating in March Madness is the pre-game prep. Then, there is the trash talk during the tournament, the hits and the misses and, ultimately, the gloating over who won. Filling out your own bracket and not sharing in the activity takes away a lot of the fun. As a job seeker, are you participating with other job seekers? Or, are you isolating yourself? Don’t! It helps to have people to commiserate with, share strategies, and celebrate successes.

2) It’s All About Strategy
Everyone has their own plan for completing their brackets. Whether you take it super seriously and put a lot of effort into research or just pick based on teams you’re loyal to, you have consciously chosen a game plan. The same thing holds true for your job search. You need to have a plan and schedule in mind. Where do you want your job search to be a month from now? What about two months from now? Write your ultimate goal down and the action steps you plan to take to get there. You can’t wing a job search. It’s going to take effort and a schedule to get where you need to go.

3) You’re In It For The Long Haul
March Madness is not over in one game, and neither is your job search after one interview. There are going to be ups and downs. It’s very rare to land the position of your dreams in the first week. The NCAA Tournament takes time, and so will your job search. Add even more time to that plan if you’re a career changer, entry level job seeker or have been unemployed for awhile.

4) Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
In your bracket, you have many games and possible outcomes. Ultimately, it all comes down to one team winning. In your job search, that one team is the job you want. You will have to get through many hurdles to get there. These obstacles/events include numerous interviews with one company, but more likely will be multiple interviews with various companies. Be open to the possibility of there being more than one ideal job out there for you!

5) Get Your Head In The Game
A coach encourages and inspires players to do their best, work hard, visualize success and never ever give up. Sometimes, we have to be our own coach. While it is easy to get discouraged in a job search, you can’t let the emotions overwhelm you. Teams that lose in the NCAA Tournament don’t just stop playing basketball. They go over what they did correctly, what mistakes they made and then make a plan to learn from this season to move forward next season. You may not be a college basketball player, but you do have the power to take charge of your own path to career success!

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: 5 Must-Ask Interview Questions.

P.S. Please share this article if you found it to be helpful!

This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIn.  Please share it if you found it to be helpful!

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

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6 Lessons From Black Friday For Job Seekers

Mall

Photo credit: Depositphotos

Love it or hate it, Black Friday is a big day. This annual quest for gifts at bargain basement prices can teach us a thing or two about embarking on a successful job search.

1) Be Prepared
To get the best deals on Black Friday, you need a plan. You go through the store’s ads, figure out what you want to get and which stores to go to. The same thing holds true for your job search. To be successful, it helps to organize your contacts, which job openings you want to target and your plan of  attack.

2) Enlist The Help Of Others
Many Black Friday shoppers divide and conquer. Your mom goes to Target, while you wait in line at Kohl’s.  As a job seeker, you can do the same thing. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help. If you’re unemployed, post on your social media accounts the fact that you’re looking for a job. If you have an interview at a company, ask your friends if they know of anyone who works there. You don’t have to go through the process alone!

tree

Photo credit: Depositphotos

3) Exhibit Patience
What if you were in line waiting for a TV on sale and knew only 200 were available? You get to the front and they’re all gone. Yes, it’s extremely disappointing and you’re mad! But, you also know you have other items on your list. Do you give up and go home? No, of course not! You go to the next store to get the next thing on your list. Adopt the same mentality for your job search. Yes, it is devastating to not a get a job you want, especially if you’ve interviewed for it and thought things went well. Remember, the job search is not an exact science. Things are often out of your control. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue on with your search.

Black Friday shoppers expect to wait and are prepared with coffee, blankets and whatever else they need to be comfortable. To get the good stuff, they understand that a certain amount of discomfort is part of the process. The same holds true for the job seeker. You have to get into a mindset that the right job is out there, but it may take some time to get it.

4) Evaluate Your Progress
Many Black Friday shoppers will tell you that they made mistakes their first time out. There is no shame to improving your game plan. If you’re not having any luck, it’s time to go over your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and interviewing skills to see if you can tweak them or do things differently. And, don’t forget your college career center! Even if you’ve graduated, you can always go back. Your local library also has a wealth of resources for job seekers.

5) Celebrate Your Successes
Many Black Friday shoppers cap a successful shopping excursion by going out to breakfast. It’s important to reward your hard work and effort. Even treating yourself to a cup of coffee or cocoa after a good interview or when you’ve written a solid cover letter can give you that extra pick me up you need.

6) Show Gratitude
There’s no doubt about it – the job search can be a grind. When you’re feeling discouraged, think about the things you have in life that make you happy – friends, family, your health, etc. Even the most exhausted Black Friday shopper knows that gifts are great, but it’s the people getting them that is the real reason for their shopping adventure in first place.

Please share this post if you found it to be helpful!

This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIn.

For more job search advice, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn! And, join our new Talent Community!

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

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4 Job Search Tactics Your Competition May Not Know About

unemployedimage1) Don’t Just Say, Show
Go through your bullet points on your resume one-by-one. Can you show proof that you know how to do the skills stated on paper?  Actions speak louder than words, so if you can prove it with portfolio pieces or other samples, by all means do so. We’ve seen candidates create short presentations, blog posts for their new company and other samples for a job they’re interested in. You can also add links to work you’ve done on your LinkedIn profile. You can also self-publish your own long form posts right from the site. What better way to showcase your expertise?

2) Make Your Thank You Count
Why limit yourself to a cookie cutter, boring thank you? There are ways to be creative without being too over the top, yet still standing out. You could create a “Top 10 reasons you should hire me” list with bullet points. What about sending a postcard you created (see #3 below), incorporating your new company’s logo? Or, make your own infographic.  **Note: Try to find out when the hiring decision will be made. This will determine whether to email a thank you or mail it in. You don’t want to make the mistake of mailing the thank you if it’s going to arrive too late in the process.

3) Take advantage of free tools
Even if you’re not a designer/creative type, there are quite a few intuitive, user friendly, free tools that allow you to make professional images and other visuals in very little time. Give these two a try: Canva.com & Haikudeck

4) Incorporate Testimonials Into Your Reference Sheet
Want to take it up a notch? Add testimonials from LinkedIn, positive comments from performance reviews, saved emails and any other kudos you’ve received along the way. You should always  gather and save accolades like this to use as part of your job search arsenal.

In today’s competitive job search market, putting together a compelling resume and cover letter is often not enough. Back up the claims you made with solid evidence showing you have what it takes to thrive at your potential new job.

P.S. Have you used any unusual or unique tactics that helped you get a job? Let us know!

Image: DepositPhotos

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

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Sink or Swim – Interview Advice From Shark Tank

maninwaterBeyond the bickering, goofy gadgets and celebrity sharks, there are true takeaways from that show that can help job hunting hopefuls. If you look a little closer, you’ll see that nervous entrepreneurs share similarities to job seekers.

The entrepreneurs who end up getting a deal aren’t just the people with the best products; they also have the best pitches. Sink your teeth into these pointers to maximize your personal pitch.

Preparation
There are some entrepreneurs who just “get it.” They’ve obviously studied the show, and know what the sharks want to hear. You need to do the same for your interview. You can never be too prepared. Know where the interview location is (a trial run is always a good idea), how long it takes to get there, what you’re going to wear and the questions you plan on asking. Being prepared also helps calm your nerves. Jitters are ok, but the more thoroughly you prepare, the more confident you will become.

At a recent Shark Tank casting call in Iowa, one of the producers was interviewed by the local paper. What can a Shark Tank wanna-be do to get his attention?

“I’m always most impressed with entrepreneurs that know their stuff. The entrepreneurs who know their numbers, their market and have a vision for the company.”

This sounds a lot like what job candidates should know. Competition for jobs is fierce. You’re going against hundreds of other hopefuls. If you haven’t perfected your personal pitch, you’re in trouble.

As a potential employee, you should go beyond knowing surface level facts about the company you want to join. With so much public information available online, there’s no excuse not to. You should also be able to speak knowledgeably about the industry you’re in (or going into). This is especially true if you’re changing professions. Do online research, informational interviews, and check out professional associations. Just like the entrepreneurs, you need to be ready for any question that comes your way.

Practice
Do you think the entrepreneurs go out there and “wing it” when it comes time to present to the sharks? Absolutely not! They have practiced their pitch dozens of times. You can do the same before your big interview. Go over potential interview questions with a friend or family member. Mock interviews are a great way to get feedback on any nervous habits, including distracting verbal or physical habits.

Professionalism
Manners matter. You can be friendly, but remember – you’re there to make a great impression, not to make new friends. On Shark Tank, the sharks may laugh and joke, but they always get to the tough questions, including the basics about the inventor’s business. No matter how clever or creative the sales pitch was, if the entrepreneur can’t answer questions about their product’s sales, wholesale and retail costs, they’re out. And, as anyone who has ever watched the show knows, it never pays to be rude, defensive or arrogant. When you are presenting yourself at an interview, the same thing holds true. This is the time for your best behavior and A-game, no matter what oddball questions or behavior is thrown your way.

Poise
Imagine the moment an entrepreneur walks through the doors to meet the sharks for the first time. It’s a mixture of excitement and apprehension. At the same time, they know that it’s their only shot. Adopt the same mentality. This is your one chance to be in the spotlight and make your best impression. You need to remain confident and composed during the interview, from the second you walk in the door.

sharkimagePassion
Think about what it takes to land a coveted spot on the show. You have to apply, pitch in front of the producers and then advance to the next round. You do all of that BEFORE you even get to appear on TV! In addition, many of these entrepreneurs have learned how to handle rejection. They’ve heard “no” many times before. They pick themselves up and keep persevering, often at huge costs. We’re not asking you to get a second mortgage or live in your car (like many of the hungry entrepreneurs have done); however, we can all learn from their drive and passion. They only need one “yes,” and so do you.

Even though the sharks are millionaires, they’re not going to just write a check to anyone. The same holds true for your future employer. Prove to them that you’re worth every penny by convincing them that you have the energy, knowledge, skills and experience to get the job done. What you say, the way you say it and how you present yourself in the interview can be the deciding factor between you and another candidate.

Shark tank wanna-be entrepreneurs need to show that their invention or service is the next big thing. Job seekers need to show employers that THEY are the next big thing. With perseverance and attention to the points above, you should be well on your way to a successful interview.

Until next time, catch you in the tank!

P.S. Please share this post if you found it to be helpful.

* This guest post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

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