By Rocio Valdez
Ace that interview: CHIPOTLE recruiters Brittany Dunlevie and Jennifer Merz joined PRSSA-LB to offer tips and tricks to land and ace an interview. They discussed every aspect of the interview process during the workshop that took place on Oct. 21, 2020.
PRSSA-LB offered their members a hiring and recruitment workshop featuring CHIPOTLE on the evening of October 21, 2020. Guest speakers Brittany Dunlevie, corporate recruiter and Jennifer Merz, corporate talent recruiter manager offered tips on how apply for a job and do well on interviews.
Dunlevie and Merz started with a quick introduction on what they do and explained they acquire talent to work at CHIPOTLE, which makes them the first stop when people apply and interview for a job.
“We do not want to teach you how to interview well, how to say the right things or what things to say, we would rather you leave this conversation and feel like you are empowered to be yourself in an interview so that way the job you get feels like the right fit for you,” said Merz.
She emphasized that it is normal to get nervous when having an interview and suggested to just “get over yourself.”
“Just focus on your message and your message in an interview will be your story and your experience, all the skills and things that got you to this conversation” said Merz. “Also focus on your audience, focus on the person or people you are talking to and make it about what you are imparting to them.”
“You need to be yourself because that is who is going to show up to the office every single day, stay true to you,” Dunlevie said.
They proceeded with giving tips on how to perfect a resume:
When job hunting they suggested to be thoughtful, “what we mean by that is please do not apply to every single job at a company, the recruiters will actually see how many jobs you’ve applied for,” Dunlevie said. “Just be thoughtful and think about your background and what you are passionate about.” She also encouraged to apply to positions even if you do not have specific experience.
Another suggestion when job hunting was to do research on the company and the people on the company. “One thing that always stands out for us is people that send us messages through LinkedIn,” Merz said.
When reaching out to people on LinkedIn, “Don’t make the person you are reaching out to do the work,” Merz said. She emphasized it is very important to provide specific information, “you got to help people help you.”
They explained that utilizing network platforms is also essential when job hunting like LinkedIn, alumni programs and parents or friends networks.
They also offered tips and tricks for the interview process, starting with scheduling the interview, “if the recruiter or hiring manager is asking for the best time for an interview give sometimes, it is good to give them parameters,” Merz said.
If it is a phone interview they suggested to craft your own story and consider your location and having a good volume and being in a space that is not distracting.
During a Zoom/virtual interview they explained it is very important to still dress professionally and if possible in dress code. Being aware of your surrounding is also key, “think about what they are going to be seeing because it can be very distracting to them if there is a lot happening,” Dunlevie said. Testing and practicing beforehand is also essential, “practice makes perfect, you do not want to fudge the interview,” she said.
If hired they provided tips to integrate remotely and be successful:
One good question Merz suggested to make at the end of an interview is, “What advice do you have for me?.” “An advice is very personal and it makes the recruiter or interviewer feel like they are helping you,” she said. To close off the workshop they each shared a piece of advice they would give to their college self. “Not being afraid to ask questions and not being afraid of not knowing. Nobody expects you to know everything, just ask,” Merz said.
“It’s okay to feel lost and confused for a while and it’s okay to not find every job rewarding and satisfying because not everybody’s career path is linear. Just enjoy the journey and don’t compare yourself to other people. It’s important to be patient with yourself and be yourself,” Dunlevie said.
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