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Improving Your Job Interview Outcome


--Sam Pease


Approximately 40 professionals from the disciplines of finance/accounting, law, sales/marketing, and human resources came to hear Sam Pease discuss ways you can improve job interview outcome. 


Sam Pease is Principal of Talentnav Associates, LLC, where he works with managers and professionals at all stages of their careers.  He was previously with New Directions Outplacement and Heidrick & Struggles retained search.


In his career, Sam has interviewed over 2,000 people.  His talk focused on lessons learned in recruiting.  Below are some key themes: 


                “An interview is not about you.”


Focus on the job specs and address the specs.  Egon Zhender writes the best job specs.  Before you do the interview, find out as much as possible about the job.  For example:

Use LinkedIn to connect with people you know who are in the company or might have recently the company.


Think of positioning yourself as having the ability to solve problems the company didn’t know it had until you showed up.


Who is the most important person in the hiring group?  The Executive Assistant to the hiring authority: how do you treat this person?  Do you remember this person’s name?  How you treat the Assistant says a lot of your personality.


       “Phone Interviews.”


Phone interviews are typically twenty minutes.  The goal is (1) are you minimally qualified (2) is the compensation a fit for you? (3) are you interested in the opportunity.  Sam recommends that you not “mess with the questions.”  Answer them and then get down to issues you want to discuss.


        “Think of Yourself as a Peer.”


When the interview is officially over, ask about next steps and then ask if you can follow up by phone in two weeks.  Treat yourself like a peer and not as an applicant.  Sam said he was upset at the lack of courtesy being shown candidates by recruiters and company officials.  “You don’t have to ‘take’ it.  Think of yourself as a peer.”


You are not asking for “permission.”  You are putting them on notice that professionalism is expected by you.


         “A Job Interview is a One Act Play”


You’ve got to get “up” for the role you are going to play.  Remember that 60% of your communications is about your body language.


          “Critical Difference.”


In responding to the interview, focus on what you have been thinking about their business problems rather than on your interest in the job.



FEI Career Services Tuesday, December 5, 2017: Social Media While in Transition: It Can Make or Break You


An engaged group of FEI members and friends joined Matthew Boyle, Partner and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of AAFCPAs for an insightful presentation and discussion of Social media and how to use it to advance your visibility. 


Matthew explained that he has gone through Transition and he speaks from personal experience.  Kicking things off, he told that social media has channels which include Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. He touched briefly on roles of Twitter, and Facebook before focusing on LinkedIn (the primary business channel).  


He highlighted the reach and importance of LinkedIn.  Matthew walked us through his LinkedIn page explaining how he uses it and the most valuable aspects.  I suggest you check him out:


The overarching goals are to have a clear message of your value proposition and actively work to improve your visibility


1)       Top of the list is having a Strong Description.  The Description should make it easy for people to know how to help you.

2)       Visibility increases by connecting with others.  Be open to (good) connections, as they grow so will your visibility in the business community

3)       Be an Active Sharer; submitting posts, writing articles, liking others posts and sharing them are ways to create energy and visibility.

4)       Don’t be afraid to share.  Submissions are not like emails the users elect to read them or not.


There were numerous additional tips:


                           1.       Show you are Tech Savvy:

 i. If you are using technology; reference it on your LinkedIn Profile

 ii.     Transition business cards should include your LinkedIn address, and logo, as well as your twitter handle and logo – The logos are available through Vistaprint

2.       If you have a Website, post it on LinkedIn

3.       Give and request Recommendations

4.       Endorsements can improve visibility

5.       Been published, include references or links to your publications

6.       Share regularly and comment on others posts

7.       Check out Premium – It has some added features you may find helpful


FEI Career Services would like to thank Matthew for an engaging presentation with many great takeaways. 


As always there was time before and after the presentation for mingling.


FEI Career Services Tuesday, November 7: Tales from the Front – Strategies for Job Search Success


A near standing room only attendance of FEI members and guests joined with Beth Kurth, Emily Walt, Peter Rockett and Fred Covelle in a panel discussion of strategies for job search success.  It was an honest and personal discussion of their efforts, disappointments and successes. 


As moderator, Beth guided the panel through topics of networking strategies, emotional balance, people who helped or did not help, tactics and volunteer work.  There were consistent themes throughout:


·       Stay the course, be resilient

·       Be visible, network always – you never know when an opportunity might present itself

·       Timing and luck play a role but you control what you do

·       Exercise and clear your head, find a way to reduce stress

·       Volunteer work enhances your productivity; it’s another network, it feels good and pays it forward

·       Keep expectations in check, don’t take things personally

·       Practice – be on your game, know what your ask is

·       Talk about yourself in a different way, not a laundry list of what you do but who you are

·       Have a strategic plan

·       Stay in touch, become “top of mind”

·       Always be reciprocal with your ask – how can I help you

·       Everybody likes to be thanked – be appreciative of your support network


Throughout the discussion, the audience connected with the panel as heads nodded in affirmation –  I’ve been there, I’ve done that or I had not thought of that.  Networking continued following the panel event with lessons learned from our colleagues.





Kim Littlefield, Senior Vice President of Keystone Partners where she has over 15 years of experience in talent management and business development, presented to large group of FEI members and friends at the FEI Career Services meeting tonight. Kim’s presentation was delivered in a lively, interactive format with a focus on creating and maintaining a strong professional network as a critical tool for career success.

Kim provided specific, practical tips for:

·        Preparing for networking events

·        Networking follow up

·        Remembering names

·        Breaking in and out of conversations

·        Building lasting relationships

Kim stressed the importance of recognizing that successful relationship building occurs over time and is a give and take process that involves sharing of information, listening, and asking questions rather than just asking for a job. She also provided guidance on tactics for strengthening interpersonal communication skills (critically important to make a good first impression) such as active listening and proper handshake (good eye contact, firm but not crushing).  

Preparation for a networking event should include preparing and practicing a 30 second introduction. Kim suggested we actually record ourselves and listen to the playback (multiple times if necessary) in order to be as confident and relaxed as possible when delivering the pitch live. Other suggestions for preparation included setting goals for the meeting, arriving early, reviewing the list of attendees in advance, and possibly inviting a friend or colleague to attend.

Kim provided a clever working visual for conversation starters that included a house, work glove, family picture, golf club, airplane and a red light. Each of these visuals suggests a potential topic of conversation with the red light acting as a signal to either remain in a conversation or avoid breaking into one, depending on the surrounding dynamics.

The group divided itself into smaller groups of 4-5 and practiced techniques to strike up a conversation, remember names and cleanly break in and out of conversations. This approach not only livened up the event but was also a good way for attendees to learn to connect with each other on a basis other than just “what do you do for work?”

The event was very well received by the attendees and Kim’s presentation was followed by an extended networking session.

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