Mastering the Employment Interview: Practice Makes Perfect!

Robert (Bob) Nealon – Career Coach – Lynn University 

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Many job search candidates are afraid of interviewing or, at the very least, extremely uncomfortable with the employment interview. What makes the interviewing process so problematic for many is that a high percentage of hiring professionals (HR managers, recruiters, hiring managers) feel that today’s job candidates don’t interview well and can’t articulate their value proposition (what they can do for the company to improve performance) to a prospective employer.

Don’t believe me? Here is your proof. Test this out by asking any job seeker one simple question:

“Tell me why I should hire you and how you see yourself contributing to our organization in a couple of brief sentences?”

Sadly, you’ll find that many job seekers simply aren’t prepared to effectively answer this important question. In fact, most candidates will swing and miss, completely missing the mark, and ramble on during an interview never really highlighting how they deliver performance results within the role. Therefore, the candidate doesn’t convince the hiring authority that they can be effective within the role, and, doesn’t receive an invitation to the next step in the hiring process or job offer.

Taking it a step further, statistics indicate that greater than 90 percent of hiring managers believe most job candidates interview at either an average or below average level.1 This is a scary statistic, especially considering that it is during the interview that a job candidate can earn the job offer, allowing them to earn income and achieve their career goals.

Having trained over 5,000 college students and professional-level clients, I can validate the cited statistic’s accuracy through my many interview skills training sessions and mock interviews with clients. Most are in such a rush to blast their resume anywhere and everywhere through popular online job boards that they don’t take the time to effectively prepare for an interview as a part of their job search process.

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Message from the President

It’s hard to believe that my term as your President will be over in a week. It’s been a year full of both challenges and triumphs and as an association we are continuing to ride the wave of momentum that was built after our formal name change in 2014 from FCPA to FloridaACE. It’s an exciting time to be part of this incredible organization and I wouldn’t trade my experience on the FloridaACE Board for anything.

If you are attending the FloridaACE Annual Conference next week, the conference planning committees have been working hard to ensure that your experience is absolutely amazing! You can take a look at the online version of our Conference Program on the website, along with a Schedule-at-a-Glance. I also recommend downloading the FloridaACE Conference Plus app, provided this year courtesy of Career Fair Plus. You can find it on the App and Play stores.

If you have not registered for the conference yet, there is still a limited amount of time. You can either register for the full conference, Thursday only, or buy tickets to attend the FloridaACE Enterprise Closing Banquet & After Party. You can also follow along with us from home through the app and by following the #FloridaACE17 hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Since our first Drive-In Conference was such a success, we will be doing it again this year. The 2017 Drive-In Conference will be held on November 3rd in the Florida State University Career Center. More details to come in the weeks and months ahead.

The Board accomplished many great things over the past year and met all of the goals we set out to achieve. The most exciting of these is that we were able to increase employer membership by 80%. Welcome to the new companies that are now part of the FloridaACE family: ADP, AFLAC, American Traveler, Ellucian, Ernst & Young, Fastenal, Florida Hospital, PwC, and WellCare Health Plans! We are also grateful to our longtime employer members and I would be remiss if I didn’t give a huge shout out to our top-tier conference sponsor, Enterprise Holdings.

As I transition into the role of Past President, I want to thank our board members who are rolling off the board for their service and dedication to FloridaACE: Adam DeRosa, Robin Kazmarek, Rob Liddell, Carla Toles McKinney, and Kim Franklin. We also have some members who went above and beyond this year in big ways, including Tara Stevenson, Stacy Lanigan, Stacy Ballinger, Matina Wagner, Bill Blank, and Megan Hollis.

It has been a sincere honor to serve as this year’s FloridaACE President. I am confident that you will love the energy of the 2017-18 Board and you can expect great things to come in the year ahead. I hope you will engage with us and help us keep the momentum going into the future by volunteering to serve on committees, presenting at professional development events, and contributing to the blog with your best practices.

I hope to see you next week at Saddlebrook Resort & Spa! If you have any questions about the conference, please reach out to me or our Vice President and Conference Chair, Rob Liddell.

Most sincerely,

Alicia Smyth
2016-17 President
Florida Association of Colleges & Employers
President@Florida-ACE.org