As Coleman’s Director of HR, I manage our global hiring efforts, including entry-level hiring for our Client Management team. As a result, students and new college grads often ask for advice on how to find the “right” company, how to stand out during the interview process and what makes someone a fit for Coleman.
I have met many talented candidates, from all over the globe, with a diversity of majors and with interesting life and work experience. While I love meeting all these different people and engaging in fascinating conversation, my goal at the end of the day is to find the right people for Coleman. What does that mean? Who is “right” for Coleman? At first glance, we don’t have an obvious “type” but as I look across the outstanding talent that currently works at Coleman, a pattern begins to emerge. Successful employees are engaged, interested in continuous learning, enthusiastic about meeting the needs of our clients and have strong communication skills. When I meet with candidates, it’s not about their major; it’s about their passion for what they are studying. It’s not about their work experience but what they learned from that experience. It’s not about topics that they researched or projects that they worked on but that they were engaged in and excited about the process of learning. Whether they mowed lawns all summer or interned at an investment bank, it’s that they worked hard and can point to the results of their work and the impact they had on their company or their client.
If you are a senior or a recent college grad reading this blog and these characteristics describe you, here are some ways to stand out during the interview process with a company like Coleman:
- Attend career fairs and recruiting events on campus. They are a great way to learn about new companies and industries that you might not even be aware of, Coleman included.
- Come to your interview prepared. That can be as basic as bringing paper and pen to take notes. It also means spending time learning about the company with which you are interviewing. With Coleman, I understand that it can be difficult to articulate exactly what we do but I’m looking for people who have invested time in trying to understand the services we provide and the clients we serve.
- Sell yourself. This is an opportunity for you to tell me about how you would add value. Tell me about your great internship experience but do so in a way that I understand how you added value to that company. Relay how you can do the same at Coleman.
- Be yourself. We want to get to know the real you, not the one you think we want to meet. At the end of the day, we may not be the right fit for you and vice versa but no one will know that if you don’t let us see who you really are. We like to have fun at work and it’s okay to let us know you have a fun side too.
- Ask questions. Be engaged in the conversation. See the interview as an opportunity to learn about the company and the things that matter to you: career advancement, work life balance, office culture, etc. Asking questions shows me that you’ve given some thought to what we do and if we are the right place for you (see bullet #2).
- Follow up. Your engagement doesn’t end when you walk out the door or hang up the phone. Send an email to say thanks but also to focus on a particularly meaningful part of conversation. That added touch will set you apart.
Check us out – we look forward to getting to know you!